Midnight Abduction

Midnight Abduction by Nichole Severn

Published:  May 2020 – Harlequin Intrigue

E-galley from the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

For the Tactical Crime Division, no case is left cold.

When Benning Reeves’s twins are kidnapped, the frantic father knows who can help: the Tactical Crime Division and Ana Ramirez. Even though Ana once shattered Benning’s heart, the special agent is the only one he can trust. But Ana is still tormented by the unresolved case that brought them together years before—a case somehow entangled with Benning’s children. It’s up to the TCD and Ana to discover why…before it’s too late. (publisher)

My take:  Ana Ramirez and Benning Reeves have a past. When someone died on her watch she transferred to another office of the TCD without a glance back at the life she was leaving. Six years later she’s called back to the town she left – a special request from Benning – to find his two kidnapped children. Midnight Abduction is an action-packed romantic suspense. There were some violent scenes that made me cringe (and would have me closing my eyes if it was a movie) and wonder how Ana kept going. She’s a highly-trained professional though and a strong character that was easy to cheer for. This is Ana’s story but I also liked Benning. They seemed perfect for each other so, of course, I hoped for their HEA. I enjoyed the fast pace of the novel. Coming in at 256 pages it is the perfect length for when you’re in the mood for an exciting and suspenseful read.

Midnight Abduction is the third book in the Tactical Crime Division series and can easily stand alone. It’s the second book I’ve read and I look forward to reading more.


About the author:

Nichole Severn writes romantic suspense with strong heroines, heroes who dare challenge them, and a hell of a lot of guns. When she’s not writing, she’s injuring herself running and practicing yoga.

Buy links:


 

Secret Investigation

Secret Investigation by Elizabeth Heiter

Published:  April 2020 – Harlequin Intrigue

E-galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

In the wake of a tragedy, the Tactical Crime Division is the first call.

When ironclad body armor inexplicably fails and soldiers perish, the Tactical Crime Division jumps into action. Agent and former ranger Davis Rogers asks to go undercover to find the traitor responsible for the death of one of his friends, and Petrov Armor CEO Leila Petrov is happy to provide access to her company…especially once she discovers she’s being framed. But will their joint efforts be enough to uncover the truth? (publisher)

My take:  Secret Investigation is book 2 in the Tactical Crime Division series. It can stand alone but I recommend the series. These are fast-paced, suspenseful reads that take me out of my day-to-day life. I tend not to watch television crime shows but I’ve grown to enjoy reading books of the genre, especially this series.

The TCD (a rapid-deployment joint team of FBI agents specializing in hostage negotiation, missing persons, IT, profiling, shootings and terrorism) is called to investigate the manufacturer of what turned out to be inferior body armor. One member, Davis Rogers, will go undercover as assistant to the company CEO while other team members work to solve the crime of what looks like purposeful negligence. Leila, daughter of the company founder, finds herself in a position of disbelief upon learning her company is responsible for the deaths of American military. She doesn’t know who could be responsible and then she doesn’t know who she can trust. People around her are acting suspiciously. Will she be able to trust Davis and allow him to solve the mystery? I thought this was a solid addition to the series. I had a list of suspects but wasn’t sure who did the crime (that’s my usual experience with this genre, ha). Overall I liked it and recommend to fans of romantic suspense and a quick read.


 

About Elizabeth Heiter: Publishers Weekly bestselling and award-winning author ELIZABETH HEITER likes her suspense to feature strong heroines, chilling villains, psychological twists and a little romance. Her research has taken her into the minds of serial killers, through murder investigations, and onto the FBI Academy’s shooting range. Her novels have been published in more than a dozen countries and translated into eight languages. Visit her at www.elizabethheiter.com

Purchase links:


 

48 Hour Lockdown

48 Hour Lockdown by Carla Cassidy

Published:  April 2020 – Harlequin Intrigue

E-galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

My take: 48 Hour Lockdown is the start of a new series about a FBI unit (Tactical Crime Division). This book focuses on Evan, a hostage negotiator, who has been called to a school that is on lockdown after being invaded by a cult leader and a few followers. When Evan arrives it all becomes personal as he discovers a past love is involved. She’s a teacher at the school and is being held in a classroom with a few young students. From the first page the novel moves at a fast pace as the TCD team works to free the hostages and capture the criminals before more blood is shed. This is a quick read that left me looking forward to the next book in the series. Recommended to fans of romantic suspense novels.


About the author:

Carla Cassidy is a New York Times bestselling author who has written more than 125 novels for Harlequin Books. She is listed on the Romance Writer’s of America Honor Roll and has won numerous awards. Carla believes the only thing better than curling up with a good book to read is sitting down at the computer with a good story to write.


 

Before He Vanished

Before He Vanished by Debra Webb

Published:  February 18, 2020 – Harlequin Intrigue

Review Galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

His disappearance changed her life forever.

