Tag: Kat Martin

Review: Into the Whirlwind by Kat Martin

Posted July 13, 2016 by Casee in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: Into the Whirlwind by Kat MartinReviewer: Casee
Into the Whirlwind (Boss Inc. #2) by Kat Martin
Series: Boss Inc. #2
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: May 31st 2016
Genres: Suspense, Contemporary Romance
Pages: 400
Add It: Goodreads
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
Series Rating: four-stars

"I love her books!" --Linda Lael Miller

"Martin is superb." --RT Book Reviews

A bodyguard, a bounty hunter, a private investigator, no one can handle the heat like the men of BOSS, Inc.

Megan O'Brien is at her wit's end. Her three-year-old son has been kidnapped. No police, says the ransom demand. Fearing for her son's life, Meg has no choice but to turn to her former bodyguard, Dirk Reynolds.

Dirk's never forgiven Meg for the way she left him after their brief affair. But with bounty hunter Luke Brodie on his side, Dirk knows he's got to help Meg rescue her son.

The few clues they’ve gathered send them spiraling into a murky world of big banking and international crime. Meg may be way out of her depths, but she’s seeing a side of Dirk she never suspected—one no woman could possibly resist.

Meg jumps straight into a mother’s nightmare when she arrives home and finds that her three year old son is kidnapped. The note that was left instructs her not to contact the police or her son is dead. Meg doesn’t know what to do, but she knows she needs help. The only person she can turn to for help is Dirk Reynolds. Her former bodyguard and lover, Meg doesn’t know if he’ll help her after the way she cut him out of her life, but Meg is desperate and willing to do anything to save her son.

Dirk is shocked when he sees Meg O’Brien walking up his driveway. While he was working for her modeling company, not only did he fall for Meg, he thought the feeling was mutual. Then when the job was over, Meg may as well as surgically cut him out of her life. Dirk was devastated and still bore the scars that Meg left. Yet when standing in front of him begging him to help her find her son, Dirk is powerless to say no. He just promises himself that he will not be drawn back into any feelings that Meg sparks in him.

Dirk and Meg use the resources of the company that Dirk works for, BOSS, Inc. They also turn to her billionaire father, whom they’re both certain is the real target. While Meg has money of her own, it’s her father that has the big bucks. Trying to follow the trail to the kidnappers isn’t as easy as they thought it would be, consider who her father is.

If you want a fast romance suspense, this is it (hence the super short review). Of course there is more to the story but I don’t want to spoil too much. There isn’t too much character building, but I have to believe that was done in the previous book. Usually I don’t jump to the second book, but I don’t like books that have models in them. It’s a thing. Don’t ask me why.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.


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Guest Post: Whitley’s DNF Roundup

Posted December 21, 2015 by Whitley B in Reviews | 3 Comments

So, in the first week of my self-professed “month of only reading Christmas romances” I have read…one Christmas romance.  And I DNFed before I got to the Christmas part. Oops.

In fact I DNFed most of these, but that’s par for the course with me and romances.  I’ll drop them with relative ease because so many things in romance bug me, but at least I think it’s fun to dig through stacks of these things looking for the gems. 😀

Against the Sky
1. Against the Sky by Kat Martin

In America’s last wilderness, there are no limits to what a man can do.

For detective Nick Brodie, that means keeping the perps off the streets of Anchorage 24/7. Nick has never backed down from danger, but after the horrors he’s seen, he’s definitely in need of a break.

Samantha Hollis never thought she’d meet anyone like Nick, especially in a place like Las Vegas. But after one reckless, passionate night, she discovers the charismatic stranger is everything she wants in a man. But can he ever be anything more than a one-night stand?

When Nick invites her to Alaska, Samantha decides to find out, never guessing the depths she’ll discover in him or the tangle of murder, kidnapping, and danger about to engulf them both…

So, right off the bat, I wish the summary for this book had included the KIND OF MAJOR BABY PLOT.  I mean, really, the heroine’s unplanned pregnancy is the catalyst for most of the plot going on, and yet it’s completely missing from the jacket copy.  The murder mystery had promise, but the writing was a bit annoying and the sex was brief and vague.  (Come on, my interest in this genre is not exactly respectable, give me some steamy goodness!)  I quit when the hero decided to go condomless without asking permission first.  (Dude, I know she’s already knocked up, but that doesn’t mean you get to make that call solo!)

Tremain's True Love
2. Tremain’s True Love by Grace Burrows.

Tremaine St. Michael is firmly in trade and seeks only to negotiate the sale of some fancy sheep with the Earl of Haddonfield. The earl’s sister, Lady Nita, is pragmatic, hard-working, and selfless, though Tremaine senses she’s also tired of her charitable obligations and envious of her siblings’ marital bliss. Tremaine, having been raised among shepherds, can spot another lonely soul, no matter how easily she fools her own family. Neither Tremaine nor Nita is looking for love, but love comes looking for them.

Technically I finished this one, but eh.  I don’t know why I picked this book up; I find Burrows’ writing to be very hard to follow.  It’s 95% dialogue and soliloquies, so very little normal narration, so I can’t keep track of where people are in a scene or what they’re doing.  You can be two pages into a scene and not know a character is present until they start talking. But this one in particular irritated me because the ending had the heroine giving up her “passionate” work of being a healer.  And way too easily.  And I’m just not here for that.  I want my historical romances to be full of ladies defying society and doing their thang and gentlemen who gasp at first and then by the end love them for it anyway.  What is this whole stay home and conform to gender bullshit stuff?

The Earl Claims a Bride
3. The Earl Claims a Bride by Amelia Grey.

Harrison Thornwick thought he was safe. The fourth son to the Earl of Thornwick, there was no reason he couldn’t lounge his life away, drinking and carousing in the notorious Heirs’ Club. But when the sudden deaths of his father and brothers leave Harrison holding the bag, he needs a wife in haste, unless he’s to defy the rule of the prince. Unluckily for Harrison, the prince has an entirely different rule for him—his wife-to-be, Miss Angelina Rule. But when he sees the lady in the flesh, Harrison finds her too beautiful and fascinating to resist…Princely command or not, Angelina has no desire to marry Thornwick. Waiting for her sweetheart to return from the army, she’s not about to be paired up with an Earl—especially with an infamous scoundrel like Harrison. But with Thornwick determined to make her his wife in more ways than one, Angelina will have to put up all her defenses if she is to resist being seduced…

I loved the premise of this one, but the hero was just a little too…um, enthusiastic about the heroine’s youth.  (Also, first one of these I’ve read where the girl is legit having her coming out and isn’t a spinster.  Turns out I like spinsters.  I do not have a problem with this.)

Deadly Christmas Secrets
4. Deadly Christmas Secrets by Shirlee McCoy.


When new evidence surfaces that Harper Shelby’s niece is possibly alive, Harper doesn’t expect it to endanger her life. For her protection, she has to put her much-guarded trust in Logan Fitzgerald, the man who unknowingly led a killer to her doorstep. Hired to track Harper down, security and rescue expert Logan doesn’t like that he’s been used to find a woman who someone apparently wants dead. Now he won’t leave Harper’s side until he can guarantee her safety and untangle the truth from the lies regarding her sister’s and niece’s murders. The closer they get to finding answers, the more intent the killer becomes on making sure that there won’t be a family reunion—or happily-ever-after—for Harper this Christmas.

Mission: Rescue—No job is too dangerous for these fearless heroes.

Got this one from Walmart about 75% because I just love the feel of those short slick paperbacks, and 25% because serial killer at Christmas!  I neglected to realize that it was from the “Inspirational” imprint, and I pretty much lost interest when I realized there wasn’t going to be hanky panky.  (I am terrible, I know.)  Shame, since the guy was the most respectful gun-slinger I’ve ever read in a romance.

Facing Fire
5. Facing Fire by HelenKay Dimon.

When his uncle is brutally murdered, Josiah King knows that business just got personal. His uncle’s ties to the Alliance can mean only one thing: Josiah and his black ops team are targets, along with everyone they love. Primed for vengeance, Josiah is determined to unravel the plot–until long-legged redhead Sutton Dahl becomes a dangerous distraction.

Sutton is very good at uncovering other people’s secrets—and protecting her own. When Josiah bursts into her life she’s torn between pushing him away and asking for his help. Mysterious, strong, and much too sexy, he’s a puzzle she longs to solve, and a temptation she can’t ignore.

Thrown together in the face of Alliance’s most lethal threat, Josiah and Sutton become unlikely partners, fighting for their lives even as the attraction between them flares into real passion. Torn between his team and the woman who means everything to him, Josiah will risk it all to save Sutton, even if that decision is his last.

