Tag Archives: romantic suspense fiction

Book Review: Deep Extraction

26 Jun

A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional―the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.

Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer ― and to each other ― the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.

 

DiAnn Mills is a bestselling author who believes her readers should expect an adventure. She combines unforgettable characters with unpredictable plots to create action-packed, suspense-filled novels.

Her titles have appeared on the CBA and ECPA bestseller lists; won two Christy Awards; and been finalists for the RITA, Daphne Du Maurier, Inspirational Readers’ Choice, and Carol award contests. Library Journal presented her with a Best Books 2014: Genre Fiction award in the Christian Fiction category for Firewall.

DiAnn has been termed a coffee snob and roasts her own coffee beans. She’s an avid reader, loves to cook, and believes her grandchildren are the smartest kids in the universe. She and her husband live in sunny Houston, Texas.

DiAnn is very active online and would love to connect with readers on any of the social media platforms listed at http://www.diannmills.com.

 

My Impressions:

For fast-paced romantic suspense it is hard to beat a novel by DiAnn Mills. Deep Extraction, the second installment in her FBI Task Force series, is no exception. With characters you’ll love, an action-packed plot, and a spiritual theme that touches the heart, Deep Extraction will appeal to fans of this genre. Take this book along on your next weekend getaway.

FBI agent Tori Templeton and US Marshall Cole Jeffers are called to solve their friend Nathan Moore’s death. Not only faced with the shock of the murder of someone close to them, they also have to come to grips with the fact that they really didn’t know him. But they are determined to uncover the layers of deception to find the guilty party, no matter who that might be.

Deep Extraction is filled with tension and surprise twists and turns. The main characters are challenged with finding truth, even if it implicates those closest to them. I found Tori and Cole’s struggle with maintaining professionalism and objectivity in the face of personal feelings a great addition to the book. Can anyone ever really know someone? That’s what they battle as they investigate a case that gets more personal day by day. Readers who like plenty of action will appreciate the dangers Tori and Cole encounter — snipers, explosions, to name just a few. Along with dealing with the sense of betrayal, they must also overcome ingrained fears from past experiences. Trust in God is part of that struggle and is a theme woven naturally throughout the novel. The reader gets a glimpse into the actions of the bad guys before the main characters and I loved that, but I didn’t see the big surprise twist coming either!

Although book 2 in a series, Deep Extraction can be read as a standalone. A page-turner that I just could not put down, this one gets a recommended rating from me.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to the author for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Suspense on My Shelves!

6 Jun

Last week’s Top Ten Tuesday featured the suspense-filled novels that I am anxiously awaiting in the coming months. This week the folks at The Broke And The Bookish want to know what books I have recently added to my burgeoning library, so I am featuring the suspense novels that already reside on my shelves, whispering and sometimes shouting pick me! LOL! To find out what other bloggers have added to their home libraries, click HERE.

 

 

8 Suspense Novels on My Shelves

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason

Elite Guardians bodyguard Haley Callaghan may be in South Carolina, but when a photo leads investigators in West Ireland to open a twenty-five-year-old cold case, her life is suddenly in danger. Haley knows how to take care of herself; after all, she’s made a career out of taking care of others. But after an uncomfortably close call, Detective Steven Rothwell takes it upon himself to stay with her — and the young client she has taken under her wing. A protector at heart, he’s not about to let Haley fight this battle alone.

Deadly Proof by Rachel Dylan (ARC)

In the biggest case of her career, attorney Kate Sullivan is tapped as lead counsel to take on Mason Pharmaceutical because of a corporate cover-up related to its newest drug. After a whistleblower dies, Kate knows the stakes are much higher than her other lawsuits.

Former Army Ranger turned private investigator Landon James is still haunted by mistakes made while serving overseas. Trying to forget the past, he is hired by Kate to look into the whistleblower’s allegation and soon suspects that the company may be engaging in a dangerous game for profit. He also soon finds himself falling for this passionate and earnest young lawyer.

Determined not to make the same mistakes, he’s intent on keeping Kate safe, but as the case deepens, it appears someone is willing to risk everything — even murder — to keep the case from going to trial.

Deep Extraction by DiAnn Mills

A pacemaker should have saved oil and gas magnate Nathan Moore’s life. Instead, it provided his killer with a seemingly perfect means of execution.

