My 2 days offline turned into a week offline. Today, I'm playing a limited game of Catch-Up, that oh, so, popular game which I seem to play on a near-daily basis.
Here are 3 romance novels--each uniquely different from each other.
Texan Undercover by Anne Marie Novark
If you like romance with the authenticity of a credible relationship that builds layer by layer, you'll love this book which has a lot to offer, not the least of which is the smoldering attraction between Internet cafe owner Claire Maxwell and long, tall Texan Dillon Anderson.
With a retro angle of a pre-millenium setting, Texan Undercover takes advantage of the hot trend in Hollywood and TV--stories about events in our recent past. I'm seeing this trend in several books, and a good example of when it works is Texan Undercover.
Set in 1998 Austin, Texas, the plot revolves around a hacker using an Internet cafe for his nefarious deeds. To the uninitiated, and I'm one because my technology expertise is limited to running the software I've learned, this story could be ripped from today's headlines. Even though most of us now use markedly improved security, the hacker's modus operandi detailed in the book still occurs--usually with a different delivery system but with just as devastating results.
Ms. Novark deftly handles the suspense elements as well as the relationship that grows from sexual attraction to love.
Jinxed by Beth Ciotta
Afia St. John, the heroine in Jinxed, was simply delightful. She made you understand and sympathize with her fragile emotions, and she made you laugh aloud at her entrance into the working world. If you're a fashionista, you'll certainly find in Afia a kindred spirit--just as you'll grimace about one scene in particular.
The perfect counterpoint to the hapless socialite was rough, tough Jake Leeds, a P.I. who ends up as Afia's employer. Their relationship just reeked of sexual tension from the get-go. Jake is hard-nosed but with an incredibly soft spot for damsels in distress.
This slightly different romance was amusing, sexy, romantic, and hugely enjoyable. You'll love it.
The Merzetti Effect by Norah Wilson
If you've tired of vampire romance novels and think they're all the same, this book may make you change your mind. Norah Wilson creates a vampire mythology that is a bit different. Yes, it's based on the vampire as virus theory, but there are some twists and turns along the way that keep you glued to the story and turning those pages.
Good characterization--especially the spunky heroine--gives the reader someone to root for, and the solid grounding in medical technology and practice gives the book an authority that helps one suspend disbelief. Then there's that out-of-left-field twist that the reader should see coming--but doesn't.
Well done, Ms. Wilson. You hooked me into your vampire mythology and made me click to buy Aiden's story in Nightfall, the next book in the series.
More and more, the label Romance seems to be an umbrella under which many different stories may be found.