Never Miss

Author: Melissa Koslin

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: May 4, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

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

Kadance Tolle spent years as a sniper for the CIA and is the best. Her entire family has the special skill when it comes to being a crack shot, but none as good as Kadance. She has left the family business of being an assassin and the rest of the family is not happy about it. While on the run, she saves the life of Lyndon Vaile and ends up in the middle of a deadly plan to release a manmade virus as a weapon. Lyndon has been researching the virus for years and is one of the only people that could possibly stop the attack. Kadance and Lyndon must work together to stop the mastermind behind the attack and save as many people as possible. After years on the run, Kadance hasn’t trusted anyone in a long time and is surprised by how quickly she believes Lyndon and risks everything to help him.

The debut novel by Melissa Koslin is one of the best that I have read in a very long time. After reading the book, I looked up a little more about Koslin and found out she is a fourth-degree black belt in Taekwondo, which became apparent as she used this knowledge within the pages of her writing to make it all the more real. Sometimes fight scenes are poorly written and not believable. This novel had some of the best authentic fight scenes I have read. I have been in martial arts for four years and as I read these scenes I actually pictured myself in the fight throwing the moves and in the action. That is what I loved best about this novel, the believable scenes and action that moved the story forward. Each scene was well written with I really loved the characters.

Kadance was so well written and relatable, with all she went through she was so strong and when she felt weak and let the emotion take over, I was fully able to picture myself in her shoes. I am an emotional person, but I also try to be strong; seeing Kadance channel her strength but also willing to admit she was feeling something for Lyndon and not block out that emotion helped me to connect to her. One of the best additions to the story was probably Mac. There were a few inconsistencies throughout the story, but they were minor and only noticeable if you are paying close attention to those details.

Overall, for a debut novel I was blown away by Koslin’s way to write scenes and characters that flowed well and sucked readers into the story. I recommend this story to readers that enjoy a fast-paced thriller with action, suspense and a deadly virus on the loose.

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

The Paris Betrayal

Author: James R. Hannibal

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: May 4, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A fast action, spy thriller that had me hooked and my heart racing until the final chapter!

Ben Calix has his world turned upside down after his latest mission with the Company goes wrong. For many years, Ben has been lived and breathed the world of being a spy, and now, everything he has ever known is falling apart around him and his life is in more danger than ever before. The French SWAT is coming for him and Ben is now branded a traitor by his Company and on the run with a woman he barely knows, help from a sniper who tried to kill him, a medic who has saved him over and over, and others he only hopes he can trust. His mission now is to stop a bioweapon from being unleashed and prove he is no traitor.

The first James Hannibal books I read were good but still left me scratching my head with questions about the story. The Paris Betrayal is fast paced action with a much more satisfying feeling. The first ten chapters or so left me a little confused and wondering what was happening, but after that, the story kept a nice pace and was easy to follow. By the final few chapters, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to find out what was going to happen.

Ben had complicated relationships and that only made him more relatable to me. I enjoyed watching his journey unfold and the way he went about solving each new problem set before him. His interactions with others, whether they were on his side or against him, played out nicely, especially when you thought he was at the end of his rope. The end of the story unfolded more is to come and I can’t wait to see what else is in store for us with The Company and Ben Calix. Hopefully, Clara, Tess and more will be back to help him with is next mission. I recommend this book to anyone that loves a good spy thriller that is clean with lots of action, a little bit of romance, and a whole lot more to enjoy.

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

In Her Tracks

Author: Robert Dugoni

Series: Tracy Crosswhite #8

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Release Date: April 20, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Robert Dugoni is at his finest when writing a Tracy Crosswhite novel! The newest addition in this fantastic series comes close to the first installment in terms of being my favorite! Fans of the series, and thrillers in general, will not want to miss this one!

Tracy Crosswhite is returning to work after an extended leave in her hometown of Cedar Grove and now finds her spot with the A team gone as she is reassigned to the cold case unit. With her young daughter at home, Tracy considers the new assignment a good fit with less hectic hours and a chance to solve some of the cases others have forgotten about. Her first case is an abduction of a five-year-old girl whose parents, going through a bitter divorce, are the prime suspects. The case is five years old and Tracy is ready to give it fresh eyes and see if she can find the clues that have evaded everyone else. Along with her cold case, Tracy ends up helping her old partner, Kinsington Rowe, with the investigation into a missing young woman. The search leads them to others missing and Tracy has flashbacks to the case that made her chose the path she has been on for over twenty years: her sister’s disappearance and murder. Tracy must follow her instincts to try and solve the case and not lose herself in the process.

