Wednesday, February 29, 2012

A Daughter's Perfect Secret - Kimberly Van Meter (HRS #1696 - Mar 2012)

Series: Perfect Wyoming (Book 3) 

There's something rotten in Wyoming.

With its beautiful, blissful residents and close-knit community, Cold Plains seems the ideal place to settle down. But Dr. Rafe Black senses the crack in its veneer the moment he arrives. On a desperate mission, he can't allow anything to stand in his way. Including the captivating woman who could be harboring the town's most horrific secret…

Reeling from the revelation that she isn't who she thought she was, Darcy Craven isn't leaving until she uncovers the truth about her past. She knows she shouldn't trust the handsome healer with the sad smile. But every step brings Rafe and Darcy closer together—and closer to a truth that could cost them their lives.

Good book.  I liked Rafe a lot.  He was a good doctor, providing care to the residents that wasn't through their clinic.  He was also trying to find his son, and helping the FBI try to find out what Samuel Grayson is up to.  When Darcy came to town, he hired her to work as his receptionist.  Darcy had come to town after finding out she was adopted, wanting to get a look at the man who was her father, and who her mother was desperate to keep her away from. It wasn't long until they gave in to their attraction.   They also found themselves working together to find out what was going on in the hidden infirmary, and putting pressure on the local cops to find Rafe's son.  I enjoyed the story, and it had a good conclusion, though no resolution on Darcy and her father as yet.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the series.

Deadly Reckoning - Elle James (HRS #1698 - Mar 2012)

Series: Devil's Shroud (Book 1)

"You win for now, but it isn't over."

Trouble has followed pregnant artist Kayla Davies to a picturesque Oregon town where she hopes to paint away memories of a brutal attack. Instead she finds herself again gripped by fear when a woman's murder and an eerily familiar stalker coincide with her arrival. Someone is watching her…and disappearing into the dreaded fog called The Devil's Shroud.

Shaken, Kayla finds comfort in the arms of Gabe McGregor, the hard-bodied town sheriff and single dad. Though he and Kayla share a powerful attraction, neither wants anything beyond an earthshaking fling. Too many lies and secrets have come between them—until another vicious attack on Kayla changes everything….

Very good book.  The suspense in this one kept me turning the pages late into the night, until I finished it.  Kayla came to Cape Churn to get away from the memories of the attack and try to get her desire to paint back.  When the threats started up again, she turned to Gabe.  Gabe was determined to find out who was doing this to Kayla.  He was powerfully attracted to her, but didn't want a relationship to distract him from his search for the killer.  He was also trying to cope with being a single dad.  I loved Gabe's patience with his son, as they got to know each other.  I also liked the way that Dakota stepped in to help protect Kayla.

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

More Than One Night - Sarah Mayberry (HS # 1765 - Mar 2012)

From bed to baby to…bliss?

A chance encounter. A steamy night together. That's all Rhys Walker signs on for when Charlotte "Charlie" Long sashays across his path. Sure, maybe he catches a glimpse of forever in her eyes. But the brush-off note the gorgeous brunette leaves the next morning says it all, doesn't it? Time to move on.

Rhys never expects that moving on actually means reconnecting with Charlie. Or that her big news changes everything. Becoming a father now, under these circumstances, never factored into his plans. Yet he's not as upset as he thought. Because now he has the opportunity to explore that glimpse of forever…and turn it into reality.

Good book.   I really liked both Rhys and Charlie.  I felt so bad for Charlie through most of the book.  Her self-esteem was so low when it came to her personal life that she just couldn't see that someone like Rhys could truly be interested in her.  When she found that she was pregnant, she knew she had to tell him.  Once Rhys got over his initial shock and anger, he knew that he and Charlie had to learn to deal together for the sake of the baby.  As they spent time together, getting to know each other, they found they had a lot in common.  Rhys realized pretty quickly that Charlie had become an important part of his life.  His biggest problem was that she kept pushing him away.  It took awhile for him to realize why, and that he would have to have great patience to win her over.  Meanwhile, Charlie couldn't believe that someone like Rhys really wanted to be with her.  She kept waiting for everything to come to an end.  It took a long time and some heart to heart talking from her friend Gina for her to understand that she deserved to be loved too.

