Flynne Dortmann: computer specialist extraordinaire. The right arm of every agent in The Agency. And totally untrained for agent duty.
So when no one takes a threat seriously, Flynne does the only thing she can think of.
With money she has no authorization to use, a gun she’s never fired in her hip pocket, and more zip-ties than any agent should be allowed to carry, Flynne takes on protective detail for an unwilling client. #Rogue.
Mark Cho hasn’t had a chance to get used to being Marco Mendina—head of the Eastern US Agency. Not only that, every sign points to someone knowing he isn’t who he appears to be. His agency is in trouble. His agents may be in danger, and with an office girl gone rogue, deciding what problem to tackle first is a problem in itself.
Not to mention, he misses his office assistant with her emoji-speak, killer tech skills, and sharp instincts.
Alas, I didn't know this was book five in a series. I felt like I'd missed a lot, and was a tad lost. This book needed the rest of the series, in my opinion. That said, Flynne is an interesting woman. She's an odd mix of adult and teen, who's also a sleth and a rouge in her own ways. The plot was good, I wasn't bored. It has some faith flowing in it, and some dialog that gets you lost. (That's starting to be something I have come to expect from this author, along with the waiting to see what did that mean?) I liked the romance and mystery aspects. It did come close to a five star read, except that I continually felt I had missed something from a prior book or just managed to miss something in general. It also has the author's signature ending, one that is incomplete without the next book. It's not quite a cliffhanger, but it will make you want to read the next book. Of this authors books, this one is one of her stronger ones.
About the Author
Chautona Havig lives in an oxymoron, escapes into imaginary worlds that look startlingly similar to ours and writes the stories that emerge. An irrepressible optimist, Chautona sees everything through a kaleidoscope of It’s a Wonderful Life sprinkled with fairy tales. Find her on the web and say howdy—if you can remember how to spell her name.
Read an Excerpt
Erika ordered her eyes to open. They declined the offer. Once more, and with as much of a mental drill sergeant tone as she could muster, she demanded the possibility of sight.
Neither eyelid gave so much as a twitch.
Resigned, she then tried to ascertain the reason for said incorporation by the lids of her eyes. Her brain, too, had gone AWOL. White noise replaced rational thought, grit, replaced natural eye moisture, and if the sensation coming from her tongue could be trusted, she’d transformed into a cottonmouth.
Except that I can’t slither. I know I can’t.
That, Erika decided, was improvement. It just had to be rational thought. Oh, God please.
A question arose. Do I pray? The moment she asked, Erika nodded—inwardly, anyway. I do. Not sure since when… maybe that’ll come next.
Clarity formed when a voice broke through what might or might not have been consciousness. “Oh, thank whatever you’re supposed to thank—don’t want to be, like, totes offensive if I’m not supposed to say, ‘God,’ but I was afraid you had flat-lined.”
“Yay! She lives!”
Why do I feel like that’s supposed to be “He lives?”
“So, can you sit up if I help you?”
Bile churned in Erika’s gut. Her eyes felt like they bugged, but she wasn’t even confident she could see anymore. Then Flynne’s purple, green, and blue hair came into view. She glared, wrestling her mouth into contortions and fighting back the urge to vomit. “Please!”
It came out more like, “Mmmweeeeeffff”
“Can’t understand you.” Flynne’s eyes narrowed.
Perspiration formed on Erika’s forehead, neck, and in every other uncomfortable place. Cold, clammy perspiration.
“Do you promise not to scream if I take this off?” She tapped the tape.
Erika just nodded with vehemence that nearly lost her what breakfast she’d eaten.
Again, Flynne’s eyes grew even narrower than the first time. “Okay…” Eyes wide, the girl ripped off her high-top converse and pulled a sock from her foot. “So help me, if you scream, I’m stuffing this in your mouth—supes gross.” She wriggled it for effect—just in case Erika didn’t catch the utter disgustingness of it.
Once more, Erika nodded and pleaded. You’re so going to regret threatening me with that.
If Satan wanted to recruit torturers to relieve demons, Flynne would have been perfect for the job. She worked the tiniest corner of the duct tape free. Erika choked and grimaced. She jerked her head hard to the right. Flynne stared. Once more, she jerked it.
