I love inspirational romantic suspense books, and this winter three of my favorite authors have new releases. Check out my reviews here! #inspy #thriller #romance #suspense #inspirationalromanticsuspense #favoriteauthor #amreading #newreleases

I receive free electronic advanced reader copies of these books through an arrangement between the publishers and NetGalley in exchange for my honest opinion on NetGalley’s website. I only review books on my blog that I really love.

I love inspirational romantic suspense books, and this winter three of my favorite authors have new releases. Check out my reviews here!

I love inspirational romantic suspense books, and this winter three of my favorite authors have new releases. Check out my reviews here! #inspy #thriller #romance #suspense #inspirationalromanticsuspense #favoriteauthor #amreading #newreleases

Do You Love Inspirational Romantic Suspense?

“Never heard of it,” you may say. I wouldn’t blame you. I’d heard of suspense books and romantic suspense books, but until I moonlighted in a Christian bookstore, I’d never heard of inspirational romantic suspense. To define it, you can look at the separate genres represented in the title.

In the Christian publishing world, inspirational books inspire readers to examine their relationship with God in some way. In a broader sense, inspirational books inspire readers to make changes or take action. Romantic books sell better than any other genre on the market, but within that genre, you can find everything from sweet, closed-door romances to stuff that the movie industry would rate X. If a book has ‘Inspirational’ in front of the ‘Romance’ in the description, you can probably let your fifteen-year-old daughter or your 90-year-old grandma read it without feeling embarrassed. Characters might have tingles, zings, and passionate feelings for each other, but the authors keep the bedroom doors closed and the interactions relatively chaste.

Suspense books in the general market often have graphic sex scenes or detailed descriptions of grisly deaths and torture (the bad guys need to look really bad, I guess). Inspirational suspense books focus more on how Christians deal with the underbelly of sin. How does a Christian cop deal with death, murder, and tracking down really bad people? Will it shake their faith? When I pick up an inspirational romantic suspense novel, I know the protagonists will have some of the same questions about justice that I have, and they’ll approach their doubts from a Christian worldview. The romantic elements in this genre often add comic relief or touches of normalcy for characters who fight for justice against evil antagonists.

Fragile Designs

By Colleen Coble, Thomas Nelson, January 2024, 352 pages.

Someone murdered Carly Harris’ police officer husband before she could share the good news of her pregnancy with him. Although she loves her current occupation of buying and selling antiques at flea markets and she has a teaching degree, Carly can’t see making ends meet and fulfilling her dream of staying home with their son while he is young. 

When her grandmother invites Carly and her baby to move into her large home in Beaufort, SC, Carly jumps at the opportunity. And when her grandmother suggests turning the historic house into a bed and breakfast, Carly sees it as a perfect answer to prayer.

A Treasure in the Attic

The project will provide a way for her to reconnect with her two younger sisters and offer a modest income for Carly while she works on her dream of writing novels. When she starts organizing the attic in preparation for the renovations, Carly discovers two mysteries. A priceless Fabergé egg from the Russian royal collection and evidence her grandmother has a twin sister.

Carly knows what will happen if the world discovers the treasure in her attic, so she puts it in a safe place and concentrates on finding her grandmother’s missing sister. Only someone seems to already know about the egg—someone willing to kill to get their hands on it.

When Mary Tucker’s granddaughter and great-grandson move in next door, police detective Lucas Bennett does everything he can to avoid them. According to Eric Harris, a childhood friend, and Ryan, Lucas’s brother, the beautiful Carly is bad news.

When Carly tells him about finding a priceless egg and a possible connection to Eric’s murder, Lucas begrudgingly agrees to help her. The more involved he gets in the investigation, the more Lucas realizes Carly is nothing like he imagined. He also realizes someone or someones will do anything to get their hands on the Fabergé egg.

What I Loved About This Book

If you love second-chance romance with an enemies-to-lovers twist combined with edge-of-your-seat suspense, you’ll love Coble’s latest book, Fragile Designs. Readers who struggle with healthy family boundaries will relate to Carly and her need to find healing in her relationships with her sisters. Carly and Lucas carry the baggage of betrayal and must learn to forgive and extend grace.

