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Hello, and welcome back! Well, one all-star tournament is finished, with one yet to start, though our baseball season is finally winding down. We'll have about a month off before fall ball starts. Ah, well. I did manag to sneak off for the day yesterday to roam around the nearby Renaissance Faire grounds for their annual Celtic Fling with some friends and heard one of my favorite bands, as well as admired lots of men in kilts. And got a tad sunburned. But it was worth it.

I have a few new and recently-released books to share this time out, so let's get started.

My Wicked Highlander: The MacDonell Brides Trilogy My Wicked Highlander: The MacDonell Brides Trilogy (Pocket) by Jen Holling is in stores now. Isobel MacDonell gets a surprise when she learns her father has arranged a marriage for her and she is to return home to Scotland after twelve years away. Sir Phillip Kilpatrick has been sent to bring her back, and his chore seems rather onerous. Our regular visitors know I love a good Scottish romance, and paranormal even more. But I just couldn't get into this one. I couldn't feel any sympathy for Isobel from the start, and she didn't seem to do any growing throughout the story. I'm sorry to say I just didn't like this one. I do have higher hopes, though, for her sister Gillian's story which will be available soon.

Passion Passion (Berkley) by Lisa Valdez is up next. Widowed Passion Dare is about to officially come out of mourning, though she has no plans to wed again. But meeting a man at the Crystal Palace leads to an unplanned intimate encounter that she would like to repeat. Mark Hawkmore, Earl of Langley, has no immediate plans for marriage, despite the woman blackmailing his mother into wedding her daughter, and his encounters with Passion don't soon change his mind. Very probably, the portrayal of Mark as an arrogant peer is an accurate one of the times. That doesn't make it more appealing, though. I won't deny this one is steamy, but often, there's little purpose to the sensuality beyond the sensuality. In other words, it doesn't advance the story much. If you're looking for a tale to fog up your reading glasses and don't mind that there's little else, you may enjoy this one. I was really torn between wanting to enjoy it just for that and being disappointed at the lack of good, compelling story.

The Nosy Neighbor The Nosy Neighbor (Pocket) by Fern Michaels is also in stores now. Lucy Baker's decision to leave her successful career as a defense attorney has her living in a completely different world now, but that world is turned upside-down by the news that her fiance is a wanted man. This one is rather sweet, though Lucy is rather naive for a former high-powered attorney. If you're looking for something light, something that won't steam up your reading glasses, or make you think, wondering who the bad guy is, this one's for you.

Until next time, happy reading.

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