Author: Natalie Walters
Genre: Romantic Mystery/Suspense
Series: The SNAP Agency #2
Release Date: May 1, 2022
In 1964, a group of scientists called the Los Alamos Five came close to finishing a nuclear energy project for the United States government when they were abruptly disbanded. Now the granddaughter of one of those scientists, aerospace engineer Elinor Mitchell, discovers that she has highly sensitive information on the project in her possession--and a target on her back.
SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist Kekoa Young is tasked with monitoring Elinor. This is both convenient since she's his neighbor in Washington, DC, and decidedly inconvenient because . . . well, he kind of likes her.
As Elinor follows the clues her grandfather left behind to a top-secret nuclear project, Kekoa has no choice but to step in. And with danger closing in on all sides, Elinor will have to trust the man who has been spying on her to ensure her discoveries stay out of enemy hands--and she stays alive.
Reviewer: Abigail Harder
Natalie Walters always reminds me why she is one of my favorite authors. She writes books that will not only sweep you up from page one but books that capture your heart with the plot, themes, and characters.
The characters are what really made this book as amazing as it is. I loved watching them all grow and work together as a team and seeing Kekoa and Elinor interact and fall in love. I love how clean the romance was. It was so wholesome, which is so hard to find today.
I also loved how the team was more of a family than a group of friends or teammates who clearly cared deeply for one another. Overall, this book never had a dull moment, and I cannot wait for the third book to be published. I cannot wait to see where Mrs. Walters takes us next!
I received a review copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Laura Thomas
If you enjoy a nail-biting, complex plot with exceedingly likable characters, this is a must-read!
Elinor Mitchell is an aerospace engineer and granddaughter of a renowned scientist who had worked on a nuclear energy project for the United States government back in the day. Now that her grandfather is dead, it appears she is in possession of some highly sensitive information—information worth killing for.
Kekoa Young is a Hawaiian SNAP agent and former Navy cryptologist who not only lives next door to Elinor he also has to monitor her after leaks from her company put her integrity into question. The issue is further complicated when romantic sparks ignite between them.
Smart, fast-paced, and humorous, this is the second book in the SNAP Agency series. It can be read as a stand-alone title, but I think any fan of romantic suspense will want to read this whole series!
I received a complimentary copy from Revell through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions expressed are my own.
Reviewer: Marie Edwards
I have been a fan of Natalie Walters from the beginning with Living Lies (book #1 of the Harbored Secrets series). In book #3, Silent Shadows, readers are briefly introduced to Kekoa Young, the Hawaiʻian former Navy cryptologist.
With many series, some books can work as a standalone read. While this one could, I strongly recommend reading the first book, Lights Out. Although not published by Revell, I also STRONGLY suggest reading the author’s self-published prequel novella Initium. The novella introduces the characters and is an origin story for the SNAP agency.
In addition to Kekoa, other characters from Lights Out will return and have slightly significant roles in this story:
Director Tom Walsh
Along with Elinor Mitchell, there are various employees of Lepley Dynamics (Elinor’s employer) and multiple bad guys. In this book, two bad guys have a short POV, while the majority is told from Elinor and Kekoa’s POV. There can be, for some readers, too many characters to keep track of. I did have some issues with that, but I pushed them to the side.
While classified as romantic suspense, this book leans more heavily on the suspense. Walters doesn’t shy away from the action or the body count either. This also serves as Kekoa’s backstory.
There are some technical computer and coding terms that potential readers might not understand. These are not too frequent, though, and not enough to cause a disruption in reading. This story can tend towards the nerdy side. There are also some cute science jokes, though, mainly from Elinor.
Walters keeps this read authentic to Kekoa’s heritage with descriptions of food and the language, referred to as just “pidgin,” which is Hawaiʻian slang.
There are references to the Space Force (created under the 45th president’s administration). As a result, some readers might have an issue with it, given the contentiousness of that presidency. There is a more serious reference to Alzheimer’s disease, though.
The short chapters kept this fast-paced, action-filled read to the point I felt like I was on a runaway train that seemed intent on derailing almost any moment. I was not disappointed by this book.
Concerning the language, there were some words I understood without having to look them up. Still, a glossary in either the front or the back might’ve been a good idea.
This could be categorized as “Christian.” However, some readers might have an issue with a minor character’s reference to a fling and “casual” intimacy and some of the non-secular references. Personally, I had no real problems with them.
Since Revell is a predominantly Christian/faith-themed publisher, it has some major themes of faith. These are demonstrated by Elinor’s grandfather’s favorite hymn (His Eye Is on the Sparrow), Arthur’s faith, and Kekoa’s father’s beliefs. They are partially relevant to the story but not done in a way that feels like proselytizing.
Fans of the genre, author, and especially those who’ve read Initium and Lights Out will definitely want to add this book to their library. I’m anxiously looking forward to book #3 and anything new that the author has on the horizon.
In my review, I used the Hawaiʻi spelling versus the regular Hawaii out of respect for the island and culture.
Special thanks to the publisher, Revell Books (a division of Baker Books), for providing a complimentary review copy through Interviews & Reviews. A positive review was not required nor requested; all words are my own.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
Kekoa Young, whose name means: The Brave One, feels anything but brave since his brother died in a surfing accident. After all, he is just a cryptologist, a computer nerd, and does not feel qualified to protect anyone. But when he meets Elinor, his protective instincts go into high gear.
