Shadow of Doubt by P.A. DePaul is the second romantic suspense book in the SBG series. This installment delivered an exciting tale from start to finish. I didn’t read book one, but that had no effect on my experience with Shadow of Doubt. It works well as a stand-alone. The story provided me my first experience with the author’s work and left me wanting more.
Title: Shadow of Doubt: An SBG Novel
He wants something for himself…If only he could believe in her innocence. I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review. This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
Author(s): P.A. DePaul
Series: SBG Series #2
Also in this series: Exchange of Fire: An SBG Novel
Published by Northfair Publishing on October 17, 2023, 2nd Edition
Genre(s): Romantic Suspense
Michelle Alger flees when her secretly recorded tryst winds up on the internet. She has no option but to hide. Her one-night stand—the son of a powerful US senator—was murdered. Learning she’s the prime suspect is traumatizing. Already a member of witness protection thanks to a Colombian drug lord kidnapping her in college, she now has to run from the senator and law enforcement. To make matters worse, the drug lord finally knows her location and is hot on her trail. There’s only one man she trusts. He saved her once, can he do it again six years later?
Captain Jeremy Malone no longer wears a Green Beret. He’s traded in his fatigues for a new life leading Delta Squad, a covert unit within SweetBriar Group. His latest orders from the find the unknown woman and bring her to me. But Jeremy knows her identity. He once rescued her from a Colombian cartel, and has never forgotten her. He assigns his squad a new find Michelle first and learn the real story.
Michelle and Jeremy can’t deny their explosive chemistry. But, with every new piece of evidence, Jeremy’s faith in Michelle’s innocence is questioned. Is her plea for help a ruse…or a trap set by a beautiful woman determined to expose Jeremy’s own secrets…
This latest edition has been updated and re-edited since its original release with Berkley. If you’re looking for intense action, found family, a core group of characters, and steamy sex, this is the series for you!
He wants something for himself…If only he could believe in her innocence.
I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
This post contains affiliate links you can use to purchase the book. If you buy the book using that link, I will receive a small commission from the sale.
Shadow of Doubt features Jeremy Malone and Michelle Alger. These two first met six years ago under traumatic circumstances. Members of the Colombian cartel kidnapped and tortured Michelle and Jeremy, an active Green Beret at the time, rescued her. The events of the kidnapping leading up to the rescue would change both their lives.
Fast-forward six years later, Michelle is in witness protection and Jeremy is a private military contractor with the Delta Squad, a covert arm of the Sweet Briar Group (SBG). They haven’t seen each since that fateful day six years ago. All that would change when Michelle became a suspect in the murder of a senator’s son. In her attempts to evade law enforcement and clear her her name, she called upon the one person who promised to come to her aid if she should ever need help.
Romantic suspense is my catnip, and so I am always on the lookout for stories in the genre. I had a great time getting to know the members of the Delta Squad. This team of men and women are like one big family and like any family while they may have their disagreements, they supported each other through thick and thin.
Shadow of Doubt provided a mix of suspense, action and romance. The main focus was on the suspense and action, with the romance served on the side. The action and suspense kept me glued to the pages. Now, while there were no surprising outcomes, seeing how it all played out made for an enjoyable, nail-biting read. I was glad to see the villains get their just deserts.
As much as I enjoyed the story. I had issues with the romance. The hero and heroine shared an instant connection when they met for the first time six years ago. Bear in mind, this meeting took place when the hero rescued the heroine from the Colombian cartel. They didn’t spend much time in each other’s company then, and for six years they had no communication with each other. However, during that time, they never stopped thinking about each other. After six years of no communication, the connection was stronger than ever. Sorry! I don’t buy it.
Overall, Shadow of Doubt was a good book. Readers who love military style, special ops romantic suspense, should consider picking up a copy of Shadow of Doubt.
The sight of Michelle’s perfect ass disappearing out the window was now permanently burned into his brain. He was such a bastard for avidly watching it wiggle as she forced her body through the tight opening.
Every nerve ending north of his toes still vibrated from touching her. Though he had sounded like a bumbling idiot earlier, he’d meant it when he’d blurted how amazing she looked, so healthy and whole. The antithesis of the bloody, broken woman damaged by the Osvaldo Cartel in that shithole room six years ago. This beautiful, vibrant, sexy woman surged his blood and overloaded his fantasies. God built her body for a man like him. Built her for deep, hard sex, be it up against a wall or bent over a chair . . . Goddammit.
