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Reviews Written by
K. Newman "krazykmcd" (London, UK)

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Wilde Thing
Wilde Thing
by Janelle Denison
Edition: Paperback
30 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

3.0 out of 5 stars Erotically charged, but too short on story for me, Oct. 8 2003
This review is from: Wilde Thing (Paperback)
It's the story of two people who had lost at love unexpectedly finding it in each other. Both Steve Wilde and Liz Adams have been married before, and both marriages ended - his in divorce 6 years ago, hers in the death of her 'bad boy' husband before she could tell him she'd begun divorce proceedings. Liz owns a coffee shop, and Steve is a recent but now regular customer - he rides a Harley and wears denim and leather. On the surface, another bad boy. But both have been fantasising about the other. Now Liz needs help. Her cousin, who works as a phone sex operator, has turned up missing. And that's when she finds out Steve is a PI.
There is a lot of sex in this book, from almost the instant the two central characters meet outside the coffee house. A broad theme of erotic fantasy runs through the book, as Liz takes on a job in the same phone sex company to assist in locating her cousin. The perspective shifts between Liz, who tells the bulk of the story, and Steve, but I don't feel we gain anything by it. For the most part, they are thinking the same thing. Also, the timescale of two people thinking they each are wanting a temporary fling, with the excitement and freedom that brings them, to a few days later both desperately wanting permanency, just wasn't convincing to me.
The meat of the book is the sex, not the storyline. If hot is your thing then this is a good story for you. It's a well written book that flows well and the chemistry between Liz and Steve sets the pages alight.

Star Princess
Star Princess
by Susan Grant
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
20 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Earth dweller meets Vash in wilful clash, Oct. 8 2003
Sequentially a direct sequel to Star Prince, this book tells the story of Ian Hamilton's headstrong sister Ilana. The events of Star Prince are several months behind them, but Ilana cannot forget Prince Ché Vedla. For his part, Ché has found himself equally fixated on his Crown Prince's sister, despite having an empire of his own to look to. As one of the original Eight Houses, the Vedla's are proudest of all at being able to trace their unbroken line of kings back to the origins of the current Federation. Ché is expected to marry a Princess of the highest credentials, Vash through and through. And as eldest son and heir, it is an expectation he himself holds.
As Ian Hamilton married his intended, to save face Ché's advisors have suggested that Ché marry first. Seeing the wisdom (in Vash terms) of this advice, Ché agrees. But while they are seeking his bride, Ché plans a vacation - to Earth. There he plans to seek out Illana and purge her from his system.
And so a tradition-filled alien Vash Prince comes to Earth to meet destiny in the form of a tempestuous, adventurous, fun filled, unpredictable and definitely NOT true Vash Princess Ilanna Hamilton.
Ilanna is not the only one to like happy endings. This book continues a series that I can see might carry on in the future, but could tie up the ends of the stories of the current generation. I was very pleased that Grant had written Illana's story, as I liked her a lot when I read 'Star Prince'. Although largely predictable in terms of plot, Grant has written an enjoyable story of two opposites attracting, and has taken the effort of considering how two such people might be able to join their very different cultures together to the benefit of both. I had trouble accepting Illana's acceptance of Ché's suggestion that they marry which seemed a little rushed to me, but I accept that in terms of the pace of the book it was necessary.
I feel that readers should try 'Star Prince' first to get the most out of this book. Having done so myself, I enjoyed Ché and Ilanna's tumble into love.

