Thursday, March 28, 2013

Secrets Of A Runaway Bride-Valerie Bowman

Secrets Of A Runaway Bride

Valerie Bowman

St. Martin's, Mar 26 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9781250008961

In 1816 Marquis Devon and Lily Morgan go on their honeymoon (see Secrets Of A Wedding Night). However before leaving, the happy couple asks Devon’s best friend Jordan Holloway to watch over her sister Annie Andrews. Although not his cup of tea the Earl agrees.

With her overly protective sister away, Annie plans to elope with Arthur Eggleston. However whenever she works a scheme like climbing a convenient vine to get inside her intended’s house that pest Jordan inconveniently arrives to thwart her plots. He finds her capers humorous but decides before one works and he has to explain to the wife of his BFF, Jordon abducts the beautiful dynamo; he takes her to his country estate. There she causes havoc to his house and his heart as he falls in love with his temporary ward while she reciprocates having fallen in love with her diligent jailer.

The second Andrews Secret Brides Regency romance is a delightful jocular frolic. The lead protagonists are intelligent and engaged in a humorous gender battle of wits that sub-genre fans will thoroughly appreciate though neither Annie nor Jordon consider consequences when they act.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Royal Rescue-Lisa Childs

Royal Rescue

Lisa Childs

Harlequin Intrigue, Mar 19 2013, $5.50

ISBN: 9780373696840

Over three years ago, Josie Jessup, heir to a media conglomerate, died. Pregnant she actually went into the Witness Protection Program after what she saw in Chicago to avoid her lover Brendan O’Hannigan, the son of a gangster. Now as a single mom JJ Brandt raising her son Charlie, she learns of the assault on her father Stanley.

With her U.S. Marshal handler Charlotte Green gone (see The Princess Predicament), Josie, knowing the risk and consulting with no one, visits her dad at the hospital. FBI Agent Brendan O’Hannigan is shocked to find her alive and that he sired a child. However, his American Princess is unaware that her father’s attack was a means to get her to come out of hiding. Only Brendan, whose peers and beloved distrust him, vows to keep her safe while concealing his full agendas from everyone; as he reciprocates their distrust.

The latest Royal Bodyguards (see Protecting the Pregnant Princess), Royal Rescue, is a fabulous twisting romantic suspense starring two protagonists who prove love is not enough to forge a passionate relationship. Action-packed from the moment the heroine steps out of the shadows, fans will appreciate Lisa Child’s terrific thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Star Witness-Mallory Kane

Star Witness

Mallory Kane

Harlequin Intrigue, Mar 19 2013, $5.50

ISBN: 9780373696833

Law enforcement believes Hasty Mart convenient stores owner and importer Ernest Yeoman violently murdered Congressman Freeman Canto in order to prevent an increase tariff on imports and greater security at the Port of New Orleans. Freeman’s granddaughter Danielle Canto witnessed her grandfather’s homicide.

Prosecutor Harte Delancey is assigned keeping the attorney safe from Yeoman. As a hurricane bears down on the pair, each knows they are isolated from outside help. Danielle, whose storm phobia has paralyzed her in the past, finds with Harte at her side she can cope. As killers stalk the duet and trusting no one in law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office or even the US Senate and with his family out of reach, Harte and Danielle rely on themselves to survive the tsunami that targets them.

The latest Delancey Dynasty (see Private Security and Death if a Beauty Queen) is a great romantic suspense that showcases the consistently high quality novels by Mallory Kane. Fast-paced from the onset and never slowing down, readers will relish the perilous adventures of two wonderful heroes.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, March 25, 2013

Crash Landing-Lori Wilde

Crash Landing

Lori Wilde

Harlequin Blaze, Mar 19 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373797493

Working a business deal, affluent Gibb Martin is at Bosque de los Dioses in an isolated area of Costa Rica that can only be reached by bush plane as the nearest village to the resort Monteverde is twenty-five miles away. However, he stops his efforts near the volcanic mountain range Cordillera of Tilaran when his best friend and partner on the venture Scott Everly tells him he will not be involved in the Coast Rican enterprise because he is getting married in Key West.

Stunned, Gibb needs to reach Florida to prevent his buddy from doing something stupid. He hires local pilot Sophia Cruz to fly him immediately to Key West. Although she would prefer to tell Slick City Boy in his suit to pound volcanic ash, she needs the money so agrees to take him to the Keys. However, when they crash on a deserted island, he finds himself musing over the happiest times in his life (all before becoming a wealthy business mogul) and being with Sophia has moved to numero uno even as spider monkeys bomb them with fruits and orchid thieves invade their interlude.

The third Stop the Wedding! contemporary romance is a fun zany tale starring opposites (laidback mellow and hard charging obsessed) falling in love. Although the premise is identical to the previous entries, readers will enjoy the madcap by air effort to prevent the Birchard-Everly nuptials from happening after the by sea (see Smooth Sailing) and by land (see Night Driving) attempts.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, March 24, 2013

The Rule-Breaker-Rhonda Nelson

The Rule-Breaker

Rhonda Nelson

Harlequin Blaze, Mar 19 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373797479

In Mosul, Army Ranger Micah Holland commits suicide after watching the enemy sends pregnant women with explosives strapped on them to enter a hospital. Captain Eli Weston watches his best friend die.

Eight months later, a still haunted Eli heads to Micah’s hometown of Willow Haven, Kentucky for a memorial service, he does not want to attend as he concealed the truth about how his buddy died. Still for Micah and his loved ones, Eli attends the dedication. Eli also fears seeing Micah’s former fiancĂ© Shelby Monroe after they shared a kiss that never should have happened while also shaking their souls. Eli’s plan is to avoid Shelby as he has enough guilt from that kiss. However, Shelby knows the truth as to what happened to Micah in Iraq as someone else told her with accusatory letters blaming her for her ex killing himself.

This Uniformly Hot! military romance (see Letters from Home) focuses on the aftermath of a soldier taking his own life after witnessing inhumane horror; soldier and veteran suicides are major problems for society (not just the military). Character-driven with less heat than usual in a Blaze, readers will appreciate Rhonda Nelson’s strong look at honoring a fallen brother in arms by hiding the truth from his family.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, March 23, 2013

Her Man In Manhattan-Trish Wylie

Her Man In Manhattan

Trish Wylie

Harlequin KISS, Mar 19 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373207114

NYPD Vice Detective Tyler Brannigan leads the daughter of Mayor Kravitz, Miranda, out of a club being raided by the cops as the tabloids would have a field day with her arrest. He fulfills his duty when he kisses her to keep two of his peers from taking her to a cell.

Miranda knows she must behave especially since her dad is considering a run for governor, but rebels over constantly being in the fishbowl and having no time of her own. To his chagrin, Brannigan is assigned personal protection duty of the brat when he prefers investigating major crimes. Though attracted to the cop especially after the kiss that also shook his core; Miranda has plans to elude her jailer through seduction; while he will use cuffs if needed to keep her grounded though his thoughts have better uses.

Her Man In Manhattan is a fast-paced bodyguard romance starring seemingly two opposites though both share in common rule-breaking; an asset they will need if the pair is to make it. With a nod to the movies First Daughter and Chasing Liberty, readers will enjoy this contemporary although Miranda acts more like an out of control teen than an adult.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, March 22, 2013

Driving Her Crazy-Amy Andrews

Driving Her Crazy

Amy Andrews

Harlequin KISS, Mar 19 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373207091

In Sydney, photojournalist Kent Nelson shocks Sunday On My Mind magazine editor Tabitha Fox when he informs her he would like to drive a few thousand kilometers across Australia to take photos. Tabitha believes the freelancer has not taken a picture since the accident in Afghanistan. Still she agrees to the Outback photos and a feature on renowned artist Leonard Pinto whose nudes of ballet dancers are considered national treasures; the catch being the recluse demands journalist Sadie Bliss be included in his exclusive though the editor cannot explain why he wants this rookie.

Neither Kent nor Sadie wants three days on the road with their new companion. He thinks she is a curvy green groupie while she thinks he is a pretentious brooding hunk. As they cross the continent, the dysfunctional couple share lust that soon turns into love, but neither trusts the other. Sadie knows her road buddy hides something that shattered his equilibrium though she conjectures that it ties to his work; while Kent wants to know what her relationship with Pinto is that she hides from him though he conjectures what that must have been.

