First up this week is the latest suspense by Heather Graham, Dying to Have Her (Onyx). This one takes us back to the set of "Valentine Valley," the daytime soap of her last suspense, but this time out, we´re supposed to be rooting for Serena McCormack and Liam Murphy. Serena´s the latest target of some psychopath who´s causing accidents on the soap set, and Liam is her ex, hired by the soap to protect her. Though I liked Serena marginally better than the heroine in the last book, she wasn´t very likable, at least to me. And I couldn´t get a handle on the romance between them. I´m used to Ms. Graham´s older, short contemporaries with the sexy heroes and wonderful characters and I´m finding that her newer books have much less romance in them--not a plus for me unfortunately. This one gets only two of Cupid´s five arrows.
The other book I read for this week is In Praise of Younger Men, the latest anthology from Signet, with historical novellas from Jo Beverley, Jaclyn Reding, Lauren Royal and Cathy Maxwell. Wonderful stories! The book opens with Cathy Maxwell´s "A Man Who Can Dance" with Sarah Ambrose helping her friend Graham McNab learn to dance in order to win the bride of his choice--and a wager with his uncle. Graham and Sarah are both torn by the feelings stirred up during their dance lessons, and the bad guy is one you truly love to hate. Lauren Royal´s "Forevermore" has Cameron Leslie trying to convince widowed Clarice Bradford that he is not too young for her before he must return home to Scotland, but they have to overcome the emotional damage done to her by her first husband for their love to triumph. "Written in the Stars" from Jaclyn Reding has Harriet Drynan trying to find a younger husband and avoid the curse of her family´s women, but her true love is Tristan Carmichael, who shares her birthday. How can this pair overcome a deadly curse to share their lives? And finally, Jo Beverley´s "The Demon´s Mistress" has Maria Celestin caught up in a situation she hadn´t planned on when she tried to repay the damage done to the young Lord Vandeimen´s family by her late husband. But she didn´t count on falling in love. These stories are alternately sweet and sexy, and all are very touching. I´m giving this anthology four arrows.
Until next week, happy reading!