Midnight Eyes by Sarah Brophy
From Amazon: Robert Beaumont, fierce mercenary knight during the reign of William II, is given what he most desires, land. But he must marry the current resident, known throughout the kingdom as "Lady Deformed." Imogen Colebrook lives in fear of her brother, who has long terrorized and brutalized her, even going so far as to beat her so viciously she lost her sight. With the news of her impending marriage, she fears the worst, believing her husband is a willing participant in her brother's torture. A simple warrior, Robert has no idea of the situation he faces and is humbled when he meets Imogen, a vision of loveliness. When they marry, Robert hopes he is worthy of his good fortune as Imogen waits in her darkness while her gentle knight thaws her heart, and her brother plots to crush her. Sure to please medieval historical romance fans, this is a wonderful first effort by Brophy, who evokes fair ladies and valiant knights overcoming evil with their innate goodness and sensuous healing.
To be honest though, I am getting a bit tired of that cover model popping up all over the place. It seems he’s on the cover of everything theses days. Handsome he is, but enough already!
Sizzling by Susan Mallery
Mallery's latest spicy saga of the Buchanan family, Seattle's most prominent restaurateurs, doesn't quite measure up to the pleasures of her last (Irresistible), but makes a tasty dish nonetheless. This entry features Reid Buchanan, a womanizing former baseball hero trying to clean up his tarnished image after an embittered reporter he slept with publishes a tell-all newspaper article headlined, "Good in bed? Not so much." With the media hot on his tail, Reid takes refuge at the family estate, where his cantankerous grandmother, Gloria, is recovering from a series of debilitating illnesses. Gloria's as mean-spirited as Reid remembers, but now she's got to deal with peppy home-care nurse Lori Johnson, who's determined to turn Gloria's life around. Lori does her best to ignore Reid—arrogant, self-centered and "fifteen kinds of gorgeous"—knowing that even if she were attracted to him (which of course she is) he wouldn't look twice at a plain Jane like her.
Now at times I’m a bit leery of Susan Mallery. When she’s on, which for me she is most of the time, she’s very very good. But then if she isn’t on, then it seems the disappointment is even greater. I loved the first book in this series and was pretty disappointed with the second one. Still – I’m looking forward to the hero in this one getting his comeuppance.
Touched by Darkness by Catherine Spangler
Dr. Kara Cantrell settled in the sleepy town of Zorro, Texas, convinced she and her child had escaped the sinister reach of a supernatural underworld. But now dark forces may jeopardize her new life. Her only hope is Damien Morgan, a dangerous, alluring man with superhuman abilities. He and Kara share a mystical link that triggers desires they must ignore. But as they work together to protect her son, and begin tracking the evil stalking them, something threatens to push them toward the edge...of darkness.
This is an author I haven’t really heard that much about. I have read a book by her - Shadow Crossing, and quite enjoyed it. But I don’t think they must have many copies of her books around here because I’ve never seen any other by her. But the story outline sounds intriguing and I kind of guiltily like the cover, so this is another one I think I’ll pick up. In fact, if it doesn’t show up on the shelves, I may just order it online!
And then on the flip side, here are a few I know I won’t be getting
Wild and Wicked in Scotland by Melody Thomas
When Cassandra Sheridan agreed to an arranged marriage to the Earl of Hampstead, she never dreamed the cad wouldn't even bother to appear for their betrothal ball. It seems her intended cares more for gallivanting than meeting his bride-to-be! So Cassie decides to enjoy an adventure of her own and sets out across Scotland…and meets a dashing stranger who has elevated dueling and deception to an art form.
A dedicated spy on a mission, the Earl of Hampstead has more on his mind than a silly party. Now fate has thrown him together with a vivacious lady whom he must protect from harm, and whose sensuous beauty is proving most distracting. Worse still, Devlyn is horrified to discover she's the very woman he's engaged to marry!
With their lives and reputations in equal peril, do they dare surrender to their irresistible desires
What’s wrong with it? Um – to me - everything. First off, the publisher. And I’ll say no more. The title is real stupid in my opinion. And an Earl who is a spy!!! How very …….original. And a heroine who agrees to become betrothed to someone sight unseen and then who sets off on her own to Scotland. Wow! Does she sound plucky and TSTL! I just love me a plucky and TSTL heroine. And puleeeaaassse with those names!!! And then of course there is the cover. “shudder” I can’t think of the words to say what I think of this outdated, horrifying, cover with same old, same old cover models. This one is worse than normal due to the severe case of bleach white hair on the cover female. OK – I did think of a few words, but there are a whole lot more I could say if I wanted to!
