Tag Archives: romantic suspense fiction

Top 10 Tuesday — 2022 Book Club Selections

30 Nov

This week’s TTT is bookish memories. Again, I wasn’t feeling the prompt, so I am looking ahead instead of back with a post listing what my book club will be reading in the new year. 😉 While we read every month, as a group we choose only 9 titles — they let me surprise them with 3 more throughout the year. I hope you like our list. What will you be reading in 2022?

For more TTT fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books on my Book Club’s 2022 List

As Dawn Breaks by Kate Breslin

Breach of Honor by Janice Cantore

The Edge of Belonging by Amanda Cox

The Lady’s Mine by Francine Rivers

Life Flight by Lynette Eason

Relative Justice by Robert Whitlow

A Stranger’s Game by Colleen Coble

Sunrise by Susan May Warren

Until Leaves Fall in Paris by Sarah Sundin

Book Review: Crosshairs

29 Nov

As someone who married a Mississippi boy, I always love to read books set in his home state. (I lived there for 7 years as well.) Crosshairs, the third book in Patricia Bradley‘s Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, takes the reader back for more murder. 😉 I think this is my favorite so far in the series. Recommended.

Investigative Services Branch (ISB) ranger Ainsley Beaumont arrives in her hometown of Natchez, Mississippi, to investigate the murder of a three-month-pregnant teenager. While she wishes the visit was under better circumstances, she never imagined that she would become the killer’s next target–nor that she’d have to work alongside an old flame.

After he almost killed a child, former FBI sniper Lincoln Steele couldn’t bring himself to fire a gun, which had deadly and unforeseen consequences for his best friend. Crushed beneath a load of guilt, Linc is working at Melrose Estate as an interpretive ranger. But as danger closes in on Ainsley during her murder investigation, Linc will have to find the courage to protect her. The only question is, will it be too little, too late?

Winner of an Inspirational Readers Choice Award, Patricia Bradley lives in North Mississippi and is a former abstinence educator and co-author of RISE To Your Dreams, an abstinence curriculum.

But her heart is tuned to suspense. Patricia’s romantic suspense books include the Logan Point series set in Mississippi and two sweet romances for Harlequin Heartwarming, Matthew’s Choice and The Christmas Campaign that are available on Amazon.

When she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.

My Impressions:

I love suspense, and reading a novel with a familiar setting is a big bonus in my book. Crosshairs by Partrica Bradley is set along the Natchez Trace near the city of Natchez. I have visited there, and have traveled the Trace a number of times, so her book vividly brought back the area for me. What I didn’t experience in the past was the murder and mayhem found in this book. LOL! But I liked it too! There are a number of mysteries that face main characters Ainsley Beaumont, an agent with the Investigative Services Branch of the US Parks Service and former FBI sniper turned interpretative park ranger, Lincoln Steele. The two have major history, but decide to be civil as they investigate and dodge bullets! Chemistry is there from the start, so fans of romantic suspense will be pleased. The reader is given a bit more information on the bad guy(s) before the two main characters, but they are up to the challenge of discovering whodunit. There are a lot of twists that they and I did not see coming — Bradley keeps her characters and readers on their toes. 😉 The two main characters have experienced varying degrees of trauma and disappointment that have impacted their present situations. Their faith journeys are depicted in a natural way that readers can identify with.

The third novel in the Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, Crosshairs is my favorite. I can’t wait for the last book in the series due out next year.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Unknown Threat

24 Nov

Unknown Threat is book 1 in Lynn Blackburn‘s romantic suspense series, Defend And Protect. It’s a puzzler, as members of the US Secret Service are targeted by a killer. It’s a great start for the series. Recommended! Find out all the details below.

US Secret Service Special Agent Luke Powell is lucky to be alive. Three of his fellow agents have died in unusual circumstances in the past ten weeks. Luke is devastated by the loss of his friends and colleagues, and his inability to locate the killer feels like a personal failure. He’s an expert at shielding others, but now the protectors are in need of protection.

FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is driven to succeed and confident in her ability to solve every case she’s assigned. She’s been put in charge of the investigation into the unprecedented attacks, and with Luke’s life in danger, the stakes have never been higher. But it’s hard to know how to fight back when you don’t know who the enemy is.

As more agents are targeted, Luke and Faith will have to work together to bring a killer to justice and prevent any more names from joining their fallen brothers and sisters on the Secret Service Wall of Honor.

Lynn H. Blackburn loves writing romantic suspense because her childhood fantasy was to become a spy, but her grown-up reality is that she’s a huge chicken and would have been caught on her first mission. She prefers to live vicariously through her characters and loves putting them into all kinds of terrifying situations while she’s sitting at home safe and sound in her pajamas! 

Lynn’s titles have won the Carol Award, the Selah Award, and the Faith, Hope, and Love Reader’s Choice Award. Her newest series kicked off in March 2021 with Unknown Threat, Book 1 in the Defend and Protect series. 

She is a frequent conference speaker and has taught writers all over the country. Lynn lives in South Carolina with her true love and their three children. You can follow her real life happily ever after by signing up for her newsletter at LynnHBlackburn.com and @LynnHBlackburn on Bookbub, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram.

My Impressions:

Lynn H. Blackburn’s novel Unknown Threat starts out with a bang! Literally. The reader is immediately grabbed with this twisting romantic suspense that features the Secret Service and the FBI. Not known for working well together — interagency rivalry, you know — the two law enforcement agencies are forced to cooperate as Secret Service agents are murdered. The case is puzzling, because the methods are so different, but FBI agent in charge, Faith Malone, is dogged in her working of the case. And Secret Service agents won’t remain on the sidelines when their fellow agents are targeted. SA Luke Powell and Faith are thrown together to identify who is responsible. The romance between the two main characters is new, no past bad blood, and I liked that. That’s not to say that their relationship didn’t sizzle. LOL! The investigation is a puzzler, and the two are kept on alert as more threats and dangers emerge. I found the case intriguing and was kept guessing as to just whodunit. Blackburn’s novels are faith-filled, but never preachy. The reader gets real and relatable people and their struggles. And for fans of Blackburn’s previous books, a couple of favorite characters make cameo appearances.

If you are looking for a fast-paced suspense with a good dose of romance, then I recommend Unknown Threat.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Thankful for Family

23 Nov

Last Thanksgiving I had the pleasure and blessing of having all of my immediate family together. This year, due to law school exams, conferences, and other family obligations we will not be all together on the same day. But . . . we have already had one small gathering and will be headed to another on Turkey Day. And FaceTime is a winner! I’ll be able to see my granddaughter though we are separated by a lot of miles. These thoughts led me to a Thankful for Family TTT post. No, it’s not the theme for today, but I wanted to do it anyway. LOL! So today my list is all about families. Whatever your favorite genre, I have a book(s) for you!

For more TTT fun, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Book Series Featuring Families

Alaskan Courage series by Dani Pettrey — Romantic Suspense

Bucklin Family Reunion series by Debby Mayne — Southern/Chick Lit

Chicory Inn series by Deborah Raney — Family Drama

Cousins of The Dove series by Mindy Starns Clark and Leslie Gould — Time Split

Bradford Sisters Romance series by Becky Wade — Romance

Book Review: Deadly Target

22 Nov

Deadly Target is book 2 in Elizabeth Goddard’s Rocky Mountain Courage series. If you like romantic suspense, then you are in for a treat with this novel. This action-packed book will have you furiously turning the pages. Find out all the details below.

Criminal psychologist Erin Larson’s dreams of a successful career come to a screeching halt when she nearly loses her own life in a boating accident on Puget Sound and then learns that her mother tried to commit suicide. She leaves her job as a criminal psychologist to care for her mother in Montana. At least she is able to produce her podcast, which focuses on solving missing persons cold cases.  

Nathan Campbell’s father was investigating such a case when he was shot, and now Nathan needs to enlist Erin’s help to solve the case. She’s good at what she does. The only problem? She’s his ex.  

As the two dig deeper, it becomes clear that they, too, are being targeted – and that the answers to their questions are buried deep within the past Erin struggles to explain and longs to forget.  

