Archive for the ‘Category Romance’ Category

Northern Rebel-Jennifer LaBrecque

May 6, 2013

Northern Rebel
Jennifer LaBrecque
Harlequin Blaze, May 1 2013, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373797523

“Northern Rebel.” Nurse Delphi Reynolds is professionally blackballed in Atlanta in disbelief after her employer married Dr. DeWitt Zellers makes a move on her that his wife blamed on her. Her friend Dr. Skye Shanahan persuades her to move to Good Riddance, Alaska to work for her. U.S. Marine Lars Reinhardt comes to town to attend his twin brother Liam’s wedding (see Northern Renegade). Though attracted to Lars, Delphi wants no relationships especially one night trysts as she fears no place to go if her rep is destroyed again.

“Daring in the Dark.” Tawny Edwards and Elliott are engaged, but she has the hots for his BFF Simon Thackeray. Elliot has fallen in love with someone else and plans to end his relationship with Tawny by telling her the truth. He asks Simon to be there when he tells her. However, a blackout strands Elliot in another building so asks Simon to end his engagement to Tawny by telling her he is gay and in love with someone else. Simon decides to tell Tawny the whole truth to include that he loves her.

Though the plots are thin, the Northern Heat Reinhardt sequel is an enjoyable baked Alaskan romance; while Daring in the Dark is a reprint of a 2005 over the top blazer.

Harriet Klausner

Waking Up To You-Leslie Kelly

May 6, 2013

Waking Up To You
Leslie Kelly
Harlequin Blaze, May 1 2013, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373797516

“Waking Up To You.” Costume designer Candace Reid agrees to a five-year marriage to her friend Tommy Shane the actor so he can remain in the closet as coming out or being exposed as gay would end his film career. Before they announce their engagement, she heads to wine country when her Grandpa breaks his hip. Candace meets whistleblowing former prosecutor Oliver McKean the winery groundskeeper. As they fall in love, her promise to Tommy lingers in the way.

“Overexposed.” In Chicago, ex-marine Nick Santori knew Isabella Natale when she was little “Izzy” growing up in Little Italy. When he sees her in her family’s bakery, Nick thinks she is beautiful and wants her. When she sees Nick in the bakery, her feelings of wanting him as a teen remains as strong as an adult. Nick works as a bodyguard at a night club that some might say is a strip joint. Though confused and wondering how shallow he feels as he desires Izzy, Nick also has the hots for exotic dancer Crimson Rose, whose velvet mask is almost as enticing as her exotic G-string. Crimson Rose knows the new bodyguard as she has desired him since they grew up in Little Italy together. Although as Izzy she does not have the guts to seduce Nick, as her alter-ego Rose she does.

Both romances are entertaining torrid “triangle” contemporaries starring likable protagonists though the premise of each feels over the top. Note that Overexposed is a reprint of a 2007 release.

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

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

Back Where She Belongs-Dawn Atkins

March 18, 2013

Back Where She Belongs
Dawn Atkins
Harlequin SuperRomance, Mar 5 2013, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373718412

The car accident left her father dead and her beloved older sister Faye in the hospital comatose. Business consultant Tara Wharton left a meeting in San Francisco to come home to hold her sister’s hand just like Faye used to do when they were kids. Adding to her fears is something felt wrong with how Faye’s husband Joseph Banes, CFO and number three person at Wharton Electronics (after his wife and father-on-law) told her the bad news.

She and her high school boyfriend Dylan Ryland reconnect though she never forgot how he chose his father’s company over attending college with Tara and that their families were at war back then and remain hostile. The pair looks into the fatal accident even as each knows they still love the one that got away.

This is a strong family drama with a deep mystery enhancing the business rivalry and the romance. Fast-paced from the opening heart wrenching scene of the siblings at the hospital until the climax, fans will wonder what happened as Dawn Atkins provides a terrific contemporary in which the heroine learns you can go home if love greets you.

Harriet Klausner

Maybe This Time-Joan Kilby

March 18, 2013

Maybe This Time
Joan Kilby
Harlequin SuperRomance, Mar 5 2013, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373718399

Two years ago in Melbourne, Australia little Holly dies in an accident. Her grieving parents Emma and Darcy Lewis are filled with guilt over their baby’s death; leading to their marriage dissolving.

Encouraged by his two best friends to take some R&R after nonstop work since the traumatic tragedy, Darcy goes on a singles cruise where he runs into Emma. Still deeply in love with each other and in spite of their remorse, the couple succumbs to the attraction and shares a night of sex. Emma becomes pregnant and plans to raise her child alone as Darcy never believed he was a good father to Holly. However, after giving birth to Billy, Emma becomes ill. Darcy must step to the plate and take care of his beloved ex-wife and his cherished infant though he never did so with Holly.

This is a deeply emotional second chance at family contemporary drama. Putting aside the odds of the lead couple going on the same cruise, readers will root for the fully developed lead couple and their newborn to make it as a family.

Harriet Klausner

First Time For Everything-Aimee Carson

March 17, 2013

First Time For Everything
Aimee Carson
Harlequin KISS, Feb 19 2013, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373207046

Miami Assistant U.S. District Attorney Blake Bennington leaves the courthouse distracted wondering why he rejected the come-on of beautiful classy Sara. Not paying attention to where she is going, music therapist Jacqueline “Jax” Lee accidentally plows into Blake. She apologizes to the suit who thinks she barely is old enough to vote. Jax and others are arrested when they do a flash mob dance number at the courthouse in an effort to raise public awareness that The Teen Center’s music program funding was severely cut.

She calls her law student friend Nikki Bennington, who asks her brother Blake to bail Jax out of jail. Blake hires downsized Jax to help his sibling as her live-in caretaker as Nikki wears a long leg cast. As Blake the contained one and Jax the free spirited one fall in love, both ponder the age old question of boxer vs. brief.

This is a humorous entertaining opposites attract romance starring two fully developed protagonists whose mutual lust has both of them reeling so each hides behind a war of the words. Although the key support cast (his mom and sister, and the Teen Center) never seems fully developed, readers will relish the gender combat between the suit and the free spirit.

Harriet Klausner

The Taming Of A Wild Child-Kimberly Lang

March 17, 2013

The Taming Of A Wild Child
Kimberly Lang
Harlequin KISS, Feb 19 2013, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373207053

In New Orleans, socialite Lorelei LaBlanc knows she has the reputation polar opposite to her sister Vivi; held in high esteem as a paragon of how the affluent should behave. As her sibling marries Connor Mansfield and about to on her honeymoon (see The Downfall of a Good Girl), Lorelei vows to change her well-deserved image of being the wild girl into a good girl.

The morning after her sister’s wedding, Lorelei wakens with a horrific hangover and mortified that journalist Donovan St. James shares the bed with her. She thinks back to the tequila and its aftereffect as she cannot recall the tryst while he knows every inch of their coming together. As Lorelei muses in horror over the first day of her makeover with a tabloid reporter, she tells him no more, but instead the pair begins an affair. As they fall in love, Lorelei chooses her makeover image over her lover.

The second LeBlanc sister romance is a fun matching of a tabloid favorite and a tabloid reporter. Fast-paced from the moment Lorelei wakes up to realize she still is the wild child with her prime regret not knowing how good or bad it was. Fans will enjoy this lighthearted contemporary.

Harriet Klausner