Monday, March 17, 2014

Caught in the Crosshair by Barb Han

Title:  Caught in the Crosshair
Author:  Barb Han
Published:  June 17th 2013 by Amazon Digital Services, Inc
Length:  244pgs
Format:  ebook
Genre: romantic suspense
Shelf:  review
Rating:  ★★★★


Lauren James had ignored the recent spate of calls from her brother. After all, he was a big player linked to a major cartel, and he’d been dead to her for nearly a decade. Then she receives the one call she can’t ignore—her brother’s been kidnapped and will be killed if she doesn’t bring money. No matter how far gone her brother is, Lauren can’t turn her back on him completely. Deep down she’s always wanted to save him. Now, she’s forced into action because he’ll die otherwise.

Ex-Special Forces sniper Jaden Dean owns a private security firm and after losing his older brother to gang violence, needs to take down as many scum bags as he can—single-handedly if need be. And he was the best. Until he trusted the wrong woman on his last assignment and ended up nearly dead in the street.

On a tropical island with a hurricane brewing and dangerous men closing in, Lauren and Jaden will need to work together to survive and find her brother. The cartel seems to be one step ahead and Jaden’s operatives are being killed one-by-one. He will have to use all his specialized training and risk everything, including his heart, to outwit the deadly group and keep Lauren safe. Their magnetic attraction isn’t helping matters…because even a slight distraction might just get them both killed.


An untraceable call. A hundred-fifty thousand dollar loan. An express ticket to a money launderer’s favorite drop spot. And an innocent woman caught in the middle.

And the dog really ate your homework, didn’t it, sweetheart? 

Jaden Dean raked his fingers through jet-black hair, ignoring the icy chill running down his spine. This was supposed to be nothing like his last assignment, and yet the early warning signs screamed otherwise: a so-called innocent woman trapped in a sting by a family member. Experience had taught him there was no such thing as straightforward when it came to family ties and criminals.
A month ago, one of his best operatives had been killed in South America. A week later, Smith took a bullet. Jaden should be dead too. He ran his hand over the stubble on his chin. What the hell was happening? He’d spent the past couple of weeks recovering while trying to connect the dots. Something big was going down. 
He picked up Lauren James’s picture from the file of intel and studied it intently. Jogging shorts and a tightly-fitted tank revealed flawless ivory skin. Her curly mane of red hair was pulled back into a ponytail exposing her bare neck. 

Her body? One look at her perfect, long runner’s legs said she’d picked the right sport. Her lean taut body was built for the track. To say she was attractive was a lot like saying a motorcycle had two wheels. 

Under normal circumstances, she looked exactly like the kind of woman Jaden would want to get to know better. Except he felt another niggle of déjà vu along with a very real surge of attraction.
The flight attendant was working her way toward him on her third round to see if he needed anything, emphasis on the word anything, while flashing him another seductive little smile.
His athletic height and rugged good looks elicited more than a few second glances from women. His legendary charm proved immeasurable in getting information he needed from the opposite sex. He was ManTech’s best operative as well as its owner. In part, because he didn’t leave any loose threads. His best trait? Not being noticed when it served his purpose. It didn’t matter on this flight.
He fired off a wink and thanked her, leaving no question about her dismissal in his tone.
The rush of color to her face outlined her embarrassment at her failed attempt to strike up a conversation, as the captain’s voice sounded over the PA. Local time was ten after eleven. VC Bird International Airport was their final destination. They had an expected arrival time of eleven fifteen.
The attendant sauntered off with a calculated look back. It scarcely registered with Jaden. His thoughts were locked on the contents of the manila file folder sitting on his lap. 

If Lauren James wasn’t mixed up with her brother, why had she just secured a sizable loan and dropped everything at a moment’s notice to run off to the Caribbean after receiving an untraceable phone call?

Jaden sighed sharply.

“Like hell, you’re not involved,” he said under his breath, tucking the folder beneath his arm and stretching long, lean legs after the four-and-a-half-hour flight from Dallas. The memory of his recent encounter with his buddy’s wife when he’d had to deliver the news that her husband had died on assignment rolled around in his thoughts. The anguish, the crying, the whole scene had nearly done him in. He did emotion about as well as he did family. In his line of work, there was room for neither. Smith mistakenly thought he could have it both ways. He left behind a heartbroken wife and two kids in diapers. Jaden’s shoulders tensed and his heart squeezed. It had been his responsibility to deliver the news. He tucked the picture back in the file and closed the folder of intel marked with Lauren’s name.

My Review:

Han had me completely hooked by the end of the first chapter. I couldn’t put this one down, even for a second. She had me hopping and jumping right alongside the characters in a brilliantly suspenseful journey. The tension continues throughout the novel, switching from suspense to heated tension, always keeping you on your toes.

The characters really carried this novel forward. I appreciated how well the reader is introduced to the 2 main characters, both inside and out. Watching them fight against who they are expected to be was quite enlightening as to their characters as a whole. You find out a lot about their past and present this way. The supporting cast wasn’t large but it definitely filled out the story well. They are developed to fill their roles nicely while showing their relationships to the main characters quite well.

Overall, the fast paced thrill of this novel kept me quite intrigued throughout. It was a genuinely intriguing read that I would definitely recommend to others.

To download the first chapter, visit Barb's website.

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About the author:

Barb Han’s writing career spans 14 years and most media. Barb’s held positions ranging from Sports Reporter at her college newspaper to Opera newsletter editor to News and Feature Writer for a Fortune 100 company. Barb has penned hundreds of articles in both U.S. and international markets and holds a bachelor of arts in journalism. A member of Romance Writers of America, Barb has served as committee chair for her local chapter.

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