Top critical review
Lack of gun experience / knowledge shows
Reviewed in the United States on January 16, 2022
It's been awhile since I read a Lori Foster book but I've been a fan for years so I was excited to find this book at the library. There were many of the usual fun things about Foster books to enjoy. But unfortunately, some huge gaps in the gun / defense areas made the book a disappointment for me.
The main characters are discussing her gun ownership and she says that initially she owned a small .38 with a laser pointer but now she has a Glock. .38 is a SIZE of gun, Glock is a BRAND of gun. This would be like saying I used to carry a wallet but now I have a Gucci. But he doesn't respond as if she said anything illogical. He asks her if she has the weapons on her. She says yes and then goes over to her suitcase, opens it and removes clothing and then opens up the case that holds her guns. No one who carries and is actually comfortable with them would consider this "on them." Again, he doesn't say anything about this gap.
She says she never goes anywhere without them, but this is the only real reference to them in the book. There are numerous times when she is in danger or has close calls (like the one that led her to call him in the first place) and her guns are never brought up beyond this scene.
[side note: From a safety standpoint, this is actually a good thing because she treats them gingerly and never once practices. I don't know anyone who actually has a lot of experience and owns guns, much less the people I know who have combat experience as the hero is supposed to, who would be comfortable with an armed person in their home with that level of comfort and experience. The fact that he knows she's in danger and does nothing to better prepare her is also unrealistic.]
I lost my ability to believe in the story because I was being asked to believe he's WAY more knowledgeable about guns and uses them regularly and competently. By failing to ask the logical and expected follow-up questions (like "what type of Glock?"), this is no longer believable. His only question is if she has ammo and she says she has a lot. That's great but how quickly would she be able to get to her gun with it in her suitcase? How safe does he feel with her having a loaded handgun in his house when she's clearly not comfortable shooting it? How much ammo do you need if you never practice? They spend days together and he never takes her out and practices, never asks if she'd like to. I can't spend five minutes around someone who knows we share an interest in guns without them offering coaching assistance or knowledge. Responsible gun owners focus on safety and practice, especially in relation to those they care about.
Later in the book, he hands her a long gun to use to protect herself with, but she has no clue how to use it and she plans to threaten someone with it and bluff them. That is SO dumb as a strategy and is more likely to get her hurt or give the bad guy another weapon than help her at all. He says he's going to show her how to use it at the first opportunity but that isn't fleshed out either.
Foster could have handled her own lack of gun knowledge better. She could have avoided highlighting it. It would make more sense and been more responsible to have left the heroine's gun ownership out of the story. The hero could look like the strong, competent, knowledgeable protector and she could have still looked courageous and carried a different weapon. Her focus on self defence training could have been enough. My guess is that Foster doesn't know what she doesn't know.
I ended up skimming most of the book after that and I don't plan to read the rest of this particular series because it was just too eye-rolly for me. I want to believe the good guys are super sexy defense people, but the details don't support that and it made me wonder in what other areas the story was wrong.
I still love Foster but I'll stick to reading books by her that take place in worlds I know nothing about, or that are more fluffy, so that I can better believe in the fantasy.