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Perilous Waters

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For FBI agent Sam Steele, there's no room for error or emotions on his latest undercover assignment. Getting close to gallery owner Jennifer Robbins while on an Alaskan cruise is the only way to catch her dealing stolen art. Out on the icy seas, Jen suddenly goes from suspect to victim when she's targeted by a deadly enemy. And Sam's mission goes from investigating an art crime to protecting the woman who's begun to melt his heart. As danger looms closer, he'll do anything to save her life—even if it costs him his own.

224 pages, Mass Market Paperback

First published January 1, 2014

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About the author

Sandra Orchard

43 books263 followers
Sandra leaps off the garden trails of her herbal-researcher-turned-amateur-sleuth (Port Aster Secrets) series, to the museum corridors of her plucky FBI art crime agent Serena Jones, in A Fool and His Monet.

When not plotting crimes, Sandra plays make-believe with her grandchildren or hikes with her hubby along the escarpment, near their home in Niagara, Canada.

Her novels have garnered numerous awards, including the National Readers' Choice Award, a Holt Medallion Award of Merit, an RT Book Reviews Reviewers' Choice Award, the Daphne DuMaurier Award of Excellence and five national Canadian Awards.

Learn more about Sandra’s books and fun bonus features at www.sandraorchard.com

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Displaying 1 - 25 of 25 reviews
Profile Image for Carmen.
2,056 reviews1,858 followers
March 8, 2016
Their gazes tangled. His head dipped closer, his gaze not letting go of hers. Then his eyes slipped shut an instant before his lips found hers. Soft, gentle. His fingers glided through her hair and cradled her neck.

She slipped her arms around his waist. This must be what it felt like to be cherished.

Slowly, tentatively, he deepened the kiss. He tasted like chocolate and mint and... like she'd finally come home.

This is a Christian romantic suspense book. Love Inspired Suspense is Harlequin's Christian romantic suspense line.

First I thought this book was taking place in the Old West. That's how old-fashioned it was. Sam and his brother Jake are gossiping about the identical twin art heiresses, Jennifer and Cassandra. Sam refers to his ex(ish person) as "Jezebel" and I was like, "Oh, it's 1884." But then we start talking about cruises and nightclubs and I realized that we were indeed in the modern century.

Sam is a FBI agent who investigates art crime. He thinks the twins' art gallery is dealing in stolen art. He and his brother and his 4-year-old nephew go on the same Alaskan cruise Jen and Cassie do, so that Sam can investigate them.

"Taking your family on an investigation is really fucking stupid," you might say to yourself - and you would be correct. Very correct. I can't count the number of screw-ups that come from Sam having his family around while he's supposed to be doing undercover work. No FBI team would have approved this. It's ridiculous.

ANYWAY, despite his suspicions that Jennifer is a criminal, he finds himself falling in love with her.

The main problem with this book is the slut-shaming.

"Mom would kill you if you brought home a girl like that." Jake informs Sam when he notices him looking at the twins.

Cassandra wore too much makeup, and flashy designer outfits that revealed more than they concealed. She also appears to enjoy things like going to nightclubs and getting her picture taken by the paparazzi.

Jennifer, on the other hand, is completely buttoned-up, prim, proper, and she goes to church. She MUST be a good person.

This is only hammered home when it becomes obvious that Jennifer loves children and Cassandra doesn't really care about children one way or the other. That monster!

Sam is leery of Jen. I mean, she wears a gold cross necklace, but does she REALLY MEAN IT?

She fussed with the delicate gold cross resting on a fine chain at her throat, and Sam wondered if the symbol actually meant something to her.


"I guess the necklace is pretty special to you."

She fingered the cross. "It was my grandmother's."

"Ah." Special due to sentimental value more than conviction. The thought bothered him more than it should.

Yes, how dare she love it as a treasured possession once belonging to her grandmother and not due to a burning love for Christ?!!?!?

"Except I never really appreciated it until I came to know the Lord for myself a few years ago. Do you go to church?"

