Tag Archive | Romantic Suspense

The Spotless Series

Spotless Series by Camilla Monk

Action & Adventure/Romantic Suspense

 

Spotless (Book 1)

Beating Ruby (Book 2)

Crystal Whisperer (Book 3)

Butterfly in Amber (Book 4)

 

This series is actually a 5 book series, but the primary arch of the story is resolved in book 4.

Spotless

Overall Rating: 4 (xoxo)

Quick & Dirty summary: Island Chaptal is an ordinary, modern woman: an impressive IT Engineer by day, a romance bookworm by night. She’s surprised when she comes home one night to find a man standing in her living room organizing her tax returns. So begins Island’s adventures into the underworld and overworld of assassins, mercenaries, and CIA agents.

This series is wonderfully plotted. Each book is marvelous in its own right, although I enjoyed Book 2 the most. There is a murder mystery at the beginning of Beating Ruby, a lot of travel, but more importantly, a love triangle that is not drawn out but resolved with great integrity to the characters we’ve learned to love.

I will be honest and say that I didn’t like Island very much in Book 4. She is, in many ways, a completely different character at the beginning of Butterfly in Amber. She comes back to herself in this weird flash that was kind of unsettling to me. But in the end, I love the novel. There are so many surprises and twists. The whole series is like that, but Book 4, especially, has some great turns.

I cannot wait for the last book in the series! I love these characters and I love this author!

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $2.99 each, books 1-3 & $3.99 book 4; approximately $13 total)

Normally I’d never read a series of books that costs $13 for one storyline. But these books feel like watching James Bond movies or something similar. Honestly though, I didn’t pay that much money. The first three books I read for free on Kindle Unlimited and then I paid to read book 4. In all likelihood, I’ll be buying book 5 as well.

Something else you might enjoy:

Try Agnes & the Hitman by Jennifer Crusie. It’s a bit more romantic comedy than action, but the hero is a hitman, so there’s a bit of crossover there. The added bonus is this is a standalone novel.

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Dirty Thief Book Review & Release Blitz

 

 

Dirty Players by Tia Louise

Contemporary Romance

Dirty Thief (Book 4)

I received an early copy of this book and voluntarily wrote a review. Although this is book 4 in the series, it is a standalone novel.

Overall Rating: 3.5 (XXX)

Quick & Dirty summary: Ava Wilder is married to the King, and although she used to survive by stealing, she is dedicated to being the wife he needs. Rowan Tate is thankful he married the most beautiful woman he’s ever seen and he will stop at nothing to keep her, and his country, safe. But when Ava’s past begins to haunt her, and women she is connected to through tragedy wind up dead, she must work together with her husband to stop a killer.

This is the 4th book in a series and when I decided to read it, I had no idea that it was a part of a series or that the series was so long. While I could tell that there were backstories that I hadn’t read, I don’t think it detracted from my enjoyment of the novel. In fact, I really like that the story began with Ava and Rowan married. I love that it showed that even once you’re married, the adventure doesn’t end!

Overall this is a fun book. There is a bit of a murder mystery, but it isn’t too difficult to work out “who done it.” That being said, there is a bit of tragedy and suspense that adds some emotional depth to the book. This is layered with a lot of really hot sex scenes. What you get is a couple that seems to be tied to each other emotionally as well as physically, which is nice.

What I didn’t care for so much is how silly Ava acts toward the end. For a girl who spent her childhood in foster homes and on the streets, she doesn’t make the best decisions. There is also a kind of awkwardness in portraying Ava as a sweet, caring person. Tia Louise backs up her characterization of Ava as sweet with some great actions and descriptions, but they seem stilted to me. This might just be me and you won’t have any problems with it.

I think I would have had more of an investment in the novel had I read the entire series. As I mentioned, it’s not necessary to appreciate the book, but I think I would love the characters a bit more because I’d have spent more time with them. That’s the great thing about series!

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $2.99 Release Day Only)

If you’ve been following the series, then of course you need to buy it! But, if you haven’t read the other books, I’d hold off, even with the sale price. While it’s good as a standalone, I think it would be well worth the money to wait and read the other books in the series to further the fun.

Something else you might enjoy:

If you’d like to try a historical romance novel, try Christina Skye’s Come the Night. In this one, the hero is a highwayman, so it’s a nice little inversion of the thief theme.

