Wednesday, September 29, 2010

A Perfect Scandal-Tina Gabrielle

A Perfect Scandal
Tina Gabrielle
Zebra, Oct 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420108491

In 1814 London Lady Isabel Cameron wants to cross the Channel to study art in Paris. To achieve her goal once the Napoleonic wars end, she knows she must never marry. Her father believes a lady needs a husband so he plans to arrange a marriage for his daughter before she becomes comfortable on the shelf. Thus the earl plans to give her to a man over three decades older than her and even older than him.

Desperate Isabel needs to find the right man quick. She meets scandalous Lord Marcus Hawksley, who is her age and a younger son of an earl; however, he is unacceptable by the Ton because he earns a living as a stockbroker. Isabel chooses Marcus as ideal for her; not to marry but to destroy her reputation so no one will wed her. Without a companion, she goes to see him to ask for his assistance, but when he is accused of stealing she is his alibi, but also his scandal. They agree to a short term marriage of convenience, but an inconvenient truth surfaces when they fall in love.

A Perfect Scandal is a perfect Regency romance due to the lead characters, who bring refreshing new ideas to the entertaining story line. Whereas she wants to study art while embracing spinsterhood; he breaks a social taboo by working as a stockbroker. Readers will enjoy the relationship between these ducal offspring; as Tina Gabrielle proves that the whole formed by love is greater than the sum of the individual parts.

Harriet Klausner

A Knight and White Satin-Jackie Ivie

A Knight and White Satin
Jackie Ivie
Zebra, Oct 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420108842

In 1540 Scotland, Dallis “White Satin” Caruth has no choice but to wed a man she loathes. She is informed without her feelings considered that she will marry the King’s champion, Payton Dunn-Fadden; who in her mind is a beast. They marry, but she has one other secret vow; somehow someway she will destroy her brute of a husband who is beneath her station. He, on the other hand, knows her scorn yet plans to tame the shrew he calls wife.

However, as Dallis and Payton live as man and wife, she sees a kinder gentler person than she imagined. She begins to fall in love, which supersedes her thirst for vengeance. Now she wants her husband’s love and perhaps more important his trust.

This is an engaging sixteenth century historical romance starring two enemy combatants falling in love. Each comes to the marriage with a personal agenda that quickly becomes superseded by desire, attraction and love. Although the relationship between the pair for the most part is dysfunctional making the anticipated ending a bit abrupt, fans will enjoy the Beauty and the Beast; Jackie Ivie style.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball-Donita K. Paul

Two Tickets to the Christmas Ball
Donita K. Paul
WaterBrook, Oct 5 2010, $14.99
ISBN: 9780307458995

With Christmas around the corner, lonely Cora Crowder knows she procrastinates in buying gifts. On Sage Street, as such she enters into Warner, Werner, and Wizbotterdad’s bookshop where she meets also lonely Simon Derrick.

At the store, Cora and Simon receive invitations to attend a Christmas ball. They continue to run into each other around town, which has both wondering what is going on as they never met before they literally ran into each at the WWW bookstore. When Simon mentions he would love to bring his sister Sandy to the ball; Cora gives him her ticket though he insists he was not asking her for it. It will take a lot more magic to bring this pair together for Christmas.

Although readers will anticipate the outcome of the Christmas ball, this is a terrific romantic fantasy with a strong underlying message on trusting the Heavenly Father. Fast-paced and whimsical, young adults and older readers will enjoy Donita K. Paul’s charming holiday novella as The Gift of the Magi is learning to respect and love yourself, others and the Lord while doing the fox trot.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, September 27, 2010

Shiver-Jo Leigh

Jo Leigh
Harlequin Blaze, Oct 1 2010, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373795758

Cartoonist Carrie Sawyer travels to remote Crider Inn near Denver for a week of ghost hunting. Carrie has little interest in the legendary paranormal activity at the inn as she is more interested in remaining wired and unwired with cyberspace.

Carrie finds a new interest outside of the net when she meets the inn’s owner Sam Crider. On the surface they share nothing in common. However, each realizes the attraction includes ironically a skeptical outlook on permanent relationships, especially that con job called love. Sam and Carrie start the week feeling ghosts are more plausible than love, but by week’s end, each reconsiders what a Shiver denotes when every kiss they share leaves both quaking for more.

Shiver is a heated comedic contemporary romance starring two likeable skeptics who believe in ghosts and the tooth fairy much more than in love. Carrie and Sam are a wonderful pairing as each sings the refrain from the 10 CC song I’m Not In Love. Jo Leigh writes a wonderful tale as readers will agree that Halloween should be a national holiday celebrated in a special heated way.

Harriet Klausner

Private Sessions-Tori Carrington

Private Sessions
Tori Carrington
Harlequin Blaze, Oct 1 2010, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373795727

In Earnest, Washington, an employee at her family’s firm Metaxas Limited, Bryna Metaxas proposes a partnership with business mogul Caleb Payne of Seattle. Whereas she is talking business only, he remains upset that a relative of hers wrecked a deal while also admiring her beauty. He decides to collect on the Metaxas debt by seducing Bryna.

Bryna is attracted to Caleb, but though he enjoys sex with her, his attitude is placing her below his partners and his mom on his pecking order. When he is forced to analyze his desire for her, Caleb realizes what started as a payback has backfired as he has fallen in love. Now he must come up with the deal of the century or lose everything that matters.

Although the relationship between the lead couple never evolves outside of the bedroom (extremely loose definition of boudoir) and the boardroom, readers will enjoy this fun sizzling contemporary romance. Even with plenty of sex seemingly everywhere in the Pacific northwest, the story line will remind readers of the Doris Day-Rock Hudson fluffy comedies like Pillow Talk; with obviously a lot more blaze. Team Carrington provides their fans with an entertaining boardroom romance.

Harriet Klausner

A Christmas Waltz-Jane Goodger

A Christmas Waltz
Jane Goodger
Zebra, Oct 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420111507

In 1894 Lady Amelia Wellesley arrives in Small Fork, Texas from England. Her first impression is go back home to Meremont immediately as this wild frontier is nothing like that described to her by her fiancé Wild West show performer Carson Kitteridge.

Amelia quickly learns that Carson the charmer is a duplicitous person. He fabricated many things including their marriage. Carson’s older brother Dr. Boone Kitteridge is a stable no nonsense person. He has quickly fallen in love with the Englishwoman and offers to marry her. Although she does not love Boone she accepts his proposal. They travel to England where he becomes the village doctor and she his wife. However, doubts leave their relationship tenuous at best.

The latest Jane Goodger Christmas historical romance (see A Christmas Scandal) is warm late Victorian tale. The support cast is solid, but it is the American doctor and his aristocratic English wife who turn A Christmas Waltz into a poignant story; as he is Running Scared (Roy Orbison tune) of the return of his brother in their lives while she fears she will never love her caring husband.

Harriet Klausner

The Christmas Knight-Michele Sinclair

The Christmas Knight
Michele Sinclair
Zebra, Oct 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420108552

In 1154, their father has gone off to escort the new heir to Hunswick Castle. He leaves behind his oldest daughter Bronwyn de Betron to take charge of their home and watch over her two always battling younger sisters (Lily and Edythe).

To the de Betron siblings’ shock and grief, their father dies. The new heir Lord Ranulf de Gunnar arrives at the castle and proves to be a cold despicable boor. Making matters more difficult for the grieving siblings, recently crowned King Henry has ordered Ranulf to marry Edythe. Heeding Lily’s suggestion as she knows her sibling could not deal with such an odious person, Bronwyn impersonates her sibling until they can escape. Instead she falls in love with brusque Ranulf, who hides a warm compassionate heart from his new charges.

This is a super Normandy medieval romance starring two lonely people, who fall in love, but the deception leaves both with no future together; ironically without the ruse they would still have no future together. The lead couple and her sisters make for a strong entertaining historical as fans will wonder if The Christmas Knight will marry for love or duty.

Harriet Klausner

Scandal Of The Season-Christie Kelley

Scandal Of The Season
Christie Kelley
Zebra, Oct 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420108774

Ten years may have passed since Viscount Anthony Westfield spent time with a flower girl on the church steps but he has not forgotten her. He has not seen her since; that is until now in 1817 when he runs into (and almost run over) the girl who has haunted his dreams.

Observing her closely, a disappointed Anthony realizes his fantasy is a pickpocket who he can use on his mission. Anthony blackmails Victoria Seaton into pretending to be his mistress at a holiday house party. Victoria has never forgotten the hunk who took her heart and more a decade ago. As they work together on his dangerous assignment, the greatest peril is to their respective hearts, which knew the truth when they first met.

This is a super Regency romantic suspense as Victoria steals more than just values from the affluent as she takes Anthony’s heart; however, he also possesses hers as he did when they first met years ago and with every mistletoe kiss. Fast-paced with a strong supporting suspense subplot, the pair will become Something Scandalous if they follow the flow of their love. However, with the desertion by his mother years ago still haunting his relationships, readers will enjoy the matching of two people in love with no hope for a future together.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, September 24, 2010

Unbound-Kay Danella

Kay Danella
Heat, Oct 5 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425234440

Jamyl Kharym Rashad was forced to abdicate from House Dilaryn; for their safety he took his family off Lomida. His beloved daughter Asrial, no longer a sovreine, became a rim relic hunter. When her cousin Amin, who helped her parents and her when they fled for their safety, crashed his cargo ship on Lyrel 9; she took over some of his more daring missions.

Currently she is flying solo on the Castel searching a remote untouched by grounders area for relics on planet Maj. However, something happens when she enters the planetary atmosphere to her ship sending it off course. She makes it to the surface safe while wondering if it is time to use her name to obtain a corporate job in the inner rim worlds.

Asrial finds a vase containing a djinn. He informs her he is Romir. On the Castel, they make love as they are attracted to one another. However, as he revels in her passion and his first taste of freedom in ages, the vase demands his return as he is locked to his glass prison. To liberate her beloved, Asrial knows she must go home to dangerous for her Lomida, which she has avoided since she and her family became exiles.

This heated outer space romantic fantasy is a wonderful tale due to the relationship between the lead couple; as each risks death for the other (a sort of macabre erotic twist on Gift of the Magi). The story line is fast-paced, albeit a bit thinner than Romir’s third leg yet readers will relish the journey into the unique hotter than the sun Danella universe.

