<i>Public Relations</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Public Relations: Exclusive Excerpt Katie Heaney and Arianna Rebolini "I could feel my heart pounding, but couldn’t find any words." <i>Shacking Up</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Shacking Up: Exclusive Excerpt Helena Hunting "Oh God. I’d like to experience his not polite all over this condo." <i>The Untamed Vampire</i>: Exclusive Excerpt The Untamed Vampire: Exclusive Excerpt Kate Baxter "The wild wolf inside him howls for her..." <i>Falling for the Billionaire Wolf and His Baby</i>: Exclusive Excerpt Falling for the Billionaire Wolf and His Baby: Exclusive Excerpt Sasha Summers "Black skirt that hugged an amazing ass and killer legs."
From The Blog
April 27, 2017
Cover Thursday: Exclusive Reveals from Scarlett Cole and Sidney Halston
Team H & H
April 26, 2017
A Romance Virgin’s First Cover Shoot
Jennifer Proffitt
April 25, 2017
The Greatest Love Songs Don't Exactly End Happily
Laura Lee Guhrke
April 21, 2017
Mariana Zapata and the Art of the Slow Burn
Jen Wattley
April 20, 2017
Cover Thursday: Exclusive Reveal from Donna Grant
Team H & H
Showing posts by: Janet Webb click to see Janet Webb's profile
Tue
Apr 18 2017 3:00pm

Love on Call in Alexis Hall’s How to Bang a Billionaire

How to Bang a Billionaire by Alexis Hall

How does an almost-graduate of an Oxford college meet a billionaire? How about interview him for a college newspaper…oops, wrong story! Take two.

I was supposed to be doing this college fund-raiser thing where undergraduates called up wealthy alumni and connected deeply with them in a way that got them all nostalgic and wallet-opening or bank-transferring. To be honest, I wasn’t exactly an ideal candidate for the role.

Alexis Hall, though, is an ideal candidate to marry the fantasy of meeting a billionaire with an impressively realistic means to accomplish that feat. Noting that our student caller isn’t even supposed to be there since it his “best friend Nik was actually the one who’d signed up, but he’d come down with laryngitis.” Our hero is not temperamentally suited to cold calling, not well trained, and he’s surrounded by fellow students who are having “life-enriching, college-benefiting conversations.”

I dialed the next number. They’d told me you could hear the smile in someone’s voice, so I made sure I was grinning as if I’d swallowed a coat hanger.

“HelloImArdenSt.IvescallingfromSt.Sebastian’sCollegepleasedonthanguponme.”

Success at last. Who knew that abject desperation on the phone was the way to ensure that an “implacable, cut-glass voice” would actually converse with you?

God, his voice. From the moment I’d heard it, I’d thought it was pretty sexy, in a chilly, upper-class way, but amusement-softened, it was as rich as honey. Irresistible.

[Read more...]

Tue
Apr 4 2017 3:00pm

First Look: Julie Ann Walker’s Wild Ride (April 4, 2017)

Wild Ride by Julie Ann Walker

Julie Ann Walker
Wild Ride (Black Knights Inc. #9)
Sourcebooks / April 4, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

Wild Ride is my first Black Knights Inc. book (9th in the BKI series) but not knowing the past stories of this rugged, iconoclastic band of brothers and sisters was never a barrier. Julie Ann Walker weaves in just enough back-story to clarify why underground operator, former Navy SEAL, Ethan “Ozzie” Sykes is between a rock and a hard place in his relationship with passionate, persistent Chicago Tribune reporter Samantha Tate.

First things first—Ozzie is “both beautiful and masculine.” Samantha draws on her journalistic chops to paint a compelling word picture of her friend.

Combine his mug with his boyish, flyaway blond hair, his half grin, and the kind of loose-hipped swagger that could only be pulled off by the supremely fit, and what you ended up with was the whole package. We’re talking the kind of package seen on the silver screen. The kind of package that—Oh, no he didn’t. As if he’d read her mind, he reached down and adjusted his package as he strolled past a table full of coeds.

