A high-heat romance between a pert LA woman and rough mountain man.

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MISADVENTURES OF A CITY GIRL

Wild (Misadventures of a Good Wife, 2017, etc.) and Bliss (Dirty Secret, 2017, etc.) deliver an erotic romance novel featuring a stubborn city dweller and an ex-military hunk—both broken by life but ready for sexual redemption.

Humiliated by her husband’s adultery and their subsequent divorce, Los Angeles makeup artist Madison Atwood retreats to a Northern California spa. There, she runs into handsome mountain man Luke Dawson, a former Navy SEAL who was traumatized by his violent but lifesaving work, after he accidentally spies her masturbating while skinny-dipping. He gruffly leads Madison, whom he sees as being “all passion and no goddamn sense,” back down the mountain. Madison later chances upon him pleasing himself in his rustic cabin, and their sexual affair begins. As they progress through increasingly intense positions and techniques, their emotional connection also builds. Much is at stake, however: Madison’s life is back in LA, and Luke’s is here, in the remote wilderness. An unexpected visit from Madison’s ex threatens to derail the love affair, but the authors make sure that the couple’s time apart is mercifully brief. Soon, the sex scenes continue (“The strokes are punishing, deep and fast”), as Madison and Luke try to decide how to make their connection work. The authors offer nearly nonstop erotic scenes in this romance, which will keep readers turning the pages. But both Madison’s and Luke’s first-person perspectives offer a nice balance of the visceral and the intellectual, especially Luke’s: “I don’t recognize myself or my irrational physical responses.” Indeed, he’s effectively revealed as a sensitive man with advanced carnal knowledge; when he says, “Tonight, I’m going to take you in ways I haven’t yet,” saucy Madison melts into his commanding arms.

A high-heat romance between a pert LA woman and rough mountain man.

Pub Date: Sept. 12, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-943893-40-9

Page Count: 300

Publisher: Waterhouse Press

Review Posted Online: June 8, 2017

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Another success for the publishing phenom.

UNDER CURRENTS

An abused boy fights back, escapes, then returns as an attorney to his beloved hometown, but just as he’s falling in love with a transplanted landscaper, a series of attacks from shadowy enemies jeopardizes their happiness.

“From the outside, the house in Lakeview Terrace looked perfect.” Which of course means that it wasn't. We're introduced to the horrifying Dr. Graham Bigelow, who beats his wife and, increasingly as the boy gets older, his son, Zane. On the night of Zane’s prom, a particularly savage attack puts him and his sister in the hospital, and his father blames Zane, landing him in jail. Then his sister stands up for him, enlisting the aid of their aunt, and everything changes, mainly due to Zane’s secret diaries. Nearly 20 years later, Zane leaves a successful career as a lawyer to return to Lakeview, where his aunt and sister live with their families, deciding to hang a shingle as a small-town lawyer. Then he meets Darby McCray, the landscaper who’s recently relocated and taken the town by storm, starting with the transformation of his family’s rental bungalows. The two are instantly intrigued by each other, but they move slowly into a relationship neither is looking for. Darby has a violent past of her own, so she is more than willing to take on the risk of antagonizing a boorish local family when she and Zane help an abused wife. Suddenly Zane and Darby face one attack after another, and even as they grow ever closer under the pressure, the dangers become more insidious. Roberts’ latest title feels a little long and the story is slightly cumbersome, but her greatest strength is in making the reader feel connected to her characters, so “unnecessary details” can also charm and engage.

Another success for the publishing phenom.

Pub Date: July 9, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-250-20709-8

Page Count: 448

Publisher: St. Martin's

Review Posted Online: April 14, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: May 1, 2019

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A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

THE DECEPTION

A successful businesswoman hires a smooth-talking bounty hunter to find a lead on her sister’s murder.

Kate Gallagher was the only one available to identify her younger sister Chrissy’s body after she was found dead, having run away from home two years earlier. Since Chrissy succumbed to drugs and turned to sex work to survive, her murder isn't taken seriously by the local homicide department. Kate is filled with grief and regret at not having been there for her sister, and she’s determined to find her killer as a kind of penance. Jason Maddox is the charming man Kate almost hooked up with at a local bar. He also happens to be on the payroll of the most successful investigation company in Dallas. He’s all too eager to help Kate out and spend more time getting to know the blonde he danced with at the Sagebrush Saloon. At first, Kate and Jason vow to keep things professional until the case is solved; there’s obvious attraction that they’re willing to pursue at a later date. But the increasing sense of danger mixed with Kate and Jason’s close proximity proves to be too heady of a combination. The tension never lets up as the pair visit seedy bars and interrogate unsavory characters. With a steamy romance and undeniably hot chemistry, the main characters are well matched. They’re both driven, slightly stubborn, and enjoy the adrenaline rush of catching criminals. Martin (The Conspiracy, 2019, etc.) doesn’t skimp on graphic, violent details as Chrissy’s murder leads her couple to something much bigger: human trafficking. Though not for the faint of heart given its weighty material, this is an un-put-down-able page-turner that’s sure to satisfy fans of romance and thrillers alike.

A romantic suspense that skillfully balances both elements.

Pub Date: Sept. 10, 2019

ISBN: 978-1-335-00769-8

Page Count: 384

Publisher: Harlequin HQN

Review Posted Online: June 17, 2019

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 1, 2019

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