Sunday, July 31, 2011

This week.....

On Monday, August reviews will be posted. Be sure to check them out!
Tuesday I will announce the Robin D.Owens book winner and post the new book giveaway.
Wednesday I will post info on the chat with Robin in the RRT chat room with Mo.
Thursday, we have a special guest.
Friday...well, we will see what happens. :)

Happy Week Everyone!!!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

The winner is....

for Holli Winters' download of her ebook, the winner is KarenH in NC.

Please email me at pattifischer@yahoo.com and let me know if you want pdf or html.

Congrats!

Join Mo's Book Buzz announcements!

This is an announcment only group, which means you will receive one notice a week from the group telling you about the week's chat guest. It is not a chat loop.


Click to join MoBookBuzz

Click to join MoBookBuzz

Friday, July 29, 2011

Series and a giveaway....

Happy Friday everyone!
I hope you have some wonderful weekend plans.

Today my subject is.....series. You know, the connecting stories authors write that seem to be the hot thing right now. While some can be read alone, sometimes you have to read all the books in a series to follow what is going on. It could be a series featuring three brothers or best friends, or a whole long series about a group of special security forces. Or even a clan of paranormal creatures, such as vampires, shapeshifters or special, made up types.

We see a lot of connecting books out there. From Lora Leigh's Breeds series to Lori Foster's recent HQN series about three men who work together to stamp out human slavery.

Tell us about your favorite author and series.

You can enter once to win a copy of ENCHANTED NO MORE by Robin D. Owens (who, by the way, is coming to chat in the RRT chat room next Wednesday).




Here is the blurb:

Guilt-ridden by a mistake that cost her family their lives, half-Lightfolk, half-human Jenni Weavers turns her back on her magical heritage...until her remaining brother who hates her is trapped and she's the only one who can step into an alternate dimension to save him.


One entry per person (though you can post more than once). US and Canada mailing addresses only.

I'll announce a winner on Tuesday.

Good luck!

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Winner is....

The winner of ONE NIGHT SCANDAL is..... poster #4  Deborah R.!!!

Congrats.

Deborah, please email me at pattifischer@yahoo.com by August 4th.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Ramblings from Holli


Here’s some food for thought….


Recently on a board, I read a post from a male who went on to make disparaging comments about romance novels. It was pretty clear he had a preconceived idea of what a romance novel is and nothing could change his mind. He was shocked that librarians with college degrees confessed to reading those “formulaic Harlequin books.” I guess he thought librarians should only read classic novels and mainstream fiction.

I started reading romance novels (mostly ::gasp:: Harlequins) at a young age because my mother voraciously read them. She was the first one I ever knew with a huge “to be read” pile. When she passed on, we sold her massive piles of books. And guess what? They were one of the hot sellers at the yard sale we had that year. Romance novels have been a mainstay of every single modern generation. Sure, novels like Harry Potter and Twilight grab the headlines, but it is romance that is here to stay for the future generations.

As for the reading habits of librarians, I think it’s foolish to think they shouldn’t like romance. I would hazard a guess that many female librarians were raised on romance novels of some sort growing up. Even books targeted at teens will have hints of romance. One of my favorite teen novels had a sweet romance between the couple.

The bottom line is that we should not be ashamed of what we read. Romance is reading a book. Reading is a healthy thing to do as it cleanses our mind and spirits and helps to relax us. What’s better than getting away from the stresses and unhappiness by reading a romance novel? We know a happily ever after will be waiting for us at the end.

Now that I have said my piece, what are your thoughts on this? Why do you read romance?

For anyone who comments, I will enter your name into a drawing fora download for one of my ebooks. Check out my other contest at my website http://www.holliwinters.com/ for a chance to win a giftcard.

Holli Winters

Purchase Biteless in Seattle

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Chat Wednesday night with....Vicki Lewis Thompson!!!

Come join Mo and the gang as author Vicki Lewis Thompson comes to the chat room on Wednesday, July 27th at 9:00 PM EST.

It is sure to be a fun and rollicking time for all. Vicki will be discussing her upcoming release, COWBOYS LIKE US, which is part of the Harlequin Blaze ten year anniversary. There will be a prize given away and plenty of good time to go around for all.

Go here to get into the chat room directly, then choose Mo's Book Buzz in the drop down box. You only need a chat name and no password is required.

http://client0.addonchat.com/sc.php?id=102122.


We hope to see you there!

Monday, July 25, 2011

Book Giveaway: ONE NIGHT SCANDAL by Christie Kelley




A Night with a Marquess

Born on the wrong side of the blanket, matchmaker Sophie Reynard understands the consequences of unbridled desire all too well. Despite the many highborn friends she has matched, falling in love with an aristocrat without a pedigree of her own would be an act of futility. But that doesn’t stop her from succumbing to one evening of anonymous passion…

A Lifetime of Desire

Nicholas Tenbury, Marquess of Ancroft, knows nothing of Sophie’s lineage. He knows only that the enchanting beauty captured his heart in one night and then fled, leaving no trace of her identity. But when he seeks answers from London’s finest matchmaker, he finds none other than the woman herself—stubbornly refusing to acknowledge the attraction they share! Now the enamored Marquess has no choice but to sway Sophie with seduction…

*****


Interested? Then tell me about what books you are looking forward to in AUGUST?

One entry per person, but you can post more than once. US and Canada addresses only and I will announce the winner later in the week.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

A Worthy Cause

If you haven't heard what blogger Limecello is doing, then I suggest you head over there and read her post:



A child should not starve because it has horrible consequences for any hope of a future. If you can help by donating a few dollars, you are helping the children of the world.
We cannot let children suffer!



Thursday, July 21, 2011

PINCH ME by Adena Halpern

PINCH ME – Adena Halpern
Touchstone
ISBN: 978-1-4391-7114-1
July 2011
Contemporary Fiction

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – Present Day

All her life, Lily Burns has been told by her mother and grandmother that the women of the family are cursed and the men they fall in love with and marry are doomed to have something bad happen to them. So Lily has been advised by them to not fall in love and only marry someone “who is short, bald, fat, stupid, and treats you badly.” This hasn’t stopped Lily from falling in love with pediatrician Gogo Goldblatt, a man who has made her very happy, even if marriage isn’t on her mind. When Gogo proposes to her at the Eiffel Tower in France, all she can hear in her head is her family’s voices telling her not to accept. But Lily eventually ignores the inner voices and elopes with Gogo. On their wedding night, she can hardly believe her good fortune. Then she asks him to “pinch her” and her life magically and abruptly changes. Gogo is gone, with a new life in another realm. Lily is left bereft.

After she returns home to confess her sins (of marrying a man she loves), Lily learns from her mother and grandmother about the origins of the curse placed on them by a jilted relative. The curse’s legend is that if they marry a wonderful man for love, his perfect life is doomed. The effect on Gogo is that he is now married to another woman and is no longer a doctor, but instead sells downspouts for houses. Lily is beside herself. She has to make him remember her so that they can return to their idyllic life. But this curse is going to be a tough one to break.

Adena Halpern has woven a fascinating modern day fairytale that sounds a lot like the movie A Wonderful Life. Did you ever wonder what would happen if your life turned out differently? Lily thought her life was perfect and that it was going to be even better when she fell in love with Gogo and they planned to live happily ever after. Alas, fate came along, and she’s finding her life spiraling out of control. No Gogo. No job. But she still has her mother, Selma, and her grandmother, Dolly, who are a couple of funny ladies in PINCH ME. Both Selma and Dolly have ingrained the curse into Lily’s head, so when something does happen to her happiness, she becomes bent on finding a way to break the curse. First on her list is to find any living relative of the person who started the curse. Lily tracks down one, her cousin Rose Golden, and the two hit it off. While Rose can’t break the curse for Lily, she’s one hundred percent behind working on helping to get the curse lifted.

In PINCH ME, after Lily “loses” Gogo, she decides to try to have him fall in love with her hoping that he’ll remember her, despite the fact that’s he married to another woman. Lily devises a plan to have Gogo supervise a downspout installation of several houses in her mother’s neighborhood, and Lily will hang around to oversee Gogo. Slowly and surely the two grow closer. Will Gogo remember who Lily is? Selma and Dolly oppose Lily’s plans at first, but when they meet him and discover that he is “the one” she wants, then they fall behind her to assist in the project. Selma and Dolly threaten to steal PINCH ME a few times with their funny antics, such as Dolly’s cooking rotisserie chicken on a bonfire in the front yard and Selma’s quench for exercise (and the cute gym attendant).

If you’ve ever wondered how your life would have been different if it had gone another way, then you get an idea of the premise of PINCH ME. It’s a cute, funny tale that will have you rooting for Lily to succeed and get back with her Gogo. Will she succeed? Pick up the delightful PINCH ME today and find out for yourself.

Patti Fischer

Harlequin Presents winner is.....

Custom Random Number pulled the number out and it belongs to...... JENNIE

Congrats, Jennie. Please email me at pattifischer@yahoo.com with your mailing address.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

SUMMER IN THE SOUTH by Cathy Holton

SUMMER IN THE SOUTH - Cathy Holton
Ballantine Books
ISBN: 978-0-345-50601-6
June 2011
Women's Fiction

Woodburn, Tennessee - Present Day

Ava Dabrowski can’t believe her life has fallen apart. Her estranged mother, Clothide, passed away. An affair with her married boss turned her dream job into a nightmare. In desperation, Ava decides to make some major changes in her life. When old pal from college, Will Fraser, invites her to take the summer off and stay with his family in Woodburn, Tennessee, Ava accepts. She has always wanted to write a novel, and this is the perfect time. With that she turns in her resignation and heads south.

Ava has never lived in a place very long. She grew up not knowing family, and Clothide was running from or looking for something or someone. Ava can’t help but feel overwhelmed by Will’s family.

Will knows Ava is at loose ends right now, but she makes it clear that all she can offer him is her friendship. But that changes when she meets Jake, the black sheep of the family.

Eva finds herself mesmerized by the old Woodburn ancestral home. The history that the aunts share with her brings the house to life. Yet no matter how quaint the family is, Ava learns the family has more than its fair share of skeletons…and a ghost or two. After Ava hears about the death of Fanny’s first husband Charlie, she throws herself into the story. She feels as if she is being driven by an unknown force that is helping her write the story. But there is one small problem—Ava hasn’t told the family she is writing about them. No way would they want anyone to know what happened back in 1931.

SUMMER IN THE SOUTH is set in the cordial life style that the south is famous for. The old family home stands proudly as a testament to times gone by, some good, some bad, but all memorable. The characters are gracious and endearing with a big dash of eccentric behavior. The aunts make the story, and readers will love them. Playing into the story is a blend of family dynamics, lots of dysfunction, black sheep, and one big mystery to solve.

SUMMER IN THE SOUTH is not just a romance, but a complex story of family and honor. Readers will not want to put this one down till the very last page.

Enjoy, folks.

Deborah C Jackson

EMBRACED BY BLOOD by Laurie London

EMBRACED BY BLOOD – Laurie London
A Sweetblood Novel – Book 2
HQN
ISBN: 978-0-373-77586-6
June 2011
Paranormal Romance

Seattle, Washington – Present Day

Life isn’t easy for former double agent Alfonso Serrano. Hunted by a blood assassin for not only giving away Darkblood secrets to the good guys, but killing a very important Darkblood leader, Alfonso must remain ever vigilant and in the shadows. But when he hears news that Darkbloods are on the hunt for a Tracker, a vampire with an extraordinary sense of smell, Alfonso begins to worry about his former love, Lily.

As the best Tracker in the Agency, Lily knows how to take care of herself. So when her former flame Alfonso steps back in the picture to guard her, she doesn’t feel anything but mad. Mad, and unable to deny the fact that he can still force her to feel such heavy emotions even after all these years. When Lily and Alfonso begin working together to stop the local Darkbloods from massacring humans, and to defeat Alfonso’s assassin, they soon realize they are far stronger together than they could ever be apart.

The second book in the Sweetblood series, EMBRACED BY BLOOD is a fast paced story, one where you really root for the main characters. Alfonso has had a tough life in the past few years, giving up the woman he loved, partly to keep her safe, but also because he didn’t want her to see him broken. Add to that loss, his own brother doesn’t want anything to do with him, nor does he believe that Alfonso hasn’t been a true Darkblood, but has been risking his life to pass secrets along to the Agency. All this has left Alfonso a suitably jaded character, and it was a true pleasure watching how Lily changed him.

Many little touches in this novel made this story and this version of vampires unique. The idea of Sweetbloods, humans with certain blood types that vampires find irresistible, is not new by itself, but how the Darkbloods are planning to use these humans for their big celebration, as well as how the Darkbloods used a computer game to attract new blood-drinking clients, felt incredibly fresh in a genre that has become a little repetitive in the last few years.

While reading the previous novel in the series is not required, I believe it would be beneficial in helping the audience truly grasp Alfonso’s relationship, or lack thereof, with his brother. So, therefore, be sure to check out BONDED BY BLOOD (JAN 2011), as well as the e-novella HIDDEN BY BLOOD (JUN 2011). And be on the lookout for the A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS anthology (OCT 2011) featuring a Sweetblood novella, and the next book in the series, TEMPTED BY BLOOD, coming FEB 2012.

Amanda Toth

WAKING UP WITH THE DUKE by Lorraine Heath

WAKING UP WITH THE DUKE – Lorraine Heath
London’s Greatest Lovers, Book 3
Avon Books
ISBN: 978-0-06-202245-5
July 2011
Historical Romance

England, 1860

Three years ago, after a night of dissipation that ended in a curricle accident, the Marquess of Walfort lost all feeling and function from the waist down. With all the distress, his wife lost the baby they had barely started. Though she is all that a devoted wife should be, Walfort knows Jayne longs for a child. He comes up with a scheme that would give Jayne what she wants, that could give him an heir of his blood, and at the same time show the world he’s still a man. And there is one person who owes him…his cousin and best friend, the Duke of Ainsley. By playing on the guilt Ainsley suffers for driving that night, Walfort attempts to overcome Ainsley’s scruples. Walfort uses Jayne’s devotion to him and her strong desire for a baby to get her cooperation. Ainsley must secretly impregnate her.

Ransom Seymour became the Duke of Ainsley at a very young age; he can barely remember his father. As a product of his mother’s second marriage, he’s the youngest of three brothers, all of whom grew up to become known as great lovers. Ainsley may be the youngest, but he’s always been the serious and responsible one. He has never bedded a married woman. Ainsley always envied his cousin and wished he’d seen Lady Jayne first, but he’s shocked at Walfort’s request that he bed her.

Lady Jayne Seymour, Marchioness of Walfort, detests the Duke of Ainsley. It’s his fault her husband is crippled. It’s his fault that she miscarried her baby. It’s his fault she will never have another. And it’s his fault she is lonely for the husband of their early marriage. Put aside all her vows and commit adultery with him? Never!

The stage is set. Will the play end up a tragedy? Or will the last act bring about a happy ending? It takes a talented author to work the impossible. Luckily for us, Ms. Heath’s record is 100% so far.

Be prepared to put aside the distaste infidelity elicits, for the motives of all three involved in this plot are good and based on love for the most part. Also prepare for some very affecting—and sensual—scenes in this emotional, character-driven story. Ainsley and Jayne are moral individuals who are ready to suffer pain and sacrifice for the sake of others.

While external conflicts exist in the plot, the internal conflicts are at the heart of WAKING UP WITH THE DUKE. Both Jayne and Ainsley face extremely difficult choices with seemingly little but hurt ahead. Can the satisfaction of his desire for her and hers for a child make up for the anguish?

WAKING UP WITH THE DUKE concludes the tales of the sons of the scandalous, yet ever-popular Duchess of Ainsley while providing a happy end for her as well. Enjoy this moving story and revisit this fascinating family. Or, if you are new to the series, be sure to check out the earlier titles (PASSIONS OF A WICKED EARL and PLEASURES OF A NOTORIOUS GENTLEMAN) and watch London’s Greatest Lovers lose their hearts one by one to the dismay of Victorian womanhood. It’s a terrific trio of historical romances.

Jane Bowers

GIVE ME A TEXAS OUTLAW by Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda, DeWanna Pace

GIVE ME A TEXAS OUTLAW – Jodi Thomas, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda, DeWanna Pace
Zebra
ISBN: 978-1-4201-1173-6
July 2011
Historical Romance Anthology

The Outlaw – Jodi Thomas
The Texas Big Bend Country, 1852

A liar and a thief band together to thwart the nefarious plans of the liar’s uncle in a heartwarming romantic comedy of a tale. To add to the fun, the thief has uncles of his own who could easily be played by the Three Stooges.

Trouble in Petticoats – Linda Broday
South Texas, 1878

A hired gun is sent to rescue a rancher’s kidnapped daughter. Is this his chance to turn his life around? What about the girl’s brave older sister who insists on following him to help? This is an edgier tale than the last, but with an inspiring conclusion.

TEXAS FLAME – Phyliss Miranda
The Texas Panhandle, 1889

This time the outlaw is a woman and the hero a Texas Ranger. What made this banker’s daughter go on a bank robbing spree with a couple of low-life cohorts? An interesting twist on the outlaw theme with an additional sympathetic character all make for a good story, but I admit to having questions, especially at the end.

MOST WANTED – DeWanna Pace
Longhorn City, Texas, west of Fort Worth, 1888

He’s paid for his youthful folly; now if the world would only forget. He stops to rest in a jail run by a friendly sheriff, only to have his sleep interrupted by a wanted woman intending to break him out and hire him for a job. As they head for Jerkwater, it’s quickly apparent someone or some ones won’t let them be. Which one are they after, and why? A hero makes a noble attempt to aid a quirky heroine who only wants to prove her innocence in an entertaining quest.

Jodi Thomas has long been a favorite; I would have chosen this anthology just for her name on the cover. But I’m glad to have discovered new-to-me writers of the historical Western genre. Likable characters, sweet romances, and second chances in life earn this collection a high recommendation.

Jane Bowers

SKIN DIVE by Ava Gray

SKIN DIVE – Ava Gray
Berkeley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-24214-8
July 2011
Contemporary Paranormal Romance

Virginia and Detroit, Michigan – Present Day

The Foundation is known for kidnapping people from their lives and turning them into guinea pigs. They are given drugs, kept in cells, and sometimes even go crazy from the tests they are put through. The Foundation is trying to give everyone a different kind of power. Right now Taye has lost all memory of his former life before his tests; his ability is to have electricity flow through his body and out his fingers. He can blow up things, electrocute people, and even make guns malfunction. Dr. Rowan is the man in charge of the experiments and drugging of everyone, and he has, for some unknown reason, let Taye spend an hour a day with another inmate, Gillie.

Gillie has been at The Foundation for over twelve years, over half her life. Right now Gillie has a set of rooms she tries to pretend is an apartment. The only thing she knows of the outside is what she sees on television, and now this mysterious visitor, Taye. One night, using Taye’s abilities, they open the doors, stop the alarms, and release everyone in the facility. Who knows if any of the people still are sane enough to escape? Gillie and Taye finally escape, but when he uses his ability to get money from ATM’s, The Foundation can find where they are and send a group to capture them. Taye then connects with Mockingbird, head of an organization trying to end The Foundation. With Mockingbird’s help, they make it to Detroit and live a life off the books, Taye on the docks, Gillie at a bar. Just the simple things thrill Gillie, but Taye is always worried about being followed, and the pain in his stomach gnaws at him every day.

Gillie and Taye try living in secrecy and hiding, but eventually the only thing left for them is for Taye to join Mockingbird and do some missions for them in return for Gillie’s protection. But now there is a mercenary after them, and he finds Taye’s family and learns more about him than he knows. Tanager is another employee of Mockingbird, who helps Gillie learn more about modern life, and eventually has something else to do when an emergency happens to Mockingbird. Each mission further eats at Taye’s stomach, and pain follows him constantly, especially upon learning Gillie has also joined Mockingbird and will use her healing abilities. Death, destruction, and evil experiments are occurring in all The Foundation buildings throughout the country. Can their little group make a difference to the many people being drugged and experimented with?

