Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Straight Up-Deirdre Martin

Straight Up
Deirdre Martin
Berkley, May 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425234662

When her fiancé jilted farmer Aislinn McCafferty, she vowed no more men in her life unless they are sheep. Soon afterward her parents died in a car accident. Grieving and angry she wants to be left alone with her flock though her sister is visiting her and her elderly loyal employee remains on her sheep farm.

Fleeing the New York Irish mob, Liam O'Brien hides in Ballycraig, Ireland. When he meets the acrimonious Aislinn, he wants her but she rejects him. Cocky, he makes a bet with the local pub owner that he will get her to go out with him. However, as Liam gets to know Aislinn, he wishes he never made that stupid wager as he is falling in love even as the doubting Aislinn begins to reconsider the charm of four legs vs. two and a half legs. Still refuses him; as she expects him to return across the Atlantic back to the big city.

Straight Up is an enjoyable romance starring two initially unlikable lead characters who grow on the reader. Liam has an ego larger than the Atlantic while Aislinn has had her esteem shattered. Although the thin plot is mindful of Doc Hollywood and filled with an eccentric secondary cast who like fans take bets on the outcome as Deidre Martin provides an amusing tale of love.

Harriet Klausner

Seducing the Highlander-Emma Wildes

Seducing the Highlander
Emma Wildes
Signet, May 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780451229823

“Seducing Ian". Wanting to force the hand of his enemy to drop false charges brought against a clan relative, Laird Ian McCray kidnaps the adversary’s betrothed Leanna Arlington. However, he wants her and she him, but her intended will not go away gracefully.

"Seducing Robbie". Julia Cameron offers Robbie McCray a large dowry if he marries and protects her. However, as he is ready to agree, both wants much more in their relationship as each feels the heat of desire.

"Seducing Aidan". When his betrothal abruptly ended, Adain Cameron feels depressed and lost; that is until he rescues Gillian Lorin from highwaymen who accosted her on her way to her meeting her vicious betrothed. However, instead of escorting her to her intended husband, he takes her to his clan where she asks for sanctuary and he offers much more knowing the threat to his people.

These three interrelated Highlander romances are fun tales of kick butt heroes, feisty heroines, and vile villains who come together to make an entertaining historical romantic anthology.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Trusting The Bodyguard-Kimberly Van Meter

Trusting The Bodyguard
Kimberly Van Meter
Harlequin SuperRomance, Apr 2010, $5.50
ISBN: 978037371627

Three hours from San Francisco, FBI agent Archer Brant comes to his remote cabin only to find biotech scientist Marissa Vasquez waiting for him there. Shocked as she dumped him several years ago because she could not cope with his hazardous occupation, he has mixed feelings about seeing the woman he still loves.

Her sister Mercedes dead, Marissa and her niece Jenna need his help. The child's father is Oakland’s dangerous Oaktown Boyz drug dealing gang leader and club owner Ruben Ortiz who killed Mercedes. He wants his offspring and will kill his daughter's aunt like he did the mom to get her. Archer offers his help but also makes sure he has professional back-up from his friend Agent Hawker. He knows in court Ortiz would probably win custody, but Archer risks his life and badge for the woman he still loves.

From the opening moment that Archer sees Marissa in his cabin until the final confrontation, Trusting The Bodyguard is an exhilarating romantic suspense thriller. Filled with plenty of action, the key to the story is the frightened heroine who in spite of her fears, kidnapped the infant from the villain’s compound; she sets the tone with her courage; a trait she lacked her first time with Archer. This is a terrific thriller as the second chance at love subplot feels realistic since it does not intrude on the anticipated High Noon confrontation.

Harriet Klausner

Always A Temp-Jeannie Watt

Always A Temp
Jeannie Watt
Harlequin SuperRomance, Apr 2010, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373716289

When her beloved foster mother Grace dies, journalist Callie McCarran goes home to Wesley, Nevada to attend the funeral upset that her beloved guardian never told her she was terminal. The townsfolk are angry with Callie for not being there for Grace. While home, Callie decides to see if her feelings for her childhood boyfriend, Nathan Marcenek remains as strong as ever.

Nathan, the editor of Wesley Star newspaper, came home after being injured on an investigation. He wants nothing to do with the woman who broke his heart when she left town just after their high school graduation. Realizing she still loves Nathan, Callie introspectively ponders why she ran from him until she concludes love means abandonment like her parents did to her.

This is a deep second chance at love romance starring two stubborn lead characters whose distrust of most people make for a strong tale. Jeannie Watt provides a profound look into the psyche of Callie who prefers being Always A Temp with any relationship professional and personal as she learned from her father. Nathan distrusts the woman he loves as he knows she will leave.

Harriet Klausner

Her Best Friend-Sarah Mayberry

Her Best Friend
Sarah Mayberry
Harlequin SuperRomance, Apr 2010, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373716265

Amy Parker is stunned to learn the town council has changed its collective minds about her plan to renovate the local grand Picture Theater. The Council chose a last minute bid by Ulrich Construction ignoring their verbal commitment to her. Irate as they committed to her, after she offered to buy the theater, she needs legal help.

Amy asks the unrequited love of her life, attorney Quinn Whitfield to help her. Returning home, Quinn, as an escape from his failed to marriage, agrees to assist his friend. However, he remains unaware that Amy always has and will love him though he insists on hanging out with her as he has some unfinished business with his buddy.

Though simplistic and straightforward, Her Best friend is an entertaining contemporary romance starring two liable lead characters who each as adults secretly wish to do what they did not achieve as teens. Readers will enjoy the tango of the two BFFs wanting to become best lovers forever, but both fearing that first frightening step.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, March 29, 2010

Destined to Last-Alissa Johnson

Destined to Last
Alissa Johnson
Leisure, Apr 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780843962529

She should be the Ton's top gem of the season, but alas Lady Kate Cole is not. Men avoid her as if she has the Black Plague out of fear of her propensity for accidents could harm them too. Kate knows she is the klutz of the century, but tries her best to avoid accidents. Yet no matter what she does, nothing goes right.

Government agent Andrew Hunter is the only exception to the male populace when it comes to kissable Kate. He wants her as his and actually enjoys the fact that she is a diamond in the rough. Andrew is assigned to watch over her at a party, an assignment he relishes. As he brings her into his smuggler's investigation, Andrew has so much material things he can provide to her; Kate only wants one thing in the world; a man who loves clumsy her as much as she does him.

The key to this humorous delightful regency is the heroine who is so different than the usual sub-genre females. Kate makes the tale with her clumsiness that has every male running away from her as she is a hazard to one’s health. The exception is the hero who is used to dangerous adventures and believes a lifetime with his beloved will prove the most satisfying dangerous adventure of them all. This is a terrific tongue in cheek historical as Alissa Johnson lampoons the perfect Regency female.

Harriet Klausner

The Jaguar Prince-Karen Kelley

The Jaguar Prince
Karen Kelley
Kensington Brava, Apr 1 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758238368

Callie Jordan was a newborn left at an orphanage by someone who failed to stick around to see if she was okay. She grew up depending on no one but herself. Thus working at a zoo is perfect for her.

New Symtaria Prince Rogar seeks his people's colonists and their mixed-species offspring. His goal is to bring everyone back to New Symtaria where he can insure their safety from a murderous alien. When he first sees Callie at the zoo, she cannot believe a streaker would come here to compare his parts to that of the well endowed chimps. Later he arrives at her apartment still in his birthday suit as a man and as a jaguar. He explains her heritage to her; as she considers the first hanging hunk wanting her is a head-case. While someone wants them dead neither the royal purebred shapeshifter or the orphan hybrid expected the attraction between them.

