Monday, July 28, 2014

Hot Intent-Cindy Dees

Hot Intent
Cindy Dees
Harlequin HQN, Jul 29 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373778898

Kindergarten teacher Katie McCloud joined Doctors Unlimited as a translator in war torn Zaghastan where she assisted Dr. Alex Peters with providing medical help to pregnant women.  When danger arrived, Alex deployed skills no geek possesses and managed to get them back to the States along with newborn Dawn whom Katie delivered and carried home with her; though America’s illusion of haven proved false (see Close Pursuit).

While Alex was away for a year in training, his CIA handler Andre Fortinay warned Katie to have no expectations with her lover.  When Alex finally arrives at their DC home, Katie welcomes him back as her hero.  Soon afterward, Katie and Alex travel to Cuba to help hurricane victims.  However, his espionage past catches up to the two lovers.  When the CIA orders him to dump the woman he loves, Alex must choose between his heart which shouts he belongs with Katie and Dawn; and his training and tortured past which insist eliminate mission threats especially vulnerabilities like Katie and Dawn.

The latest Doctors Unlimited romantic suspense is a thrilling sequel starring a haunted hero who seems capable of doing anything except love, and a spunky female who refuses to quit on her anguished man.  Although lacking the unique profoundness of a war torn Zaghastan village (see Close Pursuit), the depth into Alex’s abnormal mental state filled with rage hooks the audience.  Readers wonder throughout whether Alex will allow his two beloveds to become expendable pawns; as the pressure from the CIA and his paternal Russian family amplifies with each side agreeing on one thing in the international game of deadly intrigue: dump the female albatrosses.


Harriet Klausner

No Strings Attached-Susan Anderson

No Strings Attached
Susan Anderson
Harlequin HQN, Jul 29 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9780373778874

Seven years ago on Andros Island, Bahamas, Tasha Riordan and Diego shared a terrific tryst.  He told her he had to meet his boss but asked her to delay her flight home from Nassau for another day of sex, which she did as this trip was the highlight of her life.  A few hours later, Drug Enforcement Unit Inspector Rolle arrested Tasha for possession with the intent to sell as these next two days prove the lowlight of her life. 

In Razor Bay, Washington, running late for a going away party thrown for Gina, Bella T’s pizzeria owner Tasha enters the room only to see Diego “NoLastName” sitting at the table with the guest of honor’s daughter Harper and Max (see Some Like It Hot).  Stunned she drops the food and wine she brought to the gala.  Max’s brother Luc Bradshaw remembers his time with Tasha in the Bahamas as his greatest memory though he regretted leaving her behind due to a DEA undercover mission.  Now he wants a second chance but needs to know what happened because he believes she left him to go home on her scheduled flight; though she still wants him, she distrusts the man who left her lingering terrorized with fear in that hellhole Bahamian jail.

Putting aside the odds, the third Razor Bay Bradshaw brothers’ contemporary (see That Thing Called Love) is a diverting second chance drama in which “… the truth will set you free”, but in this case probably alone.  Luc and Tasha make for a fun romance as trust died in the Bahamas crippling their love.

 


Harriet Klausner

Saturday, July 26, 2014

The Home Place-Carrie La Seur

The Home Place
Carrie La Seur
Morrow, Jul 29 2014, $25.95
ISBN: 9780062323446

On a freezing January night on the wrong side of the tracks in Billings, Montana, intoxicated Vicky walks the streets seeking to score pot from her ex Dennis.  An early riser finds her body three blocks from the Kozinsky house where she and her tweener daughter Brittany have lived paying the rent by the adult having sex with the owner. 

Vicky’s older sister Seattle lawyer Alma receives the call that her sibling died from exposure.  Having avoided for five years going home as she hates Billings the site of terrible memories, Alma plans to take care of business as fast as she can so she can return ASAP to Washington State.  Her biggest concern is for her eleven years old niece who needs a home, but she distrusts her volatile family even her big brother to take proper care of traumatized Brittany, mute since her mom died.  As remorseful Vicky learns more about her estrange sister’s death, she begins to wonder if the tragedy was not alcoholic induced but instead a homicide.

This is a perceptive Big Sky family drama in which readers obtain a profound look at what shaped the two sisters to go on such diverse paths after their parents died when they were young with Vicky's death serving as a conduit into a dysfunctional extended family.  Mindful of the frozen tundra in the movie Fargo, the stark Montana background enhances a strong saga with the only misstep being the “required” former boyfriend.


Harriet Klausner

Night Drop-Michael W. Sherer

Night Drop
Michael W. Sherer
Cutter Press, Sep 8 2014
ISBN 9780989274821

Two years ago, teenager Cole Sanders committed suicide.  Soon afterward, his grieving parents ended their marriage.  Whereas his mom Molly McHugh mourned her loss, she continued as a high powered lawyer at a big Seattle firm; while his dad Blake no longer could live in daylight so now delivers the Seattle Times at night and volunteers at a Suicide Prevention Center.

After returning home from a business trip in China, Molly calls Blake to admonish him for failing to water her plants as he promised.  However, shortly into the call Molly places Blake on hold to answer the door, but fails to return to the phone; someone abducts Molly.  Her law firm and the FBI believe the kidnappers’ motive is ransom; Blake disagrees believing some other unknown reason exists for the snatch.

