Archive for August, 2011

Desired: The Untold Story of Samson and Delilah-Ginger Garrett

August 31, 2011

Desired: The Untold Story of Samson and Delilah

Ginger Garrett

David C. Cook, Oct 1 2011, $14.99

ISBN: 9781434768001

 

In the Philistine city of Timnah, Astra and Amara are on the rooftop of their home when the former sees the bigger than an ox Hebrew who attended the heathen festival at the Temple of Dagon.  Astra throws a sharp rod at him trying to kill him.  Amara begs he forgives them as she says it was an accident.  He marks her house.  This gigantic Hebrew Samson, known for his legendary strength, informs Amara’s father he will wed her.  She has no say in the matter.

 

Samson informs his parents that he will marry the Philistine.  His Mother objects over his taking a flat chested Canaanite as a wife as she believes his God given strength is destined for greatness.  His Father is even more upset.  Samson marries Amara, but that ends in tragedy.  While the Philistines scheme to destroy the Hebrew legend, Samson meets Delilah.  They marry and she proves persistent with completing her mission to learn what the cause of his incredible strength is.  Soon his Mother’s dream of greatness will collide with his wife’s greed inside of the Temple of Dagon.

 

Told from the perspective of the three key fully developed females in the life of Samson, Desired: The Untold Story of Samson and Delilah is a great biblical tale.  The conflicting cultures are fully developed as the Philistines and the Hebrews distrust one another as each claims Canaan.  Readers will enjoy Ginger Garrett’s latest Old Testament thriller (See Chosen: The Lost Diaries of Queen Esther) as Mother finally understands that God works the miracles of redemption by turning our weaknesses into strengths.

 

Harriet Klausner

His Destiny-Diana Cosby

August 31, 2011

His Destiny

Diana Cosby

Zebra, Oct 4 2011, $6.99

ISBN: 9781420109924

 

Her uncanny ability to play any undercover role and her unmatched skill with a knife makes Emma Astyn the best English mercenary as she can charm anyone to do anything for her.  Currently her assignment is to infiltrate the inner circle of rebel Dubh Duer in order to steal the writ the outlawed Scotsman is carrying to a supportive bishop.  To conduct her mission successfully requires her to pose as innocent Scottish damsel Christina Moffat.

 

However, while Christina prepares to charm Dubh, Emma is taken aback when she meets the man behind the legend Sir Patrick Cleary MacGruder.  He distrusts her but wants her.  She finds him a man of honor who gave up everything including his family who believe he is dead for his cause, the freedom of Scotland.  Love and honor clash with selfless duty.

 

The latest Diana Cosby “His” medieval romance is an exciting tale of late thirteenth century war torn Scotland in which key players from the previous historical thrillers (see His Woman and His Conquest) including real persona play major roles.  The lead couple is a fascinating pairing as love intrudes on their respective mission.  Although the ton of historical data at times slows down the story line, fans will enjoy His Destiny is hers.

 

Harriet Klausner

Tempting a Highlander-Michele Sinclair

August 31, 2011

Tempting a Highlander

Michele Sinclair

Zebra, Sep 1 2011, $6.99

ISBN: 9781420108569

 

In 1315 twin brothers reserved Crevan and extroverted Craig McTiernay kiss twin sisters in your face Raelynd and dainty Meriel Schellden.  Powerful clan leader Laird Schellden catches the two pairs.  However, instead of outrage over the affront to his family, the cagy politician sees an opportunity to protect their clan from scam artists.  He orders the quartet to pretend they have twin betrothals that would end in one month.

 

Raelynd is the most volatile against the concept, but appreciates that her partner is outgoing Craig as she cannot stand his mousy twin.  On the trek however, Raelynd begins to appreciate the strong reserved Crevan; he shares her attraction but is bound to her sibling.  When Raelynd learns his secret that makes him seem wimpy, she realizes she loves her sister’s pretend betrothed.

 

The latest McTiernay medieval Highlander romance (see Desiring a Highlander) is a family affair as a comedy of errors make for a delightful historical.  The two sets of twins are fully developed with diverse personalities.  As the best laid plans of mice and McTiernay brothers go astray, fans will wonder if the other twins can just remain friends.

 

Harriet Klausner

In the Barrister’s Chambers-Tina Gabrielle

August 31, 2011

In the Barrister’s Chambers

Tina Gabrielle

Zebra, Sep 1 2011, $6.99

ISBN: 9781420122749

 

In 1814 London Lady Evelyn Darlington dreams of becoming a barrister, but society refuses to allow females to pursue scholarly intellectual endeavors; even one who loves the law like she does.  Her chosen betrothed Randolph Sheldon is accused of murdering a Drury Lane actress who is a distant cousin of his.  Evelyn asks her father’s former student barrister Jack Harding to defend Randolph.  She explains her intended was not having an affair, but was seen running from the brutal crime scene from the horror of what he saw.  Jack’s only stipulation is he will tell her father Lord Lyndale who he owes so much to that he is taking on a case indirectly involving his daughter.  Evelyn’s stipulation is she works the case with him. 

