ALWAYS YOU by Samantha Young

Arrochar Adair has loved her brother’s ex-bodyguard and best friend, Mac Galbraith, for years. Once upon a time, she was too young for him, but now that she’s a mature woman in her thirties, Arro can see no issue with their difference in age. Yet something deeper, a problem much more difficult to surmount, is keeping them apart.

Mac Galbraith remembers clearly the night Arro became everything to him, no longer just his best friend and boss’s younger sister. However, having made many mistakes over the years, there is one mistake Mac is determined not to make: to believe that he is worthy of Arrochar Adair. Allowing them to grow closer during his daughter, Robyn’s, return has proven his undoing. And when Arro forces the subject of their relationship, his response pushes her away. He just never meant for it to destroy them completely.

Devastated by Mac’s final rejection, Arro is determined to move on without him in her life, though he seems intent on staying put. And when the Adair family face a new threat, one that may have ties to Mac’s past, Arro can’t seem to be rid of the man. In fact, Mac will do anything to protect her.

But with so much hurt between them, will Arro let Mac close enough to guard her from their enemy… before it’s too late?


Title : Always You
Author : Samantha Young
Series : Adair Family #3
Format : eARC
Page Count : 368
Genre : Romantic Suspense
Publisher : Self Published
Release Date : April 26, 2022

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Push and pull
Murderous designs
Longings

I’ve been waiting for Mac’s story in particular from the Adair family and it was an epic push and pull of emotions with plenty of angst along the way. The Highland setting remains a great backdrop to this family and as ever with this series, we get the previous couples along the way which I enjoyed.

Arro and Mac’s long and convoluted, crush, attaction, denial, resistance and pull was something to unravel. The narrative had some past and present in the first half to truly understand the history of these two. There was much more to their story than I realised. I had moments of finding both Arro and Mac infuriating, their miscommunications, some of Arro’s actions, followed by Mac’s…but, it made for a deep story and deeper connection.

There was an interesting side story of Mac seeking therapy which I appreciated even if I didn’t really engage that much with the narrative of those sessions. The suspense element of this story harked back to previous vendettas and plots while bringing some newer complications. I do like that this series is romantic suspense.

I love the weaves of Ery’s story being set up and I can’t wait to know more about her. I’m hoping she’s next.

Thank you to the author for the early review copy.

UNCHARTED by Adriana Anders

Hotshot pilot Leo Eddowes is afraid of nothing and no one. So when she’s asked to evacuate a man from the wilds of Alaska, she doesn’t hesitate. But with enemies in close pursuit and the weather turning sour, what should have been a simple mission quickly shifts to disaster.

And there’s only one way out.

When Elias Thorne disappeared, he was America’s most wanted. Now he’s spent more than a decade in one of the most remote places on earth, guarding a dangerous secret. Leo’s arrival, quickly followed by a team of expert hunters, leaves him no choice but to join forces with her—and run. Neither is prepared for their reluctant partnership to flare into something as wild and untamed as the frozen world around them…but as desperately cold days melt into scorchingly hot nights, Leo and Elias must learn to dig deep, trust in each other, and forge a bond as strong as the forces of nature.

Stranded together in a frozen wilderness,
There’s nowhere left to run… 


Title : Uncharted
Author : Adriana Anders
Series : Survival Instincts #2
Format : eARC
Page Count : 384
Genre : Romantic Suspense
Publisher : Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date : August 24, 2021

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Action-brimming
Survival with proximity
Page-turner

The second book in this series did not disappoint me at all, in fact, it lived up to all my hopes. It was a new couple and I wondered if I could feel the same connection as the previous couple. The answer was I did and quickly.

The story started with a bang and with Leo, a pilot, brave and a bit stupid gung-ho. She held the stage until Elias entered the story and together they made compelling reading. I want to say nothing about the plot because it was clever and kept the story from book one going but in a fresh way, however these two were part of that complex picture.

While this book had its adrenaline moments, feelings of helplessness, that was well balanced with a suspicious connection between the MCs that built into both investing in surviving. As that relationship evolved, it was as much of a page-turner as was the suspense plot.

He felt rearranged by this woman. His insides would never be the same again.

I loved everything about the Alaskan context, the danger of it, the nature. The set up for the next book sounds good and I can’t wait to read more.

Thank you to the publisher/netgalley for the early review copy.

HERE WITH ME by Samantha Young – double review!

Settled in the tranquil remoteness of the Scottish Highlands, Ardnoch Estate caters to the rich and famous. It is as unattainable and as mysterious as its owner —ex-Hollywood leading man Lachlan Adair—and it’s poised on the edge of a dark scandal.

