E-Originals from Ankrum, Jump, and Lovelace | Xpress Reviews

Week ending May 25, 2018

Ankrum, Barbara. Road to You. Tule. (Band of Brothers, Bk. 2). Jun. 2018. 162p. ebk. ISBN 9781949068214. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Investigative reporter Gemma Wade just watched the biggest story of her career fall apart and has been demoted to writing a fluff piece about a small town in Montana that has become a statistical anomaly for marriages. While grabbing some dinner at the only local restaurant, she stumbles upon an ex–Navy SEAL in town for a wedding. That night Gemma quickly discovers he’s something more than he says he is. Noah Mathis is attending the wedding of one of his brothers-in-arms. In the middle of the reunion, he finds a woman sprawled on the ground, tripped by her own broken heel. When he goes to help her up, their eyes meet and the enchantment of Marietta strikes again. In this second book in Ankrum’s new series (A Little Christmas Magic), the blend of wounded warrior with billionaire in disguise creates a different kind of cat-and-mouse game.
Verdict Readers will find part of the plot a little rushed, but this touching military love story revolves around the magic of coincidence.—John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston

Jump, Shirley. Summer Love: Take Two. Tule. (Paradise Key, Bk. 1). Apr. 2018. 204p. ebk. ISBN 9781949068160. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
The sleepy town of Paradise Key, FL, holds a mix of bittersweet memories for Lauren Webster. She is stunned to run into Carter Malone while in town for a funeral and to pitch ideas to the Tourism Bureau for her father’s marketing firm. Despite their history, Carter doesn’t hold back his opinion that any ideas from Lauren would only turn Paradise Key into another cheap beach town. Years ago, Lauren had been willing to spurn the rigid college and career time line her father expected her to adhere to in order to stay with Carter in Paradise Key. She was devastated when he made the choice for her and escaped small-town life to pursue his own path. But Carter’s fiancée and lucrative job in Chicago were no longer priorities after his father’s heart attack. His devotion to his parents and their tightly knit community is the only thing that matters until he sees Lauren again.
Verdict Jump (A Teaspoon of Trouble) has succeeded in creating an idyllic town, even if the characters seem familiar and the ending is a bit sudden. First in the series, readers will want to revisit Paradise Key in the upcoming installments, by a variety of authors.—Nicole J. Suarez, Frankfort P.L. Dist., IL

Lovelace, Sharla. Charmed at First Sight. Lyrical Shine: Kensington. (Charmed in Texas, Bk. 4). Jul. 2018. 288p. ebk. ISBN 9781516107018. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Micah Roman did not have a strategy as she fled her own wedding—she just knew she could not marry Jeremy. Jumping on the back of a strange man’s motorcycle was definitely not preplanned. Leo McKane is going to Charmed, TX, to try to fix his relationship with his brother. Having a runaway bride ask him for a lift is an interesting twist to his adventure. Heading toward Charmed, neither knows what lies in store. Each is hoping for a new start, but that gets derailed by the past coming back to haunt them. When Jeremy shows up and attempts to intimidate Micah, she learns he may not be the guy she thought he was. Trusting her instincts could have very well saved her life—and trusting them again could lead her to true love. Lovelace brings readers back to her quaint Texas town, where they will be thrilled to hear about past characters and learn about some new ones. This latest novel in the series (after Once a Charmer) is filled with dynamic personae, love, new friends, and lots of mysteries to solve.
Verdict Readers will savor the latest installment in the series, especially those who enjoy a little suspense.—Jessica M. Perovich, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Washington, DC

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