Archive for the ‘Category Romance’ Category

The Bodyguard-Lena Diaz

April 16, 2014

The Bodyguard
Lena Diaz
Harlequin Intrigue, Apr 15 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373697632

Suffering physical and mental spousal abuse from the moment she married financier Richard Ashton III, Caroline plans to flee her cruel husband who throughout Georgia has been anointed a saint and her pathetically needy. Fearing Richard’s reaction and knowing he uses Stellar Security, Caroline hires rival firm Savannah-based Dawson’s Personal Security Services owner Luke Dawson as her bodyguard when she runs away.

When Caroline and Luke arrive at the safe cottage she leased, they find Richard’s murdered corpse there. Chatham County Police Detective Cornell considers the victim’s siblings Daniel and Grant as persons of interest, but his main focus is on the wife who discovered the body and her bodyguard. Luke believes in his heart his client is innocent especially when someone makes several attempts to kill Caroline. He vows to keep her safe from her unknown lethal adversary while also investigating the identity of her attacker who he assumes killed Richard and soon afterward others.

The Bodyguard is an exciting action-packed thriller in which keeping the heroine safe and uncovering who the deadly enemy is supersedes the frequently used romantic premise of love between a bodyguard and a client. Filled with red herrings and several surprising twists, readers will enjoy Lena Diaz’s strong intrigue.

Harriet Klausner

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For The Right Reasons-Kara Lenox

April 9, 2014

For The Right Reasons
Kara Lenox
Harlequin SuperRomance, Apr 1 2014, $6.75
ISBN: 9780373608409

Knowing her ex-boyfriend Kelly Ralston is innocent of the rape and attempted murder conviction he received seven years ago, Dr. Bree Johnson asks Project Justice to take on his case. Project Justice Attorney Eric Riggs knows firsthand how violent and feral Ralston is after they spent time incarcerated in the same Huntsville cellblock (see In This Together) and the psychopath threatened to slice up his six year old daughter MacKenzie. In a team meeting headed by CEO Daniel Logan, Eric claims Ralston is a monster who tried to kill him, bragged about murdering others and raped the victim Philomene Switzer who testified against him. Logan accepts Eric’s claim and deep-sixes this case unaware his new employee lied to them.

Eric explains to Bree why they decided to refuse to work the Ralston appeal. She turns livid as she insists the gentle Ralston would not do this. Accompanied by his daughter, Eric meets Bree at a restaurant but Philomene, expected to join them to tell him she wants to recant her testimony, fails to arrive. Soon they learn she is dead. Feeling guilt Eric vows to protect the two females he loves from an unknown adversary targeting them.

The latest Project Justice romantic suspense (see One Night Alibi) is a fabulous tale due to the contrasting yet deftly interwoven subplots as the romance and the viable threat hook the audience. MacKenzie is a terrific child who suffers from loss but cannot hide her feelings (her reaction to meeting a doctor is priceless); thus she enhances the lead couple’s changing relationship. Readers will appreciate this enjoyable contemporary.

Harriet Klausner

The Soldier’s Promise-Patricia Potter

April 8, 2014

The Soldier’s Promise
Patricia Potter
Harlequin SuperRomance, Apr 1 2014, $6.75
ISBN: 9780373608416

The Taliban ambushed the Ranger unit leaving Dave Hannity dead from a bomb blast. Dave leaves behind his cabin in Covenant Falls, Colorado to his BFF Josh Manning, who survived the deadly attack but suffers from severe PTSD. Accompanied by his fallen comrade’s retired bomb detecting K9 Amos who the veterinarians at Daniel E. Holland Military Working Dogs Hospital diagnosed with PTSD also, Josh heads to Dave’s cabin with plans to renovate and sell.

Covenant Falls Herald columnist Marilyn Evans complains to Mayor Eve Douglas about the stranger in the Hannity cabin while rumors abound about the man and his unleashed big dog. Eve visits Josh at the rundown cabin. He marvels that she is not afraid of him like yesterday’s visitor, but also dislikes he cannot intimidate her. Later Deputy Sam accosts Josh over a robbery that occurred yesterday. Attracted to one another from that first meeting, the mayor and the reclusive veteran fall in love; while he also enjoys time with her Little League aged son Nick and their menagerie, as Josh recognizes this crew brings Amos back to life.

The Soldier’s Promise is a delightful family drama filled with romance, a cold case drowning, suspense and PTSD. Insight into the real issue of canine PTSD brings freshness as Amos never received closure since he was not on the mission in which his beloved handler died. Readers will appreciate Patricia Potter’s engaging contemporary.

