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June Romance Reviews

I thought I'd share some of the favorite books I've read over the last month. These all had May/June releases. I've been super into intrigue and romantic suspense lately, as you can tell! These are all 4 and 5 star reads. All the links go to Amazon, but they are available on all retailers.

Evasive Action

She’s seen too much to survive.
Minutes before her wedding, April Hart learns her fiancé is a drug lord. Now the only person she can trust is a man from her past—border patrol agent Clay Archer. Two years ago April left Clay at the altar to keep him out of the grip of her dangerous family. This time, Clay is determined to guard April—and his heart. But the truth will plunge them into a brutal endgame where safety equals merciless betrayal…

This was my first Carol Ericson intrigue, but not my last. Evasive Action had me hooked from the first page and I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. While the plot was your typical jilted bride leaves the groom on the wedding day, there was a twist with April Hart. It was the second time she'd done it. Faced with a dangerous situation because of her groom, Jimmy, she has no one to turn to but her ex - border patrol agent Clay Archer.
When April drives back into Clay's life, he's already dealing with dead bodies on the border. When he arrives home to find April in his driveway, he's less than thrilled the woman who left with him the 'it's not you, it's me' excuse was back in his life, wearing a wedding dress no less! Things turn ugly quickly when Clay brings his job home with him and now April is caught up in the mystery of the bodies in the desert.

I loved the action in Evasive Action and the sexual tension between Clay and April. They worked well together, even if their relationship had gone bad, and you could tell they still loved each other. The mystery of why April left slowly unravels, and while it was easy to see exactly who was involved and why, I loved how the author revealed it across the arc of the book.

A lot of the unnatural description of body movements did drive me a little bit crazy by the end. All the characters were constantly flicking their fingers and the over describing of the body language sometimes took you out of the story. Thankfully, the dialogue was able to draw you back into it immediately, at least until the next time it happened.

If you're looking for a new intrigue series to start, Evasive Action is a great thrill ride through New Mexico with a hottie border patrol agent, his sweet dog Denali, and a woman who while a little gullible (for good reason) always manages to handle her own business.

Best-selling, award-winning romance author, Carol Ericson, has written more than 50 books, mostly romantic suspense. A California girl and graduate of UCLA, Carol lives near the ocean with her husband and their giant dog. Carol has an eerie fascination for true crime, a weakness for reality TV, and a fondness for really hot salsa. For more information about Carol's books, please visit her website at, join her newsletter, and like her on Facebook.
Hunting the Colton Fugitive

Her business is finding criminals…

But can she risk falling for a fugitive?

Capturing Ace Colton is the solution to bounty hunter Sierra Madden’s troubles. The bounty will pay off the vicious loan shark whose goons are after her. Too cynical to buy Ace’s protestations of innocence, Sierra tamps down her growing attraction. But when she’s the ultimate target, she might be forced to rely on the absolute last person she should trust.

Wow, I just finished Hunting the Colton Fugitive and what a romantic suspense ride it was! For the first time in a long time, the romance was almost 50/50 with the suspense, which is really hard to find lately. In fact, the romance was woven into the book from start to finish and done as well as the suspense plot was. *Disclaimer--this is book 11 of this miniseries and I had no issue reading it without having read the other 10. Do I want to? Yes! But I could read #11 and know everything that was going on without having read all the others*

Ace Colton is on the run or rather he's holed up trying to prove his innocence that he didn't kill the man who raised him. Payne Colton was the man Ace always thought was his father, until he's sent an email saying otherwise. When they find his father in the boardroom, shot, they head directly to Ace as a suspect. Rather than sit around and wait to see if he's arrested, he takes off, trying to find the answers on his own.

Enter sassy Sierra, bounty hunter extraordinaire. She's eager to bring Ace in for his step-mother to collect the bounty she needs to pay off her father's debts. If she doesn't, she's going to lose a leg to 'Ice Vein'. (As an amputee, I'll admit that scene made me shiver) It isn't until she finds Ace, and has an instant and unexplainable connection with him, that she starts to wonder if he's being set up.

