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Virgil Skinner served fourteen years for a murder he didn't commit. He's finally been exonerated, but he can't escape the gang he joined in order to survive. They'll do anything to keep him from telling what he knows. And if they can't get to Virgil they'll go after his sister and her kids.

The California Department of Corrections needs someone to infiltrate another gang, ...
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Virgil Skinner served fourteen years for a murder he didn't commit. He's finally been exonerated, but he can't escape the gang he joined in order to survive. They'll do anything to keep him from telling what he knows. And if they can't get to Virgil they'll go after his sister and her kids.

The California Department of Corrections needs someone to infiltrate another gang, one that's taking control of the state's most notorious supermax. Virgil agrees to do it under an alias—in exchange for his sister's protection.

Chief Deputy Warden Peyton Adams is opposed to having Virgil in her prison. How will she protect him if things go bad? Besides, she's far too attracted to him; she might even be falling in love with him. That makes her all the more desperate to keep him safe—and it gives him someone else to lose.

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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Pelican Bay State Prison is the last place exonerated ex-con Virgil Skinner wants to be. Yet when he makes a deal with the state to protect his sister and her children from his former prison gang, that's exactly where he ends up. Now he's working undercover to find a killer in the toughest ultra-maximum security prison in California and one misstep from exposure and sudden death. But the inmates and bad cops aren't the only threats, as vengeful outside gang members are on the move. Virgil and Chief Deputy Warden Peyton Adams try to stay ahead of the danger and smoke out a security leak, but the hot, unexpected attraction that crackles between them could prove to be the biggest threat of all. VERDICT Gritty, violent, and steamy, this tense, well-delineated thriller provides a frightening glimpse of prison gang culture and its wide-reaching influence. With ramped-up action and some wickedly uncommon characters, this white-knuckler satisfies on many levels. Novak (Killer Heat) lives in the Sacramento, CA, area.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781459207615
  • Publisher: MIRA
  • Publication date: 6/28/2011
  • Series: Bulletproof Series, #1
  • Sold by: HARLEQUIN
  • Format: eBook
  • Edition description: Original
  • Pages: 400
  • Sales rank: 80,950
  • File size: 1,019 KB

Meet the Author

New York Times and USA Today Bestselling Author Brenda Novak has penned over 45 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 online auction for diabetes research every May at To date, she’s raised over $2 million. Brenda considers herself lucky to be a mother of five and married to the love of her life.

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Read an Excerpt

Isolation is the sum total of wretchedness to a man.

—Thomas Carlyle

Peyton Adams eyed the three men who'd driven to the public library with her from the prison, as well as the two they'd secretly come to meet. She knew what she had to say wouldn't be popular, especially with the warden, who was growing desperate enough to try anything, but she felt duty-bound to express her opinion. "I say no. It's too risky. Maybe if we put him in the Security Housing Unit we could protect him, but not in general population. No way."

Simeon Bennett, the person whose life she was attempting to save, sat across the conference table and hardly seemed grateful for her intervention. "You disagree?" she said when he narrowed his ice-blue eyes.

"I'm confident I can complete the assignment or I wouldn't be sitting here," he said.

An employee of Department 6, a company she'd never heard of but which was apparently a private security contractor out of L.A., he looked as tough as any inmate she'd seen in the sixteen years she'd been working corrections. Somewhere in the neighborhood of six feet four inches tall and two hundred and twenty-five pounds, he could've been hewn out of stone. With biceps and pecs that bulged beneath his carefully ironed dress shirt, and his blond hair shaved in a precise military haircut, he had an intimidating appearance. But it would take a lot more than muscle and a malevolent stare to survive inside Pelican Bay if he happened to spook the wrong inmate.

"I don't think you understand what it's like." She motioned at the door, which they'd just closed, to signify the prison, even though it was eight miles northeast of the library and shrouded in fog on such a cold January day.

It was plain that he wanted to argue with what she'd said but, for whatever reason, he leashed the impulse. Maybe he was saving up for the final salvo. Rick Wallace, an associate director at the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation and the man who'd brought him, took up the argument instead.

