Tag Archives: romantic suspense

Book Review: Deadly Commitment

5 Dec

Will the truth about her fiancé be more unsettling than the stranger stalking her? 

As Danielle Kemp walks out of her downtown Nashville condominium, she gets the eerie feeling someone is watching her. As days go by, she becomes convinced the homeless man outside her building is stalking her. But after learning the real identity of the intimidating stranger, she faces something even more threatening ― the truth about her fiancé.  

Deadly Secrets is a new fiction series with southern charm and big-city twists. Set in the author’s hometown of Nashville, Tennessee, it is filled not only with intrigue and suspense but subtle glimpses into how God is at work in the lives of ordinary people doing ordinary jobs . . . or maybe they aren’t so ordinary after all.

 

Kathy Harris is an author by way of a divine detour into the Nashville entertainment business. She graduated with a Communications degree from Southern Illinois University and has spent the past several decades employed as a marketing director in the Nashville music industry.She has contributed to a number of anthologies. Her first novel released in 2012. Her latest, Deadly Commitment, released in October 2019. Kathy regularly interviews literary and music guests on her blog at http://www.divinedetour.com.

Visit her website at http://www.kathyharrisbooks.com and/or follow her on Facebook (facebook.com/KathyHarrisAuthor), Twitter (@divinedetour), and Instagram (@kathyharris_author).

My Impressions:

A commitment to do what’s right can sometimes plunge you into danger! That’s what you’ll find in Kathy Harris’ romantic suspense, Deadly Commitment. Set among the tall buildings of downtown Nashville, this southern-vibe novel introduces the reader to all sides of the drug epidemic — law enforcement seeking justice, innocent victims of other’s choices, those fighting to recover, and the drug traffickers that put everything in motion. With likable characters and a true-to-life story, this book will appeal to those who like suspense with a strong Christian message.

Main characters Danni Kemp and Caleb Samuels are at odds when they first meet. Danni defends her soon-to-be fiance’, Rob, when faced with Caleb’s accusations that Rob is a big part of a drug trafficking ring. Soon, though, her sense of right and wrong has her facing difficult truths and joining the efforts to put an end to the criminal activity around her. I really liked Caleb’s character — a man with past sins who is working hard to trust God and make the world a better and safer place. I was initially frustrated with Danni’s character. She was naive and wishy-washy, but as the book progressed she found a backbone and some smarts 😉 . Both characters struggle with baggage from their pasts that color their perceptions of themselves and others. They each lean on God for direction and protection. The book moved a little slow at first, but towards the end the action heats up and their is a good deal of danger facing all the characters.

With the news full of drug crimes, Deadly Commitment is a timely read. If you enjoy romantic suspense with a strong message of God’s grace, then you need to check it out.

Audience: adults.

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

Reading Road Trip — North Carolina

13 Nov

Today’s Reading Road Trip is taking us to North Carolina. One of the original 13 colonies, it was established as a royal colony in 1729. Its history mirrors the bright future, the dark past, the struggles, and the joys of the United States. From the coast to the mountains, the rural farms and the tech cities, North Carolina has a lot to offer.

I have included a variety of genres in the books set in North Carolina. Hope you enjoy the journey!

 

North Carolina Reading Road Trip

The King’s Mercy by Lori Benton

When captured rebel Scotsman Alex MacKinnon is granted the king’s mercy–exile to the Colony of North Carolina – he’s indentured to Englishman Edmund Carey as a blacksmith. Against his will Alex is drawn into the struggles of Carey’s slaves–and those of his stepdaughter, Joanna Carey. A mistress with a servant’s heart, Joanna is expected to wed her father’s overseer, Phineas Reeves, but finds herself drawn instead to the new blacksmith. As their unlikely relationship deepens, successive tragedies strike the Careys. When blame falls unfairly upon Alex he flees to the distant mountains where he encounters Reverend Pauling, itinerate preacher and friend of the Careys, now a prisoner of the Cherokees. Haunted by his abandoning of Joanna, Alex tries to settle into life with the Cherokees, until circumstances thwart yet another attempt to forge his freedom and he’s faced with the choice that’s long hounded him: continue down his rebellious path or embrace the faith of a man like Pauling, whose freedom in Christ no man can steal. But the price of such mercy is total surrender, and perhaps Alex’s very life.

Christy by Catherine Marshall

The train taking nineteen-year-old teacher Christy Huddleston from her home in Asheville, North Carolina, might as well be transporting her to another world. The Smoky Mountain community of Cutter Gap feels suspended in time, trapped by poverty, superstitions, and century-old traditions.

But as Christy struggles to find acceptance in her new home, some see her — and her one-room school — as a threat to their way of life. Her faith is challenged and her heart is torn between two strong men with conflicting views about how to care for the families of the Cove.

