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Special Agent Meghan Connors cringed at the TV anchor's analysis of Vice President Hall's campaign, even though the statement rang with validity.
"Although early popularity polls indicated Hall to be a strong contender for the presidential race, his ratings are dropping daily." The blonde reporting the news gave the camera a tilt of her head. "We are currently waiting for a statement from his office regarding Lindsay Hall's appearance on The Barry Knight Show last evening, where she stated, 'My father is a poor excuse for the office of president of the United States.'"
The screen flashed a clip of Lindsay Hall sporting cleavage and lots of leg.
"And she's our new assignment?" Special Agent Bob Lawson eased back in his chair and stuck his thumbs in his pants pockets. "I've heard she swears like a convict. Smacked a couple of agents in the face."
Meghan kept her opinions in check. She focused on the TV mounted in the corner of the coffee shop, not far from the White House. Thank goodness the shop was empty except for the barista moving to whatever was playing on his iPod.
The news anchor continued her report. "Take a look at Lindsay Hall's escapade three nights ago." The screen reverted to footage taken in a local nightclub. Lindsay toasted the camera with a bottle of beer. Clearly inebriated, she sat in a booth enjoying media attention. The news anchor shook her head with a smile, an obvious display of her political preference. "Many are asking, 'If Vice President Hall cannot control his daughter, how can he effectively run our country?'"
Ouch. That nailed the situation. Meghan wrapped her fingers around the loop of her coffee cup and walked out onto a patio filled with umbrella tables and chairs. A steady mist filled the afternoon heat with humidity. She needed to focus on her new assignment—and the challenges ahead. Protecting the VP's daughter was supposed to be a promotion. If she failed, this could mean a permanent stall in her career.
Sensing Bob standing beside her, she turned to give him her views about their situation. "We're made of better stuff than the agents dismissed from Lindsay's protection team."
"I keep telling myself that."
"They let her manipulate them. Plain and simple."
"But we're not babysitters. We're special agents for the Secret Service."
Meghan didn't know the agents who'd been reassigned as a result of Lindsay's latest antics, but Bob had called them friends. She took a sip of her strong coffee, ignoring the raindrops gaining momentum. "Escorting her to the TV station and not informing the vice president was poor judgment. Her statements severely damaged the VP's image. Maybe even his chances of securing the party's nomination."
"Everything she says and does chips at his ability to lead the country. The Barry Knight Show and that entire TV network are out to crucify him and the party."
"So we're back to our assignment." Meghan stepped under the coffee shop's canopy to avoid the rain. "I'm committed to protecting her, and I know you are too."
"I have to be." Bob set his cup on an empty table. "Taking a bullet for her would qualify as above and beyond." He pressed his lips. "But that's what we do, right? Can't let personal opinions get in the way of duty."
"Absolutely, and I'm sure there are plans to curb her actions. In fact—" Her phone rang, and she reached inside her shoulder bag. A quick glimpse told her it was her supervisor, Tom Warrington, from the Secret Service office.
"Bob there with you?"
"I need both of you in my office at 1400. Ash Zinders, the SAIC for this assignment, needs to brief you and the other agents assigned to the protectee."
Meghan slipped her phone back into her shoulder bag and relayed the information.
Bob whistled. "Good old A2Z isn't wasting any time."
The nickname for the special agent in charge assigned to Lindsay Hall's protection detail wasn't a title any agent would say to his face. He was known for his obsession with detail and his domineering personality. Meghan hadn't met the agent, and she didn't look forward to his browbeating.
"It really bothers me that she now has six agents protecting her when any other VP family member has three." Bob pulled a dollar from his wallet and anchored it beneath his cup. "Did I say I regret accepting this assignment? Hasn't been two hours since the call."
"There's a reason, Bob. We were chosen because the VP needed agents who can get the job done. But I question the number of us too, and what it means."
The potential to fulfill her dreams, the circumstances surrounding Lindsay Hall's unpredictable behavior, and the nightmare of working under Ash Zinders had Meghan wondering if the challenges ahead would be worth it.
