Cover Image: Stormy Seas

Stormy Seas

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date:

Member Reviews

Wow - for those who read the first book, this sequel was a long time coming. Luckily,  I had read the first book last year so I was familiar with the characters and the plot so was able to follow along - things picked up pretty much from where the first one left off and there were no glaring continuity errors.  I would definitely recommend reading the first book before this one or it may take a bit to catch up on all the nefarious shenanigans that the big bad was up to. 

Stormy Seas is  a jam packed book and not for the faint of heart or paranoid.  Action, adventure, political intrigue and romance - this one definitely checked all the boxes. There's so much going on and dastardly deeds that it's hard to put it down - suspend your disbelief and just go with the flow and you'll be thoroughly entertained. 

I would definitely classify this as an intrigue novel - full of action, adventure and daring women in uniform.  Berkeley and Aidan are firmly together and there's really no conflict in their relationship - good thing because there was more than enough external conflict to keep them hopping.  There's a popcorn element to this story - I could totally see it on the big screen or a netflix series as they move from one seemingly insurmountable problem/mission to the next.   The overarching political intrigue driving all the events is managed well - over the top, but that's what you want in a blockbuster kind of adventure. 

There's some blunt parallels to the political landscape of 8 -10 years ago (end of the Bush era/beginning of the new hope (and neo-con backlash) of Obama) - which kind of made me a bit uncomfortable as the major political characters were obviously based on real politicians and the level of treason, greed and evil attributed to them and their supporters.  This is definitely fiction, but with the way things are going and how reactionary some people have become in the current political rhetoric;  at times It felt a little too possible and based on current events/climate.

I've read quite a few of Vali's books and it was a bit like an easter egg hunt with cameo's and references - if I hadn't read the other books, I think I wouldn't have missed anything or would have been scratching my head, but as an avid reader it was kind of fun to see Vali's books interconnect.

Overall I enjoyed this one and it seemed like it took longer than normal to read it - I'm not sure if its the page length or the sheer amount of content/plotlines, but I never found that it dragged nor was it rushed.
Was this review helpful?
I read Blue Skies in 2018 and loved the book right up to the end. There was absolutely nothing wrong with the end other than I wanted it to continue. Well the wait was worth it. Stormy Seas finishes the story in great detail. The characters are well developed and the story is engaging. Worth the wait and the read!
Was this review helpful?
This is a great continuation of the series and was well worth the wait. As always, Ali Vali brings action, love  and suspense and writes those scenes extremely well. I was so excited to see what Aidan and Berkeley were going to do and was rooting for them from page 1. I’ll admit that I love a strong female lead and this author can bring those strengths to the book without overdoing it. Well done.
Was this review helpful?
This is the sequel to Blue Skies which was written in 2006.  I thoroughly enjoyed Blue Skies and remember hoping for a sequel when I reached the end.  Unfortunately, it was not to occur for 13 years.

The two lead characters are Commander Berkley Levine and Captain Aidan Sullivan.  Both are active military who are looking forward to retiring and finally having a peaceful life together.  Unfortunately, the treasonous ex-Vice President is doing everything in his power to take down the current administration.  Berkley and Aidan are called upon to stop the ex-VP and his militia, the American Patriots.

I was really glad to see the inclusion of Major Wiley Gremillion and Aubrey Tarver into this story.  Wiley and Aubrey were the main characters in Ms. Vali’s book The Dragon Tree Legacy.  Wiley is a retired top sniper who is called into service to help thwart the plot to take over the government.

Although you do not have to read the first book in this series, I highly recommend that you do.  Ms. Vali does a very good job in recapping the prior book’s events, but I feel that reading the first book will add clarity and continuity of the story’s suspense.

I love Ms. Vali’s books.  As with all of her other books, she creates great characters and plots.  It is hard to put the book down once you have started because the action is nonstop.  I give this book 5 out of 5 stars.

