Tag Archives: Romantic Suspense

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

Wolfe’s Hope by Lora Leigh

Overview
Primal Heat : Sherri L King : 9781843607403

Title: Wolfe’s Hope
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #8.5
In: Primal Heat (Sherri L. King, Lorie O’Clare, Jaci Burton & Lora Leigh)
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Romantic suspense
Dates read: 4th May 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Ellora’s Cave
Year: 2004
5th sentence, 74th page: She shivered around the hard protrusion once again.

Synopsis

Hope believed Wolfe was dead, but he was only waiting for the right time to claim her. He is a man whose DNA was altered, infused with the genetic code of the wolf. His unique genetic makeup has created a male unlike any other and will make itself known in the most surprising ways. Now Hope must convince her mate she hasn’t betrayed him, and they must defeat the plans of a scientist gone mad.

Thoughts

This set up the next little patch of Breeds stories really well. The wolf breeds and how they escaped the horrifying and evil labs in which they were created. The fact that it also features an evil scientists daughter… well, that worked quite happily for me. Overall, it was a pretty simple novella that didn’t necessarily have a lot going on adventure wise, but most certainly set up a new Breeds “family”.

I love how some of the Breeds novels have in their name both of the lead characters names. It helps you pick up who you’re routing for from the very beginning. And it just generally creates a fun naming system that I wasn’t quite expecting. But it was most certainly something that I very much enjoyed.

Wolfe is honestly kind of a dick in this story. He’s a bit painful to read for most of it to be honest. But when he has that sense of realisation about just how deeply he messed up… he’s still a dick. But at least he understood just how. And you know, at the end of the story, there was a bit of redemption in the evil bitch getting killed…

<- Tanner’s SchemeJacob’s Faith ->

Image source: BookDepository

Tanner’s Scheme by Lora Leigh

Overview
Tanner's Scheme : Lora Leigh : 9780425216613

Title: Tanner’s Scheme
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #8
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Romantic suspense
Dates read: 28th April – 2nd May 2021
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: And it wasn’t a comforting sight.

Synopsis

The author of Megan’s Mark and Harmony’s Way delivers a new novel set in an alternate world where genetically altered Breeds and the humans who created them sometimes come together in the fiercest of passions…

A one-time high-ranking member of the Genetics Council, Sceme Tallant’s father will stop at nothing to see the Feline Breeds eradicated. Even if it means killing his own daughter…

After the Breeds’ main base is attacked, Tanner Reynolds desires revenge – and knows just how to get it. In a bold move, he kidnaps Scheme Tallant and takes her deep into the Kentucky mountains. Yet when Tanner discovers that Scheme herself is a target of her father’s ruthless mission, his vengeance must take a backseat to saving the life of the woman he hopes to claim as his mate. But can Scheme trust Tanner – or is she just a pawn of his passion and ploys?

Thoughts

Every time I pick up a Breeds novel, I remember why I love this series so much. Don’t get me wrong, in some moments I’m a bit like… nope. I’m not really into that level of dominance in the bedroom. But it’s definitely fun to read about. The fact that the series has continued to develop into a much greater, more intense storyline… that just makes it even more difficult to put down.

Tanner is a great lead. He is kind of humorous and definitely intriguing from the very beginning. The fact that he kidnaps his mate and doesn’t even realise that he’s managed to find her… that kind of had me grinning multiple times throughout. I mean, some people can be a little dense, but this just takes the cake.

Scheme’s backstory was actually, surprisingly more tragic than that of Tanner. Normally it’s the Breed with the tragic backstory. But that most certainly wasn’t the case in this story. Scheme suffers in a way that made my heart ache and break a little bit throughout. It made me want to reach through the pages and give her a huge hug (although, honestly, when don’t I want to do this for my favourite characters?).

All in all, I seriously enjoyed this story. It was a great look into the politics that are boiling in the Breeds world and the things that are at stake. I love that this romantic suspense series has prejudice and a silent war, but also spies and double agents. That there is so much going on in every moment that you just can’t look away and forget about what is going on! Completely amazing, and a lot of fun.

<- Harmony’s WayWolfe’s Hope ->

Image source: Bookdepository

Harmony’s Way by Lora Leigh

Overview
Harmony's Way: A Novel of the Breeds: Book 8: A Novel of Paranormal  Passion: Leigh, Lora: Amazon.com.au: Books

Title: Harmony’s Way
Author: Lora Leigh
Series: Breeds #7
Rating Out of 5: 4 (Really good read!)
My Bookshelves: EroticaParanormal romance, Romantic suspense
Dates read: 27th – 28th April 2021
Pace: Fast
Format: Novel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Year: 2006
5th sentence, 74th page: “Leave.”

Synopsis

Sink your fangs into Lora Leigh’s series about genetically alered humans with feline DNA. When the Breeds desire the passions of the flesh, they can’t help but get frisky…

Harmony Lancaster is of the Lion Breed, created to be a huntress with a thirst to kill. But the way she seeks justice outside of the law makes her a liability to her own kind. Yet she also possesses information that they need on the existence of the first Leo – who holds the precious secrets of desire.

To save her life, Harmony is paired with Sheriff Lance Jacobs, who tries to tame the killer within her, while protecting the gentle woman he longs to possess. But a dangerous cult leader, bent on destroying the Breeds, could change the way Lance looks at Harmony forever…

Thoughts

Each and every time I pick up a Breeds book, I’m completely hooked. Not only is the intense lust and sexuality of it just… spine tingling. But there is also that great character building, functioning of relationships. And, ultimately, the greater conspiracies and plot lines. The one where you are constantly hoping that this minority will find their happily ever after. But not really believing that it’s going to happen…

Megan’s cousin in Megan’s Mark was definitely a guy that I wanted to get to know a little better. Which left me very, ridiculously happy when he came to the forefront in this book. The fact that he can talk to the winds and has Native American ancestry… I just found that all that much more intriguing. I wasn’t really expecting who he ended up partnered with. But I loved her just as much.

Harmony’s journey most definitely made me tear up a little bit and clutch at my heart. It was seriously heartbreaking. But yet, brilliantly done. Maybe not as heartbreaking as Sherra’s story, and I’m sure not as bad as Dawn’s is going to be… but it was still brutal and horrifying. Yet, the way that Lance helps her and brings the beautiful Death into the light… oh, be still my beating heart.

This is that point in the series when things are getting way more complex and intense. That the characters are getting further and further in over their heads and you can’t help but pick up the next book. Which is exactly what I did… I want to know more about what’s going to happen to the Breeds as a whole. Although, unlike other similar series (Psy-Changeling for example), there is a little less connectivity between the characters. And I’m honestly starting to lose track a little of who’s who and how they all connect… looks like this will be a future reread series…

<- Megan’s MarkTanner’s Scheme ->

Image source: Amazon

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