A December book arrived a tad late: Cindy Gerard's Under the Wire (St. Martin's) (ISBN 031298104X) with her latest Bodyguard story. This time, Manny Ortega and Lily Campora meeting up seventeen years after she left him. This time, despite his belief that she betrayed him, he has to help her find their son, the son he never knew existed. If you want adventure and have been enjoying this series, no doubt you'll enjoy this one as well. But Manny's belief in what the villains have told him is too easy, and he holds onto it, and his grudge, too long.
Next up is Vicki Lewis Thompson's latest Nerd, My Nerdy Valentine (St. Martin's) (ISBN 0312939094). Amanda Rykowsky's internship with a sex therapist is just one more thing she has to do before she can graduate, and it wouldn't have been her first choice, but she's determined to make the best of it, no matter how many X-rated videos and sex toys she has to purchase for her boss's business practice. Will Sloan's presence when her latest bag of goodies breaks all over the steps in their office building is bad enough, but then her boss decides he's a challenge. And Will just wants to spend a little more time with Amanda. Will gets his wish when someone starts sending creepy notes to Amanda, and he steps up to scare off the 'other guy'. Amanda's boss is over the top, too much so for me, I'm afraid. I haven't been a fan of the Nerd books, and this one didn't change my mind. I'll just pull one of her old Harlequin Temptations off my keeper shelf for a re-read.
Finally, we have the latest Coulter from Catherine Anderson, Sun Kissed (Signet) (ISBN 9780451218957). Samantha Harrigan won't stand for the abuse of any animals, and particularly not a horse, but the drunk she tries to stop is vicious, attacking her and the man who comes to her rescue, vet Tucker Coulter. They're both arrested for attacking the man, but by the time things are straightened out, Tucker knows Samantha is a woman he'd like to spend more time with. Unfortunately, Samantha's not in the market for another man after her experience with her ex-husband. When one of her horses gets violently ill, however, she calls Tucker in to the rescue. Much like LaVyrle Spencer before her, Catherine Anderson can be counted on to people a story with believable characters and emotional conflicts. The only thing that bothered me about this one is the sudden (and heavy) emphasis in the latter part of the story on Samantha's religious beliefs; had it been present from the beginning, I don't think this would have stuck out the way it did in my reading, but it wasn't touched on earlier in the story, but focused on heavily later. Aside from that, this one is still a keeper for me. Tucker is a wonderful hero, and Samantha a strong woman determined to overcome her past issues. It's earned four of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!