Archive for December, 2010

Marrying Daisy Bellamy-Susan Wiggs

December 31, 2010

Marrying Daisy Bellamy

Susan Wiggs

Mira, Jan 25 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780778329251

In Avalon, New York, wedding photographer Daisy Bellamy continues, as she has for years, strugglling to choose between two wonderful men who love her.  She adores both hunks.  Julian Gastineau could never live by Willow Lake while Logan O’Donnell could.

However, everything changes between the trio when Daisy gives birth to Logan’s offspring Charlie.  Yet nothing changes as in spite of having a child with a man who wants to raise a family with her, Daisy still has wet dreams involving Julian.  She knows one day she will have to select between two lovers; one safe and nurturing while the other is wild and carefree.

The latest Lakeshore Chronicles (see Snowfall at Willow Lake and Summer at Willow Lake) is a profound character study that looks deeply into the souls of three protagonists.  Daisy understands responsibility but desires running around the world as a crisis photojournalist.  Julian offers her the freedom to soar anywhere; Logan offers her a safe haven to raise their child.  Readers will enjoy this complicated relationship drama summed up by the Roy Orbison and Joe Melson song Running Scared.

Harriet Klausner

Off Kilter-Donna Kauffman

December 31, 2010

Off Kilter

Donna Kauffman

Kensington Brava, Dec 28 2011, $14.00

ISBN: 9780758250896

On the Scottish island of Kinloch (see Some Like It Scot) businessman Roan McAuley cannot understand why he agreed to pose in the monty as he must drop his kilt for the ‘Men of the Highlands’ calendar even if the cause is worthy; he muses that he should have donated money not nudity.  Adding to his displeasure is the irritating iceberg photographer Tessa Vandergriff who he assumes is a centerfold fluff taker until he learns she is a highly regarded award-winning war coverage photojournalist who volunteered her time to raise money.

Tessa suffers from post traumatic stress disorder from the cruelty she witnessed while covering war.  She thinks Roan is a jerk until he shows his caring other side to her.  As they fall in love, although he has personal issues too, she must overcome her fear of death that began as a child and affirmed as an adult if they are to forge a permanent relationship.

The romance plays second fiddle to the strong character study of a shell-socked woman healing due to the patience of a kind hearted man.  Readers will enjoy the relationship drama as first impressions prove false as Roan revises his re the cold photographer and Tess alters her re the philandering hunk.

Harriet Klausner

After Dark with a Scoundrel-Alexandra Hawkins

December 30, 2010

After Dark with a Scoundrel

Alexandra Hawkins

St. Martin’s, Feb 1 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780312381264

 

In 1823 Lord Hugh “Dare” Mordare, the second son of a Duke, is a close friend of Frost Bishop.  Through him he has known Frost’s sister Lady Regan for years, who is an honorary member of Nox’s Gentlemen’s Club.  All changes when Dare and Regan kiss as both are stunned by their reaction; that is far from sibling-like.

She is shipped off to Miss Swann’s Academy for Young Ladies boarding school while he returns to being a rogue.  Five years later Regan comes back to London with plans to drive Frost crazy and to seduce Dare.  Frost is ready to pull his hair out with his sister’s antics while Dare remains resolute to keep Regan away from the Lords of Vice like he is.  However, she proves a worthy adversary and soon they marry.  As she learns of his dark secrets, she finds herself in the midst of madness.

The latest Lords of Vice (see Till Dawn with a Devil and All Night with a Rogue) is an engaging Regency gothic romantic suspense as the brave heroine finds herself in peril; perhaps from the man she loves.  Fast-paced from the moment they kiss even before she is exiled, After Dark with a Scoundrel grips the reader as Alexandra Hawkins’ fans will think of Hitchcock’s Suspicion placed in an early nineteenth century milieu.

Harriet Klausner

Absolutely, Positively-Heather Webber

December 30, 2010

Absolutely, Positively

Heather Webber

St. Martin’s, Feb 1 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780312946159

 

Lucy Valentine knows she is the odd duck in her family as everyone else has the ability to play Cupid matching people up.  Her talent is to find lost things.  Lucy’s current task is to locate a man who may be near death if he even still lives and to find a former criminal for a client of her family’s firm Lost Loves.