Twenty-five years ago, Halle Lane’s best friend vanished from their Tennessee town. When a childhood photo brings Liam Hart to Winchester, Halle is certain the man is the same child who vanished. Now Liam seeks out Halle to help him investigate the circumstances of his mysterious past. Can Liam and Halle uncover the truth before a killer buries all traces of the boy Halle loved—and the man he may have become—forever? (publisher)

My take: Halle Lane has been haunted by the disappearance of her best friend when they were seven years old. Now, twenty-five years later, Halle is an investigative reporter. She writes an article about the unsolved case and that is the beginning of a new round of crimes connected to the story. Liam Hart, a California winemaker, receives a mysterious letter that contains a copy of Halle’s article. He’s intrigued enough to fly to Tennessee to look into the case. He didn’t expect to find out that his life has possibly been a lie. Can Halle convince him to help her solve the case before more people are hurt? This is a fast-paced mystery seasoned lightly with romance (closed door). A quick read that I enjoyed and recommend to fans of Debra Webb and the Harlequin Intrigue imprint.


About the author:

DEBRA WEBB is the USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of more than 160 novels, including reader favorites the Shades of Death, the Faces of Evil, and the Colby Agency. She is the recipient of the prestigious Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense as well as numerous Reviewers Choice Awards. In 2012 Debra was honored as the first recipient of the esteemed L. A. Banks Warrior Woman Award for her courage, strength, and grace in the face of adversity. Recently Debra was awarded the distinguished Centennial Award for having achieved publication of her 100th novel. With this award Debra joined the ranks of a handful of authors like Nora Roberts and Carole Mortimer.

With more than four million books in print in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood when, at the age of nine, her mother bought her an old typewriter in a tag sale. Born in Alabama, Debra grew up on a farm. She spent every available hour exploring the world around her and creating her stories. She wrote her first story at age nine and her first romance at thirteen. It wasn’t until she spent three years working for the Commanding General of the US Army in Berlin behind the Iron Curtain and a five-year stint in NASA’s Shuttle Program that she realized her true calling. A collision course between suspense and romance was set. Since then she has expanded her work into some of the darkest places the human psyche dares to go. Visit Debra at http://www.debrawebb.com.



 

Witness Protection Widow by Debra Webb

Witness Protection Widow by Debra Webb

Published:  January 2020 – Harlequin Intrigue

Review galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Book description:

Can the witness protection program keep her identity secret?
After Allison James finally escapes her marriage to a monster, she becomes the star witness in the case against her deceased husband’s powerful crime family. Now it’s up to US Marshal Jaxson Stevens, Ali’s ex-boyfriend, to keep the WITSEC widow safe. But as the danger escalates and sparks fly, will Jax be able to help Ali escape her ruthless in-laws? (publisher)

My take: After years of taking care of the people in her life Allison met a man who showered her with care and attention until she became his wife. He became the opposite of the loving man she thought he was and made it his goal to control her and every aspect of her life. As happens in a crime family he was murdered and now she’s in need of protection from the people who killed him. She must be kept safely hidden until her testimony at the murder trial is over and dangerous people are behind bars.

When the agent who was protecting her ends up in the hospital after a deer vs. car accident a new agent is called in to replace him. That new agent happens to be Ali’s ex-boyfriend Jaxon, a US Marshal. They haven’t been in contact in years so Ali is shocked when Jax arrives to take over the job. As the trial grows closer the danger amps up. Will Jax be able to keep Ali safe until the trial is over? And what then?

I thought Debra Webb did a good job of maintaining suspense with good pacing, etc. I recommend Witness Protection Widow to fans of the author and the Romantic Suspense genre.


About the author:

DEBRA WEBB is the award winning, USA Today bestselling author of more than 150 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil, the Colby Agency, and the Shades of Death series. With more than four million books sold in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood on a farm in Alabama. Visit Debra at www.DebraWebb.com

photo credit: Marti Corn Photography


 

Say No More by Liliana Hart

  • Title:  Say No More
  • Series: Gravediggers #3
  • Author:  Liliana Hart
  • Pages:  384
  • Genre:  Romantic Suspense
  • Published:  July 2017 – Pocket Books
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  Sometimes the dead do rise…

Dante Malcolm is a man of refined tastes. He was once a part of Britain’s Elite Intelligence Force, but there was a reason he’d never been able to capture Simon Locke, the notorious thief who always seemed to be one step ahead. That’s because Dante and Simon were one and the same, until Dante’s double life eventually caught up with him and now he belongs to the Gravediggers.

Liv Rothschild is a Detective Inspector with Interpol and is the one responsible for catching MI-6’s most notorious agent in his final heist—except the heist killed him. But something has never felt right about his death, and it’s haunted her for months. It was too easy, and Dante Malcolm was too smart to go down that way.

Dante might belong to the Gravediggers in body, but his heart and soul will always belong to the next job. The rest of the team doesn’t know about his alter ego because he made sure the information went missing from his file. So when the job he’s always waited for seems like a possibility, he sneaks out of the country like a thief in the night, only to run into the only woman who’s ever been able to match him in wit—and passion—for the job. Except they’re standing on opposite sides of the law—and only one of them can walk away with the prize.  (publisher)

My take:  Say No More is book three in Liliana Hart’s Gravediggers series. The Gravediggers are a team of elite special ops who fight crime while flying under the radar of, well, everyone. You see, they are dead. At least people who knew them before think they are dead. Each member went through a process that faked their death and then were brought back to life with the stipulation that they are under contract to the Gravediggers team. In this book the assignment is to recover launch codes before they land in the wrong hands. Another assignment works into this one because the same people are also involved in human trafficking. Really shady, disgusting characters. I say all that to alert any readers who just can’t read about that.

