Sunday, August 31, 2014

The Way You Look Tonight-Bella Andre

The Way You Look Tonight
Bella Andre
Mira, Aug 26 2014, $7.99
ISBN 9780778317302

Seven years ago Rafe Sullivan left the police to open up a private investigator firm.  His office proved very successful and many in Washington believe he runs the best in the state.  However, jaded Rafe also knows the downside as 100% of those he or his staff investigated were up to no good.

His sister Mia the realtor tells him the lake house near Seattle that they used to visit as children is on the market.  Knowing he desperately needs a getaway R&R place, Rafe buys the rundown cabin.  To his pleasant surprise, staying next door at her late grandparents’ house is no longer cute but instead beautiful Brooke Jansen, who aged perfectly.  Having left Boston, Brooke is thrilled that her childhood crush is within reach.  However, though as attracted to her as she is to him, Rafe hesitates as he has seen so many more relationships die though he admits his extended family have proven the exception.

Having left the San Francisco Sullivans in forever loving relationships, Bella Andre heads north for the first sexy Seattle Sullivans saga.  Although the location changes, the quality of the leads remains strong even if their romance starts too quickly.  Series fans will find the pleasant opening act very enjoyable and look forward to Mia who’s next on deck.

Harriet Klausner

Irresistible Force-D.D. Ayres

Irresistible Force
D.D. Ayres
St. Martin’s, Aug 26 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9781250042170

One month ago, someone kidnapped Charlotte-Mecklenburg PD Officer James Cannon’s K9 partner Bogart.  James followed leads in search of his missing police dog until he sees Bogart with a woman in an isolated cabin just outside of Raleigh. 

Shayla Appleton fears her former boyfriend, outwardly charming to the world but abusive to her. Eric Coates refuses to accept it is over between them.  Thus she “adopted” dumped for death Prince from the local animal shelter where she volunteers.  James confronts her for abducting his canine Bogart, but Shay says she saved him from execution as the woman who dropped him off demanded they do.  After Shay dials 911, Chief Deputy Sheriff Ward arrives to take control of the scene.  Shay describes the woman wanting her Prince to die; James recognizes his crazy former girlfriend Jaylynn Turner.  Both already in love with Prince Bogart and with help from their dog, James and Shay deal with their respective monstrous previous significant others, her childhood and worse love.

The first K-9 Rescue police procedural romantic suspense is an exciting action-packed tale that deftly combines falling in love (due to the efforts of a matchmaking dog) with the nefarious activities of the two over the top of Mount Mitchell exes (neither have a redeeming quality).  Prince Bogart steals the show from his human partners as D.D. Ayres provides a terse opener.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, August 30, 2014

The Devil In Denim-Melanie Scott

The Devil In Denim
Melanie Scott
St. Martin’s, Aug 26 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9781250040428

Maggie Jameson believes her father mentored her for years to replace him as the owner of the New York Saints baseball team.  Thus when her dad sells her beloved Saints to three former college jocks (Alex, Lucas and Mal), Maggie feels betrayed; made even angrier when she learns of the Judas sale at the purchasing contract signing.

Alex Winters and his two friends saw their college baseball careers go up in smoke when they were injured rescuing people from a fire.  Being from Queens, Alex wants to turn around the fortunes of the Saints; but understands that for the players to accept him and his partners, they need the support Maggie who has the team’s sympathy.  Irate Maggie loathes the upstart and considers a better offer (at least for her) that would make her the team’s CEO by using the league’s Executive Committee.  As Alex tries to convince Maggie to join the new management team, the former college catcher and the previous owner’s daughter fall in love.

The series opener is an exciting baseball romance that cleverly combines on field action, boardroom action and bedroom (also locker room) action into a terrific sports tale.  Fans will enjoy the gender war between opponents in love as Melanie Scott provides a winning game one.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, August 29, 2014

The Best Kind of Trouble-Lauren Dane

The Best Kind of Trouble
Lauren Dane
Harlequin HQN, Aug 26 2014, $7.99
ISBN 9780373779345

In Hood River, Oregon librarian Natalie Clayton stops at Common Grounds for coffee on her way to work when Sweet Hollow Ranch rocker Paddy Hurley arrives in need of caffeine.  Before even turning around, Natalie identifies by the voice a man she shared two weeks of love-making a lifetime ago.  When Paddy sees her he recognizes her mouth from the greatest two weeks of his life.  She denies being the tattooed pixie who worked at a dive in Portland; as she muses to herself that was a different Natalie.

