Book Review: When All The Girls Have Gone by Jayne Ann Krentz

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

When I want to curl up on the couch with a comfy blanket and tea to read without interruption, there are a few authors that I know I can sit down with their books and always be satisfied. Jayne Ann Krentz is one of those authors. WHEN ALL THE GIRLS HAVE GONE is one of those books.

Charlotte Sawyer is the average, steady, and some say naïve, director of activities at a senior retirement home. Her step-sister, Jocelyn is beautiful, adventurous and reckless. When Charlotte hears that Jocelyn’s best friend from her investment club has been found dead, she tries to contact Jocelyn at the retreat she is on. Jocelyn has disappeared and Charlotte is desperate to find her.

Max Cutler is starting his own P.I. firm after complete burnout from his criminal profiling job and his divorce that followed. He knows the job of finding out what really happened to Jocelyn’s friend won’t pay, but he is convinced to look into it. Charlotte is trying to find out what happened also and to find her sister so the two join forces.

There are two plotlines intertwined in this story. The investment club’s members are being targeted and disappearing and you have Jocelyn’s 16 year old rape case that was purposely derailed. Power, privilege, an escalating serial rapist and a friend that may not really be a friend all are fighting to silence Charlotte and Max.

Charlotte and Max were perfect together. Charlotte is very much the steady, optimistic character that isn’t boring, even though she believes she is, but you would want to have in your corner. Max is down and considers himself boring, but Charlotte sees him as steadfast and talented in his profession. The banter between these two had me smiling several times and the sex was well written. I liked that these characters weren’t looking for a relationship, but they fit.

I enjoyed this story and these characters as much as I knew I would. Sometimes in my romantic suspense reads, I don’t want super testosterone alpha males and either their matches in female form or the little woman that they rescue. Sometimes in my romantic suspense, I want normal, everyday characters that come together to become something more and when that happens it is great. Max has two ‘brothers’, so I expect this to be a trilogy.

Thanks very much to Berkley Publishing Group and Net Galley for allowing me to read an eARC in exchange for an honest review.

Book Review: Till the Dead Speak by Jerri Alexander

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RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

TILL THE DEAD SPEAK by Jerri Alexander is the second book in her Killer Affections romantic suspense series. Murder, money laundering and old secrets are all set in an on-the-beach restaurant/bar under the sun in Malibu.

The owner of “The Cage” is found on the beach and ruled a suicide by drowning. Charlie was dying from cancer, but all his employees and friends knew he was terrified of the ocean and would never have killed himself that way. Part-time bartender, Lincoln ‘Linc’ Hawkins just doesn’t buy it and since he still has time off for rehab from the FBI, he decides to investigate for himself and the new owner, Charlies’ granddaughter, Samantha ‘Sam’ Anderson.

Sam did not even know Charlie existed until she is notified by his lawyer that he left “The Cage” and his home to her. When she tries to get information from her grandmother, she is stonewalled. The moment Linc picks her up at the airport there is an attempt to harm her and when they check out Charlie’s properties they have been trashed. Someone is searching for something and Linc and Sam have to figure out what as they try to fight the immediate attraction they have to each other because Sam plans to return to her life in Texas.

There are several mysteries that need answered and the author does so at a steady pace throughout the book. The title is very appropriate because everything past and present ties back to Charlie and his death. I loved the loving and fun relationship between Sam and her grandmother.

The romance was going well until they both backed off for differing reasons, but all their friends could see they should be together. I do feel they should have discussed their problems a bit sooner in the story because I feel their romance resolution came together a bit abruptly at the end. This book is part of a series, but can easily be read as a standalone. I am also hoping I was reading an ARC, because it could use another proofread. A steady, entertaining romantic suspense otherwise.

Written for and posted first on The Romance Reviews.com

Book Review: Kill Without Mercy (ARES Security, #1) by Alexandra Ivy

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

KILL WITHOUT MERCY (ARES Security, #1) by Alexandra Ivy is the first book in a new romantic suspense series that has definitely made it on to my must read list! I have read Alexandra Ivy’s paranormal romance books and enjoyed them, but this book is that step above that I am always looking for. The series follows five soldiers, who become a band of brothers that survive and escape a Taliban hellhole. They come home and form their own high tech security company, ARES Security.

Rafe Vargas, a covert ops specialist, is in Newton, Iowa to clear out his grandfather’s house. He just wants to get it done and return to his ranch and the life he is building in Houston with ARES Security. He runs into Annie White at the diner and is instantly drawn to her.

Annie White lived in Newton years ago with her father, who was dubbed the Newton Slayer. She is back because she is having visions that the killings have begun again, but how can that be? Rafe knows she is in danger and vows to protect her and catch the serial killer.

This story keeps you reading because the characters are interesting and you want to find out everything about them. The romance is hot and believable with a sexy alpha male and a beautiful, strong and yet troubled heroine. The plot keeps moving at a fast pace and there are several plot twists with a big twist at the end. I highly recommend this book. I can’t wait to see who the next book features because this one was so good.

