Category: Suspense

#CrimeFicFridays | featuring Harlequin Romantic Suspense novel “Colton on the Run” (The Coltons of Roaring Springs series, Book 9) by Anna J. Stewart

Posted Friday, 23 April, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Reading the stories of Anna J. Stewart banner created by Jorie in Canva.

This Spring, I have the pleasure of joy to be reading a select sequencing of stories writ by the lovely Ms Anna J. Stewart – of whom, I first became introduced to whilst reading the #BlackwellBrothers series via Harlequin Heartwarming! Whilst continuing to get to know her further through her guest appearances on @SatBookChat (the Saturday chat I’ve hosted since 2014 celebrating Romance, Women’s Fiction & Feminist Lit). You’ll find me reading selections from her Romantic Suspense stories for Harlequin as well as her wicked lovely series ‘Butterfly Harbour’ which is a celebration of family, community and new beginnings!

Hence why I’m calling this special featured showcase of reviews:

Celebrating Spring whilst reading the stories of Anna J. Stewart!

Acquired Book By: Whilst speaking with Ms Stewart about being a guest on @SatBookChat in the New Year of 2021 – as this conversation we shared was in late 2020 – I realised there was a whole series of stories by her I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading! The first series which charmed my heart was Butterfly Harbour – which we happily discussed during #SatBookChat in January, 2021. She mentioned to me she also writes for Harlequin’s Romantic Suspense line and I was quite curious about those stories as I regularly read their Love Inspired Suspense novels. The key difference between the two is that Love Inspired is their faith-based imprint and the Romantic Suspense stories are Contemporary and mainstream. I tend to be a hybrid reader of both mainstream and faith-based markets which is why I agreed to reading 3x of her Romantic Suspense releases.

This is one of two reviews which features the Coltons – a very large series of novels spilt over different mini-series and settings throughout the Romantic Suspense line of novels by Harlequin Books. The two stories I am reading are rooted inside the Colton 911: Chicago series and The Coltons of Roaring Springs – both of which were discussed today (27 March, 2021) during #SatBookChat to celebrate the March 2021 release for “Undercover Heat” which is the third novel in the Colton 911: Chicago series.

I received a complimentary copy of “Colton on the Run” direct from the author Anna J. Stewart in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

a notation about reading Harlequin Romantic suspense novels:

My first Contemporary Romantic Suspense novel by Ms Stewart also marked my first time reading their non-Love Inspired imprint of Suspense novels. I began with the series Honour Bound which ‘Gone in the Night’ and ‘Guarding His Midnight Witness’ are attached too. I held off reading the latter to await my interlibrary loan for ‘Gone in the Night’ which blessedly has finally arrived! (eek!) Thereby, I’ll be featuring those novels next – however, whilst I had that particular series on hold I decided to pick up ‘Undercover Heat’ and today’s featured novel ‘Colton on the Run’!!

Undercover Heat by Anna J. StewartColton on the Run by Anna J. StewartGone in the Night by Anna J. StewartGuarding His Midnight Witness by Anna J. Stewart

Let me share with you a few reasons why ‘Undercover Heat’ became such a wicked #unputdownable read for me and why I believe ANY reader who loves both police procedural novels and second chance romances will fall in LOVE with Tatum and Cruz:

Guilt and remorse can wreck a guy – which is why I felt sympathetic to Cruz’s internal struggles in being Tatum as she was giving him a reason to question everything in his life. From the choices he was making about his personal life to the choices he was making about how he was able to function after the losses he’s sustained; the one thing he never seemed to give himself was the freedom to live. He was constantly awash with memory and trauma to where it was hard for Cruz to separate the past and the present. Something Stewart did a smashing job at showing as she built his character inside and out. She painted in the rougher bits of his personality with a rock solid passion for law and justice whilst tempering it with family and the compassions of a bloke who cares about his community. In essence, Cruz was a complicated character with a past which was trying to overtake his future.

