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The End of Summer Romance

Hello, and welcome back! I hope you're squeezing in some reading time among all those last-weeks-of-summer-activities. School starts here next week, which will mean a little more reading time for me, I suppose, but not necessarily for the folks with full-time/year-round jobs. Working from home means I have a little flexibility with my schedule, but I realize that not everyone is so lucky, and I remember well how nice it was to come home from work and curl up with a good book, no matter what the season.

In any case, I have three new romances--all available now--to share with you this week, so let's get started. First up this week is Amanda Scott's latest, Secret Clan: Hidden Heiress (Warner). This time out, Maggie and Claud are trying to find the missing Beth, sister of Molly whose been missing for years. Sir Patrick MacRae locates her first, in his flight from English soldiers. Beth, or Elspeth as she's called now, recalls little from her childhood, though her life has not been easy. More difficulties arise, however, when Maggie and Claud find her. Someone else has been hiding her from them, and Maggie's magic may not be enough to save her. While it took me a while to get into this story, its setting drew me in eventually. Beth and Patrick's romance is enjoyable, though I admit to not liking it as much as Ms. Scott's last story. Of Cupid's five arrows, it's earned three and a half.

Next up is Lauren Bach's Slow Hands (Warner). If you're a regular visitor, you'll recall that when her first book came out last year, I enjoyed it very much. I wasn't disappointed with this one--which is a worry when you find a new author: what if you hate their next book, or what if it's not as good? Keira Morgan is none too pleased to have Alec Dempsey coming back to their small town, for any reason, even if it is to make certain she and her family are all right when a vicious criminal with a grudge is released from prison. It's not bad enough that she's still attracted to the man who left her years ago, but to have him aware of that fact while an old high school rival is trying to win him doesn't make it any easier. Great sensual romance here with suspense that'll keep you turning the pages. I can't wait for her next one! I'm giving this one four arrows.

Finally this week we have Promises to Keep from Kathryn Shay (Berkley). Secret Service agent Joe Stonehouse is working undercover in Suzanna Quinn's high school to try to ferret out problem students who may cause harm to others. As principal, naturally, Suzanna wants to keep her students safe, but her heart is also in danger when Joe's around. She knows he'll be moving on once the problems in her school are taken care of, but who can stop a heart from falling in love? Joe's never had a problem before keeping work and personal lives separate, but he crosses the line here. Can he go back? While the suspense here is fine, it wasn't what kept me turning the pages: that was the relationships among the characters. Very good story peopled with characters you'll have to cheer for--and I'm hoping some of the secondary characters get their own stories as well. This one gets four arrows, too.

Be sure to check out my note about a book club, and until next week, happy reading!

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