Silent Night Standoff (Love Inspired Suspense Series)

Silent Night Standoff (Love Inspired Suspense Series)

by Susan Sleeman

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When armed robbers strike her bank, hostage negotiator Skyler Brennan's life is on the line. Rescue comes from the last person she thought she could count on—the ex-boyfriend who chose his job over their relationship. FBI agent Logan Hunter knows how much is resting on this case. The promotion of his dreams…and the safety of the woman he's never been able to forget. But when an unexpected twist in the case pulls Logan in two separate directions, he'll have to make an impossible choice. Will he manage to have it all by Christmas—a career and love—or will he lose them both? 

First Responders: Brave men and women alert and ready for danger and love.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781460342428
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: 11/01/2014
Series: First Responders , #1
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 224
Sales rank: 85,387
File size: 311 KB

About the Author

Susan Sleeman is a bestselling author of romantic suspense books. With over thirty published books, readers love her series for the well-drawn characters and edge of your seat action. She graduated from the FBI and local police academies so her research is spot on, and her characters are real. Susan hosts and has lived in nine states but now calls Oregon home. Her husband is a retired church music director and they have two daughters, a son-in-law, and a grandson.

Read an Excerpt

The gun came out of nowhere.

A hard kick of adrenaline stole Skyler's breath. She raised her hands and backed away, the urge to reach for her own weapon nearly overpowering her good sense.

"Everyone on the floor now!" the bank robber screamed.

Skinny with spiked hair, his eyes were glassy, his body jittery. Fidgety. He was coming down from some drug. Not a good thing. Drugs and money were the top causes of violence, and he had both of them spurring him on. Making him unpredictable.

Add a loaded weapon and Skyler had a dangerous combination staring her down.

She needed to tread lightly. Forget about the gun in her purse for now. Do as he commanded.

She pulled in a few cleansing breaths and helped a pregnant woman settle on the cold tile floor of the Portland Community Bank, then took a seat with the other terrified customers.

She'd messed up. Big-time. Missed seeing the team dubbed by the media as a modern-day Bonnie and Clyde, but she hadn't been paying attention.

She wasn't on duty. She'd just stopped in to cash a check for her upcoming Christmas party for homeless families. A worthy cause, for sure, but she was a deputy sheriff and a hostage negotiator on the county's First Response Squad, for crying out loud. She was trained to read people, and she'd failed Cop 101.

Her training officer's voice rang in her head. Always know your surroundings. Always be alert and ready for anything. Serve and protect the innocent.

Protect, Skyler! How can you protect if you don't know what's going on?

Focus. Now. Before it's too late and someone gets hurt.

She watched Bonnie, a thin woman with dead eyes, calmly herd three customers from the teller windows to sit nearby. She shot across the room to retrieve the balding bank manager. That left three tellers standing behind the counter, all gaping at Clyde, his gun trained on them.

"My baby." The pregnant woman cradled her swollen belly as her terrified gaze flitted around the space. "I've got to get out of here."

"It's okay," Skyler whispered. "You and your baby will be fine. Just fine."

"You don't know that." Panic took her voice high.

Hoping to redirect the woman's thoughts before one of the robbers singled them out, Skyler asked, "What's your name?"


"Well, Faith, I do know we all have a much better chance of avoiding injury if we keep calm and do everything we're told."

"No talking!" Clyde spun on them and locked gazes with Skyler.

For the first time since they'd drawn their weapons, Sky-ler doubted her abilities. Doubted she'd be able to end this situation without anyone getting hurt. Not without her team. On duty, she'd have a sniper at the ready. Medical support waiting. A trained supervisor calling the shots as he did for all crisis situations in the county.

"I've got to get out of here." Faith struggled to stand. Skyler stilled her as Bonnie shot across the room toward them.

Bonnie bent low, her scraggly blond hair falling over her face. She jabbed her gun at Faith's chest. "Are you deaf, lady? He said no talking."

"Easy," Skyler said, the word slipping out before she thought better of it.

