MinnChica: I’ve long been a fan of Shiloh Walker, and when she came out with a romantic suspense trilogy, I was in reading heaven! After going through the first two books in a few days, I quickly drove right into the third, needing to know how the story resolves. Unlike some suspense trilogies, the villain and overall story arc continues through all three books. So be sure you have all three ready to go, because once you start you will want to read until you get to the very end! I was anxious to see how Law and Nia would finally get over their initial meeting and move on, and I’m happy to say I really enjoyed their relationship. This was a strong series and an even stronger final book!
E: I have also been a Shiloh Walker fan for years. I am not as keen on romantic suspenses as MinnChica is so I held off on getting the first of the Ash trilogy. Then when I saw people’s comments on twitter and her blog posts about not knowing who the perpetrator was yet I was really intrigued and decided I should wait until all three books came out. Let me tell you once I started reading I was very glad I waited to start because having to wait for months in between would have driven me insane. Law and Nia’s first meeting was rather explosive so I wanted to see how they would manage to work things out not to mention her less then positive impression on Law’s closest friends. I also really wanted to know who the killer was and if any of my list of possible suspects was correct.
MinnChica: I too was totally stumped by who the killer was. I kept going through the list in my head. Is it him, or maybe her, or him? Going into this book, I think I had it narrowed down to three possible suspects, and it was somewhat obvious (to me) about a third of the way in, who the killer was. I have no idea how I actually figured it out, but I did, and I have to say that Walker really threw me for a loop with that one. Romantic suspense fans who love the mystery to play a big role in their books will definitely love this trilogy. I have to say though, for me, the romance just wasn’t where I hoped it would be in this third installment. I didn’t really feel like Law and Nia wanted to make a relationship work.
E: The actual or should I say the worst of the bad guys was on my list but he was towards the bottom. Someone else had risen to the top at the end of book two. MinnChica and I had discussed who we thought the killer was, she guessed right I didn’t lol, but as I continued reading I had a sneaky suspicion that she was right. I was completely on her side by about half-way through the book and a small part of me wanted to stop and re-read the first two to see what I missed. Luckily my curiosity won out and I continued reading. I really enjoyed the fact that Ms Walker kept me guessing through the majority of the trilogy so I stayed hooked. I was actually more focused on finding the killer then I was on the relationship between Law and Nia. Nia wasn’t ever my favorite character and I didn’t regain my initial liking for Law after he defended Nia instead of his best friend.
MinnChica: I am not usually a big fan of when the suspense portion of a book is strung out throughout multiple books, but I found that in this trilogy, I liked it. I liked the constant guessing and trying to figure out who the killer was, what his next move would be. It was crazy and exciting and fun! The romance reader in me felt like Nia and Law really took a backseat to the wrap up of the overall plot. Now, for me, that wasn’t a huge deal, because like I said, I didn’t feel any big connection to these two. I thought Nia was rude and abrupt and not the most likeable heroine. On the other hand, Law had this tendency of rubbing me all the wrong ways, especially when it came to his reaction to Nia and how he treated Hope whenever Nia was around. I had a hard time liking the two of them as individuals, and I think that tainted my enjoyment of their romance.
E: Aside from that particular romance I enjoyed this book and even though I still had some questions when I finished reading I think the way everything tied together was pretty impressive. I don’t mind the suspense continuing over a few books provided they pick up where the previous one left off. I have to get sucked back into the action and edge of my seat quickly or I will start skimming. Ms Walker was able to keep me focused and eager to see what was going to happen next to the poor residents of Ash, Kentucky. I have decided I am NEVER living in a small town in the south where 50% of the town has the same last name.
MinnChica: All in all I think Walker has created a thrilling and wonderful romantic suspense trilogy with these books. They are exciting, kept me engaged and guessing at every twist and turn. While I wasn’t a huge fan of the romance from this particular book, the trilogy wrapped up so incredibly well, that it more than made up for it. This series is one that romantic suspense fans out there should definitely pick up, and all at once too. Once you start the first book, you won’t be able to stop until you reach the end! I give If You Know Her a B-
E: I am a spoiler junkie and I have also been known to flip to the last part of the book just to see how it comes out. After seeing the comments of those who read the first book when it was released and then had to wait for the other two I decided I would wait. Then I decided I wasn’t going to look at any of the reviews until I had a chance to read them myself. That was incredibly different but I am very glad that I did. I enjoyed the ride that Ms Walker wove throughout her trilogy and how I knew something bad was going to happen but I didn’t know what. I also liked how the “lesser” bad guys also got what was coming to them. If you like darker romantic suspense this is certainly for you. Like MinnChica said you might as well buy them all at once because you are going to begrudge the pause to buy the next one. I refuse to confirm or deny that I have a nightlight now. I give If you Know Her a B.(less)
From the moment I picked up the first in the Fatal series – Fatal Affair – for free, I’ve been OBSESSED with Force and the Fatal series. I went and purchased books 2 – 5 over the course of a weekend, and am SO glad I found this series. For those of you who have not yet read or started this series, Fatal Affair will be free from all ebook retailers until December 31st. Go out and get your copy now!
Beware that this review may contain spoilers for previous books in the series!
Sam is on a roll of high profile cases solved, and when she catches the murder of the White House deputy chief of staff’s wife (and good friend of Nick), she knows this might be the biggest and most complicated case she’s had to date. Between the missing child and clues that are leading Sam on a wild goose chase, this case is one that is puzzling even to her.
Alongside the confusion of Sam’s case, things with Nick’s career in the Senate are heating up as well. His career is progressing faster and further than he or Sam ever expected, and it’s both thrilling and scary at the same time. Add in the stress of wanting to start a family and this time Sam and Nick might fall under the pressure of their lives.
I am seriously so in love with this series. Although I’ve only read the first 3 or 4 In Death books, there are so many similarities between the two that any Robb fan will be guaranteed to love this series. I especially love that we get the chance to follow Sam and Nick through all the ups and downs, trials and tribulations of a relationship. One of my favorite aspects of ongoing Urban Fantasy series is that we usually get the chance to follow the same couple through thick and thin, and the fact that a romantic suspense series has taken on the same theme has me doing a happy dance every time I crack open one of these books.
The murder in this story was so unique and different. The twists and turns behind the victim and the conspiracy and everything else was such a mind trip. I kept turning each page and thinking… OMG, OMG, where is Force going to go next?! I love – absolutely LOVE – when an author can do that to me. It doesn’t happen often, so when it does, it makes for a reading experience that is so completely out of this world that I’m in a book high for days afterwards.
I think in regards to the romance between Sam and Nick, this book is also one of my favorites in the series. Although they’ve already married and settled into their lives together, they make some big relationship decisions in this book. I love that despite their differences in the way they were raised and their ideas about relationships, these two are still so desperately in love. But Nick and Sam don’t just make an even deeper emotional connection in this book… Force wrote the sexiest (IMO) scene in the series so far in this book. Holy.Smutty.Awesomesauce. Love. Absolutely love love love!
I can’t even put into words how much I adore this series so far. Everything about it is so fabulous. From the ongoing romance between Nick and Sam to their individual characters, careers and situations there isn’t much I don’t love about this series. The secondary characters are all amazing, from the other detectives that work with Sam to Nick’s employees to Sam’s family, every character has made a huge impact on the series and me personally. I love the mystery in each book. Although Sam seems to catch every high-profile case in the DC area, each one feels different. I have yet to pick up one of the Fatal books and be bored. I can’t recommend this series enough!
All in all I absolutely loved this book. I think it might be my favorite in the series so far! The romance, the mystery, the ongoing story lines… everything about these books has me sitting on the edge of my seat and begging for more. I am anxiously awaiting the next in the series. I give Fatal Deception an A(less)
When I first read Becker last year, I was immediately pulled into the story and knew that I would need to read the next book. Becker writes some incredible suspense with thrilling and creepy villains and great romance as well. While I didn’t like Avenging Angel as much as Only Fear, there was a lot to love in this book.
Noah is back in his hometown, taking personal leave to track down the serial killer who went after his best-friend’s niece. When the investigation leads him to Vanessa, Noah is conflicted between being desperate to find the murderer, and fighting his growing attraction to Vanessa. Add in their very different lifestyles and their romance is as doomed as Noah can make it.
But when the killer sets his eyes on Vanessa as his final target to complete his gruesome paintings, Noah and Vanessa will have to fight tooth and nails to keep her safe. However, the last thing either of them expected was to have the killer be someone close to them, someone they trusted. When time begins to run out for Vanessa, Noah will be forced to fight the clock in order to keep her from becoming the final victim.
The suspense in this book was awesome! Absolutely thrilling and chilling and everything I’ve come to love and look for in a romantic suspense book. The killer was so incredibly creepy, he had me fighting goose bumps and a strong desire to sleep with the lights on. However, once the killer’s identity was revealed, things started to fall a little apart for me. There were some big timeline issues that were revealed during the killer’s explanations. Add in some motivational concerns I had, and I really struggled with the big reveal. I was bummed that the suspense aspect fell apart for me at the end, because I really wanted this one to work for me as well as Only Fear did.
In addition to the suspense fizzling out toward the end, I also felt as if the romance didn’t live up to the same level of caliber as it did in Only Fear. While I really liked both Noah and Vanessa as individual characters, there was something about their romance that just didn’t work for me. I think it was in part because it felt like at times these two were fighting harder to stay apart than together. Their romance was a slow build, with Noah being stubborn and sticking his foot in it every now and then, saying stupid things and making silly decisions. Noah constantly fought the idea of a relationship with Vanessa, despite his growing attraction. I wanted him to man up to the idea of love a lot sooner than he did.
All in all, I overall enjoyed this book. Despite the twists at the end that didn’t add up for me, the suspense of the book for the first 90% was absolutely incredible. The suspense was thick, the villain was creepy, and the overall plot with the killer and paintings was so well done. Had the end with the killer been better explained and the romance a bit more explored, I think this would have been a top RS read for the year. However, for me, it fell short. I give Avenging Angel a C-(less)
Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: Out Now! How we got this book: NetGalley
MinnChica: I’ve been a huge fan of Kaylea Cross since Mandi from Smexybooks reviewed one of her books and recommended it. When I heard Cross was starting a new series with Carina Press, I knew I would have to get my hands on this book. And I have to say, I wasn’t disappointed.
Quick plot overview: Dev is a pilot and flies medical evacuation missions. She has had a long time crush on Cam, a pararescue and friend of her ex-boyfriend. The two are stationed in Afghanistan together, and although Dev is leery of starting a relationship, things get hot and heavy between them. But when Dev’s helicopter goes down and Cam rushes in to save her, they just might lose each other before they get the chance to start something.
E: MinnChica asked a question on twitter that was military related I had to chime in with my opinion. Minn deciding to be pretty brave, having seen me rant about inaccuracies regarding the military, asked if I would be willing to read this and let her know what I thought about this from not just a reader standpoint but from a military reader standpoint. So since I think it was her turn to push on me I agreed. I will admit right up front that I was pretty skeptical remembering the titles Minn kept hiding from me during our list book buying spree at Borders going out of business sale so sad. So I started reading and while I rolled my eyes a few times I enjoyed it and never once was tempted to chuck the book or rather the kindle lol.
