Tag Archives: Romantic Suspense

The Neighbor by Lorhainne Eckhart

Overview

Title: The Neighbor
Author: Lorhainne Eckhart
Series: The O’Connells #1
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance, Romantic suspense
Pace: Medium
Format: eBook, Novel
Year: 2020

Thoughts

Whilst I seriously enjoyed this novel, it was nowhere near as suspenseful and romantic as I was expecting. I mean, I was expecting a whole lot of steam and action that you just couldn’t look away from. Instead, it was an unexpectedly sweet love story that had more darkness to it than anticipated. In fact, when I reflect on the story line, for me, this is very much a story about a dark and hidden past being moved on from and a happily ever after being found.

I love the fact that this novel was medium-paced, it was definitely hard to put down (because I wanted to know what was happening to Alison), it wasn’t impossible. And, the outcome of Alison’s going missing was nowhere near as dark as I was expecting. I mean, probably a bit hard to have a happily ever after, romantic ending in a story that ends the way my brain was expecting… but that probably says more about my brain than anything else (and let’s just not go there).

My favourite thing about this story was the O’Connell family. They’re such a great, tight-knit group. And, having only grown up with one sibling myself, what I always dreamt of in a family. I love the idea of the chaos that is inspired in every gathering of the clan. And the way that they rally together to ensure Alison is found and bought home safely? It’s just too damn adorable.

This is probably more of a psychological suspense novel than a physical one. Jenny’s abusive past and her ability to overcome it hold true to form. It’s not as if everything is magically fixed when Ryan decides to come into her life, but rather, it takes time. Plus, all of the crap that her ex hangs over their heads, even from the grave… wow. I had a bit of a sick feeling in my gut throughout reading this for that fact alone. Eckhart does such a brilliant job of giving you just enough information to make you feel seriously uncomfortable. Which makes me REALLY excited to read The Third Call.

<- More Lorhainne EckhartThe Third Call ->

Image source: Goodreads

Coyote’s Mate by Lora Leigh

Overview

Title: Coyote’s Mate
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #13
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: Erotica, Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2009

Thoughts

Wow. This was pretty intense. And hard to read. Particularly when the mating bond is ignored. From both sides. At different times. I mean, my goodness, it is difficult enough to read this in places. Let alone when you think that everything is going to completely crash around their ears.

I’ve only briefly had one connection with the coyotes throughout this series. And I loved being immersed in their world again. It was horrible and difficult. And it most definitely broke my heart. But it was also incredibly well written. So good that even though the relationship is fractured and the coyotes are the most heart wrenching of the Breeds, you still feel happy, intrigued and completely roped I the storyline.

The amount of strength that it takes for the two characters in this to get over their crap was pretty phenomenal. It was hard to read (as I’ve mentioned) in places, but you always felt that backbone of steel that made it all okay.

After reading this, I’ve had to take a short step back from the Breeds. As much as I’m loving this series. There was something about Coyote’s Mate that really got to me. Something that made me need to read a far simpler, happier book. But it won’t take long before I dive right back into these books…

<- Christmas HeatA Christmas Kiss ->

Image source: Penguin Books Australia

Mercury’s War by Lora Leigh

Overview

Title: Mercury’s War
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #12
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Erotica, Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2008

Thoughts

It was a lot of fun to have a Breed who was a lot more animalistic than the others. I mean, the idea is amazing. But the fact that Mercury is just that little bit closer… absolutely fantastic. And the feisty woman he chooses as his own? Well worth it.

I absolutely adored both Ria and Mercury from the very beginning of this story. They’re a great match and I love how they’re both accepting of the fact that they may never experience the mating heat. It’s a story that highlights the importance of choice in all of this. And the fact is, they CHOOSE each other. Something that I sometimes find uncomfortable in the other Breeds books that I’ve read.

