[Note from Frolic: We are so excited to have author Layla Reyne guest post on the site today. Take it away Layla!]
Cliffhangers. I get that they’re not for everyone—and that’s cool—but personally, I adore a good cliffhanger, be it in book, television show, or movie. I want to be so invested in the characters and the story arc, so eager for the next installment, that when it drops on my e-reader or in my watchlist, it’s a stop everything and read/watch kind of day. (Seriously, the day after I got home from Book Lovers Con, I was at the theater for John Wick 3.) Yeah, sometimes the landing from a cliffhanger is rough (*cough* The X-Files *cough*), but I will never fail to applaud a creator that leaves me with that sense of urgency and desperate need for more. I aimed to do that myself with Prince of Killers, book one of my new male/male romantic suspense trilogy, Fog City, and in doing so, I took my cues from some of my all-time favorite cliffhangers.
Seven of Spades series by Cordelia Kingsbridge
This series has multiple in-book and end-of-book cliffhangers, but the best is the end of Trick Roller (Book #2). EPIC, no other word for it. The best parting shot / visual in a book I’ve read in a long time. A character returns to the spotlight in spectacular fashion, and it’s bloody brilliant (pun intended).
The Captive Prince Trilogy by C. S. Pacat
I admire all the readers who came to this series in web-form long before I did. I was lucky and marathon read the book versions. I have probably never clicked Buy Next as fast as I did after the end of Prince’s Gambit (Book #2), when Damen’s true identity is revealed, his allies arrive, and all hell is about to break loose.
All For the Game series by Nora Sakavic
No one’s life is hanging in the balance at the end of either book, but the buildup for what’s to come in the next is intense. At the end of The Foxhole Court, Neil’s got a key, a sort of promise of home, but he has no idea what to do with it, and then at the end of The Raven King, he’s just back from a journey through hell and will have to face his teammates after the holidays. With such explosive characters, it’s anyone’s guess how they will react, especially the ever volatile Andrew, to whom Neil continues to grow closer.
Through the Looking Glass (Season 3 finale) – You know those moments in a book, show or film that make you want to go back and rewatch to see what you missed? Well, that was this episode of LOST, when low and behold, it was a flash-forward, not flash-back, as we’d all expected. My jaw was on the floor. And yeah, we re-watched all three seasons the next week.
The Telling (Season 2 finale) – This show doesn’t get nearly enough credit for its mid-season and finale cliffhangers (and what I’ll contend is still one of the best Post-Super Bowl episodes ever), and this Season 2 finale was fantastic. Not only does Sydney go to war with a supposed friend, but she wakes up… somewhere and some-when very unexpected. It was a great way to reset the series for new character and story arcs.
Three are any number of famous film cliffhangers to mention (Empire Strikes Back, Fellowship of the Rings, Back to the Future II, Matrix Reloaded, Kill Bill Vol. 1, The Dark Knight… this list goes on) but Inception is one of my favorite movies and I love, respect, and applaud that Nolan doesn’t give us full closure at the end. We’re left wondering if that top will keep spinning or if it’ll wobble, if Cobb is in the real world or in a world of his own inception. It’s just so fitting with the movie and its message, a perfect confounding ending.
Are you a fan of cliffhangers? What have been some of your favorites?
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About the Author:
RITA Finalist Layla Reyne is the author of the Agents Irish and Whiskey, Trouble Brewing, and Changing Lanes series. A Carolina Tar Heel who now calls the San Francisco Bay Area home, Layla enjoys weaving her bi-coastal experiences into her stories, along with adrenaline-fueled suspense and heart-pounding romance. She is a member of Romance Writers of America and its Kiss of Death and Rainbow Romance Writers chapters. Layla is a 2019 RWA® RITA® Finalist in Contemporary Romance (Mid-Length) and 2016 RWA® Golden Heart® Finalist in Romantic Suspense.
Connect with Layla:
Prince of Killers by Layla Reyne
No indiscriminate killing. No collateral damage. No unvetted targets.
These are the rules Hawes Madigan lives by. Rules that make being Fog City’s Prince of Killers bearable. Soon, he’ll be king—of an organization of assassins—and the crown has never felt heavier. Until the mysterious Dante Perry swaggers into his life.
Dante looks like a rock god and carries himself like one too, all loose-limbed and casually confident. He also carries a concealed weapon, a private investigator’s license, and a message for the prince. Someone inside Hawes’s organization is out to kill the future king.
In the chaos that follows the timely warning, Hawes comes to depend on Dante. On his skills as an investigator, on the steadiness he offers, and on their moments alone when Hawes lets Dante take control. As alliances are tested and traitors exposed, Hawes needs Dante at his back and in his bed. But if the PI ever learns Hawes’s darkest secret, Hawes is sure to get a knife to the heart—and a bullet to the brain—instead.
There’s no shortage of twists and turns in this new romantic suspense trilogy from Layla Reyne. Prince of Killers is book one of three. Fair warning: buckle up, cliffhangers ahead!