The Bed and the Bachelor - Tracy Anne Warren (Avon - Aug 2011)

Series: Byrons of Braebourne (Book 5) 

Everyone knows the Byron brothers are "mad; bad; and dangerous." But the devilishly desirable fourth son, Drake, is too scholarly to misbehave...or is he?

Lord Drake Byron has no time in his busy life to worry about taking a wife. He is more interested in the unbreakable code he has developed to defeat Napoleon's forces. Little does he know that the irresistibly lovely new housekeeper he's hired is really a French secret agent.

Sebastianne Dumont is not at all who she seems to be. Forced to spy to save her family, she embarks on a mission that takes an even more dangerous turn when she falls in love with the surprisingly tempting man she must ultimately betray. And if she succeeds in her mission, will she also break Lord Drake's heart, while leaving her own behind?

I really liked this book.  Drake appealed to me in other books because he seemed so absentminded.  In this one I definitely got more of why he was like that.  I really admired the way he was able to focus on what he was doing until he got it where he wanted it.  I also liked Sebastianne.  She really didn't want to be doing what she was doing, but she had no choice.  I really enjoyed the way that Drake was so attracted to Sebastianne right from the beginning.  For a guy that swore he would never let a woman be able to distract him from his work,  she got to him right from the beginning.  I loved his internal conversations, telling himself to leave her alone.  The chemistry between the two was fantastic.  I also really enjoyed it when Drake went after her and the way he related to her family.  Even though they are so young in this book, I really hope there will be stories for the twin.

Monday, February 27, 2012

High-Stakes Affair - Gail Barrett (HRS #1697 - Mar 2012)

Series: Stealth Knights (Book 2) 

"You're stuck with me, princess."

With her country on the brink of unrest, loyal Princess Paloma Vergara escapes the security of the palace walls to protect her family. To eliminate the threat of blackmail against her brother, the heir to the Vergara legacy, she must enlist the help of an ex-con with a very special set of skills.

Dante Quevedo has his own dark agenda: avenge his sister's death. Teaming up with the royal beauty makes revenge all the easier to claim. Until they stumble upon a terrorist plot that leaves them with no one but each other to trust…

Very good book.  Paloma and Dante started out pretty rocky because of his quest for revenge and hatred for the royal family.  They also noticed a physical attraction that they did their best to ignore.  When they ended up on the run together, they had to learn to trust each other.  Dante slowly began to realize that Paloma was not like her father and brother and really cared about the people of her country.  He also found he had a powerful urge to protect her from what he believed was happening.  Paloma's intent was to find the information needed to stop her brother from being blackmailed.  As their search continued, the terrorist plot they discovered was one that could destroy their country.  I really liked the way that they were able to work together.  I also found Paloma's selflessness at the end was wonderful.

High Risk Reunion - Gail Barrett (HRS #1682 - Nov 2011)

Series: Stealth Knights (Book 1) 

Redemption is but a step away for reformed jewel thief Rafael Navarro. The price? One last, dangerous heist. But when things turn deadly and an innocent is accused, his only way out is to trust the woman who once betrayed him.

Eons ago, heiress Gabrielle Ferrer had broken Rafael's heart to save his life. Now that her covert quest for revenge against a ruthless criminal has taken a lethal turn, they are forced to work together to clear their names of murder. Old attractions and new desires flare -- yet the secrets of their dark pasts may lead to a fatal future....

Good book.  There was good suspense in the search for the missing information and the need to remain free of the bad guys.  I liked both characters.  Rafael had good instincts and the training to do what needed to be done.  Gabrielle had the motivation of revenge to be focused on the goal, but was a bit impetuous, which got her into trouble a few times.  Their attraction was still there, even though Rafael felt betrayed by Gabi.  Meanwhile, Gabi was still trying to make sure her actions didn't put him in danger.  When the story of why she broke up with him finally came out, Rafael realized it hadn't been all her fault.  I'm looking forward to the rest of the series. 

Sunday, February 26, 2012

A Soldier's Homecoming - Rachel Lee (SRS #1519 - July 2008)

Series: Conard County: A New Generation (Book 1)

Conrad City's secret son

He was an embittered soldier with a name well-known in town. A long-lost son with Cheyenne roots, Ethan Parish sought to meet his father for the first time. The community buzzed over this newcomer, suspicious of his identity, but Ethan found the seeds of hope.

