Archive for May, 2013

The Sassy Belles-Beth Albright

May 31, 2013

The Sassy Belles

Beth Albright

Mira, May 28 2013, $14.95

ISBN: 9780778315285

 

In Tuscaloosa, near hysterical Vivi Ann McFadden calls her BFF attorney, Blake O’Hara Heart as she desperately needs to speak with her.  Instead she gets Blake’s husband and partner Harry who waits for his wife to join him at the Tutwiler to celebrate their tenth anniversary.  She tells him she thinks she silenced the voice of Crimson Tide football, Harry’s younger brother Lewis Heart, who she insists lies dead in a room at the Fountain Mist.  The police go to room 106 but there is no body only “Deputy Dick”.

 

As the married lawyers help Vivi, Blake feels her relationship with Harry is in trouble since he became distant while fostering his plans for a Senate run.  When Blake’s high school boyfriend Sonny Bartholomew works the investigation, she finds herself dreaming of what if.

 

The Sassy Belles is an enjoyable Alabama tale starring Steel Magnolias and the men who appreciate their strengths and ignore their weaknesses if they want to remain with them.  Although the behavior of the two attorneys after learning that Vivi failed to call the cops or 911 seems over the top of Bear Bryant Stadium, readers (except Auburn fans) will enjoy this fast-paced amusing Crimson Tide tale.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Look Of Love-Bella Andre

May 31, 2013

The Look Of Love

Bella Andre

Mira, May 28 2013, $5.99

ISBN: 9780778315568

 

Globetrotting photographer Chase Sullivan feels better now that he escaped from his beloved widow mother’s seventieth birthday party.  Seven siblings proves to overwhelming even if his brother’s home has a great view of Sam Francisco Bay and he loves his family.  He heads to Napa Valley where he will take pictures at his brother Marcus’ winery in the morning.

 

As a sudden nasty storm hits, battered Chloe Peterson’s loses control of her car on an isolated road and lands in a ditch.  Chase stops to help her and persuades the cared woman to stay at his sibling’s guest house where others are.  They are attracted to each other, but her bruised face shows why she distrusts men as her abusive ex-husband stalks her. 

 

This is an expanded version of the first enjoyable Sullivan sibling romance (released in 2011).  Although the premise of a raging psychopath hunting down his victimized former wife is an overused theme, readers will relish “The look of love; it’s saying so much more than words could ever say” (Hal David, Burt Bacharach, Chris S. Botti); as it heals battered souls.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Night Is Watching-Heather Graham

May 31, 2013

The Night Is Watching

Heather Graham

Mira, Jun 1 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9780778315063

 

Lily, Arizona Sheriff Sloan Trent knows he is out of his league when a nineteenth century human skull is found amongst other props in the Old West tourist attraction the Gilded Lily Theater.  He contacts his friend from his Houston police days, Texas FBI Krewe leader Agent Logan Raintree for help.  Logan sends FBI forensic artist Jane Everett to Lily to work with Sloan.

 

As they team up though he has doubts about her paranormal skills, Jane encounters the ghost of Sloan’s ancestor who worked at the Gilded Lily.  Meanwhile more deaths follow as the cop and the fed realize that am Old West gold robbery is at the center of the present day homicides.  With ghosts assisting the couple on the case and matchmaking them, Sloan and Jane fall in love.

 

Though similar in tone to previous Krewe of Hunters paranormal romantic mysteries (see The Unseen), The Night Is Watching is an entertaining thriller due to the Old West as remembered by the ghosts haunting the town vs. modern day people producing their vision of what occurred.  Readers will appreciate the deadly hunt for lost gold as the ghosts help the Krewe and the sheriff who seek a killer while finding love.

 

Harriet Klausner

A Brother’s Honor-Brenda Jackson

May 30, 2013

A Brother’s Honor

Brenda Jackson

Mira, May 28 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9780778314332

 

Fifteen years ago, teenagers Jace and Caden, and tweener Dalton sat in a courtroom in which a jury convicted their father Sheppard of first degree murder of their mother Sylvia.  Sheppard’s only wish is that his three sons believe he is innocent; as he knows his father Richard will take care of his grandsons.  As soon as they could each child left Virginia.

 

In the present, a dying Richard asks his three grandchildren to prove their dad did not kill their mom.  The trio vows to save the failing family business Granger Aeronautics and free their father as each knows in their heart he never killed his wife.  The oldest Jace hires a crisis management consultant to save the firm.  They quickly realize someone from within is sabotaging the firm.  As they seek the traitor, Jace and Shana struggle to ignore their attraction while he learns some things about his parents and his ex-wife Eve that shake his core beliefs.

 

The first Granger Brothers’ romantic suspense is a taut thriller that grips the audience from the moment the jury foreman gives the verdict and never slows down until a tense final confrontation.  With two siblings to go, readers will enjoy Jace’s entry and look forward to more about the Ganger family.

 

Harriet Klausner

 

Sea Glass Island-Sherryl Woods

May 30, 2013

Sea Glass Island

Sherryl Woods

Mira, May 28 2013, $7.99

ISBN: 9780778314462

Actress Samantha Castle feels happy for her sisters (Gabriella in Wind Chime Point and Emily in Sand Castle Bay) who found love when they returned home to Sand Castle Bay, North Carolina to help their grandma Cora Jane with her hurricane battered Castle’s by the Sea Restaurant.  However, having returned to New York as the only one without a fiancé, Samantha misses her family.

Samantha returns to Sand Castle Bay to attend Emily’s wedding.  Also home is her high school secret crush Ethan Cole who was three years older than her and the heartthrob of teens as the star quarterback and a hunk.  His fiancée dumped him when he came home from Afghanistan minus a leg.  As the matchmakers led by her Cora Jane try to bring them together, Ethan has doubts about intimate relationships, so they become friends falling in love.

