Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, April 27, 2012

Week ending April 27, 2012

Cross, Kaylea. Darkest Caress. Carina: Harlequin. (Empowered, Bk. 1). Apr. 2012. 260p. eISBN 9781426893667. EPUB $5.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE, FANTASY ROMANCE
Realtor Olivia Farrell teaches piano part-time and is dealing with a migraine triggered by the stress of the persistent, unwanted advances of the father of a student when she meets Daegan Blackwell to show him a property. His presence and a casual touch relieve her headache, but she is unaware that the touch confirms for Daegan that she is his mate. When Daegan saves her from her stalker, he sees that her migraines are actually triggered by her sensitivity to evil, and his touch acts as a shield. He later learns that Olivia is one of The Lost, a genetic descendant of the Empowered, just as he and his two fellow warriors are. Olivia never knew of her heritage and doesn’t connect the auras and the migraines with her awakening ability as the Seeker, the one who has been prophesied to help Daegan identify the Obsidian Lord and his Dark Army. But before they can seek the Obsidian Lord, Olivia and Daegan must fully bond as mates and survive attempts to eliminate them.
Verdict Cross departs from her military-themed romantic suspense titles (Deadly Descent) with this first of a paranormal romance trilogy. A point in its favor is that the book pulls from nontraditional mythology instead of rehashing paranormal tropes, but it still primarily sets up background and introduces characters without advancing the plot. Libraries with a high demand for paranormal romance, or where Cross has a strong following might consider. Cross also writes contemporary erotica as Callie Croix (No Holds Barred).‚ Melanie C. Duncan, Shurling Lib., Macon, GA

Damschroder, Natalie J. Acceptable Risks. Carina: Harlequin. Apr. 2012. NAp. eISBN 9781426893636. EPUB $5.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Matt Madrassa owns a specialized high-tech security firm, and Jason Templeton is his right-hand man. Yet when his team is ambushed, Jason ends up dead‚ or at least everyone thinks he is. Matt has used an unapproved miracle drug to bring Jason back to life. Unfortunately, there is a traitor in the firm, and someone is out to get them. The first one endangered is Matt’s adult daughter, Lark, developer of the drug. Jason is sent to protect her, and immediately the attraction is strong. When Matt is kidnapped, Jason and Lark become partners.
Verdict This is a really good story. Yes, the sex is hot, but the plot is even better. For all romance collections.‚ Susan Hayes, Chattahoochee Valley Libs., Columbus, GA

Ross, Juliana. Improper Relations. Carina: Harlequin. Apr. 2012. 280Kb. eISBN 9781426893650. EPUB $2.99. EROTIC/HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Hannah, a widow who has fallen on hard times after the death of her husband, is the lonely unpaid companion to Lady Dorchester, her late husband’s aunt. Enter Leo, lady Dorchester’s profligate, nonconformist son. In a series of deeply erotic interludes, Leo initiates the unflappable Hannah into all the pleasures of love; experiences she lacked in her soulless marriage. Hannah had no idea that lovemaking could be pleasurable. Starting out with a bit of voyeurism when Hannah observes Leo and the maid in the library, Leo proceeds to show her everything she has been missing. When their liaison is discovered, Hannah flees to protect Leo from being disinherited.
Verdict This seeming profligate rake turns out to be quite a gem as he seeks to rescue his maiden in distress. Deeply satisfying erotica with a side helping of romance. This story is recommended for readers who enjoy a positive sexual thrill.‚ Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos P.L., CA

Tompkins, Denise. Wrath. Samhain. (Niteclif Evolutions, Bk. 2). Apr. 2012. 377p. eISBN 9781609287238. EPUB $6.50. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
We meet Maddy Niteclif the morning after a horrible battle in the supernatural world. What follows is heartbreak, new love, romance, suspense, and drama as Maddy loses one love only to gain a new, greater love. But if the reader is hesitant to root for the new lover Hellion over Bahlin, Maddy is downright determined not to at first. Throughout this exploration of fresh love, the reader suffers along with Maddy as she agonizes over the love she lost and worries about her as she tracks down a deadly killer who is targeting her.
Verdict This second book in the series (after Legacy) is easy to follow and impossible to put down. Add in wizards, warlocks, vampires, fairies, and dragons, and you have a truly spectacular story. Recommended to anyone who enjoys supernatural thrillers, as well as readers who have a taste for a good mystery with some flights of fantasy.‚ Sonnet Ireland, Univ. of New Orleans Lib.

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"