Liliana Hart’s principal characters are Dante and Liv – and they share a past that comes back to haunt them and may just be their undoing. Their assignment takes the team to Dubai and the Virgin Islands which make for glamorous settings with the creepy trafficking plot line woven through. Despite that factor I really enjoyed the fast paced action of the team as they worked to accomplish their goals. There are still a couple of Gravediggers who haven’t come to the forefront yet so I’m hoping there will be more books in the series.


 

Race Against Time by Sharon Sala

  • Title:  Race Against Time
  • Author:  Sharon Sala
  • Genre:  Romantic Suspense
  • Pages:  384
  • Published:  June 2017 – MIRA
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  Sometimes fate brings you together…only to tear you apart 

Growing up in the foster system, Quinn O’Meara made a point of never getting involved. But when she discovers a crying baby amid a fiery crime scene, she knows she has no choice. Suddenly in way over her head, Quinn turns to the police, unintentionally positioning herself in the crosshairs of a deadly human-trafficking ring. 

The last time homicide detective Nick Saldano saw Quinn, she was still the young girl he’d shared a foster home with. The girl who’d loved and cared for him when no one else had. Now here she was, gorgeously all grown-up—and in terrible danger. 

Unwilling to lose her again, Nick insists on keeping Quinn close, especially when the bond they once shared heatedly slides into desire. Quinn finally has someone worth holding on to, but what kind of future can they have when she might not live to see tomorrow?  (publisher)

My take:  Race Against Time is a stand-alone romantic suspense novel that kept me on the edge of my seat as the story progressed. It started out very fast and kept that pace for most of the book.

The seedy underbelly of Las Vegas is explored in the world of Anton Baba, a casino kingpin with his hand in assorted related ventures (not the least being human trafficking). When Baba decides to make some changes his world begins to collapse in ways he’d never imagined. He won’t rest until he takes down the people responsible.

Race Against Time is a story of good vs. evil. It was easy to cheer on Nick and Quinn as they courageously stood up against Anton Baba. They knew it would be worth any chance to bring down that evil man instead of having to run and hide for the rest of their lives. They have a past and are brought back together in a wild coincidence – one that I decided just to go along with and enjoy wherever Sharon Sala’s story took me. It’s a very fast read and one I’d recommend to fans of romantic suspense and the author.


 

The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart

  • Title:  The Darkest Corner
  • Series:  Gravediggers #1
  • Author:  Liliana Hart
  • Pages:  368
  • Published:  May 2017 – Pocket Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Liliana Hart’s first book in her suspenseful Gravediggers series, featuring an elite group of mysterious men who might be dead to the world, but are also tasked with saving it—and no one can ever know.

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise…

Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Deacon is on a mission to stop the most fatal terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s dream. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And, most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart. (publisher)

My take:  The Darkest Corner is an enticing introduction to Liliana Hart’s new Gravediggers series – especially for readers like me who don’t often dip into the Romantic Suspense sub-genre. It has a team of amazing special ops agents who are intent on seeing each mission through to the intended outcome. Each member has special abilities that make him an integral part of the elite group.  I thought the way they came to the team was clever. Of course there’s romance involved in the story and I enjoyed the chemistry Deacon and Tess shared. Most of all, I found the drama of the Gravediggers’ missions exciting and look forward to seeing what Hart has planned for them in the next book.

Note:  I read a copy of the book from the publisher but also used an Audible credit. I really enjoyed the narration of Jonathan Todd Ross and Devra Woodward and will use another credit for the next book in the series.

Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Darkest Corner by Liliana Hart

THE DARKEST CORNER

The Gravediggers Series, Book One

Liliana Hart

Pocket Books

Publication Date: May 23, 2017

ISBN: 9781501150036

Price: $7.99 Paperback

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Liliana Hart’s first book in her sexy, suspenseful Gravediggers series, THE DARKEST CORNER, features an elite group of mysterious men who might be dead to the world, but are also tasked with saving it—and no one can ever know.

The Gravediggers aren’t exactly what they seem. They’re the most elite of the world’s fighting forces—and all they have in common is that they’ve been betrayed by the countries they’ve died for. Because they are dead. To their country, their military, and their families.

Sometimes the dead do rise…

Deacon Tucker is a dead man walking. A former black ops agent, he was disavowed and stripped of all honor before being recruited as a Gravedigger. But his honor and good name no longer matter, because no one knows he’s alive, and he’ll never get the recognition he deserves. His mission is simple: save the world or die trying. And for God’s sake, don’t ever fall in love. That’s a rule punishable by death. The kind of death a man can’t be brought back from.

Tess Sherman is the only mortician in Last Stop, Texas. She has no idea how Deacon Tucker ended up in her funeral home, but she’ll eat her hat if he’s only a funeral home assistant. Deacon is dangerous, deadly, and drop-dead gorgeous. And she knows her attraction to him can only end in heartache.

Deacon is on a mission to stop the most deadly terror attack the world has ever known—what’s known as The Day of Destiny—a terrorist’s perfect day. But when he discovers Tess has skills he can use to stop them, he has to decide if he can trust her with secrets worth dying for. And most important, he has to decide if he can trust her with his heart.


About the author:

Liliana Hart is a New York Times, USA Today, and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of more than forty titles, including the Addison Holmes Whiskey and J.J. Graves Mystery series. Since self-publishing in June 2011, Liliana has sold more than four million ebooks. She’s hit the #1 spot on lists all over the world, and all three of her series have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list. Liliana is a sought-after speaker who’s given keynote speeches and self-publishing workshops to standing-room-only crowds from California to New York to London. Please visit her at lilianahart.com, facebook.com/lilianahart, and twitter.com/liliana_hart.

