Monday, March 2, 2015

"Firewall (FBI: Houston Book 1) by DiAnn Mills

After a whirlwind romance, Taryn Young is preparing to board a plane at Houston International Airport, bound for a dream honeymoon, when a bomb decimates the terminal. Injured but still alive, she awakens to discover her husband is missing and they're both considered prime suspects in the attack. Further, the FBI is convinced her husband isn't who he appears to be.Agent Grayson Hall's number-one priority is to catch those responsible for the day's act of terror. All evidence is pointing to Taryn and her new husband. But his instinct tells him her pleas of innocence are genuine. Is her naivete just for show, or could she truly be another victim of a master scheme, possibly linked to the software she recently developed for her company?With both their lives and reputations on the line, and the media outcry for justice increasing with each passing minute, Taryn and Grayson have no choice but to trust one another . . . and pray they can uncover the truth before they become two more casualties.

My review:
I began reading Firewall with no specific information about the author or the premise of the story.  It had been featured as a free book on one of my MANY email newsletters I get a day with book offers, and it looked interesting.  I must have opened and started the first two pages of the book 3 or 4 times before I was really able to sit down and enjoy the book - and enjoy I did.  Firewall is a suspense novel first and foremost, but has romantic undertones and a Christian foundation.  I have read many Christian novels and some are more emphatic about their Christian faith and the Christian emphasis of the novel, but not this book.  I didn't realize until about 2-3 chapters into the book that it actually is a Christian novel.  I felt the Christian aspects of the novel were introduced seamlessly and enhanced but didn't overwhelm the story.  Throughout the novel, Taryn uses the tragedies she is suffering, of which there are MANY, to rediscover and strengthen her faith that had gone untended in recent years.  She had been leading a good life but hadn't put her faith in a prominent position in her life; through her experiences in this story, her faith took a larger role in her life.  I appreciated that Taryn's journey was woven throughout the story well and enhanced the aspects of the story within which they were discussed.  Taryn is a strong personality and like many strong personalities, she felt that she alone had what she needed to control her success and her happiness, so coming back to her faith was difficult for her.  Also, recovering from the trust she had bestowed in the wrong person  was a challenge for her throughout her ordeal.
Grayson was also a strong character in this story, but his strength manifested itself in different ways.  Whereas Taryn used her strength to control her surroundings and her happiness and her success, Grayson has come to a point in his life where he has a peace with his life because he knows his success and his happiness is ultimately in God's hands.  His feelings for Taryn grow throughout their trials and tribulations and he makes no secret of that, and informs Taryn that as soon as the situation was resolved, that he wanted to discuss a future with her.  He demonstrated a quiet and deeply insightful strength, where he decided what he wanted and what he believed was his future, and he took the steps to bring that about in his life.  Taryn and Grayson both have strength, but because their strengths manifest themselves in different ways, they compliment each other well.  I think each of them learns how the other feels and thinks and they are able to work well together and support each other as a result.
I felt the suspenseful aspects of the story line were well written - poor Taryn just COULD NOT CATCH A BREAK.  The poor girl was bombed, shot at, assaulted, thrown from a vehicle, and involved in an accident, and I'm sure I missed some.  But through it all, she continued to work towards solving the mystery of the bombing and how it impacts and affects her life's work.   I felt the suspense story line was plausible (in many novels, it just isn't) and felt on the edge of my seat until the very end.  I did NOT see the villain coming until he was revealed!
All in all, a well thought out and well developed suspenseful story with romantic and Christian undertones that were seamlessly included in the story.  Definitely an author I will look for again!
Goodreads - Amazon - Barnes and Noble

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