Thursday, March 29, 2012

No Longer A Gentleman-Mary Jo Putney

No Longer A Gentleman

Mary Jo Putney

Zebra, Apr 24 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781420117233

In 1803 Paris, English Lord Grey Summers enjoys a tryst with Madame Camille Durand when her husband Ministry of Police high level official Claude Durand catches them together. With the Treaty of Amiens expired, instead of deportation or even the guillotine, Durand is locked away in a dungeon in Castle Durand.

In 1813, Lord Kirkland discusses the Summers disappearance with one of his best agents Cassie Fox, who lost her family and her faith during the Reign of Terror. Cassie accepts the difficult mission of “Rescuing Grey.” She succeeds in getting him out of the cell and castle, but they must cross enemy territory and the Channel. However, even in London they are unsafe from Durand and from their hearts as both survived harrowing experiences that has left their hearts shattered.

The latest Lost Lords Regency romantic suspense (see Nowhere Near Respectable, Loving a Lost Lord and Never Less than a Lady) is a super historical due to the protagonists who suffer from PTSD. Although Durand is over the top of the Tower of London and the Bastille as a monster, sub-genre fans will appreciate Mary Jo Putney’s enjoyable tale.

Harriet Klausner

Too Tempting Too Resist-Cara Elliott

Too Tempting Too Resist

Cara Elliott

Forever, Apr 24 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780446584562

Lord Connor Lynsley gave his employee Sara Hawkins ownership of the Wolf’s Lair when the former married (see Too Wicked To Wed). Just turned thirty, frequent customer Lord Gryffin Dwight wonders if his best friend’s happiness has left him feeling like an aging wastrel.

Lady Eliza Brentford enters the men only brothel gambling den in an attempt to prevent her brother Harry, Lord Leete from leaving the family impoverished. Raging, she immediately meets Harry’s role model Gryff. Harry invites Gryff to a house party, which he accepts but conceals his agenda to explore the estate. One kiss and handcuffs leave Gryff and Eliza in need, but as she falls in love she fears her heart will break when the rake leaves her for his next conquest.

Though protagonists are similar in tone as the first tale, the second Lords of Midnight historical romance is a fun story starring an impudent ripping skin heroine and a rake ready to retire from debauching,. Readers will enjoy aptly titled Too Tempting To Resist at any time, but especially when she is handcuffed in his room.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Invitation to Scandal-Bronwen Evans

Invitation to Scandal

Bronwen Evans

Kensington Brava, Apr 24 2012, $14.00

ISBN: 9780758259219

In 1809 Kent, although he knows he does this to prove his father’s innocent of a treason charge, Rufus Knight, Viscount Strathmore thinks what sacrifices he does for his country as he plots to capture the notorious smuggler “Dark Shadow.” Rheda Kerrich plans one more shipment before the Dark Shadow fades into local mythology. However, her final mission falls apart when she becomes trapped by a barrel of French brandy. Rufus finds her pinned down and helps her up.

Attracted to Rhe, he plans to seduce her while continuing his hunt for the Dark Shadow. Rhe feels likewise about the viscount, but knows her loyalty is to save her family from disgrace and her village from poverty during these difficult times. As he begins to uncover the identity of the Dark Shadow, Rufus and Rhe fall in love, but her persona stands in their way.

This is a fabulous Regency romance (see Invitation to Ruin) starring two strong individuals. Both strongly believe in honor and loyalty, which ironically may keep them separated as each has other people to care about. The internalized conflict between different loves makes for a strong Napoleonic Era tale.

Harriet Klausner

Kiss The BrideDeirdre Martin, Christie Ridgway and Laura Florand -

Kiss The Bride

Deirdre Martin, Christie Ridgway and Laura Florand

Kensington Brava, Apr 24 2012, $14.00

ISBN: 9780758272881

“Early Bird Special” by Deirdre Martin. Dane Fine is in Palm Beach working on opening of an upscale boutique while staying with her grandparents in their retirement community. They believe their granddaughter and Josh Green the landscaper are a perfect match, but her next assignment is Paris.

“Wedding Ink.” by Christie Ridgway. Wedding vows writer Charlotte Bond reluctantly agrees to the bride Audrey Langford’s demand that she attend with the best man Luke Harper. A year ago after a fight he fled to Qatar on an engineering project.

“All’s Fair in Love and Chocolate” by Laura Florand. Food blogger Eloise “Ellie” Layne goes undercover in Paris to learn the secrets of French chocolatier Simon Casset. Although he knows who she is, he loves kisses.

These are three entertaining contemporaries starring nice lead characters who learn what love is.

Harriet Klausner

Naked Angel-Logan Belle

Naked Angel

Logan Belle

Kensington Aphrodisia, Mar 27 2012, $14.00

ISBN: 9780758261625

Performer Mallory is ecstatic as her new burlesque club The Painted Lady opens tonight. While she performs on stage, her boyfriend of four years Alec proposes. However, he also added a stipulation that she stops performing.

Though it hurts her deeply, costume designer Gemma knows she is frozen tundra in bed. Encouraged by a dominatrix, when she meets the married financial backer of the Painted Lady, Gemma proves she can be equatorial hot.

Nadia left the stage as a ballerina due to an injury, but takes to the stage of The Painted lady. Men love her show except the one she secretly loves who owns the ballet company.

The third Club Burlesque erotic tale (see Fallen Angel and Blue Angel) is a wonderful contemporary that intertwines the three sexcapades subplots into a cohesive engaging albeit torrid novel starring three fine couples.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

The First Warm Evening Of The Year-Jamie M. Saul

The First Warm Evening Of The Year

Jamie M. Saul

Morrow, Apr 24 2012, $24.99

ISBN: 9780061449727

Voice over freelancer Geoffrey Tremont enjoys his New York City singles lifestyle when he receives a registered letter from attorney Frank Remsen of Shady Grove, New York. His client Laura Stevenson wants him to act as her estate executor. Geoffrey remembers her as Laura Welles who attended Juilliard while he went to Colombia before she moved to Paris twenty years ago as a jazz musician. Curious he calls Frank who says she did not want him to see her like she was just before she died a week ago.

Stunned while thinking back to why they drifted apart, he goes to Shady Grove where Geoffrey meets Laura's best friend widow Marion Ballantine. He falls in love with her with the way she warmly welcomed him. However, he has a Manhattan girlfriend Rita and she has Eliot Wooten though attracted to the man whom she previously seen in a caricature owned by their mutual late friend.

This is a warm character driven romance starring two protagonists struggling with their shocking instant attraction to one another. Each has a significant other and some baggage with hers being much more serious than his. Although there is no action, fans who relish a profound insightful psychological relationship drama will want to read The First Warm Evening Of The Year, wondering how it will end.

Harriet Klausner

Overseas-Beatriz Williams


Beatriz Williams

Putnam, May 10 2012, $25.95

ISBN 9780399157646

In 1916 in Amiens, France, a woman waits outside a church for British Army Captain the Honorable Julian Ashford. When he leaves the church, she calls his name. He turns to her without any recognition of who she is as she keeps saying to herself don’t faint before falling into his arms.

In 2007 in New York City, Wall Street analyst Kate Wilson meets billionaire investment genius Julian Laurence at a meeting. Though she is pretty and intelligent, he could have any woman in the world. To everyone attending the meeting including Kate, Julian seems to have fallen in love at first sight. Kate feels the same powerful pull; so she wonders why he abruptly ends their relationship just as she is accused of leaking him proprietary information. Julian has been waiting since 1916 for the woman who saved his life to during the trench warfare to catch up to him while modern day Kate struggles with his WWI British officer’s sentiment re women.

Mindful of Somewhere In Time by Richard Matheson, this is a great time travel romance that deftly moves back and forth between 2007 and 1916. The protagonists are fully developed, which enables the audience to ignore plausibility and enjoy a tender love story that defies time and much more.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, March 26, 2012

The Reason Is You-Sharla Lovelace

The Reason Is You

Sharla Lovelace

Berkley, Apr 3 2012, $15.00

ISBN: 9780425247129

Except for visits to her widower dad, Dani Shane never planned to return to Bethany, Texas as she knew she was the nutcase who did not belong. However, having lost her position as a graphic designer in Dallas due to downsizing, she and her sixteen year old daughter Riley move back home to live with Dani’s Pop.

Dani is taken aback when she sees Riley chatting with her childhood friend Alex. As a teen she wanted him, but he was too old for her; and besides he has been dead for over four decades. She did not anticipate Riley inheriting her ability to see ghosts. Though she still is attracted to him, Dani’s first concern is easing Riley’s awareness of ghosts and how to conceal her unwanted gift so she is not labeled crazy. She obtains work at the Bait-n-Feed. Distracted, Dani rear ends Jason Mller’s BMW. She says she will take care of the damage, but he is nasty. He follows her to the store where she learns he is the A-hole owner of Bait-n-Feed. Dani revises her original opinion of Mr. Miller as she soon finds herself attracted to her boss and her ghostly BFF.

The Reason Is You is a wonderful paranormal family drama starring a beleaguered heroine who wants to keep her teenage daughter safe from the anguish and ridicule she suffered. Her life is complicated enough from ghost morphing through walls, but made more convoluted when she feels fickle for falling in love with two males. Readers will enjoy Dani’s homecoming as she learns life is the rose as much or more so as the thorn.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Through The Night-Janelle Denison

Through The Night

Janelle Denison

St. Martin's, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780312372316

In Las Vegas, as part of her job as executive hostess at the Onyx Hotel, Valerie Downing watches for high rollers as you want to do whatever to get them to stay at the hotel where they would spend a lot of money. She observes Chase Pierson, who fits her classification in every way, as he has quite a crowd watching him play craps. She offers him comp at the hotel, but he explains he already has that; Val is stunned to learn owner Steven Wilkes approved Chase’s free room.

However, though each has the hots for the other, Valerie rejects sleeping with a client while Chase accepts it’s a matter of time before she does. The Reliance Group leader Caleb Roux tells Val that Steven hired Chase to find a Capone relic; he wants Val to help with her clairvoyant abilities assisting Chase’s psychometric skills.

The latest TRG romantic suspense (see Night After Night and Into The Night) is a fast-paced tale starring two interesting lead characters who focus on the boudoir much more than the case. Still readers will enjoy this engaging thriller eve with the protagonists lacking depth.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, March 24, 2012

Run Wild-Lorie O'Clare

Run Wild

Lorie O'Clare

St. Martin’s, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780312534561

Growing up in a family of bounty hunters Natasha King understands the danger of the profession, but it must be in the DNA as she joins her kin at Los Angeles based King Fugitive Apprehension. Her mother Nadine deserted her when she was little and her father George the con artist has not been around for years. Her uncle and aunt (until she vanished a few years ago) raised her alongside her cousins.

She receives a call asking where her father is; when she responds she did not know the man hung up. Soon afterward, Sheriff Trent Oakley of Weaverville, California calls asking the same question; followed by requesting she meet with him if she wants to help her father. In Weaverville, he explains to Natasha that her dad is the prime suspect in the Trinity Ranch killing. As they fall in love neither quite trusts the other as her father remains the toad in the road.

The latest Bounty Hunters family affair romantic suspense (see Play Dirty, Stay Hungry and Get Lucky) is an action-packed thriller from the moment Trent calls and never slows down as the tough sheriff and the even tougher bounty hunter work the case together while falling in love. Though very minor, his failure to identify himself until she asked who he is when he called pushes readers from the excitement, but quickly rebounds when the goes to meet him. Sub-genre fans will appreciate Natasha’s turn as the lead with her proving she has the King mettle.

Harriet Klausner

Taming an Impossible Rogue-Suzanne Enoch

Taming an Impossible Rogue

Suzanne Enoch

St. Martin’s, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780312534523

Her marriage to Stephen Pollard was arranged just after heir birth. However, not once over the years did the marquis visit her. As he waited for her at the altar, Lady Camille Pryce decides she does not want to wed such an indifferent man. Instead she jilts him and knowing her family will disown her for the scandal she flees to the women run Tantalus Club, a gentleman’s gaming house unfit for a lady.

One year later frustrated and still embarrassed Pollard asks his cousin Keating Blackwood to persuade Camille to marry him. When Keating meets Camille his mission changes from assisting his relative to wanting to bed the runaway fiancée. They become lovers, but he knows he needs more. However, Keating is caught in a bind as he owes his beloved the truth, but when he provides it he loses her trust; his delay may take that choice out of his hands.

The first Scandalous Brides Regency romance is a wonderful tale due to the protagonists who understand what a salacious relationship between them means to their already scandalized reputation as each knows they lose nothing (except their respective hearts). Fast-paced throughout fans will enjoy visiting the Tantalus Club (see A Beginner's Guide to Rakes) as the rake and the runaway fiancée fall in love.

Harriet Klausner

Hot Under Pressure-Louisa Edwards

Hot Under Pressure

Louisa Edwards

St. Martin’s, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780312534400

After a decade as the cook on a Navy submarine, Chef Henry Beck expects to easily win the Rising Star Chef competition. However, his confidence is shaken when the opponent is Skye Gladwell, the hippie whom he married and deserted a decade ago.

Beck is further flummoxed with his need for his wife. Never forgetting when he failed her at her neediest moment, she demands a divorce; instead he counters with a cook-off challenge she can’t refuse. If she wins the contest, he will sign the papers, but if he wins he gets one last meal of a condemned man, her. A desperate Beck hopes to find a Recipe for Love (see Can’t Stand the Heat).

