Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Get the Latest from the Romance Writers Association SFO Conference

For those of us not fortunate to attend the US Romance Writers of America Conference this blog has been established for us to following along with the weeks events from the eyes and hearts of those authors, editors, bloggers, readers, etc. attending. I for one have been looking at this blog daily. Can't wait to hear who wins the RITA award on Saturday.

Link: http://bloggingnational.blogspot.com/

Saturday, July 26, 2008

HOT CITY NIGHTS - Sandra Marton, Sarah Mayberry - Emilie Rose



I was reminded that as a reader sometimes we limit ourselves in not venturing out to read others who write for the genre. An analogy is the perfect way to read and hear the voice of a new found author. For me it was authors Sarah Mayberry and Emilie Rose who along with Sandra Marton contributed to Hot City Nights.

I'm a sincere fan of Sandra Marton's. I've actually read everything she's written. A few years ago, I had time on my hands, and I began reading Sandra's books. After ten or so, I went on a search to obtain everything she'd written and I'm so glad I did.

Sandra Marton's contribution is Summer in the City and it's a very intense sensual journey. From the moment Linc and Ana meet in a bizarre way, just one kiss it registers off the charts!. Linc is actually shaken up due to the kiss and the fact that this woman has breached his newly installed security system.


Linc is finalizing the security system of his wealthy South American client. The client makes an earnest request; he wants Linc to marry his sheltered and only child. However, in reality he only wants Linc to give her a job with his firm! What a mess....Linc just wants to return home. But as fate would have it the intruder turns out to be the very woman he's been asked to marry; a very curvy and sexy woman. Their shared kiss knocks them both sideways. When Linc receives a call that his sister and her husband have died in an plane crash he immediately he returns home.

Months later, Linc is still dealing with the loss of his sister and her secret, a small infant. On top of that, after going through several nannies, and a Grandmother who has suddenly appears from no where to claim the child, Linc has to face the possibility of custody problems. Ana appears at his office in an untimely manner requesting he find her a position in his corporation. Linc's stunned but when he thinks about it Ana can probably help him with his niece. Linc after seeing Ana with his niece offers her a job as his nanny. This works for both of them and allows Ana to remain in the States and be independent from her family, The bonus, someone to care for his niece and a beautiful woman who would drive him nuts with her beauty and her softness.

What neither of them count on is their attraction to each other, and their mutual love for the child. Linc tries not to act on his feelings for Ana but the attraction is too strong. When he comes home and sees her only wearing a towel he acts upon that need and then the worst happens, a surprise visit from the social worker. The only solution, an immediate marriage must be arranged to keep custody of his niece and Ana in his bed. The months following for Ana are wonderful and then the rug is pulled out from her when she realizes she's in love with Linc.


It's an emotional and healing story ....moving, sensual and just plain sizzles with tension and emotion as only Sandra can pen. It takes courage to love someone and have them love you back;an invaluable lesson for both Linc and Ana.

Book Description:
SUMMER IN THE CITY - Sandra Marton

In New York a billionaire remembers the beautiful stranger with whom he'd shared a kiss—a kiss that burned them both to the soul. Now he's a desperate new father, and she's suddenly the only woman who can help him!

Sarah Mayberry sets her book in beautiful Australia with ten year reunion theme. Becky Taylor is hoping Cal McKenzie will not be in attendance. They have a shared past as co-workers and "hot" lovers. Becky has recently left a relationship and Cal is newly divorced.

It's obvious to them both that they feel the attraction and bond of passed years. So they both agree to a no strings affair. Cal doesn't do commitment but he's thrilled by their resuming arrangement; not so Becky. Becky loved him years ago and now her heart is in danger of getting broken again.

Becky realizes this relationship can go nowhere so what should she do? On top of loving Cal, Becky finds out she's expecting a baby and because she knows Cal doesn't do "commitment" she doesn't know how to handle the situation nor tell him. Of course he's stunned by the announcement and it takes some getting used to the idea of being a father. However, Becky stands firm on her decision to have the baby on her own.

Cal's realization that he was still not only attracted to Becky but had fallen in love with her as well, was extremely enjoyable to read. When he realizes there is more to the relationship than the sex, it will melt your heart!

