Every marriage has its secrets…
Tina Bolotnikov, widowed after her husband, Sasha, is killed in a car accident, relocates back to her hometown on the south coast of the UK, to bring up her young son. Her life back in London with her adored husband is now nothing but a memory; a history to pass onto her son.
DS John Nightingale saw his partner killed in the line of duty and has made it his personal and professional quest to bring to justice the Russian gang responsible. Five years on and the killer is still free but as reports come in of Sasha Bolotnikov’s brother returning to the UK, John is tasked with tracking him down and following him to the seaside town of Littlehampton.
Tina finds herself an unwitting connection to a world she knew nothing about. She thought she knew her husband. She thought their past was the truth. But now as the investigation draws her closer to DS Nightingale, professional lines are blurred and crossed, and only he holds the key to her future.
Suspenseful and sinister from the first page, this crime orientated, romantic suspense draws you into a world of organised crime and the dedicated police squads that track them down.
Five years after her Russian husband, Sasha, died in a an accident Tina is rebuilding her shattered life, her young son Dimitri, who her husband never saw, is her reason for getting up in the morning, She is determined he won’t miss not having a dad.
John Nightingale is still guilt ridden by his partner’s death. The chance to capture his murderer means invading Tina’s life and possibly destroying it again but he owes it to his partner doesn’t he?
Both Tina and John are strong characters, he appears in Tina’s life at a time when she is ready to consider moving on, but there is a strong conflict of interest, which makes any future for the couple unlikely.
The plot is realistic and the characters’ reactions believable. Tina and John wrestle with their consciences and realise life is all about shades, rather than stark right or wrong. Angst and emotional soul searching contrasts with adrenalin filled action scenes.
This story is easy reading but it will provoke your emotions right up to the end.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
My Summer Newsletter has finally been sent out today, it seems I’m as late, as the Summer is arriving in the UK. 🙂
I’m giving away a paperback copy of The Dangerous Gift randomly drawn on 20 September 2016 – to one of my subscribers. If you haven’t subscribed yet to my seasonal newsletter, click on the image above or here.
There’s also a newsletter exclusive excerpt of The Dangerous Gift and my latest novel Past Shadows.
Past Shadows will hopefully be released later this year, here’s another taster of my mystery , historical romance with a ghostly twist.
Happy Reading x
THE DEAD DON’T LIE by Camille Taylor
The truth hurts…
Erin and Roisin were once friends until a fatal accident ruined both their lives. Now, Roisin has discovered a secret—one Erin has kept for over a decade—and she’s determined to make Erin pay for her lies.
Erin wants nothing to do with Roisin. She has a new life in London and no intention of going back home. Yet when her father is mysteriously and critically injured, Erin has no choice but to return and face Roisin—and her past. Erin knows if the secret of what she gave up got out, the consequences could be devastating.
When Roisin suddenly disappears, suspicion soon lands on Erin. She would do anything to protect her family, but just how far is she willing to go when time is running out…?
It’s the realistic ordinariness of this story that makes it so suspenseful.
Erin has secrets, she is not anxious to confront, until an email and a phone call make running no longer an option. Told from multi point of views, Erin’s and third person for the other players in the story, you find out some of their secrets but not all. Like a perfect murder mystery everyone looks guilty and has a motive but there still a few pieces of the puzzle annoyingly elusive.
A strong romantic thread runs through this story in Erin’s past and present. She travels a complex emotional journey when she returns home and realises that life is all about shade and light rather than being clear cut and defined. Erin emotional growth is a feature of this story and makes her a character worth rooting for.
This is a poignant tale outlining the power of family ties and the frailty of humans, when faced with life changing events. The female family bond is well written and integral to the story, which ties all the ends up nicely with a realistic and hopeful outcome.
I received a copy of this story from Harper Impulse via NetGalley in return for an honest review.
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
Colleague, friend, lover…beautiful liar?
Adam Steel is in crisis mode. A recent exposé claims a founder of Steel Hawk was actually The Raven, an infamous jewel thief. Amid the ensuing damage control, all eyes are on his ability to develop a prototype to secure and protect the royal Pasha Star diamond.
