>Welcome to my Saturday Showcase. Today’s beam falls on another online critique partner of mine: Randy Jeanne, a new author on the romance scene with a strong voice full of wit and a smidge of snark. She’s also a very entertaining blogger. But don’t take my word for it. Check her out. Her debut novel, recently released from Triskelion, is STEALING AMY.
Blurb: Amy Harrington can’t believe her identity’s been hijacked by a chick named Casey Carlisle. After all, who’d want such a pathetic life? But when repercusssions threatent her mother’s social standing (God forbid!), Amy goes after the thief herself–by adopting her name and tracking her to Mexico.
Arriving in the land of Mariachis and Margaritas, she snags a job with Nick Cavenaugh, a straight-arrow kinda guy who’s doing a little life-reclaiming of his own.
So what if Amy neglects to come clean about her real name, who she’s after, or why she’s really in Mexico…what Nick doesn’t know, can’t hurt him…can it?
Stranded in a steamy jungle, she’s about to find out.
Amy may be after the woman who stole her life, but will Nick end up stealing Amy’s heart?
The Romance Studio gave it a 4-1/2 hearts out of of 5 rating and offered these comments:
All the horror stories you have ever heard about someone stealing another’s identity are not even scraping the surface of the awful fact of reality when it hits home!
Ms. Randy Jeanne has written an exciting, fast-paced read about the pitfalls of stolen identity and the drawbacks of falling in love. She uses her imagination and her sense of adventure to show many difficulties in their budding romance and the interruptions of both his unwanted exes… The wittiness is incredible!
I thoroughly enjoyed this light-hearted romance. There was a little bit of sex, a little humor, a little nosiness, some responsibility to others, and, of course, some danger-all the wonderful aspects of any novel. I wholeheartedly recommend this book!
SETUP: Nick has just finished dinner with the son of his prospective client and the woman he knows as Casey. Casey/Amy is still wrangling to hitch a ride to his ultimate destination, but he’s not budging.
Wiping excess butter from the side of his mouth, Nick was in the mood to ditch Manuel Santiago, head honcho’s son or not.
Back in Minnesota, when he’d laid out the trip, he’d pinpointed this get-acquainted dinner as the first step toward impressing his prospective boss. Sort of a backdoor route to the elder Santiago through his son. So far, nothing was going according to plan. Throughout the meal, their host had unabashedly directed his Latin charm at Casey who’d soaked it up like a loveless spinster. Worse, the man had commandeered a band of Mariachi singers to serenade her and the two of them had sung along. In Spanish.
Now he knew how it felt to be on the wrong end of a ménage a trois. If there was such an end.
After dinner, Santiago ordered a round of Mexican coffees then excused himself to the men’s room. Nick jumped at the chance to speak to Casey alone. “Just because I didn’t blow your cover, doesn’t mean you have to go to bed with the guy.”
Her blue eyes widened, dancing with mischief in the glow of candlelight. “Has anyone ever called you a male chauvinist pig?”
“Of course not.”
“Oink. Consider it done.” She folded her napkin in half, tossed it in the lobster carcass, and leaned back with arms folded across her chest. As in don’t screw with me.
It almost-but not quite-succeeded at intimidating him.
“When I arrive at Casa Riviera alone,” he explained, “you will have flown back to the States to handle an urgent family matter.” He wiped his hands together. “No harm, no foul.”
“No muss, no fuss. That’s why you didn’t object to me joining you for dinner.”
That, and because demonstrating a talent for hiring quick witted employees was just the kind of observation the younger man might pass on to his father.
If only the creep hadn’t turned out to be such a typical Latin lover. Drawn butter congealed in Nick’s belly and he reached for some water. Couldn’t Casey see past the façade?
A dimple appeared at the side of her mouth. “You are one obstinate sonofabitch, Nick Cavenaugh.”
He blinked. Okay, maybe he’d been a little harsh with that comment about her sleeping with the guy, but he hadn’t really expected retaliation.
Casey leaned forward and, taking a clean napkin, punctured a hole at one end. “This is Puerto Vallarta. And this,” she added, poking at a spot three inches below, “is Punta Palomar. Now, in between are lots of winding roads, steep cliffs, and people speaking a foreign language. Picture yourself with a flat tire trying to communicate with the locals. Not a pretty sight, is it?” She tossed the napkin aside. “I didn’t think so. Trust me, an interpreter riding shotgun is a smart move. Quit being so stubborn.”
Damn. She had a point. Then he narrowed his eyes. “What’s in it for you? Why do you have to get to Punta Palomar?”
“Me? I, uh-” she broke off, coughing like something had caught in her throat.
By the time she recovered, Santiago had returned and two seconds later, the coffee arrived.
When I asked Randy what she’s working on now, she said, “Leftovers.” Now for most of us, that means we’re finishing up the food from yesterday’s dinner, but for Randy, it’s the working title of her current manuscript. The following is a taste (pun intended):
What do you get when you put off marriage and babies too long?
Or, so Rose Thornton discovers in this romantic comedy about a woman seemingly destined for life’s hand-me-downs. Determined to finally have something of her own, Rose takes a page from the Murphy Brown book of single-parenting and embarks on the quest for a daddy donor. While her search runs the gamut from former lovers to Internet sperm banks (who knew swimmers were only a click away?) she also temporarily hooks up with her sister’s estranged husband and kids, never dreaming she might fall for the ultimate leftover of all.
Hmm. Sounds yummy to me. 🙂