One Real Cowboy (Zebra) by Janette Kenny is up first. Cord Tanner and Beatrix Northroupe's marriage is only temporary. Just until she can persuade her grandfather to make the family horse farm her own. Cord is okay with that, but things keep happening that make him believe sticking around longer isn't such a bad thing after all. This one is pretty light reading, nothing unexpected along the way to distract you, just a cute Western romance of the sort we don't see much these days. It's earned three of Cupid's five arrows.
Secret Fantasy(St. Martin's) by Cheryl Holt is next. Margaret Gray is shocked and excited by the man in her bedroom, but not as shocked as she is just a little while later, watching Jordan Prescott and her hateful aunt. Worse, Jordan has come to woo her spoiled heiress cousin. I wondered as I began this book, just how many books has Ms. Holt written that begin with the heroine watching the hero and another woman engaging in various sex acts. Considering I've read only a handful and recall it several times, too many is my guess. There's precious little romance in this one, though plenty of sex and conniving among the various characters--and I can't even call them secondary characters, because you'll see them at least as much as Margaret and Jordan. I found it very hard to believe in Jordan's redemption, as it's not something you see in the course of the book, just something you're told has happened. I was very, very disappointed with this one. It's getting only two arrows.
Voices of the Night (Signet Eclipse) by Lydia Joyce is up last this time out. Maggie of King Street has led a difficult life, but she's managed to change things for herself and a few others she's 'adopted' as her small family. But she wants more. Charles Crossham, Lord Edgington, has made a bet with his spoiled sister: to transform a girl he takes from the street into a lady who can make her way through Society with ease. And Maggie is the young woman he chooses. Their agreement rapidly shifts to include intimacy neither is familiar with, but someone else wants Maggie, and he's willing to go to any lengths to get what he wants, putting not just her little family in danger, but her new relationship with Charles as well. I've been a huge fan of Ms. Joyce since her first book a few years ago, and this one keeps me firmly in her camp. The characters are complicated and still believable, with emotional twists and turns to keep you turning the pages until you reach the end. I'm giving this one four and a half arrows. It's a definite keeper.
Until next time, happy reading!