Category Archives: Romantic Suspense
The Seventh Victim
by Mary Burton
Read: Jan. 3 - 8, 2013
Challenge: 2013 Eclectic Reader Challenge
Yearly count: 2
Source: E-book from publicist via NetGalley
Blurb: It’s been seven years since the Seattle Strangler terrorized the city. His victims were all young, pretty, their lifeless bodies found wrapped in a home-sewn white dress. But there was one who miraculously escaped death, just before the Strangler disappeared…
Lara Church has only hazy memories of her long-ago attack. What she does have is a home in Austin, a job, and a chance at a normal life at last. Then Texas Ranger James Beck arrives on her doorstep with shattering news: The Strangler is back. And this time, he’s in Austin……
He’s always craved her, even as he killed the others. For so long he’s been waiting to unleash the beast within. And this time, he’ll prove he holds her life in his hands—right before he ends it forever…
Review: I received an e-copy of this book from the publicist via NetGalley.
Every single time I pick up a good romantic suspense novel, I want to kick myself and wonder why I don’t read more books like this? I was pretty well hooked into this book from the first page. I will admit that there were a few places within the book that I felt it lagged just slightly, but it’s not enough to deter the reader in any way. Based on the three books I’ve finished this year, I’m beginning to think I’ve got something of an interest in flawed characters. Lara is definitely a character dealing with some issues from her past attack – but who wouldn’t be? However, I felt as if her struggles made her feel all the more real. What can I say – I’m a sucker for well-developed, yet flawed, characters.
Overall I’m glad that I got the chance to read this book. I have heard of Ms. Burton before, but for whatever reason, I had never read a book by her. I’m definitely glad that I got the opportunity to start with this book and look forward to reading more of her books in the future.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Mary Burton is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of suspense novels including Senseless, Merciless and Dead Ringer. She is a Romance Writers of America’s RITA Award finalist and Romantic Times’ Critics Choice Award nominee. A Virginia native, she is a graduate of the Henrico County Citizens Police Academy and the Richmond FBI Citizen’s Academy and has participated in Sisters in Crime’s forensic University program. Readers can visit her website at www.maryburton.com
by Sandra Brown
Blurb: Bellamy Lyston was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed in a stormy Memorial Day. Bellamy’s fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene along with her memory of what really happened during the day’s most devastating moments.
Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a sensational, bestselling novel based on Susan’s murder. Because the book was inspired by the tragic event that still pains her family, she published it under a pseudonym to protect them from unwanted publicity. But when an opportunistic reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers the book is based on fact, Bellamy’s identity is exposed along with the family scandal.
Moreover, Bellamy becomes the target of an unnamed assailant who either wants the truth about Susan’s murder to remain unknown or, even more threatening, is determined to get vengeance for a man wrongfully accused and punished.
In order to identify her stalker, Bellamy must confront the ghosts of her past, including Dent Carter, Susan’s wayward and reckless boyfriend – and an original suspect in the murder case. Dent, with this and other stains on his past, is intent on clearing his name, and he needs Bellamy’s sealed memory to do it. But her safeguarded recollections – once unlocked – pose dangers that neither could foresee and puts both their lives in peril.
As Bellamy delves deeper into the mystery surrounding Susan’s slaying, she discovers disturbing elements of the crime which call into question the people she holds most dear. Haunted by partial memories, conflicted over her feelings for Dent, but determined to learn the truth, she won’t stop until she reveals Susan’s killer.
That is, unless Susan’s killer strikes her first…
Review: I loaded this book onto my Nook and started it on my airplane ride to Hawaii. I was immediately sucked in and I have to say that it was the perfect vacation book. I found it to be very fast paced and exciting. I could hardly stand to put it down because I kept wanting more and more of it!
I especially enjoyed how a tornado really played into the storyline. On Feb. 29, 2012, my hometown of Harrisburg, IL, was hit by an EF-4 tornado. Both of my grandparents and my parents were all in the path of this storm. And it was a killer storm too – I believe 7 people lost their lives. My family was lucky to walk away with their lives, but their homes and emotions were not as intact as their physical beings. Knowing what a storm like that can do to a person, I found it very intriguing how Bellamy’s fear of storms and her memory loss was tied to the tornado in the book.
Little by little, Bellamy’s memory came back to her. I quite enjoyed seeing how she pieced everything together – what was revealed to her by something very minute would bring back quite a chunk of her memory.
The who-dun-it part of the story, while intriguing, was not exactly surprising. About halfway through the book I began to suspect the person who did end up being the killer. Like I said, it wasn’t really all that big of a shocking twist, but it still came together quite well at the end.
This book would not be for the under 18 crowd. There was quite a bit of steamy encounters between Bellamy and Dent. Personally, it didn’t bother me, but it might not be for everyone.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book. I feel as if it’s another great book by Sandra Brown and one not to be missed! Highly recommended.
Immortal in Death
by J.D. Robb
Read: June 8 - June 19, 2012
Challenge: Eclectic Reader Challenge; Mystery & Suspense 2012
Yearly Count: 15
Blurb: It is 2058, New York City. Lieutenant Eve Dallas uncovers a world where technology can create beauty and youth, but passion and greed can destroy them.