Harriet Klausner

Holiday Affair-Lisa Plumley

Holiday Affair
Lisa Plumley
Zebra, Oct 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420105698

In San Diego, divorcee Karina Barrett wants her three elementary school aged children (Olivia, Josh and Michael) to have a nice Christmas. Their father Eric is planning to spend the holiday at a beautiful Caribbean condo with his much younger girlfriend Chelsea and her parents. Based in the Outback divorcee Reid Sullivan takes his two tweener daughters Alexis and Nicole on his treks to host survival gigs around the world.

Karina’s sister Stephanie asks her to replace her as a mystery shopper for Edgewater Consulting as her son is ill. Karina reluctantly agrees to go with her three kids to Kismet, Michigan to spend Christmas week at the Christmas House B&B. At the same time in Australia Reid learns that his grandparents need him home on an emergency. He drops everything and with the kids flies to Kismet where his family owns and runs the Christmas House B&B.

Reid’s grandparents inform him they are selling the B&B and put a down payment on a home in Arizona. They need him to run the place because they cannot stay. At the B&B, Reid and Karina meet and are instantly attracted to one another. Soon after that initial meeting; Reid and Karina make love and agree to a Holiday Affair. However, their five kids and other family members have different perspectives on the adult relationship starting and ending with his nookie beard.

The ensemble cast seems different and fully developed while the lead couple is a nice pairing of single parents. Although the story line is thin and the kids’ issues resolved too easily, fans who enjoy Christmas holiday romances will want to read Lisa Plumley’s warm family drama.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Aching For Always-Gwen Cready

Aching For Always
Gwen Cready
Pocket, Sep 28 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9781439107287

The daughter of an internationally renowned map maker, Josephine O’Malley runs the Pittsburgh based Brand O’Malley Map Company. However, technology has cut into the demand for paper maps leaving the business near bankruptcy in spite of her Herculean efforts to keep the firm solvent. Business mogul Rogan Reynolds is the only reason her map business still lives. She is grateful and attracted to her benefactor and considers taking their relationship to the next level; something that he wants.

Joss meets Hugh Hawksmoor, but is unaware that he actually comes from late seventeenth century Scotland. He has traveled to the future to retrieve a map and to kill the ancestor of a person who murdered his brother on the High Seas off Scotland and destroyed countless number of lives including his. Hugh tricks Joss into going back in time to undo what was done.

This is a terrific time travel romantic suspense that grips readers from the moment Hugh (speaking like his acting namesake Grant) arrives in Pittsburgh and never slows down until the final climax. With a great twist, sub-genre readers will salute Gwen Cready for her refreshing exhilarating tale.

Harriet Klausner

Deadly Promises-Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laura Griffin, Cindy Gerard, Dianna Love

Deadly Promises
Sherrilyn Kenyon, Laura Griffin, Cindy Gerard, Dianna Love
Pocket, Sep 28 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9781439191118

“Just Bad Enough” by Sherrilyn Kenyon and Dianna Love. CeCe Caprice earns her living by performing as a statue. Her performance is so good, someone assumes she is a statue and hides a revealing recording on her body. Only her next door neighbor, Bureau of American Defense undercover agent Jeremy Sunn might be able to keep CeCe safe from the mob.

“Leave No Trace” by Cindy Gerard. CIA operative David Cavanaugh goes to Myanmar to get American Carrie Granger out of a labor prison.

“Unstoppable” by Laura Griffin. Forensic anthropologist Kelsey Quinn and former SEAL Gage Brewer accidentally end up at a location where a double murder occurred several months ago. The murders have ties to illegal immigration and a terrorist plot.

Although readers will need to ignore believability (big time for the first two entries and somewhat less for the other) romantic suspense fans will enjoy the latest BAD tale and the other two action-packed thrillers.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Dance With The Doctor-Cindi Myers

Dance With The Doctor
Cindi Myers
Harlequin SuperRomance, Oct 12 2010, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373716678

In Colorado two years ago, Darcy O’Connor’s husband Pete and their six year old son Riley died in a car crash. Grieving, she donated their organs so others could live.

Now, though she has doubts, Darcy opens a Belly Dancing for Girlz class at a dance studio. She quickly enjoys the session as the eight preteens have a good time. The smiles of small Taylor makes it especially rewarding. Dr. Mike Carter arrives to pick up his daughter Taylor and he asks her if she is okay as she seems a bit flushed. The child says the class was awesome. He quickly interrogates Darcy with questions on children and CPR as his former wife Melissa signed their kid to the class.

Darcy receives a letter form the Colorado Donor Alliance in Denver in which the director informs her that Riley’s heart saved the life of a child and the family would like to thank her in person. After the next class, Mike, Darcy and Taylor realize her son’s heart is beating inside the little girl. As she helps the child with her confidence as much as with dancing, Darcy and Mike fall in love. However though she has doubts as she always will love her Pete; Mike is the wedge as he fears a second chance.

This is a warm Rocky Mountain family drama with a strong cast including memories of Riley. Although the initial two meetings, especially the second revelatory encounter require a bit of acceptance, readers will relish Cindi Myers’ wonderful contemporary second dance at love.

Harriet Klausner

Christmas with the Duchess-Tamara Lejeune

Christmas with the Duchess
Tamara Lejeune
Zebra, Oct 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420108736

Duchess Emma Grey Fitzroy is a widow with two young kids. She loathes the uninvited annual invasion by her late husband Henry’s family, but there is little she can do to prevent the Fitzroy clan coming for Christmas. Emma especially fears Henry’s odious Uncle Hugh, who uses his nephews as a means of controlling the Duchess.

Fuming at Hugh’s highhandedness, Emma seduces the nephew of her enemy’s wife. An Earl and naval officer, naive Nicholas St. Austell falls in love with the older Emma, but soon learns of her duplicitous using him to get back at his uncle in name only. Nicholas soon marries one of his five female cousins though he has problems delineating any of them from the pack.

A year later, Nicholas pleads with Emma to mentor him on becoming a better lover as he is losing the interest of his spouse. He quickly realizes he still loves the Duchess, but this time, Emma realizes she reciprocates. With no hope beyond an affair as she vows to never marry again and he refuses to file for divorce, love is not enough for this seemingly star-crossed pair.

With a seemingly zillion subplots that include many descendents from the three interrelated families, Tamara Lejeune provides readers with a complicated regency romance that somehow mostly focuses on the relationship between Emma and Nicholas. The support cast is solid in spite of the many players and even the five daughters of Hugh have differing personalities. Readers will enjoy spending the holidays with the Grey, Fitzroy and St. Austell clans.

Harriet Klausner

To Save The Devil-Kate Moore

To Save The Devil
Kate Moore
Berkley, Oct 5 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425237489

Will Jones has been a spy and a Bow Street Runner. However, in 1820 his mission in London is more personal. He wants to destroy Archibald March, who most of England believe is a great benefactor and philanthropist. Will, his brother Xander and his new sister-in-law Cleo know better that March is a murdering maggot who uses blackmail of authorities to keep the powerful under his control. The brothers learned this when they began their search for their abducted younger sibling Kit and rescued Cleo (see To Tempt a Saint).

Undercover as Vicomte de Villard, Will attends an auction in which Helen of Troy is for sale. He pays a fortune to win the bid for the virgin. She stands ready to bash his head in with a candlestick as he is ready to leave with Helen. He escapes with a bound Helen who insists she must return to the brothel to retrieve something, but refuses to tell him what she needs. Helen rejects his protection and escapes into the slums of London as she plots on returning to the brothel to find damning seditious documents that March has on her mother. Spellbound to his Helen, Will searches for his not so Sleeping Beauty.

The middle Sons of Sins Regency romance continues the insightful dark look at the underbelly of London as Will and Helen collide in a brothel. Fast-paced as Will desperately works the slums he worked as a Bow Street Runner, but his impetus is greater as this is personal. His mind is distracted from the mission of rescuing the third “living sin” of their courtesan mom Sophie Rhys-Jones. Helen more than proves she is his equal, but evil March remains a powerful force.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The Reluctant Wrangler-Roxann Delaney

The Reluctant Wrangler
Roxann Delaney
Harlequin American Romance, Oct 12 2010, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373753314

Nikki Johannson accepts a position as a housemother to troubled boys ranging in age from eight to fifteen at the Bent Tree in Oklahoma. She will also provide riding lesions to her charges. However, Nikki has a secret agenda for wanting to come to the ranch; her brother Tanner O’Brien, who never knew he has a sister, owns the spread.

She conceals her secret for now though she is welcomed warmly by her sister in law Jules and is attracted to aloof wrangler William “Mac” MacGregor. Although he wants nothing to do with the newcomer as he has his own agenda, Mac knows he wants Nikki. As they fall in love, Mac learns the secret of who Nikki is. Her deception is the one thing that breaks them apart.

The sequel to The Rodeo Rider (Jules and Tanner’s tale) is a warm ranch romance starring a fabulous lead pair and a strong wonderful cast especially the kids and the extended family. Mac and Nikki are a fine pairing as each has secrets, but it is her concealment that drives them apart and her from the ranch. Readers will enjoy this entertaining Oklahoma tale as Roxann Delaney provides a fine family drama.

Harriet Klausner

Santa in Montana-Janet Dailey

Santa in Montana
Janet Dailey
Zebra, Oct 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9781420114744

As the Chinook snoweater wind blew across Montana, Triple C Ranch patriarch Chase Calder plans on making this the greatest holiday celebration yet. He looks forward to his family reunion, but has a goal this year besides warmly greeting everyone and exchanging gifts. This Christmas he wants his beloved daughter Cat Echohawk to move on with a man. Chase is realistic that his offspring feels she does not need a third man in her life; having lost a fiancé and a husband, but her father believes he knows best.

His candidate is Wade Rogers who seems like a nice person. Wade and Chase are doing business together, in which Cat’s dad acts mysteriously. Still she likes his voice and his demeanor as he already proved to be a kind person when he helped her with a box without knowing who she is. With her father playing matchmaker, Wade and Cat begin to fall in love, but she has doubts wondering how shallow can she be; trice seems too many times to be in love.

This is an entertaining Calder Christmas tale as two love stories are the gifts that Janet Dailey bestows her myriad of readers. The story line is driven by the clan with the prime emphasis on Cat and Wade, and a bit of a mystery re another cast member resolved. Fans will enjoy spending the holidays with the Calders in snowy Big Sky Country.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, September 20, 2010

Call Me Mrs. Miracle-Debbie Macomber

Call Me Mrs. Miracle
Debbie Macomber
Mira, Sep 28 2010, $16.95
ISBN: 9780778328193

Heir Finley’s Department Store Jake Finley and his owner dad Jacob never celebrate Christmas although that is the critical business period. Unlike the jolly New York shoppers, father and son never forgot the tragedy that occurred two decades ago on Christmas Eve when his mom and sis died in a car crash; his dad especially refuses to celebrate.

In Brooklyn, single Holly Larson struggles with having eight year old Gabe living with her. However, with her widower brother Mickey serving in Afghanistan for fifteen months and their parents in Haiti providing medical assistance, her nephew resides with the only option left for him, his fraternal aunt. Finley Department Store seasonal employee Emily “Mrs. Miracle” Merkle thinks Jake and Holly, who meet over coffee, are a perfect match; so she plans to live up to her nickname using a toy robot that Gabe wants as the matchmaker.

Following the recent movie rendition of Debbie Macomber’s Mrs. Miracle, Mrs. Merkle returns for another holiday matchmaking extravaganza. The story line is lighthearted inspirational fun though follows the obvious simplistic path that readers will expect to occur. Still Yuletide fans will enjoy a modern day Manhattan miracle on Thirty-Fourth Street.

Harriet Klausner

Code Triage-Candace Calvert

Code Triage
Candace Calvert
Tyndale, Sep 7 2010, $12.99
ISBN: 9781414325453

Golden Gate Mercy emergency room Dr. Leigh Stathos is divorcing her husband San Francisco cop Nick after he had an affair last year with Samantha Gordon, his late best friend Toby’s sister. She knows she still loves him, but cannot get pass her mom’s adage that nothing lasts forever. Nick knows he made a monster mistake when he slept with Sam while each grieved their loss and wants to rectify it, but adheres to his wife’s wishes of no contact.

When he rescues a single mom and her two young children from carbon monoxide poisoning, Nick and Leigh meet at the hospital. He has seven days to persuade his beloved to give him another chance, but though time is running out, Nick refuses to give up on his marriage as he prays to God to help him come home. As situations bring the still married couple together, Leigh reconsiders a second chance especially with her secret she concealed from her spouse. When she is on duty Sam is rushed to the hospital in critical condition.

The latest Mercy Hospital medical thriller (see Critical Care and Disaster Status) is loaded with action from start to finish, but also contains a strong relationship drama between the two first responders and Sam; especially fascinating is when Sam gets into Leigh’s face. Readers will enjoy Code Triage as obstinate Nick refuses to quit on his faith or his woman.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, September 19, 2010

An Accidental Seduction-Lois Greiman

An Accidental Seduction
Lois Greiman
Avon, Oct 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061849343

Realizing they look somewhat alike, newlywed Lady Clarette Tilmont offers Gypsy actress Savanna Hearnes a chance to pose as her. Savanna agrees as she likes the idea of being treated like a lady even for a short period though she hopes Clarette’s abusive spouse stays away for the entire duration of the masquerade.

Lady Clarette fails to inform her replacement that the Tilmont servants are spies working for her husband. Worse he comes home early with demands of her. Finally the worst, as her every move is watched by the servants, she meets and is attracted to Sean Gallagher. He especially is stunned by her passion as ladies of quality are aloof. As they fall in love, each conceals the role they portray with her knowing her idyll will soon end and he is undercover on a dangerous mission.

With a gender nod to the Prince and the Pauper, An Accidental Seduction is a fun fast-paced historical romance. Savanna as Clarette has two men wanting her while one has a job to complete and the other has no ethics. Fans will enjoy Lois Greiman’s fine frolic.

Harriet Klausner

Mad About The Duke-Elizabeth Boyle

Mad About The Duke
Elizabeth Boyle
Avon, Oct 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061783500

The Duchess of Hollindrake orders her three widowed Standon daughter-in-laws to come to her house. One of them, Elinor worries about her sister who needs male protection from their vicious stepfather. When she first sees Mr. St. Maur, Esquire, she knows love at first sight is real, but she needs a duke not a solicitor.

James Tremont, Duke of Parkerton, sees Elinor for the first time and knows love at first sight is real. However, when she assumes he is the solicitor her father-in-law sent to her, he fails to correct her misconception. James begins doing things a duke would never do as he helps with the birthing of puppies, crashes a carriage and gambles in the notorious Seven Dials. As he tries to win her heart, not knowing he has it already, he fears how his Widow Standon will react to the truth.

The latest Bachelor Chronicles Regency second chance at love romance (see How I met My Countess) is an amusing mistaken identity historical. The story line is fast-paced with a bit of suspense, but it is the relationship between the widow and her “solicitor” that makes for an enjoyable extended Sterling family drama.

Harriet Klausner

The Dangerous Viscount-Miranda Neville

The Dangerous Viscount
Miranda Neville
Avon, Oct 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061808722

In 1819, Lady Diana Fanshawe has one goal in life, which is to marry a man whose background is impeccable as her family is filled with scandal. She chooses Lord Blakely and prays he proposes to her at a house party he hosts in Shropshire.

Blakely’s studious cousin Sebastian Iverley attends the gala too. Though she knows better, her bloodlines come through when she accepts a bet that she can get Iverley to kiss her. Sebastian has already noticed her and is attracted to her. However, he becomes angry when he finds out about the wager. Sebastian decides to teach the twit humility when it comes to feelings of others. They have a night of lovemaking that leads to her pregnancy and their marriage. Each wants it to work, but neither takes the first step so it is up to their eccentric families and rare books that the Burgundy Club collectors are fascinated with to bring them together.

The second Burgundy Club (see Wild Marquis) Regency romance is a wonderful pairing of two people with the twist of the male behaving as the innocent. With the interweaving of rare book collection enhancing the fine story line, readers will enjoy the adventures in love of the Dangerous Viscount.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Simply Irresistible-Jill Shalvis

Simply Irresistible
Jill Shalvis
Forever, Oct 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780446571616

Maddie Moore kicks her abusive boyfriend to the curb while also losing her job. However, Maddie also inherits a share of a resort in Lucky Harbor, Washington with her two half-sisters. Upon arriving in town, she runs Jax Cullen off the road and shares kisses with the hunk. Soon afterward, she decides to renovate the hotel.

The next day Maddie contacts JC Builders to work on her hotel. However, she learns JC stands for Jax Cullen, carpenter and mayor, and the hunk she kissed after almost hitting him. Jax tries to persuade Maddie they belong together, but after the debacle of her last relationship she has doubts and his previous job only increases her hesitation.

The first Lucky Harbor contemporary romance is an enjoyable warm tale owned by Maddie who wants to become the mouse that roared. The story line is fast-paced from the moment the heroine almost runs over JC. And though it somewhat slows down in the latter parts of the novel it keeps the audience’s attention throughout. Fans will enjoy Jill Shalvis’ Washington State saga and look forward to the tales of Maddie’s siblings.

Harriet Klausner

The Bid-Jax

The Bid
Kensington Aphrodisia. Oct 1 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758241788

Taken in chains from his planet, the hunk Vejhon the warrior is being sold as a slave at auction. Pervert Baron Majum apparently wins the rights to the platinum haired, feline eyed alien until Najir of the House of Drakoulous raises the amount to the unheard of two gems. Vejhon now belongs to Hanna master of Drakoulous who understands the strict rules governing slaves must be obeyed or else.

Vejhon is outraged by his slave status, but is attracted to his owner. Hanna reciprocates, but conceals her and her House’s covert efforts to end the barbaric practice. However, now she owns the two best looking males on the planet as she finds herself drawn to both Najir and Vejhon.

This is a terrific erotic science fiction romance as Jacquelyn Frank using the pseudonym Jax provides the sub-genre audience with a powerful outer space saga that is different from her paranormal. Even with plenty of action (in and out of bed) and a clear sense of place, the thrilling Bid is character driven by a triangle of sorts that leads the audience to wonder who will end up with the female master; if any does.

Harriet Klausner

Men Times Three-Bonnie Edwards

Men Times Three
Bonnie Edwards
Kensington Aphrodisia. Oct 1 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758238276

Off the Olympic Peninsula, the three O’Banion brothers are working on renovating the retreat inherited by Marnie Dawson. The oldest sibling TJ is attracted to their client who was a childhood friend. She reciprocates his feelings.

The middle brother Deke finds himself filled with desire for Marnie’s cousin Holly Dawson. She wants him as much.

Finally little brother Eli the electrician returns from overseas to make it with the third Dawson cousin Kylie. However, she wants a home while he can never stay in one place for more than a nanosecond; that is until the bed they share.

The three heated relationships turn into much more as the O’Banion brothers and the Dawson cousins fall in love. Although the plot is a bit thin, the key to this hot contemporary is the Men Times Three and the women in their lives all possess different personalities.

Harriet Klausner

A Season Of Seduction-Jennifer Haymore

A Season Of Seduction
Jennifer Haymore
Forever, Oct 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780446540285

In 1827 England, widower Lady Rebecca Fisk deems it is time for her to find a lover. Her only stipulation besides not being abusive is the hunk she selects must not want marriage. She figures adventurer Jack Fulton is the perfect candidate for her first lover.

Jack meets Rebecca’s stipulations as he likes trysts with no entanglements. However, his circumstances change when needs to marry a wealthy woman by Christmas or be accused of being a killer. He thinks Rebecca fits his requirement so takes her away on a tryst in which he plans to get her to marry him, which she agrees to do. However, once Jack’s dark secret surfaces at the same time as his love for Rebecca, he must choose freeing her from his scandal or taking a chance she loves him too.

A Season of Seduction is an engaging nineteenth century romance enhanced by Jack’s secret. Fast-paced, Becky and Jack have different needs that converge into a love that seems too late as he knows he will be married or dead by Christmas. Fans will appreciate Jennifer Haymore’s strong historical as Lady Rebecca learns she doesn’t know Jack, but he also learns he does not know his Becky.

Harriet Klausner

A Storm Of Pleasure-Terri Brisbin

A Storm Of Pleasure
Terri Brisbin
Kensington Brava, Oct 1 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758235183

In 1098 on Gairsay Island, men loyal to the Earl Magnus demand Sven Rognvaldson and his son Kali come with them to face charges of treason. Sven draws his sword but is stabbed to death while his beloved daughter Katla Svensdottir watches in horror. Sven’s last words to Katla is to take care of Kali. Realizing that the accuser Harold Erlendson wants the son as dead as the father he baited the father, she offers her body to keep her sibling safe. He is arrested and taken for trial to Birsay.

