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White Heat (Dept 6 Hired Guns #1)

3.8 of 5 stars 3.80  ·  rating details  ·  843 ratings  ·  80 reviews
A dangerous cult has recently taken over the desert ghost town of Paradise, Arizona. Members worship at the feet--and in the bed--of its charismatic leader, Ethan Wycliff, and obey his orders blindly. They've already tried to murder one woman and they're implicated in the disappearance of another.

Nate Ferrentino, who works for private security contractor Department 6, has
ebook, 448 pages
Published August 1st 2010 by Mira Books (first published 2010)
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White Heat
3 Stars

Similar premise to Cheyenne McCray's Chosen Prey although the balance between the romance and suspense is slightly off.

The cult and its leader are suitably creepy and depraved but the only reason they pose a threat is because Nate and Rachel are so woefully unprepared for their assignment. The lack of background on Department 6 and its operatives, the wobbly professionalism of the undercover agents and the heroine's somewhat TSTL actions all undermine the promise of the plot.

This book is 90% suspence and 10% romance and part of me wanted to only give this one 4 1/2 * for the lack of discribed love scenes but the story was just too good to do that. There are two love scenes and the second owe is a little more detailed but mainly both are about a paragraph and more about the emotions that are felt by both H/h.

Rachel (h) had grown up with a religous zelot for a father. Not aloud to do much of anything (birthdays,holidays, visting friends, dating, college) until she lef
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.

Brenda Novak isn't kidding with this book. Ethan Wycliff is the dazzling religious leader of the Church of the Covenant which has raised suspicious all over town after the attempted stoning of one of their women – for sleeping with her husband. Another young woman has gone missing and her parents aren't leaving the Covenanters alone until they find her.

In steps Department 6 – a group of retired special forces men and women, police officers, and investigators, where both Rachel and Nate work. Rac
Manda Collins
May 19, 2010 Manda Collins rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: fans of thrillers, suspense-plots, friends to lovers plots
Recommended to Manda by: NetGalley
Another chilling romantic suspense read from Brenda Novak. When Nate and Rachel are sent by the private security firm they work for to infiltrate an Arizona cult, they know it's going to be tough. Since the two shared a night of passion six months ago, that ended badly, neither of them is looking forward to the assignment which will include their posing as a young married couple interested in joining the cult. Rachel, whose father was a religious zealot knows it won't be easy, but neither of the ...more
Didn't make the mark in so many ways. The constant practically word-by-word replay of the main conflict (how many times do you have to tell the reader?) and the unbelievable/unprofessional actions of these supposedly super-trained elite force members (I'm not talking moral issues here but how many people they exposed themselves to as being undercover--NOT!) and the completely unsupported and basically unexplored end. The whole book built up to the end--of course, it's an action/thriller. For tha ...more
Suzanne Barrett
White Heat is Book 1 in Brenda Novak’s new Department 6 series. Set in the SE Arizona desert, the fast-paced story involves a dangerous cult led by Ethan Wycliff, a former Charles Manson admirer. Wycliff has organized a religious group who call themselves the Church of the Covenant. The rituals they do are anything but Christian, but since Wycliff–the Holy One, the Alpha and Omega–exercises full control over his followers, no one seems to have the courage to leave.

One member has been stoned, ano
I love Brenda Novak. I started reading her when she was still writing Harlequin’s. Her first few romance suspense books didn’t impress me, but I’ve always liked her writing style. Sticking with her was a good choice. She is now an auto-buy author for me. The characters she writes are simply amazing. Some of the things that they have gone through and still must go through makes you want to keep reading.

This is the first book in her new Dept. 6 Hired Gun series. It’s a weird name. Quite a mouthful
Nate Ferrentino and Rachel Jessop work for a private security company called Department 6. Their latest assignment is to stop Ethan Wycliff and his loyal followers of the Church of the Covenant. Ethan has a thing for women. Ethan idolized Charles Mason. Ethan is just as ruthless as Mason. He had his followers attempt to stone a woman to death.

