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...more
I’ve been a longtime fan of Walker, but her new romantic suspense books have launched her into a whole new stratosphere for me. Stolen was no exception.
Shay’s early life wasn’t easy. She doesn’t remember most of it and the memories she does have are ugly and brutal. She never thought her past would catch up with her in small town Alaska, but when someone starts pretending to be her author persona, Shay fears the worst.
Elliott is devastated things didn’t work out with Shay, especially since he’s still in love with her. And when she finally begins to open up about her past, everything is so much worse than he imagined. But he’s determined to prove to Shay he wants to be with her, regardless of her past. As Shay’s stalker gets close and her life is on the line, Elliott can only wonder if they will make it out together.
Walker does an incredible job of keeping the suspense high in her books. While I was pretty sure early on who the bad guy was, the twists and turns with that particular character absolutely took me by surprise. And there is nothing better than a romantic suspense author who can still keep me guessing to the very end. The way the story unfolded and how the truth was revealed was absolutely brilliant and Walker’s part.
There were times that the romance between Shay and Elliott really frustrated me. I could somewhat understand Elliott’s reluctance to stay with Shay because of her inability to open up to him, and once she did open up, he really stuck it out by her side. But Shay was almost impossible. She had some pretty outlandish reasons for keeping Elliott at arms length, and even worse ones for pushing him away. There were times I wanted Elliott to just throw her over his shoulder and caveman off with her.
While I knew her traumatic past influenced her actions and feelings, it was still a little frustrating to read. However, the memories from her past really were awful and horrific. I’m always amazed at how twisted and warped Walker’s mind can be when creating some of these backstories in her romantic suspense books. I can’t imagine becoming a functioning adult if I went through the same past as Shay, so a part of me understands her desire to stay a recluse. But it was still hard to read at times.
I think the suspense was so well done in this book! There were times when I just didn’t know what to think, didn’t know who could be trusted, and was left scratching my head. I love when a book can do that to me, so needless to say, it was definitely a strong point! I don’t want to give anything away, but the twist regarding the identity of the villain and how Walker tied it all back together was pure genius. Seriously!
All in all this is another stellar romantic suspense book from Walker. The stakes were high, the action and romance well paced and the suspense kept me at the edge of my seat. The story was twisted and so well done – I adored it. But like I said, I did wish that Shay hadn’t been so off putting, especially after letting Elliott in. I give Stolen a B+...more
I am so glad that I found and started this series, it’s one of those where the books just keep getting better and better as the series develops. The 3rd book in the Black Knights Inc book focuses on Michelle and Jake, fairly new characters to the series, and ones I hope we see more and more of!
Jake “the Snake” is in Chicago and has one mission in mind – to win Michelle’s heart. he has long been head over heels in love with her, but battling his own demons made him feel like he wasn’t worthy of her love. So, he pushed her away until he was ready to settle down and commit one hundred percent to the only woman to ever hold his heart. The last thing he expected to have to do when he got to town was protect her.
Michelle has always loved Jake, but he broke her heart once, and now she is wary to give it to him once again. But the stress of her brother’s work and Jake needing to be her bodyguard are wearing her down and making her even more susceptible to his charms. As the threat against her heats up, Michelle realizes that she may lose not only Jake, but everything she holds precious.
I was so intrigued by the idea of Michelle and Jake after the way the last book ended. I couldn’t wait to see how they would work everything out, especially given the rocky nature of their history. Plus, I’m a total sucker for second chance love stories, and if anyone deserves a second chance at love, it’s Michelle and Jake. These two have been through so much as a couple, and as individuals, that there is nothing I wanted more for them except a happily ever after.
I’m going to start with Jake, because I lurved him so hard. He was Alpha to the extreme, and his time in the military had such a huge impact on his life. He was a SEAL and a hardened soldier, but what he saw and did lived with him day in and day out. Although we didn’t get to see much of his PTSD in action, the feelings of despair that he went through were evident in his memories, and I was glad that they weren’t glossed over any more than they were. It’s such an important aspect of our military men and women, and I love seeing it play out in books with military heroes. Plus, Jake is so absolutely in love with Michelle, and fights tooth and nail to prove it to her, I just loved that about him!
I adored Michelle as well. Being a single mother with a dead war-hero husband wasn’t easy, yet she has given her son the best life she can. She is sweet and kind hearted and although she isn’t perfect, she is the kind of adorable heroine that I would want to be friends with. As more and more of her story unraveled, I was taken aback by how much she really went through, and what exactly she has had to deal with in her life. She was strong and resilient and I absolutely adored her.
