Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | First Look at New Books, February 7, 2014

Week ending February 7, 2014

Arend, Vivian. Baby, Be Mine. Samhain. (Thompson & Sons, Bk. 2). Feb. 2014. 177p. ebk. ISBN 9781619220416. $4.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
This second title in Arend’s “Thompson & Sons” series (Rocky Ride) continues the story of five siblings living in small-town Canada. Gage Jenick and Katy Thompson share a wonderful night of lovemaking that each has secretly desired for years. The next day, Gage leaves for a temporary job out of town, and Katie suffers memory loss after a car accident. Two months later, Gage returns thinking they’ll pick up where they left off, and a pregnant Katy has a lot of unanswered questions. Unfortunately, the book is too short to show any real character development. Gage is haunted by a violent family past, but he doesn’t hesitate to dive headfirst into a relationship with Katy once she becomes single. Readers must take the author’s word that Katy is more assertive in taking control of her life after the accident, because we hardly see Katy before it.
Verdict Small-town romance fans will enjoy this quick, fluffy read, but they likely will quickly forget about it. An optional purchase where Arend’s books (e.g., High Seduction) or the subgenre is popular.—Lizzy Klinnert, Barrington Area Lib., IL

Dodge, Lola. Belle Fury. Samhain. (Manhattan Ten, Bk. 3). Feb. 2014. 113p. ebk. ISBN 9781619222670. $3.50. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
bellefury020714Belle Fabian, world-renowned prima ballerina, is finally dancing in her dream role when a superpower that has been locked inside her awakens. After her uncontrollable power nearly destroys New York’s Metropolitan Opera House, she flees in panic, certain that she will never be able to dance again. Ryan Lamborne, aka Red Ruin, has been sent by the superhero collective the Manhattan Ten to bring in Belle and train her to use her powers. An undeniable attraction begins between them, but Belle’s life is in crisis as her dream of a dancing career comes crashing down and she tries to fit into a new world of superheroes and superpowers. Can Ryan convince her that she can have it all, including his love? This third title in the “Manhattan Ten” series is a short but satisfying read. Dodge writes in a light and personable way, and although the story is mostly about Belle coming to terms with a new life, the romance is effective and sweet.
Verdict Light, sensual content and a heartwarming story make this novella an ideal read for romance and paranormal lovers.—J. Harris, New Hampshire

Grant, Cat & L.A. Witt. The Only One Who Matters. Samhain. (Only One, Bk. 2). Mar. 2014. 183p. ebk. ISBN 9781619220508. $4.50. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE; M/M ROMANCE
After his SEAL career is ended by a bullet, Sr. Chief David Flint tries to cope with not only his new life as a civilian but with sitting idle as his lover, Lt. Commander Josh Walker, is repeatedly deployed. Having fought alongside the younger man, David knows all too well the danger that Josh will be in while he’s away, but he doesn’t want to force Josh to choose between a career he loves and their relationship. Josh doesn’t know how to reconcile with David; even their physical closeness cannot mask their growing emotional distance. When one more mission brings their problems to a head, Josh and David must determine whether their relationship will survive. However, that decision may be out of their hands, for this time when Josh walks out the door, he may not survive to walk back through.
Verdict Grant and Witt’s sequel to The Only One Who Knows showcases the dynamic of military couples and the emotional strains on those left behind. Hot sex, interesting supporting characters, and a balanced plot will hit the mark for romance readers.—Kristi Chadwick, Emily Williston Memorial Lib.., Easthampton, MA

Petrova, Em. Somethin’ Dirty. Samhain. (Country Fever, Bk. 4). Feb. 2014. 217p. ebk. ISBN 9781619218338. $5.50. EROTICA/CONTEMPORARY AMERICAN WESTERN ROMANCE
Twenty-five-year-old Nola Brady is just passing time working as a receptionist for her optometrist father while saving money to head to Nashville to realize her dream of becoming the next country crooner bombshell. Forty-two-year-old Griffin Turner is busy running his ranch, being a single parent to his four-month-old daughter, Lyric, and now supporting his mom as she battles breast cancer. The two connect at karaoke night, though neither is looking for a permanent relationship. A steamy clench in the parking lot alludes to the possibility of an all-consuming passion, but Griffin resists and they go their separate ways. When Nola answers a help wanted ad for a nanny, she is surprised to discover that Griffin placed it. Having been unsuccessful at getting Griffin out of her mind after he rebuffed her, Nola can’t resist the lure of the delicious cowboy and his beautiful baby, not to mention that the money will help her to realize her Tennessee dream. Before long, Nola and Griffin are a couple in all ways. While Griffin’s thoughts turn to how to keep from losing Nola to a music career, she is fighting the urge to forget about Nashville and stay right where she is. Would the sacrifice be too great? Or is something old, something new, something borrowed, and a pair of blue cowboy boots in Nola’s future?
Verdict Petrova’s fourth installment in her Wyoming-set “Country Fever” titles (after Hard Ridin’), in which the cowboys are lookin’ for love and always up for Somethin’ Dirty, is a solid addition to the series. Readers who enjoy both Western romance and explicit erotica will go for the author’s most recent offering.—Lisa Jordan, Gardner Neighborhood Lib., Johnson Cty. Lib., KS