Seconds to Live (Homeland Heroes Book #1)

Seconds to Live (Homeland Heroes Book #1)

by Susan Sleeman

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Overview

When cybercriminals hack into the US Marshals' Witness Protection database and auction off witnesses' personal details to the highest bidders, the RED Team led by FBI Agent Sean Nichols begins a high-stakes chase to find the hacker. But before he can even get started, the first witness is targeted and barely escapes with her life. Sean believes Phantom, an obsessed hacker who previously outwitted the top minds in the field, is behind the attack, and Sean needs this witness's help, as she's the person who has come closest to discovering Phantom's identity.

Trouble is, she's a witness under the care of US Marshal Taylor Mills, and Sean is reluctant to work with the captivating marshal who knows his deepest secrets. But Phantom claims he knows where the witness is hiding and will kill her, so to stop the hacker, Sean and Taylor must work through their personal pain and learn to trust each other. . . . The seconds are ticking down before someone dies.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781493420247
Publisher: Baker Publishing Group
Publication date: 12/03/2019
Series: Homeland Heroes , #1
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 368
Sales rank: 18,648
File size: 5 MB

About the Author

Susan Sleeman is the bestselling author of more than thirty-five romantic suspense novels with more than 1 million books sold. She has won several awards, including the ACFW Carol Award for Suspense for Fatal Mistake. In addition to writing, Susan also hosts www.thesuspensezone.com. She has lived in nine states but now calls Portland, Oregon, home. To learn more about Susan, visit her website at www.susansleeman.com.
Susan Sleeman (www.susansleeman.com) is the bestselling author of more than 35 romantic suspense novels with more than 1 million books sold. She has won several awards, including the ACFW Carol Award for Suspense for Fatal Mistake and the Romantic Times Reviewers' Choice Award for Thread of Suspicion. In addition to writing, Susan also hosts www.thesuspensezone.com. She has lived in nine states but now calls Portland, Oregon, home.

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Seconds to Live 4.5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 21 reviews.
More_Than_A_Review 1 days ago
Seconds to Live by Susan Sleeman is a romantic thriller dealing with a crazy cybercriminal. The US Marshals’ database has been hacked the info is being auctioned off. Taylor is a WITSEC deputy. It was interesting to see what all they did in WITSEC and realizing that sometimes it was for a criminal. Taylor was a great character but a tad over the top. Taylor is protecting a witness that has worked with the hacker; Phantom who they suspect of the current hack. Phantom is an unusual hacker as most hackers are not also murderers. Sean is an FBI agent assigned to the case with an amazing team of skilled professionals; each with a specific skill. Looking forward to each of them getting their own stories. When the book opens, Sean and Taylor have been communicating online and have developed a very strong friendship. This case will be the first time they meet in person which added a unique dynamic to the storyline. Both Sean and Taylor have to deal with issues from their past before they can move forward with a relationship. Seconds to Live contains a cast of memorable characters some you will love, some you will hate and a few that you cannot wait to learn more about. I highly recommend it. I received this book from Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. You can see my full review at More Than a Review dot com where I rate the level of sex, violence, language and drug/alcohol use in books.
