Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Date of Publication: December 2, 2014
Number of pages: 280
Word Count: Approx 88,000
Cover Artist: Kerrie Robertson/
From award-winning author Susannah Sandlin comes the second book in The Collectors series.
How far will ordinary people go to protect their secrets? The Collectors’ games are as much about manipulating lives as finding lost treasure. Everyone is expendable as the ruthless C7 pushes people into gambling with their lives in order to find priceless objects lost to history.
Samantha Crowe's secrets could ruin her career, while Brody Parker's could get him killed. They become pawns for two Collectors seeking Bad King John's crown jewels, which disappeared in rural England back when Robin Hood roamed Nottingham.
This time, however, the Collectors--a ruthless dotcom billionaire and a desperate London detective--might not be playing for the same team, leaving Sam and Brody trapped in the middle.
One thing's for sure: If either hope to survive, Sam and Brody will have to find a way to overcome their distrust--and their growing attraction--in order to succeed on this winner-take-all treasure hunt.
Paranormal and Suspense: Common Ground
I’ve been writing paranormal romance and urban fantasy for a number of years, so when I decided to branch out into romantic suspense last year it came as a surprise to me that the two genres have very few readers in common.
I’ll admit I’m a pretty democratic reader. I grew up bouncing between wandering the gothic moors with Susan Howatch and being intrigued (okay, maybe a little scared) by the monsters of Stephen King. I like historical novels, romance, biography, contemporary. The only things I haven’t been able to get into are cowboy stories and inspirationals, but never say never.
After I thought about it awhile, I got it. Readers who like romantic suspense don’t like the paranormal stuff, and readers who love All things Fanged, Finned or Furry don’t want to read about plain vanilla humans.
There are common elements to these stories, though, and here are a few:
· Larger-than-life heroes and heroines. Contemporary romance can get away with the average bad-boy hero, but he’s gonna have to step it up to compete in a paranormal or suspense arena. He’s got to kick ass and take names, or at least be willing to try. If he can’t beat the bad guys, he’ll outsmart them in a dazzling, sexy way. Heroines? No cowering in the kitchen corner for these women. Even if they come up on the victim end of the story, they grow some big ones and fight back. They’re smart, they’re tough, and they will prevail.
· High stakes. It isn’t about saving the farm or getting back at the bitchy girl from high school. In both paranormals and suspense, there are lives on the line, literally. Maybe a lot of them. Maybe even countries whose survival depends on those larger-than-life characters, or world peace, or the survival of a race or species. But whatever the plot, it’s always life or death.
· RollerCoaster Action. Both paranormal stories and romantic suspense tend to be fast-paced and full of action, with strong external plot lines. The romance is important, sure. But the story beyond the romance is important, too. The worldbuilding, the pace, and…
· The Suspense. There’s a reason romantic suspense has that name—there’s a tension that builds through the book like a wire slowly being pulled taut…until something happens to finally snap it and all hell breaks loose. And that tends to be the case in paranormals as well, where there is usually major strife building throughout the story until everything blows up and finally…
· Take a Breath. There’s a similar satisfaction at the end of a good paranormal and a suspense. It’s not just the happily ever after of a romance finally gone right, but also the resolution of a tense, dramatic conflict. That feeling of relief is amazing, and then you want to do it all again.
Samantha hadn’t intended to watch Brody Parker take a shower, only to peek in the window to see if he was in the bathroom so he could let her in the house.
But damn, that man was sexy. He was facing her, his head thrown back and eyes closed as the water cascaded over every ridge and muscle and . . . everything. She had to look, right? She might have taken a vow of celibacy but she hadn’t taken a vow of blindness.
You’re an absolutely pathetic loser, Sam’s inner nag said, and she agreed. Anyone who’d stand in the middle of a monsoon and ogle a man in his shower should have LOSER stamped on her forehead.
As soon as Brody stepped out of the water and saw her, his mouth and eyes battling for which could open the widest in shock, she stepped away from the window and splashed her way around the corner, returning to the back door. And yeah, giggled a little, the laughter bubbling up and spilling out before she could get it under control. She hadn’t laughed much in the last couple of days.
She’d never been quite so wet and cold in her life. The wind had picked up, stabbing horizontal blades of rain into her face as she waited at the back door. For a few seconds, she wondered if he might leave her out here, but then the door opened and he stood there with a white towel slung loosely around his hips, which would have been sexy as hell except for the black T-shirt he’d pulled on. Droplets of water dripped from his black wavy hair onto his shoulders, getting said T-shirt wet.
“Nice fashion statement.” She gave him her best lopsided smile as he moved aside to let her in. “You’re shy about going without a shirt? You have man boobs, don’t you?” Which would be a crime against nature.
“I certainly do not.” Looking offended, Brody pulled the T-shirt up, exposing a rock-hard set of damp abs and nice, firm pecs without a trace of man boob. He jerked the shirt back down before she started salivating, which was good, given her celibacy and all.
“Why were you leering in my bathroom window?” He cocked his head. “Are you stalking me? How long had you been watching?”
Not nearly long enough. “Just a few seconds. I knocked on the door earlier and you didn’t answer.”
He glanced out the door, where the rain almost obscured the garage. “Where’s your car?”
“Ah, that’s the real story. Do you have a fire lit?”
Brody closed the door, shutting out the hiss of rain hitting the slate courtyard. “Not yet. I was going to do it as soon as I showered. Give me a minute to get dressed.” He made no attempt to leave, though, but instead treated her to a head-to-toe visual inspection that she could swear grew a little heated when his gaze landed on where her soaked, thin sweater clung to her breasts.
Her nipples perked up just to make sure he could see them, the traitors. They didn’t want her to be celibate. They wanted to be touched and licked and nibbled on, even if the attention came at the lips and tongue and teeth of the man who’d deliberately punctured her tire.
About the Author:
Susannah Sandlin writes paranormal romance and romantic thrillers from Auburn, Alabama, on top of a career in educational publishing that has thus far spanned five states and six universities—including both Alabama and Auburn, which makes her bilingual.
She grew up in Winfield, Alabama, but was also a longtime resident of New Orleans, so she has a highly refined sense of the absurd and an ingrained love of SEC football, cheap Mardi Gras trinkets, and fried gator on a stick. She’s the author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series, a spinoff novel, Storm Force, a standalone novelette, Chenoire, and a new romantic thriller series, The Collectors, beginning with Lovely, Dark, and Deep.
Writing as Suzanne Johnson, she also is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series.
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