Yearning to make a difference, will Christy’s determination and devotion be enough?

The Prayer Box by Lisa Wingate

When Iola Anne Poole, an old-timer on Hatteras Island, passes away in her bed at ninety-one, the struggling young mother in her rental cottage, Tandi Jo Reese, finds herself charged with the task of cleaning out Iola’s rambling Victorian house.

Running from a messy, dangerous past, Tandi never expects to find more than a temporary hiding place within Iola’s walls, but everything changes with the discovery of eighty-one carefully decorated prayer boxes, one for each year, spanning from Iola’s youth to her last days. Hidden in the boxes is the story of a lifetime, written on random bits of paper–the hopes and wishes, fears and thoughts of an unassuming but complex woman passing through the seasons of an extraordinary, unsung life filled with journeys of faith, observations on love, and one final lesson that could change everything for Tandi.

The Pirate Queen by Patricia Hickman

The envy of all her friends, wife and mother Saphora Warren is the model of southern gentility and accomplishment. She lives in a beautiful Lake Norman home, and has raised three capable adult children. Her husband is a successful plastic surgeon–and a philanderer. It is for that reason that, after hosting a garden party for Southern Living magazine, Saphora packs her bags to escape the trappings of the picturesque-but-vacant life.

Saphora’s departure is interrupted by her husband Bender’s early arrival home, and his words that change her life forever: I’m dying.

Against her desires, Saphora agrees to take care of Bender as he fights his illness. They relocate, at his insistance, to their coastal home in Oriental—the same house she had chosen for her private getaway. When her idyllic retreat is overrun by her grown children, grandchildren, townspeople, relatives, and a precocious neighbor child, Saphora’s escape to paradise is anything but the life she had imagined. As she gropes for evidence of God’s presence amid the turmoil, can she discover that the richest treasures come in surprising packages?

Beneath The Surface by Lynn Blackburn

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she’d left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer — one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

 

The Killing Tide by Dani Pettrey

When one Coast Guard officer is found dead and another goes missing, Coast Guard Investigative Service special agent Finn Walker faces his most dangerous crime yet. His only clues are what little evidence remains aboard the dead officer’s boat, and the direction the clues point to will test Finn and the Guard to their limits.

When investigative reporter — and Finn’s boss’s sister — Gabby Rowley arrives, her unrelenting questions complicate an already volatile situation. Now that she’s back, the tug on Finn’s heart is strong, but with the risks she’s taking for her next big story, he fears she might not live through it.

Thrown together by the heinous crime, Finn and Gabby can’t ignore the sparks or judgments flying between them. But will they be able to see past their preconceptions long enough to track down an elusive killer, or will they become his next mark?

A Vast And Gracious Tide by Lisa Carter

A wounded veteran and the police chief’s daughter must work together to bring a killer to justice

Caden Wallis lost friends, his girlfriend, and even his leg to the ravages of war. He arrives on the Outer Banks broken and still reeling, struggling to make peace with his new life.

McKenna Dockery has been stuck in limbo since her fiancé died three years ago. Now, when the handsome yet heartbroken Caden arrives at her doorstep, she starts to wonder if there may be hope for her heart after all . . .

But no sooner do they meet than a man is found murdered on McKenna’s property–and Caden is the prime suspect. The two must learn to trust each other, or no one will be safe in the tangled web of conspiracy, greed, and deceit lurking in the tidal marshlands of the Outer Banks.

 

 

Book Spotlight — Fatal Memories by Tanya Stowe

4 Sep

 

Series: Love Inspires Suspense
Genre: Christian, Inspirational, Romance, Suspense
Publisher: Harlequin
Publication date: September 1, 2019

She was framed! Or was she?

If only she could remember…

Border patrol agent Jocelyn Walker has no memory of how she turned up unconscious with a cache of drugs — or why a gang is dead set on killing her. With evidence stacking up against her, Joss takes refuge with driven DEA agent Dylan Murphy, who guards — and suspects — her. But will finally trusting each other lead them into a trap they’ll never escape?

GOODREADS | B&N AMAZON

 

Tanya Stowe is an author of Christian Fiction with an unexpected edge. She fills her stories with the unusual . . . mysteries and exotic adventures, even a murder or two. No matter where Tanya takes you . . . on a trip to foreign lands or a suspenseful journey filled with danger . . . be prepared for the extraordinary.

FACEBOOK | TWITTER | WEBSITE

Giveaway

 

Enter the giveaway HERE.

Giveaway ends September  7 at 11:59pm MT.

Giveaway is subject to policies HERE.

