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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2012-08-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Bestseller McKenna tantalizes the reader with the ninth McCloud Brothers romantic suspense novel (after Blood and Fire). Nina Christie, a McCloud family friend, is attacked on a New York Street by an older Ukrainian acquaintance, who injects her with a mind-altering drug and records a distorted message on Nina’s cellphone. Another McCloud friend, former Army ranger Alex Aaro, lands in New York City, hoping to visit his dying aunt without alerting his estranged Russian mob family. He has no time to translate the message for the McClouds and only goes to help Nina when four thugs sent by the mind-controlling villain track her down. The drug allows Nina to hear thoughts of those around her, but the translated message says she must find the antidote in three days or she will die. Well-developed main characters and a complicated, fast-paced plot help the book, but repetitive elements of mind-control, goon squads, and predictable sex scenes do little to distinguish this installment from others in the series. (Oct.)
A big, bad bodyguard
Shannon McKenna makes the pulse pound with her sultry and suspenseful One Wrong Move. Heroine Nina Christie is followed and stuck with a hypodermic needle, and strange “doctors” at the hospital attempt to kidnap her. Forced to flee, she contacts a friend, desperate for help. That’s when computer security consultant Alex Aaro gets involved; a buddy asks him to be Nina’s bodyguard. This isn’t a good time for him, though. He’s coming out of the shadows to say goodbye to his dying aunt, which puts him in the proximity of his crime boss father. But as the danger becomes more dire for Nina, Aaro steps up and saves her life . . . then finds himself on the run with the beautiful woman. Nina, wary of men, finds herself fascinated by big, bad Aaro. As they try to understand the threat against them, what seemed like an adrenaline-fueled attraction turns to love—but they face lethal obstacles. The language is raw and the action fast-paced in this page-turner.
Small-town Icicle Falls is in almost as much trouble as its generations-old candy factory, Sweet Dreams, in Better Than Chocolate by Sheila Roberts. Just weeks away from losing her family’s chocolate business to the bank, Samantha Sterling struggles to raise funds, and appealing to hunky bank manager Blake Preston doesn’t change a thing. So what if he’s sexy—he’s clearly cold-hearted. With the help of her two sisters and her newly widowed mother, Samantha conceives of a chocolate festival, an idea the whole town gets behind. But can they pull off the event? While Samantha prepares for the weekend, her mother must learn to forge a new life for herself. At times poignant and also just fun, the story will have readers rooting for Sweet Dreams and the Sterling family. The romance comes with kisses only, but the very sweetest kind.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
Young Rose Balfour is determined to get a shot at happily ever after in How to Capture a Countess by Karen Hawkins. However, the outcome looks uncertain after she meets Lord Alton Sinclair—“Lord Sin”—and determines he’s the man to deliver her first kiss. While their embrace is as delicious as a girl could dream, the heated moment leads her to shove the handsome earl away . . . and into a nearby fountain. Lord Sin gains the nickname “Lord Fin,” and six years later he still dreams of wreaking revenge on the unknown young lady who impugned his reputation. Now 22, Rose re-meets Lord Sin at a house party. He tells her his intention: to seduce her then walk away. But instead his interest only grows. Rose is just as smitten, though she’s sure it cannot last—unless the two can get past their pride and make it through the challenges they set up for each other. Amusing side characters, including a passel of pugs and a matchmaking duchess, round out a fast-paced, passionate romp.