Thursday, April 30, 2009

Man of Fate-Rochelle Alers

Man of Fate
Rochelle Alers
Kimani, Jun 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780373831609

Somewhat distracted as she is driving to an emergency meeting with a client, social worker Ava Warrick crashes into the vehicle driven by attorney Kyle Chatham. Instead of seeing her client, Ava ends up in the hospital with a concussion. Kyle takes responsibility to insure she gets the best care though he did not cause the accident. He believes fate led to a fender bender meeting, but Ava scoffs at his kismet theory.

Ironically, neither wants a relationship, but both are attracted to one another. Soon the attorney and the social worker begin to fall in love. However, whereas his feelings accentuate his belief they are destiny’s darlings, she has doubts; he must persuade his beloved that he is her MAN OF FATE.

The first Best Men tale is a terrific contemporary that starts with a bang as Kyle and Ava learn a basic physics 101 lesson that two objects sharing the same place is a fender bender. As their relationship changes, they learn advanced physics in which two hearts beat as one. Clearly character driven (even inside his Jag), Rochelle Alers provides her audience with a fabulous contemporary New York romance and the anticipation that Kyle’s best friends and brownstone partners Duncan and Ivan will soon follow.

Harriet Klausner

Deep Down-Karen Harper

Deep Down
Karen Harper
Mira, Jun 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778326458

In the Appalachia side of Kentucky, Sheriff Drew Webb of Deep Down calls Jess Lockwood to tell that her mom Mariah has disappeared. Only for Mariah would Jess come home as does not want to remember how much she once loved Drew.

Apparently, as part of the job her daughter got her several years ago Mariah was searching for Sang, a ginseng that is on the endangered species list. In the midst of her work, she vanished. Although Drew has no proof that foul play occurred, he quickly finds suspects who might harm Mariah as he and Jess believe her mom’s being missing is linked to Sang. As they investigate together, their previous feelings ignite, but first there is finding Mariah with neither suspecting how dangerous their inquiry will soon prove.

DEEP DOWN is an action-packed, fast-paced police procedural romantic suspense. The keys to the super story line are the fully developed lead couple as the audience will feel Mariah’s dichotomy of emotions of love and fear, and the location that adds a gloomy sinister ambiance. Readers will appreciate this exciting thriller as the heroine learns you can go home perhaps to die.

Harriet Klausner

Dangerous Lies-Anna Louise Lucia

Dangerous Lies
Anna Louise Lucia
Medallion, Jun 2009, $7.95
ISBN 9781934755082

Following the death of her father grieving twenty-four year old Englishwoman Marianne “Mari” Forster vacations in Rabat, Morocco so she can visit her paternal roots as her grandfather lived in the city. Nearby in the Sahara, thirtyish Alan Waring removes a smart card from a laptop held securely by a corpse. When worldly Alan and naively Mari meet, the attraction could light up the entire Atlantic coast of the country. After they make love, he leaves for home to deliver the smart card; only he grabs her bag instead of his.

Soon after he is in the air realizing his blunder, terrorists kidnap Mari. They rendition her taking her to Algeria as they seek the smart card. Meanwhile Alan has returned to North Africa seeking Mari and the card.

This engaging desert romantic suspense is a fun tale especially when the lead couple heat up Northern Africa. The story line is fast-paced when Mari and Alan couple, but slows down when they are apart even when she is held hostage. Thus fans who enjoy a fun contemporary romance with elements of intrigue will enjoy DANGEROUS LIES, but also need to understand the thriller elements never take charge nor anchor the plot, and in some ways feel more a detractor. Still the lead pair make for a fine African romance.

Harriet Klausner

Back To Life-Linda O. Johnston

Back To Life
Linda O. Johnston
Silhouette Nocturne, Jun 2009, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373618132

During an assault with four other Angeles Beach SWAT officers, Trevor Owens is shot in the neck. The murder suspect Jerome Marinaro somehow escapes seemingly vanishing in thin air. K9 officer Skye Rydell saves his life by using her Valkyrie powers on Trevor because she senses he must complete something still on earth.

Skye knows she is also attracted to the SWAT officer, but avoids him because she fears he suspects his life was saved by paranormal means; something she keeps secret. However, Trevor has not forgotten his angel nor her dog (Bella) whom he knows saved his life somehow. He also believes he has things left to do on earth starting with following up on his attraction to that mysterious female.

Fans of paranormal romantic suspense thrillers will enjoy this engaging police procedural due to the actions and reluctant reactions of the lead couple towards one another. In fact Skye’s mixed feelings of wanting Trevor and avoiding him make the tale fun to read as she comes across so human in spite of her Valkyrie powers. BACK TO LIFE is a well written romantic thriller.

Harriet Klausner

From The Mists Of Wolf Creek-Rebecca Brandewyne

From The Mists Of Wolf Creek
Rebecca Brandewyne
Silhouette Nocturne, Jun 2009, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373618125

Hallie Muldoon decides to return to Wolf Creek after her late grandma bequeathes her the family farmhouse where Hallie remembers having spent great times growing up whenever she stayed there. However, still grieving her loss since only a month has passed since her grandma died, she ignores a Starry Night that van Gogh would appreciate. However as she drives on the two lane road in her sporty red Mini Cooper S, she sees a large black wolf.

Aunt Gwen greets her at the farm. Gwen has hired Trace Coltrane to repair the farm. However, soon inexplicable things begin to occur to include a stalker; with each incident the large black wolf appears ready to keep Hallie safe. Hallie begins to wonder if the strange occurrences including the wolf might be tied to her mom’s death several years ago.

This is an intriguing romantic suspense thriller in which the audience will wonder if the threat is psychological or paranormal as hints of both surface throughout the fine story line. Hallie and Trace are a wonderful pairing as she wonders just who he is. Although the ending is too fast and abrupt, fans will enjoy learning the secrets FROM THE MISTS OF WOLF CREEK.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Secrets She Left Behind-Diane Chamberlain

Secrets She Left Behind
Diane Chamberlain
Mira, Jun 2009, $13.95
ISBN: 9780778326151

In Topsail Island, North Carolina Sara Weston has vanished without a trace; she left behind her seventeen year old son Keith. Worried about his mom, Keith is still recovering from his near death due to an arson fire at the church. He is also scared and angry that his nineteen year old half-sister Maggie Lockwood is being released from prison after serving one year for her role in the events that led to the fire.

Maggie is filled with remorse for her role in what happened to her half-brother. She vows to take whatever rage Keith dishes at her, though her younger teenage brother Andy, who suffers from Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder yet saved many lives from the blaze, threatens to intervene. As the three siblings struggle with life in general and with each other, they each wonder what happened to Sara.

This is more than just a direct sequel to BEFORE THE STORM as several of the major scenes are recreated with a different perspective; a technique used by Elizabeth George (see WITH NO ONE AS WITNESS and WHAT CAME BEFORE HE SHOT HER) and Jean Johnson (see THE CAT and THE STORM). The story line retains the fascination of the first book as readers see closely the sibling rivalries from rotating first person perspectives and Sara’s journal. Readers will wonder if the SECRETS SHE LEFT BEHIND will lead to answers as to what happened to Sara.

Harriet Klausner

Harbor Lights-Sherryl Woods

Harbor Lights
Sherryl Woods
Mira, Jun 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778326410

Over a year ago the military informed former army medic Kevin O'Neill that his wife Georgia also a medic was killed in Iraq. Devastated but knowing he became a single dad, the civilian paramedic and his two year old son Davy leave Arlington, Virginia to move back to his hometown, Chesapeake Shores, so his family especially his grandma can help him raise his child.

Recently divorced Shanna Carlyle also moves to Chesapeake Shores where she opens up a bookstore on Main Street. When they meet each is attracted to the other, but she still reels from her divorce from alcoholic Greg though more because of who she had to leave behind; and he from his wife’s death. Still his family starting with the lethal combo of his grandma and son along with other townsfolk begin a matchmaking campaign to pair up the reluctant ones. However, as they fall in love, her secret abusive past surfaces with the loved one she left behind arriving in town and Kevin’s trust leaving.

The third Chesapeake Shores romance (see THE INN AT EAGLE POINT and FLOWERS ON MAIN) is a deep tale starring two strong lead characters and a deep support cast. The story line is fast-paced but driven by Shanna and Kevin as neither is ready for a relationship as both have issues; he feels guilt for his attraction and she has not forgotten the cost of leaving her marriage. Fans will enjoy the latest visit to Chesapeake Shores.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, April 27, 2009

Lucky Streak-Carly Phillips

Lucky Streak
Carly Phillips
Harlequin HQN, Jun 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373773756

In Las Vegas Amber Rose has lived the life of a con-artist and card counter in high-stakes poker games as a way to bring in necessary income to pay for the care of her Alzheimer's-stricken father. Now she plans to go straight though she fears her partner Marshall Banks will go ballistic, but does not care as she wants out.

When Banks turns nasty, Boston cop Mike Corwin, in town for a wedding, rescues Amber. She joins him and his party, giving them a special tour of Sin City from an insider’s perspective. The day ends in ecstasy when Mike wins the $100,000 jackpot and marries Amber. In the morning, he finds his wife and his money missing. Sad but wiser, Mike returns home. Amber returns to his hotel to explain why, but he has left town. Amber follows love to Boston, but Mike rejects her pleading as he sees cons as thieves as the end never justifies the means. However, when Marshall and some cohorts come after Amber, Mike begins to reconsider what life was like before he met Amber and what it will be like if he kicks her to the curb.

The second Corwin contemporary curse romance (see LUCKY CHARM) stars two fabulous lead protagonists whose recent work places them on opposite sides of the law. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Mike and Amber meet and never slows down in Vegas or Boston. Although the ancient curse plays a lesser role in Mike’s saga, fans will appreciate Amber opening Mike’s eyes as she colors his world with love if he accepts her as his heart’s artist.

Harriet Klausner

Heartless-Diana Palmer

Diana Palmer
Harlequin HQN, Jun 2009, $24.95
ISBN: 9780373773787

When she was a teen Gracie March was attracted to her older stepbrother Jason Pendleton, but she hid her feelings though not her hero worship of him. Jason also was somewhat attracted to her, but felt it was inappropriate so he blocked his feelings. He ultimately left with plans to make it on his own. However, when her mom died, he arranged for Gracie to be cared for.

Jason comes home for the first time in years as he owns Comanche Wells Ranch. He and Grace share a passionate kiss and he realizes he loves her. However, she rejects him as she fears her secret shame will drive the only man she ever loved away so thinking convoluted she leaves first. Jason becomes engaged on the rebound; unaware his fiancée plans to rid his hanger-on family members starting with Gracie who is thinking of leaving Comanche Wells anyway. A couple of abductions led by the “General” leave Gracie and Jason reconsidering the past, present, and mostly the future.