The third Rising Star Chef (see Some Like It Hot and Too Hot To Touch) heat in the kitchen (and bedroom) romance is an entertaining tale starring two flawed individuals with a tragic history. Fast-paced, fans will enjoy the competition between spouses as Beck knows he is on the toughest strife of his life, winning back the trust and respect of his wife.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, March 22, 2012

To Love You More-Wayne Jordan

To Love You More

Wayne Jordan

Harlequin Kimani Romance, Mar 20 2012, $6.25

ISBN: 9780373862559

At the Lodge School in Barbados, George Simpson asks Rachel Davis out; she refuses saying he is a player. He tells her he will prove he is not as he plans to marry her one day. They become an entry. Several years later George ends their engagement as he is not ready to marry before leaving for Australia on a fellowship; unaware the love of his life carries his child. Rachel leaves the island married to her older boss Edward St. Clair who agrees to raise her child as his on Antigua where his new job is located. When George learns what she did, he rages about Rachel’s quick turnaround.

Thirteen years later, widower Rachel returns to Barbados as a prosecutor; George is a partner in a private law firm. They meet in court where he suffers the first defeat in his legal career. Rachel is concerned how George will react when he sees Gregory, who looks just like him. After a court case, a young man stabs Rachel with a knife; George saves her life. As she heals at the hospital Rachel knows she still loves the man who dumped her; scared by her assault, he knows he has never moved passed the biggest mistake of his life. Now George meets Gregory.

Though the storyline of a man unaware of siring a child has been done many times, Wayne Jordan keeps his latest Barbados romance (see the Knight saga) fresh with a strong support cast and two delightful protagonists who make the trials and tribulations of love inspiring. Fans will enjoy this second chance at love romance, Barbados style.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, March 18, 2012

On His Honor-Jean Brashear

On His Honor

Jean Brashear

Harlequin SuperRomance, Apr 3 2012, $5.50

ISBN: 9780373717750

Movie star Violet James is despondent after her second marriage to actor Barry Marsden collapses when he is caught cheating. Her best friend Avery Lofton, who saved her butt four years ago when she naively arrived from Tennessee, invites her to chill in Austin, where he co-owns with Sage Holland The Danger Zone nightclub. She heads to Texas where he puts her up in the exclusive boutique Serenity Hotel, but Avery is distracted with something else though he buys her presents every day.

Meanwhile Violent Crimes Task Force police detective JD Cameron is frustrated with seven women and two girls dead due to trafficking. His only clue is The Danger Zone where he believes the partners are money laundering and involved in the trafficking murders. His friend Sophie Cameron owns the Serenity, which enables him to meet Violet at a birthday bash. They are attracted to each other. However, already distrusting of males, Violet begins to believe JD is using her for something else.

This is a great romantic police procedural that grips the audience from the moment JD sees Violet at the party and never loosens its hold until the final confrontation. Fast-paced and filled with suspense as time is running out on female victims, fans will wonder who the villain is and what will happen to love once she knows he used her even in a good cause.

Harriet Klausner

That New York Minute-Abby Gaines

That New York Minute

Abby Gaines

Harlequin SuperRomance, Apr 3 2012, $5.50

ISBN: 9780373717712

Just around the corner from her Madison Avenue office, in a New York minute Rachel Frye’s boyfriend Piers ends their relationship before they even slept together. Seeing her Key Bowen Crane creative director peer Garrett “Shark” Calder who watches her humiliation makes her feel worse. Instead of ridicule as she expects, Garrett makes it clear he is interested in her. They begin seeing one another.

A partnership vacancy at their advertising firm opens up. Rachel and Garrett are two of the top contenders for the position that each has coveted for a while. As they compete for the high level executive job, their relationship seems to be coming to an end; as she is an obsessively stubborn soul and he has commitment issues.

The keys to this entertaining Madison Avenue gender war romance are the protagonists are nice people whose flaws make them seem human. Character driven by the warm lead couple, fans will enjoy reading That New York Minute, which with the right person lasts a lifetime filled with happiness.

Harriet Klausner

Protecting Her Son-Joan Kilby

Protecting Her Son

Joan Kilby

Harlequin SuperRomance, Apr 3 2012, $5.50

ISBN: 9780373717729

Seven years ago, police detective Paula Drummond went undercover to find proof to send drug lord Nick Moresco to prison. However, she finds his caring of his family nice and soon she breaks a cardinal rule by sleeping with him. Paula completes her mission resulting in the slime ball ending up behind bars. However, her subsequent pregnancy cost her job.

After struggling to find law enforcement employment over the next few years, single mom Paula works in Summerville, Australia where she raises her son Jamie and hopes to regain her lost rank. Now Nick is out of prison with two obsessive goals: he wants his son and he wants revenge. Knowing he is coming as he called her, Paula turns to her police partner Constable Riley Henning for backup.

Protecting Her Son is an exciting romantic suspense starring two strong cops although the villain is too stereotyped as he behaves as expected by readers. The story line is fast-paced from the first phone call and never slows down as readers fans will enjoy High Noon coming to Summerville.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, March 17, 2012

The Baby Dilemma-Jacqueline Diamond

The Baby Dilemma

Jacqueline Diamond

Harlequin American Romance, Apr 3 2012, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373754045

In Safe Harbor, obstetrician Dr. Paige Brennan wants a baby, but prefers no man in her life. Thus she chooses artificial insemination. She may have reconsidered if she knew the sperm donor was Mike Aaron who called the six- footer an amazon (see Falling for the Nanny). Their next encounters were not much better.

Paige needs a roommate while Mike needs a room since his brother is married (see The detective’s Accidental baby) and does not need a chaperone. Reluctantly, she allows the irritant private detective to move into her place though she sets rules. As their attraction grows, Paige begins to believe Mike is the anonymous sperm donor while Mike begins to want to become the father of the child she carries by marrying the mother.

Although the plot has been used frequently, fans will enjoy the roommates’ gender war as Jacqueline Diamond returns to Safe Harbor. The romance between sleuth and the doc is fun as an unborn serves as the matchmaker between two fighters falling in love.

Harriet Klausner

The Marshal’s Prize-Rebecca Winters

The Marshal’s Prize

Rebecca Winters

Harlequin American Romance, Apr 3 2012, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373754021

At The Orthopedic Specially Hospital in Salt Lake City, Dr. Samuels informs Marshal Services operative Mitchell Garrett that his rotator cuff injury has healed and he will inform his client’s superior in Florida that he can go back to active duty. While the federal marshal waits for the bureaucracy to catch up, he takes on one last case at Roman Lufka Private Investigators.

Bauer’s Incorporated CEO octogenarian Bruno Bauer, still recovering from his stroke, informs his great-niece Human Resources Director Heidi Bauer Norris that he believes his nephew Jonas and great-nephew Lucas are stealing from their Sweetspuds Donut firm as bags of mix have gone missing and their jobs would enable the thefts to occur. Unable to easily get around he asks Heidi to visit Roman Lufka Private Investigators to discuss his concerns. There she meets and hires Mitch to uncover who is stealing from her family owned company. Mitch and Heidi are attracted to each other from that first meeting. He is also enthralled by her close knit family especially her six years old son Zack; as he was abandoned as an infant. She wants him but knows he will leave soon so she will ignore her feelings.

