Author: Lynn H. Blackburn
Series: Defend & Protect #1
Release Date: March 2, 2021
US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He and his team are experts at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.
FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she's assigned. She's been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke's life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it's hard to know how to fight back when you don't know who the enemy is.
Luke has teamed up with Faith before, but he's not convinced she's up for the job and she's not convinced he's telling her everything he knows. As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to learn to trust each other and work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.
Reviewer: Nora St. Laurent
I liked how the author instantly grabs readers attention and their heart as agencies scramble to figure out what is going on and who is behind these attacks. I liked how readers are simultaneously informed when the officers are…“Ladies and Gentlemen, This morning three separate attacks were carried out on agents from the US Secret Service Raleigh resident office…we have no idea why…..”If someone’s attacking our brethren at the Secret Service, we could very well be next in their sights. Let’s find out who did this. Why they did this. And get justice for our friends. Dismissed.”
I enjoyed getting to know the lead officer Faith and how she went about uncovering clues and protecting the officers being targeted. I liked the witty dialogue and the well-timed humor laced in the middle of this suspenseful drama.
“What’s your hurry Gil? All you have tonight is a hot date with a pot roast.”
Gil laughed. “I have a great recipe. I’ll share it with you. It’s foolproof.”…Luke clapped him on the shoulder. “Not everyone wants to have their own cooking show.” Gill stated this as fact, with no hint of arrogance. “I can hear the promos now. They’ll play up my secret Service career. I’ll be a hit.”
This book is the first in the Defend and Protect series that would work well for your book club meeting as there is so much to talk about. This is the first novel I’ve read by this author it won’t be the last. I enjoyed this romantic suspense with its page turning drama and look forward to reading the next novel in this series.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I have received a complimentary copy of this book from Baker Publishing Group/Revell through Interviews Reviews. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising”
Reviewer: Amy Smelser
Wow. In Unknown Threat it really was an unknown threat chasing these guys and it seemed to be coming from nowhere as secret service agent after secret service agent was targeted in the Raleigh office.
As they were down agents and this fell into the jurisdiction of the FBI, the politics and the dislike the two different agencies had was on full display. However, they really needed to work together. Too many agents were dead and wounded and whoever was doing this was outsmarting them all.
Faith is the FBI agent in charge and she takes her job very seriously. She has a crush on Luke, who is one of the wounded agents. Their biggest issue- they don't quite trust one another yet. But the bad guys don't care, rather the good guys can get along or not, they are bound and determined to see their agenda play out. I could definitely feel the emotion these characters had for their fallen comrades and the emotional and physical brinks they were all pushed to.
This was a top-notch thriller. There were surprises throughout the book and the sudden attacks just popped out of nowhere it seemed. I was kept guessing, as Luke and Faith were, throughout the entire novel. I really enjoyed this suspense and it ranks in the top five I have ever read.
I was provided a copy of this novel from Revell publishing through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to post a positive review and all views and opinions are my own.
Reviewer: June McCrary Jacobs
An intricate story filled with many tense twists and turns . . .
Faith Malone is a veteran FBI agent who is assigned to her first case as the 'lead' agent when Secret Service agents from a nearby office are being attacked and killed by an unknown, undetected assassin. The fast-paced action begins midway through Chapter One and never lets up until the end of the book.
The use of technology and investigative procedures blended with the nuances of a blossoming romance is a balancing act that this author is very skilled at accomplishing. The suspense angle of the story always comes first, but readers who enjoy the romance angle will not be disappointed.
There are an appropriate number of red herrings and distractions which sometimes succeed in throwing the investigation wildly off track. With perseverance and determination to right the wrongs which have been done to their fellow agents, this team works diligently to get to the truth before anyone else is injured or killed.
I enjoyed seeing the emergence of a true leader in Special Agent Malone as the story progressed. Because of her honesty, intelligence, and skill as an investigator, she earned the respect of her superiors, coworkers, and members of other law enforcement agencies with whom she came into contact during the course of the investigation.
One of the many things I admired about this story was the number of diverse characters the author includes in the main plot. Special Agent Malone is of Native American ancestry, and another female supporting character is of Asian Indian descent. Some other characters are from Northeast Asia. The inclusion of various diverse groups adds a dimension to the core group of characters which many readers will enjoy.
Another element of the story I truly enjoyed was the strong faith thread woven throughout the tale and woven into the hearts of many of the main characters. The investigative team forms a strong bond, which includes praying together in times of crisis. Individual characters are often portrayed as thinking about, talking to, or praying to God as they go throughout their daily lives. Several of them deal with personal traumas from their pasts to become better people.
