Hello, and welcome back! As you read this, I´m wandering around Inverness, Scotland with the Lady Barrow/Romantic Times tour and having a wonderful time soaking in the history and enjoying the company. Visiting Scotland has been a fantasy of mine for ages, and now I´m finally getting to indulge.
And speaking of fantasies, the title of the first book I´m going to share with you this week is
Fantasy, an anthology with stories by Sabrina Jeffries, Emma Holly, Christine Feehan and Elda Minger (Jove). First up is Sabrina Jeffries´s "The Widow´s Auction," which has Lady Kingsley, Isobel Lamberton, pitted against Lord Warbrooke, Justin Antony, on the board of the school her husband left a substantial amount of money to. If only he weren´t so attractive and she didn´t have a secret that kept her from hoping to find love in a second marriage. When a friend convinces her that taking part in the widow´s auction could help her test the waters and gain some funds for her pet project at the school, Isobel doesn´t dream that Justin will bid on and win her for the night. Great tale.
The second novella is Emma Holly's "Luisa's Desire." Luisa is a vampire who doesn't want to be any longer. Martin is the monk who is to help her on her quest. Not my favorite of the stories--you all know by now how I feel about blood-sucking. Ick.
The third story is "Mr. Speedy" by Elda Minger. Miranda Ward is so irate over her boss's decision to send another reporter to cover the Swiftest Seduction seminar that she decides to masquerade as a man and go anyway. Jake Blackhall is also going undercover, and the pair ends up as roommates. I couldn't help thinking as I read this how dumb Jake looked for not realizing Miranda couldn't possibly be a man.
Finally is Christine Feehan's "The Awakening." Maggie Odessa is journeying into the rainforest to claim an inheritance she never knew existed, and Brandt Talbot is waiting for her with news she couldn't possibly imagine. Very sensual and interesting plot. I'm giving the anthology as a whole three of Cupid's five arrows.
The second book I have to share with you this week is
The Scandalous Miss Howard (Mira) by Nan Ryan. Laurette Howard and Ladd Dasheroon have grown up together in houses across the street from each other, knowing for a long time that they will spend the rest of their lives together. But when Ladd goes off to fight in the Civil War, Laurette has no idea he won't be returning to her. At least, not in the same form, or using the same name she knows. Betrayed by someone they both considered a friend, this pair has a lot of obstacles between them, not the least of which is their own pride. I have to admit, I wasn't thrilled with the first part of this book, watching them grow up. It moved much too slowly and read like something one might find in a much longer historical saga, though in less detail. I was much more interested when the story got to the point where the two were reunited. Ms. Ryan's books are always sexy, and this one is no exception, so her fans won't be disappointed there. This one's earned three arrows as well.
Until next week, happy reading!