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Tag Archives: Romantic Suspense

Wait Until Dark (Night Stalkers #3) by M. L. Buchman

Wait Until Dark (Night Stalkers #3) by M. L. Buchman

So this is were I thought the Night Stalkers series began to lose some of its interest for me. I’d have to say the main female character was not as developed or as interesting as I’d hoped. The male lead and supporting characters were fantastic, but the Connie, she was just kind of blah to me.

Connie joins the Night Stalkers as a mechanic & gunner. She appears in I Own the Dawn briefly but she doesn’t really say anything. When she is introduced in this book, she is a quiet introvert with an amazing mind and skill as a mechanic. She comes off as very robotic actually, something the other mechanic (and love interest) Big Jim Wallace remarks on. You find out she drove herself to SOAR in search of answers about her father’s death (he died in a secret helicopter crash when she was eight). Because she was left alone at such a young age and because she is so smart, she never fit in and now is having trouble becoming part of the crew and dealing with getting close to people. That’s pretty much the story. Big John is great. He’s interesting and unexpected throughout the book and loved being able to see a different side of him. Emily Beale is present as well which is nice, but Kee and her husband are not really in the book until the end.

Overall the book was good. I just could never connect with Connie. She just seems kind of blank to me. You have her background and her emotional struggles, but she just never felt like a solid, deep person to me like John, or Kee, or Emily did. The story line was also different. Most of it didn’t occur in the middle east like the other books did. It didn’t feel like there was as much action as there was in other books, not nearly as rough-and-ready. More a smooth jazz to a rock beat. It is a good book, just not the best in the series.

My rating:

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I Own the Dawn (Night Stalkers #2) by M. L. Buchman

I Own the Dawn (Night Stalkers #2) by M. L. Buchman

This is probably my favorite book in the Night Stalkers series. It is the second in the series, but I think it’s probably the most interesting. The story follows Kee Smith, a mixed race tough girl who survived the Street – capital S and as she describes in the book, it’s a place you survive not somewhere you live. The love interest is Lieutenant Archibald Stevenson III. A really nice all-around guy who comes from high class but is down-to-Earth and really likable.

The story picks up when Kee is assigned to the D Battalion of SOAR. Right off the bat she makes it clear she wants nothing to do with Emily Beale and helping to create a “girlie-chopper”. It’s funny to watch her go from thinking Emily Beale is just a cute little waif who has no skills to being terrified and impressed by her. Kee takes her place as gunner in Emily’s chopper and seeks only to do her job and prove she belongs there. On one of her early missions, she helps to rescue Dilya, an orphan refugee from a gun battle. The girl clings to her and Kee becomes her guardian without even realizing it. The story then begins to be told by Kee, Dilya, and Archie. The author blends seemlessly through the three, giving different points of view and interesting insights into what is going on in each person’s head. The love story between Kee and Archie is almost a battle developing as it grows between the two individuals – Kee fighting with everything in her to not get close to people and Archie just wanting to love her and Dilya.

The book is emotional, tumultuous, and wonderful. I loved the addition of Dilya. She is a fascinating character and it’s interesting to see how her culture clashes with that of her new guardian’s. The relationships in the story that Kee develops are fraught with hair-thin trust and emotional baggage all over the place, but the author makes her coming to terms with emotions and attachments believable and not awkwardly rushed. As always, the battles and military lifestyle add an interesting and realistic backdrop to the entire story and provides insight into the different characters. I also enjoy learning the small tidbits of middle eastern life that appear in the novels.

My rating:

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The Night is Mine (Night Stalkers #1) by M. L. Buchman

The Night is Mine (Night Stalkers #1) by M. L. Buchman

This is the first book in M. L. Buchman’s Night Stalker series. I’ve actually read the whole series, but reviewed very few of the books. The series is based on the best helicopter fighting squad in the Army that runs missions at night in the dangerous Hindu Kush Mountain range on the border of Pakistan and Afghanistan. The information you learn is actually pretty cool, but it is a side benefit of the different story lines.

The book is about the first female in the SOAR program (the helicopter squad that flies at night). Captain Emily Beale grew up in Washington and joined the Army out of college and has been flying ever since. She is the first woman to break into the most elite squad there is. Shortly after she joins this amazing squad, she is pulled out on a secret mission to the White House. Here childhood crush is the current President and she is instructed to look after his wife, the First Lady, as it appears someone is trying to kill her. She is followed by her commanding officer, Major Mark Henderson, known as the Viper for his hard ass skills and amazing flying. The two develop a relationship throughout the story that is both interesting and unique.