Tracy Crosswhite is one of my very favorite series and favorite characters. I absolutely love the way Dugoni has crafted the character of Tracy and every one of the supporting characters. In Her Tracks is a fantastic new addition to the series as I found myself drawn to the cases Tracy was investigating. With her now being a mother, she has a new and different connection to the cases she works.  Of course, there is still the wonderful dynamic between her and Kinsington and the tension between her and their boss, Johnny Nolasco, which drives the story even deeper into the readers hearts. Dugoni is one of the very best when it comes to writing suspense; he has found a way to craft a story that pulls readers in and makes it hard to do anything but finish the story. That’s what always happens with a Robert Dugoni book, you pick it up and you are transported to the world of his imagination and it is a fabulous get away of fictional delight.

I recommend this book to anyone that loves suspense, action, drama, and so much more. If you haven’t read any of the previous Crosswhite books, you can still enjoy this one but not as much as if you start with the beginning of the series and see it all the way through.

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

Present Danger

Author: Elizabeth Goddard

Series: Rocky Mountain Courage #1

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: April 6, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A fantastic start to a thrilling new series! Goddard gives readers a thrill ride with a perfect setting and engaging characters that make a wonderful story.

After being with the FBI for years, Jack Tanner has come back home to Montana to his aunt and work as a detective for the local police. When he is called to out on a search and rescue mission in the national forest, he ends up finding a dead body. In order to find the killer, he must work alongside US Forest Service Special Agent Terra Connors. He and Terra have a history and it isn’t a good one. He left her to join the FBI and seeing her again brings up all the feelings he thought he had left behind. It doesn’t take long for Terra to tie the murder victim with dangerous traffickers involved in archaeological artifacts. Each new clue they turn up brings the danger closer to home and Terra and Jack have little time to find the killer before someone else gets hurt or worse.

Elizabeth Goddard has started this new series with a bang! The action started at the beginning and had me hooked. Terra and Jack have a complicated past which makes their working together that much more difficult and makes the story that much more entertaining. Giving them history shows the tension between them as they work the case more believable. The setting in the rugged mountains kept me engaged in the story. I loved the way Terra worked hard to prove herself with her past and living up to her mother’s reputation, even with all the odds stacked against her. Both Terra and Jack have pasts they are either trying to live up to or get away from and show they are better than that. With each of them holding on to the past, it is hard of them to see what is right in front of them in the present.

As with most romantic suspense novels, the romance side is difficult if rushed and I don’t want to give away anything but the relationship felt a little forced at the end to me, that would be my only negative comment on the whole book. So many great characters in this book and such a great story that I can’t wait to see what comes next. I recommend this story to those that love a good romantic suspense read and will enjoy the start of a new series. 

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

The Beirut Protocol

Author: Joel C. Rosenberg

Series: Marcus Ryker #4

Publisher: Tyndale

Release Date: March 9, 2021

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Good overall story, but a little different than what I expected.

Marcus Ryker has had his fair share of action and adventure coupled with loss and heartache.  He’s been a marine, secret service agent, CIA liaison, and diplomatic security special agent who has traveled to Russia, Korea, Israel, and all parts of the middle east.  He’s frustrated attacks on the president and Israeli prime minister, participated in an assassination of a global world lead, and thwarted terroristic agendas.  So, when he and his partner Kailea are out making rounds to prepare for the Secretary of State’s arrival and are ambushed the last thing you expect to happen is that he is captured by Hezbollah agents.   If they figure out who they’ve captured, there is no way they will be ransomed or returned.  They will be taken to Beirut and sold to the highest bidder of Ryker’s enemies!  Can he pull off yet another escape and save his team?  Or is this the end of Marcus Ryker?

This series has been loaded with action since the first book and this one kicks it off in the same style.  Until they are captured?  What????  How did this happen?  Marcus always gets out with a narrow miss, but not this time.  What ensues is torture, deprivation, and a less than expected storyline dealing with Hezbollah, Iran, and the Kairos terrorist organization.  It’s really not what I expected to for this series or these characters.  Plus, none of the characters really progress in development in this book.  Everybody pretty much stays the same with a fast pace and short chapters to keep the story line moving.  Overall, it just didn’t have the same feel to it that the previous books did and the faith element that readers have seen with Marcus becomes stagnant as well.  Had this been the first book, I would have had a different opinion and could have seen the characters grow from there, but this one just fell a little flat.  I’m not sure if this is the last book in the series, but I hope that there is one more mission to really hit the nail on the head.

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

Unknown Threat

Author: Lynn H. Blackburn

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: March 2, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

By far the best Romantic Suspense book I have read this year! Fans of Blackburn will not want to miss this fantastic read!

When three Secret Service agents all die with unusual circumstances Special Agent Luke Powell knows he is lucky to be alive and is now on a mission to find whoever is responsible for taking out his fellow agents. After more agents are attacked and Luke is injured, the FBI is called in to help. FBI Special Agent Faith Malone is put in charge of the investigation and uses every resource at her disposal to figure out who is targeting the Secret Service. She has worked on a task force with several of the agents attacked and doesn’t mind working with Luke once again. Even injured, Luke refuses to leave the case to the FBI with his team being the target. Together they work to save the rest of the team and bring down the monster dead set on killing them all.

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. I absolutely loved the way this story started with a bang and didn’t let up. There was no slow build to the more suspenseful moments, they started from page one and didn’t stop. This is one of the ways Lynn Blackburn has gotten so much better with each new book and one of the best in romantic suspense, top notch writing with no “extra” just to add to a word count. So many books have the same boring plots that end the same and you don’t even have to read the whole story to know what’s going to happen or how it will play out. I genuinely found myself on the edge of my seat while reading Unknown Threat and can’t wait for the rest of the series. I loved the little throwbacks to other characters in her previous series and fans will love seeing these characters make an appearance. This is a fantastic start to a new series, and I think readers will fall in love with these new characters. I recommend this series to fans of romantic suspense, especially if you like it heavy on the suspense. If you have never read anything by Lynn Blackburn, I highly recommend starting here and then diving into all the others.

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

Black Coral

Author: Andrew Mayne

Series: Underwater Investigation Unit #2

Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Release Date: February 16, 2021

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The second book in the Underwater Investigative Unit series heats up with a fantastic opening, simmers a little in the middle to allow readers to catch their breath, and then concludes with a satisfying boil to make a tasty and delicious read.

Sloan McPherson has once again used her diving skills to help in an investigation and found more than she bargained for. At the bottom of a Florida pond, Sloan finds a van with four bodies inside that disappeared almost thirty years ago. Everyone involved in the investigation believe it was just a tragic accident, but Sloan sees something more and is convinced it was murder. More and more evidence surfaces linking more and more cold cases to the van. Sloan and her unit work to find the predator that has been on the lose for years and their investigation might have just reawakened the dormant monster more dangerous than any they have faced yet.

Black Coral had one of the best opening chapters I have read in a good long while. The suspense and tension were so thick I caught myself holding my breath at several moments. The middle fizzled a little bit with a slower pace, but the end was a satisfying conclusion that left me ready for more from the UIU. Sloan is a great and intense female protagonist and it was nice to see her tackle the hard jobs and moments and not let the men tell her she couldn’t handle it. Her relationship with her daughter brings a relatable element to her as a character and makes her not so stiff as when she is on the case. Most of the characters from the first book are back, and a few new ones to spice things up, make for a fun and mostly enjoyable read. There is a fair amount of language so it is not recommended for younger readers, but I do recommend for fans of suspense thrillers. 

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

Cast the First Stone

Author: David James Warren

Series: The True Lies of Rembrandt Stone #1

Publisher: TriStone Media

Release Date: February 9, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

The start of the new series by superpower writers Susan May Warren and James Rubart along with David Warren will knock the socks off readers! This will be at the top of my best of the year list without a doubt!

Rembrandt Stone left his career of being a Minneapolis Police Detective to be home with his wife and daughter and avoid the dangers the job brings. After his former mentor dies and leaves him a box full of cold cases and an old watch, Rembrandt is pulled back into a world from long ago, a world he thought he left behind. Not sure if it is a dream or some new reality, Rembrandt finds himself in his world from twenty years ago, back at the scene of the crime of the first cold case he opened from the box. If he can solve the cases that have haunted him for decades, maybe justice will be served. But at what price? Will it change just the past or will his future be changed as well?

