Risk of a Lifetime

Risk of a Lifetime

4.4 27
by Claudia Shelton
     
 

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Three years ago, Marcy Bradley let the man she loved go so he could follow his career dream of being an FBI agent. She sent divorce papers. He signed. She never filed them.

Injured during his last assignment, FBI Special Agent Jean Bernard—JB—Bradley questions the integrity of his fellow agents. A few days recuperation back in his hometown will

Overview

Three years ago, Marcy Bradley let the man she loved go so he could follow his career dream of being an FBI agent. She sent divorce papers. He signed. She never filed them.

Injured during his last assignment, FBI Special Agent Jean Bernard—JB—Bradley questions the integrity of his fellow agents. A few days recuperation back in his hometown will give him the perspective he needs. The added bonus is it'll give him time to convince his ex-wife to come back to him, despite his life of risk. But when Marcy experiences a slew of unexplained accidents, JB realizes he brought the danger to her doorstep.

With a killer after them, Marcy and JB run for their lives, escaping to a lakeside cabin. Their love is rekindled, and JB realizes they're still married, but will there be time for their passion amidst the explosions and gunshots?

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781622665341
Publisher:
Entangled Publishing, LLC
Publication date:
04/14/2014
Series:
Entangled Ignite
Sold by:
Macmillan
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
213
Sales rank:
183,167
File size:
2 MB

Related Subjects

Read an Excerpt

Risk of a Lifetime


By Claudia Shelton, Tracy Montoya

Entangled Publishing, LLC

Copyright © 2014 Claudia Shelton
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-62266-534-1


CHAPTER 1

"I need to go to the bathroom," Marcy Bradley said, loud enough to get the attention of everyone in the First Missouri Capitol Bank of Crayton.

All five of them. Six, if you counted the robber, Leon Ferguson, a bully from her fourth-grade class twenty years ago. These days, he clocked in at well over six feet, two-hundred-fifty pounds of sweaty stink mixed with a stale odor of wood smoke. He'd gotten their attention when he slammed the bank president to the floor. Even more when he'd shot the exit sign. Now his mud-crusted boots made a path in front of the teller windows, back and forth, back and forth.

Any other Friday morning, Marcy would be composing poetry in her mind as she waited in line to make the weekly deposit from her counseling business. Instead, she lay cheek down on the shiny, cold marble floor of the eighty-two-year-old building as Leon continued to hold everyone hostage. When this was over, she'd drop a note in the suggestion box about cleaning the baseboards.

For the past twenty minutes, Leon yelled about the "cost of gettin' by" and bragged about the last time he went fishing. From all appearances, his tolerance level for whatever drug he was high on today had long since passed. His mean side had flashed when he'd cold-cocked the janitor with his fist for not getting down on the floor fast enough. That explained Leon's wife's many "accidents" the woman had told her about during their one-on-one counseling sessions. No wonder the woman ran away.

The stock market ticker tape flicked across the ceiling-mounted television. Scrolling words flashed on the screen. An antiquated fan in the opposite corner fluffed Marcy's hair with each back-and-forth rotation.

A few alternatives to lying on the floor skimmed through her mind. Run. She could run for the door and ... A gunshot wound didn't rank very high up on her agenda for life experiences. She also decided this wasn't the time to make one of her sarcastic remarks about how Leon had flipped her skirt up in junior high and squirted her hot-pink panties with a water pistol.

This wasn't the time for anything except figuring out a way to keep breathing and make it to her thirtieth birthday two months away.

"Excuse me." She really didn't need to go to the bathroom. But, if that's what it took to get out of the situation, so be it. Anything beat being held hostage. Almost anything.

The robber glanced around.

She waved her fingers from the floor. "It's me. Marcy."

By now, Leon would have usually blacked out if he was only drunk. Today was different, though. Today his demeanor reeked of disorientation and violence. Today he might blow her away before he realized he'd picked up a real gun instead of a toy.

She'd been around enough guns to know this was a Glock, a Luger, or something like that. Big and dangerous in the wrong hands. Leon's were definitely the wrong hands.

Rule number ... one ... four? Didn't matter what number. One of the law enforcement rules she learned from drop-dead-gorgeous JB, her almost-used-to-be husband and one heck of an FBI agent, was "don't upset the perp. Be his friend." She could do that. Be a friend ... kind of ... maybe.

She sorted through everything she'd learned in her psychology Master's program. With a little luck, she could talk Leon down. After all, she was a marriage counselor. Even had a seventy/thirty rate of success. Of course, the seventy percent had ended in divorce.

Eyelids pinched to slits, he waved the gun in her direction. "Did you say something?"

"I said I've got to go pee." She inched to a left-elbow lean. Smiled sweetly. "Please."

