Tag Archives: Romantic Suspense

Her Secret Agent by Paige Tyler

Overview
Her Secret Agent (X-Ops, #0.5) by Paige Tyler

Title: Her Secret Agent
Author: Paige Tyler
Series: X-Ops #0.5
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Shapeshifters
Dates read: 16th – 17th December 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Paige Tyler
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: If he’d been able to set his feet and get his weight into the blow, the impact would have put Igor down for a long time.

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Synopsis

John Loughlin, the Director of the Department of Covert Ops, is in New York City on a recruiting mission. He’s been tracking and evaluating one shifter in particular for some time. Cree Forest is a clever fox shifter—and very foxy. Cree is a translator for the UN and John is keen to recruit her brilliant mind and persuasive skills to join the DCO.

But Cree isn’t what she seems. Just as John has been watching her, Cree has been spying on him. She is working with a rogue shifter and John is getting too close—professionally and personally! On opposite sides professionally, can they trust each other with their hearts?

Thoughts

This was a great introductory novella to a series that I’m pretty much positive I’m going to love. It’s got a great premise, one that I recognise from other authors, and one that I tend to love. After all, shapeshifters who work in law enforcement of some kind always seem to work very well in my happy little brain. The fact that this story features a fox shapeshifter… well, that’s just far more enjoyable.

Her Secret Agent perfectly sets up the politics, battles and tales that are going to take over the series. I’m already completely drawn into this world, and I can’t wait to sink even further into it. Which means that I have a whole new series that I need to add to my shelves.

Not only do I love all of the backstory that is featured throughout this story. But it’s also wonderfully lustful. And just a little bit sweet. Exactly the kind of novella that I tend to fall stupid in love with and makes me go a bit nuts with buying books… now just to exercise some selfcare…

<- More Paige TylerHer Perfect Mate ->

Image source: Goodreads

Almost Lost by Joan Johnston

Overview
More Than Words, Volume 6 (Virgin River, #10.1) by Joan Johnston

Title: Almost Lost
Author: Joan Johnston
In: More Than Words: Volume 6 (Joan Johnston, Robyn Carr, Christina Skye, Rochelle Alers & Maureen Child)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romanceRomantic suspense
Dates read: 22nd October 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Harlequin
Year: 2010
5th sentence, 74th page: “That’s why I thought of you.”

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Synopsis

New York Times bestselling author Joan Johnston has created the moving story of a Dallas firefighter’s desperate search to find a daughter caught in the world of human trafficking for her tribute to Katherine Chon, cofounder of the Polaris Project.

Thoughts

This is the first novella in the More Than Words: Volume 6 collection. And boy is it a great way to start. This is intense and serious, but yet manages to still bring in the sweetness that contemporary romances have. A fantastic balance of the two when dealing with a very real and serious issue / danger.

Although this deals with sex trafficking and all of the horrors that go along with it. I must say, I absolutely adored Miranda. And the scene in which she throws her bra… that had me laughing quite a bit. She’s got so much gumption and sass. Which, of course, makes her the perfect teenage daughter to partner with a couple that can’t quite seem to figure out what exactly it is that they want.

This may be a novella that highlights the risks of sex trafficking and how easy it can be for people to fall victim to it. This is also a seriously cute and adorable novella. I loved Seth and Karen as a couple. Partner that with Miranda (who I think totally steals the spotlight) and you have a great novella that left me feeling hopeful and smiling.

<- More Than Words: Volume 6Sheltering Hearts ->

Image source: Goodreads

Hot in Handcuffs by Sylvia Day, Shayla Black & Shiloh Walker

Overview
Hot in Handcuffs - Bookshelf • Best Selling Books by #1 New York ...

Title: Hot in Handcuffs
Author: Sylvia Day, Shayla Black & Shiloh Walker
In: Hot in Handcuffs (Sylvia Day, Shayla Black & Shiloh Walker)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: EroticaRomantic suspense, Short story collections
Dates read: 16th June – 29th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: When he rubbed his fingertips along the bottom, the disturbance of the smooth surface made him frown.

