Archive for February, 2014

Fortune & Fame-Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley

February 28, 2014

Fortune & Fame
Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley
Touchstone, Feb 25 2014, $15.00
ISBN: 9781476747170

OWN TV casts Rachel, Jasmine, Mary and Natasha as the stars of a new reality show First Ladies. Rachel and Jasmine are frenemies; while the former and Mary are 200 proof enemies; and likewise the latter with Natasha.

Unlike her rivalry with Jasmine re being the First Lady of the American Baptist Coalition (see Sinners & Saints), Rachel focuses on kicking off the show born again Mary, the biological mother of her son and ex-convict married to an ambition un-godly preacher. Jasmine concentrates on getting rid of her husband’s ex-fiancée Natasha, who plans to win back her Reverend Hosea.

The latest collaboration feels like a wrestling battle royal as readers wonder who will be the last woman standing. Seeking Fortune & Fame, the four fierce frantic females make for a fun tale as Victoria Christopher Murray and ReShonda Tate Billingsley once again provide an entertaining over the top of a church steeple romp that spins one hell of a reality TV show.

Harriet Klausner

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Close Pursuit-Cindy Dees

February 28, 2014

Close Pursuit
Cindy Dees
Harlequin HQN, Feb 25 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373778485

Kindergarten teacher Katie McCloud joins Doctors Unlimited as a translator in a war torn Karshan village. She will assist brilliant Dr. Alex Peters as he provides medical help to pregnant women. Both understand the danger if caught as he will be tortured and killed, and she will suffer worse. When they run into peril, Alex, showing skills a geek should not possess, gets them to safely while she carries a newborn.

Back in the States, Alex the mathematician calculates the odds of a bad luck assault on them leading him to a hypothesis that most likely Katie was the target or worse. Filled with distrust and believing in the theory of keeping your enemies nearby, Alex hangs around Katie until they fall in love. Meanwhile the illusion of safety in American ends when adversaries attack Katie and Alex who vows to keep his woman safe.

Close Pursuit is a taut romantic suspense with a terrific twisting climax. War torn Karshan comes across as genuine with little anchors like the endangered pregnant woman demanding the teacher rather than the physician perform a life-saving C-section. Readers will relish the enigmatic Alex and the spunky kindergarten teacher as they fall in love while battling to survive in Karshan and the USA against mercenaries.

Harriet Klausner

Atonement- B.J. Daniels

February 28, 2014

Atonement
B.J. Daniels
Harlequin HQN, Feb 25 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373778461

In Beartooth, Montana, eight months pregnant Tessa Winters arrives at the Lawson ranch angrily calling the wrangler Ethan. Sweetgrass County Undersheriff Dillon Lawson explains to the fuming female that his identical twin Ethan died one year ago in a fiery car accident in Arizona. Holding a gun Tessa tells Dillon she is carrying Ethan’s baby and wants back the money he conned from her. Dillon calmly tells her neither Ethan nor he is the father.

Dillon muses whether Tessa is conning him or could his felonious sibling be alive. He decides to go with his gut that his twin survived the crash and persuades Tessa to help him investigate. As they work together, Dillon and Tessa fall in love while he keeps her safe from a killing predator. Although her companion acts the complete opposite of his swindling sibling with his gentle caring of her newborn daughter and his horse, she fears he may be pulling a ruse

The fourth Beartooth Mountains thriller (see Unforgiven, Forsaken and Redemption) is an engaging Big Sky romantic suspense. The overarching premise of Sweetgrass County being the murder capital of the world moves forward somewhat especially the Frank-Nettie-Pam triangle. However, Atonement’s focus is on the intriguing new triangle as the lead couple seeks the truth re his late brother the seemingly impossible father of her baby.

Harriet Klausner

Hidden Agendas-Lora Leigh

February 26, 2014

Hidden Agendas
Lora Leigh
St. Martin’s Griffin, Mar 4 2014, $14.99
ISBN: 9781250036711

The deadly Fuentes cartel has a reputation for ruthlessness to maintain. Thus Diego Fuentes knows he must not look soft as the daughter of a US senator, Emily Stanton, escaped from his compound with the help of Navy SEALs especially Kell Kreiger. He needs to find an insider he can either blackmail or buy.