Title: Dirty Thief
Series: Dirty Players #4
Author: Tia Louise
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Release Date: April 25, 2017

 

Blurb
DIRTY * SEXY * SCANDALOUS 

What do you get when you mix a brooding king with a sexy pickpocket? Not your usual fairytale.
Ava Wilder is beautiful, she lives in a pink castle, and she’s a thief. Rowan Westringham Tate loves power, speed, and Ava.
Their romance is straight out of a dirty Cinderella story, until the one man Ava is running from shows up to claim what she stole—or to claim her.
Now Ava might be forced to take another thing to protect her happily ever after… A life. 
DIRTY THIEF is a white-hot CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE in the “Dirty Players” universe. It features secrets, lies, a touch of darkness, and scorching-hot sexy times. Prepare for frequent panty changes, frantic clicking, and rapid breathing until the end. Mature readers only.

Purchase Links

$2.99 for release day only

AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

B&N / KOBO / iBOOKS

GOOGLE PLAY

 

 

 

Trailer
Excerpt
© TLM Productions LLC, 2017
Rowan
Moving my mouth, I devour her. She keeps pace with me, and while our bodies are wet and slippery, our mouths are inseparable. Lips move, tongues chase. I pull her full upper lip between my teeth, and she sucks my bottom lip into her mouth. We’re making out like teenagers, and I move closer, cupping her ass to pull her flush against me.
My knees bend, and her hand drops between us, grasping my erection and sliding up and down. I groan into her mouth, and her tongue slides along the seam of mine. Her hand moves faster, and I grip the back of her head, fisting her hair. She’s working me, and it feels fucking amazing.
“Ava,” I groan, breaking away, dropping my chin to kiss her shoulder.
She kisses my neck, just before I feel her teeth against my skin, just before she pulls it into her mouth. She’s sucking my neck, jacking me off, and fuck, I’m so close to coming.
My fingers tighten, and I pull her head back. “I need to be inside you.”
Dilated eyes heavy with desire meet mine. “Take me to bed.”
Holding her around the waist, I lift us both from the hot water, grabbing the white terry robe off the hook as we pass. I drape it around Ava’s shoulders before easing her back onto the enormous king-sized bed. She’s on her back, her head on the pillow, and I brace my hands at her sides. My eyes skim over her naked body, lightly pink from the water, scuffed from my beard. Then I lean down to consume her mouth again.
Her lips part, and our tongues stroke and taste. I’m ravenous for her. My frustration and tension once more finds release in most pleasurable way. Her fingers grip my arms, and I dip my tongue into her cherry-mint sweetness. I haven’t stopped kissing her since we entered the bath, but now I’m wanting another taste.
Moving down her body, I stop at her breasts, pulling one nipple into my mouth, circling my tongue, teasing her tip. Her back arches, and she moans. I kiss my way to the other side and pull another stiff peak between my lips, nipping and sucking. I want to mark her. I want to cover her creamy skin in blistering red marks of passion.
“You’re delicious,” I sigh, kissing the top of her ribs. Lavender oil scents her skin.
She laughs and pulls away. “Tickles!”
I smile as I continue to the center of her torso to circle my tongue around her navel before going lower. I kiss her hipbone, biting and sucking another red mark before settling down between her thighs. Holding her hips, I spread her open. A glance up, and I see her stomach rising and falling rapidly with her breaths. Anticipation is the strongest aphrodisiac.
Holding my lips just above her clit, I allow my breath to warm her body. I lightly brush my lips along the crease at the top of her thigh.
She squirms and sighs. “Rowan…”I love driving her crazy. I love keeping her happy. I want nothing more than Ava Wilder-Tate saying my name in that exact note of need and eagerness every time.

 

Author Bio

Tia Louise is the Award-Winning, International Bestselling author of the ONE TO HOLD series.

 
From “Readers’ Choice” nominations, to USA Today “Happily Ever After” nods, to winning the 2015 “Favorite Erotica Author” and the 2014 “Lady Boner Award” (LOL!), nothing makes her happier than communicating with fans and weaving new tales into the Alexander-Knight world of stories.
 
A former journalist, Louise lives in the center of the USA with her lovely family and one grumpy cat. There, she dreams up stories she hopes are engaging, hot, and sexy, and that cause readers rethink common public locations…
 
Books by Tia Louise
 
The One to Hold Series:
One to Hold (Derek & Melissa), 2013
One to Keep (Patrick & Elaine), 2014
One to Protect (Derek & Melissa), 2014
One to Love (Kenny & Slayde), 2014
One to Leave (Stuart & Mariska), 2014
One to Save (Derek & Melissa), 2015
One to Chase (Amy & Marcus), 2015
One to Take (Stuart & Mariska), 2016
 
The Dirty Players Series:
The Prince & The Player, 2016
A Player for A Princess, 2016
Dirty Dealers, 2017
Dirty Thief, April 25, 2017
 
Paranormal Romances:
One Immortal (Derek & Melissa, #SexyVampires), 2015
One Insatiable (Koa & Mercy, #SexyShifters), 2015ORDER SIGNED COPIES

Never miss a New Release!

