Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Christmas Undercover by Hope White

FBI agent Sara Vaughn believes a group of pharmaceutical businessmen are engineering drugs with deadly results. Her boss won't approve a sting operation, so she goes rogue—following the suspects on a hike in the Cascade Mountains to record evidence. But when Sara witnesses them murder one of their own, they target her. Saved by a handsome volunteer mountain rescue worker, Sara at first suspects Will Rankin is another bad guy hunting her. But when the widowed father of two risks everything to save her, she knows that Will is all that's standing between her and seeing Christmas morning. 
Title: Christmas Undercover | Series: Echo Mountain #4 | Author: Hope White | Publisher: Harlequin Love Inspired Suspense | Genre: Inspirational Romantic Suspense | Source: MLM Media Relations | Rating: 3.5

Christmas Undercover was brimming with suspense.
Sara is a FBI agent that’s gone rogue in hopes of proving that the drug LHP Inc. engineered and plans to market is lethal. Deciding to follow her suspects, things turn deadly when she watches two of the founding members of LHP murder their partner. Now Sara is on the run.

All single-father, Will wanted to do was spend time alone seeking out God’s council then he finds Sara. She’s hurt and in need of help, but first he needs to get off the mountain and get her to confide in him. With the assassins hot on their trial, Will’s urge to protect Sara has him wondering if something stronger is behind it. Now all he needs to do is keep her alive to see if there’s something between them.

Okay, so this one was interesting. It had me going ‘seriously?’ like a million times in just the first five chapters because of how ridiculous Sara and Will were being. I nearly put it down, but the suspense aspect kept me reading.


Both Sara and Will had their TSTL moments. There were so many times that I wanted to shake them and ask them what they were doing. And honestly, given how unstable she is, I’m not sure how Sara passed the FBI’s mental health evaluation. I know she’s dealing with PTSD due to her father’s murder, which I can understand, but she doesn’t seem to have a good coping mechanism.


Some of Will’s actions had me questioning his mental state as well. When they first meet, Sara ends up pulling a gun on him and holding him captive because she thinks he is one of the men sent to kill her. Rather than fleeing when he had the chance, he actually waits for Sara to catch up with him. He also stashes their only weapon outside in the wood container. If assassins were coming after me, I would have kept the gun handy. 


The relationship between Sara and Will was a bit slow to start. He’s trying to get past the death of his wife and she has trust issues. So, during the first 100 pages, rather than chemistry being present, it felt like Will switched between protecting and parenting Sara, and Sara just wanted to push him away to protect him. Chemistry did finally appear but it was almost like an afterthought. As this was an inspirational romance, I wasn’t expecting anything over the top, but a little spark would have been nice.


The suspense aspect of the book was prevalent from the start. She witnesses a murder, then becomes the target, then brings danger to Will and his family. There were several edge-of-my-seat moments and a few nice twists and turns as well.


While this was inspirational romance, it wasn’t preachy yet you still were able to see Will’s faith come through.


Overall, while I had to question the character’s actions, this was still an interesting—and quick—little read. Very light on the romance, but it’s still worth a go.

Echo Mountain Series

#1 Mountain Rescue
#2 Covert Christmas
#3 Payback
#4 Christmas Undercover

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