Driving Her (and him) Crazy is a fabulous amusing Australian romance that deftly uses the Outback as a wonderful backdrop. The protagonists with their flaws and fears, and the support cast (including the Outback) are fully developed as Amy Andrews provides a fun road with serious undertones.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

The Chosen-Theresa Meyers

The Chosen

Theresa Meyers

Zebra, Mar 5 2013, $6.99

ISBN: 9781420121261

“The Chosen.” In 1883 Arizona, as the Chosen Darkin hunters, attorney Remington Jackson and his brothers, Winchester (see The Slayer) and Colt (see The Hunter) grew up being trained to fight evil. Currently they each must find a segment of the Book of Legend in order to combine the tome needed to prevent Hell from invading earth. In the Bisbee Mining Camp, Remy enlists the help of incarcerated shapeshifting thief China McGee whose skills he needs to steal his part of the tome. The Darkin, who has worked with Colt, agrees to assist him in return for her freedom, but China has plans for the relic that do not include Remy. In the Aztec jungle, as they fight for their lives, China widens her options to partner with Remy long after the mission is done, if they survive.

“The Inventor.” In 1868 London Sir Marley Turlock works on his invention in order to obtain membership in the Aeronautical Society of Great Britain by impressing Queen Victoria though he has hit a glitch. Lady Persephone Hargrieve works alongside of him and soon afterward her father Lord Hargrieve asks Marley to join in the fight against Darken. Skeptical, the inventor joins the battle against demons, vampires and those even more lethal evil.

The Chosen, the third Legend Chronicles, is an exciting Wild West urban romantic fantasy starring the last Jackson sibling and a master Darkin thief who Colt insists can steel rail from underneath a train. Action-packed throughout with a strong cast, readers will enjoy the rumble in the jungle as time has run out on the Jackson brothers. Additionally, the bonus prequel the Inventor looks at a key series support character Sir Marley’s introduction to the Darkin.

Harriet Klausner

Surprising Lord Jack-Sally MacKenzie

Surprising Lord Jack

Sally MacKenzie

Zebra, Mar 5 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9781420123227

Miss Frances Hadley is furious with the men and Aunt Viola interfering in her life. She has managed the family estates successfully for years, but now wants money for a dowry and receives bunk instead of cash. Deciding to confront her enemies, Frances chops of her hair and wears male garb as she heads to London as Francis only to find no available bed in the inn due to the annual Valentine Ball hosted by the Duchess of Love, Lady Greycliffe. The innkeeper and his wife feel sorry for the young male teen and give her food and shelter.

One of the hunks being discussed by followers of the Duchess of Love is her son Lord Jack Valentine, who conceals his pursuit of a serial killer while eluding his mother’s romantic schemes behind the shame of a rake. Forced to flee from a pain in the butt female whose pursuit runs him out of his house, Jack stops at Findley’s inn where he learns he will need to share a bed with a youth who turns out to be a feisty female. They agree to hide each other’s secrets and team up to take down a predator, prevent his mom’s latest matchmaking, and prevent her family’s vile scheme. While doing all this, they fall in love.

The latest Duchess of Love historical (see Bedding Lord Ned) is a fun madcap romantic comedy with a whodunit subplot adding tension. Though the cross-dressing premise has been used a lot, readers will enjoy this entertaining fast-paced Valentine romance from the moment the lad and the lord share a bed.

Harriet Klausner

You’re Still The One-Janet Dailey, Cathy Lamb, Mary Carter and Elizabeth Bass

You’re Still The One

Janet Dailey, Cathy Lamb, Mary Carter and Elizabeth Bass

Zebra, Mar 5 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9781420124194

"The Apple Orchard" by Cathy Lamb. The injury Allie Pelletier suffers sends her to the emergency room. The physician is the love of her life Dr. Jace Rios, who wants a new chance with her but Allie knows there is no second chapter for them.

"A Kiss Before Midnight" by Mary Carter. Over two decades ago, then sixteen year old Rebecca Ryan spent the best and worst night of her life with musician Grant Dodge in New Orleans where she also was cursed. Now she seeks the father of her son in order to remove the curse.

"Romeo & Juliet ... and Jane” by Elizabeth Bass. A decade ago, Jane Canfield and Roy McGillum were a couple, but eventually ended their relationship. When Roy returns home, he and veterinarian Jane recall their performances as Romeo and Juliet in a school production. As Roy asks: “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, (and Jane) is the sun;” that is if she agrees to be his forever Juliet with a happily ever ending to their drama.

