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In Seconds [Audiobook, CD, Unabridged] [Audio CD]

Brenda Novak , Angela Dawe , Inc. Brilliance Audio
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

Feb. 1 2012 Bulletproof Trilogy (Book 2)
Laurel Hodges has changed her identity twice. She’s been on the run for the past four years, trying to outdistance the gang members who blame her for the death of one of their own. She’s finally found peace and stability in the small town of Pineview, Montana. But just when Laurel thinks she and her children are safe...the nightmare starts all over again. The Crew, a ruthless prison gang with ties to Laurel’s brother, will never forget and they’ll never forgive. And now that they’ve finally tracked her down, they’ll stop at nothing. Sheriff Myles King, who happens to live next door with his thirteen-year-old daughter, appoints himself Laurel’s personal guardian. His growing attraction to her could change his life - Myles is beginning to picture marriage and family. But it could also end his life. If he can’t save her, everything he’s built, everything he wants, could be destroyed. In seconds...

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Review

"I felt a real connection to the characters... It was an exciting, intriguing read."

-First for Women Magazine on Killer Heat

Novak "builds her characters and plot by adding genuine and recognizable feelings-from angst to passion to terror and beyond... A great end to a wonderful series."

-Suspense Magazine on Killer Heat

Body Heat "is a definite page-turner."

-RT Book Reviews

"Novak expertly blends romantic thrills, suspenseful chills, and realistically complicated characters together in a white-knuckle read that is certain to keep readers riveted to the last page." -Booklist on Body Heat

"Brenda Novak has written the best high-action thriller of 2010. White Heat far exceeded my expectations. From page one I was immediately hooked on this fast action plot that was like solving a Chinese puzzle box." -Midwest Book Review

With "distinctive characters and a nail biting plot, Novak's White Heat is flawless and easily a Best of 2010 contender."

-Suspense Magazine

"Novak writes gripping romantic thrillers."

-Library Journal --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

About the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has penned over 40 novels. A two-time Rita nominee, she's won The National Reader's Choice, The Bookseller's Best, The Bookbuyer's Best and many other awards. She runs an annual on-line auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com. To date, she\u2019s raised over $1 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life. --This text refers to the Mass Market Paperback edition.

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Most helpful customer reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars TERRIFIC LISTENING! Feb. 22 2012
By Gail Cooke TOP 50 REVIEWER
Format:Audio CD
With her well paced, nuanced voice performance actress Angela Dawe gives added shivers to the already frightening scenario penned by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak.

Following on the heels of her suspenseful White Heat (2010) she gives us a woman who has had to change her identity twice in order to protect herself and her children from the Crew, a prison gang who blames her for the death of one of them.

It appears that after four years they've finally found her.....
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.2 out of 5 stars  36 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't put it down Sept. 20 2011
By RomanceWriter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I was reading this book while I was supposed to be working, while I was waiting for my daughter in the car, in the parking lot at the grocery story... could NOT put it down until I finished it (probably should have waited for the weekend to start it!). Laurel/Vivian, Virgil's sister from Book 1 (Inside) has been hiding for a long time, and she's tired of it. While she's very attracted to her neighbor, Sheriff Myles King, and he's attracted to her as well, Laurel/Vivian knows they can't get involved. The creepy Ink from The Crew is still looking for her, and he's even more deranged than in Book 1, if that's possible. At the end of Book 1, it looked like Laurel and Rex were going to be together, but in this book we find out that although they had a very intense relationship, they are no longer together. Rex is still struggling with his drug addiction and Laurel refuses to let herself be dragged down with him - which is a huge thing in a romance novel, if you ask me. How easy would it have been for the author to make this story about Rex and Laurel, like we all expected? Instead, Laurel/Vivian has found her own inner strength without Rex, and while she still cares for him a great deal, she won't go down that destructive path again.

The Rex/Laurel/Myles aspect of the story was tough, because on one hand you see how much Rex and Laurel love each other, but on the other hand you see her drawing on her own source of strength and leaning towards the man who is good for her. This was a very nice counter to the suspenseful, edge-of-your-seat drama being played out by Ink and his new sidekick. Virgil decides to end this once and for all, and I swear, I was so afraid for him there at the end I was almost crying.

