If you like your sagas spiced with peril, these books have some delicious surprises in store for you. Authors Karen Rose and April Hunt are continuing their respective Cincinnati and Steele Ops series with a pair of page-turners packed with thrills, chills and more than a bit of sizzle as love—romantic and familial—overcomes fatal obstacles to always find a way.
Into the Dark
Dr. Dani Novak has structured her life around being a safe haven, both through her free clinic and her duties as an emergency foster mom to children in the deaf community. So it’s not a surprise when ex-Army Ranger Diesel Kennedy comes to her for help. What is a surprise is who he brings with him. Fourteen-year-old Michael Rowland is the only witness to a murder—which puts him on a killer’s hit list. As a deaf child with a heart-rendingly brutal past (which author Karen Rose discloses through some frank discussions of sexual assault of children and human trafficking), Michael’s trust isn’t easily won. By building a relationship with Michael and his little brother, Joshua, Dani’s heart opens in ways she hadn’t expected, including bringing her closer to Diesel and forcing her to confront the fear that has closed her off to romance for far too long.
A puzzle-box of a story, Into the Dark is so intricately layered, with such a huge cast of characters, that it can be difficult to hold all the threads together, especially for a reader who is new to the Cincinnati series. (Those who have read the previous four books, on the other hand, will have plenty of chances to revisit favorite characters and couples.) But while you may struggle to remember who is married to / related to / shared military service with whom, you’ll never doubt the overriding love that this family—and friends who are also family—shares.
As the mysteries unravel one by one, this warm, big-hearted adventure highlights how brightly love can shine against any encroaching darkness.
FBI profiler Grace Steele thought she’d put her past in the rearview mirror, but it keeps landing in front of her—such as Cade Wright, her former Army Ranger ex-from-next-door who’s now in the private security business with her cousins. But the most frightening part of Grace’s past is tied to her early childhood, when she was raised in a cult—right up until she escaped at age 13. When the daughter of the vice president ends up as the cult’s newest recruit, Grace is the only one who can infiltrate the group to try to get the girl out. And Cade’s not about to let her go in alone.
While April Hunt isn’t the first author to create characters with heavy pasts to overcome, Grace and Cade have some exceptionally large gorillas on their backs. The irony is that the cult they infiltrate, the Order of the New Dawn, is all about getting closure, overcoming obstacles and letting go of burdens. Grace and Cade provide beautiful contrast to each other as they learn to work through their pasts by drawing together, leaning on each other’s strengths, supporting each other’s weaknesses and guiding each other toward forgiveness—with plenty of help from their families along the way.
With high tension and brutal stakes, the suspense will have you on the edge of your seat, but the peace and happiness the characters find together in the end will leave you with a smile.