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-
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-(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)
Publisher: HQN Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: NetGalley
Trace of Fever, the 2nd book in the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor Series by Lori Foster is yet another Foster book that had me sitting up, taking notice, and wishing desperately for a sexy mercenary of my own.
After the horrible things his sister had to go through, Trace goes deep undercover with a local crime lord he knows is behind a large portion of the sex trade. And Trace will stop at nothing to bring Murray down. And things are going great, Trace has gotten himself all the way to Murray’s security detail when someone throws a kink in his plans.
Priscilla has one thing on her mind, and one thing only: the demise of Murray Coburn. The only problem is that she doesn’t know the first thing about taking someone down. But when she and Trace are paired together, the chemistry sizzles and ignites until the fire between them might just be enough to take down Murray’s entire organization.
One of the things that I really love about this series is just how in-depth Foster goes into the world of human trafficking. I love when an author can take such a horrific topic like this, bring it to light, and still have a great and happy story prevail.
I loved Trace from the moment we first met him in When You Dare. With the abduction of his little sister, he was one hundred percent devoted to doing his part in taking down guys like Murray, and he went at it with everything he had. He was determined to let nothing stop him, and then he met Priss. Suddenly he found his focus being on her; making sure she was safe, taken care of, and out of Murray’s mind.
That single minded focus actually brought out so many other aspects of his character. I loved that he was devoted to the mercenary agreement he had with Dare, how steady he was under pressure – even when facing something he had never faced before. Plus his attraction to Priss really seemed to take him by surprise, but he went with it and had me wishing for my very own Trace.
Although the heroine in the first book was difficult to read at times, the only thing I couldn’t stand about Priss was her name. There’s just something about referring to such a strong willed, determined, and fun woman as a “Priss” that rankled on my nerves. Other than that, I loved her. She was a survivor, brought up from nothing with a single minded determination to avenge her mother. Despite all the horrible things that Murray wanted done to her, and that Trace had to do to save his cover, Priss was determined to see it all through to the very end.
I really liked the romance in this one as well. There was a bit of a slow build up between Priss and Trace. They danced around each other, flirting and dropping hints before actually acting on any of their feelings. They were both so dedicated to their mission, yet knew that would could be between them so special, that they were willing to make sure it was the right time, the right everything. It was special, and all that more meaningful once they finally came together.
Jackson was also featured somewhat prominently in this one, and I can’t wait to get his book next. He and Alani had some great moments together, and I just know that the tension between those two is going to light up the pages and take over the entire book.
All in all I am so happy with this series to date. I love the strong Alpha hero fighting for a cause that is so close to his heart, driving him to do everything possible to save just one girl’s life. I loved our heroine’s desire for justice, and her dedication to get it regardless of the costs. The romance was incredible and was the perfect balance to the suspense plot.
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 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)
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)
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)
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.
Publisher: Random House Publish Date: Out Now How I got this book: Pima County Library
When I first found out that Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler teame...morePublisher: Random House Publish Date: Out Now How I got this book: Pima County Library
When I first found out that Larissa Ione and Stephanie Tyler teamed up together, I knew I had to read their books. When I realized they write erotic paranormal romance suspense…. well I was absolutely sold, my four favorite genres in one? YES! I hightailed it over to my local library and checked it out first thing.
Riding the Storm is the first in the ACRO series that follows a company who employs people with superhuman powers. Haley is just a regular ACRO employee, no special talents except for her genius in meteorology. Because of that, she is sent to go and recruit Remy, a man with the supposed ability to control the weather.
As Remy and Haley get closer and their feelings for each other extend to more than just the current weather pattern, will Haley’s secret about who she really is affect their budding relationship? Then, to make matters worse ACRO’s competition Itor is looking to get their hands on Remy, even if they have to go through Haley to get him.
I really enjoyed this book. I love the idea of everyday people having extraordinary abilities. Although most of the operatives from ACRO have accepted and embraced their abilities, I was happy to see Remy struggle with his. I adored his character, he was a super strong alpha type male, and although he constantly radiated strength and confidence, it was also evident that his history and past made a huge impression on him. There were times I just wanted to cuddle him in my arms and tell him everything would be okay.
I was a little surprised at first that Remy and Haley jumped into bed (or in their case, the floor) together so quickly. Although Haley seemed to think that would be the only way to convince him to come work for ACRO, and even went so far as to go through seduction training before going on this mission, they both seemed so ready and willing to jump into a relationship, even though they couldn’t even get along their first night. But once we found out that Remy’s abilities with the weather are tied to his libido, I felt a little bit better about it, but still thought it was a little sudden.
I really enjoyed Haley’s character. She is this nerdy weather loving chic that is used to sitting in a lab, not out on the front lines. I liked following her journey, watching her struggle and overcome her insecurities about working in the field. It was great to see her struggle with the Itor agents, and finding her own way in a a team of trained fighters. I chuckled when she got back to their home base, and demanded self defense and more field training.
I was a little frustrated that the story jumped back and forth from Remy and Haley to Annika and Creed, another set of agents for ACRO. While I liked getting background information on other operatives, and ACRO as a company, I was hoping for a lot more development in the Remy and Haley story line. It felt as if almost half the story was devote to the subplots, and as interesting as they were, I wanted more of Remy and Haley.
I’m really excited to see where this series goes. There was talk throughout the entire first book about a possible traitor inside ACRO, and I’m anxious to see how that all gets resolved. I hope that we get to see as much of Remy and Haley in future books as we saw of the remainder of the ACRO agents in this one. I’m anxious to see if Annika and Creed get together. (Loved all their angsty sexual tension!)
