Monthly Archives: February 2012

Princess in Peril by Rachelle McCalla

~Review Copy~
Love Inspired Suspense ~ October 2011
About the book:

When insurgents attack the king’s motorcade, scattering the royal family, bodyguard Levi Granaldo has one goal-to protect the princess. Even though he knows Princess Isabelle distrusts him. On the run together, they flee to New York, to the shelter of a sanctuary established by Levi’s father. But their safety can’t last. After a surprise attack divides the pair, Isabelle is forced to face some hard truths. The danger she’s in is getting deadlier by the day.and she’ll never be able to face it without Levi by her side.

My rating:

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My thoughts:


The Royal Family of Lydia was ambushed on their way to a state dinner. With the help of Levi (her new bodyguard), Princess Isabelle manages to survive the attack and escape. But that isn’t the end of the danger – someone wants the power of the throne and will do anything to get it!
From the beginning pages of Princess in Peril, my attention was grabbed. I loved how, at first, Isabelle didn’t trust Levi, but as time went on, she found that he was one of the only people she could trust.
Out of the books I’ve read, Princess in Peril is really unique in that it’s about a princess and it’s set in modern time – I really liked that! 🙂
There are a couple of times that rape is mentioned – once when talking about how Isabelle was almost raped years ago, but she attacked the man and escaped, then again later on in the book. While I didn’t have a problem with this being talked about in the book, I felt I should mention it in case you might.
With lots of suspense, and some romance, I loved Princess in Peril and definitely recommend it! I look forward to reading Protecting the Princess, book two in Rachelle McCalla’s Reclaiming the Crown series, which just released this month.
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
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In Too Deep by Mary Connealy

 

This week, theChristian Fiction Blog Allianceis introducingIn Too DeepBethany House (February 1, 2012)byMary ConnealyABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Mary Connealy writes romantic comedy with cowboys. She is a Christy Award Finalist, a Carol Award Finalist and an IRCC Award finalist.

The Lassoed in Texas Series, Petticoat Ranch, Calico Canyon and Gingham Mountain. Petticoat Ranch was a Carol Award Finalist. Calico Canyon was a Christy Award Finalist and a Carol Award Finalist. These three books are now contained in one large volume called Lassoed in Texas Trilogy.

The Montana Marriages Series, Montana Rose, The Husband Tree and Wildflower Bride. Montana Rose was a Carol Award Finalist.

Cowboy Christmas—the 2010 Carol Award for Best Long Historical Romance, and an Inspirational Readers Choice Contest Finalist.

The Sophie’s Daughters series. Doctor in Petticoats, Wrangler in Petticoats, Sharpshooter in Petticoats.

She is also the author of; Black Hills Blessing a 3-in-1 collection of sweet contemporary romances, Nosy in Nebraska, a 3-in-1 collection of cozy romantic mysteries and she’s one of the three authors contributing to Alaska Brides with her Carol Award Winning historical romance Golden Days.

ABOUT THE BOOK

In 1866 Colorado, Ethan Kincaid agrees to a marriage of convenience with the same casual disregard he gives every decision. Audra Gilliland, young mother of two, accepts his proposal because she wants to stop being a burden to her newly married stepdaughter. And suddenly both of them are in far deeper than they’d planned.

Ethan doesn’t expect Audra to affect him so profoundly, and when she begins to, he’s terrified of the pain he’s felt before when someone he loved was seriously injured on his watch. He’s determined that his new wife will do as he says so he can keep her safe from the dangers that lurk on their ranch. Audra has been cared for all her life by one man or another–and they’ve done a poor job of it. Now she’s planning to stand up for herself. And her new husband had better agree or get out of her way!

What will it take to transform two wayward hearts fearful of getting in too deep into two trusting hearts ready to risk falling deeply in love?

