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by Sandra Ardoin

As the non-cop in a family of police officers, teacher Emily Hunt has no desire or plan to follow in the footsteps of her father, sister, and brother. But when her class is taken hostage, she leans on their experiences to protect her students and herself. 

Mason Taylor, an undercover officer, is suspected of being the department leak responsible for the death of his best friend, Emily’s brother. But when she’s in trouble, he’s desperate to find a way to free Emily and the boy who takes those hostages.

 

Cover Art

 

Fatal Exchange is the second book in the Southern Crimes series by Lisa Harris. I chose it not seeing there was a first, Dangerous Passage (which I’m now reading). It’s not essential to read this series in order, but I’d recommend it due to the ongoing story. The reader gets the drift of the family dynamics, but it’s written through more points-of-view than just the hero and heroine.

For me, the kidnapping at the beginning of the book went a little long and slowed the story. Even so, while I’ve read romantic suspense with more “suspense” to it, this one has a few twists that keep the action going. And the well-rounded characters make it easy to get behind their goals. In fact, that’s what I liked most about this book—the characters.

Mason is a caring man, one who struggles to forgive his estranged and dying father, a feat complicated by the kidnapping and his need to see to Emily’s safety. Will he make it to Colorado in time? On top of that, a possible relationship with Emily is next to nil, since he’s despised by certain members of her family for his suspected part in her brother’s death.

Emily is a sweet character, intelligent and protective of her students. She’s thrown into a situation she feels unprepared to tackle. Things only get worse for her, both physically and emotionally, after the kidnapping is over, but I won’t spoil anything by saying more.

This is a story of personal betrayal, being willing to forgive, and leaving yourself open to exploring new relationships. 

At the end, the publisher has given the reader the first chapter of Book Three. It starts with intensity and looks promising. So if you like romantic suspense with strong characters, I think you’ll like this one too.

What kind of suspense novels do you like best—those centering around law enforcement characters or ones with civilian (amateur) characters?

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: This book came to me free from the publisher, Revell, with the hope that I would mention it on this blog. There was no requirement for me to write a positive review and the opinions I have expressed above are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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