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January 1, 2022

2 Enjoyable Romantic Suspense Novels

by MK French

Happy New Year! If you saw the new year in last night then you might just want to curl up with a blanket and book all day. I have a couple of romantic suspense novels that are quick reads that would be perfect for a day on the couch.

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

Little Girl Gone by Amanda Stevens

Little Girl Gone
December 2021; Harlequin Intrigue; 978-1335489357
ebook, print (256 pages); psychological thriller

Special agent Thea Lamb is investigating a missing child case that eerily echoes the twenty-eight-year-old cold case of her twin sister's abduction. Working with her former partner Jake Stillwell, Thea must overcome the torment of the past to solve the present case, and maybe find a way to the future.

From the start, Thea's hometown is full of creepy characters. There is an attempt on her and her mother's life, a poisoning, and weird carvings featuring little girls meant to symbolize Thea and her twin Maya when they were four. Thea and Jake used to be a couple years before, and an attraction remains. It doesn't interfere with the case, however. Jake questions Thea about her memories and what she saw of the car accident that put her mother in the hospital and tries to get her impression of her hometown as it currently is. Though she isn't on the case herself, Thea questions others as if she is.

We do eventually learn the truth behind the current kidnapping, and Thea and Jake admit they still have feelings for each other. Their relationship status feels unfinished by the end of the book, making me hope there's another book featuring the two of them in the future. They work well together in an investigation sense, and I would love to see how their romantic relationship works in the long run.

Read an excerpt:

“While I was trying to fish the doll out of the pool, someone came from behind and hit me over the head hard enough to daze me. Next thing I know, I’m caught in a whirlpool several feet below the surface. I lost my flashlight, so I was spun around underwater in complete darkness. No up, no down.” He paused. “For a while there, I wasn’t sure how I’d get out.”

Thea watched his expression as he spoke. He still seemed shaken from the experience. She’d never seen him like that. “I knew something bad must have happened.”

He summoned a brief smile. “I know what you’re thinking. I even thought so myself at the time. So much for my keen instincts. Someone came up behind me and I never sensed a thing.”

“That’s not what I’m thinking.”


“I’m thinking you could have died down there and I would never have known what happened to you.”

“Thea.” He said her name so softly she might have thought the tender missive was nothing more than a breeze sighing through the treetops.

The sun bearing down on them was hot and relentless, but Thea felt a little shiver go through her. It hit her anew how much she’d missed that tender glint in his eyes as their gazes locked. How much she’d missed his husky whispers in the dark. The glide of his hand along her bare skin, the tease of his lips and tongue against her mouth. The way he had held her afterward, as if he never wanted to let her go. But he had let her go and she’d done nothing to stop him.

She drew a shaky breath. “Don’t ever do that to me again.”

“Get caught in a whirlpool? I’ll do my best.”

She scowled at him. “Don’t make light. You know what I mean.”

“I’m fine, Thea.” He seemed on the verge of saying something else, but he held back. Maybe he thought she wanted his restraint. She did, didn’t she? They were in a precarious situation. Adrenaline and attraction could be a dangerous combination. Throw in unresolved issues and they were asking for trouble.

Buy Little Gone Girl at Amazon

Buried Cold Case Secrets by Sami A. Abrams

Buried Cold Case Secrets
December 2021;  Love Inspired Suspense; 978-1335554789
ebook, print (224 pages); romantic suspense

Forensic anthropologist Melanie Hutton had been kidnapped along with her best friend, but can't remember anything about it or why her friend died. The killer might be after her still, so Melanie must work with Detective Jason Cooper, who still blames her for his sister’s death. Can Jason solve the murder and save Melanie?

From the start, Melanie is followed and attacked multiple times. It feels like she spends more time in the ER than in her own home or office! She is serious about her job, and her guilt about leaving her friend behind had pushed her into being a good forensic anthropologist. Jason had never wanted to hear her side of the story before and is forced to see that Melanie isn't the heartless woman he had thought she was. Her trauma is still very much on the surface, and each attack that Jason is sorry he couldn't prevent just reactivates her old trauma. Eventually, we find out who had been responsible for the deaths, and there is finally justice for Allison.

In addition to the suspense thread of the story is that of Jason and Melanie meeting and dealing with their former secret crushes on each other. Ten years later and those feelings are still there, coupled with the added drama of trying to stay alive. The heightened emotions intensify the connection, and I really liked how the two of them were able to rekindle their old relationship. Together, they're able to move past the trauma of Allison's disappearance and learn to trust again. I enjoyed reading this very much.

Read an excerpt:

“Does it still hurt?”

She jumped.

“Didn’t mean to startle you. Guess I have a habit of doing that.” Jason rested against the neighboring tree.

Several deep breaths later, she forced a smile. “It’s okay.”

He narrowed his gaze and studied her a moment. “Well? Does it?”

“A little.” Truthfully, a lot, but Jason didn’t need to know that. “I, uh, wanted to thank you for watching out for me today.”

“Just doing my job.” The muscles in his neck and shoulders tensed.

“We both know it’s more than that.” She wiped her hand down her face. “Jason. We’re going to be working together for the foreseeable future. Do you think we can call a truce, at least while we do our jobs?”

His jaw twitched, and he remained silent.

She’d asked a lot, but the strain between them had to stop. She watched him for a few minutes then shook her head.

“Never mind.” She pushed from the trunk and limped to the hole in the ground. Her lead-filled heart threatened to drop to her feet. To think that fifteen years ago, she’d had a crush on him. He’d teased her and Allison, but he’d never allowed others to speak unkind words to them. If only she could return to those carefree days. The days before she had died on the inside and her friend had died for real.

Someday, Allison, I’ll find your body. I promise.

She swiped the wetness from her cheeks and lowered herself into the grave. The movement mimicked her mood. She picked up her trowel and searched for more bones.

An hour later, Melanie’s headache had become unbearable, causing her stomach to roil. Just what she needed, to lose her lunch in front of Jason. Scanning the grave, she spotted the paintbrush she used for delicate work. She grasped the handle, but dropped it. She tried again, but her fingers refused to cooperate. Her eyelids grew heavy. Something was off. She sat on the edge of the hole.

“Jason, help.” Her words were slurred. She struggled to stay upright. The trees in front of her blurred and swayed.

He kneeled down and came face-to-face with her. “What’s wrong?”

“I don’t know.”

“Help me out here. What’s the last thing you did?”

“I—I…” She struggled against the gray cloud jumbling her thoughts. “Took a break a while ago. Only digging since.”

His gaze flew to a spot behind her.

She wilted into him. Her vision tunneled, and darkness closed in.

“Keith! Grab the cooler and her bag!”

Jason’s frantic voice registered, but her body had shut down.

His warm arms lifted her. Her head bobbed and landed on his shoulder.

Her cheek bounced against his chest in cadence with the pounding of his feet on the path.

His rhythmic breathing was the last thing she heard before the world went dark.

Born and raised in New York City, M.K. French started writing stories when very young, dreaming of different worlds and places to visit. She always had an interest in folklore, fairy tales, and the macabre, which has definitely influenced her work. She currently lives in the Midwest with her husband, three young children, and a golden retriever. 

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  1. I need to pick a few of these up for when I need a break from review books.