My rating:
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My thoughts:

Ever read a book with a stolen fortune, outlaws, marriage of convenience, and a cavern? Want to? Then read In Too Deep!
Back in November of 2011, I read Out of Control – that was the first book I read by Mary Connealy! She is quickly becoming one of my favorite authors, andif all of her books are as good as these two, I will HAVE to read them! :)I could hardly wait to read In Too Deep, since Ethan Kincaid was the character that intrigued me most from Out of Control. Reading Ethan’s story and getting to know him  (and the other characters) was just fantastic!

In Out of Control we learn that Audra’s first husband stole a fortune, and in In Too Deep, there are outlaws after it! This added a lot of adventure/danger and it’s just another reason why I loved this book!

Ethan made me laugh many times in this book. He was just so funny! I loved learning more about the reasons why he smiles a lot and seeing his character grow.

There is still another book in The Kincaid Brides series (I wish there were more!), Over the Edge, and I am anxiously awaiting it! In Too Deep gives some hints as to what to expect, and I’m pretty sure it will be great!

While I recommend reading Out of Control (because it was so good) before you read In Too Deep , I don’t think it is entirely necessary. In Too Deep is great on its own!

I loved In Too Deep – it’s now a favorite of mine. I recommend it if you like romance, historical, or western novels!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

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Replication by Jill Williamson!

~Review Copy~

Replication [The Jason Experiment]
by Jill Williamson
Zondervan – December 2011
Amazon/Christianbook/Goodreads
Replication: Official Site

About the book:
When Your Life Is Not Your Own 

Martyr—otherwise known as Jason 3:3—is one of hundreds of clones kept in a remote facility called Jason Farms. Told that he has been created to save humanity, Martyr has just one wish before he is scheduled to ‘expire’ in less than a month. To see the sky.

Abby Goyer may have just moved to Alaska, but she has a feeling something strange is going on at the farm where her father works. But even this smart, confident girl could never have imagined what lies beneath a simple barn. Or what would happen when a mysterious boy shows up at her door, asking about the stars.

As the reality of the Jason Experiment comes to light, Martyr is caught between two futures—the one for which he was produced and the one Abby believes God created him to have. Time is running out, and Martyr must decide if a life with Abby is worth leaving everything he’s ever known.

My rating:
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My thoughts:

Martyr, also known as Jason 3:3, is just one of many Jasons living on Jason’s Farm. He will expire on his 18th birthday and his blood will be used as an antidote for the people who live above ground breathing toxic air. At least that is what he has been told all his life. He has never been outside and dreams of seeing the sky before he expires. But what if what he’s been told is a lie and the air isn’t toxic? What is his real purpose in life?

I started Replication not knowing how much I’d enjoy it. While I enjoy reading some science fiction novels, I haven’t read that many books that deal with cloning. I’m so glad that I ended up really enjoying Replication and it was enjoyable from the beginning! 🙂

Some of my favorite characters were Martyr – the way he protected Baby and Hummer was so sweet and brave, his character just seemed so nice – and Abby – I liked the way she categorized things, in her mind, in a pro-column or con-column.

The doctors (except Dr. Goyer) were very creepy and how they treated the clones was so mean.

Replication made me think more about cloning and whether or not it should be done. I personally don’t like the idea of it – for many reasons.

While Replication ended well, I would have liked an epilogue – that showed what happens later. But even without that, Replication was really good and I recommend it if you enjoy a good Teen or Sci-fi novel.

*I received this book for free for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

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Filed under 4 Stars

Summer of Promise by Amanda Cabot

Summer of Promise

~Review Copy~

Summer of Promise by Amanda Cabot

Revell ~ Jan, 2012
About the book:

Though she had planned to spend the summer in Vermont with her sweetheart, Abigail Harding cannot dismiss her concerns over her older sister. Charlotte’s letters have been uncharacteristically melancholy, and her claims that nothing is wrong ring false, so Abigail heads West to Wyoming. The endless prairie seems monotonous, but when her stagecoach is attacked, Wyoming promises to be anything but boring. Luckily, the heroics of another passenger, Lieutenant Ethan Bowles, save the day.