1 – Sign up for Tia’s Book News here

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Author Links

Killer Style Series Book Blitz

Killer Style Book Blitz

https://youtu.be/3dQs9WaxAPo

 

Killer Temptation

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Security expert Tony Falcon has never had a problem keeping his distance from his clients–until now. When his murder investigation leads him to a feisty fashionista in need of a bodyguard, he realizes he may have met his match. Going undercover as Sylvie’s boyfriend might be his best chance at catching the criminals who killed his best friend, but soon his attraction to her–and the danger she’s in–has him wondering if solving the case is worth it…

Sylvie Bissette has a closely guarded secret–she’s the woman behind a must-read blog for fashionistas everywhere. When an internet troll discovers her secret identity and escalates from stalking her to threatening her life, she turns to Tony for help. The sexy investigator from the other side of the tracks is the olive oil to her Evian water and aggravates her to no end. But if they want to find her revenge-obsessed stalker before Sylvie ends up with a literal knife in the back, they’ll have to learn to work together.

Amazon | B&N | iBooks | Kobo | Goodreads

 

Killer Attraction

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Devin Harris may have given up his MMA fighting dreams, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t always in control. So when someone embezzles millions under his watch, he isn’t going to let the private investigator working the case go it alone–even if she is the woman who blew him away in bed and then blew him off.</span>

A fighter since birth, Allegra “Ryder” Falcon would rather trade in her all-black wardrobe for head-to-toe hot pink than let anyone ever see the cracks in her tough exterior. So when she finally gets an assignment she can prove herself on, she’s horrified to realize it’s with her one-night stand. The one she hasn’t been able to forget. Too much is at stake for her to walk, but staying means risking more than just her life…

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Killer Charm

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Former special ops-turned private-investigator Cam Hardy leaves a trail of broken hearts wherever he goes. He’s all charm and sex appeal, and who can blame him for putting it to good use? Besides, it works damn well on the stunning and tough-as-nails makeup artist Drea Sanford. Only this time, Cam may be in over his head…
Drea is trying to keep her naughty affair with Cam a secret. After all, he’s Harbor City’s version of a Casanova…if Casanova had a motorcycle. When Cam makes their hot little liaison known to the public, however, Drea vows never to have sex with him again. Then one of her clients turns up dead. Now Drea is suspect number one–and she needs Cam’s help. But sleeping with him is one thing…trusting him is quite another.

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Killer Seduction

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Mika Ito combines her two favorite things in life–textile design and live-action role-playing (LARP)–by creating costumes for her fellow Magic Battledome gamers. Lately, someone’s been assaulting LARPers and stealing their costumes. Concerned for the safety of her friends, Mika hires Maltese Security…only to discover that the lead investigator is the super-hot stranger she just hooked up with.</p>

Carlos Castillo is all too familiar with Magic Battledome. A former legend in role-playing circles, he was all about gaming, until things went very, very wrong for him. Now he’s forced to return to the game undercover–as Mika’s boyfriend–to find some answers. Only playing “boyfriend” with his gorgeous one-night stand is more temptation than a guy can withstand…

Someone wants the costumes enough to kill for them. And when it comes to murder, nothing is what it seems…

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About Avery Flynn:

 When Avery Flynn isn’t writing about alpha heroes and the women who tame them, she is desperately hoping someone invents the coffee IV drip. She has three slightly-wild children, loves a hockey-addicted husband and has a slight shoe addiction. Find out more about Avery on her website, follow her on Twitter, like her on her Facebook page or friend her on her Facebook profile. Also, if you figure out how to send Oreos through the Internet, she’ll be your best friend for life. Contact her at avery@averyflynn.com. She’d love to hear from you.

Connect with Avery:

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads | Newsletter

Review of It’s In His Arms

Red River Valley Series by Shelly Alexander

Contemporary Romance

 

It’s In His Arms (Book 4)

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I also reviewed the third book in this series, It’s In His Smile, which you can read here.

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P.S. I love all the graphics for this book, including the cover. Much better than the previous book!

Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty summary: Lorenda Lawson knows all about sexy-alpha types. She married one and was ignored for years as her husband choose his band of brothers over her and their two kids. After his death, Lorenda put together a tidy life, and while she’s barely holding on by a thread, at least one of her dreams is set to come true. However, when someone threatens her, her sexy brother-in-law, and her husband’s identical twin, drives up on his motorcycle just in time to save the day. But Lorenda is done with men who can’t commit, even if she can’t help but melt when she’s in his arms.