Bookworm_Debbie 2 days ago
This is an incredible romantic suspense! I love the strength and dedication to their jobs that both Sean and Taylor exhibit. They are very well developed and easy to connect with. They each have issues from their past that make it hard to trust. Trusting and forgiving are the two areas that are discussed throughout the book. These are great areas for all of us to mature in and I love it when characters in books are going on emotional journeys that are so relatable. The plot is intricately woven and kept me on my toes trying to figure it out. There was an amazing twist near the end of the book that totally floored me. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. All of the opinions expressed are my own. Disclaimer: *Disclosure of Material Connection: I received a copy of this book for free in the hope that I would mention/review it on my blog. I was not required to give a positive review, only my honest opinion - which I've done. All thoughts and opinions expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.*
Libbymay117 3 days ago
Oh my where to start. Well this one was so much fun. I was hooked from chapter one! Since I just read Always Look Twice by Elizabeth Goddard, my brain automatically compared the two, especially since both came out the top as five star reads for me. This one was better juuuust a little (because I read it most recently?) The plot line was interesting. It was a good first book to a series, but the plot line in the book itself as a standalone was sturdy and firm and (as opposed to Always Look Twice) I really liked the ending of this one. All the loose ends tied up nicely, at least the ones that didn't extend to the next book. The characters were so well done. XD I loved Sean as a character. He was pretty awesome. I didn't fall for him as a fiction boyfriend though. He was too quick and bossy for my personal preferences. Taylor was awesome. Her complex build up and backstory and her passion and quiet strength just blended together so well! I can't even describe how well done she was. Content: As a suspense there were two murders described, though not overly details (Still, discretion advised) There were a few intense scenes that could be stressful. Hacker was paranoid and rash and threatened lives. The romantic tension in this book was quite a bit higher in this book than in Always Look Twice. The dynamics between Taylor and Sean were reeeeeal. Sparks were there for sure. We watched them fly. Sean noticed Taylor's body, but not in an inappropriate way. There were several hand holdings, two detailed kisses and a couple not-detailed kisses. There was suggestion and encouragement for a character to get hypnosis treatment to retrieve memories which personally goes against my beliefs, and I just wanted to put it out there for whoever else would want to avoid that. It's not described in the book and not preformed on screen, but it was portrayed in a positive light. Five stars from me! I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for a review, positive review was not required and all opinions are my own!
KimberlyRJ 5 days ago
I really enjoyed the cast of characters and how they interacted with one another. I look forward to reading future books in this series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher.
Cheri5 7 days ago
I just finished the first book in the new Homeland Heroes series, Seconds to Live. Wow – what a great book about trust, faith, and forgiveness. Especially forgiveness of one’s self which sometimes is the hardest person to forgive! I loved Taylor – to be like her with her selfless ways and compassionate heart. Dustee was great comic relief throughout the intense, suspenseful, and page turning storyline. The ending was nothing like what I expected but oh so clever and dramatic. This author’s main character men are so multidimensional. I love how Sean was developed and I also found myself wanting to know more about Mack, and Kiley, and Cam. I hope that we will get to delve into their stories more in later books. This was a book I’m already telling my friends about and cannot wait to read the next in the series. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher but was under no obligation to read or review. All opinions are strictly mine.
Randi_AMDFT 7 days ago
Witness protection, murder, cyber crimes and romance... Seconds to Live had a LOT going on. While sometimes that can make a book hard to keep up with or overwhelming at points, I felt like in this one is was a perfect blend of all of the above, keeping me captivated from page one right through until the end. In Seconds to Live we meet Taylor, a US Marshal tasked with keeping those in witness protection safe. When their database is hacked and the security of the program threatened, this brings her online friend and FBI agent Sean into her real life. Their easy online relationship turns out to be a little more difficult to navigate when they are working side by side. As someone who met their spouse online, I really found that part of the story to be rather interesting. While my own experience was quite different from that of our romantic leads, I certainly did know a little something about the adjustment that they faced. Theirs however was certainly more to the extreme, both having built up walls after past events in their lives that made it hard to trust. Trust was a huge theme in this book, both in their relationship with each other, on the job and with God. I really enjoyed seeing them work through some of that throughout the story, though I must admit both characters could be a little frustrating at various points throughout the story... but then, aren't we all? Though this was the first book in the series, I found myself wondering if perhaps I had missed a previous book as it referenced a previous crime that the team had worked on several times throughout--- an unsolved crime that is. As best as I could tell, this WAS in fact the first story, but it seemed to me that perhaps this was setting the series up for another side mystery that I hope we will see more of throughout the series. This didn't take away at all from the primary story at hand, but really kept me intrigued even further to want to pick up the next book. I believe this is the first book that I had read from this author, but it most certainly will not be the last. I cannot wait to see what she has in store for us in the next book! **I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher for consideration. All thoughts are 100% my own.