Their romance was great as well. Jake went in with guns blazing, hoping with every bone in his body he would be able to win back the girl of his dreams. Michelle was hesitant and scared and pushed him away despite the attraction that pulled at both of them. I loved their journey to happily ever after, especially when HUGE secrets about their past are revealed, and Jake has to reevaluate his whole opinion and ideal of Michelle. It was a great twist in the story that I should have seen coming, and yet blindsided me at the same time. Awesome! Anytime a story can do that… totally awesome.
All in all I am so happy with the 3rd installment of the Black Knights Inc series. Walker told a wonderful second chance love story with Michelle and Jake, and still was able to pull me into the secondary characters so much so that I can’t wait for the next installment. I was glad to see the sub-plot with Johnny wrapped up, and can’t wait to see where the series goes next! I give Rev It Up a B+...more
MinnChica: I am a huge sucker for romantic suspense, especially ones done with sexy military heroes. Unfortunately, while I liked the overall premise of the book and thought that Beckett had a very strong plot, Callie drove me nuts. To the point that I couldn’t enjoy the story. Add in the few pregnancy issues that had me rolling my eyes every few pages, and I had a really hard time enjoying what could have been a really strong romantic suspense.
E: I was really looking forward to reading this. The back cover blurb hinted at several things I thought I would enjoy. Pregnant heroine on the run from the bad guys. Hero was the elite military type. They were both in a foreign country needed to make their way to safety. I thought they would be boiled down to their pure essence and along the way fall in love with each other. Instead what I got was something that I had to fight extremely hard to finish and not chuck the ereader. I had such a negative reaction to the heroine that I actually wanted the hero to turn her over to the bad guys and find himself another girl. I was more invested in the interactions between the hero’s buddy and a poor model who had to deal with mistaken identity then in the primary characters.
MinnChica: There were times that I was totally with you on wanting Cole to just hand Callie over and wipe his hands of her. Between the bleeding heart for the bad guy and her constant “he can’t be THAT bad” mentality, she had quite a few TSTL moments. But for me, the parts that constantly frayed my nerves were all the pregnancy references. I never had any problem reading about pregnant heroines before, as long as it was believable. But maybe since I’m currently pregnant, little things tend to stick out to me. Like the fact that Callie’s sister named the boy before she died, when Callie was only 4-5 weeks pregnant. Ummmm… Not possible. Or how Callie was always able to feel the baby move at 16 weeks whenever she placed her hand on her tummy. Ummmm… highly unlikely to not only feel movement through your hand, but also that the child would move – AT YOUR WILL. Every time the pregnancy and baby was brought up, I just wanted to roll my eyes and wished over and over again that the heroine wasn’t knocked up. I think the story would have been strong without it.
E: MinnChica it wasn’t just you being pregnant. I have never been pregnant but listening to my sister and watching my mom through three pregnancies I found myself highly skeptical. It was like the pregnancy was there to make me, the reader, feel that the bad guy(s) was the most awful thing around. Instead I was extremely annoyed by the “convenience” of it coming into play. I was willing to give Callie the benefit of the doubt with her first TSTL moment but once Cole told her that the bad guys were asking for her BY NAME she should have realized that now is the time to survive not change clothes, steal hand sanitizer, find a bathroom, take a bath, go into the woods when told not to, sneak away to CALL her brother-in-law using her credit card number. In other words each time I thought she couldn’t get stupider she did and it was wilful stupidity not just ignorance. She made the decision each time to do something the hero had told her NOT to do. I will say that I think the plot twists Beckett included were unexpected but the characterization ruined this read for me.
MinnChica: I agree, Callie really did ruin the book for me, especially since I thought that Beckett really had a strong overall plot. I liked the suspense in the book, I thought all the twists and turns and the overall story line (minus the pregnancy) was an incredible idea and had the foundation to be a really strong romantic suspense. The bad guys were truly awful and evil to the core, the man behind the curtain came as a bit of a surprise toward the end, especially since Beckett did such a good job of leading the reader on a wild goose chase of who-did-it. If it came down to just the plot, I would give Beckett high marks. But like E said, Callie and the pregnancy just pulled what could have been a really strong book down into a hard-to-read struggle.
