Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, March 8, 2013

Week ending March 8, 2013

Brown, Dixie Lee. All or Nothing: A Trust No One Novel. Avon Impulse. Mar. 2013. c.305p. ISBN 9780062273864. $2.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Damaged Cara trusts no one and with good reason. Deeply abused by her husband, betrayed by her half-brother, Cara only depends on herself until she is forced to rely on Joe Reynolds. A personal security mercenary of sorts, Joe promised a friend on his deathbed he would protect Cara, and he takes his charge seriously. It’s not a simple task, as protecting Cara involves winning her trust while waging a war against her half-brother and her ex-husband. Soon our protagonists find the experience of keeping Cara safe itself very intimate and move beyond their initial physical attraction to kindle a deep and lasting love.
Verdict This first in a trilogy from debut author Brown will thrill readers who enjoy some spice but like the focus on the romance and story rather than the sex. The FBI/personal security backstory with its quirky characters and interesting details provides tension and excitement without being overly violent. Recommended for most collections.—Judy Murray, Monroe Cty. Lib. Syst., MI.

D’Arc, Bianca. The Dragon Healer. Samhain. (Dragon Knights, No. 1.5). Jul. 2013. 63p. ebk. ISBN9781619215283. EPUB $3.50. FANTASY ROMANCE
In D’Arc’s “Dragon Knights” series (Maiden Flight), the dragons and their knights fight the evil Skithdron while they live in lairs that are scattered around the empire. Every dragon knight “family” is a ménage: two dragons, two male knights, and one female as the destined mate of both knights. Here, the woman is a journeywoman healer who stops to help an injured dragon and decides to have a “one-knight” fling with the dragon’s knight. She wakes in the morning to discover she’s acquired a matched set of knights—as soon as she can get herself to accept that her life has undergone a drastic change.
Verdict If the dragon parts of this story sound slightly familiar, that’s because life in the lair will remind readers of Anne McCaffrey’s “Dragonriders of Pern.” But D’Arc’s series is definitely intended for adult readers and is a fantastic excuse to read about hot ménage sex with destined mates as the reason that strangers fall into insta-love. And it works! The print titles are so popular that Samhain is rereleasing the entire series in ebook format, with short novels like The Dragon Healer sandwiched between the original works. Fantasy romance readers will lap up this one (and the rest of the series).—Marlene Harris, Seattle P.L.

Husk, Shona. Ruby’s Ghost. Samhain. May 2013. 97p. ebk. ISBN 9781619214408. EPUB $3.50. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Tate and Ruby have been together since high school, but now with Tate in college and Ruby pushing for marriage, Tate knows he and Ruby are finished. Sadly, he breaks it off just before they get into a horrific motorcycle accident. Tate is severely injured, and Ruby is killed. That doesn’t seem to matter, though; Ruby just can’t let go. Tate’s soul is wandering, drawn inexplicably to the house where he grew up and where he discovers Eloise, a girl who, through her own brush with death, can now see his spirit. Tethered to his injured body, Tate struggles with the understanding that he must make a decision to slip into the mists with Ruby or try to fight and find Eloise for real.
Verdict It seems that not even death can save the characters from becoming embroiled in a love triangle. Unfortunately, this novella by Husk (Brightwater Blood) is so short there isn’t time to develop the rather interesting premise or the characters.—Charli Osborne, Oxford P.L., 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"