Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, August 3, 2012

Week ending August 3, 2012

Dean, Kimberly. Lexie. Samhain. (Triple X, Bk. 1). Oct. 2012. 198p. eISBN 9781619211018. EPUB $5.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Lexie Underhill is the adopted daughter of the head of the Underhill Toy Company. She’s spent her life trying to get her father’s approval, working hard at the family business, while her siblings, the natural children, all play their way along. But Lexie never fits in, and no one lets her forget it. So when her face, and most of her body, is plastered on a tacky highway billboard, her family accuses her of a stunt. Only one man defends her—corporate hatchet man Cameron Rowe. Lexie goes to the bar that billboard advertises and finds her double: her twin, Roxie. Finally, she belongs. To Lexie, Roxie is the road not taken. Roxie is confident, sexy, self-assured, all the things that Lexie is not. Lexie has always been too aware of her failings. Now that Lexie has found her sister, what future is there for them, especially with the press after their hot story? Why didn’t Lexie’s parents adopt both girls? And what part of the company, or Lexie, is Cam really after?
Verdict Wrap your ereader in a waterproof bag, because this has all the elements of a perfect beach read: the rich, dysfunctional family, corporate shenanigans, secret adoptions, unknown siblings, and hot romance that involves sleeping with the business enemy. Summer romance books don’t get much more fun than this.—Marlene Harris, Reading Reality LLC

Edwards, Hailey. Soul Weaver. Forever Yours: Grand Central. (Wicked Kin, Bk. 1). Aug. 2012. 277p. eISBN 9781455523467. EPUB $4.99. FANTASY, PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Nathaniel is a fallen angel, an immortal who must harvest damned souls and weave soul cloth for the bony wings of his fallen angel brethren. He happens upon a dying human, Chloe, and, taking pity on her, patches her departing soul, thus saving her life. Much trouble ensues including machinations involving plotting by Nathaniel’s twisted brother Saul and an army of undead. The center of the hullabaloo is the budding romance between Chloe and Nathaniel. Chloe is a sheltered person who has grown acutely agoraphobic since her car accident. In saving her life, Nathanial has left a mark on her soul that makes her appear as one of the damned to be harvested. And who is sent to harvest her? By refusing to do so, Nathaniel places himself in jeopardy. Things look dire for the relationship as Chloe has only days to live, with Nathaniel as her slated executioner.
Verdict An interesting take on the paranormal using archetypal angelic characters; the beginning of a promising series.—Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos Lib., CA

Kery, Beth. Because You Are Mine. A novel in 8 parts. InterMix: Berkley/NAL. Includes: Pt. 1: Because You Tempt Me. eISBN 9781101608494. 2012. 57p.; Pt. 2: Because I Could Not Resist. eISBN 9781101608500. Aug. 2012. 56p.; Pt. 3: Because You Haunt Me. eIBSN 9781101608517. Aug. 2012. 59p.; Pt. 4: Because You Must Learn. eISBN 9781101608524. Aug. 2012. 51p.; ea. vol: EPUB $1.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE, EROTIC ROMANCE
Graduate art student Francesca Arno meets international billionaire Ian Noble when she wins a competition to paint an original piece for the lobby of his business headquarters in Chicago. She’s secure in her artistic talent but insecure in her ability to interact with the suave, enigmatic Ian since he makes her uncomfortably aware of her attraction to him. His desire to have her paint the view from his penthouse as the subject of her work places her in his sphere of influence, and their interactions heat up with each meeting. As they learn more about each other’s backgrounds, they grow closer physically more so than emotionally, progressing through intimate touches quickly to light bondage/submission and whip play as Ian’s dominant sexual style overwhelms and titillates the virginal Francesca.
Verdict In an eight-part novel coming out over the course of eight weeks beginning July 31 (only the first four parts were available for review), Kery taps into the high demand of the Fifty Shades of Grey market, parlaying her existing experience in the erotic romance field into a serialized format. While the form is a novel approach, readers seeking the immediate gratification of new erotic adventures may prefer to check out Kery’s full-length novels (Wicked Burn), her “One Night of Passion” series written as Bethany Kane (Addicted to You), Maya Banks’s “Sweet” series (Sweet Addiction), or Lora Leigh’s “Bound Hearts” series (Wicked Pleasure).—Melanie C. Duncan, Shurling Lib., Macon, GA

Michaels, Fern. Fancy Dancer. eKensington. Sept. 2012. 237p. eISBN 9781420130195. EPUB $5.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Today is the first day of the rest of your life is the cliché that opens the story of 35-year-old Jake St. Cloud, who is now tired of living the life with the money he inherited from his mother’s estate. After a conference near New Orleans with his family’s lawyers and meeting a brother he never knew he had, Jake causes a traffic accident. He admits his guilt and agrees to serve a one-year probation at a shelter for abused children. There Jake meets Fancy Dancer, a beautiful former ballerina who runs the shelter. Tension builds, but eventually Jake and Fancy blend their families into one happy group.
Verdict Fans of Michaels will enjoy her first original ebook with its overabundance of plotlines involving Jake and Fancy and their extended families. Readers new to Michaels might be frustrated by the twisting tales.—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

Wilkins, Kelli A. The Viking’s Witch. Medallion. Aug. 2012. c.299p. eISBN 9781605422022. $9.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Eclectic writer Wilkins (e.g., A Midsummer Night’s Delights; Beauty & the Bigfoot) doesn’t disappoint with her latest historical romance title, set in ninth-century Scotland. Odaria is a Pict and self-proclaimed witch. Rothgar, a Norseman seeking his missing countryman, arrives just in time to interrupt the burning of Odaria as a witch. There is an instant attraction, and Rothgar becomes Odaria’s protector. Love blooms as violence and deceit swirl around them. Surrounded on all sides by enemies, our lovers must rely on each other, but can they trust each other? The inclusion of descriptions of daily life and such graphic details as the Vikings’ use of the Blood Eagle execution technique and the behavior of the Berserker Viking warriors adds interest.
Verdict Weaving in paranormal and thriller aspects and a zinger of an ending, Wilkins presents a violent, exciting, and steamy tale sure to please historical romance readers.—Judy Murray, Monroe Cty. Lib. Syst., MI

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"