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Vannetta Chapman’s Hidden

Home is where our story begins …

DANA JACOBS would rather forget the night of tragedy and violence that marred her childhood. She is now supervisor in charge of the Department of Homeland Security in Taos, New Mexico. Her team is prepared to handle any threat—biological, chemical, conventional, cyber, even nuclear. BENJAMIN MARSHALL is newly assigned to Dana’s office. Straight from a six year military deployment, he is not what Dana wants or needs.

Ben knows God has a reason for putting him in this place at this time—to help Dana. When a local school is threatened, they open a case which leads them on a chase through the Enchanted Circle and Carson National Forest, pursuing a man filled with a bitterness Dana can understand. But her anger is different. It’s justified, it remains hidden inside, and it hurts no one.

Can Dana face her own mortality? And when she does, can she truly understand what it means to forgive and to be forgiven?

Review

I randomly came across this book while flipping through my recommendations on Amazon and occasionally I like to read a good mystery so I decided to give it a try even though I could tell from the premise that this was one of those prickly women, good men combinations. That said, I really enjoyed it. Here’s why:

What I liked:

Ben. Ben makes this book. He’s ex-military but he’s so light hearted and he loves God and as soon as he sees Dana he’s just completely infatuated with her. It’s almost like that seen from the Disney movie Aladdin, when Aladdin sees Princess Jasmine for the first time. Sigh. He spends the whole book pursuing her and it is just too cute. And more than that, Dana (though she is still prickly) actually responds to his overtures.

Dana. She has walls, but I love that her walls are not so high that it’s not until the last chapter that they come down. Though she regularly claims to be annoyed with Ben, she also willingly spends time with him. And so, unlike most romance novels that have this premise, I had faith in them and their relationship. They still managed to get to know each other and actually fall in love.

The mystery. As someone who is not exactly a mystery lover (or too mysteryed out-here’s looking at you Nancy Drew), I have a tendency to read mysteries for character development as opposed to plot. But, I found myself super involved in this mystery. I wanted to know who done it and how and why.

Spiritually, there is this beautiful theme that God is with you. He is always with you. It’s a lesson that Ben knows and Dana has to learn.

What I didn’t like:

The only thing I didn’t like was when Dana would push Ben away. I was thinking come on girl, you know you want to marry this dude.

Romantic scale: 8

Overall, I really enjoyed this book, far, far more than I expected to. It may be a mystery, but it’s also a light read and I definitely recommend it!

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