Fabulous news—the September 15 issue of Booklist (their annual romance issue) will feature eleven great reviews of upcoming romance and women’s fiction fall titles, including a STARRED review for Kiss of Steel by debut author, Bec McMaster (September). The reviewed titles are:
- Kiss of Steel by Bec McMaster (September, 9781402270277)
- In Rides Trouble by Julie Ann Walker (September, 9781402267161)
- Rev It Up by Julie Ann Walker (October, 9781402267185)
- Lady Louisa’s Christmas Knight by Grace Burrowes (October, 9781402268632)
- Savage Hunger by Terry Spear (October, 9781402266928)
- The Trouble with Highlander by Mary Wine (October, 9781402264740)
- Sultry with a Twist by Macy Beckett (October, 9781402270369)
- A Wedding in Apple Grove by C.H. Admirand (November, 9781402268991)
- From Notting Hill with Love… Actually by Ali McNamara (October, 9781402269486)
- A Walk in the Park by Jill Mansell (November, 9781402269943)
- A Royal Pain by Megan Mulry (November, 9781402269974)
Full reviews are pasted below, and will appear in the September15 issue of Booklist. There will also be other features and lists in this issue, so we should expect to see further coverage for some of our romance authors—and we know the big impact Booklist has on the library market. Congratulations!
BOOKLIST – SEPTEMBER 15, 2012 ISSUE
Kiss of Steel.
McMaster, Bec (Author)
Sep 2012. 448 p. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paperback, $6.99. (9781402270277).
Honoria Todd had a happy, comfortable life until her father was murdered. Now, six months later, she is desperately clinging to the illusion of respectability while at the same time taking care of her younger sister and brother. When Honoria loses her job teaching elocution, she has no choice but to accept the offer of Blade’s protection from her old nemesis, the Duke of Vickers. As the unofficial ruler of Whitechapel, Blade might share the same taste for blood as the Echelon, who live in the posh part of London, but his philosophy of life is nothing like that of the blue-blooded aristocrats who rule over the city. Discovering the secrets Honoria closely guards could provide Blade with the leverage he needs to finally bring down Vickers, but only if Blade’s unexpected love for Honoria doesn’t destroy them both first. Set in an exquisitely imagined, alternative late-nineteenth-century England, McMaster’s wildly inventive plot deftly blends elements of steampunk and vampire romance with brilliantly successful results. Darkly atmospheric and delectably sexy, Kiss of Steel is an extraordinary debut.
— John Charles
In Rides Trouble: Black Knights Inc.
Walker, Julie Ann (Author)
Sep 2012. 352 p. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paperback, $6.99. (9781402267161).
The second title in Walker’s Black Knights Inc. series features the relationship between Frank “Boss” Knight, a 39-year-old ex-SEAL, and Rebecca Reichart, whose custom motorcycle business is the front for their clandestine activities. Frank and Becky argue with each other all the time, not so subtly masking their mutual attraction from the rest of the group. When Becky is abducted by Somali pirates, however, Frank helps rescue her. Later, a pirate comes after her in Chicago to enact revenge, then leaves a hospital bed to do it again. In between these two events, he Frank comes to terms with the fact that he loves her. But Becky thinks he’s married, and it takes the second rescue attempt to straighten things out. Then someone named Snake appears, no doubt portending another installment in the series. One wonders how, with all the relentless sexual tension, any of Walker’s characters gets any work done. This tale is less tormented
but no less engrossing than Hell on Wheels (2012). Rev It Up is next.
— Mary K. Chelton
Rev It Up.
Walker, Julie Ann (Author)
Oct 2012. 352 p. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paperback, $6.99. (9781402267185).
Four years after he held her dying husband in his arms in an op gone bad in Afghanistan, former SEAL Jake Sommers is in Chicago, determined to pursue Michelle Carter at last. He is also joining the Black Knights special-ops group run by her brother under the guise of a motorcycle gang. Besides her reluctance to get involved with him again, because he reminds her too much of her womanizing father, an unfair comparison as it turns out, Michelle gets caught up in a revenge hit by a mobster who is after her brother. This means Jake has to save both her and someone he didn’t even know existed. Exciting, tense, and action packed, Walker’s latest sensual romantic suspense ties up some loose ends from In Rides Trouble (2012), the second book in the Black Knights series, and leaves some tantalizing loose ends for the next one.