Lucy and her private investigator boyfriend Sean Donahue work on both cases.  However, their efforts are turned complicated by the masked Lone Ranger who at the Commons throws money into the air before vanishing.  As Lucy and Sean conduct inquiries, she has an attraction to the masked hombre until she suffers a horrifying vision of her boyfriend lying lifeless on the street.

No one will care that the third Valentine tale is similar in tone to Truly, Madly and Deeply but, Kemo Sabe brings freshness to the mix.  Though over the Green Monster yet filled with quirky family humor and a touch of the paranormal readers will Absolutely, Positively find Lucy’s latest bodacious Boston brouhaha desperately zany yet truly scrumptious.

Harriet Klausner

I Dream of Genies-Judi Fennell

December 30, 2010

I Dream of Genies

Judi Fennell

Sourcebooks, Jan 1 2011, $7.99

http://www.sourcebooks.com

ISBN: 9781402241895

Her three thousand year anniversary of confinement is arriving soon with no end in sight.  Eden has begun feeling more than just claustrophobic living inside a bottle for almost two millennia though her abode is quite comfortable.  Her problem is watching the hunk run past her everyday from the window of Murphy’s Antiques as she wants him with an uncontrollable lust.

Matt Ewing is a nice person who believes his perfect brother has all the Luck of the Irish; whereas Matt, irritated by the comparison, lives under a dark cloud.  Eden wishes to escape at the same Matt wishes his luck changed.  When she lands in his lap unconscious, he thanks the Lord for dropping the lovely miracle on him and considers receiving her with a kiss.  However, he soon believes his luck remains twisted; as the woman he now cherishes turns out to be the world’s most incompetent genie, but in his mind the world’s greatest lover.

I Dream of Genies is a terrific romantic fantasy that pays homage to the TV show that made belly buttons in NASA.  The story line is brisk lighthearted fun with seemingly incompetent boobs as the lead couple who prove that a minus times a minus equals a positive.  The support cast (including her BFF Wilson the tree outside named after a stowaway volleyball) adds to the endearing romantic comedy.

Harriet Klausner

Taken-Lilith Saintcrow

December 30, 2010

Taken

Lilith Saintcrow

Harlequin Nocturne, Jan 18 2011, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373618538

In Jericho City, Sophie Wilson is a free woman though her abusive ex husband Mark still refuses to accept the divorce as he stalks her.  Her BFF Lucy persuades her to go to a club.  However, something kills Lucy and forces Sophie on the run with vampires pursuing her.  She fears her fate will be like that of her murdered friend until the Carcajou shapeshifting werewolves take the purebred human under their protection; keeping her safe from the blood sucking Upir who killed Lucy.

The Carcajou believes Sophie is their shaman who will save them from becoming wild animals.  One of the pack members Zach realizes Sophie is his life mate.  He vows to keep her safe.  Meanwhile the vampires dispatch a new convert to kill her; he was chosen because he knows Sophie’s weaknesses being her abusive former husband who manipulated her vulnerabilities.

Readers will be taken into the exciting world of Lilith Saintcrow with this fast-paced urban romantic fantasy.  The story line is non stop action from the murder of Lucy until the final anticipated confrontation.  Although the plot is somewhat linear, readers will appreciate the transformation of Sophie.

Harriet Klausner

Vampire Sheikh-Nina Bruhns

December 30, 2010

Vampire Sheikh

Nina Bruhns

Harlequin Nocturne, Jan 18 2011, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373618521

With her two sisters missing Gemma (see Shadow of the Sheikh) and Gillian (see Lord of the Desert), a desperate Josslyn Haliday charges into the last known place they were seen, the underground stronghold Khepesh.  This is the bastion of vampiric demi-god Seth-Aziz. 

When she meets Seth-Aziz, she offers herself up in exchange for the freedom of her siblings.  He finds her amusing as if she could just walk away if he says no.  However, he is bewildered by the strength of character she shows as humans normally fear him, but she shows no trepidation though she trembles at his touch.  Meanwhile Joss is confused by her attraction to the beast who she knows took her siblings.  When rival vampire demigod Haru-Re abducts the pair, Seth-Aziz admits to Joss he has fallen in love with her.

