Monthly Archives: January 2014
I’d like to thank Lena Diaz again for being a good sport and answering all our questions in between sneezes! It was a blast to interview her. And thanks to all our readers and commenters for a fun discussion of dark heroes.
The winner of a signed copy of Tennessee Takedown is: Sherry Gladden. Sherry please email us here with your snail mail address to claim your autographed print copy of Tennessee Takedown!
What’s up next?
Lovely Diana Belchase interviews also lovely Manda Collins. Manda’s newest release Why Earls Fall in Love releases Jan. 28th. She’ll be right here to share the release day excitement with us. And Psst: Guess who got her first ever review from Publishers Weekly! Manda! And it was awesome. Among other things, PW said that Why Earls Fall in Love is “sparkling” and “delicious”! Not too shabby for a first timer, eh? Check it out here: Publishers Weekly review.
It’s a new year, filled with reviews of 2013’s goal lists and resolutions to do so much more in 2014. But I am neither obsessed about where I fell short nor worried about the year ahead because I have always measured my life by my TBR pile. It could have something to do with the fact I am both a librarian and a writer. Every January I diligently review the list of books I’ve read and make a new list for the new year. But as of January 14, 2014 I only have 110 books on my list. So I’ve decided to share just some of the books that fall into the romantic suspense/thriller/mystery category with a few YA’s and a 2013 holdover included just for fun.
So grab a latte or hot chocolate and please join me in building the list. Last year I read over 250 titles so I could use a few more suggestions!
Book description from back cover: Navy SEAL Ian Dunn went rogue in a big way when he turned his talents to a lawless life of jewel heists and con jobs. Or so the world has been led to believe. In reality, the former Special Ops warrior is still fighting for good, leading a small band of freelance covert operatives who take care of high-stakes business in highly unofficial ways. That makes Ian the hands-down choice when the U.S. government must breach a heavily guarded embassy and rescue a pair of children kidnapped by their own father, a sinister foreign national willing to turn his kids into casualties. Shockingly, Ian passes on the mission for reasons he will not—or cannot—reveal. But saying no is not an option. Especially not for Phoebe Kruger, Ian’s beautiful and unexpectedly brash new attorney.
Determined to see the abducted children set free, Phoebe not only gets Ian on board but insists on riding shotgun on his Mission: Impossible–style operation, whether he likes it or not. Though Phoebe has a valuable knack for getting out of tight spots, there’s no denying the intensely intimate feelings growing between Ian and Phoebe as the team gears up for combat. But these are feelings they both must fight to control as they face an array of cold-blooded adversaries, including a vindictive mob boss who’s got Ian at the top of his hit list and a wealthy psychopath who loves murder as much as he loves money. As they dodge death squads and play lethal games of deception, Ian and Phoebe will do whatever it takes to save the innocent and vanquish the guilty—or die trying.
Blurb from Amazon: Only the most urgent crisis could force Delilah Fairchild to abandon her beloved biker bar and ask the surly Bryan “Mac” McMillan for help. What the ex-FBI agent has against her is a mystery…but when the bullets start to fly, Mac is her only chance for finding her uncle alive. Mac knows that beautiful women can’t be trusted, but he has to put his natural wariness of Delilah aside to help her. With the clock ticking, Mac and Delilah find themselves holding on to each other in the wildest adventure of their lives.
Book blurb from Amazon: To bring down a sleazy abduction ring, Lieutenant Margaret “Margo” Peterson has set herself up as bait. But recruiting Dashiel Riske as her unofficial partner is a whole other kind of danger. Dash is six feet four inches of laid-back masculine charm, a man who loves life—and women—to the limit. Until Margo is threatened, and he reveals a dark side that may just match her own…. Beneath Margo’s tough facade is a slow-burning sexiness that drives Dash crazy. The only way to finish this case is to work together side by side…skin to skin. And as their mission takes a lethal turn, he’ll have to prove he’s all the man she needs—in all the ways that matter….
Book blurb from Amazon: Eden is said to be one of the most beautiful women in the world. Her face has graced countless magazines and her body has sold millions of dollars of clothing. But her fame and beauty has earned her more than she ever imagined. Evil is stalking her, determined to extinguish the ethereal beauty forever. Swanson or “Swanny” as his teammates call him is always up for the next mission. He came back from Afghanistan wounded and scarred. Hardly the kind of man who even belongs in the same room with Eden. And yet there’s something about the quiet beauty that stirs his blood and makes him dream of the impossible. Because Beauty loving the Beast only happens in fairy tales and KGI doesn’t deal in fairy tales. Ever.