He’s further blindsided when he learns his assistant, Honeysuckle Hawk, has a sordid past he never knew about. Proving he never really knew her, never should have trusted her, and definitely shouldn’t start falling for her.
With her dirty laundry flapping in the media storm, Honeysuckle’s first instinct is to run. Two things make her stay: Adam’s insistence it’s better to show the world a united front, and her heart’s insistence by his side is where she belongs.
High stakes and long hours ignite passion…until the diamond is stolen and Adam’s own prototype shows Honeysuckle is a thief. Dare he trust her to help him expose the real criminal—before the mastermind wreaks havoc on the royal family?
Contains an über-hot, alpha-geek who’s good with his hands, a sassy reformed-rebel determined to prove she’s not a flake, romantic castles, gorgeous jewels, sleek and sexy technology, heart-pounding suspense…oh, and nipple tassels!
The sensor at the archway leading to his study went off, and Adam leaped out of bed, strode across his bedroom, and yanked open his door.
Funny how in a house with three levels and seventeen different rooms, she’d zeroed in on the one room he never gave anyone access to.
Instantly, all he could think was that tonight might have been a ruse to get him to lower his defenses and invite her to stay. What, did she think she could snoop to her little heart’s content and he wouldn’t notice? Wouldn’t care?
Mostly because it felt achingly familiar.
Descending the stairs at a jog, he shot across the entry hall and into the west wing of his house. As he ate up the space, his one clear thought was that no one got to abuse his hospitality and invade his privacy.
No one got to betray his trust. Especially not a beautiful woman. One who, he now reminded himself, hadn’t exactly been stellar in the truth-telling department.
With his mind on the designs laid out on his study desk, his hand slammed over the bank of switches inside the archway leading to his private study.
The corridor flooded with light, and Honeysuckle let out a shriek of surprise.
Leaning against the brick-edged arch, he ground out, “Looking for something?”
Mystery, technology and steamy romance all interact in this fast paced contemporary romantic suspense. The second in ‘Steel Hawk’ series, it reads perfectly as a standalone, whilst providing enticing clues to the series as a whole.
The prologue sets the scene, for those like me who haven’t read the first book in the series and then, the enigma that is Adam Steel makes his acquaintance. He is the perfect geek hero, sexy, off the scale intelligent and yet surprisingly innocent in the rules of love, perhaps because of a secret in his past?
Honeysuckle Hawk, sounds like a character from a 1920’s novel and she is so easy to like. She fulfils her role as Steel’s assistant with consummate ease but she is a complex character hiding many secrets. She has something to prove, both to her family and most importantly to herself.
The plot is suspenseful, as the mysteries surrounding Steel Hawk and their connection with the Zarrenburg royal family are uncovered. This is an action packed tale with realistic, interesting characters. The chemistry between Adam and Honeysuckle is intrinsic to the story and results in sensual love scenes underscored by emotional commitment.
The storytelling is flawless and compelling and utterly page turning. The perfect holiday read.
Eve Devon writes sexy heroes, sassy heroines, and happily ever afters…
Growing up in locations like Botswana and Venezuela gave Eve a taste for adventure and her love for romances began when her mother shoved one into her hands in a desperate attempt to keep her quiet during TV coverage of the Wimbledon tennis finals!
When she wasn’t consuming books by the bucket-load, she could be found pretending to be a damsel in distress or running around solving mysteries and writing down her adventures. As a teenager, Eve rewrote countless episodes of TV detective dramas so that the hero and heroine would end up together every week. As an adult, still hooked on romance and mysteries, she worked in a library to conveniently continue reading books by the bucket-load, until realising she herself was destined to write contemporary romance and romantic suspense.
She lives in leafy Surrey in the UK, a book-devouring, slightly melodramatic, romance-writing sassy heroine with her very own sexy-hero husband.
Gillian Dempsey must find a reason to go on…
Easier said than done after a rare virus robs her of both parents. Left alone and confused, the mourning nineteen-year-old flees to her three best friends, who receive her with open arms.