She was one of the most sought-after women in the world. A top model who would stop at nothing to get what she wanted -even another woman’s man. And now she’s dead, the victim of a brutal murder.
Police lieutenant Eve Dallas puts her life on the line to take the case when suspicion falls on her best friend, the other woman in the fatal love triangle. Beneath the facade of glamor, Eve finds that the world of high fashion thrives on an all-consuming obsession with youth and fame-one that leads her from the lights of the runway to the dark underworld of New York City, where drugs can fulfill any desire, for a price
Review: It has been forever since I read the first two books in this series. I recall being less than thrilled with the second one, which is probably why I never got around to the third one. Most of my problem stems from the fact that these books are set so far in the future (2058) that I have a hard time getting past all the futuristic parts involved. However, I thoroughly enjoyed this book.
To be completely honest, because of that big gap in between reading book 2 and book 3, I was a little more than lost when it came to the characters and any previous development/interaction. But overall that doesn’t really take away too much from this book. While it is obviously a series, I wouldn’t necessarily say that it stands well as a stand-alone, but it definitely wasn’t too hard to follow in my opinion.
The storyline in this installment was very good. I was just as stumped as Eve was about who the killer was until it was revealed at the end. And honestly, it was a surprise for me – something that doesn’t necessarily happen every time, but something that I really like in a book.
To be completely honest, this book was a great distraction for me. It was an easy read. I read the majority of this book on my iPhone during Garrett’s middle of the night feedings. I’m going to have to fire up my Nook in the future, because the iPhone screen is not the easiest thing to read a book on! (Or I could just wait until I get my iPad next month for my birthday!!)
So what’s the bottom line here? It was a good book, provided me with some great distraction when I needed it most and I’m really looking forward to reading the next book in the series (I already put myself on the waiting list for the e-book through my library).
Killing Her Softly
by Beverly Barton
Read: April 17 – 22, 2011
Challenge: TBR Dare; What’s in a Name 4
Yearly Count: 20
First Line: Lulu Vanderley was rich, blond and beautiful.
Blurb: The woman has been waiting impatiently on her satin sheets. Her lover knows exactly how to satisfy her. But this time, he has something else planned … something that will really take her breath away. In the courtroom, defense lawyer Quinn Cortez has a reputation as a ruthless predator who always gets what he wants. In the bedroom, it’s no different. Quinn is an accomplished seducer with a long list of conquests. But now, someone has brutally slaughtered one of them, and Quinn has no memory of the night he was found in her home. Annabelle Vanderley wants justice for her murdered cousin, and if Quinn Cortez swears he can find the true killer, she’s willing to give him the benefit of a doubt. But then another body is discovered … and another … each victim an ex-lover of Quinn’s. Now, consumed by dread, Annabelle wonders just how close she may be to a twisted psychopath for whom her pain would be the ultimate pleasure.
Review: I have mixed feelings about this book. I rated it a 4 out of 5 based solely on the plot line. However, there was more romance than I prefer in my books with a woman who falls head over heels in love with a suspected murderer almost immediately. (I believe it was last month when there was a Top Ten Tuesday that dealt with pet peeves and stupid women who fall in love made the list. Yeah, you can re-visit that post here.) Other than that one issue with this book, I really enjoyed this. I spent the entire book trying to figure out who the bad guy was. I went back and forth countless times trying to figure it out, and honestly, I didn’t get it until it was revealed. So I really enjoyed that aspect of the book. It was very suspenseful. I know this book is listed as romantic suspense, but I’ve read other Barton books and have never been that bothered by the romance, maybe this book had more than usual – either that or I just never liked Annabelle’s character. It also didn’t help that I wasn’t real fond of Quinn Cortez’s character either, he was too much of a slimy womanizer – although in the end he was definitely reformed. I don’t know, the best way I can really describe my opinion of this book is that I’m torn.
The Dying Game
by Beverly Barton
Read: Apr. 9-13, 2010
Challenge: 2010 100+ Reading Challenge; Countdown Challenge 2010; Random Reading Challenge; RYOB 2010; Thriller & Suspense Challenge 2010
Yearly Count: 17
First Line: The intensely bright lights blinded her.
It’s the ultimate game. The rules are simple: to win, you have to kill. To lose, you will have to die. The victims are former beauty queens who are found brutally murdered. Lindsay McAllister was a rookie detective when her first case was the murder of Judd Walker’s wife. The murder shattered Judd and really affected Lindsay as well. Now, years later, Lindsay has to tell Judd that his wife’s murderer is killing again. As the body count continues to rise, Lindsay realizes that the only way she will ever stop this killer is to play the game herself.
I’ve only read one other Beverly Barton book a few years ago, but I have had this one on my shelf for some time. I was definitely not disappointed. I really fell in love with the characters – I’m intrigued by who Griffin Powell is and what is in his past. I thought that the plot was really interesting. I don’t know how all these authors can come up with so many different plots, it’s really awesome for people like me who devour mysteries as often as I can! Overall, I would really recommend this book. It’s not for the faint of heart, but it wasn’t too gruesome either. I’m really looking forward to getting more into the Griffin Powell series and reading more Beverly Barton books in the future!