Library Journal The day after Thanksgiving, with no job or boyfriend, Maddie Moore heads for tiny Lucky Harbor, WA, and the ocean-side resort that their free-spirited mother has willed to her and her two half-sisters. Reopening the inn would be perfect from Maddie's point of view, but her sisters are reluctant to tackle the major work required. Then the contractor she hires turns out to be the sexy motorcycle rider she practically ran off the road on her way into town-and the chemistry that sizzles between them wreaks havoc on her vow to give up men. Pithy, insightful quotes by the sisters' late mom beautifully set the tone for each chapter, making her a real part of the story; the sisterly dynamics among the three siblings in all their crazy glory are right on. Verdict Sassy, sexy, and full of lovable, sometimes quirky characters, this often hilarious novel has a few serious surprises, resulting in a delightfully satisfying story that lays groundwork for the next books in the series. Shalvis (The Heat Is On) lives near Lake Tahoe, NV. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Publishers Weekly In this heartwarming and sexy contemporary romance from bestseller Shalvis (Instant Temptation), Maddie Moore meets the man of her dreams, but must fight her inner demons to make it work. Maddie, straight out of an abusive relationship and unemployed, is trying to change "from mouse to tough girl." When she arrives at Lucky Harbor, Wash., to reunite with her two half-sisters and inspect the dilapidated inn inherited from their mother, Maddie nearly runs a handsome stranger off the road. Jax Cullen is the town's mayor, a master carpenter, and a passionate lover. He's willing to give Maddie everything if she can overcome her fear of men and vulnerability. A somewhat forced second half and overabundant telepathic eye contact are mitigated by an abundance of chemistry, smoldering romance, and hilarious sisterly antics. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
Publishers Weekly Music professor Brady launches into her romantic suspense debut with a woman's torture-murder at the hands of clever but crazy serial killer Chevy Bankes. Using the dead woman's phone, he calls Beth Denison, who is haunted by seven years of secrets and terror, and threatens Beth's daughter, Abby. As Bankes continues roaming the Seattle area and torturing women to death, Neil Sheridan, a burned-out ex-FBI agent, joins the investigation through a connection to one of Bankes's earlier murders. Beth and Neil share emotional damage and attraction, revealing their secrets at a lugubrious pace. Their mutual unmasking parallels the desperate dig for clues, but as they race to find Bankes, he invades Beth's home to lie in wait. Snappy dialogue, good police procedural details and twisty psychology create white-hot tension that thriller fans will love, overwhelming the slow, bare-bones romance. (July) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
Publishers Weekly Bestseller Gerard follows October's Show No Mercy with another fast-paced tale of romance amid flying bullets. After wily smuggler Fredrick Nader kills investigator Sam Lang's sister, Sam swears to quit Black Ops Inc. Then he learns that Vegas blackjack dealer Abbie Hughes could lead him to Nader's hideaway in Honduras. Sam's plan to seduce information out of Abbie backfires: they fall in love, while Nader kidnaps Abbie's brother, Cory. She heads south with the Black Ops boys, determined to rescue Cory and deal with Nader once and for all. Readers will especially love Abbie: skeptical of Sam after their first disastrous interaction, insistent on participating in the mission, horrified by the criminal world of blood and violence, utterly devoted once she opens her heart. Gerard's polished prose and zippy plotting will continue to satisfy her many fans. (Nov.) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Book list After her widowed mom marries again, high-school-senior Phoebe, a champion marathon runner, is furious that she has to move from California to a small Greek island where her stepdad is the school principal. The place completely bewilders her. Not only must she cope with her evil stepsister but she also discovers that the school is for the descendants of Greek gods, who have supernatural powers. When someone magically knots her Nikes, making her fall, she has plenty of suspects, including a gorgeous fellow runner and a vicious cheerleader. The blend of myth with contemporary jargon, IMs, and brand names makes for great comedy, especially given the wry first-person narrative, which recognizes the universals of geeks, nerds, cheerleaders, and jocks. Whether it's in the Hades harem or among the Zeus set, cliques and bullies are everywhere but so are friends, and family, and romance.--Rochman, Hazel Copyright 2008 Booklist