This is one of my favorite books in the series. I come back to it again and again when I need something interesting to read. The story line is full of twists, turns, surprises, and emotional drama. However, it’s not the annoying, unnecessary emotional drama that a lot of romance books are filled with. All the emotional turmoil in the book is developed well and makes logical sense. The information you learn about different aspects of the White House, Secret Service, the Army, and helicopter flying are interesting, but I’m sure it’s mostly just basic information that anyone can discover easily. The characters are well-developed and work perfectly with the story. Most of them are easy to image or relate to, which is really great.  Almost all the characters you meet again later on in their own books or novellas of the series.

If you like military romance or romantic suspense this is a great book to go with in order to kick off the series. I’d also recommend it if you like romance, but it definitely isn’t a light-hearted book or an easy read. However, I find it is totally worth the read if you enjoy a good story.

My rating:

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Christmas at Peleliu Cove by M. L. Buchman

Christmas at Peleliu Cove by M. L. Buchman

I bought this book because I loved Christmas at Steele Beach so much. I was kind of surprised I didn’t like this book as much. The book covers the love story of two characters that were present in Christmas at Steele Beach but not really involved.

The story follows Petty Officer Nika Maier, the Loadmaster for Sly’s hovercraft. Nika has a really mottled history of grief and pain and won’t let anyone close. She feels out of touch and detached from her fellow soldiers. The closest she’s gotten to anyone is her present crew. He past relations were short and physical with no emotional connection. In comes Lieutenant Clint Barstowe, an Army Ranger that shakes her world up. His past is barely less filled with pain than hers. A busted marriage has left him as leery of women as Nika is of men. The two start a rocky and emotional relationship that leaves both of them shook up.

I did enjoy the book. It was filled with ups and downs and puts you through a wide spectrum of emotions. I just didn’t seem to connect with the characters as well as I have as I did in other books. Nika is a very hard individual that is trying her best no matter what she does. You learn the most about her when she becomes emotionally vulnerable throughout different incidents in the book. I did like how the author developed the characters and how you could see them changing throughout the book. There was a depth to the Lieutenant that you don’t realize at first as you read through the sections of the book told from his point of view. I would have like to have seen this pulled in to a full length novel. There was definitely areas that could be expanded and the relationship could have developed at a more realistic pace and you could see them settled in the relationship instead of just kind of falling into and then ending. If you are someone who enjoys military romances, this is probably a great book for you to read. It doesn’t connect with the Night Stalker story line much but the characters are present, so if you love the series this could be a good read as well.

My rating:

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Immortal in Death (In Death #3) by J. D. Robb

Immortal in Death (In Death #3) by J. D. Robb

 

I thought this was another of the more brilliant books in the series. It starts out with Eve meeting Mavis’s new lover, an upcoming designer named Leonardo. At the meeting, they have a rather violent run in with Leonardo’s ex, a rising star named Pandora. Pandora is later found beaten to death in Leonardo’s study by Mavis, leading to Eve having to arrest her best friend for murder even when she knows she didn’t do it. Shortly after, Officer Peabody refers a case to Eve that has striking similarities to Pandora’s death. After a third similar murder takes place, the book really takes off. It takes a while, but eventually the cases become linked and the narcotics department want to take over. After being forced to work together, the Eve and the narcotics department settle on Eve leading the investigation with the narcotics department helping. With the help of Officer Peabody, Roarke, and Finney, Eve is eventually able to release Mavis. The trail for the real murder is complicated and intricate. All of Pandora’s friends, high level models, actors, producers, and investors, all become suspects. It is difficult to find a link to the highly dangerous new drug that is the motive behind the gruesome murders. The solving of the case was very interesting to read. It took me a while to guess who the actual culprit was.

On the personal side, this is the book where Eve and Roarke get married. It is interesting to see her wading through the preparations for the wedding because it is not usually stuff she handles. Also, a recent case stirs up memories about her past that cause her a lot of stress. She reaches out to Dr. Mira and opens up new memories of her childhood she would rather remain buried. They break free at a point that is helps her connect deeper with Roarke and even Sommerset. You get to know Dr. Mira better this book which I liked. I find her a very interesting character. You also really get to see Eve, the things that make her tick and how she handles emotional relationships. It is done extremely well. It is a great book for see who the characters really are. The whole book is emotionally charged. There were times you felt you heart being torn right along with Eve as she dealt with everything going on in her life and the case.

This probably isn’t the best book to start with if you are just getting into the series, but it definitely is one of the ones that stands out for me. It’d recommend it to anyone who likes murder mystery books or romantic suspense. This one had equal measure of both topics in it. The stories are wound together fantastically. A great read, but be prepared to be emotionally moved.

