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Over the Line

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Member Reviews

I really enjoyed Tell Her No Lies, Kelly Irvin’s first foray out of Amish into romantic suspense. Over the Line? Not so much. The writing was excellent. There was an action-filled plot with plenty of suspense. There were two romances (although I was more interested in the secondary romance than the primary romance). But I didn't love it.

One of my problems was the sheer number of characters. There were a lot, and I found that confusing at times. But my main problem was the political focus. I don’t mind Christian fiction that debates current issues, but I want Christian fiction to focus on universal issues, not US-centric issues like border walls and gun control. These are divisive political footballs, and I see nothing in the debate (from either side) that brings people closer to God—surely the purpose of Christian fiction.

But let’s get back to the actual story and the actual characters. It was apparent early on that Gabriella and Eli had broken up because Gabriella thought she’d caught Eli being unfaithful. It was equally apparent that this is one of those conflicts that could have been solved in half a paragraph if Gabriella had been adult enough to listen to Eli’s explanation. In this, she behaved more like a rebellious Amish teenager than successful attorney-turned-chef.

Perhaps that’s what made the conflict so annoying: as an attorney, Gabriella was trained to consider both sides of an argument. Yet she didn’t. Eli wasn’t any better. He was an odd mix of get-in-there-and-shoot-the-baddies and too-scared-to-confront-his-girlfriend. It was as though he was simply there to be Gabriella’s love interest … 

That’s why I found the secondary romance more interesting. Natalie and Deacon were excellent characters. I would have liked to have seen more of them and to see their developing relationship. It has challenges, to be sure (as Natalie is a widowed paraplegic with two children), but I’d like to see how a couple overcomes those challenges.

I found the actual suspense side of the plot confusing, and I found it hard to divorce the plot from the wider politics of the situation. That affected my enjoyment. However, I’m sure Americans who live in border states will have a different view.

Thanks to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for providing a free ebook for review.
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Over the Line is a romantic suspense with likeable characters with a storyline that could be plucked from today's headlines. I especially enjoyed Deacon. He is an endearing character. This had two sweet romances with an inspirational message of forgiveness.  
I enjoyed it and thank Thomas Nelson for an advanced reader copy. This is my honest opinion.
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I have read many books by this author, and have never been disappointed, and I will say that my previous reads have mostly been about the Amish. This read did not leave me wanting, and it quickly became a page turner.
If you enjoy non-stop action this is a book for you, you will travel around Texas with your heart in your throat, and really not know what is around the next corner.

I received this book through NetGalley and the Publisher Thomas Nelson, and was not required to give a positive review.
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This book was ok. The animosity from Gabriella towards Eli at the beginning of the book was a bit off putting and made me unsure how that relationship would form.
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This is the first book I have ever read by Kelly Irvin. She does an excellent job of  merging a romantic story with suspense. Because this is listed as Christian fiction, I always hope to see that the author truly made the book Christian, and the author did; although, the book isn’t saturated with characters who constantly look to God. 

The character development was well done. Each person who played more than a passing role in the story became fleshed out with the actions, conversations and even the small nuances that made them come to life on the pages of this book. Kelly also brings another interesting angle to the border wall debate in this story: gun smuggling across the border to drug cartels. If that is a problem, it isn’t as well publicized as  illegal immigrants.  By the end, the story is neatly wrapped and secrets are  revealed that were hinted at throughout the book. 

Overall Kelly did an outstanding job of merging two romances into a mystery that was definitely a page turner.
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I haven’t read anything by Kelly Irvin yet, so I was very excited to read it! I’m still confused (and a little awed) at how she manages to write Amish fiction as well as shooty-murder-suspense fiction.

And it was HEAVY shooty-suspense too! The story moved a lot slower than I expected and was a lot denser on the gun/drug smuggling side, as well as the law enforcement side (also I am dumb and didn’t realize where they were and distances and stuff until a whiLE into the book)

I wasn’t really able to get into the book due to this reason: it was quite heavy and technical, and I just didn’t understand it well enough to be able to connect with the plot, which also felt stilted at times. There were parts of the plot that were good, and that I enjoyed, but I felt like those were just inserted into the book, as were the faith moments. There was also a lot of backstory feeling story written in that didn’t really fit.

