Welcome to Cozy Jo's Romance Review blog. This is where you'll find reviews and discussions on historical or contemporary romance books and maybe a few other bits and bobs thrown in for good measure.
So come on in, sit down and find yourself a good romance book to read.

Saturday, 29 December 2007

Mine Till Midnight by Lisa Kleypas

Wonderful start to a new series
5 stars

Amelia Hathaway is determined to keep her colourful younger sisters and wastrel elder brother in line – especially since they have recently come into an unexpected title and inheritance. Things are going somewhat to plan until a chance encounter with half-gypsy Cam Rohan in London.

When the pair meet again in Hampshire, neither can deny the sparks that fly but getting involved would be disastrous for both of them. But sometimes fate has other things in mind and as Amelia battles with a multitude of problems – it’s her feelings for Cam that seem to be the biggest problem of all.

This is the start of a new series of regency set romances presumably focussing on the Hathaway family. As well as that, this book nicely ties into the Wallflower series of books with a story for Cam Rohan – the manager from Jenner’s gaming club which appeared in many of those books.

This story was typical Lisa Kleypas with deep, meaningful emotions, hot sex scenes and love that conquers all. Cam was wonderful as the hero – strong and arrogant yet also mysterious and tender. And Amelia was a perfect heroine for him – determined to make sure her family were cared for and just as determined not to lean on anyone. The chemistry leapt off the page between the pair. The secondary characters were also well described and I am looking forward to reading their books in the future. And it was lovely to see Lillian and Marcus (from It Happened One Autumn) making an appearance.

As this was part of a series – there were plenty of things that were left hanging such as Cam’s mysterious tattoo, the relationship between sister Win and the servant Merripen etc. But I really can’t complain as they weren’t integral to this particular book’s plot and it just makes me excited for the next book in the series.

If you’re a fan of Lisa Kleypas or if you like your romances well-written with plenty of heat and emotion then I’m sure you will enjoy this book. An excellent read and definitely worth 5 stars.

Thursday, 13 December 2007

Baby, It's Cold Outside by Cathy Yardley

Slow paced and sexy Blaze romance
4 Stars

Jet-setting Colin Reese escaped from small town Tall Pines as soon as he was able - but not without setting a few tongues wagging before he left. But now, years later, rumour has it that he is home for the holidays. And he is desperate for something only sweet, wholesome Emily Stanfield - the town's golden girl - can provide: a room at her inn.

But Emily is bored with her wholesome reputation and is determined that, as a present to herself for Christmas, she will indulge in a sexy, delicious holiday fling. Colin is the perfect candidate - but what will happen when their night of passion is over and everyone in the small town is gossiping about the bad-boy and the town sweetheart? But Colin and Emily soon decide that they aren't quite finished scandalising the town.

I do enjoy a story when a good girl and a bad boy find they are perfect for each other - and this story didn't disappoint.

Emily is, despite being from a small-town, not as wholesome as everyone believes which worked well as she didn't then turn into a stereotype. Colin too was a bad boy alpha male but was very real and someone you would definitely want for yourself! Together the pair were perfect for each other and really scorched the pages with the delicious sex scenes of which there were many.

I liked the small town setting and the many secondary characters although I did feel, like Colin, that Emily was far too nice to those meddling town folk at the end of the book!

And of course this is billed as a Christmas story. While a lot of the story takes place after Christmas, the beginning and end of the story, and the sweet romance is perfect for a festive read.

What made this slightly more unusual compared to other Blaze novels I have read was that the story was a lot more drawn out and slower paced and at times the romance took a little bit of a back seat to the other things that were going on. This isn't necessarily a complaint but it did surprise me slightly in a Blaze romance.

Overall, this was a fun, slightly slower paced romantic story with plenty of heat. I doubt you will be disappointed if you pick up this for a quick, festive read. 4 stars.

Wednesday, 5 December 2007

A Blazing Little Christmas: A Sizzling Christmas Anthology

Fun & Romantic Christmas Anthology
5 Stars

This anthology of Blaze stories all centre around Christmas at the Timberline Lodge in Lake Placid, New York. Owned by the sweet Mr & Mrs Krause – they are determined that their lodge will be the place for magic and love over the holidays.

Holiday Inn Bed – Jacquie D’Alessandro
Eric and Jessica are determined to spice up their Christmas engagement – especially since they haven’t been together in over a month. But their romantic getaway in a snowy, hide-away lodge is interrupted by their quarrelling relatives – and they have all just been snowed in together.

This was a sweet wintry story and I thought it was an interesting twist to have the main couple together from the outset of the story. It worked well and it didn’t make the story any less dramatic. Sexy, fun and snowy – a truly enjoyable short story.

His For The Holidays – Joanne Rock
Five years ago Heather Dillinger was left at dawn by her delicious army-guy one-night stand without so much as a goodbye. When she receives a letter out of the blue inviting her for a weekend at a lodge in Lake Placid with the same army-man – she sees it as a perfect way for some sensual revenge. But Jared Murphy is determined that this time neither of them will be saying goodbye at all.

I’ll admit that I was worried about this story as I haven’t enjoyed the longer novels by this author. However I am pleased to say that my opinion has changed as this was a wonderful story of forgiveness and second chances with a delicious dose of sex thrown in for good measure. Very enjoyable.

Dear Santa… – Kathleen O’Reilly
When a secret Santa invites Rebecca Neumann for a holiday getaway she needs no encouragement and heads up to the lodge. However, the man Santa had in mind isn’t the man that Rebecca bumps in to – sexy blast from her past, Cory Bell.

This story had to be the strongest of all three and definitely was the most Christmassy. It was however, very different from the other stories as it was highly emotional, very deep and at times quite heart wrenching. It was also sexy, sweet and absolutely adorable. A tortured hero and a heroine with scars find what they have been looking for in each other.

If you’re looking for some quick reads to fit in around all the Christmas madness then this is the perfect book for you. Snowball fights, roaring fires, romance, sex and love – what more could you want for Christmas? Definitely 5 stars.

Thursday, 29 November 2007

Dashing Through the Mall

Sweet Christmas Romances
5 Stars

Santa Baby by Sherryl Woods
Single mum Amy Riley isn’t looking forward to taking her young son and baby to see Santa at the local shopping centre but it’s a Christmas tradition. When her son goes missing in the mall, Santa – who is actually police officer Nick DiCaprio – comes to the rescue. Who ever said that Santa wasn’t sexy?

This was a sweet Christmas story that dealt well with what could have been some difficult themes without making the story too serious. I thought Nick was the perfect hero – sexy and brooding while Amy was a sweet single mum who really needed a strong man in her life. A fun tale for Christmas.

Assignment Humbug by Darlene Gardner
TV Reporter Merry Deluca is determined to film her piece on the commercialisation of Christmas at the local mall during the Christmas Eve last minute rush. But her story is about to get a new twist as she realises her cameraman is her recently ex-fiancé Patrick MacFarland – and he is determined to win her back.

I absolutely adored this festive story although I admit that I’m a sucker for second chance love! Well written, wonderful characters, love, snow and Christmas cheer – what more could you need?

Deck The Halls by Holly Jacobs
Retail manager Joy O’Connell is having a bad Christmas season. She’s all alone, the store have been playing Christmas carols since October and now she has to become a personal shopper for a dad and his three tearaway teenagers! Ed Hall is trying to keep cheery while shopping in the store on Christmas Eve but it’s difficult. But then he meets their personal shopper and suddenly his Christmas begins to look up.

This was my least favourite of the three stories simply because I felt I couldn’t really identify with either of the main characters as I don’t have any teenagers of my own. I’m sure those who have been Christmas shopping with three enthusiastic, video game mad, teenage boys will identify (and sympathise) with Ed and Joy. The romance was sweet and the festive touches were nicely Christmassy making this a cute story.

All three stories will get you into the Christmas spirit as the characters spend Christmas Eve shopping at the local mall. It’s nice that each story happened at the same time although they weren’t linked in any other way. Each story was sweet, romantic, Christmassy and perfect to read on a cold winter’s night. Recommended.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Once Upon a Christmas by Lisa Plumley

A fun festive anthology
4 stars

Mistletoe and Holly
Accountant Holly Aldridge has her life planned out to perfection including having the perfect boyfriend. So when he dumps her out of the blue she refuses to let the dream of a perfect life disappear and is determined to win him back. Her first plan of attack is to make him jealous by getting a new roommate – six-feet plus, gorgeous Sam McKenzie. Sam thinks Holly is crazy to want her ex back and he is just as determined to prove to her that together they could have a sizzling new romance by Christmas.

This is an excellent story to start off this anthology. Holly likes things to be perfect but she’s believable and someone you can definitely relate to. I loved Sam and the way he managed to get under Holly’s skin and disrupt her perfectly ordered world! The actual story was fun, sweetly sexy and had a small bit of that Christmas magic. Very enjoyable.

Christmas Honeymoon
To help her newlywed cousin out of a problem – Stacey Ames agrees to pose as the bride for an all expenses paid Vegas honeymoon. The only problem is that Stacey’s fake husband turns out to be her infuriatingly sexy ex Dylan – who broke her heart not so long ago. Fortunately Dylan isn’t the type to give up and is determined to prove to Stacey that love is better second time around.

I really like second chance love stories so I was looking forward to reading this tale. Sexier than the first story – I liked both Dylan and Stacey and the way they acted towards each other. This was another fun and light story with engaging characters and believable and interesting situations. Another excellent story.

A Baby For Christmas
Chloe Carmichael has loved her best friend and neighbour Nick Steadman forever so she is over the moon when some kahlua, coffee and sympathy turn into a hot and heavy tryst. With the hangover from hell, Nick has no idea what happened between them but Chloe will always remember. Especially since she will be having his baby as a Christmas memento.

This had to be the worst story of the three and I really wasn’t enamoured with it. Nick was too slow to realise his feelings, Chloe was a little too needy and weird and the situations were just too ridiculous to be believed (who honestly would take her dog, cat, hamster and bird for a jog?). It wasn’t a terrible story but it really let the book down in comparison to the first two and personally I found instead of being funny it was just cringe-worthy!

Overall – I really enjoyed this set of stories – the first two at least. Fresh and fun, they really put a smile on your face and I will definitely be looking out for other stories from Lisa Plumley in the future. If you’re looking for short and sweet stories with a pinch of Christmas spirit then this is the book for you.

Monday, 12 November 2007

A Regency Christmas

Fun Christmas Anthology
4 Stars

This is a collection of three Mills & Boon Christmas tales all set during a festive season of the Regency.

A Soldier’s Tale by Elizabeth Rolls
Dominic, Viscount Alderley has recently returned from war and is expected by his family to marry a prim little heiress. But when he returns home it’s his cousin Pippa that draws his attention and seems like the only one who is willing to overlook his scars.

Essentially this is a pleasant story with an enjoyable cast of characters. Dominic is a rake who is surprised to fall in love with Pippa – while Pippa is a Cinderella type character who has always been in love with Dominic. The story is sweet but despite being set over the festive period, it’s not very Christmassy.

A Winter Night’s Tale by Deborah Hale
Christabel Wilton is expecting a cold and lonely Christmas with her young son when the man she jilted many years ago comes back into her life. As he helps her through an illness and they start to spend the festive season together, they soon realise that things may be better second time around.

This tale is well-written and with slightly more Christmas content than the first story. The characters were fine if maybe slightly less developed than I would have liked. Their love is sweet and believable and the situations very touching.

A Twelfth Night Tale by Diane Gaston
Ten years ago, one impulsive night changed Elizabeth Arrington’s life forever. Now fate has once again thrown her in the path of Zachary Weston – now the powerful Earl of Bolton. As the pair struggle through the festive season they must put their pasts aside to see if the future can be even better than they imagined.

Diane Gaston’s final tale of this anthology is an excellently festive story of a second chance at love. Zach and Elizabeth are wonderful characters as well as being the perfect couple. I enjoyed the story of forgiveness and love which was well-written and nicely Christmassy!

Overall, this is an enjoyable anthology that while possibly not being the most festive set of tales – is still a good, fun read that is perfect for a cold winter’s night.

* This book was previously published as Mistletoe Kisses in 2006. *

Saturday, 10 November 2007

Santa in a Stetson by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Sweet Christmas romance
5 Stars

Jo Cassidy was trying to get over a faithless ex when sexy cowboy Russ Gibson walked into her life and took her mind right off anything but him. After a hot night he’d loved every inch of her – and then walked out.

Determined not to let the same thing happen again, Jo slipped a ring on her finger and invented a husband so the next time Russ came by she would be unavailable.

But then Russ turned up on Christmas Eve needing help and Jo’s resolve melted. But there was now one problem – no matter how much Jo insisted, Russ still believed she was someone else’s wife.

This book is another winner from Vicki Lewis Thompson and it really manages to capture the Christmas spirit that many other festive books fail to deliver.

Jo is a nice ordinary girl who is trying to make her own way, while Russ is the ever delicious tortured hero with a heart of gold. The pair are an excellent couple and their interactions both sexy and sweet. You also totally believed in their love despite such a short time passing.

And I absolutely adored the Christmas theme of the book. It gives you that warm festive glow as you read about how Russ and Jo help the people of the town by delivering Christmas gifts.