Book Description:

BACK TO YOU - Sarah Mayberry

In Sydney a woman comes face-to-face with the man she swore would never hurt her again. But when they agree to an intense, no-strings fling, she wonders if she's gotten in way over her head…and her heart!

She walked out on him years ago without a word and now she's back. She's not only back, she has a head injury from a car accident, no memory and on top of everything else, she has a pint size son! Jake wants answers! Is she faking her amnesia? Where has she been these past four years and who is the father of her son?

Jake's motto, no involvement! He's a man with issues and his past has made him the man he is today. The reader will learn that years ago he was left to care for his siblings and something went terribly wrong and they were taken away and put in foster homes. Because of this, he doesn't let anyone in and Talia knew it then and when her memory returns, she knows it now!

What I loved about Emilie's writing style was her focus on the the man and the small boy. While Talia was lovely and a devoted mother, it was the relationship between man and boy that was remarkable to read.

Book Description:
FORGOTTEN LOVER - Emilie Rose

n Atlanta a woman lies in a hospital bed after a serious accident. But when the hospital calls her emergency contact—her ex-lover—she's horrified. Why doesn't she remember him? Worse still, she might be falling for him…again!

Marton, Mayberry and Rose's contribution to this book clearly live up to a quote on the back cover "Love rules the night but what will the daylight bring....?"








MISTRESS: HIRED FOR THE BILLIONAIRE'S PLEASURE - India Grey










India Grey has written a spectacular and moving love story in Mistress: Hired for the Billionaire’s Pleasure. Bravo and magnifco would be the way to describe this story as it’s about courage, strength, bravery and determination.

India’s English alpha is a competitive, proud and determined man who is tortured because he has a degenerative eye disease which has forced him to leave the RAF something he loves more than life. He’s recently lost his brother when his RAF plane crashed. All through their lives growing up they had been competitive and now he has been left alone, and blames himself for his brother’s death. He closes himself off from everyone and retreats to his estate, to live in darkness behind the walls of his palatial mansion.

Rachael Campion is a world class concert pianist has been raised as an only child by a controlling mother who insists she marry her conductor/manager. The man is a brut and Rachel is overwrought with fright at marrying the man who has physically hurt her. On the eve of her wedding she escapes to a cemetery where she meets Orlando. They speak and he talks to her about courage, courage to make a choice for herself.

Rachael decides just before she is to walk down the isle she will find that courage, so she takes her car, to run and hide from this monster and to leave her life behind. Along the way, she gets lost and where should she end up but at Orlando’s grand estate, Easton Hall. A winter storm is not only brewing outside. Inside the walls of Easton Hall another is storm brewing. Orlando offers Rachel shelter and comfort and things become very heated and they act upon those feelings. Rachel is immediately drawn to this man, so much so she becomes intimate with him. She’s not aware of his sight problem and mistakes his gruffness for other things.

That’s not all that’s brewing or brooding…….Orlando has closed himself in darkness and the reader wonders how would you feel if you lost your sight, something as precious as that should not be taken for granted. Would you close yourself off, not accepting the warmth of love or friendship?

On top of everything else, his old mistress arrives on the scene with a baby, claiming that Orlando is the father. To further add to the mix, he distances himself from the child and leaves his son’s care in Rachel’s hands. Talk about the lack of courage from a heroic alpha…..trust me, he’ll learn many lessons at Rachel’s hand, bravery being one of them and that he didn’t need his sight to see clearly, he just needed Rachel’s love.

You will absolutely learn to adore Rachel because she finds the courage she needs to stand up to this man, to show him what courage he needs to heal himself and step up to the plate for his son. She truly shows him her selfless love and in the end, heals him, bringing sunshine into his life.

Reading Hired for the Billionaire’s Pleasure, I felt I could look into the souls of each characters; cried right along with both of them. Reading about how they found courage, made me take a look at my own personal life; thanks India!