This is an amusing romantic fantasy starring two likable lead characters. The underlying premise is mindful in some ways of Witch Mountain although Karen Kelley’s plot is meant for adults. Although the villain seems feeble, sub-genre fans will enjoy the jocular frolic of ET falling in love with the perfect commoner, a zookeeper used to animal behavior.

Harriet Klausner

Love, Unexpectedly-Susan Fox

Love, Unexpectedly
Susan Fox
Kensington Brava, Apr 1 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758238269

Nav Bharani has wanted to change his relationship with Kat Fallon from best friend to lover. However, she has always rejected his slightest move as she insists she does not wish to risk their friendship. Now he believes he has the perfect opportunity to persuade her otherwise as they travel by sleeper train across Canada to attend her sister’s wedding in Vancouver.

To convince her they belong together, Nav masquerades as different people with diverse personalities. As he makes snail progress, he runs up against her sexual issues, grudges and commitment fears. However, he soon realizes he has his phobias too that prevent the real Nav from simply saying to his BFF that he loves her.

This is an enjoyable train ride across Canada as the lead couple begins to understand their feelings especially love and fear. Kat may seem like the one with all the commitment issues, but Nav and readers realize as he poses as “strangers” he has a major problem to confront also. With a throwback feel to the madcap romantic comedies of the 1930s, fans will appreciate Susan Fox’s fine character driven tale of Love, Unexpectedly.

Harriet Klausner

Instant Temptation-Jill Shalvis

Instant Temptation
Jill Shalvis
Kensington Brava, Apr 1 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758231277

In the Sierras, T.J. Wilder and his brothers Cam (see Instant Attraction) and Stone (see Instant Gratification) run Wilder Adventures, a wilderness outfitter firm. Having obtained a degree in wildlife biology Harley Stephens has returned home to Wishful, California hoping to land a research assignment in Colorado, but accepts any job for now that will lead to her achieving her goal.

T.J. and Harley knew each other in high school before she left for college. They are attracted to one another, but neither wants to explore their feelings as both fears commitment. However, when they go into the wilderness to check on her failing cameras that are studying a rare coyote breed, they cannot resist any longer.

The third Wilder wilderness romance is a fun tale of two people attracted to one another even in high school but denying their feelings. T.J. and Harley share personality traits that lead to the conclusion that unlike opposites who allegedly attract similar are parallel lines unless something forces them to converge. Although the clash between the lead couple feels minor, fans will enjoy love’s rocky ride in the Sierra Nevada Mountains.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, March 26, 2010

In Scandal They Wed-Sophie Jordan

In Scandal They Wed
Sophie Jordan
Avon, Mar 30 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061579219

In 1850 Evie Cross’ half-sister Linnie gives birth to a son out of wedlock. Linnie’s mother wants to dump the bastard and her husband is silent. Evie futily pleads with her father, but persuades her stepmother to allow her to raise the child in rusticated isolation, which destroys her chances for any marriage.

In 1854 in the Crimea, a Russian sniper kills Ian Lockhart. With his final breath, he pleads with his cousin Spencer Lockhart to make it right for his baby; whispering the name Linnie. One year later, Spencer is back in England seeking Linnie and his infant second cousin. However, upon finding her, he never expected a sniper would shoot him at home. Evie takes Spencer into her house after her Aunt Gertie shot him. He thinks she is Linnie and she does not correct him. Out of honor, Spencer proposes; Evie wants to accept as she is attracted to him and sees him as her only hope for marriage, but fears how he will react to the truth.

This is an entertaining Victorian romance starring a strong courageous heroine an honorable hero used to being deceived and a deep support cast. Fast-paced from the opening birthing scene and never slowing down, readers will relish this engaging historical wondering how Spence will react when he learns he offered to marry the wrong woman who is the right women for him.

Harriet Klausner

The True Love Quilting Club-Lori Wilde

The True Love Quilting Club
Lori Wilde
Avon, Apr 13 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061808906

When Emma Parks lived in Twilight, Texas she was called Trixie Lynn Parks. She left town the first chance she got to seek acting fame, but a dozen years later she still is seeking major roles as she kicks gonads refusing to blow them.

She is offered the lead in a production in her hometown. Needing to escape from New York after booting a Broadway director, Emma accepts the role. However, when she and Sam Creek meet, the attraction could light up Texas. Still he is a single dad with responsibility for his six year old son Charlie who has been mute ever since his mom died in Iraq and she still dreams of being a superstar actress. Chemistry needs compromise if this couple is to find consensus in love.

The strong cast makes for a deep warm contemporary romance although the plot has been done many times before. Besides the lead couple, the title club members and Charlie enhance a look at the impact of war on those left behind especially when a loved one dies. Readers will enjoy this Texas romance as Sam knows Charlie’s needs and Emma’s wishes to be an actress come before his heart’s desires.

Harriet Klausner

The True Love Quilting Club-Lori Wilde

The True Love Quilting Club
Lori Wilde
Avon, Apr 13 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061808906

When Emma Parks lived in Twilight, Texas she was called Trixie Lynn Parks. She left town the first chance she got to seek acting fame, but a dozen years later she still is seeking major roles as she kicks gonads refusing to blow them.

She is offered the lead in a production in her hometown. Needing to escape from New York after booting a Broadway director, Emma accepts the role. However, when she and Sam Creek meet, the attraction could light up Texas. Still he is a single dad with responsibility for his six year old son Charlie who has been mute ever since his mom died in Iraq and she still dreams of being a superstar actress. Chemistry needs compromise if this couple is to find consensus in love.

The strong cast makes for a deep warm contemporary romance although the plot has been done many times before. Besides the lead couple, the title club members and Charlie enhance a look at the impact of war on those left behind especially when a loved one dies. Readers will enjoy this Texas romance as Sam knows Charlie’s needs and Emma’s wishes to be an actress come before his heart’s desires.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

The Captive-Joanne Rock

The Captive
Joanne Rock
Harlequin Blaze, Apr 1 2010, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373795383

In 885 in Wessex, Lady Gwendolyn is an independent person. Her nurturing parents educated her to insure she depended on no one but herself. When they died, she is forced to give up learning for embroidery by her guardian as being a lady activity though she is bored by the stitching. Instead she climbs castle walls and runs loose when she can.

In spite of King Alfred’s efforts to keep his Saxon kingdom safe, Norse raiders continually assault Wessex. During one of these forays, Norse chieftain Wulf Giersson spots and captures Gwendolyn. Her élan for life grips him as no woman has before and he vows to make the wildcat his. However, as her Saxon countrymen mount a rescue attempt and another Norse raider wants her, Wulf soon learns who the captive in his relationship with Lady Gwendolyn is.

This is a great Blazing Dark Ages romance starring two strong protagonists and a powerful support cast in pursuit. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Wulf sees Gwendolyn and never slows down until the final confrontations. Readers will be held captive by Joanne Rock’s superb historical.

Harriet Klausner

The Drifter-Kate Hoffmann

The Drifter
Kate Hoffmann
Harlequin Blaze, Apr 1 2010, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373795369

Outdoors journalist Charles Templeton left behind the only woman who meant anything to him Eve Kellter when he chose to follow his dreams of climbing seven continents rather than theirs. For the most part he has not looked back to Boulder where she lives, but occasionally late at night he feels regret for what he gave up.