After narrowly escaping death, police officer Robyn Penhaligon leaves behind her life in Boston in search of some answers. Starting with Mac Galbraith, the Scottish father who abandoned her to pursue his career in private security. To re-connect with Mac, Robyn will finally meet a man she’s long resented. Lachlan Adair. Hostility instantly brews between Robyn and Lachlan. She thinks the head of the Adair family is high-handed and self-important. And finding closure with Mac is proving more difficult than she ever imagined. Robyn would sooner leave Ardnoch, but when she discovers Mac is embroiled in a threat against the Adairs and the exclusive members of the estate, she finds she’s not yet ready to give up on her father.

Determined to ensure Mac’s safety, Robyn investigates the disturbing crimes at Ardnoch, forcing her and Lachlan to spend time together. Soon it becomes clear a searing attraction exists beneath their animosity, and temptation leads them down a perilous path.

While they discover they are connected by something far more addictive than passion, Lachlan cannot let go of his grip on a painful past: a past that will destroy his future … if the insidious presence of an enemy lurking in the shadows of Ardnoch doesn’t do the job first.


Title : Here With Me
Author : Samantha Young
Series : Adair Family #1
Format : eARC / eBook (overdrive)
Page Count : 506
Genre : Romantic Suspense
Publisher : Self Published
Release Date : May 11, 2021

Reviewer : Micky / Hollis
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★ / ★ ★ ★ .5


Micky’s 4 star review

Headlines:
Broody v ballsy
Sinister escalations
Feisty female lead

I love a good romantic suspense read and Here With Me reminded me very much of a Nora Roberts read in that genre. I think that’s a pretty high accolade. This was a long book but it didn’t feel it.

The meeting of a Bostonite and a Scot on a highland estate was the premise for this read but there was a rich plot of Robyn’s estrangement from her dad, Mac and some sinister goings on at the exclusive club that Lachlan owned.

Lachlan was the right level of brooding with character depth and Robyn was such a great, confident and feisty character. I loved Robyn’s attitude towards Lachlan and how their antagonism grew into something more.

The suspense plot was good, with periods of tension but not constant. To be fair, I guessed the person behind the things happening on the estate early on but it didn’t affect my enjoyment. I am here for more from this series and I curious as to whether they will all be suspense. Here With Me will appeal to On Dublin Street fans even with the suspense added in, the characters have a similar vibe.

Thank you to the author for the early review copy.


Hollis’ 3.5 star review

Having never read anything by this author before I didn’t quite know what to expect. I had seen friends really enjoy this series and thought hey, my library has it, why not. And while we started off a little rocky with some inconsistent details that my brain refused to let go of, despite the fact that it was pretty silly, and I wasn’t quite sure how to deal with the love interest, Robyn quickly won me over; and honestly she’s the reason I enjoyed this so much.

We love to see a strong, badass, kickass, capable, woman — but one who doesn’t also fall into the pitfalls some authors lean into by also making her emotionally closed off or invulnerable. Robyn was very well rounded, very open with her thoughts and feelings and communicated them well, and honestly I don’t think Lachlan deserves her. But I did warm to him over time; Young gave him some realistic reasons for the way he was but.. he still didn’t make a great impression and did still frustrate me at times as he continually stumbled over things, screwed up, and had to make amends. Again and again. But. I respect how the author made him challenge himself and his emotional response to some things (I’m thinking of one particular instance) even if half the time his family had to kick his ass to get it all moving in the right direction.

I did guess who was behind the big whoddunit it of the story pretttyyyy early on and I want to make a comment about something kind of obvious that was a huge red flag clue but I don’t want to hint or spoil at anything for anyone else so I’ll zip it. So that was a little annoying to live through b u t I also appreciate that we got to see how frustrating it can be for investigators when clues don’t add up in a neat way, you’re fooled by what’s right in front of you, and cases drag out. There was no quick solve here and that did feel pretty realistic.

I’ll admit one thing I really dislike in a story is getting a backstory via internal exposition and then immediately having it explained in dialogue as well; it’s one thing to have it come up a chapter or two before and then it’s expressed in dialogue later but Young often had it back to back and I was a bit annoyed by that. I don’t know if that’s a style choice or it just happened to show up in this one. Not my favourite.

This book, and likely the series, is made up of some pretty complicated and complex dynamics; in both sibling and parental relationships and I did enjoy some of it but others kind of drove me batty. I’ll be interested to see how the second book plays out considering I feel zero compassion towards the new leading lady (though I’m sure she’ll be made out to have reasons for her actions) whereas I have plenty for the love interest. So maybe my bias will switch out for that one? Who knows.

Here With Me is definitely a little over the top in some ways, a bit dramatic, but there’s a backbone of really good emotional beats and discussion around family and forgiveness that, as mentioned, was carried by a great leading lady. I might not be awarding top marks but I devoured this (not short) book in one sitting so maybe that says enough.

THE VANISHING by Jayne Ann Krentz

From New York Times bestselling author Jayne Ann Krentz comes a gripping new romantic suspense trilogy fraught with danger and enigma.

