The Heart Of Christmas by Mary Balogh, Nicola Cornick, Courtney Milan. $3.95.
From Jacket Copy:
A HANDFUL OF GOLD by Mary Balogh
Not only is Julian Dare dashing and wealthy, but he’s the heir to an earldom. So what do you get a man who has everything? Innocent, comely Verity Ewing plans on giving him her heart–the most precious gift of all.
THE SEASON FOR SUITORS by Nicola Cornick
After some close encounters with rakes, heiress Clara Davenport realizes she needs expert advice. And who better than Sebastian Fleet, the most notorious rake in town? But the tutelage doesn’t go as planned, as both Sebastian and Clara find it difficult to remain objective in lessons of the heart!
THIS WICKED GIFT by Courtney Milan
Lavinia Spencer has been saving her pennies to give her family Christmas dinner. Then her brother is swindled, leaving them owing more than they can ever repay. Until a mysterious benefactor offers to settle the debt. Lavinia is stunned by what dashing William White wants in return. Will she exchange a wicked gift for her family’s fortune?
Courtney Milan’s This Wicked Gift is her debut effort. It’s a story of a bookshop owner and a clerk and a gift of the magi type of love story. Charming and heartfelt, it brings forth all the sentiments of the holidays without being overly maudlin.
Blood of the Wicked by Karina Cooper. $.99.
From Jacket Copy:
When the world went straight to hell, humanity needed a scapegoat to judge, to blame . . . to burn.
As an independent witch living off the grid, Jessie Leigh has spent her life running, trying to blend in among the faceless drudges in the rebuilt city. She thought she was finally safe, but now she’s been found in a New Seattle strip club—by a hard-eyed man on a mission to destroy her kind.
A soldier of the Holy Order, Silas Smith believes in the cause: trawling the fringes of society for the murderous witches who threaten what’s left of the world. Forced into a twisting web of half-truths and lies, he has to stay close to the most sensuous and electrifying woman he has ever seen and manipulate her into leading him to the witch he has to kill: her brother. Silas doesn’t know that Jessie’s his enemy, only that he wants her, needs her, even as he lies to her . . . and must protect her until his final breath.
The concept of the series is good. And it’s fresh. The book is rather dark, which I like. And the sex is good.. a little rough and demanding. Hot.
Covet by JR Ward. $2.99.
From Jacket Copy:
Redemption isn’t a word Jim Heron knows much about—his specialty is revenge, and to him, sin is all relative. But everything changes when he becomes a fallen angel and is charge with saving the souls of seven people from the seven deadly sins. And failure is not an option. Vin DiPietro long ago sold his soul to his business, and he’s good with that — until fate intervenes in the form of a tough- talking, Harley-riding, self-professed savior. But then he meets a woman who will make him question his destiny, his sanity, and his heart—and he has to work with a fallen angel to win her over and redeem his own soul.
For those readers who want to know, I wouldn’t consider this novel a romance. I think it’s even less of a romance than the Black Dagger Brotherhood books and I didn’t even think that was possible. But unlike the BDB series, this novel lacks the multi-layered background storytelling that keeps me reading despite a lack of interest in the main storyline. It’s trying to, I think, with the framework of Jim’s work to save seven souls and the “romance” storyline between Vin and Marie-Terese and the implication of Devina’s true loyalties, but it all reads as cursory and shallow. When I finished the novel, I’d be lying if my immediate reaction wasn’t, “…what did I just read?” Don’t get me wrong. It wasn’t the dreaded WTF reaction. It was merely a slight sense of bewilderment. I asked part-time reviewer, Nonny, what she thought and she had much the same reaction. I wish I could articulate what exactly it was about the book that left me so unenthused but it’s fairly accurate.
The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred. $1.49.
From Jacket Copy:
Blush: This is a suggestive romance (love scenes are not graphic). Sweet tea, corn bread, and soup beans—everyday fare for eight-year-old Alix French, the precocious darling of a respected southern family. But nothing was ordinary about the day she met ten-year-old Nick Anderson, a boy from the wrong side of town. Armed with only a tin of bee balm and steely determination, Alix treats the raw evidence of a recent beating that mars his back, an act that changes both of their lives forever.Through childhood disasters and teenage woes they cling together as friendship turns to love. The future looks rosy until the fateful night when Frank Anderson, Nick’s abusive father, is shot to death in his filthy trailer.Suddenly, Nick is gone—leaving Alix alone, confused and pregnant. For the next fifteen years she wrestles with the pain of Nick’s abandonment, a bad marriage, her family and friends. But finally, she’s starting to get her life back together. Her divorce is almost final, her business is booming, and she’s content if not happy — until the day she looks up and sees Nick standing across the counter. He’s back…and he’s not alone.Once again Alix is plunged into turmoil and pain as Nick tries to win her love, something she resists with all her strength. Only one thing might break the protective wall she’s built around her emotions—the truth about Frank Anderson’s death. But when that truth comes out and those walls crumble, neither Alix nor Nick is prepared for the emotional explosion that could destroy as well as heal.
The first part of the book is the strongest. It is written in first person, almost like a memoir, of the main female character Alix French. She is reminiscing about her young life as a privileged 8-year old in a wealthy, well known family in a small southern town. Her grandfather has a profound effect on young Alix and she follows him around and hero worships him. He is with her the day she meets (and decides to rescue) 10 year old Nick Anderson. He is the poor, outcast son of the town drunk.