Silver Linings by Jayne Ann Krentz. I saw a reference to this a while back (on Smart Bitches?) and was able to read it because my local library has a fine collection of older Krentz titles in large print. Hugh was once engaged to Mattie's sister, Ariel. When Hugh and Ariel broke up, Mattie threw herself at Hugh, but Hugh turned her down. Shortly after that, Hugh realized his mistake, but Mattie won't have anything to do with him. Finally they reunite--over a dead body. Hugh rescues Mattie and manages to insinuate himself back into her life. This is a campy, fun story. Originally published in 1991, it's quite dated to those of us now accustomed to daily use of the internet and cell phones. Still, Mattie makes a great foil for Hugh who is typically alpha and sometimes quite clueless. I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Heart Search by Robin D. Owens. Owens' "Heart" series is for people who are fond of fated mates and cats. As I've said before, I love the world of Celta that Owens has created in this series. Heart Search opens with an interesting situation: Laev, the hero, is a widower who had mistakenly assumed the wrong woman was his intended HeartMate and he had endured a difficult and troubled marriage with that woman. Meanwhile, Camellia had lived with the knowledge that her HeartMate had married another woman. To add to that pain, Camellia has had to struggle on her own because her father and her uncle constantly steal from her, despite every effort to prevent it. As the book opens, Laev is now a widower and he is trying to recover many family heirlooms his wife had stolen from him before her death. In his search he discovers Camellia, but because of the mistreatment each has experienced it takes them awhile to trust one another. I enjoyed the romance and the visit with familiar characters. I like that Owens has her characters growing older. The couples from the earliest books now have nearly-grown children.
Prey by Linda Howard. Judging by some reviews I've read over the years, I may be in the minority when I say that my favorite Howard books of the last half dozen years have been the ones like Prey that involve some sort of outdoor adventure/survival--such as Cover of Night and Up Close and Dangerous. This latest adventure involves two competing wilderness guides, Angie and Dare. Dare has had a thing for Angie for years, but she's made it clear she's not interested. Unfortunately, Angie's business is going under and Dare's success is partly to blame. Angie contracts one last trip, to help a client hunt for a bear. But it turns out this trip is really meant to be a cover-up to murder and Angie barely escapes with her life. Meanwhile, Dare "happens" to be nearby. He rescues her, they work through their issues, and together they escape two killers--the murderer and a bear with a taste for human flesh. Yeah, it's gruesome, but I liked it. Campy, suspenseful, and sweetly romantic.
The Nine Lives of Christmas by Sheila Roberts. This sweet little book took no time to read and was a very enjoyable start to my holiday reading for 2011. Merilee White is a shy young woman who wants to become a veterinarian. Until she can afford vet school, she works in a big box pet store. Zach Stone is "adopted" by Ambrose, a cat who is the 3rd main character in this story. Ambrose, on the verge of losing his 9th and final life, knows he needs to do something for Zach in order to have a chance at making his 9th life last a good long time. Zach is a firefighter who has soured on relationships after too many of them in his life went bad. But when Ambrose sees how lonely Zach is, he finds a way to make sure Zach and Merilee get together. There's just one word for this kind of book. Cute. And sometimes Cute really hits the spot.
Snapped by Laura Griffin. The latest entry in Griffin's "Tracers" series begins with a campus shooting that appears to be an open and shut case of a deranged individual lashing out at random. Only when eyewitness Sophie Barrett realizes that there had to be more to this shooting than authorities believe, she ends up becoming a target herself. Meanwhile, homicide detective Jonah Macon, who has been assigned the case, finds himself attracted to Sophie. He's got a conflict of interest because he's attracted, but no one believes that Sophie saw anything significant. As Jonah starts looking into it, he also realizes that Sophie is a loose-end the killer will want to deal with. Once again Griffin has written a taut, fast-paced thriller with just the right amount of romance. This is a great series that you can read from the beginning or jump in at any point.