Jenny Chase has loved Asher McIntyre, her best friend’s older brother, since she first laid eyes on him. But their flirting over the years never progressed as well as his career. He’s the Asher McIntyre, Mr. Rising Star Politician, the congressman who is soon to be the senator to New York State. He holds a spot on every magazine’s most handsome, most powerful, and most unattainable list. All while Jenny has followed her acting dream, waiting for her big break.
Asher McIntyre has never had time for a serious relationship. Work is too demanding. But he’s also never stopped thinking about Jenny. When a stalker with a political agenda focuses on her, Asher can’t play the role of disinterested buddy any longer. The sparks are too strong, and his alpha gene is provoked. He wants her under his arm and in his bed.
But can two hearts on opposite career paths survive while Asher’s enemy seeks to take them both down?
A bit lighthearted novella about serious issues, political blackmailing with kidnapping.
Since Asher and Jenny have known each other most of their lives, and the attraction, flirting has been going on for years, I can't say that the romance was rushed. It was steamy and passionate, when years of building up emotions finally was freed, out and open. The physical attraction was obvious, Asher's protectiveness of Jenny rode over all the other commitments in his life.
The suspense was explosive towards the end. And the confrontation chaotic. But what happened to the wounded Titan member, Rocco?
The tune of the story was a bit immature, and I had a couple issues with the plot being believable. It was a novella, with lots of events packed into it, but felt more rushed and light than it needed to be ~ Two big spoons with a teaspoon on the side
Eryn McClellan teaches ESL in Washington, D.C., until the day she’s targeted by terrorists avenging her father’s actions in Afghanistan. The FBI has stepped in, but when it looks like they are using her for bait, General McClellan enlists the aid of the only man he knows he can trust: former Navy SEAL Ike Calhoun.
Embracing solitude in his remote cabin in the Blue Ridge Mountains, Ike thought he’d left the War on Terror far behind. Now he’s stuck shielding a blue-eyed beauty from ambitious federal agents and crazed jihadists. More disturbing still, the charming Eryn seems intent on shattering his self-imposed isolation. Ike does his best to resist her welcoming ways, but he can feel his resistance crumbling like a mountain in a mudslide. With the FBI hot on their heels and the terrorists not far behind, Ike willingly wages a one-man war in defense of the woman whose passion and faith have given him the strength to rise above his past.
I love it when the story gets right into the action, and takes off with a bang.
The story is told by three different point of views: the couple's, the FBI's, and the terrorist's. It gave the suspense part of the story a well rounded view, and brought up the tension and anxiety. The FBI agents nearly made the story into a tragicomedy. The leader's desire to advance his career rode over any and all good and right decisions towards national security, and saving Ryan's life, that could have been made.
Eryn and Ike seemed at the beginning to bring out the worst in each other. The dire situation they were in, constant fear for Eryn's life, don't hinder the connection and attraction between them. While learning the basic survival skills from Ike, Eryn falls for this man, who seems so ruff and tough outside, but really is caring, protective, and loyal man, whose soul has been bruised in the war.
I liked that the story wasn't over at the end of the action, but the author took the time the couple needed, for them to heal, and be able to love each other fully. I usually don't quote the books, but this one: "She was his universe, his field of operation" - yeah, swoon worthy right there!
The story had original voice, and with the multiple point of views, many layers to the story. Add sacrificing, protective, and passionate love story, that had the time to develop for HEA they deserved, a very promising start to the new series ~ Three big spoons, and a teaspoon on the side!
CIA agent Daniel Adams, once a prisoner of war, is a loner out of necessity. But rescuing an amnesiac woman left buried alive bonds them in ways neither can resist. All Raven knows is that her baby is in danger. All Daniel can focus on is finding the missing child and protecting Raven every step of the way.
Her memories are lost and his are scarred from the damages of war. But as they depend on each other for survival in the rugged west Texas mountains, the pieces of their broken pasts start to come together. Now all they have is the risky hope of a future together as they confront the threat that can destroy them both.
What a powerful story this is. It touched me with all the emotions; made me smile, sigh, tear up, and heart raise from the intense fear and anxiety.
