Romance review round-up

"Heiress in Love."

"Call Me Irresistible" by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
Avon, $13.99
After Meg Koranda convinces her best friend Lucy Jorik to dump her fiancé Ted Beaudine, everyone in Wynette, Texas, is upset with Meg for breaking up the town's golden couple. Now all Meg wants to do is get the heck out of Wynette, but instead she's stuck there until she can get her car repaired. Phillips' deft pairing of a testosterone rich hero with a spunky heroine not only creates an abundance of sexy chemistry between Ted and Meg, but also an engaging plot with fabulously funny moments.

"The Last Letter from Your Lover" by JoJo Moyes
Pamela Dorman Books/Viking, $26.95
Waking up in a London hospital after a car accident, Jennifer Stirling can't remember anything. It is only after returning home with her husband that she gradually begins to piece together her old life. It isn't until Jennifer stumbles across a hidden love letter written to her by "B," though, that she realizes not only had she been involved in an affair, but she was willing to risk everything to be with her lover.

Four decades later, journalist Ellie Haworth stumbles across one of the letters written to Jennifer while researching an article. Consumed with reuniting the couple, Jennifer begins searching for "B" - never expecting that in doing so she might find the solution to her own romantic problems. With its realistically complicated characters and emotionally complex plot, "The Last Letter from Your Lover" is hopelessly and hopefully romantic.

"The Lantern" by Deborah Lawrenson
Harper, $25.99
After meeting and falling in love with Dom in Switzerland, Eve is completely stunned when he later asks her to move into "Les Genevriers," the crumbling farmhouse he purchased in the south of France. As the two of them settle into their new home, Eve finds herself not only becoming obsessed with Dom's past - and in particular, his first wife Rachel - but also the fate of one of "Les Genevrier's" earlier occupants, famous perfumer Marthe Lincel. While "The Lantern's" homage to Du Maurier's "Rebecca" is obvious, Lawrenson effortlessly evokes the sights, sounds, and scents of Provence while at the same time delivering a spellbinding tale of danger, deception, and desire.

"Summer Rental" by Mary Kay Andrews
St. Martin's Press, $25.99
Ellis Sullivan is looking forward to spending a month with her best friends Dorie and Julia in the Outer Banks of North Carolina until she discovers that Ebbtibe, the home they are renting, doesn't exactly live up to its advance publicity. What is even worse is Ty Bazemore, the annoyingly sexy man living in the apartment over the garage at Ebbtibe turns out to be their new landlord! The bright and breezy plot of "Summer Rental" delivers just the right combination of sexy romance and warm friendship.

"Heiress in Love" by Christina Brooke
St. Martin's Paperbacks, $7.99
If Lady Jane Roxdale's husband Frederick wasn't already dead, she would kill him herself. The late Baron Roxdale left all of his money to Jane, but he left his estate, Lazenby Hall, and guardianship of his son Luke to the notorious rake Constantine Black. Without Jane's money Constantine has no hope of keeping Lazenby Hall afloat, and Jane is equally determined that she will not be separated from Luke. The solution to their dilemmas is obvious: Constantine must marry Jane. The problem is that neither Jane nor Constantine can stand one another. Brooke puts her own clever twist on the classic marriage of convenience plot, and the result is an elegantly written, subtly nuanced romance.

"Making Waves" by Tawna Fenske
Sourcebooks Casablanca, $6.99
With her freakishly high IQ and short attention span, Juli Flynn's employment history leaves a little something to be desired, but the advantage to being in-between jobs is that Juli can fulfill her uncle's deathbed wish that his ashes be sprinkled over the edge of a boat near St. Johns. When Juli arrives at the Virgin Islands, she mistakes Alex Bradshaw's boat for her charter boat. By the time everything is sorted out, Juli finds herself at sea with the incredibly sexy Alex and his cut-rate crew of corporate pirates. Fenske's wildly inventive plot and wonderfully quirky characters provide the perfect literary antidote to any romance reader's summer reading doldrums.