His heart skipped like a teenager's on the receiving end of a glance from the cutest girl in class.

Oh, thank Heaven. Jennifer goes to church and she's wearing the cross because of her love for Christ! Also, by the way, this is a huge turn-on to our hero. Cassandra, on the other hand...

Her breath stank of beer. She wore a skintight tank and leather miniskirt that she'd promised Jennifer she'd leave at home in favor of more modest choices...

"Where'd you find her?"
"The bar," Jake muttered. "She had quite an entourage buying her drinks." Jake reported, amazingly without a hint of the disgust he must feel.

The disgust he must feel. I mean, the woman was drinking BEER. That's not even a girly drink! *comes up and whispers in Carmen's ear* Oh! I mean, "Drinking alcohol is evil!!!!"

And she was dressed in a tank top and miniskirt and flirting with MEN. What kind of depravity is this?!?!?

Jennifer knows she has to get her sister out of the evil art gallery lifestyle before it's too late!

Seeing her sister's condition tonight only reinforced Jen's fears of what would become of Cass if she didn't coax her out of the art gallery business. Unfortunately, her condition already proved how tainted she'd already become.

Please, Lord, don't let her be to tainted to listen to reason.

Art galleries are wretched hives of scum and villainy. I mean, sometimes people even buy and sell art that shows people with NO CLOTHES ON!!!!!!!!

"Oh, c'mon. Reg apologized for bringing in the nude portraits. And hasn't brought in any since your complaint."

Huh. Sam's admiration for Jen regained a notch or two. Apparently she had some scruples.

Jennifer has enough morals to please Sam!!! She shuns paintings of nude people. Sam's morals, on the other hand, seem questionable to me, since he's not only eavesdropping on this conversation but lying to Jen every single day. o.O

Other things mark her out as a good Christian woman, things you'd ordinarily never think about, like the fact that she uses scent-free lotions and soaps.

Her ability to blush and her frequent blushing is taken as a sign of her innocence and purity. Really the truth is that some people are more prone to blushing and have more obvious blushes than other people. It has nothing to do with innocence, believe me.

If not for the rampant slut-shaming, this book is fine. They don't really get into the heavy preaching about God until about 84%.

"Do you know what sailors do when a storm threatens to tear their ship apart?"

She stared at him mutely.

"They throw their excess cargo overboard - everything - and cling to what matters... the ship." He stroked his thumb over her hand that still clutched the cross at her throat. "God is our ship, Jen. Don't you think maybe it's time for you to cling to HIM? And consider that he might have sent me here to protect you?"

And of course, our heroine has to question her beliefs and come to the inevitable conclusion that she has been prideful or somehow sinful and re-dedicate her life to God.

"Was Sam right about her? That she wasn't clinging to God?

Her fingers tightened around the Bible. She'd been praying He'd help her sell the gallery and realize her dreams, never once considering that HER dreams might not be what HE wanted for her.

Despite this being a romance novel, we need to make it clear that really God's love is the only love that matters.

She traced the decorative swirls in the cross at her neck - surface decorations. It was time she truly lived in the faith she professed and embraced God's plans for her. No one could ever love her more.
For the first time, she'd known to the depths of her being that Christ's love was the love she'd been yearning for all these years. And that no romantic love or family love or any other kind could satisfy her more completely, or more unfailingly.

This kind of attitude baffles me. But okay.

*Carmen flips through five pages of extensive notes* What else can I say about this? Orchard isn't a bad author, her characters are developed enough and her writing style isn't cringe-worthy.

How's the sex, Carmen?
There's no sex, obviously, but there are five kisses. FIVE. I counted. However, the first kiss was so brief and glanced over that I DIDN'T EVEN REALIZE THAT IT HAD TAKEN PLACE. Just think about a kiss that could have slipped under my, Carmen's, radar. JUST THINK ABOUT THAT. Luckily, the other four kisses are noticeable and one of them is even sweet (the one I featured at the beginning of this review).