This is definitely a book to read on a long dark night as you snuggle up in front of a roaring fire. Highly recommended.

Wednesday, 7 November 2007

A Necessary Bride by Debra Mullins

Fun and engaging regency romance
4 stars

Justin St James, the new Earl of Rathmore, has returned to England after a period of exile for a murder he didn’t commit. Barely tolerated by Society – Justin vows to clear his name for the sake of his ward.

Sprited American Meg Stanton-Lynch is the darling of the ton and yet she doesn’t care what people think of her, or her friendship with the Earl.

Marriage to Meg would be Justin’s ticket back in to Society yet Meg longs to experience life before she shackles herself to any man for the rest of her days. So Justin – at the same time as clearing his name, finding the real killer and looking after his wild ward – will just have to convince her that they belong together.

This book centres around Meg, Garret from A Necessary Husband’s sister. Although the two books are connected – you don’t need to have read one to understand and appreciate the other.

This book was a enjoyable, engaging romance story with good and interesting characters. Meg is the high-spirited, feisty American but she never comes across as a stereotype and is aware and abides by the rules of Society. Justin is the tortured hero who can’t help but desire Meg but is uneasy about how much he actually needs her. The pair are an excellent couple and I loved their interactions.

While being a fun book, I did have a few issues with it that stopped it from getting fully five stars. Firstly, there were some subplots that I would have like to see tied up. And Meg seemed to be unsure herself of her reasons for not marrying. She didn’t come across as the intelligent heroine I would expect from a Debra Mullins novel. She was lovely – but I got exasperated with her once or twice!

There is a slight mystery to this book but that is purely a minor subplot to the romance and you figure out fairly quickly who the real murderer was. As the book doesn’t focus on the mystery – this isn’t too much of a disappointment.

If you’re looking for a well-written and entertaining romance then you can’t go wrong with this book. Debra Mullins is becoming a favourite author and despite this book’s minor flaws it’s still one I would recommend. 4 stars.

Saturday, 3 November 2007

A Necessary Husband by Debra Mullins

Enjoyable, well-written regency romance
4 stars

When his sister, Meg, leaves America to visit the grandfather that disowned their father for marrying an Irishwoman - Garrett Lynch races to England to bring her back where she belongs. But when he arrives he finds her safely with their grandfather, the Duke of Raynewood, being taught the rules of society by the lovely Lucinda Devering.

Lucinda is wary of the American who doesn’t seem to abide by or be concerned by society’s rules – even when he realises he is now heir to his grandfather’s dukedom. So now not only is Lucinda having to teach Meg, she also has to keep Garret in line while keeping him from seducing her. Not to mention the fact that she has a secrets to hide and an unscrupulous brother in law to avoid.

Debra Mullins is fast becoming a favourite author of mine and this book really doesn’t disappoint.

Garret is a strong hero who knows what he wants and is determined to get it. However Lucinda is just as strong and the pair are well matched as they clash and try to outwit each other.

The story is very well written and is quiet casually paced so you really get to know the thoughts and feelings of the characters. The story is very much about Garret and how he comes to terms with his past and a future different than he had expected. While Lucinda has to put her own mistakes behind her and see if what she always wanted is now her heart’s desire.

Overall this is an enjoyable, romantic read that has intelligent characters and interesting and believable situations. While maybe not Debra Mullin’s best book – it is still one I would recommend for a light romantic read. 4 stars.

Saturday, 13 October 2007

Mills and Boon Annual 2008

Fun, romantic Christmas annual
4 stars

The 2008 Mills and Boon Christmas Annual is once again a delight for fans of romance and Mills and Boon.

The small (A5) annual is packed full of content. There are delicious Christmas recipes from punch and nibbles to main course accompaniments; several puzzles from sudoku to word searches; features on gardening, Christmas traditions and 100 years of Mills & Boon; horoscopes; craft ideas from gorgeous edible gifts to a knitted baby shawl and much more.

And of course there are the stories. You get Modern romance from Kate Walker, Annie West, Trish Morey and Jane Porter; straight Romance from Rebecca Winters, Shirley Jump and Claire Baxter; Historical romance from Elizabeth Rolls, and short stories from Debbie Macomber and Kate Mayhew - the winner of the Woman's Weekly short story competition. Some of the stories are only a page long while others are more in-depth but each is fun and well-written.

The only downside for me was that I would have liked to see some stories by Blaze authors - as this is my favourite Mills & Boon line. But I can't really let this detract from the book as if you are a fan of either the Modern or Romance lines then you will be in heaven with all the stories! Also, being a book out for Christmas with plenty of festive articles, I would also liked to have seen at least a couple of the stories being Christmas themed.

But having said that, the annual is fun, interesting and a perfect purchase if you enjoy Mills & Boon romance and Christmas. There's so much packed into the book that it will keep you engrossed all day and I'm sure you won't be disappointed.

Bad Girl Bridesmaids: Three All-New Erotic Tales

A reasonably enjoyable anthology
3 Stars

This is a set of three erotic stories, all written by Susanna Carr, showing just how naughty bridesmaids can be.

Serial Bridesmaid on the Loose
Kelsey Morgan is sick and tired of being a bridesmaid – especially when she realises that she’s only being asked so she can be treated as a slave. To stop the demands of the current bride, Kelsey hooks up with gigolo Zack Cooper to keep her occupied. Only Zack’s actually a multi-millionaire – and he’s not used to giving up the power and control.

The Bridesmaid’s Diaries
Two years ago Tara Watkins, the wedding co-ordinator at her family’s vineyard, had the most amazing sex with the best man at a wedding. Ever since then she’s been writing a Bridesmaid Blog on the net about her experiences. Now Luke Sullivan is back and determined to use the information gained from her Internet diary to relive that wild night.

Wedding Wrecker
Amber Hughes left her small town home after she ruined the wedding of a close friend. Now she’s back to be a bridesmaid again but this time sexy Josh Griffin plans to make this wedding crazier than her last – this time for all the right reasons.

All three of the stories in this anthology are fun, well-written and enjoyable. Mostly the characters are people you identify with and can root for although I wasn’t too taken with a couple of the heroes – far too domineering and arrogant for my tastes (and I generally tend to like an alpha male). And they do all suffer from the short length of the stories, as there is no real character or plot development. This also means you have to suspend reality in order to believe in the happy endings as love happens very quickly in each case.

And while these are billed as erotic stories, I found myself being slightly disappointed. All the words and actions were there in spades, but the actual sex scenes lacked any real sparkle or sizzle that would set them apart from other romance books.

Overall – if you’re looking for something light, fun and romantic then you should give this book a try. While perhaps not being the best example of erotic short stories, the writing is good, the stories hold your interest and they will take your mind off things for a while.

