Sunday, March 29, 2015

Kelli Hughett: Red Zone

By Kelly Bridgewater

Back Cover Copy:

There's nothing random about this murder.

When Marcy Farris comes face to face with a murder victim at a high school football game, she's plunged into a game no one wants to play. Despite police conclusions, she knows it wasn't a random murder. Could she be the next victim? To defeat her opponent, she'll have to tackle painful memories of her husband's suicide. He may have made one too many enemies before he died.

Struck down by an injury in his prime, former NFL linebacker, Jack Briggs, wonders if there's life after football. The game changes when he meets Marcy. She's his heart's number-one draft pick. Now, Jack's got to prove to Marcy they're on the same team.

There is no overtime in the game of murder. Marcy and Jack must discover the madman behind the murder before the killer has a chance to score the game-winning drive, and exact his revenge on Marcy.

My Review:

When there came a chance to receive a free book from a fellow writer on Amazon for my Kindle, I jumped on the chance and downloaded it. Many of my writers’ friends have been gushing about this book, so I could not wait to try it out for myself.

The characters of Marcy Farris and Jack Briggs tell the story of the murder and the trouble behind the injuries to the football players.Marcy Farris knew her husband, Peter, checked out of the marriage a long time ago, then she falls head over heels emotionally with Jack Briggs, the former football player, within minutes of meeting him for the first time. I was glad Hughett took a step back and allowed Marcy to realize where she has allowed her heart to go when Jack mentioned he won’t surrendered to God. It was Marcy’s redeeming quality. In a similar vein, Jack liked Marcy kids, but there was nothing to gush about. He hung out with Marcy’s kids all the time and made a difference in Marcy’s son. Jack was the character who changed the most, spiritually, throughout the entire novel.

 The romance and the suspense drew the readers into this widely popular genre. The romance part of this story was too rushed for my taste. Every time Marcy and Jack were together, they were kissing, and their internal dialogue showing their emotions was on full alert. They were acting like teenagers who just discovered their hormones for the first time. As for the suspense, the story had many twists and turns, but as a reader of the romantic suspense, mysteries, and suspense genre, I pay close attention to the behavior of the characters, so I figured out whom the bad guy was about thirty-five percent into the story. As for the story’s pace, it does open with the bad guy’s point of view and starts off at a nice clip, intermingling the romance, the mystery, and football. The middle of the story dragged especially all the events around Christmas. It felt too slow for me. Personally, I wish the suspense was more in-depth while the romance was sprinkled in the story.

The writing was good. Hughett stayed in the each individual point of view, not head hopping around the plot. We understand the explosive emotions from Marcy and Jack along with their struggles and hurts. There was an even amount of prose and dialogue with grammatically sound sentences. The settings were detailed enough that the reader could imagine there were in a car, a hotel room, or a stadium.

Overall, Kelli Hughett’s, Red Zone, invites the readers into a romance story with a suspense aspect, moving the football plot along. It was a sizzling romance with just enough suspense to satisfy suspense lovers.

Kelli Hughett’s Bio:

A good morning at my modern Colorado farmhouse begins with a cup of flavored coffee and a few minutes with my husband. Since our house overlooks a pond, we sit outside and watch nature's effect on the water and chat before we both dive in to our busy day. He's a minister and I spend my time home schooling our three kids and helping him with Church work.

That said, I don't spend my days writing, but I squeeze it in where I can. From my office window, I see barns, the Rocky Mountains, yards of farm fence and wide swathes of green grass surrounded by trees that are just starting to turn this fall. You'd imagine me writing Amish or Prairie Romance, right?!

Many people who know me well have asked me why I chose to write suspense. It is a little out-of-character for me, I suppose. I collect tea cups, read Austen and classics regularly, wear frilly dresses and dote on agricultural landscapes. My favorite book is Anne of Green Gables. So, why suspense?

I guess it taps an unseen part of my personality. What's more exciting than a murder mystery? Suspense is the spice of life, even if we aren't standing over dead bodies all day. It enhances marriages, gives authority to news and announcements, and makes our hearts beat fast. No book, no matter the genre, would be interesting without a little suspense!

And what story is complete without romance?

I hope you'll find my books entertaining without offending your soul. I hope you'll discover the magic of ordinary days and characters in extraordinary circumstances. Maybe you'll find yourself in one of my books. I know you'll find little pieces of me.

Kelli Hughett
Taken from Kelli's Amazon Author Page
Where to connect with Kelli:
Author’s Personal Website:

Where to purchase her books:
Lighthouse Publishing of the Carolinas

What is your favorite aspect of a romantic suspense that deals with a sport? Do you feel disconnected if you do not know anything about that sport?

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