Hide and Seek
Hide and Seek
by Cherry Adair
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.88
48 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Dangerously Wright, Sept. 5 2003
Adventure story featuring another of the Wright brothers (stands alone from the others of the series, but I think reader benefits from knowing of his brothers and sister). This time Kyle, the intelligent doctor turned spy, is about to see the culmination of 4 years work. His 'boss', international crime lord Montero, is about to go down. Montero has had Kyle working to manufacture the smallpox virus, which Montero plans to sell to the highest bidder. But Kyle isn't the one doing the manufacturing by chance.
Co-incidentally, Delanie Eastman's sister has been kidnapped by Montero - or so Delanie (rightfully - although it's for his mother's project) believes. Even more co-incidentally, Delanie and Kyle had a brief but brutal fling directly before Kyle began working for Montero. Neither knows the other's agenda now that they meet again. Against this background of distrust and danger, each must try to achieve their own objective and attempt to put aside the strong attraction they have for the other. Oh yes, and get out of the compound alive.
High action and drama abound here in the very nature of the rather fantastical plot. That Kyle is on one side super intelligent, and the other a dangerous mercenary type (in image terms - he's one of the good guys) makes for a very attractive if highly-unlikely-in-real-life hero. Hey, the plot doesn't shout 'real' to me either. And that's really not the point.
Delanie is very likeable, and both characters have a determination to do their best for their family (Delanie) and country (Kyle). As the attraction between them leaps high once again, the erotic aspects of the story come to play in a suitably highly charged atmosphere. Phew! Quite a story.

Lost in Your Arms: Governess Brides #6
Lost in Your Arms: Governess Brides #6
by Christina Dodd
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 9.99
55 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars When a bad marriage turns good, Sept. 5 2003
Enid MacLean hasn't seen her husband for 9 years, and isn't particularly worried that this is so as after 3 months of marriage he ran off and left her to not only fend for herself, but work off his debts too. When she hears that he has been badly injured, she leaves her current charge (Enid looks after the terminally ill) to do her duty by her husband in taking care of him. She arrives to find him almost unrecognisable in his injuries, except for his exceptional eyes, and in very poor health due to the quality of his care. Enid almost surprises herself in her doggedness in determining the best care for him, and in the period of recuperation comes to care for her husband as she barely remembers doing even in the early days of their marriage. For his part, her patient has lost his memory from his injuries, although as it happens, not for good. But all is not as it seems, not even the man she is nursing back to health. And danger stalks them both.
Predictable basic plot, but Dodd works it well and this story is very enjoyable. The threat to them both seems very real and immediate, and the bonds that grow between patient and caregiver stem from the strong characteristics of each of the central characters. The mystery of who is threatening them I certainly found to be hard to anticipate, and kept me guessing. The quandry Enid faces in particular touched an emotional chord in me.
This is one of the books featuring the Throckmortons from 'In My Wildest Dreams' and thus the rest of the Governess series, but it is not necessary to have read the others to enjoy this, as the storylines do not touch except for 2 (admittedly rather important) characters. Nonetheless it would not spoil the sequence of events to read this one first - it might even arouse your curiosity enough to try one of the others.

Behind Closed Doors
Behind Closed Doors
by Shannon Mckenna
Edition: Paperback
39 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Clever, hot and perceptive, Aug. 18 2003
This review is from: Behind Closed Doors (Paperback)
A good combination of thriller and very erotic romance. There's a lot of sex in this book, so if you object to such, then this is not a tale for you. However sex is used here as much to show how the two central characters change in the course of events, from power plays to tenderness, touching on punishment and eventually even forgiveness. In this, as well as the quality of writing, McKenna makes this about more than sex, and brings in something of the human condition, as well as drawing in other themes and subtexts of the novel. Thus, although plentiful, the erotic nature of the book actually adds meaning to the relationship and thus integrates into the story as a whole.
As for the thriller side, there is certainly no 'mystery' here - we know whodunnit and why the various characters are taking the actions that they are. The two central characters are Raine Cameron, who has recently begun working for identified baddie Victor Lazar, and Seth Mackey, whose brother had been killed 10 months prior to the opening of the book. All that drives Seth now is the need for vengeance. He likens himself to a cyborg - focused, emotionless and with a single purpose. To this end he has extensively bugged the house of Lazar's mistress (Lazar being involved in his brothers death), which is now Raine's house. Raine is actually related to Lazar, and blames him (rightly) for the death of her father. She has been on the run from Lazar for 13 years, and considers herself to be a bit of a coward - the shy, retiring, unnoticeable type. Now convinced that she needs to find out more of her fathers death, she has 'infiltrated' Lazars firm, supposedly anonymously - almost a joke as Lazar knows exactly who she is. Seth, for his part, has been watching Raine with fascination, becoming more and more attracted to her. And now the plan moves along, as he seeks to make contact with Lazar, and through him with Lazar's new assistant. Both of them seeking knowledge and retribution, neither sure of who they can trust, both unable to deny the attraction they feel for the other. An attraction watched with interest by many...
It's a very well thought out story, containing many elements. Revenge, hate, manipulation, rage, and the seamer side of life are definitely a part of it, but so too is a great deal of warmth and 'family' feeling. Seth on his side has the memories of his brother, and his developing relationship with the McCloud brothers (who I hope will have their own stories in the future). Raine brings her historical relationship with her parents, and her ongoing complex feelings about Lazar. There are others very central to the book too - Novak and Riggs whose roles become important in the telling of the story. There is no 'mystery', but a great deal of human nature, as characters change and develop as they deal with very real danger and cope with the shifting nature of reality. I particularly liked the triangle of Raine, Seth and Lazar's roles as they played against each other.
Overall I enjoyed the book very much, particularly as a study of human characteristics and relationships, and indeed and how we as individuals affect each other and touch each others lives, for better or worse. I liked very much that this 'erotic thriller' was deeper than a surface story, and that the characters within were constantly evolving not only as they grew and changed within themselves, but also in their dealings each other.

