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  • Romantic Suspense

    48 Hour Lockdown by Carla Cassidy Tactical Crime Division #1 Sandhurst School for Gifted and Talented is a place underprivileged highly intelligent young people are gifted with scholarships. Analise Taylor is a teacher at the school when it is invaded and soon surrounded by police. She is with three students in one classroom unsure who else is also in the school. Her job will be to keep her students safe while also trying to find a way out of the situation. Evan Duran is a hostage negotiator for the Tactical Crime Division and when he hears Analise’s name he is ready to go immediately. Sure, he has a need to save the children but he also has history with Analise. He thought she was his forever woman until...she wasn’t. Will the team be able to save the students? Will they break the bad guys and resolve the situation and if so, will they do it without bloodshed? Also, will Analise and Evan have a second chance and this time get it right? Perhaps ;) What I liked: * Analise: strong, intelligent, caring woman who did what it took to keep her students safe. She also was willing to go out on a limb to state her feelings. * Evan: strong, intelligent, dedicated law enforcement person eager to make the right decision in negotiating the safety of those being held hostage. He is willing to, eventually, address some of his emotions and reach out for a possible HEA * The TCD Team: want to get to know them better * Sadie: One tough little girl * The resolution and getting the bad guys in custody. What I didn’t like: * The bad guys, of course… * That Evan and Analise wasted time apart that they could have been together Did I enjoy this book? Yes Would I like to read more in this series? Yes Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin for the ARC – This is my honest review. 4-5 Stars

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  • Second chances

    48 Hour Lockdown is an edge of seat romantic suspense that kicks off the Tactical Crime Division series in style. I love a good second chance romance and Evan and Annalise's second chance starts off under high tension circumstances, and Carla Cassidy builds on that tension steadily as the story progresses. We get a double whammy on the suspense side of this one. On the one hand, there are the bad guys we can see, and on the other, there's the bad guy working behind the scenes who remains a mystery until the end. Now, I did eventually guess the identity of the mystery man or woman, but the author didn't make it too easy. Then we have the romance, and I'll admit that I was a little worried about how this one would work under the circumstances, but it's very well done, and I love that time is taken for these two to take a look at what happened the first time around. All in all, this first TCD book is a fast-paced, entertaining read with characters you genuinely want to root for. It's full of tense, sit up a pay attention moments as well as a plenty of feels romance. Carla Cassidy has set the bar high for the rest of this series, and I can't wait to see what's next.

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  • There's a cult in this one!

    I'm getting the FTC disclaimer out of the way right now. Because ADHD reigns supreme. I received a review copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. A free book does not sway me in my judgment and I hope my readers know that about me by now. I read 48 Hour Lockdown in less than a day, even though my mind wandered everywhere while I was reading it. I was pleased to find out that romance took a backseat the suspense in this story. Raise your hand if you've screamed at a romance where the couple is being hunted down by evil-doers in a jungle or they're, like, five minutes from certain death at the bad guy's hands, and they decide that that is the best time to have sexy times. Honestly, how do y'all straight people survive anything? Annalise and Evan table addressing their attraction and all that that entails for when everything is said and done. Yes, there are some moments but nothing major or excessive that detracts from the case at hand. Very task-oriented of them. I liked the inclusion of a cult in the storyline. I have a thing for cults, they're very entertaining to me. So getting to giggle at the craziness that always ensues when there's a cult involved was a plus for me. I'm not saying that cults are good or funny, I just know that if I weren't so jaded about the world because of childhood trauma, I'd have wound up in a cult myself because oof, was I a naive sheep. But y'all. There are some warped cult members and the prerequisite shifty cult leaders in this story. Cults and hostage situations with cops are just nerve-wracking. I was on the edge of my seat with the story, wondering exactly how much of a disaster would it turn into for Annalise and Evan having to deal with cult crazies. Another thing I liked about 48 Hour Lockdown was the coverage of the possible aftereffects of hostage situations and kidnappings and shootings that Annalise and her students were exposed to in the story. Annalise worries for her students mental health as well as their physical health. She specifically mentions the possibility of developing PTSD from the events in the book. As someone with non-combat Complex Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, seeing an author shedding light on mental health and working to destigmatise non-combat PTSD, I cried a little. There's a lot of work to be done of making people realise that PTSD can come from all sorts of situations in life's journey and I appreciate the author's contribution. Part of the fun of reading intrigues, mysteries, and thrillers is seeing if you can solve the crime(s) before the protagonist(s). I'm happy to say that I was reasonably stumped by the twists thrown at us by Ms Cassidy in 48 Hour Lockdown. Some instances were obvious to me (I won't name any but you'll know them when you see them) but then I got whacked upside the head with a few. Hooray for surprising me! But I was a bit perturbed that the story didn't end with the miraculous recovery of Evan's long-lost sister returning to his life for a true happily ever after ending. I'm hoping it's addressed in a later story because I need a happy ending on that! I was also dismayed about the level of suspense in the story, after the hostage situation, events were kind of anticlimactic in comparison. As usual, please practise care in your reading. If any of these issues are problematic for you, please don't hesitate to message me for any clarification of degree of severity or whatever. Because mental health is just as important as physical health. • This story contains scenes of gun violence on page, hostage situations, assault, child abuse, child abduction, and cults and the extremist followers that go with that. Overall, I'm going to give 48 Hour Lockdown by Carla Cassidy a solid 3 stars and 1 little flame for heat. I loved the mental health awareness the author presented I have no choice but to give accolades for it and the level of suspense was pretty good, but I was left wanting more substance to the story. This has been a review from Once Upon a Time, I Read a Book. If you liked this review, I hope you'll tag along on the crazy ride of randomness I've created.

