Tag: Romantic Suspense

I’m at TGTBTU Again Today…

Posted November 15, 2007 by Holly in Reviews | 1 Comment

I’m at TGTBTU Again Today…Creation in Death by J. D. Robb
Series: In Death #25
Also in this series: Strangers in Death, Suite 606, Salvation in Death, Kindred In Death, Naked in Death, Glory in Death, The Lost, Rapture in Death, Immortal in Death, Fantasy in Death, New York to Dallas, Celebrity in Death, Brotherhood in Death
Published by Penguin
Publication Date: November 6th 2007
Genres: Fiction, Romance, Suspense, General
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads
three-half-stars

The 25th In Death novel from #1 New York Times bestselling author

Eve has seen this crime scene before: the artfully arranged body of a young brunette, arms spread, palms up, body marked by the signs of prolonged and painful torture. Carved into her torso is the time it took her to die - in hours, minutes, and seconds. And on the third finger of her left hand has been placed a silver ring.

Eve is catapulted back to a case nine years earlier, when a man whom the media tagged “The Groom” put the city on edge with a killing spree that took the lives of four women in fifteen days. Eve and her partner Feeney, her friend and mentor, couldn’t stop him before he disappeared, only to resurface in other parts of the world to kill and kill again. But now The Groom seems to have come back to where he started.

When it turns out that The Groom’s most recent victim was employed by Eve’s billionaire husband, Roarke, she brings him onto the case. A move that proves fitting when it becomes chillingly clear that the killer has made it personal. The corpse was washed in products from a store Roarke owns and laid out on a sheet his company manufactures. With the Groom’s monstrous return, Eve is determined to finish him once and for all. Familiar with his methods, she knows that he has already grabbed his next victim.

But his sights are set on the biggest challenge of his illustrious career - an abduction that will test his skills and that promises to give him satisfaction as he’s never known. Time is running out on another woman’s life…and for Eve.


I promised two reviews a month, and my second review for November was just posted at The Good, The Bad and The Unread.

Check it out…

It’s not unusual for Eve to be an intended victim in these novels, but this is a different kind of case, a different kind of killer, and a different type of situation. Since the killer is someone Eve and Feeney tried – and failed – to capture nine years ago, this makes for an interesting storyline. The problem? There was a lot of stress on Eve and Feeney’s relationship, but I don’t feel as if it was fully explored, or fully resolved…

….read the rest at The Good, The Bad and The Unread

three-half-stars

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Cut Throat by Sharon Sala

Posted November 9, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments


Book description:

He killed her once…

Throat slashed and left for dead next to her murdered father, a thirteen-year-old girl vows to hunt down the man who did this to them—Solomon Tutuola. Now grown, bounty hunter Cat Dupree lets nothing— or no one—stand in the way of that deadly promise.

Not even her lover, Wilson McKay.

Their sexually charged encounters leave McKay wanting more, but Cat is determined to keep her distance. She doesn’t need a man making emotional demands, not now, when revenge is near. Suspecting that Tutuola is still alive, despite witnessing the horrific explosion that should have killed him, Cat follows a dangerous money trail to Mexico, swearing not to return until she’s certain Tutuola is dead—even if it means destroying her very soul….

This has been a week of 4.0 books for me. It’s actually kind of scary.

Cut Throat is the second book (first is Nine Lives) in the series which follows the life of Bounty Hunter Cat Dupree. To say that she’s scarred inside and out is an understatement. A big one. Cat is on seriously effed up woman…with good reason. When she was a little girl, a man broke into her house and killed her father in front of her. He then slit Cat’s throat, leaving her for dead. Miraculously she survived. Since then, her mission in life has been to hunt her father’s killer down and kill him. She thought she did that in Nine Lives. She soon realizes that she was wrong.

Deciding to go after Solomon Tutuloa was a no-brainer for Cat. The revenge she has waited her whole life for is within her reach and there is nothing that will stop her from taking it. If it means pushing away her lover, Wilson MacKay, so be it.

Sharon Sala is one of those authors whose books I love for a reason I can’t name. Sala has never written a heroine like Cat Dupree. She’s an extreme hardass that has gone through life forming few attachments. She doesn’t want a happily ever after. She doesn’t want friends, she doesn’t want to want a lover. She pushes people away and is just generally unlikeable. So I was really curious how Sala was going to pull off a book with a heroine that I didn’t even like. Somehow she did it, though when I finished Nine Lives, I had no idea where she would go with Cat.

