What Happens Next

Author: Christina Suzann Nelson

Publisher: Bethany House

Release Date: January 17, 2023

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A little different that what I’ve come to expect from Nelson, but I like it!

Recently divorced Faith Byrne has taken her past career as an investigative reporter and shifted to performing a podcast that focus on redemptive stories of people who have experience traumatic events.  When her ex-husband gets permission to take their two daughters to Hawaii for the entire summer, Faith isn’t sure what to do with herself until she receives an unexpected letter from one of her childhood friend’s sister.  Faith had always wondered what she had done for her summer of 1987 friend to never respond to her letters, but she finds out that she went missing after school started that year, but her family never told her.  Heather’s sister, Brooke, solicits Faith’s help on her podcast to bring her missing sister’s story to light so that her family might finally find closure.  But as Faith digs into the story, what she finds is anything that she expected.

I love Christina Suzann Nelson’s contemporary stories and look forward to her newest book every year.  This one was a little different than anything she has written in the past, but I loved it!  It was interesting to see how everything played out and if the reader could follow the clues to discover the truth before Faith did.  Nelson did a great job of balancing mystery and intrigue with hope and healing for Heather’s family.  Showing how grief support groups can help families heal and not store grief for years is something that needs to be shown more throughout our society.  If you love a good mystery, this will be a good story for you to pick up on!

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

Critical Threat

Author: Lynette Eason

Series: Extreme Measures #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: January 3, 2023

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The third installment in the Extreme Measures series is another romantic suspense that will give readers exactly what they have come to expect from this genre.

Grace Billingsley works as a psychiatrist and behavioral analyst to help track down serial killers. When a new killer shows up with the same MO as a serial killer that’s been behind bars for years, prison psychiatrist Sam Monroe is pulled in to help with the case. Sam is the son of famed serial killer Peter Ramanos and is the one that turned his father into the authorities when he found evidence of him being a killer. Sam and Grace end up working together and quickly make a connection. Sam doesn’t want to get involved with anyone because of his father and tries to keep his feelings for Grace from growing. The more they investigate the case, the harder it is to stay away from each other and the more danger they find themselves in.

Lynette Eason has continued to craft a great series in book three as Critical Threat. I have been a fan of her writing for a long time and know I’m going to get a great story. For me though I was slightly disappointed with this one; right when it seemed the action was getting good and tension was going to be at its highest things just fizzled out. I had so much hope for how it was going to go, and it just didn’t reach it for me. I had a harder time connecting with the characters as quickly as I normally do with her books, but I just felt a little let down with this one. That’s not going to turn me off her books though; I will still quickly grab up the next one that comes out looking for edge of my seat suspense and hope that this one was just a fluke that it didn’t hit the mark with me. I recommend to readers looking for a light romantic suspense that will be a quick read not requiring much thinking.

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

2022 Top Romantic Suspense

Our next genre has no shortage of picks to choose from, but only a few can make the cut. Any of these your favorites?

Top Picks: Stone & Willow by Ronie Kendig

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.

Read the full review here.

Order your copy today!

Runner Up: Life Flight by Lynette Eason

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.

Read the full review here.

Order your copy today!

Honorable Mention: Malicious Intent Lynn H. Blackburn

The tension was high from the very beginning and kept the pace throughout which made for a great and fun read. It will be hard for the next book to top this one, but I am not going to say impossible, I have learned not to underestimate Blackburn and her ability to surprise me with a story.

Read the full review here.

Order your copy today!

Honorable Mention: The Epic Story of RJ and York by Susan May Warren

If you have been a fan of Susan May Warren’s Montana Marshall series, you are familiar with RJ and York and their relationship. This series is going to make readers very happy seeing this fun couple go through all kinds of obstacles just to be together. These books have non-stop action with tension in all the right places and the right amount of humor between the characters to keep the story moving along. Fans of the Marshalls will not want to miss out on this one.

Read the full review here.

Order your copy today!

Dark Fall

Authors: Brian Andrews & Jeffrey Wilson

Series: The Shepherd Series #3

Publisher: Tyndale House

Release Date: November 8, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The powerhouse duo of Brian Andrews and Jeffrey Wilson have done it again with Dark Fall! One of the most action-packed, adrenaline laced thrillers I have read this year.

The Shepherds are called in on a mission after a village in Peru is found in ashes leading them to question if it is from a human weapon or some higher power. Jedidiah Johnson is the leader of the group and as they head to investigate rumors of a new energy-based weapon, tensions mount as the weapon is unlike anything any of them have ever dealt with. The team heads to Hong Kong to try and find a scientist that helped create the weapon but what they learn from Dr. Zhao is that things are worse than they imagined.

