Lois Faye Dyer

Move over dukes and vampires. These days, more and more novels are featuring cowboys (and cowgirls) as they mosey—or gallop!—along the trail to romance. What better setting is there for falling in love than under a star-filled sky, out in the expansive wide open? Here are three new city-meets-country romances that prove the old saying that opposites really do attract.

LOVE ON THE TEST RUN
In Cowboy Seeks Bride, Dallas businesswoman Haley B. Mckay is excited about the idea of filming a modern-day version of an infamous Old West cattle drive for a reality show. When her boss insists she ride along on a test run, she’s annoyed but determined to make it through the ordeal. Rancher Dewar O’Donnell is convinced city-girl Haley won’t last longer than a day or two. Sparks fly the moment Haley and Dewar meet, and as the long days and nights roll by, their attraction becomes harder and harder to ignore. With marauding coyotes, a “guard” donkey named Eeyore and the occasional thunderstorm, life is certainly never dull on the trail, but will Haley and Dewar have a future when the 30-day test run is over? 

Carolyn Brown delivers a Texas-size romance between two endearing characters.

Author Carolyn Brown must have drawn upon her time spent living in Texas and Oklahoma, because the novel’s setting certainly feels rich and authentic. The characters are charming and endearing, and readers will no doubt be cheering for Haley and Dewar to conquer the roadblocks (or trailblocks) they encounter so that they can begin their lives together and settle into their happy-ever-after. 

COWGIRL ROPES A HEART
New York financial adviser Evan Kincaid shook the dust of Caribou Crossing from his boots after high school and never planned to return. In Home on the Range by Susan Fox, it’s 10 years later, and Evan’s biggest client insists that he check out a potential investment in a Caribou resort ranch. Much to Evan’s shock, the head wrangler at that ranch is his childhood sweetheart, Jessica Bly. Jess is stunned to see Evan, particularly since she’s been keeping a big secret from him since he left town all those years ago. Before long, the two discover that their friendship and love never died. Both are wary and have hidden wounds, but their second chance just might enable them to face a bright future together. 

Prolific author Susan Fox paints a vivid picture of life on a guest ranch and in a small western town. Fox’s strong storytelling skills deliver a warm tale with heart that’s sure to please readers.

HOME ON THE RANCH
Florida realtor Madeline Pruett barely remembers her absentee father, so it comes as a shock when she learns he has died and left her a one-third share—the other shares belonging to two half-sisters she didn’t even know existed—in a Colorado ranch. In Julia London’s Homecoming Ranch, Madeline travels to Pine River, assuming that they’ll all agree to sell the ranch and that she’ll quickly return to Florida. But the situation is far more complicated, and it becomes evident that a swift resolution isn’t going to happen. Now, Madeline must cope with two new sisters and living on a beautiful but remote ranch. Adding to the confusing mix is hunky Luke Kendrick, whose family has ties to the ranch whom Madeline can’t ignore. 

Bestselling author Julia London has created a complicated heroine, secondary characters that are intriguing, a charming setting of small town and beautiful ranch country, and a plot that will surely delight readers.
 

Lois Faye Dyer writes from her home in Port Orchard, Washington.

Move over dukes and vampires. These days, more and more novels are featuring cowboys (and cowgirls) as they mosey—or gallop!—along the trail to romance. What better setting is there for falling in love than under a star-filled sky, out in the expansive wide open? Here are three new city-meets-country romances that prove the old saying […]

Pacific Northwest author Susan Wiggs has a long list of best-selling novels that have earned her accolades, awards and the adoration of a legion of fans. In The Apple Orchard, Wiggs begins a new series set in California’s verdant Sonoma Valley, presenting readers with a riveting novel that combines history, romance and suspense.

What if you suddenly learned that everything you thought was true about your life was not, in fact, the whole truth? This is the position that Tess Delaney is placed in when she’s blindsided by a revelation that shatters nearly everything she’s believed about her past.

At 29, Tess has carved out a successful career as a treasure hunter, restoring stolen pieces to their rightful owners. She lives a career-focused life filled with travel, a handful of friends and an apartment in San Francisco, where she rarely spends any time. All of this changes when Dominic Rossi arrives at her office one morning to tell her that her grandfather—whom she didn’t even know existed—has been severely injured. Furthermore, Tess learns that she has a half-sister with whom she now shares responsibility for Bella Vista, a hundred-acre apple orchard in California’s Sonoma County.

Stunned by Dominic’s news, Tess agrees to travel with him to Bella Vista, where she meets her sister, Isabel, who is just as fascinated as Tess by their newly discovered connection. Bella Vista’s rolling green acres are a revelation, representing a slower pace of life that is vastly different from Tess’s fast-track lifestyle in San Francisco.

Tess had only planned on a short visit, but the need to learn more about the family she never knew makes her stay. And then there’s Dominic, whose solid strength, goodness and undeniably rugged good looks are difficult to ignore. The days quickly slide by, and Tess finds herself more entranced by and entangled with her sister, Dominic and Bella Vista. 

