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Killer Countdown (Man on a Mission) Mass Market Paperback – August 9, 2016
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About the Author
Award-winning author Amelia Autin is an inveterate reader who can’t bear to put a good book down…or part with it. Her bookshelves are crammed with books her husband periodically threatens to donate to a good cause, but he always relents…eventually.
Amelia currently resides with her Ph.D. engineer husband in quiet Vail, AZ, where they can see the stars at night and have a “million dollar view” of the Rincon Mountains from their back yard.
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Senator Shane Jones puts all the energy and expertise demonstrated as a US Marine into politics after a medical discharge. Willing to speak and vote his conscious has now made him a target of some very dangerous people – with access to his close held decisions.
When the senator decides to go public with his health concerns, he gives Carly an interview. And an invitation to accompany him to an embassy party. However, the assassin sees an opportunity to take out his primary target plus the woman who may be able to identify him at the same time.
The swirl of modern politics, shared danger, and two people with pain in their pasts tumbling into love is captured beautifully in this fast paced romantic suspense.
Carly is a television reporter with an outstanding reputation. She has reported on wars, police actions, disasters and any number of hot stories. Right now she is trying to find out why Senator Jones is at the Mayo Clinic. She's resourceful, and pretends to be his fiancee to get access to him, and is stunned when he allows her in. Her reputation precedes her, and Shane strikes a bargain with her, that if she will keep his secret for now, he will give her the exclusive when he's ready to talk. Carly has had her own trials and tribulations, including losing her fiance in an accident for which she blames herself. That memory has her accepting Shane's deal.
Things start to go a little crazy when someone shoots at Shane on his way out of the hospital. Carly is there and takes off after the shooter, using her cellphone to capture video of him. Shane is on her heels and protects her when the shooter turns his sights on her. Shane is furious that she took the risk, but also impressed by her presence of mind. When another attack happens back in DC, Shane realizes that Carly is at risk because she can identify the shooter. He is determined to keep her safe, not just because it's the right thing to do, but also because she rouses feelings in him he hasn't experienced since he lost his wife.
I loved the development of their relationship. Shane is super-protective, even though he is well aware that Carly is capable of protecting herself. He is also a straight shooting man, who doesn't play fast and loose with the truth. I loved the fact that he made up his own mind about issues without allowing outside influences. This is one of the things about Shane that really draws Carly to him. Likewise, Carly is an honest journalist who doesn't make things up to create a more sensational story. Shane appreciates that honesty, which makes it much easier to ask her to do the story on his illness. There is also an undeniable attraction between the two of them, but both have been badly hurt in the past, making them reluctant to risk their hearts again. The attraction grows stronger every day, but Carly especially is in denial. She tries to convince Shane that they can be together while keeping their emotions under control. I loved that Shane was already fully invested, but pretended to go along with her until he could convince her. Even though she makes that claim, she already suspects that it is too late to claim emotional distance.
I loved Carly's strength as she holds it together through each attack. She is determined not to crumble, and to fight against whoever has targeted them. She is also just as protective of Shane as he is of her. There were a couple of great scenes where she lays into him for taking risks - hello pot, meet kettle. She also slowly learns that it is okay to lean on someone now and then. I loved the scenes where she broke down and Shane was there for her. It was obvious that she felt deeply enough for him that she could trust him that way, even though she wasn't ready to admit it.
I also loved how quickly they got to know each other's quirks and foibles. I loved seeing Shane try to protect her without giving her the impression that he didn't think she could take care of herself. He knew her well enough to know that would push her to take more risks. And Carly understood that Shane hated the fact that his illness was something he couldn't control. When he tried to push her away to protect her from what could happen, she wouldn't stand for it. I loved seeing her stand up to him and call him on his cowardice (not something a Marine would take well!). When the danger was all over, they have to decide if they are willing to take the risks of loving each other. I really loved the proposal scene. The epilogue was great, and I loved seeing where their lives have gone.
The suspense of the story was fantastic. The first attack at the clinic is a real attention-getter, and Carly's involvement just ups the stakes. When Shane realizes that she has become a target too, he's determined to find the reason. Each attack comes a little closer to succeeding. I loved seeing the assassin's frustration as Shane's innate abilities foil every attempt. It was interesting to see who Shane suspected was behind the attacks, and those whose help he asked for in checking it out. It was also very satisfying to see Carly put her investigative reporter's brain to work and come up with a completely different scenario. I also loved seeing Niall, the brother we haven't seen much of, and his involvement in their protection. I loved seeing Shane finally get fed up and take matters into his own hands. The final confrontation was intense, exciting, and I really didn't expect the identity of the person who saved Shane. I also loved Niall's last word and the motivation behind it! Now I can't wait to read his story!
*I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
After suffering an unusual health problem, Senator Shane Jones receives a shocking verdict for his symptoms and cannot help but feel distraught. When he was no longer a US Marine and then became a senator from Colorado, he made it his goal to make good decisions at all times. Now he fears this career may be over, and for at least the present, Shane is going to keep his ailment a secret. Buy a clever TV reporter manages to learn what he is hiding.
When it comes to getting the news and letting the public know the facts, Carly Edwards is one of best. Yet what Shane reveals has her making a deal with him, one benefiting them both. But it is soon apparent there is even more pressing matters linked to the senator when several situations could have had deadly outcomes, and Carly becomes caught up in the circumstances. Not knowing the reason for the attacks, Shane can only speculate about the motive. Until facts are uncovered, he wants to keep Carly close, especially when it becomes evident both are being targeted.
From the start, KILLER COUNTDOWN drew me into every single aspect of the story. From an unexpected illness and all its potential consequences to the danger resulting from growing threats, I was eager to discover what would be the end result. Details about Shane’s physical troubles are realistic, and his responses are very candid. How Carly reacts to his condition is also convincing, as her feelings can often not be completely concealed. While this couple may not let their every inner thought become known to the other, they are refreshingly honest about many important occurrences that happen after they meet. Since I respected Shane and Carly so much, my concern for them was sincere. The one part of their relationship in which they are exceedingly upfront is how they connected sexually, where they put their whole hearts into any intimacy because of how much they cared.
Amelia Autin skillfully lets the reader know what peril might be in store for Shane and Carly, but nothing is ever assured until all plays out. The information given about those who want to cause harm to these two was just enough to let me get an idea of their aims, yet still did not divulge all the specifics. This had me constantly fearful for these likable individuals. Sometimes I love everything about the romantic couple, and this is certainly true for Shane and Carly. KILLER COUNTDOWN is intriguingly believable and emotional.
Received copy for Always Reviewing blog