A little bit Charlie Hunnam, a little bit Ryan Gosling—Whoa Nelly! Samantha and Ozzie have been friends but not friends with benefit for years. Initially, when she came sniffing around “Black Knights Inc., the covert government defense firm disguised as a custom motorcycle shop,” Ozzie was tapped to deflect her from unmasking BKI’s secrets. Easier said than done, because even though Samantha knows that boys are a distraction—hey, she has scoops to uncover, Pulitzer winning stories to write—it gets harder as the years go by.

[Read more...]

Mon
Apr 3 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Kianna Alexander’s Back to Your Love (April 4, 2017)

Back to Your Love by Kianna Alexander

Kianna Alexander
Back to Your Love (Brothers of TDT #1)
Sourcebooks / April 4, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

Back to Your Love opens with a familiar refrain for women of a certain age—the curse of being a perpetual bridesmaid (but don’t assume the problem is that the bridesmaid wants to be walking down the aisle herself). Dr. Imani Grant has a business to open, a painful episode in her past to forget and she is fine, just fine. Even a room overlooking a “wide, sandy band of beach below as well as the soft, rising waves of the Atlantic lapping at the shore,” doesn’t ease her troubled mind. She wants to be there for Georgia, “her college roommate and constant companion through four years of undergrad at Spelman.”

This was the third time in fourteen months she’d been asked to serve as a bridesmaid for one of her friends. At this point, her nerves were beyond frazzled. If her mother inquired just once more about whether she was seeing anyone, she was pretty sure her head would explode.

Her mother isn’t a guest at the wedding, but there were sure to be “well-intentioned older ladies present for the joyous event.” Questions about her single status will be impossible to avoid. Like the memories flooding Imani’s consciousness.

[Read more...]

Mon
Mar 27 2017 1:00pm

First Look: Jamie Pope’s Hope Blooms (March 28, 2017)

Hope Blooms by Jamie Pope

Jamie Pope
Hope Blooms
Dafina Books / March 28, 2017 / $7.99 print, $4.99 digital

Is past prologue? For childhood friends and once long-ago lovers Cassandra Miller and Wylie Everett, perhaps so.

It takes a massive tragedy to bring Wylie back to Cassandra’s side. The angry, embittered father of one of Cassandra’s students shoots Cassandra and her husband Terrance in the hallway outside Cassandra’s classroom. Terrance dies; Cassandra loses her unborn child, and, her mother Miss Cora fears, her sanity. So Cora tells Cassandra, “speaking” for Terrance.

 “He wouldn’t want you to be like this.”

“He would want to be alive if he had a choice.” She rolled over, away from her mother’s touch, her worried eyes. Suddenly the exhaustion returned again. It was the only thing she felt anymore. Tired and heavy.

“You can’t go on like this. You haven’t left the house in weeks. You haven’t smiled since it happened. You didn’t die that day. Your life is meant to be lived.”

Miss Cora pleads with Wylie Everett to come back to Harmony Falls, Connecticut, for the sake of the friendship—and more—he once had with Terrance and Cassandra. In high school they were an unbreakable trio. But it has been ten years since Wylie has been home. Even though Cora is ageless, so much has changed.

[Read more...]

Fri
Mar 17 2017 9:30am

First Look: Christine Feehan’s Bound Together (March 21, 2017)

Bound Together by Christine Feehan

Christine Feehan
Bound Together (Sea Haven Series #6)
Berkley / March 21, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

Bound Together reads like a three act play. The first act, Viktor Prakenskii and his loyal band of warriors take down an ineffably evil motorcycle club from the inside. Viktor aka Czar tells his people to leave him to it, that they’ve walked into a trap. He doesn’t want them to follow him “straight to hell.”

Dmitry “Storm” Koval sighed heavily. “We all voted, Czar, just like always. Stop trying to carry us on your shoulders. We chose this life. All of us.”

Viktor clenched his teeth. That was a blatant lie. None of them had chosen their life. Not a single one. They all shared a common beginning. Each of them had parents murdered by a man named Kostya Sorbacov, because their parents hadn’t agreed with Sorbacov’s politics.

The children were tortured unmercifully but under Viktor’s leadership, they became a fearsome fighting unit. Bound Together opens at a climatic crossroads. For five years Viktor’s life has been devoted to stopping one man.

Evan Shackler-Gratsos was the number-one human trafficker in the world. Viktor knew he couldn’t stop everyone, but he was determined to take the man down. That decision had cost him five years of his life, possibly his marriage and the knowledge that the men he called brothers had made the choice to follow him into hell, just as they always had.