Book Description:

Fast cars and glamorous socialites are everyday components of devastatingly handsome billionaire Orlando Winterton’s thrilling, decadent lifestyle…

…then something changes, and Orlando closes himself off from the world. Until Rachel Campion arrives at Orlando’s remote country estate, desperately in need of shelter. Orlando cannot deny the pull of her fragile beauty, and takes her with passionate fury. The next morning his demons return to haunt him, and he knows he must ask Rachel to leave… But then a baby is found abandoned on his doorstep – allegedly his son!

To Orlando, the solution is simple: he’ll hire Rachel to take care of the child – and as long as she’s under his roof he’ll keep on making love to her… Until he’s got her out of his system!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

TAKEN BY THE MAVERICK MILLIONAIRE - Anna Cleary


Anna Cleary has written an extremely, sensual and emotional-packed book which will make one forget whatever it was they were doing before they began reading Taken by the Maverick Millionaire. This is Anna’s second book set in beautiful Sydney which features the newspaper industry. It’s about secrets, corporate takeovers, a fake relationship which results in a rocky romantic journey for Cate Summerfield and Tom Russell.

Tom Russell, the proud and handsome son of the Russell Newspaper dynasty finds himself with three problems……his father has passed away leaving his fortune to charity, if a secret merger doesn’t happen he’ll loose his business and on top of that, the day of the funeral a rival newspaper woman overhears the secret details of that merger. What’s he going to do? He promises to give Cate Summerfield the scoop of the year if she’ll stay with him, pretend to be his mistress until the merger is complete.

Cate Summerfield comes from a middle class family, she’s has two loves, her ailing Grandmother and the desire to make her proud by becoming a successful newspaper woman. She’s recently had one bad relationship and it caused her Gran to suffer a heart attack when they were arguing beside her hospital bed. When Cate is given the chance to cover the Russell funeral and write the story, she’s over the moon. What she doesn’t count on is overhearing a discussion between Olivia West (publicist) and Tom who were making plans for a secret merger and if Cate scoops the story, it would take the Russell dynasty down! What she also doesn’t count on is her attraction for Tom and when she agrees to stay with him, her life if thrown into turmoil.

Both Tom and Cate have secrets and Taken by the Maverick Millionaire allows the reader to take their journey in a beautiful country, see the bond they form, see how they heal each other in the process, and in the end see how they learn to trust and declare their love for each other. It's quite an emotional and spirited love story; one that would light up any alpha's soul!

Book Description:

Overheard

Cate Summerfield never meant to eavesdrop. Now powerful Tom Russell must stop her from exposing details of an important deal.

Overpowered…

He'll keep Cate very close—seducing the beautiful blonde will be no hardship at all!

And in way over her head!

Cate knows Tom's not just a ruthless billionaire—but can the girl from the wrong side of the tracks ever be more than his convenient mistress?

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Kate Hewitt - RUTHLESS BOSS, HIRED WIFE

Kate Hewitt has written such a powerful love story in Ruthless Boss, Hired Wife. It’s so intense and almost desperate and will have the reader on the edge of their seat.

The first half of the book was difficult to read because Cormac Douglas was so intense. He was one self-assured, ruthless, harsh, uncaring man and he had a plan; he was going to fake a marriage to his secretary Lizzie in order to win a prestigious bid to build a resort. The key was the family building the resort wanted a “family man” to design it and Cormac always wins! So he tells his secretary Lizzie that she needs to accompany him on a business trip and while in the air tells her she needs to pretend that they have been married for months.

Lizzie Chandler is a innocent! She’s a sweet woman who at an early age had to take responsibility for her sister Dani as their parents died in a car accident. She has worked at Cormac’s firm for a few years only seeing him once a month. She’s fully aware that he only dates beautiful women, is an extremely hard man and when he drops the bomb on her that she needs to play like they are married, she’s angry, frightened and wants no part of it. In the end, she agrees and while they’re play acting she realizes she desires him. However, in the end and through different arguments with Cormac she realizes she was only a prop to be used. It was all about power for him and as she got to know him better it was like he was tortured.

Their Charade turned dangerous for both of them. His was lust and for Lizzie she wanted it to be real, wanted him to have feelings for her……she wanted it all! Some of the chapters were difficult to read with his anger and the things he said in anger to Lizzie. However, you could read between the lines and come to some conclusions; Cormac’s past and his trust issues.

I encourage you to read Ruthless Boss, Hired Wife, its Kate Hewitt at the top of her game and this very intense and emotional love story will pull at your heart.

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Cormac Douglas doesn't let emotion get in the way of business. Now he needs a weekend wife to secure a prestigious contract, and biddable secretary Lizzie Chandler is the perfect candidate.

Lizzie is outraged, but Cormac's ruthless persuasion leaves her wanting more. When he asks for her services again, she finds herself agreeing to be his hired wife…in the bedroom as well as the boardroom.

Monday, July 07, 2008

MARRIAGE AT THE MILLIONAIRE'S COMMAND - Anne Oliver


Congratulations to Anne Oliver for winning the 2008 Ruby Award for this book at the August 2008 Romance Writer's of Australia Conference!!

Carissa Grace is a lovely and talented classical pianist, she’s dedicated to keeping the family home left to her by her grandmother, and she’s loyal to her sister and can’t wait for her fiancĂ© to return from France. Then she receives the news, he not returning; he’s found someone else. So she takes a look at her situation and makes a decision, she’s going to meet some one, have a one night of passion and then move on. Enter Ben Jamieson, tall, rugged, handsome, and wealthy with his sights on the beautiful blonde piano player; he’s got the same idea, a one night stand! They have a drink; go upstairs to Ben’s penthouse and the earth moves for Carissa

Carissa realizes she’s in trouble, she’s working two jobs and still not enough money to make all of the repairs on the house so she advertises for a border and as fate would have it, Ben applies for a room; with a push from her sister, she agrees to allow Ben to stay in her home. Can they both fight their attraction for each other; try to forget their night of passion? It’s an absolutely lovely journey they embark on, getting to know each other, becoming lovers and then everything comes to a full stop when Carissa finds out she’s pregnant.

Ben Jamison is one sexy and troubled man…..he’s recovering from loosing his dear friend Rave who in earlier years he rescued and who was like his brother. Rave made some bad choices and ended up dying and leaving behind a wife and child. In a way, Ben blames himself; Ben is a composer and has lost the desire due to the accident plus his past family life. However, when he learns that he’s going to be a father, he insists he and Carissa marry. Carissa realizes after spending time with Ben she loves him but believes without him loving her back, can their marriage last?

You will relish in their joy of becoming parents, watch their respect for each other grow, feel their sadness and pain and rejoice in their found love! Anne Oliver is a very talented author, she will have you smiling and crying in her Marriage at the Millionaire’s Command but the most favourite part of this book for this reader was their healing and the warmth Ben and Carissa experienced.

Book Description:

The tall, slim blonde seems the perfect diversion for ruggedly handsome hotel magnate Ben Jamieson. He'll bed Carissa Grace on a strictly no-strings basis.
Carissa and Ben soon embark on an all-consuming affair. But for Ben, that's all this can ever be—passionate, but temporary. However, when Carissa finds she's pregnant, Ben demands that she marry him! Even if it is just for their baby's sake….

HIS MISTRESS BY ARRANGEMENT - Natalie Anderson

All of her life Emma Delaney had to live up to her father’s expectations, work…..achieve…..be the best and she’s not only become a workaholic, she has no social life and her co-workers look at her as a “buttoned-up” and uptight person.

Jake Rendel is someone from her past, a neighbour and his sister is Emma Delaney’s sister’s best friend. As a young girl she adored him and now he’s here at the hotel where she works and he’s going to be in charge of the renovation! He’s handsome, sexy, and full of charm and every woman on the property is drooling over this self made man and millionaire. Emma also remembers how Jake took care of his mother and family and also remembers the “crush” she had on Jake.

Upon seeing Emma and watching how her co-workers treat her Jake’s heart aches for her. He can still remember how harsh her father was with Emma and her sister, always pushing them to be the best and Jake felt her father never appreciated Emma and her achievements. In fact, he remembered back to one day when as a young girl he found her crying because her report card did not have perfect marks. And now, he finds he’s going to be working with her and observes how her female co-workers look at her so he decides he’s going to help her by pretending to be her lover. Can Jake provide a little fun in her life, get rid of her bad rep with her co-workers and help transform her, make her believe in herself?

