Standoff (Natchez Trace Park Rangers)

by Patricia Bradley

Paperback, 2020



Call number



Revell (2020), Edition: 4/2, 400 pages

Original publication date



Fiction. Romance. Suspense. Christian Fiction. The Natchez Trace National Parkway stretches 444 miles from Nashville to Natchez, the oldest town on the Mississippi River. It's the perfect road for a relaxed pleasure drive. Unfortunately for park ranger Luke Fereday, lately it's being used to move drugs. Sent to Natchez to infiltrate the organization at the center of the drug ring, Luke arrives too late to a stakeout and discovers the body of his friend, park ranger John Danvers. John's daughter Brooke is determined to investigate her father's murder, but things are more complicated than they first appear, and Brooke soon finds herself the target of a killer who will do anything to silence her. Luke will have his hands full keeping her safe. But who's going to keep him safe when he realizes he's falling-hard-for the daughter of the man he failed to save? Award-winning author Patricia Bradley introduces you to a new series set in the sultry South that will have you wiping your brow and looking over your shoulder.… (more)


Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense (Finalist - Published Division — 2021)


Original language


Physical description

400 p.; 8.5 inches


0800735730 / 9780800735739

User reviews

LibraryThing member JenniferRobb
3.5 stars (rating shown may vary depending on review site).

I've read this author before and I think I also read other books in this series prior to reading this one. I like Bradley's stories, but they always take a while for me to get into them. (Somewhere around chapter 38 for this book before it
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became an "I don't want to put this down" read.)

Bradley does a good job at having several characters that would have motive for Danvers's and/or Marlar's murders. I did make some correct guesses on who the guilty party or parties would be.
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LibraryThing member starbritejan
This book is one that you don't want to stop reading! A story of murder, suspense, a great plot, and best of all of love and forgiveness. Looking forward to the sequel!
LibraryThing member Eamace
Fabulous suspense!

Wow - don’t expect to put this down before you finish it! The author has done a fabulous job of drawing you into the suspense with the first scene as the young hacker discovers information that absolutely terrifies him. Natchez Mississippi sounds like a lovely region, with
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plenty of places to explore and enjoy. Unfortunately it also has many off the beaten track areas where those with evil intent can flourish, a wonderful breeding ground for the drug cartel and a problem the Park Rangers are working hard to curtail. As a new law enforcement Ranger, Brooke Danvers seems to get caught in the middle of it all.

This page-turner has everything you want in an edge-of-your-seat book that you won’t want to put down until that last period. Even then the mystery, intrigue and suspense will follow you as you try to figure out how you could have missed it - all evidence of an incredibly well-written story. I highly recommend this book, but perhaps not something you should read at night, especially if you live alone.