A few feet away, Joanie Reynolds gave her a you're-nuts look from where she'd fallen on a deposit from the previous evening's receipts at Joanie's Pizza, Pub, and Pool Room. Marcy had seen the bag of money disappear beneath her friend's well-endowed body and knew there was no way Joanie would give up the stash without a fight.

"Nope. Go where you are." He turned back toward the teller window.

"What do you mean 'nope'? This is the first day I've worn these brand new, skinny-leg jeans. And they weren't cheap, let me tell you."

He turned back around, his gaze scanning her legs.

She eased to a sitting position. "You're right about everything being so expensive nowadays. Do you know how high gas is? I mean — who can afford to drive anymore? My car's gas mileage is a joke. What about yours?"

"Eighteen miles a gallon. You got to know how to keep your vehicle running good." He leaned back, smiling his gap-toothed grin. Decay pitted the teeth that remained. "I got me a Chilton's Guide to Automotives and a set of wrenches from Sears."

She wished she hadn't eaten those blueberry pancakes for breakfast. They weren't exactly sitting right in the pit of her stomach. Besides which, it was time to use his momentary camaraderie to her advantage. She rolled onto her hands and knees, then crawled past Joanie toward a chair next to the counter.

He stepped over her friend and kept pace with Marcy's slow movement. "Where you think you're going?"

Using the seat for leverage, she pushed herself up enough to sit down in it. Her hand plucked at lint on her denim pants, and she sighed. "There, that's better now. I think I need the next size up in these jeans. They were beginning to bind down there on the floor. Okay if I sit here?"

"Long as you don't move around no more. Shut up, too. I got to have some quiet to think what I want to do with this here opportunity." Brow furrowed, lips pursed to a scowl, he paced between the front door and the counter.

Marcy wished she'd paid closer attention to robber personality types in her college behavioral classes. She'd been more focused on marriage counseling — and revenge-killing profiles. Her dad had been killed by a hate-filled man with a vendetta against any FBI special agent that stepped in front of his gun. Her dad had been the first agent out the front door of the Bureau's Regional Office building that day. She'd turned eight years old the week before he died.

Of course, she knew how Leon's thought process worked from the few times he'd shown up at her office for court-appointed counseling. That should at least give her an edge up on the situation. Except his thinking wasn't always great on a good day, and this was a bad day. A real bad day so far.

The new-as-of-two-weeks-ago president of the bank cowered in the corner where Leon had told him to sit. The teller on the early morning shift stood stone-still behind the counter. Except for the fact her eyes were wide open and rounded like silver dollars, she'd have looked like she was waiting for the next customer.

Outside, cars honked at the two drive-up windows. They apparently didn't know there was a robbery in process. If they needed money for lunch today, they weren't getting any here.

From across the room, Leon cleared his throat, waving the gun in Marcy's direction once again. "What do you think?"

"Me?" she asked.

"Yeah. You got all them fancy degrees. What do you think I should do with this opportunity?"

Opportunity? What opportunity? He was robbing a bank. She glanced at the teller. No help there. She looked at Joanie. None there, either.

Well, hell, she might as well come up with something herself. "You're right. A person doesn't get many chances like this in life. You've got to be careful what you choose. Maybe —"

"We know you're in there, Leon." Deputy Evans's voice vibrated from outside the bank through a bullhorn. "We're gonna tow your truck if you don't come out of there right now. I ain't got time for your shenanigans today."

Her uncle, Cal Davis, the Sheriff of Crayton Police Department, was out of town on a much-needed vacation until next week. He'd left Evans in charge. Nothing wrong with that, except this wasn't one of the usual pranks Leon played around town.

Leon fiddled with the blind at the front window. Rubbing his palm against his pant leg, he appeared confused. His jerky head motions didn't make her feel any safer, either.

Someone might get hurt before this was over. She wished her uncle was the one waiting outside in the street. In fact, she wished it was —

"You gonna come out, or do I have to come in there?" the deputy said.

Evans had a wife, three little kids, and a mother to support. Marcy had to think of something before the situation turned to tragedy.

She eased to her feet and leaned against the counter, quiet and nonchalant. "Why don't you ask for a bullhorn of your own?"

Leon swung around. His gun arm veered up shakily as he focused on her. "What did you say?"

"Ask for a bullhorn. The teller could call to tell them you want one. She could go outside to get it for you." At least that would be one less hostage in the bank.

"Why would I want a bullhorn when I've got all this money?" He lowered the gun back to his side. His head jerked repeatedly.

She glanced at Joanie, then the bank president, then the guard who hadn't moved since he'd crashed to the floor. She realized she appeared to be the only one thinking in the room. Or the only one about to get sent straight to heaven for mouthing off.

