E-Originals from Cangany, Morgan, Qualls, and Debuter Rhone | Xpress Reviews

Week ending August 25, 2017

Cangany, Jim. Start Your Engines. Crimson Romance: S. & S. (Racing Hearts, Bk. 1). Aug. 2017. 220p. ebk. ISBN 9781507205839. $4.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
It’s been ten years since Brad Thomas laid eyes on Gabrielle Marquez—ten painful years of rehabilitation and coming to grips with the loss of his best friend as well as his future as an IndyCar driver. Recovery has been difficult physically and mentally, but Brad has persevered in his love of racing as the director of a team. For Gabrielle, the same ten years have been spent reliving the accident that took the life of their mutual friend and honing her skill as a driver in Europe. When Gabrielle is introduced as the new driver of Brad’s team, they are both forced to confront their memories of the fatal tragedy head on and explore the chemistry that never died.
Verdict Cangany (Time Out) explores no new ground in his latest work but does offer two characters that are sweet if a bit flat; the details of car racing may appeal to some. An optional purchase, best for public libraries with patrons having a strong interest in IndyCar.—Nicole J. Suarez, Frankfort P.L. Dist., IL

Morgan, Sophie H. His Command. Swerve: St. Martin’s. (Playboy Genie, Bk. 2). Jul. 2017. 330p. ebk. ISBN 9781250129222. $3.99. PARANORMAL FANTASY ROMANCE
The New York City of Morgan’s romance resembles Kate Hudson’s circa How To Lose a Guy in 10 Days in every way but one: genies are real. Each year, the mysterious WFY Corporation chooses five humans from among millions of applicants and endows them with magical powers and immortality. The WFY genies live like celebrities, earning a healthy salary in exchange for granting wishes. After a devastating breakup, workaholic wedding planner Hailey Lawson attends a charity auction determined to blow her nest egg on something extravagant—a genie’s wish, for example. There, she literally runs into Ryder Wood, a flirtatious genie with a weakness for puppy dog eyes. Ryder is instantly struck by the pretty blonde with the woebegone expression. He’s determined to make this sad girl smile, even if that means rigging the auction.
Verdict Despite the fantasist aspects, this novel covers familiar ground. From the classic trip-and-fall meet-cute to the grand gesture finale, readers will recognize the quintessential scenes. Unfortunately, the complicated logistics of the plot cause the story to drag at times. For a clearer explanation of the premise, readers may want to begin with the first title in the series (Her Wish).—Lindsay Morton, Pub. Lib. of Science, San Francisco

Qualls, Wendy. Worth Waiting For. Lyrical Shine: Kensington. (Heart of the South, Bk. 1). Aug. 2017. 182p. ebk. ISBN 9781516102044. $3.99. LGBTQ, CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Psychology professor Paul Dunham is only a year or two from achieving tenure at his Georgia college, if he can stay on the good side of a department head who hates him, and if he can keep pretending he’s happy as a closeted gay man at a college with a rather strict code of conduct stemming from its years as a religious institution. And if former college crush Brandon Mercer didn’t return to campus as an IT consultant assigned to work closely with Paul. Brandon is comfortably out, but he doesn’t advertise it since he won’t be at the school for long. However, his budding relationship with Paul is worth being discreet for Paul’s sake, until explicit photos are emailed to Paul with the threat of sabotaging their relationship and his career.
Verdict Qualls (coauthor, Save the Date) provides a sweet romance with some spice while tackling issues such as coming out as an adult, family relationships, and religious acceptance or denial of LGBTQ lifestyles. Recommended for libraries with a comprehensive LGBTQ romance collection, or where books set in Georgia are popular.—Melanie C. Duncan, Washington Memorial Lib., Macon, GA

Rhone, Nika. What the Lady Wants. Wild Rose. (Boulder Bodyguards, Bk. 1). Jul. 2017. 392p. ebk. ISBN 9781509215386. $5.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
[DEBUT] Thea Fordham, the daughter of a wealthy businessman, has come back home after graduating with a degree in interior decorating. She has always had a massive crush on one of her father’s bodyguards, Brennan Doyle. Thea’s father has taken her mother on a European tour to help her recover from a medical scare and leaves Brennan in charge of Thea’s safety. Her safety is more in question when she starts receiving letters from a stalker. Brennan tries hard to resist his interest in Thea while keeping a promise to her father that he would not tell her about the threat. Things heat up in many ways.
Verdict Debut author Rhone does an excellent job with the dialog and the suspenseful plot. This reviewer had no idea as to the identity of the stalker until the last part of the book. Recommended for romance lovers who like a little humor and a lot of intrigue.—Susan Hayes, Chattahoochee Valley Libs., Columbus, GA

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