The reappearance of Mercury’s “mate” is a pretty horrible and intense moment. And, it feels a lot like she’s going to be a greater problem further into the series. There is just something about her that makes me hope she’s going to be a jilted lover. But I expect she’s going to be something FAR more horrible and difficult later in this series. Im hoping I’m wrong though.

I love the intensity of this storyline and how fast paced it is. I also love that there are questions of paranoia and drugging throughout that is just another hint at the battles to come for the Breeds. A very aptly titled book in that it is most definitely a war. One that I just couldn’t put down!

<- A Jaguar’s KissChristmas Heat ->

Image source: eBay

Dawn’s Awakening by Lora Leigh

Overview

Title: Dawn’s Awakening
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #11
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Erotica, Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Year: 2008

Thoughts

I knew this was going to be a bit of a less… romantic romance from the get go. I mean, Dawn and Sebastian are introduced many, many books ago. And, on top of that, Dawn’s past is seriously tragic. But, it was actually less painful than I had expected. Which was good.

I love that it’s the threat of losing someone you love that makes Dawn decide to finally reach out and battle her demons. She’s definitely already on the way beforehand. And you can see that she’s trying. But it’s the horror of losing what she loves that really kicks her into gear. The fight that you glimpse of this amazing female lead in other stories jumps out immediately. And it’s impossible not to love her.

The whole reality if the Breeds is steadily getting more and more intense. Although I mostly just REALLY wanted to see Dawn get her happily ever after, I also loved being pulled further into the intrigue of the world if the Breeds. Every book makes your heart leap and hope for something better. Kind of like when you see the injustices that are just generally happening around the world.

This is intense and kind of tragic. But also beautiful and hopeful. Kind of like the Dawn rising on a whole new day. Yup, I went there… had to be done. I’ll let myself out now…

<- In a Wolf’s EmbraceA Jaguar’s Kiss ->

Image source: Kobo

Emerald Blaze by Ilona Andrews

Overview
Emerald Blaze (Hidden Legacy, #5) by Ilona Andrews

Title: Emerald Blaze
Author: Ilona Andrews
Series: Catalina Baylor Trilogy #2, Hidden Legacy #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: 23rd – 29th August 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Avon
Year: 2020
5th sentence, 74th page: Sink some magic into it.

Synopsis

Ilona Andrews, #1 New York Times bestselling author, continues her spellbinding series set in the Hidden Legacy world where magic controls everything… except the hearts of those who wield it.

As Prime magic users, Catalina Baylor and her sisters have extraordinary powers – powers their ruthless grandmother would love to control. Catalina can earn her family some protection working as deputy to the Warden of Texas, overseeing breaches of magic law in the state, but that has risks as well. When House Baylor is under attack and monsters haunt her every step, Catalina is forced to rely on handsome, dangerous Alessandro Sagredo, the Prime who crushed her heart.

The nightmare that Alessandro has fought since childhood has come roaring back to life, but now Catalina is under threat. Not even his lifelong quest for revenge will stop him from keeping her safe, even if every battle could be his last. Because Catalina won’t rest until she stops to use of the illicit, power-granting serum that’s tearing their world apart.

Thoughts

Ilona Andrews is one of those authors that I pick up strategically… because I can never seem to put her books down. And I generally get a really bad book hangover once I’ve finished it. Emerald Blaze was no different. It was wonderful and impossible to put down. It was amazing and now I’m honestly a little bit pissed off that I have to wait until the next Catalina Baylor book to come out…

The more I find out about Catalina’s power and her own personal battles, the more I fall in love with her. Like all of Andrews’ heroines, she is intrinsically flawed. But, for Catalina, the biggest challenge she often faces is that she’s an introvert thrust into an extroverted position. The fact that she also has to battle her big, bad, evil grandmother… yeah, I can’t wait to see how that unfolds in the final book in this trilogy. She goes from strength to strength, but at what cost? It’s a beautiful question that you’re constantly wondering, even as you hope that the battle that Catalina and Alessandro face turns out… good in the end.

