Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, June 14, 2013

Week ending June 14, 2013

Anna, Vivi. League of Illusion: Destiny. Carina: Harlequin. (League of Illusion, Bk. 3). Jun. 2013. 131p. ebk. ISBN 9781426895593. EPUB $2.99. FANTASY/STEAMPUNK ROMANCE
Sebastian Davenport, oldest of the Davenports and in line to lead the League of Illusion, has been lost for five years after being stranded in another reality. Having given up magic to pursue life as a village blacksmith, Sebastian has no idea that the fate of his family and the league rests in his hands. Those hands are suddenly full when the three-headed goddess called the morrigan comes to his village—would have been if local healer Drea Blairwood hadn’t hit him over the head to stop him from confronting the goddess. Drea knows there is more to Sebastian’s story than he will tell, but he is determined not to let the escalating attraction between them result in losing another person he cares about. When Sebastian’s former life invades his new world and his brothers arrive to “rescue” him, Sebastian knows that he will have to reclaim his past to preserve the future of the league, both worlds, and his growing love for Drea.
Verdict The final installment in Anna’s trilogy (after League of Illusion: Legacy and League of Illusion: Prophecy) leads to a satisfying climax to the Davenports’ stories. A terrific mix of fantasy and romance that will please readers.—Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Memorial Lib., Easthampton, MA

Jones, Gwen. Wanted: Wife. Avon Impulse. Jun. 2013. NAp. ebk. ISBN 9780062268044. EPUB $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Sexy Andy Devine returns from France to his father’s farm in Iron Bog, NJ, and posts a sign on a utility pole to advertise for a wife. Philadelphia news reporter Julie Knott is assigned to the story. Julie interviews Andy for a TV spot, and Andy chooses her to fill the vacancy. Julie agrees to Andy’s “business proposal” since she has just be dumped by her fiancé. She also sees the relationship as an opportunity to write a book. Following a six-day courtship and a quick civil ceremony, Julie transforms herself from TV reporter to a farm wife and discovers that Andy is a “miracle worker” in the bedroom.
Verdict Debut author Jones is a New Jersey native who teaches creative writing at Western Connecticut State University. Her first novel offers up a steamy summer reading diversion. Enjoy.—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

Sax, Cynthia. He Touches Me. Avon Red. (Seen Trilogy, Pt. 2). Jul. 2013. 79p. ISBN 9780062300324. EPUB $3.99. EROTIC ROMANCE
As Anna Sampson discovers that her fantasies about billionaire neighbor Blaine watching her are real, she also acknowledges that her lackluster job as a cold-caller will not pay the house-sitting bills. When Anna is offered a position as assistant to Blaine’s assistant, she finds her proximity to Blaine enticing her to action. It seems that Anna is not the only one finding control in short supply, as Blaine increases the contact between them and inflames their desires. Yet as their bodies strive to reach each other, Blaine’s need for control forces him to try to protect himself. Can Anna prove to him that they can have everything they want?
Verdict The second title in this series (following He Watches Me) opens the door to more than a voyeuristic experience. Anna and Blaine’s story is comparable to the “50 Shades” trilogy, and those looking for steamy escapades and escapism will enjoy this one.—Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Memorial Lib., Easthampton, MA.

starred review starStevens, Shelli. Good Girl Gone Plaid. Samhain. (McLaughlins, Bk. 1). 229p. ebks. ISBN 9781619214927. EPUB $5.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
In Stevens’s new series, Sarah Rawlings is resigned to returning to the Pacific Northwest to take care of her grandmother’s estate. Although the little island in Puget Sound holds good memories of her high school years with best friend Kenzie McLaughlin, it also holds the drama surrounding Sarah’s first love, Kenzie’s brother Ian. Ian has a checkered past but has tried to move on by starting his own business. Guilt and lust twine when he sees Sarah again. Despite the decade that has gone by, he wants her. But there’s a secret Sarah holds dear, and when it’s revealed, the pain might destroy the new love Sarah and Ian have found.
Verdict Stevens (Love Me Knot; Melting Point) has written a solid and thoroughly charming  romance novel. Readers will enjoy meeting the McLaughlin clan and be eager for the next series installments. For all romance fans.—Christyna Hunter, Loudoun Cty. P.L., Lovettsville, 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"


  1. Gwen Jones says:

    Regarding the review of my romance, Wanted: Wife: I am very much appreciative of such a generous review, and I do thank you. But your review, at the last, contains a spoiler, and I do so much want my readers to be surprised. Maybe toss in the words “SPOILER ALERT?” (Just sayin’ as I have many librarian friends, especially within the Ocean County, NJ system!)

    Again, thanks –
    Gwen Jones