Monday, May 31, 2010

Body Rush-Anne Rainey

Body Rush
Anne Rainey
Kensington Aphrodisia, Jun 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758238993

“Secret Desires”. The three BFFs make a sexual bet. Prim and proper legal secretary Lydia detests the pompous suits she works for during the day. Lydia goes to a BDSM hoping to find satisfaction here. Three hood hunks compete for her, but one of them with his heads un-hooded is the star of her nocturnal fantasy seemingly forever.

“Turn Me On“. Neurosurgeon Dr. Roni is smart and sexy. Like in the OR, she dominates in the bedroom; that is until the computer guru teaches her that she does not have to always be in charge outside the hospital.

“Tasty Treats”. The biker shows up at her coffee shop every morning. Owner Jeanette salivates with desire, but he never makes a move. When she notices he seems to hunger for her she decides to offer herself as a dessert menu special.

These three interrelated novellas are heated vivid BDSM erotic tales starring likable women in lust and the men lusting after them. Although the story lines lack plausibility, readers will enjoy learning what the stakes were, who won the wager were and how the winner was decided.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, May 28, 2010

Boadicea’s Legacy-Traci E. Hall

Boadicea’s Legacy
Traci E. Hall
Medallion, May 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9781605420783

In 1200 Ela Montehue the sorceress knows her paranormal healing skill comes from having Warrior Queen Boadicea of the Iceni as her ancestor. However, Ela also knows that Boadicea placed a stipulation on her even before she was born. To continue to be a healer, Ela must marry for love; if she settles for anything else she will lose her ability that is a deep part of her soul.

Her family wants Ela to marry affluent but odious Lord Thomas de Havel. If she agrees her beloved family will gain wealth and power as de Havel has King John’s support; however the cost is her power as she loathes the vicious Thomas. Ela cannot go through with the wedding to the abusive de Havel so she says no. No one rejects Thomas so he kidnaps Ela and attacks her father and the people in his holdings. Knight Osbert Edyvean searches for the legendary Boadicea spear, but instead liberates Ela from her captivity. He wants to dump her on her family soonest so he can continue his quest and even more so to ignore his attraction to the feisty healer he is falling in love with.

Although somewhat similar in tone to Beauty’s Curse especially with a legendary quest, the latest Montehue historical romantic fantasy (see Love’s Magic) is an exciting fast-paced tale from start to finish. Fans will enjoy the triangle as the two males act and react differently when it comes to Ela; both in their way want her. Fans of the Boadicea descendents saga will relish Traci E. Hall’s engaging entry as a three way confrontation seems inevitable.

Harriet Klausner

Anna’s Return-Marta Perry

Anna’s Return
Marta Perry
Berkley, Jun 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780425234266

Three years ago Anna Beiler left her Amish home in Pleasant Valley, Pennsylvania to live with the English. However, when she comes home she doesn’t return alone. Instead she is accompanied by an under one year old baby, Gracie who she claims as her daughter.

The Plain People are stunned that unmarried Anna had a child out of wedlock and some want to shun her. She conceals from everyone even her loved ones that the baby is not hers; she took the infant after her friend Janni, the child’s mother died, to keep the little girl safe from her abusive father Pete. Anna prays that hiding amongst the Plain folks will keep the baby safe., but fears what she might bring upon her family as she moves in with her brother Joseph and his wife Myra and is welcomed by her father, her sister Leah (see Leah’s Choice) and her brother-in-law and his family. Anna also finds herself attracted Joseph's machine shop partner, Samuel Fisher, who seemed like slow learner to her as a child but now she appreciates that he is not simple but a reflective thinker. As she feels welcomed and her baby accepted, Anna looks back at her reckless behavior praying that her community will forgive her.

The third Pleasant Valley Amish romance (see Rachel’s Garden) is an interesting look at a young woman who left but has come back apparently tainted. Although Samuel and the lead female protagonist’s family and community play major roles and Gracie’s father a minor but key part, the title is accurate as this is clearly Anna’s Return. She holds the well written entertaining story line together as Marta Perry provides a charming second chance at life romance with a bit of late suspense.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, May 27, 2010

Hot Southern Nights-Dianne Castell

Hot Southern Nights
Dianne Castell
Kensington Brava, May 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758223630

Librarian Churchill McKenzie is run out of New Jersey after her classic 1956 Chevy Bel Air was stolen as no one who does not want to float face down the Hudson questions the mob. She returns to her hometown of Savannah where she obtains a library position.

After three years in prison Cal Davis is free. He comes home to Savannah where he plans to avoid his former girlfriend Ace, whose testimony sent him to jail for a crime he did not do.

Cal’s grandmother Miss Ellie is the only person besides him who believes he never committed that crime. Cal finds a key inside his vintage 1967 Mustang that apparently someone wants bad enough to steal. When he hooks up with Ace who was run out of Jersey, all hell breaks loose in Georgia as he still wants her, but Churchill as she insists he call her begins to believe her beloved bad boy make that man did not do the felonious deed and wants to make amends while that unknown somebody raises the already heat of Hot Southern Nights..

The third “Hot” Savannah tale (see Hot And Bothered and Hot And Irresistible) uses humor mostly brought by battling Churchill to bring freshness to what is a heated yet somewhat conventional story line. Readers will root for the Steel Peachtree Ace as she remains feisty, fiery and fighting in spite of the mob kicking her out of the Garden State. She and Miss Ellie as a powerful amateur sleuth team set out to prove Cal is innocent and to uncover who is behind his conviction and bidding for the key (you will have to read to what).

Harriet Klausner

Mistress By Mistake-Maggie Robinson

Mistress By Mistake
Maggie Robinson
Kensington Brava, May 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758250995

In 1820 Sir Michael Bayard attends the funeral of his grandmother. After paying his respects, Michael travels to London to be with his mistress Deborah. However, his woman has run away with Arthur Bannister taking with her a necklace and money that does not belong to her.

Deborah’s sister Charlotte is at Michael’s abode waiting for his return to tell him his mistress has eloped. Irate as he lent Deborah the purloined necklace, he orders the sibling to stay as his substitute mistress. She will be freed when his necklace is returned to him. He further explains to Charlie that their relationship will be a short lived tryst. Thus both are shocked by the intensity of the passion, but his ex wife Anne wants him back and Deborah hovers between Michael and Charlie.

Over the top of the original Westminster clock tower (pre Big Ben), fans of steamy Regency gender wars will relish the sexual combat between Sir Michael and fallen Charlie. The story line is fast-paced from the moment spoiled Deborah informs Charlie she is leaving to marry Arthur and never slows down As Michael makes Charlie his Mistress by Mistake for now.

Harriet Klausner

Forbidden Highlander-Donna Grant

Forbidden Highlander
Donna Grant
St. Martin’s, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312381233

The McLeod brothers (Fallon, Lucan and Quinn) were descendents from a cadre of warriors created by Druids to repel the Romans from Scotland and England. For three centuries the siblings hid from Deirdre who wants their magic. However in 1603, Lucan meets his soulmate (see Dangerous Highlander), but Quinn was captured by their enemy.

In Edinburgh Fallon meets and falls in love with Lady Larena Monroe. He is shocked to realize she is a warrior; the only female he ever met. She accompanies Fallon to the McLeod estate, a haven for warriors and Druids. As Deirdre assaults the stronghold, Fallon plans to rescue his brother, but first proposes to his beloved. She wants to say yes, but knows she conceals from her beloved a dark secret that will turn his love to loathing.

The second McLeod brother historical fantasy is a terrific tale with a nice twist that readers will know is coming yet Donna Grant makes the spin fun to follow. The story line is fast-paced and is more than just a middle book as Fallon’s fate is decided. With Quinn still held captive by the obsessed Deirdre, sub-genre fans will be impatient for his Dark Sword legend as the audience anticipates his confrontation with his much stronger jailer.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

The Night She Got Lucky-Susan Donovan

The Night She Got Lucky
Susan Donovan
St. Martin’s May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312366056

The elderly matchmaking widow Mrs. Needleman insists she is a psychic and informs Ginger Garrison that she will soon get lucky as the man of her dreams awaits her. Ginger gently scoffs at the forecasting as she had one selfish mate and so is not interested in another; that is until she meets nature photographer Lucio “Lucky” Montevez; as the tea leaves said she would get Lucky.

Lucio is uninterested in any woman at the moment. Instead he remains singularly focused on regaining his shattered career as a globetrotting photographer of the world’s wild. When he fails to get his career back on track due to bureaucratic ineptitude, Lucio turns to painting portraits of owners with their pets because he needs to eat. This leads him back to Ginger, her twin teen sons, her pet walking crew, her selfish former husband and the frightening Mrs. Needleman.

The aptly titled The Night She Got Lucky is a fun lighthearted contemporary wacky romance starring two individuals who share in common an attraction and a disclaimer re no permanent relationships; though their reasons differ. Fans will enjoy the amusing plot as the wildlife photographer finds picture taking in a cement jungle with ferocious owners and their pets scarier than field work. Susan Donovan provides a warm dog walker’s tale (see Ain’t Too Proud to Beg and take a Chance One me) with a wonderful story line that once again feels like a throwback to the 1930s madcap comedies.