Tl;dr - Nothing too surprising here. But I do want to note that it IS possible to write a Christian romance novel and not fill it with slut-shaming. I wish Christian authors would get the memo on this. However, I usually stay far away from Christian romances because they tend to piss me off. So take this review with a grain of salt.

Profile Image for Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls).
1,596 reviews3,477 followers
September 15, 2022
About this book:

For FBI agent Sam Steele, there's no room for error or emotions on his latest undercover assignment. Getting close to gallery owner Jennifer Robbins while on an Alaskan cruise is the only way to catch her dealing stolen art. Out on the icy seas, Jen suddenly goes from suspect to victim when she's targeted by a deadly enemy. And Sam's mission goes from investigating an art crime to protecting the woman who's begun to melt his heart. As danger looms closer, he'll do anything to save her life—even if it costs him his own.”

Series: Not officially part of a series, but is connected to two of the author’s other books: “Identity Withheld” and “Emergency Reunion”.

Spiritual Content- Isaiah 43:2 at the beginning; A few Scriptures are mentioned, read, & remembered; Prayers & Thanking God; Talks about God; ‘H’s are capital when referring to God; Mentions of God; Mentions of prayers, praying, & thanking God; Mentions of a Bible & Bible reading; Mentions of churches & church going; Mentions of faiths; Mentions of a cross necklace;
A couple mentions of God’s creation; A couple mentions of those in the Bible; A couple mentions of hymns; A mention of being blessed.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘fig’ (used as a replacement for another possible word), a ‘shut up’, two forms of ‘screw up’, three ‘idiot’s, and four ‘stupid’s; A couple mentions of curses (said, not written); Some sarcasm & eye rolling; Passing out, being drugged, & pain (barely-above-not-detailed); Being pushed into cold water, nearly drowning, hypothermia, & the after affects (up to semi-detailed); Being attacked & catching the trouble-maker (up to semi-detailed); Remembering & mentions of a fire & death (up to semi-detailed); All about mentions of illegal activities, stolen items, & criminals/thieves; Mentions of deaths, murders, & a hired murderer (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of a break-in, an intruder, & fighting/hitting (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of attacks, planned attacks, injuries, & catching the trouble-maker (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of passing out, being drugged, & a spiked drink; Mentions of being pushed into cold water, nearly drowning, hypothermia, & the after affects (x3); Mentions of screams, injuries, blood/bleeding, threats, & vandalism; Mentions of guns aimed, being shot at, & bullets; Mentions of mob connections; Mentions of jail/prison; Mentions of poison & the possibility of being poisoned; Mentions of alcohol, drinking, drunks, bars, & a saloon; Mentions of hatred; Mentions of lies, lying, & liars; Mentions of nightmares; A few mentions of threats of slitting someone & their family’s throats; A few mentions of a stabbing, blood, & knives; A few mentions of a (possible) kidnapping; A few mentions of fighting; A few mentions of blackmail; A few mentions of gossip & rumors; A few mentions of a casino; A few mentions of divorces; A couple mentions of (possibly) finding a murdered body (barely-above-not-detailed); A couple mentions of drugs & a drug problem; A couple mentions of jealousy; A couple mentions of human waste; A mention of night clubs; A mention of a cigarette;
*Note: A couple mentions of a movie & actress; A couple mentions of car brands.

Sexual Content- a hand kiss, two barely-above-not-detailed kisses, three border-line barely-above-not-detailed // semi-detailed kisses, two semi-detailed kisses, and a border-line semi-detailed // detailed kiss; Remembering a kiss (up to semi-detailed); Touches, Embraces, Warmth, & Shivers/Jolts (up to semi-detailed); Hand Holding; Wanting to touch (barely-above-not-detailed); Noticing, Nearness, & Smelling (barely-above-not-detailed); five ‘jezebel’s (a woman is called one); Mentions of a date rape drug; Mentions of kisses & kissing; Mentions of dating, boyfriends, & exes; Mentions of blushes; A few mentions of flirting & flirts; A couple mentions of playboys; A couple mentions of flings; A couple mentions of cheating & messing with someone’s girl; A couple mentions of seeing a couple cuddling; A couple mentions of crushes; Love, falling in love, & the emotions;
*Note: A few mentions of a skintight top, mini skirt, & modest outfit choices; A couple mentions of plunging necklines; A mention of a woman’s clothes that revealed more than they conceal; A mention of enjoying a mouth-to-mouth saving; A mention of nude portraits; A mention of a former red-light district.

