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D. Merrimon Crawford (Colorado)
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Deadlier Than the Male: The Fiercest Heart\Lethal Lessons
Deadlier Than the Male: The Fiercest Heart\Lethal Lessons
by Sharon Sala
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 5.99
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Delightfully wicked! Outstanding, Dec 3 2010
DEADLIER THAN MALE teams up two unique voices in romantic suspense, Colleen Thompson and Sharon Sala, in spine-chilling short stories featuring wicked female characters. So wicked and devious are these women that the danger spirals deeper and deeper as they plot against two different couples. In both stories, danger has the possibility to destroy romance or bring couples closer together.... if they live long enough to survive the threat to their lives!

In Sharon Sala's "The Fiercest Heart," high school sweethearts Haley Shore and Mack Brolin reunite after 10 years. They had promised to wait for each other when Mack went away to college, but a car accident and the death of Haley's brother intervened. Now, the death of Haley's father and a terse announcement of his funeral summon Haley back to her hometown. Will Haley and Mack be able to rediscover the love they once had? Someone seems determined to keep them apart at any cost. Will Haley finally be able to stand up against the past?

In "The Fiercest Heart," Sharon Sala writes a suspenseful story about young love maturing in the face of danger and outside pressure, maturing enough to finally be able to stand up against the forces against them. The suspense lies not in the identity of the person plotting against them which the author reveals quite early but rather in the devious and outrageous lengths to which the person goes. As troubling as the villain is the town's inability to stand up for Haley as a youth. As the danger becomes more and more insideous, Mack and Haley are tested beyond their wildest dreams--- tested in ways that make them both stand up and free themselves of the past. At heart, "The Fiercest Heart" is a second chance romance in which danger provokes the psychological growth needed for their love to survive.

In Colleen Thompson's "Lethal Lessons," elementary school teacher Mara Stillwell escapes to Red Bluff, Arizona hoping to free herself of the past but the past has a way of following a person. Adam Jakes, her older brother's best friend, has a daughter Rebecca as a student in her class. The death of her mother haunts Rebecca. Rumors and warnings about Adam abound in this small western town, but Mara finds herself trusting the man, a man who, when he was much younger, used to set her heart afire. As Mara tries to help Rebecca, will Mara place her trust in the wrong person? Will the love growing between Mara and Adam be able to survive the danger or will the past finally catch up to them?

"Lethal Lessons" is a chilling tale of romance and suspense as past and setting merge to inflame the passions of a vicious villain. As in her previous works, Colleen Thompson brilliantly makes use of setting to bring out the inner demons and compassion of her characters. In the small town of Red Bluff, from the tighter environment of home and work, a threat emerges in the least expected place. Rumors have more effect and positions of authority can be used to the detriment of individuals. As the dark secrets of the heart emerge, the danger escalates, but so does the possibility of romance, and a compassion that grows from the conflict, a compassion that transforms all those around the couple. Romantic suspense fans will relish the clever and fun echoes of past classics to which Colleen Thompson pays homage. A brilliant twist!

As well as the enjoyment of each individual tale, DEADLIER THEN MALE is even more richly enjoyed by the pairing of the two individual stories. Read in the context of the other story, the finer nuances of each emerges through contrast and comparison. Similar themes in each, handled differently by each author, bring out the individual voice of each. DEADLIER THEN MALE would make an excellent book club choice for romantic suspense fans for exactly this reason. Unfortunately, the publisher diminishes the brilliance of the editor choice to pair these two particular stories and these two particular authors by the difference of font size on the cover. Whether you come to this book as a fan of Colleen Thompson or of Sharon Sala, notice how the unique voice of each makes both stand out as quite special. This reader certainly hopes to see more collaboration between these two as well as their individual works! A keeper for fans of romantic suspense!