Tatum on the other hand was raised to rise through her adversities and to seek a way to stabalise her present without forsaking the future. You could see the differences in their personalities almost immediately as for Tatum, her love of cooking and feeding people outweighed the hurt of her own losses. She wanted to move forward as a mark of honour rather than to avoid what she loved most in life. For her, moving forward meant a way of giving peace to her heart and a way of finding a way to continue to celebrate the persons she had lost. Whereas I felt Cruz wanted to punish himself for things he needed to forgive himself for rather than carry on the load of anguish he was supporting on his shoulders.

This novel is definitely for anyone who gets caught inside the movement of a service at any restaurant they dine as Stewart has created such a lively environment for us to explore! From how the staff interacts with each other to how they put the food out the kitchen; all those details you ache to know about whenever your eating out is included. Whilst it also gives you the strong impression that all kitchens big or small should operate on the efficiency and expedited scale as True! (big smiles) However, its not without its hidden dangers and bouts of suspenseful shock which make you itch to turn the pages! Especially when Stewart conceived of the idea for the refrigerator scene – she definitely knew how to stop your pulse for a few beats!

There is something wickedly brilliant about how a character can be surprised by her mother and Aunt! I loved how Stewart placed Tatum in a situation which tested both her patience and her sense of humour – especially considering how humourous Cruz felt the situation was for them both. Her Mum and Aunt ware good-natured and truly care about Tatum but to say they have tact and respect for her privacy is asking a bit too much from them! Laughs. I felt it was all in good folly but the reaction of Tatum put it all in a different kind of perspective because I think she likes to keep this part of her life separate from the eyes of her family; at least until she’s ready herself to share the details and that in of itself is what I felt ribbed her the most from the intrusion.

The scene where Tatum is fondly remembering her father whilst surprising Cruz with an unexpected foodie experience was one of my top favourite scenes. There was such a stirring of heart and emotions in this scene – where you could see Tatum in a different ray of light than the one she presents to her colleagues and for Cruz, I felt it was humbling for him to realise why she had brought him to that place on that particular night. Tatum was definitely her father’s daughter – she wanted to nurse the emotional wounds she couldn’t fix any other way with a meal which would warm the soul and then soothe the heart. There is something to be said for that kind of nurturing instinct and I loved how the scene played out.

From this moment in the story until the very last page, I was completely glued to the pages!! I loved how Stewart kept this centred on Tatum and Cruz; how she pulled us emotionally through the hurdles of an undercover investigation and how even at the end – I wasn’t sure I was prepared to see how this would conclude! Tatum and Cruz were both put through the ringer for different reasons – each of them, putting their personal and professional lives on the edge of what they felt they could handle in order to secure the truth. And, even then, I am not sure either of them were ready for what was revealled! It was one highly suspenseful romantic story which leaves you aching for more by Stewart! I’m not sure if this storyline can become revisited in a future installment of this particular series, but I’d love to know what ‘came next’ for Tatum and Cruz after this part of their story concluded.

The scenes with January (Tatum’s sister) were well timed as well. Tatum had a very close relationship with her family as much as Cruz did himself with his and it was great to have those extra moments hugging close to their families during quieter moments in the story itself. Most of this novel is set at such a high octane pace of delivery, you barely get to rest on the joys as their arriving into the scenes because something ’round the corner’ is going to be affecting the well-being of the characters you feel so close to as if they were already in your life!

The dizzying effect of unravelling the plot right alongside Stewart was brilliant on the part of how tightly she wound the suspenseful mystery behind the restaurant and of whom she put into position to have the great effect on the reader once the truth let out! I was beyond captivated by the plot and the persons she ferreted out at the end. It is definitely the kind of police procedural you hope to find and one that you love afterwards for having read. The ending of course was a complete nail-biter and I loved reading it because it was such a fitting conclusion to the story!! Definitely an #unputdownable read!!

