Tag Archives: romantic suspense fiction

Audiobook Mini-Review: A Stranger’s Game

28 Nov

My book club chose A Stranger’s Game by Colleen Coble as our selection this month. I have to be honest and say this romantic suspense was just okay. I did like main characters Torie and Joe (and Joe’s daughter was a delight), and they made a good couple as they sought to discover the source of a number of threats. I guess the author believed that stalkers, attacks, and a couple of murders, etc. — all seemingly unconnected — would prove hard for them and the reader to discover just whodunit. I figured out a couple early into the novel. I wanted to shout “check out so-and-so”! 😉 The Jekyll Island setting was wonderful as it is one of my favorite places to visit. It was easy to visualize all the places the characters went, since I’ve been there too. While the suspense was too easy to solve (in my opinion), the romance was good. I genuinely liked Torie and Joe, and liked how they overcame obstacles and doubts to choose a future together. Specific to the audiobook: I think the narrator did a good job with accents, pacing, and expression.

Audience: Adults.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Wealthy hotel heiress Torie Bergstrom comes to Jekyll Island certain her friend Lisbeth’s death wasn’t an accident—but Torie gets more than she bargained for when the killer begins to play mind games with her in this gripping new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

Even though Torie Bergstrom hasn’t been back to Georgia since she was ten, she was happy to arrange a job for her best friend at one of the family properties on Jekyll Island. But when Torie learns that Lisbeth has drowned, she knows it is more than a tragic accident: Lisbeth was terrified of water and wouldn’t have gone swimming by choice.

Torie goes to the hotel under an alias, desperate to find answers. When she meets Joe Abbott and his daughter while they are rescuing baby sea turtles, she can only hope they are as trustworthy as they seem. And when someone begins to play mind games with her, proving they know her real identity, Torie couldn’t be more grateful to have an ally.

The more Torie and Joe dig, the more elusive the truth seems. But one thing is clear: someone will risk anything—even another murder—to keep their secrets buried.

Best-selling author Colleen Coble‘s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 4 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at http://colleencoble.com.

First Line Friday — Caught In The Crosshairs (from Targeted)

18 Nov

Happy Friday! Today I am featuring Caught in The Crosshairs by Natalie Walters, the final story in the novella collection Targeted. This book is perfect if you are looking for romantic suspense for your holiday reading — it is full of fast-paced action and of course some serious romantic chemistry. Each novella is hard to put down, so when you start one make sure you have some time set aside.

Here’s the first line:

“Only six Thursdays left.”

Get ready for triple the excitement, intrigue, and romance with three heart-stopping stories from your favorite romantic suspense authors! 

In On the Run, Lynette Eason introduces you to IT Specialist Daria Nevsky, a highly skilled FBI agent with the ability to hack any computer. She must go on the run to find out who wants her dead–and Dr. Ryker Donahue refuses to let her do it alone.

In Deadly Objective, Lynn H. Blackburn throws physical therapist Emily Dixon and Secret Service Agent Liam Harper into an impossible situation. They don’t know why the vice president’s son seems to be in the crosshairs of a killer, but they’ll sacrifice anything to keep him safe.

In Caught in the Crosshairs, Natalie Walters pits former Army PSYOPS officer Ari Blackman against his colleague, CIA officer Claudia Gallegos, when Claudia is implicated in the murder of a Saudi prince. Can he prevent a coup that would put America at risk?

Book Review: Targeted

16 Nov

Not one, not two, but three of my favorite romantic suspense authors are represented in Targeted. Lynette Eason, Lynn H. Blackburn, and Natalie Walters present novellas featuring minor characters from one of their books. All three stories are full of all the good stuff you love from these authors — chase scenes, danger around every corner, and of course some serious romantic sparks. Targeted is perfect for holiday reading when you want a fun book, but may not have all the time or energy to devote to a full length novel. I loved it!

Get ready for triple the excitement, intrigue, and romance with three heart-stopping stories from your favorite romantic suspense authors! 

