Texas Rain (Berkley) by Jodi Thomas is up first with the beginning of a new trilogy. Rainey Adams has run from the marriage her father arranged for her back East, and she hasn't quit running yet. But encountering Texas Ranger Travis McMurray at a dance slows her down just a little. Until she steals his horse. Then, when he's shot, she appears again, briefly, to make sure he's all right before she snitches another horse from his ranch and disappears all the way to Austin. There, she plans to start a new life and gets off to a fine start. She also writes to the man she can't forget. For a while, they exhange letters, until Travis is well enough to come up with a good excuse to go to Austin to look for his 'fairy woman'. This is classic Thomas: well-developed characters in believable situations, and a story you hate to read the end of. If you haven't tried her yet, grab this one. It's a definite keeper (though rather on the sweet side). I'm giving it four of Cupid's five arrows and looking forward to the next two stories in this trilogy.
His Dark Kiss (Zebra) by Eve Silver is up next with her second historical, and it continues her excellent beginning in the field of gothic romances. Emma Parrish has gone off alone to become the governess for the son of a distant cousin, Lord Anthony Craven, at his home Manorbrier. She had high hopes until her driver warned her of the danger. Worse, she's warned again by servants when she arrives, and Anthony is dark and dangerous. And especially attractive. Still, she can't help but wonder if the rumors are true, even as she wonders if she cares about the truth. His son is charming, but not as charming as the father, and Emma finds herself in danger more than once while trying to satisfy her curiosity. This one is a keeper as well, with its tortured hero and smart heroine. Having grown up reading Victoria Holt's gothics, I'm very happy to say gothics are back in fine form, thanks to Eve Silver! This one earns four arrows as well.
And, until next time, happy reading!