Source: Review copy from the publisher.
Book Description from Back Cover:
Her enemy will stop at nothing for control...she will risk everything for freedom.
A horrific crime shatters Lisa Harper’s idyllic childhood. Her father is dead and her desperate mother, Annie, quickly marries Dutch Hauk, an abusive monster who soon reveals his hatred for Lisa. To protect her, Annie defies her ruthless husband and forfeits custody to a trusted friend. Enraged, Dutch vows to keep Annie and Lisa apart—and he does. Years later, though keenly aware of Dutch’s evil intent, Lisa and her mother seize a chance to be a family, safe in a home where love dwells. But they fail to fathom how far Dutch will go to keep his vow.
Determined to control his women, Dutch proves resourceful. His associates in crime are feared at the highest levels across the globe—and for Lisa they plan a fate worse than death. Yet she too has formidable connections: ones like former Special Operations officer Mark Taylor. Burdened by his own traumatic past, Mark has loved Lisa from afar. Now, for Lisa and her mother to survive, Mark must risk his life—and even more difficult for him, he must trust God—as one question haunts them all: Can Mark and Lisa untangle these deadly ties before it’s too late?
Deadly Ties is a Christian romantic suspense novel. It's the second book in the series, and some things in this story won't be entirely clear unless you've first read Forget Me Not. A subplot in Deadly Ties continues the story of the main characters in Forget Me Not and thoroughly spoils the events and surprises of Forget Me Not, so I'd recommend reading these novels in order.
The story was fast-pasted and the suspense (created mainly by physical danger to the various characters) was high throughout. The details about the setting and military/criminal aspects did a good job of bringing the story alive in my imagination (though I did wonder how realistic a few of those details were).
The characters were interesting, and Mark and Lisa were complex, determined, and likable. The romance was handled well with the two characters learning how to love and trust each other while dealing with traumas in their past. I also really enjoyed the joking around that Mark and his buddies did.
Many of the characters were Christians and their faith was a meaningful part of their lives. The main characters struggled with why God seemed to let bad things happen to them while He blessed everyone else. They came to a conclusion which satisfied them, and this did involve some brief God-related discussions between them.
There was no sex. There was a very minor amount of "he cussed" style bad language. Overall, I'd recommend this enjoyable, suspenseful novel.
If you've read this book, what do you think about it? I'd be honored if you wrote your own opinion of the book in the comments.
Excerpt from Chapter One
July 2007, Iraq
Mark Taylor hated sand.
He'd hated it before coming to the desert for the tenth time in three years, but now buried in it, he really hated it. It got into everything, everywhere--in his boots, along with the scorpions; in his eyes; in his ears. Its grit was always clinging, chafing his skin.
As irritating as it was to his team, the sand was even harder on their equipment. Every man in his unit and Jane, the lone female attached as mission essential because she was a subject-matter expert, protected their weapons as best they could. Their lives depended on it.
Sensitive equipment repairs were left to other experts. When they had their heat source-detecting equipment and it worked, they ruled the night. Unfortunately, they had arrived, the equipment had not, and the honchos had classified immediate action critical. Under direct orders, they'd left the Green Zone without it to do the impossible on sheer guts, determination, and a wing and a prayer.
They'd succeeded at taking out the terrorist cell and gathered data that could help Intel save lives. Overall, execution of the plan had gone smoothly. But five klicks from their rendezvous exit point, they hit a snag. A big one.
Two Humvees of hostiles sped toward each other down the road the team was to follow.
"I thought this road was abandoned," Joe said.
"Obviously not," Tim whispered. "Gentlemen, scatter."