E-Originals from Godman, Matthews, Whitaker, and an Anthology Crew | Xpress Reviews

Week ending November 17, 2017

Godman, Jane. Wolf Hunter. Swerve: St. Martin’s. (Arctic Brotherhood, Bk. 5). Nov. 2017. 200p. ebk. ISBN 978125012007. $3.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
In the fifth book in the “Arctic Brotherhood” series, Sebastian Novak and Cindy Harper finally confront the attraction that has been simmering between them. Cindy is still reeling from the death of her best friend Hendrik, a former Brotherhood member, when she begins to realize she is being watched. She turns to Sebastian for help, and together they must learn to trust each other with the secrets of their pasts if they are going to defeat the Brotherhood’s sworn enemy Chastel. Godman (Wolf Slayer) does a good job of including some of the backstory needed to explain why events are occurring, but readers will feel as if they jumped into the middle and are missing important pieces.
Verdict Series fans will enjoy Sebastian and Cindy’s story and how they finally conquer their adversary, but it doesn’t hit the mark as a stand-alone.—Colleen Sargent, Lincoln Lib., Springfield, IL

Matthews, R.C. River Road. Crimson Romance: S. & S. (Tortured Souls, Bk. 3). Nov. 2017. 340p. ebk. ISBN 9781507206911. $4.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
The final title in the “Tortured Souls” trilogy (after Blackburn Castle) takes Charles Moore, aka the pirate Hatchet, from his English base to his New Orleans home. Searching for a way to break the curse over his family, he works out a deal with a voodoo priestess who needs the pirate to steal back a family relic. Hatchet must also face family pressures to leave the sea and take over their plantation, while Hope Leblonc and her boarding house are being hounded by the temperance society. Their lives and subplots are much more deeply entwined than either can imagine. Despite an instant physical attraction, the relationship starts off badly owing to incorrect assumptions and barbed comments. Their interracial relationship is illegal, and though Hatchet is intent on returning to England, Hope is committed to New Orleans. However, with the lies and manipulations the pair use to get what they want, readers may be hard-pressed to root for this romance. The backstory contains significant sexual violence.
Verdict Recommended for collections where the series is popular.—Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington P.L., VA

Parker, Tamsen & others. Rogue Affair: A Romance Anthology. Pronoun. (Rogue Hearts, Bk. 2). Nov. 2017. 542p. ebk. ISBN 9781942427117. 99¢. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Politics and sex, sex and politics. Both are alive and well in Washington, DC, and other hot spots across North America. Whatever your desire, politically or sexually, you will find something in this steaming hot anthology regardless of whether you lean to the left or the right. The stories feature everyday people trying to make sense of what is happening in the world, how they fit into Washington’s view of it, and what they can do to find peace in their personal lives. The second in the series, after Rogue Desire, this collection includes pieces by Parker, Ainsley Booth, Olivia Dade, Kris Ripper, Amy Jo Cousins, Emma Barry, Adriana Anders, Kelly Maher, and Jane Lee Blair.
Verdict While sex is always a hot topic, the current political climate in the United States is roiling as well, and these authors have brought the two together in steamy love stories that either bring the couples together or cause heartache for all concerned.—Lisa Jordan, Johnson Cty. Lib., Overland Park, KS

Whitaker, Tu-Shonda L. Whatever It Takes. Pocket Star. Dec. 2017. 90p. ebk. ISBN 9781501177545. 99¢. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Whitaker (Flip Side of the Game) brings us the story of India Parker, a thirtysomething schoolteacher who realizes she may have missed her opportunity for love and will be spending the holidays alone, again. India and her girlfriends Tracy and Joan, neither of whom are exactly happily married, are navigating life the best they can. Working to stay out of her friends’ drama, India meets Joan’s son D.J., now a very grown-up 23-year-old Devin. What starts out as a secret fling quickly turns into something much more serious for both parties. The age difference and knowing she’s involved with her friend’s son become stumbling blocks for India, while Devin seems almost too good to be true. Add a nosy neighbor, along with the friends’ intensity, and India has a big decision to make. Does she risk her heart in hopes that she and Devin will last, or spend another New Year’s Eve alone?
Verdict Recommended for libraries where diverse romances are in demand.—Sarah Sheehan, Manhattan Coll. Lib., Riverdale, NY

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