His Mistress by Arrangement was a beautiful love story, it’ was the chase, their attraction for each other and how everything backfired for both of them. It touched me deeply as the book is actually a journey in self discovery for Emma and the realization of how she had put her dreams and hidden them from everyone especially those who meant the most to her, her family and all because they wanted her to be successful so they could brag. As for Jake, this incredible man wanted only the best for Emma, he wanted her to have those dreams, trying to teach her to take a risk and if she wasn’t the best, he would still love and support her. As for Emma, could she fight that fear and ask for what she wanted? You are going to want to read this wonderfully written love story by Natalie Anderson as it is so moving, emotional and the happy ending spectacular!

Book Description:

Jake Rendel is a successful millionaire who works and plays hard—unlike Emma Delaney, who's stifled by her uninspiring job. So Jake makes Emma a proposition to shake off her prim-and-proper image: for a month, they'll pretend to have a steamy affair!

Emma's out of her depth—and things quickly get passionate in private as well as in public. Soon the girl-next-door is wishing the month of mistress make-believe will never end….

Tuesday, July 01, 2008

THE AUSTRALIAN MILLIONAIRE'S LOVE-CHILD - Robyn Grady



Robyn Grady continues to deliver an emotional and entertaining story in The Australian Millionaire’s Love-Child. The reader is introduced to Sophie who is attending a friend’s wedding shortly after a break-up with her boyfriend; on top of that, she’s feeling insecure about herself and the extra weight she’s gained; not to mention old friends comments about her situation. However, in the end it makes her realize she needs to make some changes and take charge of her life!

We’ve all been there at one time in our lives, single….attending a lovely wedding…..no date and that “horrible” bouquet toss for those single! Talk about embarrassing! Yes, you guessed it, Sophie’s was feeling the same way so she tried to be inconspicuous and didn’t join the group. However, little did she know the bouquet was not caught but would land in her lap and on top of everything else, Sophie didn’t realize that the most gorgeous man she’d ever set eyes on would overhear her friends discussing her lack of a boyfriend or the pounds she had put on!

Enter Cooper Smith to the rescue. Cooper is not only tall, dark and handsome, he’s a man who decides to take action and rescue Sophie, by physically swooping her up in his arms, and kissing her in front of the wedding guests. They both decide to have a nightcap in Cooper’s penthouse, learn a little about each other and that’s when Sophie learns that Cooper is a driven and successful attorney, one with a plan……he’s looking for a wife, wants a family and has made a list of requirements, none of which appeal to Sophie; just the man himself and oh what a man! One thing leads to another and they end up making love all night. From the beginning they both realize they want different things and as they say, they are both opposites and disagree about what’s important in a marriage……for Sophie its love and for Cooper compatibility, an agreeable and stay at home wife and at least children. So at the end of their evening, they agree to go their separate ways.

So, that’s the beginning of this enchanting and dazzling love story. What I felt made this book so remarkable was the way Robyn Grady gave the reader a deep emotional connection to the story and the characters. The way she developed the relationship between Cooper and Sophie and the new found knowledge they would soon be parents will have you reading this story from cover to the end. What’s even better is how they deal with their differences in opinion, and Cooper’s manipulation and dominance. For Sophie she wonders is she "the pre-wrapped package” or is she his destiny? Can they make this relationship work? Can they find love? Hopefully you’ll read and find out the answers and enjoy The Australian Millionaire’s Love-Child as much as I did…..you’ll laugh, cry, get exasperated with Cooper and love Sophie!

Book Description:

Sophie Gruebella is happy with her single life— until she overhears her friends discussing why she's still single! Could this be why she falls into bed with a man who's her complete opposite?

Cooper Smith is as driven as he's drop-dead gorgeous! Cooper has life all planned out and his night with Sophie was amazing, but—on mutual agreement—not to be repeated.

Three months later: the stick has turned pink. Sophie's expecting…and Cooper has just proposed a shotgun marriage
 

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