Look for Gone to Dust (Book 2) June 20th!


US Giveaway

Please click here and fill out the form

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Giveaway ends May 31, 2017


The Secrets She Kept by Brenda Novak

  • the secrets she kept (7:26)Title:  The Secrets She Kept
  • Series:  Fairham Island #2
  • Author:  Brenda Novak
  • Pages:  400
  • Genre:  Romantic Suspense
  • Published:  July 2016 – Mira
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Description:  The rich and powerful Josephine Lazarow, matriarch of Fairham Island, is dead. The police say it’s suicide, but Keith, her estranged son, doesn’t believe it. 

Keith bears scars—both physical and emotional—from his childhood, but he’s worked hard to overcome the past. After walking away from his mother and her controlling ways five years ago, he’s built a new life in LA. He’s also accumulated a fortune of his own. But as soon as he learns of his mother’s death, he returns to Fairham. He feels he owes it to his grandfather to put the family empire together again—and he’s determined to find his mother’s killer. 

Problem is…coming home to Fairham puts him back in contact with Nancy Dellinger, the woman he hurt so badly when he left before. And digging that deep into his mother’s final days and hours entails a very real risk. Because the person who killed her could be someone he loves…  (publisher)

My take:  The Secrets She Kept is book 2 in the Fairham Island series. In book 1 we were introduced to the wealthy matriarch Josephine Lazarow. She was a complicated woman (a narcissist) who had to have control over everything and everyone in her life.

In this book a murder (or a suicide?) has taken place. The Lazarow family experiences changes they never anticipated. Josephine’s estranged son Keith returns home to find out what exactly happened to his mother. He also reconnects with Nancy, his love interest from five years earlier.  That’s not all though. Will he be able to prove that his sister couldn’t have had anything to do with their mother’s death?

This is a novel about secrets, lies, betrayals and love – and ultimately, forgiveness. I think fans of Brenda Novak and romantic suspense will enjoy The Secrets She Kept.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author has written more than fifty books, with more than four million copies in print. This four-time RITA® Award nominee has won many awards, including the National Readers’ Choice, the Booksellers’ Best, the Book Buyer’s Best, the Daphne, and the Holt Medallion. She also runs an annual online auction for diabetes research every May at www.brendanovak.com (her youngest son has this disease). To date she’s raised $2.7 million.


Praise for the first book in the Fairham Island series: The Secret Sister
“This emotional novel showcases Novak’s exceptional talent at creating genuine characters and real-life situations we sometimes try to dodge. The power of family is strong, and the element of mystery is stable throughout this romance. Fairham Island is painted as a picturesque seaside town, but the debut to this series could have readers believing there are a lot of buried secrets and stories to be told surrounding the residents’ wishes for peace and quiet. Completely engrossing with a twist at the end you wouldn’t dare dream of!”—RT Book Reviews (4.5 Star Top Pick)

The Secret Sister is a sweet story that touches on the trials of life and illustrates how death, loss, abuse, despair, and unexpected trials can make us stronger, but also points out that it is perfectly acceptable to find someone to lean on when you really need the help. This is a great book that romance readers and fans of general fiction are bound to enjoy.”—Portland Book Review

“Skillful plotting, well-developed characters (a blind little girl is adorable), a delightful romance, toxic family dynamics, and a puzzling mystery make this story a rewarding read that will appeal to both romance and women’s fiction fans.”—Library Journal

“In her latest, Novak neatly entwines contemporary romance and women’s fiction by delivering the emotionally compelling romance readers expect while at the same time thoughtfully exploring the other relationships every woman has in her life. Add a gothic-tinged plot, and you have a book with wide reader appeal.”— Booklist

The Secret Sister by Brenda Novak is indeed the best romantic thriller I have read… Brenda Novak has a raw talent for bringing her novels to life. Realistic, suspenseful, and an edge of your seat romance that will have readers coming back for more.”—The San Francisco Book Review

The Obsession by Nora Roberts

  • The ObsessionTitle:  The Obsession
  • Author:  Nora Roberts
  • Pages:  453
  • Genre:  Thriller; Romantic Suspense
  • Published:  April 2016 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods.  In freeing the girl she found trapped in a root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous.  

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton. 

Naomi’s new life clicks into place as easily as the photographs that are her livelihood.  But even with her new loves—including an adopted mutt, a rambling fixer-upper, and, eventually Xander—darkness follows her.  As she finds herself at home and at peace in Sunrise Cove, moving on and creating a foundation she’s not had since she fled West Virginia after her father’s horrific crimes, she realizes all too soon that her past is still not buried.  And as much as she wants to build a life, someone wants to tear hers down.  (publisher)

My take:  So, if you’re a regular reader of Bookfan you know I don’t read many thrillers. It’s a genre I’m making a point to read more of in 2016. The latest one is The Obsession by Nora Roberts.  I liked it! I think what worked for me is that Roberts put the initial crime out there in the first chapter and then veered away from it to the main character and the effect the crime had on her life.

