Week ending May 2, 2014
Bielman, Robin. Wild About Her Wingman. Bliss: Entangled. (Secret Wishes, Bk. 3). 2014. 268p. ebk. ISBN 9781622665006. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
It all starts with a bet: if high school quarterback–turned–paramedic Troy helps local wild child and thrill seeker Erin find a boyfriend, he gets out of the firehouse’s grocery shopping for two glorious months. After a brutal breakup made her put a giant wall around her heart, Erin isn’t as easy to pair up as Troy originally thought. Things get even more complicated—for Troy’s heart and his odds of winning the bet—when Erin is assigned to help Troy overcome some demons of his own.
Verdict While a bet may be the impetus for Troy and Erin to start hanging out, the chemistry between the two is what really sticks in Bielman’s (Yours at Midnight) latest title in the “Secret Wishes” series. The tension between Troy and Erin is obvious from the start, and it’s a treat for readers to watch as both attempt to talk themselves out of their attraction.—Kellie Tilton, Univ. of Cincinnati Lib. Blue Ash
Halston, Sidney. Against the Cage. Loveswept: Random. (Worth the Fight, Bk. 1). Jun. 2014. 194p. ebk. ISBN 9780553390964. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Chrissy Martin hasn’t returned to her hometown of Tarpon Springs, FL, since she left years ago, but she is now forced back to bail her brother Slade out of jail. The very last thing she needs is to run into Jack Daniels, now a sexier-than-ever local cop who happens to be her brother’s best friend and who never looked at her as anything more than a bratty kid sister. Having worked the last decade as a doctor in poverty-stricken countries, Chrissy is no longer the nerdy bookworm he remembers, and Jack feels compelled to protect this woman at all costs. Slade is a cage fighter whose underground matches might cost him his life if Chrissy can’t stop him before it’s too late. Jack wants to help her, so it’s no surprise that she quickly falls into his arms. He is also a mixed martial arts fighter who epitomizes the one thing Chrissy can’t handle—violence. Attending one of Jack’s fights brings back all the brutality from her past relationship, and Chrissy isn’t sure if she can compromise on something that she knows will destroy more than just her heart.
Verdict Having a solid plot with substantial threads to keep the narrative flowing, Halston’s (Seeing Red; Seeing Black) new series opener creates an organic and sensual dynamic between Jack and Chrissy that makes an easy buy-in for readers. And if the story isn’t endearing enough, Jack’s feisty Chihuahua/pit bull mix will have readers instantly hooked and eagerly awaiting the second series installment.—Kara Kohn, Plainfield P.L., IL
Janowitz, Brenda. The Lonely Hearts Club. Polis. May 2014. 287p. ebk. ISBN 9781940610023. $4.99. NEW ADULT ROMANCE
One of the morals of this story is “Don’t drink and blog—unless you want to turn your life around.” First, Jo Waldman is fired—by her father. Then “dear old dad” takes away both her car and her downtown Manhattan apartment—until she can afford them with her own money. Last, but definitely not least, Jo’s boyfriend dumps her. In a drunken rage, she posts on her old band’s website, letting her hatred of all things related to “love” spill out all over the Internet; Facebook, Twitter, and Tumbler all get a piece of Jo’s mind. Overnight, she becomes the antilove poster girl. The overwhelming response to her tirade breaks her old website, and she needs a geek to maximize her online presence and keep the words flowing to her lonely hearted fans. It seems everyone wants to share the “no love” message. The only problem is that the “love is bad” queen is discovering that love is actually good—with her web designer. Jo has to figure out what she wants more, to be head of the antilove movement or to stop being one of the lonely hearts.
Verdict This sweet story from Janowitz (Scot on the Rocks; Jack with a Twist) is about growing up, letting go, and figuring out what your future should be. The series of hard knocks Jo suffers shake her out of her all-too-comfortable rut in a way that makes her a heroine worth following. Recommended for new adult romance fans.—Marlene Harris, Seattle P.L.
Wainscott, Tina. Wild Ways. Loveswept: Random. (Justiss Alliance, Bk. 2). May 2014. 288p. ISBN 9780345548351. $2.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Julian Cuevas is ready to move on from the faulty undertaking that he and his SEAL teammates made back the Middle East. He’s just taken a job with the Justiss Alliance, and it’s sure to be easier than any secret mission in Afghanistan. As he starts to leave local bar Ship’s Inn, he’s enthralled by a redhead who takes him for the biggest mission of his life. Mollie Reagan is alone and broke but determined to find her lost sister, Di, who fell for a biker whose gang has a bad reputation. Mollie’s latest clue brings her to Ship’s Inn. Despite the advice of the hunk in the parking lot, she enters the bar, but determination becomes her downfall, and Mollie ends up in danger until the hunk steps in to assist. Following more leads into the dangerous world of sinister biker gang culture has Mollie and Julian dodging bullets, Harleys, drugs, strip clubs, and a sultry connection to each other.
Verdict Fans of Suzanne Brockmann’s “Troubleshooters” series will truly enjoy this story from Wainscott (Wild on You). Although it’s a bit difficult to believe that so many long, heartfelt conversations are conducted on a motorcycle (anyone heard the engine on one of those?), the story line and writing are enthralling.—Christyna Hunter, Loudoun Cty. P.L., Lovettsville, VA