E-Originals from Barth and Solheim, plus Newcomer Tremayne | Xpress Reviews

Week ending March 16, 2018

Barth, Christi. Never Been Good. Avon Impulse. (Bad Boys Gone Good, Bk. 2). Apr. 2018. 384p. ebk. ISBN 9780062685650. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
This is Flynn Maguire’s last chance. After four placements in witness protection (WITSEC), the Maguire brothers have been forced to take up residence in a tiny tourist trap in Oregon. How is Flynn supposed to adjust and be happy when his old life as businessman for the Chicago mob has forced not only him but also his siblings into this new life? At the same time, Sierra Williams is tired of running and is ready to set down roots and make Oregon home. She wants to find friends and stop the lies, but how can she while hiding her awful past as an art forger and witness to an attempted murder. These two lonely hearts meet, and the flames are instantaneous. The secrets must come out, but can they forgive each other as they have never forgiven themselves?
Verdict The brothers’ transition from Chicago to WITSEC is a bit abrupt and difficult to follow with the instant name changes. The romance, on the other hand, is sweet, with definite heat. This latest from Barth (Bad for Her) can stand on its own, but libraries with fans of the series are the most likely to pick it up.—Heather Lisa Maneiro, SILS, Univ. of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Solheim, Tracy. Recipe for Disaster. Tule. (Men of the Secret Service, Bk. 1). May 2018. 385p. ebk. ISBN 9781948342469. $3.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE
Secret Service Agent Griffin Keller is on the biggest case of his life when a connection to the White House is discovered. Could the counterfeiting ring he’s after be stealing from the Oval Office? Marin Chevalier, the White House pastry chef, is preparing for Easter Monday and her cousin’s wedding. She is instantly attracted to Griffin, but he is interested in more than just Marin. He’s trying to discover if there is a connection between the counterfeiters and Marin’s family. Despite the strong plot, Griffin doesn’t feel fully fleshed out; he isn’t terribly likable at first, coming across as a bit full of himself. Marin, though, is easier to get to know. The supporting characters spark some interest, particularly those that are closer to Marin.
Verdict Solheim (All They Ever Wanted) presents a solid book for a quick, light read, especially for those who enjoy culinary and political settings with some suspense added to the pot.—Sonnet Ireland, St. Tammany Parish P.L., Slidell, LA

Tremayne, Marie. Lady in Waiting. Avon Impulse. (Reluctant Brides, Bk. 1). Mar. 2018. 284p. ebk. ISBN 9780062747389. $3.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE
[DEBUT] London society wants nothing to do with Clara Mayfield. Her sister’s scandalous runaway marriage to a tradesman has ruined Clara’s own chances of an advantageous union. In an effort to reestablish the family in society, Clara’s parents arrange to marry her off to the abusive but nevertheless socially acceptable Baron Rutherford. On the eve of the wedding, a desperate Clara flees with the help of her maid, taking up a position as a servant at an unknown gentleman’s country estate. William Halstead has unexpectedly inherited the Earldom of Ashworth after the tragic deaths of his father, elder brother, and brother-in-law. Grief stricken and suffering from trauma after the carriage accident that killed his family, William retreats to his country home, where he becomes increasingly drawn to a pretty new maidservant, never guessing her true identity as the runaway Mayfield heiress.
Verdict While the historical aspects are at times thin and unconvincing, this slow-paced Victorian-era romance will please readers with its gradual relationship development, satisfying declaration, and love scenes.—Lindsay Morton, P.L. of Science, San Francisco

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