In Cut Throat, there were a series of things that happened to Cat that made her question her decisions in regard to Wilson. When she finally takes her revenge, it’s like she’s seeing the world through a different set of eyes. Suddenly she’s trying to be a person that she’s never wanted to be. That’s a rough adjustment, not only for her, but for Wilson as well. I was as incredulous as Wilson when Cat apologized for unnecessary comments. Seriously, I was like “huh?”. It would have ruined it for me if Wilson would have taken it in stride and just accepted Cat for the new and improved person she was.

So even though her values made a 180, the core of Cat was still the same. It was just the intensity in which she tried to avoid an attachment with Wilson now when the other way. She was determined to make an attachment. I think it would have made me like the book a lot less if Cat didn’t remain as fierce of a person as she was in the prior book and for the 1st half of this book.

All in all, I really recommend this series. I’m curious to see where Sala takes it next.

4 out of 5.

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On the Loose by Tara Janzen

Posted November 8, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 3 Comments

Book description:

Keeping cool under pressure is the credo C. Smith Rydell lives by. That’s why he was handpicked by the Special Defense Forces for a mission few men survive. So why has the ex–DEA superstar been reassigned to Panama City, playing bodyguard to a blond in a black string bikini? Except Honey York isn’t your average pampered socialite. She’s the woman Rydell caught smuggling cash into El Salvador four months ago. And now she wants him to take her back.

All Honey has to do is find the guerrilla camp, deliver the goods, and get the hell out of the jungle—all in forty-eight hours. Only one man is up for the job. But sharing an unforgettable one-night stand was nothing next to being stranded with Rydell on some third world mountaintop. And with bullets flying and all hell breaking loose, now is not the time for passion. As if these two could possibly resist it….

The plot of this book is so unbelievable it borders on ridiculous. That obviously didn’t effect me, b/c I started reading it and could not put it down. All the sub-plots that were happening really should have detracted from the “real” plot of the book, but somehow they didn’t. To be honest, I’m not sure I really get what the real plot of the book even was.

Basically, this is what we have (when it comes to sub-plots):

-A lover thought long-dead, who now wants to kill Rydell b/c he knows a secret about her that she thought died when he died (yes, they both think the other is dead).

-A nun pregnant by the (evil) leader of the CNL.

-A drug lord who actually seems to have a conscience.

-A teacher from Albequerque, NM who headed to Panama City with big dreams of making a difference.

This is addition to the main plot, which is somewhat confusing as it is, so bear with me.

Honey York-Lytton never thought she’d see C. Smith Rydell again. After their passion filled night and his subsequent help with delivering money to her sister, Julia (a nun), Honey went home thinking that was that. The end. That all changes when the CIA threatens to charge her with treason (for taking money to her sister in Panama City, which they have photographs of) unless she undertakes a mission. Her mission? Meet Smith, recover a flash drive in a plane that crashed, taking five Louis Vuitton suitcases full of who-knows-what along with a briefcase to Alejandro Campos. Alejandro Campos would be the drug lord with a conscience.

Oh and she must do it in 48 hours. If she fails to accomplish her mission, she’ll be forever exiled from the United States and Smith will be arrested for treason.

As for Smith himself, he is dumbfounded by what has happened to get him to Panama City. After finding out that the lover that tried to kill him is really not dead, Smith has his own set of problems without taking on Honey. He’s not surprised to find out that Honey’s agreement to come to Panama City really has nothing to do with the CIA and everything to do with Julia.

I really enjoyed this book. After reading the cluster that was Crazy Sweet, I really didn’t know if I would like On the Loose. Honey and Smith’s story started in Crazy Sweet and for me, that’s what saved that book. Without them it would have been completely awful instead of just kind of awful.

I loved that there was more to Honey than met the eye. Usually people took Honey at face value. I’m sure the name Honey didn’t help. Smith was really the only person that ever looked past her physical attributes to see what lay beyond. Their banter was highly amusing. I loved the story of what the “C” stood for in C. Smith Rydell. I also loved how Honey teased Smith about it (I would have too).

There was a lot of action and hot sex in this book. Definitely worth the read.

4 out of 5.