Dark Fall is the third book in The Shepherd Series book and each time I pick one of these books up I shouldn’t be surprised by how amazing they are but am always blown away by the writing of Andrews and Wilson. The way these two come together to write these military thrillers keep me on the edge of my seat and up way past my bedtime. Jedidiah Johnson is the perfect protagonist to lead these stories. In a way he reminds me of Hondo from SWAT, or Gibbs from NCIS; a great leader and all-around fantastic character.

Each book in the series has proven to get better and better with more explosive plots, characters that pull at the heartstrings and so much more. This story had all the right points and the best tension I have read in a very long time with none of the normal drudgery that so many books have included lately. There was not a scene or chapter that didn’t feel right or pulled me out of the story. This is a very different kind of book than a lot out right now and I love the feel of the unknown coming from what is written within these pages. I recommend this book for fans of fast action, military, and supernatural thrillers. I do also recommend reading the whole series to get the most out of the story.

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

Honor’s Refuge

Author: Hallee Bridgeman

Series: Love & Honor #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: November 1, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The final book in the Love and Honor series will give fans a satisfying end to a series that surprised me from the beginning.

Melissa Braxton was just a young child when she saw her father kill her mother. She was then taken and placed away from her sister, Lola, and grew up trying to help others dealing with abusive relationships by becoming a family therapist with her own domestic abuse shelter. Phil Osbourne has had a hard time finding a purpose for his life since losing his leg in the line of duty. He learns of Melissa trying to find her sister she lost contact with when she was little and finally feels a purpose for his life again. Making it his mission to help her ends up putting them all in danger with a cartel coming after them.

The Love and Honor series took me by surprise! This was the first series I had read by Hallee Bridgeman and wasn’t sure what to expect. I will say that I was pleased with how well the series played out. The characters in each book meshed well and had me glued to the edge of my seat to see what would happen. Of the three in the series, this was probably my favorite. There were a few moments that slowed the pace of the story but overall, it read quick and kept me engaged. There was something about Melissa that grabbed me from the very beginning, and I really wanted to see her happy and successful. The chemistry between her and Phil was right on point and not too over the top. With romantic suspense stories, I love the dynamic between romance and suspense and how it can move the story along. This is the type of series that I would recommend being read in order to get the most out of each book and the series as a whole. Fans of romantic suspense will really enjoy this series.

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

Targeted

Authors: Lynette Eason, Lynn H. Blackburn, & Natalie Walters

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: November 1, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

What’s better than a new romantic suspense story by one of Christian fiction’s best? How about three new stories by three of the top writers in Christian romantic suspense!!!

Targeted brings together three short stories by three of the top writers in Christian fiction. The first story, On the Run, gives us IT Specialist Daria Nevsky, an FBI agent who is an expert hacker and is now being hunted by someone. She tries to hide while figuring out who wants her dead.

The second story, Deadly Objective, shows physical therapist Emily Dixon and Secret Service Agent Liam Harper, who have tried to keep their relationship strictly professional, which becomes difficult when a killer targets the son of the vice president.

In the third story, Caught in the Crosshairs, CIA officer Claudia Gallegos and army officer Ari Blackman are not close after Claudia is shown to be part of a murder against a Saudi Prince. Ari’s trust has been broken and that is hard for him to get back but in order to keep America safe, but they will have to find a way to work together.

Lynette Eason, Lynn H. Blackburn and Natalie Walters are three of the top writers in Christian fiction, and team up they produce a collection of stories that fans will fall in love with. I always love when a writer finds a way to write romantic suspense in a manner that leans a little heavier on suspense than romance and these three have made a fantastic novel that was hard to put down. Each story has its own plot and characters, but they are each individual and entertaining in their own way. Each of these authors are fantastic at what they do and putting them together for this novella collection will be the perfect read for fans of romantic suspense.

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

Sundown

Author: Susan May Warren

Series: Sky King Ranch #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: November 1, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Warren hits it out of the park once again with Sundown to conclude a fantastic series readers will love!

Once thing Colt Kingston is best at is spotting someone trying to lie to him. As a former Delta Operative, he has many skills and has used them in many different dangerous situations. He is suspicious of Tae, the woman taking care of his father at Sky King Ranch. His suspicions of her, up until men come looking for her at the ranch. The secrets she holds go much deeper than Colt would have predicted when he finds out she knows the antidote to a plague that could threaten the whole world. Colt is going to have to work with his brothers to protect both Tae and the rest of the country.

Susan May Warren is a master with Romantic Suspense and blows it out of the park with the conclusion to the fantastic Sky King Ranch Book. These characters are fun, strong, and full of all the action you would want from a great romantic suspense read. The character of Colt is probably my favorite of all the Kingston brothers, just the way his story unfolded made the story click in the best way for me. Tae had so much intrigue and mystery that I loved how her story played out as well. With these two as main characters, the pages of this book fly. To be honest, there isn’t much I didn’t like about this story, it was a classic Susan May Warren Romantic Suspense making for a great weekend read. If you are a fan of her writing or just love romantic suspense novels, I would highly recommend this series.

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

Body of Evidence

Author: Irene Hannon

Series: Triple Threat #3

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: October 4, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Irene Hannon has such a wide range with her suspense and contemporary novels. Body of Evidence shows her at her best to finish up a fantastic series.

As a forensic pathologist, Grace Reilly must stay on her toes with the cases she oversees. When a strange pattern starts to emerge with several of the elderly autopsies, she goes to see the local sheriff, Nate Cox. Nate isn’t sure what to believe with Grace’s suspicions that things are not what they seem. It takes a while for her to convince him that there is foul play, but once she does, they work together to figure out what is going on and stop it before more bodies end up on her autopsy table.

When reading a romantic-suspense novel, I have come to expect more romance than suspense from a lot of authors. This book is not full of explosions and action-packed scenes, but there is plenty of tension to move the story along at a nice pace. This one read more of a true crime investigation feel instead of the crazy action-packed pace of thriller novels or movies. Even though it takes a while for Nate to believe Grace and her suspicions of foul play, it won’t take readers long to see that these two have amazing chemistry together. This book is the last in the series and we get to finally see the life of Grace, the youngest Reilly sister and it was worth the wait. For me, this was the best in the series and while these could be read as standalone novels, it would be best to read the series in order to get the most enjoyment out of them. Irene Hannon is a great romantic suspense writer and an equally great contemporary writer, not a feat many can accomplish.

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

Word of Honor

Author: Hallee Bridgeman

Series: Love & Honor #2

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: October 4, 2022

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The second book in the Love and Honor series is just as explosive and entertaining as the first! Readers will not want to miss this one!

Lynda Culter is a Special Agent with the FBI and has been investigating an eco-terrorist close to the Alaskan wilderness. Her partner is taken and murdered while she watches, leaving her the only witness. Before she can take down the group responsible for killing her partner, she gets a new assignment and is sent to Istanbul, a country that is not conducive for a female to be going around alone. She is assigned to work with Army specialist Bill Sanders who pretends to be her husband. The two have a past, he broke her heart many years ago and she has tried to move on. They must learn to put their past behind them and work together in order to solve the case and see what happens when their feelings come to the surface.

Hallee Bridgeman surprised me with her the first book in this series, I wasn’t expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. The second in the series is full of just as many, if not more, twists and turns that will keep readers on the edge of their seat. While this is a Christian fiction book and readers can expect an element of faith, there is also a great message of forgiveness throughout. There are lots of twists and turns but not as much military action as the first in the series; readers will have to find the tension in other ways with the characters interactions and not the high-stakes drama. This is the usual formula that several of the authors I read go about with series, have different main characters throughout the different books in the series but keep others from previous books as secondary characters. This is good in a way but has to have a balance to keep from becoming repetitive and monotonous. I did enjoy this book and think readers that enjoy romantic suspense novels 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.

Honor Bound

Author: Hallee Bridgeman

Series: Love & Honor #1

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: September 6, 2022

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I was skeptical at first with this series, but within the first few chapters found myself hooked and couldn’t put it down. 

Dr. Cynthia Myers has found peace in the most unlikely of places, war-torn Africa. After being publicly embarrassed by her fiancé at her Senator father’s function, she left to find herself. She has found new meaning with her work and helping those less fortunate. The area she is in is run by an evil warlord, when his son is mortally wounded and brought to her, Cynthia tries to save him but fails. Luckily an Army Special Forces team trying to capture the warlord shows up and saves Cynthia’s life before the warlord’s men can kill her for failing to save his son. Captain Rick Norton is head of the team and finds himself attracted to Cynthia even though she is turned off by his use of violence. His team has been injured and she must work to save them while he keeps them all save and tries to get them all home alive.

For some reason I was skeptical to pick this one up. I’ve read several different authors that write military romantic suspense type books and have enjoyed those; I wasn’t sure how a new author to me would write this. I have never read anything by Hallee Bridgeman before and when I saw this one it looked good if done well. It didn’t take long for me to realize I was wrong to have been skeptical, Bridgeman did a great job of crafting characters and situations that pulled me in tight and didn’t let go. I read this during a tough week with family health issues and it was a great escape for me during this time. I would recommend this book to anyone that loves romantic suspense, especially with a military theme to it.

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