About the Book
Book: Targeted in the Desert
Author: Dana Mentink
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Release date: March 28, 2023
Family secrets have Felicia Tennison, and the sister she never knew existed, on the run. Someone is after them, and Felicia will have to turn to someone she never wanted to see again for help—her ex. Sheriff Jude Duke vows to protect them as they race to uncover why the little girl is a target. But the search to find the answers could cost them their futures.
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About the Author
Dana Mentink is a USA TODAY and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author. She’s written more than forty mystery and suspense novels for Love Inspired Suspense, Harvest House, and Poisoned Pen Press. She is honored to have received two ACFW Carol Awards, a Holt Medallion Award, and a Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. Please visit her on the web at www.danamentink.com to sign up for her newsletter, or find her on Twitter (@DanaMentink), Facebook (Dana Mentink’s Reader Page) and Bookbub (Dana Mentink).
More from Dana
At last! We’ve arrived at the final book in the Desert Justice series! It seems like just yesterday I was finishing book one, about cousin Beckett Duke who was falsely imprisoned. Then we met cowboy Levi and his twin Willow, dog lover Austin, donkey rescuer Nora and FINALLY sheriff Jude Duke gets his story! I am a fan of a hero with some miles under his belt, aren’t you? Could it be because I’ve got more than a few under mine? Ending this series is bittersweet because I am thrilled that the Dukes all received their happy endings, but I’ll miss writing about their adventures in Death Valley. Hope you’ll come along on my next series. (Could be there are bloodhounds in our fictional future!)
Death Valley is not the type of place that holds any travel appeal to me, unless it is through the pages of a book, and that is one of several reasons that the Desert Justice Love Inspired Suspense series has intrigued me since the first book. Envisioning the terrain and trying to fathom how anyone can survive in such sweltering temperatures adds to the respect I have for the characters, and is a nice counterpart to a Midwest winter! As sad as I am that Dana Mentink brings the series to a close with book six, Targeted in the Desert, this rounds out the happily-ever-afters for the beloved members of the Duke family with a satisfying conclusion.
With that in mind, the Desert Justice series can be read as standalones, but for the best experience and to avoid any relationship spoilers, I recommend reading them in chronological order. Targeted in the Desert provides readers with the full story of Jude Duke, acting chief and sheriff of Furnace Falls, as it dovetails with that of his ex-girlfriend, Felicia Tennison. When Felicia becomes unwittingly involved in a legal dispute regarding family she didn’t know she had, Jude is thrust back into her life to provide protection, but that only complicates matters. Now she is in danger of losing her heart, again, in addition to her life. And the struggle is not one-sided; Jude finds himself having to confront his worst fear while figuring out his identity and what, as well as who, make him Jude Duke. On one level or another, this issue affects each of us in some way, and ultimately what it signifies is our status as children of God, worthy and redeemed in His sight once we accept Jesus as our Savior and Lord.
Additionally, similar themes of striving, trauma, and indecisiveness undergird the narrative and demonstrate that everyone has trials of their own to overcome. One extraneous detail that I found interesting was the legally blind lawyer and the explanation of some of his accommodations, including a feature on his glasses that enabled an automated voice to read documents aloud. Mentink utilizes legal circumstances commonly witnessed today, albeit with more sinister implications for the sake of fiction, and carefully negotiates the effects of former and present trauma. In spite of all that she has been through, Felicia comes to the sudden realization that “She’d learned more about her inner strength and God’s love lying in a hospital bed than she’d known in her previous twenty-seven years of life.” So often, that seems to be the way of it, as we grow in our faith and strength far more in hardship than we do in times of ease. Furthermore, we have a tendency to lose our courage when we try to look too far ahead instead of doing what we know is right and trusting God for the rest. Felicia experiences peace when she recognizes that “She didn’t have to figure it all out, only to take the next right step, and this was it.” So simple, and yet so profound!
In bidding farewell to the Duke clan, I look forward to the next adventure that Dana Mentink will offer readers and reflect on the many lessons that came along with this series. What I think that I will remember the most is how the Duke family always functioned together as the body of Christ, offering whatever was needed to strangers, friends, and each other unhesitatingly and with compassion. More than once, this selflessness led to healing and self-examination for those being served, which is a prime example of the life-changing love of Christ in action for which we should all be striving.
I received a complimentary copy of this book through Celebrate Lit and was not required to post a favorable review. All opinions are my own.
My rating: 5 stars ♥♥♥♥♥
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To celebrate her tour, Dana is giving away the grand prize package of a $50 Amazon gift card and a copy of the book!!
(If the winner is outside the U.S., then he or she will receive an eBook.)
Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.