About the Book
Title: A Strike to the Heart
Series: Strike to the Heart
(Prequel Novella: To Stand in the Breach
Christmas Novella: As Silent as the Night)
Author: Danielle Grandinetti
Publisher: Iron Stream Media
Genre: Historical Christian Romantic Suspense, Mystery
Releases: April 12, 2022 (I reviewed an ARC copy.)
She’s fiercely independent. He’s determined to protect her.
Wisconsin, 1933—When a routine mission becomes an ambush that kills his team, Craft Agency sniper Miles Wright determines to find the persons responsible and protect the woman he rescued. But the fierce independence that led Lily Moore to leave her family’s dairy business for the solitary life of a dog trainer and the isolation of her farm don’t make that easy. Neither does his unwanted attraction to her. Meanwhile, escalating incidents confirm that she’s far from safe.
Lily fears letting the surprisingly gentle retired marine into her life almost as much as she fears whoever is threatening her. As Wisconsin farmers edge toward another milk strike, one that will surely turn violent, it becomes clear that the plot against Lily may be part of a much larger conspiracy. When the search for her abductor leads close to home, she must decide whether to trust her family or the man who saved her life.
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“He might be an ex-soldier, a sniper trained to kill, but he prayed daily that kindness would be the trait people would identify most when they interacted with him.”
I love how Danielle Grandinetti marries Miles’s sniper’s skills to that of a tender heart! Strong, shrewd, and swoon-worthy, Miles is willing to sacrifice everything for those he loves. A totally relatable romantic suspense hero. Then, Grandinetti’s heroine, Lily, is a similar juxtaposition of traits. Fiercely independent, Lily is a compassionate, dog trainer who needs protection. She can push the ones she cares about to great heights. Now Grandinetti really had my attention, and I was swiping pages as fast as I could to reach the conclusion of A Strike to the Heart. While this was my first Grandinetti novel, it won’t be my last.
Faith is a constant thread throughout this novel. Lily seeks God out daily. Miles isn’t quite as comfortable with God due to past events, but one hopes and prays he will find his way totally back to God. Perhaps… ”second chances were meant for redemption.”
Miles needs redemption in more ways than one. He fails his team, it seems. Will he fail to protect Lily, who is becoming very important to him? Will he fail his boss? Lily’s family, who doesn’t care much for him?
Which begs the next question. In this fast-paced action novel, who is trustworthy? Who is treacherous? Relationships are tested. The milk strikes of 1933 were dangerous, yet Lily’s family is embroiled in the midst of it all. What, if anything, does Lily’s kidnapping have to do with the strikes?
So many questions!! So many possibilities! I suspected some answers, but Grandinetti successfully includes a lot of twists and turns until more than Miles and Lily were unsure.
I love to highlight a notable secondary character. Gio is so awesome. He has Miles’s back, physically, emotionally, and spiritually. The special way Gio prays for Lily is just amazing and it teaches Miles how to pray effectively for a loved one at the same time. Maybe Gio will get his own book soon.
So many Notable Quotables…
“Whom should he fear more … the men who would kill them or the woman who tested the fortifications of his heart?”
“…the simple change of clothes caused him to go from intense protector to confident friend.”
“She would have hope for both of them until there was no hope left to be had.”
I received this book from the author. No positive review was required, and all opinions are my own.
Magnificent!! These Two Characters Stole My Heart!!
About the Author
Danielle Grandinetti is a book blogger at DaniellesWritingSpot.com, focusing on Christian historical romance, romantic suspense, and sweet romance.
Her historical romantic suspense (published by Heritage Beacon Fiction) releases in April 2022.
A Chicagoland native, Danielle lives along Lake Michigan’s Wisconsin shoreline with her husband and their two young sons. She loves quiet mornings served with the perfect cup of tea.
More from Danielle
Because I had a lot of questions for Danielle about her book, she was gracious enough to respond and give us readers a peek into what goes on in the mind of a writer…Thank you, Danielle!!
Q: What inspired you to write about the milk strikes of 1933 in Wisconsin?
A few years ago, Wisconsin farmers were in a position where they had to dump their cow’s milk because it was more expensive to transport than dump. That made me curious as to whether it had happened before. Not only had it, but in 1933, farmers organized three strikes in order to prompt a raise in milk prices.
Q: I love that you made Miles a trained sniper who prays people see him as a loving, caring person. Probably one reason I love this book so much. What gave you the idea to make him have two very different sides to his personality?
Snipers seem to have this distant, cold persona, but as I dug into Miles’ past, I realized his skill and his personality were at odds, creating an internal conflict for him. I had him wrestle through holding life and death in his hands as he held the rifle and doing so because of his desire to protect those he cared about.
Q: I love that you made Lily a dog trainer. (My daughter and I have taken our puppies through basic obedience, and years ago our daughters took our dogs through rigorous 4-H training for the local fair. It’s a lot of hard work!! How did you research Lily’s professional dog training?
I’ve also always loved dog training and have studied it myself for years. What made the historical aspect even more fun to include was because of the history of dog obedience training. In October of 1933, two women in New York became the first individuals to organize Dog Obedience Trials. As a nod to them, I made Lily a dog trainer.
Q: Do you rely on a team of writing buddies to help you when you hit writer’s block?
I do have several writing friends who help me with all aspects of my writing career. Two names stand out: My critique partner, Ann Elizabeth Fryer, who also writes Historical Romance, sees my rough drafts before my editor does and she helps me through plot holes and brainstorming ideas. My writing friend Beth Pugh, who writes Contemporary Romance, signed with my publishing house at the same time as I did, so I’m grateful to have been through the process together.
Q: Do you include snippets of yourself in your characters?
I think every author does to some extent. As for the characters in A Strike to the Heart, Lily’s dog training and Gio’s Italian heritage are two aspects of myself I included.
Q: Can you tell us about your next book? Is there a story coming for Gio? You have made him so charismatic, I certainly hope so!!
Yes!! Gio gets a story! I love Gio, too, and was so excited to give him a story, at Christmas no less. As Silent as the Night releases in September.
He can procure anything, except his heart’s deepest wish. She might hold the key, if she’s not discovered first.
Chicago, 1933―Lucia Critelli will do anything for her ailing grandfather, including stand in a breadline to have enough food to make him a St. Nicholas Day meal. When she catches the eye of a goon who threatens her grandfather, she discovers the end of Prohibition doesn’t mean the end of the mafia’s criminal activity.
Retired Marine Scout Giosue “Gio” Vella can find anything, especially if it helps a fellow Italian immigrant, so he has no doubt he can locate his neighbor’s granddaughter, who has gone missing from a local church. Keeping her safe is another matter. Especially when he chooses to hide out with his Marine buddy in Eagle, Wisconsin, the site of a barely-held truce among striking dairy farmers.
Will Christmas bring the miracle they all need or will Gio discover there are some things even he can’t find, particularly when he stumbles upon the most elusive gift of all: love?
Q: Lastly, you are writing at least a three-book series. Is it necessary to read the books in order, or would we just feel more connected to the characters if we do?
Readers do not need to read the three books in order. A Strike to the Heart is the main book in the series and the only full-length novel. To get a little back story and a running start into the conflict, I recommend reading To Stand in the Breach, the prequel novella featuring Lily’s brother and her best friend. Gio’s Christmas novella, As Silent as the Night, serves as a Christmas wrap-up that will hopefully have everyone getting a happily ever after.
Wow, I for one am ready for Gio’s story—yesterday!! Thank you for your time with us, Danielle!!