Book Review: Beat of the Jungle by Erin Moira O’Hara

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

BEAT OF THE JUNGLE (Deadly Forces #1) by Erin Moira O’Hara is an intense, fast paced and sexy contemporary romantic suspense. Not only are the H/h on the run from mercenaries, but the Amazon Rainforest landscape is as deadly a foe as their human protagonists.

Kitarna Ashford is a botanist who has come to Brazil to join her sister, Bernie’s archeological dig. Just as she arrives, she receives a cryptic call from her father, who is a U.S. Governor, for her and her sister to get out of Brazil as soon as possible. The call breaks up and they do not know why or whom they are running from.

Jack Callaghan is an ex-military sniper whose last mission has left lasting nightmares. He has just completed a private mission for a friend and is now on his way to retire in the Caribbean.

After some pleasant, but brief flirting and not quite truthful introductions, their plane goes down in the Rainforest. The remaining passengers and crew that survive the crash, soon realize they are being hunted by mercenaries and must split up and try to reach the closest mission in small groups. Kit and her sister become separated.

There are so many secrets not just between Kit and Jack, but also crew and fellow survivors of the crash. Kit’s botanical skills and Jack’s military skills may help save the group, but there are hidden motives among the survivors and the Rainforest itself is a beautiful, but deadly paradise.

This author had me feeling the heat of the Amazon. Slogging through the Rainforest with wild animals, bugs and plants that are all beautiful and yet deadly. The knowledge base Kit and Jack both demonstrate was blended seamlessly throughout the story and not just an information dump. The romance builds at a hot and steamy pace even as Kit and Jack fight for their lives and the lives of the other survivors with them.

This was a great read that I highly recommend for lovers of romantic suspense and I am looking forward to reading the next Deadly Forces book which will be Bernie’s story!

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.

Book Review: An Uncommon Honeymoon by Susan Mann

RATING: 5 out 5 Stars

Susan Mann had me once again turning pages well into the night in Quinn and James’ latest exploits. This is such a fun series with a couple that takes you on their CIA over-the-top missions. The plots have serious background premises, but are entertaining and balanced with a lighter side at the same time. James is your secret agent dream come true and Quinn is great as a covert research librarian.

AN UNCOMMON HONEYMOON (Librarian and the Spy Escapade #3) by Susan Mann has the big marriage scene between Quinn and James and it is everything I was hoping for, beautiful, fun and filled with love.

As they are on their honeymoon in the Turks and Caico’s, they are approached by Dave Flores, a former CIA operative now working for a group that rescues children caught in human trafficking. Quinn and James were invited to a party that Dave would like them to surveil, but Quinn meets two of the children being held at the compound and vows to help them get free. The plot has child slave trafficking, drug trafficking and a Russian crime lord. The child slave trafficking is handled seriously and with heart by Ms. Mann, while the Russian crime lord and his minions get the action packed, super spy treatment.

Quinn and James are just perfect together. Their love for each other is always present, Quinn is always James’ equal in any situation and they are seriously sexy and hot. I especially love the sometimes witty, sometimes steamy banter between these two. All of the secondary characters that I have come to care about in the two previous books make an appearance. This series does continually progress forward in Quinn and James’ relationship and abilities, so I really think it is more enjoyable to read in order.

I am waiting anxiously for the next installment!

Thanks very much to Kensington Books, Zebra Shout and Net Galley for allowing me to read this eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Strike Force by Beth Rhodes

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

STRIKE FORCE (Hawk Elite Security, #4) by Beth Rhodes is another great addition to this romantic suspense series. I have been waiting for Malcolm’s story and it is everything I was hoping for.

Malcolm Daniels dealt with a lying, cheating ex-wife. He was young, inexperienced in relationships and she took everything from him including his trust in all women. When Marie is taken in by Hawk and given a job at Hawk Elite, Malcolm knows she is hiding secrets and he vows to reveal them. What he does not expect is that he comes to admire Marie’s hard work, courage under fire and her ability to see outside of the box. Marie is also beautiful and Malcolm wants his “little thief” physically, but he refuses to trust her.

Marie Feur is from a long line of Romanian gypsies and is meant to inherit and wear the gold armband that is legendary in her family. When Marie was young, the armband was stolen by another family with a long standing feud with her family. Her chance to get close to the armband comes with her work for Hawk Security. She wants to please her only remaining family member, her Uncle Bert, by returning the armband to their family, but that means she will be betraying her friends at Hawk Security, betraying her growing feelings for Malcolm and proving him right in believing she is only a thief.

Malcolm is so rigid and by the book. He loves his computers and programs and no longer believes in love or relationships. Marie is fun, loving and good at what she does, which does not always follow what one might consider “right”. These two are so opposite and yet Ms. Rhodes makes them, over the pages of this story, so right for each other. There is plenty of action and suspense as Malcolm and Marie deal with not only the stolen armband, but drugs and international sex slaves with the help of the FBI and their friends at Hawk Security.

The sex is steamy and hot, hot, hot between these two. It also progresses from sex with no strings or attachments to much more. Both Malcolm and Marie are now two of my favorite characters in this series.  I especially love how Malcolm’s only response to good or bad situations, out loud or silently in his head is “Fuck”. A man of few words, well basically only one word, who left me laughing out loud!

I highly recommend the entire series and especially this book. It can be read as a standalone, but I bet you will go back for more.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.

Book Review: Gone in the Night by Anna J. Stewart

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

GONE IN THE NIGHT (Honor Bound #3) by Anna J. Stewart is the 5 STAR conclusion to the Honor Bound trilogy. This entire romantic suspense trilogy is a roller coaster ride that is packed with strong, but emotionally vulnerable heroes to swoon over and heroines that are wounded and yet at the top of their professions and know how to kick butt. Book three is the conclusion to the overall story-line arc that tied this trilogy together. I believe these books should be read in order.