“You want me to rip it off? That’ll hurt!”
But the moment Flynne said “rip,” Erika began bobbing her head fast enough to ensure she drowned in vomit within seconds. Flynne had mad ripping skills, however. In less than three seconds, the tape jerked free—and so did the contents of Erika’s stomach.
All over Flynne’s bare foot and Converse shoes. The moment she stopped heaving, Erika glared up at the girl and moaned, “That’s payback for this.”
The battle of the glares began. Flynne broke the silence that followed first. “If you weren’t Keith’s girlfriend and religious, I’d swear at you. Consider yourself cussed out.” Before Erika could choose between the half-dozen scathing remarks fighting for preeminence, Flynne froze. “Wait. You called me, like, every name in the book. I thought you religious people couldn’t do that!”
The churning began again. “I did?” If she could have gagged, she would have. If she could have puked she might have. “Do I want to know what I said?”
Without hesitation, Flynne rattled off every inappropriate word Erika had spent the last few months working to eradicate from her vocabulary. “Then you got all sesquipedalian on me.”
Flynne turned a little green herself as the stench of partially digested breakfast assaulted her olfactory system. “Sesquipedalian.” At Erika’s doubtful look, Flynne went into action. She removed her other shoe, disappeared outside, returned with clean feet and ready to do business. “For your information it’s a big word that means, ‘a big word.’”
“No offense, Flynne, but you aren’t exactly known for your erudition.”
The girl gave a fine imitation of a puppy cocking its head—a blue, green, and purple-haired puppy. “That’s not one of the word-of-the-day words I’ve had. C’mon… let’s get you cleaned up and inside.”
She peeked her head outside, scanned the area, and looked back at Erika. “No one’s in the neighborhood that I can tell, but you’d be smart not to go all screamo on me or anything that would call the cops.”
“And why’s that?”
Flynne tried to be surreptitious, but Erika caught her eying a white Camry on the other side of the garage before answering, “Because I can get you out of here before they arrive, and you don’t want to be awake when I’m driving fast.”
Something deep in her gut—something other than the renewed churning that hinted she might lose what was left of the contents of her stomach—hinted that Flynne might not be exaggerating. But I’m not going to let her know that. It’d serve her right if I puked all over that car. What’d she do with hers, anyway?
After throwing a dark look at her, Flynne stalked from the garage and returned a few minutes later with a roll of duct tape slid over her arm like a grunge bracelet gone wrong. “You’re already in hot water with the Big Guy for your potty mouth, so don’t add lies. Stuff it or stick it?”
“If you tape my mouth and I vomit, you’ll be responsible for my death. Just sayin’.”
“Then don’t make noise.” Flynne glared at her. “I’m just trying to help here. Just sayin’.”
Didn’t know you had that much grit. The woozy, stomach-revolting-on-every-side feeling returned in time for Erika to make a decision. “I’m not going to scream. I don’t want to puke in a cop car, either. But if you don’t get me inside where I can be comfortably horizontal with a bowl by my side, I’m going to puke all over you and enjoy every second of it.” Her stomach rumbled. Mostly.
That perked Flynne up for reasons Erika couldn’t fathom. She hooked her tape-free arm under Erika’s and said, “Then let’s go, Kokomo!”
That’s way too old-school—like fifty years old school. A vague memory poked through the cloud cover of her mind. “I think Keith gave me vitamins or drugs to combat after-effects. I think I need those.”
Not until Flynne had her tucked up on a couch in the family room, a bright red mixing bowl on the floor beside it and a glass of water on the coffee table, did Flynne bother to answer. “Sorry. I was freakazoiding when I left the Agency and just got what I thought I needed to get you safe. I’m not trained for this.”
“Then call Keith. He’ll come. He is trained, and he’ll take care of me.”
Even as she said it, Erika knew it was futile. Flynne had it in her head that this was necessary. So, she could wait. The Agency would take care of her job, her bills, and Flynne could learn that being an agent wasn’t a good career choice. Everything would be just fine for a few days—until Flynne got over herself.
