Romance Interlude 2.13

Look at me venturing into (sub)genres I don’t normally read! They’re not exactly hard hitting suspense novels, but a few months ago I probably wouldn’t have wanted to read any at all. Anyhow…on to more ranting and less actual reviewing. Sorry.

Cold Secrets (2017)
by Toni Anderson
Publication: July 31, 2017
Goodreads Summary
Series: Cold Justice #7

One liner: FBI agent Lucas Randall falls for fellow agent Ashley Chen while they pursue an international trafficking ring but Chen may be hiding something that could affect the outcome of the case.

I was surprised by how much I enjoyed reading Cold Secrets. The topics made me uncomfortable but thankfully there wasn’t anything overly graphic. I liked Ashley and her sense of duty to protect people. I was often annoyed with the how much they disregarded her abilities despite the fact that she was assigned to the case and not the absent genius Alex. Ashley and Lucas also had great chemistry. Her backstory was done well but I don’t know how believable some of the events related to her would be.

Blind Justice (2019)
by Gwen Hernandez
Publication: November 15, 2017
Goodreads Summary
Series: Men of Steele #5

One liner: Tara becomes a target after avenging her sister’s death and she’ll need Jeff the security specialist to keep her safe.

The book started off with Tara trying to capture the guy who essentially ruined her sister’s life and led her to commit suicide. Things quickly go awry when Tara becomes a target because she’s seen things she shouldn’t have. Once Tara becomes the target, unfortunately the book also drops quickly in quality. One moment they’re just colleagues and the next they can’t keep their hands off each other and then it’s definitely love. And, it’s also very complicated. It started off pretty interesting and was okay for a quick read, but I probably won’t pick it up again.

Spirit Bound (2011)
by Christine Feehan
Publication: January 1, 2011
Series: Sea Haven/ Sisters of the Heart #2
Goodreads Summary

One liner: Russian undercover agent Stefan comes to New Haven to insert himself into artist Judith’s life to find information she may be holding onto for a past lover.

**I’m a bit all over the place with this one. Sorry!**
I started reading this one in January and had to put it away after the first chapter or so because I just couldn’t get into it. The pace was a bit slow. Then Stefan and Judith have instalove-we-are-mates attraction, and I just couldn’t do it to myself. After finally deciding to give it one more try, I found it to be better than my first attempt…after I set aside the whole instalove thing. But then…Stefan and his alpha maleness got to me at times. He went to extremes to protect Judith. What does he do that bothered me? **spoiler alert** He drugs her to knock her out so he can go do some assassin hunting. You see, he has lots of secrets and some trust issues because he’s never really been with anyone before or wanted to protect anyone before. Still…WTF, right?! Feehan writes well with lots of nice details. There’s some interesting things going on here with Sea Haven and the bond between the sisters–they each have elemental abilities too. One of my favorites is when they make it rain. I enjoyed the amount of detail that went into explaining how they all contributed to creating it. Then their conversations would just not be very interesting at all to me. Blythe is one of the sisters and her story is probably one I’d like to read but the others didn’t sound as interesting.

A Stitch in Time (2020)

by Kelley Armstrong
ISBN: 9781596069688
Publication Date: October 13, 2020/October 31, 2020
(Goodreads/Amazon shows 10/13 while Netgalley provided me with 10/31 but it seems to be available already)

**I was provided a copy of the book through NetGalley. I voluntarily read and reviewed it. All opinions are my own.**

Time slips, lost love, and a haunted manor…oh my! As a child, Bronwyn visited Thorne Manor nearly every summer but stopped due to extenuating circumstances.  She becomes convinced William, a boy she befriends after traveling to the past, was just a figment of her imagination and ghosts aren’t real.  Of course, this all changes after the first ghost appears when she returns to Thorne Manor, and she accidentally meets William again.     

A Stitch in Time is a story for those who are faint of heart but still want to enjoy a book with ghosts in it.  It’s not terribly scary—this comes from someone timid about anything frightening—so the book is certified for reading alone at night but just to be safe you should leave the light on.  The ghosts won’t have you hiding under the covers but they’re creepy enough that you’ll shrink into yourself to get away from the pages while your eyes stayed glued for what’s coming next. 

Part of the reason why it isn’t as scary is that the haunting of Thorne Manor takes a backseat to the romance. I always find rekindling lost love to be compelling and Armstrong makes a strong case for Bronwyn and William reuniting.  What’s better than lost love except lost love separated by hundreds of years? Also, can you deny them a relationship after how they meet again more than twenty years later? (Rawr!) While I liked the romance a lot, sometimes the excessive focus on the romance meant less time for the mysteries surrounding the ghosts. (I never thought I’d say that…ever.)

I like time slips but one of the most difficult things about crafting a book with time travel is all the rules that come with it, and the book didn’t seem to have many of those.  Overall, the book is entertaining but it is best enjoyed when the time travel rules, or lack of them, can be overlooked.