Ava Gray has given each character a little bit of their story in his or her own voice. I felt the story was rather slow until about the middle of the book when Taye and Gillie join Mockingbird and meet all the other different members. It wasn’t until then that I found out what skill Gillie had—she was a healer. She was trained to take illness from people, but finds she can also heal wounds by cutting open her hand and holding the blood against them. Each time the subjects use their powers, no matter what they are, it takes a great deal of energy and power from them, leaving them exhausted.

There are lots of other members of Mockingbird. Is he a computer or human? We can’t really tell. Silas, their guard at The Foundation, also joins Mockingbird. Caleb Dunn is a mercenary brought in by The Foundation to hunt Taye and Gillie and return them. Kestrel was once with Mockingbird, but has been caught by The Foundation and uses her powers to tell when any of the subjects “power up” or use their abilities. She can handle up to twenty subjects, and then the powers render her unconscious. Heron can’t talk, but can teleport people from one place to another. Tanager is a woman whose skill is the ability to plant ideas into men. A handy way to get a beautiful apartment or house to stay in rather than a hotel, you just tell the man he needs to leave town for a week. There are other people of Mockingbird, each with different powers and ways of dealing with the horrors done to them.

SKIN DIVE is a scary, pull-out-the-stops bloodcurdling story with all the things you would never like to have happen in your life. If the creepy, chilling things in life interest you, SKIN DIVE is right up your alley. Keep the lights on as you read…just a suggestion.

Carolyn Crisher

HEAT WAVE by Nancy Thayer

HEAT WAVE – Nancy Thayer
Ballantine Books (Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0-345-51831-6
June 2011
Women’s Fiction

Nantucket Island, Massachusetts – Present Day

Carley Winsted is on the verge of desolation. Her husband Gus was found dead on his office floor almost a year ago. Only thirty-seven, and he died of a heart attack. Carley is thirty-two, a widow with two children to support, and no money. Unknown to Carley, Gus made several bad investments, draining their savings and even his life insurance policy. At least Carley has a home to call her own. The house is hers free and clear. The guilt that goes with it isn't. Her house is the old family home of her mother-in-law, Annabel. It was deeded to Gus upon his marriage, and in turn, Gus left it to Carley. So now, Carley has done the unthinkable. She’s sold most of Gus’s belongings in a tag sale and started remodeling the house, turning extra space into guest bedrooms so she can open a bed and breakfast inn.

Carley’s B & B turns into a money making avenue for her. Now she can raise twelve-year-old Cisco and five-year-old Margaret, stay at home and be independent, instead of moving into in-laws Russell and Annabel’s house as they requested. When Carley refuses to move, Annabel begins to undermine Carley’s relationship with Cisco; after all, they are Winsteds. Annabel is big on the history of the family; Winsteds founded this island, and Carley should do well not to forget that. Winsteds do not hold tag sales or rent rooms out to strangers. But Carley carries on. Her best friends, Vanessa and Maud, offer support and shoulders to cry on. But when Carley learns that Maud is having a full blown affair with Vanessa’s husband, she’s overcome with guilt. She can’t tell Vanessa; it would ruin Vanessa’s life. Nor can she continue to be friends with Maud. What to do?

Meanwhile, Gus’s law partner and best friend, Wyatt, has been coming around offering Carley advice that comes attached to a strong male shoulder where she can rest her head. Their friendship turns quickly into a passionate and clandestine affair. It’s too soon to publicly date. Carley is wrapped with guilt over Gus’s death and what she thinks her in-laws would say if they knew. And her children are still trying to get over losing their father; how can she bring Wyatt around to replace him?

It’s hot and humid on Nantucket Island in the summer, but no air conditioning is in sight for Carley. Her old house is too old, and she couldn’t withstand the expense. But even so, a HEAT WAVE is happening. Carley has an income, a steady stream of guests to cater to, trials and tribulations raising a teenager, a secret love, and damaging secrets that she must keep. Can she triumph over her grief and guilt?

HEAT WAVE’s plot is predictable throughout much of its pages, but a sudden twist in the final chapters makes this a riveting read for the summer!

Diana Risso

A PUG'S TALE by Alison Pace

A PUG’S TALE – Alison Pace
Berkley Books
ISBN: 978-0-425-24119-6
June 2011
Cozy Mystery

New York, New York - Present Day

Hope McNeill loves pugs. She has Max as her constant companion; he even accompanies her to work. Hidden in her Sherpa dog-carry bag, he travels incognito into the Metropolitan Museum of Art every day. Hope works in the Conservation Department of the museum, restoring and cleaning paintings and other works of art. She has grown to love Max in the months he’s been with her. Max actually belongs to her boyfriend, Ben, but Ben is out of the country volunteering his legal expertise in some far away place to help the underprivileged. Ben is supposed to return home soon and, maybe then, they can talk about where their relationship is heading. Meanwhile, Hope has Max for comfort.

Daphne Markham is a wealthy philanthropist who is donating a huge sum of money to the museum, so tonight is Pug Night at the Met. Hope brings Max out of hiding and joins the party, watching a multitude of pugs salivating under the hors d'oeuvres table. But when Max attacks Daphne’s pug, Madeleine, Hope is forced to take him back to her workstation in the Conservation Room where she discovers a forged painting has replaced a valuable work of art. Hope is terrified. She calls the only person she can think of, her boss, Elliot. Hope has secretly been in love with Elliot for a while, until she met Ben, and she’s nervous about calling him at home, but he immediately comes to her aid. While waiting for Elliot, Hope runs into Development Officer Gil Turner, and he quickly gets involved. Gil refuses to call the police. And so, the next day, Hope, Elliot, and Gil are explaining to private investigator Chaz Greene about the theft. They can’t leak the heist to the police; if they do, the press will pick it up and Daphne might pull her donation from the museum.

A PUG’S TALE begins on a lark with Pug Night at the Museum, but when Hope discovers a valuable painting is missing and someone has placed a forgery inside her department, she becomes determined to find the culprit and solve the mystery. Gil wants to keep the theft quiet; Elliot isn’t talking, and for some reason, their fellow staff person, Sergei, is missing. Did he steal the painting? When Hope receives an anonymous email and a clue, she becomes involved in her own investigation while trying to dodge the suspicions Gil and Elliot are casting her way.

A comical and light hearted mystery, A PUG’S TALE is also a fabulous chick-lit novel! The characters are lively, and the story keeps the reader guessing all the way to the final pages where a surprise twist brings an unexpected conclusion.

Diana Risso

MY NAME IS MEMORY by Ann Brashares

MY NAME IS MEMORY – Ann Brashares
Riverhead Books (Trade Paperback)
ISBN: 978-1-59448-518-3
June 2011
Fiction

Hopewood, Virginia and other Countries – 541 to 2009

Is there life after death? Reincarnation? Daniel Grey knows the answer. It is true, he has lived many lives before and he remembers each and every one of them. In his first life, he set fire to a home and killed a child, a little girl. She became Sophia later in another life, and his one true love, whom he met over and over again in the lives he was reborn into. Daniel has been looking for Sophia in each of his lives and in most of them, he has found her, but circumstances, and fate, found ways to keep them apart. Now, he has found her again. She is called Lucy, and Daniel vows not to let her get away from him.

Lucy noticed Daniel first when she was in the eleventh grade, and later, at graduation, he tries to tell her who he thinks she is. He kisses her and she runs away, frightened. He speaks of other lives and calls her Sophia. The boy is crazy. In college, Lucy visits a fortune teller who speaks frightening words about the life she gave up when she rejected Daniel. The fortune teller calls her Sophia. Again, Lucy runs away. But the words she recalls from her conversation with Daniel and the things the fortune teller spoke of haunt her. Lucy sets out to find Daniel.

MY NAME IS MEMORY is a story of Daniel’s many lives, beginning with the year 541 in North Africa. We travel with Daniel through time and many countries as he is reincarnated from life to life. In each of his lives, he dreams of reuniting with Sophia. Sometimes he finds her; sometimes he doesn’t. Daniel tells us about himself, how he is one of the people with the memory, people who can recall each and every life they have lived in startling detail. We meet his friend, Ben, one of the people who remember, and Daniel's evil and dangerous brother, Joaquim. He’s searching for Daniel, and he won’t stop until he finds him. Meanwhile, as Lucy gets closer and closer to the truth about Daniel, Joaquim also stalks her. Will Lucy and Daniel find their way to each other and to happiness?

An unexpected twist at the end brings MY NAME IS MEMORY to a conclusion, but not one with which I was totally pleased. The book is riveting, however, taking us through time and episodes of Daniel's life. The pages intrigue the reader, and as we also learn about Lucy’s past lives, it brings questions to mind about what is real and what is not. Although I was not completely satisfied with the ending of Daniel and Lucy’s story, MY NAME IS MEMORY is an unforgettable story.

Diana Risso

THE CREED LEGACY by Linda Lael Miller

THE CREED LEGACY - Linda Lael Miller
The Creed Cowboys – Book 3
HQN
July 2011
ISBN: 978-0-373-77600-9
Contemporary Romance

Lonesome Bend, Colorado – Present Day

Brody Creed is back on the family ranch, right under his twin brother’s nose, and causing trouble. Growing up, Brody and Conner pulled the usual twin-type stunts, but when Brody stole Conner’s girl they quit talking. Conner stays home on the ranch, doing what needs to be done, but Brody likes the excitement of new places, people, and things. Years back, he couldn’t think of anything worse than punching cattle and fixing fences, and it was the lure of the rodeo that drew him away. Brody has been gone too many years to count. And Conner doesn’t believe that he’ll stay this time, either.

