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Currently Browsing: military/suspense romance
Feb
26

Review: Before the Mission Begins by Christi Snow

Review: Before the Mission Begins by Christi Snow Before The Mission Begins Author: Christi Snow  Release Date: Feb. 11, 2013 Publisher: Self-Published When The Mission Ends Series, Prequel Genre: Military Romance Format(s): e-book Book Source: Author  About the book:       Before his mission began, he went home. 24 hours to say goodbye to his twin sister.       Instead he found her. A girl that was nothing like the one he thought he knew.       They have 24 hours. 24 hours before he deploys on an extremely dangerous mission. 24 hours together in a freak West Texas snowstorm. 24 hours that will have to get them both through the awful next year.       When the resident good-girl decides to take on the visiting bad-boy, 24 hours is all it takes to change their lives forever.       This is the story of the 24 hours that no one knew ever occurred…until now. What B is talking about:       Julie Hyatt’s OCD, as well as the shadows from her past, has controlled her for far too long. So, when an unfortunate kitchen mishap leads her sister to suggest she completely reinvent herself, Julie decides it’s advice worth taking. But, a physical metamorphosis can be far easier than changing who you truly are, and Julie discovers that for some things she’ll need the help of a good man. And when the gorgeous man she’s fantasized about for ages happens appear, quite literally, overnight, she knows she’d be a fool to let the opportunity slip away.       With only 48 hours left until he’s redeployed on a secret mission, Chris Robertson only intended to stay at his twin sister’s house long enough tell her goodbye in person. His plans take a decidedly more interesting turn, however, when his sister’s friend, who’s sexy, and funny, and nearly unrecognizable, happens to be house sitting instead. When Julie asks him for a favor that could change everything between them, though, he learns that what he wants most may not be the freedom he’s always found piloting jets, but someone warm and caring, and right in front of him.        I first saw Julie and Chris in the previous novel, Operation Endeavor, and their interactions were saturated with a deeper story than we were allowed to see. The two were clearly dealing with a shared history that left them both with much, much more to say to one another. This...
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Feb
14

Review: Midnight Alias by Elle Kennedy

Review: Midnight Alias by Elle Kennedy Midnight Alias Author: Elle Kennedy   Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013 Publisher: Signet Killer Instincts Book #2 ISBN: 978-0451239440 Genre: Romantic Suspense Format(s): Paperback (368 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book:      She’s smart, seductive, and in way over her head.      He’s her only way out.       An undercover DEA agent has gone off the radar. Suspecting an internal mole, the government needs Luke Dubois and his elite team of operatives to recover their man, and the New Orleans native thinks he’s found his way inside the dark underbelly of Manhattan: Olivia Taylor, the girlfriend of a mob boss and the sexiest woman he’s ever laid eyes on. His new mission objective? Get past Olivia’s defenses and convince her to take a chance—on him.      All Olivia wanted was to finish law school and live a normal life, but that dream was shattered when one dangerous night put her deeply in a mobster’s debt. Now Luke and his team will help her escape—in exchange for intel on the missing agent. But Olivia doesn’t anticipate her intense attraction to the reckless Louisiana charmer or that she’ll be forced to risk everything—including her heart.   What VampBard’s talking about:      I think I’ve found another series to add to the auto-buy list!  Elle Kennedy, with her Killer Instincts series succeeded in sucking me into the world of these mercenaries and assassins and giving me a brain-cation from life as I was immersed in the world of Luke and Olivia.  Midnight Alias was a captivating read, full of action, adventure, and sexual tension to spare.      One of my favorite things about Ms. Kennedy’s newest installment in her Killer Instincts series is the relationships.  There’s four primary relationships in this title – Luke & Olivia, Vince & Olivia,  Olivia & Kathleen, Trevor & Isabel –  and multiple secondary relationships, providing a natural grounding for the strong characters in this Midnight Alias.  We see hints of established relationships, as well as enough background knowledge from the first title in the series, Midnight Rescue – which I didn’t read – to allow someone to jump in and read this title without having read the first book.  Heat index:  3 of 5.      What do you get when you take a girl with brains and beauty, couple that with responsibility and a heart bigger than Kansas?  Olivia.  This girl did fast-track growing up when her...
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Jan
31

