Title: On His Watch
Author: Susanne Matthews
Published by: Crimson Romance
Date published: August 18, 2014
Genres: Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense
Book Length: 264 pages
Steam Rating: Sweet/Steamy
Main Characters: Jason & Nikki
“Susanne Matthews manages to flawlessly balance mystery, violence, redemption and romance into one epic story that was entertaining and heart warming. I can say with all honesty that this will not be my last Susanne Matthew’s novel! ” ~Becca
On leave from the FBI, Special Agent Jason Spark is enjoying some welcome peace and quiet when he’s called on to help the local sheriff’s department check out a 911 call. Expecting a prank or misdial, he unwittingly steps into a horrifying bloodbath straight out of a Hollywood slasher movie, complete with clues scrawled on the wall.
Nikki Hart’s husband and son are killed, but she survives, badly beaten and barely clinging to life in a coma. When she awakens, she doesn’t know her name, recognize her face, or remember anything about herself and her past. Terrified, and unsure of whom to trust, she clings to the memory of the angel who comforted her in her darkest moments.
The investigation turns up a prime suspect: The Butcher, an elusive hired assassin for the Sicilian mob. As the news of Nikki’s recovery spreads, putting her in this ruthless killer’s sights again, Jason will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he’s learning to love.
Nikki’s beginning to believe Jason might be the angel who protected her in her dreams. But when she learns about the secret role he played in the worst day of her life, can she ever forgive him?
This was my first Susanne Matthews book and I must say that her writing style is to die for! Within the first few pages of On His Watch I was addicted to both the characters and the story line and just HAD to know more! Susanne Matthews manages to flawlessly balance mystery, violence, redemption and romance into one epic story that was entertaining and heart warming. I can say with all honesty that this will not be my last Susanne Matthew’s novel!
Let’s talk story line.
Susanne Matthews manages to take your typical suspense novel story line and throw in enough twists and turns that not one page could ever be considered predictable or boring. It’s difficult to say a lot about this book without spoilers…but I’m going to try and do a short and sweet little review for you. Basically, as you know from the blurb, Nikki is brutally attacked and left for dead along with her husband and two children. Jason Spark is an FBI agent standing in for his brother. When he responds to the call he never knew how much it would change him.
When Nikki awakes from a 6 week coma she finds herself with a horrible case of amnesia and a very real guardian angel. In the beginning of the book, Nikki’s character was dull and very clearly that of a woman who had been beaten into her submission and didn’t know how to get out. I think my favorite thing about this book is that the Nikki that wakes up from that coma is NOTHING like the woman that went into it. She is strong, independent and refuses to let anyone walk all over her. She may not remember her life…but her sub-conscious clearly wants her to start standing up for herself and her daughter.
When Jason and Nikki realize that the person that attacked her family is still out for blood…the story gets extremely interesting! Honestly…that’s about all I can say without spoilers! Just trust me…this is an extremely unique, action packed and well written story that you will not want to miss!
How about characters and romance?
The background or extra characters in On His Watch are just as important as the main characters. I quickly became attached to sweet Cassie and once the other guys came into the story..well I wanted to know more about them as well! Heck part of me hopes this will become a series and I can learn more about Troy and Angie and Brad…everyone!
The romance in On His Watch was very slow to build. In my opinion this was for the best. If things had moved to fast after such a brutal attack…well it would have made the story seem fake and I probably wouldn’t have read most of it.
While I say that the romance moved slow…I mean that they didn’t have their first kiss until about 65% of the way through the book! What comes before that kiss…just wow! What a man!
Jason is sweet, caring, and a great role model for Mandy. He is everything that her dad wasn’t! Watching Nikki come to love him was so sweet and just perfect! I can’t imagine how seeing him with her daughter made her feel. The man is pretty darn close to perfect! He is sexy and strong and protectedher when she couldn’t protect herself. Jason is just so very raw…real…he is just your typical man…not a super hero…he makes mistakes…he messes up…he is just an amazing man that is determined to do the right thing.
When these two finally do get together it’s not explosive…
it’s not fireworks…
it’s just… right!
Jason and Nikki (with Mandy added in!) are the epitome of MFEO!
Trust me when I say that this is one book you will not want to put down and is MORE than worth the purchase!
So what are you waiting for? Click on over to Amazon and support an amazing author and an even more amazing book!
Susanne Matthews grew up as an avid reader of all types of books, but always with a penchant for happily ever after romances. In her imagination, she travelled to foreign lands, past and present, and soared into the future. Today, she has made her dreams come true. A retired educator, she now gets to spend her time writing, so she can share her adventures with her readers. She loves the ins and outs of romance, and the complex journey it takes to get from the first word to the last period of a novel. As she writes, her characters take on a life of their own, and she shares their fears and agonies on the road to self-discovery and love.
Susanne lives in Cornwall, Ontario with her husband. She has three adult children and five grandchildren. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys reading, chatting on the Internet with her writer friends, and hearing from her readers.
Describe your book/series in 15 words or less!
A story of good, evil, obsession, hate, murder, revenge, mistakes, love and forgiveness.
We all need a hero! Tell us about your protagonist(s)? Was there a real-life inspiration behind him or her?
Jason isn’t perfect. He’s made mistakes, and these have undermined his faith in himself and his ability to trust and do his job right. I don’t believe in perfect people. Jason may be alpha male, but he isn’t infallible. Did any one person inspire him? No. He’s a compilation of many different characters, unique onto himself. He is named after my son and my husband’s grandfather.
Tell us a little bit about your cover art. Who designed it? Why did you go with that particular image/artwork?