I enjoyed most of the characters: they were all fairly distinct, and the storyline involving them was also good. Overall, it was a good story, especially since it was fairly clean and not romance heavy, but it just wasn’t for me.
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Over the Line by Kelly Irwin
Gabriella is an assistant prosecutor turned chef who has some past mistakes she is trying to leave in the past—mainly her ex-fiancé, Eli, a cop.  When her brother, an agent with ATF, disappears, she and her sister jump in and try to find him.  Eli, who still loves Gabby, won’t let her fight this battle alone, because even though she can’t forgive him, he still loves her.
This book has many twists and turns.  The plot development and the author’s development of the characters keep the reader engaged.
The characters are likeable, very human, and interesting but struggling with forgiveness and starting over.  I especially liked Natalie and Deacon’s relationship.
The author addresses wider themes of immigration and the problems of drug cartels and drug-running along the border between Mexico and the United States. She presents the question of how to solve these problems, but gives no obvious solutions.
I enjoyed this book and received a complimentary copy.  Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Very well written story with excellent characters, as well as an interesting plot. It is a little long-winded for my liking, but it's never boring, and I'm sure many will like it this way. More story for your money.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from Thomas Nelson through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.
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Over the Line
by Kelly Irvin

Kindle Edition, 352 pages
Expected publication: June 11th 2019 by Thomas Nelson

Goodreads synopsis:
In this high-stakes romantic suspense novel where tensions mount on both sides of the border, bestselling author Kelly Irvin explores what happens when the past explodes against the present and the only person you can turn to is the one who broke your heart.

When a college student dies at Gabriella’s feet after muttering her brother’s name, vicious gun smugglers believe she knows too much. And they’re determined to make sure she suffers the same fate. With no one else to turn to, Gabriella reunites with her former fiancé, homicide detective Eli Cavazos, to investigate the dead man’s murder and her brother’s disappearance.

In a desperate race against time, Gabriella and Eli are determined to clear her brother and find him before the gun smugglers can kill them both. Bit by bit, they tear away the masks worn by men masquerading as law-abiding citizens. No one can be trusted.

Working as a team forces Gabriella and Eli to face the problems that ended their relationship. She realizes she’s the one who needs to learn to forgive, but Eli must also learn to trust her with his secrets.

This ragtag team must fight a powerful ring of criminals protected by the very institutions that should prosecute them in an all-out battle that may cost them their lives.


4.25 Stars

I am not certain what I expected when I dove into this book, probably more thriller than anything due to the cover. What comes inside these pages is a romantic suspense Christian thriller with not one but two romances. Two sister’s find love while in the midst of high-stakes drama. Both are second chance love. One is love reunited. One is newfound. 

On top of this surprising romance thing happening there is the search for Gabby’s missing brother, Jake, an ATF agent who fell for the wrong woman. His actions set forth a domino effect that puts a lot of people he loves in danger and it all happens without intention and unknowingly.

Gabby is met at her door by a stranger who mutters her brother’s name and then dies at her feet. Gabby’s on again, off again police officer boyfriend, Eli is nearby and assists. I don’t want to give too much away because it is the journey that makes this story interesting.

Just know that there are subtle sprinkles of God, Jesus and praying mixed in these pages. I know that might turn off some but it is not obnoxious Jesus freak musings and rather realistic cries out to their Savior who might assist them in their times of need.

I thought this was interesting and kept my attention but I would have liked the story to have more flow. The text felt a bit choppy at times. I know flow is difficult in an action adventure story so it didn’t really bother me too much. I know that is a big sticking point for some.

I read this in a day and a half. Clean, easy read. Some blood but no sex. Mostly kissing and romance. Family is also big in this story too. I am a bit sad that Deacon’s and Natalie’s story was stuck in the middle of Gabby and Eli’s story. I think they deserved their own novel. But that is just my humble opinion.

I received this as an ARC (Advanced Reader Copy) in return for an honest review. I thank NetGalley, the publisher and the author for allowing me to read this title.
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Gabriella is a former lawyer-turned chef, who finds herself in the middle of drama she never anticipated.  After a young man dies at her feet, Gabby discovers her brother is missing.  With the help of her former ex-fiance Eli, Gabby is determined to find her brother.

