Kat Murray offers a feel-good contemporary Western romance in Taking the Reins. Peyton Muldoon loves her family ranch above all else, and she is working hard to get it back on its feet, despite the pressure she feels as a woman in a man’s world. There’s also the memory of her dead mother to battle. The shallow woman’s choices—including her affair with the nasty character she hired as a horse trainer—nearly destroyed Peyton’s legacy. But Peyton has kicked the bad guy out, and she rejoices when the best man for the job becomes available. Red Callahan has an impeccable reputation as well as a penchant for taking on only short-term assignments . . . but Peyton’s determination gets under Red’s skin and has him rethinking the appeal of putting down roots. Will Peyton let him get close, or is she too stubborn to see that she’s nothing like her mother? Well-detailed and spiced with a touch of suspense, this sexy read goes down easy.
A GILDED AFFAIR
The Husband List by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly is a historical romance spiced with a dash of intrigue. In 1894, American heiress Caroline Maxwell is being pressured by her mother to marry into the English aristocracy. She has managed to frighten off titled men before, but now that Lord Bremerton is to arrive in America, Caroline’s mother is determined that her daughter will be his bride. Caroline, however, longs for independence and adventure, and she sees a way to both in her brother’s handsome best pal, brash Irish-American Jack Culhane. Though Jack enjoys his bachelor status, Caroline is making marriage sound better by the minute. The two fall in love, but it may prove impossible to overcome maternal expectations and the unsavory Lord Bremerton’s resolve to have Caroline as his wife. Details of Newport mansions, Worth gowns and a transatlantic ocean voyage infuse this gently sensual and sparkling story of childhood friends becoming so much more. A frothy tale of Gilded Age fun.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
A paranormal adventure brings romance into the lives of two people with special talents in Dream Eyes by Jayne Ann Krentz. Psychic counselor Gwen Frazier is accustomed to talking to ghosts, but she feels an urgent jolt when the spirit of her mentor starts communicating. Gwen’s slain friend was part of a research group that was stalked two years before—some of the members were murdered—and she knows it’s time to get to the bottom of these crimes. Sent to her aid in the small Oregon town is Judson Coppersmith, a psychic investigator. Gwen and Judson had met once before, though in spite of their mutual attraction they didn’t pursue romance; Judson hadn’t felt ready for a relationship. When Judson and Gwen inevitably fall into bed after their reunion, they tell themselves they’re only working off the stress of their sleuthing. But their attachment only grows—not to mention their worry that they might not live to experience a future together. Imaginative and exciting, this tale will have readers guessing (and second-guessing) their way to its conclusion.
New York City in 1894 is a beautifully gilded cage for American heiress Caroline Maxwell. Love, respect, and independence of mind are essential to her dream of a happy future, but they have no place in her mother's single-minded pursuit of a prestigious match for Caroline. Wealthy but without status, Jack Culhane has finally noticed Caroline as more than the sister of his friend, but he finds himself up against establishment snobbery, a titled Englishman, and his own reluctance to wed. When a rival threatens Caroline, the pair must work together or a life could be lost. Readers will find plenty to enjoy in this loosely connected prequel to Love in a Nutshell, also coauthored by New York Times best-selling authors Evanovich and Kelly; both novels feature Culhane men building their ever-expanding beer-brewing empire. VERDICT This feisty heroine and her marriage-averse suitor create impressively entertaining fireworks whenever they meet. The diverse, likable cast of supporting characters adds a layer of interest to a fast, fun novel. A little drama, numerous laugh-out-loud moments, and passionate kissing scenes will make this a sure bet for older teens and fans of Mary Balogh or Marion Chesney. [See Prepub Alert, 7/22/12.]--Stacey Hayman, Rocky River P.L., OH[Page 61]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
The first historical romance by Evanovich and Kelly (Love in a Nutshell) shines with the glitter of New York City in "the advanced year of 1894." American heiress Caroline Maxwell doesn't want much in life, just independence and passion in a marriage. But that's too much to ask of high society, especially as her mother is set on marrying her off to a mysterious English duke. Caroline prefers her brother's close friend Jack Culhane, who's in no hurry to wed and doesn't fit her mother's idea of a husband. The authors paint a clear picture of the luxurious lives of the ultra-wealthy: cycling in Central Park, scampering around Newport's Cliff Walk, and taking tea in London's finest drawing rooms. Whether running away from her governess or from the duke, captivating Caroline maintains her feisty streak, and her straightforward character is fully fleshed out with intelligence and humor. Caroline's romantic kisses with Jack produce more sexual tension than most bodice-rippers, and an older couple's rekindled romance adds a sweet touch. (Jan.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC