Genre: Romantic Suspense
“Five years ago, Nell’s parents fled in the middle of the night,
leaving her and her younger siblings with their grandfather. Now, with her
grandfather crippled, Nell is responsible for caring for her family and running
the Penniwick Hunting Lodge. Caregiver, housekeeper, mother, hunting guide,
hunter—the last thing Nell needs is another burden, but when she finds a dying
man lying on the riverbank, she can’t walk away.
She soon learns it’s no coincidence that FBI agent Connor Woodridge
chose to die on her turf, and once she gets him home, his presence serves as a catalyst
to revelations regarding the hijacking of an Army munitions convoy two decades
before. Everyone seeks the munitions hidden somewhere in the forest, and deadly
secrets are exposed when Nell finds herself sucked into a vortex of deception,
corruption, and treason. The past becomes enmeshed in the present, and when her
loved ones are threatened, Nell’s act of humanity may well culminate in her
loss of humanity.
Her boast that no one can shoot a bow or a rifle as well as she is put
to the test in a confrontation with a band of pseudo-patriot militiamen and
their malevolent leader, and Nell finally learns the reason her parents walked
away, all those years ago.”
“Grace Jelsnik earned her M.A. in English with an emphasis on creative
writing at the University of South Dakota. She lives in North Dakota with her
husband of fifteen years, their three children, two dogs, and three cats. Her
novels emphasize plot, characterization, and setting, but each possesses an
element of romance that takes a down-to-earth approach to the natural
give-and-take emotional interaction between two characters, addressing the
sparks that lead to heat, not the heat itself. Her targeted audience is late
teen and older, readers who enjoy suspense and mystery.”
Learn more about Ms. Jelsnik on her Amazon Author page.
First, I need to thank the author for
producing a well-written novel that kept my interest throughout (I’ve just gone
through a tough patch of reading 30+ Amazon samples from Al’s list without finding
a book that ‘worked’ for me).
Nell, the main character, nicknamed Sparrow,
was one tough cookie. I enjoyed being inside her head and watching her make
smart but dangerous decisions by relying on her knowledge of the forest. The
considerable intrigue surrounding her family was gradually peeled back one
layer at a time, which added to the story tension.
The FBI agent was also well drawn, and their
obvious attraction to each other was believable and welcome.
The author pulled together all the threads
nicely at the end and then tied them in a pretty bow. I think this story would
appeal to those readers who enjoy a suspenseful romance without any gore or
gratuitous sex—a great holiday read IMO.
Original review posted July 13, 2016.
by: Pete Barber
Approximate word count: 75-80,000 words