E-Originals from Fernando, Patrick, and Sebastian | Xpress Reviews

Week ending February 23, 2018

Fernando, Chantal. Approaching the Bench. Pocket Star. (Conflict of Interest, Bk. 3). Feb. 2018. 120p. ebk. ISBN 9781501172380. $2.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Trinity Williams is the youngest female judge in her state and also the toughest—they don’t call her “Medusa” for nothing. However, her new law clerk Callum Hopkins sees beneath her stern exterior even upon first glance. He’s as easygoing as he is intrepid and too familiar from the get-go, which makes Trinity uneasy. Yet as his charm grows on her, Trinity (tries to) talk herself out of a growing attraction to him. When the judge receives a threatening letter, Callum urges her to contact the police. Trinity dismisses it as something she has gotten used to, but now she and Callum find themselves in a dangerous predicament and are forced to work together while in protective custody. As the investigation mounts, so does the pair’s undeniable heat.
Verdict Age means nothing to Callum and Trinity, and their story takes on a fast-paced romantic suspense vibe. They are a likable couple, and Fernando (Breaching the Contract) does a great job creating a believable push-pull in this sort of close proximity. Perfect novella fare for on-the-go readers who can devour these in an afternoon or evening.—Frannie Strober Cassano, North Bellmore P.L., NY

Patrick, Marie. A Kiss in the Sunlight. Crimson Romance: S. & S. (MacDermott Brothers, Bk. 3). Feb. 2018. 272p. ebk. ISBN 9781507208311. $4.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
Four years ago, Sheriff Teague MacDermott’s life was upended by the mass shooting in his town and of his family by the Logan gang. The last living member of the Logans is about to be released from jail, and Teague is certain that Jeff Logan will want retribution for the deaths of his brothers and cousins. To make matters worse, Ryleigh Steele arrives on the afternoon stagecoach determined to win a coveted position at her father’s San Francisco newspaper by obtaining an exclusive interview with the hero sheriff and a tell-all article about the shootout. Teague is reticent to trust Ryleigh but can’t help falling for her bold and blundering ways. Ryleigh falls head over heels for the sheriff and all the townspeople, who welcome and accept her.
Verdict Patrick (A Kiss in the Morning Mist) ensures that the story remains more humorous than suspenseful with Ryleigh’s perpetual clumsiness, but readers will find both Teague and Ryleigh endearing, with their kind natures. A sweet and satisfying ending to the “MacDermott Brothers” series.—Eve Stano, Indianapolis P.L.

Sebastian, Cat. Unmasked by the Marquess. Avon Impulse. (Regency Impostors, Bk. 1). Apr. 2018. 293p. ebk. ISBN 9780062820655. $3.99. REGENCY ROMANCE
Charity Church impersonates her deceased husband, Mr. Robbie Selby, as she escorts her sister-in-law Louisa to London in search of a proper suitor. Charity, who was a housemaid for Louisa’s family, is determined to see her friend married and well situated. They enter London’s social scene and mingle within the circle of Alistair, the Marquess of Pembroke, and his brother Gilbert, who are finally able to recover from the financial blunders made by their father and his many mistresses and offspring. Alistair is charmed by Robbie, or Robin, as he calls her. Gilbert is enchanted with Louisa. Could Alistair take to wife a woman who dresses and lives as a man even though she is all woman under the breeches and waistcoats? Subplots concerning elderly aunts, demanding mistresses, and carriage accidents complete the story as the lies and deceptions peel away.
Verdict Sebastian (It Takes Two To Tumble) provides fans with another original read full of hints that the story of Alistair and Robin is not over yet. What will she wear?—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

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