Friday, April 29, 2011

Baby Bootcamp-Mallory Kane

Baby Bootcamp
Mallory Kane
Harlequin Intrigue, May 3 2011, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373695423

In Freedom, Texas Corps Security and Investigations undercover operative Matteo Soarez sits calmly in The Talk of the Town Café while protecting State Governor Lila Lockhart from an assassin. Matt also seeks information leading to identifying who the culprit is.

His two biggest problems with the surveillance is the café owner is eight months pregnant Faith Scott and her cherry pie. A war veteran who has seen the worst of humanity, she makes him dream of family, fences and five female babysitters. She feels the same way about him, but refuses to fall for another drifter after Rory Stockett, father of her unborn. However, when her ex starts to bully her, Matt intervenes. As they fall in love, he realizes someone wants both of them dead; the unborn is collateral damage.

This exhilarating romantic suspense hooks readers from the onset as Matt begins to know first hand the patrons of the café. He makes the story line work as he struggles to stay the character of a drifter construction laborer who falls in love with a woman about to give birth and wants the mother and child in his life. Fans and matt will hope the lead female has faith in her heart as Mallory Kane provides a wonderful thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, April 28, 2011

High Stakes Seduction-Lori Wilde

High Stakes Seduction
Lori Wilde
Harlequin Blaze, Apr 19 2011, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373796144

Someone has stolen top secret US Navy Documents. The prime suspect is Keith Barksdale as the US Navy civilian employee allegedly hacked into Top Secret files just before they were encrypted. Office of Naval Intelligence security officer Lieutenant Adam Mancuso is assigned surveillance and protection of Barksdale’s former girlfriend Yoga instructor Eva St. George, who may be in danger due to her previous relationship.

Adam almost has a heart attack when staking out Eva’s San Diego apartment when he watches her through a telescope perform yoga exercises naked. He knows to keep his distance and use his upper brain, but he cannot as all his blood is flowing within his lower head. When they meet, she feels strongly she must stay away from the hunk as her choice of men has been pitiful, but cannot.

Who would have believed that yoga could lead to a straight arrow having a boner bigger than Catalina? The lead couple is terrific as she calls him her voyeur and he dubs her his exhibitionist. The Barksdale inquiry is also well written, but serves as a matchmaker as this heater belongs to the Wilde lead pair.

Harriet Klausner

Truth and Dare-Candace Havens

Truth and Dare
Candace Havens
Harlequin Blaze, Apr 19 2011, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373796175

Two decades ago Randall abandoned his family in Phosphor County. He never came home. Now the Phosphor County Sheriff informs Randall’s son that his father was murdered twenty years ago with his bones just found by hikers in a shallow grave. Stonegate Investigative Agency Forensic anthropologist Dr. Patience McGee offers to investigate the homicide. However, the victim’s son Cade wants the case to remain closed while the rancher’s grandmother allows Patience to stay at her B&B.

Cade refuses to assist Patience but admires her spunk while she thinks he is a hunk. Unable to stay on the sidelines after her dare, Cade joins Patience as she works his father’s cold case homicide. Meanwhile as they go from attraction to lust to love, someone wants to prevent case solved.

The third “Dare” SIA tale (see Take me If You Dare and See Who Dares, Wins) is an exhilarating investigative romance as the cold case murder of his father brings the lead couple together. The story line is fast-paced while the inquiry upsets local sensitivities. Although a subplot involving her kidnapped brother Jeremy is a distractor, fans will enjoy this entertaining whodunit romance.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Promise of Love-Kate Douglas, Jamie Denton, Erin McCarthy, Kathy Love, Sylvia Day, Lori Foster

The Promise of Love
Kate Douglas, Jamie Denton, Erin McCarthy, Kathy Love, Sylvia Day, Lori Foster
Berkley, Jun 7 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425241073

“Shelter From the Storm” by Lori Foster. Roy and his parents rescue abused child Sabrina; years later she no longer wants Roy as a big brother.

“Take Me Home” by Erin McCarthy. Pregnant Sara returns to her BFF Travis for comfort.

“Razor’s Edge” by Sylvia Day. Deputy marshal Jack takes care of his late best friend’s widow Rachel and her eight year old son though she wants intimacy with him and he cannot stop the blood flow to his lower head.

“Midnight Rendezvous” by Jamie Denton. Leaving New York for New Orleans playwright Burnett suffers from writer’s block until his landlady Maya takes a naked midnight swim.

The “Dime Store Cowboy” by Kate Douglas. New York editor Mark quits his position to accept a job on a Colorado dude ranch where he meets Betsy Mae.

“Life in the Past Lane” by Kathy Love. His editor sends Rocco to cover his high school reunion in Beals Point, a town he vowed to never go back to, but soon re-meets Franny.

Although there is little room for deep character development, the authors do a marvelous job of contributing six fun short novellas.

Harriet Klausner

Too Rich for a Bride-Mona Hodgson

Too Rich for a Bride
Mona Hodgson
WaterBrook, May 17 2011, $13.99
ISBN: 9780307458926

In 1896 the oldest of the Sinclair sisters, Ida has just completed business school in Portland, Maine. However, when Adjunct Professor Mr. Ditmer who she respected makes a proposition that upsets Ida, she joins her sisters Kat and Nell in Cripple Creek, Colorado (see Two Bride Too Many). However unlike her siblings, Ida does not want to find a husband.

Using her business education degree, she teams up with businesswoman Mollie O'Bryan in spite of hearing rumors of her mentor’s amoral business ethics that the newcomers believes is petty gender jealousy. Ida meets itinerant preacher iceman Tucker Raines who tries to save his ailing father’s business and makes friends with people who can help him or his family with their plight. To Ida, attorney Colin Wagner is her perfect match so why does she keep thinking of Tucker.

This is a wonderful inspirational historical tale that reminds readers of Carlyle’s Clothing theory of man as God sees passed the outer garments to the heart and soul inside the person. Mollie and the stock exchange she joins (breaking the gender barrier) were real and add a strong sense of time and place to a delightful late nineteenth century novel. Readers will enjoy the business and life lessons that Ida learns in Cripple Creek as the romantic subplot enhances her chance at restitution with God and his local flock, and moral redemption.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, April 25, 2011

Defiant-Kris Kennedy

Kris Kennedy
Pocket, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9781439195901

In 1215 English King John directs his fearless knight Jamie Lost to kidnap exiled priest Father Peter. Without questioning the task having sworn his allegiance to his sire, Jamie, who knows a rabbi hides Father Peter, sets off to bring the priest and his documents to his king.

A decade ago Eva fled England. Now she is back seeking Father Peter to keep him safe just like he did to her and her companion Roger. Jamie catches Eva stealing, but she escapes to his amusement. When a third party abducts Father Peter; Eva and Jamie team up in pursuit of these kidnappers. Though neither trusts the other, they
Although this is a medieval romance, the incredibly fast-pace and the witty teasing exchanges between the lead couple are rarely part of the sub-genre; in fact the verbal war brings a modern feel that is counterbalanced cleverly by Kris Kennedy are attracted to one another even as the danger mounts while a civil war seems imminent.
including plenty of early thirteenth century history. Action-packed with fascinating escapes from danger, readers will be spellbound by the exciting adventures of Jamie and Eva.

Harriet Klausner

Clay: Armed & Dangerous-Cheyenne McCray

Clay: Armed & Dangerous
Cheyenne McCray
St. Martin’s, Apr 12 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9780312386702

Cochise County, Arizona Sheriff Clay Wayland is frustrated as he has not been able to break the vehicle theft ring that haunts the area near the Mexican border. He believes the criminals are selling their goods in Mexico.

Rancher Rylie Thorn gets into a dispute with an auto dealer. Clay intervenes unable to resist protecting the fiery Rylie. He wants her and she reciprocates, but makes it clear sex only. Her childhood taught her relationships fail. As they fall in love, he tries to persuade her to give them a chance outside of the bedroom. Meanwhile Rylie also begins to believe her brother is the prime suspect which leads her to investigate.

The latest Armed & Dangerous romantic suspense (see Zack, Luke and Kade) is an engaging erotic thriller that showcases how much can be done in the boudoir with law enforcement tools like handcuffs and ropes. Action-packed although more so sexing than detecting, fans who enjoy their police procedural ultra hot will want to voyeur how Rylie ties up Clay’s heart (and other body parts) in knots.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Married on Mondays-HoneyB

Married on Mondays
Grand Central, Apr 28 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9780446582339

In Crème City, The Montgomery sisters (Foxy, Victoria and Deja) believe strongly in the mantra of the Three Musketeers. They run a bakery together, assist their lawyer-husbands at the legal firm, and operate swinging Crème Fantasyland at night.

