Genre: Romantic Suspense

Review: Keep Me Safe by Maya Banks

Posted March 21, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Keep Me Safe by Maya BanksReviewer: Casee
Keep Me Safe (Slow Burn #1) by Maya Banks
Series: Slow Burn #1
Also in this series: Burn for You (Slow Burn, #1), Melt for You (Slow Burn, #2), Ache for You (Slow Burn, #3)
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: October 7, 2014
Format: eBook
Source: Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 307
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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one-star
Series Rating: two-stars

A sizzling story of a woman who risks her life and her heart to find a wealthy man’s missing sister — the first novel in a sexy new romantic suspense series from #1 New York Times bestselling author Maya Banks.

When Caleb Devereaux's younger sister is kidnapped, this scion of a powerful and wealthy family turns to an unlikely source for help: a beautiful and sensitive woman with a gift for finding answers others cannot.

While Ramie can connect to victims and locate them by feeling their pain, her ability comes with a price. Every time she uses it, it costs her a piece of herself. Helping the infuriatingly attractive and impatient Caleb successfully find his sister nearly destroys her. Even though his sexual intensity draws her like a magnet, she needs to get as far away from him as she can.

Deeply remorseful for the pain he’s caused, Caleb is determined to make things right. But just when he thinks Ramie's vanished forever, she reappears. She’s in trouble and she needs his help. Now, Caleb will risk everything to protect her — including his heart....

Oy, this book. It was not what I was expecting. It seemed sort of Dream Man by Linda Howard. Not that I was expecting a Linda Howard book. No, I just enjoy books about psychics. It’s more than safe to say that I did not enjoy this book. Not even a little bit.

When Caleb Devereaux’s younger sister, Tori, is abducted, he goes looking for psychic Ramie St. Claire. Caleb doesn’t doubt her ability as Tori is psychic herself. By the time he tracts Ramie down, he is furious with her. How could she hide herself away from the world when she can help people like Tori? It’s only when he forces (yes, forces) Ramie to take Tori’s scarf thus living Tori’s nightmare with her that Caleb realizes why Ramie is in hiding.

When Caleb shows up at her door and sends into a nightmare she can’t get out of, she is sure that it will finally be the end to her. No such luck. She tells Caleb where his sister is and he leaves her house, telling her that he will be back. That, more than anything, gives her the strength to get her body moving so she can leave the sanctuary she has made for herself. For if Caleb can find her then he can find her too.

A year later and Ramie is desperate. He has finally caught up with her. Ramie has nothing left expect a marker to call in to Caleb Devereaux. He comes to immediately. I understood that he would come to her aid, but I didn’t understand the immediate attraction. It was weird. Not to mention that instead of actually thanking Ramie for saving her life, Tori was a complete and total bitch to her. I understood on some level, but it was childish on another.

After Caleb and Ramie were reunited the whole book just went downhill. The part that made me want to read the book (psychic) actually made the book unbearable. I have zero plans to read the rest of this series. Zero. Zip. Zilch.

Rating: 1 out of 5.

Slow Burn

one-star


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Review: Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose

Posted March 4, 2019 by Casee in Reviews | 2 Comments

Review: Say You’re Sorry by Karen RoseReviewer: Casee
Say You're Sorry (Sacramento, #1) by Karen Rose
Narrator: Joel Froomkin
Series: Sacramento #1
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 21, 2019
Format: Audiobook, eARC
Source: Publisher, Purchased
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 544
Length: 24 hours and 6 minutes
Add It: Goodreads
Reading Challenges: Casee's 2019 GoodReads Challenge
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four-half-stars
Series Rating: five-stars

Special Agent Gideon Reynolds has tried hard to put his past behind him. He escaped the violence of his cult upbringing when he was just thirteen, and since then routine and discipline have been his way of making sense of the world. But when a petite blonde woman crashes into his life, he begins to realize that a little bit of chaos might not be so bad.

Daisy Dawson has had more than her fair share of pain too—but she's done being a victim. Daisy's determined to explore every new experience she can—including getting to know the dark and serious FBI investigator she meets when she fights off a masked attacker one night.

It soon becomes clear that Daisy's attack was just the beginning. Now the bloodied bodies of young women are showing up all over California, and, as Gideon tries to find the killer, it's clear that Daisy is in more danger than they ever realised...

