A beautifully written romance that's full of adventure—electric and absorbing.

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LORD OF LIES

Opposites attract in this fast-paced story.

Portia Chadwick is a salty, adventurous debutante on the hunt for a good mystery; Dell Turner is the cool-tempered undercover detective known as Nightshade. When Portia hires Dell to rescue her older sister, Lily, who's been kidnapped, it’s obvious that Dell is attracted to his employer—so much that it threatens his poise and his disguise expertise. This combination of personalities, along with the suggestion that Lily’s kidnapping may not be all that it appears, makes Sandas’ (The Untouchable Earl, 2016, etc.) novel a genuine page-turner. Portia is not willing to give up the thrill of the hunt once she's had a taste of it, and she and Dell soon have more work on their hands when it's revealed that a local prostitute's daughter is missing—and may have been sold into child labor for fast cash; like Dell, many characters in this novel are not what they appear, and neither are the stories they first tell. Most titillating is the punchy dialogue between Dell and Portia; during an attempt to kiss Dell, Portia remarks: “Just a kiss. It’s nothing really.” While this blasé and cheeky attitude toward all things romance seems absolutely modern, that’s the element that makes this historical romance so emotionally authentic; that is, the time period is not an easy fallback through which to create tension, sexual or otherwise. Smart and sexy, the suspense built up as a result of Portia and Dell's steamy chemistry is just as enticing as their detective work. Finally, after a mounting number of questions, the novel wraps up and will satisfy even the most expert sleuth.

A beautifully written romance that's full of adventure—electric and absorbing.

Pub Date: July 4, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-4926-1878-2

Page Count: 400

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: May 2, 2017

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 15, 2017

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Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

THE DECEPTION

A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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