Katla goes to Orkney to obtain help from a Truthsayer. There she meets Gavin the recluse who is losing his mind to the voices rioting inside his head. He is stunned when she seems to soothe the beasts destroying his mind as he cannot hear her inner thoughts. They make a deal in which she stays with him in his cave and he will help her prove her brother’s innocence. Neither expected to fall in love, but both fail to take that first risk of admitting how they feel.

This is a terrific romantic historical fantasy starring two fascinating strong lead protagonists and a powerful support cast. The story line takes sub-genre fans to late eleventh century Orkney Islands off the Scottish coast as readers will believe they are there. With elements of the paranormal, a strong romance and a sense of time and place, readers will also appreciate the machinations of those in power; as Terri Brisbin provides a major light on the so-called dark Ages.

Harriet Klausner

The Valcourt Heiress-Catherine Coulter

The Valcourt Heiress
Catherine Coulter
Putnam, Oct 5 2010, $25.95
ISBN: 9780399156755

In 1278, considered by many to be a witch, the widow of the Earl of Valcourt, Abbess Helen of Meizerling Abbey sells her daughter Marianna de Luce de Mornay to the highest bidder, the malevolent Jason of Brennan. Rather than marry the evil Jason, Merry sneaks out of the castle wearing a lad’s garb, but is caught by the Earl of Wareham, Lord Garron. Merry manages to escape again, but follows Garron and his retinue to his keep.

At Wareham, Garron is stunned by the massacre that greets him. Few survive the horror. Merry sneaks into Garron’s keep and masquerades as the dead priest's illegitimate bastard daughter. Caring for others, Merry tries to help the survivors, which brings her to the attention of Garron. He realizes she is The Valcourt Heiress and plans to escort her to the king. Instead she seduces him, which forces the honorable Garron to have to wed her. However, her odious mother kidnaps her and holds her prisoner until she is released and returned to Wareham. However, her behavior is totally the opposite of her first time here, but Garron knows something is not right as Merry is nothing remotely like the woman he fell in love with; especially when Helen arrives allegedly to negotiate.

This is an engaging medieval romantic suspense starring two fascinating lead characters and an evil Abbess who steals the show with her machinations. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Merry sneaks out of the castle and never slows down as the diabolical Helen insidiously works her schemes by taking advantage of the psyches of everyone who crosses her sphere. Although good and bad are drawn to the extremes, fans will enjoy Catherine Coulter’s exciting thirteenth century thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Vengeful Bridegroom-Kit Donner

The Vengeful Bridegroom
Kit Donner
Zebra, Sep 1 2010, $5.99
ISBN: 9781420108477

In 1812 England Arnold Duckins bets Lord Vincennes he can find a husband for termagant Madelene Colgate in three days. Duckins set up the wager for his friend, Madelene’s brother, Matthew. Irate “Mad” Madelene understands she has three days to wed her sibling’s choice Mr. Leonard Brelford or her brother ends up in debtor’s prison. He explains she can have the nuptials annulled.

However, her brother’s enemy Gabriel Westcott knows what desperation Colgate faces and what Madelene must do. With the help of his former mistress Caroline Montazy, he pretends to be the chosen one and marries her. Gabriel takes his wife to his remote estate and keeps her under watch so she does not try to escape. Instead Madelene begins to fall in love with her husband and he reciprocates. However, as dangerous incidents occur, Gabriel wants to remain married to Madeline, but make their relationship real.

This is a thrilling fast-paced Regency romance as Gabe falls in love with the sister of his enemy and soon finds his role is to keep his beloved wife safe from an unknown adversary. His fear is the wannabe assassin is her sibling. Character driven from the first wager to the final confrontation, readers will want to know why Gabe loathes Matthew and whether Mad’s sibling is trying to kill his sister in Kit Donner’s second Notorious Bridegroom tale.

Harriet Klausner

Lord Lightning-Jenny Brown

Lord Lightning
Jenny Brown
Avon, Oct 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061976056

In 1818 in England, Eliza Farrell computes Lord Edward Neville’s astrological chart. Known as Lord Lightning, he has the reputation as a womanizer with no heart. However, she insists he conceals behind his philandering his desire to find true love. Her actions and prank he pulled that backfired lead to Edward’s current mistress leaving him.

Edward demands Eliza come with him when he visits his mom to comply with his brother’s will. Eliza agrees as she can make some money and also observe how accurate her reading of her host is. Eliza acts the role he demanded of her leading to his mother wanting her to leave. However, Edward likes her and they become lovers until tragedy strikes.

The use of an astrologer as the lead female brings freshness to what would otherwise be a typical by the book Regency romance. Instead Eliza’s charting and the reaction of the rakehell’s mom to his latest unacceptable “fallen” female make for a fun historical that fans will appreciate. As the rake and the astrologer fall in love, E squared equals electrifying love and an enjoyable read for sub-genre fans.

Harriett Klausner

Deadly Little Secrets-Jeanne Adams

Deadly Little Secrets
Jeanne Adams
Zebra, Sep 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420108828

A CIA field mission in Rome turns ugly leaving dead agents behind. Due to the botched Italy operation, field agent Ana Burton who worked the ill-fated mission is assigned to investigate cold cases in San Francisco. Her current inquiry is almost a decade old as an art fraud case led to five cruel murders.

While doing her investigation, Ana meets security expert Gates Bromley who works for art collector Dav Gianikopolis. Soon after they discuss her case and realize their attraction to one another, someone tries to kill Ana. Soon after the attempt on her life, intruders assault the Gianikopolis estate. Gates and Burton know someone wants this case to remain lost in the tundra.

Deadly Little Secrets is a terrific romantic suspense investigative tale as a cold case suddenly turns the heat up. Ana is a super lead as her confidence is degrees below zero; she prefers cold cases because the dead are already dead so she cannot be the cause. That is the irony of Deadly Little Secrets. Gates is a wonderful counterpoint to the heroine although some readers might feel he may be too skillful. Either way fans will enjoy this action-packed thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Everlasting Desire-Amanda Ashley

Everlasting Desire
Amanda Ashley
Zebra, Oct 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420104448

West Coast Vampires Master Rhys Costain has frozen his heart ever since he was betrayed by a woman over four centuries ago. However, he is surprised to be attracted to Megan DeLacey, who works evening at Shores, an exclusive men’s shop open only in the evening.

Rhys feels somewhat like an obsessed stalker as he visits the shop every night to spend time with Megan, who limits their relationship to saleswoman-customer. However, his hopes jump up when he prevents a robbery. As he makes progress, ancient vampire Tomas Villagrande encroaches in Rhys’ territory; killing without regard and leaving the West Coast Vampires in danger of discovery.

Following the events of Everlasting Kiss, the latest West Coast vampire romantic urban fantasy is a strong entry as fans of the saga will be elated that Rhys finally stars. He seems like a teen in love for the first time as he does a lot of nocturnal shopping while he tries to persuade a strong willed female they belong together. Ultra arrogant Tomas, who changed Dracula into a bloodsucker, is a great opponent who leaves drained corpses on the mean streets of Los Angeles. Rhys knows he must stop the reign of terror immediately, but now has an Achilles’ Heel for the first time in 435 years.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Tracker's Sin-Sarah McCarty

Tracker's Sin
Sarah McCarty
Spice, Oct 1 2010, $13.95
ISBN: 9780373605484

In 1858 in Texas, Hell’s Eight twin brothers Tracker and Shadow search for abducted heiress Ari Blake, twin of Desi (see Caine’s Reckoning). Comancheros kidnapped Ari. Tracker finds her but not alone; Ari has an infant son Miguel.

To keep her and the baby safe, Tracker marries her. Still he knows the road is dangerous filled with Comancheros, Indians, and outlaws. He prays that he can take mother and son to the Hell’s Eight ranch so he can marry her properly in front of their loved ones; now he has to persuade Ari they belong together with Miguel as a family.

The latest Hell’s Eight spiced Texas romance (see Sam’s Creed and Tucker’s Claim) is an excellent historical thriller as Sarah McCarty focuses on the good (the growing love between the lead couple), the bad (stress and fear) and the ugly (abduction, abuse and rape). Tracker is heroic as he has come a long way from his childhood, but the novel is owned by Ari who suffered so much during her abduction. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Tracker tells his twin he will find and bring to the ranch Ari and never slows down until the final trek across dangerous Texas.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

One Touch Of Scandal-Liz Carlyle

One Touch Of Scandal
Liz Carlyle
Avon, Sep 28 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061965753

In 1848, to the shock of her family whom she needed to escape from as they despise her because of her paternal roots being foreign, Grace Gauthier accepts a job as governess to the family of wealthy businessman Ethan Crane. However, when she finds her employer dead, Scotland Yard considers her the only viable suspect as the evidence points to her.

Grace seeks a family friend for help, but he is out of town. Instead she explains her plight to Lord Ruthveyn of the St. James Society before fainting from exhaustion. Ruthveyn investigates and decides someone is setting up Grace to take the fall. Attracted to one another, Ruthveyn silently pledges to keep her safe regardless of whether she reciprocates his feelings.

This is a terrific Victorian romantic mystery with a touch of psychic powers to spice up the plot. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Grace realizes she is the only suspect that Scotland yard is considering and never slows down as Ruthveyn investigates what he increasingly believes is a diabolical frame. Readers will enjoy this cross genre historical as Liz Carlyle provides an entertaining thriller with the emphasis rightfully on the whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

The Deadliest Sin-Caroline Richards

The Deadliest Sin
Caroline Richards
Kensington Brava, Sep 1 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758242754

Although a spinster Julia Woolcott remains disturbed by her horrific past. She hopes to one day confront her adversary but for now uses photography as a means to forget while hiding behind the rustic haven her Aunt Meredith created for her because a man she does not know wants her dead.

When the chance to face her foe occurs, she jumps at it. Julia attends a house party in which she knows he will be there too. Julia and obsessed sad adventurer Alexander Strathmore meet. They are attracted to one another, but like her he is fixated on his goal of finding the map that displays the source of the Nile as the means of redemption for his ambition betraying another. That is the only reason he attends the house party. As Julia and Alexander argue, neither is aware of a maniac manipulating both of them, but each soon believes inside their personal psyche that together they are emotionally much stronger than apart.

This is a dark romantic suspense starring two flawed individuals with major psychological issues. The adventurer and the spinster make a daring duet but do they dare to love as neither feels they have earned the right for this feeling. Although some of Julia’s emotional issues are somewhat discarded without solution but fans will relish this exciting thriller with a diabolical villain whose machinations to separate the pair leave Julia and Alexander at risk if they fail to unite.

