Saturday, January 26, 2008

One More Sunrise- Michael Landon, Jr. and Tracie Peterson

One More Sunrise
Michael Landon, Jr. and Tracie Peterson
Bethany House, Jan 2008, $13.99
ISBN: 9780764203626

In 1941 Kansas, Joe Daley dreams of becoming an Army Air Force fighter pilot. However he never achieves his aspiration when he fails his physical. He settles for being a dust cropping pilot. However, he never moved past his failure, which has permeated his life and his marriage to Meg.

In 1958, Luke Ramsey, who courted Meg in high school, offers a lot of money to the local farmers as the Vanguard corporation he represents wants to buy up all the land; Joe has doubts that the big farm firm cares about the locals and decides to oppose the venture. Meanwhile his plane hits a large bird and begins to dive towards the earth; Joe thinks of Meg and their two kids as he prays for a chance for ONE MORE SUNRISE with them.

This entertaining inspirational historical fiction enables the reader to fully understand the hero who lost his zest fro life when he failed the military physical. Between his passion to prevent the Vanguard takeover and realizing the failure of his life is not that physical but his relationship with Meg and his kids as his plane falls, Joe prays for a second chance with his family. Fans will enjoy this fine redemption tale as Joe finally moves on, but it appears too late for him to tell Meg, Danny, and Christy.

Harriet Klausner

Compromised-Kate Noble

Kate Noble
Berkley, Mar 2008, $14.00
ISBN 9780425219645

In 1829 the Alton sisters return to London for their delayed debut season after spending several years abroad with their father Sir Geoffrey, an ambassador. The siblings see the upcoming galas differently though they agree that their new stepmother Romilla is a pompous flit. Beautiful Evangeline looks forward to the balls while way too tall and intelligent Gail fears she will be ridiculed.

Needing time by herself, Gail sneaks out for an early morning ride. However instead of serenity, Viscount Fontaine accidentally knocks her into the lake when he fails to reign in his horse. To her shock and outrage, Maximilian blames Gail for her soaking. Later she catches this arrogant rogue kissing and COMPROMISING Evangeline, whom he apparently feels will meet his father’s criteria of a wife. If he doesn’t marry someone his father approves of he will be or disinherited in three months. However, Max has one problem; the amusingly brilliant future sister-in-law is all he can think of making love to even when he steals a kiss with her sister.

COMPROMISED is an amusing historical romance with Romilla stealing the show from the onset as she explains to her dolt of a stepdaughter that in London people spy on their neighbors. The humorous story line is fast-paced from the early morning teas to the gossiping Ton to the final scandal of the month. Readers will appreciate this lighthearted late regency romp.

Harriet Klausner

Seduced by Darkness-Delilah Devlin

Seduced by Darkness
Delilah Devlin
Avon, Mar 2008, $13.95
ISBN: 9780061161247

In present day Bayou St. John, Nicholas Mountfaucom worries about the damage the flood is doing to the Morel mausoleum because inside is locked away a monster that he fears might escape. Nicholas decides to go underwater to inspect the damage when mage Simon arrives to assist him.

Converted vampire Nicholas visits Born vampire Chessy Tomas who he has sex with but pretends he is not concerned about her needs. He hides how much he cares for her because Chessy only thinks of her former police partner Rene who vanished with Natalie the vampire INTO THE DARKNESS. Nicholas warns Chessy about the monster’s escape before he dominates her with more sex. Soon after Chessy meets her new partner Alex but she hopes to get rid of him as she only wants Rene as her partner. They seek nests of rogue vampires crossing the blood line by killing their host. After killing a few rogues, Chessy seeks sex from a willing partner and finds “Breadman”. Alex joins them but he insists on no biting.

Meanwhile in the river lies the bodies of cops whose hearts have been torn out. The “Devourer” has escaped from his prison crypt. Nicholas is angry when he sees Alex touching Chessy and smells his sex all over her. Alex and Nicholas make it clear that they both want Chessy even as they know the recapture of the Devourer comes first.

The Devlin mythos filled with demons and Born and Created vampires seem genuine while the investigation and erotic subplots are well written but be aware there are explicit bondage scenes. Although the heroine has sex at moments when she is in trouble slowing down the non sexual subplots and the anticipated climax is a bit of a let down, readers will enjoy this hearted erotic romantic police procedural fantasy.

Harriet Klausner

Thursday, January 3, 2008

In A Soldier's Arms-Marin Thomas

In A Soldier's Arms
Marin Thomas
Harlequin American, Feb 2008, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373752041

The letter from her grandma came one month ago claiming that she Margaret O’Neal was emergency-room nurse Maggie O'Neal’s last living maternal relative. Unable to resist she leaves Louisville to meet her late mom’s kin in Heather's Hollow, Kentucky.

She drives over and to a café she meets former soldier Abram Devane, who reluctantly shows her the way to Granny ONeal’s place, next to his. Maggie is fascinated by granny’s sixth sense gift and her healing skills so she decides to stay awhile and become better acquainted. She is also attracted to Abram, but though he seems to reciprocate at times; each advancing step leads to two steps in retreat as if he fears her love or perhaps his loving her. However, if he listened to either his heart or the natives he would know that when an O’Neal female sees the future, it always happens; Maggie sees herself in this soldier’s arms forever.

