Archive for October, 2013

The Nanny’s Christmas Wish-Ami Weaver

October 30, 2013

The Nanny’s Christmas Wish
Ami Weaver
Harlequin Special Edition, Oct 22 2013, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373657803

Widower Dr. Josh Tanner feels guilty over the death of his wife Lucy as they parted in anger just before she died; his in-laws remind him of his culpability while his mom believes otherwise. Josh hires ex-teacher Maggie Thelan as his son Cody’s live-in nanny. Maggie concealed from her employer that she is Cody’s aunt as she recently learned that Lucy was her half-sister; and she coveted the position so she could get close to her nephew without revealing long kept family secrets.

As Christmas nears, Josh and Maggie struggle with growing feelings of desire; with both adhering to the tacit agreement of no romance especially since Josh, who cannot move on past his mom’s death, comes first. Soon Maggie knows she loves father and son, but fears the truth will not set her mind free but only break her heart.

The Nanny’s Christmas Wish is a warm holiday romance as the adult protagonists push love away out of fear of rejection as much as concern for the hurting youngster. Cody is a delightful child struggling with the death of his mom and ultimately transfering his feelings to the kind nanny. The tertiary characters add depth to a wonderful Yuletide tale.

Harriet Klausner

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When The Marquess Met His Match-Laura Lee Guhrke

October 30, 2013

When The Marquess Met His Match
Laura Lee Guhrke
Avon, Oct 29 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9780062118172

American heiress Belinda was seventeen when she fell in love with the Earl of Featherstone and thought he reciprocated her regard. However, once they married, the naive Buckeye learned the truth that suave Charles wed her for her money. Heartbroken by her husband’s disregard of her, but now free since Charles died, Lady Belinda Featherstone makes it her mission in life to protect innocents like she was from these rakes.

Owing eighteen year old Rosalee Harlowe’s mother a debt of gratitude, Belinda tries to persuade her “niece” to marry a caring steady person not an exciting thrill-seeking rake. A friend of her brother-in-law, roguish Marquess Nicholas Stirling, cut off by his father, visits Belinda the matchmaker to hire her to find him a wealthy bride among her American mentees. Belinda agrees to find him a most unsuitable bride, who will destroy his already sordid scandalous reputation. When they kiss, each reconsiders what they want with Nicholas knowing he must persuade his beloved that he is no Charles.

This American Heiress in London romance is an entertaining historical as love complicates the arrangement between the matchmaker and the marques. Although Nicholas’ daddy dearest father is a stereotypical control freak with no redeeming values and the storyline goes as expected, readers will enjoy this lighthearted amusing frolic.

Harriet Klausner

Devilishly Wicked-Kathy Love

October 29, 2013

Devilishly Wicked
Kathy Love
Kensington Brava, Oct 29 2013, $9.95
ISBN: 9780758265890

Demon of lust Tristan McIntyre becomes editor-in-chief of fashion magazine Hot! replacing Finola White the devilishly Diva of the damned. Tristan exiles his predecessor to the mailroom; ordering her to identify undercover demon slayers allegedly working inside the organization.

Tristan is upset with himself because he is attracted to his artless human assistant Georgia Sullivan instead of focusing on the fashion magazine and sending souls to Hell. He flirts outrageous with Georgia; but though she is attracted to her Devilishly Wicked boss, she knows her overly ample curves look too abundantly fat next to the perfect size two models Tristan can have whenever he lusts for it.

The latest Devilishly heated romantic urban fantasy (see Devilishly Hot and Devilishly Sexy) is a fun lighthearted tale due to the pairing of opposites, a sophisticated sexy demon and an ultra-naive human. Although Tristan’s transformation from wicked soul dispatcher to born again human lover never feels right as he ignored his hellish mission, readers will appreciate this amusing tale.