 

Jack has been attracted to his mentor’s daughter from the first time he saw her though she was taboo in his mind.  Whereas Jack insists he loves her mind though another part of his anatomy would beg to differ, Evelyn always admired Jack’s brain and passion for the law.  As they follow clues in exquisite and seedy neighborhoods while their client is not very cooperative, they fall in love, but first seek the rumored murder victims tell all journal of paying customers.

 

The first Barrister Regency romantic legal thriller is an entertaining tale starring two intelligent and obstinate protagonists.  Jack understands what he faces on the case; he must find proof to exonerate Randolph which could cost him the girl while failure will cost him the girl most likely anyway.  Although the fast-paced story line follows the anticipated path, readers will relish Tina Gabrielle’s enjoyable legal historical thriller.

 

Harriet Klausner

 

Deadly Little Lies-Jeanne Adams

August 31, 2011

Deadly Little Lies

Jeanne Adams

Zebra, Sep 1 2011, $6.99

ISBN: 9781420108835

 

In San Francisco billionaire Davros Gianakopulos is happy for his business partner security expert Gates Bromley who married former CIA agent Ana Burton.  However, their happiness has Davros looking within his soul to see what he wants in life as he misses his home in Greece.  He decides it is not what but who and that is art gallery owner Carrie McCray.

 

He asks her out and she accepts a lunch date.  However, their first time out together with Gates no longer running his security turns nasty when thugs grab both of them.  Dav considers all that Gates taught him in a hostage situation but none included having the woman you want to make it with being held too.  Meanwhile the lead kidnapper his brother Niko has waited years for this opportunity to serve up the cold dish of revenge by dumping his two captives in an overseas hellhole prison.  Gates and Ana make a frenzied search for them as each knows time is running out on the prisoners.

 

The sequel to the superb Deadly Little Secrets focuses on the previous novel’s secondary character Dav and the woman he adores as they struggle to survive the ordeal of an abduction that is fueled by angry vengeance.  The story line is action-packed from the moment the kidnapping occurs and never slows down as readers will be hooked on this gripping taut romantic suspense.

 

Harriet Klausner

Sage Creek-Jill Gregory

August 31, 2011

Sage Creek

Jill Gregory

Berkley, Oct 4 2011, $7.99

ISBN: 9780425244470

 

Following her divorce from her cheating spouse, Sophie McPhee sells her San Francisco bakery to return home to Lonesome Way, Oregon.  Her mom welcomes her warmly while her late dad never thought much of his offspring. 

 

Sophie visits her pregnant BFF Lissie. She once had a crush on Sophie’s older brother Rafe.  A divorced Rafe and his twelve year old daughter Ivy arrive.  When she learns Ray’s Diner is closing as the elderly couple is retiring, Sophie decides to open a bakery there.  Her former teacher Doug Hartigan says he and her mom are dating.  Sophie hates Doug for verbally abusing her as a student. 

 

Sophie enters the Double Cross Bar & Grill to meet her other BFF Mia when a fight breaks out.  Rafe keeps her from being hurt.  He is attracted to Sophie, but will not act on it out of respect for Lissie and not to confuse his daughter who is still hurting four years after her mother deserted her.  Sophie feels the same way as he does. She has no time for romance as she is busy trying to get her A Bun in the Oven bakery to open up.  Meanwhile someone wants to hurt Sophie who has no idea who or why.  Rafe vows to keep her safe as he and his daughter have fallen in love with his sister’s BFF.

 

The lead couple is a nice pairing whose issues are external and mostly due to family problems.  The strong cast anchors the small town location and many residents play matchmaker involving Sophie and Rafe so they can see how they really feel about one another.   Although the villain is over the top of Mt. Rainer and his daughter goes from confused tweener to mature adult , readers will enjoy Sophie’s choice to come home to start over.

 

Harriet Klausner

Season for Temptation-Theresa Romain

August 31, 2011

Season for Temptation

Theresa Romain

Zebra, Oct 4 2011, $6.99

ISBN: 9781420118957

 

In 1817 Lord Oliver approves of James Matison’s suit of the former’s daughter Louisa.  James arrives in Kent to meet Louisa’s family when he hears a women curse.  He thinks Louisa’s half-sister Julia is impulsive and cute.  She introduces him to her three younger sisters and brother while she eats the better snacks. 

 

James and Louisa met in a library at a party.  She was hiding amidst the books as she loves to read while he sought a bathroom.  He feels awkward as he now realizes he is attracted to her sister and enjoys the impish play between his fiancée and Julia.  Louisa’s parents arrive after a calf is born.  Dinner proves as lively; reminding him of his mother’s need for no scandal since his late brother-in-law died in his mistress’ arms.  James feels welcomed.  The next morning he is late for breakfast, but Julia sees he has a nice meal while he coaxes her to join him, which she does.  Feeling distraught as he wants to kiss Julia, he asks Louisa to set a date.  She acts skittish trying to delay him while also backing away from his attempt to kiss her.   Louisa explains she will come to London with Julia being sponsored by their Aunt Estella.  They will wed after that; he agrees though his attraction is to her sister.