Falling in love with Connie Halloran was never part of his plan. Somehow, the beautiful deputy and her adorable daughter got under his skin and brought out his protective instincts. As a violent element from the past emerged, Ethan had to risk his heart and his life to save his new family.

A really good book.  Ethan's appearance in town was a surprise to everyone, not least of whom was his father.  I really liked Ethan and his sense of calm.  In spite of his past, he seemed to be very even tempered.  When the local sheriff asked him to assist by providing protection for Connie and her daughter, he was glad to do so.  Connie was the victim of abuse, and had scars of her own to deal with.  They found that they understood each other, and that made for a rapid development of feeling between them.   I really liked the way that Ethan was able to help both Connie and Sophie deal with the threat and their feelings.  I also enjoyed Ethan's comfort with his Native spirituality, and the way he was able to explain it to and relate it to Connie.

A Bride for the Island Prince - Rebecca Winters (HR #4291 - Feb 2012)

Series: By Royal Appointment 

Prince Alexius of Hellenica will do anything to help his four-year-old daughter learn to speak -- which is why the intensely reserved and private royal finds himself opening up to bubbly children's speech therapist Dottie Richards. Dottie is a breath of fresh air in the palace, and motherless Zoe blossoms in her care -- as does the reluctant attraction Alex feels toward his new employee!

Behind her cheerful smiles Dottie guards her own heart fiercely, but it's never been in so much danger as from this cool prince with his dark, molten eyes....

Good book.  I loved Dottie and how wonderful she was with Zoe.  She obviously was very good at her job, but was also a very caring person.  In her quest to help Zoe, she also was able to help Alex balance his work and his private life.  She tried to guard her heart, since she knew there was no future in a relationship with Alex.  Alex was determined to do anything necessary to help Zoe, and was completely willing to do anything Dottie needed him to do.  He also found himself coming to care for Dottie, and didn't know how he was going to be able to reconcile his two lives.  While the ending was not a surprise, the way it happened was and was perfect for the book.

Corralled - B.J. Daniels (HI #1335 - Mar 2012)

Series: Whitehorse Montana: Chisholm Cattle Company (Book 5) 

When a mystery woman with a gleam in her eye and trouble on her mind hops on the back of Logan Chisholm's Harley, he thinks he's in for a wild ride.  But Jennifer "JJ" Blythe James might be more than he bargained for.

The pretty pop star is running scared. Desperately trying to escape her past, JJ's defenses are on high alert.
She doesn't really want the cowboy's protection, but Logan knows that with a killer on her trail, she needs it. It's the only way the songbird who's corralled his heart will live to sing another day.

Very good book.  I liked Blythe a lot.  She seemed to know exactly what she wanted, and was able to go after it.  Even though she had panicked at the beginning of the story, after that she was able to keep her head and think her way through things.  Logan was immediately attracted to her when he saw her that first night.  When she ended up on the back of his motorcycle, racing away from trouble, he wasn't sure what to think.  As they found out more about what happened, he felt more and more protective of Blythe.  There was a lot going on in this book, with seeing the other band members and what they were doing, and also Emma and the ongoing story there.  The story felt a little disjointed at times, but I had no problem following it.  I'm looking forward to the last story in the set and the resolution of the mystery.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Redwood Bend - Robyn Carr (Mira - Mar 2012)

Series: Virgin River (Book 18) 

Katie Malone and her twin boys' trip along the beautiful mountain roads to Virgin River is stopped short by a tire as flat as her failed romance. To make matters worse, the rain has set in, the boys are hungry and Katie is having trouble putting on a spare. As she stands at the side of the road pondering her next move, she hears a distinct rumble. The sight of the sexy, leather-clad bikers who pull up beside her puts her imagination into overdrive.

Dylan Childress and his buddies are on the motorcycle trip of a lifetime. But the sight of a woman in distress stops them in their tracks. And while the guys are checking out her car, she and Dylan are checking out one another.

In one brief moment, the world tilts on its axis and any previous plans Katie and Dylan might have had for their futures are left at the side of the road.