It was a good premise, it really was.  I loved the set-up for getting the hero and heroine together.  He’s chasing a bad guy, she’s chasing the bad guy’s alias.  Her investigation makes her look suspicious, so he swings round to question her.  But it fell into that trap of just being WAY TOO MUCH right off the bat.  He burst into her room with a gun drawn on her, screaming about killing her if she does anything wrong, then asking vague questions, followed by more death threats.  JFC, dude, dial it down.  What even is with all this death talk; do you not realize you can’t interrogate a corpse?  (Which, really, is a big point here if you’re actually trying to catch said bad guy.)  And no further interaction from these two felt real after that.  How do you honestly have a romance after the “hero” makes you shit your pants?  (Didn’t actually happen, but realistically probably should have with that intro.)

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Guest Review: Against the Mark by Kat Martin.

Posted November 14, 2013 by Jen in Reviews | 0 Comments

Against the Mark- Kat MartinJennifer’s review of Against the Mark (Raines of Wind Canyon #9) by Kat Martin.

The perfect murder is a work of art In one catastrophic instant, Haley Warren’s estranged father was taken from her. She never got the chance to reconnect with him, so now she’s doing it the only way she’s got left: by proving the explosion that killed him was no accident.

When Tyler Brodie, the provocative and handsome P.I. hired by Haley, discovers that her father was investigating a suspected art theft, he knows his death is no coincidence. After all, tens of millions of dollars worth of stolen art could motivate a thief to go to any lengths-including getting rid of anyone poking around where they don’t belong.

As Haley and Ty get closer to the truth, the truth gets ugly: Did Haley’s dad know too much…or was he in on the take? And although Ty’s a consummate professional, he’s having trouble focusing on the facts of the case, and not the figure of his gorgeous client. The two are determined to get to the bottom of the case, even if it means they die trying.

Haley Warren has recently arrived in LA to investigate her estranged father Jimmy’s death. She hadn’t spoken to her dad since he left her and her mother in Chicago to marry someone named Betty Jean in LA, but when the stepmother she never met emails saying Jimmy’s death was no accident, Haley can’t help but come. She loved her dad and deeply regrets never trying to reach out to him, and while she doesn’t want anything to do with Betty Jean, she feels like she owes it to her dad to find the truth. Haley stays with her great aunt Ellie, who suggests she get help from a private investigator friend named Tyler Brodie. The two start digging into the case, learning more about the circumstances of Jimmy’s death and, more importantly, the life he had been leading.

The plot centers around the art world, which was unique. Betty Jean suspects Jimmy, who was an insurance investigator, may have been murdered because of an investigation he had been conducting into the theft of some paintings. I thought the crime set up was inventive and clever, and I enjoyed seeing some details about how such crimes could be pulled off. In fact, I would have appreciated even more details about the paintings and how thefts like this might happen.

I also enjoyed the secondary characters. Aunt Ellie is great. She’s a very wealthy widow, and she uses that wealth to help people. She’s energetic and athletic, not some tottering old lady, and she’s even got her own little romance going on (though that mostly happens “off screen”). Nice to see a competent and lively older character in a book! I also really liked the portrayal of Betty Jean. Haley has a lot of preconceived notions about her. She can’t understand why her dad, who was a high paid executive at his father-in-law’s company and married to Haley’s beautiful, rich mother, would leave everything behind to marry some nobody. Betty Jean isn’t what Haley expected, and as she spends more time learning about her dad’s life in California, she realizes that her parents’ marriage wasn’t what she thought either.

So what didn’t I like? One big thing was Haley. I thought she was selfish and spoiled. She is snobby, internally commenting on Ty’s country boy tendencies, Betty Jean’s weight, etc. She does get a bit less snobby as the book progresses, but I could never really get over it. She felt very immature to me, too. She obsesses over the women who call Ty. He is nothing but upfront and honest with her about his attraction and the fact that he has no interest in anyone but her, yet she still questions him routinely, acts huffy when Ty gets phone calls, and assumes he can never be faithful. At the start of the book, Haley admits she’s never really had a good sexual relationship, so she theorizes that it might mean she’s a lesbian. The scene where she discusses her theory with Ty was childish a little offensive, and it did not endear Haley to me. Even worse, later she starts to realize she is falling for Ty, but she refuses to entertain the idea that there could be something more between them because she “doesn’t believe in love.” She keeps saying she’s never known any relationships that worked out, despite the fact that her aunt’s marriage seemed to have been very happy, her dad found a happy marriage, Ty’s business partner is happily married, etc. In fact, from what I could see the only marriage in the book that didn’t really work out was her parents. While her reticence made sense at the start of the book, it dragged on too long for me, even after Ty made it clear he wanted a real relationship with her.