When circumstances—and perhaps a bit of matchmaking—put Abigail and Ethan together, there’s certainly attraction. But Abigail is planning to marry another man and return to life in Vermont as soon as she is finished attending to her sister. And Ethan loves his life in the Army and the wilds of Wyoming. When summer ends, will Abigail go back East? Or will she fall in love with this rugged land herself?

My rating: 

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My thoughts:
Abigale Harding thought she knew where her life was going – she’d live in Vermont, continue working as a schoolmarm, and marry Woodrow Morgan. But will spending a summer with her sister at Fort Laramie, Wyoming change her plans?
After having no success at finding the pocket of deserters in Cheyenne, Lieutenant Ethan Bowles is heading back to Fort Laramie a day sooner than planned. It turns out to be a great decision because he saves the stagecoach from being robbed. However, that is not the end of his problems – a lot more trouble is coming his way.
Summer of Promise is the first book I’ve read by Amanda Cabot, but I plan on reading the second and third book in the Westward Winds series when they are released.
The story was very adventurous! With stagecoach robberies, snake attacks, deserters, spies, romance, and some mystery, Summer of Promise was an enjoyable read.
Aside from the main characters, which were great, my favorite character was Oliver. He just made me laugh when he declared he was in love and had found the woman he was going to marry (after having just met her).
As can be expected, since this is part of a series, the ending left me with some questions. I’m awaiting the next book, but will have to wait awhile since it’s not supposed to be released until Spring of 2013.
Summer of Promise is a great book that I think fans of Historical romance will enjoy! I know I did!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions are my own.*
“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.” 

Was my review helpful? If so, please click yes on Amazon! 🙂

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The Sound of Red Returning by Sue Duffy

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Series: Red Returning Trilogy (#1)
About the book:

After losing everyone she loves, concert pianist Liesl Bower has nowhere to go but to escape into her music. Searching for the peace she usually finds in her concertos and sonatas, Liesl can’t shake the feeling that she is being haunted by her past . . . and by someone following her. When she spots a familiar and eerie face in the audience of a concert she’s giving for the president in Washington, DC, the scariest day of her life comes back to her with a flash. It has been fifteen years since Liesl watched her beloved Harvard music mentor assaulted on a dark night in Moscow and just as long since the CIA disclosed to her that he’d been spying for Russia. She had seen that man–that eerie face–the night Professor Devoe was attacked. And now he’s back–and coming for her.

On the run and struggling to rely on the protection of CIA agent Ava Mullins and handsome newspaper reporter Cade O’Brien, Liesl learns she is the prey of an underground cell of Russian KGB agents determined to restore their country to its former Soviet might. But what she doesn’t know is that she is in possession of something–a piece of sheet music–that Russian intelligence is now frantic to find. Inside that music is a secret code, the hidden transcriptions of her deceased mentor, that clearly identify a Russian mole operating inside Israel’s Department of Defense, a mole with enough power and access to execute a daring assassination that no one would see coming.

Caught in a deadly conflict between American and Russian undercover agents, this innocent young pianist is just trying to survive her own personal trauma. Through it all, Liesl must learn that no matter how dark her world grows or how fiercely her enemies pursue her, God is still in control–if only she can yield herself to His grace.

My rating:

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My thoughts:

When Liesl Bower was 10 years old, she used to hide from her father in the bell tower of a church – wishing him never to find her. Then Professor Devoe, the man who was sort of a father figure to her, turned out to be a Russian spy and was murdered!

Now, fifteen years later, someone seems to think Liesl has the final coded message Devoe was never able to pass on. Trying to stay alive, Liesl must find the message before it’s too late.

The Sound of Red Returning started off with some suspense, but it wasn’t until I was about halfway through that it finally became more enjoyable to read.

In the beginning, it was hard to follow along because it changed time – it would say fifteen years earlier, but then it wouldn’t say present (so I had to assume it was back to present time). This might not annoy others, but it did me.

That said, once Cade got into the story and met Leisl, I found The Sound of Red Returning to be much more entertaining and suspenseful!