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Ice Storm by Anne Stuart

Posted November 7, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 0 Comments

***Warning: May contain spoilers.

Book description:

Behind her mask is a deadly secret…

The powerful head of the covert mercenary organization The Committee, Isobel Lambert is a sleek, sophisticated professional who comes into contact with some of the most dangerous people in the world. But beneath Isobel’s cool exterior a ghost exists, haunting her with memories of another life…a life that ended long ago. But Isobel’s past and present are about to collide when Serafin, mercenary, assassin and the most dangerous man in the world, makes a deal with The Committee.

Seventeen years ago Isobel shot him and left him for dead. Now it looks as if he’s tracked her down for revenge. But Isobel knows all too well that looks can be deceiving…and that’s what she’s counting on to keep her cover in this international masquerade of murder.

Who writes these blurbs for the back? It can’t be the author b/c the back cover is a crock of crap. Tracked her down for revenge? Yeah, not so much. More like he kept track of her for 20 years, even though they parted in the worst possible way.

Seventeen years ago, Isobel Lambert shot her lover, the man she thought she was in love with. Convinced that he was dead by her hand, Isobel shed her innocence that day. Rising from the ashes (how melodramatic is that?), Isobel has numbed her emotions and is known to most as the Ice Queen.

As head of The Committee, Isobel is responsible for bringing in a known terrorist, Josef Serafin. Though he has truly done some atrocious things, he has also saved countless lives. Before she leaves, she reviews everything they have on Serafin the Butcher and learns that he is none other than her long-dead lover, Killian.

The only thing that makes her feel better with coming face-to-face with the man that would have killed her was knowing that he would never know who she was. After shooting him so many years before, Isobel was attacked while she fled. Viciously, brutally attacked. Requiring numerous plastic surgeries, Isobel looks nothing like the girl she used to be.

After meeting up with Killian, who she thinks doesn’t know her, she receives another shock. Not only does he know exactly who she is, but he’s been keeping tabs on her for the last seventeen years.

So revenge? Not so much.

As Isobel tries to get Killian to safety, she has no idea that he has an agenda of his own (again): bring down the Committee. When they almost lose their lives at least three times, Killian forces Isobel to think that the attempts might be on her life rather than his. She’s incredulous to say the least. She’s wrong though. It is her that someone is trying to get rid of.

I really enjoy Anne Stuart’s books. Her heroes are so effed up, they seem irredeemable. As I’m reading one of her books, I’m always thinking that there is no way that she’s going to make me like this hero. How could she? I mean all her heroes will kill the heroine if it’s necessary to their mission, even AFTER they’ve gotten intimate. Yet by the last page, I just love the hero and how much he has sacrificed for the heroine. I don’t think Killian is her “darkest” hero, which is what I’ve read. I still think Peter Masden takes the cake on that one.

In this book, Killian isn’t what he seems. That isn’t much of a surprise. After all, could you imagine a hero that really is a terrorist? Yeah, not so much. This book was different insofar as Killian was the one that had to overcome Isobel’s defenses b/c she refused to take another chance on him. You kind of can’t blame the woman. Finding out your lover drugged you and didn’t argue when his “co-workers” told him they were going to finish her off changes a girl.

I think this is my favorite in the Ice Series thus far. I’m highly anticipating Reno’s book, which should come out in April 2008.

4 out of 5.

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Traceless by Debra Webb

Posted October 10, 2007 by Casee in Reviews | 6 Comments


Book description:

She’s in search of JUSTICE.

Emily Wallace has no doubt about who killed her best friend ten years ago: Clint Austin, her then boyfriend. The key witness in his trial, Emily put Clint behind bars with her tearful testimony. But when Emily learns that Clint has been released on parole, she returns to her Alabama hometown to confront him—and make sure he never forgets the damage he has done.

He is dead-set on revenge…

After serving ten years for a crime he didn’t commit, Clint knows only the truth can set him free. Ignoring warnings from his old friend, now the chief of police, Clint will let no one stand in his way as he tries to prove his innocence—including Emily, the girl he once loved who ruined his life. Prison has made him a hard man, yet he yearns for Emily…and he can see in her eyes that, in spite of herself, she feels the same. But even if he can convince Emily to trust him, it might be too late to clear his name—before the real killer strikes again.

The town of Pine Bluff, Alabama is like Mayberry on crack. Good Gawd. The end of this book read like a soap opera.