Harriet Klausner

Married By Morning-Lisa Kleypas

Married By Morning
Lisa Kleypas
St. Martin's, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312605384

In 1852 Lord Leo Hathaway is shocked when he learns he must marry and sire an heir within the year or his family will lose their home, Ramsay House. He has only one woman in mind; his sisters’ paid companion of more than two years, the terrifyingly efficient Catherine Marks although she is far from the meek governess that one finds in novels.

Leo knows he loves getting Catherine’s gander up although he fears she loathes him. Still he considers what life with this passionate spitfire would be like. During there latest war of words, he kisses her. Leo proposes, but Cat fears her past would surface making it unsafe for the Hathaway family she loves.

The latest Hathaway Victorian romance (see Seduce Me At Sunrise, Tempt Me At Twilight and Mine Till Midnight) is a wonderful historical as the governess and her employer take their two year spat to new levels to the delight of sub-genre fans. Readers will relish the humorous bantering between the pair as her brave protector Dodger (the ferret) go up against the infamous Ramsay Curse using love in the morning, afternoon and evening as their counter weapon.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Tempted by a Warrior-Amanda Scott

Tempted by a Warrior
Amanda Scott
Forever, Jun 29 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780446561327

In 1377 Annadale, Scotland, for the past two years, seventeen-year-old Lady Fiona Jardine has been married to abusive Will who thinks nothing of slapping and punching her. Her being pregnant with his child does not prevent Will from hammering her; he even targets her protruding stomach. When he hits her she falls hitting her head on a rock. When she regains consciousness Fiona is her bed and Will has vanished.

Will’s nasty dying father Old Jardine demands justice from Kirkhill Laird Sir Richard Seyton, as he insists Fiona killed his son. He names the Laird of Kirkhill guardian of his unborn grandchild with Richard as guardian and trustee for a lad until he turns twenty-five; and to do whatever he wants if another whore like his daughter-in-law is born. Old Jardine insures everyone knows Fiona killed Will and wants her hung preferably before he dies. The odious Old Jardine dies as Fiona gives birth while Richard plans to protect the new mother and her child from those mean-spirited enough to hang a new mom based on an unsubstantiated rumor, but to do so means finding Will.

This is a great medieval romance starring an abuse victim, a kind laird, and a father-in-law who even dying abuses his power to assault the helpless woman about to give birth to his grandchild. Starting with the Scottish version of Rumpelstiltskin and never letting up with a fairy tale feel to this enjoyable historical romance (including the ogre Jardine males), fans will relish the third Dunwythie saga (see Tamed by a Laird and Seduced by a Rogue).

Harriet Klausner

Crazy for Love-Victoria Dahl

Crazy for Love
Victoria Dahl
Harlequin HQN, Jul 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774623

Chloe Turner is stunned how far her fiancé went to end their engagement; he faked his death. She is stunned by the macabre ruse by someone who allegedly loves her; Chloe and her BFF Jenn travel to White Rock Island to get away from everything.

At the resort, Chloe and Jenn meet Max and Elliot Sullivan. Treasure hunter Max feels protective of his sibling and vulnerable women; meanwhile Elliot remains in shellshock over a recent divorce and agreeing to go with his brother on vacation as he never leaves work. Max is attracted to Chloe so he keeps trying to rescue her but he believes she only needs rescuing from him and his good intention misdeeds.

This amusing contemporary romance stars a woman distrusting men and a man with a hero complex. The story line is fast-paced as Max needs to rescue Chloe who has no need for rescuing especially from a hunk as her broken heart mends. Fans of lighthearted frolics will enjoy this fun romp as Max tries to control his instinctive impulse to save the day but Chloe is not perilous Pauline except for fear her heart will break again.

Harriet Klausner

Almost Perfect-Susan Mallery

Almost Perfect
Susan Mallery
Harlequin HQN, Jul 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774906

Pregnant teenager Liz Sutton left Fool’s Gold when her lover Ethan Hendrix betrayed her. Five years later and much more mature, Liz went home to inform Ethan that he had a child; she reclieved a letter from him saying he wants nothing to do with Tyler so she raised her son by herself eventually becoming a popular author.

Almost a dozen years later, fourteen year old Melissa informs her Aunt Liz that her father Roy (Liz’s brother) was in jail and their stepmother left. Leaving San Francisco Liz accompanied by now eleven years old Tyler returns to Fool’s Gold to take care of her nieces, Melissa and her sister eleven year old Abby. Ethan learns Tyler is his son; fuming he blames Liz for costing him all those years with his child; refusing to believe her “story” involving his wife Rayenne.

Although the plot device of a man not knowing he sired a son has been used many times, Susan Mallery provides a deep Fool’s Gold second chance at love tale. The support cast is strong from the onset as the audience will feel for the nieces and for the heroine who the townsfolk blame for concealing Tyler from his dad. Readers will enjoy Almost perfect as Ethan believes love is not enough to overcome what he has done to his Liz.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, May 23, 2010

That Perfect Someone-Johanna Lindsey

That Perfect Someone
Johanna Lindsey
Gallery (Pocket), Jun 15 2010, $25.99
ISBN: 9781439101070

When they were children, their fathers contracted for Richard Allen and Julia Miller to marry. However, almost a decade ago, Richard unable to deal with his martinet father fled the Earl and the marriage contract for the Caribbean. There he became Jean-Paul the French treasure hunting pirate.

His betrothed Julia plans to end the contract that she believes will never be consummated by her fiancé; not that she wants to wed the rogue. Richard sneaks back into England on business and meets married Georgina Malory (see Gentle Rogue). At a masked gala he outrageously flirts with Georgina, which angers her spouse James. To keep the raging Malory from skewering him, he impulsively kisses another beauty, Julia. She thinks she has found That Perfect Someone in the Frenchman while he marvels at how fickle he has become. When she learns who he is, she ends their relationship until he is captured and placed on a transport ship for criminals. Now she must rescue the man she loves who abandoned her nine years ago, but vows not to marry Richard as she insists she loves Jean-Paul.

Although somewhat similar in tone to Gentle Rogue, That Perfect Someone is an exciting somewhat linked Malory family historical romance. The gender war between the lead couple once unmasked is a delight as each hates most the fact they don’t hate one another but love one another; mindful of Julia Stiles as Kat reciting her sonnet in Ten Things I Hate About You (as Kat said: “How do I loathe thee? Let me count the ways”) to the Heath Ledger character Patrick. Fast-paced fans of the Malory brood loose connections will enjoy this fun battle of the sexes.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, May 21, 2010

Enemy Lover-Karin Harlow

Enemy Lover
Karin Harlow
Pocket, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9781439109823

Human trafficker Carlos Montes raped and brutalized Baltimore police officer Angela Giacomelli while she was on a sting; no cop back-up from the department as expected helped her. Raging she kills the man who walked. As she heads for prison convicted of murder one, Angela knows she would kill her attacker again if she had too even knowing the consequences of her retaliation.

On the way to prison, the bus is attacked and Angela is liberated. She joins L.O.S.T undercover operatives like Jax Cassidy. Her assignment is to kill assassin Marcus Cross and then take out his mentor Joseph Lazarus. Marcus was left for dead by his military unit in Afghanistan; his loyalty is to his savior Joseph; an ambitious person targeting domination of the White House. Joseph soon places Marcus on a crash Hobson’s choice between his love for Jax (and hers for him) and his unswerving loyalty to his paragon.

This is an exhilarating romantic suspense thriller that is fun to read as the action never slows down for a nanosecond. The raging kick-butt heroine and the raging kick-butt hero share in common being left behind by their comrades in arms and trusting almost no one since. Readers will enjoy Karin Harlow’s Last Option Special Team tale.

Harriet Klausner

The Wicked Wyckerly- Patricia Rice

The Wicked Wyckerly
Patricia Rice
Signet, Jul 6 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451230713

In 1807, following the deaths of his father and brother, John Fitzhugh "Fitz" Wyckerly becomes Earl of Danecroft. Being the spare, Fitz was predominantly ignored. He used his brilliancy in math to make money gambling that enabled him live a hedonistic lifestyle with no previous interest in the family estate or fortune.

Fitz finds out the estate is falling apart and he owes a fortune. He does not need to compute to know he cannot gamble his way out of debt as he owes that much. Instead Fitz needs a wealthy wife so he decides to recognize his illegitimate daughter Penelope and take her to London with him as the tool to entice a spouse with money.

Affluent widow Isabell Hoyt is a young Dowager Marchioness. When she reads letters sent to her late spouse from Abigail Merriweather, she decides to sponsor young women bestowing dowries so that they have options besides accepting a husband not of their desire. Lord Quentin Hoyt bets her that these females will choose spouses. The first stake is Abby the farmer who just lost custody of her four young half siblings. Fitz and Penelope arrive at Abby’s place causing havoc as the female farmer considers marrying a lawyer who will help her regain custody of her family if she can find one. Adding to the chaos is the arrival of Isabell.