I received an ARC through Baker Publishing Group and NetGalley. My impressions and comments were in no way solicited.
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LibraryThing member milibrarian
Brooke Danvers is excited about moving from being an interpretative ranger on the Natchez Trace to law enforcement, following in the footsteps of her father. The night before she is to be sworn in, her father is murdered trying to prevent a drug deal. Without her knowledge, her childhood friend
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Luke is working on the drug case as an undercover agent. Tension builds as both Brooke and Luke are threatened and a state representative is killed because of the knowledge the killer believes that they have. A subplot involves a romantic triangle involving Brooke, Luke, and a would-be state senator. Recommended for readers of Irene Hannon and Dani Petrie.
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LibraryThing member lamb521
Title: Standoff (Natchez Trace Park Rangers #1)
Author: Patricia Bradley
Pages: 400
Year: 2020
Publisher: Revell
My rating: 5 out of 5 stars.
Patricia Bradley’s books are among my favorites to read and share with others. Why? The author weaves a very intriguing mystery that pulls readers in, plus there
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is some romance but it doesn’t overtake the plot. Also, the characters are lifelike in how they respond, act and think. In her newest series, the author helps push the action along by having short chapters that give readers various points of view of the action.
In Standoff, the main female lead is named Brooke Danvers. Brooke is following in her father’s career path even though he isn’t showing much excitement over her choice. Brooke’s mother is in her own world with Brooke’s pregnant sister and even more so when Brooke loses her father. Brooke is being sought by a young man who is being groomed to go into politics following in his father’s footsteps. Then enters a blast from Brooke’s past, an old flame named Luke.
There are drugs being run through the town Brooke resides in, and there are other nefarious actions that Brooke wants to stop. On top of that, she wants to find out who is responsible for killing her father in a remote area of town. Throughout the book readers will try to solve the murder and find out who is wanting to “own” the town and its people by getting them hooked on drugs.
At first, it was a little hard for me to get an understanding of where the story was taking me. I felt dropped into the book without knowing the characters very well. However, I suspect that is part and parcel when starting a new series as like most readers if too much attention is taken to fleshing out the players, I get bored. Patricia Bradley kept me wanting to read the tale and figure out the mystery. She also adds twists and turns that throw off my guesses!
I have read most of this authors books and really enjoyed her newest series; I think many will as well. After you read this one, I highly recommend reading her other tales as well as they provide hours of thrills and suspense while waiting for her next one!
Note: The opinions shared in this review are solely my responsibility.
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LibraryThing member Anne_Rightler
Standoff by Patricia Bradley is quite the exciting start to the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series. From beginning to the end there is edge-of-the-seat action, twists to the plot and the tension of romance that keeps the reader's interest high. The author gives an interesting glimpse into the job of
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park rangers as well as the dark side of drug cartels and the people one would never expect to be on the wrong side of the law. Family relationships, murder, and long ago boyfriends keep Brooke on her toes. I can't wait to read the next in this series.
I was given a complimentary early copy of the book by LibraryThing and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.
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LibraryThing member macnoid
Another great Patricia Bradley book, and looks to be a great series! This story is fast moving, and has lots of twists and turns; definitely keeps you turning the pages, and reading past your bedtime. The suspense begins on the first pages, in the prologue....a sense of danger and foreboding of bad
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things to come...which of course they do! Being taken to the seamier side of life, where people are not who they seem to be, and into drug cartels, is not comfortable.... I'd rather not know there are people like that sharing our world, but I am grateful for law enforcement that works so hard to protect us! I learned a lot about the job of Rangers! A well written story, with a great cast of characters...and a bit of romance, too. Can't wait for the next book to come out!
I was given a complimentary early copy of the book by LibraryThing and was not required to write a review. The opinions are my own.
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LibraryThing member medwards429
Thank you in advance to the publisher, Revell Books for providing a complimentary UNCORRECTED advanced review copy through Interviews and Reviews. A positive review was not required. All words are my own.

Patricia Bradley is a new-to-me author, although she has numerous novels to her name.

This is
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part of a series, but being that it is the first one, it is a standalone read. The teaser for the second one? That seems exciting as well. And, given how this one ends, it might be worth adding the second novel to the TBR (to be read) list as soon as the title is released. No word yet on how many books are in this series, or I have not been able to find that information.

The suspense premise drew me to the novel right off. As I LOVE good suspense reads (Love Inspired, Harlequin Intrigue), particularly the cleaner ones, this was at the top of my “REALLY GOTTA HAVE IT” list. Clean, suspense reads with law enforcement? Always a perfect read for me. But, this book featured a different type of law enforcement agency – park rangers.

These are NOT the “Jellystone”, bear-chasing type of rangers. Nor are they the “hey no campers allowed here; keep to the trail” type. These are the law enforcement, undercover ones. That really put this as a “gotta have it” type of read. And, that cover? Haunting, mysterious, almost ominous.

I’m sure it’s obvious – I REALLY ENJOYED this book! There were places I felt could’ve been expanded though. There was one scene that was only touched on that I felt it could’ve been expanded as it was left open. This was around chapter 70. Although I had a feeling what the findings would be, it would’ve been nice to see some conclusion or verification with it. This isn’t the only “hole” left open.