Viktor surrenders to the inevitable and the fight is on. Christine Feehan portrays the battle between good and evil in stark, poignant, excruciating detail. When it’s all over, Viktor decides there’s only one person who can give him peace, give him a reason to live—his estranged wife Blythe. In a wry aside, “ice-cold, expressionless” Reaper gives Czar some relationship advice, after Viktor makes the pronouncement that they “can get out of this life.”

[Read more...]

Tue
Feb 21 2017 1:15pm

First Look: Lisa Renee Jones’ Damage Control (February 21, 2017)

Damage Control by Lisa Renee Jones

Lisa Renee Jones
Damage Control (Dirty Money #2)
St. Martin's Griffin / February 21, 2017 / $15.99 print, $7.99 digital

The second book in a four-part series is always tricky. Damage Control,  the second in Lisa Renee Jones' Dirty Money series, is no exception. Fans on the hook after reading Hard Rules want reassurance that the couple they took to their hearts is going to make it but the plotline has to maintain suspense and tension so that readers devour the story avidly and wait impatiently for Bad Deeds and End Game to arrive. A hard task, but Jones’s latest Dirty Money tale satisfies on every level. 

Shane Brandon has fallen hard for Emily Stevens, but it turns out that she has as many secrets as him. Deeply hurt, Shane confronts her.

[Uh oh...]

Mon
Feb 20 2017 11:00am

First Look: Lisa Kleypas’ Devil in Spring (February 21, 2017)

Devil in Spring by Lisa Kleypas Lisa Kleypas
Devil in Spring (Ravenels #3)
Avon / February 21, 2017 / $7.99 print, $6.99 digital

Is there a book that is more eagerly anticipated by the romance community than Lisa Kleypas’s Devil in Spring? Why is that? The beloved protagonists of Devil in Winter, Evangeline and Sebastian, are now the Duke and Duchess of Kingston and they do a star turn as preternaturally youthful and passionate parents, now grandparents. Their oldest son Gabriel, the new Lord St. Vincent, inadvertently gets into a serious scrape with Lady Pandora Ravenel, the season’s most reluctant debutant. Pandora is her generation’s wallflower, much more interested in her budding board games business than looking for a husband at a ball. Gabriel has a very satisfying relationship with a sophisticated married lady. Marriage is the last thing on the mind of either Gabriel or Pandora. Shades of Georgette Heyer’s Devil’s Cub, no?

Inevitably the news of his oldest son’s indiscretion brings Sebastian to town. Over a game of pool at Jenner’s, Sebastian tells Gabriel that if need be, they’ll “buy a husband for her,” since Gabriel seems to believe that his only honorable option is to marry Pandora. Why then doesn’t Gabriel leap at the opportunity to avoid “a lifetime shackled to a girl,” that he seemingly can’t abide? That question certainly intrigues Sebastian, particularly after Gabriel pronounces Pandora “bloody ravishing.”

[That's a high compliment indeed!]

Fri
Feb 3 2017 3:00pm

Does the Fifty Shades Darker Movie Live Up to the Book?: A Fan Review from the World Premiere (SPOILERS)

Fifty Shades Darker

Is Christian and Ana's Second Big-Screen Romp Worth the Wait?

Note: This post contains spoilers from the premiere of Fifty Shades Darker, the film adaptation of E.L. James' Fifty Shades of Grey sequel of the same name.

Fifty Shades Darker

When a popular book gets made into a movie, every reader wants to know what stayed and what didn’t make the cut. What characters don’t have their moment in the sun? What iconic scenes are brought to life and which ones lay on the cutting room floor? What locations are too complicated or expensive to film and which are absolutely vital to the success of the movie?

I was privileged to attend the Fifty Shades Darker Hollywood premiere as the plus one of my friend Lish Fish aka @50shadesgirlPDX. I will attempt to answer all the questions I posed above in this book to movie recap. If you’re curious about anything else, please ask me in the comments section.