"That way you could talk to them about what you'll need for your getaway," she said.

He wrinkled his forehead. Sweat beads popped on his upper lip. "Good idea. 'Cept you make the call, and you go out to get it."

That hadn't gone as she planned. She nodded and made the call before heading to the front door.

Leon stepped in front of her, gun pointed at Joanie. "If you don't come back, nobody else is leavin'. Got that?"

"Got it."


* * *

Marcy stepped out the door into the brisk warmth of a fall morning. The clock at the corner of Third and Main struck the half hour. Her eyes scanned the scene in front of her. Two police cars stationed across the street sat silent, but their lights flashed a warning.

The stocky, sandy-haired deputy and one other cop stood behind a police cruiser directly in front of her. On her left, the tall, lean rookie crouched on the far side of the second car, his gun drawn and steadied on the top of the trunk.

Another man, likely law enforcement, although not in uniform, leaned against the far, rear fender of a car a few spots down. The man ignored the events on the street. Back to the bank and on his cell phone, he looked as if he dared anyone to bother him.

Her insides twisted when he moved away from the cruiser. Even from that angle, his six-foot-one stance and the dark-brown hair skimming the collar of his leather jacket were more than familiar. Familiar enough to make her insides zing with recognition.

Stretched taut across his back, the coat moved with him as he walked away. She knew every muscle beneath that jacket. All the scars. Didn't need to see his face, she'd recognize those shoulders anywhere — Jean Bernard Bradley.

JB to the world. More than JB to her.

Bullhorn in hand, Deputy Evans trudged from behind the car and stepped in her direction. He looked more agitated than concerned. From the slump of his shoulders and the lines in his face, he'd probably been up for hours getting the kids ready for school while his wife fixed breakfast.

"This isn't a prank. Leon's got a real gun. Loaded," she shouted as she stepped into the street.

JB stopped. Straightened. Hard-stretched his fingers a second before rolling them into fists. The moves meant he remembered her voice. He'd do whatever it took to save her. No matter what the danger. She doubted he'd changed. He'd always took the lead, took the bullet, took the victim to safety.

She had to make sure saving her didn't get him killed. 'Cause she damn sure couldn't live with that. Hell, could her day get any more complicated?

He turned his head with that chin-down tilt she knew so well and zeroed in on her with a penetrating look over his shoulder. The blue of his eyes wasn't visible from where she'd stopped, but she knew the intensity even if it had been close to three years since she'd last felt the heat. Her pulse notched up a few more beats. He always had been one gorgeous, sexy man. Nothing had changed there.

Deputy Evans ducked back behind the patrol car and reached for the radio. Backup would be on the way.

She stared at JB and said, "A real big gun. With a high-as-a-kite hand on the trigger."

He barely nodded, but she knew he'd heard the warning.

Already he'd unzipped his jacket. In the process of shucking the coat, she saw him slide his shoulder holster off, but not before he slipped his gun behind his back. Only seconds had passed, yet he'd taken charge of the situation just as though he'd never left town. Like he was still the deputy of Crayton instead of an undercover FBI agent assigned to parts unknown.

"Evans, get down behind that car," he said.

The deputy paused, then squared his shoulders. "My town. My responsibility."

JB nodded, strapping on the bulletproof vest a patrolman tossed to him. "I understand. Just thought you might want the Bureau's help. I've dealt with hostage situations before. Have you?"

The deputy paused only a second, then slid the horn toward JB. "The Crayton Police welcomes the FBI's assistance."

JB unbuttoned the sleeves on his white oxford and rolled the cuffs a couple of turns. Tugged them straight. She knew his battle mode. His routine.

Once he took on an assignment, he was tenacious. Nothing and no one got in his way. He'd get himself shot over her if they weren't careful. Much as she didn't want him back in her life, she couldn't bear to think of him gone forever, either.

He scooped the bullhorn from the pavement and held his arms out to the side at shoulder level as he walked forward. When he stopped a few feet in front of her, his gaze barely scanned her face before he returned his attention to the bank building.

"How bad is it?" he asked.

"Bad. He's all junked up on something." She reached for the horn. "Be careful. Please be careful."

His fingers brushed against hers as he released the horn. "Almost sounds like you care."

"You wish!" She forced herself not to blink. If she did, she might grab him and hold on for dear life.

His eyes zeroed in on hers. What passed between them was private and personal and unspoken. She'd let him go — kicked him out, in fact — when he'd threatened to take the same job that had killed her father. Never in her wildest thoughts had she imagined he'd take her up on her offer of freedom.

