A Little Change Of Face by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

alittlechangeofface.jpgStuck in her Danbury, Connecticut condo in self-imposed exile until she’s contagion-free, Scarlett Jane Stein keeps circling around to a passing comment her friend Pam made: how everything (read: men) comes to Scarlett just because she’s attractive.

Is it true? All her life she’s thought that she was fun to be around, that people liked her. Was it only because she was pretty (say it — because she’s got incredible breasts)? Or is Pam, tired of playing second fiddle, now playing her? All Scarlett knows is that she’s never found the man she believes is out there, her One True Love. So maybe Scarlett needs to change things up.

So it’s goodbye, Scarlett and hello, dowdier, schlumpier Lettie Shaw. And with her new look, new name, new home, and new job, is there a chance that Lettie-nee-Scarlett will find someone who loves her for who she is inside? Or has Scarlett’s little change of face turned into the biggest mistake of her life?

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All I Ever Wanted by Ellen Fisher

AllIEverWantedCover.jpgMaxfield Sinclair, the author of a popular science fiction series, is revered by fans everywhere as "The Creator." Drew Cooper, a snobbish literature professor, isn’t impressed with Max’s books, or with Max himself, for that matter. As Drew gets to know Max, however, she realizes there’s more to the shy, awkward writer than meets the eye. But can a woman who enjoys escargot and caviar fall in love with a guy who thinks fine cuisine means supreme instead of pepperoni?

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Velvet Glove by Emma Holly

velvet glove.jpg Audrey realizes she’s in over her head when she gets embroiled with icy-cool banker, Sterling. His ideas of adult fun are more than she can handle, so she packs her bags and walks out of his luxury Florida apartment, heading back to Washington DC in search of a regular life with a regular guy. But for a girl like Audrey, this is not as easy as it sounds.

When Patrick Dugan, the charismatic owner of an old-world bar, fixes Audrey in his sights, some strange alliances are about to be formed. Within a week Audrey talks her way into a job at Patrick’s bar and a room in the apartment he shares with a drag queen jazz singer called Basil. The highly sexed roommates are soon getting intimate with each other, even experimenting with games of kinky SM sex. But Audrey soon suspects that Patrick is not all that he seems. Why is he pretending to be gay? And what is he covering up for his father, a pillar of the local community? Audrey is so affected by the enigmatic, dominant barman that she doesn’t realise they are connected by a mutual adversary – a cold-hearted man who will take them all down if he doesn’t get what he wants.

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Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie

betme.jpgMinerva Dobbs knows that happily-ever-after is a fairy tale, especially with a man who asked her to dinner to win a bet. Even if he is gorgeous and successful Calvin Morrisey. Cal knows commitment is impossible, especially with a woman as cranky as Min Dobbs. Even if she does wear great shoes, and keep him on his toes. When they say good-bye at the end of their evening, they cut their losses and agree never to see each other again.

But Fate has other plans, and it’s not long before Min and Cal meet again. Soon, they’re dealing with a jealous ex-boyfriend, Krispy Kreme donuts, a determined psychologist, chaos theory, a freakishly intelligent cat, Chicken Marsala, and more risky propositions than either of them ever dreamed of. Including the biggest gamble of all-true love.

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A New Venture

We decided to try something new.  Not new, really.  We’ve been avid readers for as long as we can remember.  As we work on our respective writing projects, we continue to read both inside the genre and outside.  One thing has remained constant – our collective frustration about the seeming unwillingness of some reviewers to write and post honest reviews of romance books.  Now, we’re not talking about the Smart Bitches or Rosario or even Mrs. Giggles.  These ladies say what they think and while we don’t always agree with them, we do admire them.  There are others, too, but there just aren’t enough voices. 

We complained for awhile on our individual blogs about how even slight criticism of a romance novel touched off rants from everyone in the community because you just don’t speak ill of romance novels and ruin the united front.  We should all agree that’s ridiculous.  Reading romance doesn’t mean you leave common sense and good taste aside.  Then, we had an idea (Wendy had the idea, actually) – why not give it a try.  Show that we can write reviews about romance books that are aimed at informing readers as well as giving constructive feedback to authors.  Are we always right?  Well, no.  These things are subjective.  These are our opinions and, frankly, there will be times when we don’t agree with each other. 

If there are books you want us to review, let us know.  If you disagree or agree with what we say, or just want to chat about a book, leave a comment.  We don’t shy away from controversy or a good conversation.  Some people might get mad.  Some folks might be hurt.  But, remember, we’re reviewing books, not people.  We vow not to get personal and to always approach the reviews from the angle that we love the genre and want to do what we can to make it better.  And, to prove no one is immune, HelenKay is ready to have her 2006 releases reviewed, with the help of a guest reviewer, of course.

So, starting tomorrow we’re up and running.  We hope you’ll stop by and join in the discussion.

Wendy & HelenKay