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 finiI 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....more
Two months ago Sawyer Bennet killed his wife, threw her body into the swamp and buried the knife behind the shed. The only witness to the murder was hTwo months ago Sawyer Bennet killed his wife, threw her body into the swamp and buried the knife behind the shed. The only witness to the murder was his daughter Melanie, but she hasn’t spoken since that day…So what the heck is Amanda Rockport doing, applying for the job as Melanie’s nanny?
Well, she refuses to listen to rumor, for starters. The evidence against Sawyer is merely circumstantial and until he’s in jail the rumors are just rumors. Besides, Amanda knows Sawyer isn’t the murderer, because Melanie still adores her daddy, which wouldn’t be the case if she saw him stab her mother…
But someone is determined to see Sawyer thrown in jail. And if that means hurting, or even killing, his new nanny in the process, so be it.
Woohoo, another good Harlequin Intrigue story. Good story, tight plot, good pacing, wonderful characters (with a surprising amount of chemistry), good suspense and intrigue, and rather nicely done romantic subplot. The only hiccup is the fact the villain was glaringly obvious, but still, the buildup more than compensated for it. The ending was a little different than most (he let her go), but it still worked. ...more
Interesting premise, but it pretty much all went downhill from there. Uninteresting characters, bland suspense, rushed romance, rushed ending, unbelieInteresting premise, but it pretty much all went downhill from there. Uninteresting characters, bland suspense, rushed romance, rushed ending, unbelievable villain and motive......more
A good premise of a serial arsonist terrorizing Savannah, but with a paranormal angle of a telekinetic woman hiding a dark secret and the arsonist litA good premise of a serial arsonist terrorizing Savannah, but with a paranormal angle of a telekinetic woman hiding a dark secret and the arsonist literally throwing fireballs. Unfortunately the plot was too predictable, the characters rather bland, and the villain easily spotted. Quite disappointing....more
This was an amazing story up until page 79. Then the author’s writing style kicked in and it all went downhill from there. Sad but true.
Still, the susThis was an amazing story up until page 79. Then the author’s writing style kicked in and it all went downhill from there. Sad but true.
Still, the suspense was pretty awesome throughout the book. The murder on page 2 (which the heroine witnessed) sucked you in and didn’t spit you out until the last chapter. Possible traitors jumped out from behind every bush, the heroine was in constant danger, the hero as the hero kept protecting her etc.
The three major problems were the style (seemed amateurish and thanks to loads of introspection and repetitions the pacing was stop-and-go throughout), the romance (I wouldn’t mind rushed, but it was rather awkward as well), and the heroine (for a marine biologist she was pretty silly and naïve, even pulling a TSTL stunt trying to save a her kidnapped son – because she couldn’t trust a highly trained and skilled government operative to do it).
It would’ve been great with a better execution. 3 stars for the suspense part....more
Three years ago, her father, an investigative reporter, was murdered to silence the story he was working on. Now it’s up to Rebecca Page to continue hThree years ago, her father, an investigative reporter, was murdered to silence the story he was working on. Now it’s up to Rebecca Page to continue her father’s expose and maybe uncover his killer in the process. Infiltrating the riverboat casino was a peace of cake, but staying a step ahead of the man who makes her tingle, a supposedly ex-cop now working the security detail at the casino, might just be impossible.
It seems Ms. Miller can do no wrong. This was yet another example of her knack for writing romance-laced suspense stories with well-developed characters, wonderful pacing, tight plot, incredible tension and intrigue, and toe-curling romance. There were so many possible suspects in this story I had no idea who the killer (because there were multiple villains) was, until she actually named him, threats, fists, bullets and debris flew liberally, sparks flew when the hero and heroine clashed, and though some questions remained unanswered (for the next story in this two-book "miniseries" about the KCPD Vice Squad division), the story ended on a satisfactory note as far as the suspense arc was concerned....more
Ms. Ryan has done it again! After A Voice In The Dark, this one was yet another wonderfully suspenseful read.
Six years ago, Warren Critch, accosted hoMs. Ryan has done it again! After A Voice In The Dark, this one was yet another wonderfully suspenseful read.