One month after she'd set his suitcase on the front porch, a letter with no return address had arrived. It said he'd done everything he could to prove himself to her and he was sorry he hadn't been good enough. He'd told her to just send him the papers, and he'd give her her freedom. She'd called him at least once a month after that. Left voice messages asking him to return her call. No reply.

A year later, there'd been a message on her voice mail saying he'd be out-of-contact for a while. She should get on with her life. Find someone new. She could only wonder when the hell had he been in contact over the past months? A few days later, an envelope had come addressed to her. Confidential. It included a form stating she was JB's next-of-kin, a power of attorney to make health and financial decisions for him if he was incapacitated, and an insurance policy naming her his beneficiary. She hadn't wanted those; she'd wanted him.

That's when she'd hired an attorney from outside Crayton and sent divorce papers. Even scribbled in bright red ink "Come home or sign these papers" across the top of the first page. Thought that would force him to make a decision. It had worked. He'd signed the papers and sent them back with a black-marker line slashed through the "Come home" part. That was the last she'd heard from him until now.

"Don't go back inside." The corner of JB's mouth twitched as he refocused his attention on the bank door. "I'll take one step forward and to the right. You jump behind me."

"I can't. Joanie's in there, plus three others. Leon said he would shoot them if I didn't return."

"Leon may be a bully, even mean, but that doesn't sound like something he'd do." JB's stare remained fixed across the street.

"Most days, I'd agree. Not today. He's juiced. Head shakes. Crazy eyes. Sweating." She lingered a second. "Don't go getting yourself killed before I can give you a piece of my mind."

A hint of a smile jerked at the corners of his mouth before he clenched his jaws. "Wouldn't dream of it."


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Risk of a Lifetime by Claudia Shelton, Tracy Montoya. Copyright © 2014 Claudia Shelton. Excerpted by permission of Entangled Publishing, LLC.
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.

Meet the Author

Claudia Shelton thought she wrote mainstream when she began writing, but before long, a critique partner told her she sounded more like romance. Since then, she's focused on happily-ever-after with a splash of suspense, always featuring Alpha males and the women strong enough to love them. Her advice, always remember that a warm cup of cocoa in the winter or a cool drink by the water in the blazing heat will make your day a little brighter. She is a two-time finalist in the Daphne Du Maurier (Unpublished) awards for excellence in mystery and suspense. Visit Claudia at: http://www.claudiawriting.com/

