AUTHOR: Sandra Brown
RELEASE DATE: August 15, 2017
TYPE: Romantic Suspense
AVAILABLE @ AMAZON
REVIEWER: Pistol Annie
(ARC provided by Netgalley)
RATING: *****5 Stars*****
#1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown delivers nonstop suspense and supercharged sexual tension in a thriller about tainted heroism and vengeance without mercy.
Kerra Bailey is a TV journalist hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to new heights. Twenty-five years ago, Major Franklin Trapper became a national icon when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors to safety after the bombing of a Dallas hotel. For years, he gave frequent speeches and interviews but then suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all media. Now Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get an exclusive with the Major–even if she has to wrangle an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.
Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, Trapper wants no association with the bombing or the Major. Yet Kerra’s hints that there’s more to the story rouse Trapper’s interest despite himself. And when the interview goes catastrophically awry–with unknown assailants targeting not only the Major, but also Kerra–Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he’s going to track down the gunmen . . . and finally discover who was responsible for the Dallas bombing.
Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence from his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy–and uncover who would want a national hero dead.
***************RELEASE DAY REVIEW***************
A giant THANK YOU to the publisher and NetGalley for my very first Sandra Brown ARC.
I was more than thrilled to receive an ARC of Sandra Brown’s new novel, Seeing Red — a better description probably being giddy and goofy like a silly girl in love! I could barely contain my excitement. She’s been a favorite author of mine for over 30 years. Label me a fangirl because I truly am, and I’ve read all her books — even those sappy love stories with the ugly covers from long ago — so far back that online meant nothing. So yes, I’m crazy happy!
A new release by the incomparable SB is reason enough to celebrate. And a return to familiar territory — Brown’s beloved Texas — for another tale of romantic suspense, along with a set of new characters just adds to the excitement. Once you start this book, I doubt you’ll be able to stop. Back in true form, locked and loaded with enough firepower to please the most discriminating reader, the reigning Queen of Romantic Suspense gives readers another smart, suspenseful — and unpredictable page-turner.
The two main characters, John Trapper and Kerra Bailey, are equally well-drawn and vividly portrayed. They are intelligent, stubborn and strong individuals. The way they play off one another keeps high energy rolling back and forth between them. Both suffer the residual effects of an early childhood tragedy. And each is determined to unravel the mysteries and find answers to the remaining questions surrounding those circumstances.
Like so many others that came before him, our new hero, Trapper, jumps off Brown’s ruggedly-handsome hero-shelf with his own brand of moody alpha-ish male, darkly sexy good looks, and an attitude that is intensely complicated. Trapper is a bit rough around the edges, holds his secrets close, and after being forced to leave his job as an ATF Agent, is now a down-on-his-luck private investigator — and kind of an all-around mess — who can be found too frequently these days bellying up to a bar with a stiff drink in his hand, and that’s where Kerra meets him for the first time.
A popular television journalist, Kerra Bailey, who’s a bit of a spitfire, is an equal match to our male lead as she steps up onto the soapbox. She’s one of those people that are easy to identify with on a lot of different levels. A by-the-rules kinda gal hoping to land a career-making interview. She’s also got a secret of her own that is motivating her to push hard to get that interview with the elusive Major Franklin Trapper.
Both Trapper and Kerra are funny, witty and interesting — likable and endearing. I was comfortable with both, although it took a bit longer to warm up to the gruff and irritating John Trapper. I definitely enjoyed this match-up.
Trapper is more than reluctant in agreeing to help the determined reporter, but Kerra isn’t the type to just give up without a fight. Armed with incentive that is sure to intrigue, she pulls it from her arsenal of persuasion and places it in his hands. This just might be the tipping point that pushes Trapper towards joining forces with the pretty television journalist who has definitely caught his eye.
If you’re familiar with Sandra Brown’s books, you know not to expect a crap-ton of hot sex scenes. She’s a genius at the build-up though. The sexual tension alone sets the pages ablaze. And she makes it count when the “doin’ it” finally happens! You can expect a few glory hallelujah moments between Kerra and Trapper.
There is an interesting array of secondary characters that play essential and key parts to the story. Among them, of course, is Major Franklin Trapper, along with a slimy untrustworthy lawyer, and the elite Texas Rangers, the FBI and local police, all of whom are involved in the search for the possible suspects and the truth of what happened the day the bombing occurred. They all play a role in keeping the pages filled with surprising chills and thrills, while the action ramps up with a wild chase across the State of Texas that includes a few
stolen borrowed vehicles, a death count that is mounting, and enough twists and turns to easily get lost in.
Prepare yourself though, because just as you begin to feel comfortable with your thoughts and conclusions, WHAM! You’re hit smack dab in the face with that oh-so-unexpected “gotcha” moment, and you’ll never see it coming. Oops, she did it again!
Written from multiple points of view in third person gets the job done in an easy pace with a distinctive voice for each. The dialogue is always believable, convincing and relatable, and nobody delivers those one-line zingers with such impeccable timing as this author. Fantastic writing, cleverly enticing plot, and a ride that’s a little rough and wild at times. But isn’t that what we expect from a Sandra Brown novel?
The book blurb above provides a plentiful overview of this action-packed story. To avoid the possibility of unleashing any spoilers, I’ll stop here. My recommendation is to go get yourself a copy and dive head first into Seeing Red with your eyes wide open. For the maximum reading high, that’s the only way to read a Sandra Brown book.
Its sensitive subject matter will likely be a reminder to most readers of past horrors perpetrated upon our beloved country and so many innocent lives lost. For me, it triggers memories of days that were filled with the sights and sounds of suffering and sorrow brought about by angry, revengeful and heinous evildoers that came far too close to home. More so though, it reminds me of the resilience and good of so many kind and generous relatives, neighbors and friends who were there with willing hands to help and provide aid to those in such unimaginable need.
In February 1996, on the day that motions for change of venue filed by Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols came before the District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, I sat in the courtroom with a group of judicial employees and watched and listened in stunned silence. The faces of so much anger, hurt and devastation surrounded us. And across the aisle sat the evildoers responsible for the deaths of 168 people, including 19 small children in the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building in downtown Oklahoma City. One showed no remorse — McVeigh even smiled and joked with his attorney during the proceedings. The whole experience sent chills throughout my body, and it is forever ingrained in my mind. With the bombing of a building full of innocent people predominantly the focus here, the effect of this book was so much more personal and real for me than I imagined it would be.
Sandra Brown remains a master of her genre. She knows how to win over an audience of readers. With her latest, you can expect a sexy romantic thriller that includes pages of murder and mayhem, betrayal and intrigue, and dark conspiracies with surprising disclosures. Oh yeah, there’s some sizzle and steamy romance, as well. Overall, just about as good as it gets!