The latest Texas contemporary romance (see FEARLESS) is an engaging tale starring a lead female used to being care for by family and an older experienced champion used to getting his way. His plan is to take care of his stepsister and ignore their attraction, but that proves futile. As Gracie becomes independent, Jason knows he must give her the chance to fail though his gut is killing him. Although the suspense seems more a detractor even if it forces Gracie to act, readers will enjoy the omega female trying to become at least a beta as Diana Palmer provides an entertaining ranch romance.
Harriet Klausner

Freudian Slip-Erica Orloff

Freudian Slip
Erica Orloff
Harlequin HQN, Jun 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774227

Hot and steamy New York has book editor Katie Darby taking a taxi instead of the subway. She and her cabby discuss God’s sense of humor even as his radio is blasting the raunchy show of Julian Shaw. When she arrives at her boyfriend’s apartment she finds him with her best friend. Crying she leaves in the same cab that brought her over only to find someone busted in and robbed her apartment and her dog is missing. All this occurs right before the anniversary of her father's death and now she is hearing voices in her head demanding she do things she never would even think of doing.

Julian Shaw loves being a “pervert” and enjoys making a living from a life of depravity and decadence. However, he has made numerous enemies especially from the moral right and from family members of his “guests”; one of these zealots shoots him. Julian falls into a coma, but in his comatose state, voices demand he assist Katie find a better life; the stakes are his soul. He figures how hard this can be until he tries and falls in love with her; now if it means his eternal soul so be it because kissable Katie is his for the rest of his albeit seemingly short life.

This superb romantic fantasy is filled with whimsical love as matchmaking seems to come from beyond. Katie and Julian are opposites and in fact she makes it clear to her taxi driver what she thinks of the city’s top rated pervert. Fans who relish something refreshingly different will enjoy the aptly titled FREUDIAN SLIP as the antihero finds his soul and heart when he decides to become the champion of love instead of depravity.
Harriet Klausner

Lip Service-Susan Mallory

Lip Service
Susan Mallory
Harlequin HQN, Jun 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373773725

She obeyed her tyrannical father once and married his choice of a mate instead of her beloved Mitch Cassidy who left town joining the Navy SEALs. Skye Titan regretted her decision. When her spouse died, she vowed never again as she raises their daughter. Yet her father Jed demands she marry again for business purposes TJ Boone who is more interested in her sister Izzy.

A veteran with war related injuries Mitch has come home. He still loves Skye, but has not forgotten her betrayal when she acquiesced to her dad. Jed is pressuring her again, but she holds him off hoping for a second chance with Mitch even as she worries about how he and her daughter will relate. Finally, there is another new man in her life, an angry half-brother who wants to destroy the Titan clan.

The second Titan family romance (see UNDER HER SKIN) is an engaging second chance at love romance, but first Skye must find courage to accept her failure to stand up to her father and Mitch must find his lost heart to learn to forgive. Neither seems to have that particular trait in their arsenal as Mitch remains angry while Skye struggles with disobedience especially with her beloved family in trouble. Fans will enjoy Susan Mallory’s engaging character driven contemporary.

Harriet Klausner

Edge of Desire-Rhyannon Byrd

Edge of Desire
Rhyannon Byrd
Harlequin HQN, Jun 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774234

Sheriff Riley Buchanan left his home in Henning, Colorado to come the Pacific as he fears what he is becoming due to the Merrick blood flowing through him. In Purity, Washington, he knows his gut insists he needs a woman, any female; but his heart and head only wants Hope Summer whom he lost years ago. Ironically what he needs is on her land.

Watchman Kellen Scott has accompanied Riley to the Northwest to ostensibly keep an eye on the sheriff who is losing control. They believe the third marker is interred on Hope’s property. Riley had wanted to come and go without intruding on Hope, but he has failed as she will know about his darkening nature and loathe him. However, Hope is also concealing her inner nature and hiding from her ruthless former spouse obsessed with destroying his ex wife and her kind.

The third Primal Instinct tale (see EDGE OF DANGER and EDGE OF HUNGER) ends the current trilogy with an excellent urban fantasy second chance romantic suspense. The story line is action-packed from the opening moment when Riley reaches Purity and never slows down while the overall theme takes a few wonderful spins. However, as in the previous two entries, the edgy characters make for a great finish and perhaps set up some more Primal Instinct Edge of novels.

Harriet Klausner

The Confessions of a Duchess-Nicola Cornick

The Confessions of a Duchess
Nicola Cornick
Harlequin HQN, Jun 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373773770

In 1809 in the village of Fortune’s Folly, Sir Montague Fortune is outraged when former housemaid Miss Alice Lister rejected him as the rumored wealthy heiress realized her suitor groom is an unprincipled person. Irate by the affront of an aristocrat like him by a working class nothing, Sir Montague decides to punish all unmarried females when he applies the medieval Dames Tax; either a woman is married or she pays half her fortune to the squire; in this case him.

The outraged single females decide to take counteraction with this sexist stance led by the Dowager Duchess Laura Cole as the village is flooded by impoverish wastrels who see the village as a marriage mart. Meanwhile the Home Secretary sends Dexter Anstruther to Fortune’s Folly to investigate a homicide and for him to find a wealthy wife. However, Dexter is stunned to find Laura resides there; the greatest night of his life was with her four years ago but she dumped him in the morning after. As they fall in love and become lovers, she again rejects his proposal fearing her secret will send her beloved away; though he struggles on his personal front, he follows murder clues while she leads a Lysistrata like insurgency.

THE CONFESSIONS OF A DUCHESS is an intelligent Regency romance starring a strong secondary cast and two likable lead protagonists. The story line is fast-paced and amusing as the women revolt against their penuriousness (with his money) spendthrift (with their money) squire. Although the Regency era is not fully anchored, fans of historical romance will relish the Lysistrata insurgents dealing with an invasion of slimy piss poor males.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang-Katie MacAlister

Crouching Vampire, Hidden Fang
Katie MacAlister
Signet, May 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451226723

How quickly her world changed without her consent while she was in Europe. Pia Thomason is now the magical Zorya of the Brotherhood whose reason for living is killing Dark Ones and married to her beloved Kristoff the grumpy Dark One though they reside on separate continents with her in Seattle and him in Europe; she knows her spouse distrusts her as she works for his enemy.

The Moravian Council accuses the couple of murder, embezzlement, and being behind the disappearance and probably homicide of Dark One Alec Darwin. Before she met Kristoff, Pia thought she loved Alec; which only angers her grump of a spouse. As they team up to search for the missing Alec and learn who framed them, Pia plans to enjoy her time with Kristoff while he cannot resist her lure.

As with the first Dark Ones saga (see ZEN AND THE ART OF DRAGONS), nothing goes right for the heroes as not only is the honeymoon over before it began, their lives may be over too. The story line is fast-paced, filled with humor and action as Katie MacAlister balances the two nicely. Fans will enjoy this enjoyable investigative urban romantic fantasy thanks to the antics of Pia.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, April 24, 2009

Of Men and their Mothers-Maeve Medwed

Of Men and their Mothers
Maeve Medwed
Avon, Apr 2009, $$13.99
ISBN: 9780060831226

Her former boyfriend Jack of Somerville Legal Services asks Maisie Grey for a few favors that will help his pro bono client Darlene Lattanzio; whose mother-in-law is suing her for custody of her grandson baby Anthony. Having once had the mother-in-law from hell, Mrs. (that is always and forever) Mrs. Pollock, whom she still wars with over the raising of her sixteen years old son Tommy, Maisie agrees. She hires Darlene at her Boston-based organizing firm, Factotum and even hides the young mother’s breast milk in her freezer.

Maisie is also unhappy with Tommy’s choice of a girlfriend, September Silva, who was kicked out of her home and now lives with them. At a hospital she runs into former momma’s boy Gabe who finally escaped his mom’s domination when she died. Maisie and Gabe start dating though she fears he is only looking for a substitute mom and she has two teens living with her. In fact she reads the riot act to Stephanie starting with attending school. September is ecstatic in having a “mom” giving her direction and agrees.

This is an amusing look at the triangle relationships between mothers, their sons and their daughters-in-law. The story line is filled with humor starting with frozen breast milk next to frozen pot pies, but also fails to dig deep into why the ties between mom and son sometimes overwhelms the son’s bond with his wife; thus a fun tale could have been a profound contemporary relationship drama, but is not. Although supermom Maisie saves the day for seemingly everyone (except for granny Lattanzio) too easily, fans who enjoy a lighthearted funny romp will want to read OF MEN AND THEIR MOTHERS.

Harriet Klausner

He Calls Her Doc-Mary Brady

He Calls Her Doc
Mary Brady
Harlequin SuperRomance, May 2009, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373715619

Dr. Maude DeVane returned home to St. Adlebert, Montana to help her townsfolk receive proper medical care. Soon after her return, her late friend’s brother Dr. Guy Daley arrives in town to run his sibling’s executive training consulting business. Maude detests the arrogant Guy for labeling her a gold digger when she was just a friend to his brother and now fears he will destroy her medical practice at least in this tiny mountainous town as the locals will go to him if not for sexist reasons; he has more experience.

Maude is irate with herself because she never forgot the kiss Guy stole from her five years ago and aches for him to do it again. Meanwhile, as he raises his teenage niece, the former emergency room doctor finds he is attracted to a medical peer who he knows distrusts and dislikes him over what he called her several years ago.

The keys to this warm medical romance are the vivid Big Sky Country and the changing relationship between a doubting Maude lacks confidence in her skills and her attraction and Guy loaded with guilt and remorse over his brother's death. Readers will enjoy this fine contemporary as Mary prescribes love as the cure for these two doctors.

Harriet Klausner

Summer At The Lake-Linda Barrett

Summer At The Lake
Linda Barrett
Harlequin SuperRomance, May 2009, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373715602

Police hostage negotiator Rick Cooper takes a needed leave of absence after his last case turned ugly; the father killed his family in spite of Rick’s efforts. He knows he did his best even as he constantly looks over what he might have done differently. However, he also knows he will have to find a new line of work as he no longer believes he can be effective.

Accompanied by his dog Quincy, he heads to his family’s lake house in Upstate New York to get away and to decide about his future. He quietly sits playing his saxophone, which provides solace to his eleven year old neighbor Ashley McCarthy, a rape victim. Ashley and her mom Kristin go over to meet the musician, but the older McCarthy distrusts cops for good reason. Still Rick and Quincy help Ashley regain her zeal for life while the tweener reminds him that he has a skill people need.

