<i>Love Another Day</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Love Another Day: Exclusive Excerpt Lexi Blake "It might be her own personal demons that could destroy them both." Romance's Most Likely: Nominate Your Fictional Faves! Romance's Most Likely: Nominate Your Fictional Faves! Team H & H Like senior-class superlatives--but with romance novels! <i>A Royal Mistake</i>: Exclusive Excerpt A Royal Mistake: Exclusive Excerpt Elizabeth Davis "She’s wild and exciting and thrives on the unexpected." <i>The Summer That Made Us</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Summer That Made Us: Exclusive Excerpt Robyn Carr "One woman is determined to draw her family together again..."
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Showing posts by: Dolly Sickles click to see Dolly Sickles's profile
Aug 17 2017 2:00pm

First Look: April Hunt’s Hard Justice (August 29, 2017)

Hard Justice by April Hunt

April Hunt
Hard Justice (Alpha Security #3)
Forever / August 29, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

I’ve been enjoying April Hunt’s Alpha Security series. She’s got a cast full of characters that don’t overlap and dominate the current storyline, and she’s got a great storytelling flow. Her heroes are self-possessed and sexy, and her heroines are confident and interesting. Hard Justice is the third installation in the series, and I thought it was funny that one of the supporting operatives in the series could read between the lines on the reality of saving the day in Romancelandia:

Logan shook his head, looking equal parts amused and disturbed.

“You guys are dropping like flies at a fucking horse show. First Rafe, then Trey…now you. You, man. If Stone thinks he’s sending me on an operation that’s not at some fucking monastery with a horde of men in robes, then I’m not taking it. Shit happens when you go off on your own.”

Alpha Security isn’t an organization you can Google when your bike is stolen, rather “they were the men who got shit done when the government’s hands were metaphorically—or logistically—tied.” Charlie Sparks is the only female operative at Alpha Security, and is normally relegated to her comfort zone of computer genius. But when the DHS seeks her out specifically for a case they’re working on human-trafficking with a possible link to agency corruption, she finally gets a primary position on a case.

[Read more...]

Aug 9 2017 1:30pm

In Scarlett Cole’s Under Fire “Flaws Make Life Interesting”

Under Fire by Scarlett Cole

Flaws are a funny thing. There are situational flaws, like if your preacher swore in church. What if she was in the middle of reading scripture and the good book slipped off the podium and fell on the floor, closing and losing her place? A swift shit! would change the intended message (but it would sure as hell be funny). Diamond flaws are common and referred to as inclusions or imperfections. On the one hand, flaws interfere with the path of light, making the diamond less brilliant; on the other, that divergence alters the flow of light reflection and changes the way you look at it. Likewise, with character flaws. Superman is perfect and strong … and boring socially. I mean, how awesome would it be if Lois finally broke through to him and he grabbed her and pressed her against the wall and… well, you get my point. Flaws make life interesting.

Scarlett Cole gets it. She understands the importance of flaws and creates wonderful tension between characters as a result. In Under Fire, the first book in her new Love Over Duty series, Cole introduces us to Sixton Rapp and Dr. Louisa North. Six recently retired from his duty as a Navy SEAL and is excited to begin the newest chapter in his life as a part owner of Eagle Securities he’s starting with his two life-long friends, Mac and Cabe, who also happen to be retired SEALS. Lou is working on a cure for Huntington’s disease and meets Six at a fundraiser where she’s giving the keynote and he’s guarding the proceedings. She’s working to stave off a panic attack because she suffers from chronic anthropophobia (or extreme shyness). It’s so bad she keeps her bangs long enough to cover her eyes so she doesn’t have to look other people in the eye.

[Read more...]

Jul 31 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Liz Maverick’s The Transporter (August 1, 2017)

The Transporter by Liz Maverick

Liz Maverick
The Transporter (Hudson Kings)
Montlake / August 1, 2017 / $12.95 print, $3.99 digital 

Taking a leap of faith is one of the scariest things a person can ever do. Anyone, in any situation, can do it … changing jobs, leaving an abusive partner, moving across country, trusting a stranger … these are all leaps of faith. And I’m a big fan of them.

