Gone Without a Trace by Patricia Bradley – Book Review

The past is repeating itself–and time is running out.

It’s been more than two years since homicide detective Livy Reynolds’s cousin disappeared from Logan Point. Unlike most people in her hometown, Livy has never believed that Robyn left voluntarily. When Dallas private investigator Alex Jennings contacts her concerning a senator’s missing granddaughter who was last seen in Logan Point, Livy notices eerie similarities between the two disappearances. With self-doubt plaguing her and an almost instant dislike of the self-assured PI, she’s finding this investigation an uphill battle. But with the prospect of finding her cousin on the horizon, she’ll have to find a way to work with Alex–before it’s too late.

I enjoyed the other two books in the series, although there were things that I was a little disappointed with, in both of them. This one I was more disappointed with. I would have liked a little more development in the characters. There was an issue that Alex had that I felt was never really resolved, or at least we didn’t see the development of it. By the end of the book, it was just resolved without us getting a glimpse of how. I also didn’t think the romance was that believable. It never developed out of anything; it was just there. It would have been nice to see a little more of the development.

I did, however, like that I didn’t know which character was the abductor until the end when the characters found out. It kept me guessing and drew me into the suspense. This was a decent romantic suspense novel, but it could have benefited from a lot more description and development.


Buried Secrets – Book Review

After seven years as a Chicago homicide detective, Lisa Grant has hit a wall. Ready for a kinder, gentler life, she takes a job as a small-town police chief. But the discovery of a human skeleton by a construction crew at the edge of town taxes the resources of her department. A call for assistance brings detective Mac McGregor, an ex-Navy SEAL, to her doorstep. As they work to solve the mystery behind the unmarked grave, danger begins to shadow them. Someone doesn’t want this dead person telling any tales—and will stop at nothing to make certain a life-shattering secret stays buried.

Buried Secrets by Irene Hannon is an inspirational romantic suspense novel that places a focus on the romance. This fast-paced novel contains a few faith elements, but it is not preachy or overwhelming. I didn’t connect as much with the romance aspect of this book as much I have in some of Hannon’s other works. I thoroughly enjoyed the suspense and the complex killer that was drawn out. The suspense kept me turning the pages until I had finished the pages. I connected with Mac in his relationships with his brothers because of my relationships with my brothers. Overall, I enjoyed this novel and look forward to hearing the stories of Mac’s brothers.

Deceived – Book Review

For three years, Kate Marshall has been mourning the loss of her husband and four-year-old son in a boating accident. But when she spots a familiar-looking child on a mall escalator, she’s convinced it’s her son. With police skeptical of her story, she turns to private investigator Connor Sullivan for help. As the former Secret Service agent digs into the case, the boating “accident” begins to look more and more suspicious. But if Kate’s son is alive, someone is intent on keeping him hidden—and may go to lethal lengths to protect a sinister secret.

I already fell in love with most of the characters in the first two books so it was easier to get pulled into the story of Connor and Kate because I already knew Connor, although this book gives his character more depth than the other two books that focused on Cal’s and Dev’s stories. From the start I’ve enjoyed Dev and Nikki’s banter and this book didn’t disappoint me. It kept me laughing whenever Nikki and Dev were involved. Because I already had an investment in Connor’s life from the first two books, I was drawn more to his character than Kate’s but I also enjoyed Kate’s character. It just took me longer to get into her story. I also like that the bad guy was not a straight up bad guy. He came across as a very caring father.

Hannon weaves intriguing stories and characters together in this suspenseful romance. This is a romantic suspense novel, although I didn’t find it as suspenseful for most of the book as I do a lot of others in this genre. It only really became “on the edge of my seat” suspenseful towards the last few chapters. This one focused more on the romance than the suspense whereas there are those in the genre that focus more so on the suspense.

Fatal Exchange – Book Review

Emily Hunt might come from a family of cops, but she never goes looking for an adrenaline rush. She lives the quiet–well, relatively quiet–life of a teacher and thrives on making a difference in the lives of her students. But she’ll have to draw on a well of strength and savvy she didn’t know she had as student Rafael Cerda takes her class hostage for ransom money to save his brother’s life.