I was given this ARC in return for a fair and honest review.
Was this review helpful?
I ENJOYED THIS BOOK. It Was a great follow up to Blue Skies. It's full of action and suspense and finishes the story in great detail.
Navy fighter pilot, Berkeley, and aircraft carrier captain Aiden, are called upon to help find and finish a treasonous former Vice President with plans to overthrow the US government. It’s exciting, great secondary characters, strong families both good and bad, and a good military action story. Ali Vali doesn’t disappoint!
Was this review helpful?
I was really excited for this book. I am a fan of Blue Skies and have long awaited this sequel. And while the book had a lot of what I was looking for, the action, the relationships, etc., it did not work for me as well as the first.

I do not have an articulate explanation as to why it didn't work as well. I still enjoyed the characters and relationship between Berkley and Aiden. Some of the plot surprised me greatly, not in a bad way per say, just unexpected. And this book seemed to jump a little more to keep the reader apprised to activities of various characters.

Disclaimer: I received an ARC of this book through NetGalley in exchange for this review.
Was this review helpful?
An engaging adventure story from an accomplished writer. Having read another of this author’s books, I grabbed the opportunity to review this book and I’m glad that I did. I hadn’t read the previous book but that did not spoil my enjoyment of this one or affect my ability to follow the story. The story is about a rogue ex Vice President who arranges for the assignation of the current president in a bid for power. I felt that this book was exploring the nightmare scenario that everyone feared when Obama was in office and it is both alarming and reassuring. The main characters of the book are two strong capable lesbians high up in the military at the time of don’t ask don’t tell and yet still doing they can to save the country that wouldn’t recognise their relationship, dealt with subtly as the main focus is on their heroics and their relationship. I got confused with the different names people had at times, but the book is a good story well told and with a gripping end. 

Thanks to netgalley for the review copy in exchange for an unbiased review.
Was this review helpful?
"Stormy Seas" is a sequel to "Blue Skies", which was released 10 years ago. Navy Captain Aidan Sullivan and Commander Berkley Levine return to try and resolve a political and military intrigue that develops linked their previous adventure. As a bonus this books adds some welcome completion to the story of Wiley and Aubrey from the excellent "The Dragon Tree Legacy" (published 9 years ago!) This book clearly takes a nod to recent and current US politics and some of the more controversial personalities and themes. This is an excellent book, a solid four stars stand-alone but with the closure to two great stories I love it. Recommended!
Was this review helpful?
2+ stars

Two powerful women in uniform spearhead a potential overthrow by an ex-vice president Dick Chandler (a very thinly veiled reference to Dick Cheney, including his industry contacts), his children (not named Don Jr., Ivanka, or Eric but you clearly get the connection), and his mass of cronies who are upset at the direction of the new liberal government completely lead by an Executive in Chief (who may or may not be Muslim) and his female VP (referenced frequently as 'that b*#ch').

At its heart is the quite frankly problematic relationship of the women who could be court-martialed if the nature of their relationship was known (one is a superior officer to the other). In modern times, this is the real danger of something like the Steele Dossier -- and that is the implication that a person in power could be susceptible to bribes in order to keep their secret. 

So, it's an interesting twist that these two are the heroes of the book.

I mean, they are nice enough. They are family oriented. They are hot for each other. They have similar desires and outlooks on life. But the point stands--they could potentially be compromised.  And this makes for a counterpoint to the evil-doers (treasonous Americans preparing for a revolt from a base in a hostile country).

The prose goes from enjoyable to heavy-handed to a bit confused to enjoyable to inducing eye-rolls. I probably had to stop several times each chapter to either rewrite a part in my head or to make a mental decision to ignore the issue and move on.

Here's an example early on.

The former president is a George Duhbya sort of character. He's meeting with the current president, President Khalil, who has just categorically stated that Duhbya cannot be involved in Dick's crimes:

Duhbya: Mr. President, how can you be so sure? That I'm not involved, I mean.

Khalil: ...No man or woman who enlisted during wartime would try to destroy what they fought to defend. Granted I have plenty of enlisted men and women in custody right now, but I in no way think of you betraying something you love."

Er? What? So, like...enlisted men and women would never...except they totally would because we have a bunch of them in an equivalent Guantanamo and we're pretty certain there's a ton more in North Korea ( know...somewhere...) using their top secret knowledge to tear us a new constitution... 

I mean, is this bad editing? Not realistic? A clue the author is a little out of their depth when it comes to political and/or military tension? That the book was too quickly rushed to print?

