Review: Shamrock by Janie Crouch

shamrockTitle: Shamrock

Author: Janie Crouch

Year of publication: Out today! The author kindly gave me a copy to read and review

The heroine: Chemical engineer/baker Violet Collingwood

The hero: Ex Green Beret/Linear Tactical employee Aiden Teague

The blurb: Every mission has a price. He never meant for her to pay it.

Aiden has never left anyone behind. Not a comrade and certainly not an innocent. But when an undercover mission goes wrong, he’s forced to abandon a woman trapped in a human trafficking ring.

Violet learned brutally that no one is promised a happy ending. She knows Aiden blames himself for his part, but she refuses to let her abduction define the rest of her life.

She won’t be a victim again. And she’s going after what she wants: Aiden.

Watching Violet transform herself into a fierce warrior is the sexiest thing Aiden has ever seen. The honorable plan would be to stay away from her—let her heal and grow without the shadow of his mistakes clouding her progress—even though every instinct tells him to claim her for his own.

But when they discover the danger they thought they’d left behind is closer than ever, they’ll have to confront their fears and fight side-by-side in order to survive.

Standalone or series: This is book three in the Linear Tactical series, but can be read as a standalone

The review: Just when you think this series can’t get any better, along comes Shamrock. Aiden Teague is my favourite of the Linear Tactical heroes so far – he’s loyal, protective and caring. An ex-Green Beret who speaks six languages fluently, he’s undercover as an arms dealer, trying to catch a traitor, when he notices something different about one of the scantily clad women at the club he’s in. She looks terrified, and when he spends some time alone with her, he realises she’s being held against her will.

He’s determined to get her out, even if it means blowing his cover, but something happens and he’s not able to get to her in time, which weighs heavily on him. When she’s identified as the younger sister of an ex-Navy SEAL he’s worked with before, Aiden knows he has to save Violet Collingwood because things are not going to get better for her. He and his team are able to extract her safely, but they still don’t know who kidnapped her and why.

After her release, Violet decides it’s time she lives her life the way she wants to. She’s a trained chemical engineer, working for her family’s technology company, but her passion is baking. So she decides to open her own bakery in Oak Creek, and pursue a relationship with Aiden. She makes the first move, which I loved, and it doesn’t take long for them to end up in bed together.

Violet sets up her bakery and hires Jordan Reiss, whom we’ve met in the first two books, as her assistant. Aiden trains her in self defence, and Violet grows stronger in every way possible. She’s a wonderful heroine, one who refuses to wallow in the bad that happened to her, instead choosing to take control of her life and go after what she wants.

Aiden starts to wonder if perhaps their age difference of eleven years is too big a gap, and thinks that perhaps Violet would be better off healing on her own, so he ends the relationship, breaking her heart. But she’s determined to make him see she can still grow as a person with him by her side, and after Violet and Jordan are injured in an incident, Aiden realises he was wrong to walk away.

When the identity of not only Violet’s kidnapper but the mysterious Mr Stellman is finally revealed, it’s such a clever plot twist that you won’t have seen it coming. This book has enough action and mystery to keep those who love romantic suspense happy, and a hot, steamy romance to make your little romantic heart sing – and if you prefer your romances less steamy, there’s a version for you, too!

If this book is any indication of how book four is going to be, we’re in for a real treat. Another five star read from this author.

Review: Eagle by Janie Crouch

eagleTitle: Eagle

Author: Janie Crouch

Year of publication: Out today! The author kindly gave me a copy to read and review

The heroine: Tutor/bartender Charlotte Deveraux

The hero: Ex-special forces soldier/survival skills trainer Finn Bollinger

The blurb: He’s fighting for what’s right.
She’s fighting just to survive…

When former Special Forces soldier Finn Bollinger is asked to help with a deadly government mission, he’s up for the task. His job teaching survival skills to civilians at Linear Tactical keeps him sharp, and he can still handle himself in the field.

But the Army damn well didn’t teach Finn how to handle Charlotte Devereux. She’s back and she’s all sorts of bad news.

Charlotte can’t change the past. Can’t change the choices she made or the fact that they cost her everything. All she can do is endure the fallout. Even if that means putting her future in the hands of Finn, the man who has every right to want to destroy her.

And can in so many more ways than he thinks.

When the undercover mission goes impossibly wrong, they’ll all have to depend on Charlotte’s strength in order to survive. But everyone has a breaking point…

Standalone or series: Book two in the Linear Tactical series, but can be read a standalone

The review: Eagle is the second book in the Linear Tactical series and it just keeps getting better. We met Finn in book one, Cyclone, and were very briefly introduced to Charlotte.

