The first is Jude Deveraux's Someone to Love (Atria). This one stars Jace Montgomery, who's moving to an ugly old house in the English countryside to try to find out what happened to his late fiancee three years ago. Along the way, you meet quite the cast of characters, from the nosy, bossy women who seem to run things, to the trouble-making reporter Nigh who may be descended from the ghost that haunts Jace's new home. This is really Jace's story, taking him from still-grieving man to someone ready to face the world again, more than it is a romance, though there is a little of that later in the story. Jace tries to figure out what happened to the woman who haunts his house, thinking it may help him learn what happened to his fiancee. He hasn't counted on the villagers making more of his presence than he'd expected. He just wants answers. I was a little disappointed with this one on the romance front, having loved many of Ms. Deveraux's older books. I know she's been leaning more into women's fiction in recent years, but I'd expected more romance in a book called 'Someone to Love'. Ah, well. It was an enjoyable read, though not a keeper for me. It's earned three of Cupid's five arrows.
Up Close and Dangerous (Ballantine) by Linda Howard is next. Bailey Wingate is headed on vacation for two weeks, having just had her monthly dealings with her rotten stepchildren. Cam Justice winds up piloting the private plane rather than his partner, her usual pilot, and it's a good thing he does, because the plane goes down unexpectedly midflight, and only Cam's expertise prevents them from crashing into the side of a mountain. There is still a rather rough landing, and both wind up with assorted injuries. It turns out, however, that Cam is wrong about the sort of woman Bailey is. He's assumed she's a shallow, snooty sort of woman, especially since she's the young widow of a wealthy and much older man. But she's rather practical, and very handy to have around in an emergency, as her actions probably save both their lives. This one is a little different for Howard, keeping Bailey and Cam off alone for most of the book. Also, the heat in this one is toned down quite a bit from her usual. Still, a very good story, and I totally didn't guess the identity of the bad guy in this one. I'm giving this one four arrows.
And, until next time, happy reading!