When I started reading the first installation of Liz Maverick’s new contemporary series about an elite group of mercenaries known as the Hudson Kings, I knew it was going to be a fun right away. They’ve got a secret lair in the middle of Manhattan, with a huge garage full of cars, motorcycles, armored vehicles, and costumes/uniforms to support countless roles required for jobs. They’ve also got a stable full of scary manpower.

“… Our team is former military, former gang, former white-collar badass, wherever, whatever, from all over the place. High-class, low-class, good with ideas, good with plans, good with hands … I guess you could say that he recruited the best, and the men who answered that call were looking for something.”

[

Jul 4 2017 12:00pm

6 Can’t-Miss Romantic Suspense Novels

I don’t know about you, but life at my house has been occurring at warp-speed. I feel like last week we were celebrating the holidays, and this week we’re sweltering in near-triple-digit heat. Plus, in the blink of an eye, my son just finished his freshman year in college. Didn’t we just enroll him in kindergarten? Thank God for a healthy TBR pile, a lot of road trips where books get the time they deserve … and great romantic suspense authors who keep you on the edge of your seats!

Fuel for Fire by Julie Ann Walker

Fuel for Fire by Julie Ann Walker

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

Walker’s at it again with a new installation of her Black Knights Inc. series about a US clandestine government firm that, well, is destined to save the day. Operative Dagan Zoelner is a badass field operative who does not support the Black Knights’ decision to send analyst Chelsea Duvall into the field to bring down the head of one of the “world’s most nefarious crime syndicates.” She’s smart, good at her job, and capable of anything. She also (unknowingly) holds his heart.

Dagan had spent the last handful of years keeping his heart encased in Kevlar. But Chelsea’s confession blew through the protective armor and pierced deep .

“You’ve always made me the best version of myself.”

Turn Me Loose by Anne Calhoun

(Amazon | B&N | Kobo)

I loved the setup for this story, too. Ian Hawthorn and Riva Henneman were young when their paths crossed—but whereas Riva was a college student selling drugs on the side, Ian was an undercover police officer with an underlying anger at the world. He set her up as a confidential informant and battled with his attraction to her for years, forcing himself to keep his distance. When their paths cross again as adults, they’re both in very different places, and the power has shifted between the two. I love that both characters are flawed and so very human. This was a great story.

How could he understand what it was like to feel powerless, to face someone with an iron grip on your present, your future? When had he ever been truly powerless?

[Read more...]

May 10 2017 9:30am

First Look: Rebecca Zanetti’s Lethal Lies (May 16, 2017)

Lethal Lies by Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti
Lethal Lies (Blood Brothers #2)
Forever / May 16, 2017 / $7.99 print, $5.99 digital

There’s never any lack of drama, suspense or romance in a Rebecca Zanetti novel. And when you combine the badass virtues that make her stories exciting with the Blood Brothers saga, it’s a winning combination. Every time.

…but he’d give anything to smell his mom’s lotion again. Her scent had been soft and sweet, kind of like he imagined pink roses would smell. If he’d been stronger, smarter…he could’ve saved her.

I’m fascinated by this notion of blood brothers. My family is so small that three generations of us can ride together in sedan. When I was younger, I always got to ride in the front seat; as a parent of just one child, I never had to choose whose soccer game or track meet to attend. But small though it may be, it’s mighty. I always knew someone had my back. With the Jones boys, neither Ryker, Heath nor Denver had anyone to lean on until they found each other. And once that bond was forged, all three knew it was unbreakable.

[Read more...]

Mar 4 2017 2:00pm

First Look: Cherry Adair’s Stormchaser (March 7, 2017)

Stormchaser by Cherry Adair

Cherry Adair
Stormchaser (Cutter Cay Series #4)
St. Martin's Press / March 7, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

I’ve been a Cherry Adair fan since Kiss and Tell seventeen years ago. She’s one of the OG romantic suspense authors who drew me into the genre and got me addicted to the breathtaking notion of falling in love while running for your life.

