Book Review: Dead in the Water by Julie Ann Walker

Posted April 20, 2022 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews / 0 Comments

Book Review: Dead in the Water by Julie Ann Walker

I received this book for free from Author in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Dead in the Water by Julie Ann Walker
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Published by Limerence Publications LLC on June 28, 2022
Pages: 347
Format: eARC
Source: Author

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Also by this author: Built to Last, Wild Ride, Volume One, Volume Two, Volume Three, Ride the Tide

Sixth and last in the Deep Six romantic suspense series revolving around a team of former Navy SEALs on a treasure hunt. The primary couple focus is on Dalton “Doc” Simmons and the feisty Camilla D’ Angelo with a secondary focus on Uncle John and Dana Levine — and Hurricane Julia.

This eARC was sent to me by the author and Limerence Publications LLC for an honest review.

My Take

The story is all about love, endless, all-encompassing love that is without limit. I loved the comment Uncle John makes, knowing somethin’ about the human heart . . .

“Its capacity to love is endless. Don’t go puttin’ limits on somethin’ that doesn’t need to have any. And if it was worth it the first time . . . then don’t you reckon it’d be worth it a second time?”

The snark between Cami and Doc is a crack-up. They play off each other with Cami more attracted and Doc veering away. What I love is that they’re attracted by each other’s minds — as well as their bodies, *grin*.

There are great reasons for each character to be here. As for the conflicts, they are a’many: the hurricane descending; the state of the reef; to flee and leave or stay and get it all; the hope of surviving being stranded through the storm; the issues Doc, Cami, and Dana have about relationships; and, the unexpected threat of robbery. Yeahhh, I love that Dana and John get to have a romance even though they’re oooold!

Walker is such a tease as she strings us along dribbling out clues about Doc’s and Cami’s back history. More tease comes through in Doc’s inner conflicts about wanting too much even as the guilt pounds on him. His mother’s remarriage provides some of the grief Doc suffers. It also provides a useful prod. Then his reason for actually joining the Navy hits . . . ah, jeez.

There’s a good bit of back history on John. Talk about fascinating!! Dana’s back story is sad, and yet she has really rebounded. I wanna be her! I gotta say Uncle John has definitely lived. He’s done so much — and he’s having such fun caretaking for the salvage operation. And I want to know more about this coital alignment technique.

I cannot believe the rationale the quartet from Maine use. I understand their anger and frustration, but when has that ever justified the actions they plan?! Their general situation is something I’d think a real government of the people should help with, as ideas, suggestions, research.

I don’t get why Carlotta needed her dad’s seat on the plane. That bit at the end, as Cami discovers what’s held her parents together all these years . . . jeez. I think Cami makes the best decision there. Another bit I don’t get is Cami’s lame bit of gossip. You’d think she’d know her parents by now. Seems a bit too convenient for Walker.

Buffalo Bill-ish? I get “Precious” and “get the hose”, but how does Bill fit in here? Again, what is it with the bad guys thinking it’s unfair for their hostages to fight back??

Walker uses a third person global subjective point-of-view, mostly from Doc’s and Cami’s perspectives, then from John’s and Dana’s. Naturally, the fishermen have their thoughts and events.

I love that Walker has Cami use the “noble” excuse of not wanting to be with someone who can’t/won’t/doesn’t want to be with her. All the angst of it, and yet she’s ready to move on because she has too much pride in herself to settle for less. Good for her!

There are so many positives about life and love in Dead in the Water. As well as some fun snark about the motion of the ocean and if the captain can keep his vessel in port long enough . . . yep, you’ll be a’laughin’.

“Growin’ old is mandatory.
Growin’ up is optional.”

I love the ending with its wrap-up of how each of the team members have gone on.

Phew, there is definitely action in Dead in the Water — they’re Navy SEALs! Yeah, yeah, it’s military action and bedroom action — they are Navy SEALs, ahem, lol. But I’d say it’s mostly a character-driven story (series) whose characters’ choice to go after that treasure leads to the action, at least in Dead in the Water.

The Story

As the storm closes in, so does a boat full of dangerous men bent on claiming the centuries-old treasure for themselves…and killing everyone on Wayfarer Island.

