Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, January 31, 2014

Week ending January 31, 2014

starred review starMcGilloway, Brian. Little Girl Lost. Witness Impulse: HarperCollins. Feb. 2014. 100p. ebk. ISBN 9780062336583. $2.99. MYS
littlegirllost013114DS Lucy Black, who has recently transferred into the Derry police department in Northern Ireland, is working as part of the team investigating the disappearance of Kate McLaughlin, the daughter of a local real estate tycoon. When a truck driver notices a young girl stumbling out of the woods near Lucy’s home, she’s the first on scene. Though the girl is not Kate, the child herself is a mystery—one that Lucy is assigned to unravel. Derry was the heart of “the Troubles” that plagued Northern Ireland from the late 1960s through the 1990s and is a city that still straddles the divide between a violent past and a more peaceful future. Like the city, Lucy, too, struggles with her past and present. She’s returned to Derry to care for her father, who is suffering from dementia and who seems to be stuck on events from his own past as a police officer. Lucy becomes convinced that unraveling her father’s secrets will lead to solutions in the present day.
Verdict Lucy Black is a smart, complicated protagonist, and the city of Derry, with its complicated history, becomes a vivid character in and of itself. As a police procedural, McGilloway’s (Borderlands; Gallows Lane) new novel works on every level and is a promising start to what is hoped will be a terrific crime fiction series.—Jane Jorgensen, Madison P.L., WI

Quinn, Ella. Desiring Lady Caro. eKensington. (Marriage Game, Bk. 4). Apr. 2014. 300p. ebk. ISBN 9781601832542. $4.99. HISTORICAL/REGENCY ROMANCE
The Earl of Huntley and his Aunt Horatia’s young lady companion have no idea how their lives will change as their two worlds collide. Out of a sense of chivalry (and taste for adventure), Huntley shields Lady Caro from a vicious marquis as they flee from Venice by horse-drawn carriage to escape her potential abduction. Huntley’s and Caro’s attraction to each other is quite mutual, and sparks fly as they make their way from Italy to France. They sample exquisite food and each other, yet neither wants to be the first to say, “I love you.” Huntley is patient with Caro as he deals with her past hurts. He can make any lady swoon, just as he did Lady Caro, despite her weak protests.
Verdict With a very spicy romance, a likable set of characters, and a thrilling sense of danger lurking around the corner, the intriguing plot makes the pages turn swiftly, though occasionally the flow seems to miss a beat from one thought to the next. Though the sexual tension is at the heart of the story, there is still enough going on to endear us to Huntley and Caro. The sudden secondary tale of Lady Horatia’s own love affair is jarring and acts as unnecessary filler—though either passionate journey is one in which any lady would love to partake. Though part of a series (e.g., The Temptation of Lady Serena), Desiring Lady Caro is easily read on its own. A perfectly sensual romance to prepare readers for their own hero.—Marie Burton, Rockwall, TX