And warmer temperatures on the horizon mean Adair’s latest installment of the Cutter Cay series, Stormchaser, is hitting the shelves at the exact right time. Fans of Jacques Cousteau and his magical underwater world will love this story!

We meet Dr. Callie West, a marine archaeologist hired by Jonah Cutter to work with his team aboard the Stormchaser on a salvage off the shores of Greece. From the get-go, she assumes Jonah is just another “modern-day treasure hunter” like the rest of his family. She also assumes she’s only going to be working on the Ji Li. Boy is she wrong on both fronts.

[Read more...]

Feb 19 2017 12:00pm

Rachel Grant’s New Flashpoint Series Is Off with a Bang

Tinderbox by Rachel Grant

Reading Rachel Grant’s books is like being in the middle of an Indiana Jones movie. Only, in her stories Indy is a heroine, and Miriam is a soldier. Since Grant, herself, is an archaeologist, her plots always include badass science—but they also weave in exotic settings and sexy suspense. And in this new Flashpoint series, she incorporates even more of a healthy dose of adventure.

In Tinderbox, we meet Dr. Morgan Adler and Master Sergeant Pax Blanchard. Morgan’s work on a dig in the Djibutian dessert is already dangerous enough, just by geopolitical standards; but when you add in her desperate race from a dig to the closest military base … with a stolen artifact in the trunk … all bets are off. Poor Pax, acting on a tip-off about an en route with a “message” from said Warlord, has no choice but to detain Morgan. Out in the field, choices are made quickly or hesitation can mean death—whether the choice is being made by an archaeologist or a soldier.

[Read more...]

Jan 20 2017 10:30am

First Look: Christine Feehan’s Power Game (January 24, 2017)

Power Game by Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan
Power Game (A Ghostwalker Novel)
Berkley / January 24, 2017 / $27.00 print, $13.99 digital

Fear of the unknown held them.

Life often comes down to a series of choices. For most folks, the options are mundane: should I have the egg white omelette for breakfast, or the French toast? Coffee or tea? The comfy Birkenstocks or the four-inch pumps? But for Christine Feehan’s genetically engineered men and women, the options are always laced with life or death considerations.

Shadow Game was the first book in her GhostWalker series, and has always been one of my favorite romances. Since paranormal is not my usual go-to genre, it’s easy to remember reading about the genetically engineered supersoldiers who could communicate telepathically with one another (and with the women they love) and rushing through the book to see how it ended. Feehan’s written a dozen more GhostWalker stories since 2003, and I have discovered another great set of characters in Ezekiel Fortune and Bellisia in her most recent installation, Power Game.

The GhostWalkers are constantly forced to make choices, chief among them who to invite into their carefully cultivated and protected lives. It’s not like they run out of milk and go to the grocery store, then BAM, run into a pretty lady in the produce section. It happens to Zeke one morning when he goes into town to pick up spices for Nonny, the matriarch of the family.

She smelled—delicious. Sexy.

He instantly had the need to touch her skin, to bury his fingers in that thick mass of hair peeking out beneath the triangle of cloth.

She was vividly alive, a shimmering, beautiful woman he couldn’t take his gaze from.

[Some tough choices...]

Dec 1 2016 10:30am

Rachel Grant’s Poison Evidence Proves Love is the Key to Trusting Your Instincts

Poison Evidence by Rachel Grant

Trust is a precious commodity in any relationship. In most circumstances, it’s easily achieved. But when a brilliant US scientist whose husband was a traitor is asked to put her trust in a Russian spy who steals her away in the night to help find a missing sub in Palau’s Rock Islands, there’s not much hope in trust developing. And for the seventh installment of Rachel Grant’s Evidence series, Poison Evidence is a prophetic title … the very thing that could save the day also has the potential to destroy the people involved.

