The Woman Left Behind: A Novel (Audiobook-Unabridged)

Author: Linda Howard

Type: Mystery/Suspense

Book Purchased by reviewer

Available at Amazon

Reviewed by RockinRobin

Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Blurb……….

Jina Modell works in Communications for a paramilitary organization, and she really likes it. She likes the money, she likes the coolness factor—and it was very cool, even for Washington, DC. She liked being able to kick terrorist butts without ever leaving the climate-controlled comfort of the control room.

But when Jina displays a really high aptitude for spatial awareness and action, she’s reassigned to work as an on-site drone operator in the field with one of the GO-teams, an elite paramilitary unit. The only problem is she isn’t particularly athletic, to put it mildly, and in order to be fit for the field, she has to learn how to run and swim for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot a gun…or else be out of a job.

Team leader Levi, call sign Ace, doesn’t have much confidence in Jina–who he dubbed Babe as soon as he heard her raspy, sexy voice–making it through the rigors of training. The last thing he needs is some tech geek holding them back from completing a dangerous, covert operation. In the following months, however, no one is more surprised than he when Babe, who hates to sweat, begins to thrive in her new environment, displaying a grit and courage that wins her the admiration of her hardened, battle-worn teammates. What’s even more surprising is that the usually very disciplined GO-team leader can’t stop thinking about kissing her smart, stubborn mouth…or the building chemistry and tension between them.

Meanwhile, a powerful Congresswoman is working behind the scenes to destroy the GO-teams, and a trap is set to ambush Levi’s squad in Syria. While the rest of the operatives set off on their mission, Jina remains at the base to control the surveillance drone, when the base is suddenly attacked with explosives. Thought dead by her comrades, Jina escapes to the desert where, brutally tested beyond measure, she has to figure out how to stay undetected by the enemy and make it to her crew in time before they’re exfiltrated out of the country.

But Levi never leaves a soldier behind, especially the brave woman he’s fallen for. He’s bringing back the woman they left behind, dead or alive.


I listened to this audiobook instead of reading, so if I get any of the spellings incorrectly, it’s because of that.

On a 5 star scale, I would give this book 3.5 stars. Almost 4 stars but not quite.

This book is about a women who is mainly a computer nerd in a classified organization in Washington DC. One day, she learns her job is being eliminated, and she has a choice between being laid off or joining an elite team called Go Teams. These teams are similar to Navy Seals except they are not official USA military. They are contracted to do jobs for the government without being official.

Jina (nicknamed by her Go Team as “Babe”) has been assigned to be a drone operator for her team. Because she is a computer nerd, she is expert in operating her high tech drone when her team is on assignment. Her job is to send her drone (nicknamed Tweety) ahead of the team in order to be their eyes and ears and be able to warn them of anything unexpected. Because she has to actually go with them on these assignments, she has to train just as hard as the other team members, so her training with the team takes almost a year with lots of running, weight lifting, learning how to find coordinates using a compass, and lots of other survival type skills.

The team leader is Levi (nicknamed Ace) and Jina is immediately attracted to him. Unfortunately, since he is her team leader, he is completely off limits……but the attraction is there……..and builds throughout the book.

I really loved Jina! She was one badass woman!! She was just a regular person at the beginning of the book, but she became such as badass as her training went on. She has a heart of gold, and she can talk smack with her alpha teammates with the best of them. Listening to this book sort of inspires me to get more physically fit and try to be a little badass myself! 

This book was really interesting and I enjoyed it from start to finish. Maybe I should give it a higher rating, but here’s why I didn’t: I’m a romance reader. I bought this book because I wanted a romance book. This book does have romance in it, but don’t look for much of it in the first half of the book. I will say that I absolutely loved the ending of this book which made it totally worth it. This book has HEA and there is no cliffhanger.

I’m a long time Linda Howard reader and she is still my #1 favorite author ever. Books like Open Season, Mr Perfect, Cry No More, and lots more are in my top #10 best reads ever! This book is not her best, but it’s also not her worst. In the last 25% of this book, you will see a glimpse of the writing from Linda Howard that we’ve missed lately.

I’m glad I read this book, but I probably won’t re-read again like I will with a lot of her other books; although the book does sort of inspire you to be more physical, active, and maybe a little badass too!


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