Title: Called to Protect (Blue Justice #2)
Author: Lynette Eason
Pages: 320 (ARC)
My rating is 4 out of 5 stars.
Blake MacCallum is a Deputy U.S. Marshal who has been assigned protective duty of a judge who is trying to get a bill passed to make jail time longer for those convicted of human trafficking. The judge has received death threats, so until the bill is presented for a vote, which is in a week, the judge is guarded 24/7 by U.S. Marshals. Blake has added tension to his duties as someone has kidnapped his teenage daughter, Rachel, and threatened to kill her if Blake doesn’t kill the judge before the bill is voted on. Blake can’t just kill the judge, can he? But if he doesn’t, he has no doubt Rachel will be killed. What is he supposed to do?
Chloe and Hank are at the scene of a semi accident when a startling discovery is made. There is a secret compartment in the trailer that is transporting women to their “buyers.” One of the women is wearing a shirt that belongs to Chloe’s teenage cousin, Penny, who went missing six months ago. As Chloe soon discovers, one of the girls is Blake’s daughter, but before he can come and get her, she leaves the hospital. Chloe and Blake work as a team, along with Chloe’s brother Linc to find out where the girls are being held. Can Chloe find her cousin Penny? Why did Rachel leave the hospital?
I love the family interaction between the St. John siblings. Their parents are both professionals, being a lawyer and the chief of police and they still make time to spend with all six of their adult children every week. I also liked the K-9 element in this story as I find those dogs incredible at their jobs. I applaud the author for her use of the heinous crime of human trafficking as the focus of the story. The more people aware, the more people can spot someone in need of help. My only negative to this novel is that there was hardly any time spent developing the romance between Blake and Chloe. Readers know Chloe has had a crush on Blake for years and that is about all we read about a possible romance until the last few pages of the story. That said, I am looking forward to seeing what challenge the next St. John sibling will encounter in the next installment of the series.
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