I loved Ian (Cade’s grandfather) – he was so funny and one of my favorite characters from this book!

Overall, I liked The Sound of Red Returning – it was a good book that I mostly enjoyed.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

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Where Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey

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 Where Wildflowers Bloom by Ann Shorey
Series: Sisters at Heart ~ Book one
Revell ~ Jan. 2012
About the book:


How far will she go to follow her dreams? 
The Civil War stole a father and brother from Faith Lindberg–as well as Royal Baxter, the man she wanted to marry. With only her grandfather left, she dreams of leaving Noble Springs, Missouri, and traveling west to Oregon to start a new life, away from the memories that haunt her. But first she must convince her grandfather to sell the family’s mercantile and leave a town their family has called home for generations.
When Royal Baxter suddenly returns, Faith allows herself to hope that she and Royal will finally wed. But does he truly love her? Or will another man claim her heart?
My rating:
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My thoughts:
Faith Lindberg’s father and brother died while serving in the Civil War. Having also lost her mother when she was young, all the family she has left now is her grandfather, Judge Nate Lindberg.
When Faith was sixteen, she met Royle Baxter who was leaving for war. Since then, she has held hope that they would one day marry. But is he the man she dreamed about or will someone else come into her life?
Where Wildflowers Bloom is the first book in Ann Shorey’s new series, Sisters at Heart, and the first book I’ve read by her.
While I thought this book sounded good before I even started reading it, Where Wildflowers Bloom exceeded my expectations and I ended up loving the whole book!
From stolen merchandise, war flashbacks, love, and a dream of moving to Oregon; Where Wildflowers Bloom was a great read! I loved the characters, especially Curt. Being a Veteran, he had scars – both physical and mental. There was just so much to his character and I hope in the next Sisters at Heart novel, we see more of him!
Although this is historical fiction, there also was some mystery. I personally was wondering who stole the merchandise from the store and if the culprit(s) would get caught.
As I said, I loved Where Wildflowers Bloom and I think if you enjoy books in the historical fiction genre, you will too! Completely recommend!
*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*
“Available January 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.” 

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Firethorn, Discarded Heroes #4 by Ronie Kendig

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old…or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Today’s Wild Card author is:
and the book:
Barbour Books; Discarded Heroes edition (2012)

***Special thanks to Ronie Kendig for sending me a review copy.***

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
An Army brat, Ronie Kendig grew up in the classic military family, with her father often TDY and her mother holding down the proverbial fort. Their family moved often, which left Ronie attending six schools by the time she’d entered fourth grade. Her only respite and “friends” during this time were the characters she created.
It was no surprise when she married a military veteran—her real-life hero—in June 1990.  Married more than twenty years, Ronie and her husband, Brian, homeschool their four children, the first of whom graduated in 2011. Despite the craziness of life, Ronie finds balance and peace with her faith, family and their three dogs in Dallas, TX.
Ronie has a deep love and passion for people, especially hurting people, which is why she pursued and obtained a B.S. in Psychology from Liberty University. Ronie is an active member of the American Christian Fiction Writers (ACFW) and has volunteered extensively, serving in a variety of capacities from coordinator of a national contest to appointment assistant at the national annual conference.
Since launching onto the publishing scene in 2010, Ronie and her books have been gained critical acclaim and national attention, including:
    • Finalist in Christian Retailing’s 2011 Readers’ Choice Awards (Nightshade)
    • RWA’s Faith, Hope, & Love’s 2011 Inspirational Readers’ Choice Awards in Romantic Suspense (Nightshade)
    • Named one of the Top 25 Christian Fiction Suspense, Mystery, and Thriller Writers by FamilyFiction (Sept 2011)
    • 2011 FamilyFiction Readers’ Choice Awards – 3rd place as New Favorite Author, 8th place with Nightshade for Novel of the Year.
    • INSPY Award Shortlist final in Mystery/Thriller (Dead Reckoning)
    • The Christian Manifesto’s 2010 Lime Award for Excellence in Christian Fiction (Nightshade)

Visit the author’s website.