From the beginning this book was gripping, definitely an “edge-of-seat”, intense read. I could barely keep up with it. There were times I actually caught myself trying to breathe. The short, quick chapters made this a fast-paced read. I really didn’t want to put it down.

The element of danger lurked EVERYWHERE. And, it was hard to know who to trust. I certainly knew that Brooke and Luke could be trusted. There were some I had minor trust in, and there were a few characters (one in particular) I didn’t trust at all. Just right off, something threw me about the character. And, I can’t believe how right I was. I just had a nagging suspicion about the person.

I simply adored Daisy (Luke’s grandmother). She was the grandmother I would’ve loved growing up. She provided a calm; soothing balance to the whole chaos going on. Luke was an interesting character. He easily and believably fit the undercover role.

Brooke was a good character; though there were times I thought she was a bit immature. There is a stunning surprise about her parentage that ends up connecting to one of the plots in this story. That was something I had a feeling about as well – so there were two plots that were predictable, at least for me. But, I did enjoy seeing at how they were woven together.

There was one character whose status was never fully “concluded”. Even at the end, there was a slight opening for the author to update, yet it wasn’t taken. I am hoping that the second book lets the readers know right away whether or not the character survived.

As I am only going by an ARC, this could change. So, keep that in mind with regard to the two issues I pointed out.

Overall the book was engaging right up until the very end. The last three chapters were a whirlwind, whiplash trip. It did end a bit too quick for me, so I am eagerly awaiting the second novel – although it looks like the focus will be on another one of the female characters, I do hope the author wraps up Brooke and Luke’s story.

While distributed through Revell, which deals primarily in Christian fiction, there are minor references to God, Jesus, and his plans for our lives in this book. It is not a central theme or focus and used in context with Brooke seeing advice, and most of it coming from Daisy. There are no bible quotes, passages, or sermons. Church-going is only mentioned. While not a minor issue for me, it can be for some readers who expect that there will be more content. Other readers might enjoy the lighter faith tones.

This is also a “clean” read – there are no sex scenes, inferred sex scenes, or foul language. People who enjoy light Christian references and clean suspense reads should enjoy this.
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LibraryThing member CoverLoverBookReview
I love it when I come across a new-to-me author, especially when it’s the first book in a new series! I also enjoy peeking outside my preferred genres every now and then to explore new styles and plots. I’ve read several romantic suspense stories throughout the years, but usually scatter them
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out among my stacks of women’s fiction, historical fiction, and fun contemporaries.

I’m not fond of the title, Standoff. It doesn’t really capture the essence and gravity of this story with themes of loss, grief, guilt, trust, and the sweet elements of romance. I am fond of the unique backdrop (Natchez, Mississippi) the interesting and multi-layered key characters, and getting a look at life as a park ranger. It was easy to connect with Brooke and I sympathized with her many difficulties. Both Brooke and Luke (her old high school flame) lead interesting lives and complex careers. Their actions and reactions feel authentic and the romance takes backseat to the mystery and suspense.

Though the suspense of discovering the whodunit is satisfying, it is the characters that progress this story forward for me. I enjoyed getting to know them, especially Luke, and hope they work on a case together in more of the series. Riddled with action, a rise and fall in tension, and a wonderfully paced mystery, I’m left anticipating book #2!

#Standoff #PatriciaBradley #RevellReads

I received a complimentary copy of this book.
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LibraryThing member kaykwilts
I am loving this new series by one of my favorite authors. The book starts out with someone being murdered and the murders don't stop with the first one. I had no idea who the murderer was and if one person was involved or more than one person involved. Loved the characters of Luke and Brooke. She
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handlled some shocking news very well. I am not sure I would have handled what she learned in the same way. I look forward to keeping up with them in future books. There is a preview at the end of the book and the next book will feature Brooke's best friend Emma.

Thanks to LibraryThing and Revell Books for providing me an ARC of this book to read and review.
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LibraryThing member VeraGodley
I never thought of park rangers as having to face dangers like murder, drug traffic, etc. but "Standoff" reveals the hazards of the job in this fast moving, suspense story. As the first in a series, "Standoff" delivers a compelling read that excites one to upcoming books along the same theme.

