Tag Archives: Romantic Suspense

Her Perfect Mate by Paige Tyler

Overview
Her Perfect Mate (X-Ops, #1) by Paige Tyler

Title: Her Perfect Mate
Author: Paige Tyler
Series: X-Ops #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Shapeshifters
Dates read: 28th March – 3rd April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Year: 2014
5th sentence, 74th page: “Yeah?” Clayne snorted.

Synopsis

HE’S A HIGH-OCTANE
SPECIAL OPS PRO
When Special Forces Captain Landon Donovan is pulled from an op in Afghanistan, he is surprised to discover he’s been hand-picked for a special assignment with the Department of Covert Operations (DCO), a secret division he’s never heard of. Terrorists are kidnapping biologists and he and his partner have to stop them. But his new partner is a beautiful, sexy womn who looks like she couldn’t hurt a fly – never mind take down a terrorist.

SHE’S NOT YOUR AVERAGE
COVERT OPERATIVE
Ivy Halliwell is no kitten. She’s a feline shifter, and more dangerous than she looks. She’s worked with a string of hotheaded military guys who’ve underestimated her special skills in the past. But when she’s partnered with special agent Donovan, a man sexy enough to make any girl purr, things begin to heat up…

Thoughts

This was a very fast-paced and high-octane romance. It was enjoyable, intriguing and quite intense. Not just for the great love story that is in place, but also for the multitude of action-packed adventures and moments that fill the pages. I was expecting this from the series name and the prequel, Her Secret Agent. But it was still far more intense than I had expected.

There were lots of hints at the political and social turmoil that is probably going to characterise this series in Her Secret Agent. But Her Perfect Mate does this so much better. There are so many moments of intensity and horrible feelings throughout. In fact, it feels a lot like this was the opening battle in a war to come. After all, this is beginning of an eight-book series, and there is so much potential moving forwards… I can’t wait to see how this evolves.

There is nothing I like better than a romance in which two characters bring their past issues to the table. And then figure out a way to accept them and work around them. Instead of pretending that no one has baggage, the baggage is all out there. In the case of this story, I love how Landon meets Ivy and just takes her hostility in his stride. His easy acceptance and ability to just roll with whatever she throws at him is kind of beautiful and most definitely sweet. It makes it all that much more meaningful when they both succumb to their feelings.

I love all of the characters in this novel, and I’m really hoping that some of the future novels feature more of Landon’s unit. They are such a great, humorous, and loyal group, so I desperately want to see more of them. It was impossible not to fall in love with this story and I can’t wait to buy more of this series and see where Tyler’s fantastic world building and romances take me!

<- Her Secret AgentHer Lone Wolf ->

Image source: Goodreads

Sapphire Flames by Ilona Andrews

Overview
Sapphire Flames :HarperCollins Australia

Title: Sapphire Flames
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Catalina Baylor Trilogy #1, Hidden Legacy #4
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: 4th – 31st March 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2019
5th sentence, 74th page: It wasn’t a question, but I answered it anyway.

Synopsis

From #1 New York Times Bestselling Author Ilona Andrews comes an enthralling new trilogy set in the Hidden Legacy world, where magic means power, and family bloodlines are the new currency of society…

In a world where magic is the key to power and wealth, Catalina Baylor is a Prime, the highest rank of magic user, and the Head of her House. Catalina has always been afraid to use her unique powers, but when her friend’s mother and sister are murdered, Catalina risks her reputation and safety to unravel the mystery.

But behind the scenes powerful forces are at work, and one of them is Alessandro Sagredo, the Italian Prime who was once Catalina’s teenage crush. Dangerous and unpredictable, Alessandro’s true motives are unclear, but he’s drawn to Catalina like a moth to a flame.

To help her friend, Catalina must test the limits of her extraordinary powers, but doing so may cost her both her House – and her heart.

