Thursday, June 17, 2010
Beach Bag Reviews!
Yes, it's that time of year when, here in the Northern Hemisphere, the temperatures soar and we humans come out of our winter hibernation and head for the beach, the pool or maybe the back yard - wherever we can find a space to soak up some rays of sunshine. Of course, no respectable sunbather would be caught without a good book to escape into as they soak their toes in the gently lapping surf, the cool neighborhood pool or a bucket of water on the back deck. Hey, sometimes you have to take what you can get! The Dishes got together recently to talk about some books we've read that we think would be perfect summer reading material. Here's a brief Beach Bag Review of each of our picks.
By Kandy Shepherd
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: July 6, 2010
When undercover investigator, Nick Whalen walks into Serena Oakley's upscale doggy day care and spa carrying a tiny Yorki-poo, Serena's suspicion antennae start to quiver. Not only does the tall, muscular man look ridiculous carrying the tiny dog but he doesn't seem to know anything about being a pampered pet owner. Serena doesn't trust him, even though she's instantly attracted to him. That's okay, because even though Nick thinks Serena is gorgeous and incredibly sexy, he also believes that she's the cold-hearted mastermind behind a series of identity thefts that have been traced back to her business. But the more time Nick and Serena spend together, the more they fall for one another and, when Serena is threatened, it will take trust between them, plus some loyal canine friends, to bring the real culprit to justice.
Kandy Shepherd's Home Is Where The Bark Is is another fun, fast-paced story with a likeable hero and heroine, a mystery that kept me guessing for most of the book and a canine cast of secondary characters that will steal your heart (and almost steal the story!) - especially Mack, an abandoned dog with a deep devotion to Big Macs and a heart full of love to share with the lucky person who takes him home. Pick up a copy of Home Is Where The Bark Is to take home with you!
By Elizabeth Lowell
Publisher: William Morrow
Release Date: June 8, 2010
Emma Cross, former CIA agent and current employee of St. Kilda's security consulting firm has seven days to find a missing yacht and prevent the destruction of a major U.S. city. Mac Durand, former special ops sniper, was the only survivor of his team's last mission in Afghanistan and now steers clear of danger, preferring to spend his time sailing luxury yachts to their new owners, but his last job has put him smack-dab in the middle of an international power struggle with millions of innocent lives at risk. Recruited by St. Kilda's and paired with Emma, the two are thrust into a race against the clock, the CIA, the FBI and unknown Russian terrorists to find and neutralize the missing yacht and the devastating weapon she holds.
In this fifth St. Kilda thriller, Lowell takes us to the rugged northwest coast, from Seattle up into Canada, in a suspense story that will keep you on the edge of your seat and glued to the pages of the book. While suspense is the primary focus of the story, romance is also front and center with the deepening relationship between Emma and Mac and sexual tension that is explosive. With each of the seven days, as new players are introduced and power shifts among the adversaries, the stakes get higher, tension mounts and it becomes more and more apparent that, in order to save the targeted city, Emma and Mac may be required to make the ultimate sacrifice. Death Echo is a perfect book to take with you to the pool or beach but don't be surprised if you get so engrossed in the story that when you finally look up, the sun is setting and you're the only one still there!
The Devil She Knows
Release Date: June 1, 2010
Portia Townsend has had a crush on Gareth Lowell from the time they were adolescents. She dreams of a future together, but Gareth feels he’s not good enough for her. Portia eventually bows to her father’s wishes and marries a member of the British aristocracy, the earl of St. Arles. What should be a fairy tale marriage turns into a five-year long abuse-filled nightmare for Portia. She agrees to the divorce that St. Arles wants even though it means she admits to infidelity, which couldn’t be further from the truth. Just when Portia thinks she is free from St. Arles, he blackmails her into taking a trunk to Constantinople, which will aid him and a group of revolutionaries in overthrowing the sultan of the Ottoman Empire.
Gareth works overseas for Portia’s uncle, so he comes to her aid in Constantinople. She is more beautiful than ever, but Gareth still feels she is too good for him. Portia, on the other hand, can never imagine another man more perfect for her than Gareth. They must join together to stop her villainous ex-husband, and along the way they will discover that there is nothing worth fighting for more than love. From the deserts of Arizona to the exotic palaces of Constantinople, Diane Whiteside takes readers on an epic adventure. Perfect summer reading!
By Kathryn Smith
Release Date: May 25, 2010
Jack Friday and Sadie Moon met and fell in love at a very young age. Jack came from a prominent family and Sadie did not, so naturally his relatives didn’t approve of her. Jack defied his family and married Sadie anyway—and was promptly cut off, though he didn’t care. Despite their financial struggles, they were blissfully happy for two years. Then Jack left to make a better life for them and promised to return. After two long years of waiting, Sadie was resolved that Jack wasn’t coming back and left. When Jack did return, he found his wife gone. Both felt deserted by the other. Ten years later, they meet again when Sadie is attempting to open her own shop (she reads tea leaves) and the now wealthy Jack is one of her landlords. Can they learn to trust each other again and work together in harmony? Or will they allow past resentments to get in the way?
When Marrying a Scoundrel is a terrific reunion story and now one of my favorites by Smith. This story of love lost and found again is full of passion and drama, with the underlying theme of forgiveness set in Victorian England. After their initial and understandably heated first meetings, Jack (loved him!) and Sadie deal with their relationship with maturity and discover that each never really stopped loving the other. Both have secrets that could rock the boat all over again and even those are handled sensibly. The love scenes are steamy and the secondary characters are extremely likable. When Marrying a Scoundrel is another winner from Smith!
by Emma Wildes
Release Date: May 4, 2010
What could possibly be better than one hunky highlander? Not much, right! But how about three hunky highlanders? Yes, you heard me. Three. Hunky. Highlanders. Do I really need to elaborate? LOL! Seducing the Highlander is a compilation of three interconnected novellas.
In "Seducing Ian," Ian McCray kidnaps the bride-to-be of the English man who has capture and imprisoned Ian’s uncle. With only retribution on his mind, Ian soon finds himself a prisoner to the ways of beautiful Lady Leanna Arlington.
In "Seducing Robbie," Robbie McCray is visited by the lovely Julia Cameron, daughter to Laird Cameron, in the middle of night. Shocked by Julia’s proposal of marriage in exchange for funds, a near penniless Robbie if forced to agree. Robbie soon learns loving Julia makes his life richer than any money could.
In "Seducing Adain," Adain Cameron stumbles upon a carriage robbery in the dead of night. Fighting off the robbers, Adain saves Lady Gillian Lorin only to learn she is pledged to marry the evil Earl of Kleiss. When Lady Gillian steals Adain’s heart, Adain swears the only hands to touch Lady Gillian will be his own.
Seducing the Highlander would be the perfect beach companion. Three quick stories chocked full of love, romance, and sexy highlanders!
by Christie Ridgway
Release Date: June 1, 2010
After losing her fiancé to cancer just mere minutes before saying “I do”, Alessandra Baci has become known as the Nun of Napa. Even five years after Tommy’s death, everyone in the small town still sees her as Tommy’s girl. Determined to keep the family winery afloat with a new idea of weddings at the winery, Alessandra and her two sisters have attempted to restore and renovate portions of the winery. But when Penn Bennett, the handsome star to the hottest primetime home renovation show, appears in the valley and shows a marked interest in Alessandra, it stirs a myriad of emotions in Alessandra, including the thought that she doesn’t want to be Tommy’s girl any more. Before long Alessandra realizes Penn can fix quite a few things around the winery . . . including her heart!
Crush on You is the first in the new Three Kisses trilogy. I can’t wait to see what Christie has in store for Alessandra’s sisters, Stephania and Guiliana!
Tell us about the books that will be in your beach bag this summer!