Passion for the Game (Brava) by Sylvia Day is up first this time. Maria, Lady Winter, and Christopher St. John have both been sent on a mission: catch the other one out for their misdeeds. Of course, being forced into these missions doesn't sit with with either, so why not join forces? This one was just okay. There are no surprises here, nor any quick pacing, just steady storytelling and regular interludes of steamy sex. It's no keeper for me, though I'm sure some of you will enjoy it just fine. It's earned only three of Cupid's five arrows.
My Noble Knight (Zebra) by Cynthia Breeding is next. Deidre of the Languedoc has always wondered about Beltane, but she hadn't figured on participating with a vicious brute. Gilead MacOengus saves her this time, but she has a rather large secret she can't share with her rescuer, no matter how attractive he is. I started this one with high hopes, but found myself rather miffed early on, wit the mish-mash of mythologies and cultures in this. If you can suspend your own disbelief for longer, you might be able to muddle further into this one than I did. But it absolutely didn't work for me, I'm afraid.
Lady Beware (Signet) by Jo Beverley rounds things out this time. Horatio Cave, Viscount Darien has a plan for revenge, and Lady Thea Debenham will be his instrument. Then he kisses her, and his plans go slightly askew. Thea is horrified to find out just who she's been kissing, but willing to play along with what he tells her of his plan to save her brother. But Darien's plan doesn't go nearly as he'd hoped; what plan ever does, really? The very people who'd caused his tormented youth step in to help him now, making him rethink his revenge. But he still can't be the right man for Thea, no matter how he feels about her. What a wonderful story. Thea and Darien have much to overcome here, and every single page of it is fabulous. When I pick up so many books that have such shallow conflicts or, worse, shallow characters, it makes me very happy to be able to pick up a book like the ones Ms. Beverley writes, peopled with heroes and heroines you can cheer for, who have deeper problems than which shoes to where on which date with who-cares-what-guy. Best of all, you know you're going to get that happy ending that good romance novels deliver. This one has earned four and a half arrows. I'm happy to add this one to the keeper shelf.
Until next time, happy reading!