Hello, and welcome back! With things in such upheaval at work this summer, vacation is an impossibility, but I am still going to take a couple extra days off next week. I'm hoping that means I can plow through some more of the books here on my desk so I can be closer to actually being caught up by the beginning of next month. And so I have some time for my writing. I need more of that, badly.
This time out, I have the latest from Bertrice Small, Guilty Pleasures (NAL, purchased), continuing her fun, steamy contemporary "Pleasures" series centered around 'The Channel', and this one is a collection of stories, rather than a single story. It kicks off with 'Carla and the Pirate King' and Carla Johnson, who's happily married, but still enjoys her time in the Channel when her husband is away. Her latest fantasy there has her a pirate queen and a sexy rogue calling himself king of the pirates has just come to her island to stake his claim. 'Nina and the Movie Star' has widow Nina Parsons determined not to marry again, but she does like to visit the Channel from time to time. When she meets Bob Talcott, he's the real-life image of her fantasy man, and he might just be better than her fantasy. 'Nanny Maureen and the Celtic Warrior' has Maureen Flynn fresh from Dublin to nanny for a young family. Part of her benefits includes access to the Channel, where she's conjured up a brawny Celtic hunk named Toryn of the Thousand Pleasures, and no real man can hold a candle to him. Until she meets her real-life Toryn, and he promises to be even better for her than her fantasy. 'J.P. and the Regency Rake' has editor J.P. Woods longing for the sexy star of her Channel fantasy to become real. Only reality may not be exactly what she was hoping for. 'Tiffy and the Sultan' has the married Tiffany Pietro d'Angelo discovering delightful new things during her visits to the Channel. But her real life may suffer if she spends too much time fantasizing. Readers of the series have met all of the women here before, except Maureen, whose story is my favorite of the collection. Ms. Small has long been a mistress of erotic storytelling, and her talent hasn't waned. Even if you're just in the mood for a quick read, grab this one, and you can enjoy each story in one sitting, or dole them out, one at a time. I'm borrowing four of Cupid's five arrows for this one. Look on Amazon.com for Guilty Pleasures (Pleasures Series)