The first Rebellious Sons Regency romance is a fast-paced entertaining gender war enhanced by the chaos that reminded this reviewer of the cabin scene in Night of the Opera as one more person kept arriving. The wager enhances the fun although betting on Regency relationships has been done before. Fitz and Abby are a wonderful pairing as she enjoys his flirting yet knows he stinks as a father at a time she wants custody of her siblings. Sub-genre fans will enjoy the wild Wicked Wyckerly.

Harriet Klausner

Cherokee Storm-Janelle Taylor

Cherokee Storm
Janelle Taylor
Zebra, Jul 6 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420110180

In 1756 in the Great Smoky Mountains, Shannon O’Shea cannot wait to see her dad Flynn. She is escorted by Nathan and Hannah Clark and their adult twin sons Damon and Drake, but is treated as a servant. A storm scares Betty the cow so Shannon follows her. Cherokee warrior Storm Dances escorts her to safety. After the storm the twins see Storm Dancer with Shannon so they fire at him. They assume he raped her.

Flynn arrives at the camp to take his daughter home. He warns the Clarks to not upset the Cherokee. On the trail Shannon dreams of making love with Storm Dancer. Flynn tells her he has a woman Oona who lives with him. He feels guilty that after her mom left him to return east she died leaving Shannon to work as an indentured servant at a tavern. Her father leaves her to find a horse for her to ride. She masturbates thinking of Storm Dancer who arrives and kisses her. He leaves her a pony and warns her Shawnee are in the area.

At the trading post, Shannon finds Oona is pregnant. Storm Dancer’s cousin Gall arrives and warns Shannon to keep away from his cousin while claiming the pony he gave her was stolen. She still wants Storm Dancer who leaves her a wooden bird as a courting gift. As Shannon and Storm Dancer fall in love, her father and his mother oppose their relationship. Soon the pair feel danger from both their races.

The cast is solid especially the star crossed lead couple while a late coincidence involving her Indian stepmother and the woman’s brother adds fun to the exciting storyline. Although the lead couple is on the run, they stop to make love, which seems insane. Still this is an enjoyable historical as even the tolerant are prejudicial when it comes to loved ones.

Harriet Klausner

A Gentleman Always Remembers-Candace Camp

A Gentleman Always Remembers
Candace Camp
Pocket, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9781439117989

With the death of her military officer husband Bruce two years ago, twenty-six years old Eve Hawthorne knows she needs a job to escape her martinet stepmother. Thus she gracefully accepts a position as chaperone to the Earl of Stewksbury’s visiting American orphaned cousins the Bascombe sisters (practical eldest sister Mary, shy Rose, knife-totin' Camellia, and silly Lily. However her transition to prim and proper widow has a slight problem; her escort to the Earl’s estate is his brother, Fitzhugh Talbot, whom she shared a bit of flirtatious behavior.

At Willowmere, Eve is on her best behavior as she needs the job of chaperone while Fitz keeps up the seductive pressure on her. As they begin a tryst, Fitz falls in love with the charming widow, but soon letters arrive warning Eve to leave or suffer the consequences.

The second Willowmere late Regency romance (see A Lady Never Tells) is an enjoyable pairing of a roguish male with a widow who has just a bit more experience in spite of eight years of marriage with the other gender as her charge. As chaos grows with each new arrival and romance is everywhere while the threat increases, readers will relish this fun historical.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Stroke Of Genius-Emily Bryan

Stroke Of Genius
Emily Bryan
Leisure, Jun 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780843963618

Grace Makepeace arrives from Boston for her first London season. In order for her daughter to attend the Ton’s top galas, Grace’s mom asks renowned artist Crispin Hawke to sculptor her offspring’s hands while Grace prefers other lessons from the rake. He already drew her, his scandalous style having “met” her in his dreams.

Crispin is the prototype of the arrogant aristocrat while Grace is the brash Bostonian. However, his intellectual conceit means nothing to Grace who rips his skin for being so haughty. As they clash and argue, he sculpts and she writes her version of Pygmalian, they fall in love. However, each wonders why total opposites although strongly attracted to one another repel each other.

This amusing historical romance is a classic gender war tale of the irresistible force meeting the immoveable object; as the attracted opposites battle one another. Meanwhile their devoted servants Wyckham and Claudette also fall in love but their loyalty to their respective employers tested. Fans will enjoy the love between the Charles and the Thames as Grace proves Crispin the genius is a dope when it comes to love.

Harriet Klausner

Breath Of Heaven-Cindy Holby

Breath Of Heaven
Cindy Holby
Leisure, Jun 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780843964042

With Eleanor gone back to France, morals at King Henry’s court are nonexistent. When two wards complain to the monarch about the seductive lying Rhys DeRemy, King Henry orders his womanizer to marry immediately. At the same time he receives a royal decree, Lord Edward Chandler of Aubregate asks him to marry his daughter Eliane. Since he feels a life debt to Lord Edward who saved him when he was a lad, he agrees for he will do anything the man requests.

On their wedding night, Rhys’ vicious enemy Lord Vannoy and his horde attack the wedding party. Vile Vannoy searches for a treasure allegedly in the Chandler woods and will kill to obtain it. The newlyweds fight to survive while trying to insure Vannoy fails to find the ancient treasure secret that he would use to eradicate destroy mankind.

Breath of Heave is a fun medieval romantic fantasy starring a charming heroic rogue and a strong woman and a depraved villain. The story line is fast-paced throughout as the audience anticipates a gender war and a good vs. evil confrontation as the good, the not so bad, and the ugly collide in Cindy Holby’s enjoyable historical.

Harriet Klausner

Strange Neighbors-Ashlyn Chase

Strange Neighbors
Ashlyn Chase
Sourcebooks, Jun 2010, $6.99
ISBN 9781402236617

Former Rhode Island resident Merry Mackenzie works as a nurse at Boston General Hospital. She rents an apartment from baseball superstar pitcher Jason Falco; whom she never heard of but her brother and dad think he is great with his blazing fastball. She is attracted to her new landlord almost as much as she is euphoric that Chad the ghost allegedly resides in the historic Back Bay home since the Beatles were on Ed Sullivan. Jason calls his mom back in Minnesota to lament that he has struck out on his first at bat with beautiful Merry

Merry soon finds her unconventional borders are not just eccentric. They include two witches running a phone sex business; several shape-shifters, and a vampire. However, the most frightening paranormal is reporter Lila Crum, who plans on Jason being her double play partner. Jason's kind snooping aunt has chosen his partner for him, but he and his new renter go on a merry chase of love.

This is an amusing at times heated but always heartfelt paranormal romance. Jason’s baseball asides and Merry’s caring for others while knowing noting about sports are enhanced by Chad’s “colorful” commentary. The support cast is solid especially her family and Chad’s neighbors. Fans will enjoy this humorous lighthearted romp as the baseball pitcher swings the bat and hits a home run with a woman who never knew his strike zone until they met.

Harriet Klausner

No Werewolves Allowed-Cheyenne McCray

No Werewolves Allowed
Cheyenne McCray
St. Martin’s, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312946425

The ancient Alpha werewolf Dmitri Kral Beketov informs hybrid Drow-human Nightracker Nyx and her purebred human partner Olivia that someone is abducting and killing his pack members. He wants to hire the paranormal crimes private investigative pair to find out who is the culprit that leaves no clues behind; not even olfactory.

The stakes rise when the culprit kidnaps several werewolf pups. The two sleuths are assisted by other Night Trackers and NYPD detective Adam Boyd, who not just has Nyx’s back but wants her on her back, scour the woods for the malevolence. Nyx soon realizes the vile motive and who the evil one is, but to end this reign of terror could cost her and her partner their lives.

The second Night Tracker urban fantasy whodunit (see Demons Not Included) is a terrific paranormal investigative novel told by the hard-ass Nyx. Fast-paced with a strong twist, the New York City Underworld seems genuine while evolving with Were, Vamps, Demons, and assorted other ilk traipsing the cement canyons. Cheyenne McCray continues to provide strong tales (see the author’s magic saga) to the deserved accolades of her sub-genre fans.

Harriet Klausner

Ancient Whispers-Marie-Claude Bourque

Ancient Whispers
Marie-Claude Bourque
Love Spell, Jun 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780505528339

On their wedding day in 1755 in Acadie, Gabriel and Evangeline were separated by death when the Anglais raiders attack and destroy the village of Grand Pre. Heartbroken yet not giving up hope to find his soul mate, Gabriel asks for help from the sorceress Morag Callan. She agrees to assist him finding the love of his life in exchange for his becoming a Priory of Callan member.

Over two hundred and fifty years later in Providence, Morag informs Gabriel she has succeeded on his boon. He must persuade his Evangeline, who has been reincarnated as Lily Bellefontaine, that they belong together. Lily is attracted to Gabriel, but he does not fit in her life’s plan. Pragmatic, she agrees to a weekend with him, but afterward plans to return to her normal life. However an odious mage and nightmares will not allow her to move on making Gabriel only a memory.

This is an enjoyable romantic fantasy starring a strong female lead, a desperate male praying for a second chance at love, and a powerful support cast to include Providence and to a lesser degree Grand Pre. Readers will relish this enjoyable tale as love is tested by reincarnation and a malevolent mage.

