Archive for the ‘Keeper’ Category

Copyright: 2006

Pages: 206 (trade-size paperback edition)

Setting/Type: Contemporary/Straight Erotic Romance, Erotic Paranormal

Publisher: Avon Red

Author Website: www.KimberlyDean.com,www.LynnLaFleur.com (sorry, the Poser doll s’not not NOT sexy)

Grade: A, DNF

Unrequited Kimberly Dean

After years of secret longing for his brother’s wife, Tyler rejoices when she is set free and ripe for new love—though it may take a prolonged seduction to convince wary Trista to open herself up to pleasure once more.

Victim of Deception Lynn LaFleur

When a woman moves into an old house, she is suddenly tantalized by erotic dreams that cause her to shed her every inhibition . . . leaving her vulnerable to the very real, very irresistible ministrations of the man who’d once broken her heart.

First of all this anthology also contains a story by author Liz Maverick which I didn’t read because of it’s futuristic/sci-fi setting. Simply not my genre, sorry. I also tried to get into Lynn LaFleur’s story Victim of Deception, alas, after reading about two silly masturbating ghosts and a stupid hero who already fucked up once with the heroine and doesn’t recognize a second chance when it smacks him in the eyes, I didn’t want to spend anymore time on this author.

But BUT BUT BUT, there’s still Kimberly Dean’s jewel left, Unrequited, and the story is so absolutely fantastic that I decided to keep this anthology collection. My second ever on my keeperself right next to Sasha White’s Lush collection.

After eight months of single life Trista is more or less pushed back into the dating circuit by her well-meaning friends. Hurt by her previous marriage to a cheating never – do – well professional sportsman, Trista’s hormones are crying “hello world” while as her heart is still hurt and careful to trust again. Tyler is Trista’s ex brother in law, one of the few people who stood by her side when things went wrong with her ex-husband Danny. Trista secretly loves Ty but she’s not quite ready to give herself to him in fear of loosing his friendship all-together. Ty has been in love with Trista since his brother brought her back home years ago. When he sees her with a slimy date in a rocker bar, his self-control snaps and mission “win Trista’s heart” sets in full force.

This 100 page anthology story doesn’t contain a lot of plot, actually 80 % of Trista’s and Ty’s lovestory happens between the bedsheets, but oh my, when Kimberly Dean writes it, it’s a real treat. The best I can compare her writing style with is Lisa Marie Rice, only with a dash more appreciation for sexual adventures and with the author’s own brand of sensuality. Usually I am bored when the sex starts ten pages after the story’s beginning, but I count this author to a selective few exceptions that can sell me sex pure with little plot. It is hot, sensual and steamy and despite the story’s shortness the characters seem so wonderfully alive and realistic that I wanted them to have the whole book instead of some measly 100 pages.

Wow, I think I have to re-read this one again soon, it was simply too delicious :-)


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Copyright: 2005

Pages: 219 (trade-size paperback edition)

Setting/Type: Contemporary/Straight Erotic Romance

Publisher: Virgin Cheek

Grade: A-

Roma Hanson is having a crisis – a common crisis for a twenty-eight year old woman, but a crisis nonetheless. Her problem? Her ten-year high school reunion is approaching fast, and she’s not ready. It’s shallow, she knows, but she wants to set her old classmates on their ears. She’s got a good job, but she needs the whole package if she’s going to succeed. That would, of course, include an awesome car, a killer body, and a mouthwatering hunk on her arm. An eventful visit to the gym shows her that she may be able to get two birds with one stone. Personal trainer Jake Logan is a spine-tingling, knee-weakening, hunk of burning love. She just has to find a way to convince him to be on her arm when the boasting at the reunion begins!

This is me when I have found a perfect PLAIN erotic romance that reminds me why I truly love this genre. No whips, no kink, just good plain old steamy romance that burns up the sheets.

Roma’s ten year high school reunion is approaching and she wants to take revenge on her former torturer Ellie. In order to achieve that, a splendid body, a gorgeous hunk and an impressive car need to be organized. The latter is probably the easiest, but what to do about her bod and companion? A visit to the gym seems to solve all problems. Besides a number of new friends, Roma fights successfully against her weak mind-body relationship and conquers attractive and sexy gym owner Jake.

I usually don’t go for the revenge plot, but Ms Dean has created such an authentic and funny heroine with Roma, that I could truly emphasize with her. Yes, revenge is indeed sweet, and Roma doesn’t loose her head over her goal. In the end she keeps her heart in the right place and shows with her sometimes clumsiness, cuddliness and sharp whit and mind that there’s something very special and extraordinary in every so-called average woman. Roma was a heroine I could fully and totally identify myself with, and that’s something very special for yours “selective” truly.

And the love scenes. THANK heavens there are authors like this one that make me forget boring boinking, silly shagging and grotesque humping sessions. Jake and Roma are passionate and hot and their love scenes wonderfully erotic and compelling.  Btw., there’s also a lovely secondary romance going on between two of Jake’s employee’s. The story between a man in his late thirties and a twenty-something fitness trainer …. hmmm, what a yummi combination (I do have a thing for May-December romances). They make up a hot pair and deliver an interessting addition to the main plot.

I want more of this author, pretty please :-)

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Copyright: 2001

Pages: 352 (hardcover edition)

Setting/Type: Contemporary/Romantic Suspense

Grade: A+

Jaine Bright and three close friends share dinner one night and during casual conversation, create a list of qualifications for Mr Perfect–some logical, some hilariously funny, some racy. Within days, their tongue-in-cheek wish list of attributes for the perfect man has been leaked to the press and the resultant publicity is overwhelming. Coworkers, TV crews and reporters barrage the quartet with comments and criticism.

