When the private plane transporting two dangerous prisoners to trial goes down, US Marshals Madison James and Jonas Quinn must recapture the surviving prisoner before he kills again.
The chase takes them through some remote (and beautiful) country as well as city streets and back alleys as their quarry stays one step ahead.
Madison and Jonas have met before—Jonas trained her when she first joined law enforcement—but this is their first time working together and they know nothing about one another on a personal level. Neither wants a romantic relationship, but this mission plants the seeds of a romance that will develop over the course of the series.
It’s a fast-paced, high-stakes story that doesn’t let up until the very end and definitely sets up interest to read the sequel.
The Escape is book 1 in Lisa Harris’s US Marshals series. Book 2, The Chase, is now available. For more about the author and her work, visit lisaharriswrites.com.
Tess O’Rourke has a single goal: to rise through the Long Beach police ranks to captain in honour of her father, a cop killed in the line of duty. But when she shoots an unarmed young offender to protect another officer, a police-hating blogger turns public sentiment against her to the point that her presence on the force endangers her fellow officers.
Tess takes the one job she can find, chief of a small station in Oregon. As she struggles to gain the locals’ trust and build connections with her subordinates, she’s faced with the disappearance of one of the few friends she’s made in this new town.
Crisis Shot has satisfying characters and conflicts, a complicated plot, and twists I didn’t see coming. I thought we could have done with less back story (the first eight chapters, “Part 1,” which show what happened in Long Beach and her struggle to stay, could have been referred to off-page as back story and provided separately to fans wanting more).
What I liked most was the spiritual tension between Tess and the local pastor. Oliver and his wife, Anna, have faced personal and congregational pain over the years. He trusts God, even when he doesn’t understand. Tess gave up on God years ago because she can’t understand why He would allow her father to be killed. Yet when Oliver faces heartbreak, Tess has words of hope from her own life. As this series progresses, it’ll be interesting to see how these two grow in friendship.
“The tension there was thicker than a hard copy of the California penal code.” [Kindle edition, page 40]
In a time when the news is filled with situations where certain police officers have conducted themselves with prejudice, brutality, and corruption, this book is a vital reminder that most law enforcement officers are dedicated men and women of integrity who regularly put their lives in harm’s way to protect the vulnerable.
Crisis Shot is book 1 in The Line of Duty series, followed by book 2, Lethal Target. Author Janice Cantore has a background in law enforcement, giving a depth of authenticity to her fictional officers’ interactions and issues. For more about the author and her work, visit janicecantore.com.
A single mother with a teenage son becomes a pawn in a drug lord’s vengeance against her convict brother.
Carol Daniels thinks she out-ran her enemies, until a detective arrives at her door with a warning. Minor incidents take on a sinister meaning. An anonymous phone call warns her not to hide again.
Now she must cooperate with a drug lord while the police work to trap him. Carol has always handled crisis alone, but this one might break her. Late-night deejay Joey Hill offers friendship and moral support. Can she trust him? One thing’s certain. She can’t risk prayer.
If you like Christian romantic suspense and classic oldies, and you’re not intimidated by territorial Siamese cats, grab your copy of Secrets and Lies todaywhile it’s only 99 cents for Kindle, Kobo, Nook, Google Play, and Apple. [Sale worldwide, May 18-24, 2021]
Dangerous Deceptions: A Christian Romantic Suspense Boxed Set Collection (Various Authors)
This box set was a limited-time opportunity, but I believe the authors have now individually released their books. I’ll give you a list of all the titles and authors, and then share about my top picks.
The eight novels in this collection are:
Lethal Outbreak: Lisa Harris & Lynne Gentry
Collision Course: Elizabeth Goddard
Glimmer in the Darkness: Robin Patchen
Expired Plot: Lisa Phillips
Ice: Lynnette Bonner
Never A Traitor: Jan Thompson
Ben in Love: Luana Ehrlich
Liar Like Her: D.L. Wood
My top picks, in order of appearance:
Lethal Outbreak, by Lisa Harris & Lynne Gentry. I’d like to read the rest of this series, and Ghost Heart is already on my tablet. Interesting timing, reading about a potential global pandemic during COVID-19. I enjoyed the fast-paced international action.
Collision Course: Elizabeth Goddard. Art thefts, organized crime, and family secrets. It was interesting to read a main character with a traumatic brain injury and I enjoyed the teamwork between strong protagonists who needed to work together.
Ice: Lynnette Bonner. Beautiful setting. I read more for the suspense than the romance, but this hero gets bonus points for cooking a cheeseburger and fries as comfort food for the heroine. Some elements of this story had me nervous that it would get too intense, but it didn’t. Glad I kept reading.
Liar Like Her: D.L. Wood. A new-to-me author, and I really liked her voice. Favourite line: “What’s true about your past doesn’t have to be the truth of your future.”
I appreciated how each story’s “note from the author” at the end includes a teaser for the next story.
What a treat to find a new-to-me, established author with a book that could keep me reading past my bedtime.
This one engaged me to the point of trying to figure out the mystery myself when usually I just follow the characters along for the ride. Did I solve it? No, but I did guess the main villain before it was obvious to the characters!
Willow Anderson is a forensic genealogist who wants to honour her grandfather by taking the one last case he’d been investigating at his death. Even if that means working with her ex-boyfriend, Austin McKade.
The objective: solve an FBI cold case, a baby abducted from a hospital 20 years ago. Attempts on Willow’s life quickly make it clear that someone wants the case to stay unsolved.