School Library Journal Gr 7 Up-Phoebe Castro is a distance runner who plans on winning a full-ride cross-country scholarship to USC with her two best friends. Then her mother returns from a family reunion abroad with a Greek fiance who runs a private school and announces that she and Phoebe will be moving to an island in the Aegean. The news gets worse as the teen arrives to find out that there is no scheduled ferry service from the island. To top off everything, she learns that every other student is descended from one or more Greek gods. Her new stepfather tells her that she cannot share this fact with anyone, for the safety of everyone on Serfopoula. Things seem to be looking up when she meets an absolutely gorgeous guy while running on the beach and, despite her lack of divine ancestry, she is granted a provisional place on the cross-country team. The IMs fly back and forth between Greece and southern California, magical hijinks abound, and classes and practice keep the protagonist busy. The story is part "Harry Potter," part Rick Riordan's The Lightning Thief (Hyperion/Miramax, 2005), and part shojo, and it will keep teens, particularly girls, reading to find out if Phoebe will finally fit in, get her crush, and make the team.-Eric Norton, McMillan Memorial Library, Wisconsin Rapids, WI Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Phoebe Castro's plans for her senior year undergo a radical makeover when her widowed mother returns early from a Greek vacation, engaged to a man she's just met and determined to whisk Phoebe off to the tiny Aegean island of Serfopoula, where her future stepfather runs the academy that Phoebe will attend. The twist: it's Plato's Academy, now filled with the descendants of the Greek gods and goddesses. Debut author Childs's creativity in manipulating mythology gives an otherwise familiar plot a fun, fresh update. The academy's cliques, for example, include the Zeus/Hera set (into "power, privilege, and partying"), the Poseidon crowd (surfers) and nerds, who descend from Hephaestus ("I think he's embarrassed by them," one student confides). Add the romantic island setting, snappy dialogue, boys as handsome as Adonis, a few conniving (but ultimately harmless) villains and a protagonist who is a hard-core athlete as much as a girl who squeals about the possibility of a date, and together they make an effervescent, fast-paced read. Ages 12-up. (May) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly This yummy lovefest from Gibson (after Tangled Up in You) focuses on a familiar dilemma: how to end bad luck in love. At 35, successful Idaho SFF novelist Adele Harris has had it with losers who make fun of her "big fat ass." She feels cursed--and she was, by old rival Devon Hamilton-Zemaitis, who stole Adele's first love, football star Zach Zemaitis. When Devon dies following an accident, she must remove the curse that's prevented Adele's happiness so she can go to heaven. Meanwhile, Adele gets a frantic call from older sister Sherilyn, who's divorcing her husband and has moved back to their old hometown of Cedar Creek, Tex.--where Zach now coaches high school football, and where Sherilyn needs help with her 13-year-old. Gibson keeps the action light but dead-on delicious in Adele's and Zach's sizzling second-chance-at love. (June) Copyright 2008 Reed Business Information.
Book list Adele Harris is reluctant to go anywhere near Cedar Creek, the west Texas town where she grew up, but when her pregnant sister's husband runs off with his assistant, she goes home to help. Adele left because sexy football player Zach Zemaitis, with whom she had a passionate relationship in college, married a society girl. She's now shocked to find out that Zach, retired from the NFL, is at home in Cedar Creek, coaching high-school football. Adele has sworn off men and dating, believing she's somehow cursed, but each time Adele and Zach come into contact with each other, it's obvious that the fire between them wasn't entirely doused. Will giving in to her feelings for Zach break her curse, or just extend it? And why are they still attracted to each other after so many years? Gibson's straightforward story of the one, and the one that got away, is wrapped in sexual tension so hot your palms will sweat.--Hatton, Hilary Copyright 2008 Booklist
Publishers Weekly Following a near-death experience, the owner of a vintage clothing store in Atlanta discovers that she can see dead people-and worse, hear them-in this sprightly but derivative series launch. When Nicki Styx awakens in the hospital after a heart attack, she doesn't intend to let her newfound heart defect cramp her funky style-but a series of close encounters with ghosts might, particularly her meeting with a murdered friend, Caprice, who seems intent on dragging Nicki into the voodoo underworld. On the plus side, the clinical interest of sexy emergency room doctor Joe Bascombe (who's researching near-death experiences) warms into a fascination with Nicki herself; he has more than a little trouble, however, accepting her otherworldly encounters. As threats to Nicki and her friends mount, lively writing may keep genre fans reading, but the episodic plot feels slight, and Nicki is frustratingly uninterested in her own backstory (for instance, Nicki is adopted, but shows little curiosity when Joe suggests his estranged wife might be Nicki's identical twin). (Sept.) Copyright 2007 Reed Business Information.
