Review: Forgotten by Maggie Shayne

Format: E-bookforgotten
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Paranormal Romantic Suspense
Series: Shayne’s Supernaturals, #1
Publisher: Harlequin
Hero: Ashville Allan Coye
Heroine: Josephine Belinda Bradshaw
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: April 21, 2012
Started On: August 6, 2015
Finished On: August 8, 2015

I love romances that involve two people who think they are ill suited for one another. I know that that’s not just me. There’s so much fun that happens before they do realize that their ultimate partner lies in one another. Add to that a twist paranormal, as in the heroine being a psychic, well that’s just the icing on the cake for me.

It’s being a long time since I read and re-read Linda Howard’s Dream Man. Ever since, I’ve always looked out for any other stories that would bring forth as much emotion as that particular tale did for me. Forgotten by Maggie Shayne filled that need somewhat, and for that and more, I enjoyed the story that unfolded, so very much.

Ashville Allan Coye (Ash), is lying on a hospital bed, pretending that an accident he’d met with had resulted in him landing with a bout of amnesia, when Josephine Belinda Bradshaw (Joey) walks into his hospital room and announces that she’s his somewhat newly wedded wife.

Ash had been pursuing the story behind The Syracuse Slasher when the accident happened and when Joey walks in and drops the obviously false news of his marital status, Ash is hard pressed to find out what it is exactly that this woman who drives a Harley and is as far removed from every condition he has jotted down for the future missus to meet is up to.

Joey’s psychic abilities are more of a pain to her than something she rejoices in. For one thing, it gets her labeled as a crackpot or worse. For another, her ability at times is not the most cooperative, especially when she wants to help people who could be in mortal danger. With Ash, Joey is determined to stick by his side and hopefully save him from becoming another victim of The Syracuse Slasher together with a different agenda of her own that involves her own family.

Ash and Joey’s connection to one another stems from the sizzling attraction that flares between them from the get go. Ash who deals with issues stemming from growing up with a drunken whore of a mother, his inability to trust a woman to do right by him makes him question his attraction towards Joey. Joey has her own issues to deal with, her lack of trust when it comes to the opposite sex, given the philandering ways of her father. Or so she believes it to be.

Amidst increasing danger to both their selves, Ash and Joey find in each other, a partner they’d be willing to spend their life with, if only the ramifications of coming clean with the whole charade on both sides would give them a fighting chance at what they have between them. Added to the mix, is a killer whose mad enough to go on a rampage, just to feed the delusion that keeps the hunger for the kills at bay.

Maggie Shayne does a splendid job of bringing to life Ash & Joey, two characters whom you fall in love with & root for from the onset. Ash is the journalist, who sees everything in provable facts and figures. And Joey is the woman who shakes up everything he believes in, even what he had perceived as would be the best fit for him when it comes to a life partner.

With a couple of twists thrown in for good measure, Maggie Shayne delivers a story worth sinking into. Loved it.

Final Verdict: Romance, heat & murder. What more can this twisted mind of mine ask for?

Favorite Quotes

To change the subject, she waved a hand to indicate the room they were in, a sparse area with cement floors and white walls littered with exercise equipment “This is my torture chamber, as you can see. There’s a bathroom through here, and that other door leads to the basement”
His gaze lingered on the weight bench and narrowed. “You pump iron?”
“You disapprove?”
“It’s unfeminine.”
“The results aren’t.”
He looked her over thoroughly, his gaze traveling a deliberately slow path over her. For the first time in her life, Joey felt uncomfortable in skintight pants and a skimpy bustier. “I’ll let you know,” he quipped.”

His tongue swept into her mouth like a loving caress, touching her in a probing search as if he were an explorer, the first to enter there. She felt as if he were tasting her, and liking what he found as his tongue dipped and danced around her mouth. She began to shake.
It shocked her. She tried to analyze it. She wasn’t shivering with cold, or with fear. Her arms curled tighter around his neck. Her body pressed harder against his, and her fingers threaded into his hair. This was good. Whatever this was, it was incredibly good. When he withdrew his tongue, she thrust her own into his mouth. But hers was hungrier, more demanding, and she felt him shudder in response.