Tour Schedule

September 2
Heidi Reads… (Spotlight)
Pause for Tales (Review)

September 3
Remembrancy (Review)
Jorie Loves A Story (Review)
Blooming with Books (Review + Extras: Guest Post)
Kat’s Corner Books  (Spotlight + Extras: Author Interview)

September 4
Tell Tale Book Reviews (Review + Extras: Guest Post)
By The Book (Spotlight)
Edits and Reviews by Leslie (Spotlight)

September 5
Mindy Houng (Review)
Hallie Reads (Review + Extras: Guest Post)
Red Headed Book Lady (Review)

September 6
Life Is What It’s Called (Review + Extras: Author Interview)
Reading Is My SuperPower (Review)
Singing Librarian Books (Review + Extras: Author Interview)

 

Audiobook Mini-Review: Silenced

3 Jul

Jake Knew Something Was Wrong.
But He Never Guessed
How Wrong.


A relaxing day of rock climbing takes a disturbing turn when Kayden McKenna’s route brings her face-to-face with a dead climber. Is it a terrible accident or something darker? When the case is handed to overburdened sheriff Landon Grainger, he turns to Jake Westin for help. With Jake’s past now revealed, he’s ready to use his talent for investigation again–but he could never prepare for where the mystery will take him.

Kayden’s climbing expertise soon leads her and Jake to the realization that the death was no accident. And worse, it seems the killer is onto them. When strange things begin happening in Yancey, Jake is terrified that once again his world may put someone he loves in danger. But the truth is far worse than he could ever imagine.

Praised by New York Times best-selling author Dee Henderson as “a name to look for in romantic suspense,” Dani Pettrey has sold more than half a million copies of her novels to readers eagerly awaiting the next release. Dani combines the page-turning adrenaline of a thriller with the chemistry and happy-ever-after of a romance. Her novels stand out for their “wicked pace, snappy dialogue, and likable characters” (Publishers Weekly), “gripping storyline[s],” (RT Book Reviews), and “sizzling undercurrent of romance” (USA Today).

Her Alaskan Courage series and Chesapeake Valor series have received praise from readers and critics alike and spent multiple months topping the CBA bestseller lists. Dani has also been honored with multiple awards, including the Daphne du Maurier Award, two HOLT Medallions, a Christy Award finalist, two National Readers’ Choice Awards, the Gail Wilson Award of Excellence, and Christian Retailing’s Best Award.

From her early years eagerly reading Nancy Drew mysteries, to paging through Agatha Christie novels or watching on-the-edge-of-her-seat adventure movies, Dani has always enjoyed mystery and suspense. She considers herself blessed to be able to write the kind of stories she loves–full of plot twists and peril, love, and longing for hope and redemption. Her greatest joy as an author is sharing the stories God lays on her heart. She researches murder and mayhem from her home in Maryland, where she lives with her husband. Their two daughters, a son-in-law, and two adorable grandsons also reside in Maryland.

My Impressions:

A bucket list trip to Alaska was in the works when I selected as reading “research” Silenced by Dani Pettrey. Her 5-book Alaskan Courage is a great introduction to Alaska for fans of romantic suspense. Silenced is the 4th book in the series and features McKenna sibling Kayden and Jake Cavanaugh, a man she once distrusted, but has growing feelings for. A death in the climbing community pairs the two in an investigation of a possible murder. As they get closer to the truth of what really occurred, threats dog their steps. While Silenced can be read as a standalone novel, the other McKenna siblings featured in the series play a part, both in the backstories as well as the current action. Pettrey has created a tight knit family of siblings and their significant others that readers will love. The action-packed plot kept this reader on her toes — I didn’t anticipate the many twists and turns Pettrey throws at Kayden and Jake. And as in all of her books, romance is a big part. That’s great news for those who love romance mixed in with their suspense. Faith plays a big part in the Pettrey’s books, and her characters reflect her worldview. God is in control, we have only to trust Him. The only negative was that I felt things wrapped up a bit quickly and neatly, but I loved the way that the case was resolved. The audio narrative was well done, with good pacing and tone.

If you are looking for a fast-paced romantic suspense for a weekend getaway or staycation, Silenced is a great choice.

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

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

Book Review: Hidden Peril

25 Jan

As teenagers, Kristin Dane and her two best friends took a vow to make the world a better place. Twenty years later, she’s fulfilling that pledge through her fair trade shop that features products from around the world. All is well until, one by one, people connected to the shop begin dying.

Detective Luke Carter, new to the St. Louis PD, wants to know why. Before he can answer that question, however, the FBI weighs in and Kristin suddenly finds herself in the middle of international intrigue — and in the sights of the ruthless mastermind behind an ingenious and deadly, scheme. Can this cold-blooded killer be stopped before more people die . . . including Kristin?

