See post at USA Today’s Happy Ever After.
What it’s about:
Off the Grid: FBI Series book one
In Perilous Trust, No. 1 New York Times bestselling author Barbara Freethy brings you the first book in a new romantic suspense series! Off the Grid: An FBI Trilogy offers three breath-stealing books filled with action-packed plot, heart-stopping romance, and page-turning suspense.
It was one dark night that brought Damon Wolfe and Sophie Parker together. They were two tortured souls, looking for escape, and they weren’t supposed to see each other ever again…
Four years later, Sophie’s FBI father, who is also Damon’s mentor, is killed in a suspicious car crash after leaving Sophie a cryptic message to trust no one from the agency. When Damon shows up looking for her, she isn’t sure if he’s friend or enemy, but she knows he could easily rip apart what is left of her heart.
The last thing Damon wants is to get involved with Sophie again. It was hard enough to walk away the first time. But she’s in trouble, her father’s reputation is under attack, and the lives of his fellow agents are at stake if there’s a traitor in their midst.
When someone starts shooting at them, they have no choice but to go on the run and off the grid. Everyone in their world becomes a suspect. They want to uncover the truth, but will it turn out to be the last thing they expect? Proving her father’s innocence might just cost them their hearts…and their lives…
Why you should read it: Perilous Trust is a non-stop thriller that seamlessly melds jaw-dropping suspense with sizzling romance, and I was riveted from the first page to the last. When Sophie’s life is threatened, Damon’s immediate instinct is to protect her, although they haven’t seen or talked to each other in four years. There’s no time to reminisce, because they are thrust into a treacherous and unknown situation that forces them to trust and rely on each other in order to survive. The connection established during their one unforgettable night together is reignited and grows as they face danger around every corner. Readers will be breathless in anticipation as this fast-paced and enthralling love story evolves and goes in unforeseeable directions.
INTERVIEW WITH BARBARA FREETHY
Mary: Please tell us the inspiration behind your new trilogy, Off the Grid: FBI Trilogy.
Barbara: I really enjoy writing romantic suspense in between my contemporary romance books, and my readers enjoy it, too, so I was looking for a new idea, and I became really intrigued with the thought of doing a series where the main law enforcement characters, in this case FBI agents, have to go off the grid to not only solve a case but to stay alive.
I wanted to strip them of everything they’ve gotten used to having at their fingertips. Without their resources, their most up-to-date technology, their backup, how will they be able to get themselves out of trouble, and how will they know who to trust? One wrong move could change everything. And, of course, there’s romance, too, which complicates everything. Love could not only be a distraction, it could literally end their lives!
Mary: What excites you the most about this new project?
Barbara: In the first book, Perilous Trust, I play around a lot with the themes of trust and betrayal. The hero, Damon Wolfe, an FBI agent, comes from a background where he wasn’t able to trust anyone but people who stood next to him on a battlefield and proved their loyalty. But in life, the battlefields aren’t always as obvious, and the lines between right and wrong can sometimes be blurry.
My heroine, Sophie Parker, used to know how to trust. But everyone in her life has suddenly become a stranger, including her own father. And then Damon enters the picture, a man with whom she shared a night several years ago — a night when they were both at an emotional low — a night she’s never been able to forget, even though Damon had disappeared with the daylight. Now he’s back and she doesn’t know whether she can trust him, but he’s the only man in her life at the moment who isn’t lying to her.
In addition to trust, I also play around with some intriguing questions in Perilous Trust when it comes to family and friends: How far would you go for someone you loved? How many laws would you break to save that person’s life? How many lies would you tell to right a wrong? How can you forgive someone for doing the wrong thing for the right reason?
It was so much fun to hang out with Damon and Sophie and the other characters in this series, who will be getting their own books — like undercover agent Wyatt Tanner, who has been in the dark so long he isn’t sure how to come back into the light, and FBI agent Bree Adams, whose haunting personal demons may be coming to life!
Mary: How do you decide where to set your books?
Barbara: In Perilous Trust, I wanted to start in a big city and then have the characters truly go off the grid. So, the book begins in New York City, but the road takes them through parts of Upstate New York and Connecticut as they first run away from their lives and then have to find their way back. There’s a section of the book that takes place in the Adirondacks, and I went there several years ago with my family and always thought some of those deserted mountain roads and hidden lakes would make a great setting for a book.
Mary: What is the biggest challenge to writing action scenes in romantic suspense?
Barbara: It’s always a challenge to blend the romance and the suspense, but when it’s done right, everything is better. There’s more tension, more passion, more sense of this moment is everything, because who knows what tomorrow will bring? It’s interesting to add definition and depth to characters by putting them into dangerous situations, giving them moral choices that aren’t always easy to make. I like pushing my characters to the limits, and in a romantic suspense, they have to make decisions not only for themselves but also for others. Love in the midst of danger sometimes forces the characters to go deep. They have to decide what they’re willing to risk, and I think sometimes it’s much easier to risk your life than to risk your heart, and that’s often a choice they have to make. It’s a lot of fun to write!
Mary: Did you learn anything surprising when researching for Perilous Trust?
Barbara: I learned a lot about the FBI and Upstate New York and the background behind some snake tattoos, one of which plays into my storyline. It’s amazing how many questions I come up with while writing. I love how easy it is to research now. You can find the answer to just about any question if you dig long enough.
Mary: If Perilous Trust was optioned for a movie, which actors do you see playing Damon and Sophie?
Barbara: This is always a difficult question for me, because I see the characters so clearly in my head as their own people. They don’t resemble actors to me. I don’t channel actors in my head when I’m writing. I don’t have pictures of people next to my computer. It’s just not part of writing process. If forced to choose, I’d say maybe Jennifer Lawrence for Sophie, because she often portrays a vulnerable but tough, willing-to-risk-anything blonde. And for Damon, I’d go with Jake Gyllenhaal because his eyes remind me of Damon.
Mary: What do you do like to do when you’re not writing?
Barbara: Well, I have to say I’m almost always writing! But I also like to play tennis. I grew up in Southern California on the junior tennis circuit, and in my early 20s I worked for the women’s professional tennis tour. Now, I play doubles with my friends, which is fun for exercise and for friendship. Other than that, if I’m not writing, I’m probably reading. I’ve always been a voracious reader, and that hasn’t changed. There’s nothing like a book to give you a new adventure every day!
Mary: Thanks, Barbara!
Barbara Freethy is a No. 1 New York Times bestselling author of 60 novels ranging from contemporary romance to romantic suspense and women’s fiction. Traditionally published for many years, Barbara opened Fog City Publishing in 2011 and has since sold over 7 million books! Twenty-three of her titles have appeared on the New York Times and USA TODAY bestseller lists, including one title, Summer Secrets, which hit No. 1 on the NYT. In 2014 Barbara was named the Amazon KDP Bestselling Author of all time! She was also the first indie writer to sell over a million books on Barnes and Noble. Known for her emotional and compelling stories of love, family, romance and suspense, Barbara is a six-time finalist and two-time winner in the Romance Writers of America acclaimed RITA contest for her novels Daniel’s Gift and The Way Back Home.