Harriet Klausner

Candlelight Christmas-Susan Wiggs

October 29, 2013

Candlelight Christmas
Susan Wiggs
Mira, Oct 29 2013, $16.95
ISBN 9780778314745

In Avalon, New York, sports marketing executive Darcy Fitzgerald fails to move on from divorcing cheating Huntley Collins as she always has an in your face reminder of her failed marriage since her sister and his brother are married. As Christmas comes to the area, divorced dad Logan O’Donnell misses his son Charlie who lives with his mom far away except for summers in the Catskills with him.

Darcy and Logan meet through his Long Island sister India, in the area to pick up her twins from camp, being her friend. However, their respective attitude towards a relationship is polar different. He dreams of remarrying with children and she rejects relationship permanency and ergo no children. As summer passes into fall and then winter, Logan embraces their attraction, Darcy flees from it.

The latest Lakeshore Chronicles contemporary romance (see Return to Willow Lake and Marrying Daisy Bellamy) is a warm holiday drama that readers will relish due to the leisurely paced changes to the lead couple’s behavior towards each other; especially Darcy. The audience will enjoy Christmas in the Catskills as love brightens the lights more than when the area was renowned as the Borscht Belt.

Harriet Klausner

Take Me Home For Christmas-Brenda Novak

October 28, 2013

Take Me Home For Christmas
Brenda Novak
Mira, Oct 29 2013, $7.99
ISBN 9780778315469

On the Legacy yacht off the coast of Rio, Sophia DeBussi’s affluent investment banker husband Skip is missing as she prays her abusive spouse never returns. The FBI informs her that Skip died faking his death rather than face ruin and criminal charges from an investigation of his firm’s illegal business practices.

Known as the “Mean Girl” by her hometown residents penniless Sophia and her daughter Lexi return to Whiskey Creek, California. She has no prospects and everyone who trusted her late spouse with their money transfers their rage to her since their real target is not available for their wrath. Still irate at her for breaking his heart when they were high school sweethearts as Sophia chose money over love, author Ted Dixon hires her as his housekeeper. His anger turns inward when Ted knows he still loves Sophia.

The latest Whiskey Creek romance (see Home to Whiskey Creek) is an entertaining second chance at love romance. The protagonists are fully developed and Lexi terrific as she deals with a series of traumas realistically especially her vicious father’s death. Although the town without pity seems over the top of Mt. Whitney with their nasty actions towards the DeBussi mother and daughter, readers will enjoy Sophia’s coming home for Christmas.

Harriet Klausner

Upon A Winter’s Night-Karen Harper

October 28, 2013

Upon A Winter’s Night
Karen Harper
Mira, Oct 29 2013, $7.99
ISBN 9780778314721

In Home Valley, Ohio, Josh Yoder employs Lydia Brand to care for his menagerie. She searches for missing Melly the eight-foot tale female camel when a snow storm hits. Before she can head back, Lydia finds the frozen corpse of an older Englishe she does not recognize. Sheriff Freeman identifies the victim as Victoria Keller, the reclusive spinster older sister of Senator Bess Stark.

Lydia is attracted to her boss who worked at the Columbus Zoo before returning to his Amish roots. She also obsesses over who her biological parents were though her adopted parents obviously love her. When a second dead woman is found and vandalism occurs, someone makes it clear to all that the truth will set no one free except in death.

The latest Home Valley Amish romance (see Finding Mercy and Fall From Pride) is an engaging suspense. The heroine must choose between honoring those who love and cherish her including accepting their chosen suitor Gid and a compulsion to find her roots and pick her own come calling friend preferably Josh. Though the murder motive seems weak, the fascinating clash of cultures is deep as fans will enjoy visiting the Amish in the Buckeye State.

Harriet Klausner

If You Were Mine-Bella Andre

October 28, 2013

If You Were Mine
Bella Andre
Mira, Oct 29 2013, $7.99
ISBN 9780778315605

Racecar driver and dealership owner Zach Sullivan easily says no to his brother Gabe (see Can’t Help Falling In Love), but refusing his preadolescent niece Summer is something he cannot do. When she insists her Uncle Zach watch Cuddles, her Yorkie, while she and her parents are in Europe, he reluctantly agrees

Zach soon realizes he is out of his element dealing with the three-pound terrorist who destroys his shoes and other items. He needs professional help; so asks dog trainer Heather Linsey to assist him with the hyperactive fluff ball. Heather’s 200-pound Great Dane Atlas and Cuddles become BFFs while Heather and Zach begin to fall love; albeit at a much slower pace than the canines because the dogs don’t have human trust issues.

