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Falcon's Bend Series, Book 4: Romantic Notions
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Falcon's Bend Series, Book 4: Romantic Notions


Score: 4.75 (votes: 4)
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Falcon's Bend is a small, sleepy town in Wisconsin that owns more taverns than churches, but fills both on the appropriate days. Teenagers talk of escape from the one-horse town because nothing ever seems to happen. But, even here in the Heartland, police investigators Pete Shasta, Danny Vincent and Amber Carfi fight a never-ending battle to keep their beloved families and hometown safe and sound.


Love--and murder--is in the air. 

Falcon's Bend Police Department Patrol Officers Amber Carfi and Warren Jensen are partners on the job, and lovers off-duty. The relationship is so new and fragile, neither of them are willing to come out in the open with it. But sometimes love can't be hidden any more than secrets can be kept...

The nude body of a young woman is discovered in her bed, shot through the heart. Lying between her breasts is a single red rose with an exquisite wedding band. Also at the scene of the crime is a chilling quote: "What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil." In order to find the killer, Lieutenants Pete Shasta and Danny Vincent decide to put Amber undercover. Amber's assignment goes from dull to deadly when she discovers a murderer harboring romantic notions...

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  • Karen Wiesner
    Jan 11, 2018, 21:16
    5 star review from The Romance Studio
    The Romance Studio Sweetheart Award Winner
    5 star review from Huntress Reviews
    5 star review from Dark Angel Reviews

