E-Originals from Collins, Irby, and Rhone | Xpress Reviews

Week ending March 9, 2018

Collins, Dani. From the Top. Tule. (Blue Spruce Lodge, Bk. 2). Mar. 2018. 294p. ebk. ISBN 9781948342292. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Ilke Lundquist was taking the ski world by storm. She was destined to win, so when she completely tanked in her competitions, everyone wondered why. Getting pregnant by Nate Hart was not part of her plan, and now she has to give up her skiing dreams, figure out how to make money, and inform Nate he is going to be a father. To do this, she would have to head to Whiskey Jack’s resort to face Nate and ask some old friends for a job. Meanwhile, Nate is finally getting his life in order. He has a great job making Whiskey Jack’s a premier ski lodge. He has a great son, even if he is divorced from his wife, who fell in love with another woman. When Ilke, a woman he had a brief affair with, comes into his life again, he isn’t the least bit prepared. Ilke and Nate begin to realize just how much they need to rely on each other and let the fear of failure go. Collins’s (On the Edge) novel emphasizes the need to establish mutual trust and open up to love. A perfect tale for Winter Olympics lovers!
Verdict Contemporary romance readers will enjoy this wintry story of two independent people learning to count on others.—Jessica M. Perovich, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Washington, DC

Irby, Annette M. Finding Love in Bainbridge, Washington. Mountain Brook Ink. (Washington Island Romance, Bk. 2). May 2018. 298p. ebk. ISBN 9781943959440. $3.99. INSPIRATIONAL ROMANCE
Thirty-three-year-old Liam Barrett, adrenaline connoisseur, is always looking for new thrills with his buddies. Exciting adventures help Liam forget about his nonexistent relationship with a father who abandoned him as a small child. If it weren’t for his great aunt Matilda, Jack and his now deceased mother would have had nowhere to turn. Liam has kept women at a distance, even his former college crush Jenna-Shea Brown. Why risk being like his father, disappointing the people who love and rely on you the most? When Shea returns to town, Liam is reminded of his attraction and remembers why he would never be good enough for her. She seems like the perfect counselor to Liam, an extraordinary listener, selfless, and caring. However, Shea lives in fear that someone will realize that she still suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) after an incident in college.
Verdict Irby (Finding Love in Friday Harbor, Washington) combines themes of redemption and healing for broken families with sincere characters and a satisfying ending. This novel works well as a stand-alone read.—Nicole J. Suarez, Frankfort P.L. Dist., IL

Rhone, Nika. Can’t Help Loving You. Wild Rose. (Boulder Bodyguards, Bk. 3). Mar. 2018. 330p. ebk. ISBN 9781509220007. $5.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
This latest title in Rhone’s “Boulder Bodyguards” series (after What the Lady Wants and Finding Forever) focuses on the last of the three friends. Lillian Beaumont had always been the leader of the group, coming up with wild ideas. Lillian works at an art gallery and lives in a condo upstairs from Rafe Delgado, a policeman who has been injured and is awaiting the board’s approval to return to work. Her car has been damaged more than once while she was at work, and she begins to wonder if a fellow employee is behind it. When her tires are slashed, her family want her to have protection. Because of a prior experience, she refuses and as a last resort convinces her mother that she is in a relationship with Rafe. Obviously, the pretend couple become more than pretend.
Verdict Rhone creates wonderful characters that touch readers’ hearts. With a suspenseful plot, hot sex, and great protagonists, this title is highly recommended.—Susan Hayes, formerly with Chattahoochee Valley Libs., Columbus, GA

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