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BookMark - Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 (Series)
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A presentation of latest Christian books to hit the stores

Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 (Series)

Author: Irene Hannon

Genre: Christian - Suspense / Christian - Romance /

ISBN-10: 0800727703
ISBN-13: 9780800727703

Publishing Date: October 1, 2019

Availability in London: Creation Bookstore. Available in: Paperback

Reviews courtesy of: Goodreads


Former Army Night Stalker Rick Jordan usually has his camp for foster children to himself during the winter months. But someone has visited recently--leaving a trail of blood. One of the two clues left behind tips Rick off to the identity of his visitor, who soon turns up dead. The police deem it an accident, but Rick isn't convinced. With the help of private investigator Heather Shields, he sets out to decipher the remaining clue. Except someone doesn't want them to succeed--and will stop at nothing to keep them from finding the truth.

With her trademark psychological suspense ratcheting up the tension on every page, bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon takes you on a search for a cold-blooded killer with an ambitious goal and deadly intent.

Reader review:

Sarah Grace Grzy gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 4 out of 5 Stars
I have read nearly all of Hannon's romantic suspense books, but I think Dark Ambitions might just be my favorite!

I really liked both of our main characters. Heather Shields, former homicide detective turned private eye (Yay for the return of the Phoenix, Inc. crew!). And Rick Jordan, former Night Stalker turned youth ministry worker. Both of these characters had a lot of depth and chemistry that made them great together and individually. Of course, the romance got to be a bit much for my tastes, but I enjoyed the story so much I was able to ignore that for the most part.

The story starts with Rick trying to find an old army friend and hiring Heather to help him, and the plot quickly deadly. Many twists and turns keep Heather and Rick--and the reader--on their toes. Hannon also includes her trademark action and suspense liberally throughout. With so many leads and so many potential "bad guys," you are kept guessing until the end.

All in all, I greatly enjoyed this newest release from veteran author, Irene Hannon! I highly recommend this book to all fans of romantic suspense!

Cara Putman gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 4 out of 5 Stars
A really good book and fit Rick well. Compelling heroine too. A page turner with lots of character points of view and twists and turns.

Susan Snodgrass gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 5 out of 5 Stars
'He might never have needed a gun in the four years he'd called this rural Missouri acreage home, but it was better to risk overkill than be killed.'

I never miss an Irene Hannon book. She writes two each year and I've always got them on my list of books to read. She is quite skilled at her psychological suspense novels and she keeps the reader guessing throughout.

Former Army Night Stalker Rick Jordan, now running a camp for foster kids, finds blood on his property one evening and evidence that someone has broken into a shed. He needs to find out what has happened to a former Army buddy who saved his life and so he hires Phoenix Inc., an elite group of private investigators. He is given as an investigator Heather Shields, former police detective, who is eager to take his case. Together, they discover that someone is willing to kill, not just once, to keep them from finding the truth and Rick's buddy. All the while they must keep their attraction from one another on the back burner.

Hannon creates intrigue with a good dose of romance to keep her readers coming back for more. She never disappoints with her ability to start a bit slow, though very interesting, then builds layer upon layer as the story progresses, until finally the book is racing toward a surprising, yet satisfying conclusion. I never manage to guess the culprit, either. That's the mark of a good suspense writer. I enjoyed every minute, staying up late to finish the book. Highly recommended.

Erin Laramore gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 5 out of 5 Stars
While this book indicates that it's book 3 in the Code of Honor series, I was unaware that it was part of a series when I started it and did not get lost at all, so it definitely works fine as a stand-alone. I'm assuming books 1 and 2 go into more detail on characters that are background characters in this one.

My only complaint about this book was that at the beginning, there were too many people introduced early on without much detail. If I took a break from reading and went back, I got confused as to who was who. As the story went on and details were added, that got much easier and eventually all of the characters tied together. In order to avoid any confusion, I'd probably recommend starting this one when you have a couple of hours to fully devote. Once you're solidly into the story line, the confusion lessens significantly.

This book began with a mystery that brings the 2 main characters together. When he finds blood on his property, Rick Jordan hires a PI, Heather Shields, to find his missing friend. What started out as a simple missing persons case becomes much more entrenched as the story goes on and the more time they spend together, the stronger their attraction. Generally the romance part of a romantic suspense novel has me rolling my eyes. While this one was palatable, I still struggled with how fast it moved (which is typical of this genre); however, I have no doubt that fans of romantic suspense who enjoy a good dose of romance will eat it up. I appreciated that the overall story-arc was the mystery, and that while it was suspenseful, it wasn't "keep me up at night, on the edge of my seat" suspense. The story line was good, the plot moved at a good pace, the characters were very likable, and there was also a subtle faith thread. All in all, I would definitely recommend this one to fans of clean or inspirational romantic suspense.