MinnChica: I am actually really excited to hear what E has to say from a military standpoint, because from a civilian standpoint, I absolutely LOVED this book. And of course, I’m not really going to know what is or is not realistic. A few of the things I love the most about Cross’ writing is that she does such an amazing and incredible job of describing everything that is going on. I honestly think I held my breath the entire scene that Dev’s helicopter was going down. It was so descriptive and gripping, it kept me on the absolute edge of my seat. Add in her strong heroine characters who are strong and feminine at the same time, they are the kind of women I would want to have as a best friend. Plus her heroes are all deliciously Alpha without being dirtbags. What’s not to love already??
E: Like Minn said Ms Cross is a very descriptive writer. I could tell that she had certainly done her research and while she took some artistic or would it be poetic license it was never enough to make me think that she didn’t take the professions her characters were in seriously. She touched on some of the social behaviors that tend to occur such as some people getting along better with the opposite sex and having to deal with jealousy, forbidden attraction, survivor’s guilt and a desire to celebrate life. While she did gloss over a few things, given the constraints of her setting I don’t know how she could have explained what happened and instead left it up to the reader to decide the ‘how’. One of the things I really liked was during tense situations her characters stayed true to themselves. Not once did they give up, quit, or decide that someone needed to rescue them. Instead they did what they could to make a bad situation better and help with their own rescue. Too many times an otherwise strong heroine falls to pieces when there is a crisis and the hero is around.
MinnChica: Yes, that is definitely something I really enjoy about her books, the constants in each book: the consistency of the characters, the always suspenseful plot, the (to me) constant realistic view of what it must be like while serving in the military. That balance between being a person and a soldier. Every time I put down one of her books I have that much more respect for all the people in the military. One of the other things I really liked was the relationship between Dev and her bunkmates. As women, we know that sometimes other women can be catty and just plain annoying. I liked that the relationship between Dev, Cameron, Maya and Erin was real. They weren’t instant friends, they didn’t stick around through thick and thin, but at the same time they were also there for each other, in their own ways. I can only hope that these women will be the future heroines in the upcoming books!
E: One of the things that always amazed me is how guys who are roommates can spend all that time in the same place and never talk to each other especially if they don’t like each other. Girls on the other hand, whether they like each other or not, will still talk. Watching their interaction reminded me of why I refused to attend an all girl’s school to begin with lol. It seemed really realistic and unfortunately just because you are in the military doesn’t mean you get along with everyone else in the military. There will always be those who think you should interact in a different way. Now I don’t know that people would be willing to assist in breaking the rules but they might look the other way, or just deliver a discrete warning.
MinnChica: I will admit though that one of the things that took me by surprise was how easily Dev caved to having a relationship with an enlisted person, more than once… At the beginning of the book she went on and on about how she knew fraternization was wrong and how strict the penalties could be, and yet her first boyfriend Ty was enlisted and although she struggled with whether or not to pursue something with Cam, she didn’t seem to weigh the pros and cons all that much before making her decision. I would think that a woman in her position and her rank and her morals, deciding to risk her career would be a HUGE choice to make, and not one she would take so lightly. But besides that, everything about Cam and Dev’s relationship I loved. Loved, loved, loved. The sexual tension between them was oh so SMOKIN’ HOT!
E: Remember how I mentioned wanting to celebrate life? Well one of the ways to celebrate life is to indulge in a relationship or just in sex. When you know that every moment could be your or the person you care about’s last moment people don’t tend to think about career choices as much. Add in the forbidden fruit aspect and it is a very volatile combination. Yes, their lack of discretion was one of the things I rolled my eyes about along with the roommate giving them keys to a private area but I also think that Dev wasn’t thinking straight. She had been through a traumatic event earlier and hadn’t quite recovered, not to imply that she didn’t love Cam or anything like that it is just other things take priority.
MinnChica: All in all, this was another romantic suspense winner for me! I have definitely added Cross to my list of must buy authors after this one! I love the setting, the characters, the romance and just about everything else in this book. I like that Cross goes into the psyche of both our hero and the heroine, as well as the villain. For the romantic suspense fans out there, this is one book you wont want to miss out on! I give Deadly Descent an A-
E: I certainly enjoyed reading this book. I don’t tend to read a lot of contemporary military romantic suspense but my hat is off to Ms Cross and the job she did. Even though I was asked to look at this through my military filter I enjoyed the overall story. None of her characters appeared to be just two dimensional including the villains which added a lot of depth and richness. And yes, once MinnChica tells me she has released a sequel I will get it. I give Deadly Descent a B(less)
Publisher: Penguin Publish Date: 12/7/10 How I got this book: Purchased
Maya Banks KGI Series has hooked me on the Romantic Suspense genre. I haven't rea...morePublisher: Penguin Publish Date: 12/7/10 How I got this book: Purchased
Maya Banks KGI Series has hooked me on the Romantic Suspense genre. I haven't read a lot of romantic suspense books in the past, but after reading the first two KGI books, I'm now addicted for life!
Sam Kelly, the oldest of the Kelly brothers is undercover in Mexico, and spending more time in a romance with a local bar tender than he is on his mission. The two have gotten pretty hot and heavy, but when a lucky break comes through, he must leave her for good. But Sophie isn't just a local bar tender, she is actually the daughter of Sam's mark. She does what she has to in order to disappear, and goes AWOL.
Flash forward a few months, and Sam is having a peaceful afternoon with his brothers that is interrupted by pulling a woman out of the lake behind his house. When he realizes he just fished out a pregnant Sophie, all of his protective instincts come to the forefront, and Sam will demand some answers.
Sophie is reluctant to reveal exactly what happened five months ago, but more than anything she wants Sam to ensure the safety of their child. When Sophie's criminal family chases after her, Sam does everything he can to keep her safe. But when family tragedy strikes again and again, Sam may have to decide whose life he wants to save.
I can not say enough good things about this series. I fell in love with all the Kelly brothers in the first book, and they continued to run away with my heart. Sam proved himself to be not only a total Alpha hero, but also a loving family man, a devoted business man, and an all around fabulous guy. His devotion and loyalty to Sophie, even when he was unsure of her motives brought a smile to my face, especially all the times and ways he defended her to his brothers. When tragedy struck with his family, I could not stop crying, and felt as if Sam was able to relieve me along with the other characters.
My heart also broke for Sophie within the first few chapters of the book. Being raised by a psycho gun runner who could care less about his own flesh and blood, then being hunted by her uncle, forced to go on the run while pregnant and fight for her right to live. The strength that Sophie had to have amazed me, but I was glad to see that she was fragile as well.
I was really happy about the resolution to Sophie's problems, and although I literally cried through almost the entire last half of the book, I was so glad to see the twists and turns that Banks provided. I was surprised and amazed by the little surprise at the end, but so happy with the over all resolution.
The Kelly brothers and rest of the KGI team all have a special place in my heart. I adore Donovan and his field medical skills. I love Garrett and his over protective ways, even when he can be a jerk about them. I adore Rusty and her huge heart, even though she sometimes doesn't know how to show it. The Kelly parents also go through a huge ordeal in this story, and solidify themselves as my ordeal fictional parents.
I really just can't say enough wonderful and great things about this book, and series as a whole. No Place to Run has most definitely made the short of list of favorite reads in 2010, and Maya Banks has solidified herself as a new MUST read author for me!
All in all, I give No Place to Run 5 out of 5 pregnant runaways. (less)
I’m fairly new to the Julie Garwood fan club. Yes, yes, I know, her early works are amazing, and I’ll get to them eventually. While I liked Sweet Talk, there were quite a few things that didn’t really work for me throughout the book as well.
After discovering some very disconcerting information about her father, Olivia has vowed to do whatever is necessary to discover the truth and bring him down. Her job at the IRS is one she loves doing, and gives her the opportunities she needs to research her father. But when she takes an interview with another firm, she is thrown into the middle of an FBI sting and suddenly finds herself constantly in danger.
FBI agent Grayson is immediately taken with Olivia, and will go to any lengths to protect her, especially when he finds out she has nothing to do with the FBI. When the death threats start rolling in and Olivia ends up in the hospital, Grayson has to figure out just who wants Olivia dead. Was it the man she interviewed with, or a deeper and darker plot having to do with Olivia’s father?
There were some things I enjoyed in this, and some that really didn’t work for me. I was a little confused by how blase Olivia was in the beginning of the book, especially since she was tossed into a high-stress situation that even the most hardened FBI agents would think twice about. Yet Olivia just went about her day as if nothing had happened. Although we got to see a bit of her childhood, and how traumatic her illness was, I doubt the events of the beginning of the book would be something any normal woman would be able to let roll of her back.
Also, there was a sub-plot with one of Olivia’s best friends that didn’t really seem to make all that sense to me. It was thrown in the side, and really didn’t seem to have much to do with Olivia’s story. I’m not sure if Garwood is setting up this side character to have a book of her own in the future or what, but if this book is a stand-alone, I really didn’t understand why this part of the story was told.
Besides those two points, I really did enjoy the story. I loved getting a glimpse into Olivia’s childhood illness, especially since we got to see the connection she made with her four other friends. I sincerely do hope that Garwood tells stories for all these girls, as I enjoyed each and every one of them. And although Olivia’s actions in the first few chapters seems out of the norm, I really did like her character. Despite the pain of her childhood and the distance her family put between them, Olivia is strong and secure and a very sweet friend.
Grayson was also a fun character, constantly struggling with his attraction to Olivia. He was fighting the push and pull of being with her and working on a case that involved her, and I enjoyed his struggle with it. I have to say though, if I was in Olivia’s shoes, I don’t think I would have let Grayson get away with the wishy-washy come-and-go behavior he had toward their relationship in the first half of the book. But I was glad to see that once he committed to falling for her, he was in it 100% and willing to do anything and everything to get her to be his.
Their relationship felt a little different than most romantic suspense relationships in that there was a lot of back and forth, should we be together or shouldn’t we. There seemed to be a significant amount of time between interactions with these two – they sometimes wouldn’t talk or speak for months. It was an odd relationship, and while at times it didn’t work for me, there were other times it seemed to even all out.
All in all this isn’t my favorite Garwood read, but I did enjoy it. The suspense plot played out well with the uncertainty of who was after Olivia and why. I really loved Olivia’s childhood friends and hope that we get to see more of them. And even though the core romance was, at times, difficult for me to understand, I enjoyed Olivia and Grayson together. I give Sweet Talk a C(less)
Has: I am a huge fan of Lisa Marie Rice, although I do find her books tend to be a bit formulaic, I do love her alpha heroes who never cross the line top alphaholeville. I also love the fact, that her romances are intense emotionally and they are very comfy to get sucked into. Fatal Heat lived up to that.
