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Course of Action: Crossfire: Hidden Heart\Desert Heat (Harlequin Romantic Suspense)
Course of Action: Crossfire: Hidden Heart\Desert Heat (Harlequin Romantic Suspense)
by Merline Lovelace
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.50
15 used & new from $2.18

4.0 out of 5 stars two action-packed military romances, June 1, 2015
Course of Action: Crossfire
Lindsay McKenna and Merline Lovelace
Harlequin Romantic Suspense, Jun 1 2015, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373279234

“Hidden Heart” by Lindsay McKenna. The Taliban ambush forced the 12-man Special Forces team to take shelter in a deserted Shinwari village. Several Americans die including Ben Moore and others like Sergeant Dan Taylor are wounded. Before Ben dies, he extracts a vow from Dan to take care of his sister Cait. This is a difficult mission for Dan who secretly loved Cait for years. In a Pearl Harbor hospital, Dan’s physical therapist is the woman he promised to protect; but being near her leaves his “secret love became impatient to be free” (Secret Love by Doris Day).

“Desert Heat” by Merline Lovelace. In Oman on a joint medical rescue exercise set up by Prince Malik, Master Sergeant Pete Winborne oversees the test that everyone afterward is proud of the results. Later he attends an opera performance by singer Riley Fairchild whom he met at the wedding of Josh and Aly (see Course Of Action: The Rescue - Jaguar Night) though she gave him freezer burn. When they are kidnapped in Muscat, Pete and Riley rely on each other to survive. As they fall in love, both believe it is the danger rather than their heart.

The third Course of Action military romance duology contains two action-packed storylines showcasing captivating protagonists.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2015 5:44 PM PDT

What the Prince Wants (Billionaires and Babies)
What the Prince Wants (Billionaires and Babies)
by Jules Bennett
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.25
7 used & new from $3.04

4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful contemporary, June 1, 2015
What the Prince Wants
Jules Bennett
Harlequin Desire, Jun 1 2015, $5.25
ISBN: 9780373733903

Galini Isle Prince Mikos Colin Alexander promised his brother King Stefan (see Behind Palace Doors) he would return to the tiny kingdom off of Greece within six months; as required by law to avoid forfeiting his royal standing. The throne’s heir needed to escape the media after the accident left his wife dead and him temporarily in a wheelchair. Though physically recovered, the widower remains emotionally shaken even as his marriage had collapsed before his spouse died. The prince and his baby daughter Iris temporarily reside in Los Angeles.

Hiding his royalty, Colin interviews the head of the Loving Hands Children Agency Darcy Cooper for the position of Iris’ nanny. Both are surprised by the attraction and the looks of the other; as he expected a grandmother not a curvaceous young beauty and she anticipated a harried tired father not a hunk. Thanks to her ex pilfering money from her firm, Darcy slept in her car until her BFF moved her onto her sofa, and had to let go the entire Loving Hands Children Agency staff. Though she avoided babies, Darcy needs this job to save the business her grandma established. Colin believes she is too young, but gives her one day to prove herself. As Darcy proves a God-send with her nurturing of Iris, she and Colin fall in love; but he has a royal secret that is the hidden elephant in the room.

The latest Billionaires and Babes romance is a wonderful contemporary as the infant’s needs come before the desires of the lead adults. Although the climax feels rushed, readers will root for a royal wedding in the Kingdom of Galini.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2015 5:46 PM PDT

The Surgeon and the Cowgirl (Harlequin American Romance)
The Surgeon and the Cowgirl (Harlequin American Romance)
by Heidi Hormel
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.50
7 used & new from $3.03

4.0 out of 5 stars pleasant second chance contemporary, June 1, 2015
The Surgeon and the Cowgirl
Heidi Hormel
Harlequin American, Jun 1 2015, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373755738

Rationalizing that his feelings are out of concern for his very young patients especially Alex, pediatric surgeon Dr. Payson MacCormack is angry at the child’s mother Karin for placing her son in the Hope’s Ride equestrian therapeutic program. He insists to himself that his apprehensions are for the child and not due to his ex-wife and retired rodeo performer Jessie Leigh running the program on her ranch. His fears almost happen when Alex wanders towards an upset horse until Jessie rescues him at the cost of further injuring her bad knee.

