Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, December 9, 2011

Week ending December 9, 2011

Barker, Becky. Stow Away. Samhain. Dec. 2011. 490KB. eISBN 9781609286842. EPUB $5.50. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Keri Merritt, an overworked trauma nurse and sheriff’s daughter, is ready to take a solo three-week vacation in her family’s remote Tennessee cabin. When she arrives and begins to unpack her SUV, she discovers an extremely handsome man with a gunshot wound stowed away in her vehicle. And so begins the romance between Keri and Nick Lamanto, a Miami vice detective shot while investigating a Tennessee militia movement’s connection to a Miami-based gunrunning operation out. Bullets continue to fly as Nick and Keri find themselves hiding out on a private island off the coast of Miami. Nick and Keri’s relationship gets hotter than a south Florida sidewalk in August. A backstory involves Keri’s sleuthing to determine if her mother’s death in a traffic accident might have been murder.
Verdict In spite of an abundance of police officers with locked jaws and reoccurring references to Keri’s tingling, the well-developed plot and characters will keep readers turning the pages.‚ Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

James, Eloisa. Winning the Wallflower. Avon Impulse. Dec. 2011. eISBN 9780062191823. EPUB 99¢. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
The younger daughter of an earl, Lucy Towerton is properly bred, uncommonly tall, and dowerless‚ until a surprise inheritance makes her an heiress. Now she is expected to cast aside Ravensthorpe, her wealthy but untitled fiancé, and set her sights on a more suitable aristocrat. Despite her growing doubts about Ravensthorpe’s feelings for her, Lucy isn’t about to marry someone she doesn’t love. Consequently, Ravensthorpe isn’t about to let her slip away. A hero determined to restore his family’s tarnished social credentials and a heroine willing to flout convention for love set the sparks flying and tongues wagging as they sort out their motives and emotions and find their way to love in this heartwarming romance.
Verdict Witty, touching, and insightful, this delectable Regency-set confection takes a gently humorous but clear-eyed look at marriage, class snobbery, and family and social expectations. It’s a perfect teaser for James’s upcoming January release, The Duke Is Mine (LJ 12/11). Note: The ebook includes a number of bonus chapters from several of James’s past and forthcoming titles, effectively doubling the length.‚ Kristin Ramsdell, formerly with California State Univ. Lib, East Bay

Kery, Beth. Silken Rapture. Samhain. (Princes of the Underground, Bk. 2). 2011. c.285p. eISBN 9781609286750. EPUB $5.50. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
When Blaise Sevliss rescues Isabel Lanscourt from his evil twin, Morshiel, he is inexorably drawn to her radiating beauty and unique psychic powers. To ensure Isabel’s safety, Blaise holds her captive in his underground fortress while he searches for a way to defeat Morshiel and his Scourge for good. But try as he might, Blaise can’t ignore his houseguest. Isabel possesses a thirst-quenching vitessence for vampires, and although Blaise wants to resist her, he recognizes in Isabel his true mate, through whom he can attain a soul and gain his humanity. But Blaise can’t take the chance that Isabel will reject him once she discovers who and what he is.
Verdict In this second book in the Princes of the Underground series, Kery (Velvet Cataclysm) fuses various paranormal elements through a hodgepodge of otherworldly creatures‚ from vampires to werewolves, shapeshifters to psychics‚ that is not unlike the television show True Blood. But in portraying a being with both vampire and werewolf characteristics, Kery takes a step toward differentiating her story from similar works. If there is anything lukewarm here it is the epilog, but the well-paced eroticism and entertaining characters will keep readers captivated throughout.‚ Natasha Grant, New York

Miller, Kristin. Vamped Up. Avon Impulse. (Vampires of Crimson Bay, Bk. 2). Dec. 2011. 297p. eISBN 9780062105219. EPUB $11.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Miller picks up where Intervamption ended with vampire Ruan and mundane (human) Eve trying to find a way to make their relationship work by living away from Ruan’s khiss, or vampire group. Eve’s pure blood has been synthesized, so she is no longer in immediate danger from other vampires, but Ruan is having trouble keeping his fangs to himself, and his dreams of murdering Eve by drinking too much are growing stronger. As he tries to make sense of his dreams and remember his lost past, he runs into other characters who may or may not be of help. Mates Slade and Dylan, the mysterious Dante, the villainous Kane/Savage, and ancient vampire Lilith populate the convoluted plot, which falls flat with its uneven character development and overkill on the blood and pop culture references (When Harry Bit Sally, Breakfast at Tiffany’s Throat, GQ Paranormal Magazine, to name a few).
Verdict With unsympathetic main characters, a derivative plot breaking little new ground in the genre, and sex scenes lacking romantic and/or erotic aspects, this title should be considered only by libraries where patrons request it by name.‚ Melanie C. Duncan, Shurling Lib., Macon, GA

Bette-Lee Fox About Bette-Lee Fox

Bette-Lee Fox (blfox@mediasourceinc.com) is Managing Editor, Library Journal.

Now in her 46th year with Library Journal, Bette-Lee also edits LJ's Video Reviews column, six times a year Romance column, and e-original Romance reviews, which post weekly as LJ Xpress Reviews. She received the Romance Writers of America (RWA) Vivian Stephens Industry Award in 2013 for having "contributed to the genre or to RWA in a significant and/or continuing manner"