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Saturday, May 24, 2008

Review: Treasures of the Heart: A Jewels of the Quill Valentine's Day Anthology

Treasures of the Heart
Anthology by Jewels of the Quill: Karen Wiesner, Nancy Pirri, Julie Skerven, Carrie S. Masek, Karen Woods, Barbara Raffin, and Michele Bardsley

Rediscover the magic and romance of Valentine’s Day!

SEVEN JEWELS OF THE QUILL AUTHORS offer a story featuring a token of love—possibly small, but straight from the heart!

A collection of love stories for readers to enjoy on Valentine’s Day...or any day of the year!

A Rose for Romeo (Adventures in Amethyst Series) {contemporary romance} by Karen Wiesner (Dame Amethyst): What happens when a nationally renowned sex therapist and author begins to abhor every aspect of her successful occupation? She falls in love, of course. Dr. Melina Rose is sick of discussing, listening to, and writing about sex. She’s spent her life avoiding intimacy in her own personal life. After abandoning everything she’s worked all her life for, she returns to the small, peaceful town of Amethyst, Wisconsin she grew up in only to discover that everything has changed—everything except her crush on her sister’s old boyfriend Scott “Romeo” Romero.

The Sheriff Takes a Wife {contemporary romance} by Nancy Pirri (Dame Sapphire): After arriving home from her last modeling job, twenty-seven year old city woman, Summer Sanders discovers her young sister, Autumn, has left a note that she’s moved to Minnesota based on an advertisement in the newspaper: “Harmon Junction, Minnesota is looking for brides.” Summer has no choice but to try to stop her sister from making what could be the biggest mistake of her life. Summer’s first ‘taste’ of Harmon Junction is a run-in with the local sheriff, Nathaniel Whitefeather, who immediately issues her a speeding ticket. When he runs her license, he discovers California has revoked her driver’s license because of the non-payment of several speeding and parking tickets. The sheriff informs her that he’s obliged to place her under arrest until she pays off all of the tickets. Summer finds Nathaniel as infuriating as he is gorgeous, and the sparks fly between them each time they’re together. But she has a whole different life waiting for her in Monterey. Can she give up her plans for the sheriff who’s determined to get her locked up in his jail—or in his heart?

Penelope’s Problem {romantic comedy} by Julie Skerven (Dame Peridot): A carefree, hippy chick in the process of closing her Home Help Agency meets a conservative Assistant District Attorney. He needs a home-helper pronto because his mother is being ejected from her retirement home for instigating a food fight. Mix a matchmaking mother and a crystal ball and what do you have? Penelope’s problem.

Desert Rose {romance} by Carrie S. Masek (Dame Topaz): In the winter of 1991, an emotionally scarred young widow is determined not to become romantically involved with anyone, particularly not the sexy Marine sergeant who storms into her convenience store and accuses her of selling booze to his underage men. With the help of her two small children, he persuades her to let love back into her life, only to have Operation Desert Storm threaten to steal it from her forever.

Heart of Stone {paranormal suspense} by Special Guest Jewel Karen Woods: Geologist Katie McCord is being stalked by a person or persons unknown. When threatening deliveries are made to her rock shop, her brother-in-law, the local chief of police, calls in the only man who can help—Katie’s estranged husband, Army Ranger, Colonel Steve Moore. The only thing Katie wants more than never to see Steve again is his love. With both Katie and Steve united in the goal of keeping Katie safe, can the two of them survive long enough to work out their problems?

The Sting of Love {contemporary humorous romance} by Barbara Raffin (Dame Jade): Forest Ranger Kelly Jackson has been given the fluff job of babysitting Hollywood’s latest action star as he researches his next movie. When Zack Archer doesn’t follow her orders and falls into a ground hornets’ nest, she figures she can kiss good-bye her chances for advancement in the job she loves. But Zack proves to be a far more genuine article than she expects from a Hollywood action-adventure star.

Heart of Grace (Angels On Patrol Series) {paranormal romantic comedy} by Michele Bardsley (Dame Obsidian): The dream of every heart is love...Grace Talbot’s idea of opening a home for down-on-their-luck expectant mothers is crushed by the cold heart and legal rigmarole of lawyer Cal Malloy. Cal has his own reasons for buying the house and property currently occupied by Grace and several very pregnant women. He may be known in the business world as the Iceman, but when it comes to pretty, defiant Grace, his cool exterior melts away. Little does Cal or Grace know that an angel named Sophie is playing matchmaker...and when love’s on the line, she aims straight for the heart.

