E-Originals from Arend, Ash, Lindsey, and Meredith, plus “Silver Desire” | Xpress Reviews

Week ending September 23, 2016

Arend, Vivian. Rocky Mountain Devil. Vivian Arend. (Six Pack Ranch, Bk. 10). Sept. 2016. 382p. ebk. ISBN 9781941456125. $5.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Unlikely friends as children, Laurel, the preacher’s daughter, and Rafe, part of Angel Coleman’s ranching family, were thick as thieves growing up in Rocky Mountain House. While Rafe stayed after graduation to work the ranch, Laurel left for college. Now that Laurel is back, with a job at the library, Rafe is ready to resume the romantic interest that had surfaced between them. And while Laurel is ready to dive right in, Rafe wants to enjoy the ride as they get to know each other again. Just as the two are starting to get reacquainted, the road gets a little bumpy. Laurel’s old boyfriend shows up, and Rafe’s father and the other Colemans distract him just when he should be concentrating on Laurel. Will their mutual desire be enough to get them through the challenges ahead?
Verdict The tenth volume in the “Six Pack Ranch” series (after Rocky Mountain Shelter) is as good as the first. Many characters from earlier stories help Laurel and Rafe as they navigate their relationship. Rocky Mountain Devil can be read as a stand-alone or to enhance and continue the family saga. Readers who love a man in cowboy boots and a Stetson hat won’t want to miss any of the “Six Pack Ranch” novels.—Lisa Jordan, Johnson Cty. Lib., Overland Park, KS

Ash, Madeline. Breaking Good. Tule. Sept. 2016. 110p. ebk. ISBN 9781945879050. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE NOVELLA
During high school, tomboy Stevie Case and Ethan Rafters shared nothing more than secret glances across the room until the night before Ethan left for good. He invited Stevie to his last party, and they finally gave in to their sexual chemistry. Stevie was a brilliant student with plans to become an engineer, whereas Ethan, unable to focus, rarely attended classes. Fast-forward seven years, and now Stevie and her son, Zach, are on holiday from Melbourne, Australia, in Byron Bay. Living nearby, Ethan finds Stevie’s name when looking for a painter to spruce up his house before he rents it. He thinks it might be fun to catch up. As a struggling single mother, Stevie needs to find work while on vacation and is in shock to discover her client is Ethan, now a successful CEO of his own company. Stevie had heard he had died shortly after she gave birth. Now she needs to come clean and tell Ethan that he is a father. And if there is a chance for him to find love with Stevie again, will he also love their son?
Verdict Ash (You for Christmas) deals well with ADHD in adulthood through the character of Ethan. Readers will be reminiscing about young love and the challenges of love as we grow older while rooting for Ethan, Stevie, and Zach to become a family.—Kara Kohn, Plainfield P.L., IL

Lindsey, Julie Anne. A Geek Girl’s Guide to Justice. Carina: Harlequin. (Geek Girl Mysteries, Bk. 3). Oct. 2016. 237p. ebk. ISBN 9781459290501. $3.49. ROMANTIC MYSTERY
geekgirl092316Mia Connors is a more than a little busy. She’s IT manager for a gated community, CIO of her family’s company, and co-owner of an online role-playing game. Couple that with the demands of her crazy but loving clan, and she barely has time to spend with her boyfriend, Deputy U.S. Marshal Jake Archer. Despite her overloaded schedule and Jake’s efforts to keep her out of it, a murder right under Mia’s nose with close ties to her family has her doing some digging of her own. But when she’s suddenly hounded by a sense that someone’s watching her and dead mice start appearing on her car, she knows she’s caught the attention of the killer and it’s no longer an amateur investigation—it’s a race to solve the mystery before she becomes the next victim.
Verdict Book three in Lindsey’s “Geek Girl Mysteries” series (A Geek Girl’s Guide to Murder; A Geek Girl’s Guide to Arsenic) is lots of fun, with relatable characters and a satisfying ending. Recommended for mystery and general interest readers.—J. Harris, New Hampshire

Meredith, MK. Seducing the Tycoon. Indulgence: Entangled. (International Temptation, Bk. 1). Sept. 2016. 189p. ebk. ISBN 9781633756953. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
American Chase Huntington is in Ferrara, Italy, to open her family’s newest boutique hotel. Drago De Luca is back home in Ferrara to save his grandmother’s historic inn from the consequences of bad business decisions—and his own neglect. When the inn’s successful reopening runs headlong into the planned launch of Chase’s hotel, Drago decides that the ends justify any means in sabotaging her work as he lies his way into Chase’s inner circle. He tries to hide his scheming from his beloved Nonna as well as from the woman whom he refuses to admit he loves. When his subterfuge finally reaches out and bites his gorgeous backside, Drago discovers that he has thrown away the key to his own heart. Seducing the Tycoon turns the marrying the billionaire trope on its handsome head as both Drago and Chase are wealthy. Instead, it’s all about whether putting your heart into your work and your life is a strength or a weakness.
Verdict Chase’s openhearted embrace of “his” town makes Drago question himself in ways that redeem his character and give the story a satisfying ending. This latest from Meredith (Malibu Secrets) is recommended for lovers of this trope and for readers who enjoy seeing initially unlikable heroes get their comeuppance.—Marlene Harris, Reading Reality, Atlanta

Silver Desire: Erotic Stories of Older Women. Sexy Little Pages. Sept. 2016. 149p. ed. by Zak Jane Keir. ebk. $3.99. EROTICA
Hot off the press from independent erotica publisher Sexy Little Pages comes a raunchy anthology centered on the somewhat taboo topic of sex in middle age and those subsequent “golden years.” In this collection, sex serves as a vehicle of reclamation, reconciliation, and solace, as exemplified in Elizabeth Coldwell’s “Age Appropriate.” Grieving widow Molly finds much-needed lust, and maybe something more, with American professor Garrett during an introspective trip abroad. Similarly, wild card Sophie spurns convention and embraces her long-dormant exhibitionist (plus a penchant for hot pink) in Charlie Powell’s “Gloss.” Other stories provide snapshots of lovers connecting over tough times and triumph, such as Madeline Moore’s poignant “Daao Sawang” and Jordan Monroe’s touching “Soturi,” in which a married couple rekindle their flame after a cancer ordeal. Naughtier tales, such as Pepper Valentine’s “Dorothy and the Scarecrow” and F. Leonora Solomon’s “In Beta,” address the thrills of one-night stands, younger lovers, and passionate quickies.
Verdict A solid, varied depiction of sex and desire among the older set.—Ashleigh Williams, New York

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Comments

  1. MK Meredith says:

    Thank you for taking the time to read my book and for such love!!

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