This is a review I have had to sit and ponder on for a few days. The story was so good, so fast, and so great that I am dying to get my hands on the rest of the series. This is a spectacular time-travel story that deals with regrets, second chances, mistakes and how important it is to appreciate the things we have and to not only wish for what we don’t. As Rembrandt finds himself in the past trying to solve his old cold cases, readers see him struggle with trying to remember the details but also wondering how he got there. The raw emotion on the pages pulled me in and held me so tightly I had trouble doing anything else until I turned the last page. This is a story with relatable characters full of flaws, passion, and so much more.

Honestly, there wasn’t much about this story that I didn’t enjoy. I’ve read Susan May Warren and James Rubart for years. When I heard they were collaborating on a new series, I knew it would be epic, but I had no idea how great it would end up being. The story read so quickly it will be one readers can pick up and read in one sitting, If you have never read anything by Warren or Rubart this is a great place to start, and if you have read others by them, be prepared to be blown away with this new series. The fact that there are five more coming all this year makes me giddy. Books like this are the kind of escape we need with the crazy world we have right now. I recommend this book to all readers that love thrillers, time travel, suspense and all the things that make up a great novel.

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

Obsession

Author: Patricia Bradley

Series: Natchez Trace Park Rangers #2

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: February 2, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A fantastic suspense read with tension at all the right spots! Fans of Patricia Bradley will not want to miss this one.

Emma Watson is a Natchez Trace Ranger and historian. She has been working at a historical landmark when shots are fired at her. With her life in danger, the authorities are called  to keep her safe and the one person she never wanted to see again is assigned to protect her. Sam Ryker is a district ranger and when he sees Emma after being called about her being shot at, all his old feelings for her come rushing back to him. Their time together was good, and he never understood why she broke off their engagement. Emma doesn’t know if the shooter is someone mad about her work at the landmark or a delusional secret admirer who is trying to get her all to himself.

Patricia Bradley is a fantastic Romantic Suspense author and her Natchez Trace series is continuing to be one of my favorites. The relationship between Sam and Emma had me from the get-go. I was wrapped up in their past drama and the trouble Emma is now experiencing. The writing in this book is probably her best yet with the story being tight, characters that act naturally and help the story progress, and some of the most intense moments that kept me glued to my seat. Something about the way Emma was written and her stalker made for great writing; she was in danger at so many moments and yet she refused to give up or give in no matter what came next. This is the second book in the Natchez Trace series and this time we get to see Emma and Sam, other characters from the series make an appearance as well. Even though this is the second in the series it isn’t necessary for readers to have read the first to enjoy this one. Fans of romantic suspense will enjoy this addition to a fantastic series. I recommend this to fans of Bradley’s writing and even those that might be new to her as an author and want to give a great book a chance.

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

Network of Deceit

Author: Tom Threadgill

Series: Amara Alvarez #2

Publisher: Revell

Release Date: February 2, 2021

Rating: 5 out of 5.

A top-notch thriller with fantastic characters that pull at the heartstrings and keep you cheering them on until the very last page.

Amara Alvarez made headlines after rescuing nearly fifty kidnapped children and is finally getting what she wants, a chance to work in San Antonio’s Homicide Division. With her first case, she is almost in over her head when a teenager dies suspiciously at a local water park. As the investigation picks up speed, Amara finds herself in the middle of the danger by cybercriminals who know her every move. Her leads are few and far between and those above her are threatening to move her investigation to cold case files. Amara resorts to unconventional methods to solve the case and prove herself to those who say she doesn’t belong in Homicide wrong.

The second installment in the Amara Alvarez series starts with a bang and doesn’t let up. This is my kind of suspense novel, a top-notch strong female protagonist that will stop at nothing to do her job and prove others wrong. Amara is a wonderful female protagonist that I love to follow and cheer her on during her journey. Each new chapter led to a new adventure and tension that kept me glued to the page. The family dynamic really helps the story tremendously by making her and so many of the characters more relatable. The story flowed well, and each new twist worked great (especially the one at the very end, made the story ten times better, and it was believable!!) When an author can put an amazing believable twist like this at the end of a book it is something to be celebrated, not a lot of authors are able to write like this.

Amara has a tough time with those she works with but doesn’t let it deter her from accomplishing her goals and helping others and solving crimes. Tom Threadgill is quickly becoming one of my new favorite authors, not much about his writing that I don’t enjoy. Even though this is the second in the series, readers won’t have to read the first to enjoy this one. I recommend this to readers that enjoy a fantastic suspense novel that will leave them smiling after turning the last page.

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