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Mistletoe and the Lost Stiletto
Mistletoe and the Lost Stiletto
by Liz Fielding
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 5.25
25 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Christmas Cinderella Romance!, Dec 2 2010
Suddenly Lucy Bright had everything a girl could want. From getting noticed during a secretarial job interview to becoming the fianceé of retail tycoon Rupert Henshawe, this modern Cinderella has a fairy tale life... until she discovers everything is a sham! All her dreams were the manipulations of a clever publicity stunt. As Lucy runs away from Rupert, the false dreams, and the media buzz, she accidentally falls straight into the arms of Nathaniel Hart. From the moment Nathaniel sees her eyes, he is drawn to the mysterious woman, wanting to protect her. Just as quickly, she slips through his arms. Will Nathaniel be able to find the woman of his dreams? Even more daunting a task awaits him. If he finds her, will he be able to get her to trust him? Having been fooled once, will Lucy find true love, the kind of love that transcends the glitz by reaching down to the heart?

MISTLETOE AND THE LOST STILETTO is a fun modern twist on the Cinderella story, complete with references to Twitter, CCTV cameras and cell phones, that also stirs the heart a timeless Christmas message. Liz Fielding does an excellent job at showing the emptiness of the false glamor of a fairy tale in name only. Precise imagery heightens the sensation of Lucy's fear as she escapes the media and Rupert. This hint of action and light suspense keeps the reader glued to the pages as Nathaniel tries to hunt her down. From the beginning, Liz Fielding presents Nathaniel as a man of honor and generous spirit as he aims to protect Lucy as a patron of his store. Liz Fielding deftly creates a contrast between Rupert, seen mostly through his advertising handlers, and Nathaniel, seen directly through his own thoughts.

MISTLETOE AND THE LOST STILETTO is a wonderful romance to read during the Christmas season. As all the advertising and emphasis on commercialism revs up into high gear, this modern Cinderella story lays bare the emptiness of the media frenzy with a story of the heart. Together, Lucy and Nathaniel find something more solid and richer, something beyond appearances. MISTLETOE AND THE LOST STILETTO is a playful, whimsical Cinderella romance from start to finish and at the same time, a Christmas romance that rejuvenates the heart. A romance must read for the holidays and a perfect Christmas gift for the romance reader too!

Courtesy of Book Illuminations

Juggling Briefcase & Baby
Juggling Briefcase & Baby
by Jessica Hart
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 5.25
11 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Refreshing fun romance!, Nov. 4 2010
Lex Gibson has a job to do. He must secure a contract with the chief executive of Gibson and Grieve. To make matters worse, the Director of Acquisitions has assigned Romy Morrison to assist him. As for Romy, she certainly wasn't ready for the last minute call! Rushing to get herself and her young daughter ready for a flight, she doesn't even have much time to think about the prospect of spending so much time so close to Lex. Determined to prove herself, especially as a single mother, she will put their past history behind them and do all she can to seal the deal. Lex himself also wants prove himself professionally. No matter what, he must get this deal signed. When Lex and Romy agree to pretend marriage to rehabilitate Lex's playboy image, neither quite expects the outcome. Will these two professionals, now forced to play a dream, find the love they once thought lost?

JUGGLING BRIEFCASE AND BABY is a perfect romance choice to kindle the heart with warmth, hope and joy this winter season. From the very beginning, Jessica Hart takes the reader into both Lex's mind and heart as he waits for the plane's departure. One just can't but love him! JUGGLING BRIEFCASE AND BABY brings together several lovable characters in a humorous conflict that truly brings out the best in all. The love between Lex and Romy is so infectious that even the difficult Alexander Gibson changes in their presence. Jessica Hart fills this romance with comic scenes as Lex and Romy get themselves into more and more difficult situations. As Lex and Romy reveal their most intimate hopes and disappointments with each other, they get to know each other in ways they could not when they were younger. By the end, both have truly earned the love they once sought.

JUGGLING BRIEFCASE AND BABY is a great romance to choose to renew one's own sense of hope and delight after a long tiring day. The vibrant characters re-energize a reader. Lex and Romy's romance is just downright fun. Their innate goodness and romantic chemistry shines through on each page. Superb!

Courtesy of Book Illuminations

A Golden Web
A Golden Web
by Barbara Quick
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 14.59
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Knowledge, dedication, imagination and the pursuit of a dream, April 6 2010
This review is from: A Golden Web (Hardcover)
As a young girl, Alessandra Giliani has a voracious thirst for books and knowledge. While her brother Nicco chafes at the rigorous Aristotle studies assigned to him, Alessandra possesses an uncanny knowledge, not only from books but from observation of the natural world and the people around her. Alessandra has access to all the books that come through her father's workshop but even those are not enough for her inquisitive mind. Alessandra is a girl with dreams, dreams bigger than the options usually available to girls and women in medieval Italy whose choices are often either marriage or the convent. When her family arranges a marriage with a young man, Alessandra hatches a bold, daring plan with her siblings that opens up a new world to her that she could not even imagine in her wildest dreams. Through trials, dedication, study and imagination, Alessandra's pioneer medical research opens up new pathways, new ways of seeing the human body.

Barbara Quick's young adult historical novel A GOLDEN WEB tells the story of one of the lesser widely known medieval women, but nevertheless an unusual woman whose life and achievements deserve to be more than a footnote in history. A GOLDEN WEB focuses on the the youth and achievements of Alessandra Giliani, an Italian anatomist who served as the first woman prosector, or preparer of dissections for anatomical study. Through an exquisite combination of meticulous historical research and poetic imagination, Barbara Quick makes her characters come alive on the pages and in the heart. Through Alessandra's interactions with others and nature, the reader discovers the inspiration, creativity and compassion that drive her heart. Through her deep love of books and all knowledge, the reader catches a glimpse of the intricate insights that will later influence her studies and medical research. Alessandra is a girl whose inner fortitude and imagination allows her to realize her dreams and more in an age when the role for women was narrowly circumscribed. She does not compromise her goals or herself to others. Barbara Quick's portrait of Alessandra will inspire modern young adult readers who themselves have hidden dreams and aspirations.

Barbara Quick takes the reader right into the heart of the medieval Italy. From Alessandra's childhood to the halls of the University of Bologna, from the presence of Dante on the sidelines to the Arabic influence on philosophy and medicine, the reader becomes completely immersed in the environment that surround her characters. Barbara Quick's vivid descriptions of the luxurious details of medieval books will fill any book lover's imagination with the beautiful treasure books are to readers. The narrative style is fluid and approachable to young adults but Barbara Quick has not sacrificed any of the beauty of historical fiction. Indeed, her powerful use of imagery and her ability to integrate authentic historical detail seamlessly into her story raises the standard of the whole Young Adult category to a new height, in my opinion. Rather than talking down to her younger readers, Barbara Quick inspires the imagination,taking them on a journey through medieval Italy through the life of a woman who has much in common with many young adult girls (and some older women whose age has not lessened the girl within).

A GOLDEN WEB is the kind of book that should win several awards. A GOLDEN WEB will appeal to a wide variety of readers, young adult and older: book lovers who treasure books, girls or women who love art, girls or women who love science (especially medicine), readers who love history or historical fiction, readers possessing a curiosity for any field of knowledge. A GOLDEN WEB is a book for daughters, mothers, and grandmothers to share with one another. A GOLDEN WEB would make a great gift for young men and women in the medical field or those who aspire to be. A special note to all medieval enthusiasts, no matter what your age --- don't wait for the paperback! A GOLDEN WEB is a book to treasure for many years!

Courtesy of Medieval Book Reviews/Book Illuminations

Oh-So-Sensible Secretary
Oh-So-Sensible Secretary
by Jessica Hart
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Fresh, fun, invigorating romance, Feb. 19 2010
Summer Curtis sits waiting for the arrival of her new boss, Phin Gibson. Her desk is in perfect order, her nails perfectly manicured. Everything is perfectly organized exactly like Summer likes it, except that her new boss is late. Phin Gibson's reputation precedes him. He takes groups of people into the wild territories to complete tasks under the most appalling conditions --- not exactly the professional type to settle into running Grieve and Gibson. Phin may be gorgeous but can his laid-back, disorganized ways are all too familiar to Summer. Besides, Summer still has her eyes set on Jonathan. When Phin comes up with a plan to please the firm's publicity and make Jonathan jealous in the process, Summer listens to reason --- but is she really listening instead to her heart? Can Phin show the ever so sensible secretary how to let go and have fun? Will this commitment-phobic playboy find in Summer the one thing lacking in all his adventures?

Jessica Hart's OH-SO-SENSIBLE SECRETARY is an absolute delight from first page to last. The first person narration gives this romance a sassy energy that makes this romance stand out as special. Phin may not exactly be the kind of professional boss his brother is, but as a man, he is simply irresistible. Underneath the glamor of his public image, the man has a heart of gold. Even his ways are a bit unorthodox, he brings a wonderful combination of fun and honor to his crazy plans. Who couldn't fall for his ways? Jessica Hart's handling of the first person narrative, a point of view rarely seen in category romance, is brilliant! Like Phin, Jessica Hart brings a fresh invigorating perspective to the genre --- just the remedy for the late winter-almost spring doldrums. With each romance, Jessica Hart brings a freshness and challenge to the genre. OH-SO-SENSIBLE SECRETARY a treasure. Brava!

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Christmas Angel for the Billionaire
Christmas Angel for the Billionaire
by Liz Fielding
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 5.25
19 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Christmas Romance!, Dec 15 2009
Lady Roseanne Napier lives her life in the public eye as the paragon of virtue. From the moment she held her grandfather's hand at her parents' funeral, Annie has lived in the shadow of her parents' fame. On the tenth anniversary of their murder, at the tender age of 16, she opened a children's hospice in honor of her mother. As Lady Rose, Annie is an icon of perfection. Each and every move is captured by the press. With such a worthy goal behind the publicity, how can she do otherwise? Yet the woman in her wants something richer and more substantial than image. When the opportunity for escape presents itself, Annie seizes the chance to break from her guarded life with an unplanned adventure. Leaving her aristocratic image behind, Annie plans to experience life on her own without plan or protection. When spontaneity leads to a disabled car, circumstances place Annie right in the presence of handsome George Saxon. Drawn together, Annie and George form a relationship. Whether they spar or share the intimacy of a home cooked recipe, Annie experiences life and love within the difficult but delightfully imperfect moments beyond public image. Can their love survive the secret of her true identity? Or his?

In the opening scenes of CHRISTMAS ANGEL FOR THE BILLIONAIRE, Liz Fielding draws the reader in with short news stories of deep cultural icons that reach generations. With just enough details reminiscent of John Kennedy, Jr. or Lady Diana yet enough differences to create a unique character, Liz Fielding creates emotion and empathy for her characters by reaching into those private moments that are also part of a cultural memory. Here and in later moments of the book in something as simple as a cookbook, in precise moments well-placed, Liz Fielding has a unique ability to capture rich images that speak worlds. In these moments, Liz Fielding moves beyond image to substance, summoning a whole emotional depth that resonates within a reader. The romance between Annie and George moves from a fairy tale kind of image to one which reaches into the characters' vulnerabilities, challenging them. In some ways, George is not the ideal hero of romantic fantasy but the tension between them is just the catalyst Annie needs to discover herself and experience a love beyond image. The character growth is not one-dimensional. Annie and her love transform George as well. What a delightful perfect ending with just the perfect media twist!

