Tag Archives: romantic thriller

Mrs. Varman by Sanjeeta Behera Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A loving and hard-working wife struggling to connect with her husband finds her world turned upside down after a chance meeting in author Sanjeeta Behera’s “Mrs. Varman”. 

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The Synopsis 

Julia is a versatile wife. She could relish a chicken burger with ease or lick her fingers off spicy chicken curry accompanied by frequent gulps of water when having them along with her husband Sachin. She loved to add variety to her cooking as well be it American, Chinese or Indian. She could acclimatize in a different cultural background, though not very different since Sachin was born and brought up in America with roots in India.

She could travel to anyplace with him as well, but not just because of her love for him, she loves to travel and explore herself. If all this doesn’t make you feel that she is versatile then wait till you reach the end of the Novel and explore the ups and downs in her life, her experiences and multiple characters that come to life in your way.

She travelled all the way to India along with Sachin. On the sweaty, tiring days of summer and on days that she would hanker for her husbands love she did feel low and discouraged. But she was able to get out of it. She couldn’t keep her hair on though at times during her highs or lows. She didn’t want to. She wanted to express it when happy and burst out in tears when not.

Vijay, especially notorious and ignorant what Lalbagh Colony would describe him as, got flattered by grace or sophistication. Within a shanty dwelling, he thought cutlery of silver was not out of reach, still he could fumble when his fake branded t-shirt just welcomed a real one.

He had a dramatic past and thinks that Julia can help him get what he was missing in his life.

Julia travels, explores, adjusts to different environments, learns a lot and this story will take you through her fascinating journey that includes a thrilling experience.

The Review

This was an incredibly well-balanced novel. The author did a great job of balancing out the intrigue and mystery of the narrative with the romance and the family drama of the character development. The rich atmosphere and setting the author crafted were expertly brought to life through the perfect combination of imagery and tone, conjuring up the varying settings in a way that made them almost a characters unto themselves.

The character development was truly the highlight of this narrative, mainly due to the great emphasis on culture and the cultural clashes and similarities that we all share. The back and forth travel between the U.S and India, as well as the backstories and cultures of the cast of characters, made situations experienced by many the world over feel fresh and unique, and drew me in as a reader. This also helped elevate the main mystery as it was revealed and became the glue that held the structural balance between this mystery and the humor and drama of the main characters.

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The Verdict

A memorable, heartfelt, and entertaining read, author Sanjeeta Behera’s “Mrs. Varman” is a must-read romance thriller of 2022. The unique cultural perspective and the fast-paced family drama and mystery help elevate this story of love, marriage, and what happens when relationships feel the strain of life and we struggle to find our true identity in life. If you haven’t yet, be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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Lure: Jesse & Hawk by W.L. Hawkin Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A wounded doctor and a vegan nature photographer find their paths crossing as the dangers of a missing persons’ case suddenly become a murder investigation years later, and must learn not only to survive together against two nefarious figures but learn if they can hold onto the growing feelings they have for one another in author W.L. Hawkin’s “Lure: Jesse & Hawk”.

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The Synopsis

Hawk is a wounded doctor bent on losing himself on the Chippewa reservation.

Jesse’s a vegan nature photographer trying to find herself on that same wild land.

When Hawk shoots the deer Jesse’s photographing, passions flare. Then Jesse hears that Hawk’s friend is dying and sets off alone on horseback to warn him. He deserves the chance to say goodbye she never had.

BUT DANGER LURKS EVERYWHERE NEAR THE SMALL MIDWESTERN TOWN OF LURE RIVER.

Jesse’s just discovered the twenty-year-old bones of a missing Indigenous girl in her shed and drawn the unwanted attention of two local men.

CAN JESSE FIND HAWK BEFORE THEY FIND HER?

Ruby Little Bear’s tragic tale weaves through the narrative, reminding us that ONE MOMENT CAN CHANGE EVERYTHING.

The Review

This was the absolute best combination of romance and suspense. The wildness of the two protagonists’ tense and heated romance mirrored the equally wild landscape they found themselves in. The complex backstories that have brought each of them to the emotional place they meet each other in will captivate readers and bring the wellspring of tears that these emotional romances often have. 

