Archive for November, 2012

A Callahan Outlaw’s Twins-Tina Leonard

November 29, 2012

A Callahan Outlaw’s Twins

Tina Leonard

Harlequin American, Jan 2 2013, $5.25

ISBN: 978-0373754373

 

Former Navy SEAL Sloan Chacon prefers the life of a loner.  His paternal grandfather Chief Running Bear sends him a vague message to travel to New Mexico in order to protect his family and their heritage as represented by the seven large stones.  Ignoring his desire to disregard the plea, Sloan heads to the Land of Enchantment in order to safeguard his extended family (including Callahan cousins he never met) and their land.

 

Kendall Phillips serves as the link between the Callahan and Chacon cousins.  She and the lone wolf ex-Navy are attracted to one another, a desire neither wants.  When she becomes pregnant carrying his twins, Sloan realizes he wants her and their babies as part of his family.  However, it is the abduction attempt of his beloved that has Sloan knowing he loves the petit spitfire.

 

The latest Callahan enchanting New Mexico ranch romance (see The Cowboy Soldier’s Son) is a terrific entry that expands the original family by introducing cousins.  Though somewhat typical of the sub-genre, this fast-paced engaging tale of love hooks contemporary fans from the moment the two obstinate protagonists meet.

 

Harriet Klausner

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Remember Me, Cowboy-CJ Carmichael

November 29, 2012

Remember Me, Cowboy

CJ Carmichael

Harlequin American, Jan 2 2013, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373754380

 

In Montana at the Coffee Creek United Church, the bride Winnie Hays worries when the groom Brock Lambert, the best man sibling Corb Lambert and their driver Jackson Stone fail to arrive on time.  Winnie’s BFF Laurel Sheridan, who spent quality time with Corb, tries to calm down the panicking bride.  Sheriff Savannah Moody arrives at the church sadly to tell the wedding party that Jackson’s SUV hit a moose killing Brock, leaving Corb comatose and the driver injured but mentally devastated.

 

Two months later, a pregnant Laurel wonders what to do as the father of her baby Corb does not remember her name since he regained consciousness but lost his memory.  She considers returning to New York where she has made a life for herself since she left Montana after college; while Corb wants to do right with the mother of his child even if he cannot recognize her.  As he courts her their attraction grows until she flees due to her fear of love.

 

Though amnesia has been used as a plot device frequently, CJ Carmichael deftly deploys it to enhance an emotional second chance at love tale (though the first time around neither was aware of how deep their feelings were).  Character driven, readers will remember this powerful Big Sky drama.

 

Harriet Klausner

Anonymity-Janna McMahon

November 27, 2012

Anonymity

Janna McMahon

Koehler Books, Jan 1 2013, $15.95

http://www.Koehlerbooks.com

ISBN: 9781938467233

 

Teenager Lorelei arrives in Austin by bus.  She heads to the Tumbleweed Street Outreach young adult center where she can get some chow, pick up clothing and even shelter.  She enjoys the food and selects some items to wear, but rejects the cot.

 

Twentyish Emily works as a bartender.  When she meets David the reporter investigating the gutter punks who live as an unwanted underbelly of the city, she agrees to be his photographer.  Emily meets Lorelei and wants to help the teen.  The two women becomes friends, but Emily learns the true meaning of good intentions as every time she tries to get Lorelei off the street, danger surfaces from the teen’s past; Emily also tries to assist other young lost souls by bringing attention to their plight through her unforgiving harsh camera.

 

This is a deep look at the teen homeless living on the streets of Austin.  The insightful storyline rotates perspective mostly between the two women though others like Emily’s mom Barbara take the lead at times.  This character driven urban tale driven by a strong cast has readers wondering whether Emily has found her groove with photographing the gutter punks.

 

Harriet Klausner

Wyoming Bride-Joan Johnston

November 27, 2012

Wyoming Bride

Joan Johnston

Dell, Jan 1 2013, $7.99

ISBN 9780345527462

 

 

The Great Chicago Fire of 1871 left the six Wentworth children orphaned.  The sextet has lived at the Chicago Institute for Orphaned Children for three years under the abusive control of headmistress Miss Birch.  However, the oldest Miranda left as a mail order Texas Bride taking her two youngest siblings (ten years old Nick and four years old Harry) with her to San Antonio and plans to arrange her sisters seventeen years old twins Hannah and Hetty, and sixteen years old Josie to join her. 

