Tripleheader: More Harlequin Categories – Blaze, Classic and Super

I’m definitely a Blaze type – the Classic Romance and Super Romance just didn’t do it for me at all.

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Blazing Midsummer Nights by Leslie Kelly

  • Blazing Midsummer Nights by Leslie KellyTitle:  Blazing Midsummer Nights
  • Author: Leslie Kelly
  • Series: N/A
  • Genre(s): Contemporary
  • Publisher:  Harlequin, May 2012
  • Source: Free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley ($3.82 ebook)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • Trope(s): Shakespeare, Insta-Lust, Insta-Love
  • Quick blurb: Shakespearean fluff in modern-day Atlanta.
  • Quick review: Fun and sexy, with a surprisingly complex career/family conflict – but I could have done without the dream sequences.
  • Grade: B+

He attempted to tamp down the reaction by shifting his thoughts to less appealing things – like grits, God in heaven, who had ever decided to eat what looked like little pieces of dandruff?

The happy couple….

Mimi (don’t call her Hermione) is a high-society marketing exec with a boring boyfriend hand-picked by her father (who’s also her boss). Xander (don’t call him Lysander) is a firefighter who moves to Atlanta to shake himself out of his grief after his parents died.

The setting….

Southern Gothic – complete with a plantation house with secret doors and magnolia trees in the backyard.

The storytelling….

A really creative and witty retelling of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. The hilarious meet-cute sets the tone, and all the flaky secondary characters are there, including the donkey. In between the silliness and the sex, there’s one of the most realistic depictions of office politics I’ve ever seen in a romance.

The romance….

Yes, it’s Insta-Lust and Insta-Love, but it works. However, I could have done without the cheesy dream sequences.

The recommendation….

A great summer read – definitely worth the price!

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Unraveling the Past by Beth Andrews

  • Unraveling the Past by Beth AndrewsTitle:  Unraveling the Past
  • Author: Beth Andrews
  • Series: The Truth About the Sullivans, Book 1
  • Genre(s): Contemporary
  • Publisher: Harlequin, June 2012
  • Source: Free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley ($3.82 ebook)
  • Length: 288 pages
  • Trope(s): Lust in the Workplace, Dysfunctional Families, Instant Parenthood
  • Quick blurb: Cranky police chief and smart-ass cop clash over murder investigation.
  • Quick review: Could have been good, but turned out to be mostly sequel bait.
  • Grade: C-

“A debriefing?” Sullivan asked as if Ross had told her to bring a bikini, a case of whipped cream and her handcuffs and meet him at a motel.

The happy couple….

Layne is a small-town cop with a dysfunctional family. Ross a former big-city cop turned small-town police chief with a dysfunctional family.

The setting….

The predictable small town full of dysfunctional families and mysterious secrets.

The storytelling….

Good writing with some great snarky dialogue, but the sequel-bait family stuff pushed the hero and heroine to the sidelines and prevented this story from being a compelling read. The non-ending with an unsolved murder and rushed HEA didn’t help.

The romance….

Intermittent mental lusting and two rounds of comfort-me-with-sex, then declarations of love two pages before the end. I liked Layne and Ross, but I needed a lot more of THEM and a lot less of all the obnoxious people around them.

The recommendation….

Might be worth a read – but only if you plan on waiting for the sequels.

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The Tycoon’s Secret Daughter by Susan Meier

  • The Tycoon's Secret Daughter by Susan MeierTitle:  The Tycoon’s Secret Daughter
  • Author: Susan Meier
  • Series: First Time Dads! Book 1
  • Genre(s): Contemporary
  • Publisher:  Harlequin, June 2012
  • Source: Free digital ARC from the publisher via NetGalley ($3.82 ebook)
  • Length: 185 pages
  • Trope(s): Reunited, Secret Baby, Addiction, Plot Moppet, Evil Mother-in-Law
  • Quick blurb: Recovering alcoholic learns he has a six-year-old daughter.
  • Quick review: Blech. Don’t bother.
  • Grade: C-

His attraction to her sprang up like a lion that had been lying in wait in the African bush, confusing him.

The happy couple….

Kate is a construction project manager who left her alcoholic and increasingly violent husband without telling him she was pregnant. Max is a newly-sober real estate mogul who is stunned – STUNNED, I TELL YOU – to find out he’s the father of a predictably adorable six-year-old daughter.

The setting….

The predictable small-town-with-all-the-amenities-of-a-metropolis.

The storytelling….

Bland and predictable.

The romance….

Boring and predictable.

The recommendation….

Another cookie-cutter rich-guy-with-secret-baby. Don’t bother.

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