by Cj Barry
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
27 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Classic futuristic plot with original elements, Aug. 18 2003
This review is from: Unearthed (Mass Market Paperback)
A star ship captain, a prince, a robot and an abducted earth woman are the basic players in this futuristic romance. Cohl Travers has identified Tess MacKenzie's voice as the element to save his father, who is incidentally the ruler of Cohl's planet, and rather than drop in and explain things to Tess, he's abducted her. Although shocked and unwilling initially, basically Tess comes around with the help of Cohl's mother, and buys into the idea. Just in time to be abducted again by the baddie of the piece, who wants the amulet and the voice that will release and activate it for himself. Cohl takes off after Tess, who instinctively relies on him to do so. Fair maiden is saved by handsome adventurer, and now they're in this thing together.
Yes, there's a lot that is classic in this futuristic romance, but that it not to say that this tale gets tired. The action moves along at a good pace, there's elements of danger throughout, and there is enough heat between Cohl and Tess to keep interest fresh. It's not a groundbreaker, but it is a good example of it's type.

Aphrodite's Secret
Aphrodite's Secret
by Julie Kenner
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
28 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Love in the Deep, Aug. 18 2003
The continuation of Kenner's series of superhero Protectors based in part on the myths of the Greek Gods. Here we meet Jason Murphy, who has the ability to talk to fish (a talent in great demand, I'm sure) and turns into a dolphin when underwater. Seven years ago he left pregnant girlfriend Lane to deal with his father - the universally reviled Hieronymous. Instead of defeating dad, Jason was captured by him and has spent over six years in a fish tank, being interrogated by good old pop. Having eventually escaped, Jason finds he's been demoted to second class Protector and like his half brother Mordichai is viewed with suspicion by the Elders and Council. Unfairly, because unlike his brother, Jason knows where his loyalties lie.
Lane, sister of Taylor from Aphrodite's Girdle, had no idea who Jason really was, and so far as she is concerned, Jason left her when he found out he was to be a father, never to be heard from again. Her son Davy is now the focus of her life, her little genius whom she doesn't realise is half Protector and whose intellect, like Hieronymous, is his principle power. Davy is about to turn seven, when his powers will blossom and for a moment those powers will be vulnerable. In the meanwhile, Hieronymous has come up with an evil plan to add to his own intellect ...
This story is another Kenner gem, and like the others in the series is told with wit and originality. The humour keeps the story grounded, as does the relationships between many of the characters, including that of Hieronymous and his sons. There are very 'human' issues dealt with - jealousy, loyalty, love, trust - even for those with super powers. Although it's not my favourite book in the series, it's a good addition to it and advances the plot for more characters than just the central two.