SHORT BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Blown and dismantled, Nightshade is ready to repay the favor.

Former Marine and current Nightshade team member Griffin “Legend” Riddell is comfortable. So comfortable he never sees the set up that lands him in a maximum security prison, charged with murder. How can he prove his innocence behind bars?

Covert operative Kazi Faron is tasked with reassembling Nightshade—the black ops team someone dissected. Breaking Griffin out of a federal penitentiary amid explosive confusion may turn out to be her last assignment. What will it take to convince the fugitive that whoever set him up has also dissected the Nightshade team? As Kazi and Griffin race to rescue the others and discover the traitor,

love begins to awaken in their hearts.

Can a covert operative and the felon she’s freed overcome their mutual distrust long enough to save Nightshade? Will anything prepare them for who—or what is coming?
Product Details:

 

  • List Price: $12.99

 

 

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Barbour Books; Discarded Heroes edition (2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1602607850
  • ISBN-13: 978-1602607859

AND NOW…THE FIRST CHAPTER:

       To all American military heroes

At home and abroad,

Those who have gone before

and those serving today—

THANK YOU!

Because of you, we are FREE!

RECON CREED

Realizing it is my choice and my choice alone to be a Reconnaissance Marine, I accept all challenges involved with this profession. Forever shall I strive to maintain the tremendous reputation of those who went before me.

Exceeding beyond the limitations set down by others shall be my goal. Sacrificing personal comforts and dedicating myself to the completion of the reconnaissance mission shall be my life. Physical fitness, mental attitude, and high ethics—The title of Recon Marine is my honor.

Conquering all obstacles, both large and small, I shall never quit. To quit, to surrender, to give up is to fail. To be a Recon Marine is to surpass failure; To overcome, to adapt and to do whatever it takes to complete the mission.

On the battlefield, as in all areas of life, I shall stand tall above the competition. Through professional pride, integrity, and teamwork, I shall be the example for all Marines to emulate.

Never shall I forget the principles I accepted to become a Recon Marine. Honor, Perseverance, Spirit, and Heart.

A Recon Marine can speak without saying a word and achieve what others can only imagine.

Swift, Silent, Deadly
Chapter 1

The Shack

“It’s sad, really.” Marshall “The Kid” Vaughn trudged away from the thumping rotors of the helo that had deposited them back at the Shack, his pack almost dragging the ground. “Ya don’t realize how much a person adds until he’s gone.”

“Legend’s not gone.” Max “Frogman” Jacobs hoisted his rucksack into a better group, his mind locked on Sydney and their two sons waiting for him at home. Poor woman had to be going out of her mind with two of his Mini-Me’s running around.

“Yeah.” John “Squirt” Dighton hit the light breaker, then waited for the six-man team to clear the door. “He’s just temporarily detained.”

Lights sizzled and popped to life. Groaning bounced off the grimy windows as he hauled the door closed, locked it, then started toward the showers.

The Kid grunted. “Forty-years-to-life temporary.”

In the locker room, a depressive gloom hung over the team. They’d been on countless missions, hit just about every terrain and environment imaginable, but none had taken the toll the last couple had. And there was one reason—they were down a man. Griffin “Legend” Riddell. If Max could write the playbook, they wouldn’t do another mission without the guy. But with the man in federal prison for murdering a congressman, it’d be a long wait.

It was quiet. Too quiet. Max looked around the Spartan room. Walls of lockers, most unused. A few benches. A giant once-white bin for dirty duds. And the team. Six men, now. All very skilled. Good men. Even the one missing. Every man here knew Legend had been set up—he didn’t murder that congressman. But nobody could prove it. The evidence was damning. Justice—injustice was more like it—came swiftly. Lambert, ever the puppeteer, couldn’t pull the right strings to get Legend off.