Bonnie pawed her hair from her eyes and glared in reply. Skyler should be afraid, but her anger fired hotter, blotting out her fear. Faith didn't deserve to be frightened like this. The terror would live with her—with everyone in the room—for the rest of their lives.

Skyler needed to do everything she could to minimize their trauma. That meant holding her anger in check so she was ready to act if she could do so safely.

"Man the door, Bonnie," Clyde said, his focus returning to the tellers.

Bonnie kept narrowed eyes fixed on Faith until she reached the door and turned her back.

Perfect. Just the distraction Skyler needed.

She shifted her body for privacy, opened the message screen on her phone and typed, 211 bank 23rd & Glisan. Bonnie and Clyde. 2 Glock 9mm. She sent the message to squad leader, Jake Marsh, then dialed his number and lowered her in-call volume to zero to keep the robbers from hearing Jake answer.

When she saw that the call had connected and knew he was on the line, she switched to speaker so he could listen in. She palmed her phone—microphone facing out—and turned back to wait for her team to arrive.

"Put all of your cash in the bag." Clyde unfolded a worn duffel bag and tossed it onto the counter in front of the first teller.

"Move it along, Clyde," Bonnie yelled from her post at the front door. "All we need is for a customer to show up and call the cops."

Clyde slid over to the next teller. "Your turn. Make it quick."

Skyler sat quietly, praying her squad arrived soon to set up their command center and get everyone out before the situation turned ugly.

Time ticked by.

Slowly. Painfully. A minute feeling like an hour.

The soothing strains of "Silent Night" played from the speakers, but nothing was calm or bright in this room. Just the opposite.

Skyler was aware of every breath she took. Of the perspiration sliding down her back. Of her purse lying against her leg, the gun inside. The change in Faith's breathing and the face of an elderly man wearing a tattered suit reddening like a ripe tomato.

Why did they have to have a heat wave in December of all times? The seventy-plus afternoon temps made it seem more like an Oregon summer. Mix that with the fear pulsing around them and the space felt like a muggy, breath-stealing jungle. A situation that could cause panic.

"People are hot and looking like they might pass out," Skyler said to Clyde. "Would it be okay if they took off their coats or sweaters?"

"Not happening." He didn't even bother to look at the group.

"I'm really worried about them." Skyler grabbed a brochure from a rack and fanned Faith. "Especially Faith here. Her pregnancy makes her much hotter than the rest of us."

Bonnie spun. "Another word out of you, and I'm coming over there to shut you up," she shouted, her face tightening in anger.

Skyler could see Bonnie was starting to lose it, so Skyler clamped her mouth shut while continuing to fan Faith. When a police siren sounded nearby, Skyler held her breath, fearing that her worst nightmare was coming true. It was protocol not to run the siren and take cover out of view when responding to a robbery. The procedure kept robbers from panicking and causing a deadly hostage situation.

Please let it be a simple traffic stop. Not a rookie flying high with adrenaline and failing to follow procedures.

The whoop, whoop, whoop of the siren wound closer, an eerie warning of problems to come. The wail stopped just outside.

No. The officer was responding to the robbery.

"Cops!" Panic flooded Bonnie's face as she ran across the room and tugged on Clyde's arm. "We need to get out of here now."

Clyde jerked his arm free and jumped onto the counter. He shoved the gun into the nearest teller's forehead. Without a siren, Bonnie and Clyde would've left the bank, giving waiting officers the chance to arrest them. Now, combine their panic with drugs that were known to cause paranoid psychosis, and Skyler faced a full-blown crisis.

Clyde got in the teller's face. "You press the panic button?"

"No." Her terrified voice cut to Skyler's core.

"Then who did?" He stepped along the counter, his sloppy tennis shoes slapping on the Formica as he pointed his gun at the male teller. "You?"

He shook his head, his eyes cutting around the space as if searching for a way out.

"How about you?" Clyde waved his gun at the last teller.


