E-Originals from Bridges, a Quartet of Historical Authors, Maher, and Riley | Xpress Reviews

Week ending June 30, 2017

Bridges, May. Killing June. Swerve: St. Martin’s. (Saved by Sin, Bk. 1). Jul. 2017. 226p. ebk. ISBN 9781250134646. $3.99. EROTIC ROMANCE/EROTICA
By day, Alex Ryan is an acquisitions manager who buys failing businesses, then sells off the pieces. By night, she is June, a Dominatrix administering pain to clients set up by Robert, a childhood friend. But now Alex is ready to “kill” the side of her that is June. While waiting to meet a new client, June encounters Cade, and his towering stature intrigues her. When the client meeting is interrupted, June inadvertently clings to Cade, whose own desire for her makes him willingly take on the challenge. No longer satisfied with the broken, compartmentalized parts of herself, Alex/June starts the road to self-acceptance, healing, and letting go of the past. Cade might be able to help her find the brave sense of self she longs to have. Consent and boundaries become important factors in their connection, which differentiates Cade from the other men with whom Alex does business. Bridges (Binding Hope) presents compelling, complex dualities for her characters.
Verdict For readers looking for a solid transition into grittier, darker, BDSM novels. Those attracted to redemption stories featuring heroes/heroines searching for someone to explore their dark, emotional sides will also find this appealing.—Frannie Strober Cassano, North Bellmore P.L., NY

Cornwall, Lecia & others. Say Yes to the Scot: A Highland Wedding. Swerve: St. Martin’s. Jun. 2017. 300p. ebk. ISBN 9781250158383. $3.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Fans of Scottish romances will enjoy this relatively strong offering from four established romance authors. In Cornwall’s delightful “How a Lass Wed a Highlander,” a variation on “The Princess and the Pea,” Cait Macleod is mistaken for an ally of Laird Alex Munro’s sworn enemy, with Cornwall mixing humor, suspense, and romance to create an absorbing read. Anna Harrington’s “A Match Made in Heather” is a revenge tale with a rather unpleasant hero bent on avenging himself on the woman he had loved and lost ten years earlier. A somewhat limp heroine adds to the overwhelming nastiness the two inflict on each other. “A Midsummer Wedding,” by May McGoldrick, set in 1494, amuses and charms with its interesting plotline and relatable, endearing characters. When Elizabeth Hay tries to sabotage her arranged marriage with an infamous Highland pirate, she gets more than she bargained for, with truly hilarious results. The concluding tale, Sabrina York’s “The Scot Says I Do,” turns the tables and is more grim than amusing, but the characters are well developed and the story is intriguing.
Verdict Overall, a collection to recommend to fans of Scottish romance, with the witty stories the stronger reads.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Lib., CA

Maher, Kelly. The Bridesmaid and the Hurricane. D Ink Editions. (Capital Kisses, Bk. 1). Jul. 2017. 220p. ebk. ISBN 9780996847742. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Radhika O’Leary is stunned to learn that her supposed one-night stand a year ago is her new TV station coworker meteorologist Malcolm “Colm” Jones, aka “The Hurricane Hottie.” And, yes, Colm is a hottie, but when Radhika’s boss Bella puts the moves on him and demands a new assignment be given to her over Radhika, Colm stands up for Radhika, moving her to his team and latest project. Trying not to be drawn to each other, these two commitment-phobes learn the value of roots, as they fight to understand the power of together.
Verdict Set in Washington, DC, this first in a series by author Maher (Sweet Heat) throws together two former lovers, both slow to make attachments and burned by former flames. A smart and engaging romance, with a sprinkle of office politics and a backdrop of the nation’s capital thrown in for good measure. Spend some time with this quick and easy hot-as-summer read.—Judy Taylor Garner, Strayer Univ., Glen Allen, VA

Riley, Lia. Mister Hockey. Avon Impulse. (Hellions Angels, Bk. 1). Jul. 2017. 256p. ebk. ISBN 9780062662460. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Sparks fly when an average girl unexpectedly meets her celebrity crush. Breezy Angel is a children’s librarian and also a rabid hockey fan from a family of rabid hockey fans. She can hardly believe it when her favorite player Jed West volunteers for a community event at her branch. Face-to-face with the man of her dreams, Breezy does the only sensible thing: she shoves her Jed West bobblehead doll and her life-sized Jed West cardboard cutout in the closet, downplays her fangirl obsession, and gets to know the real man. When her secret comes out, can their budding relationship survive? And can Jed ever trust her again?
Verdict This lighthearted rom-com offers plenty of awkward meet-cute moments, a couple of steamy love scenes, and a satisfying public declaration. Breezy’s seriously low self-esteem pairs neatly with Jed’s team captain–like ability to nurture and encourage, adding dimension to their relationship.—Lindsay Morton, Pub. Lib. of Science, San Francisco

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