Anonymous 9 days ago
I adore books that are hard hitting story lines from Federal Agencies! I think the men and women that work for these agencies are not given enough credit for all they do for our country. Most of what they do is behind the scenes and we never hear of the heroic actions they do on a daily basis (which is as it should be) but reading about it, even in a fiction book, lets us into their world and gives us a glimpse of what their life is like. I know I couldn't do it but I'm so glad there are people that CAN! They keep me, my family and our country safe. In this book we have a dangerous hacker who exposes the WISTEC database and starts auctioning off the personal details to the highest bidder. I can't even imagine it. Here are vulnerable people who have already been through a huge life change, going into the witness protection program, and now, their lives have been exposed and threatened by bad people. The clock is ticking to find this person and RED team must do it ASAP! FBI agent, Sean Michaels leads the RED team and is under the gun to find the hacker but he must do it with the help from U.S. Marshall, Taylor Mills. They have been corresponding for months online but have never met. They have become almost cyber-best friends but find that meeting each other in person is a whole other ballgame! Can they stop this criminal in time to save innocent people? Can they even work together? A wonderful book that I recommend! I even learned a lot along the way!
GlendaParker 9 days ago
My review today is on the Romantic Thriller, Seconds to Live. This is book one in the Homeland Heroes Series. I'm one of Susan's biggest fans and I'm always thrilled to get one of her book. This was especially wonderful because it was a printed copy. This book is well written, action packed, and full of intrigue. It's full of twists and turns and I know you're going to love it. FBI Agent Sean Nichols is one of the members of an elite cyber team, the Red Team of the Cyber Crimes Center. They have information come in that a cyber villain called the Phantom has hacked the government computers and has a list of witnesses in protection and is selling the information on the dark web. One of the witnesses is protected by US Marshal Taylor Mills. A woman he has never met but has been chatting on line with for several months. In one way he can't wait to meet her in another he's afraid it will be the end of their friendship. He needs the help of one of Taylor's witnesses to help him track down this hacker turned killer. He can't believe the beauty that is his Taylor. Can he remain friends with her when he is so attracted to her? US Marshal Taylor Mills is called by one of her witnesses but she doesn't answer right away. She just needs a few minutes alone time. When she finally realizes who made the call and that she is in trouble she must go out and find the girl. She finds the girl and takes her to headquarters. She is told a man is waiting to see her. That man is the one she's been pouring her secrets out to for months. How can she work with him? How can he be so handsome and distracting? A harrowing journey to keep thousands of people alive. How can this Phantom be one step ahead of them all the time? Is there a mole in the Marshal's office? Can these two broken souls learn to trust each other? Can they trust God? He's the only one that can save them now. God has a plan for these two, a plan of deliverance, redemption, and restoration. God has a plan for you too. A good plan and not for evil. Give Him your life and watch Him do something with it.
tiggeruoSO 10 days ago
I can honestly say I am ready for the next book I want to know what's the team is up to next. I found Dustee had her moments sometimes she acted like a child and other times like the adult she is, she kind of was borderline annoying. The author did a good job keeping you guessing and wondering what was going to happen next. That being said there was a part towards the end that kind of dragged for a chapter or two but over all I found the book hard to put down. I was not a fan of the epilogue I won't give the reason why as it will ruin what happens in the book. I will say that this is a clean read and there is so much suspense you will want to finish it in one setting just to find out what happened. I would totally recommend this book and I really can't wait to read more about what's happening next with the Montgomery Three. I received an advance copy from the publisher via NetGalley. I was under no obligation to post a review and have given my honest opinion
Christianfictionandmore 10 days ago
Seconds to Live is an intense suspense novel involving the security of witnesses in the witness protection program when the WITSEC database is hacked. The FBI's RED team, headed by Sean Nichols, and WITSEC deputy Taylor Mills work together to locate the infamous hacker known as Phantom who is selling witnesses' data on the dark web. Sleeman's research into WITSEC procedures and the technology included in this story is evident. The suspense drives this novel, and that is a good thing because the romance is over the top cheesy. While reading I asked my husband if he'd ever wanted to climb into a book and Gibb's smack a character, and he just looked at me like I was a bit nuts, but Sean and Taylor would both benefit from an encounter with Gibbs. (If that doesn't make sense to you, you have never watched NCIS.) The author interwove these characters' faith and trust in one another with their faith and trust in God. All of that said, I would still recommend this book because the suspense is so good. I am grateful to have received a copy of Seconds to Live from Bethany House Publishers via NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion. I was under no obligation to provide a positive review and received no monetary compensation.
