Archive for the ‘Romantic Suspense’ Category

Defending the Eyewitness-Rachel Lee

April 7, 2014

Defending the Eyewitness
Rachel Lee
Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Apr 1 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373278657

Austin Mendez struggles with readapting to living as a civilian in Conard County, Wyoming after spending six years undercover in Mexico. Corey Donahue has doubts renting to Austin as she prefers college students to gruff dangerous looking men like him; but does so when Conard County Sheriff Gage Dalton vouches for his colleague and asks her as a favor.

To both their amazements, Austin and Corey are attracted to each other. They begin a heated relationship, but the cop inside him knows she hides more than her heart from him. When notes threatening Corey arrive, Austin vows to keep her safe.

The latest Conard County: The Next Generation (see Deadly Hunter and Reuniting with the Rancher) is an exciting romantic suspense. Especially fascinating is Austin’s adjustment to the light after years in the dark; Corey efforts also are intriguing but less developed as she struggles with lost childhood memory of a horror she witnessed; while the villain seems illogical (then again he is a psychopath). Readers will enjoy dining with these two troubled souls who find solace, love and ultimately trust with each other.

Harriet Klausner

Dash of Peril-Lori Foster

March 30, 2014

Dash of Peril
Lori Foster
Harlequin HQN, Mar 25 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373778577

In Warfield, Ohio police Lieutenant Margo Peterson diligently works on breaking up a vicious gang who videotapes their rapes to sell on the porno black market. Deciding the only way to get these brutal psychopaths is to offer herself as bait, Margo works the bar scene undercover. The brother of her subordinate Logan Riske (see Run The Risk) Dash keeps an eye on her over her objections. When Margo is attacked, Dash intervenes.

Already wanting to change their relationship from friend to lover, Dash nurses Margo as she recovers from her injuries. As she falls in love with him, Margo refuses to heed her heart as she knows first-hand how families behave.

The latest Love Undercover romantic suspense (see Getting Rowdy and Bare It All) is a fast-paced thriller that combines working the dangerous case with meeting the heroine’s family. Although the predators are underdeveloped, readers will appreciate this exhilarating tale due to the strong female cop who proves she has what it takes to readers, police, friends, sociopaths and especially her dashing beloved; everyone except perhaps her disapproving dad.

Harriet Klausner

The Legend Of Smuggler’s Cave-Paula Graves

March 18, 2014

The Legend Of Smuggler’s Cave
Paula Graves
Harlequin Intrigue, Mar 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373697533

Seven months ago in Ridge County, Johnny Blackwood was murdered for stealing from the Wayne Cortland crime network. His widow, Bitterwood PD rookie cop and single mom Briar Blackwood, diligently works at her new position with the help of Aunt Jenny who watches her three year old great-nephew Logan. Briar thwarts a house invasion but not before her aunt is injured protecting her frightened son from the intruder.

Prosecutor Dalton Hale believes the late Blackwood took information that could destroy the gang while fearing for the safety of the mom and child. He persuades Briar to move in with her son into his home. Also believing Johnny stole something valuable is Briar’s ambitious relative Blake Culpepper who plans to use his second cousin as an expendable pawn to obtain what was taken; as his goal is to run the local mob before it implodes.

The seventh Bitterwood P.D. romantic police procedural (see The Secret of Cherokee Cove, Blood on Copperhead Trail and Murder in the Smokies) is an exciting suspense; as saving the child places the growing attraction temporarily on hold. Briar moving into the prosecutor’s home to keep her son safe seems farfetched (even if he resided in a fortress at the top of the Smokey Mountains) especially her as a cop with stronger options at work. Still readers will enjoy this engaging contemporary.

Harriet Klausner

Diagnosis: Attraction-Rebecca York

March 18, 2014

Diagnosis: Attraction
Rebecca York
Harlequin Intrigue, Mar 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373697571

In Baltimore, the cops bring a Jane Doe one-car accident victim to Memorial Hospital. Dr. Matt Delano looks over her chart that shows no injuries except for a mild concussion and a total loss of memory. When he touches the amnesiac to read her pulse, both are flooded with her memories as she now knows she is Elizabeth Forester and recalls someone stalking her including ramming her head against her car yesterday. Both are stunned by what happened while he also feels remorse for breaching a doctor-patient ethical barrier and she has no idea why men trail her and assaulted her.

