Review: Protecting Tanner Hollow by Lynette Eason

Protecting Tanner Hollow by Lynette Eason
Sarah Grace's Rating: 4 out of 5 bookmarks

A few years ago, Lynette Eason self-published a trio of novellas set in the fictional small town of Tanner Hollow. Recently, the rights were purchased by Revell and the books have now been republished into a collection and a fourth novella featuring tie-ins to Eason's Blue Justice series has been added.

Book Summary:
Four nail-biting novellas in one!
Lethal Homecoming
Nolan Tanner never got over Kallie Ainsworth's sudden, unexplained departure. Now when he comes to her rescue after an attempt on her life, all the old feelings come rushing back.
Lethal Conspiracy
When professional fundraiser Lillian Maloney sees her father's campaign manager commit murder, she goes on the run from the men he hires to kill her. A close call brings firefighter Jason Tanner to the rescue, but the killer is closing in . . .
Lethal Secrets
Someone wants Honor McBride dead. When Eli Murphy helps her change a flat tire and discovers the danger Honor is in, he longs to help--but Eli has secrets of his own that could get them all killed.
Lethal Agenda
When Detective Derek St. John rescues a woman he's met only once before--and has never been able to forget--he finds himself falling for her. But he'll have to keep Claire Montgomery alive if they're to have a future together.

Lethal Homecoming

This novella is the first and the shortest. So short, there is barely enough time for the story to happen. I had that feeling the first time I read it when it was self-published, and I had hoped that some editing would have fleshed out the story a little better for its republication. Unfortunately, it still seems largely unedited. Nolan and Kallie are intriguing characters, but due to the length of the story, the reader never gets a chance to connect with them. Similarly, the plot felt very rushed. There were a few action scenes, then you snap your fingers, and the story is over. In that respect, this novella was a bit disappointing, and my least favorite.

Lethal Conspiracy

Thankfully, the pacing issues seem to have resolved after that first novella. While still short—these are novellas, after all—the story and characters were fleshed out more thoroughly, making for a more enjoyable read. I enjoyed seeing Nolan's brother, Jason, as the lead in this story. It was also a nice deviation from the norm in having a firefighter for the hero versus a law enforcement officer. Lillian is a tough character who has been through a lot and is hesitant to accept help. But I enjoyed seeing her and Jason's relationship progress through the story.

I do have one complaint with this story though, and that's with the inaccuracies portrayed in the opening scene. This situation is one of my biggest pet peeves, so it really stuck out to me, but an editor or the author could have done a bit of research on the protocol for this situation and corrected these issues. Jason responds to a house fire, and an unresponsive woman is found in her car in the garage as they work to put out the fire. Jason immediately pulls her out, suspects carbon monoxide poisoning (a fair conclusion) and starts mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. Now, in giving first aid to someone who is not breathing, mouth-to-mouth is NOT the first step. Chest compressions are always the first step. Also, as a first responder, they would have PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) such as a face mask/shield on hand (which it is clear Jason didn't use) for doing mouth-to-mouth.

Aside from those minor issues, this novella was a major step up from the first one, and I greatly enjoyed it!

Lethal Secrets

The plot in this third novella is the most complex yet, and I was kept guessing throughout. Honor's five children each had such character and made the story more enjoyable. Eli fell a bit flat to me, but generally, I did enjoy these characters. The small-town aspect of the series really shines in this book as the entire town rallies around Honor to help her family. Eason also touches lightly on some difficult topics, which also adds some depth to the story. Overall, this one wasn't my favorite but was still an enjoyable read.

Lethal Agenda

And now onto the final novella and my favorite. This one features Detective Derek St. John, one of the three brothers in Eason's Blue Justice series. I was very disappointed that Derek didn't get his own full-length novel like the rest of his siblings did, but this novella worked well in this collection and shared his story perhaps just as effectively as a novel would. Claire Montgomery is a crime scene investigator and Derek's counterpart for this story. (Fun fact: Claire appears in Lethal Conspiracy as well.) Our detective is just in town for a little R&R, but after an attempt is made on Claire's life, he gets pulled in to help an old friend out. Derek and Claire had a lot of chemistry and were great characters together and individually. The backstory of how they initially met made a lot of sense and made the romance so much more plausible. The story keeps you on your toes throughout with a good dose of mystery and, of course, Eason's trademark action-packed scenes.

All in all, this collection of action-packed romantic suspense stories was an enjoyable, quick read that I recommend to new and old Lynette Eason readers!

Sarah Grace is a voracious reader, and if it weren’t for this crazy thing called “Life”, she’d be tempted to spend all her days in front of a woodstove, book in one hand, coffee mug in the other. A lover of learning, she finds enjoyment in many things, and has more hobbies than she knows what to do with. When not reading, spending time with her ever-growing family, or buried in a textbook, she can be found painting, playing the piano, producing music and audio dramas, web designing, fangirling with her sisters and friends, or discussing technology with her brothers. Sarah Grace inhabits the State of Great Lakes and wouldn’t want to live anywhere else.

Disclosure: The publisher provided us with a free copy of this book for promotional purposes. A favorable review was not required. This post contains affiliate links.

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