Fifty Shades Darker has been described as a love story within a thriller and it lived up on both counts. Christian Grey wants Anastasia Steele back in his life and there’s nothing he won’t do, no changes he won’t make, to get her back. Difference number one: there’s no romantic sunset helicopter ride to Portland in Christian’s chopper so that Ana can get to José’s gallery opening: Ana never leaves Seattle. Christian shows up at the show and persuades a not-very-reluctant Ana to have dinner with him. This slight variation is a pattern that continues through Darker: although the details and scenes don’t always match up 100% with the book, the essence of Christian and Ana’s relationship moving forward is true to E.L. James’ vision. That is surely not at all surprising, since James’ husband, screenwriter and novelist Niall Leonard, wrote the script.

[Read more...]

Sun
Jan 1 2017 12:00pm

First Look: Catherine Anderson’s Mulberry Moon (January 3, 2017)

Mulberry Moon by Catherine Anderson

Catherine Anderson
Mulberry Moon (Mystic Creek #2)
Jove / January 3, 2017 / $7.99 print & digital

For Sissy Sue Bentley, childhood wounds—particularly living with an alcoholic father—have made her wary of attachments to men. She’s doing just fine on her own and she doesn’t need help, thank you very much. There is one man though, Ben Sterling, that has her taking notice, if not of him, then his gorgeous dog Finnegan. Catherine Anderson has a way of describing the relationships between people and animals that melts the hardest heart. And friendly Finn is a bachelor’s best asset.

Walking to his vehicle, he saw his dog, Finnegan, watching him through the back cab window. Eight months old, the blue merle Australian shepherd had the mottle of black, gray, and white fur common to blues…He bounced from side to side on the bench seat, acting as if he’d been alone for hours.

Ben made his fortune on the rodeo circuit but at the age of thirty, he hung up his spurs and returned to his ranch. For a guy who grew up in a large, noisy family, a rambling, empty house felt pretty lonely.

[Read more...]

Tue
Dec 27 2016 11:00am

First Look: Jeffe Kennedy’s The Edge of the Blade (December 27, 2016)

The Edge of the Blade by Jeffe Kennedy

Jeffe Kennedy
The Edge of the Blade (The Uncharted Realms #2)
Kensington / December 27, 2016 / $9.99 print, $7.99 digital

The Edge of the Blade opens with a rollicking, adventurous feel—the sparring between Jepp, formerly of the High Queen’s guard and Prince Kral of Dasnaria, brings to mind Kathleen Turner and Michael Douglas in Romancing the Stone and The Jewel of the Nile. They have challenges on board Kral’s ship (I challenge readers not to shudder at the “carnivorous fish-birds) but when the pair reaches the kingdom of Dasnaria, Jeffe Kennedy’s newest entry in her Uncharted Realms series takes a decidedly dangerous and provocative turn.

Jepp had been responsible for the safety of her friend Dafne who now laid “prisoner in the clutches of the dragon king.” Instead of being imprisoned for her failure to protect her charge, Jepp is named ambassador to the Dasnarian court, even though she has sampled “the pleasures of their prince’s bed.” A less likely ambassador is hard to imagine. Jepp draws deep on the messages of her youth to keep her mind focused.

[Read more...]

Mon
Dec 19 2016 10:30am

If You Love In Death’s Eve and Roarke, Deborah Crombie’s Kincaid and James Are for You!

A Share in Death by Deborah Crombie

In 1993, Deborah Crombie published A Share in Death, her first Kincaid and James mystery. This February she’ll release her 17th in the series, Garden of Lamentations. As I discuss why this series is utterly compelling, beware of spoilers!

A Share in Death, set in a “luxurious Yorkshire time-share,” felt like one of Agatha Christie’s Miss Marple mysteries, with a closed cast of characters and a restricted setting. Scotland Yard Superintendent Duncan Kincaid is gifted a week in an up-market time-share by his cousin, who is unable to go away at the appointed time. Unfortunately, Kincaid’s vacation quickly turns into a busman’s holiday when a member of the staff is found dead in the pool. After a second death, Kincaid reaches out to his assistant, Sergeant Gemma James, to have her do some off-site research. I re-read it recently and realized that the Marple comparison was off and that all the elements that make Crombie’s series so irresistible were there in microcosm. To quote from the “New York Times Book Review,”

“Charming…An intricate puzzle plot…To balance Kincaid’s cool reserve as an imperturbable observer of human folly, Ms. Crombie gives him a warm, outgoing sergeant in young Gemma James. Like everything else in this first mystery, it’s a well-calculated move that pays off smartly.”

