Saturday, January 1, 2000

"Blind Sided: Team Red, Book 5" by T. Hammond

The house is full of Mustangs, and the Wild Horse Compound, now affectionately referred to as Mustang Ranch, is only a few weeks away from completion. There is a feeling of security, yet not—Teresa’s anxiety attacks seem to disregard logic. Thankfully, the Team Red detail understands and supports her as she battles unseen demons.

Marcia and Wes have moved to Spokane, and the cancer vigil begins; her final wish is to see her son celebrate his 10th birthday. Compassionate friends, Janey, Ken, Tara, and Jason, take over Marcia’s care in an effort to relieve stress as Teresa wages her struggle against PTSD nightmares and paranoia. Tank bonds with Wes as the sad young boy watches his mom slip away.

Bastian is at an undisclosed East Coast location doing PreClan military software upgrades. At home, David is exerting subtle, yet unrelenting pressure to give him a second chance. Will David's obsessive behavior completely destroy the tenuous balance of his relationship with her and Bas?

Teresa takes comfort in Red’s constant and supportive presence. His antics and doggy wisdom keep her smiling as she waits not-so-patiently for Bastian to return.

This version of the series is INTENDED FOR MATURE ADULTS OVER 18. Blind-sided contains graphic sexual content, and swearing, which is unfortunate as the dog repeats everything.

NOTE: Blind-sided is a novella, 25,000+ words. Your purchase also includes, Blush, a novella previously published in the Shades of Pink, Vol. 2 Anthology-- this story has been expanded.

My review:
Blind-sided is a novella-sized addition to the Team Red series.  The author indicates at the end of the book that medical issues forced her to shorten this part of the story, and she explains that Book 6 will wrap up all the unresolved issues and complete the story of Teresa and Team Red.  While the ending of Blind-sided was definitely abrupt, it's forgivable understanding the author's challenge, and her commitment to ending the series in Book 6.  
That said, Blind-sided was not without its own twists and turns. We really get to see a new side of Teresa as she engages in activities with the "Mustangs" and some of the activities that Bastian and David have been engaged in.  Teresa provides a breath of fresh air to these activities and I really enjoyed when Teresa indicated that the problem at hand could just be resolved "if the men would bother to just stop and ask directions".  And she's right.  Throughout the development of these aspects of the story, we get to experience exactly how Bastian sees and treats Teresa as an equal, and not just someone he wants to take care of.  Bastian understands that engaging Teresa in that type of professional relationship will introduce additional complexity to their personal relationship, but it also shows a level of trust and confidence in Teresa that David never demonstrated.
David appears to be continuing on a downward spiral with regards to his feelings for Teresa.  His reaction to the developing relationship between Bastian and Teresa appears volatile and raises concerns among the other team members in the house.  It also causes me to dislike him more and more.  By the end of this book, I'm not sure if David has come to accept his fate, or has future plans to re-engage Teresa that we'll come to see in the last book.
Frost continues to be a favorite character of mine.  A few "Frost-isms" that I really enjoyed in this book:
  • "Can shoot him. Hide the body. Our secret"
  • "Thinkin' David contains 'nough cubic feet to fertilize the garden by the pond. Wanna hole dug?" 
  • "Easy 'nough to dig two holes as one.  Elm could use the fertilizer."
Have I mentioned that I LOVE Frost?!
Bastian continues to be a calming influence in Teresa's life and demonstrated his commitment to her by going way out of his way to support her in a difficult situation. He continues to demonstrate that his love for Teresa is deep and heartfelt and Teresa understands that and loves him for the way he loves her. Their deepening relationship is reflected in a number of unique ways that I look forward to the author continuing to explore in Book 6.
 In Blind-Sided, the author has definitely established a few interesting situations and scenarios that I look forward to seeing resolved in Book 6 of the Team Red series.
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