Tag Archives: Thriller

Blood Lust by Alexandra Ivy

 

St. Louis crime lord and renegade sentinel assassin Bas Cavrilo still remembers the first and last time he saw gorgeous clairvoyant Myst. That was the night they created their daughter Molly until Myst dropped 2 month old Molly at his apartment and disappeared again. Now Myst is back and Bas is demanding to know why, especially since Molly only recently survived a kidnapping by his enemies.

Bas listens as Myst explains being sold to the Brotherhood as a teen after a vision she’d create an Armageddon weapon, her escape and years of being their prey. Bas contacts The Mave, Lana to provide protection for Molly at Valhalla while he and Myst seek answers. Lana and Bas’ time as more than friends is long past but piques both Myst and Wolfe’s jealously when Lana agrees to help.

Brotherhood leader Stella’s confident it’s time for the weapon. As her minions search for confirmation the rumbles are heard in Valhalla and Stella plans beyond the step of eliminating Highbloods. Meticulous planning, a breach and a deviation from protocol are the perfect storm to position Stella for even more power when she stumbles onto things she can’t recognize. But then the big guns take aim.
Rating:4.25stars

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One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline

***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by St. Martin’s Press through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review***

The only thing true about Chris Brennan was there was no limit to what he’d do to get what he wanted. Right now he needed to become a teacher at Central Valley high where he could be near the town’s scions and their less worthy counterparts deepest secrets. Teenagers and their secret was a virtual cornucopia of information.

Minimum suspense and a slower pace are allotted as the stage is set with introductions, bits of background and the excitement a new, single, handsome teacher that’s eager to coach the baseball team can bring. It picks up as Chris sifts until only Evan Kostis, Raz Sematov and Justin Larkin remain as perfect candidates for his nefarious scheme.

With Mindy Kostis abandoned for her husband’s work, Susan Sematov still reeling from her husband’s death and busy single mother Heather Larkin, Chris easily presents himself as a man willing and able to help their sons on the path to manhood. The outing hints as a study of lonely mothers and their sons and gains momentum as Chris’ perfection bumps against these own family secrets.

For this reader’s taste, the slow burn inherent of a cast this size, the mystery of the antagonist and how to much to share when as well as the amount of red herrings, plot twists, turns and background make it almost impossible for the reader to definitely choose a foe. The ebb and flow of the information means nothing can be discounted to stay ahead in a fairly good thriller with strong, personable characters.
Rating:4stars

The Heart of a Texas Cowboy by Linda Broday

***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by Sourcebooks Casablanca through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review***
When Houston Legend’s bride was killed at the altar before their vows, he wallowed in agony. As painful rumors and truths came to light, he wallowed in anger moving to adrift as his heart hardened. Unfortunate circumstances left Lara Boone, a damaged mother to a small daughter with no husband and no desire for a man in her life, wallowing in her own anguish.

Over late night cards and too many drinks, Stoker Legend loses half the family holdings to new neighbor Till Boone. The only negotiation Till will entertain is how soon Stoker can convince his son to marry Till’s daughter. An angry Houston’s obliged to do anything to secure his family’s legacy, even if it means marrying a woman he’s never met and claim her babe as his own.

Standing in front of a preacher with a tad of resentment for their fathers neither bride nor groom wanted to celebrate their somber, funeral-like wedding. Afterward, Houston realized the depth of Lara’s personal nightmare and vowed no force on earth would keep him from avenging his new bride or claiming his new daughter as he and Stoker greeted Lara as the new Legend matriarch.

Yuma, the well written villain of the piece was a threat on the page or looming in the distance. The remaining personable and distinct secondary characters supported the story and other characters well. Houston was quite the standout as the swoon-worthy hero women wanted and men wanted to be. Lara was no slouch displaying the type of clarity, grit and steel spine that built a nation.

The broken, damaged leads managed to fall in love as they traversed adventure, danger, deceit, heartbreak, shame and a madman’s revenge to find their way out of the dark to joyful new dreams and a new future as a family. This new to me author pandered to my innate penchant for stoic, protective heroes and weakness for cowboys. It’s a great rainy day read but a tad too intense for the beach.
Rating:4.75stars

Deadly Fallout by Katie Reus

Few knew the reason Dr. Zoe Hansen changed jobs, apartments and friends was she’d caught the attention of a stalker. She was safe while he was out of the country. But he returned and Zoe became his hobby again. Red Stone Security’s resources, specifically former SEAL Sawyer McCabe step up to guard Zoe’s body…er life. Then her stalker is found dead and Zoe’s arrested of his murder.

Though cleared of the murder charge, it was obvious someone framed Zoe which meant her life could still be in danger. Receiving mystery mail means it’s not over and Sawyer’s not leaving Zoe’s side as the smoldering embers they shared become flames. Being influentially despicable bought Zoe’s stalker many enemies and plenty of false friends as the police uncover suspects galore.

Lively Zoe runs the gamut of emotions and has excellent chemistry with agent du jour, Sawyer in this nicely written and vividly woven tale. The reader is quickly invested in an illusion of a love affair at its most terrifying. It shakes a strong, capable and independent woman to her core first she lives with fear then fights to keep her friends, love and on her terms. Definitely a series favorite!
Rating:4.5stars

Take Me Back by Rosalind James

 

***A complimentary copy of this read was furnished by Montlake Romance through NetGalley in exchange for an unbiased review***

Jim Lawson left Paradise to become an Army Ranger. He left a tearful Hallie in his wake before coming back to be the deputy sheriff. Henry Cavanaugh tried to force broken-hearted Hallie to stay but couldn’t. Now Hallie inherits her wickedly vindictive father’s wealth, but only if she lives in his home and stays out of Jim’s bed. Henry knew love for Jim could bring Hallie back but is Jim worth millions to her?

There could have been a helping hand in Henry’s death and somebody’s not quite as calm as they appear or maybe they’re not happy to see the prodigal daughter return. With Paradise being a small town and all, it doesn’t take long for the conditions of Hallie’s inheritance to become public and less time than that for townsfolk to become interested in the outcome as they sneak peeks at the couple.

Luckily, Hallie’s plans are to collect her money and leave, not settle down in Paradise. But seeing each other again reminded Jim and Hallie the feeling between them was anything but dead. Five years bring changes and in Jim’s case its family. He’s now a widower and a father. But for this reader’s taste the circumstances around Henri’s death and the star couple were a bit frustrating.

There are few things that can always be counted on but some sure things are in this series. One is the story will be well written and the characters have full lives. Another is the flawed hero is definitely older and wiser than twenty-something. He’s learned something from his mistakes and can admit he’s been a jerk. Also, there will be so many suspects they kill the suspense until you just want it to be over.
Rating:3.75stars

Under His Protection by Katie Reus

While Mina looked at lingerie in preparation for her wedding to Blue, newest Red Stone Security agent, Ivan Mitchell looked at lingerie shop owner Julieta Mederos. Ivan was enchanted by the petite beauty from the moment he saw her and it doesn’t hurt that she’s Lizzy’s best friend. Noticing Jules pale at the bridal shower, Ivan quickly finds out she’s being stalked and assigns himself as her protection.

Though Jules had been noticing Ivan she wasn’t certain they were looking at each other the same way or for the same reason. Now that they’re seeing things eye to eye she’s grateful for his help. Ivan’s sure the explicit texts and vandalism incidents at Jules’ shop are connected and attaches himself to her side.

Distracted by everything, Jules brings Ivan into the bosom of her family. They’re charmed, especially when they find out about his Ranger background and how seriously he’s taking the threats to Jules’ life. Meanwhile, her stalker is more than a little upset that there’s now a man in Jules’ life and steps up his elaborate plans to solidify his own future with her.
Rating: 3.75stars

Wolves Triad by Lauren Dane

Youngest Warden sibling, Tracy, is over her mom bringing wolves over as potential mates. Eager to stem that tide, Tracy agrees to help with Cascadia’s part in the mediation set near Pacifica pack territory. While guy watching with her sister and sister-in-law, Tracy’s taken with the Pacifica second, Nick as well as the mediator, Gabe. Both males scent Tracy as a potential mate.