Jessie needs Payson’s certification to run her Hope’s Ride therapy in order to save her ranch. He wants to delay their meeting, but knows the inevitable is coming. Payson soon invests his heart, soul and career in Jessie’s program; while both dream of reconciliation built on trust.

The once high school sweethearts disagree with WC Fields’ comment: "Never work with animals or children" as each protagonist insist they give you more than you give them even as Alex and Molly steal the show from Jessie and Payson. Heidi Hormel provides a pleasant second chance contemporary filled with plenty of heart.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2015 5:59 PM PDT

The Vampire's Fall
The Vampire's Fall
by Michele Hauf
Edition: Paperback

4.0 out of 5 stars intriguing urban fantasy romance, June 1, 2015
This review is from: The Vampire's Fall (Paperback)
The Vampire’s Fall
Michele Hauf
Harlequin Nocturne, Jun 1 2015, $5.75
ISBN: 9780373009466

In “haunted” Darkwood, the mysterious stranger Sim accosts Blade Saint-Pierre the vampire with fairy wings. Mentioning the hybrid’s craving for demon blood that he hides from everyone especially his caring family, Sim warns Blade that the Denizen grows rapidly and expects them soon to Rage against humanity if not stopped now.

One week later in Tangle Lake, amnesiac Zenia arrives; knowing she is not human, but confused over what she is. Blade sniffs demons as three accost Zen. He prevents the evil from abducting her while wondering what species she is. On a knowledge walk pursuing her Destiny, Zen has no time for her rescuer and wannabe protector even if he is a hunk she wants. Still Blade makes her feel a bit safe while he needs to shield her as his internal demon alert system is on high especially when near Zen. As they fall in love, someone else has royal plans for the black-blooded Zen.

The third Saint-Pierre urban fantasy romance (see Moonlight and Diamonds, and Ghost Wolf) is an intriguing suspense starring a mixed race hero and a beautiful enigma. The paranormal entertains due ironically to the mysterious lead female, who suffers from overused amnesia and equally commonplace a destiny quest in which her odd behavior make her twin afflictions seem genuine.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (4) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2015 6:02 PM PDT

What Lies Behind (A Samantha Owens Novel)
What Lies Behind (A Samantha Owens Novel)
by J. T. Ellison
Edition: Hardcover
Price: $17.11
40 used & new from $10.00

4.0 out of 5 stars tremendous suspense, May 27, 2015
What Lies Behind
J.T. Ellison
Mira, May 26 2015, $24.95
ISBN 9780778316503

Leaving the perilous law enforcement field work somewhat behind, Dr. Samantha Owens chairs Georgetown University Medical School’s Forensic Pathology Department. The FBI also employs her as an expert on cases.

Sirens in her Georgetown neighborhood wake her up. With Thor, Sam goes to look at what is happening so close to her home. Homicide Lieutenant Darren Fletcher leads the investigation into what appears to be a murder-suicide with the latter barely alive rushed to the hospital. Two intoxicated underage students including the deceased male’s former girlfriend found the victims. Darren asks Sam to look at the crime scene; the former D.C medical examiner concludes a third person made it look like the man murdered the woman and tried to kill himself.

Sam’s boyfriend Xander and his partner Chalk protect affluent British entrepreneur James Denon, while he is on business in America. Their service overlaps with Fletch’s inquiry. Meanwhile the Feds order the police detective and his advisor to back down at a time when evidence mounts of a pending bioterrorist attack.

