Author: Lynn H. Blackburn
Series: Defend and Protect #3
Release Date: March 7, 2023
They'll protect the president at any cost--but who will protect their hearts?
USSS Special Agent Zane Thacker has landed his dream assignment protecting the president of the United States. When the president plans a fundraiser at the exclusive estate of a political supporter in Raleigh, Zane is thrilled to be working again with Special Agent Tessa Reed, his best friend--and the woman he desperately wishes could be more.
Though Tessa almost lost everything, she battled her demons and came out on the other side healthy and healed. But when her role as the liaison between the Raleigh office and the president's protective detail wrenches her past back into the present, her greatest failure threatens to come to light.
Zane refuses to let Tessa go through this alone. But can he stand by the woman he loves and protect the president from a mounting threat at the same time?
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"I think if I walked around introducing you as the pulse of my heart, we would get a few weird looks."
Zane and Tessa have had great chemistry and friendship throughout the series. I am so happy that they have their own adrenaline-fueled, romance-laced story to conclude this fantastic series about Raleigh Secret Service agents. The plot is fascinating, and even though we hear the villain's voice in the story, we don't see the clues coming together until the end.
Zane is still very much part of the Raleigh office though he's now in DC protecting the president. The solid bond of brotherhood among Zane, Luke, Gil, and Benjamin is enviable, and I loved their protective love of each other and their families. I've always liked Zane, but his tender, romantic, patient heart totally swept me away in this book.
Tessa is fierce and no-nonsense and a great Secret Service Agent. Zane and Tessa have painful pasts that prevent them from fully trusting each other with their hearts, but their friendship and sizzling attraction are delightful. I loved catching up with Luke and Faith, Gil and Ivy, Benjamin and Sharon from this office, and Adam and Sabrina from the Carrington Sheriff's Office from the author's previous series.
It's an excellent conclusion to the Defend and Protect series that you won't want to miss.
I received the book from the publisher and was not obligated to post a positive comment. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
Another quick and absorbing book by Lynn Blackburn. I am always anxious to see what the agents/friends are up to.
After a job change for Zane as security for the President, he is back in Raleigh as part of an advance team because the President will be visiting old school pals at a nearby estate. Although Zane has kept in close touch with his buddies, it is Tessa he longs to see in person. Tessa is heading up the detail to coordinate everything for the visit, including checking viable threats and vetting the people on the guest list.
The story showcases what is involved with the process and is not short on other perils that pop up to split the concentration of the team of agents. Tessa and Zane are trying to keep their relationship in the friend zone due to some background issues in each of their lives. But that is not working too well as the danger escalates.
I appreciate the bonds created by the team and how they look out for each other, especially how they pray for God’s guidance and protection. The teasing and good-natured meddling makes them seem like a big family.
The ending hints at new cases to come in a new setting. I can hardly wait.
A complimentary copy of this book was provided by Revell through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
Reviewer: Joy Hannabass
USSS Special Agent Zane Thacker's new dream assignment is protecting the US president, along with help from his friend and Special Agent Tessa Reed. When Reed's baggage from the past threatens to surface, the president's safety could be jeopardized.
Wow! Just Wow! Talk about a book that will shower you full of suspense while the threats keep coming. This is in the midst of Zane and Tessa's story, which I so much enjoyed.
Zane and Tessa are solid and fun characters to follow. A lot is happening in this story, with twists and turns that had me stumbling over who was after this couple. And the more that happens, the more intense it gets. I enjoyed the thrilling job of keeping the president safe. The stakes were about as high as they could get. All while, the threats keep pouring in from this evil person.
Where I have several of Lynn's books to read, this is the first I have actually read, and it is definitely a winner. I really like her fast pace writing style. I read the story so fast I had to go back and read a lot of it over to get the wonderful full story as it's meant to be. I'm sure I will read this one over again with the series. I am giving Under Fire Five Stars, and I wish I could give it more! I encourage you to run out and pick up a copy of this book when it is released on March 7, 2023.
I received a complimentary copy courtesy of Revell through Interviews & Reviews for my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Marie Edwards
Those who’ve read the Dive Team Investigations (DTI) series and the first two books of this series (Unknown Threat and Malicious Intent) will definitely want to get Under Fire.
When it comes to book covers – I don’t get too excited. Some look like works of art. Others? The background color makes them pop. As someone who likes purple – this popped right out at me. But covers are not everything. It is the characters and story that count.
