This particular installment of Ms. Reus's Red Stone Security series didn't work for me, and I'm very glad I read another book in the series first, becThis particular installment of Ms. Reus's Red Stone Security series didn't work for me, and I'm very glad I read another book in the series first, because I've really enjoyed this series overall. However, some of the heroine's actions bothered me a LOT, preventing me from enjoying this book as much as the others I've read.
Elizabeth Martinez just comes across as TSTL several times. I've never understood why in some Romantic Suspense novels the heroine will keep information from the people qualified to help her, and that is exactly what happens here. I think if your junkie brother gets you involved with a drug lord, it is more than acceptable to tell your security expert ex everything that's going on, ESPECIALLY when you and a friend get shot at, placing your life and that of others in danger. So I found Lizzy to be very, very annoying.
My issues with the heroine aside, Ms. Reus's writing is as stellar here as it is in her other books. I enjoyed the attraction between the hero and heroine, and I love that there's no unrealistic "We're running for our lives, so let's stop and have sex NOW" in her books. The attraction is powerful, but not so powerful that it threatens belief.
I'll definitely keep reading more of this series, but this one just didn't work for me....more
My favorite man law? Number 18 – Never mess with a man’s grill. And no, that’s not a euphemism. A man’s appliances and gadgets are apparently hands off to buddies, and so is his sister, which causes a ton of problems in Adrienne Giordano’s Man Law. Men have a lot of unwritten rules that make little or no sense to women, and Vic Andrews, security consultant, seems to follow ALL these rules. I’m willing to bet good money that if he went to the movies with a buddy, they’d leave an empty seat between them, just so there are nooooo misunderstandings. Vic is definitely a tough guy, but he’s also funny, sweet, and endearing. Just don’t tell him that!
Adrienne Giordano’s debut novel, Man Law, is a romantic suspense, and it’s definitely a winner. My mother-in-law loves to read romantic suspense, and I can't wait to recommend it to her. The novel begins on a beach, with our hero Vic Andrews realizing that he’s in deep trouble, because he just hooked up with his best friend’s sister, Gina Delgado. Never mess with a man’s sister is one of these deeply entrenched man laws Vic follows, but this is the second time he and Gina have hooked up, and it’s starting to get complicated. Gina is a 35 year old widow of a deceased firefighter, so she knows all about the constant stress of worrying for her loved ones, plus she’s got 3 kids to raise without their father. The last thing she needs is to get involved with Vic, whose spent years working under dangerous conditions. To make matters worse, Vic has just learned that a terrorist is targeting him in retaliation for taking out his younger brother, which places Gina and her three kids in some serious danger. You’ll definitely be rooting for Vic and Gina, as they work through an emotional minefield while fighting off this terrorist’s vendetta.
There are so many things to love about this novel, but the characters really sold it for me, especially the male ones. This book reminded me a lot of what I enjoyed in Shannon Stacey’s Yours to Keep – the male characters sound like real guys, laughing at each other and giving their buds a hard time over women. The titular man laws make numerous appearances as we watch Vic Andrews, tough guy extraordinaire, go down for the count, and it’s fun to watch him break almost all of them when dealing with Gina. Never admit you’re wrong? – I’m pretty sure this one’s written in stone for guys, but Vic manages to break it and live to fight and love another day. It’s clear throughout the novel that Vic’s never had problems with the ladies, but his long-time friendship with Gina’s brother Mike means that he’s known her for a long time. He clearly respects Gina, but he also finds her smokin’ hot, and as a widowed mother of 3, that’s just what she needs! The scenes where Vic calls out Gina’s teenage son Matt and tells him that he’ll just have to deal with Vic’s presence in their lives are perfect, and make me wonder if Ms. Giordano has her own teenage son, because Matt is super cranky and sullen about his Mom’s new boyfriend.
Gina is one of the more likeable heroines I’ve read in a while. She’s 35, has 3 kids, and has been widowed for 4 years. She’s starting to realize that she’s buried Gina the woman in favor of Gina the mother, and I think a lot of women can relate to that. Her grief over her husband’s death is an important part of the story, because she has plenty of doubts about starting something with someone who, like her husband, makes a living in a dangerous profession. However, she’s clearly moving in a positive direction, and it’s a pleasure to see her take charge of her sexuality while dealing with kids and pressure from her loving family.
I found the pacing of the book to be just right. We learn about the threat to Vic and his loved ones almost immediately in the novel, and the tension is maintained throughout, but there are realistic breaks in the action to develop the relationship between the leads. There are some real nail-biting moments and one gut-wrenching one that I won’t spoil for you, but the intensity of the action is where it should be. The reactions of Vic and the other characters to the powerful events that take place come across as highly believable, and the suspense hanging over them all will keep you on the edge of your seat.