Harriet Klausner

Close Quarters-Lucy Monroe

Close Quarters
Lucy Monroe
Kensington Brava, Sep 1 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780758242013

In Zimbabwe, Sympa-Med medical aid worker Tanya Ruston is tied to a leak of classified military information. The American government directs a black ops Atrati unit led by leader Roman Chernichenko to kill Tanya and anyone else who may be involved as the leak has put the continent in jeopardy.

Roman has doubts about the source as he met Tanya at the wedding of her brother and his sister. He also fears he may be using rosy colored glasses because he is very attracted to her. However, he soon realizes someone wants her dead before any further inquiry is made. Taking Tanya with him, Roman flees hoping he can get his superiors to listen long enough to why he knows she is innocent.

This is an engaging military romance starring two interesting protagonists who fight and fuss on honor and duty as each is very dedicated to their cause; reminiscent of Willis’ Tears of the Sun. However, Africa owns the story line as the audience obtains a close look at major issues confronting the continent especially through the eyes of two children. Although the romantic subplot never quite gels, readers will enjoy the trek of Roman and Tanya in Zimbabwe.

Harriet Klausner

Happy Ever After-Nora Roberts

Happy Ever After
Nora Roberts
Berkley, Nov 2010, $16.00
ISBN 9780425236758

Although a bridal expert who opened up a Connecticut wedding planning company Vows with her three best friends, Parker "Legs" Brown feels left behind as her BFFs have met their respective true love. Hosting the events on the Brown estate, Parker wonders when her Mr. Right will appear.

Parker’s brother Del's friend Malcolm Kavanaugh is a former stuntman turned mechanic who still likes a sort of on the edge lifestyle. He and Legs are attracted to one another, but where he is a wild Harley driver, she is a prim sedan driver. As they fall in love, Legs and her three buddies look back to when they first opened up Vows as four single women without men in their lives, but now are the Brides Quartet.

This is a fun lighthearted finish to Nora Roberts’ homage to weddings. The lead couple is a nice pairing of seemingly opposites. With the appearance of characters from the other three books in the series adding to the enjoyment, fans of Ms. Roberts will appreciate the entire Brides Quartet saga (see Savor the Moment, Vision in White and Bed of Roses), as each of Vows founding sisters find love and marriage.

Harriet Klausner

Happy Ever After-Nora Roberts

Happy Ever After
Nora Roberts
Berkley, Nov 2010, $16.00
ISBN 9780425236758

Although a bridal expert who opened up a Connecticut wedding planning company Vows with her three best friends, Parker "Legs" Brown feels left behind as her BFFs have met their respective true love. Hosting the events on the Brown estate, Parker wonders when her Mr. Right will appear.

Parker’s brother Del's friend Malcolm Kavanaugh is a former stuntman turned mechanic who still likes a sort of on the edge lifestyle. He and Legs are attracted to one another, but where he is a wild Harley driver, she is a prim sedan driver. As they fall in love, Legs and her three buddies look back to when they first opened up Vows as four single women without men in their lives, but now are the Brides Quartet.

This is a fun lighthearted finish to Nora Roberts’ homage to weddings. The lead couple is a nice pairing of seemingly opposites. With the appearance of characters from the other three books in the series adding to the enjoyment, fans of Ms. Roberts will appreciate the entire Brides Quartet saga (see Savor the Moment, Vision in White and Bed of Roses), as each of Vows founding sisters find love and marriage.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Trial by Desire-Courtney Milan

Trial by Desire
Courtney Milan
Harlequin HQN, Sep 28 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774852

Three years ago Ned Cathcart walked out on his new wife Kate because he was too immature to deal with his personal problems. Instead he fled to the Far East. While he began to cope with his issues out of necessity, a stunned Kate moved on with her life turning to a social issue dear to her soul, demanding the rights of women especially those that are abused.

Ned has returned and wants to fulfill his wedding vows. Kate still loves the husband who abandoned her, but rejects his push for reconciliation. She fears he will end her crusade. He refuses to quit this time. Still as important her fight for women rights is to her, Kate must decide whether she can trust Ned to stay this time and to champion her cause.

This Cathcart early Victorian romance sequel to Proof of Seduction is an entertaining intelligent historical starring two intriguing lead characters as Ned has grown up and wants an opportunity to prove he has changed, but Kate refuses to give up on her crusade. Although a late suspense adds tension and is a reasonable enhancement to the story line, it is unnecessary as the women’s rights issue and the married stars make for an engaging second chance at love tale.

Harriet Klausner

Control-Kayla Perrin

Kayla Perrin
Spice, Sep 1 2010, $13.95
ISBN: 9780373605477

Eight years ago elderly millionaire Robert met much younger waitress Elise. He courted her, made love to her and married her. Living with Robert as his wife, even though this makes her his third spouse, in Charlotte, she felt like Cinderella as he took her to the most expensive places by private jet.

However, now Elise feels like a bird in a gilded cage. Her spouse controls every nuance of her life smothering her. She begins to want her freedom as the price of being under her husband’s domination 24/7 is too exorbitant though she understands she will be left with nothing if she leaves him. At her flower shop, Elise meets high school football coach Dion and is attracted to the hunk, but vows not to act on her feelings until she learns Robert betrayed her with a major omission.

This engaging erotic romance is told from the perspective mostly of Elise, a fascinating character with deep rooted psychological issues. That approach enables the audience to understand the heroine especially what she has seen in her spouse and in the coach. However, that also limits how controlling Robert is as that the martinet never is fully developed and the ending too simple of an escape from the triangle. Still fans will enjoy this engaging contemporary as the bird in the cage tries to fly solo for the first time in almost a decade.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Sinful In Satin-Madeline Hunter

Sinful In Satin
Madeline Hunter
Jove, Sep 28 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780515148442

In London, only courtesan, four mirthful young lords, a fifth somber man, and the daughter attend the funeral of the renowned courtesan Alessandra Northrope. That daughter Celia Pennifold had been trained by her mom in using her female wiles to seduce men, but the child was unable to follow her mother’s footsteps and has refused to tease men into taking care of her.

With her mom’s death, Celia inherits the estate, which includes a small house in London. Celia decides to live in her new home, but is taken aback to find a tenant occupying the place. She was clueless to the fact that her mom rented a room to Jonathan Albrighton. He is attracted to her, which stuns him; but also conceals his undercover work to prove Alessandra sold information to the enemy during the Napoleonic Wars. Celia applies the sexual skills her mother taught her because as her debts prove overwhelming, she needs to know who her father is and seduces Jonathan.

The third Rarest Blooms Regency romantic mystery (see Provocative in Pearls and Ravishing in Red) is an entertaining historical thriller due to the strong lead couple. Celia vowed to never use her erotic education, but turns to those tricks to seduce Jonathan who already decided he wanted her. With the mystery of espionage issue hanging over their relationship like a pendulum sword, readers will relish this exciting thriller.

Harriet Klausner

The Accidental Wedding-Anne Gracie

The Accidental Wedding
Anne Gracie
Berkley, Oct 5 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425233825

In 1819, Maddy Woodford struggles with keeping the roof over her head and that of her five younger half-siblings she is raising; especially demanding is her odious landlord. Maddy observes an obvious gentleman riding his horse, but when the man and his steed make a leap from a muddy surface, he is knocked out. She brings him to her home to help him heal.

When Nash Renfrew regains consciousness, he suffers from amnesia. As he slowly recuperates and begins to regain bits and pieces of his memory, Nash also is attracted to his nurse. A gentleman even with limited recall, Nash offers to marry her so she will not become a scandalized pariah and to thwart her nasty landlord. However, as they fall in love, he remembers who he is; a career diplomat cannot wed a country bumpkin.

Although amnesia has been used as a matchmaking plot device in historicals many times (see Kiss to Remember by Teresa Medeiros and Lost in Your Arms by Christina Dodd), the lead couple and her siblings bring freshness to the storyline. Readers will like Maddy and Nash while hissing at the sinister landlord. Regency romance fans will want to read The Accidental Wedding, a warm historical.

Harriet Klausner

Dark Viking-Sandra Hill

Dark Viking
Sandra Hill
Berkley, Oct 5 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425237403

Navy SEALs Commander MacLean and Lieutenant Mendozo persuade stuntwoman Rita Sawyer to join the WEALs (Women on Earth, Air, Land and Sea) program. However, during an operation that goes terribly wrong, Rita in her wetsuit awakens inside a cage with a horde of barbarians staring at her with their mouths open.

Ever since his brother Thorfinn (see Viking Unchained) vanished without a trace, Viking Lord Steven has been depressed. When his men find the unconscious female in strange garb, they assume she is a sea monster. However, Rita proves she is a strong twenty-first century woman who has no idea how she ended up in the early eleventh century. As the admiration she and Steven feel for each other grows, they begin to fall in love but though each appreciates the other’s culture, a millennium makes love seem shaky.

Although similar in tone to the other time traveling Viking-SEAL romantic thrillers, Dark Viking is an exhilarating tale as once again Sandra Hill uses the differences and similarities between the two cultures to tell a strong tale of love that has no time boundaries. The lead couple is a strong pairing as each uses humor with she bringing him out of his depression and he helping her customize to his era. Filled with jocularity from start to finish, fans of the saga will relish this enjoyable entry.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, September 10, 2010

A Little Bit Wild-Victoria Dahl

A Little Bit Wild
Victoria Dahl
Zebra, Aug 1 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420104837

In 1847 following a fruitless Season in which she pretended to seek a husband, twenty year old Marissa York decides to have sex. She chooses Sir Peter White whose charming words are seductive. However, lovemaking proves tedious to her as he humps away. An arrogant Peter says they will marry, her brother Edward and their cousin Harry catch them. . Edward informs his sibling she will be married, but he agrees White is not worthy of his sister.

Their other sibling Aidan arrives with family friend Jude Bertrand. Once both are apprised of the need for Marissa to marry, Jude volunteers. An illegitimate but acknowledged son of a duke, he simply explains when asked why he replies because he likes her. Marissa is thankful for his kind offer, but he is not what she envisioned in a husband as he can’t even dance. As they become better acquainted, she realizes Peter could dance but cared nothing about her while Jude takes the time to know Melissa the person. As she falls in love with her new suitor, he was in love with her for a long time.

This is an entertaining Victorian romance starring a wonderful Prince Charming whose motive for marrying the fallen Melissa is simple though he knows she never knew he existed in spite of two introductions. Melissa at first seems spoiled but she proves a fast learner as she realizes you cannot judge a man by his clothing or his dancing ability. Readers will root for the heroic Jude who tenderly courts his beloved with little nuances like listening to her.

