Archive for March, 2013

Star Witness-Mallory Kane

March 27, 2013

Star Witness
Mallory Kane
Harlequin Intrigue, Mar 19 2013, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373696833

Law enforcement believes Hasty Mart convenient stores owner and importer Ernest Yeoman violently murdered Congressman Freeman Canto in order to prevent an increase tariff on imports and greater security at the Port of New Orleans. Freeman’s granddaughter Danielle Canto witnessed her grandfather’s homicide.

Prosecutor Harte Delancey is assigned keeping the attorney safe from Yeoman. As a hurricane bears down on the pair, each knows they are isolated from outside help. Danielle, whose storm phobia has paralyzed her in the past, finds with Harte at her side she can cope. As killers stalk the duet and trusting no one in law enforcement, the prosecutor’s office or even the US Senate and with his family out of reach, Harte and Danielle rely on themselves to survive the tsunami that targets them.

The latest Delancey Dynasty (see Private Security and Death if a Beauty Queen) is a great romantic suspense that showcases the consistently high quality novels by Mallory Kane. Fast-paced from the onset and never slowing down, readers will relish the perilous adventures of two wonderful heroes.

Harriet Klausner

Royal Rescue-Lisa Childs

March 27, 2013

Royal Rescue
Lisa Childs
Harlequin Intrigue, Mar 19 2013, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373696840

Over three years ago, Josie Jessup, heir to a media conglomerate, died. Pregnant she actually went into the Witness Protection Program after what she saw in Chicago to avoid her lover Brendan O’Hannigan, the son of a gangster. Now as a single mom JJ Brandt raising her son Charlie, she learns of the assault on her father Stanley.

With her U.S. Marshal handler Charlotte Green gone (see The Princess Predicament), Josie, knowing the risk and consulting with no one, visits her dad at the hospital. FBI Agent Brendan O’Hannigan is shocked to find her alive and that he sired a child. However, his American Princess is unaware that her father’s attack was a means to get her to come out of hiding. Only Brendan, whose peers and beloved distrust him, vows to keep her safe while concealing his full agendas from everyone; as he reciprocates their distrust.

The latest Royal Bodyguards (see Protecting the Pregnant Princess), Royal Rescue, is a fabulous twisting romantic suspense starring two protagonists who prove love is not enough to forge a passionate relationship. Action-packed from the moment the heroine steps out of the shadows, fans will appreciate Lisa Child’s terrific thriller.

Harriet Klausner

Crash Landing-Lori Wilde

March 25, 2013

Crash Landing
Lori Wilde
Harlequin Blaze, Mar 19 2013, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373797493

Working a business deal, affluent Gibb Martin is at Bosque de los Dioses in an isolated area of Costa Rica that can only be reached by bush plane as the nearest village to the resort Monteverde is twenty-five miles away. However, he stops his efforts near the volcanic mountain range Cordillera of Tilaran when his best friend and partner on the venture Scott Everly tells him he will not be involved in the Coast Rican enterprise because he is getting married in Key West.

Stunned, Gibb needs to reach Florida to prevent his buddy from doing something stupid. He hires local pilot Sophia Cruz to fly him immediately to Key West. Although she would prefer to tell Slick City Boy in his suit to pound volcanic ash, she needs the money so agrees to take him to the Keys. However, when they crash on a deserted island, he finds himself musing over the happiest times in his life (all before becoming a wealthy business mogul) and being with Sophia has moved to numero uno even as spider monkeys bomb them with fruits and orchid thieves invade their interlude.

The third Stop the Wedding! contemporary romance is a fun zany tale starring opposites (laidback mellow and hard charging obsessed) falling in love. Although the premise is identical to the previous entries, readers will enjoy the madcap by air effort to prevent the Birchard-Everly nuptials from happening after the by sea (see Smooth Sailing) and by land (see Night Driving) attempts.

Harriet Klausner

The Rule-Breaker-Rhonda Nelson

March 24, 2013

The Rule-Breaker
Rhonda Nelson
Harlequin Blaze, Mar 19 2013, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373797479

In Mosul, Army Ranger Micah Holland commits suicide after watching the enemy sends pregnant women with explosives strapped on them to enter a hospital. Captain Eli Weston watches his best friend die.

Eight months later, a still haunted Eli heads to Micah’s hometown of Willow Haven, Kentucky for a memorial service, he does not want to attend as he concealed the truth about how his buddy died. Still for Micah and his loved ones, Eli attends the dedication. Eli also fears seeing Micah’s former fiancé Shelby Monroe after they shared a kiss that never should have happened while also shaking their souls. Eli’s plan is to avoid Shelby as he has enough guilt from that kiss. However, Shelby knows the truth as to what happened to Micah in Iraq as someone else told her with accusatory letters blaming her for her ex killing himself.

