Lake Effect Snow by C. P. Rowlands


Here is the description of the novel via Bold Strokes Books website:
“Renowned international news correspondent Annie T. Booker has coveredIraqfor over three years when a friend and colleague is killed, and Annie is injured inBaghdad. Exhausted, she returns stateside to recover. However, life at home is not the sanctuary it has always been. Her name is on an Iraqi hit list, her partner of ten years has left, she is betrayed by a friend, and her TV network wants the FBI in her life full time. When the danger escalates, senior FBI agent Sarah Moore is assigned to her case. Annie and Sarah struggle to stay one step ahead of disaster as Annie’s life becomes the war zone she once reported on.”
Here’s what I say:
Lake Effect Snow opens with the “action” accelerator pedal mashed to the floor. The heart stopping introduction captures your interest then sets a pace that is less stressful, but no less interesting. The reader is taken on a journey with correspondent Annie Booker from the streets ofBagdadtoNew YorktoMilwaukee(yes, I saidMilwaukee- stay with me here), where she finds the action is no longer relegated to the mideast, but has bled over into her own backyard. Thankfully for Ms. Booker, she has been assigned a sexy FBI agent, the other protagonist Sarah Moore, to protect and serve. See, I should write the tag/summary/synopsis – whatever they’re called. Ahem, I shall continue…
Initially, I thought Ms. Booker’s reaction to the threat to her safety in her own hometown somewhat cavalier, it would later be attributed to other factors you learn about her character later in the story. The more I read about Annie Booker, the more I understood her earlier attitude; however being an arm chair quarterback, have the luxury of thinking the author could have given us more character insight earlier in the story. Sarah Moore, from the first moment we meet her, ripped from the beginnings of an erotic dream and dropped on the steps of theMilwaukeeairport doors, felt real, intelligent, and compassionate.
The relationship interaction between the two protagonists flows in a comfortable way without being rushed or forced, much like enjoying an exquisite cup of coffee while watching a breathtaking sunrise. The ancillary/minor characters are treated in much the same fashion, without dwelling on them to the extent of bogging down the story. The dialogue is well done as is the pacing. Although the beginning grabbed you by the “short hairs” the body of the tale has only a few action sequences, but they are short and dramatic. I realize the writer is not an expert on covert ops, security, or intelligence, but there are places where you say, “What?” then shake your head and remind yourself to suspend disbelief and move along. Still, even with the flaws, a worthy effort.
Did this story keep me up to all hours of the night to see what happens next? No. At any point did I say, “Forget this!” No. It was a nice way to spend a few hours getting lost in another world. Would I re-read this novel? Probably not. Do I want a sequel? Umm, no.
General Rating – On a scale of one to five (1 being the highest) I’d rate this effort a 3.
Hotness/Payoff Rating – 5 (low) Could have something to do with having the same partner for 15-years. Just kidding, people.

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