Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, June 28, 2013

Week ending June 28, 2013

d’Abo, Christine. Sexcapades. Carina: Harlequin. Jun. 2013. 151p. ebk. ISBN 9781426895739. $2.99. EROTIC ROMANCE
Blogger and online sex adviser Petra Clark hides behind her alter ego “PC.” While Petra has trouble with personal relationships, PC doles out titillating advice on the blog Sexcapades. But Petra’s luck changes when she meets a handsome coffeehouse stranger—a man who turns out to be rival blogger D. Williams! Petra knows she should leave him alone: they are in competition to win the same blogger award, and being seen together could cost her the prize. Darcy Williams is a counselor and part-time blogger who likes to bicker with PC, but meeting Petra has him enthralled. Soon they set out to test every piece of sex advice, device, and position about which they have posted. Petra and Darcy discover an explosive chemistry as both fight the insane attraction that draws them together.
Verdict This explicit and explosive romance is sure to be a hit with fans of d’Abo (Double Shot; No Quarter), a writer who always pushes the boundaries. Petra and Darcy take readers on a ride that is sexy and full of invention, and romance aficionados who like their fiction full of flame will enjoy d’Abo’s latest tale.—Judy Taylor Garner, Strayer Univ., Glen Allen, VA

Davis, Dee. Dire Distraction. Forever Yours: Grand Central. (A-Tac, Bk. 7). Jun. 2013. c.240p. ebk. ISBN 9781455573684. $3.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Book seven in Davis’s “A-Tac” series (after Double Danger) has black ops CIA team leader Avery Solomon striking out on his own mission without the support of his A-Tac team. A newly found photo suggests that Avery’s wife, Evangeline, long thought dead, might still be alive and in the company of a man who is not a fan of Avery’s. Though Avery is torn between hoping Evangeline is alive and being sure the photo evidence is a trap, he can’t let it go. His quest takes him to Myanmar, where he meets Sydney Price. Sydney has been working undercover along the Laos/Myanmar border and has been tasked with getting Avery to his destination. As Sydney comes to know Avery, her job becomes far more personal. She’ll do whatever it takes to protect and help him.
Verdict Though the falling in love aspect here is as fast paced as the action, Sydney and Avery are appealing, competent protagonists, and this romance will definitely appeal to fans of Lori Foster and Pamela Clare.—Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI

starred review starKnox, Ruthie. Flirting with Disaster. Loveswept: Random. (Camelot, Bk. 3). Jun. 2013. 448p. ebk. ISBN 9780345541703. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
After a brief, disastrous marriage, Katie Clark is trying to reinvent herself as action-Katie instead of solve-everyone’s-problems-Katie. She’s finally convinced the owner of Camelot Security (her big brother Caleb) to let her be the security consultant on a real case. Unfortunately, Caleb sends Sean Owens with her as backup. Sean won’t talk to her, and Katie thinks Sean hates her. Sean is silent because he’s never gotten over his high school crush on Katie. He left town to start his own high-tech security consulting business, leaving behind his hateful mother and his terrible stutter. Coming back to settle his mother’s estate brings back the stutter, too. He can’t talk to Katie, because he can’t say her name, and working with her is a nightmare. But the more they are thrown together, the more they realize that a lot has changed since high school. But Sean has a lot more demons to face than just his speech impediment, including all the reasons that have kept him in Camelot squatting in his mother’s old house while his company in Silicon Valley is falling apart without him.
Verdict This is a story about two people who have returned to their hometown because they have big issues to resolve. Their absolutely smoking-hot romance is not the solution to those issues, but it does highlight their need to get their acts together—even if they do it separately. Knox (Along Came Trouble) specializes in contemporary romance in which real people solve real problems while going through a major life experience and having a fantastically steamy romance. Flirting with Disaster is no exception. Well done.—Marlene Harris, Seattle P.L.

Rowe, Julie. Enticing the Spymaster. Carina: Harlequin. (War Girls, Bk. 2). Jun. 2013. 109p. ebk. ISBN 9781426895562. $2.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
In this second title in Rowe’s “War Girls” series, Judith Goddard cannot forget Michael Lawrence, the British expeditionary force captain who rejected her love. She throws herself into work and ends up serving as a nurse behind enemy lines in a German hospital during World War I. Jude comes from Belgian royalty, and her father is a trusted adviser to the king. Much to her surprise, Michael shows up at the hospital disguised as a German soldier, having been sent to bring her home. One of Jude’s contacts has been captured, and the Germans know she is there. She agrees to leave, taking with her information about a planned German attack using poisoned gas. Posing as a married couple, Jude and Michael escape, but they can’t deny their feelings or the danger they face as German troops are everywhere.
Verdict This well-written historical romance is a quick and compelling read.—Susan Hayes, Chattahoochee Valley Libs., Columbus, GA

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"