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Unchained (Men in Chains)
Unchained (Men in Chains)
by Caris Roane
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
47 used & new from $3.90

4.0 out of 5 stars thrilling romantic fantasy, December 25, 2014
Unchained
Caris Roane
St. Martin's Paperbacks, Nov 25 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9781250035318

Marius the vampire fears his father Daniel for good reason as the latter will do anything to achieve his objective of ruling their species and the inferior humans. This ruthless vampire would maim and kill anyone after torturing them including his five children, especially the three rebelling against him (see Chains Of Darkness and Born In Chains for the stories of two of the siblings). Daniel’s minion and Marius vie for control of a gizmo that can kill vampires.

Though he cannot perceive how a member of the lesser race is his only chance at success, Marius knows he needs the assistance of archeology grad student Shayna Prentiss. When his father’s thugs accost Shayna, Marius intercedes by kidnapping her and taking her to his secret hideout. Stunned by the extraordinary skills of her savior and her wannabe abductees, Shaya is further astonished by her attraction to Marius as she never falls for “living” males; her preference being the dead of ancient civilizations. However her amazement is much less than that of her host who cannot believe how much he desires a lowly mortal. Bound by their blood chain and in love, Shaya embraces the vampire culture with a thirst to know more; while Marius fears what will happen to his beloved once she enters the combat against his deadly dad.

The third and final Dark Men in Chains romantic fantasy is a thrilling climax to a pleasant two cultures colliding trilogy. Although the initial lead pair in love (beyond saving the world) seems too abrupt, Caris Roane writes an appealing tale that has the audience rooting for this enchanting couple.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (7) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 26, 2014 5:54 PM PST


Never Trust a Cowboy (Harlequin Special Edition)
Never Trust a Cowboy (Harlequin Special Edition)
by Kathleen Eagle
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.50
41 used & new from $1.51

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars strong ranch romance, December 23, 2014
Never Trust A Cowboy
Kathleen Eagle
Harlequin Special Edition, Dec 16 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373658596

In Short Straw, South Dakota, undercover “ace” Delano Fox obtains a position working directly for Brad Benson, stepson of the Flynn Ranch owner Frank Flynn. As Brad sleeps off the night before in his truck, Del arrives at the spread where he meets Frank’s daughter Lila, who while recovering from an injury lives apart from her dad and his second family and also runs a daycare on the ranch.

Del and Lila are attracted to each other from their first encounter. However, Del believes sassy Lila will ignore his part in Brad’s arrest when that occurs; but also knows that when his beloved learns the truth about his reason for being at her family ranch and his background, she will lose her trust in him. Still Del must complete his assignment and pray he still has his woman afterward.

Aptly titled, this South Dakota ranch romance contains a strong twisting storyline and a solid cast in a vivid Badlands setting. Readers will enjoy visiting the Mount Rushmore State with delectable Del and likable Lila as our guides.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 25, 2014 7:19 AM PST


Mine To Take (Nine Circles)
Mine To Take (Nine Circles)
by Jackie Ashenden
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $7.99
53 used & new from $3.75

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars taut drama, December 23, 2014
Mine To Take
Jackie Ashenden
St. Martin's Paperbacks, Nov 25 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9781250051769

The result of a rape, Gabriel Woolf lives for one thing only; destroy the SOB who violently assaulted his mom and anyone even the innocent who stands in the way of his achieving his objective. Ruthlessly stomping through people, Gabe joins the Nine Circles billionaire club whose members are his nearest thing to friendship.

Thanks in part to Eva, a Nine Circles’ associate, Gabe’s plan to complete his life goal of vengeance vowed at his recently deceased mom’s deathbed takes a giant step towards fruition. He offers to invest in his biological father Guy Tremain’s financially troubled hotel chain with one stipulation that his target’s stepdaughter investment broker Honor St. James escorts him at an affluent lodge. When he tries to bully Honor; unlike so many before her who cravenly backed down she stands up to him. Stunned by her strength and her by a feeling of connecting lost souls, Gabe and Honor begin an affair that both want but fear will take them to uncharted undesirable territory; neither anticipated how strong their need grows nor how convoluted Guy’s byzantine maze proves to be.