If I had to quibble about anything in the book, it would be that the last action sequence was almost anti-climatic because of the intensity of the sequence prior to it. That prior sequence packed a much more powerful emotional punch, and the last seemed to be almost an afterthought, although it did resolve everything nicely. Additionally, Gina’s second son Jake seemed almost superfluous at times, since Gina’s other two children are much more central to the plot and more clearly developed. I’m not sure that she needed to have three children in this novel, although we certainly get the sense of how harried she is as a single mother.
In short, I really enjoyed Ms. Giordano’s book and highly recommend it. This is the first in her Private Protectors series, with the second one (A Just Deception) coming out in September 2011. I’m hoping that her ebook sales will be strong enough to warrant a print release some time next year, as Man Law is a strong beginning to a new series.
I received this book for review from the publisher, Carina Press, through NetGalley....more
Ms. Anderson writes really intense RS! I couldn't put this one down at all. I like the Canadian setting and the romance is really well done in this boMs. Anderson writes really intense RS! I couldn't put this one down at all. I like the Canadian setting and the romance is really well done in this book. We also get to see the couple from the first book in the series, Dangerous Waters, although you don't have to have read the first book in the series to understand Dark Waters.
My only complaint is that I'm not a fan of the villain's POV, but this is more my preference in reading than an actual criticism.
Definitely recommend this one to readers of RS....more
I’ve really been enjoying Adrienne Giordano’s Private Protectors series. I’m not usually a fan of romantic suspense, but her books are a lot of fun and full-o-the-smexy! Risking Trust is the third novel published in the series, but it’s set before the first novel, Man Law. I absolutely loved the hero of Man Law (see my review), Vic Andrews, and he makes a few appearances to comedic effect in this prequel. I think Man Law remains my favorite of the three, but I love reunion romances, and Risking Trust really hits the mark.
As the novel begins, Roxann Thorgesson’s life is suddenly a lot more stressful than it was a month ago. Her father recently died of a heart attack, leaving her in charge of the family owned newspaper, and her ex-lover has just been accused of murdering his wife, Alicia. Michael Taylor and Alicia had been involved in a nasty divorce for over two years, so when she’s murdered, he’s the first suspect. When it becomes clear that the police aren’t planning on looking any further than Alicia’s soon-to-be ex-husband, Michael offers his former lover Roxann exclusive access to his story if she’ll have the newspaper investigate the murder. Roxann’s reluctant to have anything to do with Michael after he broke her heart 12 years ago, but she realizes that if they can solve the mystery, the paper will have a major scoop. Trouble is, it soon becomes clear that Alicia’s murder isn’t a random act of violence, and the more they investigate, the higher the cover-up of her death goes. Roxann knows Michael’s innocent, but can she prove his innocence before the murderer sets his sights on her?
I love that Ms. Giordano writes such strong heroines. In the prior two books, the heroines had strong personalities, and the heroes loved them because of that strength. Roxann is no exception, and as a former gold medal Olympic runner, she’s also physically fit. But Roxann is particularly vulnerable emotionally because of the recent death of her beloved father. She’s trying to deal with her grief by focusing on work, but Michael’s reappearance in her life creates more emotional distress. Fortunately he quickly proves that he’s there to support Roxann in everything, even if he’s undergoing a difficult time as well.
Michael is a sexy and appealing hero, and he too has his vulnerabilities. I like that while all three of the male leads in Ms. Giordano’s novels are alpha males working in the security business, they still appreciate the strong female protagonists, even if those heroes have their sexist moments. Michael owns his security firm, but he has a lot of respect for Roxann and her career in the newspaper industry. He definitely screwed up when he left Roxann all those years ago, and his marriage was a disaster, mainly because he was still in love with Roxann, but he works hard to redeem himself. He’s very swoon-worthy!
As for Michael’s almost ex-wife, Alicia, she’s a strong presence in the novel. I’m not particularly fond of romances featuring the horrible ex, and frankly Alicia is over the top. Her murder sets up all the action of the novel and reunites the lovers, so she’s a necessary part of the novel, but I’m not sure she had to be such a slut for the book to work. This is a personal preference, though, because I’ve grown tired of this particular trope, so keep that in mind.
My only other criticism is that towards the end it becomes easy for the reader to spot the villain, yet Roxann continually trusts this character. There are obvious reasons why she does so, but a few of her decisions border on too stupid to live, which bothered me. I suspect that the problem is more that the villain is too obvious to us, because given Roxann’s emotional state and all that’s going on with the murder investigation, it’s not hard to see why she would continue to trust that character.
