Sandra Ardoin @SandraArdoin
I went with reviewing another indie book this month. Loose Ends by Jennifer Haynie is the second in the Unit 28 series (Panama Deception being the first). For background, this is a continuing series, so I would recommend reading the first book, as well as the short story available on Amazon. However, it’s not too hard to get your bearings if you don’t.
Alex Thornton and Jabir al-Omri, a team both personally and professionally, are contractors working for Unit 28, an organization whose agents are directed to “observe, collect, and protect.” They soon find themselves drawn into a mission that revives issues from Alex’s and her parents’ pasts and endangers her. All the while, Jabir is strong-armed into keeping a secret that could tear Alex’s family apart.
‘Sometimes, I wish we didn’t have boundaries,’ she murmured.
‘I know.’ Oh, did he ever. Once more, he [Jabir] envisioned that massive king bed, the shower large enough to accommodate two, and the hot tub outside with privacy latticework. Perfect for honeymooners.
Too bad they weren’t. …
He seriously considered cajoling her into crossing those boundaries.
Some might consider this book a little edgy for the Christian market for several reasons. Its scenes of sexual tension between the unmarried couple are mentioned more than once. Although things get slightly more descriptive than the above (but not offensive), they never cross those boundaries. The violence is much the same. It can be stomach-twisting, but not graphic.
Also, let me say that if you object to Christian fiction that includes drinking and smoking by the main characters, this book is not for you. If you don’t find it an issue and want something a bit grittier than an Irene Hannon or Lynette Eason romantic suspense, I think you’ll like it.
All that gotten out of the way…
Romantic Suspense is probably the best category to put this in, though it has elements of a thriller. I liked Jabir. He’s a guy who wants to do the right thing. He’s put in a tough spot, not wanting to hurt anyone, yet not comfortable with the information he must keep secret. There were times when I found Alex a bit immature in her treatment of Jabir, however, the exciting climax brought out her worthy traits.
Overall, I really enjoyed this novel and give it a 4.5 in the star department. The tension stays high and the bad guy is a bit cliché, but creepy BAD. It also contains some twists that send the plot in new directions.
So, if you’re looking for an absorbing read, one that takes you to various spots around the world…that provides a more personal glimpse into the lives of spies, check out Unit 28 and, in particular, Loose Ends.
For fun…I found the trailer for the book: