Underfoot by Leanne Banks
I don't usually have time for what I call "big books". My life is a bit too stressful. But I picked up this book anyway and I don't regret it. This was a great read.
Trina Roberts and Walker Gordon had a one-night stand, a drunken night of unprotected sex after Walker was dumped at the altar. The next day he left for Paris. Soon Trina discovered she was pregnant. Since Walker had previously stated that the Gordon men made terrible fathers and that he intended to never have children, Trina decided not to tell him. 15 months later he returns and the truth soon comes out. Walker is determined to do the right thing, he's just not exactly sure what that is. Monetary support, of course. And every little girl needs a daddy so he even tries his hand at matchmaking. Add to that a younger brother and his pregnant fiance, a beer stealing uncle recovering from by-pass surgery and a growing attraction to Trina and Walker has his hands full. Trina has to deal with an ex-husband, a meddling mother and the feelings that she's always had for Walker. Can these two make it? Of course, this is a romance after all. I'd give this a 5 star rating.
Aussie Rules by Jill Shalvis
I have to admit that when I first began reading this book it reminded me of one of Jill’s earlier works Love is in the Air from the Paris or Bust anthology, as they both take place in an airport with a spunky heroine and quick-witted hero, but I was soon assured that this was not a re-hash but a great story all on it’s own. Bo Black, the sexiest hero to come along, arrives at the North Beach Airport looking for what he believes is rightfully his. Melanie Anderson, aka Mel, is the owner of Anderson Air and the custodian of not only the airport, but the caretaker of the group of people who work there. She believes that the airport belongs to Sally, the woman that took her under her wing and provided her with the unconditional love that she so sorely lacked in her home life. She also believes that Bo is a con artist just like his father and she is very suspicious of his motives for returning to town. Bo believes that Sally was the swindler and that her actions led to his dad’s death. He has the deed to the airfield and intends to take it over. He didn’t count on Mel and her unflinching loyalty to Sally and the people around her. Together they work to find the truth and along the way they fall in love. Aussie Rules is a wonderful book full of humor and romance. It’s the kind of work that I have come to expect from Ms. Shalvis and she does not disappoint. Once again she gives us secondary characters and plotlines that enhances the main story instead of detracts, as happens in a lot of romances. It’s an enjoyable journey down the rocky road to love – get ready for a bumpy ride. If you want a good romantic comedy, then this is the book for you. Highly recommended.
UPDATE: 2007 RITA for Best Contemporary Single Title Romance Finalist
by Jo Leigh
I’ll start by saying that I loved this book. In fact, I just finished reading it a few minutes ago. It’s a July release and I urge you to go to eharlequin.com and pre-order it now.
This is the first in a series about a group of people who know something they shouldn’t, who are running for their lives while trying to get those lives back. They live “just below the surface” of society, shifting from identity to identity, one step ahead of the enemy. They can only rely on each other, they can’t make friends or fall in love – it isn’t an option. Closer … is the story of Christie Pratchett whose brother Nate had been one of those people and had died because of it. Christie has a stalker who has effectively shut down her life; taken away her job, her friends, and isolating her from everything that she knew. Out of desperation she dialed a number on the back of a picture, a number that her brother had told her to call if she ever needed help. That help turned out to be ex-Delta Force member Boone Ferguson, a friend of her brother’s, who sets out to get Christie back everything that she lost. Boone can’t help but become more involved than he should, to care for Christie far beyond what is required to protect her. And as it becomes more evident that this stalker is more dangerous than imagined, falling in love can become more a liability than blessing, a distraction that could get them both killed.
If I were to put this on an Amazon scale of stars – it would get 5. I loved both Christie and Boone. The chemistry between them is palpable, the tension not only sexual but heightened by the danger surrounding them. The storyline is believable, engrossing and kept me totally absorbed in the story. Once again, I highly recommend this book.
by Rhonda Nelson
When a mission goes bad, three Rangers - James Aidan Flanagan (aka Jamie), Guy McCann and Bryan Payne (aka Payne) want out of the military. Colonel Garrett, their commanding officer, lets them go only after getting a promise from them that they would each grant him one favor – of his choosing and his timetable. First up is Jamie “The Player”, so named because of his prowess with the ladies. Right now, Jamie is going through the women like there’s no tomorrow – his way of dealing with the grief and guilt over the last mission. So what does the Colonel want from him? Only to flirt with his granddaughter Audrey to put doubts in her head about the man she’s thinking of marrying. No touching – she’s totally off limits, and the Colonel has made that perfectly clear.
Audrey (Audie) Kinkaid left the high-stress working world to open a “de-stressing” camp. Past relationships, including one that ended with a restraining order, has made her leery of “needy” men. She’s a bit of an empath and absorbs their bad energy, so she’s looking for a man who doesn’t need anything from her. Hence her hook-up with arrogant, self-absorbed Derrick. This is the only part of the book that I wasn’t pleased with. Audrey is written as an intelligent woman who wouldn’t put up with a lot – so I (and Bebo) didn’t understand how she could stay with this guy for one year. But it wasn’t as much of a problem that it ruined the book for me.
On an Amazon scale – 4 ½ (I know, you can’t do half stars there, but they should). The sexual tension in the book was good, the banter was wonderful – I laughed out-loud in quite a few places. The demons that hounded Jamie were understandable and sympathetic. The secondary character of Tewanda was great – adding to the comedic moments. I also like how Rhonda focused a bit on the other two men, so you get a feel for them before their books come out. I don’t regret paying full price for this, and I do certainly recommend it if you want a fun read.