arkieclown 10 days ago
SECOND TO LIVE by Susan Sleeman is the first book in the Homeland Heroes series. It’s the well-crafted and the extremely exciting story of the joint efforts of FBI Agent Sean Nichols and U.S. Marshall Taylor Mills to both protect the witness protection participants and to bring down Phantom, the person responsible for the U. S. Marshall’s Witness Protection system being hacked. What started off as discussions over the computer during past crimes, soon developed into a rather close friendship between Taylor and Sean. Both felt they could talk freely thinking of it as a long distance, nonjudgmental person that they would never actually meet face to face. However, when Taylor’s client under the witness protection is both in danger and needed for assistance in Sean’s latest case, it became apparent that wasn’t going to be the case. Sean shows up at Taylor’s office unannounced. Taylor and Sean are both well trained and highly respected in their respective fields. Each enters the story with past baggage (trust and guilt) and determined dedication to their jobs, which leaves room for no personal relationships, which only cause heartache and disappointment. However, both felt an immediate attraction from their first meeting with sparks continuing to fly through this action packed story as well as thoughts as to how it would affect their friendship. Taylor becomes part of the RED team as does her witness protection client Dustee. Dustee is in the protection system because she testified against the Phantom in the past. Sean is hoping she can help find and identify him. However, she’s on limited and supervised computer research due to her own addiction to hacking. When another person is murdered by Phantom - one they had talked to in the investigation, and then Taylor is shot, Sean feels even more pressure to prove he was the right person to be in charge of this investigation and is capable to solve the case before anyone else gets hurt. Where will the clues lead them? Is there a dirty cop within their mists? Can they find Phantom before someone else is murdered? Will working so closely affect the friendship between Taylor and Sean? Will that friendship grow or will this case destroy it? Will Dustee help them or will her careless manner cause more havoc and work for everyone else? Can they protect all the people within the witness protections system after their files have been compromised? Susan Sleeman does a fabulous job of combining just the right about of action, excitement and romance to keep you turning the pages and rooting for the good guys. You never feel that the police case is on the back burner when the natural attraction of Taylor and Sean are woven into the story or while you are understanding how each one feels the way they do. Love the way you get to know all the characters in this story making them feel like your own friends that you understand, feel for and want to help along the way. Knowing it’s the first book in the series, makes me super excited to see how the story goes from here and what other adventures they will lead me on. Highly recommend SECONDS TO LIVE to anyone that loves a fabulous, well-written suspense action romance that will have your heart pumping and fluttering at the same time. I give it a great big FIVE STARS!
floraljoy 10 days ago
Keeps you guessing: This was an interesting book with many twists and turns as the team endeavored to find the hacker. I enjoyed meeting the different RED team members and think that the author has set things up well for the rest of the series. However the writing style made it difficult for me to settle into this book. It was slow going especially as the action and discovery tended to be more reactionary than proactive. Sean and Taylor were authentic and complex characters. They were each grappling with issues such as fear,betrayal and lying and had to figure out how to forgive and trust so that they were no longer held back from living life to the fullest. Unfortunately they were like oil and water continually butting heads and misunderstanding each other. It was not a feel good romance but more of a slow grind as they fought against becoming more than just friends. It felt a bit depressing at times and I think the story could have done with more humor or good times to lighten things up a bit. I was however most relieved to find that they finally resolved some of their issues and there is the promise of a HEA! I received a free copy of this book and am voluntarily leaving a review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.
lsnlj 10 days ago
This is book one in the Homeland Heroes series, so what a great place to start. I love the writing style of Susan Sleeman. Her books are always full of action, mystery, suspense, police/FBI and of course some romance. This one would make a great movie, just saying. FBI agent Sean Nichols and US Marshal Taylor Mills must work together to find a very talented hacker before more lives are lost. I loved the sparks between Sean and Taylor and I also loved the entire RED team and look forward to reading more about this team.
lsnlj 10 days ago
This is book one in the Homeland Heroes series, so what a great place to start. I love the writing style of Susan Sleeman. Her books are always full of action, mystery, suspense, police/FBI and of course some romance. This one would make a great movie, just saying. FBI agent Sean Nichols and US Marshal Taylor Mills must work together to find a very talented hacker before more lives are lost. I loved the sparks between Sean and Taylor and I also loved the entire RED team and look forward to reading more about this team.
