Archive for October, 2010

Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here-Christine Warren

October 31, 2010

Prince Charming Doesn’t Live Here

Christine Warren

St. Martin’s, Nov 2 2010, $7.99

ISBN: 9780312947941

In Manhattan the firm’s most senior partner octogenarian Matthew Yorke IV directs attorney Danice Carter to find his granddaughter Rosemary Addison and persuade her to file a paternity suit.  He blames Rosemary’s pregnancy on the girl’s father Tom who had nothing to do with his daughter.  Rosemary’s need for love led her to a low life who ditched her when she became pregnant.  Danice wants nothing to do with the personal matter, but refusing is not an option unless she wants her career to end so she is expected to file a palimony suit in Connecticut.

She heads to new Canaan to meet Rosemary, but when she arrives she finds the woman missing in spite of their telephonic discussion just prior to her drive. Soon afterward her inquiry leads half-Fae-human private investigator Mac Callahan to Danice as he is also searching for Rosemary.  His purebred Faerie client has been silent as to why a human is sought.  Mac decides to return to Faerie, a place he left as a baby, to learn the motive.  Danice insists she accompany him though he fears the trip will prove dangerous as he wonders if the treacherous Unseelie Court is the instigator.

The latest Others romantic fantasy (see Born to be Wild and Big Bad Wolf) takes a refreshing brisk twist by cleverly adding a new paranormal species into the overarching theme.  The lead couple is a perfect pairing to enable the stunning spin to deftly occur.  Neither trusts one another nor appreciates the attraction they feel towards each other.  Fans will want to join the adventures of half Fae and the lawyer as they go to court with the Unseelie as their judge, jury, and executioner.

Harriet Klausner

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Marked by the Moon-Lori Handeland

October 31, 2010

Marked by the Moon

Lori Handeland

St. Martin’s, Nov 2 2010, $7.99

ISBN: 9780312389345

Werewolves killed Alexandra Trevalyn’s parents when she was a little girl.  The Jager-Sucher raise her and she becomes a dedicated hunter; suicidal in many ways as she is willing to die in her efforts to kill the beasts.

Werewolf Julian Barlow stalks Alex who killed his mate.  When he defeats her, she looks forward to his killing her.  Instead he obtains his revenge differently.  He changes her into a werewolf so she can learn to stop stereotyping his species as brainless monsters, as not all werewolves were created by the Mengele experiments; he has been one centuries before the Nazi did his dastardly conversions.  Julian takes a stunned forlorn Alex to his Alaskan pack where she will either adapt or obtain her wish.  Neither realized that an evil predator is killing for sport targeting the pack.

The latest Nightcreature saga (See Thunder Moon) is a fabulous entry in a strong series as the Twilight Zone twist of changing a predator into one your kind is deftly handled mostly by how Alex reacts over the course of a strong story line.  The sporting killer segue adds suspense that serves as a key catalyst in moving forward the plot, but clearly this is Alexandra’s tale.  With a stark Alaskan backdrop to augment the tale of revenge turns bitter, fans of Lori Handeland’ s romantic fantasy will appreciate Julian’s efforts to change the behavior of his soulmate as he wants to wake up with her in his bed and no knife protruding from his ribs.

Harriet Klausner

An Object of Beauty-Steve Martin

October 31, 2010

An Object of Beauty

Steve Martin

Grand Central, Nov 23 2010, $26.99

ISBN: 9780446573641

Art writer Daniel Frank of the Stockbridge, Massachusetts Franks is bone marrow weary of his 24/7 thoughts about his amoral former lover Lacey Yeager.  He knows she will sleep with anyone to get a head.  In hopes of purging her from his blood, he writes down his thoughts about the rise and rise of Lacey Yeager in the upscale Manhattan art world.

In the Clintonian Era, twenty-three years old beautiful Lacey Yeager obtains an entry level job as a Sotheby staffer.  The intelligent and ambitious Lacey quickly rises up in rank in the company’s normally glacial pace.  As she did at Sothby’s to obtain promotions, Lacey uses her body and brain to obtain a position at exclusive Barton Talley’s gallery of “Very Expensive Paintings”; ethics is for the hogs and legalities is for the frightened losers.  Finally she achieves her objective of opening up the Lacey Yeager gallery in Chelsea and even 9/11 fails to prevent her meteoric rise to the troposphere of the high priced art universe.

As a microcosm of the greed that led to the crash, An Object of Beauty is a terrific look at the ultra rich in which avarice with a need for more is a way of life as Steve Martin eloquently states that America has an aristocratic class with no moral ties to the country.  The addition of pictures of paintings adds a fine art touch to the story line.  However, this is Lacey’s tale as she is a fascinating prototype as seen through the eyes of her whining former lover who exposes much of himself having a brain with one icon imprinted on it even as he exposes the woman he loathes and cherishes.  Although the ending feels off kilter, Mr. Martin provides a profound condemnation of wealth without morality is worthless.