 

However, having not heard from Miranda, a desperate Josie arranges for Hannah to become a mail order Wyoming Bride.  On the Oregon Trail, Hannah’s new husband McMurtey dies from cholera leaving her pregnant.  The Sioux injure Hetty and capture Josie.  Rancher Flint Creed finds Hannah trekking for help while her twin lay dying and her other sister is missing.  In love with his brother’s fiancée, he proposes to Hannah who accepts though neither mentions love nor imply any passion between them.

 

The second Wentworth Mail Order Bride historical is a super Reconstruction Era western romance starring two interesting lead characters concealing critical secrets from one another.  Action-packed with a secondary romance (Flint’s brother), fans will appreciate Joan Johnston’s entertaining tale.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Scoundrel Takes A Bride-Stefanie Sloane

November 27, 2012

The Scoundrel Takes A Bride

Stefanie Sloane

Ballantine, Jan 1 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9780345531155

 

Over a decade ago, someone murdered Lady Beatrice Afton in Afton Manor in Petworth, Sussex.  No one was accused of the homicide. 

 

Over the years, Beatrice’s daughter Lady Sophia never turned to her arranged by her mom betrothed Langdon Bourne for comfort or help with her obsession to find her mom’s killer.  Instead she studied criminology so that by 1813 she feels ready to investigate her mom’s homicide.  She believes the one person who could assist her with achieving her objective has come home after years abroad amassing a fortune in India.  She pleads with Langdon’s brother Nicholas to be there on her investigation.  He reluctantly agrees as he obsesses over keeping the woman he has loved seemingly forever safe on their journey of discovery.

 

The latest rousing Regency Rogues (see The Saint Who Stole My Heart) is a terrific historical romantic mystery made stronger by Langdon being a decent honorable person.  The amateur sleuthing is fun to follow as forbidden passion between the daring duet makes their inquiry that much more difficult.

 

Harriet Klausner

Path of Freedom-Jennifer Hudson Taylor

November 26, 2012

Path of Freedom

Jennifer Hudson Taylor

Abingdon Press, Jan 1 2013, $12.99

ISBN: 9781426752636

 

When they were children, Bruce Millikan teased Flora Saferight unmercifully.  She hated his barbs and was elated when he left their Quaker town. 

 

Bruce is back to Flora’s disgust as she still feels the pain of his unkind words mimicked by others; he regrets what he did to her.  Flora and her sister Irene are taking a train to visit their aunt and uncle in Charlottesville.  Pastor John wants to use the siblings as cover so that Bruce can escort a runaway slave couple via the Underground Railroad to Pennsylvania; the female is pregnant so Flora’s midwife skills are also needed.  Using a quilt as their guide, the journey proves less dangerous than expected except for one near deadly mistake and the effect on the respective hearts of Flora and Bruce.

 

The latest fabulous Quilts of Love inspirational (see A Wild Goose Chase Christmas by Jennifer AlLee and Beyond the Storm by Carolyn Zane) is a delightful historical romance starring two beloved enemies who find their souls freed to love by the brave deeds they do together.  The quilt guiding their passage on the Underground Railroad enhances a strong tale of to forgive is divine.

 

Harriet Klausner

Never Love a Lord-Heather Grothaus

November 21, 2012

Never Love a Lord

Heather Grothaus

Zebra, Dec 312012, $6.99

ISBN: 9781420112443

 

In 1277, King Edward’s finest fighters lay siege to Fallstowe Castle where he wants captured the castle and its traitorous protector Lady Sybilla Foxe.  She knows her side cannot win but loathes giving up to the enemy.  The monarch’s soldier in charge of the assault Julian Griffin sends a missive by arrow that almost kills Sybilla who considers suicide rather than surrender.  He suggests they negotiate so no one dies today.  She answers with a fiery arrow with “you alone.”

 

Julian knows His Highness expects him to prove Sybilla betrayed the throne, but he is attracted to her beauty, intelligence and mostly her courage.  She finds a kindred soul in him and adores his infant child Lucy who he took with him (as well as Murrin her nursemaid) while they speak; still Sybilla believes they have no room to negotiate.  However, Sybilla remains ignorant to how much he knows about her family secrets though he wonders about the one she vows to die for rather than reveal and break a deathbed pledge.

 

The third Foxe Sisters series (see Never Kiss a Stranger and Never Seduce A Scoundrel) is a magnificent medieval romance starring two incredibly developed beloved enemies and a matchmaking baby.  The storyline is action-packed from the opening siege and never slows down yet also contains a strong emotional pull.  Fans will keep reading in one sitting this fabulous final fable with an obsessive need to know if love can bring together the legendary lady and the loyal Lord.