Harriet Klausner

The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone-Leanna Renee Hieber

The Darkly Luminous Fight For Persephone
Leanna Renee Hieber
Love Spell, May 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780843962970

Reckless nineteen year old Persephone “Percy” Parker of the Athens Academy mounts a desperate rescue attempt to save her fiancé, Professor Alexi Rychman and his six Guardian cronies from the assaults of the agents of Underword. However, by doing so, Percy may cause unintended consequences. Her internal magic has risen beyond the point of danger to herself and others.

The Whisper World faces chaotic destruction. Percy knows she must act, but is not sure what to do as war seems inevitable to London in the year of Our Lord 1888 and she has not begun obtaining her destiny as the seventh prophesized Guardian. However intrepid Percy and the Magic Guard who stand with her refuse to flee even if it costs them their lives.

The second Percy Parker Victorian romantic suspense fantasy is an entertaining tale filled with ghosts, Guardians and an incredibly eerie Victorian landscape. The story line is fast-paced from the onset and never stops except for a touch of tea. Although it helps to have read (see The Strangely Beautiful Tale of Miss Percy Parker to know how far the heroine has come of age and how much further she must go, fans will relish the charming yet exhilarating Persephone saga.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, May 17, 2010

Vegas Two-Step-Liz Talley

Vegas Two-Step
Liz Talley
Harlequin SuperRomance, Jun 2010, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373716395

Oak Stand High School librarian Nellie Hughes suffers from an extreme case of ennui. She needs something to refresh her trite life. Thus Nellie decides on a makeover while visiting her best friend Kate Newman who escaped Oak Stand for Vegas.

Waiting for her flight, Nellie feels attracted to another passenger though “Mr. Magnificent” ignores her as his focus is on a Cardinals’ game on TV. In Vegas, having had her makeover since her flight, Nellie meets Mr. Magnificent at the Agave Blue club he owns. Jack Darby makes it clear he wants her, but she assumes her new look caught his eye and that is not the daily Nellie. She flees for the safety of Texas, but is stunned when she obviously doesn’t know Jack as he follows her.

This is a fun contemporary romance starring a lead couple in which she has lust at first sight and he at second sight; what do you expect from a Cardinals’ fan. Interestingly, both are lonely even as he has his family near and women any that he wants while she has no one since her grandma died. Readers will feel the strong attraction between the lead couple as Mr. Magnificent believes he has found his Ms. Magnificent.

Harriet Klausner

Along Came A Husband-Helen Brenna

Along Came A Husband
Helen Brenna
Harlequin SuperRomance, Jun 2010, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373716401

Several years ago, Missy Charms received the knock she always dreaded would come. Her FBI agent husband, Jonas Abel was murdered in the line of duty. Though she grieved her loss, Missy moved on.

However, she is taken aback when the last person she expected to see breathing arrives at her door on Mirabelle Island in Lake Superior. Injured from a bullet he just took, Jonas has worked undercover inside a drug ring since he “died”, but now he has been marked as a Fed. Fuming for what he did to her and them, Missy cannot move on as she did when she learned her beloved was killed; once again he put the FBI over his loved ones and will always do so.

This is a super second chance at love romance starring a dedicated FBI agent and his widow. The key to this strong contemporary is both seem realistic as he wants to stay but feels devoted to his job while she needs him to leave before he breaks her heart again. With a powerful genuine finish, fans will enjoy Helen Brenna’s deep look at the choices a devoted law enforcement official feels he must make and its impact on the relationship with the woman he loves.

Harriet Klausner

The One That Got Away-Jamie Sobrato

The One That Got Away
Jamie Sobrato
Harlequin SuperRomance, Jun 2010, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373716418

Best-selling author Marcus Kastanos is shot while on TV in London during a book tour as someone made a good attempt on the death threats he received since his hardcover Seven Grains of Sand came out last year. College professor Ginger Townsend, his best friend back at Berkeley fourteen years ago, offers him a place to stay to heal. He accepts as long as he can bring his thirteen year old daughter Isabel, whom he just met due to her concern that her biological dad was shot three months after her mom died from ovarian cancer, with him.

Back in college Ginger loved Marcus, but he failed to reciprocate as he saw her as his buddy. However, this time Marcus is attracted to Ginger who still loves him. As in college when he was seeing Izzy’s mom Lisette, he has another female that must come first before he can tell Ginger he loves her.

This is a terrific second chance at love romance due to a strong lead couple and the confused teen. Ginger always loved Marcus, but back in college he saw her as a BFF until she was graduating and he was seeing someone else. The strong cast contains people with flaws as the lead female feels unrequited love, the male suffers from a Peter Pan syndrome, and his daughter does not believes she belongs with anyone; even the elderly neighbor Ruby has problems. Fans will not want this engaging contemporary to get away as Jamie Sobrato provides a wonderful character driven tale.

Harriet Klausner

A Breath of Magic-Tracy Madison

A Breath of Magic
Tracy Madison
Leisure, May 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780505528360

Chloe Nichols is tired of her boyfriend Kyle not moving their relationship to the next level especially when she has magic readily available to give her commitment phobic slacker a shove. Of course that means persuading her cousin Liz to bake a cake with a love ingredient and her other cousin Alice to add magical drawings of the future; both leading to Kyle accepting Chloe’s proposal of marriage.

However, sometimes you get what you wish for. Alice’s drawing contains Chloe with Ben Malone. Chloe ends her relationship with Kyle and goes after Ben, who has no plans to marry anyone. At the same time, Kyle misses his cherished Chloe having taken her for granted. He pursues her with a resolve he never showed when they were together, but he must prove to his beloved that a picture may be a thousand words but lack the key three words of “I love you”.

The third Magic romantic fantasy (see Alice star in A Stroke of Magic and Liz in A Taste of Magic) is an engaging entry as Chloe learns a lesson about using magic when it comes to relationships of the heart. Breezy and fun, with the return of the first family of magic including witchy Grandma Verda, fans will enjoy Chloe’s convoluted course as her machinations lead to an entangled triangular web of her making; because she loves Kyle, but Alice’s pictures proclaim her wed to Ben who insists he will never marry. Tracy Madison provides an amusing lighthearted frolic.

Harriet Klausner

Seducing the Knight-Gerri Russell

Seducing the Knight
Gerri Russell
Leisure, May 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780843962604

In 1331 Spanish Princess Jessamine flees before she is forced into a marriage with evil Conde of Teba. However, her escape places her in the middle of a battlefield as the Moors and the Templar Knights go at it with the former overwhelming the latter.

As he leaves defeated, Templar Sir Alan Cathcart knows his mission remains to find the lost Ark of the Covenant and bring it to his sire Robert the Bruce. However, after the initial shock of a female on the battlefield, he stops to rescue Jessamine. She is stunned because she believes the prophecy at her birth involves her on a quest odyssey has begun with the appearance of Alan. Together facing constant danger, the princess niece of King Ferdinand and the Templar Knight travel to the Holy Land in search of the sacred Ark even as they fall in love.

The second Brotherhood of the Scottish Templars historical romance (see To Tempt a Knight) is an exhilarating fourteenth century Raiders of the Lost Ark. Fast-paced and loaded with incredible layers of action starting with the battlefield first encounter, the pair falls in love while trekking the desert of the Holy Land. Both are believers but different as she accepts prophesies and destiny while he accepts the Lord Jesus. Although like the Indiana Jones’ movie The Temple of Doom, the action often overwhelms the romance, fans will relish Geri Russell’s exciting thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Lord of Devil Isle-Connie Mason

Lord of Devil Isle
Connie Mason
Leisure, May 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780843964035

In 1775 England, Eve Upshall is sent to Newgate Prison though she committed no crime. All it took was an accusation without any evidence. Eve is freed from incarceration, but bound for the rebellious colonies where she is to marry a gentleman farmer. However, her string of calamites continues when the vessel she rides across the Atlantic is shipwrecked and sinking with sharks everywhere.

Captain Nick Scott rescues the foul mouthed beauty and asks her to be his mistress. With words only a sailor would use she tells him where he can go. That is until he begins his seduction with a kiss. As they fall into lust and love on Bermuda, the pair is trapped in the middle of a sedition scheme aimed at King George III.

Lord pf Devil Isle is a great gender war on the High Seas (and Bermuda) as Nick is used to taking what he wants and he wants Eve while she has been on a run of misfortune to rival Job and believes she must remain prim and proper for her farmer. Fast-paced, Connie Mason provides a wonderful colonial romance with traitorous intrigue to add suspense to the mix.

Harriet Klausner

Lord of Devil Isle-Connie Mason

Lord of Devil Isle
Connie Mason
Leisure, May 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780843964035

In 1775 England, Eve Upshall is sent to Newgate Prison though she committed no crime. All it took was an accusation without any evidence. Eve is freed from incarceration, but bound for the rebellious colonies where she is to marry a gentleman farmer. However, her string of calamites continues when the vessel she rides across the Atlantic is shipwrecked and sinking with sharks everywhere.