Foxy feels trapped between loving two men, her spouse and her former fiancé. Victoria allows her libido to run her life as any male or female who brings her to climax is her love of the moment. Finally, kick butt Deja is a dominatrix in every controlling sense of the word as she must be the Dom in charge at work, at fun, and at relationships. With marital issues and the nervy police chief Rain demanding Foxy sleep with him or face jail time, the siblings recall what their single daddy Mason told them: fight as a team watching each other’s back.

This is an engaging erotica starring three females who have their act together as they face life’s curveballs by swinging for the fences. Rotating perspectives mostly between the sisters, but also somewhat Foxy’s husband Winton (the other two mates never step to the plate), readers will enjoy HoneyB’s urging female power encouraging women as the stronger sex to be.

Harriet Klausner

My Foolish Heart-Susan May Warren

My Foolish Heart
Susan May Warren
Tyndale, Apr 18 2011, $13.99
ISBN: 9781414334820

In Deep Haven, Issy Presley has become an agoraphobic ever since the accident killed her mother and left her father in a nursing home. To venture out of her house requires an act of extreme courage on her part as the thought leads to anxiety and the first step to panic attacks. Issy also serendipitously hosts “Miss Foolish Heart” radio show that provides listeners with advice on love and romance though she has never been in a relationship and probably never will being predominantly house ridden.

After a tour in Iraq, Caleb Knight moves to Deep Haven concealing his post traumatic stress disorder anxieties and hoping to obtain a coaching position. When the two neighbors meet for the first time, they are attracted to one another, but their respective inner demons make it a less than an amiable encounter. He calls Miss Foolish heart seeking advice. Over the radio waves the pair connects as they fall in love. However, in person their relationship has a problem as his love is for Miss Foolish Heart.

Although a very deep relationship drama that looks discerningly at anxiety and panic attacks and PTSD, the story line sets up an ironic triangle between, Issy, Caleb and Miss Foolish Heart;. The story line is character driven as the lead couple struggles to overcome their emotional disabilities with this delightful return to Deep Haven (see Perfect Match and Tying the Knot). This is a charming romance.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Cloudy with a Chance of Marriage-Kieran Kramer

Cloudy with a Chance of Marriage
Kieran Kramer
St. Martin’s, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312374037

In London Hodgepodge Bookshop owner Jilly Jones loves her store and even her aptly named for its weather Dreare Street. On the other hand she loathes the institution of marriage having tried that despicable union before.

Her new neighbor, Captain Stephen Arrow is one of Regent’s targeted Impossible Bachelors. He inherited a place near her shop and wants to sell it, but only a fool would buy a house on unlucky Dreare Street; besides his unwelcome family horde resides inside the abode. As an attorney arrives ready to evict the street’s occupants over the lack of payments, Stephen admits to himself he enjoys baiting feisty Jilly who uses her witty arsenal to pickle his brain. He realizes he wants her with his heart and to win the misanthrope he must perform the impossible like learning the Dreare secrets wrapped inside the fog of the street.

This intelligent Impossible Bachelors tale (see Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right) is a wonderful enchanting Regency romance starring two witty combatants at gender war and an eccentric support cast. The story line is fast-paced except for a short moment when the runaway wife’s spouse arrives as he is more dreare than the street. Readers will enjoy this fun entry as humor and wit combine for a fine historical; that is not raining meatballs or pickles (See the wonderful children’s tales by Judi and Ron Barrett).

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Going Cowboy Crazy-Katie Lane

Going Cowboy Crazy
Katie Lane
Forever, May 1 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780446582780

The poster child of conformist behavior, computer programmer Faith Aldridge recently learned she has a twin sister Hope living in Bramble, Texas. Wanting to meet her sibling, she shocks herself when she breaks out of her conformity mold to come to the small town. The locals assume Faith is Hope and the newcomer fails to rectify the mistake because she can hide behind her sister’s persona.

Faith as Hope meets her sister’s friend high school coach Slate Calhoun. He surprises her when he informs her she is not Hope who left town for Hollywood. Meanwhile the townsfolk try to match Hope and Slate. She meets Hope’s parents and considers leaving town, but Faith is in love with Slate. As Hope heads for home, Slate knows which sister feels right in his arms.

The eccentric secondary cast makes Going Cowboy Crazy a zany over the top of the Alamo Texas two-step romance. Although the Bramble brood interference is frequently amusing, this is a two edged sword as at times it can interfere and become annoying. The lead couple is a wonderful pairing while the third wheel hopefully gets her own tale.

Harriet Klausner

Face of Danger-Roxanne St. Claire

Face of Danger
Roxanne St. Claire
Forever, May 1 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780446566575

Two Oscar winners are murdered by the Red Carpet serial killer. Viviana Angelino realizes she is a near dead ringer for the Best Actress favorite best actress front-runner, Cara Ferrari. Seeing an opportunity for her struggling Guardian Angelinos firm to gain a foothold, she offers her services as a double. Cara accepts but stipulates that Vivi fly to Nantucket on the actress’ private plane.

FBI agent Colton Lang is irate with the replacement. At Cara’s estate, someone attacks Vivi demanding where she hid the key. Angelino and Lang are bewildered by the assault, but more confusion will follow on the red carpet.

The latest Guardian Angelino romantic suspense thriller (See Edge of Sight and Shiver of Fear) is a tense tale of opposites who fight, fuss and fall in love. The fast-paced story line is loaded with danger and stunning twists as treachery makes the case that it is much more perilous and risky to the lives of the lead pair and others as well as to the respective hearts of Vivi and Colt. Fans will swear they can smell the cacciatore as Roxanne St. Claire provides a taut thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Ripe for Pleasure-Isobel Carr

Ripe for Pleasure
Isobel Carr
Forever, May 1 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780446572750

In 1783 London some members of the Ton are euphoric that popular courtesan Viola Whedon is writing her memoirs. However, those who will be exposed in her tell all titillating account is appalled by the scandal the bio will cause for them and their family.

In London a mob breaks into her townhouse. Viola assumes they came in search of her manuscript. Lord Leonidas Vaughn offers his protection and she accepts. He conceals from Viola that he knows the reason the thugs assaulted her home; they did not seek her book, but instead work for his odious cousin who believes she has hidden a treasure given to their family by the French king. When a suspicious fire occurs, he takes her to his remote estate where passion ignites and love grows, but he owes her the truth especially as the danger mounts.

The opening act in the League of second Sons is a delightful Georgian romantic suspense due to a strong cast especially the lead couple and their “matchmaking” pup. The treasure hunt is fun to follow as he knows he owes her the truth but struggles to tell her what the hooligans seek. Tense throughout yet fully “Ripe” with humor, sub-genre fans will enjoy this charming late eighteenth contrary tale.

Harriet Klausner

The Guardian-Margaret Mallory

The Guardian
Margaret Mallory
Forever, May 1 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780446575164

In 1508 on the Isle of Skye Ian MacDonald rescues his thirteen year old friend Sileas from an unwanted marriage to Angus MacKinnon. However, his good deed as her knight in shining armor leaves Sileas compromised so his clan makes them marry. Ian knows she is too young to be a bride so he leaves.

After five years away fighting as a warrior including recent time in a dungeon on the Isle of Mull whose laird lacks hospitality, he returns to his clan and his adoring wife. However, she is no longer the child bride who worshiped his every step. Instead Sileas is a mature woman who still loves her husband. He vows to be a good spouse to his beloved wife but must persuade her he plans to stay.

The first Return of the Highlanders Scottish Isles historical romance is a terrific somewhat linear tale of a second chance at love. Ian left his child bride out of honor and duty as he loved her like a big brother does a younger sister; Sileas felt otherwise as she believed her love for him was adult and not puppy. Sub-genre fans will enjoy the warrior’s return to a woman who still cherishes him with her heart, but this time he reciprocates with his soul.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Warrior of the Isles-Debbie Mazzuca

Warrior of the Isles
Debbie Mazzuca
Zebra, May 1 2011, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420110067

In 1592 on the Isle of Lewis, Scottish Laird Aidan MacLeod struggles to insure his clan is fed and sheltered. The Highlander loathes the fae for what they did to his family; as affirmed whenever he looks at his out of control half-breed younger brother, Lachlan.

Fae Princess Syrena arrives to escort Lachlan to the Enchanted Isles. However, she is taken aback when her charge refuses to go with her. Worse Syrena is attracted to the protective big brother who wants her too. That is until he learns what she is as his racism accentuated by her duplicity in concealing her heritage and mission angers him. When someone kidnaps Lachlan the human and the fae unite to try to save the lad and soon find much more.