Tuesday, 9 October 2007

There Goes the Bride by Lori Wilde

Enjoyable, quirky romance
4 stars

Texas socialite Delaney Cartwright is having second thoughts about her extravagant society wedding to her predictable childhood friend especially since she came across a magic veil which apparently grants the wearer their deepest desires. Determined to spice things up with her fiancé - Delaney decides to kidnap him for a night of passion - and ends up with the wrong guy!

Detective Nick Vinetti is slightly surprised to be accosted by such a beautiful woman and even more surprised, and annoyed, to find that she is already taken.

So now Delaney is even more desperate to get out of her wedding so she decides to arrange her own kidnapping. Throw in some true love, blackmail, heart stopping kisses, magic, ghosts and car chases - and things are just starting to look a little interesting!

This is the first book in the new 'Wedding Veil Wishes' series by Lori Wilde and it is a fun book to kick things off.

Delaney is an enjoyable character, trying to find herself despite her mother's constant criticism and expectations. And Nick is just lovely - sexy, rugged but strong in his convictions as he won't allow Delaney to break her vows to her fiancé. Which is nice for us because it throws in some delicious sexual tension! Together the pair work well and I liked their interactions with each other which seemed real.

There are also a good cast of entertaining, and sometimes slightly odd secondary characters, many of whom you assume are getting books of their own in the series.

The book is sensual, but not overly so, and while it does have it's quirky elements, it's not in the least scary or disturbing. Just some fun, romance and crazy situations!

If you enjoy your romances slightly quirky with some unusual and interesting plot points - then this is the book for you. A definite page-turner, it will keep you hooked from beginning to end.

Tuesday, 2 October 2007

Coming Undone by Susan Andersen

Thrilling, Sexy Romance
5 stars

Bright new singing sensation Priscilla Jayne Morgan should be having the time of her life. Her country music career has finally hit the big time and she's selling out concerts across America. But she's just had to fire her crooked manager mother and the press have gone crazy. Now her record label have decided to hire a watchdog to escort her on her summer tour and who should they hire for the job but Jared Hamilton - the guy from her past that she's never been able to get out of her head.

Jared's here to do a job and although he remembers just how headstrong little P.J. can be - he's not going to let her damage his legendary self control. But he didn't factor in how much P.J. has grown up or how much she drives him crazy.

So being stuck with the hottest girl in show-business for five weeks is going to be bad enough but when her very life is threatened he decides he needs to stick even closer - he just doesn't know if that's going to be a problem or not!

If you are a fan of Susan Andersen you will be happy to finally see a story for Jared (Tori's runaway brother from Hot and Bothered) and his street-wise runaway friend, P.J.. Although this book probably does stand alone, I would really suggest you've read Hot & Bothered before reading this one as otherwise you'll miss out on quite a lot of back story that is essential to the plot.

Both Jared and P.J. are wonderful characters. P.J. is feisty, fun and strong while Jared is a delicious former marine with a tough exterior and a lovely soft centre! The pair together are fiery, sexy and perfect for each other.

As is often the case with Susan Andersen - there is an element of suspense/danger in this book with the addition of a deranged stalker. This works well within the book while never overshadowing the plot and it's interesting enough to keep you involved without being scary or disturbing.

Overall, I am so glad that P.J. and Jared finally got their own story and Susan Andersen has created a book filled with her own brand of humour, edge and sexiness. This is a book that you will not want to put down and one I would highly recommend if you like your romance with a little bit extra. 5 stars.

Monday, 17 September 2007

The Player by Rhonda Nelson

Sexy start to a new series
5 stars

Former Ranger Jamie Flanagan is very happy to finally be free of the military - especially after his last mission which left him guilt ridden and emotionally scarred. But in his haste to leave, he and his friends promised their former commanding officer one favour. Anything. Anytime.

Now Jamie's favour is being called in and he has to protect the lovely Audrey Kincaid at her de-stressing camp in the middle of Maine. But it isn't long before he realises he's actually there to woo her away from another man. But there's one, hard and fast rule. No kissing, no touching and no seducing. Jamie always follows orders - but Audrey is testing his limits - and he's not in the military anymore.

This was a fun, enjoyable romance that is the perfect start to a new series about Jamie and his two ex-military buddies.

Jamie himself is a to-die-for hero. Sexy, rugged and alpha with a wounded soul to go along with it. And Audrey is the perfect match for him as he tries to rid himself of his demons while fighting his attraction to her. The chemistry is real, the sex scenes spicy and satisfying and there is enough humour to keep the book light. Although potentially dealing with some heavy issues such as ill-health, grief etc. - at no point does this book become melancholic or too dramatic - it's a romance and the author has written it as such.

As I mentioned, this is the first book in a new series by Rhonda Nelson with The Specialist and The Maverick following on from this.

All in all, this is a better example of a Blaze romance - fun, sexy, smart and definitely worth a read. 5 stars.

Wednesday, 12 September 2007

Going All The Way by Isabel Sharpe

Enjoyable but not perfect
4 stars

Back in school Jenny Hartmann was shy and unassuming. But now she has become a minor celebrity after writing her sizzling self-help book entitled 'What Have I Done For Me Lately?' She aims to liberate all women to become as sexually confident and sassy as she too has become.

Back in school, Ryan was a hell-raising bad boy but now he has grown up and calmed down. But this new Jenny is really driving him crazy especially when she decides that she will have a fantasy fling with him. And whatever the new Jenny wants, the new Jenny gets.

But when the pair get together - they both begin to realise that maybe they haven't changed all that much after all.

While I enjoyed this book I really wavered between giving it 3 or 4 stars. I liked Jenny to begin with as although she was sexy and confident, she was still vulnerable and not a man-hating feminist like she could have been written. But halfway through the book she started to become very selfish and immature and not someone that I liked at all. Admittedly by the end of the book she saw the error of her ways and had become nice again but I was still suspicious of her! Ryan is an enjoyable character - sexy and straight-laced with his inner bad boy just waiting to get out! There were also two strong secondary characters that had quite a lot of book time and while enjoyable - they weren't as good as Ryan and Jenny.

I decided to go with 4 stars as despite its faults, it's an uplifting, enjoyable, sexy read that doesn't flag and keeps you turning the pages right to the end. While not perfect, it's written well and although maybe not a keeper - it is still a book you should pick up if you get a chance.

Sunday, 9 September 2007

Just One Touch by Debra Mullins

Intelligent and Engaging Romance
5 stars

When Rogan Hunt happens across the beautiful Lady Caroline being accosted by highwaymen he cannot help but intervene. But he is thrown into turmoil when the lady's grateful father offers her hand in marriage in thanks despite his lowborn status.

Lady Caroline Ware is terrified of the handsome Rogan but she is surprised when she starts to care for her new husband. But just as the pair seem to be getting along - secrets are revealed and enemies from the past reappear that put their newfound passion in jeopardy.

As seems to be the norm for Debra Mullins - this book is passionate, intense and thoroughly enjoyable.

Rogan and Caroline are well-developed, believable characters with flaws that make them interesting and perfect for each other. And most importantly - both are intelligent. There are no ridiculous misunderstandings or jumping to conclusions, which is so refreshing in any novel.

And despite it coming quite late on in the book - there is a nice amount of sensuality and sex in the novel without it overpowering things. Also, there are an interesting set of supporting characters that again, don't overpower the main storyline but still add something to the story.

Interesting, intelligent and beautifully romantic - this book delivers everything that a historical romance should. A definite 5 star read and one I would highly recommend.

Thursday, 6 September 2007

The Runaway Heiress by Brenda Hiatt

Enjoyable Regency romance
4 stars

Dina Moore's only chance to claim her rightful inheritance from her scheming brother is to wed before she's 25. But when her intended ditches her two days before her birthday, she decides to take her chances of finding a husband in Gretna Green. Her plans go awry however, when instead of finding a husband she saves a naïve young woman from the clutches of a fortune hunter and earns the gratitude of the lady's handsome brother.

Grant Turpin owes the beautiful stranger a debt of gratitude for saving his sister but he did not anticipate that Dina would request his hand in marriage as a reward. And he certainly didn't anticipate that he would find his new wife so attractive, or that with every bit more independence that Dina offers him - the less he desires to take it.

This was my first novel by Brenda Hiatt and I have to say that I really enjoyed it. Both Dina and Grant, or Thor as he's known to his friends, along with the large cast of supporting characters were all well developed and extremely likeable.

The storyline was fast moving, interesting and kept the pages turning. While possibly not the most original of storylines - there were enough unique plot points to keep it from being clichéd or dull.

There were, however, a few things that stopped the book from getting 5 stars in my opinion. Dina was written as a small woman and Thor as a large man and the more intimate aspects of marriage were a source of conflict within the book. However, despite this raised anticipation - the sex scenes really lacked sizzle which was a little disappointing.

There were also a few oddities within the book that while maybe not historically inaccurate - did seem slightly out of place in a Regency set novel. Dina's love of exercise and callisthenics and Thor not having a house of his own and living with his parents were two things that struck me as odd. But although unusual - neither changed what is essentially a very enjoyable read and one that I would recommend if you're looking for a little light entertainment. I will definitely be looking out for more of Brenda Hiatt's books in the future.

Thursday, 23 August 2007

Christmas Fantasy by Janelle Denison

Hot, romantic read
4 stars

Austin McBride's business was fulfilling women's fantasies but the gorgeous Teddy Spencer had him doing some fantasising of his own.

Independent Teddy was too focused on her career for any sort of commitment but she did need someone to pose as her boyfriend at her company Christmas party and Austin was the man for the job.

But would one incredible night convince Teddy to hire Austin full-time?

This was a fine, hot romance set over the Christmas period. Despite the festive setting there really isn't much in the way of Christmassy references so if you're looking for that warm, winter glow then you might be disappointed.

Teddy and Austin are both enjoyable characters and the pair work well together. Austin is technically a stripper but it is never portrayed as seedy and I can't imagine many having a problem with his line of work as it is written so well. The pages heat up with the sex scenes and there are plenty of them which is never a bad thing.

The story is enjoyable and although not terribly fast paced - it keeps you turning the pages and has all the romance that you should require.

While maybe not a great book - it is nevertheless fun and sexy and is worth a read if you get a chance.

Tuesday, 21 August 2007

Daring in the Dark by Jennifer LaBrecque

A Deliciously Daring Read
5 stars

If there hadn't been a 24 black-out in the city then Tawny Edwards would never have felt the need to confess to Simon that he was starring in her delightfully naughty, and very explicit dreams. After all, Simon was the best friend of her fiancé Elliot. And he despised her. Didn't he?

Simon had been in love with Tawny from the moment he met her and now he was trapped with her in her apartment with no rescue in sight. If only he didn't have to break the news of her fiancé's indiscretion to her. But Tawny didn't seem too heartbroken and Simon was quite happy to kiss away her hurts.

One wild night to live out each and every one of your wildest fantasies. But what will happen when daybreak - and Elliot - arrive the next morning?

This book is an excellent choice if you're into hot, sexy Blaze novels. Tawny is a strong, bossy woman but has a sweet vulnerable side that most people can identify with and she truly feels like a 'real' woman. Simon is an excellent character too. He is seen as being quite a jerk to Tawny but underneath he's just a big softie. Together the pair steam up the pages and the sex scenes are very hot and delicious. And because it's a Blaze - there are a lot!

Despite the fact that Tawny is technically engaged, this book never comes across as seedy and everyone's motivations and reasons seem true and unselfish. Although personally I would have liked to see Elliot get a little more comeuppance and would cheerfully have pushed him off a cliff if I were Tawny!

A definite page-turner with excellent characters and hot sex - if you're looking for a fun, romantic read then I can't recommend this book enough. 5 stars.

Sunday, 19 August 2007

Three Guys You'll Never Date

Three Stories You’ll Love
5 Stars

This collection of stories all revolve around three friends who have had some bad luck trying to find a decent man. So together they make a pact – no more losers, geeks, used-car salesmen, ditch-diggers or unsuitable men of any type. From now on they are only going to date the very best that the male species has to offer. But will they stick to it?

You Can Leave Your Hard Hat On – Stephanie Bond
Successful architect Samantha Stone is set to make her mark on the building world with an innovative new design. But the only person who can help her realise her goal is construction worker Teague Brownlee – with whom she once had a one night stand then cruelly dumped when they were younger. But as the sparks fly on and off the construction site – can they both put aside their prejudices of the other?

Stephanie Bond’s story was packed with sexual tension, chemistry and sex. Teague and Sam are fun characters who have very real emotions and feelings – you can see why they act the way they do. I did feel that the ending was emotionally quite raw and personally I’m not sure if I could have forgiven Teague quite so easily for what he did to Sam! But it was still a sexy, enjoyable story.

The Total Package – Jennifer LaBrecque
Software genius and self-certified geek, Deke Foster wants a wife. And he wants marketing whiz Abby Carmicheal to fix his image so that he can get one. But as Abby starts to change Deke she realises that perhaps he was perfect already – pocket protector and all.

This story was absolutely adorable. I loved how Abby and Deke interacted and how their relationship progressed. This wasn’t written as a typical 'make him over and suddenly she finds him attractive’ type story which made it all the more believable and enjoyable. And the love scenes were enough to scorch the pages which is always a bonus!

