E-Originals from Alexander, Curtis, DeHart, & Wye | Xpress Reviews

Week ending May 23, 2014

Alexander, Goldie. Penelope’s Ghost. Boroughs Pub. Group. 2014. NAp. ebk. ISBN 9781941260142. $3.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Lisa Harbinger is ready for a change. Her passionate marriage is over, her real estate job costs more than it brings in, and her landlord is ready to give her the boot. When she’s offered a summer job as a nanny for a prestigious family on Australia’s lush South Coast, it seems like just the change she needs. But with vengeful ghosts, an ancient curse, and two incredibly spoiled children, the gig becomes more than she bargained for when she accepted. It doesn’t help that the strong attraction to her boss becomes something more. Penelope’s Ghost flits between the 19th and 21st centuries to tell the story of family loss and redemption all because an unlikely nanny comes to stay the summer.
Verdict In this paranormal romantic suspense novel, Alexander (Surving Sydney Cove) evokes Australia’s colonial past to set the scene for a reawakening of passion between two people who are still recovering from bad relationships. Readers who like their romance slightly historical and a little paranormal will fall into Alexander’s Australia.—John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll. Lib., Boston

Curtis, Laura K. Lost. InterMix: Penguin. May 2014. NAp. ebk. ISBN 9781101634813. $4.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Tara Jean Dobbs is an ex–police officer in small-town Dobbs Hollow, TX, with a troublesome past that she believes was her fault. When a friend joins a local cult, the Chosen, and quickly disappears, Tara goes undercover to find out what happened to her. Jacob Nolan, a former FBI officer, goes looking for Tara and joins the Chosen as well. Even though nothing obviously illegal is going on, there are things that cause both Tara and Jake to have suspicions. Will they be able to find evidence of drug running before the authorities move in? Will they get out alive?
Verdict Romantic suspense with equal doses of both. The hot sex and good plot will keep readers turning the pages of Curtis’s (Twisted) latest.—Susan Hayes, Chattahoochee Valley Libs., Columbus, GA

DeHart, Robyn. The Temptations of Anna Jacobs. InterMix: Penguin. (Dangerous Liaisons, Bk. 2). 2014. NAp. ebk. ISBN 9781101623374. $3.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
annajacobs052314Much has changed at the end of the 19th century, but those in polite society still frown upon others of their ilk dabbling in trade or on women working at all. Strong-willed Anna Jacobs will not let that deter her from pursing her goal of becoming a doctor. To escape the weight of her mother’s disapproval, Anna regularly studies at her brother Simon’s home, where she can spread out her weighty medical books. It is during one such visit that she encounters Drew Foster, who until recently was suspected of being the notorious serial killer Jack the Ripper. The Ripper had already murdered several women on the streets of London and showed no sign of slowing down. Although he previously spent much of his time in a drunken state, Drew is determined to turn over a new leaf when Simon offers him a unique opportunity to work the Ripper case as a police inspector. And when Simon is called away unexpectedly, Drew has no qualms about asking Anna to use her medical knowledge to assist him. While working in close quarters to catch the killer, Drew and Anna inexorably draw nearer, but Drew harbors secrets that he feels will destroy any chance they have at happiness.
Verdict Despite the dark subject matter, this second book in DeHart’s “Dangerous Liaisons” series (after The Secrets of Mia Danvers) is an entertaining read with a well-developed plot and thoroughly likable characters with modern sensibilities. Readers will immediately become hooked on the rest of the “Liaisons” titles.—Natasha Grant, New York

Wye, Jael. Ladder to the Red Star. Carina: Harlequin. (Once Upon a Red World, Bk. 2). 2014. NAp. ebk. ISBN 9781426898259. $2.99. SF ROMANCE
Jacques Tallinn intended to run up the space elevator to the Zenith station, steal the all-healing Correction, and get back to Earth. He knew it would be dangerous, but he didn’t count on Devi. Headstrong and talented, Devi Chandra is the doctor who can teach him everything he needs to know and a bit more about how to really live. Too bad he has to kidnap her to get her back to Earth. Jacques hopes he can make her fall in love with him again before the world is destroyed by terrorists or entrepreneurial bully Enrique Kurtz.
Verdict Twists and turns keep the protagonists hopping through fascinating locales in this sf universe. Wye’s latest (after Ice Red) is a lot of fun if the reader can stop trying to figure out how a space elevator would work.—Emily Thompson, SUNY Oswego