| August 27 2019,

4:55 pm

Politics isn’t the only thing Stacey Abrams is known for. The former Georgia House Democratic Leader and once vying candidate for Governor of Georgia, is also an award-winning romance novelist — go figure. Abrams went under the pseudonym Selena Montgomery, which is why it may come as a shock to some, even myself. Abrams attended Yale and managed to write her first novel during her third year, showing her drive and dedication even before getting into politics. Here’s a sneak peek into her eight murder mystery romance novels, ranked based on which peaked my interest the most.

8. Secrets And Lies

Dr. Katlyn Lyda gets emotionally wrapped up in a shady man after witnessing the death of her uncle. Her grief may be blinding her from the truth about who Sebastian Cane is — a man strictly on a mission to get back what went missing from his boss. Cane must decide if his work is more important than falling in love. 

Secret And Lies isn’t one of my top choices due to the lackluster plot. I’ve read plenty of novels and seen a handful of films where the protagonist falls for the quintessential “bad boy,” which is why it’s ranked number eight.

7. The Art Of Desire

A secret agent by the name of Philip Thurman, has re-entered society after being incarcerated for three years. While trying to get a grasp on being a free man again, Thurman meets play-girl Alex Walton. Walton is known for not settling down and putting her career first, but after a scheme threatens Thurman’s life, Walton may be dragged along for the ride. 

The Art Of Desire ranks number seven on the list, because the plot alone didn’t peak my interest. The story line of a woman having to choose between having a career or a relationship seems problematic. Why should Walton have to choose between the two?

6. Rules of Engagement 

Best known as Abrams’ debut novel, this spy style romance thriller stars Dr. Raleigh Foster; an undercover agent whose mission is to take out the terrorist organization known as Scimitar. Dr. Foster gets assigned to work alongside agent Grayson, who not only has charisma, but the looks to match. As they pretend to be lovers throughout their mission, it seems like their facade is working on each other; because these spies start catching more than just criminals — they catch feelings. 

Rules Of Engagement made its way to my number six spot on the list. The title seems fitting, because the cover art resembles that of an engagement photoshoot. While the secret agent plot is striking, I would’ve loved for a bolder cover.

5. Deception 

Fin Borders returns to her southern roots in Hallden, Georgia, where an innocent woman is accused of murder. In order for her to uncover the truth behind this crime, she must relive dark memories from her past and hometown. Back home she teams up with an undercover agent Caleb Mathews to dig up the truth. While learning to trust one another, a love flame may have been ignited between the unlikely two. Fin and Caleb may have more in common than they imagined. 

Deception makes it to number five on the list. I’m intrigued by the false conviction narrative and I love a good mystery.

4. Hidden Sins

Mara Reed returns to her small hometown in Texas, after barely escaping death by two men. Reed’s ex, Dr. Ethan Stuart, is the man that came to her rescue. Even though the two have history, Dr. Stuart is the only man Reed trusts to protect her. As the anthropologist, Stuart looks into murders that took place along the course of five decades and Reed’s father may be the link to connect the deaths. The two dig deeper together to find out the horrifying truth and rekindle a flame that may have never burned out. 

Hidden Sins is awarded the number four spot on my list for the intriguing title. It stirs up a lot of questions. What sins are coming to light in this novel and what are Reed and Stuart doing to find them out?

3. Power Of Persuasion 

In the dawn of advanced technology, A.J. Greyson produces an artificial intelligence that is used by the military forces known as ISA to spy on the kingdom of Jafir. Someone in the ISA is pressed to have the new King, Damon Toca dead. Greyson does everything in her power to stop her invention from destroying the man she’s fallen for. 

Power of Persuasion fills the number three spot on my list, because who doesn’t like a good A.I. storyline? The super advanced technology was created by a Black woman too which makes it even better.

2. Reckless

Orphan turned lawyer, Kell Jameson is a main partner at a prestigious law firm in the beautiful city of Atlanta. After hearing the director of her childhood orphanage is being accused of murder, Kell is flooded with dark memories from her past. As she tries to prove the director's innocence, the main sheriff on the case, Luke Calder continues to butt heads with Jameson. They must put their differences aside to get to the bottom of the truth. Who’s really behind this murder and what secrets are Jameson hiding? 

Reckless takes the number two spot on my list, based on the striking cover art (A dark skinned Black woman being the focal point of the cover, while the man is blurred out in the background) as well as the emotional story line. I’ll be sure to have a box of tissues nearby as I find out more about Jameson’s dark childhood and who really committed the crime. 

1. Never Tell

Based in lively New Orleans, a criminal psychologist named Dr. Erin Abbot uncovers a string of murders in her city. The journalist covering the story, Gabriel Moss, teams up with Dr. Abbot to bring the serial killer to justice. With 28 chapters in this thrilling murder mystery, their passion for uncovering the truth, brings them closer together romantically and even closer to finding the suspect. 

Never Tell  sits at the number one spot on my Selena Montgomery reading list, mainly because of the location of the novel. A murder mystery set in one of my favorite vibrant cities — New Orleans— sign me up!

Abrams’ attention grabbing mystery romance novels will have readers in a love trance. Forbidden love, revenge and page turning action make for exceptional fiction. Aside from being an ambitious politician and a voice for change, Abrams has romance author included on her resume.




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