“I’m heading up to visit him tomorrow. Anyone game?” Colton “Cowboy” Neeley slumped on a bench and ran a hand over his short, dark hair. His blue eyes probed the group.

“Nah, man. I’ve got a date,” the Kid said.

Squirt beaned him with a towel. “What girl would go out with you, mate?”

The Kid snapped the terry cloth back at the former Navy SEAL. “Your sister.”

Squirt froze. His jaw went slack. Then his eyes darkened.

Laughing, Canyon “Midas” Metcalfe rose to his feet from the corner. “You just proved his point by thinking your sister would actually go out with him.”

Squirt swallowed, his face drained of color. “I introduced them at a New Year’s party.”

Midas laughed harder. “Your mistake, mate.

Shuffling closer, Squirt pointed a finger at the Kid. “I swear, you touch her, I’ll shove a fist full of witchety grubs down your gullet.”

“Give me credit, dude.” The Kid raised his hands. “I’m a gentleman.”

Max grunted. “Right.” As he strode around the lockers to the shower well, he heard more threats and much more laughter from the Kid. Max shook his head. Would the Kid ever grow up, learn when to leave things alone?

As he tossed his oily, grimy duds on the bench, Max paused, thinking maybe he should send his report to Lambert now so he wouldn’t have to mess with it tomorrow. The mission had been simple enough, a snatch-n-grab of an Iranian doctor. It’d been nice and clean, in and out. The report wouldn’t take long. Then he could shower, bug out, and know he had the whole weekend with Syd and the boys.

Max jogged up the iron stairs, which creaked and groaned beneath his weight. Down the hall to the right. He punched in the code and entered the secure hub, the door hissing shut behind him. The most high-tech part of this dump-of-a-warehouse.

Shouts drew his attention to the blinds. He jabbed two fingers between a couple and spread them to peeked down into the main area. Squirt and the Kid raced into the bay and back the way they came. Squirt looked ready to kill. The Kid’s face revealed his fear. Max shook his head again. Man, he wanted Griffin back. The guy seemed to bring balance to the team. Badly needed balance.

Max powered up the computer. Hand propped on the warped wood, he waited for the system to boot.

More shouts. Loud thuds.

He pinched the bridge of his nose. Would they never—?

Tat-a-tat! Tat-tat-a-tat!

Instinct drove Max to his knee at the sound of gunfire. He scrambled to the window. Through the slanted blinds, he peered down into the slab of cement. His brain wouldn’t assemble what he saw. Gunmen. A dozen or more. Rushing into the Shack from the parking bay. Moving swiftly, as if. . .

They know the layout.

Max darted to the door and jerked it open. He sprinted down the hall toward the stairs. As his boot hit steel, he froze. A shadow emerged. Floated into the hall.

Too late.

Max jerked back. Pressed his spine against the wall.

By the showers, the Kid looked up. Max signaled to him. Then made his best and loudest Nightshade whistle, hoping it would penetrate the building, give the men warning to take cover.

The Kid threw himself back into the locker room.

Men swarmed the corner. One looked to his left, one right. His weapon slowly rose as he traced the stairs with his M16.

Max leapt backward into the darkness and into office. He closed the door. As the lock clicked, darkness dropped like an anchor over the entire building. Behind him, a glow screamed his location. The monitor!

Max spun. Lunged across the desk. Stabbed the power button. And paused with his hand still near the monitor. If someone was coming after them. . .accessing this computer. . .

On his knees, Max yanked the cords free. With the box, he moved to the window and reassessed the parking bay. Another van with a half-dozen men with AK-47s. They streamed into the warehouse.

Max’s gut wound into a dozen knots. They were screwed.

Think! Hand on the door, he considered going back downstairs. But that would get him captured. Killed. Yet he’d rather be with his guys than running like a chicken.

No, not running. Considering options, gaining the advantage. Planning. The invasion force was armed to the teeth. They knew who they were coming after. They’d brought weapons. And those guys moved with precision. Swift, deadly precision.

Though Nightshade had a stellar ops record, perhaps they had finally met their match. Still. . .two to one? Nightshade had faced worse.

