Romantic Suspense Books

Surviving Raine by Shay Savage

Goodreads Summary

As the captain of a schooner catering to the elite on the Caribbean Seas, Sebastian Stark does his best to avoid any human encounters. Interacting with people isn’t his thing, and he prefers the company of a bottle of vodka, a shot glass, and maybe a whore. There’s no doubt he’s hiding from a checkered past, but he does well keeping everything to himself…

…until the night his schooner capsizes, and he’s stuck on a life raft with one of the passengers.

Raine’s young, she’s cute, and Bastian would probably be into her if he wasn’t suffering from alcohol withdrawal. As the days pass, DTs, starvation, and dehydration become the norm. Even the most closed person starts to open up when he thinks he’s going to die, but when she realizes their traumatic pasts are connected, it’s no longer the elements that have Bastian concerned.

He has no idea how he’s going to Survive Raine.

Rating

5 out of 5 stars

Review

Sebastian Stark is a DICK.  A big dick.  Bastian is the captain of a schooner in the Caribbean, who loves alcohol and women.  He is out on a voyage, when all of a sudden, his boat capsizes and he is out at sea on a life raft.  Then he sees Raine floating in the water, and jumps in and saves her.  Thus begins their journey….

Bastian has had a rough life and does not trust people.  Raine is on the cruise at her best friend’s insistence, due to morning the death of her father.  She has a to rely on Bastian to help her survive.  Bastian’s survival skills are pretty impressive.  I’m not sure how much research the author had to do, but she sure made everything seem believable.  Days turn into weeks, and Bastian’s detox was tough, on both him and Raine.  Eventually, he begins to open up to her.

Bastian’s transformation during the course of this book was really incredible.  Raine was a great character, wise beyond her 20 years and tough as nails.  I loved that she didn’t put up with Bastian’s shit, and there was a lot of it!  I loved the way their relationship developed.  Some of Bastian’s insecurities were a little annoying at times, but it was understandable given his upbringing.  I loved that this story was told from Bastian’s POV and I loved the way each chapter ended!  I also loved that there is clearly going to be a second book.  This is the first 5 star book I’ve read in a long time, and I would highly recommend it!

Romantic Suspense Books

Becoming Noah Baxter (The Marked Part II) by J.M. Sevilla

Goodreads Summary

Jay and Lily complete each other in ways no one else ever could, teaching one another things about themselves they wouldn’t have known otherwise, but is it enough? Can two people from entirely different worlds find a way to make it last? Even if their love is strong enough, they still have an obstacle standing in their way. Will they survive the “game”, or will The Marker destroy everything they had hoped to create?

Rating

Somewhere between 2 1/2 and 3 out of 5 stars

Rating

I wanted to like this book.  I really did.  I really did like the first book, so I was super excited to read this one.  Sadly, I was disappointed.  Here’s why:

1.  The plot was pretty stupid and unbelievable.
2.  The plethora of grammatical and spelling errors.
3.  It was like reading porn!  Seriously, 2/3 of this book is Lily and Jay having sex.
4.  The Marker.  I won’t spoil it, but what happens with him is so stupid I can’t even believe it.
5.  Lily.  She acted like a petulant child throughout much of this book.
6.  The whole Jay/Arianna thing.
7.  Pretty much the whole story.

I should have stopped with book one.  The best part of this book was the Epilogue.   Such a disappointment.

Romantic Suspense Books

Breathe by Kristen Ashley (Colorado Mountain #4)

Goodreads Summary

When the local police department’s secrets are revealed and the wife he’s forced to marry is murdered, Chace finds himself the town of Carnal’s hero. Knowing how deep in the mud he was forced to sink, Chace feels he’ll never get clean. The quiet, content future he envisioned of the love a good woman with whom he could build a family was now beyond his reach. The only thing he can do is find his wife’s murderer.

But he isn’t the only one looking.

While searching for new leads, he runs into Faye Goodknight, the town’s quiet, shy, pretty librarian. Chace has long since had his eye on what could possibly be the town’s last remaining virgin but he has also long since given up hope he could make her his. Faye is pure and clean and Chace refuses to dirty her with his sordid past.

Pure and clean Faye may be, but when the shy librarian is forced to go head to head with the man who she’s had a crush on since he hit her hometown, Chace finds Faye is full of surprises. And he doesn’t know what to do with her.

Rating

4 out of 5 stars

Review

SERIOUSLY, KA?  Another kidnapping???  UGH!!!  Remind me never to move to fictional Carnal, Colorado!!

I digress.  While the kidnappings in these books has gotten old and ANNOYING, I really did like this book.  Mini spoiler – a character from the Rock Chick series makes an appearance in this book – won’t say who though!  That was very exciting!

I truly loved Faye and Chace.  This book had some darker elements than the previous three books.  How?  Well, Faye realizes there is a child who is being abused (badly) and she and Chace help him.  This was such an amazing part of the story.  It felt very real, and believable because of the person that Faye is.