Every morning when Natalie stops for her coffee, Paddy greets her by asking her to go out with him.  Though she declines he refuses to quit asking.  After consistent rejections, Paddy erodes some of her resistance and Natalie agrees to go on a date.  As they fall in love, Paddy knows he must somehow break down the remaining protective barriers Natalie constructed as a means to escape her ugly childhood, but errs in his efforts.

The first Hurley Brothers romance is an engaging second chance at love romance starring two to nice protagonists.  The leads come from polar opposite types of families in which his nicely supports him and hers, especially daddy dearest, mostly trashes her; the townsfolk particularly her roommate Tuesday Eastwood have become her surrogate loving “family”.  Although the storyline follows the most obvious path, The Best Kind of Trouble is falling in love.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, August 28, 2014

No Limits-Lori Foster

No Limits
Lori Foster
Harlequin HQN, Aug 26 2014, $7.99
ISBN 9780373779048

Supreme Battle Championship fighter Cannon Colter returns to the States following a victory in Japan for some needed R&R after the tough brawl.  However, hometown attorney Cannon asks him to come to Warfield, Ohio to discuss the property and funds that he inherited from the recently deceased Tipton Sweeney.  Stunned Cannon cannot understand why any inheritance is going to him; as all should have went to the late pawn shop owner’s granddaughter Yvette; the one female he desired but avoided as she was too young for him when he left to join the SBC.  From the grave Tipton needs Cannon to take care of his beloved Yvette; giving him joint ownership of half the estate to do so.

Unsure what type of greeting he will receive from Yvette who ran away to California after his “rejection” and the trouble they and her grandfather faced three years, Cannon attempts to comfort Yvette, but she rejects his condolences.  Distrusting him for two reasons now, Yvette tries to hide her feelings of love by keeping her distance from Cannon; while he hopes to earn her trust as he believes he has her love and to honor Tipton’s belief in him by keeping the woman they both cherish safe.

After the wonderful Love Undercover quartet, Lori Foster returns to her SBC world (see My Man Michael, Hard to Handle Causing Havoc and Simon Says) with round one of the Ultimate contemporary romance.  The leisurely-paced second chance at love subplot takes a somewhat typical track though the fully developed leads and the townsfolk like Cannon, and the suspense make for a fine Buckeye drama.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Mercy-B.J. Daniels

B.J. Daniels
Harlequin HQN, Aug 26 2014, $7.99
ISBN 9780373778959

Six months ago, Rourke Kincaid failed to follow procedure and a civilian almost died.  He was pulled from active duty; eventually assigned to cold cases.  After reviewing several files, U.S. Marshal Rourke Kincaid notices a serial killer pattern in the files; Beartooth, Montana waitress Callie Westfield was photographed at various Sweetgrass County crime scenes.  He wonders why she keeps showing up but instead of supporting his premise, his supervisor suspends him again.

Unauthorized Rourke goes rogue and in Seattle meets with his medically retired former SPD partner Laura Fuller to illicit her help.  Laura hopes he came to see her to tell her he loves her like she does him; but instead he asks her to assist him on a serial killer case in Beartooth.  In the Montana town, undercover Rourke meets Callie at the Branding Iron Café where she works.  However, as the evidence mounts that Callie is a cold-blooded murderess, mortified Rourke knows he fell in love with a serial killer. 

The fifth Beartooth Mountains thriller (see Atonement, Unforgiven, Forsaken and Redemption) is a pleasing Big Sky romantic suspense.  Although readers will solve the case much earlier than Rourke does, Mercy is a fast-paced, action-packed murder mystery.

Harriet Klausner 

Monday, August 25, 2014

A Match Made By Baby-Karen Rose Smith

A Match Made By Baby
Karen Rose Smith
Harlequin Special Edition, Aug 19 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373658374

In Fawn Grove, California, his frazzled former stepsister Tina dumped her two-month old daughter Erica on the infant’s Uncle Adam Preston who had been home for a week.  The international environmental geologist did his best to quiet his niece, but finally admitted failure.  Desperate he calls the Mommy Club for help with the screaming baby. 