Straight. To. Hell.
Remember the mission. He couldn’t think of her in any terms other than professional. For Christ’s sake, he had to find out if she killed the senator’s son. Not have her starring in his latest mental porno.
He pulled a disposable phone from his leg pocket and dropped it inside her overlarge bag. Once he zipped the thing closed, he called, “Heads up. Purse coming through.”
He gave it a little nudge over the sill, hearing it thud into her hands before he yanked the battery out of the back of her cell phone. Now no one could trace her from the GPS in the device—which had been his plan if she hadn’t called him.
He dropped the pieces into his leg pocket for later disposal. Putting on his sunglasses, he ensured his gun holster wouldn’t knock into the frame’s edges, and slid soundlessly through the small opening, then closed the window. Turning, he half expected to find her gone, but she stood just to the left, chewing on her lip with fear lacing through her irises.
“This way,” he whispered, grabbing her hand and motioning toward a grungy building next door.
The electricity from the contact instantly had him hard. He grunted and urged her forward. He pulled her around the back corner of a convenience store and stopped, shifting his hips to relieve the pressure.
“Cutting it too close, Cappy,” Talon admonished softly. Michelle jumped, squealed, then slapped a hand over her mouth.
Yeah. Talon had that effect on people. He was so damn good at blending into the background, he caught most by surprise.
Cappy seized Michelle’s hand to stop her from inching backward. “Relax.”
Her eyes were as large as her face, and she didn’t seem able to look away from his teammate. A sudden shot of jealousy spiked through his veins. Stow that shit. He had no time for the destructive emotion, and it was wrong on so many levels.
“Where’s the car?” he barked, jolting them all. Christ.
Engines raced into the parking lot next door and instantly shut off. Car doors opened, then slammed shut.
Cappy didn’t need to see his teammate’s eyes to know they were both thinking about how they had just barely made it. Michelle trembled underneath his palm.
“Car’s on the other side of the dry cleaners, as commanded.” Talon pointed to a building that had seen better days adjacent to the convenience store.
* * *
Dear God, who is this guy? Michelle couldn’t stop staring at the wicked knife with the onyx blade still protruding from SCK’s [Stone Cold Killer’s] fist.
A male voice yelled from the hotel’s parking lot, “You two cover the back. White, start peering in windows. I’ll talk to the desk clerk.”
“Our signal to move,” Jeremy whispered, jerking her arm as he pulled her forward.
She ran as fast as possible but knew she wasn’t close to the speed both men wanted. Tough darts. She didn’t live in a gym like them.
Had she done the right thing, calling Jeremy? She trailed behind the two men, still rattled by his apparent connection to the FBI’s investigation. He saved you before. Yeah, he did. Was he doing that now? Every TV show, movie, and book she’d ever read clearly pointed out how only those closely connected to a case were privy to details like a raid on a hotel room. Did that mean Jeremy saw the YouTube video?
Talon glanced over his shoulder. His dark shades had slid down and the cold light in his eyes sent fear racing down her spine. No. No! She pulled against Jeremy’s grip, her mind plunging back into Colombia without warning. Cold steel bit into her skin while the man with a pair of emotionless yet fanatical eyes stared at her. “You going to talk now, puta?”
“Michelle,” Jeremey snapped. “Stay with me.”
She blinked away the vision, disoriented at being ripped back into the present so fast. Jeremy tightened his grip and dragged her against his side. For a brief moment, she allowed her head to fall against his meaty shoulder. She inhaled his addictive scent and instantly felt better.
“Eyes front, Talon.” Jeremy flattened her body against the side of the dry cleaners. “We clear to make a break for the car on the other side?”
From beyond the hotel and as far as Michelle could glimpse in the other direction, the backs of the buildings were relatively flush with each other. Some had blacktop as if for additional parking while others had large dumpsters filling the space.
“O Romeo, Romeo. Wherefore art thou Romeo?” Talon crooned softly.
What the heck?
Jeremy flashed SCK a grin and placed his lips next to her earlobe. She shivered at the faint breath and almost missed his command. “Keep low but run as fast as you can. Don’t stop or slow down. Once you clear the corner, wait for us.” Her mind turned to mush at his whispered words. “We’ll use our bodies to block the view if someone should glance this way.”
It took everything she had not to giggle and lift her shoulder. Get it together, Michelle. This is serious.
He placed a large hand at the small of her back. “Go.” He gave her a little push.
Reading this book contributed to these challenges: