Archive for the ‘Romantic Suspense’ Category

From Barcelona, with Love

October 3, 2012

Cover of From Barcelona, with LoveAuthor:  Elizabeth Adler

Title: From Barcelona with Love

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 338

Geographical Setting: Los Angeles, Barcelona, Spanish Sierra Mountains

Time Period: Present day

Series: Mac Reilly, P.I.; Book 4

Plot Summary: Bibi Fortunata, a famous singer, is released from trial by a judge due to lack of evidence for the murder of her lover and his latest mistress, her supposed best friend. Rather than allow the scandal to affect her seven year-old daughter, Paloma, Bibi decides to leave her in the care of an aunt, and promptly disappears without a trace. Two years later, young Paloma meets TV detective show host and private investigator Mac Reilly, and Bibi’s family asks Mac to take up the case: find Bibi—if she is still alive—and reunite mother and daughter once again. Mac follows the trail to Barcelona, where he must discover the truth behind the murders before Bibi’s sinister ex-husband comes to take Paloma away, and claim her inheritance of a Spanish wine-making dynasty for himself. Moving at a brisk pace, and filled with plot twists, From Barcelona with Love is framed by the atmosphere and rich detail Adler evokes of cosmopolitan Barcelona and the more pastoral wineries and villas of the Spanish countryside. And the tone of the novel strikes a graceful balance between mystery and romance, as the story unravels the secret of Bibi.

Subject Headings: Barcelona (Spain), Murder investigation, Frameups, Women celebrities, Jilted women, Missing Persons, Suspicion, Detectives, Mothers and daughters, Murder suspects, Triangles (Interpersonal relations), Extramarital relations, Americans in foreign countries.

Appeal: compelling, fast paced, intriguing secondary characters, dramatic, vivid, series (characters), character centered, plot twists, resolved ending, rich and famous, steamy, contemporary, detailed settings, exotic, strong sense of place, lush, suspenseful, colorful, conversational.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: character centered, plot twists, detailed settings

Similar Authors and Works:

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Spain: A Culinary Roadtrip by Mario Batali, Mark Bittman, and Gwyneth Paltrow

Spanish food and wine figure prominently in From Barcelona, with Love, and readers who may wish to learn more on the subject will likely enjoy this gastronomic tour of Spain co-written by a preeminent chef, the food critic for the New York Times, and a celebrity foodie.

The Sorcerer’s Apprentices: A Season in the Kitchen at Ferran Adrià’s elBulli by Lisa Abend

There are multiple scenes in Adler’s novel that evoke the contemporary Spanish cuisine known as molecular gastronomy, that was first popularized by maverick chef Ferran Adrià. Readers who enjoy food writing and want to explore the topic further will find much to savor here.

Barcelona The Great Enchantress by Robert Hughes

For readers who want to learn more about the historic sites described in From Barcelona, with Love, award-winning travel writer Hughes here vividly describes the Spanish city which he has admired and visited for over forty years.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Someone to Watch Over Me by Judith McNaught

Readers who enjoyed From Barcelona, with Love may also like this steamy Romantic Suspense novel, which similarly focuses on relationships and the foibles of the rich and famous. Leigh Kendall, a Broadway star, awakens in the hospital after a car crash to discover that she is suspected in the disappearance of her well-to-do husband.

Veil of Night by Linda Howard

As From Barcelona, with Love is an example of the gentler side of Romantic Suspense, Veil of Night may appeal to some of Adler’s readers. Howard’s fast-paced novel is focused on romantic relationships, and is humor-inflected with an accent on mystery. Wedding planner Jaclyn Wilde must team with P.I. Eric Wilder to solve the murder of one of her clients, a bridezilla depised by everyone she came in contact with.

Winter Garden by Hannah Kristin

Readers who appreciate Adler’s story of family secrets, sense of place, and richly detailed descriptions of exotic locales may enjoy this story of a woman trying to uncover the mysteries of her mother’s tragic past hidden in a Russian fairy tale she used to tell her children. Winter Garden takes the reader on a journey from apple growing country in the Pacific Northwest to Stalin-era Leningrad.