A bombing at one of Nathan’s oil rigs days earlier indicates his death could be part of a bigger conspiracy, a web Special Agent Tori Templeton must untangle. But her first order of business is separating the personal from the professional—the victim’s wife, her best friend, is one of the FBI’s prime suspects.

Clearing Sally’s name may be the biggest challenge of her career, but Tori finds an unexpected ally in the newest member of the task force, recently reinstated Deputy US Marshal Cole Jeffers. As Tori and Cole dig deeper into Nathan’s personal and business affairs, they uncover more than they bargained for. And the closer they get to finding the real killer—and to each other—the more intent someone is on silencing them for good.

Invitation by Bill Myers, Frank Peretti, Angela Hunt, and Alton Gansky

BRENDA – The street-hustling tattoo artist who sees images of the future.

THE PROFESSOR – The atheist ex-priest ruled by logic.

ANDI – The professor’s brilliant but geeky assistant who sees inexplicable patterns

TANK – The naïve, big-hearted jock with a surprising connection to a healing power.

The four find out that pockets of darkness are emerging throughout the world. Whether it involves a mysterious house, the unexplainable death of animals around the world, or an otherworldly little girl, each mystery they solve brings them closer to the ultimate explanation of what’s happening. What will happen if they don’t solve the mysteries in time?

Magnolia Moonlight by Mary Ellis

Natchez, Mississippi — Private Investigator Nate Price and his new wife, Isabelle, need a vacation. Their coworkers generously team up to surprise them with a belated honeymoon…but the happy trip turns sour when Izzy spies her ex-husband, who appears to have taken up his gambling addiction once again.

While the boss is away, Price Investigations remains in the hands of Beth Kirby, a former police officer, and Michael Preston, a former forensic accountant. Hardly a dream team, as Beth resents working with a man who has no experience in his new job.

But Beth and Michael must move past their differences if they hope to uncover the truth behind a beloved Southern preacher’s demise. The preacher’s widow suspects foul play, despite the evidence indicating suicide.

With tension escalating between these investigators and local law enforcement — and new threats arising on all sides — how will Beth, Michael, and Nate hold on to faith and bring the truth to light?

Storm of Attraction by Lily Black

Love is worth fighting for. Alexa Wolving has just one rule: never give a guy a second chance. That works just fine in the safe life she’s built. In the charming town of Willowdale, her day job as a librarian balances perfectly with her evening job as a black belt instructor. But when she attracts the attention of a stalker, Alexa’s carefully built world begins to crumble. Drew Cosimo knows he broke Alexa’s heart five years ago when he took his first Ranger assignment and disappeared from her life. Now that he’s out of the army, he’s moving back home to Willowdale. He’s not looking for a fight, but making peace would be easier if Alexa hadn’t told the entire town he was a money-grubbing jerk. Despite the tension between them, Drew is quick to offer his protection when a stalker forces Alexa from her home. As the stalker’s attacks escalate, Alexa and Drew are forced to face their painful past and the simmering attraction between them. They must fight to save each other before everything they care about goes up in flames.

Sunset in Old Savannah by Mary Ellis

Private investigators Beth Kirby and Michael Preston are hired by wealthy socialite Evelyn Doyle of Savannah, Georgia, to prove her husband is cheating on her. During the surveillance, the husband ends up dead and Mrs. Doyle becomes the prime suspect. Is Evelyn the real killer or is it the shady business partner? Did they find a mistress? 

 

Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson

Get inside the minds of Evie Blackwell and the best of the best investigative team as they re-open cold cases for the Governor’s new Missing Persons Task Force. Each has their own style when it comes to their search methods.  Become a part of the intense details and find yourself on the edge of your seat as they pull that next thread that leads them yet another step closer to finding the abductors.

 

Which one should I read first?

Book Review: Weaver’s Needle

25 May

Two recovery specialists.
One murder.
A hunt for the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine becomes a race of survival.

 
Former Army MP Landry Parker fell into the recovery specialist role quite by accident — to help her ailing father. Now that she’s on her own, she is determined to prove herself and honor her family legacy.

After being shot in the line of duty, former police officer Nickolai Baptiste became a recovery specialist, and he’s good at his job—maybe even the best.
           