Volunteer pediatrician Dr. Kaitlyn Foster comes to his home shocking Adam with her arrival.  As she calms down Erica, Adam explains that he came home from Africa stunned to find he had a niece as he never knew his much younger stepsibling was pregnant.   Both adults think back to their encounter when they first met last year in Cape Town and each currently denies to their own counsel that their attraction remains robust.  As they nurture the child, the couple begins to fall in love.  Nevertheless, Kaitlyn and Adam agree nothing can come of their desire since she is a stay at home doctor and he is a nomadic globetrotting geologist.

The latest Mommy Club romance (see Wanted: A Real Family) is a wonderful contemporary with an underlying supporting focus on the overwhelming responsibility of single motherhood.  Character driven by a vigorous cast, A Match Made By Baby is the usual great family drama by always dependable Karen Rose Smith.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Snow Blind-Cassie Miles

Snow Blind
Cassie Miles
Harlequin Intrigue, Aug 19 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373697861

Due to the mysterious death of nonagenarian client Virgil Westfield, Denver-based Samuels, Sorenson and Smith sends twentyish legal assistant Sasha Campbell to represent the law firm with the Arcadia Ski Resorts’ investors.  She stays in her boss Damien Loughlin’s luxurious condo.

Though she shouldn’t voyeur, using Damien’s binoculars, Sasha looks out the window into other condos until she horribly witnesses a man seemingly kill a woman at the Gateway Hotel.  She calls 911, but the operator thinks she is drunk.  Summit County Sheriff’s Deputy Brady Ellis answers the 911 call.  Though they find no body or any evidence of a homicide, Brady believes Sasha’s story due to her mentioning Chinese food which he faintly smells when they enter the alleged crime scene room.  Now Brady fears the killer, who may be one of the four investors she is meeting with, will try to eliminate the witness.

Cassie Miles’ latest Colorado romantic suspense (see Snowed In) is a thrilling tale in which rightfully so the investigation and intrigue supersedes the falling in love subplot.  The exciting storyline never slows down as there are plenty of suspects among the investors and their families with one needing to silent the “voyeur”; thus turning Snow Blind into a delightful Rocky Mountain whodunit.

Harriet Klausner

Dead Man’s Curve-Paula Graves

Dead Man’s Curve
Paula Graves
Harlequin Intrigue, Aug 19 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373697847

FBI Agent Ava Trent arrives in Johnson City, Tennessee to investigate the kidnapping of Gabe and Alicia Cooper (see The Man from Gossamer Ridge).  The Feds’ interest involves Alicia’s late brother Sinclair Solano, who had been on their Most Wanted List until he died five years ago.  At the motel where the abduction occurred, a stunned Ava sees a very alive Sinclair; a man she was falling in love with on Mariposa eight years ago. 

Worried for his sister, Sinclair believes someone in Sanselmo realized he did not die in the Tesoro Harbor warehouse explosion that killed several; and that means El Cambio’s lieutenant Cabrera knows he betrayed them, most likely as a federal double agent.  His sibling is a pawn to bring him out into the open where terrorists and law enforcement have a bulls-eye on his back.  Now he must persuade Alicia to give him time to rescue his sister though the agent sarcastic retort eliminates him telling her the truth.

The first Gates romantic suspense is a high octane thriller with an angry enemy targeting a steadfast Solano as he risks his life to save Alicia while his FBI sidekick devastates his normally singular mission focus.  With a connection to the Cooper saga, Dead Man Curve is a terrific tense opening act.

Harriet Klausner

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Stripped Down-Kelli Ireland

Stripped Down
Kelli Ireland
Harlequin Blaze, Aug 19 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373798186

In Seattle Preservations CEO Cass Jameson and her team diligently worked on water preservation and soil erosion at the site of the proposed Chok Resort on Lake Washington.  When the EPA approved their proposal, Cass plans to present it next week to the resort builders, Sovereign Developments.

Eric Reeves feels good that his company Sovereign Developments won the bid for the Chok Resorts project over his more powerful established rival David Jameson.  He keeps his nocturnal life as popular Beaux Hommes stripper Dalton Chase apart from his day time CEO role except for the former funding the latter.  When Cass hires him to strip at her BFF Gwen’s bachelorette party, neither knows of their project connection as they share a week of Pleasure Before Business intrudes.