"The Devil and Mr. Chocolate" by Janet Dailey. In Santa Fe gallery owner Kitty Hamilton feels like a serial spouse as she has three divorces to her name and is engaged to number four, Belgian chocolatier Marcel Boulanger. However husband number one Sebastian has plans to be Kitty’s mate for the rest of their lives and no sweet “Muscles from Brussels” (apologies to Jean-Claude Van Damme) will stand in his way.

These are four engaging second chance at love romances starring wonderful protagonists though the relationship gap is underdeveloped.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, March 18, 2013

Anything For Her-Janice Kay Johnson

Anything For Her

Janice Kay Johnson

Harlequin SuperRomance, Mar 5 2013, $5.50

ISBN: 9780373718368

All Sean had from his family was his great-great grandma’s unfinished quilt. When his last known relative died, he was placed in a nightmarish foster care home. Now he is with stone worker Nolan Radek who struggles to earn his foster son’s trust.

With Sean’s permission, Nolan takes the quilt to shopkeeper Allie Wright to ask her if she can finish the lad’s heirloom. She agrees to complete the quilt and also accepts a date with Nolan as both are instantly attracted to one another. As they fall in love, Nolan knows she conceals something from him that leads him to distrust her veracity as he knows firsthand betrayal by loved ones.

Aptly titled as the lead male must decide between dumping his beloved or accepting Anything for Her, this is an engaging contemporary romance starring two fully developed protagonists and a vulnerable child. Fast-paced for most of the entertaining storyline, the plot slows down once the audience learns Allie’s secret. Janice Kay Johnson provides fans with a fine drama.

Harriet Klausner

Back Where She Belongs-Dawn Atkins

Back Where She Belongs

Dawn Atkins

Harlequin SuperRomance, Mar 5 2013, $5.50

ISBN: 9780373718412

The car accident left her father dead and her beloved older sister Faye in the hospital comatose. Business consultant Tara Wharton left a meeting in San Francisco to come home to hold her sister’s hand just like Faye used to do when they were kids. Adding to her fears is something felt wrong with how Faye’s husband Joseph Banes, CFO and number three person at Wharton Electronics (after his wife and father-on-law) told her the bad news.

She and her high school boyfriend Dylan Ryland reconnect though she never forgot how he chose his father’s company over attending college with Tara and that their families were at war back then and remain hostile. The pair looks into the fatal accident even as each knows they still love the one that got away.

This is a strong family drama with a deep mystery enhancing the business rivalry and the romance. Fast-paced from the opening heart wrenching scene of the siblings at the hospital until the climax, fans will wonder what happened as Dawn Atkins provides a terrific contemporary in which the heroine learns you can go home if love greets you.

Harriet Klausner

Maybe This Time-Joan Kilby

Maybe This Time

Joan Kilby

Harlequin SuperRomance, Mar 5 2013, $5.50

ISBN: 9780373718399

Two years ago in Melbourne, Australia little Holly dies in an accident. Her grieving parents Emma and Darcy Lewis are filled with guilt over their baby’s death; leading to their marriage dissolving.

Encouraged by his two best friends to take some R&R after nonstop work since the traumatic tragedy, Darcy goes on a singles cruise where he runs into Emma. Still deeply in love with each other and in spite of their remorse, the couple succumbs to the attraction and shares a night of sex. Emma becomes pregnant and plans to raise her child alone as Darcy never believed he was a good father to Holly. However, after giving birth to Billy, Emma becomes ill. Darcy must step to the plate and take care of his beloved ex-wife and his cherished infant though he never did so with Holly.

This is a deeply emotional second chance at family contemporary drama. Putting aside the odds of the lead couple going on the same cruise, readers will root for the fully developed lead couple and their newborn to make it as a family.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, March 17, 2013

The Taming Of A Wild Child-Kimberly Lang

The Taming Of A Wild Child

Kimberly Lang

Harlequin KISS, Feb 19 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373207053

In New Orleans, socialite Lorelei LaBlanc knows she has the reputation polar opposite to her sister Vivi; held in high esteem as a paragon of how the affluent should behave. As her sibling marries Connor Mansfield and about to on her honeymoon (see The Downfall of a Good Girl), Lorelei vows to change her well-deserved image of being the wild girl into a good girl.