The first epithet marched across the stage of her mind, stepped up to the mic and tapped it, ready to let loose. Erika groaned.
As if propelled by itself, the red bowl appeared at her lips. “I’m sorry! I don’t know what I’m doing. The stuff these guys have to do—totes amazeballs!”
“I was groaning at my language. Can you be quiet for a minute or two while I pray? It’s totes impossible to take repentance seriously when you’re puffy hearting your cray-cray amazeballs.”
“Coolio. Sure thing.”
I just lost fifty IQ points. I know it. Let’s start with prayers for rejuvenated little gray cells and move onto repentance after that. Okay, Lord?
My Review: There are a good many books dealing with cults of late so let's talk about why I like this one. It's realistic as much as possible. Jade is a Christian, with a daughter, but she was in a cult. When her daughter is threatened, she doesn't react like you'd think. That doesn't mean she isn't reacting, but I felt that it adds up because of the cult background. That kind of brainwashing isn't going to cause rational actions as seen by the rest of the world. So Dez is only five, and she is in danger. When Dez vanishes, well folks, it's on. What lengths will this group go to to get Jade and Dez back? How does she hold onto God's real truth's when she's been raised with twisted thinking?
This book is emotional, as it should be anytime a child is missing and could die of exposure or worse, never be seen again in the hands of people who aren't supposed to have that child. I think this was the author's best book in this series. It was dramatic and gripping. I liked the way everything was handled, which was lightly but you still knew what was happening. 5 Stars
About the Author
Alana is a pastor’s wife, homeschooling mom, self-diagnosed chicken lady, and Christian suspense author. Her novels have won awards from Women of Faith, Book Club Network, Grace Awards, Readers’ Favorite, and more. Alana’s passion for social justice, human rights, and religious freedom shines through her writing, and her books are known for raising tough questions without preaching. She and her family live in rural Alaska where the northern lights in the winter and midnight sun in the summer make hauling water, surviving the annual mosquito apocalypse, and cleaning goat stalls in negative forty degrees worth every second.
More from Alana
While my childhood was spent in the lower 48 states, my husband and I moved to Alaska and this beautiful state has now become the place I call home. Even though adjusting to rural living (we moved to a town with only 400 residents) took some getting used to, I have grown to love everything about Alaska.
In fact, I love it so much, I thought to myself, “I want to share the beauty of where we live with my readers.” And the best way I could think of to do that was to write a three-book, standalone series showcasing some of the wonderful things about Alaska living.
However, it wouldn’t be an Alana Terry series without a lot of exciting, fast-paced suspense readers have grown to love. Identity Theft, Termination Dust, and Frost Heaves are filled with action, adventure, mystery and even a little bit of romance.
Three different stories. All set in my beautiful state of Alaska. With all the action, adventure, suspense, and underlying hope that readers have come to love.
One reviewer described Frost Heaves as “… full of suspense, covered with faith and truth, and sweetened with a touch of romance.”
I wrote these books to share my love of Alaska as well as God’s love and redemption with others. And I hope you’ll turn the last page satisfied, but ready for more.
If the Alaska Refuge Christian Suspense series is your introduction to Alana Terry books, you’ve read all three in the series (in any order), and you’re ready for more action, I’d like to introduce you to Kennedy Stern. Read Unplanned, Book 1 in the 9 book series. Once you get started, I’m sure you won’t want to put it down.
Detachment had worked well as a life strategy for horse trainer Sam Schrock. Until he met Mollie Graber . . .
New to Stoney Ridge, schoolteacher Mollie has come to town for a fresh start. Aware of how fleeting and fragile life is, she wants to live it boldly and bravely. When Luke Schrock, new to his role as deacon, asks the church to take in foster girls from a group home, she’s the first to raise her hand. The power of love, she believes, can pick up the dropped stitches in a child’s heart and knit them back together.
Mollie envisions sleepovers and pillow fights. What the 11-year-old twins bring to her home is anything but. Visits from the sheriff at midnight. Phone calls from the school truancy officer. And then the most humiliating moment of all: the girls accuse Mollie of drug addiction.