-quoted from my review of Undercover Heat

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The next reviews you’ll see from me will be for “Gone in the Night” and “Guarding His Midnight Witness” before I move into reading the Butterfly Harbour series by Ms Stewart! I decided to push forward those readings in order to read the Romantic Suspense ones back to back especially after my ILL request came in so quickly! Those will be peppering through my featured reviews during #WyrdAndWonder wherein you’ll find 31 days of Fantasy being happily showcased, discussed and championed on Jorie Loves A Story! Plus, of course, a few other genres as well – as I had some scheduled blog tours as well running in the foreground of the event, too!

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#CrimeFicFridays | featuring Harlequin Romantic Suspense novel “Colton on the Run” (The Coltons of Roaring Springs series, Book 9) by Anna J. StewartColton on the Run
Subtitle: The Coltons of Roaring Springs
by Ms Anna J. Stewart
Source: Direct from Author

Where is Skye Colton?

One woman’s disappearance rocks Roaring Springs

When he finds a half-dead woman stranded in his barn, rancher Leo Slattery feels his blood run cold. Though she can’t remember who she is, she insists someone is trying to kill her. With his strong protective streak, Leo brings her into the fold and helps her heal. As they begin to solve the mystery of Jane Doe’s identity, a would-be killer works to eliminate her—forever.

Genres: African-American Literature, Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Crime Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense, Ranches & Cowboys



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Heat Factor for Romance
four-half-flames

ISBN: 9781488041433

Also by this author: Undercover Heat

Published by Harlequin Romantic Suspense

on 3rd September, 2019

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 288

NOTE: As your reading this story, you can tell the characters would have preferred this not to be a slow burning romance – as they knew how they felt about each other quite early-on, however, it didn’t fit within the constructs of the story given the circumstances. This romance has even more ‘heat’ inside it than ‘Undercover Heat’ and definitely has more heat in it than most of the romances I regularly read by Harlequin because this series and imprint is different than the others I read – especially for content inclusions. Thereby if you’re new to this imprint just know this is writ more like a traditional Contemporary or Historical Romance.

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The Coltons of Roaring Springs series:

Colton Cowboy Standoff by Marie Ferrarella (book one)

Colton Under Fire by Cindy Dees (book two)

Colton’s Convenient Bride by Jennifer Morey (book three)

Colton’s Secret Bodyguard by Jane Godman (book four)

A Colton Target by Beverly Long (book five)

Colton’s Covert Baby by Lara Lacombe (book six) 

Colton’s Mistaken Identity by Geri Krotow (book seven) 

The Colton Sheriff by Addison Fox (book eight)

Colton on the Run by Anna J. Stewart (book nine)

? *there are more titles in this series!* ?

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comView the full sequence of the series via Fantastic Fiction!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Harlequin Romantic Suspense (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #RomanticSuspense

as well as the series tag: #ColtonsOfRoaringSprings

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Posted Friday, 23 April, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Book Review (non-blog tour), Contemporary Romance, Crime Fiction, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Suspense

#CrimeFicFridays | featuring Harlequin Romantic Suspense novel “Undercover Heat” (Colton 911: Chicago series, Book Three) by Anna J. Stewart

Posted Friday, 16 April, 2021 by jorielov , , , 0 Comments

Reading the stories of Anna J. Stewart banner created by Jorie in Canva.

This Spring, I have the pleasure of joy to be reading a select sequencing of stories writ by the lovely Ms Anna J. Stewart – of whom, I first became introduced to whilst reading the #BlackwellBrothers series via Harlequin Heartwarming! Whilst continuing to get to know her further through her guest appearances on @SatBookChat (the Saturday chat I’ve hosted since 2014 celebrating Romance, Women’s Fiction & Feminist Lit). You’ll find me reading selections from her Romantic Suspense stories for Harlequin as well as her wicked lovely series ‘Butterfly Harbour’ which is a celebration of family, community and new beginnings!

Hence why I’m calling this special featured showcase of reviews:

Celebrating Spring whilst reading the stories of Anna J. Stewart!

