Member Review

Cover Image: Beyond the Smoke

Beyond the Smoke

Pub Date:

Review by

Laure D, Reviewer


This is an honest review of an ARC that I received for "Beyond The Smoke" by Stacy Lynn Miller from Bella Books (via NetGalley).
So, here it is!!! My rating: 5 ⭐️

And… She did it again!!! She released another book (a romantic thriller) that you can’t put down and that keeps you up all night long because you want to know how those characters you love beyond reason by now will get through all their ordeals and overcome all obstacles in order to stay the lovebirds we know they are while at the same time going on with their (perilous) professional lives.

"Beyond The Smoke" is the third book in the "Manhattan Sloane Thriller Series" and the direct sequel of "Out of the Flames" (Ms. Miller’s debut novel) & "From the Ashes" (both novels were released in 2020).

I have followed Stacy Lynn Miller since the beginning of her still young writing career (despite her seasoned author’s touch) and for me, it has been both a pleasure and a real privilege to watch her grow as an author. I really love her work. Even more since she improves her storytelling with each new book she releases. From my POV, she has become a true master of words. She’s definitely one of my top favorite authors.

The story is still set in San Francisco – 6 months after the events of "From the Ashes" – and still focuses on Manhattan Sloane (aka "just Sloane"), now a former San Francisco police detective and Finley "Finn" Harper, now a former DEA Agent. They got together both romantically (by having Finn move in with Sloane and Reagan) and professionally (by opening an investigation firm, the Sloane-Harper Group). They have just landed their first big job, but on day one, they step into a political quagmire that pits them against powerful competing forces in the city that makes them feel like pawns in a high-stakes chess game. Despite their feelings, they go on with the assignment, and while going through old cold case files, Sloane stumbles across an unsolved murder with ties to her past β€” the police officer who rescued her from her parents’ deadly accident. And, in spite of old flames and new secrets slowing her progress, she becomes determined to solve the twenty-two-year-old murder, especially when evidence points to someone close to her.

Seriously, I couldn't wait to read this novel because I LOVE this series and its two MCs (and a couple of great secondary characters as well). And this book, like the two previous ones, is a good mix of angsty personal drama (coupled, of course, with romance) AND mystery, which caught me and kept me turning the pages. There’s a serious plot, suspense, and action, but also a lot of tenderness (even some eroticism sometimes), very good secondary characters, and some little touches of smart-ass humor.

The way the epilogue is done, it could indicate that the book is the final book of the series, but since it doesn't say "THE END," I surely hope that Ms. Miller still has (a lot of) ideas for Sloane and Finn to continue their adventures, because what's in the epilogue is definitely NOT enough!! It's more like an appetizer, and I’m sure I’m not the only one who is NOT ready to say goodbye to this pair of Lovebirds and wants to read way more about them!!!

I highly recommend the entire series, and from my POV it deserves to be brought to the screen. It’d make an awesome full-length movie and/or a really great TV crime drama.

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