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Defend and Protect #1

Unknown Threat

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US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He's an expert at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.

FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she's assigned. She's been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke's life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it's hard to know how to fight back when you don't know who the enemy is.

As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.

352 pages, Paperback

First published March 2, 2021

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About the author

Lynn H. Blackburn

15 books726 followers
Librarian Note: Also writes under the pen name Lynn Huggins Blackburn.

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Displaying 1 - 30 of 305 reviews
Profile Image for Cara Putman.
Author 48 books1,608 followers
August 18, 2020
In Unknown Threat, Lynn Blackburn has created a page-turning novel with all the elements I’ve come to love in her books. The hero and heroine are unique and compelling, while surrounded by a rich cast that adds depth to the story. The suspense thread is intense and pulses with energy and pressure. And the romance? It’s perfection with tension to keep me rooting for the characters. It’s a perfect read for those who love engaging stories that are threaded with hope.
Profile Image for Natalie Walters.
Author 10 books829 followers
March 28, 2021
Unknown Threat is an explosive start to Lynn Blackburn's new series and I'm here for it! In quick order, Ms. Blackburn wheels you in with heart-stopping suspense, a charming and memorable ensemble cast, and an endearing hero-heroine combo that'll have you cheering for them on every page.

I loved the unique plot, the way Ms. Blackburn develops the Secret Service/FBI relationship in an authentic way. The suspense kept me guessing until the reveal and the action was paced well throughout making it hard to put the book down. Luke and Faith are down-to-earth characters that are fully fleshed out with real struggles and I appreciated the way their stories collied--allowing their character to transform in a genuine way that didn't feel forced. I really enjoyed getting to meet the rest of the team and am looking forward to reading more about them in future books. Highly recommend this book for fans of romantic suspense!

***I received a copy of this book from the publisher. I was not required to give a positive review and all opinions expressed are my own.***
Profile Image for Lindsey (Books for Christian Girls).
1,514 reviews3,352 followers
August 22, 2022
2.5 stars personally.

About this book:

“US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He's an expert at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.
FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she's assigned. She's been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke's life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it's hard to know how to fight back when you don't know who the enemy is.
As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.”

Series: Book #1 in the “Defend and Protect” series. Mentions characters from the “Dive Team Investigations” series and does give slight spoilers from those books.

Spiritual Content- Psalm 19:14 in the Acknowledgements; Prayers, Thanking God, & Blessings over food; Talks about God, not understanding why bad things happen to good people, & not understanding how God is loving when bad things happen; 'H's are not capital when referring to God; Faith doesn’t think God cares enough to intervene, but does start praying, hoping He hears (she also recalls a Sunday school teacher telling her about the Holy Spirit being able to “translate tears and sighs and emotions into words” and she hopes that’s true); Luke calls praying a lifeline; Mentions of God & forgiving; Mentions of prayers, praying, & blessings over food; Mentions of faiths; A handful of mentions of Bibles & Bible reading; A handful of mentions of churches, church going, & a chaplain; A few mentions of miracles; A couple mentions of Easter services; A mention of a missionary; A mention of Luke closing his mouth in a situation because the things that would come out wouldn’t be very Christian; A mention of a sin; A mention of a man being like a saint;
*Note: A mention of not believing in coincidences; A mention of someone being put through hell; A mention of an evil man.

Negative Content- Minor cussing including: a ‘blasted’, a ‘crap’, a ‘duh’, a ‘oh my word’, a ‘rats’, a ‘sheesh’, a ‘shut up’, a ‘sucker’, a ‘wimps’, two forms of ‘screw up’, two ‘ever-loving’s, three cut-off forms of someone mentioning that another could “shove [something] where—“, four ‘dumb’s, eight forms of ‘ticked off’, eleven forms of ‘idiot’, and eleven forms of ‘stupid’; A few mentions of curses (said, not written); Eye rolling & Sarcasm; A break-in, being held at gun-point and knife-point, & hostage situations (up to semi-detailed); Gunfire, explosions, being shot, seeing others shot, pain, injuries, & blood/bleeding (semi-detailed); Remembering traumatic events & seeing deaths (including the smell, up to semi-detailed); The abandonment of a father & wondering if you weren’t enough for them to stay (x2); All about many, many mentions of deaths/killings (mostly law enforcement officers), the murderers, finding bodies (and the smell), attacks, explosions (mostly car explosions), bombs, gunfire, shooters, seeing others shot, injuries, blood/bleeding, pain, & near death experiences (semi-detailed); Mentions of families grieving the deaths of their loved ones (law enforcement families); Mentions of suicides, murders that looked like suicide, & mental health/depression (one was due to depression *Spoiler* ); Mentions of someone being tortured to death & a threat to do it to someone else (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of a poison dart & a death (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of fires, arson, burns, deaths & near deaths; Mentions of someone justifying killings & revenge; Mentions of autopsies; Mentions of a break-in & being held at gun-point and knife-point, & threatened (including threats of harming others, barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of crimes, criminals, & crime scenes; Mentions of terrorists & treason; Mentions of electronic crimes & counterfeiting; Mentions of gangs, prisons/jails, & someone dying in there; Mentions of someone being hit by a car & her major injuries (barely-above-not-detailed); Mentions of car crashes, being run off the road, & road rage (up to semi-detailed); Mentions of being stalked & a stalker; Mentions of threats; Mentions of hatred (particularly Luke’s hatred of the FBI and how his family would rather he go into a life of crime than become an FBI agent); Mentions of lies & lying; Mentions of eavesdropping; Mentions of tattoos; Mentions of the possibility of someone having a split personality disorder; A few mentions of human trafficking; A few mentions of stabbings; A few mentions of stealing & stolen items; A few mentions of drinking, drunks, & sobriety tests; A few mentions of nightmares; A couple mentions of possible death/dying scenarios; A couple mentions of drug tests; A couple mentions of divorces; A couple mentions of rumors; A mention of North Korean spies; A mention of (teasingly) hiding dead bodies; A mention of (not) being robbed; A mention of throwing up;
*Note: Many mentions of brand names & items (Cherry Coke, iPad, Apple Pencil); Mentions of Uber & Lyft; A few mentions of car brands; A few mentions of sport teams; A mention of a superhero.

Sexual Content- Three fingers-to-lips touches, a nose kiss, a cheek kiss, a not-detailed kiss, two barely-above-not-detailed kisses, and two semi-detailed kisses; Recalling a kiss (barely-above-not-detailed); Wanting to kiss someone; Staring at someone’s lips (up to semi-detailed); A few talks about kissing & kisses; Touches, Embraces, Hand Holding, Shivers, Nearness, & Smelling (up to semi-detailed); Noticing & Staring (including abs and a man’s bare chest, up to semi-detailed); Feeling a “wave of desire” (when someone says their name); Winks, Blushes, & Flirting; Mentions of infidelity, affairs, cheating, men having one or not having one, & a possible prostitute (Sexual Content & Spoiler: ); Mentions of a woman believing that all men are scum & her trying to hit on a married man; Mentions of kisses, kissing, & wanting to kiss/to be kissed; Mentions of boyfriends/girlfriends, others’ types, dates, dating, & asking someone out; A few mentions of making out & getting friendly with someone of the opposite gender; A few mentions of a possessive and obsessive boyfriend; A few mentions of flirting; A couple mentions that a couple would “make very pretty/beautiful babies”; A couple mentions of asking for consent before kissing someone; A couple mentions of drooling over & ogling a man; A couple mentions of steamy romance books (teasingly saying someone reads them and another teasing back they would ask to borrow them, though they hope the other doesn’t actually read those); A couple mentions of crushes; A mention of a married man sleeping around; A mention of the possibility of a woman refusing to sleep with a man; A mention of a hook up; A mention of an out-of-wedlock pregnancy being frowned upon; A mention of someone asking a question about a kiss but not in a voyeuristic way; Love, falling in love, & the emotions;
*Note: Faith refers to her father once as a scumbag who “donated some genetic material to make [her]”; A couple mentions of giving others kicks in the pants; A mention of butting out of someone’s business; A mention of (teasingly) staring at someone’s butt; A mention of the US Secret Service attracting alpha males.

-Faith Malone, age 31
-Luke Powell, (slightly younger than her)
P.O.V. switches between them
352 pages

Pre Teens- One Star
New Teens- One Star
Early High School Teens- One Star
Older High School Teens- Two Stars
My personal Rating- Two Stars (and a half)

{Add a full star to the Older High School Teens’ rating for those that are very interested in a law enforcement career.}

This was my first book by this author and I was very intrigued by it and engaged into the plot. I’m not sure what it is about the rivalries between different law enforcement agencies that makes me want to read a book more, but I was definitely interested in this story once I saw those elements.

I can’t say I was blown away by either Faith or Luke. I wish the faith moments would have been a bit more prevalent and explained towards the end of the story. I don’t feel like either of them were strong in their faiths, at least, what was shown gave me that impression. While there were quite a few characters we’re introduced to right away, I did really like those from the Secret Service side (I love seeing friendship banter within stories!) and I assume the next books will be about some of them. I also really appreciate the diversity of characters within this book. I have to say that I wasn’t overall thrilled with the ending as it felt rushed and we’re quickly caught up on some missing details in the last chapter, but the rest of the book’s pacing was well done.

Now, the ratings. For certain older girls interested in law enforcement or have read secular suspense books and were okay with some of the content, they would probably be okay with this book. I wouldn’t say it was crass or crude, but there were some parts that felt a little…coarse? Not the typical squeaky clean suspense books I’m used to (in terms of small details/comments, not about the murders/killing parts—those were about the same). Certain comments or mentions made this book lower for the age ranges listed above, along with the focus of Faith and Luke’s interest in the other in a…physically noticing way.

I would definitely read the rest of the series and try out some of this author’s other books, though, I have a feeling they may end up being guilty pleasure reads due to some content I’m not personally a fan of but still really enjoying the suspense side of the story.

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 Gloria.
782 reviews55 followers
February 26, 2021
I am excited about this new series, Defend and Protect, by Lynn Blackburn. Set in Raleigh, North Carolina we meet a new set of characters and a visit from old friends from nearby Carrington and the Dive Team Investigations. In this new series, the story revolves around the US Secret Service and FBI offices in Raleigh. Special Agents in the Secret Service office are being targeted and FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is assigned the case. On a Monday morning, two agents are shot at and their cars explode when they are close by. They are injured but alive. Other agents are targeted at the gym and their home with those being killed. Faith is acquainted with the agents since she is on the Joint Terrorist Task Force with some of the guys. Injured Special Agent Luke Powell is assigned to work with Faith as the liaison between the two agencies. He has some negative feelings toward the agency but Faith soon wins his respect with her dedication. The Secret Service recently lost a fellow agent in a car bomb with an unknown woman in the car. They have to decide if the event is linked to the new events. The action continues until the group has to go into a secret location and use extreme caution when out of the hotel. This story has an interesting mystery with an unusual plot with twists and turns to the end and likable, realistic characters. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am looking forward to the next great story that I know to expect from Lynn Blackburn. Oh, and there is romance in the air with a nice thread of faith.
I received a complimentary ARC from Revell Publishing through NetGalley. All thoughts and opinions are mine only.
Profile Image for Paula Shreckhise.
1,051 reviews78 followers
February 20, 2021
What a spectacular start to a new series Defend and Protect. Not only do we meet a new set of law enforcement buddies, we get a glimpse of what former characters are up to. I am a sucker for stories about alphabet soup agencies, in this case FBI and Secret Service. Ms. Blackburn wowed me with the Dive Team series and she wows me again with Unknown Threat. The excitement jumps off the page and the tension is palpable. But Faith Malone and Luke Powell are focused on the killer and trying to deny their attraction. They each have to deal with shaky faith and family dynamics. “They were grown-ups doing grown-up work in a grown-up world. They knew how evil the world was, and they didn’t hide from it. They ran straight for it.”
I cannot wait for the rest of the series. A definite 5 stars with a solid faith thread.
* I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell through Interviews and Reviews and Revell Reads. I was not required to give a favorable review. All opinions are my own.*
Profile Image for Kaitlyn Krispense.
Author 1 book85 followers
March 11, 2021
Unknown Threat started out with a bang—literally. After an explosion in scene one, I was hooked.

Romantic suspense is very much a hit-or-miss for me, so when I requested to review this book, I may or may not have been super nervous. I mean...I'd never read anything by Lynn Blackburn, so y'all, this could be a big fail. Heh.

BUT. I also couldn't help be excited about it 'cause, y'all, Blackburn...well, if you've seen SEAL Team, you'll know. *cackles*

Anyway. The characters. The CHARACTERS, y'all. This book had a fantastic cast of characters. (How many times can I say 'characters' in one line?) Faith, Luke, Zane, Tiff, Gil, Jacob, Hope (if I'm missing anyone, just slap me or something)...and what surprised me the most was how funny they were. Gil and Zane are always trying to find someone for Luke to marry, and of course they're gonna recruit Tiff to help them. Y'all. I can't tell you how long it's been since I actually laughed out loud while reading a book. Like, for real. It c r a c k e d me up.

I loved Faith's character, and I could actually relate to her a lot—her personality was a bit more driven than mine (though I suppose I can be driven...when I really want to...*cough*), but the way she relied on logic rather than emotions? Mmm, yeah, my kinda girl.

Luke was sooo fun. I loved his personality and his protectiveness. And the way he handled his meddling friends. *cackles*

And, of course, Gil needs his own line 'cause I love him. He was my favorite (though full of holes, poor dude), and he needs his own story. Which I am super hopeful about. *nods*

So. The two love interests meet. Their eyes lock across the room. Soft jazz begins to play, and they are immediately drawn to one another...okay, yeah, that's not quite how it happened. The romance was actually super sweet, in my opinion. Of course there was a bit of kissing and there was definitely attraction but Y'ALL they didn't let their attraction get in the way of their jobs, and it wasn't full of the I-feel-nothing-but-sparks-when-I-touch-this-person kind of romance and that was soooooo wonderful. Was there I-want-you-but-we-can't-be-together bits? Yes. But it...actually made sense to me in this case?? Plus, I really appreciated how they hit a couple of rocky spots, and it wasn't all flowers and rainbows, or however the saying goes. So. Yeah. There's definitely romance, but not enough to keep me from enjoying the book in its entirety.

Anyway. The plot continually kept me guessing. And wondering who was gonna get blown up next. 'Cause, ya know, sUsPEnsE. This was one of those instances where I thought I knew who the bad guy was, but I was actually wrong. (Gasp—me? Wrong?? Shocking, I know. My goodness.)

The spiritual aspect was good. There wasn't a whole lot, buuuut there was definitely more than I've read in a lot of Christian fiction lately, and I appreciated the thread of learning to trust God. So thank you, Mrs. Blackburn, for that!

*I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Sarah Grace Grzy.
629 reviews824 followers
May 17, 2021
Okay, I'm already in love with this series! Blackburn draws you into the story with instant action and I couldn't put it down after! I finished this one in a record time because I just had to keep reading! I absolutely loved both of the main characters, Luke and Faith. They were so good together, and the slow-burn romance was just right for their story! The suspense is high and keeps you guessing and I had no idea how the story was going to end! Highly recommend checking out this series debut and I am on the edge of my seat for book two! (Tip: don't read the sneak peek chapter for book two! You'll regret it!)
Profile Image for Susan Snodgrass.
1,980 reviews179 followers
March 2, 2021
'Attempting to eliminate an entire Secret Service office is no small undertaking. You have to be seriously angry.'

Someone is killing United States Secret Service agents. Already four have died in strange circumstances. FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is tasked with finding out who is behind these deaths....before anymore Secret Service Agents die. But one of those agents is Luke Powell. Luke is determined to help Faith....if he can stay alive long enough.

Lynn Blackburn hits the ground running with Unknown Threat and the action just keeps pounding all through the book! Absolutely no let up and that's the way I like it. She has populated this book with wonderful characters that are totally believable, even the secondary ones. Awesome start to new series! Highly recommended.

My thanks to Revell Publishing and the author for a copy of this book. I received no compensation and the review here is entirely my own opinion.
Profile Image for Brittany.
2,157 reviews138 followers
March 15, 2021
Wow! This is the first book that I have read by this author and I am so impressed! The story fascinated me and truly kept me guessing as to who was behind the murders and the continuous attempts on the other Secret Service Agents’ lives.

I really liked the characters in this story, as well. Faith and Luke had worked together before, so they already knew each other before the story began and got along well. It was clear that there was some interest on both sides, yet neither person had allowed themselves to take things further emotionally. However, in this story, Luke and Faith ended up working together very closely and the danger that they were in definitely helped them to realize how much they meant to each other.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and look forward to reading more books by this author.

I received a complimentary copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

You can read this review on my blog:
Profile Image for Sarita.
1,038 reviews624 followers
March 23, 2021
This was a great start to a promising new series. I just loved Luke, Zane and Gil from the start. Faith and Hope also tugged at my heartstrings. I enjoyed Faith’s struggle to be this perfect, strong FBI agent but still being a bit vulnerable as well.

The action came from every corner and I held my breath quite a lot, not sure if anything will happen to the agents. I did not know who was behind everything and my guess was way wrong. I love it when authors can surprise me like this!

I’m left with wanting to read more to see what will happen within Zane, Tessa and Gil! The author left just enough hints to bait me for future books in this series.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. All opinions expressed are my own.*
Profile Image for MJSH.
985 reviews40 followers
March 2, 2021
"People say it's best to fall in love with someone who is very much like you. I guess that's true sometimes. But sometimes love happens, and the joy of it is discovering how to love someone who isn't like you at all."

What an adrenaline-filled start to the new series Defend and Protect! Lynn H Blackburn has outdone herself with this newest book. It has everything a romantic suspense fan could possibly want - a fast-paced and intricately woven plot, that elusive villain, wonderful characters who really bring the book to life, sweet romance, easy-to-read writing style, funny and often witty dialogue, and a great faith thread with themes of forgiveness and reconciliation. It's a must-read book for 2021!

This new series sends the readers to the US Secret Service office based in Raleigh, NC and Luke is determined to find the murderer of his friend and mentor. When he and the other agents in his office become targets, Faith from FBI steps in to lead the investigation of both events. Luke is the steady, loyal, dependable alpha hero but isn't afraid to let Faith take the lead, though he has some past issues with the FBI. Faith is the driven, intelligent workaholic who has something to prove to the world and has trust issues with men. The story line is quite fascinating and has multiple gasp-worthy twists and turns. I also enjoyed learning about what actually takes place within the Secret Service office and what the agents do when not in protective detail. The secondary characters of Gil, Zane, and Tessa are seamlessly integrated into the plot and I'm looking forward to future books in the series about these Secret Service agents. And for those who are fans of the previous Dive Team Investigations series, you'll be squealing with delight when certain characters make cameo appearances. Those who enjoy nail-biting suspense will totally love this book.

I received the book from Revell/Baker Publishing Group and was under no obligation to post a positive comment. All opinions are solely my own.
Profile Image for Patricia Bradley.
Author 25 books835 followers
March 13, 2021
Lynn H. Blackburn’s Unknown Threat is a fantastic read. I could not put the book down, and I don’t think you’ll be able to either!

She knows how to keep a reader turning pages. And she knows how to create characters that feel like family. I especially fell in love with Luke Powell. He has personal stakes–it’s his friends and colleagues who are being killed. And it all started with his mentor, Thad.

The FBI agent in charge of Thad’s murder case let her bias interfere with finding his killer. This puts high stakes on Faith to fix her failure and solve the new murders. She.Cannot.Fail. Or make mistakes. That’s her mantra, but she isn’t God and solving this case helps her to come to terms with it being okay to sometimes make mistakes.

The romance is sweet, but doesn’t get in the way of the action. This is book one and any of the characters in the book will be great protagonists for the next book. This is a book that fans of Lynette Eason will enjoy!
Profile Image for Abigail Harris.
Author 26 books176 followers
March 27, 2021
This. Book. Is. So. Good.

I am a sucker for a good romantic suspense. I'll nearly always pick up a Christian suspense if I suspect it will be thrilling, have a romantic side plot, or just be plain amazing, aka Lynn H. Blackburn's books.

The wild start of Unknown Threat wasn't what I expected, in fact it was better than anything I expected, from page one readers will be pulled into this exhilarating suspense where you'll be kept guessing from page to page.

Now, as to characters, wow! I love, love, love the characters, all of them. Luke, Faith, Zane, Tessa, Gil, and the cameos of characters from her last series, Dive Team Investigations! The characters together were awesome, I loved the brotherhood, the family likeness of the team, and the matchmaking best friends and mentors who wouldn't stop adding a dash of humor even in the middle of the suspenseful scenes.

The faith content was very slight but it was still there to a point. I liked the lessons that Blackburn added. I do wish there had been more focus on the faith side of things, though there was more faith shown than in some of the recent Christian fiction I've read.

Warnings: Suggestions of a character cheating on their spouse, a stalker of sorts, and other things of the like.

Recommendation: 16/18+

I voluntarily received and reviewed a complimentary e/copy of this book which I received from the author/publisher. All views expressed are only my honest opinion.
Profile Image for Maureen Timerman.
2,751 reviews467 followers
February 21, 2021
This read kept me page turning and holding my breath, all the while not really believing what was happening, and then another incident that you will never see it coming. Bombs, bullets, and threats, but we get to watch and guess as to who would be so evil.

Surprised at the ending, and I never guessed, and in the end all it would have taken was talking, but why are the good guys being targeted?

I knew when I saw a new book by Lynn Blackburn I was in for a great read, and boy I was not wrong, what an amazing novel.

If you like a a book that will keep you on the edge of your seat, this one will not disappoint, and then we are given a sweet romance to warm your heart.

Will the agents find out who is trying to kill them? Or will all of them succumb to this madman?

I received this book through Net Galley and Publisher Revell, and was not required to give a positive review.
Profile Image for Tina.
2,302 reviews1 follower
June 23, 2022
This is a Romantic Suspense, and this is the first book in the Defend and Protect series. I just found this book ok. I found the characters did not really jump off the page for me, and I felt there was way to many characters. I found the suspense, and I really hated the romance. I think this is just not the Romantic Suspense for me.
Profile Image for Dana Michael.
1,120 reviews88 followers
February 28, 2022
Great suspense and romance. I read these books out of order but the read was still good and I can't wait for more.
Profile Image for Rebecca.
1,787 reviews98 followers
March 4, 2022
3.5 stars
"I wonder how long it will take me to hop in a car and take off without checking it for a bomb?"

U.S. Secret Service Agent Luke Powell has every right to feel unnerved after he and fellow agent Zane Thacker were nearly killed following a car bomb/shooting incident in the parking lot off their favorite trailhead. As it was, both ended up in the hospital with non-life threatening injuries, but some of their fellow agents had been less fortunate, losing their lives in similar incidences. There is every indication that someone is meticulously trying to eliminate agents from their particular office. But, why? That's the million dollar question, and F.B.I. Special Agent Faith Malone has been tasked with finding the answer.

It's Faith's first big case as an agent-in-charge and it just happens to involve someone she knows, Luke Powell. They've always had an easy camaraderie, in spite of the lingering lines of mutual distrust between their agencies; on this case though, it is going to be extremely crucial to pool their resources together as a team. As time advances, and more agents are targeted, Faith hovers just outside the boundary of despair. The evidence isn't fitting together in any sort of discernable pattern, meanwhile; they are living each day under the cloud of an unknown threat.

Just when things start to heat up in the case, Luke and Faith muddy the waters by admitting their mutual attraction, which could very well get one of them killed, for "she'd never imagined anyone would literally try to give his life for her . . . . . "

What a great story! Readers will cheer for this impressive team of experts while vicariously staying on the lookout for ways to help them. . . . . . because of course, there are many more people for them to "defend and protect".
2,732 reviews1,724 followers
May 31, 2021
Snort! I didn't know what to make of Faith at first. She's channeled her inner snark to near perfection. Sometimes it's funny (hence the snort laughter) but other times I was, "wait, whatttt? Did she just think/say....?!" Definitely a heroine with porcupine quills and walled up defenses. And definitely not of the all soft and fluffy variety. :-) Here's a glimpse into her mindset:

"...she had limited exposure to baby humans. Or little humans. Or pretty much any human who didn't have a fully formed prefrontal cortex. Although, come to think of it, she strongly suspected a few guys she'd dated in college had still been growing their brains..." (p 75)


Meanwhile Luke is definitely all brain...and brawn. Swoony hero material in fact. He's the suffer-in-silence, stoic, protective type. Drives Faith a little bit crazy because she can't always corral random wisps of attraction that keep surfacing the more she spends time with him. And they are clocking a lot of hours trying to chase down leads to stop a killer, all while being targets themselves. 'Cause somebody seems to be determined to wipe out Luke's entire unit.

I've never been a huge Secret Service devotee, but, until I read this book, I had a very narrow view of what exactly these agents do. Turns out there's a whole lot more to their job description than just protective detail so now my interest is piqued. And Blackburn has created a dynamic team with hints at intriguing back stories of future heroes and heroines to come. Super excited to read more of this series.

And...BONUS...insert high-pitched fan girl squealing...there are some fun nods to the author's Dive Team Investigations series!!!!!

An intense page-turner that kept me reading at a frenetic pace until I devoured the very last word.

Book provided courtesy of Baker Publishing Group and Graf-Martin Communications Inc.
Profile Image for maiaisreading.
396 reviews15 followers
March 15, 2021
#BookReview: UNKNOWN THREAT by Lynn H. Blackburn

Ms. Blackburn is a new-to-me author who made a very compelling book full of mystery, suspense, thrill, romance, family drama, humor, faith and camaraderie. Their concern is very serious with people from the Secret Service dying. The twists and turns and just not knowing kept me on my toes. I thought I knew and then things happen that makes me doubt it then it leads to something different. Lots of guessing games and the characters make it fun too! The romance between US Secret Service Agent Luke Powell and FBI Special Agent Faith Malone added drama to the already gripping story. I love the friendship, the wise counsel and affection. It’s the first book in the Defend and Protect series and I look forward to the next one! 5 stars

Thank you Revell for the gifted copy. All opinions are my own.
Profile Image for Staci.
1,620 reviews502 followers
April 7, 2021
Nice start to a new series! Great cast of characters and enjoyed the details about the FBI and Secret Service.
Profile Image for Melissa.
1,965 reviews
January 18, 2021
Wowza! This book was fantastic! I have read and loved all of Lynn Blackburn's books to date. She is without a doubt my favorite Christian Fiction Suspense author. This book however was to put it simply, incredible. I loved the humor and the banter in the book especially between Luke and Faith. That was probably my favorite element of the book. Faith is awesome especially because she shares my love of Cherry Coke! That was a fun connection for me. And Luke....I think he is going to become a book boyfriend for me! He was definitely swoon worthy, all protective and superheroey. I really liked the rest of the new team in this series too and I look forward to getting to know all of them better in the coming books in the series. The mystery and plot of the book is so so good. It had me guessing and caring about these characters as they worked to solve the case. All in all, I absolutely loved this book and now I am sad because I have to wait months for book # 2 in the series. It can't come soon enough for me!!

I received this book from the publisher and was not required to post a positive review. All thoughts are my own.
Profile Image for Kelly Bridgewater.
973 reviews35 followers
March 10, 2021
Unknown Threat is a bombing interesting story! With the opening chapter, readers are taken for a quick ride as they wonder through the word of agents being targeted and killed one by one. Who is next? Could it be the hero? Could it be the heroine? Lynn Blackburn takes readers on a journey through the life of interesting characters and an interesting plot. Blackburn does a wonderful job at crafting a story with showing the Secret Service and FBI operations. While the romance does occur, it does take over a lot of the story. As for the plot, I wanted more suspense. If these agents’ lives were in peril, then why was it not happening all the time? I kept wanting something to happen at certain moments, but then Blackburn would talk about the case through the eyes of Faith Malone, FBI Special Agent, or Luke, Selective Services. Overall, in my humble opinion, this was a predictable, yet original tale through the world of the police. I believe fans of DiAnn Mills, Colleen Coble, and Irene Hannon would enjoy this novel.

I received a complimentary copy of Unknown Threat by Lynn Blackburn from Revell Publishing, but the opinions stated are all my own.
Profile Image for Faye.
1,650 reviews
March 29, 2021
How do you fight back against an enemy you don't know?

Luke Powell, Secret Service Special Agent narrowly escapes an attempt on his life, a seemingly random attack that is similar to the recent events that took the lives of three of his friends.

FBI Agent Faith Malone is s sharp agent with a rising star, assigned to the case investigating the murder of Luke's friends. Together they must untangle the web of murder and intrigue before anyone else loses their life.

A high stakes suspense that builds over the course of the story, I liked how it balances the suspense with strong character development, as well as what is going on with some of the other agents that we will likely read about a couple of them in upcoming books. A riveting read, with a lot going on, and effective storytelling. Luke has really been through a lot in the last few months and weeks, I loved that he had a great group of friends around him, he is a natural defender, with strong faith, and is willing to fight to bring the killer to justice.

Faith is focused, independent, and a more private person. I liked how working with Luke drew her out, as well as getting to know her sister Hope.

Overall, a well crafted action-packed read with engaging characters and a twisting storyline that had me hooked. I can't wait to see what is next for this series. Perfect for fans of Christian suspense!

I received a complimentary copy of this book. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
Profile Image for Nicole.
353 reviews
January 18, 2021
With the perfect blend of romance and suspense, Unknown Threat, the first installment in award winning author Lynn H. Blackburn’s Defend and Protect series, is sure to delight readers. This book is absolute perfection… romance, suspense, humor, fast-paced action, wonderful characters, and faith.

Lynn H. Blackburn continues to do a fabulous job incorporating characters of diverse backgrounds into her storylines, including Unknown Threat’s heroine Faith Malone, who is half Cherokee. She consistently creates characters who readers care about long after the final page, such as charismatic and swoon-worthy US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell. Luke is giving Dive Team Investigator Gabe Chavez some serious competition as my favorite hero of Lynn H. Blackburn’s.

The background on the United States Secret Service is fascinating as most people think Secret Service agents only serve on protection details of VIPs, and the cameos from beloved Dive Team members are a special treat for longtime fans of the author.

Unknown Threat is highly recommended for readers of romantic suspense, especially those who enjoy books by authors such as Dani Pettrey, Irene Hannon, Lynette Eason, and Rachel Dylan. Unknown Threat has been my most anticipated book of the year, and it will definitely be on my list of top 10 books of 2021.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
Profile Image for Toni Shiloh.
Author 52 books1,053 followers
March 2, 2021
Lynn H. Blackburn gets better with each book. I’ve been a huge fan of hers since her debut novel and I keep returning to her books for a few important reasons.

First, I’m guaranteed a good romantic suspense. Second, I’m guaranteed to see a cast of great characters. Third, there’s diversity in the group. Lastly, her stories are just that good that I know I walk away satisfied with the romance, with the suspense, with it all. In this case, I literally kept guessing to figure out what was going on. Every time I thought I’d figured it out, it would change. I seriously can’t wait for book 2.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher. My review was not required nor influenced.
**Full review at: https://tonishiloh.com/2021/03/02/boo...
Profile Image for Debbie.
3,139 reviews56 followers
February 24, 2021
"Unknown Threat" is a Christian romantic suspense novel. Even though Luke believes that the FBI is incompetent due to something that happened in his childhood, he's impressed with how competent Faith is (and she is!). He pushed through injuries to help Faith coordinate all of the information coming in on the case. They investigated some of the scenes and people personally, but much of what they did was to sort through the evidence coming in from the many crime scenes. The suspense came from the repeated attempts to kill several of the secret service agents.