* * *
Ash believed in Vice President Hall, known as the Shield by the Secret Service. He respected his commitment to his country and his devotion to his family. Books had been written about his political views, and one had been on the bestseller list for six months. How could a man of such integrity have a daughter who was a source of embarrassment for the whole country? International media laughed at her irresponsibility, and critics used her for comic relief in their opening monologues. Four years of protecting Lindsay Hall, and the situation had grown worse. Why couldn't the VP and his wife control their daughter's behavior? Ship her off to the Peace Corps, Siberia ... anywhere but in the media's playground.
Across the desk sat his supervisor, Tom Warrington.
"Ash, I need to brief you on a few changes in protocol prior to meeting with your team." Warrington shuffled papers in front of him. "They'll be here in thirty minutes."
Warrington drummed his fingers. Not good. "You'll continue your role as SAIC for Lindsay's protection team, but the vice president has made a request. After last night's unfortunate incident on The Barry Knight Show, we've decided to bring in a woman agent."
A woman agent? "Why?"
"Special Agent Meghan Connors has an excellent reputation for getting the job done. And we think she'll be able to help keep Lindsay out of trouble. Possibly provide some direction with her medical issues."
"In what way? Our job is to protect her, not help her buy lipstick."
Warrington lifted a brow. "Connors will be a part of the six-agent team."
The addition of more agents, including a woman, ground at him. "Why six agents for a VP's daughter?"
"That will be explained in depth when the VP arrives."
"Sir, I don't understand the changes."
He cleared his throat. "Note that Agent Connors will be assigned to Lindsay seven days a week, 0800 to 1700."
A woman agent wouldn't work with the way Ash managed his team. Why was she being assigned his hours?
Warrington handed him three files. "These are the new agents. You've worked with Bob Lawson and Rick Norris before."
"With all due respect, sir, I prefer to work with men."
Warrington frowned. "The VP is desperate. We need to give her a chance for Lindsay's sake. For the VP's sake."
"I understand, but—"
"You and I go back a long way, and I know why you feel this way. I'd like to think you could get beyond judging every woman agent because of one bad experience. Agent Connors has a stellar record. She's tough, and she's dedicated to her job. Do this for the vice president, Ash. She might be the one person who could turn Lindsay around. And that would help the VP and this country."
"I'll do my best. However, I'd—"
"Deal with it, and do your job."
Resentment seeped into Ash's bones. He had a spotless record, and he'd been reduced to taking care of two women? She might be a dynamic personality, a fine person, but women had no place in the Secret Service.
"The Vice President has located a working ranch in Texas for Lindsay." He turned his computer to show a satellite image of a large ranch house, a barn, horse stables, and a couple of outbuildings.
"She can't run there."
"I agree. It's about a hundred miles west of Austin. She won't have access to a phone or computer. Just fresh country air."
"I'm assuming the VP needs her out of sight."
"There's more to the problem. A call was made to the VP about 0300 this morning. A man said he had a bullet with Lindsay's name on it if she didn't pay up. He claimed she owed him for meds."
The situation grieved him. Lindsay had so many opportunities to better herself. Maybe another woman would help. "She's in deep this time."
Warrington handed him another file. "Here are the details of the ranch, photos, list of employees. The VP and his wife are deciding on a doctor to treat Lindsay at the ranch."
"I knew they'd been investigating an alternative method of treatment. I saw the short list of the psychologists and psychiatrists." Ash studied Warrington's face—obviously he'd been awake since the threatening call. "So this is crisis intervention in a big way."
"And the media have to stay out of it."
"Any leads on the caller?"
"Not yet. Working on it. The transfer will be made in the next couple of days."
Lindsay did need to be out of the public's eye.
"One more thing here. President Claredon is back in the hospital. Looks like VP Hall will be taking on more responsibilities."
Ash had heard rumors that the cancer had spread. "I'll do what needs to be done, sir."
