Gilding the Lady (Berkley) by Nicole Byrd leads off this week, with Lord Gabriel Sinclair offering his aid to Clarissa Fallon in relearning how to behave in Society. I never really connected with Clarissa in this one, and wasn't satisfied with Gabriel's motivation in helping her, and the bad guy isn't exactly a stumper. This one is sweet, but not compelling reading, sadly. It's earned only two of Cupid's five arrows.
Lyon's Gate: A Sherbrooke Novel (Jove) by Catherine Coulter is next. This one is one of the new, bigger (and more expensive) paperback formats, theoretically designed for easier reading. The print isn't a lot bigger than in a normal mass market paperback, but there is a lot of white space between lines and around the margins, so for an extra $2, this might make for easier reading for some fans. On the other hand, I didn't love this story, so the extra money wouldn't have made me happy. I didn't even like this story, actually. Hallie Carrick and Jason Sherbrooke shouldn't like each other at all, but, being a man, Jason can't help but lust after Hallie. And Hallie loses all her good sense in his presence. Perhaps it's just a 'voice' thing, but I'm not really a fan of Ms. Coulter, and this one hasn't swayed me in her favor--it seems a replay of the last of her books that I read. Sadly, I didn't find the book humorous at all, just tedious. I'm giving it two arrows as well.
Courting Claudia (Avon) by debut author Robyn DeHart is last this week, and in this case, the best was saved for last. Claudia Prattley's decision to quit her job as illustrator brings her into very close contact with Derrick Middleton, who decides he can't let her quit her job with is newspaper, woman or not. So his 'courtship' begins. Despite a rather predictible bad guy, this story was a lot of fun. Claudia and Derrick generate quite a bit of heat, and Derrick's realization of his feelings blossoms quite believably during the story. I had a lot of fun with this one and hated to see it end. I hope Ms. DeHart is prolific. I'm giving this one four arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!