The morning after her sister’s wedding, Lorelei wakens with a horrific hangover and mortified that journalist Donovan St. James shares the bed with her. She thinks back to the tequila and its aftereffect as she cannot recall the tryst while he knows every inch of their coming together. As Lorelei muses in horror over the first day of her makeover with a tabloid reporter, she tells him no more, but instead the pair begins an affair. As they fall in love, Lorelei chooses her makeover image over her lover.

The second LeBlanc sister romance is a fun matching of a tabloid favorite and a tabloid reporter. Fast-paced from the moment Lorelei wakes up to realize she still is the wild child with her prime regret not knowing how good or bad it was. Fans will enjoy this lighthearted contemporary.

Harriet Klausner

First Time For Everything-Aimee Carson

First Time For Everything

Aimee Carson

Harlequin KISS, Feb 19 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373207046

Miami Assistant U.S. District Attorney Blake Bennington leaves the courthouse distracted wondering why he rejected the come-on of beautiful classy Sara. Not paying attention to where she is going, music therapist Jacqueline “Jax” Lee accidentally plows into Blake. She apologizes to the suit who thinks she barely is old enough to vote. Jax and others are arrested when they do a flash mob dance number at the courthouse in an effort to raise public awareness that The Teen Center’s music program funding was severely cut.

She calls her law student friend Nikki Bennington, who asks her brother Blake to bail Jax out of jail. Blake hires downsized Jax to help his sibling as her live-in caretaker as Nikki wears a long leg cast. As Blake the contained one and Jax the free spirited one fall in love, both ponder the age old question of boxer vs. brief.

This is a humorous entertaining opposites attract romance starring two fully developed protagonists whose mutual lust has both of them reeling so each hides behind a war of the words. Although the key support cast (his mom and sister, and the Teen Center) never seems fully developed, readers will relish the gender combat between the suit and the free spirit.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, March 15, 2013

A Good Man-J.J. Murray

A Good Man

J.J. Murray

Kensington, Feb 26 2013, $15.00

ISBN: 9780758277220

In Charlotte, North Carolina, former WNBA and Olympics star Sonya Richardson enjoys her quiet life after years of living the fast-paced celeb diva style though she regrets in some ways her basketball days never allowed time for herself. Still single, her publicist Michelle Hamm calls her for the first time in five years to inform her WB wants her to star on a new reality TV show "Hunk or Punk;" in which a black woman and several suitors would hook up in front of an audience. Sonya, named Jazz for the show, must also bring her BFF; so asks Kim to join her as Shani in Los Angeles.

Widower, ex-pastor John Bond is the token white guy who everyone expects will fail as he lacks the vim, vigor and bling of his extroverted rivals; even he expects to be the first voted off the show. However, John finds Jazz’s honesty and coolness under fire refreshing; he reacts to her energy and voracity with quiet kindness. Sonya finds herself attracted to the caring ex-pastor, but he is neither a hunk nor a punk; just the throwaway Caucasian who keeps surviving along with Tony.

Although the premise of TV reality shows as a potential matchmaker has become trite from overuse and I have doubts about a 1 on 1 basketball game, A Good Man is a fun tale containing two fabulous romances. Character driven, fans will root for Sonya and John to make it.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Beguiling the Boss-Joan Hohl

Beguiling the Boss

Joan Hohl

Harlequin Desire, Mar 5 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373732289

Affluent Jennifer Dunning does not need to work as her parents are wealthy and she is their only child. Still she earned an MBA and was personal assistant to the CEO of a large company. Tired of her incompetent boss, she quits her job; catching her father cheat with his best friend’s wife leads to her leaving Dallas.

Jennifer accepts an office position working for reclusive business wizard Marshall Grainger at his ranch. She is stunned by her attraction to her boss as she distrusts men since Mr. Football All-American almost raped her in college and affirmed by her dad’s philandering; in fact she never let any male stay with her overnight. Marshall explains other duties as assigned includes housekeeping and cooking, but is shocked by his desire for his new employee as he distrusts all women. He soon offers to change her job description to wife and mother as he deems her worthy, but he fails to add his heart into the mix.

This is an engaging warm ranch romance as the protagonists make a nice couple. Although the premise is not new, readers will enjoy this entertaining contemporary.