GrandaddyA 10 days ago
Susan Sleeman kicked off her new Homeland Heroes series with a definite winner. The suspenseful action throughout the story kept me turning the pages on past midnight. As usual, I was looking for clues that would help me solve the mystery before I reached the end, but I did not succeed this time. I particularly appreciated the way the author dealt with the trust issues that kept dragging Sean and Taylor down. No matter how close they got, the fear of being rejected if the other knew all their secrets kept forcing itself into their thoughts. Their struggles were so true to life, and the lessons learned are the same lessons we need to learn, if we battle similar demons. Having spent my career in Information Technology, I was intrigued by the technical aspects of the story while being grateful I never had to deal with anything even resembling the major hacking job the RED Team was working to solve. Back before everything was online, I had an auditor ask me: “If someone wanted to breach the system, how could they do it?” I responded by saying, “I don’t know. I have never thought that way.” Sadly, as is made so obvious in the story, practically everyone needs to know what is possible in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from the kind of evil portrayed by the Phantom. I admired Taylor’s ability to always place the welfare of her clients ahead of her own. With someone like Dustee, I would have been out of patience the first week and looking for someone else to protect her. Taylor displayed admirable strength of character to continue protecting Dustee even when Dustee’s own actions endangered not just her life but her sister’s life and everyone involved in trying to keep them safe. Regardless of how the story ended, Taylor deserved a special award for putting up with that woman. I received an advance copy of this book from the author. This is my honest review. All opinions are strictly my own.
SusanSnodgrassBookworm 10 days ago
'Trust me, I know what I'm doing. I have more training and experience than any of them.' When a cybercriminal hacks into the WITSEC program and begins auctioning off personal details to the highest bidder, the FBI and the U.S. Marshals must race to try and uncover the identity of the hacker before all the witnesses in the program are compromised or killed. FBI Agent Sean Nichols must work with U.S. Marshal Taylor Mills, and they only know each other from an online presence. They now have to work against the clock and form a bond that will help them catch this devious hacker and now murderer before more people die. Susan Sleeman is a go-to author for me for suspense. She is good at what she does, no doubt about it. I love how she brings in the technical details of each branch of law enforcement into the mix to make it even more interesting. The story builds excitement with each chapter and races to an exciting conclusion. I highly recommend this book. I am now eagerly awaiting more in Sleeman's Homeland Heroes series. *My thanks to Bethany House Publishers for a preview copy of this book via Net Galley. The opinions stated here are entirely my own.
MaureenST 10 days ago
As I turned the first page, I was hooked, and with my heart in my throat I wondered if the victim would survive. Not knowing the story behind the chase, I was quickly pulled in. There is a bit of sweet romance here, between two hurting individuals, but most of this story is about catching a murderer and computer hacker. When they say “Big Brother is watching”, it may not be who we think it is, and why? We are dealing with elite government agencies, and they seem to work miracles, but as the facts begin to unfold, wow! Surprises abound, and some I really didn’t see coming, and you wonder how this is all going to end! Be ready for a page-turner, you won’t be able to put this one down until you have answers! I received this book through Net Galley and the Publisher Bethany House, and was not required to give a positive review.
ytcruz 10 days ago
Seconds to Live is the beginning of a new series by this talented author. A Christian suspense romance that promises to keep us on the edge of our seats . The premise of this story is that hackers infiltrated the WITSEC files and are selling them to the highest bidder. Meaning, now those who thought they were safe are now unprotected and likely will be harmed and possibly killed. The one that has made the discovery is FBI agent Sean Nichols. A man determined to find the hackers and the evil person behind the operation. The U.S. Marshall assigned to the case is Taylor Mills. Their methods are on opposites end of the spectrum but their goal is the same. Stop the hackers and keep the witnesses safe. This action filled story was thought provoking. How far does the Dark Web and cyber crime reach? A scary thought in this day and age. It’s also a story about trust, and faith. I was entrusted a copy of this book by Netgalley and Bethany House Publishing. The opinions expressed are solely my own.
