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Saturday, October 06, 2007

Lost in the Night

Lost in the Night. Contemporary romance.

This is an omnibus of three contemporary romance novels originally published by Mira. I'd expected to like Anne Stuart's, but the volume as a whole was surprisingly good.
  • **** The Real Thing by Barbara Delinsky.

    This is, I believe, what's known as a "cabin romance."

    Deirdre Joyce is an aerobics instructor, but she's broken her leg. Now, not only is her career in jeopardy, but her family sees it as the perfect time to increase the pressure on her to take her place in the family business--but she's been there, done that, and doesn't want to go there again. So she turns to a friend and asks for the loan of her remote island cabin to hide out and heal.

    Neil Hersey is a corporate lawyer, but when he discovers shady dealings, he doesn't get the gratitude he might have expected. Instead, he loses his job, and rumors are started that he'd been the criminal. So he turns to a friend and asks for the loan of her remote island cabin to hide out and decide what to do now.

    Needless to say, it's the same friend, and she hasn't told either of them about the other.

    I had a little trouble warming up to Deirdre initially--she was needlessly rude to Neil and prone to cutting off her nose to spite her face--angrily refusing help when she obviously needed it. Neil was a bit pitiful initially, but he perked up once he met Deirdre and had a goal. The solution to their problems was clever, and well-done.

    Overall, The Real Thing is a sweet story, about two people who end up being just what the other needs.

  • ****½ Heat Lightning by Anne Stuart.

    Tortured bad boy heroes are Anne Stuart's specialty--she does them so well. The bad boy in Heat Lightning is Caleb Spenser, the mysterious man who showed up in Turner's Landing, bought the old bordello, charmed all the ladies, and frightened and angered Jassy Turner's brother. Rumor is he's been in prison for murder.

    Jassy, daughter of the town's founding family, and the one everyone turns to for help, the one who fixes things, is attracted and intrigued, but he's upset her brother, and she's going to find out why, and fix it.

    I'm pretty sure I've read this one before, but it must have been before we moved, because it's not on my shelf. That's fine, though, because it's definitely worth a re-read.

    The atmosphere is lush and steamy and sets a sort of film noir mood. Caleb and Jassy are on opposite sides of a life-and-death confict, and their emotions and actions are real and intense.

    It's a lot of book packed into a few pages, and I find myself really wishing I'd read this back in 1992 when it first came out instead of at least a decade later--no doubt I'd have all of Anne Stuart's books on my shelves by now if I had, instead of still having a bunch to look for.

  • **** Father: Unknown by Tara Taylor Quinn.

    A pregnant amnesiac triplet--what's not to love? Well, except that I just read about another pregnant amnesiac triplet not too long ago (Face to Face by Rebecca York).

    Anna Hayden wakes up in a hospital after an accident with no memory, but the doctor tells her she's 2 months pregnant. Jason Whitaker is shocked to discover that the amnesiac accident victim on the news is the woman who'd turned down his marriage proposal/ultimatum 3 months ago.

    So with the permission and advice of Anna's sister and doctor, Jason tells her he's "a friend," and that she has a sister, but not that they're two remaining triplets. They renew their friendship, and Anna would like to have more, but Jason wants to wait on her memory, and he can't forget the father of her baby. Anna doesn't know if she'll ever regain her memory, and doesn't want to put her life on hold--plus, as the weeks go by, the mystery father hasn't shown up despite the news program and their concerted search.

    I still don't know what the point of them being triplets was. I kept expecting Anna to turn out to be the sister they thought was dead, or something. It would have worked fine if they'd been just twins. And I didn't quite understand their insistence on hiding the truth from Anna. But the characters were compelling, and the emotions between them were real, and that made up for the problems I had with the plot.

The Delinsky and Quinn stories didn't grab me enough to send me searching for their newer books, but I'm not determined to avoid them, either.


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I still need to get more of Anne Stuart backlist. "Heat Lighting" is one of the book I don't have. Anytime you have double copies of her books, let me know *grin*

I did brought three books by Anne that I think is her older work. Got them at Family Center for .95 cent each. They are (and yes I look): Winter's Edge, Falling Angel and an anthology book "Date with a Devil" (with authors Cherry Adair and Muriel Jensen). They are still sitting in my TBR piles *sigh*....
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