Daniel is so scared inside. The PTSD symptoms are well described, with such a vivid images. But he is truly a good man, with a loving, caring heart.
His connection with Raven was so delicate and tender. Their trust to each other is strong, the way they calm each others mind is just beautiful.
The hunt for Raven's memories, for the people trying to kill her, for the baby -- it is fierce and frightful.
Such an original plot, with intense suspense, evil villains, deep emotions, lovable main characters ~ Five spoons!
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. . .
Intense and biting story, that takes a hold of your mind, and leaves you gasping for breath.
The story is told by three POV, his, hers, and the villains. The threat of the evil is constant, and present, through the mind boggling psychic powers and gifts. The tension is building with every page, as the madman keeps tormenting, and killing. The images of the violence and brutality are vivid and clear.
There is a strong connection between Caleb and Ramie, connection based on love, caring, and being protective towards each other, not so much, under the circumstances, into physical attraction and passion. So the passionate love scenes in the midst of the torture came a bit out of the left, in my opinion.
Caleb's family has gone through a difficult year, and are still recouping from Tori's kidnapping. After living through Ramie's agony, fear, and pain she suffered because of the rescue of Tori, and considering Ramie was the one who saved Tori's life, their reaction to her wasn't very appealing. And the story didn't really give me time, or a chance, to change that first impression.
For the unique storyline, written in such a talented way, that it touched me into point of tears, made me gasp for a breath, feel the fear and pain, as well as the protective love ~ Four spoons.
Maya Banks is a #1 USA Today and New York Times bestselling author whose chart toppers have included erotic romance, romantic suspense, contemporary romance, Scottish historical romances. She is the author of the Breathless Trilogy, the KGI novels, the Sweet series, and the Colters Legacy novels.
She lives in the South with her husband and three children and other assorted babies, such as her two Bengal kitties and a Calico who’s been with her as long as her youngest child. She’s an avid reader of romance and loves to dish books with her fans and anyone else who’ll listen! She very much enjoys interacting with her readers on Facebook and Twitter as well as in her Yahoo! Group.
You just have to picture in your mind, a tiny southern town, in Alabama, where people still believe in the upper and lower class of folks. Then you take the senator's 30 something daughter, who is a judge, still living with her parents, and acting like a little girl. And the housekeeper's son, who claims to be innocent of the murder he sat in prison for 15 years for. And the only job this college educated man could get after paroled, was in his cousins auto repair shop. Here is the base of the story.
Then you add three families, with twisted mixed relationships, deception, dishonesty, illegitimate children, affairs, murders, and small town gossip.
What a story, it flows slow like hot molasses, it is steamy enough to heat up the syrup, and southern to the point that you will want a mint julep while reading it.. There's so many secrets to be revealed, plot twists to surprise, that kept me reading, even though the irrelevant numerous details are numbing at times. ~ Three spoons
I received the book from the publisher via NetGalley for an honest and fair review
Her first love ended in tragedy, former CIA agent, Nora Ashford, vows never to be hurt again and retreats to the Colorado Rocky Mountains.
Forced down by a blizzard, former Navy pilot, Lucas Stone crash lands in Nora’s snow covered meadow. Brave in battle, but he's been burned more than once in love.
Fighting the blizzard and their attraction for each other Nora and Lucas must unite when Nora’s past puts their lives in danger. Will they take a chance at love?
For a short story, the author has managed to pack an interesting, suspenseful, and surprisingly full tale in this book.
The vivid, intriguing action in Nora's nightmares, give insight into Nora's past as an agent. There's also a short account of Lucas' past, failed relationship, and family history.
The insta-love and connection between Nora and Lucas is appealing, and dreamy. And then towards the end the author allows a twist that took me by complete surprise.
It is a short, quick read, but pack full story with action and love, that I recommend ~ Four spoons!
At a benefit dinner, community activist Maria Cervantes overhears two men plotting a terrorist attack that could rock Miami to its core. But before she can alert authorities, she’s almost killed in a massive explosion—and wakes up in a hospital with no memory of what happened. As the sole survivor of the attack, she is now a person of interest to the NSA—and especially to Agent Cade O’Reilly. Because Maria is the one woman Cade has never been able to forget.