Lou: I don’t think I’ve read a Lisa Marie Rice novel before (my memory is terrible), but after this I know I’ll be picking up her back-list titles, and future releases. I enjoyed Fatal Heat, and it’s a quick easy read that draws you in very quickly though unfortunately whilst it started out great for me, it ended on a whimper that left me disappointed. But it’s a really addictive read, and the way in how they are introduced was super cute. Max is recuperating after a life-altering attack whilst he was on mission two years back in Afghanistan. He’s felt as if he’s been living in a deep black hole with his crippled leg, and when his ex XO lets him stay in his beach house to recuperate to try and find some semblance of peace, he meets Paige and her hyperactive and adorable dog called Max. At first, he doesn’t want to be bothered by the Cookie Lady, but after an incident in the sea where Max, the dog, brings them closer together with Max, the human, Max tells Paige he’s more than happy to look after Max whilst she’s at work as a plant geneticist. From there, their attractions grows strongly, but soon enough things are shattered when Paige is abducted and it’s up to both human and dog to find her.
MinnChica: I’m a Lisa Marie Rice virgin, but whoo-hoo did she pop my cherry in a great way! I’m a big romantic suspense fan, and I was really excited to read this book. I absolutely loved it, and enjoyed that Rice spent just as much time cultivating the romance as she did the suspense plot. I was immersed in the story from the first page and wanted to tear up when it was done!
Has: Oh you guys – you have to read her Midnight series which is one of my favourite Romantic Suspense romances. I loved the beginning of the novella. The build-up with Max and Paige was great and I loved Max the dog. I just wished that more time was spent on the suspense plot. I totally agree with Lou about the ending too. I loved the beginning, and the romance but there was too much going on. And I found the ending a bit anti-climatic and it was a bit of a departure from the original tone in the beginning. I think if the story just concentrated on the romance – It would have been a much stronger story. I just couldn’t believe that Paige would get caught up with her romance with Max and not really worry about what happened with her friend which was much later on.
Lou: I agree Has. The beginning and middle was great, and I really liked Max’s and Paige’s interactions, and they both had strong character development. Max was super grumpy at first, and in a lot of pain physically and emotionally, but Paige really brought lightness into his life, and their love scenes were quite erotic, and full of passion. I thought Paige was full of life, and I found her scenes with her dog Max were hilarious because anyone who has a dog knows how dogs will act when they want their own way. I found it really strange that she neatly forgot about her friend who seemed to be in serious trouble, just because she got caught up in smexy times with Max.
MinnChica: Max the dog was one of my favorite aspects of the story. He was great! And I do agree to a certain extend about the suspense not living up to the awesomeness that was the build up of the romance. But at the same time, I didn’t feel like the suspense plot needed to be too over the top. For what Max (the man and the dog) were capable of doing despite their injuries, I thought everything unraveled in a way that stayed true to the story and the characters. I’ll agree that I was a little surprised that Paige was not as concerned about her friend as she should have been, however it didn’t seem like she really had time to between the working and the sexy times. One of the things that I found a little cliched was the epilogue. I thought the book would have been just as wonderful without it. I didn’t need that last little bit, it just wrapped everything up TOO perfectly.
Has: I think the epilogue ended like the way that most of Lisa Marie Rice’s books end – so it didn’t really bother me and it was cute. But despite the flaws, it was a cute and fun romance although outlandish but I have to say I enjoyed this more than her last full book. I think if this was a longer book, with the suspense plot developed with more time, I think it would be a really good Romantic Suspense. But this was an engaging and quick read to while away a rainy afternoon and it helps with the wait for her next book. I give Fatal Heat a C+
Lou: I didn’t have a problem with the suspense part of the book, but the way in which it was executed made me roll my eyes a little as it really was too hard to believe. I love dogs, but that was too much like Lassie for my liking lol. I think overall it’s a really good story and despite the ending, I would definitely recommend it as a light enjoyable read. The main strong points for me are Max and Paige and their romance which was lovely. I give Fatal Heat a B.
MinnChica: Yes, the romance between Max and Paige was great, and totally believable in my opinion. I loved the beginnings of their relationship and how it progressed. All in all I enjoyed my first Lisa Marie Rice read. I thought the suspense was well done, the romance believable and the action and down times well spaced. I will definitely pick up more books by this author. I give Fatal Heat a B+(less)
Publisher: Berkely Publish Date: 9/7/10 How I got this book: Won ARC from author
Wow, just wow. This book is definitely on my list of Top Books to read f...morePublisher: Berkely Publish Date: 9/7/10 How I got this book: Won ARC from author
Wow, just wow. This book is definitely on my list of Top Books to read for 2010!! We start The Darkest Hour with Ethan, as he mourns the death of his wife on the one year anniversary. He is overwhelmed with guilt, and does his best to shut out the world. When he receives a FedEx package with proof his wife is still alive, his life does a complete 180.
Ethan turns to his brothers who run a contract military like company for help in rescuing Rachel. Together they raid the jungle in search for her, only to find that she has been so doped up on drugs, she has lost most of her memory. The only thing she can remember is the face of an angel she knows as Ethan.
When they return home and begin weaning Rachel off the drugs, her memory slowly returns. Together, Rachel and Ethan must rebuild their marriage, find their place amongst their family, and find out why a threat against Rachel still exists. But when her memories start to come back clearer and clearer, will they be able to move past some of the more ugly places in their marriage, or will they part ways forever?
I am a huge sucker for stories about couples who are married, or already share a past. And Maya Banks has taken the gold! The Darkest Hour is a perfect mix of action, romance, suspense, and passion.
I loved that the book was packed with action. The entire trip into the jungle to rescue Rachel was fast paced, fun to read, and great to imagine. It was like a Bourne movie playing in my mind; however it wasn’t too over the top. It was exactly what I image would take place in an isolated jungle camp overrun with cartel grunts.
The romance was perfect for me as well. I love that Ethan had to deal with both his guilt over the way he treated Rachel before she disappeared, his joy at having her back, and his fears of losing her all over again. I love my alpha heroes full of angst, and Ethan does not disappoint. The small worries and gestures he showers on Rachel were enough to win even me over.
Having read a few books where a character was given amnesia, and having it fail miserably, I was a little hesitant about it. However, Banks scores again with having the perfect amount of confusion, frustration, and restoration with Rachel’s memory loss. It was done so well with Rachel having sporadic flashes of memory; working to both secure and alarm her about her past. I loved that she had insecurities about Ethan’s family, and that she struggled with overcoming them.
I don’t think there was one thing about this book I didn’t like, besides the fact that it had to end. I can’t wait for additional stories in the KGI world, and can only hope they are as awesome as this one was!
All in all I give The Darkest Hour 5 out of 5 salvaged marriages!
After reading the first book in the Black Knights Inc series, I was super excited to read all about Becky and Frank. I adored their barbs and banter, and couldn’t wait to see how they would overcome their obstacles on the way to happily ever after!
Becky needed a break from the guys at Black Knights Inc, but her yacht trip with her best friends turned from a relaxing way to decompress to a hostage situation with pirates. She doesn’t worry though, because Becky knows that the guys will do everything in their power to rescue her before the situation can escalate. But during the big rescue, Becky has to hold her own against one of the pirates, and his survival will be all about revenge.
Frank has always had a thing for the younger Becky, but he is also scared to get involved with someone much younger than him. He holds himself a step away, until everything with the pirates comes to a headway and he succums to his desires. But with his own personal demons, and a revenge plot against Becky, will Frank be able to have the time to make a decision and follow through before it’s too late?
The sexual tension between these two is KILLER. The back and forth and drama walked that fine line of just enough and too much angst for me. Between Becky’s school-girl-like crush and Frank’s childhood demons, these two had a lot to overcome on their own before they could really begin an adult relationship. That being said, I loved their journey together. All the dancing around and flirting and innuendo, followed by the self-realization and ability to come together made for a great read.
I loved the suspense portion of the book as well. I don’t think I’ve read a book with modern day pirates yet, so that aspect of it was so neat and fun to read about. I also liked the fact that we got to see Becky and Frank relax and slow down a bit, all while we got to see a little “behind the curtain” as to what was going on with the pirate who got away and wanted nothing more than to get revenge on Becky. It was a way of amping up the suspense, all while giving the hero and heroine a chance to focus on themselves instead of the external threat.
We got the chance to meet some of the other Black Knights, and I loved all the page time that Wild Bill and Angel got. I can’t wait to see more of these guys in action! On top of meeting more Knights, we also met to hero (very briefly) and heroine, Frank’s sister Michelle, of the next book in the series. Walker briefly set up their history together, and I’m excited to report the next book is a 2nd chance love story (*sigh*, I love those)!
The only thing I didn’t like about this book was that it felt a little rushed at the end. Once Frank and Becky opened up completely they realized all the things holding them back were no longer an issue and their HEA came quickly. I would have liked to see them be in love for a while before jumping to the alter. Despite their long time attraction, their never ending devotion and commitment came a little out of left field for me.
All in all I really enjoyed the second installment of the Black Knights Inc series. I felt this book had a strong romance vibe than the first in the series, and the suspense plot was fresh and new in my eyes. While Frank and Becky toed the line with their emotional angst, I felt as if it was the perfect combination of drama and sexual tension. I am anxious to read more from Walker and can’t wait to read about the other Knights! I give In Rides Trouble a B+(less)
Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: NetGalley
Becker’s debut novel packs quite a punch, and fans of thrilling romantic suspense will really enjoy this book! The first in a new series from Carina Press; I for one can’t wait to read more books in the series.
Maggie is still recovering from a horrific stalker and attack, and thinks she is safe as just a professor and radio host. But when a caller starts fixating on her, her life spirals out of control and people around her end up getting hurt and killed. She turns to an old friend for help, and the sexy Ethan is assigned to keep her safe.
Ethan has his own ghosts, but keeping Maggie safe and alive takes priority over everything else. As people around Maggie start dying and the stalker gets closer and closer to Maggie, Ethan gets more protective. He didn’t realize he could become so attached to a woman, but Maggie manages to get inside his heart. But with her life continually threatened, will Ethan be able to keep her safe while falling in love?
I’ve been reading quite a few romantic suspense books lately, and I can’t even express how impressed I have been with the September Carina Press suspense books! Becker kept me completely engulfed in action and intrigue and I absolutely did not want to put this book down. I read it from cover to cover without being able to take a break.
I loved Maggie, absolutely loved her. She was intelligent, but not so book smart that she didn’t posses any street smarts. Despite wanting to move past her fears and face her terror head on, she didn’t have an TSTL moments, there was never a time when I wanted to smack her. She was solid and genuine in all her reactions. I loved how she had to deal with being a survivor, and how she got through all the pain and heartache of losing someone, and then having to face it all over again. The character was wonderfully portrayed and I rooted for her from start to finish.
I also really liked Ethan. He had a few moments where I wanted to smack him, but overall he was a great hero. The mystery surrounding his ghosts was alluded to quite a bit in the beginning, and once the whole truth came out, I honestly didn’t see why he had beat himself up to the extent he did. Yes, something horrific happened, but it wasn’t nearly what I expected. But I did like how he dealt with it, and how Maggie was able to get him to deal with his past and move forward, face his fears and move on with his life.
