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BellaOnline's Romance Novels Editor

Steam Heat

Hello, and welcome back. I hope you´re all getting in enough reading time amid your summer chores.

First up is "Beloved Wolf" by Kasey Michaels (Silhouette). This is the first in their year-long Coltons series, kicking off with foster son River James, who´s been in love with favored daughter Sophie Colton forever. Recent personal crises have brought her home and back into River´s life. Let me start by saying River is one sexy man, and I can understand Sophie´s attraction to him. I really liked this book--until I got to the ending. I know it´s a series, but I absolutely hated the ending of this story. You barely get to enjoy River and Sophie´s HEA before you´re jolted into a cliff-hanging scene meant to lead into the next book. Ruined it for me, so this one gets only three of Cupid´s five arrows.

Next up is the latest in Harlequin´s Fantasies, Inc. series, "Secret Fantasy" by Carly Phillips, whose other books fill a generous space on my shelf. This time Juliette Stanton is off to Merrilee´s island for some privacy. But Doug Houston is there, not to fulfill her fantasy but to get her story for his next scoop. Too bad he falls in love. This one is a bit predictable, unfortunately, but if you´re looking for something safe, this is the book for you. It earns only three arrows. I´ll be looking forward to Ms. Phillips next book, though.

I also read "Seducing Mr. Right" by Cherry Adair (Harlequin Temptation) this week. Cat Harris has decided now is the time to try her luck with Luke Van Buren, the love of her life. But Luke thinks of her as his sister, so changing his opinion is a challenge. And so is getting him to call a halt to his active social life. While I liked the premise of this story, the actual telling didn´t work for me. Luke is a little too hung up on the step-family thing, and after a while, it wears pretty thin. This one gets two arrows.

Finally, I just finished Hot and Bothered
Hot and Bothered
, the new summer anthology from St. Martins, with novellas by Lori Foster, Laura Bradley, Gayle Callen and Victoria Marquez. Lori Foster is another author whose books are taking up a large amount of shelf space in my house, and her novella, "Luring Lucy," doesn´t disappoint. Lucy has gone away for a weekend alone--to find a man. Her friend--and dead husband´s best friend--Bram intends to be that man, forever. Whew! Laura Bradley´s "Truth or Dare" puts Shay McIntyre, a p.i. posing as a reporter, in the midst of the rodeo circuit with Luke Wilder, who may be her best suspect or her happily-ever-after. Is it warm in here? In Gayle Callen´s "Compromised," Lady Elizabeth picks the wrong man to make her intended fiance jealous. Or perhaps the right man? While I liked this story, it certainly didn´t live up to the anthology title. And in Victoria Marquez´s "Treading Dangerous Waters," the weather may have been warm, but the tension wasn´t between Sofia and her aunt´s future son-in-law James. However, just for the first two novellas, I´m giving this anthology four arrows. Enjoy!

Until next week, happy reading!

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