The fifth Sullivan siblings’ romance (see I Only Have Eyes for You) is a wonderful contemporary, which affirms the W.C. Fields’ wry comment “never work with animals or children” as first Summer and then the dogs steal the show from adults. With the extended Sullivan brood making appearances, fans will enjoy this amusing sweet entry.

Harriet Klausner

Secret Santa-Fern Michaels, Marie Bostwick, Laura Levine and Cindy Myers

October 27, 2013

Secret Santa
Fern Michaels, Marie Bostwick, Laura Levine and Cindy Myers
Zebra, Oct 29 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9781420121452

“Mister Christmas” by Fern Michaels. Instead of Christmas in Colorado with her brother, lawyer Claire O‘Brien visits her ailing client Donald Flynn in Ireland to change his will; but his nephew Quinn Conner objects.

“The Yellow Rose of Christmas” by Marie Bostwick. In Too Much, Texas middle age Velvet Tudmore gave up on love until a secret admirer surfaces with yellow roses and more, and with a promise to come out in the open at the annual Christmas ball.

“Nightmare on Elf Street” by Laura Levine. In elf attire for a mall gig, Jaine Austen (see Death of a Neighborhood Witch) tries to get a picture of her cat Prozac and deal with a bah humbug Santa who ends up murdered with her as the only suspect.

“Room at the Inn” by Cindy Myers. In Colorado, a blizzard forces Barbara and Jimmy Stanowski and others drivers to seek shelter in a nearby cabin where he tells her that he quit his secure job to start a business with his dreamer friend.

Though the genres differ, these are four delightful holiday tales.

Harriet Klausner

Driving Her Wild-Meg Maguire

October 26, 2013

Driving Her Wild
Meg Maguire
Harlequin Blaze, October 22 2013, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373797776

Retired from the Mixed Martial Arts ring, former fighter Steph Healy becomes a trainer at Wilinski Fight Academy in Boston. Hanging around and working out with jocks for over twenty years, Steph vows to date white collar men only as she wants someone with money after two decades struggling in the sport without.

Wilinski Fight Academy hires carpenter-electrician Patrick Doherty. He and Steph are attracted to each other, but she refuses to act on her feelings as he is blue collar. Still Patrick knows what he wants is Steph. As they fuss and fight (for real) they fall in love, but she needs monetary security and he comes with a monster financial burden.

The newest Wilinski Fight Academy MMA romance (see Making Him Sweat and Taking Him Down) is a fun heated contemporary starring two protagonists struggling between love and money. Fans will enjoy the thrilling third round bout between the trainer and the electrician.

Harriet Klausner

Her Last Best Fling-Candace Havens

October 26, 2013

Her Last Best Fling
Candace Havens
Harlequin Blaze, October 22 2013, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373797783

After four tours in theater and an injured leg, Marine Lieutenant Blake Michaels returns home to Tranquil Waters, Texas to heal. As he heads to a gala in his honor, due to the antics of her Great Dane Harley soaking her, Blake and “Yankee Girl” Macy Reynolds meet. Inheriting her late uncle’s mansion and local newspaper Tranquil Waters News, the reporter fled Boston after catching her lover-employer with the intern.

Though she tries to fit in, the insular community makes her feel like a fish out of Tranquil Waters. Meanwhile Blake and Macy begin seeing each other and soon fall in love. However, a once in a lifetime opportunity arrives for Macy in which she must make some difficult decisions.

Her Last Best Fling is a wonderful contemporary romance though the storyline follows a very predictable path with the protagonists having issues to overcome. Harley with his always in trouble escapades and Amanda the receptionist with her amusing zingers in spite of her worry over her mom’s illness steal the show from the leads.

Harriet Klausner