Tag Archives: suspense

Review: Aftershock by Jill Sorenson

30 Dec


4 of 5 scoopers

Aftershock by Jill Sorenson
Harlequin (Dec. 18, 2012)
Mass Market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780373777327

Favorite Lines: “Because we’d both be miserable! I love you Lauren. But I don’t want you to waste a single second of your life on me.” (p. 337, e-galley)

As an emergency paramedic, Lauren Boyer is dedicated and highly capable. Until an earthquake strikes, trapping her beneath the freeway with a group of strangers—including Iraq war veteran Garrett Wright…

Handsome and take-charge Garrett aids Lauren in her rescue efforts, even as the steely look in his eyes seems to hide dark secrets. When a gang of escaped convicts goes on the attack, Garrett’s bravery makes him more than a courageous bystander to Lauren. If they can save the others before time runs out, maybe, just maybe, they can explore the fire igniting between them—if the truth about who he really is doesn’t pull them apart forever….

I thought I was going to pick up Aftershock by Jill Sorenson, read a page and set the book down. I knew I wanted to read it but it was time for bed and I figured I’d read one page to say I started it and finish it later. That didn’t happen. I kept going until the book was finished. Not because of a great romance, but because of the great stories which were being told.

Aftershock tells many stories. From the blurb I thought the main story would be Garrett and Lauren falling in love, but it feels more like a secondary story line to the idea of a group of people trying to survive after a natural disaster. There is also the danger coming from a group of convicts which threatens the survivors. As a story I really liked the book. But I don’t think it’s a good romance.

There is an almost instant attraction between Garrett and Lauren. I totally understand the lust, but I don’t believe in the forever type of love that is supposed to have come from their time together. I want it for them, but there is so much keeping them apart that I don’t believe it’s possible.

Thinking back one of the things I most enjoyed about Aftershock is the characters aren’t perfect by the end of the book. They don’t have this giant epiphany and turn their lives around. They have good moments and they are survivors but they aren’t in perfect situations. A wand is never waved to put a rainbow over their lives so the bad disappears. Sorenson’s characters work with what their given and are very “real” with human failures. I liked knowing that the characters stayed true to that which I was introduced to in the story and at the end were that same individual.

In the end, I’ve got to tell you that as a romance I don’t find Aftershock to be successful. There is a happy ever after, but it is unbelievable. However, as a piece of fiction with tons of action and stories taking place it works. I had to know what was going to happen. I liked it enough to want to continue the series with book two, Freefall which comes out in June 2013. It tells the story of a character we meet in Aftershock but don’t ever really get to know. I’m excited to see where it goes.


Review: A Widow’s Guilty Secret by Marie Ferrarella

11 Dec

2 of 5 scoopers

A Widow’s Guilty Secret by Marie Ferrarella
Harlequin (Dec. 18, 2012)
Mass Market: $5.50; ebook: $4.99
ISBN: 9780373278060

Favorite Lines: “It was almost an out-of-body experience for her. She was in awe of her own actions, of the liberties that she was taking. She’d always been faithful to the man she was with, and as Peter’s wife, she’d been faithful to her vows. But Peter was dead and for the first time in a long time, she was not. Nick brought out a wildness in her, and yet, there was this overpowering need for a connection. To life, to love, to herself.  Every kiss seemed to flower into another one, creating equal partners of them even as she and Nick both tottered back and forth between being master and slave, captor and captive, each taking a turn at assuming all four roles.” (p. 235, e-galley)

“Watch over my baby.”

As the mother of a newborn, Suzy Burris is accustomed to sleepless nights. But tonight, she’s waiting up for her husband, Peter, to tell him she wants a divorce. Instead, she learns he’s been murdered. And the sexy detective who’s just delivered the shocking news is asking questions indicating she’s a suspect.

When Detective Nick Jeffries left Houston for the sleepy town of Vengeance, Texas, he hoped to leave behind the city’s grisly homicides. The latest triple murder to hit his desk nixes that idea. Being attracted to the widow of one of the victims is the last thing he needs. But when Suzy and her baby are threatened, he’ll risk all to keep them from a killer’s crosshairs….