"I know what we're proposing is unprecedented, but the problems at Pelican Bay are reaching critical proportions. Something's got to be done. The director is determined to uncover and prosecute whoever's responsible for murdering Judge Garcia." Forever conscious of his appearance, he straightened his expensive yet conservative tie. "Secretary Hinckley and the governor are both behind him on this. What with various newspapers around the state taking up the cry that Pelican Bay is a headquarters for gang violence, we've got to act and act decisively." A heavy-looking gold ring flashed as he motioned to Simeon. "Mr. Bennett understands the risks involved. Although he's in the private sector, he's been working in the criminal justice world for the past decade or so. I say we give him a shot."

The tranquility of the library seemed to mock Peyton's agitation as she stood. "It's great that he has some experience at—where did you say?—this Department 6, but I'm sure nothing he's done in the past could prepare him for this. Besides, do you think he can handle the job alone?"

Simeon rocked back and gazed up at her with enough cool reserve to make her believe he was already an inmate, but maintained his silence.

"He won't be alone," Wallace said. "He'll have your full support, right?"

"You mean what little I can give him from the administration building, right? Once he's been knifed I can certainly see that he gets medical care, but—"

Wallace snapped open the slim leather briefcase he'd carried in with him. "Are you telling me you can't keep the inmates in your prison safe, Chief Deputy Warden?"

"Prisons are built to keep those on the outside safe, and that's where I suggest Mr. Bennett stay," she replied. "If he's dropped into our population and asks too many of the wrong questions, he won't live through the first week. And even if he does—"

"Your objection has been noted, Peyton." Finally deigning to speak, Warden Fischer cut her off and indicated that she should return to her seat. He'd been at the helm of California's most notorious supermax for only three years but, at sixty-one, he'd been in corrections twice as long as she had. He'd worked at Corcoron and San Quentin before Pelican Bay, was a personal friend of Arnold Schwarzenegger, the governor who'd appointed him, and ruled his prison with an iron fist. A product of the get-tough-on-crime sentiment that'd swept across the nation in the '70s and '80s—the precursor to prisons like

Pelican Bay—Fischer wasn't well liked by either staff or inmates. Stocky, with a barrel chest, bowed legs and a scratchy voice, he reminded her of a grizzled hermit. But Peyton did her best to ignore his rough edges. As far as she was concerned, he confused rehabilitation with punishment. She was merely biding her time until he retired. As second in command, she hoped to take his place, at which point she planned to guide the prison in a much more enlightened direction.

"Rosenburg, what do you think?" The warden turned to the much younger man on his left.

Senior Investigator of the prison's four-member police force, Officer Frank Rosenburg was in his late thirties and wore a police uniform instead of a suit. Charged with monitoring all drug and gang activity, as well as investigating any other crime perpetrated in or originating from Pelican Bay—including homicide, money laundering, bank robberies, home invasions, even pros-titution—Rosenburg and his men had their hands full. With 3,343 inmates incarcerated in the supermax, most of whom were level four—"the worst of the worst," to use a catchphrase Peyton had heard ad nauseam since accepting her position there six months ago—the ratio of investigators to inmates definitely wasn't optimal.

The Security Housing Unit, or SHU, was supposed to level the playing field. Approximately 1,200 of Pelican Bay's inmates resided in complete isolation with no break from their eight-by-twelve-foot concrete cells except for one hour a day when they were allowed to pace, alone, in a cement box the size of a racquetball court. Despite being constantly monitored and having no privileges, they managed to run extensive criminal organizations that affected people inside and outside the prison.

Fingering his dark brown goatee, Frank scowled. "You know how it is, boss. We're working our asses off, but it takes hours and hours each day just to go through inmate communications. The bad guys are winning. I believe the Hells Fury are responsible for the death of Judge Garcia. Detric Whitehead or someone else put out the hit. Garcia was about to preside at Chester Wellington's trial, and the Hells Fury didn't want that. But I can't explain exactly how they pulled it off. And proving it? That'll be even tougher."

"So you like this idea," Warden Fischer prompted.

Barely five feet eight inches, an inch taller than Peyton, Frank glanced at Simeon. It was clear he didn't like the idea, but in deference to the corrections department, he was trying not to reject it out of hand. "I'd rather hire a few more officers who'd work under my command so we could handle this in-house."

"There's no money to hire additional staff. You know that." The warden drummed his yellowed fingernails on the table.

"We could ally ourselves with the Santa Rosa police, set up another task force, like they did for Operation Black Widow," Frank said.

