Carina Press Week-ARCreview: Criminal Instinct – Kelly Lynn Parra

Five years in prison or five years working as an undercover agent?

Not the easiest choice for Ana Moreno, who has a history of B and E convictions and a problem with authority. But it’s a decision she and four other felons are willing to make to stay out of a jail cell.

When a deadly shipment of Ecstasy heads for San Francisco, Ana’s team is sent to stop it. Ana’s task: get close to the handsome and dangerous Jonas Saven, right-hand man of a suspected drug dealer with a deadly agenda. As Ana uncovers a web of secrets, betrayal and revenge, her heated attraction to Saven grows.

But with time running out to stop the dangerous drug lord, Ana must complete her mission—even if it costs her everything…

Ana Moreno is fearless, a fighter and stubborn. She was raised in foster care, being of mixed race (white and Latino) she feels unaccepted by both parts of her roots. This impacts the way she sees herself and the way she thinks others see her. I thought Kelly Lynn Parra incorporated this tricky theme very subtly into the storyline and the romance. It was genuine and believable without taking the foreground but still very important in defining Ana’s character.

Jonas Saven is one of the main suspects and Ana’s job is to get close to him. Jonas is mysterious and it’s very clear he has some hidden agenda and deep down he is not the man he shows to the world. Ana turns his world upside down and soon his long-life mission, as well as his heart, is on the line.

I am not summarizing the book, as I believe the blurb gives enough information about the plot and any more information would ruin the suspense and the reading experience. I can say that about halfway the book, the villain is revealed and I didn’t mind this at all as CRIMINAL INSTINCT is a romantic suspense that’s not about who did it but how to catch him in time and stop awful things from happening. And of course not everything is not as it seems and not everyone is whom he or she is portrayed to be, making the suspense even better in my eyes.

What truly got me hooked were the amazing fight scenes, the action-packed suspense and the subtle yet beautiful romance. The chemistry between Ana and Jonas is sizzling, dangerous and forbidden. The sex scenes were intense and hot and the combination of action/suspense and romance was excellently balanced.

I loved the set-up, world building, characters and romance. They all blend together to form a gritty, fast-paced, thrilling story without info-dumps but still all the back-stories are cleverly imbedded into the action. And there are so many possibilities for future books in this series. I was immediately drawn to Jax (Billy) and can’t wait to see what Kelly Lynn Parra has in store for him, both to know what woman could be able to tame him and what kind of trouble he could get him self involved with. But I would definitely also love a follow-up on the tension between Romeo (Aaron) and Digit (Julia). Finally the Kara/Ray storyline was very intriguing too. In short, I am ready for more SIDE (Secret Informant Drug Enforcement) and romance.

Kelly Lynn Para wrote a romantic suspense that hit the right note with me. I read it breathlessly from first to last page and the ending had my mind spinning. Those last few chapters were heartbreaking, spine chilling and filled to the brim with action. When I was finished my first thought was: “I want –no I NEED– more of this!! I love all things (movies, TV shows, books) crime and (romantic) suspense, always have, and CRIMINAL INSTINCT definitely goes on my list of favorites in this category.

CRIMINAL INSTINCT is another perfect example of what Carina Press has to offer in terms of unique, unusual stories, characters and books that stand out in the their subgenres.

He tipped her chin up with a finger. He wasn’t looking into her eyes, but staring at her lips. “What if…I still want you in my bed?” he murmured.
A fly ball coming out of nowhere, it took all her will not to duck and run. “You’re not serious?”
“You were willing to get close to me for your job. What’s the difference now?” His eyes flared. The amber in them glistened like gold. “I still want you. For now.”
For now. “I never intended on sleeping with you for information.”
“When your tongue was in my mouth you seemed pretty damn encouraging.”

9.0 out of 10


As announced last week my Carina Week will not be without a fabulous giveaway, courtesy of Carina Press! Up for grabs here on the blog is one coupon code worth $ 15 to spend at Carina Press, buying the books you’d like to try out. Believe me, if what I’ve read is an indication, there is something for everybody and the books I’ve read were gems in their genres, each and every one of them. Okay, now to the important part. How can you win this coupon code? That’s easy.

  • Just leave a (meaningful) comment on the posts during my Carina Week.
  • Each comment will give you an entry.
  • There will be 6 Carina Week blog-posts so that gives you a maximum of 6 entries if you comment on every post. Mind you, you don’t have to comment on every post, it just gives you more chances if you do.
  • Make sure you leave your email address with your comment (or email it to me, through the contact link in the left sidebar if you don’t want to publicly leave your email address) because it’s needed to be able to claim the code.
  • On Saturday June 12th I’ll tally up the entries and pick a winner via

I also announced last week that there would be 2 coupon codes of $ 15 each so you might wonder, what of the other code. That one will be the prize in a Twitter-giveaway so if you want another chance at it…keep an eye on my Twitter-account this week and get tweeting because each tweet including the hashtag #CarinaWeek will be entered for the Twitter-giveaway.

So there you have it…2 chances to win an opportunity to get your mitts on some Carina Press gems!

Have fun! And hope to see a lot of you this week!


9 thoughts on “Carina Press Week-ARCreview: Criminal Instinct – Kelly Lynn Parra

  1. Hon, you're shaking your pompoms again, cheering for another great Carina Press release, and dang, if I'm not triggered to hit the buy button again. It sounds like Criminal Instinct has all the right ingredients for a fabulous romantic suspense story :)

  2. This doens't sound like something I would normally read, however, the review and excerpt make it sound more interesting… just goes to show… don't judge a book by it's cover!

  3. This is one of the books that went on my wishlist when I was reading Carina's blog about upcoming releases. I especially like that the villain is revealed rather than being kept hidden – I really don't like thrillers where the characters are in the dark about who they are fighting against. I also love that the heroine is part Latina. jen at delux dot com

  4. Pearl, thank you! I ahve to confess I ahve never heard of Carine Press until your week, but now I'm sure sold! I see they have amazing titles that I can't wait to read. Fantastic review, Criminal Instinct sounds great!stella.exlibris (at) gmail (dot) com

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