E: I am not a huge character driven reader because I really need a good plot but I like my characters to keep me interested in what they are going through while I read. In this case I was not able to do that even though Beckett was able to keep me guessing about the identity of the ultimate string puller. That was a benefit but it was extremely difficult to appreciate that benefit when I had to fight through thee characters to get to the plot. I agree the bad guys were pretty darn bad. I was impressed by their justification for their actions. It wasn’t that they didn’t have a conscious but that they decided that the ends justified their means, regardless of those means. If you happened to get in the way then that was your own fault and you would pay for getting in the way. Unfortunately based on my strong dislike of the heroine I am not inclined to pick up anymore of Beckett’s writing.
I give In His Sights a D-
MinnChica: All in all I really struggled with how to rate this book. On one hand, the plot was really strong and the suspense aspect was so well done and executed so well. On the other hand, Callie was so difficult to read and enjoy as a character. The pregnancy drive me bonkers every single time it was brought up, and while I liked Cole, he wasn’t anything remarkable in the romantic suspense hero category. I really wanted to like this book and thought that it had some incredible potential, but it just wasn’t for me. I give In His Sights a D+...more
I was looking forward to trying Robards, because so many people talked up just how wonderful her romantic suspense books are. I was a little hesitant because this was a new paranormal series, but I like paranormal as well, so I figured all would work out. Yeah, not so much.
Charlie has dedicated her life to studying serial killers after the traumatic event of her childhood. The last thing she ever expected was to be tapped by the FBI to act as a consultant on the case that is looking to be more and more like the serial killer from her past. Charlie doesn’t want to go, but the FBI convinces her it’s best. So with her FBI protection detail and shaky nerves Charlie goes off to help the case.
But the FBI doesn’t know about Charlie’s gift/curse of seeing people right after they die a horrific death. While it helps with finding and tracking down murderers, Charlie has a slight problem, one of the serial killers, Michael Garland, she was profiling in prison has attached himself to her and is actively haunting her. Garland refuses to be ignored, but is also willing to help her out in any way he can. With her gift, Garland’s help and the FBI team, they just might be able to solve this case before Charlie becomes the next victim.
I will admit that I liked the overall premise of the book. I liked that Charlie could see ghosts, interact with them, etc. I liked the serial killer case, it was creepy and scary and all around suspenseful. However, the romance in this book was horrible. I didn’t like it at all. Charlie had a few shared kisses with sexy and understanding FBI agent Tony, but the real romance of this story was between Charlie and Garland, the man she had been profiling as a serial killer for who knows how long. That is creepy, and gross, and creepy, and gross!!
The romance between these two was uncomfortable for me to read. Charlie never really seemed to think, at any time, that Garland WASN’T a serial killer. She even had to remind herself time and time again that he killer numerous women, that he was a stone-cold killer. Then she would turn around in her own ghost form (while astral projecting) and get down and dirty with the guy. I can’t count the number of times my eyes popped out of my head and I screamed at her: “HE’S A SERIAL KILLER! WTF??”
Even though the case with the killer was intriguing, I couldn’t get over the romance. I tried to get past it, tried to ignore the whole sleeping with a serial-killer aspect, but I just couldn’t. The direction that Robards chose to go with the romance clouded the rest of what could have been a stellar series. I can honestly say I probably won’t be picking up any of her books in this series in the future.
All in all this story was lost on me. While I think this could have been a solid story: it had an interesting premise and world and an intense and unique serial killer case that kept me guessing until the very end, the romance was so poorly done IMO, it ruined everyone else. I don’t know that anything other than a move away from the romance between Charlie and Garland could have made this book better for me. I give The Last Victim a D-...more
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+...more
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...more
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-...more
Holy Karen Rose! I read my first Rose book last year when the first in the new Baltimore series – You Belong to Me – and the only thing I remember is being blown away. Well, let me say that Rose blew me away once again!
Paige has run away from the nightmares and overbearing friends in MN to work as a Baltimore PI. When she takes a case pro-bono, she never expected it would turn into a murdered client and shady figureheads across the city. As she works to uncover the secrets left to her by her client who dies in her arms, Paige is thrown in way over her head.
Grayson is a dedicated attorney who has never doubted his skill in the courtroom. When he finds out that he may have been an unwilling pawn in a setup, he will partner with Paige to get the truth, whatever the costs. As he and Paige fight to stay alive day in and day out, they uncover dirty cops, district attorneys, politicians and a scandal decades in the making. But the closer they get to the truth, the hotter the water they are in. Will they be able to unravel the mystery, while keeping each other alive?