The supporting cast of characters that all work for the “Society” were great as well. I hope that as the series continues, we will get to see more and more of these players, especially as they interact within the team. I really liked how they each had their own specialty and how each really shined in their field. Plus, I’ve always been a bit of a sucker for the sexy men and women lawmen who solve crazy cases like these.
The villain was super vicious, and many of the scenes with him were very graphic in their descriptions. In some ways, the killer reminded me of Cynthia Eden’s Deadly Fear. A very creepy killer whose obsession with instilling fear in his victims is the driving force behind his neuroses. But for those who were squeamish in Deadly Fear, this one did fell a little more tame and manageable.
All in all, I really enjoyed this debut romantic suspense and think that Becker will be a force to be reckoned with in the genre. The suspense was cutting edge, the mystery was deep and developed, the characters all insightful and engaging, and the romance was full of tension and sexiness. I would definitely recommend this book!
I’ve really enjoyed Walker’s Black Knights Inc book, and although Rock and Vanessa weren’t high on my radar, I was super excited to get into their story. For everyone who has been enjoying the motorcycle club books of late, if you also enjoy a good suspense book, these will be right up your alley.
Rock got his nickname for being just that: a rock. But when a series of murders are pinned on him, he tucks tail and runs to the jungle in order to find out who set him up. He is desperate to keep the Knights out of the crossfire, so he does everything he can to complete this mission solo.
Vanessa has had a soft spot for Rock than longer than she’d like to admit, and she knows that he didn’t kill all those people. When she finally finds him deep in the jungle, she knows that the Knights can help clear his name. As the bullets fly and they join with their team, secrets are revealed that will shock the Knights as a whole. Rock and Vanessa’s fragile relationship hangs in the balance and neither is sure they can make it out alive.
I adored Rock and Vanessa. They were a great match for each other. Both total badasses, and yet they gave each other the chance to be soft and relaxed. I liked that although the bullets were flying throughout most of this book, they also got a chance to work on their relatonship. There were a few times when I was a little skeptical about how they would be able to focus on their romance when they were running for their lives, but Walker did a wonderful job of balancing the two situations.
With all of Walker’s books, I love that the plot is twisted and so complicated in nature. The villain is never a typical “villain”, and instead is usually someone with warped views of country and honor and patriotism. It’s a treat to watch the Knights struggle to find out who the big bad is without stepping on the proverbial toes of everyone they suspect.
While I loved the romance between Rock and Vanessa, I also really enjoyed them as individuals. Vanessa was constantly trying so hard to be accepted by the Knights, trying to prove herself, and yet on the inside she was soft and sweet and sensitive. I loved getting to see that side of her, and that she still got the chance to be a badass all while doing it. Some of her backstory had me almost in tears, and I loved getting those details.
Likewise Rock was way more complex than I anticipated. His almost sixth sense when it came to reading people was so awesome to see inaction, especially when he used his interrogation techniques on certain people. I loved that he was also a little bit of a ninja when it came to staying off the grid, especially while in the jungle. It was almost like he was a native survivalist, and I loved it!
With most romantic suspense series like this, I’m always drawn in by the secondary characters. I’m anxious to see more of Bill and Eve, as well as Shady and Ozzie.The supporting cast are all fun and quirky and I adore each and every one of them. I am keeping my fingers crossed that Bill is the next to get his HEA. I need to know what the deal is with his history with Eve!!!
All in all I really enjoyed this installment of the Black Knights Inc series. Vanessa and Rock had a wonderful romance filled with lots of intimate moments stolen between flying bullets. The action was packed and the overall mystery of who was setting up Rock was well done. I can’t wait to see what Walker has in store for the Knights!
Publisher: Dell Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: NetGalley
I almost don’t know where to start with this one. I’m a huge Tyler fan, I love her books and the stuff she writes with Larissa Ione under the Sydney Croft pen name. But this book didn’t live up to my Stephanie Tyler standards.
Kell is in a bad place, emotionally and physically, when he first meets Teddie. And although he knows that she is lying and keeping secrets, he refuses to leave her alone in the jungle. When trouble comes looking for her, Kell is determined to keep her safe from the flying bullets.
Teddie has been living in solitude for a year now, with the drive to find her family’s killer the only thing keeping her going. She is scared to death of Kell, but he proves time and time again that he is someone she can trust, someone who can keep her safe. But when someone comes after Kell, Teddie finds herself caught in the crossfire. If they can both make it out alive, will either be ready to commit, or will the emotional trauma from their pasts be too much to overcome?
I’m a little divided on this book. One hand we have the suspense sub-plot involving both the mercs that are after Teddie, and her desire to solve her family’s murder as well as the story line with Kell and the man tracking down the guys of the Shadow Force team. I thought that both of these plots were well executed. They were separate and then came together in a believable fashion, they were full of action and suspense and kept me turning the pages to find out what would happen next. In my opinion, Tyler is one of the better suspense writers I’ve ever read – hands down.
But then we have the romance aspect, and for me this is where the book feel flat. Through almost the entire book Teddie is petrified of Kell. She is scared of what he can do, who he is and what he does for a living. She goes from trying to shot him to falling in love in the span of a week. While I can believe couples falling in love that quickly, especially with the adrenaline always so high, I just didn’t understand or feel it between Teddie and Kell.
As characters they were both okay. There wasn’t really anything special about them. For me they were kind of flat, and while they both had some crazy histories’, I never really felt as if it was explored or resolved with either of them. It seemed to be as if they both floated through the suspense, living to get through the day, and then decided to be together. There wasn’t really any moment when I really believed they lived for each other, that they would do anything for one another. It just feel somewhat flat.
I seemed to enjoy the moments with Kell’s best friend and partner Reid more, especially once Reid got tied up with the US Marshall Grier. They two of them had passion and chemistry and a strong connection. I thought their scenes were almost better than those with the hero and heroine. Hopefully Reid’s book will be next and we can get back to the classic Tyler that is so great.
All in all I was left feeling just somewhat blah after reading this book. Yes, the action and suspense portion of the book was well done and engaging, but I wanted so much more – especially in the romance department. I give Night Moves a C-(less)
I really liked the first Nauti and Wild anthology, so when I got the next one in the mail, I couldn’t wait to dive back into the Nauti and Wild series. And with two heroes both named Jed, I knew I’d be in for a wild ride!
Nauti Siren by Lora Leigh
Piper has lived under her brothers protective thumb for a year now, and she hates that her every move is scrutinized. So when the chance to get her clothing designs seen by a New York backer, she finds a way to sneak out of town and take the chance of a lifetime. The last thing she expected was to have to call Jed, her sexy neighbor and general badass. When trouble follows her home, Piper is forced to let her brother do what he does best: protect her at all costs.
I’ll admit that I haven’t read all the books in the Nauti series, but the few that I’ve read were decent reads. That being said, I felt so bad for Piper and her sisters, given the way their brother practically smothers them. I understand his protective nature, but his way of offering that protection was so overbearing and obnoxious. Had that been my brother, I would have smacked him upside the head and ran as fast a I could!
One of the things I really enjoyed most about this story was that Jed wanted so desperately to be with Piper, and although he is cut from the same cloth as her brother, he wanted to support her every dream instead of stifling it. While he was constantly on alert to keep her safe, he also wanted her to have the chance to chase after her dreams, as long as she was willing to bring him along for the ride.
I thought Piper was a little too resistant to what Jed was trying to tell her, and she was an extremely hard-headed woman. She refused to take Jed at face value, and then made him jump through hoops to prove himself to her. There were times I wanted to shake her and ask her why she was stringing him along, when it was so obvious that he was different from the other men in her life. But she did finally catch on, and once she did the sparks flew.
I give Nauti Siren a C+
Riding to Sunset by Jaci Burton
Jed is the newest member of the Wild Riders, and when the General asks him to go on a special mission, Jed finds himself having to guard someone the General holds dear: his niece. The mission is simple, keep Elena safe, and don’t let on that she is in danger unless absolutely necessary. Danger finds its way to Elena, and the person he least expects is the one behind it all.
I adore the Wild Riders series. They are over the top, and yet so much fun. I love that we got to see more of the General in this book, because I’ve always wondered about him. It was great to get to see more of his family, and get a little back story into his life. I love that he is completely devoted to keeping his love ones safe, regardless of the cost to his own life and sanity.
Elena was a wonderful heroine. She was sweet and although a little naive, she fought tooth and nail in order to save herself and her mother. She wasn’t one of those heroines who was TSTL, but she also wasn’t afraid to step up when she needed to in order to protect herself. And I thought Jed was great. He wanted to prove himself to the General, and although the man was like a father to him, he was also willing to risk The General’s wrath at the chance with Elena. I loved getting the chance to read about a hero sticking up to someone he respects greatly, for the chance to be with his woman. It was an awesome moment between those two alpha men.
I was blown away by the twists and turns in this short story as well. I was surprised to see who the bad guy was in it all. And yet, I loved the way it turned out. It’s always so special when people surprise you throughout the book.
I will have to say that the way this series ended was a little disappointing. We never got one last look into all the operatives in Wild Riders, so the chance to say goodbye never came. And while I liked that both the General and Jed decided to do something different with their futures, their choice came as a little left field to me.
All in all I really enjoyed the final installment of the Wild Riders series. I loved getting to see another layer to the General, and both Jed and Elena were wonderful characters to read and fall in love with. I’m sad to be saying goodbye to this series.
Romantic suspense with a bad boy biker? When I first saw this cover and blurb I knew that I would need to get my hands on a copy ASAP.
Nate has known Ali since she was a teenager, and been crushing on her for just as long. But since her older brother is his best friend, he always kept his distance. Now that her brother was killed in action and Ali has found herself in hot water, she turns to Nate to not only keep her safe, but to get her feelings out in the open – once and for all.
Ali isn’t sure why someone is following her and breaking into her house, but she does know that she can trust Nate to keep her safe. When the two of them treck across the country to try and find the reason behind her stalker, the two will have to dodge not only bullets, but their growing attraction as well. When they get closer and closer to discovering the truth, Ali and Nate will have to decide how they are going to move on, once the whole truth comes out.
I’ve always loved friends to lover stories, when you throw in a sexy biker or two and a few high stakes situations, I’m pretty much guaranteed to enjoy it. I have to say, I really liked the premise of this one. Although these guys are all ex-military, they are also contractors to the government which gives my brain a little leeway to allow for the biker chop shop front.
While I enjoyed Nate as a hero – he was strong and sexy and damn good at his job – there were times I wanted to smack him as well. his attraction to Ali was obvious and even though he kept her at an arms length because of her brother, he was (at times) a dick. It was easy to see he was flustered and put off by his ever present feelings, and instead of dealing with them, he treated Ali like crap at times. For some reason, that has always bugged the crap outta me when a hero has trouble dealing with his feelings and treating his heroine with the utmost respect at all times.
And while Ali was a great character as well, she also had a few moments when she annoyed me as well. I was glad to see that she wasn’t TOO much of a TSTL heroine. There were a few moments when she did seem to think highly of her skills, but in those moments she was able to back it up. But when the bullets went flying, she was a typical, normal heroine in that she was freaked and scared witless. I liked that vulnerability to her.