Thank you so much to Kensington Books, Zebra and Net Galley for allowing me to read this ebook in exchange for an honest review. It was my pleasure and delight!

 

Book Review: Beyond Duty by Stanalei Fletcher

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RATING: 4 out of 5 Stars

BEYOND DUTY (Northstar Security #3) by Stanalei Fletcher is an enjoyable romantic suspense and ties up the Northstar Security trilogy on a high note.

It is Riley O’Neal’s turn in the spotlight. He is a Northstar Security agent who is looking to right all wrongs and then disappear into the night. When a Senator’s wife is kidnapped and held for the ransom of a congressional vote, Riley is assigned to go undercover to the resort she was taken from. The difference this time is that he needs an undercover wife to fit in and he is used to working by himself. The woman assigned that role has deceived him on a previous mission and yet he could never forget her.

U.S. Army Lt. Mary “Chip” Anderson is determined to go on this mission because the kidnapped victim is a close friend. She is shocked when the person she deceived on a mission a year ago walks into the room to pretend to be her husband. Concealing her attraction is going to be difficult as the two have to maintain close quarters and the façade of husband and wife. The exchange for the Senator’s wife is compromised and Chip is taken, also. Riley must now save both women and stop the blackmail threat.

I really liked the suspense plot in this book. It was fast paced, plausible and kept you guessing. Chip is extremely strong, both mentally and physically and has learned to hide her true feelings well in a male dominated world. Riley always has to be the protector. He needs to learn to deal with a strong woman and realize that not everything is his fault when things go wrong.

Although there is a lot of sexual heat going on between these two, there is no sex and that is my personal problem with this book. The back and forth bickering got a little old. I feel in a romantic suspense the romance has to be just as strong and prevalent as the suspense. Good read in every other way though and a good trilogy all around.

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

Book Review: Another Chance by Kathy Clark

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

Kathy Clark’s third book in her Austin Heroes trilogy, ANOTHER CHANCE, was not only an exciting and heartfelt addition to the series, but completely blew me away!

Another Chance has lovers reunited and not just the hero and heroine, a believable and chilling suspense scenario and everything all tied up with a satisfying HEA. This book can be read as a standalone because Ms. Clark deftly introduces just enough backstory so as to not completely confuse the reader.

Luke Archer, the youngest of the three Archer brothers, works in D.C. for Homeland Security. A desk jockey who pours through intel every day to keep our southern borders safe. He has been assigned to a case in the field since it is a threat that is happening right in his hometown. Terrorists are crossing the border into Texas with other illegal aliens as cover through the ranch of Luke’s ex-high school girlfriend, Bella and a deadly plot is in the works.

Bella Shaw has never gotten over the young love of her life who she believes dumped her, but has grown into an accomplished attorney who fights for all underdogs and has risen to be a Texas state senator. When Luke reappears after 14 years, all the old feelings return as they have to work together on Bella’s ranch to discover and eliminate the terrorist threat.

The suspense in this book was realistic and could have been ripped right from today’s news. The romance was written beautifully and at times was heartbreaking when you learn of the deceit that tore them apart. Grammy’s backstory of fame and love found and then lost also ripped into my heart. This author knows how to write about love, forgiveness and second chances.

Thank you very much to Random House Publishing Group-Loveswept and Net Galley for allowing me to read an eARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. It was excellent!

Book Review: Melting Shadows by Rhea Rhodan

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

This romantic suspense with added fantasy is hard to put down with two storylines happening in present day and OtherWhere. A love story between a former SEAL and a brilliant, socially stunted hidden beauty. Never confusing, the writing was crisp, fast paced and engaging. Ms. Rhodan has a new fan and I’ll be coming back for more!

Dr. Prudence “Prue” Marsh is a product of genetic engineering and was raised by her mother to show no emotions or weaknesses. Her brilliant mind has her developing new capabilities for Navy subs as a contractor and this has put her in danger from Albanian terrorists who want her program. While away from her farm, it is raided and all her rescued animal friends are killed. She refuses to be hidden in a government facility, so she is sent to finish her project in Max Delaney’s home bunker.

Max Delaney is a computer forensic analyst and a former SEAL. His continued work for the government is dependent on keeping Prue safe and happy until she can finish her project. Since he hasn’t found a woman who can refuse his charm yet, he accepts the assignment, but Prue isn’t like anyone else. Max’s sister, Sam befriends Prue and Max’s rescued Rottweiler war dog, Brutus instantly attaches himself to her, but Max just can’t figure his guest out.

As Prue’s backstory is slowly revealed, you cannot help but be completely drawn in to her horrible upbringing and understand why she escapes into the fantasy world of OtherWhere. All of the characters are in these blocks of fantasy and are similar to their present day counterparts. The worldbuilding in these sections is as strong as the rest of the book. The romance is built at a believable pace with me cheering for Prue at every turn of the plot. I love romantic suspense and this book went above and beyond. I recommend this book highly!

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