“When the Smoke Clears” is another fine example of why books by Lynette Eason have a reserved space on my shelves. I can always count on her to provide me with an attention grabbing, heart-stopping suspense with just the right amount of romance mixed in for good measure. Eason’s characters are realistically portrayed with a believable mix of flaws and strengths. Even the heroes have their foibles and many of the villains exhibit some positive traits. That is probably the reason it is so difficult for the reader to discern the perpetrator(s) before the author is ready to reveal them.

On a disciplinary leave of absence from her firefighter position, Alexia Allen reluctantly returns to her hometown for her ten year class reunion and to check on her mother who has been hospitalized. Immediately upon her arrival at her mother’s home, Alexia stumbles onto a murder victim. From that point on, her life becomes a continuous whirlwind of danger as it becomes evident that someone either wants her dead and/or to take the blame for everything that has happened since her arrival in town. Fortunately, Alexia has handsome detective Hunter Graham squarely in her corner despite the overwhelming evidence against her. Can the two of them discover the guilty parties before another person dies?

“When the Smoke Clears” has an abundance of riveting action laced with enough red herrings to keep the reader guessing. I did guess the guilty party about halfway through the book but there were enough conflicting clues that I was never totally sure about my suspicions. Loved this book and highly recommend it to all who love a good clean mystery/suspense novel. Pick up a copy soon – you won’t be sorry.

This book was provided for review by
Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.

• Readers will be on the edge of their seat as a female firefighter tries to keep a long-held secret in the face of threats on her life
• Readers of Brandilyn Collins will appreciate Eason’s intense style and Dee Henderson fans will love the romance
• Book 1 in an explosive new series from a bestselling author

As a member of the North Cascades Smokejumpers, Alexia Allen always takes care of the equipment that keeps her safe. So when she nearly dies in a fire due to equipment failure, she knows something is up. Ordered to take time off while the investigation continues, Alexia makes a last-minute decision to recuperate at her mother’s home and attend her high school reunion.

Yet trouble seems to be following her, and within hours of arriving home she’s involved with murder, arson—and a handsome detective. But the conflicts ahead are nothing compared to the ghosts of her past. As she strives to remember and forgive her family history, she must also decide if the secret she’s been guarding for the last ten years must finally come to light.

Chock-full of the suspense and romantic tension readers have come to expect from Lynette Eason, When the Smoke Clears is the explosive first book in the Deadly Reunions series.


“Get out, Alexia. Now!”

“Got to check the closet first, sir.”

“Get your tail outta there. Immediately!”

She needed air. How had her oxygen run out? She should have had at least another five minutes. Reaching up, she disconnected the hose from her tank and shoved it up under her heavy turnout. The coat would protect her as much as possible from smoke inhalation. And she wanted to minimize the blast of hot air that would fill her lungs. She caught a breath. The dizziness receded. The countdown was on. The decision: leave or check the closet?

She scanned the imaging device over the door. Bingo. “I’ve got something. Definitely a child.”

“Alexia! Get out!”

“She’s here, sir. Can’t leave without her.”

Alexia went to the door and turned the knob. A little girl. The child looked up at her, eyes wide, stark terror stamped on her tear-streaked features. Then she coughed and her eyes rolled back. Alexia slung the imager over her shoulder and leaned in to pick up the little girl.

Alexia took another breath and coughed. Dizziness returned full force and she went to one knee. Vaguely, she felt the sweat roll down her back. “I’m in trouble,” she said into her radio, keeping her cool, refusing to panic. Help was just a second away. “Where’s RIT? No air.”

She pulled in a lungful of smoke this time. Coughing, sputtering, she turned with the child, frantic to get her out before the flames caught up with the smoke. And then the spots before her eyes merged into one big black dot. Then nothing.


Lynette Eason is the author of several romantic suspense novels, including Too Close to Home, Don’t Look Back, and A Killer Among Us. She is a member of American Fiction Christian Writers and Romance Writers of America. A homeschooling mother of two, she has a master’s degree in education from Converse College. She lives in South Carolina.

“Available February 2012 at your favorite bookseller from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group.”