With over one million books sold, Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling, award-winning author of over fifty romance novels and counting. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time.

To get book news sign up for her newsletter at her website:http://elizabethgoddard.com

Follow her on Bookbubhttps://www.bookbub.com/authors/elizabeth-goddard

You can connect with Elizabeth on Facebookhttp://facebook.com/elizabethgoddardauthor

or Twitterhttp://twitter.com/bethgoddard

My Impressions:

Mystery/suspense is my favorite genre, and Deadly Target checks all the boxes for a page turner: a cold case turned hot, danger around every corner, and a never-saw-it-coming ending. Elizabeth Goddard returns again to Montana in her Rocky Mountain Courage series, although the characters travel far afield to solve the case. I liked the variety of settings, each unique and interesting. Main characters Erin and Nathan have a history that each tries to subdue as they focus on the investigation into the shooting of Nathan’s father, but the sparks reignite regardless. Fans of romance will like the sizzle between the two. There are several mysteries to solve, and I liked how Goddard weaves the threads together. There’s a lot of action right from the start, and this reader was kept on her toes. I was kept guessing until the end. The faith of the two main characters and other supporting characters came off as natural — doubts and trust along the way — a lot like real life.

Although part of a series, Deadly Target can be read as a standalone, but I always like starting at the beginning. 😉 Consider getting both books in the series for great binge-reading.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Spotlight + Giveaway! — Hidden Danger

18 Nov

Hidden Danger JustRead Blog + Review Tour

Welcome to the Blog + Review Tour for Hidden Danger by Jerusha Agen, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Hidden Danger

Title: Hidden Danger
Series: Guardians Unleashed #1
Author: Jerusha Agen
Publisher: SDG Words
Release Date: November 8, 2021
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

The greatest threat to this K-9 team is the one they don’t see coming.

Cora Isaksson’s guilt has shadowed her life ever since drugs ensnared her brother and he disappeared. When Bradley suddenly returns, Cora and her narcotics detection K-9 are thrust into a battle against the drug cartel that wants him back.

DEA Special Agent Kent Thomson has his own personal reasons for bringing justice to the cartel. Cora and her drug-sniffing K-9 will only get in his way. Or are they assets that will enable him to right the wrongs of the past?

When the cartel targets Cora, she and Kent join forces with her teammates at the Phoenix K-9 Security and Detection Agency to end the cartel before it ends her. They’re prepared for danger, but when more lives than their own hang in the balance, can they trust God for the rescue that’s out of their reach?

EXCERPT

Cora’s pulse jerked with her arm when Jana tugged hard to the right. The golden retriever never pulled on her leash unless she caught scent of one of two things—narcotics or a human in need of rescue. 

Jana tugged toward a black suitcase parked upright next to a man in the baggage claim of Minneapolis International Airport.

“Get that dog away from my luggage.” The middle-aged, heavyset man had a smudge of dark hairs on his head and a long, sagging mustache that shaped his mouth into a severe frown.

Cora’s mind raced. She and Jana were off the clock, finished logging in their hours searching for narcotics at Departures. The usual TSA officer who accompanied her had left, and Cora had handed in her radio for the day.

But Jana sat next to the man’s suitcase and aimed her big brown eyes up at Cora. 

She’d found drugs.

PURCHASE LINKS*: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | IndieBound | Christianbook | BookBub

ALSO AVAILABLE


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jerusha Agen

Jerusha Agen imagines danger around every corner but knows God is there, too. So naturally, she writes suspense infused with the hope of salvation in Jesus Christ. With a B.A. in English and a background in screenwriting, Jerusha is a speaker, writing instructor, and Fear Warrior who sounds the call to battle against fear in our everyday lives. Jerusha loves to hang out with her big furry dogs and little furry cats. You’ll often find her sharing irresistibly adorable photos of them in her newsletter and on social media. Get a free suspense story from Jerusha and find more of her thrilling, fear-fighting novels at www.JerushaAgen.com.