I see the next story is about Vivian's friend Claire, and while it looks interesting, I really REALLY want a Rex story. This poor man needs to find someone of his own! Come on, Brenda Novak, don't leave us hanging!
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars In Seconds - Disappointing follow up to Inside Aug. 30 2011
By Jess - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
If you haven't read book 1 in this series, INSIDE, I would highly recommend reading it prior to this story. It picks up a gang storyline that ran through Virgil's book and all the loose ends that we were left with conclude in this, his sister Laurel's story. We rejoin the characters 4 years after Virgil and his gang ties threatened not only his life, but that of his sister's and her kids. At the end of Inside, it looks like Laurel and Rex, Virgil's best friend and former cellmate and gang member, would be Laurel's HEA. I was surprised to start reading this book to find that a brand new guy is in Laurel's life, her next door neighbor Myles - which I had no problems with, Myles is a very likable character. A widower and father to a teenage girl, Myles is the sheriff in town and has been fighting his attraction to Laurel (or Vivian as she goes by in Pineview) for some time. His wife died 3 years ago, and Laurel is starting to reawaken feelings in him that have been absent since his wife's death. Laurel has been living a very quiet life in Pineview for awhile now, doing her best to stay off the radar of The Crew, and especially one member, Ink, who she knows would like nothing more than to get revenge for an altercation that happened 4 years ago.

Laurel struggles constantly with the need to lie to her new friends, to the people she and her kids have grown close to in their new hometown. But, that doesn't stop her from calling her mom every now and then, and that one small connection puts Ink back on her path. The story follows the POV of Laurel, Myles, Ink, Virgil and Rex throughout and the suspense is a slow build up. The last 30% of the book is packed with action, and I wish the first part would have had that same intensity.

The romance between Laurel and Myles was pretty non-existent. They get together for just one night, that was her rule, early on and there just wasn't much chemistry coming across on the page. I didn't doubt that they were attracted to each other, but that was primarily from just being told that they were not actually seeing it happen on page and I was just left wanting so much more to develop between them. That one night was the only romantic scene between them until almost the end of the book. For such a suspenseful story filled with a gang member who would kill, just because he felt like it, I really needed a strong romance to balance it all out and it was lacking between Laurel and Myles.

I was pleasantly surprised to read Virgil's POV during the story. I hadn't expected him to come back and play as big a role as he did, but we get caught up on his and Peyton's life, and he takes matters into his own hands as he travels to LA to end The Crew once and for all. While Virgil is planning his attack, Rex is fighting his own demons, detoxing himself for 2 weeks alone in a motel room. He's still suffering the effects of withdrawals through most of the book, but he's the ultimate friend and even though we find out why his relationship with Laurel didn't work out, he loves both her and Virgil like family and proves again that he'll do anything for them.

Ultimately, this book was just ok for me. I've seen it classified as contemporary romance/romantic suspense, and this just doesn't fit. It's a straight mystery/thriller (and fans of this genre should enjoy this book) with a very, very small romantic plot. I had such high expectations, having loved book 1 which had a wonderful balance of story and romance and this book just came up short. The plot was slow moving until the very end and the romance just wasn't there. While I recommend book 1 in the Bulletproof Series, book 2 was a miss for me and I'm not sure if I'll be picking up the next book due out later this year.

Blog rating: 2/5 stars
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars More Suspense Than Romance Oct. 25 2011
By Tracy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Four years ago, Laurel Hodges' brother was exonerated and released from prison after serving fourteen years hard time for a crime he did not commit. The relief and hope she'd harbored for a future with the brother she loved didn't last beyond the first attempt on her life. The Crew saw to that. A vicious gang with a long reach, her brother Virgil had joined them out of necessity when he was in prison. They weren't exactly amenable to his leaving it when he got out. They've been trying to kill him, her, and her two children ever since.

When the last attempt by The Crew forced her to separate from her brother and his new family two years ago, she started over yet again, this time as Vivian Stewart. She selected the town of Pineview, Montana because of its low crime rate, seclusion, and small town nature.

For two years she's lead that small town life and felt safe. Her handsome neighbor Myles King is the sheriff of Pineview, and has asked her out several times, but she's always declined. She can'd afford to get too close to anyone, be too honest with anyone, especially the single father and cop next door. That is the sentence that SHE serves now, and will have to serve for as long as The Crew keeps her and her loved ones in its sights.

It is a sentence she's mostly resigned herself to in order to keep her children safe, to stay alive. And when she hears of the murder of a man from town, Laurel fears that it is a sentence that has - unfortunately - been commuted. The Crew has a long, long reach. And they might have reached out and caught her once more.