Harriet Klausner

Nothing But Deception-Allegra Gray

Nothing But Deception
Allegra Gray
Zebra, Aug 1 2010, $5.99
ISBN: 9781420108262

In 1815 Paris, a dying Solange Durand tells her artist son Jean-Philippe his father is not French, but instead English. He says his father is Richard Durand, but she tells him go to England to meet Lord Henry Owen also known as the artist Henri Gaudet. Meanwhile Richard works on surviving Napoleon.

Jean-Philippe crosses the Channel where he plans to meet his biological father. Aristocratic women welcome the visiting famous Frenchman, but his eyes only see Widow Beatrice, Lady Pullingham. He asks her to be his muse and she agrees. However, Bea inadvertently has become embroiled in seditious actions against the Crown with Jean-Philippe suspected as an enemy agent. As the artist and the widow fall in love, she prays he is not supporting the traitors while he fears she conceals a dark secret and is tired of loved ones lying to him.

This is an enjoyable Regency espionage romance as Bea works undercover for the Crown trying to help ferret out the traitors while Jean-Philippe is suspected of being a French operative though he just wants to paint her and make love with her. The story line does slow down at times especially when his French dad is on page plotting, but sub-genre readers will relish the Anglo-Franco romance as rumors spread that Napolean has returned to Paris.

Harriet Klausner

Seducing The Duchess-Ashley March

Seducing The Duchess
Ashley March
Signet, Oct 5 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451232366

When Lady Charlotte married Duke Rutherford, she did so because she loved him as she had most of her young life. However, Lord Phillip married her to destroy her brother. Her love for her husband quickly turned to hate and she wants out of their marriage.

To propel her spouse to request a divorce, Charlotte has become both a flirt and gambler. Phillip who desires his wife though that was not in his master plan for vengeance offers Charlotte what she most desires. He will obtain a divorce if she mentors him on becoming a better husband to his second wife who he is currently courting. She reluctantly agrees though she is unsure why she hesitates. As she teaches her husband to care, Charlotte realizes she still loves the rat while he knows he loves his wife.

This is an entertaining second chance historical romance due to the relationship between the lead couple. His betrayal cut out her heart so as he falls in love with his wife, Rutherford becomes desperate to win her back while Charlotte becomes confused by her feelings. Sub-genre fans will relish this strong tale of love and hate and love.

Harriet Klausner

Our Wicked Mistake-Emma Wildes

Our Wicked Mistake
Emma Wildes
Signet, Oct 5 2010, $6.99
ISBN: 9780451231505

In 1816 at London’s Satan Den, Lords Luke Daudet and Albert Cayne make an outrageous wager on the turn of the cards though the former knows this is stupid; the latter wins. As Daudet leaves, he receives a message from Widow Lady Madeline May that she needs his help immediately.

Luke races to see Madge who tells him she killed her blackmailer Lord Fitch who has her late husband’s journal that would taint Colin’s name. She explains he taunted her and threatened to publish the journal so she conked him in the head with a fire place poker. He checks on the blackguard who is alive and promises to fix everything although Luke fears his assistance will mean close contact to the woman he most desires. As they fall in love, she conceals her past from him and he likewise hides an obligation; but it is the deceased Colin’s secrets that threaten their lives.

The latest Notorious Bachelor Regency romance (see My Lord Scandal) is a fabulous historical romantic suspense. The lead couple is a fascinating pairing as each fails to disclose to their beloved their darkest secrets, but ironically though these may break them up; it is Colin’s past that haunts them. Fans will appreciate Emma Wildes’ wonderful tale as all it takes is One Wicked Mistake to shake up a seemingly comfortable life.

Harriet Klausner

Luck Be A Lady-Cathie Linz

Luck Be A Lady
Cathie Linz
Berkley, Oct 5 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425237830

In Las Vegas Megan West remains resolute that this time her cousin Faith will marry her new fiancé Caine Hunter whom she met after being jilted by text messaging when she went alone on her honeymoon in Italy (see Mad, Bad and Blonde). Everything is going smooth until angry police officer Logan Doyle rushes in to prevent the marriage. However, the fuming cop suddenly is taken aback when he sees a young hunk as the groom; he thought his grandfather was marrying Faith.

During his bust, Megan learns that her mother, who her daddy said died years ago, is alive. She wants to confront her mother to find out the truth. A contrite Logan offers to help Megan with her quest to meet her mom. Their Nevada tour proves eye-opening for both of them as love blooms in the desert.

This direct sequel to Mad, Bad and Blonde is a likable contemporary romance starring two amiable caring souls. The story line is a lighthearted romp as the duet falls in love. Although very linear with few bumps in the road, fans will enjoy Luck Be A Lady.

Harriet Klausner

Four Play-Shayla Black and Maya Banks

Four Play
Shayla Black and Maya Banks
Heat, Oct 5 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425236697

“Pillow Talk” by Maya Banks. Zoe and Chase love each other with each willing to play out the other’s sexual fantasy. Chase tells Zoe his most secret encounter they have not tried and to his delight she agrees. His firefighting BFFs Brody and Tate join the couple for a ménage a quartet.

“Her Fantasy Men” by Shayla Black. Kelsey may play football and drink beer with gusto, but conceals her fantasy from her three BFFs. She dreams of a ménage a quartet with her and the three men who are her buddies. Rhys, Jeremy and Tucker talk with one another and soon go all out to please the star of their respective sexual wet dreams.

Both erotic tales are well written exciting entries with strong casts though I’m unsure why the studs in Shayla Back’s heater failed to make a move as their excuses seemed lame.

Harriet Klausner

I Want It Now-Sydney Molare

I Want It Now
Sydney Molare
Kensington Aphrodisia, Aug 1 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758238962

“You’ve Got Male.” Dina knows her family and friends would ridicule her, but she has everything going for her, she feels lonely as she has no man in her life. Taking a chance she purchases a mail-order husband. Dubois has received years of hands on training on how to please a woman.

“Fiending for It.” Happily married, Elena challenges Chaz to an anything goes at any time sex contest. Chaz readily agrees. The couple begins their sexual fantasy match.

“Becoming One.” Topaz and her closest female friends form the Women Are Polygamists Too group as each likes several male partners. Topaz finds three husbands able to make her come, but can’t select just one as each makes the lovemaking heavenly.

I Want It Now contains three heated humorous novellas that fans of erotic romances will appreciate although some of the scenarios read implausible.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Cowboys Never Cry-Tina Welling

Cowboys Never Cry
Tina Welling
NAL, Oct 5 2010, $15.00
ISBN: 9780451231215

Three years have passed since Cassie Danner’s husband Jake died climbing a mountain in the Himalayas. With bills to pay, the Ohio native struggles to make it accepting temporary seasonal work. Her current position is summer cook at the Cross Wave Guest Ranch and Cattle Company in Wyoming.

The ranch in the shadows of the Grand Teton Range is owned by a father and son team. However, Cassie recognizes the younger McKeag, Robbin, who was a Hollywood superstar as an action cowboy. From their first meeting the day before she starts her job, Cassie and Robbin clash. Their gender battle continues over the next few weeks until each knows they are in love. However, his Hollywood past that he ran away from has come to Wyoming making it most likely the end of the relationship between the owner and the cook.

This is an entreating throwback romance filled with warmth and wit. The lead pair shares in common a need to move on and introspective musing as well as love. With a wonderful Wyoming setting, fans who appreciate a tender contemporary ranch romance will want to read Tina Welling’s well written tale.

Harriet Klausner

Midnight Kisses-Wayne Jordan

Midnight Kisses
Wayne Jordan
Kimani Romance Oct 1 2010, $6.25
ISBN: 9780373861828

Daniel Buchanan grew up in Oak Park, Illinois; opened a church in Brooklyn; and married the perfect wife Lorraine. His world and faith shattered when his spouse and child died in a Brooklyn hospital. For one year, Daniel wandered aimlessly around the country until six months ago he settled in Chicago working as a counselor at the Hope Center. Thanksgiving always leaves him alone in a rage.

Having been jilted at the altar should have taught Renee Walker a lesson about men. However, her caring mom keeps setting her up, but after the latest arrogant jerk she has had enough. She swears off men and will dedicate more of her time with her social work in Chicago. Though they have not met both see the same shooting star and he wishes to one wish again while she wishes for true love.

Two years later, Daniel and Renee meet at Vincent Memorial where he came to face demons in a hospital after helping a teen who was knocked to the pavement; and she came on a social worker call as the girl is a probable runaway. They are attracted to one another and agree to go slowly, but each has psychological issues to overcome if they want a permanent loving relationship.

This is a terrific contemporary romance as the social worker who gave up on love first befriends the man with the sad eyes while the counselor who gave on life sees caring in her eyes. Wayne Jordan provides readers with a sensational story of the healing power of love and enhanced by a nurturing family.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, September 8, 2010

Family Matters-Barbara White Daille

Family Matters
Barbara White Daille
Harlequin American Romance, Oct 12 2010, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373753321

In Lakeside, Illinois at the Lakeside Village planned community for fifty years old and older, attorney Matt Lawrence believes Brendan McBride of swindling people into reconstructing the shut down Rainbow’s End amusement park. Bren’s niece art teacher Kerry MacBride takes exception with Matt’s accusation though she knows she should wear a cape for all the times she has rescued her uncle and Gran from troubles they caused.

As Matt and Kerry argue in front of her family, the Village residents and when alone, their attraction for one another becomes heated. However, neither can move on to pursue their potential relationship until they reach an agreement, if they can, on what Uncle Bren did or not do, and if yes how to make retribution.

This is an amusing intelligent contemporary romance as the lawyer and the teacher argue, fuss and kiss. The support cast especially the impish McBride clan is an eccentric group who brings much of the jocularity to the charming lighthearted story line. However, it is the gender war between Superwoman and her “Supervillain” enemy that makes this an engaging battle of lips.

Harriet Klausner

The Promise-Brenda Joyce

The Promise
Brenda Joyce
Harlequin HQN, Sep 28 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774425

In 1833 Captain Alexi de Warenne is euphoric to finally come home to Askeaton, Ireland after being away for two years. He looks forward to seeing his childhood friend Elysse O’Neill. Unlike when they were growing up when they were inseparable, however Alexi seems to ignore Elysse except when politeness makes him do otherwise.

