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Book Review and New Release: Deep Rising by N.R. Rhodes (Book one of Outside the Lines series)

Deep Rising

 Title: Deep Rising
Author: N.R. Rhodes
Series: Outside the Lines
Genre: Romantic suspense
Published: 2013
Pages: 400
Format read: ebook
Rating: B+

Reading Deep Rising is like being on the world’s longest roller coaster. Just when you think you’ve crested the last summit and will be able to breathe easy soon, the novel’s main characters are thrust once again into heart-pounding peril and the ride begins all over.

For the most part, this was good. More on that in a few.

Svetlana Orskya thinks she’s having a bad dream when an armed man shows up at her cabin and his gun is pointed in her direction. A volcanologist, she has no idea what this man could possibly mean by saying that she’s suspected of involvement in terrorist activities. But soon even she has to admit that recent world events show an alarming similarity to research she uncovered while doing her thesis…deadly information that appears to have come from only one source–her.

CIA agent Jared Caldwell wants out. He’s feeling burned out by the job, and his mother needs help caring for his dead sister’s children. His boss promises him a no-strings-attached retirement, just as soon as he can solve the puzzle of who is giving terrorists the information they need to create catastrophic tsunamis. All evidence points to Lana. His gut–and soon his heart as well–tell him another story.

This is a densely written story. There’s a lot going on here, and a whole lot of technical scientific explanation. It’s not really something you can sit down and read in a single sitting, but instead a book that needs to be absorbed at a slower pace. At the same time, though, it’s pretty much non-stop action.

Sounds like a contradiction, I know, but somehow it pulls both off.

For a first book, this novel is really something else. It definitely held my attention throughout, and I even felt like I was learning something while I read–with the added bonus of no pop quiz after! I was thrown a bit when we find out where the information leak is coming from–it’s earlier in the book than I would have expected. I soon discovered, though, as soon as Lana and Jared solved one puzzle, a new challenge emerged. I felt as if I could hardly catch my breath at times–I can only imagine how the characters felt!

Two things kept me from giving this another star. One is how quick Jared and Lana’s relationship moved. It felt a bit fast as compared to how slowly the parts of the mystery were put together. For the most part, it was believable, but Jared was a little quick with the “Honey” label for my taste. A second element is that at times it felt as if too much were thrown into the mix, too quickly. Neither issue significantly impacted my enjoyment of the novel, though.

On the whole, this book was a win. I liked Rhodes’s style of writing a whole lot, and loved the scientific aspects of the story. Blended with the spy stuff–one of my weaknesses from way back–it all made for one heck of a thrilling yarn. I’m really looking forward to what will be next up in this series.

In a nutshell: a solid debut effort. Nonstop action and characters you can root for make reading this one time well spent. B+

If you haven’t already, check out my interview with the author and her blog tour’s Rafflecopter giveaway here.

I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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