Though somewhat similar in tone to the previous Immortal Sheikhs vs. the Haliday sisters, the third desert romantic fantasy is loaded with action, sexual and otherwise, as Joss takes on Seth in a paranormal gender war.  Fast-paced throughout, readers will enjoy the final tale of modern day Americans taking the respective hearts of Ancient Egyptians.

Harriet Klausner

Vampire Sheikh-Nina Bruhns

December 30, 2010

Vampire Sheikh

Nina Bruhns

Harlequin Nocturne, Jan 18 2011, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373618521

With her two sisters missing Gemma (see Shadow of the Sheikh) and Gillian (see Lord of the Desert), a desperate Josslyn Haliday charges into the last known place they were seen, the underground stronghold Khepesh.  This is the bastion of vampiric demi-god Seth-Aziz. 

When she meets Seth-Aziz, she offers herself up in exchange for the freedom of her siblings.  He finds her amusing as if she could just walk away if he says no.  However, he is bewildered by the strength of character she shows as humans normally fear him, but she shows no trepidation though she trembles at his touch.  Meanwhile Joss is confused by her attraction to the beast who she knows took her siblings.  When rival vampire demigod Haru-Re abducts the pair, Seth-Aziz admits to Joss he has fallen in love with her.

Though somewhat similar in tone to the previous Immortal Sheikhs vs. the Haliday sisters, the third desert romantic fantasy is loaded with action, sexual and otherwise, as Joss takes on Seth in a paranormal gender war.  Fast-paced throughout, readers will enjoy the final tale of modern day Americans taking the respective hearts of Ancient Egyptians.

Harriet Klausner

Every Little Thing-Pamela Klaffke

December 29, 2010

Every Little Thing

Pamela Klaffke

Mira, Jan 18 2011, $13.95

ISBN: 9780778329237

In San Francisco, although she loved her mom Britt dearly, Mason McDonald knows her notorious late mother’s scandalous newspaper column was a constant source of embarrassment.  Still in spite of feeling abashed, she knows she will miss her beloved mom who left everything to her cherished daughter.

Mason goes home to attend her mom’s funeral and grieve her loss.  However, her two stepbrothers Aaron and Edgar, who were part of her early childhood in Sonoma when their dad married her mom, want to renew their acquaintance with her.  Instead of mourning her mom’s death, Mason inadvertently steps into her shoes as the step-siblings’ actions lead her into a scandalous fiasco that probably has Britt the “scandal whore” smiling at her daughter.  However, they also have a more significant second order effect when she vows to take charge of her life just like her mom did.

Every Little Thing is a big thing entertaining chick lit tale starring a somewhat caustic pathetic woman finding herself when she steps into her late larger than life mom’s high heels.  In many ways the deceased Britt brings the freshness with her loved ones looking back at her crude, rude and lewd lifestyle; a sort of outrageous Auntie Mame.  Readers will enjoy Mason seeking her groove as she begins to believe scandal is just another gene in her DNA makeup.

Harriet Klausner

Turn Up The Heat-Isabel Sharpe

December 29, 2010

Turn Up The Heat

Isabel Sharpe

Harlequin Blaze, Jan 18 2011, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373795994

In Milwaukee Event planner Candy Graham has enough trying to make it in her chosen vocation so has no time for her former boyfriend Chuck’s crap.  In spite of their dating for five years, she hangs up on him.  Her three BFFs at a Women in Power lunch insist she needs to date again.

Not wanting to be alone on Valentine’s Day, Candy signs up on her friend Marie’s milwaukeedates.com, a dating website.  She creates four profiles emphasizing a different aspect of her personality.  Reporter Justin Case believes the four profiles add up to a con artist.  He asks her out planning to expose her.  Instead he falls in love with the complete Candy who reciprocates Justin’s deep feelings.

This is a warm romantic comedy that in spite of the internet matchmaking has a throwback quality to the amusing 1930s Cary Grant movies.  The jocular story line is filled with and thruway puns as this sharp tale in deed turns up the humor and heat for Valentine’s Day in Wisconsin or wherever the reader is.

Harriet Klausner