The first Pleasure Before Business heated romance is a fun frolic though the concept of both unaware of their business link after a week together feels like a throwback to the 1961 Rock Hudson-Doris Day movie Lover Come Back but with plenty of sex and no Pillow Talk.  The leads are likable ambitious individuals who fall in love just before they learn who their tryst partner truly is.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, August 22, 2014

Behind Closed Doors-Debbi Rawlins

Behind Closed Doors
Debbi Rawlins
Harlequin Blaze, Aug 19 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373798162

Beth Wilson wonders about her sanity when she gave up her career that enabled her to see the world to open up a boarding house in Blackfoot Falls, Montana even if she originally came from Billings.  She also tries to help her seemingly out of control teenage niece Liberty.  When Jorgenson sends her lumber order to Nathan Landers, she tries calling the rancher but he ignores her before she visits him to plead her case.  The widower delivers the lumber to her.

Liberty attends school, but also works for her aunt to make restitutions to victims of her art wall including Nathan.  As Beth and Nathan begin seeing each other and fall in love, Liberty sabotages their relationship since she has a crush on the rancher and a greater fear of abandonment.

The latest Made in Montana tale (see Need You Now, Alone With You, From This Moment On and No One Needs To Know) is an entertaining contemporary made fresh by Liberty’s issues.  Although the adult relationship is the prime plot; it takes a backseat to saving Liberty.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Must Love Fangs-Jessica Sims

Must Love Fangs
Jessica Sims
Pocket Books, Aug 27 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9781451661828

Marie knows she is dying from the same disease that killed her mom.  Her only hope to live is for one of the supernaturals to turn her into one of them.  Since she works at Midnight Liaison, the dating service for the supernatural, Marie comes in contact with vampire and shapeshifting hunks.  Thus she thinks: Wanted: Wild Thing (next series entry) to change and save her.  Alas as with Coleridge’s Ancient Mariner, shifter, shifter everywhere but not a bite in sight since a recent bad conversion put a halt to this species performing the deed.

Thus her only hope resides with the vamps and she has two possible candidates.  However, were-cougar Joshua Russell has been attracted to Marie since he first met her at Midnight Liaison though she constantly rejected his advances offering back only polite ennui professionalism.  Josh campaigns to be her one.

This Midnight Liaisons romantic urban fantasy (see "Out with a Fang" from the Undead In My Bed anthology, Claws and Effect, Desperately Seeking Shapeshifter, and Beauty Dates The Beast) is a graveyard jocular tale starring a no-nonsense human female and an all-fun shifter male.  Whereas Marie has no time for courting, flirting or loving; Josh has plenty of time for courting, flirting and especially loving.  Though “cougars can’t laugh”, readers can and will delight in the amusing, somewhat angst, Must Love Fangs.

Harriet Klausner

Friday, August 15, 2014

Deadly Allure-Elle James

Deadly Allure
Elle James
Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Aug 5 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373278817

In Los Angeles Stealth Operations Specialist agent Nicole “Tazer” Steele enters Ryan Technology as part of the night cleaning crew to break into the office of Brandon Ryan.  Her objective is to download a database that will prove whether he is betraying his country by illegally selling American arms to the Taliban.  When Ryan arrives, Tazer incapacitates him; as she leaves he tells her that his associate will pursue her with deadly force.  On her way to the airport, the police chase Tazer.  She tries calling her boss Fontaine and data guru Geek but when neither answers Tazer realizes something went wrong.  Knowing she needs to hide off the grid until she learns what is going on, Tazer heads to Cape Churn, Oregon.

900 miles later, almost all on a motorcycle, an exhausted Nicole reaches foggy Cape Churn only to crash into a truck owned by Dave Logsdon (see Deadly Engagement).  Though an emotionally-detached hermit since his friend died in combat, Dave reluctantly allows Nicole to stay with him on the Reel Dive yacht he is renovating.  While she lays low until she can download the thumb drive and learn what is happening out there, these two relationship-phobic souls fall in love.  

With a nod to 24: Live Another Day, the latest Deadly Stealth Operations romantic suspense (see Deadly Allure, Deadly Reckoning and Deadly Liaisons) returns series fans to the picturesque foggy Oregon coast in a taut national security thriller.  Fast-paced and loaded with action, Elle James’ tale grips the audience as two loners battle against a powerful unknown adversary and even more deadly to both of them the demands of their respective hearts.