Herds of horses and cattle are arriving by the truckload at the Creed ranch, and Conner is angry at his brother. Sure, the property is half Brody’s, but Conner doesn’t believe that Brody means to do his half of the work. Conner believes that Brody will be gone before anyone has time to blink. And Brody? Well, he isn’t going anywhere. He bought his sister-in-law’s property right across the river, and he’s in the process of building himself a huge house. He wants to settle down with a wife and perhaps a few children someday, and maybe, if he can get Carolyn Simmons to speak to him, they can take up where they left off. The rodeo isn’t what kept him away for so many years. Brody lost a family once, and all that heartache and pain is too hard to share, even with his twin brother. Maybe, if he can learn to deal with the past, he just might be able to find a future with Carolyn, if she’ll have him.

Carolyn Simmons fell in love with Brody Creed years ago. They spent two weeks making love and planning their future, and then one morning, she woke up to an empty bed and a goodbye note. He said he was sorry. Even after all these years, Carolyn hasn’t been able to mend the broken heart Brody left behind. Now he’s asking for another chance? No way; he’s been cavorting around town with Conner’s old girl, Joleen, and Carolyn is spitting mad. How dare he! All the pleading in the world won’t mend the heartache Brody caused. In fact, Carolyn should date other men, and that online dating service she signed up for is throwing them her way like crazy. She certainly won’t have time for Brody Creed!

Is it too late for Carolyn and Brody? Brody doesn’t think so, and THE CREED LEGACY isn’t the only thing that drew him back to Lonesome Bend. Yes, he has roots here, but it was a dream named Carolyn that made him buy that property across the river. He knows he has a long way to go before he can think about settling down to a life with a family, but if he can just get Carolyn to speak to him, it might be a start.

THE CREED LEGACY is the third and final in the trilogy about The Creed Cowboys, following CREED’S HONOR (June 2011), and A CREED IN STONE CREEK (March 2011). Secondary characters are dynamic and round out the story, with tie-ins to the other Creed, McKettrick, and O’Ballivan characters looming strong. When Brody and Conner’s parents died, their Uncle Davis and his wife Kim raised the boys on the ranch that would be theirs someday. Their cousin, Davis’s son Steven, recently moved to Stone Creek. Conner’s wife, Tricia, is pregnant with their first child. Carolyn works in Tricia’s small boutique and lives upstairs in Natty McCall’s old house. She wants to put down roots, maybe find a home that is her own, instead of house-sitting other people’s homes. Carolyn loves working with Tricia, and she loves the Creed horses, but now that she runs into Brody every time she goes to the ranch, she might think about giving up one of her favorite activities. Brody decides that riding is just the way to get to Carolyn; at least if she accompanies him across the ranch on horseback, she’ll have to speak to him once in a while during the ride!

The next book from Ms. Miller takes us to Blue River, Texas, and the story of Clay McKettrick: A LAWMAN’S CHRISTMAS (October 2011), a new gift hardcover. Meanwhile, THE CREED LEGACY wraps up the story of Steven, Conner, and Brody and gives us a look into the Creed’s of Colorado. Carolyn and Brody have a lot to work through before they can find their way back to each other and, maybe, a future together. Obstacles are in the way, mainly Brody’s guilt over the past and Carolyn’s insecurities in her own life. You won’t want to miss any of their story!

THE CREED LEGACY is a top notch novel, full of love, passion, and forgiveness. It’s just the perfect read for sitting in the shade (or inside with air conditioning), and a glass of iced tea in the July or August heat!

Diana Risso

CAN'T HURRY LOVE by Christie Ridgway

CAN’T HURRY LOVE – Christie Ridgway
Three Kisses, Book 3
Berkley Sensation
ISBN: 978-0-425-24210-0
July 2011
Contemporary Romance

Edenville, California – Present Day

As the oldest sister, Guiliana “Jules” Baci is the one in charge of helping to bring their family winery back from the brink of failure. With a big gala weekend touted as a “renewal of marriage vows” just around the corner, the last thing they need are distractions. But with her apartment destroyed in a fire and her car totaled in a hit and run, Guiliana feels the gods are against her. It doesn’t help that her adversary and next door neighbor, Liam Bennett, is right there to offer his assistance. For the past year since she returned to run the Tanti Baca winery after her father’s death, Liam has been in her hair. Tormenting and tantalizing her. When they were young adults, Guiliana and Liam fell in love and spent one magical summer together in Tuscany, Italy. Unfortunately, something happened that splintered them apart, and they haven’t been able to repair the damage.

Liam circles Guiliana like an eagle does its prey. He’s annoyed that Jules seems to have pushed him away and, instead, prefers the company of her winery manager, Kohl Friday. She’s stubborn and sends Liam dirty looks whenever he is around. He tries to shrug it off, but still something draws him to her. He offers her a chance to stay at his house after the fire, but she’d rather sleep on a lumpy loveseat in her office. Liam knows Jules is trying to avoid him and the past. Of course, he knows there is more to what’s between them than a summer in Tuscany. Can he break through the wall she has erected and get her to see that she can’t hide from the past? Can she accept the help he has offered her?

In CAN’T HURRY LOVE, Guiliana and Liam have spent the past ten years keeping secrets from their family. The upcoming “vows renewal” weekend is threatening to expose the past, and Guiliana will do whatever it takes to prevent this from happening. Liam understands her pain, yet he wonders if it would be better if their families knew the truth. They both get distracted when mysterious things begin to happen, starting with the fire in Guiliana’s apartment, then a break-in at the sacred cottage belonging to the Baci family. Are they related? Is someone out to make sure the Baci sisters don’t succeed in bringing the winery back from the brink of financial ruin?

Meanwhile, the year that Guiliana and her sisters gave themselves to bring the winery back into profitable status is nearly up. A bridal television show is showing interest in their weekend, which will bring them a tremendous amount of publicity. Guiliana is fearful that if her sisters found out her secrets, it would destroy their plans. Liam feels the numbness of always being the one to keep secrets and finding they destroy his happiness. Of course, by the time the secret is revealed in CAN’T HURRY LOVE, you’ll figure out what the hush-hush is all about. With Liam in the background, Guiliana knows he has the ammunition to blow everything sky high. She has used Kohl as a shield this past year, but even his presence can’t prevent her feelings about Liam from percolating again. Soon, the former lovers find the passion boiling over.

As the final tale in the Three Kisses trilogy by Christie Ridgway, readers are treated to a secondary story that involves Kohl and Grace, a pourer in the winery tasting room. Grace recently divorced, and her abusive ex is popping up, hoping to get her to come back to him. Kohl begins to feel things about her that he’s never experienced before. He’ll do whatever it takes to protect the women in his life—both Guiliana and Grace. Also present in CAN’T HURRY LOVE are Guiliana’s sisters, Alessandro and Stevie. One sister has big news, yet it brings back pain for Guiliana. Liam may be the only one who can help her.

CAN’T HURRY LOVE is packed with emotion and laughter as we begin to understand the relationship between Guiliana and Liam. The old passion and desire still burns hotly between them, making it clear it isn’t over yet. Will they find the happiness they should have had ten years ago? Grab a hanky and a glass of wine as we find out the answers in CAN’T HURRY LOVE.

Patti Fischer

THE RELUCTANT VAMPIRE by Lynsay Sands

THE RELUCTANT VAMPIRE – Lynsay Sands
An Argeneau Novel – Book 15
Avon
ISBN: 978-0-06-189459-6
June 2011
Paranormal Romance

Port Henry, Canada – Present Day

Drina Argenis doesn’t report to the North American Immortal Council, but when the head of it—her uncle Lucian—asks her to help out for a few days, she sees no harm in it. In fact, it turns out to be a really useful trip, considering she finds her lifemate on day one. Her assignment is to babysit Stephanie, a young recently turned immortal, and keep her safe from Leonius, a rogue vampire out to get her. Drina could easily handle it alone, but she quickly enlists the help of her grudging new lifemate.

Harper found his lifemate when he first moved to the small town of Port Henry, and it’s only been a year since her death during the turning process. Now fate has seen to it that he gets another mate, but Harper doesn’t think he deserves anyone, let alone someone as amazing as Drina. Luckily for the two older immortals, they have the precocious Stephanie to push them together. But it’s not all fun and games for the reluctant lovebirds and their young charge—something has it out for them and won’t stop until they’re all six feet under.

THE RELUCTANT VAMPIRE is the fifteenth book in the series, and yet author Lynsay Sands still manages to bring original ideas and storylines to the table. Harper is a different type of hero, the first immortal we’ve met who is truly hesitant to get together with his lifemate. Full of guilt over the recent death of his previous lifemate, he’s caught between the incredible guilt of wanting to move on, and the joy that comes with finding the one person he’s meant to be with. And part of what makes THE RELUCTANT VAMPIRE such an entertaining story is seeing how Harper and Drina’s odd and difficult relationship compares to that of the other new lifemates in Port Henry.

Lynsay Sands pens characters that will really stick with the reader, and this novel is no exception. The hijinks Stephanie and Drina create to mess with Harper made me chuckle aloud and will stick with me for quite some time, and it was truly a joy to watch these three characters come together into a small family of their own, despite all the bumps in the road. There is always a suspense element to the Argeneau series, and THE RELUCTANT VAMPIRE won’t disappoint.

Reading the previous novels in the series before picking this book up is not a necessity, but it is suggested if you want to get the full width and breadth of the story. Be on the lookout for THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS anthology featuring an Argeneau novella coming October 2011, and the next Argeneau novel, UNDER A VAMPIRE MOON, coming January 2012.

Amanda Toth

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Chat Wednesday night with....Lara Adrian!


Bestselling author Lara Adrian vists Mo's Book Buzz Wednesday night, July 20th starting at 9:00 PM Eastern Time.

To enter the chat room, either click this link:

http://client0.addonchat.com/sc.php?id=102122

Or go to http://www.romrevtoday.com/ and click on RRT Chat.

Choose Mo's Book Buzz in the drop down box (you only need to enter your chat room name, not any password)

Lara will be discussing her latest release DEEPER THAN MIDNIGHT and there is a door prize to be given out (TBA).

Learn more about Lara by visiting her website Click Here

Winner of the $10 gift card is.....

