New Year, New Romantic Suspense (and others) TBR Pile

IMG_1677It’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.  IMG_1729

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!

51XOGF8HHyL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Do or Die, Suzanne Brockmann  February 4, 2014

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. 51zMbzUGktL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Hell for Leather, Julie Ann Walker, May 6, 2014

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.

51nrr4qRmzL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_ Dash of Peril (Love Undercover), Lori Foster, March 25, 2014

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…. 51dm0mRre-L._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

When Day Breaks, Maya Banks, June 24, 2014

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. 51qqXaGt9xL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

Elle Kennedy, Midnight Pursuits, April 1 2014

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…. 516h27EJgUL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_

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? 91x0cuCZ4VL._SL1500_

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.

51cw9VJsXeLStyxx, 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?

81kauFPTdLL._SL1500_Since I promised my teenage daughter we’d go see these movies, I’m adding these YAs, Divergent by Veronica Roth and The Fault in Our Stars  by John Green, to the list as well.

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!!!

81aLrChZQqL._SL1500_

Lena Diaz: Tenessee Takedown, February 1, 2014,

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.

51wjBAS5WeL._SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The Bodyguard, April 15, 2014.

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….

Take the Key and Lock Her Up, July 22, 2014 from Avon Impulse is the next thriller Lena’s Nursery Rhyme Series.

51ZuS8rgUwL._AA278_PIkin4,BottomRight,-52,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Carey Baldwin: CONFESSION, March 11th, 2014.

For fans of Allison Brennan and Karen Rose comes Carey Baldwin, a daring new name in suspense, with the story of a serial killer out for blood—and the only woman who can stop his reign of terror.

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

And LABYRINTH featuring FBI profiler Atticus (Spense) Spenser and Dr. Caitlin Cassidy – whom you’ll meet in CONFESSION– releases Sept 16th, 2014. 

81reRpIwXpL._SL1500_Manda Collins: WHY EARLS FALL IN LOVE, January 28, 2014

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!

BoE_72dpiFinally, 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!

About Sharon Wray

Sharon is a librarian who once studied dress design in the couture houses of Paris and now writes novels of adventure, suspense and love for Sourcebooks. She's a wife, mother of twins, caretaker of Donut the One-Eyed Family Dog, and addicted to snapping photos and eating Oreos.

Posted on January 14, 2014, in book recommendations, Carey Baldwin, Diana Belchase, Gwen Hernandez, Krista Hall, Lena Diaz, Manda Collins, Rachel Grant, Sharon Wray, Thursday Winner and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 26 Comments.

  1. What a great list, Sharon. I’ve read several of these and can say your taste is impeccable. Lots to add to my own TBR pile, too.

    Btw, are the photos yours, as usual? The first one, with the clock, is absolutely gorgeous.

    Happy New Year!

    • Thanks, Diana. And yes, the photos are mine (I just forgot to add captions).
      I’m glad you like the list, but do you have anything to add to it? I’d love to know. 🙂

  2. Well, these aren’t TBRs, but I just told a friend how much I always enjoyed Lisa Lutz’s Spellman Files series. And of course, the newest JD Robb is always on my TBR.

  3. Great post, Sharon! Thanks so much for including my Evidence novella!

    I just discovered that another Kathy Mallory novel by Carol O’Connell was published last year. I can’t wait to read it – which will happen right I finish reading my RITA books.

  4. You’re welcome, Rachel. And thanks for the additions to the list. I’ve never read Carol O’Connell but will definitely add this one!

    • After the first three, the Mallory novels can be read out of order, but if you want to give her a try, you should start with the first one, Mallory’s Oracle. Carol O’Connell has also written two stand alines – which I loved. Warning, she’s very creepy and there is no romance to soften it up.

  5. WOW, there are some HOT covers in here! I’m afraid I have nothing to add because just keeping up with the talented K&T authors’ books that are popping out each month will keep me busy enough!

    Interesting that you develop a list, Sharon. I would not have the organizational skills or time to do that. In fact that was one of the best surprises when I signed up for Goodreads. Now I automatically have a list of TBRs and Have Reads. I felt much better (and smarter) when I saw how many books I’ve read. I complain that I don’t get enough reading time but my list was pretty darn impressive–and not nearly completed. 🙂

    • And I get so frustrated with Goodreads because they’re always pushing books I’m not interested in. But good for you for getting through your reading list! My reading time is sacred and usually happens after everyone is asleep and I’m too tired to write. 🙂

  6. Awesome post, Sharon. Thanks so much for including me. The books I am most looking forward to are the “Renegade Royals” series by Vanessa Kelly. The first book just came out and I have it on my Kindle and in print. Now if I can just find the time to read!

  7. Fantastic list, Sharon! Here are a few on my list for 2014:
    Missing You by Harlan Coben
    The Goldfinch by Donna Tarty
    The Interestings by Meg Wolitzer
    Life After Life by Kate Atkinson

  8. Some awesome choices, Sharon! And I have to say, I’m very impressed that you read 250 last year…I used to do that, but I feel like I don’t have as much time to read these days as I’d like.

    • Thank you, Elizabeth. I tend to read a lot while waiting for kids at various functions. And I do a lot of waiting around at cross country meets and choral rehearsals. Then there’s the reading to combat my insomnia so it adds up to a lot of pages. I just wish I wrote as quickly as I read!

  9. Sharon: Great list. I’m an avid reader like you, and sometimes read several fiction books a week in addition to my research reading. I can’t tell you exactly how many books I read last year, though I’m pretty sure it wasn’t 250! The books from SB, JAW, and our own K&T crew are definitely on my list.

    I’m looking forward to Laura Griffin’s FAR GONE, coming in April, and Tessa Dare’s ROMANCING THE DUKE, which releases on 1/28. Plus I have a dozen on my iPad that I’m trying to find time for, and I’m trying to finish WINTER OF THE WORLD by Ken Follett. Happy reading!

    • What a wonderful lost, Gwen! I love Ken Follet’s books even though they take me ages to read. Winter of the World is definitely on my list. And I am also looking forward to LG’s FAR GONE. It almost made this list but the post was getting too long. I also want to add Kieran Kramer’s new contemporary Sweet Talk Me coming out in March. I can’t wait to read that one as well! 🙂

    • Romancing the Duke. Siigh!

  10. Sharon I’m late commenting 😦 but I want to thank you for all the great recommendations and for the shout out. I’m dying to read Fear Nothing by Lisa Gardner (released about a week ago). In fact I’m off to download that and most of these recs right now!

    • I love Lisa Gardner, but her last book scared me so much I was afraid to read this one. I’ll add it to the list, but I won’t read it until you tell me you didn’t sleep with the lights on!

  11. What a fabulous list! I think a few of those I can add to my already towering tbr list! I would recommend checking out Cassandra Bella’s Playing with Fire, cassandrabella.net is her info. Her novel is a romantic suspense set in New Orleans, it was awesome.

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