An Unexpected Distraction

Catherine Bybee

Richter Book 3

Montlake Pub

Nov 30th 2021

An Unexpected Distraction by Catherine Bybee shows why she is a master storyteller who writes formidable characters. Readers get to catch up with her past heroes and heroines: Claire, Cooper, Sasha, Neil, and Gwen. But anyone who has not read her should considering the great mix of suspenseful drama, action, and romance. With each new installment the series gets better and better. 

“The challenge of any series is making sure each character has a different focus; although, there are similarities between them.  My heroine, Jax, highlights the other side of what happened at the Richter School.  She was not being groomed to be an assassin and was there because her parents wanted to keep some secrets.  They wanted to keep her isolated.  By the way, sending children off to a boarding school happens a lot in Europe even though it is a foreign concept to Americans.  Jax seemed to avoid the controversy and focused on receiving an exceptional education.”

As with the other heroines in the series, Jacqueline (Jax) Simon is a badass woman.  They all are put in dangerous undercover situations by the private investigation security company they work for.  Having overcome the corrupt boarding school that basically raised them these women, Sasha, Olivia, Claire, and Jax have skills that would make James Bond jealous. 

In this story, Jax returns to her native England after receiving a call from her brother.  He needs help figuring out why their parents split up and their dad has moved in with him. The parents are being very secretive about their marital problems. Through her own investigation, Jax discovers that her being sent off to the German military school, Richter, has something to do with her parents’ marital problems. With the help of her current boyfriend, Andrew Craig, Jax’s brother’s best friend, they infiltrate Richter hoping to find if it’s returned to its bad ways, training the children there to be spies and assassins while blackmailing the parents to look the other way.  

“Jax did not have a very good actual family life although she does redeem her relationship with her mother.  She is wounded and feels neglected.  She is the epitome of the poor little rich girl, very aware of how privileged she is. She was never a troublemaker but made sure while at school the skills were learned.  She is sassy, loyal, daring, witty, traditionally English, and resourceful.” 

Along with the action are relationship stories.  Jax must overcome her feelings of abandonment by her parents.  Because she has never had a close relationship with her mother, they both must have heart-to-heart chats about their feelings.  In fact, many times throughout the book Jax says to her mother, “you did not know, because you never asked.” Jax also has come to realize she has feelings and is attracted to Andrew.  He is not intimated by her skills with guns and spy technology and is very supportive. 

“Andrew is a different type of hero than the others in the series.  Andrew is a pencil pusher.  Upper crust British, determined, traditionalist, thoughtful, and a good listener.  He is the perfect man who her parents would have picked for her, but the opposite of what she thinks she needs.  I made sure he did not have a life in her world.  I wanted to show how men can be supportive of women who are like Jax.  He never felt emasculated and was willing to be a part of her life.  At first, Jax is standoffish because her parents wanted someone like him for her.  Sometimes children need to come to grips that their parents are not always wrong.  As they get to know each other she is surprised that she is attracted to him.  The challenge for me was to have them fall in love without it feeling forced.  He is good at making her think it is her idea and then gets what he wants from her.”

When finished, readers will be disappointed because the gripping story has ended and at this time there is not another book in the making.  Anyone who enjoyed this book should contact Catherine to continue the storyline, especially since it appears that the ending was a bit of a cliffhanger.  Let Catherine know if there should be more books in the series by contacting her at



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About the Author

Elise Cooper

Elise writes book reviews that always include a short author interview.