Instead Elysse and Alexi’s shipmate William Montgomery flirt with one another until he wants to marry her. When the former best friends fight, William’s head hits a rock and he dies. Alexi marries Elysse to save her reputation and they sail from Ireland though they never make love. For six years, Elysse lives the life of a free wife, but prays one day her Alexi will make love to her. When he finally comes home, Elysse plans to seduce her spouse, but he flees to the sea with her in pursuit. When she is captured, he risks his life for his beloved wife.

The latest de Warenne historical romance (see The Masquerade) is an engaging tale that fans of the saga will enjoy. Alexi and Elysse feel guilt over what happened to William and how the accidental death caused them to marry. A daughter of a captain, she knows his first love is the sea, but decides to make a play for his affection. Although the late suspense seems somewhat forced as a mechanism to move this couple on, readers will appreciate the strange marriage of Alexi and Elysse.

Harriet Klausner

Whisper of Scandal-Nicola Cornick

Whisper of Scandal
Nicola Cornick
Harlequin HQN, Sep 28 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373774401

In 1811 Navy Captain Alex Grant visits Lady Joanna Ware, the widow of his late best friend David to offer his condolences. His only regret was the mission to find a North East trade route through the North Pole kept him from doing so eighteen months ago when David died on that quest. However, he is stunned to see some miscreant demanding she consider his suit.

Joanna greets Alex by calling him darling and gives him a welcome home kiss. Both are stunned by the reaction in light of the fact they never liked each other. Each has mixed feelings between desiring more kisses and wanting to run away from each other. However, keeping away from each other is not an option as they must journey to the Arctic to bring her stepdaughter home.

The Arctic trek brings a fascinating fresh subplot to a strong Regency romance starring a widow and widower who from that first searing kiss know they loathe yet desire each other. The lead couple is a wonderful match as each has preconceptions of the other based on their respective relationship to David. Fast-paced whether it is London or the Arctic, sub-genre fans will relish this entertaining historical.

Harriet Klausner

Bespelling Jane Austin-Mary Balogh, Colleen Gleason, Susan Krinard and Janet Mullany

Bespelling Jane Austin
Mary Balogh, Colleen Gleason, Susan Krinard and Janet Mullany
Harlequin HQN, Sep 28 2010, $14.95
ISBN: 9780373775019

“Almost Persuaded” by Mary Balogh. Robert Mitford and Jane Everett recognize their love now and in a past life together.

“Northanger Castle” by Colleen Gleason. Caroline Merrill loves gothic novels starring vampires; she believes that Mr. Blanchard is an Undead while he has no time for literature or love as he battles vampires.

“Blood and Prejudice” by Susan Krinard. In modern day New York City, Lizzie Bennet and Mr. Darcy dislike each other but team up to fight vampires.

“Little to Hex Her” by Janet Mullany. In DC paranormal matchmaking witch Emma Woodhouse needs the help of the wizard Mr. Knightley.

These are four fun paranormal twists of Jane Austen classics with the best being Janet Mullany’s entry.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Changeling Bride-Lisa Cache

The Changeling Bride
Lisa Cache
Leisure, Sep 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780505528612

He needs money to rebuild his estate, but has only one avenue to make cash: marriage. Thus the Earl of Allsbrook offers his title to wed the female relative of a wealthy merchant. Allsbrook knows his intended is beautiful, but Wilhelmina is too independent in his mind and besides Henry is a romantic who always dreamed of marrying his beloved.

Although the marriage arrangement her family made for her comes with a title and her intended is handsome, Wilhelmina March is unhappy with marrying even if he has a title. She always fancied she would marry for love not a title. However, on a midsummer night when a fairy debt must be paid, a forever sweet kiss makes Henry and Elle realize what they share if they take a chance on one another.

This is a warm Georgian romance with a touch of fairy magic enhancing the entertaining story line. Neither Allsbrook nor March wanted to settle for anything less than love, but neither has a choice in the matter. Fast-paced, fans who enjoy a whimsical historical romantic fantasy will appreciate The Changeling Bride.

Harriet Klausner

Texas Baby-Tanya Michaels

Texas Baby
Tanya Michaels
Harlequin American, Sep 14 2010, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373753253

Following the deaths of her brother and sister-in-law, twenty-eight years old Addie Caine became an instant mother to her six years old nephew and her toddler niece. She is over the edge with her nerves frazzled trying to balance being a single working mom with her grief and a sense of abandonment since her fiancé dumped her.

Giff Baker was hired to find out who is leaking information at a civil engineering firm. The newcomer suspects Addie as the leak based on how frightened she looks. However, Giff is also attracted to Addie and wants to give her the benefit of the doubt. He quickly learns why she seems fatigued and stressed and wants to help her as Giff knows she is not the information leak. Yet someone else has noticed how bone weary Addie is and is setting her up to take the fall. Giff is determined to prove the woman he loves is innocent and to uncover the identity of the insidious person who is leaking information and framing his Addie.

The sequel to The Best Man In Texas (Giff lost the girl in that one) is an entertaining contemporary romance in which the troubles Addie deals with bring a sense of genuineness to the tale. The nephew is perhaps a bit too wise for his age and recent tragedy, but readers will enjoy this fun Texas romance as Tanner says they are teammates if Addie does not bench him for hiding why he is here.

Harriet Klausner

Single Dad Sheriff-Lisa Childs

Single Dad Sheriff
Lisa Childs
Harlequin American, Sep 14 2010, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373753284

Jessie Phillips’ son Tommy pleads with Forest Glen, Michigan Sheriff Chance Drayton to locate his father who he has never seen or even knew his name. Chance is confused by Jessie’s attitude of refusing to discuss her child’s father with him. He is especially raw on the subject having just been in court in a custody suit over his son, which may force him to move to Chicago to be there for his child.

Jessie hid from everyone including her son’s sire that she was pregnant. She fears if the dad learns he fathered a son, he will sue for custody and might win. She knows she is obligated to explain to Chance who she likes why she is silent, but she is also is afraid he will condemn her after his own legal battle. Worse she owes an explanation to her son.

The cast is strong as readers will see the impact of separation on the children at a time when the lead couple is attracted but wary of each other. Although the story line jumps around a bit too much, starting with Tommy’s earnest plea and the matchmaking antics of the townsfolk, fans will fully appreciate this insightful Michigan family drama as Chance and Jessie have deep reasons supporting their respective argument over the role of a father in raising a child.

Harriet Klausner

The 1st Wife-Tara Taylor Quinn

The 1st Wife
Tara Taylor Quinn
Harlequin SuperRomance, Sep 14 2010, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373716562

In Chandler, Ohio, the police arrest two time bigamist James Todd for murdering his second wife Lee Ann Todd. His third wife Marla Anderson is paying for his defense. The Ford County prosecutor Sheila Grant asks a local clinical psychologist Dr. Kelly Chapman to interview the first wife Jane Hamilton.

Jane has come a long way since her accident-prone marriage to James. She runs the Twenty-Something magazine that targets strong women. However, Jane is taken aback when asked to testify at her former husband’s murder trial as she has no idea what she can bring to the proceedings.

Her best friend attorney Brad Manchester and Kelly get Jane to open her eyes to the truth that her ex spouse was abusive towards her; an adversarial relationship; of which she did comprehend back then as such, but suppressed. Looking back, Jane begins to believe James could turn to murder if his desires are thwarted.

This is an excellent psychological thriller with a romantic subplot between Brad and Jane supporting the prime story line of whether James was abusive to his first wife. Character driven, readers will appreciate this powerful tale as Jane realizes her activities at the magazine and as a volunteer since the divorce are motivated by her relationship with James. This is fabulous contemporary thriller.

Harriet Klausner

That Last Night In Texas-Ann Evans

That Last Night In Texas
Ann Evans
Harlequin SuperRomance, Sep 14 2010, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373716609

In the Beaumont, Texas area, thirteen years ago a horse trampled rancher Cassie McGuire on the night she was to elope with Ethan Rafferty. The eighteen year old Cassie believing her beloved deserves better, and ignoring Ethan’s desires and denying him a choice, ended their relationship.

Ethan returns offering to buy some land from Cassie. He wants to establish a training school for problem horses. Cassie tells him that he is the father of her son Donny. Outraged, that Cassie could hide this from him, Ethan demands being in Donny’s life although Cassie’s former husband Josh has raised the child as if he was the sire. As Cassie and Ethan renew their acquaintance, they realize they remain in love.

This is a warm Texas ranch romance with a strong cast. The key to the tale is Josh who brings freshness to the often used not telling the dad he has a child plot; he does this by not being an evil miscreant but instead is a nice person who cares about his first wife and loves his second wife and Donny. Readers will enjoy Ann Evans’s engaging second chance at love.

Harriet Klausner

Welcome to Temptation-Jennifer Crusie

Welcome to Temptation
Jennifer Crusie
St. Martin’s Griffin, Sep 14 2010, $14.99
ISBN: 9780312641375

Sophie Dempsey drives from Cincinnati to Temptation, Ohio to assist her mouthy sister Amy with filming a video with a former star who is coming home. Upon arriving at the outskirts of the town, Sophie wants to go home feeling unwelcome when she reads the sign: "We Believe in Family Values", as this movie will anger the local residents. Her fears prove valid when the town council passes an anti-pornography law. She explains to Amy how she feels about filming in this town as both have always been honest with one another, but her sibling tells her not to worry.

Sophie and Mayor Phineas Tucker meet and are attracted to one another. The single father wants to be supportive of Sophie, a magician with the camera, but also knows as the mayor he must enforce all ordinances; not just the ones he believes are good for the residents. However, as Harvard grad Phinn and Chicago Sophie fall in love, each wonders what will become of them.

This is a warm amusing madcap romance that at times is purposely over the top to bring further jocularity to the mix. The support characters are a zany crew whether they are from Temptation or elsewhere. However, this is the lead couples’ tale as Sophie and Phinn disagree on adhering to the law with ironically her being the firm advocate even as the sex has both wanting more. Fans of jocular contemporaries will laugh out loud at the antics of the cast who will welcome readers to Temptation.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, September 6, 2010

Breathless-Anne Stuart

Anne Stuart
Mira, Oct 1 2010, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778328506

After three seasons of perfect behavior, Lady Miranda Rohan proves her family’s blood flows in her when she stupidly allowed herself to be caught in a scandalous situation with charming rake Christopher St. John. He demands they elope, but also takes her virginity. After two more nights of his fumbling sex, she knocks him out with a ewer when he would not quit. She saves his life from her irate brothers, but St. John spreads the gossip causing a scandal in which the Ton treats Miranda as a pariah. St. John offers to marry her, but instead of accepting her fate, she reveled in her freedom from the societal rules of order while the Earl of Rochdale who hired St. Jon to seduce and marry the girl and kill her older brother informs him he is lucky to remain alive.