The mission is really risky but nothing that Rachel can’t handle. Of course things would be a lot better if Rachel didn’t have to pretend to be wife to Na
Suspense Magazine
Tendrils of barely contained tension fight to escape the pages as Novak—an expert in romantic suspense—introduces readers to her newest trilogy in “White Heat”. Building on the delicate balance of pressure, the layers seem to effortlessly slide into place creating the intricate balance required for excellence in suspense.

The stage is set as Rachel Jessop and Nate Ferrentino—private security contractors with Department 6—receive their risky assignment. Tasked with infiltrating a secretive and re
Kelly Moran
It was a horrible experience that jump-started New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Brenda Novak's career-- she caught her daycare teacher drugging her children to get them to sleep. Deciding she needed to work from home, she penned her first novel, and has been a sensation ever since. Other titles include: Trust Me, Watch Me, Stop Me, Dead Silence, Dead Giveaway, Dead Right, The Perfect Couple, The Perfect Murder, and The Perfect Liar. She also heads an annual fundraiser for diabetes ...more
Patti TheLoveJunkee
My thoughts:
The storyline of White Heat caught and kept my attention: Private investigators infiltrating a religous cult (the "Covenanteers") to find missing women and bring the cult down if indeed there are shenanigans afoot (and you just know there are!). The investigators who are playing husband/wife, Nate and Rachel, have a weird history both apart and together. I'm not sure how to go into it without spoilers but here goes:

Rachel's father was a religious zealot/cult leader and she left when
I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense novels and I’ve never read one by Brenda Novak but after reading White Heat I’ll be looking for more of her books. I really enjoyed the main characters. Rachel and Nate wish they could forget the embarrassing event that took place several months earlier but they must maintain a professional attitude in an uncomfortable situation. And talk about uncomfortable – everything from the ride to the location, the grimy trailer where they stay until going to the co ...more
Melanie Chabrol-
Well, this was quite interesting! With this trilogoy I think we could read it in no particular order. Being the first one it just introduces you to the other characters. Unlike Cynthia Eden's Deadly series one relates to the next.

Paradise Arizona is sooo hot, it is "white hot". Nate and Rachel just happen to be paired up on an assignment pretending to be a couple.Their goal it to find out what happened to Martha. There are rumours going on at the PARADISE CLUB. Is the cult really cold blood and
Well I ended up really enjoying this one and now I can't wait to read the next one in the trilogy!

I enjoyed Brenda's mix of romance and suspense very much but I'll say that there was MORE suspense/thriller to it than romance.

It was good though, because there was a ton of tension building between the two main characters which made you want to keep reading.

I liked the story line a lot! I've always found cult behavior quite interesting so this book kept my mind racing.

Overall, I had no complain
Two-haiku review:

Arizona cult
They both go undercover
As husband and wife

Exciting suspense
Scary--they had no backup
And suddenly love
Bob Clarkson
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
The detail in this book and plot were amazing. Usually I don't care for so much in depth detail but I loved it in this book. It was just so well written! There is a good deal of focus on Nate and Rachel's relationship which is great but it's balanced with good details of their mission in Paradise, Arizona to infiltrate the cult of Ethan Wycliff. It's the perfect blend as neither side is neglected. They're woven together so well, you won't want to put it down until you've reached the end! Amazing ...more
Darla Stokes
First, the good stuff: the h/h are investigating a cult, and the cult stuff is the only reason I kept reading this book. It was interesting and not the usual romantic suspense topic.


It's not a spoiler to say that before the events in the book, the heroine surprised the hero by showing up naked in his bed--it's rehashed at least once in every chapter. And that comprises the entire conflict between the two of them.

Early on, the heroine is described as looking so young she could be mistaken
Ruth Turner

Loved it!

I don't particularly like romantic suspense novels but this was a good read; not too much romance.

