E-Originals from Scarlett Cole, Mimi Matthews, and Erin Kane Spock | Xpress Reviews

Cole shines in showing the reality of how a terrible past can be overcome but not forgotten; Matthews delivers a sweet, fast-paced read that will be appreciated by fans of Victorian romance; recommend Spock's debut for public libraries where historical romance circulates well

Week ending January 5, 2018


Cole, Scarlett. Nikan Rebuilt. Swerve: St. Martin’s. (Preload, Bk. 3). Jan. 2018. 368p. ebk. ISBN 9781250132437. $4.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE

When Preload went on its first tour, Nikan broke Jenny’s heart. Now the guys are international superstars, and Jenny’s back in Toronto, temporarily running the group home in which Nik and his bandmates grew up. Nik made a terrible mistake ten years ago and all he wants is to show Jenny he’s a different man, but Jenny can’t let go of the past so easily. The third installment in Cole’s series (Elliott Redeemed) is a steamy, page-turning tangle of recovery and redemption. Nik and Jenny both grew up in care and have horrific backstories. Cole excels at showing how their experiences shape but do not define her characters. In addition to the trauma Nik experienced directly, Cole also explores intergenerational pain, looking at Nik’s Lower Cayuga, Turtle Clan, heritage and the lingering effects of Canada’s residential schools. An introductory author’s note adds context and explains her research process.

Verdict Cole shines in showing the reality of how a terrible past can be overcome but not forgotten. Sure to please current fans as well as create new ones.—Jennifer Rothschild, Arlington P.L., VA


Matthews, Mimi. The Viscount and the Vicar’s Daughter. Perfectly Proper. Jan. 2018. 218p. ebk. ISBN 9780999036426. $2.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE

Tristan Sinclair, the Viscount St. Ashton, a wealthy and infamously debauched reprobate, has avoided responsibility and family duty for years. While on his way to yet another bacchanalian country house party avoided by all respectable people, Tristan can hear the weeping of an angelic lady’s companion. Valentine March’s vulnerability touches him as nothing has before. Tristan’s father arrives unexpectedly and presents him with an unwelcome ultimatum of being cut off financially, thereby aborting the festivities. When Valentine and Tristan are caught in an improper embrace, Tristan proposes not only to stave off financial disaster but to save her reputation. He soon finds himself yearning to be the man Valentine deserves, and when her parentage is scrutinized, a surprising turn of events takes place.

Verdict Matthews (The Lost Letter) delivers a sweet, fast-paced read that will be appreciated by fans of Victorian romance.—Nicole J. Suarez, Frankfort P.L. Dist., IL


Spock, Erin Kane. Courtly Pleasures. Crimson Romance: S. & S. (Courtly Love, Bk. 1). Dec. 2017. 284p. ebk. ISBN 9781507207475. $4.99. HISTORICAL ROMANCE

[DEBUT] Spock’s second chance at love romance is set in the court of Queen Elizabeth. Married as children, Frances and Henry LeSieur have only interacted in the process of conceiving the children a noble family requires. After ten years of marriage, Frances has suffered two infant deaths as well as bearing three healthy children. The latest death plunged her into severe melancholy. Overcoming her depression, Frances heads to Elizabeth’s court to explore who she has become as a person as she serves as a lady in waiting. Once in London, and face to face with her husband again, Frances feels she’s done her duty and asks for a separation. Henry, after spending a decade in service to the Queen, realizes he knows nothing about his wife and begins a campaign to woo her back. With a meddling Queen and hidden assassins in the mix, will Frances find love with the most unlikely man, her husband?

Verdict Recommend this debut for public libraries where historical romance circulates well.—Sarah Sheehan, Manhattan Coll. Lib., Riverdale, NY

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