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Natchez Trace is a park ranging from Nashville, Tennessee, to Natchez, Mississippi. The setting is real and the reality that crime on the trail truly exists is vividly painted in word pictures in Standoff. So while totally fiction, you have the feeling you're reading the behind the scenes saga of a major crime investigation and the off shoots of criminal acts associated with it.

The dirty deed is an undercover investigation into major cartel players.

Brook Danvers is a second generation Park Ranger and is about to be promoted. The death of her father throws her life into disarray as she copes with the fallout from that and her upcoming promotion. But then things get really complicated and convoluted.

I had a hard time keeping the characters straight and was surprise at some of the endgame results. Keeping the good guys and the bad guys straight in my mind and drawing conclusions as to who-dunnit was difficult.

Loved the book and am really looking forward to seeing what else is afoot on The Natchez Trace.

DISCLOSURE: I received a complimentary copy to facilitate a review. Opinions are mine, alone and are freely given.
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LibraryThing member JillRey
Brooke is excited to be following in her father’s footsteps. She’s been training to become a law enforcement officer in the National Park Ranger service. However, prior to her ride along training with her father he abruptly cancels and is later found dead.

Luke is deep undercover as a drug
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dealer. He’s returned to his summer home, next door to Brooke, as part of his most recent operation. After 14 years without seeing or communicating with Brooke he is thrown right back into the feelings they had for each other all those years ago. But Brooke is now dating the town’s most eligible bachelor.

Despite being stuck in a love triangle, Brooke’s character remains a strong, independent female lead. Refusing to be anything but blunt with her family and male suitors, Brooke proves to be a spitfire as the principle character. This strength of hers aids in bringing an entirely eventful and fast-paced story to the hands of all readers. Bradley continues to create dazzling stories, full of explosive suspense, strong characters and action-packed narratives so be sure to pick up this, her latest.

*Disclaimer: A review copy was provided by the publisher. All opinions are my own.
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LibraryThing member tealadytoo
This novel has all the elements of an effective thriller, but falls sort of greatness. I believe the fundamental issue is that there is so much going on in the plot, that the author is unable to explore any of it in depth sufficient to touch the reader’s emotion. We have family secrets, criminal
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secrets, murder, drug dealing, a love triangle, a cute kid, a cute grandmother, a mole in law enforcement to discover and the occasional spiritual reference thrown in casually. Certainly not a truly bad book, but despite a nicely suspenseful climax, it ultimately falls short of satisfying.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
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LibraryThing member croknot1
I loved it! I had to keep reading to find out who the killer was. I kept guessing, but didn't figure it out until late in the book. Great read. I received this book through LT for my honest review.
LibraryThing member Stardust_Fiddle
What originally attracted me to this book was the cover, followed by the series title: Natchez Trace Park Rangers. As a lover of the outdoors, that was enough to reel me in, and since this is book one, I did not hesitate to sign up for a review copy. Thankfully, I did not look at the synopsis (a
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habit that I have adopted so as not to spoil any part of the plotline), because doing so would most likely have deterred me from wanting to read the book. Anything relating to drug cartels and the like just doesn’t appeal to me. As soon as I picked up this novel and realized what I was getting into, I began wondering if I had made a mistake.

However, my fears were quickly allayed as I settled into Patricia Bradley’s swift, engaging writing style. “Standoff” comes out of the starting gate with a shot (literally) and never lets up, forging ahead relentlessly to the last page. Short chapters also facilitate this, giving the impression of a staccato beat that fits how the plot plays out. While I enjoyed that the story never lagged, I have to admit that the abundance of characters is overwhelming. Each of the first several chapters is about a different person, all of whom are critical to the narrative, and because the story remains in the third-person, I personally had a very difficult time keeping track of who was who. Brooke Danvers is the only character who stood out to me, being the female lead. I understand that the profusion of characters is necessary for the storyline, but I think that it would be very helpful to perhaps have a character list, one that would be brief so as not to give any spoilers, but with just a few words to help readers keep the characters separate from one another.

