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    HEART-SEIZING HOTBED OF ROMANCE & SUSPENSE !!!

    Oh my! I loved, loved, loved Payback, the debut release for Kristan Harte and the first book in her compelling new Vigilante Justice Series. And it's official, I'm hopelessly hooked! Payback may be the launch of Harte's career in the contemporary romantic suspense genre, but this isn't her first rodeo. For readers who may not already be aware, Kristin Harte is the alter ego of USA Today bestselling paranormal romance author Ellis Leigh and one-half of the contemporary romance dynamic duo known as London Hale. It's no big secret and neither is the fact that I'm a huge fan of this author's work and have followed her career for years. Harte/Leigh is a gifted storyteller and skilled wordslinger who excels at creating original storylines set in vividly depicted worlds populated with larger-than-life characters. So, when I heard the whispers across Facebook of her move into the contemporary romantic suspense, I was beyond excited but with reservations. I'm a diehard romance junkie and romantic suspense is my all-time favorite subgenre, but I'm also somewhat of a rom-spense snob, meaning I'm pretty selective with the authors I choose to read. I'm passionate about quite a few things but two that top my list, only surpassed by family, are good food and great books. When it comes to food, I'm very much a meat and potatoes kind of girl which, surprisingly, also applies to my choice in literature, meaning I enjoy reading something I can really sink my teeth into, the kind of book that satisfies all my cravings - danger, drama, action, adventure, angst, mystery, suspense, humor, passion, and romance but most importantly, it must be well written with creative storyarcs, intriguing conflicts, and engaging characters. Already being familiar with Harte's work, both as Ellis Leigh and London Hale, my expectations were high but Harte did not disappoint. She not only met them, she surpassed them and delivered it all in Payback! But, as usual, I digress when talking about books and authors I love, so let's talk details! Payback is a riveting, edgy, fast-paced, easy-to-follow, somewhat dark, standalone novel filled to the brim with pulse-pounding danger, edge-of-your-seat adventure, heart-pounding action, spine-tingling suspense, heart-wrenching angst, intense drama, explosive passion, tug-at-your-heartstrings romance, and, of course, steamy dreamy sex. The narrative is beautifully written in the first person with clearly defined his and her perspectives. The dialogue is smart, snappy, gritty, sometimes humorous, exceptionally well executed, & flows effortlessly. One of the things I enjoy most about Harte/Leigh's book is her perfectly proportioned combination of narration & dialogue which is extremely important to the balance and flow of a story. Harte/Leigh's stories move at lightning speeds yet are always comfortable with no unnecessary fluff or filler. But, without a doubt, my favorite element of every Harte/Leigh story is the cast of well-developed characters. Harte writes the most unapologetically protective, possessive, passionate, and fearless heroes and heroines I've ever read & she outdid herself with Alder & Shye! Did I like this story? No, I LOVED it! Would I recommend it? You bet, and I am but only for adult readers since it does contain explicit language, violence, and sex. Will I read this author again? ABsolutely! ANd finally, was I entertained? Completely! Fabulous entertainment and an awesome read!
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