Allie Hollister is a psychologist who is one of three friends who are all still haunted by the unsolved death of their childhood best friend, Chloe. The past seems to have invaded her present with the kidnapping of one of Allie’s patients, Holly Kellan, who is almost a twin to her friend who was killed 20 years earlier. As the friends work the abduction of Holly, it seems to mirror their cold case and the two cases start to converge.

Max Kellan was a firefighter who has moved to Sacramento to help with his niece, Holly as his brother goes through a contentious divorce. When the police, FBI and Allie appear on his brother’s doorstep, Max knows something is terribly wrong, but he also realizes he is not getting the whole truth from the law or Allie.

Max and Allie search for Holly and try to piece everything together from both the current kidnapping and the cold case with all the friends from the previous two books. Allie cannot believe the timing as she finally is starting to be attracted to Max. Max, for all his anger and mistrust of mental health doctors is only calm and focused with Allie around. These two come together in a slow burn that intensifies throughout the book, but will it last?

Allie projects a calm even cold analytical exterior that hides her fear and yet she can physically fight like a SEAL. Max is a ball of anger since what happened to make him leave firefighting. Yet the two of them find a way to get through to each other and the banter is light, fun and sexy, even in their stressful situation. I loved these two together, the friendship of all the women carried throughout all three books and the fast paced plots.

I highly recommend this trilogy! I will be looking for more Anna J. Stewart romantic suspense books in the future.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com.

Book Review: Reunited With the P.I. by Anna J. Stewart

RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I had high praise in my previous review for the first book in Anna J. Stewart’s Honor Bound trilogy “More Than a Lawman” and it continues in book two “REUNITED WITH THE P.I. I got immediately sucked into each story and the lives of all the characters. The overall arc that ties all three books together, the suspense plot of each individual book and the main romance in each book flows seamlessly throughout the entire book in this author’s capable hands.

Reunited with the P.I. is a second chance romantic suspense. I feel the trilogy does need to be read in order even with each book focusing on a different H/h and suspense plot because there is a strong overall plot arc between the three heroines and their pasts that is prevalent in each book.

Simone Armstrong is a driven Assistant District Attorney nicknamed “The Avenging Angel” due to the fact that she does not lose and she always wears all white. She is about to go to trial, when she is notified that the witness that her whole case is built on has disappeared. She no longer knows who she can trust in her office. She knows she has to get outside help from a private investigator and the one she wants has major problems with her. She helped put his brother in prison and he is her ex-husband.

Vince Sutton is an ex-Marine, P.I. and now owns and runs his own sports bar and restaurant The Brass Eagle. The last person he expects to come to him with an appeal for help is his ex-wife. After the problems on his last case, he wants to tell her no, but she makes him a deal he can’t refuse. Even with the three year separation, Vince has never gotten over Simone. As he and Simone get drawn further into her present case and he finds out about the threats from a cold case, he vows to protect her, whether she wants it or not.

Simone is as complex a heroine as Eden was in the first book. Simone is driven to put as many bad guys away as possible to make up for her past guilt that she still carries. She does not let anyone in because she is afraid they will be hurt and she does not know how to handle not being in complete control of any situation. Vince comes from an abusive background and also has to deal with what he saw during the war. These two were so realistically written and the author did a great job of bringing them back together at an authentic pace while keeping the suspense growing and the sexual tension high.

I am really looking forward to reading the finale to this trilogy. Ms. Stewart knows how to write romantic suspense that pulls you in and brings you back for more!

Book Review: Perilous Trust by Barbara Freethy

RATING: 4.5 out of 5 Stars

PERILOUS TRUST (Off the Grid: FBI Trilogy #1) by Barbara Freethy is an exciting start to a new romantic suspense series. This is a fast paced story loaded with action, suspense and romance. Each book features one of five friends who formed a secret group while in Quantico with the promise to always help the others.

Sophie Parker is an archeology instructor at NYU, who receives the devastating news that her father was killed in a car crash. Her father was the head of the Organized Crime Unit in the NY FBI field office. When she gets a chance to check her phone, she listens to her father’s last frantic and cryptic messages with instructions she must follow and to not trust anyone including his fellow FBI agents.

FBI agent Damon Wolfe cannot believe what he is hearing. His mentor and reason for being in the NY FBI office is dead and his daughter is missing. Four years ago, Damon and Sophie came together for one night of solace and life-affirming passion over the death of a mutual friend. They never contacted each other again, but now Damon knows he has to find Sophie and help her.

Sophie does not know if she can trust Damon, but as the bullets start flying, they flee together to follow Sophie’s father’s clues and hopefully solve his murder and eliminate the threat to Sophie’s life.

The plot is an intricate puzzle and has a lot of players that need to be kept straight. Besides Damon and Sophie, you are introduced to Bree and Wyatt, who are members of the five from Quantico. Sophie’s father had a lifetime group of friends from Yale that may be involved in his death and his job as head of the Organized Crime Unit also brought in several players. Keeping everyone straight was my only problem while reading this book. Other than that, it was a surprise for me when all the pieces where discovered.

Damon and Sophie’s chemistry was intense and pretty much instantaneous from their one-night-stand four years ago. While on the run, they get to know more about each other’s pasts and families. It brings them closer and their relationship builds from there. The sex is hot, but not explicit and well balanced with the feelings of loss and fear during other parts of the story.

I am looking forward to reading the rest of this series and getting to know more about the other friends from Quantico.