REVIEW: Trust Me by Rachel Grant

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Niamh Kavanagh
Niamh Kavanagh
Niamh Kavanagh is a social media and digital marketing expert, CMO of Dream Machine Foundation, and storyteller with a purpose. She grew Dream Machine to 8M followers and edited videos that raised $750K for charity, earning attention from Oprah, Steve Harvey, and Khloe Kardashian.

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Night scene in blues showing the dark skyline of a middle eastern city/town.Dear Rachel Grant,

Trust Me is book two in your Evidence: Under Fire series, which merges the Evidence and Flashpoint series’. I haven’t yet read all of the Evidence books but I loved the Flashpoint novels. It was nice to catch up with some of those familiar characters again.

SEAL Lt Chris Flyte has transferred from the teams in Coronado to Little Creek, Virginia. His soon-to-be-ex-wife was cheating on him with a fellow SEAL and he’s moved so he could get away from the constant reminder of it. His first deployment is on an aircraft carrier in the middle east; his first operation with that team is a rescue mission for an American archaeologist who was taken hostage by Islamic State terrorists. 

Dr Diana Edwards is an archaeologist but is also a covert operative with “Friday Morning Valkyries”, a fictional organisation modeled on The Monuments Men. In the real world, the modern-day version of The Monuments Men – the Cultural Heritage Monitoring Lab – monitor important archaeological and cultural sites in war zones. In Trust Me, the Friday Morning Valykyries work alongside the CHML to track (and try and stop) the looting and sale of artefacts to fund terrorism – in an attempt to stifle organisations such as Islamic State and also to protect the artefacts themselves.  Working in Jordan as part of a funding arrangement between a US philanthropist and a Jordanian university, Diana has been assisting on a dig with a professor and also furthering her work with FMV. She’s about to leave when she’s abducted by terrorists and taken to a remote slot canyon where she’s forced to evaluate artefacts to be sold to fund the bad guys.

As a member of FMV, Diana has a subdermal tracker implanted into her forearm but it only works for limited time and needs a cellphone signal nearby to piggyback upon. Diana can’t activate it until she knows she’s going to be somewhere for long enough that a rescue party would be able to find her. As it happens, the SEALs are able to track her to the canyon without the device and quickly move in for the rescue.

Diana is all for that plan until she meets the head honcho for the terrorists – a man high up in the “deck of cards” for terrorists and who was believed dead. I won’t spoil how it happens, but Diana ends up “temporarily declining” rescue while she tries to instead lead the SEALs to the terrorist so they can catch him and take down his organisation. Chris is the one to whom Diana tries to communicate during this and he feels a connection to  her. However, he also questions himself because his previous two missions had not gone well for various reasons. One of them involved a hostage who did not want to be rescued and he worries he’s failing. 

However, once Diana’s coded message is deciphered, FMV and the US Government are on board and hoping she’s able to do what she plans.

When Diana is eventually rescued (again, I won’t go into exactly how that happens), she returns to the US but the authorities are questioning her account of what happened and the Kingdom of Jordan wants her to be extradited to face charges of looting artefacts (something she had been forced to participate in while captive). Her own colleagues are turning on her – her professional reputation is trash now – and most people don’t believe she saw what she saw. 

When one of the terrorists apparently turns up at the Metro station where she’s catching a train and makes a threatening gesture, she’s unsure if anyone would even believe her.

Chris is involved in both rescue operations and has developed a very high regard for Diana’s resilience and abilities, as well as an attraction. When they meet up through mutual friends back in Washington DC, all that chemistry combusts.

Diana’s woes with the State Department and the Kingdom of Jordan continue, and the danger level ramps up. Chris, fascinated and deeply smitten, determines to protect her and soon enough he is teamed up with the FMVs and members of Raptor to get to the bottom of everything and keep Diana safe – at home and abroad. The action is pretty much non-stop, lots of people get to be badasses and Diana is a key player in getting justice. The tension of the suspense plot was fantastic. There were a few moments for romance and intimacy though and even though the timeline is quite short, I believed the connection between Diana and Chris and felt confident in their HEA.

I did have a few questions at the end regarding what their life would look like. Was Diana’s professional reputation repaired? Could she work in her chosen field again? Could she continue to work with FMV and if so how? Is Chris staying with the teams? Where will they live? I suspect some of those questions will be answered in the next book which will feature SEAL Lt Cmdr Randall (Rand) Fallon, Chris’s contemporary and a key player in Trust Me.  Those questions were more about the tidy up at the end and the mechanics of the HEA but didn’t impact my enjoyment of the story itself.

There was a couple of “reveals” which I picked almost immediately. I thought they were pretty obvious but otherwise the story was tightly plotted and kept me guessing.

I had mixed feelings about the first book, Into the Storm, which I reviewed here. I enjoyed the suspense plot immensely but felt the romance was rushed and there was too much baby in the book (somewhat unusual for me but there you go) and also because of what I referred to as an “oof” moment relating to actions the hero, Xavier, took during a military operation prior to the events of the story. Chris Flyte was involved in that same operation but fortunately here, no significant detail about it was given and it was easier for me to move on/pretend a certain aspect didn’t happen. (It’s fiction I can do that.) Also, there was no baby and the romance felt less rushed and more organic. The suspense plot was as good as, perhaps even better than, the first book.

Trust Me was a better book all round for me. It kept me glued to the pages and well entertained.




Kaetrin started reading romance as a teen and then took a long break, detouring into fantasy and thrillers. She returned to romance in 2008 and has been blogging since 2010. She reads contemporary, historical, a little paranormal, urban fantasy and romantic suspense, as well as erotic romance and more recently, new adult. She loves angsty books, funny books, long books and short books. The only thing mandatory is the HEA. Favourite authors include Mary Balogh, Susanna Kearsley, Joanna Bourne, Tammara Webber, Kristen Ashley, Shannon Stacey, Sarah Mayberry, JD Robb/Nora Roberts, KA Mitchell, Marie Sexton, Patricia Briggs, Ilona Andrews, just to name a few. You can find her on Twitter: @kaetrin67.

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