I seem to forget that many of the Harlequin individual series like Intrigue, Super Romance, Nocturne, Blaze, Desire, etc…are continuations of the same story. For example, A Widow’s Guilty Secret is part of Harlequin Romantic Suspense Vengeance in Texas series. This irritated me for the same reason it always irritates me. I think I’m getting a complete story in a book, but major threads are left unsolved to be picked up in another book. In this case the next book which picks up the story is A Rancher’s Deadly Affair by Jennifer Morey which comes out with the other February Harlequin Romantic Suspense releases.

So if you’re expecting a glowing review you won’t find it here. That doesn’t mean I disliked the story. There was much to like such as the actual mystery. I wanted to know who killed Sheriff Burris and his pals and the reasoning behind the murders. I guess my problem is that I didn’t feel like the book was a romance or a suspense. The first chapter introduces us to the story’s heroine Suzy Burris as she waits for her husband to come home. She’s decided to divorce him and wants to tell her hubby before she takes their two-month-old infant and leaves. By the end of an info dumped first chapter we find out why Suzy’s marriage is a sham, that her husband was a douche and watch her as the hero informs her of her husband’s death.

That’s a lot, I know. It is supposed to open me to the idea of a brand spanking new widow falling in love with a man she just met, but it didn’t. I was told the heroine never really loved her husband, but I kept wondering how a woman with an infant and a murdered spouse could find lasting love while a killer is on the loose. Suzy’s reactions and thoughts confused me just as much as Nick, the hero and detective investigating the murders, ability to lust after the widow. I didn’t feel romance, love or lust between them. Friendship? Yes.

I guess I felt like the book was like a road traveling across the plains. There was no high or low parts just a steady continuation from point A to B. There were no interesting landmarks to look out the window at, simply asphalt taking the reader on a trip. It wasn’t boring enough to set aside or not finish. I just didn’t see anything spectacular about it. It certainly didn’t feel very suspenseful.

A Widow’s Guilty Secret didn’t do much for me. I liked it less than the average book because I was unable to lose myself in the story. I didn’t believe in the characters, disliked how much of the story was left unfinished and was disappointed in the lack of high and low points in the story. I expected to read a suspense filled romance, but feel like I read a piece of fiction with a forced romance thread.

Review: Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones

21 Nov

4 of 5 scoopers

Running Wild by Linda Howard and Linda Jones
Random House (Nov. 27, 2012)
Mass market: $7.99; ebook: $7.99
ISBN: 9780345520784

Favorite Lines: “She didn’t feel invincible, but neither did she feel so vulnerable and frightened. That could be a good thing, or a bad thing. She wasn’t going to do anything reckless out of a sense of power, but it was nice to know she had some knowledge of how to protect herself. Amazing what a gun could do for a girl.” (p. 184, e-galley)

Carlin Reed lives in fear, off the grid, moving from place to place. So Battle Ridge, Wyoming, a small town in the middle of nowhere, seems like a good place to lie low for a while. But after becoming cook and housekeeper to cattle rancher Zeke Decker, Carlin suspects that she’s made her first mistake. Rugged, sexy, and too distracting for his own good, Zeke is pure temptation mixed with something deep and primal that makes Carlin feel almost safe. Soon things are getting way too hot in the kitchen.
Zeke doesn’t challenge Carlin’s terms: cash, dead bolts, and no questions. It is easy to see that she’s a woman in trouble. Problem is, he’s so blindsided by his attraction to her he can’t think straight. Zeke tries to stay all business, no complications—but that game plan is sabotaged the second Carlin gets under his skin. And when her terrifying past follows her to the ranch, Carlin faces a heartbreaking choice: run away from the man she loves, or put him in the crosshairs of a madman.

Book one in Linda Howard and Linda Jones’ Men from Battle Ridge series is an enjoyable introduction to a calmer way of life. A way that includes unlocked doors, neighbors who all know each other and men who aren’t afraid to use guns when necessary. Running Wild is a contemporary romance with a thread of suspense.