The ending of Sapphire Flames leaves a perfect cliff hanger in the feeling of who and what Alessandro actually is. Alessandro’s backstory, a bit like Catalina’s, is bought to life even more throughout the pages of this book. I actually wanted to reach through the pages of the book and hug him. It helped to strip back the arrogance that is so prominent in the other books, and, although you were always gunning for a happily ever after… this book makes you want it all that much more. I can’t wait until they get their sail off into the sunset ending (like Nevada and Rogan did), but as previously mentioned… now I have to wait (can you tell that I’m finding that quite disappointing?).

This is the most amazing of stories. I think I sat there staring at the wall for about 2 hours before I was capable of conversing too much or reading anything else. You know that the book is damn good when you are just… paralysed with the enjoyment of what you’ve read. When you can’t quite seem to get the adventures of the pages out of your head.

<- Sapphire FlamesRuby Fever ->

Image source: Goodreads

Witching Moon by Rebecca York

Overview
Witching Moon (Moon #3) by Rebecca York

Title: Witching Moon
Author: Rebecca York
Series: Moon #3
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Werewolves
Dates read: 26th July – 7th August 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: Her name was Betty Sue, and she was about his age, mid-twenties.

Synopsis

The swamp is their sanctuary. Its nights echo with the beat of their moonlit revels, feeding their dark hunger for power – and for revenge…

The Nature’s Refuge preserve deep in the southern Georgia swamp was a place steeped in superstition and legend – and death. The previous head ranger had ended up dead, but werewolf Adam Marshall is ideally suited to explore the park and investigate its dangers. But in the still of the night, a mysterious fire burns, and even Adam’s highly honed instincts are disoriented by the thick, drugging smoke – leading to a near disaster…

Adam’s suspicions are raised by Sara Weston, a botanist who has come to the swamp to research the vegetation. He finds himself drawn to her in ways he doesn’t understand, yet fights the passion that threatens to cloud his judgment. And when a coven of witches with a score to settle with the locals decides that Adam and Sara are in their way, Adam will discover that Sara is hiding secrets as powerful as the one that runs through his blood.

Thoughts

One of the things I love most about this series is that York writes from both points of view of the two leads. BUT she also gives snapshots into the villains point of view. Not enough so that you’d have any idea who the villain could be. But enough to get the heart racing since you know the danger that is coming their way.

I love how, even as the third book in this series, the women all have different talents. Although, Sara is the first one with paranormal talents of her own. The way she grew into them throughout the story, and accepted her past was phenomenal. I was left grinning throughout the entire story.

Drawing Ross back into this story towards the end of the novel continues the connection that I’m enjoying throughout this story. I can’t wait to see who the next couple in this series will be and how they’re going to connect in with the rest of the story. Each of these novels have been so fantastic as a standalone. But they also have those threads that make you want to continue the whole series in one big, binge read.

I love how York is able to show the good and the bad in the paranormal world that she’s created. That, and the haunting mystery of the swamp created a textured world that I honestly didn’t want to leave. I can’t wait to see where she takes me in the next novel.

<- Edge of the MoonBurning Moon ->

Image source: Goodreads

In a Wolf’s Embrace by Lora Leigh

Overview
Image result for beyond the dark angela knight book cover

Title: In a Wolf’s Embrace
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #10.5
In: Beyond the Dark (Lora Leigh, Angela Knight, Emma Holly & Diane Whiteside)
Rating Out of 5: 4.5 (Amazing, but not quite perfect)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Romantic suspense
Dates read: 18th May 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novella
Publisher: Jove
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: “Has it happened often since you were a child?” he questioned, easing from her, shuddering at the snug grip of her pussy as he slid out.

Synopsis

Lora Leigh does it… in the domain of a strange Breed, part man, part wolf, on the hunt for the woman he craves – and needs – to fulfill a hunger clawing at him from within.

