Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, November 30, 2012

Week ending November 30, 2012

Bachar, Robyn. Fire in the Blood: A Bad Witch Story. Samhain. Nov. 2012. c.86p. eISBN 978161911735. EPUB $3.50. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Patience Roberts is the last summoner in the Midwest. She spends her days binding and banishing demons back to other dimensions. In this latest installment in Bachar’s “Bad Witch” series, this part-faerie magician suddenly finds herself targeted by a billionaire vampire to help in freeing the earthly ambassador to the land of Faerie. What follows is an action-packed tale involving rogue demons, secret magical societies, vampires, and fire magic. New readers may find themselves a bit lost in Bachar’s network of mythological beings and the backstory from the previous books in the series, but the witty dialog and quirky characters keep the book lively. There is a glossary for readers to decipher the classes of characters that appear.
Verdict This paranormal romance focuses on a different set of characters from previous titles in the series, but fans will enjoy the harder edge to Patience. Her relationship to the demonic faerie Faust also makes sure to keep the romance in this urban fantasy.—John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll. Lib., Boston

d’Abo, Christine. Calling the Shots. Carina: Harlequin. (Long Shots, Bk. 4). 2012. 190p. eISBN 9781426894473. EPUB $4.99. EROTIC ROMANCE
Josh is terrific at making other people’s fantasies come true at his sex club, Mavericks, and he plans to bring that same energy to his new club on the other side of the country. He can see the attraction between his coworkers Beth and Oliver and decides that getting them together will be his last deed before leaving town. Never mind that Josh has his own feelings for Beth and Oliver, who are only in favor of this endeavor as long as Josh is part of the package. Everyone brings their own baggage to this new dynamic, however, and Josh keeps insisting that he is hitting the road. Can Josh, Oliver, and Beth find a way to keep their new relationship alive, or will it falter before it gets started?
Verdict An erotic romp framed by a sex club called Mavericks is a perfect setting for d’Abo’s latest (after Pulled Long). The author’s smart tone brings these characters to life, and there is enough action (in and out of bed) to make it an enjoyable read. Recommended for libraries that support erotic collections.—Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Memorial Lib., Easthampton, MA

Garren, Jax. How Beauty Met the Beast. Carina: Harlequin. Nov. 2012. 115p. eISBN 9781426894664. EPUB $1.99. SF/PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Horribly scarred following a fire, Hauk spends his time fighting outside of the law for the Underlight, an organization that opposes corporate corruption and waste. Jolie, a rich girl on a wild streak, leaves behind the pampered lifestyle of her famous family to dance burlesque downtown. Following their anonymous first encounter, Hauk doesn’t expect to see the beautiful Jolie again. Yet when corporate thugs try to kidnap Jolie and succeed in kidnapping her niece instead, Hauk has to put aside his reservations about his appearance to help her, dreaming that she may someday return his feelings.
Verdict Readers may be disappointed to see very little steamy action in this short text—holes in the plot and dialog clearly allude to a continuing relationship and story line in subsequent novellas. Sprinkled liberally with not-so-subtle undercurrents of political and social commentary and touches of steampunk, intrigue, and anarchy, this debut title from Garren will be appreciated by a broad range of sf and paranormal fans, but some romance readers may find it too tame for their tastes.—Jennifer Harris, Mercyhurst Univ. Lib., Erie, PA

Louellen, Amie. Ten Reasons Not To Date a Cop. Samhain. Nov. 2012. c.267p. eISBN 9781619211711. EPUB $5.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Kaylee has always been taken care of by her close-knit family of law enforcement agents. You might even say they are almost too protective. But after five engagements, Kaylee has learned that Triple A ballplayers, wildcatters, and biology teachers cannot be trusted. Still, the lonely routine of a cop’s wife—taking tango lessons and making birdhouses out of recyclables—is not a life that Kaylee chooses. But when Kaylee is reunited with Luc (Det. Lucas Blackfox) from her childhood, sparks instantly fly. Luc fits in with her family, he loves children, and, most important, he loves Kaylee. Is sticking to her list and her principles worth the life Kaylee may lose with Luc?
Verdict Although the “mystery” here is paper thin and easily resolved, the romance is light and tugs at the heartstrings. Kaylee will engage readers and have them looking after her as much as her family does. This latest romance from Louellen (Brodie’s Bride) makes a nice addition to a basic contemporary romance collection.—Heather Lisa Maneiro, Minnesota State Univ. Lib.‚ Moorhead

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"