Book blurb from Amazon: Soldier-for-hire Ethan Hayes is the youngest member of an elite mercenary team. While he may be affectionately nicknamed the rookie, the skills Ethan honed as a Marine make him seriously dangerous. But when a sudden distress call puts him in close quarters with a rival, he finds more than his field skills being put to the test. Juliet Mason stands out as the master thief in a covert group of assassins and spies. Her latest mission is personal—and it’s gone horribly wrong. Juliet may prefer to work alone, but when the rookie comes to her aid in snowy Eastern Europe, she can’t deny they make a good team. But even up against a powerful enemy, their most challenging task yet may be fighting the passion between them….
The King, JR Ward, April 1, 2014 (Okay. Not RS. But I don’t care. I’ve been waiting for this book for YEARS and it’s going on the list. :))
Book blurb from Amazon: After turning his back on the throne for centuries, Wrath, son of Wrath, finally assumed his father’s mantle–with the help of his beloved mate. But the crown sets heavily on his head. As the war with the Lessening Society rages on, and the threat from the Band of Bastards truly hits home, he is forced to make choices that put everything–and everyone–at risk. Beth Randall thought she knew what she was getting into when she mated the last pure blooded vampire on the planet: An easy ride was not it. But when she decides she wants a child, she’s unprepared for Wrath’s response–or the distance it creates between them. The question is, will true love win out… or tortured legacy take over?
Dark Wolf, Christine Feehan, January 7, 2014 ( I just got this book!!! And it’s on the list and will be read by the weekend!!!)
Book blurb from Amazon: Skyler Daratrazanoff always recognized the miracle that was Dimitri Tirunul, a man beyond any dream that had ever engaged her nights. But she was human. Vulnerable. He was Carpathian. Nearly immortal. She was nineteen. He was an ancient. Yet she held half his soul, the light to his darkness. Without her, he would not survive. Caught between the two warring species, Dimitri has spent centuries hunting the undead to keep his people free, and humans safe. He had survived honorably when others had chosen to give up their souls. But now, marked for extermination by the Lycans, Dimitri found himself alone, and fearing for his life. But salvation was coming… No Lycan would ever suspect someone like Skyler to dare mount a secret rescue operation. A teenage girl. A human of untested abilities. But she had something no one else had. She was predestined for Dimitri—as he was for her. And there was nothing stronger for Skyler than her desire to see her life-dream come true. Whatever the risk.
Styxx, Sherrilyn Kenyon, September 2013 (This is my one holdover book from last year. This book is long (848 pages) but in October and I got caught up in re-reading The Mists of Avalon, also over 800 pages. So I got behind. But this is a book I’ve waited for for a long time.)
Book blurb from Amazon: Just when you thought doomsday was over . . . Centuries ago Acheron saved the human race by imprisoning an ancient evil bent on absolute destruction. Now that evil has been unleashed and it is out for revenge. As the twin to Acheron, Styxx hasn’t always been on his brother’s side. They’ve spent more centuries going at each other’s throats than protecting their backs. Now Styxx has a chance to prove his loyalty to his brother, but only if he’s willing to trade his life and future for Acheron’s. The Atlantean goddess of Wrath and Misery, Bethany was born to right wrongs. But it was never a task she relished. Until now. She owes Acheron a debt that she vows to repay, no matter what it takes. He will join their fellow gods in hell and nothing is going to stop her. But things are never what they seem, and Acheron is no longer the last of his line. Styxx and Acheron must put aside their past and learn to trust each other or more will suffer. Yet it’s hard to risk your own life for someone who once tried to take yours, even when it’s your own twin, and when loyalties are skewed and no one can be trusted, not even yourself, how do you find a way back from the darkness that wants to consume the entire world? One that wants to start by devouring your very soul?
Now for my favorite part of my annual list! As a writer, I am blessed to have so many friends who are successful authors who also (sometimes–hint, hint) offer me advanced copies. So here is a preview of my TBR books from my K&T sisters. I cannot wait to read these!!!