 

Harriet Klausner

Saving Gideon-Amy Lillard

November 21, 2012

Saving Gideon

Amy Lillard

B&H Books, Oct 1 2012, $14.99

www.bhpublishinggroup.com

ISBN: 9781433677526

 

Dallas socialite Avery Ann Hamilton flew to Tulsa and drove a rental to Clover Ridge to surprise her fiancé Jack by telling him she no longer wants to wait a year to marry.  She assumes they will go on to Vegas.  Spotting the Mercedes she lent to him in a motel parking lot, she finds her beloved Jack with another woman.  Heartbroken Avery leaves knowing he wanted her father’s money not her.  On the drive back to Tulsa, the rain turns to snow and she crashes.

 

Gideon Fisher still grieves the deaths of his wife and son as he isolates himself from his caring Amish community; he no longer even attends church.  He rescues Avery who crashed near his farm.  Taking her to his home, the recluse cannot wait for her to leave, but Annie as he calls her ignores his desire; instead she plans to stay in hiding here while she emotionally heals from another failed relationship.  She soon has a greater cause; helping her reluctant host regains his faith in love.

 

The first Clover Ridge Amish romance is an enjoyable contemporary starring two mentally wounded warriors whose respective faith has been nuked by traumas though his is much more devastating.  Although I doubt the hermit would let anyone stay beyond an initial Good Samaritan response, this is a wonderful story of love between an Amish farmer and an Englisher socialite.

 

Harriet Klausner

True Love at Silver Creek Ranch-Emma Cane

November 21, 2012

True Love at Silver Creek Ranch

Emma Cane

Avon, Dec 26 2012, $5.99

ISBN: 9780062102294

 

After leaving the Marines Adam Desantis returns home to Valentine filled with guilt over his final military assignment.  His mission in the Colorado town is to spend time with his elderly grandmother though that means being the point of the matchmaking geriatrics staying at the Widows’ Boardinghouse with his beloved relative.

 

Silver Creek Ranch cowgirl Brooke Thalberg knew Adam when he was the high school football star, but stayed a football field away from him.  She needs help on her family ranch and though he believes he is making a mistake, Adam volunteers after he rescues her from a fiery barn.  As they fall in love, his PTSD from that last fatal combat haunts him while she doubts he has staying power.

 

The return to Valentine Valley (see A Town Called Valentine) is an engaging Rocky Mountain romance starring two likable protagonists and eccentric senior citizens.  Readers will enjoy the second time but first in love relationship fostered by the gregarious guerilla grannies who know best.

 

Harriet Klausner

Clumsy Girl’s Guide To Falling In Love-Karen Wiesner

November 20, 2012

Clumsy Girl’s Guide To Falling In Love

Karen Wiesner

Whiskey Creek Press, Dec 2012, $7.99

ISBN 9781611602746 (electronic); 9781105201226 (trade paperback)

 

In Peaceful, Wisconsin, clumsy Zoë Rossdale and financial wizard Curt Bertoletti met four years ago when they were walking their Maine coons Nutmeg and Cayenne in Pet Park.  For six months they were an entry as he was the clumsy girl’s first and only boyfriend until he dumped her by voice message for humongous boobs of Bonnie “Bon Bon Magnifico” Mgnoli.

 

Three beautiful women (Samantha – see Glass Angels; Jordan and LeeAnn) befriend and mentor Zoë, who has come a long way since “the Italian Stallion Chub” left her.  While she moved on in many ways, she remains trapped by her knowledge that she will always be the clumsy girl who failed at love.  Curt misses his Zoë as he knows he made the biggest mistake of his life when he left her.  He vows to prove to her he loves her and they deserve a second chance though this may ruin his chance to prove to his family that his financial plans for their Italian restaurant Ciatti’s Italiano is sound as his kin never approved of his Zoë.

 

The first Friendship Heirlooms inspirational romance is a strong spinoff of the Family Heirlooms series.  The protagonists are a super pairing of a second chance at love couple with him being sophisticated while she knows she is an embarrassment to herself, him and his family.  Using hyperbole to embellish the engaging storyline, readers will relish Curt’s redemption as Zoë puts him through an emotional gauntlet (which she is running through too) while both pray to God for guidance.

 

Harriet Klausner