Excerpted from Attracted to FIRE by DiANN MILLS Copyright © 2011 by DiAnn Mills. Excerpted by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Posted November 26, 2011
"Special Agent Meghan Connors' dream of one day protecting the president of the United States is about to come true. Only one assignment stands in her way. After the vice president's rebellious daughter is threatened, Meghan is assigned to her protective detail on a secluded ranch in West Texas. Unfortunately, working with Special Agent in Charge Ash Zinders may be as tough as controlling her charge. Ash has a reputation for being critical and exacting, and he's also after the same promotion as Meghan. But when the threats escalate and security on the ranch is breached, it becomes clear this isn't the work of a single suspect--it's part of a sophisticated plan that reaches deeper and higher than anyone imagined. And only Ash and Meghan can put the pieces together before it's too late."
"Christian" fiction is so hit-and-miss. Sometimes its indistinguishable from secular fiction, which I'm always disappointed by. This book, however, was very satisfying. It was not heavy reading, but nice and light. The story was solid, and the characters developed at a good pace.
It's a basic romance/adventure book, with a good balance of both. The characters were well developed and the dialog and interaction between characters fun and believable. Each character shares where they are in their relationship with God at some point, and the main characters were real in their faith and their struggles.
The story moved at a good pace throughout the book, not stalling to develop the characters, but adding plot elements throughout. I thought the ending was good too, not too fast and not too contrived.
Overall, I liked this book and will be looking for more by this author. I've heard that Breach of Trust and Sworn to Protect are both at least as good as this one was. Four stars - I would recommend to others, but I may or may not read it again.
I received this product free through Tyndale Media Center Blog Network. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own.
1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted May 20, 2014
Posted September 21, 2013
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were really well developed and i had no issue connecting with the main ones. The plot really drew me in and kept me guessing...even though there were little hints throughout and i had my suspicions, the endimg was great. I like the romantic and faith sides to the story. Both were well done and not too in your face. I highly reccommend this book and i really wish there was a sequel.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 19, 2013
Good Book! Special Agent Meghan Connors was chosen to be on the protective detail for the Vice President's rebellious daughter. The detail is led by Ash Zinders who dislikes female agents on his team. The team is met by trials at every turn and they don't know who to trust. Is there hidden cameras, a double agent? Who is trying to hurt the agents and who will be next? The reader is left guessing until the end who is responsible for all the trouble on the West Texas ranch. I really enjoyed all the suspense in the story.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted September 6, 2013
Posted August 28, 2012
Attracted to Fire is the second book I ave read by DiAnn Mills and I
personally liked this one a lot better. The other book I read was The
Fire in Ember and while it was good it wasn't anything special and I
found it slow. With that said I was a little hesitant to try another
book from this author but I am glad I did since this one was a lot
better. I am not sure if the genre suits her more or it was just the
book but I found it really enjoyable. I have found that I really enjoy
romantic suspense and this book kept me engaged. I really enjoyed the
mystery part and found myself trying to guess what will happen and that
changed many times. Overall great page turner DiAnn Mills and now I know
I will be reading more from her in the future.
Posted August 25, 2012
Attracted to Fire by DiAnn Mills was a great read. I could barley put it
down it was so good. The book kept me on the edge of my seat the whole
time. I would recommend it to my friends in a heart beat.
Posted August 17, 2012
I am usually a historical Christian Fiction reader, so this was a brave
choice for me. I will say I thought it was absolutely wonderful. It
isn't something I think of often - how a Secret Service agent puts their
life on the line, regardless of how they feel about the individual they
are protecting. I thought it was a well written book with a storyline
that keeps me reading for more. Diann Mills may have converted me from
a strictly historical fiction reader to someone with a bit broader book choice!
Posted July 31, 2012
A well-crafted novel.
Attracted to Fire moved at a fast pace. The twists were unpredictable. I found it almost impossible to put it down. Meghan's character really keeps the story moving. After reading other books, I would not consider this book a romance because the story could have unfolded at the same rate without Ash and Meghan becoming involved, but it added some fun to the intensity of the story.
Attracted to Fire is about a man, a woman: their service to the Secret Service , to their country, and at all cost to protect the president's daughter (even when threats come from the inside). I fault this book for having so many characters killed off during the course of the story.
I grant Ms. Mills' excellent handling and understanding of mental illness/addiction. On p. 41, Ms. Mills uses a mix of B-vitimans as a solution to Lindsay's addiction problem. Ms. Mills also uses exposure to sunlight, limiting stress, physical excerise, and intensive couseling as ways to help Lindsey overcome. It seems so easy now days to simly prescribe a pill without other therapies in place. On p. 49, I found the mention of blood types intriguing as well.