Kell and his team know the current mission is to bring down Diego. However, babysitting is a difficult assignment when the person is spirited Emily, who he is attracted to just like she is to him. Emily refuses to allow A-holes like Diego to destroy her life so goes about as if no one is after her although she gladly accepts the protection of Kell as she knows her feelings for him is much deeper than gratitude for saving her life.

Readers will appreciate this this reprint of a strong romantic suspense that continues Lora Leigh’s homage to the military (see NAUGHTI BOY) especially the Tempting SEALs (see DANGEROUS GAMES). The story line is action-packed as Kell concludes that to keep Emily safe he must trust no one since someone betrayed them. Readers will enjoy the exploits of the lead couple who struggle to survive treachery of a friend, but cannot worry about who as Diego is coming.

Harriet Klausner

The Warrior’s Bride-Amanda Scott

February 26, 2014

The Warrior’s Bride
Amanda Scott
Forever, Feb 25 2014, $8.00
ISBN 9781455514380

In 1426 impulsive Lady Muriella MacFarlan is known to leap without looking. Her narrating of tales often gets her in trouble but that does not stop her as she wants to become the clan’s seanachie storyteller.

Her propensity for trouble leaves Muriella held captive by clan enemy Dougal MacPharlain for trespassing on his family’s land. Muriella’s worried father Andrew asks the Baron of Ardincaple heir Robert MacAulay to rescue his daughter. He agrees as he has business with Dougal’s father. When he arrives at the MacPharlain clan, Rob finds Muriella undergoing a trial in which her accuser insists her penalty is marrying him. Muriella shakes up Dougal and shocks Robert when she claims to be MacAulay’s wife. By failing to deny her assertion, under Scottish law they are married; a relationship neither wants ever since she learned he rejected her father’s offer of her as his wife. However, soon both newlyweds want to make their arrangement real.

The third Lairds of the Loch medieval Scottish romance (see The Laird’s Choice and The Knight’s Temptress) is an engaging tale made fresh by the foolish, eccentric and entertaining behavior of the unique heroine. Muriella’s out of control antics turn the overused historical rescue romance into a brisk affair in which her warrior mate can barely keep up with her one of a kind pace.

Harriet Klausner

Texas Outlaws: Cole-Kimberly Raye

February 24, 2014

Texas Outlaws: Cole
Kimberly Raye
Harlequin Blaze, Feb 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373797929

The ladies of Lost Gun, Texas target Cole as the last eligible Chisholm now that women roped in his “outlaw” siblings Billy and Jesse. The townsfolk classify Nicole Barbie as a bad girl because the acorn falls near the tree; her mother, owner of the Giddyup honkytonk, has quite the reputation and Nikki does nothing to change their minds. Ironically, no one knows Nikki attends culinary training with plans to become a chef in Houston.

Her family intrudes on her goal while Nikki notices the good girls pounce on wary Cole. She suggests to him that they pretend to be a couple so each can focus on what they want. Chisholm accepts her relationship of convenience. Neither was prepared to fall in love.

The third Chisholm Texas Outlaws contemporary (see Billy and Jesse) is a wonderful romance between the not so bad girl and the not so good bronc rider. Although Nikki’s pretentious elitist attitude can be distracting, fans will enjoy this heated tale.

Harriet Klausner

Alone With You-Debra Rawlins

February 24, 2014

Alone With You
Debra Rawlins
Harlequin Blaze, Feb 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373797936

In Oklahoma City, eating her pride as a rebel without a cause, Alexis Worthington begs her ultraconservative controlling father Marshall for a job in the family’s billion-dollar company. Still angry with his daughter for defying him starting by not attending Harvard eight years ago, Marshall tells his daughter to prove she is a worthy Worthington. Her test is to sign up the final month’s rodeo cowboy for a calendar.

Bareback bronc riding champion Will Tanner knows his career is near the end and has doubts about renewing his contract that expires in ten days. Lexy tries to persuade the hunk to be a pinup, but he refuses. On the circuit drive to Houston, Will and Lexy fall in love, but he remains hesitant to be a monthly beefcake while she reconsiders her deal with her dad hoping for a better one with the cowboy she loves.