The latest Roman Lufka Private Investigators romantic suspense (see Undercover Husband and The SEAL’s Promise) is a terrific family drama. Readers will wonder if Bruno is right about the thieves are while enjoying the romance between the protagonists. Fast-paced, Rebecca Winters provides a fun Utah romance.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, March 15, 2012

Texas Bride-Joan Johnston

Texas Bride

Joan Johnston

Dell, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780345527448

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 left the six Wentworth children orphaned. The sextet have lived at the Chicago Institute for Orphaned Children for three years, but now the oldest Miranda is about to be sent away. Her five siblings fear her departure as she has been their strength to survive and their buffer from the wrath of abusive headmistress Miss Birch. Her sister Josie the bookworm arranged for Miranda to become a mail-order bride to a widower Texas rancher. Miss Birch catches them and hits Miranda several times with a rod.

Miranda takes her two youngest siblings (ten years old Nick and four years old Harry with her as she travels to the San Antonio area, but worries about the three teenage sisters she left behind. Widowed since his wife died in childbirth, Jacob Creed struggles to keep his ranch without the help of his affluent stepfather Alex Blackthorne. He is shocked when his new spouse arrives with two small children while she is shocked to find he is the father of a two years old daughter. Each is further shocked by their attraction, but he feels guilty for wanting her as he vowed to never endanger a woman with a pregnancy; while she will do what takes to make her his real wife.

This Bitter Creek western romance begins the Wentworth Mail Order Bride saga with a strong entry as readers learn the difficulty of life in Reconstruction Era Texas through the eyes of the Chicago transplant, her brothers and her husband. Although there is some exciting late suspense that detracts from the engaging changing relationships, the fully developed cast makes for a strong tale of love as readers will root for the pair to make it.

Harriet Klausner

The Saint-Monica McCarty

The Saint

Monica McCarty

Ballantine, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780345528407

In 1305 Magnus MacKay asks Helen Sutherland to marry him. She loves him, but as her brother Kenneth informs her, nuptials between them will lead to clan warfare. Heartbroken, Helen says no as she cannot condone deaths on account of her happiness. Hiding his despair, Magnus MacKay accepts Robert The Bruce’s offer to become a member of his elite Highland Guard.

Three years later, having served loyally with courage, his unit teammates call him “Saint” for his virtual refusal to banter about women; he knows the truth. To make matters worse for Magnus is his Helen is betrothed to his best friend, Guardsman, William “the Templar” Gordon. Immediately after their wedding, William dies in an explosion. Just before his death, he makes Magnus pledge to take care of Helen. Tormented from her decisions three years ago, Helen plans to regain Magnus’ heart, but to do so she must earn his trust first as he refuses to allow her to thaw his frozen heart. However, someone else uses their distrust as a weapon of betrayal.

The fifth Highland Guard (see The Viper, The Ranger, The Hawk, and The Chief) is an excellent fourteenth century Scottish romance that showcases the uncanny talent of marvelous Monica McCarty. The second chance at love is fueled by the death of The Templar as a raging Magnus mourns the loss of his BFF and regrets his death bed pledge as he still loves the woman he believes betrayed him. Readers will appreciate this strong saga as the death of a Guardian reminds them of their mortality.

Harriet Klausner

Trouble Me-Laura Moore

Trouble Me

Laura Moore

Ballantine, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780345482785

Her sisters Jordan (see Believe in Me) and Margot (see Remember Me) have already returned to the Radcliffe family horse farm Rosewood in Warburg, Virginia when the youngest sibling Jade decides to move back there too. Jade plans to open up a children’s equestrian club and teach at the elementary school. Due to a nasty storm and a car accident, Jade fails to complete the drive from Ocala to the farm so she takes a hotel room near Norfolk. At the hotel bar, she meets a stranger also stranded by the weather and shares a great night with him.

However, the stranger is Warburg police officer Rob Cooper, who was in Norfolk attending a law enforcement conference. His seven years old daughter Haley is in Jade’s second grade class at Warburg Elementary School. Worse, though attracted to her, he holds Jade culpable for, during her delinquent teen years, the death of his wife Rebecca though logically he knows his belief is stupid. She wants him too, but their past remains a wedge between them as her college articles and her high school foes intrude on her happiness.

The third Rosewood contemporary romance is a wonderful tale starring two fascinating protagonists and a strong support cast. The storyline focuses on how disinformation leads to distrust even between people in love. Readers will want to visit Rosewood as Laura Moore provides a warm relationship drama that strongly informs the audience if you have doubts about someone you care about, talk to them to clear up the misunderstanding or at least to obtain the truth before your doubts turn into a hemorrhoid or a bleeding ulcer.

Harriet Klausner

Caught In The Act-Jill Sorenson

Caught In The Act

Jill Sorenson

Bantam, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780553592641

In the Old Town section of San Diego, Kari Strauss owns Zocalo; a shop that sells authentic arts and crafts from Latin American. She makes many trips to Tijuana in which she frequently drops off donations for Hands Across the Border; but this time her cargo back to the States makes her nervous as she crosses the border. Instead of going to her store, Kari heads to her house in suburban Bonita. There she frees Maria Santos from a cramped hot box inside her car and takes her into her home.

Kari also worries about her sister Sasha, held prisoner by her drug cartel chieftain boyfriend Carlos Moreno. However, her good Samaritan act gets noticed by Moreno and border protection agent Adam Cortez. Moreno demands she smuggle a package or else face a public exposé; to sweeten the pot he also offers her sibling’s freedom. Attracted to Kari, Adam warns her to stay away from Moreno as he knows firsthand what happens to someone dealing with the devil.

The key to this exhilarating yet insightful romantic suspense is the cast as the prime players (including another agent) stay consistent in their actions and reactions. Filled with plenty of suspense, Jill Sorenson paints a thorough picture of the Tijuana-San Diego greater metropolis; a mega city in which borders mean nothing when it comes to the complexities of illegal immigration, gun sales, and drug trafficking that make bumper solutions seem inane. As the romance takes a back seat to the anticipated confrontation, fans will enjoy the heroine’s increasing dangerous dilemmas as one thing leads to another once she was Caught In The Act.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Much Ado About Rogues-Kasey Michaels

Much Ado About Rogues

Kasey Michaels

Harlequin HQN, Mar 20 21012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780373776399

Don John Black Jack Blackthorn has done many dangerous secret missions for the Crown. However, his current assignment is personal. His mentor the Marquis of Fonteneau vanished. Knowing the insidiousness of the enemies they made over the past few years, Jack fears the worst has happened to Sinjon; regardless he vows he will find his teacher.

