E-Originals from Albert, Dover, and Mecca | Xpress Reviews

Week ending May 12, 2017

Albert, Annabeth. On Point. Carina: Harlequin. (Out of Uniform, Bk. 3). Jun. 2017. 320p. ebk. ISBN 9781488022630. $4.99. LGBT, MILITARY ROMANCE
U.S. Navy SEAL Maddox Horvat is a decorated sniper expected to reenlist, but lately his dreams include opening his own bakery and having his best friend SEAL Ben Tovey fall in love with him. But Maddox and Ben have different goals, with Ben being career navy and a man unwilling to make a commitment. One night they get closer than planned, and the strain it places on their friendship almost destroys it. When their next mission ends with Maddox and Ben injured and awaiting extraction, Ben faces a future in which his best friend isn’t there, and it forces him to confront his feelings. But when they get home, the real fight begins. Albert continues her steamy military romance series with guest appearances from the heroes of Off Base and At Attention, while throwing in an Easter egg for fans of her “Gaymers” series. She touches on “don’t ask, don’t tell” and the concerns gay members of the military still have but lets her words make her case.
Verdict Libraries where S.E. Jakes is popular will find a ready audience for Albert’s “Out of Uniform” books.—Melanie C. Duncan, Washington Memorial Lib., Macon, GA

Dover, L.P. Hard Stick. Loveswept: Random. (Breakaway, Bk. 1). Jul. 2017. 205p. ebk. ISBN 9781101967836. $3.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Interior designer Kristen Robinson escapes to Belmont, NC, to start her life under a new identity thanks to the help of her FBI friends. Back in Boston, Mitchell, her controlling, obsessive ex, might have been responsible for the death of her best friend Cole, who was only trying to protect her. Now a bartender at Sammy’s, Kristen serves their usual drinks to the regular group of NHL teammates, which includes sexy captain Kellan Carter. Kristen has seen them leave with myriad groupies and knows most of them are players, on and off the ice. Kellan claims he is different, so she agrees to give him just one date. The chemistry is so strong that the “one date” evolves into a relationship. Kristen hates lying to him about her identity while her resolve and trust issues slowly melt away. Just when she thinks she is done with looking over her shoulder, Mitchell appears. With power, influence, and money, he will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Kristen is terrified she will lose Kellan the way she lost Cole, but Kellan promises he won’t let anything happen to the woman he loves.
Verdict With sexy heat between the sheets and an unpredictable twist, Dover’s (Trigger) new series opener is a bold contender in the subgenre that should have wide appeal.—Kara Kohn, Plainfield P.L., IL

Mecca, Cecelia. The Lord’s Captive. Altiora. (Border Series, Bk. 2). Jun. 2017. 313p. ebk. ISBN 9781946510037. $3.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
The Waryns have finally liberated Bristol Manor from the Kerrs, the Scottish clan that stole it from them and killed their parents long ago. Lord Bryce, made such by the abdication of his brother Geoffrey, has his hands full with rebuilding the manor when his men find a woman nearly dead. Not just any woman, but Catrina Kerr, sister to the man responsible for the raid on Bristol Manor and the death of Bryce’s mother and father. A serious man who likes to keep his emotions in control has finally met his match in a fiery female who cannot keep her tongue. Now, will he admit how he feels about this enemy of his, or will he give up a chance at true love in the name of vengeance? Mecca does a wonderful job of pulling readers into the world of the Waryns and the Kerrs. Steamy love scenes, lovable characters, and a compelling plot make this a solid read.
Verdict This second title in Mecca’s series (after The Thief’s Countess) is a strong choice for any reader who enjoys stories set in medieval times featuring strong-willed female characters and knights.—Sonnet Ireland, St. Tammany Parish P.L., Mandeville, LA