Hart of Noel

Author: Chautona Havig

Series: A Heartstrings Novella

Publisher: Independent

Release Date: October 4, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Just like the previous in the series, this is a fun, fast read that was full of all the feels for me. Loved the setting, characters, and story so much! I foresee myself reading this one over and over again!

Josh Hart wants nothing more than to see his little bookstore succeed. If you looked out the front window of his store, you would think sales would be great with a full parking lot. Unfortunately, the cars are there to get into the bakery across the street and enjoy all the goodness baked by Honey Potts. Josh and Honey clash over the parking spots when Josh asks if she will park her own large SUV somewhere else so that people can actually see his store. Milton Coleridge comes to town with his parrotlet, Atticus and quickly sees that Josh is in desperate need of his help if he is going to keep his bookstore afloat.

Hart of Noel was everything I was hoping it was going to be: fun, entertaining, and just right to sit down and lose myself in fiction for a few hours.  Chautona Havig has a way with crafting characters that are easy to all in love with and want to see them succeed. Her stories are quick and well written with characters that readers can relate to and feel themselves in the story. This story was perfect, especially for the holiday season and I am thankful to have had this to read and take myself out of the world and lose myself in fiction for a few hours. Josh was flustered from the start and with good reason, the start of his relationship with Holly was rough but it led to a way for them to work through it and find a good relationship that could lead to something. I recommend this book to those looking for a fun holiday read and with great characters and an even better storyline.

A Heart Adrift

Author: Laura Frantz

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: January 4, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A second chance romance written by a master at historical fiction?  Yes, please!

Esmee Shaw lives a content life in York, Virginia as a chocolatier.  She has been courted in the past, but the romance failed and she has yet to find someone that she would prefer to spend the remaining years of her life with.  Now twenty-eight, she wishes that she could find some meaning in her life.

Captain Henri Lennox has never gotten over his romance with Esmee Shaw.  Now back in Virginia, he focuses on restoring the lighthouse that was one their shared vision.  But when his government calls on him to enter the war against France, will he be able to restore their relationship before it’s too late?

There are two things that happen like clockwork every January: A New Year and a new Laura Frantz novel!  If you love reading about colonial America, Frantz is an author that you need to read.  Her research of this time period is unmatched by any I’ve found.  Coupled with fictional and real characters, her stories weaver together the strands of remembered history with characters that you can’t help but cheer on through their hardships and troubles.  I never tire of her stories and this one will stay on the shelf for another peek in the future.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Sunrise

Author: Susan May Warren

Series: Sky King Ranch #1

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: January 4, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Susan May Warren does a fantastic job crafting a Contemporary Romance story that readers will enjoy and a setting that is downright chilling!

Dodge Kingston left home over a decade ago after a family fight. He now returns to help salvage Sky King Ranch after his father is in an accident. What he doesn’t count on is meeting back up with his old flame, Echo Yazzie and having all the same feelings come right back to the surface. Echo never left Alaska and has been working as a dogsledder and research guide for the DNR; it is a dangerous life but one she loves. One of the researchers working with Echo goes missing and Echo doesn’t hesitate to head out in search with her dog team. Dodge now must put hurt feelings aside and try to find Echo before it is too late. Not only are they racing against the Alaskan wilderness, but other dangers await them in the wild.

Susan May Warren is a great Christian fiction writer that puts out books faster than most any other author out there. I have loved her romantic suspense series and her collaboration writing the Rembrant Stone series. Sunrise is her newest and it is a contemporary romance; the story is good with characters that intrigued me from the beginning. I did feel that things got a little repetitive at times causing the story to drag a bit, not a lot, but at a few key points I was wanting it to pick up when it was moving at the slower pace. The ending was by far the best part and left me aching for more! Luckily with her. you don’t have to wait too long for the next book to come out.

