I have such a love-hate relationship with this series. The books either blow me away, or leaving MUCH to be desired. While I wasn't as upset with this...moreI have such a love-hate relationship with this series. The books either blow me away, or leaving MUCH to be desired. While I wasn't as upset with this book as I was with the last, the book felt boring and like it dragged on. The hard hitting suspense and action that was common in the early books was non-existent here. I needed more, all the way around. C-
MinnChica: When I cracked open the first in the Sin Brothers series, I knew that Zanetti has something special. Each book keeps getting better and better, answering questions while opening up even more. From the moment I got this book I couldn’t help but to open it up and start reading, first page to last! I loved Nate, loved Audrey. Love where the series is going, and am so so so excited for Jory’s book!!!
E: As this series has progressed not only have I been captivated by Zanetti’s writing, I have also been extremely pleased that a fellow pusher is enjoying an author I love. I have enjoyed everything about this premise from the genetic manipulation, the emotional bonds, the levels of secrecy and conspiracy, the strong women, and determination to never give up. Like MinnChica I have found that while each installment answers some questions and appears to bring things closer to a conclusion new twists and turns are unfolded. This was a second chance at love and wow was it an emotional hitter. I loved seeing how Audrey was just as strong as Nate despite her slightly more convention upbringing. I also enjoyed seeing a few more conspiracies and a new, perhaps, side of the ultimate bad-guy.
MinnChica: The romance in this book blew me away. I knew that Nate and Audrey had unfinished business when it came to their romance, but the level of feelings and angst and drama between these two was way more than I expected. I loved the fact that although they had a lot of drama between them, they also didn’t try to deny (too hard) that they still had some major feelings for one another. Nate and Audrey both were able to admit to themselves that the connection between them was real and tangible, and needed to be dealt with. I loved that about them both.
E: The romance was tender, sweet, painful, and raw all at once. From the flashbacks of their initial meeting, to their mutual sense of protectiveness, to even their drive for vengeance I thought Nate and Audrey were perfectly matched. Neither of them knew what it meant to give up even if it meant losing the other person’s feelings. I loved how both Audrey and Nate had plots against the Commander yet they were willing to use him to succeed. I also really liked how the brothers insisted on supporting each other. It spoke again to their deep bond and showed they had an immense capacity to care despite everything done to make them into unfeeling machines.
MinnChica: I love that the relationship between the brothers continues to progress with each book. I thought it was great the way they all supported each other, even when they didn’t want the others to meddle. I also liked that they had enough faith in one another to let one another handle each situation as they saw fit. It showcased just how much love and faith they had for each other, and their bond as brothers is one of my favorite aspects of this series as a while.
E: YES! I also liked how the heroines of previous installments maintained their sense of independence and strength. They were also prepared to go to battle to save their brother and his love. I think one of my favorite parts was when Audrey was alone with Matthew, the oldest of the Dean brothers and he made it clear exactly how he considered her part of the family regardless of the uncertainty of her relationship with Nate. My heart totally melted because it said so much about the family bond.
MinnChica: All in all, I thought the third book in the Sin Brothers series was so well done. I love the way this series keeps building on each book, the way the world keeps developing, and how Zanetti continues to keep the series fresh and interesting. I am so excited to see what happens with Jory’s story, especially since it will most likely be the culmination of the series as a whole. I think this series keeps getting better and better with each book. I give Blind Faith an A-
E: This was such a great installment in the Sin Brothers series. Everything was upped; the tension, the stakes, the angst, the romance, and of course the shrinking timeline for the Dean brothers chance at survival. I also loved the developments in Jory’s story and situation. I think when that book comes out I will have to hole up without any interruptions because given the trend Zanetti has established I will have a hard time remembering to move let along breathe while reading. I give Blind Faith 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)
I have such a fangirl love of this series. Nick and Sam are absolutely amazing together, their romance is perfect and I adore every moment of their li...moreI have such a fangirl love of this series. Nick and Sam are absolutely amazing together, their romance is perfect and I adore every moment of their lives.
Force keeps getting better and better with each book. While I loved the mystery of this one, I have to say I was a bit bummed it wasn't resolved in a certain way. However, it was also totally realistic, so hats off to Force for that!
I am DYING to see where the next book goes. This series gets more and more ingenious with each book, and if you love murder mystery books, or romantic suspense, you MUST READ THIS SERIES!!! Seriously...(less)
I’m a big fan of Kennedy, and I absolutely adore the Killer Instincts series. It’s a little crazy, a little wild, and so much fun!
Ethan is the youngest guy on his squad, but what he lacks in age he makes up for in experience. When he intercepts an SOS call from the sexy and mysterious Juliet, Ethan forgoes his vacation for the chance at helping Juliet tend her wounds, and possibly get the chance to show her just how much she turns him on.
Juliet loves her job. She is a master thief, skilled assassin, and wonder spy. Her latest mission is completely personal, and although she hates working with anyone else, between her wounds and the target, Juliet is going to need help. While she is hesitant to work with Ethan, he finds a way to knock down all her barriers, while proving to be an asset in the field. But even their combined skills might not be enough to save them both in the end.
I was really looking forward to reading about Juliet, because she was such a mysterious character. She is one of those heroines who refuses to let anyone in, and she guards her heart with everything she’s got. I loved getting to read about her backstory, to find out exactly why she had built up so many walls. It was a pretty traumatic backstory, so the personal nature of her mission really added to the intensity of the suspense throughout the book.
I adored Ethan. While he was a younger hero, he was leaps and bounds above other heroes in regard to maturity level. I loved his take-charge attitude, and how he didn’t rub his experience in Juliet’s face, instead he just rolled with her punches and worked really hard to prove himself at every step of the way. And when he screwed up (because, of course he did!) he made it a point to go out of his way to make sure that he gained her trust back and continued to build on it. He was such a great hero, and I loved him.
One aspect of this series I can’t get enough of is the secondary characters. I am DYING to know what the deal is between Jim and Noelle, especially since they are both in charge of their own teams and are adversaries in the field. Yet, they obviously have a strong attraction, strong connection, and a history that is bound to be painful and misconstrued by both parties. I can’t wait to find out what the deal is, and how they work it out.
