Malicious Intent – Lynn H. Blackburn

Malicious Intent Lynn H Blackburn
Malicious Intent Series: Defend and Protect #2
Published by Revell on March 1, 2022
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Romance, Suspense
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Dr. Ivy Collins, founder and CEO of Hedera, Inc., is ready to begin clinical trials of her company's cutting-edge prosthetic. Her work has been heralded by government, medical, and advocacy groups and everyone hopes the device will be a success. Well, almost everyone. Someone is trying to sabotage Hedera and the launch, but to what purpose--and how far will they go to get what they want?
Meanwhile, U.S. Secret Service Agent Gil Dixon can't believe he's finally been reunited with Ivy, his childhood best friend. Now that he's found her again, Gil intends to spend the rest of his life with her. But it will take all his skill to uncover the truth in time to save Ivy's life's work, her own life, and the innocent lives caught in the crossfire.
Perfectly balancing chilling suspense and uplifting romance, award-winning author Lynn H. Blackburn delivers a story of revenge, greed, and overcoming that you won't want to put down no matter how late it gets.

I will admit, I sat on Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn for an extended period of time before I finally opened it. I had too many romantic suspense authors already in my stack; I didn’t need more. Additionally, I didn’t want to read the first book, Unknown Threat. My desire for another series was low, if it even existed. Though I assumed Malicious Intent would be like many other romantic suspense novels–that I could read it without any other books in the series–I still thought I should read Unknown Threat first. So I pulled out my Kindle and settled into a lounger outside…

…and received bright red sunburns on my legs, because from the moment I picked up Unknown Threat, I couldn’t put it down. Eventually, I moved inside but stayed up far too late until I finished it. Malicious Intent was the same–filled with twists and turns, a sprinkling of humor, and characters I couldn’t help but root for. I curled up on a hammock (with sunscreen this time!) and only rose because my stomach demanded it. Malicious Intent pulled me in. You know in cartoons, how someone will use a hooked staff around someone’s waist to yank him/her in a certain direction? That was Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn. It didn’t gently tug me along like a tiny dog on a leash. NOPE. It was more like my dog, who pulls me along behind her because she would rather I run instead of walk.

Malicious Intent is exciting and complicated (in a good way). Blackburn fooled me; I’ll say it. She set something up, and while I thought, “There’s no way; it’s too easy,” my brain couldn’t come to any other logical conclusion. At this point, it’s hard for authors to surprise me. Malicious Intent was book #47 of 2022 for me. A number of those were romantic suspense novels–by some of my favorite authors of the genre, even. Lynn H. Blackburn has now joined those ranks, because I LOVED THIS BOOK. The only thing I didn’t like was I felt like the plot took too long to develop.

When the pieces all connected together, everything made sense. But it was almost like Blackburn herself didn’t quite know where she was going, until she finally had a “AHA!” moment and rushed the story along. Which, now that I think about it, might’ve been intentional to leave readers in the dark until the last moment. Blackburn developed characters who were believable (though maybe Gil was a little too perfect?), and I loved the more personal characteristics she gave Gil and Ivy, like Gil’s nickname for her. It made the characters seem real rather than imaginary. I’d like to be friends with everyone in Malicious Intent, please.

Malicious Intent by Lynn H. Blackburn is a good one. I’ll definitely be reading book #3 (Blackburn can’t leave me hanging with Tessa and Zane, no way), and I’ve added her other stories to my “TBR” pile. It’s a…very big pile, but Blackburn catapulted herself closer to the top.