This is another- hold on to your seats- thrilling adventure about the SNAP Agency. Even though I know very little about codes, the author brought them to life and made them an integral part of the story. I learned a lot about this unit of colleagues and friends who work in Washington DC.
The many layers made it hard to discover the bad guys behind the scenes. Someone was trying to steal the notebooks that were all that was left from the grandfather Elinor loved. Among the excitement and danger, Ms. Walters inserts humor, romance and shows us how the characters rely on God. Elinor holds on to the song: His Eye Is On The Sparrow. Sparrow was a nickname given to her by her grandfather, so she frequently recalls that God is watching over her.
I really enjoy Ms. Walters’ writing and anxiously await the next book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell on behalf of the author and an ARC through a Library Thing. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"Your courage comes not from a name, but by the way you live the life God sets before you. It requires us to stake everything we believe, to surrender our lives, on our faith in God."
The SNAP Agency is fast becoming one of my favorite groups of crime-fighting geniuses. I fell in love with Natalie Walters' writing with the first book in the series. This follow-up confirms her placement in my favorite suspense author category. Nail-biting suspense is perfectly paired with an unlikely romance between two fascinating characters. The solid faith thread creates a deeper layer to the awesome plot with twists and turns and possible villains around every corner. If you enjoy romantic suspense, you don't want to miss this book by Natalie Walters.
I loved Kekoa's big teddy bear self with an easy-going personality. But I also loved that his past regrets and grief came to light in this book to show us the real Kekoa. His snarky banter with Lyla, one of his colleagues, is always fun and witty. His cute, sweet, and often awkward interaction with Elinor was heart-warming and lovely. Elinor is different from Kekoa but shares the same grief of losing a loved one and is inexplicably drawn to him. Amid betrayals, confusion, and attacks from multiple angles, Elinor works with Kekoa and SNAP to solve the riddle connected to long-buried secrets.
I received the book from Revell via Interviews & Reviews and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All comments are my own.
Reviewer: Kristina Hall
Characters: As much as I liked the suspenseful plot, I admit that the characters were my favorite part of this book. I loved the way Kekoa's team worked together and how they were always kidding around with each other. I really liked Kekoa. He wasn't your average romantic suspense hero, which made me like him all the more. His sense of humor was great, and his tragic backstory added to the plot. I also enjoyed reading about Elinor. She was a great match for Kekoa, and her sweetness and intelligence added to the plot.
Moral: This novel involved themes of family and God's care. The hymn "His Eye Is on the Sparrow" reminded Elinor that God was watching over her, and this knowledge brought her comfort, especially during the times when she was in danger.
Plot: Wow! This plot had plenty of action and suspense. No boring moments there. I really enjoyed the humor threaded through the scenes as well.
Romance: Clean. Just kissing. I loved the scenes where Kekoa and Elinor were getting to know each other. These scenes had lots of humor and hints of sweet romance.
Writing: Natalie Walters's clear, fast-paced writing style worked great for this book. I was able to easily picture what was going on.
Overall: Fatal Code was an exciting read, and I'd recommend it to those who enjoy Christian fiction and romantic suspense. I'm looking forward to the third book in the series!
Disclosure: I received this book free from Revell through Interviews & Reviews. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and I was not required to write a positive review. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255.
Reviewer: Rebecca Maney
"Just what kind of secrets has Elinor stumbled on?"
SNAP Agency Agent Kekoa Young is not at all certain that he wants to take on what amounts to an undercover assignment surveilling his neighbor, Elinor Mitchell. The two have literally run into each other a couple of times and Kekoa has a hard time believing that Elinor could be involved in any kind of nefarious activity, yet what little evidence the agency has managed to uncover points directly to her, or more accurately, to her computer. On the other hand, she is a brilliant aerospace engineer working on a highly sensitive design dubbed Van Gogh with potential value for the Department of Defense, making the project vulnerable to international theft, which seems to be exactly what is happening under her watch.
"Let's start over. Kekoa, your neighbor and rescuer of metal shelves."
Mourning the loss of her beloved grandfather, Elinor Mitchell is sifting through some of Arthur Conway's journals, discovering that the renowned nuclear physicist left some of his notations in code. What a coincidence that her neighbor, Kekoa, is a former Navy cryptographer. As Elinor and Kekoa begin spending more time together, her deep-seeded loneliness begins to lift. Maybe there is someone on the planet who understands and appreciates her nerdy science jokes, maybe God's eye has been on His "sparrow" after all.
After reading the first book in this series, if you loved Kekoa's winsome personality encapsulated within a linebacker's physique, then you are in for a treat! But make no mistake; the stakes are high!
I received a copy of this book from Baker Publishing through Interviews and Reviews.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
I couldn’t wait for Kekoa’s story in Natalie’s SNAP Agency series and Fatal Code did not disappoint. It is one of the best Romantic Suspense novels I’ve read this year.
Elinor’s team is one step away from a defense contract when she finds pseudo codes in her deceased grandfather’s journals. Posting one online for help from the cyber community just put a target on her back. The problem is—she doesn’t have a clue.
Kekoa was placed strategically in the apartment next to Elinor. He’s supposed to find out whether or not she’s selling company secrets. The emails are coming from her account. The problem is—he’s attracted to her and doesn’t want to believe the evidence that seems to be right in front of him.
The stakes are high in this adrenaline fueled book as things aren’t quite what they seem. Can Kekoa keep Elinor alive long enough to see if their relationship can grow into something real?
I received a copy of this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and this is my honest opinion of the book.
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