A nuclear blast took out the entire population of small town Cedar Branch in Idaho. Only one survived, artist Mia Kearney. Is she a victim who miracul...moreA nuclear blast took out the entire population of small town Cedar Branch in Idaho. Only one survived, artist Mia Kearney. Is she a victim who miraculously survived or did she have something to do with the blast? That's what Nick Price of Homeland Security wants to find out.
But when she escapes and Nick is called home, all kinds of red flags are raised and he has no choice but go after her. Then, when it becomes evident someone wants to silence Mia forever, Nick realizes not everything is as it seems and the two embark together on a journey to discover the truth. The truth the powers that be would do anything to keep buried.
This would've been an excellent romantic suspense / thriller story if it wasn't for its length. Because instead of filling all those pages with gripping, intriguing stuff, the author stuffed it with page-filling minutiae, only sparsely intersected by suspenseful elements, action scenes, and the hero-heroine conflict. Said conflict would've been much more interested if she kept it constant (but the ping-pong effects of now-he-believes-her-now-he-doesn't-now-he-does got old pretty quickly).
I loved the slow buildup toward the discovery of the truth (what could be seen through the insignificant details), but unfortunately Ms. Davis showed her hand too soon and I figured out what it was all about somewhere in the middle. Of course it took the characters, a former Special Forces operative and an artist turned computer genius (major suspension of disbelief needed here!), later on helped by Nick's Homeland Security buddy and computer wiz almost to the end to connect the dots.
Kudos for the excellent portrayal of the hypocrisy, greed, and blood-lust among those who are sworn to protect us, but are willing to sell their mothers to make a decent buck.(less)
A rescue mission turns steamy in Cherry Adair's Tropical Heat as counter-terrorist operative Sam Pelton hustles a small-town GP from the military/ter...moreA rescue mission turns steamy in Cherry Adair's Tropical Heat as counter-terrorist operative Sam Pelton hustles a small-town GP from the military/terrorist through the thick African jungle. This was a pretty straightforward RS novella...Boy likes girl, but said girl is going through a divorce, so boy hangs back in fear of being the rebound lover, but when girl gets kidnapped, boy doesn't hesitate in taking a trip into the middle of Africa to rescue her and win her heart in the progress...Nothing much to say, really.
Another rescue mission turns steams (and squeeze-deadly) in Lora Leigh's Atlanta Heat when a Navy SEAL and the woman he's been lusting for for the past two years are forced to share very close quarters. This one was almost the same as the first novella of this bunch, except the setting was in Atlanta and instead of the jungle the pair was stuck in a "panic room", there was an anaconda though. Out of the entire cast I liked Drack, the pet snake the most. Macey wasn't my favorite hero, he was a just a tad too much of everything, while Em...I just wanted to slap her. Hard. Many times. Yeah, the conflict was there, the steam was there...It just fell a little flat.
In Cindy Gerard's Desert Heat a peaceful, charity-oriented hike through the Grand Canyon turns deadly when an old drug-lord decides to exact his vengeance on the DA and the cop that sent his boy to prison. Now, this was a nice respite from the whole, "we were rescued, let's get in the sack". Well, Elena and Seth did, eventually get in the sack, but the rescue didn't come until the end...I liked Elena and Seth together, they truly made quite a pair, and with their shared sense of humor they really grew on me. The romance did seem a bit rushed, but those were extraordinary circumstances after all. I appreciated Elena's backbone, unlike the other two heroines in this collection (one was afraid of birds and the other of snakes and the authors went into quite a discourse on those fears), she at least gave the impression she wasn't scared of anything. She sucked it up and moved forward...Well, in the end, she turned up to be as much a coward as the next gal when faced with the possibility of having her heart broken. Oh well, we can't have everything. By the end I had a goofy grin plastered on my face, though. A cute finish to a good story.(less)
I loved the first take on this story found in the Lover Beware anthology, and I truly hoped the expansion of the world of the Lupi and seeing more of...moreI loved the first take on this story found in the Lover Beware anthology, and I truly hoped the expansion of the world of the Lupi and seeing more of Lily and Rule would've made a great reading experience. Sadly, I was wrong.
The story dragged on for too long, there were just too many details (literally begging for the continuation of this series, which is so not good), the pacing was too slow, and the chemistry between Rule and Lily seemed to have been washed down the drain, paling in comparison to everything else going on around them.