The two pair up to prove his innocence and explore the growing attraction between them. Of course, they have to do this while dodging bullets and men with knives. Ace's family is a complicated mess and so is Sierra's. She has a past she's not proud of and she knows that even though Ace might not be a Colton, he still grew up in a family that protects their own, unlike hers did.

Shoot-outs, revenge, and distrust abound as Ace, Sierra, and several of the Colton brood try to stop the real killer from taking the lives of several Coltons. The tense struggles and painful revelations bring Sierra and Ace closer, giving them a leg to stand on when their world rights itself again.

There are many surprises in this book for the reader, less so if you've read the rest of the miniseries, I suppose, but I really enjoyed the reveal to Ace of his unexpected family. Now I have to go back and read book 10! If you're looking for a miniseries to start that will keep you busy all summer long you definitely want to grab Hunting the Colton Fugitive and all of The Coltons of Mustang Valley Books!

RITA-nominated, bestselling author Colleen Thompson writes fast-paced romantic thrillers that put the reader in the heart of the story. When she's not busy writing, she can usually be found exploring remote corners of her adopted home state of Texas, working with her rescue dog, or speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.
The Cowboy's Claim

He’s discovered his leading lady

The role of her dreams: in his arms.

Chloe Daniels is determined to land the role of a lifetime. Even if she’s terrified to get on a horse! And the last thing her reluctant teacher, Tristan Tillbridge, wants is to entertain a pampered actress. But the enigmatic cowboy soon discovers that Chloe is as genuine as she is gorgeous, and he’s determined to make her his. Will this unlikely pair discover that the sparks between them are anything but an act?

The Cowboy's Claim was an interesting take on the usual cowboy romance. Slow to start, you wonder if the romance will ever get there, but once it does, you can't help but root for the hero and heroine to be together. When the book opens, you meet Chloe, a down and out California actress who is vying for an important role in a film. Now, she's at Tillbridge stables out east for six weeks to prepare for her audition. This felt like a serious stretch to me just for an audition but I digress. She immediately clashes with the hero and the mood is set for that love to hate kind of relationship.

Chloe, put off by Tristan, isn't one to sit around and do nothing, so she jumps in to help around the stables at the restaurant and in housekeeping, rather than the stables where she's been sent to learn. Finally, she manages to make her own way in learning what she needs, without the help of Tristan.

Tristan, watching all of this from the sidelines while he's trying to run the stable that his cousin dropped into his lap when she took off, is impressed by Chloe's tenacity. He's also finding himself jealous of the other stable hands who are helping her learn the ropes.

Their relationship starts to change when they meet in a social situation and Tristan lets his guard down. He apologizes to Chloe and their friendship grows. To complicate the mix you have Tristan's ex-step-mother causing problems with his ability to get back in as a partner in the stable business and the fact that Chloe is leaving to go back to California in five weeks. Desperate to get as much out of their time together as possible, they refuse to define their relationship more than spending time together making love and riding horses.

The Cowboy's Claim was your typical push-pull type of romance novel with likable characters and a HEA that left plenty open for the rest of the series. If you love a series about tight-knit families, family-run businesses with lots of drama, and an opposites attract type of romance, you'll love this new series by Nina Crespo!

Nina Crespo is the author of steamy, flirty, sexy reads that satisfy your desire to escape into the wonderful world of "happy for now" or "happily ever after". Wine and coffee often fuel her imagination. Visit her at

Midnight Abduction

For the Tactical Crime Division, no case is left cold.

When Benning Reeves’s twins are kidnapped, the frantic father knows who can help: the Tactical Crime Division and Ana Ramirez. Even though Ana once shattered Benning’s heart, the special agent is the only one he can trust. But Ana is still tormented by the unresolved case that brought them together years before—a case somehow entangled with Benning’s children. It’s up to the TCD and Ana to discover why…before it’s too late.

Midnight Abduction was a great intrigue from Nichole Severn. I really enjoyed this one from page one when you're thrown into the chaos that is Ana and Benning. When Benning's six-year-old twins are kidnapped, he only knows one person to call, Agent Ana, his old fling, and the best FBI agent around.

