I read a review many moons ago lauding The Medusa Project by Cindy Dees. It was a Silhouette Romance book, but it was supposed to be a really good action thriller. Hmmmmm, sounded counter-intuitive, so I tried to buy it. Well, it seems there weren't many copies out there and used sellers were asking (AND GETTING) prices in excess of a hundred bucks. Ahh, no to that.
So, imagine my surprise when I found a copy at the local used book store for fifty cents! Time to see what those money-grubbing booksellers were trying to cash in.
Turns out, that while I wouldn't pay a hundred dollars for the book, it's pretty good. Certainly worth scouring the used book stores for. I'd pay new hardcover prices for the book and be happy with the bargain. THAT's how good it is.
Brief description: The first all-female Special Forces team is formed and sent through training. Training is gruelling and very few details are spared in describing how tough. Attitudes for all are pretty rigid. The girls are all over-achievers, intent on breaking the concrete ceiling and gaining acceptance by a community hell-bent on never letting the ladies succeed. Even when they do, the rules are changed to turn a brief moment of satisfaction into dismay.
On the other hand, no book would succeed if that was the end of things. Naturally, deus ex machina rules and the Medusas are soon on their way to the Middle East to pull the fat out of the fire when a Special Forces squad AND the man who trained them both go off the radar screen. Before the book's conclusion, all the good guys end up alive and as well as can be expected and the mission's original purpose has been achieved.
The Medusas become the President's left-hand goto girls, operating off the grid as much as possible. It's all VERY WELL DONE. Wouldn't be shocked if a decent movie could be made of all of this. (and there are five or six more books in the series, hoo raw!)
Oh, about the romance. The team leader, code-named Viper, and the training soldier have the hots for each other. Unrequited at first, consummated by the book's end. But, as somebody who scans over the 'mushy' stuff, it's a merciful small part of the whole book and not very graphic. It's the romance book for the guy (and girl) who doesn't read romances.
Like I said, a bargain at any used-bookstore's prices you might find. Happy searching.