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@SandraArdoin

Nancy Mehl’s latest novel is out. Blind Betrayal is the third in the Defenders of Justice series and continues to focus on deputies in the St. Louis U. S. Marshals office.

This story reunites Casey Sloane with her former partner in Washington, D.C., E J. Queen. Along with a fellow deputy, they are assigned to escort a witness set to testify against an evil terrorist.

E. J. knew Casey had been assigned to this operation. In fact, he’d asked for her since she was so good at her job. Still, seeing her again gave him a jolt. … He’d always found her fascinating. Strength, commitment, and talent poured into a rather small container.

First, let me say, I love the cover. 🙂 Second…I’ve had a hard time writing this review. Overall, I really enjoyed the story, but it had some issues that were problematic for me. 

Nancy Mehl’s books aren’t generally heavy on romance, which is perfect for those who prefer their stories light on the love story. Even without the racing pulses, I’ll usually come away feeling good about the match. In this one, however, I didn’t sense a real connection between the hero and heroine—more so on Casey’s part—and felt the issue standing between them seemed to be resolved too easily. For me, there was no depth to the emotional pull.

The story starts with suspense from page one as evil characters prepare to do away with whoever stands in the way of what they want—in this case, terrorism related to ISIS. 

Unlike many current novels in the romantic suspense genre, though, the author uses various points of view to tell this story. It gives the reader a broader view of the action—there was plenty of that—yet interrupts the flow of the nail-biting anticipation. Scenes end in cliff-hanging, critical points of danger for E. J. and Casey, and then we’re whisked to another location, another problem that could last for several additional scenes. For me, it dissolved the previous tension.

That said, I enjoyed having Tony DeLuca and Chief Batterson back to play major roles in a story that doesn’t depend solely on the abilities of the two main characters. The resolution was definitely a collective effort, providing a bit of a twist on the typical novel in the genre. But again, I felt it watered down the tension at the end of the climax.

I’m not sure what Ms. Mehl’s next series will be, but I can guess. If I’m right, she set it up perfectly in this book. I’m giving Blind Betrayal a 4-star rating for the action. It’s certainly not a boring book.

Do you like your romantic suspense to lean more to the suspense side, the romantic side, or fifty-fifty?

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