Overall, I very much enjoyed the novel, and I highly recommend it. I hope that the books sell well enough as ebooks that they’ll be published in paperback in the future, as Ms. Giordano writes taut thrillers with sexy romance. I’m all in favor of strong female characters, and I’ve been pleased to find them in her novels.
I received this book for review from the publisher through NetGalley....more
In college, I worked at the library in the circulation department as part of my financial aid, and as a result I’ve always enjoyed reading about librarians. So when I saw that the heroine of Shannon Curtis’ Viper’s Kiss was a librarian, I had to read it, and when I realized that said librarian was accused of being a spy, I was hooked. After all, what librarian doesn’t dream of being a spy? Viper’s Kiss will be released on July 25 and is available at the Carina Press webpage and on Amazon. The novel’s a short romantic suspense, only about 53,000 words, so it’s a quick read and a fast-paced adventure. And the hottie on the cover isn’t hard on the eyes, either! This was a fun read, and I’m looking forward to seeing more in the future from Ms. Curtis.
Maggie Kincaid is a librarian at the University of Washington, and her life has suddenly grown much more exciting than she would like. Miss April HotRod, aka Kandy Karamel, is a dead ringer for Maggie, and suddenly the demure librarian is being hounded by people mistaking her for the pin-up girl. Shortly after dodging a herd of horny male students outside the library, two men in black arrive and arrest her for espionage. She’s been working with the Department of Defense and tech company Tek-Intel on a top secret invention, and they’re accusing her of stealing the prototype. To make matters worse, as soon as she and the detectives pull out into traffic, they’re rammed by a van, the detectives are murdered, and Maggie’s dragged off by some truly frightening villains. Just like the detectives, they’re convinced that she’s a female spy working under the codename Viper. Maggie is barely pulling together an escape attempt, when Luke Kincaid arrives and whisks her away to safety on his motorcycle.
Luke is a security expert with McCormack Security Agency, and he’s tasked with recovering the Visi-suit prototype that Viper’s stolen. He can’t quite believe that Maggie Kincaid is guilty, but all the evidence points in that direction. Too bad that the first job he’s in charge of involves a female spy he finds really appealing. Maggie finds Luke attractive as well, but every time he starts to believe in her innocence, evidence surfaces that convinces him that she’s not trustworthy. In the end, she’s the only one who can uncover the truth and recover the visi-suit, clearing her name in the process.
Viper’s Kiss is non-stop action, with poor Maggie escaping from one dangerous situation only to find herself in another. The plot progresses quickly, and just when you think that she can calm down and relax, the action picks up again. It’s a fun ride, and Ms. Curtis introduces two supporting male characters, Derek and Noah, whose presence makes me believe that she has sequels planned for the two of them, which would definitely be good news for us readers!
Maggie is a likeable character, and despite the danger and trouble she finds herself in, she manages to escape each time, thanks to her own actions. That makes her really appealing, since she’s had a tough time of it for the last few years, but instead of being overwhelmed and complaining, she acts to resolve the situation herself. She’s also always one step ahead of the so-called security experts, figuring out a way to escape them and solve the mystery surrounding the true Viper while recovering the Visi-suit prototype.
While there are definitely sparks between Luke and Maggie, their romance feels a bit rushed. They’re clearly attracted to one another, but from the beginning of the novel Maggie has been cautious about men, insisting on a 90 day probationary period before sex with all dates, which has resulted in her still being a virgin in her mid-twenties. This caution is blamed on a bad relationship her mother had with a boyfriend when Maggie was 16 (more about that later), so it seems somewhat inconsistent with her character that she would choose to act on her attraction as quickly as she does with Luke. I prefer romances that develop over time, but the novel is so short that it’s difficult to see how Ms. Curtis could have maintained the fast pace of the action and included the romance in any other way. I would love to see a longer work from her, which would give her more room to develop the relationship between the characters.
Because I thoroughly enjoyed reading the novel, I hate to criticize but I do have two complaints, although the first is somewhat minor. Given how the action unfolds, I have to think that McCormack Security Agency must hire the most inept employees in the world, because every time Maggie needs to escape, she asks to use the bathroom and wiggles out of a window, with the so-called experts none the wiser. First, how many bathrooms have windows, and second, how could this trick work on them more than once? Seriously, she’s portrayed as an innocent and naïve librarian, yet she’s easily able to escape the security experts and goons who try to force her to reveal the location of the Visi-suit.