I started and listened to most of this book on audio. The narrator was simply awful. That was a huge disappointment because the narrator of Monster in the Closet was amazing. Even with that, I hung in like a champ because I really wanted to listen to it at work. I ended up reading the last 40ish%.

The Sacramento series is a spin-off of the Baltimore series. I had no idea until I started listening to the heroine’s backstory. Then I had to back it up and listen to it again because it sounded so familiar. Daisy Dawson is Taylor Dawson’s stepsister from Monster in the Closet. Taylor’s mom lied to her husband, Daisy’s father, about Taylor’s bio dad being after them. So they went into hiding for years. That really messed Daisy up. She started drinking when she was fourteen and went into rehab when she was seventeen. She’s an amazingly strong woman.

Daisy knows someone is following her. She’s sure it is one of her dad’s people. Although the truth came out about her stepmother’s lying, her dad can’t let her live her life. She goes down an alley after him (insert eyeroll) and is instead attached by a man with nylon mask on. After a valiant fight and with the help of her dog, Daisy manages to get away from her attacker. She also rips what she finds out is a locket from around his neck.

When her good friend and Sacramento PD detective, Rafe Sokolov, arrives at the scene and sees the locket, he immediately calls his friend Gideon Reynolds. He recognizes that the design on the locket is the same as a tattoo that Gideon has. Gideon gets to the scene as fast as he can and is floored by two things. The first thing is that he has finally found a lead back to the cult that he escaped from as a young teenager. The second is that he cares more about what Daisy Dawson went through then something he’s been searching for for years.

When it becomes apparent that Daisy is going to remain a target, Gideon volunteers to be the one to protect Daisy. Together they start digging into his past. When the past collides with the present, it puts both Gideon and Daisy in danger. Now they have a cult to find and a serial killer to outsmart.

I really loved this book. A lot. There are a few things location wise that threw me off because I used to live in Sacramento. So I knew that Gideon’s house was not by where he worked. I got over that because I love Karen Rose. The cult angle was very interesting. The dynamic between Gideon and his sister Mercy was interesting as well. It was obvious that Mercy and Rafe are going to have a book and I’m curious to see how exactly that is going to work. I’m just really looking forward to the next book.

Bravo on this one, KR.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

Sacramento

four-half-stars


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Sunday Spotlight: Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose

Posted March 3, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 6 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Karen Rose is one of those authors. You know the one. The one that gets better with every release. I have noticed that there is more suspense and less romance with each book. Now her books are less like romantic suspense and more like suspense with a romantic element. Usually that would bother me, but it actually really works. The suspense is so good that you won’t notice the romance missing. Like I said, there is a romantic element. Just not a big one like there was in her earlier books. I listened to this book on audio. While the narrator wasn’t my favorite of KR’s narrators, I stuck with it because I really wanted to listen to it. It also took place in my hometown, so that was pretty neat. If you haven’t read KR’s books, this one would be a great place to start!

Sunday Spotlight: Say You’re Sorry by Karen RoseSay You're Sorry (Sacramento, #1) by Karen Rose
Series: Sacramento #1
Also in this series: Say You're Sorry (Sacramento, #1)
Publisher: Berkley
Publication Date: February 21, 2019
Point-of-View: Alternating Third
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 544
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: five-stars

Special Agent Gideon Reynolds has tried hard to put his past behind him. He escaped the violence of his cult upbringing when he was just thirteen, and since then routine and discipline have been his way of making sense of the world. But when a petite blonde woman crashes into his life, he begins to realize that a little bit of chaos might not be so bad.

Daisy Dawson has had more than her fair share of pain too—but she's done being a victim. Daisy's determined to explore every new experience she can—including getting to know the dark and serious FBI investigator she meets when she fights off a masked attacker one night.

It soon becomes clear that Daisy's attack was just the beginning. Now the bloodied bodies of young women are showing up all over California, and, as Gideon tries to find the killer, it's clear that Daisy is in more danger than they ever realised...

 

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

Good. She was waking up. Took her long enough.

He took a drag on his cigarette and blew the smoke into her face. A coughing fit ensued and by the time she’d calmed down, her dark eyes were open and staring up at him.

She was scared. This pleased him. He smiled down at her. They were always scared and this always pleased him.

He sat back in his chair, watching as she struggled against her bonds. They always did that, too. But they never got free. He tied a very strong knot. It was one of his best talents.

