Tuesday, May 9, 2023

Review - - CORNERED

by Suzanne Ferrell
Neptune's Five - Book 3
Publisher: Suzanne Ferrell Productions
Release Date: May 9, 2023
Reviewed by PJ

August, 1941

America remains neutral in the war in Europe, but signs of the Axis army’s expanding power grab have many in America believing their involvement in the war is only a matter of time. In preparation for that event, they begin gathering information from all areas of conflict.

A Moroccan Mission

A descendant of the Pirate Blackbeard, Warren Smith, aka Chief, has spent his life on the sea, and now he pilots the Folly for the undercover Neptune Five team. As war rages in Europe, danger lurks everywhere, even in remote parts of the world. The Neptune Five embark on a perilous mission to map safe passage up the Sebou river in Morocco to a crucial airstrip, without drawing the attention of the Vichy French navy or the Nazis soldiers stationed there.
Enter Elizabeth "Betty" Devereaux, a missionary nurse with a secret. She knows the Sebou river and needs to deliver life-saving medical supplies to the Bedouins living along the shores. She agrees to guide the Folly's crew up the river. As Betty and Chief navigate the treacherous waters of Morocco, they find themselves drawn to each other despite the dangers threatening to tear them apart.

November 1942

America has entered the war. On the eve of Operation Torch, the invasion of Morocco, Chief and the Neptune Five team has another mission—to find Betty who has gone missing. They fear she’s landed in the hands of the Nazi SS. With the help of the Bedouin resistance fighters the team races across the desert to a kasbah fortress prison to free her before she’s killed.

PJ's Thoughts:

Suzanne Ferrell's Neptune's Five has become one of my favorite romantic suspense series and book three, CORNERED, one of my most anticipated books this spring. After two clandestine, highly suspenseful missions ferreting out spies stateside, the team heads to Morocco for something new. This time, they are the spies, gathering intel in the months leading up to America's entry into WWII. There's plenty of action, suspense, danger, and a bit of romance to keep readers flipping pages right up to the breath-stealing conclusion. 

Ferrell's grasp of time and place in this book is impeccable, bringing to the page the tension, secrecy, and danger of missions such as those assigned to the Neptune's Five team. Her descriptions of the foreign locales allowed me to visualize everything experienced by the characters, from weather to terrain to customs, dangers, and more. I really felt like I was right there with them every step of the way, whether navigating treacherous rivers, outsmarting the enemy, or racing across deserts to rescue one of their own. The secondary characters are well developed, adding another layer of complexity to the story, especially the villains. The author doesn't shy away from atrocities perpetuated by Nazis, which may make some of the scenes difficult to read. Good triumphs over evil - with justice served in a particularly satisfying way - but there is also pain in the journey to get there. Such are the realities of war. 

I love the complexity of this team, the nuances of the individual members, all of whom come from a variety of backgrounds, the range of ages, experience, and skills. It lends a realism and authenticity to these characters, making them more approachable and engaging. By now, I've become invested in all of them and feel like I'm coming to know them better with each book published. 

The romance between Betty and Chief is one that hits quickly then slowly plays out over time in a series of letters. Typically, I prefer face-to-face growth between a couple but in this case the tensions, heightened emotions, and sacrifices of war lend believability to their unconventional "courtship." The letters provide a viable method of getting to know one another while separated, allowing both of them to reveal the depths of their feelings and fears, creating a strong bond between them that deepens into an enduring love. It gave me everything I needed.

While CORNERED can be read and enjoyed as a standalone, it's my opinion that you'll have a much better understanding of the characters if you read the books in the series in order. I highly recommend them all. 


  1. No, no, no!! I have no more room for new titles/authors I have to try! But you've convinced me, PJ. I'll check out the first book in the series. Thanks!

  2. Thanks for the terrific review. You make it sound like a terrific book. Another new to me author.

  3. Thanks so much for the wonderful review, PJ. I'm so glad CORNERED met your expectation for the next installment of the Neptune's Five series.

  4. Thank you so much for this review and recommendation. This is my kind of story and series. While reading the book description African Queen came to mind. I don't think I have heard about this series before, but I am putting it on my wish list now.

    1. Forgot this system doesn't auto enter my name. Patricia B.

    2. Book 1 in the series is currently on sale for $.99. Got it.

  5. Great review, PJ! A reminder I need to catch up with Suz's series!