First up is Suzanne Forster's new one, While She Was Sleeping (Berkley). I'll tell you right up front, Suzanne Forster is one of my favorite authors, ever since I read Blush, and I just wish she were more prolific. Russ Sadler is none too pleased to have his former fiancee joining him in the hunt for a killer, but Jennifer Nash has offered her services as an artist to try to recreate the face of the madman. The last thing Russ wants is to rekindle their relationship, but you know all about the best-laid plans, right? Ms. Forster is quite skilled at setting a mood and creating steamy encounters between her protagonists, not to mention writing nail-biting suspense, and this story is no exception. You'll be wondering the whole way whodunit, and fanning yourself during the love scenes. I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows for this one.
Next up is Julia London's new contemporary romance, Material Girl (Berkley Sensation). Robin Lear's life, and the lives of her sisters in two more books, is about to be turned upside down when her father learns he's dying of cancer. I didn't enjoy this one at all. Her father is miserable, Robin is a tad too cheerful for a woman whose been dropped from the top of the heap and has to start to work her way back up from the bottom, and builder Jake Manning could do better--far better than this snot who treats him like scum when they meet. Then again, if he wants her, he can have her, because this one is definitely not a keeper for me--I'm giving it only two arrows. I do have hope for at least one of her sisters, though.
Finally is Rebecca Hagan Lee's Barely a Bride (Berkley Sensation), the first of a new trilogy. Griffin, Viscount Abernathy, is in a bit of a bind--he's one of a trio of friends who belong to a group called the Free Fellows League, and they've all vowed to avoid marriage for as long as possible, and never fall in love with their wives once they're unable to avoid the wretched institution any longer. But now Griffin has gone and signed himself up for the service, and his father won't agree unless Griffin has wed and made some attempt at producing an heir first. Enter Lady Alyssa, who wants only to be permitted freedom to garden, with a father bound to be influenced by Griffin's father's stable of racehorses. Too bad Griffin's unable to control his burgeoning feelings for his new bride. I'd seen a blurb somewhere for this book which led me to believe this story would take place mostly after Griffin's return from the war, but that isn't the case. This story takes place mostly before he leaves and then concludes shortly after his return. It was a pleasant way to while away a few hours, though Griffin's a tad too noble toward the end. I'm borrowing three and a half arrows for this one.
Until next time, happy reading!