Member Reviews

I was impressed with Secondary Target as a debut novel by Angela Carlisle, however it wasn't my cup of tea.
If you enjoy suspense/thriller books you'll enjoy this book as that is the main focus, I'm more of a romance fan myself which is why it wasn't for me.
Also has themes of religion throughout if that is up your street!

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As far as suspense goes, this book nailed it. There was constant action and running for your life or ducking bullets. I liked the characters but Corina was hard to like since she didn't appreciate the sacrifices that Bryce and Allye were making to keep her alive, If her dad was really concerned about them being found by the serial killer then he wouldn't have allowed Corina to have her picture in the newspapers. I thought there should have been more clues about the killer. It just seemed like there was a serial killer after her for no real reason other than her dad. The romance aspect could have been a little better too because it was more like they were old friends than romantically involved.

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Secondary Target is the debut novel by Angela Carlisle, and this point alone is impressive. The story interweaves many characters tied together in the novel. The introduction of an unyielding stalker seeking vengeance adds an exciting thriller aspect to the plot, especially when he/she shows no fear of taking down anyone in their way. Throughout this book, many individuals are coping with inner struggles, Corina, her father William, and her old boyfriend Bryce. A key focus is the slow burn of Corina and Bryce's love, especially with the family's history of tragedy and isolation following the murders of Corina's mother and brother. As soon as a threat from their past returns, this rattles their peace, which leads to an extreme amount of chaos and fear.

This is a Christian suspense novel that has moments of prayer and discussions about faith. This highlights the growth that Corina needs to live a life that is fulfilling and happy.

The book's ending is as surprising to readers as it is to Corina when the identity behind the ruthless villain is unexpectedly revealed. The author's ability to fool readers adds to the story's overall intrigue. Secondary Target is an exciting read with its mix of suspenseful elements, including a menacing stalker and a fast-paced storyline, that explores themes of forgiveness and healing.

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I am always up for a new author of romantic suspense. Secondary Target by Angela Carlisle looked like a book right up my alley. I liked that the main characters were not in law enforcement — somewhat unusual for the genre — and that they were given a second chance at love by the author. The premise of the novel — a stalker set to avenge past wrongs — was intriguing too. But I have to say the novel fell a little flat for me. I had trouble with the female MC, Corina, not listening to sound advice and basically repeatedly putting herself in danger. She felt like she had to do it on her own, even though time after time she was proven wrong. I also guessed who the bad guy was early in the action. I like to be kept on my toes, and this book just didn’t do that. But . . . the faith message was strong and their were a few twists I didn’t see coming. So, I guess Secondary Target was just an okay read for me. It is a debut, so I am hoping subsequent books in the series will prove stronger. This novel has pretty strong reviews on Amazon, so I recommend you check it out for yourself.

Audience: Adults.

( I received a complimentary copy from Bethany House. All opinions are mine alone.)

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Whew! This was my first book by Angela Carlisle and it will not be my last! I loved every moment of this roller coaster ride of a mystery! The mystery was so well plotted that I DID NOT have a clue who the bad guy was. Not one inkling! I loved the settings, the character relationships, and even the point in time we jumped into the romance between Bryce and Corina, our two main characters. I am also happy to see this is book one in a series! I can't wait to dive back in with these characters!

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What a fabulous debut mystery! I enjoyed the characters and the twists and turns to the mystery. It was interesting to try and figure out what was going on with the story and why someone is after the father/daughter duo. I look forward to reading more by this author!

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Exciting, Thrilling and Terrifying!

With a strong, challenge-ready heroine, author Angela Carlisle delivers a heart-pounding novel that kept me turning the pages late into the night.

The fast pace that remained consistent throughout the story
A sense of urgency that kept me wanting to devour the pages
A mysterious, thriller vibe that kept me guessing
Alternating points of view between the hero and heroine.
A second-chance-at-love romance with tension and chemistry
Former military hero and headstrong heroine
A heroic rescue
Small town setting

A lot of the story seemed to take place in one location and I found that to be somewhat challenging for me. However, two thirds through the story, the scene settings changed more frequently making the story more enjoyable. In addition, the excitement ramps up and the climax leads to a satisfying ending which had exactly what I hoped for!

The story does offer a handful of scenes from the villains POV which is something of a pet-peeve of mine as my personal preference is NOT to be in the villain's head. However, Carlisle uses this to her advantage and I found I didn't dislike it as much as I have in other books.

