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Saturday, January 3, 2015

Legacy of Fear by Ryshia Kennie ♥ Review, Spotlight & GIVEAWAY ♥ (Romantic Suspense)

Andra Vandersan is an expert code breaker, as fiercely independent and beautiful as she is brilliant. Working at the highest levels of deciphering, she’s always remained at a safe distance from the seamy underworld of Hong Kong’s criminal elite—but that’s about to change. When her next-door neighbor is brutally murdered in a way that suggests the work of the Chinese triads, two things become clear: Andra was the intended target of the hit, and the assassin is going to return.

Max True is a world-class linguist, a colleague of Andra’s who once helped her break a code that would destroy a terrorist cell. When he shows up at Andra’s door with a mysterious message, they realize they may have stumbled on a long-lost women’s language that holds the secret to incredible power—and one that the most vicious men in Hong Kong will stop at nothing to get their hands on.

As Andra and Max work to solve the puzzle of the language, they find themselves in a desperate race against time to escape the mysterious forces who all want the secret of the message—even as they surrender to the forces of an undeniable passion that brings them inexorably and irrevocably together.
A gripping love story packed with adventure! A gripping love story packed with adventure!
Legacy of Fear was sort of "The DaVinci Code"-ish in that one clue led to another and another, and yet each clue was its own piece of the puzzle. I liked how pieces of the puzzle were revealed slowly and in unique ways. It wasn't, "Oh, hey, look, a clue," but rather the clues were disclosed through the dialogue and narration from the points of view of the different characters.
Ryshia is VERY talented in describing things in different ways. She didn't just say, "The mountain peak disappeared into the clouds." Instead, she used any word except the obvious ones to describe the same point, and it made the story that much more entertaining to read.
The story takes place in China, and it is obvious that Ryshia did a great deal of research to make the details authentic. Again, with her excellent descriptions, I felt like I was seeing and smelling what the characters were.
The tension and interaction between Andra and Max was fantastic. I loved how their feelings for each other evolved, and I absolutely loved the ending!
This book was a true "romantic suspense" if I've ever read one, and truly a story unlike any I have read!
***I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review***
Copyright © 2014 by Ryshia Kennie


The door was dark with the stain of too many hands and years imprinted on it. It swung open and light spilled into the narrow hallway, and for the first time Max laid eyes on his colleague.


Her whole appearance was a surprise. Despite speaking with her online a number of times and numerous phone conversations and e-mails, in person she was not quite what he’d expected. She was lithe and elegant with long dark hair wound in a half-up, half-down style and her skin was porcelain, like she had never looked at the sun. Somehow, the computer screen hadn’t been as clear.

Her eyes met his, dark gray eyes with just a startling fleck of blue. And her legs were endless and bare as she stood in a multicolored floral sundress and pink flip-flops. He dragged his gaze back to her face.

“Are you all right? I saw the ambulance, the police. They weren’t letting anyone in.” He ran a thumb along the strap of his leather, age-softened satchel. “I’ve been outside waiting.”

“I’m fine.” But she clutched her arms under her chest as if warding off further grief. “Max.” Her voice had a quiver to it. “I’m so glad to see you. How was the flight? I checked and saw there was a delay in the takeoff out of Pennsylvania. I can’t imagine that was too pleasant.”

“One word to describe it, long,” he said and smiled when all he wanted to do was hug her. Instead he found her hand in his as they shook hands and she looked at him with a sad smile that never reached her eyes. It wasn’t enough. He drew her into his arms, holding her slight and trembling against him. This moment had been too long coming. The bag bumped against her.

“I’m sorry.” He let her go as he shifted the bag to his other hand.

“Yes, my linguistic friend. At last we meet.” Her words were without enthusiasm as she stepped back, her full lips taut. “Unless you can call our online conversations meeting.”

“I suppose.”

“I remember our first conversation. Despite your qualifications with a doctorate in linguistics, and a professor at Penn, I thought you’d be no help whatsoever . . .”

“Whoa.” He smiled and held up his hand.

“Well, you have to admit I hadn’t had any luck with academia before.”

“And you painted us all with the same brush.”

“I did. And instead, between us we managed to crack the code that allowed authorities to stop a terrorist cell . . .”