Acquired Book By: Whilst speaking with Ms Stewart about being a guest on @SatBookChat in the New Year of 2021 – as this conversation we shared was in late 2020 – I realised there was a whole series of stories by her I haven’t yet had the pleasure of reading! The first series which charmed my heart was Butterfly Harbour – which we happily discussed during #SatBookChat in January, 2021. She mentioned to me she also writes for Harlequin’s Romantic Suspense line and I was quite curious about those stories as I regularly read their Love Inspired Suspense novels. The key difference between the two is that Love Inspired is their faith-based imprint and the Romantic Suspense stories are Contemporary and mainstream. I tend to be a hybrid reader of both mainstream and faith-based markets which is why I agreed to reading 3x of her Romantic Suspense releases.

This is one of two reviews which features the Coltons – a very large series of novels spilt over different mini-series and settings throughout the Romantic Suspense line of novels by Harlequin Books. The two stories I am reading are rooted inside the Colton 911: Chicago series and The Coltons of Roaring Springs – both of which were discussed today (27 March, 2021) during #SatBookChat to celebrate the March 2021 release for “Undercover Heat” which is the third novel in the Colton 911: Chicago series.

I received a complimentary copy of “Undercover Heat” direct from the author Anna J. Stewart in exchange for an honest review. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

a notation about reading Harlequin Romantic suspense novels:

My first foray into reading the Romantic Suspense line of stories by Harlequin was through their Love Inspired Suspense imprint! However, as those are faith-based stories rooted in the cosier side of suspenseful storylines – I hadn’t had the chance to cross-over into reading their mainstream Contemporary Romantic Suspense novels until Ms Stewart brought these lovelies to my attention!

Reunited with the P.I. by Anna J. StewartGone in the Night by Anna J. StewartGuarding His Midnight Witness by Anna J. Stewart

I started by requesting her Honour Bound series (see the full list via Fantastic Fiction!) via interlibrary loan wherein I was able to read the first novel More than a Lawman and most of the second Reunited with the P.I. – both of which are deftly told and eclipse the pulse of what you expect out of a Romantic Contemporary Suspense novel! I was on pins reading those passages and in many instances could not turn the pages quick enough to know how things resolved! Quite a chilling read all the way round – whilst happily I noted that even if I hadn’t had the chance to read all the stories in the series, Stewart gave you the impression you already knew the details! 

She’s written two Colton novels for the Romantic Suspense imprint at Harlequin and happily she was able to send me both novels for review consideration! And, these are the stories I read after the Honour Bound series! I had to withhold my review for the latest Honour Bound series release “Guarding His Midnight Witness” as I hadn’t had the chance to finish reading it as I was still hoping my library could have fetched a copy of Gone in the Night. Thereby I shifted gears and read about the Coltons and will be revisiting the Honour Bound series next whilst reading Butterfly Harbour!

Colton on the Run by Anna J. StewartUndercover Heat by Anna J. Stewart

The first novel she wrote for this imprint was “Colton on the Run” which is part of the Colton’s of Roaring Springs series whilst “Undercover Heat” is part of the Colton 911: Chicago series! Both of these lovelies are actually two of many mini-series which are inclusive of the Colton ‘series’ if you will as it is quite an expansive set of stories featuring the same family of characters and/or different relatives and relations therein from what I’ve gathered reading about the larger scope of the ‘series’ online.

I decided to read and review “Undercover Heat” first – as I admit, it was an easier story for me to soak inside as it involves cooking whilst set at a highly popular restaurant with a lot of drama percolating in the background with a potential underworld plot! The other novel “Colton on the Run” is dearly intense the moment you pick it up and doesn’t let you breathe until you know the conclusion of it – which is why I focused on this one first! I loved the respite it gave me from my new work life as much as it was a sweet transition back into reading as I’ve been struggling to read Historical Fiction lately and finding Contemporary stories are a bit easier for me to digest!

Thus I’m reading copious amounts of Harlequin stories of late – from these Rom Suspense novels to the Harlequin Heartwarming series and authors I have been championing a passion for since 2016!! I find these authors are giving me the kind of story I can sink my teeth into whilst allowing me to take a hiatus from my new schedule of working as well. It is always hard to shift gears in life and I’ve found that fatigue of my new job and the angst of Spring’s allergy season thrust upon me two months earlier this year than normal has caused an issue in my readerly life!! Thereby I am wicked happy Ms Stewart sent me her stories as I’ll be reading, reviewing and featuring them throughout the last months of Spring (ie. April-May!).

The key difference between the Romantic Suspense imprint and the Love Inspired Suspense imprint is that you know going into a LI:S story being faith-based their going to keep the romance and the crime bits on the cosy comfortable side of the ledger. Similar in tone and strength as you would expect out of a Hallmark Movies & Mysteries series. Whilst with the Contemporary mainstream Romantic Suspense line you have to brace yourself because you get more of what you’d expect out of a regular hard-boiled crime drama and is more akin to say “NCIS” or “Crossing Jordan”. (which of course were two of my favourites when I regularly watched them!)

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#CrimeFicFridays | featuring Harlequin Romantic Suspense novel “Undercover Heat” (Colton 911: Chicago series, Book Three) by Anna J. StewartUndercover Heat
Subtitle: Colton 911: Chicago
by Ms Anna J. Stewart
Source: Direct from Author

When her life is upended, a detective goes undercover to save it…

After tragedy strikes, chef Tatum Colton buries herself in her job. Detective Cruz Medina soon rocks her world once again, claiming criminals are using her restaurant as a front for nefarious activities. Cruz needs Tatum’s help to go undercover as her sous-chef, putting them both in the line of fire. But when things get hot in and out of the kitchen, can Cruz protect Tatum and their growing bond?

Genres: Contemporary (Modern) Fiction (post 1945), Crime Fiction, Contemporary Romance, Romantic Suspense



Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

Heat Factor for Romance
three-half-flames

ISBN: 978-1335628855

Also by this author: Colton on the Run

Setting: Chicago


Published by Harlequin Romantic Suspense

on 9th March, 2021

Format: Trade Paperback

Pages: 288

NOTE: I felt this was a wonderfully written romance – in fact, it was one of those slow burning romances you instantly want to see happen for both lead characters because of how emotionally attached you’ve become to them during the course of the story. However, it is also a very ‘heated’ romance in regards to how the romance is explored and definitely has more heat in it than most of the romances I regularly read by Harlequin because this series and imprint is different than the others I read – especially for content inclusions. Thereby if you’re new to this imprint just know this is writ more like a traditional Contemporary or Historical Romance. I nearly gave it 4 flames but we spent so much time with the characters outside of their own pursuit of a relationship, I felt 3.5 was more aptly accurate!!

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The Colton 911:  Chicago series:

The Secret Network by Marie Ferrarella (book one)

Unlikely Alibi by Lisa Childs (book two)

Undercover Heat by Anna J. Stewart (book three)

Soldier’s Return by Karen Whiddon (book four) *April 2021

Hidden Target by Colleen Thompson (book five) *May 2021

Guardian in the Storm by Carla Cassidy (book six) *June 2021

Secret Defender by Marie Ferrarella (book seven) *July 2021

Temptation Undercover by Jennifer Morey (book eight) *August 2021

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comView the full sequence of the series via Fantastic Fiction!

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.com

Published by: Harlequin Romantic Suspense (@HarlequinBooks) | imprint of Harlequin

Converse via: #ContemporaryRomance, #RomanticSuspense

as well as the series tag: #Colton911Chicago

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Posted Friday, 16 April, 2021 by jorielov in 21st Century, Book Review (non-blog tour), Chefs and Sous Chefs, Contemporary Romance, Cookery, Crime Fiction, Modern Day, Post-911 (11th September 2001), Romance Fiction, Romantic Suspense, Suspense

#SpooktasticReads | Year II of our spooktastically lovely mini-#WyrdAndWonder event for Autumn! This year, #JorieReads with a main concentration on #WitchyReads + Ghost Stories!

