~ About the Book ~
Prosecutor Sophie Dawson’s first job in the White Collar division of the Fulton County D.A.’s office is to build a case against a local bank employee who may be cheating clients. But when circumstances beyond her control leave her as the only witness to a double homicide involving a vengeful gang, her world is turned upside down.
Former Atlanta police officer turned private security guard Cooper Knight is hired to ensure that Sophie is kept safe. But as threats escalate, they don’t know who they can trust.
Sophie is determined not to back down, but her bank case gets more complicated by the day, and the gang will stop at nothing to keep her from testifying. Sophie wants to take a stand for what’s right–but can Cooper, who is determined not to be distracted by their growing attraction, keep her safe so that she can finish her pursuit for justice?
Genre: Legal/Romantic Suspense
Series: #2 Atlanta Justice
Release date: 1 May 2018
Publisher: Bethany House
~ Excerpt ~
Once she got into the store and started walking the aisles, she couldn’t make a decision. Maybe she should try to be healthy and only get one snack, then try to have a proper dinner. She looked at her watch. It was ten o’clock. Too late for a real dinner anyway.
She walked to the back of the store to pick up a flavored tea. As she opened the refrigerator door, debating between raspberry or extra sweet, a sudden commotion began at the front of the store. She turned around and sucked in a breath.
A man was pointing a gun at the cashier, and they were yelling at each other. Her first instinct was to run toward the fight and try to stop a disaster from happening, but she was only halfway up the aisle when a shot rang out. Instinctively, she hit the floor, covering her head, and slid behind one of the popcorn displays. She’d taken active shooter training as part of her job and knew that the best course of action was to try to stay out of sight. She peered around the display, trying to keep most of her body hidden.
The shooter turned around, and she got a good look at his face. He appeared young to her, maybe in his upper teens. He didn’t seem to notice her as he sprinted out of the gas station with his gun still drawn.
As soon as he was out the door, she sprang to her feet and ran to the front counter. The cashier lay on the ground in a large pool of blood. Squatting down beside him, she checked for a pulse. Nothing. He was dead.
She heard another round of gunshots and looked outside. The shooter had opened fire on his way out of the store. He was heading toward a midsize gray SUV, but there was another car on the left side of it. One person was on the driver’s side, crouched down with her hands over her head, but the person on the passenger side was totally exposed and in the shooter’s direct line of fire.
Sophie heard herself scream a warning, but it was too late.
~ Review ~
Fans of romantic suspense authors such as Lynette Eason, Patricia Bradley, and Cara Putman will likely enjoy this series from Rachel Dylan featuring a trio of female attorneys. The author’s experience as a litigator gives authenticity to her plots, and does so without overwhelming the reader with legalese, and this particular story even manages to combine both a civil and a criminal case, with Sophie Dawson being the prosecutor in one and the sole witness in the other.
While I generally enjoyed the legal intrigue, I did find the writing relied heavily on telling rather than showing, particularly when it came to the growing relationship between Sophie and Cooper. They each make reference to their ‘intense physical chemistry’, but I didn’t feel this chemistry in their interactions. Cooper also has a backstory that has led him to conclude he can never have a wife and family, and while he inevitably reaches a different conclusion by the end of the book, I felt like I hadn’t experienced that change of heart alongside him and just had to take him at his word.
The other thing I wasn’t sold on in this story was sharing it among five different point-of-view characters. Besides Sophie and Cooper, there were both the prosecuting and defending attorneys in the criminal case and a private investigator hired by the bank involved in Sophie’s civil case. This gave the reader a wider picture of what was going on and increased the tension, but I was left a little unsure how I was supposed to feel about some of these characters. It’s difficult to say much without giving spoilers, so perhaps it is enough to simply say that I see-sawed between whether the three extra point-of-view characters were beneficial to the story or distracting.
Notwithstanding these personal preferences, there’s enough danger and intrigue to keep readers hooked into the story, and possibly even a few surprises along the way.
I received a copy of this novel from the publisher. This has not influenced the content of my review, which is my honest and unbiased opinion.
~ Previous Books in the Series ~
Read my review for Deadly Proof.
~ About the Author ~
Rachel Dylan was a litigator in one of the nation’s most elite law firms for over eight years and now works as an attorney at one of the Big Three automobile manufacturers. She is the author of four Love Inspired Suspense novels and lives in Michigan with her husband.