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Spring Romance Report - Love in Bloom
By Martina Bexte (April, 2008)

Spring has sprung and newly arrived robins are brazenly bob-bob-bobbing around backyards. Their enthusiasm and the warming weather whets our appetite to head outdoors. But romance is always in season and this spring's offerings will tempt even the most dedicated gardeners and long distance runners to take a break and read about love in bloom.

Top Rated Recommendations

SEALed With a KissIf you're looking for guaranteed page turners then check out this top-rated trio ... Mary Margret Daughtridge tackles a variety of emotional and family issues in her heartwarming and tender SEALed With a Kiss where she poses the question - can a dedicated Navy SEAL find the time to be father to his little boy as well as lover to a headstrong and insightful family therapist? Kendra Leigh Castle's Call of the Highland Moon puts an amazingly fresh twist on werewolf mythology as well as offering up a cast of characters readers won't soon forget. Gideon MacInnes crosses the ocean to escape his responsibilities as his Pack's Alpha. But when supernatural enemies attack and leave him for dead, Carly Silver shows him the path to his true destiny.

And Karen Rose goes for the jugular in her latest twisted tale of small town murder and vengeance, Scream for Me. Special Agent Daniel Vartanian thought the worst was over after ending his brother Simon's ruthless years-long killing spree. But Simon left behind equally dangerous minions who are taking aim at the woman Daniel loves.

Historical Romance

A Knight's RewardSherry Thomas makes an impressively sizzling debut in Private Arrangements - after a scandalous wedding night, Lord and Lady Tremaine agree to live separate lives. But when he offers his estranged wife freedom in exchange for an heir, long suppressed desires flare back to brilliant life. Travel back to Pemberley for Diana Birchall's Mrs. Darcy's Dilemma. Dealing with three children (each ready for their own shot at romance) as well as visiting family members, Elizabeth Darcy must deal with potential scandals and the bittersweet happiness of watching her children grow.

Celeste Bradley's charming new trilogy, The Heiress Brides, follows three middle class cousins Desperately Seeking A Duke. Whoever prevails will win the family fortune. In Catherine Kean's A Knight's Reward, a young wife escapes her abusive husband only to be reunited with the man who treasured her but left her behind to join the Crusades. A cold hearted gunslinger with a sixth sense for trouble and his treasure hunting ex-flame battle danger, old west outlaws and renewed desire in Geralyn Dawson's energetic The Loner. Jo Beverly returns with another engaging historical, A Lady's Secret, in which a bored, inquisitive lord and a young woman posing as a nun both harbor secrets that could well prove their undoing.

Mainstream & Contemporary

Just DessertsWhen Haley Goldstein is given the opportunity to create a one-of-a-kind cake for a famous entertainer, she's on cloud nine. But when paternity tests prove she's the rock star's firstborn child, her life is turned upside down in Barbara Bretton's engaging Just Desserts. Karen White's The Memory of Water, another of her trademark family tales, explores Marnie Maitland's return to her hometown to help her nephew deal with a trauma similar to one she'd suffered years before. Sherryl Woods' Seaview Inn is a touching drama that shows how an elderly aunt's refusal to move into a retirement home sets off an unexpected chain of events for her niece, who hadn't counted on finding love.

Follow the lively and often poignant tale of Miriam Swanson's journey of self-discovery after her husband dumps her for a younger woman, leaving Miriam's life in shambles in Dorothea Benton Frank's The Land of Mango Sunsets. Lisa Kleypas continues exploring her contemporary voice as well as domestic abuse in Blue Eyed Devil where the daughter of a Houston energy baron defies her father's wishes and falls for a former roughneck turned shrewd wheeler-dealer. And Ruth Wind, Janice Kay Johnson and RaeAnne Thayne celebrate Mother's Day in their anthology, A Mother's Love, examining three very different mother/daughter relationships.

Mystery & Thriller

Strangers in DeathLieutenant Eve Dallas is back in J.D. Robb's Strangers in Death, another intricately plotted futuristic police procedural that showcases the crack detective and her billionaire husband Roarke, as they set out to prove that a grieving widow is hiding all sorts of dirty little secrets. Journalist Sophie Alton may not remember their night of teenage passion but she becomes convicted felon Marc Hunter's only hope of locating his missing sister in Pamela Clare's gripping, action-packed and steamy Unlawful Contact. Patricia Potter gifts her fans with another meticulously plotted suspense in Catch a Shadow where a paramedic's promise to a dying man could well prove fatal for her and an ex-con who's determined to prove his innocence.

Elizabeth Jennings makes an impact with her debut romantic suspense, Pursuit that follows the frantic escape of a sheltered heiress from enemies bent on destroying her - her best hope of survival is a soldier on medical leave. Jordan Dane garners well-deserved attention with her debut thriller No One Heard Her Scream, a tautly written story that follows a San Antonio detective's search for her sister's killers. Kate White's life is turned upside down during a courtroom shooting that quickly escalates into a hostage drama. She escapes her abductor, but not the suspicions of detective Tom Braga in Karen Robards' riveting Guilty.

Fantasy, SF & Paranormal

Midnight RisingLara Adrian is back with Midnight Rising, fourth in her dark, spellbinding Midnight Breed series. Readers who have been waiting for Rio's story won't be disappointed as the damaged, self-destructive warrior finds a new reason to live after journalist Dylan Alexander barges into his life - and his heart. Kelley Armstrong presents Personal Demon, another superior entry in her Women of the Otherworld series. To repay a debt owed the powerful Cortez Cabal, reporter Hope Adams uses her chaos demon senses to infiltrate a gang of supernaturals.

Werewolves remain hot his Spring! Bella is a lone red wolf lusted after by her adopted pack's alpha. But her true love in wolf and human form is Devlyn, the beta who's always there when she needs him most. Can they ward off the dangerous advances of the possessive alpha? Find out in Terry Spear's Heart of the Wolf. To save her sister, Jacinth masquerades as a slave owner. Cat's feline genetics give him unnatural beauty and intense sexual talents. As the pair journey to unknown lands they form an undeniable bond in Cheryl Brooks' Slave, first in The Cat Star Chronicles.

Linda Wisdom turns her talents to otherworldly comedy in 50 Ways to Hex Your Lover, a fun-filled romp that finds a sassy witch and her vampire lover dealing with her over-protective bunny slippers as well as an enemy from their explosive past. And Nora Roberts continues her Sign of Seven series in The Hollow, set in a small New England town that's been visited by evil for two decades, and where three men and three women are fated to come together and put an end to the dark terror that yearns for their souls.

Happy Spring Reading!

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