He waited until she’d given up, until her gaze fixed on his face and recognition set in. “You,” she whispered. “From the diner.”

“Me,” he replied agreeably. From the tired old diner on the outskirts of Portland. Getting her home had been a pain in the ass. She took up much more space than he’d expected. She was curvier than most of the guests he brought home. It would be a nice change.

She yanked on her bonds again, a token effort only. Her lips trembled. “Where are my clothes?”

“Burned.”

“Why?”

He stood up, pulled lazily at his tie, aware that she was following his every move. “Because you won’t be needing them anymore.”

She shook her head, appropriately agitated. “Why are you doing this?”

He unbuttoned his shirt as her eyes flicked all around the room, looking for help. Looking for escape. There would be none. He grabbed her hand from where he’d tied it to the headboard and ran his thumb over her left ring finger, following the indentation that was all that remained of her wedding vows.

“Does he know you’re gone?” he asked softly.

Her gaze flew to her ring finger and she tried to pull her hand away, but, of course, she couldn’t. Slowly she nodded.

“Did he let you go?”

Another nod, but her eyes flickered away. He squeezed her hand hard enough to make her gasp. “Do not lie to me, Miriam.”

He was surprised when her eyes flared with a sudden fury. “That is not my name,” she ground out. “My name is Eileen.”

“The locket says Miriam.” He held up the heart-shaped silver charm, letting it dangle between them, watching it gleam as it caught the low light from the bedside lamp. He set it to swing, like a hypnotist’s watch. “Did you steal it?”

She swallowed hard, momentarily mesmerized by the swinging locket. Then her jaw hardened. “No.”

“Then, if it’s yours, you are Miriam.”

She closed her eyes. “No, I am not.”

It was really immaterial at this point, but her little show of temper had intrigued him. “Then who is Miriam?”

A tear ran down her cheek. “Who I used to be.”

“Ah. So your husband is looking for Miriam. Not Eileen.”

She clamped her lips shut, giving him his answer.

Good. He hadn’t been terribly worried that anyone would be tracking her down. The woman had a solitary, hunted air to her, like she always looked over her shoulder. Like she was hiding. That worked for him.

He ran his thumb over the locket, feeling the etched lines of the engraved Miriam on the back, then the symbol on the front. “An olive tree, two kneeling children, all protected by these beautiful outstretched angel wings.” She’d winced at the word “protected.” If it had been a talisman, it was a piss-poor one. It certainly hadn’t protected her. “What does it mean?”

Again her jaw tightened and she looked away. He gripped her chin and yanked her back. “Don’t ignore me,” he warned.

She clenched her eyes shut, so he covered her mouth and pinched her nose closed. “Look at me,” he growled, all fascination with her gone. He was angry again, which was how it was supposed to be. Her eyes flew open, terrified as she began to struggle to get free. He removed his hand and allowed her to breathe, smiling at her frantic gasps for air.

He gripped her chin again, much harder this time. “Say you’re sorry, Miriam.” He gave her a hard shake. “Say you’re sorry.

Stubbornly she clamped her lips together.

His lips curved. Excellent. He’d make her say it before he was through and he’d enjoy every moment of the effort. Because they always said it, sooner or later.

Usually as they begged him to let them die.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Karen Rose, 2019.

Sacramento

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

Sunday Spotlight: March 2019

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About Karen Rose

Internationally bestselling, RITA-award winning, author Karen Rose was born and raised in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC. She met her husband, Martin, on a blind date when they were seventeen and after they both graduated from the University of Maryland, (Karen with a degree in Chemical Engineering) they moved to Cincinnati, Ohio. Karen worked as an engineer for a large consumer goods company, earning two patents, but as Karen says, “scenes were roiling in my head and I couldn't concentrate on my job so I started writing them down. I started out writing for fun, and soon found I was hooked.”

Her debut suspense novel, DON'T TELL, was released in July, 2003. Since then, she has published more than fifteen novels and two novellas. Her twenty-second novel, SAY YOU'RE SORRY, will be released in 2019.

Karen's books have appeared on the bestseller lists of the New York Times, USA Today, London's Sunday Times, and Germany's der Spiegel (#1), and the Irish Times, as well as lists in South Africa(#1) and Australia!
​​
Her novels, I'M WATCHING YOU and SILENT SCREAM, received the Romance Writers of America's RITA award for Best Romantic Suspense for 2005 and 2011. Five of her other books have been RITA finalists. To date, her books have been translated into more than twenty languages.

