She Can Kill – She Can… #5 by Melinda Leigh

REVIEW

This is the fifth and final book in the ‘She Can’ series and follows two characters that have appeared in previous stories, Christan Rojas and Sarah Mitchell.  I really enjoyed this story as it essentially began in ‘She Can Tell’ and has waited until the end to be told.

Sarah Mitchell started off her married life to her charming, funny, high-school sweetheart with all the promise of happily ever after, but when an injury stopped Troy Mitchell from achieving his goals he took his displeasure out on a bottle and his wife. Scared for herself and her children, Sarah finally decides to leave but Troy is not going to make it easy for her.

Christan Rojas has been running from his former life for 12 years in order to keep his daughter safe and give her the life she deserves, but when it seems that it has finally caught up to him he knows he must leave again.  Unfortunately for him, his daughter and his blossoming relationship with Sarah put his plans on hold.  Can he stop running and keep his daughter safe. And when those he loves finds out the truth about his past will they ever forgive him?

Parents will do anything to keep their children safe and both Sarah and Christan do what has to be done for theirs.  Sarah has a fight on her hands against a husband who doesn’t love her or their children but will use them a leverage over Sarah.  Christan’s threat is much more violent and life-threatening.  As a parent I often wonder if I am doing the best for my children. Are they happy? Are they safe?  I don’t think that will ever go away.  Both these parents have the same doubts but on different levels and for different reasons.

The romance between Christan and Sarah is a slow simmer that bubbles away under the surface of the trouble they find themselves in.  Christan is the type of man that Sarah both needs and deserves, someone caring, considerate and wanting to make her happy.  For Christan, Sarah is what he needs.  He has had the drama, excitement and thrills and now wants to settle down, raise his daughter and enjoy life.

The threats to Christan keep the story exciting and engaging, along with the drama of Troy and Sarah.  Full of action and intrigue, this final book brings the series nicely to a close.  I have really enjoyed meeting all the characters and following the ups and downs of their lives as they face unknown threats and fall in love.

Rating 4/5

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Amy Rubinate

Series in order:

She Can Run – Elisabeth and Jack

She Can Tell – Rachel and Mike

She Can Scream – Brooke and Luke

She Can Hide – Abby and Ethan

She Can Kill – Sarah and Christan

Synopsis

Reformed assassin Cristan Rojas just wants to raise his daughter in peace. But after twelve years on the run, he learns that even the quiet little town of Westbury, Pennsylvania, has many hidden dangers. Although he can’t shake the feeling he’s under surveillance, Cristan’s attraction to Sarah Mitchell continues to grow, as do his concerns that his secret past could jeopardize anyone who gets too close to him.

Sarah is ready to start her life over with her children, a new job, and a budding romance. Her newfound happiness is threatened when her ex-husband becomes increasingly violent—and she soon learns her ex isn’t the only person stalking her.

Cristan fears someone from his past has arrived in town, someone far worse than a jealous ex. Someone who may be responsible for a brutal—and unsolved—murder a dozen years ago. To protect Sarah and his daughter, he must shine a light into the darkest recesses of his nightmarish past.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/25682621-she-can-kill)

She Can Hide – She Can… #4 by Melinda Leigh

REVIEW

Officer Ethan Hale has appeared throughout this series, so it was great to find out a bit more about him and his background.  Taking care of his mum and two younger brothers has not been easy and neither will his road to love and happiness.

Abby Foster has been briefly mentioned in ‘She can scream’ as a friend and co-worker of Brooke Davenport.  When Ethan pulls Abby out of a freezing river so begins their story that will have the reader turning page after page to find out exactly who is after Abby and more importantly…why?

The ending did come as a bit of a shock.  I had the feeling that Ryland Valentine was who he ended up being but I had no idea who was behind the kidnap/murder attempts. Kept me guessing!

Another thrilling story set in the quite backdrop of Westbury.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Amy Rubinate

 Rating – 4/5

Synopsis

From the moment Officer Ethan Hale pulls Abby Foster from icy waters, he senses there’s more to her than meets the eye. Abby has no memory of the accident that submerged her car in the frozen river. Three years ago, Abby was kidnapped and abandoned in a well for a week. The botched police investigation nearly killed her. Abby had moved to the mountains of Pennsylvania for a fresh start, but when it becomes clear that this car crash wasn’t an accident, she knows the violence from her past has caught up with her.

But Abby’s former assailant was convicted and imprisoned, so who else wants her dead?

Ethan uncovers a fresh string of murders tied to Abby’s past. Someone is trying to kill her, and this time the stalker seems determined to finish the task. As the killer grows bolder, Abby begins to trust Ethan enough to share the truth, her heart, and her life. But to stop the murders, Ethan must make a decision that could jeopardize it all.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20489824-she-can-hide)

She Can Scream – She Can… #3 by Melinda Leigh

REVIEW

Thrilling suspense with a strong-willed woman fighting her demons and a man with his own haunted past determined to protect her.

Brooke Davenport has been obsessed with teaching women how to stay safe since the death of her best friend and roommate almost sixteen years ago.  When Brooke saves a young woman from a vicious assault the attackers sights become set on Brooke. With her brother leaving, he enlists the help of his friend, Luke Holloway (we have met Mrs Holloway in previous books, she is his Grandmother) to look out for Brooke and her children.  With his past plaguing him with uncertainty, Luke knows that he cannot get attached to Brooke, but as the danger increases he finds he will do whatever it takes to protect her.

One of the things I really enjoy about this type of romantic suspense, besides the romance, is trying to figure out who the bad guy is.  There are always several to choose from and they generally appear throughout the story, the trick is trying to eliminate some and think like an author…who would the reader least suspect?  I’ll be honest I did have a feeling about this one from the first time he came up in the book, I wasn’t 100% but I wasn’t surprised, in fact I may have said “I knew it!” quietly to myself for fear my family would think I was nuts!

Another mystery to be solved in the quiet town of Westbury.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Amy Rubinate.

Rating 4/5

Synopsis

In one moment, high school teacher and single mother Brooke Davenport interrupts a vicious assault, saves a young woman’s life, and attracts the attention of a serial killer.
Sixteen years ago, Brooke lost her roommate to a brutal murder. Now she teaches women’s self-defense, still trying to heal from the guilt and grief that plague her. Convinced the predator knows his victims and is stalking his prey online, she is determined to find him before he strikes again. Her brother’s friend, Luke has the computer expertise to help. But Brooke’s unexpected desire for Luke complicates her investigation, and her fixation with the case provokes a deadly reaction from the killer.

Injured in terrorist bombing overseas, computer expert Luke Holloway is still haunted by flashbacks of his young assistant’s death in the explosion. But Luke can’t refuse the request of a deployed friend to look after his sister, Brooke. Taking on responsibility for Brooke’s safety threatens Luke’s tenuous recovery, especially after he develops feelings for her that transcend a promise to a friend. When Brooke saves a young girl from a brutal assault and becomes a killer’s obsession, Luke vows to protect her at all costs.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17687573-she-can-scream)

She Can Tell – She Can… #2 by Melinda Leigh

REVIEW

The next exciting installment in the She Can Series finds Police Chief Mike O’Connell risking his job and his heart when the two become entangled with horse trainer, Rachel Parker.

Rachel left Westbury in pursuit of a riding career but when a terrible accident puts an end to her dreams she returns to her family farm as a trainer. Someone is not happy with her return and the list of possible suspects just keeps on growing.  When Rachel’s life is put in danger, Police Chief Mike O’Connell takes it personally and sets about protecting Rachel at all costs. The longer they spend together, the closer they get and that leads Mike into unfamiliar territory – his job or his heart?

Mike appeared in She Can Run along with a few other familiar names that crop up in this book.  The main male characters in this series seem to be, Jack, Mike, Sean, Quinn, and Ethan, although there are a couple of new leads that will appear who still have links to the town.  I really enjoy series that connect characters.  In a small town, as Westbury appears to be, it makes sense that the same people would crop up, however with the number of crimes they have I’m not sure I would want to live there!

An exciting romantic suspense that kept me wondering as there are lots of possible ‘bad guys’ to choose from.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Elizabeth Pike

Synopsis

When a terrible accident abruptly ends her riding career, Rachel Parker returns to Pennsylvania to rebuild her family’s horse farm. But her welcome home is anything but warm. Her sister’s abusive husband and a violent vandal threaten Rachel’s new business and her life. Someone is systematically trying to destroy her. Someone who knows private things about her. Someone who’s been watching her. Now Rachel must face the fact that the sins of her carefully hidden past have returned to haunt her…

Police Chief Mike O’Connell never had trouble drawing the line between his personal life and his job—until he met Rachel Parker. Mike’s investigation uncovers a shocking number of secrets and suspects. But the stalker’s escalating violence convinces him he doesn’t have much time to sort through it all. Whoever is watching Rachel wants her dead. Mike and Rachel race to untangle a web of deceit and lies that stretches two decades into the past—before her stalker strikes again.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15954484-she-can-tell?ac=1&from_search=true)

She Can Run – She Can… #1 by Melinda Leigh

REVIEW

I first read this book about two years ago and really enjoyed.  I have since started to listen to audio romantic suspense books and decided that I would give this series a try.  It was narrated well and the story was conveyed with enough suspense to keep the listener engrossed. The plot twists throughout kept me engaged and the connection between the two main characters was undeniable.

Beth’s life is not working out the way she had hoped.  Happily married with two children, her dreams are yanked away the day her husband dies.  Re-marrying then turned out to be the biggest mistake of her life.  Now on the run from her current husband she finds herself thrown into the path of Jack O’Malley, a former detective, on leave following a serious injury.  Jack knows that Beth is not all she claims to be but can he put the pieces together before her life catches up to her.  Can hiding out with Jack save her or are there more dangers surrounding Beth than they realise?

Jack is very wary of Beth, who shows up on the day of his Uncle’s funeral claiming to be the new caretaker, but knows that something is not right with the woman and her two overly-cautious children. Beth is equally sceptical of Jack and distrusts anyone in law enforcement. The chemistry between Jack and Beth is there from the beginning although it still surprises me how quickly she relents to his advances, but then that’s half the enjoyment of these types of romantic suspense books (which is why I love reading them!)

There are some interesting characters that will appear in their own books throughout the series and I shall look forward to reading/listening to those in due course.

If you like your romance with a strong heroine hell-bent on protecting herself, a tough Alpha male determined to protect his woman, and a touch of danger that throws them both together then you should enjoy this book.

Rating 4/5

Listened to via audible, narrated by Amy Rubinate

Synopsis

Elizabeth was a young widow with two small children when she met Congressman Richard Baker. Handsome and wealthy, with a sparkling public image, Richard seemed like the perfect man to provide the security that Beth and her kids were craving. But when she uncovers a dangerous secret about her new husband, Beth realizes he will go to any lengths—even murder—to keep it. After barely escaping with her life, she and her children flee. They eventually make their way to a secluded estate in the Pennsylvania countryside, where Beth dares to hope she has found a safe place at last…

Forced into retirement by an unexpected injury, Philadelphia homicide detective Jack O’Malley is mourning the loss of his career when his uncle abruptly dies, leaving Jack to dispose of his crumbling country house. Unbeknownst to him, his uncle engaged a caretaker just before his death, a mysterious woman with two children and a beautiful face that haunts his dreams. Determined to know her, Jack begins an investigation into Beth’s past. When he uncovers the shocking truth, and a local woman is viciously murdered, Jack puts his own life on the line to keep Beth and her children safe.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/12788229-she-can-run)

Hidden – Bone Secrets #1 by Kendra Elliot

REVIEW

I first read this book in 2014 and since then have read the entire Bones Secret series, Callahan and McLane Series, and have recently listened to the Mercy Kilpatrick Series via audible. I have now decided to start back at the beginning and listen to them all from the start.  Although these are three different series, characters from all three appear in each.

In Hidden we meet Lacey Campbell, a forensic odontologist, who is called to a scene where a body has been found in the walls of an apartment building. Memories surface and dread fills Lacey when evidence is found that leads back to an old friend who was murdered.  Jack Harper, former police officer and current owner of the building, finds himself embroiled in the investigation as links are made to an old case. When Lacey becomes the target of the current killer, who appears to be connected to the former case, Jack steps in as protector and soon the chemistry between them cannot be tamed.

Lacey is a strong female lead and has the right amount of sass to bring Jack to his knees. Jack is happy with his life as a renowned playboy but something about Lacey makes him want to be a one-woman man.  When Lacey’s life is in danger, Jack knows he will do anything to protect her.

We also meet Detectives Mason Callahan and Ray Lusco, reporter Michael Brody, Dr. Victoria Peres, and Jack’s friend, Alex Kinton . Look out for these characters in future books in all the series’.

This romance suspense is filled with action, intrigue and of course romance.

Read on kindle, Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Kate Rudd

Rating 4/5

Synopsis 

Eleven years ago, the Co-Ed Slayer murdered nine female college students on the Oregon State University campus. Lacey Campbell barely survived his attack, but he killed her best friend, Suzanne, whose body was never found.

Now a forensic odontologist analyzing teeth and bones for the state medical examiner, Lacey is devastated when she identifies Suzanne’s remains at a crime scene. She finds comfort in the arms of ex-cop Jack Harper, and sparks fly between them even as a new reign of terror begins. Someone is killing the witnesses who sent the Co-ed Slayer to prison a decade ago. All the evidence points to the Co-ed Slayer as the culprit, only he’s long since dead. So who’s the new killer? And is Lacey next in line to die?

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15096138-hidden)

Matt: The Callahan Brothers – Callahan Brothers #2 by Emily March

REVIEW

Exciting and entertaining.  This is the second book in the Callahan Brothers series and is based around the eldest son, Matt.

Matt finds himself mixed up with delectable Torie Bradshaw believing her to be her twin sister Helen.  Working for the CIA is never easy, throw into the mix guns, traffickers, and a sexy woman with a James Bond fetish, and it is downright impossible.

Torie Bradshaw is the black sheep of her family.  The bad girl, the “evil twin”. But when a stalker makes her a target she heads to the only person who can keep her safe. Unfortunately she is not his favourite person.

The connection between Torie and Matt is explosive, literally, but the longer they spend together the more they realise that attraction and love knows no bounds.  Torie is a carefree, witty woman who shows a tough outer shell but inside all she really wants is to be accepted and loved for who she is.  I loved the continual James Bond references. Having grown up watching the films I could relate to each and every one.  Which girl doesn’t dream of being the bond girl who finally tames him?!  The ending is brilliant.  He couldn’t have done it better!

More secrets about the family Callahan are revealed in this book and they explain a lot of the bitterness held by Mark towards his father.  Branch is real piece of work.  How he could ever think his boys would have any respect for him, especially after the stunt he pulls, is beyond me.

Listened to via Audible. Narrated by Jeffrey Kafer

Rating 4/5

Synopsis

Strong, independent Torie Bradshaw doesn’t like playing the damsel in distress, but when a stalker’s sadistic threats finally frighten her into running, she knows of only one hero to call on for help: Matt Callahan. The sinfully sexy spy had saved her once before. Surely he’ll play her champion again. If only they hadn’t parted under such…unfortunate circumstances. 

Matt has barely recovered from the last time he tangled with Torie. When she invades his private sanctuary bringing danger, drama, and a designer dog with her, he wants nothing more than to send the beauty packing. He’s busy battling old ghosts and more recent wounds. But Matt can’t deny his protective instincts or the fact that this troublesome woman has gotten under his skin. So when a killer comes to call, Matt faces a startling reality—he’s about to  lose all the things he never thought he wanted.

(https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22922286-matt)