To keep Cami safe and alive, Doc has to keep her close, but it’s a close that turns up the heat on the chemistry bubbling between them. For Cami, it’s more than a fight for her life, it’s a fight for Doc’s heart. If they survive, can she convince him to let go of his past for a chance at a future with her?

The Characters

Camilla D’ Angelo, a lawyer, has been employed by the Deep Six team to keep them on the right side of the law — and she never mixes business with pleasure. Her mother and her father, Big Tony D, who’s in prison, are perfect for each other. Carlotta is the sister killed in a plane crash. Tina is a cousin.

Dalton “Doc” Simmons had been weeks from finishing his residency when he quit and joined the Navy. Lily had been Doc’s wife for eight years, the girl he’d loved since eighth grade. His dad died eight years ago. His mother remarried Randall Thorpe. Lady had been Doc’s Quarter Horse growing up.

Deep Six Salvage makes . . .
. . . use of the Wayfarer II for their treasure diving. Bsides Doc, the partners include Spiro “Romeo” Delgado and Mia, a brilliant marine archeologist (Shot Across the Bow, 5). Mason is engaged to Alexandra “Alex” Merriweather, who is an historian with an expertise in reading old Spanish scripts (Ride the Tide, 3). Meat is Mason’s fat English bulldog. At 65, the marijuana-growing, chicory-loving Uncle John can still turn women’s heads. His brother, James, is LT’s father and used to be in business with John; James’ wife and LT’s mama died of cancer. Leo “The Lion” Anderson, a.k.a. LT, is their former lieutenant and current head of the salvage operation. Olivia is LT’s wife, a former CIA agent who has discovered a love for baking (Hell or High Water, 1). Brandon “Bran” Pallidino is known for his lasagnas. The tiny Maddy is Bran’s wife (Devil and the Deep, 2). Ray “Wolf” Roanhorse is married to Chrissy, who is as good a diver as the SEALs — she does run a dive shop! (Deeper Than the Ocean, 4). Li’l Bastard is the island’s resident rooster. In Hell or High Water, Rusty Lawrence had been a member of the team to whom they’d made a death bed promise.

Admiralty law requires oversight, which is provided by Dana Levine who works for the Federal Maritime Commission. David is Dana’s jerk of an ex. Hee-hee-hee, I love the karma David suffers . . . jerk. Rocko is Dana’s dog. The leased Wayfarer Island is where Uncle John has been living as the team’s caretaker.

The Coast Guard
Captain Rachel Mallory has popped into Deep Six Salvage’s lives before. Her crew includes Lieutenant Peterson and Ensigns Hernandez, Johnson, Rodrigo, Davis, and Flores.

Detective Bill Dixon is with Key West PD. Alvaro Martinez is a prosecutor. Captain Mark Bailey is the current commander of the Naval Air Station on Key West.

Alex Lester is one of the partners at the law firm, Leeman and Lester, where Cami works. Marcus Cole and Arron Rodriguez are co-workers.

William White (“Head Honcho”), Fin Allen (“Red”), Jace (“Wrecking Ball), and Brady (“Zip Tie Guy”) are cod fishermen from Maine. Bernie Lutz is Jace’s really dumb cousin who makes really dumb choices. Sheila is Will’s wife. Angie is Fin’s wife.

Dario De Luca had been the first boy to kiss Cami. Curtis Rienhardt had been the state attorney.

Capitán Bartolome Vargas is the last survivor of the Santa Cristina. Rosario had been the midshipman.

The Cover and Title

The cover is a range of blues from the lightest to the darkest, from the crest of the waves and the clouds of fury in the background. It’s Doc with his lion’s mane of hair, a thoughtful look on his face, hand to chin, wearing a black short-sleeve T-shirt, as his lower body melds into the sandy beach at the bottom of the cover. There’s a starry badge in the upper left corner that contains the series info. The title begins at Doc’s chin and goes below his waist, all in white. There’s a testimonial immediately below this in a colonial blue. Below this is the author’s name in white with an info blurb between her first and last names, also in white.

The title is what they all are, Dead in the Water while they wait out Hurricane Julia.

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