CHRISTMAS ANGEL FOR THE BILLIONAIRE is a wonderful Christmas romance to cheer the heart. CHRISTMAS ANGEL FOR THE BILLIONAIRE turns tragedy into a happy ending through the magic of love. Liz Fielding creates a modern romance rendition of a fairy tale, of royalty shedding the trappings to experience life in this duet later continued in HER DESERT DREAM. Liz Fielding reaches beyond image glitter to create a romance packed full of humor, dynamic emotions, and substance. Here as in other romances, Liz Fielding is an expert in packing whole rich emotional worlds into the format of a category romance. Indeed, the precision with which she uses imagery, plot and emotion often outshines romances of a much longer page count. Liz Fielding turns the short category romance into an art form with the tight precision of her writing. CHRISTMAS ANGEL FOR THE BILLIONAIRE is no exception. Once again, Liz Fielding dazzles with a romance to touch the heart with just the right Christmas story.

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Temporary Doctor, Surprise Father
Temporary Doctor, Surprise Father
2 used & new from CDN$ 0.39

5.0 out of 5 stars Emotional and fantastic!, May 21 2009
To Jan Ashworth, it seems the whole world is in love --- every one but her. Once Jan had been at the height of all popularity with her good looks and prom queen status but all that changed when she got involved with bad boy Beck and he left town. When a new military field medic and SWAT team member Beck Braxton joins her Emergency Department to learn new medical treatment advances, suddenly her past stands right before her. As the two work together, each rediscovers the special chemistry they have always had between them but life has changed them in the meantime. Before they can move forward, they must confront the secrets of the past. Can their new-found love endure the wounds of the past? Should Jan tell Beck that he is a father and will he ever be able to forgive her?

In TEMPORARY DOCTOR, SURPRISE FATHER, Lynne Marshall writes a beautiful, highly emotional story of first love as a man and woman rediscover the initial passion between them with a changed perspective. Jan and Beck had a perfect storybook romance until life intervened. Life has changed them both. Lynne Marshall brings her characters together in challenging circumstances that cause them to work together and grow even more. Today Jan and Beck share not only the magic of a first love but also a deeper love able to meet the challenges of life that one just can't meet at the age when first loves usually occur. Lynne Marshall's portrait of Jan is striking in its richness. Although she still has the spirit inside from her youth, Jan learns to stand up for herself. Beck also must wrestle with himself to move beyond the past. TEMPORARY DOCTOR, SURPRISE FATHER creates a romantic conflict which challenges the characters to the core, revealing an inner depth that transforms their love to a new level.

TEMPORARY DOCTOR, SURPRISE FATHER is one of the best medical romances and indeed category romances that I have read to date. The core story itself between the hero and the heroine from the first moments to how they work through the conflicts between them to the happy ending is simply stunning. What gives this romance an extra special pizazz is how every element of the plot and characterization work together in fine precision. A simple image of a scar made me gasp, at its beautiful touch and placement within the context of the story. Even the medical cases give a deeper tone to the emotion and meaning of the book, revealing the character and values of the characters. In this romance, every part worked with the main storyline, creating a whole romance that blew me away page after page. My one warning --- this is a very emotional romance and definitely a tearjerker so my recommendation would be to buy it and save it for those moments when you want to read a tearjerker and a romance that moves one deeply by its portrait of love. For Jan and Beck, love is more than just an infatuation. Their love is able to withstand the difficulties life presents. Lynne Marshall writes a powerful romance that touches the depth of a reader's heart!

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Honeymoon with the Boss
Honeymoon with the Boss
by Jessica Hart
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 5.25
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Light joyous romance to lift the spirits, May 20 2009
Imogen Hobbs can't help dream about her new handsome boss. Tom Maddison may be all business, but with his looks, even his efficient secretary can't deny his charm. Imagine her surprise when he assigns her the task of planning the honeymoon for his upcoming marriage! When the wedding falls apart at the last minute, sensible Tom can't see wasting all that money. Instead, why not use the opportunity to plunge himself even further into his work? Tom heads to the remote Coconut Island with his sensible secretary with the intent on hunkering down to work without distractions. Once there, both Imogen and Tom find the distractions of this tropical business trip a bit more than they ever imagined. But can this momentary paradise become something more than just a fleeting moment under the sun?