Book list Maggie's misadventures have entertained the gossips of Gideon's Cove for years, but at 32 she's getting frustrated with her lack of marital prospects. Accordingly, she embarks on a determined campaign, aided by the new priest in town, who is embarrassed by the crush she has developed on him, and by the members of her family, including her identical twin sister, who are only too eager to see her happily married. Fans of Janet Chapman's and Marcia Evanick's Maine-set contemporary romances featuring working-class people with complex lives and family issues will find many of the same elements in Higgins' second romantic comedy, starring a protagonist narrator who is a charmingly muddled, good-hearted, but impulsive and outspoken woman wanting desperately to settle down with Mr. Right. But since he is nowhere to be seen, she lavishes her attention on good works, her restaurant, her family, and her faithful golden retriever, while ignoring the one man who may just be her perfect match.--Welch, Lynne Copyright 2007 Booklist
Publishers Weekly False memory, an interesting if overly familiar plot device, forms the basis for the latest romantic thriller by Solomon (Blind Curve), an enticing read that shamelessly plants The Bourne Identity in the fertile soil of the current War on Terror. Margo Scott, owner of a small Washington, D.C., bookstore, awakens to find she can't remember the last month of her life. Worse, that same day she's questioned in the murder of Frank Temple, the deputy director of Washington's elite Terrorism Control Force, a man she swears she's never met. Soon Margo realizes she has no evidence of the normal life she knows-no photos, no contacts in her PDA-while evidence of a life she has no recollection of piles up, including her expert combat skills and a government tail named Jack Wise. With a suspicious Jack at her side, she must find out how and why her memories were falsified, who murdered Temple and what happened during her lost month. Solomon takes her time getting to the heart of the story, but once the action kicks in the pace picks up considerably. Despite a forced romance between Margo and Jack (standard-issue bickering included), Solomon's latest is twisty and diverting, with well-written action sequences and a winning lead. (Apr.) Copyright 2006 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly In the 20th fine volume of Roberts's futuristic mystery franchise, police lieutenant Eve Dallas is called in when lawyer Grant Swisher and his family are massacred with eerie skillfulness on the Upper West Side. The only survivor is 10-year-old Nixie, who evades-and witnesses-the killers as she creeps down to the kitchen for a midnight snack. Despite the painful memories of her own childhood that Nixie's presence calls up, Eve decides to hide the girl in the high-tech mansion she shares with her husband, billionaire businessman Roarke. With help from Roarke; her faithful sidekick, Peabody; and others, Eve discovers the existence of a shadowy former military operative with a grudge against Swisher-the lawyer helped the operative's battered wife divorce him right before she disappeared. The relatively early disclosure of the villain's identity and the dearth of other viable suspects dulls the suspense in the first half of the book, but tension escalates toward an absorbing denouement as a trap Eve sets for her target ends up with Nixie as its unintentional bait. Throughout, the series' colorful supporting cast and Eve's prickly personality-smartly showcased in her power struggles with everything from space-age vending machines to her own past-remain as vividly appealing as ever. Agent, Amy Berkower. (Jan.) Copyright 2005 Reed Business Information.
Book list Minerva Dobbs thought David Fisk might be the one she's been waiting for, until he dumps her three weeks before her sister Diana's wedding. Min soon realizes just how lucky she is to be rid of David when she overhears him at her favorite bar betting a handsome stranger, Calvin Morrisey, that Cal couldn't bed Min in a month. At first Min debates the idea of giving them both a piece of her mind, but then she remembers she still needs a date for the wedding. Why not use the all-too charming Cal just like he was going to use her, and then dump him? Of course, Min never expected that Cal might turn out to be the "one." A sturdy statistician who thinks Elvis Presley is the only man worth waiting for discovers that fairy tales can come true if you are only willing to believe. New York Times best-selling Crusie maintains her winning streak in another wickedly witty, deliciously sexy contemporary romance. Finding exactly the right balance between cynicism and optimism, Crusie deftly blends snappy dialogue; quirky, irrepressible secondary characters; and two beautifully matched protagonists struggling against their romantic fate. --John Charles Copyright 2003 Booklist
Library Journal Though short on plot and completely lacking in suspense, Crusie's latest (after Faking It) is still an entertaining story featuring a cast of immensely appealing characters and smart dialog. Min is on the rebound from David and searching for a date to take to her sister's upcoming wedding; Cal is on the rebound from his last girlfriend, who was pressuring him to set a wedding date. From the first chapter, it's obvious that these two will meet, date, and fall in love, but it's their journey toward happily-ever-after that will keep readers turning pages. Of course, there are numerous hilarious complications along the way: Min's sister is having cold feet as her wedding day gets closer, Min's mother is next to impossible, and Min herself is having trouble fitting into her bridesmaid dress. When one of Cal's business partners falls hard for Min's best friend, the stage is set for a series of coincidences, each more outlandish than one can imagine, as Min and Cal are forced together with predictable results. For readers who can't bear for the story to conclude, Crusie even goes so far as to add an epilog that condenses the next 20 years in the lives of her characters. Enthusiastically recommended for most collections of contemporary romance and women's fiction.