~*~
I hate to say this, but I had some trouble with this second book in the Bulletproof series. I enjoyed the characters of the first one quite a lot, especially Virgil, and had been looking forward to his sister's book, but I ended up feeling a little disconcerted by the four year time span between books, and had a hard time reconciling the budding relationship between Rex, aka Pretty Boy, and Laurel that closed out the last book with the apparently painful breakup of the long-term relationship they had before she came to Pineview. That made it difficult to downshift and accept Myles as the romantic lead in this one. Maybe it also had a hand in the difficulty I had warming up to Laurel, too. I'm not sure.

I know I wasn't crazy about her. I think she was believable and realistic as a character, but she didn't strike me as being all that bright, and I had significant trouble with several of her life decisions. I still have to give Novak credit, though. She writes realistic and believable characters, even though one of them frustrated the heck out of me. Just because I didn't favor one of them doesn't mean they aren't well written.

In Laurel's case, it was an issue of too many conflicting had-it-beens, those moments where you put yourself in the characters place and think, had it been you, would you have said/done/acted the same as he/she did. In most cases with Laurel, the answer wasn't just no, it was an emphatic heck no. It started early - I would never have chosen a small town (where everyone knows your secrets and if they don't, they dig or shun until they do) with no cell phone tower (a disposable cell would've made things so much easier) to try to hide - and it persisted throughout the book.

Novak writes solid suspense imbued with an increasingly intense sense of impending doom. There's no argument there. I thoroughly enjoyed those threads in this book. I just wasn't totally sold on the premise for the suspense threads, and had some problems completely buying into a disabled thug like Ink being in a position to escape jail, whether or not he had help. Despite the plausibility of the premise, the execution was spot on - completely chilling in parts, actually - and I found myself really enjoying both the ever increasing tension and the way Myles handled himself as he was investigating and as he got closer to Laurel.

I was pretty confused about something, though, and wondered if I missed some part of the story. Rex fills in Myles about what's really going on just before he heads back to New York, and Myles is concerned about how to tell Laurel he knows. Next he sees Laurel, though, there's no confrontation about it and she treats Myles like he's always known the truth. I'm still not sure if that was an accidental plot contradiction or if I just missed something somewhere.

Regardless of the issues I had, I enjoyed the suspense and the characters of the story. My biggest problem, actually, and the largest reason this book wasn't as appealing to me as the first, was the lack of satisfying development in the romance arc. There was acknowledged attraction on both sides relatively early, but beyond a single night of lust satisfaction, there was next to no evolution of a romance between Laurel and Myles until I was over 70% into the book. And that was just too late to give either the romance arc or the characters enough time to be satisfactorily developed alongside the suspense.

I have to admit, I was heartened by the fact that the third book returns to Pineview and delves into a case surrounding Laurel's best friend. Not only am I hoping to see more of Laurel and Myles to get some sense of resolution and completion to their HEA, as well as see how they merge their families, but it'll be nice to get away from The Crew and their threats. That thread was starting to feel very worn by the end of this book.

I can't help but hope, though, that we haven't seen the last of Rex. He's been a favored character of mine since he dropped into the first book and my heart broke a little for him in this one. He's a bit of a dark and tortured soul, and I keep hoping he'll find the peace and love he deserves. It just seems he's got a lot of demons yet to vanquish before that happens. I hope Novak lets us see him gets his own HEA at some point.

Disclosure: An ARC of this book was provided to me by Mira Books publisher Harlequin via NetGalley. This rating, review, and all included thoughts and comments are my own.

~*~*~*~
Reviewed for One Good Book Deserves Another.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars If you like romantic suspense this book is for you May 9 2012
By Marcela - The Bookaholic Cat - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In seconds is book two in the Bulletproof series by Brenda Novak.

Let me start this review by telling you that I don't recommend reading this book as a stand -alone but more as a continuation of book one, Inside.

In seconds take place couple of years later after events in Inside. Laurel, Virgil, Payton and Rex have left WitSec after The Crew discovered their whereabouts in Washington. They took the hard decision of disperse to make it harder for the gang members to find them.
Virgil and Peyton move to New York, where they live with their little boy and Payton is pregnant expecting their second child. Laurel has adopted the identity of Vivian Steward and has move to the small town of Pineview, Montana with her kids Mia and Jake. And Rex is moving around finding a place to settle after his breakup with Laurel.

