Hello, and welcome back! We're back to cold with no snow here, and I'm just about fed up enough to be ready for spring. Almost. At least I have plenty of reading material here inside where it's warm. Between the reading and preparing the new round of agent queries to go out, I have plenty to keep me busy when I get home from work this week. We're nearing the end of the January books; after this batch, I have just one more, and it'll go with some February releases a little later in the week.
Tempt Me, Taste Me, Touch Me (Pocket) by Bella Andre is up first with three friends heading to California wine country for a girls' weekend, and not a bit of girls' time to be had. Carrie's just tried to turn down an engagement ring from Mr. Perfect, and failed, so while she's wandering around the vineyards, it's in her pocket. While she meets Tyson, Mr. Really Perfect. Rose doesn't want the cooking lessons she's unexpectedly won for being the 'lucky' tourist, but hot chef Jack may change her mind. And love 'em and leave 'em Vanessa meets artist Sam, who makes leaving a little more difficult than she'd imagined. The stories are quick reads with obstacles easily (some too easily) overcome. Carrie has issues with how she believes her life should be; Rose has weight issues reminiscent of the main character in Ms. Andre's last book; and Vanessa is pretty hardened. There will be readers out there who love this trio of stories. For me, they were just okay, and the anthology not a keeper. I'm giving it three of Cupid's five arrows.
The Sex on the Beach Book Club (Brava) by Jennifer Apodaca is next, with Holly Hillbay infiltrating a bookclub at Wes Brockman's book store, trying to figure out if one of the members is having an affair with him. Except the woman in question is having a fling with someone else in the group, and her lover winds up dead early on. There are multiple secret identities here, a large cast of secondary characters, some of whom seemed unnecessary to me, and too much mystery for a Brava book. But that seems to be the trend lately, less erotic romance and more of other story aspects. Oh well. I didn't like this one much for that reason, but I feel certain other readers will disagree.
Falling for the Texas Tycoon (Silhouette Special Edition #1807) by Karen Rose Smith is up last, with Lisa Sanders going toe-to-boots with Alan Barrett at their first meeting. Alan is used to getting his own way, and Lisa has worked hard to get where she is, and they're going to have a lot to work out on the way to their happy ending. Besides being quite a bit younger than the sexy Alan, Lisa has had a rough few years in her life, and is just now getting to a more comfortable place, but not to a place where she is ready for a relationship, and certainly not with someone like Alan. Alan has a daughter nearly her age and can't imagine getting involved with someone so young. Cupid has other ideas. In many ways, Lisa is no innocent, but in others, she is very much an innocent, making this story sweet and touching by turns. If you're looking for a story more driven by the characters than by circumstance, this would be a good choice. It's earned four arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!