The opening act of the Nine Circles romance is a taut drama that stars two captivating leads. Believing he belongs in Dante’s hell, Gabe is an intriguing avenger whose attraction to Honor brings unwanted feelings of love and guilt that he prefers to ignore before they implode his scheme. Honor has deep issues too re loss, but remains resolutely in love while doubting a HEA will happen.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (9) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 26, 2014 6:25 PM PST


Wound Up (Harlequin Blaze\Pleasure Before Business)
Wound Up (Harlequin Blaze\Pleasure Before Business)
by Kelli Ireland
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.50
31 used & new from $2.71

4.0 out of 5 stars blazing romance, December 19, 2014
Wound Up
Kelli Ireland
Harlequin Blaze, Dec 16 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373798322

In Seattle, Beaux Hommes stripper Justin Maxwell knows tonight is his last performance having just received his doctorate in psychology though he has eighty more hours of practicum to complete. In the audience on his farewell show is his former student Grace Cooper. Justin has wanted her for years, but controlled his desire as he accepted that would have been immoral; but joyfully realizes not anymore.

After his final act aimed as if she was his only person in attendance, Justin and Grace leave together. However, in spite of the best night of their respective lives, Grace the intern relocates to Baltimore in two weeks. Both reluctantly accept their relationship has no future but things turn worse when they learn each volunteers at the not-for-profit Second Chances helping disadvantaged youths; particularly since Justin mishandles what this means after their one niter. Still as they work together, the attraction turns into love but their attitudes re Second Chances remain a major schism.

The second Pleasure Before Business blazing romance (see Stripped Down) is a heated tale starring protagonists with youth traumas that shaped their respective adult lives. An exciting relevant suspense subplot distracts from the prime theme of whether this couple in love can find the emotional fortitude to commit to a long term relationship; with readers cheering for them to make it.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (14) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 26, 2014 2:41 PM PST


The Marshal (Harlequin Intrigue)
The Marshal (Harlequin Intrigue)
by Adrienne Giordano
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.50
39 used & new from $2.72

4.0 out of 5 stars entertaining romantic intrigue, December 19, 2014
The Marshal
Adrienne Giordano
Harlequin Intrigue, Dec 16 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373698103

Diligent when he is on the job protecting government officials in danger from nut cases, Deputy US Marshal Brent Thompson obsessively uses his limited downtime seeking clues to the over two decades old murder of his mother to give to the Carlisle Sheriff’s Department. He knows that homicide shaped him, but also believes he and his sister moved on due to strong family support led by his maternal aunt. At a gala he attends in Chicago as a guest honoring a former client octogenarian Judge Kline, Gerald and Pamela Hennings, parents of another of Brent’s protected person defense attorney Penny who learns of the murder of Brent’s mother.

Hennings and Solomon (see The Prosecutor) law partner Gerald assigns his investigator (and former Miss Illinois runner-up) Jenna Hayward to work the Thompson cold case. FBI Special Agent Russ Voight (see The Defender) assists them. As they follow leads, Jenna and Brent are attracted to each other, but try to remain professionally focused.