Quintessential romantic suspense, “Standoff” lives up to its name in more ways than one. There is, of course, the drug ring, which becomes the concentric circle surrounding the characters, two of whom are vying for a serious relationship with Brooke while others want her dead. Add in family drama and personal conflict, and the stage is set for an exhilarating Natchez excursion, grounded in the truth that God is always with us and that He sees the end from the beginning.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell and was under no obligation to post a positive review. All opinions are my own.
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LibraryThing member polarmath
I enjoy a good mystery and this one did not disappoint. Having been on part of the Natchez Trace National Parkway, I could easily envision many of the scenes in the book.
Luke has been sent in to become a part of a drug ring, but finds himself instead investigating the murder of a friend. He finds
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solving the murder even more a priority when his friend John's daughter gets drawn in while investigating the murder and finds herself a target as well. Luke finds it all he can do to keep her safe and find out what exactly is going on.
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LibraryThing member eccl
Standoff, by Patricia Bradley, is the first book in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series. Luke works undercover for the park system and has been sent to his grandmother's home town to track down a drug ring. One of the only people who knows of his position is the neighbor of his grandmother, John.
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John thinks he has found out who is in charge of the drug ring and helps arrange a stake out. When Luke gets there he find John has been killed. John's daughter, Brook, is joining the park rangers and gets pulled into the investigation, working with Luke.
This is a great “whodoneit” story. It is fast paced, full of adventure, action and suspense. The characters are well defined. The story is so well written it is easy to imagine the park setting and surrounding areas. The romance in the story is as expected, but not overwhelming. This is a great crime story and I look forward to reading the rest of the series.
I received a copy of this book from Revell Reads Blogging Program. This is my honest review.
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LibraryThing member hes7
Brooke Danvers needs to find out the truth behind her father’s suspicious death, which has been ruled a suicide. Her old friend and ex-love interest Luke Fereday returns to town for an undercover assignment—and stirs up feelings that only complicate her search, especially as their individual
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purposes seem to connect.

The first in Patricia Bradley’s Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, Standoff is a fast-paced, though unoriginal, romantic-suspense story. While it entertained me as I read, I did feel that aspects were rushed (especially the romance!), while most of the twists and reveals were predictable. The ending just left me thinking, “That’s it?” So, this new release is definitely not my favorite of Bradley’s novels—but it is getting a lot of love from other readers, so if you love romantic suspense, it could still be worth checking out.

I received a complimentary copy of this book and the opportunity to provide an honest review. I was not required to write a positive review, and all the opinions I have expressed are my own.
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LibraryThing member vintagebeckie
I am so excited to be getting in on the ground floor of a new romantic suspense series by Patricia Bradley. While many people wait for all the books in a series to be released before reading, I don’t mind the anticipation of subsequent books. Although after reading Standoff, book 1 in the Natchez
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Trace Park Rangers series, the wait may drive me just a bit crazy 😉 . This romantic suspense novel starts off running with lots of twists and fast-paced action. It is definitely a recommended read for fans of this genre.

I have to say that the setting of the novel is what drew me to it. I lived in Mississippi for college, grad school, and my first real job. I traveled part of the Trace regularly. I liked that I could visualize some of the settings within the novel. The city of Natchez is also featured, and while I am unfamiliar with that town, the book makes me want to go explore the next time I visit family in Mississippi. Standoff focuses on undercover ranger, Luke Fereday, and newly trained law enforcement officer, Brooke Danvers. I honestly didn’t know that the ranger service had so many facets. The book was a great look at the many jobs that rangers hold. Luke and Brooke were friends as high schoolers, and they have some romantic history that is still simmering. As they investigate Brooke’s dad’s murder, as well as other murders, drug trafficking, break-ins, and explosions (I did say the book was action-packed!), their feelings develop, though both resist. Family relationships, especially the bond between a child and his/her father, are explored in the book.

