A disappointing contribution to the paranormal suspense genre.

READ REVIEW

WOLF RISING

When an elite SWAT werewolf saves a teacher’s life, they are both sent on a different path.

Jayden Brooks lives for his work, his pack, and his mother. As part of a team of alpha werewolves who make up Dallas PD SWAT, he puts his life on the line daily to stop gang activity and save lives. Selena Rosa believes in saving lives in a different way; she works hard to keep her students out of gangs and on the path for something better. When she finds herself at the wrong end of a gun, Brooks and his team intervene. He and Selena have an instant connection. The wolves have a legend about The One, and Brooks is hesitant to acknowledge that Selena might be his—but he’s still very interested in dating her. It’s not until things get heavy for them that he realizes she is becoming a werewolf after her traumatic, near-death experience. The potential outcome of her not taking that information well, combined with a new gang leader in the area and werewolf hunters on the loose, leaves Brooks pulled to all sides. In the eighth book in the SWAT: Special Wolf Alpha Team series, Tyler (Wolf Hunger, 2017, etc.) continues a central conflict that has been developing for several books. For a newcomer, key details are not clearly reiterated and characters are not very well introduced. Even Brooks, who was a secondary character in earlier books, is not given a complete introduction. A newcomer might also be uncomfortable with what appear to be the first protagonists of color in this series both coming from stereotypical, tragic backgrounds. Brooks, having grown up in a housing project, lost his father to gang violence at a young age. Selena, similarly, grew up surrounded by gangs; she never knew her gangbanger father and barely remembers the mother who abandoned her. The violent trauma that sends Selena over the werewolf edge? Also caused by a Latinx gang member. Were the majority of the characters of color regular, hardworking people, it might be less noticeable; unfortunately, this is not the case. With the exception of Brooks and Selena, who are both overwhelmingly perfect, and a few of Selena’s students and associates, there are no acknowledged people of color on the good side. Combined with unclear explanations of wolf shifters who don’t appear to actually turn into wolves, this book leaves much to be desired.

A disappointing contribution to the paranormal suspense genre.

Pub Date: Oct. 30, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-4926-7053-7

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

Review Posted Online: July 31, 2018

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 2018

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

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

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more