The warden had begun to chuckle before Frank could even get the words out. "That's your answer? Operation Black Widow encompassed thirty government agencies, including the FBI. It took nearly three years and was one of the largest, most expensive investigations of a U.S. gang to date. If this state doesn't have the funds to hire a few more cops, it sure doesn't have the funds for another Operation Black Widow. You can bet the feds won't bankroll it. They have too many of their own problems right now."

Not pleased with this response, Frank sat taller.

"What we can't afford is a misstep. If we screw up, the Hells Fury will gain even more power. I don't have to tell you they're growing at an unprecedented rate, on both sides of the fence."

Wallace jumped in again. "Operation Black Widow succeeded because of an informant. That's what kicked off the whole thing, and that's what we're missing here. Without information—names, dates, places—we have nothing except a new gang that's quickly taking over Pelican Bay and moving into the streets of Northern California."

"Maybe we can get someone to flip," Peyton said. "Someone who's about to be paroled and wants to enjoy his freedom instead of becoming a foot soldier in some street regiment for the Hells Fury, which will only land him back in prison."

Relief eased the worry in Rosenburg's face. "Buzz Criven is due out next month. If we could offer him a deal—"

"Even if you offer him a deal and he accepts it, there's no guarantee he'd keep up his end." Warden Fischer pinched his nostrils, pulled and let go—one of his less attractive habits. "You know what's at stake for him, how those bastards lie."

"That's why I'm suggesting we create a mole," Wallace said.

But at what cost? Peyton wondered. Since when was a human life worth less than the expense of an ordinary investigation? If Simeon Bennett thought he'd be trusted by the Hells Fury just because he was white and appeared to be a fellow inmate, he was sadly mistaken. Gangs didn't work that way.

"Blood in, blood out. That's the code gangs live by, at least most of the gangs in Pelican Bay." She focused exclusively on Simeon. "You know what that means, don't you?"

Placing his hands on the table, he clasped them in front of him. They had enough knicks and scars to suggest he'd been in more than a few fights, but it was the words love and hate tattooed on his knuckles that caught Peyton's eye. Obviously he wasn't a typical cop—technically he wasn't a cop at all—but that didn't mean he'd be safe housed with convicted rapists, murderers and gangbangers.

"What, you want to give me some sort of gang quiz?" he asked. "Make sure I know the lingo?"

She straightened the jacket of her suit, a navy blue pinstripe with a pencil skirt she'd bought on her last trip to San Francisco. "You're saying you're willing to stab someone to get in? Because if that's true, I'll reserve a cell for you this minute."

He winked at her. "Now we're getting somewhere."

Peyton felt her mouth drop open. "This is who you want to put inside our prison?" she said to Wallace.

"Perfect, isn't he?" he replied with a grin.

To avoid an angry, knee-jerk reaction, she made a pretense of smoothing her hair, which was, as always, sleekly arranged in a tight knot at her nape—an efficient style that enabled her to feel slightly fashionable, despite working in a world where fashion played no part. "You liked his response?"

As calm, cool and collected as a politician, even when he was under fire, Wallace met her gaze with a level stare. "I think he's believable. And that's what we need."

In an effort to be as clear as possible, she leaned forward. "The point I was trying to make is this: it takes more than words to pass a gang initiation."

"Simeon and I have already discussed it," he responded. "We could stage certain…events. It'll require some cooperation from you, of course, but we can make a stabbing or… whatever else appear real."

Peyton picked up a pen someone else had left on the table to punctuate her words. "You don't get it. You can't choose who you stab. The Hells Fury set the mark."

"We'll figure it out." Wallace looked at Fischer as if to say, Are you going to let her continue to fight us? and Fischer spoke again, but he didn't rebuke Peyton. He seemed more interested in clarification.

"The department will pay for the investigation?"

Wallace hurried to confirm it. "That's correct. Why not? It'll be a bargain compared to what we'll need just to stop the bleeding if we don't head off this problem."

The warden was under constant pressure to trim the operating budget—every warden was, especially with the economic problems facing California. This state had a higher percentage of its population locked up than any other and was struggling to support what it had created. But Peyton didn't believe saving money justified jeopardizing a man's life, even if that man was foolhardy enough to get involved in such a dangerous operation. She hoped the fifth person at the table—Joseph Perry, one of the associate wardens below her and the third man who'd ridden over with her to meet Wallace and Bennett—would speak up as she had. If he agreed with her, maybe Fischer would listen.