I liked the suspense in this book, especially given the personal nature for Juliet. Kennedy does a really great job of balancing out pulse-pounding scenes with relaxed downtimes. It adds for a really fast moving story that hits all the key points. Romance development, story advancement, and everything in between. I thought this was one of the weaker villains Kennedy has written, especially since I didn’t think the man necessarily lived up to the legend he built himself to be. Ethan and Juliet spent so much time planning on how to target him because of his status and stature, that when they actually got around to meeting the man, it was a bit of a disappointment for me.
That being said, the way the suspense plot came to a close blew me away! I loved the way Ethan and Juliet were forced to admit their feelings for each other, and what they had to endure to get out of it all alive. It was so well done, and something I’d never read in any other book.
All in all, the Killer Instincts series continues to be a favorite romantic suspense series for me. I love the over-the-top storylines and characters. I thought Ethan and Juliet were so cute together, especially as their relationship built slowly over the course of the book. I am absolutely DESPERATE for the next book in the series now. Especially after the build up to Jim and Noelle! I give Midnight Pursuits a B(less)
I was not a big fan of the first book, in fact I DNF it because I just couldn't get behind the hero or heroine. However, I am SOOOOOOOO glad that I to...moreI was not a big fan of the first book, in fact I DNF it because I just couldn't get behind the hero or heroine. However, I am SOOOOOOOO glad that I took a chance of the second book. I loved Daniel, loved Regan, loved the romance. I do wish Regan's emotional trauma would have been explored a bit more, but otherwise, amazing!
I adore both Clare and Frederick’s writing, but the first Hitman book absolutely did not work for me. I hated the fact that I ended up DNFing it, because I thought these two writing together would blow my mind. When Clare asked me if I would be interested in trying to second book, I figured I would give them another chance, and I am so glad that I did!
Daniel has given up his successful military career to become a missionary with a hidden agenda — find his missing sister who was kidnapped by human traffickers. Along the way, Daniel finds Regan and isn’t able to leave her in the hell hole he finds her in. Daniel helps Regan escape, but when he goes to drop her off at the American embassy, Regan refuses to leave his side. Daniel is helpless to do anything other than what Regan asks, and soon they set off together to find his sister and get the hell out of dodge.
Regan has been living in hell since she was taken, but trusting Daniel is easier said than done. Although he says he is going to keep her safe, Regan’s impression of men has gone down the drain since she was sold as a sex slave. But Daniel does everything he can to keep Regan safe, and together they might have a chance to find his sister and make it back home in one piece.
Like I said, I enjoyed this book much more than the first Hitman book. Both Daniel and Regan were easier characters to relate to, and I was sucked into their story in a way that didn’t happen with Daisy and Nikolai. I have always had a soft spot for books about human trafficking. I know I’ve said this before, but the strength of the heroines and the determination of the heroes to save these women is something that just resonates with me. Regan didn’t have an easy time as she was traded all over the world, and yet she found a way to remain strong, to keep her sense of self in the forefront of her mind, and not let her circumstances break her. I loved her for that.
I loved the way that Daniel had such a single-minded focus when it came to his sister. He was bound and determined to find her and get her home safe and sound. And yet, Daniel also wasn’t willing to let other women suffer. He went out on a limb to help Regan, and he kept helping her at every turn. Both physically and emotionally he was there for her. He made it a point to be cognizant of what her needs were, and did everything in his power to help her get back to a point where she could be happy and safe once again.
Although I thought Frederick and Clare handled the trauma of the sex slavery well, I was a little taken aback that Regan didn’t struggle with physical intimacy more, especially once she and Daniel took their relationship to the next level. Yes, when he first rescued her she broke down every time he touched her, but their few sexual interludes were sweet and caring, and Regan didn’t have as much emotional backlash as I would have expected from someone in her position. I would have liked to see that explored more in this book, or at least touched upon in future books.
That being said, I thought the romance between these two was so well done. Daniel really did do everything in his power to help Regan get back on her feet, despite the fact that he was desperate for a taste of her. He kept back all his passion and sexual tension for her as he did his best to be a friend and protector to her. It was a slow build that worked for them, and I loved the progression of it all.
I am interested to see how this series will continue, especially since we were introduced to some really interesting secondary characters. Daniel’s sister is definitely an odd-duck, and I’m anxious to see how Clare and Frederick will pull off such a cerebral character. I also really enjoyed reading about Daniel’s former teammate who had carved out a small section of Rio to rule with an iron fist. He is definitely an oddity, and I hope that his character will be explored more in future books.
All in all, I really enjoyed the second Hitman book, and I’m so glad that I took a second chance with this series. I thought both Daniel and Regan were interesting and wonderful characters, and I loved getting to see them work through their issues and find a way to fall for each other. I’m happy to report that Clare and Frederick knocked this one out of the park for me, redeeming my dislike of the first book. I give Last Breath a B+(less)
From the moment I picked up the first Hard Ink book, I was hooked on the world that Kaye created. I couldn’t wait to find out more about Crystal and Dean, and I was not disappointed.
Crystal is stuck in a world that she hates, unable to get out of paying off her father’s debts. She is terrified for her little sister’s safety, and getting out is a risk she isn’t willing to take. If anyone at the strip club found out she had helped Shane, her life could go from bad to worse in seconds.
Shane was drawn to the waitress who helped him one night, and he can’t seem to shake the feeling that there was more to her story. When he and the Hard Ink team need more information about the organization Crystal is working for, he reaches out to her for help, and is sucked into her life in ways he never expected. But danger to both Crystal and the team lurks around every corner, and Shane will have to pull out every trick in the book to keep Crystal safe. And Shane wants to keep her, for longer than just the mission.
The ongoing plot arc in this series is so good, so extensive, and so mysterious that Kaye had me salivating for every little clue I could find. I love the idea of this rag-tag team of military brothers doing anything and everything they can to find out the details of their ruined careers. But for every question that Kaye answers in this book, another two pop up. For me, it’s both exciting and annoying all rolled up into one. I know this series has so much in store for it’s readers, but the instant gratification I crave is non-existent.