A large black Suburban screeched to a halt in the middle of the parking bay. Two men emerged, both wearing trench coats.

Max cursed his luck to be up here, away from his gear, his weapons. Up here, without firepower. Thus, powerless.

Okay, enough. He was going down there. He eased the door open and slid across the hall. Bathed in darkness, he crouched at edge of the landing, using the wall for cover. A dozen men so far, rushing here and there. Quick, quiet chatter between the men.

A smirk slid into Max’s face. His team had taken cover and these goons couldn’t find them. If he could just get a weapon. . .

“Can’t find them.”

“They’re here. I saw them go in,” the man nearest the SUV shouted. “Find them! Lights!”

Light rushed through the building as headlamps from the vehicles stabbed the dusty, damp building. Max yanked back, out of sight. He needed to get down there, defend his men. His boot hit the landing.

Shouts erupted. A shot bounced off the steel rafters, taunting as it echoed through the Shack. Stilled, Max waited. More shouts. The sound of a scuffle. The half-dozen men waiting by the SUV lifted their weapons to the ready.

The locker room door swung open. A man walked backward, his AK-47 aimed at a large form filling the doorway. Cowboy. Arms raised, dressed only in his jeans, he stalked forward. Someone shoved him from behind, which barely moved the big lug.

Spine pressed against the wood, Max peered down into the bay.

“You move one wrong muscle,” the one in front of Cowboy growled, “and so help me God, I’ll kill you.”

“No you won’t.” Cowboy lowered his hands. “If you wanted me dead, I wouldn’t be out here.”

Ride ’em, Cowboy.

From the side entrance to the showers, three men dragged a shouting, cursing Kid into the bay. Max smirked that it took three tangos to wrangle the Kid.

Hand clenched, Max’s mind went into overdrive. What could he do? God. . .I need. . .something. What could he pray for? Intercepting the team was impossible. Twelve, fifteen armed tangos against one unarmed man?

He latched on to the hope that they’d only found Cowboy and the Kid. No Midas, Squirt, or Aladdin. Good. Maybe they could regroup and—

A man flew through the bay door from the showers and landed with a thud a yard from the others. Midas flipped over, scissored his legs, and swept the thug off his feet. The Kid seized the confusion to attack the men guarding him. And impressively. With a hard right, he dropped the first and used that weapon to disable the second.

Cowboy took a step back and rammed his elbow into the gut of the nearest guard. The gunman bent forward—straight into Cowboy’s meaty fist. The big guy pivoted, slapped the interior of the gunman’s wrist, effectively seizing the weapon and flipping the muzzle around. He fired at the guy.

Crack!

In the split second it took for Max to realize the sonic boom that rent the air wasn’t the report of Cowboy’s .45 MEU but of a rifle, Max saw the man in the black trench coat drop to the ground. A circle spread out like a dark halo.

“Sniper!” someone shouted.

The dead guy had fallen backward. Most likely shot from the front. Which meant. . . Max’s gaze rose to the rafters. With no light, it’d be the perfect hiding spot. But. . .who? Squirt? Aladdin?

Crack!

The man guarding Colton stumbled forward, then went to his knees before hitting the cement.

The man in the black trench coat nearest the SUV dropped. A pool of blood spilled out.

“There!” One guard swung and fired his fully automatic at the ceiling. Four others followed suit, firing at the bank of grimy windows on the southeast wall of the building.

Max followed their direction and watched. Waited, his breath caught at the back of his throat. Cracks and shattering glass blended with the staccato punches of the guns to create a wild cacophony of noise. Max tuned it out, praying whoever—Aladdin or Squirt—wouldn’t be hit.

But then he saw it. A shift of a shadow. Like someone rolling. . .

The gunfire petered out as a body plummeted the eight feet to the ground.

The thud seemed to have supernatural powers as it pounded Max’s chest and pushed him back. Away from the window but not far enough that he lost line of sight.

Silence dropped on the Shack.