Paula Shreckhise gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 5 out of 5 Stars
Dark Ambitions is the third book in the Code of Honor series by Irene Hannon and a very polished suspense novel.

Every time I crack open an Irene Hannon book it seems like I’ve come home. Not only because I lived in St. Louis for twenty years and know the setting well, but because I am very comfortable with the exemplary way Ms. Hannon writes. She captures the genre well. Her stories are exciting but totally believable, and the romance sizzles beneath the surface. The research into law enforcement procedures shines. Her descriptions of an icy winter day in St. Louis took me right back to when I lived there.

The story was so riveting, I read it in just over a day. I am never disappointed in a book by Ms. Hannon. She writes the most caring, upstanding heroes I love the way her books interconnect but still can stand alone. She shows how colleagues can work together seamlessly, be people of character, and rely on God.

“The truth is, no one can see the future except God. All we can do is make the best choice we’re capable of with the information we have in the present.”

Natalie Walters gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 4 out of 5 Stars
I've read all three of the Code of Honor series books and this one started out a little slow for me. After the initial punch of suspense, the story seems to lag with the investigation thread leaving me want a little more on the suspense side. I really felt like the on-page chemistry between the main characters and the side characters was slightly stronger but overall, the romance between Rick and Heather comes together nicely at the end. Overall, not my favorite of the three books but still a solid story that concludes the series well.

Toni Shiloh gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 4 out of 5 Stars
Code of Honor series is one of my favorite Irene Hannon series. In this book we meet Ryan Jordan, a member of the Treehouse Gang. He’s searching for a friend and Heather Shields, PI, is tasked to help him.

I loved the romance between the two. There was just something about it that was sweet and also one that had sparks flying. And the suspense was great! There were multiple povs in here and I was trying to figure out which one of those extra povs was the bad guy. I’m glad that it kept me guessing and turning the page.

All in all, another satisfying read from Ms. Hannon.

Maureen Timerman gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 5 out of 5 Stars
If you enjoy good clean Christian mystery and suspense, this one is a must! From the first page the author drew me in and didn’t let go, and held me right though the epilogue!

There is almost non-stop action here, and I found myself holding my breath, more than a few times. You will find surprises here and as the facts begin to unfold, a bit of sweet romance.

I was, tongue in cheek, blown away when the bombshells began falling!
I have read many books by Irene Hannon, and this one rates right at the top, and now I can’t wait for the next!

Diane Higgins gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 5 out of 5 Stars
“Dark Ambitions” by Irene Hannon was another great thriller by this author. Irene Hannon always delivers with exciting thrillers that twist and turn along the way. This is book 3 in the Code of Honor series, but you don’t have to read the first three books before reading this one.

This book begins with Rick Jordan. He finds some blood on his property so he hires Heather Shields, a PI, to find who the blood belongs to. However, this isn’t a cut and dry case. It gets deeper and deeper into the mystery of who this man could be. There is also some romance thrown into the mix!

I definitely recommend this book for anyone that enjoys good, clean, suspenseful fiction. Irene Hannon is one of my favorite authors for this type of read.

Abigail Harris gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 4 out of 5 Stars
I loved this book so much! The slightly forbidden romance, the suspensions, the tails, and Rick's camp (which I would have loved to see more of) was wonderful. The only thing lacking was spiritual content there were mentions of prayer/praying/asking for prayer but that was all and it was light. There were dark points in the story but for a suspense it wasn't too dark/scary/nerve racking which was nice.

Verse: Luke 8:18 Take heed therefore how ye hear: for whosoever hath, to him shall be given; and whosoever hath not, from him shall be taken even that which he seemeth to have. (King James Version.)

Julie Graves gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 5 out of 5 Stars
On a cold winter day Rick Jordan finds blood on the ground outside of his cabin. Soon he finds evidence that someone who rescued him in the past must be trying to cash in on Rick's promise to help him if he was ever in need. Rick goes to Phoenix Inc. hoping to enlist the help of an investigator to find his fellow Night Stalker.

Heather Shields is the newest member of the Phoenix team. A former detective for the police department, Heather is used to men thinking because she is a woman she isn't capable of doing her job. After a bit of a rocky start Heather and Rick come to an agreement that the Phoenix group will take Rick's case. Can both of them shelve their mutual attraction to get the job done?