A former high school teacher of chemistry and physics, Karen lives in Florida with her husband of more than twenty years, two dogs, and a cat.


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Review: Repeat by Kylie Scott

Posted February 25, 2019 by Holly in Reviews | 6 Comments

Review: Repeat by Kylie ScottReviewer: Holly
Repeat by Kylie Scott
Narrator: Andi Arndt
Publisher: Audible Studios
Publication Date: January 7, 2019
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible Romance Package
Point-of-View: First
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense
Pages: 304
Length: 6 hours and 47 minutes
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five-stars

From Audie Award winning, New York Times best-selling author Kylie Scott comes an irresistible new romance - available in audio first!

When a vicious attack leaves 25-year-old Clementine Johns with no memory, she's forced to start over. Now she has to figure out who she was and why she made the choices she did - which includes leaving the supposed love of her life, tattoo artist Ed Larsen, only a month before.

Ed can hardly believe it when his ex shows up at his tattoo parlor with no memory of their past, asking about the breakup that nearly destroyed him. The last thing he needs is more heartache, but he can't seem to let her go again. Should they walk away for good, or does their love deserve a repeat performance?

I was browsing the Audible Romance Package for something new to listen to on my morning commute and came across Repeat by Kylie Scott, an Audible original (meaning it’s available in Audio first). I’ve read and enjoyed other novels by Scott, and I really like Andi Arndt as a narrator, so I figured I’d give it a try. I listened to a sample, then ended up finding things to do on a Sunday so I could keep listening. I even hid in the bathroom for 45 minutes to finish it when my family started bugging me for dinner.

Clementine Johns was robbed in the street and woke up with no memory. Skills she used with muscle memory – like making coffee or getting dressed – are fine, but she remembers nothing of her personality or relationships. Nor does she recognize anyone she used to know – including her own sister. As she tries to piece together her past and figure out who she is post memory, she ends up in the tattoo shop owned by her very recent ex. For reasons unknown, Clem broke up with Ed Larson a month before her attack. He’s less than happy to see her, but he’s willing to answer her questions and to help see to her safety. As long as she understands they’re over, and there are no repeats after the way she broke his heart…

Repeat is such a wonderfully drawn novel, I was pulled in from the start as Clem tries to figure out who she is. Her struggle to find her new personality, and to figure out if she likes the same things she did before really got me. She seems to be the same, yet totally different. She doesn’t think of herself when discussing the Clem from before, because she has none of the memories or emotions of that other Clem. She feels nothing when she looks at her sister, or her ex-boyfriend. Only mild curiosity about what happened. Until she starts spending time with Ed. Are the feelings she’s feeling for him now remnants of what she felt before, or new feelings developing? And what of his feelings? Are they all tied to the Before Clem?

Clem could have come off as whiny, or too naive, or a victim. Instead, she was forthright and unassuming. She had an innocent quality about her, but she was determined to find a way to live her life in this new reality. She didn’t sit around and whine about her circumstances, she just dealt with them. She was easy to connect with. I really admired her strength, and how determined she was to live her life.

Is the before me or after me a better me?

Though this is written in first-person from Clem’s point-of-view, I felt like we got a really good feel for Ed. His pain at their breakup and his struggle to trust this new Clem came through well. My heart hurt for him. I really wanted to see them work things out, but I understood why he held back. Clem had no memory of their relationship or their breakup, but for Ed it was very fresh.

I think I loved this so much because there wasn’t a lot of focus on Clem’s injury itself, or her having a big pity party over it. She accepted this was her new reality and determined to make the best of it. Ed often accused her of not having a filter, and that worked so well. She and Ed had great communication because of it. She just put what she was thinking out there, damn the consequences.

This isn’t a perfect story. Everyone wanted to shield Clem, and they often made decisions for her. I thought she was too passive about that at times. She did stand up for herself, but I think I’d have liked to see her out on her own a bit more. Having said that, she was still dealing with medical repercussions from her attack and learning how to live again, so I got over it. I had a harder time getting over how quick she was to let Ed, her sister and even her old friends keep things from her. No one wanted to talk about their breakup, why they thought she did the things she did, or share their perspective on her old self. I understood why, but it was just as frustrating for me as the reader as it was for Clem. Why she didn’t push harder confused me. Still, that was a minor annoyance and was easily washed away with everything else.