 Many barriers lie ahead.  Will Gabby be able to trust Eli and forgive him for the past?  Can they work together to find Jake?  And will they live to tell the tale?

 Kelly Irvin's fast-paced novel, Over the Line, is set to release June 11, 2019.
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anything else for a few minutes after that tidbit. 🙂

The opening was great and Ms. Irvin set the mood for suspense and a backstory of broken romance.

I loved that the hero was a Latino and that we got to see some of the action from his pov. Hero and heroine povs always up the romantic factor in my opinion.

However, I would say that this book is more suspense with a thread of romance. Also, it took forever (again, in my opinion) for them to say why they broke up. There was such a hush about it and then when it came out in the open, you got the feeling there was still more to the subject. I would have liked the end result to be more clear and feel a little bit more organic, but that’s my preference.

As far as the suspense, it was good. There was good pacing and so much action I didn’t know who to believe or who was the ultimate bad guy. For that alone, I would read Ms. Irvin again.

*I received a complimentary copy from the publisher via NetGalley. My review was not required nor influenced.
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Intriguing suspense!

How can you trust someone who keeps secrets and broke your heart? Gabriella Benoit has no choice but to trust her ex fiancé, detective Eli Cavazos when he is assigned to investigate a murder that happened in the parking lot of her restaurant. Gabriella is shocked when a college student dies at her feet, and the last word he spoke was her brother's name. When Gabriella realizes her brother is missing, she knows Eli is the only person she can turn to for help to find him and clear his name. Eli knows that if the wrong people thing Gabriella has information they want, her life will be in danger. 

This is definitely a fast paced suspense that will keep you guessing who can be trusted, and who can not. The main characters are great, and when they are forced to face the problems of the past they will have to decide if they can choose forgiveness.

*I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley. All opinions are my own.
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This book was full of action and suspense, but I just couldn't really get into it. I don't know if it was because of the writing style, the fact that I was reading an E-book, or if there was something else. 

I generally enjoyed the story, but I didn't connect with it at all. I tried and tried again to connect but I just couldn't for the life of me. 

The action was good, the faith was great. The content, which was all in the past, was okay. There were some things that I personally was okay with reading about but I know that others aren't as comfortable with reading about it. 

I did however LOVE the storyline of forgiveness woven in this book. I loved seeing the characters have to work through their own personal problems before they could forgive, it added a realistic touch!!

Overall even though I enjoyed reading this book, I just couldn't connect with the story it characters. I wish I could have liked this book more. 

I still recommend it for suspense lovers! I don't want my negative review to keep you away from this book!

*I received this book from the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for my honest opinions. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to write a positive review.*
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A really fast paced book with well developed characters.  A prosecutor turned chef may seem odd, but is a perfect character to follow and enjoy.  The sister, brother and journalist all are well developed supporting characters.  The illegal arms trade and how it is exploited in border towns is exposed as the horror it is today.  An intriguing romantic suspense.
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This story had a great plot premise, and I really wanted to know how the characters in the book developed and resolved their issues. But the book was too easy to put down. I turned away from the book at test time when life was busy. Then I forced myself to pick the book up again. Then I realized the writing wasn't holding my interest enough for me to finish. 40% read and I couldn't get it done.

Maybe a quieter life or a more settled time for reading will help make this a great read. Thanks to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson for the chance to preview. Pub date June 11, 2019.
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I love a good mystery Kelly Irvin brings it to tell the table.
There is good plots and good characters and love the cover and the title and it will have u interested from the beginning tell the end.
Kelly is a fantastic writter was happy to have the opportunity to get to read the book.
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#OverTheLine #NetGalley

Two strong  sisters, who haven't had an easy life, get caught up in the investigation of gun smugglers, when their brother who is an angent is missing. The police want to find him, because he is a suspect for a murder. Fast paced and a page turner.
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Gabriella has never forgiven her former fiancé, homicide detective Eli Cavazos, for breaking her heart. Then a man she’s never met shows up at her restaurant, a bullet in his chest and her brother’s name on his lips. Gabby soon realizes this man is connected to a powerful ring of criminals who know far too much about her.