Their romance was one that built very slowly throughout the book. The sexual tension was off the charts from page one, but the journey to get from friends to so much more took them a long time. While Ali was ready to jump in both emotionally and sexually, Nate was the one who held so much of himself back. Once his big secret was revealed, it was easy to see why he was so hesitant, but I want him to be a little nicer to Ali when he would let her down or leave her hanging.
One of the greatest aspects of this book, for me, was the supporting cast of characters. I really enjoyed the other guys that we got to meet briefly, especially Frank and Becky. I’m anxious to read their book next and see where Walker takes them and their very rocky relationship. I’m also anxious to see what happens with the other guys, and where this series will go overtime.
All in all, I really enjoyed this debut from Walker. The characters were flawed and yet fun to read. The romance was filled with tension and built slowly over the book, which are fun reads for me every now and then. I can’t wait to see where we go next with this series, and to meet more of the team and guys on it. I give Hell on Wheels a B(less)
Publisher: Pocket Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: ARC from publisher
This was my first Griffin novel, and it will NOT be my last. I’m going to have to go back and get the other books in this series, because I absolutely fell in love with the world and the characters.
Sophie is headed to enroll in classes one day, and gets caught up in a nightmare. A shooting on campus has her hidden behind a statue for hours, watching others around her die. When it’s all over, Sophie worries that things might not be as cut and dry and the police think. With Jonah as the leading detective, and the man who helped her through the worst time in her life, she comes forward about her thoughts and fears.
Jonah isn’t sure what to think about Sophie’s theory, but he does know that above everything else, he wants to protect her. He is attracted to her in ways he never thought possible, and when attacks start happen towards Sophie, he will do just about anything to protect her and keep her safe. But will he be able to keep her safe from a madman?
I really liked this story, the premise, the plot, the romance and the characters (both main and supporting) were all expertly done. After just one book, I think Griffin has become a new favorite romantic suspense author for me. With the premise of Sophie working for one of the top crime labs in the world, I was immediately drawn in. I’m not a big fan of TV, but will admit that I LOVE crime shows, police dramas and anything to do with crime scene investigative topics. It’s something that intrigues me and keeps me engaged. So getting to see glimpses of that throughout the book, was incredible for me. Just another reason I can’t wait to go back and read the other books in this series.
The characters were amazing as well. Sophie is a little damaged, still dealing with the fall-out from when she was kidnapped. And although she is a little broke, she is still determined to live her life to the fullest. She wants to move on, she wants to get better, and she wants to do that with Jonah. I really enjoyed her spunk and determination. Jonah was great as well. He was strong and although he was set in his ways, he was also willing to do anything and almost everything for Sophie. Although he didn’t think either of them were ready for anything serious, he wanted, more than anything, to keep her safe and sheltered. Jonah was also a little broken to me, but that was just another one of his charms. I loved that although everyone else doubted Sophie, he was willing to give her theories a chance, to test them, and get to the bottom of whatever was going on.
One of the things that I really liked about the plot was how much time Jonah and Sophie spent on their own journey, as well as their relationship. They both had things they needed to work on separately, and together, and I loved that Griffin gave them time to do both. It made for a wonderful story and the romance was that much sweeter when they finally got together.
All in all I am super happy with my first Griffin read. The suspense was well drawn out but believable at the same time. The characters, both the main and supporting, were real and created wonderfully that kept me engaged and wanting to support them in any way. The romance was sweet and perfect for the couple. I give Snapped an A-(less)
Publisher: HQN Publish Date: Sept. 20th How I got this book: NetGalley
I adore this series, absolutely adore it! I love the concept, and the execution is spot on as well! Sala has become one of my must-read suspense authors!
Holly is the last remaining sister at home in Montana after finding out the truth about her past. But she is afraid to go searching for the truth, partly because of how scary her father is, and partly because she would have to leave Bud, the ranch foreman and long time love of her life. But Holly knows she owes it to her mother to find out the truth, so she sets forth to find it.
Arriving in St. Louis isn’t what she expected, and neither is her father. But the police are receptive to her claims and quickly get started on working to find the truth. As things heat up with Holly’s sisters, Bud heads to her side to protect her, but even with his protection, will Holly be safe from the man who was her father, and St. Louis’ worst serial killer of all time?
This is the final installment of the Searchers Series, and probably my favorite. Bud has been instrumental in holding the sisters together as they each set off on their own journey, and seeing everything from the first two books play out from his perspective is awesome! Plus, watching him struggle with moving from a protector, older brother role to a boyfriend role was entertaining. But DAMN can Bud romance a girl!!
I really enjoyed Holly from the get-go as well. She stepped up at a young age and took over as the lady of the house. She cares for everyone and is so much softer and maternal than her sisters. I was anxious to see how that would all play out in the suspense aspect, and although Holly had a few moments that I thought were a little stupid, she wasn’t nearly as impulsive of a character as I thought she would be. I was worried that she would for sure have some TSTL moments, but instead she was more willing to play it safe than any of her sisters. I liked that about her.
The suspense portion of the plot was done really well. Although we know from the beginning that Holly’s father is the serial killer, he was creepy and just the right amount of insane and psychotic. I felt as if Sala probably did a significant amount of research on serial killers and their psyche, and it showed with how well she wrote the character. I was also happy with the way that story resolved itself, how Holly was able to step-up and really help put her father behind bars for life. It all came together, but not TOO perfectly.
The last few chapters were also devoted to wrapping up the sister’s stories as a whole, and I loved that. We got to see them all come back home with their men, and how they were ready to move on in life. I was hoping for more resolution, and loved seeing them come home together and share their experiences. There was one small detail that I felt was “too perfect” that didn’t sit well with me, but I don’t want to give anything away.
All in all I felt this was a perfect ending to the Searchers Series. Holly and Bud went from a great comfortable friendship to an amazing partnership as lovers. Their romance was fun and full of tension and sexy times. I loved every step of the way. Fans of Sala will not be disappointed!
Publisher: Berkley Publish Date: 3/1/11 How I got this book: Purchased
Maya Banks is back with the third installment of the KGI Series, one of my favorit...morePublisher: Berkley Publish Date: 3/1/11 How I got this book: Purchased
Maya Banks is back with the third installment of the KGI Series, one of my favorite romantic suspense series of all time. Garrett, the somewhat quiet and surly Kelly brother is still recovering from his gun shot wound, but when the opportunity comes up to take out the man who ambushed and killed many of his men so long ago, he jumps at the chance, regardless of the mission. But it’s simple, all Garrett has to do is keep an eye on Larrimer’s sister Sarah.
After witnessing her brother commit murder, Sarah runs as fast as she can, trying to hide herself from the world. She ends up on a small island, and when her handsome neighbor starts making small talk, she learns to trust in another human once again. When someone finds her, Sarah runs again. Garrett tracks her down again, and forces her to accept his help, regardless of the little white lie between them.
When I first started reading the KGI series, I was instantly hooked by the Kelly brothers. They are all these total alpha heroes, with bad boy streaks a mile wide. I feel in love. The stories are all really fast paced, full of action and romance, and portray the Kelly family in such a great light (faults and all) that I find myself wishing I could be taken in as one of them as well.
Garrett has always been one of my favorites, and I found myself falling more and more in love with him throughout his story. I liked him as the strong and silent type, but seeing him come out of his shell and tease and flirt with Sarah was great. I enjoyed getting more in depth with him, and wish that we could have actually had a little bit more information about his history. There were times I did and didn’t like Sarah. In this series, it seems as if Banks always makes her female leads have some kind of traumatic past. I was disheartened with Sarah’s past trauma, but also glad with the way that Banks gave the character this incredible inner strength to be able to come out of her shell and really deal with it, regardless of her fears. There were times when Sarah seemed so strong, like she was really moving on, and then she would seem to take steps backward in her progress. It was realistically frustrating to read.
Again, the Kelly family just shines through with all their awesomeness. One of my favorite characters, Rusty goes through a really hard experience (read – traumatic event) and the way that Sean and the Kelly brothers stood up to protect her almost brought tears to my eyes. I just love the way families come together, and Banks has a way of showing us time and time again just how tightly knit this family is to one another. I LOVE that.
The plot in this book started out somewhat slow and lazy with Garrett heading to the island and getting the chance to get to know Sarah. About half way through it really picked up and began moving quickly and Banks started packing in the action left and right. We get a chance to see the other KGI employees come through for Garrett, and really take over parts of the story. I liked getting an insider look at Rio, and hope that his story will be coming up quickly. I did however think the conflict between Garrett and Sarah’s brother Marcus ended somewhat abruptly and in a way I wasn’t completely satisfied with, but that’s just me.
All in all, I give Hidden Away 4.5 out of 5 island getaways! (less)
It’s no secret that I am an absolute sucker for all things romantic suspense. Between this cover, blurb and set-up, there was no way I could turn this book down. I am so glad that I read it, I have a feeling this will become another rom suspense series that will keep me addicted to the final word.
Abby is one of the best assassins in the world, so when she gets captured, her boss contacts Jim Morgan and his team of mercenaries to get Abby out of trouble. But Abby wasn’t in the jail for no reason, she was hoping to get out a group of young girls that were being auctioned off into the sex trade.
Kane is immediately attracted to Abby, even when he carries her bloody and beaten from her cell. He nurses her back to health and agrees to continue her mission to save the girls. Although Abby tries her best to keep Kane at an arm’s length, he does everything he can to get under her skin and into her heart.
This book had a lot of the same feel of the Black Ops Inc, and KGI books have. A strong sense of brotherhood, a bond of military and heartbreak that keeps these men together as not only teammates, but also friends. For that aspect alone, this book found its way into that special spot in my heart. Likewise, the gals: Noelle, Abby and Isabel had a kind of kinship to them as well. I always love when those bonds come through strongly in a story like this.
I also liked that there were moments of high action, and lulls of downtime as the team planned their missions. While I like my rom suspense to occasionally go a million miles a minute from the first page to the last, the story also loses a little something when there is no downtime for the hero and heroine to get to know one another, find out what they have in common, and start to form a foundation for a relationship. Abby and Kane were given plenty of opportunity for it, and although they both seemed to resent those moments, those moments became some of my favorites.
I liked that Abby was forced to deal a lot with her emotional past. That she didn’t just jump into bed with Kane. I especially love that Kane was the one to back off from their first sexual encounter because he could tell she wasn’t in it for the right reasons. I think that was the first moment I knew Kane would win over my heart. As he helped Abby break through her barriers, he became the sweet and endearing Alpha hero. The one who wants to act as backup for his woman because he knows she can handle herself, but will do everything within his power to ensure she stays safe.
I was a little frustrated with Abby in the end, especially since she ran off without really thinking things through. She didn’t look at all sides of the situation, and ended up almost ruining the best thing. And yet, with Abby being the person in the relationship that ran and messed things up, I was so happy to see Kane make her work to get him back. He didn’t bow down to her every whim and need, instead he told her what he needed, and made her come to him when she was ready and able to prove herself. *melt*
The secondary characters, all the other men working for Morgan were great. I can’t wait to find out more about D’s history, see if Trevor will be able to get over his fiance’s death, meet the mysterious Sully. I especially loved the forced relationship between Trevor and Isabel as they went undercover as husband and wife. The sexual tension between them was palpable, and I hope that the two of them will be the next couple featured in the series.
