Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, July 12, 2013

Week ending July 12, 2013

Ashe, Katharine. How To Marry a Highlander. Avon Impulse. (Falcon Club). Aug. 2013. c.122p. ebk. ISBN 9780062273932. $1.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
This spin-off to Ashe’s “Falcon Club” series brings us the tale of Miss Teresa Finch-Freeworth and Duncan, the Earl of Eads. Teresa is known for her storytelling and wild imagination. Ever since one fateful ball, her fantasies have revolved around the Earl of Eads. With a pending betrothal to the vicar, Teresa must invent a story to get back to London and determine how to make her fantasies with the earl come true. Teresa suggests a wager: for each of Duncan’s seven sisters she can marry off, he must provide payment in the romantic gestures Teresa proposes—the final being marriage, of course.
Verdict This novella is simply too full of characters to provide any depth or level of feeling for any of them. The affectation of the Scottish brogue is also a bit much. Fans of Ashe’s “Falcon Club” books (e.g., How a Lady Weds a Rogue) will seek out this title, but others can pass it by.—Heather Lisa Maneiro, Minnesota State Univ. Lib.‚ Moorhead

Brown, Dixie Lee. When I Find You. Avon Impulse. (Trust No One, Bk. 2). Jul. 2013. 239p. ebk. ISBN 9780062273888. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Twenty-four-year-old Darcy Maddox works as a nanny for the family of well-known Chicago crime boss Johnny Fontana. Darcy loves Nick and Eddie, the two young boys she supervises, but as the novel opens the boys and their mother are in hiding, and Darcy is looking for a way to escape the gunfire in the Fontana house. Johnny gives Darcy cash and instructs her to leave the state for her own safety. She flies to Oregon to visit her parents and is befriended by Grant, who offers Darcy a ride to Tillamook. Darcy’s troubles escalate on the road trip until she finds herself in a U.S. marshal’s safe house with 33-year-old Walker, a former marine, who has been selected to guard her. Bullets continue to fly as Darcy and Walker learn to trust each other. Brown (All or Nothing), an award-winning romance writer, lives in Oregon and is working on the third novel in the “Trust No One” series.
Verdict Darcy is bold yet naïve, while Walker is driven yet bewildered. The plot-centered story, focusing on nervy brashness, will hold readers’ attention.—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

Schnyder, PJ. Bite Me. Carina: Harlequin. (London Undead, Bk. 1). 2013. NAp. ebk. ISBN 9781426895654. $2.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Seth is an alpha werewolf helping to police the streets of London, letting out his natural werewolf rage by killing zombies—werewolves are immune to the zombie virus. Seth happens upon Maisie shooting a pack of zombies to protect a family trapped in Kensington Gardens. Quite impressed with this human’s moxie, Seth helps defeat the mob despite being intentionally shot through the shoulder by Maisie in order to kill an attacking zombie. (Werewolves heal quickly.) Maisie, crippled in a previous zombie attack, works in an animal clinic and insists on tending to Seth’s wound. Seth and Maisie fall for each other, but before Seth can claim her in his wolfish way, zombies attack again, this time besieging Maisie and another family in their illegal squat apartment. Will Seth arrive in time to save Maisie from the zombie horde?
Verdict “Bite me” refers to the way our hero saves his potential mate as well the defiant attitude necessary for survival in this dangerous world. This first book in the series from Schnyder (A Gift for Boggle) builds romantic tension that is lustily well satisfied and sets the stage for more to come.—Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos Lib., CA

Stone, Eleri. Witch Bound. Carina: Harlequin. (Twilight of the Gods, Bk. 2). 2013. NAp. ebk. ISBN 9781426895678. $2.99. FANTASY ROMANCE
Raquel and Christian have always known that they would end up together. After all, their clans made a binding contract when they were children. Little did they know how they would feel about each other when they finally met. Christian sees it as a matter of honor to fulfill the promise, but Raquel is having trouble with her budding feelings for Fen. Unfortunately, Fen brings with him the complication of being a Hound, not to mention that he is Christian’s best friend. Meanwhile, the demons are pushing at the fault line and the only witch strong enough to stop the incursion is the untested and unsure Raquel.
Verdict This epic saga from Stone (Demon Crossing) is more about relationships than demon-fighting. Still, the characters are compelling and will keep readers interested to the end.—Emily Thompson, SUNY at Oswego

Sutherland, Fae. Sky Runners. Carina: Harlequin. (Skybound, Bk. 2). 2013. c.133p. 9781426895630. $2.99. SF ROMANCE
Sky Runners follows the crew of Crux Ansata (Annie for short) as they travel through space, raising hell and, occasionally, saving the day. Annie’s second-in-command, Killian, is a rough cowboy type and an unlikely match for the beautiful Neith, the son of the governor and a former hostage of human traffickers. Neith has a godlike beauty that makes him very popular with both the men and the ladies. As he goes through the horrible withdrawal from an insidious drug he was forced to take during his captivity, Neith finds comfort and safety in the arms of Killian—even when they are being chased from planet to planet by the traffickers bent on reclaiming their slave and a whole lot more. With steamy love scenes between the gorgeous Neith and the powerful Killian, this book is bound to make readers blush, as much as it will keep them on their toes.
Verdict This second in the series from Sutherland (after Sky Riders) is recommended to anyone who enjoys sf romance that also features a touch of the cowboy feel. Think Joss Whedon’s Firefly with an R rating and more male coupling.—Sonnet Ireland, Univ. of New Orleans Lib.

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"