I’m nothing else if I’m not shallow on occasion so on this one is a No Way Jose!
My Nerdy Valentine by Vicky Lewis Thompson
What do you get when you throw together a sexually repressed college student, a narcissistic sex therapist, a handsome stockbroker and a bevy of sex-crazed therapy patients? Answer: This absurd romantic comedy, which substitutes puerile sex puns for emotional heft. Thompson stretches her "nerd" premise thin, forcing the label on stockbroker William Sloan simply because he wears a winter hat with earflaps. However, William's nerd status doesn't keep him from being pursued by therapist Gloria, who besieges him with double entendres ("I'm glad to have a young and virile man handling my... assets"), glow-in-the-dark condoms and a flash of her breasts. Meanwhile, the object of William's affection, Gloria's studious intern, Amanda, refuses to work him into her busy schedule and accuses him of sending her crude, anonymous Valentines. Thompson throws in a hokey plot involving the true Valentine sender and his plan to kidnap Amanda, but this merely serves as a flimsy tool to push William and Amanda together. All in all, Thompson's newest romance (following Nerds Like It Hot) possesses as much substance as cotton candy with less satisfaction
Now I know there are quite a few readers who have been enjoying Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Nerd series. Let me make this clear. I AM NOT ONE OF THEM! I got taken on one of them a few years ago when it got great reviews. I wanted to toss it in the toilet – but I resisted. Then because she still got great reviews and I thought maybe it was me, I tried another one. This one I wanted to toss in the same place – but I resisted. Reading the outline for this one and seeing that stupid comic book cover, I know I wouldn’t be able to resist the impulse a third time.
Sun Kissed by Catherine Anderson
One need not be an equine lover to appreciate Anderson's sweet contemporary romance centering on fiercely honest horse rancher Samantha Harrigan and handsome neophyte veterinarian Tucker Coulter, who meet while trying to protect a horse from its abusive owner. Samantha has always cared deeply for her horses, so when they suddenly fall ill, she's distraught; when it turns out they've been poisoned, she's horrified, immediately suspecting that her violent and vindictive ex-husband is the culprit. Unfortunately, the authorities are pointing fingers at Samantha, alleging that she plans to defraud her insurance company. Wary of letting a new man into her life, Samantha nevertheless recognizes that she must call on Tucker to nurse her horses back to health. As he tends to the horses and grows closer to Samantha, Tucker becomes her confidante and champion, realizing that the only way for Samantha to save herself is to catch the offender before the police arrest her.
Now I know there are quite a few readers who have been enjoying Catherine Anderson’s books – Wait!! I said that already.
All right – here’s the thing with Catherine Anderson. I used to love her books, I really did. I have quite a few of them. Annie’s Song? Wonderful story as are many of her other ones Even though all her heroines have suffered some kind of tragedy in their lives, whether it was being kidnapped and repeatedly raped until saved by the hero or having an abused wife bury the husband she accidentally murdered in the rose garden, still I read, I liked and I kept buying. But I reached my sugar limit with this author a few books ago with – I forget the name of the book and please – no one remind me! I don’t want to remember. – the book where the hero was a vegetarian who refused to wear a leather belt because it meant the death of a cow (yet he did wear moccasins – didn’t quite figure out the logic of that one), who talked to baby rabbits in the forest and gave off a slight blue glow when he swived (tupped, jumped the bones of, screwed) the heroine. I almost lost my eyes as they rolled while reading that book as well as nearly suffering from diabetic shock over the surgary content. And since I need my eyes to read, I haven’t dared risk them by reading Catherine Anderson and her saccharine dripped stories of wounded, vulnerable, heroines and “could they be any more perfect?” heroes since then. And reading the storyline on this one I must preserve the eyes still since reading the outline alone makes me roll them. I must be a cynical bitch because this kind of story just makes my teeth ache as well as the risk to the eyes.
So there you have it. A few good prospects and a few not on you life! books
And in other news - I made it through yesterday. It was very sad, but I had the boys with me for the visit. I cried after but I allowed myself to do that. And today was a better day.