Most of this book is entirely readable but I have to stop too often to think about what would make more sense to bridge one part of the plot, chapter, character, incident, to the next.

Know what I mean?
Was this review helpful?
I wanted to snatch this book up after reading the first one of the series not that long ago. Unfortunately it didn’t work for me as well as the first book in the series, Blue Skies, did.

The story picks up a year after Commander Berkley Levine and Captain Aidan Sullivan accomplished the bombing of nuclear sites in North Korea. During that mission, it became obvious there was a conspiracy to throw the US government into disarray by American Patriots. The former Vice President is leading the militia attacks and group that has infiltrated all arms of the government. One of the reasons for such radical idea is the presence of women in the military and other leadership positions, which makes Aidan and Berkley perfect targets. The book takes us through sea and land and a race against the clock before it is too late for justice to prevail.

It is difficult to rate this book because there are some very good action parts mixed in with some very unbelievable events. And I don’t mean good unbelievable, but rather unreal. I think Ms Vali tried to tackle too many events in this book. It then turned into how many bad situations can Berkley get into, as well as placing the characters into unrealistic roles. For example, Berkley is an elite if not the best Navy fighter jet pilot, yet gets to go with a Navy SEAL team on the ground to search a property. Nope, do not think that is something that would happen. Also three boats tried to take over a carrier docked on US Soil? Like I said, some things were a stretch at best.

Most of the characters were introduced in the first book but a few new ones were a welcome and valuable addition. A sniper, Black Dragon, and the Navy SEAL team were great. Black Dragon seems to come with her own story and wonder if there is a book that talks about it or if one could come next. The North Korean fighter pilot in US custody continues to be part of the story but again, a little unrealistic in terms of the degree of her involvement when she was part of the enemy mere months ago.

Overall an action packed story that will please those that can look past unrealistic circumstances. 3 stars

ARC generously provided to me by BSB via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
Stormy Seas
by Ali Vali

2 stars

Slow to build tension, with a confused story line. 

The story line is rough, lacking the cohesion required to make it a free flowing novel.  It also seems confused and wanders along a predictable path. 

The characters are confusing at best and lack a depth to them.  

Commander Berkley Levine and Captain Aidan Sullivan might have a life together if they survive the next mission. They’re undercover hunting down a treasonous ex-vice president and the militia he’s assembled to topple the US government, and the twisting trail grows deadlier at every turn. After an assassination and numerous attacks that could only have happened with inside help, they don’t know who they can trust, and the future looks darker than ever.
Was this review helpful?
5+ stars! I LOVED THIS BOOK!!! This is Ali Vali's best book yet. I've read them all, numerous times. This book is action packed from start to finish. There are guest stars from other books like The Dragon Tree Legacy, which is awesome too. I would recommend that you read Blue Skies, at least, to have a better understanding of the many characters in this book. If you can, read Dragon Tree too. Other reviewers have commented on the Guantanamo and torture issues, but I think they've done it unfairly. Whether you advocate for torture or not, telling a realistic story that includes it does not make the author pro torture. I won't debate the validity of torture, but readers shouldn't judge a fictional work harshly because of personally held political beliefs. As to the others who mentioned the heteronormative writing style of this author, some lesbians have marriages, children and white picket fences and we are NOTHING like straight people. It is refreshing to be able to read books that reflect on families like ours since they are often missing in lesfic. It seems crazy to judge an author that has a clear style, about that style, after you've read all of her books. Ali Vali will ALWAYS be a top favorite author. This book and the other two mentioned above are definitely recommended by this reviewer, along with her other works. 
I received an ARC of this book from the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
Was this review helpful?
There’s a line in this book that provides a good summary of how I experienced the read.
“This damn thing has so many moving parts it’s hard to keep track, but I’m confident we have a good team in place”
It’s a complicated plot and there are a lot of characters, and switching between first names and surnames makes it seem likes there’s even more people involved. Also it certainly didn’t help that I hadn’t read the first book (I should have). So be prepared to concentrate and feel a tad muddled at times, but do persevere because it’s worth it. The writing is very good and the plot crackles along where everyone is potentially the enemy. 
One major thing I didn’t like - justifying Guantanamo and torture - that was hard to get past.
Was this review helpful?
I received this book as an ARC in exchange for an honest review. This was the second book in the Blue Skies series by Ali Vali. I read Blue Skies when it came out, and since I did not remember it specifically I decided to re-read it before I read this, and I am really happy I did. I needed the refresher so that I could know who was whom in this book.