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)
Publisher: HQN Publish Date: April 26, 2011 How I got this book: NetGalley
On Dare’s latest mission, he might have bitten off more than he could chew. He was lucky to be able to save his bet friends little sister from a ring of flesh traders, but in the process of getting her safe, he also found a woman; abused, beaten and tortured. He takes her with him, determined to help her out in any way possible.
Molly has no idea who would want to have her kidnapped. She asks Dare to help her uncover the truth, and in doing so much put her independent streak on hold and trust that Dare will do whatever he can to make sure she stays safe. As the two get closer to discovering the truth, they also get closer to each other, finding out that their one shot at happiness might be each other.
When I first picked up When You Dare I was in a reading slump. Everything I had picked up couldn’t hold my interest, and I would put down almost right away. When I picked up this book, I hoped that my recent Romantic Suspense obsession would kick in and I would get out of my funk. And man, did Foster ever do an incredible job of not only pulling me out of my funk, but delivering an amazing story as well.
I immediately loved Dare, from his first scene. he was the perfect kind of Alpha hero that makes me want to swoon. Strong, opinionated, caring and one hundred percent devoted to those close to him. His immediate reaction to Molly was as a protector, and the way he took the job so seriously made me putty in his hands.
Molly was also an amazing character. She was strong and fiercely independent. I loved the way she was able to move on, but not right away. Watching her struggle with the nightmares and fears, relying on Dare to protect her was a great way of showing her recovery from the trauma. I had a hard time believing at first that while she was beaten and tormented in Mexico, that she was also not sexually assaulted. But as the truth unraveled and we found out who the perpetrator behind her kidnapping was, it made a little bit more sense to me. The only thing that bothered be about Molly was how blasé she was about the dangers around her.
The suspense plot behind the kidnapping was great too. It took me awhile to catch on to who all was involved, and in what ways. To me, being left in the dark, constantly guessing, is one of my favorite parts of reading suspense novels. I get frustrated when things are too predictable, and this one definitely was not.
I think this new series is going to be really good, and I already got the next book, Trace of Fever, set to be released on May 31st. Since we’ve already met the sexy Trace, I’m excited to see what lucky lady will get to tame him.
All in all, I really enjoyed Foster’s new release. It was full of great suspense, mystery, and a smokin’ hot romance between Dare and Molly. I give When You Dare a B+(less)
I fell in love with the KGI series within the first few chapters of the first book. However, I’ll admit that after reading book 4, I was super disappointed with Banks and the series direction. I’m not a fan of an author adding a paranormal element to a contemporary series, and didn’t even bother to read book 5. But when I saw that Banks was going to tell PJ and Cole’s story, I figured I would give the series a chance again, and I’m so glad I did.
PJ, the lone woman on the KGI team has also felt accepted and useful and part of the team. Her relationship with fellow sniper Cole was professional until the night he showed up at her dive bar and took them to the next level. Before PJ has the chance to process this new development, they are sent on a mission that goes so incredibly wrong – PJ’s life will never be the same again. She falls into a tailspin, and walks away from her KGI team without looking back.
Cole has never wanted anything more than PJ, and not being able to track her down has weighed heavily on him. When the KGI team realizes that PJ is hell bent on a course of revenge, Cole and the rest of the team will put themselves on the front line with her, regardless of the mission. But as things heat up and PJ and Cole get closer to their target, they also have to face the heat in their relationship, with the KGI team, and everywhere else in their chaotic lives.
I have to say that this book definitely feels like Banks is getting back to the roots of the KGI series. I can’t even begin to tell you how angry I was at the paranormal vibe, and now that we’ve left that behind and gotten back to the core suspense and romance plots, I’m much happier with the series and this book. If she continues with this path, I will definitely be picking up these books again from now on.
A short disclaimer for everyone: this book deals with a VERY difficult topic and situation. I usually like to keep my reviews spoiler free, but with this I think it’s important everyone know before they spend money on this book that Banks writes a very difficult scene to read, and a very sensitive topic all around: rape. It was ugly and horrific and incredibly difficult to read, and anyone who will be triggered negatively by that should seriously double think the purchase of this book.
The suspense in this book was off the charts, especially in the beginning as PJ went through the most horrific event possible. The stress of her then going off the grid, hunting after those who hurt her, and doing everything in her power to bring down the bad guy was intense. The book felt like it was non-stop action, with just a few moments of R&R for both PJ and the KGI team. But again, that seemed to bring the whole original feel of the series back, all action all the time, with just the right amount of romance thrown in.
Speaking of romance, I’m glad the way Banks handled everything. Given what PJ went through, it was nice that she and Cole were given the chance to have a tryst before, and that he was there to pick up the pieces after. And, I have to say that the way PJ and Cole went about their romance was great as well. They were already great friends, and one-time lovers, that foundation they had already built was a good starting block for them to just keep going. Cole supported PJ even as she had difficulties with intimacy, and he was the perfect gentleman throughout. If I wasn’t already half in love with Cole before this book, I would have easily fallen for him in this story.
The angst in this book is right up there with the first in the series, The Darkest Hour. With all the drama between PJ and Cole, PJ and her team, and her team and the KGI group as a whole, the story was all angst all the time. But, I loved it. Although I’m not usually one for overly angsty books, I thought it was the perfect combination of angst and drama and kick-ass.
All in all I’m so glad that I read this book, as I really felt like Banks went back to the roots of the KGI series. I loved the action and the drama and suspense, and felt like it was just the right mix of over-the-top storyline and credibility. The romance between PJ and Cole never felt forced, especially after all the trauma PJ went through, and for that I was grateful. I’m anxious to get back into the series and see what Banks has in store for us next. I give Shades of Gray 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)
Publisher: Pocket Publish Date: July 19th How I got this book: Simon & Shuster Galley Grab
This was my first Gerard read, and I’ll admit that the moment I finished reading this one, I went to see if my local library had the other books in the series! I enjoyed the premise of the Black Ops, Inc. team and look forward to going back and reading the rest of the stories.
