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Book review: 'A Familiar Fear' weaves danger and romance

"A FAMILIAR FEAR," by Kathi Oram Peterson, Covenant Communications, $16.99, 216 page (f)

In "A Familiar Fear" by Utah author Kathi Oram Peterson, action and suspense combine with light romance to tell a captivating story.

Riley Scott is working to rebuild her life with her 14-year-old son, Jeremiah, after the murder of her husband and her attempted murder by the Russian mafia. Starting fresh as the deputy sheriff after retiring from the FBI, she looks forward to a more subdued life. However, on the ferry en route to Agate Island to start their new life, Riley sees the man she killed, mafia leader Maksimillian Petruso.

When Jeremiah makes a new friend, Aleksa, on the ferry, Riley discovers she is the daughter of the man she recognized, only he isn't Petruso.

Matthew Taggart knows who Riley is immediately — the FBI agent who killed his father. Though Matthew's been estranged from his father and his criminal life, he fears Riley's presence will bring the mafia into his and his daughter's life. As he plans to leave town for their safety, Riley and Matthew end up helping each other flee, while trying to protect their children from the Russian mafia.

After suspecting a mole, Riley and Matthew aren't sure who they can trust, forcing them to rely more on each other. As the situations become more complicated and perilous, their trust and relationship with each other grows, leading to some subtle romance.

With twist and turns, deception and betrayal, Peterson takes readers on a fast-paced journey chock-full of danger and hardships the characters must overcome.

"A Familiar Fear" has no objectionable language and any romantic scenes don't go beyond light kissing. There are scenes of violence that, while descriptive, aren't overly graphic.

Peterson, who is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, is the author of more than a dozen novels.