[Read more...]

Sat
Dec 10 2016 2:00pm

Once a Trophy Wife, Always a Trophy Wife? Noelle Adams’ Alison Faces Major Change

Trophy Wife by Noelle Adams

Is the past bound to repeat itself? If you were once a trophy wife, are you always going to be a trophy wife? That’s the question Alison Davies seeks to answer once she’s free from her “wealthy jerk” ex…Arthur, the man she had once thought was so charming.

She’d been an eighteen-year-old trophy wife to a rich older man. She’d thought she could live with it.

The marriage had been fine in the beginning, but it had slowly declined until she couldn’t live with it anymore. Pretty soon, if she stayed, she would start to anesthetize her deep unhappiness with alcohol or prescription drugs.

After Alison overhears Arthur tell a business associate about the benefits of having a “young, gorgeous, vulnerable, and completely dependent” wife, she leaves him the next day. Six months later, divorce decree in hand, she moves into the house her grandmother left her, in the mountains of North Carolina; a hick town, according to her friend Vicki. Her wheels are “her father’s old tank of an Oldsmobile.” Because of an iron-clad prenup, Alison is going old-school and down-market—because that’s all she can afford.

[Read more...]

Tue
Dec 6 2016 10:30am

First Look: Christy English’s How to Train Your Highlander (December 6, 2016)

How to Train Your Highlander by Christy English

Christy English
How to Train Your Highlander (Broadswords and Ballrooms #3)
Sourcebooks / December 6, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

How to Train Your Highlander might just as easily have been named How to Train Your Duke—it’s both a “Taming of the Shrew” and an “Enticing of the Recluse.” This is the third in Christy English’s “Broadswords and Ballrooms” series and what an apt title. Wild young Highlander Mary Elizabeth Waters carries at all times—knives and a small flask of Highland whiskey is just two objects always to be found on her person. And she travels with a personal broadsword as well.

The ballroom is the room that Harry Percy, the reclusive, unmarried Duke of Northumberland most wants to avoid for it is there a few day’s hence his forceful grande dame of a mother has arranged for him to choose from one of the marriageable young ladies of the ton. At thirty, with no spare to take the weight off his wide shoulders, it is time for the ducal heir to step up and do his duty.

Is it fate or the machinations of two manipulative mothers that has Mary Elizabeth arriving at the Northumberland estate a few days before the festivities are to commence? When she exits the duchess’s carriage with her brother Robbie and her companion in tow, she says hello to an unusually attractive stable boy who speaks in the “posh tones of the English gentry.”

[Read more...]

Tue
Nov 29 2016 10:30am

First Look: Sarah Morgan’s Miracle on 5th Avenue (November 29, 2016)

Miracle on 5th Avenue by Sarah Morgan

Sarah Morgan
Miracle on 5th Avenue (From Manhattan with Love #3)
HQN Books / November 29, 2016 / $7.43 print, $5.99 digital

Is bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade a modern manifestation of Scrooge? Is he first-cousin to the Grinch, determined to ignore the very existence of Christmas? Or is he a handsome-on-the-outside Beast, reluctant to let anyone into his lair of misery? Eva Jordan, on her way to house-sit his gorgeous Fifth Avenue penthouse, is about to find out.

In Sarah Morgan's Miracle on 5th Avenue, Lucas' grandmother hires her to work Eve Christmas magic on Blade’s apartment and prepare it for the holidays in his absence. Some women would cavil at disappearing from the busy Christmas social scene at the height of the season but not Eva. Her business partners are concerned that her dating life is non-existent but Eva is very picky.

“I hate online dating. I prefer meeting people in other ways.”

“But you’re not meeting people at all! You work. You go to bed with your teddy bear.”

“It’s a stuffed kangaroo. Grams gave it to me when I was four.”

Eva’s partners may think the kangaroo is a little worse for wear, and that she needs to replace it “with a flesh-and-blood man,” but Eva loves her stuffed animal that “never lets me down.”

[Always there for her...]

