3 out of 4 stars
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Cynthia and Dan: Cyber War by Dorothy May Mercer is one of Mercer's "McBride Adult Romantic Suspense" novels. It is a pretty quick read taking between two to three hours.
Set in the midst of our nation's capital, Washington D.C., Cynthia works as a security specialist for one of the senators, Mike McBride. He may be familiar to some of Mercer's readers as he is the main character in several of her other novels. Cynthia has been seeing her boyfriend, Dan, for three years and even has an ILUVDAN license plate on her red MX-5 Miata Roadster. However, before the reader even meets Dan, Cynthia finds herself in gridlock after a drone manages to land on the White House lawn. The investigation shuts down that part of the city. This is an important point in the story as this is when Cynthia meets Sky, falls into bed with him, and then must evaluate her relationship with Dan. Cynthia is also a bit of a vigilante as she and her brother, Glenn, recruit a couple of computer nerds to help fight back against ISIS terrorists.
What I liked about the book is that the drone component really happened in 2015 during the Obama administration. Mercer included a reprint of the New York Times article at the end of the book. I appreciate that she was able to create a story that incorporates a real event. I also liked the goofiness of the two computer nerds that Cynthia and Glenn recruited to fight terrorists in their self-dubbed Cyber War. The plot of the story moved along quickly and Mercer nicely tied into three main components throughout: relationships, drones, and the cyber war to thwart the terrorists.
What I did not like about the book was the beginning. I did not feel that the characters of Cynthia and Sky were very well-developed. I had a hard time visualizing them and getting a feel for what type of person they would be. I thought that Cynthia came off as very flaky while Sky seemed pretty intense, possibly off-balanced, and a potential stalker. There just weren't enough details or dialogue in the beginning to truly feel a powerful connection between the two. Unfortunately, this meant that the remainder of the book rang false for me. In addition, Mercer goes pretty in-depth with her descriptions of how a woman can end an unwanted pregnancy that feels out of place. Maybe she was trying to highlight the hypocrisy of the religious nature of the character and his knowledge of ending a pregnancy, but that seems like a stretch.
I would give Cynthia and Dan: Cyber War a three out of four-star rating. While it was a fast read, well-edited, and had interesting plot twists, the lack of character development really impacted my enjoyment of the book. I would suggest this book for someone looking for a short break and some mild romance.
Cynthia and Dan
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