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Risk of a Lifetime 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 27 reviews.
Anonymous 5 months ago
First of all it seems like some of these reviews are over the top great because they received a free copy for an honest review. They clearly missed honest. The book is slow paced and I could not find it in me to lie Marcy. She was too whiney, too inscure and too immature. I liked JB and the concept of the plot thus 3 stars. If you are looking for slow pace and a week romance this book is for you. If you want to feel the passion and suspense then I would look for a different book.
amdrane2 More than 1 year ago
I think I read a different book then everyone else who reviewed it. There is no way I would ever rate this a 5 star book. I simply did not like Marcy. I couldn't figure out how old she was suppose to be, I mean she's a college graduate with a Master's yet she acts like a teenager at times. And don't get me started on all her issues. She a counselor, but she's so hung up on her dad's death she holds it against her husband and his profession. There were times I rolled my eyes so much I swear I made myself dizzy. JB really needed to just move on and find someone to have a healthy relationship with. Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.
WritermomAngela More than 1 year ago
Risk of a Lifetime is a fantastic, fast-paced, exciting romantic suspense! Claudia Shelton has created a set of characters with this book that will leave you missing them when you turn the last page. Each chapter is better for the last and just when you think that you've figured out whodunit, you'll be gasping in surprise again! Marcy Bradley kicked her FBI husband out and sent him divorce papers, hoping that would inspire him to choose her over a dangerous career in law enforcement. When that backfired, she thought she would never see him again--that changed when she least expected it. She knows JB will protect her at any cost, even the cost of his own life, and she can not let that happen! JB intended to be in, and back out, of town before his ex-wife even knows he's there. But that goes out the window when she is held captive by a high school classmate of theirs during a bank robbery. Things only get worse from there, and JB knows he can't leave until he knows she is safe. But...are the killers after her, or just using her as a pawn to get to him? Sexy, romantic, fast-paced, and thrilling are just a few of the words I would--and will--use to describe Risk of a Lifetime. Add Claudia Shelton to your auto-buy list now!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Loved it
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Keeps you guessing right til the end. You know certain characters have the potential lol Good Read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Real thriller
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Excellent story with the right amount of everything, and a roller coaster ride of suspense right up until the very end. I am definitely looking forward to this author 's next novel.
prairielilyH More than 1 year ago
This was a great read! Action and suspense from the first word to the last with a real romantic flare. This author has a real talent for relaying the emotions of the characters through their actions and the sexual tension was evident throughout any time Marcy and JB were near or even thinking of each other! We also get to meet some very interesting people in this book and the town sounds like a very interesting place to live. I would love to learn more about it and them. There are definitely some people who probably have great stories to be told - the all grown up bad boy turned good guy Cain sounds like someone who's story I would enjoy and Meg's sister Betsy "still appeared to be one feisty little hellcat"! As interesting as the supporting characters were, they still were just that. Supporting JB & Marcy as they try to solve the puzzle in front of them and stay alive long enough to figure out what is left between them. This book grabbed me from the first page and the only reason I put it down was cause I was so tired I couldn't see straight! But I was back into it as soon as I could the next day. I highly recommend you read this book and keep an eye out for other things from this author. I am definitely going to be rooting for her to keep writing!
Lynn53 More than 1 year ago
A Romantic Law Enforcement Must Read. Rating:  4 1/2 stars I received a copy of this book from the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated in any way. Marcy Bradley has an interesting way of catching a bank robber’s attention – it made me laugh. The thing is that this should have been a serious moment. Marcy also happens to know the under cover agent on the scene. I can honestly say that I have never read a beginning to a story quite like that. Jean “JB” Bradley is Marcy’s ex-husband. Then this story gets interesting before chapter one is even finished. JB is a very strong-willed man especially when it comes to those he cares about. A mystery seems to surround our couple but no one knows why – this is what makes this book a real page-turner. It made it very hard for me to put down. One thing that I love is where an author includes a lesson with the romance. And unless you look for it, you won’t even know that’s what’s happening. The reader will just see a great action and suspense story. It shows how far two little words can help to heal misunderstandings that sometimes occur. But each person has to be open to getting past the hurt and back to the loving. If you love law enforcement romances than this will fit the bill. I don’t personally know anyone in that profession, but I can imagine that this author did some great research, or has personal experience, in order for this story to be so believable. It’s a story where you learn to respect at what lengths some in law enforcement must go through. And then there’s the family – the stress that’s involved.  This is the first book that I have read of Claudia’s and am looking forward to reading more. The action, mystery and suspense kept me riveted right up to the very end where I had a smile on my face. It also had me wondering if she is going to following this up with a book two. If you would love to read Marcy and JB’s story, it is currently on sale for only $0.99 and I don’t think you will be disappointed with your choice.
SouLThinking More than 1 year ago