All in all romantic suspense fans will want to get a hold of this book! I loved the sense of comradery between the men, I love the mystery surrounding the other team members, and the balance of action and rest time. I can’t wait for the next book… Elle Kennedy, please write faster! I give Midnight Rescue an A-(less)
I really like Griffin’s Tracer series, so when I got the chance to get this book, I was all over it.
Andrea is a detective who lives for her job. She loves what she does, but when she is put on administrative leave due to a shooting on the job, she has some spare time to focus on what kind of trouble her younger brother is getting into. Andrea knows her brother is a grown man, but the need to protect him is strong, and she can’t sit back and not do anything when he might be involved with a homegrown terrorist.
Jon has been working undercover for months, hoping to discover the truth behind an ex-military man who has started displaying some terrorist tendencies. Having Andrea creep around his investigation is not what he needs, but her brother might be the key he needs to unlock the secrets that he and his agents haven’t been able to get on their own. Except the feelings Jon has for Andrea are far from professional, and using her brother might be the one thing that Andrea would never be able to get past.
One thing I adore about Griffin’s novels is that the mystery and suspense action are always absolutely AMAZING. I never know what to expect when I crack open one of her books, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I love when a suspense book can keep me on my toes, keep me guessing, and constantly keep me off balance while reading. It makes the book so much more special, more interesting, and more engaging to me. Griffin is one of the best in that regard, and her books are always a treat.
While I typically love the romance in Giffin’s book, I felt like Jon and Andrea’s relationship took a backseat to the overall plot. I felt as if the romance didn’t play as big of a factor as it does in previous books in the series, and because of that it really affected my enjoyment of the overall story. I wanted so much to watch as Jon and Andrea struggled over their agency squabbles, after all, everyone knows that Feds and local cops never get along. :) I would have liked to see more of their relationship explored.
I did find myself liking both of the main characters, although Andrea quickly got on my nerves with her inability to deal with life’s hard struggles. She was such a strong character, good cop, and devoted sister. When she gave up on her fight against the police board, and forcing Jon out of her life without an apology or explanation, she came across as weaker than the strong woman she had built herself up to be. I would have liked to see her assert herself more in other aspects of her life, instead of just when she was working a case.
I did like Jon. He was a strong and secure hero who was so desperate to solve his case that he was able to put his ego aside and call on help that he desperately needed. He didn’t need to get in some kind of pissing war with Andrea (at least after he found out her motivation behind looking into his case), and was able to rely on her instincts to help put the pieces of the case together. I liked that about him. However, I didn’t feel like we really got a chance to know Jon outside of his work persona. It would have been nice to have a few personal scenes with him, to see more of the man behind the badge.
Like I said before, so much of the book was spent focusing on the actual case and mystery behind it that I felt as if other aspects of the story were just missing. I wanted more character development from both Andrea and Jon, especially when it came to their lives outside of their work. I wanted to see more of their relationship develop. I struggled with believing in their happily ever after because I didn’t feel like we really got the chance to see them come together, see them rely on one another, or see them even fall in love. I just needed more.
All in all, I thought Griffin had a wonderful mystery and suspense filled book to add to the Tracers series. The plot with the bombing and home grown terrorist group was really well done, and I loved the way it all played out. However, I felt as if the rest of the book suffered because so much time was spent on that aspect. I would have liked to see the other subplots better flushed out. I give Far Gone a C(less)
Publisher: Hachette Publish Date: 2/22/11 How I got this book: Pima County Library
Cynthia Eden has quickly cemented herself as one of my new favorite au...morePublisher: Hachette Publish Date: 2/22/11 How I got this book: Pima County Library
Cynthia Eden has quickly cemented herself as one of my new favorite authors. I’ve recently gobbled up her paranormal series, Night Watch, and her Deadly suspense series within the past few months. In just a few books, she has become an auto buy for me, and a guaranteed great read.
The third book in the Deadly Series (and I HOPE not the last!) focuses on Agent Samantha Kennedy, one of my favorites from Deadly Fear. Samantha is still plagued with nightmares and fears from the killer who kidnapped and tortured her. Looking for any chance to hold onto life and the present she shares one very steamy night with Max, a sexy stranger she met in a bar.
But when Max and Samantha meet again, and let their passion spark yet another fire, Samantha’s work and private life catch up to one another. Max’s brother gets abducted by a serial kidnapper and murderer, the same one who has been alluding Sam’s elite FBI team. She worms her way into Max’s everyday life, pretending to be his girlfriend, so that she can remain close to the family, and have insider information that may finally crack open their case.
In the entire Deadly Series, Eden has created some of the creepiest and craziest villains I’ve ever read, and this story is no exception. I was completely stumped as to who the kidnapper could be up until the very end. Eden is very, very sneaky like that. And, in my opinion, it just makes for a better and stronger story. I was amazed at who it turned out to be, and have to say blown away by whole it changed so much of the story for me. Fabulous!
Samantha went through a horrific even in the first book, and I was glad to see that Eden didn’t have her instantly fixed. The struggle that Sam and Max went through to really face her fears, come to grips with the assault from Deadly Fear, it was a great journey. Both difficult and sweet to watch. When Sam was once again thrust back into the water, my heart almost stopped along with hers. Very emotional and well done.
I loved Max. It was easy to tell that he honestly cared for Samantha, regardless of her fears and flaws. He was this total caring and sensitive bad boy who could go from loving and sweet one moment to a savvy and dirty business man the next. I love that he wanted to be able to help and protect Sam with the investigation, especially once his brother went missing. I melted into a puddle of goo when he took care of Sam after the water incident, and took care of all her fears and needs. Their romance was quick to flame, and their love scenes were smokin’ hot. But at the same time they also had an awkward and beautiful courtship, dealing with so many things at once, and realizing they wanted to deal with it all by each other’s side.
All in all, I give Deadly Lies 5 out of 5 kidnapping psychos! (less)
Publisher: Mira Publish Date: October 25th How I got this book: NetGalley
I absolutely love Burton’s stuff, so when she first announced that she was coming out with a romantic suspense book, I did a little happy dance.
Anna went through an extremely traumatic event as a young girl: she was attacked and almost killed, was saved by her boyfriend and his foster brothers. When her boyfriend Dante leaves after that night, Anna continues on. When Dante returns twelve years later, Anna is upset and scared, because suddenly people she loves start dying.
Dante never wanted to leave Anna, but thought he was doing what was best. When the killer seems fixated on her, Dante sticks to her side and does anything and everything he can to protect her. But with Anna having difficulties trusting him, Dante worries that he might not be able to earn her trust before the killer makes his move.
It’s no secret I love romantic suspense books, especially ones that can keep me guessing who the bad guy is until the very end. And although Burton did that, at times I felt like she didn’t get us enough information to make a guess as to who the bad guy was. I went through about seven different guesses throughout the whole book, and one that I had guessed and discounted fairly early as the actual killer.
I did really like Anna and Dante though. Although the two went through some insane history together, they also didn’t jump right back into each other’s arms when Dante came back to town. Anna took her time figuring out what she really wanted and if she could really trust him. I appreciated the hesitancy she had in getting involved once again. I also thought that the way she had to struggle through the case, the panic attacks and the fear she went through was very well done. I was totally scared for her as well throughout the book. I even shed some tears with her as well. Burton did an amazing job creating a believable and realistic character that really spoke to me.
I loved Dante. I’ve always been a sucker for bad boys, and Dante is as sexy as one gets. He was so dedicated to Anna even as a kid, and that dedication and devotion showed through in every single action of his. I loved their scenes together, especially when he took care of her during her panic attacks. While he was sweet and endearing during those times, he was also capable of being absolutely ruthless when he needed to be. Loved it!
I thought the secondary cast of characters were great as well. I was totally bummed because Burton killed off quite a few characters that I would have liked to see more of, namely Jeff (one of Dante’s foster brothers) and Anna’s father. I absolutely fell head over heels for Gabe, and I hope and pray that Burton will write his story, because I think there was so much more to him than what was on the surface!
All in all I really enjoyed this romantic suspense book. I thought the suspense and mystery around the killer was done really well, without giving away too much to feel like you knew what would happen. I thought the romance progressed wonderfully and was both steamy and romantic. I sincerely hope that Burton continues writing romantic suspense novels in the future!
Publisher: Mira Publish Date: August 30th How I got this book: NetGalley
I loved the first Bulletproof book by Novak and when I saw the 2nd come up on NetGalley, I knew I would have to read this book. There was so much story left to tell between Laurel, Pretty Boy, Virgil and Peyton. And while I was a little disappointed that Pretty Boy and Laurel did not end up together, I really liked this story!
We pick up a few years later in the story, and Laurel has moved to small town Montana where she is finally getting the pieces of her life back together. She has her own business, a house, good friends and a sexy sheriff as the next door neighbor. She hopes that everything with The Crew is done and over, but when a local is murdered, Laurel fears for the worst.
Myles only knows his sexy next door neighbor as Vivian, but he wants to know so much more about her. He has been asking her out for months, but she always says no. When trouble comes to town, Vivian starts acting weird and Myles sticks closer to her side than ever before. As The Crew closes in on Laurel and her kids, she will do just about anything to protect them, even so far as to be willing to take them on before they can take her out.
The timeline was initially a little confusing to me, as was the name change of Vivian from Laurel. It took me a little to get back into the flow of the story, but once I did… Holy. Cow. I love that Novak’s writing is so explosive and sexy and the suspense is scary and real. I absolutely love it. The moments with Ink were frightening and could be a case-study for narcissistic sociopaths. There is nothing glossed over or sugar coated there, and as twisted as it was, I loved it. I loved that Novak pushed the boundaries and at times had me cursing my nook.
Like I said before, I was so disappointed that Laurel and Pretty Boy didn’t end up together. I liked them together, I thought they would be good together. In the first couple chapters I was still rooting for them, but it quickly became apparent to me that they were better apart, and watching their friendship grow was pretty great, especially the moments when Pretty Boy would get jealous over Myles.
I really liked Myles overall. I thought he was a great alpha hero who also had such a capacity for emotion as well. From the very beginning the reader is aware of how tender and loving he was to his first wife who died of cancer. There was never a doubt in my mind that he could love with all his heart, and how strong of a character that made him. Every reaction to Laurel was perfect and real.
The alternate plot lines with Virgil and Peyton were at times frustrating. I was upset with the way that Virgil handled things with The Crew. Him running off all half-cocked by himself while his pregnant wife sat at home just didn’t feel in character for him. It was a little weird to read. But, thankfully it worked at solving all their problems. I also hope that we get to see some kind of resolution to the story with Pretty Boy. I felt as if we were left hanging a little on his story.
All in all, I was very happy with In Seconds. The characters were real and full of emotion, the suspense was in full force and I was kept on the edge of my seat. Although there were a few rough patches for me, I can’t wait to read the next one in the series.