Thoughts

This was a fun and intriguing little novella. One that pulled me all that much further into the Breeds series. Plus, it was also a great way to end the Beyond the Dark anthology. I like that the Breed in this was aware from the very beginning of the story what was going on with him. And how to try not to let this affect his mate’s life.

Although I love how accepting Mathias is of what is going on, and is trying to ease Grace into her new reality, it is the family factor that I truly loved. I mean, being someone who has close ties to her own family, I understand how important it is to put family first and have a partner who is accepted by them. The scene in which Mathias finally realises that he has that acceptance… I started crying then and there. It was so beautiful.

Relationships are always a negotiation and a way to rejig and compromise on what you already do in your life. Both Grace and Mathias are forced to face up to this in a very short time. And, somehow that works brilliantly. It’s a reminder that change isn’t always bad, but sometimes seriously worth pursuing.

<- Aiden’s CharityDawn’s Awakening ->

Image source: Amazon

Edge of the Moon by Rebecca York

Overview
Edge of the Moon (The Moon Series, Book 2): York, Rebecca: 9780425191255:  Amazon.com: Books

Title: Edge of the Moon
Author: Rebecca York
Series: Moon #2
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: Paranormal romance, Romantic suspense, Werewolves
Dates read: 12th – 16th May 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: Her lungs burned like fire.

Synopsis

His power grows with every sacrifice. Now he has chosen his final victim. And soon, they will meet in a dreamworld of ecstasy and agony – from which there is no escape…

The first person to disappear was an older woman. Then it was a child… then a teenage boy. When Kathryn Reynolds’s tenant and friend goes missing, she has no idea that her vanishing could be part of a larger, sinister pattern. But the moment she meets Detective Jack Thornton, time seems to stop – literally. The attraction between them is so strong and undeniable, there’s almost something dangerous about it…

Jack Thornton had assumed that this was just a routine missing persons report, but there was nothing routine about his response to Kathryn. He’s never reacted so quickly or so strongly to any woman before, and the erotic dreams they share threaten to overwhelm his control. But the more he investigates her friend’s disappearance, the more uneasy he feels. For he’s starting to sense that he and Kathryn are being manipulated by someone… or something. They seem to be playing cat-and-mouse with an unseen enemy – but what Jack doesn’t realize is that a killer is on the hunt, and he will stop at nothing to attain his goal. And that the killer is convinced that Kathryn is the key to his dreams of unholy power…

Thoughts

It’s been a while since I picked up this series, and I honestly forgot just how good it is. There is just something about it that draws you in from the very beginning. The suspense / crime angle creates a story line that is impossible to put down and has you racing to see just who done it…

Then there’s the great paranormal spin. I mean, it’s not enough that you want to have a happy ending and find out who the dang criminal is, you also have a whole heap of paranormal insanity to go along with it. In the case of Katherine and Jack, it’s a demon messing with them, shifting time about and just generally being a pain.

I like that Jack is a father and widower in this story. It gives an extra layer of maturity to his character and risk to the formation of a relationship. That, and there’s also much more at stake than just Katherine and Jack’s lives. Partnered with a fantastic housekeeper… and its honestly a winning family combination.

Ross and Megan also make a great reappearance in this story that reassures you that they also got their happily ever after. But, they don’t get the chance to steal the show either. All in all, I loved how York continued to expand on this world and just generally draw you in… now to find the next book to add to my reading pile…

<- Killing MoonWitching Moon ->

Image source: Amazon

Aiden’s Charity by Lora Leigh

Overview
Book cover of Aiden's Charity

Title: Aiden’s Charity
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #10
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Romantic suspense
Dates read: 16th May 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: As he started to stalk from the porch steps, the door to the cabin was flung open.

Synopsis

The forces of survival and destruction swirl in the darkest corners of men’s minds. The nature of the beast cannot be harnessed, and survival is the purest of all instincts. Survival of the species itself goes soul deep.