Name: John Rimer

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Before I Wake

October 3, 2012

Cover Before I Wake Author:  Dee Henderson

 Title:  Before I Wake

 Genre: Christian Fiction & Romantic Suspense

 Publication Date:  2006

 Number of Pages:  381

 Geographical Setting:  Justice, Illinois

 Time Period:  Contemporary

 Series:  N/A

Plot Summary:  Haunted by the death of a colleague in a botched undercover investigation, former FBI agent Rae Gabriella is looking for a change in career, as well as scenery.  Taking her ex-fiancé, Bruce Campbell, up on his offer to join his Private Investigation firm, she looks forward to settling into a less stressful life in the small town of Justice, Illinois.  The ideal of small-town life is soon shattered when two unrelated young women visiting Justice are found dead in their hotel rooms within a week; both having died in their sleep.  Are their deaths an unfortunate coincidence or the result of something much more sinister?  Sheriff Nathan Justice asks Rae and Bruce for help in getting to the bottom of the mysterious deaths, unwittingly setting Rae up as a potential victim.  Rae must deal with a personal crisis in faith, as well as growing romantic feelings for both Bruce and Nathan, as she races to pursue leads that indicate a killer is on the loose.

Subject Headings:  Women Private Investigators — Illinois — Fiction;  Women Travelers —Fiction; Tourists — Crimes Against — Fiction; Illinois – Fiction

Appeal:   fast-paced, compelling, atmospheric, dangerous, suspenseful, romantic, well-developed characters, introspective, inspirational, investigative, multiple plot lines, plot-driven, open-ended, contemporary, small-town, dramatic

Three Appeal Terms that Best Describe Book:  fast-paced, suspenseful, small-town

Fiction Read-alikes:

Fatal Judgment by Irene Hannon

Against his wishes, U.S. Marshall Jake Taylor is assigned to protect the life of his best friend’s widow, Federal Judge Liz Michaels, whom Jake blames for his friend’s suicide.  This is the first volume in the Guardians of Justice series, and Hannon is a Christy Award winning author.  Like Before I Wake, this book is a fast-paced, compelling Christian Romantic Suspense title with a law-enforcement theme, where the main female character becomes a potential victim of an unknown predator.

Hideaway by Hannah Alexander

Dr. Cheyenne Allison withdraws to a small Missouri town to escape feelings of guilt over her sister’s tragic death.  When vandalism in town leads to serious violence and injuries, Cheyenne finds her loyalties divided between the town’s mayor and a charismatic neighbor.  This is the first book in the Hideaway series and is a Christy Award winning title.  Like Before I Wake, this book is a fast-paced, Christian Romantic Suspense title where a smart, professional woman seeks a new start in life in a small town, but is soon drawn into danger in her new surroundings.

I Heard that Song Before by Mary Higgins Clark

A new wife doubts her husband’s innocence when he becomes a suspect in an investigation into the death of his first wife four years earlier, as well as the disappearance of a neighbor over 20 years ago.  Clark is known for writing suspense stories and mysteries that are considered gentle reads, and the lack of sex, excessive violence, and strong language may have extra appeal to readers of Christian fiction.  This fast-paced, plot-driven suspense title by Clark won the Romantic Times Reviewers’ Choice Award for Best Mystery & Suspense in 2007, so may also satisfy fans of Romantic Suspense.

Related Non-fiction:

There is Power in a Union: The Epic Story of Labor in America by Philip Dray

A strike by unionized workers at the local tile factory and the ongoing negotiations with management provide a major subplot in Before I Wake.  Dray’s book provides a history of organized labor in the United States, an examination of the social, political, economic, and cultural impact unions have had over the years, and a discussion of the level of influence unions maintain in today’s troubled economy.

Methland: The Death and Life of an American Small Town by Nick Reding

In Before I Wake, a clandestine meth lab figures prominently in the rash of serious crime affecting Justice, Illinois; with recognition of the ruinous impact the drug trade can have on small-town America.  Reding’s book presents a study of the devastating effects of meth production on a small, agricultural town in  Iowa, the lives ruined by the drug, and the socioeconomic fallout associated with the meth culture.

Detectives Don’t Wear Seat Belts: True Adventures of a Female P.I. by Cici McNair

The fictional character of Rae Gabriella in Before I Wake is an ex-cop and former FBI agent who is just starting out as a private investigator.  This title is an entertaining and candid memoir by Cici McNair, a successful female private investigator in New York City.  McNair describes her early life, the effort required to break into the male-dominated P.I. profession, and the many cases, adventures, and colorful characters that filled her days.

