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Publishers Weekly® Reviews
- Reviewed in: Publishers Weekly, page .
- Review Date: 2015-04-06
- Reviewer: Staff
Murray (The Game of Love) introduces readers to an authentic setting with likable characters in this promising contemporary Western series starter. Peyton Muldoon has a lot on her plate. The family ranch is struggling, thanks to her late mother’s mismanagement. Her siblings are scattered to who knows where, and horse trainer extraordinaire Redford Callahan is too sexy for her peace of mind. In order to get her ranch back on solid footing, she ignores the attraction, swallows her pride, and offers Red the head trainer position at M-Star Ranch. Red clamps down on his lust and takes the job, against his better judgment. When the two hotheads aren’t arguing, they work well together and are explosive in bed. Despite Red’s reputation as a commitment-phobic wanderer, he accepts his feelings for Peyton early on, and is gentle and patient as he earns his passage through her defenses. The question is whether Peyton will trust Red to stay and accept that she can’t control everything. It’s a tall order for anyone to take that leap of faith, and especially so for Peyton. (Jan.)
In love in the country
Kat Murray offers a feel-good contemporary Western romance in Taking the Reins. Peyton Muldoon loves her family ranch above all else, and she is working hard to get it back on its feet, despite the pressure she feels as a woman in a man’s world. There’s also the memory of her dead mother to battle. The shallow woman’s choices—including her affair with the nasty character she hired as a horse trainer—nearly destroyed Peyton’s legacy. But Peyton has kicked the bad guy out, and she rejoices when the best man for the job becomes available. Red Callahan has an impeccable reputation as well as a penchant for taking on only short-term assignments . . . but Peyton’s determination gets under Red’s skin and has him rethinking the appeal of putting down roots. Will Peyton let him get close, or is she too stubborn to see that she’s nothing like her mother? Well-detailed and spiced with a touch of suspense, this sexy read goes down easy.
A GILDED AFFAIR
The Husband List by Janet Evanovich and Dorien Kelly is a historical romance spiced with a dash of intrigue. In 1894, American heiress Caroline Maxwell is being pressured by her mother to marry into the English aristocracy. She has managed to frighten off titled men before, but now that Lord Bremerton is to arrive in America, Caroline’s mother is determined that her daughter will be his bride. Caroline, however, longs for independence and adventure, and she sees a way to both in her brother’s handsome best pal, brash Irish-American Jack Culhane. Though Jack enjoys his bachelor status, Caroline is making marriage sound better by the minute. The two fall in love, but it may prove impossible to overcome maternal expectations and the unsavory Lord Bremerton’s resolve to have Caroline as his wife. Details of Newport mansions, Worth gowns and a transatlantic ocean voyage infuse this gently sensual and sparkling story of childhood friends becoming so much more. A frothy tale of Gilded Age fun.
TOP PICK IN ROMANCE
A paranormal adventure brings romance into the lives of two people with special talents in Dream Eyes by Jayne Ann Krentz. Psychic counselor Gwen Frazier is accustomed to talking to ghosts, but she feels an urgent jolt when the spirit of her mentor starts communicating. Gwen’s slain friend was part of a research group that was stalked two years before—some of the members were murdered—and she knows it’s time to get to the bottom of these crimes. Sent to her aid in the small Oregon town is Judson Coppersmith, a psychic investigator. Gwen and Judson had met once before, though in spite of their mutual attraction they didn’t pursue romance; Judson hadn’t felt ready for a relationship. When Judson and Gwen inevitably fall into bed after their reunion, they tell themselves they’re only working off the stress of their sleuthing. But their attachment only grows—not to mention their worry that they might not live to experience a future together. Imaginative and exciting, this tale will have readers guessing (and second-guessing) their way to its conclusion.