A potential client pits Landry and Nickolai against one another to find the Dutchman’s Lost Gold Mine map that was stolen from her murdered husband, and the potential payday is too enticing to pass up. The trail takes them from New Orleans to Weaver’s Needle in Arizona where legend claims the mine is hidden. Landry and Nickolai are no strangers to adventure, but the unlikely partners quickly discover there’s someone after the treasure and there are those who want to ensure the lost mine in Arizona’s Superstition Mountain stays lost forever.

Can Landry and Nickolai work together despite their distrust of each other to save the legend before more innocent lives are lost? Will they find the real treasure isn’t the gold, but something more valuable . . . true love and understanding?

Born and raised in Louisiana, Robin Caroll is a southerner through and through. Her passion has always been to tell stories to entertain others. Robin’s mother, bless her heart, is a genealogist who instilled in Robin the deep love of family and pride of heritage – -two aspects Robin weaves into each of her 30 published novels.

When she isn’t writing, Robin spends time with her husband of twenty+ years, her three beautiful daughters and two handsome grandsons, and their character-filled pets at home — in the South, where else?

She serves the writing community as Executive Director/Conference Director for ACFW.

Her books have finaled/placed in such contests as the Carol Award, Holt Medallion, RT Reviewer’s Choice Award, Bookseller’s Best, and Book of the Year.

On her faith, Robin says, “I love Jesus and will follow Him wherever He leads me.”

An avid reader herself, Robin loves hearing from and chatting with other readers. Although her favorite genre to read is mystery/suspense, of course, she’ll read just about any good story. Except historicals! To learn more about this author of deep South mysteries of suspense to inspire your heart, visit Robin’s website at http://www.robincaroll.com.

 

My Impressions:

What a great idea for a novel! Two recovery specialists pitted against each other to recover a treasure map! I have loved Robin Caroll’s other romantic suspense novels set in the South that feature law enforcement, but her latest book, Weaver’s Needle, has an extra dose of special. I loved how she combined adventure and romance against the backdrop of Old West legends and Native American lore. This one gets a highly recommended rating from me!

Landry Parker and Nickolai Baptiste, two recovery specialists (those usually hired by insurance companies to recover lost or stolen art or documents), both have reasons to accept the challenge of retrieving the stolen treasure map for widow Winifred Winslett. Family is important to both and that plays a big role in taking the job, but the challenge of a puzzle and the allure of lost gold sweeten the deal. In the wilds of the Arizona back country, they begin separately to follow leads, but soon recognize the necessity to combine their expertise. There’s also a lot of chemistry between the two that keeps drawing them closer.

Weaver’s Needle has a definite National Treasure vibe. Adventure, suspense, danger, and romance keep the pages of this book turning. Landry and Nickolai are great characters that a reader can root for, especially as their feelings for each other deepen. Their backstories are complex and add a depth to a novel that is action-packed. There is also an element of the mystical as Caroll introduces the behind the scenes actions of Apache shamans. The addition of Native American lore is intriguing and compliments the Christian message of God’s sovereignty that runs throughout the story. But make no mistake, God, not nature or spirits from another world, is definitely in control.

I loved Weaver’s Needle and am hoping that Caroll will bring Landry and Nickolai back for more exciting thrill rides!

Highly Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(Thanks to Barbour Publishing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Top 10 Tuesday — Summer Reading!

23 May

Summer is upon us, although here in the sunny South, we have had temps in the 90s for a few weeks now! When the weather is hot do you prefer a sizzling romance, a suspense-filled mystery, a riveting historical, or thoughtful literary fiction? All of the above? Me too! I love to read across all genres, and summer is a great time to abandon yourself in a good book. The folks at The Broke And The Bookish are hosting Summer Reads this week in their Top 10 Tuesday. Find out what other bloggers are packing in their weekender and beach totes HERE.

 

This week’s list is a mixture of books I’ve read that would be good take-alongs on your summer adventures and books that I will be reading this summer. More than 10? Maybe! LOL! But it’s summer. Indulge!

Top 10 Books for Summer Reading

 

What I’ve Read

If I Run/If I’m Found by Terri Blackstock (suspense)

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin (literary fiction)

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry (literary fiction)

Vendetta/Missing/Pursued by Lisa Harris (suspense)

The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton (historical)

What I’ll Be Reading

Chasing Secrets by Lynette Eason (romantic suspense)

Deep Extraction by DiAnn Mills (romantic suspense)

Driver Confessional by David L. Winters (political thriller)

The One True Love of Alice-Ann by Eva Marie Everson (historical romance)

Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett (historical fiction)

The Runaway by Claire Wong (mystery)

Sailing out of Darkness by Normandie Fischer (women’s fiction)

True to You by Becky Wade (contemporary romance)

With You Always by Jody Hedlund (historical romance)

What will you read this summer?

