Michele Ann Young debuts this month with No Regrets (Sourcebooks). Caroline Torrington has already turned down a proposal from her childhood friend Lord Lucas Foxhaven once, but he's come back with another offer, and this time, she's willing to be persuaded. Lucas needs a wife to get his inheritance, and Caroline thinks a marriage of convenience will allow her to continue to care for her sisters easily. But she's quite attracted to her new husband, and at times, he seems to feel the same way about her. At others, he doesn't. It's quite confusing for poor Caro. Neither thinks the other can possibly go beyond the 'convenience' part of their marriage, so tries to keep their distance from the other. As if that's going to work. Then Caro meets an adopted cousin who seems to be her way out of a miserable marriage that can't possibly end well. But Lucas isn't willing to let her go, no matter what sort of scandal they create. This one is sweet, and Regency fans will enjoy the setting. I kept hoping for Lucas to give in far sooner than he did to Caro, though. This one is an enjoyable way to pass a fall afternoon or evening, though Lucas's determination to hold to his 'marriage of convenience' no matter what his feelings did annoy me a tad. This one's earned three of Cupid's five arrows, nonetheless.
Crazy in Love (Grand Central) by Lani Diane Rich is next, with spoiled Flynn Daly getting an intervention of sorts when her family sends her off to the wilds of upstate New York to temporarily take over the running of an inn left to them by a great-aunt she never knew. And, hey, with nothing but drinking and partying going on in her life at the moment, who's she to argue? Jake Tucker tends bar in the inn, and he knows Flynn's arrival can't be good. He's still trying to figure out what happened to his former boss, and fending off his sisters' well-intentioned but still irritating attempts to help him. Flynn has bigger problems at the Goodhouse Arms than she'd imagined: her late great-aunt has come back to help Flynn discover who offed her, only no one else can see Esther but Flynn, already a little flaky. I have to say, I didn't like Flynn from the beginning of this one, though she sort of grew on me as the story went along, but not to the point where I could identify with her at all. It seemed to me she still needed to do a lot of growing up. Jake, on the other hand, is great, and could do better than Flynn. Ah, well. We can't have everything we want, I suppose. This one is more cute than anything else, and I know there are readers who prefer that, so they'll be thrilled with this one. It just wasn't for me, I'm afraid. I'm giving this one only two arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!