The way they solved the crime was also a little over-the-top for me. I don’t want to spoil it, but I will say it involved covert paragliding. While the plot felt grounded and fairly realistic before, it kind of lost me at that point. Add that to the uneven pacing I felt throughout the book, and I didn’t enjoy this one as much as I hoped.

Grade: 2.75 out of 5

This book is available from Mira.  You can purchase it here or here in e-format.

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Guest Review: Against the Edge by Kat Martin.

Posted May 19, 2013 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Judith’s review of Against the Edge (The Rains of Wind Canyon #8) by Kat Martin.

A child he’s never met. A danger he’s never known.

Deep in the humid, rank heart of the Louisiana bayou, a survivalist group has something that belongs to former navy SEAL Ben Slocum: his son.

That he’s a father is news Ben Slocum was not expecting. But once the initial shock wears off for the confirmed bachelor, he takes in the rest of what social worker Claire Chastain tells him: that Sam is in the custody of an abusive degenerate, that they’ve disappeared…and that Ben is now the child’s only hope.

As Ben and Claire band together to track the two down, their concern for the boy draws them closer, each fighting feelings there’s no time to explore. Because when their search takes them too close to Sam’s abductor and his cohorts, the danger hits home-the son he’s desperate to save, the woman he’s desperate to love… Ben’s got one chance to take back what’s his, and in one gunshot he could lose it all.

Those of us who have read the books in this series know that the heroes and heroines are gritty and plucky people who have taken the challenges of life, some of them quite extraordinary, and have woven them into the warp and woof of their lives.  For a Navy SEAL, life is seen through a very specialized set of lenses.  These individuals are prepared to deal with just about anything and no matter how challenging.  Yet finding out that one has a child about whom they were completely ignorant has to be one of those moments for which no one is truly prepared.  It would seem that Ben has met his emotional match and added on to that defining moment in his life is the knowledge that the son he never knew is in a situation that could mean either his death physically or the death of everything that little boy held dear.  He’s been kidnapped in order to make him a gift to an older sister who has always wanted a child.  And he is being inducted into a counter-culture anti-government cult that is mostly family and whose life is firmly rooted in the hidden places in the Louisiana Bayou.

This is a suspenseful, action-filled novel that pitches the extraordinary skills of a highly trained Navy SEAL against the wiles of people who have made a life out of staying hidden, whose lives are raw and built around satisfying the basic human urges, whose loyalties are all tied up in family and a determination to have everything their own way, no matter how many others outside their lives they hurt or destroy.  The reader is given a clear sense of Ben’s awe at being a father, his horror at finding out what has happened to this little boy, the sexual tension that develops between him and Claire, the disregard of the sensibilities of a little boy as Sam is introduced to the raw realities of living with people who don’t really care about him, and the sort-of maternal urges of an older woman who can never really take the place of his dead mother.  Readers will be introduced to a life that is so very foreign to the way most of us live, one that is absent of the finer nuances of loving and caring and respecting the value of other human beings.  And this author doesn’t back away from giving readers the full jolt of what being a part of this cult means for a little boy who has grown up so far in a modern setting and is now taken back into a lifestyle that is about eating and sleeping and sex and all else that is fulfilling basic human urges without any of the stuff that makes for a life full of meaning.

I make no bones about the fact that I have really enjoyed the novels in this series and have found all the characters to be interesting in their own right.  Once again Ms Martin has crafted a story that is unique in its own way, filled with people who are capable of keeping the reader glued to each succeeding page, and whose presence in the story enlarge the context in a meaningful way.  No one is there that shouldn’t be there.  And Ms Martin writes with an economy of words, making each word and sentence weighty with added feeling and information, moving the reader relentlessly through the story.  That’s as good as it gets.

Readers who like a gritty story mixed in with a sizzling love story will love this book.  Are all the characters to my liking.  Heck no!  But they all seem to belong and that’s what made this story really OK for me.  I think it’s a novel that will probably draw me back again in the future just as has others in this series.  And I happen to believe that any book that can withstand a second reading can’t be all bad.