After discovering a crime when she was eleven years old Naomi has lived her life in small bits, leaving a place when people found out who she was and where she came from. That eventually brought her to an old house in need of renovation in Washington state. Roberts devoted chapters to the renovation of the house – I liked that – and Naomi’s immersion in the small town. She experiences life as never before and believes she can really put down roots in this place. But can she keep the past from catching up with her?

Roberts’ story kept me turning the pages and wondering how everything would turn out. I would definitely read more of her thrillers/romantic suspense and recommend The Obsession to fans of the author, genre and maybe reluctant thriller readers – like me!

Spotlight/Giveaway (eBook) Lucky Catch by Deborah Coonts

Lucky Catch
Author: Deborah Coonts
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Buy Link: http://amzn.to/1mZ6M12

LuckyCatch_Final(5)

Trouble always comes in threes. At least that’s what Lucky O’Toole, the VP of Customer Relations for Las Vegas’ primo Strip casino/hotel, the Babylon, has heard for years from her mother. So, tonight, when Teddie, her former lover shows up at her office unannounced and very unexpected, her father offers Teddie a job at the Babylon, she is called to deal with a pig in residence at one of the hotels most exclusive and opulent suites, and Lucky’s current lover, Jean-Charles Bouclet stops answering his phone leaving Lucky to handle his five-year-old son, Lucky figures she has tonight’s compliment of chaos covered.

As usual, she is a tad optimistic.

With a cadre of celebrity chefs with the maturity of teenagers in Vegas for a televised cook-off, a prized Alba truffle in the Babylon’s care, and her mother’s pregnancy racing toward the inevitable, what could go wrong?

When the truffle is stolen from the walk-in in Jean-Charles’ gourmet burger joint at the Babylon and a young chef apparently killed with a smoking gun is found in Jean-Charles’ food truck on the back lot, trouble takes a sinister turn.

And Jean-Charles still isn’t answering his phone.

Another body is discovered. This one stuffed in an oven at Jean-Charles’ eponymous restaurant and set to broil.

Desperate to put a lid on the body count and more than frantic over her AWOL lover, Lucky uses her Vegas contacts to search in places and in ways the police wouldn’t or couldn’t. Teddie insists on riding shotgun. Lucky hasn’t the time nor the resolve to say no. She’s never been able to resist Teddie … not really. With danger dogging their heels, Lucky finds herself falling once again under his spell as they traverse Vegas, being drawn deeper and deeper into the highly competitive world of high-end eateries and the battle for the very rare, most highly prized gourmet foodstuffs.

Would somebody really kill for a truffle?

In a heartbeat.

And when Lucky’s path crosses the killer’s… will her goose be cooked?

 

____

About the Author:
DebPlane1I am proof positive that sex sells…and persistence pays off. After fifteen years learning the craft of writing, I am now officially, an overnight success. And it’s been a long road to get here…

My mother tells me I was born in Texas a very long time ago, but I’m not so sure—my mother can’t be trusted. These things I do know: I was raised in Texas on barbeque, Mexican food and beer. I’ve lived in every time zone in the U.S.; the most memorable stint being the time spent in Las Vegas, where I currently reside and where family and friends tell me I can’t get into too much trouble…silly people.

The only constant in my life (besides my family, who deserves hazardous duty pay for sticking with me) has been change (my mother is still waiting for me to grow up). Silly woman.

But all of this career ADD made me incredibly unemployable. Hence the whole writing thing.

Actually, I’ve known from a young age that somehow stories would be a large part of my life, but my path to telling lies for a living (okay, not lies per se, but variations of the truth, for sure) has been circuitous. If someone had just told me when I was a kid that I could actually be paid to daydream for a living, life would have been soooo much easier. But they didn’t. And I never saw a ‘daydreaming’ booth at all those Career Days I attended.

So, initially discouraged when unable to locate anyone willing to pay me to read books, go to the movies, or attend the theatre, and in need of providing for the best child in the world, my son Tyler, I spent years being someone else—an accountant (blech), a business owner (pretty fun), a lawyer (loved law school, hated practicing law), a pilot (giddy and terrifying at the same time). But through it all, I wrote. Along the way I wrote the world’s worst novel, a slightly more well-crafted but equally as poorly plotted novel, several non-fiction feature articles (my first sales!), multiple humor columns for a national magazine (more sales!), and, finally, the novel that sold, Wanna Get Lucky?, the first in a series to be published by Forge Books. The series is a Sex and the City meets Elmore Leonard in Vegas kind of thing, if you can imagine that. Okay, have several glasses of wine, then think about it…makes imagining easier.

Anyway, the books are sexy, wry, romantic, and slightly naughty mixed with a little murder and mayhem—shaken, not stirred—then illuminated by the bright lights of Las Vegas—one of the truly magical cities in the world.
Many of my friends have asked me how in the world I came up with the Lucky series. The way they asked led me to believe they thought mind-altering substances might have been involved even though they knew the worst I do is a glass of fine Pinot-Noir. The answer to their question is actually very simple: let your fifteen-year-old male child pick where you live, follow his dream to Vegas, then keep your eyes open.

Hey, it worked for me!

