Tuesday, December 20, 2016

"Fatal Frost" by Nancy Mehl

A U.S. Marshal finds herself fighting for her life—and for the lives of her best friend and ex-boyfriend—in Fatal Frost, the first book in Nancy Mehl's Defenders of Justice series.

Following in her absentee father's footsteps in a law enforcement career, U.S. Marshal Mercy Brennan has just recovered from being shot in the line of duty. And, unbeknownst to her, her father's recent reappearance in her life has put her in the sights of St. Louis's most powerful gang. Her boss assigns Deputy U.S. Marshal Mark St. Laurent--Mercy's ex-boyfriend--to get her out of town until her safety can be guaranteed. 

Unaware of the extent her boss and Mark have been keeping her in the dark, it isn't until a freak ice storm strands them at a remote location and out of contact with the district office that the full severity of their situation becomes clear. As the storm worsens, the forces of nature combine with a deadly enemy to put them in great danger. Can they survive long enough for help to arrive--if help is even coming at all?

Fatal Frost
 begins with a bang—literally—as U.S. Marshal Mercy Brennan is injured in a drug raid. The rapid pace of the novel continues throughout the book, which kept me on the edge of my seat as I read.

The suspense aspect of Fatal Frost is excellent. I was constantly questioning who could and could not be trusted. In a couple cases, I figured out who was untrustworthy fairly quickly, but I don't think the author was necessarily trying to keep it a secret. That even added to the tension as I read because I was willing Mercy to keep her mouth shut and listen to her gut ... even though I knew she probably wouldn't.

I also felt like the story wrapped up in a fairly realistic way—many people were injured, some people died, and no one really escaped unscathed. Overall, I found this to be a very satisfying suspense novel.

I also found it to be a very satisfying romantic suspense novel.

Sometimes, I struggle with rapidly-moving romantic suspense because the romance seems manufactured out of nowhere or the couple goes from "Hello, my name is..." to "I love you" in a couple of weeks. It feels like Bachelor-land to me, where people are in stressful, out of the ordinary circumstances and form emotional connections that often disintegrate in the real world. (Of course, in a novel, the end conveniently comes before the couple has to face "real life" together, so the reader doesn't ever see what comes next.) What I appreciate about Fatal Frost is that Mercy and Mark already had a relationship in the past, so author Nancy Mehl didn't have to convince readers that the two were falling in love over the course of the novel—they already were in love, and the events of the novel caused Mercy to finally acknowledge that fact. This may seem like a small thing, but it goes a long way towards creating believablility, which is an aspect I often find lacking in this genre.

Fatal Frost is exactly the kind of romantic suspense I can get behind—it's romantic, suspenseful, and not too graphic. I definitely recommend it. 5 stars.

Read an excerpt.
Buy the book.
Read my reviews of Mehl's Inescapable (4-1/2 stars) and Unbreakable (3-1/2 stars).

Nancy Mehl is the author of twenty-one books, including the Road to Kingdom and Finding Sanctuary series. Nancy writes from her home in Missouri, where she lives with her husband, Norman, and their puggle, Watson. Visit www.nancymehl.com to learn more.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free for review from Bethany House Publishers. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


  1. I've enjoyed some of this author's other books. I'll have to check out this series.

    1. You definitely should, Susanne! This book was very different from the other books of hers that I've read, but I really enjoyed it!


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