(Jacobs Family Series #1)
Home is where our story begins ...
DANA JACOBS would rather forget the night of tragedy and violence that marred her childhood. She is now supervisor in charge of the Department of Homeland Security in Taos, New Mexico. Her team is prepared to handle any threat—biological, chemical, conventional, cyber, even nuclear. BENJAMIN MARSHALL is newly assigned to Dana’s office. Straight from a six year military deployment, he is not what Dana wants or needs.
Ben knows God has a reason for putting him in this place at this time—to help Dana. When a local school is threatened, they open a case which leads them on a chase through the Enchanted Circle and Carson National Forest, pursuing a man filled with a bitterness Dana can understand. But her anger is different. It’s justified, it remains hidden inside, and it hurts no one.
Can Dana face her own mortality? And when she does, can she truly understand what it means to forgive and to be forgiven?
A Christian romantic suspense by bestselling author Vannetta Chapman
Praise for Hidden
“A lovely romance between a complicated woman and a big hearted man, tension that builds steadily to a fever pitch, and a story of faith rediscovered make Hidden an engaging read.” - ~Kelly Irvin, bestselling author of the New Hope Amish series.
Nancee on Goodreads wrote:
Have you ever picked up a book where the characters, steadily developing romance, plot, and setting all came together in such a way that you wanted to prolong the reading experience? That perfectly describes the way I felt about Vannetta Chapman's first romantic suspense novel, Hidden. I have long enjoyed Vannetta's Amish stories, and I'm not much of a suspense fan - so I literally found myself asking, Who are you, Vannetta Chapman, that you can write in such contrasting styles and effortlessly capture my emotions?
I simply think the quality of Vannetta's writing transcends the genre in which she is writing. Top-notch suspense and romance are strong elements, but it's the characterization, gentle humor, and sense of place that kept me engaged. There's good character depth - but more than that, it's like Vannetta really knows and is comfortable with her cast of characters and is able to convey that realism to the reader. Taos, New Mexico, is a fascinating setting and Vannetta did a great job bringing out the local flavor, culture, and natural beauty.
Dana and Ben are strong, appealing lead characters. Tough, smart, and extremely capable, Dana has risen to the top of her field as a local director of Homeland Security. Ben is all that a hero should be - brave, protective, and faithful, a former military leader who took the Homeland Security job "to keep American towns from being torn apart like the ones in Iraq had been." And while Dana lives with a painful past, disillusioned with God, Ben is comfortable in a faith that strengthens and sustains him.
One of the most moving characters is the elderly Apache, Tafoya, a man who honors the way of his people, but has embraced Christ . . . "This is what gives me peace, knowing I will be united with my son and even my wife who went before him. This is why I can work each day and do so with the strength of the hawk and the peace of the deer."
The spiritual themes woven throughout really brought everything home for me. Ben firmly believes that God guides his steps and that he has been placed on Dana’s team for a reason. Another thought is that God's plans are not the same as ours - something I know, yet always need gentle reminders. But it was Ben's words to Dana that especially spoke to me: "Sometimes we can accept God did the tremendous things - like create those stars you're staring at. Then we try to believe He can heal a fawn, or a person, and we stumble. Our belief falters."
Hidden is an impressive story on many levels, one that will be on my "best of" list for 2014 because of how much I enjoyed it. Highly recommended.
Hidden is independently published, but don't let that discourage you from picking it up, because this story stands out in comparison to much that is traditionally published. Hidden can be purchased in ebook format at a very reasonable price.
Pam Graber on Goodreads wrote:
Dana Jacobs is supervisor in charge of the local Homeland Security office in Taos, New Mexico. Benjamin Marshall is the new guy in town, assigned to Dana's office after a 6-year military deployment. His charming personality rankles Dana to the core in spite of his brilliance as an explosives expert. His attraction to Dana sets her on edge, and is unwelcome. As dangerous events challenge Dana's best trained team she is forced to accept Ben's expertise and knowledge, along with a strong taste of romance she is unprepared to acquiesce. Dana struggles with bitterness from the past, difficulty with forgiveness, and loss of faith while Ben provides a calm strength and strong faith throughout their investigations into a threat to homeland security. Can she overcome her bitterness and accept the help of one who has the means and the devotion to assist her? Ben to Dana: "Trust me." His faith keeps him on an even keel throughout the most dangerous situations, and he knows that God has placed him where he is for a very definite purpose. He prays for Dana to discover that peace.
Vannetta Chapman is recognized for excellence in creating absorbing and captivating Amish fiction as well as Amish mystery. In her newest release, "Hidden," she has crossed over to the Inspirational Romantic Suspense genre, and has done a brilliant job of creating a suspense-filled, well researched plot that kept my attention throughout. Her first venture into the suspense genre without the Amish theme is highly successful! Each of the characters in "Hidden" is strong and unique, personalities the reader can identify with. Emotional and danger-filled, this novel takes the reader to multiple levels, each one creating a strong response to the events through the book. Poignant, composed with sensitivity, compassion and artistic expression, this is a compelling book you won't soon forget! The author has presented a high-pitched work of romantic suspense that will assure you that God has a purpose in all things!
Anyone who picks up "Hidden" by Vannetta Chapman expecting one of her sweet Amish mysteries has a major surprise in store! Hidden is romantic suspense, heavy emphasis on suspense!
Dana Jacobs has worked her way up to the supervisor position in the Taos office of Homeland Security. When explosives expert Ben Marshall joins her team, his immediate interest in her flusters the no-nonsense Dana. Her past has made placing her trust in men a difficult, nearly impossible, thing for Dana. She doesn't even trust God, which is a stumbling block for Ben, who is a Christ-follower.
Soon after Ben's arrival in Taos, incidents begin occurring that seem aimed at injuring or even destroying, Dana's team. Ben's expertise is called upon time and again, with the danger getting closer as each incident happens. As they unravel the clues, it becomes apparent that the madman behind the danger has Dana squarely in his sights.
Can Ben keep Dana safe when she doesn't see the need for protection? Can they beat a killer at his own game?
While this book may start out a little slow, it gathers steam quickly and doesn't slow down until the satisfying ending. Suspense readers are in for a treat with this one! And romance readers will enjoy Ben and Dana's interaction as well. This was a great, "can't put it down" story.