The latest Isles historical romantic fantasy (see Lord of the Isles) is a wonderful tale. The lead couple is a super pairing as he loathes the Fae but to his chagrin falls in love with one; while she distrusts mortals, but to her chagrin falls in love with a mortal. Filled with action, the dueling protagonists put aside their disdain and desire to try and rescue Lachlan. Warrior of the isles is a winner.

Harriet Klausner

Nowhere Near Respectable-Mary Jo Putney

Nowhere Near Respectable
Mary Jo Putney
Zebra, May 1 2011, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420117226

In 1812 Kent, mixes race Hindu-English Lady Kiri Lawford expects a proposal from Godfrey Hitchcock that she plans to accept. However, just before the question is popped, she learns his family detests her for being racially impure although they want her wealth. Stunned she flees for Dover only to be caught by smugglers.

Rakish gambling den owner Damian Mackenzie rescues Lady Kiri. They are attracted to one another, but besides her brother being his friend, he knows his heritage is nowhere near hers. Whereas his father ignores him as being from the wrong side of the sheets as his mother is an actress; her father is a duke and her mom an Indian royal. When she rescues Princess Charlotte from kidnappers, he assists her while they fall in love.

The third Lost Lords Regency romance (see Loving a Lost Lord and Never Less than a Lady) is a terrific historical due to the fully developed protagonists and a solid support cast. The story line is fast-paced from the moment an irate Kiri flees Kent and never slows down as Mac the Knife learns the true meaning of the “sun never sets on the British Empire.”

Harriet Klausner

My Favorite Countess-Vanessa Kelly

My Favorite Countess
Vanessa Kelly
Zebra, May 1 2011, $6.99
ISBN: 9781420114836

In 1817 Widow Bathsheba Compton cannot enjoy her new marital status as she cannot pay her abusive late husband’s major debt nor pay for the care her mentally disturbed sister who she never sees. The aristocrat knows her only hope to pay the bills rests with marrying a wealth noble.

At a dinner party Lady Bathsheba and Dr. John Blackmore meet and are attracted to one another. She tries to ignore her suddenly awakened libido as he is not what she needs as a mate. He agrees with her assessment as he does not want Lady Shrew for a spouse. However, when she becomes deathly ill, John saves her life. As his patient heals under his care, he discovers she uses her shrewish personality to disguise her intelligence. They begin a tryst, but she rejects his proposal because she fears he will be hurt with his compassion to help poor people in dangerous neighborhoods and besides she needs a pliable wealthy social climber.

Continuing the community activism of Sex and the Single Earl, My Favorite Countess is a wonderful regency romance starring two intriguing lead characters whose passion for one another make for an engaging read. Fast-paced, Blackmore and Compton have ghosts that haunt each and lead to their current behavior of his recklessness and her need for money.

Harriet Klausner

A Tale of Two Lovers-Maya Rodale

A Tale of Two Lovers
Maya Rodale
Avon, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061922992

In 1823 in London, the weekly A Lady of Distinction reports of the latest scandalous affair of Lord R, who has slept with much of the aristocratic female population; this time he is allegedly caught with the taboo of the “stronger sex”. His outraged father warns Roxbury that he marry within one month or accept poverty.

Roxbury, Simon Sinclair had planned on dying as a wealthy bachelor. He blames his latest mess on gossip columnist Lady Julianna Somerset. As the rival A Man About Town places Lady Julianna in the hot sit due to her coverage of Lord R, raging Roxbury knows his time is running out on him so he decides to go after the widow who placed him in fiscal jeopardy. Though attracted to the rake, Julianna vows never again with another philander, but he insists a marriage of convenience is the only shelter for both of them.

The latest The Writing Girl’s Regency romance (see A Groom of One’s Own) is a zany historical that will remind the audience of the madcap 1930s movies like His Girl Friday and Bringing Up Baby. The story line is fast-paced as Julianna has a penchant for gossip and trouble while Simon finds she rocks his world. Fans will enjoy this humorous tale with a touch of identity mystery,

Harriet Klausner

Hush-Cherry Adair

Cherry Adair
Pocket, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9781439153826

Her father’s death and winning the lottery has altered Acadia Gray’s outlook on life. She travels to Venezuela where, totally out of character, she picks up Zakary Stark at a bar. They share a fabulous one night stand.

However, the next morning at the fleabag hotel inside the Canaima National Park, kidnappers abduct Acadia, Zak, and his brother Gideon for what the siblings assume is ransom for them as they are millionaires with a thriving business. Affluent globetrotting thrill-seekers, the siblings accompanied by Acadia get away from the ruthless abductees, but are separated. The brothers know for certain the gang will chase after them as they are a nice money ticket. Zak, who has developed a sudden sixth sense since surviving the harrowing escape, locates Acadia and together they seek out Gideon.

This gripping romantic suspense stars a thrill seeker and a woman who never before stepped outside her comfort zone. The story line is fast-paced and loaded with action that starts on page one with the abductions of the three Americans and later includes a stunning major twist. Sub-genre readers will appreciate Cherry Adair’s exhilarating tour of Venezuela.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Any Man of Mine-Rachel Gibson

Any Man of Mine
Rachel Gibson
Avon, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061579110

Six years ago, hockey star Sam LeClaire woke up the morning after a painful loss to learn he married Autumn Haven. He does not stick around skating away from the woman. However, she gives birth to his son Connor, but he remains distant from both though he provides financial support.

Sam attends the marriage between his Seattle Chinook’s team captain Ty Savage and Faith Duffy (see True Love and Other Disasters). The Haven Event Management owner and wedding planner, Autumn avoids the father of her son as in her mind he belongs permanently in the penalty box for a life misconduct. When they meet, a wiser Sam spends time with his son and wants a second chance with Autumn. However, he drove a Zamboni over her heart so she refuses to free him from the penalty box.

This is an engaging second hockey romance in which readers will enjoy seeing the first stars of previous Chinook tales (see Nothing but Troubles) attending the wedding. The story line is faster than speed skater Bonnie Blair even with hip-checks sending the lead couple to the boards. While her angry former SEAL sibling wants to rip out Sam’s guts, fans will root for Autumn who distrusts her feelings for a man who skated away from her and Connor. Sam knows he has his work cut out even more than he ever had in his sixteen year career to send this game into overtime.

Harriet Klausner

Midnight’s Wild Passion-Anna Campbell

Midnight’s Wild Passion
Anna Campbell
Avon, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061684302

In 1827 Marquess Nicholas Challoner has waited two decades to avenge the affront Godfrey Demarest did to his sister Eloise, ruining her. He feels he has the perfect an eye for an eye scenario with Demarest’s daughter Cassandra making her debut.

However, before he begins his seduction, Nicholas has to get passed his target’s iron maiden chaperone Antonia Smith. Lady Antonia loathes rakes like Nicholas, who caused her a scandal that destroyed her life. Knowing the Ton cannot see beyond their polite veneer, she wears dull clothing and glasses while insuring her charge does not land in the same trap that left her life devastated. . However Nicholas finds the best laid plans of mice and avenging men often go astray when he wants Lady Antonia. Although she knows a relationship with the philanderer will go nowhere and will cost her reputation as well as her friendship with Cassandra, she accepts his offer of a tryst.

Late Regency readers will enjoy Anna Campbell’s delightful historical romance, but especially a great late twist. Antonia returns his soul to Nicholas, which he lost when his sister was exiled by their father for her “sin”. The rest of the strong cast turns Midnight’s Wild Passion into a powerful nineteenth century romance.

Harriet Klausner

When Tempting a Rogue-Kathryn Smith

When Tempting a Rogue
Kathryn Smith
Avon, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061923012

Though time allegedly heals all wounds, Trystan Kane would beg to differ. Back in 1876 he fell in love with Vienne La Rieux but she broke his heart. He still seethes over how she destroyed his soul as he has spent years fuming on how to avenge what she did to him.

In 1886, Trystan wins wealthy business mogul Vienne’s debt voucher, which means he is now her partner in Saint Row. Vienne is irate as she has diligently worked at keeping her independence and holding her heart in check. However her new partner is the only man who almost stormed her barricade and now she must be at his side while constructing a store. She fears losing her soul due to their attraction while he revises his plan so that he will earn her trust and her heart to him.

This is a strong second chance at love late Victorian romance due to a powerful lead couple. Vienne makes the tale compassionate as she fears the loss of her independence because of her phobia towards losing a loved one. Trystan is heroic as he goes from love to anger and back to love once he finally understands why she rejected him a decade ago. When Tempting a Rogue is a psychologically profound character driven historical that makes readers hope the heroine will find the strength to love and end her estrangement from those she cares about.

