Score Sheet Review: Separation Anxiety by Cynthia Justlin

Format: E-bookseparationanxiety
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novella
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Series: The Remnants
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Jack Martello
Heroine: Rebecca Cooper
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: September 13, 2011
Started On: December 13, 2011
Finished On: December 14, 2011

The hero 90 A
The heroine 90 A
Story line 90 A
Emotional Intensity 90 A
Story’s ability to suck me in 90 A
Heat & Sensuality
90 A
Conflicts within the story 90 A
Writing Style 100 A
Quotable Factor 50 C
The Ending 90 A
Overall Grade 87 A

Score Sheet Summary

Separation Anxiety was a novella that sucked me in right from the very beginning. Though I had to revisit my copy of Her Own Best Enemy to remember who Rebecca was, I was immediately drawn into the way Rebecca was struggling from her past to do even the most simple things like diving off into the swimming pool.

For a woman who suffers from agoraphobia, it is her worst nightmare come true when an escaped convict takes her hostage in her own home, the utter lack of control on how the next few hours or days might pan out being the worst thing someone like Rebecca has to confront. I loved how Cynthia portrays Rebecca’s fears, her struggles and her many attempts at overcoming them which I know wouldn’t be an easy one.

In comes burnt-out hostage negotiator Jack Martello whose shared past with Rebecca makes the mission he embarks upon a doubly risky one. But the woman he encounters with fear radiating from every pore is one that clutches at his heart, the attraction that he had always felt for the first woman he had fallen for a part of him even now.

Cynthia makes their relationship work amidst moments filled with terror and the unknown and makes the passion that bursts forth between them something that they both hold onto even when things go from bad to worse.

It shows an author’s remarkable talent when she can make a novella of this length work for a situation such as the one she explores in this book, a fact that would always keep me coming back for more of her books in the future!

For fans of Cynthia Justlin and for those who loved Her Own Best Enemy and thought that Becca deserves her own happily ever after; Cynthia created this story just for you!

Favorite Quotes

“See how good it can be, Becs. I do this to you and you,” he reached up, captured her hand and drew it down to his erection, “you do this to me.”
She gasped and yanked her hand away. He chuckled. Scooping her hand back into his, he kissed her palm and placed it over his thudding heart.
“You do that to me too.”

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Smashwords


Requested Review: Intrusion by Cynthia Justlin

Format: E-bookintrusion
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: The Remnants, Book 2
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Cameron Scott
Heroine: Dr. Audra McCain
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: October 22, 2011
Started On: December 4, 2011
Finished On: December 8, 2011

With Intrusion author Cynthia Justlin cements her position into my list of favorite authors for the romantic suspense genre. Ever since I read Her Own Best Enemy I have had my eye out for Cameron Scott’s story and receiving a request for review by Cynthia Justlin for his story just made it that much sweeter.

With his bummed up knee and shattered self confidence, all 33 year old Cameron Scott (Cam) wants is to prove that he is on top of his game. A former Communications Sergeant in Special Forces, Cameron had never met a code he couldn’t break with a little patience and a good dose of ingenuity. When Cameron tries to take on an expedition to prove that the existing security at the Nanodyne Technologies is not an impenetrable one, he lands himself in more trouble than he ever foresees.

30 year old Dr. Audra McCain is the brains behind a top secret project at Nanodyne Technologies that entails the creation of a body armor suite that could mean the end to heavy casualties in war zones. But when the armor during its final stages gets stolen and by a quirky twist of fate both Cam and Audra tops the list if suspects, there is only one thing left for them to do while dodging the law and the one man whose entire being is focused on getting to the armor. That is to put their heads together and come up with who had stolen the armor in the first place.

Cynthia Justlin has a way with creating broken characters, let them make huge mistakes along the way to test their worthiness to each other and in the end the happily ever after that comes remains to be that much sweeter. For me, both Cameron and Audra proved to be such characters who needed a little bit of faith and a whole lot of love to light up their lives so that they could achieve their own sweet little happily ever after.

When it comes to Cameron, he is the guy who hides behind a veneer of charm and lazy humor behind which lies a tortured soul that blames himself for the way he let down his team back in Afghanistan. Having never forgiven himself for his impulsiveness that had brought all sorts of shit raining down on the team with his just getting away with a bummed knee doesn’t sit well with Cameron. Even then, he is a guy that hasn’t lost all hope or faith in humankind, and in Audra he sees the woman he is meant to be with for the rest of his life.

Audra is another story altogether. She suffers from abandonment issues, has emotional scars left over from being shuffled over from one foster home to the other when growing up. And she hides behind her work, keeping to herself and never letting herself get attached to anyone until Cameron shows up in her life making her feel the tingles of wanting through the fog of nothingness and emptiness that surrounds her heart.

When Cameron and Audra are pitted together, it is Cameron who hopes for a future with Audra, this switch of opposites unlike the norm a refreshing one. Though I had envisioned Cameron to be a more forceful hero, his brand of standing up for what he wants, that streak of impulsiveness that years in the military hadn’t curbed out him and the way he falls for Audra flaws and all was exactly what Audra needed in order to embrace the truth that Cameron means so much more to her than just a night of passion between two people.

