Archive for December, 2012

The Marriage Campaign-Karen Templeton

December 31, 2012

The Marriage Campaign

Karen Templeton

Harlequin Special Edition, Jan 22 2013, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373657247


The three cousins called themselves the Summer Sisters as they spent vacation time together at their late grandma’s house near St. Mary’s Cove on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  April Ross (see A Gift For All Seasons) and Melanie Duncan (see The Doctor’s Do-Over) are brides in a double wedding ceremony attended by the third “Sister” maid of honor Blythe Broussard.  Also there are Blythe’s childhood nemesis widower Congressman Wes Phillips and his young son Jack.


Blythe recognizes a troubled kindred spirit in Jack whose mom died in a car accident two years ago.  She warns Wes that Jack has self-destructive issues like she once had.  Attracted to the Congressman and caring about Jack, Blythe plans to keep her distance from father and son until she makes her escape back to DC as fourteen years ago on Valentine’s Day her heart (and virginity) broke.  Wes has other ideas as he is falling in love with Blythe and believes strongly she is perfect for him and Jack though her rocky past negatively impacts his reelection chances.


The Marriage Campaign is an engaging contemporary second chance at love romance starring a relationship-phobic designer, a Congressman whose campaign focus is Blythe not the voters and a disturbed eleven year old boy.  Filled with compassion and passion, readers will enjoy this wonderful contemporary.


Harriet Klausner


Free From Guilt-Pat Simmons

December 30, 2012

Free From Guilt

Pat Simmons

Lift Every Voice Books (LEVB)/Moody, Sep 20 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9780802403896


Brilliant MIT graduate Cameron Jamieson completed ten generations of his family roots tracing his ancestry back to African royalty and to previously unknown Boston kin.  However, his genius also leads him to question the simplistic embrace of God’s love and offer of salvation by his entire St. Louis family except for the septuagenarian matriarch Beatrice “Grandma BB” Beacon, the terror of the city.  Cameron accepts her belief that life is meant to enjoy today and worry about redemption far into the tomorrows.


Unlike Cameron who can quote scriptures, Gabrielle Dupree believes God comes first above all else.  She prays that one day the Lord delivers to her a man of equal faith to share a love of one another and Jesus.  Gabrielle and Cameron are attracted to one another at first sight.  However, the strength of their polar opposite religious convictions places a relationship between them in peril as each struggle with love.


The latest Jamieson Legacy urban Christian inspirational (see Still Guilty, Guilty of Love and Not Guilty of Love) is a terrific contemporary romance with a fascinating triangle consisting of Cameron, Gabrielle and Jesus; Gabriele especially feels the tug on her heart and soul.  As in the cousins’ tales (see The Guilt Trip and Guilt by Association), genealogy plays a key supporting role enhancing the engaging storyline.  Readers will appreciate this strong entry as temptation and God-fearing converge with Gabrielle knowing the right path is with Jesus but the damning alternate seems so good.


Harriet Klausner

The King Next Door-Maureen Child

December 30, 2012

The King Next Door

Maureen Child

Harlequin Desire, Feb 5 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373732227


Griffin King and Nicole Baxter met at the wedding of his cousin Rafe King and her best friend next door neighbor Katie Charles last year.  Affluent Griffin is house-sitting while Rafe and Katie are in Europe for three weeks and his beachfront condo is on the market.  Though he admires how sexy all work and no play is except with her three years old son Connor Griffin adheres to his vow to end his serial affairs lifestyle and especially avid women with kids.


A fire in Katie’s kitchen forces her and Connor to temporarily vacate.  He invites mother and child to move into his cousin’s home.  Nicole decides a short tryst is just the thing for her as the divorcee shares in common with the bachelor: no marriage.  As Griff proves kind and caring towards her son though an easy mark for Connor’s child con; neither adult knows how to react to falling in love.


The latest Kings of California romance (see King’s Million Dollar Secret) is an engaging romance starring two protagonists whose theme song is 10 Cc’s “I’m Not in Love” and a too precocious matchmaking toddler.  Contemporary fans will enjoy this warm tale as the King falls in love with the single mom and her child next door.


Harriet Klausner

All He Really Needs-Emily McKay

December 29, 2012

All He Really Needs

Emily McKay

Harlequin Desire, Feb 5 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373732265


Dying Hollister Cain informs his offspring that they take charge of Cain Enterprise and prevent a missing heiress from stealing their billion dollar legacy.  Dalton the CEO hunts for the woman; while his brother Griffin the International marketing VP performs little except in bed with beautiful women and overseas travel; and their illegitimate sibling Cooper is the outsider.  Dalton informs Griffin that he quits as the CEO as he has a more important mission: winning the heart and regaining the trust of his beloved Laney Fortino (see All He Ever Wanted).  Before leaving, Dalton tells Griffin, whom their dad scorned as a wastrel do-gooder, that his assistant Sydney Edwards will take good care of him.  


