Reviews

five stars shiny

My Reviews For Counterstrike: Heaven Sent, 5 Star Reader's Favorite Winner 2017:

five stars flat

Counterstrike: Heaven Sent by Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth is a powerful blend of romance and adventure, a beautifully written story with compelling characters, a strong storyline featuring unexpected leaps of faith and sudden surprises, and an endearing sense of suspense, the kind that keeps the reader turning the pages. The reader is introduced to Kate, who is on the road, mulling over her life and considering unusual things that could happen, but then she encounters a man, an FBI agent, and her real story begins.

The authors capture this encounter in very vivid and powerful prose: "Somewhere after Ness City, and before Bazine, Kate came upon a brilliantly lit scene, the remains of a very crumpled late-model white sedan, and standing next to it, a man who, except for his modern clothing, could have stepped out of a battle from a hundred or a thousand years before. For a moment, Kate found herself looking for a bloodstained sword or battle axe laid at his feet." From this point on, the authors lead readers into the psychology and lives of protagonists Kate and Gareth “Dru” McFadyn as they explore each other's worlds, indulge in passionate romance, and face challenges they couldn't have imagined. But how long can they stick together with the challenges that lie ahead?

Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth's writing is very beautiful and crisp, laden with powerful descriptions and plot-driven dialogues. The narrative voice is confident and compelling. The authors use powerful literary styles like suspense, humor, and irony to boost interest in readers. The characters are real and the overall story very engaging. Counterstrike: Heaven Sent will undoubtedly appeal to a wide audience. It's the kind of story for those interested in character-driven plots. -Arya Fomonyuy for Readers’ Favorite

Counterstrike: Heaven Sent by Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth is the story of how two people from very different walks of life meet and are taken on a journey they never thought they would have. Kate Greenwood is a college professor. She is an intelligent woman who knows what she wants in life; however, nothing could have prepared her for FBI Agent Gareth “Dru” McFadyn. This man is handsome, charming, equally witty, and completely irresistible. She cannot resist him, and together she and Dru go on a journey that they never thought would ever happen in their lives. In a world of bad politics, evil terrorists and scheming parents, these two souls are ranged against the world. They find a harmony together and a soul deep connection that is rare. In this almost fairy tale-like modern world, these two are fighting against the odds and building a relationship while staying true to their own selves and their friendship.

This novel is a beautiful amalgamation of multiple genres. This is the perfect example of romance, thriller, mystery, suspense, and so much more. I have a huge weak spot for couples who are friends and equal partners, and Dru and Kate are exactly that. Although it is Dru who is in the center of the hubbub, he never made Kate feel stupid or made her feel like she is the “little woman” in their relationship. Their relationship was great and their friendship was even better. This novel was written beautifully. I have no idea how Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth did it, but they nailed it. It was brilliantly constructed and well developed. I loved it! -Rabia Tanveer for Readers’ Favorite

Fans of romance who enjoy character-driven stories will love Counterstrike: Heaven Sent by Janet C. Smyth, a story that falls perfectly into the category of Christian romance, featuring well-construed and rounded characters. Kate Greenwood meets Agent Gareth McFadyn in an unprecedented manner, an encounter she’d not thought could happen, and could it be because of the premonition she’d had earlier when she set out on this journey about her life changing? Readers watch with bated breath as the two characters begin a journey into each other’s hearts. Readers will read about new friendships, the power of faith, and political issues.

The story is well-written and readers will love Kate — intelligent and headstrong, determined and strong-willed. The encounter with an equally strong character creates a premise for a beautiful story. I enjoyed the way the author introduces the characters to readers. For instance: “Kate had always held some peculiar ideas about Kansas. A fan of the Wizard of Oz, the artist in her soul was inspired by the story's vivid colors. Ruby slippers, or silver shoes (depending on which version you liked), yellow brick roads, an emerald city, and of course, the rainbow itself. Rainbow, symbol of God's promises to man, and always a magical portent.”

