P. A. DePaul
June 6, 2024

P.A. DePaul is a Publishers Weekly Bestselling and award-winning author.

Her books are full of action, suspense, and romance.

As a hybrid author, she has books traditionally and independently published. Her traditional publishers include Berkley, a Penguin Random House imprint, and Harlequin Books.

Interview by Elise Cooper

Q How did you get the idea for this book?

P.A.: I was intrigued how Americans became less dependent on foreign oil when I started writing this book. There was also a backstory that started with Exchange of Fire that I delved into with this book in the opening scene. The common thread with all three books is the incident in Mexico. Readers could read each book on their own, but had they read all three books they got a deeper understanding of the op.


Q  Does each member of the team, part of the SBG Agency, have their own set of skills?

P.A.: I modeled it off of real life where most of the operators have a dedicated skill set, they bring to the team. I have spoken to a lot of law enforcement and read a lot of military books.  My father was military and law enforcement. Wraith, who was highlighted in the first book, Exchange of Fire, is the sniper, while her significant other Grady, being a former Marine, has his military skills. Talon likes to infiltrate and is good with knives. Romeo was a former law enforcement explosives expert. Magician is good with disguises for herself and the team.  Jeremy aka Cappy is the strategist and commander.  Ted is the IT expert. The team dynamics include love, support, respect, and grief. In book one the team was in it in the last half, in book two the team was in it from beginning to end, and in book three the team was hardly in it.


Q Did this book have more intimate scenes than the other two books in the series?

P.A.: Yes.  Any reader that read all the books would have witnessed how Magician and Romeo started recognizing each other on a more romantic level. It just felt right for the progression they had gone through from the beginning. This one was heavier on the romantic and less on the suspense.  The first book, Exchange of Fire, had a lot of high action, the second book, Shadow of Doubt, had deeper characters.


Q  How would you describe Magician, the female lead?

P.A.:  She goes undercover and likes to isolate herself.  She is direct, broken, charming, and manipulative.  She wants a place to belong because she is afraid of being abandoned. She is very complex.


Q  How would you describe Romeo, the male lead?

P.A.:  A player who at times can be shallow.  He is warm-hearted, humorous, loyal, charming, confident, restless, and introspective. I love the part about him that he reads romance novels to understand what women are thinking.


Q  What about the relationship between the two of them?

P.A.:  A lot of bantering.  They went from friends to lovers. They consider themselves best friends, partners, and have a bond. They have an intense attraction. They have divergent backgrounds.  Romeo is from wealth, and she was always abandoned. He wants to protect her, while she is his anchor.  Magician is not as trusting of him because he is a player and what happened to her on the op.  Because of that op she experiences fear, panic, doubt, and suspicion.  Her heart thinks differently than her mind. Because of her childhood she wants to ensure that her teammates and partner, Romeo, will entrust her to help with the mission.


Q  Did the third book have more banter between the characters than the other books?

P.A.:  Yes, Magician and Romeo tease each other a lot with a lot of sarcasm back and forth.  They have that comfort and do charm each other. Wraith/Grady and Cappy/Michelle walked on eggs more in their relationship.  Probably because they were in such intense situations.


Q  How would you describe the two women operatives, Wraith and Magician?

P.A.:  They do have similarities.  They both are dedicated to make the mission a success. They have a tender side to them. Wraith can compartmentalize a little more.  I see them as quick-witted with sharp minds. Magician can turn on the charm and sway decisions, while Wraith is more direct, and she is not good at shmoozing. But since that Mexican mission they have become distant and guarded with secrets.


Q Does the second book, Shadow of Doubt highlight Cappy and Michelle?

P.A.:  It starts out with Cappy already the team leader. He is always trying to put the team and mission first.  He is all about everyone else but himself.  Michelle is trying to overcome being a victim of that Mexican op. They both have in common that they had to give up their families.


Q  Can you give us a hint as to what’s next?

P.A.: I would like to write Talon’s book.  But I am in a holding pattern trying to figure out what his story is. It feels like I am forcing things. Talon is not the most diplomatic and always says it like it is. 

Another book is a spin-off in the SBG world, romantic suspense genre. The books we were talking about today has a team, the Delta Squad.  But the spin-off will have a single operator, someone who gets in and out. It will come out the end of this year, or the beginning of next year.  The working title is Spy Versus Spy. Each spy works for two different agencies and they will eventually have to work together.

Review by Elise Cooper

Crossing The Line by P. A. DePaul is the third book in the series.  Each book is part of the romantic suspense genre.  Whereas the first two books were more suspense than romance, this book is more romance than suspense with the heroine Magician and the hero Romeo, part of the Delta Squad team.

The story goes back to eight months ago. Magician was part of a black ops mission, going undercover to infiltrate a sex-slave ring. Little did she realize the mission would change her life forever. The team was sent it to rescue the girls with Romeo assigned to rescue Magician.  He still can’t wipe the image of Magician’s battered body nearly dying in his arms. Since then, one-night stands have lost their appeal. Now, he realizes he is falling for his best friend and partner.

The suspense part of the plot has a pro-American Oil lobbyist and a Saudi Arabian Oil Sheikh-two natural enemies-join forces to destroy new legislation allowing America to gain independence from foreign oil, they utilize bombings to throw the country into chaos. It is during a party that Magician attended that she recognizes the lobbyist as being an assistant of the Sheikh, knowing that both were involved in the sex trafficking ring.

But because she has no evidence, the SBG Agency will not give her the go ahead to investigate. She and her partner Romeo decide to defy the order to stand down.  Together they investigate on their own with only the help of another teammate, Talon.  They are taking a big risk to expose the Sheik and lobbyist, but also realize that they are risking getting emotionally and intimately involved.

This novel emphasizes how the characters through their profession and relationship find that the greatest gift of all is survival, success, and finding a soul mate. DePaul allows the relationship to grow into an intimate one of unbreakable love The protagonists are complex and caring who teach each other how to trust again. The mission is intense and will keep readers guessing until the very end.

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