At the end of the novel Brooke and Luke’s case is wrapped up, but their future is before them. While this story may be finished, I hope I get a glimpse of them in book two!


Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)
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LibraryThing member alekee
knew when I saw who wrote this book that it would be great, and it was, I was just wanting more when the last page was turned, but, there is a teaser at the end, and now I can't wait.
We are kept on our toes thought out this read, and you will wonder if all will survive at the end. Yes, there are
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some tragic deaths here, and they are senseless, and I kept changing my mind as to whom was the evil one? I was sure I knew, and then something would happen to change my mind.
There are some real bombshells dropped, and there is a bit of sweet romance, but there again I kept changing my mind on whom our girl should end up with!
You won't be disappointed with this one, and you will be quickly page turning for answers!

I received this book through LibraryThing. and was not required to give a positive review.
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LibraryThing member JaymeWill
Patricia Bradley is quickly becoming one of my favorite suspense authors. Readers who like Lisa Harris, Lynette Eason, or Colleen Coble will enjoy Bradley's new book, Standoff. It has a little danger, clean romance, light Christianity, and a lot of suspense.

Brooke Danvers is just days away from
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following in her father's footsteps and being sworn in as the newest Park Ranger. Unfortunately, her first encounter with the Rangers is the death of her own father. His case is quickly labeled suicide, but Brooke knows he didn't kill himself and sets out to prove it. Along the way she meets her old flame, Luke Fereday, who up and left town without any contact. Luke has returned to follow a drug trail that leads to his back to his hometown. Even though he hates the secrecy, he can't tell Brooke that he's undercover and working for a three letter government organization. As more people turn up dead, Luke has his hands full trying to track down the drug dealers and keep the woman he loves safe.

I liked the plot line, setting and characters. The author did a good job setting up several people who could be the bad guy to keep the reader guessing. I did find the many characters at the beginning a little confusing. But I kept reading and eventually got it straight.
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LibraryThing member KimPotter
Standoff by Patricia Bradley is the first book in her Natchez Trace Park Ranger series. Brooke Danvers is set to follow in her Dad’s footsteps and become a Park Ranger Law Enforcement Officer. When her father is murdered, she vows that she will find who killed him. Luke Fereday is sent to Natchez
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to find the drug cartel that is smuggling drugs up the Trace. What he didn’t count on was falling for Brooke. Can he keep her safe from those who want her dead? The characters were pretty predictable. By the second chapter I had already figured out who the villains were. There’s a lot of action with some romance thrown in. All in all, it was a good story I just wish it hadn’t been so obvious.

I received this book from the publisher for my honest review.
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LibraryThing member Melissa_O
Standoff is an explosive beginning to a new series by Patricia Bradley. This is a great read for lovers of romantic suspense because there is plenty of both!

The story starts with the death of Brooke Danvers father, a park ranger in Natchez Trace Park. The death is ruled a suicide, but Brooke is not
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a believer. Brooke has followed in her father's footsteps and become a park ranger herself. She along with fellow ranger and ex-boyfriend, Luke Fereday, begin a pursuit looking for answers surrounding her father's mysterious death. Unknown to Brooke, Luke has returned to town to investigate a local drug ring.

Readers are presented several possible suspects and there are twists and turns along the way as well as one complete at total surprise I didn't see coming at all! You won't be disappointed by the non-stop action and page-turning suspense. Definitely looking forward to the rest in the series!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author and was not required to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are mine.
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LibraryThing member Virginia51
I felt like this was a wonderful start to a new series and I am really looking forward to reading the second book in this series. It was interesting to read about the Natchez Trace National Parkway. I loved the characters and all the twists and turns. I love how Luke and Brooke rekindle an old
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friendship. I did not want to put this book down. I received a copy of this book from Revell for a fair and honest opinion that I gave of my own free will.
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LibraryThing member sherripo
I have read several of Patricia Bradley's books which I have liked and enjoyed this first book in her new series. It was suspenseful and I didn't want to stop reading. The plot kept me interested throughout. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
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