Valentine Valley—Book 1
By Emma Cane
Release Date: January 31, 2012
After a bitter and painful divorce, Emily Murphy returns to Valentine, her mother’s hometown in the Colorado Rockies, to try and pick up the pieces of her life. Her plans are to sell the store her family owned there and use the money to go back to school—UC Berkley—in the fall. Her plans didn’t include sharing a heated embrace with a sexy cowboy immediately after arriving in town. Emily is embarrassed afterward and doubly so when she has to ask the handsome Nate for a ride when her car won’t start. Nate takes her to the store and Emily discovers that the former tenants left the place in shambles, including the apartment above where Emily intended to stay. Nate offers to take her to his grandmother’s boarding house and Emily agrees, but only until she can fix the store up. Because of a lack of money, Emily plans to do the repairs herself. Soon she learns that in a small town, nothing is kept secret and others are more than willing to lend a helping hand.
Nate Thalberg was born and raised in Valentine Valley and assists with running his family’s ranch. He lives a quiet, peaceful life and dates occasionally, but never anything permanent. When it comes to the lovely Emily, however, Nate can’t seem to help himself. She is determined to fix the place up herself and he is just as determined to help her do it. They’ve agreed to put their heated embrace behind them, but after working together day after day, forgetting that night becomes increasingly difficult. When Emily gets some shocking news about her paternity, Nate insists on helping her find out the truth...and hopes Emily will ultimately decide to stay in Valentine.
A Town Called Valentine is the first book in the Valentine Valley series by Emma Cane, also known as historical author Gayle Callen. If this delightful book is any indication, this promises to be a wonderful series. Nate and Emily are well-rounded, believable characters that captured my heart. The secondary characters—from Nate’s brother and sister to the friendly townsfolk to the nosy widows at the boarding house—add depth and flair and I look forward to seeing more of them in future books. A Town Called Valentine is a charming contemporary romance that I recommend!
Not Wicked Enough
By Carolyn Jewel
Publisher: Berkley Sensation
Release Date: February 7, 2012
Lily Wellstone travels to Bitterward to comfort her friend Ginny, who is still grieving over the death of her husband. On her way there, she encounters a Gypsy king, who gives her a medallion in thanks for saving his dog. He tells her the medallion will unite her with the man she happiest with in love. Since Lily has already lost the man she considers her one true love, she does not believe in this bit of magic. Still, she never takes it off. When she meets Ginny’s brother, the Duke of Mountjoy, she is overwhelmed by her instant attraction to him. Is it the medallion or just the magnetism of this man?
Mountjoy was expecting to be mesmerized by is sister’s beautiful and charming friend, but Lily captivates him as no other woman ever has. Everyone expects him to marry one of the local ladies, Miss Jane Kirk---and Mountjoy intends to ask her soon, but Lily sparkles and shines so much that he has trouble focusing on anyone but her. During late night talks and strolls outside, Mountjoy and Lily discover more about each other’s past, and soon become lovers. Will their passion for each other turn to love or will duty prevail?
Not Wicked Enough, is the first in Carolyn Jewel’s Seducing the Scoundrels series, and it’s a grand beginning. Lily is an engaging, likeable heroine---one I would love to have as a friend---and Mountjoy is a hero I could, and did, fall for. He was not born to be a duke----he was raised as a gentleman farmer---so he’s more down to earth, without any dandified ways. I love a man who’s not afraid to get his hands dirty. Together, these two raise the heat to scorching levels! It’s a good thing it’s winter, and a little extra heat is always welcome. Amusing, intriguing, and sexy, Not Wicked Enough is a must read for lovers of historical romance.