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Synopsis

Allow yourself to imagine the man behind the dark sunglasses. Hear the purr of his zipper as he lowers it, then reaches for the shiny metal hanging from his black leather belt. It’s futile to resist arrest. Give yourself up to the fantasy. Besides, he thinks you’re so hot in handcuffs…

Arresting Desire – Shayla Black
FBI Agent Jon Bocelli never stopped wanting beautiful professor Lucia DiStefano. She’s interested in taking her first lover, and he intends to be that man. When her past puts her life in danger, Jon risks everything to save her and prove this fling is forever.

On Fire – Sylvia Day
When Deputy Marshal Jared Cameron investigates a series of arson attacks in a seaside town, the biggest blast of heat comes from sexy fire inspector Darcy Michaels—until their scorching after-hours affair is compromised by a secret from Darcy’s past.

The Unwilling – Shayla Black
Mica Greer and her former lover, ex-FBI agent Colby Mathis, once shared an intimate past and a powerful psychic gift. Now, they’ve been reunited by a bizarre series of murders—and an electrifying passion that could put them both in jeopardy.

Thoughts

I quite enjoyed this collection. I bought it because for one of my yearly reading challenges, I needed a book with handcuffs on the cover. And I was happily, presently surprised by how much I enjoyed this. A good dose of erotica, and a great many romantic suspense stories left me in my happy place.

It’s been a little while since I read much romantic suspense. In fact, it’s an area of romance that I’m starting to get more and more into. It was nice to find three more authors and two more series to add to that section on my shelves.

Some aspects in these three novellas are pretty intensely erotic and sexual. But, there are also moments of pure sweetness that help to balance this. It creates a fantastic balance that draws you in and keeps you turning that pages.

<- The UnwillingArresting Desire ->

Image source: Sylvia Day

The Unwilling by Shiloh Walker

Overview
Hot in Handcuffs - Bookshelf • Best Selling Books by #1 New York ...

Title: The Unwilling
Author: Shiloh Walker
Series: The FBI Psychics Series #3.25
In: Hot in Handcuffs (Sylvia Day, Shayla Black & Shiloh Walker)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Mystery, Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense
Dates read: 29th July 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: Sometimes this is like shooting in the dark.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Mica Greer and her former lover, ex-FBI agent Colby Mathis, once shared an intimate past and a powerful psychic gift. Now, they’ve been reunited by a bizarre series of murders—and an electrifying passion that could put them both in jeopardy.

Thoughts

I absolutely adored this crime novella. Not only was it a great romantic suspense, but it had a fantastic layer of paranormal moments throughout. I’m completely intrigued to see what the rest of this series will be like – psychics who are in the FBI and run around solving crimes? Plus sex? Yes please. This is exactly the kind of series that I love.

One of the things that I loved about this novella was that it was all about love loved and lost. I didn’t like that fifteen years had been and gone for these two characters since they had last “connected”. But at least they finally made their way back to one another. That was a nice little, pleasant surprise. Even if the history still hurt my heart a little bit.

One of my favourite things to do when reading a mystery of any kind is to try and guess who the culprit is. Sometimes I love being able to guess the culprit, sometimes I hate it. In the case of this novella, I was able to guess who the culprit was about halfway through. Yet, that still left me with that unforgettable, spine tingling, uncomfortable moment that I think all good mysteries and suspense stories should have.

<- On FireHot in Handcuffs ->

Image source: Sylvia Day

On Fire by Sylvia Day

Overview
Hot in Handcuffs - Bookshelf • Best Selling Books by #1 New York ...

Title: On Fire
Author: Sylvia Day
Series: Shadow Stalkers #4
In: Hot in Handcuffs (Sylvia Day, Shayla Black & Shiloh Walker)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary romanceEroticaRomantic suspense
Dates read: 29th June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: “There’s a little café around the corner, although we might have to wait a bit for a seat.”

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Synopsis

When Deputy Marshal Jared Cameron investigates a series of arson attacks in a seaside town, the biggest blast of heat comes from sexy fire inspector Darcy Michaels—until their scorching after-hours affair is compromised by a secret from Darcy’s past.

Thoughts

This was an incredibly fast-paced, heart-pumping novella. It was a little gritty, a lot of fun and incredibly intriguing. It had my heart pumping, my breath catching and my jaw clenching. Which is everything that you want in a romantic suspense novella. There was also some lovely, hot, steamy sex… which was just a little bit toe curling.

