Curse of Passion - Melissa Bourbon Ramirez One of my favorite genres, or sub genres, of romance is suspense. There is nothing like a good romantic suspense novel to get my blood pumping in a variety of ways. I like the guessing game, the who done it aspect of it, and of course, the romance.

In this book I found a good balance of this. The story begins with the reader being introduced to Johanna Rios and over the next few chapters we learn a lot about her background, as well as her sister's. We learn about the tragic childhood events that shaped who Johanna and her sister became, as well as her unrequited crush on her boss, the school's principal, Ray Vargas. Throughout this, we also learn of the nefarious threat that is stalking our heroine. Someone is out to get her and is using former students to do it.

In addition to the main story, and in a way wrapped up right along side it, we get to see what Carmen, Johanna's sister is going through as well. She has a new boyfriend and a huge secret which she doesn't spill to anyone. I wanted to smack her a few times and tell her what an idiot she was being but I resisted the urge. :) Also, her reactions and emotions made sense given her situation so I cut her a bit of slack.

I will note that some of the clues scattered throughout the story were obvious. However this did not detract from the story. Instead it left me with a sense of trepidation about when the baddie was going to strike and just who was the next target. I do wish the story had a bit more when it came to the resolution. We found out who the killer was and everything wrong had been righted, and there was even a very short epilogue, but we didn't get any questions answered about the main couple moving forward. What was going to happen when Ray and Johanna had to go back to work? And what was the deal with their work anyways? It seemed that, after the first victim of the killer, neither went back to work. Maybe I missed it where it said the school was on break or something? And I would have loved to see Ray's mom meet Johanna. And what about Johanna finding out Carmen's secret? Perhaps there is going to be another book after this, to focus on Carmen, but the way things ended in this book, there was a lot left as unknown.

As for the technical pieces of the writing, it was very well written and I liked the author's voice. Her main character had a great balance of strength and vulnerability and I always love it when an author is not afraid to have the heroine show that. So many times writers make women these kick ass women, which is great, but we can be strong and still want the protection and strength of a man in our lives too. It doesn't diminish the woman when we have this. If anything I think it amplifies it.

All in all a solid read and I hope this author writes more romantic suspense in the future. If she does, I'll definitely look forward to reading it. It should be noted, for those who like to read books in order (I tend to be OCD about this), A Curse of Passion mentions Ray's brother, Vic, and how Vic and his girl, Delaney, just survived a bit of intensity. I looked at the author's page on Goodreads and see that Vic and Delaney's story is Sacrifice of Passion. I had no issues with not having read Sacrifice of Passion. Curse of Passion worked fine as a standalone. However, if you, like me, need to read things in order, check that one first. I haven't read it but I am absolutely going back to purchase it so I can find out more about Vic.

*I received an ARC of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.*