Sinjon’s daughter Lady Thessaly knows something is not right re her father. Having lost her twin and her beloved Jack when he betrayed her four years ago, she plans to find her missing dad. Unable to talk her out of it, they team up trying to follow Sinjon’s enigmatic clues; even as each knows their love remains strong but he refuses to act on his feelings while she refuses to accept his denial.

The third Blackthorn Brothers historical romantic suspense (see A Midsummer Night's Sin and The Taming of the Rake) is a fabulous twisting thriller that grips readers from the moment the lead couple realize Sinjon appears to be in trouble. Filled with three action-packed subplots and plenty of spins and double crosses, the storyline somewhat decelerates as the various truths are revealed. Still readers will relish this engaging nineteenth century investigative espionage romance.

Harriet Klausner

Logan’s Outlaw-Elaine Levine

Logan’s Outlaw

Elaine Levine

Zebra, Jan 30 2012, $6.99

ISBN: 9781420118674

1875 Dakota Territory, the Sioux abduct Sarah Hawkins after slaughtering her husband and her parents. Their leader marries her and is brutal to his squaw; but she finally escapes from her tormenter. Whites, for the most part, treat her with disdain or desire.

As she leaves Fort Buford by coach, trader Logan Taggert shares eye contact with her. He learns her story especially about her “husband” hunting her, and decides to protect Sarah over her objections. Sarah keeps asking him to go, but he refuses. As they fall in love, her enemies from both sides of the Indian Wars come after her and by default him.

The latest Men of Defiant western romance (see Rachel And The Hired Gun and Leah And The Bounty Hunter) is a terrific tale starring a driven woman suffering from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and her self-proclaimed champion. Filled with action, these two ethical individuals makes a wonderful pairing as he understands the Indian side of the hostilities while teaching her not to profile everyone into groups. Logan’s Outlaw is a fabulous historical.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

The Princess and The Peer-Tracy Anne Warren

The Princess and The Peer

Tracy Anne Warren

Signet, Apr 3 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780451236340

In 1815 with the Congress of Vienna carving up the map so that the superpowers absorb the smear nations, King Rupert of Rosewold informs his eighteen year old sister Princess Emma she will wed King Otto, a man she never met. At Countess Hortensia’s Academy in Scotland, her two best friends, Princesses Ariadne and Mercedes, commiserate with her as they aware they will be next receiving a royal decree of marriage. When her brother is delayed coming for her, Emma decides to enjoy one week of freedom before doing her duty. She sneaks away from her companion Duchess of Weissmuller, whose late husband was ambassador to England.

Former naval captain Nicholas Gregory misses the sea as he comes home to manage the estates he inherited when he became Earl of Lyndhurst upon his brother’s death. When Nicholas and Emma meet, he believes she is a governess. With a deep need to keep her safe, he gives her shelter. When they fall in love, the princess knows duty supersedes the heart so she vanishes. They meet again, but this time he knows she is not a governess, but the royal he loves intended for someone else.

Although the storyline goes as expected, the first Princess regency romance is a fun tale made fresh by the impact of the remaking of Europe by the major players at the Congress of Vienna. Rupert and Emma understand they have little choice in the matter of her marriage to Otto, who is a nice person. Readers will enjoy the princess and the sailor as love is not enough to supersede the needed alliances of the smaller endangered nations of Europe.

Harriet Klausner

Party Of Three-Lacey Alexander

Party Of Three

Lacey Alexander

Signet, Apr 3 2012, $14.00

ISBN: 9780451235749

Mira Adams feels she is losing her boyfriend Ethan West as he seems to have lost interest in her. Instead he focuses only on his work at H.O.T. His mother warns him he is blowing his relationship as she has observed that his work always comes before Mira who admires and respects what he does but would like to play first fiddle occasionally.

Heeding the axiom that mama knows best, Ethan knows he needs to do something special for Mira’s birthday that will prove to his beloved she always is first. He takes her to an exclusive cabin overlooking Lake Superior in the Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. Waiting for Mira is her surprise gift. Ethan, knowing one of Mira’s fantasies, has arranged a ménage a trois with her former lover Rogan Wolfe of H.O.T. as the third participant.

The second H.O.T Cops erotic romance (see Bad Girl by Night) is an enjoyable triangle tryst as the Wolfe brings out the darker sides of the “Divine Miss M” and the “Big E” (clarification aside - Bette Midler and Elvin Hayes made no appearances). Although Ethan’s logic for setting up the erotic scenario seems warped especially since he also works with Rogan, fans will enjoy this tale while wondering who will be left together, if anyone, when the birthday bash is over.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, March 12, 2012

Sierra Falls-Veronica Wolff

Sierra Falls

Veronica Wolff

Berkley, Apr 3 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425247952

Most native born cannot wait to escape from boring Sierra Falls, California at the foothills of the Sierras. While her two siblings fled town, stoic Sorrow Bailey dreams of doing so too. However when her dad suffers a stroke, she remains behind to take over running the family owned Big Bear Lodge.

Sorrow finds a cache of love letters written by the Gold Rush era ancestor she is named for. Soon afterward accidents begin happening at the lodge that seem to target her. Still grieving the death of his wife, widower Sheriff Billy Preston investigates the accidents that he feels is sabotage and fears could lead to something lethal. Billy vows to protect the woman who ironically with her love pulled him out of his sorrow.

The first Bailey family drama is a wonderful romantic suspense that grips readers from the moment the sheriff and the hosteller meet. The charming rugged setting enhanced by the heroine’s family is a delightful counterpoint to a nasty predator. Still, this super serpentine suspenseful storyline belongs to the lead couple as love stuns both of them.

Harriet Klausner

If I Fall-Kate Noble

If I Fall

Kate Noble

Berkley, Apr 3 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425247112

In 1823, Lady Sarah Forrester is stunned when her fiancé Jason becomes angrily passionate when he sees famous Miss Winfred Crane for the first time in a few years. Their engagement ends as he obviously loves Winifred. The Ton finds the break-up amusing as they blame Sarah for not being able to hold onto her duke.

She is not one to rusticate, but she also refuses to allow her heart to be hurt again, Sarah changes herself into the Golden Lady. Everyone wants the Golden Lady to attend their gala as she becomes the season’s sensation. Family friend Lieutenant Jackson Fletcher wants the real Sarah to return as he loves the genuine article; but fails at his mission. Desperate he turns himself into The Blue Raven, which leads him into investigating Sarah’s latest suitor who he fears may be a killer.

If I Fall is an entertaining late Regency romance as The Blue Raven and The Golden Lady fall in love, but Jackson fears how Sarah will react when the truth is unmasked. The murder mystery adds tension to a lighthearted fun frolic.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Words Get In The Way-Nan Rossiter

Words Get In The Way

Nan Rossiter

Kensington, Mar 27 2012, $15.00

ISBN: 9780758246684

With her widower dad suffering a stroke, single mom Callie Wyeth, accompanied by her three years old son Henry diagnosed with autism, comes home to new Hampshire to care for her father. Callie thinks of Henry’s dad Linden Finch. She ended their relationship before she knew she was pregnant. When Callie tried to inform Linden, she learned he left New England for California.