Harriet Klausner

The Sweetest September-Liz Talley

The Sweetest September
Liz Talley
Harlequin SuperRomance, Aug 5 2014, $6.75
ISBN: 9780373608621

Shelby Mackey took The Road To Bayou Bridge to see her boyfriend Darby Dufrene who came home for a visit after years away in the Navy.  Instead of leaving with Darby, they learn to his shock and her chagrin he remains married to Renny Latioles who he wed before enlisting.  Upset to find Darby and Renny back together, Shelby has a one night stand with a stranger, widower John Beauchamp, before fleeing from the Bayou while her sack companion wallows in guilt and remorse for betraying his late wife Rebecca.

Three months after their only evening together, Shelby, knowing she is doing the right thing, once again takes The Road To Bayou Bridge to inform John she is carrying his baby; though she believes with 100 percent certainty he will decline participating in raising their child.  Instead he stuns her when John insists he will help raise their infant.  Even more astonishing to Shelby, his family (especially his preacher father) does not condemn her but also wants the child to know intimately his or her paternal roots.

The strong cast with their emotional poignant reactions especially towards the pregnancy makes this Home In Magnolia Bend entry a marvelous believable contemporary.  Filled with real people’s humor and angst, fans will appreciate this tale while wondering about the reaction of the kid when she is old enough to learn her conception occurred in a Bayou Bengals bar bathroom.

Harriet Klausner

The Reasons To Stay-Laura Drake

The Reasons To Stay
Laura Drake
Harlequin SuperRomance, Aug 5 2014, $6.75
ISBN: 9780373608638

Priscilla Hart leaves Pueblo to drive to the funeral of her mom in Widow’s Grove, California.  She feels no regret about not seeing her mother for over a decade before she died because they were estranged ever since she left behind her unhappy childhood.  At the grave site, only Priss, a child and a woman attend.  Priss realizes the boy is her half-brother Ignacio whom she never met and the adult she recognizes from her own experiences as a social worker.

Though feeling no remorse re her mom, Priss feels guilt when she considers abandoning Nacho to the system.  Instead of returning to Colorado, she rents an apartment in Widow’s Grove to raise Nacho while he finishes the school term and then decide what next.  However as Priss struggles with her brooding, grieving gangster in training sibling, she also is attracted to her landlord pharmacist Adam Preston.

This wonderful Widow’s Grove (see Her Road Home) family drama works because of Priss, whose life goal is not to be her dysfunctional mom.  As Priss drowns trying to take care of Nacho; to her vexation her time with her brother turns her into her worst nightmare: her dysfunctional mom.  The engaging opposites-attract romance is well written, but takes a back seat to the heroine’s motherhood revelations as raising (or not) Nacho enables Priss to better understand her late mom even while she considers fleeing before her brain turns to cheese.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Cavanaugh Strong-Marie Ferrarella

Cavanaugh Strong
Marie Ferrarella
Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Aug 5 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373278817

Six months ago, Aurora Vice Detectives Duncan Cavanaugh and Noelle O’Banyon became partners.  While he unsuccessfully tries to break down her relationship barriers, the single mom of six year old Melinda reinforces them due to the curse of her two fiancés dying just before they were to marry.

When Noelle’s mom Lucy arrives to watch Melinda, she tells her daughter that she was almost late because she found her senior citizen friend Henry dead at the nursing home.  Lucy also mentions not too long ago another elderly friend Sally died.  Wondering if a killer murdered two healthy seniors, Noelle persuades Duncan they should investigate; while he tries to convince her they belong together off the job too.

The latest fast-paced Cavanaugh Justice romantic police procedural (see Cavanaugh Baby and Cavanaugh Hero) is a great case in which the cops doubt murders have occurred, but are unwilling to risk a third victim.  Though his family can be overwhelming (a zillion more in law enforcement than the NYPD Blue Blood Reagan crew), the partner’s robust teasing repartee engrosses the reader in this strong Cavanaugh mystery.

Harriet Klausner

In Perfect Time-Sarah Sundin

In Perfect Time
Sarah Sundin
Revell, Aug 5 2014, $14.99
ISBN: 9780800720834

In 1944 in the European Theater of Operations, Army Air Force Lieutenant Kay Jobson has two reputations: that of an outrageous tease and that of a diligent flight nurse.  Kay knows many soldiers want her while all she dreams of is becoming head nurse in order to avoid returning home to where her father the preacher would use her beauty to exploit sinners and believers.

