Check It Out!

Staff recommendations and reviews from the Plainfield Public Library

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Crazy For You by Rina Gray

Overworking her body, Charlotte Jones passes out at the nonprofit where she teaches dance. Yankees playboy pitcher Jake Ross happened to be nearby admiring her moves and rushes to her side. At the hospital, Jake poses as her boyfriend so the staff will let him in.

With a multi-million dollar endorsement on the line from a family-oriented company, Threx isn’t sure they want a notorious ladies man to represent their brand. His publicist Gina suggests Jake and Charlotte continue the “relationship” ruse so Jake can secure the contract. In return, Jake offers to be Charlotte’s personal trainer so that she loses the weight the right way. Although she is protective of her heart, Charlotte is falling hard for Jake even though she knows it is not forever.

When a stalker, who may be one of Jake’s former lovers, threatens Charlotte, Jake finally realizes he will do whatever it takes to protect the woman he loves.

In this series finale, Gray’s (It’s Been You) romantic set up starts strong but falls flat with a predictable and cliched subplot (the stalker uses cut-up magazine letters to draft the threats), and the readers will figure out the culprit early on. This is standard fare that most readers have seen before.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | May 19, 2017

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Hard Stick by L.P. Dover

Interior designer Kristen Robinson escapes to Belmont, NC to start her life under a new identity thanks to the help of her FBI friends. Back in Boston, Mitchell, her controlling, obsessive ex, might have been responsible for the death of her best friend Cole, who was only trying to protect her.

Now a bartender at Sammy’s, Kristen serves the regular group of NHL players, which includes sexy captain Kellan Carter, their usual drinks. Kristen has seen them leave with a myriad of groupies and knows most of them are players, on and off the ice. Kellan claims he is different, so she agrees to give him just one date.The chemistry is so strong that the “one date” evolves into a relationship. Kristen hates lying to him about her identity, but her resolve and trust issues are slowing melting away.

Just when she thought she is done looking over her shoulder, Mitchell has found her. With power, influence and money, Mitchell will stop at nothing to get what he wants. Kristen is terrified she will lose Kellan the way she lost Cole, but Kellan promises he won’t let anything happen to the woman he loves.

With sexy heat between the sheets and an unpredictable twist, Dover’s (Trigger) new series opener is a bold contender in the subgenre that should have wide appeal.

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Solace Island by Sara Flynn

attachment_77273131After learning of her ex-fiance’s infidelities, a three-week vacation to Solace Island with her sister Eve is exactly what Maggie Harris needs.

Unsure of how to find the cottage at night in the wooded Pacific Northwest, she pulls into a neighboring driveway until daylight but instead runs into the owner, sexy Luke Benson while dressed in red long Johns. Not the greatest first impression. Eve and Maggie next see Luke, a baker, selling his bread at the Saturday market and Eve sets them up on date.

Everything is going so well that Maggie considers Eve’s idea to make Solace Island their permanent residence, that is, until a car tries to mow them down on the sidewalk. Luke, a former military man and securities specialist, goes into protection mode to save the women he has fallen for before it’s too late.

This fetching debut from Flynn (pseudonym for actress and author Meg Tilly) sets up a satisfying romance in a cozy, small-town setting. The sex scenes sizzle and an unexpected suspect raises the tension.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | March 7, 2017

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Kiss Marry Kill by Sidney Halston

51RWaI1-DvL._SY346_When Miami singing sensation Megan Cruz’s life is threatened by a stalker and former marine/security specialist Jackson “Jax” Irons gets wind of it on the local news, he is at the scene immediately.

He hasn’t seen Megan in five years when he was being deployed, and they parted ways after a whirlwind romance. Jax offers his firm’s services and vows to take care of Megan until they find the perpetrator. There’s no question that the sparks are back and bigger than ever, but Jax is concerned that falling for Megan again will distract him from his duties, just like when he lost focus and consequently his brothers overseas.

The feisty Megan is determined not to let this potential danger stop her from doing what she loves, so when she receives another threat on tour that suggests a second suspect, Jax will stop at nothing to keep her safe, even if it means his own safety and ultimately their future is on the line.

Although Halston’s (Pull Me Close) first entry doesn’t break any new ground, a well thought-out plot with enough tension to keep readers engaged and the romantic elements set to medium heat make for an agreeable read. Halston also smoothly sets the scene for Bk.2.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | March 10, 2017

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Her Rebel Heart by Jamie Farrell

Georgia college physics professor Kaci Boudreaux eyes military pilot Lance Wheeler alone at the bar and convinces him to kiss her in order to prove to her ex husband that they are over. Lance likes the spirit of this sassy blonde but walks away mid-kiss. He was just left at the altar by his ex-fiancee.

Kaci next sees Lance as a member of the winning team at the pumpkin chucking contest where her physics students have rigged a pretty sweet catapult. After another unfortunate pumpkin incident, Lance wants to get to know this spirited, potato-gun wielding women.

When he learns of her upcoming presentation in Germany and her fear of flying, he is determined to help. Kaci finds herself falling for this military man, but when she learns that he will be deploying soon, she might crash and burn their romance.

With the recent women’s marches across the nation, Farrell’s timely novel features a feisty protagonist working in a male dominated-field who will be an inspiration to readers. Some of the romantic scenes could use a little work (“he wanted to feel the skin on her elbows”) and will hopefully improve in future offerings. According to the author, although Her Rebel Heart is the latest, it takes place before Southern Fried Blues and Moonshine & Magnolias and should be read first.

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Royally Roma by Teri Wilson

Crown Prince of Lazaretto, Niccolo Le Torre is sitting in the piazza of a prestigious Roman hotel drowning his frustrations in alcohol. Always the dependable one, Niccolo is on a press tour to rectify the shame his playboy brother has brought on the family once again.

When he lays eyes on Julia Costa, a beautiful private tour guide, who mistakes him for her client, he can’t help but follow along. A budding archaeologist Julia is an American who came to Rome to escape her own family drama. Shirking his duties is out of character for Nico, so alarms bells are raised when he fails to appear on schedule, which means he is on the lam from his security crew and grandfather. Julia keeps Nico as her charge until he pays her for the tour.

But eventually Julia discovers his real identity and a confusion about her motivation might jeopardize the future of two young people who are destined for love.

Wilson’s (The Art of Us) series opener is a delightful romp that incorporates the culture of the Eternal city, which is a ripe environment for love, into this temperate romance. Readers will be just as enthralled with Rome as Nico and Julia are with each other.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | January 20, 2017

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Claiming the Billionaire by JM Stewart

After losing her brother to the war and her mother in an accident, Cassie knows she can’t say goodbye to any more loved ones. So when Tyler, also a military man, proposed to her, she rejected his offer and claimed she was only using him for sex. After being deployed to Iraq, he went missing and it was assumed he had died.

Now, three years later, Cassie learns that Tyler is indeed alive and shocks her with his bid to be his date at a charity auction. Despite her misgivings, she can’t resist the sexual chemistry that drew them together in the first place.

And even if Cassie is able to let him back in her heart, there is a chance she’ll lose him all over again if he leaves on a second tour. For Tyler, struggling with PTSD, his issues might pose a danger to the woman he loves.

While Stewart’s (Bargaining for the Billionaire) fourth outing in the Seattle Bachelors series is timely and filled with hot, sexual chemistry, the end is tied up a little too neatly by Tyler’s issues being miraculously resolved with the latest technology for PTSD victims. For readers who want a HEA, though, Stewart delivers.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | January 6, 2017