I adored everything about Crystal. This poor woman is stuck working in a job she hates, tied to a man she loathes, all because her father got involved with the wrong guys and then died before he could pay off his own debts. She went through hell and back to get into the position she had, and the risk she took with helping Shane was huge. I could practically feel her anxiety at every turn, and I desperately wanted to give her a hug throughout most of the book. Her strength was absolutely amazing. The way she was able to hide the hardships of her life from her sister, under the guise of providing the best life possible, blew me away. When she finally reached out to Shane and was able to accept his help, I wanted to throw up my arms and cheer her on.
After reading the first book, I couldn’t wait to find out more about Shane. There was so much backstory between his character and the hero of the first book, Nick. I love the bromance between all the guys in this series, but the relationship between Nick and Shane was extra special. They had some great moments together in this book, and I thought their friendship was so well done. There was one aspect of Shane’s character that I wish would have been explored more: his past regarding his sister. I felt like Kaye really set us up to get more resolution with that sub-plot but instead she left the ends dangling like so many other aspects of this book.
Their romance was really well done too. Carly had gone through a lot in her past, and although she is currently “dating” someone else (and I use that word lightly, because she is in the relationship solely out of fear), I never felt that impact on her relationship with Shane negatively. I’m not usually a fan of books where the main character is dating someone else in the beginning, but it kinda worked for me here. I loved the way Shane was so patient with Carly, developing a trust and friendship over time while still doing everything he could to protect her both physically and emotionally. Shane more than proved his devotion to her time and again, especially when it came to helping Carly’s sister.
Like the first book in this series, there was a lot going on. The action was intense, and at times pretty violent. This world that Kaye has created takes no prisoners, and it’s hard-hitting and not apologetic. The tone is dark and gritty, but the sweet romance does a wonderful job of balancing it all out. I was glad to see the overall plot advance a little, and while Shane and Crystal accomplish their main objective, I wanted so much more.
All in all, I thought the second installment of the Hard Ink series was great. The romance between Shane and Carly was a mix of both sweet and sexy and intense. The suspense plot focused on human trafficking in this book, and I thought Kaye did a wonderful job with it. While I wanted the overall plot arc to advance further than it did, Kaye left me jonesing for more and more! I give Hard As You Can a B+(less)
This blurb seemed like it would be right up my alley, snarky heroine, badass hero, and a suspense plot to keep me on my toes. However, this book didn’t live up to my expectations.
Maggie has been dating a Senator for over a year now, and when she finds him cheating on her, she is pretty much over the guy. But finding him murdered isn’t what Maggie wanted either, especially when she is the prime suspect. Thankfully, FBI Agent Clive was following her and able to provide an alibi.
Clive has wanted Maggie since the first moment he started shadowing her. Finding out she had nothing to do with the Senator’s shady business deals was a relief, getting to spend time and care for her was his dream and nightmare all at the same time. As the killer realizes Maggie is the main witness to his crime, her life is in more danger than she ever imagined.
Let me start by saying this book is REALLY short. We’re talking around 50 pages or so. For how intensive the blurb made this book sound, it shouldn’t be a surprise that so much of the actual story takes place off the page. However, I was kind of shocked at just how much was behind the scenes. I felt like we were a little jipped on just how much of the story was told to us. I wanted to get in on the pulse pounding action, I wanted the suspense give me heart palpitations. Instead, we had a passing mention of all the good stuff, and it was almost like we were given an overview of what happened. Not fun for me to read. :(
However, I did enjoy Maggie’s character. She was a bit of a snarky and sarcastic heroine that I knew I would have loved even more if we had gotten more of a chance to know her. She was both sweet and caring and also a little cocky. She made me laugh and I thought she was a wonderful character. I know this is going to be a series, so I’m sure her character will be flushed out a bit more, so I can only hope that readers get to know even more about her.
Clive was sweet, but didn’t really stick out in my mind after putting down the book. He didn’t have that air of badass about him that I was expecting, and unfortunately there wasn’t anything special about him that made him stick out in my mind after I was finished with the story. It was a bit disappointing to say that there wasn’t really anything bad about him, but nothing great either.
The romance was the main focus of the 50 page story, and even that kinda fell short for me. It wasn’t that the romance wasn’t good, or that the writing or character development wasn’t good. There just wasn’t enough time for Yardley to cram everything in that would have made this book spectacular.
All in all I was pretty disappointed with this book. Again, it’s not like the writing or editing was bad, there just wasn’t enough story to work for me. I am a big fan of novellas, however the story has to have enough meat on it in order for it to grab my attention, and this just didn’t make the cut. I give Wake Up Maggie a D+(less)
I was so excited to read Donovan’s story, because I absolutely fell in love with him from the first book. However, this series has had quite a few bumpy moments over the past 4-5 books. While I went into this book optimistic, I was pretty annoyed with the end result.
Donovan has always had a soft spot for women and children. He does anything and everything he can to protect them every chance he gets. When Rusty introduces him to Eve, he knows he needs to help her, not because of the instant attraction, but because he can’t seem to keep his mind off her.
Eve is on the run, with her younger half brother and sister in tow. She is doing everything she can to keep them safe, but it’s getting harder and harder to run and keep their heads above water. Donovan and the Kelly family seem too good to be true, but Eve gets swept up in their generosity and kindness. But Eve’s past is quickly catching up with her, and Donovan might not be able to keep her safe from everything.
I think the biggest disappointment for me in this book was the insta-love between Donovan and Eve. I think they had barely known each other for 2 days before they were professing their undying love for one another. There wasn’t even the huge stakes and high intensity that comes along with many other romantic suspense books. Instead, other than a tornado that whips through Eve’s pathetic trailer, there is almost no suspense in the beginning or middle of this book. It made for a very slow reading pace.
I also struggled horribly with Eve’s character. I admired her for her desire to do anything in her power to keep her brother and sister safe. However, in every other aspect of her life, she was a little too meek. She let Donovan steamroll her into moving in with him, caring for the kids, and everything else. Although it seemed like she was pretty fierce before going on the run, it seemed like life really beat the spunk out of her before we get the chance to spend some time with her character.
My biggest problem with this book came toward the end when Eve and Donovan had their falling out. I thought Eve’s reason for losing faith in Donovan was totally unrealistic, especially since they had been so “in love” not only seconds before. Eve’s inability to hear exactly what was said, and then to misinterpret it so completely annoyed the crap out of me. I almost stopped reading at that point.
