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Romance Report : Holiday Romances
By Martina Bexte (November, 2003)



Reviewers' Raves and Favs

ImpostorRashmi raves that Brenda Jackson's Savvy Sistahs 'is a story about 3 African-American women who find strength in their solidarity as they go through the ups and downs of life and love together'. Melissa's favs were Rules For a Pretty Woman by Suzette Francis - a young woman decides to live life by her own rules after being disappointed once too often - and Why Girls Are Weird by Pamela Ribon; librarian Anna Koval, 'a nothing special twenty something' becomes an overnight Internet sensation. My own top picks are Lisa Gardner's latest, The Killing Hour, an intense, gritty, romantic thriller that teams a rookie FBI agent-in-training with a veteran as they desperately try to locate the cunning Eco-Killer and his latest victim. On the lighter side, don't miss The Impostor, 2nd in Celeste Bradley's engaging Liarís Club series. Wonderful characters, smart and witty dialogue and nifty plotting make this historical romance a must read.

Historical Romance

Since Carden Reeves knows nothing about his new young charges, their temporary guardian Serefina Treadwell has no intention of leaving the little innocents in his dubious care. Carden on the other hand, has The Perfect Seduction in mind in Leslie LaFoy's exciting romance. Regency period pieces continue to hold readers' imaginations and Victoria Alexander's The Lady in Question is no exception. It's a complicated tale of spies, switched identities and of course true love. Linda Lael Miller presents the 2nd installment in her action-packed, humorous McKettrick trilogy in Shotgun Bride. This time it's Kade's turn to fall in love and his sights are set on a pretty nun who's much more than she first appears. Finally, Colleen McCullough is back with The Touch, a multi-layered story that follows the life of Alex Kinross, a Scotsman who's made his fortune and settles in New South Wales Australia in the late 19th century. Tragedy, loss, murder and unrequited love are sure to make this another reader favourite.

Mainstream & Contemporary

Cry No MoreLinda Howard heats things up with romantic thriller, Cry No More, whose heroine Milla Edge and mystery man James Diaz team up to smash a Mexican kidnapping ring that may have snatched Milla's infant son years before. Truth or Dare, by popular author Jane Ann Krentz, brings back new husband and wife team, Zoe and Ethan Truax, with their investigation into shady goings on at Candle Lake Psychiatric manor. Edie Claire's Long Time Coming tells the story of Joy Hudson's return to her home town, where she finds romance with the man she holds responsible for her best friend's death years before. And Catherine Anderson delivers another poignant tale in Blue Skies. Carly Adams, who has recently regained her sight, decides to kick up her heels. Though her one night stand with Hank Coulter leaves her pregnant, for the newly independent Carly, marrying Crystal Falls' most eligible bachelor is a last resort.

Paranormal Romance

Nora Roberts brings her many fans Key of Knowledge, 2nd in her latest series. Now that the Key of Light has been located, librarian Dana Steele (with the help of former lover Jordan Hawke) must find the Key of Knowledge to foil evil sorcerer Kane. Karen Harbaugh sweeps readers back to 1793 France in her action-filled paranormal, Night Fires, in which vampire Simone de la Fer regularly rescues aristocrats from Lady Guillotine. Her daring exploits and mysterious vanishing acts alert and intrigue British agent Michael Corday, whom Simone lures inexorably into her dark, fantastic world.

Dance With the DevilJenna McKnight charms with her innovative, funny paranormal tale, A Greek God at the Ladies Club. Sculptor Alex de Marco, who has sold a daring statue of Greek god Darius to the Ladies Club, is surprised when her statue turns into flesh and blood. Darius wants to shower the talented Alex with her every desire for giving him his body back. Soon Alex finds herself not only dealing with a persistent, virile god but with his angry parents (Zeus and Hera) as well. Finally, Sherrilyn Kenyon continues her Dark Hunter series with Dance With the Devil. After almost a millenium of exile Zarek's fellow gods decide he must be properly judged; his fate lies in the hands of Astrid, the blind goddess of justice.

Christmas Confections

Need an extra stocking stuffer for that hard to buy for friend or relative, or just can't get your hands on enough books with a seasonal theme? One or two listed here are sure to give you the warm and fuzzies.

There's no shortage of anthologies this busy holiday season: Let It Snow features 4 new stories written by some of today's most popular romance authors - Fern Michaels, Virginia Henley, Holly Chamberlain and Marcia Evanick. It Happened One Christmas features Susan Wiggs, Nancy Warren and Jule McBride with enchanting stories: The St. James Affair, A Catered Affair and A Philadelphia Affair. Home for the Holidays (by Leanne Banks, Dixie Browning and Kathie DeNosky) introduces 3 sisters reunited over the Christmas season, who each find love just in time to ring in the New Year. And Mary Jo Putney brings her many fans a choice collection of historical and contemporary Yuletide tales in Christmas Revels, one or two of which are spin-offs of previous novels.

We havenít forgotten you mystery and mayhem buffs -- check out Crooks, Crime and Christmas, a collection that showcases such master storytellers as Ed Gorman and Susan Slater. And Fugitive Apprehension Agent Stephanie Plum never seems to get a day off, not even during the holidays. In Janet Evanovich's Visions of Sugar Plums, Stephanie's on the lookout for bail jumper Sandy Claws. Of course the usual host of eccentric characters and relatives tag along for another wild ride. As if that's not bad enough, Stephanie has somehow merited the attention of a mysterious stranger named Diesel.

Still hungering for books with the word Christmas in the title? Check out some sweet or spicy, naughty or nice, stories available in category romance this holiday season:
Christmas at Cupid's Hideaway; The Christmas Target; Christmas at Shadow Creek; Those Christmas Angels (an encore by Debbie Macomber's popular angels Shirley, Goodness and Mercy); The Christmas Wife; Cinderella's Christmas Affair; Christmas Bonus, Strings Attached; The Christmas Feast; Mistletoe Over Manhattan; and finally Cole for Christmas.

Happy Reading and Best Wishes of the Season!

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.