I have to admit, reading Rose takes a lot of concentration and brain power. There is so much going on, so many subplots, and an endless number of twists and turns. As soon as I was done reading, I had to go and veg out, because my brain hurt from trying to process all the information, read into every word said, and try to figure out the mystery along with Paige and Grayson.
The mystery and suspense aspects of the book were AMAZING. I can’t even say enough good things about how incredible Rose is as a storyteller. The whodunit aspect kept weaving this way and that and just when I thought I knew exactly who the murder was, Rose would throw in another tidbit and I would be sent back to square one, scratching my head. I loved following Paige and Grayson as they uncovered clues, but also being able to get a look at the other players was a fun bit as well.
So many times when an author excels at the mystery or suspense portion of the book, it seems as if the other aspects don’t stand out as well. But with Rose, the romance was just as vital to the book, and just as well done as everything else. I loved and adored both Paige and Grayson. They had their own flaws and idiosyncrasies, yet they were both fiercely devoted to their work, and finding the truth in everything they did. I believed in them both and when they came together – rather explosively, I might add – I believed in them together. I cheered them on, prayed for them to be together, and hoped they would open enough to each other to let them heal one another.
I am so anxious to see where Rose goes next with the series. There were so many exceptional supporting characters that I can’t wait to find out more about. Especially Daphne, Grayson’s loyal and snarky co-worker as well as the rest of the Carter clan (Grayson’s adoptive family). When I read that the next book would be about Daphne and Grayson’s brother, the stoic FBI agent, I already started counting down the days until November 8th.
All in all I was once again floored by Rose’s writing and storytelling. The characters were flawed, but written flawlessly. The story was gritty and violent at times, but also told an incredible story that took us on a wild ride. I will absolutely be making my way through the Rose backlist (although it’ll be slowly, as she breaks my brain with the awesomeness that is her writing). Romantic suspense and mystery fans alike should all check out this book. I give No One Left to Tell a B+...more
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....more
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...more
I’ve never read Giordano before, but after reading her short story in the Carina Press anthology, I think I’m going to have to look up more of her work. Although this story flew by and seemed to be the fastest read of the anthology, I adored the story.
Gavin and Janet haven’t worked together long, but the sexual chemistry between these two is off the charts. Gavin doesn’t want to risk his executive position with starting a relationship with a junior team member, but there is something about Janet that calls to him. Janet doesn’t want to be fodder for the office gossip girls, but she thinks Gavin might be worth it.
When they are called to work together to rescue their boss’ wife from kidnappers, they get not only their first chance to work together directly, but also spend long hours together in close quarters. While getting their target home safe and alive is their main priority, the feelings between them boil to a point that they can no longer deny.
This novella read very fast, and I wasn’t sure if it was because it was so jam-packed with start to finish action, or if Giordano just has a way of seamlessly telling a story and making the words fly across the page. Either way, this novella went quick, between the non-stop suspense of trying to reason with the kidnappers, and the ongoing sexual tension between Gavin and Janet.
I liked the mini suspense plot of trying to negotiate with the kidnappers. With Gavin’s past, it was obvious he was willing to do anything and everything to negotiate and get their hostage back safely without worrying about lethal force. Although he butt heads with his tactical co-worker, I liked that Gavin was able to keep his cool and figure out the best way to negotiate. Likewise, Janet was a level headed character as well. She knew her technology and knew how to work it to best suit their needs. She seemed to balance out Gavin well, at the office and emotionally.
The sexual tension was Off.The.Charts. These two danced around each other for most of the novella, even taking some time in the middle of their opp for a little nookie. I look forward to hopefully seeing more of these two in future books, because I felt as if we only got to see a small portion of how explosive these two could be together in a relationship. I thought they fit, and that their romance didn’t seem out of place, even though they were on an important job.
All in all this short story was super sexy and the suspense plot was very well done. I always like to find romantic suspense books that are not about military heroes, and Gavin was a wonderful addition to my keeper shelf. I will definitely be picking up both future and backlist books by this author! I give Negotiating Point a B....more
When I first picked up Adair a few years ago, I didn’t know what to expect. I have to say though, I’m so glad I picked that first book up and continued to read her others, because I know that I’ll always get a pulse-pounding fabulous romance.
Logan has been searching off the coast of Peru for sometime now, and when he fishes a woman out of the water, he is instantly hesitant about her. Given her extensive knowledge of the treasure he is hunting, he is ever more concerned that she is just a plant by his enemies to thwart his mission. Little does he know, Dani is on the run.