He stood utterly still for a moment fighting the demon that drove him to turn her around, to look at her, to touch her. It was a hard battle, harder because it was one he didn’t want to win. But he stiffened his resolve and reached past her for the T-shirt. As she gripped the bed for support, he pulled it over her head, holding it in place while she inserted one arm, then the other. And it really was accidental that the backs of his fingers brushed over her breasts as he pulled the shirt down over her body.
He felt her shudder, though. He lifted her hair out of the shirt’s collar, and then he held it aside and lowered his lips to the back of her neck. He didn’t think about doing it, wasn’t even aware he was going to until his lips brushed over her nape. He heard the breath escape from her in a rush, and he felt something akin to pain squeeze his chest.

“Ah, God, Joey.” It was a whisper, hoarse, as if he were in some kind of pain. His hand drifted downward, over her chin, her throat. His fingertips skimmed her breast, then his palm closed over it.
She closed her eyes and let her head fall back in reaction to his touch. His hand slid over the curve of her waist, around to the small of her back, and he drew her to him. Free hand driving into her hair, he brought her face level again, and then he kissed her.

His head angled. His lips slid over her face, and he nibbled at her jaw, then moved lower, the damp warmth of his mouth bathing her neck and the hollow below her ear. Her heart raced, drowning out the sounds of traffic below. Her senses filled with him, with wanting him, needing him.
He bent her backward and took one breast into his mouth. Her hands on his shoulders tightened, and she felt the shudder that ran through him. He suckled her, making her gasp for breaths that wouldn’t seem to come.

He pushed her, and he pulled her. Played with her as if she were a puppet on a string, driving her to the edge of madness only to let her hang there, begging for fulfillment in the language of her body. She writhed beneath him, longing for it, mindless in her need.
Then he gave her what she craved, quickening his pace, deepening his invasion into her body, driving into her as she felt his need grow to equal her own.
And then she exploded.

She blinked at him, her eyes wide and wonder filled. “I’m so afraid of this,” she whispered.
“Of wanting me?” He slipped his hands beneath her shirt and ran his palms over the warm, smooth curve of her back.
“Of… of needing you.”
He closed his eyes at the impact of her words. “I know.”
“It’s overpowering. It’s getting worse all the time, and I—”
“And I can’t do anything to stop it,” he finished for her. “I’m not sure I want to stop it.”

He picked her up, hands on the backs of her parted thighs, carefully avoiding the bandaged wound. He lowered her over his arousal. Her tightness was like a hand, gripping, squeezing. He held her hips and moved her up and down over him. She clung to him, feeding on his mouth as if she were starved for it. Her breasts, their nipples pebble hard, brushed over his chest, driving him insane.

He kissed her jaw, her throat Her head tipped back as he bit and suckled her neck. He pushed her back still farther, and she arched to give him access to her breasts. Those dark peaks strained toward him, silently begging for attention. He laved them with his tongue, going at one after the other like a man possessed. Her body moved faster, harder, taking him more deeply into her with each thrust. He bit her nipples, tugged at them, sucked them mercilessly, until she was trembling and biting her lip to keep quiet.

Purchase Links: Amazon | B&N | Kobo | Smashwords | iTunes


Review: Gingerbread Man by Maggie Shayne

Format: E-bookgingerbreadman.jpeg
Read with: iBooks for iPad
Length: Novel
Genre: Contemporary Romantic Suspense
Series: Standalone
Publisher: Jove
Hero: Vince O’Mally
Heroine: Holly Newman
Sensuality: 3
Date of Publication: August 11, 2013
Started On: March 21, 2014
Finished On: April 25, 2014

Gingerbread Man by Maggie Shayne is one of those reads that took me by surprise by just how captivating the story turned out to be. Like any reader, I am quite hesitant when it comes to trying out new authors, but then again, a girl has got to take a chance every now and then and see whats out there. I think I first stumbled across Maggie’s name on a post by Anne Stuart and later on one way or the other I stumbled across this book on Amazon. I picked it up for one main reason; I wanted to read a dark and gripping romantic suspense novel that could actually deliver on what the blurb promised. And it turns out, Maggie Shayne can certainly do a mean romantic suspense!