But she should've known better than to count on Perry. When she arched an eyebrow at him, asking for his opinion, he shoved his wire-rimmed glasses higher and remained mum.

"You don't have anything to say?" she pressed.

With a sniff—he battled constant allergies—he finally spoke in a characteristically nasal voice. "I, ah, I suppose it can work."

In other words, he didn't give a damn if it didn't. It wasn't his neck on the line.

Peyton turned to the warden. "At least take some time to think this over, sir."

"That's exactly what I've been doing." Fischer studied Simeon. "You sure you've got the balls for this, son?"

One side of his mouth twisted in the semblance of a grin, Bennett rolled up his sleeve to expose a tattoo that looked like a prisoner ID number.

"You're an ex-con?" Peyton cried.

Bennett didn't rush to explain. Buttoning his sleeve, he nodded.

"Oh, that's great." She leaned back so she could cross her legs. "That really makes me feel I can rely on you." What inmate tattooed his prison number on his arm? Only a very belligerent one…

He didn't seem to find her sarcasm warranted. "Considering your reservations, I'm more worried about being able to rely on you."

Peyton would have offered a retort, but the warden spoke before she could. "Why'd they put you behind bars?"

"Murder one." His gaze never wavered from her face, even though she wasn't the one who'd asked the question. He was interested in her reaction. Too stunned to speak, she gaped at him.

Rosenburg's chair raked the carpet as he shoved himself away from the table. "How long were you in?"

Simeon had read her shock and repugnance; Peyton could tell. His lips maintained that mocking grin, but this time he looked at Frank when he answered. "Nearly six years."

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 39 )
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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 39 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 2, 2011

    Wow She did it again

    Great book could not put it down Can't wait for the next one to come out. Keep up the good work Thank you Brenda

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 9, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    This Bulletproof suspense novel is an action-packed tale

    Virgil Skinner spent fourteen years in California's Pelican Bay Maximum Security Prison for a murder he did not commit. While behind bars he joined the ruthless gang The Crew in order to survive. His former gang mates warn Skinner to watch his step outside as they will come after his family if he points a finger at them.

    Meanwhile California Department of Corrections needs someone to go inside undercover to penetrate the Hell's Fury gang that runs Pelican Bay and has allegedly killed officials including a judge on the outside. The authorities select Virgil who knows how to act as a convict and has the scars to prove it. Only Deputy Warden Peyton Adams objects, but is overruled. Virgil acquiesces to returning to hell only if his sister and her kids are placed in the witness protection program. As they work together, Peyton and Virgil fall for one another but both understand the mission and the risk.

    This Bulletproof suspense novel is an action-packed tale that grips readers throughout the exhilarating story line. The cast is solid especially the lead protagonists. However, the key to what makes this a superb thriller is that the romance is secondary to the undercover prison scenario. Although the concept of a tough guy going undercover in a prison is not new (see Steven Seagal in Half Past Dead), none are as strong as Virgil inside hell with seemingly only administration help.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 31, 2011

    Fantastic Read

    The stakes are high. To protect his family, Virgil makes a deal with the cops to help bring down a dangerous gang. He has everything to lose, and nothing to gain. He knows very well the dangers of this operation, and that he could very well not come out of this alive. He's got one shot to get this right.

    Enter Peyton Adams, a stubborn, strong willed woman -- and the chief deputy Warden. Her first reaction to Virgil wasn't a good one, though she can't figure out her attraction to the ex-con, either. Though innocent, the man spent the adult part of his life behind bars and in a gang. It wasn't right to want to be with him. And he knew exactly how to push her buttons, but at the same time, she managed to push his buttons as well. Now Peyton has to keep this man safe and come out of this alive. He has a sister and two kids who need him, and in time, Peyton realizes she needs Virgil, too. The sexual tension sizzles between the two and I couldn't wait to see how Peyton and Virgil were going to react to the feelings they had for one another. How would they make this work, if they choose to accept what their heart felt?