This Uniformly Hot! military romance (see Letters from Home) focuses on the aftermath of a soldier taking his own life after witnessing inhumane horror; soldier and veteran suicides are major problems for society (not just the military). Character-driven with less heat than usual in a Blaze, readers will appreciate Rhonda Nelson’s strong look at honoring a fallen brother in arms by hiding the truth from his family.

Harriet Klausner

Shadow Of Freedom-David Weber

March 23, 2013

Shadow Of Freedom
David Weber
Baen, Mar 5 2013, $25.00
ISBN: 9781451638691

The Manticore’s fleet defeated the invincible armada of the Solarian League that had encroached into the Star Empire’s sector with plans with plans to seize the strategic wormholes. However, Tenth Fleet Commander Michelle Henke knows she and the rest of the military have no time to bash in the glory of a stunning victory, The Solarian Office of Frontier Security continues to cause havoc in the Talbott Quadrant especially along the frontier. While all types of warfare continue unabated, the threat to destroy Manticore and its allies remains stratospheric; as does the hostility with the Mesan Alignment. Manticore turns to former enemy People’s Republic of Haven as hopefully an ally.

At the same time, the Mobius Liberation Front informs Manticore that they have begun the liberation rebellion to overthrow the brutal reign of President Lombroso, but need the help from the Star Empire as previously negotiated and promised. No one in Manticore authority ever heard of the MLF so the assumption is the diabolical clever Mesan Alignment is using subterfuge to destroy the bonds between the Star Empire and the smaller under fire independents at a time the fleet cannot divert resources away from the fight against the Solarian League.

This is an engaging Honorverse science fiction thriller with a Cecil B Demille cast distracting from the exciting outer space naval encounters and fascinating political machinations; Henke (not Harrington) loosely is the nearest individual to being the prime player. The storyline also provides a different perspective from events told in A Rising Thunder and Mission of Honor so that the audience knows several key outcomes. Still Shadow Of Freedom is well written and shows the logistical problems of fighting a multi-front war.

Harriet Klausner

The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire

March 23, 2013

The Dark Heroine: Dinner with a Vampire
Abigail Gibbs
Morrow, Mar 5 2013. $14.99
ISBN: 9780062248732

Seventeen year old Violet Lee knows being alone at one in the morning in Trafalgar Square is not a smart move, but clubbing with her BFF Ruby felt wrong after Joel. Violet soon knows there is something worse than being alone at one in the morning in Trafalgar Square when over thirty males with sharpened canes and something else arrive. Prince Kasper Karn kills Claude Pierre, the leader of the thirty men; he and five other teens slaughter the rest of Clan Pierre’s hunters in a flash. Though in the shadows and at a distance beyond normal hearing, Kasper hears Violet whisper jerk; he takes her prisoner though he cannot fathom why he abducts this human Girly instead of either killing or ignoring her.

Kasper gives Girly a choice to either convert from Human to vampire or remain his guest indefinitely until they kill her as her kind can never go back. However complicating matters for His Highness is when he learns who her powerful father is; as murdering Violet is no longer an option if a cross-species war is to be avoided as her dad knows of the existence of his kind.

This is an exhilarating young adult paranormal romance in which the vampire brood is closer to Stoker’s vision than that of Meyer’s. Violet seems insensitive as her stomach never reacts to the blood and gore, and too strong as she never soils her panties upon learning what kidnapped her. Still readers will root for her to come out on top especially against the prince of abusive arrogance.

Harriet Klausner

Her Man In Manhattan

March 23, 2013

Her Man In Manhattan
Trish Wylie
Harlequin KISS, Mar 19 2013, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373207114

NYPD Vice Detective Tyler Brannigan leads the daughter of Mayor Kravitz, Miranda, out of a club being raided by the cops as the tabloids would have a field day with her arrest. He fulfills his duty when he kisses her to keep two of his peers from taking her to a cell.

Miranda knows she must behave especially since her dad is considering a run for governor, but rebels over constantly being in the fishbowl and having no time of her own. To his chagrin, Brannigan is assigned personal protection duty of the brat when he prefers investigating major crimes. Though attracted to the cop especially after the kiss that also shook his core; Miranda has plans to elude her jailer through seduction; while he will use cuffs if needed to keep her grounded though his thoughts have better uses.

Her Man In Manhattan is a fast-paced bodyguard romance starring seemingly two opposites though both share in common rule-breaking; an asset they will need if the pair is to make it. With a nod to the movies First Daughter and Chasing Liberty, readers will enjoy this contemporary although Miranda acts more like an out of control teen than an adult.