He is coming to Boulder to lecture and begins to think increasingly of spending time with Eve as his life has proven exciting yet somehow empty especially when he muses is that all there is. When he goes to see her, he realizes the error of his ways and vows to rectify the mistake of a lifetime. However, Eve rejects him as she distrusts him to ever stay; believing instead wanderlust and not her is in his heart.

Although the theme has been used quite often, the strong lead couple make for a fun contemporary romance mindful of The Goodbye Girl but without the child or the humor. Fans will enjoy The Drifter as Charles wonders what to do to persuade Eve she is his great adventure.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, March 20, 2010

A Touch Of Scandal-Jennifer Haymore

A Touch Of Scandal
Jennifer Haymore
Forever, Apr 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780446540278

In 1823 in Kenilworth, England, William Fisk forces his sister Kate to work as a lady’s maid to his wife Rebecca by threatening their mother and brother if she fails to spy on his spouse. Kate likes her employer who is nice to her and others; unlike her mean-spirited sibling.

When Kate and Garrett James meet; they are attracted to one another instantly. However, though he seems much kinder than her cruel brother in spite of the scars he obtained during the war, she learns of his secret agenda. Having lived with amnesia in Belgium until recently, Garrett has come to free his sister Rachel from her vicious spouse by killing William for what he did to him and their brothers at arms during the Napoleonic conflict. William also wants Garret dead. The two deadly rivals pull on Kate’s loyalty, but she distrusts both of them; choosing who she deems is best for Rebecca, her mom and her other brother to receive her support.

This is a fascinating late Regency romance from the moment Kate and Garrett meet at the pool and never slows down as one secret after another is revealed. Character driven mostly by the twin competing engines of love and hate, readers will needs little time to adapt to all that is going on as there are several subplots fueled by the battling adversaries. Although William contains no redeeming qualities, sub-genre fans will know it will be worth the time as A Touch of Scandal is an exciting historical.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, March 19, 2010

Flirting With Forever-Gwyn Cready

Flirting With Forever
Gwyn Cready
Pocket, Mar 30 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9781439107249

The Executive Guild of the Great Beyond directs agent Peter Lely to go to 1673 London to locate biographical writer Campbell Stratford and prevent a time travesty as she is writing a tell all tale for her twenty-first century audience. Stratford is authoring a book about seventeenth century artists that contains personal sordid details re the infamous painters that only an eye witness with a time tube portal would have.

In modern day Pittsburgh, Cam is completing her manuscript on the painters of the seventeenth century that she hopes to find a publisher. However, while conducting research over the Net, she is transported to Peter's home in London in circa 1673. They are attracted to one another, but he completes his mission by misdirecting the biographer. When Cam returns to Pennsylvania, she realizes what Peter has done to her and her book. When he shows up in contemporary Pittsburgh, he vows to not allow anything to get in the way of the woman he loves, but the first barrier is her.

Putting aside plausibility, Flirting with Forever is a superb time travel romance starring two wonderful protagonists and the occupants of the Great Beyond. Fast-paced in both centuries, fans will enjoy Gwyn Cready’s charmer as no one will look at paintings and artists in quite the same light.

Harriet Klausner

Darker Than Night-Kim Lenox

Darker Than Night
Kim Lenox
Signet, Apr 6 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 978-0451229588

Shadow Guards' Ravenmaster Lord Avenage attends the Queen's tea party to obtain royal permission to remove sleeping Shadow Guard Countess Selene from the tower. Rourke's explanation to Her Highness is that his unit lacks the manpower to guard Selene, the only female member, and contend with Tantalus. Knowing she was put to sleep purposely so she would lose her sanity, Rourke conceals his agenda from the Queen as he has been dreaming of the woman, who sacrificed so much for London.

The queen and her council agree to have Rourke personally guard Selene, daughter of Cleopatra and a Shadow Guard while Lady Black plans to awaken her and use a vaccine that should control the evil lurking inside her “patient”. The plan goes astray when Selene awakens holding a bloody knife while a corpse lies nearby. As she panics that the evil has taken over her, Rourke calms her down and escorts her to the council where she will be interrogated to determine her mental state and whether Lord Avenage can control her.

The latest Shadows Guards’ thriller (see Night Falls Darkly and So Still the Night) is an enjoyable romantic fantasy as a doubting Rourke, in spite of eight centuries as an immortal, is unsure he does the right thing when it comes to the woman haunting his dreams. Fast-paced throughout readers will enjoy the tale of the two Guards as the hero wonders who is the one threatened by madness and the heroine sees his look at her as hesitation re evil killer or eternal love. The Lenox mythology burns brighter though it remains Darker than Night.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Savor the Moment-Nora Roberts

Savor the Moment
Nora Roberts
Berkley, Apr 27 2010, $16.00
ISBN: 9780425233689

They were friends since childhood, but though they went their separate ways after high school, Laurel, Parker, Emma, and Mac came back together. The BFFs moved into Parker’s mansion and opened up Vows wedding planning company that has proven a huge success.

Wedding baker Laurel has known Parker’s older brother Delaney since she first met her friend. She had a schoolgirl crush on him, but her infatuation has turned to a deep love that she hid as she felt he treated her like a kid sister. One day he got her so angry and frustrated, she kissed him. That changed their relationship as Del began to see Laurel as a woman, not a younger sibling. They start dating and agree to go slow letting their feelings drive them. He fails to tell her how he feels so when Mac’s vindictive acrimonious mother accuses her of going after Del’s money and that an Ivy League elitist like him would never marry a lower class slut like her, she has doubts. Laurel hopes he will stay with her but is afraid that in time he will leave her forcing Del to examine just what he needs from Laurel.

The third Bride Quartet contemporary romance is a charming entry as the bakery chef and the lawyer fall in love. Laurel is a strong person who comes from a dysfunctional lower class environs while Del grew up in a loving nurturing country club family. Both are independent caring people who may find love is not enough to overcome social barriers. Nora Roberts provides a delightful contemporary romantic romance.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake-Sarah MacLean

Nine Rules To Break When Romancing A Rake
Sarah MacLean
Avon, Mar 30 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061852053

In 1823 after a lifetime of rejection and embarrassment except for those after her wealth, twenty-eight year old Lady Calpurnia Hartwell wants more out of life than being a prim and proper wallflower. However, she rejects those wastrels interested in her fortune not her. Still Callie seeks action and adventure so draws up a list of nine things prohibited for a lady of the Ton.

Callie needs a hero to help her complete her taboo list. She selects Marquess Gabriel St. John, whom she has always wanted. He is fascinating by her brazen change, but accepts the terms of escorting her through life on the edge if she sponsors his out of control half-sister. Neither expected to fall in love especially him; but when they do and he compromise her and then demands she marry him. However Callie hesitates as she will only marry for love.

This is a wild, fun over the top of Big Ben Regency romance that will have readers smiling all the way through the completion of the list (Sarah MacLean must watch MLB network with Callie’s nine best rule breakers). Whereas she makes the tale, Gabriel falls in love with her while wondering whether he will survive her chosen nine. Fast-paced and amusing, fans will appreciate the charming wallflower’s Nine Rules to break When Romancing a Rake.

Harriet Klausner

When Good Wishes Go Bad-Mindy Klasky

When Good Wishes Go Bad
Mindy Klasky
Mira, Apr 1 2010, $13.95
ISBN: 9780778328216

In Manhattan, Rebecca Morris works at The Mercer Project Theater. Her live in lover of three years, Dean the accountant, did the books for the theater and for her. He leaves her a short note that he is working late, which is not a shocker as it is tax season.

