An intense, joltingly modern love story.

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A Silent Prayer

A PRAYER SERIES I

A contemporary romance between modern professionals in Canada.

At the start of Ahsan’s debut, millionaire Toronto philanthropist Adam Gibson is leading an empty existence. He gives generously to charities throughout the country, but his personal life consists of a string of meaningless sexual encounters with women whose names he seldom troubles to learn. He runs his prosperous company, Gibson Enterprises, with care and skill, aided by a faithful staff and watched over by his bodyguard, Ali bin Moosa. However, he doesn’t realize how much is missing from his life until he runs into Rania Ahmed, a 25-year-old creative designer for Greenway Advertising. (They literally collide, Hollywood-style.) Rania is shy and beautiful, and Adam is instantly smitten. “I feel like I had been living in the dark,” he tells her, “and you’re the only one who could bring me into the light.” He sets out on a single-minded campaign to woo her: He instructs his staff to learn everything about her, explicitly telling them that he doesn’t care about her privacy; he evicts business tenants in his building so he can move Greenway Advertising nearby to have Rania closer to him; and he wears down Rania’s resistance by taking her to the movies and the opera. Ahsan ably shifts between Rania’s and Adam’s points of view in alternating chapters as the two warily get to know each other. Adam wants to “claim her entirely,” and that’s not the only stalkerlike sentiment he makes; at another point, when Rania wonders if he’s the jealous type, he says, “Don’t ask me, and don’t provoke me, either.” Ahsan sprinkles both narrations with plenty of internal dialogue (such as Rania’s “What does he want from me?” and “Oh, I need some space”), and some of these ruminations include jarringly rough language. The author is fairly skilled at depicting the emotional roller coaster of a new relationship, and her handling of Rania’s deeply conflicted personality is sensitive and intriguing. However, when it comes to brusque, domineering Adam, readers may ask that age-old question: What does she see in him?

An intense, joltingly modern love story.

Pub Date: Feb. 11, 2014

ISBN: 978-1491720394

Page Count: 330

Publisher: iUniverse

Review Posted Online: June 10, 2014

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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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