by Anthology

November 2004
ISBN: 0-312-32592-4
Reviewer Graphic Button St. Martin`s Press
Trade Paperback

“A much anticipated sequel” (blurb quote), brings back four bestselling authors: Rochelle Alers, Donna Hill, Brenda Jackson, and Francis Ray with four new novellas that take place in one central locale, and bring back familiar characters from previous stories, the Hardcastle siblings.

In Rochelle Alers’s Love Lessons (from Love at Leo’s), almost-40 years old Viola Chapman is a local high school teacher. She’s soliciting ‘Leo’s” for a Career Cooperative, and meets owner Tyrell Hardcastle. Tyrell has plans for opening a culinary school in Washington DC and sees Viola as the ‘one’ to help him --- physically and emotionally. Viola isn’t ready for such a commitment but Tyrell is just as determined to prove to her that a younger man is just what she’s been waiting for all this time.

Donna Hill’s Lady in Waiting, has Noah Hardcastle and fiancé, Tara Mitchell’s overly-long engagement about to be tested when an old flame (Rachel) of Noah’s shows up determined to get Noah back. Tara is ready to get married but Noah keeps hesitating, not sure if he’s really ready for that kind of permanent commitment. When Rachel comes back into his life (right after Tara breaks off the engagement), Noah is forced to decide which woman he truly loves.

Brenda Jackson’s Irresistible Attraction is part of the Welcome to Leo’s II anthology. Tyrone Hardcastle is Tyrell’s twin brother. He meets Sydney Corbain at her brother’s wedding and their acute physical attraction for each other was mutual and nearly explosive. But neither acted on their feelings. Fast-forward nine months where they meet again, in New York. This time they’re ready to explore that sizzling attraction, neither expecting what the results will be and how it will change their planned futures.

Francis Ray’s Blind Date, little white lies bring Tanner Raferty into Ayann Hardcastle’s life. Ayanna is tired of her meddlesome family and friends trying to play matchmaker for her. At Leo’s, Tanner has just been stood up when he spies Ayanna and decides to get acquainted. Fortunately for Ayanna, he appears at their table just in time to save her from being caught in a lie. More than willing, Tanner introduces himself as her date. The term “blind date” never has more connotations than now, when Ayanna and Tanner play out the lie and it soon becomes a reality as their passions for each other soars.

Reader fans will love this new foray into the lives of the Hardcastle siblings, and the constant bustling, always adventurous, life that centers around Leo’s restaurant.

Reviewed in January 2005 by Kari.

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