Becky King

Secrets of the Lost Summer

October 3, 2012

cover

Author: Carla Neggers

Title: Secrets of the Lost Summer

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: 2012

Number of Pages: 344

Geographical Setting: Swift River Valley- New England

Time Period: Present day and 1938 (historical flashbacks)

Plot Summary: After suffering from a friend’s betrayal that damages her career, Olivia Frost decides it is time to walk away from her life in Boston and start fresh in her hometown. While Olivia is delighted to renovate her historic home in scenic Swift River Valley, she finds herself annoyed by the dilapidated house that neighbors her own. Dylan McCaffrey, California businessman and retired NHL player, is surprised to learn he inherited this crumbling shack from his father. Eager to investigate what brought his adventure-seeking father to New England and why he purchased this rural home before his sudden passing, Dylan heads east and quickly becomes engrossed in both his attractive neighbor and the mystery his father left him in Quabbin Valley. While trying to solve a seventy-year-old puzzle, Dylan and Olivia become fearful that their findings will not only explain Dylan’s unusual inheritance but also reveal a small-town secret that will change the lives of the people of Swift River Valley forever.

Subject Headings: Bed-and-Breakfast, Inheritance and Succession,  Interpersonal Attraction, Jewel Thefts, Men/Women Relations, Secrets, Treasure Hunting, Family Secrets, New England

Appeal: engrossing, gentle, heartwarming, romantic, closely observed characters, multiple points of view, flashbacks, steamy, detailed setting, historical details, straightforward style, conversational language.

Three Appeal Terms: closely observed characters, detailed setting, historical details

Three Fiction Read-Alikes

Juliet by Anne Fortier

Fortier tells the story of Julie Jacobs, a young woman who finds herself pursuing a family treasure upon receiving a surprising inheritance. Set in scenic Italy, readers who enjoyed Neggers’ element of mystery in a detailed setting will appreciate the descriptive landscape and Julie’s suspenseful mission.

Moving Target by Elizabeth Lowell

Lowell’s romantic suspense novel follows Serena Charters as she tries to piece together a mysterious inheritance she received upon her grandmother’s shocking passing. During her quest for information, Serena seeks the help of Erik North, a writer/historian, to whom she is instantly attracted. Fans of Secrets of the Lost Summer will enjoy the mysterious, historical inheritance plot entwined in a love story.

The Treasure by Iris Johansen

Like Neggers, Johansen writes engrossing love stories that appeal to those looking for a suspenseful read. The Treasure takes place in 12th century Europe and follows the story of Selene, a young woman who falls in love with a former assassin who rescued her from slavery. Readers who enjoyed the historical references and fast-paced storyline of Secrets of the Lost Summer will appreciate this read.

Three Nonfiction Read-Alikes

The Herbal Kitchen: Cooking with Fragrance and Flavor by Jerry Traunfeld

Along with her vivid descriptions of New England countryside in Secrets of the Lost Summer, Neggers also describes Olivia’s charming garden and farm-to-table cooking in great detail. Readers are provided with rich descriptions of Olivia’s obsession with freshly grown herbs, an element of this love story that may particularly engage readers with a gardening or cooking interest. For those who share Neggers’ fascination with herb gardens, The Herbal Kitchen cookbook is a strong nonfiction suggestion. Readers may enjoy applying Olivia’s cooking experiences to their own lives.

Quabbin Valley: People and Places by Elizabeth Peirce

This collection of vintage photographs depicts the lives of the people of Quabbin Valley from 1750 to 1938, when the land was purposefully flooded to create a steady water supply for Boston natives. Neggers discusses this historical moment and the affect it had on Quabbin residents in great detail. Readers who seek a visual representation of Neggers prose will enjoy this title.

Quabbin: A History and Explorers Guide by Michael Tougias

In the spirit of Dylan’s father’s love for adventure and treasure-hunting, Quabbin: A History and Explorers Guide makes for great additional reading for those who were taken with Neggers’ description of the New England landscape and its evolution since 1938. This title provides readers with a brief history of the valley as well as tips for those that may want to explore the area themselves.