Overall this book was good, I did stop reading it for a little while because I got annoyed with all of the heteronormativity in it. I mean Aiden is a Captain in the United States Military, would she really just let men touch her butt and not defend herself, but need Berkley to do it. Also the constant, let's get married and have a white ;picket fence, and give up years of work because I need a baby in me like all other straight couples is seriously annoying. I find that in all of Vali's books, (and I have read all of them) this is the norm you have one ultra masculine female and one super feminine female who are tougher, never does she stray from this heteronormative model. I thought that the story was so well written and so fast paced, but how many times can a person get shot, stabbed blown up, and kidnapped before we realize she is absolutely terrible at her job? I mean she lost what two planes that probably cost a billion dollars? I know this is fiction, but as a political scientist=, a lot of this is very hard to believe. That the US government would not catch someone funneling billions of dollars out of their coffers, and also that five thousand men and women go off the radar and no one finds this suspicious? IT just seemed very far fetched and made the story hard  to get into. 

There were a lot of parts of the book that I liked, I love Aiden, and I loved Berkley their characters were amazing to read about. What I would have loved more is to have a Stan alone story about Wiley and maybe oyu are working on that, or maybe there was one and I don't remember it? I liked Wiley and I wanted to hear so much more about her life as an assassin. She seemed like the coolest character and she was sarcastic like me which I enjoyed immensely. There was a lot of drams, a lot of high octane fighting and overall badass women, sticking it to the man. So they book wasn't terrible, but there are things that could have been done better.
Was this review helpful?
3.75 Stars. This was a fun and entertaining action packed ride. This is the second book in Vali’s Blue Skies series. This book picks up shortly after Blue Skies ended so I highly recommend people read Blue Skies first. Blue Skies doesn’t have a complete ending so after 10 years between these two books, it was nice to finally wrap everything up. This was a good continuation of the story and I actually think it was even more exciting than the first book.

This is just a really enjoyable action book. The kind of book you could easily see made into a movie. While this book again stars Berkley, a Top Gun fighter pilot and Aidan, a naval ship commander, there was a surprise of a new couple of characters that join this book. For fans of Vali’s The Dragon Tree Legacy, Wiley and Aubrey are back. I was excited to see the Black Dragon (world renowned sniper) again. What was also great was that in Dragon Tree Legacy, there was a loose end left open. It was finally answered in this book. After 7 years of waiting, I had given up on ever knowing that answer so it was nice to see Vali wrap up two older stories in this one book. You don’t have to read Dragon Tree Legacy before this book, but it did enhance the reading experience for me personally.

Surrounded by all the action, there is some romance in this book. The only thing is all the characters are established couples so there is no new romance. I did find the sex scenes to be a little short, but considering I cared about the action more, I didn’t really mind in this situation.

The Blue Sky series is really a fun and entertaining series. Anyone looking for some action, I don’t think you will be disappointed. It took Vali 10 years to write this sequel, but it was definitely better late than never.
Was this review helpful?
Don't let a character-crowded first chapter deter you from reading this book! There are a lot of players in this book and we need to know who they are.

By the fourth chapter, I began to get into the rhythm of the story. If you know anything about politics, you will see many resemblances to real politicians, both good and bad in this story, and they're written brilliantly by the author.

Navy Commander Berkley Levine and Navy Captain Aiden Sullivan must find out why ex-Vice President Dick Chandler will go to superhuman lengths to take over the country. Berkley and Aiden must plan to flush Chandler from his compound in North Korea and capture him before he can put his plan into action. In a daring mission, Aiden sails her ship to North Korea and Berkley and her team go over to the compound to gather intelligence stored there by Chandler and his family, and to destroy the compound and kill/capture any of Chandler's forces.

