Point Last Seen. Christina Dodd.

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Published:  HQN books
Date: 21st June 2022
Source: Publicist via NetGalley


When you’ve already died, there should be nothing left to fear… When Adam Ramsdell pulls Elle’s half-frozen body from the surf on a lonely California beach, she has no memory of what her full name is and how she got those bruises ringing her throat.


Elle finds refuge in Adam’s home on the edge of Gothic, a remote village located between the steep lonely mountains and the raging Pacific Ocean. As flashes of her memory return, Elle faces a terrible truth—buried in her mind lurks a secret so dark it could get her killed.


Everyone in Gothic seems to hide a dark past. Even Adam knows more than he will admit. Until Elle can unravel the truth, she doesn’t know who to trust, when to run and who else might be hurt when the killer who stalks her nightmares appears to finish what he started…

Point Last Seen by Christina Dodd is set in Big Sur in California, in an imaginary town that is close to a wild beach and mountainous terrain. It’s an odd kind of town with a variety of inhabitants with many different quirks.

Adam Ramsdell lives there, he has come to hide, to recoup from wounds inflicted by others. He seems to be a loner but… many in the town like him and would most likely call him friend. He is now an artist working with metal.

Elle is rescued one day by Adam, from the sea. When she regains consciousness she has lost her memory. While she is healing Adam takes her in and watches over her. Rune the local psychic (with a back story of course) starts to work with her to help her recover her memory.

The book is very readable, I found myself chuckling and thinking well… what next! There are some shoot outs, fighting and really much skulduggery. The townsfolk are entertaining and provide a great cast of characters. At times as a reader I had to suspend belief, but with appreciation of the story.

There is action and romance with a satisfying conclusion with all the ins and outs neatly wrapped up. I’d almost call it cozy romantic suspense.



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Twilight Shadows

Twilight Shadows

Republished: by Emilie Richards
Date: 1st June 2022
Source: from the author

When private investigator Kelley Samuels’s best friend and partner asks her to be the maid of honor at her wedding, she can’t refuse. After all, wearing a frilly dress and dealing with the bride’s mother are minor irritations.

Then on the trip down the aisle, all hell breaks loose. Between barrages of gunfire and a lunatic seemingly intent on wiping out the wedding party, Kelley has to protect guest and film action hero Griff Bryant. While neither Griff, intent on playing a real life hero, nor Kelly herself can capture the shooter, when the smoke clears, no one is really sure who the gunfire was meant for.

Kelley, a former child star, has a clear-eyed view of the film industry, and when she’s cornered into becoming Griff’s pretend lover and real-life bodyguard, she can’t wait for the assignment to end. But as she and Griff encounter more violence, and his pre-teen daughter is endangered, too, Kelley finds herself deeply involved with the man she’s supposed to protect.

Kelley knows she can protect Griff from harm, but how can she protect her own heart?

Emilie Richards now republishes the second book in her Palm Springs Confidential books. We get up close and personal with Kelley, the partner of Felice, the heroine of the first book.

I was hooked into this story straight away, I loved the characters, the Hollywood setting grabbed me, the mystery, the action, the suspense and the tension between Kelley and Griff. I did like Tara – Griff’s twelve year old daughter and Kelley’s dog too, I just wanted more of them!

I liked that we caught up with Felice and Josiah, and that we first renew our acquaintance at their action filled wedding. It’s not the only time we meet them as they play small but important roles later on. Twilight Shadows and Desert Shadows are named so, because private investigators are sometimes referred to as shadows. I rather liked that little nugget of information. Kelley and Felice are private investigators.

This story really engaged my emotions and I was left feeling very satisfied and happy as the book ended. Well as happy as a reader can be when a book you love ends!


Can’t Go Back. Debra Webb

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Published: Thomas & Mercer
Date: 14th December 2021
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

The past and the present collide in the final installment of USA Today bestselling author Debra Webb’s Devlin & Falco series, threatening everything these two detectives care about.

Birmingham detectives Kerri Devlin and Luke Falco arrive at the scene of a double homicide to discover that nothing makes sense. A woman and her child are dead, and though the husband says he killed them, the evidence says otherwise. Why would a man confess to unspeakable murders he didn’t commit?

What starts as an open-and-shut case explodes into a web of new leads. Devlin and Falco get to work tracking down every single one—including a disturbing connection between the murders and Falco’s dark past.

Can’t go Back  by Debra Webb is the third book in the series. Like any good thriller we are right into the action. However there is a very deft fill in of the characters and place,  And boom, we are into the next case.  

