E-Originals from Lorret, Meeker, and Stone | Xpress Reviews

Week ending March 20, 2015

Lorret, Vivienne. The Elusive Lord Everhart. Avon Impulse. (Rakes of Fallow Hall, Bk. 1). Mar. 2015. 336p. ebk. ISBN 9780062380500. 99¢. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
In the first of the “Rakes of Fallow Hall” series, three gentlemen make a bet that none of them will be married or involved with anyone within a year—anyone who falls in love owes the others £10,000, a very significant sum. Gabriel Ludlow, Viscount Everhart, is certain of winning as the only woman he has ever loved is far away, unseen by him for five years. Of course, that means that her brother’s carriage will break down outside Everhart’s country estate, requiring that Calliope Croft, her brother, and her sister-in-law enjoy his hospitality until the carriage is repaired. Five years earlier, Calliope had received a love letter that had made her fall in love with its anonymous author, until it was discovered that he had written a number of similar letters to different ladies. Since then, Calliope has nurtured a desire for revenge because she turned down her only offer of marriage owing to love for the writer. Little does she know that Everhart is the culprit. An enjoyable dance of attraction ensues between the main characters, who are wildly drawn to each other, yet each has reasons for holding back.
Verdict An enjoyable, steamy Regency romance begins this promising trilogy by Lorret (Winning Miss Wakefield). While Everhart’s actions are at times questionable, readers will enjoy these two protagonists as they fight for love and honesty.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Lib., CA

Meeker, Terri. Angel of the Somme. Samhain. (Great War, Bk. 1). May 2015. 254p. ebk. ISBN 9781619226777. $5.50. PARANORMAL ROMANCE
angelofthesomme032015The dashing Capt. Sam Dwight receives a head injury in 1916 during the Battle of the Somme. Recovering in France, Sam has a seizure and is seemingly transported back to the battlefield. There he encounters a grievously wounded soldier who reaches out to him. As they touch hands, Sam feels a flow of power and blacks out only to awaken back in the hospital. Sam is attended in his recovery by nurse Lily Curtis, who reads to Sam amusing letters from home featuring an escaped pig. Their mutual attraction and budding romance is interrupted by another seizure and Sam’s realization that his seizure dreams are real. Seeking to help his comrades, he tries to induce the episodes. Unfortunately, this behavior is seen as suicidal by Lily and their romance suffers. As Sam finds out more about the fate of those he helps, his perspective changes. He and Lily finally consummate their romance but are separated by the war. Will they be able to untangle their troubled love affair?
Verdict The horrors of war provide a stark backdrop to Meeker’s (Not Quite Darcy) tale of essential human emotion and the inexplicable. Intriguing unanswered questions provide a solid foundation for the continuing series.—Henry Bankhead, Los Gatos Lib., CA

Stone, Sara Jane. Wild with You. Avon Impulse. (Independence Falls, Bk. 4). Apr. 2015. 288p. ebk. ISBN 9780062389183. $1.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Kat Arnolds is determined to prove she’s no longer the lonely teen forced to move from foster home to foster home. She’s flown from New York to her small hometown in Oregon to assist a memory-loss patient enrolled in her successful clinical trial—a patient whose brother just happens to be Brody Summers, Kat’s high school crush. Brody knows and accepts that it is his responsibility to care for and support his family and friends. The line between doing the right thing and pursuing his every fantasy begins to blur, though, when Kat reappears in his life.
Verdict Brody and Kat’s story brings Stone’s “Independence Falls” series (Full Exposure; Caught in the Act; Hero by Night) to a mostly satisfying close. Fans will be happy with glimpses of all the prior novels’ characters, although many may clamor for a bit more closure for the younger Summers brother, Josh. Both Kat’s personal struggles and her relationship with Brody feel a touch forced, but Brody’s fight to pursue his desires—in and out of the bedroom—are compelling enough to keep the story interesting.—Kellie Tilton, Univ. of Cincinnati Blue Ash