E-Originals from Michaels and Winters, with Debuts from Blake and Locke | Xpress Reviews

Week ending March 6, 2015

starred review starBlake, Liora. True North. Gallery. (True, Bk. 1). Apr. 2015. 267p. ebk. ISBN 9781476786308. $1.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
[DEBUT] Filming a late-night talk show to promote her new book, Kate Mosely feels her Montana born and bred roots are a touch out of place. The sentiment grows when she can barely remember the name of überfamous rock star Trax sharing the couch with her. Trax—or Trevor Jenkins—is immediately taken with Kate, however, and pursues her with gusto. When it becomes clear this—whatever they’re doing—is more than passion, Kate is going to have to come to terms with her past to grab hold of a possible future.
Verdict Blake’s debut is a heated, sexy romp that will entice readers to want more. Kate is scared of getting hurt, and Trevor is more than a little rough around the edges, but their flaws are complementary, and one can’t help but cheer for them to figure it all out. Funny, endearing and more than a little hot, True North scores a hit.—Kellie Tilton, Univ. of Cincinnati Blue Ash

Locke, Katherine. Second Position. Carina: Harlequin. (District Ballet Company, Bk. 1). Apr. 2015. 145p. ebk. ISBN 9781426899706. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
[DEBUT] Zed and Aly have not seen each other or spoken since that fateful day four year ago when a car accident left their lives in ruins. Aly lost the child she was carrying, and Zed lost his leg and in turn his career as a professional ballet dancer. When they run into each other randomly in a coffee shop in Washington, DC, both are shocked. However, they are drawn to each other like no time has passed. As they try to begin again, Aly and Zed have to decide whether they are strong enough to face their demons, or if they should leave their relationship behind them.
Verdict Locke’s debut novel features an edgy plot, with characters who must face physical and psychological barriers before they can attempt to find love again. While the author’s storytelling skills are strong, her characters’ dialog is flat and the imagery is lax. Still, readers will be drawn to her protagonists and their need to succeed in love and life.—Jessica M. Strefling, Pepperdine Law Lib., Malibu, CA

Michaels, Tere. Truth & Tenderness. Dreamspinner. (Faith, Love & Devotion, Bk. 6). May 2015. 200p. ebk. ISBN 9781632167118. $6.99; pap. ISBN 9781632167101. $14.99. LGBT ROMANCE
At long last, happy endings are in sight for Evan Cerelli as he becomes the first openly gay captain in the New York Police Department; his love, security consultant Matt Haight; and their friends Jim Shea, Matt’s business partner, and his fiancé, movie producer Griffin Drake. Then Jim’s obsession with a cold case from his days as a detective brings a serial killer into their lives and highlights how the lack of communication among everyone is imploding relationships. As couples open up to each other, futures are discussed, but only by working together will happily ever after keep from exploding in their faces.
Verdict Michaels (Faith & Fidelity) brings her “Faith, Love & Devotion” series to a stunning conclusion that is sure to please fans, but new readers may get lost in the details of all the relationships. Recommended for libraries owning the series, although libraries seeking longer series featuring the same characters may want to go back and pick up the whole set.—Melanie C. Duncan, Shurling Lib., Macon, GA

starred review starWinters, Elia. Playing Knotty. Pocket Star. Mar. 2015. 217p. ebk. ISBN 9781476789620. $1.99. EROTIC ROMANCE
playingknotty030615Ian Cooper, a seemingly straight-laced accountant, is a regular customer at Emma Green’s bookshop, Prologue. Although they have known each other since high school, Ian and Emma have been mere acquaintances over the years. It is not until Ian nervously approaches Emma with a business proposition that she realizes how little she knows about his lifestyle: he asks to rent the backroom of her bookshop to teach rope bondage classes. Money is tight, so with some hesitation Emma agrees. Things really begin to heat up when Ian’s model comes down with the flu, and he asks Emma to fill in. What begins as a curiosity for Emma soon turns into very erotic feelings she never expected yet cannot deny.
Verdict Winters’s (Purely Professional) book is a rare find: a combination of heartwarming romance coupled with incredible sexual awakening and chemistry. Readers will cheer for Emma as she discovers not only her hidden desires but also her own attractiveness and self-worth as a plus-size woman. Ian, too, is irresistible, with his selfless nature and inner confidence. Fans of both romance and light erotica will eagerly devour every moment of this slow-burn love story.—Vicky M. Coffin, Eastern Connecticut State Univ., Willimantic