Harriet Klausner

Winning Back His Wife-Melissa McClone

Winning Back His Wife

Melissa McClone

Harlequin Romance, Mar 5 2013, $5.75

ISBN: 9780373178667

The Oregon Search and Rescue volunteers save an injured climber on Mount Hood, but for Dr. Cullen Gray there is no time for R&R at his nearby home in Hood Hamlet. His soon to be ex-wife volcanologist Sarah Purcell is in critical condition in a Seattle trauma center after a blast of steam led to her being hit by rocks and tossed a significant distance while on the rim at Mount Baker.

Panicked he rushes to her side though he swears he can live without her. Upon seeing her in a comatose state, Cullen changes his vow to never leaving her side if god gives them a second chance. When Sarah regains consciousness, she is shocked to see her husband at her side. Each thinks how they married after only knowing one another for two days, but both placed their respective work ahead of their relationship; leading to their agreeing to an amiable divorce. Now he refuses to go as Cullen plans on Winning Back His Wife.

This is a strong second chance at love contemporary as a trauma awakens two workaholic protagonists as to what they almost lost by ignoring their relationship; their vocation came before each other. Cullen and Sarah are fully developed as neither can conceal how they feel from one another or the audience, but work still intrudes on their working through their reconciliation in Melissa McClone’s super romance.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, March 11, 2013

The Baby Jackpot-Jacqueline Diamond

The Baby Jackpot

Jacqueline Diamond

Harlequin American, Mar 5 2013, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373754472

Following her divorce from Raditch, Safe Harbor Medical Center Nurse Stacy Layne donates her eggs to a needy couple The Barkers. However on her twenty-eighth birthday, Stacy believing she is having her period and intoxicated Dr. Cole Rattigan share a night of intimacy. She learns a side effect of egg donation hormonal therapy is a higher fertility probability as she becomes pregnant carrying triplets.

Cole will do anything for her and their offspring even offering to marry her, but Stacy declines. Having her marriage detonate leaves Stacy believing their children need a home filled with love; an action neither parents wants to do but each wonders if the children will be better off with other people raising them.

The latest Safe Harbor Medical Center romance (see The Baby Dilemma) is an enjoyable baby makes five tale though the premise has been used before (see The Detective's Accidental Baby) made shakier by professionals having unprotected sex. Still, readers will enjoy returning to Safe Harbor, California where unborn triplets prove to be adept matchmakers.

Harriet Klausner

The Princess Predicament-Lisa Childs

The Princess Predicament

Lisa Childs

Harlequin Intrigue, Mar 5 2013, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373696772

Her father King St. Pierre announced at a ball that his daughter Princess Gabriella will wed in a political arrangement. However, an angry Gabriella ends up pregnant after making love with her sire’s bodyguard Whit Howell. Not long afterward, Gabriella vanished in Paris; Whit blamed himself for his indiscretion and vowed to find her Royal Princess.

Six months since she disappeared, Whit locates Gabriella living in poor conditions while working at an orphanage and loving every minute. When an attempted abduction occurs, Whit intervenes. He wants to escort her home, but wonders whether the rival fiancĂ© princes, a royal cousin or Whit’s former partner targets pregnant Gabriella, a woman he loves and would die to keep safe.

The latest Royal Bodyguards romantic suspense is an engaging thriller that builds from the previous tale Protecting the Pregnant Princess. Although the premise is not new (see Roman Holiday), The Princess Predicament is an enjoyable sequel with a nice added twist involving bodyguard Charlotte Greene.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, March 9, 2013

Bungalow Nights-Christie Ridgeway

Bungalow Nights

Christie Ridgeway

Harlequin HQN, Feb 26 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9780373777457

In Afghanistan dying Colonel Samuel Parker tells combat medic Vance Smith what he wanted to do with his little daughter Layla when he returns to the States. He shows Vance a picture of a little girl and makes him give a deathbed vow to fulfill his helmet list.

His cousin Baxter hires childhood neighbor Addy March to serve as a nanny when Vance takes young Layla to the beach at Crescent Cove, California for a month. However, the only problem with sharing Beach House No. 9 is that cute little Layla is a beautiful twentyish woman. Both feels the heat of attraction, but the late colonel stands between them; as Vance believes a fling would betray his vow and Layla being a military brat learned to control her emotions and fears the medic will open the floodgates of grieving the death of her father.