I also grant Ms. Mills' outstanding development of Ash. On p. 230, she expresses his heart so well as Ash forgives himself. He explores his heart: on one hand, he fights and considers the competetion to challenge God and on the other hand he surrenders and embraces his inability to control his own destiny.
Well written and very powerful.
Posted July 24, 2012
Two secret agents assigned to the Vice President's daughter while she recovers from drug and alcohol abuse. They babysit, mentor, and protect her while discovering that her addictions are part of a conspiracy which threatens the heart of the nation.
The thriller part is pretty good. If you are willing to ignore some plot holes and other minor details, it even comes across as slightly suspenseful. The mystery fails pretty badly. I had most of the main characters nailed within the first couple of chapters. The romance aspect of this story was actually boring, executed as a side plot which seemed to distract from the momentum of everything else going on. I would have enjoyed the book more if that aspect had been removed and more emphasis was placed on developing the role minor characters played in the denouement.
Yes, this book is Christian, but barely so. While it is light on violence and innuendo, God only makes some passing appearances and is not a moving force in this story.
Honestly, I think this story could actually have been told better by someone else.
If you are looking for something entertaining to read, this is a fine choice and merits the three stars for allowing me to spend a few hours pleasantly diverted. If you are looking for something to deepen your faith, expand your horizons, or otherwise mentally challenge you, my advice would be to move on.
Posted July 19, 2012
Attracted to Fire
I just finished this fast paced action filled drama about the work of the secret Service Special Agents. This is one suspenseful novel that I had a hard time putting down, even though I knew I desperately needed to sleep. There were numerous conflicts to keep the adrenaline flowing – between the two Secret Agents (Secret Agent Meghan Conner and Secret Agent in Charge Ash Zinders, nicnamed A2Z) who were competing for the same office, the men and women thrown together on a working ranch, the vice president’s daughter and those trying to keep her safe, and even after the reader was told who the villains were, this continued.
I enjoyed learning how the characters learnt to trust each other and God in spite of the evidence they had, which is perhaps the main core of the novel. Trust between child and parent, learning to differentiate between what emotions tell you and what reality tells you. Mix in the angst of an angry daughter using drugs and alcohol to deaden perceived hurts and you have the making of a hair raising ride. Hang on tight, or get off. This book is not for the faint hearted who are looking for a rocking chair read.
I was so involve with all the action happening, I am not sure that I noticed much about the area in Texas where the Dancin' Dust Ranch is located. The novel was well written and it took a while after I was done for my heart beat to slow down to normal. Good thing, because I want to sleep tonight.
Posted July 18, 2012
What a Great Book!
I really enjoyed this book. The characters were well developed, especially Ash and Meghan. These characters remind me that past events shape who we are and how we deal with life. I also gained insight into what the Secret Service experience on a daily basis. This is generally not a book I would choose, but I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Posted June 28, 2012
I don't read a lot of contemporary fiction, but I'm really glad I picked up this book! DiAnn Mills delivers quite an action packed tale in "Attracted to Fire," and I literally could not put it down! (I had to stay up til 1:30 just to finish it last night!)
I won't bother with a plot summary, as that's already available on this site, but I'll just let you know that if you want a real page-turner, this book is for you! Granted, a few of the plot twists are predictable, but since there are so many twists and turns, it kinda makes you feel involved in the story when you're able to solve some of the mysteries alongside the main characters. :)
I also enjoyed the author's ability to weave the message of God's love, forgiveness and true salvation into the plot. One of my favorite lines from the book was "God can only use failures," which of course is true, as we "all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." However, I really liked how the author revealed the weaknesses and failures of the main characters, but showed how in allowing God to use their "broken vessels" they could accomplish more than they thought possible.
I will definitely be looking for more books from DiAnn Mills in the future!