Laurel/Vivian chose to live in Pineview because of its low criminal rate. She has lived happily for over two years in the little town where nothing happens; she just bought a house and has established her own business designing and selling purses. Laurel/Vivian also has a very interesting and sexy neighbor, Sheriff Myles King and even though she feels attracted to him she has declined all his invitations to go out.
Laurel/Vivian thinks The Crew has forgotten all about her, but when a member of the community is brutally assassinated all her fears come back to haunt her.
Sheriff Myles King is a widower with a thirteen-year-old daughter. Since the dead of his wife three years ago he hasn't been interested in any woman until Laurel/Vivian moves next door. This mysterious woman attracts him, but all his intents to know her better have been rejected.
Myles is investigating the murder, the first in many years in Pineview. He also notices a difference in Laurel/Vivian's behavior lately; she seems nervous and a little bit over the edge. He knows she is hiding something, he wants to know her secrets to be able to help her; he wants to be there for her if she allows him. Laurel/Vivian knows this but after everything that had happened to her is very difficult to trust a person and even more a policeman. Also people tent to get hurt when they are close to her and the last thing she wants is to get Myles involve with her troubles. But when she learns Ink, one of her most feared gang members has escaped from jail and is coming for her, her situation turns dire, she doesn't want to run anymore, she has built a life for her and her kids, because of this she is determined this time to stay and fight. She knows she would needs to give Myles an opportunity if she wants a chance to survive.

I loved Inside, even though it left many things open and unresolved and when I learned In Seconds was coming out I knew I have to read it. I wanted to see Rex and Laurel's story, I wanted them to have their HEA. To be honest I was a little bit disappointed on the beginning of In Seconds when I learned Laurel's HEA was with somebody else and not Rex, but after some pages I understood they weren't good for each other even though there was love. They are better friends than lovers and my kudos to Mrs. Novak for taking this decision and making it clear to us.

Laurel is still the determined, strong and caring woman from Inside. She has done the best possible with her situation and is doing better everyday.
I loved that she doesn't blame Virgil for anything that has happened, I loved their brother/sister relationship and even through the distance you can feel their love and respect for each other.

Myles was a surprising character, I can say he grew up on me. As I said before I wanted Rex to be with Laurel, but after getting to know Myles better I realized he was the kind of man perfect for Laurel and most important her kids. He is a stable, caring, loving man and also a devoted father. At the end their relationship feel right and real, they are doing things right, without rushing and taking one step at a time.

I loved that we see some of Virgil and Peyton's life, they have been a family for couple of years now, with one son and another baby on the way. They have a booming business and in general they are doing great. I didn't like something Virgil does at the end. I can imagine his feelings of impotency in the situation but his solution felt too desperate and irrational considering his wife was almost ready to give birth. I almost couldn't believe he was doing what he did.

Rex, oh Rex, here is where my heart starts to bleed. I love him and seeing him how he is in this book it really broke my heart. He really loves Laurel and wants what is best for her, even though that is not being with him, he knows he is not good for her. He is a great friend and even though his situation he is a very strong man. I really hope Mrs. Novak gives him the HEA he so much deserves.

Ink is still the same sociopath from Inside, maybe a little bit worse after what happened to him. I really admire Mrs. Novak for making me feel on a trip in the mind of a sociopath every time I was reading Ink's point of view, even though the feeling was not the best ever *shudders*.

In Seconds is a very fast paced book, packed with action, suspense and very emotional moments. The characters are well developed and the writing is spotless. All in all In Seconds is a great follow up and another great book by Brenda Novak.

If you like romantic suspense this book is for you, but as I said before I don't recommend to read In Seconds as a stand alone, it should be read after Inside (another great book).
The next book of this series In Close will be available on October 25, 2011. It's the book of Laurel's friend Claire and I'm sure planning to read it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TERRIFIC LISTENING! Feb. 22 2012
By Gail Cooke - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Audio CD
With her well paced, nuanced voice performance actress Angela Dawe gives added shivers to the already frightening scenario penned by New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak.

Following on the heels of her suspenseful White Heat (2010) she gives us a woman who has had to change her identity twice in order to protect herself and her children from the Crew, a prison gang who blames her for the death of one of them.

It appears that after four years they've finally found her.....
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