Captain Nick Scott rescues the foul mouthed beauty and asks her to be his mistress. With words only a sailor would use she tells him where he can go. That is until he begins his seduction with a kiss. As they fall into lust and love on Bermuda, the pair is trapped in the middle of a sedition scheme aimed at King George III.

Lord pf Devil Isle is a great gender war on the High Seas (and Bermuda) as Nick is used to taking what he wants and he wants Eve while she has been on a run of misfortune to rival Job and believes she must remain prim and proper for her farmer. Fast-paced, Connie Mason provides a wonderful colonial romance with traitorous intrigue to add suspense to the mix.

Harriet Klausner

The Darkest Passion-Gena Showalter

The Darkest Passion
Gena Showalter
Harlequin HQN, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774555

He was one of those who opened Pandora’s Box freeing the demons trapped inside; his punishment, as with the others who joined him, is to carry a demon inside him. In modern day Bucharest, thanks to Paris the Keeper of Promiscuity, Lord of the Underworld Aeron has somewhat controlled the insane rages that his Wraith demon inside him caused.

Olivia the Warrior Angel has been directed to kill him. She currently hunts her prey who senses her nearness in spite of her invisibility. Pursuing her target, Olivia finds he is not the evil being she expected and cannot perform her direct order. Instead, she chooses angelic suicide by falling in disgrace. Her wings ripped from her, a severely injured Olivia turns to Aeron for help. He and Wraith are attracted to her from first lustful sight. However, Olivia’s mentor Lysander the Elite Warrior Angel plans to bring her back under his wings and Aeron’s Demon friend Legion has seductive plans for her “pal”.

This is a strong Lords of the Underworld entry as the lead male has been an out of control lunatic so he distrusts his feelings because he knows how much Wraith’s raging has affected his mind. Olivia is terrific as a fallen angel who gave up her lofty position out of love for a fallen warrior. Throw in Legion to the mix and that leaves readers with a super romantic fantasy as this series continues to be one of the best sub-genre recurring series.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, May 15, 2010

Wedding Favors-Nikita Black, Allyson James and Sheri Whitefeather

Wedding Favors
Nikita Black, Allyson James and Sheri Whitefeather
Heat, Jun 1 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425234587

“Binding Her Heart” by Nikita Black. Laura the bride takes her bridesmaid including a stunned Tessa Kittredge to Chez Duchesne, a private sex club in the French Quarter. Owner Treves “Shay” Duchesne is bored until he meets Tessa; who is not much more than a virgin.

“Mortal Sensations” by Allyson James. Even back in high school almost a decade ago, Madison Rainey wanted Thomas Dupree. Now she as a bridesmaid and with him as the best man, she still feels the heat of desire. He is jealous that Keith Girard seems to want his woman. Thomas apologizes for fumbling their date nine years ago and they go to Maddy’s house to make love. However, Keith captures her giving Thomas a blow job on the Net and extorts what he wants from her. Meanwhile wedding participant Alexi join Thomas and Maddy in a ménage a trois, but she wants more from her beloved.

“Dungeon Dreams” by Sheri Whitefeather. In the Garden District at the Bonswa Inn, bridesmaid Kendra Maddon gets hot with her erotic fantasy that gets hotter when she meets innkeeper James Rideau. In a secret room, abetted by the daughter of Marie the Voodoo Queen, and a Victorian necklace, this couple finds all they desire with the Elusive Butterfly of Love.

With a heated nod to Three Coins in a Fountain, these novellas are wonderful whimsical erotic fantasy romances containing the magic of love, New Orleans, and sultry sex.

Harriet Klausner

The Wolf Next Door-Lydia Dare

The Wolf Next Door
Lydia Dare
Sourcebook, Jun 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781402236969

Prisca Hawthorne and William Westfield were in love and had planned to elope until she heard he sired a child with someone else. She rejected him and he turned elsewhere for his satisfaction. Over the next few years even though she knows he never fathered that child, they remain estranged though they are still attracted to one another and unable to avoid each other as their family circles intertwine.

In 1816, her four younger brothers decide they need to stop their meddling sister from intruding on their lives. They believe William is perfect to marry their sister as he is the only person they know who might be able to control their “Prissy”. None of the Hawthorne siblings are aware that a wolf that visits Prisca is actually love struck William, who like his brothers is a Lycan (werewolf being a derogatory term). William becomes concerned when a rogue Lycan starts sniffing at his soulmate. He begins a desperate counter ploy to keep his beloved safe, but fears what will happen when she learns the truth about what he did, what he is, and how much he loves her.

The third Westfield wolfish paranormal Regency romance is more of a family affair than its predecessors as the stars of Tall, Dark and Wolfish and A Certain Wolfish Charm join in the fun of as the back cover states “moon-crossed” lovers. Readers will enjoy William’s Hail Mary though he should have heeded his brother’s advice by telling Prisca he loves her. Instead he complicates their relationship with a convoluted scheme that makes his telling the truth about Lycan and witches so much more complex. Lydia Dare provides a strong family affair.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, May 14, 2010

The Best Man In Texas-Tanya Michaels

The Best Man In Texas
Tanya Michaels
Harlequin American Romance, Jun 8 210, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373753154

In Texas, as much to escape from her lunatic family as to being the wife to a nice stable person, Katy Chronicles reporter Brooke Nichols looks forward to marrying Everett Nichols. However, her biggest problem is not planning for the wedding or keeping her insane family under control. It is her attraction to the firefighting best man Jake McBride.

For an article Brooke accompanies Jake on his job. Watching him, she begins to better understand her family and herself as she begins to comprehend that Jake follows the golden rule in which he owns enough gold to make his own rules.

This is an interesting contemporary romance starring a person seeking safe stability after the wild out of control lifestyle of her family and a daredevil who leads head first into danger. The story line is well written, however the treatment of nice Texas Baby Everett by his best friend and his fiancée who leap into each other’s arms is inappropriate as he deserves better from them. Readers will enjoy Tanya Michaels’ entertaining tale but the third wheel to the triangle was done wrong by those who knew better.

Harriet Klausner

Walker: The Rodeo Legend-Rebecca Winters

Walker: The Rodeo Legend
Rebecca Winters
Harlequin American, Jun 8 210, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373753147

In Markton, Wyoming at the dog parade, two year old Clay tumbles out of his Red Flyer wagon into the path of a snarling Lab. However, a stranger plucks the child out of harms way. The infant’s grateful mom widow Paula Olsen tries to thank the man, but he vanishes before she can voice her gratitude.

From an affluent family, Cody Walker endures PTSD suffered while in combat as a marine. He has come home with plans to be a hermit hiding from his family. However, having seen caring Paula brings him out into the open though he is hesitant. Paula and Walker are attracted to one another, but she has not moved passed her late husband dying in the same war that haunts the returning veteran.

This is a super contemporary romance starring two wonderful lead characters haunted with what war has wrought to them personally. Fans will relish this character driven tale as an ex marine and a veteran’s widow find love and more important solace with one another.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Sugar Creek-Toni Blake

Sugar Creek
Toni Blake
Avon, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061765797

Only for her grandma Edna would Rachel Farris return to Destiny, Ohio. However, when her granny tells her she is lonely needing help with apple harvest, Rachel runs home.

As soon as reaches town, Rachel has an incident with police officer Mike Romo. Since their families are feuding as they have for years over Edna’s apple farm, the pair ignores their attraction. However, Rachel learns Mike has offered to purchase the Farris Family Apple Orchard which angers her further. Still as Mike and Rachel fall in love, will their feelings for one another supersede the animosity between their families. It will take courage to do so.

This is an amusing entertaining contemporary Buckeye version of Romeo and Juliet that pays “homage” to the Bard as even the cat is named after him. Sugar Creek stars two interesting opposites as he is small town and she is big city to keep them even further apart beyond the chasm caused by the family feud. Neither trusts their heart or the other as love returns to Destiny, Ohio (see One Reckless Summer).

Harriet Klausner

When Marrying A Scoundrel-Kathryn Smith

When Marrying A Scoundrel
Kathryn Smith
Avon, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061923005

Years ago Jack Farrington abandoned his wife. To eat Sadie Moon became a fortune teller, which she is quite good at. However, lately her tea leaves readings have included some personal messages that she cannot fathom what they mean. Jack’s visage keeps showing up.

In 1877 wealthy investor Jack Friday and Sadie meet when she wants to lease a store from him. Neither lets the other know they recognize one another as their spouse. He remains angry that she deserted him and she feels likewise. Both moved on. However, each quickly realizes they remain in love, but will either risk their heart again; if they do they will learn the truth of why they separated and who plots to keep them apart. If they don’t, a second chance to correct what should have been will be lost as will their respective hearts.

This is a strong second chance Victorian romance if either of the still in love star-crossed pair takes that key first step of reconciliation. Both are likable but obstinate not trusting the other or their betraying heart. Fans will enjoy this profound historical due to the strong lead pair while reading the tea leaves that insist their friends will continue the gender war.