"One of you had to or the cops wouldn't be here this fast. I'm going to start shooting you one by one until you tell me who sounded the alarm."

"No, Clyde," Bonnie begged. "Let's get out of here while we can."

"The cops have to get organized, and this won't take long." Clyde lowered his finger to the trigger guard and sneered down at the tellers. "Who's first?"

The female tellers started sobbing. The male's face paled. Skyler couldn't let them pay for her actions.

"Stop!" She came to her feet.

Clyde whipped around. He pointed his weapon at Sky-ler's heart, but she didn't back away.

"It was me. I texted a cop friend of mine," she said, purposely not mentioning she, too, was a deputy. She held her breath as she waited for him to fire.

He jumped from the counter and marched across the room. She was hyperaware of every second passing while he advanced on her. His baggy jeans whispering. The thump, thump, thump of his shoes. His body odor and foul breath.

Inches away, he pressed the gun into her mouth and held out his hand. "Give me your phone."

She resisted gagging on the cold steel and handed over her phone. The acrid smell of burned carbon filled her nostrils. He'd fired this gun before. Maybe it was the same gun used to kill two hostages in California.

Please, God, don't let his finger slip.

He turned his attention to the phone and woke up the screen. She knew once he discovered her ongoing call to Jake, he'd squeeze the trigger, ending her life. In all her negotiations, she'd never been this close to death. Sweat rolled down her back and beaded above her lip.

"Clyde, c'mon," Bonnie said. "We stay here any longer and the place will be swarming with cops."

Yes, Clyde, run. Now. Fast. Down the street and into the arms of my team.

He stared at Skyler's phone and didn't respond.

Please, God, don't let this be the end.

A sick smile spread across Clyde's thin lips, revealing teeth rotted from a meth addiction and confirming her suspicions of drug use. She braced herself for his finger curling on the metal. The report of gunfire. The weapon jerking in her mouth. Death taking hold.

"Jake, huh," he said, his sneer widening. "You didn't just text him—you called him, too." He lifted the phone to his mouth. "Well, Jake." He jiggled the gun, and Skyler's heart threatened to stop beating. "Sorry you hurried on over here. You cost this pretty little lady her life."

His finger slid to the trigger. "Say buh-bye to Jake, missy. It's the last thing you'll ever do."

Adrenaline spurring him on, FBI Agent Logan Hunter approached the police barricade outside the bank robbery in progress. He'd caught the perfect break. He'd just gotten into town, when the call came in about Bonnie and Clyde. His team was en route to the standoff, but as the case agent tasked with bringing in the robbers, Logan was in the right place at a critical moment. True, he still had to convince the local authorities to let him in on the action, but that was a piece of cake.

He paused to take in the scene and plan his approach. He'd been briefed on the unique First Response Squad—a division of the county sheriff's department—on the way over. He spotted the man who was clearly their commander, Lieutenant Jake Marsh, standing outside their large white command truck. He was talking to the team's sniper, who was unzipping a rifle case. Both were dressed in the team uniform of black tactical pants and polo shirts, but the sniper added a tactical vest and loaded it with extra ammo.

Marsh, feet planted wide, stood calmly, his focus intense. The sniper was jumpy, his foot tapping on the concrete. As Logan climbed over the barricade, the sniper took off across the street to get into position for a kill shot should it become necessary. Marsh stepped to another team member settling a small orange case on a small robot. Likely a negotiator—an additional negotiator, since Logan had heard that another one was already in the building. The man didn't rush, but moved with purpose and double-checked each step. Obviously not his first hostage standoff.

The case held a phone connected by a long cable to the command truck and would provide direct communications to the robbers. If the team could get them to take the phone. That was a big if as they wouldn't need a throw phone if the robbers had answered the bank phone or kept in touch on the inside negotiator's cell.

As Logan approached, he searched for the bomb expert and the EMT who rounded out the team of six. He found neither and assumed they were in the truck. He headed straight for Marsh.

Marsh looked up, his eyes narrowing.

