Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, July 13, 2012

Week ending July 13, 2012

Erickson, Karen. Worth the Risk. Samhain. (Worth It, Bk. 2). Jul. 2012. c.253p. eISBN 9781609288570. EPUB $5.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
With oldest Worth brother Alex now married to his former assistant, the second selection in Erickson’s Worth It trilogy concentrates on middle brother Hunter, the powerful and charming president of marketing at Worth Luxury Goods. A recent drunken make-out session following work one evening cannot escape Hunter’s mind, or the thoughts he has of coworker Gracie Hayes for that matter. Both realize that something electrifying happens when they are together, but neither can commit. Hunter is your quintessential playboy, and Gracie’s troubled childhood inhibits her from letting anyone close. When a near-death experience threatens their already rocky relationship, Hunter does whatever it takes to make Gracie his, and Gracie finally confronts the past that has prevented her from opening her heart to this man and their future.
Verdict There are far too many similarities to Erickson’s Worth the Scandal to make this offering stand out in the series. Readers who can tolerate the repetitious plot will be partially rewarded by steamy lovemaking and a hot male lead and will want to see what develops with youngest brother Rhett in the final title, Worth the Challenge, set for release in October 2012.—Kara Kohn, Plainfield P.L., IL

Miller, Janet. Beloved Stranger. Samhain. (Gaian). Aug. 2012. c.262p. eISBN 9781619210417. EPUB $5.50. SF ROMANCE
The planet Ares Five is a mining colony and prison for Gaian men and where Roan Duman is anxiously waiting to enter a marriage meet in the hopes of finding his one true love. Enter Sonja, not from the planet Gaia and decidedly not interested in living happily ever after. She is hoping that a Gaian man attaches to her and marries her, fulfilling her one goal: gaining access to the colony through her nuptials and then finding and freeing her sisters. Unfortunately, Gaian men aren’t prone to giving up on love. In fact, they will often do anything for their wives. While this trait ensures that Roan will be useful to Sonja, it also makes her question what she really wants.
Verdict The steady and fast-paced plot keeps readers eager for each new page, with just enough romantic scenes to maintain interest. With several possible endings available, the reader is kept guessing until the final page. Recommended for anyone who enjoys suspense mixed with sf and romance.—Sonnet Ireland, Univ. of New Orleans Lib.

Randol, Anna. A Most Naked Solution. Avon Impulse. Jul. 2012. NAp. eISBN 9780062121721. EPUB $1.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Lord Camden Grey is the Justice of the Peace only under protest; he would much prefer to be working on mathematical proofs. The investigation into the death of Lord Harding is a bit of a nuisance, especially since it throws Camden back into the path of Lady Sophia Harding. Did she do it? Was the murder justified? And can Camden resist the charms of the only person ever to write him a love letter? More tease than romance, A Most Naked Solution is an engaging whodunit with an overlay of forbidden love.
Verdict A strong female lead and a fun mystery make this a great choice for any vacation read.—Emily Thompson, SUNY at Oswego Lib.

Rosso, Nico. Night of Fire. Avon Imulse. (Ether Chronicles). Jul. 2012. 118p. eISBN 9780062201089. EPUB $1.99. STEAMPUNK ROMANCE
Saddle up your Sky Charger and follow Tom Knox, an Upland Ranger in the U.S. Army, who returns from battle to Thornville, where he plans to rekindle his relationship with Rosa, the town sheriff whom he abandoned three years ago. Tom’s and Rosa’s memories of the relationship they had parallel their attempt to fight off the Whisperers, rock-eating machines in suits. When Rosa asks if Tom is married, his response is, I’m married to Lady Lead. Rifle bullet, forty-five-seventy caliber, followed by lots of fighting and sharing the heat of sex. Yee-haw.
Verdict Kudos to Rosso for bringing the male perspective to the realm of romance novels, even as he writes for a specialized paranormal and steampunk audience.—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

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"