Annotation by: Elizabeth Hopkins

Shattered

October 3, 2012

Shattered Book Cover
Title: Shattered

Author: Robards, Karen

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: 2010

Number of Pages: 388

Geographical Setting: Lexington, Kentucky

Time Period: Present Day/Contemporary

Plot Summary: In this fast-paced and steamy read; Lisa Grant grew up with wealth and privilege in Kentucky’s horse loving country.  But when the recession hits, Lisa loses her job with a Boston law firm and moves back home to care for her ailing mother and their vanishing finances.  She gets a research assistant job working for District Attorney Scott Buchanan.  Tall, dark and difficult Scott has known the vexing, unattainable Lisa and the Grant family since his teenage years, when they helped him escape his abusive, alcoholic father.  Lisa is sent to organize the cold case files and stumbles upon a family who went missing about 30 years ago.  She becomes enthralled in unraveling this mystery, especially since she looks just like the mother from the missing family.  The case heats up as does the chemistry and passion between Lisa and Scott.  There is a steady build-up to the dramatic conclusion, while fans of this genre will also enjoy the sultry love scenes.  A romantic suspense novel filled with mystery, danger and most importantly romance.

Subject Headings: Young Women, Cold Cases (Criminal Investigation), Family Secrets, Romantic Suspense, Arson, Rescues, Horse Farms, District Attorneys

Appeal: Fast-paced, Engaging Characters, Dramatic, Contemporary, Investigative Storyline, Suspenseful, Conversational, Detailed Setting, Romantic, Plot-driven, Accessible, Steamy, Descriptive, Resolved Ending, Plot Twists

Three Most Relevant Appeal Terms: Steamy, Suspenseful, Plot-driven

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Black Hills by Nora Roberts

As seen in Shattered, this read is filled with intrigue, danger, romance and has a rugged landscape with the story being set in the hills of South Dakota.  We meet childhood sweethearts Cooper Sullivan and Lil Chance; former sweethearts who have grown up and drifted apart.  Similar to Shattered’s Lisa Grant, Cooper leaves his investigator job in New York to return home and care for his grandparents while Lil Dare continues to work towards opening the Chance Wildlife Refuge. They reenter each other lives and must work together to avoid danger from a serial killer.

The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood

This novel links FBI agent Max Daniels and Dr. Ellie Sullivan, when Ellie saves Max’s life after a terrifyingshooting.  Like Shattered, this book has drama, suspense, great character names and especially hot romance.  You will get more of the strong verbal banter experienced in Shattered, as well as a strong heroine and tenacious male lead who will be unable to resist their mutual attraction.

Smoke Screen by Sandra Brown

TV news reporter Britt Shelley wakes up next to rising star police detective Jay Burgess, but without knowing how she got there or how Jay ended up dead.  Disgraced firefighter Raley Gannon experienced the same occurrence 5 years earlier.  Now Ray sees a chance to get redemption through Britt Shelley, and they must work together to solve these murders while also dealing with their attraction to each other.  Although grittier, this is another fast-paced and plot-driven novel that deals with solving criminal cases while providing characters with great chemistry.

 

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

After Etan: The Missing Child Case That Held America Captive by Lisa R. Cohen

On May 25, 1979, 6 year-old Etan Patz was on his way to his school bus stop when he went missing forever.  This heart-breaking story generated headlines and consumed the nation.  This compelling true crime book explores the details of the case over the years and is suggested for readers who want to delve into a real-life missing persons investigation.

Kentucky Horse Country: Images of the Bluegrass by James Archambeault

A great read for those wishing they could have seen the beautiful Kentucky landscape described in the book.  This book contains vivid images of Kentucky Bluegrass land that includes beautiful horses, horse races and shots of the enchanting countryside.

The Science of Cold Case Files by Katherine Ramsland

Author Ramsland who spent a year working for well-known former FBI profiler John Douglas reveals the inner workings of the world of cold case files and forensic science, which the A&E’s Cold Case Files Television show is based on.  Great for those who want to learn more about the process of cold case file investigation brought up in Shattered, and also great for fans of TV shows like Bones and CSI.

Name: Margita Lidaka

The Bungalow

February 22, 2012

Author: Sarah Jio

Title: The Bungalow

Genre: Romantic suspense

Publication Date: 2011

Number of Pages: 320

Geographical Setting: Washington and Bora Bora

Time Period: World War II and present day

Series (If applicable): N/A

Plot Summary: A granddaughter’s discovery of old photos leads an elderly Anne Calloway to reminisce over the events of her life during and after World War II. Anne and Kitty are best friends heading in very different directions. Anne is newly engaged to the very respectable Gerard and Kitty has enlisted in the Army Nurse Corps and is about to be sent to the South Pacific. Surprising her family and her fiancé, Anne decides to join her best friend, and the two set off to Bora Bora, where their lives change in ways they couldn’t have imagined. Kitty’s tumultuous romances and their results pull the friendship apart, and Anne finds herself drawn to a soldier named Westry. The two discover a small abandoned bungalow in the tropical forest, and it’s there that they fall in love, encounter a mystery about an artist and also witness a murder. As their time in Bora Bora draws to a close their future together is uncertain, and real life threatens to destroy their new love.