DARK AMBITIONS had so many layers to it and so many characters. I really enjoyed trying to figure it all out. There was a lot of suspense because the stakes were pretty high for some of the players in the story. I also enjoyed Rick and Heather's relationship. They trusted each other and they worked well as a team. Rick was the last of the Treehouse Group with his best friends both married it was now his turn to find a Happily Ever After. It almost didn't happen with the danger both he and Heather were in at the end of the book. Exciting and fast-paced, DARK AMBITIONS was what I have come to expect from author Irene Hannon and I highly recommend it to fans of romantic suspense

Lisa Hudson gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 5 out of 5 Stars

Former Army Night Stalker turned foster children Camp owner has a problem. He believes one of his teammates from the Army has been to his Camp, has left him a message, and disappeared. When he finds a trail of blood, he decides to hire a PI to help him look into the situation. He wasn’t expecting the PI to be such a gorgeous but capable woman. She wasn’t anticipating her client being such a man of mystery. Somehow they must learn to open up & trust each other in order to find out any leads on the mystery visitor. They can’t even begin to imagine where there search will lead them and how many lives will be affected.

Hannon is truly a master at this genre. You can always be guaranteed a plot full of suspense, characters that you can identify with, stories that are believable and a romance just begging to blossom even in the midst of the worst circumstances.

Andrea Cox gave Dark Ambitions - Code of Honor #3 a 3 out of 5 Stars
I’ve got mixed feelings about this story. It was quite the intriguing mystery featuring high stakes, politics written well (and I’m tough to please on that front), and plenty of twists and turns along the storyline.

The mysterious scene at the camp near the beginning was fantastic. It pulled in my interest and set the bar for the suspense vibes for the remainder of the story. I had hoped this was a sign the camp would play an integral role in the plot, but I ended up not missing it until about two thirds of the way in, so that speaks to the pace and twists being strong enough to keep me invested through the lack of focus on the camp.

Politics are not generally my thing, but I do love a good political thriller every now and then. The way that aspect of this story was written seemed organic and well thought out. It wasn't over the top or oppressive or pushy, which usually irks me. Since those squirrelly vibes were absent, I was able to enjoy the politics in this book.

High stakes and plot twists really kept the pages turning for me. They’re hard to talk about without spoiling anything, but one thing for sure: they kept the story flowing at a white-rapids pace. There was a shocking twist that popped my mouth wide open, and I truly love it when suspense authors are able to hit that mark with me. I read the genre so often that a lot of times I can predict early on some pretty major things. That wasn’t the case with this particular twist. I truly did not see it coming.

Mystery was a great feature in this book. It started out with blood in the snow and took off from there, adding layers upon layers the deeper into the plot we trekked.

The story heavily emphasized the private investigator side of things and downplayed the Treehouse Gang, so it felt like the book belonged in the Private Justice series rather than the Code of Honor series.

The reasoning for payment issues didn’t work for me as life doesn’t offer many breaks for most folks simply because a person “honor[s] a promise to another” or “run[s] a non-profit camp for kids.” Reasons given after this made more sense, but the initial reasons were unrealistic to me.

Something that’s becoming a bit of a trend in Mrs. Hannon’s books is that the leads’ first reactions are often of a sensual nature rather than professional. In one example from the story (among many), a “tiny breath hitch” as two characters shook hands was enough to “stoke [one character’s] libido.” Seeing that their former careers were Night Stalker (elite military group) and a police officer, it was to be expected that they would have had a greater amount of self-discipline than they showed. For me, this was a rather large inconsistency that was unrealistic.

The opening scene was jarring a creepy in a bad way. It was a first-person bad-guy point of view, and that was incredibly off-putting to me. Was I supposed to root for this evil person? If not, I’m not sure why the first-person perspective was chosen, as that created a very personal character-reader relationship. Yet, all of the other POVs (and there were SIX others, which seemed like a lot for a book of this length) were presented in the third person, which kept the reader at a greater distance than the too-personal bad-guy POV. I never did get used to this.

Now, I’m not completely tech-savvy, but I’m pretty sure an e-mail account may be accessed from any computer, smart phone, or any number of other electronic devices. I’m not sure why none of the three PIs figured this out. Personally, I have checked the same e-mail account on a phone, laptop, several desktops, friends’ computers, and hotel computers over the years. I’m fairly certain a person with the experience these PIs had would have immediately thought of that.

Perhaps the most disappointing and disconcerting moment was one in which a character let out a curse phrase that disrespected the Holy Spirit. The actual curse word was cut short, but the phrase was obvious and clearly planted in the reader’s mind with no warning. I found it to be in poor taste for the Christian genre.

Content: one expletive phrase, replacement expletives, replacement profanity, sexual terms, alcohol, tobacco, marital affairs