E-Originals, February 15, 2019 | Xpress Reviews

A lunch break escape, and there is no crime in that; a great addition to any contemporary romance collection; Sosa’s multicultural and multidimensional characters rely on family and friends to help navigate through both life and love

Week ending February 15, 2019

Bliss, Alison. Meant To Be. Forever Yours: Grand Central. (Perfect Fit). Feb. 2019. 75p. ISBN 9781538764565. 99¢. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Brett, the patron saint of car rescue, reunites with Sidney, a bank loan officer. Their relationship had a rocky start because of Brett’s feisty personality. Brett is now in therapy and learning how to control his overreactions. He is also ready to buy property to open his own garage. Brett finds Sidney and her new sports car on the side of the road and stops to help her with stubborn lug nuts. He ends up driving her home and repairing her car the next morning. The two run into each other once more at a local bar, where Sidney’s sloshed date loses his car keys, and, again, Brett steps in to assist. Finally, after their vivid reunification on a rainy night in wet clothing, Brett decides to propose to Sidney at the bank branch where she works, only to realize there is a robbery in progress. A detailed sex scene saves this silly, plus-size novella.
VERDICT A lunch break escape, and there is no crime in that.—Joyce Sparrow, Kenneth City, FL

Milburn, Trish. The Cowboy Next Door. Tule. (Once upon a Western Romance, Bk. 3). Feb. 2019. 151p. ebk. ISBN 9781949707670. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Claire Moon is ready to start her new life. After a tragic fire permanently scarred her face, she decides to buy a house away from crowds and enjoy some peace. With her new fixer upper and her booming online jewelry business, she should have plenty to keep her busy and stave off loneliness. When a herd of cattle gets onto her property and destroys her new garden, along comes her sexy neighbor on horseback to save the day. Playboy Wes McQueen could not believe the cattle got out, but spending a little time with his mysterious new neighbor has been well worth the inconvenience. Now, the more he gets to know her, the more he realizes his carefree life as a bachelor is not what it’s cracked up to be. For these two to be together, though, Claire must take a leap of faith, and Wes must learn to trust himself. Or maybe remaining friends is a better plan. Milburn’s ( A Cowboy’s Kiss) imagery and character development are exceptional, allowing readers to feel like part of the story.
VERDICT A great addition to any contemporary romance collection. Milburn creates a lovely romance as well as a welcome reminder to treat others with kindness.—Jessica M. Perovich, U.S. Court of Appeals, Federal Circuit, Washington, DC

Sosa, Mia. Crashing into Her. Avon Impulse. (Love on Cue, Bk. 3). Feb. 2019. 384p. ebk. ISBN 9780062878748. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
Eva Montgomery has had it with men. Her last few relationships have made her adopt the motto, “You can’t spell manipulative without man.” A change of coasts may be exactly what she needs for a fresh start. After moving from Philadelphia to Los Angeles to work at a friend’s fitness center, she finds that an incredible one-night stand also happens to teach there. Anthony Castillo is a stunt instructor and perpetual bachelor. After watching his father pine for an absent wife and one really bad relationship, Anthony has sworn off deep connections—that is until the woman he slept with at his cousin’s wedding shows up as a new fitness instructor. Soon the two bond over family recipes for pastelles and their aversion to commitment until they both see that they want something more. This final book in the “Love on Cue” series (after Acting on Impulse and Pretending He’s Mine) glows with equal parts sass and sensuality while introducing protagonists of color who end up finding their “happily ever after” through some difficult personal growth.
VERDICT Sosa continues to use L.A.’s film industry as a backdrop, this time focusing on fitness instructors who work as stunt performers. Her multicultural and multidimensional characters rely on family and friends to help navigate through both life and love.—John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston

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