Sizzling Pages Romance Reviews Nichole's Sizzling Reviews Sizzling Pages @ Facebook Twitter:@Sizzlingpages Nothing wrong with the writing as it was superb. I just didn't connect with the characters and the love story frustrated me so bad that I had to keep putting the book down. I did finish it and wished there would have been more time with the couple not running from their lives. I don't like push pull seesaw romances. But it was written well and I had to know what was going to happen.
Lori-Gonzo More than 1 year ago
Wow! A superb intense story that kept me hooked.  While reading the story, my mind kept trying to figure out who the villain was.  Thoroughly enjoyed all the twists and turns of the story.  I wasn't sure who JB and Marcy could trust either.  Great suspense and action. The twists and turns of the story kept me reading continuously.  JB and Marcy were a such a great couple.  It saddened me when they were misunderstanding each other but so desperately wanted to be together.  Loved the way they came together and worked as a team.  A refreshing story with fantastic plot twists and turns. I received this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
mkendallauthorMK More than 1 year ago
So i am going to admit this is my very first book from the Entangled Ignite line. I am not a huge fan of romantic suspense where the suspense is more important than the romance. Something about this one's cover however drew me in and i just had to give it a go. Overall the book was very enjoyable and quite the page turner but i did have a problem with the romantic elements they did feel a little bit out of the blue in a few instances and left me wondering why the characters felt like they did as there just didn't seem to be any build up. If you love your suspense more than your romance then this is definitely the book for you. Overall i give it 4 out of 5
kydirtgirl68 More than 1 year ago
Marcy gave up the man she loves so he could live his dream of being a FBI agent. She filed for divorce he signed the papers but she never finished filing them. Recently being hurt JB goes back home for a few days after three years. He is here to figure things out about some of his fellow agents and to see if Marcy will give him another chance. However it seems trouble has followed him and Marcy may be in danger. Someone wants JD to pay and it may be with both their lives. As they try to stay alive they both see they still love each other. The just have to get past this to see if they can have a future. Packed full of danger and a past love this was a joy to read. Marcy never wanted to be married to a cop as she lost her father in the line of duty. She tried everything thing to get JB to do something else and when that failed she told him she wanted a divorce. She kept a secret from him and worries about the truth when it comes out. Even when she is in danger she still doesn't want someone to control her actions. She will do anything to try thins again with JB. She just has to clear her past out of her head. JB is a great agent and cop. He believes in doing tings the right way and hates crooked agents. He loves Marcy and wants her back. He worries he will scare her off. I love how he kept tabs on her over the years. There is danger all around and I think the author done great job with the who it is and why. I never saw it coming and liked the twist the book took. If you like a story of rekindled love, action and a mystery be sure to check this one out.
beckymmoe More than 1 year ago
A good all-around read. Marcy and JB are likable characters, and you're rooting from the first few pages for them to get back together. (And cringing at what might happen when he finally finds out that his wife isn't as "ex" as he thought she was!) Claudia Shelton does a nice job with the tension between the two; I just loved how JB kept calling her "sugar" without even thinking about it and kissing her on the top of her head. So sweet, especially since he's actually such an alpha guy!  The suspense was nicely written; it's not at all obvious who's out to get Marcy--or is it JB?--until just about the same time that the characters figure it out. Shelton literally puts her characters in a lot of pain here, but the ending makes it all worth it. I'll definitely be picking up future releases from this author.
MoRWAReviewsSTL More than 1 year ago
RISK OF A LIFETIME by Claudia Shelton is a debut book that will leave you wanting more from the author.  Marcy Bradley is having a really bad day, and it's not because her ex-husband is back in town. Or is it?   JB is in town to take care of some family business. Not see his ex-wife. Not get involved in the town's police business. Not become the center of a cat and mouse game of revenge. Shelton knows how to keep a reader reading by weaving a story that grips their heart and brain. She brought to life a believable town and a colorful cast of characters, including an alpha, alpha, alpha hero and a heroine who isn't afraid to go toe-to-toe with him.  The mystery will keep you guessing until the end.  Risk of a Lifetime is a must read. 5 stars
grandmareads102 More than 1 year ago
Marcy Bradley couldn't deal with the fear when her husband JB became an FBI agent so she kicked him out. She knew what it was to lose someone. Her father had been an agent. He was killed in the line of duty. What she didn't expect was that he took her at her word and left to live his dream. Now after three years, he's back in town to settle his father's estate, but death and danger come with him. Is it a coincidence that someone is targeting Marcy? Will she live long enough to tell JB that they are still married? This is an exhilarating romantic adventure. I found the characters unforgettable. Marcy and JB have great emotional depth as well as a hot sexual chemistry. Their past has influenced their lives. I loved seeing them come to understand that and work to find their hearts desire. The supporting characters were entertaining and added much to this well-plotted story. Claudia Shelton did a wonderful job keeping me guessing as to who was behind this deadly vengeance and what their motive was. If you love romantic suspense, Risk of a Lifetime is a must read.
TinaR19 More than 1 year ago
