Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, January 17, 2014

Week ending January 17, 2014

Brimble, Rachel. The Temptation of Laura. eKensington. Feb. 2014. c.244p. ebk. ISBN 9781601830883. $4.99. VICTORIAN ROMANCE
Once a whore, always a whore—or so Laura’s mother made perfectly clear when she entered her into this status of ill-repute at the tender age of 15. Years later, despite no money and a failing friend to care for, Laura dreams of a better life—a life in the theater. Adam Lacey started life with every advantage, but he has walked away from his family’s fortune to pursue his dream of being a playwright. Little did he know by doing so, he would be tempted into the world of pleasing wealthy women to keep his dream of acting alive. Circumstances throw these two from varying backgrounds together. Can they overcome their own misgivings and histories to pursue their love and dreams together?
Verdict Brimble (The Seduction of Emily) rounds out the cast of characters well. Bette and Emily are especially enchanting and complex female characters. The two protagonists and their romance are less engaging. An entertaining read for a cold summer night but not one to generate a lot of heat.—Heather Lisa Maneiro, Minnesota State Univ. Lib.‚ Moorhead

Evans, Bronwen. A Kiss of Lies. Loveswept: Random House. (Disgraced Lords, Bk. 1). Jan. 2014. 284 p. ISBN 9780345547286. $2.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE.
One year ago, Christian Trent, Lord Markham, was forced out of London for a crime he does not remember committing. Determined to return home to prove his innocence, Markham advertises for a governess for his young ward. The widowed Mrs. Sarah Cooper seems to be just the right woman for the position. She might also be right for him, as Sarah seems to know the man who exists underneath the scars. Little does Markham know that Sarah does understand exactly who he was, for reasons that she strives to keep hidden. But as the two journey from Canada to Jamaica to England and their mutual passion illuminates what they could have, their pasts threaten to burn away any hope for their future.
Verdict Evans (The Man Trap; Invitation to Scandal) brings an interesting twist to the “past-crossed lovers” with her latest title. While the exposition-laden ending is a bit heavy, readers who enjoy serial romances will find this a good opening book. Recommended for all romance collections.—Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Memorial Lib., Easthampton, MA

Sjoberg, Lori. Grave Destinations. eKensington. (Grave, Bk. 2). Jan. 2014. 261p. eISBN 9781601830050. $5.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
grave011714Plagued by an animalistic and deadly curse, Jack Deverell boards a ship heading for a Caribbean cruise in hopes of finding a cure in the tropical islands. Instead, he encounters a fiery redhead with a dark secret. Ruby isn’t looking for a relationship, just a little fun while she completes her mission aboard the Sunrise of the Caribbean. Sparks fly, but when a killer starts stalking passengers and something more sinister than a curse haunts Jack, they’ll have to work together to track down a killer, face their inner demons, and fight not just for love but for their lives. Setting the story on a cruise ship makes for an interesting and unique take on the traditional romance story. A few steamy scenes, interesting dialog, and multiple conflicts keep things entertaining, despite the occasionally slow-moving plot.
Verdict Likable characters, fairly tame but sensual scenes, and an inventive story line make this book a fun and satisfying read for fans of paranormal and supernatural romance.—J. Harris, New Hampshire