An intoxicated friend Katie informs Linden that Callie dumped him because she was pregnant with a married man’s baby. When Linden and Callie see each other for the first time in years, both know the attraction remains strong. However, that break-up remains between them though they try to move on together while Henry and Linden’s rescued animals become buddies.

Nan Rossiter captures the essence of a young high functioning autistic child who suffers from a speech disorder making communication that much more difficult. The romantic subplot never quite gels as Callie and Linden learn W.C. Field’s commentary: "Never work with animals or children” if you want to be the star.

Harriet Klausner

Confessions From An Arranged Marriage-Miranda Neville

Confessions From An Arranged Marriage

Miranda Neville

Avon, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780062023056

Lord Blakeney spent two years away from London, but in 1822 he is back in the city with plans to enjoy the ladies. Lady Minerva Montrose hates the odious wastrel who once planned to marry her sister Diana; but thankfully her sibling wedded nice Sebastian instead (see The Dangerous Viscount). At her coming out ball, he, as the son of a duke, was supposed to dance the first number with her, but he failed to arrive in time; too busy with a tryst. Miranda steps away for a moment; intoxicated Blake does likewise. Mistaking her for his latest paramour, Blake begins kissing Miranda when they are caught in a comprising position.

They are forced to marry to the chagrin of each. Blake and Minerva go to Paris for their honeymoon where they fake respect for one another while involved in espionage. As they fall in love, she has seen the other side of her husband and both but wonder why he cannot commit his heart to her.

The latest Burgundy Club Regency romance (see Wild Marquis and The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton) returns the bad boy Blake as the lead male in a gender war with the bratty female he has detested since they were kids. The storyline contains some suspense especially in France and with his shameful secret, but overall follows the anticipated path. Still sub-genre fans will want to know what he conceals that leaves him abashed as Miranda Neville makes a case that the child is the adult.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, March 10, 2012

The Art Of Duke Hunting-Sophia Nash

The Art Of Duke Hunting

Sophia Nash

Avon, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780062022332

The Duke of Norwich Roman Montague has a few rules about life: never marry and avoid ducks and water. He attends Lord Candover's bachelor party at Whites' Club in Mayfair along with five other dukes and the Prince Regent. They get intoxicated.

While a reporter reports their scandalous behavior that left one person dead and the nuptials ended, the Prince Regent informs his fellow partiers they will rusticate while finding brides. However, Roman is not amongst those reprimanded. Instead he wakes up with a vicious hangover during a terrible storm while at sea on The Drake. He has no idea how he ended up where he did, but is grateful to Countess Esme March, who helps him survive the weather and the sea. They are attracted to one another, but once they reach London it is over as neither wants to marry anyone at this time; she has rules too. Both know the Prince would order them to wed. However, love has both wondering whether to make new joint rules together.

The latest Royal Entourage (see Between The Duke And The Deep Blue Sea) is an amusing Regency version of the Hangover. The Duke and the Countess are a charming pairing as each adheres strictly to their respective life’s rules and feel they can withstand the Prince’s pressure by separation; however royal ignorance is not bliss since love proves more difficult to ignore. Fans who enjoy a fun historical frolic will want to read the zany escapades of the Royal Entourage.

Harriet Klausner

A Week To Be Wicked-Tessa Dare

A Week To Be Wicked

Tessa Dare

Avon, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780062049872

Lord Payne is stranded in Spindle’s Cove without any money. Blueblood Minerva Highwood thinks the rakish lord plans to marry her older sister Diana so she comes in the rain to persuade him to leave town. She offers him a deal. If he escorts her to Edinburgh where she wants to make a presentation to the Royal Geological Society symposium on her geological find of a giant lizard’s footprint, she will pay him. Colin accepts her outlandish offer.

They share a carriage and a bed on their one week trek. Her family pursues them and outlaws accost them. He would never accept such an outlandish proposal, but he needs the money she offers. As they fall in love, she knows the biggest hurdle waits in Edinburgh where the Royal Geological Society's members are all gentlemen.

The latest Spindle Cove regency romance (see A Night to Surrender) is a wonderful tale starring two opposites in love. The rake and the spinster make for a delightful tale as each brings plenty to the relationship. Readers will want to know whether the all-male Royal Geological Society, of which she is a member, will allow a female to present the finding of “Francine” as gender and social class matters more to these scientists than the science.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, March 9, 2012

The Cowboy Takes A Bride-Lori Wilde

The Cowboy Takes A Bride

Lori Wilde

Avon, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780062047755

In Chicago, unemployed assistant wedding planner Mariah Callahan learns from her father Dutch’s best friend Joe Daniels that her dad recently died. Joe tells her Dutch is already buried as he wished to have his daughter notified after his funeral. Mariah has never forgiven her late dad for deserting her (when she was seven years old) and her mom in Ruidoso, New Mexico though he sent child care payments and presents. The last she time she saw him was fourteen years ago in high school when he embarrassed her in front of her classmates. Though she feels remorse over their last encounter when mortified she ran away from him, Mariah would ignore his death though she grieves secretly overwhat they lost.

However he left her his horse ranch in Jubilee, Texas. She arrives in Jubilee where she meets Joe when he is naked and drunk in his ranch’s horse trough as he struggles with his BBF’s death on the two year anniversary of his late wife’s death. She plans to sell the ranch and he plans to buy the ranch. However, as they possess differing opinions re Dutch, they fall in love a little bit at a time; a feeling neither wants.

This is a tender straightforward ranch romance as “Sleepless In Chicago” meets “Sleepless in Jubilee”. Readers will root for the city girl and a rancher to make it as both are nice individuals struggling with death and love. Lori Wilde fans will welcome going from twilight to Jubilee.

Harriet Klausner

The Wedding Beat-Devan Sipher

The Wedding Beat

Devan Sipher

NAL, Apr 3, $14.99

ISBN: 9780451235794

The newspaper is a who’s who of Pulitzer winners. Gavin Greene is one of the journalists at this prestigious paper. His column covers high society weddings, many of which are ostentatious; while his newspaper’s credentials give him an automatic invitation.

Surprisingly Gavin is the right guy for the job as he is a fan of happily ever after. However, his beat also leaves him sad and lonely as a single guy attending a wedding on most Saturday nights and even on New Year’s Eve. Gavin’s “hope” of meeting the right one seems to come true when he meets Melinda. They chat and take a moonlit rooftop walk as she says she is a travel writer wannabe. However, fate throws a fastball at his head as she is with an Aussie. Depressed, Gavin realizes he made an error when he failed to ask for her number anyway. Desperately searching for his beloved, Gavin weathers his zany parents discussing his divorce with him though he has never married, attends garish weddings and potential downsizing until he finds Melinda. The only problem is he is covering her wedding to the Aussie.