There is a lot going on in this novel and while there is a hint of romantic suspense, it is very much focused on the redemption of troublemaker Mitchell Lawson. I like the overlay of romantic suspense since I enjoy the thrill of it all, but it isn’t really a mystery as to who is behind the threats to Lorenda. Instead, the threat acts as a catalyst for feelings and characters to be revealed. I think this is really effective and Shelly Alexander did a good job of having the personalities of Mitchell and Lorenda come out through action, rather than just dialogue.

While many romance novels have Navy SEALs and/or military men as the star heroes, I like that this novel focuses on Mitchell’s history as a young boy and teenager, rather than trauma sustained during the war. PTSD is a very serious illness, but everyone has a past and a history before they joined the military. Mitchell’s character development isn’t so much development as it is character revelations. He was always a great guy, it’s just a matter of whether anyone sees that in him. This crux creates a deeper relationship between Mitchell and Lorenda.

As with all series, it is fun to catch up with character from previous novels. But the major surprise for this novel is the town of Red River Valley seemed to be a character all its own and it is more of a villain. While I’ve only read two of the four books in this series, Red River Valley doesn’t come across as that great of a place to live. Sure the characters say they love living there, but in general it doesn’t seem like the larger population is all that nice. This is surprising, and in some ways refreshing, because most romance novels have a kind of idyllic feel when they are set in small towns.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $3.99)

Yes. This is a well-written novel with a lot of subtly to it. Plus, you can get it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited, which is always worth it!

Something else you might enjoy:

When He was Wicked by Julia Quinn is the sixth book in the Bridgerton Series and I love this book and the entire series. It has a similar storyline except instead of twins the men are close cousins and it’s a historical romance. I cannot say enough about this series, so you should definitely give this a try.

The Widow’s Promise

The Widows Series by Roselyn Beck

Historical Romance

 

The Widow’s Promise

I received a free copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

the-widows-promise

Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)

Quick & Dirty summary: Lady Grace Grayson is the quintessential Victorian woman. Polite, reserved, and modest, Grace is used to men dictating where she goes and what she does. However, now that she is a young widow, Grace is learning to live on her own. When she accepts an invitation to Rocksavage Manor she doesn’t expect her control and her virtue to be challenged by the exotic Kyle Calshot. She also doesn’t expect to be shot at or poisoned. The fierce attraction between Kyle and Grace is threatening Grace’s long-held control and is making it difficult to focus on finding who wants Grace dead. Kyle, heir to a Maori tribe and an English title, struggles to protect Grace while giving her the long-awaited freedom she desires. As secrets are revealed and lives hang in the balance, Grace must decide if she can trust her life, her reputation, and her heart to Kyle.

My favorite part of this novel was the inclusion of New Zealand culture. So often historical romances focus on Europe it is like the rest of the world doesn’t exist. While I cannot vouch for the book’s accuracy in portraying New Zealand or English attitudes towards New Zealanders, I still love that aspect of the novel.

Grace goes through quite a lot of character development throughout the novel, which has to be my second favorite aspect of the story. Kyle seems to struggle with a few things, but by and large seems to remain the same—it is really Grace who takes the trials and tribulations she faces as opportunities to further develop her character and personality. The friends she makes also help her in that endeavor, while laying a great framework for the next books in the series.

There are quite a few grammatical issues in the copy I received, but it wasn’t enough to bother me or prevent me from understanding what was going on in the story. What I didn’t really care for was the leap in Kyle and Grace’s relationship. The romance seemed to develop in fits and starts and threw me for a loop a time or two. While I enjoy a good mystery, the love story between the two characters should seem natural.

The mystery and suspense itself was rather straightforward. I anticipated who was in on the murder plot and where the important pieces where hiding, so in that sense it didn’t excite me too much. But, I don’t think of that as necessarily a bad thing. The pacing of the novel is pretty quick with lots of action and adventure. The secondary characters are interesting and well developed so the rest of the series promises to be good as well. Overall, this was a fun book to read.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $2.99)

If you enjoy Victorian romance novels AND romantic suspense then you should buy this book. There is non-stop mystery and I haven’t read too many Victorian romances that involve New Zealand and other areas of the world that were known to Europeans so it’s worth reading for that aspect.

Something else you might enjoy:

I love Amanda Quick’s Arcane Society series. It has mystery, suspense, and paranormal components that make the books fun to read.

