Hallelujah, spring has sprung, y’all! We’re finally leaving the days of freezing temperatures and snowfall in the rearview mirror and making our way toward warmer weather and sunshine. For this southerner and true lover of hot, sultry summer days, spring means it’s time to prep the vegetable garden, enjoy the flowering trees and bulbs, and dust off the picnic table. It puts me in the mind of one of my favorite Greek myths, about Persephone and seasonal shifts of death and rebirth, and transition. And, as usual, it brings about a brand-new crop of murder and mayhem, thrillers and excitement … and of course romance.
Check out this quartet of romantic suspenses. Two new ones, and two correlating seasoned ones to keep up with my transitional seasons metaphor. 😀
Slow Ride by Lori Foster
Lori Foster is just a good, solid storyteller. I follow her on social media, and she seems like a regular person, involved with her children and grandchildren, still approachable and interactive even after all her books and success, and I find her books are as comfortable and inviting. I love this Road to Love series, and I enjoyed the second installment, Slow Ride, even more than the first. You gotta love the dichotomy of a transporter who is both a natural protector and a gentleman, and a hot-ass sexual dynamo. Ronnie Ashford works for a pair of eccentric twins who collect oddities. She’s hasn’t had a storied life until now but is happy and successful in her job … which makes it all the more difficult to accept the assistance her bosses are forcing on her: hire a professional courier to help acquire their purchases. Her work is dangerous and attracts unwanted attention from unwanted people. Too bad the help she has to accept is also unwanted. Jack Crews is the transporter of choice and unwanted or not, Jack is capable of keeping Ronnie and her oddities safe. She’s prickly and unlikable at first, but Jack is so … opposite … and determined to let her know how he felt. There’s a huge flip-flop feeling with this story, which I liked, wherein Ronnie has more of the standoffish romantic apathy typically associated with men, and Jack is more emotionally available.
Crazy Hot by Tara Janzen
If you’re a fan of hot cars and hot guys, Crazy Hot by Tara Janzen. I enjoyed the whole Steele Street series, but this first one was my favorite. Just the way she writes it is breathtaking—the pace of the story, the speed of the cars, the combustible heat between characters … the punchy staccato rhythm of the sentences. I’ve probably re-read it a dozen times. It follows Regan McKinney and her desperate search through the desert to find her 72-year-old grandfather, Wilson McKinney, a paleontologist who’s gone missing. She turns to Quinn Younger, whom she knew as a teenager when he was a punk kid completing court-ordered work with Wilson. Now she’s got to convince this U.S. Air Force captain (and People Magazine Sexiest Man of the Year cover model) to help find Wilson before the desert wins. It’s a sexy, addictive race against time.
Stone Cold Heart by Laura Griffin
Laura Griffin brings us back to the Delphi Crime Center in the thirteenth book in her Tracers series, with Stone Cold Heart. I’m typically not a fan of long-running series because of the boring redundancy of the same couple always swooping in to save the day … but not so with this one. Forensic anthropologist Sara Lockhart is in Springfield for a wedding when Detective Nolan Hess calls to ask for assistance because hikers at White Falls Park have come across some human remains. As usual, Griffin’s characters are robust, with interesting perspectives and compelling back stories. She sets an exciting pace and maintains a fine balance between the romance, the suspense and a dazzling police-procedural. Don’t panic if you haven’t read any (or all) of the Tracers series – it’s super easy to get into the story with no lag.
Grave Danger by Rachel Grant
If you like forensic mysteries, like Griffin’s Tracers series or Kathy Reichs’ Temperance Brennan series, you need to check out Rachel Grant’s Grave Danger. I’m a fan for anything by Grant, but this one was especially good. Working in a small, historic town to excavate old remains from the Coho, Washington’s founding family, archaeologist Libby Maitland discovers remains that are not so ancient. Police Chief Mark Colby doesn’t know what to believe because Libby’s reputation has been smeared through the fallout of a previous project, so he’s on the fence until he discovers there’s truth to her claims of, well, everything she’s bringing to light. There’s a lot of smart writing happening in this intricate, well-written story that translate to real-world scenarios and like with anything you read of hers, you’re going to learn something.