Our Books to Movies winner is..... CrystalGB

Congrats!

Please email me at pattifischer@yahoo.com

Monday, July 18, 2011

Win four Harlequin Presents!

That is right....FOUR of them. Here are the titles:

The Italian's Bought Bride by Kate Hewitt
The Twelve Nights of Christmas by Sarah Morgan
Chosen by the Sheikh by Kim Lawrence and Lynn Raye Harris
Sheihk Boss, Hot Desert Nights by Susan Stephens


All you need to do to enter is post once and I'll put your name in the pot. I'll pick the winner on Thursday. US and Canada mailing addresses only.

Good luck!

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Wrapped in Seduction winner is....

Congrats to Elaing8!!!

She wins the copy of Wrapped in Seduction!

Please email me at pattifischer@yahoo.com by 7/26/11 to claim your book.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Books to Movies



Friday marks the release of the final Harry Potter film. I'll be honest and say I never got into HP, but I have a friend who is going to spend hours in line to get in for the Midnight showing. Tenacious. LOL

Harry Potter is, of course, based upon the novels by JK Rowling. I'm sure she couldn't have even dreamed of the success she'd have when she sat down to write the first HP book. Can she do it again? Time will tell.

I found this site that lists books made into movies:

http://www.bookreporter.com/features/books2movies.asp

There also has been romance novels made into movies or made for television movies. Some good. Some bad.

This topic got me to thinking...

What book or series would you be interested in seeing made into a movie (or series of movies)? I know the Janet Evanovich novels are being made into one, so that is probably too easy for you to answer. ;-)

Be creative. Surely you have a favorite book or series you want to see on the screen?

Just for playing, I'll toss in a $10 gift card to Amazon or BN.com to one lucky poster. You can post more than once, just can't be entered more than once.

I'll announce a winner early next week.
Good luck.

The Lori Foster giveaway winner is......

Congrats to JANE who said this:

Jane said...



Congrats to Lori and thanks for the giveaway.


Please email me at pattifischer@yahoo.com with your mailing info by July 21st. Congrats!!!

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Wrapped in Seduction book giveaway!

Feeling the heat from the summer? How about enjoying a little Christmas reading to get you in the mood for winter?

WRAPPED IN SEDUCTION anthology featuring Lisa Renee Jones, Cathryn Fox and Jodi Lynn Copeland.

Blurb:

It's that time of year when nights are longer, passions run hotter, and for three sisters, naughty wishes come true...

Three sisters. Three wishes. And one hot Christmas in this sizzling collection of novellas from today's most popular erotic authors...

Holly's come home for the holidays, ready to enjoy a few cozy weeks of small-town life. But a fling with a local stranger heats up the nights. When she discovers the stranger's secret ties to her own family, he ends up Wrapped in Holly.

The one man Rachel wants is strictly off limits, so she agrees to keep her distance-until he dresses up as old St. Nick and stirs a playful fantasy in Rachel. Maybe it's the black leather boots. Or the soft fur and red velvet. Whatever it is, she's Hot for Santa. A broken engagement has left Tori feeling the Christmas blues when she returns to her welcoming family for the holiday. There's no better way to chase those blues away than with an old flame who sparks a new passion and leaves Tori feeling Mistletoe Bliss.


Question for readers who are interested in entering this contest:

When do you start your Christmas shopping?

Post once and be entered. Winner will be announced this weekend.
US and Canada mailing addresses only.

Good luck!

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Chat Wednesday night with....Kathy Carmichael!


Author Kathy Carmichael joins Mo and the gang when she is the guest at Mo's Book Buzz.

Chat is Wednesday night at 9:00 PM (EST) in the Romance Reviews Today chat room.


Choose Mo's Book Buzz room in the drop down box. No password needed to enter, just a chat name.

Learn more about Kathy Carmichael and her books. I can vouch that she is a fun lady to chat with.




Monday, July 11, 2011

***Giveaway***

Lori Foster recently celebrated 15 years as a published author recently. A huge congratulations to her for this accomplishment!
Photobucket

I count Lori as one of my 'auto buy' authors. If you haven't given her a chance, I suggest you do so today.

If you haven't heard about the Men Who Walk the Edge of Honor series, then take a peek at this video:




I'm undecided which guy in the video I like the best. :D

Are you interested in receiving all THREE copies of the books in the series? The RRT blog has received a generous offer from Lori's PR folks to give away the books

Post away and you'll be entered once.
(Note: US mailing addresses only.The winner will receive the books from the PR company)


BACK COVER COPY FOR ALL THREE MEN WHO WALK THE EDGE OF HONOR NOVELS:



WHEN YOU DARE by Lori Foster



THE TOUGHER THEY ARE, THE HARDER THEY FALL…



Professional mercenary Dare Macintosh lives by one hard and fast rule: business should never be personal. If a cause appeals to him and the price is right, he’ll take the mission he’s offered. But then the lovely Molly Alexander asks him to help her track down the men who’d had her kidnapped—and for the first time, Dare’s tempted to combine work with pleasure.



Fiercely independent, Molly vows to trust no one until she’s uncovered the truth. Could the enemy be her powerful estranged father? The ex-fiancé who still holds a grudge? Or the not-so-shy fan of her bestselling novels? As the danger heats up around them, the only anchor Molly has is Dare himself. But what she feels for him just might be the most frightening thing of all…





TRACE OF FEVER by Lori Foster



CAUGHT IN THE CROSSFIRE OF VENGEANCE AND DESIRE



Undercover mercenary Trace Rivers loves the adrenaline rush of a well-planned mission. First he’ll earn the trust of corrupt businessman Murray Coburn, then gather the proof he needs to shut down the man’s dirty smuggling operation. It’s a perfect scheme—until Coburn’s long-lost daughter saunters in with her own deadly plan for revenge.



With a smile like an angel and fire in her eyes, Priscilla Patterson isn’t who she seems to be. But neither is the gorgeous bodyguard who ignites all her senses. Joining forces to plot Coburn’s downfall, Priss and Trace must fight the undeniable heat between them. For one wrong move, one lingering embrace, will expose them to the wrath of a merciless opponent…





SAVOR THE DANGER by Lori Foster



The one woman he couldn't have was the only woman he desired…



She may be aloof, and more pretty than gorgeous, but Alani Rivers is the kind of woman a hot-blooded mercenary can't forget, no matter how hard he tries. So when Jackson Savor wakes up next to the naked, sleeping beauty—with no memory of what happened—he knows he's been drugged… even if Alani doesn't.



After she was kidnapped, Alani swore she'd never trust another man again. Still, something about this strong, sexy hero with the tender touch makes her want to believe him. As Jackson hunts downs a mysterious intruder, he swears he'll move heaven and earth to keep Alani safe. But what really happened that night? And will the truth bring them closer than they ever thought possible—or put Alani squarely in harm's way again?





WHEN YOU DARE

On Sale April 26, 2011

HQN/Mass Market/Original/Fiction

$7.99 ($9.99 Canada)

978-0-373-77575-2●0-373-77575-X



TRACE OF FEAR

On Sale May 24, 2011

HQN/Mass Market/Original/Fiction

$7.99 ($9.99 Canada)

978-0-373-77575-0●0-373-77575-X



SAVOR THE DANGER

On Sale June 28, 2011

HQN/Mass Market/Original/Fiction

$7.99 ($9.99 Canada)

978-0-373-77582-8●0-373-77582-2

EXCERPT FROM SAVOR THE DANGER-



A little slack-jawed, Alani watched as Jackson meandered down the hall and disappeared into her home office. His long-legged, rangy walk set her heart to tripping; the thought of him going through her personal files slowed it again.

She snapped her mouth shut.

Had that parting shot of his been mockery, or a sincere statement reflecting what they’d shared, the bond they’d forged last night?

A bond that only she could remember.

Groaning, she put her hands over her face and slumped into her bedroom. She quietly closed the door and dropped back against it.

Being honest with herself, she had to admit that deep inside, she’d been expecting – maybe even hoping – that he’d press the issue of intimacy. He wanted her again. He’d been more than open and upfront about that.

But instead, he chose to honor her wishes, the wishes she knew to be more responsible. More reasonable.

It would be a very long night.

Taking her time, Alani freshened up, tidying her hair, brushing her teeth, giving her make-up a boost. With nothing more to do, she girded herself for Jackson ’s impact, both emotional and physical, and went in search of him.

She opened her bedroom door and found him right there in the hallway, leaning on the wall, relaxed, waiting for her.

Before she could apologize for making him wait, he straightened.

“Ready?”

“Yes.”

She stepped out, and his warm palm curved to the small of her back.

Alani felt the touch everywhere. But then, even if he hadn’t touched her, she’d have been acutely aware of him beside her. When Jackson was in a room, he occupied everything, the space, the air, the attention.

Knowing they were alone, with the bedrooms at their backs, quickened her breath.

“I parked down around the corner.”

Surprise slowed her steps, but since Jackson kept walking, she did too. It hadn’t occurred to her that his car was missing. If she’d seen it on the street in front of her house or in her driveway, she’d have been forewarned of his visit.

And maybe she would have avoided him.

“You didn’t want me to know you were here?”

“I didn’t want anyone else to know.” His hand slid to her hip, nudged her a little closer to him. “In case I was followed, no way did I want to lead anyone to you.”

Another reminder of the danger they might be in. “Well, you should bring your car up to my driveway now.”

“Maybe later.” He stopped at the entrance to her small living room, where so much drama had already gone down. “For now, how about we take your car?”

“All right.” She didn’t mind that. With all he’d been through, it’d probably be better if he wasn’t driving. Sure, he had to be macho and swear he felt no side-effects from being drugged, but how could that be? If she took cold medicine, it wiped her out, and he’d been given a drug so heavy-duty that it had obliterated his memory.

In the kitchen, she found her purse, keys, and Jackson ’s hat. She rejoined him in the foyer.

He took the hat from her, slid it onto his head, and then held out a hand.

One brow raised, Alani looked at him in question.

“Keys?” he prompted.

She slid her purse strap over her shoulder. “That’s okay. I’ll drive.”