This is my first Ali Vali book, the first of many I intend to read!
Was this review helpful?
I have to confess...  I've had a bit of trouble with Vali's books in the past.  I'm not sure what it is, but her writing style has just rubbed me wrong.  I'm happy to say that this book was a wonderful change of pace and I really enjoyed it!

Unfortunately, I didn't read the first book in this series, Blue Skies prior to reading this sequel.  I was a bit worried that this would hurt my understanding of the book, but thankfully Vali put in enough of the backstory that this wasn't an issue.  She even showed us via flashback how our two MCs met.   I do have to mention that there's a huge number of characters in this one, but from other reviews, it seems like these many are characters from Vali's other novels who show up for the ride.  I did have a bit of trouble keeping everyone straight, but your mileage may vary if you're more familiar with Vali's work and character lineup.

As a standalone novel, this book is an action packed thriller that kept me turning pages long after I should have gone to sleep.  Yes, it was a bit predictable in places, but that really didn't hinder my enjoyment.  If you're a fan of fast-paced action stories, this will be right up your alley.  If you're looking for lots of action, pick this one up and hang on for the ride!  3.75 stars.

**Many thanks to Bold Strokes for providing me with an ARC in exchange for my honest review.**
Was this review helpful?
Stormy Seas by Ali Vali
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I rec'd an ARC from NetGalley/Bold Strokes Books for a voluntary review. No synopsis necessary.
This long awaited sequel to Blue Skies is well worth the wait. Leads Aidan and Berkley once again take you on an action-packed and intrigue filled journey in this nifty romance from the author. Throw in politics, characters from The Dragon Tree Legacy and the current political atmosphere in the US tickling the back of your mind and voila, you have a page-turner of a story. I read through the night to finish the book. Ms. Vali has never disappointed me and once again hits the mark. Kudos!! Easily recommended with 5 stars.

View all my reviews
Was this review helpful?
First, I'll start with saying I have every book Ms Vali has written so yes she is one of my favorite authors.  With that being said, Stormy Seas is another great read from her!  Not only is it a continuation of 2 of my favorite characters, Berkley and Aidan, but she also brings back Wiley and Aubrey from The Dragon Tree Legacy (what a great surprise, loved to see where these 2 characters have been).  

Stormy Seas picks up from Blue Skies with the rogue 'patriots' trying to overthrow the government.  In this book they have more destruction going on, and even though it seems like an unbelievable plot (an ex-vice president gone really really bad), it is a plot that makes you think some.

There is plenty of action going on, and of course some very hot scenes with the main characters.  I love the dialog (lots of it in this book), and the fast pace of the story line.  Like most books by Ms Vali, lots of characters involved, each having a clear picture of who they are and pulled through the story arch throughout.  I would highly recommend you read Blue Skies first, and even though it isn't necessary but The Dragon Tree Legacy as well if you want more about Wiley and Aubrey and their story.

I look forward to more from Ms Vali - maybe a 1 more wrap up book for Cain and Emma (hint hint).

I received an ARC through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review, but would have written the same opinion if I had come across this author on my own-and I will be purchasing the paperback copy for my collection!

To see my Amazon review, it is under CC-Exciting Read
Was this review helpful?
I'm glad I read 'Blue Skies' not too long before 'Stormy Seas' because I hear there was quite a span in years between the books. 
'Stormy Seas' wrapped up all the dangling questions from 'Blue Skies', and I thought the two covers complemented each other nicely as well. It was satisfying to see Berkley, Aidan and the others ferret out the truth behind the chaos. A special treat was Wiley aka Black Dragon from 'The Dragon Tree Legacy' showing up to help out. (She is just as badass as Aidan and Berkley, maybe more!) I could see RL equivalents in some of the author's political figures, but I confess, I was kind of looking for them. The pacing was great, the obstacles kept ramping up the tension and by the last third of the book, I was reading while walking, helping put supper together and really got irritated when I had to put it down.

The only trouble I had with this one was the sheer number of characters! I forgot who was who and who worked for what branch of the Governmental alphabet soup, but I just soldiered on. (pun not intended)

All in all, I thought 'Stormy Seas' was a satisfying end to Berkley and Aidan's adventures, and I'm glad I read it!
Was this review helpful?