Her Hero? – Rhonda Nelson
When prestigious clothing store owner Carley DeLuna’s vintage car breaks down she is quite shocked to see her devastatingly sexy, yet less than ambitious high-school sweetheart Jackson Harper stop to give her a tow. 10 years has changed a lot of things but not the passion that the pair felt for one another. But can Carley get over the fact that Jackson is a perfectly content used-car salesman and will she finally follow her heart?

This was the shortest story of the three but it still was a very satisfying story. Carley and Jackson’s chemistry sparkles and the pair are perfect for each other. Despite Carley’s opposition to Jackson’s career, you never feel that she is snobbish or shallow as she has valid reasons for the way she feels. The story was well-written, very sexy and highly enjoyable.

It is often a surprise when you find an anthology with three very strong, enjoyable stories but this book is certainly one of them. Sexy, fun and romantic – if you’re looking for a book to escape with for a while then you really can’t go wrong with this one. Highly recommended.

Friday, 17 August 2007

The Christmas Visit

Enjoyable Christmas romance
4 stars

As the title suggests - this collection of three Mills and Boon stories all revolve around a Christmas visit which result in some lovely festive romance!

Comfort and Joy by Margaret Moore (Wales, 1860)
Griffin Branwynne, Earl of Cym Rhyss has hidden himself away from society after a terrible accident left him scarred and bitter. But then the feisty Gwendolyn Davies, matron of the local orphanage, shows up on his doorstep asking for a donation for the children and turns his quiet life upside down.

This is a very enjoyable, sweet Christmas story that really gets you in the Christmas mood with the snowstorms, candles and good cheer. The chemistry between the two main characters is engaging and their interactions are amusing and very enjoyable.

Love at First Step by Terri Brisbin (England, 1199)
While visiting friends in England for the holidays, Lord Gavin MacLeod cannot help but find the serving wench Elizabeth attractive. But she has secrets that Gavin vows to uncover at any cost.

This story was the only bad one of this anthology in my opinion. The language was false and very stilted as the author clearly attempted to have her characters talk as if from medieval times. And personally, Christmas or not, the idea of a lord and a prostitute (or anyone and a prostitute for that matter!) is not my idea of romance.

A Christmas Secret by Gail Ranstrom (Oxfordshire, 1819)
Miss Charity Wardlow was expecting a proposal from her beau while attending her friend's Christmas wedding. But when she overhears some potentially scandalous gossip, she realises she must try and get to the bottom of all the secrets of the wedding guests. But what is she to do when the roguish Scotsman Sir Andrew MacGregor is determined to find out all of her secrets?

This was an absolutely delightful story. The two main characters were wonderful and their interactions so much fun. This story was slightly more sensual than the first which was also an added bonus. A definite keeper for Christmas.

Overall, despite the terrible middle story - I would still recommend this book as the first and last stories really do make up for it. They alone are worth the price of the book and give you that warm festive feeling when you read them.

Saturday, 28 July 2007

Men At Work

Disappointing Blaze anthology
2 stars

Through the Roof – Karen Kendall
Socialite Marina Reston is heartbroken when her fiancé leaves her after he loses his business but Ben will not let her support him. But Marina is used to getting what she wants and she vows to win back her man by any means.

The characters in this story were so terrible that it was hard to dredge up even a tiny bit of sympathy or compassion for them. Marina was a spoilt brat with a love of plastic surgery and only thought of herself. I admit she was written like this but I could not identify with such a person. Ben too was hard to like – an alpha male taken one step too far – basically a chauvinist pig.

Taking His Measure – Cindi Myers
Samantha Delaney has landed the perfect job – photographer for a charity calendar full of delicious, naked working men. But then Josh Kitteredge – the subject of all her teenage fantasies - walks through her door. But now the pair are all grown up and all their fantasies are about to become reality.

I again had problems liking either of the characters in this story. A boyish girl and a former stripper – not my idea of a good romantic hero or heroine. The conflict in the story was also a little weak.

Watching It Go Up – Colleen Collins
Private Investigator Gina Keys has been assigned to follow a suspected thief – Hawk Shadow Bonaparte. But this hot man gets her pulse racing with his dangerous work on tall buildings – and with what he gets up to several stories up.

By the time I got to this last story I admit to being so fed up that I couldn’t even find one tiny thing that I liked about it.

I was looking forward to this Blaze anthology about delicious working men but I am sad to say that I was really disappointed in it.

Unfortunately I really can’t recommend this book and if you’re looking for a sexy, fun set of romance stories then I suggest that you try some other Blaze anthologies as there are many excellent ones out there. A disappointing 1 star. 

Tuesday, 24 July 2007

Heat Wave

Fun, Sexy, Summery Read
5 stars

It's quite unusual to read an anthology where all the stories are really good - normally you get at least one that's not as strong as the others. But in Heat Wave - all three stories are excellent and make perfect reading if you're sitting in the sun or just wishing you were.

Rex on the Beach - Stephanie Bond
Private investigator Lucy is looking for a runaway groom and the only person who seems to know where he might be is the best-man Rex. But is it business or pleasure when getting close to gorgeous Rex is the only way to get the information Lucy needs?

This was an excellent, fun story with a really great cast of characters. Although we know Lucy is lying - you still root for her and Rex to work it all out. A great summer romance.

Getting into Trouble - Leslie Kelly
Allie Cavanaugh is fed up of being a single, alone and bored. So when she finds herself kissing a hypnotist at the carnival she realises things are looking up. But Damon Cole isn't who he says he is. But then again, neither is Allie.

Another fabulous read from Leslie Kelly focusing this time on Allie, Sabrina's little sister from Here Comes Trouble. It still works well as a stand-alone story and both Damon and Allie are very sexy and enjoyable characters.

Shaken and Stirred - Heidi Betts
Abby Weaver is happy with her well-ordered life. But when she is forced to go on a girlie holiday she decides to make the most of it. But when she finds herself on holiday alone there's little more she can do but hook up with the tastiest marine on the beach.

This was a fun story about a self-conscious girl and the man who finds her so very attractive. It was in turns sweet then sexy but always a fun, beach read.

Sunday, 22 July 2007

Secret Santa

Naughty but nice Christmas collection
4 stars

Secret Santa is a collection of three short stories all centred around the Secret Santa exchange at the New York offices of Connoisseur – a food and travel magazine.

He’d Better Watch Out! – Janelle Denison
Bosses daughter Amanda Creighton has always been a good girl – until she decides to put her name down as the Secret Santa for the office bad boy Christian Miller and give him a gift that he won’t be able to resist.

This story is enjoyable although I wasn’t sure about the angel and devil who advised the heroine throughout the story – that was slightly odd. But otherwise it was a sexy story with two enjoyable characters.