Her parents give her more than an inheritance—they give her a second chance at life…
When Gillian is left with some properties in her parents’ will, she assigns them to a real estate agent to manage. Joel Matthews takes the job, but he quickly becomes more than a business associate. After a string of fortunate coincidences, Gillian and Joel spend a passionate night together—after which Joel all but vanishes from her life.
But they still have unfinished business, and Gillian won’t allow him to slip away—especially with her heart.
Life is a roller coaster of tragedy and joy…
Gillian reels him in, and soon the two are married. Gillian’s heart expands even more when they receive the news of their first pregnancy. But after the baby is born, things aren’t the same. Joel becomes distant…resentful. And then the abuse begins. Darkness consumes their marriage—only to get worse.
While Gillian tries to hold her family together, it seems Joel is doing everything to tear them apart. But just one slip of his temper makes all the difference, because this time, there’s no turning back.
Maybe being abused can be endured, as long as Nobody Knows…until someone ends up dead.
This story grabs you from the first line.
The acceptance, fear and guilt Gillian feels is evident as soon as we meet her and as her story unfolds, the reasons why are hauntingly clear. This isn’t an easy subject to write about or read but the author creates a poignant, thought provoking story without sensationalism. The writing is sensitive and the characters realistic and easy to relate to.
Joel is all surface glamour and no depth but it’s easy to see how he would attract Gillian, young and newly bereaved. Gillian is at an all time low when she meets Joel and never really manages to achieve her full potential. A victim of abuse she displays classic denial but although some of her actions are hard to support they are understandable.
Joel displays lack of insight and is completely self-centred. He is easy to hate.
The other women in Gillian’s life are vibrant and care about her even when she lies to them and pushes them out of her life. The see-sawing of Gillian’s relationship with her friends illustrates their powerlessness perfectly. If she hides the truth from them, they can’t help.
Joel’s mother is the most conflicted of the characters, Gillian sees her as a saviour but is Adele more motivated out of guilt than compassion?
The menace and suspense in this story is excellent and even though domestic abuse is not an easy story to write, this book succeeds right up to the riveting end.
I received a copy of this book from the author in return for an honest review.
Rebecca, one of four kids to her parents who are both primary school teachers, was born in Wollongong on the south coast of Australia before moving to the country with her family. After a few years of embracing all that country life had to offer, the family relocated to Port Macquarie with its white sand beaches. After a brief period enjoying the sun and the surf they finally settled in Canberra where Rebecca still lives today. But all through her childhood a notepad and a book where never far away. These days Rebecca is an avid reader, and when she isn’t buried in a book or cheering on her beloved football team she’s spending time with her husband Robert and their overly spoilt dog Levi.
It’s all a game until they’re betting with their lives.
Alaya Matthews is in search of freedom. Tired of her mundane life, she packs everything she owns into two bags and heads for Europe. Her plan is simple: see the world and be adventurous, don’t get tied down, don’t settle for less than her heart’s desires, and never fall in love.
However, Alaya didn’t plan for Cole Ashford.
Drawn to her love of life, Cole wants to know how to live again. For seven years he’s been dead inside, and the numerous threats hanging over his head have finally caught up with him. What Cole doesn’t realise is accepting Alaya’s help will mean confronting every part of his tainted past. Alaya is desperate to know what haunts him, and she’s so certain he’ll reveal it she invents a bet he can’t refuse.
One is never enough though, and as they grow closer together, the more daring their wagers become. Neither of them will back down from a challenge, but the stakes are being raised. Gambling on Cole may cost Alaya her heart, or even worse, her life.
He shook his head in despair. “I’m beginning to think I made a mistake trying to save you. You’re not going to make my life easy, are you?”
“Sweetheart it is.”
Mia has written over ten titles including her Seasons of Change series, the Chequered Flag series, the Elemental Killers series, and her standalone novels False Finder, Not Enough, and Bet On Me.
Her favourite genres are contemporary romance or romantic suspense, and with an ever growing list of ideas she is trying to keep up with the speed at which her imagination generates them. She also designs book covers on her website M Designs.
Review to Follow