Title: Seconds to Live (Homeland Heroes #1)
Author: Susan Sleeman
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publishing Date: Dec 3, 2019
Publisher: Bethany House
Length: 368 Pages
About the Book:
When cybercriminals hack into the US Marshals’ Witness Protection database and auction off witnesses’ personal details to the highest bidders, the RED Team led by FBI Agent Sean Nichols begins a high-stakes chase to find the hacker. But before he can even get started, the first witness is targeted and barely escapes with her life. Sean believes Phantom, an obsessed hacker who previously outwitted the top minds in the field, is behind the attack, and Sean needs this witness’s help, as she’s the person who has come closest to discovering Phantom’s identity.
Trouble is, she’s a witness under the care of US Marshal Taylor Mills, and Sean is reluctant to work with the captivating marshal who knows his deepest secrets. But Phantom claims he knows where the witness is hiding and will kill her, so to stop the hacker, Sean and Taylor must work through their personal pain and learn to trust each other. . . . The seconds are ticking down before someone dies
I’m not exactly sure what it is, but as soon as I see a book that involves Witness Protection I’m instantly intrigued. After reading the description for this one I knew it was one that I needed to dig into. This was my first time reading a novel by Susan Sleeman.
The action and suspense in this novel easily kept the pages turning. I was glad that I wasn’t able to fit all the puzzle pieces together on my own and I was genuinely surprised by several of the twists and turns. I appreciate a book that I can’t figure out in the first few chapters.
One piece of Taylor’s character that strongly resonated with me was the amount of pressure she put on herself even for situations that were out of her control. She took too much personal responsibility instead of being able to accept that we can’t prevent every bad thing from happening to everyone. I know that I can be this way myself but it’s easier for me to see the flaw in that kind of thinking for others than myself. I don’t ever want to feel like I let someone down or allowed harm to come to them because I wasn’t there. I know it’s unrealistic thinking, but I was able to see it more clearly through Taylor’s character.
One thing that I unfortunately struggled with often was the dialogue. The conflict resolution came too easily and it made their conversations seem unnatural. It’s not to say the characters didn’t have their own individual flaws, but they seemed to be able to control their emotions too easily and could actively think about the “appropriate” or “desired” responses instead of living in the moment. This aspect took away some of the depth of the characters and made them feel more 2D. Thankfully there were other redeeming qualities that seemed to bring the characters back to life and keep me engrossed in their journey.
Overall I enjoyed this read and am interested in continuing with the series. I think this is one that suspense fans would truly enjoy.
*I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers. Thoughts and opinions expressed are mine alone.