A Rose for Romeo by Karen Wiesner
A delightful short story by Karen Wiesner, A Rose for Romeo is one of those short stories that doesn’t leave you feeling unsatisfied.

Dr. Melina Rose closes her successful sex therapist practice to start her life anew. Dissatisfied with where her life has gone, she decides to return to her hometown, Amethyst, Wisconsin. Her only wish is to purchase her dream house and live a quiet uneventful life. Her dream seems not to be when she realizes that her dream house has been purchased by someone else. Scott “ Romeo” Romero is the lucky owner. He was also the only guy that Melina had ever loved. When she left Amethyst at eighteen she also left behind Scott. Can Melina find the strength to let Scott back into her heart?

I found myself falling a little in love with Scott. He is one of those truly genuine heroes. And Melina was so , dare I say it, sweet. This was a, ha ha, sweet short story that left me smiling.

The Sheriff Takes a Wife by Nancy Pirri
What a unique story for this day and age. Author Nancy Pirri writes about a small town of bachelors in search of wives. So desperate are the men of Harmon Junction, they take out an ad.

Summer Sanders is a high class model, and her sister has decided to answer the ad. So Summer goes to Harmon Junction determined to drag her back home. When she arrives she assumes the worst. That is until she gets arrested by the hunky local sheriff.

This is one of those stories where opposites definitely attract, and then butt heads. While not filled with scorching heat there was definitely passion. I loved watching Nathaniel and Summer fumble about in their path towards true love. It was a delightful story and I would love to read more of Nancy Pirri’s work.

Penelope’s Problem by Julie Skerven
Short and Sweet! Penelope is a free spirit, Lance is incredibly uptight. When Lance’s mother needs an in home caregiver, he hires Penelope. She isn’t his first choice, she is his only choice. Can a repressed District Attorney and a carefree girl find true love?

A nice, quick offering from Julie Skerven, who managed in just a few pages to develop two in depth characters that I really cheered for. I thoroughly enjoyed this story.

Desert Rose by Carrie S Masek
When single mother Rose Hendricks meets marine Jack Rollins, he accuses her of selling alcohol to underage soldiers. Rose sets Jack straight on what really happened and he asks her out on a date. Not the response Rose was expecting. She isn’t looking for love, but there is something about Jack that pulls at Rose. When Jack is suddenly reassigned Rose must come to terms with her feelings for him.

I found this story especially touching. Carrie S. Masek wrote a charming and unassuming hero and a very strong heroine. I also loved the fact that she makes Jack a bit shy. Another of the Jewel authors I would love to see more from.

Heart of Stone by Karen Woods
Heart of Stone was not your typical romance story. The two main characters are already married. But Kate has always felt as though she was taking something away from her husband, Steve, an Army Ranger stationed overseas. An accident as a child has left Kate unable to have children. When Kate starts receiving threats from an anonymous person, Steve comes home to protect her. Can they mend the cracks that have formed in their marriage?

Karen Woods defiantly likes to throw twists into her stories, because there is a definite twist to this one. Read this heartwarming and unique short story to find out what makes Kate and Steve so special.

The Sting of Love by Barbara Raffin
The only thing I didn’t like about this story was the length. It was too short for my taste. Forest Ranger Kelly Jackson gets the enviable job of babysitting action star Zack Archer, while he researches a movie . When things go wrong, she starts to wonder if she will have a job on the morning. But, Zack has a surprise for Kelly. I liked the characters and having an action hero embarrass himself in such a funny fashion was very clever. I just wish it was a tad bit longer.

Heart of Grace by Michele Bardsley
I smiled while reading this story. I got all tingly with warmth, I sighed and almost cried. Whew, what a great story.

Grace Talbot has one dream, to open a shelter for down-on-their-luck expectant mothers. But Cal Malloy buys the run down house she shares with three pregnant women , and sends her an eviction notice. Grace’s dreams are shattered. Or are they? Grace decides that she can be just as underhanded as Cal. Can Grace and Cal find love? With a little luck and the help an angel named Sophie true love is just around the corner.

Michele Bardsley wrote a truly heartwarming story about love in all forms. This one will make you sigh and maybe even cry and I can’t wait to read what comes next from this author!

Review by Zinnia