Book Review + Author Interview: Final Verdict by Jessica R. Patch

"Death is coming for me." (22)

Title:  Final Verdict
Author: Jessica R. Patch
Publisher:  Love Inspired Suspense
Release Date:  April 4, 2017
Genre: Inspirational Contemporary Fiction / Suspense


When Aurora Daniels becomes the target of someone seeking their own twisted justice, Sheriff Beckett Marsh is the only one who can rescue her. As a public defender, Aurora has angered plenty of people in townand in her past. And while Beckett constantly clashes with the feisty lawyer professionally, it's his duty to protect and serve. Guarding her 24/7 is now his sole assignment. He may not have been able to save his fiancee from a dangerous felon, but he'll do whatever it takes to keep Aurora alive. Even if working with her to catch and convict this ruthless killer puts his heart in the crosshairs.

Another great suspense from Jessica R. Patch. Final Verdict is phenomenal. Action filled with danger that lurks beyond the surface, honorable Sheriff Beckett must do all he can to save public defender, Aurora Daniels when it seems her life is targeted.  Love the romantic suspense, as well as the romantic angst that seems to ooze out of those two! Both with hurts from their pasts, will their stubborn ways risk more than their lives?  

There's definitely romance and suspense, but the message of trust and grace makes this not just a typical read. Plus, you'll meet some characters you'll want to get to know, both familiar and new ones.  In all, a novel that makes a quick and entertaining read. Not to miss!

"Life is complicated...but without the complications, you wouldn't have the exhilarating joy when it's not." (206)

Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not required to write a positive review, and have not been compensated for this. This is my honest opinion.

For my review policy, please see my Disclosure page.



Jessica R. Patch lives in the mid-south where she pens inspirational contemporary romance and romantic suspense novels. Readers will identify with characters that are flawed but redeemable. 

Jessica grew up in southern Illinois. She attended Central Bible College where she met her husband, an ordained minister with Destiny Ministries. She's served as a Biblical Studies teacher, Women’s Ministry leader, Regional Women’s Representative,  co-pastor with her husband of the Young Adult Ministry as well as taught workshop and spoken to Women’s groups. Currently, she teaches the new & growing believers class with curriculum she wrote. She is a member of the ACFW, and Byhalia Christian Writers Group, a chapter of American Christian Writers. 

When she’s not hunched over her laptop or going on adventurous trips in the name of research with willing friends, you can find her sneaking off to movies with her husband, watching way too much Netflix with her daughter, dominating her son at board games, and collecting recipes to amazing dishes she'll probably never cook. She's the author of the Seasons of Hope series, Fatal Reunion, and Protective Duty. Jessica is represented by Rachel Kent of Books & Such Literary Management.

CONNECT WITH JESSICA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest 

Now that you can tell how much I love Jesse's writings, lets hear from her!

1. Hi Jesse, welcome back to Just Commonly! So, Final Verdict - I really enjoyed this story! I might even like it more than Concealed Identity, which is surprising since it was on my 2016 Favorite Reads in Suspense list! 
Ah! I’m so thrilled you enjoyed it. Yay!

2. Our hero, Sheriff Beckett Marsh carries around guilt that may or may not be well placed (I'll let readers read and decide). The pain he went through must have been devastating. How did his back story developed? 
When I wrote Concealed Identity, he said something to the hero Holt and that made Holt wonder if he’d come back to a small town for a woman. At that point, I thought he did. I also thought that woman was Felicity from the Read it and Steep tea shop. But when I started writing him, he told me what happened in his past. And how it happened. I was floored! But it worked and it also developed the next series I’m writing.

3. Sheriff Beckett Marsh is "honest (& honorable) to a fault" according to Aurora. Add in the many twists, I didn't have a clue who could've done it. I mean I had inklings of some fishy characters, but it was such a nice contrast to the brutal honesty of one character. How do suspense writers, particularly you think of these scenarios?
It's also kind of look over your shoulder kind of spooky! I am a monster fan of whodunits. Since Scooby-Doo! I plot a book backwards. I center around my villain. When I know who he/she is I can begin to create direct threat scenarios, believable to that character. I gather up notecards and just start letting my warped imagination go and then collect the ones I like best or fits best or that I haven’t done too much of before. If multiple people are involved in the mayhem, I adjust accordingly. 😊 I don’t know how other suspense authors do it, but it works for me. 

4. LOL. I'm loving your "warped imagination" for sure! I also love the romantic aspect of your stories especially a second chance at love. The main characters' chemistry was just spot on. Anymore we can expect for the next character (maybe Wilder)? 
Oh definitely! My news series, The Security Specialists, kicks off in July with Deep Waters, where we’ll meet Shepherd Lightman one of Wilder’s team members. And yes, we’ll see Wilder. We’ll also see him in book 2 Dark Web (tentative title), and then he gets his own story in book 3 (Deadly Obsession, tentative title)! 

