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The Story Behind Prime Time by Sandra Brown: A Book That Changed Her Career

Prime Time Sandra Brown: A Book Review

If you are looking for a romantic suspense novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat, you might want to check out Prime Time by Sandra Brown. This book was originally published in 1983 under the pseudonym Rachel Ryan, but it has been reissued several times with new covers and editions. In this article, we will review Prime Time by Sandra Brown and tell you why it is worth reading.

Prime Time Sandra Brown


What is Prime Time about?

Prime Time is a story about Andrea Malone, a cable TV reporter who wants to land a network job. She thinks she has a chance to do so if she can get an exclusive interview with General Ratiff, a retired military leader who lives in seclusion at his Texas ranch. However, she faces two obstacles: one is Lyon Ratiff, the general's son and protector, who does not trust her motives; the other is a secret that the general is hiding, which could have serious consequences for both him and Andrea.

Who is Sandra Brown?

Sandra Brown is a bestselling author of more than sixty novels, mostly in the romantic suspense genre. She has won numerous awards and accolades for her work, including the International Thriller Writers' Thriller Master Award, the Romance Writers of America's Lifetime Achievement Award, and an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She started her writing career in 1981 and has since sold over eighty million copies of her books worldwide. Her books have been translated into over thirty languages and adapted into movies and TV shows.

Why should you read Prime Time?

You should read Prime Time if you enjoy:

  • A fast-paced and gripping plot that will keep you guessing until the end

  • A realistic and complex portrayal of the media industry and its challenges

  • A steamy and passionate romance between two strong-willed and charismatic characters

  • A vivid and authentic depiction of the Texas landscape and culture

  • A mix of humor, drama, action, and emotion that will make you laugh, cry, and cheer

Main Body

The plot of Prime Time

The characters

The main characters of Prime Time are:

  • Andrea Malone: A smart, ambitious, and determined cable TV reporter who wants to make it big in the network. She is willing to do whatever it takes to get her story, even if it means risking her life and her heart.

  • Lyon Ratiff: A handsome, wealthy, and mysterious rancher who is the son and guardian of General Ratiff. He is wary of Andrea's intentions and tries to keep her away from his father. He is also attracted to her and finds himself torn between his duty and his desire.

  • General Ratiff: A former military leader who has retreated from public life after a scandalous incident. He is hiding a secret that could ruin his reputation and endanger his family. He is reluctant to talk to Andrea, but he also respects her courage and professionalism.

  • Other characters: There are also several secondary characters who play important roles in the story, such as Andrea's boss, colleagues, friends, and rivals; Lyon's employees, neighbors, and enemies; and the general's former associates, adversaries, and allies.

The setting

The setting of Prime Time is mainly the Ratiff ranch in Texas, where most of the action takes place. The ranch is a sprawling and isolated property that has its own airstrip, lake, and security system. It is also surrounded by natural beauty and wildlife, such as horses, cattle, deer, and birds. The ranch represents the general's power and privacy, as well as Lyon's pride and loyalty. It also becomes the stage for Andrea's investigation and romance, as well as the site of danger and intrigue.

The conflict

The conflict of Prime Time is both external and internal. The external conflict is the mystery of the general's secret and the threat of exposure. Andrea wants to find out what the general is hiding and why he is so reclusive. She also wants to get an interview with him that will boost her career. However, she faces opposition from Lyon, who does not want her to disturb his father or reveal his secret. She also faces competition from other reporters who are after the same story. Moreover, she faces danger from unknown enemies who want to harm the general or use his secret for their own gain.

The internal conflict is the emotional dilemma of Andrea and Lyon. They are both attracted to each other, but they also distrust each other. They have different goals and values, but they also have common ground and chemistry. They have to decide whether to follow their heads or their hearts, whether to pursue their careers or their relationship, whether to expose or protect the general's secret.

The resolution

The resolution of Prime Time is satisfying and surprising. Without giving away too much, we can say that Andrea and Lyon manage to overcome their differences and challenges. They also discover the truth about the general's secret and its implications. They also face their enemies and their consequences. They also realize their feelings for each other and their future together.