One thing that got me scratching my head was the use of so many unique names, Dodge, Echo, Idaho, Colt, and Range, not many normal names throughout the book. I get wanting to have names that will stick with the reader but at times it can take readers out of the story with so many unique names. I must admit, I’m more of a fan of suspense than contemporary but this was a good read and I think fans of Warren’s writing will enjoy this new story and beautiful setting.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Stone

Author: Ronie Kendig

Series: The Metcalfes #1

Publisher: Task Force Press

Release Date: January 6, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A fantastic start to what promises to be one of the best romantic suspense series from an author who never fails to deliver the very best stories!

Stone Metcalfe has many of the same qualities that made his brother a top-notch military man. He also has the Metcalfe good looks and character, that is until he was caught in a scandal that ruined his political career and sent him to the mountains to try and start over running a lodge and staying out of the media. When he gets a phone call from his old army buddy, all his plans come crashing down.

Brighton Buchanan had it made in the world of supermodeling until one mistake traps her in the world of human trafficking. The same men that trap her also use her to take down Stone from his high position in government. He was the only man she felt she could trust, and she betrayed him. When she finds herself back in his life, Brighton is afraid that one wrong move will put him and everyone else in danger and that is something she is just not willing to risk.

If you have ever read any Ronie Kendig before, you are familiar with the Metcalfes. In Stone, readers get a look into the life of one of the Metcalfe brothers we haven’t seem much before. This book was everything I wanted it to be and more. I love the way Ronie Kendig writes, but some of the military thrillers I have read are very detailed and deep. This one was a little more laid back but also filled with tension at all the right places to keep the story moving. I read this one very quickly and enjoyed all aspects of it. This was one of those rare books I was able to see play out as a movie in my mind while I was reading it. The story pulls at the heartstrings with what Brighton has gone through and how she is trying to make amends for what she did to Stone. I was really pulled in by her as a character and the hardships she faced. This is a little different from the other Ronie Kendig books I have read but is by far my favorite. I am not sure how many are planned for this series, but I would love to learn more about all the Metcalfes. This is a great book and series for fans of romantic suspense and good fiction that will keep you on the edge of your seat until the very last page.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Life Flight

Author: Lynette Eason

Series: Extreme Measures #1

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: January 4, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

By far the best romantic suspense book I have ever read! Lynette Eason has taken her writing to a new level with this one and other authors’ best pay attention or get left in her dust.

Penny Carlton had a rough upbringing, and after spending time in juvie, she now spends her time as an EMS helicopter pilot. Her latest mission sends her out in a dangerous storm to pick up an injured and critical patient that will die if Penny can’t get her down the mountain in time. Something goes wrong with the helicopter and she is forced to set down on the side of the mountain and look for help. Unknown to Penny, a serial killer is on the loose and in the area. FBI Special Agent Holt Satterfield shows up just as the killer is getting ready to attack Penny. Together, they take the killer down but soon find out Penny is still in danger when they learn the person on the side of the mountain wasn’t the person they thought. With each passing hour, more clues come to light as Penny’s and Holt’s feelings for each other grow making the case even more personal and more dangerous.

With each new book, Lynette Eason has shown that she is a powerhouse when it comes to romantic suspense and is leaving others far behind. I keep saying each new book is her best, but it is true, and Life Flight is leaps and bounds ahead of her others. Some books have the ability to make a movie play out in my mind while I read, but those are few and far between. Life Flight was a great movie in my mind that I hated to see it end. The book started with the kind of action you see in the climax of most others that then peters off for the rest of the pages. But here it never petered out or slacked in any way, even to the last pages I never once felt the tension let up.

Penny is the kind of lead character that I absolutely love: strong, brave, and put into situations that seem impossible and yet she is able to come out the other side. The chemistry between main characters in a romantic suspense is a tricky thing; sometimes it works and sometimes it is just annoying. With Penny and Holt, it was smooth and easy, I never had an eye roll moment or anything to make me doubt the characters intention or action. I’ve read so many romantic suspense over the years and it is getting harder and harder to find romance between characters that doesn’t make me want to throw the book for lack of chemistry and realistic timeline. I am so happy with Lynette Eason and the way she is becoming better and better with each book! I hope other authors are looking to her for an example of how it is done. This is one of those books I wish I could give more than five stars too! I recommend this book to readers who love romantic suspense and Lynette Eason’s writing.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Spines and Leaves

Author: Chautona Havig

Series: A Bookstrings Novella #0

Publisher: Independent

Release Date: June 18, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A fabulously fun and fast read that was just perfect to lift my spirits and put a smile on my face!

Milton Coleridge works helping turn companies around to make a profit. He has a month to get from Orange County, California to Delaware for his next job. On his way, he stops and spends a week at Joshua Tree National Park and finds the cutest little bookstore that is on the verge of closing. Spines and Leaves is the oldest bookstore in town and has a lot of spunk under the surface. But if things don’t change soon, the doors will have to be shut permanently. Milton comes in and uses his skills helping corporations make money to help the bookstore be able to keep its doors open.

This was such a fun Novella to read and enjoy. I so enjoyed this story and the character of Milton. Atticus might be my second favorite character from the book. It was a short book, moved at a quick pace and didn’t feel like there was an excess or fluff that didn’t need to be there, something I love in a book. Set in a small town in the California desert, Ced, the woman he meets who is running the bookstore for her father, knows his help will be vital and they work together to turn things around with some extra romance thrown in. I love the way Chautona Havig wrote these characters, the troubles they faced and how they kept their faith in working through their problems. The story was sweet with just the right amount of tension and romance. A fun start to a novella series that I can’t wait to get my hands on the rest. I recommend this series to anyone that loves a great Christian romance with heart and a lot to offer readers.

2021 Top Romantic Suspense

The New Year can bring romance, but it can also bring suspense. So why not celebrate with our top choices for the Romantic Suspense genre! Several repeat authors are appearing on this list because they are just so good at what they do!

Never Miss by Melissa Koslin

An absolutely fantastic debut novel! So much suspense, action and truly believable moments. Can’t wait to see what she comes out with next.

Read the full review!

Active Defense & Hostile Intent by Lynette Eason

Two more fantastic installments in the Danger Never Sleeps series! Lynette Eason has done it again; her writing puts her on a whole new level with this series. No better time for readers to discover one of the very best in romantic suspense!

Read the full review of Active Defense!

Read the full review of Hostile Intent!

Labyrinth of Lies by Irene Hannon

We’ve read a lot of Irene Hannon books over the years, but we must say this is going to take the top spot out of all her books. The premise hooked us right away! The idea of a female detective that is always mistaken for someone much younger than they are and able to use that to their advantage to go undercover brought her writing to a whole new level!

Read the full review!

Unknown Threat by Lynn Blackburn

The start of this new series by Lynn Blackburn is her best work yet!! So much action, drama, suspense, tension, with just a little bit of romance at all the right spots. We absolutely loved the way this story started with a bang and didn’t let up.

Read the full review!

Breach of Honor by Janice Cantore

A fantastic police procedural that had us hooked from page one with fantastic character connections and an adrenaline laced story!

Read the full review!

Obsession by Patricia Bradley

A fantastic suspense read with tension at all the right spots! Fans of Patricia Bradley will not want to miss this one. Patricia Bradley is a fantastic Romantic Suspense author and her Natchez Trace series is continuing to be one of our favorites.

Read the full review!

Aftermath by Terri Blackstock

It has been a long wait for a new Terri Blackstock book, and we have to say she did not disappoint with Aftermath.  The writing was very well done and kept the suspense throughout all while writing a clean and engaging story.

Read the full review!

Crosshairs

Author: Patricia Bradley

Series: Natchez Trace Park Rangers #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: November 2, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Patricia Bradley’s newest installment in the Natchez Trace series is the best yet with more action, tension, and drama that keeps the pages flying!