Despite my issues with the book, Banks continues to write secondary characters that absolutely blow me away. Every scene with Rocky and Sean was perfect. I love these two and am so excited for whenever they actually get their story. The new recruits to the KGI family are super intriguing as well. I can’t wait to read about Swanny, and I sincerely hope that Banks looks back to the first few books for inspiration to get this series back to the incredible roots it began with.
All in all I was pretty disappointed with Donovan’s book. I really wanted more for his character, especially since I have loved him for so long. I had a lot of problems with Eve’s character, and found her to be the weakest heroine in the series so far. I hated the insta-love relationship between Donovan and Eve, and thought it didn’t jive with the drama that drew them apart at the end. I am anxious to read the next book though, because Swanny stole my heart in this book. I give After the Storm a C-(less)
MinnChica: Ever since I picked up the first Sin Brothers book, I’ve been obsessed with this series. It reminds me so much of the Ava Gray Skin series, and in some ways has become even more of a favorite for me. In the second installment, we get the chance to see Matt, the oldest brother get his shot at love, from a woman he least expects to fall for. The set up for this book was so great, and I loved the angst between Matt and Laney, especially when the whole ugly truth is revealed.
E: *beams* So very glad a fellow Bookpusher enjoys this series. I have been anticipating this story since I finished the first installment. I am very glad to say the fulfillment of my anticipation was worth the wait. This was an intense story that provided more information about what shaped Matt and his brothers. It also provided some neat technology, fighting, angst, suspense, and smoking romance. Like MinnChica, I think this story went up a notch when the ugly truth came out and it wasn’t exactly what I expected.
MinnChica: I adored Matt. The pressure he put on himself as the oldest brother was beyond anything I could imagine, but it made him into such a strong and incredible hero. I loved the way he treated Laney, he was so kind and caring toward her, so devoted to making sure she was okay. Even after the ugly truth is revealed and their relationship dynamic changed, Matt was still so gaga over her that he was 100% devoted to making sure she was taken care of.
E: Oh yes, that was one of the many touches which kept Matt out of alphahole territory. He was so hurt and mad but never once did he retaliate or take his frustrations out on Laney. I also enjoyed how the bond between the brothers was so evident. They helped from a distance as much as possible and had no problems showing up unexpectedly if they felt Matt needed help or a neutral opinion. One of the other things that touched me about the Dean family is the love and protective nature included Josie, heroine of Forgotten Sins the first book, and her hopes for the happiness of the Dean brothers.
MinnChica: Absolutely! The bond between the brothers is one of my favorite aspects of this series. It’s so evident that these three would walk through fire for one another, and they will almost have to in order to find out the truth about their fourth and missing brother, Jory. Another thing I loved about this book was Laney herself. Like Matt, there were so many things to love about the heroine as well. She had an absolute heart of gold, and was so desperate to help anyone and everyone she could. It was amazing and so sweet. I have to admit that Zanetti took me by surprise when she revealed Laney’s secret. Looking back it’s so obvious, but the way Laney conducted herself just shocked me when everything came spilling out!
E: Laney’s secret and the circumstances behind it were certainly very interesting. It meant the brothers’ quest for a life of their own became slightly more complicated. I also enjoyed how Laney’s childhood and her secret shaped the woman she was when Matt met her. The woman who did her best to rescue and care for those around her without them knowing yet who also kept to herself as protection. I will admit in the early stages of the book I thought her reaction to blood was quite amusing then towards the end seeing her overcome that reaction and the reasons for it really cemented her as a strong character.
MinnChica: All in all I really loved this book. The bond between brothers is so strong, and I love the continuing relationship between the brothers and their lady loves in each book. The romance between Matt and Laney was so well done, I absolutely adored their journey to their HEA, and was so sad when the book ended! I can’t wait to find out more about Jory, and see where he has been all this time, how the brothers are going to disable their kill chips, and what exactly they have in store for the people who made them. This series has quickly become a favorite, and fans of RS definitely need to pick up this series! I give Sweet Revenge an A-
E: This was a very enjoyable read. Like MinnChica I enjoyed the bond between the brothers and their ladies. The mystery surrounding Jory’s “death” continue to grow as does evidence of the long game played by the Commander. It was a lovely relief to read a romance that did not require the hero or heroine to grovel. Seeing Matt and Laney work things out while dealing with their respective pasts was impressive. I am worried about the ticking timebombs embedded in the Dean brothers’ spines and the increased complexity revealed about deactivating the kill chips. The glimpse of the next romance really has me excited because a lot more is at stake from the very beginning. I think it will be one of those sitting on the edge of my seat reads. I also give Sweet Revenge an A-(less)
I read one of Kaye’s more erotic novels in the past and really enjoyed it. I was anxious to see what she could do with a romantic suspense setting, and I am so glad that I picked this book up!
Nick has had a rough time ever since he parted ways with the military. He didn’t get to leave on the best of terms, and his life has not gone the way he wanted since his CO turned on the team, got half of them killed and the others to take the fall. When Becca walks into his tattoo parlor asking for his help, he tells his former commanders daughter to stick it.
But Becca really did need Nick’s help, and it only takes a day of following her and his killer instincts to figure it out. But what started as a missing brother and a tossed apartment soon turns into attempted kidnapping, a conspiracy involving organized crime and corrupt cops, and way more than Nick and Becca first thought. As they fight to find Becca’s brother, their feelings for each other will reach a boiling point, at about the same time as their case.
Let me start by saying if you are looking for a book that wraps up the suspense plot in a pretty bow by the end of the book, you might want to wait for the series to be over. While Nick and Becca accomplish a portion of their mission, many – MANY – more questions are asked than answered and we are left hanging and desperately wanting more.
There was so much at play here, so many characters, and yet I loved it all and never once felt lost. The dynamic between Nick and Becca is super strained, especially given Becca’s relationship to the man who ruined Nick’s life. Watching them try to navigate the waters of a romantic relationship was so amazing! I hated that Nick kept secrets from Becca for so long, and yet totally understood why he did. But their romance was so well done. From the sexual tension and Nick’s internal struggles with who Becca was in the beginning of the book, to the tender care he started to show her as he realized just how different she was from her father… it was all so sweet. I loved the stress that secret brought to their relationship, and especially loved the way they dealt with it in the end.