Harriet Klausner

My Reckless Surrender-Anna Campbell

My Reckless Surrender
Anna Campbell
Avon, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061684319

In 1827 widow Diana Carrick wants the country house that she has managed for years. However, the house is now owned by a noted rake Earl Tarquin Vale. She decides to seduce him in exchange for his giving his property to her.

Tarquin is bored with London and its simpering women. When Diana offers herself to him, he rejects her as being another no brain all beauty. However, he dreams of making love to her so after meeting again, he decides to seduce this brazen widow who has already enticed his mind. As they share a tryst, he displays radical modern thoughts of gender equality while she fears her secret will destroy their relationship that has turned to love

This enjoyable historical romance is refreshed by the attitude of the widow who decides to use her body to get what she wants, his country house. Vale is somewhat typical of the sub-genre: a weary rake with the exception of his position on gender in parliament. He gets education in seduction but it is her secret that threaten their relationship. Anna Campbell writes a wonderful deep character driven tale.

Harriet Klausner

Seven Secrets Of Seduction-Anne Mallory

Seven Secrets Of Seduction
Anne Mallory
Avon, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061579158

In 1820 in London, bookshop clerk Miranda Chase reads the top selling book in the city, The Seven Secrets of Seduction; as is everyone else. The book flies off the shelf. Unlike the vast majority of readers who see it as porn, Miranda sees the novel as a well written erotic tale of love with strong characters.

Viscount Maximilian debates the merit of the book insisting it is babble. He enjoys arguing with Miranda as he is attracted to her. To get her inside his house and from there his bedroom, he invites her to organize his vast library. There she finds him to be caring and passionate though hidden by his cynicism while he discerns her to be charming and intelligent. Miranda writes to her pen pals she is in love, but he is to wed high society not a shop clerk so she asks them should she accept Maxim’s offer of kept mistress.

This is an intelligent amusing Regency romance starring a likable lead couple and the title book that provides the seven secrets. Readers will relish the metamorphosis of Maxim from cynic to believer as he as much as his beloved learn the key secrets lessons of seduction and enchantment, but mostly of love. Anne Mallory provides the sub-genre audience with a refreshing historical.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Skin Tight-Ava Gray

Skin Tight
Ava Gray
Berkley, Jun 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425235164

In Virginia, forensic accountant Mia Sauter is undercover masquerading as an information technology specialist. However, she is taken aback when she meets the human resources director Thomas Strong. She knew him in Vegas last years as a security specialist named Addison Foster, but he rid that identify like a snake ridding its skin although he still regrets exposing her to his prey Seranno.

Strong is stunned that Mia ID’s him because no one has ever done that before; they only see the person he pretends to be. For years he has toiled to enact revenge against those who destroyed his life, but for the first time since his world imploded someone knows him. He wants Mia just like he did in Vegas, but he recalls the last person he overtly cared for: his Lexie and what happened to her. He fears placing the woman he loves in danger if he informs her he is Soren; while a lie will cost him his heart as she makes his Skin Heat but he must keep her safe.

This is a super taut romantic suspense thriller starring an obstinate heroine and an avenging lead male who met in the previous tale Skin Game. His changing skill is beyond just acting; as it is a superpower or curse depending on one’s outlook; thus her seeing him stuns him. The story line is fast-paced from the moment that Mia sees Strong’s reflection in a glass door and never slows down as she refuses to accept any of his ruses except the kisses that feel from his heart. However, their reunion is not joyful; because besides the betrayal, a psychopath who is over the top of the Washington Monument notices them, recognizes him for what he did to the man, and knows how to manipulate his prey.

Harriet Klausner

True VisionJoyce Lamb -

True Vision
Joyce Lamb
Berkley, Jun 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425235850

In Florida, Lake Avalon Gazette reporter Charlie Trudeau is stunned to observe a car deliberately hit a woman who had just called out her name Charlotte. Even more shocking is how faster the driver leaves the scene while the pedestrian is dead. Soon afterward someone stalks Charlie at a time she struggles with her suddenly new but out of control psychic empathic skills.

Chicago police detective Noah Lassiter also trails after Charlie. He wants her to explain his friend’s death to him through another vehicular homicide she witnessed. She refuses to describe the murder that still haunts her. Making life more complicated for Charlie is she is attracted to the obstinate cop who shares her feelings. Finally she knows he is probably the only person who can protect her from a determined killer while he fears telling her truth about himself that so far he has been able to find from the woman he loves.

This is an enjoyable paranormal romantic suspense starring a likable heroine in distress from her new psychic skills causing flash weariness, a stalking killer whom she seen in visions and a car murder before, and the cop she loves. Noah is unlikable for the most part as he refuses to let anyone even his heart gets in the way of his mission. Readers will enjoy this entertaining urban fantasy romance as Charlie uses her True Vision to see the True Colors of Noah’s heart.

Harriet Klausner

How to Beguile a Beau-Kasey Michaels

How to Beguile a Beau
Kasey Michaels
Harlequin HQN, Jun 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774333

Everyone knows that Lady Nicole is the extroverted twin while her sister Lady Lydia is the introvert. Lydia likes the quiet cocoon and felt anchored and safe until her beloved Captain Swain Fitzgerald died at Quatre Bras last year.

On the battlefield, the Duke of Malvern Tanner Blake promised his best friend Swain that he would take care of Lyddie. He now plans to keep his death battlefield pledge by finding her a suitable spouse. However, the problem he has is he wants to be that suitable spouse but also feels guilty that he is betraying his late friend. Meanwhile Lydia realizes she loves Tanner, but to get him to realize that Swain will be smiling in heaven if they marry in love seems difficult for him to grasp.

Following up on older brother Rafe’s story (see How to Tame a Duke) and twin sister Nicole’s tale (see How To Tame a Lady) with the third sibling’s romance, Kasey Michaels beguiles her Regency romance readers with an amusing yet poignant novel. Lydia is terrific as her preference is not to be the life of the party or even a wallflower, but to not attend the gala. Tanner is a bit more typical of the historical as he fights falling in love because he feels that emotion betrays his honor and pledge to his late friend. Although straightforward with a theme used frequently before, the refreshing mouse that roared turns this into another superb historical Daughtry family saga.

Harriet Klausner

His At Night-Sherry Thomas

His At Night
Sherry Thomas
Bantam, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780553592443

Her Uncle Edmund Douglas keeps Elissande Edgerton locked away at his home so she can care for his wife, her aunt who is a pale pathetic laudanum addict. Elissande’s goal is to never be her aunt, but if she remains under Uncle Edmund’s tyrannical care she will be her aunt. She knows her only safe escape is marriage though that can be a risky proposition. However, she cannot even take a chance on that option as her uncle entertains no one and never allows her to go to the galas.

When the neighbor’s home is infested by a large rat population, her uncle is forced to host the guests of a house party. One of the attendees is inane big mouth Lord Vere who is apparently an expert on nothing except releasing rodents; even his brother cannot understand what happened to him that turned him into the fool. However, no one understands he performs as the fool as an undercover means to catch vicious criminals. He feels the real fool when Elissande, selecting an idiot, brazenly enters his bedroom causing a scandal that leads to marriage. However, she quickly realizes her husband is brilliant as love and his inquiry lead to danger for both of them.

His at Night is a superb historical romance starring a masquerading fool and the woman who sees past his façade. Fast-paced, readers will relish this entertaining tale as love rips away the masquerade of the hero, but also places his beloved in terrible danger. Sherry Thomas’ tale is a winner for sub-genre fans,

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

One Dance With A Duke-Tessa Dare

One Dance With A Duke
Tessa Dare
Ballantine, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780345518859

In 1817 the Ton knows the strange behavioral pattern of the reclusive primitive “Canadian” Duke Spencer Dumarque as the Duke of Midnight; he arrives as the clock strikes twelve at a bash to dance one waltz with a different female each time and then leaves immediately. Not quite as well known as his dashing nocturnal spin is that he is one of the ten members of the Stud Club who have a wager on a horse on going.

Rubenesque Lady Amelia d’Orsay decides to be the chosen one at the latest ball by brazenly selecting him. When she notices her waltz partner seems ill, she shows her concern. He is stunned by a twit caring for someone else and abruptly carries her from the gala to her amazement. He is in love and proposes, but before accepting she wants to know more about the enigmatic Duke of Morland. He is four tokens to the prize of wining the thoroughbred (ten tokens wins the steed) but one of his Stud comrades has been murdered assumingly for his tokens. Amelia suggests hosting a Stud Club party, but her brother Jack arrives with tokens before vanishing with his ward.

This is a great regency romantic mystery starring a flawed courageous heroine and a mysterious perhaps even blemished hero. Faster than the prized thoroughbred, this super story line hooks the reader from the moment Dashing Duke Dumarque runs off with Amelia and never takes a respite even for the kissing scenes. Fans will enjoy this strong romantic suspense thriller as the opening of the stud Club is a winner.

Harriet Klausner

Some Like It Scot-Donna Kauffman

Some Like It Scot
Donna Kauffman
Kensington Brava, Jun 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758250872

On the island of Kinloch in the Outer Hebrides, Graham is the McLeod chieftain. He would do anything for his clan who make a living with handcrafted items. However, he is taken aback when he learns of a four century marriage agreement between his people and the McAuley clan. He agrees to honor it.

