The stakes are high, the danger is imminent and the sexiness is through the roof in this trio of romantic suspense novels.
Author duo Kit Rocha is back with the second installment of the Mercenary Librarians series. The first, Deal With the Devil, introduced librarians Maya, Dani and Nina, who brokered a deal with a group of AWOL supersoldiers known as the Silver Devils to survive in a post-apocalyptic Atlanta. The Devil You Know is another exciting dystopian adventure packed with danger, sexy romance and fascinating world building.
Maya may not have the combat skills of her fellow librarians, but she’s got as much grit, determination and intelligence in her self-described “soft and squishy” body as anyone in her squad. Raised with the wealthy and well educated, she learned to speak dozens of languages and mastered advanced mathematics, astronomy, programming, cryptography and biochemistry. Now Maya uses her brilliance to help her small community learn to freeze-dry food while building a repository of information more useful and practical than any 20th-century library.
Gray is the consummate sniper—stoic, determined and laser-focused. The Silver Devils, who were once a private security group for medical and tech conglomerate TechCorps, were granted superhuman abilities by implants. But now those implants are deteriorating, and Gray has begun to experience seizures. Despite the secret kernel of affection he keeps buried in his heart for Maya, he’s more interested in keeping her alive and safe than in his arms.
Rocha’s writing is tight and purposeful, keeping readers on their toes as they, along with Maya and Gray, try to figure out who they can actually trust. There are moments of both gasping surprise and laugh-out-loud humor in this fun and totally unique romance.
Alexandra Ivy’s Faceless will ruin any preconceptions readers may have about safe, sleepy small towns.
When Wynter Moore was 4, she witnessed the murder of her mother in a robbery gone wrong. Despite that trauma, she’s grown into a peaceful woman who lives a quiet life. For the past 25 years, Wynter has returned annually to her mother’s grave in Pike, Wisconsin, and Wynter’s longtime friend Noah Hunter is there waiting for her every time. Loyal, kind and dependable Noah has loved Wynter from afar ever since they met in grief counseling as teenagers, but he’s been hesitant to take things further because he knows that good friends are far more valuable than lovers.
But then Wynter receives an unexpected envelope containing a still shot from surveillance footage of her mother’s murder, a clue that could unlock the killer’s identity. She turns to game warden Noah, who has been trained in observation and security, to help her investigate.
Ivy ably balances Wynter’s overwhelming emotions upon revisiting her mother’s death with the addictiveness of unraveling the truth. There’s a lot of details to unpack in this book, along with a lot of characters, which unfortunately turns down the slow burn of this friends-to-lovers romance to a simmer. It would have been nice to see a little more of Wynter and Noah’s romantic progression, but in the hectic world of romantic suspense, Faceless offers a breather: It’s a love story with a gentler pace, despite the life-threatening danger the main couple finds themselves in.
Adriana Anders ratchets up the tension to stratospheric heights in the highly anticipated follow-up to 2020’s Whiteout, Uncharted. Set in the Alaskan wilderness, this forced proximity romance delivers a suspenseful TKO.
With staccato-style sentences, Anders brings new and returning readers up to speed on the ruthless Chronos corporation, which has deployed a team of mercenaries and scientists to gain access to a deadly virus. The only thing standing in Chronos’ way is hotshot pilot Leo Eddowes and the other members of her secret military unit.
Leo and her team have traveled to Alaska in search of a scientist who stole a vial of the virus from Chronos. When the daring Leo decides to follow a lead without the rest of her team, she ends up crashing her plane in the wilderness after being attacked by Chronos’ goons. Leo is saved by the mysterious Elias Thorne, who has his own tortured history with the evil corporation.
Uncharted is ultimately a romance about trust and instinct. Who can you trust? When should you let down your guard? Anders has created two great protagonists who are equally skilled and equally wary of one another. Every sentence, every scene, is packed with emotion, and readers can feel Leo and Elias falling in love as they team up to make it out alive. The landscape provides as strong a foe as the enemies who are pursuing the pair, which makes the story all the more stressful. This is an exhausting book, but in the best possible way. It’s like the literary version of a Bruce Springsteen song, one that’s meant to be sung loudly and reverberate from every pore into the universe.