Happy New Year, y’all! This month as we ring in the new year, we’re also kicking off the new decade. Great, exciting things are afoot, so open your hearts and minds to all things possible. You know I’m going to tell you to do it with a good romance in your hands … so why not add a little suspense to your TBR with these January must-reads?
The Vanishing by Jayne Ann Krentz
Jayne Ann Krentz has been a reliable romantic suspense author for years. But with her new Fogg Lake series, she’s added a touch of paranormal and honestly, she had me at the concept of “other sight.” The Vanishing has just enough of a skew that it seemed more strange than otherworldly, and like … maybe … it could be plausible. Scientific experiments altered the lives of people in the town of Fogg Lake that gave them the other sight—but for some, their psychic abilities are more pronounced. Like in the best friends Olivia Dayton and Catalina Lark, who launched a PI firm to take advantage of said abilities. When Olivia is kidnapped on the way to a date, Slater Arganbright steps in to help. Though his Foundation has its own interests in psychic welfare, his individual talents prove invaluable in the search for Olivia. There’s a lot of information conveyed in the beginning of the story, a lot of characters and an old mystery, so I’m looking forward to seeing how the series unfolds.
Hold Me in the Dark by Helena Newbury
I’ve been a fan of Helena Newbury for a while, and was super excited to read her newest romantic suspense, Hold Me in the Dark. At its core, this is a story about an FBI agent who has to rely on a hacker to help stop a serial killer. But it’s the details that pull you in and hold you. Agent Sam Calahan is a good agent, but he marches to the beat of his own drummer. He takes risks and gets shit done, rules be damned. And when he reaches out to a woman known as Yolanda, who is part of a trio of female hackers known as the ‘Sisters of Invidia,’ he forces her to take a risk, too. Because Yolanda has a secret bigger than the way she spends her time on the computer. She’s a genius mathematician and her brain, as much as her technology prowess, is what Sam and the FBI need to catch the killer. I love everything about this book. The fast pace, the sexy chemistry, the math (ugh, right!) … but perhaps what is most appealing is Sam’s helpless attraction to Yolanda, and the absolute certainty he has in her intelligence and bravery. Really, is there anything sexier than knowing that your mind is what most attracts your partner? For me, Hold Me in the Dark sets the romance standard for the year.
Whiteout by Adriana Anders
I have terrible wanderlust, and Adriana Anders has managed to play to my sense of adventure while simultaneously wiping out any intention I have of visiting Antarctica. Because, snow. Whiteout is a white hot suspense with palpable sexual tension and a nerve wracking dash to safety … all with a clandestine group of killers in pursuit. Anders is new to me, but I enjoyed the rapid pace of the story, the robust characters and the exciting story. This is the first book in her Survival Instinct series, and I can’t wait to see what comes next. She’s set it up to be a thrilling, aerobic experience for readers, that’s for sure.
The Last Sister by Kendra Elliot
Kendra Elliot has delivered bankable romantic suspense’s over the last few years, and I really enjoyed the first installation of her new Columbia River series, The Last Sister. This reads as thoroughly as any police procedural, and the setting in the remote logging community along the Oregon’s Columbia River builds in its own mysterious tension. Two decades ago, the trajectory of Emily Mills’ family was irrevocably altered when her father was murdered and her mother committed suicide, which caused the split of Emily and her two sisters. Emily finds herself in the hot seat when she discovers the body of Sean Fitch hanging from a backyard tree, because she was the one who discovered her father’s body (also hanging) all those years ago. With such a brutal murder, FBI agent Zander Wells is called in. It’s soon evident in this dark, current story that there’s a connection between the deaths of Emily’s father and Sean’s, and things in this small town are not what they seem. It’s tense, it’s broody, it’s dark.
Forever Strong by Piper Drake
And rounding out the month is the sixth book in Piper Drake’s True Heroes series, Forever Strong. Drake transports us to the idyllic island setting of Oahu, with a not-so-friendly glimpse of the terrifying world of international human trafficking. Jiang Ying Yue is in the wrong place when she’s kidnapped and, thanks to Azubuike Anyanwu and his canine partner Buck, makes a harrowing escape. But Zu and his colleagues have hit the hornet’s nest one too many times, and now he’s being framed. Good thing Ying Yue is on his side, because she questions everything. Remember this is book number six, and there are a full cast of characters—new and returning. It’s not as fast paced as some of the other books in the series, but it’s enjoyable all the same.
The January suspense forecast points to an exciting year of sexy, satisfying romances. What are you reading?