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.
Psychic counselor Gwen Frazier is drawn back to tiny Wilby, OR, by an email from her mentor, paranormal researcher Dr. Evelyn Ballinger. When Gwen arrives to find Evelyn dead on the office floor, she knows Evelyn didn't die naturally--the ghost in the mirror and her own uncanny ability to sense violent death tell her that much--but proving it is another matter. Suspecting a link between this murder and a series of deaths two years earlier and now a suspect herself, Gwen reaches out to psychic investigator Judson Coppersmith for help and gets love in the bargain. A lethally talented heroine haunted by the past; a powerful, enigmatic hero with issues of his own; and a complex, multifaceted plot that takes fans into a mind-bending dreamscape maze result in another winner from the consistently creative Krentz. VERDICT With walk-off-the-page characters, crackling sexual tension, swift pacing, and the author's trademark sassy humor, this wonderfully inventive high-stakes adventure will whet fans' appetites for more. Krentz (Copper Beach) lives in Seattle.[Page 72]. (c) Copyright 2012. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.
Krentz returns to the world of her sexy psi investigators in a strong sequel to Copper Beach (2012). Judson Coppersmith's innate psychic gifts allow him to detect resonance from violent events and sense the emotions of a killer's mind. Gwen Frazier is a dream counselor who reads auras and translates the psychic resonance of violent deaths into visions of ghosts. When Gwen's mentor is murdered with a paranormal weapon, Gwen turns to the Coppersmiths for help, giving her a chance to explore her compelling lust for Judson. Krentz balances the protagonists' mutual attraction with their insecurities; Judson, who is fighting nightmares of a traumatic event, fears being viewed as a potential client, and Gwen worries her contagious dreams will ruin this relationship as it has others. The triple twists in the murder case make the plot convoluted and tedious, but a long denouement gives the characters a chance to build a real relationship after the threats of violence are gone. (Jan.)[Page ]. Copyright 2012 PWxyz LLC