Irene Hannon is the best-selling author of more than 35 novels. Her books have been honored with the coveted RITA Award from Romance Writers of America, the HOLT Medallion, the Reviewer’s Choice Award from Romantic Times BOOKreviews magazine and the Daphne du Maurier Award for mystery/suspense. Irene and her husband make their home in Missouri, USA. Irene invites you to visit her at her website, http://www.irenehannon.com.

 

My Impressions:

Irene Hannon is one of my go-to authors when it comes to romantic suspense. Hidden Peril, the second book in her Code of Honor series, is a great example why. Honorable characters you can connect with, a mystery that keeps you guessing with its twists and turns, danger galore, and really bad bad guys — there is just so much to love. This one kept me turning the pages way too late into the night, but I couldn’t put it down. Definitely a recommended read!

The characters really made Hidden Peril a pleasure to read. They cared about others in real and tangible ways. Both mains, Kristin and Luke, have relationship baggage, but were open to do what it took to heal and move on to what God wanted in their lives. And though the sparks certainly flew between the two, their relationship developed in a steady and realistic way. In fact, the whole novel has great development. The time frame spanned several months, yet the story never dragged or felt rushed. Hannon maintained just the right amount of tension to keep the suspense fresh, even as the police investigation portrayal was realistic. This allowed for more depth and complexity in all the relationships, not just the romance between Kristin and Luke. I really liked that about this book. The terrorism story line was chillingly realistic as well. As always, Hannon wove a faith thread throughout that was also just right; never preachy.

Fans of Hannon will love Hidden Peril. And if you have never read one of her books, you are in for a treat. Though this book is the second in a series, it can be read as a standalone. Just know, you will want to go back and read more of Hannon’s romantic suspense. 😉

Recommended.

Audience: adults.

To purchase, click HERE.

(I received a complimentary copy from LibraryThing. All opinions expressed are mine alone.)

August Book Club Selection — Beneath The Surface

1 Aug

I am excited to introduce a new-to-us author to my book club this month. We will be discussing Beneath The Surface by Lynn H. Blackburn. As romantic suspense is a favorite genre with my group, I am eager to hear what they think. We’d love for you to join us. Have you read this book? What did you think?

 

After a harrowing experience with an obsessed patient, oncology nurse practitioner Leigh Weston needed a change. She thought she’d left her troubles behind when she moved home to Carrington, North Carolina, and took a job in the emergency department of the local hospital. But when someone tampers with her brakes, she fears the past has chased her into the present. She reaches out to her high school friend turned homicide investigator, Ryan Parker, for help.

Ryan finds satisfaction in his career, but his favorite way to use his skills is as a volunteer underwater investigator with the Carrington County Sheriff’s Office dive team. When the body of a wealthy businessman is discovered in Lake Porter, the investigation uncovers a possible serial killer — one with a terrifying connection to Leigh Weston and deadly implications for them all.

 

Lynn H. Blackburn believes in the power of stories, especially those that remind us that true love exists, a gift from the Truest Love. She’s passionate about CrossFit, coffee, and chocolate (don’t make her choose) and experimenting with recipes that feed both body and soul. She lives in South Carolina with her true love, Brian, and their three children. Her first book, Covert Justice, won the 2016 Selah Award for Mystery/Suspense and the 2016 Carol Award for Short Novel. Her second book, Hidden Legacy, released June 2017. She begins a new series, Dive Team Investigations with Beneath The Surfacein March of 2018.

Top 10 Tuesday: Best of 2017 (So Far)

27 Jun

The folks at The Broke And The Bookish have charged bloggers with a hard task this week — pick 10 Best Books of 2017. Even though 2017 is just 6 month old, this has a been a great year of books for me and picking just 10 was a challenge. So of course, I narrowed the list to an even dozen! Six historical and six contemporary (post-1960) gems filled with wonderful characters, beautiful writing, and themes of grace, mercy and faith. I am sure you will love these books too. (Click on the links for my reviews.) For other bloggers’ lists, be sure to visit HERE.

 

Top 12 Books I Have Read in 2017 

Historical

A Lady in Disguise by Sandra Byrd

Redeeming Grace by Jill Eileen Smith

The Road to Paradise by Karen Barnett

A Trail of Crumbs by Susie Finkbeiner

The Wood’s Edge by Lori Benton

 

Contemporary (post-1960)

A Fragile Hope by Cynthia Ruchti

The Long Highway Home by Elizabeth Musser

Long Way Gone by Charles Martin

The Promise of Jesse Woods by Chris Fabry

True to You by Becky Wade

Why The Sky Is Blue by Susan Meissner

 

What are some of your fav reads from 2017?