It can’t be a coincidence that in the past twenty-four hours, three different thugs have tried to kill or abduct Ashley Parrish. Sexy SWAT team leader Dillon Gray saved her, but now he wonders why someone would want to murder the beautiful accountant…and why he finds her so infuriatingly attractive. Then the FBI comes after Ashley for embezzlement, and Dillon knows he must protect her from a killer and prove she’s being framed. Taking her on a hair-raising run through dangerous terrain barely fazes him. But wanting her for more than just one night scares the hell out of him.
SHE HAD NO ONE TO FIGHT FOR HER—UNTIL ONE POWERFUL BODYGUARD REFUSED TO LEAVE HER SIDE
Her perfect marriage was a sham and Caroline Ashton had the physical and emotional wounds to prove it. With nothing left to lose, Caroline is ready to walk away—and hires Luke Dawson as her personal bodyguard. But before he can do more than secure her a safe house, Caroline stumbles upon the body of the man she’d fought day and night to escape. Now, confronted with fears beyond anything she ever imagined, Luke is the only man she can trust. Putting her life in someone else’s hands isn’t easy, but Caroline knows survival never is. Besides, Luke’s proven himself to be a worthy protector—one who’ll stop at nothing to see she never suffers again….
They say the Santa Fe Saint comes to save your soul—by taking your life. Newly minted psychiatrist Faith Clancy gets the shock of her life when her first patient confesses to the grisly Saint murders. By law Faith’s compelled to notify the authorities, but is her patient really the Saint? Or will she contribute to more death by turning the wrong man over to the police?
Faith is going to need all her wits and the help of a powerful adversary, Luke Jericho, if she’s to unravel the truth. But she doesn’t realize she’s about to become an unwitting pawn in a serial killer’s diabolical game. For once he’s finished with Faith, she’ll become his next victim
Society often makes strange bedfellows—and even more surprising betrothals… Young widowed Georgina Mowbray is settling into her role as Lady Russell’s companion quite well—until the lady’s nephew Dominic, the Earl of Coniston, arrives in Bath for a visit. Georgie’s always found him shallow and too smooth, and trusts him as much as she trusts most men…which is to say, not at all. But Con turns out to be more intriguing than she remembers—and completely irresistible…
WHY LORDS FALL IN LOVE comes out on July 28, 2014!
Finally, but not at all the least, Rachel Grant has two releases coming this year.
WITHHOLDING EVIDENCE, a short novel in the Evidence series, will be out in late February or early March…
Military historian Trina Sorensen has a nearly impossible task before her: try to get recalcitrant and tempting former Navy SEAL Keith Hatcher to reveal what happened during a top secret Somalia op five years ago. Recent history isn’t usually her forte, but the navy wants an historian’s perspective and has given her the high security clearance to get the job done.
Keith Hatcher isn’t just refusing to tell Trina about the op, he’s protecting a national secret that could destroy the lives of those he cares about the most. But not wanting to talk about a covert mission doesn’t mean he isn’t interested in spending time with the sexy historian, and the first time they kiss it’s explosive.
When the past comes pounding on Keith’s door, he’ll do anything to keep Trina safe… Anything, that is, except tell her about Somalia. But with the one thing he must hide at all costs being the key to their survival, Keith must decide who he can trust, and which secrets are worth dying for.
And Rachel’s next full-length Evidence story INCRIMINATING EVIDENCE will be out later in the year.
So what other titles are you desperately waiting for? What other books can you recommend? I’d love to know!
The winner of TEMPTED INTO DANGER by Melissa Cutler is
Congratulations! Contact us by January 19th to claim your prize.
And be sure to join us next week when Sharon interviews Heather Ashby!
If you love romantic suspense, but are in the mood for something shorter than the average 400-page book—and you’ve already finished all of Lena Diaz’s Intrigues—consider picking up Melissa Cutler’s latest: SECRET AGENT SECRETARY. It’s action-packed, sexy, fun, and full of twists.
Want to learn more? Melissa gives you the whole scoop below. And be sure to look for the giveaway. 😉 Take it away, Melissa…
What’s on Your Bucket List?
Melissa Cutler here, and I’m so excited to be on Kiss and Thrill today talking about SECRET AGENT SECRETARY, my latest action-adventure romance from Harlequin. In the book, the heroine, Avery, is obsessed with spy movies and books. She has a crush on James Bond, a 911 Porche Carrera that she’s named Nikita, and cats named Aston and Martin. She also has a bucket list of things she wants to do or accomplish before she kicks the bucket.