He smiled, liking this woman’s cool wits in the face of terror. He’d have to remember that she didn’t give in to hysterics. When she learned what he was, she’d be a cunning adversary.

Jack Keaton needs Ivy MacLeod and her ground-breaking technology to find a missing prototype Air/Underwater Unmanned Vehicle (AUUV). His reasons are his own, and though he is a Russian spy, he isn’t the bad guy. In fact, he’s trying to save her and the Computer-Aided Mapping system and drone she developed from falling into the hands of terrorists who bought the technology from her bastard of an ex-husband, convicted traitor Patrick Hill. Once Jack gets what he needs from Ivy, he’s willing to let her—and the technology—go. But because he refuses to tell her what he’s searching for and why, it makes it all the more difficult for her to let her guard down.

[Come on... let him in!]

Nov 10 2016 10:30am

Fall into Safe Hands with Romantic Suspense

The Best Fall Romantic Suspense

I’ve had a great couple of weeks reading romantic suspense from some of my tried and true favorites, but I’ve also tried a handful of new-to-me authors. As the weather keeps getting cooler, I’m happy to fall into a comfortable spot on the couch in front of the fireplace and break out a sexy new book.

Burnout by Tee O’Fallon

Burnout by Tee O’Fallon: It’s likely that these five words are the most chilling to any undercover detective: “there’s a hit on you.” And for New York City Detective Cassie Yates, who—along with her grandfather, father and three brothers—joined the family tradition of becoming a cop, the hit means she has to go undercover again, somewhere far away, to stay alive. When she flees to the small upstate New York town of Hopewell Springs with her K-9, Raven, she happens upon sexy Police Chief Mike Flannery. Under instructions from her partner and good friend, Dominick, and her brother (and Dom’s best friend), Gray, she’s discouraged from reaching out to any local law enforcement. The concept of staying under the radar is impossible when the hottest guy interested in whether or not she was staying in town or just passing through is the chief of police—and with the highest likelihood of figuring out what kind of trouble she’s in. When the shit hits the fan, Mike works to keep his little town safe …knowing that now Cassie is also a member of his tight-knit community.

As thorny as Cassie Younger was, she’d definitely gotten his attention. Besides being one hot tomato, she was a puzzle. A mystery he wanted—no, needed—to solve.

[Read more...]

Nov 7 2016 3:30pm

Don’t Assume in D.D. Ayres’ Explosive Forces

Explosive Forces by D.D. Ayres

The first time I heard the saying, “if you assume something, you make an ass out of you and me,” I was at my high school job and my boss was chewing out a colleague… meaning, another high school kid. I’ve thought about it a lot during the years, because wrapped up in a catchy idiom is some pretty sage advice. In D.D. Ayres’ newest installation of her K-9 Rescue Series, Explosive Forces, the powers that be could do with a little coaching on the risk of assumption.

Carly Reese is turning over a new leaf, leaving behind her former life as a model and opening a fashion boutique that will represent women artisans who create beautiful, one-of-a-kind creations for fair wages.

Her shop represented so much. A fresh start. A new life. Flawless wasn’t just about beauty. Or bling. It was about a woman empowering other women while owning her own style.

One night, while getting things ready for the upcoming opening, she hears whimpering and scratching coming from the vacant space next door. A good Samaritan at heart, she goes to check it out. Only, instead of just a dog, she finds a “derelict, passed out from drugs or alcohol, or both.” Before she can grab the big German shepherd tucked away in the corner and bolt, she realizes it’s tethered to a support post...and a fire is starting.

[Hurry, hurry!]

Oct 3 2016 3:30pm

First Look: Nichole Severn’s His Seductive Target (October 4, 2016)

His Seductive Target by Nichole Severn

Nichole Severn
His Seductive Target (Afterlife #2)
Nichole Severn / October 4, 2016 / $2.99 digital

Trust is a big issue in any relationship. You’ve got to trust your doctor when you’re sick. You’ve got to trust your son when he takes the car out for the first time. You’ve got to trust that your wife won’t cheat on you when you deploy for war. And when you’re a New York City detective investigating the death of your sister, you’ve got to trust that the FBI agent on the case will include you on his findings and do right by your murdered sister. In the most basic of situations, it takes time and experience to earn trust. When you’re a demon trying to regain your soul, you’ve got to earn it on the fly.