The fourth Samantha Owens mystery (see When Shadows Fall, A Deeper Darkness and Edge of Black) is a very byzantine whodunit that grows exponentially more complicated (to our delight) with every new clue. Incredibly fast-paced, readers will relish this tremendous suspense thriller; while also waiting for the next confrontation between the heroine and a person taunting her.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 30, 2015 12:22 AM PDT

Led Astray & The Devil's Own
Led Astray & The Devil's Own
by Sandra Brown
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
29 used & new from $4.52

4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining related romantic suspense, May 27, 2015
Led Astray & The Devil’s Own
Sandra Brown
Mira, May 26 2015, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778318569

“Led Astray.” Burying her own desires, Jenny Fletcher fully supported her dedicated fiancé Hal Hendren. Committed to helping political refugees escape to the United States, Hal heads to Mexico but not before a night of passion with his future wife. When tragedy strikes, the late Hal’s wild brother Cage steps in to be there for grieving Jenny. When he shows her what passion truly is; Cage knows he loves Jenny and the unborn she carries even if he may not be the sire.

“The Devil's Own.” In a seedy bar dressed as a whore, Kerry Bishop seeks a fearless warrior to rescue nine orphans. She chooses drunken patron Linc O'Neal, whose definition of a shot comes from being an internationally famous photojournalist. Looking forward to leaving the war-ravaged hellhole, Linc revises his plan to go home when Kerry propositions him.

These are two entertaining related 1980s romantic suspense reprints. Although Kerry’s behavior is unlikely lunacy, readers will appreciate these early Sandra Brown tales.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 29, 2015 9:06 AM PDT

Clawed: A Gin & Tonic Mystery
Clawed: A Gin & Tonic Mystery
by L. A. Kornetsky
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
32 used & new from $1.46

5.0 out of 5 stars appealing anthropomorphist amateur sleuth, May 27, 2015
L.A. Kornetsky
Pocket Books, May 26 2015, $7.99
ISBN: 9781476750088

Having earned a reputation as part of a team of unlicensed private investigators in Seattle (see Doghouse, Collared and Fixed); Ginny Mallard is thrilled with her first out of town client who wants to use her day job skills as a concierge. Ginny’s sleuthing partner Teddy Tonica is concerned over her propensity for trouble, but since she is not detecting he expects no problems.

As Teddy and Penny the cat remain at Mary’s where the human manages the establishment, Ginny and Georgie the shar-pei drive to Portland to meet with her new patron. After leaving Georgie at the Pines Hotel, she continues onto her meeting with wheelchair-bound Mrs. Adaowsky. Running late, Ginny rings the bell but no one responds. Finding an unlocked door, Ginny cautiously enters but only a corpse greets her. Calling 911, PPD cops arrive and tell her to go home but remain available if needed for further questioning. Perhaps out of a sense of loyalty, Ginny feels a strong need to investigate. The rest of the sleuthing quartet reluctantly joins her mostly to perform the impossible task of keeping Ginny out of stepping into danger.

The fourth Gin & Tonic Mystery “researchtigations” is an appealing anthropomorphist amateur sleuth that takes the heroine and her entourage out of the comfort zone of the Ballard neighborhood bar and Seattle into a “foreign” location. The lead humans and their animal owners remain fresh protagonists while the Portland homicide case proves once again perilous.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2015 12:50 PM PDT

Summer by the Sea
Summer by the Sea
Offered by Harlequin Digital Sales Corp.
Price: $8.99

4.0 out of 5 stars wonderful family drama, May 26, 2015
This review is from: Summer by the Sea (Kindle Edition)
Summer By The Sea
Susan Wiggs
Mira, May 26 2015, $14.95
ISBN: 9780778318538

"Celesta's by the Sea" owner Rosa Capoletti feels good for her BFF Linda whose beloved Jason just proposed to her. However, Rosa’s happiness ends when “yachtis” from Newport arrive in her Winslow establishments for drinks. Amongst them is the last person she ever wants to see, her teenage sweetheart Alex Montgomery who left one day without a word, never returning until now.