The Wedding Beat is an entertaining witty gender bending romance as the storyline is predominantly told from the male perspective. Gavin holds the plot together as an “Urban Cowboy “Lookin’ for Love in All the Wrong Places” (Johnny Lee). The support cast adds humorous New York shtick cynicism. Although the ending seems unlikely, fans will enjoy Gavin’s unique tour of the Big Apple.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Sweet Addiction-Maya Banks

Sweet Addiction

Maya Banks

Heat, Apr 3 2012, $15.00

ISBN: 9780425245651

Cole has always regretted how poorly he ended his relationship with Ren when both realized they enjoyed a Dom-Sub sexual partnership. He wants her back but she loves another Dom Lucas, who treats her with the respect that Cole knows he should have when she was his though he rationalizes they were too young to appreciate what they had.

Lucas grants Cole and Ren two weeks together before she returns to him. Cole accepts the terms, but knows he will do anything to persuade his beloved to stay with him. He performs all her erotic dreams, but when the clock winds down, “Running Scared” (Orbison), Cole prays Ren chooses him.

The latest Sweet erotic romance (see Sweet Possession and Sweet Sensation) is a heated sub-dom tale. The storyline is very thin (except for the lower heads of the two Doms) so that the triangle relationship never gels outside the boudoir. Still erotica fans will enjoy the Sub having to make up her mind.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

The Duke’s Perfect Wife-Jennifer Ashley

The Duke’s Perfect Wife

Jennifer Ashley

Berkley, Apr 3 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425247105

Widower Hart Mackenzie may be an affluent duke well loved by his siblings and known for his love-making abilities, but he feels alone. He knows he can have just about any female he wants except his beloved former fiancée Lady Eleanor Ramsey. She is the only other living person who knows what he sacrificed to keep his siblings safe from their late abusive father.

Since the deaths of his wife and heir, he has turned from a compassionate person to a frozen heart. Now Eleanor arrives from Glenarden near Aberdeen to offer Hart a business deal while the journalist scribblers accost him. She shows him a picture of him naked that someone sent to her. Eleanor offers to help him find the unknown adversary before this person sends any to the scandal sheets. Hart agrees though he distrusts the motive of his only love as he assumes she seeks retribution for his treatment of her.

The fourth Highland Pleasures Mackenzie brothers' Victorian romance (see The Many Sins of Lord Cameron, Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie and Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage) is a super tale. The lead couple is a great pairing as the reader feels the emotional tension from the moment Hart recognizes the voice calling his name and never slows down until the final confrontation as readers like the hero question the heroine’s reason for coming to protect him even as she melts his tundra heart. That is why Jennifer Ashley’s ardent character driven historical romances are so good as even when you know the usual course of true love, somehow the author has you doubting all the way.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, March 5, 2012

The Seduction of Lady X -Julia London

The Seduction of Lady X

Julia London

Pocket, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781439175477

In 1809 despondent Lady Olivia reflects on her six miserable years of marriage to the Marquis of Carey. Edward is a vile drunk; so much so the twenty-eight employees at Everdon Court and his wife know to keep her contact with him to a minimum. Her abusive spouse wants one thing from Olivia, an heir, but she so far has failed.

The only sunshine in Olivia’s gloom is steward Harrison Tolly, who is kind to her. However, Harrison conceals he loves her; as nothing can come of it. When her unmarried pregnant sister Alexa Hastings arrives from Spain, Edward ridicules the siblings. Harrison heroically steps in leaving him with the sister he does not want. Not long afterward Mr. Fish informs Harrison that his father the Earl of Ashwood died and he is the heir in spite of being an illegitimate son. A lethal accident further complicates matters. Finally there is the matter of Lady X.

The latest Secrets of Hadley Green Regency romance (see The Revenge of Lord Eberlin and The Year of Living Scandalously) is an engaging tale of forbidden love starring a wonderful cast. The storyline uses too much happenchance in rapid fire, but fans will enjoy the delightful Seduction of Lady X.

Harriet Klausner

At Your Pleasure-Meredith Duran

At Your Pleasure

Meredith Duran

Pocket, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781451606959

In 1715 England Lady Leonora knows that the German King from Hanover forced her father Lord Hexton to flee to France and her brother David to join the Jacobite cause when the ruler unjustly impeached her dad and stripped away his title. Her late husband Lord Towe is the only reason she still has the family estate Hodderby, but now her former lover the king’s agent, Earl Adrian Ferrers, arrives to confront David over his seditious activities. She knows he is on an act of vengeance and he looks forward to destroying the woman who betrayed their love.

Adrian informs her he and his men will stay in her home and neither she nor her staff will leave. He waits for David to arrive so he can arrest him as a traitor. However, as he holds her prisoner in her family home, Adrian and Nora realize they never lost their youthful attraction. However, as he realizes there is a greater conspiracy that threatens the monarchy, war breaks out.

This is a terrific second chance Georgian romance in which the backstabbing political intrigue brings a tense sense of foreboding doom. Character driven yet filled with action, historical readers will relish the gender war between the King’s Agent and the traitor’s daughter.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Highland Lover-Amanda Scott

Highland Lover

Amanda Scott

Forever, Apr 1 2012, $7.99

ISBN 9780446574327

In 1403, nineteen years old newlywed Lady Alyson MacGillivray travels with her husband Niall Clyne in the Maryenknyght from Edinburgh to France. Pirates stop their vessel and take the heir to the Scottish throne Jamie Stewart and Niall with them. Before leaving with their human prizes and the cargo, they sink the ship.

On the command of the Scottish king, the Sea Wolf led by Captain Jake Maxwell secretly followed the Maryenknyght and rescue those still on board. Jake takes them back to Scotland while preparing to rescue the captured prince. In their attempt to save the hostages, Jake and Alyson watch in horror as Niall is tossed overboard. Soon afterward Niall’s widow and the captain already attracted to one another know they are in love, but first the king’s mission must be carried out.

The latest Scottish Knights romance (see HIGHLAND HERO and HIGHLAND MASTER) is a wonderful early fifteenth century swashbuckling adventures. As always with an Amanda Scott historical, real events are critical elements in the exciting storyline. With a superb twist to add to the fun, readers will appreciate this super saga.

Harriet Klausner

How to Ravish a Rake-Vicky Dreiling

How to Ravish a Rake

Vicky Dreiling

Forever, Apr 1 2012, $7.99

ISBN 9780446565400

In 1818, Amy Hardwick recognizes that this is probably her last season to secure a loving husband. Amy understands to procure a mate; she can no longer be a shy wallflower. Intelligent, affluent and a skilled designer, Amy knows Will “the Devil” Darcett is not for her as the rake will never settle down though he courts her.