Book Review: If I’m Found

19 May

Casey Cox is still on the run, fleeing prosecution for a murder she didn’t commit. Dylan Roberts—her most relentless pursuer—is still on her trail, but his secret emails insist he knows the truth and wants to help her. He’s let her escape before when he had her in his grasp, but trust doesn’t come easily.

As Casey works to collect evidence about the real murderers, she stumbles on another unbearable injustice: an abused child and a suicidal man who’s also been falsely accused. Casey risks her own safety to right this wrong and protect the little girl from her tormenters. But doing so is risky and may result in her capture—and if she’s captured, she has no doubt she’ll be murdered before she ever steps foot in a jail cell.

 

Terri Blackstock is a New York Times and USA Today best-seller, with over seven million books sold worldwide. She is the winner of two Carol Awards, a Christian Retailers Choice Award, and a Romantic Times Book Reviews Career Achievement Award, among others. She has had over twenty-five years of success as a novelist. Terri spent the first twelve years of her life traveling in an Air Force family. She lived in nine states and attended the first four years of school in The Netherlands. Because she was a perpetual “new kid,” her imagination became her closest friend. That, she believes, was the biggest factor in her becoming a novelist. She sold her first novel at the age of twenty-five, and has had a successful career ever since.

In 1994 Terri was writing romance novels under two pseudonyms for publishers such as HarperCollins, Harlequin, Dell and Silhouette, when a spiritual awakening prompted her to switch gears. At the time, she was reading more suspense than romance, and felt drawn to write thrillers about ordinary people in grave danger. Her newly awakened faith wove its way into the tapestry of her suspense novels, offering hope instead of despair. Her goal is to entertain with page-turning plots while challenging her readers. She hopes to remind them that they’re not alone, and that their trials have a purpose.

Terri has appeared on national television programs such as “The 700 Club” and “Home Life,” and has been a guest on numerous radio programs across the country. The story of her personal journey appears in books such as Touched By the Savior by Mike Yorkey, True Stories of Answered Prayer by Mike Nappa, Faces of Faith by John Hanna, and I Saw Him In Your Eyes by Ace Collins.

My Impressions:

Terri Blackstock is a favorite with my book club. We’ve yet to meet a book she has written that we didn’t like. If I’m Found, book 2 in the If I Run series, received a unanimous thumbs up from us. The novel is action-packed with the ongoing story of Casey’s quest to clear her name and the additional story line of a man wrongfully accused of child abuse. As with the first book, there are some loose ends left at the end, and we are eagerly anticipating book 3, If I Live.

Most of our discussion revolved around Casey’s motivations — her need to find the truth and her innate sense of right and wrong. Casey is beginning to respond to God’s promptings, and we found that intriguing as well. While If I’m Found is adrenaline-laced suspense, the character development is well done. We loved the good guys, Dylan especially, and hated the bad guys. Because this one is the middle offering in a trilogy, there is still plenty of what-ifs. We had fun coming up with scenarios for the last book. It will be interesting to see if any of our theories come true.

For fans of Blackstock, If I’m Found is another winner. It gets our book club’s stamp of approval!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased this book. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

 

Book Review: Pursued

17 May

Nikki Boyd’s flight into Nashville was routine — up until the crash landing at the airport. When the dust settles, Nikki discovers that the woman who had been seated next to her on the plane is missing — and no one will admit she was ever there. Erika Hamilton had been flying to Nashville with an air marshal as a key witness in an upcoming grand jury trial. When she flees from the crash, is she running from trouble or straight into it? Before Nikki can even see her family, she and her team are pulled into a missing persons case where the motives are as unclear as the suspects.

 

 

 

Lisa Harris is a Christy Award finalist for Blood Ransom and Vendetta, Christy Award winner for Dangerous Passage, and the winner of the Best Inspirational Suspense Novel for 2011 and 2015 from Romantic Times for her novels Blood Covenant and Vendetta. She has over thirty novels and novella collections in print. She and her family have spent over twelve years living as missionaries in Africa where she leads a women’s group, and runs a non-profit organization that works alongside their church-planting ministry. The ECHO Project works in southern Africa promoting Education, Compassion, Health, and Opportunity and is a way for her to “speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves…the poor and helpless, and see that they get justice.” (Proverbs 31:8)

When she’s not working she loves hanging out with her family, cooking different ethnic dishes, photography, and heading into the African bush on safari. For more information about her books and life in Africa visit her website at http://www.lisaharriswrites.com or her blog at http://myblogintheheartofafrica.blogspot.com.