Becky5 11 days ago
As usual, Susan Sleeman draws readers in with the very first sentence. Sleeman’s writing in Seconds to Live, like her other works, is concise, taut, and suspenseful in a beyond-terrifying way. Yet Sleeman uses her remarkable knowledge of the cyber crimes world to craft a novel that is both thoughtful and uplifting. When I finished this book, my thought was, if Taylor and Sean can learn to trust God in their over-the-top FBI dangerous jobs, surely I can trust Him with my own life. Besides, even though both Taylor and Sean have jobs most of us can only imagine, their feelings, actions, and conversations make them very relatable. While I didn't much like Dustee, I almost felt sorry for her. Not many in our techie world today would be able to go long periods without some connection to technology. Yet, Dustee had to stay completely away from the internet. Oy, vey! All of Sleeman’s characters on the Red Team are introduced with enough character that my reading mind is tantalized with the idea of wanting to know them more. Quotes: " 'And all this pacing and frustration out here in the hall means you’re trusting Him?’ It was just like her to call him on his struggle.” "But if Sean had learned anything on the Montgomery Three investigation, he’d learned God was in control. Not him. God. That was true now, too, and was worth remembering.” "We all live in hiding to some degree...people in hiding want someone to care enough to look for them...” I received a complimentary ARC of this book from Bethany House through Netgalley. I also received a copy direct from the author. This does not affect my opinions, which are solely my own.
TrixiO 19 days ago
“One Mistake. That was all it took to put Dustee’s life on the line—death right on her heels.” And that right there is the explosive start of another stellar suspense written by Susan Sleeman! Someone hacked the Witness Protection database or WITSEC and now lives are at stake. FBI Sean Nicols and US Marshal Taylor Mills must put their skills to the test protecting Dustee while trying to bring down a criminal name Phantom, who has eluded law enforcement every step of the way. One thing I can say for Sleeman, she never lets go of the reader once she hooks you with that first page! The pace rarely lets up and just when you think everyone is safe—bam!—she writes another twist into the plot. I also love the team effort of everyone involved—fellow FBI agent Kiley Dawson, Deputy U.S. Marshal Mack Jordan, and FBI Analyst Cameron Linn. I truly admire this team’s skills, personalities, and how much of themselves they put in to catch a criminal & protect a witness. Sleeman is one of the best at pulling differing characters together seamlessly! The push pull romance between Sean and Taylor adds an angsty layer of tension upping the suspense. Both were burnt in love, had rough childhoods and are wary of trusting another person, thus putting a wall up between them. Something God loves to tear down in lives! “We have the same problem, you and I. We can’t trust ourselves, because we can’t trust others or God. We spout the words. Go through the motions. But actually trusting? Naw, we don’t succeed.” I love seeing how everything culminates at the end as they bring down the Phantom, work out trust issues and once again rely on the Lord to get through every day. I can’t wait to read the next books where I hope we get each of the team members’ stories. Especially Mack, he fascinates me with his big personality to go with his big Texas drawl…getting him to open up will test Sleeman’s writing skills I think! *I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House on behalf of the author and was under no obligation to leave a favorable review. All opinions stated are my own. *
MzKCKitty 3 months ago
FBI Agent Sean Nichols is appointed to head a team investigating a hacker who goes by the name of Phantom, who has hacked into US Marshals' Witness Protection database. He needs to go to where a witness has already been pursued by the hacker with the intention to kill her. That witness is being protected by US Marshal Taylor Mills, who happens to be a friend of Agent Nichols even though their friendship has always been online and not in person. As they chase the Phantom the stakes keep getting higher and the danger keeps getting more frightening. It takes everyone on the team to crack the case. This one is a nail biter and it didn’t take me long to read because I traded sleep time for reading time. Highly recommend! I have voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this books which I received from NetGalley. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.