Hot Secrets (Tall, Dark & Deadly #1)
Hotness Level-Blaze
Kink Level-None
Series-Tall, Dark and Deadly #1
Reviewed by Kay

Lauren Reynolds is a lawyer with the DA’s office and she’s working a huge profile case. Royce Walker is a former FBI agent turned security specialist who’s looking into threats made against her and her father. They have been attracted to each other for quite some time. One night at an event, Lauren decides she’s gonna act on her attraction to Royce and go to bed with him. Royce likes that idea a lot but hates keeping his involvement with her dad a secret.

I had high hopes for this one and was disappointed. I liked the characters and the whodunit part was good but the love scenes were so mediocre. Let me explain, when I read about this book it emphasized how HOT, HOT, HOT this book was. It was NOT, NOT, NOT. There was sex but it never worked for me. It was abbreviated and fairly bland. A book doesn’t have to be hot for me to read it but don’t advertise it as such.

This was my first read by Lisa Renee Jones and I am uncertain if I will read more by her. The suspense was good but not great and it wrapped up abruptly with believability questionable. For someone who likes their romantic suspense simple and a little less spicy, this book might be fantastic for you.

The Sherbrooke Bride by Catherine Coulter

Note from Anne – this is the first romance novel I owned, the one that started me on my love affair with romance.  It hasn’t stood the test of time, though.  Back in the day, I reread this countless times.  I set romance aside for a few years and when I got back into it, I didn’t care for this one any more.  I actually ended up giving it away, because it made me feel yucky.  Kudos to Kate for taking on the challenge of reading My First Romance Novel.

Grade – C-
Hotness Level – Blaze
Kink Level – None

Series – Bride Series  #1
Reviewed by Kate

Douglas, Earl of Northcliffe, needs a bride and an heir to get his family off his back.  Due to a scheduling conflict, he sends his cousin, Tony, to wed the beautiful Melissande by proxy.  Unfortunately for Douglas, Tony and Melissande fall madly in love and elope.  Not wanting to return to Douglas empty handed, Tony makes the choice to proxy-marry Melissande’s younger sister, Alexandra, to Douglas instead — without informing him.

Douglas spends most of the book telling Alexandra he wishes she were her sister.  Alexandra, who has secretly loved Douglas for the last 3 years, spends the book alternating between planning ways to make Douglas love her and trying to run away.

While Douglas The Ass and Wishy-Washy Alexandra are the main characters, Tony and Melissande’s relationship is also a focal point — a disturbing focal point. Melissande, being beautiful, is very self-centered. Tony, being her husband, must train her to be a better person. This takes the form of “I’m your husband, you must do as say,” but left me feeling almost dirty. It came off as belittling, embarrassing, and degrading.

The repeated references to Alexandra’s spine being strapped to a broom handle and Douglas’s continued use of “tell me you understand” got tedious. A sub-plot involving a kidnapped mistress leading to Alexandra being kidnapped herself added another layer of weirdness to the story.

All in all, I’m glad I didn’t waste money on this one.

The Bride Finder by Susan Carroll

Last week Kate and I (Anne) were on the phone and she mentioned that she’d checked her FIRST out from the library again.  Her FIRST, the very first romance novel she’d ever read, the one that made her fall in love with romance.  We both wondered if it would still be as good now as it was then.  (I’ve never read it, I just wondered with her.)  So, she read it, loved it, and decided to write up a review for us.  So here’s to firsts!  What was your first romance novel?  Would it still be good today?  ~Anne
The Bride Finder (St. Leger, #1) 
Hotness Level-Blaze
Kink Level-None
Genre-historical, touch of paranormal
Series – St. Leger #1
Reviewed by Kate
When I was 19 or 20, I ran across The Bride Finder in the check out lane of our local Shopko. The title alone fascinated me. I bought it without even reading the back. It turned out to be my first romance, one of my best impulse buys, and still one of my favorites to this day.

Anatole St.Leger comes from a rather strange family. Some of his ancestors have been conjurers, clairvoyants, exorcists, sorcerers, etc. Anatole’s own powers include seeing visions of the future, sensing a person’s presence, and levitating objects.

One of the family’s unique members is the Bride Finder, a person able to locate the one true mate for each St.Leger male. Anatole’s father chose to marry someone who was not chosen by the Bride Finder. Anatole’s mother ended up being terrified of her son and his powers. As a result, Anatole grew up feeling unloved and shut off from the world. Reluctantly, he sends the Bride Finder out to find his one true bride, determined to keep his powers a secret from her. It would crush him to have another person he loves be terrified of him.

When Madeline arrives at Anatole’s castle, she find herself facing a husband who won’t open up to her and a house full of secrets. Ever a logical person, she is determined to show Anatole the truth behind all of his family’s legends and myths. Little does she know…

A magical journey of Madeline fighting her way to the heart Anatole locked away years ago, and Anatole doing his best to keep himself from falling in love. I don’t think I can say enough to recommend this book except:
1. This is the book that I most regret donating when we moved, and
2. When I checked this book out from the library, even my husband got excited about rereading it (I made him wait until I had finished it though).