My #BookReview of #RomanticSuspense Scorpio’s Sting by Trish Jackson @TrishaJAuthor

Scorpio's Sting (Zodiac Series)Scorpio’s Sting by Trish Jackson
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three Point Five Stars.

Scorpio’s Sting is a romantic suspense set in San Diego. The story revolves around the fight to stop the trafficking of drugs and humans across the US border from Mexico.

Drew McBain has invented a virtual minefield system to detect drug cartel movements at the border, and repel those who try to enter the US illegally. However, the head of a dangerous cartel sets out to stop the Government from implementing Drew’s system.

Special agent Cornelia ‘Neelie’ Nelson has past links of her own with La Serpiente Coral cartel. But she suspects that she may now be in danger when a strange car follows her home each day.

When the cartel go after Drew’s family, his business and his home, he seeks revenge. A friend tells him about a gang of vigilantes called Escorpio, and reminds him of the scorpion tattoo a stranger once inspired him to have. Drew decides to stop Iglesias one last time.

This is a topical subject and the author has made a good attempt to show the control the cartels have and how hard it is for law enforcement to act. Mixed with the intense subject matter is a hot passion filled romance between Neelie and Drew.

I enjoyed the drug cartel storyline, with the dangers and the passions it flared amongst the victims and others who were in the pay of the drug lord. However, I wasn’t so sure about Drew’s character jumping from a technical inventor to a crime fighter. At times there were too many sloppy words and actions from both Neelie and Drew, regarding safety and security which took the edge off the building of suspense. Both were in roles where they should know that loose talk costs lives, and, as Drew’s friend Dan says: “Everyone has a price.”

Overall an interesting subject matter, I found the romance and the suspense both vying for lead and think the book may have worked better, for me, if the romance had been more a subtle sizzling possibility.

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Book Description

ICE Agent Neelie Nelson and Drew McBain have a habit of meeting in strange circumstances.
Targeted by la Serpeinte de Coral Cartel and the most powerful and ruthless drug kingpin in Mexico, Drew reels from heartbreak after catastrophic heartbreak. The desire for revenge festers while he fights to rebuild his life and protect what is his.
Neelie has never been able to forgive her deceased husband for his unmitigated betrayal, and for his lack of forethought that has put her and everyone she cares for in mortal danger.
Anger, fear, and a mutual passion for revenge fan the flames of their smoldering desire and then a desperate situation forces them to act against the cartel. But how can they match its power?

About the author

Trish Jackson

Trish Jackson, animal lover and chocolate addict, writes contemporary Romantic Suspense, Romantic Mysteries and Romantic Comedy.
In-your-face, spicy, zany, sassy, suspenseful, terrifying, chilling and definitely in bad taste. Trish identifies her works as ‘Fiction with a Conscience’ because she highlights and educates the reader about multiple social problems through her fiction.

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That Darkest Place by @MarciaMeara Romantic #Suspense book #3 Riverbend series set in #Florida

That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3 by Marcia Meara
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

That Darkest Place is book #3 of The Riverbend romantic suspense series set in Florida. It is the story of Forrest and Jackson Painter, and continues from where we left off in book #2, Finding Hunter.

Jackson is the eldest brother of three, and the book opens with a hospital scene. Left with severe memory loss and an amputated leg, it will take a long time for Jackson to recover.

Forrest is the brother who keeps the family together, and runs the family hardware store. He’s supportive to Hunter, from Book #2, in the past—now he needs Hunter’s support as they pull Jackson through his rehabilitation.

As the book title suggests, this novel deals with its characters’ psychologically darkest moments. I thought the author did a great job describing Jackson—his roller-coaster of recovery followed by deep periods of depression. We see the picture from his point of view and from Forrest’s, who becomes his prime carer once he comes home. Both go through periods of guilt, doubt and discomfort, but with the help of family and counsellors they make progress.

The sinister element built the tension well and I didn’t guess the person behind the threats. This series also has an element of romance in each book and the author writes the intimate scenes with grace and care, using enough description for the reader to use their imagination without it being explicit, so will suit readers who prefer their romance with lower heat levels.

I enjoy this author’s writing style and shall look forward to her next book.

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Book Description

“There are dark places in every heart, in every head. Some you turn away from. Some you light a candle within. But there is one place so black, it consumes all light. It will pull you in and swallow you whole. You don’t leave your brother stranded in that darkest place.”
~Hunter Painter~

The new year is a chance for new beginnings—usually hopeful, positive ones. But when Jackson Painter plows his car into a tree shortly after midnight on January 1, his new beginnings are tragic. His brothers, Forrest and Hunter, take up a grim bedside vigil at the hospital, waiting for Jackson to regain consciousness and anxious over how he’ll take the news that he’s lost a leg and his fiancée is dead. After all, the accident was all his fault.

As the shocking truth emerges, one thing becomes obvious—Jackson will need unconditional love and support from both of his brothers if he is to survive.

Just as he begins the long road to recovery, danger, in the form of a sinister, unsigned note, plunges him back into bleak despair. Scrawled in blood red letters, the accusation—and the threat—is clear. “MURDERER!”

Will the long, harrowing ordeal that lies ahead draw the Painter brothers closer together, or drive them apart forever?

Suspenseful and often heartbreaking, this small-town tale is a testimonial to the redemptive power of love and paints a story filled with humor, romance, and fierce family loyalty.

About the author

Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara is a native Floridian, living in the Orlando area with her husband of 30 years, two silly little dachshunds and four big, lazy cats. She’s fond of reading, gardening, hiking, canoeing, painting, and writing, not necessarily in that order.

At age 69, Marcia wrote “Wake-Robin Ridge,” her first novel, and “Summer Magic: Poems of Life and Love.” Nine months later, she published her second novel, “Swamp Ghosts,” set alongside the wild and scenic rivers of central Florida. Since then, she’s published, “A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2”, “Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2,” and is hard at work on “Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3.”

Marcia also has work published in five poetry anthologies published by Silver Birch Press: Silver, Green, Summer, Noir Erasure Poetry, and the May Poetry Anthology.

Her philosophy? It’s never too late to follow your dream. Just take that first step, and never look back.

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