Finn and Charlotte were in a relationship years ago, until Charlotte broke Finn’s heart – very publicly – by marrying another man. Finn believed it was because his rival came from a wealthy family, and Charlotte never told him the reason why she chose Brandon over him. Despite almost losing his career, Finn got over his heartbreak to make it as a Marine and then start Linear Tactical with his teammates.

Eight years later, Finn is a father to seven-year-old Ethan, who has some learning difficulties thanks to his mother. When a tutor is suggested for Ethan, Finn is keen to meet her – until he learns the tutor in question is none other than Charlotte. His anger at their past leads him to turn her down flat, and Charlotte is devastated – she can’t work as a teacher full time because of her ex and his family, and she needs all the money she can get. Her family was once rich, but their money is long gone, and Charlotte’s father is battling a serious illness for which he requires constant care.

Charlotte does whatever is required to make ends meet, and that means sleeping in her car, missing meals, and working two jobs. When Finn spots her coming out of the town’s dinghy motel, he’s stunned – and can’t work out what she’s doing there. He agrees to let her tutor Ethan after her employer tells him Charlotte is the best in the field, and as they spend time together, Finn begins to notice how much Charlotte has changed. She isn’t wearing designer clothing or driving a new, flashy car. She’s lost weight. He’s determined to find out what she’s hiding from him.

The Linear Tactical team has accepted a job from their former commanding officer to try and catch someone within the military who is trying to sell secret codes to people who wouldn’t do anything good with them. Aiden Teague is undercover, with Finn and his teammates helping where they can. The meets are taking place at a strip club, where Charlotte works as a bartender, and when she finds a piece of paper with some weird codes on it, she memorises them as they are similar to the ones she uses to help Ethan.

This leads Charlotte to be in danger, as someone wants the codes she has memorised. Finn, who has realised he still loves her and is able to forgive the past without explanation, will do everything he can to stop the woman he loves from being hurt. But will all his expertise be enough to save her?

This book has everything: characters you’ll grow to love, a mystery you’ll want to solve, and a romance that is both sweet and hot. Another excellent instalment in the Linear Tactical series, one of the best romantic suspense series out there.

Review: Cyclone by Janie Crouch

cyclone

Title: Cyclone

Author: Janie Crouch

Year of publication: Out today! The author kindly gave me a copy to read and review

The heroine: Doctor Anne Nichols

The hero: Ex-marine/Linear Tactical specialist Zac Mackay

The blurb: Doctor Anne Nichols is back in Oak Creek, Wyoming, only because she has no other options. Here, she was always the shy, stuttering girl, invisible to everyone.

Except Zac Mackay. The very reason she left in the first place.

Zac’s years in Special Forces taught him survival skills, and he’s created a company—Linear Tactical—to teach those skills to others, so they never have to live in fear. Then why is Annie, the last person he’d ever want to hurt, afraid of him?

Zac’s determined to wipe the fear from the eyes of the woman who has never been far from his mind. And fix the mistakes—his mistakes—that put that look there in the first place. But a predator has set his sights on Annie. And now survival skills will become much more than lessons…

Standalone or series: Book one in the Linear Tactical series but can be read as a standalone

The review: If this book, the first in the Linear Tactical series, is any indication then we are in for one whirlwind of a ride! Zac Mackay is a widower, having lost his wife, Becky, and his young son, Micah, in an accident. Becky’s best friend all through high school and beyond was Anne Nichols, an introverted loner who was mocked for her stutter. But underneath the facade was an intelligent, funny young woman who happened to be in love with Zac.

Nothing happened between them until one drunken night after the funeral. Their whole world already turned upside down, Annie fled, unable to stay. Zac can’t remember that night, as much as he wants to, so when Annie turns up again six years later, he can’t understand the fear in her eyes. Why is she afraid of him? What really happened that night?

As Zac and Annie try to establish whether there’s any relationship to salvage, there’s a serial rapist on the loose. When Annie is targeted by this monster, Zac and his Linear Tactical teammates will stop at nothing to bring him down. When the truth about that night six years ago comes to light, will Annie be able to forgive Zac? Can he forgive himself?

It was Annie who really shone for me in this book. One of this author’s strengths is her ability to have her heroines rise above difficult situations and become warriors who are determined not to be defined by it. Annie was lovely, gentle, and kind, but also determined and fierce. She’s my perfect kind of heroine!

Cyclone has everything you want – romance, suspense, characters you’ll fall in love with and cheer for. If this is just the start, I can’t wait for the rest of the ride.