cover image When You Close Your Eyes

When You Close Your Eyes

Roxanne D. Howard. The Wild Rose, $18.99 trade paper (442p) ISBN 978-1-5092-2360-2

Howard (The Longer They Last) explores the concept of fated love in this skillfully woven contemporary erotic romance. Lark Braithwaite, an American in London, is living with her British fiancé, Charles Chase, when she starts dreaming of a sexy mystery man with an Irish brogue. After Lark gets word that her estranged father has died and she returns to her Oregon hometown for the funeral, she meets the dream man in the flesh: he’s her parents’ widowed lawyer, Niall O’Hagan. Lark quickly falls in love with Niall, struggling to decide whether she should follow her heart or the commitment she’s made to her fiancé—a decision that gets easier when Charles shows his true and ugly colors. Early on, it’s hard to tell whether Lark and Niall are encountering each other in a dream or in real life, providing unnecessary distraction from what is otherwise a well-plotted narrative. Explicit sex scenes crackle with heat, and Howard’s characters invite readers to come in and get lost on the pages with them as the plot hurtles toward a shocking, but not unbelievable, climax involving Lark’s father’s past and her future. Erotic romance fans will devour Howard’s suspenseful and heart-filled story. (BookLife)