Bad Boys Southern Style (Brava) has stories by JoAnn Ross, E. C. Sheedy, and Jill Shalvis. The lead-off, 'Love Potion #9', by Ms. Ross is by far the best novella here, with witch Roxi Dupree and screenwriter Sloan Hawthorne heating up Savannah, Georgia as much as any sultry day Mother Nature can come up with. He needs her expertise on his latest project, but the erotic dreams they've been sharing convince him he needs her for far more and far longer than just three dates. With this one, you never forget it's a romance, no matter the paranormal elements or the erotic ones. Bravo, Ms. Ross! 'Midnight Plane to Georgia' by E. C. Sheedy is actually the first of Ms. Sheedy's works that I've liked. Tracy Allson and Colson Jones's meeting on a flight from Seattle is by chance, but what happens when she gets him at her uncle's B & B is not. The biggest disappointment I had with this one was the lackluster ending. 'Fall From Grace' is last, from Jill Shalvis. I used to really enjoy Ms. Shalvis when she started out writing for Harlequin, but in recent years, I've been consistently disappointed. This tale follows suit unfortunately. More mystery than romance, no matter the 'attraction' between librarian Janie Mills and p.i. Ryan Peterson (which seemed rather forced to me, actually), this one is my least favorite in the collection. However, just because Ms. Ross's story is so excellent, this anthology earns four of Cupid's five arrows!
Angels Fall (Putnam) by Nora Roberts is next. Reece Gilmore doesn't plan to stay in the little town of Angel's Fist, Wyoming when she limps her overheated car into the garage there. But she's a strong believer in signs and the one in the diner looking for a cook is one she can't ignore. She also can't ignore it when she sees a man murder a woman near town. Brody's the only person nearby, and by the time she runs into him, the murderer and victim are gone. But the studly writer believes her, when no one else in the tiny town does, including the local sheriff. Just a few pages into this one, the writer in me was wishing to be Nora when it grows up. And the reader in me was hooked on the first page. She is The Master. The romance is great, the characters believable as always, and the suspense will keep you guessing till the end. This one gets four and a half arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!