Years ago, they were closer than either was willing to admit—until Cade disappeared when Maria needed him most. Now he’s sticking by her, whether she likes it or not. Because the memories locked inside her mind could hold vital clues to the next attack. Because terrorists want her dead—and because he never wants to let her go again.
The story took a hold of me from page one, and was so captivating, that I read the book in one sitting. Amazing, heart racing, on the edge of your seat type of constant action! I'm breathless just thinking about it. It is explosive, fast paced, riveting, terrifying - all that you could want a suspense story to be.
And the love story between Maria and Cade. Yes, it is HOT and steamy, but at the same time, so beautifully written, it just made me swoon and 'Ahhh' through the book. When Cade's fear for Maria's life was described, I could nearly feel the pain he was feeling at the moment.
The images in the story are so vivid, that it felt like I was there, in Miami, chasing the terrorist with Cade's team.
Absolutely a keeper for all romantic suspense fans! ~ Five spoons all the way!
The last time James Walker saw Beth Garcia, he was carrying her off the battlefield. A year later, he runs into her as she’s completing her last physical therapy appointment before she can be deployed again. She’s still sexy as hell, but just as prickly and hard-headed as she was when they first met.
An arranged rock climbing weekend together quickly turns into a nightmare family wedding after a panicked phone call from his sister about mysterious and ominous emails she’s been receiving.
Beth, thinking she’s going rock climbing for the weekend, is surprised when she realizes the biggest rock she’ll be facing is the one James needs her to wear. And while trying to protect James’s sister, she’ll also have to lie to James’s father, the Director of the CIA, about who she is, jeopardizing her carefully planned career. And while she does owe James her life, he’s in for a wild ride if he thinks he can get away with this deception unscathed…
Hard action and steamy love story, mixed with crazy family drama, surely makes great entertainment.
The story starts off with hard action on a war zone. And even though there's the threat of the emails, the attacks, until towards the end, the story focuses into the relationship between James and Beth, as well as the wild family dynamics of the Walker's.
The chemistry between James and Beth is insanely hot! The attraction to each other has been simmering since their days in Afghanistan, and when they run into each other on US soil, it flares up again immediately.
They are fun, easy going, energetic, very easy to like and relate to. The attraction between them is palpable and raw. The fake engagement starts to feel more than real at times. Maybe not the most original setting, but the author made it interesting enough.
James' family is full of drama and ignorant upper class attitude. I was a bit surprised how naive James' father was, considering the position he has. And I have to admit, most of the things James' mother said, made me see red. The rest of the cast was well portrayed, and lively, likable bunch. There were several secondary story lines, that gave more layers to the story.
I felt frustrated with the lack of communication, Beth and James' inability to communicate their feelings towards each other, that created many misunderstandings between them.
But overall, I really enjoyed the story. It kept my interest throughout, and was vastly entertaining, so four spoons for Over the Line.
Copy of this book was provided to me by the publisher via NetGally for honest and fair review.
…A game of survival tests their will and their love.
A mission she can’t forget…
The first female operative for the counter-terrorism unit known as ATCOM, Atalanta Devayne is haunted by a former mission gone wrong. That mission led to her imprisonment, torture, and ultimate retirement, along with her loss of faith in the man she’d trusted with her life.
Brings his vengeance…
Former Navy SEAL, Noah Kincaid, bears the responsibility of Attie’s imprisonment and blames himself for not protecting her from drug lord Carlos Santiago. This time he won’t fail her.
In a deadly game of survival.
Santiago has resurfaced and set up an elaborate plan to exact his revenge on Attie by taking her brother hostage. The only way to save him is by revisiting the darkness of her past and relying on a man she can’t trust. In a battle of life or death, Noah and Attie are put to the test. They must face challenges to overcome the past and accept their feelings for each other before the danger that tore them apart separates them forever.
'The Hunger Games meet drug lord and agents' kept going in my mind through the most part of the story.
This story's suspense is gory, terrifying, filled with psychological tension and fear. The circumstances, or the location, is rather far fetched, taking you to the edge of your imagination, and with its blood-soaked, intense terror, way out of the comfort zone. And I'm not sure yet, if that was in a good way, I have to try to sleep on it (without nightmares).