Mon
Oct 31 2016 9:30am

First Look: Anne Calhoun’s Going Deep (November 1, 2016)

Going Deep by Anne Calhoun

Anne Calhoun
Going Deep (An Alpha Ops Novel)
St. Martin's Press /  November 1, 2016 / $7.99 print & digital

The story of a pop singer and her bodyguard makes everyone think of the 1992 movie classic The Bodyguard, starring Whitney Houston and Kevin Costner. There are many similarities between Anne Calhoun’s Going Deep and the movie, particularly around the vulnerability of a public figure. What is different about Calhoun’s scenario is the role of social media. Singer Cady Ward communicates directly with her fans through Instagram and other social media channels, granting more than the illusion of all access/all the time to the star they love.

Officer Conn McCormick steps up when a hometown fan gets out of line after a concert marking the end of Cady Ward’s long concert season. It’s a Lancaster, PA tradition for Cady to sing her heart out to the fans who knew-her-when before she celebrates the holidays with her family. Later that evening, in her childhood home, Cady thinks about what happened.

Adrift on a sea of exhaustion, she found herself staring at the narrow bed, wondering if there was any way she could fit herself and Shoulders, aka McCormick, into that bed.

That wasn’t going to happen. It was a random encounter with a man doing his job, nothing more.

[Read more...]

Sun
Oct 16 2016 11:00am

Season’s Greetings from Hope Ramsay’s A Christmas Bride

A Christmas Bride by Hope Ramsay

Amidst the cheerful “making a list and checking it twice” crowd that prevail at Christmas are always people whose circumstances make them reluctant participants in the pervasive jolliness. David Lyndon is a recent widower. He has a young daughter, he is running for Congress, and if Christmas would just go away, that would be fine with him.

Willow Peterson retreats to Shenandoah Falls, the town where she grew up, after a fruitless attempt to do the right thing—she blew the whistle on corporate malfeasance and the only thing blown out of town is her. She’s a failed 34 year-old whistleblower living under her mother’s roof.

A charming aspect of A Christmas Bride is the “it takes a village” cast of characters—be it Willow’s counter-culture mother and laid-back sister or David’s uptight, controlling mother and his adorable, anxious daughter Natalie—but we never lose our focus on the evolving relationship between Willow and David. Willow was a close friend of David’s deceased wife and she mourns her friend. Her place in David’s past somewhat muddles the possibility that they might become more than friends in the future.

[Read more...]

Sun
Sep 25 2016 11:00am

First Look: Robyn Carr’s The Life She Wants (September 27, 2016)

The Life She Wants by Robyn Carr

Robyn Carr
The Life She Wants
MIRA/ September 27, 2016/ $15.99 print, $9.99 digital

#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr creates an emotional and uplifting ensemble of characters in this rags-to-riches-to-rags novel about women, friendship and the complex path to happiness

In the aftermath of her financier husband's suicide, Emma Shay Compton's dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients' life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City and, although she was never involved in the business, Emma bears the burden of her husband's crimes. She is left with nothing.

Only one friend stands by her, a friend she's known since high school, who encourages her to come home to Sonoma County. But starting over isn't easy, and Sonoma is full of unhappy memories, too. And people she'd rather not face, especially Riley Kerrigan.

Riley and Emma were like sisters—until Riley betrayed Emma, ending their friendship. Emma left town, planning to never look back. Now, trying to stand on her own two feet, Emma can't escape her husband's reputation and is forced to turn to the last person she thought she'd ever ask for help—her former best friend. It's an uneasy reunion as both women face the mistakes they've made over the years. Only if they find a way to forgive each other—and themselves—can each of them find the life she wants.

It seems you can go home again. Emma Shay Compton certainly hopes so. Or is Robert Frost’s aphorism more accurate, “Home is the place where, when you have to go there, they have to take you in?” Emma’s return to Sonoma is a bit of both. The Life She Wants is a riches-to-rags story: Emma’s seemingly idyllic New York City society marriage was nothing but a house of cards. Her financier husband Richard was a swindler and a con-man: faced with a lifetime behind bars, he commits suicide. Emma entered the marriage with nine thousand dollars in the bank and that’s what she leaves with. Although she was not a co-conspirator, she wants nothing from a marriage than turned ugly and arid even before the feds started investigating.

[Read more...]