Harriet Klausner

Falling in Love Again-Cathy Maxwell

Falling in Love Again
Cathy Maxwell
Avon, Aug 1 1997, $7.99
ISBN: 9780380787180

In 1806 when Mallory Edwards was seventeen and John Barron was a few years older, their parents arranged for their marriage. They met on their wedding day for the first time; exchanged vows; and the next morning he left joining the army.

Seven years later, Mallory is tossed from her home due no payment as her wandering husband’s uncle stopped sending her allotment. Fuming, Mallory comes to London to confront her husband and demand a divorce. Not caring one iota for proper behavior, she rips his head off in front of his mistress. When John realizes the screaming crone is his wife, he grabs her and leaves his mistress at home. Mallory proves he owns nothing as his fortune has been embezzled while he dallied. Together they seek his missing relative who absconded with his money. However, as they fall in love while hiding as commoners he realizes his wife is an intelligent beauty and no longer the little girl he married; she realizes her husband is an intelligent hunk and no longer the runaway boy she married.

Readers will enjoy this 1997 Regency ”Treasure” as the metamorphosis of the lead couple is deftly handled by Cathy Maxwell. John is a selfish boor while Mallory lacks self esteem; each matures as he looks inside himself and dislikes what he sees and she begins to gain confidence. Readers will enjoy this second chance at marriage as this time the protagonists fall in love.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, April 15, 2011

Touch of a Thief-Mia Marlowe

Touch of a Thief
Mia Marlowe
Kensington Brava, May 1 2011, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758263520

In 1856 Lady Viola Preston turns to stealing to keep her family from falling into financial ruin. She is terrific at opening any lock, her income maker is robbing jewelry. However, her problem with taking jewels is that when she touches a gem with her hands, she sees visions. Thus she uses gloves.

In India, a felon takes a priceless red diamond from a temple. Fearing the violent repercussion when the theft becomes known by the local populace, Captain Greydon Quinn seeks the gem to bring it back to its rightful place. He needs a thief to catch a thief so he keeps a diligent eye out for a certain cat burglar. His surveillance works as he catches Viola and blackmails her into retrieving the purloined jewel from a deliveryman. Their trek takes them onto the continent and back to London as the clues prove false, but their attraction proves true.

This entertaining Victorian romantic suspense grips the reader even before the lead couple meets, but takes off once they do. The story line is fast-paced as the action moves from India to Europe, but it is the characters who make the plot exciting fun as the thief steals the line officer’s heart while they hunt the stolen diamond.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Three to Tango-Emma Holly, Megan Hart, Lauren Dane, Bethany Kane

Three to Tango
Emma Holly, Megan Hart, Lauren Dane, Bethany Kane
Heat, May 3 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425240939

“Dirty/Bad/Wrong” by T Lauren Dane. Ava left Georgia years ago, but never forgot her two BFFs Luca and Angelo. As she returns for her mom’s funeral, they plan a loving reunion.

“Just for One Night” by Megan Hart. When her former boyfriend Brian comes home for their high school reunion, Kerry persuades her current squeeze Jeremy to agree to her seducing her ex.

“Flipping for Chelsea” by Emma Holly. In 1997 teenage brothers Shay and Liam shared an incredible ménage with Chelsea. In 2011 they have a chance for a déjà vu moment with a repeat performance of love and lust.

“On the Job” by Bethany Kane. When Madeline needed Walker by her side, he instead left her. Now, over a decade later her boss Tony hires Walker to protect Madeline; but she has plans to make her bodyguard sexually grovel using her employer to foster her avenging scheme.

Sub-genre fans will relish these four heated tales that star fully developed threesomes.

Harriet Klausner

Past Midnight-Jasmine Haynes

Past Midnight
Jasmine Haynes
Heat, May 3 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425240946

Neither Erin nor Dominic DeKnight coped with the death of their son Jay. They failed to find comfort with one another though she admits to herself that he helps her through the long night, and compounded the tragedy with guilt and silent accusations. Their marriage appears heading towards a collapse as he has gone on with their business while she neglects it as she struggles to get through the holidays.

The couple attends the Pri Trade show when he decides afterward it is time for his beloved Erin and himself to rejoin the living as a couple as he knows Jay would want nothing less than that for his parents. He bullies her into attending a wild party with him where Erin and Dominic begin exploring their sex fantasies. However, as they enjoy their trysts, someone is stealing their business secrets.

The opening DeKnight saga is a super erotic tale starring two loving people whose world shattered when their son died. The story line showcases Jasmine Haynes’ skills as her lead couple struggle with grief in their personal lives and an economic spy in their professional lives. Fans will root for the pair as each begins to emotionally heal to the point where they enjoy a ménage a trois.

Harriet Klausner

Follow My Lead-Kate Noble

Follow My Lead
Kate Noble
Berkley, May 3 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780425241516

In 1822 Winnifred Crane wants to join the male only historical society. She applies for membership based on authoring highly regarded papers and recognition of her accomplishments by several members. When she is rejected, Winn is upset and angry as she knows gender prejudice is why they said no. Winn decides she must prove her worth at a much greater level than a male would have to demonstrate. Her plan is to uncover the identity of an anonymous artist of a renowned painting.

Duke Jason Cummings seeks to escape the marriage minded bimbos and bimbo moms. When he learns Winn is traveling to Germany, Jason offers to accompany her to Dover. However, something happens and he is forced to join her as she crosses the Channel on to the continent. However, as they become friends and begin to fall in love, her fiancé and others chase after them and both fear once she completes her quest, their relationship will also be completed.

The key to this entertaining late Regency is the romantic subplot is deftly developed so that wary associates become respectful friends before falling in love. The story line provides the audience with a charming Grand Tour, but it is Winn’s enthusiasm and intelligence that fans will admire as Kate Noble affirms we have come a long way from early nineteenth century exclusion from academic societies due to gender.

Harriet Klausner

Bastian-Elizabeth Amber

Elizabeth Amber
Kensington Aphrodisia, May 1 2011, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758241306

In 1881, like all his Satyr man-god siblings, Lord Bastian protects ElseWorld. He is currently leading excavations in Roman, but is disturbed by a voice in his head calling him and a vision of the Temple of the Vestal Virgins.

Silvia the pure Ephemeral Vestal Virgin calls to Bastian so he can dig up the temple and its firestones in order to free her trapped peers. However, already in heat without a corporal form, she takes over a female body, which leads to Bastian and her in a constant out of control libido. Meanwhile someone wants the excavation to fail, sabotaging her effort to liberate the Vestal Virgins.

The latest Lords of the Satyr series (see Dominic and Dane) is an exciting erotic historical romantic fantasy. Bastian is an intriguing protagonist, but it is the ephemeral Silvia with her skill to possess any female body in order to please a man (especially this particular male) who brings compassion to the tale. Readers will appreciate this entreating late nineteenth century thriller, as Bastian cannot have enough of Silvia regardless of what body she uses to entice him.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Eleven Scandals To Win A Duke’s Heart-Sarah MacLean

Eleven Scandals To Win A Duke’s Heart
Sarah MacLean
Avon, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780061852077

In 1823, although she has just arrived in England, the half-sister of the Marquess of Ralston, Juliana Fiori believes she understands the key traits of the aristocracy are public prim and proper in order to avoid mention in the infamous Scandal Sheet. She also knows Polite Society will not accept her passionate Italian nature so being a headliner is fine in her mind.

When she meets the paragon of English society Duke Simon Pearson, Juliana decides to teach the prude a lesson of the heart. He is attracted to her even before she chose to break him, but he has bigger problems protecting his family from a scandal though he considers teaching the wildcat a lesson in behavior. However Simon needs a wife; but though he desires Juliana, he knows the Ton will never accept her..

The third Love by Numbers Regency (see Nine Rules To Break When Romancing a Rake and Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord) is an amusing gender war between obstinate opposites. As sub-genre fans expect Michael Buffer to announce "Let's get ready to rumble!" the lead antagonists fuss and fight while falling in unwanted love. Although the respective causes for their contrary stick in the Thames mud behavior comes a bit late in the humorous plot, readers will enjoy the eleven, make that twelve, scandals to win her duke’s heart.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Deserving of Luke-Tracy Wolff

Deserving of Luke
Tracy Wolff
Harlequin SuperRomance, Apr 5 2011, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373717033

After being away from her hometown and the nasty gossips, Paige Matthews returns to Prospect, Oregon accompanied by her son Luke. Anyone who sees Luke knows who is father is as he looks so much like Logan Powell.