— Mary K. Chelton
Lady Louisa's Christmas Knight.
Burrowes, Grace (Author)
Oct 2012. 384 p. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paperback, $7.99. (9781402268632).
Lady Louisa Windham is tired of society’s demanding seasons, and she knows that because of a secret youthful indiscretion, she will not marry. Rather than dance with likely fortune hunters, she enjoys talking with her brothers’ military friend Sir Joseph Carrington. Sir Joseph is embarrassed by his knighthood and wants only to find a wife who will be a mother to his two daughters and secret children. Her brothers ask Sir Joseph to keep an eye on Lady Louisa, then realize that they belong together, despite threatening notes and looming scandals. As Louisa and Joseph try to avoid gossip, love, and their inevitable marriage, Burrowes concocts a fun Regency Christmas romance to add to her sparkling Windham series (The Virtuoso, 2011). Humor, strong female characters, and fresh situations are hallmarks of this award-winning author, and readers will regret that there are only a few remaining Windham siblings. Fans of Amanda Quick and Loretta Chase will enjoy Burrowes.
— Amy Alessio
Spear, Terry (Author)
Oct 2012. 352 p. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paperback, $7.99. (9781402266928).
Spear has left the werewolves of her past novels (Dreaming of the Wolf,2011) and turned to felines. Connor Anderson and his twin sister, Maya, inherited the ability to transform into jaguars from their parents, the only other shifters they have ever known. In the Amazon, Connor uses both his jaguar and human abilities to save the life of steely army captain Kathleen McKnight. Obsessed with Kat, he returns to the Amazon a year later and is surprised to find that she has returned to the jungle in search of him and his “pet jaguar.” Kat and Maya become fast friends, and the attraction between Connor and Kat is irresistible, even in the face of Kat’s troubled past and Connor’s dual nature. The strength of Spear’s writing lies in her ability to keep the reader emotionally in tune with the characters despite the unfamiliar terrain of both the deep jungle and the supernatural elements. Spear’s lush descriptions of the Amazon, and a few tantalizing loose ends, will leave readers hungry for more time in paradise.
— Amber Peckham
The Trouble with Highlanders.
Wine, Mary (Author)
Oct 2012. 320 p. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paperback, $6.99. (9781402264740).
In fifteenth-century Scotland, Highland rulers cannot marry for love. In Wine’s sequel to The Highlander’s Prize (2012), heiress Daphne MacLeod and earldom heir Norris Sutherland understand this. Previously, Norris bedded Daphne as a favor when her fiancé wanted to marry another. The one-time deed shouldn’t have affected them, but although they burn with the memory, neither can act on their attraction. After Daphne’s clan has been attacked and left starving, she sees it as her duty to lead until her brother can take over. Norris’ father wants his son to make a politically advantageous marriage, bringing numerous potential brides for him to inspect. When Daphne is captured by a rival clan and Norris rescues her, she becomes a distraction as well as a rival for one determined bridal candidate. How can Norris persuade his father and their people that Daphne is the right woman for him? Wine’s crisp writing, intricate plot, and deep insights into clan politics make this a fun and satisfying read, even for those who aren’t Highlander fans.
— Pat Henshaw
Sultry with a Twist.
Beckett, Macy (Author)
Oct 2012. 320 p. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paperback, $6.99. (9781402270369).
June Augustine sells her condo and almost all of her worldly goods in order to become co-owner of Luquos, a martini bar in Austin, Texas. Everything is set for a splendid grand opening when June gets word that there’s an outstanding warrant for her arrest. She and Luke Gallagher, teens in love, were caught skinny-dipping by one of Sultry Springs, Texas’ finest. Now old charges of lewd conduct and indecent exposure hang over June’s head, and Sultry Springs’ wily judge has ordered her to stay and do community service before she can get back to the business of opening her bar. Since she’s already failed at mowing the lawn for the Holy Baptism by Hellfire Church, she’s left with her only other option: helping Luke fix houses. There’s lots of unabashed matchmaking going on in Sultry Springs, and there’s no way June and Luke can escape it. Beckett’s clever book is full of both humor and pathos and will appeal to readers of either bent.
