© 2016 by Catherine Bilson

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September 30, 2019

Series where each member of a team of military special forces types find love in their turn, with an overarching mystery arc which gets solved piece by piece throughout the series, are pretty staple fare in romantic suspense (see Suzanne Brockmann for someone who does it amazingly well). Generally, the romance in each book stands alone but you might struggle a little bit to pick up the overall mystery if you don’t start at the first book in the series.

One Dark Wish doesn’t even manage to have the romance stand alone. I actually turned back to the beginning at the end of Chapter One, wondering if there was a prologue or something I’d somehow managed to miss, because for some reason I never figured out, Sarah and Nate’s story star...

September 22, 2019

In medieval Scotland, Edinburgh merchant Tavish Cameron is shocked to discover he’s the heir to Roscraig Castle. No longer beholden to the burgess who has tried to cripple his business with massive tolls, Tavish heads to Roscraig to claim his birthright, only to find Lady Glenna Douglas already in residence, and claiming her father is the rightful laird.

There are an awful lot of plot threads in this book, beginning with a murder, continuing through poison, plague, kidnapping and much more, and a lot of them actually don’t get tied off because this is apparently the first in a series about the illegitimate children of a notorious criminal (who we learn in this book was innocent of the crimes he was accused of). If you feel able t...

August 15, 2019

I was excited to pick a copy of this book up for review, since I don’t think I’ve ever read a romantic suspense with a Coast Guard hero. The CGIS (Coast Guard Investigative Service) is a federal law enforcement agency which never really gets more than a supporting role in fiction, so I was definitely interested to learn more about the service. Imagine my surprise to discover that apparently CGIS agents are happy to allow civilians they’re attracted to, to assist them in processing crime scenes. Or help them question witnesses. At least, according to this author. Somehow, I don’t think this is actually representative of the real CGIS.

The agents in this book seem more concerned about what brand of shoes they’re wearing than the cr...

July 7, 2019

I was about five pages into Game of Bones when I started doing the slow-blink “what the heck am I reading”. 

We meet the heroine, Sarah Booth Delaney, when she’s riding her horse around her family’s ancestral Southern plantation estate and mourning the fact that she’s had to lease most of its ‘vast acres’ to a local farmer. So when she’s having vague money worries later on in the book, it really doesn’t ring true; what about the lease income from those ‘vast acres’?. And yes, if I was descended from slave-owners, I might wish I wasn’t too - but I wouldn’t be hoping to find ‘exotic g’psy’ in my DNA test.

Honestly, that’s two racial slurs slapped together in the same thought, but what else can you expect from an author who has a for...

May 31, 2019

I’m going to come right out and say it; if you’ve been reading other reviews and thinking this is a ‘marriage of convenience turns to love’ kind of book? That’s not what this is.

This is, in fact, a ‘complete scum bag ruins heroine’s family so she is forced to marry him’ kind of book. And really… is there a way back from a hole that deep?

It gets worse when you realize that since Charlotte was in her first season, she was EIGHTEEN when Lord Dearing pulled off this nasty plot. Apparently, he first saw her performing on the piano at some society event and decided he had to have her. Realising his minor title (he’s a viscount) puts him well back in the race for the hand of a lovely, titled, talented lady like Charlotte, he resorts to...

March 26, 2019

Billed as a romantic suspense, this one is heavy on the suspense and light on the romance. The heroine, Emma, is an American police SWAT officer whose tidy world is upended when she’s called to the UK because her father has gone missing while working for his Big Oil boss. Only it turns out he’s been an MI6 agent all along and now the Russians have him. MI6 must hide Emma to prevent her being used against her father, and that’s where Liam Macknight comes in. Macknight was right there when the bomb went off, his teammate died, and Edward Ross vanished. His suspicious nature leads to him trusting literally nobody, and he always jumps to the worst possible conclusion with information at hand - possibly a useful survival trait for an...

February 1, 2019

I’m going to start this review by saying that Marie Force is one of my favourite contemporary romantic suspense authors, and someone I deeply respect in the writing world.

But with that said, I really, really wish she hadn’t tried her hand at historical romance because this is a hot mess. It’s got some absolute clangers in terms of historical inaccuracies and a hero who tells continued and repeated lies to the heroine and then tries to tell her it’s all for her benefit. While refusing to allow her to sleep apart from him because ‘she’d never forgive him if he gave her too much time to think about the many ways he’d done her wrong’ and basically forcing himself on her even when she told him she wanted him to leave.

I’m getting ahea...

January 31, 2019

Set in the glamorous world of London in 1903, this book follows Diana Sommerville as she returns to her native England from South Africa, where both her father and her brother died, leaving her whole possession of the wealthy family's gold and diamond mines

as well as their English properties.

Or so she thinks.

It's a rude shock in more ways than one to find Colonel Rupert Lacey, her former fiance, comfortably ensconced in her house in London. An even ruder shock to find out her brother left his half of the Sommerville legacy to Rupert, forcing Diana to share everything she owns with a man she'd prefer to never lay eyes on again.

It was so, so hard to feel any sympathy

whatsoever for Diana, as she lamented her woes to her friends...

December 14, 2018

Have you ever heard of D.B. Cooper? Because if you have, the plot of this book might seem startlingly familiar.

If you haven’t heard of D.B. Cooper, you might want to look at the Wikipedia entry, but I’ll sum up by saying he was the perpetrator of the only unsolved skyjacking in aviation history, parachuting out of an airliner somewhere over the Pacific Northwest with $200,000 strapped to his body on Thanksgiving Eve, 1971. Neither he nor his stolen money have been identified to this day despite the FBI’s best efforts.

So when a man named Bill Porter perpetrates a near-identical heist for $8 million in 1978 at the beginning of this book, I was immediately put in mind of Cooper, and mystified that the author at no point in this boo...

December 2, 2018

Hard Night follows two characters, Jacob Night and Faith Beasley, through an intense period of just a few days. The book begins six months before the present, as we discover that ‘Faith’ is actually an amnesiac with no idea of who she really is. The only thing Jacob knows about her is that she has some sort of connection to his long-lost brother, and on the strength of this he manages to get her released into his custody by claiming he’s her cousin.

What grinds my gears about this is that Faith knows pretty much right from the beginning that Jacob’s lied to her. She’s trying to build a life predicated on a lie. Her work, her name, everything; she knows it’s a lie and yet she doesn’t care.

When someone takes a potshot at Faith, Jac...

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