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USSS Special Agent Zane Thacker has landed his dream assignment protecting the president of the United States. When the president plans a fundraiser at the exclusive estate of a political supporter in Raleigh, Zane is thrilled to be working again with Special Agent Tessa Reed, his best friend—and the woman he desperately wishes could be more.

Though Tessa almost lost everything, she battled her demons and came out on the other side healthy and healed. But when her role as the liaison between the Raleigh office and the president’s protective detail wrenches her past back into the present, her greatest failure threatens to come to light.

Zane refuses to let Tessa go through this alone. But can he stand by the woman he loves and protect the president from a mounting threat at the same time?

Sparks fly as award-winning romantic suspense writer Lynn H. Blackburn closes out her Defend and Protect series with this explosive tale of secrets kept, lies exposed, and relationships restored.

Lynn H. Blackburn recently spent some time with The Big Thrill discussing her latest thriller, UNDER FIRE.

What do you hope readers will take away from this book?

The characters in Under Fire have messed up in huge ways, hurt the people they love the most, and come close to destroying relationships and careers. But with the help of their faith and friendships, they’ve done the hard work and made the choice to change and move forward. There is a redemptive thread in this story that I hope is encouraging to readers.

Was there anything new you discovered, or surprised you, as you wrote this book?

I learned so much about UAVs – unmanned aerial vehicles, including that a lot of people prefer to use the term UAV as opposed to what I’ve always called them…drones! I had no idea how they can be weaponized and the steps law enforcement is taking to prepare for the threat. It was both fascinating and disturbing.

What was the biggest challenge this book presented? What about the biggest opportunity?

It took a long time to come up with a threat to the President that was enough to give the readers the thrilling, nail-biting experience I want them to have, but that wasn’t completely unrealistic based on the Secret Service’s procedures. Of course, that was also the biggest opportunity. If I couldn’t figure out how the book was going to end, my readers shouldn’t be able to either!


Lynn H. Blackburn is the award-winning author of Unknown Threat and Malicious Intent, as well as the Dive Team Investigations series. She believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. Blackburn is passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in Simpsonville, South Carolina, with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Learn more at