Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, July 6, 2012

Week ending July 6, 2012

Adams, Dee J. Dangerously Close. Carina: Harlequin. (Adrenaline Highs, Bk. 3). Jul. 2012. 255p. eISBN 9781426894121. EPUB $5.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
The third book in Adams’s Adrenaline Highs series (after Dangerous Race and Danger Zone) offers close to but not quite as many romantic suspense chills and thrills as its predecessors. Dangerously Close is about two people who are in hiding‚ from themselves, from their pasts, from each other. And because they are running away from who they really are, they lie to themselves‚ and to each other. It’s those lies that trip them up when they fall in love. Ashley was injured in Danger Zone, wounded when the killer missed his target. She’s still in recovery and avoiding her very justified fear that she might not recover. Seger Hughes is a burned-out rock-and-roll bad boy on the lam from his fans and himself. Having turned his life around, Seger is afraid that no one will want his new sound, or his new no party self. Ashley, blinded by her injury, is the only woman on the planet who doesn’t recognize him. He can be his new self, until a crazed stalker gets in the way of everything.
Verdict Fun summer reading but just not up to the level of the first two books in the series. Still, recommended for romantic suspense fans.—Marlene Harris, Reading Reality LLC

Barrett, Elisabeth. Deep Autumn Heat. Loveswept: Random. (Star Harbor, Bk. 1). Jul. 2012. c.300p. ISBN 9780345534330. EPUB $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
In her debut (and first in the Star Harbor series), Barrett introduces the inhabitants of Star Harbor, MA, with a focus on the Grayson brothers, resident bad boys made good. Sebastian Grayson, a successful New York gourmet chef, has returned to Star Harbor for an annual reunion with his brothers. His plan to keep the trip short and productive (he’s thinking of opening a second restaurant in Boston) is derailed when he meets Lexie Meyers, who runs her own Star Harbor eatery. The attraction is instantaneous, but both are reluctant to act upon it. Seb doesn’t want to become tied down, and Lexie is still wary from a disastrous past relationship. As they navigate their attraction, the couple find that outside threats to Lexie may be a much bigger concern.
Verdict The various suspense elements make this debut feel a little overfull. That said, this is still a solid debut with appealing characters and a nice setup for the series. Fans of Nora Roberts’s Chesapeake Bay titles will find much to enjoy here.—Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI

Gaines, Alice. Storm Bound: A Cabin Fever Novella. Avon Impulse. Jul. 2012. NAp. eISBN 9780062210586. EPUB $1.99. EROTIC ROMANCE
Christie Lovejoy has designs upon two very attractive men: Wolf Martin and Jon Carlson, potential investors in the Santa Inez Island resort who are visiting the idyllic island on the eve of a hurricane. Though the looming storm threatens to dash her plans, Christie skillfully diverts the last ferry, leaving her trapped with the guys until the weather clears. Her reward is nonstop sex; first with one man, then with the other, and with a tasty bit of both at the same time. A friendly rivalry between the boys keeps the action sizzling but does not interfere with the fun. Sex is described graphically but tastefully, though a bit more detail would be an asset. The crescendo, as the storm rages, is a smattering of light and playful bondage. A one-on-one romantic encounter between Wolf and Christie provides a warm, satisfying conclusion, as does a half-hearted pledge among our three musketeers to stage a reunion.
Verdict This female-driven three-way fantasy covers all the bases, with a slide into home; highly recommended.—Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos P.L., CA

starred review starNavarre, Laura. By Royal Command. Carina: Harlequin. Jul. 2012. 998Kb. eISBN 9781426894008. EPUB $5.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Katrin of Courtenay, niece to the King of England, has been forced into a loveless marriage simply to secure English alliances. But when that horrible husband dies of pestilence, the King again sends for her‚ for another arranged marriage. Vowing to fight this union every step of the way, Katrin arrives at court sharing her bed with Eomond, the King’s sword-theyn. She struggles with the passion that drives this unlikely coupling, but it is Eomond who teaches her what love feels like in the bedroom. King Ethelred needs alliances, however, and announces her betrothal to the Baron of Belmaine. When Eomond refuses to run away with her, Katrin goes to her baron, Rafael le Senay. Expecting him to be the monk that he almost was, Katrin is excited and pleased by her attraction to the elegant noble. But all is not well, as Rafael must fight his own brother to keep his new wife. As the brother’s duel, Katrin realizes that she has fallen hopelessly in love with her new husband. After enduring life’s hard journey, Katrin finds safety, security, and love in the most unexpected place‚ her marriage.
Verdict Author Navarre chronicles the subterfuge of the royal court, transporting the reader to England in 1005 C.E. and bringing it to life. Her strong writing and dynamic characters will captivate readers in Katrin’s struggle with love and passion. A sexy and smart new addition to the genre; one love story not to be missed!—Judy Garner, ECPI Univ. Lib., Glen Allen, VA

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"