Lipstick & Danger

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Product DetailsI’m very excited to finally post the Kirkus Review on An Unlikely Hero.

A housewife joins a covert agency out to thwart a terrorist
faction in the James’ debut action thriller.
Stay-at-home mom Tessa Scott, hoping for some relaxation
while her husband, Robert, and their kids are away, is thrust into a new world
when a Libyan terrorist comes looking for a bomb he believes is in her house.
Capt. Chase Hunter of the Enigma Agency comes to her aid, and the bright,
resourceful woman proves to be an asset to the team as it tries to prevent
terrorists from stealing isotopes—elements for, among other purposes,
diagnosing diseases. James’ novel, which boasts a resilient protagonist suddenly
finding herself in far-fetched situations, sharply fuses humor and sincerity:
Watching Tessa continually flee seemingly untrustworthy agents is funny, but
her physical revulsion to murder is a reminder of her quotidian home life.
Gunfights, hostage situations and even a forest fire propel the action, but the
novel’s characters are its best feature.  Enigma agent Samantha flirts with computer
tech Vernon, but she seems envious of Tessa’s connection to Chase. The novel’s
dramatic conflict is enhanced by Tessa’s uncertainty as to whom she can trust.
The males, frankly, don’t stand a chance against the females: Sam, whose
interrogations involve a gun and who repeatedly refers to the housewife
protagonist as “Betty Crocker”; Honey Lynch, a beautiful and potentially lethal
woman; and Claudia, the socially inept, mildly autistic Enigma librarian. Some
of Tessa’s predicament stems from credulity-straining coincidence—she’s one of
only a few who know the location of a vault where hostages are being held—but
this is at least acknowledged by Tessa as “divine intervention,” which she
genuinely believes.
A substantial thriller further improved by its female leads.

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