Harriet Klausner

When Harry Met Molly-Kieran Kramer

October 31, 2010

When Harry Met Molly

Kieran Kramer

St. Martin’s, Nov 2 2010, $7.99

ISBN: 9780312611644

In 1808 thirteen year old Molly writes a love rectangle to her beloved Lord Roderick that in spite of changing the names accuses his fiancée her sister Penelope and his brother nineteen year old Harry of a tryst.  Their families are outraged with Harry the spare exiled into the army for disloyalty to his family and Molly sent to Yorkshire to learn to behave at the Providence School for Wayward Girls.

In 1816, Harry is back enjoying high society when the Prince Regent names him and others as “Impossible Bachelors” and places a wager on who of these rakes has the most delicious mistress.  On her way to Gretna Green to marry milksop Cedric Alliston, Molly meets Harry at a seedy inn with piss poor beer.  Both are stunned to watch his lightskirt Aphrodite leave with her fiancé.  Desperate as his sure shot win at the Most Impossible Bachelor competition left in a coach, Harry suggests to the enemy whose mouth left him in army for five years that she replace Aphrodite as his pretend mistress.  She agrees reluctantly but as remittance he must find her a suitable loving husband.  He agrees to her stipulation as he muses let the games begin to see who survives the single the royal contest.

This over the top of Big Ben (even with the clock not constructed for several decades to come) is a wild amusing Regency romance starring two likable protagonists who holds the other culpable for their exile.  The story line is ultra fast-paced with the audience laughing at the gender war and the competition.  With villains causing further humorous havoc, historical fans will relish this jocular look at who will be the last rake surviving the island.

Harriet Klausner

Brava, Valentine-Adriana Trigiani

October 30, 2010

Brava, Valentine

Adriana Trigiani

Harper, Nov 9 2010, $14.99

ISBN: 9780061257070

Octogenarian Roncalli family matriarch Teodora stunned the family when she went to Italy on a business trip and became engaged (see Very Valentine); her shocked kin is coming to her Italian wedding.  Teodora’s Manhattan roommate shoe designer Valentine Roncalli is happy for her Gram though has doubts about marriage in general with the matrimony state of her family; but also sad for herself as her mentor is moving to Italy.  She also has trepidations about decision making since her moronic brother and critic Alfred has become the Chief Finance Officer of the family business Angelina Shoe Company.

Val flies to Argentina on shoe business where other family members reside while Alfred counts the beans.  She wants to bring the firm to the modern era, but must persuade Alfred to take a chance or watch the family company wither.  Shockingly Alfred has an affair with a government official while Val wants an affair with her grandma’s new stepson fiftyish Gianluca, but though he wants her in a permanent relationship she has doubts.

Although the plot is thin, fans will enjoy the rambunctious return of the Greenwich Village shoemaking family who cause havoc on three continents this time.  The story line is breezy as Alfred learns a lesson on promises broke and Val on promises mot made.  However, once again Teo owns the novel and the two extended families as everyone else dances to her uplifting energetic living life to the fullest.

Harriet Klausner

Lords of Passion-Virginia Henley, Kate Pearce, Maggie Robinson

October 30, 2010

Lords of Passion

Virginia Henley, Kate Pearce, Maggie Robinson

Kensington Brava, Dec 1 2010, $14.00

ISBN: 9780758251077

“Beauty and the Brute” by Virginia Henley.  In 1819 her father paid off his gambling debt by giving his young daughter Lady Sarah Caversham in marriage to Charles Lennox who is embarking on his Grand Tour.  Three years later, they are to wed, but Charles is stunned by the confident beauty he will soon call wife as she is nothing like the shy teen he remembers. His plan has changed as he wants to win her affection and love too.

“How to Seduce a Wife” by Kate Pearce.  In 1816 Louisa March wishes her prim and proper even in bed husband Nicholas was more daring like the males in the novels she reads.  Nicholas is shocked to realize his new bride wants more adventure in their sex so he turns to a courtesan for mentoring.

“Not Quite a Courtesan” by Maggie Robinson.  In 1818 prim and proper Prudence Thorn tries to help her distraught cousin with a marital issue.  At a courtesan’s home she meets ultra charming porn importer Darius Shaw, the brother to her cousin’s husband.  Between his slick tongue seduction, the graphic art and the sexual locale, Prudence sheds her inhibitions for that of a love slave.

These are three entertaining Regency romances starring wonderful protagonists learning first comes lust and than comes love.

Harriet Klausner

How to Bake a Perfect Life-Barbara O’Neal

October 29, 2010

How to Bake a Perfect Life

Barbara O’Neal

Bantam, Dec 21 2010, $15.00

ISBN 9780553386776

In Colorado Springs, forty years old Ramona Gallagher loves her bakery, which brings her joy that very little else does in her life.  Her other love is for her daughter Sofia who she had as a single teen.

