Friday, November 23, 2007

I'm Your Santa

By Lori Foster, Karen Kelley and Dianne Castell

A wonderful trio of Christmas stories that will give you a giggle and warm your heart.

The first story is The Christmas Present by Lori Foster. I picked this book up entirely on the fact that there was a story by Ms. Foster. I knew I would be guaranteed a good read and I wasn’t disappointed. Beth Monroe wanted revenge against her cheating fiancé so she decided a night with his best friend Levi would do the trick. Only it wasn’t one night, more like three days and Levi wasn’t backing away. Levi Masterson had been in love with Beth since the first day he saw her, only she was his best friend’s girl. Not anymore, and Levi wasn’t going to let her go even if it means following her home for Christmas. Surrounded by her protective family, he has this one chance to convince Beth that what they had was forever. Full of laughter and love, this was a delightful read.

It’s a Wonderful Life by Karen Kelley comes next. I’m less familiar with Ms. Kelley, but I have enjoyed what I’ve read, and this was no exception. Jeremy Hunter is a jaded actor whose star is a bit tarnished and in trouble of tumbling unless he gets this part as a preacher in an upcoming movie. Nobody believed this playboy could play a prayboy so Jeremy went undercover as a minister, hopping from town to town on his Harley. That is until he lands in Two Creeks, Texas with a sprained ankle which forces him to stay and play the preacher a lot longer than intended. Not too bad, except for fourth grade school teacher Bailey Tanner, who brought totally un-clerical thoughts to his mind. Bailey was sure she was going to hell for lusting after a man of the cloth, but minister Trey Jones had her libido on the go. What happens when cynicism meets small-town life? You’ll find out when you read this enchanting story.

Last, but not least, is Home for Christmas by Dianne Castell. I had never read any of Ms. Castell’s books, but this story will have me searching for them. Lulu Cahill’s boyfriend maxed out her cards and then took off, so she went home to O’Fallon’s Landing, poor and pregnant. Sebastian Moore’s bride left before the “I do’s” but he decided to turn his wedding plans into a holiday bash. With an uproarious tangle of who’s matchmaking whom, Lulu and Sebastian end up right where they’d never thought they would be. I enjoyed every quirky turn in this tale, and I’m sure you will too.

This anthology gets five stars.
Barnes and Noble

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Seducing the Mercenary

by Loreth Anne White

The book was done, the last page read and yet I sat there holding it in my hands, unwilling to let it go. The sounds of the neighborhood slowly emerged from the jungle in my mind; I had been so engrossed that they had been shoved back into the shadows of Ubasi. Usually when I like a book, I jump up immediately and write the review; but not this time. I want to savor the feelings that still pour through me; its story holds me in its grip. What to say, how to articulate the sensations brought on by Emily/Emma and Jean’s story; the emotions that still hold me tight.

Ubasi, an African nation in the middle of turmoil, its tyrannical leader Souleyman ousted by Jean-Charles Laroque, Le Diable, son of the merciless Peter Laroque. Emily Carlin is a psychologist who works for the Force du Sable, a mercenary group that has been commissioned by the U.S. to help Souleyman regain power. She’s an expert in tyrannical pathology, alpha dogs as she calls them. Her job is to determine the best way to control Laroque, whose rise to power makes the U.S. uncomfortable because he can not be controlled as easily as Souleyman. The adage, better the devil you know than the one you don’t, comes easily to mind. Emily has to identify the dictator’s weaknesses in order to help the FDS devise their strategy; do they take him prisoner, or do they assassinate him? She has one week to find out.

Jean-Charles Laroque, a man with a mission, distrustful of everyone. Burdened with the legacy of his father’s cruelty, he must deal with enemies on all sides. Betrayal is dealt with quickly and ruthlessly. How will he handle the duplicity of the woman that he not only let into his castle, but into his heart.
Definitely 5 stars for this one.
Barnes and Noble