The second complaint I have is about a plot point that bothered me so much it actually lessened my enjoyment of the novel. ***Warning: Spoilers Ahead*** We learn that when Maggie was 16, her mother had a boyfriend named Andy who tried to sexually assault Maggie. When her mother learned of the attempted assault, she kicked Andy out, and he retaliated by robbing their house and wiping out her checking account. This forced Maggie to have to work to help support them, plus required her to work to pay for her college education. Later, her mother falls seriously ill, and Maggie has to find a way to pay her mother’s overwhelming medical bills. So when Luke looks into Maggie’s finances as a way to prove that she is the spy they’re looking for, he’s stunned to see that she’s barely eking out a living and lives in a one-bedroom apartment with her mother. What drives me crazy about this is that I don’t understand why her mother didn’t go to the police when their house is robbed and the bank account is wiped out! She just sits back and does nothing, allowing her daughter to work like crazy to pay for her education. This seems inconsistent with Maggie’s behavior at the very least, since throughout the novel Maggie acts to clear her name rather than remaining a passive character. It seems so odd that there was absolutely nothing her mother could have done, and it felt completely contrived.
Despite this, the rest of the novel was a fun, quick read with a likeable hero and heroine and lots of action. I definitely enjoyed it and can’t wait to see future books by this author, because her writing drew me in quickly and I loved her choice of heroine. This book was provided for review by the publisher through NetGalley....more
Dare MacIntosh, the hero of When You Dare, is one sexy mercenary, and the novel begins with his rescuing two women from human traffickers in Mexico. One of the women is his friend’s younger sister, but the other woman is a stranger. She’s drugged, and since she’s clearly been abused and is an American, Dare rescues her. When she wakes up, Molly Alexander tells Dare that she was abducted over nine days ago, and she’s not really sure why this happened to her. Molly is a novelist who writes romantic suspense, and her most recent book is about to become a motion picture, but other than a few disgruntled fans and an ex-fiancé, she’s not sure who could have arranged her abduction. Since Dare is clearly very good at what he does, she hires him to help her find the person behind her kidnapping. Despite the trauma Molly’s undergone, the two have quite the sexual chemistry, and Dare finds himself falling for our plucky heroine.
I don’t usually read romantic suspense, but I really like Lori Foster so I thought I’d give this series a go. Often in romantic suspense the relationship between the hero and heroine feels rushed, but that was not the case here. Molly and Dare are able to take things slowly and get to know one another, with the sexual relationship developing later in the book. I liked the interactions between the two of them, and it was fun seeing how Molly would work on her writing. I like how Ms. Foster gave us glimpses of the life of the writer, and it made Molly an interesting heroine. Dare and Molly definitely have sexual chemistry, but given the circumstances of their meeting, I found it completely believable that Dare would take his time with her. I also liked how Dare kept calling Molly on her pretense that everything was fine. He reassured her that she would have future breakdowns and needed to have them.
One criticism I have of the novel is that the secondary characters weren’t particularly interesting. In fact, I was more interested in Dare’s two dogs than the people in the story, but that probably won’t surprise anyone who knows me since I love dogs. There are a few brief scenes with Molly’s father, and one extended scene with Molly’s sister, Natalie, but these take place later in the book. In fact, we meet all the “suspects” in the second half of the book, which just seems a little too late. Dare finds it odd from the beginning that no one seems to be worried or looking for Molly, even though she’s been missing for nine days. Molly convinces Dare not to contact Natalie really early on, but her reasons for doing so were fairly weak. She doesn’t want to tell Natalie she’s okay, because she thinks Natalie will start calling around trying to discover who’s behind the kidnapping and thus place herself in danger. I found that to be somewhat specious, since Natalie’s a teacher, and therefore college educated. Surely if Molly explained the situation, Natalie wouldn’t do anything to endanger her sister.
Perhaps because we don’t get to meet the “suspects” until later in the novel, I felt the suspense suffered a bit from all the time spent developing the relationship between Dare and Molly. I can’t believe I’m complaining about that, because I definitely prefer when the characters gradually build a connection rather than instantly jump into bed together, but the anxiety definitely levels off when Dare takes Molly to his house/compound in Kentucky. At the beginning of the novel, Molly has just started to recover physically from her experiences, and immediately there’s a second attempt to kidnap her, which Dare easily foils. But after that, the intensity lessens and the focus of the novel is almost entirely on their interaction. When we finally meet the secondary characters, we slowly move towards a resolution of the mystery, but I have to admit that I had a pretty good idea of who was behind the kidnapping fairly early on. There’s definitely some fast-paced action at the very end, but again, there just wasn’t much tension there.
