Archive for September, 2013

I Only Have Eyes for You-Bella Andre

September 30, 2013

I Only Have Eyes for You
Bella Andre
Mira, Sep 24 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778315599

When Sophie Sullivan was five years old, she liked her older brothers’ friend eleven years old Jake McCann. Now almost two decades later, Sophie the librarian attends her brother Chase’s wedding (see The Look Of Love) where she has an epiphany; being the “Nice” quiet Sullivan will never win the heart of her beloved Jake the best man so she must be bold like her twin “Naughty” Lori.

Sophie seduces Jake. Although he never had a better time in his life, Jake flees as he believes he is unworthy of Sophie and her love. Not long after he left Sophie heartbroken, Jake knows he erred as he realizes he needs her with him and has an epiphany in which she must decide whether he is good enough for her. However, a scared Sophie no longer trusts Jake with her heart.

The fourth Sullivan siblings’ romance (after Can’t Help Falling in Love and From This Moment On) is a strong complex drama. The lead couple is a fabulous pairing while the extended Sullivan brood adds depth to a wonderful contemporary.

Harriet Klausner

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Going Once-Sharon Sala

September 30, 2013

Going Once
Sharon Sala
Mira, Sep 24 2013, $7.99
ISBN 9780778315483

In Queens Crossing, Louisiana, her late Mama wakes up feverish Nola Landry who finds her life in peril by the flooding Mississippi as the torrent has continued for days. Needing high ground immediately, she climbs a tree. However, Nola witnesses the horror of The Stormchaser serial killer murdering three neighbors.

No one ever saw this psychopath who preys on people during the aftermath of a natural disaster; that is no one has seen his face until now. FBI profiler Tate Benton and his partners arrive in his hometown Queens Crossing to investigate the latest homicides. Tate also vows to protect his former college girlfriend Nola because he believes the Stormchaser will target the woman he still loves; as no one who has seen this predator’s face lives.

This is an exciting second chance romantic suspense with the emphasis on catching the murderer before he kills the witness. The keys to this great tale are that the reason for the leads’ initial split is deftly and rapidly dealt with as is the poignancy of caring for a beloved ailing elderly parent; so that the focus predominantly is on the present dangerous situation. Although the psychopath’s motive seems plausible Stormchaser provided no rationale to this terrific taut Forces of Nature thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Sleep With the Lights On-Maggie Shayne

September 30, 2013

Maggie Shayne
Mira, Sep 24 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778315544

Famous self-help inspirational author Rachel de Luca visits the police station demanding information on her missing brother Tommy, a homeless addict. The cop blows her away. Using her cane to leave but distracted by her concern for Tommy, Rachel fails to pay attention to her surroundings. A car driven by Police Detective Mason Brown hits blind Rachel. Later on that same day, Mason watches helplessly as his brother Eric commits suicide; leaving behind a pregnant wife and kids.

Mason donates Eric’s organs and Rachel receives the corneas for a transplant. Seeing for the first time since she was a child, Rachel adapts to a sight world. However, the writer also has visions of a serial killer. Rachel and Mason team up searching for her sibling and a psychopath.

Though the eye transplant premise is not new, Sleep with the Lights On is a thrilling paranormal romantic police procedural. The leads are fresh characters; as Rachel is cynical and uses profanity; and Mason is a good cop but conceals secrets that question his ethics. Fast-paced with an engaging twist, sub-genre readers will enjoy this thriller as evil always finds a willing host while good manifests itself in love.

Harriet Klausner

The Night Is Forever-Heather Graham

September 30, 2013

The Night Is Forever
Heather Graham
Mira, Sep 24 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778315087

Marcus Danby established the Horse Farm near Nashville as a place to take care of deserted animals. Therapist Olivia Gordon finds Marcus’ body in what looks like a horrible riding accident caused by a drug overdose though he had been clean for three decades.

Already wondering how a top rider who knew every inch of the area could have fallen and having doubts about his addiction relapse, Liv’s concerns about her boss’ death become a certainty when Marcus’ ghost tells her he was murdered. She contacts her cousin Malachi Gordon (see The Night Is Alive), an FBI Krewe of Hunters agent who knows of her ability to communicate with ghosts. He informs Krewe unit Chief Jackson Crowe who assigns Dustin Blake on his first case to investigate the Horse Farm paranormal activity and the death. Dustin and Liv are attracted to each other from their first meeting and their feelings are strengthened by both sharing the paranormal skill of seeing ghosts especially with so many in the area. However, the killer plans to silence the only person claiming homicide.

Though similar in tone to the previous “Night” thrillers (see The Night Is Watching), this Krewe of Hunters paranormal romantic police procedural is an entertaining investigative entry enhanced by the ghosts from a nearby Civil War era massacre bringing alive the local history. Action-packed from the moment Marcus’ spirit pleads with Liv, readers will relish visiting the haunts of the greater Nashville area.

Harriet Klausner

Amy Falls Down-Jincy Willett

September 29, 2013

Amy Falls Down
Jincy Willett
Dunne, Jul 9 2013, $24.99
ISBN: 9781250028273

At one time, Amy Gallup was considered a budding superstar as her novels and short stories were well received. However that Amy Gallup has vanished along with her out of print books. Instead, three decades later she is a long time semi-hermit in Escondido leading writing workshops.

Just before an interview with San Diego Union-Tribune reporter Holly Mary Antoon doing a where are they now article, Amy trips in her yard and bangs her head. The interview follows a few hours later, but Amy’s responses are weird and quickly go viral making her a household name again. She begins writing leading to renewed popularity as everyone wants her especially when Amy disdains fleeting fifteen minutes of fame. Amy also finds herself no longer able to cocoon in comfort concealed from the world as she begins to analyze why she vanished after her initial success.

The sequel to The Writing Class is an engaging satirical character study as Amy after the fall rises like a Phoenix from the ashes, but no longer cares about social correctness; her interviewers learn the hard way that she no longer is concerned about their bull. The amusing entertaining storyline mocks the pompousness of the literary world while also providing a profound look into the author’s psyche as she ponders why she stopped writing and voluntarily vanished.

Harriet Klausner

Roxy’s Story-V.C. Andrews

September 29, 2013

Roxy’s Story
V.C. Andrews
Pocket, Sep 24 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9781451650884

In New York City, when compliant Emmie Wilcox was six years old, her martinet Papa excommunicated her rebellious teenage sister Roxy for breaking his rigid rules; his daughter was arrested three times and numerous complaints from other parents and problems at school including stealing. Over the next few years, Papa cleansed any evidence that he had an older daughter and raged whenever her French Mama mentioned the forbidden name.

At a bookstore, she “sorta” takes a book and gives it to a stranger, Columbia student Steve Carson who seemed to want it but obviously lacked the funds; their relationship fails though he is no longer a virgin as he panics over her being under eighteen but gave her confidence that she can pick up men (and boys). When she meets Robert “Mr. Bob” Diamont, he takes her to Mrs. Brittany, who mentors her in the lucrative world of upper class escorts. Over the next decade, Roxy satisfies the needs of the most affluent elitists until she learns her parents are dead and she is guardian to her teenage sister.

The latest Forbidden family drama is more a companion filler to Forbidden Sister, but lacks the profound relationship dynamics of the previous tale (between the siblings; parents ignored). The storyline focuses on the life of an upscale Manhattan escort while the reason Papa tossed his oldest out and why Mama chose death by cancer over treatment are glossed over.

Harriet Klausner

Search The Dark-Marta Perry

September 28, 2013

Search The Dark
Marta Perry
Harlequin HQN, Sep 24 2013, $7.99
ISBN 9780373777860

When Widow Rachel Mason, accompanied by her daughter, came home to Deer Run (see Home by Dark), she and her childhood BFF Meredith King reminisce about how much they loved Amish kid Aaron Mast who drowned at Parson’s Dam two decades ago. They began looking back at that summer leading to the conclusion that Aaron probably committed suicide. Meredith’s Amish cousin Sarah needs the truth so pleads with her to investigate the cold case. Though she wonders what an accountant is supposed to find that the cops did not, Meredith agrees to look deeper into what happened.