I really enjoyed reading Risk of a Lifetime. This is a second chance romance that gives us an idea of how easily a marriage can fall apart when communication is missing and true feelings are hidden. The suspense will keep you guessing. Marcy Bradley pushed her husband out of her life three years ago even though she loved him. She still loves him after all this time, but she does not like him working for the FBI. She sent him divorce papers hoping he would not sign them, but when she received them signed she knew her marriage was over. She never signed them, but JB doesn’t know that. JB Bradley left the day his wife threw him out, but he’s never stopped loving her. His last job for the FBI has caused him to think about his life and whether he wants to stay with them or move on. He is back in his hometown to settle his father’s estate, and he’ll be gone as soon as everything is settled. But he really wants to convince his ex-wife that they should give their marriage another shot. An unforeseen incident puts Marcy in his sights sooner than he expected and the danger she is in will not let him just walk away. They find themselves in danger and running for their lives. Will this new threat make them open up and tell the other one how they really feel? Or is time running out on them before they can tell one another how they truly feel?  I received a copy of this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Ren_Puspita More than 1 year ago
HELL OF A RIDE READ! Risk of a Lifetime (RoaL) start with a bang! Full of suspense, thrill and mystery until the end, this book make me sleep late last night. RoaL is the first novel from debut author Claudia Shelton and for her debut she doesn't disappoint. Sure RoaL have some flaws and somehow so hard for me to connect with the heroine, but overall this book make my eyes glued (pun intended) and read it in one sitting. RoaL is about Marcy Bradley and her ex-husband, a FBI agent, JB Bradley that meet again after 3 years ago Marcy filled for divorce. JB signed the paper, yet Marcy never filled it, so technically they are still married. But Marcy hide this fact from JB for half story. This is not spoiler, because the blurb said so, lol! So, Marcy find herself targeted. From shooted in bank robbery, her office got bombed, nearly died in car accident and threatened over and over. JB back to their little city to settle his dad's property, but apparently Marcy's attempted murder make him protect her, rekindle their love and relationship. While JB suspect that the culprit is somehow related to his past. Ms Shelton mix suspense and romance, and I see that she did a good job. The pace is fast, the mystery and suspense are well written. I keep guessing for who target both Marcy and JB, and the identity of the culprit is hidden until near the end of story. Ms Shelton also throw some emotional and psychological baggage, in the form of Marcy. I have a mix feeling for Marcy. While JB is your typical alpha macho man, who chew bullet for breakfast, therefore make him more relatable, it's hard for me to relate to Marcy. It seems like Ms Shelton want to show Marcy is a strong woman, while some of her action is scream "selfish" to me. But, there are some messages behind Marcy's decision to be separate from JB. One, is communication. I see that Marcy and JB have some communication problem. I had married (even not 1 year yet), so yeah I know what kind of Marcy and JB faced there. Marcy think what she did for JB was for his own good, yet JB think otherwise. Sometimes we must communicate with our couple to solve problem between us. Not escape from it. Not think that our decision are good for our couple before talk with them first. Two, is trust. And trust come from communication. Because of her past, Marcy always afraid that JB will get hurt in his assignment and her mental was down when she know her husband enlist for FBI. She afraid because she doesn't trust JB, beside let her past haunted her. Marcy also had too much self doubt despite she become marriage councellor. Sometimes we know what we learn, but don't know how to do it, and that what happen to Marcy. In the end, Marcy learn well from her experience and become a better person. Marriage couple, second chance, mystery, suspense, action, all make RoaL is not to be missed. Sadly, while there were sooo many sexual tensions between Marcy and JB, the actual scene was fade to black! I wonder if almost all Ignite titles must have sex that is so vanilla. Yep, I feel somehow cheated. Because when we got so much sexual tensions between h/H, we expect for some sizzling hot sex scenes, amirite? Anyway, I recommend Risk of a Lifetime if you love reading a romantic suspense with good mystery, good plot and writing. Also like your characters already married with second chance theme. e-ARC provided by Entangled publisher for honest review
mysticrosetiger More than 1 year ago
This book was a great read. Marcy and JB story is how no matter what you may think is a good choice for someone else isn't always the case, you really need to communicate and be open and honest with each other for a healthy relationship. 
ScoutPF More than 1 year ago
wrong, and doesn't slow down till the last page. I realized I was holding my breath in some chapters. Marcy Bradley's bad day, just got a whole lot worse. Bad enough to be a hostage in a bank robbery, but to look down the street while she is negotiating with the police for the robber, and see the tall muscular form of her ex-husband heading toward the bank. Jean Bernard Bradley, known as JB is a deep undercover FBI agent known for his bravery and willingness to do what needed to be done to save lives. Now she had to worry about him getting shot trying to save her! He does protect her, but in the process both of them are injured by an unknown gunman. JB and Marcy have been divorced for three years. She had packed his duffle bag and set it on the porch, and locked him out. Not because she didn't love him, but that she loved him too much. He was born to be a lawman, it's all he knew how to do, and Marcy's Dad was killed in the line of duty when she was a child. She fell apart every time she knew JB was in danger, and worse if he was injured. Neither of them could live that way. He went away, not answering any of her calls or messages until she sent divorce papers, those he signed and sent back. But she is keeping a secret known only to a few select people. She never signed or filed the papers. They are still married. JB is staying in Crayton till the mysterious shooter is apprehended. After a series of accidents aimed at Marcy, they both know there is more to this scenario. JB won't leave her side. Marcy is a marriage counselor, and the thought of an angry, or mentally disturbed client worries them both, not to mention JB has put a lot of angry criminals behind bars. The situation escalates and they only have each other, and finally a time to talk. Just when they realize they never stopped loving each other, one or both is in danger of being killed. This novel is heart pounding, exciting, and a surprise to the end. Watching JB and Marcy finally admitting their mistakes, and their love for each other makes this a very romantic read. Romantic suspense is one of my favorite genre's, and Risk of a Lifetime is a winner. I received this eBook from Entangled Publishing for an honest review. Pat Fordyce. Five Stars Sent from my iPad