Luke is on the final leg of his vacation, and dreading getting back to work. After his last big mission when he was shot, he is having a harder time getting into his work. When men with guns board his train and try to abduct a fellow passenger, Luke finds himself putting his life on the line to save her. It isn’t until they are on the run that he realizes the woman is non other than the woman of his dreams, super model Valentina.
Val is trying to find herself after the horrible media circus surrounding her divorce from her congressman husband. She has a hard time trusting people, and the fact that she is having both a hard and an easy time trusting Luke is throwing her off. With everything that’s gone wrong, she really doesn’t know which way is up anymore. When more of her plight comes to light and secrets are revealed, Val will need to take charge and Luke will have to face his greatest fears: falling in love.
Like I said, I really enjoyed the concept of the Black Ops Inc. team and enjoyed all the different characters in the book. I really like Luke, he was everything I’ve come to look for in a sexy ex-military hero. He was strong, possessive, and a little tortured from his past. I always love when my military heroes struggle a little with their past and don’t treat some of the horrific things they have gone through as “no big deal.” I liked that Luke didn’t have rose colored glasses on, but at the same time was able to joke and laugh and do what needed to be done to deal with his past.
For the most part I really liked Valentina as well. I think in the beginning she really struggled with herself, her past, and her place in the world. I was impressed with the way she handled herself during the chase through Peru, especially when it came to her bucking up and doing everything Luke told her to, regardless of his directive. I wish that Gerard would have gone into her past a little more, especially her childhood trauma and how that affected Val’s life. While it was touched on multiple times, I wish we would have been able to see Val and Luke deal with it a little more.
There were times I wanted to shake both Luke and Val when it came to their relationship. I could totally understand why they were both hesitant to get involved, but at the same time I wanted to smack them both for their hesitancy. From the moment these two met, you knew there would be sparks flying left and right, but they both held parts of themselves back, and then they would break down huge emotional barriers, just to build them back up again. At times it drove me a little crazy!
The suspense sub-plot was well done as well. Not my favorite, as the villain was known to us throughout the book, and I always like a little mystery with my suspense. But, at the same time it was good, there was tons of action and I liked the way the plot moved quickly through the story. It was nice that in the epilogue we also got the chance to see Luke and Val in an everyday normal setting, which was something we really didn’t get to see at all during the main story. It was a nice refreshing sense of normalcy and a breath of fresh air.
All in all I really enjoyed my first Gerard read. The hero and heroine were real characters that were easy to love and just flawed enough to be normal. The action moved quickly and kept me engaged up until the very end. While there were times the romance drove me crazy, I was happy with Luke and Val’s HEA.
Publisher: HQN Publish Date: Out Now How I got this book: NetGalley
I seriously can not say enough wonderful things about this book. I absolutely loved and adored it, I don’t think there was one thing about it I didn’t like. Please note that the following review will probably consist of one huge fangirl SQUEE!!
Jackson Savor has always had a thing for Alani, so when he wakes up in bed next to her, he should feel like all his dreams come true, EXCEPT for the fact that he’s been drugged and can’t remember what was sure to have been the best night of his life. Then, a misunderstanding leads Alani to believe that Jackson had second thoughts about her, and she is devastated.
But when someone seems out to get Jackson and Alani, the two must stick together like glue. Jackson is happy with the plan because that means he gets the chance to work out the problems between them. While danger surrounds them, things heat up quickly both in the bedroom and outside the bedroom. Will they be able to keep their cool and stay alive long enough to enjoy each other?
Let me just start by saying that I have a new favorite book hero, and Jackson is it. He is funny, caring, possessive, sexy, everything a girl could want in her alpha hero. Don’t judge this book by the cover, while that model is good lookin’, he doesn’t do Jackson justice! I loved his struggle with trying to remember his and Alani’s night together, his desire to win her over in any way possible and his willingness to keep her in the loop always. He was one hundred percent dedicated to her and it showed in every word, action and thought. I think my husband might actually have to be worried…
I adored Alani from the moment we met her in When You Dare. Her past experience with being kidnapped for the slave trade was horrific and scary. Getting to see more of her, watch her grow and blossom under Jackson’s care was just the perfect ending to her story. I liked that she knew her limits; was able to admit to herself and Jackson that she didn’t know much about his world, and didn’t do anything to make her one of those TSTL heroines. She was strong when she needed to be, soft in Jackson’s arms and one of the better heroines I’ve read this year. I was a little surprised when she admitted certain details about her sexual history to Jackson, but it all made perfect sense to me, and I loved it.
I thought the romance between Jackson and Alani was so well done. They both complimented each other perfectly. I loved that Jackson really brought Alani out of her shell – helped her get on with her life, even after the horrible kidnapping experience. For Jackson, Alani really seemed to bring him into the land of the living. He seemed to just be coasting through life, and she really gave him a purpose, a family, a reason to be happy and live life for something other than the job. They really were perfect. And the fact that they were so compatible in the bedroom had my glasses fogging at certain points! *wink*
We got to see plenty of Dare and Trace in this as well. Seeing them take on more of a big brother role with Alani was a fun and different side to them both. There were some hilarious scenes as well with Dare and Trace trying to intimidate Jackson with their big bother glares, and Jackson telling them both off. There were quite a few times I found myself laughing out loud at the dialogue and situations Jackson and Alani found themselves in.