Decades ago in the small town of Fogg Lake, The Incident occurred: an explosion in the cave system that released unknown gases. The residents slept for two days. When they woke up they discovered that things had changed-they had changed. Some started having visions. Others heard ominous voices. And then, scientists from a mysterious government agency arrived. Determined not to become research subjects of strange experiments, the residents of Fogg Lake blamed their “hallucinations” on food poisoning, and the story worked. But now it has become apparent that the eerie effects of The Incident are showing up in the descendants of Fogg Lake…

Catalina Lark and Olivia LeClair, best friends and co-owners of an investigation firm in Seattle, use what they call their “other sight” to help solve cases. When Olivia suddenly vanishes one night, Cat frantically begins the search for her friend. No one takes the disappearance seriously except Slater Arganbright, an agent from a shadowy organization known only as the Foundation, who shows up at her firm with a cryptic warning.

A ruthless killer is hunting the only witnesses to a murder that occurred in the Fogg Lake caves fifteen years ago-Catalina and Olivia. And someone intends to make both women vanish.


Title : The Vanishing
Author : Jayne Ann Krentz
Series : Fogg Lake #1
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 294
Genre : Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Publisher : Piatkus
Release Date : July 2, 2020

Reviewer : Micky
Rating  : ★ ★ ★ .5


Micky’s 3.5 star review

A very readable suspense/thriller with a romance that wasn’t overly convincing but it wasn’t the main stage at all, so it didn’t spoil the show. Set around a town called Fogg Lake, known for its strange folks, this story was shrouded in mystery as well as fog.

The story started with great traction, in the city and two private investigators who were ex-Fogg Lake residents. The whole legacy of that small town was interesting and in some ways, I wanted a bit more about the town and less about the caves and lab. Maybe some of that is going to come later in the series.

Catalina was on the hunt for her kidnapped partner and someone was sent from ‘The Foundation’ to assist. Some of the secret world underpinnig the psychics took a bit of getting hold of but I got there. Slater from who arrived to assist, quickly became relationship potential but I didn’t feel the connection or the speed of their romance but I did like them both as characters.

The killer on the loose was the usual suspenseful reading and overall a solid, enjoyable experience. Jayne Ann Krentz is easy to read, reliable and I’ll definitely indulge in more from this series.

UNTOUCHABLE by Jayne Ann Krentz

Quinton Zane is back.

Jack Lancaster, consultant to the FBI, has always been drawn to the coldest of cold cases, the kind that law enforcement either considers unsolvable or else has chalked up to accidents or suicides. As a survivor of a fire, he finds himself uniquely compelled by arson cases. His almost preternatural ability to get inside the killer’s head has garnered him a reputation in some circles — and complicated his personal life. The more cases Jack solves, the closer he slips into the darkness. His only solace is Winter Meadows, a meditation therapist. After particularly grisly cases, Winter can lead Jack back to peace.

But as long as Quinton Zane is alive, Jack will not be at peace for long. Having solidified his position as the power behind the throne of his biological family’s hedge fund, Zane sets out to get rid of Anson Salinas’s foster sons, starting with Jack.


Title : Untouchable
Author : Jayne Ann Krentz
Series : Cutler, Sutter & Salinas #3
Format : Paperback
Page Count : 308
Genre : Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Publisher : Piatkus, Little Brown UK
Release Date : October 29, 2019

Reviewer : Micky
Rating : ★ ★ ★ ★


Micky’s 4 star review

I received this book in the post, I hadn’t requested it and I made the mistake of picking it up to see what the first few pages were like. It turned out that picking it up wasn’t a mistake because about 50 pages later I was fully immersed in the story.

UNTOUCHABLE is a romantic suspense, more thriller in my opinion with shades of the supernatural. In lots of ways this book was out of my comfort zone with themes of hypnotism and lucid dreaming but colour me surprised when I just went with the flow and enjoyed the story.

The main character, Winter is a lone wolf, moving around and new to the small town. Her neighbour and fellow cabin-renter, Jack was also Winter’s meditation client. Jack was something else with some weird skills that some might call flaws. The story started with a bang and the fast moving events were basically what dragged me into the story. In fact, the whole book was fast paced and I enjoyed the thrills and unknown bends in the road.

This book is actually the third in a series of connected characters (brothers) but it stood alone perfectly well. I read this without any disadvantage of not reading the others but I do find myself curious enough to go back and read them.

If I have any critique it is that I would have liked to get to know Jack and Winter a little better as individuals. As a couple, I would have also appreciated a bit more emotional connection but as with some suspense books, the story was told over a relatively short period of time as events unfolded. This was my first book by Jayne Ann Krentz and I would definitely seek her out again.

Thank you Little Brown UK & Piatkus for this finished review copy.

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