Will’s seduction fails to move Amy, but he believes under her shy icy exterior resides a passionate woman waiting for the right man to release her fervor; he plans to be that right man. However, when they are locked inside a wine cellar, they are forced to marry. As they fall in love, she learns why her spouse desperately perused her; knowing he hurt his beloved, Will must persuade his disillusioned wife that his original motive was insidious but his love is genuine.

Though a frequently used premise taming a rake (see How to Seduce a Scoundrel), Vicky Dreiling provides a fun regency romance due to her charming cast of characters. The storyline is fast-paced as the protagonists wage a gender war in which each wants to unconditionally surrender but pride keeps them apart.

Harriet Klausner

Catch Me a Cowboy-Katie Lane

Catch Me a Cowboy

Katie Lane

Forever, Apr 1 2012, $7.99

ISBN 9781455508150

In Bramble, Texas, Widow Shirlene Dalton is living proof of the rise and fall of a person. She went from growing up in a trailer park to being married in an oil man’s mansion to back to her roots as a widow in a trailer park. While she copes with how fast one can fall after rising, Shirlene detests her redneck trailer park neighbor Billy “Bubba” Wilkes; as he is living proof of her descent.

Shirlene finds four young orphans have squatted in her old trailer. She vows to protect the kids while learning that Bubba has plans to turn Bramble into Wilkesville”. As Shirlene learns of his scheme and Bubba observes how nurturing she is with the kids, each drops their stereotypical first opinion of the other; allowing love to flow between them.

The return to Bramble for the latest Deep in the Heart of Texas romance (see Going Cowboy Crazy and Make Mine a Bad Boy) is a fun tale due to the eccentric cast especially the children. The tender but leisurely paced storyline is lighthearted fun as the protagonists are not very neighborly even while falling in love.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Missing-Shelley Shepard Gray


Shelley Shepard Gray

Avon Inspire, Mar 20 2012, $12.99

ISBN: 9780062089700

For several months in Crittenden, Kentucky Perry Borntrager was missing. Teenagers Abby, Jessica and Emily find his corpse the bottom of an abandoned well. Perry’s Amish neighbors are shocked as violent crime does not happen in their community; at least not in over two decades.

Crittenden County Deputy Sheriff Mose Kramer knows he needs professional help with the homicide of an Amish man. He calls his friend Cincinnati PD Detective Luke Reynolds to help with the inquiry. On leave, Luke agrees and comes to Crittenden. Luke questions Perry’s former girlfriend Lydia Plank and the victim’s best friend Englischer Walker Anderson. Each insists they are innocent, but Luke knows they hide something important; both knows how much Perry changed just before he died; as they turn to each other for comfort they do not expect their relationship to change.

The first Secrets of Crittenden police procedural romance is an engaging whodunit in which an Englischer detective conducts his inquiry amidst the doubting Amish while the prime suspects fall in love. The clash of cultures is deftly handled so that differences don’t overwhelm the delightful prime plot of falling in love while a murder investigation is occurring. Fans will appreciate this strong “Search” for a killer and look forward to the next Secrets of Crittenden County.

Harriet Klausner

Perfect Storm-Lori Foster

Perfect Storm

Lori Foster

Harlequin HQN, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9780373776566

Spenser Lark and Arizona Storm met a month ago when both were on a separate avenging sting operation. They were attracted to each other immediately and still are, but she has relationship trust issues from a traumatic experience. .

On her birthday she sneaks into his bedroom watching him sleep. When he wakes they fight again, but soon afterward she announces she plans to destroy a human trafficking ring having first hand experience with these predators. Knowing Arizona would go it alone, Spencer agrees for her to act as a lure while he and his comrades protect her back as they deploy their sting.

The latest Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor (see When You Dare and Trace of Fever) is an engaging entry starring a strong caring hero and a traumatized woman slowly healing but also obsessed with a need to take the attack to these abusive beasts. The storyline is filled with action, but it is Arizona who still has an uncontrollable storm raging inside her brain who makes the plot work as there is no instant magic elixir to invoke emotional healing.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Home-Karen Wiesner


Karen Wiesner

Karen Wiesner, Feb 2012, $13.50

ISBN: 9781105201189

Ayodele left her beloved hometown of Peaceful, Wisconsin years ago when her husband Declan relocated to Chicago as part of a business deal when he and his partner Hannah sold their ownership of a furniture design company. Dec demands Della obtain full time work since their eight year old son River will be out of school for the summer. Irate as she has sacrificed so much for her husband to include residing in a dangerous neighborhood and working part time at a diner, Della realizes Dec cheated with Hannah. She informs him she is going home with River.

Hannah calls to inform Della that Dec died in a car crash just after their warehouse went up in flames. His ailing parents driven by their nephew Cade Somers drive to Chicago for the funeral and take their daughter-in-law and grandson home. Hannah pleads with Della to share the insurance payout on the firm with her as she is pregnant with Dec’s child. Though un-Christian, Della says no. In Peaceful, River and Cade become buddies while he loves Della. However, burned once, Della suffers from a major relationship phobia.

Home is a wonderful inspirational romance in which Karen Wiesner displays her immense talent as she overcame a major pet peeve of mine; Dec’s death makes everything seem easier for the heroine, but instead Della is haunted by guilt and other debilitating emotions though she logically believes she was doing the right thing. With a late suspense adding tension, fans will enjoy returning to Peaceful (see Family Heirlooms and Friendly heirlooms sagas) as Della affirms you can go home if love embraces you.

Harriet Klausner

Highland Avenger-Hannah Howell

Highland Avenger

Hannah Howell

Zebra, Mar 27 2012, $7.99

ISBN: 9781420118797

In 1480 off the coast of Scotland, a large ship plows into a smaller vessel. Arianna Lucette knows her vicious brother-in-law Amiel, who she believes murdered his sibling Claud and Claud’s legal wife Marie Anne, and the vicious DeVeaux clan seek her two stepsons (Adelar and Michel). She and the boys use barrels to make it ashore.

Smuggler Brian MacFingal and his brothers were waiting for Captain Tillet to deliver cargo. They rescue the captain and four others and find the lads protecting Arianna. She tells him she is a Murray trying to take her husband’s children to safety while an evil army comes for them. Brian directs his brothers to separately take the lads to their keep Scarglas while he escorts Arianna in order to split the adversaries into three groups. Arianna tells Brian that her husband was a bigamist as he was already married before he wed her. She cannot explain why the DeVeaux are involved. He admires her loyalty and love for someone else’s children. As the enemy pursues them, they fall in love, but she was burned once and apparently abandoned by her clan so is wary of relationships.

The latest Murray Highlander romance (see Highlander Protector) is a strong entry starring two fully developed protagonists with the female lead an interesting heroine. The story line is fast-paced and filled with suspense as the enemy is like the Energizer bunny. Although some of the hero’s actions are inane for an intelligent leader like their stopping for a tryst or his rejecting a scout while in peril from adversaries hunting them down, fans will appreciate the return of Arianna Murray from her horrible French “marriage”.

Harriet Klausner