Overall, I really liked this romantic suspense which had a healthy dose of both romance and pulse-pounding action. There's also a light faith thread that shines bright towards the ending and makes the story heartwarming. A recommended read for readers who enjoy authors such as Lynette Eason, Nancy Mehl and Elizabeth Goddard.

Content and Trigger Warnings: PG13. Not Descriptive Murder, Murder of a Loved One (Including a child), Stalking, Kidnapping

*I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary ARC copy of this book from the publisher. All thoughts are my own and I was not required to post a positive review.

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Loved this debut. It’s hard to find books that are clean. I loved Corina and Bryce. I enjoyed how they were able to talk through their issues instead of continuing on with the misunderstanding of events. The suspense was the perfect amount. Kept me on edge and the added romance was done beautifully.

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This story is a fast-paced suspenseful romance! And a mystery! It's actually really good!! There's a lot of action, some secrets, and it keeps you guessing until the end. Give this book a look!
Thanks to the publisher and NetGalley for the advance e-copy of this book! All opinions expressed are entirely my own.

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Secondary Target by Angela Carlisle is a wild ride! I’ve been struggling to read Romantic Suspense lately. The stories I’ve picked to read in this genre have been slow and unrealistic and have lost my interest around the 50% mark. I was a little nervous to read Secondary Target, but I had absolutely nothing to be nervous about. This story is solidly good from page one to page done. The intensity hits immediately and lasts the entire story, but it never feels unrealistic. I never had eye-roll moments. And the characters definitely come off as very realistic and relatable. I was hooked from the very first chapter and hated whenever I had to put the book down. What I loved so much about this story, and what I’ve been searching for in Romantic Suspense stories for a while now, is that surprise factor. I found that with Secondary Target and then some. I was edge of my seat the entire time. When I was little, one of my favorite books was The Monster at the End of This Book by Jon Stone. I distinctly remember the first time I read that book when I was six. If you don’t know, each page builds tension because Grover (from Sesame Street) tells the reader not to turn the page or he/she will come closer to the end of the book and there is a monster there. It’s a silly comedy for kids. What six year old can resist turning the page?! I know this is a goofy comparison, but the tension that Carlisle builds in Secondary Target is similar to my favorite kid book, just totally scary. Yes, the characters are fantastic. I loved Carina and Bryce and Allye. I loved how they work together throughout this entire mystery. I love the reconnection between Carina and Bryce. And I really loved the police officers in this story. I look forward to book 2 where Officer Eric will play a leading role. I also really enjoyed the many timely themes discussed throughout this story. It always amazes me how deep a book can go thematically speaking while characters are running for their lives desperate to vanquish enemies. While I truly did enjoy all these facets to the story, it is the awesome suspenseful tension Carlisle creates in this story that is my favorite aspect. I loved that I was up way past my bedtime furiously turning pages. I loved that I said time and time again, “One more chapter. Tomorrow’s a slow day at work!” LOL!

Secondary Target is a stand-out Romantic Suspense novel I highly, highly recommend. If you are a fan of well-written, highly engaging, realistic mysteries that discuss timely themes, then this is definitely the book for you. You will not want to miss out on this story!

I requested a copy of this eBook edition from the publisher, Bethany House, via NetGalley, in order to review. I am under no obligation to leave a positive review. All opinions expressed in this review are my own.

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I love a good romantic suspense, and SECONDARY TARGET is the perfect read if you're in this type of mood. Highly recommended for fans of Irene Hannon and Susan May Warren.

This is a deftly-plotted and well-written page turner. I intended to read a page or two before bed, and wow, I just kept right on turning the pages.

The multiple POVs are handled seamlessly.

The real of the villain is a great moment and feels earned.

I love how Corina questions her faith at various times because this seems very realistic. The same is true for Bryce.

Honestly I was surprised and impressed that this was a debut. Angelia Carlisle is a writer to watch, and I look forward to more from her.

Thank you, NetGalley and Bethany House, for the e-galley; all opinions in this review are 100% my own.