Stunned Griffin the underachiever has been Sydney’s secret lover, but now he is her boss.  He believes they can combine the boardroom with the bedroom, but though she loves Griffin she informs him no more trysts.  As bad as that thought is since he loves being with her; he also fears he will have little time for his vocation of helping Hope2O. 


The second At Cain’s Command contemporary romance stars a seemingly unambitious hedonist and a dedicated administrative assistant.  Fast-paced, readers will enjoy learning of the hidden depths of Griffin (and for that matter Sydney too) as he makes a case not to judge a book solely by its cover while also encouraging the audience to look up Hope2O’s real counterpart


Harriet Klausner

Greenwood and Archer-

December 28, 2012

Greenwood and Archer

Marlene Banks

Lift Every Voice Books (LEVB)/Moody, Sep 20 2012, $14.99

ISBN: 9780802406217


In 1921 in Tulsa, taking advantage of the rage of the white community over a newspaper accusing black Dick Rowland of raping white Sarah Page, the racist White Glove Society screams for the lock up of all colored especially in the affluent Greenwood District.  Their bigoted shrill wins causes a race riot in Greenwood leaving over 300 dead (see Son of a Preacherman).


Engaged couple, son of a preacher Billy Ray Matthias and oil heiress Benny Freeman are dismayed since the former’s brother Ethan defended Rowland.  Benny’s ex-fiancée Jordan Franks returns; his dumping her turned her into a recluse until Billy Ray intervened.  While believing God wants him to preach, Billy Ray prays for his beloved.


Federal agent DP Dooley believes the race riot affirms his rage with God.  He vows to destroy the “Godly” White Gloves Society even as they gain new supporters.  Ignoring immense pressure to lock up the colored, fervent racist Police Chief Jake Gilbert saw the Greenwood massacre first-hand.  He joins with Dooley to end racial hate crimes in his city with support from the newly created Interdenominational Christian Clergy who wants God in everyone’s life; while the Chicago mob sees an opportunity to expand their operation into Tulsa.


This is a powerful historical that looks deep at the aftermath of the Greenwood race riots.  With a present day relevancy, the underlying irony of the tale is the diverse cast believes that God is on their side as so many invoke the Lord’s name in defense of whatever they do.  Besides a fabulous look at devastated 1921 Tulsa, Marlene Banks makes a case that claiming Jesus has your back is not soul-deep believing in Jesus.


Harriet Klausner

A Real Cowboy-Sarah M. Anderson

December 28, 2012

A Real Cowboy

Sarah M. Anderson

Harlequin Desire, Feb 5 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373732241


Oscar winner James Robert Bradley left Hollywood at the height of his fame several years ago.  Though many including his agent Bernie Lipchitz expected him to come back after a respite, James remains on his Bar B Ranch in the middle of nowhere Montana.


Thalia Thorne has a chance to produce her first movie, Blood for Roses, if she can persuade James to play the role of Sean; she believes he could win another Oscar with this part.  When she reaches his ranch, she sees nothing California in the boorish cowboy who wants her to leave as she disturbs the peace he has found in Big Sky Country by reminding him of the bad things he did in Southern California; worse he is attracted to her as she is to him.  Thalia refuses to go away as she needs him or her career dies for failing to deliver.  Trapped by a blizzard, J.R. and Thalia begin to fall in love.


The lead couple makes for a rousing redemption ranch romance as he has demons from his past that haunt him while she needs him if she plans to remain in Hollywood.  Though the device of a snow storm stranding the protagonists has been used a lot, fans will enjoy this entreating character-driven contemporary


Harriet Klausner

The Mighty Quinns: Logan-

December 27, 2012

The Mighty Quinns: Logan

Kate Hoffmann

Harlequin Blaze, Jan 22 2013, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373797394


Ninety-six year old Irish author Aileen Quinn is writing her autobiography of a rags to riches orphan girl making it big; when she asks her assistant Ian Stephens to find the descendants of her older brothers, siblings she never met.  Assuming her brothers are dead, Aileen wants to leave her fortune to their children and grandchildren.  She learns the youngest Tomas sailed to Australia in 1916; so Ian hires Capley and Drummond of Brisbane to investigate.


In Queensland, Australia, struggling horse breeder Logan Quinn faces bankruptcy.  Logan drives to deliver his favorite horse Tally to a buyer.  He stops at affluent Williamston Farm where his old mate Ed Perkins the stable manager invites him to stay for a night.  Ed lectures him for not letting his boss Simon Grant bid on Tally.  Simon’s daughter Lucinda introduces herself to Logan as Sunny.  She knows she failed her dad when she flopped at the equestrian event at the London Olympics.  Refusing to compete in Brisbane, Lucinda decides to escape her father’s disapproval and pressure by hiding in Logan’s camper.  As they travel the continent, the poor hose-breeder and the heiress fall in love.