IN A SOLDIER'S ARMS is a whimsical contemporary romance starring two likable lead characters with commitment issues, a wonderful Appalachian support cast, and the show stealer Granny, who in some ways will remind readers of Granny Moses of the TV version of the Beverly Hillbillies. Whereas Margaret learns home is where the heart wants to be, which is with Granny and Abram. Abram suffers from PTSD, but feels bewitched by the two O’Neal women who enable him to somewhat forget the anguish from his military experience. Marin Thomas provides a warm old Kentucky home romance.

Harriet Klausner

The Right Mr. Wrong-Cindi Myers

The Right Mr. Wrong
Cindi Myers
Harlequin American, Feb 2008, $4.99
ISBN: 9780373752034

Maddie Alexander was a member of the U.S. Olympic ski team with a reasonable chance of medal when the accident ended her career. Though her dreams were smashed along with her body, Maddie has moved on. She has just begun work as a rookie ski patroller at the Crested Butte Mountain Resort in Colorado.

When she meets experienced peer Hagan Ansdar, Maddie is attracted to him, but adheres to her competitive days mantra to never mix romance with skiing as that is an avoidable wipe out. He feels the same way as she, but goes out of his way to avoid her when he can or cynically rip her when he cannot. On a gut level he recognizes the threat she poses to his lifestyle as she commits to passion while he prefers to remain an unattached ski bum hitting on the tourists. However, as they work together, they fall in love, but can Hagan commit to a relationship for the first time in his life?

THE RIGHT MR. WRONG is a superb contemporary romance starring two individuals who seem like opposites, but share two things: a love of skiing and a love of each other. The story line is fast-paced, filled with unexpected but delightful twists and twinkling with humor. Sub-genre fans will enjoy patrolling the ski sloes of Colorado with this pair.

Harriet Klausner

In The Highlander's Bed-Cathy Maxwell

In The Highlander's Bed
Cathy Maxwell
Avon, Feb 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780061122101

In 1808 Highland laird Gordon Lachlan knows the significance of the legendary Sword of the MacKenna and what it means to his clan. To regain the vaunted weapon from the Duke of Colster, he plans to kidnap the Duke’s sister by marriage Constance Cameron, who attends Madame Lavaliere’s Academy for Young Women to erase some of barbaric American taint. Gordon assumes that Constance’s family by marriage will trade the sword for her.

Gordon is taken aback that Constance seems unafraid of him and in some ways he feels like her captive especially when she makes it clear that he is a buffoon who has wrecked havoc to return to America. As she keeps trying to escape, an exasperated Gordon finally decides enough, but cannot stop himself from kissing the spirited colonialist. They fall in love while he tries to stay focused and she ponders how to make his plan work.

This is a fun captivity romance in which the audience will agree with the hero as to who is the prisoner and who is jailer. The story line combines humor, especially when Constance acts like a termagant and rips off Gordon’s skin, with a poignant belief that people got to be free. This is an enjoyable regency romance.

Harriet Klausner

The Perils of Pleasure-Julie Anne Long

The Perils of Pleasure
Julie Anne Long
Avon, Feb 2008, $6.99
ISBN: 9780061341588

Colin “The Satin of Sussex” Eversea knows he has done a lot of scandalous things as a rake, but to be convicted for murdering a Redmond cousin seems too ironic to be real to him because he knows he did not kill his family’s rival. Refusing to show remorse for a crime he swears he never did though rooming with the king of flatulence Bad Jack in Newgate is a form of torture that makes him want to confess to anything just to get away from the odor. However, he knows that short of a miracle he will be hanged for that crime rather soon.

Mercenary Madeline Greenway saves Colin from the noose, but not for any altruistic reason. Instead she abducts the charmer planning to obtain ransom money for him. When someone attacks them, she assumes Colin is the target, but quickly realizes her assumption is false; someone wants her dead. Teaming up as they fall in love, they try to find the culprits who framed him and are trying to murder her.

Gender bending the prisoner romance, Julie Anne Long provides Regency fans with an exhilarating tale, starring two fascinating rogues. The story line is fast-paced from the moment Madeline kidnaps Colin and never slows down as the amateur sleuths follow clues and love to uncover the identity of their adversaries. With a terrific final twist, fans long for more thrillers like THE PERILS OF PLEASURE.

Harriet Klausner

The Governess Wears Scarlet-Sari Robins

The Governess Wears Scarlet
Sari Robins
Avon, Feb 2008, $5.99
ISBN: 9780060782498

In 1812, appalled by the unsafe streets of London that he now is aware of due to a personal tragedy, Viscount Jason Steele wears a mask to hide his identity while he vigilantly patrols the dark roads; the Viscount and former Sentinel insures the safety of those in danger from predators though few know he is out there as a dark knight. He wants nothing from those he protects until he rescues a woman wearing a veil. Passion explodes between the two whose faces are covered so their identities remain unknown from one another, but both are shook to the core by the fervor they share. He especially since he assumed he would love no one since his Deidre died over eight years ago

The next day Jason interview Abigail West for the position of governess to his nephews over the objection of his brother-in-law who considers her "tarnished". Neither Jason nor Abigail recognizes their lover as unmasked and both behave with the mask of prim and proper decorum. Since the boys like her, he hires her. However, when they learn of an odious plot, they team up in an effort to thwart the kidnapper and unmask him; in the process they unmask their feelings for one another.

This is an entertaining historical romantic suspense that grips the audience from the moment the Regency Era “Batman” and the prey he rescued kiss and never slows down until final revelations occur. Readers will like the lead couple and admire both for risking their lives to save others; in Jason’s case strangers.

Harriet Klausner