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After her mother and brother’s murder, Corina Roberts and her father had to create a new life in the small town of Kincaid, Kentucky. Years have passed since then, but strange things begin happening that threaten to upend Corina’s quiet life, and she finds herself having to rely on her ex for protection. When Bryce Jessup moved back to Kincaid after leaving the army, he had no plans to see Corina, but when the threats against her escalate and her father ends up unconscious in the hospital, Bryce knows he will do anything to keep Corina safe and find the person targeting her.🔫

Secondary Target is a debut romantic suspense novel from Angela Carlisle, and it truly is a thrilling and suspenseful story! Both Corina and Bryce feel like authentic characters who struggle with grief and wrestle with their faith, and I enjoyed watching the two of them fall for each other again. The action scenes in this book will get your heart pounding, and the villain POV has the perfect creepiness factor. If you’re looking for a new romantic suspense read with some great western vibes, check out Secondary Target!🧡

Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

A big thank you to Bethany House Publishers for sending me a copy of this book! All thoughts and opinions above are my own.📕

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If you love action and suspense, this is the book for you. It starts up right away and never lets off the gas. There's a bit of a mystery to solve as Corina finds that there may be more reasons than just her mother's and brother's deaths for her dad's overprotectiveness. What complicates things more is that her ex-boyfriend has just returned to town and happens to be living next door to her dad when things go crazy. They're thrown together and find that while they've each changed, some things remain the same.

I enjoyed getting to know Corina's colorful best friend and look forward to learning her story in the next book. This was a great read. I'd highly recommend it. Thank you to Bethany House for providing me with a free copy of this book. All opinions are my own.

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Secondary Target had both suspense and intrigue. Corina and her father, Bill, moved from Texas to escape an assassin who had killed Corina's mother and brother. Corina didn't know all the details because her father hadn't told her. But once her father was mugged and hospitalized, she got into his files. She didn't know the name of the assassin but she knew enough to be afraid. Her friends, Bryce and Allye, were there to help her try to solve the mystery. Bryce was her ex-boyfriend.

Years ago, Corina was driving a car that had Bryce's brother Derryk in it and he was killed. Corina had never forgiven herself for that. After the death, Corina pushed Bryce away and he enlisted in the military.

The assassin, the stalker had left Corrina all sorts of messages. He had tapped into her father's state of the art surveillance system and knew her every move. He had also put a bug on her dog, Houston. At one point he disabled the surveillance system. They had ordered pizza and tea and he bribed the delivery guy to allow him to put a drug in the tea that would knock them out. After they were unconscious he broke into the house and cut off Corina's very long hair. And then he sent a package to the house with her hair in it.

Bryce decided he was going to get Corina away from the house and away from the stalker. So he took her to his uncle's cabin in the woods. They hadn't taken the dog so the stalker had no idea where they were. But he overheard a mother and son talking about their kayaking trip where they saw Corina and Bryce. The stalker questioned them and found out where they were. He went there, knocked out Bryce and kidnapped Corina.

There were tons of encounters between Corina and the stalker that kept the intrigue and suspense at the forefront. Tracking Corina's trials and tribulations kept me totally involved in the story. The author had me from the very beginning. The characters were well thought out and the storyline was compelling. I couldn't get enough of it. And there was an undercurrent of Christianity which I found refreshing. All in all, an exceptional book. I gave it five stars.

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I still need convincing that this was written by a debut author!

THIS is the type of book I LOVE to read.

Waiting until May 2025 for the sequel is going to be difficult.

The mystery and suspense were expertly written and I was on the edge of my seat for most of the story. It was good to have a romantic subplot to balance out the tension! I loved being kept in the dark, loved the dual POV, loved the ‘time is running out’ factor, loved the pacey read, and loved that the antagonist was so cunning. It kept me engaged.

The reminder that none of us escape life unscathed was just what I needed today. I appreciated the gentle reminder that I must reach out because none of us are meant to walk alone. Regardless of our situation, there’s hope and healing. Watching Corina’s growth gave me pause and I hope to take to heart what I’ve learned.

I was gifted this copy by Bethany House and NetGalley and was under no obligation to provide a review.

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From the beginning, this was a fast-paced, page-turner of a book that was heavy on the suspense, light on the romance, and in the end had me staying up past my already late bedtime to see how it ended.

Written through multiple POVs, we get to see in the midst of this romantic suspense:

- the very real and understandable struggle of the FMC questioning God’s presence and goodness as she becomes the target of a serial killer/stalker who has already taken so much from her and now seeking to take it all;

- the MMC who cares deeply for his ex (the FMC) and her faith and who hopes to remind her of God’s faithfulness and love while he himself is questioning if friendship or love is worth pursuing when it may end in heart-wrenching loss;

- and the methodical and disturbing thoughts of a murderer/stalker who is determined to acquire a debt in full with no regard to who is in the way.

Although I found parts of the story and some of the characters’ decisions to be a bit unrealistic, I thought this was a solid debut from Angela Carlisle and look forward to reading the next book in the series.

