Monday, May 25, 2015

A Match For Marcus Cynster - Stephanie Laurens

A Match For Marcus Cynster
Stephanie Laurens
Mira, May 26 2015, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778318347

In 1849 Scotland, Marcus Cynster believes he will soon meet and marry his Fate.  Though attracted to independent Niniver Carrick, Marcus believes she cannot be his; as Fate could not so kind. 

One year later, with her dad dead, her oldest brother missing and assumed dead like her other male siblings, Niniver learns how bad the clan’s finances are.  She vows to never marry as she cannot have a spouse interfere with her making it right for Clan Carrick.  Knowing unwanted suitors will pursue her, Niniver turns to someone she trusts though fearful of her desire for him, her neighbor Marcus for help.  Surrounded by Cynster females, Marcus knows firsthand strong women and believes now that Niniver is his Fate, but she needs to conclude on her own that he is her fate too.

The third Cynster’s Next Generation (see By Winter’s Light) is an appealing leisurely-paced Victorian romantic suspense that behooves the audience to first read Marcus’ twin Lucilla’s novel (see The Tempting of Thomas Carrick); which sets up much of the action in this tale.  The contemplative, compassionate chats between the leads make their relationship seem real; as Stephanie Laurens authors another winner.

Harriet Klausner

Marriage Season - Linda Lael Miller

Marriage Season
Linda Lael Miller
Harlequin HQN, May 26 2015, $7.99
ISBN 9780373779338

Over a decade ago in Mustang Creek, Wyoming, the three BFFs (Hadleigh, Bex and Melody) made The Marriage Pact pledge in which each vowed to marry for “true love or nothing.”  Years of frustration recently ended for Melody (see The Marriage Charm) and Hadleigh (see The Marriage Pact); while Bex Stuart hopes that their good fortune is an omen hers is soon, but doubts she will ever find a new happily ever after since Will died in Afghanistan years ago.

A friend of Hadleigh’s Tripp, single dad Tate Calder raises his two sons (Ben and Adam).  He is attracted to Bex, but will not act on his desire out of fear what a relationship with the Marathon running woman could do to his boys.  She is confused as she wants him too, but feels guilty over moving on from her Will.

The third Brides of Bliss County is a warm amusing contemporary starring a lead couple who never seems to have alone time between hyper kids, well-meaning friends and overexcited canines.  Mindful of the cabin scene in the Marx Brothers’ A Night at the Opera, Linda Lael Miller writes a lively romance.

Harriet Klausner

Possessed By A Wolf - Sharon Ashwood

Possessed By A Wolf
Sharon Ashwood
Harlequin Nocturne, May 1 2015, $5.75
ISBN: 9780373009459

In the Palace of Marcari, photographer Lexie Haven works the royal wedding between the Kingdom of Vidon Crown Prince Kyle Adraio and the Kingdom of Marcari Princess Amelie.  Shots are fired leaving Lexie and her friend Chloe Anderson (see Possessed By A Warrior) knowing there is no exit.  With a gunman on his tail, a wolf suddenly crashes the nuptials.  Stunned Lexie recognizes the big beast’s markings and eyes as ones she will never forget.  Her former boyfriend Faran Kenyon who she has not seen in years; logically Lexie rejects her first conclusion since Faran was an undercover human operative and everyone knows there is no such thing as a real werewolf. 

During the perilous turmoil, someone steals a priceless royal ring.  Since Lexie was observed photographing the heirloom when the assault began, ergo she is a prime suspect in the theft.  As Lexie investigates the crimes to prove her innocence; Faran teams up with her since he knows she is his loving mate entering a world that she only believed were in fantasy novels and movies.

The latest La Compagnie des Mortes romantic urban fantasy (see Possessed By An Immortal) is an engaging second chance drama.  The metamorphosis of the heroine from skeptic to true believer anchors the exhilarating storyline.  The abundance of supernatural species adds tension and danger, but also requires a scorecard to keep track of who’s who.  Still readers will feel possessed by a talented author

Harriet Klausner

Sunday, May 24, 2015

That Summer Place - Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs and Jill Barnett

That Summer Place
Debbie Macomber, Susan Wiggs and Jill Barnett
Mira, May 26 2015, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778318217

“Old Things” by Jill Barnett.  In 1997 workaholic San Francisco businesswoman Catherine is burned out and desperately needs a vacation. She decides to return to the place where she spent many happy moments as a child, Washington State’s Spruce Island. When she arrives with her two children (Aly and Dana), the single mother meets Michael the local handyman and her first love. 

“Private Paradise” by Debbie Macomber.   In 1998 Beth and her teenage son Paul travel to the San Juan Islands to meet her friend Mary Jane and her family on her first vacation since her spouse passed away. Mary Jane’s husband breaks his leg; so to her chagrin Beth is forced to share her lodging with uptight Dr. John and his angry tweener daughter Nikki.