The rich mystery and suspense surrounding the thriller aspect of this narrative were so engaging to read. The striking backstory of this small town and the tragedy that has been kept in the shadows for two decades highlights the small-town atmosphere that keeps these mysteries lasting as long as they often do, both in fiction and reality itself. The back and forth look into who is responsible for the missing young woman and the complex relationship between the town and the indigenous people who have been so badly affected by this senseless death will have readers glued to the pages as each chapter unravels the intricacies of this mystery.

The Verdict

Haunting, thoughtful, and passionate, author W.L. Hawkin’s “Lure: Jesse & Hawk” is a must-read romantic thriller of 2022! A truly entertaining and captivating story of love lost, love found, and the lengths we are willing to go to in order to keep the past hidden, the author did an incredible job of finding a harmonious chord between the narrative and dynamic character development that cannot be matched. Be sure to grab your copy today!

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

W. L. Hawkin writes myth, magic, and mayhem designed to inspire and entertain. Described as “intoxicating, lush, magically-edgy, page-turners,” her Hollystone Mysteries series features a coven of witches who solve murders using their wits and ritual magic with a little help from the gods. Wendy is also a published blogger, book reviewer, Indie publisher, and poet, with a background in Indigenous Studies and English literature. She loves myth and magic, so when she’s not writing, she’s studying Druidry, shamanism, and mediumship. Although she is an introvert, in each book, her characters go on a journey where she has traveled herself.

She defies genre by writing character-driven fast-paced mysteries and thrillers that involve fantastical characters. See her four book series: To Charm a Killer, To Sleep with Stones, To Render a Raven, and To Kill a King.

@authoranthonyavina

Check out my #bookreview of author W.L. Hawkins’s #Lure a brand new adult #mysteryromance novel! #booktok #bookworm

♬ Mysterious – Andreas Scherren

Fire on the Island: A Romantic Thriller by Timothy Jay Smith Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own. 

A young Greek-American FBI agent finds himself searching for an arsonist, uncovering hidden secrets in a small island community in the Greek Islands and wrestling with a growing and passionate affair with someone who may very well be the prime suspect in the arson case in author Timothy Jay Smith’s “Fire on the Island: A Romantic Thriller”.

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The Synopsis

For lovers of crime fiction and the allure of the Greek islands, Fire on the Island is the perfect summer read. 

FIRE ON THE ISLAND is a playful, romantic thriller set in contemporary Greece, with a gay Greek-American FBI agent, who is undercover on the island to investigate a series of mysterious fires. Set against the very real refugee crisis on the beautiful, sun-drenched Greek islands, this novel paints a loving portrait of a community in crisis. As the island residents grapple with declining tourism, poverty, refugees, family feuds, and a perilously damaged church, an arsonist invades their midst.

Nick Damigos, the FBI agent, arrives on the island just in time to witness the latest fire and save a beloved truffle-sniffing dog. Hailed as a hero and embraced by the community, Nick finds himself drawn to Takis, a young bartender who becomes his primary suspect, which is a problem because they’re having an affair. Theirs is not the only complicated romance in the community and Takis isn’t the only suspicious character on the island. The priest is an art forger, a young Albanian waiter harbors a secret, the captain of the coast guard station seems to have his own agenda, and the village itself hides a violent history. Nick has to unravel the truth in time to prevent catastrophe, as he comes to terms with his own past trauma. In saving the village, he will go a long way toward saving himself.

A long time devotee of the Greek islands, Smith paints the setting with gorgeous color and empathy, ushering in a new romantic thriller with the charm of  Zorba the Greek while shedding bright light on the very real challenges of life in contemporary Greece.

The Review

A brilliant blend of action, dramatic tension, thrills and romantic humor and passion, author Timothy Jay Smith has created an engaging read that will keep readers invested in the cast of characters throughout the narrative. The novel does an excellent job of not only creating the tension of the thriller and the passion of the romance, but infuses into it the tone of the very real distrust, heartbreak and painful situation regarding refugees forced to flee and ending up in the Greek Islands. It demonstrates the division amongst the communities regarding accepting and helping these refugees and those who want to blame them for all of society’s woes. 