-Margaret Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Minerva Dobbs's mother named her daughter after the Greek goddess. Yet Min, who's grown up to be a curvy woman who adores carbs, isn't quite a knockout beauty and, at 33, she shows no signs of getting married anytime soon. So when the dashingly handsome (god-like, in fact) Calvin Morrissey enters Min's life and starts pouring on the charm, she's skeptical. As well she should be-it appears Cal has a $10,000 bet with some of his drinking buddies that he can get Min into bed within a month. Statistics-loving Min knows about the bet and figures she can play Cal for a month, use him as a date for her sister's upcoming wedding and then dump him right before the month is up. Alas, destiny has different plans. As Min and Cal fall for each other, Crusie pulls out the pranks, repeatedly pushing the two together and then tearing them apart. A bubbly cast of characters alternately helps and hinders romance, including Cal's ex-girlfriend, a psychologist who studies relationships for a living; a matchmaking Italian chef; and Min's friend Liza, who'll stop at nothing to make sure Min doesn't wind up with the conniving Cal. It's all cutesy, corny, romantic fun, and Crusie (Fast Women; Faking It; etc.) has created a loveable character in Min. Although some readers will be sucked into Crusie's deliberate plot, others may cringe at its predictability. With multiple references to Chicken Marsala, Krispy Kreme donuts and Midwestern brats (a fine contrast to Min's compulsively thin-thinking mother), Crusie's latest should delight romance readers with a penchant for sinful foods. (On sale Feb. 10) Forecast: With ads running on television and in the New York Times and Glamour, a Book Sense mailing, advance reading excerpts distributed at regional trade shows and at RWA, plus a national author tour, Crusie's latest has a good shot at landing on bestseller lists. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly A dark secret keeps Chicago assistant state's attorney Kristen Mayhew as tightly wound as the springy red curls she works to pin down. Meals at the nearby diner, sleepless nights renovating her empty house and days in court where the bad guy more often than not doesn't face justice make up her life-until she finds the bodies of three criminals she failed to convict in the trunk of her car. Each dead body comes accompanied by a sinister letter, the writer informing "Dearest Kristen" that justice has been done on her behalf. An unusual twist for a suspense novel, to be sure, but because the murderer preys on rapists, gang members and pedophiles, Rose's trademark tentacles of fear never fully extend (as they did in her earlier books, Don't Tell and Have You Seen Her). Instead, this book's greatest strength lies in the romance between Kristen and handsome detective Abe Reagan, who's still reeling from the death of his wife. Abundant side characters, including Abe's entire jovial clan, clutter the plot and diminish the story's tension, especially when minor players suddenly step forward to play major roles. But readers will appreciate Rose's sensitive portrayal of Kristen's hesitancy to trust and Abe's gentle perseverance in uncoiling the vibrant woman within. Agent, Karen Solem at Spencerhill Assoc. (Oct.) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.
Book list There is no shortage of bad luck in Wanda Lane's life. She loses her advertising sales job while she is in the hospital recuperating from a head injury. Her abusive and drunken ex-husband has been leaving threatening messages, and she can't get a phantom tune out of her head. Yet she is not exactly a sympathetic character. A litany of bad breaks has left her spiteful and complaining. Even so, Wanda manages to attract the attention of a handsome, widowed lawyer who only wants to protect her, but before she lets herself fall in love, she needs to get her life in order. A bizarre want ad lands her a new friend (and unofficial therapist), and with her help, Wanda decides to do something meaningful. Readers will warm to Wanda as she mends broken relationships, finds a fulfilling job, and learns to open her heart. First-time author Rich has managed to skillfully blend serious topics with humor, and readers will love her for it. --Aleksandra Kostovski Copyright 2004 Booklist
Publishers Weekly Set in and around rural Woodsboro, Md., a small town drawn with affection and familiarity, Roberts's latest is the literary equivalent of a big delicious meal whipped up by a talented home cook. She offers a dash of exoticism and innovation-a Neanderthal settlement is discovered on the site of an unwanted housing development, prompting gorgeous young archeologist Callie Dunbrook to race to Woodsboro to take charge of what promises to be the dig of her career. After dollops of detail about archeological work, Roberts dishes up huge servings of comfort food, and it is all the more satisfying for being so straightforward. When the owner of the Antietam Creek development turns up murdered on the site, Callie is thrown into closer contact than she'd like with her ex-husband, who also happens to be the anthropologist sharing responsibility for the dig. Jacob Greystone is a hunk-"long bones, long muscles, all covered in bronzed skin...." Meanwhile, Suzanne Cullen, the hugely successful proprietor of a Mrs. Field's-like baked-goods business, tracks down the archeologist after seeing her on the evening news. Callie, the woman claims, is the baby daughter who was snatched from her stroller when she was just a few months old. Callie hires a beautiful young lawyer, Lana Campbell, who happens to be involved with Doug Cullen, Callie's long-lost brother. Another murder, arson and attempted murder heat up the chase until all the young lovers are drawn in. As in other delectable entertainments by Roberts, it is not the wild denouement but the pursuit itself-studded with scrumptious romantic encounters-that is the real dessert. Expect the usual huge sales. Author tour. (Apr.) Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal Archaeologist Callie Dunbrook is excited to be overseeing a new dig, but with the site rumored to be cursed, her ex-husband hanging around, and a stranger suggesting that he knows all about her past, things aren't altogether rosy. Despite the pub date, the book will surface in late March. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Book list The discovery of 5,000-year-old bones in a development site in Maryland lures archaeologist Callie Dunbrook away from her sabbatical to head up the excavation team, but once she finds out the team's head anthropologist is her ex-husband, Jacob "Jake" Graystone, Callie is ready to quit. The project already faces difficulties with local residents, who are split between those who favor continuing with the development and those who want to preserve the area as a historic site. When a local TV news station interviews Callie about the project, it brings Suzanne Cullen to her doorstep claiming that Callie is her long-lost daughter, Jessica, who was kidnapped from a shopping mall 29 years ago. No trace of her daughter was ever found, but Suzanne never gave up hope that one day Jessica would return. Convinced that Callie is really her child, Suzanne forces Callie to look into her own past, but the answers Callie finds not only surprise her but also attract the interest of someone who does not want anyone digging into the past. With its compelling, realistically flawed hero and heroine, whose clever banter is spiced with just the right amount of acerbic wit, and a sleek plot that unwinds to a wonderfully satisfactory conclusion, RITA award^-winning, New York Times best-selling Roberts' latest combination of romance and suspense is pure reading magic. John Charles
Library Journal Someone's chasing Laine Tavish-and why not? She used to be Elaine O'Hara, daughter of a dangerous con man, and now she needs the help of a seductive stranger to save herself. Roberts and alter ego Robb join forces. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal Part 1 of this engaging novel (written by Roberts) offers a typical Roberts heroine. Attractive and quirky, Laine Tavish owns a small antique gift shop called Remember When. After a man is accidentally killed outside her shop, Laine is dismayed to realize he was her uncle. She has spent a good deal of energy keeping her family's unsavory criminal history a secret and is unsure and more than a little uneasy about why her uncle was coming to her shop. Hunky insurance investigator Max Gannon, who had been tailing the uncle for his own reasons, soon switches his attention to Laine. An engaging dog named Henry, Laine's heart-of-gold con-man father, Max, and a stash of diamonds, all intertwine with just the right amount of humor and snappy one-liners to propel the story to an ending with just a few loose ends. Part 2 of this novel (written by alter ego Robb) pushes us into the future. New York City police detective Eve Dallas is investigating a case with ties all the way back to Laine and Max, now grandparents, married some 50 years. It's their granddaughter Samantha who is involved with the same disappearing gemstones. Roberts's gimmick of combining these two stories works fairly well. Readers of Roberts's contemporary stories and fans of her futuristic Eve and Roarke novels will love getting two books for the price of one. Essential for all public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 7/03.]-Margaret Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Book list New York Times best-selling, RITA award-winning Nora Roberts teams up with her pseudonymous writing personality, J. D. Robb, in this sexy, suspenseful novel centered on a fortune in stolen diamonds. Roberts begins things in present-day Maryland, where Laine Tavish, owner of an antiques and collectibles store, finds her attempts to erase any connection to her con-man father, Jack O'Hara, threatened when one of her father's business associates shows up and is killed in an automobile accident. Her father's involvement in a diamond heist brings not only a cold-blooded murderer to Laine's door but also insurance investigator Max Gannon, who won't rest until he finds the missing jewels. Robb adds a new twist to the tale 50 years in the future when Laine's granddaughter, Samantha Gannon, writes a best-selling book about the diamonds. The murder of Samantha's house-sitter brings Lieutenant Eve Dallas on the scene in search of a killer who will do anything to possess the sparkling stones. Robert's latest is another addictive blend of scintillating prose and sharply etched characters that will dazzle and delight her devoted readers. --John Charles Copyright 2003 Booklist
Publishers Weekly A perfect marriage of sensuality and suspense, this sparkling new offering from Roberts (Birthright, etc.) and her alter ego, Robb (Imitation in Death, etc.) takes readers on a two-part journey-first to the quaint burg of Angel's Gap, Md., and then to New York City, 56 years in the future. A multimillion-dollar diamond heist connects the two halves and fuels the first story, which focuses on the romance between sexy PI Max Gannon, who's working for the company that insured the diamonds, and smalltown antiques dealer Laine Tavish, daughter of a notorious thief. Laine has worked hard to overcome her heritage, but when her father's best friend is killed outside her shop, she becomes the target of a ruthless killer who thinks she has her father's share of the take. Because the story skips ahead in time, Max and Laine have little time to explore their affection for each other, but Roberts still manages to make their whirlwind romance both believable and charming. A nerve-shattering encounter between Laine and the villain shows Laine to be as capable and crafty as Lt. Eve Dallas, who's the driving force behind the novel's second half. Set in the year 2059, the continuation finds Eve on the trail of a murderer who's after the diamonds that were never recovered from the decades-old heist. Though the identity of the criminal is apparent midway through, Eve's charismatic personality and colorful crew-including her former thief husband, Roarke, and her partner, Peabody-keep the energy level high. A true master of her craft, Roberts has penned an exceptional tale that burns with all the brilliance and fire of a finely cut diamond. (Sept. 15) Forecast: Putnam is supporting this book with a $3-million marketing campaign, which will give it plenty of muscle to fight for the #1 spot with big September releases from Mitch Albom and John Grisham. Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information.