Review: The Reunited by Shiloh Walker

Review: The Reunited by Shiloh Walker The Reunited Author: Shiloh Walker  Release Date: Feb. 5, 2013 Publisher: Berkley Trade The FBI Psychics #3 ISBN: #978-0425246979 Genre: Suspense Romance, Paranormal Format(s): Paperback (384 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/ NetGalley About the book: AN ETERNAL DESIRE With his strong psychic ability, FBI Agent Joss Crawford longs for the woman he loved in a past life. But after years of searching, a new case is drawing him into the last place he’d ever want to find her: an underground slave ring. Going undercover to infiltrate the network, he meets Drucella Chapman–the mastermind’s fiancee. Joss has every reason to believe she’s evil. So why is he irresistibly drawn to her? A DANGEROUS GAME Drucella has made it her personal mission to bring the slave ring down. But the sadistic ring leader is even more careful than he is cruel. In order to gain information, Dru has had to get close to the very man she wishes to kill, psychically reading his memories bit by bit. she’d do anything to finish the job, but agreeing to marry him may have been a step too far–even for her. A FATEFUL ENCOUNTER Though Joss and Dru are both undercover, nothing can disguise the sense of deja vu they experience when they meet. Neither can afford to be distracted from the mission at hand, but perhaps their reunion is exactly what this mission needs. What I’m talking about: Joss Crawford is finally getting some time off, but is called in by his boss, Taylor Jones, to help work the difficult case trying to bring down the powerful human trafficker, Patrick Whitmore. Joss is one of a handful of psychically talented FBI agents, and his speciality is being a “mirror.” He can “absorb” other agents gifts and use them as his own until he gets rebooted. (It made me think of Rogue from X-men.) Meanwhile, Drucella (Dru) Chapman is already on the case. Working uncover for no one but herself, Dru has posed as Ella, Patrick Whitmore’s love interest and fiancee, for the past two years. Dru has sold her soul to be the perfect woman for a man she vehemently despises and plans to kill. With no way out and only one friend who knows the truth, Dru has committed to see this through until either Patrick or she dies. With such a heavy topic as human trafficking, I was worried that The Reunited would be a gruesome read. However, Ms. Walker handled...
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Jan
10

Review: Operation Endeavor by Christi Snow

Review: Operation Endeavor by Christi Snow Operation Endeavor Author: Christi Snow  Release Date: Dec. 31, 2012 Publisher: self-published When the Mission Ends Book 2 ISBN: #978-1481035613 Genre: Romantic Suspense Format(s): paperback (340 pages), e-book Book Source: Author  About the book:       Colton Robertson left his career in the Air Force…       …to come home and help his family heal. Unfortunately, his reception was not quite what he’d hoped for and he ended up as roommate to hippy dippy yoga instructor Penelope Pruitt. Penelope has spent her life under the restrictive thumb of her parents and she doesn’t want to do the same with the straight-laced, serious Colton. But when it becomes apparent that Penelope’s life is in danger, Colton won’t settle for anyone else protecting Penelope besides him.       Opposites attract and that’s definitely the case with Colton and Penelope. On the surface, they don’t have anything in common, but as the sparks fly and the danger ramps up, their passion is inevitable. What B is talking about:       As if trying to deal with one sibling that’s hurting and angry isn’t difficult enough, Colton Robertson finds himself faced with the wrath of both twins. Having practically raised his younger brother and sister after their parents’ death, he’s quickly discovering that giving up control when they need him isn’t easy. But if he doesn’t get out from under his sister’s roof and into a place of his own, things will get a lot worse for the three of them—and fast. So, when Cassie’s flighty, yoga-loving friend, Penelope, suddenly finds herself in need of a roommate for her loft, Colton takes her up on the offer.       Penelope Pruitt is a self-sufficient, intelligent woman with a few hidden talents, who’s sacrificed plenty to live her life on her own terms. If playing the part of Cassie’s flaky best friend works to keep people from asking too many questions she’d rather not answer, so be it. But, when one of her employees goes missing, and mysterious threats begin piling up, she’ll have to come clean and learn to trust her own heart in order to save those she loves.       Operation Endeavor was a pleasant surprise to read, and the story itself unfolded very nicely. While certain aspects of the novel I was able to predict with some accuracy, there were plenty of others that kept me guessing and happily turning pages. I enjoyed Operation...
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Nov
5

Review: Reflected in You by Sylvia Day

Review: Reflected in You by Sylvia Day Reflected in You Author: Sylvia Day   Release Date:  Oct. 23, 2012 Publisher: Berkley Trade Crossfire Book #2 ISBN: 978-0425263916 Genre: Contemporary Romance/ Romantic Suspense Format(s): Paperback (432 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher/NetGalley About the book: Gideon Cross. As beautiful and flawless on the outside as he was damaged and tormented on the inside. He was a bright, scorching flame that singed me with the darkest of pleasures. I couldn’t stay away. I didn’t want to. He was my addiction… my every desire… mine. My past was as violent as his, and I was just as broken. We’d never work. It was too hard, too painful… except when it was perfect. Those moments when the driving hunger and desperate love were the most exquisite insanity. We were bound by our need. And our passion would take us beyond our limits to the sweetest, sharpest edge of obsession… What VampBard’s talking about: I’m not going to lie.  Reflected in You felt a LOT like New Moon to me…except for one thing:  Eva is a survivor.  Don’t look for my review of this title to be sugar-coated or fan-girlish.  You won’t get that here.  I “hated” New Moon.  However, Reflected in You gave me an entirely new perspective on the genre of romantic suspense.  I didn’t even know there was a mystery brewing… I simply adored Sylvia Day’s plot arc in this title.  You definitely must read the first title in the Crossfire series, Bared to You, before reading Reflected in You.  It’s important to know how Gideon and Eva came to be a couple, where they’ve been, and the hurdles they’ve overcome to be together.  Granted, they have more mountains to climb before their HEA, if there is to be one, but the delicious bite of heartache makes the reunion so much stronger for both the character and the reader.   The way Gideon and Eva grew as a couple during Reflected in You was some seriously awesome plotting.  Kudos to Ms. Day for allowing the reader to be **right there** with Gideon and Eva as their relationship hit highs, lows, and rock-bottom.  This title isn’t for the weak; be ready to go on a wooden roller-coaster ride.  Emotions get knocked around, and those that get into their books may feel as though you were put through a wood chipper before things resolve in this title.   It’s difficult to discuss much about Reflected in You without giving away some of...
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Oct
25

Review: Mr. Real by Carolyn Crane

Review: Mr. Real by Carolyn Crane Mr. Real Author: Carolyn Crane  Release Date: Oct. 30, 2012 Publisher: self-published Code of Shadows #1 ISBN: #978-1480134690 Genre: Paranormal Romance, Suspense Format(s): Paperback, e-book Book Source: Author About the book:       He finds the girl of his dreams…with the secret agent of his nightmares.       Alix Gordon is a woman who doesn’t take life too seriously. What’s the fun in that? So when she stumbles across occult software that can bring any computer image to life, she conjures up lots of awesome outfits and accessories. And then, on one drunken, horny night, she conjures up Sir Kendall, the sexy TV ad spy . . . who looks exactly like Paul Reinhardt, the super-sexy martial arts teacher who kicked her out of class three years ago.       Fighter Paul Reinhardt has good reason to hate Sir Kendall, the character he brought to life to land a part in a TV ad; he’d do anything to forget him. A cross country road trip seems just the thing . . . until Paul finds himself inexplicably drawn to Minnesota and is shocked to discover Sir Kendall – in the flesh – with the girl he’d once loved from afar. He barges into Alix and Sir Kendall’s love nest, determined to stop the madness – somehow.       But is superspy Sir Kendall transforming into something more dangerous anyone can imagine? And what will Sir Kendall do when Paul and Alix finally give into their mad lust for each other? What I’m talking about:       Alix Gordon has inherited her crazy Great Aunt Veronica’s old home, one that her family believes is shrouded in dark magic. When Alix finds a necklace on her front porch that she’d been admiring on her computer, she believes she may have a stalker. But soon, Alix pieces together that the necklace came from her computer. She and her BFF, Karen, realize that the old 5-1/4 inch floppy she discovered in the house and uploaded onto her computer contained magic code.       One drunken and lonely night, in order to prove that the computer is in fact magic, Alix decides to “order” a man of her own from the image of the one guy she can’t forget, “Hardass Paul.” Paul, a martial arts instructor from Alix’s past, has a secret – he plays the character “Sir Kendall” in liquor commercials overseas. (I totally imagined a younger...
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Oct
23

