Acceptable Risk – Lynette Eason

Acceptable Risk by Lynette Eason
Also by this author: Collateral Damage, Active Defense, Active Defense, Life Flight, Crossfire, Critical Threat, Countdown, Double Take
Series: Danger Never Sleeps #2
Published by Revell on August 4, 2020
Genres: Christian, Romance, Suspense
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Sarah Denning is a military journalist with the Army in the Middle East when her convoy is attacked and she's taken hostage. When former Army Ranger Gavin Black is asked by his old unit commander--Sarah's imposing father--to plan an extremely risky rescue, he reluctantly agrees and successfully executes it.

Back in the US, Sarah is livid when she's discharged on a false psychiatric evaluation and vows to return to the Army. Until she learns of her brother's suicide. Unable to believe her brother would do such a thing, she puts her plans on hold and enlists Gavin to help her discover the truth. What they uncover may be the biggest story of Sarah's career--if she can survive long enough to write it.

Strap in for another breakneck nail-biter from bestselling romantic suspense author Lynette Eason that will have you up turning pages long into the night.

“Sometimes you need someone to step in and save you from yourself.”

I pulled the line above from Lynette Eason’s Acceptable Risk because it sums up the entire novel in one simple sentence. This romantic suspense book is filled with drama—the relationship kind and the kind with bullets—and mystery that would pull anyone in after merely the first chapter. That was all it took for me.  Not many authors I’ve read are brave enough to kill off a character on page two; Eason had me hooked.  I had to know why on this earth the character died, and I was going to find out as soon as possible if it killed me.

From the time I opened the front cover, I did not put Acceptable Risk down. You may think I’m joking, but I’m serious. When I walked outside to get the mail, the book came with me. When I journeyed down the hall to get something from my bedroom, I turned on the hallway light so I could read as I walk. I even read while I made a rather pitiful dinner that probably should’ve been illegal. Half a peanut butter sandwich, honey roasted peanuts, and grapes might not have been the most elegant of meals, but everything could be consumed one-handed!

After being rescued from a hostage situation—by an old fling no less—investigative journalist Sarah Denning returns to the States with gunshot wounds and horrific nightmares. A false psychiatric evaluation leads to a discharge from the U.S. Army. Sarah’s not just heartbroken but infuriated and swears she’ll return…as soon as she finds out why her younger brother really died. Gavin Black, a veteran himself, isn’t about to let Sarah put herself in more danger after he’s already saved her life once. Where she goes, he goes, even if she isn’t happy about it.

I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing how Gavin and Sarah’s relationship developed. Gavin, steady and dependable. Sarah, stubborn and rebellious. And yet, they look past their differences to work together. The supporting characters were also good, and each one added to the believability of the story. Eason also incorporated humor! She made me laugh at the clever interactions, and I truly felt for the characters and their struggles. I loved that none of them was a perfect person—although Gavin was pretty close, in my opinion. Maybe a little too close to be realistic. Sarah Denning was very scarred and seemed more “broken,” but she never let her weaknesses stop her. She was resilient, and for that I admired her.

All of that being said, however, there are things about Acceptable Risk by Lynette Eason I did not like. As mentioned above, I felt that Gavin was a little too perfect. He never angered. He never grew impatient. I wanted to see him be something other than the unflappable man he was. I got my wish eventually, but it was very short. The plot, although enjoyable, was also predictable. Not even halfway through the book, I correctly guessed the ending. Almost every aspect of it. I didn’t have an “aha!” moment where I gasped in surprise.

Overall, though, I enjoyed Acceptable Risk. It was a fast read with an underlying message of hope and redemption. One also that emphasized there’s no shame in admitting wrongdoing or weakness. And that it is never too late to ask for help and forgiveness. Bridges broken can always be mended.