In short, this romantic suspense was long on the romance and short on the suspense. I liked the focus on the relationship, and it really didn’t bother me that the suspense was lacking, but if you are looking for a real page-turner, this might not be for you. ...more
For me this novella was an introduction to Ms. Davis’ A-Tac series. As soon as I read tYou can also read this review at Reflections on Reading Romance
For me this novella was an introduction to Ms. Davis’ A-Tac series. As soon as I read the description of it, I knew I had to check it out, because apparently A-Tac is an elite CIA unit posing as faculty at an Ivy League college. If this were true, it would explain so much, wouldn’t it? This novella focuses on Lara Prescott, the former medical officer for the team, whose lover Jason died during a mission over a year ago. Lara’s been working in a clinic in Africa, and when insurgents arrive, she realizes that they’re there for her. Fortunately sexy mercenary Rafe Winters is there to fill all her needs (ha!). Novellas can be hit or miss for me, especially romantic suspense, but this one was great. The couple had known each other for over a year, so their romance was believable and smoldering. I can’t wait to read more of Ms. Davis’ work! ...more
Have you ever had a friend who’s smart and well-educated but makes incredibly dumb deciYou can also read this review at Reflections on Reading Romance
Have you ever had a friend who’s smart and well-educated but makes incredibly dumb decisions? If so, you’ve met Isabelle DeRosa, heroine of Adrienne Giordano’s A Just Deception, the second book in Ms. Giordano’s Private Protector series. I absolutely loved the first book, Man Law (read my review), so I was really looking forward to reading the second book in this series. Unfortunately, I feel really conflicted about this second book. Like the first, the outstanding portrayal of the relationships between the male characters and the smoldering sexual tension between the hero and heroine are its strengths, but I was really uncomfortable with several of the decisions the heroine makes over the course of the book.
Isabelle De Rosa is a lawyer working in her uncle’s high-profile criminal defense firm. When her creepy cousin Kendrick makes a surprise appearance at the firm, she contacts Taylor Security for help updating her home alarm system. They send former SEAL Peter Jessup to help her out, and the two immediately set off sparks. Before they can act on their attraction, Kendrick turns up murdered and both Peter and Izzy are suspects in his death. When the FBI approaches Izzy to go undercover at Kendrick’s charity’s compound in Ohio, she accepts the job in an attempt to prove her innocence in Kendrick’s death. But the more she learns about the cult-like charity, the more she’s going to need Peter’s help to expose the truth. Neither one counts on falling in love complicating everything.
This novel has many strong points, and my favorite is undoubtedly the great interaction between Peter and the other members of Taylor Security. The dialogue between the male characters is hilarious and really well done. We don’t always see such strong relationships between male supporting characters in romance, but Ms. Giordano seems to pull this off effortlessly. The give and take between the men spills over into the male-female relationships as well, since the dialogue between Peter and Izzy and the other female characters is engaging and witty. This also reflects the excellent pacing of the novel. The mix between suspense, action, and romance is just right, ensuring that you’ll keep turning the pages, while the sexual tension between Peter and Izzy leaps off the page.
The problems I have with the book all have to do with Isabelle’s character. She was sexually abused by her cousin Kendrick for more than seven years as a child. Ms. Giordano does an outstanding job of portraying Izzy as a survivor rather than a victim, and you’ll want to cheer when Izzy manages to fight off Kendrick’s advances. However, she makes several decisions over the course of the book that struck me as so bizarre and frustrating that it interfered with my enjoyment of the book, hence my comments at the beginning of this review. We learn that Kendrick’s father, Izzy’s uncle, convinces Izzy and her mother to cover up Kendrick’s abuse when it’s discovered, which is frustrating but unfortunately doesn’t strike me as all that unusual. What drives me nuts, though, is that despite this, Izzy works in her uncle’s law firm! I just do not understand this decision. She explains this away as saying that her uncle “owes” her career because she saved his by covering up the abuse. She believes that working at the top criminal defense firm in the state will catapult her career. This seems like the stupidest decision a rape survivor could make, especially since the chances of her running into her abuser, her boss’s son, are pretty darn high.
The second highly questionable decision she makes occurs when Kendrick attempts to rape her again, this time as an adult. Thanks to her determination never to be a victim again, she’s able to beat the stuffing out of him, get away, and call Peter for help. We then learn that Kendrick got into the house because he used his father’s key!!! It gets worse, though. She refuses to call the police, insisting that she and Peter return Kendrick to her uncle, because she doesn’t want to involve the family. What?!?! The family IS involved, because your cousin tried to rape you!! This becomes all the more confusing when she acknowledges to Peter that she worries that her family’s decision not to prosecute Kendrick has allowed him to sexually abuse others. If she’s that concerned about it, why does she refuse to involve the police? I could understand if, as a criminal defense lawyer, she decided not to press charges because of how a trial could destroy her life, but she never even mentions this, instead focusing on not involving the family.