I loved this book.  When Dylan and his friends stopped to help Katie, she wasn't sure what to make of them.  When she saw them again later in Virgin River, she got a chance to get a better look at Dylan.  They were attracted to each other, but Katie was the mother of twins and had no intention of getting involved with any man.  Dylan came from a very dysfunctional family, and felt that he was a bad bet for a relationship anyway.  But Dylan couldn't stay away, and found himself drawn further and further into Katie's life -- and liking it.  Dylan was trying to find a way to save his flying business in Montana, and tried his best to make sure Katie knew he would not be staying.  Katie, meanwhile, was enjoying her time with Dylan and thought she could keep it light.  She found that she and her sons were coming to care for Dylan more than was probably wise.  I loved Dylan.  In spite of his feelings about himself, he was a really nice guy and terrific with the boys.  I loved seeing Conner and Leslie, and the interaction between Conner and Dylan was great.  There were some serious issues that Dylan and Katie had to work out, but they found that love helped them do it.

Miss Prim and the Billionaire - Lucy Gordon (HR #4292 - Feb 2012)

Series: Falcon Dynasty (Book 2) 

Tycoon Marcel Falcon appears to be a man who plays love like a game. But deep in his heart lies a despair that has never left him since he was betrayed by Cassie, his one true love.

The past has changed Cassie, too. A destructive marriage stole her confidence and now she hides her model looks behind prim glasses and suits.

When Marcel and Cassie are thrown together again in Paris, a storm erupts inside them. He's her boss so there's no avoiding each other, no escaping the fact that they've both changed dramatically. Underneath, the spark is there -- but can it ever be the same again?

Okay book.  I liked Cassie.  I felt she had done a great job of going on with her life.  She had gotten a business degree after her modelling days were done, and was very good at what she did.  She had never forgotten Marcel, and her love for him was still there.  When they were thrown together, she continued to do her job and tried to let him know what had happened in the past.  I just couldn't warm up to Marcel.  To me he was obsessive, wanting the Cassie from the past, keeping her separate from the new Cassie.  He also tried to control her actions, constantly checking up on her, which is abusive in my book.  He redeemed himself in the end, but I still didn't really like him.

Friday, February 24, 2012

A Touch of Persuasion - Janice Maynard (HD #2146 - Mar 2012)

Series: Men of Wolff Mountain (Book 2) 

Six years ago, Olivia Delgado was abandoned by the man she loved—a man who had never existed. Billionaire adventurer Kieran Wolff had used an alias, made love to her, then disappeared. Now he's returned, insisting on not only meeting her daughter—his daughter—but on seducing Olivia back into his bed! Passion still simmers between them, threatening her good sense. Can he be trusted this time, or is Kieran still a Wolff in sheep's clothing?

Very good book.  Kieran really irritated me at first.  He didn't seem to understand that by lying to her about his name when they first knew each other, he had made it impossible for her to find him when she found out she was pregnant.  And when she finally did find him, she felt she couldn't trust him.  All he could see was that he hadn't been told.  For her part, Olivia still didn't feel that she could trust him to actually be around to act as a father.  The passion was still there, but she didn't see anything permanent coming from it.  Over the weeks they were together, with Kieran getting to know his daughter, he found himself changing.  It took quite a lot for him to realize that he could stop running and build a life back on Wolff Mountain.

Colorado Fireman - C.C. Coburn (HAR #1395 - Mar 2012)

Series: Creature Comforts, O'Malley Men (Book 4) 

Colorado firefighter Adam O'Malley risks his own life to rescue Carly Spencer's young son and a dog named Molly from a burning building…and assumes that's the last he'll see of them. But Spruce Lake is a small place, and Carly and her four children are new to town. Before he knows it, Adam's mother has invited Carly, her children and the dog to stay at the O'Malley ranch!

As the widow of a firefighter, making a good life for her kids is Carly's number one priority. Meeting -- and falling for -- another firefighter is not. Adam, meanwhile, has been avoiding relationships because of a painful secret he's kept from everyone, including his brothers. But the more time he spends with Carly, the more he wants to move past it.

