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

Today’s Romance Novels

Today’s romance novels are not the bodice ripping, sex saturated, moaning and groaning, air head woman vs. chest beating man, empty stories of the 70’s and 80’s.  Today’s romances have evolved to complex plots, with smart, savvy heartsheroines and sensitive, flawed heroes.  The old romance books had the domineering man “rescuing” the passive woman.  Today you’ll find strong, independent women who sometimes do the “rescuing”.  While most of today’s books have the “happily ever after ending”, some stories end up “happy for now”, or “satisfied with my live as is”.  Most romances today don’t center around just the two main characters.  You learn about their families and friends, the town they live in, the world around them.  Today’s romance reader is smart, educated, thoughtful, and complex.  Today’s romances run the gambit from historical England, to the wild American West, to the military, to small town life.  They can be inspirational, suspenseful, other worldly and a whole host of subgenres – so many that everyone will be able to find the right fit for their reading pleasure.  It is a bit deceiving to label a book “romance”, when it fits quite nicely as a “literary” novel.  Below is a list of just a few of the romance subgenres.

  1. Medieval
  2. Historical (England, Scotland)
  3. American Historical
  4. Western (Contemporary)
  5. Western (Historical)
  6. Contemporary (Serious)
  7. Contemporary (Humorous)
  8. Suspense
  9. Thriller
  10. Military
  11. Paranormal(Vampires, werewolves, shapeshifters)
  12. Paranormal(Ghosts, witches)
  13. Futuristic/Fantasy
  14. Regency Romances
  15. Victorian Romances
  16. Inspirational(Historical)
  17. Inspirational(Contemporary)
  18. Erotic
  19. Chick Lit
  20. Romantic Mysteries

The Library has an excellent selection of mass market romance paperbacks located on the main level near the front windows.

Which is your favorite genre?

BOOK REVIEW – The Third Bullet

The Third Bullet by Stephen Hunter

Who really did kill JFK?  Fifty years and multiple official reports later, there are still those who doubt that Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. In The Third Bullet,  retired Vietnam sniper Bob Lee Swagger tackles the granddaddy of all conspiracy theories.  Using facts from the Warren Commission and his own extensive knowledge of ballistics, Swagger constructs a complicated but plausible theory of what might have happened if a shadowy rogue agent who wanted Kennedy dead used Oswald as the fall guy.  The unforgettable Swagger, older and more cerebral than he was in his first appearance in Point of Impact (1992), still has what it takes in his eighth outing as an action hero.  Have yet to make Swagger’s acquaintance? He is a younger (though not by much) more polite version of Clint Eastwood in Gran Torino. Want more  thrillers focusing on the Kennedy assassination?  Try Don DeLillo’s Libra, Stephen King’s 11/22/63 or James Ellroy’s American Tabloid.


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.