Dean never makes it to their Greenwich Village apartment. Instead he absconded with her life savings and the theater’s three million dollars. She also learns the play they were going to produce is not available as the Mercer lost the production rights. Homeless as the police declare her pad is a crime scene, Rebecca sees a bit of light in all this gloom when author Ryan Thompson arrives with a delightful play. Stage manager Kira lends Becca clothing and gives her a lamp housing Teel the genie who orders Becca to make her four wishes so the genie can get on with his life.

This is a charming Manhattan fairy tale romance though the genie is street tough (not bottle tough). Although Becca with her profound observations on everything somehow missed Dean being an embezzler is a bit difficult to grasp. However readers who accept that the Dramaturg failed to notice her boyfriend’s felonious behavior will appreciate an amusing tale of a heroine with four wishes holding back on the last one just in case she needs it to persuade her new love they can write romance together.

Harriet Klausner

Her Vampire Husband-Michele Hauf

Her Vampire Husband
Michele Hauf
Harlequin HQN, Apr 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774999

Chief of the Northern Pack of the Werewolf nation, Amandus Masterson arranges a political wedding for his daughter Princess Blu to a vampire Lord Credence Saint-Pierre. He insists the marriage will prove the historical enemy nations can live in harmony and peace.

At the Landmark Center, Blu tells her best friend Bree she will not allow this nine hundred year old vampire she never met to touch her as she rejects smelling like a long tooth. Creed plans to keep his unwanted marriage as a political convenience in support of the peace truce and no more. However, neither is prepared for seditious acts on the part of their respective nations as vampire and werewolf plan to break the pact, nor are the newlyweds ready for the feelings of love.

This is a terrific supernatural political romance in which beloved enemies fall in love and soon find themselves battling seemingly every vampire and werewolf; as each nation has plans to break the peace while the couple wants to prove love and harmony can thrive. Creed speaks stilted Regency, which takes an adjustment, especially in comparison with modern hip Blu. Still fast-paced and cleverly designed, fans of cross-starred paranormal romances will appreciate this entertaining tense tale of a marriage of inconvenience.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Bridegrooms-Allison Pittman

The Bridegrooms
Allison Pittman
Multnomah, Apr 13 2010, $13.99
ISBN: 9781601421371

In the winter of 1881 in Cleveland while it is snowing Mama left. Her husband the doctor and her four young daughters are stunned by her disappearance. The oldest eight years old Vada Allenhouse raises her three siblings (Hazel, Althea, and Lisette) while their father buries himself in his work.

In 1898 the Brooklyn Bridegrooms baseball team arrives to play the local Cleveland Spiders. A line drive knocks out a spectator. The unconscious unidentified fan is rushed to Dr. Allenhouse for treatment. There Vada meets the Cleveland manager and third baseman Oliver “Patsy” Tebeau and other players like Lucky. Soon the baseball players court the four sisters, which Vada finds exciting as her boyfriend Garrison Walker, third chair at the East Cleveland Terrington Community Orchestra boring.

Though readers will need a scorecard to keep track of all the players especially the double play combinations, Allison Pittman provides a warm uplifting historical romance that also pays home to the roots of the national pastime. Readers will feel they are in Cleveland just before the turn of the previous century (and prior to the American League forming); mindful of Meet Me In St. Louis. With a wonderful walk-off homer, baseball and Americana romance fans will appreciate following the escapades on and off the field of the Bridegrooms and the four Allenhouse females whose hearts are stolen.

Harriet Klasuner

His Woman In Command-Lindsay McKenna

His Woman In Command
Lindsay McKenna
Silhouette Romantic Suspense, Mar 2010, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373276691

In what passes for an Officer’s Club on the Afghan-Pakistani border, Special Forces Captain Gavin Jackson notices the beautiful woman enter the tent. He learns Captain Nike Alexander is an Air Force Black Jaguar Squadron pilot who takes her career seriously and as such has no time for men in her life.

Whereas Gavin leads a ten person unit battling the Taliban, Nike is part of a team working a drug runner assignment. Nike is attracted to the handsome captain, but conceals from him how she feels. He wants her and does not hide his desire from her, but also remembers what happened to his last fling with a woman in uniform. When Nike ends up in a precarious situation, Gavin like the Calvary charges to the rescue

The Black Jaguar Squadron military romance is an enjoyable timely tale of love in the theatre of operations. The story line takes a bit to provide the reader with the setting, but once done, the plot moves faster than the planes Nike flies. Fans will admire the courage of the lead couple and several support players as Gavin and Nike work their assignments while falling in love. Lindsay McKenna is at her very best and it shows in this outstanding romantic suspense

Harriet Klausner

One True Love-Lori Copeland

One True Love
Lori Copeland
Avon, Mar 2 2010, $12.99
ISBN: 9780061364945

In Timber Creek schoolteacher Copper Wilson has mixed emotions over her two best friends finding love. She is ecstatic that her friends Willow (see One True Love) and Audrey (see Three Times Blessed) have found love with the Gray cousins; but she feels alone as she has no one.

Expecting to be a spinster, she vows to be the best teacher in the state of Texas. However, in her first week as a teacher, the schoolhouse catches fire. Copper gets the kids out by going back inside the smoke filled room to escort the last two out, but suffers a serious ankle injury when the porch railing collapses. Unable to walk, Copper is back on a wagon train led by Josh Redlin to see a physician in Colorado who can help her walk. As Josh and Copper travel together, she finds herself increasingly dependent on the wagon master whom she thought she despised. Instead she sees his caring traits and hate becomes love, but she must persuade Josh her feelings are real and not just gratitude.

The third Belles of Timberlake post Civil War romance is an enjoyable tale with a strong cast especially the battling lead couple. Copper like her two BFFs was badly affected by the Civil War, but was moving on until the fire. Americana fans will admire her courage while rooting for her and the wagon master to change their refrain of I’m Not in Love duet to I Got You Babe. The countdown from three to one has been a fun historical romantic trilogy.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, March 14, 2010

A Touch Of Scandal-Jenifer Haymore

A Touch Of Scandal
Jenifer Haymore
Forever, Mar 30 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780446540278

In 1823 her brother William Fisk orders his younger sister Katherine to accept the position of lady’s maid to his wife Lady Rebecca. He warns her to do his bidding as his domestic spy reporting what his spouse does or else she, their ailing younger brother, and their mom will be cut off. Katie knows how ruthless her sibling is and agrees for the sake of her family.

Having hid her identity from her mistress, Katie is attracted to Rebecca's brother Garrett, the Duke of Calton, who arrives in Kenilworth. However, as she falls in love with him, Katie learns that her beloved Garrett is in town to kill his brother-in-law after what William did at Waterloo during the war and to free his sister from unholy matrimony to this lunatic. In turn William wants Garrett dead too. Each demands Katie believe and trust them; forcing her in a predicament to choose between her sibling that means her family too and her soul mate.

This powerful Regency romantic suspense has a lot more going on than just the above with each additional complication enhancing the tense tale. Katie is a brave person while Garrett seems to have recovered from his shocker in A Hint of Wicked and William is diabolically clever and unhinged. Loaded with action from the moment readers understand Katie’s feelings of imprisonment, sub-genre fans will enjoy her escapades as she struggles with the conflicting dilemmas of love demanding loyalty to her family or her heart.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Tease Me-Tracy Wolff

Tease Me
Tracy Wolff
Heat, Apr 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451229250

Byron Hawthorne fantasizes about the unknown author of the blog What a Girl Wants. He has no idea who she is, but wants to meet her as she has fired up his imagination.