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  • Captivating tale!

    48 Hour Lockdown by Carla Cassidy has Evan Duran, a hostage negotiator, heading to Pearson, North Carolina to rescue children and adults who were taken hostage at Sandhurst School for the Gifted and Talented. The case is personal for Evan because his ex-girlfriend, Annalise Taylor is one of the teacher’s being held hostage. Evan and Annalise broke up three yeas ago, but he still loves her. Evan will need to utilize all the resources of the Tactical Crime Division is he is to rescue the hostages from people with extreme agenda. 48 Hour Lockdown is the debut of the Tactical Crime Division series. I enjoyed meeting Evan Duran and the other individuals in the Tactical Crime Division. I thought the story was well-written and it moved along swiftly thanks to the action. Evan and Annalise still care for each other. Evan’s feelings are obvious from the moment he learns Annalise is being held hostage. I like that the romance was clean (no intimate scenes) and I like how it progressed. The tension was thick as Evan negotiated with the hostage takers who kept shooting out the windows and threatening the hostages. I enjoyed the suspense that kept me swiftly turning the pages. There is a mystery as well which was fun to solve. It was interesting to see how the police handle a hostage situation. I am looking forward to reading Silent Investigation. 48 Hour Lockdown is a riveting romantic suspense with tense situations, a touching romance, complex characters, and cruel kidnappers.

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  • Fun but a bit tame

    Overall - 3 Heat - 1 The Tactical Crime Division is a specialized unit of the FBI, handling the toughest cases in some of the most remote locations. When the team leans there is a hostage situation at a school, all available agents are ready to step in and help. The situation becomes even more urgent for one agent, Evan Duran when he learns that and old flame is trapped inside with some of her students. Annalise Taylor, doesn't know why she and her students are being held hostage, but she will do anything to save her girls. With the help of Evan can they save the day? This book was a good way to kick of a new series, the action was intense and immediate which had me reading this all in one sitting. Annalise and Evan were interesting characters and surprisingly well developed in a story that only amounts to about 256 pages. The author spent a good amount of page time building the the tension not only with the suspense plot, but between our romantic couple. I was slightly disappointed to see that this book turned out to not have anything more than a few kisses between the characters. I would have liked at least one love scene between our couple, but admittedly that maybe would have been hard to add given the pacing of the story. I prefer to read books with suspense that also give equal footing to the love story, and I just didn't feel like we got that here. Overall I had fun reading this book, and if you're interested in a quick and suspenseful read this will be right up your alley. ARC received in exchange for an honest review, all opinions are my own.

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