When Sofia’s husband is injured in Afghanistan, he is sent to Germany for medical care.  Sofia flies to Europe to be with him.  However, before leaving Colorado, she asks her mother to watch her stepdaughter thirteen year old Katie as the teen’s mother is in jail on a drug charge.  That summer Ramona and Katie bond, which encourages the bakery owner to reconcile with her somewhat estranged family and to take a chance on love with a man she was seeing when they were teens.

Although bonding between the “bread” generations has been done before, Barbara O’Neal bakes a fresh tale as in many ways it is the teen who teaches the adult what matters in life.  Character driven mostly by Ramona but cleverly enhanced by Katie, fans will enjoy this terrific contemporary extended family drama, as the young “grandmother” discovers The Lost Recipe for Happiness.

Harriet Klausner

Rescue-Anita Shreve

October 29, 2010

Rescue

Anita Shreve

Little, Brown, Nov 30 2010, $26.99

ISBN: 9780316020725

In Hartstone, Vermont, paramedic Peter Webster stops at the scene of an apparent one car crash.  Peter pulls out the unconscious driver Sheila Arsenalt who obviously was driving under the influence.  He treats her injury.

Afterward he is drawn to her like a bear to honey.  They have an affair and eventually marry.  Soon they have a daughter Rowan.  However, parenthood does not abate Sheila’s drinking.  Instead she hits the bottle much more until she is in another car accident with Rowan as a passenger.  To keep his wife out of jail, a desperate Webster sends Sheila away.  Years later, a high school senior Rowan has begun drinking; hoping for A Change in Attitude, Webster begs for Sheila to come home to help their daughter.

Rescue is an entertaining family drama starring three intriguing characters that seem to prove love is not enough to cement strong relationships.  Neither Peter (as heroic first responder – even meets a teen he brought into the world years ago in an emergency), Sheila (as a woman unable to stop from hurting those she loves or herself) or Rowan (teen in peril) are fully developed beyond their dysfunctional roles.  Yet in spite of the characterization, readers will enjoy Anita Shreve’s enjoyable relationship tale.

Harriet Klausner

Sundays at Tiffany’s-James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonett

October 29, 2010

Sundays at Tiffany’s

James Patterson and Gabrielle Charbonett

Grand Central, Jun 2009, $7.99

ISBN: 9780446536318

Born to affluence and fame, Jane Margaux grew up lonely with one exception. While her famous producer mother Broadway creates musicals and her father preferred spending quality time with his second wife in Nantucket, her only friend and companion is Michael, who provided her solace even if he was only imaginary. However, when she turned eight, Michael informs her he will no longer be with her though he will always be her best friend.

Over two decades later, Jane remains lonely even with a boyfriend and neurotic because she works for her mother. No one would believe she is Vivienne’s daughter as she is treated scornfully and horrifically. As Jane produces her first play based on her childhood with Michael, he returns bringing light into Jane’s dark life. They fall in love as each find their groove with one another; but Michael fears he will not be allowed to stay with his beloved as adults are not supposed to remember imaginary friends while she has never forgotten him especially since he left her once before.

This contemporary romantic fantasy is an enchanting tale in which Jane breaks the rules of imaginary friends by somehow always remembering her Michael. The story line effortlessly switches from preadolescence in which he is a sort of guardian big brother to her to and an adult love story. Although the standard operating procedures of what an imaginary friend does and does not do and the laws of physics that govern the relationship between a child and their buddy are lacking so that the audience cannot fully appreciate the heroine’s breaking the barrier, fans will enjoy it happened to Jane.

Harriet Klausner

One Night In Scotland-Karen Hawkins

October 29, 2010

One Night In Scotland

Karen Hawkins

Pocket, Nov 23 2010, $7.99

ISBN: 9781439175897

In 1822, an unknown kidnapper abducts renowned Egyptologist Michael Hurst.  For the safe return of his “guest”, the Sulfi demands his family gives back the ancient Hurst Amulet that Michael’s friend Angus Hay currently is investigating at his castle.

Michael’s sister Mary journeys to Hay’s castle to demand the earl give her the relic so she can ransom her brother.  Instead to her shock he refuses to relinquish the artifact as he does not trust his visitor.  Even more stunning to her Angus will not let her leave; but instead he locks her away as his prisoner in one of the castle’s turrets.  Suspicious Angus plans to seduce the truth out of Mry, but finds his motives changing after one stolen kiss. 

The newest Hurst sibling Regency romance (see The Laird Who Loved Me and Sleepless in Scotland) starts a new saga, the Hurst Amulet series with a great overarching mystery.  The information re the Amulet comes from Michael’s letters he supposedly has sent home.  However this is the wonderful tale of thoroughly modern Mary and thoroughly adoring Angus who together provides the audience with a rousing romance as they fall love while mostly establishing the foundation of this latest miniseries.

Harriet Klausner