The third Castle Ocean Breeze romance is an engaging contemporary that also allows the audience to see what has happened to the rest of the Castle family.  Ethan seems real with his trepidations over commitment having been burned when he needed support.  However, resolutions of his phobia and other complex issues seem rushed and too easily resolved.  Still fans will enjoy this Castle family drama.

Harriet Klausner

I’ll Be Seeing You-Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan

May 30, 2013

I’ll Be Seeing You

Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan

Mira, May 28 2013, $14.94

ISBN: 9780778314950

 

In 1943 fortyish Iowa City, Iowa mom Marguerite “Rita” Vincenzo and Rockport, Massachusetts mom Gloria Whitehall have nothing in common except a fear for their beloved husbands (and Rita’s teen son soon to deploy) fighting overseas.  They begin a pen pal correspondence though Glory is a youthful free spirit and Rita is a professor’s gardening witch wife.  Each finds some solace in the letters as they face issues at the home front and fears their spouse will not come home alive.

 

Using letters as a means to look deeply at the effect of their loved ones in harm’s way on two diverse females from two different regions of the country, readers obtain a powerful tale of life at home during a war.  With two powerful protagonists anchoring the WWII impact on them, their families and communities, this timely tale reminds readers that someone must pay the piper in blood and money in any war; whether it is on a credit card or not.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Right Mr. Wrong-Natalie Anderson

May 29, 2013

The Right Mr. Wrong

Natalie Anderson

Harlequin Kiss, May 21 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373207169

 

Her parents and his parents want Victoria and Oliver to marry.  Victoria knows he is a steady mate who she planned to accept his proposal until she met his magnetic BFF Liam.  He goes on his knees and proposes.  Victoria must decide between a lifetime of steady ennui that pleases her family or a lifetime explosive memory that will flame out rather quickly and place her in the family exile category alongside her no-name sister.  The Right Mr. Wrong contains two clever related novellas that pivot from Victoria’s answer to Oliver’s proposal.  Both are fun comparative tales as Natalie Anderson makes a strong case that choices matter as the heroine goes down two distinct paths over the next few years.

 

“The Wedding Dress Diaries” by Aimee Carson is a bonus entry as Amber decides on following her heart for the second time with Parker though she believes he does not feel the same way as her.  This is a fun short story included in all the June Kisses.

 

Harriet Klausner

Too Close For Comfort-Heidi Rice

May 29, 2013

Too Close For Comfort

Heidi Rice

Harlequin Kiss, May 21 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373207176

 

In a middle of a motel stakeout, private investigator Zane Montoya observes a woman in her early twenties enter the room he has under surveillance.  Since his target is a male con artist, he needs her out of there immediately so Zane abducts Iona MacCabe before she destroys his inquiry.  Iona explains she entered her ex-husband’s room to retrieve her passport.  Over her objection, Zane places her under his protection.  He also knows he fiercely attracted to the fiery redhead who does not believe the hunt wants her.  As they fall in love, his childhood demons and her marital failure threaten to end their relationship.  With a nod to the movie Stakeout, Too Close For Comfort is an engaging romantic suspense though several key scenes seem too clever and forced to bring the protagonists together.

 

“The Wedding Dress Diaries” by Aimee Carson is a bonus entry as Amber decides on following her heart for the second time with Parker though she believes he does not feel the same way as her.  This is a fun short story included in all the June Kisses.

 

Harriet Klausner

The Cowboy’s Return-Susan Crosby

May 29, 2013

The Cowboy’s Return

Susan Crosby

Harlequin Special Edition, May 21 2013, $4.99

ISBN: 9780373657483

 

Mitch Ryder has been away from his family ranch in Red Valley, California for three mostly out of country years.  His father demanded he come home so after ignoring three previous orders, Mitch returns to Northern California, but he drives past the Ryder Ranch delaying seeing his family a little longer.

 

When his truck Lulu dies near Barney Barnard’s spread, he walks to the house only to have a woman accost him for being late.  Instead of going home, he takes a job on a neighbor’s farm; but conceals from his employer single mom Annie Barnard who his family is.  His work is top rate and her attraction powerful, but his patient tender treatment of her ten year old son Austin makes him perfect.  That is until she learns he is the prodigal son of the family trying to buy her farm.

 

The first Red Valley ranch romance is a terrific contemporary due to the triangle dynamics between the fully developed characters (including Austin).  The Cowboy’s Return is a wonderful family drama as a lie of omission affirms what Walter Scott said: “Oh what a tangled web we weave, When first we practice to deceive”; especially when the heart becomes involved.

 

Harriet Klausner

If The Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale-Sandra D. Bricker

May 29, 2013

If The Shoe Fits: A Contemporary Fairy Tale

Sandra D. Bricker

River North, May 15 2013, $14.99

ISBN: 9780802406286

 

In the enchanted village of Cincinnati, BFFs since childhood Julianne and Will are legal partners.  Whereas she is pleased with their personal buddies’ relationship, he has loved her seemingly forever.  With every man she dates, his heart breaks but he remains silent about how he feels.

 

At a near multiple car crash where she almost played caboose, Jules notices a hunk who she believes is her Prince Charming.  He leaves before she can exchange contact information, but she picks up his toolbox and a boot that fell off his vehicle.  Jules begins her quest for her charming “Prince” Paul while her desperate partner decides that “where there’s a will there’s a way to his beloved’s heart at the Bar Association gala.

 

This is an engaging contemporary version of Cinderella with the twist that sometimes you look so hard for the image you fail to see the gallant knight riding a ten speed bike.  Although Jules comes across as too pathetic, readers will enjoy this modern day fractured fairy tale romance that pays homage with chivalrous puns to Jay Ward.

 

Harriet Klausner