Under Fire – Lynn H. Blackburn

Under Fire by Lynn H Blackburn
Also by this author: Unknown Threat
Series: Defend and Protect #3
Published by Revell on March 7, 2023
Genres: Fiction, Christian, Romance, Suspense
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USSS Special Agent Zane Fletcher has landed his dream assignment protecting the president of the United States. When the president plans a fundraiser at the exclusive estate of a political supporter in Raleigh, Zane is thrilled to be working again with Special Agent Tessa Reed, his best friend--and the woman he desperately wishes could be more.
Though Tessa almost lost everything, she battled her demons and came out on the other side healthy and healed. But when her role as the liaison between the Raleigh office and the president's protective detail wrenches her past back into the present, her greatest failure threatens to come to light.
Zane refuses to let Tessa go through this alone. But can he stand by the woman he loves and protect the president from a mounting threat at the same time?
Sparks fly as award-winning romantic suspense writer Lynn H. Blackburn closes out her Defend and Protect series with this explosive tale of secrets kept, lies exposed, and relationships restored.

You want high stakes? How about the president coming to your city for an event, and you’re responsible for his protection? Oh, and by the way, people have threatened him…and you. What was never simple becomes even more complicated as the threats turn into intense action. Under Fire by Lynn H. Blackburn is the perfect rainy-day read. Or…well, any day read, really. It is exhilarating with depth unlike few romantic suspense novels I have read. All of the books in this particular genre seem to feature tragic backstories, and Under Fire does, too. But Zane and Tessa stand apart. They have been my favorite characters in Blackburn’s “Defend and Protect” series from the beginning, and Under Fire just further solidified that status.

I appreciated Tessa and Zane’s maturity and their friendship over anything else. Tessa needed to work through her issues, and they agreed friendship was best for a time. Blackburn developed that much-needed history. Not just in Under Fire but throughout the “Defend and Protect” series. Zane supports Tessa when she needs it most, and Tessa does the same for Zane. I struggle with the romance aspect of most romantic suspense novels. The development from acquaintances to “I love you” feels rushed, but that is not the case with Tessa and Zane’s relationship. It’s real. It’s intense, and I am so happy they finally have their happiness together.

Under Fire by Lynn H. Blackburn is multifaceted. It does not have only one plot but a few small ones that combine into an overall, cohesive story. I devoured this book, and that wasn’t only because of the rainstorm. I absorbed it because I did not want to put it down. It mixed humor with intensity, romance, and faith. I could not give the novel five stars, however, because of a couple things. The main one: Under Fire had a lot of characters, and I sometimes forgot who people were. That tripped me up, particularly closer to the end of the novel.

If you decide to read Under Fire, you will not be disappointed. But Lynn? If I don’t get to spend more time with Tessa and Zane, I will be!