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EDITOR'S NOTE:
Denise Little

ESSAY:
MY NOT-SO-SECRET IDENTITIES

Kristine Kathryn Rusch
aka Kristine Grayson

STORIES:
Kristine Grayson: The Charming Way
Kristine Kathryn Rusch:
Helmie
Debbie Mumford: Reality Bites
Jean Rabe:
Merry Maid
Stephanie Writt:
Before She Left
& After She Returned

Dayle A. Dermatis: The Best Catch
Kate Pavelle
: The River Pearl
Laura Ware
: To Live a Life
Petronella Glover
: A Sight for Sore Eyes
 

SERIALIZATION:
Laura Resnick: Galatea: A Modern Myth
(Part 3)

RECOMMENDED BOOKS:
C.S. DeAvilla

WRITER'S CORNER:
Denise Little:
Electronic Publishing:
A Brave New World
Julie Pitzel: Tell, Don't Show 

C.S. DeAvilla writes award-winning science fiction, fantasy, and romance under another pen name. She has been a romance fan since she sneaked a peek at her mother’s massive historical romance bookcase and fell in love with all the characters. She reads every romance genre—as long as two people are falling in love, she’ll give it a read. Her favorite authors are Jennifer Crusie, J.R. Ward, Darynda Jones, Suzanne Brockmann, Sarah MacLean, and Kristan Higgins. But she always has room for one more.

 

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

by C.S. DeAvilla

 

The Curse of the Tenth Grave by Darynda Jones

Confession: I’m a series junkie. I got hooked on Darynda Jones’s Charley Davidson series after reading an excerpt on a J.R. Ward fan forum. I bought the first book and bam, head over heels for my new book boyfriend, Reyes Farrow. Even better, Jones keeps the momentum going with each installment, which is an impossible feat with most longer series. And this book is no different. Since this is more of a series review than an individual book review, I’d hate to spoil the surprises for new readers just starting. In each book Charley has a case, a personal life dilemma, and a hot man who is completely forbidden. Not in the West Side Story sense—no, Jones goes for even more epic (if you can imagine). We’re talking son of Satan matched with the Grim Reaper. The conflicts pile on like Sunday morning pancakes in every book. Charley is literally the light that the dead are drawn to. Reyes is the darkness. The dead pass through Charley to get to…heaven? a new realm of existence? She doesn’t know and readers get a taste in each book as to Charley’s real purpose in the universe. The best part of the books are Charley’s quirky personality and ADHD tendencies. Sure, she’s got a lot going on with handling the Grim Reaper gig, her PI business, the continually mysterious Reyes Farrow, the dead showing up for her help, and many other things—so readers would expect her to be a bit preoccupied. But the book handles her attention issues with humor and an acceptance that this is just part of who the main character is. There is a nice mixture of diverse character personalities to giggle over. These books are fun, gripping, and compelling. If you love paranormal mystery with your romance, this series is a sure winner.

 

 

St. Martin's Press
(Macmillan)

ISBN:
1250078199

June 28, 2016

Caught Up in Us by Lauren Blakely

I have this tendency to find an author and read everything they’ve ever written. This is what happened to me when I stumbled upon Lauren Blakely’s Mister O. But it wasn’t until Caught Up in Us that I really fell into obsession with Blakely. Caught Up in Us pairs Kat and Bryan, once old flames that never sizzled out, for Kat at least. She’s even designed her entire charm jewelry business around the idea of “My Favorite Mistake”—Bryan being that mistake that she never forgot. It appears that Bryan moved on without a regret, from her memory of the breakup. Except, when she is assigned Bryan as her business mentor for her MBA, he doesn’t seem to have moved on at all. Instead he begins a full-court press for her feelings and I was fanning myself with my kindle trying to keep up. Blakely has a flirty, fun style that keeps the reader emotionally engaged with both characters throughout. The plot follows a tight first person point of view from Kat’s perspective which works to increase the emotional tension concerning where Bryan stands with the relationship. The plot gains in intensity when Bryan’s old business partner returns, to get Bryan back for cutting him out after a scandalous relationship with an intern. And isn’t that exactly what Bryan is doing with Kat? Well, not exactly, but it’s a believable added conflict for this couple to navigate. Overall, a hot read!

