Select one of the keywords
Romance Report: Be My Valentine
By Martina Bexte (February 2003)

It's February and Cupid, the official god of Love and romance readers' unofficial mascot, has all sorts of sizzling romantic reads tucked away in his quiver -- enough to cover one side of a heart-shaped bed. Just as in the proverbial box of chocolates, there's a little something for everyone. Let's begin with some historical heartthrobs ...

Historical Romance

Veteran storyteller Bertrice Small takes readers to Restoration England for Vixens, a collection of three Skye O'Malley stories sure to entertain. Then notorious rake Nick Gentry meets his match in Lisa Kleypas' Worth Any Price. Susan Squires takes us back to the Dark Ages in Danelaw (sequel to Danegeld) in which magic and mysticism clash with Christianity. And the ever-popular Jo Beverly compels Tristan Tregallows to rescue Cressida Manderville from marriage to a lecherous lord in 1816 London in the captivating St. Raven.

Renowned storyteller Colleen McCullough is back with Caesar, a new installment in her Masters of Rome series. In the mood for a bit of fantasy? Curl up with Melanie Jackson's lovely The Selkie. And for those of you who enjoy anthologies, check out The Further Observations of Lady Whistledown, a collection of four enchanting Regency love stories as observed by the incorrigible snoop herself.

Romantic Murder & Mayhem

Cupid may shy away from thrills, chills and suspense but even he should know that crime never takes a holiday. Susan Conant has another Holly Winter mystery aimed at pet lovers - in The Dogfather the amateur sleuth finds herself involved with the mob's dogs. Karen Robards' latest is Whispers At Midnight - Carly Linton returns to her home town to start a bed and breakfast but old grudges and an old boyfriend stand the way. And in Custard's Last Stand, Magdelena Yoder gets one of her customers confused with real life movie star George Clooney. To round out this foursome of gentler mysteries, take a look at Anonymous Rex, in which PI Vincent Rubio is actually a velociraptor in disguise, sinking his teeth into the real reason his good buddy Ernie was murdered.

Contemporary Romance

Contemporary romance lovers have lots to choose from this month: look for the second installment in Leisure Books series Dr. Yes; B.L.I.S.S. secret agent, Rachel Calais and adventurer Harrison Wiles don't always see eye-to-eye. Rita award winner Rachel Gibson sets the game of hockey on its ear in See Jane Score, introducing readers to Jane Alcott, an advice columnist turned sports reporter who blatantly invades the players' locker room and sexy star goalie Luc Marineau's heart. Patti Berg has a reputation for stories filled with fun and charm and she offers up another winning formula in Stuck On You - burned out cop Logan Wolfe gets himself involved with a woman who has a penchant for, well, crying wolf.

Best selling author Kasey Michaels delights with the humorous This Must Be Love, introducing straight-laced Jane Preston, who doesn't know what she's getting into when she agrees to be a 'weekend escort'. Deborah Smith is also back with Sweet Hush and with a familiar theme, family matriarchs: Hush Thackery and Edwina Jacobs (who happens to be the president's wife) must come to terms with the fact that their children have fallen in love. And last but not least, incomparable authors Janet Evanovich and Charlotte Hughes team up again to bring us Full Tilt, a story loaded with off-the-wall characters, wild situations and of course, plenty of their trademark humour.

Romantic Suspense

If you'd rather sink your teeth into some nifty romantic suspense along with that box of heart-shaped chocolates from your sweetie, then take a look at these new February titles: Christina Skye is back with Hot Pursuit, the next installment in her great SEAL series. This time around she focuses on writer Taylor O'Toole (introduced in last year's My Spy), who's battling writer's block at the same time her scientist boyfriend gets himself involved with some shady characters - it's up to SEAL Jack Broussard to figure out exactly what's going on.

Rachel Lee brings readers another politically-themed thriller in With Malice, in which homicide cop Karen Sweeney must work together with a high powered senator to find a murderer. Last, but certainly not least, if you're a big Suzanne Brockmann fan (and there are lots of us out there) make sure you snap up a copy of her latest reissue, Forever Blue -- when Blue McCoy returns home for his step-brother's wedding his feelings for Lucy Tait are re-kindled with a vengeance, and so is a plot to frame Blue for murder.

Harlequin & Silhouette

February's line-up of category romances are loaded with sweet or spicy treats, depending on your mood. Harlequin Duets offer up two Elvis inspired titles, both written by Wendy Etherington - in Can't Help Falling in Love, firefighter Jack Tesson finds himself falling for a woman whose brothers make a habit of scaring off any prospective suitors, and in Hunka Hunka Burnin' Love, re-decorating the local fire hall has incendiary results for Chief Ben Kimball and decorator Monica O'Malley. Liz Fieldings' City Girl In Training has filmmaker Cal McBride trying to convince next door neighbour Philly that he's in no way gay.

Silhouette Special Editions showcase Lindsay McKenna's latest medical tale Her Healing Touch, and the always enjoyable Susan Mallery's Completely Smitten is sure to make readers smile when a minister's daughter gets herself involved with a government agent. Silhouette's Intimate Moments sees the return of award winning Justine Davis and the first book in her brand new Redstone Incorporated series - in One of These Nights, Samantha Beckett goes undercover and plays bodyguard to an inventor who doesn't think he needs protecting. Rising star Catherine Mann adds another installment to her military action series with the Cinderella Mission and Evelyn Vaughn presents Buried Secrets, a story teeming with black magic, murder and of course romance.

Want something a bit more spicy for your bedtime reading? Then look no further than the Desire and Temptation lines. Colleen Collins' Lightning Strikes is a humorous story about the hunt for a lost brass bed, and Jill Shalvis's Tangling With Ty has dedicated doctor Nicole Mann having to re-think her decision to stay single forever. Or how about Hot Off the Press or this one, Wicked And Willing, a story about long-lost grand daughter, Venus Messina, and the business man who falls for her. And finally, That Blackhawk Bride is Barbara McCauley's story of private investigator Jake Carver's week-long road trip with an alluring stranger.

Cupid promises that all of this month's romantic reads will keep your bedside lamp burning well into the night. Sweet reading till next month!
Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.