    Virgil doesn't want to have feelings for Peyton. He's got a job to do. He has Laurel and the kids to think about. Trying to get out of a gang isn't going to be easy, especially when he has information that the dangerous men don't want the police knowing. Turning his back on people that he's been around for years, despite the fact that they aren't all good people, will put many lives in jeopardy. Who can he trust? Who's on the inside?

    Full of intense emotion, suspense and action, Brenda Novak delivers another suspense novel that shines. The characters in her stories are always full of surprises and you can't help but love the good guys and hate the bad guys. With plenty of twists in the plot, I was fully engaged in this book. There are even a few surprises that I never expected.

    If you like a romance with plenty of suspense, heroes that would do anything to protect those they love, a strong-minded heroine that can fend for herself, and a happily ever after despite the odds stacked agaist them, then get on the inside with this story.

    Originally posted at The Long and Short of It Romance Reviews

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 24, 2011

    more from this reviewer


    It was a horrible experience that jump-started New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak's career-- she caught her daycare teacher drugging her children to get them to sleep. Deciding she needed to work from home, she penned her first novel, and has been a household sensation ever since. Other titles include: Trust Me, Watch Me, Stop Me, Dead Silence, Dead Giveaway, Dead Right, The Perfect Couple, The Perfect Murder, The Perfect Liar, and Mother, Please. She also heads an annual fundraiser for diabetes research every May. Brenda resides in Sacramento, California with her husband and five children.

    This is book one in the Bulletproof trilogy, with In Seconds and In Close coming later this year. Though part of a trilogy, these are stand alone reads.

    Virgil Skinner served fourteen years for a murder he didn't commit, but now, he's going back in. The California Department of Corrections needs someone to infiltrate a gang that's taking control of its most notorious supermax. He has no choice but to help. The gang he joined in order to survive prison the first time is threatening his only family-- his sister and her two kids. Authorities offer to protect them, so if he doesn't do it, they'll be dead. Chief Deputy Warden Peyton Adams is not happy about her superiors plans to bring Virgil in her prison. Though something has to be done about the gang, this reeks of failure. Failure that could kill the man she's suddenly having feelings for. A man who has already suffered enough.

    Just when I thought Brenda Novak couldn't get any better, she does. This book breaks ground on a premise that is beyond unique. I wondered how she was going to pull this off in a romantic suspense, but she did, and made it plausible. The amount of detail and research it took to write a book about being "inside" must have been staggering. I'm left haunted and pained by prison life after reading this. The conflict was impenetrable, the romance hot, and the characters' stories heart-breaking. This isn't highly recommended, it's a must read!

    Kelly Moran,
    author of Summer's Road.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 25, 2014

    New to Brenda's books

    I loved this book could not put in down. I look forward to reading more of Brenda Novak books. I loved Virgil he was perfect and Peyton was typical. I really enjoyed the read and sad it was over

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  • Posted June 15, 2014

    This was an awesome romantic suspense. Virgil goes undercover at

    This was an awesome romantic suspense. Virgil goes undercover at the prison Peyton works at, and all kinds of trouble pops up. They are dealing with multiple gangs, dirty prison guards, and traitorous officials. Somehow, in the midst of all of this, the two fall for each other.

    I loved how different Virgil and Peyton are, and yet they are so great for each other. I really enjoyed both of them. They are very unique individuals, and together, they are even better! I also like that most of the story, and action happened outside the prison. I was expecting all the drama to happen inside the prison walls, so I was very pleasantly surprised when I realized it didn't. Brenda Novak did a great job with the secondary characters too. There were quite a few interesting people in this book, and she did very well with the crazy ones. I can't wait to read the next book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 22, 2013


    loved all 3 book series

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  • Posted May 21, 2012

    Highly Recommend

    This is a terrific book I loved the trilogy.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 17, 2011

    Cannot open

    Just bought this and cannot open it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted August 25, 2011

    Sooo Hoot!!!

    Very good read, totally recommend n its so worth it!