Her dad was his affluent family gardener; so Rosa assumed theirs was a summer fling that could go nowhere. Thus she focused on her highly regarded restaurant as the love of her life. Alex informs her he is staying at his family summer home that has been vacant for over a decade. She thinks back to when they first met and the subsequent summers afterward; he needs to tell her why he left a dozen years ago. Family tragedies connect the gap.

Though the transition between past and present at times is difficult to follow, this is a reprint of a wonderful 2004 family drama. The twenty-first century Romeo and Juliet couple is an absorbing pairing of old money Yankee and working class Italian-American. Ironically it is not the social class difference that nuked their relationship, but a family tragedy that tore them apart and another family tragedy that may, if each is willing, give them a second chance.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 27, 2015 10:25 PM PDT

The Calamity Janes: Gina & Emma: To Catch a Thief
The Calamity Janes: Gina & Emma: To Catch a Thief
by Sherryl Woods
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
35 used & new from $4.47

4.0 out of 5 stars engaging romances, May 26, 2015
The Calamity Janes: Gina & Emma
Sheryl Woods
Mira, May 26 2015, $7.99
ISBN: 9780778317784

“To Catch a Thief.” In Manhattan, Tuscany Café co-owner Gina Petrillo is stunned by the court order. Her partner Roberto Rinaldi embezzled the funds their investors sunk into the Upper East Side restaurant. Fuming as his mother is one of the victims, Attorney Rafe O'Donnell turns angry when he learns Petrillo filed a delay on submitting her deposition so that she could go home to Winding River, Wyoming. He follows her expecting her to be guilty and also leading him to Rinaldi. Instead he falls in love; as does she.

“The Calamity Janes.” Denver-based lawyer Emma Rogers returns to Winding River for a class reunion. When a domestic dispute turns ugly, Emma agrees to defend the accused though that means more time not spent with her six year old daughter Caitlyn. Reporter Ford Hamilton covers the murder trial, but finds Emma very uncooperative in several ways including those of the heart.

Published in 2001, these reprints of the third and fourth Calamity Jane novels (see The Calamity Janes: Cassie and Karen) are engaging romances. Although “To Catch a Thief” contains too many sidebars slowing down the plot; The Calamity Janes provides an intense look at domestic abuse.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Jun 1, 2015 12:50 PM PDT

The Charlemagne Connection
The Charlemagne Connection
by Richard Michael Cartmel
Edition: Paperback
Price: $13.99
30 used & new from $7.20

4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable French police procedural, May 26, 2015
The Charlemagne Connection
R. M. Cartmel
Crime Scene Books, May 26 2015, $13.99
ISBN: 9780992948627

In Nuits-Saint-Georges, Burgundy, Madame Blanchard informs the Gendarme that German tourist Horst Witter is missing. Constables Lenoir and Montbard find no evidence of foul play so assume Witter found either a companion or a job; so they close the case and move his abandoned camper to their compound.

Vintner Simon Marechale calls Paris-based Commander Truchaud informing him that his Alzheimer’s inflicted father urinated on a neighbor’s vines. Obtaining time-off, Truchaud heads home to Nuits-Saint-Georges to consult with his widow sister-in-law on what to do. However, though on leave, his supervisor and the town’s mayor arrange for Truchaud to fill the vacant Municipal Chief of Police position temporarily. Not long after that, Horst’s sister Dagmar and her traveling companion arrive looking for him. Needing someone fluent in German, Truchaud arranges for Paris-based Sergeant Natalie Dutoit to join him. Soon after her arrival, Dutoit and Truchaud investigate what happened to a badly decomposed corpse found in the nearby woods.

The second Commander Truchaud French police procedural (see The Richebourg Affair) is a pleasant leisurely-paced mystery. The sleuthing is limited as Truchard’s family and other personal issues supersede the inquiry; which takes off late in the storyline. Feeling more like a transitional middle book, The Charlemagne Connection still provides readers with an interesting glimpse into life amongst the vines of Burgundy.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (3) | Permalink | Most recent comment: May 27, 2015 10:30 PM PDT

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