Trust Me You’ll Like This

The Donovan Family by Margaret Watson

Romantic Suspense

I received this novel in exchange for an honest review. This was the only novel I received in exchange for an honest review of the seven book series. You can read my review of the first novel in the series here.

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Trust Me (Book 4)

Overall Rating: 4 (sXe)

 

Quick & Dirty summary: Raine Taylor knows who killed her sister. The problem is the police aren’t willing to investigate. With a black belt in tae kwon do, Raine has a plan to catch the killer and doesn’t need a homicide detective getting in her way. Detective Connor Donovan is surprised when a female trespasser he’s caught disappears like a ninja, but he’s not thinking about that when he meets Raine, the coach of the police department’s community outreach program. The petite high school teacher isn’t a likely suspect for a stalker, but Connor can’t seem to get her off his mind.

This novel is a lot of fun. It is very suspenseful, but without falling into the normal plot patterns. There are obvious turns, which the characters follow, and when the climax of the novel happens, it’s really a surprise because all of the different plot lines come together in an interesting way.

That being said, what I really liked about this novel is the way Margaret Watson dealt with a very touchy subject for me within the romance genre. The first sex scene is one driven out of anger and frustration. Raine says “I’m not interested” and Connor calls her a “liar” and goes about proving her wrong. The problem with this scene for me is consent. While everything in the description of the sex scene screams, I want you, I want you, what Raine says is clear. At no point in the scene does she change her mind and say yes, despite her participation in the act.

This is a very common scene with the alpha male hero. While the heroine may protest verbally, the hero knows what she really wants even if she won’t admit it. Does this legally mean it is rape? I don’t know and while for some people it’s an important point, to me the issue isn’t legal but psychological. There is nothing worse than your mind and body being in conflict. And there is nothing more demeaning to me, than someone you should trust not trusting you to know your own mind and body in return. It doesn’t really matter that the heroine secretly wants the hero—sex should be an act of mutual trust and intimacy.

So, with this being the first sex scene of the novel, I did not want to continue the novel. I have to tell you right now that I am so glad I finished it. Watson actually goes into the effects of such an interaction. Both Connor and Raine have negative reactions to this, which continues into their relationship. Raine thinks to herself that Connor “made her helpless. She’d been furious with him, and he’d made her want him. That was the most terrifying part of the fight.” That sex scene was not the kind of intimacy to build a relationship, and Connor and Raine had to make conscious decisions to move away from that kind of engagement. Connor, likewise, feels regret and shame. Watson makes it clear that there is a psychological impact with sex and while the first sex scene is full of chemistry, it may not be enough to drive a relationship forward. Watson handled this common romance scene with nuance and it won me over.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle $4.99)

This is a full-length novel romantic suspense. The quality writing and character development make it worth the slightly odd price.

Something else you might enjoy:

I can’t think of another novel with this strong of a heroine and this depth of relationship nuance. So please, suggest one of your own to me.

Love Me, Love the Donovan Family

The Donovan Family by Margaret Watson

Romantic Suspense

 

Love Me (Book 1)

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Overall Rating: 3.5 (sXe)

 

Quick & Dirty summary: Helen Brody is trying not to think about whether the car that drove right through her office walls was accelerating or not. A good distraction walks through the door when Jamie Evans turns out to be the general contractor who is hired to repair her office. She has never forgotten the one night she spent with Jamie and it turns out that Jamie hasn’t forgotten either. Jamie is ready to pick up where they left off, but Helen is concerned that he could never be happy with her in the long run. As a person continues to threaten Helen, Jamie has to convince Helen not only to give their relationship a chance, but to let him protect her until her life is no longer in danger.

This was a very fast-paced book. While there is conflict between Helen and Jamie, it isn’t long and drawn out. The fact that Helen and Jamie’s relationship began off-page prior to the start of the novel adds perceived length to a relatively short book (122 pages). Another component that I like about this suspense is that there isn’t a lot of mystery, but there is a lot of action and suspense. The question isn’t who the perpetrator is, but when and where he will strike.

With the short length of the book, it is difficult to get a real sense of the primary characters. Certainly the secondary characters, or the other Donovan’s, are described with strong characteristics. In some ways this makes them caricatures, but in other ways it makes sense since the rest of the series centers around these people. I am looking forward to reading more from this series to see how the characters evolve or develop.

Is it worth buying? (Kindle Free)

Yes, you saw that correctly! This book is free. And yes, it is worth buying!

Something else you might enjoy:

If you like a series about law enforcement, then try Julie James’ FBI/US Attorney series. While I haven’t reviewed them here, I enjoyed all of the books. The main characters are not related and all of the novels are standalones, though interconnected, but they are all involved in law enforcement.