STARRED REVIEW
February 2019

Romance: February 2019

Feature by
STARRED REVIEW
February 2019

Romance: February 2019

Feature by
February 2019

Romance: February 2019

Feature by
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Say You’re Sorry, Karen Rose’s latest tale of romantic suspense, is complex, thrilling and impossible to put down. FBI Special Agent Gideon Reynolds, who escaped a dangerous cult as a child, has been dodging a friend’s attempts to set him up with talk radio host Daisy Dawson. But when Daisy is attacked one night, Gideon is brought in on the case. There’s an instant attraction between Gideon and Daisy, but they quickly realize something else is simmering—the solution to the identity of a serial killer who’s been on the hunt for many years. In addition, the cult resurfaces and comes into play, which leads Gideon to reveal more of his past than he ever has before. Rose has a knack for building a community into her stories, family and friends who support as well as complicate the mission of the lead couple. Her characters are special and memorable, not because they’re superheroes, but because they’re authentic people with flaws and strengths. By exposing their frailties, Rose highlights her characters’ courage and compels readers to both worry about and root for them. This is an engrossing and exciting start to a new series, and one that busts genre stereotypes along the way.

Two high-powered Texans must run a gauntlet of family dysfunction and machinations before earning their happy ever after in The Fearless King by Katee Robert. Journey King thrives in her position as COO of the family business until her sadistic and dangerous father returns to Houston and tries to wrest away her control. At a loss to understand his motives, she turns to powerful Frank Evans, who can dig up dirt on anyone. Frank has no love for the King family, but he admires Journey, and the sexual chemistry between them is off the charts. However, the deeper Frank goes into the family’s history, the louder his internal alarm bells ring. But Frank has faced down racial and social prejudice in his past, and he’s not about to give up in the face of this new challenge—even if it turns out that both he and Journey are putting themselves at risk. There’s glitz, glamour and machinations aplenty in this soapy, highly entertaining tale of big Texas business and the larger-than-life King family.

A personal and professional partnership is forged in Alexandra Ivy’s You Will Suffer. Against the wishes of her status-conscious parents, lawyer Ellie Guthrie has returned to rural Curry, Oklahoma, to establish her law practice. Ellie enjoys working away from the eye of her judgmental father, but there’s another man who seems to be watching over her—a former FBI agent who owns the ranch next door. While Ellie outwardly bristles at Nate Marcel’s protective attitude, she secretly finds everything about him sexy. He’s also convenient to have around when vandalism and then murder come to Curry. The little village surrounded by wide-open spaces doesn’t seem a likely place for danger and mayhem, which makes the escalating violent crimes all the creepier. Everybody knows everybody—or so they think. Who could be the dangerous perpetrator in their midst? The cozy, small-town trope is turned on its head as Ellie and Nate work together to unravel ugly secrets and bloody deeds. 

Longtime friends become lovers in 99 Percent Mine by Sally Thorne. Globe-trotting photographer Darcy Barrett is back home to oversee the renovation of her late grandmother’s cottage. Darcy is as reluctant to see it change as she is to face her childhood friend Tom Valeska, the man hired to flip the house. Though Darcy has loved Tom all her life, he’s been engaged to another—a fact that has fueled her incessant need to get away. But as she works on the remodel with a newly single Tom, might they find a path to transforming their platonic relationship as well? Told from Darcy’s fresh, irreverent point of view, this delightful romance is peppered with witty dialogue, sweet love scenes and clever descriptions. One character smells like a birthday candle; conversing with another is “like trying to thread a live worm onto a hook.” But beyond the smart wordplay, there are lovably imperfect characters like Darcy’s twin, Jamie, who is yet another obstacle for the would-be lovers to overcome. Readers of romantic comedy should snatch this one up!

A dashing Scot and a strong-willed heroine take the reader on a thrilling historical adventure in The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands. Lady Evina Maclean heads out in search of Rory Buchanan, a renowned healer, after her father falls ill. When she and her men come upon him bathing, an unfortunate altercation leaves the man unconscious, and Evina decides she’ll save time by taking him directly back to her family castle. If some might consider that kidnapping, she’ll worry about it once her father is well. But then she realizes she’s brought home the wrong Buchanan. Conran, Rory’s twin, isn’t all that happy about his predicament. But he’s intrigued by the red-haired, plain-speaking beauty and uses the knowledge he’s gained from assisting his brother to tend to her father. Soon the older man is on the mend and working on his own scheme—to make a match between the unaware pair. But danger lurks in the castle, jeopardizing everyone just as love begins to blossom between Evina and Conran. Swordplay, mistaken identity and secret passages add to the romantic fun.

 

This article was originally published in the February 2019 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.

Get the Books

Say You’re Sorry

Say You’re Sorry

By Karen Rose
Berkley
ISBN 9780399586729
The Fearless King

The Fearless King

By Katee Robert
Forever
ISBN 9781455597123
You Will Suffer

You Will Suffer

By Alexandra Ivy
Zebra
ISBN 9781420143799
99 Percent Mine

99 Percent Mine

By Sally Thorne
William Morrow
ISBN 9780062439611
The Wrong Highlander

The Wrong Highlander

By Lynsay Sands
Avon
ISBN 9780062469007

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