Janet C. Smyth offers a lot of entertainment to readers, with her solid and fascinating cast of characters, the irresistible narrative voice, the complex plot, and the multi-layered conflicts. The language is very descriptive and many a time the author offers peeks into the souls of the characters, steeping readers into their consciousness to share in their fears and personal questions about life and love. Counterstrike: Heaven Sent is warm and entertaining, a satisfying read. -Divine Zape for Readers’ Favorite

Counterstrike: Heaven Sent by Janet C. Smyth is a story that beautifully blends romance with adventure, one that features two compelling characters brought together by a chance encounter and a journey that will lead them to each other’s heart in very strange and incomprehensible ways. In Kansas Farm County, a college professor encounters an FBI agent, and what he is doing in the middle of nowhere, seemingly hurt, perhaps in a hit-and-run accident, with a bruised body and a battered car, she couldn’t tell. But something about him arrests her attention and, although he looks so forlorn and hurt, he emanates a beauty that she can’t ignore. Their journey begins here and Kate Greenwood experiences the first surprise from this man who is about to take her into a world she’d never dreamed about.

Agent Gareth “Dru” McFadyn and Kate Greenwood are very compelling characters and readers will be keen to see what will happen to them. These two characters are well imagined and beautifully developed. I’d have loved to see more of the agent in Gareth, though. The dialogue reads well, but at times it doesn’t come across as naturally as I would have liked. Nonetheless, there are some dialogues that are powerful, entertaining, and that help in character development and plot. Janet C. Smyth’s writing is polished, highly descriptive. The plot starts slowly and the pace increases as the characters come in. I enjoyed the story and was immediately taken by Kate’s courage. Counterstrike: Heaven Sent is a story that will certainly entertain readers who are into adventure and romance. -Romuald Dzemo for Readers’ Favorite

Counterstrike: Heaven Sent by Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth is a modern day romance and thriller in one. It features Kate Greenwood and Gareth Dru McFadyn. Kate is on her way to a new job as an assistant professor when she is compelled, by being a good citizen, to stop at the scene of an auto accident and offer aid. The auto accident victim is "Dru" McFadyn, who just happens to be a genius working for the FBI. Kate gives him a lift in the opposite direction of her intended route to ensure he gets medical attention and avoids the return of the assailants who ran him off the road and beat him up.

Both have a strong belief in God and feel divine intervention put them in one another's path. By stopping to offer aid, Kate has unwittingly put herself square in the middle of an FBI investigation and made herself a potential target. She is detained by the FBI for debriefing while Gareth is treated at the hospital, and they quickly find themselves back in each other's company. He feels responsible for her, despite her protests, and keeps her under guard for her safety. She learns his true identity and can't believe that he would have a romantic interest in her.

Counterstrike: Heaven Sent has plot twists and lots of intrigue to keep the reader interested. Kate's inner struggle between blindly believing in God's divine path versus her self doubts echoes true to real life. Gareth is a compelling character, a macho genius with knightly attributes who has his own inner demons to contend with. The consistent faith based aspect throughout the book keeps it refreshing and interesting. -Michelle Mollohan for Readers’ Favorite

If you’re looking for a read that’s full of romance and just as much action, then Counterstrike: Heaven Sent by Travis L. Salisbury and Janet C. Smyth is definitely the book for you. Counterstrike is all about a man who has pushed himself to his absolute limits and extremes to save the world, at the expense of himself.

Gareth has never met a problem he couldn’t solve, either with his brilliant mind or his super-secret fighting skills, but running into Kate that fateful day changes everything. Suddenly, he has more than ever to lose, and an opponent who is determined to make sure that he does. But of course, much as he might try to be, Gareth is never alone. When you’ve got friends like Section Six, you’re never going to be left without someone to back you up and someone to fight for your life, even at the expense of their own. Vogle won’t know what hit him, especially if it turns out that Kate is on the line.

But there’s more to the story than just Gareth. There’s the rest of Section Six and, of course, the love of his life. But with this book, nothing is ever as it seems. There’s a whole lot going on, but don’t let that keep you from reading this book cover to cover, nothing less is going to satisfy your appetite. I loved the characters and definitely the action and plot going all the way through. Counterstrike is one book you’ll want to check out again and again. -Samantha Dewitt (Rivera) for Readers’ Favorite

Counterstrike: Heaven Sent is written by Mr. Travis Logan Salisbury and Ms. Janet Claire Smyth. Kate finds something she really didn’t expect at the side of the road winding its way through Kansas farm country – a battered government issue car and a battered and handsome FBI agent. It doesn’t take long before she gives up on her road trip and her career, falling into the harsh world of Agent Gareth. They soon discover just how alike they are and together they join forces to fight again Klaus Vogle, a terrorist leader, as well as Andrew McFadyn, Gareth’s tycoon father. Follow Gareth and Kate on their winding journey through love, patriotism, adventure and faith; follow them and see where their story takes you.

