When Ethan Stone gets a frantic call for help from the sister he hasn’t seen in years, he rushes to her side. She explains that her daughters have been kidnapped and are being held captive by a crazed cult leader. Ethan doesn’t hesitate to go after them. Aside from his sister, they’re the only family he has left and he’ll do whatever it takes to save them. He doesn’t expect to have Ben along for the ride though.
After Ben was wounded on the job, he wanted Ethan with him more than anything. But Ethan ran, too afraid of his own feelings and ashamed of his past. But Ben is beside him once again and more determined than ever to show Ethan how he feels. Hunting down a mad man won’t be easy, but together Ben and Ethan are a force with which to be reckoned. And if they survive, they might just get a second chance at love.
It took me several weeks to read Sentinel. I kept picking it up and setting it down after reading a chapter or two. There’s nothing intrinsically wrong with it save for the fact it’s boring. And it really shouldn’t have been. Sentinel is the second in the Until You series and follows Shipped, which Michelle reviewed. This book isn’t a sequel, but it does reference events from Shipped and has characters that carry over from that novel. So while you can easily enjoy Sentinel as a standalone, it probably benefits from being read in order.
The plot is fairy solid and well rounded. The overall story is intriguing; the idea of a fanatical cult leader is always going to grab my attention. But Sentinel suffers from pacing issues. Instead of an action packed race against time, it often reads as rote and flat. Which was surprising because on paper it had all the hallmarks of an interesting manhunt. Unfortunately, those hallmarks never materialized and I struggled to maintain my interest.
Maybe my biggest complaint with Sentinel concerns poor situational timing. You’ve got two guys, in the middle of the woods, desperate to rescue two little girls. But they have time to play around in a hot springs. Really? And this happens over and over. These incredibly tense, serious moments are interrupted by Ben and Ethan’s inability to keep their hands off one another. It doesn’t read as sexy so much as pathetic and more than once I was rolling my eyes instead of being able to engage with the characters. I like chemistry, don’t get me wrong, but when it becomes absurd, it becomes a huge disconnect for me. This seems like a small complaint, but it happens with such regularity in Sentinel that it grinds the action to a halt and destroys the story’s sense of realism.
There was a lot of potential to Sentinel and the bare bones are there. But poor pacing and excessively horny characters meant the story rather consistently sabotaged itself. This one just didn’t work for me.