Subject Headings: * Older women — Fiction.
* Reminiscing in old age — Fiction.
* United States. — Army Nurse Corps — Fiction.
* World War, 1939-1945 — Fiction.
* Americans — French Polynesia — Fiction.
* Bora-Bora (French Polynesia) — Fiction.
* Life change events — Fiction.
* Washington (State) — Fiction.

Appeal: romantic, suspenseful, unpretentious, flawed characters, historical details, straightforward, exotic setting, evocative, emotionally charged, compelling, poignant, vivid

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: romantic, emotionally charged, historical details

Similar Authors and Works (why are they similar?):
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Unbroken: A World War II Story of Survival, Resilience, and Redemption, Laura Hillenbrand—The same time period, and it focuses on one man’s compelling personal experiences during the war.

Gauguin Tahiti, George Shackleford—Guguin’s work plays a large part is the story of The Bungalow, and this exhibition catalog examines his years in Tahiti, his work and Polynesian society and culture, with high quality illustrations and examples of his work.
Aphrodite’s Island: The European Discovery of Tahiti, Anne Salmond—History of Tahiti, focusing on how European influence has shaped the island’s history.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors
The Good German, Joseph Kanon—This is a historical mystery set during World War II, with a romantic storyline. It’s compelling and descriptive.
The Diplomat’s Wife, Pam Jenoff—This romantic suspense story involves lost love, is set during World War II and is thrilling and suspenseful.
The Lost Wife, Alyson Richmond—The storyline involves two lovers separated for decades due to Nazi invasion. While not particularly suspenseful, this book has a similar time period and romance storylines.
Name: Amanda

Every Thug Needs a Lady

November 17, 2011

Author: Wahida Clark

Title: Every Thug Needs a Lady

Genre: Urban Fiction, Romance

Publication Date: 2006

Number of Pages: 294

Geographical Setting: New York City and surrounding area

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Thug series, #2

Plot Summary: Roz, a physical therapy student, vows to never get involved with a thug again after her boyfriend of five years cheats on her while he’s in prison. But her plans to stay on the straight and narrow go awry when Trae, her ex-boyfriend’s business partner–who is handsome, powerful, and definitely a thug—tells her he wants to make her his woman.  Being with a thug has its advantages—hot sex and designer clothes among them—but there’s one big problem: Roz wants Trae to leave the lifestyle, and Trae isn’t ready yet.

 Subject Headings: Street life, prisons, man-woman relationships, friendship

 Appeal: gritty, fast-paced, large cast of characters, urban, violent, sexually explicit, strong language, character-driven, romantic, women’s lives and relationships

 3 appeal terms that best describe this book: gritty, urban, sexually explicit

 3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Lady Q: The Rise and Fall of a Latin Queen by Reymundo Sanchez and Sonia Rodriguez

This memoir of the life of a female gang member is gritty, urban, and a fascinating look at the life of a young woman who makes different choices under similar circumstances to the heroines of Every Thug Needs a Lady.

Always Running: La Vida Loca: Gang Days in L.A. by Luis Rodriguez

This memoir of a gang kingpin is incredibly popular and tells an urban, gritty tale of violence, sex, and danger.

Blue Rage, Black Redemption: A Memoir by Stanley Williams

This memoir of the former head of the Crips who went from gang leader to peace activist combines gritty and explicit memories of his gang days with the philosophy and peace protocol he developed while in prison.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Upstate by Kalisha Buchannon

Seventeen-year-old Antonio and his girlfriend, Natasha, write letters back and forth as Antonio is imprisoned for a crime he may or may not have committed.  A moving coming-of-age story as well as an enduring love story, this literary novel features characters with similar lives and backgrounds to those in the Thug series, but with a more ambiguous and bittersweet ending.

Coldest Winter Ever by Sister Souljah

This street-lit classic is referenced by the characters in the opening chapter of Every Thug Needs a Lady.  It’s the story of the daughter of a drug lord who takes over her father’s business; and despite the consequences, even the words of her mentor can’t make her give up the lifestyle.

The Sex Chronicles by Zane

This collection of 15 erotic short stories features thugs, the women who love them, and nearly every scenario imaginable—and is also immensely popular with a gritty, urban tone.