Six years ago, Warren Critch, accosted homicide detective Jacob Knight in a darkened Cincinnati alley, holding him at gunpoint and accusing him of wanting to kill his wife, Belinda Critch, a sexy, flirty, body-fluid-removal expert, was murdered. Rookie cop, Romana Grey, disarmed and arrested Critch, saving Knight's life. Two days later, Belinda Critch was found shot in her apartment.
Now, Critch is out of prison and bent on revenge. He wants both Romana, now a criminology professor, and Jacob, still a Detective, to pay for his wife's death with their own lives.
Jacob and Romana form a reluctant partnership to try to find Critch before he finds them, and uncover the truth behind Belinda's murders. As Critch moves closer, the clues and suspects keep piling up, and soon Critch isn't the only danger on Cincinnati streets. The murdered would do anything to keep his identity secret.
This book, as the previous I read by Jenna Ryan, had it all. Edge-of-the-seat suspense, dark secrets and even darker pasts, contradictory clues pointing from one suspect to the next, keeping the reader guessing, great chemistry between Jacob and Romana, and even greater sparkage. Ooh, boy.
In the comment section of one of my reviews, Dina, Danielle and I discussed the HQ Intrigue stories' penchant for focusing more on the suspense plot and a little less on romance...And even that little romance there is, is lukewarm at best, with no chemistry, no sparks, and no tension. Well, Ms. Ryan proves herself to be the exception to that rule, because she once again incorporated a great, scorching hot romance story into the greater suspense plot. Incorporated it so well, it tangles nicely with the mystery, never letting up, but still never slowing the pace down. It just simply fits.
The characterization was yet again wonderful, with realistically flawed characters, wonderfully snarky dialogs (loved Romana in this one), and so many sideline stories that it could be confusing if they weren't so well tangled into the main storyline.
The clues as to whodunnit were numerous, pointing in different directions at once, offering multiple suspects, discarding others, bringing up new ones, even knotted enough to from time to time point at the hero, making everybody wonder just what in the blazes did happen that night sex years ago.
Chloe Morgan moves into Graylord Pastures as a summer tutor for the thirteen-year old Nissa. But Chloe’s intentions are not entirely "pure". She’s inChloe Morgan moves into Graylord Pastures as a summer tutor for the thirteen-year old Nissa. But Chloe’s intentions are not entirely "pure". She’s in Galena, Illinois, to discover the truth about the disappearance of Nissa’s former tutor, Chloe’s foster sister, Dawn.
Dawn’s disappeared a month ago, leaving a note that she was eloping, but Chloe is more than doubtful. No matter the happiness and elation, Dawn would’ve contacted her. Which never happened. So, suspecting foul play, Chloe took the position of Nissa’s tutor, suspecting everyone around her, even her attractively mysterious employer, Damian Graylord.
This story was a bit over the top for me. There was just too much of everything crammed in those 253 pages. I know the author strived for a mysterious, chilling and thrilling tale, but using every single trick in the "how to write a suspense novel" overdid it.
We have the almost gothic atmosphere of mist-shrouded house, pastures, and dangerously steep bluffs (where a horse fell to his death). There’s the ghost of the dead horse, leading the heroine to small clues as to what the truth might be. We have a missing (presumed dead) ex-mistress of the house, a cheating, lying, materialistic "bitca" that made her husband’s life living hell (too Rebecca-ish for me). There’s a missing (presumed eloped and happily married) summer tutor. The heroine is involved in three suspicious incidents that almost cost her life (she’s pushed into the wall and looses consciousness, she’s almost run over in town, she suffers from monoxide poisoning). There’s a hidden treasure in rough-cut diamonds somewhere in the house, which is littered with several secret passageways that could explain the odd noises in the attic. Then there’s the sour-faced, downright hostile toward the heroine, housekeeper (again too similar to Rebecca). And of course, the mysterious, intriguing, dark and handsome Damian Graylord that might have had something to do with the "disappearance" of both his ex-wife and the former tutor.
Sorry, but Damian Graylord didn’t come through as the mysterious, intriguing, dark, and handsome leading man for me, but more along the lines of a schizophrenic, close-mouthed, brooding a-hole with the need for some serious anger-management sessions. And the heroine was just plain silly. Not yet in the TSTL territory, but definitely borderline. She suspected everyone, even the man that made her tingle. Sheesh. Honey, you just don’t sleep with a guy you suspect might be a murderer. It just isn’t done! I just couldn’t stand the chit.