Thoughts

This book is just as amazing, wonderful and phenomenal as all of the other Andrews books. There is just something wonderful about the writing that makes it almost impossible to put down the book from the very beginning. Something that draws me in and leaves me grinning like a fool. Each and every time.

You got a bit of an introduction to Catalina in Diamond Fire, but it isn’t until Sapphire Flames that you really get a feel for her. I mean, what would it be like to constantly have to hide who you are so that you don’t bespell anyone? Catalina’s power seems more like a curse to me and one that made me incredibly sad. Although, I am seriously looking forward to finding out more about how it will evolve as the series continues… I mean, there are so many hidden depths in these books…

Throughout this story, my heart broke for Catalina multiple times. Not just because of her power, but because she’s trying to go against her nature constantly. That her love for Alessandro is not unrequited like she thinks but is definitely going to hurt them both in the future. Then, there are the family dynamics which also make everything difficult. I mean, seriously, how much pain can one girl go through?

Alessandro is a very intriguing lead character. A total enigma, and, like Catalina, I can’t wait to see how his powers work. Plus, he’s obviously not an assassin, and he has a mission. But I’m just not quite sure about the ins and outs of this. It makes me itch to pick up Emerald Blaze. I just need to finish a few of the books that I’m currently reading though.

Then, to top off all of the mystery in this story – there is a weird connection to Linus. I have a few guesses, but I can’t wait for yet another mystery to unfold as Catalina battles the new threat to the societies and families in Hidden Legacy.

<- Diamond FireEmerald Blaze ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

Megan’s Mark by Lora Leigh

Overview
Image result for book cover megan's mark lora leigh

Title: Megan’s Mark
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #6
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Romantic suspense
Dates read: 28th January – 7th February 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: That was what she feared.

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

Synopsis

In the first book of her erotic new series, Lora Leigh invites you to an intriguing world where genetically altered Breeds and the humans who created them commingle – and sometimes cross the boundaries of desire…

Cursed with the extraordinary power to feel other peoples’ emotions, Megan Fields has tucked herself away in a remote corner of New Mexico, working as a small-town sheriff’s deputy. She finds solace in the silence and heat of the desert. But when breeds begin dying on her watch, Megan realizes that the secrets from her past can’t stay buried forever. Someone is out for blood – her blood.

An arrogant Feline Breed, Braden Arness broods with feral intensity. His mission to solve the mysterious murders brings him to Megan, a woman who accosts his senses like no other. Only with him can she let down her guard – and surrender to the insatiable hunger that wracks her body. But as they team up to hunt the elusive killers, Braden and Megan find themselves becoming the prey…

Thoughts

I’m not sure if it was because this book has a different cover, size and shape to the first five books in this series, or if it was actually written first as the blurb implies. But there was something drastically different about Megan’s Mark that wasn’t obvious in the other books. In a good way though, I can guarantee that. I seriously, thoroughly and delightfully enjoyed this story. and I know that I have the next book in the series buried somewhere in my ridiculous TBR pile, now I just have to dig it out…

Of all of the women so far in the Breeds novels, Megan is most definitely the most kick ass of all the women. She even punches her mate at one point because he crosses a line that she drew! I love that she’s got enough fire and gumption to do that. Alright, none of the women in this series have exactly been push overs… but Megan is just so, so much tougher. Tough enough that she’s able to join the patrols and be an Enforcer in her own right.

Megan is the first Empath in this series. It is starting to open the door for people with other talents and powers within the Breeds world. It draws in the intrigue far stronger than I would have expected. Actually, I kind of would have liked a little more about the Empathic abilities in this story. although, the lust and the connection between the characters most definitely made up for the fact that this power wasn’t heavily discussed.

Megan’s Mark is yet another wonderful tale by the intriguing Lora Leigh. It swept me away from the very beginning and left me in a world that I won’t be forgetting anytime soon. It was brilliant and fun. And I can’t wait to read yet more of these tales!

<- The Breed Next DoorHarmony’s Way ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

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.

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

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.”

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

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.

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

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.”

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

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.

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.

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