“Where’s Max Jacobs?”

As the question streaked through the warehouse, Max registered a red glow in the far corner. Even as he noticed it, he heard a beep. Another. His gaze darted to the source of the noise. Two men were walking the perimeter, their M16s dangling as they raised their arms and pressed something against the supports. Arms lowered and the men stepped back revealing gray bricks with wires.

Explosives.

Gotta stop this. Do something. His gaze collided with Cowboy’s. The big lug gave an almost imperceptible shake of his head.

Max’s nostrils flared as he wrestled with what to do.

“Where’s Dighton?”

How do they know our names?

“Dead,” someone answered.

Pulled back into the shadows, Max clenched his eyes and bit down on his tongue. Dighton was dead. What about Aladdin—had he survived the fall?

Sirens wailed in the distance.

“Load ’em up.”

“What about Jacobs?”

“Outta time.” The leader left as the gunmen dragged the team out of the building.

Stealthily, Max held on to the box and sprinted the length of the hall to the side of the Shack. In the conference room, he plunged toward the window. Craned his neck to peek out. Three vehicles—twin white vans and a black town car.

The guys were loaded into the van and one into the car.

The leader shifted, held something out, then it wavered.

Detonator.

Max spun around, searching for an out. Doors. Only one way down—the stairs. But they led to the bay, which would be engulfed.

Windows. Overlooked the dock. The canal. It was January. The water would be brutal cold. His split-second assessment told him no matter what route he took, it’d be deadly. Despite his training, if he didn’t find shelter out of the water once he broke surface, he’d die an ice cube. If he stayed, he’d die a fireball.

Good thing SEALs are insulated against cold water.

Max vaulted toward the window, hurtling the computer through the window. The glass shattered as a violent force blasted through the air. It lifted him. Up. . .up. . . Flipped him. Searing pain sliced through his arm. Heat stroked his back and legs. Fire chased him out of the building. Into the night.

Boom!

Another wave slammed into him. Threw him backward. Toward the water.

Something punched his gut. Knocked the breath from his lungs.

Bright white lit the night. Blinded him. Then—almost instantaneously—black. Pure black. And he was falling. . .down. . .down. . .


Ro n i e K e n d i g
Firethorn
Discarded Heroes # 4

 

OTHER BOOKS BY RONIE KENDIG

Nightshade (Discarded Heroes #1)

Digitalis (Discarded Heroes #2)

Wolfsbane (Discarded Heroes #3)

© 2011 by Ronie Kendig

ISBN 978-1-60260-0785-9

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New International Version®. NIV®. Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society. Used by permission of Zondervan Publishing House. All rights reserved.

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission of the publisher.

This book is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or used fictitiously. Any similarity to actual people, organizations, and/or events is purely coincidental.

For more information about Ronie Kendig, please access the author’s Web site at the following Internet address: www.roniekendig.com

Published by Barbour Publishing, Inc., P.O. Box 719, Uhrichsville, OH 44683,

www.barbourbooks.com

Our mission is to publish and distribute inspirational products offering exceptional value and biblical encouragement to the masses.

Printed in the United States of America.

My rating:

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My thoughts:

Wow! My first Ronie Kendig book and it was fantastic! Suspense from the beginning and non-stop action! 


This is the fourth book in the Discarded Heroes series, but Firethorn was great on its own – I didn’t feel like I was missing out on much having not read the first three.The Nightshade team was so cool! They were so brave, going into dangerous situations and protecting others. I loved each member of the team! The banter between them was so funny – I seriously laughed a couple of times, especially when they fought over which branch of the military was better (i.e. SEALS, Marines, etc.).

There were some surprises in Firethorn that I didn’t see coming. I’m not going to say what, because that would spoil it for all of you! 🙂

While there was some sadness, Firethorn was such a great read that I completely recommend it! I hope to read the first three books in this series because I want to know more about Nightshade!

*I received a complimentary copy of Firethorn for my review. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion – which I’ve done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own.*

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