The Marshal is an entertaining romantic intrigue that starts extremely slow but once the cast is set and the good guys teamed up, the storyline accelerates into a rousing suspense. Brent is a captivating character who believes he moved passed his mom’s murder until he meets Jenna and realizes he flees from commitments. Jenna starts off believing her twin peaks and looks make her an excellent sleuth, but learns her brain is more vital to her success. Adrienne Giordano provides an absorbing twisting murder mystery.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (11) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 21, 2014 4:49 PM PST


Seducing the Marine (Harlequin Blaze\Uniformly Hot!)
Seducing the Marine (Harlequin Blaze\Uniformly Hot!)
by Kate Hoffmann
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.50
34 used & new from $2.71

5.0 out of 5 stars profound military romance, December 18, 2014
Seducing the Marine
Kate Hoffmann
Harlequin Blaze, Dec 16 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373798315

As Marine Staff Sergeant Will MacIntyre works on deactivating an IED in Afghanistan, he thinks of his high school and college sweetheart back in Michigan’s Upper Peninsular. While he dropped out of school to join the military to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, she became Dr. Olivia Eklund. When he steps on another explosive, Will is sent flying; severely injured his last words before becoming unconscious is his former Yooper girlfriend’s name.

As he hides in his grandfather’s remote cabin near Calumet while on medical leave, Will, missing his appointment with the VA doctor, ignores his health yet still hopes eventually to return to his unit. When he runs into his Liv, Will knows she will always be his one, but she never understood his joining the military as accentuated by her Dear Will letter four months into his military career. Unable to resist he kisses her. However when a seven years old hockey player breaks a wrist during a game, Will helps distract him while Liv works on his injury. Unable to resist, they renew their love and he starts taking care of himself. Still his being in the military remains an obstacle to a long-term commitment.

This profound Uniformly Hot! military romance focuses on the problems that even loving couples confront when one of them is away on long term deployments; ironically in this second chance plot the hero is home but both anticipate his return to theater. With a deep support cast and terrific protagonists, Kate Hoffmann authors an insightful look at a military-civilian relationship.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 20, 2014 3:11 PM PST


Mountain Retreat (Harlequin Intrigue)
Mountain Retreat (Harlequin Intrigue)
by Cassie Miles
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $5.50
39 used & new from $1.95

0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars exhilarating romantic intrigue, December 18, 2014
Mountain Retreat
Cassie Miles
Harlequin Intrigue, Dec 16 2014, $5.50
ISBN: 9780373698073

Six months and four days ago U.S. Marine Nick Corelli disappeared inside the South American dictatorship, Tiquanna. In Austin his worried fiancée Sidney Parker keeps her eidetic memory from torturing her 24/7 by working nights at the Silver Star Saloon where she can recall specific orders from even 12 customers. Her day job at Texas Tritan led to her meeting Tiquanna dictator Tomas Hurtado three years ago.

During her ordeal, sixteen times CIA or military Intel have interrogated Sidney, but offer little info re her Nick. This time the CIA Special Agent-in-Charge Victoria Hawthorne informs her that Hurtado and his wife Elena will be in Austin next week. After his superior leaves, Special Agent Sean Phillips tells Sidney to leave the room and run to her left; there she finds Nick who looks at her from the eyes of a stranger. With Nick still undercover, Sidney is placed in a safe house. When that is breached Nick takes his beloved to a Mountain Retreat, but the persistent seemingly in the know enemy pursues them.

The key to this exhilarating romantic intrigue is the heroine who proves she has the right stuff under lethal conditions. Filled with action as the protagonists know the mission is staying alive especially since their unknown adversary anticipates their movements in this thrilling suspense.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (5) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 20, 2014 5:30 PM PST


Starting with June (Harlequin Superromance)
Starting with June (Harlequin Superromance)
by Emilie Rose
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: $6.75
42 used & new from $1.59

4.0 out of 5 stars Waiting in the parking lot for him is his buddy and former marine sniper peer Roth Sterling (see A Better Man) who needs his hel, December 17, 2014
Starting With June
Emilie Rose
Harlequin SuperRomance, Dec 1 2014, $6.75
ISBN: 9780373608874

At Quantico, due to his depth perception failing him U.S. Marine Sam Rivers receives the depressing news of a medical discharge ending his military career. On his mind is thirty one and washed up. Waiting in the parking lot for him is his buddy and former marine sniper peer Roth Sterling (see A Better Man) who needs his help. Four months ago, Chief of Police Roth arrested and fired his dirty senior deputy, but believes there are more corrupt cops on his Quincey, North Carolina force. He hires Sam to go undercover to recon which cops are breaking the law.

