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Romance Report: Fall For Romance
By Martina Bexte (September 2003)

It's hard to believe that another summer's all but over. The days are getting shorter and the nights are downright chilly, sure signs that fall's just around the corner. The good news is that while we've been kicking back and having fun in the sun, many of our favourite romance authors have been hard at work on books that are sure to make it onto everyone's Autumn Romance Reading List. So grab a pen and jot down some hot September releases!

Historical Romance

Kinley MacGregor adds another installment to her MacAllister Brothers series with Taming the Scotsman. This time she focuses on recluse Ewan, who's still not over the loss of his brother and his betrayal by a beautiful woman. Though the last thing he wants to do is to help the lovely Nora escape Scotland, he finds that he cannot resist her charms. The Lady Chosen by Stephanie Laurens takes readers back to Regency England and the exploits of the Earl of Trentham, who's also an agent for the Crown. When new neighbour Leonora Carling becomes a bit too inquisitive about Number 12 Montrose Place, Trentham believes it best to nip the lady's snooping in the bud. But mystery, adventure (and of course romance) involving Leonora is inevitable.

Merline Lovelace and Lisa Plumley are also back on the historical lists. Lovelace continues her series featuring women in the Army with A Savage Beauty and the relationship that develops between army sergeant Daniel Morgan and Native American widow Louise Therese Chartier as they explore the Louisiana Purchase. Plumley offers her growing legion of fans another delightful historical romance that has every unmarried man in Morrow Creek a target of The Matchmaker. Determined to stop the meddling creature, the bachelors set Marcus Copeland to ferret her out. Molly Crabtree is first on his list but the more Marcus gets to know her, the less he cares about finding and unmasking the Matchmaker. Don't miss this delightful and often very funny story.

And for those of you who can never get enough Scottish romances pick up Amanda Scott's Reiver's Bride, an adventure-filled page-turner that follows Kit Chisholm's daring escape from a prison ship and his battle to reclaim what is rightfully his, including his intended bride Fiona Carmichael.

Murder, Mayhem & Suspense

Long-time favorite Roberta Gellis tackles an infamous character in her latest historical mystery, Lucrezia Borgia and the Mother of Poisons. Gellis turns history on its ear by suggesting that Lucrezia Borgia was not only a political pawn used to further her relatives' lust for power, but was also framed for murders, crimes that Lucrezia herself sets out to solve. And the incomparable Anne Perry takes her fans to 1914 for No Graves As Yet, following the investigative exploits of professor Joseph Reavley, as he goes about deciphering a document, for which his father has been killed.

Kate Kingsbury offers us a WWII cozy, Paint By Murder. It features an eccentric cast of characters and blossoming romance between Housewives League member Rita Crumm and Major Earl Monroe, as they try to uncover clues to a dastardly murder. Kay Hooper and Iris Johansen bring their fans pulse pounding stories. In Sense of Evil, police Chief Rafe Rose is dealing with a serial killer who targets a specific type of woman. Special Agent Isabel Adams fits the killer's profile to a T, but will Rafe and Isobel be able to stop the murderer before he strikes again? In Fatal Tide, marine scientist Melis Nemid is unwittingly pulled into the adventure of a lifetime as she and fellow explorer Jed Kelby search for the mythical city of Marinth.

Mainstream & Contemporary

Carly Phillips' final installment in her entertaining Chandler Brothers series, The Heartbreaker, has eldest brother Chase finally leaving home to pursue bigger dreams. Of course, he meets the woman of his dreams instead and his life finally comes full circle. Longtime favourite, Jude Devereux gifts readers with something slightly different in Forever and Always, the story of Darci Montgomery and her quest for the truth after her husband and son disappear. And Summer Harbor by Susan Wilson is a deep and emotional tale about secrets that threaten to destroy a family.

Geralyn Dawson charms with her latest, My Big Old Texas Heartache - Kate Harmon left home pregnant and in disgrace seventeen years ago, but now she's back to take care of her sick dad for a few weeks. Little does she realize that the father of her child is also back for the summer. Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes team up and inject a double shot of action, humour and romance into Full Speed, another in their series featuring Jamie Swift and Max Holt - a story that's sure to please on all levels.