5. Woohoo!! I look forward to Wilder's stories, and this new series will definitely be on my lookout list! 

On a serious note, I'm sorry about what you wrote in your reader note at the back. I think knowing that had opened my eyes more of how that struggle was when you wrote about Aurora, yet I admired how Aurora's character has a certain strength about her, outward and inward. What about her character that allowed you to continue on in this story? 
I think Aurora is a relatable character. We all have tragedy, stereotypes, stains on our life we have to overcome, or that we want to overcome. She had compelling convictions and passion. Knowing there are readers out there who hurt like her (whether due to the same situations or not) kept me going. I desperately want people to know there is always hope no matter what. There is always healing. Always forgiveness.

6. Well said. What would you like readers to get out of reading Final Verdict?
Probably what I just said above. Ha! And I think it’s important that we see life through other people’s pain and perspectives. It helps us continue to be compassionate and show grace more often.

7. Can you share (without spoilers) your favorite scene in Final Verdict? 
My favorite suspense scene was the coffee shop scene. Boom! And my favorite romantic scene was the first kiss. I love first kiss scenes. Or maybe when he realizes she’s not the enemy after all and things get real for him emotionally. 😊
8.  O yes, that coffee shop! I think my heart jumped when I got to that part! Let's chat more about you. What can we expect from you next? I know you mentioned the new series with Love Inspired Suspense titled The Security Specialists. Anything you can share with us about this new series? 
The first book Deep Waters takes place in a fictional town in Florida and my heroine is Wilder’s youngest sister. She’s a marine life vet. The research about sea turtles was super interesting. Also, I visited a dive expert and he helped me craft a suspenseful dive scene. He was a blast to chat with! The second book is so far out of my comfort zone because it’s cyber crime (backdrop anyway) and it was tough researching. The third book is more of a psychological suspense and I think it will be creepy good! 😊

9. Thanks for all the insights. Every one of them sounds good. Craziest fan moment (either fans of yours or you being the fangirl)? 
I once stalked Karen Witemeyer into an elevator at a writer’s conference and acted like a complete moron when I met her. My friend, Jill, basically had to speak for me. I love Karen Witemeyer! 😊 

YES YES YES! Trust me, I know what you mean! I LOVE Karen Witemeyer!!!! I was tongue-tied when I first met her last year at ACFW! 

10. My original question was , what is the weirdest place you've ever brought a book with you? But, I've been hinted and told this is not a question to ask fellow booklovers. So I'm changing it to what is your weirdest book habit or weirdest book reading habit? 
Sometimes if I love a line, I read it out loud…a few times. Is that weird? I dunno.
Not weird at all! I think we fellow booknerds understand wholeheartedly! 😉

11. 5 Random facts about you. (A reader fave question I need to ask.) 

  • My favorite cold drink is Perrier with lemon or lime. Most of my friends and all my family say it tastes like Alka-seltzer, FYI as a kid I used to drink my mom’s alka-seltzer…so there ya go.   (I like my seltzer too. It helps curb my Coca Cola addiction!)
  • I love wild hair and I’ve had every color except blue or green, usually in fun high/lowlights if it’s a bright color, but I’ve been a redhead (every shade), blond, platinum, brown, you name it. My natural color is coal black like my dad’s.   (Nice!!)
  • I sorta cheated on my husband in church one time. I share this often because people think it’s funny and you did say fun facts. Actually, you said random…anywho…You can read about it on my About page on my website.  (Must read! It is GOOD! Direct link HERE.)
  • I have been on an elephant in Thailand. It was terrifying and exciting all at the same time. I have pictures on my About page.   (Kind of cute!!)
  • I let my BFF tie my hands behind my back, blindfold me, and drive me around in the trunk of her car to see if I could keep up with all the turns. She didn’t mention she’d left canned goods in there. I had bruises for days. PS I could not keep up with the turns after awhile.   (Whoa! Wow! Dedication for sure! I don't know if I would do that. 😱)

12. And let's end with, what are you reading now that's not one of your own? 
I’m reading Fractured Memory by Jordyn Redwood! It’s a Love Inspired Suspense and I’m enjoying it very much. I love the medical details in it!
Thanks so much for having me again, Annie! It’s always so much fun being here. Great questions.
Jesse, thank you very much for being here. I just love having you here! Come back soon! (*hint hint) 😉

Don't miss Jessica R. Patch's books!  Want to check out out Jesse's first time on Just Commonly? Click HERE to take you to our first interview. 


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