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Sunday, October 28, 2012

More Great Fall Books.....

Hello to all of you out there. I have a few reviews to post as I sit here waiting for this hurricane to come up the East coast. Hope you enjoy these books!

Susan Mallery Harlequin
HQN ISBN: 978-0373777020
October 2012
Contemporary Romance

 This charming holiday romance gives us Evie Stryker’s story. A dancer, she was introduced in previous stories as the Stryker sibling who felt like an outsider. Conceived during her mom’s brief affair, she has been estranged from her mother and brother for years. When she's injured, she is forced to come home to recuperate. Evie is not going to succumb to her brother’s best friend, Dante Jefferson.

Dante is a jaded cynical lawyer who has reluctantly come to Fool’s Gold to manage Rafe Stryker’s business. When Evie begins teaching in a dance studio above his offices he finds his attraction growing to the beautiful dancer with a tinge of sadness under her scrooge-like attitude. These two delightful characters have a lot of emotional baggage between them. While the story is formulaic and somewhat predictable, it is still a heartwarming holiday tale told in true Mallery fashion. In other words, well-plotted, with excellent character development, and an emotional pull that will delight.

Reviewed by Jeri Neal
Rating: 4

Roxanne St. Claire
ISBN: 978-1-455-50827-3
October 2012
Contemporary Romance

This second Barefoot Bay novel is Jocelyn Bloom’s story. As a “Life Coach to the Stars” she has become embroiled in a scandal in which she is accused of having an affair with one of her client’s husbands, a famous movie star. Her Los Angeles business in shambles, she has come back to her home to try and escape the media. Jocelyn returns very reluctantly and only because her best friend Lacey is building a resort there and offers refuge.

Jocelyn dreads seeing her aging father, a former deputy sheriff who in his younger years, was physically abusive to his wife and daughter. Jocelyn also dreads the childhood and high school memories of the only boy she ever loved, Will Palmer. Will, formerly a professional baseball player, now works as a carpenter at Lacey’s new resort. Little does Jocelyn know that he is now in the unlikely role of caretaker for her dad, who has developed Alzheimer’s. He recognizes no one from his past.

This is a terrific story, even better than the first in the series. It has so many themes including long term friendships, disorders of aging, childhood trauma and abuse, and domestic violence. In spite of these very intense issues, at the heart this is a romantic love story between Jocelyn and Will. Their story returning them to each other is heartwarming and lovely. I am really enjoying this series.

Reviewed by Jeri Neal
Rating: 4 1/2

Olivia Gates
Harlequin Desire #2183
ISBN: 978-0373731961
September 2012
Category Romance

In this second book in the Desert Knights series readers are introduced to Prince Jalal Aal Shalaan who wants to be the king of Azmahar. His affair with Lujayn Morgan, which lasted for several years, has ended some time before and Lujayn has married someone else. Now a widow, she is startled when she once again encounters the handsome, enigmatic prince and finds that their attraction to each other has not wavered.

For Jalal there is really only Lujayn, even though he seems to be quite good at making a mess of their relationship. Filled with contradictions and misunderstandings this book is also passionate, complex, and one very hot romance. There is something to be said about the writing style of this very talented author. I’ve said it before: she has found her groove and these stories just keep getting better and better. We still don’t know who will be the new king of Azmahar! While we wait for this Jalal and Lujayn were certainly interesting to watch as they negotiated their relationship.

Reviewed by Jeri Neal
Rating: 4

Luann McLane
Signet Eclipse
ISBN: 978-0-451-23780-4
September 2012
Contemporary Romance

This novel takes place in Cricket Creek, Kentucky. Part of an ongoing series about this small town characterized by friendliness, good eats, and the Cougar Creek baseball team, this books focuses on Mia Monroe and Cameron Patrick. Mia is on the run from her pampered life as the only child of a very wealthy businessman, who happens to be a silent owner of the baseball team. Cameron is one of the their star players, a boy from the wrong side of the tracks with a tendency for fighting and getting arrested. Now his job is to play good ball and avoid trouble.

Mia’s car breaks down and she ends up working as a waitress in the Wine and Diner. Forced to make due with no money she quickly learns that waitressing is not her forte. At the same time she and Cameron are drawn together like metal shavings to a magnet. As their relationship progresses and it becomes more and more important for Mia to reveal who she really is, the plot gets interesting. A secondary story involves Mia’s father and his secret relationship with a woman in Cricket Creek.

Other characters from past books are described and readers are quickly drawn into the drama and fun of this small town. The early scenes of this book were laugh out loud funny. While I thought the relationship between Mia and Cameron could have been deepened, this is a very entertaining book and sure to please fans of this author.

Reviewed by Jeri Neal
Rating: 3

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