Connect with Deborah Coonts:

____

International Giveaway

of one eBook edition of Lucky Catch

LuckyCatch_Final(5)

Click here and fill out the form

giveaway has ended

____

Deborah Coonts Lucky Catch Blog Tour Stops

8/24/2014 The Literate Kitty Blog

8/25/2014 A_TiffyFit’s Reading Corner

8/25/2014 Deanna’s Tidbits

8/26/2014 The Book Bag

8/27/2014 Lesa’s Book Critiques

8/27/2014 Patti’s Pen and Picks

8/28/2014 Literary Nymphs

8/28/2014 Fallen Angel Reviews

8/29/2014 You Gotta Read Reviews

8/29/2014 Authors & Readers Book Corner

8/31/2014 Sizzling Hot Books

9/1/2014 An Avid Readers Haven

9/2/2014 Chick Lit Plus

9/3/2014 Stacy Alesi’s BookBitch

9/4/2014 Wicked Lil Pixie

9/5/2014 Socrates’ Book Reviews

9/9/2014 Ramblings of a Daydreamer

9/11/2014 Lisa’s World of Books

9/18/2014 Bookfan

9/19/2014 Bless Their Hearts Mom

Treadmill Reads: The Hitwoman Gets Lucky by JB Lynn

the hitwoman gets lucky

Synopsis (publisher):

Maggie Lee’s a lot of things:

The daughter of a mom in a mental institution and a dad serving time;
The niece of three meddling aunts;
The aunt (and now legal guardian) of her beloved niece, Katie;
The friend of a snarky lizard, a dyslexic Doberman, and a semi-psychic co-worker;
A contract killer.

But one thing she’d never thought she’d be is a thief.

That’s about to change as she heads to the casinos of Atlantic City to
help her sexy murder mentor, Patrick Mulligan, steal something from a professional thief.

Maggie’s never been lucky in love or money. Will this gamble pay off or will she lose her shirt, her heart or even her life?

My take:  The Hitwoman Gets Lucky is a fun novella to tide fans of the Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman series over until the next novel in the series is published (soon, I hope).

Maggie trusts her mentor, Patrick Mulligan, so she doesn’t think twice when he asks her to help him with a job in Atlantic City. It just so happens that she has tickets to a Barry Manilow concert and was planning to go anyway. So she and her good friend Armani (who is unaware of Mulligan’s job) head off to AC with Maggie’s lizard along for the ride because he really didn’t want to stay home alone. It’s always a fun time for the reader when Godzilla (or god as he likes to be called) makes an appearance. He finds himself making quite an unexpected appearance during the job. That’s all I’ll say about that or the rest of the plot 🙂 You’ll have to read to find out. It’s a quick, fun read that made my time on the treadmill go by in a flash.

This novella is #2.5 in the series. Although it can be a stand alone I recommend you start with the first book (Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman) because you don’t want to miss learning how Maggie became a hitwoman.

  • Title:  The Hitwoman Gets Lucky – Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman series, #2.5
  • Author:  JB Lynn
  • Genre:  Romantic Suspense; Humor
  • Published:  March 2013 – Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Source:  I bought it

Treadmill Reads: Lucky Bang by Deborah Coonts

lucky bang

Synopsis (publisher):  Having a blast on the 4th of July in Vegas takes on a whole new meaning for Lucky O’Toole, head of customer relations for the Babylon, a major Strip property, when she discovers a bomb in a friend’s restaurant and narrowly escapes becoming part of the “explosive entertainment.” And this wasn’t the first time. Years ago, when Lucky was small, she’d had another narrow escape. Could the two be related? Missing dynamite, an old grudge, and whispers from the past, force Lucky to delve into dark secrets best left alone. And when her father disappears, things become personal.

My take:  What a fun read! Deborah Coonts offers fans of the Lucky O’Toole series a novella that starts with a bang and doesn’t let up until you’ve turned the last page. It’s enough to hold me over until the next novel in the series is published. Loved it! Can’t wait to see where things go with Lucky and her growing list of admirers. This series has become an auto-buy/read for me. Lucky Bang could be a stand-alone but I recommend reading the series in order. 

  • Title:  Lucky Bang – A Lucky O’Toole Original Novella
  • Author:  Deborah Coonts
  • Genre:  Romantic Suspense
  • Publisher:  June 2012 – Deborah Coonts
  • Source:  I bought it

Treadmill Reads: The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook by Josie Brown

beautiful young woman isolated on white

Synopsis (Goodreads):  Every desperate housewife would love an alias. Donna Stone has one, and it’s government sanctioned. Oh sure, you need to be ruthless to take on Russian mafia bosses, rogue dictators, and terrorists set on destroying the world. But it takes real killer instincts to survive suburbia. Try juggling the fifth grade phone tree during a shootout with skinhead arms dealers, or driving carpool while being chased by Chinese double agents.

Donna’s life wasn’t always this complicated. Five years earlier she was just another woman with two preschoolers, a baby bump, and an adoring husband, Carl, with whom she lived happily ever after in a McMansion in the Orange County, California community of Hilldale. But Donna’s life was changed forever the night she delivered her baby: 

Carl’s car blew up on the way to the hospital.

Turns out Carl was a “hard man” – an assassin – for the black ops organization known as Acme Corporation. The hit on Alex was carried out by the Quorum, a terrorist cell he was tracking. The Quorum’s motto: “Show me the money.” Governments and corporations do as they’re told-or suffer bloody consequences.

Carl left something behind that the Quorum wants badly. To protect herself and avenge Carl’s death, Donna joined Acme. Whereas her hostessing skills rival Martha Stewart’s, her marksmanship is second to none.

A good thing, too, because the Quorum has planted a sleeper cell in Hilldale. For Donna, that’s too close for comfort. Will she be able to save her family before the Quorum blows up Los Angeles?