 

Name: Shelley

Fire and Ice

October 5, 2011

Author: Garwood, Julie

Title: Fire and Ice

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publciation Date: 2008

Number of Pages: 352

Geographical Setting: Chicago, Illinois; Prudhoe Bay, Alaska.

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Buchanan Novels ( 7 of 8 )

Plot Summary: Sophie Rose is a feisty and tenacious journalist with a nose for a good story. When Sophie leaves her job at a major Chicago newspaper to work for a small local paper in Alaska, she unintentionally finds herself in the middle of a bizarre story. Far from the city crime beat, she now covers local stories and showcases hometown personalities, such as the winner of several area 5K marathons. When that runner turns up dead with Sophie’s business card tucked into one of his trademark red socks, Sophie follows the trail of the mystery north to Prudhoe Bay, Alaska. She is accompanied by former FBI agent Jack MacAlister, who serves as her bodyguard. Sophie and Jack face the dangers of the Alaskan wilderness, as well as their growing attraction toward each other.

Subject Headings: Conspiracies, Former FBI Agents, Bodyguards, Attraction, Male/Female Relationships, Protectiveness in Men, Moving to a New State, Murder Investigation, Small Towns, Female Journalists

Appeal: Action-Packed, Character-Driven, Fast-Paced, Atmospheric, Dramatic, Romantic, Steamy, Suspenseful, Conversational, Descriptive, Dialogue-Rich, Simple Language.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Action-Packed, Steamy, and Suspenseful.

3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:

Always Time to Die by Elizabeth Lowell

Similar to Sophie Rose, the heroin of this book is a writer who seeks to uncover hidden secrets. Similar to Fire and Ice, this book features action, adventure and romance. Readers who enjoy Romantic Suspense with strong female lead characters may enjoy this book.

The Maze: FBI Series by Catherine Coulter

This book introduces Catherine Coulter’s famous FBI couple, Lacey Sherlock and Dillon Savich. While these characters reappear in many of her books, this book follows a similar pattern to Fire and Ice in that it follows the characters as they solve a mystery, falling in love in the process.

Show No Mercy by Cindy Gerard

This is the first book in Gerard’s well-reviewed Black Ops series. Readers who enjoy Fire and Ice will likely be drawn to many of this book’s similar features. It has a female journalist, political conspiracy, action, adventure, and of course… romance.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:

Call of the Wild: My Escape to Alaska by Guy Grieve

Alaska serves as an essential backdrop to Fire and Ice. The setting has a significant impact upon the way in which the plot unfolds. Readers who are drawn to Fire and Ice because of its setting may also be drawn to Grieve’s account of his time spent in the Alaskan wilderness.

Emus Loose in Egnar: Big Stories from Small Towns by Judy Muller

The evolution of Sophie’s career as a journalist, especially her transition from the big city to a small town, has significant impact upon her character development. Readers drawn to stories about journalists in small towns may find this an interesting read.

The FBI Career Guide: Inside Information on Getting Chosen for and Succeeding in One of the Toughest, Most Prestigious Jobs in the World by Joseph W. Koletar

Similarly, Jack’s past as an FBI Agent plays a significant role in shaping his character and his personality. Readers drawn to stories about FBI Agents or former FBI Agents may be interested in learning more about the profession.

Name: Brigitte Bell

Full Speed

October 5, 2011

https://i0.wp.com/covers.openlibrary.org/b/olid/OL8609915M-M.jpgAuthor:  Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes
Title:  Full Speed
Genre:  Romantic Suspense (Audiobook)
Publication Date:  2003
Number of Pages:  7.5 hours
Geographical Setting:  A small town outside Knoxville, TN.
Time Period:  21st Century
Series (If applicable):  Full Series
Plot Summary:  Newspaper reporter Jaime Swift finds herself hot on the trail of what she hopes will be a break out story.  She has reason to believe that a popular preacher has connections to the mob.  In order to solve the case and get her story she is forced to team up with millionaire business man Max Holt.  There is a powerful connection between Swift and Holt and as suspense builds so does the romantic tension between them.  This book is filled with quirky characters, an ai (artificial intelligence) computer who sounds like Marilyn Monroe and is going through menopause and a hound dog named Fleas who hates country music.  These characters work to create a romantic suspense that is funny yet still fast paced and suspenseful.  Note: the audio version doesn’t add anything to the story.  The narrator is a woman who does different voices for each character, this can become confusing and at times it can make a scene seem more comical than it’s supposed to be.
Subject Headings:  Romance; Suspense; Fiction; South; Newspaper writing.
Appeal:  Quirky characters, fast-paced, suspenseful, romantic, relatable characters, conversational, builds in intensity, atmospheric, series characters, linear, resolved ending, small town setting, jargon, funny, light-hearted.
3 appeal terms that best describe this book: light-hearted, quirky characters, and romantic.
3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors:
Brilliant Bylines:  A Biographical Anthology of Notable Newspaper-Women in America by Barbara Belford.  The main character in Full Speed is a newswoman, so fans of the main character might want to find out about real women reporters in history.