Gingerbread Man is by no means a light read. It deals with a serial child killer, a killer who sexually assaults his victims before killing them off. There’s no way to remain detached from what’s happening, the raw emotion that at times seeps through the story to practically throttle you with all feelings that the story invokes in you. I believe that’s what makes a romantic suspend stand out and perhaps in the process give you a nightmare or two as well.

Detective Vince O’Mally is riding hard on a case on child abduction when the circle of events spiral into the sort of nightmare there is no getting out of. Vince is ordered to take a leave of absence to sort himself out, but Vince is like a dog with a bone with his inability to give up on finding a man who he believes has been preying and killing for far too long.

A lead takes Vince to Syracuse where he meets Holly Newman and finds out the hard way that even a burnt out detective who is cynical about the affairs of the heart can find himself in the precarious position of being in love. Holly is a woman who has gone through her own special brand of hell, a nightmare that she hasn’t ever fully recovered from. And when Vince storms into her life and turns it completely upside down by opening up old wounds that had continued to fester and never healed, Holly finds herself on the brink of falling for the man responsible for the upheaval, a man who let’s her know in no uncertain terms that forever is not for the likes of him.

Maggie has a surprise or two up her sleeve as the story goes along, the chill factor involved in the novel which doesn’t lessen as the story proceeds. Holly is one of those heroines that you cannot help but admire. Her inner core of strength is testament to why she had survived and made it through, but that doesn’t mean that life is a walk in the park for her. She continually battles with the psychological scars left behind and that is one reason why Vince aims to steer clear of her – because he has a tendency of wanting to take care of ‘needy’ women. But then again, Vince has never met anyone the likes of Holly and Maggie certainly does a swell job out of creating the sizzling variety of sexual tension and delivering on it which raised the story’s rating by that much.

If you are a fan of dark romantic suspense novels the likes of which Cynthia Eden creates, Gingerbread Man is definitely for you. But if you do not like dark subject matter, perhaps this might prove to be a tad too much. Otherwise I heartily recommend that you pick this up and just go along for the ride. Totally and definitely worth it!

Final Verdict: A haunting & gripping read that fans of dark romantic suspense must read!

Favorite Quotes

He didn’t answer her, so she rolled again, onto her side, facing him this time, and she pressed her mouth to his mouth. His lips were stiff and unresponsive. She slid her arms around his waist and pulled her body closer to his. Then she nipped his bottom lip with her teeth, suckled it just a little, and slid her tongue along the inner edge of his lips.
He shook a little, and his arms closed around her hard and fast. Finally he kissed her back. He kissed her like she’d never dreamed of being kissed.
His eyes were hungry when they probed hers. “I’ve told you I don’t have anything to give, Red. This is here and now. That’s all.”
“I’m not asking for anything else.” She reached for the bottom of his T-shirt, and lifted it, slid her hands over his belly and up to his chest, and dragged her nails over his nipples.
He closed his eyes, gritted his teeth. When they opened again, his eyes blazed.

He moved her backward until her legs hit the couch, then gave a push so she was sitting down. Peeling off his shirt, he dropped it, and knelt, and his hands went around her, palms flat to her back, arching her toward him so he could bend and suck her breasts. He sucked them hard, bit down with his teeth until sweet pain jolted through her, then licked the sting away with his tongue, and did it all over again. Each time he bit a little harder, and each time she liked it a little better.

He didn’t take his time. Didn’t ease her into this, just spread her folds and touched her. Rubbed her. Fingers pushed up inside her without waiting for an invitation. He lifted her a little, his fingers still in her, and held her around the waist with a free hand, and she stood there, barely balanced with her legs wide and her knees bent.

When she started to melt into his mouth, he drew his head away, and she almost cried. But then he was on her again, his cock was pressing into her, stretching her wider, pushing inexorably deeper until she didn’t think she could take any more, and then still more.

She saw his face, watched the waves of pleasure wash over him as he began moving, too, thrusting in hard, fast, deeper, until he pushed her to the edge. She came, and she heard herself scream his name as she did. And then he drove into her once more, and went stiff as he held her and poured himself into her.

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