Shadow Crossing
Shadow Crossing
by Catherine Spangler
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
22 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Celie's story, Aug. 18 2003
We've read of Celie in earlier books of the Shadower series, and here at last the young girl is grown up and gets a story of her own.
Celie had spent much of her youth as a smuggler, and although she's gone all respectable, she misses the rush of danger and risk. She's got her own craft now, and the deliveries she makes are scheduled and routine. But her longing for adventure is about to be answered in the form of Rurick. He's a prince of a guy, and has been artificially cloned in the form of a replica android, as his life is one of risk. Celie is drawn into his world, and they go through much adventuring together. But Celie's life has never been easy, and there is no way she will fit into his. She's hiding a devastating secret - or at least she thinks she is - but more than that, unlike android Max, she's just not built for royalty. She has to be true to herself, and Celie can't see herself fitting into Rurick's lifestyle.
For those that have read the earlier Shadower novels, here's a chance to read Celie and even Raven's stories. I found that while it rounded the series off nicely, it's the least favourite of the series as much of the dangers faced by the Shadowers has been overcome. But it's nice to have all the ends tied up, and I'm glad Celie's story has been told.

Devlin's Luck: Book I of The Sword of Change
Devlin's Luck: Book I of The Sword of Change
by Patricia Bray
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
Price: CDN$ 10.99
35 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

5.0 out of 5 stars Strong heroic central character, Aug. 18 2003
I loved this book. It is a combination of fantasy and action. The central character is Devlin Stonehand, who has come to the capital city of the kingdom of Jorsk to try for the job of Chosen One. It involves a trial of the Gods, where if he is not accepted as the next Chosen One the applicant will wind up dead. If he is chosen, he will be placed under a Gaes which will compel him to act when the Kingdom is threatened, no matter the cost including that of his life.
Of course, Devlin becomes the next Chosen One and for the remainder of the book, he fights the good fight against both physical threats to a declining kingdom, and also against possible betrayal from the kings own Council.
The highlight of the book for me is Devlin himself. He is so stuffed with honour and heroism, and genuinely has trouble understanding why the average man and woman are not as he is ï¿ ready and willing to fight for his family and friends, and to die for what he believes in. For most of the book he actively seeks his death due to events in his recent past, which have lead him to trying for the role of Chosen One to his countries conquerors in the first place. Other characters are necessarily less well drawn, with the exception of minstrel Stephen. Those that are featured are mostly warriors in the form of guards and other fighters, which Devlin clearly admires about them, and those that first come to see the truly admirable (in terms of the needs of the Kingdom) Chosen One. Devlin carries this book, but he is strong enough to do so. Not perfect, probably an uncomfortable person to be around if he were flesh and bone, but a perfectly heroic character.

Loving Daylights
Loving Daylights
by Lynsay Sands
Edition: Mass Market Paperback
18 used & new from CDN$ 0.01

4.0 out of 5 stars Funny Bond take-off, Aug. 18 2003
While belonging firmly in the Romance genre, this series is a take-off of the Bond books, and here we have the absent minded professor type, who designs and tests a variety of gadgets, including the tampon trackers, shrink-wrap condoms (ow!) and vibrator missiles. Seems clear what Jane Spyrus' (Spies R Us?) mind has been on.
But the tampon tracker is being tested in a most immediate manner when Jane's neighbour and almost-friend Edie (if Jane had time for friends) goes missing. Cue for one gorgeous brother to show up, and Jane, her retired spy gran and Abel to climb into Jane's specialised van and zoom off to save the girl.
Realisim flies out the window here, this book is strictly fun. But romance with a comic touch is a Lynsay Sands speciality, and this is a great example. There are plenty of laughs - I particularly enjoyed the prototype demonstration - and some great gadgets. The evil kidnappers are a good threat for Jane, Abel and Gran to go up against. I didn't always agree with the handling of the romance between Jane and Abel - particularly the sojourn to a B&B which was a bit clumsy as a 'time out for sex' moment - but overall I found this book to be a wonderfully wacky comic story.

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