E-Originals from Andrews, Matthews, Maynard, Moon, and Yardley | Xpress Reviews

You don’t need to be from Texas to conquer the heart of a good woman; a great choice for anyone who enjoys suspense with a love story; a romance featuring two shy types makes for engaging reading; Moon creates a strong sense of home and a convincing romance; highly recommended for romantic comedy lovers

Week ending August 11, 2017


Andrews, Amy. Troy. Tule. (American Extreme Bull Riders Tour, Bk. 5). Aug. 2017. 172p. ebk ISBN 9781946772718. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

Andrews’s entry in the “American Extreme Bull Riders Tour” series brings some international action to the rodeo. The titular hero is a professional bull rider who learned his skills while working at a ranch in Australia. Owing to some bad luck, he’s stuck having to build up some wins on the pro circuit to get back on the tour. While waiting for his return to glory, Troy runs into Dr. Joss Garrity, another transplant to the lonely Texas plains. Joss arrived in Plainview with her son after her husband was killed in a car crash and has been a dutiful mother while maintaining a local medical practice. But when Troy helps her with a flat tire, she suddenly starts having feelings she thought she buried with her husband. After a few chance meetings, the two realize the rules of attraction might be stronger than even a bull rider’s will.

Verdict This latest title from Andrews (No Place Like Home; Some Girls Do) proves that you don’t need to be from Texas to conquer the bull in the ring or the heart of a good woman while at the rodeo.—John Rodzvilla, Emerson Coll., Boston


Matthews, Susanne. No Good Deed. Crimson Romance: S. & S. Aug. 2017. 284p. ebk. ISBN 9781507205631. $4.99. ROMANTIC SUSPENSE

If not for bad luck, Alexa O’Brien might have no luck at all. Fleeing from an abusive fiancé, Alexa witnesses an execution involving Nicoli Zabat, Canada’s most wanted mobster. To make matters worse, she is shot in the back by one of the killers. When she wakes up in the hospital, she fears that her escape is over—until the police offer to put her in protective custody in exchange for her testimony. Meanwhile, Lt. Mike Delorme is fueled by revenge, which led to his own near-death experience with Zabat. When Mike is assigned to protect Alexa, he quickly learns that all is not as it seems. As the two stay on the move to survive, they inch closer to each other. Neither wants to find love again, but they might not have a say in the matter. This strong story from Matthews (The White Lily) has an interesting if at times slow-to-evolve plotline, but that only helps to build tension. The development of the protagonists’ relationship feels authentic.

Verdict A great choice for anyone who enjoys suspense with a love story. Readers who prefer a building of affection and emotional intimacy over explicit sex scenes will especially enjoy this.—Sonnet Ireland, St. Tammany Parish P.L., Mandeville, LA


Maynard, Janice. Scot on the Run. Lyrical Shine: Kensington. (Kilted Heroes, Bk. 4). Jul. 2017. 250p. ebk. ISBN 9781516100989. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

American PhD student Bella is house-sitting on Scotland’s Isle of Skye for her brother, Finley, while he is on his extended honeymoon. She is supposed to be working on her dissertation, but her secret desire is to write a historical romance. She is shocked when good-looking Scottish engineer Ian Larrimore barges in, being chased by paparazzi. It turns out her brother had offered the house as a sanctuary for Ian, who has been named the second most eligible bachelor in the UK. Bella and Ian are both withdrawn and equally awkward at conversation. It doesn’t help that Bella has a huge chip on her shoulder as most of her life has been spent pretending she’s not as smart as she is in order not to bruise men’s egos. Maynard does the refreshingly unusual here, writing about an unsatisfying first sexual experience (well, at least for one of them). Once these protagonists get past this hurdle, the sex is great, but what about the future and the whole geography issue? A romance featuring two shy types makes for engaging reading, although Bella’s contrariness grows wearisome.

Verdict Fans of the series (Not Quite a Scot; Scot of My Dreams; Hot for the Scot) as well as those looking for Scottish contemporaries will likely enjoy this romance featuring introverts seeking love.—B. Allison Gray, Goleta Lib., CA


starred review starMoon, Jeannie. Then Came You. Tule. (Compass Cove, Bk. 1). Sept. 2017. 254p. ebk. ISBN 9781946772893. $4.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

The suicide of her sister leaves Mia DeAngelis with her ten-year-old nephew, Ben, in her care, so she makes the move from Maryland to Compass Cove, on New York’s Long Island, the idyllic small town where Mia and her sister spent every summer with their grandmother. Now a librarian at the local college and living with Nana, Mia believes it is the perfect place to raise Ben, even though he seems to have trouble fitting in. During an argument with Mia, Ben takes off from the library and ends up at the football field, where he meets Coach Adam Miller. Adam likes the kid, but he dreads encountering the librarian aunt who is coming to retrieve him. But isn’t he in for a surprise. All curves and totally different from the type Adam usually dates, Mia is a knockout, and Adam offers to help her and Ben shop for a bike. The chemistry between these two is undeniable from the start, as Adam envisions, with Mia, the family he never knew he wanted. When an issue with Mia’s adoption of Ben arises, she is torn between the right thing and what is best for Ben, and Adam’s stance could jeopardize their budding relationship.

Verdict Moon (Daring the Pilot) creates a strong sense of home and a convincing romance with moderate love scenes that will leave even the most cynical of readers overcome.—Kara Kohn, Plainfield P.L., IL


starred review starYardley, Cathy. One True Pairing. Swerve: St. Martin’s. (Fandom Hearts, Bk. 2). Jul. 2017. 200p. ebk. ISBN 9781250170538. $3.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

In this combination of great romantic tropes, Jake Reese is one of the stars of a hot, geeky, sf-type TV series, and the son of a famous actor. He’s also on the run from a VIP event–turned–man-eating pack of fans when he ducks into the diner where not-exactly-ordinary Hailey Frost is holding down her second job in order to support her two sisters. Their meet-cute turns into a fake relationship: Jake desperately needs a way to get media attention for his contract negotiations, and Hailey needs the stars of his show to patronize her sister’s bookstore and save the family finances. It’s all fun and games until the emotions get real between two people who are crap at trust and relationships. Standing up to crazy fan stalkers, interfering fathers, and independent-minded sisters, this romance is tons of fun from beginning to end. A rom-com for anyone who has ever geeked out over a TV or movie series, or has had to admit to having “book boyfriends” (e.g., Fitzwilliam Darcy).

Verdict This second installment in the series (after Level Up) is highly recommended for romantic comedy lovers and nerds who want to see the OTP (that’s one true pairing in fan-fiction speak) get the HEA (happy ever after).—Marlene Harris, Reading Reality, Atlanta

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