— Shelley Mosley
A Wedding in Apple Grove.
Admirand, C. H. (Author)
Nov 2012. 352 p. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paperback, $6.99. (9781402268991).
In the first book in Admirand’s sexy and fun new series, Welcome to Apple Grove, Meg Mulcahy and her sisters run a home-repair business. Meg loves the small town of Apple Grove, Ohio. She has even kept up a relationship for years with her high-school sweetheart, getting together whenever he comes back to town. Then, at a friend’s wedding, she literally falls into Daniel Eagan’s arms. The new high-school coach is moving to be near his aunt in Apple Grove and trying to escape his old life after his fiancée ended up engaged to his best friend. Dan’s house needs repairs, but so does his heart, and he is scared of his feelings for Meg as their chemistry clicks and their encounters grow steamy. Recipes and vivid minor characters, including Meg’s friend Honey and her online-dating adventures, add to the enjoyable mix. Admirand’s series will be popular, especially with fans of Susan Wiggs and Janet Chapman.
— Amy Alessio
From Notting Hill with Love . . . Actually.
McNamara, Ali (Author)
Oct 2012. 432 p. Sourcebooks/Landmark, paperback, $14.99. (9781402269486).
McNamara’s fun tribute to the pictures, cinema lover Scarlett O’Brien doesn’t have anything to run from, exactly. She has a successful fiancé and a business she owns with her father. But lately, her tendency to daydream is worrying those closest to her. Scarlett’s friends and family agree that some time away from sleepy Stratford-upon-Avon could help bring Scarlett back to reality before her imminent wedding to David. Scarlett jumps at an opportunity to house-sit in posh Notting Hill, excited to prove that her love of movies isn’t a hindrance at all, because real life can be just like all her favorite romantic comedies. In London she quickly befriends her colorful neighbors and, before she knows it, loses count of the times her new life mimics a scene from Bridget Jones’ Diary or The Holiday. Complicating matters, however, is neighbor Sean, about whom Scarlett can’t decide how to feel and who helps her unravel the mystery of the mother she never knew. Readers will guess to the end and enjoy the sweet setting and abundant rom-com references.
— Annie Bostrom
A Walk in the Park.
Mansell, Jill (Author)
Nov 2012. 448 p. Sourcebooks/Casablanca, paperback, $14.00. (9781402269943).
In popular British comedic author Mansell’s latest, Lara Carson, who was forced out of her home at 16, has now returned to Bath after her father’s death. No one knew she was pregnant when she left, and now she and her teenage daughter, Gigi, take up residence in Lara’s childhood home. She picks right up where she left off with her best friend, Evie, who moves in with them after she breaks up with her philandering fiancé. Then there’s Lara’s first love, Flynn, Gigi’s unsuspecting father. What follows is a fun, lighthearted story about making a family of friends. Though Lara and Flynn’s rekindled romance is inevitable, it’s the sometimes bizarre departures Mansell concocts that make the story interesting. Take a side plot, for example, about the group’s unlikely friendship with a famous American rapper filming a reality show in Britain. Mansell excels at the ensemble romantic comedy, and her quirky but endearing characters shine once again.
— Aleksandra Walker
A Royal Pain.
Mulry, Megan (Author)
Nov 2012. 352 p. Sourcebooks/Landmark, paperback, $14.99. (9781402269974).
Career woman Bronte Talbott never intends for sexy Brit Max Hayworth to be anything other than her TM—transitional man. But as the Duke of Northrop, Max wasn’t raised to be the “love-’em-and-leave- ’em” type that has burned Bronte in the past. The two meet in a Chicago bookstore eight weeks before Max finishes his doctoral work and has to return to England to assume his title. Max is reluctant to reveal his lineage when he discovers that Bronte is obsessed with the royals, but the sudden death of his father reveals his secret, and Bronte realizes that it is she who will be making a transition. Mulry, a newcomer to the romance genre, moves between the perspectives of Max and Bronte with perfect timing, and their relationship is believable in its idiosyncrasies. Though the premise may be that of a fairy tale, the very human characters keep the plot fresh, funny, and engaging, with Mulry’s lavish descriptions of fashion an added bonus.
— Amber Peckham