Headed for Trouble by Shiloh Walker
Series: McKays, #1
Headed for Trouble is the beginning of a new trilogy series by Shiloh Walker. Built around a trio of siblings-the McKays-this romance suspense blends an intense emotional romance with a nail-biting suspense storyline as the youngest McKay, Neve, finally comes home after leaving so many years ago. On the run from an abusive ex-boyfriend, she is forced to come clean about her ordeal and let in the family she feels abandoned her to her fate. Walker does a good job of addressing domestic violence and the mindset of someone who finds themselves victimized by someone they love. The main storyline is influenced heavily by the building the arc and character backgrounds though it doesn’t take away from your enjoyment of the story overall. Walker drops hints as to what is in store for the other siblings while creating an action-packed finale to this installment. Fans of Walker’s will be left both satisfied by the ending but more than ready for the next installment-The Trouble With Temptation-which is set to release May 3, 2016.
Angels Burning by Tawny O’Dell
Tawny O’Dell has been compared to Pat Conroy and for good reason. Her powerful voice and intriguing characters gives life to the small southern towns she writes about. Angels Burning starts out as a run of the mill mystery surrounding the death of a young girl. As the story progresses, O’Dell begins to reveal the real story behind this senseless death, examining and dissecting into the lives of the girl’s dysfunctional family and the similarities between her and the police chief who found her body. O’Dell speaks of the secrets all families have and the lengths many will go to make sure those secrets stay buried, even if it means hurting the ones you are sworn to protect. The story flows along at a steady pace, indulging us with witty dialogue, humorous scenes, and heartbreaking revolutions as it keeps us twisting and turning with each new clue. There is a light romance but it is used to help us further understand the heroine’s mindset rather than a competing storyline in the book. As always, O’Dell never disappoints me with her stories and I look forward to reading more from her in the future.
Counter to My Intelligence by Lani Lynn Vale
Series: The Dixie Wardens MC, #7
Counter To My Intelligence surrounds a very familiar face who we originally met in her Freebird series-Silas MacKenzie. President of The Dixie Wardens MC, we learn throughout these two intertwining series that Silas is a very complicated man has burned many bridges that has left him all alone in a sea of people. When he finds out an ex-girlfriend’s daughter, Sawyer, is getting out of prison, he offers to help her acclimate, never even considering that she may be his redemption.
I was pleased to see Vale revert back to her earlier writing style with this installment. Reminiscent of Kristen Ashley, Vale has her hands full with her alpha men and the strong women they fall in love with. The balance between the May-December romance and low-key suspense plotline blends well with a strong backstory and a full body cast of familiar faces and some new ones. Vale does well keeping the hero, Silas, in character. He softens a little with the romance, but there are no real changes in his personality. Rather she creates the perfect mate for him. A smart, sweet, strong heroine who’s learned to bend with adversity instead of breaking. I look forward to the next book which is Sila’s brother and Sawyer’s best friend.
Outside The Lines by Lisa Desrochers
The premise of Desrochers’s Outside the Lines is intriguing. The children of a mob boss are forced into WITSEC after their father is sent to prison and turns state evidence. Unfortunately, by the 35% mark I couldn’t go on anymore. Up to that point we are submerged in the mundane with no action, little forward movement, and repeated dialogue from by hero about how they ended up in this situation and how he is to blame for it all. The flow was sluggish and the character development almost nonexistent. I did enjoy meeting the heroine-she seemed to develop far quicker than the hero and his siblings. Desrochers tries to maintain the mystery and suspense that surrounds mafia stories by giving little away (hence the repeated scenes) but the resulting lack of action only made it boring and unappealing.