But there are secrets at Bella Vista. Secrets that stretch back to World War II and her grandfather’s childhood in Denmark. Fortunately for her newly discovered family, Tess is a woman trained to solve mysteries. Her inquiries could bring resolution and happiness to Bella Vista’s residents, but will it mean happiness for Tess, too? 

The Apple Orchard is a feast for the senses—rich with fascinating detail about researching provenance for lost treasures and the sumptuous descriptions of fabulous food, accompanied by actual recipes. Readers will fall in love with Tess’s family, the fragrant, vital life-pulse of Bella Vista’s lush acres, and California’s warm golden sunshine. The second book in the Bella Vista series will focus on Tess’s sister, Isabel, a prospect that is sure to have many readers eagerly awaiting their next visit to the luscious Sonoma apple orchard.  

Pacific Northwest author Susan Wiggs has a long list of best-selling novels that have earned her accolades, awards and the adoration of a legion of fans. In The Apple Orchard, Wiggs begins a new series set in California’s verdant Sonoma Valley, presenting readers with a riveting novel that combines history, romance and suspense. What if […]

Valentine’s Day appears on our calendars amid the chill winds of winter, just when we’re apt to be longing for a break from cold and snow. It’s the perfect time to celebrate with heart-shaped greeting cards, decadent chocolate truffles and a sinfully delicious romance novel. We’ve chosen three such romantic tales from authors Anne Barton, Anne Gracie and Beverly Jenkins—each the perfect prescription to chase away the winter doldrums. So brew a hot mug of Tazo tea, break out the chocolates, settle into your favorite cozy chair, and prepare to be enthralled.    

ROMANTIC EXTORTION

In the normal course of events, it is highly unlikely that a talented seamstress such as Anabelle Honeycote would cross paths with a duke in London of 1815—unless, of course, she were so unwise as to attempt to blackmail him. Anabelle does just that in When She Was Wicked by Anne Barton, though she quickly rues her choice of victim when the Duke of Huntford captures her and does some blackmailing of his own. The seamstress quickly finds herself living in the duke’s beautiful Mayfair home and creating elegant wardrobes for his two younger sisters. But all is not as it seems, for Anabelle is not merely a seamstress, nor is she an unprincipled extortionist. The duke soon learns his life has become much more complicated—and enriched—by the arrival of the lovely Anabelle. Despite the strict rules of Regency society that forbid their friendship, neither Anabelle nor the duke can deny the attraction that draws them together. The question is whether they can find a way to bridge their worlds without mutual heartbreak.

This delightful debut novel introduces readers to the Honeycote and Huntford families and launches a series of stories featuring four sisters. These women are distinctly different but equally intelligent, and their heroes promise to be strong-willed and committed. Both Anabelle and her duke have a powerful sense of justice that make them irresistibly cheer-worthy. The romance between the two is passionate and Anabelle’s world of Regency fashion is well drawn and detailed. 

UNEXPECTED SPOILS

Survival is difficult for young women without family in Regency-era London, as we learn in The Autumn Bride by Anne Gracie. Late one night in 1816, Abigail Chantry finds herself climbing through the window of a rundown home—once elegant—to commit thievery. Abigail needs food, and she’s desperate enough to steal. To her shock, she finds the house isn’t deserted, for an elderly woman is in the bedchamber. They carry on a strangely normal conversation and Abigail learns that Lady Beatrice lives alone, with only servants to care for her. Appalled at the neglect and the bedridden woman’s fragile state, Abigail returns for a second visit. Unable to turn her back on the situation, she marches into the home to champion the sharp-witted old lady. All goes well until Lady Beatrice’s long-absent nephew, Max, returns home from the East Indies. Abigail is indignant that he had abandoned his aunt to the care of servants; Max is highly suspicious of Abigail’s motives for befriending his aunt. Despite their mutual antagonism, however, they’re drawn together by an attraction neither can deny.  

There’s action and adventure aplenty in this well-written story, together with a heroine to root for and a strong, honorable hero. The witty dialogue and humor, in addition to an interesting mystery for the hero and heroine to solve, guarantee readers will eagerly look forward to the next installment in the Chance Sisters Romance series. 

LOVE IN THE WEST

In Destiny’s Embrace, the first novel of a planned series, best-selling author Beverly Jenkins takes readers to a California rancho in 1885, where matriarch Alanza Yates wants her three sons to marry. The men aren't interested, but the oldest, Logan, reluctantly agrees to let his mother find a housekeeper for him. In Philadelphia, seamstress Mariah Cooper wants to leave behind an unhappy life as an unpaid servant, and the advertisement for employment in California seems heaven sent. But Mariah wasn’t expecting the handsome man that meets her at the railroad station. Despite Logan Yates’ good looks and charm, however, the two argue almost from the first moment they meet. Logan is a man accustomed to beautiful women falling at his feet, and for the first time in his life, he must contend with a woman who insists on respect. He quickly learns that Mariah inspires not only lust, but genuine liking, affection, and finally, love.

The hero and heroine in Destiny’s Embrace are endearing and it’s a pleasure to watch them struggle as they come to grips with an attraction so powerful that it creates a sea change in both their lives. Logan gives Mariah the acceptance she’s never before felt, while she makes him realize he’s ready for home and family. The novel is filled with interesting snippets of California history and life in the American West just before the turn of the century. Readers will be delighted to know future books in the series will feature Logan’s brothers.