Counterstrike was an intriguing tale, a proper modern day fairy tale complete with knights in shining armor and “dragons” to slay. I didn’t know if I was going to enjoy it but, once I started, I could not put it down as I followed the pair through their trials and tribulations. This is a great story, something very different and a really nice change to read. It was written in a way that made it very easy to become embroiled in it, to follow and to feel a little bereft when it was all over. The character development was excellent, making it easy to identify with them and to empathize with everything they went through together. Thoroughly good story, excellent plot and very enjoyable. -Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite

Counterstrike: Heaven Sent by Mr. Travis Logan Salisbury and Ms. Janet Claire Smyth is a perfect blend of romance, mystery, and adventure, an inspirational story that follows a journey of love between two compelling characters that meet under very unusual circumstances and experience a strong connection. Kate is a college professor who meets the FBI agent in a deplorable condition as she drives through the deserted roads of Kansas Farm County. At first, she only sees a man who seems hurt and needs help, little knowing that she’ll soon be entangled in his life, where all sorts of criminals operate. Can she still follow through with her planned road trip?

Counterstrike is a well-crafted story that will entertain and inspire readers. The writing is confident and there is a striking balance between dialogue and narrative. The story is character-driven and readers will enjoy the exchanges between Kate and Gareth keenly. This is a beautiful story of how a woman finds love on a deserted road and how a chance encounter can change the course of a woman’s life. The plot isn’t very complex, but it is the depth of character development that will have readers hooked to the story from beginning to end. The plot is animated by conflicts that are established at different levels of the story. First, there is the question of whether Kate will continue with her journey, abandoning Gareth to go about his business. The reader will also enjoy the many dangers encountered in the world of an FBI agent. Overall, Counterstrike is an entertaining story that readers won’t put down easily. It needs a lot of skill to combine different genres into one and the authors have successfully done that. -Christian Sia for Readers’ Favorite

Counterstrike: Heaven Sent by Mr. Travis Logan Salisbury and Ms. Janet Claire Smyth is a fictional terrorist thriller novel that would appeal most to an audience made up of adults who enjoy thriller fiction with a focus on terrorism. Counterstrike follows Kate Greenwood and agent Gareth Dru McFadyn. Kate Greenwood is a college professor who finds a battered Gareth Dru McFadyn on the side of the road. This one discovery leads to a partnership between the two as they come to discover their compatibility amidst the terror and fear caused by Klaus Vogle.

Move over Bluebloods, 24, Blacklist, and Criminal Minds and make room for Counterstrike! Counterstrike is a well-written and well-researched novel that is very difficult to put into just one genre as it is a mix of genres. I personally found the plot line and the characters to be well developed. Kate Greenwood was my favorite character. It is hard not to like a woman who is willing to help someone stranded and injured on the side of the road without a clue of who he is. I really enjoyed Kate’s interactions with Gareth and I enjoyed watching their relationship develop and evolve over the course of the book. I also really liked the fact that the authors are donating 10% of the proceeds to ovarian cancer research and patient malpractice advocacy. Overall, I greatly enjoyed reading about Kate Greenwood and Agent Gareth Dru McFadyn and I hope the authors decided to write a follow up novel. -Sefina Hawke for Readers’ Favorite

In an exciting, adventurous and highly engaging new read by writing duo Travis Logan Salisbury and Janet Claire Smyth, Counterstrike: Heaven Sent, The Short Book is a book that readers will find themselves engrossed in from the very start and will be obsessively turning the pages all the way through until the very end. Follow the story of Professor Kate Greenwood and FBI agent Gareth “Dru” McFadyn from their unexpected meeting, to their run ins with the dangerous and dark entities that are a part of Gareth's career, to the development of their relationship from friendship to something much more. As their feelings for each other deepen, they realize that their interactions with the nefarious terrorist Klaus Vogle, as well as the unscrupulous scheming of Gareth's industrial tycoon father, Andrew McFadyn, mean more than either could have imagined. Will they survive in order to be able to live the lives they are beginning to imagine for themselves? You'll need to read the book to find out!

