"Great Collection of Spicy and Humorous Romance involving a Family of Brothers"
How very nice it is to have these three Winston brother
novellas, originally released in individual themed
anthologies, under one cover at last.
"Tangled Sheets" (originally released in the Berkley
anthology, HOT CHOCOLATE - February 1999, ISBN: 0515124524)
is Cole Winston's story.
Cole Winston had been in his last year of college when his
parents died tragically, leaving him with the
responsibility for his three much younger brothers. Cole
had purchased a tavern to help with finances, giving his
brothers a place to work as they grew older, and
eventually putting them through college. Cole is now thirty-
six. Mack, the youngest brother, is in his last year of
college. At long last Cole is free to seek his own
happiness, start a family of his own. He knows just the
woman he wants to start it with too, Sophie Sheridan, a
woman whose way with a cup of hot chocolate aroused every
manly instinct he possessed.
In the interest of Cole's happiness, the four brothers
concoct a scheme to get the two them together. Winston
Tavern is sponsoring a Valentine's Day contest, setting
themselves up a judges. All the lady contestants had to do
was submit a photo of themselves to hang up on the bar. The
winner would get her picture taken with all four brothers,
and a date with the brother of their choice. Naturally
Sophie would be the winner, since Cole had marked her for
his own. Besides the three younger brothers are enjoying
their freedom much too much to risk involvement. There is
only one problem. Sophie refuses to enter!
Shy Sophie Sheridan has decided that she will not spend one
more Valentine's Day as a virgin. She's had warm thoughts
for Cole Winston for some time. Well who wouldn't? He's
gorgeous, however one just didn't remain a bachelor into
their mid-thirties unless they liked it that way, or so she
thought. She'd been stopping by the bar after work each
night for months and he'd always been attentive towards
her, but then he treated all his customers that way. Sophie
wanted him and she meant to have him, at least temporarily.
The problem was that if things went badly, she'd have to
sacrifice the small pleasure that her nightly routine
offered. She declines Cole's suggestion to become a
contestant, but suggests that her visiting twin might just
love the attention.
When Cole meets Sophie's twin, Shelly, he is appalled by
his attraction to her. She's definitely giving him the go
ahead. He knows its Sophie he really wants, therefore his
tangled emotions drive him crazy, but the game takes on a
new twist when Sophie's coworker slips him a bit of useful
information. Can Cole win the twin of his dreams? I can
guarantee that the chocolate isn't the only thing that's
hot in this sizzling romance.
"Tangled Dreams" (originally released in the 1999
P.E.A.R.L. award winning Berkley anthology, CHARMED -
October 1999, ISBN: 0425171299) is the story of Chase
Winston. The novella also won an individual 1999 PEARL AWARD for Best Short Story/Novella
Nine years Cole's junior, Chase is the next oldest, and
quietest of the four Winston brothers. For that reason few
were aware of his intensely passionate nature. He dated
rarely, and was very selective about his women. Those he
did choose were quite stunning and very, very experienced.
Chase dated women who knew the score, weren't looking for a
long term relationship, and who would be most likely to be
receptive to his unique sexual needs. Most women would
probably label his requirements kinky. He'd never, ever
get involved with a sweet little innocent like his sister-
in-law Sophie's best friend, Allison. She was strictly
hands-off, that is until tonight when she'd come into the
family bar and, for some inexplicable reason, he could hear
her every thought. Erotic thoughts, starring him! At odds
with his practiced control, he is more than a little turned
on. And he doesn't like it.
Noticing his unusual interest in her this evening, Allison
thinks twice about her decision, musing that Chase's
brother Zane would have been an easier challenge. Chase
doesn't much like his first ever twinge of jealousy either.
Quiet Chase shocks both her and his brothers when he drags
her back to the office behind the bar for an explanation.
Allison Barrow is at a loss for words. As much as she might
have wished for it, Chase's undivided attention is a bit
daunting. She hadn't been aware that Chase had been able to
read her steamy imaginings. Rose and Burke had to be
responsible. It was the ghosts that had set her on this
course in the first place. Maybe she should have settled
for Jack, who'd wanted her but left her cold.
When she'd inherited her house from a maiden aunt, she
hadn't minded sharing it with the ghosts. In fact she'd
felt sorry for them. They had had a passionate marriage.
When Burke had succumbed to the measles, and Rose realized
she would soon follow, she'd hidden the jewels he'd given
her to symbolize their passion, hoping that some future
relation would share the same passion with a man they
loved. Once the jewels were safely in the appropriate
hands, they would be able to seek their eternal rest. No
one suitable had lived in the house since then, but Rose
and Burke had high hopes for Allison. She'd had other
options but she wanted Chase, who largely ignored her.
She'd seen the hidden fire in his eyes that so many missed,
and knew that he'd be more than able to light hers. Break
out the potholders, because she is right! Are ghosts ever
"Tangled Images" (originally released in the Berkley
anthology, SINFUL -- February 2000, ISBN: 0515127256) is
youngest Winston brother Mack's story.
Mack Winston knew something was up by the calculating gleam
in his two sisters-in-laws' eyes, and the amusement on his
brothers' faces. He just knew he wasn't going to like it.
Mack hadn't liked too much about his life lately. The happy-
go-lucky, youngest brother had loved teaching. He felt he
was doing something worthwhile working with the intercity
kids who needed his drive and enthusiasm most. But his
superiors hadn't loved his innovative methods and hadn't
offered him a permanent position. He was trying not to
dwell on it, but it looked like his family had cooked up
another scheme to cheer him up.
Sophie has decided to add a line of men's lingerie to her
boutique and has arranged for a photographer to shoot a
catalogue for them. The only problem is she needs a model,
one that has the proper attributes to sell the line.
Naturally the married Winston brothers are out of the
question, and Zane is conveniently going to be out of town.
On his arrival at the photography studio Zack isn't sure
which surprises him most the skimpy merchandise he's
supposed to model or the woman that he is supposed to model
them for. She's not quite thrilled to see him. That does
not surprise him. Jessica Wells was the woman who got away,
the only one who had ever interested him in a forever kind
of way, but she'd done her level best to ignore him.
They'd shared a class. She'd been the studious older
student intent on getting her life back on track. He'd been
fun loving and constantly surrounded by adoring women. She
knew his type. She'd fallen in love with just such a man
when she was a teen. They'd married and for a while it had
been fun, but when their daughter came along, he had
partied on, leaving his responsibilities and family behind.
She'd had to pick up the pieces. Oh, she'd been attracted
to Mack like all the others, but at least she knew better
than to get involved.
The attraction is still there, and rather than being put
off by her teenaged daughter, Mack adores her. He doesn't
look too shabby in Sophie's merchandise either. Had she
misjudged him? Could a man be fun loving and responsible as
Zane's story is entitled WILD as single title from
Jove Books (Jan. 2002). Look for the PNR Reviews.
Spicy and humorous, The Winston Brother's collection is
typical of Lori Foster's style. Enjoy!
Copyright © 2002
Reviewed by Leslie Tramposch
Posted March 26, 2002