I loved how Cynthia brings all elements of the story together, going as far as to create a villain for whom everything doesn’t go according to plan either. His plans are thwarted from the start making him that much more impulsive and dangerous to contend with. And since its always the norm for villains to have everything going for them, especially at the beginning of the story, this was such a refreshing change.

Cynthia ties up the fast paced action and adventure aspect of the story together with heat of the toe curling variety, one which she delivers upon very well. Cameron and Audra’s undeniable need for one another makes for heady reading and I loved every minute of the sensual haze within which they lose themselves in.

Recommended for fans of action based romantic suspense with a hero who just makes your heart go pitter patter and a heroine who definitely needs a dose of exactly that.

Favorite Quotes

He yanked her into him, and covered her lips with his before she could protest. Pain radiated around his kneecap and down his leg, but it was so damn worth it for one taste of her sweet mouth. His tongue stroked the delicate seam of her lips and she stiffened, her jaw tensing under his fingertips.
Don’t pull away. Not yet. He hadn’t tasted his fill.
He caressed her cheekbones, traced their delicate curve until she sagged against him. Her lips softened and he nipped at her mouth until it parted for him. Blood thrummed in his veins. He plunged his tongue inside her mouth and slid his hands into the damp, silky curls of her hair.

“Look at you.” His throat contracted in one long swallow. He ran a finger between her breasts, down her belly to the elastic waistband of her sweats where he dipped a teasing caress underneath it. “I could feast on you all day and never get enough.”

“Like what you see?”
He arched a self-assured brow, and she couldn’t stop a bubble of laughter from popping in her chest. “Yeah, I like what I see.”
“Good.” He eased on the bed next to her and she scooted back to give him more room. His fingers trailed up the flat of her belly to her breast, his thumb scraped across her nipple. “Because I love what I see.”
Except he wasn’t looking at her body, he was looking at her—into her—as if he could see all her fears and flaws and accepted them.

He hauled her completely on top of him.
His mouth ravaged hers, hot and hungry, his hands guiding her hips over him. He entered her, filled her and she cried out at the overwhelming pleasure that shook her body.

Her orgasm hit her with the force of a molecular explosion, tiny particles of energy bursting and swirling inside her. Before she could catch her breath, Cam was right there with her, shuddering his own climax, and drawing her into his fierce embrace.
He kissed her, his hot tongue sweeping inside her mouth. Another wave of shivers wracked her body and she clutched at his shoulders desperate to hold on to a shred of her common sense amidst the tide of emotions charging between them.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Smashwords


Review: Her Own Best Enemy by Cynthia Justlin

Format: E-bookherownbestenemy
Read with: Amazon Kindle
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: The Remnants, Book 1
Publisher: Self-Published
Hero: Keith King
Heroine: Grace Stevens
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: March 11, 2011
Started On: May 14, 2011
Finished On: May 16, 2011

Having never read anything by Cynthia Justlin didn’t stop me from scrambling off to log onto Amazon to buy a copy of Her Own Best Enemy after reading a review posted for the book on Goodreads by Jeannie Lin, one of my favorite authors who writes kick ass romances set in the Tang Dynasty, China. And Her Own Best Enemy, the Kindle version which is available for 0.99 $ on Amazon till the 31st of this month is a pretty kick-ass romantic suspense featuring a hot and broody reformed bad-boy hero and a heroine who knows what it is she wants and doesn’t back down.

32 year old Keith King comes from a broken childhood, having learnt to fend off for himself at the tender age of 10 years. Its no wonder that Keith found himself in bad company, wasting away his life being the ultra jerk to everyone until life and its tough lessons had forced Keith to grow up, giving him a choice between prison and the army of which he chose the latter. The Army had been the only place in which he had found a place where he belonged to until a traitor within had stolen even that from him leaving him fuming at the Monthan Rehabilitation Centre until his past comes calling.

30 year old Grace Stevens is a single divorced mother, terrified for the safety of her 8 year old son Ryker who has been taken by her ex-husband without any notice. Though the last thing Grace wants to do is to seek assistance from Keith, the man she has hated with a vengeance for the past 14 years, Grace is left with no choice when it comes to the life of her beloved son.

A distrustful Grace teams up with a cynical and burnt out Keith, each driven by their own agendas in a race against the gun-toting mercenaries who are out to get them and drive them six feet under, the sooner the better. Though Grace keeps the details of their intertwined past from Keith and knows better than to let her guard down, she is no match for the altogether changed version of Keith, harder and more lethal than ever on her senses with his strong sense of loyalty that sets him apart from the reckless teenager he had been. Though Keith knows that Grace hides something important from him, he can’t help but want all those things like love that he has never believed in until Grace had come looking for him.

Though I would have loved Grace to be a bit more trusting towards the end when Keith did everything in his power from the start to show that he would rather die than turn his back on her, I still loved the story, the character development that took place and little Ryker who managed to steal my heart from the moment his character showed up in the story. And I would definitely love to find out whether Cameron Scott would get his own story any time soon. With hair raising adventure mixed with combustive sexual tension between two people who would rather not feel anything for each other at all, Her Own Best Enemy is a novel highly recommended for those who love explosive romantic suspense to light up their reading world.

Purchase Links: Amazon | Barnes&Noble | Smashwords