I have enjoyed several thriller/suspense stories over the last few weeks, and enjoyed them, some more than others. All were provided to me by the publisher upon request. The ratings and opinions shared are my own.

Murder Gone Cold (A Colt Brothers Investigation #1) by B.J. Daniels, Corey M. Snow (Narrator)

Published March 29th 2022 by Harlequin Audio, Harlequin Intrigue

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Murder Gone Cold is a Mystery/Thriller with a bit of a romance undertone. It is the first book in A Colt Brothers Investigation series. James and his 3 brothers are all rodeo cowboys. James has been injured and returns home to Lonesome, Montana to heal. He is planning to stay in the doublewide trailer that he and his brothers use as a home base, but it is nothing but ashes. He ends up staying in the small bedroom/bathroom that his father used at his office, when working as a P.I. His father died under mysterious circumstances while working on a case, that is still unsolved seven years later. James has nothing else to do, so he decides to look into the case. Once he starts asking questions, some people become antsy and would prefer that the case remain unsolved. With no kitchen, James heads to the sandwich shop next door, and discovers it is run by Lori, a girl he went to school with. She was attracted to him then and those feelings surface once again. Although Lori tries to bury those feelings, they find themselves working together to figure out who killed the young boy as well as if his father was also murdered.

I really enjoyed this book, but it was a bit slow to start. I liked that there were two mysteries to solve in this book. Lori and James had some sexual tension, but the romance took a backseat to the mystery. I liked both main characters and wanted them to be safe, solve the crime and that their relationship would work out. There was some danger as secrets were revealed which added to the suspense and thriller feeling. Following the clues, unraveling secrets and working together Lori and James are able to sort things out keeping one step ahead of the threats and danger. I will say the ending was a great surprise. My one issue is that the romance took such a back seat, and I would have liked there to have been more of a relationship development before they ended up together. The audiobook was narrated by Corey M. Snow, a new narrator to me. Corey Snow has a deep, rich voice, perfect for James. His male voices were well done, unique with various accents/drawls, but the female voices were not the best. His tone and expression were good, making the story easy and entertaining to listen to. I did listen at 1.4 speed, as I found the pacing quite slow. With this modification, the audio was quite enjoyable, however I also enjoyed the ebook format. Overall, this was a great mystery, with suspense and some gripping situations. I happily recommend this one in all formats.

The Long Weekend by Gilly Macmillan, Olivia Poulet (Narrator)

Published March 29th 2022 by HarperAudio

3.5 Stars:

The Long Weekend is an atmospheric, dramatic, thriller. Three couples planned a retreat at Dark Fell Barn, an isolated, quiet spot which is what they were all looking for. What was not expected was for the husbands to get held up, and the wives to go alone. There used to be a fourth couple in their group, but Edie, the one who held the group together, did not attend this year as her husband died suddenly and recently. When the women arrive: ex-Army Jayne, hardened and serious, but also suffering from PTSD, Ruth, the driven doctor and new mother who is an alcoholic and suffering from post partum paranoia, and young Emily, just wed and insecure, the newest addition of this tight-knit band, they find a letter, telling them that one of their husbands is going to die, signed with an “E” The women are together because of their husbands longstanding friendship, and would not be friends otherwise. Their relationships are already shaky, their secrets are about to be exposed and they don’t know who is about to be murdered.

The Long Weekend is told from several perspectives, including a mystery narrator who is involved in the murder. I really didn’t like any of the characters except Edie’s daughter. I felt like they were unreliable narrators and I was constantly trying to figure out who was being honest, was Edie behind the letter or was it a bad joke. Who has been killed and why? Then there is the atmosphere and all that was happening at Dark Fell. How did these storylines fit together. I liked the twists and everything that made me think, but I lost my edge of the seat feeling in the middle of the book. I classify this as a dramatic thriller as it became a bit too dramatic with events being brought in that really did not tie in to the main mystery/events. I did enjoy this book, but it was not as gripping as I had anticipated. I will say that the narration was well done. I thought the expression and emotion that Olivia Poulet brought to the story, is the reason I added a half star to my rating.

Life Flight (Extreme Measures #1) by Lynette Eason

Published January 4th 2022 by Revell

4.5 Stars:

EMS helicopter pilot Penny Carlton is one of the best. She works well under stress, which is necessary when she is forced to land on a small flat spot on a mountain in a raging storm with a critical patient. Hiking off the mountain to find a landline to make a call is dangerous, and she finds out there is an escaped serial killer on the loose. Penny is a professional and gets the help she needs, eventually, but in the meantime, she works with FBI Special Agent Holt Satterfield to keep alive. It seems like everyone is out of the woods, until they realize that the man they killed was not the man they were after, and Penny is in danger. Together Holt and Penny work together to catch the killer and keep each other safe.

Life Flight is the first book in the Extreme Measures series, and it starts with a bang. You are pulled right into the story from the first page and it doesn’t let up. I enjoyed seeing EMS helicopter pilot Penny Carlton’s and FBI Special Agent Holt Satterfield’s interactions. He thinks he is protecting her, but Penny is a tough cookie, and more often, she was saving Holt. I liked their relationship as it was professional and respectful, eventually becoming more personal. The secondary characters all play important roles in the story and I loved the generosity of those living near the mountain. Of course the one character we were meant to dislike, was well-written and it worked. With tense, nail biting moments, health situations, twists, unexpected turns and some romantic suspense, I finished this book in one sitting. If you enjoy clean, suspenseful stories, I recommend Life Flight. I am looking forward to what is next in the Extreme Measures series.

The Perfect Holiday by T.J. Emerson

Published April 20th 2022 by Boldwood Books

3 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐

This is described as a psychological thriller, but I wasn’t that thrilled. It was an okay story that I finished and liked, but I was not gripped like I often am when reading thrillers. Jillian’s life changes drastically when he and his wife are in a car accident. Helen is seriously injured and needs a caretaker for the remainder of her life. Julian commits his life to being her caregiver and does everything he can to make her life as good as possible. When he is told to take a weekend to relax and rejuvenate, he meets Gabriel, a twenty something wanderer, who he spends a couple of nights with in an intimate way. Gabriel follows him to London and he and Julian agree that he will put Helen out of her misery and allow Julian freedom. The story picks up years later and Julian has remarried to a wealthy woman. They both run different foundations and Julian is well respected. He has written a memoir, runs his foundation that supports caretakers and is a sought after speaker. While on vacation, Gabriel reenters his life and things go off the rail.

This book has an interesting concept, however it failed to surprise me because the big secret is revealed sooner than it should have been. Much of the story was about Julian’s and Gabriel’s illicit affair. I felt bad for Olivia, who is on her third marriage and really thought Julian was the one to make her happy. She was a nice character who was using her parent’s money for good. I will say I grew tired of her body constantly being referred to, especially the size of her chest. It wasn’t until the last quarter of the book that the plot picked up and a couple of twists were thrown in. I did think the ending gave all the characters what they deserved. Overall, this story was just okay for me.