Saturday, August 27, 2011

Pursued by Lillian Duncan

by Barbara Early

I love a mystery with a sense of humor. It was nice to find out that works in a romantic suspense as well. Of course it helped that this romantic suspense also had a healthy dose of mystery too.

Lillian Duncan admitted to me in an interview that she often starts with a mystery, but then likes to throw the reader into suspense. I believe "BAM!" was the word she used. (Read the rest of my interview with Lillian on my blog.)

Here's the set-up:

Reggie Meyers is a high-powered lawyer. Wait, strike that. Reggie wants to be a high powered lawyer. Right now she's an apprentice lawyer who has just bungled a big contract. And crashed her car into a farmer's pickup. And found her apartment trashed. Oh, and someone keeps shooting at her.

Who's pursuing her? That's the mystery.

Will she survive it? That's the suspense.

And the romance?

That begins because the aforementioned pickup belongs to Dylan Monroe, who sneaks in some farming among some mysterious "other things." After driving her home and seeing her trashed apartment, he's not going to leave her alone until she's safe. And the way things are going, that might take a while.

Sprinkle in some added intrigue as attacks shift from guns to bombs and bugs, and we learn more of Dylan's other talents--and meet some friends from his somewhat classified past.

Lillian Duncan's romantic suspense is a delightful romp through rural Ohio (and Pennsylvania and West Virginia.) If anyone thinks a romp can't be suspenseful, trust me, Lil has done it. Populated with interesting characters, a couple of running gags, and the steady drumbeat of suspense, Pursued is an entertaining and quick read.

I'd tell you more, but I might have to kill you.

You can view the trailer for Pursued, and Lillian's upcoming release from White Rose Publishing and Harbourlight Books.

As a disclaimer, I should reveal I was provided an electronic copy for the purpose of review.

Question: Do you like a little mystery or suspense paired with your romance? Which do you prefer--a puzzle to be solved or an adrenalin-charged suspense?

Barbara Early grew up buried in the snowy suburbs of Buffalo, NY, where she developed a love for all things sedentary: reading, writing, classic movies, and Scrabble. She holds a degree in Electrical Engineering, but her penchant for the creative caused her to run away screaming from the pocket-protector set. Barbara cooks up cozy mysteries with a healthy dose of comedy and sometimes a splash of romance, and was a double finalist in the 2010 ACFW Genesis competition. Her novella, Gold, Frankincense, and Murder, will be released this holiday season from White Rose Publishing. When not reading or writing, she enjoys cooking, crafts, home-improvement projects, and spending time with her husband and daughter.


  1. Would you believe my heart rate increased while reading this review?
    I think I am all over this book - mystery and suspense and romance? and humor? Do I wish I wrote it?

    thanks Barb! I'll check out your interview. Wonderful post and you deserve a percentage on sales.

  2. Romantic suspense is my favorite. Historical or contemporary, I love mystery and suspense. And if there's a little more suspense than romance, that's okay, too because the romance is still there in the background.

  3. I prefer mystery to suspense, says the woman who is currently 400 pages into a Patrick Bowers thriller novel. Not for the faint of heart. Some definite yuck moments.

  4. I feel like I'm late to the party. Sorry about that--I had some insomnia issues and overslept to compensate.

    Deb--yeah, I have to agree. I like that mix. I like it a lot. Pure suspense grates on me after a while. I thought this one was paced nicely.

    Suzie--Yep, I don't mind the romance being underplayed either. But after writing a full mystery with no romance, I'm beginning to realize how much I like even the hint of one.

    Dina--I haven't read Patrick Bowers. But I've read a few good thrillers. I also tend to prefer mystery. But I was taking notes with this one to see how to pair the mystery in a suspense.

  5. Oooh, this sounds great.

    Mystery or suspense?

    I think I like trying to solve the puzzle more than trying to outrun the bad guy(s). Of course, a little suspense during the puzzle solving is very welcome.

    And always, always give me romance. :D

  6. Ooh, this sounds fun! I was intrigued by what I read, but you caught me at "romp" that's full of suspense. I love a bit of light and love with the dark and intense! (Well, unless it's chocolate. Then just give me Dark and Intense.)

    Thanks, Barb!

  7. Romantic suspense is my first choice when it comes to novels. but I've been reading so many great books in other genres lately. Have to agree Pursued was one of my favorite books this past summer.

  8. DeAnna, I suspect you and I like a lot of the same books. I read your recommendation recently, and was trying to find Margery Allingham. It sounds great, but they need to be released in e-book.

  9. Susanne--when I wrote "romp," I wasn't sure it was the word I was looking for, since it seemed to contrast with the genre. But I really do think it works. I've spent a good deal of vacation time driving around the northeast corner of Ohio, and yeah, it's a great setting.

  10. LoRee--

    I'm glad you liked it too! It was a fun book, wasn't it?

  11. I expect the Campion books will be available for e-readers before long. I think the company that is currently putting them out, Felony & Mayhem (how's THAT for a publisher name!), would benefit a lot from that, but they don't seem to have taken that step yet.

    You might have to break down and buy print versions. They're well worth it. :)

  12. DeAnna--Sounds like it--only I'm not sure my eyes can deal with the small print anymore. That's one of the reasons I took to e-books so quickly. Every book is large print. And now, with the Kindle, it even reads to me.

  13. Pursued sounds wonderful! I love romantic suspense - and toss in some comedy - mmm mmm good! I'll just have to add this to my list of stories to be read!

  14. I'm sure you'll enjoy it! Thanks for stopping by, Donna.

  15. Well, I gotta say, this book sounds amazing! I love mystery and/or suspence; I love romance, I adore humor. Hole in one, Lil!

  16. Delia--Sounds like your cup of tea too then! Thanks for stopping by.

  17. Wonderful post, ladies of Inkwell! Y'all have won me over -- I can't wait to read Pursued!

  18. Thanks, Marianne--and thanks for coming by!


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