The suspense part of the book was also great. I love that Foster is using this series to bring about awareness to human trafficking, and doesn’t sugar coat anything for her readers. I was kept on the edge of my seat wondering who the big bad villain of this story was, and was surprised at who it turned out to be. I also enjoyed that Foster introduced and used the secondary characters of Spencer and Jackson’s pseudo-little sister so much. They added a lot, and I hope their story will come next, I just know the two of them will have a great romance to tell.
All in all I absolutely positively LOVED everything about this book. I am definitely adding it to my list of 2011 favorite reads. Everything about it was spot on: the romance, the sexy times, the plot, the characters. I honestly can’t think of one thing I didn’t like. I think this is one of those books that romantic suspense fans MUST add to the book list as soon as possible!
Cindy Gerard is one of my favorite romantic suspense authors, and when the Black Ops, Inc. series drew to a close last year, I wanted to cry. But she is back and better than ever with Primetime, a familiar face from the BOI series.
Mike is not living the life he always wanted, but he makes it through most of the year without a hiccup. But on the anniversary of the mission that ruined his military career, and killed most of his team, Mike gets fall-over-drunk to forget. Except this year he ends up drugged and kidnapped by a woman who wants to know every detail she can about that night eight years ago. Mike isn’t ready to trust her with the truth, but after a few hours together, he is ready to get to the bottom of what really happened.
Eva never knew the truth behind her husband’s death, and when the file on Operation Slam Dunk lands in her lap, she is determined to get Mike to tell her the whole story. They will have to work together to infiltrate an enemy camp, all while trying to discover who was behind the operation that threw Mike under the bus, got his whole team killed, and fighting the attraction that won’t seem to fizzle out.
I had already fallen in love with Mike from his appearances in the BOI books, and as we got more and more of his backstory, I just continued to fall harder and harder for him! I will admit to being a little bummed that Mike didn’t fight a little harder to get to the bottom of what really happened with Operation Slam Dunk when it originally happened. I can understand he was a little shocked and grief-stricken, but Mike also seemed like the kind of guy who wouldn’t let something that fishy slide by him. I would have liked to see a bit more explanation on that.
I have to say though, I absolutely loved and adored Eva. She was such a wonderful character: strong and caring and level-headed. Eva is the perfect kind of heroine that I like to see in my romantic suspense books. She is willing to plunge headfirst into danger, and yet she isn’t stupid enough to do it without a big bad man at her back. She wouldn’t take no for an answer, and was willing to do what she had to in order to get to the truth.
The suspense in this book was not as intense as some of Gerard’s previous books. However, I liked that. It really gave Mike and Eva the chance to develop a friendship and alliance. Since they started their relationship on very rocky grounds, the downtime really helped to support the romance aspect. That being said, the big suspense moments were so well done. The ending was a great mixture of both believable suspense, with a dash of reality. I also liked that the “reveal” of the bad guy wasn’t drawn out, but dealt with quickly.
I liked that we got a chance to get some page time with a few of the BOI guys, and we were also introduced to Mike’s previous teammates. I know that the “Jacks” are going to be great heroes, and the dynamics between them were just as fun and wonderful to read as the BOI guys were.
All in all I am so excited for this new series by Gerard. I loved getting the chance to know Mike’s backstory and watch as he fell head over heels for a strong and wonderful heroine. The suspense was great and I am so excited to see more of Cooper and Taggart. Another stellar romantic suspense! I give Killing Time 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)
After reading Sorenson’s The Edge of Night last year, I was impressed by her writing, her characters, and her ability to occasionally have me rooting for the bad guys. I was blown away by how much I enjoyed that book, and I am happy to say that Caught in the Act is just as wonderful.
Kari is all alone in the world except for her drug addict sister who is hooked up with a drug kingpin. All Kari wants is to run her store and get her sister some help. When two men come and threaten Kari – forcing her to run drugs for her sister’s freedom – Kari is at a loss for what to do. On top of that, a sexy border patrol agent starts hanging around, and Keri is caught between her desire to save her sister and her strong emotions towards Adam.
Adam loves his job as a customs and border patrol agent, but when he recognizes Kari crossing the border one day, his desire to do anything to bring down Carlos Moreno has him doing things he never imaged possible. But the more time he spends following and getting to know her, the more he starts to fall for her. When it’s obvious she is in over her head, Adam wants to help her out. But Adam is at a loss for how to do so without losing his job and her in the process.
I was amazed, again, at how Sorenson was able to make me feel for the bad guys in this book. Now, don’t get me wrong, there was still plenty of hate to go around, but two villains in particular stood out to me as conflicted and honorable (in their own screwed up way) characters. I found myself hoping that one in particular was really a good guy undercover, because his actions throughout the story kept endearing me to his character. Very few authors have ever had me cheering for the bad guys, and this is the second time Soreson has done so.
Of course the bad guys weren’t to be overshadowed by the good guys. I really loved that we got a bit of a twofer in the romance department. There were even times when I felt like our main hero and heroine were outshined by the secondary characters Ian and Maria. I absolutely adored their moments together. Ian was tender with Maria, especially given all that her knew about her history. Maria was such a strong and passionate woman, and given her history of violence, she came across as such an incredible person. Their moments together were so tender and yet the tension got higher and higher with each encounter.
Kari and Adam were also larger than life characters. The sexual tension between them was so sizzling that it literally jumped off the pages. I could feel their desires and attraction and hesitancies about getting involved with one another. I liked that they didn’t fall into bed with each other so easily, especially since it was so obvious that they were both hesitant. But once they did, it was also clear as day that they were both swarmed with feelings they weren’t ready for: Adam having to deal with his past relationships and Kari with feeling a bit of betrayal of her sister. While it seemed as if their happily ever after came a little too quickly, I will admit to being turned into a puddle of goo with Adam’s declaration of love and devotion. It might be one of the best I’ve ever read.
