Archive for February, 2012

Moonlit Desire-Carolann Camillo

February 28, 2012

Moonlit Desire

Carolann Camillo

Camel Press, Mar 16 2012, $14.95

ISBN: 9781603818728

 

In 1759 Catherine Bradshaw leaves London to marry wealthy Jeremy Flint in the colony of New York in an arranged marriage.  As soon as she steps off the ship, he weds her immediately.  His behavior frightens her as they travel by coach to his Tarrytown estate.  However, French Army Captain Rive St. Clair and his associate stop the coach.  Rive abducts Catherine after informing Flint who he is and where he can collect his wife.

 

Sixteen years ago, Flint made his first killing when he stole pelts after arranging for a massacre at an Indian village.  Rive has waited for the right moment to lure back this sleaze to that village as he knows the coward will follow as he cannot accept such an affront to his reputation.  Flint behaves just as Rive expected, but Catherine is nothing like he anticipated.  As they fall in love, the honorable and loyal Rive escorts her to Quebec City as the British army begins to take the last major North American French stronghold; she will soon know what it means to risk one’s life for someone you cherish.

 

This is an exciting late Colonial Romance starring an intrepid hero and a woman with plenty of mettle as she adjusts to a life far different than what she had in London or expected with Jeremy.  Fast-paced from the moment of the kidnapping and never slowing down, sub-genre fans will appreciate this engaging tale though Flint proves an unworthy opponent with more than half the historical storyline left after his cowardly failed attempt at retrieval.

 

Harriet Klausner

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Summer Rose-Elizabeth Sinclair

February 28, 2012

Summer Rose

Elizabeth Sinclair

Bell Bridge, Jan 2 2012, $12.95

ISBN: 9781611940893

 

Registered nurse Rose Hamilton agreed to be a surrogate mother to her foster care friend Beth and Patrick.  She carries twins, but is now responsible for them as Beth and Patrick died in an accident.  In Carson, West Virginia she applies for a position at Paws & Claws Animal Clinic.  Dr. Hunter Mackenzie hires her when she manages to get an orphaned lion cub to eat.  This is the first time she touched an animal not counting a cricket that her foster mother stepped on years ago.  Her only concern is the health insurance will not cover her prenatal care

 

Hunter and Rose are attracted to one another from that first interview and their attraction grows though she hides her delicate condition from him.  She assumes a man in love with the wild does not need three dependents; besides which she knows her employer has issues with Mayor George Collins over his lion cubs and wolf.  The vet wonders why he has a constant urge to kiss his new employee.

 

The return to Hawks Mountain is a warm regional romance.  The support cast is strong as people like Granny Jo brings a local flavor to the mix while the animals add compassion.  The lead couple is a tender pairing of two people fearful of relationships falling in love as he recognizes her as a natural and she realizes he is her hero.

 

Harriet Klausner

Stuck With You-Trish Jensen

February 28, 2012

Stuck With You

Trish Jensen

Bell Bridge, Jan 2 2012, $13.95

ISBN: 9781611940862

 

Paige Hart practices law in Macon, Georgia.  She is always there for her crazy large family though that leaves her more often than not in some sort of trouble.

 

Ross Bennett practices law too.  He does not have the large family that Paige does, but he devotes plenty of time to charity and avoids slimy clients.

 

Paige and Ross respectively represent a divorcing couple, Jasmine and Carmon Carbone arguing over ownership of Doodles the poodle.  However their snake shrew labels explode when a bomb ignites inside the courthouse.  They are rushed to a hospital in an ambulance contaminated by the Tibetan Concupiscence Virus which leads to intense sexual desire.  CDC quarantines the pair who turns to one another for relief and perhaps much more.

 

Mindful of Monkey Business starring Cary Grant and Ginger Rogers, Stuck With You is a zany lighthearted courtroom-hospital romance starring two likable combatants.  The support cast from the medical to the court to the You Can’t Take it With You (by Hart and Kauffman) Sycamore family adds humorous lunacy to the mix.  Fans will relish a wild gender war between a snake and a shrew in viral lust and maybe love.

 

Harriet Klausner

Worlds Collide-Karen Wiesner

February 27, 2012

Worlds Collide

Karen Wiesner

Whiskey Creek, Mar 2012, $17.95

ISBN: 9781611600193

 

For twelve years Dr. Marcus Samuels has worked as a pediatrician at Nagasaki’s Children’s Christian Hospital, but feels as he turns forty it is time to go home to Chicago.  He has missed family events like the death of his sister-in-law and his widower brother finding love again (see Foolish Games) and the rape of his sister and her finding happiness (see Glass Angels).  He prays his return will end his severe anxiety attacks that only kept in check by his belief he does God’s work and his close friend Dr. Keiko Oichi.