The plot twists and turns and the historical mysteries keep the reader engaged from cover to cover. Carrie Stuart Parks, Cara Putman, and Lynette Eason fans will love this book.

Double Take

By Lynette Eason, Revell, January 2024, 320 pages.

Lainie Jackson works long hours as a physician’s assistant at the Lake City hospital by choice. She’ll do anything to avoid the lingering nightmares of her ex-fiancé’s attack. Lainie’s trained to save lives, not take them—but to save herself, she had to kill Adam Williams. But Lainie questions her sanity when someone runs her off the road during a storm. The man who peers over the embankment looks just like her ex.

Someone wants her dead, and he looks like her ex. But how could a dead man come back to life and stalk her every move?

When James Cross receives an honorable discharge from the Army Criminal Investigation Division, he retreats to his hometown of Lake City and finds a job on the police force. James bunks with his good friend and fellow police officer while figuring out his messy family dynamics—a father who hasn’t spoken to him in years and an overprotective mother.

A dramatic hostage rescue puts James in the news and the hospital—two things he wanted to avoid at all costs. His family will know he’s home, and painkillers might spiral him into a violent PTSD episode. When Laine Jackson, his little sister’s best friend, shows up in the exam room, James hopes he can trust her to have his back.

When someone leaves a cryptic note in her pocket while she sleeps, he promises to have her back as they work to unravel the mystery of the man who wants her dead and looks like Adam.

I love inspirational romantic suspense books, and this winter three of my favorite authors have new releases. Check out my reviews here! #inspy #thriller #romance #suspense #inspirationalromanticsuspense #favoriteauthor #amreading #newreleases

Why I Loved This Book

This book counts as one of those thrillers that preempt cooking meals, scrubbing toilets, watching favorite TV shows, or feeding the dog. Ok, I’m just kidding about feeding the dog. Maybe. I couldn’t put the book down from the prologue to the final page. Not only has Eason crafted a page-turning thriller, but she’s also created relatable characters who struggle with family boundaries and forgiveness.

The suspense will keep you turning pages, and the relationships will make you pause and think about toxic people and how best to handle them with mercy and grace. Fans of Carrie Stuart Parks, Colleen Coble, and Nancy Mehl will love this book.

Cold Threat: Ryland and St. Clair Book 2

By Nancy Mehl, Bethany House, January 23, 336 pages.

River Ryland and Tony St. Clair, former behavioral analysts for the FBI, have solved two cases in their new private investigation firm. Unfortunately, neither case brought in a paycheck or more clients.

With time on their hands, they agree to help Tony’s dad, a police detective in Burlington, analyze a possible serial killer UNSUB.

Twenty years ago, during a four-year period, an unknown intruder murdered people while they slept and set fires around their bodies in Des Moines, Iowa, where Tony’s dad worked as a new police detective. And now the killer has struck again—this time in Burlington. And just like in Des Moines, Tony’s dad can’t convince the police department a killer is on the loose. He hopes River and Tony can profile the UNSUB and help him convince the police they have a killer poised to strike again before it’s too late.

River struggles to forgive herself for breaking the promise she made to God when the Salt River Strangler left her for dead. To make matters worse, she receives a threatening card. River and Tony know that the serial murderer had an apprentice—one who wants to finish what his mentor started.

As Tony and River explore their feelings for each other, River faces resentment and hostility from Tony’s mother and sister. They blame her for Tony’s near-fatal wounds in the Salt River incident.

As the weather turns colder, Tony and River race to create a profile of the UBSUB—if they don’t, the next snowstorm could mark the end of someone else’s life.

What I Loved About This Book

Mehl keeps readers on the edge of their seats with her multiple plot threads and numerous twists. Readers who doubt God’s goodness or struggle with forgiveness will relate to River.

Fans of Colleen Coble, Dani Pettrey, and Elizabeth Goddard will enjoy this second installment in the Ryland and St. Clair series.

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Anita Ojeda

Anita Ojeda juggles writing with teaching high school English and history. When she's not lurking in odd places looking for rare birds, you can find her camping with her kids, adventuring with her husband or mountain biking with her students.

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