 

 

Laura Blakely Books
ISBN:
9781483983486

April 1, 2013

Edge of Truth by Brynn Kelly

I’d been itching to read a romantic suspense and hadn’t read one for a while. Brynn Kelly’s Edge of Truth was the perfect book to fill that void. As the second book in an ongoing series, Edge of Truth follows the first book, Deception Island. Even though I did not read the first book, I had no issues following the novel, which has its own self-contained stories and characters within the overarching plot. Tess is a determined television journalist and Flynn is a French foreign Legion lieutenant that find themselves both captured by al-Thawra, a terrorist group whose main goal is to start a bogus war. The unlikely couple struggle to escape their current situation unable to know who to trust—including each other! The most enjoyable part of the book is Kelly’s snappy, clever dialog that moves the story at a quick pace. There’s a fun laugh out loud scene where journalist, Tess, isn’t allowed to ask Flynn any questions and can’t seem to refrain. The heated moments between the couple is just steamy enough, but still tame for those readers who prefer a more lighter touch to their romance. Fans of Linda Howard, Allison Brennan, and Laura Griffin will enjoy this series.

 

 

HQN Books (Harlequin)
ISBN:
0373799489

May 30,2017

The Cottage at Firefly Lake by Jen Gilroy

Loved this amazing sweet hometown contemporary debut by Jen Gilroy. The Cottage at Firefly Lake opens with the return of Charlie Gibbs, an investigative reporter who is returning to her family’s summer retreat after her parent’s death to sell the property. She runs into her old flame, Sean Carmichael, and it becomes obvious that neither one of them ever really got over their sudden unexplainable breakup. But getting back together is impossible for this pair, as it becomes apparent that their respective families would like to see them remain separated due to too much bad blood after a loan and lost friendships between the parents. It appears that even in death some transgressions cannot be forgiven. Gilroy has an easy narrative style and structure that resembles shades of Susan Wiggs. Readers are not only treated to the angst-y chemistry between the main couple, Sean and Charlie, but also to Sean’s son, Ty, and Charlie’s niece, Naomi. Both storylines are woven with care and included tender moments that made this reader swoon. If you love sweet hometown, girl returns home storylines—this is a must-not-miss author. Fans of Robyn Carr, Brenda Novak, and Debbie Macomber will also enjoy this book.

 

 

Forever
(Hatchette Book Group)
ISBN:
1455569593

January 31, 2017

Tempting Levi by Jules Barnard

I’m a sucker for bedding-the-wrong-sibling and fish-out-of-water tropes in romance and Tempting Levi delivers on both counts. Levi Cade must take over the family-owned Lake Tahoe luxury resort after his father dies. Emily Wright promised Ethan Cade, Levi’s late father, she would stick around to help Levi get the business running after his death. Levi would rather continue his firefighting career, if that dream hadn’t burned up after an injury. Emily makes the perfect partner in a lot of ways, except one: she’s the younger sister to his ex-girlfriend, the latter of which slept with his younger brother. Emily, however, has always had a thing for her sister’s (now ex) boyfriend, though she’s tried to suppress it. As Levi’s personal assistant she must maneuver around his four sexy younger brothers, event planning disasters, and food poisoning drama. Tempting Levi is the first book in a sexy new series about the Cade brothers, with the gorgeous Lake Tahoe draped into the background. Jules Barnard will leave readers panting for more, with her snappy dialog, steamy tension, and flirty narrative. This is an excellent series to fall into on a beach weekend binge read.  

 

 

Self Published
AISN: B06XH47SR6

June 6, 2017

 

Copyright © 2017 by C.S. DeAvilla.
 

Heart's Kiss Magazine

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