Tops on that list is assisting in the capture of a criminal mastermind. Also on the list is driving a powerful, dangerous man crazy with desire for her and to own her very own spy gadget. With a little help from jaded, brooding black ops agent Ryan Reitano, she just might get to cross some of those items off her list throughout the story…
Until two years ago, I only had one item on my personal bucket list: to become a published author. Done! Ever since I earned my first publishing contract, I’ve been debating what should go on my new bucket list. And though I have a bunch of ideas, I haven’t put them in any kind of order yet.
Traveling tops my list. Presently, I’ve been to more countries in the world than states in the United States. I can’t decide if I’d like to reverse that statistic or widen the gap. Pretty much, I’d like to go EVERYWHERE. Traveling to Australia, Japan, and Brazil would be dreams come true, but I’d also like to visit Hawaii and cruise the Mississippi.
Giveaway: Do you have a bucket list? What’s on it? Leave a comment and be entered to win either a digital or print copy of TEMPTED INTO DANGER, the first book in my ICE: Black Ops series. (SECRET AGENT SECRETARY is book 2) Unfortunately, I can only open this giveaway up to U.S. residents. Sorry about that!
[Be sure to check back Thursday to see if you won! ~ Gwen]
Tops on Avery Meadows’s bucket list is assisting in the capture of an international criminal mastermind…from the safety of her desk as an ICE Agency secretary. She’s obsessed with everything secret agent-y, but being the daughter of grassroots pacifist leaders has left her with a mountain of guilt about it. But when, on New Year’s Eve, fate catapults her into the arms of sexy, soft-spoken Ryan Reitano—an undercover ICE agent with dangerous secrets he’s desperate to hide—Avery’s dream of saving the world takes on a whole new twist…
SECRET AGENT SECRETARY is Now Available Everywhere:
Read Chapter One on Melissa’s website.
Here’s a scene from SECRET AGENT SECRETARY:
Who knew where Avery would be by the time he returned? She should be enrolling in the ICE academy, or the FBI. Even if she stayed in San Diego, the odds of a woman like her staying single for long were not in his favor. If the male gender had any kind of clue, they’d be lining up for miles hoping to catch her eye. The realization added a new level of frustration to his already despairing heart. He’d never ask her to wait for him; he’d never hold her back like that.
But, damn it all, he wanted to. He wanted to be her shepherd through this dangerous world she dreamed of being a part of. He wanted to be everything she needed to embrace how strong and capable she truly was. He wanted to help her fly.
She flattened against the car and smoothed her palm over his cheek. In her eyes, he read tenderness, desire. Need that mirrored his own. He stepped into her, pinning her against the car with his hips. Her smiling lips parted on a hungry sigh.
“You’re going to kiss me,” she whispered so softly that if his gaze weren’t already transfixed on her lips, he might’ve thought he’d imagined it.
He brushed his hand along her jaw, past her ear and into her hair. He brought their faces together, breathing into each other, noses rubbing. “Yeah, I am.”
A tilt of her head and her lips skimmed his lower lip with a touch so feathery light a ripple of electricity washed over his skin. A growl of pleasure rose up from his throat like he was some sort of damn animal, but he couldn’t temper the intensity of his hunger for her. To take her and make her his.
Her eyes cracked open and met his gaze. And it was the strangest thing because it was like she was looking inside him, at the real Ryan that he only showed to maybe a handful of people the world over. He hadn’t even meant to show that side of himself to her, but she’d stripped his defenses handily, effortlessly, by stripping off her own defenses and inviting him into her world, to bear witness to the glories of her spirit.
He felt like he could hang in that moment with her forever, hip to hip, nose to nose, getting high off the knowledge that they were going to put their mouths on each other and it was going to be fireworks.
With Avery, everything was fireworks.
* * *
My thanks to Kiss and Thrill Blog for hosting me today. I love hearing from readers and am really easy to find at www.melissacutler.net, on Facebook (www.facebook.com/MelissaCutlerBooks ), and Twitter (@m_cutler). And you can always email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or sign up for my newsletter (http://www.melissacutler.net/newsletter/ ) to find out about my latest books and upcoming events.
Bio: Melissa Cutler knows she has the best job in the world, dividing her time between her dual passions for writing sexy contemporary romances and edge-of-your-seat romantic suspense for Harlequin, Penguin, and Kensington Books. She was struck at an early age by an unrelenting travel bug and is probably planning her next vacation as you read this. When she’s not globetrotting, she’s enjoying Southern California’s flip-flop wearing weather and wrangling two rambunctious kids.