Title: A Midnight Clear: A Christmas Novella
Author: Jeannie Hall
Genre: Romantic Suspense, Holiday Romance
Hannah Barker went from looking forward to her first white Christmas in years to sitting handcuffed and terrified in an FBI interrogation room. They believe her to be a heroin mule for one of the largest and most notoriously successful international drug syndicates of the past decade–they even have pictures of her in Tijuana, proving her involvement. But she’s just an insurance agent from small town Arkansas. She’s never even been out of the country. What in the world is going on?
Chief Deputy Ian Velez can’t look forward to the holidays this year. His five-year-old daughter and two-year-old son are missing, kidnapped by his mentally unstable wife. His once idyllic home life has been turned on its head while he works on the single most important case of his career, busting open the Dominguez Cartel. Then he sees their first real lead into the case: Hannah Barker. But this beautiful if unworldly woman comes across as innocent rather than guilty.
When Hannah is nearly killed while in the FBI’s custody, Ian saves her in the nick of time, but this alerts him to a mole working within the auspices of the Bureau. Cutting contact with the FBI and his superiors seems his only option. Ian runs with Hannah to a snowy cabin in the middle of the wilderness. While hiding there, sparks fly between the two, surprising them both. Should they try to make the best out of a bad situation? Or is their sanctuary in much more danger than it seems?
Hannah Barker is looking forward to celebrating Christmas but all that changes when she’s put in handcuffs in front of her insurance co-workers and hauled off for questioning. She’s mistaken for a Mexican drug mule and the FBI has DNA proof. She’s as squeaky clean as a girl scout but no one believes her. No one, except for Chief Deputy Ian.
Ian’s gut tells him Hannah is telling the truth. When shots are fired and it appears like the FBI has a mole, he grabs Hannah and heads for his cabin the woods. Now, they’re both on the run and stuck inside a small, deserted cabin. Sparks fly between Ian and Hannah and before you can say yowsy, they explore these feelings.
But there’s hidden secrets in Hannah’s past and they’re the ones gunning for her death. Can Ian save her from an executioner’s bullet or will he be too late?
Wow! What a fantastic romantic suspense novella. Filled with fleshed-out characters and tons of intense suspense, I read this in one sitting. Hall does an impressive job hiking up the stakes with intrigue, romance and a few steamy sex scenes. It didn’t feel rushed, even though it was a novella, and the characters were well-developed.
If you’re a fan of suspense with doses of hot romance, pick up this book today! I look forward to reading more from Jeannie Hall.
Favorite Character: Hannah. I liked her immediately and it was enjoyable to be immersed in her head while on the run and trying to out-run the FBI, the Mexican Cartel and her own feelings. Spunky, well-developed and a woman I’d love to be friends with. Go get ‘em, Hannah!
“Turned out those fairytales she’d memorized as a kid were complete crap. Her picture-perfect future of floating down the aisle to her soul mate would never come true, so she’d cut her losses. She didn’t need a man, anyway.”
My Rating: 5 stars
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Jeannie Hall is a romantic thriller writer who creates dark and intense situations for her characters before giving them their happy ending. She is the author of VIOLATION OF FAITH, book one in the Cult Wife series (available in both print and eBook), and A MIDNIGHT CLEAR, a Christmas novella (available in eBook format).
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Reviewed by: Mrs. N