“I remember, but we can talk about this another time.” He shifted his satchel as the bulge in one side continued to bump his thigh. “I arrived at a completely inappropriate time. I’m sorry . . . a murder in your apartment building. Shocking.”

“She was a neighbor. Not that I knew her well.” Her lips pinched together and a line bracketed around her mouth. “They interviewed all of us. Door to door, I believe. I don’t know, I was still in her apartment so I was first, as I found the body.”

“Oh, my god, I hadn’t realized that. I’m sorry, Andra. This is completely the wrong time. Tomorrow if that works for you.”

“No, Max, maybe this is exactly what I need.”

He bridged the distance between them in one long stride and again took her in his arms, but this time he held her tight. “I’m sorry, Andra,” he repeated as her face burrowed into his shoulder. He held her there for a minute, her frame lithe yet fragile in his arms. His hand threaded through her hair. At another time he would have relished its soft and silken feel. Instead he just held her as her face cradled into his neck and her breath caressed and teased him in a way, in this moment, it shouldn’t.

She took a shuddering breath as he trailed his hand down her back, settling at her waist and pausing there for a moment, then two, before letting her go.

“Come in. I need to sit down, my knees are shaking,” she said with a laugh that didn’t quite ring true.

“I shouldn’t have involved you,” he said. “This damn doll, the code, all of it . . .”

She pushed thick strands of jet-black hair from her face. But her eyes met his and the passion in them left no doubt that she was laying down a challenge with her words. “Don’t be ridiculous, Max. I’m not sure what you’re implying but I’m a colleague with an equal stake. Besides, it’s too late. You’re in possession of the doll and I . . . Look.” Her eyes shifted to the hallway. “Come in. I could use a drink and I’m not going to offer you one in the doorway.”

“Are you sure it’s safe for you to remain here?” he asked as he hovered on the threshold. “The police . . .”

“Can do nothing.” Her smile was poignant. “I’m fine for now. Come in, please.”
“You’re sure.”

“I am. There’s nothing I can do for Margaret. And I can be sad for what happened just as well later as now. Now, we have to talk.” She smiled, a rather whimsical, shell-shocked smile. “You’re shocked.”

“A bit taken aback. You’ve just been through a trauma.”

“I’m pragmatic. Learned to be that way as a child. Tragedy isn’t an anomaly. You know that. It happens more frequently than we would like to believe. Unfortunately, a part of life.”

“And you have to keep going,” he finished.

“Exactly, even an hour later.”

“Even . . . that’s so soon. I wouldn’t . . .” He hesitated, seeing the look of determination in her eyes. “I suppose it’s not my way.”

“But it’s mine,” she said simply.

But her hands shook as she took his arm and ushered him inside, pushing the door closed behind them.
The Canadian prairies are home. They’re where I live with my husband and one opinionated Irish terrier. The prairies have a pervasive way of becoming part of who you are and in my case what I write. They inspired the setting my first published novel, a depression era romance. But it’s my incompatibility with the harsh prairie winter and a dose of wanderlust that motivates me to get out and see the world especially during the long prairie winters. That love of travel has taken me on a zigzag tour around the globe. It is these settings, both near and far, that have inspired me to write tales that I hope will take readers away into other worlds.
Romance novelist Ryshia Kennie wins Regina Writing Award

The Saskatchewan Writers’ Guild has named Ryshia Kennie winner of the 2011 City of Regina Writing Award. Kennie has written two romance novels, From the Dust (2007) and Ring of Desire (2009), both published by Oregon’s Black Lyon Publishing. Runners up for the prize are poet Bruce Rice and playwright/short fiction writer B.D. Miller.

The $4,000 prize is sponsored by the City of Regina, judged by professional writers outside of Saskatchewan, and presented to Regina-based writers “based on literary merit,” with the aim of enabling the recipient to “work on a specific solo writing project for a three-month period.”

Although the award is open to writers working in any genre, this is the first time in its 31-year history that a romance writer has won. Previous winners include Dianne Warren, Dave Margoshes, and Kelley Jo Burke.

Win a set of metal heart bookends!
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***Please note: This prize is being provided by Ryshia Kennie***



  1. Thanks for hosting me today Lauren and for reviewing Legacy of Fear.

    1. My pleasure! Thank YOU for the opportunity!


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