My rating:

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All Through the Night: A Troubleshooters Christmas by Suzanne Brockmann

All Through the Night: A Troubleshooters Christmas by Suzanne Brockmann

 

I actually love this book. This is probably the seventh or eighth time I’ve read it. When I saw I needed to do a book about an LGTB character for my Book Riot challenger I had no clue what to do. For some reason I completely forgot about the Troubleshooters series with a character I love being gay. I luckily remembered it the other day driving to work. I chose to do the book that covers his wedding to his partner (it’ll also count for my book set during Christmas for my Pop Sugar challenge).

Jules Cassidy is a high-level FBI field operative that has planned a strong role in the majority of the Troubleshooters series. He is a fascinating and awesome character. There were several of the books I read just because he was in it. His partner is Robin Chadwick, an actor, recovering alcoholic, and a gay man who came out of the closet in a very big way. The two have had a really rocky relationship, actually no relationship – just a lot of wishful thinking and sex, over the course of I think three or four books. They actually share an ex – Adam Wyndahm. They decide to get married and this book covers the proposal, prep, and ceremony.

Suzanne Brockmann actually does a fantastic job of winding three or more story lines together. There is the main story line – the men getting married, but there are actually two or three secondary story lines that occur. There is a reporter who crashes the engagement party and falls in love with their assistant Dolphina. There story line plays a major role as the reporter is cover the story of the wedding. Third, Adam starts causing trouble with his idea he is being stalked and they are after him and Robin. The three story lines intermix and intertwine effortlessly. There is drama, stress, and emotional upheaval all through the book. Adding to the mess is the President rsvping to the wedding. As Jules and Robin know a lot of Navy SEALS, counterterrorist experts, and have friends in the terrorism field, there are some issues with the President attending the wedding. The final icing on the cake is the renovations the house is under, with people often getting accidentally locked in rooms due to faulty doorknobs.

I think my favorite thing about Suzanne Brockmann’s writing is her phrasing. Some of the way she phrases things is hilarious and I often find myself laughing at how she decides to describe different characters and events. It’s not street slang or anything like that, just crazy good phrasing. Like I mentioned before as well, she intertwines multiple story lines in an effortless way that keeps you engaged throughout the entire book. I didn’t give this book a five only because I’ve read her other works and I know she does a lot more complex, involved stories. This one is an in-between book with a relatively short story and a focused story line. I would recommend reading the other books before this one. You do not get a lot of the jokes or references if you haven’t read the other books first.

My rating:

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Glory in Death (In Death #2) by J. D. Robb

Glory in Death (In Death #2) by J. D. Robb

 

I did not like this book as much as the first one in the series, however it was still very good. The story line was not quite as intricate, but was still well-developed and thought out. What I loved most about it was the strong emotional turmoil that was prevalent throughout the book. There were a ton of emotional ups and downs, mostly downs, and it was a highly charged book. You could almost feel the stress from the characters come off the page.

The book starts with the murder of a high-profile district attorney. The crime is committed in a signature way and the killer takes a souvenir. Eve is called on to the case and is once again thrust into the spotlight of a high-profile murder. The killer escalates to another high-profile attack – the murder of a rising star. The same signature murder style and a souvenir is taken as well. Through all of this, Eve is butting heads with her commander. The commander and his wife are godparents to the district attorneys children. For him, the case is highly personal and he takes is stress out on Eve throughout, especially when she has to pull in the son and his father for questioning. As the case unfolds, Nadine First is pulled in to help Eve bait the killer. After a third killing, the case goes into high gear as the killer realizes he killed the wrong woman. Eve scrambles with her own guilt as she searches for the killer.

Eve relationship with Roarke is tested in this case as well. They have their first fight and Eve comes to terms with relying on Roarke as a necessary part of her life. Eve’s emotional growth and development in her relationships is fascinating to read and watch unfold. You learn more about Nadine, Mavis, and Officer Peabody. I like Officer Peabody. She is in the later books and it was neat to read about how they met. Nadine is also quite an interesting person, but is more of a common personality for a media star. However, she is well written and developed. Mavis is just…unique. She is so sweet you have to like her, but her personality comes through in spades.

If you liked the first book, I would definitely recommend continuing the series. This is a great segue book that sets the stage for the emotional and personal development Eve needs in order to grow in the next books. It is laid out with enough emotional drama and enough twists, turns, and red-herrings in the murder case to keep the book flowing smoothly and to keep the reader engaged. There were times I kept driving around just to hear more of the story LOL. For me, the shining glory of this book was the emotional drama followed by the murder case. Still a good book though.

My rating:

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