In On the Run, Lynette Eason introduces you to IT Specialist Daria Nevsky, a highly skilled FBI agent with the ability to hack any computer. She must go on the run to find out who wants her dead–and Dr. Ryker Donahue refuses to let her do it alone.

In Deadly Objective, Lynn H. Blackburn throws physical therapist Emily Dixon and Secret Service Agent Liam Harper into an impossible situation. They don’t know why the vice president’s son seems to be in the crosshairs of a killer, but they’ll sacrifice anything to keep him safe.

In Caught in the Crosshairs, Natalie Walters pits former Army PSYOPS officer Ari Blackman against his colleague, CIA officer Claudia Gallegos, when Claudia is implicated in the murder of a Saudi prince. Can he prevent a coup that would put America at risk?

Award-winning, best-selling author, Lynette Eason writes for Harlequin’s Love Inspired Suspense line and for Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group. Her books have hit the Publisher’s Weekly, CBA and ECPA bestseller lists and have won numerous awards such as the prestigious Carol Award, the Selah, the Daphne, the IRCC award and more. Lynette is married, has two children, and lives in Greenville, SC.

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! 

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.

From Natalie Walters via Amazon:

My world revolves around GIJOE and our three adult (or almost adult) children who keep my life anything but predictable. Our boots hit the ground wherever the Army sends us but home is when we’re all together no matter the zipcode. My passion is writing stories where adventure meets love and share my belief that life rooted in purpose is a story worth telling.

My Impressions:

Targeted is a novella collection from 3 of my favorite romantic suspense authors. It was fun revisiting some of their series through the stories of secondary characters now transformed as mains. I have read all the books that these characters played a role in, but knowledge of their history isn’t a must. In fact, the stories would be a great introduction to those authors you may not have read before. All 3 novellas are quick reads full of octane-laden action, but each has a unique storyline that will keep you turning the pages. As in most novellas the plot is quick to build and fast on resolution. Characters may not have been as developed as in full length novels, but I found each of them appealing in their own ways. And if you are a fan of romance, then you will love this collection. There is definite sizzle between the couples! Faith is an important element as well — natural, yet not preachy.

At this busy time of the year, I appreciate being able to escape into a book, yet not be so committed that I neglect holiday chores that really do need to be accomplished. You can read each in a 2-3 day span. Or if you are a binger, 1 a day is definitely doable. 😉

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

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

First Line Friday — Deadly Objective (from Targeted)

11 Nov

Happy Friday! Today I am continuing to spotlight the romantic suspense novella collection Targeted. Today’s first line comes from Deadly Objective by Lynn H. Blackburn. I hope to begin this one today!

Here’s the first line:

Emily Dixon nodded at the Secret Service agent standing post inside the front door of the vice president’s home.

Get ready for triple the excitement, intrigue, and romance with three heart-stopping stories from your favorite romantic suspense authors! 

In On the Run, Lynette Eason introduces you to IT Specialist Daria Nevsky, a highly skilled FBI agent with the ability to hack any computer. She must go on the run to find out who wants her dead–and Dr. Ryker Donahue refuses to let her do it alone.

In Deadly Objective, Lynn H. Blackburn throws physical therapist Emily Dixon and Secret Service Agent Liam Harper into an impossible situation. They don’t know why the vice president’s son seems to be in the crosshairs of a killer, but they’ll sacrifice anything to keep him safe.

In Caught in the Crosshairs, Natalie Walters pits former Army PSYOPS officer Ari Blackman against his colleague, CIA officer Claudia Gallegos, when Claudia is implicated in the murder of a Saudi prince. Can he prevent a coup that would put America at risk?

Top 10 Tuesday — Series Finished And Unfinished

8 Nov

Happy Tuesday! This week’s TTT topic is book series we need to finish. Unfortunately, I have more than a few and have featured this topic on more than one occasion. So, I decided along with the remaining books in series that deserve to be read, I would feature a couple of series that I completed recently. Not sure which is better — to have the satisfaction of finally reading that last book or to have one more to look forward to. 😉 As an aside, don’t you love how the book covers within each series coordinate?