Writer Lacey Richards has given up on men as they cheat and lie. Instead she uses her blog What A Girl Wants to describe her desires, especially her sexual fantasies, as her release. When Byron learns his neighbor who he also has dreamed about is the blogger he has wanted to meet, he challenges Lacey to allow him the opportunity to fulfill her dreams, which he admits will begin to satiate his own fire. However, someone else has a dark interest in the author of What A Girl Wants and in Lacey's research into prostitution; that individual begins a dangerous stalking.

This heated blogging romance with some late suspense is an entertaining erotica that will remind readers what Miss Manners has warned people: be careful with what you put out about yourself on social networks and blogs. The relationship between the neighbors is hot, hotter, and ultimately hottest to the delight of fans; while the suspense subplot adds danger (and a major reason for blogging caution) to a wonderful modern day erotica.

Harriet Klausner

Masquerade-Sheri WhiteFeather

Sheri WhiteFeather
Heat, Apr 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425232439

Amber Pontiero rejects a one on one relationship because she prefers to remain emotionally detached. Thus she is euphoric with her ménage a trois with Luke and Jay whom she met at a party her mom hosted in New Mexico. However, to her chagrin, the worst that could happen is occurring as she begins to fall in love with one of her bed partners.

One of her mates is looking into Amber's ancestry especially a renowned early twentieth century American gunsmith Curtis Wells visiting England. As he writes a screenplay, he knows how Curtis feels falling in love with Lady Ellen, fiancée of a powerful earl.

Intermingled throughout the erotic contemporary romance is the equally heated historical. Both tales are fun to follow with some fascinating parallels in the plots and with the characterizations. Although Amber is the weakest link as a stereotype rich girl who loves to be naughty, readers will appreciate Sheri WhiteFeather's ultra hot tale of love in two different centuries.

Harriet Klausner

Sweet Temptation-Maya Banks

Sweet Temptation
Maya Banks
Heat, Apr 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425232583

Years after the accidental deaths of his wife Hannah and best friend David, Micah remains a dysfunctional soul avoiding relationships as he hides out in the open in Houston. David's younger sister Angelina misses Micah whom she has loved forever and decides after time at a Miami bondage club to visit him and seduce him so she leaves for Houston. He has doubts but cannot resist the siren of a young woman he used to consider his kid sister.

Angelina begins to learn her beloved's darkest sexual desires. She uses them to make him want her like she does him. As their need for one another grows into deeper mutual attraction, Micah realizes someone is stalking Angelina; he refuses to allow a third person he loves to be hurt.

The latest “sweet” erotic romance (see Sweet Persuasion and Sweet Seduction) is an enjoyable tale of second chance at life. Until Angelina arrives, Micah is a ghost of what he was when he lost the other two thirds of his ménage a trois. Angelina brings him back to life with her torrid seduction. Readers will enjoy her efforts to sexually prove she is not kid sister as she learns his hidden BDSM desires and brings both his heads alive.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Man Of The West-Sadie Callahan

Man Of The West
Sadie Callahan
Signet, Apr 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451229595

Fearing for herself but more for her ten years old daughter Danni, Jolie Jensen flees from her serial convict spouse Billy Dean, who is out of prison for the moment. She drives during a storm across the Lone Star State to her new position as a cook and kitchen manager on a Strayhorn ranch. Her plan is for the two Jensen females to hide safely there.

Jolie loves the feeling of serenity and waking up feeling safe; she also relishes how much her beloved Danni has blossomed with the positive attention the child receives. Willard County Sheriff Jake Strayhorn is very attracted to the mother and daughter, but his gut knows she is on the run from someone; probably Danni’s father though she refuses to tell him. Jake vows to keep both safe when this beast arrives; as he is positive the day of reckoning is coming soon.

Man of the West is an entertaining contemporary Texas romance starring two strong lead protagonists and a solid support cast including the raging husband. The story line is character driven and though Danni is probably too precocious and adjusted after having Billy Dean in and out of her life, fans will enjoy this wonderful sequel to Lone Star Woman, which needs to be read first as several subplots continue the overarching tale of the Strayhorn family.

Harriet Klausner

The Summer of You-Kate Noble

The Summer of You
Kate Noble
Berkley, Apr 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425232392

Lady Jane Cummings knows her summer is ruined as she is forced to rusticate in the Village of Reston due to the misbehavior of her brother, her dad’s illness and her former friends Phillipa becoming a Worth (see revealed). Simply put, the ironically titled Merrymore is not London.

Everything changes when she meets the hermit next door. She knows Byrne Worth is the war hero who saved her inane sibling from at least a beating in a recent pub fight. Each is attracted to the other and soon they fall in love, but Byrne realistically knows she is levels above him and that he is just a passing summer fancy. However, when the locals believe Byrne is a highwayman, an outraged Jane puts herself at risk to prove her beloved is innocent.

With some late suspense this is an engaging Regency rustic romance containing two likable lead characters and a fascinating small-town country crowd who cleverly replace the Ton with local gentry gossip re scandal. The story line is fast-paced as Jane and Byrne become friends in love, but she must take charge of their relationship as he keeps somewhat an emotional distance from his beloved. The sub-genre audience will enjoy this fine historical as Jane insists Byrne is worth her love, but Byrne believes he is unworthy of her.

Harriet Klausner

Seneca Surrender-Gen Bailey

Seneca Surrender
Gen Bailey
Berkley, Apr 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425233849

In 1755 in the Lake George area of the New York Colony, the Seneca tribe struggles to survive the war between the Europeans that engulf their continent. Warrior White Thunder mourns the death of his wife with plans to avenge her murder.

However, his travels are interrupted when he comes across a half dead while female. Although he loathes the French and the English, he takes the woman to a nearby cave to heal her. When she regains consciousness, she suffers from amnesia. As she heals and begins to remember that she is an indentured servant on her way to the New Hampshire colony as a companion to Marissa, Sarah Strong has fallen in love with her rescuer as has White Thunder with her. However, she has a contract to fulfill and an Anglo-Indian relationship is taboo

The second Warriors of the Iroquois (see Black Eagle) historical romance brings to life the cost of the French and Indian War on the Seneca and the colonists with the events, time and place superseding the love of the two protagonists. White Thunder and Sarah are fully developed characters who each understand their love is taboo but don’t care. Readers who prefer a historical saga supported by a romance will want to read this entertaining mid eighteenth century North American tale.

Harriet Klausner

Patience-Lisa Valdez

Lisa Valdez
Berkley, Apr 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425210543

In 1851 England Patience Dare is happy for her sister Passion, but also envious as she wants what her sibling has, a man who cherishes and loves her. However, as one suitor after another fails to heat her soul, Patience begins to believe she will never have someone like Mark Hawksmore is to his new wife Patience.

That is until one kiss by Mark’s brother Matthew. Both are excited by their attraction, but whereas she knows he is her soulmate and he agrees, he feels unworthy of her. Recently, Mark learned he was illegitimate and his fiancée upon hearing the news dumped him. Instead of running away, Patience begins playing sexual submission games with Mark while also assisting him in saving his business, but honor and justice may keep them apart.

