E-Originals from Poole, Riley, Sands, and Wilson | Xpress Reviews

Week ending December 8, 2017

Poole, Daaimah S. My Boo. Pocket Star. Dec. 2017. 88p. ebk. ISBN 9781501177521. 99¢. EROTIC ROMANCE
Though she’s been with DC-based Chris for a year, Philly girl Gina is starting to feel the strain of a long-distance relationship. She claims to love Chris, yet this erotic novella opens with her at a club, looking for “a good-looking brother to look my way and invite me to breakfast.” She knows Khalil is a player, but the lonely winter nights have her falling for his lines, and their explosive exploits in bed have Gina torn between the two men. Originally published as part of the Kiss the Year Goodbye anthology (Pocket, 2005), the story fizzles even as the sex sizzles. Gina’s friends, family, and coworkers provide plenty of entertaining drama, but none of it develops into a subplot that goes anywhere, so it ends up as random filler. Gina is can’t choose between Chris and Khalil, but with Chris in another city, the reader doesn’t get a strong sense of their relationship.
Verdict Poole (His Last Name) filled her latest with background that doesn’t go anywhere and an abrupt ending; readers will want to ring in the new year with something else.—Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington P.L., VA

Riley, Lia. Head Coach. Avon Impulse. (Hellions Angels, Bk. 2). Nov. 2017. 256p. ebk. ISBN 9780062662484. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Neve Angel has two priorities: her dream job as a sports columnist covering Denver’s Hellions hockey team and her sports podcast. Biological clock and social activities be damned, Neve should be living her best life after having to fight for her career in a male-dominated field. Tor Gunnar, head coach of the Hellions, has to answer to the team’s fans and management for a season that is quickly heading south, but he doesn’t have to enjoy answering to the media. The local press could easily be mistaken for vultures that seize on drama to sell papers. The cocky columnist who never misses a chance to make him the punchline of a joke is the biggest thorn in his side. The love-hate chemistry between Neve and Tor comes to a boil when a throwaway bar bet forces them together for a weekend.
Verdict Although the protagonists profess their love rather quickly and female empowerment seems a bit tacked on, the sexy chemistry between Neve and Tor is undeniable. Fans of the first in the series, Mister Hockey, will happily devour this installment.—Nicole J. Suarez, Frankfort P.L. Dist., IL

Sands, Susan. Christmas, Alabama. Tule. (Alabama, Bk. 4). Oct. 2017. 215p. ebk. ISBN 9781947636200. $4.99. HOLIDAY ROMANCE
Rachel Prudomme moved to Ministry, AL, to be closer to her sister and mother after her father was arrested for a white-collar crime, affecting her trust in men. Still, it was the best decision she ever made. The quaint town is soon home to Rachel. She has a great apartment and a promising start to her photography business and is finally content. Dr. Nicholas Sullivan knew his goal: get the position at Emory, a trauma surgeon’s coveted job. When he was corralled into working at the small Alabama hospital for a few months, he was not pleased. But if it would get him his dream spot, he would suck it up for a few months. And maybe his time here won’t be so bad, now that he’s met his sexy neighbor. The holidays in Ministry are looking up. However, with Rachel’s distrust of men and Nick’s intention to leave, what kind of relationship could they have? Sands does an incredible job of bringing the holidays to Ministry in this fourth series installment, which can also stand alone for those wanting a seasonal romance fix.
Verdict Romance readers will love Sands’s (Forever, Alabama) endearing story of family, friends, hope, and love.—Jessica M. Perovich, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Washington, DC

starred review starWilson, Teri. Royally Wed. Pocket Star. (Royals, Bk. 3). Nov. 2017. 250p. ebk. ISBN 9781501160516. $4.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Asher Reed lost his fiancé, his mentor, and his music in one fell swoop. When he gets a call from Buckingham Palace to replace Yo-Yo Ma in the royal wedding, he decides it’s the perfect opportunity to rejoin the musical world. Never mind that it means playing with his former fiancé and his mentor (now lovers), with the entire world as the audience. Princess Amelia, aka Princess Naughty, finally has the opportunity with her marriage to shed the horrible nickname and rid the family of the vicious rumors. With the wedding just days away, however, reality is sinking in. Will she really be marrying her best friend’s father and be expected to start a family with him? Perhaps living up to her princess duties isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. As fate would have it, the love-lost musician and dutiful princess find one another. Now they must learn to make music without creating an international scandal.
Verdict This reviewer must admit never to have seen the film Royal Wedding—the basis for this novel. The true joy and romance evoked by a Fred Astaire film, though, is definitely present here. Perhaps even more joyous is how Wilson (Royally Romanov) is able to update the story with a princess heading from scandal to reality TV. A must-have for all libraries.—Heather Lisa Maneiro, SILS, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

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