While Rochdale remains patient for two years waiting to strike again against his enemies the Rohan family for what they did to his sister as he knows he must pounce and not rely on fools. He introduces himself as Lucien de Malheur, known as the Scorpion earl of Rochdale. Their scandals lead them to friendship and ultimately marriage. However, as his plot to take revenge against the Rohan clan takes seed, Lucien has a big problem; he loves his wife.

The latest scandalous Rohan historical romance (see Reckless and Ruthless) is a terrific finish as two people with scandalous backgrounds collide in love and a gender war. The story line is fast-paced from start to finish, but really explodes once the heroine begins to unravel her spouse’s plan. Readers will enjoy the next generation Wicked House of Rohan trilogy.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Darkness Captured-Delilah Devlin

Darkness Captured
Delilah Devlin
Avon, Sep 21 2010, $13.99
ISBN: 9780061498237

In New Orleans, the ruling vampires ask the werewolves to find the daywalker and demon who are murdering their species especially their group. Shapeshifter Gabriella is assigned as the emissary to the vampires as the werewolf leaders agree to assist the Undead.

The demon seduces Gabriella even bringing her into the Land of the Dead. He satiates her sexual desires at the cost of her soul. Guntram the warrior werewolf loves Gabriella and will do anything to save her life. He is ready to enter the land of the dead, but does not have to do it alone; as vampires and werewolves unite.

The fourth erotic Dark Realm romantic urban fantasy (see Darkness Burning, Into The Darkness and Seduced By The Darkness) is a super thriller that fans of the saga will devour faster than an Undead can fast food on human blood. New Orleans comes across as a city where humans, vampires and werewolves (and others) co-exist. However, Gabriella makes the tale as she must choose between the demon who makes her come and the wolf who offers her much more than just sex.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, September 3, 2010

Stacy's Song-Jacqueline Seewald

Stacy's Song
Jacqueline Seewald
L&L Dreamspell, Sep 2010, $13.95
ISBN: 9781603182669

In Junior high school, Stacy Nelson was called a giraffe as she was very thin with a long neck and towered over all the boys. Now in high school she remains taller than all the girls but some of the boys are taller than her, but she remains somewhat disturbed by being the giraffe.

Her best friend Karen persuades her to try out for cheerleading while the viola player behind her in the school band, Liz, asks her to try out for a band that she and her brother Michael is forming. Stacy joins both, but finds talented blind Michael nasty towards her while football team captain Greg is nice and charming as he wants to date her. As she becomes popular at school and struggles with balancing her commitments, her grades fall upsetting her parents. Especially upset is her father who demands she quits the Norris band, Stacy must decide between two young males who are attracted to her.

This is an entertaining young adult tale starring a likable high school age girl who goes from being the outside freak to the in-crowd. Stacy is stupendous lead as she struggles with two boys; one is charming while the other is demanding. Who will she choose particularly since her dad has already selected who he wants kicked to the curb.

Harriet Klausner

Hearts Persuaded-Joanne Sundell

Hearts Persuaded
Joanne Sundell
Five Star, Oct 6 2010, $25.95
ISBN: 9781594148835

In 1862 in Loudoun County, Virginia, pacificist Quakers Levi Clement and Comfort Clarke wed in a loveless marriage. He wed her out of deference to his heartbroken father who disowned his oldest son for joining the Northern army. Making matters more difficult to accept by Levi is he ignores his heart shouting at him that he loves Willa Mae Tyler, who left. Levi fears for her life and her soul as he knows she will put back on the Confederate uniform to fight the Yankees who brutally killed her family. She left with a secret that she carries inside her womb, a secret that has given her the will to live for the first since her brothers were massacred.

While Willa Mae misses the advice of her best friend escaped slave Surry Lion; Willa Mae prays for her pal to safely achieve freedom fearing how dangerous the Underground Railroad must be. Surry rides the “Rails” north but blames herself for the capture of two of her siblings, but continues her trek in Maryland accompanied by her little sister Penny. Two slave hunters catch them until the two females prove they can write; something slaves cannot do. Still Surry knows in her heart that freeman conductor Lucas Minor is her love though he insists she go to Canada immediately.

The second Quaker and the Confederate (see Hearts Divided) is a super Civil War drama that rotates lead between the key players as each struggles with their conscience and survival; which can be in dangerous conflict. Although Joanne Sundell does a great job of weaving the key elements of the past tale into the story line, the experience will be more satisfying if historical fiction fan reads Hearts Divided first to understand motives better. Character driven, readers will relish this deep look at what happens to good people caught up in the fickle chaotic winds of war

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Sweet Surrender-Lori Wilde

Sweet Surrender
Lori Wilde
Harlequin Blaze, Sep 1 2010, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373795659

The four women agree so far the summer stinks due to men acting badly. They agree to a wager on who will be the last one standing literally. Each puts on panties with electronic sensors and GPS tracking to check up on each other; as the one who lives in abstinence the longest wins the bet.

“Night Whispers”. Bianca accompanies CEO Thomaz to Rio to help develop a marketing plan to sell his firm’s lingerie including his modern day chastity belt that the four females are wearing.

“Never Enough”. In the Costa Rican jungle, Madison is and Jake search for Amore orchids.

“No Turning Back”. In Colorado, Emma and Izzy are white-water rafting when Trent arrives.

These three short stories are fun heated romances with the wired chastity belt adding humor to the mix. Fast-paced and breezy, reader will enjoy the Wilde wager wondering who will be the “winner”.

Harriet Klausner

The Lawman-Patricia Potter

The Lawman
Patricia Potter
Harlequin Blaze, Sep 1 2010, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373795697

In 1866 in the Colorado Territory, a coach driver tells U.S. Marshal Jared Evans that an outlaw named Thornton killed his sister-in-law Emma. Three years earlier murdering outlaws shot dead his wife, daughter and brother and now sweet Emma. He vows Thornton and the other robbers will hang.

Ten years later in Gideon’s Hope, Jared is closing in on completing his death vow to Emma as he tracks down Thornton using the name MacDonald He finally catches up with the felon but orphan Samantha Blair would do anything for her beloved Mac, who along with two other outlaws, took her in as a child and raised her. With Mac lying unconscious with three bullets in him, she prevents the Marshal from getting him when she shoots Jared in the leg. However, instead of allowing the wounded lawman to die, Samantha helps healing his body and soul. Meanwhile amoral bounty hunters begin stalking and trapping the “nurse” and her two adversarial patients.

This is a fast-paced western romance starring three intriguing protagonists. Samantha and Jared feels their love for each other betrays their most sacred trust as she is loyal to her adopted father who he wants to hang as he is loyal to his deceased sister-in-law. With Mac having more lives than a polecat, fans will relish this character driven Americana.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Sexy Beast 9-Vonna Harper, Crystal Jordan and Lisa Renee Jones

Sexy Beast 9
Vonna Harper, Crystal Jordan and Lisa Renee Jones
Kensington Aphrodisia, Sep 1 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758238429

"On The Prowl" by Vonna Harper. Zoologist Jori goes from Texas to India in search of a rare white tiger, but meets Mohan who vaguely knows his savior mate has finally arrived to release the man from the beast.

"Between Lovers" by Crystal Jordan. Oregonian Rhiannon is abducted in the wild and tortured by a psychopath, which turns her into a "Between" shapeshifter. The Between King Elan the lion shifter fears the newcomer will bring harm to his people, but also knows his heart tells him it is too late for him.

"Amber Fire" by Lisa Renee Jones. In honor to her late father, Amber continues his research into the Yagura tribe of shapeshifting jaguars. In the remote Nevada canyons Amber and Jareth meet in a clash of culture and love as each begins to understand the other’s people may be in peril.

These are three entertaining romantic fantasies in which strong American females tame with love and understanding the savage shapeshifting beasts.

Harriet Klausner

Purely Sexual-Delta Dupree

Purely Sexual
Delta Dupree
Kensington Aphrodisia, Sep 1 2010, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758227034

Donovan Fontana is a notorious womanizer. However, his reputation hurts him when he is accused of allegedly assaulting a woman in his boss’ house. He is sent to rusticate on his employer’s Montana ranch accompanied by Challie Baderleen the maid who supposedly witnessed Donovan’s attack that injured a female. He is warned to marry the woman so she cannot testify against him in court.

In Big Sky Country, Donovan uses all his seductive charms on Challie. However, what started as protection turns to lust and soon much more as he feels a need to protect the recently arrived immigrant. Although Challie is falling in love with Donovan and needs her job, she refuses to be anyone’s punching bag even if that means deportation.

Callie receives all the empathy from readers as she makes the tale as an immigrant trying to make it in America, but facing unfair obstacles. Donovan, on the other hand, is a nasty loser shouting profanities and claiming her as if he is her lord and master and she his sex slave. Their relationship leads to an intriguing coupling although the climax (that is story line) is over the top of Granite Peak and even his 24/7 hard third leg.

Harriet Klausner

The Border Vixen-Bertrice Small

The Border Vixen
Bertrice Small
NAL, Oct 5 2010, $15.00
ISBN 9780451231222

In 1532 seventeen year old feisty independent lass Margaret "Mad Maggie" Kerr seeks a husband. However, she will not settle for any spouse as she has a criterion in who becomes her mate. The man needs to allow Mad Maggie to do what she wants to do. Her frustrated grandfather, the laird of Brae Aisir, Dugald Kerr challenges Scottish men to compete for her hand by proving they can "outride, outrun and outfight" her. The prize to the victor is Maggie who is the sole heir to his fortune including ownership of the key pass between Scotland and England that the Kerr kin have patrolled and collected tolls for over five centuries.

Many males take a chance, but most like Ewan embarrassingly lose to the athletic tomboy. King James V sends his cousin Fingal Stewart with instructions to win her hand and gain control of the critical passage. Fingal passes the tests and more when he wins Maggie's love, but an irate Ewan decides to force her to marry him with his plan to leave with his child growing inside her.

The fifth Border Chronicles (A Dangerous Love, and The Border Lord and Lady) is a fabulous sixteenth century romantic romp retelling the Greek mythological tale of Atalanta. Mad Maggie is a great refreshing heroine while Fingal proves worthy of her not because he wins the contests but due to his racing for her golden heart. Evil Ewan adds late suspense to a delightful amusing frolic.

Harriet Klausner