When C-47 pilot Lieutenant Roger Cooper meets Kay, he joins the long list of admirers.  However, Roger reacts differently to Kay from all those wannabes when he refuses to act on his desires.  Still as they work together, he gives her his greatest possession, his bible.  While each battles their unwanted growing attraction, Roger and Kay must team up in a different survival scenario than their usual to help to the wounded after being trapped behind Nazi lines.

The third Wings of the Nightingale WWII military romance (see On Distant Shores and With Every Letter) is an entertaining drama that focuses on relationships forged while under traumatic stress providing frontline combat medicine and trapped on the wrong side of the front.  The gripping storyline balances the perilous roles of flight nurse and pilot in war ravaged France and Italy with a fine romantic subplot; summed up by the military chaplains: “there are no atheists in foxholes” or behind enemy lines.

Harriet Klausner

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

A Groom Worth Waiting For-Sophie Pembroke

A Groom Worth Waiting For
Sophie Pembroke
Harlequin Romance, Aug 5 2014, $5.99
ISBN: 9780373743205

To the delight of their families (with a couple of exceptions) as this further binds the Morrison-Ashton media management, Flynn Ashton and Thea Morrison will marry in two days in Tuscany.  After running away from Thea eight years ago, Flynn’s brother Zeke shocks everyone when he arrives on his first visit since he fled; ostensibly he came to attend the nuptials, but has a secret agenda.

While the countdown continues, a doubting Zeke considers fleeing again as he reluctantly accepts he has no prayer to achieve his quest when his beloved tells him to get a life.  However, knowing this is his last chance for happiness; Zeke stays fixated on persuading his beloved Thea that she should marry him out of love instead of his sibling out of security. 

This is a warm second chance at love romance starring a fine three-dimensional cast.  Thea will captivate and exasperate readers as we sing the Lovin’ Spoonful song “Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind” to her.

Harriet Klausner

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

A Cowboy’s Hear-Rebecca Winters

A Cowboy’s Heart
Rebecca Winters
Harlequin American Romance, Aug 5 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373755325

In Montana, veterinarian Liz Henson has been half in love with World Steer Wrestling champ Conner Bannock ever since several years ago at her first disastrous professional barrel race he told her she had real talent and to ignore her poor showing.  Wanting to help Liz and knowing this is each’s last professional event, Conner explains how stupid it is going to contests separately because of the late Scrooge Daniel Corkin’s orders when they are neighbors.  He stuns her when he asks her to drive down with him to Vegas for the Pro National Finals Rodeo and stay in his RV; she stuns herself when she accepts.

In Vegas, Conner begins to realize the little girl next door is a vibrant woman whom he likes.  As they fall in love, his ex-wife Los Angeles TV anchor Reva Stevens arrives with a desire for a second chance.

The second Bannock-Henson Hitting Rocks Cowboys drama (see In A Cowboy's Arms) is an engaging contemporary starring two likable leads in which their thrilling rodeo exploits and related lifestyles supersedes the romantic triangle subplot.  Somewhat leisurely-paced, subgenre fans will enjoy “the thrill of victory... and the agony of defeat... the human drama of athletic competition ...” (ABC’s Wide World of Sports) at the rodeo.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Rogue With A Brogue-Suzanne Enoch

Rogue With A Brogue
Suzanne Enoch
St. Martin’s, Jul 29 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9781250041616

A cease fire somewhat ends the seemingly endless feud between the clans MacLawry and Campbell.  Marquis Ranulf MacLawry (see The Devil Wears Kilts) asks his brother Arran to stay in London to insure both clans especially theirs adhere to the shaky peace.

At a masquerade, Arran wearing the mask of a fox eludes his chosen fiancée by dancing with a masked Lady Vixen.  Attracted to her, he learns she is Mary Campbell, granddaughter of their rival clan’s chief.  Feeling the same about her foxy suitor, Arran and Mary begin secretly seeing each other with plans to head north to marry; each knows if caught too soon their respective chieftain relatives would end their relationship and probably the fragile truce. 