The style of Prime Time

The genre

The genre of Prime Time is romantic suspense, which is a subgenre of romance that combines elements of mystery, thriller, and romance. Romantic suspense novels usually feature a central love story that is intertwined with a suspenseful plot that involves danger, intrigue, and deception. The protagonists are often involved in solving a crime or uncovering a secret, while also dealing with their personal issues and developing their relationship. The novels usually have a fast pace, a high level of tension, and a satisfying ending.

The tone

The tone of Prime Time is engaging and captivating. The author uses an informal and conversational style that draws the reader into the story and the characters' perspectives. The author also uses humor, sarcasm, and irony to lighten the mood and add some wit to the dialogue. The author also uses drama, suspense, and emotion to heighten the stakes and the impact of the events.

The language

The language of Prime Time is clear and concise. The author uses simple and direct sentences that convey the meaning and the mood effectively. The author also uses descriptive and figurative language to create vivid images and comparisons that enhance the setting and the characters. The author also uses dialogue and narration to reveal the personality and the voice of the characters.

The themes

The themes of Prime Time are:

  • Ambition: The novel explores the positive and negative aspects of ambition, such as motivation, determination, success, sacrifice, compromise, corruption, and betrayal.

  • Media: The novel examines the role and influence of media in society, such as information, entertainment, education, manipulation, exploitation, responsibility, and ethics.

  • ```html Secrets: The novel explores the effects and consequences of secrets, such as curiosity, discovery, revelation, protection, deception, and danger.

The reception of Prime Time

The ratings and reviews

Prime Time has received mostly positive ratings and reviews from readers and critics. On Goodreads, it has an average rating of 3.63 out of 5 stars, based on 2,903 ratings and 105 reviews. On Amazon, it has an average rating of 4.2 out of 5 stars, based on 154 ratings and 67 reviews. Most reviewers praised the author's writing style, the plot's twists and turns, the characters' chemistry and development, and the setting's atmosphere and authenticity. Some reviewers criticized the book's dated references, the plot's implausibility, the characters' stereotypes and actions, and the ending's abruptness and predictability.

The awards and nominations

Prime Time has not won any major awards or nominations, but it has been recognized as one of the author's early works that established her reputation and popularity in the romantic suspense genre. It has also been reissued several times with new covers and editions to appeal to new generations of readers.

The adaptations and sequels

Prime Time has not been adapted into any movies or TV shows, but it has been released as an audiobook narrated by Buck Schirner in 2009. It has also been translated into several languages, such as German, Czech, and Hebrew. It has not spawned any sequels or spin-offs, but it has some connections to other books by the author, such as Shadows of Yesterday (1983) and A Kiss Remembered (1983), which feature some of the same characters or settings.


Summary of the main points

In conclusion, Prime Time by Sandra Brown is a romantic suspense novel that tells the story of Andrea Malone, a cable TV reporter who wants to interview General Ratiff, a reclusive military leader who is hiding a secret. She faces opposition from Lyon Ratiff, the general's son and protector, who is also attracted to her. They have to deal with their conflicting goals and feelings, as well as the danger and intrigue that surround them.

Personal opinion and recommendation

Personally, I enjoyed reading Prime Time by Sandra Brown. I found it to be a well-written and engaging book that kept me interested and entertained throughout. I liked the author's style, the plot's pace, the characters' dynamics, and the setting's realism. I would recommend this book to anyone who likes romantic suspense novels that combine mystery, thriller, and romance elements.


  • Q: When was Prime Time first published?

  • A: Prime Time was first published in 1983 under the pseudonym Rachel Ryan.

  • Q: Who is Rachel Ryan?

  • A: Rachel Ryan is one of the pen names that Sandra Brown used early in her career.

  • Q: Where is Prime Time set?

  • A: Prime Time is set mainly in Texas, at the Ratiff ranch.

  • Q: What is General Ratiff's secret?

  • A: General Ratiff's secret is spoiler alert! that he was involved in a covert operation that resulted in a massacre of innocent civilians.

  • Q: How does Prime Time end?

  • A: Prime Time ends with spoiler alert! Andrea and Lyon confessing their love for each other and deciding to stay together.


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