I loved the chemistry between the Zeke and Carlin. Yes, there was an instant attraction, but they didn’t hook up as soon as I thought they were going to. Zeke’s obvious need for help on his ranch had to reach a boiling point to make the story work. That necessity overcame his brain’s refusal to bring a sexy woman home. In addition, the obvious small town needs of a restaurant are not the same as a big town restaurant, which made her acceptance of the situation realistic.

Zeke is a rancher in need of domestic help. He has cowhands, but putting one inside the house is nowhere near what the ranch needs. Obstinately Zeke tries to do without, but there came a time when he could no longer overlook his need. I liked him almost immediately. He isn’t an overwhelming alpha, nor is he a wuss or the average beta. Zeke is a cowboy I’d like to snuggle up to.

Carlin is an everyday woman, placed in a crazy situation. She learns how to adapt and survive. She made me like her. You would think that reading about her domestic doings would be boring, but I think that was part of what made the story work for me. Unfortunately, I can’t say the same for the for the most part absent villain.

The villain aspect of the story was rather silly. He was supposed to be sinister, but that whole plot line was rather weak. I just didn’t feel like the stalker was evil. He was a threat, but since he was off in the side lines nothing he did felt real. However, I understand that the heroine had to wind up in Battle Ridge, Wyoming, and have a reason to stay there. It wasn’t until the stalker’s appearance toward the end  of the story that I appreciated him at all. There he became the scary man I had hoped to see throughout the book.

Running Wild is an exciting introduction to a new contemporary romance series. I’m looking forward to seeing what comes in the next installment.

Review: Now You See It by Cait Donnelly

27 Oct

3.5 out of 5 scoopers

Now You See It by Cait Donnelly
Carina Press (Nov. 5, 2012)
ebook: $5.99 (85,000 words)
ISBN: 9781426894589

Favorite Lines: “Great. Just great. He finally meets the One, and–God, did he just think that? Even to himself? Brady sat back in the chair and blinked, caught his breath and rethought the last few seconds. Well, damn! It had happened, just the way his aunts had always said it would. Just the way it had hit his dad. With amused and knowing grins, the old women had called it the coup de foudre–the thunderbolt. He’d shrugged it off as just more Indian stories. Served him right.” (p. 20, e-galley)

Former Navy SEAL Brady McGrath has no trouble attracting female attention. But women never stick around long once they learn he can read feelings through touch. When an old Navy buddy hires him to protect his sister, he doesn’t need extra-sensory abilities to know someone wants something from Gemma Cavanagh —something worth killing for.

Gemma’s finally getting a handle on her own unique ability to make things disappear—even making them reappear on occasion. When someone breaks into her house and hacks into her computer, she’s certain her soon-to-be-ex husband is to blame—until the police show up on her doorstep with the news he’s been murdered. And she’s their number one suspect.

After barely escaping a firebombing, Gemma and Brady are forced into hiding—and forced to confront the chemistry between them. As they desperately search for the killer, can Brady help Gemma harness her abilities—and keep her from finding out about his own dark past?

Now You See It is book one in Cait Donnelly’s Inner Edge series which introduces characters who have “abilities” into a contemporary world. Gemma, the heroine, can file things. This means she knowingly–or unknowingly–makes items disappear. As a youth she could make those items reappear at will, but after a traumatic event she lost the ability to control her filing ability. The hero Brady can read emotions transferred to objects, as well as from people. He is a tough guy. He has mad computer skills and federal law enforcement training.

But Now You See It is not so much a paranormal romance as much as a contemporary romantic suspense with paranormal aspects. The drama surrounds a woman in the midst of a divorce whose husband is brutally murdered. Soon after, her home is invaded and her brother sends his buddy over to investigate. That woman becomes prime suspect and happens to have an unusual ability. Not many people in the book have odd abilities and the action isn’t driven by the abilities which is why I consider this more of a suspense. Everyone wants to know “who did it?”.  And the answer has nothing to do with the special abilities of any of its characters.