Also, the constant change of narrative point of view was bothersome at best, horrendous at worst. The jumping from first-person to third-person and back was confusing, tiresome, and just provided a further more reason as to why this story sucked.
Oh, and the villain could be spotted from a mile away. Dissapointing....more
Fifteen years ago she testified against him in court. He was convicted of manslaughter and, thanks to his cousins' testimony, also of Mob connections.Fifteen years ago she testified against him in court. He was convicted of manslaughter and, thanks to his cousins' testimony, also of Mob connections. She gave birth to a child, never acknowledging his fatherhood, changed her identity and went into hiding.
Now, Vincent Magilinti is back. He escaped from prison in order to save his daughter from his treacherous cousin who's out on parole. Janice cannot believe he expects her to believe him after all the lies he told her in the past. Even the prison shrink claims he suffers from delusions since he never stopped professing his innocence. There's no way Janice will entrust her daughter's safety into the hands of her father, so she runs to New Orleans, the city where the met...And their daughter is kidnapped. Maybe, just maybe Vincent is right. And Janice knows he's also the only one who can save their child.
She's right. Vincent will do anything in his power to protect his daughter and the woman who broke his heart, even if it means sacrificing his freedom...Or his life.
What a wonderful little gem of a romantic suspense this was. The pacing was wonderful, the characterization spot-on (I didn't even mind the heroine's pigheadedness, she truly believed Vincent was one of the bad guys), the suspense was chilling, and the intrigue kept me at the edge of my seat.
There was so much going on, so many secrets, half-truths, and lies, all intertwined with the past, that it was a true pleasure to read and a bit of disappointment when it ended. I did think the ending a bit rushed, but the epilogue offered just enough information to bring the story full-circle and toward a very happy ending.
Highly recommended by this very satisfied reader....more
Reece Maddox, international playboy and all around rich guy, is leading a double life. His international easygoing player persona is a cover for his sReece Maddox, international playboy and all around rich guy, is leading a double life. His international easygoing player persona is a cover for his spying gig in the employ of the US government.
His newest mission is firmly tied in with the previous one. The flash drive containing sensitive data about a terrorist cell he's transfered to the US is missing, the courier dead. Reece isn't the only one after the flash drive and the only person that might lead to it, the courier's daughter, Kelly O'Donnell. But Reece is the only one who doesn't want to see the woman get hurt.
He never planned to fall for her, which makes it that more difficult to keep her safe and keep her from learning the truth that he was responsible for her father's death.
Another new author for me, and an utterly pleasant surprise. This was a tad longer that the usual HI story, but once I started reading, the style, the voice, and the superbly-crafted plot pulled me in immediately and I was hooked.
It was rather tame both romance- and suspense-wise compared to other books in this Harlequin line, but there was that elusive little bit more, that extra oomph that propelled the story forward without the author having to resolve to titillation by sex or blood and gore. There was only a brief mention of a dead body, and only before and after in the bedroom. The plot, the characters, the chemistry, and the tension of all those half-truths and heavily-veiled lies kept the story interesting and the reader guessing who might the villain be (I guessed it immediately, but I ain't complaining), and hoping that Reece would finally come clean and the repercussions of the truth would not be dire.
On that note, I loved Reece and Kelly together, the chemistry between them was amazing, the banter entertaining and sharp. There was something there from the very beginning, in chapter one when he's watching her from afar without her knowledge. That scene was a great portent on what was bound to happen, and I loved it how Reece didn't put up much of a fight, when he saw the edge of the precipice coming. He embraced his imminent fall with grace, and started promising wedding invitation to all who would listen. I absolutely adored the guy. And Kelly was his complete equal. Tough, determined, stubborn, with a resolve made of steel, she was no pushover and she let it be known. Yet she wasn't stubborn enough not to acknowledge when she was out of her debt and let the more experienced party take over the reins. Not that she knew of Reece's experience from the get go, but she trusted him enough to keep them both safe.
With great characters, well-developped with surprising depths and insight, wonderful chemistry, nicely-written romance, well.though-out pacing, great supporting cast, one or two red-herring thrown into the mix, and subtle, yet powerful suspense and intrigue this book is bost definitely a keeper.