Sam teams up with police officer June Jones, but conceals from his partner why he came to Quincey. Attracted to each other, he refuses to acknowledge his heart though he wants June. Instead Sam remains steadfast to his goal to leave the “armpit of the world” and return to active duty once he completes the mission and gets his perception back; only his perception has changed. June assumes the men she loves, like her hypercritical father and her denying partner, find something lacking in her.

The third Quincey contemporary is an engaging police force romance in which Sam’s attitude and his assignment seem to doom their relationship. Sam and Roth appear too similar in personality although one can argue they fit the profile of a successful military sniper. With a nod to Rookie Blue (hopefully this couple stays together rather than hop around), readers will appreciate this tale.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (10) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 20, 2014 3:14 PM PST


The Party Starts at Midnight
The Party Starts at Midnight
Price: $3.49

4.0 out of 5 stars refreshing information age romance, December 17, 2014
The Party Starts At Midnight
Lucy King
Harlequin KISS, Dec 1 2014, $5.99
ISBN: 9780373179114

Before he gives a speech about their company at a holiday gala at the South Bank Hotel in London, client Jake sends his events planner Abby to the penthouse searching for his missing in action brother Leo. She finds him sprawled out sleeping on the floor of the bathroom. Abby awakens the exhausted and somewhat intoxicated hunk; who due to her drill sergeant efforts manages to attend the party.

Abby and Leo are attracted to each other, so as she cleans up after the celebration ends he persuades her to share what’s left of an all-niter with him. That tryst leads to an email relationship. As both of them fall in love, she dreams of marriage while he suffers from commitment phobia having been hurt before.

This is a refreshing long distance information age romance between two pleasant independent protagonists. The email courtship engages the audience; as the heroine knows he’s the one, while her champion wants to delete it but cannot do so.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 20, 2014 6:01 AM PST


Masterpiece Marriage: Quilts of Love Series
Masterpiece Marriage: Quilts of Love Series
by Gina Welborn
Edition: Paperback
Price: $12.53
35 used & new from $7.98

4.0 out of 5 stars enjoyable inspirational late nineteenth century romance, December 15, 2014
Masterpiece Marriage
Gina Welborn
Abingdon, Dec 16 2014, $13.99
ISBN 9781426773631

In 1891 Philadelphia, the record-setting one day deluge flooded Zenus Dane’s textile mill; leaving most of the inventory totally ruined. His cousin Sean Gallagher and his Goddaughter niece Aimee arrive to assess the damage. While the two men lament over the lack of flood insurance as this part of town never gets inundated and discuss the lack of options, the tweener suggests he asks Aunt Priscilla for help. Zenus knows that is not possible as she will not allow him in her home. However, Zenus realizes Aunt Priscilla and her quilters are perfect customers of the scraps he salvages from his ruined inventory. Thus he heads to Belle Haven to grovel and sell.

In Baltimore Mary Varrs seeks an illustrator to add pictures to her doctoral study of tomatoes. On a Belle Haven quilting bee invitation, Mary sees a wonderful drawing. She heads to Priscilla’s home hoping to obtain the services of the artist. As Mary and Zenus vie for Priscilla’s support, each realizes they need to unite to get the woman’s cooperation; but both dislike the other or perhaps that is love each feels.

This is an enjoyable Quilts of Love (see Quilted By Christmas by Jodie Bailey and Hidden In The Stars by Robin Caroll) inspirational historical starring a delightfully “sciencey” female and a flock seeking manufacturing male. Readers will enjoy this late nineteenth century romance as both agree that the other is not what they want in a mate.

Harriet Klausner
Comment Comments (23) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Dec 20, 2014 3:17 PM PST


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