Another fascinating aspect was the interplay between Nick and his former special ops team. Nick had cut ties with them, feeling like a failure, and having them come back together to attempt to clear their names was explosive. I really enjoyed the way their dynamics played out not only within the group, but also with Becca. That aspect of the book was probably one of my favorites, and the guys didn’t even band together until about halfway through!
I both loved and hated the suspense plot. Loved it because it was so intricate and convoluted, it kept Becca and Nick and the team on their toes, but it also kept me guessing. I love when plots can do that. I love being constantly surprised by the twists and turns, and Kaye definitely twisted and turned! However, I am one of those people that hate having loose ends. I hated having more questions asked than answered. Don’t get me wrong, I am DYING to know how it all ends, what exactly went down, and how far the cover up goes. But I HATE not knowing it all now. :)
All in all I thought Kaye did an amazing job with this book. The romance was so well done, especially given the level of conflict between Nick and Becca. The dynamics between all the secondary characters was so complicated, and I am anxious to see how it continues to play out. Plus, given the numerous unanswered questions, I am desperate for more in this series! I give Hard as it Gets a B+(less)
I have glommed onto Cross ever since Mandi introduced me to her a couple years ago. With the Bagram series, I wasn’t sure how I would like the fraternization, but so far I’ve enjoyed each story. However, with this book, I think Cross has surpassed everything else she’s written.
Maya likes her job as a Security Forces Lieutenant, despite the fact that she can’t act on her strong feelings toward Jackson. Part of what holds her back is her past, filled with dark and bitter memories that she can’t shake. Going into the military was her saving grace, and she wants to do the best possible job she can in order to have a chance at working for the FBI when she gets out.
Jackson wants Maya for himself, but his job as a PJ and their rank has him keeping somewhat of a distance until Maya changes all that one night. After their night together, Jackson can’t get her out of his head. When they are both taken hostage along with a senior US official, they will be held by a madman, and forced to endure things they never thought possible. But together, they will fight to survive.
I always say that the most suspenseful scene I’ve ever read in a book was in No Turning Back, she may have topped it with THIS WHOLE BOOK! While there was some downtime in the beginning and end, it felt like it was constant go-go-go, sit on the edge of your seat, white knuckle reading. From the moment the medical camp came under fire to the moment they were rushed to the evacuation chopper, Maya and Jackson went through hell.
I’m always amazed at how twisted Cross can be when it comes to her books. She is one of the few romantic suspense authors who can write entire scenes from the point of view of the villain, and be so realistic. I believe wholeheartedly that her bad guys believe they are fighting a just war, no matter how ridiculous it sounds to the rest of us. She does an incredible job getting in the heads of psychopaths, and bringing them to live. One moment during their captivity, wheh Maya and Jackson are forced to “play a game,” was so intense and twisted and creepy. It was incredible to read.
One of the aspects of the romance that I really liked in this was that because so much of the trust and foundation of Maya and Jackson’s relationship took place while they were held captive, they took the time at the end of the book to part ways and process. So many times in romantic suspense books we see the hero and heroine go through unimaginable things, and then start their HEA right away. I have a hard time believing that, and was so glad to see Cross have Maya and Jackson take a step back. They went to therapy, they talked through their experiences, and they did it on their own. Sure they talked on the phone, but they also stepped back from each other’s lives and took the time to unwind. It made me believe in their romance so much more.
We didn’t get the chance to really see a lot of supporting characters in this book, because most of the book took place during their captivity. However, we did get to meet the Secretary of State, a wonderful character who I would love to see more of. I did want to see more of the group of girlfriends though. I liked that these books focused a lot of the friendship between the heroines, and we didn’t get the chance to see that with this book.
All in all I thought this was Kaylea Cross’ best book to date. She really went above and beyond with the plot, taking on the horrific challenge of showing the right amount of torture and prisoner abuse, all while keeping the story readable and enjoyable. I loved the romance between Maya and Jackson, and how quick they were to rely and draw strength from one another. I can’t wait for Cross’ next release! I give Lethal Pursuit an A(less)
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 adore this series from Kennedy, so every time she releases a new book, I’m anxious to get my hands on it and see what else she has in store for us.
Isabel hasn’t seen Trevor since she left him waiting in her apartment five months ago. Running away was easy, and now that she’s off her assignment, she knows that she’ll need to explain things to the one many who got under her skin. But Isabel isn’t sure that she is ready to take all that Trevor is offering.
Trevor finally has his life in order, and the only thing missing is Isabel. He wants her more than anything, and is willing to fight hard to win her over. But as they deal with a bombing on their safe house, their missing commander, and a plot that neither saw coming, Trevor and Isabel are going to have to fight to stay alive, before they can fight to stay together.
I have been waiting, not so patiently, for this book. When Isabel and Trevor first met in book one, I couldn’t wait to see where Kennedy would take these two. Especially given how screwed up Trevor was, and how closed off Isabel was. During the second book their relationship escalated, and I was hooked onto these two like you couldn’t believe. Now that they’ve had a book of their own, I’m amazed at how well Kennedy has drawn me into their world and lives.
I love the relationship between these two. It has changed so much from the first time they met. They had a long time to become friends and although Isabel is still very scared about being more than friends, the attraction between them keeps pulling them together in ways neither expected. I loved that they couldn’t seem to stay away, despite how hard it was at times. That attraction and pull was tangible throughout the whole story.
However, because their relationship has built so much over the course of the series, I felt like the overall romance took a little bit of a supportive role. Maybe it’s because they’ve known each other and worked with each other the last two books, but for some reason I felt as if the book focused much more on the suspense plot and secondary characters than it did on the developing relationship. It could also be in part because we go into this book knowing that these two have a history, and are pretty much in love already…
I loved the plot on this one too, especially since Kennedy was able to throw me for a loop. It seems like she constantly has a little something up her sleeve, and when I least expect it, she whips out the twists and curves and keeps me at the very edge of my seat. I loved that things played out unexpectedly with Jim, and the weird pseudo-relationship he has with Noelle. I thought the end was so perfect, despite the somewhat ugly scene.
