MissB. returned to a beloved series with Jodi Thomas’s Wild Horse Springs. Crossroads, Texas’s denizens’ stories continue. Thomas’s series has steadily produced one excellent ensemble-romance after another and MissB. is always happy to return. Wild Horse Springs is a particularly strong addition, if only because the town’s long-lonely sheriff finally gets his HEA. The novel focuses on three couples and a compelling RS plot. Sheriff Dan Brigman falls for newly-arrived country singer, Brandi Malone; our PTSD-ed Texas Ranger hero, Cody Winslow falls (literally! you’ll see) for park ranger Tess Adams; and, we finally have a reunion between high-powered lawyer, former-Cross-Roads cowboy Lucas Reyes and Sheriff Brigman’s daughter, Lauren. The romances unfold in conjunction with some pretty nasty doings. Former waif now grown and happily ensconced in family love and support, Thatcher Jones, finds and loses a little girl – silent, obviously physically abused, and in much need of rescuing. Sheriff Brigman is on the case, as are various Cross-Road-ites and the novel concludes, other than with HEAs for our couples, with an exciting rescue operation. Continue reading
What if Jim Sheridan’s 2009 film, Brothers, were a romance novel? What if the brothers were war heroes? What if one came home and the other didn’t? What if they were twins? What if they’d loved the same girl since they were children? What if pain and guilt and love and memories hung like a pall over the mourners? What if grief for the one who didn’t come home crippled the living … parents, brother, wife, friends, and a town? It might, says Miss Bates, be Juliana Stone’s second book in her Bad Boys of Crystal Lake series, The Christmas He Loved Her. How can a romance novel flawed in its inception be right in execution? How did Miss Bates come to enjoy a novel that pushed many of her ick-factor buttons? Continue reading: will Miss Bates work out her ambivalence about Stone’s novel?