Romance Report: Blazing Beach Reads By Martina Bexte (June, 2005)
If you're spending time at the beach this summer, make sure that, along with the sunscreen, sun block and snorkeling gear, you've laid in a good supply of romantic reading. Whether you like historicals, romantic suspense, the latest installment of a favourite series, or, even anthologies, there's no lack of choices. So find a nice sunny spot, spread out that big fluffy beach towel, order an ice cold drink from the nearest cabana boy and enjoy!
Reviewers Raves & Faves
Start filling your beach bag with our reviewers' recommendations: Marie gives high marks to Wendy Markham's Once Upon a Blind Date and a rollicking regency, To Love a Thief by Julie Anne Long. Rashmi gives a big thumbs up to Lois Greiman's Unzipped, whose intrepid heroine 'keeps readers in splits, and witticisms carpet the plot like grass on a lawn'. She also recommends The Diva's Guide to Selling Your Soul by Kathleen O'Reilly as 'a new take on the eternal battle between God and the Devil - captivating doesn't even begin to cover it'.
As to my pick of the summer crop, check out The Companion by Susan Squires, one of the best paranormals I've read in a long time, a story that's beautifully written and truly evocative. And if you need to keep older kids entertained, Melissa recommends these two teen beach reads - Island Girl by Sandra Byrd and The Au Pairs: Skinny-dipping by Melissa de la Cruz.
Elizabeth Thornton's newest historical, The Marriage Trap (first of a new series), follows the exploits of Jack Rigg who's fled London to avoid marriage only to fall under the charms of a lovely cardsharp. Susan Carroll presents the second book in her Cheney sisters series, The Courtesan; this time it's Gabrielle Cheney's turn to find love and adventure in Renaissance Paris. In Jen Holling's My Devilish Scotsman, Gillian Mcdonall finds herself betrothed to the notorious Nicholas Lyon, believed to have murdered his previous wife.
Laura Lee Guhrke's latest, The Marriage Bed, tells the story of Lady Viola who's vowed to never let her deceiving scoundrel of a husband back into her bed or her heart, while he hopes it's not too late to win back her love. Let Betina Kahn be your guide as she takes Abigail and Apollo to Casablanca in search of The Book of the Seven Delights. And in Only For a Knight, Sue-Ellen Welfonder brings her many fans another delightful Knights tale.
Mainstream & Contemporary
In Jane Heller's An Ex to Grind, Melanie Banks hates the idea of writing her ex-husband Dan alimony cheques for the next eight years, so she hatches a scheme to find him a new girlfriend. The Things We Do For Love, the latest from Kristin Hannah, explores the bond that forms between two very different women who have both been hurt by love. The incomparable Nora Roberts brings her many fans The Black Rose, book two of her In the Garden series. This time it's Roz's turn to find love with writer Mitch Carnegie, but not without interference from resident ghost Amelia.
For those of you who can't get enough of the Ya-Ya Club, they're back in Ya-Yas In Bloom, in which Rebecca Wells focuses on how the four larger-than life-southern belles met as young girls. In Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evie, Marianne Stillings presents another hilarious romp that sees step-siblings Evie Randall and Max Galloway trying to figure out who killed their father, along with a little help from beyond the grave. Heartbreak Hotel is a wonderfully rich tale by Jill Marie Landis about a disillusioned author whose stay at a seaside hotel and love affair with the owner puts his life back on track. And sparks fly when PR specialist Cassie Cooper and nerdy archeologist, Dr. Harrison Standish, search for missing Egyptian amulets in Lori Wilde's madcap romp, Mission Irresistible.
Romantic Mystery & Suspense
For those of you who've been following the adventures of Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooters, Inc, keep an eye out for Breaking Point - the romance that's been brewing between Max Bhagat and former hostage, Gina, is finally resolved. Brockmann also brings back two other popular characters from a previous adventure, Out of Control. Karen Robards' Superstition shows police chief Joe Franconi and TV reporter Nicki Sullivan trying to unmask a killer who's resurfaced after a fifteen year hiatus.
Marliss Melton's In the Dark has Navy SEAL Luther Lindstrom falling hard for the CIA analyst he rescues from a Cuban prison. Veteran writer Anne Stuart invented her own version of the dark and brooding hero; cold-hearted assassin Bastien Touissant falls right into that category - and then some - as he and innocent Chloe Underwood try to evade evil arms dealers in Black Ice. And Holly Lisle pens another edge-of-your seat thriller in Last Girl Dancing, where a young woman must venture into a seamy and disturbing underworld to track down her missing sister.
Dark Moon, the third installment of Lori Handeland's werewolf series, follows Dr. Elise Hanover's quest to discover a cure for her affliction, while at the same time she's reunited with an old flame. Linda Howard ventures back into supernatural territory in her latest, Killing Time, where an FBI agent from 200 years in the future returns to 2005 to discover who's trying to kill the creator of time travel. Lt. Eve Dallas and her crack team of investigators are back in Origin in Death. This time Eve is on the trail of cosmetic surgeons pushing the laws of science and nature.
Don't miss Haunted, Kelley Armstrong's latest entry in her Women of the Otherworld series. The Three Fates tap witch Eve Levine to put a stop to a demon who's wreaking havoc on the human plane. And Susan Krinard continues her historical werewolf series in To Tame a Wolf where Tally and half-breed Sim Cavenaugh team up to search the Arizona desert for her missing younger brother.
If shorter fare is more your glass of iced tea, then check out these offerings: Honk if You Love Real Men is a hot and lively collection that combines the talents of Carrie Alexander, Pamela Britton, Susan Donovan and Laura Lee as they bring fantasy men to life. In Bad Boys Over Easy, Erin McCarthy, Jen Nicholas and Jordan Summers have whipped up a trio of steamy stories that are sure to fog up your Ray Bans.
Velvet, Leather & Lace is another lip-smacking collection of stories featuring three women who design lingerie, penned by veteran writers Susan Forster, Jill Shalvis and Donna Kaufmann. If you'd rather delve into a paranormal anthology then What Dreams May Come is just what you're looking for, with stories by Sherrilyn Kenyon, Rebecca York, and newcomer Robin D. Owens ... Happy Tanning!!
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