The Made in Montana romance series (see From This Moment On and No One Needs To Know) leaves the Big Sky ranching community for a fresh Texas road show. The lead couple is a delight and their changing relationship comes across as hot, tender and real; as readers and Will know he was her buttered toast by day three.

Harriet Klausner

Freedom Fries and Cafe Crème-Jocelyne Rapinac

February 23, 2014

Freedom Fries and Cafe Crème
Jocelyne Rapinac
Gallic Books, Feb 11 2014, $15.95
http://www.gallicbooks.com
ISBN: 9781908313003

This is an enticing refreshing anthology (with many recipes included) in which attractive and appetizing food connects the twelve months of tales as the way to a person’s heart is with tasty healthy dining. Good health and life coach Armand and Liana meet at a New Year’s Eve party, but when she asks him out in January she has doubts as he informs her that his young daughter lives with him (any tale that mentions superbe acteur Monsieur Hulot is a winner). Every Valentine’s Day, Jessica and Anne-Sophie meet at the Zenith bar, but this year Mary-Whitney crashes their dining with demands they help in keeping her spouse away from the latter. In July, Brune and Pierre discuss “Breakfast for two.” As Christmas nears, Dominic tells his shrink he plans to sue Forty State Burger for making him obese; while the psychologist ponders about his patient’s blaming others for his unhealthy eating habits and also muses how patient Carla will deal with Armand and his daughter moving to Brooklyn to live with Liana. Bon appetite!

Harriet Klausner

Bridal Jeopardy-Rebecca York

February 23, 2014

Bridal Jeopardy
Rebecca York
Harlequin Intrigue, Feb 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373697519

Desperate to pay off his gambling debts any way he can, Henri Swift offers his daughter Stephanie to John Reynard as remittance. John accepts Stephanie as payment. Stephanie has doubts about marrying her suitor, but her dad pushes her to do so.

Bethesda-based private investigator Craig Branson works a personal murder cold case in New Orleans as he hunts those who ordered a kill that left his twin dead twenty-two years ago. His focus is on untouchable bigwig John Reynard while failing to understand why Stephanie Swift became the dirt’s fiancée. When Craig rescues Stephanie from an attempted abduction by thugs Buck Arnot and Wayne Channing, his mind and hers meet like the way his used to with his late brother Sam before the mob hit killed his sibling.

The latest Mindbenders romantic paranormal mystery is a fast-paced entry that brings series fans back to the Solomon Clinic. Although this tale can stand alone, newcomers should read the previous stories (see Sudden Attraction and Sudden Insight) to understand fully the genetics overarching premise. Fast-paced from the moment Craig saves Stephanie from the abduction, readers will appreciate this taut romantic suspense as it’s in the minds as much as the hearts.

Harriet Klausner

Rocky Mountain Rescue-Cindi Myers

February 23, 2014

Rocky Mountain Rescue
Cindi Myers
Harlequin Intrigue, Feb 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373697496

With the deaths of her brutal crime boss father-in-law Sam Giardino and her violent husband Sammy, Stacy thinks she and her three years old son Carlo are safe. However, ruthless Sam proves still dangerous from the grave due to his will that stipulates his immense estate placed in a trust for his grandson.

Other members of the Giardino family like his widow Willa and his other son Abel want control of the fortune; which means “raising” the heir. When Carlo is kidnapped before U.S. Marshal Patrick Thompson can relocate Stacy and her son in the Witness Protection Program, he vows to rescue the toddler. As the frantic mother and the Fed work the case together, neither trusts the other though the attraction is higher than the Rocky Mountains they traverse.

The sequel to Rocky Mountain Revenge is an exciting rescue thriller starring two strong characters dealing with trust issues as well as her lethal in-laws (especially fascinating Black Widow Willa who brings meaning to the mother-in-law from hell). Fast-paced with a powerful sense of foreboding in a pristine remote locale, readers will appreciate Cindi Myers’s suspenseful tale though Abel and other mobsters are underdeveloped stereotypes.

Harriet Klausner