Former Detective Veranika (Nika) Russo has been put on suspension from the New York City Police Department, and stumbles across her sister’s murder scene one night while trying to earn her way back into the department’s good graces. Already on site is FBI agent Grayson Wyatt, who’s aware of her situation. Once she realizes one of the victims is her sister, Rachel, she’s determined to remain in the loop.

[Read more...]

Sep 29 2016 2:30pm

First Look: Rebecca Zanetti Deadly Silence (October 4, 2016)

Deadly Silence by Rebecca Zanetti

Rebecca Zanetti
Deadly Silence (Blood Brothers #1)
Forever / October 4, 2016 / $10.99 print, $5.99 digital

If it were the 1960s and Rebecca Zanetti was taking the stage with The Beatles for the Ed Sullivan Show, I would be the loudest, screaming-est fangirl in the middle of the front row. That’s how excited I was to start reading Deadly Silence, first in the new Blood Brothers series by my girl, Zanetti.

I’ve enjoyed her foray into more paranormal storylines, and I loved the first two installations of her post-apocalyptic Scorpius Syndrome series … but this? Deadly Silence harkens back to her super-successful Sin Brothers saga about the Dean Brothers, with secretive psychotherapy and military testing, supersoldiers, and intuitive lifestyles that scream “stay the fuck away from me.”

We are introduced to twelve-year-old Ryker Jones, struggling to keep his sanity and safety in another horrendous foster home situation, and its owner, Ned Cobb. It’s hard enough to look out for number one, but between his protective streak his yearning for some semblance of family, he finds himself bound to two of his foster brothers: Heath and Denver.

[Read more...]

Sep 4 2016 1:00pm

8 Romantic Suspense Novels Packing Heat

Cold Hearted by Toni Anderson

With the hottest summer on record almost behind us, it’s a relief to bring the sizzle inside with the air conditioning. These sexy romantic suspenses haven’t helped, either. Bodyguards and cops and soldiers, oh my! Cooler weather’s on the horizon, but a good romantic suspense will still make you break you out in a sweat.

Cold Hearted by Toni Anderson:

I love Anderson’s books, and am always super excited whenever she’s got a new one. Cold Hearted is the sixth installation of her Cold Justice series, and each one gets better and better. As usual, both of the main characters are written with equal strength and flaws, and with such depth. It’s as captivating to watch Detective Erin Donovan and FBI Agent Darsh Singh develop as it is the plot. Of particular interest is the racism Darsh faces, both at work and as part of a bi-racial couple. Erin and Darsh are working together on a serial killer/rapist case, and having been involved years ago, the tension between the two is palpable. I love this description:

He’d been circling her like a planet around its star since he’d arrived, and no matter he told himself it was about the case, that was a lie. And he wanted to get closer. Much closer.

[Read more...]

May 11 2016 5:00pm

Get the Jump on Spring Romantic Suspense

Taking Fire by Cindy Gerard

My Year of the Monkey has turned out to be one steeped in eight balls. We sold our house, are building a new one; our son is graduating from high school and getting ready for college soon; my mom had back surgery; we went to Barbados in February and will go to Costa Rica in June. Oh, yeah—and we have to move into the new house. Whew! Most days I meet myself coming and going. Life is nearly as heart-pounding and stressful as the romantic suspense novels I love, but without the assassins. Thank God for great books, though, because it means I can manage the crazy real-life situations, and then escape into a world of intrigue and danger where the hot-ass heroes swoop in and save the day.

Here’s a roundup of some really great reads:

Taking Fire by Cindy Gerard 

This adventurous suspense reminded me of Speed, where the action exploded off the first page and never let up. The action is intense, the romance intense, and the betrayal devastating.