As a whole, I enjoyed the book. I understand the hero’s quick addiction to the heroine, but her feelings were more of a mystery to me. I guess Gemma burned out on her hubby a long time before the hero made an appearance so I’m okay with her quick interest in the hero. Her emotional flip-flops between irritation, attraction, and anger all of which are directed toward the hero about drove me crazy. I didn’t like Gemma and feeding my dislike were her perplexing reactions to other things. For example, there was a moment when Gemma knew she was a suspect in her husband’s murder when she returned home, I’m talking the day after finding out about her hubby’s death, that she reacted in a way which made no sense to me. She pulls up to a yard full of reporters and “opening the garage door at the last possible minute, she flipped the crowd a happy little wave as she pulled inside.” (p.56) It cemented my early opinion of her character as one with little depth.

Gemma’s brother and would-be lover are another matter. I thoroughly enjoyed all aspects of both men. They were dependable and predictable–great romance heroes. Someone else was predictable…the villain. I knew upon introduction to the villain exactly who he was. I didn’t know why he did the things he did, but it was clear to me that he was a participant.

So my end thought on Now You See It are that it was pretty much what I expected to find in a romantic suspense with the exception of a heroine who I disliked. I never set the book aside which makes it a solid read for me, but it isn’t one I’ll read again. I did like it enough that I’ll be looking for book two which is entitled Helix.

Review: Rev It Up by Julie Ann Walker

26 Sep

3 out of 5 scoopers

Rev It Up by Julie Ann Walker
Sourcebooks (Oct. 2, 2012)
Mass market: $6.99; ebook: $6.99 (Pre-order for the best price)
ISBN: 9781402267185

Favorite Lines: “And she desperately missed her husband, her friend, during times like this when she needed a strong shoulder to lean. Steven had been her rock, her savior, and he’d deserved so much more than she’d been able to give him. Oh, she’d loved him, there was no doubt about that. But it was the kind of love she’d felt for many of the boys in Bravo Platoon. And then he’d died before she got the chance to give him her whole heart…” (p. 230-31, e-galley)

Jake “The Snake” Sommers has spent most of his black-ops military career fulfilling a promise he made more than a decade ago. Now he’s finally free to pursue the woman he sacrificed…but hates the very ground he walks on. Michelle Carter has never forgiven Jake for being so cliché as to “love her and leave her.” But when unknown enemies threaten everything she loves, she must do the unimaginable: place her life — and that of her son’s — into Jake’s seductive hands.

Keeping her and her son safe is his final mission. Keeping her heart to herself just might prove futile…

Rev It Up is book three in Julie Ann Walker‘s romantic suspense Black Knights Inc. series. It follows the sister of the Black Knights Inc. head honcho as she finds a happily ever after with a man from her past. This is a hard review for me to write because I didn’t love or hate the book.

Characters: Michelle is a single mother dealing with childhood scars. She married her best friend, but became a widow after a mission in which her former lover lived and her husband died. Like most mothers, she feels guilty about everything whether it’s her fault or not. She’s attracted to Jake, but will always put her child first as every action she takes has an effect on her son. Jake knows he made a mistake by pushing Michelle away in the past. After years of suffering from survivor’s guilt he can’t resist the one woman he’s never forgotten.

Action: Rev It Up doesn’t have as much action as its predecessor In Rides Trouble, but that’s okay because the book is solidly focused on the relationship between Michelle and Jake. People die. Guns are fired. However those things are secondary to Michelle and Jake overcoming the obstacles which have kept them separated and prevent them from being happy. I will say the end of the book is like the grand finale of an action movie. Yes, that much takes place.

Final Thoughts: I expected more from Rev It Up than I got. I had hoped to be taken on a ride with great characters. What I got was wagon ride with characters I felt nothing for. I didn’t feel the attraction or want anything for either character. When the zinger secret came out I cringed. It’s a romance pet-peeve of mine. I hate that storyline. No, I’m not going to ruin it for you by telling spoilers. I’m not saying Rev It Up was a bad book. I’m saying it didn’t hook me or leave an impression on me like In Rides Trouble.

Review: In His Sights by Tina Beckett

1 Sep

2.5 out of 5 scoopers

In His Sights by Tina Beckett
Carina Press (August 27, 2012)
ebook: $5.99 (79,000 words)
ISBN: 9781426894275

Favorite Lines: “This couldn’t be happening. Cole couldn’t be standing in her living room, asking to lay his hands on her stomach. When he touched her, it was almost a religious experience. His fingers explored inch by inch, and before long, their mouths followed suit. When she pulled him toward the bedroom, there were no more words at all for a long time.” (p. 216, e-galley)

During a hostile situation at the American embassy in Angola, Special Forces officer Cole Scalini is ordered to take out a suicide bomber and rescue a hostage. Simple enough for a sniper with his training, until he realizes that the woman in danger is neither a random nor a typical victim. She’s pregnant.