Acme’s way of flushing out the Quorum is by “bringing Carl back from the dead.” But terrorism makes strange bedfellows. Jack Craig, the wild card Acme operative paired with Donna brings, new meaning to that old adage “Honey, I’m home…”

My take:  So this was fun! Think Desperate Housewives meets a more savvy Stephanie Plum* – but Donna is a reluctant spy/hitwoman for Acme, a Black Ops organization. She wants to avenge her husband’s death so she takes every assignment given to her and is quite successful. Her most challenging assignment walks into her life in the form of her husband – now being played by Jack Craig, a cocky and incredibly handsome Acme operative. Can Donna make her kids and neighbors believe Carl is really  himself and home to stay? Will she hang on to her sanity and see the assignment through? You’ll just have to read to find out!

Brown had me laughing out loud as I walked my 45 minutes on the treadmill each morning. She gets huge kudos because I actually looked forward to exercise. Really! I loved that the main character has the same name as Donna Reed’s perfect housewife character in The Donna Reed show – a tv sitcom from the 50s and 60s. 

The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook is entertaining, over the top and maybe even predictable – and I liked it that way! Any book that makes me want to exercise is a winner. I can’t wait to see what predicament sassy Donna and sexy Jack find themselves in next.

* I gave up on Stephanie after book 8 because nothing ever changed and didn’t look like it would. I’m cautiously optimistic about Donna.

  • Title:  The Housewife Assassin’s Handbook (Housewife Assassin #1)
  • Author:  Josie Brown
  • Genre:  Romantic Suspense; Humor
  • Published:  May 2011 – Signal Press
  • Source:  I bought it.

Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman by JB Lynn

Title:  Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman

Author:  JB Lynn

Genre:  Romantic Suspense

Published:  October 2012 – Avon Impulse

Synopsis:  Take three wacky aunts, two talking animals, one nervous bride, and an upcoming hit, and you’ve got the follow-up to JB Lynn’s wickedly funny Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman.
Knocking off a drug kingpin was the last thing on Maggie Lee’s to-do list, but when a tragic accident leaves her beloved niece orphaned and in the hospital, Maggie will go to desperate lengths to land the money needed for her care.

But the drug kingpin is the least of her worries. Maggie’s aunts are driving her crazy, her best friend’s turned into a bridezilla …and a knock on the head has given Maggie Dr. Dolittle abilities—she can talk to animals. Unfortunately, they talk back. It’s just another day in the life of this neurotic hitwoman.

My take:  When I finished reading Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman my wish was that it would be the first of a series. Well, my wish was granted with Further Confessions of a Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman! Once again JB Lynn had me laughing as I read about the adventures of Maggie and her two animal sidekicks: an Anole lizard, God (short for Godzilla) and a Doberman, DeeDee (aka Doomsday).

Maggie needs to hire a lawyer quickly when someone threatens to sue for custody of her niece, Katie. To hire a lawyer Maggie needs fast cash. That means she needs to agree to the latest hit request from the mob boss who got her into the hitwoman business to begin with.

JB Lynn throws plenty in Maggie’s way as she deals with family, possible love interests, and those wacky pets. As I read I was impressed with how Lynn nuanced the story and characters just enough to evoke unexpected emotion a time or two.

Recommended to fans of comedic suspense with light romance. I also recommend reading the books in order – you’ll understand the story and characters much more. Because of how this novel ends I look forward to book three in the Slightly Neurotic Hitwoman series.

Disclosure: I received a review copy from the publisher. I was not compensated for my review.

Killer Heat by Brenda Novak

Killer Heat  (Dept 6 Hired Guns, #3)Back of the book: The bodies of seven women have been discovered in Skull Valley, Arizona. Jonah Young, a private security operative from Department 6, has been hired by the Yavapai County Sheriff to assist in solving these murders.  But Jonah’s not prepared for the complications that arise when he’s forced to work with a woman from his past, private investigator Francesca Moretti.

Jonah betrayed Francesca ten years ago. She hasn’t forgiven him and she’s pretty sure she never will. But the woman she was hired to find has been murdered in exactly the same way as the seven in Skull Valley, so like it or not, Francesca has to work with Jonah. They quickly zero in on the most likely suspect–but questions remain. Questions they have to answer. Because if they bet on the wrong man, it might be the last thing they ever do…

~

My review: Killer Heat is the third book in the Dept. 6 Hired Guns series by Brenda Novak.  Seven bodies have been found – women who’ve apparently been raped and then killed.  Francesca Moretti and Jonah Young, along with the local authorities, are searching for the killer before another murder takes place.

Francesca and Jonah share a past that ended when he betrayed her – that is, she thought it ended until she became involved with the case and he was already working on it as a consultant.  Putting their past behind them, for the time being, they concentrate their efforts on solving the case.

Novak gives us plenty of suspects – some have more motive than others.  I thought the suspense built at a perfect pace leading to a breathtaking final scene.  I hope there will be more books in the Dept. 6 series.  I’ve enjoyed them all and recommend the series to fans of romantic suspense.  Killer Heat will be published Sept. 28, 2010.

Review copy from Harlequin MIRA via NetGalley

Dark Deceptions by Dee Davis

Dark Deceptions (A-Tac, #1)Back of the book: A-Tac is an elite CIA unit masquerading as faculty at an Ivy League college. Brilliant, badass, and seemingly bulletproof, the members of A-Tac are assigned to the riskiest missions and the most elusive targets.

