E-Originals from Krum, Michael, Persell, and Quarles | Xpress Reviews

Week ending October 13, 2017

Krum, Kiersten Hallie. SEALed with a Twist. Kindle Worlds. (Barefoot Bay Kindle Worlds). Sept. 2017. 225p. ebk. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Grant “Twisted” Sisti is back in Barefoot Bay, FL, to serve as best man at his commanding officer’s wedding. His goal is to make it through the weekend without revealing how much he’s struggling to overcome his fellow SEAL’s suicide. Skylar Thornquist is also hiding at Barefoot Bay—from her demanding family and the obligations their name thrust upon her. Grant and Skylar have met once before, after a drunken tumble and subsequent rescue from the pool—and fate seems to be conspiring to put them in each other’s path again. This is the second title from Krum in the extended Kindle World of Roxanne St. Claire’s “Barefoot Bay” series, and she does an excellent job playing in that fictional environment. The pace is fast, with a few twists and turns along the way, and readers will be at the end before they realize it.
Verdict While familiarity with St. Claire’s series is not necessary, reading Krum’s first book in this series (Wild on the Rocks) does help to clarify some of the story lines.—Kellie Tilton, Univ. of Cincinnati Blue Ash

Michael, Sean. Bound by Thorns. Carina: Harlequin. (Dragon Soul, Bk. 3). Sept. 2017. 223p. ebk. ISBN 9781488024351. $3.99. LGBTQIA PARANORMAL ROMANCE
Dragon-shifter Luke Beteferoce enjoys his solitude as a park ranger since it gives him the freedom and privacy to stretch his wings. He doesn’t expect to find Greyson Paulson renting one of the more remote cabins as winter sets in, or to feel protective of the obviously injured man. For his part, Grey wants to be left alone to drown his pain in alcohol and try to forget he was almost blown up while serving in the military. Instead, he ends up moving in with Luke at the ranger cabin, and the two begin a fast-paced courtship when Luke realizes his soulmate has literally fallen into his arms. This third entry in the series (after Branded by Flames and Seduced by the Tide) concentrates on the developing relationship, emotional and sexual, between the two men, trapped in a winter cabin. It has minimal tie-in to the previous books; Luke is a dragon-shifter, and Grey’s quick acceptance is glossed over and never explored. Readers could almost read it as a stand-alone, except the growing bond isn’t strong enough to be the sole focus.
Verdict Recommended only for libraries already collecting the series since readers will want to know what happens to the next brother.—Melanie C. Duncan, Washington Memorial Lib., Macon, GA

Persell, Micah. Uncharted Waters. Crimson Romance: S. & S. Sept. 2017. 224p. ebk. ISBN 9781507206119. $4.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Scientist Bethany Morgan has devoted her life to studying the means to provide safe drinking water to those in need. While working in her lab, she discovers the unfinished notes to a water purifying system created by one Dr. Anderson. When her company discovers that Dr. Anderson is living as a hermit in the mountains, she sets out to find him. Getting caught in a rabbit trap with a blizzard on her heels was not in Bethany’s plans. She discovers that Dr. Anderson has long since died, but his son, James, is alive and living the life of a hermit himself, having been raised in a cabin in the woods since he was a boy. James has no idea how to talk to a woman—let alone care for one. Sparks fly as these two alphas try to navigate their attraction.
Verdict A fun, flirty, and spicy read from Persell (Emma: The Wild and Wanton Edition). If this reviewer was in any kind of shape, she might go looking for her own mountain man after this read.—Nanci Milone Hill, M.G. Parker Memorial Lib., Dracut, MA

Quarles, Angela. Earning It. Unsealed Room. (Stolen Moments, Bk. 1). Oct. 2017. 136p. ebk. ISBN 9780990540083. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Pepper Rodgers is finally starting her career in sports medicine. Her first consult is to check on the health of a hurling team for their sponsor, but first she has a blind date and upon seeing the well-built lawyer in the coffee shop, she turns the date into a one-night fling. Luke Haas is sitting in a coffee shop trying to acclimate to civilian life. Between his security work and looking for a sponsor for his hurling team, he still relies too much on his SEAL training. When his high school crush comes in and sits down across from him, he can’t believe it. And when she suggests they leave for something more, he agrees, even if she does call him by the wrong name. This case of mistaken identity stays focused on Pepper and Luke as they deal with their history and allow a fling to blossom into something more. Originally released as part of the Some Like It Geek boxed set, Quarles’s first contemporary romance skips the subplots and much of the flirting to get right to the action, in the bedroom and on the field.
Verdict Quarles plays with the pacing conventions of contemporary romance to burn hot and bright. There’s just enough backstory and character development to keep the plot moving.—John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston

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