Luke and Debra make a great detective team, and as it happens they are not only that. Their relationship is also developing. And while Tori – Debra’s daughter is away, they are trying the live – in arrangement.  I really liked seeing their relationship growing and the way Debra is there to show her trust and support of Luke.

And Luke needs that, because as they chase down a grisly case of arson and murder, they find that Luke’s undercover work from some time ago is also somehow mingling with the new case and making it all that extra bit dangerous.

I was happy to see Sadie who we got to know in previous books had a small cameo contribution and to see how her life was turning out.

A riveting read, with lots of twists and turns. There is more than one bad guy and of course with Luke and Debra on the trail, they won’t get away with anything. And while part of a series could be read as a stand alone.

Book Connections

Eyes On These Romantic Suspense Books

These are all books I want to read in 2021. As I was sorting books out that I want to read I realised these ones all have a large element of romantic suspense. A genre I enjoy.

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At the very top of my list is State of Affairs. This is a “new” series by Marie Force but with her characters all from her Fatal series – which is romantic suspense. It’s probably my top addictive series read. These books have plenty of police procedural, murder and other horrible things happening. But as well it is so full of family and feel good aspects.

I pre-ordered this book on Kindle soon as I finished the last book in the Fatal series. April 20th. Don’t care what I will be in the middle of reading I’ll stop and read this one straight away.

bookcover Mary Kay Andrews always writes a good story and I like to either read or listen to them. I’ve only just read her last one, but if I’ve got it then I can pick it up when I need this kind of  read. This one seems to involve a murder, someone on the run, the sister and her young niece. Escaping the murderer it seems. Has enough promise there.

book cover Legacy  publishes in May and most likely needs no introduction. It will be romantic suspense as well. May listen to this on audiobook. Will see who the narrator is.

book coverAnother series I really like. #3 in the Sacramento series.Say Goodbye.  It will be a continuing story of a cult group and the FBI group that are working to find and end it. These books are always very fast moving and take place over a short time. There are a lot of pages but they go so fast. This one doesn’t come out to August. But it will be an automatic buy!

book coverThis one came out in December 2020 and is set in Alaska where a young girl is accused wrongly of murder. It is #1 in a series so a good place to begin. I haven’t read much Christina Dodd, only one other I think. So looking forward to finding out if I get hooked. I’ll know very soon because this one just came in from the library and I plan to read it very soon.


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Runaway. Emilie Richards

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Date Published: 1st September 2020
Source: From the author.


Runaway opens in a seedy bar in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Jess Cantor  is there – a journalist gathering information about the young runaways that end up there. Crystal walks into the bar but will not talk with him. She is dressed like she is there to pick up a guy for sex but her walk isn’t quite right. Hmm. And then Jess thinks he may have seen her before.

The opening chapter has atmosphere, a promise of mystery and that everything is not as it seems. I was hooked . It turns out Crystal is Krista – a librarian in New Orleans in search of her runaway sister. So when she teams up with Jess what can a journalist and librarian do? Well with a lot of love in their hearts that could count, because runaways mostly leave home from lack of it. However trust is a rare commodity. Will they find Rosie the sister that Krista feels she let down badly.

The search is on, and along the way they experience the seedy side of New Orleans, and some of the evil men here and further afield who will try to stop their search turning into a success. They will be changed by what happens to them, and so is the reader. There just isn’t enough love and kindness in the world.

This trilogy – there are two more in the series, was first published in 1990. Emilie Richards now has the rights back for it and is republishing it. She has left it in that time, so no cell phones or internet to help. Yet this is still a story for our time and I loved it. I can’t wait for book 2 and 3. I know what I’ll be giving priority in my reading to once they are  available. I see Runaway was a nominee for RWA for long contemporary romance 1991. Well deserved.


Rival’s Break. Carla Neggers

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Published: Harlequin – Mira
Date: 27th August 2019
Source: Publisher via NetGalley


Rival’s Break  is #9 in the Sharpe/Donavon  series and I hadn’t read the previous books. Of course I prefer to read a series from the beginning but sometimes a later book just invites! There are quite a few characters to take in straight away. However Carla Neggers deftly gives enough information about each of them so that I can enjoy the story.

The setting is delightful – I have a weakness for books set in Maine and we also visit Ireland and its beautiful west coast. The characters themselves are a mixture of Maine and Irish and they mingle very well!

The book has a fun cast, art thief detectives, FBI, MI5 and MI6, an art thief (reformed)  and a priest to name a few of the varied roles. Many of them are either related to each other or married into a family. And half the time they seem to be trying to figure out what the other knows and is up to!