With a couple of superb twists, Patience is a terrific Victorian erotic romance starring a wonderfully ethical young woman who enjoys submissive-dominance games in bed while also expects the best out of her beloved. Mark is the more fascinating character as he perceives his life is ruined ever since he learned he is illegitimate. Readers will appreciate this strong historical wondering whether Mark will ever come to grips with who he is.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Coming Home-Mariah Stewart

Coming Home
Mariah Stewart
Ballantine, Mar 23 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780345520333

In St. Dennis on Chesapeake Bay, Vanessa Keaton feels she has finally found a home as the townsfolk have welcomed her and her boutique Bling is a success. Her half-brother town Police Chief Gabriel Beck is always there for her; unlike her mother whom she is estranged from and her father who she does not even know who he is. She is especially ecstatic for Gabriel as he will shortly marry Mia Shields.

Widower and former FBI agent Grady Shield shocks everyone when he leaves his Montana reclusive hideaway where he ran to after his wife was murdered to attend Mia’s wedding as no one expected him to come. Even more stunning is the attraction between the hermit and the shopkeeper. As they fall in love, their pasts keep both from committing. However when someone vandalizes Bling, Grady realizes this was not a teenage prankster, but instead a person angrily targeting Vanessa. He vows to keep her safe.

Coming Home is a very entertaining and compelling romantic suspense second chance at love thriller. The lead couple is a fascinating pairing as each brings tons of baggage into their relationship while the townsfolk add eccentricity into the mix. More romance than suspense, fans will enjoy the opening Chesapeake Diaries tale as two people learn the meaning of Coming Home is love.

Harriet Klausner

The Chief-Monica McCarty

The Chief
Monica McCarty
Ballantine, Mar 23 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780345518224

In 1305, Scotland appears to have lost its war with the English. Robert the Bruce knows his warriors cannot defeat the English in open combat so he decides to use guerilla special operation tactics to wear down their opponent. Thus alliances are made to unify the divided Scottish clans.

Christina Fraser heads to the island of Isla to attend her sister’s marriage to ferocious Tormod “Tor” MacLeod. However, she offers herself in her sibling’s place as she has much more fortitude to stand up against the roaring Highlander. Bruce offers Tor his clan lands back if he vows allegiance and leads a counter force. Tor is attracted to his new spouse but clan restoration and the war of Scottish independence come before personal desires.

This is an exciting historical romance in which the war preparations as a medieval special forces type unit adhering to the Scottish warrior code provide freshness to the tale. The relationship between the married couple add tension as he puts his clan and his battle team ahead of his growing love for his feisty wife who brought baggage into their marriage as her father supported Wallace. Well written, Monica McCarty’s devoted romance fans will relish this deep look at Scotland trying to regain its independence.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, March 8, 2010

Highland Surrender-Dawn Halliday

Highland Surrender
Dawn Halliday
Signet, Apr 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451229243

In 1717 Cam the Earl of Camdonn leaves London for the Scottish Highlands with plans to forget the debacle of losing his beloved Sorcha to his former friend laird Alan MacDonald (see Highland Obsession) and by becoming the leader his clan needs. He hopes his betrothed Lady Elizabeth Grant adapts to life in the Highlands, but if the English beauty does not so be it.

However, instead of a greeting of hello, four highwaymen attack and shoot him leaving Elizabeth alone without protection. Healer Ceana McNab and her lover Robert MacLean assume poachers fired shots, but she soon finds a critically wounded Cam while he locates a frightened disheveled Elizabeth. Ceana heals Cam and both recognize a deep attraction. However, he is engaged though he keeps forgetting that fact and she knows the McNab curse keeps her from marrying anyone though she forgets that fact. Neither forgets the assault on his life and other attempts to kill him, but interprets the cause differently; as. Ceana insists is the curse and Cam insists it is the Jacobytes.

This is a wonderful Scottish historical romance starring a low born cursed healer and the aristocratic obsessed villain of the previous tale becoming the hero of this one. Fast-paced and filled with action and two romances, sub-genre fans will enjoy Dawn Halliday’s charming redemption story.

Harriet Klausner

Out Of Mind-Stella Cameron

Out Of Mind
Stella Cameron
Mira, Mar 30 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778327691

Willow Millet strives for a normal life although her family possesses paranormal skills that very few outside of them do. She has the talent but rejects it though she loves her family. Thus she owns and runs the Mean ’nGreen Concierge while her kin manage J. Clive Antiques though some are in London rather than the hometown New Orleans. She met one man of interest to her; Club owner Benedict Fortune who is one of the few outsiders with psychic abilities, but her denial of their talents drove them apart.

Recently, someone or something is killing her customers. NOPD sees one connection, Willow. At the same time Ben wants his Willow to acknowledge their love and their skills. She continues to reject him and their talent, but this time he refuses to go away especially when he believes a malevolent essence stalks his beloved though he is unsure why but has a reasonable guess.

The second Court of Angels urban romantic fantasy (see Out of Body) is tense thriller that grips readers early on due mostly to the French Quarter atmosphere accentuated by the heroine feeling something shadows her. Humor at the right moments enhances the anticipation that something bad will happen to Willow as the evil lurks in her background killing clients and associates of hers. With vividly described degenerate social galas vividly described that add to the sense of doom, fans will appreciate this fine second chance at love with Ben understanding his first mission is to keep his soul mate safe from whoever covets her from the shadows of death.

Harriet Klausner

The Killing Edge-Heather Graham

The Killing Edge
Heather Graham
Mira, Apr 2010, $24.95
ISBN: 9780778327714

A decade ago teenager Chloe Marin attended a party that turned ugly. She was fortunate to survive a mass killing of her friends. The police insist all the cult killers were caught.

That deadly incident triggered her to become a psychologist using art therapy to help survivor victims and as a consultant to the police. Her current assignment is to help locate a swimsuit model Colleen Rodriguez whose employer the Bryson Agency insists she went missing in the Keys for some fun in the sun. Her inquiry leads to British private investigator Luke Cane who is undercover as Jack Smith of Mermaid Designs searching for Colleen also. They soon find leads to the same cult leader who engineered the massacre of Chloe’s friends ten years ago while the ghost of Colleen visits Chloe pleading for help. More homicides occur as Chloe and Luke are attracted to one another, but ending the cult leader’s killing spree supersedes their feelings even as more ghosts visit her.

The Killing Edge is an exhilarating paranormal psychological romantic suspense thriller that grips the audience from the opening Manson-like slaughter and never slows down as Chloe charges head first into the fray while Luke tends to back away until now as he finally has a purpose: keeping Chloe safe. Fast-paced throughout, readers will enjoy this fine tale as the ghosts of past and present urge Chloe on while Luke begs her to reconsider her face first plunges into danger.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, March 6, 2010

The Secret Duke-Jo Beverly

The Secret Duke
Jo Beverly
Signet, Apr 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451229533

In 1760, Captain Rose looks forward to a hot meal, a warm bed, and rest as the Duke of Ithrone after two days at sea. Instead he checks a commotion at the aptly named Black Rat tavern where he sees two hooligans accosting a lady of quality. He saves Arabella Barstowe from certain rape. She repays him by stealing his horse and fleeing into the night.

Over the next few years, Bella survives in London by copying letters for an infamous scandal rag. However, she also learns the truth about who arranged her abduction four years ago. She vows vengeance, but knows only one person who could do this for her. Bella seeks out the pirate she never forgot. For his part, Captain Rose never forgot the lady he rescued.

The latest Secret Georgian Rakish romance (see A Lady's Secret and The Secret Wedding) is a fast-paced, action-packed tale starring a courageous female and a resolute hero who uses his half-brother’s reputation as Captain Rose when it is convenient to do so. The tale is filled with intrigue as Bella seeks revenge against the person who destroyed her life but instead she finds love as Buccaneer Bella, but her thirst remains powerful. Although the story line slows a bit in the center for fans to catch their breath, The Secret Duke is another superb historical in the Malloren world of Georgian romance Queen Jo Beverly.