I will say you will have to suspend reality with this book, especially if you're in the medical field, when it comes to the massive amount of fight scenes, shootings, stabbings, and hits on the head these two characters take in an attempt to save his son. I didn't deduct a star from it because the scenes generally moved the story forward, but I don't know a human on earth who can withstand the beatings these two took.

Moving on.

It is hard to review this one because of spoilers, but I will say, holy action Batman! It never stops from start to finish and you can't help but root for these two former lovers, not only to find his son but to find their way back to each other. Nichole can write an intrigue that keeps you turning the pages and never gives you a moment where you aren't wondering where this is going, who is behind it, and what's going to happen next. The HEA at the end definitely made up for all the pain and anguish you go through to get there!

If you're looking for a page-turning intrigue that will keep you up way too late into the night, definitely pick up Midnight Abduction!

Nichole Severn writes explosive romantic suspense with strong heroines, heroes who dare challenge them, and a hell of a lot of guns. She graduated from Utah Valley University with a degree in Psychology and from Nevada State College with a degree in English Literature. She's a member of Romance Writers of America.

She resides with her very supportive and patient husband, as well as her demon spawn, in Utah. When she's not writing, she's constantly injuring herself running, rock climbing, practicing yoga, and snowboarding.

Deadly Texas Summer

Someone murdered her coworker…

Is she the next target?

When her assistant’s death is ruled a suicide, wildlife biologist Emma Copley knows the authorities got it wrong. The killer is still out there, threatening Emma’s work and her life. Launching her own investigation, Emma turns to Beau Kingston, who’ll do anything to protect her—even resist their growing attraction. But the handsome rancher has secrets of his own, secrets that could cost them everything…

This was a fast-paced suspense novel that I really enjoyed. The book opens with Emma Copley, a professor and wildlife biologist, looking for her student and partner in her research project. When she finds him, she doesn't expect him to be dead. The sheriff in the town has a beef with his cousin who owns the land that the wind turbines are on, and the murder of Russel opens up a can of worms for Emma and Beau, the landowner.

Emma wants to work together with the sheriff to find Russell's killer, but the sheriff just wants her out of his town so he can focus on stealing the ranch from Beau, who he's convinced isn't a real Kingston. Unfortunately, he doesn't know Emma well enough and has no idea the lengths she will go to in order to avenge her student's death and prove that it was her ex-husband who did the killing.

Beau is a single widowed dad who's busy raising two boys while trying to keep his ranch alive. He's been faced with the lawsuit brought on by his cousin, the new wind turbine contract he signed to keep his ranch alive, and now a murder on his land. What really has him confused are his feeling for Emma Copley. The beautiful, but obviously broken, woman needs help and Beau plans to be the one to offer it. Only to the extent that gets the murder solved and her off his land before he does something he'll regret.

The romance part of this romantic suspense was a bit of a stretch until about 60%, which I'm finding more and more common in a genre that starts out with the word 'romantic.' I wish the relationship between Emma and Beau had been better explored. They got in their own way all the time rather than fight through their demons in a constructive way. The author didn't tell us how several things happened at the end, but the HEA for Emma and Beau was worth it!

The proofing errors in this book were off the charts. I know that's not the author's fault, but Harlequin needs to take another look at this one because it was distracting how many simple proofing errors there were.

With all of that said, would I recommend this book to a friend? Yes! I loved the mystery/suspense of the story, the characters, especially Aunt Alicia, Cort, and Leland. Two sweet puppers who make the story fun, and a bunch of bad guys that you can't help but want them to find their way into a jail cell. If you're looking for a strong suspense novel with a vein of romance running through it, you'll love Deadly Texas Summer.

RITA-nominated, bestselling author Colleen Thompson writes fast-paced romantic thrillers that put the reader in the heart of the story. When she's not busy writing, she can usually be found exploring remote corners of her adopted home state of Texas, working with her rescue dog, or speaking and teaching on the craft of writing.

Murder in the Shallows

A shared past could be the biggest threat…

Sheriff’s deputy Dylan Armstrong has every intention of helping Bailey Covington when she becomes a serial killer’s latest obsession. What he hadn’t counted on was the intense connection he still shares with the reclusive park ranger. After years apart, Dylan never expected that one look would stir up every feeling from their past. But exploring their attraction will have to wait if they want to find a killer’s means and motive before the savage predator strikes again.