The main characters were likable, honorable, determined people who reacted realistically to the situations. I cared about what happened to them. Luke and Faith were attracted to each other but both had childhood hang-ups that they needed to forgive and move past. Faith didn't trust men because of how her father had abandoned her family. Luke's family deeply distrusted the FBI and would be prejudiced against Faith. The Christian element was the question of why a powerful, loving God would allow bad things to happen to his faithful followers. There was no sex or bad language. Overall, I would recommend this enjoyable, exciting suspense novel.

I received an ebook review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
Profile Image for Kim.
682 reviews27 followers
March 2, 2021
Unknown Threat by Lynn H. Blackburn is a fantastic start to the Defend and Protect romantic suspense series!

This is the first book I’ve read by Blackburn and I was happily surprised by how good it is. The action is non-stop, her relationships are well written, and the religious moments woven throughout the story help to enhance it and don’t feel forced.

Blackburn does a fantastic job balancing the action scenes with investigative scenes and relationships, whether it be co-workers, family, or love interests. Faith is not only dealing with her needy mom and sister, who has some physical limitations, but this is also the first case that Faith is lead on, and a relationship is starting with Luke. So much is going on, but Blackburn handles all these story threads with ease. And the friendship and camaraderie that is between all the members of the Secret Service team is remarkable. If I had a workplace like that (even with my life being on the line), it would be a pleasure to go to work.

I really enjoyed that it wasn’t until towards the end of the book that the mystery started to get solved. I’ve read some suspense and thrillers where the killer is in the first chapter and there is no surprise, but that was not the case with Unknown Threat… the threat stays unknown for a long time.

Already looking forward to book two in the Defend and Protect series!
Profile Image for Becky Lewis.
745 reviews26 followers
April 9, 2021
“Mondays were the worst.” Who doesn’t agree with that statement?! And with that sentence, Lynn H Blackburn deftly hooks the reader. The timbre of Unknown Threat, ( #1 Defend and Protect) escalates as we find out that Secret Service agents in the Raleigh office are being picked off systematically. Can FBI Special Agent, Faith Malone, work with Luke and get past his hatred of the FBI, to discover who wants to eradicate his team?
Plenty of drama, sweet romance, and explosive action make this a story to remember. I love the way that Luke and Faith must put aside their pasts with their hurts and baggage to forge a relationship. Little snippets make us aware of another team member whose romance may be the subject of the next book. I appreciate that Blackburn adds a humorous dimension to very tense moments and keeps the suspense below heart attack level.
I have read Blackburn’s Dive Team Investigations series and was pleased to find the same level of team camaraderie and loyalty between members of Luke’s Secret Service agency. That pervading sense of family makes me eager to get my hands on the next book in the series.
I received a copy of the book from the author and publisher through Library Thing. All opinions are my own, unsolicited thoughts.
Profile Image for Doreen.
703 reviews9 followers
March 16, 2021
This was an exciting, suspenseful book. I loved it! The danger and action started up from the first pages and didn't let down until the end. Someone is killing agents from the local Secret Service office and shows no signs of stopping. FBI agent Faith Malone is tasked to head up the investigation. She has her own issues and is desperate to solve this case before it becomes too personal.

The suspense and mystery were fantastic. The book had an incredible pace to it. I felt like the characters were believable and real. I felt like I was getting an inside look into how the different agencies interact and investigate. I enjoyed the writing style and the snarky thoughts. "...she was in shock that he'd somehow managed to both crawl under the bus and drive over himself at the same time" (location 2682). I even learned a new safety tip...that you can call 911 by hitting the power button repeatedly on your smartphone.

This was a great read. I'd highly recommend it. Thank you to Revell for providing me with a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own.
417 reviews5 followers
March 23, 2021
Another new author for me! This book had me anxiously turning the pages to find out who the murderer was!

The story is set in Raleigh, North Carolina. Luke is a secret service agent that is being targeted and his coworkers/friends are being murdered. Faith is an FBI agent who has been assigned the case. There are so many different puzzle pieces to this suspense and I was surprised at the ending. I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

I particularly enjoyed the character of Luke. He really cared about the people that were around him. Faith was a go getter and was a little afraid to get close to people but cared deeply about those that she loved.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for the arc. The opinions are my own!
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