Into the Shadows (by Carolyn Crane)

Romantic Suspense

Thorne is the second in command of a brutal gang that deals in human misery, everything from human trafficking to drugs. When a number of their warehouses are raided, suspicion falls on him and he finds himself needing to hunt down the raiders or end up in a shallow grave.

Two years earlier, Nadia was in love with Thorne. Then after her gangster father was killed he kicked her to the curb and moved on to another gang, the Hangmen. All that is left of him is her 2 year old son and she will do anything to protect him. Then she learns that her mother who she thought was dead is alive and slave working in one of the Hangmen gang’s sweatshop. Together with a group of mercenaries who will take loot as pay and the bodyguard her father assigned to her they begin raiding the sweatshops searching for her mother.

When Thorne shows up at her home searching for a CD containing inside information on the gang’s activities she knows the noose is tightening. She steps up her plans to find her mother but also needs to make sure Thorne never finds out about his child. What she doesn’t know is that Thorne is deep undercover and working for the Associates. Alone and vulnerable she was the last person he trusted, but she betrayed him. Now he needs to learn to trust her again if they are to have any chance of finding her mother and surviving coming out alive.

 
I guess it says something that Into the Shadows took so many words to summarise. Carolyn Crane is like that. Her books aren’t easily defined. There is a wonderful oddness that comes through, even in her romantic suspense. Honestly I wouldn’t be surprised to turn the page and encounter a giant continent destroying death ray…come to think of it I might have seen something like that in book 2.

She always surprises me and that’s why Carolyn Crane has fast become one of my favorite authors. Into the Shadows is very good romantic suspense with quite a healthy dose of steamy sexy for those who enjoy that.

Screen Shot 2014-02-16 at 4.32.33 pmMany thanks to CrushStar Multimedia and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC

Yellow / Orange / Red –– What it means. http://wp.me/P2B7b5-9l

Against the Dark (by Carolyn Crane)

Romantic Suspense

When her Aunt Aggie is kidnapped and held for ransom, Angel Ramirez, a master safe-cracker is forced out of retirement to do one last heist.  The job; to steal a fortunes worth of diamonds from Walter Borgola, a sadistic and perverted mobster.

After Angel does the impossible –– cracks the un-crackable safe, Cole tracks her down and makes her an offer she can’t refuse. Either she returns to Borgola’s mansion, posing as his girlfriend and breaks into a second safe, or he will hand her over to Borgola.

Angel and Cole embark on a mission in which the cost of failure is hundreds of innocent lives, and being caught will result in their death at the hands of a sadist.

Against the Dark is amazing. I read the second book in the series a couple of weeks ago, and was so impressed that the minute I finished, I paid my money and bought this one. I’ve heard a few people say they thought book two was a much better book, but honestly I can’t see it. With books as good as these, it’s hard to draw a distinction, it would be like saying an Aston Martin is better than a Maserati.  Against the Dark had the same disturbing under-current you see in many of Karen Rose’s books, and I think fans of Karen Rose will love this series. But I would recommend this book to pretty much anyone, with the one caveat that there are some steamy sex scenes. Honestly, if you don’t want to see me go all fanboy on you, you probably shouldn’t ask me for a book recommendation any time soon.

Impatiently waiting for book three.

Off the Edge (by Carolyn Crane)

Romantic Suspense

Even knowing he would hunt her down, Laney gave the FBI the information they needed to throw Rolly, her violent and abusive husband into prison. She has run to the very end of the earth –– to Bangkok to hide from him. But when she spots his enforcer walking into the restaurant where she is having lunch, she knows it’s time to run.

Macmillan is a hunter, but his weapon of choice isn’t a gun, it’s language and words.  Using their very own words he hunts down international criminals and then when he’s completed his mission he disappears into the night.  He’s in Bangkok to identify and catch the Jazzman, an arms dealer who is selling a weapon that could bring governments to their knees.

When he sees Laney singing at the hotel where the auction is set to take place, he immediately knows she is on the run, and he feels an instant attraction to her. Then he discovers she may hold the key to finally identifying the Jazzman.

 

Romantic Suspense is a genre dominated by archetypes and tropes. There aren’t too many books that surprise me.  Well, Carolyn Crane has once again managed to find something I have never seen before, a quirky…perhaps even oddball idea,  and fashion it into a believable and entertaining story.  I could go on for pages about the many ways I loved this book, but maybe I’ll just encourage you all to buy this book and find out for yourself…and while you’re at it, read her Disillusionists series.

Many thanks to CrushStar Multimedia and Netgalley for providing me with this ARC.

The Disullusionists Trilogy (by Carolyn Crane)

“You wish to be free, but there is no such thing as freedom. You can redecorate dungeon to give illusion of freedom, but you are still in dungeon.”

“I should’ve had the choice.”

“Choice is illusion, same as happiness and freedom.”

As a hypochondriac with extreme levels of health fears, Justine makes for an unlikely crime fighter, but that’s exactly what she is. Together with a ragtag bunch of men and women she uses her irrational fears for good, by psychically zinging them into bad people so they can be broken down and rebooted.

Her life is complicated by the two men in her life. Packard is a crime boss, he’s mercenary and unscrupulous. He has an agenda, and uses his band of disillusionists to achieve that end. Otto is the exact opposite to Packard. As the chief of police and a psychic with the ability to create force fields, he is able to imprison criminal highcaps who can not be held in any conventional prison, using the power of his mind. But is it moral to imprison people for life without a trial?

Book https://i0.wp.com/photo.goodreads.com/books/1320403092l/6890220.jpg1:  Mind Games

Justine is recruited by Packard into his group of Disillusionists.  Teamed up with Simon, a disillusionist who can zing his own reckless behavior into others, and Shelby, who can zing people with her bleak view of the future, she struggles with her first mission to disillusion a woman who brutally murdered her husband.

She soon discovers that Packard has another agenda and that she is a crucial part of his plan to destabilize one of Midcity’s most prominent crime fighters. A man she idolizes.

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Book 2: Double Cross

Justine has managed to get Packard his freedom, on the condition they disillusion the Highcap criminals Otto has imprisoned around the city. One such woman is a dream invader named Ezmerelda. After Justine accidentally touches her, Ez gains access to both her’s and Packard’s dreams. But despite a shocking crime-wave in which the sleep walking criminals bite their victims, Justine can’t help but think Ez is the victim of a frame-up.

Added to this, a group of killers  is targeting highcaps, and the trail leads back to a conspiracy theorist. A man who could be Shelby’s perfect match.

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Book 3: Head Rush

Justine is getting married to the man of her dreams, Otto. But she can’t seem to get Packard out of her mind, and with every one in the city gunning for him, why is he still hanging around.

The city is under martial law, crime is rampant and Otto is keeping secrets from Justine. In the end the fate of all her friends are in her hands, but can she find the courage to make the ultimate sacrifice for them.

The Disillusionists series is great urban fantasy. Quirky and funny, but also plenty of action. These books flow well and are entertaining from start to finish.

Fashion magazine disease articles. My personal Kryptonite.