First up is Karen Fox's Cupid's Melody (Jove Magical Love). If you've read some of Ms. Fox's previous books, you've already met Nic Stone, the hero of this tale. Nic's been waiting for his wife's reincarnation so that they can spend eternity together--once he finds her. Except that now that he's found her, it's her sister he's falling for. Stacy Fielding can't disbelieve the man when he tells her his sad story, any more than she can stop the way her hormones leap into action anytime he touches her. The trouble is, if Nic says "I love you" to the wrong woman, he lives out the rest of his life as a slave to Titania. Steamy stuff here, although I admit to finding Stacy's sister a tad grating. Of Cupid's five arrows, I'm giving this one three and a half--a nice, easy read for when you're looking for something light.
Next up is Shirlee Busbee's Return to Oak Valley (Warner). Shelly Granger is coming home, but under terrible circumstances--her brother has committed suicide. She left seventeen years ago after having her young heart broken by Sloan Ballinger, whose family has been feuding with hers for eons. Too bad they're still wildly attracted to one another. Lots of secondary things going on in this one--did her brother actually kill himself, or was he murdered? Who's out to stop her from making a go of the old family business? And just who's son is that Nick? None of which detract from the rebuilding of the relationship between Shelly and Sloan, although some of the resolutions came after they had already resolved their difficulties. In her first foray into contemporary romance, I'd have to say Ms. Busbee has done good. I'm giving this one three and a half arrows as well.
Finally we have Dee Holmes's The Boy on the Porch (Berkley). Annie Hunter is more than surprised to find a scruffy-looking boy on her porch who claims he's her son--especially since she knows she's never had a child. When Linc McCoy meets her at the police station to discuss what Cullen has told her, he assumes she's just another rich widow who hasn't got time to deal with any messes. While their attraction seems forced to me at first, it becomes more relaxed later in the story, but frankly, I more enjoyed the other aspects of the book--Annie's developing relationship with her dead husband's son, her dealing with the things she learns about her marriage, and her growth as a person. I think this one teeters on the edge of women's fiction. I'm giving it three arrows.
Be sure to pop into the forum for our book club discussion, and to check out some of the other casual discussions going on. Also, don't forget to check out the shops here--Valentine's Day is only a few weeks away!
Until next time, happy reading!