The beginning is a bit confusing, since the story, itself, started over a year ago, and the events of the past are slowly unfolded through the book. But until this started to happen, I felt a bit confused, like I had missed the previous book of the series.
Attie was not an easy person to like. Yes, I love it when the heroine is strong and independent. But there is the point when the strong will and mind, and the stubbornness is starting to remind you of a five year old in a middle of a temper tantrum. Constant bitterness and anger are not very attractive. And until the story unfold, and the reader finds out the reasons for her behavior, it might be too late to learn to like her.
I wish there would have been more about Noah, and more of the story told from his point of view. Maybe then Attie's anger and bitterness would have not been on a center stage.
The last 15% of the story completely saves the day, giving more insight to Noah, into their relationship, and the story does end with a beautiful images.
The Maze is a very intense, different kind of black ops story, and I do recommend it.
Three big spoons and a teaspoon on the side for it.
Sandra Brown is the author of more than sixty New York Times bestsellers, including DEADLINE(2013), LOW PRESSURE (2012), LETHAL (2011), TOUGH CUSTOMER (2010), SMASH CUT (2009), SMOKE SCREEN (2008), PLAY DIRTY (2007), RICOCHET (2006), CHILL FACTOR (2005), WHITE HOT (2004), & HELLO, DARKNESS (2003).
Brown began her writing career in 1981 and since then has published over seventy novels, bringing the number of copies of her books in print worldwide to upwards of eighty million. Her work has been translated into over thirty languages.
A lifelong Texan, Sandra Brown was born in Waco, grew up in Fort Worth and attended Texas Christian University, majoring in English. Before embarking on her writing career, she worked as a model at the Dallas Apparel Mart, and in television, including weather casting for WFAA-TV in Dallas, and feature reporting on the nationally syndicated program “PM Magazine.”
In 2009 Brown detoured from her thrillers to write, Rainwater, a much acclaimed, powerfully moving story about honor and sacrifice during the Great Depression.
Brown recently was given an honorary Doctorate of Humane Letters from Texas Christian University. She was named Thriller Master for 2008, the top award given by the International Thriller Writer’s Association. Other awards and commendations include the 2007 Texas Medal of Arts Award for Literature and the Romance Writers of America’s Lifetime Achievement Award.
We all have our favorite authors, those that have shaped the kind of books we like to read, and set the standard of quality to the books we seek out.
One of the first romantic suspense stories that I read, was written by Sandra Brown. I fell in love with her style of writing from the page one, and since then I have purchased 62 of her books in print.
So you can imagine how excited I was, when I found out, I was going to have an opportunity for a group chat with Sandra Brown this week!! We all were given the opportunity to post some questions. (And I'm happy to tell you, I mostly was able to keep my fan-girl gushing to minimum)
I've collected here some of the answers Ms Brown gave during the chat interview.
Can you tell us what books on craft or classes helped you refine your writing skills the most?
- I never took classes other than college literature and such. My colleague Dean Koontz has a great book on fiction writing called -- appropriately enough -- How to Write Bestselling Fiction. It's old. I hope it's still in print. There's also a book by Noah Lukeman called The Plot Thickens that's chock full of good information
Some insights about her writing style and process:
- To me the most fulfilling thing about writing is telling the story. I don't enjoy the publishing/business aspects of my career nearly as much as I enjoy make-believing with my characters. It's all about the story.
- When I'm plotting a book, I build in a few. But, in all honesty, some of the best plot twists have come as a total surprise to me! Even I didn't see it coming. Which addresses another of your questions about the characters taking over. I put them into "terrible trouble," and I have certain actions for them to take, but often they come up with a solution all their own. It sounds crazy, I know! But the characters are often much smarter than I am!
- I focus mainly on my STORY. It's all about STORY. I worry about the research later. After I've written the first draft and have the storyline cemented, I go through the ms. and write down everything I need to know. Then I research it and incorporate what I've learned into the subsequent drafts. I've talked to experts, saying, "Here's what happens. Tell me how to make it possible."
- In Mean Streak it was a mix of outlining and flying by the seat of my pants! I had many of the plot points and twists in my head before I started. But the story took on a life of its own -- as did the characters. Some of the more jarring twists happened without any help from me!