Harriet Klausner

Out of Eden-Beth Ciotta

Out of Eden
Beth Ciotta
Harlequin HQN, Apr 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774432

In Eden, Indiana, a bored Kylie McGraw runs the family shoe store while wondering on her thirty-second birthday how she ended up in a rut instead of following her dreams of seeing the world like her brother, Spenser the photographer. She wants out, but sees no way to escape her ennui. Instead she celebrates her birthday by getting intoxicated and taken home by her high school crush, recently returned to Eden as the town’s police chief Jack Reynolds.

Kylie believes she saw a mob hit, but Jack laughs it off as an alcoholic pink elephant. When she begins renovating her store as a means of excitement, she runs into some issues with the nearby business. However, while Jack insists there is no mob presence in Eden, she persists on claiming someone stalks her. Meanwhile widower Travis Martin believes Kylie’s contention, but conceals why from her.

Out of Eden is an entertaining contemporary romance starring a likable cop and a thirty-something doing a life makeover starting with switching from flats to heels. Kylie makes the tale fun to read with her amusing asides and reflective realization that time is passing her by if she is going to go Into the Wild exotic locales like her brother does. Readers will enjoy this entertaining small-town romance.

Harriet Klausner

Demonkeepers-Jessica Anderson

Jessica Anderson
Signet, Apr 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451229571

With a little more than two and a half years to zero date, the clock is ticking down to 12/21/12 when the Mayans predicted that demons will rise to destroy the earth. The only hope to prevent the demonic global meltdown resides with the Nightkeepers warriors who must find their mates to fulfill their magical potential while the Order of Xibalta have other plans to prevent their endeavors.

In Austin, Lucius still feels remorse for being possessed by an evil Makol that has since been exorcised from his body, but not his mental state. He obsesses over atoning for his failures by channeling the Prophet's magic, but is incomplete without sex magic.

Nightkeeper Jade wants to do more than just be a combat support person, but her clan only provides secondary services. Jade and Lucius are attracted to one another so she decides they both can get what they want through a sexual binding. However, as each denies their love while their attraction grows, their King orders them to hook up and to rescue the sun god from their enemy.

The latest Final Prophesy urban romantic fantasy (see Nightkeepers, Dawnkeepers and Skykeepers) is a fabulous entry that moves forward the overarching countdown while also providing a strong story line. The lead couple makes the plot work as each has powerful ambitions that could be achieved if they would embrace their attraction as being more than just sexual desire. Their “Not in Love” refrains while going to the Underworld to rescue the Mayan deity will have the audience appreciating the skills of master magician Jessica Andersen.

Harriet Klausner

Lion's Heat-Lora Leigh

Lion's Heat
Lora Leigh
Berkley, Apr 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425233801

Director of the Bureau of Breed Affairs Lion Breed Jonas Wyatt knows the only person who could bring him to his knees is his assistant, Rachel Broen. He realizes she is his mate, but refuses to act upon his need as she deserves better than him. Still he wishes he was the father of Rachel’s baby daughter Amber instead of Devon, but is satisfied that the baby recognized his voice when she was still in the womb.

Philip Brandenmore of Brandenmore research kidnaps Amber as he plans to experiment on the infant to foster his goal of using Breeds to slow down aging in purebreds. Jonas rescues the baby, but not before she is injected with some unknown elixir. A raging Jonas, who believes in his soul that Amber is his child, goes berserk with plans of vengeance. However, keeping Amber safe comes first, so he moves his soulmate and “his” daughter into the Breed Sanctuary where he relocates to keep the two females he loves safe.

This is a great entry in the Breeds saga as readers get what we waited for as Jonas no longer can deny his feelings. The key to finally force him to accept the inevitable is not his kick-butt tiny mate, but her daughter; sired by someone else. With a major leap forward in the overarching series as well, fans fully appreciate Jonas turn to accept his mate, but will he also go against what is known of Breed and accept Amber too.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, March 5, 2010

Home In Carolina-Sherryl Woods

Home In Carolina
Sherryl Woods
Mira, Mar 30 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 978-0778327561

Sports injury therapist Annie Sullivan is eating breakfast at her mom’s restaurant in Serenity, South Carolina when the newspaper states that Star braves pitcher Ty Townsend is on Injury Reserve following surgery to his shoulder after suffering a potential career ending injury. He is back in Serenity to heal with home cooking, which makes Annie unhappy as they were seeing one another until he betrayed her with a sports groupie Dee-Dee.

Ty knows he screwed up when he could not resist the seductive offer, but wants a second chance with Annie. However, the proof of his transgression is his three years old son Trevor who he is has solo custody of and refuses to give up his child even for Annie. As Ty tries to earn a second chance, Dee-Dee arrives in Serenity willing to use Trevor as an extortionist ploy to get what she wants.

The latest Serenity Sweet Magnolias romance (See Sweet Tea at Magnolias) is a pleasant second chance at love romance starring a warm cast filled with southern charm. Although everyone involved proclaims what is best for Trevor is what they want, each of the adults except for Dee-Dee’s thought provoking BF and Annie’s sandwiched mom come across selfish. Still readers will enjoy dining at Helen’s restaurant in serenity where sweet ice tea is served to drink.

Harriet Klausner

Touch Of Seduction-Rhyannon Byrd

Touch Of Seduction
Rhyannon Byrd
Harlequin HQN, Mar 30 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774487

Tiger-shifter watchman Aidan Shrader arrives In Lennox Kentucky to protect little Jamie from the Casus. He knows explaining to her ferocious Aunt Olivia Harcourt, the kindergarten teacher, was going to prove difficult as she is willing to die to keep her niece safe. He stuns the protective woman with news that her sister Chloe remains alive but imprisoned by the enemy although Jamie’s mom Monica is dead.

Realizing she cannot keep Jamie safe from evil as every malevolent paranormal wants her niece’s witch blood, Olivia puts her trust and her beloved relative reluctantly in Aidan’s hands. A loner who was once sold into captivity, Aiden knows deep into his primal instincts that Olivia is his eternal soul mate, but he distrust everyone since his days of bondage.

The latest on the “Edge” Primal Instincts romantic urban fantasy is a terrific entry that moves the forward the overarching war between the ancient evils and the Watchmen keeping clans like the Casus in line yet also provides a warm tender love story. Filled with action, readers will enjoy the newest tale as Aidan knows Olivia is his forever, but he cannot cope with a forever; while Olivia knows the enigmatic shapeshifter is her eternal love. Both understand Jamie comes before sorting out their feelings. This is another winner from Rhyannon Byrd.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Reunion-Lindsay McKenna

Lindsay McKenna
Silhouette Nocturne, Apr 2010,
ISBN: 9780373618323

Archaeologist Robert Cramer and Taqe Warrior for the Light operative Aella Palas travel to the Great Spirit Mound in Ohio to obtain the fourth necklace piece. Both understand the importance of their mission as the necklace is the key to overcome evil.

At the site, neither is aware of Atok Sopa, who protects the location from his fourth dimensional realm. However, he recognizes her as his eternal beloved but though she feels an incredible euphoria she is unsure why. He comes to her in her dreams where he explains their past and the test of his powers that split them apart to his remorse and her unawareness. Now Atok wants his wife from their previous lives together back. However, a Tupay dark mage has other plans for the priceless necklace segment and those in the way on the mortal realm forcing a frantic Atok to possess Robert's body.

