Week ending March 7, 2014
Carmichael, CJ. Good Together. Montana Born: Tule Pub. (Carrigans of the Circle C, Bk. 1). Mar. 2014 239p. ebk. ISBN 9781940296166. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Mattie finds herself on an empty ranch when her twin daughters leave for their freshman year at college and Wes, her rodeo cowboy husband, decides to sell Bishop Stables and move to Billings to console his friend’s widow. In small-town Marietta, MT, land is heritage, but without a son to take over the horse farm, Wes considers himself finished with his ranch and his marriage. As she is absorbing the shock, Mattie chooses to keep news of the divorce from her family, but she isn’t as strong as she would like to be. Then, her handsome, single neighbor Nat Diamond checks in on Mattie and brings her a puppy to soothe her sorrows. As Mattie navigates the divorce, she worries about where she will live, while her daughters struggle each in her own way to accept their parents’ breakup and adjust to college life. Canadian writer Carmichael (Promise Me, Cowboy) is the author of 35 novels and has been nominated for the Romance Writers of America RITA Award, RT’s Career Achievement award, and the Bookseller’s Best honor.
Verdict Carmichael’s novel will have a wide audience among readers who are experiencing the emotional challenges of big life changes during middle age. Carmichael shows the value of a family during difficult times.—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL
Cole, Alyssa. Eagle’s Heart. Loose ID. 2014. 241p. ebk. ISBN 9781623006136. $7.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
This multicultural romantic suspense story features so much heat that there are times it seems as if the ereader is going to emit steam. At the same time, the suspenseful aspects are very dark, mixing Albanian gangs and weapons dealers with revenge and the horrors of the child sex trade. Teacher Salomeh Jones discovers that one of her students is being abused both by her mother and her mother’s sadistic boyfriend. But when Salomeh reports the activity to the police, instead of helping the girl, the cops uncover evidence that Salomeh is abusing her students. The “evidence” has been manufactured by Albanian gang leader Bardhyn Murzaku, who gets his kicks from destroying people’s lives. Salomeh’s case attracts the attention of FBI agent Julian Tamali, who has been tracking Bardhyn since he murdered Julian’s family in order to punish him for wanting to walk away. Julian doesn’t know whether Salomeh is a suspect or a victim, but he can’t resist falling for her. When they discover that the gang is targeting them both, they join forces for good—and possibly forever.
Verdict Recommended for romantic suspense readers who like their books on the gritty and deadly side. The story is compelling, but with part of the jeopardy involving girls forcibly addicted to drugs and turned to prostitution, it is not for the faint of heart.—Marlene Harris, Seattle P.L.
Dean, Sierra. Perfect Catch. Samhain. (Boys of Summer, Bk. 2). Mar. 2014. 241p. ebk. ISBN 9781619220621. $5.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
There’s no crying in baseball. Or girls, either, right? Alex Ross, a major league catcher, discovers that the umpire at one of his minor league games is not only a girl but a damn sexy one. Alice Darling knows there’s no way in hell she’d get involved with a player again. Sure, her mistake ten years ago with a major leaguer gave her a daughter, but it left her with heartache, too. Besides, umps and players aren’t supposed to mix socially. A drunken night with Alex in the backseat of her car doesn’t change Alice’s mind one bit. Alex doesn’t know why Alice hates ball players so much, but he is determined to score with her nonetheless. When he’s got her convinced he’s the perfect catch, their relationship is leaked to the press. Should they call a time out or go for a home run?
Verdict Dean’s second book in the “Boys of Summer” series (after Pitch Perfect) is perfect for any baseball and sports romance fan.—Christyna Hunter, Loudoun Cty P.L., Lovettsville, VA
Regnery, Katy. Midsummer Sweetheart. Boroughs. (Heart of Montana, Bk. 2). 2014. 192p. ebk. ISBN 9781941260012. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
After a horrifying encounter with her ex-fiancé, Katrin Svenson knows she must listen to her family and leave her home to get out of harm’s way. They arrange for Erik Lindstrom, family friend and law enforcer, to take her to a rural community where Katrin can begin a new life. After only moments of meeting, Katrin is surprised to find she may be interested in more than a lift from Erik—if only Erik believed in love.
Verdict Regnery’s (Playing for Love at Deep Haven; By Proxy) writing and tempo are top-notch in this latest Montana-set novel. The protagonists are engaging, but their relationship has them falling a bit into the stereotypical weak female/strong male romance roles. Yet while most of the amorous scenes are off-page, the tension—both between Katrin and Erik and between Katrin and her volatile ex—escalate at a satisfying pace.—Kellie Tilton, Univ. of Cincinnati Blue Ash Lib.