Valentine’s Day appears on our calendars amid the chill winds of winter, just when we’re apt to be longing for a break from cold and snow. It’s the perfect time to celebrate with heart-shaped greeting cards, decadent chocolate truffles and a sinfully delicious romance novel. We’ve chosen three such romantic tales from authors Anne Barton, […]

Hit List is the 21st installment in author Laurell K. Hamilton’s long running series featuring Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. This latest in the popular series is an interesting combo of paranormal, thriller, mystery and layered character study. Fans of Hamilton’s Vampire Hunter novels know that our heroine, U.S. Marshal Anita Blake, has evolved into a powerful, experienced solver of crimes. But this time out, she has to deal with not just one, but two serial killers. Amazingly, one is a member of the group that her partner, Edward, has brought in to provide backup during a particularly deadly and dangerous case. The other is the leader of the criminals she and fellow Marshal Edward are hunting.

The deadly group known as the Harlequins are "the vampire equivalent of police, spies, judge, jury and executioner. They were also some of the greatest warriors to ever live, or unlive." And the female vampire leading them wants Anita taken alive—because the Mother of All Darkness wants to take over Anita’s body.

It’s the worst of all possible situations for Anita. With a new boss who’s determined to prove she’s unworthy of her solid crime-solving reputation, and too many rookies involved in the case, things go from bad to worse. Too many people are injured or dying—and the killer is still free. Even with the aid of her partner Edward, whose powers and ability to outthink and outmaneuver the bad guys has helped keep them alive through countless, seemingly impossible assignments, Anita isn’t convinced either of them will survive this time. In the final confrontation, she must gamble all of their lives on the paranormal powers of her friends and lovers—or watch them all die.

Hit List is filled with heart-stopping danger, intriguing character connections, brilliant police work, and a plot with surprising twists. There’s little doubt the novel will land Hamilton on bestseller lists once again. If you like tales of thrilling adventure with a paranormal twist, this book’s for you.

Lois Dyer writes from Port Orchard, Washington.

Hit List is the 21st installment in author Laurell K. Hamilton’s long running series featuring Anita Blake, Vampire Hunter. This latest in the popular series is an interesting combo of paranormal, thriller, mystery and layered character study. Fans of Hamilton’s Vampire Hunter novels know that our heroine, U.S. Marshal Anita Blake, has evolved into a […]

Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush are each best-selling authors on their own, but the Oregon sisters raise the stakes when they join forces to pen a terrifyingly suspenseful novel, Wicked Lies.

At a small hospital on the Oregon coast, nurse Laura Adderley is relieved to be getting a divorce, but devastated to discover that she and her ex-husband’s sole attempt to reconcile has resulted in a pregnancy. She’s even more appalled when she learns her onetime nemesis, the infamous psychotic killer Justice Turnbull, knows she’s carrying a child. She hears his voice in her mind—and she knows he’s coming for her and her unborn baby. Because Justice has escaped after murdering his jailers at Halo Valley Security Hospital . . . and retribution is his sole focus.

Fortunately for Laura, reporter Harrison Frost is following a lead on a news story about Turnbull’s escape. At first, Harrison only wants information from the pretty nurse, but before long he’s committed to stopping Turnbull. Because if he can’t, Laura will be dead.

Wicked Lies is a riveting, can’t-put-it-down, heart-pounding good read. If you love suspense with enough twists and turns to tie you into knots, this one’s for you.

Lisa Jackson and Nancy Bush are each best-selling authors on their own, but the Oregon sisters raise the stakes when they join forces to pen a terrifyingly suspenseful novel, Wicked Lies. At a small hospital on the Oregon coast, nurse Laura Adderley is relieved to be getting a divorce, but devastated to discover that she […]

In the third book in her Chesapeake Shores trilogy, author Sherryl Woods takes readers back to Maryland and a small-town beach community with warm yet complicated family relationships.

The only girl among the O’Brien siblings, Susie O’Brien has spent more than a year “not dating” Mack Franklin while they’re spending every spare moment together. Her family is confused, and she’s ready to move past their just-friends status. Mack feels the same, but when he’s about to turn up the heat in their relationship, he loses his job as a sports reporter. Reeling from the shock, he’s barely absorbed the impact when Susie is slammed with a diagnosis that’s devastating.

While their once-idyllic world threatens to crumble into chaos about them, the two struggle to come to terms with a radically changed view of the future. The O’Brien clan rallies around them, but the depth of their love and commitment will be tested to the limit. Will they survive the storms that challenge them? Woods tugs on the heartstrings with this endearing romance and readers will find much to enjoy in this charming love story.

 

Lois Dyer writes from Washington.

In the third book in her Chesapeake Shores trilogy, author Sherryl Woods takes readers back to Maryland and a small-town beach community with warm yet complicated family relationships. The only girl among the O’Brien siblings, Susie O’Brien has spent more than a year “not dating” Mack Franklin while they’re spending every spare moment together. Her […]

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