Hello, and welcome back! We've just had a very busy weekend here, and the coming week doesn't look like it's going to slow down any, unfortunately. Worse, the weather is still hot and sticky. At least we can retreat indoors to the cool, air-conditioned house when we're done with all of our tasks. And, fortunately, I have a decent stack of July romances here on my desk.
This time out, I have Italian Stallions (Aphrodisia) with stories from Jami Alden and Karin Tabke. Tabke leads off with 'In His Bed', where Gabriel LaMotta is working undercover to take down the mob in San Francisco when he meets the luscious Gianna Cipriani in a setting unlike any he'd imagined her in previously. And it just makes him want her more, and to protect her from the slimebag Gabe is trying to take down. Gianna just wants Gabe, and she's willing to go to any lengths to get him. Well, Gabe and to find out exactly what happened to her father. 'Will That Be All?' from Alden has Gianna's cousin Theresa meeting a regular customer at Gia's restaurant, Vince Mattera, who discovers he likes the feisty new waitress at his favorite restaurant, and when she needs a place to crash, he hires her to take on his unruly dog. But he doesn't really want a dogsitter, just Theresa, though with her, he gets her whole family and her past as well, and that's a lot to take on. Theresa would like Vince to be her new guy, but her past has caught up with her, and Vince doesn't react well to the news. I'm not a huge fan of Tabke's; this one has its moments, but Gianna seems rather worldly for a woman who's supposed to be inexperienced, which didn't make me believe in the story. I have been a fan of Alden's, though I didn't love her last book, and this one didn't do it for me either. Sure, it's hot, but Vince is an idiot about his emotions, and Theresa's easy acceptance of his apology just didn't ring true for me. I didn't find this one a keeper, I'm afraid. It's earned only three of Cupid's five arrows.
Until next time, happy reading!