Though he resolves to keep his distance as the ethical thing in his mind to do, Matt finds it impossible to stay away from Elizabeth. As the patient and the physician fall in love, he resolutely risks his life to keep his Elizabeth safe.

The latest Mindbenders romantic paranormal mystery (see Bridal Jeopardy, Sudden Attraction and Sudden Insight) is an action-packed entry from that first touch until the climax. The lead couple as Solomon Clinic genetically altered children is a nice pairing with each accepting love is not enough to keep them alive from a persistent predator. Although the overarching theme fails to move forward much, Diagnosis: Attraction is an enjoyable thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Night Diver-Elizabeth Lowell

March 14, 2014

Night Diver
Elizabeth Lowell
Morrow, Apr 8 2014, $26.99
ISBN: 9780062132826

Almost fifteen years ago off the Caribbean island of St. Vincent, then teenager Kate Donnelly watched helplessly as her parents died in a storm. Terrified of the water ever since the nightmarish accident; Kate quit her family sea salvage business Moon Rose Ltd. to become a landlubber North Carolina accountant.

Her brother Larry calls Kate begging her to return to the business in Florida as they are in trouble and need her financial expertise to save Moon Rose from a bad contract he signed with the British government. She refuses until he uses the extortion of filing bankruptcy will kill their Grandpa, but insists she will not sleep on the Golden Bough or go near the water. The British government sends Holden Cameron to investigate the salvage of the Moon Rise in which the treasure sent to the Antiquities Office is much smaller than expected. He assumes the Donnelly team is violating the agreement by stealing some of the loot; so he pulls no punches when he meets Kate by telling her he will most likely shut down the operation. Soon after his arrival, ugly incidents occur, which leads to a distrustful alliance between the dive consultant and the non-diving Donnelly.

This is an entertaining romantic suspense that opens at a leisurely pace introducing the key cast, the locale, and the contract. Once the background is set, the engaging storyline accelerates into a hyperspeed tense thriller filled with red herrings and several suspects to include the Diving Donnelly brood, and a romance built from shaky grounds due to the inquiry seemingly incriminating her loved ones.

Harriet Klausner

Four Weddings And A Fireman-Jennifer Bernard

March 1, 2014

Four Weddings And A Fireman
Jennifer Bernard
Avon, Feb 25 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9780062273673

San Gabriel firefighter Derek “Vader” Brown is a big powerful person. He has three loves: weightlifting, firefighting and Cherie Harper. Vader feels successful at the first two and a failure at persuading his Cherie to end their see-saw relationship and commit to their being an entry.

Cherie fears she loves Vader, who’s the kindest man she knows especially with her and his wheelchair bound mom, but knows they have no future as one day soon the person who has her running will arrive in San Gabriel. When her sister Trixie comes to town, Cherie knows evil will follow. However, before she chooses flight, Vader insists together they choose fight.

The latest Bachelor Firemen of San Gabriel (see Desperately Seeking Firemen and How to Tame a Wild Fireman) is a heated romantic suspense starring an interesting woman in peril and a gentle giant. The secondary characters add depth though the audience will not realize that until a late twist to the exciting storyline. Four Weddings And A Fireman is a thrilling taut tale.

Harriet Klausner

Close Pursuit-Cindy Dees

February 28, 2014

Close Pursuit
Cindy Dees
Harlequin HQN, Feb 25 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373778485

Kindergarten teacher Katie McCloud joins Doctors Unlimited as a translator in a war torn Karshan village. She will assist brilliant Dr. Alex Peters as he provides medical help to pregnant women. Both understand the danger if caught as he will be tortured and killed, and she will suffer worse. When they run into peril, Alex, showing skills a geek should not possess, gets them to safely while she carries a newborn.

Back in the States, Alex the mathematician calculates the odds of a bad luck assault on them leading him to a hypothesis that most likely Katie was the target or worse. Filled with distrust and believing in the theory of keeping your enemies nearby, Alex hangs around Katie until they fall in love. Meanwhile the illusion of safety in American ends when adversaries attack Katie and Alex who vows to keep his woman safe.