Harriet Klausner

Driving Her Crazy-

March 22, 2013

Driving Her Crazy
Amy Andrews
Harlequin KISS, Mar 19 2013, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373207091

In Sydney, photojournalist Kent Nelson shocks Sunday On My Mind magazine editor Tabitha Fox when he informs her he would like to drive a few thousand kilometers across Australia to take photos. Tabitha believes the freelancer has not taken a picture since the accident in Afghanistan. Still she agrees to the Outback photos and a feature on renowned artist Leonard Pinto whose nudes of ballet dancers are considered national treasures; the catch being the recluse demands journalist Sadie Bliss be included in his exclusive though the editor cannot explain why he wants this rookie.

Neither Kent nor Sadie wants three days on the road with their new companion. He thinks she is a curvy green groupie while she thinks he is a pretentious brooding hunk. As they cross the continent, the dysfunctional couple share lust that soon turns into love, but neither trusts the other. Sadie knows her road buddy hides something that shattered his equilibrium though she conjectures that it ties to his work; while Kent wants to know what her relationship with Pinto is that she hides from him though he conjectures what that must have been.

Driving Her (and him) Crazy is a fabulous amusing Australian romance that deftly uses the Outback as a wonderful backdrop. The protagonists with their flaws and fears, and the support cast (including the Outback) are fully developed as Amy Andrews provides a fun road with serious undertones.

Harriet Klausner

You’re Still The One-Janet Dailey, Cathy Lamb, Mary Carter and Elizabeth Bass

March 19, 2013

You’re Still The One
Janet Dailey, Cathy Lamb, Mary Carter and Elizabeth Bass
Zebra, Mar 5 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9781420124194

“The Apple Orchard” by Cathy Lamb. The injury Allie Pelletier suffers sends her to the emergency room. The physician is the love of her life Dr. Jace Rios, who wants a new chance with her but Allie knows there is no second chapter for them.

“A Kiss Before Midnight” by Mary Carter. Over two decades ago, then sixteen year old Rebecca Ryan spent the best and worst night of her life with musician Grant Dodge in New Orleans where she also was cursed. Now she seeks the father of her son in order to remove the curse.

“Romeo & Juliet … and Jane” by Elizabeth Bass. A decade ago, Jane Canfield and Roy McGillum were a couple, but eventually ended their relationship. When Roy returns home, he and veterinarian Jane recall their performances as Romeo and Juliet in a school production. As Roy asks: “But soft, what light through yonder window breaks? It is the east, (and Jane) is the sun;” that is if she agrees to be his forever Juliet with a happily ever ending to their drama.

“The Devil and Mr. Chocolate” by Janet Dailey. In Santa Fe gallery owner Kitty Hamilton feels like a serial spouse as she has three divorces to her name and is engaged to number four, Belgian chocolatier Marcel Boulanger. However husband number one Sebastian has plans to be Kitty’s mate for the rest of their lives and no sweet “Muscles from Brussels” (apologies to Jean-Claude Van Damme) will stand in his way.

These are four engaging second chance at love romances starring wonderful protagonists though the relationship gap is underdeveloped.

Harriet Klausner

Surprising Lord Jack-Sally MacKenzie

March 19, 2013

Surprising Lord Jack
Sally MacKenzie
Zebra, Mar 5 2013, $7.99
ISBN: 9781420123227

Miss Frances Hadley is furious with the men and Aunt Viola interfering in her life. She has managed the family estates successfully for years, but now wants money for a dowry and receives bunk instead of cash. Deciding to confront her enemies, Frances chops of her hair and wears male garb as she heads to London as Francis only to find no available bed in the inn due to the annual Valentine Ball hosted by the Duchess of Love, Lady Greycliffe. The innkeeper and his wife feel sorry for the young male teen and give her food and shelter.

One of the hunks being discussed by followers of the Duchess of Love is her son Lord Jack Valentine, who conceals his pursuit of a serial killer while eluding his mother’s romantic schemes behind the shame of a rake. Forced to flee from a pain in the butt female whose pursuit runs him out of his house, Jack stops at Findley’s inn where he learns he will need to share a bed with a youth who turns out to be a feisty female. They agree to hide each other’s secrets and team up to take down a predator, prevent his mom’s latest matchmaking, and prevent her family’s vile scheme. While doing all this, they fall in love.

The latest Duchess of Love historical (see Bedding Lord Ned) is a fun madcap romantic comedy with a whodunit subplot adding tension. Though the cross-dressing premise has been used a lot, readers will enjoy this entertaining fast-paced Valentine romance from the moment the lad and the lord share a bed.

Harriet Klausner