Title: Fatal Exchange
Author: Lisa Harris
Series: Southern Crimes, #2
Rating: 4 out of 5 stars
Emily Hunt might come from a family of cops, but she never goes looking for an adrenaline rush. She lives the quiet–well, relatively quiet–life of a teacher and thrives on making a difference in the lives of her students. But she’ll have to draw on a well of strength and savvy she didn’t know she had as student Rafael Cerda takes her class hostage for ransom money to save his brother’s life.Undercover cop Mason Taylor has been working with Rafael to find his brother and bring the cartel thugs who hold him to justice. Can he talk Rafael down from his impulsive actions? And is there something more sinister at work here than he realizes?
Emily is a teacher. She wants no part of the cop life of her father, sister, and brother. Mason was her brother's best friend--and a cop. The two have to work together, when Emily's student Rafael takes her class hostage for ranslm money for his brother.
I liked the characters, as they were well-developed and believable. Often, the problem I have with female protagonists is that I find them annoying. (Blunt, but true.) They tend to make bad decisions, or ruin things, something. But Emily wasn't like that. She was a strong female character, although she didn't come off overbearing or superior. She stayed level-headed, and that was really refreshing. Mason wasn't without his fair share of flaws as well, with his daddy issues and unforgiveness, but that also served to make him more human, easier to relate to. He knows he has his issues, but he's humble about them. And his character showed a lot of growth throughout the story, which I loved.
Although most of the story happens throughout the course of just one day, this isn't really a case of insta-love. Mason and Emily have known each other for a long time, and have been crushing on each other for a while as well. So this was more of a case of falling back into love. Also, while the romance aspect is definitely there, it doesn't overtake the story, which I liked. Everything has it's place.
The storyline itself was very intriguing. The writing works well to captivate you, and hold you in throughout the story. The pacing itself was well done, with some twists and turns thrown in to keep you guessing.
I didn't actually know this was a second book when I started, so there was slight confusion on some of the story aspect with the Hunt's and Emily's brother, but not enough that I couldn't enjoy the story. In fact, I've already got the first one checked out from the library and ready to start.
The faith aspect was also very nicely done. It wasn't overbearing or preachy. But it also wasn't so sublte that you missed it or didn't know what the author was trying to get out. It was just the right amount of God talk to feel natural.
So if suspense is your type of thing, then I would definitely recommend this book. Of if you're looking for some new Christian fiction and wanting to branch out, this is a great one to start with. Er, maybe start with the first one ;)