SUMMER AT THE LAKE is all about the resilience of people to love and live even after a horrific trauma. Rick is a terrific caring person who personalizes the failed hostage negotiations as likewise does Kristin with the rape of her daughter; yet WC Fields is right about never perform with kids and animals as the dog and the child steal the show. Starting with the sax, friendships blossom and love thrives as Linda Barrett provides a deep second chance at life tale of three wounded souls finding love and solace with one another, enhanced by a caring canine.

Harriet Klausner

Weddings In The Family-Tessa McDermid

Weddings In The Family
Tessa McDermid
Harlequin SuperRomance, May 2009, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373715657

As their daughter is about to get married, Caroline Eddington thinks it is time to end her marriage to Nick. She believes only their child has kept them together in recent years and she is moving out. However, she also knows she will miss Nick who she still loves.

At the wedding reception, Caroline screws up her courage to inform her husband she will not share an empty nest with him. However, she remains doubtful because she looks back and knows he was always there for her and their daughter, but the love he once had for her she thinks is gone. Finally feeling it is time, she begins her difficult rehearsed speech only to have Nick inform her he loves her.

This is an intriguing middle age second chance at love story as Caroline wonders what is left in her relationship with Nick now that the “link” is gone while Nick believes they will now have more time for one another. The underlying theme is simple: marriage does not typically destroy a lifestyle, but children nuke it. Although flashbacks enable the audience to view the premise that serves as a double edged sword as this technique slows down the basic plot to leave or not to leave that is the question.

Harriet Klausner

Seducing an Angel-Mary Balogh

Seducing an Angel
Mary Balogh
Dell, May 2009, $23.00
ISBN: 9780385341059

Widow Cassandra Belmont needs a wealthy lover with a high peerage as a protector immediately if she is to survive the accusations that she murdered her spouse; she also vows that marriage is out of the question as once was enough. Watching how kind he is to his sisters, she chooses Lord Stephen Huxtable, who is rich, nice and a hunk.

Cassandra plans to seduce the top catch of the season. Stephen is excited when he first sees the siren, but refuses to bow to her terms of engagement as he has his own. The two argue over the rules until they share the greatest night in either of their lives. Cassandra fears her heart is owned by Stephen, but she can never have him permanently as scandal is her name. Stephen is reconsidering what he wants as he no longer is thinking mistress, but instead wants her as his wife though he fears she will never trust again especially since he investigates what happened to her and her spouse.

The fourth Huxtable Regency romance is a fast-paced tale of an independent widow going after what she desires while her choice reciprocates unaware of why she rejects marriage. Mary Balogh digs deep into the effect of alcoholism and spousal violence on the victim who also contends emotionally with a miscarriage. The lead characters especially the profound brave heroine and their evolving relationship make for an intriguing finish to the saga though the ending feels rushed. Still the Huxtable family saga has been an entertaining Regency series.

Harriet Klausner

My Lady Captor-Hannah Howell

My Lady Captor
Hannah Howell
Zebra, May 5 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 0821774301

In 1388, while the border war between England and Scotland is nasty, Lady Sorcha Hay learns her brother has been captured by English soldiers demanding a ransom. She and her clan cannot afford the price so Sorcha decides to emulate her sibling’s capture by taking a soldier from the battlefield and hold him for ransom so that she can then remit the ransom for her brother.

To his chagrin wounded warrior, Ruari Kerr has never been more humiliated in his life; he has been abducted from the battlefield by a beautiful woman who explains she holds him for ransom. He is furious with himself more than with her because he finds he wants her in his bed. Meanwhile Sorcha is attracted to her prisoner and encouraged by a ghost to take Ruari to her bed. The matchmaking ghost also prevents Ruari from escaping. As his people ransom him, they fall in love, but he feels strongly she betrayed their love. Besides, his pride remains battered by a woman besting him. He tries to kidnap Sorcha, but between her ghost and her clan he fails even as the treacherous Simon Treacher manipulates both of them and their respective allies for his gain.

Writeen as Anna Jennet in the mid 1990s, MY LADY CAPTOR is an entertaining fourteenth century border war romance. The lead couple is a delightful pairing as a desperate Sorcha humiliates macho warrior Ruari as he cannot accept a beautiful woman defeated him even if he was wounded when she caught him. Worse in his mind is while her prisoner he wanted her and liberated still does. Ruari learns the hard way (no pun intended) “Pride goeth before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall” (King James Bible). Readers will appreciate this amusing well written tale of medieval love.

Harriet Klausner

Whispered Lies-Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love

Whispered Lies
Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love
Pocket, May 2009, $15.00
ISBN: 9781416597421

Mirage sends email to the Bureau of American Defense (BAD) informing them where they can find the kidnapped diplomat's daughter; abducted by the dangerous Fratelli de il Sovrano. BAD operatives succeed in the rescue, but are curious about who this Mirage is, how she knew so much about the kidnapping and other crime activities, and why Interpol wants her arrested.

Following the rescue, BAD operative Carlos Delgado begins an inquiry into Mirage. He identifies her as French heiress Gabrielle Tynte Saxe, who hides in Atlanta from her former husband and the mobster who killed her mother by blowing up a bus of innocents. Carlos brings Gabrielle into BAD protection with him as her bodyguard. She proves to have a wealth of information on the South American drug cartel run by the Anguis mob, the family responsible for her mother’s death. When the Fratelli discovers where she is, they come for her; only Carlos, falling in love with her, vows to keep Gabrielle safe or die trying.

The second BAD romantic suspense thriller (see PHANTOM IN THE NIGHT) is an exhilarating action-packed tale as Gabrielle and Carlos team up in love to strop the Fratelli gang from succeeding in their newest diabolical scheme. The premise is over the top of the High Museum, but fun to follow as the action never slows down except for heated sexual interludes. Fans will enjoy macho Carlos falling in love with a courageous nerd while seemingly half the globe is after her.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Return to Me-Christy Reece

Return to Me
Christy Reece
Ballantine, May 19 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780345505439

Last Chance Rescue (LCR) Enterprises founder Noah McCall “owns” Samara Lyons as he dominates her dreams although they live in separate states and she has no hope of really making it with him as his demons going back to childhood have left him heartless. When he arrives in her hometown in Alabama, she is stunned as the real person is even better than her memorable fantasies. Noah pleads with Samara to assist him in his efforts to rescue kidnapped girls snatched by online predators. Samara agrees to be the bait and goes undercover to identity the culprits.

Nothing goes as planned. Instead of capturing the criminals, they kidnap Samara. They torture her as Noah’s past threatens the woman he always loved; he is willing to die to free his Samara.

The second LCR thriller (see RESCUE ME) is an exhilarating romantic suspense starring two kick butt champions in love, but his childhood leaves him unable to form a relationship. Fans will root for this couple as they play chess with nasty villains who have no compunctions about killing innocent civilians as the sex slave market is a lucrative recession-proof part of the global economy. Although their escapades are not new, fans will relish their dysfunctional relationship and look forward to the next thriller in the LCR saga, RUN TO ME.

Harriet Klausner

Fight Fire with Fire-Amy J. Fetzer

Fight Fire with Fire
Amy J. Fetzer
Kensington Brava, May 2009, $15.00
ISBN: 9780758231376

Deep undercover CIA Agent Safia Troy and marine Riley Donovan first met in war torn Serbia when he disobeyed orders about bringing a brother in arms out of danger and she saved his life. The attraction between them left both shaken; however, each knew the time was wrong so they went on with their respective work serving their country in dangerous situations although Riley left the marines to become a Dragon One operative.

Several years pass with each still remembering with fondness the brief encounter. They meet again in Singapore as he is on a retrieval mission that she inadvertently intruded upon because her superiors failed to inform her of his assignment. They team up knowing they must stop a psychopath from using a new weapon of mass destruction while each still wants the other with a fierceness that burns.

The latest Dragon-One romantic suspense thriller (see COME AS YOU ARE) is a fast-paced exhilarating tale from the moment the two undercover agents meet and desire each other while on an under cover assignment. The spies stay heated together while out in the cold. The action never stops whether it is battling a devious enemy or a sexual interlude. Amy J. Fetzer provides her fans with an engaging tale of a male and female spy falling in love while also saving the world.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

No Limits-Alison Kent

No Limits
Alison Kent
Kensington Brava, May 2009, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758217578

Simon Baptiste was given a choice between jail and the army. Reluctantly he joined the military with plans to leave Bayou Allain, Louisiana and his enemies behind for now. However after a successful career, his last mission went badly. So after spending a few weeks looking at the Ferrer fragrance model on a billboard in Manhattan, he returns to his hometown to heal; although he knows he will not receive a hero’s welcome.

What he did not expect inside his home was naked Michelina “Micky” Ferrer, the model he was lusting for while healing in New York. She explains she came to town to see her college friend Lisa Landry who has disappeared. Her questions angered someone who wants her dead. Simon agrees to not just keep Micky safe, but to learn what happened to Lisa and who is trying to kill the model; he hides his other vow from her that he never thought he would ever fall in love with a Micky.

Although the meeting between Micky and Simon is a Mount Everest level happenstance, fans will relish the latest SG-5 romantic thriller. The bayou is a fabulous place for secrets and intrigue as Micky learns the hard way while alos a delightful locale for eccentric characters. The story line is fast-paced once Simon goes home and never slows down as the pair investigates the disappearance; ironically readers know the villains much earlier than the heroes. Fans of the saga will enjoy this exciting tale while newcomers will find this a solid entry into the exhilarating world of Alison Kent.

Harriet Klausner

Taboo-Jess Michaels

Jess Michaels
Avon, Apr 21 2009, $13.99
ISBN: 9780061657719

Cassandra Willows was to secretly meet Lord Nathan Manning for a tryst that both looked forward to. However, she failed to show up disappointing the aristocrat. Hurt to his core, soon afterward he left for India without knowing why she rejected him after seeming so agreeable.

Years later, the Earl has returned home to England while Cass has become in among the wealthy for her sexy scintillating garments that the aristocrats buy for their mistresses. Meanwhile Nathan seeks a wife and subsequently an heir, but it is Cassandra he wants and Cass he will have. Whatever reason she had for denying them then, he will overcome using every trick in the book and a TABOO or two that are outside the lovers’ tome.