Tennessee Curiosities:  Quirky Characters, Roadside Oddities & Other Offbeat Stuff by Kristin Luna.  Provides an in-depth look into some of the more interesting places to see in Tennessee.  Readers who are curious about the Knoxville area, and other cities and counties throughout Tennessee, will find a wealth of information in this text.
The State Line Mob: A True Story of Murder and Intrigue by W.R. Morris.  The villain in Full Speed is a member of a notorious mob family and readers might be interested to read this book about a real mob group who lived and worked in Tennessee in the 1950s.
3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors:
Bubbles Ablaze by Sarah Strohmeyer.  This book is part of a series chronicling the life of a ditzy hairdresser turned journalist who tries to solve the various cases that she seems to find herself involved in.  It has quirky characters, comedy, suspense, and romance.

Under the Boardwalk by Carly Phillips.  This book includes all the quirky characters, humor, steamy romance and mild suspense that readers of Full Speed will be drawn to, as the main character Ariana works with the sexy detective Quinn Donovan to find her missing twin sister.

Slay it with Flowers by Kate Collins.  Also part of a series, this book will appeal to fans who enjoy a comedic twist to their romantic suspense, as a flower shop owner works with a sexy ex-cop to solve a murder at her cousin’s wedding.
Name:  Jessica Lake

Black Ice

October 5, 2011

Author: Anne Stuart

Title: Black Ice

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: 2005

Number of Pages: 384

Geographical Setting: France, in and aroundParis; AppalachianNorth Carolina

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Ice Series, #1

Plot Summary:  When American in Paris Chloe Underwood takes a translating job at a French chateau for the weekend as a favor to her flighty roommate, she thinks she’ll be spending her time with a group of high-powered grocery importers. But when she discovers that the group of grocers is, in fact, arms dealers, she finds herself on the run for her life with the sexy and dangerous Bastien Toussaint as her protector. . .or is he her kidnapper?

Bastien Toussaint suspects the naïve young American of being an operative, but he can’t figure out who she’s working for. As an operative for the shady anti-terrorism group The Committee, he’s tired of killing, tired of hiding, and tired of living. Something about Chloe gets under his skin, and when he realizes that she is an innocent who has stumbled into danger, he betrays everything he thought he knew to keep her safe.

Subject Headings: arms dealers, France, Paris, suspense, romance, covert operations

 Appeal: violent, graphic, steamy, romantic, breakneck, sexually explicit, claustrophobic, dangerous, simple language, fast-paced, suspenseful, plot twists

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: dangerous, violent, sexy

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

Merchant of Death: Money, Guns, Planes, and the Man Who Makes War Possible  by Douglas Farah and Stephen Braun

This biography of Viktor Bout, a Russian arms dealer, delves into the international arms trade and the shady character who controls much of its operations. Just as Black Ice explores the line between justifiable violence and that which readers cannot forgive, this book explores the man behind a trade that some praise and many condemn.

We’ll Always have Paris: Sex and Love in the City of Light by John Baxter

Part memoir, part travelogue, part gossip sheet, this collection of essays by an Australian expatriate delves into the seedier side of the city, detailing cafes and brothels, bondage shows and museums. For readers who love both the romance and squalor ofParis.

The Social Agent: A True Intrigue of Sex, Spies, and Heartbreak behind the Iron Curtain by Charles Laurence

This chronicle of secret agents in 1950sPraguefocuses on the seductive double agent Jiri Mucha, whose famous friends and social magnetism placed him at the center of a world of danger and intrigue.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

Undertow by Cherry Adair

In this first book in a series about three treasure-hunting brothers, Zane Cutter hires childhood friend Teal to serve as a mechanic and diver on his latest mission. As their feelings for each other heat up, so does danger from every source, including bad guys, Federal agents, and even a hurricane. Like Black Ice, this features an exotic setting, lots of danger, and a steamy romance.

Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard

When Janie Bright and her friends make a list of the qualities they’d like to see in their Mr. Perfect, they don’t expect it to end up going public—or to end up in danger from a crazed stranger. But is the undercover cop—or is he really a bad guy?—next door is both sexy enough to keep Janie busy and bad enough to keep her safe? This book features a dangerous situation, a shady is-he-good-or-is-he-bad hero, and a lot of steam.

Show no Mercy by Cindy Gerard

This first book in Cindy Gerard’s Black Ops series features a damaged reporter, a shadowy billionaire, and the damaged hero who is a member of an elite Black Ops force.  With a high body count, bombings, kidnappings, and plenty of suspense to balance the romance, this book shares the high violence and sexuality level of Black Ice.

Name: Shelley

The Perfect Husband

October 5, 2011

Author: Lisa Gardner

Title: The Perfect Husband

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Publication Date: 1998

Number of Pages: 404 p.

Geographical Setting: Arizona (Nogales), U.S. East Coast

Time Period: Contemporary

Series (If applicable): Pierce Quincy Novels

Plot Summary:  Abused by her father as a girl, gentle and obedient Tess Williams believes that she is saved when police officer Jim Beckett appears in her life and marries her, only to discover that life married to sadistic and controlling Beckett is even worse than life before.  Upon discovering that her ‘perfect husband” is actually a serial killer, responsible for the brutal deaths of ten young women, Tess is instrumental in helping the police department put him behind bars.  At the beginning of the novel, Jim Beckett has escaped from prison and is determined to track down and take his revenge on his wife, killing her and taking away their four-year-old daughter Samantha.  Knowing that the police cannot protect her from such a man as Beckett, Tess leaves her daughter in a safe-house and travels to Arizona to enlist the help of ex-marine, retired mercenary and troubled, alcoholic widower J.T. Dillon and his icy, strong-willed FBI Agent sister, Marion.  What follows is a fast-paced and engrossing suspense novel, which takes you alternately between lust, romance, and sheer terror, as J.T. Dillon and Tess struggle to prepare for Beckett’s attack, fall in love, and fight their individual demons along the way.

Subject Headings:  Serial murderers’ wives, escaped convicts, Men/women relations, Revenge in men, Self-defense for women, Married people, Former Marines, Serial murderers, Domestic Violence

Appeal: Suspenseful, fast-paced, thrilling, psychological, character-centered, frightening, sexy, romantic, nerve-shattering, plot-driven, engrossing, multiple points of view, dramatic, menacing, violent, grisly, steamy.

3 appeal terms that best describe this book: Suspenseful, engrossing, sexy.

3 Relevant Non-Fiction Works and Authors

1)  Erik Larson, The Devil in the White City: Murder, Magic, and Madness at the Fair that Changed American:  The true, historical account of the serial killer of H.H. Holmes who preyed on young female fair goers of the Chicago 1893 World Fair. A non-fiction work that reads like a gritty and grisly fast-paced suspense novel.

2) Roger Depue, Between Good and Evil: a master profiler’s hunt for society’s most violent predators: A former FBI serial killer profiler and investigator shares his experiences in law enforcement and as a member of the clergy who counsels convicts, describing his part in the creation of new law enforcement programs and techniques.

3) Vincent Bugliosi, Helter Skelter: The True Story of the Manson Murders: The prosecutor of the Tate-LaBianca trials presents the inside story behind the Manson killings, explaining how Charles Manson was able to make his “family” murder for him, chronicling the investigation, and describing the court trial that brought him and his accomplices to justice.

 3 Relevant Fiction Works and Authors

1) Tami Hoag, Deeper Than the Dead: Like Gardner, Tami Hoag’s novels frequently read like movie scripts and are full of the thrills, chills, and fright that Gardner readers have come to expect.  This novel also contains a serial killer in a small town.

2) J.D. Robb, In Death Series: Lisa Gardner and J. D. Robb both write romantic suspense featuring fast-paced investigations that pit investigators against a range of deadly criminals. Both offer the satisfactions of on-going series characters, detailed settings, fascinating investigations, and romantic interest

3) Harlan Coben, Tell No One:  Lisa Gardner and Harlan Coben write fast-paced, suspenseful mysteries that are well-plotted but also feature intriguing characters and accurate details about crime-solving.  Tell No One also involves a serial killer and male/female relationships.

Name: Rebecca C.