TORN BETWEEN DUTY AND DESIRE
Covert operations expert Nash Brennon has spent the last eight years trying to forget Annie Gallagher, his former field partner and the only woman he ever loved. Annie betrayed him when he needed her most, then vanished without a trace. Now suddenly she’s back in the game – this time as a suspected traitor and threat to national security.
Annie’s son has been kidnapped by political terrorists. The price for his life? Assassinate a UN ambassador. When Nash and his group find her, the smoldering passion between Annie and the man she swore she’d never contact again blazes out of control. But can Nash trust her? The stakes couldn’t be higher: Their enemy’s endgame is personal, and one false move could cost them their lives.

~

My review: Dark Deceptions is the first book in the A-Tac series by Dee Davis.  The A-Tac team is an off-the-books CIA unit that tackles seemingly impossible missions. This time they need to find a kidnapped boy who happens to have a  strong connection to Nash, a current member of the team.  They also need to find out who assassinated a high-ranking official and then tried to frame Annie, a former CIA operative and Adam’s (the kidnapped boy) mother.

I loved the pace of the novel.  Davis builds from a stark beginning and escalates to a breathtaking ending.  There’s a side mystery that runs in the background – is someone sabotaging the A-Tac team and if so, who and why?  I look forward to seeing how that thread travels through the series.

If you’re a fan of romantic suspense give this series a try.  I’ve read the second book and can’t wait to read the third.

Body Heat by Brenda Novak

Body Heat  (Dept 6 Hired Guns, #2)Book blurb: Twelve people have been shot at pointblank range and left to rot in the desert sun. It’s Sophia St. Claire’s job to do something about it. She’s Bordertown, Arizona’s new chief of police—and she’s out of her depth.

Help arrives in the form of Department 6 hired gun Roderick Guerrero. As far as Sophia’s concerned, his involvement only makes things worse. Maybe he’s managed to turn his life around. And maybe he’s a good investigator. But as the bastard son of a wealthy local rancher, he has a history he can’t get past. A history that includes her.

Rod refuses to leave town until the killer is caught. He’s not worried about the danger posed by some vigilante. It’s Sophia who threatens him. Because he’s used to risking his life–but his heart is another story.

~

My review: Brenda Novak’s latest Department 6 novel had me wondering who the killer was right up until the end.  She throws a few possibilities out there but I didn’t figure it out.  As in the first book, White Heat, Novak describes the Arizona setting perfectly.  I could almost feel the heat and taste the dust.

I enjoyed the main characters Sophia and Rod.  She’s trying to prove herself as worthy and capable of being the police chief of Bordertown, AZ. Rod has a chip on his shoulder a mile wide but he’s determined to find the killer even if it means working with someone who doesn’t want anything to do with him.

There are interesting supporting characters who fill in the background but Body Heat is Sophia and Rod’s story.  When they finally stop fighting each other they find out they make a great team.

The pace was rather slow to begin with but picked up in the second half.  It became quite a page turner.  I enjoyed it and look forward to the next book in the series: Killer Heat.

Review ebook from Harlequin/MIRA via NetGalley

White Heat by Brenda Novak

White Heat (Dept 6 Hired Guns, #1)

Back of the book: A dangerous cult has recently taken over the desert ghost town of Paradise, Arizona.  Members worship at the feet – and in the bed – of its charismatic leader, Ethan Wycliff, and obey his orders blindly.  They’ve already tried to murder one woman and they’re implicated in the disappearance of another.

Nate Ferrentino, who works for private security contractor Department 6, has been assigned to infiltrate this group.  It’s a challenge he welcomes – until he learns that colleague Rachel Jessop will be going undercover with him.  Thanks to their shared history, he’d much rather go alone…

The problem is, only married couples can participate in cult rituals.  So, like it or not – and they don’t – Rachel and Nate must pretend to be husband and wife.  There’s no choice.  Because if Wycliff isn’t exposed, if he isn’t stopped, more people will die. And Rachel might be one of them.

~

I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense novels and I’ve never read one by Brenda Novak but after reading White Heat I’ll be looking for more of her books.  I really enjoyed the main characters. Rachel and Nate wish they could forget the embarrassing event that took place several months earlier but they must maintain a professional attitude in an uncomfortable situation.  And talk about uncomfortable – everything from the ride to the location, the grimy trailer where they stay until going to the commune, and then the commune itself.  Novak brings the hot and dry Arizona setting alive.

The pace was great.  The suspense of whether or not Rachel and Nate would be successful in their mission had me quickly turning the pages.  That was really the best part for me because although it was easy to predict what would happen, I just wasn’t sure about how.  I wasn’t disappointed.

Novak’s bad guys were creepy bad.    The Manson-like cult leader and his number one henchman were pretty scary.   I didn’t enjoy reading about the cult rituals. Even the main characters wished they weren’t on this mission – they’d rather have been on a drug bust or any other case.  Novak did a good job developing the supporting characters giving enough detail to explain why they might be involved in a cult.  All in all, I liked the novel even though I didn’t enjoy the cult topic.

White Heat is the first in a series.  I’m looking forward to reading the next book – Body Heat.  Recommended to fans of Romantic Suspense and Brenda Novak.

Review copy from MIRA Books