A rare tri-mate bond is formed when Nick and Tracy mate and Gabe acts as her anchor, making the trio mates. Tracy isn’t welcomed into Pacifica pack leading to confrontations with her new alphas and aggravated when the tri-mate bond is recognized. Pellini’s insidious claws have reached the National leadership pack giving remote packs few alternatives.

This messy outing didn’t hold together very well for my taste, the pieces were present but abruptly sacrificed to accommodate the next sex scene. The contrast of Nick, Gabe and Tracy’s styles and personalities was a great touch. This reader’s favorites updated the overall arc of Pellini, the ‘wolf mafia’ and the formula, also the conflict with the Pacifica alphas spiced up their characters.
Rating: 3.5stars

Sinful Seduction by Katie Reus

It’s been a year but former Marine and new Red Stone Security agent Alexander Blue is still feeling things out. After wrapping the case that brought him to Key West, staying over a few extra days felt right. Going out to grab a bite to combat the loneliness, Blue goes to the rescue of local artist Mina Hollingsworth from three thugs during a not so simple mugging.

Mina tried to disguise the effect Blue had on her as she tended Blue at her apartment, she’s convinced he’s ex-military and there was more to the mugging since she was from a prominent family but refuses to call the police. Blue doesn’t understand why but doesn’t push as he tries to tamp down his feeling. As Mina’s kidnappers get new orders and watch them, Mina and Blue sort their feelings.
Rating: 4stars

Against the Storm by Kat Martin

Former army ranger turned private investigator Trace Rawlins knew photographer Maggie O’Connell was trouble the moment he saw the red hair. But that didn’t stop either of them from looking and admiring. Trace wasted no time or extra energy protecting his client. Maggie and her friend, Roxy, saw and admired that, too. Roxy suggested Maggie hire Trace to find out who’s stalking and harassing her.

Three days later, another note on her car at her new apartment terrifies Maggie. The local police don’t believe her and aren’t helpful, they haven’t forgotten she filed a false report as a teenager, against a policeman’s son. Maggie hires Trace but doesn’t tell him about the issues the police. When he finds out, he quits her case. Trace answers Maggie’s frantic call when her stalker steps up his actions.

Back on the case, neither Trace nor Maggie can resist their feelings so they’re soon mixing business with pleasure. In the time Trace was off the case Maggie’s sister, Ashley moved in with an infant son. Trace’s wealthy client Jason Sommerset moves quickly to show his interest in Ashley when Trace introduces them and offers to help protect the sisters.

Maggie’s fear is ratcheted up a few notches when her stalker seems to step up the terror physically. With a higher and physical threat level, Ashley and the baby to worry about and her feelings for Trace growing stronger Maggie finds it hard to concentrate and decides she has to be ready get back to her life as answers for her case begin to fall in place.

The major and secondary characters were likeable, well fleshed and had great chemistry with each other. This reader enjoyed having two romances to invest in and the red herrings, not being able to easily identify the villain was also appreciated but seemed odd. Overall there was enough romance, mystery and suspense for a perfect rainy day read.
Rating: 4.25stars

Protecting His Witness by Katie Reus

Seven years ago former SEAL Vincent Hansen was looking forward to starting a new job with Red Stone and getting engaged to grad student Jordan Alvarado. But before he could ask her she disappeared. Jordan had seen the serial arsonist working the area, trying to escape his latest target with her unconscious friend and tried to stop him.

The case was so sensational and complex she was put in the witness protection program and now that the suspect and his accomplice are dead, Jordan’s left the program and tracked Vincent down. But somebody somewhere made a mistake because someone’s certainly stalking her now.
Rating:3.75stars

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