I give it a rating of 4.25 out of 5.

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.This book is available from Harlequin MIRA. You can buy it here or here in e-format. This book was provided by the publisher for an honest review.

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Guest Review: Against The Night by Kat Martin

Posted March 14, 2012 by Book Binge Guest Blogger in Reviews | 0 Comments

Genres: Romantic Suspense

Judith’s review of Against The Night (The Raines of Wind Canyon #5) by Kat Martin

She’s got the face of an angel and the body of…well, isn’t that what he’d expect from an exotic dancer? But there’s something about this girl that Johnnie Riggs can’t shake. The former army ranger is hot on the trail of an elusive drug lord—and suddenly very hot under the collar, as well.

Amy’s got her own agenda to pursue: her sister is missing and Amy seems to be the only one who cares. She’ll enlist Johnnie’s help and do her best to ignore her growing attraction to finally get some answers. But when the two trails begin to converge and reveal something even more sinister than they imagined, their mutual desire is the least of their problems. They’ll bring the truth to light…or die trying.

This fifth novel in The Raines of Wind Canyon series features a hero who is a friend of the original brothers and who has figured in past novels as a background character. As a former Army Ranger he has been involved in some serious stuff and is now using many of those skills as a private investigator and sometimes bounty hunter who apprehends those who have jumped bail, especially in areas that are home to some of his past military buddies. Now Johnny Riggs is trailing a child molester and that trail leads him to the stripper club where Amy is dancing–a Michigan kindergarten teacher on a mission to find her missing sister who was also a dancer at this club. As it turns out, the owner of the club is a fair and honest person and an acquaintance that understands Johnny’s presence as well as giving assistance from time to time. Johnny is one of those guys that carries around a lot of guilt and trauma from his military days, stuff he has glossed over and buried deep in order to survive in his post Army Ranger days. He has no plans to ever “settle down” and accepts the fact that women may move in and out of his life but they won’t ever stay long.

This novel takes the reader into the shadows of night life and the fringes of crime in Los Angeles, bringing in connections and relational networking that allow Johnny to call on friends from the past in his efforts to help Amy, a project he takes on simply because he can’t get her out of his mind after seeing her dance and beginning to get acquainted with her. He realizes she isn’t a “professional” and is deeply disturbed about what she is doing, yet her gutsy determination to “stay the course” until she locates her sister entices him to become her “knight in shining armor” even though that assistance ultimately becomes the foundation of an affair.

I read the first three novels in this series and was delighted to see the two additional novels now available. I enjoyed this story for several reasons: 1) I like this author’s work and find her style very readable; 2) I like romance novels that include some aspect of suspense/mystery and it is certainly present in this book; and 3) as a resident of So. California I enjoy books that are set in Los Angeles and surrounding environs because I can more easily visualize the locations that are germaine to the story. I liked Johnny–a man who accepted who he had become and was willing to live within those boundaries. He wasn’t unable to sustain relationships as demonstrated by his continuing friendship with his deceased, policewoman sister’s partner with the LAPD as well as his former military buddies. Most telling, however, was a relationship he sustained with the widow of a movie producer who owned the property and guest house where he lived, a woman who had, for all intent and purpose, adopted him emotionally and who played an important role in his life. Johnny’s affair with Amy, while based initially on their search for her sister, was one of those I’m-going-to-d0-this-so-I-get-her-out-of-my-system kind of things but as is most often the case, that didn’t work.

And don’t let Amy fool you. She is a woman who has limited experience with men, who has led a stable and sheltered life in Michigan, who loves her students and would do anything for them, but is discovering as she goes along that she possesses a tenacity that surprises even her as she does some very gutsy things to gain information about her sister’s movements and whereabouts. On no occasion is she willing to let Johnny do this “for” her. She is right there with him. She is a woman who won’t be taken for granted yet there is about her a winsome innocence that no amount of exposure to the seedier aspects of life in Los Angeles seems to decrease. Quite an interesting character and one I came to appreciate increasingly as I read through the novel.

I hope you’ll read this one as I think it is well worth the time and effort to do so.

I give it a rating of 4 out of 5

The series:
Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover Book Cover

You can read more from Judith at Dr J’s Book Place.

This book is available from Mira. You can buy it here or here in e-format.

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