Posted Friday, 18 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , 2 Comments

#SpooktasticReads banner created by Lisa (@deargeekplace) Photo Credit: Kenai Fjords National Park, United States, by Daniel H. Tong on Unsplash (Creative Commons Zero) Used with permission.
#SpooktasticReads banner created by Lisa (@deargeekplace) Photo Credit: Kenai Fjords National Park, United States, by Daniel H. Tong on Unsplash (Creative Commons Zero) Used with permission.

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Welcome, Welcome to #SpooktasticReads Year II

 

Happily visit my lovely co-hosts:

Lisa @ Dear Geek Place

+ Imyril @ There’s Always Room for One More

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In Autumn [2017], you might remember I conceived of this idea to re-start my readings into the spooktacular worlds of chilling Thrillers, Suspense, Mysteries and the Paranormal (with just a dash of love for Cosy Horror!) – wherein I conceived of spending a fortnight reading such lovelies and enjoying a personal readathon leading into Halloween! I fell a bit short of my goals in [2017], though I took it as a success – as not only did I read some rather spookified tales but I found myself wholly intrigued by the stories I was selecting to read!

Last year [2018], I helped name our first mini-event for #WyrdAndWonder – wherein I was hoping to let this small idea I had in [2017] take flight, reach a bigger audience and find readers who might find their own definition of #SpooktasticReads befitting their own readerly life!

Some of the stories of course play the theme up quite a bit for the spookier side of the genres, some of which may or may not directly (or indirectly) relate to Fantasy per se but this is one of those readathons which is open to both interpretation and the joy of having free reign to enjoy the readathon in a way each reader wants to approach it!

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A Spooktastic reading binge for Psychological Suspense & Gothic Tales!

Autumn for me is a time in the year where I simply like to read a curated collection of stories which fall under different categories of mutual interest: Mystery, Suspense, Thriller, Gothic or Paranormally inclined and Cosy Horror.

This year [2019] as I co-host my own mini-event celebrating the 13 days leading into Halloween with #SpooktasticReads – I am going to be focusing on two equally dynamic concentrations: #WitchyReads & Ghost Stories! I noticed I have quite a gathering of both – they both parlay into the heart of #SpooktasticReads but also, the fact that when it comes to #SpookyReads in general – these are the two concentrations I have the tendency of seeking out the most! I have the added benefit and joy of being able to focus on narrators I love listening too whilst knocking off a few of my backlogue reviews!

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If other book bloggers or readers want to join us, please link to your blog, Twitter, LibraryThing List or other ‘space’ online where you are updating about what your reading – such as Instagram or Vlog (YouTube) in the Comments section below!

Use the tag: #SpooktasticReads & link back to this post – as I will happily be sharing what your doing for this lovely #WyrdAndWonder mini-event! Plus, I love hearing what others are reading in case something they discover would be a good fit for me as well!

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Posted Friday, 18 October, 2019 by jorielov in Bookish Discussions, Cosy Historical Mystery, Crime Fiction, Ghosts & the Supernatural, Gothic Literature, Historical Fiction, Historical Thriller Suspense, Parapsychological Gifts, Supernatural Fiction, Suspense

#SaturdaysAreBookish Sampler | Discovering the collective works of #SatBookChat feat. guest [5 October] Kimberly S. Belle!

Posted Saturday, 5 October, 2019 by jorielov , , , , , , , , 0 Comments

#SaturdaysAreBookish created by Jorie in Canva.