A priceless expression fell over his face.

“Oh please.” Alani had to laugh. “It’s not like I asked to carry your gun.”

Heartfelt, he tipped back his hat and scoffed. “I’d say no to that, too.” He scrutinized her. “But you do know how to shoot, don’t you?”

“I know enough.” And after her kidnapping to Tijuana , she’d done plenty of practicing to ensure she could handle a weapon.

He reached for her purse. “You carrying?”

“No!” Alani snatched the bag away. “Of course not.”

Considering that, Jackson declared, “We’ll get you a piece. You shouldn’t be out and about without it.” He gave her small designer purse a look of dislike. “You’ll need to carry something bigger, though.”

She did not want to be armed. “You’re here, so what do I need with a gun? Aren’t you protection enough?”

He went so still, it almost made her laugh again. Until he said, “You suggesting I should stick around 24/7?”

“What?” A rush of heat hit her cheeks. “No, of course I wasn’t.”

Keeping her caught in his gaze for far too long, he studied her, and finally smiled. “Yeah, I’m protection enough. I guess as long as you’re with me, you don’t need anything else.” He snatched the keys out of her lax hand. “Come on. Let’s get out of here….”

***

Learn more by visiting Lori's website CLICK HERE

Sunday, July 10, 2011

This week....

Monday - Will post a three book giveaway of Lori Foster's latest books. One winner will win all three.

Tuesday - Information on our chat guest this week during Mo's Book Buzz

Wednesday - Something a little different. Tired of the heat? Then tune in.

Thursday and Friday - Stay tuned.

THE SURRENDER OF LADY JANE by Marissa Day

THE SURRENDER OF LADY JANE - Marissa Day
Berkley Heat
ISBN: 978-0-425-24125-7
July 2011
Erotic Historical Paranormal Romance

London, England - Regency Era

For weeks, Lady Jane DeWitte has been visited every night in her dreams by a handsome and dashing man who loves her in ways she could never have imagined. The inheritance she received from her late husband’s estate went to pay off her father’s debts shortly before his death, and with no family and no money, Lady Jane’s prospects are limited. She was lucky enough to obtain a position as lady-in-waiting to Her Royal Highness Princess Victorie, the Duchess of Kent. Yet, as the Duchess is likely carrying the heir presumptive to the English throne, all eyes are upon her and her retinue, so Lady Jane’s actions must be above approach, and a tryst with a handsome man is exactly the type of thing she should avoid.

Finding a way into Kensington House should be an easy mission for Sir Thomas Lynne, Captain of the mortal guard of the Queen of the Fae. Prophecy claims that the future queen will have the ability to banish the Fae from the mortal realm for all time, yet if the Fae can prevent the birth of this queen, they will rule both realms. By invading Lady Jane’s dreams and seducing her, Thomas is weakening the magical wards that protect Kensington House. But he’s also falling for the surprising beauty, which is very dangerous. His heart and loyalty are supposed to belong solely to Tatiana, Queen of the Fae, and if she finds out about his growing feelings for Jane, he’ll face something worse than death.

The Fae are looking to rule the mortal world, and their success is dependent upon THE SURRENDER OF LADY JANE. The losses Jane’s father suffered in the stock market forced her into marrying a man three times her age. Her marriage lacked both love and companionship, and there are times she feels as though she’s been alone all her life. Thomas entices both her desire for pleasure and dreams of friendship—even before they meet in person. Thomas isn’t exactly free to pursue a relationship, yet that isn’t his original intent anyway. Their adventures are erotic and unexpected for both as more is happening between them than pleasure.

A tantalizing tale, look for THE SURRENDER OF LADY JANE.

Jennifer Bishop

COLD TOUCH by Leslie Parrish

COLD TOUCH – Leslie Parrish
Extrasensory Agents, Book 2
Signet Eclipse
ISBN: 978-0-451-23300-4
July 2011
Paranormal Romance

Savannah, Georgia – Present Day

Olivia Wainwright has the extraordinary gift of being able to “live” through the final moments of someone dying. She literally “dies” with them. As one of the members of the eXtreme Investigations, she is hired to help people determine how their dearly departed loved one died. Olivia wasn’t born with the “gift” but it began after she literally died twelve years ago at the hands of her kidnapper. Miraculously, she was revived, though she soon discovered her uncanny ability. Although Olivia’s kidnapper was identified and killed, she can’t forget the little boy who was there with her during her ordeal. When a twelve year is found mummified in the wall of a bar, Olivia just knows it is that little boy.

Detective Gabe Cooper is the head investigator of the little boy’s case. When Olivia approaches him and indicates she knows the boy, he’s intrigued, even if skeptical when he learns of her supposed ability. He reluctantly agrees to her request to “relive” the final moments of the little boy and is stunned to learn she is correct that he likely is the same boy. Now the search is on to identify him, even as it soon becomes clear Olivia’s real kidnapper is still alive. As the investigation grows deeper, so does the attraction between Olivia and Gabe. Can he come to grips that she has a special ability, and can she ever find closure for the brutal kidnapping she experienced?

Tense drama and intrigue highlight COLD TOUCH by Leslie Parrish. Olivia’s family is well connected and wealthy, but that couldn’t protect her from the horrifying kidnapping. The monster is insane and out of touch with reality. As the story progresses, Olivia and Gabe begin to see a pattern. Is there another little boy out there in the hands of the killer? Is the madman close by? Olivia’s unique ability causes a few bones of contention with Gabe—first because he doesn’t believe her, then his fear for her safety as she dies again and again, only to be revived. Is there any chance she may not survive? Because of Olivia’s past and her uniqueness, she finds it hard to get close to men, yet there is this special connection with Gabe. The pairing of a woman with extrasensory abilities and a police detective has them at odds, but they soon begin to trust the other.

Minor characters of note include Gabe’s partner, Ty Wallace. Suave and laidback, he’s the opposite of the tense and by-the-book, Gabe. Yet the two work well together and rely on each other for support on cases. Ty meets Olivia’s sister, Brooke, and it’s apparent to those around that the two are attracted to each other. But with Brooke already engaged to a much older man her daddy approves of, getting involved with Ty is a no no. There are also the agents of the eXtreme Investigations, who all have unique abilities. Will they be able to assist Gabe and Olivia in this investigation? And throughout COLD TOUCH, we get snippets of the madman kidnapper from his point of view. Is he planning to kill once more and, when he learns Olivia is involved, will he try to kill her…again?

Leslie Parrish will have readers on the edge of their seats in COLD TOUCH. The taut suspense is gripping and nicely drawn out until the final, tense climactic resolution. Death isn’t glossed over, and the hedonistic killer isn’t forgivable, yet the steamy romance between Olivia and Gabe softens the tale. A perfect blend of paranormal and suspense, COLD TOUCH is a topnotch read not to be missed.

Patti Fischer

NIGHT VEIL by Yasmine Galenorn

NIGHT VEIL - Yasmine Galenorn
An Indigo Court Novel, Book 2
Berkley
ISBN: 978-0-425-24204-9
July 2011
Paranormal Romance

New Forest, Washington - Present Day

Winter has come to stay in the area surrounding New Forest, Washington, thanks to Myst, Queen of Winter, Mistress of Mayhem, and Queen of the Indigo Court. Centuries ago, the vampires tried to turn Myst, an Unseelie, but the result was a monster who went on to create the Vampiric Fae. Cicely Waters, upon her return to New Forest, banded together with some witches and the vampires to save the town from Myst, but things once again did not go as planned. Her aunt, Heather, along with her soul mate, Grieve, were captured by Myst, and Cicely is now indentured to the vampires, specifically the sadistic Lannan Altos.

Cicely and Grieve are true soul mates, bound together through several lifetimes, and she had just begun to remember their previous incarnations when Grieve was lost to her. She literally feels his pain as he struggles to free himself from Myst, and from the light-hunger that is now infecting the Vampiric Fae. In addition to that, Cicely is learning to deal with the fact that she is an owl shapeshifter in addition to being magic-born, and still trying to find her way through the terrifying bargain she made with Lannan and the vampires. Then, her friend Kaylin’s demon begins to wake, and Cicely will have to travel through the Indigo Court to get help for him. What had once been the idyllic haven of her childhood has now turned into hell on earth, and Cicely needs to figure out how to navigate it and whom to trust before it’s too late to save New Haven from Myst and her Indigo Court.

Yasmine Galenorn has created a fascinating world with her Indigo Court series, but one that may be confusing if NIGHT VEIL is the book you start with. This second book begins right where the first, NIGHT MYST, left off, so if you haven’t read that first, it may take a bit to figure out everything and everybody in this world. Cicely’s mother was also magic-born, but frightened of her powers, she left New Forest, living a nomadic life and dragging Cicely along for the ride. Cicely learned at a young age how to survive and take care of her mother, always wishing she could stay in New Forest with her family: her aunt, Heather, and cousin, Rhiannon, as well as Grieve and Chatter, good friends. As she got older, Cicely’s feelings for Grieve changed, but when he asked her to stay and be with him, she couldn’t leave her mother. Coming home was supposed to be a joyful reunion, but with Myst encroaching on the area, that reunion turned into a nightmare. She’s made friends with the magic-born in her cousin’s circle of friends, and has an uneasy alliance with the vampire council, walking a fine line thanks to the contract she has with them, but unhappy with the deal she was forced to make.

As war is upon them, NIGHT VEIL is pretty much non-stop action from beginning to end, but most of it is within the group of allies. Cicely’s goals are to free Grieve from Myst and then take down Myst, but before long she learns that others in her group have agendas of their own. Can Cicely learn to navigate this new world before it’s too late to save herself? Pick up NIGHT VEIL and find out.

Jennifer Bishop

BODYGUARDS IN BED by Lucy Monroe, Jamie Denton, Elisabeth Naughton

BODYGUARDS IN BED - Lucy Monroe, Jamie Denton, Elisabeth Naughton
Brava
ISBN: 978-0-7582-1033-3
June 2011
Contemporary Romance Anthology

Being a bodyguard is a serious job, and in these stories, the bodyguards take a very hands-on approach to keeping their clients safe.