Logan realizes the child is his; just like Paige told him, but he rejected her as being a loose liar. Now he wants a chance with his son, but she distrusts him as he hurt her when they were teens and fears he will hurt their son too. She came home hoping to reconcile with her parents so her son will have grandparents and other family members to be there for him. Although still attracted to Logan, she does not believe he is deserving of knowing Luke. Logan has his work cut out to prove to mother and son he needs both of them even if he may not deserve either of them for neglecting his responsibility and his heart.

This is an engaging family drama as Logan sees first hand how he messed up and knows he has little chance for a second time with the woman he never stopped loving because he feels he failed her. Paige’s issues with her parents add depth to an emotional tale. Although the climax is a bit melodramatic, readers will enjoy this strong character driven tale as Logan struggles to prove to himself he is Deserving of Luke in spite of failing his son and his beloved for years.

Harriet Klausner

Blue Angel-Logan Belle

Blue Angel
Logan Belle
Kensington Aphrodisia, May 1 2011, $14.00
ISBN: 9780758261601

Mallory Dale and Alec Martin are an entry, but he wants more than vanilla in their relationship. She becomes upset with him when he takes her to the Blue Angel burlesque club off the Bowery for her twenty-fifth birthday. About to walk out of the show and her boyfriend, Bette Noir the stripper brings Mallory on to the stage. To her surprise Mallory has a good time and later the couple shares the best sex of their relationship.

Alec still dreams of a ménage a trio with Mallory and another woman. Bette fantasizes about making it with Mallory. Finally Mallory fantasizes of performing so she becomes a dancer at The Blue Angel with Bette her mentor and Alec trying to hang on to what he may have lost.

This is an amusing yet also serious erotic tale as the threesome each face major decisions. This is especially true of Mallory who initially wants to save her relationship with Alec who is looking elsewhere for his flavors while Bette is seeking an F/F with her mentee. The fully developed characters make for a deep heated contemporary as Mallory seeks her groove at the Blue Angel.

Harriet Klausner

The Unbearable Lightness of Dragons-Katie MacAlister

The Unbearable Lightness of Dragons
Katie MacAlister
Signet, May 3 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451233448

The First Dragon assigns recently resurrected, as part of the human Tully Sullivan, Ysolde Bouchier with a task, but she does not understand what her mission is as her dragon memory did not return with her new life. Her Black Dragon spouse Baltic offers little help or empathy while his guard Thala loathes Ysolde. Thus not gaining much from the wyr, Ysolde turns to her friends May and Aisling for their assistance.

Her mission proves convoluted as she tries to persuade her husband to meet with peers who want him dead while she investigates his murder rap. Ysolde also tries to meet Constantine the shade who everyone (her dreams too) informs her he killed her. Besides that there is learning as Tully needs to know how to be Ysolde the dragon.

This is a complicated convoluted fantasy that is difficult to follow (and impossible for newcomers) as much of the dangling threads from previous tales including other miniseries in the MacAlister universe begin to see the light and converge. Fans of the saga will believe it is worth the time as the second Light Dragon tale (see Love in the Time of Dragons) is an entertaining though not an easy read.

Harriet Klausner

Enemy Games-Marcella Burnard

Enemy Games
Marcella Burnard
Berkley, May 3 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425240908

The Claugh nib Dovvyth spy corps operative Major Damen Sinkrivik abducts enemy xenobiologist Jayleia Durante while she is battling to end a devastating plague. Ignoring her people’s plight as he is loyal only to the empire, Damen sees her as a pawn to capture Jayleia’s outlaw father, the Tagreth Federated spymaster Zain Durante, declared a traitor.

Others also seek Zain as many believe he is the one person who might end the horde of traitors supporting the vicious Chekydrans. Jayleia persuades the dynamic Damon they need to team up if they are to stop the mercenaries sent to capture her in order to use her to get at her dad because the empire could be at stake.

The second venture into the Bernard universe (see Enemy Within) is a great romantic science fiction starring a strong cast and an incredibly vivid galaxy in the throes of a terrible war between two empires and traitors lurking within both sides. The story line is faster than the speed of light as the action keeps on coming. Damen is caught between falling in love with the daughter of a key enemy and his loyalty to his side; Zain wants choices in her life though the strife and her father’s changing status limit her. Readers will relish Marcella Burnard’s exhilarating thriller in outer space.

Harriet Klausner

Warcry- Elizabeth Vaughan

Elizabeth Vaughan
Berkley, May 3 2011, $7.99
ISBN 9780425241523

Recently a Warprize, Queen Lara may be carrying the Warlord Keir’s child, but knows she must return home to the Kingdom of Xy to claim the throne for herself and her heir. Heath has protected Xy throughout her perilous adventures on the dangerous Plains. He looks forward to seeing family when they get home, but fears for the safety of his childhood friend when they reach the city; as politics is literally a backstabbing betrayal activity.

Heath also tries to persuade Atria of the Bear warrior that they belong together. However, though she is attracted to him, she loathes the idea of living in the city as she prefers the plains. As they accompany the Queen and Keir home, they protect Lara from assassins and a treacherous schemer.

The latest Chronicles of the Warlands is a terrific romantic fantasy as Elizabeth Vaughn enables readers to observe the cultural and social differences between the people of the Kingdom of Xy and those living on the Plains. The story line is loaded with action, but it is the dramatic differences in outlook between Heath and Atria that makes the brisk tale so powerful, refreshing and entertaining. Sub-genre fans will ponder whether he can move his irresistible beloved female warrior to accept their love; while also protecting his friend, the pregnant Queen.

Harriet Klausner

The Lone Warrior-Denise Rossetti

The Lone Warrior
Denise Rossetti
Berkley, May 3 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425240915

Her father was the Baron of Lonefell Keep, but loathed her from the moment she was born because her mother who he loved died birthing her. He ordered the midwife to kill her, but luck and a grieving woman saved her life. Growing up wild and unwanted, Mehcredi raised herself amidst abuse from others. She finally flees her brutal people joining The House of Assassins. Eventually a Necromancer hires her as an assassin.

When she accidentally hurts an innocent person, Walker the demon warrior hunter notices and stalks her. He catches Mehcredi; Walker displays a deep loathing of her as he sees her as being just like those who killed his tribe. Still to his disbelief, as he gets to know Mehcredi who has no concept of relationships he finds her nothing like his image. Attraction blossoms and they fall in love. However, Mehcredi and Walker must destroy the Necromancer if they are to share a future together.

The key to this wonderful romantic fantasy is the heroine who knows relationships with others means abuse so her only ones are assassination oriented; profoundly the woman is the child. Walker is stunned with his prisoner whose behavior is that of an innocent rather than a hard core killer. Readers will relish the love story of The Lone Warrior and the lone assassin in the rousing Rossetti realm.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, April 11, 2011

Chosen by Blood-Virna DePaul

Chosen by Blood
Virna DePaul
Berkley, May 3 2011, $7.99
ISBN 9780425241547

FBI Para-Ops Special Agent Felicia Locke and hybrid dhampire Otherworld clan leader Knox Devereaux are attracted to each other. However, though they know they should be bonded mates, they have no future together. His species is in peril of extinction due to the stealing of an anti-vamp vaccine antidote that would enable the vamps to eat human blood as before, and besides he must wed a vampire to promulgate the species. She refuses to settle on being his mistress.

Knox struggles between saving his clan and his heart. As they, accompanied by four Otherworld agents, try to retrieve the stolen antidote that would keep his species from starving to death, he tries to persuade Felicia to become his lover. Felicia struggles between her desire and her heart as just saying no is so difficult.

From the opening gala at the Vamp Dome in Portland, Oregon romantic urban fantasy readers will feel the heat is on between the lead pair and that torridness never abates while the sextet is on their mission, bickering all the way. Fast-paced with terrific twists as betrayal is the prime norm. Although the ending leaves too many issues dangling for future visits to the DePaul world, readers will relish the adventures of the sensational six struggles to save a species bickering all the way.

Harriet Klausner

Dragon Bound-Thea Harrison

Dragon Bound
Thea Harrison
Berkley, May 3 2011, $7.99
ISBN 9780425241509

In the New York Magic District, known locally as the Cauldron, hybrid human-Wyr Pia Giovanni knows her mission is fatal, but feels she has few options. Her slimy ex blackmails her into stealing a penny from Dragos Cuelebre, a powerful Elder Race dragon. Though she left a penny behind and an apology note, Pia knows he will find her with the only question being when. She is so desperate she buys a binding spell from Adela the witch owner of Divinus.