As a high school senior Zach Randal fled Deer Run when his girlfriend Meredith’s mom accused him of being a thief; Meredith refused to go with him. Now he is police detective back in town deciding what to do with the house he inherited from his stepmom. When Zach and Meredith meet for the first time since he went into exile, each realizes the attraction between them remains strong. He also gives her suggestions on how to conduct her inquiry while her ailing mom tells her to stay away from that bad boy. As she receives warnings to drop her inquiry, a related murder occurs.

The second Watcher in the Dark is a taut second chance at love romantic suspense. The heroine remains in town to care for her ungrateful mother, but also displays her courage when she ignores her mom’s rants re their Amish relatives and Zach while continuing her investigation in spite of threats and a homicide. As with Home By Dark, the family and romance subplots support the suspense as the danger remains the prime focus in this tense twisting thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Getting Rowdy-Lori Foster

September 28, 2013

Getting Rowdy
Lori Foster
Harlequin HQN, Sep 24 2013, $7.99
ISBN 9780373777792

Getting Rowdy bar owner Rowdy Yates turned a dive into a fresh upscale establishment. He gives a lot of credit to the dramatic turn around to former bar girl turned chief bartender Avery Mullins. Both also are attracted to each other, but Avery rejects a relationship between them using her refusal to become an employer-employee scratch on his bedpost as her rationale.

Rowdy sees the desire in her eyes and needs to know why she refuses to act on her feelings while also wondering why she keeps looking over her shoulder. Rowdy will soon learn the truth of all her why’s when Avery’s abusive ex arrives in town with demands.

The third Love Undercover romantic suspense (see Run the Risk and Bare It All) is an exhilarating fast-paced thriller that grips the audience even before the villains make their initial appearance from the way Avery always looks back. Readers will appreciate the in heat lead couple “Getting Rowdy with Avery” while the unwelcome visitors add tension to a fabulous contemporary.

Harriet Klausner

Getting Rowdy-Lori Foster

September 28, 2013

Getting Rowdy
Lori Foster
Harlequin HQN, Sep 24 2013, $7.99
ISBN 9780373777792

Getting Rowdy bar owner Rowdy Yates turned a dive into a fresh upscale establishment. He gives a lot of credit to the dramatic turn around to former bar girl turned chief bartender Avery Mullins. Both also are attracted to each other, but Avery rejects a relationship between them using her refusal to become an employer-employee scratch on his bedpost as her rationale.

Rowdy sees the desire in her eyes and needs to know why she refuses to act on her feelings while also wondering why she keeps looking over her shoulder. Rowdy will soon learn the truth of all her why’s when Avery’s abusive ex arrives in town with demands.

The third Love Undercover romantic suspense (see Run the Risk and Bare It All) is an exhilarating fast-paced thriller that grips the audience even before the villains make their initial appearance from the way Avery always looks back. Readers will appreciate the in heat lead couple “Getting Rowdy with Avery” while the unwelcome visitors add tension to a fabulous contemporary.

Harriet Klausner

So Tough to Tame-Victoria Dahl

September 28, 2013

So Tough to Tame
Victoria Dahl
Harlequin HQN, Sep 24 2013, $7.99
ISBN 9780373777891

The scandal in Nevada cost Charlotte “Charlie” Allington her job and forced her return home to Jackson, Wyoming. Still humiliated by what happened and treated with contempt by her family (except for cousin Nate) and her new employer, Charlie vows to insure there is nothing else for others to gossip about her.

However, good intentions end when she meets cowboy Walker Pearce for the first time since she was his high school tutor. Charlie wants him and he feels the same way about her. As they begin a heated tryst, each falls in love but both have doubts that they are worthy of the other. Then a scandal occurs with her in the crosshairs.

So Tough to Tame is an enjoyable heated romance starring two flawed individuals. Charlie has the Nevada scandal haunting her as what happened in Vegas did not stay in Vegas and Walker hides his dyslexia that makes him feel inadequate especially with brilliant Charlie. Although the relationship seems underdeveloped (outside the boudoir) readers will enjoy the brain and the dropout falling in love.

Harriet Klausner