The latest Warriors for the Light quest fantasy (see Unforgiven and The Dark Truth) is an entertaining thriller that combines several themes like reincarnation, shapeshifting, and possession in the war between good and evil. Fast-paced from the moment the pair reach Ohio on their mission, Reunion never slows down as the frenetic somewhat hysterical hero risks all to save the woman he will love for eternity.

Harriet Klausner

The Hunted-Anna Leonard

The Hunted
Anna Leonard
Silhouette Nocturne, Apr 2010,
ISBN: 9780373618330

Seal-kin Dylan Meredith liked his islander lifestyle, but keeps hearing a siren’s call somewhere to the west. He knows not all of his kind meets their life mate as his mom for instance had several mates, but the call just never ceased. No one in generations had traveled far to the west, but Dylan decides to follow his gut and heart.

A nasty storm washes an unconscious naked Dylan onto a Nantucket beach near the home of photographer Beth Havelock, who makes most of her money by photo restoration. When the human and the shapeshifter meet, each is stunned by the attraction. He realizes why her restless call brought him here as she has some of his breed’s DNA. However, they must flee when hunters are aware of him and want his skin that enables a human to alter their appearance.

The Hunted is an enjoyable oceanic romantic fantasy starring two likable lead characters on the lam from some nasty sorts. The story line is fast-paced especially once Dylan leaves his haven home for his destiny. Although the premise is not new (for instance, see Melanie Jackson’s Selkie sea saga), the audience will enjoy Anna Leonard’s take on shapeshifting Selkie.

Harriet Klausner

His Darkest Hunger-Juliana Stone

His Darkest Hunger
Juliana Stone
Avon, Mar 30 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061808777

He had impatiently waited three long years for the right moment to kill his former lover for betraying their antiterrorist team; her seditious actions led to the death of a team member. Now in Winterhaven, jaguar-shifter Jaxon Castille begins his assassination of his former human lover, Libby Jamieson.

Jaxon easily enters her abode and knows he could kill the human traitor before she would even know he is there. However, something does not feel right with what he observes of her; so he hesitates on pulling the trigger. Instead of the Libby he knew, he realizes she is a tortured shell who remembers nothing. Taken aback by her amnesia and his damn feelings Jaxon brings his former teammates together seeking the truth, but remains unaware that the deadly predatory DaCostas clan stalks each of them.

This is an enjoyable urban fantasy starring two lead characters whose acrimony and animosity towards one another seem greater than the love each tries to conceal from the other. The world of Stone is a foreboding grim realm that enables the audience to believe in shapeshifting clans. Although the exciting story line has some shaky moments, readers will appreciate this dark fast-paced tale of betrayal.

Harriet Klausner

Abandon The Night-Joss Ware

Abandon The Night
Joss Ware
Avon, Mar 9 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061734038

Quent Fielding ran away from home in 1997 when she was eighteen years old to escape his abusive martinet father. That occurred thirteen years before he and four other men were trapped in a Sedona, New Mexico cave in some form of a sleep state. Now over fifty years later, they awaken like van Winkle to a world gone mad (see Embrace the Night Eternal and Beyond the Night). He and his cohorts manage to make it to Envy, a bit of purebred human society in what was once known as Las Vegas. Recent information shakes Quent to his DNA core; his father is still alive as one of the architects of the change that destroyed the world. He is determined to track down his father and kill him.

One of the Envy warriors, loner Zoe Kapoor the archer obsesses over killing Raul Marck, who murdered her family. Her attraction to Quent is unacceptable in her mind as her feelings intrude on her quest. Quent shares her desire, but believes his need for her makes him stronger. They agree to team up in order to kill their respective tormentors or die together trying.

The latest Envy post-apocalyptic romantic futuristic tale focuses on two people with family issues. Quent makes Oedipus look like he had no complex while Zoe’s thirst for vengeance rivals that of her beloved. Readers will appreciate this dark futuristic world, as we become aware of how foreboding 2050 has become with each entry. Aptly titled as the night is deadly, readers will relish this strong entry and look forward to the saga of the two remaining Awakening Heroes.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Desires Of A Perfect Lady-Victoria Alexander

Desires Of A Perfect Lady
Victoria Alexander
Avon, Mar 30 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061449482

In 1885 Lord Newbury orders Earl Sterling Harrington to protect his daughter Olivia. He fears the person who murdered her spouse Rathbourne will kill Olivia next.

Sterling loathes Olivia whom he was betrothed to when she married Rathbourne a decade ago. She sent him letters of explanation that he refused to open and used his hatred of her to remain ignorant of her being prisoner in an abusive marriage that her father fostered on her. Olivia learns her late husband’s will contains three stipulations she must meet within a year of his death or she gains nothing. She pleads with Sterling to help her and though he is filled with rage, he cannot deny his beloved Livy anything.

This is a superb Victorian romantic suspense thriller that hooks the audience with the opening pointing of Newbury’s cane in the chest of the Earl and never slows down as the action and second chance at love blend nicely into a strong historical. The lead couple is a wonderful pairing as both remain hurt with what happened and more important did not happen ten years ago. With several twists and adventures, Desires of a Perfect Lady is a fabulous tale that sub-genre fans will fully appreciate.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, March 1, 2010

Receptionist Under Cover-C.J. Carmichael

Receptionist Under Cover
C.J. Carmichael
Harlequin SuperRomance, Mar 16 2010, $4.95
ISBN: 9780373716234

Fox and Fisher Detective Agency receptionist Nadine Kimble wants to become a sleuth, but has no experience or opportunity to prove to her employers she can do the job. She has received her on-line certification for a six-moth class she took. Adventurer-author Patrick O'Neil arrives without an appointment. He needs to hire a detective to find his missing son Stephen Stone, who ran away after burying his mom; but he is unaware that Nadine is not an investigator, as she poses as one.

Nadine and Patrick begin the quest to locate the offspring he only recently learned he sired. They trek through Canada following clues. As they fall in love, Nadine feels guilt and remorse for lying to the obviously worried Patrick who fears rejection.

Patrick is the key as he is insecure about relationships especially after his mom died from cancer a little over a decade ago; Stephen’s dying mom June called him selfish as did Nadine. Readers will enjoy the latest Fox and Fisher Detective Agency tale (see The P.O. Contest and Perfect Partners) as Nadine proves her worth as a sleuth in love.

Harriet Klausner

What the Librarian Did-Karina Bliss

What the Librarian Did
Karina Bliss
Harlequin SuperRomance, Mar 16 2010, $4.95
ISBN: 9780373716227

Over seventeen years ago in New Zealand, Steve O’Connell is home from college. He meets his younger sister’s weirdo friend Rachel Robinson. They have sex as she is in love

At the same time in Long Beach, California, Zander Freedman is short a bass player so brings his sixteen years old brother Devin to play guitar with the band at a strip joint. He plays well enough to become a member of Rage. His love is music.

In the present, Devin is famous for rock, drugs, and sex, but has enrolled as a full time college student at the school where Rachel is the librarian who fails to recognize his name. Her son Mark White, whom she gave up for adoption when she was a teen, hero-worships Devin. Rachel hopes to soon tell Mark who she is even as she falls in love with rock’s bad boy who considers her a fossil that he enjoys kissing.

What the Librarian Did is an enjoyable contemporary romance starring two likable leads and a strong secondary cast especially Mark. Devin is a fascinating protagonist whose attendance at college has stirred the school, but especially the prim and proper librarian with her secret. Fans will enjoy this thirties something romance as the rocker and the librarian write their own loving lyrical duet.

Harriet Klausner