Who’s Been Sleeping in My Brother’s Bed - Lucy Monroe
Boston, Massachusetts and New York - Present Day

While her apartment is undergoing repairs, Danusia Chernichenko decides to stay at her brother Roman’s apartment. Met at the door by Maxwell Baker, Danusia figures she’s found the perfect distraction from the problems in her life right now. Working on her thesis, Danusia’s found some irregularities that are a bit confusing, plus her apartment was broken into. She first met Max at her sister’s wedding and has been intrigued by this very hot co-worker of Roman’s, now she just has to persuade him to help her forget her troubles.

Danusia has been self-sufficient since going across the country to attend college at thirteen, and asking for help isn’t something she’s comfortable doing. Asking for mind-blowing sex from the hottest guy she’s ever met is something totally different though, and she has no problem bringing up the subject in Who’s Been Sleeping in My Brother’s Bed. In addition to the mind-blowing sex, this is a funny and charming romance.

Hot Mess - Jamie Denton
Los Angeles, California - Present Day

Thanks to a scheduling mix-up, Alyssa Cardellini finds herself on her first bodyguard assignment. With no one else available, Alyssa—the office manager/go-to girl—will have to pick up whistle-blower Charles Ralston at the airport and watch over him until he can testify. The man who approaches her is not what she expects; who knew an accountant could be so sexy? The truth, however, is that FBI Agent Noah Temple lost Charles Ralston on the way to Los Angeles, and when he approaches the woman to find out if she knows what happened to him, Alyssa assumes that Noah is Charles. But, with two armed goons on their tail, Alyssa and Noah/Charles don’t have time to set the record straight, and while hidden away in a beach front hotel, there are definitely other things on their minds.

A case of mistaken identity is at the root of a Hot Mess, but Noah isn’t complaining. True, he wants to be honest with Alyssa, but is on orders to keep up the charade. The chemistry between Alyssa and Noah is off-the-charts, but how can it be more than sex when Noah is lying to her?

Acapulco Heat - Elisabeth Naughton
Acapulco, Mexico - Present Day

Finn Tierney figures this has to be the worst bodyguard assignment he’s ever received. He’s known Lauren Kauffman for years, but watching the supermodel during a sexy shoot is a lot different from talking to her at her brother’s gallery. Worse, she is just as attracted to him as he is to her, but since he refuses to get involved with the person he’s guarding, Lauren has taken great delight in tempting him over the past few days. He has no intention of crossing that line, but when they find themselves on the run from a drug cartel, all bets are off.

Finn learned the hard way to keep business separate from pleasure, and not even the Acapulco Heat will be able to sway that determination—or so he thinks. Lauren isn’t quite the spoiled princess type of woman that he’s used to guarding, but will he figure that out before he pushes her too far away?

A fun and sexy summer read, BODYGUARDS IN BED is sure to please.

Jennifer Bishop

DEED TO DEATH by D.B. Henson

DEED TO DEATH – D. B. Henson
Touchstone
ISBN: 978-1-4516-4960-4
July 2011
Fiction

Nashville, Tennessee, Present Day

Today should be Toni Matthews’s wedding day. Instead she is burying her fiancé, Scott. Scott was a successful architect, his business was doing well, and they were happy. Not able to wrap her mind around what has happened, Toni can’t accept the fact that Scott jumped off a high rise building and committed suicide. Money was not an issue. Scott was worth more than twelve million dollars. The facts that are presented to her by the police just don’t ring true. Wanting to see where it happened, she goes to the job site and, as she rides up in the elevator, she finds Scott’s pen. Was he in the elevator? Silly as it sounds Toni knows Scott always had his pen with him. This small find plants the seed of doubt in her mind.

Friends attempt to comfort Toni, but when she voices concern over Scott’s death, nobody will listen to her. Is she seeing shadows were there are none? Mark, her best friend and attorney, informs her that Brian, Scott’s brother, is going to contest the will. Will she lose the home she and Scott had built?

Toni discovers that Brian is in deep financial trouble, and after unveiling his lies, she is convinced that Brian murdered Scott. With so much conflicting information, Toni begins to wonder if she knew her fiancé at all. Was Scott keeping secrets?

DEED TO DEATH is an excellent mystery. The plot is filled with many unforeseen twists and turns. The main protagonist, Toni, is in a fragile state. She has no family to surround her and discovers everyone is not who they seem to be. Yet she refuses to give up her quest to find the truth.

I believe D. B. Henson has great potential as a writer, and I look forward to seeing more of her work.

Deborah C Jackson

COWBOY UP by Vicki Lewis Thompson

COWBOY UP – Vicki Lewis Thompson
Sons of Chance, Book 5
Harlequin Blaze #624
ISBN: 978-0-373-79628-1
July 2011
Series Romance

Last Chance Ranch – Present Day

After watching her parents’ divorce years ago, the last thing Emily Sterling wants is to get involved with a cowboy. But visiting her father at the Last Chance Ranch where he works, she encounters sexy cowboy Clay Whitaker. When he takes his shirt off…oh, my! Clay is as charming as any cowboy should be, yet he treats her with a bit of reserve. After all, he’s close to Emily’s father, Emmett, and both Clay and Emily are aware that their getting into a sexual relationship is treading on dangerous waters. But the temptation is too much to resist…

Clay thinks Emily is a spoiled, flighty woman who doesn’t want to work and instead sponges off her father’s generosity, and yet, he’s surprised at her hard work and the genuine love she has for her father. While working on a surprise birthday for her father, Clay and Emily are given the opportunity for some sexual shenanigans, and they certainly enjoy them—and each other. They get along great, yet Emily is afraid to look beyond a vacation fling, as her mother has ingrained into her head that while cowboys make good lovers, they aren’t good marriage material. And Clay thinks city bred Emily couldn’t handle the harsh life on a ranch. Are they destined to only have a few days together?

Oh, boy, nobody creates a sexy cowboy better than Vicki Lewis Thompson! Clay is hardworking and dedicated to his job on the Last Chance Ranch. He thinks the world of Emmett, and when he gets his first glimpse of the grownup Emily, he’s thrown for a loop at the intense desire for her he experiences. She can’t be anyone he should ever get involved with, nor can he expect any kind of future with her. She’s only around for Emmett’s birthday. Yet, together they are as combustible as gasoline and fire, with both fighting the temptation for fear of getting singed. Their hot chemistry rocks the pages of COWBOY UP, and add in the fast paced track of their relationship, you’re in for a sexy, fun read. They try hard (well, not that hard) to not get involved, but when they do, you’re in for a treat. I had a good chuckle at the condom scene that took a couple pages or more in COWBOY UP, and I bet you will too. If you’re a reader of ultra hot sensual tales, then I highly recommend you pick up this tale.

Another tale related to the Sons of Chance series, COWBOY UP can be read alone, but I recommend picking up the rest of the series to better understand the characters as they interact with each other. For a superbly entertaining read, grab yourself a copy of COWBOY UP.

Patti Fischer

ONE SUMMER by JoAnn Ross

ONE SUMMER - JoAnn Ross
A Shelter Bay Novel, Book 2
Signet
ISBN: 978-0-451-23400-1
July 2011
Contemporary Romance

Shelter Bay, Oregon - The Present

Former Marine photojournalist Gabriel St. James does a Marine buddy a favor and takes his wedding photos, the last thing Gabriel wants to do. Gabriel's war photography won him a Pulitzer Prize, and now he is touring the United States taking photographs for another book. Still suffering from nightmares caused by PTSD, he has no family except the fellow Marines in his unit for whom he will do anything…thus the wedding photography. He doesn't believe in romantic love, nor does he want it, yet he sees this emotion in Cole’s and his bride's faces. His job is interrupted by a woman who comments on his work. She leaves a lasting impression, but self-contained Gabriel doesn't follow up until on his way out of town when he sees a dog thrown from a van. The woman said she was a vet; the dog needs help, and he needs a place to leave it.

With good reason Charity Tiernan walked out on her wedding at the very last minute (guests were in the church pews) and left for Oregon where she opened up a vet clinic and no-kill animal shelter. Celibate since her non-wedding, Charity is more interested in finding abandoned animals new homes. After her mother's multi-marriage example, and her own abortive wedding, she doesn't believe in lasting love. Gabriel offers her a short term affair, all sex, no ties, no regrets.

Both Gabriel and Charity are marvelous characters readers will love. Their anti long relationship attitudes are totally believable, but their good natures are also apparent despite their wariness of so-called everlasting love. Charity's mother Amanda, who is in another marriage crisis, shows up to complicate the situation, as do two foster children, Johnny and Angel. A long-time Shelter Bay family, the Douchetts, take part, as do Sheriff Kara Conway and Sax Douchett from the previous Shelter Bay novel, THE HOMECOMING. To add to the mix, a couple of personable pooches add some moving moments. While it is a foregone conclusion that Charity with her open heart and Gabriel with his closed heart are made for each other, readers won't be able to stop turning pages to find how everything weaves together in this bumpy-road-to-love story.

Robin Lee

CAUGHT IN THE BILLIONAIRE'S EMBRACE by Elizabeth Bevarly

CAUGHT IN THE BILIONAIRE’S EMBRACE – Elizabeth Bevarly
Harlequin Desire #2093
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-73108-4
July 2011
Series Romance

Chicago, Illinois - Present Day

It’s Della Hannan’s thirtieth birthday, and she’s giving herself the kind of day she always dreamed of. She’s eating dinner at Palumbo’s, an expensive five star restaurant. She’s rented a red Carolina Herrera gown, Dolce & Gabbana shoes, Bulgari earrings and pendant, and a black silk Valentino opera coat. She has tickets for a box seat at the opera, and she is going for champagne afterward; truly a birthday fit for a queen, except she’s alone, as always. While eating dinner, the hunkiest piece of male eye candy walks by and sits down close to her. The man looks up and something clicks between them, and he asks her what she would suggest for dinner. Surely a casual conversation. Then as she is taking her seat at the opera, who is sitting several chairs down from her but the mysterious man. Discussing La Boheme seems innocent enough, except Della finds herself drawn to him, thinking maybe he is just a lovely, momentary memory to go along with all the lovely memories of this night. Then, after the opera, who is sitting in the Windsor Club where she’s going for a glass of champagne but her hunk, whose name she soon finds out is Marcus. Della has been in Chicago only eleven months and only left her house five times; she must call the mysterious Geoffrey every morning and check in. (Is he a relative, a boyfriend? We really don’t know yet). Della doesn’t want any connection to Marcus, and needs to keep emotions at a distance.

