E-Originals from Christian, McGovern, and Taylor | Xpress Reviews

Week ending May 5, 2017

Christian, Alexandra. Naked. Boroughs. (Phoenix Rising, Bk. 1). Apr. 2017. 210p. ebk ISBN 9781944262662. $3.99. SF ROMANCE
After Phoebe Addison receives a call threatening the life of her sister, she leaves the safety of her quiet life as a librarian to bring an ancient amulet to her sister’s boss off-planet. The trip immediately goes sideways when government officials attempt to detain her. Enter Macijah “Cage” St. John. Using his enhanced abilities, he rescues Phoe from officials who appear to have turned themselves into werewolves and offers to help her on her quest. Phoe must change her worldview—and romantic opinions—while trying to reach her sister in time.
Verdict In this first entry in the “Phoenix Rising” series, Christian (Beast of Burden) creates an intriguing world and mythology upon which to build. Phoebe and Cage aren’t always emotionally consistent, but the fast-paced plot and action-packed scenes are more than enough to keep readers turning the pages.—Kellie Tilton, Univ. of Cincinnati Blue Ash

McGovern, Heather. A Taste of Temptation. Lyrical: Kensington. (Honeywilde Romance, Bk. 3). Apr. 2017. 232p. ebk. ISBN 9781601838407. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
This third book in the “Honeywilde” series (following A Date with Desire) finds Sophie Bradley fighting her attraction to Wright. A little over a month ago, he kissed her, and since then nothing’s been quite right between these former friends. Sophie is convinced that she can’t indulge in their mutual pull. For starters, he’s her brother’s best friend, not to mention that as one of the owners of the inn where he’s a chef, she is technically his boss. The Bradleys took her in as a toddler, following the death of her parents. After her adoptive parents split, things were rough for a while, but they’ve finally settled down, and Sophie has absolutely no desire to upset the apple cart. Wright has different ideas. Ever since that kiss, he’s done nothing but fantasize about doing it (and much more) again. Can the two really overcome their desire for each other, or will flames erupt in the bedroom as well as the kitchen?
Verdict Though this is the third book in the series, readers will have no trouble jumping into the story. This novel starts out slow but then, like Sophie and Wright’s romance, builds momentum. For the price, it’s a good purchase that will appeal to romance readers who like a sweet story with just the right amount of spice.—Nanci Milone Hill, M.G. Parker Memorial Lib., Dracut, MA

Taylor, Virginia. Sets Appeal. Lyrical: Kensington. (Romance by Design, Bk. 1). Apr. 2017. 200p. ebk. ISBN 9781516100071. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Divorced for a year, Vix Tremain has finally gotten over her ex-husband via a sexy new body and a new job as a theater set painter. To prove she isn’t frigid, as her ex had claimed, Vix has her sights set on a fling with handsome theater construction manager Jay Dee. Meanwhile, JD recognizes Vix as the former Victoria Tremain, whose husband caused JD to lose his full scholarship while obtaining a graduate degree in architecture. Both JD and Vix figure they can use the other to get over their past hurts, but what they don’t expect is to develop a strong friendship and trust that just might stand the test of time. A few tougher issues, such as statutory rape and alcoholism, are glossed over, whereas in-depth discussion would have produced a deeper, more meaningful story.
Verdict Taylor (Starling) crafts a believable opposites-attract romance between rich Vix and self-made Jay Dee by building their relationship on what they have in common: theater work and a love of design. With a South Australia setting, the book’s realistic Aussie dialog will transport readers to this distant locale while making Sets Appeal a fun, lighthearted departure from standard romance fare.—Eve Stano, Lincoln Lib., Springfield, IL

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