E-Originals from Lynn, Marek, Sosa, West, and Debuter Wynters | Xpress Reviews

Week ending October 6, 2017

Lynn, Judi. Special Delivery. Lyrical Shine: Kensington. (Mill Pond, Bk. 6). Nov. 2017. 215p. ebk. ISBN 9781516101399. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Karli Redding loves her gig as a traveling nurse and has no desire to settle down. But in between assignments, Karli’s mom calls in a favor. Karli’s grandfather Axel is not doing well and a traveling nurse who can navigate the system and get him set up in a home or with home care is just what the old coot needs. Of course, Karli does not anticipate needing or wanting the help of Keagan Monroe, her grandfather’s friend and mailman. Nor has Karli ever had someone ignore her advances as Keagan does.
Verdict Lynn (Opposites Attract; Spicing Things Up) expertly weaves together the many stories that develop from this single household, showcasing the family dynamics and the complexities of her characters. This may not be one to fly off the shelves, but readers will find this feel-good romance entertaining.—Heather Lisa Maneiro, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Marek, Lillian. Lord Edward’s Mysterious Treasure: The Breton Adventure. Lillian Marek. (Victorian Adventures, Bk. 4). Nov. 2017. 323p. ebk. ISBN 9780999018002. $4.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Set in Brittany in 1871, this romance starts out with a bit of misdirection. While Lord Edward Tremaine is visiting his friend Antoine Morvan at Tony’s grandfather’s château, he is smitten by the charming Delphine de Roncaille, Tony’s beautiful cousin. Ned also meets Marguerite Benda and her aunt Madame D’Hivers, Tony’s other cousins and refugees from the Paris Commune, where Marguerite’s father was killed. Ned is a scholar and hopes to find the key to the missing treasure of Morvan by researching the family archives. As he slowly begins to understand that Delphine is not in her right mind, he also realizes that he is falling in love with the talented Marguerite, an accomplished musician and a protégée of Franz Liszt. Ned and Marguerite work together to prevent Delphine from hurting herself and others, while Ned also defends Marguerite from the brutal attentions of the loathsome Comte de Louvois. Will the revolutionary musician and her English aristocrat champion be able to live happily ever after?
Verdict A rousing historical romance that examines issues of class and privilege, as well as provides insight into both the French Revolution and the Paris Commune; highly recommended.—Henry Bankhead, San Rafael P.L., CA

starred review starSosa, Mia. Acting on Impulse. Avon Impulse. (Love on Cue, Bk. 1). Sept. 2017. 288p. ebk. ISBN 9780062690333. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Fitness trainer Tori Alvarez is ready for some alone time and her vacation in Aruba after a messy breakup. Carter Stone, star of two television shows, is flying off to Aruba to cool off after his doctor betrayed him to the press. Carter is trying to lay low after working on his first movie, and his radical physical change is the perfect disguise. After spending the entire flight in flirty conversation with his seatmate, Carter is convinced he can relax in relative anonymity. Landing at the same hotel, Tori still doesn’t recognize the bearded and scrawny guy, but after their vacations are cut short, she finds herself training him for the role of a lifetime. Now Carter slowly begins to realize the maybe the life he wants is not the best life to live. This first book in the “Love on Cue” series guarantees characters that glow with equal parts wit, sass, and sensuality.
Verdict In this latest from Sosa (Getting Dirty with the CEO), the mix of film and fitness keeps the action and the passions ramped up. Contemporary romance fans will fall for the multidimensional characters that never stray too far from family and friends as they struggle through the early part of their relationship.—John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston

West, Melissa. Merrily in Love. Lyrical Shine: Kensington. (Littleton Brothers, Bk. 3). Nov. 2017. 166p. ebk. ISBN 9781601839923. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Crestler’s Key is home to the three Littleton brothers, best known for their striking good looks. Youngest brother Brady has worked hard finally to put his family first after years of being the “screwup.” He is planning the next step to further their success by expanding their dive shop into the less busy adjoining Christmas store. The elderly owner of the Christmas mart refuses to sell and plans to give her goddaughter, Kylie Waters, the chance to turn the place around. Kylie’s surprise return to town, years after their breakup, turns Brady’s stable world upside down. She strikes a risky deal with him to save her store: if she can’t meet her season’s sales goal, the Littletons will take over the space for good. After years apart, will Kylie and Brady get a second chance at their relationship, or will business triumph over love?
Verdict In this second-chance romance, the saga of Brady and Kylie feels familiar in a satisfying way. West (Fighting Love; Chasing Love) lovingly crafts the small-town setting, and readers of the first two books in the trilogy will not want to miss Brady’s story. A heartwarming tale just in time for the holidays.—Nicole J. Suarez, Frankfort P.L. Dist., IL

Wynters, Paris. Hearts Unleashed. Crimson Romance: S. & S. Sept. 2017. 304p. ebk. ISBN 9781507206492. $4.99. CONTEMPORARY WESTERN ROMANCE
[DEBUT] In this debut novel, both the hero and the heroine are suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Katie Locke, co-owner with her father of the Three Keys Ranch, was attacked and brutally beaten at the hospital where she worked as a nurse. John Rathbone, the new ranch foreman, is a wounded veteran who still suffers flashbacks from the IED that killed his partner and wounded his canine pal, which now serves as Katie’s therapy dog. As both are damaged and neither feels capable or worthy of loving another, Katie and John fight their simmering attraction as the dog does her best to let her humans know that the other is trustworthy. Meanwhile, someone seems bent on destroying the ranch, Katie, or both. As the assailant hides in plain sight, John and Katie find themselves on a rocky road to love.
Verdict John and Katie are shoved through the wringer over and over before they reach their well-earned HEA. Recommended for romance readers who want to see their protagonists suffer a bit and for fans of military romances that include heroic canine companions.—Marlene Harris, Reading Reality, Atlanta

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