For more from other bloggers, please visit That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Series Finished And Unfinished

Recently Finished

A Murder in The Mountains by Heather Day Gilbert

I finished False Pretense on the last day of my UK vacation in September. It was a fun book to take along on the planes, trains and automobiles in England and Scotland.

Natchez Park Rangers by Patricia Bradley.

Deception was the last book in this series, and it provided a lot of twists and turns. It definitely was a good finish to an excellent series.

Unfinished

Triple Threat by Irene Hannon

I have the last book of this series, Body of Evidence, yet to read. Hannon is one of my favorites, and I hope to get to it in the next few weeks.

The Snap Agency by Natalie Walters

I am actually up to date with this series — Blind Trust is set to release in April of 2023. I feel good about myself with this one. LOL!

Extreme Measures by Lynette Eason

I am only one book down in this series, since Critical Threat won’t release until January 2023. I better get a move on! Crossfire is in my Audible queue.

Missing in Alaska by Elizabeth Goddard

With this series I am in really good stead because book one doesn’t release until February 2023. So I haven’t finished yet, because it hasn’t started! 🙂 Seriously, I never want to miss a book by Elizabeth Goddard!

First Line Friday — On The Run (From Targeted)

4 Nov

Happy Friday! I am off on another road trip and there’s nothing better than to take along not 1, not 2, but 3 different stories! In my case I am traveling with Targeted, a novella collection by Lynette Eason, Lynn H. Blackburn, and Natalie Walters. All three authors are my favorites. I can’t get enough of their unique brand f romantic suspense. Today and the following two weeks I am featuring the first line from each novella. Hope it piques your interest!

Here’s the first line from On The Run by Lynette Eason.

Daria Nevsky slammed the door of there Ford F-150 truck and tucked her jacket under her chin to ward off the chill of the November wind.

Get ready for triple the excitement, intrigue, and romance with three heart-stopping stories from your favorite romantic suspense authors! 

In On the Run, Lynette Eason introduces you to IT Specialist Daria Nevsky, a highly skilled FBI agent with the ability to hack any computer. She must go on the run to find out who wants her dead–and Dr. Ryker Donahue refuses to let her do it alone.

In Deadly Objective, Lynn H. Blackburn throws physical therapist Emily Dixon and Secret Service Agent Liam Harper into an impossible situation. They don’t know why the vice president’s son seems to be in the crosshairs of a killer, but they’ll sacrifice anything to keep him safe.

In Caught in the Crosshairs, Natalie Walters pits former Army PSYOPS officer Ari Blackman against his colleague, CIA officer Claudia Gallegos, when Claudia is implicated in the murder of a Saudi prince. Can he prevent a coup that would put America at risk?

Spotlight On Romantic Suspense — Deadly Conclusion

3 Nov

Deadly Conclusion JustRead Blog + Review Tour
I’m happy to be sharing the Blog + Review Tour for Deadly Conclusion by Kathy Harris, hosted by JustRead Publicity Tours!

ABOUT THE BOOK

Deadly Conclusion

Title: Deadly Conclusion
Series: Deadly Secrets #3
Author: Kathy Harris
Publisher: Iron Stream Fiction
Release Date: November 2, 2022
Genre: Christian Romantic Suspense

A Fast-Paced Suspense Book You Can’t Put Down

In the thrilling conclusion of the “Deadly Secrets” series, search and rescue dog trainer Keely Lambert breaks in Titan, a new shepherd, during a rescue mission to find little Conner Wells. Aided by childhood friend, Beau Gardner of the TBI, who is also Conner’s uncle, Keely finds the boy deep inside Metropolitan Nashville’s Beaman Park.

But Conner is not all that Keely finds. On the way back to the welcome center, she notices something sticking out of the dirt—the military dog tags of her father who disappeared more than two decades before.