    5 Stars! "A terrific blend of romance, mystery, and homicide police work. As with each book in this series, you do not have to read any of the other books to fully enjoy and understand the story. Yet those who read the series in order will feel as though they know the characters on a personal level. Putting together a homicide investigation and yet making sure readers feel as though they are part of the small town (in this case, Falcon's Bend) is not an easy thing to do. It is even harder when there is more than one author working on the story. These two authors make it seem easy. The story flows smoothly and I could not tell that there were two different people, two different personalities, shaping the plot. Totally exquisite." ~Huntress Reviews
    5 hearts! “Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler have again combined to give us a romantic thriller full of action and the type of relationship building that makes this such an addictive series. The people on the police force in this small town seem to grow on me more and more. Danny Vincent, one of the detectives, is battling his fear of what may happen if his wife gets pregnant. Pete Shasta, his best friend and fellow detective is supportive in his own unique way as are others. Warren and Amber have been trying to hide their relationship at work but it seems like everyone knows anyway. Many in this great town seem to give them help when they hit rocky spots. The killer is vicious, insidious and hard to catch but the authors weave the story in such a way that it keeps me on the edge of my seat guessing and searching for clues with the law officers. One of the many strengths in this series is the seeming reality of the relationships, dialogue, and characters. I highly recommend this series for any lovers of great romantic suspense.” ~The Romance Studio
    5 pixies! "ROMANTIC NOTIONS takes place a couple weeks after The FIFTEENTH LETTER ends. The mystery is interesting even though figuring out who “did it” isn’t difficult. It’s all about how the cops get to the solution. The doggedness of the pursuit, searching out and investigating every morsel of information they believe pertains to the case. There’s a lot of gut instinct but it’s always backed up with cold hard facts. I enjoy watching the case being built step by step. Amber undercover was a joy to behold. The way she totally changed was fascinating to watch. It was pretty tense playing up to a suspect, flirting, keeping them on the hairy edge knowing Jensen was watching and listening. Their relationship is pretty fragile for reasons on both their parts and this certainly doesn’t help. I found myself really rooting for one of the main suspects. That was the whole point with this character though. The odious FBI agent Lock, from previous books in the series, returns. There was one scene I especially enjoyed with him. He comes to town, puts everyone on edge and wreaks as much havoc as he can. He’s so smarmy and self serving it makes you want to hurt him. His only saving grace is that he comes through in the end. I almost have to wonder if he’s really as shallow as he appears. It’ll be interesting to see how and what direction his character takes in forthcoming books. I really enjoyed ROMANTIC NOTIONS. The character development is excellent and totally believable. I really like how “real” these characters are. The mystery was interesting and the ending just right. I can’t wait for my next trip to Falcon’s Bend. I do believe I’m hooked on the series now." ~Dark Angel Reviews
    4 stars! “Karen Wiesner and Chris Spindler have a multifaceted talent. They combine romance and mystery to create an entertaining read. Amber and Warren’s relationship is interesting, because we are watching it develop. Mystery/romance fans, if you are not familiar with the names Wiesner and Spindler, you should be.” ~ReviewYourBook.com
    4 stars! "The authors continue their well- written Falcon's Bend Series with the fourth book, which focuses on Amber and Warren. The motivation behind their actions and thoughts is clearly characterized, and readers will feel as if they know them personally. It's easy to be swept away by this story." ~RT Book Reviews
    “ROMANTIC NOTIONS is a wonderful continuation of Amber and Warren’s story. While they are tracking a murderer, they still have time to continue their developing relationship. The storyline is full of romantic suspense. I really liked the secondary story of Danny and Mel and their misunderstandings about having a baby. I also liked that Warren was able to admit his feelings for Amber and make a commitment for their future together. Chris Spindler and Karen Wiesner are a dynamic duo when they collaborate on a series. Each novel in this exciting series just gets better and better.” ~Writers Unlimited
    "I enjoyed this mystery and the ups and downs of Amber and Warren’s relationship. Amber is very new at having a relationship and lacks confidence in herself, and Warren’s former relationship makes it difficult for him to form a new one. The mystery itself is engrossing, as is the love story." ~Coffee Time Romance & More
    Rating: Memorable! “Review in a word—gripping! This blend of love, serial murders, misogynistic philosophy, insecurity, pasts and present loves competing, infidelity, etc. makes for a heady read. The plot is as beautifully crafted as the serial killer’s calling card with the single red rose and the wedding band. Both Amber Carfi and Warren Jensen’s characterization is multi-faceted and their struggles to find true love in each other makes for a satisfying romance just as their quest to find the serial killer is a perfect mystery. The twists in the plots are wonderfully unexpected—you really don’t see them coming, and the authors throw suspicion on all the suspects in a believable manner. Both the romantic and the violent conflicts in ROMANTIC NOTIONS blend in beautifully and the supporting characters make the Falcon’s Bend Series something to look for.” ~WRDF Reviews
    "Forgiveness is such a simple word, with a profound definition. To truly forgive yourself and others you must let go. ROMANTIC NOTIONS is a story about people needing to forgive themselves and let go. It’s also a story about the consequences you suffer when you can't let go, and the pain that causes you. Did you ever do something that you deeply regretted? Did you allow that one action to color the decisions that you make for a long time? Did you ever allow one decision to completely alter the way that you look at yourself and your future? Do you ever feel that you are not worth of forgiveness? If you can answer yes to even one of these questions then you know exactly where the heroine of this book is coming from. Amber Carfi is running from herself, her past, and desperately trying to stay in the immediate present, even though she's yearning for a dream life with her dream man, Warren Jensen. Amber and Warren are both Patrol Officers on the Falcon Bend Police Department. They are joined by a great cast of characters that will be well known to followers of this series. Each of those characters play a role in the book, and the reader is brought up to date on all there past favorites. In this installment of the series, a murder rocks the small town, and leaves the police department baffled. The who's, why's, and how's aren't adding up. The only way to solve the murder is to send Amber into the thick of danger, as the bait for a murderer. What follows is a well thought out story; it has all the key elements of a good crime drama. It has well developed characters, a thoughtful plot, and some steamy love scenes. The story flows well, and keeps the readers interest. It's a great character development story, as the characters follow through the different stories, and get more depth as the story line progresses. There are a lot of entwined relationships that I enjoyed seeing unfold. I also enjoyed the small town character study that this book is: without being too obvious the town is one of the main characters; its focus on small town life, relationships, prejudices, heroes, and villains is very entertaining. I would recommend this book to my friends, with the stipulation that they read the rest of the series first." ~ Once Upon A Romance Review
    5 Stars! "This is an intriguing small-town police procedural with a romantic subplot between two of the cops. The investigation and its subsequent undercover operation engages the audience who, like Amber, will suspect the victim’s boyfriend though other individuals have motives; while ironically the concealing of their romance by Amber and Warren seems to have failed as not just readers can sense the attraction. Fans will enjoy this fine cop thriller that contrasts a loving love with a lethal love." ~The Mystery Gazette
    "This is a good romantic suspense. Both the romance and the suspense are superb. Readers can look forward to the next Falcon's Bend Series mystery and hope Amber and Jensen are part of the scene." ~BookLoons Reviews
    "The fourth installment in the Falcon's Bend Series by Karen Wiesner & Chris Spindler mixes romance and police work in larger doses than in their previous book, THE FIFTEENTH LETTER. First of all, ROMANTIC NOTIONS explores the burgeoning romance between Officers Amber Carfi and Warren Jensen that was made evident in the third book. But this romance, with its haunted secrets, is overshadowed by the gruesome murder of a young woman who had been raped and stabbed, then cleaned up and posed with a red rose in her hands and an intricate rose ring on her ring finger. Dubbed the "Romantic Notions Killer," the murderer seems most likely to be the dead woman's boyfriend; and Amber and Warren, as well as Detectives Pete Shasta and Danny Vincent, dig deep to find evidence, even putting Amber undercover as a sexy neighbor in the boyfriend's apartment building. At first, I wondered why there seemed to be another story stream about Danny Vincent and his wife trying to have a baby and facing invasive questions from extended family members every time they had a family get-together. But that story was a foil to Warren's own history with his dead wife and how it complicated his new relationship with Amber. It was a nice touch. The ending of ROMANTIC NOTIONS was satisfying. I would recommend ROMANTIC NOTIONS, especially for romance readers. And I would want to read more by Karen Wiesner & Chris Spindler." ~MyShelf.com