Chace is typical KA Alpha Male.  He’s had a tough year, with his “wife” being murdered and dealing with that.  In comes Faye, the town librarian (picture Emma Stone, that’s who I had in my mind) who is a 29-year old virgin, and has been harboring a crush on Chace for 13 years.

The mystery in this book was really good and intense, and the story with Chace and Faye and this child will bring you to tears.  This is another great addition to the KA library.

My recommendation:

Read it, but read the series in order.

Romantic Suspense Books

A Reason to Breathe by C.P. Smith

Goodreads Summary

Love at first sight was never so dangerous.  Jack Gunnison has a problem, well, two actually, one is 5’5″ and the other…a Killer.  Jennifer Stewart needs a change after losing her husband and sending her daughter off to college. Moving to the high country of Colorado to restart her life and, follow her dreams, Jenn gets more than she bargained for when she attracts the eye of a killer.  Together, Jack and Jenn must figure out his identity, before he strikes again.

Rating

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Review

Thank you to my goodreads friend Erin for the recommendation of this book.  She must know I love alpha males and this book features a sure fire alpha male!

Jenn is a widow, 39 years old with a daughter in college, so she decides to move to Colorado, which has always been a dream.  She’s a reporter, and gets a job with the local paper, and one day, encounters a crime scene and butts heads with Sheriff Jack Gunnison.  Jack is an alpha male and Jenn doesn’t take his crap, give him lip, etc.  There is an instant attraction to him.  Problem is, Jack is kind of a “man whore” and has slept with half the town.

In the meantime, a killer is targeting women with Jenn’s profile and it comes to light that the killer is after Jenn.  Jack and Jenn work together to find the killer before he strikes again.

I have to admit, I really liked this book.  The pace was good, the story line was believable and the characters were utterly likable.  I absolutely loved Jack, thought he was a great character.  Jenn was a bit naive, due to getting married at 19 and having some limited life experiences.  The mystery surrounding the killings was interesting and believable.  The killer was revealed at 75% of the book, which was surprising (both because of where in the book and because of who it was), but there was more drama to come.  I also really like the epilogue.

This book had a real “Kristen Ashley” alpha male feel, and I thoroughly enjoyed.

Romantic Suspense Books

Lady Luck by Kristen Ashley (Colorado Mountain #3)

Goodreads Summary

Ty Walker was wrongly imprisoned and for the five years he was inside, he honed his plan so when he gets out, he has nothing but vengeance on his mind.

But then he walks straight to stylish, leggy, beautiful, goofy Lexie Berry and he suddenly has something else to think about. He knows within seconds he wants her and within days he can love her but with the filth that was flung at him clinging; he also knows he can’t have her.

Since birth, Lexie Berry has been Lady Luck’s favorite toy and because of that, Lexie is cautious. But within a day, she senses Ty is something special. With her luck, however, she can’t trust it. Then she finds out what was done to Ty and she’s willing to do anything to make it right.

Even what Ty will never forgive her for doing.

Ty clings to vengeance and Lexie goes all out to give him back the time he lost. But Ty is battling demons within and they’re up against dirty cops and criminals who will stop at nothing to sway Lady Luck against them. All Ty and Lexie have is hope Lady Luck will finally swing their way.

Rating

4 1/2 out of 5 stars

Review

This is my favorite book in the series.  By far.  I love Ty and Lexie.  But seriously, does someone get kidnapped in every Kristen Ashley book?  If not for that, I would have given this book 5 stars.

This book is about Ty Walker, who spent 5 years in jail for a crime he didn’t commit.  He arranges to have the woman who picks him up marry him for $50,000.  He doesn’t expect Lexie, the woman who gets him.  She’s a total goof, and had a tough upbringing.

As always, I stick by my criticism that KA’s books are WAY too long and have WAY too much unnecessary detail.  That being said….

This book was the best of the series so far.  The storyline was believable, and from the first page, you are rooting for Ty.  This book had some light moments, and some VERY heavy ones.  Lexie was a great character.  I loved how loyal Lexie was to Ty.  She stuck by him.

There was some drama between them, and a part in the book that SHOCKED me.  Really stunned me.  I won’t say what it was, since I don’t do spoilers, but I was pissed.  Then I wasn’t.  As I said above, it wouldn’t be a KA book without a kidnapping, and this book was no different.  However, this book did surprise me in that I thought I had it figured out when I really didn’t, not even close.  I like when a book surprises me.  I like that a lot.

Overall, great read and addition to the Colorado Mountain series.

My recommendation:

Read it.

Romantic Suspense Books

Sweet Dreams by Kristen Ashley (Colorado Mountain #2)

Goodreads Summary

Lauren Grahame has spent her whole life thinking something special was going to happen. She didn’t know what it was, she just knew it would one day be hers. But she learned the hard way that special wasn’t on offer.

So, after divorcing her cheating husband, Lauren searched for nothing special and she thought she found it when she landed a job as a waitress in a biker bar in Carnal. It was perfect: a nothing job in a nowhere bar in Nowheresville.

Then Tatum Jackson walked in. Part-owner of the bar, he took one look at high-class Lauren and wanted nothing to do with her. And he made this known, loudly.

