I absolutely adore Christmas. It’s my favorite holiday, and each year around December (ok. October.) I load up my TBR stack/pile/tower with Christmas-themed novels and settle in for cozy holiday reads. To beat the crazy summer heat we are experiencing right now, I’m all for starting my yuletide readathon a little earlier this year. You’ve heard of Christmas in July, right? Which brings me to the topic of tonight’s post – Silent Night Standoff, part of the First Responders series by author Susan Sleeman.
Hostage negotiator Skyler Brennan just stopped in the bank to cash a check. She certainly never intended to land smack dab in the middle of the FBI’s biggest case, a Bonnie-and-Clyde team of armed robbers whose crimes have been escalating. But now, rather than negotiating from the outside with her First Responders Squad, Skyler is one of the hostages. Her life threatened, she fights for survival with a little help from the last man she ever expected to see again – Special Agent Logan Hunter, the ex-boyfriend who chose his career over their relationship. When Logan’s dream promotion battles for priority against a second chance with Skyler, which road will he take this time? Can Logan have it all by Christmas or will he lose it all instead?
Whew! This book takes off at a full-fledged sprint right out of the gate and doesn’t slow down until the epilogue! Immediately from the opening line – “The gun came out of nowhere.” – Susan Sleeman plunges the reader into a high-action case packed with the best sort of tension, drama, suspense, and of course romance. I really enjoy a good suspense story, and Silent Night Standoff falls solidly in that category. There’s no slow build-up or wasted space here. Every minute counts in the battle for Skyler’s life, and every word contributes as Sleeman unfurls the plot one page at a time.
It’s a quick read (I finished it in an evening) but that doesn’t diminish its quality in any way. The characters are strong, well-developed, and personable – all important traits to carry a series. Logan and Skyler’s history added a different sort of tension to the mix and combined with the high action of the case their story could easily compete with any law enforcement drama on TV. Underneath it all flows a quiet, never pushy, thread of faith that brings peace in the storm and clarity in the chaos.
I enjoyed the characters, I loved the complexity and action of the plot, and I appreciated that it had elements of a longer novel despite the shorter page count. If you are a fan of TV shows like Rizzoli and Isles, Castle, The Closer, etc. then you will want to move Silent Night Standoff by Susan Sleeman to the top of your TBR list! The fact that it’s a Christmas novel? An added bonus! 🙂
I give Silent Night Standoff 5 out of 5 stars and I’m off to track down book 2 in the First Responders series – Explosive Alliance.
(I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for only my honest review.)
Susan is the bestselling author of Christian/inspirational and clean reads romantic suspense and mysteries. She grew up in a small Wisconsin town where she spent her summers reading Nancy Drew and developing a love of mystery and suspense books. Today, she channels this enthusiasm into writing romantic suspense and mystery novels and hosting the popular internet website TheSuspenseZone.com.
Much to her husband’s dismay, Susan loves to look at everyday situations and turn them into murder and mayhem scenarios for future novels. If you’ve met Susan, she has probably figured out a plausible way to kill you and get away with it. Don’t worry, she’d never follow through on it.
Susan currently lives in Oregon, but has had the pleasure of living in nine states. Her husband is a realtor and they have two beautiful daughters, a very special son-in-law and an adorable grandson. In her spare time, you can find her enjoying her grandson, reading, gardening or working on TheSuspenseZone.com. You can also connect with Susan at her website.