Sudden Pleasures (NAL) by Bertrice Small is up first with the next in her series of 'Pleasure' books with the Channel. Ashley Kimbrough needs a husband, but she hasn't had much luck in that area previously. Unfortunately, time is running out, so she lets her lawyer fix her up with Ryan Mulcahy, who happens to need a wife. It doesn't have to be a permanent arrangement between them, just long enough that their individual inheritances are secured. But Ashley and Ryan might be a good fit, permanently. And with a sexy man like Ryan around, how long will Ashley need her fantasy men and the Channel? Ms. Small has managed what only a few other authors have done successfully: a shift from strictly historical romances to contemporary. And not only has she made that shift, but shifted back again, and into fantasy. So, kudos to Ms. Small! This one continues the 'Pleasure' series quite well, creating a believable romance between Ashley and Ryan, and giving fans of the series a peek at previous characters from the series as well. Sure, the conflicts aren't heavy-duty. But let's be honest, who's reading erotic romance for the conflict? This one gets three and a half of Cupid's five arrows.
Chain Reaction (HQN) by Dee Davis is next. It starts off like any other day for artist Mia Kearney. And then her world explodes, literally. When she wakes up, she's in a military hospital, and until Nick Price arrives, has no idea why. Nick can't figure out why there's so much interest in Mia, whether it's because she had something to do with the explosion or for another reason, but he doesn't trust anyone, especially not the man in charge of the investigation. Mia and Nick team up, though not very happily at first, to try to discover just what happened to her small town. Oh, and while they're dodging the bad guys, they're falling in love. I'm a big fan of Dee Davis, and this one didn't let me down. The suspense is great, but never hogs the spotlight from their unfolding romance. It's a fantastic balancing act, and I loved every minute of it. this one's earned four arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!