Though efficient in her job, Imogen Hobbs is a free spirit. Vibrant, young and adventurous, she just is not ready to settle down into a career at this point in her life. Her boss Tom is practical and a workaholic. He would rather do a business deal than plan his own wedding. Will Imogen be able break through his no-nonsense exterior? Even more importantly, will Tom be able to unlock her deepest desire, a desire once lost and which she thinks is now impossible to find? Will Imogen and Tom discover that life is better with one another than alone?

HONEYMOON WITH THE BOSS is classic Jessica Hart through and through, from front page to the last. Jessica Hart brings two seemingly opposites together and lets the fun begin. Fans will enjoy the dialogue as the two characters learn about each other, sharing light whimsical moments and the deeper desires of their hearts. The chemistry between Imogen and Tom, strong but kept hidden from one another, breaks forth in a memorable moment of laughter. Jessica Hart perfectly captures the spontaneity and unexpected, fun moments of love growing in the heart. HONEYMOON WITH THE BOSS is a light, joyous romance to life the spirits. With its lush tropical setting, HONEYMOON WITH THE BOSS is a perfect romance to inspire a reader's summer imagination. Unlike my visions of the typical tropical holiday, their excursion is a true fantasy without all the tourists and tourist traps --- but how much of a fantasy will this vacation be for a boss and his assistant who had no plans for romance together? Jessica Hart turns that question into fantasy, laughter and fun in a romance that reaches the depths of her characters' hearts.

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The Once And Future Prince
The Once And Future Prince
by Olivia Gates
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars An exciting new romance voice takes it to the next level!, May 9 2009
The Mediterranean kingdom of Castaldini has a unique flavor, not only in the mixing of Italian and Moorish culture but even more so for the stringent rules governing the line of succession. Each king must satisfy the royal council of the reigning king and prove himself worthy in virtue, health, parentage, character and the success he has earned of his own merit. Although these rules all sound noble to the outsider, the founding ruler created a hotbed of competition within the men vying to become king. All his life, Prince Leandro D'Agostino fought to prove himself worthy but when his thoughts and actions scandalized the kingdom, the ruling party had no choice but to banish this renegade. Now, King Benedetto faces the same dilemma as the founder of the empire. He can no longer delay choosing a successor. He sends Phoebe Alexander on a mission to bring Leandro back. Once Leandro's lover, Phoebe refused to leave with him when he left the kingdom. Now, she must find a way to seduce him into returning to the kingdom that exiled him. Leandro decides to turn the tables on Phoebe and the king, refusing to return unless Phoebe herself bows to his command. Phoebe knows she can never be his queen. Leandro certainly made that evident years before. With the passions reignited between Phoebe and Leandro, can love find a way of breaking through the past betayals?

As the first book in the Castaldini Crown trilogy, THE ONCE AND FUTURE PRINCE sets the stage for the series with the creation of a fascinating legendary country that struggles between the ancient customs and the increased pressures of modernity. Olivia Gates makes the country an integral part of the romance, not only in the beautiful sensuous landscape but also the country and its legendary history reveals the depth within her characters. The hero Leandro is just as intense and wonderful as the readers encountered in her previous Throne of Judar series and yet, in her new series, Olivia Gates gives readers a hero with a unique flair. Powerful, emotional, successful, Leandro is the rebel of the family. He is not about to surrender for the sake of making peace when he knows he is right. Although guided by his values, Leandro is not moderate in his passion, not for the woman or the country he loves. Just how far will he go to win back the love of Phoebe? Amid the intensity of the hero, Olivia Gates gives amazing insights into the heroine's character, particularly the changes within her. At first, Leandro seems to be the focus of this romance, but Phoebe's story motivates the key moments in this romance. She is the force within the romance. Sometimes one mere sentence marks the transformation within her but that one sentence, that one step, reveals so much about her character. Phoebe's development is the jewel within the main narrative.