Callie Nascimento is carrying her sister’s baby as a surrogate when she discovers her sister was killed under suspicious circumstances. Now Callie’s become a target. Her only hope for survival is a rebel of another kind, a handsome loner of a military man who’s risking his life to save her.

As Cole strives to keep Callie safe, fighting the terrain and terrorist attacks, his respect for her grows. She’s strong, capable and sexy as hell. But before he can explore if their attraction is something deeper, he has to get her safely back on U.S. soil. Because the enemy is much closer to home than they realize.

In His Sights is Tina Beckett’s action packed romantic suspense which follows a woman’s struggle for survival in Angola. She has a lot of help from a Special Forces officer and gradually falls in love. There are political shenanigans, torture sessions and love making, but something was missing. I didn’t feel the chemistry between the hero and heroine which developed over an eight or nine day period. I wanted to like In His Sights but when you don’t like the characters it makes it awfully hard.

The heroine (Callie) is a psychologist, a profession the hero disdains. The hero (Cole) is a military man and the heroine has daddy issues which cause her to prejudge all military men. All of those childhood issues fill both of the main characters and while it doesn’t prevent them from being sexually attracted to one another it stifles the growth of any possible relationship. It’s hard to believe in chemistry and a future together when both characters totally dislike such a major aspect of the other. In addition, I didn’t like either character.

Cole is a big baby. He is an alpha kick ass warrior who is still obsessed with a childhood diagnosis of ADHD. Yep, you heard me. An ADHD diagnosis ruined his life and still affects his thinking. As an adult Cole still has issues remaining immobile, but he manages them. It feels like Cole whines all the time. All thoughts leed back to his childhood diagnosis and his dislike of psychologists.

Callie deserved to die. I hate to say that about a pregnant woman, but she makes stupid mistakes. Let’s leave money for the super poor people cause that’s not a dead giveaway to an American presence. No don’t kill the bad guy, let’s talk to him cause words are better than a bullet. I don’t know how such an intelligent woman could keep making deadly mistakes. She–like Cole– flips to childhood memories. For her it was a super strict ex-military stepfather who ruled with an iron fist. Callie compares Cole to him often.

There were characters that I liked though. I liked the villains. There’s an obvious known villain we meet early in the story and the man behind the scenes.The man on the scene leaving tortured bodies behind him is Jose Coelho. He is bad and I love the scary villains. You know the type that if he catches up with you you’re going to wish you were dead? That’s Jose. The other guy? Well, Beckett does an excellent job muddying the waters to prevent me from knowing who the mystery villain is just when I think I know. I ended up being right, but I didn’t know that until the big reveal.

While I didn’t love In His Sights, if the next book in the series is about an American victim of Jose’s introduced in this book, I’ll read it.

If I had liked the main characters even a little bit I would have been happy with In His Sights. It moved forward at a steady pace, the suspense kept the characters looking over their shoulders and the secondary characters were intriguing. However, if I’m reading a romance I need to be able to root for them and their love, something I couldn’t do with Callie and Cole. My hope is that the next book, if this is a series, will have characters I find appealing which will make me invest in the story.

Review: In Rides Trouble by Julie Ann Walker

29 Aug

4 out of 5 scoopers

In Rides Trouble by Julie Ann Walker
Sourcebooks (Sept. 4, 2012)
Mass Market: $6.99; ebook: $6.99
ISBN: 9781402267161

Favorite Lines: “He groaned, the sound intoxicatingly fierce and darkly yearning, and then he was kissing her. Frank Knight was kissing her. Her. Rebecca Reichert, the thorn in his side, the professed bane of his existence, and his full male lips were so warm and surprisingly smooth as they brushed over her own.” (p. 111, e-galley)

Munitions, missiles, and mayhem are Frank Knight’s way of life. The last thing he wants is for one brash little blonde to come within fifty feet of anything that goes boom. Just the thought of Becky “Rebel” Reichert in danger makes Frank break out in a cold sweat. Unfortunately, she’s just been captured by Somali pirates. Come hell or high water, he will get her back and make sure that once she’s safe, she never wants to leave his side.