  • Dawnofday (Amazon customer)
    Aug 27, 2017, 05:42
    An enjoyable light romantic suspense novel

    I haven't read any of the work by this writing team before or any of the other novels in this series. I was impressed with the authors' talents. Their writing is solid and I will no doubt look for them again. I didn't find it to be a problem that I hadn't read others in the series. It stands alone very well.

    The plot combined was a mystery, police procedure and romance. I personally would have preferred a bit less romance -- but that's my own taste and others will enjoy that more than I do. The mystery and police procedure were well handled and believable though. I enjoyed the setting which was well portrayed as well. It was a good portrait of a small town.

    I'd recommend this as a good "summer" read when you just want to kick back and relax.
  • Harriet Klausner (Amazon customer)
    Aug 27, 2017, 05:41
    intriguing small-town police procedural

    In Wisconsin Falcon's Bend Police Department police officers Amber Carfi and Warren Jensen are a team at work and are now lovers off-duty; although they hide their new relationship from the brass especially Chief Sobcynzski, who loathes fraternizing. However, concealing their love for one another is proving difficult as any sleuth can see the lingering glance the pair shares.

    Elderly Mrs. Frederick calls her neighbor Amber informing her that her daughter Erin Daughtry was just murdered. Amber and Warren check the locale and find the naked corpse of a young woman posed in a virginal way on her bed with a bullet through her heart, a rose between her breasts and an attached gold wedding band. They call for the homicide team and Lieutenants Pete Shasta and Danny Vincent arrive to take charge of the crime scene. Even eerier than the posed body is the accompanying note: "What is done out of love always takes place beyond good and evil." Posing as Callista, Amber goes undercover to ferret out a killer focusing on the cheating boyfriend of the deceased; only to have FBI Agent Robert Lock arrive boasting he and Amber were an entry at one time.

    This is an intriguing small-town police procedural with a romantic subplot between two of the cops. The investigation and its subsequent undercover operation engages the audience who like Amber will suspect the victim's boyfriend though other individuals have motives; while ironically the concealing of their romance by Amber and Warren seems to have failed as not just readers can sense the attraction. Fans will enjoy this fine cop thriller that contrasts a loving love with a lethal love.
  • Detra Fitch of Huntress Reviews
    Aug 27, 2017, 05:40
    Amber Carfi and Warren Jensen are partners at Falcon's Bend Police Department (FBPD) in Wisconsin. Recently the two gave in to their feelings for each other and became lovers. Knowing Chief Sobcynzski would not approve, the pair are keeping their private relationship just that - private. However, that is proving to be harder than they ever thought it would be.

    Mrs. Frederick, Amber's elderly neighbor, gets word that her granddaughter, Erin Daughtry, has just been found murdered. Promising to check the situation out, Amber and Warren travel to the crime scene. Erin has been positioned, naked, on her bed by her killer. The bullet wound on her chest has been cleaned, along with her residence. With a rose in her hand, Erin looks exactly like Sleeping Beauty. Upon her finger is large ring with an elaborately engraved rose on a vine. Erin's mother is devastated. Erin's long time friend and coworker, Thea Bryan, is hiding something. Erin's current boyfriend, Mike Benson, is not as upset as he should be. In fact, Mike has cheated on Erin several times, the latest one very recently. It was a one-night stand with a blonde that Mike was too drunk to even recall what she looked like.

    Amber goes undercover, posing as the blonde, and slides into Mike's life. As "Callista", Amber casually prods for information with a bit of success.

    When FBI Robert Lock shows up to help with the investigation, he makes sure everyone at FBPD knows that he and Amber hooked up (just before Amber and Warren became lovers). Seems more people know about Amber and Warren's private secret than they thought. The atmosphere at FBPD is now strained and Warren cannot even look at Amber, much less talk to her.

    ***** A terrific blend of romance, mystery, and homicide police work. As with each book in this series, you do not have to read any of the other books to fully enjoy and understand the story. Yet those who read the series in order will feel as though they know the characters on a personal level. Putting together a homicide investigation and yet making sure readers feel as though they are part of the small town (in this case, Falcon's Bend) is not an easy thing to do. It is even harder when there is more than one author working on the story. These two authors make it seem easy. The story flows smoothly and I could not tell that there were two different people, two different personalities, shaping the plot. Totally exquisite. *****
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