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

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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