CONNECT WITH JERUSHA: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a prize package including a $25 Barnes & Noble gift card, one signed copy of Hidden Danger, a Hidden Danger mug, Hidden Danger keychain, Phoenix K-9 Agency notepad, and Phoenix K-9 stickers!

Hidden Danger JustRead Giveaway

Be sure to check out each stop on the tour for more chances to win. Full tour schedule linked below. Giveaway began at midnight November 16, 2021 and lasts through 11:59 PM EST on November 23, 2021. Winner will be notified within 2 weeks of close of the giveaway and given 48 hours to respond or risk forfeiture of prize. US only. Void where prohibited by law or logistics.

Giveaway is subject to the policies found here.

ENTER GIVEAWAY HERE


Follow along at JustRead Tours for a full list of stops!

JustRead Publicity Tours

*NOTE: This post contains affiliate links.

First Line Friday — Lights Out

12 Nov

Happy Friday! I finally have a weekend at home! And you know what that means? Lots of time to read! Yay! I have some outstanding novels on my near future TBR list that I can’t wait to dive into. Lights Out by Natalie Walters, the first book in her Snap Agency series is one of them. I am almost finished listening to the final book in Walters’ Harbored Secrets series, so the timing couldn’t be more perfect. I hope you have some great books scheduled as well. Happy reading weekend!

Here’s the first line:

Seif El-Deeb watched the noisy trio of American boys cross the street away from Cairo American College.

CIA analyst Brynn Taylor developed a new program to combat terrorism, and she invited members of foreign intelligence agencies to America to foster cooperation between countries. Now one of them, Egyptian spy Remon Riad, is missing.

Jack Hudson has been working for the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency (SNAP) for almost nine years and takes the lead in hunting down the missing spy. But he isn’t at all pleased to find out Brynn is involved. It’s hard to trust a woman who’s already betrayed you.

Every lead they follow draws them dangerously deeper into an international plot. Kidnapping, murder, explosions, poisoning–the terrorists will do anything to accomplish their goal of causing a digital blackout that will blind a strategic US military communications center and throw the world into chaos.

Can Brynn surrender control to a man who doesn’t trust her? And can Jack ever get over what she did to him? The fate of the world–and their hearts–hangs in the balance.

Natalie Walters is the military wife of a soldier husband and mother of their three kids. She writes full-time and has been published in Proverbs 31 magazine and has blogged for Guideposts online. Natalie comes from a long line of military and law enforcement veterans and is passionate about supporting them through volunteer work, races, and writing stories that affirm no one is defined by their past. 

Top 10 Tuesday — First Character Lines

9 Nov

The last 2+ weeks have been a whirlwind around here with both expected and unexpected travel. I have been out of town many more days than at home — lots of catching up to do! All that to say I have chosen the easy way out with my TTT list. Memorable character quotes is being twisted to a variation on first lines — the first sentence uttered by a character. All the books featured today are on my near future TBR list. I hope you find a book that piques your interest.

For more memorable character quotes, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Character First Lines

“And King David, a warrior poet, cried out to God, ‘Out of my distress I called upon the Lord; the Lord answered me and set me free.'”

“You’ll never believe it, but I discovered two more diaries!” Miss Cora’s voice wavered, but even at ninety-two it had not lost its cultured tone.

“Thanks for coming with me today. I needed this.”

“What are you doing, Miss Travers?”

“We shouldn’t be doing this.” Lindsey Waters whispered as she stood in the dark hallway next to her sometimes friend, sometimes enemy, and all-the-time troublemaker.

“I’m green with envy! Paris is the most beautiful city in Europe!”

“It will be over soon, little Hebrew,” said the man with painted lips, blood-red and curving with false tenderness.

“Seif, you will send your child to this school?”

The last child, a girl with wide brown eyes and a riot of red curls trailed her hand over the robe. “It’s softer than I thought it’d be.”

“You’ve got manure in your hair, Gerrit,” Luisa whispered, her Italian accent still strong even after thirty years in the States.