Library Journal Home for the first time in years for her sister's holiday wedding, Noelle McDowell is forced to face Thom Sutton, the man who jilted her when they were both teenagers. Complicating matters is the longstanding feud between their mothers, which, although it will likely seem silly and shallow to most readers, is actually at the root of Noelle and Thom's problems. Fans will likely demand this light, little Christmas hardcover romance by one of the genre's favorites, especially if they enjoy sweet, contemporary romances of the Americana variety. Macomber (Between Friends) lives in Port Orchard, WA. Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Prolific, bestselling romance novelist Macomber offers fans a stocking stuffer for the Christmas season. Twenty-eight-year-old workaholic Noelle McDowell takes a rare vacation from her high-powered computer company in Dallas to come home to smalltown Rose, Ore., for the holidays and help plan her sister's wedding. Noelle hasn't been to Rose in 10 years-ever since her high school sweetheart jilted her. Theirs was a secret romance because their mothers, one-time best friends, had long been engaged in a bitter feud that began when Sarah McDowell borrowed Mary Sutton's antique tea service and never returned it. A silly popcorn-throwing incident at the movies brings Noelle and her ex, Thom-now a handsome executive at a prosperous startup-together again. They discover they're still in love. But will their warring families ruin their second chance for happiness? Their mothers, coincidentally assigned to the same volunteer job-filling Christmas baskets for the needy-begin their charity mission with a vicious toy-throwing fight at a local mall. Will an accident during an ice storm provide an occasion for their reconciliation? There aren't exactly any hairpin plot turns in this formulaic, feel-good, PG-rated contemporary romance. Still, the mom-against-mom catfight adds a dash of hilarity to this lightweight confection. The good, clean holiday fun should satisfy Macomber's fans. (Oct.) Forecast: The Christmas Basket doesn't shoot as high as The Last Noel (see above), but the price is even nicer. This is a good bet for point-of-purchase sales. Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Book list The one person Noelle McDowell doesn't want to see when she returns home for the first time in 10 years to celebrate Christmas with her family is her old boyfriend Thomas "Thom" Sutton. Noelle wants nothing to do with Thom, who once promised to elope with her, only never to show up. When their mothers, once best friends and now feuding enemies, are thrown together in a charity project, Noelle discovers what really happened between Thom and herself and how much she still loves him. An old friendship torn apart by a bitter feud and a young romance cast aside due to a misunderstanding are both given another chance in this sweet traditional romance that celebrates the power of love and friendship.