The discovery sets Keely on a hunt to unearth her father’s killer, only to be thwarted by multiple setbacks—the murder of Beau’s father, the kidnapping of her mother, and her kennel being set on fire in the middle of the night. After Keely is kidnapped, Beau leads a manhunt to find her before the outcome reaches a “deadly conclusion.”

PURCHASE LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | BookDepository | IndieBound | Christianbook

EXCERPT

Titan paced back and forth in the rear compartment of Keely Lambert’s white SUV. The black German Shepherd seemed to know instinctively this was no training session. Keely’s lead S&R dog, Ruby, had strained a ligament and couldn’t work for at least another week. And Pearl, her second in line, was a week or two within delivering a litter. That left Titan, Keely’s two-year-old prodigy, to do his best. A six-year-old boy’s life depended on it. 

Connor Wells had wandered away from his family while visiting A. G. Beaman Park near Ashland City, just north of Nashville, and the timing couldn’t have been worse. Not only because this was Titan’s first run, but because today’s seventy-degree weather, unusual for Nashville in late December, would be dropping below freezing tonight and several inches of snow were expected tomorrow morning. 

Keely glanced at the clock on the dashboard of her Forester Wilderness. It was already after three o’clock. She would soon be running out of daylight. 


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kathy Harris

Kathy Harris is an author by way of a “divine detour” into the Nashville entertainment business where she works as a marketing director. For several years she freelanced entertainer biographies and wrote news stories and columns for various music publications.

Connect with Kathy by visiting kathyharrisbooks.com to follow her on social media or subscribe to email newsletter updates.


TOUR GIVEAWAY

(1) winner will receive a $35 Amazon gift card and a signed copy of Deadly Conclusion.

Deadly Conclusion JustRead Giveaway

Full tour schedule linked below. The giveaway begins at midnight November 1, 2022 and will last through 11:59 PM EST on November 8, 2022. 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

Book Review: Deception

2 Nov

The Natchez Trace Park Rangers series by Patricia Bradley has come to an end with the 4th installment, Deception. If you thought the other books in this series were filled with twists and turns, hold on to your seat with this one. Recommended!

After being forced to kill an FBI agent gone rogue in self-defense while working in the violent crimes unit for the Investigative Services Branch, ranger Madison Thorn is comfortable with her move to the fraud and cyber division. At least numbers don’t lie. So she’s less than thrilled when a white-collar crime investigation in Natchez, Mississippi, turns violent. She could also do without being forced to work with former-childhood-enemy-turned-infuriatingly-handsome park ranger Clayton Bradshaw.

When a woman who looks just like Madison is attacked on the same night Madison’s grandfather is shot, it becomes clear that there is something much bigger going on here and that Madison herself is in danger. Madison and Clayton will have to work together–and suppress their growing feelings for one another–if they are to discover the truth before it’s too late.

USA Today best-selling author, Patricia Bradley is the recipient numerous awards, including an Inspirational Readers’ Choice Award in suspense, a Selah winner, was a Carol and a Daphne du Maurier finalist. Her romantic suspense novels include the Logan Pointseries, the Memphis Cold Case Novels, and the Natchez Trace Park Rangers. She is now hard at work on the second book in her new Pearl River series set in the Cumberland Plateau area above Chattanooga. The first book in the series, Counter Attack will release in mid-2023.

She has conducted writing workshops for American Christian Fiction Writers, the Mid-South Christian Writer’s Conference, the KenTen and Scrivener retreats (where she was the keynote), the Memphis American Christian Fiction Writer group, and the Bartlett Christian Writers group. 

She and her two cats call Northeast Mississippi home–the South is also where she sets most of her books, and when she has time, she likes to throw mud on a wheel and see what happens.