Murder in the Shallows was a page-turner from the very beginning. Bailey was caught up in something that she didn't understand, but she wasn't going to walk away from it. She was going to fight for the missing women being held somewhere in her swamp.

Dylan was a good cop and a good guy who just wanted to help people, especially Bailey. The moment he met the park ranger, he knew she was something special. When they both got embroiled in the same mystery, he was more than willing to work with her to find the women.

Their love story was fast and to the point, but the unraveling of the mystery was not. The author took us on a tour of the Okefenokee Swamp in Georgia in a way I would never take otherwise. The ending was all twists and turns you don't see coming. I loved how Bailey decided to face her demons and take back her life, and how Dylan was there to support her through it but not insist on fixing it for her. If you love a good Harlequin intrigue where the focus is on the mystery and the romance is easy going and not the center of the plot, you'll love Murder in the Shallows.

Debbie Herbert writes psychological suspense, romantic suspense and paranormal romance novels. She's always been fascinated by magic, romance and Gothic stories. She is traditionally published by Thomas & Mercer and Harlequin as well as Indie published.

Married and living in Alabama, she roots for the Crimson Tide football team. Debbie enjoys recumbent bicycling and jet skiing with her husband. She has two grown sons and the oldest has autism. Characters with autism frequently land in her works, even when she doesn't plan on it!

Isolated Threat

They’ll stop at nothing to protect a child.

Ever since he escaped his father’s biker gang, sheriff’s deputy Brady Wyatt has never looked back. Then Cecilia Mills asks Brady to help her hide a child from the delinquent crew. But when threats impact the safety of the makeshift family, will they find a way to protect themselves…or will the Sons of the Badlands take the child back into its dangerous grip?

Once again, Nicole grabs you on page one and doesn't let go. Cecelia Mills is a 'Knight' girl and that makes her off-limits to Brady Wyatt. His code of honor says those girls are untouchable, even if his brothers have all found happiness with Knight girls. None of that matters though when Cecelia shows up at his apartment with a bundle that isn't hers. She needs help and when someone needs help in the Knight family, they go straight to the Wyatt family. This time would be no different, except that the underlying sexual tension between Brady and Cecelia might smolder into a fire if they spend too much time together.

Brady and Cecelia are both cops, Brady for the county and Cecelia for the rez. They both know that dealing with the Sons of the Badlands, a gang run by Brady's father, is dangerous at best and deadly at worst. When Cecelia reveals that the baby she's hiding for his mother is the son of a Sons member, Brady is more than a little nervous; for the child and for their safety.

Knowing the only way to protect Mak is to leave, he and Cecelia leave the baby in the capable hands of their family and take off to lead Elijah away from the family. Danger ensues, Cecelia and Brady race against the clock to stay ahead of Elijah and his band of deadly men, and the whole time, Brady can't stop thinking about the kiss Cecelia laid on him in December. It isn't long and she's kissing him again, showing him that his code of honor is doing more harm than good, to him, and to her.

I liked that we got to see a different Brady Wyatt in this book. He's always been the quiet, precise, honorable twin. Cecelia brings out the protective side of him that he can't always keep locked behind that cool demeanor. A demeanor he holds strongly to because it's how he hides his anger about his father and having grown up in a gang of thugs. He comes to realize he needs Cecelia and the way she grounds him and understands that what he went through as a child will always be the reason why he reacts the way he does.

Once again, Isolated Threat is a fast-paced, danger laden, bullet flying, knife welding thrill ride through the Badlands of South Dakota. You'll just keep turning the pages until the book finishes with a HEA that is sweet and wonderful for everyone. The ending also reminds you that there are a few more Wyatt boys left to fight their demons and find their true love. You definitely want to check out A Badlands Cops series!

Nicole Helm is the bestselling author of down-to-earth contemporary romance and fast-paced romantic suspense. She writes stories about people finding themselves and stumbling into love in the process.

She lives with her husband and two young sons in Missouri enjoying Cardinals baseball and dreams about someday owning a barn.