- Having written over 70, coming up with something new and fresh is a challenge! But that's key -- I challenge myself to try something new with each book. In DEADLINE is was using Flora's diary entries to tell the back story and impart information that otherwise would have slowed the story down. These diary pages were short, but they revealed a lot. And before them, I'd never written anything in first person. In MEAN STREAK the unique factor was withholding the hero's name until 3/4 of the way through the book! It was difficult. But doing something like that with each book helps keep me on my toes!
- I don't think of it in terms of "romance" or "thriller." I tell the story that's begging me to tell it. I incorporate a lot of romance because that's what I enjoy reading. The romance heightens the stakes of a thriller because nothing frightens us more than a loved one being endangered. The suspense heightens the romance because fear unleashes other emotions. I think that makes for a good blend.
- I like to think that I've developed a "voice" in the marketplace. That's important for a writer. When cultivating a following, I wanted readers to recognize my style and the way I develop characters and use the language. Most successful writers have a personal stamp. They tell a story in a distinctive way. Give 100 writers the same plot, and you'd get 100 completely different books.
- A writer's "voice" comes from the heart, not the head. It's not something that can be acquired. It just IS.
For a person who has never read your books before, which one should they start with?
- When a new (or prospective) reader asks which book they should read, I ask them what they like? More mystery and suspense? More romance? A male lead character or a female. This helps me determine which book they would find the most appealing. Of course I tell them they're ALL excellent! LOL
If you were to write a book with an another author, who would that author be and why?
- LOL. Somebody I really disliked. Because I would be a terrible collaborator. I'm far too picky and independent and would want things the way I want them. I've never considered a collaboration! I would hate to inflict myself on someone I liked!
What do you like to read?
- It's enlightening to read a variety of things. I read all over the spectrum -- inside and outside my genre.
Three books you've read more than three times?
The Flame and the Flower -- Kathleen Woodiwiss
Mila 18 -- Leon Uris
Lady Chatterley's Lover -- DH Lawrence
Words of wisdom to new, aspiring authors?
- Waiting on responses can be agonizing. During the wait, my advice would be to -- WRITE.
- It's so nerve-wracking, but follow your heart and your gut and try not to become discouraged. Focus on the book you're writing. Then when that call DOES come, you'll have more to sell. As for queries, be as concise as possible. Let the ms. speak for itself.
Six years ago, Alexis Baptiste's world was turned upside down when Hunter Cassidy disappeared without a trace, leaving her alone and pregnant. She's finally moving on with her life when he resurfaces, just in time to rescue her from a would-be assassin. Forced to join him on the run to protect herself and her young son, Alexis is now in even more danger: danger of falling for Hunter all over again.
Betrayed by rogue CIA agents after infiltrating an infamous drug cartel, former DEA agent Hunter Cassidy has spent years trying to clear his name. He's not proud of the things he's done, and knows he doesn't deserve a future with Alexis, or the son he never knew he had, but he's determined to protect them from the men who ruined his life. Convincing Alexis to trust him--and denying his feelings for her--is going to be the hardest mission he's ever faced.
A story filled with dark secrets, conspiracy, lost love, and second chances.
The layers upon layers of secrets, betrayals, mistrust starts to unravel when, after six years in exile, Hunter is not only facing CIA agents gone bad and wanting him dead, but the love of his Life, Alexis.
The deepness of dishonesty and treason was uncovered through the story, with hidden parties to the deception, that took me by surprise. The story has a bit darker side to it, with the murky waters of the different agencies, and how deep the deceit goes.
Alexis and Hunter's love story is as well, shadowy, since Hunter left without warning six years ago, never knowing Alexis was pregnant, that he was the father. After some air is cleared, while in hiding to save their lives, Hunter's insecurities, feelings of unworthiness, is keeping them apart. I couldn't but admire Hunter's protective side, his willingness to sacrifice everything for Alexis and his son. When together, Hunter and Alexis were intense and sensual, taking my breath away.
While a bit confusing in the beginning with all the possible conspiracy theories, the story came together fast, and was delightfully nail-biting suspense material, with comprehensive ending. Four spoons for His Secret Past.