Wanting out of a life she feels is no better than imprisonment American Katie McAuley agrees to fulfill the four hundred years old pact by wedding Graham. She heads to his home but she feels she already knows her betrothed as each have shared meetings on the astral plane. Lust even before first sight (in person that is); Katie and Graham look forward to heated matrimony.

This modern day marriage of convenience fantasy romance is a fun, hot and sizzling tale as the lead couple has met before they have actually met. The story line is fast-paced with a strong cast led by the American and the laird. Readers will enjoy Donna Kauffman’s lighthearted frolic while pondering the universal questions: (1) can you remain a virgin after sex on the astral plane; (2) can you get pregnant from a sexual encounter on the astral plane; and (3) if yes, is the offspring’s norm astral? All will like the hot plot with the Scot.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, May 10, 2010

Beast Behaving Badly-Shelly Laurenston

Beast Behaving Badly
Shelly Laurenston
Kensington Brava, Jun 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758231680

Were-dog Blayne Thorpe has all the skills to be a great roller derby player except she lacks bite; her aggression meter registers closer to zeta than alpha. Her team has written her off because she refuses to take off the heads of opponents. Thus they are about to release her.

Hoping to ignite her internal flame, Blayne turns to New York Carnivores’ polar bear-lion hybrid shifter Bo “The Marauder” Novikov, the hardest hitting most loathed player in the national shifter hockey league. She thought ten years ago he looked like a big serial killer and now he looks like an even bigger serial killer. The gentlest and toughest are attracted to one another, but her family rejects a non canine hybrid for her. With love as the flame to propel her, will the least assertive Were on the planet ignore her family’s demands?

This is a fun lighthearted frolic of two opposites on the shapeshifter scale falling in love. Filled with humor, fans will enjoy the were-dog with no bark and the seven foot plus polar bear-lion who needs no bark to cause the strongest to weep while finding love in Maine (home of the twice NCAA ice hockey champions University of Maine Black Bears). Beast Behaving Badly is an enjoyable amusing frolic

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Crush On You- Christie Ridgway

Crush On You
Christie Ridgway
Berkley, Jun 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425235133

Alessandra "Nun of Napa” Baci and her sisters (Stephania and Guiliana) vowed to their dying pop to save the family vineyard, Tanti Baci. None of the siblings understood how difficult their death bed pledge would prove when they made it three months ago, but the business is teetering towards bankruptcy.

In spite of her own marital woes when her fiancé Tommy failed to come to the altar because he was dead, Alessandra believes restoration of the dilapidated wedding cottage for use by brides and grooms and marketing her wine will help. Reluctantly she must go to the thorny neighbors and rivals the Bennet brood; specifically she needs Penn the host of a TV remodeling show.

Penn only recently learned who his biological father was; being one of the two recently “discovered” bastards. He wants to help her as he is attracted to her and her energy, but Napa Valley is not in his itinerary even if his paternal roots are there. Finally he distrusts the nun; unaware she has her doubts as he resides in the shallow movie capital. Neither of them expected to want to be the first couple to occupy the wedding cottage.

This is an enjoyable throwback (even with profanities) contemporary romance as neither of the lead couple wants to fall in love; in fact each prefers flight over fight when it comes to relationships. Character driven, fans will appreciate how far the Nun and the TV star come when they learn love means diving head first without regard to safety.

Harriet Klausner

Mckettricks of Texas: Garrett-Linda Lael Miller

Mckettricks of Texas: Garrett
Linda Lael Miller
Harlequin HQN, May 25 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774418

As Garrett McKettrick leaves Austin for his family spread the Silver Spur in Blue River, Texas, he knows his aspirations have been shattered to the bone marrow. His hero Senator Morgan Cox is embroiled in a nasty scandal that has nuked Garrett’s beliefs and political dreams.

He arrives to chaos as the family plans for Tate’s wedding and someone is rustling their herd leaving cattle dead. However that is not what causes the chaos inside of Garrett’s heart. High School teacher Julie Remington, her five years old son Calvin and his three legged dog Harry are staying at the ranch for her sibling’s marriage to Tate. Garrett wants her and likes the young boy while the free spirit that Julie filed away to raise her offspring as a single mom (with sisters) surfaces at a time when Calvin’s biological father Gordon Pruett arrives wanting to be part of the lad’s life.

The fascination behind the middle brother’s tale is that most of the story line focuses on Julie with her fears of what Gordon wants and her sadness over bright student Rachel needing a job. Rachel’s dad Mr. Strivens in one sentence adds realism about college for the impoverished families in hard times. Although the romance between Tate and Julie seem more off page than on, the McKettrick fans will enjoy this fine ranch contemporary and look forward to the next sibling’s story.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Tempting Eden-Margaret Rowe

Tempting Eden
Margaret Rowe
Heat, Jun 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425234310

Since her mother a widow married Baron Ivor Horford, Eden Emery’s formerly comfortable life falls into hell in a hand basket. However, even she never envisioned the demands of her stepfather. She acquiesces as she deserves no less a punishment for being an unmarried ruined woman.

After four years in hell in 1818 she is frightened but also euphoric when the baron drops dead. Now she can focus on caring for her dying sister. She assumes the new baron is a chip off the old block while he assumes anyone who stayed within the home of either his uncle or father is depraved. In fact Stuart Hart joined the military to leave his disreputable family. As they fall in love, nothing will happen unless he realizes she was a victim not a willing companion of his abusive family member.

Tempting Eden is a profound somewhat depressing Regency erotic romance as Eden owns the plot with her plight of having an abusive predatory stepfather. Fast-paced even when tied up in bed, sub-genre fans who relish reality in a torrid story line will want to read Margaret Rowe’s entertaining historical.

Harriet Klausner

Tempting The Marquess-Sara Lindsey

Tempting The Marquess
Sara Lindsey
Signet, Jun 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451230447

In 1798 Lady Olivia Weston is about to have her debut London season. A die hard romantic, Olivia is pragmatic as she knows she will marry out of need not desire. However, she can dream of an adventure with one of the hunks who star in her readings.

Olivia and her aunt head to Wales for Christmas. When she meets Lord Jason Traherne, father of an ailing child, she thinks he stepped out of one of her books as a menacing hero. As she tries to understand the man, she falls in love as does he. However, she believes deep in her hurting heart he still loves his late wife and has not moved passed her death.

The latest Weston Regency romance (see Promise Me Tonight) is an engaging tale mostly due to Olivia who is the late eighteenth century version of Bonnie Tyler’s song “I Need a Hero”. However, she soon learns the other side of holding out for a hero as he has traits that are not endearing to her; on the other hand his kisses are. Sub-genre readers will relish this Weston woman’s witty war for love with her reluctant hero.

Harriet Klausner

If He’s Wild-Hannah Howell

If He’s Wild
Hannah Howell
Zebra, May 25 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420104622

Like most of the Wherlocke brood, Lady Alethea Vaughn Channing possesses a special paranormal gift; hers happens to be visions of the future. For fifteen years since she was five years old, Alethea has dreamed of small glimpses of the same man, but recently she has seen him in deep trouble. Alethea vows to try to save him; so she heads to London to get Uncle Iago to assist her.

Lord Hartley Greville has been the person Alethea has dreamed about. He overhears the niece and uncle talking and takes a chance on them. He introduces himself and tells him what he knows although he is skeptical about the danger he faces which he dreams about. That is until she shows him her drawings. As they fall in love and marry, Hartley seeks a spy. When he vanishes, Alethea and her family search for him because she knows the man she loves is trapped in a life threatening situation.

The latest Wherlocke If He’s … (Sinful and Wicked) is a charmer from the start to the finish due to a strong fully developed cast. Loaded with action and the right touch of the paranormal, fans will enjoy the escapades of the Wherlocke clan led this time by Lady Alethea as they set off to rescue her beloved. This is historical fantasy romance at its fun best.

Harriet Klausner

The Feather-Red Garnier

The Feather
Red Garnier
Heat, Jun 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451230065

When attorney James Hamilton’s firm takes over the company corporate lawyer Meredith Sinclair works for, the two lawyers work together on the negotiations of a smooth transition. However, each is attracted to the other, but neither makes the first step as both understand the merger supersedes their desires. That said that does not stop either from fantasizing and having sexual encounters.

When James applies a magical feather on Meredith, she vanishes having been sent back to 1844 England where she is Margaret the courtesan in training. In Hyde Park, Margaret meets Gavin, who appears to be James. When she returns to her James, Meredith calls out some other man’s name leaving James jealous and upset.

This is a strange exciting heated romance in which the prime mystery of the story line is what the Feather is, as that is not explained beyond displaying one capability. James and Meredith are an interesting pairing as they seem so compatible and falling in love yet totally interpret the impact of the business merger quite differently. Readers will enjoy Red Garnier’s tale and want more feathery future fables, but also need insight into The feather itself as that gizmo is the key “support character”.