Crimson provides the cover art for my books. They gave me a choice between this cover and one of a chalet in the mountains with another couple. I discussed the cover with people, including my husband, and he chose this one, so I went with it. Not seeing faces allows the reader to imagine the hero and heroine based on my description, and I think that’s better.
What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?
I had a couple of sections of the book that went well. I think Halloween touched me deeply. The actual assault gave me nightmares. LOL so much for a product of the imagination.
I can imagine! That assault was very graphic and well written, writing it couldn’t have been easy! But Halloween definitely brought the AWE factor up!
Was there a music playlist for you while writing? If so can you share a few songs from it?
No music. I write in silence. The story shouts at me if there are no distractions. That being said, I would consider Endless love a fitting theme song.
What’s next for you?
I’ve sold a couple of other books, and I’m at the editing stage. One will be out later this fall, the other in the spring. I also co-write under the name Misty Matthews and that’s the book I’m working on now. It’s due out mid-October.
Is there anything else you’d like to say?
Just thank you for this opportunity. I’d also like to say to anyone who dreams of becoming a writer–if you want it badly enough, work at it.
A few silly questions
Are you the driver or a passenger in your book? (Are you in control of where the story goes or does it sort of just happen?)
Definitely along for the ride. My stories are character driven and often end up in a completely different place than I expected.
You’re having a party. What character from your book do you hope attends? Why? What character do you hope doesn’t attend? Why?
Obviously, I’d like Nikki and Jason there, Angie and Troy, Cassie and Nathan, but Carlotta and Nikki’s father can stay home. She’s not a party person, and he’s not my kind of man.
Characters often find themselves in situations they aren’t sure they can get themselves out of. When was the last time you found yourself in a situation that was hard to get out of and what did you do?
Would you believe I can’t think of a time when I’ve been in that kind of a jam? I’m not very good a prevaricating, so I’ve been stuck doing things I’d rather not do, but I’ve never had to face what Nikki does. If someone asks me to do something I don’t want to do, I’ll try to talk myself out of it, but nine out of ten times, I’ll agree just to end the discussion. I’m a wimp.
Who is your favorite “Book Boyfriend”? What series is it from and who wrote it?
That would have to be Rick Castle. I know he’s a television character who is an author, but I love the books the television producer puts out in his name. He’s not perfect and I like that about him.
The sound of breaking glass coming from downstairs shattered the stillness. Nikki tensed. Had the sound come from the kitchen? Had she left a window open? She’d shut the bedroom window a few moments ago because the wind had picked up and its whistling sound bothered her. Could it have knocked over the crystal vase of roses Sam had sent her this morning? Perhaps Mrs. Olsen’s tabby had jumped in the window and knocked the vase over. The cat had been a regular visitor when the previous owners had lived here, and he saw no reason to curtail his visits. She’d almost had a heart attack the last time he entered, bringing her a gift—a dead mouse—and Danny had laughed himself silly at “Mommy’s girliness.” Sam, not an animal lover, had threatened to poison the animal if it came into the house again. If the cat had broken the vase, its days were numbered.
Or what if someone was in the house? She’d noticed a lot of strangers in town, some looking more unkempt than others. There were plenty of family campers, but every now and then, she’d seen so-called gold prospectors combing the Larosa hills. Trudy, Mandy’s best friend Lily’s mother, had said they were harmless but to a girl like Nikki from San Francisco, dirty, half-starved men meant trouble. They could easily be junkies desperately needing a fix.
She took a deep breath. She didn’t hear any other suspicious sounds. As Sam would say, she was letting her imagination run wild. Most likely it was one of Larosa’s minor quakes that had caused a glass to slip off the table. Just a few miles off the San Andreas Fault, the town was constantly trembling. She barely noticed the Earth’s slight shaking anymore.
Even though she’d convinced herself nothing was amiss, Nikki tiptoed to the guest room, got down on all fours, and peeked under the bed. Mandy was asleep. The child slept like the dead once she was out. Nikki reached for the flashlight, turned it off, and used the bed to leverage her body upright again.
She picked up the cell phone she’d left on the dresser earlier, made sure it was on in case Sam called, and dropped it into the right pocket of her pajama top. Carrying the flashlight, she slipped out of the room, closing the door softly behind her.
Maybe getting a dog’s a good idea. It would keep the damn cat out of the house.
Nikki stood still in the hallway and listened. The only thing she could hear was the sound of the television in the den. Someone was buying a vowel.
She reached Danny’s room and opened the door. When she saw his bed was empty, she relaxed and shook her head in resignation. As much as it annoyed her to admit it, this time Sam was right. Her imagination did tend to look for boogeymen where there weren’t any. Clearly her eight-year-old and his bottomless pit of a stomach had decided to have another bedtime snack.
No doubt he was the culprit. She left the room and placed the flashlight on the hall table where it usually sat in case of a power outage.
“What did you break this time?” she called as she headed down the stairs. “I swear, you’re like a bull in a china shop.”
The sound of the garage door opening indicated Sam’s arrival. Although the clinic was nearby, since he carried major opiate drugs back and forth, Sam always took his car to work. He’d enter the house through the garage, leaving his lab coat and shoes out there and washing his hands at the sink he’d had installed for that purpose.
“Let’s get this cleaned up before your father comes in.” She turned the corner into the kitchen and stopped cold.
The fridge door was open, the pitcher of orange juice shattered on the floor beside what was left of her crystal vase full of roses, the red petals vanishing in her son’s blood. So much blood! Danny lay there, his head at an awkward angle, his eyes open, looking into the face of death. A scream froze in her throat as arms grabbed her from behind, and the sting of the knife bit into her upper back.
Susanne Matthews is giving away an e-copy of On His Watch!