Undercover cop Mason Taylor has been working with Rafael to find his brother and bring the cartel thugs who hold him to justice. Can he talk Rafael down from his impulsive actions? And is there something more sinister at work here than he realizes?

Fatal Exchange draws readers into a complex matrix of intertwining lives and unraveling secrets, where every answer creates more questions. Romantic suspense fans will hardly want to come up for air.

This is the second book in the Southern Crimes series by Lisa Harris. There were some things, especially at the beginning of the book that I thought would have made a lot more sense had I read the first book in the series. The majority of the book made sense but there were some details that I felt would have been more clear by reading the first book.

I felt the suspense of the book was well written. It kept me on the edge of my seat and there were even a few twists thrown in there that left me a little shocked which doesn’t happen often anymore in novels. However, I was skeptical of the romance because most of the book took place in one day and it felt unrealistic to me for them to fall for each other so fast. I felt it did redeem itself a little bit at the end of the book.

No One to Trust – Book Review

The last year of Summer Abernathy’s life is a lie. She wakes up one morning with a gun in her face and men in her bedroom who tell her husband is actually David Hackett not Kyle Abernathy and they want the laptop and flash drive he stole.

David Hackett has been in the witness protection program for over a year. Three weeks before he’s scheduled to witness at a murder trial, the people who want to get the laptop he stole find him.

David and Summer have to rely on the US Marshalls to keep them safe until the trial and until David can hand over the laptop and flash drive to the authorities to put a mob boss behind bars. Summer also has to decide if she can trust and love her husband whom she didn’t know at all.

David and Summer’s story hooked me right away. I was wanting to know who was after David (Kyle at the time) when he was on a call. I also wanted to know how Summer would deal with finding out her husband wasn’t Kyle but rather David. I was constantly wondering how David and Summer were going to get away. Also, I was never really sure who was on the flash drive. Sometimes I would forget that was even part of the story because I was so entrenched in David and Summer’s story and wanting them to survive.

Those who like more of the romance side of the romantic suspense genre may be disappointed with this book. It is not as strong as it is in other books of this genre. It’s hard to be romantic when you found out your husband is not who you thought he was and your running away from a mob boss and his goons.

This book was focused more on the suspense and fighting to stay alive as opposed to the romance but it was still there because David and Summer had to work through the lie of David’s identity. I think those who like romantic suspense will like this book but those who are not particularly fond of romance, at least where two characters fall in love in a short amount of time, may like this book as well as the romance is between a married couple and it’s not super strong in the book.

Book Review – Shadows of the Past

Patricia Bradley
Shadows of the Past
Logan Point series, book 1
Revell, 2014

Taylor Martin is a teacher of criminal psychology at a small university and helps law enforcement profile cases. She starts receiving threatening notes along with other things, indicating that someone wants to kill her. She returns home to Logan Point to search for her father who disappeared twenty years ago. Her stalker follows her home and the shadows of the past come to haunt her.

Nick Sinclair is a mystery writer whose wife died two and a half years ago after a mugging gone wrong. His path crosses with Taylor’s and he tries to clear the name of his younger brother who Taylor suspects is her stalker. Sparks fly between them and they both have to put their pasts behind them to let themselves love again. They have to work together to find Taylor’s stalker.

Patricia Bradley hooked me in from the beginning. The book starts with introducing us to Taylor’s stalker while she is at a crime scene and gets the reader questioning who it could be even though Taylor feels like she knows who it is. As the story went on, I suspected more and more people of being her stalker and questioned little things that were in the story that I felt were going to come back in play. I was left questioning for most of the book and it took me longer than usual to figure out who was the stalker. The writing style also drew me into the book and made me feel along with the characters. I felt the suspense and fear in the characters and I also felt the romantic tension between Nick and Taylor.

I felt like the faith theme was almost thrown into the story as an afterthought. It’s not strong in the book which will resonate with some readers. However, there are some scenes with faith that seemed thrown in as if the writer thought, “Oh, yeah, there should be something with faith in the book.” I don’t know if Bradley actually thought this way but that’s the way it felt to me.

I think readers of romantic suspense will enjoy this book for the suspense of Taylor’s stalker but also the sparks that fly between Nick and Taylor. Readers will also wonder what actually happened to Taylor’s father when he disappeared.