I can only hope that Sorenson continues to create a series out of these characters. With the way that this book ended, it seems as if the potential for Ian and Maria to get their story is high. Not only is their HEA left up in the air, but there are also so many questions surrounding the final showdown, who survived and who didn’t. I NEED to know how it all wraps up, especially since I’ve already become so attached to these characters.
All in all I was so happy with this read. The action was never ending, kept the story moving and me on the edge of my seat. The suspense isn’t super mysterious, but the unpredictability of the drug dealers kept me guessing as to where the story would go next. And with TWO great romances, the book was steamy and sexy from cover to cover. I give Caught in the Act a B+(less)
Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: NetGalley
I was excited for this book because the blurb instantly intrigued me. But after the first chapter or I was very hesitant to continue on, mainly because Alexis has a fiance, and her feelings for Hunter are all over the place.
Hunter left Alexis six years ago to protect her. Now – just when he thinks he is going to get his life back – someone is threatening her once again. Hunter is the only one who can protect not only Alexis, but the son he never knew he had. The man after Hunter will stop at nothing to use the only woman he loves, and his son to hurt Hunter.
Alexis is trying to move on with her life, and when Hunter comes rushing back in, all those feelings for him come along as well. The last thing she wants is to trust Hunter again when all he talks about is leaving, but her feelings for him are just as strong now as they were all those years ago. But with a fiance, a hitman after them, and constant threats to their lives, will they ever be safe and able to start over once again?
Like I said I was initially worried about reading this because Alexis doesn’t break things off with her fiance until almost halfway through the book. The tension between her and Hunter is incredible and the two have a couple moments where they almost give into their lust. Had that happened while Alexis was still with her fiance, I would have stopped then and there. Thankfully that didn’t happen and I was able to put aside my hesitations and continue on with the book.
I truly felt sorry for Hunter from the moment his story began unfolding. It was painfully obvious that he didn’t want to leave Alexis the first time, and that he was still head-over-hells in love with her. But as the book went on, it never seemed as if Hunter was able to get out of his depressive funk. He continued to think he was worthless – even after saving Alexis’ life multiple times, befriending and protecting his son, and giving up his life for his family. After watching him do heroic after heroic act, I started to get a little annoyed at his Debbie-downer attitude. Every now and then I like my tortured hero to have a little bit of self-worth, and Hunter didn’t get his until the very VERY end.
I enjoyed Alexis. She wasn’t one of those TSTL heroines who rushed into the unknown. She listened to Hunter, put her child first each and every moment, and when she had to, trusted what little instincts she had. When she finally put Hunter in his place and told him to quit acting like a baby I cheered for her. It was so great to see the heroine of a romantic suspense knock the hulking military man down a notch or two.
Although I was worried that their relationship would just annoy me – from the potential cheating to the woe-is-me attitude, I actually ended up really liking them together. Alexis wasn’t afraid to put Hunter in his place, and he wasn’t afraid to beg for her to come back to him. I thought that they ended up complimenting each other well, and was glad to see them work everything out.
All in all this wasn’t my favorite Reus book, but it did redeem itself more than even I thought possible. The suspense was well done, and I was taken by surprise by a twist at the end. I would have preferred a few changes in their early relationship, as well as Hunter coming to terms with his past a bit sooner – but that’s just me. I give His Secret Past a C-(less)
Publisher: Avon Impulse Publish Date: Out Now How I got this book: NetGalley
They say to never judge a book by its cover, and that statement couldn’t be more true with this. I haven’t been impressed with any of the Avon Impulse covers, but at the same time, I was extremely pleased with this story.
Amanda lives her life in fear. After escaping from a serial killer years before, she has been living a shadowed life. When a murder with the same M.O. happens in her small town the guilt builds and builds until she wants to do everything she can to help find the murderer. With the help of the Police Chief Logan she starts to live life.
Logan is running from his past, and thinks the only way he can redeem himself is to come back to his hometown and try and solve a case that he made a small mistake on years past. When a serial killer comes to town and he starts falling for the only eye witness, things start heating up. With Amanda’s life in danger, Logan’s growing feelings, and virtually no leads, the case twists and turns. When the smoke clears and all is said and done, will Logan and Amanda be left alive for a chance at life?
I am so glad that I requested this book. I’ve been on a big romantic suspense kick lately, and this one kept me guessing at each and every turn. The suspect was a secret that was well kept and figured out little by little. I liked that constant not knowing and wondering who the killer really was. It kept the story moving and kept me completely engaged.
Amanda and Logan were two great characters. They were both living their lives with varying levels of guilt and fear. Amanda dealing with the trauma of her previous capture by a serial killer as well as the guilt over her friend dying while she got away. Logan was living with the guilt of letting a perp get away back when he was a rookie, and was barely able to forgive himself for his mistake. When that mistake comes back and rears it’s ugly head, showing up in connection to the killer after Amanda, that guilt and self-loathing jumps to a whole new level. Together they had a ton of issues, but every time they were together they brought out the best in one another, and I really liked that about their relationship.
I really enjoy the secondary characters as well. Pierce, the FBI Agent who has been tracking the serial killer for years was a favorite of mine, and I sincerely hope that Diaz has the chance to write his story – let us know what was going on with him and Logan’s sister. I also loved the female officer Karen, and almost cried when she gets wrapped up in the violence of the serial killer.