Clint Austin has spent 10 years in prison for a crime he didn’t commit. The only crime he committed on that night was breaking into Emily Wallace’s house after hearing screaming. While he was trying to stop the blood flowing out of Heather Baker’s neck, Emily Wallace climbed back through her bedroom window. Things did not go well after that. Believing that Clint actually mean to kill her b/c she refused to go out with him (a little full of yourself?), Emily has blamed herself for years. Though Clint professed his innocence, Emily’s testimony sent him to prison for a crime he didn’t commit.

Now he’s back. And he is pissed. Going to prison for something you didn’t do will do that to a guy. When you add in that his mama died while he was in there, that makes it worse. Don’t mess w/ a man and his mama.

With the help of Police Chief Ray Hale, Clint moves back into his mother’s home and gets a job at the local auto garage where he’s not exactly met with open arms. Having been convicted of murdering a high school cheerleader and one of the town’s sweethearts, Clint is met with outright hostility and rage. Keeping a low profile isn’t in Clint’s plan. He wants to stir things up b/c he knows that Heather’s real killer is someone that lives in Pine Bluff and he is determined to clear his name. Though he hates himself for it, the 1st person he wants to prove his innocence to is Emily Wallace. He wants to find the truth and rub it in her face. A lot. Hey, the guy deserves to want a little revenge, right?

When Emily found out that Clint was paroled, she went a little loony. Coming back home to Pine Bluff is the last thing she wants, but she’s determined to get Clint sent back to jail? How you ask? Well, she’s going to follow him 24/7 so that when he does something that violates his parole, she’ll be there to turn him in. She refuses to entertain the possibility that she was mistaken about what she saw that night. Even when people start dying, she doesn’t want to believe that Clint is innocent. Of course by now, it’s more about her than about him b/c really, what kind of person is she? She sent an innocent man to jail and her best friend’s murderer is still out there. Heavy burden to bear.

This is where it gets really interesting.

It’s soon revealed that Emily’s father could have given Clint his alibi for the night of the murder. You see, Clint worked for the town loan shark. He was getting instructions for his “assignment” for the night while Emily’s dad was there getting a loan from sharky. For some reason, the loan shark didn’t want Em’s dad to give Clint his alibi and he threatened to kill his whole family if he talked. This is what didn’t work for me: Emily’s parents were “worried” about her involvement with Clint. Why? They knew he wasn’t a murderer. You’d think that they’d be, if not proud, at least supportive of Emily’s mission to find out the truth about who murdered Heather.

There is a whole slew of secondary characters. There is Troy Baker, Heather’s brother who is at first determined to run Clint out of town, then he decides he might as well kill him. There’s Keith something-or-other whose dad owns the factory in town and who was Heather’s boyfriend at the time of the murder. There’s Marv, Troy’s friend and Heather’s sometime date before she died. There’s Justine, Emily’s former Cheerleading coach. There’s Misty, Justine’s good friend and science teacher at the school. There’s Violet, Emily’s former friend and now-wife to Keith. Oh yes, there are plenty of people here to make this book have non-stop action. Almost too much action.

Someone starts to get nervous and tries to kill Clint by setting his house of fire. While staking out his house, Emily fell asleep. She awoke when she smelled smoke and rushed in and saved Clint’s life, convincing herself she would have done it for anyone. Then someone tries to kill Emily by dousing her with gas and setting her car on fire (not a very original killer). Next to get offed is Keith, former boyfriend of Heather and wife to Violet. He’s killed in a quarry where he was meeting w/ his best friend Troy. Misty, the science teacher is skulking around and following Keith for some reason. Next up is Ray Hale, the Police Chief. He gets brained with something while he’s meeting a woman at his cabin. Of course this woman is referred to as she. Of course Clint is brought in for questioning, but he has an alibi.

Here’s the soap opera part…Justine (Cheerleading Coach) liked sleeping with teenage boys. Eventually these teenage boys turned into men. After that, she liked taking pictures of them (without their knowledge of course). She also liked to slip them GHB and have them perform on each other. Good blackmail material. Oh and did I mention that Justine and Misty are lesbian lovers? Justine is also determined to be “respectable” by marrying Keith’s father, Granville, who owns the factory and is the richest man in Pine Bluff.

Eventually it comes out who the killer is and Clint is exonerated. The ending was so-so. I didn’t like that the Police Department basically got away with misconduct and putting an innocent man in jail.

This is my first book by Debra Webb. I’m planning on picking up another book by her sometime in the future.

3.5 out of 5.

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