But can the human heart accept and adapt as easily? Can Charity bestow the love and the acceptance that has always been a part of her, to the man whose very survival depended on the hardening of his heart, of his soul? And can Aiden maintain that cruelty now, in the face of the sacrifice she made? Only time and nature can tell.

Thoughts

I had a bit of concern at the outset of this story… I mean, the ending of Jacob’s Faith, Aiden is told that Charity is his mate and he just… doesn’t seem to be taking it well. I was expecting a whole heap of darkness and horribleness to this story that I wasn’t sure I wanted. I mean, none of the Breeds stories are full of happiness and roses… but I thought this one would be even more difficult to stomach.

Luckily, it wasn’t quite as horrifying as I had expected. Although the beginning and their re-meeting went kind of how I expected… the relationship quickly developed. In a way that didn’t feel contrived and forced, but rather, people just… accepting. I liked how Charity was a bit different from the other women too. She fought Aiden just as much, but in her own unique way.

It was super fun having a story in which the lead female is a scientist. I love how Charity is constantly analysing things and trying to figure out the science behind what’s happening to her. She might be hiding behind her logic, but it was a great contradiction to many of the women so far in this series. Sometimes I find romance writers tend to write similar characters in each of their stories, I love that this isn’t the case with Lora Leigh.

Aiden’s Charity is great. Not just for the two leads and the storyline. But it also brings some of the Coyote Breeds further into this story. That, and it gave an extra layer to the world – the majority of the story revolved around the science of the Breeds and their ability to, well, breed. Rather than the politics and the war that is brewing. It was a great change of pace, one that helped keep drawing me further and further into this world.

<- Jacob’s FaithIn a Wolf’s Embrace ->

Image source: Free Book Library

Jacob’s Faith by Lora Leigh

Overview
Jacob's Faith: lora leigh: Amazon.com: Books

Title: Jacob’s Faith
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #9
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Romantic suspense
Dates read: 1th May 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Year: 2003
5th sentence, 74th page: Evidently, the Breeds they’re holding are pretty damned important too, because anyone who could have had information has been killed before I could get to them.

Synopsis

They are a new breed, a new race. Engineered rather than born, trained rather than raised, and their unique genetics have created more than one surprise…

Jacob left Faith six years before, unaware that the mark he left on her also left her in an agony of sexual heat that never dimmed. Now Jacob and Faith are together again, but surprises lurk around every corner and dangers as dark and deadly as their very creation surround them in more ways than one.

Thoughts

One thing that always strikes me about men in romances (and sometimes in real life), they make assumptions and those can be the downfall. Don’t get me wrong, women are just as bad. But I always find the men, such as Jacob to be a bit more frustrating. Maybe because I have to deal with men in my own love life, so I can relate to that frustration all that much better.

In the case of this story, it’s Jacob making some pretty major assumptions about Faith’s feelings that careen them from issue to issue. Instead of just talking things through and finding out what is actually going on, he just keeps… assuming. Which just makes it all that much better when Faith decides to hand his arse to him. Repeatedly.

I know that Jacob’s Faith and Aiden’s Charity were written a little out of order within the Breeds series and by a different publisher (it drives me a little batty when I look at my shelves having these two books). And, honestly, you can kind of pick up on that a little throughout. However, it doesn’t take away from the enjoyment of reading yet another of Lora Leigh’s books. I plan on adding them all to my wishlist now… there is just something about them that I can’t get enough of. Even if some of the sexual play is seriously not to my taste.

Jacob’s Faith follows on beautifully from Wolfe’s Hope. It bought the wolf pack into the breed world brilliantly and set up a whole slew of new issues facing the Breeds. The more I read of this fantastic series, the more I can’t get enough. And also feel my heart kind of break… I mean, the battles that they are constantly fighting are truly devastating and terrible. Seriously difficult to read at times. But, then the love and such comes through and everything is right with the world again…

<- Wolfe’s HopeAiden’s Charity ->

Image source: Amazon