“Island Time” by Susan Wiggs.   Mitch the workaholic disses people wasting their mellow life.  However, he has a lobotomy of the soul when he meets Rosie, a laid- back scientific consultant. They teach each other about what they professionally do best, but can each learn how to love in spite of all that Spruce Island Time they share?

These fine family drama romances reprints leave readers wanting to spend more time at mystical old Victorian Rainshadow Lodge on Spruce Island.

Harriet Klausner

George's Grand Tour - Caroline Vermalle

George's Grand Tour
Caroline Vermalle; Anna Aitken (translator)
Gallic Books, May 26 2015. $14.95
ISBN: 9781908313737

With her mom heading to Peru, twenty-something London-based actress Adéle calls her octogenarian Grandpa that if he needs anything including a visit he should tell her.  Politely George Nicoleau thanks her; even as both know she has not taken the train to Poitier followed by the bus to Chanteloup to his hamlet since her parents’ divorce a decade ago. 

George reacts with mixed emotions to Adéle’s call of concern and caring.  On the one hand it energizes him to begin the Grand Tour with his eightyish friend Charles, but also worries him that Adéle will replace her mom the “inspector” by checking up on him with a visit.  As George and Charles conduct their Grand Tour drive, he and Adéle rekindle what they once had via texting.

Besides a unique vivid Tour de France ride by the elderly travelers, this is a compassionate and at times amusing (especially George’s technology efforts) tale.  The quirky storyline reminds readers loved ones matter but in spite of their caring concerns; still to go after fulfilling your dreams by adapting the effort as needed to age, health, technology or other considerations.  Readers will want to join George and Charles on their merveilleux pilgrimage.

Harriet Klausner

Wolf Hunter - Linda Thomas-Sundstrom

Wolf Hunter
Linda Thomas-Sundstrom
Harlequin Nocturne, May 1 2015, $5.75
ISBN: 9780373009442

Hunter Sam Stark and his Take Them Down minion share one goal: cleanse the human pool by exterminating those Others possessing the Full Moon gene.  Having seen first-hand the clawed human corpses in Miami parks, Sam’s daughter Abby fears these lethal Lycan.  Still loyal to her dad’s mission, she diligently conducts surveillance as she possesses the innate ability to sense when a werewolf is near; so that her dad and his goons can kill these predators.

This time a Were outs her.  In the park searching for Lycan beasts whose serial murders of humans threaten to expose his race, Cameron Mitchell reminds Abby that this locale has a stratospheric mortality rate.  To her chagrin he escorts her home.  Even more horrifying Abby is attracted to this seemingly kind monster.  As the hunter’s daughter and the Lycan fall in love, Abby feels pulled by her father and her soulmate.

The latest Wolf Moons entry series (see Wolf Born) is a captivating Romeo and Juliet romantic urban fantasy.  Abby’s internal struggle between a lifetime of patriarchal indoctrination and her first direct encounter with a caring Beloved Enemy makes for a superb paranormal drama.  Although her heart has already decided, she knows she cannot have both men so “must make up (her) mind and pick up on one and leave the other one behind” (Lovin’ Spoonful’s "Did You Ever Have To Make Up Your Mind").

Harriet Klausner

Friday, May 22, 2015

Navy Seal Newlywed - Elle James

Navy Seal Newlywed
Elle James
Harlequin Intrigue, May 19 2015, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373698370

Almost everyone believe that Rip” Cord Schafer died in the live fire exercise at the Stennis Space Center Complex, but he survived (see Navy SEAL Justice).  However, since those who wanted him dead including a traitor remain at large; Rip officially remains deceased so that he can go undercover in order to identify who arms terrorists in Honduras and tried to murder him.

Having already helped Rip since one of their operatives James Monahan was a former SEAL Boat team-22 brother in arms who assisted him; Covert Cowboys, Inc. provides him with a perfect cover.  Former FBI Agent and first “Cowgirl” Tracie Kosart and Rip masquerade as billionaire newlyweds on a Central America honeymoon.  However, in spite of their heated attraction, Tracie distrusts males ever since her Fed fiancé used her in his nefarious activities.  As the pair struggles to survive the steamy jungle’s killers, they fall in love; but she remains steadfast in her denial.

The latest Covert Cowboys Inc. romantic suspense (see Triggered and Taking Aim) is an action-packed thriller from start to finish.  Filled with tension (sexual and lethal), Navy Seal Newlywed entertains the audience from the moment the leads enter the rumble in the jungle (unbelievable forty years since Ali-Foreman in Zaire).

Harriet Klausner