Because of her past, Izzy’s sexuality is understandably an issue throughout the novel. Ms. Giordano does an excellent job of portraying Izzy’s problems with intimacy with Peter, which I find to be highly believable. Her intimacy issues complicate her relationship with Peter later in the novel when she makes questionable decisions about how to elicit information from the leader of Kendrick’s charity. I found this section to be difficult to read because of its content but well executed, even if as a reader you want her to make better choices.
Unfortunately, I just couldn’t get over Izzy’s decisions concerning her family. She’s portrayed as a survivor who’s working hard to overcome her past, which is admirable, but her insistence in remaining in such close contact with family members who have betrayed her in unforgiveable ways strained my credulity and seriously affected my enjoyment of the novel.
I received this book for review from the Publisher through NetGalley....more
This is the second book of Ms. Julian’s that I’ve read, and it’s a fun, short read, full oThis review is also posted at Reflections on Reading Romance
This is the second book of Ms. Julian’s that I’ve read, and it’s a fun, short read, full of sizzling chemistry with an intriguing premise. Unfortunately, it bogs down a little in the middle, and what promised to be an action packed romantic suspense turned out to be stronger on the romance than the suspense. That said, I like the premise of the novel, and the secondary characters are perfect for a continuation of the series.
Janey DeMarco is the youngest child of two legendary CIA agents who run a PI firm. When the DeMarco name surfaces in an NSA investigation into weapons dealers, the NSA sends an undercover agent to check out the family’s connections. Malcom “Mal” Laughlin’s partner was shot during the investigation into weapons trafficking, so he jumps at the chance to check out the DeMarcos. But he wasn’t counting on falling for Janey, and she certainly didn’t expect to find the geeky former Marine quite so hot!
What I liked most about this book was the chemistry between Mal and Janey. I love that Mal is quite the hunk and yet also comes across as a bit of a nerd. You can see Mal’s struggle with his conscience over starting a relationship with Janey since he’s undercover, but it’s also really sweet how he tries to justify what he learns with what he’s observed about Janey and her family.
Janey’s relationship with her family and Mal’s “relationship” with his deceased father are also big selling points. Janey only remains with the family firm because she’s worried about her father’s health, but her interaction with her brothers and parents make it clear that there’s little to worry about. Mal’s interior monologues with his snarky “Dad” are a hoot, since his Dad remains the voice of his conscience.
Both Janey and Mal were likeable characters, but at times I didn’t understand their motivations. Janey’s constantly concerned about her father’s health and gives his health as her reason for working in a job she confesses is not challenging her, which comes across as a bit whiny after a while, especially after all the other members of the family reassure her on numerous occasions that her father will be fine. Mal was an appealing hero (alpha AND nerdy - nice!), but for an experienced NSA agent, he sure does jump to conclusions quickly!
Unfortunately it was also really difficult to get into the plot. At several points I put the book down and then had to make myself come back to it so I could write the review. The focus of the book is much more on the romance, which has the action falling a bit flat. Very little happens in the middle of the book to advance Mal’s investigation, and the stalker subplot with the Hollywood director didn’t really add much, and I found it really annoying whenever Bennett showed up.
That said, this was a quick read, and for those of you who prefer your romantic suspense to be light on the violence, this book would definitely fit the bill. I like how Ms. Julian portrays the attraction between her heroes and heroines, so I’ll probably give the second book in the series a chance, but I’m hoping it will be a bit more action-packed.
I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher through NetGalley....more
If you’ve read many of my reviews, you’ll soon see that I’m not a big fan of romantic suspense. Frankly, I’m a wimp! But this past summer I read Marie Force’s wedding novella Fatal Destiny and liked it so much that when I saw Fatal Flaw was available on NetGalley, I instantly requested it. It then sat on my Kindle for months. And I mean MONTHS!!! I finally got around to reading it yesterday, and now I can’t believe I waited to read it this long. Even though I haven’t read any of the first 3 novels in the series, I could pick up this book and follow along without any problem. And since there are a lot of narrative threads in this book, I think it’s fairly impressive that I could dive right in.
Fatal Flaw picks up right after Senator Nick Cappuano and D.C. Police Lieutenant Samantha “Sam” Holland return from their honeymoon. On Sam’s first day back to work, she’s opening some of the cards sent after the wedding and finds one with a thinly veiled threat. She then goes to Nick’s office and scoops up all of his cards (and there are nearly 1000 between the two of them!) to see if hers was the only threatening one.