Amidst this important storytelling sits a beautiful work of character building that really fleshes out the cast of characters well in this novel. The setting comes alive on the pages of this book and really does a great job of making this community become its own character, giving the book’s plot more heft and importance as the story progresses. 

The Verdict

A must-read novel, “Fire on the Island” by Timothy Jay Smith is a fantastic read with a quick pace and engaging plot that will keep the readers on the edge of their seat both for the book’s thrilling plot and romantic character developments. Be sure to grab your own copy on July 7th, 2020. 

Rating: 10/10

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About the Author

Raised crisscrossing America pulling a small green trailer behind the family car, Timothy Jay Smith developed a ceaseless wanderlust that has taken him around the world many times. En route, he’s found the characters that people his work. Polish cops and Greek fishermen, mercenaries and arms dealers, child prostitutes and wannabe terrorists, Indian Chiefs and Indian tailors: he’s hung with them all in an unparalleled international career that’s seen him smuggle banned plays from behind the Iron Curtain, maneuver through Occupied Territories, represent the U.S. at the highest levels of foreign governments, and stowaway aboard a ‘devil’s barge’ for a three-day crossing from Cape Verde that landed him in an African jail.

Tim brings the same energy to his writing that he brought to a distinguished career, and as a result, he has won top honors for his novels, screenplays and stage plays in numerous prestigious competitions. Fire on the Island won the Gold Medal in the 2017 Faulkner-Wisdom Competition for the Novel. Another novel, The Fourth Courier, set in Poland, will be published in spring 2019 by Skyhorse Publishing. Previously, he won the Paris Prize for Fiction (now the Paris Literary Prize) for his novel, A Vision of Angels. Kirkus Reviews called Cooper’s Promise “literary dynamite” and selected it as one of the Best Books of 2012.

Tim was nominated for the 2017 Pushcart Prize. His stage play, How High the Moon, won the prestigious Stanley Drama Award, and his screenplays have won competitions sponsored by the American Screenwriters Association, WriteMovies, Houston WorldFest, Rhode Island International Film Festival, Fresh Voices, StoryPros, and the Hollywood Screenwriting Institute. He is the founder of the Smith Prize for Political Theater.

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Storm of Attraction by Lily Black Review

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions are my own.

A complex tale of rivalry, obsession and passion erupts into a fantastic romantic thriller in author Lily Black’s Storm of Attraction. Here’s the synopsis:

Love is worth fighting for.

Alexa Wolving has just one rule: never give a guy a second chance. That works just fine in the safe life she’s built. In the charming town of Willowdale, her day job as a librarian balances perfectly with her evening job as a black belt instructor. But when she attracts the attention of a stalker, Alexa’s carefully built world begins to crumble.

Drew Cosimo knows he broke Alexa’s heart five years ago when he took his first Ranger assignment and disappeared from her life. Now that he’s out of the army, he’s moving back home to Willowdale. He’s not looking for a fight, but making peace would be easier if Alexa hadn’t told the entire town he was a money-grubbing jerk. Despite the tension between them, Drew is quick to offer his protection when a stalker forces Alexa from her home.

As the stalker’s attacks escalate, Alexa and Drew are forced to face their painful past and the simmering attraction between them. They must fight to save each other before everything they care about goes up in flames. 

This book was a very fast paced yet well developed read. The complex history between the two protagonists made for a wonderful look into relationships and how sometimes time apart can lead to unexpected reunions. Whether they be good or bad is up to you to decide, but in author Lily Black’s novel readers get to see an intoxicating relationship form between these two complex and emotionally scarred people. The edge of your seat thriller explores the danger of obsession and how that danger presents itself. It allows readers to see that asking for help and looking to others isn’t a sign of weakness, and by working together terrifying threats can be manageable. The best part of this though is seeing how the danger of this stalker brings these two driven yet emotional people closer together than they ever anticipated.

Overall I loved this story. The characters were engaging to the point where I’d love to read more stories featuring these two protagonists, and the big reveal of the stalker will leave the reader floored. This was a well rounded and emotionally driven read, and I highly recommend checking it out. If you haven’t yet be sure to grab your copies of author Lily Black’s Storm of Attraction today!

Rating: 10/10

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