Logan flashed his badge. "I hear you have a team member inside."

Marsh's brows shot toward his thick black hair. "This is your concern, why?"

"Bank robbery." Logan knew his response was lame, but the bureau's jurisdiction over bank robberies was his only way into the action. He hoped Marsh played nice and let him participate in the negotiations.

"The investigation is all yours." Marsh made strong eye contact. "After my team resolves the standoff. Until then, you stand down."

The lieutenant's rebuff should have angered Logan. Instead, he respected the guy for standing up to an agent. But Logan had no intention of sitting back. Of letting the locals do their thing when his future promotion at the FBI depended on him arresting Bonnie and Clyde. A promotion that should win him the first hint of respect in his demanding father's eyes.

"I'm not asking to take charge of the standoff," Logan said. "But our agency has been tailing this pair for months now. My information could be invaluable in your efforts here."

"Fine," Marsh said. "Speak only when asked and you can stay."

Right. Real team player.

Schooling himself not to get mad, Logan followed Marsh to the mobile command center. The negotiator climbed the stairs after Marsh and Logan trailed them onboard the state-of-the-art truck.

"Everybody," March called out as he stepped to a communications suite holding three monitors, "the suit is Special Agent Hunter. He's heading up the bureau's investigation into Bonnie and Clyde."

Marsh snapped on a headset, then clamped a hand on the shoulder of a scrawny young man who sat behind a computer watching a live feed of the bank's exterior from the truck's rooftop camera.

"Where're we at, Darryl?" Marsh asked.

Darryl didn't look up from his keyboard. "Should be tapped into the bank security feed in a few seconds."

As Marsh stared over Darryl's shoulder, Logan quickly assessed the team. The negotiator had stopped next to a control station for deploying robots, where a muscle-bound guy sat tapping his foot. The bombs guy, Logan suspected. A woman he assumed was the EMT checked supplies in the medical bay that formed the back of the truck. Everyone was somber and intense.

"Okay, people." Marsh turned to the group as he glanced at his watch. "We're hitting the ten-minute mark since the call came in. Every second brings us closer to the outcome we're hoping to avoid. Based on the robbers' prior behavior, there's a good chance of casualties here. Brady's in place and ready to take the shot if necessary."

The sense of fear for their team member in the hands of two unpredictable and armed robbers hung in the air, and the mood darkened even more.

"We're in," Darryl announced, drawing everyone's attention. "Let me dial in on the action." He clicked a few keys. Suddenly the screens lit with live footage from the bank's interior.

Logan focused on the monitor. Clyde flashed onto the screen, holding the negotiator at gunpoint. Logan's mouth went dry, and his pulse skipped a beat.

"Skyler? The negotiator inside is Skyler Brennan?" His strangled cry brought all eyes toward him.

"You know Skyler?"

Know her? He'd dated her for a year and had nearly let himself forget his goals and fall in love with her.

"You're her suit?" the EMT asked. "The one who dumped her?"

Logan didn't know how to answer, so he said nothing. "Darcie?" Marsh asked.

"He dated Skyler before she joined the squad. Chose his career over her and moved away for the job. Guess he's back now." Darcie's acerbic tone conveyed what she thought of him.

She kept watching him, so he turned his attention back to the screen. As he focused on Skyler's brave face, his pulse beat triple time. She looked the same. Short, curvy with red hair. She had a sweet girl-next-door face devoid of any makeup. Her hair was currently secured in two small pigtails that gave her a pixie look.

Vulnerable. The word shot into his brain as a chill iced him over. She'd been training for a position like this when he'd met her, but as a woman in a largely male field, and with only three years as a detective under her belt, he never really thought she'd get the job. Or maybe the real issue was he'd avoided thinking about the danger a negotiator's job involved to keep his fears at bay.

