by Cindy Dees

February 2005
ISBN: 0-373-51345-3
Reviewer Graphic Button Silhouette #31
Mass Market Paperback

Can men make up the only units in the Special Forces? Or can women have their own unit? Can they cross the fence and get to the inside with the elite group of men? Can they hold their own against the best of the best? The Medusa Project is just that, a project to see if females can make the grade. Can they keep up with the men, be as tough as them or even tougher in some circumstances?

Vanessa Blake, Major, had applied to the Special Forces her first ten years in the military. The past several years, she did not because she was ordered not to, so she was shuffled from one desk job to another, as a computer programmer. She wasnít happy about it, but she did what she could, to be as close to the units as possible and that landed her at Pope AFB. She still kept in shape hoping and praying that she would get the chance one day to be able to cross the fence.

Lieutenant Colonel Jack Scatalone was the one to pick up Major Blake and take her to the Pentagon. Something he was not happy about at all, but he followed orders. He took her to the meeting with the man that might just hold her future in his hands. Jack wasnít sure that women could do what he did for a living, so he wasnít happy about having to train the all female team. His stint in the Pentagon was just that, it was his time to pull the duty there and that left his team one man short on their current op.

Vanessa handpicked the team, then she also had to have them accept the project. Letting them know it was up to them if they succeeded or not. It all came down to them if women would be allowed inside the fence. Needless to say they all agreed and then shortly thereafter the training begin. Guess who turned out to be their instructor? You guess it, none other than Jack Scatalone. It was his assignment to push them as hard as he could as fast as he could to get them to quit. But did it work? Of course not, they were the Medusas and they were a team.

Letís just say that it did not go smoothly for any of them. Jack teaching them lesson after lesson and of course they got a few lessons in on Jack as well. But would all the hard training be used, would the Medusas be a unit? Well, if you read the blurb you know that they did go on a live op and it was to recover Jack and bring him home. It seems that he didnít like the idea of his team missing in action, so he goes after them. Can the Medusas bring Jack home and what about his missing team?

Even with everything going on around them Jack and Vanessa were aware of each other. They were somehow connected to each other after a short time together. But this awareness did not interfere with the training or the op. They both had jobs to do and that is exactly what they did.

Even though the per se hero and heroine in the story was Jack and Vanessa, you could not forget the other team members both the male and female ones. Each woman had her own skills that she brought to the team, they were tough as nails, ingenious, caring and could hold their own against the best of the best. Iím hoping that Ms. Dees will give us some more stories about the Medusas. I would like to see each of these feisty women have their own stories and hope to find the one that can keep them grounded and be able to walk out the fence every now and then. Even though the story deals with the Special Forces donít let that stop you from picking up the book. The story is intriguing and will have you finishing the book in one sitting it is that captivating. This is the first Cindy Dees book that I have read and I will be looking for more.

Reviewed in March 2005 by Pam.

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