Sam then gets called out to a puzzling murder scene. A restaurant owner and his teenage employee were locked into the deep freezer and asphyxiated, but the murdered left the deposit bag for the night sitting on the counter. As Sam and her team investigate, they learn that both the owner and the teenager had no enemies to speak of, and the investigation seems to stall. But soon Sam finds herself dealing with a handful of murders – all of victims with no apparent enemies. She has to uncover the truth before this budding serial killer turns his eyes towards more personal targets.
There is a lot to like about this book, but the protagonists and secondary characters are what sell it for me. Sam’s a very appealing heroine. She’s tough but comes across as a very real person, since she’s experienced infertility issues and has to deal with her father’s failing health. Nick is a very sexy hero who’s very much in love with the police lieutenant, which makes him all the more charming. The secondary characters come across as real people as well, since they have their flaws but still make for a tight-knit support group for Sam.
The book is easy to read, with lots of action interspersed with various views of the different dramas occurring in all the characters’ lives. This kept me interested, but it also felt a bit like a soap opera, and I kept wondering why so much time was spent on the secondary characters instead of Sam and Nick. About halfway through the book I found myself wondering when we’d get back to the murders, because it seemed like we were spending more time on individual relationships than the suspense part of the novel. Additionally, the resolution felt a bit deus ex machina – Sam’s dad has been in a medically induced coma and as soon as he comes out of it and hears the details of her cases, he puts all the threads together and WHAMMY he solves the case.
That said, I found the book really engrossing. I loved reading about the various characters and their relationships, and while I’m usually not a romantic suspense fan, I really liked this book. I think that if you like thrillers or more “suspense” this might not be the book for you, but if you enjoy character driven drama, I highly recommend Fatal Flaw. I’ll definitely be catching up on the first three books in the series!
I received a copy of this book for review from the publisher through NetGalley....more
This is the first book I've read by Laura Griffin and it won't be the last. I'm not a big fan of romantic suspense, but this book was easy to read witThis is the first book I've read by Laura Griffin and it won't be the last. I'm not a big fan of romantic suspense, but this book was easy to read with engaging characters. Unfortunately I wasn't convinced WHY the hero, John McAllister, would all of a sudden give up being a womanizer and stick to just one woman. I also was disappointed that the secondary romance didn't really go anywhere. ...more
Lori Foster has long been a favorite of mine, and her recent romantic suspense series, Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor, has been a lot of fun (I love the sexy book covers - Mama Like!). This fourth book in the series, A Perfect Storm, is just the kind of romantic suspense I can handle, full of alpha males and a kick-butt heroine without too much gore and violence. I’m a wimp, what can I say? That said, I was impressed with Ms. Foster’s handling of some sensitive issues. The series deals with human trafficking, and Arizona Snow, the heroine in A Perfect Storm, was a victim rescued by the hero in the third book (Savor the Danger). In that book, Arizona is a loose cannon, acting impetuously and placing herself in danger with no thought to the consequences, but in A Perfect Storm she’s an appealing character, and her story with the sexy bounty hunter Spencer Lark is smoldering.
Arizona Snow’s had a rough life. Her father sold her to human traffickers, and when she managed to escape, they caught up with her and decided to make an example of her to dissuade their other victims from doing the same. Fortunately for Arizona, Jackson (the hero of Savor the Danger) witnesses the men tossing her from a bridge and saves her. Ever since, he’s acted as her big brother, and now that he’s working with Dare and Trace in their security business, she wants to play an important part in freeing other women from similar situations.
Spencer Lark is a bounty hunter who stepped in at the last minute and stole Arizona’s chance at revenge when he interrupted their take down of the human traffickers who once incarcerated her. He’s 32 to Arizona’s 21 and doesn’t want to be attracted to the young woman who’s suffered so much, but he can’t overlook her stunning beauty. Plus, her blunt honesty and tough demeanor are at odds with her vulnerability, a heady combination that he finds hard to resist. When Arizona approaches him to ask for his help in bringing down a suspected group of human traffickers, Spencer agrees, because he knows she’ll act on her own even if he denies her his aid. But working with the young woman makes it tough for the widower to act honorably. Can the two find a future together?
When we first met Arizona in Savor the Danger, she came across as impetuous to the point of stupid, but in A Perfect Storm we learn about the motivation behind Arizona’s actions, and she’s much more likeable. She’s also young, only 21, but she’s definitely matured, and it shows. I really liked her in this book, mainly because of her blunt honesty. Arizona’s very upfront with Spencer, and I found that as appealing as he did. The key to Arizona’s character is not revenge but strength. She doesn’t want to be perceived as a victim, and that motivates most of her actions.
I also like how Arizona reacts to Spencer’s neighbor, Marla, even if I found it a little bit too good to be true. Given Marla’s past sexual relationship with Spencer, I expected more friction between the two women, but I was pleasantly surprised when that was not the case. However, I did find Arizona’s maturity in the situation a bit odd, given her age.
