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Traci Hunter Abramson and Julie Coulter Bellon are two authors I can consistently count on to keep me turning pages and loving each new twist in their novels. Enjoy their newest; Tripwire by Abramson and Love’s Journey Home by Bellon.

TRIPWIRE by Traci Hunter Abramson

The Saint Squad is back! Traci Hunter Abramson’s newest book, Tripwire, features Jane Napierski, personal assistant to well-known actress, Sienna Blake. Jane has just returned from a six month leave of absence, taken to assist her mother through chemo treatments. To boost her new television series and divert attention from her real love, Sienna and her costar, Reed Forrester, fake being madly in love. Jane shoots plenty of pictures both for publicity and to send to her mother. One of those pictures sets off some unintended consequences. Actually Sienna and Reed are old friends and childhood playmates. Sienna is secretly engaged to Craig, a Navy Seal with the Saint Squad. As Jane feels herself drawn to Reed and he reciprocates her feelings, the situation becomes awkward. Adding to the awkwardness, an unknown stalker seems to have the two women in his sights. Too many close calls convince them, along with Craig and the other Saints Squad members, the stalker is far more than an over-zealous fan.

Craig and the Saints Squad are on the trail of terrorists who have stolen enough of a toxic biological chemical to annihilate thousands of people. Every clue seems to lead to a dead end and the known terrorists seem to have dropped off the map. Could the toxin already be in the United States? If so, where? Craig is torn between protecting Sienna and Jane and the missions to distant hot spots chasing terrorists.

Craig and Sienna were featured in an earlier book and readers will enjoy meeting them again. Jane and Reed are prominent characters in Tripwire. They’re well-drawn characters who will quickly appeal to readers. The setting is as realistic as only someone with insider experience of the Virginia/Washington D.C. area and the Central Intelligence Agency can give it. The stress in Abramson novels is on action and this one hits the ground running and continues at a hard hitting pace all the way through to the dramatic conclusion. Those who enjoy high intensity action with a touch of romance won’t want to miss Tripwire.

Though born in Arizona, Traci Hunter Abramson has lived most of her adult life in Virginia. She graduated from BYU, spent some time in Venezuela with a study-abroad program, then went to work for the Central Intelligence Agency. After marrying and starting a family, she left the CIA, and currently coaches high school swimming. She and her husband are the parents of five children. She has written more than twenty novels and is a frequent Whitney Award finalist or winner.

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TRIPWIRE by Traci Hunter Abramson, Published by Covenant Communications, Inc., 258 pages, soft cover $16.99. Also available for audio and eReaders.

LOVE’S JOURNEY HOME by Julie Coulter Bellon

Mick Donovan was severely abused as a child. As an adult he has difficulty trusting and avoids close personal relationships. He’s a high school teacher in a small Utah town where he works hard to give his students the best experience possible. The town has only one cafe and he often goes there to eat and has established a friendly relationship with the waitresses. He never dates a woman more than four times and has a reputation as a player. He has stayed friends with one of the waitresses he dated a few times, so when she asks him to take one of the other waitresses home, he agrees. The woman is obviously too drunk to work. At her apartment he discovers she has a seven-year-old son who had been left alone. He worries about leaving the child with his mother passed out on the couch and returns to the cafe.

Olivia Dalton is a tough prosecutor in the DA’s office. When she recognizes a woman wanted in a major drug case working as a waitress in a nearby small town, she calls in back up and goes after her. The woman steals Mick’s car and gets away. Mick assumes the woman he’d recently taken home will go to her apartment to collect her son before leaving town and rushes there to intercept her and get his car back. The woman skips town without her son and Mick claims he’s the boy’s father to keep the child out of foster care. His own experience in foster care as a child had been brutal and he doesn’t trust the system to protect the boy.

A tug of war continues between Mick and Olivia as they struggle with their own background issues, their determination to provide love and security for the abandoned child, and to locate the runaway woman.

Both leading characters are strong individuals crippled by past events in their lives and both have strong protective instincts. Their emotional struggles dominate the story as the pair go through realistic inner growth. The action scenes are better developed than the romance scenes and are the strongest points of the story. The small town in Utah with a nearby ski resort serves as a convincing background.

Julie Coulter Bellon grew up in Canada, married an American, and together they are raising a large family in Utah. She graduated from BYU and is the author of more than a dozen books.

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LOVE’S JOURNEY HOME by Julie Coulter Bellon, Published by Stone Hall Books, 209 pages, soft cover $14.99. Also available for eReaders.