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
When FBI agent JB comes back home to settle his dad's estate he gets more than he bargained for. His ex-wife, Marcy is taken hostage in a bank robbery and her office gets bombed a few weeks later. JB begins to put the pieces of this dangerous puzzle together. Someone wants revenge and he's not so sure his ex-wife is the target. Shelton's fast-paced, action, suspense romantic thriller keeps you on the edge of your seat and turning the pages past midnight. I highly recommend this fun and romantic read!
crystal_fulcher More than 1 year ago
If pressed to review this book in just a few words, I would have to say it was amazing and very hard to put down. Now you know I'm not a woman of few words, so let's go into the whys of my love of Risk of a Lifetime. First of all characters. As usual this is a biggie with me and I love that Marcy and JB have a history, they were/are married, he may not know about the still married part, but she does. They have this bond they cannot sever. She couldn't sign the divorce papers, he can't help but want to save her and he always calls her "sugar" {swoon}. However Marcy has stood on her own two feet and JB has continued his life following the dream of being in the FBI. But when they are thrown back together again the sparks do fly and both characters begin to grow and mature into two people that can make it as a couple. It takes a crazy man after them both to show them, but they do start to work through things. I also enjoyed the plot. There are some curves thrown in this one and every time I thought I had this one figured out, Ms. Shelton changed it up on me. Kudos to her on this one. It was a great suspense plot to go with the character development. I thoroughly enjoyed Risk of a Lifetime. The characters seemed real and I loved the way they matured enough to figure out how to be together. I also really enjoyed the suspense. It kept me enthralled through the whole book. As a romantic suspense book it scores perfectly on both elements. Keeping a nice balance of romance and suspense. I truly will look forward to more books by Ms. Shelton!
EllenParker More than 1 year ago
This debut novel is the quintessential romantic suspense. Three years ago, Marcy Bradley sent her husband away to follow his dream of an FBI career. Since then she’s been making her own life as a marriage counselor. She just hasn’t taken the final step and filed her divorce papers. JB Bradley returns to the small Missouri town of Crayton to settle his father’s estate. He doesn’t notify Marcy, why should he, after all he signed the divorce papers she sent him more than a year ago. Mere hours after his return, he’s forced to use his training when Marcy is a hostage in a bank robbery and target of a sniper attack. Attempts on Marcy’s life escalate too fast and serious to be coincidence. Working with a small group of trusted law enforcement, JB needs to unravel the motive and stop the assaults. Along the way Marcy must resolve long held emotions from her father’s death. It is only as she discovers her own inner strength that the love between her and JB can be reestablished. The blend of romance and action scenes made it difficult to put this story down. I’m looking forward to more from Ms. Shelton. 
LisaWells More than 1 year ago
I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.  RISK OF A LIFETIME by Claudia Shelton is a debut book that will leave you wanting more from the author.  Marcy Bradley is having a really bad day, and it's not because her ex-husband is back in town. Or is it?   JB is in town to take care of some family business. Not see his ex-wife. Not get involved in the town's police business. Not become the center of a cat and mouse game of revenge. Shelton knows how to keep a reader reading by weaving a story that grips their heart and brain. She brought to life a believable town and a colorful cast of characters, including an alpha hero and a heroine who isn't afraid to go toe-to-toe with him.  The mystery will keep you guessing until the end. 
gigiluvsbooks More than 1 year ago
Three years ago, Marcy Bradley let the man she loved go so he could follow his career dream of being an FBI agent. She sent divorce papers. He signed. She never filed them.  Injured during his last assignment, FBI Special Agent Jean Bernard—JB—Bradley questions the integrity of his fellow agents. A few days recuperation back in his hometown will give him the perspective he needs. The added bonus is it’ll give him time to convince his ex-wife to come back to him, despite his life of risk. But when Marcy experiences a slew of unexplained accidents, JB realizes he brought the danger to her doorstep.  With a killer after them, Marcy and JB run for their lives, escaping to a lakeside cabin. Their love is rekindled, and JB realizes they’re still married, but will there be time for their passion amidst the explosions and gunshots? Review: What an exciting, fast-paced, romantic mystery! Wow is Marcy having a bad day!  Caught in a bank robbery, then finding out her ex-husband is in town and now she is getting shot at....and that is the first chapter. Marcy had kicked JB years ago when she did not want to hold him back from his dreams to work for the FBI, but could not handle it herself because of her father dying while on the job.  JB is back to settle his father's estate and when he realizes Marcy is in trouble and maybe because of him, he stays.  At certain points in the story I thought everyone was suspicious and like JB, I trusted no one.  It is a good mystery that lasts until the very end.  As the threats on Marcy come fast and furious I liked that Marcy and JB had to rely on each other and grow closer again.  Marcy is keeping a big secret from her ex-husband, in a great twist, they are still married.  I know this sounds strange, but I like the well-thought out attempts on Marcy's life.  I thought they were realistic and added great drama to the story.  At the center of it all is Marcy and JB's love story and reuniting of two people who were meant to be with each other. I really enjoyed this story and cannot wait to see what else Ms. Shelton writes. 4 Stars