An Arabian Nights–style conclusion to an intriguing cross-cultural love story.


A Prayer Heeded


A love affair between an atheist and a Muslim takes some bizarre turns in this sequel to A Silent Prayer (2014).

Ahsan’s series continues the tempestuous, and now badly fractured, love affair between millionaire Toronto philanthropist Adam Gibson and the beautiful, enigmatic Rania Ahmed. The events of the previous novel have left Rania bitterly confused about Adam’s honesty and intentions. She’s fled from his life, and in this novel’s opening scenes, he’s bleakly depressed and utterly determined to find her and win her trust again. (“You have no idea what you are getting yourself into,” Rania warned him when their relationship was just beginning.) Once he succeeds in finding her and bringing her back into his life, that warning takes on unexpected resonance. Readers of the previous novel were shown brief glimpses of the traumas that scarred Rania both physically and emotionally; in this new installment, Ahsan gives those traumas an unexpected supernatural element. She’s not just haunted by memories, but by actual spirits and Jinni that only she can see. Although Adam “only believes what he sees,” he finds his beliefs being tested in ways he never imagined. Ahsan continues the vivid, interior narrations that made the earlier novel such an interesting read (“Is she crazy?” Adam wonders. “She definitely needs to see a therapist”), and through that device, readers see the torments of faith that afflict both lovers. The prominence of the fantasy elements gives the love story a sharp turn that will lose some readers but perhaps gain others. However, the change strengthens the author’s prose; she seems far more comfortable with the highly charged events of this novel’s surreal second half than with the restaurants-and-boardrooms milieu of the previous book.

An Arabian Nights–style conclusion to an intriguing cross-cultural love story.

Pub Date: April 21, 2014

ISBN: 978-1491727164

Page Count: 272

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

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Another success for the publishing phenom.


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.


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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