It was so well written that when I finished the last page I had to give myself a shake to bring me back from Portal, Willcox and Paradise and the people I'd met there.

Great storyline, great characters, fast paced with enough tension to make me hide my face in my hands and peek through my fingers!
Lisa C.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Pretty good read. Nate finally grew on me. I didn't care for him at first. But he wasn't the most disgusting pig in this book. Nate and Rachel are undercover detectives infiltrating a cult in Arizona who's various rituals are merely excuses for drug filled gang rapes. The cult leader sees Rachel and immediately wants her to be the "Vessel" that bares his child. Nate must act to save her before losing her. There's action and excitement, but it's hard getting past the depravity of this cult. It's ...more
John Hanscom
A combination of romance novel, mystery, and soft core pornography.
Harlequin Books
Miniseries: Department 6 Novel
Category: Suspense
Jay Jessmer
I actually enjoyed this book more than the 3 stars I gave it, but there were just some things that kept it from a 4-star. I couldn't get any kind of connection to either of the 2 protaganists. I thought they were pretty dull for being our "heroes". Nothing really "happened" for quite a few chunks of the book. The biggest for me was that the ending just didn't feel very satisfying. It felt very anti-climactic. As usual, Novak's imagery was outstanding. the plotline was solid and kept me reading, ...more
Kara Jorges
Undercover operatives Rachel Jessop and Nate Farrentino face more than the usual challenges when they infiltrate a religious cult in the Arizona desert. They have a bit of a history since Rachel waited naked in Nate’s bed six months back and they shared a night of passion before Rachel’s declaration of love put Nate in panic mode. There’s no avoiding their issues anymore, though, when isolation and pretending to be married puts them in close proximity. The stakes go even higher once they infiltr ...more
I read the book version. From My Book Review Blog Rundpinne.

"Undercover agents and a charismatic Ivy League cult leader blend to make White Heat by Brenda Novak, a thrillingly suspenseful first novel in Novak’s new “Heat” trilogy. Novak’s trilogy is being sold in three consecutive months which is rather a delightful change from the typical long waits between books. Body Heat will be released in September and the last novel in the trilogy, Killer Heat, will be released in October. White Heat ta
Debra Raupe
"The Church of the Witness of Truth Faith" sound like Jehovah's Witness.

This diamond was the real thing. Rachel had been wearing it for three days, ever since Nate had surprised her with nit in Prescott, but she still couldn't believe he'd actually proposed. As they drove away from the cabin where they'd spent the previous two nights, she kept glancing down at the large solitaire as if it might disappear. A lot had changed in the past two weeks. Not only were they engaged, they'd take time off
Not my favorite from Brenda Novak, but still a good read. This book had many elements I liked, but it also had some I didn't like.

Rachel and Nate work for a security company called Department 6. Their boss teams them up to go on an investigation mission to Paradise, Arizona. Paradise was a ghost town, but has since become the hometown of a cult. They are to try and infiltrate the cult in order to figure out what happened to certain members of the church. The cult leader, Ethan, is a very charis
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hello ev1, 1 5 May 24, 2012 08:46PM  
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It was a shocking experience that jump-started Brenda Novak’s bestselling author career.

“I caught my day-care provider drugging my children with cough syrup and Tylenol to get them to sleep while I was away,” Brenda says. “It was then that I decided that I needed to do something from home.”

However, writing was the last profession she expected to undertake. In fact, Brenda swears she didn’t have a
More about Brenda Novak...

Other Books in the Series

Dept 6 Hired Guns (3 books)
  • Body Heat  (Dept 6 Hired Guns, #2)
  • Killer Heat  (Dept 6 Hired Guns, #3)
When Lightning Strikes (Whiskey Creek, #1) When We Touch (Whiskey Creek, #0.5) Trust Me (Last Stand Series, #1) When Snow Falls (Whiskey Creek, #2) When Summer Comes (Whiskey Creek, #3)

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