I really liked this book.  Adam was a great hero.  He started out as the guy who avoided getting emotionally close to anyone, even his family, because of an issue in his past.  When he rescued Carly's son and the dog, something about her caused him to start to feel again.  Because of the fire,  Carly ended up living on the ranch belonging to Adam's family, so he had constant exposure to them all.  Thanks to their help, she was able to begin to get her life back on track after the fire.  She also found herself becoming part of the family, and growing even closer to Adam.  When trouble follows her to Spruce Lake, Adam's love bursts forth and he and his family come to the rescue.

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Tyler - C. H. Admirand (Sourcebooks - Mar 2011)

Series: Secret Life of Cowboys (Book 1) 

Desperate times call for desperate measures...
When Tyler Garahan said he'd do anything to save his family's ranch, he never thought that would include taking a job as a stripper at a local ladies' club. But the club's fiery redheaded bookkeeper captures Tyler's attention, and for her, he'll swallow his pride...

And one good turn deserves another...

Emily Langley feels for the gorgeous cowboy. It's obvious that he's the real deal and wouldn't be caught dead in a ladies' revue if he wasn't in big trouble. And when he looks at her like that, she'll do anything to help...

Working days on the ranch and nights at the ladies' club, Tyler is plumb exhausted. But could it be that his beautiful boss needs him just as much as he needs her...

I really liked this book.  I loved the way that Tyler went in thinking it was just a job hauling beer kegs and such, then found out what it was really for.  The interview process was a hoot!  I liked the way that Tyler and Emily were immediately attracted to each other.  Their chemistry was pretty darn hot!  I also enjoyed the way that Tyler went into protector mode when someone shot at the building, and how he and Jake stayed at the club whether the ladies wanted them to or not.  I also thought that Emily's confrontations with Linda Lee were hysterical -- I could see it in my mind as it was happening.  Tyler's determination to keep his job secret from him brothers was fun to see, especially when he finally decided to tell them.   I also enjoyed Emily's initial determination not to fall for Tyler, before she realized what a nice guy he was and ended up falling anyway.  I'm really looking forward to the next two books.

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Courting His Favorite Nurse - Lynne Marshall (HSE #2178 - Mar 2012)

Series: Whispering Oaks (Book 1)

Anne Grady knew better than anyone that love was complicated. When she'd left her hometown, she thought she was leaving her past heartbreak behind for good, as well. But practically the moment she returned to care for her injured parents, she stumbled headlong into their confidant—her first love, Jack Lightfoot.

Jack had been unable to deny his feelings for Annie when he was a teenager dating her best friend, and he certainly couldn't muffle the spark twisting between them now—even if memories of the past kept threatening to push them apart. This time Jack wasn't going to let history repeat itself—he was going to show Annie that the two of them were meant to be much more than best friends!

Pretty good book.   When Anne came back to town to care for her parents she ended up seeing Jack again - frequently.  She realized that, even though she'd been away for a long time, she still cared for him.  Jack was thrilled that she was back, and was determined to show her that they belonged together.  Both were fighting the ghosts of their pasts, and it was looking like those were going to be very hard to overcome.  I liked Jack -- he seemed to be a pretty romantic guy, with his balloon rides and boat trips.  He did seem to have a hard time actually getting around to apologizing to Anne.  Meanwhile, Anne seemed to be hanging on to the past harder than she should have.  I hope her brother and sister get stories too.

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

Cowboy Sam's Quadruplets - Tina Leonard (HAR #1393 - Mar 2012)

Series: Callahan Cowboys (Book 5) 

Defending his family's New Mexico ranch against a hostile takeover is the only reason Sam Callahan would even consider getting married. With four of his brothers already happily hitched, the youngest Callahan could end up being the last bachelor standing. Unless Seton McKinley says yes.…

Seton came home to Diablo to hang out her P.I. shingle. But the real reason is her unrequited crush on one hunky cowboy. The footloose charmer is proposing they make it legal—in name only! Of course she says no…until Sam flashes that infamous Callahan charm. Now the newlyweds are getting ready to become a family…of six!

Fatherhood can change a man's perspective, especially with quadruplets on the way. But nothing—not even the revelation of a shocker of a family secret—is going to change Sam's feelings for Seton…and their three baby girls and boy!