Nothing will change the appeal of the Rule and Lily's story in Lover Beware and though I'll continue complaining about its shortness that's much preferable to the longer, stretched-out version.(less)
Raine Tallentyre hears voices. Usually of the bad-mojo kind. So when she hears a whisper about burning witches in her recently-deceased aunt’s house,...moreRaine Tallentyre hears voices. Usually of the bad-mojo kind. So when she hears a whisper about burning witches in her recently-deceased aunt’s house, she’s quite alarmed. Lucky for her (and the witch hunter’s victim) the girl in the basement is still alive, but not the hunter has set his sights on Raine.
But that’s not the end of Raine’s problems. Because that same day she gets an unexpected visit from one Zack Jones, member of the Arcane Society and working for J&J, the company that shattered Raine’s world when she was six. He claims to sees visions. And he needs Raine’s help in solving a big mystery that probably ties in with her aunt’s death.
Grudgingly, Raine accepts his proposal (and the "temporary" truce between the Tallentyres and J&J) and the two embark on a perilous mission of finding and possibly stopping a secret organization called Nightshade, all the while battling (not that much ;)) against the explosive attraction between them and a psychic bond that keeps on growing.
Ms. Krentz never disappoints, especially not with her Arcane Society books. And Sizzle and Burn is no exception. This was a wonderful mix of suspense, romance, and paranormal elements with the aroma of a thriller thrown into the mix. I loved both Zack and Raine and their quirky senses of humor, and the attraction between tham and the growing passion and bond packed quite a punch . This soul-mate spiel is so popular in fiction nowadays that it usually seems old and been-there-done-that, but in this case it was done subtly and with such aplomb that it was a true pleasure to read, without the déjà vu effect, also thanks to Ms. Krentz masterfully weaving the romance into the intriguing, gripping, and intense suspense plot.
The suspense was the second big plus for this story that doesn’t have any minuses in my book. There were two parallel suspense subplot running at the same time, yet the story itself didn’t seem crowded, but nicely paced and superbly written. I’ve become quite tired of romantic suspense books where the villain is apparent from the get go, Sizzle and Burn kept me guessing.
This was a gripping, tension filled book sprinkled with just enough paranormal elements to keep things lively and interesting, and an explosive romance that will leave you begging for more.(less)
Two aura talents are on a "babysitting" mission on Maui, when they stumble on a full-fledged Nightshade convention.
I think I somehow jinxed myself a f...moreTwo aura talents are on a "babysitting" mission on Maui, when they stumble on a full-fledged Nightshade convention.
I think I somehow jinxed myself a few days back when I wrote in a review Ms. Krentz can do no wrong with her Arcane Society series. Because there was something off with this book. It started great with a rather chilling prologue and a great suspense kick-start, but after the first half it started deteriorating rapidly, mostly in the pacing department with loads of explanations and dialogs, and in the suspense department as well, since the initial "target" died around the middle of the book, and the additional villain somehow just didn’t cut it for me. Also, the romance subplot had much to be desired in my book, since the chemistry that was supposed to be so obvious was just the opposite for me.
So, three stars thanks to the first part of the story.(less)
Ugh. A silly plot with a silly (and sometimes downright stupid, despite her IQ) heroine.
Sure, because shy guys need to get out of their shells, they n...moreUgh. A silly plot with a silly (and sometimes downright stupid, despite her IQ) heroine.
Sure, because shy guys need to get out of their shells, they need a nerdy (she says she left that stage a long time ago, but it's apparent she didn't!) heroine who's talking to her fish on a regular basis, to show them the ropes. Oh, puhleeze.(less)
If these three fellas are bad boys I'm the Queen of Sheba. Truly, the three half-brothers, offspring of one Hoyt Sloane, are lambs compared to some re...moreIf these three fellas are bad boys I'm the Queen of Sheba. Truly, the three half-brothers, offspring of one Hoyt Sloane, are lambs compared to some real bad boys of Romancelandia out there. And their stories are living proof. Rather meek and quite uneventful, often boring, and not very entertaining. They certainly didn't pull me in.
This was a rather meh one-author anthology with average heroes and even more average heroines, seriously lacking in chemistry and even more in plot.
Okay, so it wasn't a vast improvement from the previous two books, but it came across a little freshed, so it deserved a little higher rating (since w...moreOkay, so it wasn't a vast improvement from the previous two books, but it came across a little freshed, so it deserved a little higher rating (since we don't get half stars, it got a whole one).
Yes, the suspense pretty much went down the drain after it was revealed why the baddies were after Claire, I'd like to see a little more ambiguity to keep things more interesting, but it was okay, I guess. It lasted longer than before, at least.
The characters for once didn't make me flinch (overly much). Claire was a bit too whiny for my tastes and she was apparently blind, but we can credit her childhood for that. Hotwire has been my favorite of the three mercs since the beginning of the series and I'm glad my "fascination" wasn't unfounded. Like his friends, his excuse for the no-commitment clause was a bit far-fetched and got old pretty fast, but in the end he came through and showed he wasn't as emotionally-retarded as his friends...He was as blind as them, though. To think it took two ex-commitmentphobics to open his eyes to the truth is telling something.