 

When he learns his mom suffered a heart attack, Marcus has one more compelling reason to go home though he knows he will miss Keiko and her older brother Haruki who as foreign exchange students in the States converted to Christianity.  However, he is shocked when Keiko informs him she is accompanying him back to the States as she is engaged since she was seven to older Ryu a porno manga superstar.  She is attracted to Marcus who held back because of her engagement.  As they recognize their love, her family patriarch demands she honors her commitments in marriage and faith.

 

The latest Family Heirlooms Christian family drama (see Shards of Ashley) is a fabulous tale as two cultures collide with the focus on Keiko.  Readers will relish this fine entry as traditional Japanese collides with modern day American while Marcus fears he is casing a rift between his beloved and her family; failing to understand he is not the cause as she chooses.

 

Harriet Klausner

Blazing Bedtime Stories, Volume VI-Tori Carrington & Kate Hoffmann:

February 27, 2012

Blazing Bedtime Stories, Volume VI

Tori Carrington & Kate Hoffmann:

Harlequin Blaze, Mar 20 2012, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373796793

 

“Maid for Him” by Tori Carrington.  Off the coast of Southern California, Kieran Morrison is taken aback when he finds Daphne Moore on his ship.  She came out of the Pacific and is a mermaid, but that species only exists in movies.  Daphne is attracted to the human, but knows that always ends badly for her race.  When they meet on shore, they make love.  She must decide between love of this landlubber and her love of the sea.

 

“Off the Beaten Path” by Kate Hoffmann.  They met seven years ago at work at Johnson-Jacobs Advertising; Alex Hansen and Greta Adler became best friends.  He invites her to join him at a cabin owned by his top client Thea Michaels.  However, Thea is also there with plans to take Alex.  Instead Alex persuades Greta to pretend to be his lover; only in his case he has wanted that since they made love four years ago while drunk.  Greta fears relationships having watched her parents’ marriage collapse as a child.  However, Alex’s kisses make her forget her commitment phobia.

 

The latest “Blazing Bedtime Stories” contains two well written romances with engaging characters; although the fun storylines are somewhat linear and the sub-genres different.

 

Harriet Klausner

One Man Rush-Joanne Rock

February 27, 2012

One Man Rush

Joanne Rock

Harlequin Blaze, Mar 20 2012, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373796823

 

The client Phil Goodwell placed Philadelphia Phantom hockey star Kyle Murphy on the top of his list for those he considered as a match for his twenty-four year old daughter Stacy.  Matchmaker Marissa Collins attends a Phantom event at the suburban Normandy Farms Hotel to arrange an introduction between the client’s daughter and the hunk on ice.  However, when Marissa sees Kyle and him her, the sparks between them destroy their respective professional goal; as she loses sight of the needed lucrative fee and he loses sight of the Stanley Cup.

 

However, as Kyle and Marissa fall deeper into lust and god forbid love, the team makes a strong run towards making the playoffs, but the couple has problems as she panics over her need to earn money to take care of her ailing mom.  Phil is upset with the matchmaker and with his daughter who is attracted to non-athlete graphic chips maker Isaac Reynolds.

 

This delightful “Double Overtime” sports romance is an entertaining contemporary as two couples fall in love though the hockey player and the matchmaker are the prime lead.  The protagonists are a wonderful pairing with their fears keeping their relationship in peril; while the support cast is solid especially the other couple, his “Wrong Bed” family (see Riding The Storm), his teammates (especially his foster brother Axel –his tale to come) and her mom.  Readers will enjoy Joanne Rock’s engaging tale.

 

Harriet Klausner

Master Of Sin-Maggie Robinson

February 27, 2012

Master Of Sin

Maggie Robinson

Kensington Brava, Mar 27 2012, $14.00

ISBN: 9780758251053

 

In 1820 on Duca Alessandro’s yacht is the owner, his wife Giuletta, their baby Marc and Andrew Rossiter.  Duca paid Andrew an exorbitant stud fee to sire a baby with his spouse.  Alessandro’s former heir Gianni and a thug invade the yacht killing Alessandro and Giuletta.  Andrew is injured but kills the hired hand before escaping with his baby. 