Posted June 25, 2012
Special Agent Meghan is assigned to a team protecting the vice president's daughter, and they are staying on a Texas ranch. Meghan is the only female agent, and the agent in charge, Ash, doesn't like women in the Secret Service. Ash is a good agent but demanding of his team. He and Meghan clash over work issues for awhile, but thankfully Ash realizes that Meghan is an asset to the team. I thought the book was a good read and the mystery of the threats against the VP's daughter was interesting. However, I liked the author's award-winning novel Breach of Trust much better. That book kept me on the edge of my seat, whereas I had a harder time staying interested in this book.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 23, 2012
"Attracted To Fire" by DiAnn Mills is a romantic suspense novel based on the lives f two Secret Service Agents and their protectee. The two agents find themselves falling in love with one another while attempting to figure out who is trying to kill the President's daughter. Meanwhile, close friends and family are being murdered in front of their eyes.
I was surprised to find out who all was behind the plot to kill the president's daughter and found this book intriguing. I read into the wee hours of the morning because each chapter made me want to read more. I gave this book four stars because I felt that the author was a little predictable in the "romance" part of the book. As a matter of fact, I wish that she had been more ambiguous about what happens in the relationships at the end. As much as I hate when books don't end happily ever after, it is part of the draw.
Overall, this was a great read and I would recommend it to anyone looking for a light romantic suspense.
Posted June 20, 2012
Met DiAnn Mills at church when I lived in Houston and was introduced to her books at that time. It's been awhile since I've read anything by her but so glad I came across this book. It was very entertaining and grabbed my attention. I didn't want to put it down because I needed to know what happened. It was very well written and I highly recommend it.Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.
Posted June 15, 2012
I have read numerous books about the police, FBI, CIA, etc. but don't typically come across (fiction) books about the Secret Service. So, reading "Attracted to Fire" was fun! Special Agent Meghan Connors is currently assigned to protect the VP's daughter, who has a reputation for not only being badly behaved, she has a drug problem. Meghan, daughter 'protectee' Lindsay, and the other agents are sent to a ranch in Texas for Lindsay to receive treatment and be out of the public eye. While they are there some very strange and dangerous things begin to occur. There is also romantic tension with the Special Agent in Charge (I had fun figuring out some of the abbreviations) Ash Zinders. Overall Meghan is to be admired, Ash eventually has a softer side, and there is a mystery to solve - who can be trusted? Whose motives are pure and whose are deadly?
I've read a few other books by DiAnn Mills and this was definitely one of my favorites.
Posted June 12, 2012
Special Agents, Meghan Connors and Ash Zinders have two things in common - their faith and their desire to be chosen as part of the vice president's protective detail. Their current assignment, protecting the VP's rehabbing daughter from herself and the threats she's been receiving. They find themselves stuck on a Texas ranch with a team of agents and Lindsay. When the security on the ranch is breached, the stakes have become even higher. For not only do they need to find out who is behind the threats to Lindsay, she's become the President's daughter as her father stepped into the role of President. Will Ash and Meghan be able to recognize love when it finds them? And most importantly, will they be able to expose the killer before he strikes again?
I've never read anything by DiAnn Mills before. My cousin and close friends have highly recommended her books. While the man who is behind the threats to Lindsay is identified fairly early into the book, I still found myself not wanting to put it down. I wanted to know exactly how the chase was going and would the agents be successful.
Fans of Dee Henderson's O'Malley series will enjoy this book as will fans of romantic suspense.
I borrowed this book from my cousin.
Posted June 8, 2012
Posted June 6, 2012
When the vice president's daughter receives death threats, Meghan is given the assignment of protecting the young woman as she goes through therapy for drug addiction on a secluded Texas ranch. When the vice president is sworn in as president, the threats against Lindsay increase and the ranch is attacked. Will Meghan be able to save the president's daughter even if it means losing her heart to the Special Agent in Charge?
I enjoyed this book. I loved the characters, especially Meghan, from the first chapter. She's a great heroine: strong and independent. Even the supporting characters were well-developed and added to the overall theme of the novel. The mystery of who was threatening Lindsay was fast-paced and even though the reader finds out who it is by the middle of the book, the adventure was in finding out how the person would be caught.
Overall, fans of Christian suspense will be delighted with another great book by DiAnn Mills.
I received this book in exchange for my review. My thoughts and opinions are my own.