#Review “Strong As Steel (Caitlin Strong Novels Book 10)” by Jon Land

Strong As Steel by Jon Land

on Tour April 22 – May 25, 2019

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5/5 Stars!

Had I known what I was in for with Strong as Steel, I would have rested up, taken a few deep breaths and prepared myself… because this read hits the ground running and all I could do was… run with it.

While assisting with serving a simple search warrant, fifth-generation Texas Ranger, Caitlin Strong ends up in a gun-battle in a downtown Dallas high-rise.

The staff of the firm where Caitlin was headed lies in pools of blood, and the Ranger puts down the four anonymous assassins.

A young girl, proud to be the ring bearer as her parents finally marry, walks up the church aisle focused on her special task, and is the only one to survive the massacre which takes place inside the church.

A man standing on the gallows awaiting execution for murderous crimes gets a last-minute stay-of-execution… from his men and an old friend in a rescue mission that shook an entire military prison.

And all this is in the first fifty pages.

These scenes link past and present, and also connect to a case Caitlin’s father, Ranger Jim Strong, handled twenty-five years past when she was a teenage girl.

Something stolen and hidden two-and-a-half decades ago has resurfaced again, no less coveted and priced at as many lives as it takes to recover it.

And it takes a lot of lives. A lot.

Though this is the tenth book in the Caitlin Strong series and the first I’ve read by this author, I jumped right in and didn’t feel lost or as if I was missing something.

Is there history? Of course.

But enough of the back story is woven through this read to understand connections, bonds, and situations.

And the characters.

The women of Strong as Steel are well-written, complex women of strength.

Despite being on opposite sides of the law, Caitlin Strong and Luna Diaz Delgado and her daughter, Nola, share a mutual respect. They’ll find out before the story ends they share something else as Luna has been a part of this case since Jim Strong caught it.

It’s also telling that the men in this read, all committed to their missions, despite the questionable legalities involved, see the women as equals… if not legends.

There’s a thought-provoking plot that doesn’t just question how far is too far, but also does the ultimate good exist or is it as corrupt as the evil it claims to battle.

Attention to detail is on point. Little world-building is needed when history is the anchor.

The story’s climax is intense and breath-taking, and so well-written I could almost feel the flicker of the flames.

Readers of crime fiction, suspense, and police procedurals will fall right into this read, but it’s international overtones, military precision, and the western flare of the Texas Rangers will hook many others as well. If new to the series like myself, you’ll find yourself in the same predicament—finding time to read the first nine books in the series!

Don’t miss out on Strong as Steel!

Enjoy!

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Synopsis:

Tough-as-nails Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong returns in this electrifying ninth installment of the series, by USA Today bestselling author Jon Land

1994: Texas Ranger Jim Strong investigates a mass murder on a dusty freight train linked to a mysterious, missing cargo for which no record exists.

The Present: His daughter, fifth generation Texas Ranger Caitlin Strong, finds herself on the trail of that same cargo when skeletal remains are found near an excavation site in the Texas desert. She’s also dealing with the aftermath of a massacre that claimed the lives of all the workers at a private intelligence company on her watch.

These two cases are connected by a long buried secret, one that men have killed and died to protect. Caitlin and her outlaw lover Cort Wesley Masters must prove themselves to be as strong as steel to overcome a bloody tide that has been rising for centuries.

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Book Details:

Genre: Thriller

Published by: Forge Books

Publication Date: April 23rd 2019

Number of Pages: 336

ISBN: 0765384671 (ISBN13: 9780765384676)

Series: Caitlin Strong #10

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Goodreads

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Enter To Win!

This is a rafflecopter giveaway hosted by Partners in Crime Virtual Book Tours for Jon Land. There will be 1 winner of one (1) Amazon.com Gift Card. The giveaway begins on April 22, 2019 and runs through May 23, 2019. Void where prohibited.

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#BookSale “Angel (The Black Sentinels MC Series #1)” by Victoria Johns

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Angel (The Black Sentinels MC Series #1)

by Victoria Johns

There’s a new bad boy in town and as the President of an MC… he’s really bad. But Angel doesn’t care, he wasn’t always the bad one in their world, she was.

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Blurb:

At ten years old, Rosie Grace Collins did a terrible thing.

At ten years old, Declan Foster witnessed a terrible thing.

At ten years old, best friends Declan and Rosie were torn apart.

For twenty years Rosie lived a protected life. She was an angel to the men whom she knew she’d wronged. She was the darkness that the Black Sentinel MC didn’t know existed.

For twenty years Declan Foster was paying for the sins of others and righting the wrongs done to him growing up.

For twenty years they’d been apart- until now.

With their childhood behind them, the sins of the past are back to haunt them.
She was the Black Sentinels’ Angel and he was Wolf, the deadly president of the Carnal MC.

She was untouchable, and he wanted what was his. He would do anything to get her – whatever it took.

Angel, the story of a love that spans two decades and an obsessive hatred that has spanned a lifetime – and someone has to pay.

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#Excerpt “Lies Behind the Ruin” by Helen Matthews

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Emma Willshire has overcome plenty of obstacles in her life. From student bride to single mum of a son, Owen, but she has found happiness with her second husband, Paul and another child, Mollie. Emma’s dark days seem far behind her until a fatal accident happens at Paul’s work and he is held responsible.

On holiday in France, Paul’s behaviour turns erratic. On impulse, he buys a cheap, dilapidated property and, to Emma’s dismay, persuades her they can renovate it into a holiday home.