When Ainsley Beaumont’s dream of a career in singing fell through, she joined the Investigative Services Branch and became a ranger. She is sent to her hometown of Natchez Mississippi to figure out who murdered a pregnant teenager. While she is investigating, Ainsley quickly becomes the killer’s next target and has to work with an old flame to solve the case. Lin Steele is a former FBI sniper that put his gun away after almost killing an innocent child. Linc can’t bring himself to pick up a gun again after what happened, but as the danger to Ainsley increases along with his feelings, he wonders if he will be able to help her without the use of his weapon.

Patricia Bradley has crafted an incredible series with characters that I instantly fell in love with and wanted to make sure they made it to a safe and happy ending. The plot was more intricate and detailed than past installments giving me a deeper desire to see these characters find happiness. As with most romantic suspense novels, our main characters have a history together and when they end up working together the old feelings get stirred up making things more complicated between them. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t; here I enjoyed the dynamic between Ainsley and Linc and how that shaped the rest of the story. The secondary characters brought out a lighter side to the story, especially Cora and the rest of Ainsley’s family, except her father, the tension between them was tighter and gave more depth to the story. This was the best of the series for me and even though it is the third in the series, each book can be read on its own without missing anything from the others to make the story whole. I recommend this book to readers that enjoy romantic suspense and want a good story that will keep them turning the pages lost in the action.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

Lights Out

Author: Natalie Walters

Series: The Snap Agency #1

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: November 2, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A new hit that romantic suspense fans will not want to miss! Natalie Walters is quickly making a name for herself in this genre!

Brynn Taylor is a CIA analyst who has developed a program to take down terrorists before they get a chance to attack. When one of the members of a foreign intelligence agency she invited to work on the program goes missing, she must work with Jack Hudson and the Strategic Neutralization and Protection Agency. Jack and Brynn have a history and working together is no easy task. Every clue they uncover puts them in more danger and deeper into the international plot they have uncovered. They must work together in order to stop a terrorist trying to cause a digital blackout in order to blind the US military. If Brynn and Jack can’t get over the hurt in their past, they may not be able to solve the case that leaves lives and their hearts hanging by a thread.

Lights Out was a really great book. I probably could have read this in one sitting if I hadn’t been sick and had to put it down for two weeks. This is the first book in Walters new series and it starts with a bang. There are so many secondary characters that I can’t wait to see how they develop in the upcoming books in the series. Brynn was a great lead character that kept me engaged and I easily connected with her hoping to see her succeed in both life and love. The dynamic between her and Jack kept the tension tight all the way through, along with the playful banter with Lyla and the other members of the SNAP team. I can’t wait to see how it all unfolds as the story continues with the next in the series. The story flows at a good pace and the ending was very satisfactory unlike some romantic suspense that tie things up too quickly. I recommend this book to fans of romantic suspense and fans of Walters writing will not want to miss this one.

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.

A Midnight Dance

Author: Joanna Davidson Politano

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: September 7, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Carlson delivers another lighthearted Christmas story, just in time for the season!

In London, 1833, a young ballerina, Ella, encounters a young male ballerina who captures her heart as she sneaks in dances in the theater. Many years later, she returns to the theater as a true ballerina. Ella reconnects with her mystery dancer and tries to win his heart. At the same time, Ella looks to discover the truth about her mother, a former prima ballerina who almost lost her life in the theater. Through her journey, she meets a mentor who befriends her and helps her on her search for truth as he also waits for her heart.

This is a beautifully written book that explores the hidden world of the theater in the 1800s. The truth Ella discovers is a surprise in some ways. There is action and romance. The characters are set up so that readers can’t help but discover has become one of our best friends.  The plot was extremely well done and will pull readers in throughout the story.  Not one of my typical reads, but Politano always manages to keep me coming back to her stories again and again!

I received a complimentary copy of this title from the publisher.  The views and opinions expressed within are my own.