The latest Mighty Quinns’ series (see Ronan and Cameron) is a fabulous Australian romance starring two wonderful protagonists on a journey of love.  Though financially polar opposites, the pair share a deep love of horses and soon of each other.  Readers will look forward to more tales of Aileen’s relatives as the nonagenarian who has always felt alone for over nine plus decades has found family.


Harriet Klausner

Night Driving-Lori Wilde

December 27, 2012

Night Driving

Lori Wilde

Harlequin Blaze, Jan 22 2013, $5.25

ISBN: 9780373797417


In Bozeman, Montana, former Army Captain Boone Toliver recuperates from his third right knee surgery to repair an injury suffered from a bomb in Afghanistan.  He feels like an invalid as he was forced to hire help though he can afford it having invested wisely the millions he inherited millions from his beloved late wife.  The only tsuris besides his knee is his ditzy neighbor Tara Duvall, a sexy irritant.  He is busted when he pretends to be on the cellphone only to have his half-sister marine biologist Ph.D. candidate Jackie Birchard call.  Before leaving Tara says she is moving home to be with her ailing mother; while Jackie says she is marrying the man she loves and trusts, Coast Guard Lieutenant Scott Everly whom she has known just over a month.  He reacts poorly as Jackie says she will marry her fiancé in a few days in Key West before hanging up on him.


Boone has less than five days to save Jackie from herself, but cannot fly due to the threats of blood clots and he can’t drive that distance while local car service says no.  He places an ad on the internet and gets a response by someone going to Miami.  They negotiate terms of leaving tonight; afterward he learns his driver is the ditz.  The road trip has misadventures as time is running out, but also opens up Boone’s heart as he begins to fall in love with his zany neighbor.


Night Driving is a fun zany romance starring two opposites falling in love while on the road.  Character driven by the lead couple, fans will enjoy the changing relationship between Tara and Boone.


Harriet Klausner

Uses for Boys-Erica Lorraine Scheidt

December 25, 2012

Uses for Boys

Erica Lorraine Scheidt

St. Martin’s Griffin, Jan 15, 2013, $9.99

ISBN: 9781250007117


Anna loved life with her single mom when she constantly would ask the “tell-me-again times” and be reassured that her mother only wanted a single girl, her.  However, when she turned eight, Anna learns she is too old for fairy tales as her mom seeks her next husband.  Deserted in plain sight in a world she no longer understands, Anna proves a chip off the maternal block as she obsesses over a psychological need to belong.  She uses sex to make boys her surrogate family.  A boy rapes her and she drops out of school to the taunts of slut from her peers.  Still a teen, Anna moves in with her latest boyfriend.  Anna meets and envies Toy, whose boys are much nicer than those in her life.  When she meets Sam and his family, Anna knows what she wants in life is not the Uses of Boys, but the love of a caring “tribe” like she once had when she was very young with her mom.


This is a deep decade in the life of a child-teen using an inner strength to survive her feelings of maternal abandonment.  Anna is a wonderful individual who goes from adored child to surviving slut to caring about people.  Readers, especially teens, will appreciate Anna’s captivating coming of age tale realizing the importance of looking past derogatory labels into the heart and soul of others.


Harriet Klausner

The Italian Woman-Jean Plaidy

December 24, 2012

The Italian Woman

Jean Plaidy

Touchstone, Jan 1 2013, $16.00

ISBN: 9781451686524


In Florence, her father Pope Clement VII arranges for his fourteen year old daughter Caterina de’ Medici to marry the second son of the King of France, Prince Henry of Orleans; forcing her to leave behind her beloved Ippolito.  That political marriage also broke the heart of Jeanne of Navarre who hoped to become Prince Henry’s wife.


Patient but bitter, Caterina accepted the affronts by her husband and others in his circle who bowed to King Henry’s beloved mistress Diane de Poitiers instead of the mother of his children.  When Henry died, Queen Regent Caterina watches her ailing oldest son Francis become king.  However, she prefers her second son hale Henry to replace his sick older brother on the throne in order to insure her dynasty.  Jeanne, married to Antoine de Bourbon, supports the Huguenots as civil war breaks out in France with Caterina manipulating all sides to strengthen her family hold on the throne.


This reprint of the 1950s published middle historical in Jean Plaidy’s Catherine Medici trilogy (see Madame Serpent) is an engaging sixteenth century French intrigue.  Although the action feels tame compared to contemporary written historical biographic fiction (see The Confessions of Catherine de Medici by C.W. Gortner), fans will enjoy Ms. Plaidy’s saga as the enjoyable storyline enables fans to understand what motivated the key rivals. 


Harriet Klausner