While the mystery and suspense of who the killer was, who the next victim would be, and the killer’s motive kept me at the edge of my seat, it did at times feel like it was moving a little slow. Some of the down time between Logan and Amanda felt as if it could have been shortened a bit, but it wasn’t drastic enough to keep me from turning the page quickly.
All in all this romantic suspense from Avon Impulse was a great read. The characters were fun and real and honest. The plot twists and turns kept me wanting more and more. The romance was sweet and slow building and despite some huge communication issues, ended perfectly.
Publisher: Carina Press Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: NetGalley
I’ve read some Carina Press suspense books that really fell flat for me, but the blurb from debut author Rita Henuber caught my eye and I had to read it right away! This book did not disappoint, and I am looking forward to reading more from Henuber in the future.
Olivia is a helo pilot for the Coast Guard and busts drug dealers for her day job. But every other second she is working on a different mission: finding the man who killed her brother while he was working undercover. When she gets a tip from someone with information, she is thrown into a tornado of a situation that turns her life upside down and inside out.
Rico has been undercover for a long time, but when there is an attempt on his life, he knows his cover has been blown. He turns to Olivia looking to use her as a way out of town, and finds himself using her in more ways than he ever expected. Olivia turns out to be one of the only people he can find himself trusting, and together they work on getting Olivia undercover and working to take down her brother’s killer.
There were so many excellent things about this book, I really liked it. First thing was the action. It felt so real and I could tell the author knew what she was talking about. Even down to the descriptions of the different flight maneuvers Olivia would try in the helicopter’s were exciting and I could picture it all happening in my head. Add in the suspense of the undercover operation and Henuber kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the entire book.
Next was the romance between Rico and Olivia. It was steamy and real and dirty and very, VERY sexy. I loved their moments together, from the first time they met to the sexy dancing scene to the making out like teenagers in the backseat of his car. They meshed together well, and once Rico started opening up to her more and more, revealing more of himself instead of the man who was undercover, it made their relationship more special.
I loved watching the plot unfold, and learning along with Olivia and Rico the extent of Silva’s, the drug lord, organization. I liked the added twist of not knowing who the snitch was giving away the undercover agents, and how Olivia was able to get her revenge for the death of her twin brother. I was really happy with the way the whole story wrapped up, letting both Rico and Olivia get their dues and keeping their integrity and morals intact.
Probably the only thing I didn’t like was how abruptly the story ended. I was glad that it didn’t just end with the big firefight where the suspense portion was wrapped up. But at the same time, it didn’t feel as if the story was really over yet. Yes, Olivia and Rico went off into the sunset (almost literally). But it felt rushed and abrupt. An epilogue or even a few pages more would have been a perfect way to really tie everything together.
All in all this was a wonderful debut from Henuber. This romantic suspense was done so well, the suspense a perfect combination of terror and intrigue. The romance was a great combination of learning to trust in another and steamy stolen moments. I can’t wait to read more from Henuber.
Publisher: MIRA Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: NetGalley
I’ve never read anything by Sala before, and I have to say I really enjoyed her writing. I was a little worried going in, because I saw a review that said the person didn’t feel this book should have been categorized as a romance novel. I’m not a huge fan of mystery style books without a bit of romance in them, so I was leery. But ultimately very happy.
Savannah’s father has just died and dropped a bomb on her and her sisters: they are all not his biological children, and were taken under his wing when their mothers claimed their lives were in danger. Savannah found out that her father was from a wealthy family, and after being murdered by his own twin, Savannah’s mother gave her up, trying to keep her out of danger.
Savannah heads out to Miami to try and get some justice for her father. Along the way she finds herself involved in a murder, finds relatives she never expected to find, and ends up being hunted. She worries that she wont be able to see justice in time, but with the help of her attorney, an ex-CIA agent, and her cowboy boyfriend, she just might be able to stay alive long enough.
This story was different from other romantic suspense books that I’ve read lately in that we know who the big bad is from the beginning on the story. Savannah KNOWS her father’s twin killed him, so most of the book isn’t focused much on the mystery of whodunit, but more so on the uncovering the entire truth, while working to avoid the threats against her life.
I really liked Savannah’s character. She was a strong willed, determined and fierce woman wrapped up in a tiny package. I admired her tenacity in everything she did, and although I thought she was wrong to try and do EVERYTHING on her own, I was happy with the way she asked for help when she got to a place she knew she couldn’t navigate on her own. That to me made her a flawed but lovable character.
The cast of supporting characters, namely her boyfriend Judd, her attorney Thomas Jefferson and the ex-CIA agent Whiteside were so fun as well. I loved that they were all alpha badasses in their ow separate ways. Jefferson was so intelligent and manipulative in handling her case in the best way possible. Whiteside, although an older guy, was still in his prime, kicking ass and taking names when it mattered most. And Judd… sigh… He was strong enough to let Savannah go and take care of her own business, but protective and loving enough to stand behind and in front of her when she needed him most.
Although the romance is not as prevalent in this book as other suspense books, mainly because through the first third or so Judd is back in Montana while Savannah tries to go at it alone in Miami, you can still feel the love between them. I enjoyed their nightly phone calls to say “I love you and goodnight.” It felt real and I think that is what I related to most.
The way the whole overall story was resolved was great. Sala threw some twists and turns into it, but overall I really liked the way everything played out and justice was served in the end. I think I’m definitely going to have to check out the other books in this series.
Publisher: Forever Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: NetGalley
When I first read the short novella from Davis in her A-Tac series, I knew this would become another suspense author to watch out for. I went out and bought the first two books in the series, and although I haven’t been able to read them yet, I immediately jumped on the chance to read Deep Disclosure.