Very good book.  Sam was such a happy-go-lucky guy that he saw no harm in entering into a business marriage with Seton -- until the feelings turned real.  Then he wanted the marriage to be real, but couldn't figure out how to make it so. Seton had been in love with Sam for a long time, and saw the marriage as a way to get her foot in the door to Sam's heart. Then he and Seton found out they were going to be the parents of four babies and their lives turned upside down.   Added to that was Seton's inquiries into what happened to the Callahans' parents, and the secrets it was bringing out. I loved seeing Sam and his slow entry into the idea of becoming a father -- he was really sweet as he got into it all. I am really looking forward to the final book.

Daddy On Her Doorstep - Lilian Darcy (HSE #2176 - Mar 2012)

Series: McKinley Medics (Book 1) 

Obstetrician Andrew McKinley was intrigued by his new single tenant and neighbor, who looked about ready to pop—and also about ready to jump down the throat of anyone who even hinted that she might need some help. So he knew he should not get involved. But with Claudia showing every sign of labor, what could he do but come to her aid?

Manhattan accountant Claudia Nelson was a self-confessed control freak. Research, plans, schedules—that was her approach to everything, including having her baby. Suddenly nothing was happening as she'd expected. Because after going to so much trouble to go it alone, how could the man on her doorstep turn out to be her knight in shining scrubs?

Really good book.  I loved Andy.  He was a terrific doctor, able to keep his patients calm and relate well to them, while maintaining a good doctor-patient relationship.  I loved how laid back he was.  When Claudia moved into the other side of his house, he tried very hard not to get over-involved in her life - a problem of his, according to his uptight father.  But there was something about her that seemed to cry out for his involvement.  Claudia had decided to do the whole single parent thing by herself, depending on no one.  She was very into planning and schedules.  What she didn't realize is that babies don't follow plans.  And when she went into labor early, she didn't know what to do.  Fortunately Andy was there to lend a hand.  They spent most of the book bouncing back and forth between involved and pulling back.  Seeing their internal conversations with themselves was pretty funny.  I liked the way they finally worked things out.  I'm looking forward to the other two books.

Monday, February 20, 2012

The Last First Kiss - Marie Ferrarella (HSE #2175 - Mar 2012)

Series: Matchmaking Mamas (Book 7) 

It's been eighteen years since Kara Calhoun laid eyes on David Scarlatti, the one man who'd always gotten under her skin—the wrong way! That doesn't stop a pair of matchmaking moms from believing their son and daughter are made for each other. So Kara cooks up her own scheme to prove them wrong. Even if it means temporarily dating the super-geek-turned-dedicated-doctor…who's much too good-looking for this video game tester's good!

The bubbly blonde dynamo is the skinny tomboy who used to drive Dave crazy? Impossible! And agreeing to her plan is even crazier…especially when Kara awakens irresistible desire in the reserved physician. With their pretend romance flaring into something neither expected, Dave devises a backup plan: convincing Kara that that incredible first kiss won't be their last….

Good book.  I loved the interaction between Kara and Dave.  They really balanced each other well.  Kara is impulsive, creative and mouthy.  Dave is reserved and logical.  Kara had picked on him constantly when they were kids.  But when their moms cooked up a matchmaking scheme, Kara talked Dave into a fake relationship to stop them.  What they didn't count on was their attraction to each other.  They also found that they actually liked being with each other.  I loved the way they took care of each other, even as they snarked at each other. Dave realized that Kara gave him the fun that he needed after hard days at the hospital or clinic.  And Kara found that Dave gave her the steadiness that she had been looking for.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

The Paternity Proposition - Merline Lovelace (HD #2145 - Mar 2012)

Series: Billionaires and Babies 

"Are You My Baby's Mother?"
Billionaire Alex Dalton has had more than his share of women. But now he needs just one—Julie Bartlett, the fiery redhead who'd once given him the hottest night of his life. Was she the mother who had left a baby on the Dalton doorstep? When a paternity test proves inconclusive, he needs Julie's DNA to determine if it is Alex or his twin brother who's now a father. But when Julie refuses to cooperate, Alex vows to tempt her into giving him everything he wants.