My Impressions:

Deception, the 4th and final book in Patricia Bradley’s Natchez Trace Park Rangers series, marks the end of a great reading run. I enjoyed the previous 3 books, but this novel outdid them with its twisting, turning plot. I won’t spoil it for you, but hold on to your seat. You will not guess what is coming for the characters. This romantic suspense features main characters Madison Thorn and Clayton Bradshaw, both law enforcement agents with the National Park Service. I really liked the glimpse the series gave the reader into the workings of law enforcement at our national parks and historic sites. I didn’t realize all the that it could entail. Madison investigates white color crime, and that is what brings her to Natchez. There is interagency cooperation, but subsequent events become very personal and Madison and Clayton join forces to find out whodunit. There are several plot threads that seem disconnected, but a savvy suspense reader knows that most things intersect, or in this case become incredibly tangled. The mysteries, yes there are more than one, keep the characters and the reader on their toes. I liked these main characters and cheered them on as they sped from one crime scene to another. I also cheered as they moved their relationship forward. Both are Christians, as are others in the book, but on differing faith journeys. I found the support from other believers to be a great addition to the narrative. Themes such as identity, guilt, and loss are explored. The varying reactions of different characters in similar situations was interesting. The question arises why do some become bitter or turn from God, while others embrace Him?

Since Deception is the final book in the series, now is a good opportunity for some serious binge-reading. I recommend the entire series for fans of romantic suspense.

Recommended.

Audience: Adults.

(I received a complimentary copy of Deception through NetGalley. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

November Book Club Pick — A Stranger’s Game

1 Nov

This month finds my book club reading its favorite genre — suspense. I love the twists and turns of a puzzling whodunit. Add in some threat of danger to life and limb and I am in! November’s selection is A Stranger’s Game by Colleen Coble, one of my favorite authors. Find out all about it below. Have you read it? We would love to know your thoughts.

Wealthy hotel heiress Torie Bergstrom comes to Jekyll Island certain her friend Lisbeth’s death wasn’t an accident—but Torie gets more than she bargained for when the killer begins to play mind games with her in this gripping new novel from USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble.

Even though Torie Bergstrom hasn’t been back to Georgia since she was ten, she was happy to arrange a job for her best friend at one of the family properties on Jekyll Island. But when Torie learns that Lisbeth has drowned, she knows it is more than a tragic accident: Lisbeth was terrified of water and wouldn’t have gone swimming by choice.

Torie goes to the hotel under an alias, desperate to find answers. When she meets Joe Abbott and his daughter while they are rescuing baby sea turtles, she can only hope they are as trustworthy as they seem. And when someone begins to play mind games with her, proving they know her real identity, Torie couldn’t be more grateful to have an ally.

The more Torie and Joe dig, the more elusive the truth seems. But one thing is clear: someone will risk anything—even another murder—to keep their secrets buried.

Best-selling author Colleen Coble‘s novels have won or finaled in awards ranging from the Best Books of Indiana, the ACFW Carol Award, the Romance Writers of America RITA, the Holt Medallion, the Daphne du Maurier, National Readers’ Choice, and the Booksellers Best. She has over 4 million books in print and writes romantic mysteries because she loves to see justice prevail. Colleen is CEO of American Christian Fiction Writers. She lives with her husband Dave in Indiana. Visit her website at http://colleencoble.com.

Top 10 Tuesday — Seriously Bad Bad Guys

1 Nov

This week’s TTT topic, bad guys you love to hate, was a no-go for me. I read a lot of suspense, and I usually cheer when the bad guys die or at least get put in jail. 😉 These books generally feature serial killers, terrorists, drug/human traffickers — basically seriously bad bad guys. I did a search of my posts with bad guys and creep-factor as the search terms. Yikes! I found a few that won’t give you nightmares, but some need a nightlight on as you read. I hope you find a book with bad guys to love.

For more bloggers’ bad guy vibes, check out That Artsy Reader Girl.

Top Books Featuring Seriously Bad Bad Guys

Chasing The White Lion by James R. Hannibal

Coming of Winter by Tom Threadgill

The Deadly Shallows by Dani Pettrey

Fatal Code by Natalie Walters

Legacy of Lies by Christy Barritt

Life Flight by Lynette Eason

Night Fall by Nancy Mehl

Obsession by Patricia Bradley

Over The Line by Kelly Irvin

Present Danger by Elizabeth Goddard