Publishers Weekly Acts of thievery ultimately lead to justice in the wildly prolific Roberts's latest romantic suspense novel. The little silver statues representing Greek mythology's Three Fates are an art collector's dream: they're extremely valuable individually, but priceless as a trio and legend has it that when put together, they endow their owner with power over destiny. When a German U-boat torpedoes the Lusitania in 1915, petty burglar Felix Greenfield is in the midst of purloining one of the Fates from a first-class stateroom. Felix survives the ship's sinking and vows to reform. Flash to the present, in which three of Felix's descendants calculating Malachi, slick Gideon and intelligent Rebecca Sullivan have just had their Fate stolen by Anita Gaye, a ruthless and menacing antiques dealer. Vowing to recover Felix's statue, the three siblings depart Ireland to search the globe, finding love along the way with a pan-phobic Greek scholar, a stripper and a security expert. Like the Three Fates, the six principals learn that they will only be powerful enough to defeat Anita if they can operate as a single unit. Though it's a slick, snappy read, this character-heavy sudser is far from Roberts's best. She uses the words "three" and "fate" so often that the repetition becomes comic, the siblings' exotic globe-trotting amounts to little more than location name-dropping and Anita, a villainess of Cruella de Vil proportions, is a caricature rather than a character. But Roberts has been so popular, and for so long, that her legion of fans will undoubtedly forgive her for this one while eagerly awaiting her next. (Apr.) Copyright 2002 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal When the Lusitania sinks, a chastened thief onboard takes one last prize a silver statue. But when the statue is stolen in turn from his heirs, they are out for blood. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal Legendary in the art world, three small silver statues depicting the Greek Fates were said to possess incredible powers, and if ever found would be worth a fortune. One, thought to have sunk with the Lusitania, winds up as an Irish family heirloom, but when a treacherous American gallery owner steals it from Malachi Sullivan, Mal, together with his brother, Gideon, and his sister, Rebecca, sets out to get it back and beat the dealer to the other two statues. Malachi's search sends him to author Tia Marsh, a respected authority on mythology who, along with stripper Cleo Toliver and securities expert Jack Burdett, holds the keys to the missing statues. Roberts's latest is another of her patented blends of passion and danger seasoned with tart wit. Watching prim, neurotic, scholarly Tia develop a taste for adventure is just one of the joys in reading this marvelously entertaining romance. A member of the Romance Writers of America Hall of Fame, Roberts lives in Keedysville, MD. John Charles, Scottsdale P.L., AZ Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Book list Radford Grayson had finally come home to Fredonia, expecting to care for his young daughter alone since her mother abandoned them both, and to join his brothers in the family lumber-milling business. Instead, his brother Kyle, who had taken over running the mill during the war, prefers that Radford help Kyle's fiancee, Evelyn Tucker, with her family's livery business. Radford reluctantly agrees, never expecting to fall in love with the woman destined to wed his brother. Two emotionally wounded, vulnerable people are driven by honor to resist their attraction to one another only to find that true love is worth paying any price. Lindstrom's superbly written, beautifully poignant debut romance has a wonderful emotional richness and depth of characterization that will appeal to readers who love authors like Lorraine Heath and Maggie Osborne. --John Charles
Library Journal Take a widowed First Lady on the run, add a discredited journalist looking for a story, toss in a pair of intriguing orphaned sisters for good measure, and you have the unlikely ingredients for another of Phillips's brilliant romantic romps, deftly combining laughter and love with real women's issues and served up with a sophisticated flair. Creative plotting adds sparkle, and entertaining, well-drawn secondary characters round out the novel, but it is the growing, healing relationship between the protagonists and how they finally form a family that touches the heartstrings and makes this contemporary romance an unforgettable read. A past master at taking a startling but just believable premise and making it work, Phillips (Lady Be Good) has won several RITA awards and lives in the Chicago area. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal Roberts has firmly established herself as one of the major stars of the romance genre, yet this novel is darker, more serious, and more pensive than most of her previous work. It's the story of Tory Bodeen, a young woman haunted by the murder of her childhood friend years ago. Tory's own childhood suffered from a deplorable lack of love and kindness. At the mercy of her ruthless father, who routinely beat her, Tory found brief solace with her friend Hope Lavelle. After Hope's unsolved murder, Tory grew up, left home, worked hard, and now financially independent has returned to her birthplace to open a small gift shop and try to put the memories of the past to rest. When another young woman in the town is brutally murdered, Tory realizes her premonition that the killer is still at large is horrifyingly true. Although Tory's romance with Hope's brother, Cade, takes second place to the childhood grief and trauma that imbue the plot with atmosphere and foreboding, fans are unlikely to be disappointed. Roberts develops her many characters thoughtfully, builds suspense, and gives readers a satisfying if somewhat surprising ending. Essential for public libraries. [Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 11/1/99.]--Margaret Ann Hanes, Sterling Heights P.L., MI Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Doyenne of the bestseller lists, Roberts (River's End) may have achieved her personal best in this tense Southern gothic. As atmospheric and unsettling as a Tennessee Williams play, the story takes us into the gifted mind and troubled soul of visionary Tory Bodeen, whose childhood in Progress, S.C., was marked by her father's beatings, her mother's passivity and, when she was eight, the rape and strangulation of her best friend, Hope Lavelle. Now 26, still haunted by Hope's unsolved murder and memories of an unsettling experience in New York City, to which she fled at age 18, Tory returns to Progress after a quiet four-year stint in Charleston. Although profoundly ambivalent about her psychic ability to connect with other minds, she knows she'll never find peace until she uses her unsettling skill to find the murderer. And by opening a shop full of beautiful objects, she wants to show Progress that she's more than the bruised spawn of despicable Hannibal and Sarabeth Bodeen. She doesn't reckon on being swept off her feet by Hope's older brother, Cade, or by making an enemy and then a fine friend of Hope's twin, Faith. Nor could she have imagined that she would stumble on a chain of past murders seemingly linked to Hope's death. The mystery heats up as a wave of new murders sweeps Progress, but the increasingly intricate plot developments never overwhelm the human element. Roberts--again like Williams- seems disgusted only by unkindness; she treats most of her big cast with affection and compassion for their foibles. Cade doesn't yield an inch to his mother's snobbish contempt for Tory, and the complicated Tory is allowed to hate her own mother and wish her father a painful death: there are no saccharine reconciliations here. Even when a few over-the-top sex scenes and hackneyed phrasings slip in, Roberts's witty dialogue and moody descriptions soon counteract them. This is romantic drama at its best. 400,000 first printing; Literary Guild Main selection; author tour. (Mar.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
Library Journal Tory's only hope throughout a desolate childhood was her friend HopeÄwho was brutally murdered. Years later, when she finds herself falling for Hope's older brother, the killer starts stalking again. Copyright 1999 Cahners Business Information.