Good book.  I really liked Julie.  She was independent and very good at what she did.   She also didn't appreciate Alex accusing her of abandoning a baby.  She also realized she was still very attracted to him.  Alex basically blackmailed Julie into going to Oklahoma City for the week, not just for the DNA issue, but because he wanted her back in his bed.  As he got to know her, he realized that she was a woman he could spend a lifetime with.  He liked seeing her in her element, when talking about the business and mechanics of her flying.  Her flying abilities scared him, because she was so good at what she did.  Julie found herself falling for Alex, especially when she saw him with baby Molly, but felt really out of place in his world.  She also found that he tended to be pretty high-handed, which she did not appreciate.  It caused them big problems toward the end of the book, and required something of an attitude adjustment on his part.  I hope Blake gets a story.

One Reckless Summer - Toni Blake (Avon - June 2009)

Series: Destiny (Book 1) 

It's tough to play it cool on a sultry summer night . . .

The perfect daughter. The perfect prom queen. The perfect wife. Jenny Tolliver's been the good girl all her life, and it's gotten her nowhere. Now that her marriage has been busted up by her cheating ex, she's decided it's time to regroup and rediscover herself. This summer she's headed back to her hometown of Destiny, Ohio, to the very lakeshore cottage where she grew up, to figure out what life holds in store for her next.

She never dreamed the answer would be Mick Brody, Destiny's #1 hellraiser. He comes from the wrong side of the tracks (or in his case, the lake), and he's landed in hot water more times than he can count. He's exactly the kind of guy Jenny's always kept her distance from . . . but soon the good girl and the bad boy are caught in a raw heat that's out of control. Too bad Mick's got a secret that threatens to tear them apart and ruin Jenny's perfectly, passionately reckless summer . . .

Good book.  I really liked both Mick and Jenny.  Jenny had come back to Destiny, and wasn't sure what she wanted to do.  Her ex had done a number on her self-confidence, and she had slid back into that good girl role from when she was growing up.  That lasted until she ran into Mick again, and the heat between them burned bright and hard.  Because he was hiding out, he only came to visit Jenny after dark.  At first, it was all about the sex, but soon there was more between them.  Jenny started to feel more like the person she was meant to be, thanks to Mick's influence.  And Mick was better able to deal with his brother's illness when he had Jenny to go to.  I really liked the way they were together.  I loved the conclusion to the story.  I was also happy to see that Jenny's dad had his eyes opened.

Friday, February 17, 2012

The Inconvenient Laws of Attraction - Trish Wylie (HR #4302 - Mar 2012)

Laying down the law... Lawyer Olivia Brannigan has faced down some cool customers in her time. But latest client Blake Clayton takes emotional control to a whole new level. The man didn’t even bat an eyelid when he discovered he’d inherited a fortune from his estranged father! Blake doesn’t want guilt money – the only thing piquing his interest is the tough-talking, sweet-looking lawyer that comes with his new property portfolio. Dating on the job isn’t in Olivia’s ‘Guide to Good Client-Lawyer Relationships’, and it certainly doesn’t sit easily with her ‘no strings’ attitude… But aren’t rules always made to be broken?

Good book.  Blake really didn't want anything to do with his father's money or businesses.   He was very attracted to Olivia, and had no problem pursuing her, despite their professional relationship.  But he was just after sex -- he kept his emotions tightly bottled up.  Olivia wanted to do what was right for Blake, but was just as strongly attracted to him.  She also kept her emotions bottled up, due to an event from when she was a cop.  She thought she could keep their relationship to just sex, but found that she couldn't.  I really enjoyed the confrontation at the end -- it was a real wake-up call for Blake.

Thursday, February 16, 2012

Lilac Wedding in Dry Creek - Janet Tronstad (LI #691 - Mar 2012)

Series: Dry Creek (Book 22) 

When she ran away from the juvenile home she was raised in, Cat Barker left more than an unstable childhood behind. She also left her first love, Jake Stone. The two had more in common than anyone understood, but neither knew how to trust. Now Cat needs help, and there's only one person she can turn to - Jake, her daughter's secret father. Though Cat can see the tender man she once cared for, she still fears love and marriage. Until a daunting challenge renews her faith - and teaches them all a lesson about trust.