This novella starts out strong – it starts with an arson investigation and the obvious point that there is someone preying upon this small town. And then it just gets more and more intense from there. There is the history of Darcy’s sister that is quickly unraveled. The jealousies of multiple men. And just a great, big mystery behind it all. I spent the whole time trying to figure out who the actual culprit was… and was completely blind sided when the bad person was finally revealed. Not the person I expected at all.

One issue I did have with this novella was that I really and ultimately couldn’t figure out the actual motives behind the crimes. I understood parts of it, but other parts were just confusing. I think it drove home the fact that they were just certifiably nuts. But I still wanted a much more in depth explanation…

<- Arresting DesireThe Unwilling ->

Image source: Sylvia Day

Diamond Fire by Ilona Andrews

Overview
Diamond Fire :HarperCollins Australia

Title: Diamond Fire
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series:
Hidden Legacy 3.5#, Nevada Baylor Trilogy #3.5
Rating Out of 5: 
5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: 
Magic, Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Strong women
Dates read: 26th June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2018
5th sentence, 74th page: Arabella was still in school, and today she was crash-writing a two-thousand-word essay, which was assigned to her a month ago and which she had started this morning.

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Synopsis

Nevada Frida Baylor and Connor Ander Rogan cordially invite you to join their wedding celebration. Summoning, weather manipulation, and other magical activities strictly forbidden.

Catalina Baylor is looking forward to wearing her maid of honor dress and watching her older sister walk down the aisle. Then the wedding planner gets escorted off the premises, the bride’s priceless tiara disappears, and Rogan’s extensive family overruns his mother’s home. Someone is cheating, someone is lying, and someone is plotting murder.

To make this wedding happen, Catalina will have to do the thing she fears most: use her magic. But she’s a Baylor and there’s nothing she wouldn’t do for her sister’s happiness. Nevada will have her fairy tale wedding, even if Catalina has to tear the mansion apart brick by brick to get it done.

Thoughts

I absolutely loved this novella. It was the perfect glimpse into Nevada and Connor’s happily ever after and the perfect introduction to Catalina. A great little bridging novella that let you know that Nevada and Connor got their happily ever after. But also written in Catalina’s voice, so you immediately began to fall for her, as you said goodbye to Nevada’s voice and welcome a whole new trilogy.

One of the things that I enjoyed about the Kate Daniels series was that you got to read from different characters points of view in the different novellas and short stories. This isn’t quite the same as it effectively ends one trilogy and begins another – but it does beautifully change the tone of narration. I don’t know many authors who can continue on in the same world and reality, but completely change the tone of narration. And that is done seamlessly in this novella. To the point that it starts in Nevada’s voice, and ends in Catalina’s.

Not only is this a great bridging novella, but it is also the perfect little cozy mystery feeling. There is a mystery running through the pages that isn’t quite life or death. But, whilst you are getting introduced to the different characters, you’re also wondering who stole the tiara. And why. And what other secrets are being hidden in Rogan’s family…. All things you really should find out… by reading this fantastic novella.

<- WildfireSapphire Flames ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

Wildfire by Ilona Andrews

Overview
Wildfire (Hidden Legacy, #3) by Ilona Andrews

Title: Wildfire
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series:
Hidden Legacy #3, Nevada Baylor Trilogy #3
Rating Out of 5: 
5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: 
Magic, Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Strong women
Dates read: 18th – 26th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: Most of all, she needed someone to step up and be there.

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Synopsis

Nevada Baylor can’t decide which is more frustrating—harnessing her truthseeker abilities or dealing with Connor “Mad” Rogan and their evolving relationship. Yes, the billionaire Prime is helping her navigate the complex magical world in which she’s become a crucial player—and sometimes a pawn—but she also has to deal with his ex-fiancée, whose husband has disappeared, and whose damsel-in-distress act is wearing very, very thin.

Rogan faces his own challenges, too, as Nevada’s magical rank has made her a desirable match for other Primes. Controlling his immense powers is child’s play next to controlling his conflicting emotions. And now he and Nevada are confronted by a new threat within her own family. Can they face this together? Or is their world about to go up in smoke?

