Xpress Reviews: Fiction | First Look at New Books, December 20, 2013

Week ending December 20, 2013

Buchman, M.L. Take Over at Midnight. Sourcebooks Casablanca. (Night Stalkers, Bk. 4). Dec. 2013. 370p. ISBN 9781402258190. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9781402258206. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Chief Warrant 2 Lola LaRue flies helicopters for SOAR, the army’s Special Operations Aviation Regiment, the Night Stalkers. Now in Afghanistan, as part of stealth military actions that will protect her country, Lola has come a long way from her dodgy New Orleans upbringing. She has worked hard to get here, so why does she always feel not quite good enough? Certainly not good enough for Sgt. “Crazy Tim” Maloney, who is making her feel both welcome and uncomfortable with his attention. Lola’s got the skills and the drive to prove her worth as a pilot, but as a woman with a heart to share? No way in hell.
Verdict Lola LaRue is one tough cookie. Can sweet soldier Tim help her to overcome her insecurities in order to make a life with him? With admirable support from the rest of the crew, these sparring partners can neutralize terrorists, but they don’t stand a chance against love. This latest series entry from Buchman (after Wait Until Dark) continues to serve up nonstop action that will keep readers on the edge of their seats. For all romance collections.—Bette-Lee Fox, Library Journal

Connelly, Cara. The Wedding Favor. Avon. (Save the Date, Bk. 1). Jan. 2014. 367p. ISBN 9780062282262. pap. $7.99; ebk. ISBN 9780062282279. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Texas cowboy Tyrell Brown should be elated that he won the case against the insurance company that claimed Ty pulled the plug on his wife after a drunk driver “killed” her. Mostly, he is glad he never has to see that “bitch on wheels” New York City lawyer Victoria Westin again. That is until she is seated next to him on a flight to Paris. Turns out Tyrell’s close friend Isabelle is marrying Vicky’s brother Matt; Tyrell and Vicky are in the wedding party. Both are also weighted down by the obligatory emotional baggage: Vicky’s two-timing ex and the ghost of Ty’s wife. Despite their mutual disdain, the pair agree to get along for the sake of the bride and groom. To be convincing, they even have a flirtation going, but it doesn’t take much acting for Vicky to pretend to like the hot cowboy, while Ty finds Vicky equally sexually tempting. Has Ty finally met his match?
Verdict Connelly’s (The Wedding Date) sexy series starts with a bang. The banter between two characters enjoying a love/hate relationship makes for a humorous and enjoyable ride, with plenty of gratuitous lovemaking throughout. Let’s hope Connelly continues the fun in the next book in the series, The Wedding Vow.—Kara Kohn, Plainfield P.L., IL

Cook, Robin. Cell. Putnam. Jan. 2014. 416p. ISBN 9780399166303. $26.95; ebk. ISBN 9781101635438. F
cell122013In Nano, Cook’s microrobots ingested viruses In his new medical technothiller, researchers are beta-testing iDoc, a customizable, diagnostic smartphone application aimed at replacing primary care doctors by monitoring a patient’s medical condition. As corporate health-care giants and power brokers scurry to secure funding from Medicare, Medicaid, and Obamacare, iDoc malfunctions—interpreting data inaccurately, killing patients. George Wilson, a senior radiology resident at the L.A. University Medical Center, suspects that five of his terminally ill patients who participated in the iDoc beta test died after experiencing difficulties with their microchip implants. Dr. Hanson, chair of the radiology department, as well as an iDoc investor, attempts to dissuade Wilson of his suspicions. However, Wilson hires a rogue computer hacker who confirms that these lethal signals originated from a government agency monitoring cost-control measures.
Verdict Cook, ever the master of the medical thriller, combines controversial biomedical research issues with critical ethical concerns and gripping suspense. This outstanding and thought-provoking thriller will attract a wide readership.—Jerry P. Miller, Cambridge, MA

Jensen, Martin. The King’s Hounds. Amazon Crossing. 2013. 348p. tr. from Danish by Tara Chace. ISBN 9781477807262. pap. $14.95; ebk. ISBN 9781477857267. MYS
England has been at war for years, but now, in 1018, the fighting is over and Cnut of Denmark is hoping to forge a unified, peaceful kingdom of Angles, Saxons, and Danes. Against this backdrop Jensen weaves the story of Halfdan, a former nobleman who survives by his charm and some petty thievery. When he meets Winston, a former monk and popular manuscript illuminator, they form an unlikely alliance. Their arrival in Oxford at the king’s court coincides with a murder, and their introduction to Cnut gives the king an idea: pair up the Dane and the Saxon to solve the murder so that he cannot be accused of favoring one group over the other. They are given two days to solve the crime, and the two must fight against prejudice and treachery before the truth comes out.
Verdict Jensen is a best-selling author in Denmark. This is his first work to be translated into English and also the first of a series featuring Winston and Halfdan. With its good pacing, colorful historical backdrop, and well-rounded characters, this title will appeal to fans of historical mysteries set in the Middle Ages.—Pam O’Sullivan, Coll. at Brockport Lib., SUNY

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"