Good book.  Cat came looking for Jake because she needed him to look after their daughter if something happened to her.  Jake was surprised to see her and stunned at the news he was a father.  He was wary of marriage because of his father's abuse - he was afraid he'd be just like him.  But he wanted to do the right thing and take care of Cat and Lara.  He could also tell that Cat was holding something back from him.  It took almost losing her for Jake to realize he really needed them both in his life.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

The SEAL's Promise - Rebecca Winters (HAR #1387 - Jan 2012)

Series: Undercover Heroes (Book 1) 

Private Investigator Chaz Roylance lives by a code of honor: always be the protector, always tell the truth and never get involved with a client. But from the moment he meets Lacey Pomeroy, the former navy SEAL knows he's in deep. With death threats aimed at her and her three-year-old daughter, Lacey needs the P.I.'s protection...not romance.

Faking a whirlwind engagement to draw the stalker out only confuses their arrangement. How can Chaz resist such an intriguing woman and the red-haired angel who calls him her hero? Together, Chaz and Lacey set out to unmask the threat. But when an identity's revealed, will their pretend family become real...or will the fantasy be torn apart?

Very good book.  When Lacey started getting death threats against her and her daughter, she went to her boss.  He immediately hired Chaz to find out who was doing this and to protect Lacey and Abby.  I really liked Lacey.  Besides being brilliant, I loved her creativity with her book and her radio show - definitely different than the average romance heroine.  She was also a fantastic mother.  Chaz was very good at his job, and took the threats against Lacey very seriously.  He also found himself very attracted to Lacey, which never happened to him before with a client. Besides the attraction, he just enjoyed being with her and adored her daughter.  As the investigation went on, he found himself thinking more and more about what it would be like to have them permanently in his life.  But when the stalker's identity is revealed, Chaz is afraid that their future could never happen. 

The Reluctant Texas Rancher - Cathy Gillen Thacker (HAR #1394 - Mar 2012)

Series: Legends of Laramie County (Book 1) 

Three generations of Cartwright women have run the Four Winds cattle ranch, and Liz Cartwright is being pressed to keep the tradition going. But Liz wants to continue her legal practice in town, not spend her time working the land. She needs a man to do the heavy lifting!

Travis Anderson is also a big-city lawyer, claiming to be back in Laramie County with a desire to reconnect with his ranching roots. Only Liz isn't buying it. When it turns out her old flame is being sued for malpractice, Liz agrees to assist him in exchange for help around Four Winds. Now all she has to do is ignore the incredible chemistry she's always shared with the sexy cowboy.

The trouble is, if Liz helps Travis win his lawsuit, he'll leave the ranch—just as she's learning the benefits of having him around. What's a poor cowgirl to do?

Good book.  Liz likes being a lawyer.  She likes the ranch also, she just doesn't want to run the place.  Her family wants her to keep up the tradition and do that.  When Travis comes, they work out a deal where he helps on the ranch while she works on his defense.  They still have an intense chemistry, and can't help but give in to it.  But Liz is well aware that when he is able to go back to law, he could easily leave the ranch, and her, behind.  She'd been through that once before with him, and didn't want to do it again.  So she tried to protect herself and keep him at an emotional distance.  Travis knew he didn't want to go back to his old way of doing things - he wanted a home and family and a chance to do the ranching he also loves.  All he has to do is convince Liz to take a chance on them.

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Almost a Hometown Bride - Helen R. Myers (HSE #2171 - Feb 2012)

Recipe for Romance:
Take one mystery man...
Add the best baker in town...
And a dash of red-hot chemistry!

Cain Paxton's return to town caused quite a stir. And no wonder -- his brutal temper had landed him in jail! Merritt Miller vowed to stay far away from the loner and his bad reputation...even though she couldn't ignore the sparks hot enough to melt even a Montana snow.

But just as Cain had shuttered his heart when he was punished for a crime he didn't commit, Merritt's emotions were imprisoned by her secret past. The straight-as-an-arrow gal and the chip-on-his-shoulder rebel made an improbable couple -- with an intense attraction! Would Cupid bring them together just in time for Valentine's Day?

I really liked this book.  Merritt was quiet and hardworking and really sweet.  She loved her work at the diner, waitressing and doing the baking.  When Cain came back to town, she tried to stay away, but soon came to realize that he was not the bad man people said he was.  Cain did his best to keep a low profile, but couldn't see letting Merritt do all that walking if he could help.  He also started helping out at her house.  He worked very hard to turn his life around.  Thanks to Merritt, he also was able to reconcile with his grandfather.  I really liked the way the story concluded.