I highly recommend this book to fans of Christian/clean romantic suspense, Christian/clean romance, and Christian/clean mysteries.
I received a paperback copy of this book from Revell through Interviews & Reviews. The thoughts and opinions expressed here are solely my own.
Reviewer: Anna Bottoms
Strap yourself in for the ride of your life in another heart-pounding romantic suspense by Lynn H. Blackburn. This was a stay up late, can’t put it down book with plenty of action, and just the right amount of intrigue.
In the Secret Service Luke is willing to put his life on the line every day. He never expects to be the target of a bomb while out for an early morning jog—until he and fellow agent Zane are shot at and almost blown up. As bodies pile up this has suddenly become personal.
Faith is the lead investigator assigned to the case. This could be her big chance, if she can keep her attraction to Luke under wraps, and keep the Secret Service from stealing her case. Both Luke and Faith must overcome personal hurts and confront their faith as they work together to solve the case.
The characters were well written, realistic, and relatable and the suspense perfectly paced. This was a great book and I loved the thread of faith that was woven throughout the story. It was realistic without being preachy. I recommend this book.
I was given a copy of this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group through Interviews & Reviews and this is my honest opinion.
Reviewer: Monica Huyser
Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn is the first book in the Defend and Protect series about the U. S. Secret Service. I did not want to put this book down until I was done.
Four Secret Service Agents from one department died within a ten-week span. FBI Agent Faith Malone is in charge of the investigation to figure out just what is going on. USSS Agent Luke Powell is assigned to work with her to find the killer and bring him to justice--without getting killed himself.
I enjoyed everything about this book. I liked the chemistry between Luke and Faith. I laughed at some of their banter. I liked that spiritual struggles were real among these agents and talked about as if they were a part of their lives in one way or another. Faith's struggles with her faith were easy for me to understand and relate to. Right off the first few pages, the action in the book gets started and it is a page turner to figure out who the killer is. It definitely kept me guessing and turning pages as fast as a could to solve the mystery. My one complaint is that I have to wait for the next book to answer some of the cliff hangers that Blackburn left with the other agents in Unknown Threat.
I received this book courtesy of Baker Publishing Group, Revell Division, through Interviews & Reviews. All opinions in this review are my own.
Reviewer: Mindy Houng
"People say it's best to fall in love with someone who is very much like you. I guess that's true sometimes. But sometimes love happens, and the joy of it is discovering how to love someone who isn't like you at all."
What an adrenaline-filled start to the new series Defend and Protect! Lynn H Blackburn has outdone herself with this newest book. It has everything a romantic suspense fan could possibly want - a fast-paced and intricately woven plot, that elusive villain, wonderful characters who really bring the book to life, sweet romance, easy-to-read writing style, funny and often witty dialogue, and a great faith thread with themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. It's a must-read book for 2021!
This new series sends the readers to the US Secret Service office based in Raleigh, NC and Luke is determined to find the murderer of his friend and mentor. When he and the other agents in his office become targets, Faith from FBI steps in to lead the investigation of both events. Luke is the steady, loyal, dependable alpha hero but isn't afraid to let Faith take the lead, though he has some past issues with the FBI. Faith is the driven, intelligent workaholic who has something to prove to the world and has trust issues with men. The story line is quite fascinating and has multiple gasp-worthy twists and turns. I also enjoyed learning about what actually takes place within the Secret Service office and what the agents do when not in protective detail. The secondary characters of Gil, Zane, and Tessa are seamlessly integrated into the plot and I'm looking forward to future books in the series about these Secret Service agents. And for those who are fans of the previous Dive Team Investigations series, you'll be squealing with delight when certain characters make cameo appearances. Those who enjoy nail-biting suspense will totally love this book.
I received the book from Revell/Baker Publishing Group and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are solely my own.
Reviewer: Paula Shreckhise
What a spectacular start to a new series Defend and Protect. Not only do we meet a new set of law enforcement buddies, we get a glimpse of what former characters are up to.
I am a sucker for stories about alphabet soup agencies, in this case FBI and Secret Service. Ms. Blackburn wowed me with the Dive Team series and she wows me again with Unknown Threat. The excitement jumps off the page and the tension is palpable. But Faith Malone and Luke Powell are focused on the killer and trying to deny their attraction. They each have to deal with shaky faith and family dynamics.
“They were grown-ups doing grown-up work in a grown-up world. They knew how evil the world was, and they didn’t hide from it. They ran straight for it.”
I cannot wait for the rest of the series. A definite 5 stars with a solid faith thread.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through Interviews & Reviews. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
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