Publishers Weekly Setting her story in Salvation, N.C., Phillips adeptly develops the theme of love's healing power. Broke and desperate to provide a better life for her son, gutsy Rachel Stone ends up in Salvation when her car breaks down. She knows the place?even worse, they know her as the widow of G. Dwayne Snopes, a televangelist who fled stealing millions. Luckily, Gabe Bonner, who owns a drive-in theater where Rachel asks for work, seems to be the only person who doesn't recognize her right off. Rachel's proud mettle distracts Gabe from the grief of his own tragic loss, but enemies strike out at Rachel, while Gabe's brothers mount a family defense against the gold-digging widow. Phillips (Heaven, Texas) digs deep to expose weaknesses and strengths in the psyche and faith of her characters. The result is a book that is touching, funny, sexy and humane.(Feb.)
Book list Caroline Grayson is a brilliant, independent nineteenth-century woman whose true passion is botany. Denied her dreams of studying at Oxford University because of her gender, she is also prevented from putting her auxiliary plan of attending New York University into action when her father compels her to marry the mysterious and sullen earl of Weymerth, Brent Ravenscroft. They both enter into the marriage with visions of personal gain. Brent wants to get his horses back from Caroline's father, who bought his estate while he was away at war. Caroline wants to annul the marriage, thus gaining the freedom to sail to the U.S. and achieve her dream of becoming a world-class botanist. But their hearts have other ideas. Caroline gradually realizes that her husband means as much to her as her flowers and that his unconventional respect for her intelligence represents a form of freedom her peers can only vaguely imagine. Ashworth's smart dialogue, complex characters, and complicated plot twists make this debut novel a joy to read. --Alexandra Baker
Library Journal Lonely, single, and 34, brainy physicist Jane Darlington is determined to have a baby?even if she has to pretend to be a hooker (and a "birthday present" for football star Cal Bonner) to do it. She doesn't expect, however, that her quarterback is a whole lot smarter than Jane had hoped, definitely more honorable than she had expected, and simply won't take no for an answer. Although the initial premise (while funny) is a stretch, the protagonists are strong and appealing and draw the readers into a sensual, heartwarming story that is graced with some interesting secondary characters, including a savvy backwoods grandmother with ideas of her own. Phillips (Kiss an Angel, Avon, 1996) lives in the Chicago area.
Publishers Weekly Roberts's second installment in her Born In trilogy (after Born in Fire) takes the reader back to Ireland, where Brianna Concannon uncovers some unexpected and disturbing details about her deceased father. While trying to turn the attic of her bed-and-breakfast into another guest room, Brianna finds a stock certificate from a nonexistent company called Triquarter Mining?no great surprise, as the elder Concannon had always had a weakness for worthless ventures. More surprising is a set of old, passionate love letters written to her father 28 years before by a woman who was not Brianna's mother. This discovery is overshadowed by the arrival of famed mystery novelist Grayson Thane, who is to be her guest?and her lover (at least until his next novel is finished). The scope of Roberts's latest offering is limited to Brianna's and Gray's affair, leaving the reader impatient about fleeting references to footprints outside Brianna's window and a messy break-in at the B&B. Still, the pace of the book is smooth and even, and the writing captures the charisma and earthy charm of Ireland and the gentleness of its people while setting the tone for Born in Shame, the final story. (Aug.
Library Journal Cool, capable, and thoroughly domestic, Brianna Concannon welcomes American mystery writer Grayson Thane to her County Clare bed-and-breakfast, never dreaming that she and this footloose, homeless-by-choice stranger could ever have anything in common, let alone fall in love. But they do-and then must come to terms with their separate pasts before they can put the future in perspective. This latest solid contemporary love story by Roberts is the second in her Irish trilogy (after Born in Fire, Jove, 1994). [Roberts lives in Keedysville, Md.]