Marcus is missing a special friend who died and wants to go to their favorite restaurant, opera, and have a drink in her honor. But fate lends a hand to his sad night, and he keeps seeing Della everywhere he goes. While outside the Club where they’re having a drink watching the snow fall, the sparks flare between them, and they have a sexual encounter. With a blizzard well on its way, they decide to go to the nearby hotel and spend the night finishing what they started. Della’s refusal to talk about herself causes Marcus to sneak a peek into her purse while she’s in the bathroom and find out she’s originally from New York. Their white hot sexual combustion continues over the next day, but Marcus is no closer to knowing who Della is.

Della found out about some shenanigans at the brokerage house she worked for in New York, and her life is not hers anymore until that issue is finished. Marcus is in line to be the new CEO of his family’s investment firm, Fallon Brothers. But his life has no meaning, and when he becomes CEO he can only look for more life with no purpose. Can their lives intersect in any way with the different things separating them?

Written from Della’s and Marcus’s points of view, we have a couple that is seemingly doomed to separate. Della has a hidden life she refuses to share with Marcus, and Marcus, despite trying desperately, is kept at a distance from Della…except in bed. There they heat up the sheets, entering a world neither of them ever expected to find.

The only other character who makes an appearance is the mysterious Geoffrey, who is always lurking in the background for Della, and we don’t find out his part in her history until later in the story.

CAUGHT IN THE BILLIONAIRE’S EMBRACE is not a light hearted story, but rather a sober look at a woman hiding from something and the man who is gradually giving his love to her without knowing what serious problems she has. The physical side of their relationship shows Marcus what he has been missing, and he is determined not to let Della get away from him. A suspenseful story, CAUGHT IN THE BILLIONAIRE’S EMBRACE is perfect summer reading.

Carolyn Crisher

THE TYCOON'S TEMPORARY BABY by Emily McKay

THE TYCOON’S TEMPORARY BABY – Emily McKay
Billionaires and Babies Series
Harlequin Desire #2097
ISBN: 978-0-373-73110-7
July 2011
Series Romance

Palo Alto, California – Present Day

With an important business deal needing to be finalized, billionaire Jonathon Bagdon really needs his personal assistant back to work. Due to a family emergency, Wendy Leland has been out of the office. Now she returns…with a baby in tow. After the untimely death of her cousin Bitsy, Wendy was named the guardian of her baby, Peyton. Her family isn’t happy with the news, as they feel she is not fit to be a stand-in mother, so Wendy has decided to move back to Texas for the custody battle. But Jonathon has a better idea: he’ll marry Wendy and provide an instant family for her and Peyton.

Wendy has secretly had a crush on her boss, but marry him? Granted, marriage to a wealthy man who is a steady rock in the business community will win her brownie points with a judge, but isn’t Jonathon going a little too far to make sure Wendy doesn’t leave her job? She reluctantly agrees, but goes in with the knowledge that it’s in name only. Of course, close quarters leads to close encounters. The attraction builds between them, but Jonathon is determined to keep her at arm’s length. Will Wendy get to keep Peyton and not lose her heart to Jonathon in the end?

A tiny, four month old baby is the catalyst that brings together Jonathon and Wendy in THE TYCOON’S TEMPORARY BABY. Wendy was raised in wealth, but by a family bent on controlling the lives of its members. Wendy rebelled and went on to declare her independence by going to work for Jonathon and his partners at FMJ. Years of working for Jonathon has her dedicated to her job, yet she’s willing to give it all up to win permanent custody of Peyton. When Jonathon offers to marry her, Wendy knows it is because he values her as an employee, not because he wants to marry her. Marriage means moving in together, and this closeness provides an opportunity for them to really get to know each other. But Jonathon has a problem with personal relationships and pushes Wendy away. Alas, into their lives come first her relatives, then his. Now they have to pretend they’re truly in love or face either Wendy losing Peyton or Jonathon losing the best assistant he’s ever had. Will he ever open his heart and soul to Wendy and accept her love—and give his heart to her in return? Jonathon is a hard nut to crack, but Wendy has the ability.

In THE TYCOON’S TEMPORARY BABY, we see firsthand Jonathon’s reluctance to give in to his growing feelings for Wendy, yet he soon grows to care for Peyton. A lot of it has to do with his background, which is explored in this tale. Mixed in with the emotion and passion is a bit of humor. Readers will chuckle, cry, and come to love Wendy, Jonathon and Peyton.

For a truly engaging read, pick up THE TYCOON’S TEMPORARY BABY.

Patti Fischer

FALLING FOR THE PRINCESS by Sandra Hyatt

FALLING FOR THE PRINCESS - Sandra Hyatt
Harlequin Desire #2100
ISBN-13: 978-0-373-73113-8
July 2011
Contemporary Series Romance

San Phillippe, Europe - the Present

Her father is pressuring Princess Rebecca Marconi to get married, as he is her siblings. She doesn't want an arranged marriage, so to give herself time, she escapes to a worldwide trip. In New Zealand, she finds Chicago businessman Logan Buchanan has tracked her down. He wants access to San Phillippe royals for his business, and has a solution for both of their problems: an engagement of convenience.

Cool and aloof, Rebecca rejects Logan's proposal and runs away again. Although devastatingly attractive, Logan is not the type of man she can marry. Then while on a call to her father, she learns he has planned a ball for her and her unmarried brother. All the most eligible bachelors in Europe have been invited. Rebecca calls Logan.

This starts a dating game that gives them both what they want, the princess freedom from wedding pressure, or worse, having to marry someone who only wants her royal status, and Logan gains access to important people. Along the way, each learns the other is not the person they thought. She is not the pampered and privileged socialite, and he is not the cut-throat businessman. Of course, mutual attraction and emotions lead to a love impasse. How will either know the other truly loves them and not what they have to offer?

The characters are well drawn with very human faults, but also nobility. The story is a well written and interesting twist on the Cinderella tale. Good reading.

Robin Lee

THE SECRET MISTRESS by Mary Balogh

THE SECRET MISTRESS – Mary Balogh
Delacorte Press (Hardcover)
ISBN: 978-0-385-34331-2
July 2011
Historical Romance

Regency England

Lady Angeline Dudley was brought up in lonely luxury mainly by a series of starchy governesses. It’s a wonder they were unable to completely squelch her ebullient personality. Now at nineteen, she is finally to make her first trip to London for her come-out. She is so eager for her brother and guardian, the Duke of Tresham, to arrive at the inn where they are to meet, that she casts aside strict propriety to peer out the window of the inn’s public room to watch for him. She’s not as alone as she believes. Edward Ailsbury, the new Earl of Heyward, is present. Now, Edward is cut from a different cloth from his late, rakish brother whose fatal curricle accident raised Edward to earl. Edward is conscientious—some say serious to a fault—and determined to be the best peer he can be; he’s on his way to take his place in the House of Lords. That is not to say he can’t admire the fetching, pink-clad derriere pointing at him from the window. But he’s too much a gentleman to embarrass a lady and prepares to silently depart. But then a crony of his brother’s enters, and Lord Windrow is definitely not one to pass up an opportunity for dalliance. In short, Edward manages to defend the lady without resorting to violence or learning her name. Angeline’s brothers are themselves charming rakes, and she loves them, but whatever husband she finds this season will not be like them. She manages to stare down the insulting gentleman and has already fallen immediately in love with the genuine, but anonymous one.

Once in London, Edward and Angeline again come face-to-face riding in the park one morning. Again her actions lack propriety but racing with a bunch of young men. (One is her other brother, but that would make little difference to Edward if he knew.) It’s another black mark against her in his book, but a happy event to Angeline. Now she knows there is a chance they will finally be properly introduced. Meanwhile, the ladies in Edward’s family connive with Angeline’s sponsor, Lady Palmer, the cousin who is presenting her, for Lady Angeline to be led out in the first dance at her come-out ball by the Earl of Heyward. They are sure the two, the most eligible catches of the Season, would suit. Neither has any idea who the other is or that they have already met.

Edward has a long standing friendship with the daughter of his old friend and mentor from Cambridge. He spent many happy times at the Goddard home and he long ago decided he would some day marry the intelligent and sensible Eunice. As respectable as her family is, now that he has the title, he knows it will be hard to convince his family of women that she will do for him.

Edward and Angeline are marvelous characters. She is irrepressible even though ridden with self-doubts for which her neglectful family is to blame. As a tall, dark haired beauty, she doesn’t believe she can compare with her delicate and fair late mother. She is one of the few—outside his womenfolk—who see there is more to Edward than his brother’s dull replacement. Are the two actually so completely opposite as they seem? Or does one complement the other? If so, what will have to happen before recognition comes to be? I can’t say how this lovely book came to be titled THE SECRET MISTRESS—Lady Angeline is far from naïve or unintelligent, but she’s one of nature’s natural innocents. See if you can figure it out before the end.

Several minor personages nicely fill out the tale. You’ll like Eunice and hope for a happy ending for her rare visit to Town. Then there are Angeline’s wild brothers. THE SECRET MISTRESS is a prequel to two earlier titles; her two brothers are still running wild and free. Are they redeemable? Luckily, their stories have already been told in MORE THAN A MISTRESS and NO MAN’S MISTRESS. The latter two titles have recently be re-released in a paperback double book, so you’ll now have a chance to read the whole series together, even if you’ve already read the first two. With wit, passion, and excellent plotting, a Balogh book is always prime for a re-read.

Jane Bowers