Close Pursuit is a taut romantic suspense with a terrific twisting climax. War torn Karshan comes across as genuine with little anchors like the endangered pregnant woman demanding the teacher rather than the physician perform a life-saving C-section. Readers will relish the enigmatic Alex and the spunky kindergarten teacher as they fall in love while battling to survive in Karshan and the USA against mercenaries.

Harriet Klausner

Hidden Agendas-Lora Leigh

February 26, 2014

Hidden Agendas
Lora Leigh
St. Martin’s Griffin, Mar 4 2014, $14.99
ISBN: 9781250036711

The deadly Fuentes cartel has a reputation for ruthlessness to maintain. Thus Diego Fuentes knows he must not look soft as the daughter of a US senator, Emily Stanton, escaped from his compound with the help of Navy SEALs especially Kell Kreiger. He needs to find an insider he can either blackmail or buy.

Kell and his team know the current mission is to bring down Diego. However, babysitting is a difficult assignment when the person is spirited Emily, who he is attracted to just like she is to him. Emily refuses to allow A-holes like Diego to destroy her life so goes about as if no one is after her although she gladly accepts the protection of Kell as she knows her feelings for him is much deeper than gratitude for saving her life.

Readers will appreciate this this reprint of a strong romantic suspense that continues Lora Leigh’s homage to the military (see NAUGHTI BOY) especially the Tempting SEALs (see DANGEROUS GAMES). The story line is action-packed as Kell concludes that to keep Emily safe he must trust no one since someone betrayed them. Readers will enjoy the exploits of the lead couple who struggle to survive treachery of a friend, but cannot worry about who as Diego is coming.

Harriet Klausner

Bridal Jeopardy-Rebecca York

February 23, 2014

Bridal Jeopardy
Rebecca York
Harlequin Intrigue, Feb 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373697519

Desperate to pay off his gambling debts any way he can, Henri Swift offers his daughter Stephanie to John Reynard as remittance. John accepts Stephanie as payment. Stephanie has doubts about marrying her suitor, but her dad pushes her to do so.

Bethesda-based private investigator Craig Branson works a personal murder cold case in New Orleans as he hunts those who ordered a kill that left his twin dead twenty-two years ago. His focus is on untouchable bigwig John Reynard while failing to understand why Stephanie Swift became the dirt’s fiancée. When Craig rescues Stephanie from an attempted abduction by thugs Buck Arnot and Wayne Channing, his mind and hers meet like the way his used to with his late brother Sam before the mob hit killed his sibling.

The latest Mindbenders romantic paranormal mystery is a fast-paced entry that brings series fans back to the Solomon Clinic. Although this tale can stand alone, newcomers should read the previous stories (see Sudden Attraction and Sudden Insight) to understand fully the genetics overarching premise. Fast-paced from the moment Craig saves Stephanie from the abduction, readers will appreciate this taut romantic suspense as it’s in the minds as much as the hearts.

Harriet Klausner

Rocky Mountain Rescue-Cindi Myers

February 23, 2014

Rocky Mountain Rescue
Cindi Myers
Harlequin Intrigue, Feb 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373697496

With the deaths of her brutal crime boss father-in-law Sam Giardino and her violent husband Sammy, Stacy thinks she and her three years old son Carlo are safe. However, ruthless Sam proves still dangerous from the grave due to his will that stipulates his immense estate placed in a trust for his grandson.

Other members of the Giardino family like his widow Willa and his other son Abel want control of the fortune; which means “raising” the heir. When Carlo is kidnapped before U.S. Marshal Patrick Thompson can relocate Stacy and her son in the Witness Protection Program, he vows to rescue the toddler. As the frantic mother and the Fed work the case together, neither trusts the other though the attraction is higher than the Rocky Mountains they traverse.

The sequel to Rocky Mountain Revenge is an exciting rescue thriller starring two strong characters dealing with trust issues as well as her lethal in-laws (especially fascinating Black Widow Willa who brings meaning to the mother-in-law from hell). Fast-paced with a powerful sense of foreboding in a pristine remote locale, readers will appreciate Cindi Myers’s suspenseful tale though Abel and other mobsters are underdeveloped stereotypes.

Harriet Klausner