Monday, August 01, 2011

IN SECONDS by Brenda Novak

IN SECONDS – Brenda Novak
Bulletproof, Book 2
ISBN: 978-0-7783-1244-4
August 2011
Romantic Suspense

Pineview, Montana – Present Day

Laurel Hodges, now known as Vivian Stewart, has been in a witness protection program and has had her third identity for two years. (Laurel/Vivian is Virgil Skinner’s sister from the Bulletproof series, book 1, INSIDE). After her brother helped the police find and kill some ruthless gang members from prison, the gang swore revenge on everyone in his family. Someone has been chasing Vivian for several years. She has taken her two children, Mia and Jake, and moved to a small remote town in Montana where she has felt relatively safe. But now she’s fearful when she hears that a realtor was beaten to death while showing his vacation rentals. Sheriff Myles King, Vivian’s neighbor, is investigating the murder. Is it possible that some of them have located Vivian and her children in Montana? She is deathly afraid of these brutal men.

Hoping to glean some information about the murder, Vivian disables her refrigerator, and then asks the sheriff if he can fix it. He is surprised because she has not been very friendly toward him. She seems wary and on edge most of the time. Although he knows that she is attracted to him, she has refused all of his overtures to go out. Tonight, she is lonelier than usual, and after a few glasses of wine, asks him to spend the night. He refuses, not because he doesn’t want to, but because he feels they should have some sort of a relationship before intimacy.

Vivian is shocked when she gets an email from Virgil that Rex, his friend and Vivian’s ex-lover, is missing. Along with Virgil, Rex had been part of the gang that helped the police round up some of the gang members; he had then gone into the witness protection with Virgil. What could have happened to him? Virgil, who lives in New York, and Vivian both agree that they don’t want to move and start over again, but Vivian worries about her children, wanting to keep them safe.

Myles comes across a couple of suspicious looking men in a broken down truck, one of the men covered in tattoos. Could these men really be fishermen or hunters on vacation in the area? He doesn’t like the looks of them, but has no reason to detain them, so calls a tow truck and leaves. It looks like trouble has come to Pineview, Montana, and more specifically to Vivian and her family.

IN SECONDS is a suspenseful and violent tale. The gang members don’t hesitate to kill. Vivian lives in perpetual terror of them finding her and her children. She must guard what she says, and not get close to anyone. She feels constantly threatened. Although she is very attracted to the sheriff, she doesn’t dare have a romantic relationship with him even though that is what they both want. Myles is frustrated not knowing what to think about his elusive neighbor. They are both realistic and likeable characters. Secondary characters, Virgil and Rex, enhance the story. They both love Vivian and will do their all to help her. Rex is always there for both Virgil and Vivian even though he has serious problems of his own.

Although IN SECONDS can stand alone, for a richer reading experience, it is recommended starting at the beginning of this series with INSIDE. IN SECONDS is a gripping, intense tale and a fascinating read. Look for IN CLOSE, the third of the Bulletproof series coming soon. If you enjoy a gritty romantic suspense, you are sure to enjoy this series.

Marilyn Heyman

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