-Jennifer Robbins, age 24-25
-Sam Steele
P.O.V. switches between them
220 pages

Pre Teens- One Star
New Teens- One Star
Early High School Teens- Two Stars
Older High School Teens- Three Stars
My personal Rating- Three Stars
I’ve had this book on my physical TBR for a while now, ever since binge reading Sandra Orchard’s other books after reading the “Serena Jones Mysteries” series. “Perilous Waters” was a bit more kissy and had more romance than I remember the author’s other books being, the faith content was great. :)

Link to review:

*BFCG may (Read the review to see) recommend this book by this author. It does not mean I recommend all the books by this author.
Profile Image for Alexa Verde.
Author 83 books259 followers
August 17, 2014
I enjoy reading books by Sandra Orchard, and Perilous Waters was on my TBR list. As soon as I started reading this book, it was difficult to put it down. I found the Alaskan cruise with its scenery and fun shore excursions fascinating, and I enjoyed reading about twin sisters. The hero FBI agent Same Steele is brave and smart, but he suffers from guilt for the things that happened in the past. In spite of being a rich heiress, Jennifer Robbins is very kind-hearted, but her dream of living a quiet life and one day having a family and children was threatened after the discovery of a stolen painting at her gallery. Jennifer is high on Sam's suspects list, but as he gets to know her during the Alaskan cruise, can he keep her safe and give her - and himself - a chance at love and family?
Profile Image for Katy Lee.
Author 66 books147 followers
April 28, 2014
I knew when I picked up Sandra Orchard’s latest release, Perilous Waters, I was in for a frigid, but fun retreat from my normal day to day. Once again, Sandra delivers a creative story with a keep-you-guessing ending. I love cruises as well, but know there are a lot of “mishaps” a suspense writer can utilize on board. Sandra made good use of many of them and kept the story moving with a good flow.

As for the art theft aspect, I particularly liked how she tied it into the cruise theme. I’ll admit I’ve purchased my share of art on the cruises I’ve attended. (More than my share actually.) But never mind that, Sandra opened my eyes to the many ways art can be “moved.”

And the dangers that could cause…..
Profile Image for Natalie Walters.
Author 11 books950 followers
September 21, 2015
A good, clean story whisking you away on a voyage full of romance and suspense. Is Jennifer Robbins really involved in stealing art? Is her twin sister naively trusting their uncle or is she behind the attempts being made on Jen's life? Can Sam separate his role as an FBI agent investigating the Robbins twins or will he trust his heart to the woman he's supposed to be investigating?

Sandra Orchard delivers a quick and fun story that will answer all of those questions and more. The story's setting aboard a luxury cruise liner and in the crisp wilderness of Alaska is rich with authentic detail.

