J.D. Robb, Mary Blayney, Ruth Ryan Langnan, and Mary Kay McComas
Suite 606 is a gathering of four novellas that have a unifying theme of a hotel suite with the room number of 606. Four romantic suspense authors worked together on these stories. Although each is different, the last one pulls a little bit of each of them in so they have more threads than just a hotel suite number. They all have the mystery, some romance, and a touch of the paranormal.
The first, Ritual in Death, is part of J.D. Robb's In Death series. While Eve Dallas, NYSPD homicide lieutenant, is suffering in spike high heels for one of her husband Roarke's charitable gatherings, a dazed young man wanders into the party. He is naked and covered in blood and babbling something about "I think I killed her." Soon Eve is up to her sparkly party dress in a ritual murder that has the markings of occult devil worship. The man, a doctor, has so many drugs in his system he can't remember anything. He is new to New York City and has recently joined a medical clinic. The murder victim also worked there. They were supposed to be going out on their first date that night. But other than flashes that horrify him, he can't remember what happened in Suite 606.
Mary Blayney follows with a historical novella titled Love Endures. Lady Summer Cassidy's selfish, gambler husband Reggie is killed in a mugging. He returns to one room in their home as a ghost. He cannot leave until rights some of the wrongs in his life. Summer is intent on paying as many debts as she can yet still be able to keep herself and their daughter living reasonably. One of the debts is to Reggie's best friend, Lord Stephen Bradley. It is to pay a debt from when they were to marry. Reggie had mislead both of them when they realized they were in love. He was able to twist it so Summer believed him and married him rather than go to Stephen. As a ghost, he now tries to undo that wrong, yet selfishly keep the two from discovering what he had done to both of them.
Sam Hunter has quit his detective job with the New York City police department in Cold Case by Ruth Ryan Langan. He heads to Vermont where he immediately gets lost in a rural snow storm after his hotel room reservation was lost. He is trying to find a small bed and breakfast he remembers from college days. When his car crashes into a tree, he trudges through the storm until he reaches a farmhouse. There the daughters welcome him but their stepfather wants him gone as quickly as possible. Their mother had run off with a farm hand years earlier and now the man doesn't trust any strangers, especially with his stepdaughters. Mary Catherine, the older daughter, is old enough to leave but won't without her 16-year-old sister who legally has to stay. As Sam understands the cruelty of the farmer, he promises to help the girls leave. But he may not be able to keep history from repeating itself as he learns to love Mary Catherine.
In Mary Kay McComas' Wayward Wizard, Marie Bennett is trying to regain her 11-year-old son's love and respect. She had wrecked their family and Hugh has yet to forgive her for abandoning him. She knows she deserves his disgust and is trying to prove she can be his mother once again. Yet while visiting the Egyptian display at the Philadelphia museum, High touches a strange knife and disappears. Marie rushes up to follow. They end up back in time with the wizard Nestor. Nestor can travel through space and time if he has a special set of knives. Unfortunately, he allowed himself to be tricked and one was stolen. That one was the one Hugh and Marie touched. The three now have to travel through space and time again to return to when the two first found the knife. Nestor needs it back. But with only one knife, that may be tricky. (Here Suite 606 is only mentioned briefly - when Dennis Rodman checks into it...)
Ritual in Death is the tightest, best done of the four novellas in Suite 606. Love Endure's ending is contrived and leaves the reader a bit flat. Cold Case felt incomplete - Langan has a good idea but not enough space to tell the story that should be told. It needed to be longer and filled out. Wayward Wizard is fun with a serious undertone dealing with Marie's past. Any woman would love to meet a man like Nestor. The ending is satisfying and believable - for a paranormal romantic tale, of course.
Suite 606 is a good book to take to doctor offices or on a plane ride or other times when the reader just has short periods to devote to a book. While they connect, each novella is self contained, so it's easier to be interrupted by the flight attendant or have to see the doctor. The book appeals to J.D. Robb's/Nora Roberts' fans so already has a built in audience. This book is an enjoyable way to meet these authors if you haven't yet.
Notice: Explicit sexual content, Graphic violence
These reviews are personal opinions only and in no way reflect other readers' opinions of the books discussed.
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