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Silent Night Standoff 4.8 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 25 reviews.
Cheri5 More than 1 year ago
I just finished the first book, Silent Night Standoff, in the First Responders series by Susan Sleeman. May I say??? Well done! I wasn’t sure if I could let myself get caught up in another series where I would fall in love with the characters, only to have them disappear on me in four. However, I’m here to say - we have SIX books of these guys to enjoy and enjoy them I will! I absolutely love the way Ms. Sleeman writes. She has a way with her words that captivates the readers while creating realistic yet likeable characters and true to life situations that hopefully will never happen to any of us since they are always in danger. But, with the life they lead and the jobs they choose, it comes with the territory and honestly, sitting on my couch is my favorite place to experience these types of situations - they get all the danger, I get all the fun! Silent Night Standoff blends all things awesome about a book and weaves them together effortlessly. You have the wonder of Christmas, a favorite holiday for many, suspense and mystery that will keep you guessing - I love how Ms. Sleeman’s books aren’t predictable and while she gives clues throughout, I hardly ever guess the right killer - and of course, a hint of romance that is realistic, not far fetched. Ms. Sleeman also blends into the whole mix a spiritual element that leaves the reader thinking, not feeling preached to. I absolutely love this series and can’t wait to read the next one. In fact, that’s my only complaint - I have to wait a while before I can (but thankfully not too long).
Virginiaw More than 1 year ago
I could not put this down.  I did not want the story to end.  I really look forward to reading more in this series.  I won this in a giveaway.  It was fantastic.  Keep more l of these suspense novels coming.
TonyaTells More than 1 year ago
When armed robbers strike her bank, hostage negotiator Skyler Brennan's life is on the line. Rescue comes from the last person she thought she could count on—the ex-boyfriend who chose his job over their relationship. FBI agent Logan Hunter knows how much is resting on this case. The promotion of his dreams…and the safety of the woman he's never been able to forget. But when an unexpected twist in the case pulls Logan in two separate directions, he'll have to make an impossible choice. Will he manage to have it all by Christmas—a career and love—or will he lose them both? First Responders: Brave men and women alert and ready for danger and love. -- My thoughts. I really enjoyed the adventure and banter between Logan and Skyler. Fast paced, full of witty interaction with everyone. The six of first responders are family. I enjoyed them immensely. This book started off with a bang and it didn't end until the last sentence. You can't guess who it is! That made it a huge hit with me. I really don't enjoy that when you can guess. Also, being from the northwest, I love that I can know exactly what Sleeman is talking about. Yes, Lloyd Center and ice skating! Yes!! Too much fun. What I loved is the end, my heart beat fast. Read it and you will know! Thank you Ms Sleeman for an excellent read, I can't wait for the next one!!! I received this book in exchange for my honest opinion.
sunshineJB More than 1 year ago
Page Turning Suspense! Author Susan Sleeman knows how to write a great suspense story.  This is the second book I have read of hers.  I am looking forward to reading more. Skyler Brennan finds herself in a very bad situation.  In the midst of a bank robbery she must put her skills to work as a hostage negotiator.  Things quickly turn sour.  Her very life is at stake.  Someone is stalking her and wishes to see her dead.  Many attempts are made on her life. This story gives you a glimpse of Skyler’s past and present life, her past and present hurts too. Skyler has developed a strong bond with her co-workers.  They are truly family in every sense of the word.  Can this family of hers save her before it is too late? Pick up a copy today.  I really enjoyed this great read and I highly recommend it.  
GingerS219 More than 1 year ago
I'm a big fan of Susan's writing and couldn't wait to read this book. As soon as it appeared in my mailbox, it was all I could do to finish the other book I had started. Silent Night Standoff fulfilled my lofty expectations. The writing is excellent, the story intriguing, and the romance -- well, I just love a happily ever after. I particularly enjoyed the twist that was completely unexpected. Since this is the first in a new series, I anxiously await book two. :) I received this book from the author/publisher in exchange for an honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This is a perfect stocking stuffer for the readers on your Christmas list. Suspense that will keep you turning the page without giving you nightmares, romance that stays clean, and flawed characters who understand their need for God, without becoming "preachy". Susan Sleeman has great insight into the lives of heroes who risk their own lives to keep others safe. Share it with the heroes in your world.