[Uh oh...]

May 4 2016 4:30pm

An Intimate Look at First Person with J.C. Cliff’s Undaunted Men

Quinn by J.C. Cliff

Most of the time, I find books written in first-person to be a little unnerving. It’s almost too intimate to bear, for one thing, but I find it can also be limiting in my experience as a reader. First person narrative means that I can only know what’s happening in the story as it’s filtered through the active character’s experience. There’s no dynamic view of the action. In J.C. Cliff’s new series, Undaunted Men, not only do we experience the story through Quinn’s first person perspective, we get the double whammy of a perspective shift from another character, too!

When mob boss Tony Moretti calls on Quinn to track down and return his missing daughter, Alexis, Quinn has no choice but to take the job. Moretti’s line of work means everything is an immediate emergency. Since Alexis has grown up in a mob family, and has access to people who can help her disappear—particularly when she’s wanted for murder (and, oh yeah, pregnant)—it’s very likely she’s taking her efforts to hide very seriously.

[We'll hide away with this book...]

Feb 1 2016 5:30pm

First Look: Rachel Grant’s Cold Evidence (February 2, 2016)

Cold Evidence by Rachel Grant

Rachel Grant
Cold Evidence (Evidence #6)
Janus Publishing / February 2, 2016 / $3.99 digital

The frigid waters of the Pacific Northwest are about to get hot… 

The only thing Navy underwater archaeologist Undine Gray fears more than facing former SEAL Luke Sevick is never scuba diving again. But when a dive on a Cold War-era US Navy submarine ends with an accidental explosion, she’s terrified of going into the deep, forcing her to beg the most experienced diver she knows to take her back to the bottom of the cold Salish Sea. 

Luke wants nothing to do with the woman who destroyed his career a dozen years ago but finds it impossible to turn his back on her plea. Caught off guard by an attraction he doesn’t want to feel, he’s eager to be done with this mission of mercy. But when they dive on the wreck, he only gets sucked in deeper. Someone has been digging on the Navy sub…and it appears the explosion that almost killed Undine was no accident. 

To find the truth, Undine must navigate murky waters and the unexpectedly hot undercurrents swirling between her and Luke. Worse, divers are searching for something lost in US waters during the Cold War, and they’ll do anything to keep Luke and Undine from finding it first.

I’ve long been a fan of Rachel Grant’s romantic suspense novels. And while I consider rich settings, exciting suspense and cool science to be her hallmarks, one underlying truth really stuck out in the latest installment of her Evidence series: Rachel Grant is a fabulous storyteller.

Her pacing is spot-on. It’s easy to connect with her (very human) characters. There’s also a satisfying gender equality in her stories, whereby neither hero nor heroine are blameless, both are equally intelligent, and both exhibit strength and vulnerability.

[Taking another stab at this love thing ...]

Jan 28 2016 10:30am

First Look: Elle Kennedy’s Midnight Revenge (February 2, 2016)

Midnight Revenge by Elle Kennedy

Elle Kennedy
Midnight Revenge (Killer Instincts #7)
Signet / February 2, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

From the USA Today bestselling author of Midnight Captive, the latest Killer Instincts novel is “off-the-charts-hot”* romantic suspense that takes readers into the heart of an enigmatic mercenary...

Out of all the stone-cold mercenaries in Jim Morgan's black ops organization, Derek “D” Pratt is the most intimidating. He is tight-lipped and covered in tattoos, and even the other guys on his team are afraid to ask him about his past. D’s been off the grid for years, but after his teammate Sullivan is mistakenly captured in his place, D is forced to come out of hiding and face his demons.

When D lands in Mexico, he’s ready to risk everything to save his friend. To complicate matters, Sofia Amaro, a feisty doctor whom D had a one-night stand with months ago, has tracked him down. And in an instant she’s unintentionally caught up in his life-threatening rescue mission.

Now D must extract not one but two people from the most violent world he's ever encountered. And one of them is carrying his child...