There was a mystery thread running throughout that was easily solved. It didn’t bother me, however, because I was focused on Clem and Ed.

I was totally wrapped up in Clem’s journey to figure out who she is now, her jealously over her old self, her determination to live and her developing feelings for her ex. This engrossing novel was well done and the narrator really brought all the characters to life. I highly recommend Repeat. I went back and forth about my grade of this book, but the truth is I finished it and immediately wanted to start it again. I’ve been telling everyone I know to listen to it, even those who are hesitant about audiobooks. So I’m giving it a 5. This is my first 5 star grade in…years, I think.

If audiobooks aren’t your thing, the ebook will be available April 7, 2019. Go forth and preorder. You won’t be disappointed.

Rating: 5 out of 5

five-stars


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What Are You Reading? (+ Sara Castille Giveaway)

Posted February 22, 2019 by Casee in Features, Giveaways | 5 Comments

Casee: I am over Maya Banks. Like seriously over. I finished Keep Me Safe earlier this week, but it was hard. Really hard. I’m told that I still need to read the McCabe trilogy, but that won’t be anytime soon. So a few days ago I told Holly that I really can’t wait until The Savior (BDB #17) by J.R. Ward comes out. And I hate that I can’t wait for it. We agreed that everyone has their book crack. Hers is Kristen Ashley. We both decided that I need to give KA a try, so last night I read the first two pages of Own the Wind (Chaos #1). I’m looking forward to getting further into it today.

I’ve listened to several audiobooks this week. Today I’m listening to Say You’re Sorry by Karen Rose. I was so incredibly impressed with the narrator of Monster in the Closet, so I was really looking forward to listening to SRS. Unfortunately, this narrator is really, really weak. Actually, not just weak. Awful. Yep, the narrator is awful. Still, I’m plugging along. I always forget how much I enjoy KR.

Holly: I started listening to Anne Bishop’s The Others series over the weekend with Tracy. We listened to Written in Red, Murder of Crows and Vision in Silver together. I just finished Marked in Flesh, the fourth book, and started Etched in Bone, the 5th. This series is so amazing. I remembered loving it, but I hadn’t remembered just how much I loved it. I’m glad to be doing a reread before I read Wild Country, which comes out in March. The narrator for the audiobooks is amazing. Generally with longer audiobooks I listen and read, but in this case I just want to listen.

Prior to starting Written in Red, I was listening to Dirty by Kylie Scott. The audiobook seemed to be taking me forever, so I switched to reading around the 3/4 mark. Sadly that book didn’t work for me on a number of levels. The heroine made a lot of questionable decisions and the hero was a jerk for the majority of the book. I don’t think I’ll be continuing the series.

Rowena: I’m not in a reading slump per se, but I’m not reading all that much right now. I’m just not in the mood. I’m watching basketball, watching Star and working on blog projects instead of reading. I did finish Only a Breath Apart by Katie McGarry though and I really enjoyed it. I also started Bad Bachelor by Stefanie London but I haven’t gotten very far into it and I’m on day 3, I need to get it together already. Wish me luck!

Giveaway Alert

We are very fortunate here at Book Binge. We have loads and loads of books to read and we want to share the wealth so each week, we’ll be tacking on a Freebie Friday giveaway to our What Are You Reading posts. This week, we’re giving away…

What Are You Reading? (+ Sara Castille Giveaway)Rocco (Ruin & Revenge, #3) by Sarah Castille
Series: Ruin & Revenge #3
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: January 2, 2018
Format: Print
Genres: Romantic Suspense
Pages: 384
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books

Mafia enforcer, Rocco De Lucchi is the best in the business.

Cold, hard and utterly ruthless, Rocco is the most dangerous of men. Feelings are a luxury he cannot afford—until a chance encounter brings him face to face with the only woman who found her way into his heart and touched his soul.

Grace Mantini has spent her whole life running from the mob. Daughter of the boss's right hand man, she is both a prize and a target. When Rocco walks back into her life, she wants nothing to do with the man who betrayed her and broke her heart. But only Rocco can protect her from the dangerous forces that seek to destroy her family. Can they escape the hands of fate closing around them? Or will love be the kiss of death for them both?

 
 
 
 

What Are You Reading: Rocco by Sarah Castille

What are you reading this week? Any new favorites or books that drove you crazy? Share!


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