The Nights Before Christmas – Isabel Sharpe
Cathy Ann Johnson considers herself as quite an ordinary sort of girl – so when her Secret Santa gives her some sexy lingerie she decides it’s time to be a little bit naughty. So she seduces her Santa – only it’s the wrong Santa!

This story is more sweet and poignant than the others and although it does have it’s fair share of sexy scenes, it’s more of an emotional tale with a heroine you will no doubt identify with.

Mistletoe Madness – Jennifer LaBrecque
Tatiana Allen’s boss has decided to go all out with the office Secret Santa and have 8 days worth of presents and gifts. Unfortunately for Tatiana, she has to buy gifts for her office nemesis Cole Mitchell. But when they are thrown together for an assignment, Tatiana realises that this year she wouldn’t mind getting Cole in her stockings afterall.

This was definitely the best of the three stories offering arguing colleagues who change into something more. It’s funny, sexy and a really enjoyable story.

This is a sweet set of festive stories that you can’t help but enjoy even if they are quite light on that warm Christmas feeling in some cases.

Overall – although there maybe aren’t any classics in this anthology – it is a book that I’m sure you will enjoy whether it’s Christmas or not! Definitely recommended for a fun, light read.

Sunday, 15 July 2007

Operation Gigolo by Vicki Lewis Thompson

Funny, fast-paced romance
5 stars

To stop her parents from filing for divorce - Lynn decides to get them together by giving them a common goal. And that goal is to split Lynn up from her hell-raising new boyfriend. But now she just needs to find someone to play the part.

Fellow lawyer Tony Russo is much more GQ then Hell's Angels and he's reluctant to help Lynn in his schemes. But after his transformation he looks like just the kind of tattooed, leather wearing bad boy that Lynn's parents will unite to remove from her life.

But with his irresistible new look and devastating kisses, Lynn keeps forgetting that it's all just an act...

Vicki Lewis Thompson has once again delivered a funny and fresh romance that doesn't disappoint. Both Lynn and Tony are really enjoyable characters and I enjoyed Tony's portrayal of the bad boy and the fact that he was honest about his feelings from the start. And Lynn's parents were hilarious, even managing to upstage the main couple on occasion. The book isn't filled with sex and concentrates much more on the fun and romance then many other books by Vicki Lewis Thompson. However, it's still a fun, enjoyable, page-turner of a book that I'm sure that you will enjoy.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

Hot Spot by Debbi Rawlins

Emotionally charged and sexy read
4 stars

Madison Tate is a struggling photographer who finally has a shot of the big time - a sexy photo shoot at the divine Hush Hotel with Jack Logan - one of the hottest reporters on the planet! If all goes to plan then Madison will score a lucrative magazine cover and she will finally make the big time.

Jack Logan is only doing this photo shoot because his arm was twisted and he has no problems letting Madison know it. But then she suggests they do a shot - shirts optional - and suddenly Jack realises that maybe the photo shoot in one of the sexiest hotels isn't such a bad thing after all.

Another in Blaze's Do Not Disturb series - this book focuses less on the hotel than some of the others despite the time the characters spend there. But that's not necessarily a bad thing as the romance is key to this story.

The story itself is more emotional then many other Blaze novels and both Jack and Madison have quite a lot of discussion and inner dialogue about their respective situations. Again, this is not a bad thing but it did make it seem somehow different than the other novels of the series - not so light.

Both Jack and Madison are very interesting, well-written characters. I liked that Madison was not classically beautiful but it neither affected or bothered her. Jack was a wonderful hero and did just enough brooding to make him irresistible to me! Together the pair worked well and the story was nicely sexy if maybe not scorching hot.

Each book in the Do Not Disturb series stands entirely on its own with only the hotel linking the stories however this still makes a very good addition to the series. If you're looking for a short, sexy, page-turning read with a good pinch of happily ever after then you should give this book a try. Enjoyable.

Friday, 15 June 2007


Enjoyable romantic anthology
4 stars

Madame Karma has a stall at the Valentine's Day Fair at the upscale Fairfax building complex. And she decides to impart some wisdom on those at the fair: if you run away from love, you'll be cursed!

Blame It On Karma - Jacquie D'Alessandro
Coffe shop owner Lacey Perkins is sceptical when a fortune teller tells her that she is going to fall in love with Evan Sawyer, her annoying, but very hot, property manager. She would rather face the wrath of karma - until she finds herself cursed with a rather large dose of lust.

This story is fun, sexy and very enjoyable and I will be looking out for more of her work in the future.

Together Again? - Jill Shalvis
Accountant Chloe Cooper doesn't believe in predictions - especially when she is told that the man of her dreams is about to walk into her life. But then she bumps into Ian McCall - her former, and first, lover. But this Ian is more dangerous, secretive and seductive than the one she remembers. But just as she starts to think the prediction could be true - she is cursed with a blackout, a case of fraud and some handcuffs!

Jill Shalvis manages to incorporate some of her well-known excitement and danger into her enjoyable (but too short) story of lost loves. It was also refreshing to find a story of past lovers who didn't part on bad terms.

Tall, Dark & Temporary - Crystal Green
Erin Holland isn't convinced when she's told that Wes Ryan, the infamous playboy, is "the one". In fact, she only wants him as a quick fling on their weekend cruise. But she soon finds that if you mess with karma it will mess with you until you are forced to admit the truth.

Crystal Green's story while being generally okay - didn't seem to fit with the other two stories in that it took place outside the complex and 2 weeks after Valentine's Day. Although a pleasant read - I felt it didn't have the sparkle of the first two stories.

This is an enjoyable set of stories which are linked by the mysterious Madame Karma and the predictions she makes about the character's love lives. Although set around Valentine's Day - the holiday doesn't dominate any of the storylines to any great depth.

All in all this is a very enjoyable anthology and one that I would recommend if you're a fan of any of these authors or if you're looking for some quick, sexy reads. 4 stars.

Mills and Boon Annual 2007

Festive fun and romance
5 stars

As far as I'm aware - this is the first time that Mills and Boon have ever done an annual and I hope they make it a yearly occurrence, as this really is a fun book for the Christmas period.

Being Mills and Boon - there are plenty of festive romance stories to get you in the Christmas spirit. There are contemporary stories from Carol Marinelli, Betty Neels and Barbara Hannay; a historical story by Deborah Hale and a red-hot read from Sharon Kendrick. Some are very quick reads and others are longer so there's something for everyone. Although not all Christmas stories - they are all still enjoyable, fun reads.

As well as the stories there are a few recipes, numerous puzzles and games, horoscopes, Christmas craft ideas and plenty of festive features and tips throughout.