Harriet Klausner

Deadly Liaisons-Elle James

April 2, 2014

Deadly Liaisons
Elle James
Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Apr 1 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373278671

In Cape Churn, Oregon, Molly McGregor owns and operates McGregor’s Bed and Breakfast where several strange deaths occurred over the years and rumors abound of ghosts residing there. Staying at the B&B are several Feds who prevented a potentially deadly terrorist assault (see Deadly Engagement). One of them Casanova Valdez and Molly are attracted to one another.

Someone tampers with the brakes of a car driven by Nova, but he and operative Tazer survive though she broke her nails. Molly and Nova share a wonderful night, but soon afterward she is hurt in an odd accident. Nova insists on staying with Molly especially as more and increasingly dangerous events occur as the rest of the team head home. As they fall in love, Nova vows to take down the vile thug targeting his woman before the pair becomes part of the deadly legend of McGregor Manor.

Returning to the picturesque (except in fog) Oregon coast (see Deadly Reckoning), Elle James provides another wonderful romantic suspense with hints of ghostly happenings. The lead couple is a wonderful pairing of a local innkeeper and a Stealth Operations Specialist while the villain (spirit as the heroine thinks or human as the hero believes) lurks nearby.

In A Cowboy’s Arms-Rebecca Winters

April 1, 2014

In A Cowboy’s Arms
Rebecca Winters
Harlequin American Romance, Apr 1 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373755158

Eight years ago, Sadie Corkin fled from her father Daniel’s Farfields Ranch in Montana when she was eighteen out of fear for the safety of her beloved Jarod Bannock; as she believed her violent alcoholic dad when he swore to kill her fiancé. She never told the love of her life why she left town abruptly though he assumed her monstrous father was the prime cause. Sadie moved in with her mom Eileen in San Francisco and obtained a job working at Tim Lawson’s software store. Eileen and Tim fell in love, but he died in an accident and she giving birth to their child, now two year old Ryan raised by his half-sister.

With Daniel’s death from liver failure, Sadie, accompanied by Tim’s younger brother Zane and Ryan, returns to the family Montana spread to make decisions about her late father’s estate. Upon seeing her, Jarod knows he still feels anger-fueled betrayal by the woman he cherished and to his chagrin still loves.

The first Hitting Rocks Cowboys romance is a delightful second chance at love tale due to a strong support cast who bring out the best in the protagonists and in Big Sky country. Although there is exciting unnecessary suspense that feels somewhat a subgenre requirement, readers will root for the deserving lead couple to find happiness together and look forward to future series entries.

Harriet Klausner

One Night With The Boss-Teresa Southwick

March 22, 2014

One Night With The Boss
Teresa Southwick
Harlequin Special Edition, Mar 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373658084

In Blackwater Lake, Montana Olivia Lawson has been an office assistant for five years to her childhood friend internet guru Brady O’Keefe. After years of unrequited love for her employer that goes back to when she was fifteen, Olivia hands in her resignation once again; he rejects her quitting as he explains this is déjà vu, insists the firm needs her, and finally says nothing has changed in her life. She looks right at him as she lies when indignant Olivia tells Brady she has fallen in love and will leave town with her new boyfriend Leonard.

As Brady interviews replacement candidates lined up by Liv, he schemes to keep her in his office especially after he realizes how much he would miss her sarcasm and that her HEA does not exist. For the cause, Brady begins to court His Girl Friday, but fails to understand how much he loves his Liv after years of subsetting her to his business only category until her two declarations of Leonard and later love left him jealous and speechless, and drove her diagonally across the country.

The latest Bachelors of Blackwater Lake Big Sky Country romance (see Finding Family … And Forever?) is a warm fun tale made fresh by Brady, who hurt by love as a child compartmentalizes everyone to avoid emotional attachments. Readers will enjoy the changing relationship between the protagonists; as one word Leonard nukes Brady’s uninvolved life programming.

Harriet Klausner

Flirting With The Forbidden-Joss Wood

March 20, 2014

Flirting With The Forbidden
Joss Wood
Harlequin Kiss, Mar 18 2014, $5.99
ISBN: 9780373178964

CFT Corporation bodyguard Noah Fraser struggles with his desiring the nineteen years old Principal, diamonds heiress Morgan Moreau who he protects from a low-level kidnapping threat. Her flirting tempts him as she tries to break his façade of indifference. While he can control with his lower head’s lust; his upper head struggles with an unending focus on her luscious body until she offers her virginity as she wants him and only him; though hot and bothered he angrily walks away from Morgan totally misunderstanding her attraction to him and only him.