LovenGod More than 1 year ago
I want to start out my review with this comment. I have been reviewing Susan Sleeman's books since 2010, I have read and reviewed nine of her books, this makes the tenth book I will have reviewed written by her. Often times over the past seven years of reviewing I have found that the more books an author writes the sloppier the writing gets, this is NOT true for Susan's books, they are pristine, the action and suspense is great and her story telling improves with every book. And Silent Night Standoff didn't disappoint, it was the same high quality story, you can expect any time you read a book written by this author. The tension and the attraction is fraught. You could nearly play a tune on the nerves of some of the team member they are wound up so tight. Logan is a character you really want to dislike, just because of the history, but you can't find it in yourself to do so as you get to know him in this story. Another great one from Susan Sleeman. 5 stars from this reviewer.  This book was provided for review purposes only and no payment was received for this review. 
Kimberly0 More than 1 year ago
I am a fan of romantic suspense and Susan Sleeman's books are some of my favorites. A Silent Night Standoff is no exception. This story kept me guessing to the end, which is truly a feat, since I almost always figure these things out about half-way through. Silent Night Standoff hit the mark for me. The characters were memorable, unique individuals and the plot kept moving. Best of all, this is the first book in a new series by Susan.:) I received a complimentary copy of this book for my honest review.
3boysmomTG More than 1 year ago
I love Susan's Book, I have read them all. Great characters, great scenery, really great keep your fingers burning turning the pages stories. She makes you feel you are right there watching all the action happen. She twists the stories so you think you know who did it and then the murdered comes out of no where. I enjoy all her creative writing. She is one of my favorite Love Inspired Suspence writers. She brings her characters to life.
LoraineN More than 1 year ago
Who was after Skyler and why was Logan the one who needed to protect her? I enjoyed how Skyler had to wrestle with those questions and her hurt feelings that Logan’s sudden appearance brought to the surface. This story was a good mix of suspense and romance. Full review is at my website. I received this book complimentary in a giveaway. I was not required to give a review. All of the opinions I have expressed here are my own.
train_lady More than 1 year ago
Not the ending I expected. I was ready to rate this book 4 stars because the ending seemed lame. Was I wrong! I should have known since there were still a fair number of pages to go. Sleeman came though with a stellar ending that I did not see coming. This would have been a great read anyway, but with the unexpected twist at the end, it certainly rates 5 stars. Good work Ms Sleeman. You did not disappoint.
Glorysong2 More than 1 year ago
Bonnie & Clyde "wanna be's" with a deputy sheriff/ first responder hostage negotiator taken hostage starts Silent Night Standoff with excitement. This book grabbed my interest from the very beginning, keeping me in anticipation of what would happen next. I couldn't put it down, finally going to sleep at 2 a.m.! And I made it to Sunday School and Church the next morning!
WiseJasmyne More than 1 year ago
Great story!! This story just moves quick, the characters are all so different and the author does a wonderful job connecting them together. The plot is fast paced with an unpredictable plot. I really enjoyed reading this one, and highly recommend reading it at any time of the year!
LGHudson More than 1 year ago
SUPER START FOR A NEW SERIES! Sleeman begins her First Responder Series with a heart-stopping romance suspense that will keep you on the edge of your seat from beginning to end. The plot centers around hostage negotiator Sklyar Brennan and ex-boyfriend FBI Agent Logan Hunter as they are brought back in contact when Skylar finds herself in the midst of a bank robbery as a hostage and not as a hostage negotiator. Logan has just arrived in town working on the bank robbery as it fits the MO of bank robbers he's been after for a while. Once Logan realizes Skylar is a hostage, he fights to keep his objectivity. From this point on, both he and Skylar battle their personal feelings for each other and try to keep their main focus on trying to catch whoever is attempting to kill Skylar. As the story continues, Skylar's life is in continual danger and her family of First Responders rally in support of her. This book illustrates so beautifully faith in the midst of fire, friends that are like family, community that supports it's First Responders and love that conquers fear. Sleeman introduces us to the First Responders and gives us insights into each of their individual personalities. This is going to be a GREAT SERIES! I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Great read