There’s only one thing that breaks through the girls’ hard shell–an interest in horses. Reluctantly and skeptically, Sam Schrock gets drawn into Mollie’s chaotic life. What he didn’t expect was for love to knit together the dropped stitches in his own heart . . . just in time.
Suzanne Woods Fisher invites you back to the little Amish church of Stoney Ridge for a touching story of the power of love.
When I need a good Amish read for an escape, this is my go-to author. One - horses. I ADORE horses, and Sam being a horse trainer is right there on my interest level. Two - I couldn't wait to see what happened next with both the new people in this book, as well as the ones from the first book. (Yes, it can stand alone, but why would you?) Major topics in this book were judgment, forgiveness, and self-esteem. Izzy's wanting a child is something near and dear to me. I really connected with her and that storyline and the reality of wanting a child when you don't have one. Foster care plays a huge role in this book and these lives. I found myself needing kleenex. From the Psalms to the people in this book, I am loving this series. 5 Stars
About the Author
Carol-award winner Suzanne Woods Fisher writes untold stories about inspiring people. With over one million copies of her books sold worldwide, she is the bestselling author of fiction and non-fiction, ranging from Amish Peace: Simple Wisdom for a Complicated Worldto the historical novel Anna’s Crossing.
More from Suzanne
Have you ever felt the tug to become a foster parent?
On any given day, there are nearly 438,000 children in foster care in the United States. Most states have a critical need for more foster parents, and the number of children placed in foster care increases yearly.
There are plenty of assumptions about having foster children, but most are incorrect. The media has a tendency to focus on the negative, but from all the research I conducted to write this book, for every bad news story, there were two good ones. Good stories just don’t make the news.
Below are some of the most common assumptions about foster care, with corrected information that is applicable across the United States (but keep in mind that each state has their own requirements).
Myth: Kids in foster care are bad or troubled.
Truth: Children in foster care are good kids taken out of a troubled situation. They need a caring foster parent who is patient and understanding. When given the opportunity, most of these children begin to thrive.
Myth: To be a foster parent, you need to be married and own a home and be a college graduate.
Truth: You don’t need to be married or to own a home or even be a college graduate. That means if you’re single or renting, you can be a foster parent.
Myth: I can’t afford to be a foster parent.
Truth: There are monthly reimbursement rates for children in foster care based on the level of care you provide. Medical and dental care is paid through state Medicaid programs.
Myth: Most kids in foster care are teenagers.
Truth: The average age of a child entering foster care is seven years old.
Myth: Most kids are in foster care because their parents have abused drugs.
Truth: Now, this one is not a myth. It’s true. There are fifteen categories that can be responsible for a child’s removal from a home. Drug abuse from a parent has had the largest percentage increase.
Myth: Fostering could require a commitment until the child turns eighteen.
Truth: Generally, children remain in state care for less than two years. Only six percent spend five or more years in foster care.
Myth: It’s too hard to give a child up to his biological family.
Truth: Most children are in foster care for a short time, returning to their biological families. Reuniting a child to his family is the ideal situation. Foster families provide a safe haven for a child. Healthy grieving is to be expected, but it’s for the right reasons. It’s healthy.
Myth: You can’t adopt foster children.
Truth: In 2016, more than 65,000 children—whose mothers and fathers parental rights were legally terminated—waiting to be adopted. Also in 2016, more than 20,000 children “aged out” of foster care without permanent families. Research has shown that those who leave care without being linked to a “forever family” have a higher likelihood than the general youth population to experience homelessness, unemployment, and incarceration as adults.
Is there room in your heart and family for a child in need? There are many ways to get involved, some that do not even require foster care. One recommendation: volunteer with The National CASA Association (Court Appointed Special Advocates) for Children. You can find out more information here: www.casaforchildren.org.
Or consider small ways to connect to children in need—after school tutoring at your public library. Volunteering at a community center. Buy Christmas gifts for a family in need through an Adopt-a-Family program with a local church. Support a family who does provide foster care with respites—babysitting or meals. There’s many ways to get involved to care for children in need. And every little bit makes a difference.