Review: Stolen by Shiloh Walker

Review: Stolen by Shiloh Walker Stolen Author: Shiloh Walker  Release Date: Oct. 30, 2012 Publisher: Ballantine ISBN: 978-0345531902 Genre: Romantic Suspense Format(s): Paperback (400 pgs), e-book Book Source: Author/NetGalley About the book: Shay Morgan has stayed hidden for a long time. Living a reclusive life in Earth’s End, Alaska, she’s as far away as she can get from the trauma of her childhood and the man who hurt her long ago. But terror takes over Shay’s life yet again when an unknown stalker steals away the fragile peace she’s built for herself—targeting not only her but the one man who’s ever managed to get past the walls she’s built around herself. Elliot Winter has lived through being falsely accused before—it ruined his military career. Now it’s happening all over again. And this time, his accuser is a twisted impostor who’s targeting his ex-girlfriend, Shay. Despite a fierce mutual attraction, Shay and Elliot broke up because Shay couldn’t let her guard down, couldn’t let Elliot in. But now they both need to trust each other to confront a psycho who seems to know all their secrets. What VampBard’s talking about: As usual, Ms. Walker brings us a whole lotta WTH in her soon-to-be-released title, Stolen.  Seriously.  A two-day book coma (not just a hangover – I can usually function with a hangover!).   There’s not a lot I can tell you about Stolen without spoiling the story.  Here’s a quick run-down of the characters, and some of my favorite things about them… and possibly an innocuous quote: Lorna is Elliot’s sister.  She does play a fabulous supporting role for both Shay and Elliot.  She’s rooting for them to be together. Darcy is Shay’s college friend and current assistant that seems to have grown a bit too big for her britches, providing commentary on Shay’s personal life: “Men do assaholic things all the time, don’t they?” Darcy seems to be a source of stress for Shay, and stress is never a good thing. Shay, our heroine.  I really adore the fact that she’s independent, and that she attempts martyr.  Let’s simply say that Shay lived through hell – before the book even starts – and that makes her who she is today.  The one thing that endears Shay to my heart as a candidate for female character of the year is that she makes a solid decision to NOT be a victim any longer.  This girl has it bad for Elliot from the beginning:   “His...
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Sep
28

Review: Every Breath She Takes by Norah Wilson

Review: Every Breath She Takes by Norah Wilson Every Breath She Takes Author: Norah Wilson Release Date: Sept. 4, 2012  Publisher: Montlake Romance ISBN: 978-1612184685 Genre: Romantic Suspense  Format(s): Paperback (312 pgs), e-book Book Source: Author About the book: Previously published as Lauren’s Eyes. Veterinarian Lauren Townsend has good reason for hiding her psychic ability. Not only did her “freakishness” earn her pariah status in the small town where she grew up, it cost her a fiancé and her faith in love. When Lauren foresees a murder—through the killer’s eyes—she traces the victim to a sprawling ranch, never guessing what waits for her… Cal Taggart’s rugged ranch life doesn’t need any more complications. His stubborn determination cost him his marriage, and now may cost him his livelihood. But then beautiful Lauren enters his corral…with danger close behind. And Cal wants nothing more than to protect her. They can’t deny their intense attraction. Nor do they want to. What begins as a fling with no strings becomes a fight for survival—and for true love. What VampBard’s talking about: Even if you’ve never read a western story in your life, pick up Norah Wilson’s Every Breath She Takes; it’s witty, intellectual, and steamy.  Something for every reader of the genre!  I was a bit nervous when I read the synopsis of the book, but I’m game for new stuff.  I’d never read a contemporary-romantic-suspense-western, and I’d say Ms. Wilson did an excellent job breaking me into the genre.  Is that a genre?  If not, it should be. I had a LOT of passages that I felt were well-crafted throughout the book, and while composing this review, I’ve struggled with choosing those representative of Ms. Wilson’s craft, as well as those that exemplify her characters.   First, I’d like to note that Lauren, our heroine, is a strong, independent woman.  She also has premonitions.  The only thing that can shake Lauren’s confidence in herself is sharing her visions with someone else.   Cal, our rugged, swaggering cowboy / ex-rodeo star / ranch owner has his own demons to battle, beginning with his childhood and his relationship with his father.  The difficulties followed him through his adult life and into his marriage with his now-ex wife – currently a guest at his ranch.   Marlena, Cal’s ex-wife, is the target of the killer.  Lauren knows, because she’s seen his hands reaching out and choking the life out of her, during her premonitions.  However, I’d like to go on record as saying...
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Sep
14