The second Scandalous Highlanders Regency romance (see The Devil Wears Kilts) is a great historical starring a foxy Romeo and a vixen Juliet; as two angry feuding clans find common ground in pursuit of the runaways.  Readers will relish this terrific historical as love may end a long running feud or toss fuel that turns a simmering fire into an inferno.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, August 7, 2014

The Nanny Proposition-Rachel Bailey

The Nanny Proposition
Rachel Bailey
Harlequin Desire, Aug 5 2014, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373733323

In Los Angeles at Sacred Heart Hospital a midwife informs stunned botanist Liam Hawke that he is the father of two day old Bonnie, whose mother Rebecca Clancy dies from complications.  One look at the infant convinces confirms in his mind Bonnie is his daughter although he had no idea that when he and Rebecca ended their relationship she was pregnant. 

Rebecca’s parents want to raise their granddaughter, but so does Liam.  He hires his brother Dylan’s housekeeper Jenna Peters as the new nanny and his personal parenthood coach.  With Dylan’s approval, she accepted the position because she can keep her eight month old infant Meg with her instead of at a daycare facility.  As the adults fall in love with each other and with both babies, Jenna hides her secret that before she became pregnant out of wedlock, she was Princess Jensine Larson of Larsland.

The latest Billionaires and Babies (see His Lover's Little Secret by Andrea Lawrence) is a fun contemporary starring two likable leads supported by babies who cry and fuss.  Although the plausibility is over the top of the Hollywood sign; The Nanny Proposition is a warm engaging drama as two single parents and their infants become a family of four.

Harriet Klausner

Monday, August 4, 2014

Swan Point-Sherryl Woods

Swan Point
Sherryl Woods
Mira, Jul 29 2014, $14.99 (trade); $24.99 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780778316428

Adelia Hernandez accepts the inevitability that her cheating husband Ernesto will always have mistresses as he does not care about her.  However, Ernesto’s reckless neglect of their four children, especially showing off to their thirteen year old oldest his mistresses and setting a bad example for their eight year old youngest, persuades Adelia to divorce him and start over elsewhere.  Swearing off men in order to focus on raising her three daughters (Serena, Natalia and Juanita) and son (Tomas), with support from her mother and her brother (see Midnight Promises) she moves with her children to the Swan Point neighborhood in Serenity, South Carolina.

At Rosalina, Adelia and Gabe Franklin see each other for the first time and the attraction is stratospheric.  She obtains her first job since having kids while he temporarily works for his cousin.  However, Gabe plans to stay for a short time to rectify mistakes he made growing up in this town where his mom was the town’s target of nasty gossip due to the parade of men entering and leaving her life.  As he and the mother of four fall in love and he adores her kids; Ernesto plans to destroy their relationship by using the children especially vulnerable Tomas as his pawn.

The eleventh Sweet Magnolia contemporary (see Catching Fireflies and Where Azaleas Bloom) is a wonderful second chance family drama in spite of macho Ernesto’s unnecessary nastiness and the repeat philandering theme (see Home In Carolina, Stealing Home and A Slice Of Heaven).  Readers will root for with Gabe, Adelia and her kids to find happiness together.

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, August 3, 2014

Expose Me-Kate Hewitt

Expose Me
Kate Hewitt.
Harlequin Presents, Jul 29 2014, $9.99
ISBN 9780373430390

Ten years ago, Sarah committed suicide with the cause being Jason Treffen the women’s rights advocate and philanthropist.  Three of her close friends including Jason’s son Austin were traumatized by this tragedy.  Thus Austen (see Avenge Me by Maisey Yates), Hunter Talbot Grant III (see Scandalize Me by Caitlin Crews) and Alex Diaz formed a pact to destroy Jason.

Alex plans to take advantage of TV host Chelsea Maxwell’s blind ambition to become a real reporter to help him devastate Jason on national TV by her throwing gotcha hardball questions rather than piped softies when she interviews him; though that would end her current position.  To insure her loyalty without committing any journalist promises, Alex seduces Chelsea.  As Alex falls in love, he knows he must choose between his decade-long revenge need and his need for Chelsea whose decade-long career at AMI will die if she does what he wants.

The third Fifth Avenue contemporary is a marvelous romance as the protagonist finds himself caught in a life changing decision when he learns revenge is a dish served cold while love is a gourmet meal served hot.  Though the fascinating storyline goes as expected, mini-series readers will receive plenty of pleasure with the final confrontation of a satisfying trilogy.

Harriet Klausner