SusanSnodgrassBookworm More than 1 year ago
This was my first Susan Sleeman book but I guarantee it will not be my last! I love a good suspense novel and this one surely fit the bill. Sleeman hits the ground running with the suspense and it doesn't let up at all! I enjoyed every minute of it. She has created great characters and her suspense is wonderful. The spiritual aspect of the novel is wonderful as well. We all need to let our faith in God lead us, even in the most desperate of circumstances. Now I have a new author to follow and she has a lot of books out already! Yay for me. *I was provided with a copy of this book by the author in exchange for an honest review, which I have given.
tmurrell2 More than 1 year ago
Skyler is a hostage negotiator. But she soon realizes that things are completely different from the other side. She's cashing a check at the bank when the infamous Bonnie and Clyde couple storms in and starts pointing their guns. Logan, an FBI agent, is soon on the scene. He's great at his job. But there is one tiny problem - he dumped Skyler to pursue his career two years ago. Skyler and her team of first responders are a close knit group. They all live in the old fire station and are closer than family. They aren't going to be super happy to let him into their group while they solve the bank robbery. The tension starts out immediately with the bank robbery. It doesn't stop until the last few pages as the group of first responders tries to stop the bank robber and the person trying to kill Skyler. The characters were well developed and authentic. Each person stood out on the team and the little side information helps the reader anticipate the next books in the series. I liked the faith elements that were woven into the story with the suspense. The relationship between the two main characters was sweet. This was a great book to start the series and I look forward to reading the next books. I received this book free of charge in exchange for my honest review.
MntwinsSP More than 1 year ago
This book wasn't my favorite, but Susan still did a good job.  I thought the beginning started out slow and the story didn't pick up until the end.  This is the first in a six book series, and I look forward to reading the others.
MichelleKrim More than 1 year ago
Full of action, suspense, romance and plot twists, Silent Night Standoff is a book I'd recommend to any readers. Although it's a Love Inspired, Sleeman doesn't get preachy, so those who don't normally read inspirational will still enjoy this book. I was hooked from the beginning, as this story opens right in the middle of a bank robbery. I enjoyed meeting Logan, Skyler, and the First Response Squad. The fact that Logan had to rely on his FBI team and the First Responders for the investigation made it feel more true-to-life than a story where the hero does everything, but he still got his heroic moments, too. I also enjoy the relationships and interactions of the First Responders; I just want to go visit them at the fire station. Can't wait to learn more about the squad in the upcoming books.
Amigagal More than 1 year ago
I love watching those one-hour procedural police dramas on TV. I don't enjoy seeing the "blood and such" but I enjoy the "edge of your seat" tension and cutting edge technology they use to solve the case. THAT'S why I love Susan's books. She produces the same feelings in me! I know when I open one of her books, I will be taken on a fast-paced ride of some kind and I probably will be unable to put down the book for long! Such is the case with Silent Night Standoff. Skyler is just minding her own business, doing some banking when all of the sudden, she's in the middle of an armed robbery. Thankfully, she's a hostage negotiator for the First Responders in Portland and she's able to send a text to the leader, alerting him. The robbers, of course, are of the "serial" variety, which mean they've done this several times so Logan Hunter of the FBI gets called in. Only problem? He's the ex-boyfriend of Skyler and he dumped her because the job was #1 for him - he didn't think he could do a relationship and a job at the same time. However, seeing Skyler in that bank with two bank robbers is taking him to his knees! When one robber is killed and the other escapes, Skyler and Logan must work together, along with the other First Responders to figure out who is trying to kill Skyler. Is it the bank robber or someone else? The suspense keeps you turning those pages fast and the ending is unexpected. The relationship between Skyler and Logan goes through a lot of ups and downs and Logan tries to figure out "balance". He's always thought trying to please his father was what he had to do but what if he stopped doing that? A fabulous book...can't wait for the next book in the series already