One of the things I think I loved best about this book was just how perfect Trevor and Isabel ended up being for one another. Despite Isabel’s ability to take care of herself, she was (at times) willing to let Trevor care for her and protect her. And although she hid behind her disguises, I loved that Trevor was always able to see through them. Always able to see the real Isabel underneath the makeup and hair dye. While it’s true that most romance couples are made for one another, I felt like the journey that brought Isabel and Trevor to that point made their HEA all the more perfect and special.
There were so many questions left unanswered at the end of this book, especially with the secondary characters. I’m desperate to know what is going on with Jim and Noelle, Ethan and Juliet, D, Holden and all the others. One of the things that Kennedy does best is bring out incredible characters, all while dropping little hints and teases to keep them interesting and mysterious. I wish I could get Kennedy to open up her big box of secrets for me, but she is pretty tight lipped! :)
All in all I adored this installment of the Killer Instincts series. The books and characters keep getting better and better with each book. The romance and relationships are flushed out to perfection, and the plots continue to be intense and engaging. I am so excited to see what Kennedy has in store for us next, and hope that she continues to write in this series for a long, long time. I give Midnight Games a B+(less)
MinnChica – I had some mixed feelings about Shane at first. Given Josie’s memories of the way he treated her and their marriage, and his inability to explain his actions, I was a little concerned he would be too much of an Alpha-Hole for me to enjoy. But I was wrong, he was so protective of Josie, and although he hurt he, he had the best intentions behind his actions, and he ended up being a wonderful hero. I also loved the way Zanetti was able to describe the enhanced abilities of Shane and his brother by showing the reader as Shane’s powers returned to him. We were able to learn all about the world as Shane recovered his memories and his abilities bit by bit. So fabulous!
E – Shane was very fascinating. I enjoyed his combination of special skills and insistence on finding out what had happened and why. I will admit to a soft spot for a hero with amnesia because I think with the alpha hero it provides a glimpse into their inner self and how they really feel. All of the filters and walls that usually conceal those thoughts and feelings have been removed by the amnesia. I did have a few moments of worry about Shane when certain pictures of Josie surfaced but I liked how that was eventually resolved. Shane with all of his alpha-ness proved that he really did love Josie and would do what it took to make her happy even if it meant going against his inclination to view her as soft and fragile.
Has – I also liked Shane, and I loved the fact that despite his leaving Josie for two years, he was always determined to win her back even though being with her would have been impossible and dangerous. I also had the same fears that he would overrule her because he was pretty alpha and determined but I liked that Josie stood her ground with him. I also like that Josie had the upperhand with Shane due to his amnesia and some of the issues they had when they first marriage such as the secrecy and over-protectiveness was tackled head-on which helped to cement their relationship. I also agree with MinnChica about the unveiling of Shane’s abilities and how the little clues were spread out throughout the book until the truth was laid out to Josie. I do like this premise and this was a great take on the whole super-soldier are genetically engineered.
2. Thoughts on the Heroine
MinnChica – I thought Josie was awesome as well. Poor thing was so desperate to have a family that she stayed married to a man that up and left her and stayed gone for over two years. That’s some dedication, and I loved her for it. I also liked that she didn’t allow Shane and his brothers to put her in the dark. That she demanded they let her into their world, and demanded a place in their family. She knew her limitations, didn’t do anything that would classify her as a TSTL heroine, and I liked that she found a balance between needing protection, and showing Shane that she could take care of herself.
E – Josie was also an intriguing character. She never really had a family of her own but was teased with the opportunity more than once growing up in foster homes. Unfortunately not all of the homes she was placed in were good homes so she learned not to depends on people because they either left or mistreated her. The one time she took a chance was with Shane and after they started building a life together he abruptly vanished. Despite her hurt and anger when he reappeared she could not abandon him. I really liked how she never quit fighting. If she wasn’t fighting for her independence from Shane she was fighting for full inclusion to his family or fighting for her life. Her actions shared that she could be warm and caring without being soft and fragile which was what Shane needed. She also shattered some preconceived notions held by Shane’s brothers.
Has – I also found Josie interesting and engaging, and I liked how people around her kept underestimated her for being weak or fragile and that helped her to get out of predicaments and scrapes. Although I found some scenes when it was too convenient or lucky because while she did have some training due to Shane, it was brief and she also gave up on it after she left. But I enjoyed her stubbornness and resourcefulness and I liked her interactions with Shane’s brothers who she won over. The theme of family and loyalty was very strong in the book and this really helped to highlight both the brothers yearning to keep their family safe and Josie’s desire for one of her own helped to add a layer of warmth which made me relate to them.
3. Favorite Scene
MinnChica – Oh man…. This is a tough one. There were so many things I really liked about this book. I think for me, the one scene that stood out in my mind was when Josie was eavesdropping on Shane and his brothers conversation about their history and what they had been up to. Although Josie knew about Shane’s super hearing, she still tried to be all stealthy-like, and at the same time both Shane and his brothers knew she was there. Shane demanded that his brothers answer truthfully and fully as a way to prove to all of them that he was in it for the long haul, in both his marriage and his family. To me, it was a pivotal scene for both the romance between Shane and Josie, as well as the overall story arc. Plus, Zanetti added a little bit of humor to lighten the somber mood.
E – MinnChica picked a great scene there but I think I am going to pick the scene when Shane first realized that Josie could and would fight. Some pictures of Josie spanning about three or so years were discovered under circumstances that made Shane look really bad. Josie knew that something wasn’t right and given the secrets Shane kept during their brief marriage she could only guess the problem was Shane. She did what she needed to temporarily disable Shane and ran to the police. I liked this scene because it showed that Josie wasn’t stupid and that she was strong enough to figure out how to hold her own. Those two traits really came in handy throughout the remainder of the story.
Has – The scene which MinnChica picked is also my favourite because it was the turning point for their relationship and opened up the trust between Shane and Josie. I think my other favourite scene has to be the first love scene between Josie and Shane, that was smoking hot and steamy and it also helped to set up the tension because there was still issues but it was very well done.
4. Dislike about book
MinnChica – Hmmm, I’m trying to think of things I disliked in this book. Other than Shane in the beginning, there wasn’t much I didn’t like. The world was unique and different, and reminded me a little of the Ava Gray Skin series. I was absolutely thrown for a loop with a lot of the twists and turns that Zanetti threw into the story, especially towards the end with people that Josie thought she could trust.
