Out of the Storm (Buckhorn, Montana, #1)
by B.J. Daniels Series: Buckhorn Montana #1 Published by HQN Books
on December 29, 2020 Genres: Contemporary
, Romantic Suspense Pages:
FINAL DECISION: Romantic suspense with many twists, but not enough character for me.
THE STORY: Kate Jackson is newly engaged but is still having a hard time giving up on her feelings for her husband who has been dead for twenty years. Kate travels on an engagement trip with her new fiance and sees a man who she is convinced is her dead husband — although he says he is not and now calls himself Jon Harper. Jon knows he is not Kate’s husband Danny, yet he has a connection with her that keeps drawing him back to her.
OPINION: This book just wasn’t for me. It was well-written, but I didn’t feel any connection with the heroine. I really didn’t care about her journey. There were plenty of twists here but they felt very artificial rather than developing out of the story. The story is romantic suspense and the focus is on the plot rather than the relationship between the characters. That is something that bothered me in the book because I never felt connected to the romance. I think another person might feel different about the book. It wasn’t terrible, just not my thing.
WORTH MENTIONING: This book introduces a lot of characters that will probably be picked up in future novels, but it was information overload and bogged down the beginning.
CONNECTED BOOKS: OUT OF THE STORM is the first book in the Buckhorn, Montana series.
STAR RATING: I give this book 2 stars.
All the Colors of Night (Fogg Lake #2)
by Jayne Ann Krentz Series: Fogg Lake #2 Published by Berkley
on January 5, 2021 Genres: Contemporary
, Paranormal Pages:
FINAL DECISION: Enjoyable contemporary suspense with a lot of paranormal talent dropped in. Krentz is always at her best when she incorporates paranormal into her works. I’m glad she is back to this mode.
THE STORY: Sierra Raines, an antique expert, has had some employment problems after a false accusation. She uses her psychic talent in her professional and has taken on being a go-between in the dealing of paranormal objects. North Chastain is referred to Sierra as he needs help to track down an object to help save his father. North works for the secretive Foundation, using his psychic abilities. The two end up in Fogg Lake as the area is connected with the Chastain family’s past.
OPINION: My favorite part of this book was the paranormal mystery. I liked the characters, but the focus of the story is clearly on the “suspense” aspect. I wanted more time and concentration on the characters, but it is clear that Krentz has decided to move away from her earlier “romance” focused books. That is a shame because those books are amazing both as romance and as suspense. In this book, the characters always seem shallower and as a result, I’m less interested in their story. Their love seems based primarily on being involved in this case.
Now that I’ve gotten that complaint, I did enjoy this book quite a bit. Krentz always has a good combination of suspense and humor. The story remains quickly moving and on the lighter side of suspense books. I really liked that Krentz has brought her paranormal storylines back into her contemporaries.
So while I liked this book, it lacks the depth and memorable characters that I loved in Krentz’s book from the 1990s and early 2000s.
WORTH MENTIONING: The end of this book sets up the next book in the series.
CONNECTED BOOKS: ALL THE COLORS ON NIGHT is the second book in the Fogg Lake series. While the romance here is self-contained, there are characters and a mystery that continues from the first book, so it is better to read that one first. The book also has references to Krentz’s Arcane series. It is not necessary to read those book, but plenty of Easter Eggs for fans.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.
More Than Protect You (More Than Words, #6.5)
by Shayla Black Series: More Than Words #6.5 Published by Dark Nights
on October 6, 2020 Genres: Contemporary Pages:
FINAL DECISION: For such a short story, this packs a lot of character and relationship building in. I enjoyed this very much as Tanner and Mandy have an instant attraction, but takes time for them to get to know one another. Much of the story is told in a quick fashion, but I liked these two together.
THE STORY: Readers of the series know about Barclay Reed, the father of several main characters in the series. Barclay Reed managed to father various illegitimate children by taking advantage of women in his employ. Amanda Lund is the daughter of one of Barclay’s friend and is also the father of her one-year-old son. Even though Barclay is dead, his legacy lives on as someone is threatening Mandy. Enter Tanner Kirk, who agrees to be her bodyguard.
OPINION: I enjoyed this story, perhaps because it feels like a landing spot for the series meaning that we get to see all the couples and get updates. I enjoyed the relationship between Tanner and Mandy. The whole situation between them is not really complicated even though Amanda has a difficult past. Everything seems clear and straightforward so I am happy to just get to concentrate on all the character relationships.
I just really liked Tanner and Amanda who both are people who have made mistakes and are interested in moving forward together. I liked their conversations which seemed mature and designed to really understand one another. I thought their romance was nicely paced, giving them time to get to know one another. Then the story gets hot!
The story is an easy read and because the length is short, it was a particularly enjoyable short read.
WORTH MENTIONING: This is a novella-length story with a nice bunch of updates about the couples so far in the series.
CONNECTED BOOKS: MORE THAN PROTECT YOU is book 6.5 in the More Than Words series. The romance here is self-contained and this can certainly be read as a standalone. However, characters from the series make appearances, and reading in order gives a fuller understanding of the whole storyline.
STAR RATING: I give this book 4 stars.