Tate’s angry insults seared in her brain, Lauren decides the feeling is mutual and she doesn’t want anything to do with the gloriously handsome Tate Jackson. The clash of the bartender and barmaid begins but, even though Tate makes his change of mind clear (in biker-speak, a language Lauren is not fluent in), Lauren is intent on going her own way.

Until a serial killer hits Carnal and Lauren finds out Tate isn’t a bartender, he’s a bounty hunter. He stakes his claim for Lauren before he goes on the hunt for a killer but Laurie doesn’t speak biker nor does she understand bounty hunters and Tate comes back from the hunt to find his old lady has moved on.

Life throws curveball after curveball at Laurie and Tate. As secrets are revealed, women are brutally murdered, and Lauren tries to find her inner biker babe.

Rating

4 out of 5 stars

Review

Sweet Dreams is book 2 in the Colorado Mountain series, and a bit different from other Kristen Ashley series as it the characters aren’t from the book before it.  This is not problematic, just unusual.

Sweet Dreams is about Lauren Grahame, who finds out her husband is cheating on her with her best friend and divorces him.  She then goes on a road trip looking for a new home and a new life, and ends up in Carnal, Colorado, a small mountain town.  She walks into Bubba’s, a biker bar, and gets a job as a waitress, despite the owners thinking she’s not right for the job.  There she meets Tate Jackson, gorgeous bounty hunter, who quite vocally shows his displeasure with Lauren being hired.

Lauren moves into the Carnal Hotel and becomes friends with the owners, meets the local hippies and befriends him, meanwhile, Tate decides he was wrong about Lauren and sets out to prove himself worthy of her trust.  Meanwhile, women are being murdered and Tate is charged with finding out who and why.

There are many things I love about Kristin Ashley’s writing.  First, I love the way she writes her men.  Tate is a KA typical alpha-male.  I also love the way she writes her small towns (she even made Denver feel like a small town in the Rock Chick series).  She writes characters that pull you in very quickly, and who you fall in love with very quickly.

The “mystery” part of this book was interesting and unpredictable.  I thought I had it figured out, but was totally wrong.  I love when I’m wrong!  Makes for more interesting reading.  I am excited to read the rest of this series.

My recommendation:

Read it.  You don’t necessarily have to read the first one first either.

Romantic Suspense Books

The Gamble by Kristen Ashley (Colorado Mountain #1)

Goodreads Summary

Nina Sheridan’s on a timeout adventure in the Colorado Mountains. She needs distance from her clueless fiancé, distance to decide whether she wants to spend the rest of her life with a man who doesn’t care enough to learn how she takes her coffee.

Arriving in a blinding snowstorm at the A-Frame she rented, she comes face to face with the most amazing man she’s ever seen. Minutes later, when he kicks her out of his house, she goes head to head with him.

Beyond angry because she’s flown half a world away to start her timeout adventure, not to mention her sinuses hurt, she heads back down the mountain and ends up in a ditch. Unable to extricate herself, she gives up, hopes for rescue and falls asleep in the backseat.

The next morning she wakes up in the amazing man’s bed and she’s sick as a dog.

Holden Maxwell spends days nursing her back to health and then he spends the next two weeks trying to convince her to take her Colorado adventure further, in other words, make it permanent and take a gamble on him.

Nina has a tough time fighting her attraction to Max, especially when it seems all Max’s friends, her mother and stepdad and the whole town want them together and both she and Max get embroiled in the murder of Max’s ex-friend and the town of Gnaw Bone’s most detested resident – a man everyone has motive to kill, especially Max.

Rating

4 out of 5 stars

Review

I’m sure you are shocked that I have read another Kristen Ashley book.  I’ve only read about 20 in 2013.  I’m not sure why I was hesistant to give the Colorado Mountain series a chance, but man, am I glad I did.

If you have read Kristen Ashley, you know she pretty much ONLY writes alpha-males (which is fine with me).  This book is no exception.  The alpha in this book is Holden Maxwell (though everyone calls him Max, as will I going forward).  Nina Sheridan shows up at Max’s house in the Colorado town of Gnaw Bone to stay at a house she’s rented, to evaluate her relationship with her dull, non-attentive boyfriend in England.  When she arrives, she finds Max and he’s not happy.  He tells her to leave, she heads down the mountain and ends up in an accident.

She wakes up the next day in Max’s bed.  And she is sicker than a dog.  Max nurses her back to health, and then won’t let her leave (not really against her will).  This is a small town, and Nina quickly becomes part of the town, forming a close relationship with Max’s like-sister Mindy, a rape victim who has an asshole boyfriend.  There is also a murder mystery in the book as well.

Nina’s mom is hilarious, and I enjoyed her part in this book.  The townspeople are fun and likable, and even the jerks in this book don’t detract from the overall appeal

I will be reading on for sure.  My only complaint (or really criticism) is that KA’s books are a tad too long and have a little too much detail.

My recommendation:

Read it, and anything else you can get your hands on by KA.