E-Originals from Flockton & Marsden, Moore, and First-Timer Ash | Xpress Reviews

Week ending February 2, 2018

Ash, Kimberley. Breathe. Crimson Romance: S. & S. Jan. 2018. 256p. ebk. ISBN 9781507207918. $4.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
[DEBUT] Ellen Hunter has been living in Boston for four years. She still considers England home despite making only annual visits, but with true friends she can count on and a job she loves, she wonders what will come next with a soon-to-expire visa. The reason she fled England has led to living in fear and distrust, especially where men are concerned, but Ellen blames herself. Kane Fielding was shoved into his CEO role at Fielding Paper at the very young age of 22, after his father was killed in a tragic plant fire. Now history is repeating itself as several of his locations have been lost to fire, and it is evident that the cause is arson. With the weight of his family legacy on his shoulders, Kane has been happy to fill the playboy/career advancer role in the society pages for a variety of up-and-comers. Kane requires a relationship that will provide the love and support he needs. Ellen has to find a relationship built on trust and not fear. Certainly these two were meant for each other. Ellen’s sexual assault and its impact on her are haunting in their accuracy. Kane’s life in a fishbowl is even more poignantly realized when the effects seep into Ellen’s life.
Verdict In the midst of the #MeToo movement and a lack of celebrity privacy, no romance could be more apropos for exploring these issues. Libraries should add this debut novel to their romance collection.—Heather Lisa Maneiro, SILS, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Flockton, Nicole & Fiona Marsden. Medal Up: A Winter Games Duology. Crimson Romance: S. & S. Feb. 2018. 285p. ebk. ISBN 9781507208267. $4.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Love wins all around all in this connected double romance that features the 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Olympics as backdrop. In Fighting Their Attraction, Australian snowboarder Brady Thompson must confront his past mistakes face to face. A former figure skater, Brady abruptly quit the sport and left his partner unable to compete. Canadian figure skating champion Arielle Baldwin is drawn to Brady and struggles to understand why he has sworn off everything related to skating in the hopes that their mutual attraction has a chance to blossom. In Man of Ice, Brady’s former skating partner Maybelle Li is struggling to connect to her new partner Bohdan Dovzhenko. His icy demeanor and their strictly professional relationship begin to heat up after arriving at the winter games.
Verdict Flockton (Bound by Her Ring) and Marsden (The Runaway Christmas Elf) convey the pressure of performance and competition in both stories, and the upcoming Olympics is a timely setting. Recommended for readers who enjoy short and spicy sports-centered romance.—Nicole J. Suarez, Frankfort P.L. Dist., IL

Moore, Kate. The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London. Lyrical: Kensington. (Husband Hunters, Bk. 1). Jan. 2018. 216p. ebk. ISBN 9781516101740. $2.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
With her father missing and presumed dead, Jane Fawkener has returned to London after years in the Middle East. Jane is convinced that her father is still alive and her only clue is hidden inside the pages of the book he left her, The Husband Hunter’s Guide to London. Helping her navigate the unfamiliar waters of London society is Edmund Dalby, Viscount Hazelwood, a protocol officer assigned by the government to watch her. Hazelwood is actually part of an elite group of spies tasked with finding out what Jane’s father, also a spy, knew about the Russian area where he disappeared. As a former rake working to clear his debts, Hazelwood knows he has to stick to his mission, but he can’t help falling for clever, no-nonsense Jane. Particularly enjoyable are the scenes in which fish-out-of-water Jane sees through the folly of her aristocratic peers.
Verdict This unhurried story by Moore (Blackstone’s Bride) features appealing protagonists and a slow-simmering romance. An ideal choice for fans of traditional Regencies who enjoy the occasional dash of mystery.—Kathryn Howe, Saint John Free P.L., NB

Comment Policy:
  1. Be respectful, and do not attack the author, people mentioned in the article, or other commenters. Take on the idea, not the messenger.
  2. Don't use obscene, profane, or vulgar language.
  3. Stay on point. Comments that stray from the topic at hand may be deleted.
  4. Comments may be republished in print, online, or other forms of media, per our Terms of Use.

We are not able to monitor every comment that comes through (though some comments with links to multiple URLs are held for spam-check moderation by the system). If you see something objectionable, please let us know. Once a comment has been flagged, a staff member will investigate.

We accept clean XHTML in comments, but don't overdo it and please limit the number of links submitted in your comment. For more info, see the full Terms of Use.

Speak Your Mind