Revenge. A synonym of my favorite word (and concept), retribution … right there in the title. Elle Kennedy is a queen of the concept, and Midnight Revenge is no different. Set deep in the violent grime of organized crime, this is my favorite kind of revenge.

In Kennedy’s Killer Instinct series, we navigate the rough underbelly of society through Jim Morgan’s black ops organization. Derek “D” Pratt is another of his badass mercs doing his ferocious part to make the world a better place, this time taking on a human trafficking crime boss in Mexico named Raoul Mendez.

[He wants blood ...]

Jan 26 2016 5:30pm

First Look: Kat Martin’s Into the Fury (January 26, 2016)

Into The Fury by Kat Martin

Kat Martin
Into the Fury (BOSS Inc. #1)
Zebra / January 26, 2016 / $7.99 print, $7.49 digital

A bodyguard, a bounty hunter, a P.I.—the men of Brodie Operations Security Service, Inc. are down for the job. . .

Sinners, whores, and sluts beware—your time is at hand: a faceless menace is threatening lingerie models on a cross country tour, and Ethan Brodie is there to defend and protect. 

Ethan's learned the hard way that beauty is no substitute for character. So even though Valentine Hart is one of the most breathtaking women he's ever seen, he's keeping his hands off and his eyes open. Or that's what he tells himself. 

Then one of the models is murdered, and the closer Ethan gets to the answers, the closer he finds himself to Valentine—and the hotter the pressure feels. There's more to Val—more to the other girls—than he could have guessed. But one is keeping a secret that could kill them all.

Bodyguards. Lingerie models. Hostages. Diamonds. TWO killers! Kat Martin weaves a robust tale of suspense that’s full of romance and intrigue, with a couple of twists along the way. It all starts with a warning: “Sinners, whores, and sluts beware—your time is at hand.” If the powers that be had heeded it, we would’ve had a much shorter, much less satisfying story.

Valentine Hart won the beauty lottery, so to speak, by winning a national contest to be Miss La Belle. She’s more interested in the income that’ll pay for college than in fame and fortune, but in order to get the income, she’s got to do the job. And who knew lingerie modelling could be so dangerous?

[Ethan's views of women is about to change when he meets Val ...]

Jan 12 2016 10:30am

First Look: Calia Read’s Unhinge (January 12, 2016)

Unhinge by Calia Read

Calia Read
Ballantine Books / January 12, 2016 / $16.00 print, $6.99 digital

In Calia Read’s electrifying and steamy novel of psychological suspense, a handsome stranger shatters a beautiful young woman’s picture-perfect vision of her past.

Hold your breath and count to ten. Soon it will be over before it ever began.
No matter how many times Victoria Donovan repeats that phrase to herself, she’s still trapped behind the walls of a mental institution. Once upon a time, her life was like a fantasy: Wes, the handsome fiancé, followed by a storybook wedding and a white picket fence. But then a picture-perfect marriage twisted into something sinister. And as Victoria’s world warped from dream to nightmare, her husband’s obsessions pushed her beyond the breaking point.

At first Fairfax Mental Health Institute seems like a safe place for Victoria to heal with her baby, Evelyn, and to hide from Wes, presumed dead by everyone except Victoria. Her husband is still alive, she has no doubt: He slips into her room at night to torment and tempt her. One smoldering kiss and she’s powerless. Of course, no one believes her about these visits. When she meets a sexy, mysterious stranger intent on helping her recall her past, Victoria isn’t sure she can trust him. But deep in her heart, she also knows that the only way out of Fairfax is to remember the way she came in.

Unhinge is intended for mature audiences.

Editor's Note: Today is release day so get reading quickly, this review is spoiler free, but may take SOME of the fun out of all the twists and turns in Unhinge.  

If ever there were an appropriate title, this is it. Calia Read’s new psychological suspense, Unhingedelves into the world of Victoria Donovan, a young woman who finds herself in a mental institution with her infant daughter, Evelyn … with no memory of life before waking up in the hospital.

[POVs from both the hero and the heroine ...]