The second Crescent Cove summer romance (see Beach House No. 9) is an engaging tale starring two nice people brought together by her deceased father. Although the set-up seems highly unlikely, readers who ignore Vance’s misconceptions will enjoy this warm love story as the protagonists learn families matter.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, March 8, 2013

A Shot of Sultry-Macy Beckett

A Shot of Sultry

Macy Beckett

Sourcebooks, Mar 5 2013, $6.99

ISBN 9781402270390

Documentary filmmaker Bobbi Gallagher fled Los Angeles for her hometown of Sultry Springs, Texas when her latest project fell apart due to the lies of a friend she trusted. With her reputation and consequently her career destroyed, she earns a miserable living videotaping weddings, but has a concept to make it back. Her plan is to launch Sex in the Sticks hoping Trey Lewis, a close friend of her older half-brother Luke (see of Sultry with a Twist), and Sheriff Colt Bea will agree to star as the sexy male hicks.

Trey seeks a second chance to overcome his dishonorable discharge by proving his innocence especially to his estrange disappointed parents. He accepts a two year security position in Dubai. When Bobbi enters Luke’s bar, Trey assumes she is another low life. To his shock, instead she is Luke’s sibling as he never knew his pal had a sister. Though he is not a kiss and tell red neck, Trey agrees to do the show because he knows this is the female he plans to have sex with; if he can ever get Bobby from being the camera.

The return to Sultry Springs will elate fans of contemporary romance as Bobbi and Trey bring serious backstories (his military experience and her nasty childhood) to their relationship while the support cast (the townsfolk and her crew- the blue haired Asian and Scooby’s Shaggy) add mostly humor to the mix. Breezy, readers will enjoy the escapades of the filmmaker and the rural hunk.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, March 3, 2013

Lord of Darkness-Elizabeth Hoyt

Lord of Darkness

Elizabeth Hoyt

Grand Central, Feb 26 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9781455508303

In 1740 London, Godric St. John adheres to his pledge he made a few years ago as the Ghost of St. Giles to protect the city’s most innocent, the children. The masked avenger even wed an innocent aristocrat two years ago to keep her from a disgraceful scandal before vanishing on their wedding day.

However, he never expected his spouse Lady Margaret nee Reading to fire two shots at him while he fights footpads trying to accost her. Megs seeks revenge against the Ghost of St. Giles who killed her true love Roger Fraser-Burnsby and forced her to wed someone else. To complicate matters, Megs and her fellow rusticating companion, Godric’s sister Sarah, move into her spouse’s Saint House as she demands an heir, but fails to recognize who the Ghost of St. Giles is. As the married couple fall in love, he fears for her life as many better shooters than her want the death of the Ghost of St. Giles.

The latest Maiden Lane Georgian romance (see Thief of Shadows and Scandalous Desires) is an exciting entry due to the grieving protagonists (he is a widower) finding a second chance at love if they can overcome their distrust and misconceptions. Fast-paced from the first shot until the final confrontation, series fans will appreciate thus engaging historical.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, March 1, 2013

I’ll Stand By You-Wayne Jordon

I’ll Stand By You

Wayne Jordon

Harlequin Kimani, Feb 19 2013, $6.25

ISBN: 9780373862993

The Harrison sisters were children when their parents went to heaven and they were separated but not before pledging to one day be reunited. One of the siblings Eboni became adopted by the Wynter family to include three overly protective brothers.

Now a firefighter on leave, Eboni begins her search for the oldest Aaliyah and the two youngest Keisha and Cyndi. In a condo in Manhattan, Eboni meets Darren Grayson at the pool when he takes down his swimming suit in front of her. She thinks he is a pervert while he thinks he may have found the woman to help him believe in happily ever after for even a reformed former player. As they fall in love, the realtor conceals the facts that he is a divorcee with a child Kenya raised by his mom. Though she accepts his help on her sibling quest, Eboni no longer trusts Darren as she wonders what else of significance he hides from her.

Known for his beautiful Barbados tales (see the Knight saga and To Love You More), Wayne Jordon provides a strong Manhattan romance starring a woman with a mission and a man who may have her love, but has a mission to regain her trust. The character-driven storyline is filled with angst as readers will feel Eboni’s obsessive need though raised in love by the Wynter clan. Although Kenya is too precocious, readers will appreciate this delightful contemporary, which implies up future Harrison stories to come.

Harriet Klausner