First Line Friday — Deadly Target

5 Nov

Happy Friday! This week has been one for the books! Unfortunately not one for reading books. 😉 Hopefully this weekend I will have some time for R&R — reading and relaxing. One of the books that I will dive into soon is Deadly Target by Elizabeth Goddard, the 2nd book in her Rocky Mountain Courage series.

Here’s the first line:

For a few hours every Saturday morning, Erin Larson could forget that evil existed.

Criminal psychologist Erin Larson’s dreams of a successful career come to a screeching halt when she nearly loses her own life in a boating accident on Puget Sound and then learns that her mother tried to commit suicide. She leaves her job as a criminal psychologist to care for her mother in Montana. At least she is able to produce her podcast, which focuses on solving missing persons cold cases.

Nathan Campbell’s father was investigating such a case when he was shot, and now Nathan needs to enlist Erin’s help to solve the case. She’s good at what she does. The only problem? She’s his ex.

As the two dig deeper, it becomes clear that they, too, are being targeted–and that the answers to their questions are buried deep within the past Erin struggles to explain and longs to forget.

The race is on for the truth in this gripping and complex tale of suspense, intrigue, and murder from USA Today bestselling author Elizabeth Goddard.

With over one million books sold, Elizabeth Goddard is the USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling, award-winning author of over fifty romance novels and counting. A 7th generation Texan, Elizabeth graduated from North Texas State University with a Bachelor of Science in Computer Science and worked in high-level software sales for several years before retiring to home school her children and fulfill her dreams of writing full-time.

To get book news sign up for her newsletter at her website:http://elizabethgoddard.com

Follow her on Bookbubhttps://www.bookbub.com/authors/elizabeth-goddard

You can connect with Elizabeth on Facebookhttp://facebook.com/elizabethgoddardauthor

or Twitterhttp://twitter.com/bethgoddard

Book Review: Labyrinth of Lies

3 Nov

Irene Hannon is a go-to author for romantic suspense. Her Triple Threat series has been so great. I just finished book 2, Labyrinth of Lies — it did not disappoint. Find out all the details below.

When the daughter of a high-profile businessman disappears from an exclusive girls’ boarding school, police detective Cate Reilly is tapped for an undercover assignment. It doesn’t take her long to realize that beneath the veneer of polish and wealth, things are not as they seem at Ivy Hill Academy. But the biggest surprise of all? The only man she ever loved is also working at the school.

Zeke Sloan has never forgotten Cate, but now isn’t the best time for their paths to cross again. When their two seemingly disparate agendas begin to intertwine–and startling connections emerge among the players–the danger escalates significantly. But who is the mastermind behind the elaborate ruse? And how far will they go to protect their house of cards?

Queen of romantic suspense Irene Hannon invites you to scale the heights of human folly and plumb the depths of the human heart in this second gripping book in the Triple Threat series.

Irene Hannon is the best-selling author of more than 35 novels. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, the HOLT Medallion, the Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and the Daphne du Maurier Award for mystery/suspense. Irene and her husband make their home in Missouri, USA. Irene invites you to visit her at her website, http://www.irenehannon.com.

My Impressions:

Labyrinth of Lies is book 2 in Irene Hannon‘s Triple Threat series. The books are connected by the Reilly sisters. In this second romantic suspense, Cate Reilly, a police detective, takes center stage. Her undercover assignment, the last she ever wants, seems to be straight forward and low-risk until it is tangled up with her ex-flame’s own investigation. I really liked Hannon’s two characters, Cate and Zeke. There’s a good bit of sizzle in this book, along with mistrust and regrets for past actions. Each character has respect for the other’s professional abilities and instincts, but a lot of unresolved emotions on their parts keep the romantic tension going even as the criminal investigations become more and more dangerous. There are an array of bad guys with varying motivations and justifications — very intriguing. Hannon keeps the reader guessing just who is in charge. The novel is fast-paced, yet I never felt like the characters’ development was slighted. This one is great for curled-up reading with a hot beverage!

Although Labyrinth of Lies is a standalone, I think your best bet is first reading book 1, Point of Danger. You will be all caught up, and like me, eagerly awaiting Body of Evidence, book 3 in the series.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

(Thanks to Revell for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)