Thoughts

I absolutely loved this conclusion to the story of Nevada and Connor. It was just as ridiculously fast-paced and intense as the first two novels. But, FINALLY Nevada and Connor are together, so you get that extra layer of steaminess that you can only find when a couple finally decides to be together. It left me with a seriously happy buzz, not only when I turned that final page. But throughout the whole storyline.

I love that although there is a serious point in which jealousy could exist between one of my favourite couples, they have this constant open communication. Even the few moments of miscommunication are few and far between. And none of it is tinted with distrust. I love that there is a great, strong couple who are completely able to understand and trust each other. Even when they’re both being incredibly difficult and kind of silly. It meant that when Rynda appeared, what I thought was going to be a kind of huge issue… ended up being almost no issue at all. That’s what true relationships are all about… at least to my mind. It was nice to have a literary one in the same vein.

At the conclusion to White Hot, Nevada is discussing becoming a “House” in her world. The construction of worlds is one of my favourite aspects of Ilona Andrews’ writing and I thought it was brilliant that she is able to continue building on the world in the Hidden Legacy series even into the third book. The politics and complexity just keep progressing and I honestly cannot get enough of it.

Not only is this a great conclusion to Nevada and Connor’s story. But you also FINALLY get to find out what Arabella’s hidden talent is. And you begin to become a little more introduced to Catalina. And her love interest. Which perfectly sets this series up for the next little trilogy…

<- White HotDiamond Fire ->

Image source: Goodreads

White Hot by Ilona Andrews

Overview
White Hot (Hidden Legacy, #2) by Ilona Andrews

Title: White Hot
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Hidden Legacy #2, Nevada Baylor Trilogy #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Magic, Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Strong women
Dates read: 17th June 2020
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2017
5th sentence, 74th page: His face was flat, his eyes bloodshot.

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Synopsis

Nevada Baylor has a unique and secret skill—she knows when people are lying—and she’s used that magic (along with plain, hard work) to keep her colorful and close-knit family’s detective agency afloat. But her new case pits her against the shadowy forces that almost destroyed the city of Houston once before, bringing Nevada back into contact with Connor “Mad” Rogan.

Rogan is a billionaire Prime—the highest rank of magic user—and as unreadable as ever, despite Nevada’s “talent.” But there’s no hiding the sparks between them. Now that the stakes are even higher, both professionally and personally, and their foes are unimaginably powerful, Rogan and Nevada will find that nothing burns like ice . . .

Thoughts

Yet again, I absolutely adored this Ilona Andrews story. There is just something about her works that I find completely unforgettable. And impossible to put down. And just generally leaves me in my happy place. It’s… comforting. And enthralling. And whilst I loved the Kate Daniels books, I have a new series to heavily obsess over now… the Hidden Legacy series.

Nevada Baylor is definitely one of my favourite new characters… I started seriously falling for her in Burn For Me. But it really wasn’t until I read White Hot that I fell completely. She’s tough and independent. Driven by her love for her family and just amazingly powerful. Her power, however, doesn’t make her confident, and she’s constantly trying to train and improve. I can’t wait to see how her power evolves in the last book of this series. Especially with the cliff hanger that White Hot ends on.

Even though I am head over heels with Nevada, I think that Rogan is great. He’s obviously kind of damaged and messed up. But Nevada realises that and accepts him as he is (she also manipulates him a little knowing this, but who wouldn’t?). She also manages to completely infuriate him and constantly argue with him. Something that I think is seriously important in any good relationship. Particularly one with a strong, alpha male – we all need to remind them to keep their controlling impulses under control and Nevada does this is a way that has absolutely zero finesse.

Although I found the dynamic and relationship between Rogan and Nevada absolutely fantastic, it is the main plot line that really makes this book impossible to put down. The conspiracy that started in Burn For Me gets more complex. And I’m seriously hoping that things are solved in the final novel. You also being to discover more about Nevada’s siblings and cousins – the powers that they’ve kept hidden. And, you know, the fact that they are some seriously powerful magic users that have just been mostly ignored…

<- Burn for MeWildfire ->

Image source: Goodreads

Arresting Desire by Shayla Black

Overview
Hot in Handcuffs - Bookshelf • Best Selling Books by #1 New York ...