Dragos tracks down the thief, but instead of killing Pia as she expects, he is attracted to her. Soon after their first in person encounter, Goblins attack them and capture them. Dragos realizes a very powerful adversary the Dark Fae King Urien wants him dead and that Pia could be caught in the crossfire if his ancient enemy learns who she is to him.

This is an entertaining romantic urban fantasy starring two intriguing individuals as the heroine is Manhattan shtick and the hero is alpha male. The story line roars out of the gate like the express train under the streets as the irate Dragos, known for dining on humans, seeks the thief while Pia seeks her fifteen minutes of fame. Although his possessiveness of his mate is overkill (even if he has an ancient lifetime), sub-genre fans will enjoy the denizen of the Cauldron as like much of the Big Apple light and dark energies flow freely, just more eerier there as a paranormal hangout for dragons, wyr, witches and fae, etc.

Harriet Klausner

Always the Vampire-Nancy Haddock

Always the Vampire
Nancy Haddock
Berkley, May 3 2011, $15.00
ISBN: 9780425240885

In Florida, Maggie O’Halloran asks her buddy Francesca “Cesca” Marinelli to serve as her maid of honor at her Victorian-themed wedding. Accepting the honor, Cesca plans to insure her BFF has the wedding of the century though she has a slight problem with sunshine being a vampire princess.

Besides a wedding better than that of the royals across the pond, Cesca is concerned that her almost all human sweetheart Deke Saber and Triton her shapeshifting dolphin friend have been infected by the Void. To save the men and other paranormal in her life, Cesca will need to employ her somewhat neglected vampiric powers that require amulets she must obtain to ignite her dormant skills; but she fears that may not be enough.

The third zany Sunshine State urban fantasy (see Last Vampire Standing and La Vida Vampire) is a wild amusing thriller as Cesca struggles with saving the paranormal population and hosting the wedding. Readers will enjoy the zany antics of the beguiling heroine and her retinue as always in politics (paranormal and human alike) whether it is DC or Tallahassee, the craving for more power supersedes that L word profanity (logic).

Harriet Klausner

Savage Nature-Christine Feehan

Savage Nature
Christine Feehan
Jove, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780515149333

Saria Boudreaux grew up on the Louisiana Bayou, which may explain why she feels a special affinity to the place’s eeriest secrets. However, even Saria is taken aback when she finds several corpses all containing leopard bites. She fears for her older brothers, who are were-leopards though she knows her siblings would not commit these atrocities.

Saria decides not to call the cops, but instead contacts the land owner Jake Bannaconni. He sends Drake Donovan to investigate the serial killings. At first sight (and sniff) Drake realizes that Saria is his mate as he struggles to control his euphoric inner leopard. He also senses she is on the verge of her first shift. As he makes inquiries into the murders and starts his courtship of his beloved, Drake learns a lesson about life on the Bayou when none of the leopard-shifting families including Saria’s kin cooperate.

The latest Wild Leopard romantic bayou fantasy (see Wild Fire and Burning Wild) is an exciting whodunit as a serial killer stalks the Louisiana swamps. The bayou locale adds a strong sense of foreboding that feels even more uneasy with each corpse. That strong fearful strangeness accentuates the feuding shifter clans. However, the exhilarating story line belongs to the lead couple as he knows she is his mate, but must be cautious while she wonders why he has not jumped her bones.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Burning Ambition-Amy Knupp

Burning Ambition
Amy Knupp
Harlequin SuperRomance, Apr 5 2011, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373717026

Following in the footsteps of her dad Tony, the fire chief of San Amaro Island, Texas, Faith Peligni became a firefighter. She worked in the San Antonio FD until she was injured on the job. Healed, she obtains a position with her hometown fire department as the first female firefighter. However, she expects sexism, but that is not what concerns her. Faith knows she must prove her teammates’ weight because most, if not all, assume nepotism is why she was hired as her dad is the fire chief.

Fire captain Joe Mendoza has dreamed of being the chief since he was pre-school age. He is groomed as the heir apparent, but is attracted to his new subordinate who shares his regard. As they fall in love, he must make up his mind between his career and the boss’ daughter.

This is a terrific firefighters’ romance starring two fully developed protagonists and a strong support cast who enhances either the lead couple or the first responder’s dangerous job. Although Joe is terrific with his indecisiveness re Faith or the promotion, Faith makes the tale terrific as she confronts sexism and the belief she got the job due to connections. Readers will appreciate this super romance as playing with fire in this case is a hazardous occupation.

Harriet Klausner

One Whisper Away-Emma Wildes

One Whisper Away
Emma Wildes
Signet, May 3 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780451233974

Lady Cecily Francis has doubts about marrying Lord Drury as she thinks her sister Eleanor is attracted to her dull fiancé, but there appears to be no escape without scandal for this triangle. The half Iroquois Earl of Augustine Jonathan Bourne arrives from the States to see that his late aristocratic father’s three daughters are settled.

When Cecily and Jonathan meet at a gala, he accidently spills champagne on her gown. Innocently wiping off her gown begins rumors about them and gives Cecily that exit she sought. She suggests a fake engagement to silence the gossips and give her sibling a chance with Drury. He agrees, but neither understood they play with fire.

Though the ensemble cast may feel initially overwhelming, readers will enjoy the first Ladies in Waiting Regency romance as Emma Wildes nicely juggles the prime subplot with introducing the key series players. The story line is fast-paced yet also portrays the English aristocratic bigotry as many believe the Earl’s “savage” blood dilutes the Bourne identity, which causes improper behavior. Sub-genre fans will appreciate this entertaining historical.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, April 9, 2011

A Score to Settle-Kara Lennox

A Score to Settle
Kara Lennox
Harlequin SuperRomance, Apr 5 2011, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373717019

In Houston Project Justice founder oil billionaire Daniel Logan meets with prosecuter Jamie McNair over the Christopher Gables’ murder conviction of his partner Frank Sissom. Gables sits on death row for killing his partner due to McNair’s brilliant prosecution, but now McNair plans to prove she condemned an innocent man. Logan’s motive is personal having spent six years on death row for a crime he did not commit because Texas justice failed him and who knows how many others who had no money to prove otherwise.

Logan explains the case echoes his conviction of the murder of Andreas Musto in which a serial killer frames someone else; his evidence starts with the shared anomalies being unexplained metal shavings and unexplained DNA and with the witness who saw the murder but was an illegal so the witness vanished. As they team up to free an innocent man and incarcerate a serial killer, they fall in love. However she is a passionate prosecutor while he believes Texas justice remains in the Judge Bean era.

This is an excellent romantic legal thriller due to the psychological flaws of the lead couple. She struggles to live up to her father superstar prosecutor while he remains angry and acrimonious with the injustice. The diabolical killer enhances an exciting one sitting tale.

Harriet Klausner

Total Abandon-Opal Carew

Total Abandon
Opal Carew
St. Martin’s, Apr 12 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9780312674595

Following her divorce, Sandra vowed to have a year of sexual abstinence to determine what she wants in a relationship. She even refuses to consider dating. Now that her year of celibacy is over, Sandra ponders how to dive head first into the dating pool when she fears putting her big toe in the water.

Her BFF Aimee encourages her to take the dive as does her friend’s two male buddies (James and Craig). Sandra takes the plunge starting with writing her eight fantasies on a cocktail napkin that her pal Devlin sees. He wants to be part of her life for the long run once she finishes her trysts as he has loved for a long time; his goal is to be the last one lying with Sandra.

This is a hotter than the sun erotic romance in which the heroine’s sexual fantasies make up the story line. Thus, the characters are not very developed except for specific body parts. Still, erotica voyeur fans will enjoy observing voyeur Sandra’s wildest fantasies as once she takes the dive she goes Total Abandon.

Harriet Klausner

Hotel No Tell -Daphne Uviller

Hotel No Tell
Daphne Uviller
Bantam, Apr 26 2011, $15.00
ISBN 9780385342704

NYC Special Investigations Commission agent Zephyr Zuckerman is assigned the investigation into a money laundering inquiry at the Greenwich Village Hotel as someone moved $100K off the hotel books. The thirtyish Junior Detective obtains a position at the concierge desk, but her inquiry makes no progress.

However, Zephyr finds the case spins in another direction when the guest of room 502 struggles for oxygen in what appears to have been an attempted murder though she cannot fathom the motive. Finally, the undercover detective wonders if money laundering is not what occurred at the Greenwich Hotel, but instead an egg donor con.