If you're looking for grittier reading check these out. Cherry Adair is making quite a name for herself as a new romantic adventure author to watch. She's back with a vengeance with her newest title, Out of Sight. It should have been so easy, but A. J. Cooper, crack sniper and rookie T-FLAC agent, can't believe it when her shot misses its target. Will she be able to redeem herself in the eyes of her team, most especially leader, Kane Wright? And last but never least, J.D. Robb brings her multitude of fans Imitation in Death, another installment in the marvelously entertaining Eve Dallas series. This time the tough Lieutenant and her team go after a cunning killer who fancies himself Jack the Ripper.

Paranormal Romance

Luc is a vampire who writes romances and whose doting mother loves to play matchmaker for her children. Lynsay Sands has put quite the amusing spin - and then some - on her paranormal romance, Single White Vampire. Things get even funnier when Luc's editor comes calling and persuades him to shed his reclusive proclivities in order to attend a romance convention and mingle with his fans. Or try the prolific Christine Feehan's Shadow Game, about a group of military men who volunteer for a psychic experiment that goes terribly wrong.

Susan Krinard continues her wonderful werewolf series with To Catch A Wolf. Once again set in the old west, this story introduces Athena Munroe and Morgan Holt, two outsiders who must come to terms with their differences and their growing passion. Rounding out another strong month for paranormals is Lynn Kurland's captivating time travel tale, A Garden in the Rain. The MacLeod clan (all of them ghosts) are quite happy living in the 21st century and haunting a small Scottish inn. When lawyer Madelyn Phillips arrives for a much-anticipated holiday after being jilted by her fiancie, Patrick MacLeod can't resist getting involved.

Harlequin & Silhouette

Category and series romance continues going strong. Let's start September's line-up with Silhouette Desire. Five Brothers and a Baby is Peggy Moreland's charming offering. Ace Tanner just wants to do the right thing and find parents for a newborn orphan. He figures Maggie Dean would make a great temporary nanny but little does he realize he's about to lose his heart. The last thing Eileen Ryan wants is to fall under Rick Hawkins' spell but despite her good intentions she soon finds herself Sleeping with the Boss. A few months later she's pregnant. Rick does right by her but will he give her what she truly wants -- his heart? And if you enjoy stories about the princely search for love, try Ruling Passions by Laura Wright. Sophia Dunhill is on a quest to fulfill her grandfather's wish when a shipwreck washes her into the strong arms of a prince ruled by a sense of duty.

Be sure to check out Silhouette Intimate Moments' crackerjack line-up. Suzanne Brockmann makes the lists yet again with the latest in her ongoing Tall, Dark & Dangerous series, Night Watch featuring SEAL hero Wes Skelly, who's in LA playing bodyguard to a beautiful movie star. Another reader favourite, Lindsay Longford, returns with Dead Calm, a character driven story about bitter cop Judah Finnegan and the woman he can neither forgive nor forget. And two newcomers to the line, Brenda Harlan and Barbara Phinney, offer these well-written tales. In Some Kind of Hero, ex-cop Joel Logan's startling revelations about Raine's past and his own motivations should make them bitter enemies but only bring them closer together. And, after faking her death to escape a murder threat, Helen Eastman has learned to Trust No One, not even bad-boy cop Nick Thorndike. But she finds that his lure is irresistible.

There's always something special going on in Silhouette Special Editions and this month is no exception. In Allison Leigh's Hard Choices, not only do past secrets come back to haunt Annie Hess, but her old lover steps back into the picture as well. Will Logan Drake accept the truth or will he break Annie's heart all over again? Kevin Quintano of Marie Ferrarella's The Bride Wore Blue Jeans has his hands full raising his siblings and running a business. When he travels to Alaska for his little sister's wedding, his full attention is snared by June Yearling. In Christine Flynn's story, Melissa Porter hadn't counted on her plane crashing while taking a litter of coyote pups back to their natural habitat. Four Days & Five Nights later she and pilot Nick Magruder are fighting not only for survival but against their undeniable attraction.

To round out your reading list, Harlequin Intrigue has put together this extra-exciting foursome brimming with romantic suspense: Keeping Watch, Guarded Secrets, Under Wraps, and Whispers in the Night. Each book contains two full length novels, the first a previously published story by a well known Intrigue author, and the second a brand new tale by rising stars like Julie Miller and Debra Webb.

Enjoy the cooler weather, and keep on falling for romance!
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