Title: Arresting Desire
Author: Shayla Black
Series: Sexy Capers #2.5
In: Hot in Handcuffs (Sylvia Day, Shayla Black & Shiloh Walker)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Bondage, Contemporary, Romantic suspense
Dates read: 16th June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2012
5th sentence, 74th page: When he rubbed his fingertips along the bottom, the disturbance of the smooth surface made him frown.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

FBI Agent Jon Bocelli never stopped wanting beautiful professor Lucia DiStefano. She’s interested in taking her first lover, and he intends to be that man. When her past puts her life in danger, Jon risks everything to save her and prove this fling is forever.

Thoughts

The more romance books that fill my shelves, the more stories I seem to encounter that are a little bit more about Doms and Subs. And although it’s interesting, it is DEFINITELY not to my own tastes… I most certainly prefer stories that are a little sweeter and less intense in the sexuality department. Yet, for some reason, I still love these kinds of stories. They are turning into a pretty major guilty pleasure. One that I feel weirdly uncomfortable reading, but also seriously enjoy. And this novella really drove home that feeling.

I really like the feeling of a back story in this novella. That, alongside with Lucia and Jon as a couple made this story really work for me. I thought that they were just such a nice couple and I kind of hope that earlier books in this series will have them in the background… I want to know more about the very beginning of their acquaintance and lives together. Sure, they have slightly different interests than I do, but overall, such a sweet little couple.

I think that one of the things I loved most about this story, and what makes me want to buy the rest of this series, even if this level of BDSM isn’t really my thing… is the Mafia / FBI spin. It’s not something I’ve had the pleasure of coming across as much as I’d like, but it’s definitely a great interaction that I would definitely be happy seeing more of….

<- Hot in HandcuffsOn Fire ->

Image source: Sylvia Day

Cold Feet by Brenda Novak

Overview
Image result for book cover cold feet brenda novak

Title: Cold Feet
Author: Brenda Novak
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Romance, Romantic suspense, Thriller
Dates read: 2nd November – 2nd December 2019
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Harlequin
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: Where’s my girl?

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide
Synopsis

When the past won’t go away…

The Seattle police suspect Madison Lieberman’s father was the serial killer they call the “Sandpoint Strangler.” Madison refuses to believe it. Her father is now dead, and all she wants is the chance to create a new life for herself and her six-year-old child.

Then she discovers something in the crawl space beneath her parent’s house. Something that makes her question her father’s innocence. Or the innocence of someone else who’s equally close to her…

When another woman turns up dead, crime writer Caleb Trovato wonders whether they’re dealing with a copycat killer. Or is the real Sandpoint Strangler still alive? Caleb’s sure Madison knows more than she’s telling, and he’s determined to find out what. But he doesn’t expect to fall in love – or to lead Madison and her child into danger…

Thoughts

I have never read a Brenda Novak story, nor have I heard of them. This was just the only book I could find with the word “feet” in the title… and I needed that for a reading challenge. It turns out that it was a brilliant choice. I absolutely adored this book. And I was completely blown away by who the villain in this tale was. Actually, the mix of romance and suspense in this novel was not at all expected, and seriously enjoyable.

Normally I tend to guess who or what is going to be the killer fairly early on. Or at least, I get pretty damn close with my guess. I DID NOT see the identity of the bad guy coming at all! I started to have an inkling of the fact that: a) my initial hunch was wrong. And b) who the actual bad person was. I’m not normally this damn surprised, and every time I thought, hmmmm… maybe… there was something that quickly disproved my theory. It was brilliant!

I like that this romance featured a divorcee and her young daughter. That it was all about perceptions, loyalty and trying to find your way in the world. Rather than a twenty-something woman who had never experienced love, was a virgin, ya da, ya da, yay da… she had already had some really difficult experiences. And so had he. The older I get, the more I appreciate older characters in romances… after all, their experiences seem to start being a little more in line with mine.

The only reason I didn’t gobble this book up in just a day was that it was an eBook. There is something about eBooks that tend to take me a little more time to read… yet, the physical copy of this (which I now want to find a second hand version of) would have been completely inhaled in a matter of hours… late at night… when I was supposed to be sleeping.

 <- Before We Were Strangers ReviewDear Maggie Review ->

Image source: Goodreads