We start out with a stolen painting, a mysterious food poisoning on a yacht and links to some of the characters, makes for a mystery that soon has my brain whirling and wondering and desperately endeavouring to stay away from the back pages to peek! (I refrain – barely!) I did have one person in mind and it turned out I was on the right track, although I didn’t know the motivation.

I liked this story mostly for the characters, so varied and loveable. The mystery was interesting. I would have liked a little more action as the book tended to rely on a lot of dialogue rather than fast action. However I think it reads like a cozy mystery.

Would I read more in this series after my first foray into it? Yes I would because I’d want to find out more about the characters and what they have done and will do next.




Night Magic by Emilie Richards

Book coverPublished: Emilie Richards
Date: 15th August 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 335
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Author

Goodreads callout

Skeeter is more than the maverick people usually see. The man who sells caricatures on Jackson Square has caught the eye of a gallery owner in New York, and now he can create the art he really wants to–if he’s willing to make the leap.

Skeeter must make another leap. He and Daffy have met before, and their latent attraction ignites immediately. Still, before they can move forward, Skeeter has to tell her the truth about his past. And Daffy, who has specialized in short-term relationships, must now face the reason why.

As Daffy and Skeeter delve deeper into the world of voodoo, danger is all around them. They must find a way to stop the exploitation of Daffy’s client. But as they do, will they be able to overcome their own difficult pasts to find a future they can share?


Night Magic rounds out the New Orleans Nights trilogy by Emilie Richards. This is an entirely new book, the previous two were updated and republished. This one completes a series I was so happy to have the opportunity to read. Thanks to the wonderful phenomenon of Indie publishing.

I had loved Skeeter – especially in book one, and so it was with anticipation of a book I’d enjoy I opened up Night Magic. I had been hoping that Skeeter would still have a bit of the bad boy in him, but truly I don’t really think he ever was. He has a heart of gold and incredible talent as an artist. As well he’s open to a new relationship.

Daffy is a psychologist trying to crack open the world of a small group of teenage girls who are very tight lipped. She’s good at her job, astute and caring. But… she herself has some left over issues from childhood that truly are holding her back.

The baddie in this story? Well that would be one of the other characters and a whole lot of hokum pokum voodoo hoodoo.  It’s a race against time to track down the person, place and time to uncover who and what is at the root of the mysterious goings on.

Full of New Orleans flavour this is a highly entertaining and satisfying story. And… I got my wish – this story ended just as I was hoping.

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Bayou Midnight by Emilie Richards

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Published: Emilie Richards   2nd Edition
Date: 15th July 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 305
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Author

Goodreads callout

Homicide detective Sam Long is determined to solve his latest case, but he can’t move forward without help. His best witness to arson and murder is a little girl, and whatever she saw on the night of the fire is safely locked away in her mind.

The last thing Sam wants is to consult with anyone, especially Dr. Antoinette Deveraux, a beautiful psychologist trained in hypnosis. He’s certain there’s no place for someone like compassionate Antoinette in a murder investigation. But when she unlocks the child’s memories, Antoinette unlocks something primal and compelling in Sam’s own heart.


Bayou Midnight is the second book in the New Orleans trilogy by Emilie Richards. It is a revised and updated version of a previously published book. These books are set in New Orleans before hurricane Katrina changed it up so much.

As a reader not familiar with this part of the world I have to say I was fascinated by the setting that Emilie Richards describes so well.   I was on my computer researching who cajuns are and their history.  I know the author dearly loves this place, myself I’d be a little nervous, but it certainly is unique.

This is a romantic story about Antoinette – a psychologist and Sam the policeman. We met both in the previous book, and Sam was  someone  I really didn’t like. He was a very suspicious and prickly man, although very loyal and once a friend – always a friend.

In this book he has all these same qualities, plus we see a gentle compassionate side, and that same prickly veneer. He is totally against getting involved and yet very attracted to the lovely Antoinette. I liked her very much, although she has one foible that could lead her into ill health if she kept it up.

The suspense part is that someone is trying to blow up an oil rig and damage an oil company who have been poor employers.  Sam is on the case, but he doesn’t seem to get anywhere until suddenly it is very close to home.

I loved the writing and the descriptions in this book and of course really the characters are just so adorable.  I am so waiting for Night Magic which is Skeeter’s story – a friend of Sams.  This will be a totally new story because back in the bad old days of publishing they thought he was too much of a bad boy to have a book. Oh my! Little did they know then. For my taste he has been cleaned up a bit too much in Book 2 so I hope he still has his attitude when his book now comes to life next month. We shall see!


Lady of the Night by Emilie Richards

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Published: Emilie Richards
Date:  June 15th 2018
Format:  e-ARC
Pages:  276
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Source: Author

Goodreads callout

The fragile young woman, lying comatose in the ward of City Hospital in New Orleans, has no name and no memories. When she finally awakens, the one thing she can remember is a man’s voice calling her back to consciousness.

In all his years of training, no one has touched psychologist Joshua Martane in the same way, and he is determined to help her. Suspected prostitute. Near victim of a serial killer. Mystery surrounds who she is–and who she isn’t.


Lady of the Night is the first of three in the series New Orleans Nights.   I loved reading this one and I certainly look forward to the next two.

This book tells the story of a young woman who awakes in the city hospital, with no memory of who she is, after experiencing terrible trauma. She has been in a coma for so long that they have put her in a psych ward and pretty much given up hope. Except for one psychologist who spends time talking to her, and when she awakes goes into bat for her against the establishment.

The opening chapter immediately sucked me in and I was wondering about this mystery, questions of who, where, what, why, how arose and I wanted them all answered. And eventually they were!

Joshua is the psychologist who helps Maggie as they name her.  He is a compassionate man, a passionate and good therapist. In the face of challenge he can be strong, and calls a spade a spade and tells it like he sees it. But… he has an achilles heel as a result of a past experience, so… he is imperfect and human!  Which makes him a bit frustrating as well.

Josh has two friends from his youth, and both are interesting so I anticipate we will also have Sam’s and Skeeter’s stories to relish along the way. Sam was a bit of a nuisance to begin with but after awhile I liked him.  However it is Skeeter I felt really drawn to… yeah he’s an insightful artist and seems to dabble still in a little ‘crime’ like all three did in their youth.

Maggie’s story is heartbreaking, but once she starts to heal there is no stopping her, and often I thought she was as gifted with insight as Josh or even had more. Sometimes I had to stop and think who was the psychologist!

There is a nasty character as well, of course there is! And he is out to get Maggie. So the plot moves along really well with good pace until all is sorted!  All very satisfying! I just might have bought a paperback copy to put on that keeper shelf!


The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard

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Published: William Morrow
Date:   6th March 2018
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 400
Genre:Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss

Goodreads callout

Levi Butcher is singularly devoted to his work. As team leader for the GO-Team, his unwavering focus is on the mission. Levi knows all too well that one minor distraction can hold deadly consequences. But with the soothing, sensual voice of “Babe,” the team’s communication expert, constantly in his ear, keeping his concentration on the dangerous work at hand is becoming extremely difficult.

Jina Modell definitely doesn’t feel like a “Babe,” especially when she’s working with the gruff, no-nonsense Levi. When the base where she’s stationed is attacked, Jina manages to escape but the rest of the team, working some distance away, is exfiltrated, thinking Jina died in the explosion—leaving her stranded. To survive, she’s got to figure out how to get back to safety before she’s discovered by the enemy.


I thoroughly enjoyed this military like romantic suspense novel – The Woman Left Behind by Linda Howard. It was pure escapist reading, that kept me up reading two nights in a row.

Jina or “Babe” as her team name her to her disgust, is a gritty, sassy and very able young woman who just cannot quit. Her brothers have given her the basis for that and now when she finds herself thrown into a entirely new and different experience, she does not give up.

The team is a little like a Seal team, they train hard and they go on missions that involve stealth and secrecy. They might be government approved but they are not ‘official’. The team is led by Levi or Ace as he is known to his team, on the first day that Jina turns up for training with a new group, they draw her out and make sure they train her. Its gruelling stuff, not for the fainthearted. However Jina is not one to take any nonsense and she has a mouth on her and the ability to stand up to them.  And very soon bonds are formed and they are moving towards trust. I loved the whole team aspect and the guys on the team. The training period takes up a good deal of the story, and I liked that – all the challenges and the final one of parachuting which Gina finds really difficult.

Then they are out on missions and Gina is out with them, its her job to operate a drone that surveys the field while the team carry out there task – which usually involves weapons. And then one time things go really wrong and Gina is left on her own and lets just say it rocks her world.

A romance is obviously brewing – Gina and Levi are attracted to one another, but because they work on a team together they can’t let it go any further. Watching the two sidestep each other was very entertaining – right through to the final resolution.

Action, romance, a little suspense and team comradeship. Now and then its just the kind of read I find perfect.