Rising Moon (St. Martin's) by Lori Handeland continues her werewolf series. This time, Anne Lockheart goes to New Orleans to search for her missing sister and comes up with clues to something frightening, something that might have taken her sister. This one, as with the last one, is told in first person, which is off-putting for not just me, but for some other readers I know. But if you've been a fan of the series up to this point, I doubt that will bother you at all. Nor will the mixing of werewolf lore and voodoo. For me, not a keeper, but don't let that stop you if you think it sounds interesting.
School for Heiresses (Pocket Star) has stories by Sabrina Jeffries, Liz Carlyle, Julia London and Renee Bernard, a late December arrival. Four of Mrs. Harris's students have left school for the holidays with difficult homework. In Ms. Jeffries's 'Ten Reasons to Stay', Eliza Crenshawe gets caught trying to 'borrow' one of Colin Hunt, Earl of Monteith's horses. He believes she is a melodramatic miss and wants to return her to her guardian, at first. This one is hot, though too short for me. Carlyle's 'After Midnight' has Martinique Neville trundled off to the countryside for the holidays with her guardians, where Justin, Earl of St. Vrain finds himself intrigued by the direct and beautiful young lady, and when they are caught in her bedroom, a betrothal is necessary, whether Martinique likes it or not. London's 'The Merchant's Gift' has Grace Holcomb returning home before her father sends her back to the city for a Season, hoping she will catch a titled husband. But it is miller Barrett Adlaine who's captured her attention, and not even the best of chaperones can stop the scandalous affair. If not for Grace's wishy-washy-ness, I would have loved this story. In Bernard's 'Michief's Holiday', Alyssa Martin begins her holidays with one misadventure that only leads to more. Leland Yates rescues her more than once, but she doesn't want to compete with her proper and pretty cousin Violet. Compared to her novel last month, this one is downright chaste. The collection is a good read, though I will say the Jeffries is by far the best of the stories. I'm borrowing three and a half of Cupid's five arrows for this one.
Who Wants to Be a Sex Goddess (Brava) by Gemma Bruce is next, with Ariadne, aka Andy, McAllister heading off to scope out the sexy spa where her aunt vanished. Dillon Roth is there under false pretenses as well, posing as staff while he conducts his own investigation. As is usual in Bruce's books, the tone is very chick lit, very flippant, and the focus is as much on the mystery as the romance, which isn't very convincing to me. She's just not my cup of tea, but surely some of you will disagree.
Until next time, happy reading!