E – I don’t have any complaints about this story. The twists and turns kept me intrigued and I loved the ongoing tension between Shane and Josie.
Has – While I liked the main suspense plot, which was unexpected in the twists and turns and I liked how that turned out. I was a tad disappointed in the villians linked with Shane and his brothers. I especially found one character a bit too cartoony and I dont think it made sense this person would be in a position of power especially funded by powerful high-placed people would allow them to have full sway over the super-soldier programme. That was a bit of a let down for me.
5. Any other misc. thoughts along with grade
MinnChica – All in all I really liked the first in the Sins Brothers series. I loved the set up with Shane and his brothers, working to get revenge on the people who raised them. Their past is unraveling to be so different and horrific, and I can’t wait to get more snippets from their childhood. I loved the romance between Josie and Shane, especially because of the second chance aspects, and the fact that although Josie was still head-over-heels for Shane, she made him work at earning her trust once again. I’m so excited for the brothers to get their stories, and to find out more about the world.
I give Forgotten Sins a B+/A-
E – Zanetti has been an auto-buy author for me since I read her first book when it was released back in 2011. Her world and characters captivated me and she has maintained her grasp across three different romance subgenres. Forgotten Sins was no exception. I fell in love with Josie and Shane from the very beginning. Josie’s strength and yet vulnerability. Shane’s amnesia, special skills, and determination to keep and protect Josie. I also had a blast with Shane’s brothers and how they struggled to deal with the reality of Josie instead of their mental image of women. I am really looking forward to Zanetti’s future stories with the Sins Brothers.
I give Forgotten Sins an A-
Has – This was my first Zanetti book, and I wished I picked a book of hers much sooner, because she has a great voice and I loved the dynamics between the brothers and the romance with Shane and Josie. While I wasn’t keen on one character, the premise and on-going story threads has definitely left me wanting for the next book. Forgotten Sins was pacey, fun and very sexy romantic suspense with an unexpected plot that went into different directions – I am hooked!
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!
Steele is one of KGI’s team leaders, and the group iceman. He has emotions, but keeps them close to the vest at all times. His attraction to Maren, a doctor the team uses from time to time, can no longer be ignored and he spends a few nights in her bed. When Steele leaves on a mission, he doesn’t know that Maren will be put into a dangerous situation that could keep them apart for ever.
Maren loves her work as a rural, third world country doctor. Never did she expect to be taken hostage by a psycho crime lord who needs a full time doctor. Maren would do anything to get out from under his grasp, especially since she has a secret she desperately needs to tell Steele. But when Steele finally gets her back, he and the KGI team might not be able to protect her when her psycho comes calling once again.
I have a love/hate relationship with the KGI books. I either absolutely love, love, LOVE them, or I get so angry I can’t finish them. I was hoping beyond all hope that Steele’s story would be one that I would love, since I couldn’t wait to find out more about why he was so cold, so stern. I wanted to see what kind of woman could get him to open up, smile more, and start to love life.
Banks did a great job with this story, on both the romance and the action front. Before Maren is taken hostage, we get to really see Steele start to fall head over heels for her. Although he leaves on a mission, he makes it very clear that he is going to come back to her, that they have unfinished business, and that he doesn’t want to leave her. Maren is given the chance to really hold onto that when she is taken, and it’s clear that and her secret are enough to pull her through.
I think that Banks does a great job of balancing out the action and romance in this series. There is always a knuckle-gripping beginning, a sweet middle, and another hectic end. I love the way she keeps the plot moving quickly with plenty of action and suspense, mixed in with the down times every couple needs. The end scene, where Maren and Steele are finally able to face off and fight together for their relationship had me gripping the pages of the book so hard I was worried I was going to accidently rip out pages. It was crazy and intense and had me riveted with every word.
I’m so excited about this series again, given the last two books have really gotten back to the vibe of the first few books. I’m so excited to see that Van is next, and I can not wait to see what kind of heroine is going to win him over, especially since he has been one of my favorite Kelly brothers from the get-go.
I loved getting to see more of the new KGI team, and am so glad that Banks is continuing to expand the cast of characters, so we get the possibility of even more awesome reads in the future. Getting to see Rusty, Sean, and everyone else in the Kelly circle was wonderful, and I’m anxious for Banks to write more and more!
All in all I really liked Steele and Maren, and this book. The suspense and action was so well done, and the romance between these two was incredible. Once Steele decided on Maren, he was 100% devoted to her, and them as a couple. I loved getting to see her melt the ice around his heart. I hope that we get to see more and more of these two in future books.
When I saw this Howard book as the Kindle Daily Deal the other day, I went and checked out all the favorable reviews from my friends and decided that I needed to give it a try. I had yet to read a Howard book, despite all the good things I’ve heard over the years. I have to say, I was a little disappointed, especially after hearing the hype surrounding her.
Sweeney is a painter who is a lot clueless to everything else in life, especially once she started seeing ghosts and other odd phenomena. She lives for her paintings, and when she paints the murder of the local hotdog vendor, she wonders what exactly is going on with her life. Things get even more complicated when Richard begins pursuing her in a relationship, and the two get tangled up in murder case that Sweeney finds herself painting in her sleep. But when word gets out, Sweeney realizes she might have confided in the wrong man, and is suddenly in the crosshairs herself.
Let me start with the romance, because although I usually like the slow build up, the relationship between Richard and Sweeney drove me bonkers. Although Richard was in the process of divorcing his wife, I can’t stand the thought of him getting involved with Sweeney before everything was finalized. That’s just me, but I still feel like it’s a version of cheating, and I don’t like it. That reason alone turned me off from their romance.
I also thought that the genre wasn’t extremely flushed out. The paranormal aspects were somewhat weak in my opinion. I like my paranormal romances to be all out: witches, shapeshifters, vampires, the more obscure the better. When a book features just a lone psychic in a contemporary setting, I usually feel a little jipped, and this book definitely fell within that category.
At the same time, I also didn’t feel as if the suspense was all that great either. Other than the slow going painting, I never really felt like there was all that suspense or mystery surrounding Sweeney and the murder she was painting. There was little action, except for the last ten pages or so, and I found that I like my romance suspense to be a lot more action packed and hard hitting than Howard provided.