I very much enjoyed Counterstrike: Heaven Sent. Authors Travis Logan Salisbury and Janet Claire Smyth have created characters that their readers will relate to, connect with, and truly come to care about. If that is not a hallmark of great authors, I'm not sure what is. The story line is crisp and exciting and kept me on the edge of my seat. Any reader who enjoys an exciting read with lots of intrigue should definitely grab this book. I am pleased to be able to highly recommend Counterstrike: Heaven Sent, and look forward to reading more from authors Travis Logan Salisbury and Janet Claire Smyth as soon as I can! -Tracy A. Fischer for Readers’ Favorite

God, love, spies, adventure, murder, friendship and more can all be found in Counterstrike: Heaven Sent. This is truly an amazing story that will grab you on the first page and never let go. Kate is an ordinary woman who is in the process of moving to a new place with a new job, and taking the scenic route to get there. All of her plans change suddenly when she finds an FBI agent, Gareth, on the road with a smashed car and bloody injuries. Kate finds herself involved in things she only read about in the newspapers as she and Gareth fall in love. Gareth is an agent who has little regard for his own life and is battling the enemy on several levels. He is doing whatever is necessary to take down the man responsible for stalking him, killing and harming his family, friends and co-workers. Kate and Gareth’s relationship cause them both to find out what they are really made of and how much they can endure. Kate becomes a target and must quickly learn to defend herself. Kate and Gareth both believe that praying and talking with God will help to keep them safe and it is necessary to call upon Him frequently to get them out of trouble.

The thrills never stop and it is impossible to divulge too many details because you must read it for yourself to appreciate all that is happening. There were so many things going on at once - some good; some bad - that it was impossible to put the book down. It is a long book, 596 pages, and took me some time to read, but with all of the twists, turns and action I hated to see it end. Mr. Travis Logan Salisbury and Ms. Janet Claire Smyth have written a classic five star winner. I found myself cheering out loud for Kate and Gareth, and booing and hissing the bad guys. I urge everyone to read Counterstrike - it has something for fans of every genre. -Trudi LoPreto for Readers’ Favorite

Counterstrike: Heaven Sent by Travis L. Salisbury is an epic novel full of action, romance, thrills and intrigue. It was finished by the original author’s son after his mother, Janet C. Smyth, passed away. Travis completed the novel and published it to honour his mother’s years of writing the story and that is part of what makes it special.

We start with Kate who is driving to her new job and maybe a new life. She is an artist and a woman of strong faith who has a core belief that God directs everything in life. On her journey she runs into trouble with a capital “T” and the novel takes offs. She meets ‘GD McFadyn’ also known as 'Dru' and he just happens to be an FBI agent…..the kind of agent that turns heads. The attraction is immediate and intense. Drew draws Kate into a web of violence, passion and intense trust. They both have a strong faith in God and immediately share that bond which brings them closer and closer together.

Drew turns Kate’s world upside down. She travels a path of espionage, classified secrets and violence. Kate turns Drew’s world upside down with her kindness, support and moral strength. All of their friends help them along the way and, through them, Kate learns just how powerful Drew is and their life is forever changed. You will have to read the novel to see how the story ends but it is worth the read.

I give Travis credit, he finished an amazing novel. It was long but engaging; the character development was solid and the classic fairy tale storyline was consistent throughout. The conversational writing style drew me in and the pages turned quickly. This truly is a modern day fairy tale with Scottish and American roots. It is a tribute to a special lady and a wonderful read for everyone who loves a good fairy tale. -Lisa Fox, Top Book Reviewers

Without a doubt, this is a book that is full of emotions especially when Kate and Gareth express love for each other. The writer's strong Christian values could have influenced the way she expressed the love between them. She doesn't use explicit language making this book suitable for the younger audience. To a large extent, the writer's religion played a big part in developing several characters in the book as Christians. However, the part that really stood out for me was when Gareth and Kate decide to pray when they both face a bomb scare. The kind of faith displayed by these two during this incident and in similar life threatening experiences, made me reexamine my own faith. Though I've read other crime thrillers, this aspect of religion served to make this book very enjoyable to me. I would recommend this book to any Christian who enjoys reading books that touch on matters of faith and love. For crime thrillers lovers, this would make a very good company for a book. There were very few grammatical errors but this did not interfere with my reading pleasure. I rate this book 4 out of 4 stars. -BookieGalke, Online Book Club

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