This is Zane Thacker and Tessa Reed’s story. And Tessa’s is one that definitely sparks interest. As a result, it might trigger some readers as she is a recovering alcoholic. There are also mentions of domestic violence, mental illness, and drug abuse.
This is a multi-layer story that involves the protection detail section of the Secret Service. The president is visiting, and the Raleigh office has had a bad past.
The romance is a will they/won’t they with a slow burn. But, Zane’s reasons for not jumping right in are sound – his own experiences with his alcoholic mother, also Tessa’s time from her rehab completion. Blackburn keeps it slightly rooted in reality.
In addition, checking what threats are real and finding Tessa’s stalker keeps the agents busy. A slimy reporter reminded me of a character from the movie Die Hard (the reporter Thornburg). Hank has absolutely no professionalism – even making up a story without fact-checking and not taking “no” for an answer when it comes to Tessa.
Under Fire is more romance than suspense. The suspense isn’t a wild ride, but definitely, one that kept me guessing. At no time did Blackburn give a heads-up as to who Tessa had an encounter with until nearly the end. Also, the threat against the president was a more toned-down affair. It was a different and unique plot without the usually prevalent violence. Overall, it is a calmer conclusion for a series that started with a bang.
There are elements of humor throughout, and the agents’ family bond is endearing, given what they’ve all been through.
As this is from a primarily Christian-based publisher, readers can expect some Christian themes. There are multiple incidents of the characters praying, and their faith is definitely rooted in who they are.
I’m excited to see what Blackburn has planned next. I still have the Dive Time Investigation series on my TBR.
Thank you to Revell for providing an advanced review copy through Interviews & Reviews. A positive review was neither required nor requested, and all words are mine.
Reviewer: Tammy Lunsford
Find a seat and prepare to be wowed and spellbound by Lynn Blackburn's newest book.
USSS Special Agent Zane Thacker is on the president's protection detail. The president has a fundraiser planned in Raleigh. Special Agent Tessa Reed is in charge of ensuring the president is safe from when he arrives in Raleigh until the time he leaves. Zane and Tessa have a complicated and connected past. Tessa battled a personal demon with addiction, but she won the battle. She has Zane to thank for this victory. Unfortunately, Zane made it clear that they would never be able to be more than friends. This means working together will be a little tense as you can feel the romantic tension pulsating off the pages. To make matters even more complicated, it appears that Tessa's past has come back to haunt her. As the past and present collide, they must solve the mystery of what happened to her years ago.
Addiction, secret societies, greed, politics, and betrayal make this mystery taut with suspense. Welcome to the world of high-dollar politics where no one can be trusted. The thrills kept coming as Tessa, Zane, and company worked hard to prevent a disaster. The layers of this mystery were like an onion. You will find another mystery to solve as you peel back another layer.
This book went into great detail about the ins and outs of preparing for a presidential visit. It was very interesting to read about. I love the characters in this book. Tessa was a survivor with a strong will to survive and overcome the odds. Zane was a protector and fantastic friend to Tessa during her struggles. I also enjoyed the camaraderie of the crew they worked with, as there were some humorous scenes mixed in with the serious scenes. This was an intriguing romantic suspense novel with an inspirational message that will leave you feeling satisfied.
Lynn Blackburn knows how to spin a story and draw you into her story and her characters' lives to the point that you are cheering them on as they try to capture the bad guys. I always look forward to any release from Lynn Blackburn, and this book checked all the usual boxes of enjoyment for me. Actually, five stars are not sufficient for this book, but I guess we will have to accept the highest number that is allowed!
Thank you to Revell Books for a courtesy copy through Interviews and Reviews. I am leaving this review voluntarily.
Reviewer: Kristina Hall
Another epic romantic suspense novel by Lynn H. Blackburn!
I was glad to finally get to read Zane and Tessa's story, and it didn't disappoint me. Zane and Tessa were sympathetic characters, and their shared backstory added much to this novel. I enjoyed seeing the characters from the previous books in the series and some of the characters from the Dive Team Investigations series. I'm excited to read Blackburn's next series (which will hopefully include some appearances from the characters I've already come to know).
Plenty of suspenseful moments and high stakes kept me reading right along. I did find myself a little confused during the part where the villains were revealed. Maybe I missed some clues or was reading too fast. I appreciated Lynn H. Blackburn's clear, fast-paced writing style and that she kept the romance and the language clean.
Overall, Under Fire was an exciting read I'd recommend to those who enjoy Christian fiction and romantic suspense.
Disclosure: I received this book free from Revell through Interviews & Reviews. My opinions 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.
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