Tucker is trying to adjust to a normal life, but when he is witness to a bombing, he quickly gets sucked back into the A-Tac world. Tucker puts himself in the position to earn the trust of the beautiful Alexis, the woman who seems to be at the center of everything. But Alexis has problems trusting people, and when she finds out that Tucker has been lying the whole time, will she still want him around? Alexis has been running her whole life, and now her past has finally caught up with her. When everyone around her starts dying and her family’s ugly past rears it’s head, she knows that her father’s previous works has something to do with it. But when the killer’s identity comes to light, will Alexis and Tucker be able to walk away with their lives, and their love?
I’ll admit that while I love the whole “covert black-ops, hiding in plain sight” is a favorite of mine. However, the thought of special black-ops agents acting as University professors is just out of my range of believable. I don’t know why… I can buy a lot of stuff, but for some reason the professor thing just doesn’t work for me. But thankfully, we didn’t focus much on that aspect of the job in this book. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. I loved Alexis’ character, and as each page turned, I wanted to wrap her up and give her a huge hug. This poor women was beaten down emotionally, chased and almost killed, then found out the family she had put on a pedestal was far from perfect. The character growth from page one to the end was brilliant and great to follow along with.
Tucker had to go through his own growth, but I didn’t find myself connecting with him character as much as I did with Alexis. I enjoy Tucker’s extreme Alpha ways, but on an emotional level, I felt like he had a little bit more to grow before he could fully commit to Alexis. It was obvious that he wasn’t over his fiance at the beginning of the book, and I didn’t get a good sense that he was totally over her even at the end. It was never really worked out enough for me to believe that he was suddenly deeply in love with Alexis.
The suspense part of the plot was fantastic. I love the whole overall series arc with the Consortium and can’t wait to see how that all works out. I loved the mystery of who the “other” villain was, and was completely taken by surprise when all was revealed. I was not expecting that, and it blew me away, I loved it!
All in all I really enjoyed Davis’ 4th A-Tac book. While I had some problems with Tucker’s lack of page time in dealing with new love and loosing his old, I also felt like he and Alexis fit so well together. The suspense was done well and the mystery kept throughout the book. This is a series I will definitely be sticking with! I give Deep Disclosure a B-(less)
Publisher: Harlequin Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: NetGalley
I’m a big fan of romantic suspense, and Sorenson has become one of my auto-buy authors, so when I saw her newest up on NetGalley, I didn’t even bother reading the blurb before squeeing like a fangirl and requesting it.
Isabel is on the run in Mexico, dodging the cartel at every turn. She is hesitant around other people, so when the sexy Brandon comes sniffing around, she is reluctant to trust him. But he quickly gets under her skin and in her good graces and Isabel finds herself turning to him when things start to hit the fan.
Brandon has a secret, one he is desperate to keep from Isabel, especially since he needs to gain her trust. When he finds her in a pickle, he will do just about anything to keep her safe. As they travel through Mexico together, the two become more and more attracted to one another. These feelings are new to Brandon, and for the first time ever he might be willing to risk everything for a woman. But when Isabel learns his secrets, will she even want to accept what he has to offer?
What’s more dramatic than a woman on the run, and the undercover US Marshal set to bring her in? I loved the story, and the setting especially. I love the Mexican culture and the way that Sorenson was able to bring so much life to the setting. I’ve always loved when a book’s location can play such an integral part in the overall story, and I felt like Sorenson did an excellent job with that.
I really enjoyed the characters as well. I thought that Isabel was such a strong and incredible heroine. Although she had her moments of kicking ass, it was also obvious that she didn’t want to do it, that she hated the violence that her life became, and I appreciated that. So many times in romantic suspense books, the heroine comes across as this incredible fighter and able to accomplish more than is realistic. That was not the case here, and I enjoyed that. Although there were times I wanted her to stop running and face everything she went through in life. When Isabel did finally get to that point, I was cheering for her, but wishing she had done so sooner.
From the moment Brandon stepped onto the page I was a fan. He was sexy and fun and one hundred percent dedicated to not only his job, but also the truth. I loved that he didn’t take everything he heard and knew about Isabel as fact, and instead was constantly trying to get her side of the story, her version of what happened. I also loved just how conflicted he was about her and his job. It was obvious he was attracted to her, and I was glad to see a hero put that aside for a change. He thought about his job first, instead of thinking with his little head. His inner struggle with what to do about the whole situation was one of the things I loved most.
The romance between these two was smokin’ hot, and the sexual tension was thick throughout. Both Brandon and Isabel struggled with trusting each other, with jumping into a physical relationship and I’ve always loved that. Although the adrenaline was pumping, I felt like their romance was real and true. I loved their ending as well, it was perfect without being cliche.
All in all, I loved this one. The story moved quickly with tons of action, and I was engaged from start to finish. The characters were fun to read and the romance was great. This is yet another Sorenson book to put on the keeper shelves. I give Tempted by his Target an A-(less)
I’ve long been a fan of Adair and I know when I pick up one of her books, I’m in for a good read. While I still haven’t gotten the chance to read the first book in this series, Hush, it’s waiting for me on my nook, and I can’t wait to see how this series started off.
Dakota lost everything she had going for her in a short amount of time, her fiance left her, she lost her job and was caught in an explosion that put her int he hospital for months. Now that she is being called in on a case to look into the appearance of a very deadly drug she worked to develop, she will be thrust back into the world that she lost all those years ago.
Rand’s security firm is beyond successful, until a drug is released at a high-profile wedding that causes Hollywood’s elite to turn into sex fiends. When he calls in for help, the last person he expects to see is his ex Dakota. The two of them soon find themselves on a wild goose chase across Europe, hunting the men who released the drug and are now trying to kill them. But when the truth begins to unfold, will these two be able to get past their history together and face the uncertain future?
