Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, May 11, 2012

Week ending May 11, 2012

starred review starKendall, Beverley. An Heir of Deception. Season Pub. (Elusive Lords, Bk. 3). 2012. 288p. eISBN 9780983800620. EPUB $4.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Charlotte Rutherford abandoned Alex Cartwright at the altar five years ago and ran away to America. Not because she didn’t love him, but because she loved him too much to expose him to the censure that would result if the secret of her parentage were revealed. Having received a letter that her twin sister is deathly ill, Charlotte is back in England, with her four-year-old son, Nicholas‚ Alex’s son. The letter, of course, is false, but Charlotte’s return sets into motion a chain of events that no force on earth can stop. Alex, heir to the Duke of Hastings, uses his considerable power to claim his son. Yet instead of a custody battle, he chooses to falsify their marriage, reclaiming Charlotte as well. Charlotte had fled because she was being blackmailed over a family secret, and everything she loves is now threatened until the blackmailer is revealed.
Verdict Runaway brides, secret babies, blackmail, and alcoholism would be enough drama for one story all by themselves. In this latest from Kendall (A Taste of Desire), all of that is mere backstory. What drive this surprisingly deep novel are its revelations and their aftermath: sibling rivalry and jealousy, ancestral skeletons, and the question of whether love can persevere despite society’s strictures. Readers who enjoy family dramas more than ton balls will love this one. Highly recommended for historical romance fans.‚ Marlene Harris, Reading Reality LLC

Lang, Emma. Endless Heart. Samhain. (Heart, Bk. 3). May 2012. NAp. ISBN 9781609289553. EPUB $5.50. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
It is the summer of 1873 in Forestville, WY, when Lettie Brown opens the door of the Blue Plate Café only to have Shane Murphy fall at her feet and vomit on her only pair of shoes. And thus begins the great love affair of Lettie and Shane. Shane had been beaten to within an inch of his life, and Lettie, along with the owners of the Blue Plate, nurse him back to health. Lettie has had a disappointing experience with men, having had a husband who abused her and from whom she barely escaped with her life. Therefore, she resists any attraction she may be feeling toward the handsome but obviously hurting Shane and attempts to avoid him as much as possible. When Lettie and Shane are thrown together to make a supply run to the next town, the enforced time together (as well as a broken wagon wheel) helps them to open up to the possibility of a relationship, and things get a little steamy on the prairie. However, bad guys kidnap Lettie and Shane, and the couple’s pasts eventually threaten to pull them apart.
Verdict Great characters are the backbone of this third book in Lang’s Heart series. Familiarity with the first two titles is not necessary to the enjoyment here as Endless Heart stands on its own. Unfortunately, the great passion that Lettie and Shane experience is somewhat out of character for a woman who had been so previously abused, making their instant sexual attraction somewhat unbelievable. Still, this is a very well-written and entertaining historical Western romance.‚ Lisa Jordan, Gardner Neighborhood Lib., Johnson Cty. Lib., KS

starred review starMaxwell, Cathy & others. For Love and Honor. Avon Impulse. Jun. 2012. c.217p. eISBN 9780062207692. EPUB $4.99. ROMANCE ANTHOLOGY
This delightful anthology offers three tender stories about heroic men in the service and the women who love them. It is 1812 Spain, and Captain Duroy is ordered to escort headstrong Pippa Nelson to England in Maxwell’s historical original The Bookish Miss Nelson. Lynne Hinton’s quirky and lovable characters from Pie Town return in Letters from Pie Town to send Raymond prayers from New Mexico while he recovers from injuries sustained during his Afghanistan tour. This movement is organized by Trina, the young woman who stole Raymond’s heart. Plagued with guilt for the brothers he left behind, Ranger Aiden Marshall returns to Sweet, TX, with a plan to break it off with Paige in Candis Terry’s Home Sweet Home. Little does he know that Paige has plans of her own and won’t give up on the man she loves, no matter how broken he feels inside.
Verdict Although each story is uniquely satisfying, together this timely collection gives readers a taste of how war affects the loved ones of military men. This stirring tribute to those who serve their country is one readers won’t soon forget.‚ Kara Kohn, Plainfield P.L., IL

Weaver, Raine. Lucidity. Samhain. Jun. 2012. 181p. eISBN 9781619210905. EPUB $4.50. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Carlotta Phelps had always been a dreamer. Discovering a talent for controlling the course of her dreams was nice but nothing special. Yet after taking part in a study that allows her to find her true potential to tap into her power, Carly is recruited into the One Hundred, an organization that can combine her power with others’ to affect the course of reality. Her current assignment: to stop an asteroid from striking Earth and causing another Ice Age. However, she and the others are being hunted by a mysterious group, a situation that requires she have a bodyguard and forces her to partner with former Special Ops soldier Parker Munroe. Their mutual antagonism thinly disguises a burning attraction, but both have a job to complete. If Parker can’t protect Carly from the enemy that pursues them, both their hearts‚ and the entire world‚ will be lost.
Verdict Weaver (Let’s Pretend; The Last Man on Earth) finds a way to make Carly ethereal yet grounded, a good foil for Parker’s agnostic, gritty attitude. Good pacing, fun characters, and steam up your glasses sex will keep readers intrigued.‚ Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Memorial Lib., Easthampton, MA

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"