This erotic historical romance is an engaging tale due to the lead protagonists. Nathan knows he must marry a suitable lady to sire and heir and a spare, but he only desires Cass. She has found a way to economically survive without a male protector, but never forgot the one that got away. Interestingly the prodigal son seems cold and aloof upon his return, but Cass heats his blood rather quickly as each wants SOMETHING RECKLESS tasting EVERYTHING FORBIDDEN in their love for one another.
Harriet Klausner

A Scotsman in Love-Karen Ranney

A Scotsman in Love
Karen Ranney
Avon, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780061252433

In 1852, portrait painter Margaret Dalrousie fled St. Petersburg, Russia where she had been a Tsarist favorite to hide from people in remote Glengarrow, Scotland. She is unable to paint with her only relief from the demons that eat at her gut being long solitary walks.

Grieving his wife and daughter, Lord Robert McDermott comes home to Glengarrow to escape the well meaning for the most part but trite sympathy of the Ton. When he sees the artist on her constitution, he blithely informs her to find a new location to haunt as she treks on his property. Robert wants to be left alone as much as Margaret does. Her continual trespassing and her constant firing weapons irritate him. However not as much as his attraction to her which makes the Earl feels guilty; he especially wants to know why a beautiful woman hides in this God forsaken spot. They share grief, desire and the beginning of love, but are those enough to overcome the ghosts of the past that occupy much of their respective minds.

This terrific Victorian romance focus on two despondent people filled with guilt and remorse, who have run away from society. The plot is passionate and poignant because the lead couple fear love and are obsessed with avoiding any relationship especially caring for someone else as that leaves a person crippled with mental anguish and self-reproach. Karen Ranney provides a profound character driven mid nineteenth century tale of love trying to heal two battered souls running away from life.

Harriet Klausner

Eve of Darkness-S.J. Day

Eve of Darkness
S.J. Day
Tor, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780765360410

In California, interior designer Evangeline Hollis meets a hunk on a stairwell and cannot resist his lure. After heating up Orange County, he leaves and she notices a triangle etched into her arm. Soon after her encounter, her decade ago lover Alec Cain arrives to inform her ironically that she a true nonbeliever is now marked as a killer for God.

Eve is irate with Cain for deserting her ten years ago without a look back and the man in the stairwell, who turns out to be his brother Reed Abel for putting the Mark of Cain on her. Her new unwanted vocation is to destroy the evil Infernals while staying alive as demons have marked her for hell.

The first “Marked” romantic urban fantasy is a superb gritty tale starring a fabulous creative triangle. Eve holds the exciting dark story line together as the agnostic suddenly has a new belief system; hell she was just an Orange County interior designer and now she is Marked as a bounty hunter of Infernals heating the earth. Worse she has to deal with Cain and Abel as each fills her with desire that will ban her from attending Angels' baseball games. Sub-genre fans will enjoy the EVE OF DARKNESS and look forward to more gritty destruction as chaos has become the heroine’s norm.

Harriet Klausner

Demon Can't Help It-Kathy Love

Demon Can't Help It
Kathy Love
Kensington Brava, May 2009, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758231932

Josephine Burke denies the paranormal exists and if they did she thought they should be dispatched to hell. Instead she prefers her two feet on solid ground not in some silly supernatural urban fantasy. However, lately she has some problems sleeping as her nocturnal dreams involve her new co-worker Maksim Kostova giving a hickey or something similar to a seemingly dead girl.

The newcomer is irate with himself over his attraction to the prejudicial mortal. Maksim wants to ignore her, but cannot. However, he believes if she ever learned what species he is, she would walk away in disgust. Still he has a flicker of hope when she tells him about seeing a dead woman; unwilling to reveal her fantasy starring Maksim.

DEMON CAN’T HELP IT is an amusing paranormal romance with wet dreams that keep Jo (and readers) awake at night. In daylight she denies her nocturnal desires by insisting she just needs a man; that is a mortal man. Maksim’s self-flogging muses make the tale so much fun as he wonders how in hell (at least the eighth circle which he called home for eternity) could he fall in love with a denying biased b**ch. Readers will love this "fangtastic" author’s latest urban fantasy romance (see I WANT YOU TO WANT ME) in which devil’s food cake is a house specialty.

Harriet Klausner
Eve of Darkness

Forbidden Nights With A Vampire-Kerrelyn Sparks

Forbidden Nights With A Vampire
Kerrelyn Sparks
Avon, May 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061667848

Manhattan nightclub owner Vanda Barkowski is forty-five minutes late for her appearance at the East Coast Regional Coven Meeting in White Plains that she was served a summons to appear. Also there is an irate Corky Courrant, hostess of the Digital Vampire Network’s show Live with the Undead; Corky warns Vanda it is not over as she has not forgotten the assault. East Coast Coven Master Roman Draganesti informs Vanda she is to attend anger management training for her attack on vamp performer Max the Mega Member with a stiletto as well as two other fired employees.

Phil Jones agrees to mentor Vanda while she undergoes the classes. He knows she is his soulmate, but hides his attraction because he knows she loathes werewolves and he is a wolf shapeshifter. Vanda objects to the class insisting she has no problem and to Phil as her sponsor. She is attracted to this “mortal”. Meanwhile the Malcontents continue their rebellion making Vanda a top target; even more than most Romatech employees. Phil vows to keep the love of his life safe.

The seventh Love at Stake urban fantasy romance is fast-paced and filled with plenty of action, but belongs to the biting wit of the heroine. The story line is fun to follow though fans of the series will recognize the theme’s similarity to previous tales (see SECRET LIFE OF A VAMPIRE). Still with a sharp tongue lead like Vanda and an alpha like Phil nipping at each other, the audience will have bloody grand time.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, April 20, 2009

At Last Comes Love-Mary Balogh

At Last Comes Love
Mary Balogh
Dell, May 5 2009, $6.00
ISBN: 9780440244240

Five years ago, Lord Duncan Pennethorne caused the scandal of the decade when he jilted his fiancé to run away with her sister-in-law. He stayed away from London until now. His grandfather has written him to find a wife in fifteen days or he will inherit nothing but a name. Desperate not for himself but for four years old Toby, Duncan moves into the home of his mom and stepfather as he has a fortnight to marry a proper spouse.

At a ball, almost thirty and obviously on the shelf, Margaret Huxtable flees an unwanted suitor only to crash into Duncan. He quickly realizes she is perfect to satisfy his grandfather, but she proves to be a stubborn spinster. As he courts her and she rejects him, they become friends and soon fall in love. As each reveals their past secrets, they find hope in each other’s arms until his scandal re-explodes. With her extended family in their court the lead couple believes love will bring justice to those who unfairly were punished and those who should have but were not.

The third Huxtable Regency romance (see FIRST COMES MARRIAGE and THEN COMES SEDUCTION) is simply great as the story line takes a deep look at values that were powerful in the early nineteenth century and remain so today. The lead couple is a delightful pairing of two intelligent caring souls who try to always do the right thing even when the cost is their reputation. Fans will enjoy this superb entry while awaiting the last single Huxtable tale to be told.

Harriet Klausner

Till There Was You-Lynn Kurland

Till There Was You
Lynn Kurland
Jove, Apr 28 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780515146240

In present day London, Zachary Smith is bone weary tired of unreasonable clients like Viscount Franbury who he would like to shove down the man’s throat the architectural drawings, but fears the designs might be ruined. He also is weary of women like the client’s cunning nasty sister Lady Beatrice Smythe-Gordon. Finally he is weary of the paranormal especially those matchmaking ghosts who haunt him. Zach plans to call his “former” boss to tell him what is coming his way and quits.

Zach walks through a door at Artane and finds himself sharing a dungeon with Mary de Piaget, a thirteenth century relative of one of his modern day ghosts. Zach having performed in reenactments has no major adjustment to the era, but has problems with his vow of no women as he is instantly attracted to the cross dressing Mary; whose father has arranged for her to marry as he can no longer delay the inevitable. Being a student of history, Zach understands he must be extremely careful not to change anything, but when someone tries to kill Mary using poison, he brings his beloved into his time; not knowing that the past never goes away.

This is an amusing time travel romance starring a terrific fully developed hero whose good intentions present and past are devastated by love. Mary is a strong person who takes to the role of liberated woman with ease as she was a forerunner prototype back in 1258. Fans will enjoy their fast-paced adventures as he learns finally how not to get out of the rain but to enjoy the rain from his beloved teacher Mary who lives life to the fullest.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, April 19, 2009

The Promise-TJ Bennett

The Promise
TJ Bennett
Medallion, May 2009, $7.95
ISBN: 9781933836966

In 1525 near Pavia in the Lombardy region, mercenary Gunter Behaim has made one friend, Martin who, before he dies from a battlefield wound he took for his brother in arms, asks him to marry his betrothed. Reluctantly Gunter makes the death bed pledge while musing about fate as he never had pals distrusting everyone due to a life of betrayals until Martin befriended him.

Alonsa García de Aranjuez is attracted to Gunter who proposes marriage in place of Martin. She rejects his kind offer as she was cursed by a former lover, the gypsy Miguel ten years ago in Spain. However, as danger mounts, Gunter and Alonsa begin to fall in love while he tries to at least keep her safe and persuade her to let him complete Martin’s death bed wish.

This fast-paced sixteenth century romance is a terrific tale due to the “conflict: between the fully developed lead characters. Whereas she fears love, he loathes love. His vow and her curse are like the immovable object meeting the irresistible force. Loaded with action and adventure, readers will enjoy THE PROMISE wondering throughout if love will prove strong enough.

Harriet Klausner

Doomsday Can Wait-Lori Handeland

Doomsday Can Wait
Lori Handeland
St. Martin’s, Apr 28 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312947163

Elizabeth Phoenix used use her psychic skills with the Milwaukee police, but soon learns what her horrific visions mean when monsters murder her foster mother Ruthie and left her unconscious; now she can see the monsters (see ANY GIVEN DOOMSDAY). Because of her skills, she has become a federation leader fighting the dark. She actually wins her first battle though many of her soldiers die in the confrontation as she learns the difficult responsibility of a general as she deploys people she knows she is sending to die even though success delays Doomsday for now.

Liz has numerous enemies now including the Navaho witch woman of smoke Naye'I, mother of her skinwalking ally Sawyer. She is unsure she can trust her former lover Jimmy Sanducci; as she and he recently learned he is a dhampire who feels he is losing his restrain to not turn to his sire’s enticing malice. To defeat Naye'i, Liz knows she needs two allies, Sawyer and Jimmy, but one is the son of her adversary and the other has walked the dark side next to his purebred malevolent father.