Mon
Sep 19 2016 1:30pm

’Tis the Season of Christmas Romances: Marie Harte’s Roadside Assistance

Roadside Assistance by Marie Harte

In romances set at Christmas, snow falls in a picturesque manner, adorning houses and trees and rarely causing havoc (unless it’s a cabin romance, in which case, “let it snow!”). Not the case in Marie Harte’s Roadside Assistance. Cynthia Nichols is justifiably annoyed that her coffee shop’s parking lot is full of cars being worked on by the garage next door. Cyn strides next door in her four inch heels, one “sexy, pissed off woman” and she gives it to mechanic Foley Sanders with both barrels. So he hates her now, right? Wrong.

God love him— a redhead. The woman had wine-red hair so dark it looked almost brown. And that body… She had curves, a lot of them. And height.

Man, talk about Santa coming to town early. Just breathing, the woman qualified as a statuesque knockout. But angry? A serious threat to his sanity. Now how to calm her down… Oh, right. Find and kill Dale, then get their cars out of her lot.

Dale being a fellow mechanic: the Webster’s Garage service writer and the keeper of the keys. The pages of Roadside Assistance are populated with macho, mouthy, straight-forward guys. They don’t pussy-foot around. Like when Dale is nowhere to be found.

“He’s not here, genius. Probably wants to beat the snow.” Johnny Devlin, one of the mouthier mechanics in the garage, lovingly stated the obvious. With Seattle’s winter nearly officially here, the weather seemed to be getting worse.

[Read more...]

Sat
Sep 10 2016 10:00am

99 Problems and Falling in Love is One of Them in Susanne Lord’s Discovery of Desire

Discover of Desire by Susanne Lord

In Regency times a passage to India, for impoverished, gently-born women, was a guarantee of sorts. If you wanted a husband, India was full of Englishmen looking for wives. Did the guarantee include affection and happiness? Susanne Lords Discovery of Desire explores the gap that existed between safety and surety and an uncertain leap of faith that might—or might not—result in love.

Imagine getting off a ship after 99 days at sea, how confused and tired you’d be. Wilhelmina (Mina) Adams and her younger sister Emma, part of a group of “venture girls,” search fervently for their putative fiancés, hoping for honorable gentlemen: “Please, God, let both Thomas Grant and Colin Rivers be gentle, decent men.” The Supreme Being has other plans in mind. Mina is distracted by a man who stands out from the crowd of men meeting the ship.

A tall man in the group, the tallest man, drew Mina’s eye again and again. He wasn’t a gentleman—he wore a rather coarse coat—and his wide-legged stance was a markedly different posture than a gentleman’s. But his form was decidedly male. Very male shoulders and very male arms that swelled in ways she’d never seen—until she realized those solid bulges straining his sleeves were muscles.

[Read more...]

Tue
Aug 9 2016 4:00pm

First Look: Joanna Wylde’s Reaper’s Fire (August 9, 2016)

Reaper's Fire by Joanna Wylde

Joanna Wylde 
Reaper's Fire (Reapers Motorcycle Club #6)
Berkley / August 9, 2016 / $16.00 print, $5.99 digital

Where’s a GIF when I need one? I’m on fire for Reaper’s Fire and I knew that I would be. The glimpse we got of Tinker Garrett and Gage Cooper in Reaper’s Fall (Reapers #5) was a tantalizing taste of this incendiary couple but it wasn’t nearly enough.

The Reapers strip club manager, Gage Cooper, is on assignment in Hallies Falls, Washington. His job is to go undercover and infiltrate a rogue motorcycle club, and he needs a believable cover story and a place to live. He sees an ad that looks promising.

Handyman needed for family-owned building—free rent in exchange for work. Call Tinker Garrett or inquire inside Tinker’s Teahouse, Antiques & Fine Chocolates for more information.

Joanna Wylde’s internal monologues are the best in the business. Gage is in a “speciality tea shit” store with “an old-fashioned cash register straight out of Little House on the Prairie. Probably the proprietor is a blue-haired dame pushing eighty. Ah, no. Gage hears a “sexy, drawling voice” and just like that, his “cock is on high alert.”

Long, slender fingers tipped with bright red polish reached up to grip the countertop for support as the hottest, most fuckable woman I’d ever met in my life stood up and smiled at me. Yeah, this had been a bad idea.

[Unrequited lust ahead...]