The romance, for once, didn't leave me yawning and its progress was nice and consistent, not the usual snap-of-fingers kind of deal. The only thing that bothered me was the quickness of feeling-development on Claire's side...But the way the two leisurely slid into a more intimate relationship and then accepted what was between them (though it took them a little longer to name the thing between them) was nice to behold and a true relief for me and my fears it might turn into yet another carbon copy of the previous two books.
Don't get me wrong, this isn't a masterpiece and will never end up on my keeper shelf (I'll probably never pick it up again), but after the two duds, this lesser dud was a nice respite.(less)
Unfortunately my fear at the end of the first book in this trilogy, Ready, wasn't unfounded. As promising as this one started, it quickly turned out...moreUnfortunately my fear at the end of the first book in this trilogy, Ready, wasn't unfounded. As promising as this one started, it quickly turned out into a rather mediocre romance with a very, very, very subtle suspenseful undertone. I'm a sucker for romantic suspense where the thrill of danger intertwines with the romance and the two compliment each other and not one overshadowing the other. Unfortunately in this series the romance greatly overshadows the suspense, which, if the romance were gripping and "involving" wouldn't be such bad news, but I just can't seem to relate not to the characters not to the budding relationship between them.
At least the heroine in this book was consistent with how she was portrayed at the very beginning and not changing at the blink of an eye into a complete stranger (to the reader and to the hero). The hero was an almost carbon copy from the guy in the first book, only with a lot more emotional baggage...And sorry, the the fifth member of Il Divo on the cover sure didn't channel a monosyllable-loving, brooding mercenary.
How many books can you write with a brooding, commitment-phobic ex-mercenary and an emotionally immature, highly insecure, boring inner-monologue and self-doubt prone heroine? The answer appears to be three.
But since I'm a stubborn chick, I'll read the third, too...And hope for the best.(less)
Thank God it's over!...That's what I though as I turned the last page of this novel.
Reading it was a truly tiring experience. It drained me, that's wh...moreThank God it's over!...That's what I though as I turned the last page of this novel.
Reading it was a truly tiring experience. It drained me, that's what it took so long. Usually I "consume" such suspense novels in an evening, this one took a lot longer. I couldn't keep from comparing her to Shannon McKenna's Behind Closed Doors. The romance plot completely overtook the original suspense premise, until all that was left from that possible saving grace was sporadic and all too brief glimpses of the villain. And the last nail in the suspense coffin was the reason behind the whole stalking bonanza. It completely ruined the bang the slow build-up promised and I just couldn't believe it. Sorry. If at least the romance were any good...Or the sex scenes. Alas, no. Huge been-there-read-that syndrome. It wasn't gripping, it wasn't angsty, if wasn't involving. A complete dud.
The next huge boulder on the road were the characters, actually one character - the heroine. I've never read pf a more contradictory female character in my life. Has she ever heard of consistency? At the beginning she was supposed to be this shy, prim, not-getting-involved-because-she-would-lose-herself type of gal, then all of a sudden she does a 180 and turns into an aggressive, demanding, she-wolf nympho...Without any apparent reason. And the clingy bitch she turned into at the end. Oh, boy. Psycho much?
Lucky for me the author had the presence of mind to create the hero and his two merc buddies. They were the whole reason I kept reading after the few initial chapters.
I guess I will have to read the other two stories (the author has dropped a few hints toward the end of this novel that caught my attention), just to see if they're duds as well. I sure hope not, because I don't want to waste more of my reading time.(less)
I just love “short” Harlequin stories. They’re just long enough to cram everything in without the whole thing seeming hurried and short enough to fini...moreI just love “short” Harlequin stories. They’re just long enough to cram everything in without the whole thing seeming hurried and short enough to finish it elegantly without the plot-dragging devices and predictable turns.
This book is one of such stories. The suspense was nicely done, even had some traces of a thriller in it, and surprise of all surprise I didn’t see that ending coming. The villain was utterly unexpected for me (yeah, you can call me naïve if you want) and the added bonus of a twist made my jaw drop. Ooh, boy. What a marvelously concocted and twisted plot. Wonderfully planned and masterfully executed.
The romance was a bit so-so for me, it could’ve all been resolved with a lengthy conversation instead of dragging the reader through the dirty-laundry machine. But still, it complimented the story and added a little more of an oomph to the twisted, twisted ending.
Oh, I’ll definitely pick this one up (figuratively speaking, since it’s an ebook) again.(less)