This jocular satirical police procedural is an enjoyable what did they do comic crime caper as the Z to the second power investigates a felon that keeps changing as to what it is. The amazing Ms. Z keeps the wild story line somewhat focused as she takes readers on a shtick tour of the Big Apple. Fans who relish plenty of humor (slapstick included) in their mysteries will want to read SI undercover operative Zephyr’s zany tale (see Super in the City).

Harriet Klausner

Friday, April 8, 2011

What Might Have Been-Kira Sinclair

What Might Have Been
Kira Sinclair
Harlequin Blaze, Mar 22 2011, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373796090

In Georgia, when his grandfather died, he left Luke Collier ownership of Collier Orchards. Luke has bittersweet memories of the small farm he grew up on, but returns home leaning towards selling.

Eight years away from his childhood home, Luke knows his former girlfriend Ainsley Rutherford lives and works on the orchard. He broke her heart when they were an entry and she has vowed not again as she expects the prodigal bad boy to come home. However, her personal pledge of abstinence fails when they meet. As he reconsiders his future plans, she fears he will do what men like him do leave.

This intriguing second chance at love stars two fascinating protagonists who obviously love one another, but to stay or not to stay that is the question. The story line never fully decides between the two encounters as what happened eight years ago competes with the contemporary. Still the couple is strong and readers will want to know why he left and as the glass is half empty in the case of Luke instead of optimistically wondering will he stay, fans and the heroine will ponder whether he will leave again.

Harriet Klausner

Dangerous in Diamonds-Madeline Hunter

Dangerous in Diamonds
Madeline Hunter
Jove, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780515149340

Tristan the Duke of Castleford stays sober one day a week as he sets aside Tuesdays to deal with affairs of the estate. The rest of the days he enjoys wenching and drinking. However, he finds alcohol and woman not quite appealing as he feels a major bout of ennui instead of the usual euphoria lately.

He decides to escape London to visit four properties he has never seen but he now owns since inheriting them for some unknown reason from the recently deceased Duke of Becksbridge. One of his recent acquisitions is land where The Rarest Blooms floral shop resides. There he encounters florist Daphne Joyes, who keeps him miraculously sober more than just for one day a week. He wants to know her story especially why his late relative rented to her; so he digs into Daphne’s history and watches women come and go while she tries to hide them from him and others. The pair argues, fusses, and kisses although his conclusions about her are totally wrong but she refuses to correct him. However, they will soon learn the dangerously hard way that a common foe wants both destroyed.

The latest Rarest Blooms Regency romance is a terrific historical as Madeline Hunter supports her wonderful amusing romantic subplot with an insightful look at spousal abuse and the Dickensian working conditions of millworkers leading to riots. Fans will relish the missteps of the hero as the lead female enjoys watching him stumble while the return of the previous three Blooms enhance a delightful series (see Ravishing in Red, Provocative in Pearls and Sinful in Satin).

Harriet Klausner

Moonlight Cove-Moonlight Cove

Moonlight Cove
Moonlight Cove
Sherryl Woods
Mira, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778329794

In Chesapeake Shores, Maryland Psychologist Will Lincoln knows he is passed the moving on stage as his feelings for Jess O’Brien are going nowhere. He has unrequitedly loved her since he met her when he was fourteen. Thus he starts a dating service hoping to find his own match as well as helping others.

Jess suffers from emotional issues and learning disabilities, which make her feel like a loser as her older siblings seem to be successful while she fails at everything even her Eagle Point Inn needed family rescuing. Even her parents have reconciled though she still resents her mom for abandonment. She is attracted to Will as she has since they were teens, but his successful practice just means one more person who she inadequately compares with. Still she decides to try Will’s service, but no one seems to want to date her; Will conceals the reason why no match has occurred.

Jess makes this a terrific contemporary romance with her commitment phobia, her fear of loving relationships and her belief she is inferior to her family. Will is too perfect with his patience to nudge not try to budge his beloved ash he wisely understands for them to make she has risk her heart. Chesapeake Shores' fans will relish this poignant tale of love.

Harriet Klausner
Mira, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778329794

In Chesapeake Shores, Maryland Psychologist Will Lincoln knows he is passed the moving on stage as his feelings for Jess O’Brien are going nowhere. He has unrequitedly loved her since he met her when he was fourteen. Thus he starts a dating service hoping to find his own match as well as helping others.

Jess suffers from emotional issues and learning disabilities, which make her feel like a loser as her older siblings seem to be successful while she fails at everything even her Eagle Point Inn needed family rescuing. Even her parents have reconciled though she still resents her mom for abandonment. She is attracted to Will as she has since they were teens, but his successful practice just means one more person who she inadequately compares with. Still she decides to try Will’s service, but no one seems to want to date her; Will conceals the reason why no match has occurred.

Jess makes this a terrific contemporary romance with her commitment phobia, her fear of loving relationships and her belief she is inferior to her family. Will is too perfect with his patience to nudge not try to budge his beloved ash he wisely understands for them to make she has risk her heart. Chesapeake Shores' fans will relish this poignant tale of love.

Harriet Klausner

When You Dare-Lori Foster

When You Dare
Lori Foster
Harlequin HQN, Apr 26 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373775712

In Tijuana, mercenary Dare Macintosh raids a human trafficking trailer to rescue his friend and Trace Rivers’ sister Alani. Incarcerated in the same containment facility was an unconscious female who has been tortured by the kidnappers; he took her out with him too; while four local females were freed as well but left on their own. Alani explains the other American was not taken for selling like she and the four locals, but for some other unknown reason

When she awakens she breaks his nose, but he remains calm and helps her quickly adapt to being in San Diego. As he assists her with healing, romantic suspense novelist Molly Alexander from Ohio tells Dare she has no idea why anyone would take her as she has no enemies at least who would go to such an extreme. Dare is attracted to and respects Mommy’s courage under fire. She hires him even as he vows to find out who her predator is anyway, but first must know why.

This is an exciting extremely well written romantic suspense that will have readers up late trying to figure out who the culprit is and the motive. Several viable suspects surface, but determining who would go to the extreme is in plain sight but difficult to fathom. Various relationships to include dysfunctional, maturing and changing, and respectful make for a powerful thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Long Slow Burn-Isabel Sharpe

Long Slow Burn
Isabel Sharpe
Harlequin Blaze, Mar 22 2011, $ 4.99
ISBN: 9780373796106

In Milwaukee as she nears thirty, Kim Horton joins her three friends Marie Hewitt, Darcy Clark and Candy Graham at the monthly Women in Power meeting. Darcy owns Milwaukeedates.Com. Having recently gotten an E-male for Candy (see Turn Up The Heat) she turns her attention to helping Kim with her extinct love life. Kim agrees to try her service. At the same time Kim’s worried that her Charlotte Web’s Design is failing after five years of her hard work.

Kim’s roommate Nathan Alexander is a womanizer who prefers drinking beer (with her loser younger brother) as if they still are in college. In fact, Nathan has been into Kim for years, but assumes she is so not into him as he is always a fool in front of her. Still he decides to risk his soul by vying for his Kim’s heart.

The second contemporary E-male romance is a fun tale especially from the moment Nathan steps on the pizza just when Kim gives him the silent lecturing evil eye. The story line is at its best when the pair bickers their way to love. Although subplots involving other characters subtract from the stars’ Sharpe segue, readers will enjoy Nathan’s fumbling attempts to show his beloved he is a serious contender for her love.

Harriet Klausner

Summer at Seaside Cove-Jacquie D'Alessandro

Summer at Seaside Cove
Jacquie D'Alessandro
Berkley, May 3 2011, $7.99
ISBN 9780425241493

After her half-sister Laurel steals her boyfriend, upset and humiliated Jamie Newman leaves New York to spend the summer at a nice cottage on Seaside Cove, North Carolina away from her dependent family. There she plans to renew her batteries and look at where her life is going starting with ridding herself of her drama queen mom, Laurel and her niece as well as managing the family restaurant.

However, her pleasant bungalow turns out to be a dump. Worse the horde she left in New York followed her to the barrier island as the three females plead with Jamie to rectify their issues. Meanwhile Jamie is attracted to her annoying cottage landlord Nick Trent. He wants a summer fling with his renter who will return to New York so he can hide his past from the woman he desires.

This is an amusing contemporary romance due to a strong cast. The lead couple is a nice pairing who brings an engaging romantic subplot with a touch of intrigue re his secret to the mix. However, her family of Three Stoogettes provides an eccentric jocularity yet also contains a serious theme that focuses on the emotional dependency of the trio on the problem fixer who is a codependent with her need to be needed. This is a wonderful family drama.

