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Shannon Stacey

Your favorite Action-Adventure Romance? Shannon Stacey wants to know (and so do we)

Your favorite Action-Adventure Romance? Shannon Stacey wants to know (and so...

Today’s guest post comes from Author Shannon Stacey who is self publishing the next in her Devlin Group books. The last time I read a Devlin Group book was back in 2009 and I really enjoyed it! Then Stacey left to write straight contemporary which I also enjoyed but I’m not sorry to see her return to her Action Adventure series. She approached me about writing a piece about her own appreciation for the genre and I thought you’d get a kick out of it.

Please leave your recommendations for action-adventure romances in the comments but click on the rafflecopter to enter!

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Action-adventure romance. I love writing it and I love reading it, but sometimes it’s hard to find it. Whether it’s limitations on categories by retailers and retail platforms or nobody caring about the distinction as much as I do, action-adventure romance is usually found filed under romantic suspense. Even my Devlin Group series is classified as romantic suspense, but I personally call it action-adventure.

Unfortunately, part of the problem is that it can be hard to define, is rather subjective, and it’s an “I know it when I see it” sort of thing.  For some, if there’s danger or a bad guy with a gun, it’s romantic suspense. For others, it’s defined by whether or not the identity and motivation of the villain is known from the beginning. I personally find I’m drawn to dark and edgy romantic suspense, but action-adventure that has something of an action movie feel, especially (though not always) if there’s also humor involved. To bring television into it, I never miss an episode of Criminal Minds, but I’ll make popcorn and cancel plans for Hawaii 5-0.

I think I first fell into action-adventure romance with Lindsay McKenna’s Morgan’s Mercenaries series. The Love and Danger miniseries-within-the-series, to be more precise. I picked up a copy of Morgan’s Wife (Silhouette Special Edition, October 1995) somewhere and was hooked. It took me a while, but I eventually found the entire series. Then, in the summer of 1996, Prince Joe came along and Suzanne Brockmann’s Tall, Dark & Dangerous series made its way onto my keeper shelf. Of course, that blurs the lines a little more as it could also be classified as military romance.

In trying to find action-adventure romance today, I have to rely a great deal on covers and back cover copy for books on the romantic suspense shelves. The KGI series from Maya Banks. Vivian Arend’s Adrenaline Search and Rescue series. The Associates series from Carolyn Crane, who won the romantic suspense RITA Award for Off the Edge.

I just grabbed an old Linda Howard romance, Heart of Fire, and didn’t even balk at the Kindle edition’s price because Angela James recommended it on Twitter for fans of Romancing the Stone. That movie is arguably one of the greatest action-adventure romances ever, so if there’s a book like it, I want it. Another of my favorite Hollywood action-adventure romances is Shoot to Kill, which starred Tom Berenger, Sidney Poitier and Kirstie Alley, and came out in the late ‘80s. I’d like a book like that movie, too.

So I’m curious how you all feel about the line between romantic suspense and action-adventure, or if you even think there’s a distinction. But mostly, I’d really love recommendations for your favorite action-adventure romances, no matter when they were published. I feel a reading binge coming on!

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We’re hosting a rafflecopter giveaway for the new Devlin Group book, No Place to Hide. The book goes on sale on Wednesday, August 20.

ShannonStacey_NoPlaceTohide (1)

Jack Donovan went through hell and back to save Isabelle once. Now she’s back in his life, hunted by an assassin so elusive some claim he’s only an urban legend. More than just a gun for hire, the killer is driven by a pathological need to take down his targets and, when Isabelle escapes the bullet meant for her, Jack knows he’ll strike again. The only way to keep her alive is to keep her close, and Jack’s about to learn what hell really is.

In the year since Jack rescued her from a guerrilla compound and then walked away, Isabelle Arceneau has begun to put her life back on track. Now somebody wants her dead and Jack is once again her only hope for survival. As the Devlin Group races to uncover the killer’s identity and Jack and Isabelle go on the run in a desperate bid to keep her alive, she knows she can trust him with her life, but never again with her heart.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

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REVIEW:  Love a Little Sideways by Shannon Stacey

REVIEW: Love a Little Sideways by Shannon Stacey

Dear Ms. Stacey:

You are one of my go to authors in contemporary romance. I feel safe in one of your books. I’m not going to find assholes or cheating or anyone getting their heads cut off. The most unexpected thing I can expect in a Kowalski book is how badly an ATV will be mangled. In fact, maybe that should be the new rating I give to Stacey books. This one was a five ATVs but the other one was only worth three ATVs.

Love a Little Sideways (Kowalski Family #7) by Shannon StaceyLiz is the only sister of the big Kowalski family and she’s spent most of her adult life supporting an artist in New Mexico and she rarely saw her family. When she decides that the long term relationship is going nowhere, Liz heads home to Maine. There she starts a waitressing job and begins to consider what she really wants to do in her life.

One thing she’d like to do is Drew Miller, the Police Chief and best friend of her older brother. They had a one night stand (or one late afternoon stand) during the wedding reception of one of Liz’s brothers but they’ve kept it a secret because of Drew’s relationship with Mitch, the eldest Kowalski.

When Liz is back in Maine, their attraction to each other is hard to resist but there are two major impediments to any relationship. Drew is concerned about telling Mitch that he, Drew, is having sex with Mitch’s sister but the more pressing concern is the major difference between Drew and Liz’s outlook for the future.

Drew spent years married to a woman who never wanted to have children but never admitted it to Drew. This wasn’t something he knew and ultimately that led to a divorce. He is actively looking for a wife and one who wants to have kids. While Liz wants kids and a family possibly that is in the far future. Right now she wants to look at classes at a community college and even get a degree. She doesn’t want to wait tables for the rest of her life and is feeling a bit self conscious of how she compares professionally with her brothers.

Drew and Liz presented an impossible conflict. He wants to get married and have children and she does not. The entire Kowalski clan is brought back together for a camping trip where Drew and Liz’s first conflict – Mitch – comes to a head but their other conflict isn’t so easily resolved. Liz is still living in a rented house and with inflatable chairs and sofa. Her worldly belongings could fit into the back of a car. Nothing about her lifestyle indicates that she is ready to settle down.

Both characters are extremely likeable and I enjoyed revisiting all the other Kowalskis but I did wonder if the vast cast of characters would be confusing to readers. And while I felt that there was great chemistry between Liz and Drew, the impossible conflict had to end in either Drew giving up his dream of the future or Liz sacrificing for Drew. That wasn’t how the story was brought to a close but I had a bit of a hard time believing that the two were going to have a happy ever after. Instead I felt that neither character had really moved far enough in the other’s direction for a completely satisfactory conclusion. B- or 4 ATVs.

Best regards,

Jane

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