Book Review: Kill Without Shame by Alexandra Ivy

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I got book two of the ARES Security series, KILL WITHOUT SHAME by Alexandra Ivy! Love these alpha friends who survived and escaped a Taliban prison and reading the romantic suspense each is featured in. Yes, there are a lot of these types of books out there right now, but Ms. Ivy gives you a fast paced read, entertaining mystery and a heroine who can stand up to and hold her own against her hero as they work out their relationship. Oh yeah, and hot sex!

Lucas St. Clair was born into a prestigious Shreveport family and was expected to excel and follow his father into a successful political career. His family had everything planned, but that future did not include Lucas’ girlfriend, the family’s gardener’s daughter, Mia. Rather than have his family mold Mia into their version of acceptable, he drove away and left her behind.

Mia Ramon has never forgiven Lucas for leaving without a word and breaking her heart, but in the intervening 15 years she has built her father’s lawn care business into a thriving high-end landscaping business. Lucas has kept track of her, but doesn’t believe he deserves a second chance with her until a detective interviews him in Houston about their mutual high school friend found dead outside the ARES office building clutching Mia’s picture. Lucas returns home to protect Mia at any cost and hopefully get her back into his life.

The men of ARES Security are all hot and sexy in their own way. Lucas being a born diplomat, but also well aware of his place in society and he will use it to his advantage. He can seem overbearing or arrogant at times, but Mia stands right up to him and goes toe-to-toe for what she wants. This is the difference between their relationship now and Mia trying to change for his parents approval before. I really enjoyed Ms. Ivy bringing Matt and Teagan in to help with this case. I can’t wait for their stories and Hauk’s mystery stalker continues from the first book.

Thanks very much to Kensington Books, Zebra and Net Galley for the free eARC in exchange for an honest review. Love this series!

Book Review: A Matter of Trust by Jill Blake

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I was a little nervous going into this story because it is the third in The Silicon Beach Trilogy, but the blurb said it could be read as a standalone and it was correct.  WOW! A MATTER OF TRUST was a very well written contemporary romance from a new to me author Jill Blake. I will definitely be going back to get books one and two!

Klara Lazarev has a full plate and no time for romance. She is working on her senior thesis testing innovative educational software that she designed for preschoolers at a prestigious day care. She runs into Vlad accidentally as he is a business associate of her brother-in-law. She has always thought him gorgeous, but after his drunken behavior at a wedding two years previous and now not even remembering who she is, that is enough to make her want to avoid him.

Vlad Snezhinsky is a Russian born and Western educated venture capitalist. He excels at both his job and being a single dad to his daughter, Lora. He is still entangled in a messy divorce with a woman who lied about Lora’s parentage to escape Russia. The last thing he is looking for is a relationship, especially with a younger woman related to his business associate.

The budding romance between Vlad and Klara is suddenly put in jeopardy by the murder of Vlad’s soon to be ex-wife and her boyfriend. Vlad is afraid for his family and is also worried about the fallout for Klara, but Klara believes in him and his innocence. The romance moves forwards and grows as the two let the authorities work the case. No amateur sleuths here.

This romance flows and grows over time with the story. Vlad and Klara were perfect for each other and Lora. The sex scenes were hot! There are a lot of little background elements going on throughout this story and the author was adept at bring them all together for a very satisfactory conclusion. I am looking forward to reading more from Ms. Blake.

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

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: Dangerous In A Kilt by Anna Durand

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RATING: 5 out of 5 Stars

I FALL FOR A HOT SCOT IN A KILT EVERY TIME!!!

Dangerous In A Kilt by Anna Durand delivered! This is my favorite style of romance writing. A hot, but wounded hero, a heroine who is strong on her own, but also needs the hero and sex that will scorch the sheets without any kinks or fetishes.

Erica Teague was an accountant for a prestigious firm who always played it safe until the day she was arrested for embezzling from her firm’s elderly clients’ accounts. She has been set up by her ex-lover and boss, who also happens to be the son of one of the owners. She refuses to make any deals, so before she ends up in prison she sets up an internet date for one wild night of sex and fun.

Lachlan MacTaggart is taking an American vacation in the home of his friend who lives right next door to Erica. He shows up at the local hookup club and walks up to Erica, who believes he is her blind date and can’t believe her luck. A hot Highlander in a kilt. He won’t take advantage of a misunderstanding, but he does propose a one month fling with no attachments to this beautiful American.

Erica wants to experience everything Lachlan can give her before she is imprisoned without explanations and Lachlan wants no attachments and no questions. For two wounded people who discover they care more than they should, emotions just can’t be ignored.

This is a well written, classic but contemporary romance story. My emotions were up and down right along with Erica’s and Lachlan’s. I knew there would be a HEA, but it was the journey, characters and smoking hot sex scenes that kept me turning the pages. The characters were all realistic and I loved Erica’s dog, Casey. Lachlan has two brothers and three sisters, so I hope to be enjoying this family in many more stories to come.

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