The second Phoenix Chronicles urban fantasy has the world even darker and grittier in spite of insuring DOOMSDAY CAN WAIT for a future engagement. Liz is terrific as the story line focuses on her inner doubts re sending people to certain death and trusting Sawyer and Jimmy while trying to understand the enormous visions that shake her core as all she sees is bleakness. The apocalypse is here as Lori Handeland provides a powerful gloomy world with little hope for humanity’s survival as the sinister minions of wickedness march forward seeking a second battle. The constant war of attrition is on the side of evil.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Bride of the Wolf-Jennifer St. Giles

Bride of the Wolf
Jennifer St. Giles
Pocket, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9781416563419

SINCO Oil heiress Marissa Vasquez fled Belize and her evil Tio Luis ending up in Twilight, Tennessee. However, only when she sleeps does she feel safe as she dreams of a black wolf that seems to protect her while they run together under the moon. An injured man arrives at the camp she hides in; she recognizes his eyes as that of the dream wolf-man. Though Navarre the Shadowman is blind, he knows who she is.

Vladarian vampire Herrera captures the pair as he plans to take control of her shares of SINCO. She knows about his reputation having heard he was the most vicious of her uncle’s minion. As Navarre slowly heals with Marissa’s help, their spirits fall in love. While the vampires seem on the verge of species civil war, they must find a way to escape. He knows only if he calls the wolf spirit side of his essence do they have a chance. However, he also understands the possible cost as he wonders whether a purebred wealthy human and a hybrid werewolf find happiness together as love may not be enough.

This direct follow up to KISS OF DARKNESS is a superb paranormal romantic thriller starring two wonderful protagonists who need one another to survive the ordeal. Navarre owns the tale as he knows what he must do for his lifemate, but fears her reaction when he does. With a spin that will shake fans with delight, Jennifer St. Giles continues to make The Shadowmen saga one of the best urban romantic fantasy series on the market today.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, April 17, 2009

Sirens Secret-Trish Albright

Sirens Secret
Trish Albright
Leisure, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780843960877

In 1791 though everyone who knows her believes Lady Olivia Yates is brilliant, she hides some of her skills from society. Thus when she learns of a mistranslated Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic artifact at the British Museum, she decides to correct the error though knowing no one would believe a female could do this; ignoring her archeologist dad mentored her.

However, someone does not want the truth known and tries to kill Olivia. American shipping Captain Samuel Stafford rescues her and finds he is attracted to her though he estimates he knows the meaning of perhaps fifty percent of the vocabulary she uttered on their first meeting. He vows to keep her safe; not knowing what that implies until Olivia informs him she seeks a legendary treasure on the other side of the world. He seeks treasure too, but has found it in Olivia even if that means fighting pirates off the Barbary Coast and exposing vile villains trying to steal her work.

SIREN’S SECRET is an exciting Georgian romantic adventure starring two likable lead characters. Similar in tone to the pirate romance SIREN’S SONG yet different, this late eighteenth century action-packed tale is a bit over the top of the seven Seas. However, no one will care because of the heroine who sets the tone with her courage and need to know; which proves infectious to her beloved captain and the admiring audience who will want to accompany them on their journey because we need to know also.

Harriet Klausner

Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress-Elizabeth Boyle

Memoirs of a Scandalous Red Dress
Elizabeth Boyle
Avon, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780061373244

Lady Philippa "Pippin" Knolles knows she loves American privateer Captain Thomas Dashwell and has for several years since he kissed her on the smuggler’s beach way back in 1810 or so; but this was no happy ending as the fickle fingers of life such as war, marriage, and children kept them apart.

In 1837, a widow of two years Pippin welcomes her naval son home. While the Admiral boringly speaks, Pippin glances around to another ship the HMS Regina where she sees a ghost of her past on board. She faints as the young sailor looked like her dashing Dash albeit over two decades ago that is. Unable to resist she goes to find her Dash, but learns you can’t go home as he is no longer the daring hero; instead he is a drunk who lives on his past glory. Hoping to save her beloved like she did just before the second war with colonials, she turns to the scandalous red dress she wore to win his love the first time; hopefully this time forever.

Lady Philippa and Captain Thomas Dashwell have been important characters throughout the Bachelor Chronicles (see CONFESSIONS OF A LITTLE BLACK GOWN, LOVE LETTERS FROM A DUKE, THIS RAKE OF MINE and TEMPTED BY THE NIGHT). Thus fans of the saga will especially appreciate this strong entry as the lead couple has changed especially Dash, but their love remains a constant. This is a superb historical that uses “flashbacks” to the Regency era, but the remarkable feat of this book and the other novels in the series is each story line is fresh and organized differently though the cast is somewhat a constant. Readers will have wonderful memoirs of Elizabeth Boyle’s outstanding Chronicles for years to come.

Harriet Klausner

Sirens Secret-Trish Albright

Sirens Secret
Trish Albright
Leisure, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780843960877

In 1791 though everyone who knows her believes Lady Olivia Yates is brilliant, she hides some of her skills from society. Thus when she learns of a mistranslated Ancient Egyptian hieroglyphic artifact at the British Museum, she decides to correct the error though knowing no one would believe a female could do this; ignoring her archeologist dad mentored her.

However, someone does not want the truth known and tries to kill Olivia. American shipping Captain Samuel Stafford rescues her and finds he is attracted to her though he estimates he knows the meaning of perhaps fifty percent of the vocabulary she uttered on their first meeting. He vows to keep her safe; not knowing what that implies until Olivia informs him she seeks a legendary treasure on the other side of the world. He seeks treasure too, but has found it in Olivia even if that means fighting pirates off the Barbary Coast and exposing vile villains trying to steal her work.

SIREN’S SECRET is an exciting Georgian romantic adventure starring two likable lead characters. Similar in tone to the pirate romance SIREN’S SONG yet different, this late eighteenth century action-packed tale is a bit over the top of the seven Seas. However, no one will care because of the heroine who sets the tone with her courage and need to know; which proves infectious to her beloved captain and the admiring audience who will want to accompany them on their journey because we need to know also.

Harriet Klausner

The Sword and the Pen-Elysa Hendricks

The Sword and the Pen
Elysa Hendricks
Love Spell, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780505528179

Author Brandon Davis knew he was out of ideas for his popular sword and sorcery saga Warrior Woman after ten novels. His plan is to kill off his heroine Serilda D’Lar; thus ending the series. Beyond that he has no idea what next except taking time off from writing so he can live life again.

However, as he nears finishing the end, standing in a skimpy fantasist’s unreal outfit is a Serilda look alike; as he envisioned her in his imagination. She claims to be Serilda and he is the wizard who summoned her from her world to complete a quest. Brandon assumes either he or she is crazy, but Brandon refuses to let her leave as she has awakened his life. When she manages to go home, Brandon vows to follow her to bring his beloved home.

Though the concept of a fictional character coming to life has been done before and recently cleverly twisted in the Thompson-Ferrell movie Stranger than Life, Elysa Hendricks refreshes it with her lead pairing. Serilda understands what is going on by simply believing writer Brandon is a powerful wizard; Brandon believes that one or both is crazy. Told mostly in a first person viewpoint from the lead couple, fans will enjoy this super romantic fantasy as the heroine knows the pen is mightier than the sword but the hero believes the heart is mightier than THE SWORD AND THE PEN.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, April 16, 2009

What Would Jane Austen Do?-Laurie Brown

What Would Jane Austen Do?
Laurie Brown
Sourcebooks Casablanca, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN 9781402218316

Recently dumped by her cheating fiance, Eleanor Pottinger is an expert on Regency aristocratic fashion. She is currently working as a designer for a Jane Austen festival during Regency Week. However, she is bit taken aback to find her room at the old inn is preoccupied.

Nonplussed Eleanor meets the ghosts of sisters Mina and Deirdre Cracklebury. The trio negotiates a deal in which Eleanor will go back to 1814 to prevent a deadly duel between their brother Teddy and Lord Shermont in exchange to them introducing her to Jane Austen. As she and Shermont flirt outrageously with one another, Eleanor must decide between sense and sensibility; she needs to choose either the active sex of a lifetime or a passive meeting with a writer even as she considers WHAT WOULD JANE AUSTEN DO?.

Though Jane is a minor player, Eleanor and Shermont are wonderful leads and the ghostly sisters great support as Laurie Brown provides a whimsical time travel romance. The story line is fast-paced and filled with twists. This is Eleanor’s tale as she tries to make the right choices considers her mantra: WHAT WOULD JANE AUSTEN DO? In this situation.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

It’s Never Too Late-Donna MacQuigg

It’s Never Too Late
Donna MacQuigg
Five Star, May 2009, $25.95
ISBN: 9781594147784

Attorney Kathryne Sheldon is the senior partner in their high powered firm. However, after tolerating her spouse Doug’s cheating for over two decades, she has had enough and divorces him. Kathryne also needs a break so as she turns forty-four; she decides to visit her estranged father Hank Sheldon, who left her the law firm when he abruptly moved to Taos, New Mexico.

On the Internet she learns of property for sale next to her dad’s luxurious Silver Creek Lodge. John Hawkins needs money to pay his second mortgage that he took out to pay his late wife’s medical bills or he will lose his entire ranch; he puts up a parcel for sale as encouraged by his brother-in-law Norman. When he and his buyer meet they are attracted to one another, but neither are aware her ex is putting the unethical and perhaps illegal squeeze on Hawkins as he has a buyer waiting in the wings.

This is an enjoyable contemporary romance between two previously married forty something individuals with radically different lifestyles. The story line is fast-paced, but everyone except Doug is extremely nice; too much so leading to the difficultly to accept the long estrangement between Kathryne and her dad. Still IT’S NEVER TOO LATE lives up to its apropos title as this is true when it comes to relationships.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, April 13, 2009

Once A Hero-Lisa Childs

Once A Hero
Lisa Childs
Harlequin American Romance, May 2009, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373752621

Lakewood Chronicle reporter Erin Powell is irate that the community believes police Sergeant Kent Terlecki is a hero because he took a bullet to protect someone else while on duty. She believes he is a rogue cop who planted evidence that led to her half-brother Mitchell going to jail. Erin decides to investigate Kent who is teaching a course at the Citizens Police Academy while he heals.

Kent is unhappy to find Erin in his class. She has roasted him in the Chronicle as unfit to be a community liaison let alone an instructor. Making matters worse they are attracted to one another though both conceal their feelings behind a façade of anger and outrage. She struggles with betraying her nephew and he distrusts her motives after she has publicly ripped his skin.

This is an intriguing contemporary romance starring two enemy combatants as her convicted brother stands between them. Erin is a fabulous individual as every time she sees her nephew she is reminded of what Kent did to her family. However, that is the strength and weakness of the story line because she becomes convinced Kent is a hero too quickly for someone who scorned him as a fake. Still fans will enjoy Lisa Child’s ONCE A HERO as Erin turns from never to always while struggling with how to tell her brother and especially her nephew.

