One Last Breath (Pocket) by Laura Griffin is a debut romantic suspense. Feenie Malone is trying to get a little further in her reporting career, and making a tiny bit of progress at last. Except it looks like her treacherous ex might be involved in the crime story she's investigating. Marco Juarez is bent on solving his sister's murder. It's already cost him his career with the police, but the determined P.I. won't quit. Though he does have some second thoughts about involving Feenie in his quest for vengeance. Kind of. This was another of those pleasantly unexpected finds. You know, you get a new author in your to-be-read stack and figure, well, it sounds good, but you never know. This one is good. Feenie has a few moments where I wanted to slap her, and say, hey, that's dumb, but Marco is so sexy, you get over her moments in a hurry. The banter between the two of them is engaging, and the steam they generate is fantastic. This is the kind of romantic suspense I like best, where the focus isn't solely on the mystery, with the romance as an afterthought. No, this one keeps the romance front and center as Feenie and Marco try to find out just what her ex is involved in. Marco is the kind of guy you want around in a crisis, smart, capable, and very much a hero. I hope Ms. Griffin is prolific, and that her next book is as good as this one. I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows for this one.
The Trouble With Paradise (Berkley) by Jill Shalvis is next. Dorie Anderson's life is going nowhere fast. Instead of designing women's clothing, she's working in a discount store with a boss from hell. And anytime she meets a cut guy, things quickly go bad. Then she wins a vacation cruise to Fiji and figures things are looking up. Andy, a baseball superstar and all-around hunk is on her cruise, and the ship's doctor is pretty fantastic to look at, too. Of course, around the baseball hunk, her tongue does its swelling thing, and the doctor, Christian, doesn't exactly have a friendly bedside manner, even if he is fantastically gorgeous. Still, the sailing cruise is fun. Until the hurricane hits and disables the boat, one of the crew members disappears, and they're stranded on a deserted island. The two other women on the cruise round out a quirky cast of characters, as Dorie and Christian get closer despite his issues and plans. And, hey, on a tropical island paradise, how can things not go well? Except for the murderer among them, that is. This one is a light, easy read. Christian is delectable and far more intriguing than Andy, who's a stereotypical good-looking guy who believes all the women should fall at his feet. And Dorie is stronger than she thinks when she sets out on this journey. I enjoyed this one, though not as much as her last one. This one's getting three and a half arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!