Against her better judgment, Gabby turns to Eli for help in finding her brother. When she receives a cryptic text from her brother’s cell phone, she realizes she is in deep and may be dragging Eli down with her. With her brother nowhere to be found and pain from her past threatening to overwhelm her, Gabby wonders how she will make it through this unexpected quest unscathed—or alive.

This an action packed book.  Everywhere Gabby turns there are people chasing her and trying to kill her.  Her sister and her sisters children are in danger as well.  All Gabby wants to do is find her brother alive and get Eli out of her life.  Eli is not proud of the life he has lived.  His goal is to win Gabby back.  It's hard to do when she doesn't even want to be near him.  With Eli helping, Gabby starts tracking down her brother.  This is where the action starts. 

I recommend this book for those who like a good mystery. 

I was given this book by Thomas Nelson Publishing via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.  I was not compensated in any way.
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I enjoyed this story.  I’ve only read one other Irvin book so I’m still learning her style.  I thought the writing was particularly fun.  She has a very imagistic way with words.  “Gabriella’s biological clock banged louder than Big Ben these days” (location 2304).  “This is so far off the record you’d have to travel around the world before I’d repeat it” (location 2244).
The storyline was exciting and fraught with danger and urgency. The book had an intriguing beginning and it handled well the topics of guilt and forgiveness.  I enjoyed Deacon and Natalie the most.  They were interesting and I liked watching their relationship begin.   Gabriella and Eli seemed so different to me.  I didn’t really get a handle on why they were attracted to each other and I don’t think there was a book before this one that set that all up.  Still, it was a fast read and I’ll look forward to reading more from this author.
Thank you to Thomas Nelson for providing me with a complimentary e-copy of this book.  All opinions are my own.
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Over the Line by Kelly Irvin – Mixed Reaction 

Over the Line is Kelly Irvin’s newest book in the romantic suspense genre.  I recently discovered Kelly’s writing when I read two of her recent Amish themed books and fell in love with her writing.  That’s why I was excited to read her newest book.  

Over the Line is an action-packed novel that seems like it could have been taken from today’s headline news.  Chef and restaurateur, Gabriella Benoit is locking up her restaurant late at night and is met by a stranger who was carrying a gun and calling her name.  As he clutches his chest and falls to the ground he says “Jake” but dies before he can say anything more about Gabby’s brother.  She’d never imagined she’d need help from her former fiancé Eli Cavazos to find her missing brother or find herself in the middle of an illegal gun smuggling ring at the border.  How is she going to protect her sister and family from some very desperate and dangerous men?  Just who are the good guys and who are the bad ones?

I had a mixed reaction to Over the Line.  I appreciate that it’s clean and not filled with sexual immorality or filthy language.  There is some Christian faith included in the book and I thought it was better and more genuine towards the end of the book.  I liked Eli’s mother and her openness and transparency and how different characters dealt with the issue of forgiveness.  I especially liked the character Deacon, he was a nice surprise.  As you get to know him you can see he’s a decent sincere person and Natalie was very likeable too.  

But over-all, I feel like the action was center stage and eclipsed the characters.  Some of the prayers or mentions of God and faith seemed like they were out of place or just thrown in, instead of a natural overflow of the character’s thinking or feelings.  Some of the character’s actions didn’t make a lot of sense, like Deacon trespassing or Gabby confronting a police officer she suspected was corrupt because she was overcome with emotion instead of using reason and logic.  That didn’t make sense coming from a person who was a former district attorney.  The scene where Gabriella and Natalie crashed the van doesn’t seem realistic because the dialogue goes on and on when the bad guys are coming their way with big guns.  I wasn’t overly fond of the main character Gabriella.  

As I was reading this book, I kept thinking this must be the second book in a series because there was a lot of back-story between Gabriella and Eli and what had happened in Natalie’s life previously.  I was surprised to find out that this wasn’t the second book.  Some of the background information and questions I had were answered later in the book.

I would recommend Over the Line to someone who likes Kelly Irvin’s writing, with a note that it’s much different than her Amish themed books.  Also, for those who enjoy Christian suspense novels.  Over the Line will be available June 11, 2019.  

I would like to thank Thomas Nelson Publishers and NetGalley for the opportunity to read Over the Line by Kelly Irvin in exchange for an honest review.  I was under no obligation to give a favorable review
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