Eight years later, Morgan needs protection again. Although he knows he plays with fire as his fantasy remains a naked Morgan, Noah insists he guard the “Duchess”; as he must risk “blue balls” to keep her safe. Encouraged by her friend Riley to go after Mr. Panties’ Melt and not let him sink her already low self-esteem as he did the last time, Morgan vows to pursue her seemingly emotionless “Soldier.”

This is a fun second chance romance due to two wonderful leads with each having problems that make their relationship shaky; as she feels she is an inadequate dumb blonde due to dyslexia and he believes running amuck feelings cause mental errors so they need to be controlled. Enhanced by strong secondary characters especially their families and Ri, readers will enjoy the heat emitted by the Duchess and the Soldier.

Harriet Klausner

One Night With her Ex-Lucy King

March 20, 2014

One Night With her Ex
Lucy King
Harlequin Kiss, Mar 18 2014, $5.99
ISBN: 9780373178957

Five years ago, Kit Buchanan cheated on his then wife Lily Montgomery. They divorced, but filled with guilt and missing his beloved, Kit became impotent as no woman could replace his Lily. On their anniversary, Kit resolves to win back Lily beginning with regaining her trust. When her sister Zoe tells her she is engaged to Dan, Lily is depressed rather than happy, which in turn leads to guilt.

On another lonely New Year’s Eve, Lily decides to have a tryst with her single next door neighbor. Kit proves he can perform when it comes to making love with Lily when she visits him for One Night With The Ex. However, Kit knows he must earn her trust if they are to have a chance together as love is not enough to cement a permanent relationship.

Lucy King provides a wonderful second chance at love romance starring two wonderful protagonists struggling to overcome trust and cheating issues as neither communicates with the other. Although a lack of insight into what happened to this couple (besides his cheating) when they were married detracts from the engaging storyline, fans will enjoy the hesitant courtship between Kit and Lily as each wants a different happily ever after ending.

Harriet Klausner

A Seal’s Kiss-Tawny Weber

March 19, 2014

A Seal’s Kiss
Tawny Weber
Harlequin Blaze, Mar 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373797950

Sage Taylor returns home to Villa Rosa, California. However, her friends trying to be nice want to set her up on blind dates. Deciding the only way to be left alone is to make up an engagement. Knowing no one in town can contact at sea SEAL Chief Petty Officer Aiden Masters, Sage claims to be his fiancée. Her ailing father the Professor is especially ecstatic with the news of her engagement to the lad he took into his home years ago.

For no reason he can explain even to himself, Aiden heads from Coronado to Villa Rosa while on leave. When he learns what impulsive flighty Sage claimed, thoughtful serious-minded Aiden supports her white lie because he would do anything for the Professor who took him in after the Twin Towers tragedy left him a troubled teenage orphan. While undercover, neither of the engaged couple anticipated falling for the dreaded opposites attract syndrome.

This Uniformly Hot! romance is a fun tale as the lead couple learns Walter Scott’s admonition (see Marmion): “Oh, what a tangled web we weave…when first we practice to deceive.” Though a frequently used premise, Tawny Weber refreshes her character-driven storyline with an engaging secondary cast led by the Professor encouraging the polar opposites to embrace not run from love.

Harriet Klausner

Breakaway-Nancy Warren

March 19, 2014

Breakaway
Nancy Warren
Harlequin Blaze, Mar 18 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373797974

In Oregon, billionaire Max Varo tells his two best friends, Adam Shawnigan (see Final Score) and Dylan Cross, that he may buy Polar Air, a small firm based in Spruce Bay, Alaska as he sees great potential. After the kayaking trip ends, Max returns to his Varo Enterprises office in Hunter, Washington to discuss the Polar Air deal with employee Leslie Adamson who says it should be no problem buying the firm but would like to know why a successful regional airline has tanked over the last five years. Bored Max decides to learn the truth by obtaining a position as a pilot; since flying has always been his favorite past-time.

Max arrives for an interview only to watch Claire Lundstrom fire Frank Carmody for embezzling funds. Claire takes over the hiring process from Frank even as her grandmother, who co-founded the company, adores Max. While Frank reacts with vandalism, Max works for Claire. As the couple play hockey together, their attraction ignites. However, soon afterward a plane crash leaves the couple stranded in the wilderness with only each other to rely on.

The second Last Bachelor Standing romance is an entertaining Alaskan contemporary as Claire rids Max of his ennui. Readers will relish the setting and root for the first line pair to score a couple of hat tricks by lovingly assisting one another. The one on one ice hockey challenge ending is a great unique finish to a wonderful tale.

Harriet Klausner