I’m fairly new to the Griffin bandwagon, but when I discovered her late last year, I gobbled up her writing as quickly as I could. The Tracer’s Series has quickly become one of my go-to romantic suspense series.
Kelsey loves her job as a forensic anthropologist, and when she stumbles on something odd in the Phillippines, she finds herself smack dab in the middle of one huge conspiracy. When she witnesses her ex-fiance’s murder at the hands of his FBI partner, Kelsey knows she needs to hide out and use her skills and resources from the elite Delphi Group to find out exactly what’s going on.
Gage’s history with Kelsey is more complicated than either of them like to think about. But Gage still loves her, and is willing to risk just about anything to keep her safe. The only thing he doesn’t realize is that he may very well be risking his SEAL career by finding her, protecting her, and keeping her off the grid. As they stay underground and follow the clues, more and more details surrounding the ever growing conspiracy are revealed. But when they discover who all is involved, will Kelsey and the Delphi folks be able to gather enough evidence to clear the innocent and get the guilty?
Griffin is a master storyteller. When it comes to romantic suspense, it’s obvious she does her homework and it shows throughout. I love the introduction of a SEAL hero, because let’s be honest, there’s nothing sexier than an Alpha-hero military man!
This story moved quick! From the Philippines to the US east coast than west, the story transitioned FAST. Griffin has this amazing ability to keep me engaged. She slows down for the hero and heroine to catch their breaths, work on their relationship and get it in little sexy time, all while keeping the suspense high. I’ve come to really appreciate an author who can keep up that high-octane action and mystery, all while keeping the story believable at the same time. And, in my opinion, it’s one of Griffin’s great strengths.
I have to admit that I fell for Gage much more than Kelsey. While I liked Kelsey and thought she was an interesting character, I just didn’t feel as much of a connection with her. Gage was still a little beat up over the death of his team leader (and Kelsey’s uncle), he’s hurt over his breakup with Kelsey and the only thing he has going for him is his SEAL team. Yet he bends over backward and risks everything he loves most in the world for the chance to keep Kelsey safe and make a life with her. I could see his desire for her and thought he did a great job of showing her just how much she mattered to him.
There also was an underlying second-chance story with the romance, but it didn’t stick out as much for me. While I could tell Gage was looking for another shot at love, Kelsey never seemed to acknowledge it. I felt as if she was much more concerned with solving the case than she was with building something with Gage. It didn’t really pick up (romance-wise, for me) until almost three-quarters of the way through. I would have liked to see a bit more from Kelsey on that front, but enjoyed the romance just the same.
All in all Griffin has another great Tracer’s novel on her hands. The case and suspense aspects were done so well, keeping the readers on their toes while leaving a trail of breadcrumbs as well. Add in the romance between two headstrong people who love their careers more than anything and watching them figure out if what they have together is more important…it was a recipe for book success! This series continues to rock and I can’t wait for more. I give Scorched a B.(less)
After reading the first book in this new series, I was hooked on Levine’s writing and the world that she had created. Between the sexy military men and the cowboy setting, I knew that these books would be something special.
When we last left Ty, he was literally left for dead, fighting to stay alive after being hunted down by the terrorist he and his team have been fighting for years. I was so worried about him at the end of the last book, so when we picked up right where we left off, I was immediately thrust back into that nervous place. But of course Ty is able to get out and get himself safe, only in doing so he runs into Eden, and must help her and her friends escape the hands of some local thugs.
Eden doesn’t want to trust Ty, or his band of brothers, but after the local gang tries taking a shot at her, she doesn’t have much of a choice. At least her skills as a dog sniffing trainer come in handy with Ty’s team. As things heat up between Eden and Ty, the danger with the local biker gang, and the terrorist hunting them down reaches a boiling point. With bullets whizzing by and both their lives on the line, will Eden and Ty make it out alive?
I honestly believe that Levine has something special with the Red Team series. It’s like Cindy Gerard’s Black Ops Inc. guys, only they are fighting their own private war in America’s homeland. That and Levine seems to make it a point to take some serious issues in each book. In the first book, we watched as Rocco dealt with some serious PTSD issues, and Levine did not sugar coat it in the slightest. With this book, I knew that from Ty’s reaction to being home, there was probably some abuse in his past with his father. However, as Ty’s history unraveled, I was shocked and stunned by the level of abuse that Ty suffered as a child. When I say that Levine doesn’t hold her punches, she really doesn’t. Some of Ty’s memories might be difficult (or impossible) for some to read, and although I was absolutely sick for Ty, it explained so much about him.
While I enjoyed Eden’s character, it took me awhile to get there with her. She came across as spoiled and I worried that she would pull of some TSTL moves. While she was reluctant to trust Ty and his team, she also didn’t seem to take any unnecessary risks, and was willing to admit when she needed Ty’s help. It wasn’t until she went back home with Ty, and did her dog sniffing thing that I really started enjoying her character.
The romance between Ty and Eden was also a little shaky at first. I’m a huge fan of books where the hero chases the heroine, and I loved that Ty was the one to pursue Eden relentlessly. He knew that he wanted her from the beginning, and he wasn’t afraid to fight for the chance to be with her. The fact that Eden was so reluctant wasn’t a huge surprise to me, but I also hoped that she could see just how much Ty was fighting for her, and them.
The suspense aspect of this series is one that is continuously ongoing. With each step that the Red Team takes forward in taking out the terrorist, they also take a step back, or a step to the side. When one battle is won, another is lost, or another arises. But I have to admit, for as unlikely as the whole plot is, it absolutely sucks me in and keeps me on the seat of my pants with all the twists and turns. I can’t wait to see where the series goes next!
All in all I enjoyed this following up novel in the Red Team series. While the first book in the series still stands out more to me in terms of romance and characters, I did end up falling for both Ty and Eden as well as their romance. I can’t wait to see which of the team members will be up next, and where the overall series goes. I give Shattered Valor a B(less)
I came in late to the Tracers series, but everything I’ve read of Griffin’s has blown me away. After I put one of her books down, I’m always anxious to get the next.
Maddie loves her job taking crime scene photos, but the side business of taking wedding, engagement and personal photos is rewarding as well. When her brand new camera is stolen, Maddie finds out that she may have inadvertently witnessed a crime, and is thrust into the middle on an ongoing FBI investigation involving kidnapping, murder and torture.
Brian is new to the FBI, and this case is one that has had him running in circles. First he lost his witness, then he can’t stop his attraction to the newest witness in the case, the cool-as-a-cucumber Maddie. Brian isn’t sure about her, but when Maddie helps their investigation as much as possible, Brian will do anything to protect her, especially when Maddie finds herself in the crosshairs.
While I really liked this book, it wasn’t my favorite in the series so far. There didn’t seem to be as much hard-hitting action as previous books, and I always loved the high level of suspense that Griffin puts into her novels. For me, with this installment, that was missing. However, I have to say that I adored the romance and friendship between Brian and Maddie. I loved that Brian was willing to chase Maddie, at her pace, and win her over little by little. He refused to accept her brushing him off and proved to Maddie that he was not only her friend, but romance potential as well.
Given Maddie’s history, I felt devastated for her. I could understand why she wanted to stay as far away from falling in love as possible, however I never really understood her reluctance to Brian being younger than her. Other than her mentioning it a few times throughout the book, it never really played a part for either of them, in my opinion. I did really enjoy watching Maddie grow past her trauma in life and come out so healthy in the end, especially when she confronts her ex.
The mystery surrounding this case was very different. I’m so used to my romantic suspense villains being about terrorists or crime lords, so seeing The Doctor as the big bad was a huge change for me. Granted, that didn’t stop him for being a sadistic bastard, but it was somewhat refreshing to have a totally different bad guy and plot line. I was shocked with the twist that Griffin threw in at the end, and couldn’t believe who all was involved with the case. It was a twist I definitely wasn’t expecting.
All in all I really liked the seventh Tracers book. The romance seemed to be a larger focus of this book, and I liked the slow building relationship between Brian and Maddie. While I would have liked for more action and pulse-pounding suspense, I was intrigued by the unique plot lines. Once again I’m anxious for the next book in the series!
I have to start this review with saying this is not your typical new adult romance. This has a Karen Marie Moning inspired cliff-hanger ending. BE FOREWARNED!
Rachel has not had an easy time in life, her parents died when she was still in high school, and she has been floating through life ever since. She followed her best friend to college, is studying something she isn’t truly passionate in, and to top it off she now constantly has be on the lookout for Blake, one of her childhood friends, who seems fascinated with her.
Kash’s last undercover assignment didn’t go so well, and his boss is sending him to Texas to avoid a contract on his life. Getting to work undercover on a serial murder case is just what he needs to keep him occupied. But having Rachel across the hall is proving to be more of a distraction than he ever thought possible. Keeping her safe from a stalker and working round-the-clock to try and find the killer is almost more than he can handle. But their relationship is what keeps him going, until all his truths come spilling out.
Let me start by saying the ending shocked me. Given the blurb, I was expecting your typical new adult romance with some cross over into romantic suspense. I expected to have the typical boy meets girl, boy and girl fall hard, boy and girl fight, boy and girl make up, and then boy and girl live happily ever after. WRONG! In this story there is another element, boy and girl get bitch-slapped by life once again, and shit has hit the proverbial fan. I was not at all expecting the end, and when I flipped to the last past on my eReader, I was ready to throw down with the author. Had I given this book a grade right that second, it would probably be a C-, because the end was honestly that unexpected. Thankfully, I took the time to think back on the first 99% of the book, and how much I enjoyed that.
Poor Rachel has had a rough time. Losing her parents and coasting through life hasn’t been easy. Being best friends with Candice is even harder (I’ll come back to her later). When her childhood crush, Blake (Candice’s cousin), asks her out, Rachel is reluctant to go. She doesn’t care for him like that anymore, and after she agrees to one date, she realizes that Blake has some serious issues. Blake is a controlling and abusive asshole that Rachel desperately needs to escape. Rachel had to fight tooth and nail to get even a little break. I loved that she was able to feel safe around Kash, especially since she desperately needed the chance to heal.
I liked Kash. He was alpha without being an alphahole, and although he kept his real job a secret, he also was so head over heels with Rachel that I could tell it hurt him to keep the secret. I loved that both he and Mason (his partner and BFF) were 100% devoted to the job, and went above and beyond to try and do everything they could to catch the killer. Splitting his attention between that and keeping Rachel safe was almost too much for him, and when Rachel found out about his real identity, their entire relationship came crashing down around them, and poor Kash was crushed. I loved him, but also wanted to kill him for giving up so easily when Rachel asked him too.
Other than the end, the other aspect of this book that drove me batty was Rachel’s best friend Candice. At times, she was the best best-friend a girl could ask for. She supported Rachel, provided a sounding board, they cried together, laughed together, and although Candice was a spoiled brat, she seemed to care deeply for her bestie. UNTIL Rachel accused her beloved cousin Blake of being a bad guy. At this point Candice’s character goes a little batty. She starts thinking Rachel’s lying, she doesn’t believe anything Rachel says, and starts acting outright hostile towards Rachel. As it was happening, I was pissed at her character. What a shitty way to act toward your best friend. But as the book went on I came to at least understand just how badly Candice was stuck between a rock and a hard place. Her cousin was telling her lies in one ear, while Rachel was trying to be open and honest. I could see why the conflict of who and what to believe would cause her to act erratically and unfairly toward Rachel. Did I like her for it, of course not. Did I understand it, yes.