Harriet Klausner

One Magic Moment-Lynn Kurland

One Magic Moment
Lynn Kurland
Jove, May 3 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780515149517

Medieval studies academic Tess Alexander feels euphoric after inheriting Sedgwick Castle. She dreams of restoring the edifice to its medieval days of glory as she believes the structure has a strong base to include ghosts and Mrs. Tippets’ gift shop protected by her guard dog, Mr. Beagle.

When Tess and local mechanic John de Piaget meet, she is stunned as he could pass as a twin to Montgomery the man who married her sister Pippa eight hundred years ago (see One Enchanted Evening). She wants to know more about him while he wants her to leave him alone as he fears the scholar will dig up ancient history that will bring an enemy with it. However, though he says he wishes she would just go, his brain consists of one icon: Tess.

The latest entertaining de Piaget time travel romance stars the other Alexander sister and a reluctant thirteenth century born modern day mechanic. The story line contains a strong coupling filled with humor, attraction, bickering and some suspense while the Lynn Kurland tour of the castle enhances the fun tale. The Family Lineage bibliography of the de Piaget family will help the audience with who’s who as Ms. Kurland provides another magic moment.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

If You Knew Suzy: A Mother, a Daughter, a Reporter's Notebook-Katherine Rosman

If You Knew Suzy: A Mother, a Daughter, a Reporter's Notebook
Katherine Rosman
Harper, Apr 19 2011, $15.99
ISBN: 9780061735240

Although she knew the death of her mom was coming shortly, Wall Street Journal reporter Katherine Rosman struggled to move passed the demise of Suzy, who at sixty died from lung cancer. To help her come to grips with her loss and better understand how others felt about her intelligent energetic mom, Ms. Rosman turned to people who knew her late mom; that is after a shopping spree with her sister Lizzie to honor their pain in the butt nurturing loving mom. Ms. Rosman talked with the empathetic Haitian doctor at Sloan-Kettering who lost his father to cancer just a few weeks prior to the death of Ms. Rosman’s mom. Some people she chatted with thought her quest was a waste of time for her and the other party as neither will know if anything profound surfaced since the source is gone. Ms. Rosman agrees with the assessment on the surface, but her exercise is for herself as grief is customized to the individual. This is an interesting look at a daughter mourning for her loss of her mom though there is little in the way of conflict between the pair. Still readers, who struggle with the loss of a loved one, which reminds survivors of their mortality, will empathize with Ms. Rosman as she provides an engaging look at seeking her mom in death and especially in life from those who knew Suzy.

Harriet Klausner

Rodeo Daddy-Marin Thomas

Rodeo Daddy
Marin Thomas
Harlequin American Romance, Apr 5 2011, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373753567

At the Bastrop Homecoming Rodeo, bronco rider Drew Rawlin is injured when his horse bucked him so he is taken to the nearby Lakeside Hospital emergency room. Working at the hospital is his former lover for one night that he never forgot, Nurse Hallie Sutton. He chickened out in the past five years since that night although he constantly craves wanting to see her, but this time he seeks her out. When he learns he is the father of their four year old boy Nick he sired with her, he is irate. He demands time to know his son, which she reluctantly agrees to though she fears he will hurt their child like he hurt her.

Hallie and Drew are attracted to each other just like they were the first time they met. Their heat is not enough for Hallie who still insists on a real full time daddy for their child. Obviously a rodeo cowboy is not home to meet her requirement although he believes he can have his cake and eat it too.

Although the premise of not informing a father he sired an offspring is older than Wyoming dirt, fans will enjoy this entertaining family drama. Marin Thomas makes a strong case that the adult is still the child; as Hallie needs a man who is there for her and her son and not one traveling the rodeo circuit while Drew must prove that he did not waste his time on the circuit as his late father always told him he would never amount to anything. This couple has personal demons to overcome as love is not enough.

Harriet Klausner

A Convenient Proposal-Lynnette Kent

A Convenient Proposal
Lynnette Kent
Harlequin American Romance, Apr 5 2011, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373753550

In the Florida Keys, Georgia veterinarian Griff Campbell notices the stranger on the private beach just before midnight. They enjoy the final ten minutes of New Year’s Eve and they kiss. Somewhat intoxicated Griff proposes to Arden Burke, classical musician, who is losing her hearing. The vet’s motive is he does not want to go home to Sheridan, Georgia looking pathetic since his fiancée married his best friend.

He actually wants a fake fiancée. She agrees to be his pretend woman if he gets her pregnant without any inconvenient after ties as she has Igor the canine. He accepts her terms, but soon each finds a growing attraction that has both wanting to renegotiate.

This entertaining contemporary romance is a tender tale of two people reluctant to getting involved in a permanent adult relationship. Griff was engaged for twos years only to have his fiancée break it off three days before the wedding to marry his long time best friend. Arden feels sorry for herself and prefers the company of loyal Igor. Fans of relationship dramas will relish the tale of the musician, the vet and the dog.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Claimed by the Highlander-Julianne MacLean

Claimed by the Highlander
Julianne MacLean
St. Martin’s, Mar 29 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312365325

King George gave Kinloch Castle, formerly owned by the MacDonald brood, to the MacEwan clan for their support of him. In 1718, with her dad dead and while her brother Murdoch is overseas, Lady Gwendolyn MacEwan runs Kinloch Castle. Fuming over the loss of what he called home as a child, Angus “the Lion” MacDonald leads a force to reclaim what he believes is rightfully his. His side wins the battle, but his opponent for disclaiming his belief is Gwendolyn. Angus claims her as his wife to be and one day the mother of his children.

He knows he is attracted to her independence as well as her beauty. However, Angus is also frustrated with Gwendolyn who demands equal treatment for her clan and the choice of her people to leave if they want to go. As the pair fight, fuss and fall in love, neither is aware of a schemer betraying both of them, but insuring the Lion believes his Lioness is the traitor as the clans appear on the brink of overt hostility.

Although the premise has been done many times, Julianne MacLean provides an exciting Scottish historical romance with her second Highlander saga (see Captured by the Highlander). The lead couple is a fabulous pairing of enemy combatants falling in love but even with her carrying his offspring distrust remains a constant. The traitor is obvious for Monday morning quarterbacks as Ms. MacLean provides clues to the culprit’s identity yet keeps the audience guessing in this exciting early eighteenth century intrigue.

Harriet Klausner

Get Lucky-Lorie O'Clare

Get Lucky
Lorie O'Clare
St. Martin’s, Mar 29 2011, $7.99
ISBN: 9780312372163

Her parents were always on the run after completing a scheme so London Brooke grew up in chaos. Her reaction to her living out of a suitcase childhood is stability in one place. Thus she works at the Elk Ski Lodge in Aspen, Colorado.

Bounty hunter Marc King arrives at the Ski Lodge for some needed respite. He and Lucky are attracted to one another when they meet at the front desk. They begin a tryst, but soon afterward each receives packages from a stranger observing both of them. The pair shares what they know including her family’s occupation as they fear their families may be in peril from an unknown dangerous adversary, whose motive is unclear to them.

The second Bounty Hunters romantic suspense (see Play Dirty) is a fast-paced tale from the moment Marc and Lucky meet and never slows down with a great humorous coda to complete a terrific read. Although the enemy’s need for Marc remains nebulous at best, fans will enjoy the saga of the Southern California hunk and the Rocky Mountain wannabe falling in love while trying to expedite themselves and loves ones from a peril.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, April 1, 2011

Fast Women-Jennifer Crusie

Fast Women
Jennifer Crusie
St. Martin’s Griffin, Mar 29 2011, $14.99
ISBN: 9780312668525

After twenty years of marriage, on Christmas Day Nell Dysart's husband tells her that he no longer loves her and plans to file for a divorce. Nell barely ate or slept for the next eighteen months and rarely left her home. Finally, she is persuaded by her two former sisters-in-law and her son to apply for a temporary job as an office manager in a detective agency in German Village, Ohio. During the interview, she breaks the shades, tears a hole in the carpet, and spills coffee all over Gabe McKenna's desk.

Even though she flopped miserably, Gabe hires her anyway. She soon finds evidence that her predecessor embezzled money from the firm. Not long afterward her temporary job becomes permanent even as Gabe and Nell fall in love with one another. However, Gabe and Nell are control freaks who must find a way to forge a relationship that makes both of them happy or slowly watch it wither away.

This is a reprint of a wonderful 2001 Jennifer Cruise amusing tale. Readers will delight in the hilarious battle of the sexes for control that star two hysterically funny combatants. Fast Women is Ms. Crusie at her jocular best.

Harriet Klausner