- Title:Ashes Ashes (Hostage Negotiation Team series #2)
- Author: Julie Coulter Bellon
- Paperback: 218 pages
- Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (May 7, 2013)
- Genre: Romantic Thriller
- ISBN-10: 1484886402
- FTC FYI: I received a review e-copy in exchange for an honest review.
Are you ever really innocent until proven guilty?
Sophia Naziri is wanted for questioning in the murder of a U.S. senator. She’s worried the police will show up on her doorstep any moment, but when Detective Colby Black appears, it’s to help her put out a kitchen fire, not take her in. Yet. His easy smile and persistence in getting to know her pushes all her troubles to the back of her mind, until a hit man tracks her down. Getting arrested becomes the least of her worries and the handsome detective could be her only way out---if she tells him the truth.
Colby Black’s sniper skills have been a blessing and a curse to him. As a member of a Hostage Negotiation Team, he can use them to save people, but sometimes he can’t protect the innocent despite his best efforts. When a hostage situation goes bad, he tries to put it behind him by helping out his mysterious next-door neighbor, Sophia Naziri. But she pulls Colby into a web of lies and conspiracy that will force him to use every skill he has in order to survive. Faced with the moment of truth, can he trust anyone around him---including the woman at the center of it all?
Excerpt from Chapter One...
“The suspect isn’t making demands, he’s not talking, and he’s already shot four people today. He’s a convicted felon and isn’t going to come quietly. Negotiation isn’t an option, so we’re going with the entry team. Colby, if you get the shot, take it because he won’t hesitate to take our guys down and kill the hostages.”
Adrenaline ran through Colby at his captain’s words. No matter how long he’d been in the business, he never liked hearing that. But if it could save an innocent life, he would do what he could. He got ready and he didn’t have to wait long. The man was holding out his arm, pointing the gun at the woman. “Suspect is holding gun on hostage, he looks ready to shoot.”
He heard the flash bang at the back of the house. Colby knew it was coming and he drew in a deep breath, then expelled it in increments until his lungs were nearly empty. With the wife still held in front of him, the only shot Colby could take would be a head shot and that was always risky, but he didn’t have a choice. He could hear the yelling as the entry team came in and, as expected, the hostage-taker opened fire on them. “I have the shot,” he said with his last breath. He held his empty lungs and everything stopped. There was no sound, nothing to take away his focus, until he felt the trigger on the rifle release.
In the half a second it took to squeeze the trigger, the suspect moved his head forward and Colby knew instinctively that he hadn’t killed the man, only wounded him. “Suspect is wounded but not down.”
His words seemed drowned out by the gunshots from inside the house. One resonated with Colby. It’d come from a semi-automatic .40 caliber handgun¾he would bet his life on it. Another one followed soon after, but then all he could hear was the team yelling for him to put it down. Closing his eyes for a millisecond, he steeled himself for what he would see when he opened them and looked through the scope.
This is the second book in the Hostage Negotiation Team series. I reviewed the first book, All Fall Down, and loved it! Here's what I said about that book, "All Fall Down is packed with fast-paced action, tense moments that will raise your blood pressure, and a little bit of sweet romance."
You always wonder, can the next book even compare with the first in the series? I'm happy to say Yes! Ashes Ashes does it's job and creates a fast paced thriller that is hard to put down. I took my kids to see a movie, but I brought along my ipad. Yes, I was sitting there, before the movie started, reading as much as I could before the lights went down.It was so tempting to pull out the ipad during the movie because I really,really wanted to see what was happening in the story.
Colby Black is the hero in this story.He is a man I would like to take home.Colby cleans, bakes, is loyal, brave and kind. Sophia, who is on the run from the bad guys, is lucky to end up with him on her side. The attraction between the two characters is there from the start. But Julie knows how to perfectly blend the action, mystery and romance. Everything happens at a good pace and never feels forced. Once again there is a heart stopping finish. This happens every time I read one of Julie Bellon's books. The action and suspense is so intense I can't read fast enough to make sure things end like I want them to. I'm literally shaking when I think things have ended and everything is OK, then something/someone else pops up. Yipes!!
With a great plot, wonderful characters, (the good and the bad guys) explosive action,and just the right touch of romance, Ashes Ashes will leave you wanting to read more from this talented author.
Ashes Ashes by Julie Coulter Bellon (Paperback - May 7, 2013)
Also $6.99 on Kindle
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Julie Coulter Bellon loves to write international romantic suspense novels because she gets to travel to distant lands to research and add an authentic feel to all of her books. Her favorite cities so far are Athens, Paris, Ottawa, and London. She taught journalism at BYU for fourteen years and that kept her on the cutting edge of current events and world news---which is where she gets her story ideas.Julie offers writing and publishing tips, as well as her take on life on her blog http://ldswritermom.
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Thanks so much for your review. I am so glad you liked it! :)ReplyDelete