Book Buzz : Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews

jason matthewsJason Matthews is a 33 year veteran of the CIA, who has turned his considerable knowledge of espionage into a fantastic debut novel.  Reviewers have said it is the best thriller you will read this year.

Jason and his wife (who also worked for the CIA) appeared on CBS This Morning on June 4th.  They gave a fascinating interview recounting their lives as CIA agents.  You can view it here.

Mr. Matthews is the first American spy to take a turn at writing fiction.  Authors John le Carre, John Buchan, Graham Greene, Somerset Maugham, Ian Fleming and Stella Rimington all worked for the British intelligence community.

Red Sparrow is about a hotheaded rookie spy, Nathaniel Nash, who is pitted against a gorgeous Russian intelligence officer, Dominika Egorova.  The story takes place in Moscow, Helsinki, Athens and Washington.  Mr. Matthews is very skilled with his writing – smart, fluent, great dialogue and extremely knowledgeable.  The book is filled with seemingly classified information –  both American and Russian.  It’s a wonder the manuscript got past the redacting committee at Langley!

If you like thrillers, you’ll want to put Red Sparrow on your summer reading list!

BOOK REVIEW: Thrill Ride by Julie Ann Walker

julie ann walker

Julie Ann Walker

Julie Ann Walker is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of the Black Knights, Inc. series. This is book four in the romantic suspense, intense, sexy series. The books do not have to be read in order, however, it would help in knowing a little bit about the other characters and the history of the Black Knights.

This book certainly lives up to its title.  It is filled with action, suspense, love, loyalty, friendship and honor.  The action is fast, the sex is hot, there are unexpected surprises, there’s a bit of humor, a lot of emotion, and you are kept on the edge of your seat throughout.

The story centers around ex-navy SEAL, sexy Cajun, Rock Babineaux and Black Knight operative, Vanessa Cordero.  Rock has been off the radar for quite some time until word gets back to the Black Knights that the CIA has issued an order to immediately terminate him for crimes the Black Knights don’t believe he committed.  This begins the race to see if the Black Knights can find Rock before the CIA and clear his name.  Vanessa has been secretly in love with Rock and is determined to save him.   Mixed in with the story of the crimes and the hunt, is also the back story of Rock’s and Vanessa’s pasts.  Add to that are the wonderfully entertaining secondary characters.  Although all are tough, intense individuals, they are portrayed with humor and real human emotion that makes the story very believable.

Ms Walker’s writing is edgy, entertaining and hot!   Suspense and intrigue levels are high.  The chemistry between Rock and Vanessa sizzles.    This book is truly a thrilling read!

If you’d like to read the first three books in the series, they are:

Hell on Wheels

In Rides Trouble

Rev It Up

BOOK REVIEW – Killing Time by Cindy Gerard

Once again New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Cindy Gerard delivers a story that keeps her readers on the edge of their seats.  It’s filled with red-hot, non-stop action told so vividly you think you are right in the middle of the action.  ‘Killing Time’ is the first book in her new series called One Eyed Jacks.

Mike Brown is a Navy veteran who was dishonorably discharged 8 years earlier for a mission in Afghanistan that went horribly wrong.  He spends his time languishing in Lima, Peru riddled with guilt, grief, rage , and self-destruction.  The eighth anniversary of the day that mission went sour finds Mike in a small cantina getting drunk.  A beautiful woman is at the cantina, dancing seductively and seeming only to have eyes for Mike.  He decides this is about to become his  lucky day not knowing the lady has other ideas.

Eva Salina is an attorney for the CIA.  A classified file gets anonymously delivered to her outlining the details of a secret  mission that went wrong 8 years ago – one in which her husband was killed.  She assumes whoever gave her the file wants her to investigate the incident.  After hitting one dead end after another in the States, she ends up in Peru to track down one of the three survivors of the mission.

What follows is fast paced action, luscious scenery, battles, treachery, mystery, intrigue, blood, sweat and tears, twists and turns and surprises that take you from Peru to Washington, D.C., to Quebec, to the mountains of Idaho.  The characters are tough, raw, and dangerous.  But what makes you fall in love with them is their vulnerability, their insecurities, their faults, their determination, their sense of right and wrong.  This is a book you want to allow plenty of time to read because you are not going to want to put it down.

NOTE:  To our Male Readers – This book is located in our Romance section because the publisher categorizes it Romantic Suspense.  Most Romantic Suspense novels have very, very little romance in them, but plenty of intrigue and action.  Take a chance and look through our Romance section.  I guarantee you’ll find a whole wealth of titles to choose from that read more suspense than romance.  Other authors you might enjoy are:  Susanne Brockmann, Nina Bruhns, M LBuchman, Lori Foster, Catherine Mann, Stephanie Tyler.