I'd recommend this book to readers of all ages who loves a quick romantic suspense of inspiration.
Profile Image for Ruth.
114 reviews6 followers
May 13, 2014
WOW!!! what a surprise ending!!! I loved it!! As I started reading this book, I thought "why did I buy this book because I don't like ships and I don't like art", BUT it kept getting more and more interesting until I finally found it hard to put down!! Then I knew I had it figured out.....oh, how wrong I was!!!! You'll just have to read it to find the answer though!!! It was so good and over all I totally enjoyed every chapter!! So now maybe I might decide I like ships and take a cruise some day!!
Thanks Sandra for sharing your God given talent!!!
Profile Image for Betti.
953 reviews20 followers
July 6, 2014
Cruising holds deep mystery for those who have never had the privilege of spending a period of time on a large ship! The author takes us along on an Alaskan cruise, with details on a number of shore excursions. An undercover assignment on a cruise ship should create excitement for anyone, especially an FBI agent. Between wonderful meals, fascinating shows and all the other activities on board, someone is trying to kill his suspect…..or is she actually a victim? You really need to come aboard and find out.
Profile Image for Honey Jimenez.
54 reviews1 follower
September 18, 2014
This is a fast passed story about a man who works for the FBI, and is investigating stolen art cases from Seattle all the way to Alaska using a cruise ship vacation as cover with his family.
I try very hard not to let the romantic stuff get in the way of my enjoyment of these books. They are very easy to read.
Profile Image for Virginia Winfield.
2,539 reviews6 followers
March 30, 2014
This started out fast and good and just kept getting better. It was a great romantic suspense novel. I really liked the main characters and did not want certain people to be the bad guys. I look forward to reading more of Sandra's book. I received this book from Sandra Orchard for a fair and honest opinion.
483 reviews
August 7, 2016
Sam went undercover on a cruise with his family to Alaska only to watch over art gallery owners, Jennifer and Cass. Jen turned into the victim but who was targeting her? Sam was falling for her but could he become close to anyone ever agaibn? This was a quick and easy and relaxing at times read.
Profile Image for Anne.
575 reviews92 followers
April 17, 2014
Very fast moving book with lots of intrigue and action and of course, my favorite, love and inspiration!
Profile Image for Karen.
436 reviews
May 6, 2014
I loved this book.. Such a wonderful Christian Romantic Suspense!! Lots of intrique and non stop action.. Highly recommend this book..
285 reviews15 followers
June 13, 2015
Sam and Jennifer are a couple that were wounded and had huge voids in their lives that only each other could fill.
Profile Image for Judine Brey.
641 reviews2 followers
January 1, 2022
I enjoyed the fact that Sam was attracted to Jen as the more conservative of identical twins. The fact that he was investigating the family's art gallery while they were on an Alaskan cruise was a nice technique to force the characters to spend a lot of time together. The twists were appropriate and well foreshadowed.
Profile Image for Lisa Jamieson.
43 reviews5 followers
February 6, 2018
Great momentum from start to finish!

Great momentum from start to finish! Both mystery and romance kept me guessing until the final pages. Very satisfying and fun reading fun! I’ll be looking for more Orchard books.
Profile Image for Cathy Beckett.
484 reviews1 follower
May 30, 2018
The book was okay. My problem was that I could lay it down for hours and not even give it a glance. The only reason I finished it was to relive my own Alaskan cruise. We did the same route when we went. It’s bad when you like the secondary characters in the story better than the main characters.
Profile Image for Pamela.
741 reviews
December 9, 2017
Very very good

I really enjoyed this book, it was excellent. I loved the location of a cruise ship in Alaska. The romances were awesome too.
8 reviews
July 10, 2019
Great characters, suspenseful. This was my first Sandra Orchard book, but I will definitely look to read more from her.
Profile Image for Dorel.
3,837 reviews32 followers
January 8, 2023
I'm sorry I stopped reading this story 📖 at chapter 4 because it didn't grab my interest.
Profile Image for Bonnie Drummond.
894 reviews13 followers
April 29, 2018
A story about two sisters who want different things and an FBI Agent who has a job to do trying to catch a Art Thief from stilling a valuable painting. As things start to to happen to one of the sisters God is called into help protected all that is happening and of the two family's that stand in the way of the thief.
Profile Image for Harlequin Books.
16.6k reviews2,794 followers
January 12, 2016
received 4 stars @ RT Book Reviews

"Another edge-of-your-seat read from one of my fave romantic suspense authors. Loved the unique setting -- an Alaskan cruise ship. And the art theft angle is something I haven't read much of before. Both made for a refreshing read." from a review posted by an Harlequin.com member. To read more, go HERE>
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