Monday, February 28, 2011

Oscars Over: Let’s Talk Books!

Book Review: Romance of My Dreams Volume 2
by Jacqueline Seewald

ROMANCE OF MY DREAMS, Volume 2, is an L&L Dreamspell Anthology which contains ten romantic stories by eight different authors. The enjoyment lies in that you get ten different stories with a variety of voices and characters.

The lead off story is Pauline Baird Jones’ “Comfort Zone.” Halle Greenfield isn’t thinking of marriage. However, Lord Keil has other ideas. The story grabs the reader from the beginning: “Marrying a man she’d met once was a bad idea. When that man was
ET it was insane.” Yes, this is a science fiction romance. It is also charming, romantic, humorous and will leave you with a smile on your face.

In Cindy Davis’ “Cuppa Jarvis” the intriguing character Detective Colby Jarvis is called in to solve the break-in at Angie Deacon’s community theatre. Needless to say, a romance develops. The story could well be developed into a romantic suspense novel.

“Pyrotechnics” by Joyce Scarbrough is more than a college romance. Jaycee Stevens is a college freshman trying to find herself. Like Jaycee, Bud Stanton is an athlete. He is also
troubled about finding his identity. Both have family problems. The two are a volatile mix. And they do combust. The dialogue is realistic and the characters well-drawn.

“Recov” by Helen Henderson is a bitter-sweet romance, touching and tender. It is the science fiction story of Eric Marten who has been chosen by the government to create
a child with the woman of his dreams, Lauren Woods. There’s just one problem:
Lauren died before her time and has been brought back to life for a brief time to create
a perfect child with Eric. At first chilling, the story becomes a warm and sensitive romance as the relationship develops between Eric and Lauren.

In “The View from the Balcony”, D.K. Christi, begins her story with a woman who is ill and has just been jilted by her fiancĂ© racing across a small Italian beach on horseback. The image of the blond-haired beauty in a white wedding dress dashing through the pounding surf on a white stallion catches the attention of a man who has also suffered losses. He rescues her from drowning and a beautiful love affair ensues. This is a lovely, romantic story that captures the reader’s attention and keeps it to the end.

“The Right Feeling” by Phyllis Humphrey is the story of Megan Taylor, an interior decorator, who has inherited an old hotel in Hawaii from an uncle. She cannot afford to
maintain the hotel or fix it up properly and has decided to try to sell it to a large corporation. The moment she sees Bart Graham who represents Condon Properties, she finds herself attracted to him, and the feeling is returned. But all is not smooth going for Megan because her hotel is hit by a tsunami. This is a well-written, enjoyable romantic story. Readers will care about Megan and Bart.

In “Son of a Sheik” by Pauline Baird Jones, a ten year old child with a giant IQ acts as matchmaker. Elle parents her dead twin sister’s child, Emma. Enter Rafiq who dumped Elle five years before and broke her heart. Em sets matters right. A very pleasing story with endearing characters.

“Manless and Loving It” by Lisa Rene Smith is a tour de force. Recently divorced Samantha Greene is walking on a deserted beach in the evening feeling her fifty years when a man comes out of nowhere and frightens her. However, Detective Nick Karras is not trying to attack Sam as she at first assumes but is actually interested in protecting her. A pithy, exciting romantic story.

“Safe Harbor” is the second story in this collection by Joyce Sterling Scarbrough.
Cal Pardue is suspicious of Jasmine Gregory’s attention to his grandfather in the nursing home. Jasmine is kind to everyone but Amos in particular because he reminds Jasmine of
her own grandfather who she hardly got to know. Jasmine’s surprising background makes her an especially interesting character, but she must overcome Cal’s hardcore distrust of women. The Louisiana locale provides an authentic setting for a sensitive yet entertaining romantic story.

“Casino Life” is my own contribution to the anthology. It’s as much a literary short story as a romance. Sara is a lonely widow whose life has lost its meaning. Her regular bus trips to Atlantic City are what keep her going. But Sara is not a gambler. Rob, a construction worker, was recently laid off his job. They meet on the bus and a bond forms between them, two lost souls in need of comfort and companionship. For them, the excitement of casino life ignites romance and hope.