One thing I did like was the archetype that Howard based Richard’s character on. Despite his pursuing another woman while married, I liked his take-charge attitude and his strong silent type. He was the kind of hero that I could have fallen for, and probably would have had the circumstances been different.
All in all I was a little disappointed by my first Linda Howard read. I will probably have to give another one of her books a chance, especially if her other hero’s have the best of Richard’s traits.
I was a little hesitant to read this book, mainly because it has one of the worst written blurbs in the history of romance. I didn’t think that Tyler would have a love interest between siblings, but I did read a romance once from a very popular author where the hero and heroine were 2nd cousins, so you can never be too sure.
Dare is a bit broken. His life as a SEAL is officially over, and after a hellish last mission, his body is as messed up as his spirit. When an old family friend shows up on his doorstep with word of a half-sister who is in danger, Dare is forced out of hiding and thrown into a messy situation that he fears he won’t be able to live through.
Grace is the daughter of a very powerful and dangerous man who will stop at nothing to get her back under his thumb. When Dare and his crew offer her their protection, all their individual problems will come to head and the fight of their life will be bloody and dangerous, and someone won’t make it out alive.
This is a little bit of a different romantic suspense book. Usually our heroes are active military, or work for some kind of black ops group. Instead, Dare and his ragtag team are former military and spooks and are all a little bit broken and crazy. Their lives are forfeit because of their relation to Section 8, and the only way out is to take down the man behind it all. It had a little bit of a different vibe, with the good guys being hunted, and I liked that.
The supporting cast of characters were great in this story. I loved Avery, Dare’s half-sister, who found herself facing murder charges. She had just the right combination of spunk and uncertainty about their situation. I’m excited to see what happens between Avery and Key, the unsuspecting career military man who saved Dare’s life on his last military mission. I love the crazy ways of Jem, Key’s CIA brother who was a perfect mix of crazy and sane. And Gunner, the tattoo artist with a military background and a secret he’s desperate to keep. They were all so crazy, and yet together as a team, they worked!
There were times that I liked the supporting cast more so than Dare and Grace. Not that they weren’t both interesting characters, but their romance lacked a little for me. I had a hard time believing in their lust and love for one another. At times it felt as if they were only together because of the convenience of it all. There were only one or two moments that I truly felt they were in it 100% for each other.
I’m both excited and apprehensive to see where Tyler takes this series next. Things were both wrapped up nicely and left hanging. While the mystery and intrigue surrounding Section 8 is pretty much done and over, Dare and crew have formed a team on their own. Where they all go from here is a mystery for the next book.
All in all I thought Tyler had an interesting first book in the Section 8 series. I adored the secondary characters and am anxious to see what happens to each of them as their stories unfold. While the romance didn’t work for me in some ways, I did enjoy both Dare and Grace as individuals, and that made up for the romance let down.
Ever since I read one of the most suspenseful and heart pounding moments in Kaylea Cross’ No Turning Back, I’ve been gobbling up everything she’s written! She is one of my all time favorite Romantic Suspense authors, and her military heroes are all drool worthy.
Candace, “Ace”, is a pilot currently serving in Afghanistan, and suffering from a little bit of PTSD. She is a strict follower of the rules, and when Ryan begins pursuing her, Candace is worried that they will get in trouble for fraternization. Candace has had enough of a problem proving herself, that the last thing she needs to worry about is falling for the wrong guy.
Ryan has it bad for Candace, and as much as he respects her, he can’t seem to stay away from her. But their relationship takes an interesting swing when Candace’s plane is grounded in the middle of a gunfight. Ryan and his team will have to pull out all the stops to keep Candace and flight crew safe, from the enemy, themselves, and the unexpected mountain conditions.
One of the things I love to hate about this series is that these men and women are currently in the military, and therefore are subject to all the military laws and regulations. With Cross’ last series, they were all contacted guys, and could go a little off the reservation. While all the restrictions adds new and different obstacles for our heroes and heroines, I’m not a huge fan of the fraternization problem that continues to rear it’s ugly head in this series.
I have to say though, I absolutely loved and adored Ryan and Candace. Poor Candace has a pretty big chip on her shoulder, understandable once we find out more about her. She wants nothing more than to prove herself worthy of her position, and fears getting in trouble with any of the military rules. I loved that she was a little uptight and that Ryan had to work hard to get her to warm up to him. And Ryan with his relentless pursuit of Candace, it was both annoying and endearing wrapped up in one sexy package.
Cross also does an incredible job of creating amazing villains. I’m always amazed that she is able to write such creepy and zealous foes for her heroes and heroines, and that while they are all a little warped and twisted, they are also human. I have a very easy time hating the, but at the same time I can see their side of the argument at times, and that gives those characters another level of depth I don’t usually see in romantic suspense books.
I was glad to see that for how much Candace and Ryan struggled with their relationship, once they committed to each other, they were all in. Candace no longer worried about the consequences of their relationship and instead jumped in with both feet. Ryan was already all in, but he took the time to make sure that Candace was really doing what she wanted, that she was 100% comfortable with her decision. I adored that about them.
While this book was not as suspenseful as some of the other books I’ve read by Cross, I enjoyed the action. With quite a bit of the book devoted to their time in the mountain, we got to see Ryan in action and Candace push herself to limits she never knew possible. I wanted to cry and scream with them as the unexpected kept coming up and ruining their best laid plans.
All in all this was another fabulous book from Cross. The romance was spot on, the suspense was hard hitting and the overall story was wonderful. I’m excited to see where Cross takes this series next, and I’m anxious to read more about the other characters as well. I give Tactical Strike a B+(less)
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!
This book was not a typical romance, our hero and heroine are already married and very solid in their relationship. The book was more about the trials...moreThis book was not a typical romance, our hero and heroine are already married and very solid in their relationship. The book was more about the trials and tribulations within the club, and what was going on with Zeke's career and the man who has it out for him. There were some really difficult parts of this book, but overall I really enjoyed it. It was very Sons of Anarchy-ish, with a lot of focus on the club itself and the dynamics between the men, their old ladies and the community at large. (less)