All in all I thought this was a wonderful cross over book between the romantic suspense and new adult genres. I loved the stalker and serial killer aspects, but also liked the fact that they took a back seat to the romance between Rachel and Kash. I thought the romance was perfect as well. Kash was able to provided a safe haven for Rachel to heal and grow and Rachel gave Kash the stability he desperately needed within his undercover lifestyle. But I can’t stress enough how shocking the end was, and how much it felt like it came out of left-field. That being said, I am DESPERATE for the next book in this series! I give Forgiving Lies a B-(less)
I had only read O’Clare once before, and after seeing the cover and reading the blurb, I knew I would have to pick up this book as well. What’s not to love about small towns, a sexy Sheriff, and a daughter who will go to any lengths to protect the father that was never around?
While I hadn’t read any of the Bounty Hunter books before this one, I was able to easily slide into the world and navigate my way through without any kind of troubles. This book easily reads as a stand-alone, and a fun one at that.
Natasha is called by the Sheriff to come up north and answer some questions about the father she hasn’t seen in years. Although she doesn’t think she’ll be able to give him any information, she goes anyway, because family is important. Once she realizes that her father is on the hook for murder, she wants to stick around and do everything she can to prove his innocence while Trent hunts him down.
Trent likes being the Sheriff of a small town, but with such a gruesome murder on his hands, he needs to find Natasha’s father and wrap this up quick. The only problem is he is attracted to Natasha more than he ever expected, and the more they uncover together, the more he starts to believe everything may not be as it seems.
I’ve always enjoyed a little murder mystery with my romantic suspense, and although this wasn’t very suspenseful, the mystery behind the murder made up for it. I was amazed at how O’Clare was able to string us along, thinking Natasha’s father was the killer (with some pretty damning evidence I might add), and then throw in a curveball at the end. That aspect of it was done so well and made for a really enjoyable read!
I don’t know if this is common for everyone, but in my romantic suspense books, I tend to always like the hero a little bit more than the heroine. And Trent was no exception. His small town vibe was so cute, and yet he was able to handle himself when big-city problems arose. He was an alpha through and through, and at times even a little archaic with his thinking. I always love a good alpha hero who realizes that what he really wants isn’t a sweet little housewife and falls head over heels for the opposite of his “dream girl.”
Although the romance between Natasha and Trent seemed to take one step forward and one step back, I liked it. Usually that kind of romance really bothers me, but for these two it really worked. Between the murder case and not really knowing if Natasha’s father was involved or not, Trent’s dealing with a strong willed woman, and their amazing sexual tension, the back and forth really worked for me.
All in all I enjoyed this book by O’Clare and will definitely be looking into her back-list. Although the suspense wasn’t as high as I would have liked, the murder mystery itself added so much to the book. I adored Trent, and Natasha really grew on me the more she came out of her shell. Plus their relationship was too perfect for them as a couple. I give Run Wild a B(less)
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: Pima County Public Library
This past year I've become more and more excit...morePublisher: Grand Central Publishing Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: Pima County Public Library
This past year I've become more and more excited about romantic suspense books. I've read some of Eden's paranormal work, and really liked her writing style, so when I was browsing my library website and found her new suspense series, I reserved it right away. I was not disappointed.
Monica Davenport is an FBI agent with a knack for getting into a serial killer's mind, with a very dark secret. She serves on the FBI's newest elite team of agents who investigate serial killers, and has a steamy history with the newest member of their team, Luke Dante.
Luke's fantasy woman is none other than Monica, and after their one scorching night together long ago, he can't get her out of his mind. When they are assigned to a team together to chase down a killer who uses someone's fears as a way to kill them, their passion ignites, and the stakes get raised. But will they be able to catch a killer, who might just know each of their fears?
Again, Eden absolutely blew me away with the first installment of the Deadly Series. I haven't read a ton of suspense books, and the few I have read have mostly been about military men. So this was new to me, and I was absolutely amazed. Eden creates some amazing characters, including a hero and heroine who each have their flaws and strengths, and a villain that gave me the creeps.
The relationship between Monica and Luke was complicated, hot and filled with secrets. As we found out more and more about Monica and Luke's history both as individuals and as a couple. The way that each of them had overcome the many obstacles in their lives and come out on top. I loved the background stories about each of their fears, and how the killer turned out to be connected with both her past and her present.
I also really enjoyed the side characters within the FBI team. I know that this will be a great series, and I'm really excited for Deadly Heat and Deadly Lies, out February and March respectively. I'm really excited to read about Agent Samantha, who was a victim of a traumatic event, and how she deals with the fall out. I can only imagine how powerful that one is going to be!
For those of you who are faint of heart. Please think carefully before picking p this book. Eden does an amazing job of describing the setting and events of this book. There were a few scenes that were so incredibly powerful they gave me chills, goosebumps and a twinge of fear all out once. While this is a compliment to Eden's writing styles, for those of you with queasy stomach’s, you might be a little shaken at some parts.
But, that being said, this book was absolutely fabulous. I was so impressed with the intricacies of the plot, the back stories and the overall flow of the book. Deadly Fear is probably one of my favorite Romantic Suspense books of all time!
All in all, I give Deadly Fear 5 out of 5 super creepy serial killers!!(less)
Publisher: Mira Publish Date: Out Now How I got this book: NetGalley
This was the third and final book in the Bulletproof series by Brenda Novak, and it also happened to be my least favorite of the three. I absolutely loved the first book in the series, but for me, it only went downhill from there.
The disappearance of Claire’s mother has been haunting her for years. Her family wants her to give up the search, but she can’t seem to stop thinking about it and doing everything she can to solve the mystery. Then, when her husband was killed in a freak accident, Claire felt even more determined. she never imagined that her old flame Issac would be the one to step up and help her.
Isaac has regretted the day he let Claire go for years. Now that he is trying to help her find answers he is spending more and more time with her. He knows now that the one thing he wants is to keep her for good this time. Only now the same person who caused her mother’s disappearance might be after her. Will Isaac be able to fight to save Claire the second time around, or will she disappear forever too?
I really wanted to like this one, and had some pretty high hopes going in. I was excited to see how Novak would handle having such an old case come back after so long being a mystery. And in some ways I felt as if it was very well done. The case didn’t feel as if it was nicely put together and packaged in a way that would be easy to solve once re-opened years later. But at the same time, I felt as if the reader was left out of a lot of the investigative process.
I didn’t really connect well to either Claire or Isaac. There were times I thought that they were both immature and irresponsible with each other’s feelings, especially in the beginning. Claire also seemed very accepting about jumping back into a relationship with Isaac, which seemed odd given the way he broke her heart all those years ago. There was a lot about their relationship that felt forced and convenient. I wasn’t a huge fan.
I also was not happy with the ending, especially when we find out who the killer is. I don’t want to give anything away for those who are going to read it, so I apologize in advance for being vague, but…. While I thought the explanation for WHY the killer acted out, I didn’t understand the involvement of the accomplice. I just didn’t like it. At all.
PLUS, for those of you who were hoping that we would get some kind of resolution with Pretty Boy and the events of the ending of In Seconds, prepared for disappointment. Rex isn’t even mentioned once.
All in all I thought this was the weakest book of the Bulletproof series. I didn’t feel a huge connection between the hero and the heroine, and things that I wished would have been resolved were never touched. While the investigation of the crime was at times exciting and thrilling, the ending was a letdown. I give In Close a C(less)
Publisher: MIRA Publish Date: June 28th How I got this book: NetGalley
This was my first Novak read, and I have to admit that I’m a little disappointed no one demanded I read her sooner. I really loved this book!
Peyton is the second in command at Pelican Bay prison, and the gang problems are escalating to the point that a judge was murdered. An investigation is started, and a top secret operation is established, one in which an undercover agent goes into the prison to try and get insider information. Peyton isn’t too keen on the plan, but is forced to go along with it. When she meets Virgil, she is even more determined to keep him safe, because the feelings that arise between the two of them are explosive.
Virgil’s hands are tied. He was wrongly accused and spent 14 years in prison for a murder he didn’t commit. Now that he is out, he and his sister’s lives are in danger and the only leverage he has to protect them is to help out in the undercover operation. He will have to once again go to prison and find out anything and everything he can on gang activity. While he is resigned to his fate, meeting Peyton has suddenly given him something to live for, and the mission becomes so much more. But when people start turning and the gang after Virgil start putting pressure on the wrong people, Virgil and Peyton might be at risk of loosing more than just their hearts to each other.
I knew the moment I read the author’s note in the beginning that I would love this book. Novak admitted to writing this after inspiration from the TV show Prison Break, and who doesn’t love a little Wentworth Miller? *drool* I have to say though: WOW! The added romance into the story kept me so engaged, so enthralled with the story I couldn’t put it down.
Peyton and Virgil are the kind of characters that just kept pulling me back in, even sticking in my mind well after I put the book down. Starting with Virgil, the poor man was probably the most tortured yet honorable man I’ve ever read. He was strong willed, went through hell and back, and was kicked in every way possible his entire life, yet he still came out of it strong, noble, and with the desire to live right. There is no way that someone wouldn’t be able to fall in love with him. He was just that incredible of a character. I also truly loved Peyton. Like Virgil she was strong willed and completely trustworthy. She knew the difference between right and wrong and wasn’t afraid to fight for what was right, even if the path was a bit difficult. I think the biggest thing that really endured me to her was that although she was a warden, although she worked with hardened criminals her entire life, she still cared. She still saw them as people, still treated them with respect and fought for their rights and lives. She is the type of woman I hope we have working in the corrections offices everywhere.
I liked that their relationship somewhat tortured them a bit too. Neither one of them really wanted to fall in love with the other, but it just so happened that they couldn’t seem to stop themselves. I’ve always loved these kind of romances, but I can honestly say that I think Novak did it in the best possible way. It was rough and gritty at times, but it was also very obvious that the two fell and fell hard for each other.
I also really enjoyed the way that Novak didn’t sugar coat the violence that is in the prison system, the extensive networks and reaches of some gangs, and how easily honorable men can be turned at the hands of crazy criminals. Between the gang that Virgil was trying to infiltrate, the one who wanted him dead, and the many different nefarious sub-plots involving corrupt officials had me on the edge of my seat. The suspense was subtle while at the same time keeping me complete engaged and biting my nails until the very last page.
I can’t wait to continue on with the series and read more about Virgil’s sister, his best friend and former gang affiliate Pretty Boy and hopefully see more of Peyton and Virgil. I can say that I am definitely going to be checking out more of Novak’s work and will probably be making quite a few bookstore trips in the future.
All in all I loved this book. The characters, both the main and secondary were easy to relate to, well developed, and pulled me in emotionally. The plot continued to twist and turn and thicken at each and every page turn. Inside kept me on pins and needles and was everything I had hoped for and so much more.