E-Originals from Davis, Hunter, Kline, Robinson, & Shanley | Xpress Reviews

Week ending August 22, 2014

Davis, Vonnie. A Highlander’s Obsession. Loveswept: Random. (Highlander’s Beloved, Bk. 1). Aug. 2014. 302p. ebk. ISBN 9780804179300. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
American Paisley Munro accompanies her wild Gram to Scotland for a family funeral and meets the love of her life. Gram has inherited a fabulous estate in the Scottish Highlands adjacent to that of the Laird of the Clan Matheson, a rather strange clan with some mysterious abilities Paisley can’t quite figure out. However, she herself has a strange ability—she can hear animals speak, which makes her an excellent veterinarian’s assistant. Her sleazy American fiancé knows of her gift and wants to cash in on it. Paisley is shocked when she can hear the thoughts of Laird Creighton Matheson, as she has never heard a human’s thoughts before. But is he truly human?
Verdict Davis (Santa Wore Leathers) has written a fun albeit slightly predictable story of shape-shifters, land conservation, naughty grannies, and erotic scene after erotic scene. There’s plenty of humor and angst to balance it out. Davis throws in lots of Scots to give texture, and she uses it correctly. An altogether fun read.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Lib., CA

Hunter, Kelly. The Honeymoon Trap: A Honeymoon Novella. Tule Pub. 2014. 104p. ebk. ISBN 9781942296593. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
The Honeymoon Trap begins another family series for Hunter, this time focusing on the youngest of the three Jackson brothers. Eli Jackson has insulated himself with work and online gaming after the death of “the love of his life.” He has spent three years on one game, making a habit of teaming up with “Fuzzy,” a female gamer extraordinaire whose real name is Zoey. How could there not be fireworks when his brothers pressure him into meeting up with her at a gaming convention?
Verdict A quick read, quirky characters, and snappy dialog—a satisfying result. Hunter (The One That Got Away) seems to specialize in short romance fiction, which is a shame because this is a really entertaining story, and this reviewer would have enjoyed seeing what she can do with a full-length novel. Honeymoon is highly recommended.—Susan Hayes, Chattahoochee Valley Libs., Columbus, GA

Kline, T.J. The Cowboy and the Angel. Avon Impulse. (Rodeo, Bk. 2). Aug. 2014. 384p. ebk. ISBN 9780062370075. $1.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
cowboyandtheangel082214One big story is all Angela McCallister needs to get her and her trouble-prone father out of the city. A story about animal mistreatment at rodeos lands in her lap, and she is convinced this could be the break for which she has been waiting. Angela rides into the rodeo, demanding answers, and immediately rubs rodeo director Derek Chandler the wrong way. Looking to prove he can run the family rodeo as well as his older brother, Derek isn’t about to let a reporter twist his world around for her own benefit.
Verdict The latest in the “Rodeo” series by Kline (Rodeo Queen) brings ratings-driven drama to the Findley brothers ranch. Kline does an excellent job of making the ins and outs of the rodeo come to life while keeping the romance sizzling. Great for readers who enjoy romantic Westerns with a few barrels to jump along the way.—Kellie Tilton, Univ. of Cincinnati Blue Ash

Robinson, Maggie. The Reluctant Governess. InterMix: Penguin. (Ladies Unlaced, Bk. 3). Aug. 2014. c.279p. ebk. ISBN 9780698182752. $4.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Eliza Lawrence has a head for figures and has her future all mapped out. Eliza is decidedly a career girl with time for business not romance. Nicholas Raeburn has returned to London with his daughter, Domenica. Domenica’s mother and nurse are both recently deceased, and Nicholas’s previous life as a playboy isn’t exactly right for a child. Nicholas’s sister-in-law Mary, of the Evensong Agency, has determined a governess is needed immediately and decides that Eliza is the best temporary fit.
Verdict Mary Evensong is back at it, and fans of the previous “Ladies Unlaced” novels (In the Heart of the Highlander and In the Arms of the Heiress) will certainly look for their heroine’s latest accomplishments. Unfortunately, the inevitable comparisons to Jane Eyre and Mr. Rochester and Mary’s bit part in this series entry leave this novel lacking.—Heather Lisa Maneiro, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Shanley, Tera. Silver Wolf Clan. Lyrical: Kensington. (Silver Wolf Clan, Bk. 1). Aug. 2014. 129p. ebk. ISBN 9781616505424. $2.99. PARANORMAL ROMANCE, WEREWOLVES
Greyson Crawford stumbles upon a brutal scene in the woods: a rogue werewolf is attacking two women and a child. He is bitten while he fights off and kills the wolf, saving two of the three. What follows is a chaotic period of recovery while Greyson transforms into a werewolf. Unable to control the change, Grey lurks on the edges of society until he becomes somewhat stable. The local wolf pack learns of his existence and form an uneasy relationship because Grey is a very dominant wolf. Morgan, one of the women he saved, crosses his path, and she and Grey feel an instant bond. Grey introduces her to the pack, but a jealous female wolf, Alexis, attacks Morgan, turning her into a werewolf. Morgan becomes the rare and legendary Silver Wolf, and thus the story truly begins.
Verdict A captivating look at werewolves and gender-based pack dynamics. The G-rated romance proceeds cautiously as the main characters are still learning to be werewolves. The central idea of the Silver Wolf, able to breed while other female wolves are sterile, makes for a very compelling series from Shanley (An Unwilling Husband).—Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos Lib., CA