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Romance Report : April Showers, Romance Flowers
By Martina Bexte (April, 2004)

April's showers make the perfect occasion to curl up indoors with a good romantic read, and we have plenty of tempting titles just waiting for rainy days, and to fill up your Easter baskets (along with the chocolates of course, never forget those!)

Reviewers' Raves and Faves

Rashmi found herself torn between Christie Ridgway's Do Not Disturb and Cathy Maxwell's Seduction of an English Lady, both filled with great characters and unresolved conflicts. Kim picked Dating Game by the perennially popular Danielle Steel, and newcomer Deirdre Martin's Fair Play. Melissa's short list includes Tracie Peterson's historical Land of My Heart and Kim Wong Keltner's entertaining Dim Sum of All Things. And I give a very positive nod to both Susan Elizabeth Phillips' character rich and often humorous Ain't She Sweet?, and French Twist by talented newcomer Roxanne St. Claire, whose nifty romantic adventure hits all the right chords.

Historical Romance

Once A BrideShari Anton sweeps readers back to Medieval times in Once A Bride, where a knight and lady who were once bitter enemies eventually find love. Regency England remains a favorite with readers. Eloisa James brings fans another fine story in Your Wicked Ways - Helene demands a divorce from husband Rees, he refuses, surprised by the possessiveness he still feels towards his estranged wife. Elizabeth Boyle continues her Danvers Saga in It Takes a Hero, which sends Rafe Danvers on the hunt for the anonymous writer filling young women's heads with silly notions about remaining single.

In Barbara Dawson Smith's Wedding Night, Cassandra becomes a bargaining chip to pay off her father's debts and is unprepared to fall in love with her new husband. There's plenty of mystery, intrigue and romance in Melody Thomas's In My Heart - Alexandra Marshall's career is threatened when someone switches artifacts at the British Museum and she and estranged husband Christopher vow to find those responsible. Lois Greiman re-visits her fictional Kingdom of Sedonia in The Princess Masquerade, the story of skilled pick-pocket 'Magical Megs', who's caught red handed by a Viscount determined to have her masquerade as Princess Titania.

Mainstream & Contemporary

The Ocean Between UsSusan Wiggs is back with a new emotionally charged story, The Ocean Between Us. Grace Bennet knows her marriage is in trouble but her husband is deployed just as they start working things through. When an accident cripples Steve's aircraft carrier, Grace realises they may never get the chance to reconcile. Debbie Macomber explores the lives of three nuns in Changing Habits, each story focusing on why they chose to serve God.

Elaine Fox charms with Hot Stuff, as Laurel Kane is slowly drawn away from her analytical approach to love after meeting fellow office worker Joe. Equally charming and funny is Sheridon Smythe's Mr. Complete, where a determined Lydia Carmichael sets out to prove that Mr. Complete's Escort Service is really a cover for a male prostitution ring.

Romantic Suspense

Guardian of the HorizonSome favorite authors have cranked the suspense meter up high this month. Rita Mae Brown and Lilian Jackson Braun both offer new mysteries starring feline sidekicks. In Braun's Cat Who Talked Turkey, Koko and Yum Yum help their human hunt for yet another skulking murderer. And Brown returns to Crozet, Virginia in Whisker of Evil, a story that involves rabies and strange goings on that only cats Mrs. Murphy and Pewter, and dog Tucker can sniff out. Elizabeth Peters pens her 16th Amelia Peabody historical mystery in Guardian of the Horizon - Amelia and Emerson once again decipher archeological puzzles and assorted nefarious doings when they return to the Lost Oasis to help a prince in trouble.

Annie Soloman's Tell Me No Lies is another edge of your seat romantic thriller. Detective Hank Bonner works to unravel a complicated murder investigation involving Russian money and the mysterious Alex Baker, a woman he can't resist. Jaid Black's One Dark Night has a surgeon surfing the net for love and crossing paths with a serial killer looking for fresh victims - hunting Lucifer is detective Thomas Cavanah with a personal score to settle with the killer. And don't miss Flashpoint, Suzanne Brockmann's next installment in her action-packed SEAL Team 16 series and the first book to focus solely on the more shadowy Troubleshooters Inc., brainchild of former SEAL Tom Paoletti. It follows ex CIA agent Jimmy Nash and computer expert Tess Bailey as they search for a critical laptop.

Paranormal & Other Worlds

Wizard's WardAs the relationship between romance and speculative fiction continues to strengthen, you'll find more and more books incorporating these themes on bookstore shelves. Susan Grant kicks off a brand new multi-author series set in the year 2176 with The Legend of Banzai Maguire. When ace air force pilot Bree McGuire wakes up from suspended animation and finds the world she remembers gone, she must decide where her new loyalties lie. For fans craving another Dark Hunter fix, Sherrilyn Kenyon offers Kiss of the Night. She explores the world of the Appolites (villains in previous episodes), where Wulf must protect the last descendent of the God Apollo.

For a breezy angel story look no further than Judi McCoy's Match Made in Heaven, the conclusion to her Angel Trilogy. Rising star Robin Owens returns to the planet Celta in her latest futuristic Heart Duel, where bonds can only be forged with a true HeartMate. And finally, LUNA continues their new fantasy line with Deborah Hale's Wizard's Ward, where a healer and an outlaw join forces to find 'The Waiting King', foretold to free Umbria from Hanish tyranny.

Romance News

As mentioned above Susan Grant's Banzai McGuire ushers in a brand new romantic series set in 2176. Over the next year fellow authors like Liz Maverick and Kathleen Nance will be adding their unique voices and one-of-a-kind heroines to the line-up. Be sure to check back soon for a Bookloons e-Interview with Kathleen Nance - she'll tell us about her career and her May release Day of Fire, that features a Mountie determined to round up those responsible for the death of her partner.

Enjoy all the romances in flower this month.

Note: Opinions expressed in reviews and articles on this site are those of the author(s) and not necessarily those of BookLoons.