First let me begin by saying that usually I am not a huge fan of paranormal aspects in my contemporary settings. However, I’ve found that whenever Adair adds a flair of paranormal, it ends up working for me. I liked that she didn’t go to any kind of extreme with it, and didn’t describe it in detail. Instead, it was sort of like an unexplained phenomena that came across to me as believable and real within the world.
The story begins with Rand and starts with the wedding (which let me just tell you, had me cracking smiles left and right with all the “stories” from those under the influence of the drug Rapture). Just as I was getting a feel for Rand and really enjoying his character, Dakota is introduced and Rand does not paint her in the best light. It was painfully obvious they split on horrific terms, and Rand describes her as this horrible person. But once the POV switches to Dakota and more of the story unfolds, I found myself quickly siding with Dakota, and hoping she would knock Rand down a few notches. Their history, as it unfolds, is almost on the level of soap-opera dramaish, and creates for a lot of tension between them.
Despite all that tension though, the two are quick to fall into bed together. I didn’t always understand their readiness to get naked together, and honestly, a few times I wanted to smack Dakota for giving it up while Rand was still acting like a jerk. These two lacked any kind of real communication between them, and once it did all come out, it was painfully obvious that a simple conversation would have done leaps and bounds for their relationship.
I really did enjoy the aspect of these two coming back together and re-kindling their romance. One thing that occasionally irritates me in romantic suspense books is that the hero and heroine only get a few short days to meet, allude the bad guys and fall in love. In most books, it doesn’t always feel as if that is enough to sustain a long-standing relationship. But with Rand and Dakota, it was obvious the two still had intense feelings for one another from the start. While they were constantly on the run, I felt as if they really did have the time to get over their past and move forward with the life they both wanted. I just wish that Dakota would have made Rand apologize a bit more for their past. So much happened between them, and I wanted her to get a little more of a “big gesture” from him before forgiving and forgetting.
One thing that I think Adair does so incredibly well is weave in such intricate plot lines and subplot lines. I was never really sure who the bad guy was, or how all the players wove together. When the big reveal happened at the end, I had my suspicion on who the bad guy was, but was absolutely floored by how it all came together. It was crazy and insane and something that came from so far in left field that my head literally spun around a few times. It was such a great ending to a fast paced and high-octane read.
All in all I was floored by Afterglow. Everything I’ve come to love in my romantic suspense books was done beautifully. The suspense was off the charts, the plot twisted and turned all over the place and the romance was sweet and sexy and fulfilling. The second chance at love was done so well, and I absolutely LOVED Dakota’s character. I could have used a little more groveling from Rand, but was pleased with how this story wrapped up. I give Afterglow a B+(less)
Publisher: Ballantine Publish Date: Out Now! How I got this book: NetGalley
This was my first Christy Reece book, and it will NOT be my last. I enjoyed this one immensely, and will need to go back and catch up on this intriguing series.
Seth and Honor have a complicated past, but searching for Seth’s missing niece is their number one priority. However, they both seem to have difficulties leaving their past behind them. Honor is still hurt over the way that Seth left her, even after he explains the truth behind his actions. Seth is still head over heels for her, but worries that he will never be good enough, never have anything to offer her.
When Honor goes undercover to save the missing girls, she is put smack in the center of danger, and Seth finds out that he will do anything and everything to keep her safe. But when he is the one to get hurt, will Honor be able to forgive him and move on?
Reece has put a GREAT twist on the romantic suspense genre, having her series focus on the recovery of lost children. It was emotional and inspiring and all around fabulous! Nothing like anything I’ve read before in the romantic suspense genre. I loved the premise of the series all around, and this book’s plot was wonderful as well. The story line was believable while also being just a little bit crazy.
Let me start with Seth and Honor. When second chance love stories are done right, they are some of my favorite ones out there. This one was done right. There was a perfect amount of pain and anger, desire and lust, and the right amount of groveling before forgiveness was given. I loved that the beginning of the book followed them through their lives from when the first started dating and broke up, to the large milestones to present day. Then, watching them come together, with all that pain and angst, and trying to work together was wonderful drama.
Like I said, I was happy to see a certain amount of groveling and angst before forgiveness was given. While I understood Seth’s reasons for leaving Honor the first time around, I also could see how upsetting it was to each of them. I was glad that although Honor was quick to find herself back in his bed, she wasn’t quick to give away her heart once again. She was weary of him, and had a hard time with letting go of the past. But after a heart-to-heart with her mother, a certain amount of groveling from Seth and a near-death experience it was refreshing to see them both put the past away and move forward.
The plot with the insane villain and the creepy cult was so eerie and well done. I think that this bad guy was one of the most chilling I’ve read in awhile. Not only was the guy absolutely insane, he was also sadistic, twisted and totally F-ed in the head. It was difficult to read some scenes, especially when he and his daughter were together (talk about two seriously screwed up people!!), but every difficult word just added credence to how insane the guy was.
I loved the secondary characters as well, and can’t wait to go back and read the previous books I missed, as well as continue with the series going forward. Both Jared and Aiden wormed their way into my heart with just a few pages of face-time, but I’m anxious to read more about them.
All in all I was so happy to have picked up this Reece book. I loved the premise of the book and series as a whole, loved the twisted and creepy aspects of the cult and it’s brainwashing. The characters were real and believable, and the romance between Seth and Honor was so fun to read, during the good times and the bad. For anyone who has NOT read Reece, I definitely recommend you pick up one of her books!
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+(less)