 

A strong unique cast, especially Julia’s eccentric family, anchors this engaging romantic triangle between the two sisters and the Viscount.  Each adores and respects one another, which adds depth as not one of them deserves to be hurt.   In fact James’s mom is the villain, but comes across as inane and selfish while causing unnecessary conflict to an otherwise wonderful fresh Regency romance.

 

Harriet Klausner

 

The Kingdom of Childhood-Rebecca Coleman

August 29, 2011

The Kingdom of Childhood

Rebecca Coleman

Mira, Sep 27 2011, $15.95

ISBN: 9780778312789

 

In 1998 in Sylvania, Maryland, fortyish Bavarian expatriate Judy McFarland diligently teaches kindergarten as she has for nineteen years at the Waldorf School.  Judy misses her childhood in Germany though she tries to ignore her mom’s health and her dad’s womanizing; she also hates her husband an ancient A-hole who possesses less intellect than her students.  Her light in her dark existence is son who is a high school senior.

 

This year she mentors sixteen years old Zach Patterson as he completes his required service hours.  Although she knows she should not as she understands the consequences of an illegal tryst with her student including being a social pariah as a sex offender, Judy seduces Zach.  They begin an affair but with each clandestine meeting, her fears of exposure grows until they become crippling; yet even with her peers cautioning her to put more distance between her and Zach she cannot end her self and family destruction.  Zach begins to realize the cost of the actual fulfillment of his sexual fantasies is the loss of teen innocence but he too cannot say no to his teacher.

 

The Kingdom of Childhood is a stark psychological thriller that rotates the perspective between the sex partners as each transition from the pre-tryst to the climax.  Zach goes from clumsy innocence to gilded adulthood too quickly; Judy is more fascinating as she goes from sex predator to insane predator.  Although her childhood traumas that apparently made the adult lack development so are tenuous, readers will want to follow the devoted teacher’s obsessively driven descent into hell.

 

1225 Christmas Tree Lane-Debbie Macomber

August 29, 2011

1225 Christmas Tree Lane

Debbie Macomber

Mira, Sep 27 2011, $16.95

ISBN: 9780778312697

 

Three years ago in California, Beth and Kent Morehouse divorced.  She and their two daughters Bailey and Sophie move to Cedar Cove on Puget Sound.  Beth owns the Cedar Cove Christmas Tree Farm and rescues animals.  Currently she needs to find a home for ten stranded puppies left by her door. 

 

Bailey and Sophie return from college for the holidays.  Neither understands why their parents split up, but each hopes to pull off a miracle of bringing them back together though their mom is seeing veterinarian Ted Reynolds.  Kent arrives to spend time with his daughters but to their disappointment he brings towering Danielle Martin with him.  Before the girls are out of the first inning, the game looks lost.

 

Fans of the Cedar Cove community series will enjoy the engaging twelfth entry; as besides the Morehouse matchmaking, there are several subplots involving other residents.  Newcomers will be lost as much of the cast has a history in previous novels (see 1105 Yakima Street and 1022 Evergreen Place).  Still Debbie Macomber provides a sweet Yuletide tale

 

Harriet Klausner

An O’Brien Family Christmas-Sherryl Woods

August 29, 2011

 An O’Brien Family Christmas

Sherryl Woods

Mira, Sep 27 2011, $16.95

ISBN: 9780778312703

 

In Chesapeake Shores, Laila Riley ended her relationship with younger Matthew O’Brien but paid the price for what she declared a fling.  Her parents condemned her and after a fight with her father she left the greatest position in the world at his bank.  Only Trace her brother seems to support her emotionally and with customers as she opens up an office in The Inn At Eagle Point.  Matthew is heartbroken as he wanted a permanent relationship with the love of his life, but honors her wishes to stay away from her as he knows she resents him for what their tryst cost her.

 

The O’Brien clan believes Laila and Matthew are soul mates and plan to act on it while on a two week Christmas vacation in Ireland in honor of the family octogenarian matriarch Nell.   Knowing her estrangement with her parents, Laila’s friends persuade her to come on the trip as they do not want her alone over the holidays.  Although she has trepidations of seeing Matthew who will be going too, she travels to Ireland for an O’Brien family Christmas.  Meanwhile Nell sees her pre American marriage Irish boyfriend Dillon. 

 

The latest Chesapeake Shores family drama (see A Chesapeake Shores Christmas) is the usual charming tale.  Part of the pleasure is to observe what has happened to former lead protagonists and Nell’s second chance romance.  However, the main story line is the relationship between the older Laila and Matthew whose game plan is to prove to his beloved they can have more than just the greatest sex he ever has known. 

 

Harriet Klausner