As if Jaine doesn’t have enough to cope with, she has a new neighbour who she suspects is a criminal. She’s relieved to learn that her neighbour is really an undercover cop, but she’s still wary–because smart, sexy Sam Donovan handles her sharp witticisms with easy humour, and Jaine suspects that he may threaten her heart. What Jaine doesn’t know is that she’s about to need Sam desperately for something other than romance because her circle of friends is in big trouble. Unfortunately, that list of qualifications for Mr Perfect has touched off a madman’s rage. All of their lives are threatened and some of them are going to die, maybe all of them, if Sam can’t stop the unknown killer.

Ok, everybody who knows me, knows I am sucker for nice covers .. but that also goes in reverse. Whoever was payed to design the cover of the UK hardcover edition should re-consider his job. That cover is ATROCIOUS!

Mr Perfect is another feel well and cozy re-read book from my shelf (in fact, I DO have a nicer copy!). I have read this book countless times and everytime I do so again I feel totally satisfied and know why I stick to Howard, even though her newer books weren’t among my favorites.

Our heroine is mouthy Jaine Bright, an accountant who meets once a week with three other friends from work for a nice get-together. One evening they start fooling around and write down what makes a man Mr Perfect. Coming up with some serious and solid points but also some smart-ass comments about his endowments and horizontal abilities. Somehow from there everything snowballs into a big fucked-up mess. From the company newsletter, to the Internet and local and national media, everybody becomes interested in this piece of slightly booze-induced female wisdom.

Simultaneously Jaine has to fight on a different front, namely with her next door neighbour whom she thinks to be a cross between a drunk and drug addict. After some hefty and strangely arousing shouting/yelling sessions she finds out Sam is in fact a detective, and is able to arouse her “girly eggs” into a frenzy and her body into a quivering mess. The murder of one of Jaine’s co-workers sets off a race to capture a vicious killer who won’t stop before he has eliminated all involved authors…

Jaine is one fabulous heroine. One of her bad habits is cursing , a mannerism that makes her look totally quirky and funny, especially if you throw in her no bullshit attitude, her affection for racy cars and potent lawn mowers. For me, Jaine is one of the most unique and original heroines out there in Romancelandia. And despite her less than stellar behaviour and smart-ass attitude, or should I say because of it, she has become one of my favorite all-time characters.

Same goes for Mr Gorgeous Sam Donovan. A yummi combination between grumpy (depending on how much sleep he had), charming, exasperating and dangerously sexy. Instead of being a weak and wimpy character like Jaine’s three ex-fiancés were, he has the brain and brawn and the same no BS attitude to take on Jaine and stand up to her. PERRFFFECCT :-)

I remember, Mr Perfect was my very first Howard and even though I consider myself well educated in the villain detecting department (thanks to years of reading Agatha Christies), I couldn’t guess the cuprit. This may be also due to the fact that I was so involved in Jaine’s and Sam’s relationship that I saved my brain cells for “their” parts LOL.

A perfect book, indeed, I think  I will read Open Season, Heart of Fire and Son of the Morning next. Another three fabulous stories from this genie!

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Copyright: 1999

Pages: 336 (hardcover edition)

Setting/Type: Contemporary, Paranormal/Romantic Suspense

Grade: A+

Paris Sweeney, who calls herself Sweeney, is living a pared-down existence devoted to painting when she begins to see ghosts. Worse, she starts painting disturbing images while sleepwalking, then wakes with an unnatural, bone-deep chill that can only be dispelled by direct body contact with the unexpected new man in her life–Richard Worth, the soon-to-be ex-husband of the gallery owner who sells Sweeney’s work. Then Sweeney realizes she’s painting the picture of a murder victim, just before the actual crime takes place. Can she stop the killing before it happens? And if not, is she destined to become either the prime suspect or the murderer’s next victim? Howard keeps the suspense streamlined and straightforward, focusing equally on the relationship between the sympathetic Sweeney, whose dreadful growing-up years forced her to become more independent than is good for her, and Richard, whose drive to leave his old life behind matches his determination to make Sweeney part of his future.

After having taken an envious peak on Alex’s last month’s reading list, I decided to catch up with my re-reading project and ordered some of my favorites to my library branch.

Now You See Her being one of them. Sweeney, the heroine, is a quirky, funny, ghost-seeing heroine that strives on painting great pictures and little else. So far she thinks herself lucky never having been involved in any messy relationships or affairs. That changes when she sees one morning a Diet Cola commercial on TV. Shortly after, she also realizes that her gallery owner’s soon-to-be ex-husband is serious hunk material.

Richard Worth is a to die for hero. I would love to swing my magic wand, making him thereby a real and life person with a secondary residence next to my living quarters :-). Richard grew up poorly but with strong ethical values and an unquenchable thirst to make money. He, too, succeeded, more so than he ever thought possible. Now the only thing he wants is to finish off his rotten marriage with Candra and to persuade Sweeney that he is better for her than Easter and Christmas thrown together. When Sweeney starts having problems because of her ghost-induced night-walking drawing sessions, Richard is the man to help her physically and psychically to recover.

Did I mention that I love this book? Linda Howard is one of the few authors that can pull off a near virginal/inexperienced heroine without making her look like a relict from medieval times. Sweeny is an adorable, funky heroine with a strong sense for humour and zero tolerance for bullshit. Richard is the ideal counterpart. Fed up with hypocrisy and sleek and cold New York they make one of those ideal couples whose names and characters you will never forget, even after another 1000 books.

The plot is very simple but well fleshed out, with a strongly and surely distinguished assortment of characters and villains. What makes this book an A+ read for me is less the plot but the individuality and specialness of Sweeny and Richard, one of the most gorgeous couple out there in Romancelandia.

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