Bookworm_Debbie More than 1 year ago
Incredible suspense and heartwarming romance. I wish I could give it more than 5 stars, but that is the maximum that every website I post on allows. I absolutely LOVED this book! Susan Sleeman has created a wonderful cast of characters for this book. The two main ones for this novel are Skyler Brennan and Logan Hunter. They are so well developed and have so many layers to them that are gradually revealed it is an ongoing adventure to discover what makes each of them tick.  Skyler is part of a team of First Responders and each of her teammates are introduced and enough about them is revealed that I can’t wait to read their stories and learn more about them. I’m hoping that each of them gets their own book. The plot line for the suspense is intricately woven and held my interest throughout the book. Skyler and Logan both have emotional baggage from years past that hinders their romance. It was fascinating to me to see how they worked through their own problems as the story progressed. I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for my honest opinion.
Glorysong1 More than 1 year ago
Bonnie & Clyde "wanna be's" with a deputy sheriff/hostage negotiator takes hostage begins Silent Night Standoff with excitement. It grab the reader from the beginning and doesn't let go until the end. much so, I had to stay upuntil I finished the book (2: a.m.) and made it to church the next morning .  A great suspenseful read.
BeckBeckBG More than 1 year ago
Last night I finished reading Silent Night Standoff by Susan Sleeman. I honestly did not want it to end. I was carried away on a mysterious adventure with Skyler and Logan. The plot was believable and had me guessing who the bad guy was! I was certain I had it figured out. I was nicely surprised with the pulse racing ending! And I so look forward to book two!
Suzie_W More than 1 year ago
What do you get when two hostage negotiators, a sniper, a bomb technician, an EMT, and their commanding officer live together? The answer is a family. Logan broke Skyler Brennan’s heart when he chose his job over her and moved to Chicago two years ago. She didn’t expect to see him again but now he’s back and immersed in her life. Logan Hunter believes he will finally win his father’s approval if he gets a promotion with the FBI but is it worth the life of the only woman he’s loved? A story of two people trying to overcome mistakes and hurts from their past and searching for what’s important for their future, Silent Night Standoff, captivated me from the first page. The action is constant, the characters are human but likable, and the mystery keeps the reader guessing until the end. The concept of these co-workers living life together reminded me of the relationships in Dee Henderson’s O’Malley series. I can’t wait to read to read the other team members’ stories.
Becky5 More than 1 year ago
Fans of Dee Henderson will enjoy this series by Susan Sleeman. First book in the First Responders series, the starkness of the first sentence creates immediate tension that builds upwards as the crisis ensues. Skyler Brennan is a hostage negotiator that finds herself by chance in the middle of a robbery by a dangerous couple dubbed "Bonnie and Clyde." While Skyler has a team of co-workers who are surrogate family, more tension is introduced when her former boyfriend, FBI agent Logan Hunter returns. He asserts his authority over the team which both irritates and pleases Skyler. With the hostage crisis only partially resolved, much of Logan's time back in town focuses on protecting Skyler. So he can get his promotion to please his implacable father. When the chips are down, which will Logan finally choose, his career, as he did years earlier, or his love for Skyler? Both seem to have a powerful hold over the man, but which will be the making or breaking of this confused man? Perhaps "Silent Night Standoff" refers to more than just the robbery, but to Skyler's aversion to totally trust Logan... he just can't seem to get over the importance of his father's blessing that will come with a promotion. Wow! I didn't think I liked Logan very much... then I realized just how much a parent's blessing can mean to a child. It can even be terribly important to an adult child who is a Christian. I thought this book was better for the fact that the two main characters had some outstanding flaws(don't we all!) and they seemed to realize that growth would come by littles. I'm anxious to see which one of Skyler's "team" Sleeman will focus on next! They are all a little quirky!! I received this ARC book from the author in exchange for an honest review.