Book two in Julie Ann Walker’s Black Knights, Inc. series can be read as a stand alone. I did not read book one, Hell on Wheels, but I had no real problems. There were a few moments when events were discussed as common knowledge amongst the characters that I knew nothing of, but those were few and quickly explained.

Hero and Heroine: Becky knew she wanted Frank when she met him. Unfortunately, he’s hung up on the difference between their ages and is determined to keep his distance. He is the man in charge and used to making hard decisions. He is both dependable and deadly. Becky is way more outgoing than Frank. She wants to be an agent and has been picking up tricks from the men who work for Frank. She can’t stop mooning over Frank no matter how hard she tries to distract herself. Frank and Becky dance around one another so much that I wanted to shove them together to relieve the sexual tension. For me it was obvious that the two semi-opposites belonged together.

Villains: While bad guys appear in the story in many forms, there is one key guy out to make trouble. I felt bad for him once his back story was told, but he made choices that firmly put him in the “kill” category which made me get over the sadness of his past right away. As with most criminals, dude was pretty stupid. He was sly enough to be successful on a small level, however, he would never make it as a top, evil doer.

Did I like it?: Yep. In Rides Trouble tells me what was going on in the prologue. I get to see the beginning of unrequited love which is quickly followed up with an action packed story in chapter one. The pace of the story felt like a motorcycle ride that kept getting faster. I didn’t want it to stop, but when it did I was completely satisfied. With so many alpha characters introduced I know it’s a series I’ll follow. As a matter of fact, Rev It Up  (book 3) is Snake and Michele’s story, and I’ve read and enjoyed it too.

Review: Kansas City Cowboy by Julie Miller

5 Aug

Kansas City Cowboy by Julie Miller
Harlequin/Intrigue (Aug. 7, 2012)
Mass Market: $5.25; ebook: $4.99 (I saw it listed at B&N for $3.82 on 8/5/12)
ISBN: 9780373696345

Favorite Lines: “He knew he’d surprised her, knew he was taking liberties with a woman he barely knew. But he needed human contact right now. He needed the reassurance of a beating heart. he needed something strong to hold on to, something soft to absorb the pain and the rage and the grief rolling inside him that threatened to drag him down to his knees and bring him to tears.” (p. 31, e-galley)

For small-town sheriff Boone Harrison, the investigation into a serial rapist turned killer is painfully personal. Boone’s priority is to find the coward who murdered his sister. But to accomplish that, he’ll have to work with Dr. Kate Kilpatrick, a secretive woman whose striking beauty and kind heart just may be the lawman’s undoing….

Forensic psychologist Kate Kilpatrick was wrong about Sheriff Harrison. He’s smarter and more resourceful than she’d given him credit for—and entirely too attractive. In their combined grief, Kate finds something she didn’t even know she needed: protection. Because when the Rose Red Rapist sets his sights on Kate, she’ll need more than the power of the badge to save her. She’ll need her very own cowboy.

Does it get much sexier than a smart cowboy? Well, I figured I find out by reading Julie Miller’s Kansas City Cowboy.

If you’re unfamiliar with Harlequin’s Intrigue line all you need to know is that it is the line that promotes romantic suspense stories. One of the good things about it is at the beginning of each novel the reader is given a list of characters. The cast list includes the hero, heroine, important secondary characters and the villain. It’s a great way to know exactly what is going on before turning the first page of the book. So, let’s get back to Kansas City Cowboy.

Heroine: Dr. Kate Kilpatrick is intelligent woman who was betrayed by her husband and best friend. She copes with it by not allowing people to get close to her. Until Sheriff Boone Harrison appears and pulls her into a bear hug. She doesn’t have time to strictly focus on him though. An escalating rapist has her in his sights and with all the risks she takes, she just might end up dead.

