Simon Says (Berkley) by Lori Foster is up first. Simon Evans has decided he wants to step back into the fighting ring after his long-time girlfriend decides she wants to sample someone else. Since he's been out of the sport for a while, training must be his sole focus. Dakota Dream is about to become a very big distraction, however, when she shows up to persuade him to meet with his father. Dakota isn't like most women in Simon's experience, and, while he's definitely not looking for another relationship, he wouldn't mind something temporary with her while she's in town. I'm a huge fan of Foster, but this one wasn't my favorite. I know shaved heads are quite fashionable now, but bald really doesn't do it for me, whether it's natural or self-induced, so this emphasis did a lot to tone down Simon's other attractions. Many of you will feel differently, I'm sure, but that's okay. Dakota's got her own issues, and she's not Foster's strongest heroine ever. Still, those issues aside, this one is a perfectly enjoyable way to spend a few hours. But I'll be waiting for her next romance with higher hopes. This one gets only three of Cupid's five arrows.
High Noon (Putnam) by Nora Roberts is next. Lieutenant Phoebe MacNamara is the top negotiator in her department, and she loves her job. She meets Duncan Swift when she goes to talk a man out of suicide on the roof of one of Duncan's buildings. But Phoebe has a lot on her plate--agoraphobic mother, a daughter with an absentee father--and little interest in a relationship, but you could say Duncan is persistent. Very persistent. And sexy and smart, and a perfect match for Phoebe. But she failed someone in the past, didn't save them, and now someone else is after her, to make her pay. It'll take her best negotiating skills to save herself. As you'd expect when picking up a Nora Roberts book, there's plenty of suspense here, as well as the well-drawn cast of supporting characters who play important roles on their own. Phoebe is a larger-than-life heroine, just as you'd hope a real police officer would be, and Duncan is just about the perfect hero--aside from the smart and sexy, he's also filthy rich and he has no problem adjusting to the things in Phoebe's life that are non-negotiable. I'm giving this one four arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!