Lynn H. Blackburn’s new Defend and Protect series novel: “Under Fire” (a review)

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I am always ecstatic to get a new suspenseful thriller to read–especially when it’s by Lynn H. Blackburn. And this one definitely did not disappoint! Let me tell you more about Under Fire!

About Under Fire

Lynn H. Blackburn’s fantastic Defend and Protect series are the very best of special agent books. United States Secret Service agents and agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation face an array of criminals who will stop at nothing to achieve their wicked and cruel aims. But the agents are just as determined to stop them. In the Defend and Protect books, there are crossover characters, as two of them (in each book) get the main storylines; but they all work together to serve the U.S. and those they’re protecting. Under Fire joins Blackburn’s other series titles of Unknown Threat, Malicious Intent, and Targeted. I’ve read them all—and I couldn’t wait to get my hands on this newest addition!

In Under Fire, special agents Zane Thacker and Tessa Reed meet after a long time apart. When they’d gotten to know each other before, Tessa had faced some serious personal issues, and pursued healing before reclaiming her Secret Service position. Now she’s back in Raleigh while Zane works in the D.C. area. While each has feelings for the other, those feelings have remained unspoken while they text each other, frequently, as friends.

Now they’re both in Raleigh, as the president will be the guest of honor at a fundraiser held at the home of a friend. The Secret Service is tasked with ensuring that he’s safe while there…but threatening emails have begun to pour in, and the agents have to check out each one. That’s frightening enough, but totally within the agents’ purview. What’s making Tessa, Zane, and the others especially concerned is the fact that someone seems to be targeting Tessa. And that person seems to know a little bit too much about her…and a frightening incident from her past.

My thoughts

WHAT a satisfying book, and fantastic addition to the Defend and Protect series! I loved getting to see my favorites from previous books–Faith, Luke, Gil, Ivy, and of course Zane–and Tessa! Blackburn developed both the protagonists’ characters so beautifully. Tessa, who’s overcome a serious issue, but who’s still facing scars from that, but from the shame and embarrassment connected with events with Zane that happened earlier. She’s also very much a woman in a man’s world (my note: the U.S. Secret Service definitely recruits women. In my research, I found statistics that ranges from saying that 9% to 25% of current Secret Service agents are female.) And while most of Tessa’s colleagues respect her knowledge, abilities, and strength, there are always those who…well, you know.

So, despite her exceptional abilities to perform her job, Tessa still has some damaged parts of her soul. As does Zane. And as can so often happen, those damaged areas in each of them do conflict. Watching them try to see if they can work out their differences, and depending on their faith in God, was as fantastic to watch as their professional challenge of rooting out the actual threats potentially facing the president on his upcoming Raleigh visit.

I will personally never be an agent of any kind–but I adore reading wonderful fiction about them. Under Fire combines fascinating agents, great friends, and a mystery that no one is sure is solvable. Get yourself a copy of this wonderful book!

Enjoy! –Wren

Disclosure: I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads. All opinions are my own.

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