 

Andrew changes his name to Ross.  Through the husband of a friend, Andrew buys a house in the Western Isles where everyone speaks Gaelic except him.  He meets his son’s governess Miss Peartree.  Andrew fires her but instead she takes care of feverish Marc, which leaves Andrew jealous as she has hooked the toddler while he failed.  A few days later, Andrew sees the skinny Peartree leaving a bath.  Having been a prostitute to men and women, he is stunned by his reaction as he is hard with desire.  He realizes his son’s governess must leave.  She wonders why her employer hides on this isolated small island.  In love, she reveals her real name and sordid past while Andrew denies he feels the same way.  Meanwhile Gianni continues his search for the child.

 

The entertaining Regency romance is wonderfully developed as the lead protagonists are refreshing characters with what each conceals though Andrew remains in denial too long.  The suspense enhances the plot, but the villain’s search seems inane even if he fears the baby showing up in two decades with a claim.  Still readers will enjoy Maggie Robinson’s delightful historical with ties to the “Mistress” Courtesan Court saga; as love brings hope to a pair who gave up on life.

 

Harriet Klausner

Assassins In Love-Kris DeLake

February 26, 2012

Assassins In Love

Kris DeLake

Sourcebooks, Mar 6 2012, $6.99

ISBN: 9781402262821

 

Rogue Assassin Rikki struggles to toss dead Elio Testrial out an airlock when Guild Assassin Misha intrudes by taking charge of the situation but sets off alarms while disposing of the corpse.  He pretends to be intoxicated and takes her with guard escort to the B Deck where he has a room. 

 

He thinks she is an out of control amoral person; she thinks he is fool for adhering to the Guild’s rules.  His goal is to get her to join the Guild; her goal is to get away from him.  Rikki soon concludes the lone wolf is very ethical as she only hunts down those who are evil; Misha soon concludes he may be by the book, but stretches the rules with his antics.  They begin to fall in love until she realizes who her fellow assassin is even as they get entangled with the Guild

 

The key to this entertaining Assassins Guild romantic science fiction tale is the generally accepted concept by society that assassinations are normal.  The storyline is fast-paced and the diabolical scheme to set up Rikki brilliantly deployed.  Readers will enjoy a visit to the Assassins Guild as Kris DeLake provides a fun thriller.

 

Harriet Klausner

A Rural Affair-Catherine Alliott

February 26, 2012

A Rural Affair

Catherine Alliott

Sourcebooks, Mar 6 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9781402260117

 

A recent widow, Poppy Shilling concludes she erred when she married Phil who died when blue ice hit him as he biked.  Poppy came to her belief upon learning of Phil’s clandestine other life.  Poppy calls her neighbor Jennie who along with Angie and Peggy arrives quickly.  Besides feeling guilt over wanting Phil dead, she worries how their two young children (Clemmie and Archie) will cope.  Poppy hopes to have fun dating men but not committing.

 

Jennie struggles with the behavior of her spouse the Toad; while Angie has separated from her husband; and Peggy smokes to hide her loneliness.  While her friends commiserate with her loss, Poppy is attracted to a man who has a glamorous woman in his life that a mother of two cannot compete with, but also has a secret admirer.

 

This is an amusing British character study that sets the tone with the discussion on dreaming of dead husbands between Poppy and Jennie.  The breezy storyline is fast-paced though the dark humor supersedes plausibility starting with the sixth death in decades from the friendly skies.  Readers will enjoy the mother of two seeking A Rural Affair, but relearning how convoluted relationships are.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Needle In The Blood-Sarah Bower

February 26, 2012

The Needle In The Blood

Sarah Bower

Sourcebooks, Mar 6 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9781402265914

 

A few weeks after his half-brother William of Normandy conquered England, Bishop Odo of Bayeux Odo decides to celebrate the victory over Harold with an embroidery like none before.  He assigns his sister Agatha, known as Sister Jean-Baptiste of the Convent of Saint Justina The Virgin, to oversee the project.  She employs several Saxon women to embroider the glory of the Battle of Hastings including Gytha, a lady-in-waiting to Harold’s Queen Eidth, but now a whore as like her Highness, William’s conquest ended her position at court. 

 

She accepts Sister Jean-Baptiste invitation to work the commemoration, but plans to use this to kill Bishop Odo who schemes to become the Archbishop of Canterbury for what he and his odious Normans did to her Saxons especially Eidth.  Instead she cannot plunge the knife into her avowed adversary.  They fall in love, but his many enemies see his mistress as his Achilles heel that they can use against him.

 

This is an engaging biographical fiction that sub-genre fans will enjoy based on real persona and the theory that the Bayou Tapestry was commissioned by Odo for his new cathedral.  The engaging storyline contains a passionate love subplot as Sarah Bowers reflects the essence of the brutal transition of power starting just after the Conquest and for the few years. 

 

Harriet Klausner