And don't be put off if you're imagining an annual to be a large, cumbersome book - this is small and lightweight and although hardback, still compact enough to fit in your bag.

If you enjoy Mills and Boon romances of any sort and love Christmas then this is an ideal purchase for you. It will leave you with a lovely, fuzzy festive feeling. Recommended.

Thursday, 7 June 2007

Two Weeks with a Stranger by Debra Mullins

Wonderful historical romance
5 stars

Lucy is distraught when her new husband weds her, beds her and then leaves her the very next day.

Even though a marriage of convenience, Lucy was sure that their shared passion on their one night together could turn into something more. And when word reaches her of her husband's exploits, she decides to follow him to London where she vows to fight for her marriage.

Unbeknownst to his new wife, Simon, the Earl of Devingham, is an agent of the crown and must do what he can to protect England even if that means abandoning his new bride. But now she has followed him to London, seducing him with her kisses and Simon realises that both his heart and his life are in danger.

This is the first book I've read by Debra Mullins but it won't be my last as I really loved this story. Lucy is an absolutely charming heroine and it was so refreshing to see someone who was intelligent and didn't jump to conclusions just to create tension in the novel. Simon too was a great character - not written as an alpha male but still coming across as someone strong and also intelligent. The story was interesting, intriguing and captivating enough to keep the pages turning. While not focusing on the mystery, it is an important part of the plot but I was glad it never overshadowed the romance.

As I said I really enjoyed this book and I would recommend it to those who enjoy sophisticated, exciting historical novels similar in style to those by Sabrina Jeffries. Highly recommended.

Sunday, 27 May 2007

Beware A Scot's Revenge by Sabrina Jeffries

Absolutely amazing historical romance
5 stars

Lady Venetia Campbell is on a long overdue trip to her childhood home in Scotland when she is tricked and abducted by her father's sworn enemy Sir Lachlan Ross. Despite his threats - Venetia remembers him as the wild boy that she adored when they were neighbours growing up. Now an amazingly sexy man, Venetia realises he poses a far greater risk to her heart than her wellbeing. And despite grand plans to use Venetia as a weapon against her father things start to go wrong when secrets are revealed and stolen kisses become more enjoyable than they really should.

This book is another winner for Sabrina Jeffries and has to be one of the best books that I have read in a long time.

Venetia is strong and independent but has enough compassion and wit for me to really like her as a heroine. Lachlan as well is an excellent character - strong and amazingly stubborn yet he still manages to have moments of tenderness and aching vulnerability which are always a joy to read. And the thought of him in a kilt makes my knees weak!

Which leads me on to the setting for the book. Apart from the prologue - this book is set entirely in Scotland. I'll admit that I am often wary of books set in Scotland but I am very glad to say that there was absolutely nothing stereotypical about this book and everything was very well written and wonderfully accurate. You can really picture yourself in the real Scotland when reading. And luckily you don't have to read through cringe-worthy attempts at Scottish accents. Each character's dialogue was exactly how you would expect them to be if they came from the Highlands - very realistic.

The story itself is fast paced and a real page turner - I couldn't put it down. Venetia and Lachlan are so well matched that you're all but cheering for them to get together. They have real chemistry which also makes for some very enjoyably sexy scenes on their journey through Scotland.

All in all I thought this book was excellent and one not to be missed. Although part of the School For Heiresses Series (after Never Seduce A Scoundrel and Only a Duke Will Do) this book stands nicely on its own so you don't have to have read the others to read this story. I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys intelligent, fun, sexy and well-written romances. Definitely a 5 star read.

Friday, 25 May 2007

Her Last Temptation by Leslie Kelly

Enjoyable, fun romance
4 stars

Cat Sheehan has always been the wild one of her family. But when her family bar gets earmarked for demolition - Cat decides that it's time to straighten up and become sensible. And that includes hooking up with nice guys rather than her usual bad boy types. But her resolution goes out the window the minute Dylan Spencer walks into her bar because he's too much of a temptation to resist.

But Dylan has a secret. He's not a bad boy and he's also been in love with Cat since they were at school together even though Cat doesn't recognise him. But for a chance to be with Cat, Dylan decides he's willing to be any kind of man that she wants.

This book was the last ever book released on Harlequin's Temptation line and as a result the closing of Cat's bar is clearly meant to reflect the closing of the line. This means there are a lot of familiar characters and in-jokes from previous books in the line throughout this book.

The story itself is quite a fun one. Although I liked the character of Cat - I didn't feel that I could really identify with her. Dylan on the other hand was an excellent character - a typical Leslie Kelly hero. And although he claims that he isn't - he's got definite signs of being a bad boy afterall! The chemistry between the pair is real and although the sex scenes don't set fire to the pages - they are still enjoyable. The conflict of the story is slightly weak as it's not really a terrible secret that Dylan's hiding from Cat but it's still fun to watch the pair as they fall in love and to see how their story works out.

I would give this book 4 stars as it is definitely worth a read if you were a fan of the Temptation line, a fan of Leslie Kelly or if you want to try a well written, fun Harlequin romance.

Monday, 21 May 2007

Reading Between the Lines

Two excellent, fun short stories
5 stars

Mr Valentine - Vicki Lewis Thompson
Nobody knows that hot romance author Candy Valentine is really the rugged, masculine Jack Killigan - even his publisher. So when `Candy' is needed to promote the book, Jack convinces his best friend Krysta to pretend to be her for the week. Krysta has never seen Jack as anything more than a friend but after reading his book - she has to wonder whether Jack can make love as well as he writes it?

Vicki Lewis Thompson's story is very good (even if it did really remind me of the film Paperback Hero with Hugh Jackman!). Both Jack and Krysta are fun, interesting characters and they are well suited despite all their differences. The story is cute if slightly unbelievable but it's nice to suspend reality and just enjoy.

Thrill Me - Leslie Kelly
Sophie Winchester is an all-American, normal small town girl - except when she's writing best selling gruesome horror novels as R.F. Colt. No-one knows of Sophie's double life and that's the way she likes it. So when notes for her latest novel land on the desk of the new, very sexy police chief Daniel Fletcher he's convinced that someone is out to murder her. She really should tell Daniel that she isn't in any danger but it's so much more fun having Daniel protect her - day and night.

I am a huge fan of Leslie Kelly's and Thrill Me was just as good as some of her longer novels. Sophie is an excellent character - stifled by her small town reputation while also using it as a shield. Daniel is the big city cop who has just moved to the small town and he's just delicious. I loved both of them. The story is funny, fast paced and very sexy.

One of the good things about this book is that it only contains two stories so each is a decent enough length so you don't feel cheated or rushed.

If you like fun, interesting contemporary romance then this book is definitely for you. It is by far one of the better short story books out there and one I would highly recommend.