Harriet Klausner

Her Very Own Family-Trish Milburn:

Her Very Own Family
Trish Milburn:
Harlequin American Romance, May 2009, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373752645

Audrey York hopes to start over in remote mountain town Willow Glen, Tennessee. Her first friend is elderly widower Nelson Witt, whose wife just passed away. He helps her renovate a dilapidated mill into a café.

Nelson’s son Brady is worried about his grieving father being alone and scammed by this woman his age. He plans to know the truth about this newcomer especially why she would relocate in Willow Glen. However, as the carpenter and the wannabe café owner fall in love, her past surfaces; leading Brady to distrust Audrey even more than he did before he learned why she came to town.

HER VERY OWN FAMILY is an entertaining contemporary romance starring two fascinating protagonists with no reason to trust one another. Brady is concerned that his widower dad is being taken in by a gold-digger with a past; while that past has taught Audrey to distrust everyone as people have agendas. The hero is Nelson who has the trust of both lead protagonists with his kindness. Fans will enjoy Trish Millburn’s fine tale of starting over which is not easy when love and your history intrude.

Harriet Klausner

Jaguar Night-Doranna Durgin

Jaguar Night
Doranna Durgin
Silhouette Nocturne, May 2009, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373618118

Agents of the Atrum Core arrive near Meghan Lawrence's ranch seeking the evil tome the Liber Nex. Sentinel Jaguar shapeshifter Dolan Trevino also arrives at her ranch to protect Meghan and to insure the evil Atrium Core does not find and take the ancient book.

However, Meghan rejects Dolan’s offer of protection, as she holds his group culpable for the death of her mother, a Sentinel, two decades ago. In spite of her refusal to accept his safeguard offer, he remains diligent. As they fall in love, she keeps reminding herself her mom a Sentinel died protecting that book while the group failed to keep her safe as they promised.

Although the plot feels a bit thin, JAGUAR NIGHT is a terrific urban fantasy romance due to Meghan, who rejects anything Sentinel as her memory is they failed her mother. The story line is totally driven by the lead couple from the moment Dolan comes to Megan’s ranch to keep her safe and she tells him to leave. Fans will enjoy his efforts to keep the woman he loves safe and her efforts to keep the man she loves out of her life.

Harriet Klausner

Captive Of The Beast-Lisa Renee Jones

Captive Of The Beast
Lisa Renee Jones
Silhouette Nocturne, May 2009, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373618101

On an island off the coast of Texas, Dr. Laura Johnson creates a vaccine to help young people control their special skills; something she understands first hand as her parents trained her to hide her extrasensory mental abilities to read, sense danger, and do telekinetic things. However, she is worried that the new boss Captain Walch is malevolent with plans to exploit the kids. Her reward is incarceration on her island as her skills prove right that he is a minion of the evil Darkland Beast demons.

Knights of White William Rinehart and his team arrive to rescue the research scientist and the kids. A demon warrior Rinehart finds himself with a new struggle beyond controlling the beast inside him; he is attracted to Dr. Laura, who he has sworn to keep safe yet wants to release the inner beast. However, the situation escalates for him when he realizes she has paranormal abilities and wants him too.

Though similar in tone to previous Knights of the White romantic fantasy (see BEAST OF DARKNESS, BEAST OF DESIRE and BEAST WITHIN), this is a terrific thriller due to the lead couple. She is a courageous dedicated heroine and he is a brave lost soul who knows his future is so bleak he cannot proclaim her as his. The story line is fast-paced, but the paranormal subplot takes a back seat to the relationship between the knight and his medical research scientist lifemate who shares his desire.

Harriet Klausner

Burning Wild-Christine Feehan

Burning Wild
Christine Feehan
Jove, Apr 28 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780515146233

Leopard shapeshifter Jake Bannaconni's memories of his parents are that of unloving cold and abusive; only his great-grandfather showered him with genuine affection as the lad can smell a lie. He learned early on they would never love him as he knows why they had him, but Cathy and Ryann underestimated how much power their offspring has compared to them.

Jake’s pregnant former girlfriend Shaina Trent is in a tragic car accident with another vehicle containing a new bride Emma Reynolds. Everyone dies except Emma; the fetus she carries, and the fetus Shaina carries. The paramedics at the scene deliver healthy Kyle, Jake’s son. Perhaps it is the tragedy, but Jake and Emma share a connection so he persuades her to move into his place where she nurtures his offspring Kyle. However, she may not be safe as his odious parents have plans for their grandson.

The opening sequence in which readers see first hand how his parents treat Jake sets the tone of a strong urban fantasy romance as the abused neglected child becomes the adult. Emma is terrific as she displays patience with Jake and showers Kyle with love as if he is her child; in fact as Jake observes she treats both their kids as her own. Fans will appreciate this deep shapeshifting tale as Christine Feehan is at the top of her game with Jake’s saga.

Harriet Klausner

Bad to the Bone-Jeri Smith-Ready

Bad to the Bone
Jeri Smith-Ready
Pocket, May 2009, $15.00
ISBN: 9781416551782

In Maryland Ciara Griffin pretends to be the late owner Elizabeth of the vampire run radio station WVMP so she and her cohorts of vamps can keep working. In spite of the difficulty of the masquerade, Ciara feels upbeat as things are going well with her significant other vampire.

However, their special Halloween show is devastated by the Family Action Network (FAN) who steals their signal broadcasting an anti-vampire tirade. Irate Ciara and her cohorts including Dexter the vampire canine sneak into the FAN base of operations to bring the bite to the enemy.

The sequel to the brilliantly wacky WICKED GAME still has the vampires remain stuck in a time warp leading to quite a variety in the music played at WVMP, the “lifeblood of rock and roll”. Ciara, though claiming she is a reformed con artist, is pulling off quite a sham pretending to be the dead owner. Amusing and as wacky as its predecessor, this time the vamps with a blood thirsty canine are at war with their FAN enemy as Jeri Smith-Ready lampoons urban fantasy taking a humorous bite out of the sub-genre.

Harriet Klausner

Eternal Craving-Nina Bangs

Eternal Craving
Nina Bangs
Leisure, May 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780843957938

Fin created the Eleven to counteract humanity’s enemy Zero whose plan is the destruction of mankind to coincide with the Mayan calendar prediction of the end at 12-21-12. Fin’s fighters use human bodies just like Zero’s minion.

Tabloid reporter Jenna Maloy wonders just who is her enigmatic new brother-in-law Ty (see ETERNAL PLEASURE) so she comes to Philadelphia to investigate him. What she learns about her sister’s spouse shakes her to her bone marrow. However, her inquiry also leads to Ty’s associate Al, who has been in a non-stop rage since he ended up cloaked as a pitiful human instead of a fierce “Hunter”. When he meets Jenna, who is the Key to beating the enemy, his heart does crazy things; making Fin wonder if he is too volatile to trust with keeping the “Key” safe.

The Eternal Gods of the Night saga is romantic urban fantasy at its best as antiheroes fall in love with feisty humans while battling an evil that is growing in strength as the malevolence begin the countdown to December 21 2012. The world is a gritty dark place as seen by Al (and for that matter Ty) except for Jenna who confuses him because a Hunter does not fall in love especially with a lesser being even if her tabloid experience enables her to accept the improbable. With a supernatural smorgasbord to round out a terrific fast-paced tale, fans will want to read about the big bang universe starting the big crunch to Zero time.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Submissive-Anya Howard

Anya Howard
Kensington Aphrodisia, May 2009, $12.95
ISBN: 9780758228802

Gillian Nordstram has agreed to become a pleasure giving submissive Disciple. She leaves behind her lover Bruce Wolff to receive training at Nemi in the art of sexual submission.

Sethlucius visits Bruce and offers him the job of a lifetime involving his Gilliam. Bruce initially assumes that Gillian’s fantasies have entered his mind, but agrees anyway. As she fears but submits to winged beasts, he follows her with plans to be her only dominant.

This is an interesting erotic fantasy that star two intriguing lead human characters and a horde of paranormals. The sex scenes run the gamut and are very vivid while Gillian and Bruce are fully developed especially his initial self pity and her fears. However, the plot never fully seems developed so that this alternate reality never comes across except in the BDSM scenes. Still fans who relish something way different in their erotica will appreciate the sexcapades of Gillian and Bruce in another realm.

Harriet Klausner

The Midwife's Glass Slipper-Karen Rose Smith

The Midwife's Glass Slipper
Karen Rose Smith
Silhouette Special Edition, May 2009, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373654543

She left Corpus Christi where her life fell apart as her marriage ended in divorce and her work as a nurse ended with a lawsuit. Emily Diaz obtains work as an obstetrical nurse practitioner at the Family Tree Health Center in Lubbock, a practice run by single dad Dr. Jared Madison. The pair feels an attraction from the onset, but neither moves on it sharing doubts about relationships at this time.

However, as she begins to help him care for his three year old twin daughters Amy and Courtney, each reconsiders their feelings for the other. However, her past surfaces in Lubbock leaving her to wonder if it is time to move on again though this time her heart will break as she loves the Madison trio.

THE MIDWIFE’S GLASS SLIPPER is a fabulous medical contemporary romance starring a courageous female whose past keeps making her future look grim and a single father who understands his kids come before his needs. The relationship between this couple changes over the course of the well written story line as Karen Rose Smith provides a deep and enjoyable tale. Fans will enjoy reading this special edition.

Harriet Klausner

Mutual Desire-Donna Grant

Mutual Desire
Donna Grant
Kensington Aphrodisia, May 2009, $12.95
ISBN: 9780758232076

“Spellbound”. In 1592 Scotland, twice widowed Kate is married off to Ewan MacDonald, who is outraged that she is not her sister until they make love.

“Enthralled” Leaving the Aldvale Kingdom, Linarra spies on their enemy in the Kellian Jungle; however after meeting Falcor, she shares ecstasy sleeping with the enemy.

“Enchanted”. In 1864 Princess Arian of Tulso travels to the Amazon only to be adducted ending up in the bed of Jensen D'Argent.

These three erotic novellas are fun tales for quick reads due to the likable lead characters, but would have been better served as novels as time and place are never anchored.

Harriet Klausner

Bound to Please-Lilli Feisty

Bound to Please
Lilli Feisty
Forever, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780446541923

Thirty-seven-year-old event planner Ruby Scott lives a prim and proper lifestyle except for her deepest sexual fantasies that she has never acted on with anyone else. That is until she meets twentyish musician Mark St. Crow. They go back to her place where he indulges her submissive dreams.