At the same time Yousef leads a terrorist cell that forces former SEAL Macready the oceanographer to cooperate with their plot to use his dolphins to help move canisters filled with nuclear material or his captured woman will lose body parts.  Office of Naval Intelligence LTC Reyna Chase searches for Macready who vanished from the grid.  As Blake, Reyna, Macready, the Feds, the terrorists and their hostage converge, cities are at risk.

The third Blake Sanders thriller (see Night Tide and Night Blind) is an exhilarating drama that grips readers from the start even when the chessboard is being set and never slows down until the final confrontation.  Although for the most part the terrorists are Middle East stereotypes and Iron Mike is a legend at Fort Bragg, subgenre fans will root for ADD-eccentric Blake stepping out in daylight to try to save his former wife. 


Harriet Klausner

The Home Place-Carrie La Seur

The Home Place
Carrie La Seur
Morrow, Jul 29 2014, $25.95
ISBN: 9780062323446

On a freezing January night on the wrong side of the tracks in Billings, Montana, intoxicated Vicky walks the streets seeking to score pot from her ex Dennis.  An early riser finds her body three blocks from the Kozinsky house where she and her tweener daughter Brittany have lived paying the rent by the adult having sex with the owner. 

Vicky’s older sister Seattle lawyer Alma receives the call that her sibling died from exposure.  Having avoided for five years going home as she hates Billings the site of terrible memories, Alma plans to take care of business as fast as she can so she can return ASAP to Washington State.  Her biggest concern is for her eleven years old niece who needs a home, but she distrusts her volatile family even her big brother to take proper care of traumatized Brittany, mute since her mom died.  As remorseful Vicky learns more about her estrange sister’s death, she begins to wonder if the tragedy was not alcoholic induced but instead a homicide.

This is a perceptive Big Sky family drama in which readers obtain a profound look at what shaped the two sisters to go on such diverse paths after their parents died when they were young with Vicky's death serving as a conduit into a dysfunctional extended family.  Mindful of the frozen tundra in the movie Fargo, the stark Montana background enhances a strong saga with the only misstep being the “required” former boyfriend.


Harriet Klausner

Friday, July 25, 2014

Taken-Lora Leigh

Taken
Lora Leigh
St. Martin’s, Jul 22 2014, $14.99
ISBN: 9781250045454

“Reno’s Chance.”  Raven loves her best friend Morganna’s brother, but Reno treats her like another sister.  With Reno on leave, Raven decides this is the time to show him what she wants.

“For Maggie’s Sake.”  Grant fooled his wife Maggie and his SEAL friend Joe as part of the vicious Fuentes gang.  Joe believes Maggie who he loved but lost to Grant somehow is involved with this dangerous drug lord. He reassesses his belief when his Maggie is abducted.

“Atlanta Heat.”  Mason and Emerson are attracted to each other, but he refuses to act on his desire out of fear her godfather Admiral Holloran would fry certain body parts he cherishes.  A failed kidnapping brings the pair’s feelings out into the open.

“Night Hawk.” For three years Elite Ops agents “Black Jack” and “Night Hawk” have met clandestinely sharing no personal information.  This night is their last time together.

“Cooper’s Fall.” Former army ranger Ethan has the biggest boner of his life when he stares out his window like a pervert seeing virginal Sarah naked (except for nipple rings) masturbating; unaware he is the star of her sexual fantasies.  

“Sheila’s Passion.” Nick saw a lot of crap while in combat as a marine. Out of the service, Nick loves Sheila, but believes she sees him as a pal after being hurt recently by a former boyfriend. Sheila wants Nick to admit he passionately loves her.  The dynamics change when an adversary threatens Sheila.

These six reprinted erotica tales star “Real Men” (from Lora Leigh’s series) and females proving to be their equals.  Though the plots are thin, The Heat Is On (Glenn Frey) every page.


Harriet Klausner

Doghouse (A Gin & Tonic Mystery)-L.A. Kornetsky

Doghouse (A Gin & Tonic Mystery)
L.A. Kornetsky
Pocket Books, Jul 22 2014, $7.99
ISBN: 9781476750040

At Mary’s in Seattle’s Ballard neighborhood, private concierge Ginny Mallard and recently promoted bar manager Teddy Tonica have become friends.  Her shar-pei Georgie and his cat Penny (though everyone except him knows he is her pet) are also buddies.  Recently the quartet pawed their way through two “cases” (see Fixed and Collared) that proved dangerous.

However, both are shocked when Mary’s cantankerous old cook Seth grumbles in true snark form as only he can that he wants to hire them; he always warned them to stay away from inquiries since they are unlicensed amateurs.  Seth explains his old boxing buddy Deke Hoban took too many punches so is slow but nice.  Deke’s landlord Cooper plans to evict him based on the punch drunk former pugilist allowing dogs inside the house he leases; thus voiding the rental contract condition of no pets.  Pleading his case Seth insists Deke would never sponsor dogfighting as Cooper implies he did and claims his friend needs to stay in this place as the rent is cheap and he knows his way around there.  Finally Seth wants Gin and Tonic to find proof that the landlord is full of sh*t.  Though they know Deke needs a lawyer rather than two amateurs like them, because of Seth they look into the claim with surreptitiousness help from Georgie and stealth direction from field officer Penny.

The third Gin & Tonic “researchtigations” is an appealing anthropomorphist amateur sleuth enhanced by life in a cheerful neighborhood bar.  The lead humans and their animal owners remain fresh leads while the case proves bloody in the ring and the bar.


Harriet Klausner