There’s one scene in the book that really grabbed my attention. The birthday party that the men and their significant others have for Arizona is outstanding for what it reveals the characters of the protagonists and supporting characters. The men and women give Arizona various gifts, and it’s clear that she feels uncomfortable being the center of attention and accepting the gifts, but when one of the men gives her a knife she’s been saving up for, Arizona lights up. I felt that this was the moment when the others accepted Arizona’s capability and toughness as character traits, rather than parts of a persona they believed that she had adopted as a way of dealing with what happened to her.
Unfortunately, the dramatic ending of the novel undercuts the subtlety of this earlier scene, which is a shame. Once again we see impetuous Arizona acting on her own to prove herself capable of joining the men in their fight against human trafficking, which could have had disastrous results. I found Arizona’s TSTL behavior frustrating, especially since the prior birthday party scene was so effective.
In the end, however, this was an excellent romantic suspense. I wasn’t a fan of Arizona’s before reading the book, but by the end I very much admired her character, and her relationship with Spencer was both touching and sexy. I’m sad to see the series end, but it definitely goes out on a high note.
I received a copy of the book for review from the publisher through NetGalley....more
I won this book from the Heroes and Heartbreakers webpage, and it was a lovely surprise. I probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own, and that wouI won this book from the Heroes and Heartbreakers webpage, and it was a lovely surprise. I probably wouldn't have picked it up on my own, and that would have been a shame, because it's excellent. It felt like a female version of The Bourne Ultimatum, because Anya/Anna is a retired assassin who's been on the run for years after faking her death. Just when she thinks she's in the clear, Nick Dade is sent to take her out, but someone else tries to kill her first. Anna and Nick pair up to find out who's trying to kill her and end up connecting. Plus, there's a lovable, smelly dog named Lenny. Who could resist a rescue dog?
The romance element in this book isn't in the forefront, but the action will keep you turning the pages! I love the ending and can't wait to read more in this series and more by this author. I'll definitely be sharing this with my MIL, as she loves thrillers. Highly recommend....more
In the interest of full disclosure I should say that I'm not usually a fan of romantic suspense, mainly because I'm a WIMP and donRating: 3.5 out of 5
In the interest of full disclosure I should say that I'm not usually a fan of romantic suspense, mainly because I'm a WIMP and don't like to read violence. However, I really enjoyed this book. The heroine, Megan, was really kick-arse, and she and Mitch were great together. I would have liked to see the obnoxious Zak get a good kick in the pants, but maybe he'll make another, less successful, trip south of the border, lol.
If you're a fan of romantic suspense, I definitely recommend this one....more
I enjoyed this romantic suspense featuring Russian Major Larissa Petrovna and OMEGA agent Dodge Hamilton. This is the first book in the OMEGA series tI enjoyed this romantic suspense featuring Russian Major Larissa Petrovna and OMEGA agent Dodge Hamilton. This is the first book in the OMEGA series that I've read, but it easily stands alone. I think this suffered a bit from the shorter length of the category romance. I just had a hard time buying the HEA, and I would have liked to see Dodge and Lara's relationship develop a bit more. Still, I think if you enjoy Romantic Suspense, you'll enjoy this book. ...more
This is the first Cherry Adair book I've read, and while I wasn't thrilled with certain parts of the plot, I really enjoyed her writing. I'll definiteThis is the first Cherry Adair book I've read, and while I wasn't thrilled with certain parts of the plot, I really enjoyed her writing. I'll definitely be reading more of her books, even though romantic suspense isn't my favorite genre. I was surprised to see that this ties up some ends from two other books, so it's actually part of a triology for 3 brothers, despite being marked as book #10 in the T-FLAC series. This book could easily be read as a stand alone novel.
There are two reasons I rated this a 3, and both have to do with the portrayal of the heroine. First, the heroine is constantly described as powerful yet incapable of controlling her emotions, which causes her telekinesis to go berserk a LOT. The hero seems to find this endearing and somewhat erotic (because she's so passionate?); I just found it annoying. She's 33 and still hasn't gotten control?
(view spoiler)[But the most upsetting thing to me was that the heroine gave up her powers for the hero. GACK!!!!!! She "knew" that he would make a better gran poohbah, so she gives up her powers to protect him and possibly break the family curse. I really, really don't like self-abnegating heroines, so this is really a pet peeve that might not bother other readers. It just drove me INSANE. (hide spoiler)]
I did like the psychic aspects of the novel, and I'll probably check out the other two books featuring the Edge brothers, Gabriel and Caleb, along with other Cherry Adair books.["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>["br"]>...more