Dani misses the life she ran from in DC, but being alive and safe for the first time in a long time is more precious to her than she ever imagined. While she knows that Logan doesn’t trust her, there is something about him that makes her feel like she can relax and not look over her shoulder. But when things on his boat start going wrong, Dani worries that either her past is catching up to her, or Logan’s enemies will do her in before the man who is hunting her.
I can’t even begin to tell you how much I adore these books. They are filled with fun and sexy locations, lots of action and tons of nail biting suspense. I love the tropical ocean feel that these books have, especially when we got the chance to spend most of the book on a yacht that had me dreaming of cruising along the coast of South America.
I can’t say enough good things about Adair’s ability to write incredible, nail-biting suspense. Between Logan’s adversaries in the business world, modern day pirates, and Dani’s past, we were constantly left wondering who was behind every mishap, every detail that went wrong as the book progressed. The story was woven together so well I couldn’t put the book down once the action started and things started getting good.
Although I loved both Logan and Dani, I did feel as if they somewhat rushed into a relationship. They both weren’t sure if they could trust one another, and yet they were ready to declare their everlasting love after not really knowing each other all that well. That being said, I did love these two together. They both brought out the best parts of each other. Dani was able to feel safe and loved and adored, she was able to build up her self-esteem and all the faith she lost in other people and herself during her time with Logan. On the other hand, Logan seemed to really mellow out, want to settle down once he and Dani got close. And although he wasn’t looking for it, he wanted someone to love and have love him back.
Without giving away too many spoilers, I do have to say that the man from Dani’s past is UBER EVIL! There were some moments while reading that made me a little uncomfortable. The details and descriptions of what exactly Dani went through, what she was forced to do and see were not easy to read, and those who get squeamish should prepare themselves before settling down to open this book.
All in all I really enjoyed the third installment of the Cutter Cay series. The suspense and action were jam packed into this story and had me at the edge of my seat throughout the entire book. The romance was slow to build up, with a lot of sexual tension. However, once those two fell into each others’ arms, things moved (almost too) quickly. Logan and Dani really are two exceptional characters and ones that pulled me into the story and had me invested in their lives from the first page. I give Vortex a B+...more
I love my romantic suspense, and the blurb for this book sounded so great. A bodyguard, a stalker and a prim and proper heroine… it just sounded like a recipe for success, and I enjoyed it very much!
Jessica has a book launch, a business and multiple social events to manage, all while trying to live without the fear that today will be the day her stalker tries something new. She is stressed and under insane amounts of pressure, and somehow, just barely, manages to keep her cool. That is until Noah walks in the door and saves her from a bomb within five minutes of shaking hands.
Noah is desperate to get back to work after a shooting, and taking a babysitting job is something he can to do prove he’s ready to go back to work. But after the bomb on day one, Noah soon realizes that this is not the average stalker. He sticks close to Jessica at every turn, and despite their attraction, is willing to do anything for the woman who keeps getting more and more under his skin.
I was really surprised by how much I enjoyed the suspense in this book. I’ve found that very few authors can do a really good job of doing a romantic suspense in less than 200 pages, but Curtis did an amazing job with keeping the suspense alive and moving the story forward, and even slowing things down too. I will definitely be looking forward to reading more from this author in the future.
I really liked Noah, from the second he came on the page, kicking butt as he went. He was surly and opinionated and although he wasn’t super happy about taking a bodyguard position, was one hundred percent dedicated to his job. Watching him struggle with falling for Jessica, someone who was the complete opposite of what his “ideal” woman was like, was great fun. I’ve always been a fan of books that can do this trope well, because it creates so much tension and angst and fulfillment once the characters finally come together.
Jessica was a wonderful heroine as well. Her character is peeled back layer by layer and as more was revealed to the reader, the more I liked her. She comes across as this very calculated woman, one who weighs every action and processes every move she makes. But as her backstory is revealed, I was left thinking nothing but positive thoughts about her: how she was so positive and caring and sweet and sincerely dedicated to the life she carved out for herself.
While the relationship between Jessica and Noah is smoking hot with sexual tension, it wasn’t without its faults. There were times it seemed like they were on the same page emotionally, only to take a giant step back from one another, shut one another out, and do silly things to push one another away. That annoyed me a bit, especially when Jessica forced Noah to leave, putting her own body in harm’s way of the stalker. It felt a little like a TSTL move, and I wanted to yell at her for making that decision, especially when it cost her so much more than she expected.