 

My Impressions:

Lisa Harris’ latest installment in The Nikki Boyd Files gives new meaning to thrill ride. Non-stop action filled with twists and turns is the order of the day. Neither Nikki nor the reader knows from one moment to the next what will happen, making Pursued a late night page turner. Opening with a plane crash (thanks for that Ms. Harris — I left on a European flight the day after beginning this book! 😉 ), the book takes the reader on a search for a missing federal witness. Neither she nor her pursuers want her to be found, but Nikki Boyd has vowed from the beginning of her career to always discover the truth.

Pursued is suspense at its most intense, but introduces a little romance as well. Nikki wants more of a relationship with her friend Tyler, but they never seem to be able to connect due to the urgency of the missing person’s case. That was okay with me, because I prefer my suspense heavy on action and light on love. Nikki is an interesting character who always wants to be in control. Unfortunately, everything seems out of control with the case. And while I never ever want to be in some of the situations Nikki finds herself in, I could identify with the helplessness Nikki feels until she surrenders everything to God. While Nikki had lots of questions, she could be confident that God had the answers. As the case wraps up, there is more time to contemplate what the future may bring Nikki and Tyler. Looks like there will be another thrill ride coming up soon!

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase this book, click HERE.

(Thanks to Revell and Library Thing for a complimentary copy. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

Book Review: Still Life

24 Mar

Blacklisted in the photography business over a controversial shot, Avery Tate answered an ad for a crime scene photographer. She expected to be laughed at, but crime scene analyst Parker Mitchell hired her outright–and changed her life. But six months ago, when her feelings for Parker became too strong, she left his employ to sort out her heart.

Now, for the first time, Avery is facing the world that rejected her to attend the gallery opening of a photography exhibit and support her best friend, who modeled for the show. But the only image of her friend is a chilling photo of her posing as if dead–and the photographer insists he didn’t take the shot. Worse, her friend can’t be found. She immediately calls Parker for help. As Avery, Parker, and his friends in law enforcement dig into the mystery, they find themselves face-to-face with a relentless and deadly threat.

 

 

Dani Pettrey is a wife, homeschooling mom and author. She feels blessed to write inspirational romantic suspense because it incorporates so many things she loves–the thrill of adventure, nail-biting suspense, the deepening of one’s faith and plenty of romance. She’s a huge fan of dark chocolate, is always in search of the best iced mocha and her dream is to one day own a little cottage on a remote stretch of beach. She and her husband reside in Maryland with their two teenage daughters. Visit her web site at http://www.DaniPettrey.com.

 

My Impressions:

Still Life by Dani Pettrey was my book club’s March selection. We all liked it, perhaps not as much as book 1 in the Chesapeake Valor series, Cold Shot, but all of us liked the fast-paced suspense and the developing romance between main characters, Avery and Parker. There was one thing we did have trouble with: the number of characters that were involved — lots of characters in the ensemble cast and lots of characters that were involved with the investigations the book undertook. I actually had trouble with the names given to the main characters. Most are gender non-specific and are usually last names. I know, I know, this is hardly a real problem and I am a bit old-fashioned (my 3 kids all have very traditional names), but it still took me out of the story as I tried to remember just who was who. As I looked at the lower starred Amazon ratings, I found some had trouble with the darker turn to Pettrey’s novel. My group members are big fans of Criminal Minds, CSI, and other shows of the same genre, so the creep-factor was a bonus for us! Still Life also made us want to explore Baltimore and environs. When a book’s setting inspires, that is a really good thing. The spiritual theme of forgiveness and its impact on past guilt is a relevant issue and we found it well-handled. For readers that may not be able to road trip to Maryland, Pettrey has a Book Club Kit for Still Life that includes recipes, pictures of Fells Point in Baltimore, discussion questions and more. What a great resource!.

Still Life is book 2 in the series and many story threads are still to be untangled. We are looking forward to more thrilling rides with Dani Pettrey.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I purchased the audiobook from Audible. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)