However, being a decade older than her dominant paramour, Ruby has plenty of doubts about their relationship especially the belief her hunk will call it quits once he finds his next conquest; most likely a woman his age. Thus instead of waiting for him to leave, she ends it. Mark refuses to accept her decision and makes a plea that they fit perfect together in dominant-submissive partnership.

This is a terrific older woman-younger man contemporary romance starring a likable heroine who still has it and the stud who still flaunts it. Though she is ten years older, he teaches her new tricks when he introduces her to the world of BDSM and she shows him the feistiness of the older woman. Fans of realistic erotica will enjoy BOUND TO PLEASE because of the fully developed loving relationship between Ruby and Mark that makes the story line believable.

Harriet Klausner

Submissive-Anya Howard

Anya Howard
Kensington Aphrodisia, May 2009, $12.95
ISBN: 9780758228802

Gillian Nordstram has agreed to become a pleasure giving submissive Disciple. She leaves behind her lover Bruce Wolff to receive training at Nemi in the art of sexual submission.

Sethlucius visits Bruce and offers him the job of a lifetime involving his Gilliam. Bruce initially assumes that Gillian’s fantasies have entered his mind, but agrees anyway. As she fears but submits to winged beasts, he follows her with plans to be her only dominant.

This is an interesting erotic fantasy that star two intriguing lead human characters and a horde of paranormals. The sex scenes run the gamut and are very vivid while Gillian and Bruce are fully developed especially his initial self pity and her fears. However, the plot never fully seems developed so that this alternate reality never comes across except in the BDSM scenes. Still fans who relish something way different in their erotica will appreciate the sexcapades of Gillian and Bruce in another realm.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Simply Shameless-Kate Pearce

Simply Shameless
Kate Pearce
Kensington Aphrodisia, May 2009, $13.95
ISBN: 9780758232205

In 1801 Helene Delornay is a sex toy for the Bastille guards, but hates her job. Desperate to get away from these brutes, she flees Paris hoping to reach Dover and start anew. She makes it to England where she meets Englishman Philip Ross, who in spite of his youthfulness mentors her in the passionate art of erotica before leaving her.

Almost two decades later, she is the proprietor of the most popular brothel amongst the Ton while he is a cold widower. When they meet, he becomes her business partner and her exclusive bedroom partner. However Helene fears her attraction to Philip will end with her suffering a broken heart as she never forgot his first sexual lessons.

SIMPLY SHAMELESS is simply an exciting Regency erotic romance. Though the lead couple has an eighteen year gap, both periods are filled with equatorial heat that could keep London warm in the winter. Fans will enjoy the escapades of the business partners in and out of the boudoir as well as some other encounters of a variety of sexual kinds.

Harriet Klausner

On the Prowl-Crystal Jordan

On the Prowl
Crystal Jordan
Kensington Aphrodisia, May 2009, $13.95
ISBN: 9780758229007

"Claim Me". Antonio Cruz is the new chief of his Panther shapeshifting pride, His lover Solana wants him to name her his forever mate, but she is not a shapeshifter.

"Take Me". Antonio's older sister Andrea has never found love, but when she meets Miguel she thinks at long last her mate has found her.

“Need Me”. Antonio's twin brothers Diego and Ricardo are inseparable until Isabel joins the pride; each wants her as his mate and she wants both twins as hers.

These super interrelated erotic romantic urban fantasies are well written and quite engaging as the world of Jordan makes for a fun heated read.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, April 10, 2009

Taming The Fire-Sydney Croft

Taming The Fire
Sydney Croft
Delta, May 2009, $13.00
ISBN: 9780385342278

Agency for Covert Rare Operatives (ACRO) assigns Special Agent Trance to bring in Mistress Ulrika “Rik” Jaegar because they want to use her shapeshifting power and to prevent her former employer Itor Corp from capturing her. He understands she distrusts anyone ever since she was snatched as a child from her tribe of therianthropes who believe they are beasts in human flesh and changed by those who abused her. He also knows the importance of his mission as she is a danger to herself and others.

In London Trance visits an underground club notorious for extreme sex. However, he never expected to fall in love with her while seeing her vulnerability that she hides behind a wall of hostility. As they battle for domination, one must become submissive, but both have savage beasts raging inside while Itor is coming to retake what they insist is theirs.

The exciting “stormy’ adventures of the ACRO agents continue as Trance and Rik battle for sexual supremacy in an exhilarating entry. Filled with BDSM, the story line focuses on the changing relationship between Trance and Rik while their common enemies stalk them. Although the plot references past tales and includes leads from them that will be difficult for new readers to follow, fans of the ACRO saga will enjoy TAMING THE FIRE as it burns you.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, April 9, 2009

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie- Jennifer Ashley

The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie
Jennifer Ashley
Leisure, May 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 9780843960433

In 1881 England, anyone who knows Ian Mackenzie assumes he is mad. Even he believes there is something wrong with himself as thinks and reacts differently than his siblings and people in general. Ian has problems with understanding “normal” feelings; as he always is honest, which gets him in trouble.

When wealthy widow Elizabeth Ackerley is to marry a rascal, Ian honest as ever makes it clear he thinks she is foolish to wed such a degenerate and that he feels nothing. Beth rejects his declaration; she begins to look closer at Ian and his family. Beth soon admires Ian and that turns into love; Ian rejects the notion he can love, but does not understand why he feels mushy when she is near. . However, as their respect and admiration grows, several young women have been murdered with Ian, because of his odd behavior, as the prime suspect. Beth vows to prove her beloved is innocent and that he now knows what love is.

This is an intriguing Victorian romance that looks deep into what back then was labeled madness, but today would be on the high functioning side of the Pervasive Developmental Disorders spectrum as probably either Asperger’s Syndrome or a non specified disorder. Thus the audience has a unique lead character who thinks differently than the acceptable “norm”. Beth, by just accepting him as he, proves she is a fabulous person. The murder accusation fits as Ian’s madness makes him the obvious suspect. Jennifer Ashley has provided a terrific insightful thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

The Naked Baron-Sally Mackenzie

The Naked Baron
Sally Mackenzie
Zebra, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420102536

At twenty five years of age, Lady Grace Belmont is elated not to be at Blandon where her father is obsessed with marrying her off, but is unhappy to be on display during her first London season as the men stare at her bosom. She knows she is too old, too tall and a bit too plump to have anyone truly interested in her. Grace is especially grateful to her widowed Aunt Kate who is sponsoring and chaperoning her, which keeps Grace away from her father who has been arranging for her a marriage after providing no seasons for his daughter.

However David Wilton, Baron Dawson, observes Grace in a garden and thinks she is the loveliest woman he has ever seen. He tries to steal a kiss from her and plans to court her as he wants her like no one ever before. At the same his Uncle Alex Wilton sees his beloved Kate. Years ago when they were younger than Grace is now, he proposed to her but her martinet father gave her to someone else. Alex plans to try again to win Kate’s heart, unaware he always owned it. He also wants to insure history does not repeat itself with his nephew and her niece starring in their former roles.

With two heated Regency romances, Sally Mackenzie provides her readers with a fun, often amusing, but always entertaining novel. The story line is brisk from the onset as the older couple seeks a second chance at love while hoping to steer their younger relatives to an easy landing in a field of love; only their efforts lead to scandal. Readers will appreciate THE NAKED BARON as humor and heat combine for an engaging historical.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Under Her Skin-Susan Mallery

Under Her Skin
Susan Mallery
Harlequin HQN, May 2009, $7.99
ISBN 9780373773473

In Texas the clock is ticking away on Lexi Titan who needs two million dollars in one month or her spa will go bankrupt. Affluent self made businessman Cruz Rodriguez offers the money to Lexi under the condition that she, coming from old money, pretend to be his fiancé for the next six months and escort him inside the highest levels of society; the other stipulation is that they live together sharing a bed. She is so desperate she agrees to his terms having not forgotten their sexual encounter a decade ago. He also throws in the caveat of helping unmask who is demanding payment of her $2 million dollar loan.

As they begin the 180 day countdown, both expected an attraction, but neither anticipated how powerful the pull between them is. As the days go by initially too slow and then too fast, they fall in love. However, neither recognizes the feelings as she was raised by efficient cold nannies and he witnessed the abusive war between his parents.

This is an intriguing contemporary tale starring an old money female and a nouveau riche male who have nothing in common except the strong belief that love is a fake as each witnessed a form of parental neglect. Fans will be pulled into the story line early as we will feel for both protagonists who believe “love is only found in fairy tales” (Monkees). With two Titan sisters to go, Susan Mallery opens up with a strong first act.

Harriet Klausner

What Happens in Vegas ... After Dark

What Happens in Vegas ... After Dark
Jodi Lynn Copeland, Lauren Dane, Kit Tunstall & Anya Bast
Harlequin Spice, May 2009, $13.95
ISBN: 0373695315

"Hot for Revenge” by Jodi Lynn Copeland. Vegas firefighter Ryan needs a new roommate to help pay the bills. Deitre the succubus offers to room with him; hiding her agenda to avenge the death of her friend due to Ryan's actions.

"Sensual Magic" by Lauren Dane. Nell searches for Leah the thieving witch, but her trail takes her to Vegas and her prey’s ex William. Though she does not want a man in her life, he is persistent and attractive.

"Divine Desires" by Kit Tunstall. Makiel the warlock returns to Vegas when his brother frantically begs him to come. Mal meets and wants tattoo artist Devi for two reasons. One he is attracted to her; and two she is a suppressed vampire whose power if ignited can save his dying father.

"The Promise" by Anya Bast. Damian has doubts about marrying Cassidy in one hour at the White Wishes Chapel in Vegas. However, as he steps outside with the best man Tom to go to his wedding, two big thugs grab him and somehow make Tom forget the incident. They take him to Princess Elena of the Fae who insists he is one of them. Though he believes she is “bat-sh*t crazy” he is attracted to her and her to him. However, her father has arranged for her to wed someone else.

This sequel to WHAT HAPPENS IN VEGAS contains four delightful urban fantasy romances. Each novella stars two fully developed lead protagonists and a support cast who enhance the respective plots. Fans will enjoy a visit “after dark” to Vegas with this quartet of authors as tour guides.

Harriet Klausner

Moonlight Warrior-Janet Chapman

Moonlight Warrior
Janet Chapman
Pocket, Apr 28 2009, $7.50
ISBN: 9781416594871

In Midnight Bay, Maine former immortal warrior Kenzie Gregor is looking forward to starting life anew now that he has broken out of his panther curse. The druid Daar and William the still cursed dragon stay at his side as Kenzie buys them a place to live.