Back in England, their problems spiral out of control. Escape to a new life in France seems the only solution but with heart-breaking loss for Emma. As the couple strive to renovate their ruin and open a small business, shadows from the past threaten their happiness and safety. Because, how can you build a new life on toxic foundations?

 Purchase Links

 https://www.helenmatthewswriter.com/shop

Amazon UK  

Amazon US

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EXCERPT

As I set down the tray and pour the coffee, Paul turns and attempts a smile, but it won’t stick to his face. He sits down heavily on an armchair.

“What is it?” I ask, feeling his hand tremble as I pass him a mug.

“It’s happened.” He rocks forward and perches on the edge of his seat. “I’m going to be made redundant.”

Shock sucks oxygen from my lungs. “What? They can’t do that!” He hangs his head. “You must fight it. Take them to a tribunal.”

“I wish it was that simple. Manning called me in for ‘a chat’ and asked me to sign a bloody compromise agreement.”

I find a tissue stuffed in my cardigan sleeve, dab my face and crumple it in my fist.

“Say something, Emma.”

I can’t. I don’t want a row. I know I ought to throw my arms around him and comfort him but I blurt out, “How much will you get?” Before the words are out of my mouth, I know I’ve said the wrong thing.

Paul’s chin jerks up, as if I’ve punched him. “Not much. Only been there two years.”

“But why now? Is it because of Dorek’s death?”

“Who can say? The report’s still not out but everyone blames me. Perhaps it would have happened anyway. Since the accident, Manifold’s work’s fallen off a cliff. They mismanaged the PR and new clients won’t touch us.” White-faced, he bangs his mug down on the table and I realise I’m the only one he can vent his wrath on; I’m the only one here. “Plus, they’re insisting I work part of my notice.”

I grope for words to comfort him, but my head is tangled with worries about the children and their future.

“I thought they’d put me on gardening leave,” Paul continues. “Give me space to look for another job but Manning refused. He says he’s going to take over my work for a while. I’d say that’s impossible but it’s not my problem.”

“I’m so sorry—” I begin but he cuts me off.

“I don’t give a damn.”

I sit down heavily on the sofa and something sharp jabs my buttock. It’s a knitting needle, attached to the Aran sweater I’m making for Mollie. I pick it up and stare at the complex pattern.

Paul watches me with sullen eyes. “What are you doing?”

“Nothing.” My ball of wool drops to the floor, rolls towards Paul’s armchair. With a reflex movement of his foot, he taps it back towards me as if it were a football.

“There’s worse,” he says. “No way I can dress this up. We’ll have to sell the house.”

I stare at him. I can’t swallow. “What the hell do you mean? We’d be mad to do that.”

“If we don’t sell the house, we’ll lose it. I increased the mortgage and haven’t kept up the payments. The outstanding loan might be more than the house is worth.”

I gape at him. Rain hammers on the window pane. I stay silent.

“Say something, Emma!”

“How could you do that without telling me?” This is like a soap opera. This doesn’t happen in real life.

“It was when Mollie wasn’t sleeping and you were exhausted. I didn’t want to add to your worries.”

“So instead, you put Mollie, and our whole family, at risk?”

“I’m sorry.” His face is set hard and wrinkles mark his brow. He reaches out and tries to draw me to him. I sense he’s trembling and I stiffen. “We have to face this together. My redundancy pay-off will help, but it isn’t enough. If we don’t sell quickly, the house will be repossessed.”

“And where will we live?”

“We’ll work something out.”

We stumble across to the sofa and sit down, his hip bone pressing against mine. I close my eyes and memories of our years together crowd my mind. Years when Paul has been supporting me and my son, because my former husband’s child maintenance payments were erratic. Could this have contributed to his financial problems? I remember how Paul mended the rift between me and my parents; how he took time off work to support me when Mollie wouldn’t sleep and I was plagued with migraines. Isn’t that what ‘in sickness and in health’ is all about? Now we’re in the next phase ‘for richer for poorer,’ and it’s my turn to stand by him. I remind myself that the house and mortgage were Paul’s territory from before we were married. Was that why I’ve never insisted he shared the details with me? Because it would have felt like trespass?

Paul stutters more apologies, “I shouldn’t be putting you and the kids through this. It’s all my fault.”

Outside our window, rain hammers down, but the eye of the storm has moved on.

“I’ve had it with this life, Emma.” Paul tilts his head up and meets my eyes. “The hours, the stress. I want a fresh start.”

I understand now where this is leading. There’s a pattern and everything is connected—I should have worked it out.

“You mean France, don’t you? You never intended it to be just a holiday home.”

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Author Bio  

Helen Matthews is the author of Lies Behind the Ruin, a contemporary suspense novel set in France, to be published in April 2019 by Hashtag Press. Her debut novel After Leaving the Village, published in 2017, won first prize for the opening pages of a novel at Winchester Writers’ Festival. Born in Cardiff, she read English at the University of Liverpool and holds an MA in Creative Writing from Oxford Brookes University. Helen’s short stories and flash fiction have won prizes and been published in Reflex Fiction, Ad Hoc, Artificium, Scribble and Love Sunday. Her freelance journalism has been published in the Guardian and broadcast on BBC radio. She is an ambassador for Unseen, a charity that campaigns to end human trafficking and modern slavery.

Social Media Links  

Facebook

Twitter

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