Thank you, NetGalley and Bethany House, for the eARC in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

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This book gives off Karen Rose vibes, but I struggled to connect with the characters. I had to double check that it was not a sequels to another book at first as it seemed disjointed, this works with the some books as the backstory unfolds, I didn’t find it with this book. This is my personal opinion only.

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4.5 stars

Buckle up, dear readers – and take a few deep breaths before you start reading this book – because you may forget to supply yourself with oxygen from the very first line onward. I mean… a book that begins with “Security alarms shattered the autumn morning’s tranquility” has me on high alert right away and there wasn’t a lot of time to relax in the plot’s entirety. Which I love in a romantic suspense novel. I want to be glued to the page, biting my nails, holding my breath, and fully immersed in the race for survival/search for clues all the way to the story’s end – and Secondary Target by Angela Carlisle delivered exactly that!

Corina is very likable and it’s easy for readers to sympathize with not only her current plight but also her tragic past and how her subsequent grief has fractured her faith and her hope for a happily-ever-after. She wrestles with questions that most of us have when faced with shocking loss, and her faith journey felt honest and realistic without being trite or forced. Bryce has his own demons to battle, not the least of which is how things ended between him and Corina a few years before. Just because the relationship is broken, however, doesn’t mean the feelings are gone, and I enjoyed watching them reconnect and work through their hurt together. Into the mix, Carlisle adds a great cast of supporting characters – including local law enforcement, Corina’s loyal dog Houston, and bag-toting/free spirit Allye (Bryce’s sister & Corina’s BFF) – and a twisted & riveting suspense plot that had me catching my breath in surprise more than once. Like…. there were a couple of turns that I really did not see coming and I always admire an author that can do that for me.

Secondary Target also marks the third time this week that I’ve been able to re-visit my old Kentucky home on the pages of fiction (the other two were A Run at Love and The Song of Sourwood Mountain) and while this one wasn’t super atmospheric as far as the setting (because, you know, they’re doing the minor thing of RUNNING FOR THEIR LIVES haha) I still loved being back in the Bluegrass state again. There’s something inherently peaceful about Kentucky, and I love when I get to read suspense novels set here because it’s such a great contrast to its natural mood & enhances the drama for me.

Bottom Line: Angela Carlisle bursts onto the romantic suspense scene with Secondary Target, a compelling debut novel that also quite nicely kicks off a brand new series. And I’m already eager for the next book because it involves two of my fave supporting characters from this one. The layered plot hooks you right away and keeps you riveted to the pages as you devour every word, knowing that you can (probably) count on a happily-ever-after resolution but not at all sure what the characters will have to go through to get there. I also appreciated the faith thread and Carlisle’s willingness to let Corina and Bryce share their doubts and raw emotions with readers and with each other. If you’re a fan of Patricia Bradley’s Pearl River series, Lynn H. Blackburn’s Gossamer Falls series, or Laura Scott’s Smoky Mountain Secrets series then you absolutely need to read Secondary Target too!

(I voluntarily reviewed a complimentary copy of this book)

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From the opening scene, I was hooked and wanted to know what was happening. Then I needed to who the villain was. I was fully invested in figuring out what secrets were being kept from Corina, if her dad would be okay and could they figure it out in time. I appreciated how the Bryce and Allie put their lives at risk and on hold to be there for Corina. This villain was evil and quite talented at getting past the defenses. Quite a few people are seriously injured or killed. I do not normally enjoy second chance romances, but these characters captured me quickly and had me rooting for them to get back together. A tragedy in the past separated them, but being reunited got them to discuss their reactions to what happened and figure out how to move forward. This tragedy affected their faith in different ways and I appreciated how they discussed the past and their faith. It felt natural and flowed well. It was refreshing to read a suspense book where neither of the main characters are in law enforcement themselves, but rather stuck in this dangerous situation and work with the police for assistance. The ending reveal shocked me just as much as Corina felt shocked. I am looking forward to the next book in the series as the preview included in this one let me know that we've already met the main characters.

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In my opinion, there was nothing special about this book. The characters were flat, the dialogue was generic, and I found myself skimming the plot because it wasn't engaging enough to hold my attention. Corina seemed extremely dense. Receives a suspicious piece of mail after being stalked and having her car rammed, but almost doesn't open it up - seriously? The romance was completely unbelievable to me also. I seriously doubt I would have time to kiss and cuddle my boyfriend if I was on the run from a killer. I chose this book because it was listed as Christian, and it does have Christian elements in it that I appreciated, but the story itself was disappointing.

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