Part fairy tale, part archetypal, the notion of a good king creates the backdrop against which Leandro must struggle as the rebellious prince, particularly as politics, family and love create a conflict deep within the hero. In the creation of the Castaldini kingdom, Olivia Gates creates a unique flavor by integrating some of the best aspects of historical romance genre in the creation of her kingdom and yet she adds an exciting contemporary twist to her romances as the kingdom and its royal family struggle to combine tradition with modern life. As a relatively new but distinct romance voice, Olivia Gates has a powerful vision to bring together readers from various subgenres with her passionate characters and fascinating exotic landscapes.

Olivia Gates just has some of the best one-liners. And some wonderful insults! Sometimes I wish I could memorize them to pull out in times of dealing with some of the occasional jerks one encounters in life! Throughout the romance in dialogue and otherwise, the language is at once very classic and innovative, poetic and delightfully descriptive. My main feeling after reading this was...how many more days until I can read the next one? In ONCE AND THE FUTURE PRINCE, Olivia Gates writes a romance that will jolt a romance reader out of a reading slump. Passionate, poetic, and packed full of tension, THE ONCE AND FUTURE PRINCE is one powerful romance.

Secret Baby, Surprise Parents
Secret Baby, Surprise Parents
by Liz Fielding
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
13 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Dynamic intensely emotional romance, March 2 2009
Grace McAllister cares deeply for others, so much so that she would do anything to ease her sister's Phoebe's pain, even become a surrogate mother. Grace's bold decision puts her at odds with the one man she has ever loved, Josh Kingsley. Successful and popular with the ladies, Josh seems headed on the fast track, a track that leads him farther and farther from home. When tragedy strikes, can Grace rely on Josh to help her? Together can the two of them do what is best for the little baby Posie? In the midst of their grief, can Grace and Josh find a way to share the secrets that they have kept from one another? Can the little baby Posie open their hearts to love?

Liz Fielding's SECRET BABY, SURPRISE PARENTS, is a beautiful romance of love and joy emerging from loss. As the legal implications of surrogacy and parenthood complicate the legal status of Posie, Liz Fielding does an excellent job at showing the emotional depth of Grace's tie to Posie. As the secrets unravel, Liz Fielding creates a emotional landscape that keeps the reader glued to the pages. One feels the emotional loss in the very language of the romance, a language that mesmerizes the reader with its depth as these two wounded souls work their way out of the past and the secrets that have kept them apart. From the depth of their loss, Grace and Josh risk honesty in a way they never have. As they open up to themselves and each other, they find themselves more able to see one another as they are rather than through the image they have built up of one another. From loss, Josh and Grace learn to reach out, creating a new emotional space in which love transforms them. Liz Fielding paints a magnificent portrait of a woman who moves from passivity and dependence upon others to a woman who recaptures her spark for life and an independence that allows her to love like never before with a joyous confidence in herself.

SECRET BABY, SURPRISE PARENTS is a highly emotional romance. Open the cover and be prepared to be glued to the pages from the first tense dynamic moments to the last twists in the epilogue. What an epilogue! Whereas an epilogue in the hands of less experienced authors often fades the story into a lackluster expected resolution, Liz Fielding uses the form of the epilogue to deliver the final wonderful dynamic images of the courage of love. Liz Fielding's epilogue does more than just completes or resolves ---- it transforms all that led up to it, leading the romance to a new height. I love a dynamic ending with a few twists, not just plot twists but something that transforms! Awesome!

In the context of the body of Liz Fielding's romances, SECRET BABY, SURPRISE PARENTS stands out as one of her most emotional romances --- and one of her best! If you love an emotional romance, reserve a block of time just to enjoy this romance uninterrupted. SECRET BABY, SURPRISE PARENTS is a romance you won't want to put down until the last page.

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