The search takes them back to Austin’s hometown, unlocking the family secrets that had kept him from committing to Willow in the past.
I liked the writing, the characters, the faith elements, and the beautiful Wyoming scenery.
While death was no stranger to her, a courteous knock on the door to give warning this time would have been appreciated. [Kindle location 192]
Seeing her like this felt like a dull-bladed knife was cutting open his insides. [Kindle location 540]
Never Let Go is book 1 in the Uncommon Justice series, and I’ll definitely be reading the rest. Book 2, Always Look Twice, is Heath’s story (the second of the three McKade brothers). For more about Elizabeth Goddard and her work, visit elizabethgoddard.com.
Captured in a Taliban raid on a girls’ school, American military journalist Sarah Denning is injured in a nick-of-time rescue mission. Not until she’s flown home to the US against her will does she learn that her high-ranking father has arranged to have her discharged as a suicide risk.
Sarah’s been fighting her father since her mother died, and she’s not about to give up now. But before she can prove herself fit for duty, she must heal from her wounds—and from the devastating loss of her brother.
Former Army Ranger Gavin Black, who led the rescue mission in Afghanistan, runs a security organization based in the US. Now Sarah’s father hires him to guard her—but if she finds out, she’ll refuse the protection out of spite.
And she needs the protection. Threats on her father’s life could extend to his family. Plus, Sarah is pushing for answers about a missing patient she encountered in the hospital—who staff deny was ever there.
Like book 1 in the series, Collateral Damage, this is romantic suspense where the violence and trauma of serving in Afghanistan follows the hero and heroine home to civilian life. Sarah and Gavin are strong people carrying PTSD and other wounds, needing time to heal but finding they’re still in danger in a conflict where they don’t know how to identify the enemy.
I like Sarah and Gavin, and the solid friendships they’ve developed with a small core of people they’ve served with in the past. And I like how Sarah, even when injured or overpowered, keeps her head and plays an active part in her own rescue. Gavin may be there to defend her, but there are times she defends him.
Acceptable Risk is Book 2 in the Danger Never Sleeps series. Book 3, Active Defense, releases in early 2021. For more about award-winning author Lynette Eason, visit lynetteeason.com.
[Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley. Opinions are my own.]
When Piper Boone survives a shooting, the press label it the latest incident in her family’s curse. It’s true the Boones have seen more than their share of death, but all accidental.
To keep reporters away from the stranger who saved her life, Piper invites him to join her family on their private island. Tucker comes with secrets of his own, a tragic past that has led him to faith.
Piper’s life and losses have crippled her faith and left her broken. But as she begins to look at her family with fresh eyes and to suspect what’s unspoken, her strength surprises them all.
Does the presence of death etch into the face? A tightness around the mouth? Eyes narrowed, or worse, turning cold? [Kindle location 263]
I felt like someone had just dumped a second box of puzzle pieces into my partially finished jigsaw. [Kindle location 2205]
Set in an opulent South Carolina island getaway against the backdrop of an approaching hurricane, Relative Silence is a complexly-plotted novel of romantic suspense, family treachery, and second chances.
Shootings, abduction, traitors, and national security risks in Corpus Christi, Texas. The danger in The Traitor’s Pawn starts almost immediately and doesn’t let up.
Somehow the abduction of Detective Bree Grayson is linked with FBI agent Jack Shannon’s investigation. The crisis reunites these two former best friends, and as they work together they discover romantic feelings that have lain dormant since college. Bree finds herself again dealing with her father’s abandonment, pain she thought she’d left behind.
The stakes in this novel are high, but the characters’ introspection allows readers chances to breathe. Along with the romance thread, there’s a theme of anger and forgiveness as Bree processes her lack of relationship with her father.
One thing I found a little disappointing was the resolution of the conflict with a particular antagonist. This person will remain nameless, to avoid spoilers, but was introduced as a worthy villain in a way that had me expecting far more involvement in the final crisis.
Overall, though, The Traitor’s Pawn is an enjoyable romantic suspense with a strong thread of faith.
My father always told me that God is about the long game. That he’s more interested in who you become, even if the actual process is difficult. [Jack speaking about his own father, Kindle location 2933]
From the dusty danger of war-torn Kabul to the relative safety of South Carolina, Lynette Eason weaves a taut tale of greed, intrigue, and secrets worth killing for.
Army psychiatrist Brooke Adams and Special Ops Sergeant First-Class Asher James return from Afghanistan with painful memories and the faint hope of rebuilding normal lives. Instead, they find themselves targets in a deadly, globe-spanning plot.
Amid the flying bullets and PTSD flashbacks, the sprinkles of humour and the developing bond between Brooke and Asher kept it from being too intense for me. This is the sort of romantic suspense I like best. No syrupy thoughts, just two people trying to stay alive and realizing that they somehow understand and complete each other.
I also enjoyed the friendship between Brooke, Heather, Kat, and Sarah, especially in the first part of the book. I’m hoping the other women will have their turns to shine as the series unfolds (although Sarah definitely has a key role here, too.) And I appreciated the faith element as a natural part of the story.
God may not have blessed her with the kind of family she’d always yearned for growing up, but he’d made up for that in the kind of friends he’d placed in her life. [Kindle location 1708]
Collateral Damage is Book 1 in the Danger Never Sleeps series. Book 2, Acceptable Risk, releases August 2020. For more about author Lynette Eason and her books, visit lynetteeason.com.
[Review copy provided by the publisher via #NetGalley. My opinions are my own.]