Hero: Sheriff Boone Harrison’s sister was raped and murdered. As her oldest sibling, Boone plans to find his sister’s killer and leaves his jurisdiction for that of Kansas City. Once there he meets Dr. Kate and feels a spark of attraction. He isn’t ready to follow-up on it though. He needs to bury his sister and see her killer brought to justice.

Villain: The Rose Red Rapist has been taking what he wants and leaving women behind. The reader is given glimpses of him, but never gets to really see him. Eventually it becomes clear that there may be more than one bad guy making the rounds in Kansas City Cowboy. Unfortunately, we find out many things SPOILER but never the identity of the rapist. END SPOILER

Suspense, Romance and Sex: The suspense builds as Dr. Kate is stalked. Classic stalker techniques are used: text messages, break ins and the sound of footsteps. At the same time Boone and Kate are spending more time together with a slow burning attraction. There is sex, but not only does it relieve the tension, but it also leads the heroine to feelings of self-empowerment.

End Thoughts: I was bored with Kansas City Cowboy. The conflict didn’t feel like it was between the rapist and the main characters. I felt more internal battles fought inside Kate’s mind with herself and her former best friend, than I felt between the rapist/stalker and the police. The mystery aspect of the story was alright, but it never sucked me in. I felt semi-cheated when I finished reading the book. (Read the spoiler.) There were moments when I wanted to shake the heroine for being TSTL. I guess it just wasn’t the book for me. Maybe you’ll feel different. Did you read it? What are your thoughts?

Review: Kade by Delores Fossen

23 Jun

Kade by Delores Fossen
Harlequin (July 1, 2012)
Mass Market: $5.25; ebook: $4.99
ISBN: 9780373696277

Favorite Lines: “But Kade hadn’t thought he was ready to be a father until he had seen Leah’s face. Just the sight of her had caused something to switch in his head, and in that moment Leah became the most important person in his life. He would die to protect his little girl.” (p. 66, e-galley)

One look at the baby girl, and there was no question Kade Ryland was the father. For three months, Kade had posed as Bree Winston’s husband at the Fulbright Fertility Clinic, while the two FBI agents investigated a trail of illegal adoptions and surrogates. Nine months later, a baby was dropped at his feet—and Bree was nowhere to be found. Now Kade had to reopen a case that had gotten way too personal and find Bree—fast. But if the two of them had never been a real couple, were they ready to be parents? Whatever the answer, Kade now had more than one reason to close this case once and for all.

Mini Rant: First of all I’ve got to say that while I like the cover it ruins the story. Reading the e-galley, I didn’t have a cover to look at. That means when certain events took place I was surprised. Now looking at the cover, knowing the story, I can’t help but feel like someone in the marketing department spoiled this book for other would-be readers.

Kade surprised me. I thought I’d like it; duh, why else would I read it? It started off with a bang and just kept moving. The suspense was steady. Every time I thought I knew who the villains were, someone would say or do something to make me change my mind. We’re told up front who the suspects are and Delores Fossen does a good job keeping us bouncing  with suspicion.

The romance was slightly different from what I thought it would be. The Kade and Bree never had sex, but they are the biological parents of the same child. They worked together and were attracted to one another while working undercover. The story starts almost a year later with Kade being told he has a baby and it had been abandoned. The beginning reeled me in and I had to know more.

Kade is a fast paced book that shows us two people investigating Bree’s unexplained disappearance while she adjusts to the news that she is a mother. Bree doesn’t remember her pregnancy or the first moments holding her child. When you put that with her previous determination to never be a mother, you understand how confused and upset she is.

Unfortunately I never really felt her distress at not remembering those memories that many women cherish. I got her shock at being a mother and her quick acceptance and love for her child, but not the emotional loss of those mother/baby only memories. There wasn’t the dissatisfaction with all she missed while pregnant. Maybe she felt like those memories would return gradually as her other memories did.

The book is straight down the line solid. It’s a satisfying read that left me with the happy feeling that I expect to have when finishing a romance. It wasn’t an over the top happy, but a I’m feeling just right type of feeling.

New TV Shows: The Mob Doctor

22 Jun

I’m sitting on the fence about this new one. What do you thing?