Jake Bernstein FBI Series
Genre: M/F, Mystery, Thriller, Suspense
A Bodyguard of Lies (Book #1)
An FBI agent hunts for an infamous Nazi spy–and risks more than he bargained for. Handsome FBI agent Jake Bernstein is recruited by MI5 to go undercover in England and Ireland and investigate a naturalized American grandmother. His task: Discover if she was the notorious Nazi spy, Hummingbird, who caused the deaths of thousands during World War II. His obstacles: A dangerous, Irish neo-Nazi organization, the woman’s lovely blond granddaughter, and sixty years’ worth of lies. His priority: Stay alive!
My Review: 4/5 Stars
This story takes place in two time periods. One in 2005 where Jake Bernstein’s is recruited to investigate Nazi war criminals and in 1941 where we follow Mary Snider and her secret life.
While undercover Jake starts a romance with Meg, Mary’s granddaughter. Because his feeling are growing for Meg, he is putting the case and his career in jeopardy. When it comes to Meg and her grandmother, he becomes protective of them.
Meg knows nothing from her grandmother’s past and when the truth starts to come to light she doesn’t want to believe it.
This story catches you and doesn’t let you go until you finish the book. It was well rounded and written. You felt where the characters were coming from, felt their happiness and pain. The twist and turns and bumpy ride will have you on the edge of your seat wondering what will happen next. I am especially happy that I got to read the next book right after, so I can know what will happen next.
Lies in Wait (Book #2)
These are two of the choices FBI analyst/undercover specialist Jake Bernstein faces when he goes undercover for the Joint Counter Terrorism Center. His mission: Go to Silicon Valley and identify the masterminds behind what the JCTC chief believes is a coordinated terrorist plot that may involve five American cities. As a disaffected, biotech scientist, Jake is recruited and tested in a harsh, brutal way. But slowly, the pieces of a possible terrorist plot begin to emerge.
In his desire to see his lover, Meg, he breaks cover and flies to rendezvous with her in San Diego, unintentionally involving her in his case. To stop the deaths of thousands of lives, he must gain access to the terrorist cell’s inner circle and learn the details of their plot. Because the terrorist cell knows about Meg, Jake must now prove his loyalty to radical Islam and do the unthinkable. Or the undercover operation will fail.
As the cell lies in wait for the final, deadly call to action, Jake is desperate. Do his duty, expose the plot and save thousands of lives? Or save Meg? Is he clever enough to do both?
The Heroes in LIES IN WAIT: BOOK 2, A Jake Bernstein FBI Thriller
The sequel to my espionage thriller, A BODYGUARD OF LIES, is called LIES IN WAIT. My hero, FBI agent Jake Bernstein, goes deep undercover to stop and capture a Muslim terrorist cell in Silicon Valley. In doing so, he not only risks his new relationship with Meg Larsen (from A Bodyguard of Lies), but his life as well. Thousands of lives are at stake, however, and Jake’s devotion to duty trumps everything else. When, in order to be admitted into the terrorist cell’s inner circle and discover the details of their plot, he must do the unthinkable, Jake faces a shocking and heart-wrenching choice, one that shakes his very core of values and makes him question his choice of career.
Here are the most frequently asked questions about the characters I create:
Is there anything specific you did when creating your main characters that you knew would immediately give readers a sense of who they are?
I look around me and choose traits from various people I know and admire. Jake Bernstein is a composite character, a blend of the most important and admirable qualities a man can have. He’s great! A strong, wonderful man! A former Navy SEAL with a mixed German-Jewish and Irish-Catholic background, he has a strong sense of duty to his country and his family’s heritage. Also, he is protective towards civilians and is mindful of their vulnerabilities when on the job. However, he’s human and carries with him the guilt of a failed marriage and a sense of hopelessness about ever living a normal life, with a wife, children, a regular job. As an FBI undercover specialist, he has foreign language talents that few others have and is fluent in Hebrew, German and Arabic. Because of his dark good looks, he can blend in among a variety of ethnic groups. Jake has a sarcastic sense of humor that belies his deep humanistic faith. I hope I do him the justice he deserves.
Choosing Meg Larsen’s traits was both easy and difficult. Of course, she’s blond and beautiful, loves to jog and swim like Jake, and is fluent in several foreign languages. But I wanted her to represent a professional civilian occupation, and so she is a high school foreign-language teacher. Abandoned by her parents and raised by a grandmother, who was loving but mysterious, and a strict but dedicated military grandfather, Meg has grown up with her own personal baggage. What Jake reveals to her in A BODYGUARD OF LIES sends her reeling emotionally, rocking her very foundation. But, like her grandparents, Meg is strong and resilient, which she proves in LIES IN WAIT. I like her very much! I think she’s the best a young woman can be.
How do you follow a favorite character into a series? When I find a character that I really admire and love, I think writing a series with that character is a lot of fun. The Jake Bernstein FBI mystery-thriller series was an idea that just sprang up at the end of A Bodyguard of Lies. Jake and Meg were such compelling characters, I had to explore them further and take them on several journeys. I needed to test Jake’s integrity and devotion to duty, which is what the plot of LIES IN WAIT does. And, of course, Meg’s strength is tested in ways that are perhaps shocking.
How much research do you encounter with writing thrillers? I read, read, read and take notes like crazy. Then I do “boots on the ground” research. That’s the fun part. For LIES IN WAIT, I spent months researching Islam, the religion and political ideology. My cousin and I went “undercover” in one of the largest mosques in California, the same one that has given money to Al Qaeda in the past and which was once investigated by the FBI. What I discovered about Islam in America was shocking and deeply disturbing.
My Review: 4/5 Stars
Jake Bernstein is back and he is undercover again. This time though he is an undercover Muslim, trying to stop terrorist acts. Meg has moved back to the states and has decided to go back to school.
While deeply under cover, Jake risks everything to go see her. What he doesn’t know is that he is followed. And the people he is investigating believes that he has strayed from the cause. They give him a task and it is to do the unthinkable. Will he go through with it or will he risk the lives of millions of people?
Like the first book this one was fast paced and actioned packed. It kept you guessing, anting more. Jake is good at what he does, and will stop at nothing to bring justice where it is needed. Meg I felt she had more back bone in this story. She didn’t take crap sitting down and she tried to put the things that her grandmother taught her, when she was in a bad situation.
All in all I liked the series and wouldn’t mind seeing more of Jake and Meg.
My pen name is Donna Del Oro and I live in Northern California near the Sierra Nevada foothills and Folsom Lake. After retiring from high school teaching, I decided life was too short to waste. Thus, began a journey doing what I’d been wanting to do for many years–write fiction. I sold my first novel, OPERATION FAMILIA, right away and this book went on to win an award for the Best 2010 Latino Books into Movies Award. Following that first sale, I published three more women’s fiction books, then branched out into writing my first love, romantic thrillers. This year, 2012, saw the launch of A BODYGUARD OF LIES and THE DELPHI BLOODLINE, both ebooks and available on Kindle, Nook, Apple, and elsewhere. If you have read any of my books, I welcome your input. Leave me a review on Amazon and your name goes into a pile for a $50 gift card at B&N, my favorite bookstore. You can email me: firstname.lastname@example.org. Thanks for dropping by!”
When I’m not writing, I sing with a Sweet Adeline’s chorus, the Sacramento Valley chorus. Check out this link to find out about this exciting chorus of women singers!
*** An ARC copy was given to me for a honest review.