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  • Posted August 5, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    A blockbuster, heat um up summer must read

    Vrigil Skinner spent 14 yrs in prison for a crime he didn't commit, now thanks to the efforts of his sister he's out but far from free because to survive "INSIDE" you need more than determination, you need friends but they come with a high price in prison, they come with a gang tag and Virgil entwined himself with one of the most notorious The Crew. Now that he's out his ex-brothers think he's going to turn on them so they want to get him and all those he loves before he gets them. The Feds want to get the lowdown on another gang so they send Virgil undercover to flush out the truth by infiltrating the gang, his reward he and his family will go into WITSEC, the witness protection program.
    Deputy Warden Peyton Adams has a very personal reason for choosing her career path and she gives it her whole heart, so when she learns that the Feds want to put a plant inside she fears for his safety but ultimately agrees to using him. They only have a few days to prepare, but what they weren't prepared for was the way they feel about each other and it's more than just lust. Now Virgil has more incentive to stay alive and Peyton to keep him that way, but the odds are stacked against them in love and in living.
    Brenda Novak is an awesome mom, a champion of causes and an award winning author and in this first of her Bulletproof trilogy with In Seconds coming in September and In Close coming in October you'll see why. Inside is a runaway train that won't let you breath until it finally comes in for a smooth landing at the end of a treacherous trail. You get amazing good guys masquerading as bad guys, you get bad guys wearing white hats and pretty soon you don't know who to trust, well trust your heart. Her dialogue keeps the frenzy going and your heart beating double time while the narrative shows you despicable crimes and heartwarming romance. The characters are incredibly true to life, depicted so accurately that you can see the gang tattoos, feel the sea breeze in your face and feel the heat in the presence of our hero and heroine. The romance is doomed from the start, but that doesn't stop these two from wanting what they know they shouldn't, do they get it, for that you'll have to read yourself. The love scenes are as explosive as it gets and yet you can feel the innocence in the Virgil character and the tenderness in Peyton towards him. It's just a have to have it now read.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2011

    Amazing as always

    All of Novaks books are awesome. Great romantic suspense. Could not put down! Can not wait for next book in series.

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  • Posted July 6, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Page turr Page turner

    Could not put this book down thank u brenda i give this book 10 stars

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  • Posted June 28, 2011

    nook needs to be a little quicker

    Really upset that I can buy this in my kindle now, but not until July 1st on my 259 dollar nook color!

    0 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 28, 2011

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    Will draw readers in and keep them perched precariously on the edge of their seats

    A new concept is born as bestselling author Brenda Novak writes the words that will have millions of fans once again clamoring for this title - the first in the new Bulletproof trilogy. The heroine, Peyton Adams, is a Deputy Warden at a maximum security prison in California called Pelican Bay. In this first offering, Virgil Skinner has been released from prison after serving fourteen years for a murder he did not commit. While in prison, he became a member of a gang referred to as, 'The Crew,' just so he would be able to survive the horrific place. However, when Virgil is finally set free, he soon finds that he can't get away from the gang he joined; they are like the proverbial albatross around his neck. Members of 'The Crew' will commit all sorts of mayhem, including harming his sister and her children to keep Virgil from divulging all that he knows about the gang and their activities. Enter The California Department of Corrections, who need someone to go inside the Pelican Bay Prison and join up with another gang called, 'Hell's Fury,' who have slowly taken over the state's most notorious prison and are responsible for the killing of a judge. Through various events that include Warden Fischer and our heroine, Deputy Warden Peyton Adams, and members of the Department of Corrections, Virgil is soon picked to be the 'mole' that's necessary to solve this problem. Of course, if Virgil is put into the high security prison, Peyton knows that it will be next to impossible to protect him, and she doesn't want him harmed on her watch. But Virgil is ready and he certainly looks the part. With bruises and scars that speak of many brutal battles, and the tattoos of love and hate on his knuckles, his appearance already screams out...CONVICT! As you might expect, Peyton is voted down and Virgil goes into the prison under an assumed name (Simeon Bennett) in exchange for witness protection for himself and his sister. Peyton is worried about how she can protect him if he gets himself into trouble. But, the worst part? She also feels an attraction to Virgil that makes her all the more nervous about having him there. Being classified as romantic suspense is a bit odd, seeing as there is far too little romance and far too much testosterone floating around. But, these two people definitely find themselves getting closer, and there are many thrills and chills included along with the prison gang plot. The story is definitely a nail-biting, white knuckle book, that will keep you on your toes until the very last page. Fast-paced and filled with a ton of action sequences, readers will follow closely as Peyton and Virgil attempt to become an odd yet, sensual team. Quill Says: This new trilogy by Brenda Novak - an extremely high-caliber author - will draw readers in and keep them perched precariously on the edge of their seats.

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