Review: Guardian by Catherine Mann

Review: Guardian by Catherine Mann Guardian Author: Catherine Mann  Release Date: Sept. 4, 2012 Publisher: Berkley Sensation Dark Ops #5 ISBN: #978-0425250990 Genre: Military/Suspense romance Format(s): Paperback (304 pgs), e-book Book Source: Publisher About the book: THEY’D DO ANYTHING FOR COUNTRY. AND EVERYTHING FOR EACH OTHER. After a dark ops malfunction, Major David Berg finds himself dead center in a military trial. It’s a race against time to root out the truth, and Major Sophie Campbell isn’t making that any easier. The hot JAG wants to bring down David’s unit and fast. His testimony is crucial to winning a case that will make her career. All Sophie has to do is ignore this witness’s unflappable charm, his unnerving good looks, and a strong, solid presence that commands her attention. It’s not easy for David, either. His attraction to this take-charge beauty is turning him inside out. But these adversaries have more in common than secret, mutual desire. There’s a traitor somewhere in the dark ops and now, to find him, David and Sophie must work together—relentlessly, tirelessly, and so intimately it could be damn near fatal. What B is talking about: As a member of the group of men responsible for creating and testing new military technology with the hope of shortening dangerous missions for all members of the armed services, Major David “Ice” Berg has plenty of burdens to shoulder. As a single father, he’s looking forward to being promoted to another assignment that will let him spend more time with his daughter. But, when one of his own men is put on trial for a horrible accident, he’s determined to discover the truth, no matter where it leads. Determined to find justice for a young boy who was wounded during a test flight, Major Sophie Campbell is ruthless in her pursuit of those responsible. As a widow with a son of her own, she’s fighting to hold on to the life she and her son still have after the death of her husband, but is finding it increasingly difficult to resist the comforting strength of the gentle test pilot who’s vowed to protect her as the danger surrounding the case begins to escalate. Working together might be their only chance to solve the case, but winning could cost them both more than they have to give.  As a newcomer to the Black Ops series, I was relieved that Guardian read very well as a standalone novel. While characters from previous novels make...
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Aug
21

Review: Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux

Review: Stars & Stripes by Abigail Roux Stars & Stripes Author: Abigail Roux  Release Date: Aug. 13, 2012 Publisher: Riptide Cut & Run #6 ISBN: #978-1937551582 Genre: Romantic Suspense, GLBT – m/m Format(s): Paperback (292 pgs), e-book Book Source: Purchased with my own funds About the book:       Special Agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett have managed the impossible: a few months of peace and quiet. After nearly a year of personal and professional turmoil, they’re living together conflict-free, their work is going smoothly, and they’re both happy, healthy, and home every night before dark. But anyone who knows them knows that can’t possibly last.        When an emergency call from home upsets the balance of their carefully arranged world, Ty and Zane must juggle family drama with a perplexing crime to save a helpless victim before time runs out.        From the mountains of West Virginia to a remote Texas horse ranch harboring more than just livestock and childhood memories, Ty and Zane must face their fears—and their families—to overcome an unlikely enemy and bring peace back into their newly shared world. What B is talking about:       For several months of relative calm and stability, Ty and Zane have finally been able to enjoy being together. Aside from the constant need to hide their relationship from their coworkers and families, things are going better than ever. But, as living magnets for chaos, it’s a sure bet that such bliss couldn’t last for long.       Stars & Stripes covers a lot of ground, both figuratively as well as geographically. From the mountains of West Virginia to the Hill Country of Texas, Ms. Roux puts her heroes to the test, and proves once again that she is adept at multitasking; writing not only an endearing romance, but a compelling whodunit, as well. Subtle where it counts, and funny in the most unexpected places, this story expands on the solid foundation that’s been built by the previous novels in the series, while giving the two main characters a chance to evolve along with the relationship they’ve been working for.       I was very happy to see Ty’s family again, even though I have serious issues with Ty’s father, as was certainly intended. Every family is different, and things turned out well, but I couldn’t help feeling a strong connection to Zane and his desire for retribution during one particular scene. However, meeting Zane’s family was...
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