After launching this lovely new feature of mine during [Autumn, 2018] it is a pleasure of joy to continue to bring #SaturdaysAreBookish as a compliment focus of my Twitter chat @SatBookChat. If you see the chat icon at the top of my blog (header bar) you can click over to visit with us. The complimentary showcases on my blog will reflect the diversity of stories, authors and publishers I would be featuring on the chat itself. As at the root and heart of the chat are the stories I am reading which compliment the conversations.

#SaturdaysAreBookish throughout [2019] will be featuring the Romance & Women’s Fiction authors I am discovering to read across genre and point of interest. Every Saturday will feature a different author who writes either Romance or Women’s Fiction – the stories I am reading might simply inspire the topics in the forthcoming chats or they might be directly connected to the current guest author.

I am excited about where new guests and new stories will lay down the foundation of inspiring the topics, the conversations and the bookish recommendations towards promoting Romance & Women’s Fiction. Here’s a lovely New Year full of new authors and their stories to celebrate!

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Borrowed Book By: I first discovered the collective works of Ms Belle in [2015] when I featured a guest post for her novel “The Ones We Trust” when I was a blogger working with TLC Book Tours. I wasn’t able to request the book for review consideration which is why I oft mused about when I could read the novel as my local library hadn’t yet purchased a copy to read. Fast forward through the years, as I tipped @AudioShelfMe (a podcast which grew into a booktube and bookstagram channel) towards her collective works – I noted how well Brad & Britney had taken a hankering to her stories as they would frequently showcase her novels. I caught their podcasts, happily interacted with the three of them on Twitter and re-thought about how to get a hold of Ms Belle’s novels myself! This is why over the Summer of 2019, I decided to see what was available at my local libraries these four years later. I happily found two novels in print and one in audiobook; though technically, “Three Days Missing” and “Dear Wife” were also available at different intervals but I’ll discuss those within the context of this post.

I borrowed a print copy of “The Ones We Trust” and “The Last Breath” whereas I borrowed an audiobook copy of “The Marriage Lie” via my local libraries. The audiobook was courtesy of their OverDrive digital libraries which I was thankful to find as they can be streamed rather easily. I am choosing to share my reflections and takeaways on behalf of these novels without obligation to post my ruminative thoughts about them. The Press Materials shown on this post were provided by the author Kimberly S. Belle and are used with permission; as these stories were a focal point of a recent @SatBookChat wherein the author was a featured guest on 5th October, 2019. I did not receive compensation for my opinions or thoughts shared herein.

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

As you might have spied via my bookish feeds on Twitter – via both @joriestory + @satbookchat, my lovely guest author this weekend is none other than Contemporary Women’s Fiction novelist : Kimberly S. Belle! A delightful author I first crossed paths with during a [2015] TLC Book Tours showcase for her second novel “The Ones We Trust” which at the time left quite the strong impression on me even without having had the chance to read it.

Our paths re-crossed on #bookishTwitter, especially when I nudged the hosts of #AudioShelf (@AudioShelfMe) to give her stories a whirl and see if they might be a good ‘fit’ for their bookish podcast. I happily enjoyed listening to their journey into her collective works, whilst looking forward to the day where I could begin my own!

This Summer I had earmarked myself to read her novels in reverse order – starting with her latest release “Dear Wife” and moving backwards into “The Last Breath” which was her debut release in [2014]. However, as life continues to prove, our best plans end up needing a bit of an adaption when some curve-balls enter into the fray! I had some serious health issues post-May due to those 5x cluster migraines I succumbed too during #WyrdAndWonder whilst life became a smidge adverse with numerous plumbing fiascos which included 2x major *flooding* incidents! Woo was Jorie this Summer!

Needless, I kept :pushing: forward my readings of Ms Belle’s novels, eagerly looking forward to seeing my turn in the queue lines dwindle down to where I could pick them up (either the physical copies and/or the digital audiobooks via OverDrive for my libraries) – a few separate times I saw myself having either the audiobook for “Dear Wife” or the print version on my loans shelf – whilst it took a bit more time to track down print copies of “The Ones We Trust” & “The Last Breath” as I waited in queue for the audiobooks of “Three Days Missing” and “Dear Wife” to boomerang back into my loan shelves!