However Kenzie feels guilty that the local bank sold to him an estate without the consent of its brain addled owner Widow Mabel Bishop and her recently divorced daughter Eve Anderson. Though not legally obligated he invites the mother and daughter to remain on the property. William is attracted to Eve, but the witch who cursed William visits the estate using her evil magic to place Kenzie, his friends and the Anderson females in peril.

MOONLIGHT WARRIOR is a terrific urban fantasy romance starring a strong lead couple and an incredible support cast. The story line engages the reader due to the five occupants of what was the widow’s home. Fans especially will feel for Eve as she watches helplessly as her beloved mom loses her mind; her stress levels between the divorce, her mom’s declining mental health, accepting the seemingly impossible outside of fantasy tales, and falling in love must be astronomic. Janet Chapman provides a poignant tale filled with pathos, action, and love.

Harriet Klausner

Edge of Danger-Rhyannon Byrd

Edge of Danger
Rhyannon Byrd
Harlequin HQN, May 2009, $7.99
ISBN: 0373773994

Unlike her skeptical brothers, anthropologist Saige Buchanan strongly believes in the enigmatic Markers. She also accepts her heritage that her siblings deny as true; risking her life to fight the evil Casus.

In Brazil after finding her second Marker, Saige knows a Casus is stalking her while a shapeshifting Watchman Michael Quinn shadows her. He has been assigned by his group to escort Saige to the Watchman's Colorado encampment. However, Saige refuse to accompany him as she trusts no one; not even someone she is attracted to as she is to him; ironically he feels the same way about the attraction and trust. However, trust is what they need to survive a deadly stalker trying to prevent Saige from succeeding.

EDGE OF DANGER, the second Primal Instinct urban fantasy romance (see EDGE OF HUNGER) will grip the audience from the moment Saige in Brazil knows the enemy is stalking her and never slows down as she distrusts the Watchman who has come to take her to his camp. As the overarching plot moves forward, readers will enjoy the middle thriller starring a woman who trusts no one and a man who knows he must trust no one.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, April 6, 2009

Going Down Hard-Tawny Weber

Going Down Hard
Tawny Weber
Harlequin Blaze, May 2009, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373794720

In Southern California, Sierra Donovan is stunned by the photos she just received of her naked except for chocolate syrup and twelve tongues licking her. She knows this is a fake, but someone professionally makes her look perverted, which is not good for a special events company co-owner. The person who created the fraud is blackmailing her at a time when she and her partner Belle Forsham (see COMING ON STRONG) are trying to win the lucrative contract of a very conservative family values company.

Sierra wants to forget the issue as she has a dark secret that she prefers to remain buried. However, Belle believes whoever is behind this extortion went a long way to put this together and will not just quit. Belle hires security expert Reece Carter to keep Sierra safe. Reese and Sierra have shared several one night stands and he wants more, but she has doubts as her past has come back to haunt her.

This is an entertaining well written romantic suspense with the mysteries of who is bribing Sierra and what she is hiding from Reese make for a fabulous read. The story line is fast-paced from the opening photo until the climax as Reese refuses to back down one iota in his quest to keep Sierra safe and to know what she conceals. Tawny Weber provides a wonderful whodunit romance.

Harriet Klausner

Once A Rebel-Debbi Rawlins

Once A Rebel
Debbi Rawlins
Harlequin Blaze, May 2009, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373794713

Due to an injury Cord Braddock could no longer perform the physically demanding work of a stuntman. He becomes a Los Angeles private investigator. Though he prefers to take on a bounty hunter role and go after Mad Dog Manson, he accepts the inquiry into what happened to the daughters Reese (see ONCE AN OUTLAW) and Ellie (see ONCE A GAMBLER) of Hollywood powerhouse couple, actors Brad and Linnea Winslow.

He knows the FBI and a private detective on retainer have failed to find any clues re the Winslow sisters, who have vanished for over a year without anyone demanding a ransom. Cord enters the Winslow luxurious house, but when he gets to the attic, he learns what happened to the siblings by inadvertently following their trail back in time to 1877. He meets Maggie Dawson, whose father recently died, but she conceals his death from everyone because she would be forced to vacate the cabin they shared. Cord learns the truth and vows to keep Maggie safe while he seeks out the missing sisters.

The third Stolen From Time travel romance is a fun tale starring a likable lead couple though Cord adjusts too easily to Reconstruction Era America. From the first encounter when she asks if he is Pinkerton as they do not hire anyone with the slightest Indian blood as he has a little until the final denouement, fans will enjoy their encounters and escapades.

Harriet Klausner

Under Fire-Jo Davis

Under Fire
Jo Davis
Signet, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451226792

Firefighter Zack Knight accidentally runs his car into the SUV owned by Corrine Shannon. He is all apologetic; so much so the nursing school student and exotic dancer Cori thinks he is cute and sweet.

The second time Zack and Corrine meet, he has not run into her tail. Instead he finds her SUV half teetering over the edge of a bridge. He rescues her and they are attracted to one another. However, they have no chance together as each has impossible encumbrances weighting them down. Even when he moves in with her, he has doubts they can make especially after he learns of how they are linked.

The latest Firefighters of Station Five (see TRIAL BY FIRE) is an exhilarating romantic mystery starring an intriguing lead couple who are a 200 proof heat duet even when she thinks he is cute in a virginal way. The story line is filled with action as a nasty villain keeps heroic Zack busy almost as much as Cori does. Zack brings freshness to the role of firefighter lead hunk and champion as Jo Davis provides a strong entry with UNDER FIRE, a terrific action-packed thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Bound by Honor-Colette Gale

Bound by Honor
Colette Gale
Signet, May 2009, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451226839

Knowing Lady Marian of Morlaix comes from the Nottingham area, Eleanor of Aquitaine sends her to spy on her son Prince John at his notorious depraved Court of Pleasure. Although she has distastes for her surveillance mission, Marian looks forward to seeing some long time friends. To her shock two of them Robin of Loxley and Sir William of Wendeval are adversaries on opposite sides of the law; the former is an outlaw and the latter the sheriff assigned to catch him.

Meanwhile John wants Marian in his bed. Whereas Will protects her from the Prince, Robin steals kisses though he admits he loves someone else. As Will and Marian fall in love, she wonders how to avoid John’s depravity while accomplishing what Eleanor sent her to do.

Putting a couple of ingenious twists to the Robin Hood Legend yet maintaining the core tale, Colette Gale provides an enjoyable medieval erotic romance. The cast is terrific as John is a lecher, Robin a heroic highwayman, Will a cold sheriff, and Marian who touches each of these men competing for her affection. Fans will enjoy the sexual heating of Robin Hood.

Harriet Klausner

Over My Dead Body-Michele Bardsley

Over My Dead Body
Michele Bardsley
Signet, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451226778

In the center of paranormal activity, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma, tyro vampire Simone Sweet feels she has enough on her plate besides learning how to live as an undead especially after killing Braddock Hayes. By herself she is raising a child who refuses to speak since her daddy Jacob tried to kill her mommy, but died during the attempt.

Before killing Braddock by drinking his essence, Simone and former PRIS operative human Braddock “Brady” Hayes are in demand by the townsfolk; both supernatural and normal. Attracted to one another they begin seeing each other though she knows she cannot absorb a relationship at this time. Still as they fall in love, a homicide shakes up the town and threatens their shaky relationship as someone wants all paranormals gone.

Combining humor with romance and a serial killer mystery, the return to the center of vampire activity, Broken Arrow, Oklahoma is a fun lighthearted tale. The story line is fast-paced from the opening denouement until the final climax as chaos seems to reign throughout the story line. A glossary, the Consortium Guidelines, and a Brief History of the Consortium will help newcomers adjust while fans will enjoy the antics of the heroine. Although the series might be losing a fang due to the impact of the Malthusian Growth Model Theory applied to Broken Arrow, OVER MY DEAD BODY is an entertaining thriller.

Harriet Klausner

So Still the Night-Kim Lenox

So Still the Night
Kim Lenox
Signet, May 2009, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451226785

Though it cost him what her cherished most in life, Marcus Helios sacrificed himself to protect his peers, the Shadow Guardians. By doing what he did he acted unselfishly and heroically but is no longer a Shadow Guardian and subject to assassination.

His only hope to save himself resides with an enigmatic ancient missive found amidst ancient scrolls owned by Willomina Limpett. However, upon meeting Mina, Mark concludes others less ethical about collateral damage will kill her to steal the scrolls. He vows to keep Mina safe especially from her diabolically insane lover Jack the Ripper, who once jilted her and now has the dark power to destroy the world.

The sequel to the exciting NIGHT FALLS DARKLY, SO STILL THE NIGHT is a superb Victorian romantic urban fantasy that hooks the audience from the first moment that fallen Shadow Guardian Marcus meets Ripper’s jilted fiancée Mina. The story line is filled with plenty of action and the right amount of romance. Once again time and place in a supernatural Victorian England seems plausible as the Shadow Guard saga continues with its overarching refreshing effort to stop Jack.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Chains-Shiloh Walker

Shiloh Walker
Berkley, May 2009, $15.00
ISBN: 0425227863

“Renee”. Fifteen years ago in Madison, Ohio, Renee Lincoln was the homecoming queen with what looked like a perfect life though she knew better as her mom did not love her. Now she is coming home, but has not forgotten that night in her senior year when her boyfriend JD tried to rape her. At the hotel bar she meets Deacon who is also wondering why he came back to town.

“Lacey”. Fifteen years ago in Madison, Ohio, everyone in the senior class thought Lacey with her scholarship choices would make it in the big city. She did not want to go to the party thrown by the mayor’s son JD, but did because her best friend Missy asked her to come with her. Her boyfriend Deacon was angry because she was going to Tulane instead of Kentucky where he was going. However she witnessed Renee slamming a lamp on the head of JD. In the present she rescues Renee when someone tries to run her over. Seth marvels over Dame Galahad as he calls her, but also realizes someone wants Renee dead and perhaps Lacey too; he vows to protect Lacey.

“Sherra”. Fifteen years ago in Madison, Ohio Sherra was the other female involved in that horrid night with JD and his pals. She ahs come home from the reunion just like Renee and Lacey. Dalton vows to keep her safe if that maniac who has tried to kill Renee goes after Sherra.

Though some chapter labeling inside the three interrelated tales would have made it easier on the reader, fans will appreciate this exciting erotic romantic suspense starring three couples in which all six players are fully developed then and now. The suspense is top rate as readers anticipate a confrontation with the villain while the sexual interludes are hot and seem apropos in spite of the tension. Fans will enjoy this ultra heated suspense.

Harriet Klausner