Harrier Klausner

Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The Naked Viscount-Sally Mackenzie

The Naked Viscount
Sally Mackenzie
Zebra, Jun 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420102543

In London for her eighth season, Lady Jane Parker-Roth is assumed to be on the shelf. When she enters her rented townhouse from the estate of the late Clarence Widmore, she sees an intruder. Rather than flight, Jane chooses fight, swinging a candlestick at the man holding her. She misses him but knocks over a statue of Pan as Viscount Edmund Smyth kisses her.

Edmund has broken into the townhouse rented by Jane and her mom in search of a paper that could cause some nasty problems if revealed. They stop fighting the moment the statue smashed as each sees the unusual partial caricature. Jane insists on joining him on his quest to locate other statues of Pans to complete the drawing. As they search for clues, they begin to fall in love; but remain unaware that their findings lead them closer to identifying the head of the hellfire club, which means brutal deaths.

The latest “Naked” historical romance (see … Baron, Duke, Earl, Gentleman, etc.) is another wild fun nineteenth century romp that in spite of the obvious time and place feels like a 1930s screwball comedy. Fast-paced and filled with action, readers will relish the escapades and sassy flirtatious yet witty dialogue between the lead couple as Jane joins Edmund on what was his adventure, but now is their quest. Sally Mackenzie continues to lay bare some of the more intelligent amusing historicals on the market today.

Harriet Klausner

Desire Me-Robyn DeHart

Desire Me
Robyn DeHart
Forever, Jun 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780446541978

In 1873 in Cornwall, young teen Maxwell Barrett found a map of Atlantis that over the next fifteen years he obtains enough substantive proof to affirm his belief the map is authentic. He obsesses over actually finding the lost continent to prove to the Solomon club members he belongs.

Atlantis guardian Sabine Tobias needs the map possessed by Maxwell to decipher a prophecy. She makes a bet with Max with the stake being the artifact but she loses. Max is fascinated by her, which she plans to take advantage of even if that means seducing him. She needs the map as they need to decipher the prophecy as lives are being lost including Britain’s generals. Queen Victoria is in jeopardy and next will be the Empire and then could be the world.

The second Legend Hunters Victorian fantasy romantic suspense (see Seduce Me) is an enjoyable frolic as the treasure hunters find the greatest treasure in life is the women they cherish. Fast-paced and filled with non-stop action that would have Indiana Jones needing a respite, readers will want to join Max and Sabine as they team up in love and in decoding the map’s riddle before a diabolical killer leaves both of them dead and the Empire in ruins.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, May 4, 2010

Anna Finch and the Hired Gun-Kathleen Y’Barbo

Anna Finch and the Hired Gun
Kathleen Y’Barbo
WaterBrook, Jun 15 2010, $13.99
ISBN: 9780307444813

In 1885 Colorado Anna Finch’s wealthy father believes the only roles for women are family positions as a wife, mother, and daughter, etc. Thus he plans to find a husband for his feisty daughter who he loves dearly.

Anna Finch loves her father, but wants more than a family role as she loves observing people and relishes being a reporter. She is euphoric when she has a chance to interview the legendary Wyatt Earp and Doc Holliday. Her dad, worried about her safety, hires Pinkerton agent, Jeb Sanders, to insure Anna is safe. Jeb is outraged with the assignment of babysitting the spoiled heiress. He reconsiders her skills as an investigative journalist when she leads him to his wife’s killer, but does not stop there; she digs deeper to uncover what really happened before Jeb kills the man he believes murdered his spouse.

The latest Kathleen Y’Barbo lighthearted yet suspense filled western romance (see Confidential Life Of Eugenia Cooper) is a great fun tale as neither Anna nor Jeb is happy with the arrangement, but as they fall in love they begin to appreciate the assets the other brings to the relationship. Fast-paced yet character driven, fans will enjoy Anna Finch and the Hired Gun summed up with the opening quote from Doc Holliday: “We had a little misunderstanding, but it didn’t amount to much” because the lead couple earn mutual respect, fall in love and team up to try to solve who murdered his wife.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, May 3, 2010

Shut Up and Kiss Me-Christie Craig

Shut Up and Kiss Me
Christie Craig
Love Spell, Jun 2010, $7.99
ISBN 9780505527998

Precious, Texas Mayor Johnson hires photojournalist Shala Winters to do a local shoot to bring more tourists to the city. However, the relatively easy job proves quite difficult to Shala. One might think dealing with eluding thieves and vandals would be her biggest concern; or perhaps a stalking potential killer. None of the above is as big a troublemaker as is police chief Sky Gomez, who orders her not to photograph Native American rituals. He knows the economy could destroy his Precious, but also fears his beloved small-town will become a tourist attraction that will turn it into crap.

Sky’s foster-father has visions of the cop with Shala. He insists they are soulmates, but Sky rejects the old man’s dreams as malarkey although he is attracted to her. Shala has her own issues as relationships die; being a divorced orphan. She distrusts men preferring her independence although she is attracted to Sky and respects his foster-father’s noble intentions.

This is an amusing small-town Texas romance starring two combatants and a host of eccentric locals. Fast-paced and filled with jocularity, fans will enjoy the lighthearted romantic romp although the plot loses a profound opportunity with the lack of deep insight into the race relationship issues of a town in which 65% of the residents are Native-American Hispanic and Caucasians are a minority.

Harriet Klausner

To Surrender To A Rogue-Cara Elliott

To Surrender To A Rogue
Cara Elliott
Forever, Jun 2010,
ISBN: 9780446541312

A proud member of The Circle of Sins female scientific forum, classical archeologist expert Lady Alessandra della Giamatti arrives in Bath as part of an excavation team digging at a recently discovered Roman ruin. Also on the team as a sketch artist is military hero Lord James “Black Jack” Pierson. They have a history that turned ugly when he tied her eight years old daughter Isabella to a tree to prevent her from doing something dangerously stupid; only to have Isabella accuse him in foul language of impropriety.

However, when a blackmailer from her home in Italy threatens Isabella, Alessandra turns to James for help. Although he loathes her snobbish ways, he lusts for her body, so he agrees even though he has doubts she is being fully honest with him. She distrusts him too and both mistrusts themselves as their respective bodies want the other. Soon they realize that lust is turning into something more endearing and enduring, but their lives and that of her daughter and their country are in jeopardy from nasty killers.

The latest The Circle of Sins tale (see To Sin With a Stranger) is an exhilarating historical romance starring two seemingly opposites in temperament and outlook as each is a product of their recent past. Fast-paced from the opening tree incident and never slowing down, the adventures escalate until England is at risk as does the romance. Although the prime villain never seems quite up to the par of bringing down the Empire, sub-genre readers will enjoy Cara Elliott’s super nineteenth century romantic intrigue.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, May 1, 2010

Guardian-Lindsay McKenna

Lindsay McKenna
Silhouette Nocturne, Jun 2010, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373618361

In 1308 Templar Knight Nicholas de Beaufort and his cohorts prayed to the Cathay God not for themselves, but for those who were burning them at the stake. French King Phillip used his army on the Albigensian Crusade killling a million people. However though his body died in the inferno, his spirit and that of his peers survive at the Village of the Clouds. They remain warriors for the Taqe forces of light on the eternal battle against the Tupay forces of the dark.

In the present Mary Anderson has been assigned to find the last two missing spheres to a magical necklace that will bring peace and harmony to mankind. Although he prefers not to return to earth as a mortal, Nicholas understands he must as his task is to protect Mary from the evil Tupay Dark Lord Victor Carancho Guerra and advising her on her efforts to find “Saturn” in her Scottish trek. As they fall in love, Mary and Nicholas seek the final two emeralds with help from her late grandfather, a warrior owned by Victor.

The sixth Warriors for the Light romantic urban fantasy is a wonderful finish to an engaging mythos. The story line is loaded with action yet insures the lead couple is fully developed as they struggle with their quest, a powerful insidious enemy, and love. Fans of the series will enjoy the end of this arc and marvel at Lindsay McKenna setting up the next spin in her saga. Lindsay McKenna can only write books that are sublime.

Harriet Klausner

Angel Slayer-Michelle Hauf

Angel Slayer
Michelle Hauf
Silhouette Nocturne, Jun 2010, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373618378

Working at an art gallery near Chelsea Park where her first showing is being held, artist Eden Campbell muses that she paints angels from her nocturnal dreams, but wisely tells no one her source as she prefers avoiding padded rooms. However, a fallen angel Zaqiel knows who she is and why she dreams of angels.

Zaqiel stalks her looking for the moment to abduct and rape her. As a Muse, she will birth his offspring, a nephilim who will cause the apocalypse now. Demon Asher Manning has been sent from Beneath to kill Zaqiel and as a temporary second order effectively protect Eden. However, he desires her and she falls in love with him; but demons cannot love in return.

Set in the same realm as the Wicked Games and Bewitching the Dark sagas, the first Of Angels & Demons urban fantasy romance is a terrific paranormal due to a strong cast who insures the otherworldly species seem real. Eden is a wonderful female in peril character, but Asher owns the story line as he knows demons’ first sin is falling in love. Fans of Michelle Hauf will enjoy her expansion of her Old Testament Book of Enoch mythos as the Angel Slayer is a great paranormal romance.

Harriet Klausner