To be honest – the narrator for “Dear Wife” did not convince me to listen to the novel – there was something I was simply not connecting with in how the story was being delivered through the narration itself and this can and does happen to me, dear hearts. There are some narrators of whom I dearly want to *love!* listening narrate a story but in the end, I find they are not the right fit for me in the context of that story at all. Other times, they woo me to read an author I might not have connected with in print; so it just depends, really. I also found the story a bit more jolting – it had more abrasive language and the context in the beginning wasn’t very appealling to me either but I think that had to due to the situations & the subjects explored moreso than anything else. Some story-lines are just not a good fit for me and this one fell into that category.

Likewise, the narrator for “Three Days Missing” was a rough go for me – I couldn’t even put my finger on what was wrong listening to this novel until I started listening to “The Marriage Lie” and recognised the differences between all three audiobooks. The narrator’s approach in this third novel ropes you in rather immediately – from her accent, to how she is articulating the story and personalising your reading experience by how she’s presenting her characters – it felt full and expressive and that kind of narration is my favourite – so even if the story was a punch-gut hit to the dramatic, it was a story I felt I might honestly enjoy hearing due to the narration & how Belle would walk us through a rather remarkable plot!

Overall, the three novels I selected to showcase this weekend and to begin the discussion into how she curates her tone, narrative style & the convicting story-lines of her Contemporary Women’s Fiction Suspense Thrillers is to focus on the trifecta of her collective works which for me were novels one, two & three! The second as mentioned I had a special reason of wanting to read it having hosted the blog tour; the debut as I love to see where a writer begins their writerly career and the third, quite literally was decided due to the narrator who breathed a breath of life into the book as it funnelled its way into my ears!

I lost the hours to properly devour each of these lovelies in full – but as you will see, even with my method of ‘previewing’ the stories ahead of #SatBookChat, I have quite a heap to share about what I am finding inside them; which either meant I was curiously hopeful about what would happen next or I was so dearly chilled by what I found inside the story itself, I realised I could not pursue it further.

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Without further adieu,
I give you my first “#SatBookChat sampler”
ahead of conversing with the author whose penned these chilling stories of Women’s Fiction!

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The Contemporary Women’s Fiction novels of Kimberly S. Belle

I sampled ahead of #SatBookChat’s conversation!

The Last Breath by Kimberly BelleThe Ones We Trust by Kimberly BelleThe Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

The Last Breath (2014)

The Ones We Trust (2015)

The Marriage Lie (audiobook) (2016)

 → forthcoming release: Stranger in the Lake (2020)

About Ms Kimberly Belle

Kimberly Belle

Kimberly Belle is the USA Today and internationally bestselling author of five novels, including the newly released domestic suspense, Dear Wife (June 2019).

Her third novel, The Marriage Lie, was a semifinalist in the 2017 Goodreads Choice Awards for Best Mystery & Thriller, and her work has been translated into a dozen languages.

A graduate of Agnes Scott College, Belle divides her time between Atlanta and Amsterdam.

Fun Stuff for Your Blog via pureimaginationblog.comConverse via: #AudioReads + #AutumnReads with #KimberlyBelle
also #WomensFiction #Suspense or #Thriller

Be sure to stay tuned to @SatBookChat for the transcript post-chat in ‘Moments’ – where I am housing our chat archives after having lost years worth of conversations to Nurph & Storify. Also, if you would like to share or respond to ANY of the chat’s talking points, kindly add our tag #SatBookChat and carry on the convo with us! Likewise, visit our Info Page.

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Posted Saturday, 5 October, 2019 by jorielov in #SaturdaysAreBookish, Bits & Bobbles of Jorie, Contemporary Thriller, Disillusionment in Marriage, Jorie Loves A Story Features, Realistic Fiction, Suspense, Women's Fiction