E-Originals from Erickson, Solheim, and Debuter Krum | Xpress Reviews

Week ending June 3, 2016

starred review starKrum, Kiersten Hallie. Wild on the Rocks. Kindle Worlds. (Barefoot Bay Kindle World, Bk. 8). Apr. 2016. 145p. $3.99. ROMANCE SUSPENSE
wildontherocks060316[DEBUT]Bartender and mixologist Quinn Forrester nearly escapes death when she witnesses a Russian mob hit in Atlantic City. She is now on the lam and makes it to Florida, where she decides to hide out at a resort on Barefoot Bay. There’s a high-profile wedding scheduled, and the bartender bailed. Fortunately, this job might be just the ticket until Quinn can figure out her next move. As fate would have it, her ex-husband Navy SEAL Jasper McQueen is also at the resort to provide security while he is on enforced leave. They haven’t seen each other in more than a year; Quinn might have walked out on their marriage, but she never stopped loving him. Jasper isn’t about to let the women who wrecked him out of his sight, but with the Russian mob on her trail, this time leaving might not be her choice.
Verdict Supersensual and suspenseful, Krum’s book has a lot to offer as part of this inventive series, set on the fictional island that is the brainchild of romance author Roxanne St. Claire. Besides hot sex between two characters with plenty of chemistry, there is a deeper story here, with serious moments touching on PTSD and suicide that add more bite than your typical romantic suspense fare.—Kara Kohn, Plainfield P.L., IL

Erickson, Karen. Smolder. Avon Impulse. (Wildwood, Bk. 2). Jun. 2016. 336p. ebk. ISBN 9780062441201. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Delilah Moore has been chasing after Lane Gallagher for years. Growing up in the same small town of Wildwood, CA, always kept them in close proximity. Delilah even dated his younger brother Weston for a while back in high school, but that dalliance was short-lived. Lane, now a sheriff’s deputy, seems to be the only man who can hold her interest. She has tried everything to get his attention, but even in her skimpy dance instructor clothes she is losing the battle. They definitely have chemistry, so she can’t understand why he keeps her at arm’s length. Meanwhile, much of Lane’s time and attention are spent trying to catch an arsonist who has been setting fires all over town.
Verdict This second installment in Erickson’s “Wildwood” series (after Ignite) is lacking a strong female protagonist. Delilah never seems to stop begging for Lane’s notice, disappointing readers with her immature tactics and lack of self-worth.—Vicky Coffin, Eastern Connecticut State Univ., Willimantic

Solheim, Tracy. Smolder. Tule. (Firefighters of Montana, Bk. 1). Jun. 2016. 147p. ebk. ISBN 9781944925468. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
In the first in the “Firefighters of Montana” series (with each title written by a different author), Solheim introduces a group of smokejumpers working in Glacier Creek, MT. Former Army Ranger Sam Gaskill arrives in town to take over as the new captain of the team. While he faces a difficult task, replacing a beloved predecessor killed in the line of duty, it’s the personal challenge of Laurel Keenan that’s really tying him in knots. Laurel lives on the family ranch with her five-year-old son while finishing her degree in accounting. She still helps as needed, so when her father asks her to take on the training of Sam’s quarter horse, she agrees. If only she can move past her attraction to Sam and just get on with the job.
Solheim (Back to Before) does a solid job in this short novel of setting up her characters and the series. And while the conflict in Sam and Lauren’s relationship feels a bit thin, the emotional connection is well done.—Jane Jorgenson, Madison P.L., WI