Again, I can’t say enough good things about the suspense in this one. Especially when it came to the mystery of who exactly the stalker was, I was so surprised by the end. Curtis did a wonderful job of keeping the mystery going, keeping me on the edge of my seat, and leaving me guessing up until the very last minute. Bravo!
All in all I really enjoyed my first ever Curtis read. The suspense was so incredibly well done, the characters were developed in a way that engaged me more than I could have ever hoped for. While the romance wasn’t my favorite, it was filled with sexual tension that kept me rooting for them. I would definitely recommend romantic suspense fans pick up this book and give Curtis a try! I give Guarding Jess a B+...more
I'm newly addicted to St. Claire, and the Bullet Catcher series are GREAT romantic suspense reads! Add in sexy times with a deck of cards *fans self*I'm newly addicted to St. Claire, and the Bullet Catcher series are GREAT romantic suspense reads! Add in sexy times with a deck of cards *fans self* and this was one smokin' hot read! ...more
I was so excited to start this book, it has a wounded war hero (which I love), cowboys (which I love) and tackled an issue that I don’t think gets enough attention. I was a little worried that the issue of PTSD would be glossed over, or not dealt with adequately, but Levine did an AMAZING job with that aspect of the story.
Rocco is just home from war, and suffering from a case of PTSD that is interfering with his everyday life. He can’t sleep, can’t eat, and can barely function. His one and only thought is about that horrific day, trying not to relive it and yet trying to remember. At the request of his buddy, Rocco heads over to Mandy’s ranch to help out in her times of trouble.
Mandy’s only goal is to open her therapeutic riding center on time. The few problems and setbacks worries her brother, so when Rocco shows up to help, she puts him to work. But there is something about Rocco that Mandy wants to help with. She wants to help him deal with his days as a warrior and come back to the land of the living. But when the threat develops into more than she ever expected, Rocco might be the best person to help keep her not only on track with her goal, but also alive.
I can’t even begin to say enough good things about this book. I’m not the kind of girl who emails new-to-me-authors after finishing a book, but I have to say when I finished this one, I did exactly that. There were just so many incredible moments in this story, and I am so anxious for the rest of the books in this series.
Starting with the romance: I adored Mandy and Rocco together. Poor Rocco is so broken from his time in the military, and he comes home absolutely beaten down. He doesn’t seem ready for a relationship, and yet Mandy befriends him, takes care of him, doesn’t let him push her away and is the best partner Rocco could ask for. While she goes above and beyond to care for him, he does what little things he can to care for her. He looks over her project, he protects her, and when things really hit the fan, he does anything and everything in his power to keep her safe. They definitely had a slow building romance, but the journey from friends to lovers was just so amazing to watch.
The suspense in this book was incredibly well done as well. It reminded me a little of the Suspense Series by Kaylea Cross, which are some of my all-time favorite military suspense romance books. I was constantly kept on my toes, wondering where the next strike would come in, who was behind it all, how certain people would get in and out of the sticky situations. Without giving anything big away, there was a lot of action and nail biting moments for not only Mandy and Rocco, but the cast of secondary characters as well.
Speaking of secondary characters, Levine is absolutely INCREDIBLE at creating a cast of characters that jump off the page and pull you into their own lives. I wanted to know each and every character better, wanted each of them to get their own stories. I haven’t been this invested in a team of ex-military men since the BOI books by Cindy Gerard.
As I said earlier, I was a little worried that the big issue of PTSD would be glossed over, or barely touched on. Instead, I thought that Levine did an absolutely wonderful job of showcasing just how horrific it can be to suffer from PTSD. Rocco struggled with it day in and day out. He got better, and relapsed. He had to work hard, every single day, to overcome the horrors he saw. Even at the end when all was seemingly well, I never once doubted that he would still struggle with the nightmares and flashbacks. I can’t say enough wonderful things about the way that Levine wrote Rocco’s character, and was so glad that she did such an amazing job bringing to light a topic that I don’t think gets nearly enough coverage.
All in all I really can’t gush enough about this book. There was never a moment when I wasn’t one hundred percent dedicated to the story and characters, and I cannot wait for the next book in the series to be released. I’m absolutely in love with Rocco, Mandy, Rocco’s teammates, the townsfolk, and the few other secondary character we’ve met so far. I have a feeling that this series will be topping my list of favorites in the romantic suspense category. I give The Edge of Courage an A+...more
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...more