Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

About Jane Litte

http://dearauthor.com/author/jane/

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com

Posts by Jane Litte:

Daily Deals: A Courtney Milan historical, a couple of contemporaries, and a coming of age set in NYC

Daily Deals: A Courtney Milan historical, a couple of contemporaries, and...

Unraveled by Courtney MilanUnraveled by Courtney Milan. $ .99

From the Jacket Copy:

Smite Turner is renowned for his single-minded devotion to his duty as a magistrate. But behind his relentless focus lies not only a determination to do what is right, but the haunting secrets of his past–secrets that he is determined to hide, even if it means keeping everyone else at arm’s length. Until the day an irresistible woman shows up as a witness in his courtroom…

Miranda Darling isn’t in trouble…yet. But she’s close enough that when Turner threatens her with imprisonment if she puts one foot wrong, she knows she should run in the other direction. And yet no matter how forbidding the man seems on the outside, she can’t bring herself to leave. Instead, when he tries to push her away, she pushes right back–straight through his famous self-control, and into the heart of the passion that he has long hidden away…

I didn’t love this book as much as the other titles in the “UN” series but it’s heads and shoulders above most historicals and I think a lot of my discontent had to do with how I perceived Smite to be portrayed in previous books and how he appeared i this book. If this is your first Milan, I don’t think that will be an issue.

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A Witch's Handbook of Kisses and Curses by Molly Harper.A Witch’s Handbook of Kisses and Curses by Molly Harper. $ 1.99

From the Jacket Copy:

Nola Leary would have been content to stay in Kilcairy, Ireland, healing villagers at her family’s clinic with a mix of magic and modern medicine. But a series of ill-timed omens and a deathbed promise to her grandmother have sent her on a quest to Half-Moon Hollow, Kentucky, to secure her family’s magical potency for the next generation. Her supernatural task? To unearth four artifacts hidden by her grandfather before a rival magical family beats her to it.

Complication One: The artifacts are lost somewhere in vampire Jane Jameson’s occult bookshop. Complication Two: Her new neighbor Jed Trudeau keeps turning up half-naked at the strangest times, a distraction Nola doesn’t need. And teaming up with a real-life Adonis is as dangerous as it sounds, especially since Jed’s got the face of an angel and the abs of a washboard. Can Nola complete her mission before falling completely under his spell?

PW “Nola reluctantly heads from Ireland to Kentucky and enlists the help of Jane and her friends while trying not to be distracted by hunky local Jed Trudeau, who has a few secrets of his own. Harper fans will be thrilled by this return to the hysterical world of Jane and crew, and even more delighted to add Nola’s new face to the mix”

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Being Henry David by Cal ArmisteadBeing Henry David by Cal Armistead. $ 1.99 Google | Amazon

From the Jacket Copy:

Seventeen-year-old “Hank” has found himself at Penn Station in New York City with no memory of anything–who he is, where he came from, why he’s running away. His only possession is a worn copy of Walden by Henry David Thoreau. And so he becomes Henry David–or “Hank”–and takes first to the streets, and then to the only destination he can think of–Walden Pond in Concord, Massachusetts. Cal Armistead’s remarkable debut novel about a teen in search of himself. As Hank begins to piece together recollections from his past he realizes that the only way he can discover his present is to face up to the realities of his grievous memories. He must come to terms with the tragedy of his past to stop running and find his way home.

Children’s Literature reviewer says “For an adult reader, some of his decisions are exasperating as they lead him into further danger and away from resolution. His motivations, though, will probably be better understood by the teen reader who is the intended audience. While the consequences he faces are extreme, the problems that caused them are relatable and thought-provoking. Hank and the people who surround him are well-developed characters whom readers will want to follow through the story. Hank’s search for truth is gripping and unfolds at a pace that retains both interest and suspense.”

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More Than Forever by Jay McLeanMore Than Forever by Jay McLean. $ .99.

From the Jacket Copy:

-LUCY-
There is a love so fierce it cannot be measured.
A heart so strong it will never slow.
There is a promise so sure it can never lie.
He promised me that love forever.
Even when it wasn’t enough.

-CAMERON-
Forever. Everlasting. Eternal.
There is no measure of time.
No sounds of the ticking of a clock.
Just the rising and falling of the sun.
And our own sense of forever.

But our forever isn’t always

The negative comments say it’s cheesy and maybe too sweet. It’s highly reviewed with only 3 negative reviews on Amazon. So either Jay McLean is a super awesome author or she hasn’t hit an audience outside her regular readership.

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REVIEW:  Variables of Love by M.K. Schiller

REVIEW: Variables of Love by M.K. Schiller

Variables of Love by M.K. Schiller (Goodreads Author)

Dear Ms. Schiller:

I’ve enjoyed every book that you’ve written to varying degrees. When this was submitted for review, I started it right away.

The first half of the book was a bit of a struggling as we are told repeatedly that Ethan Callahan, hot math major, has fallen in heavy lust for Meena Kapoor, a senior economics student. But the second half saves the story and becomes a unique, sometimes painful, but enduring romance.

Ethan and Meena attend Stanford and each are in their last year share an Advanced Statistics. What I found a bit strange was how forced Ethan’s internal narrative was as to how beautiful he thought Meena was, how he had to meet her, and was desperate to have any kind of interaction with her at all.

Her name was still a mystery, so I just called her Sunshine. I’d never called a girl that before, but it fit because she made me feel warm, calm, and happy. I’d never seen her smile, but I knew it would be a beautiful sight….

I wasn’t capable of more than a few words in the presence of that sexy mouth of hers. It was ironic how something that created speech made me speechless.

For Meena’s part, she thinks he’s beautiful, charming, and engaging but he’s not for her. Meena will enter into an arranged marriage, as per her family and cultural tradition, following her graduation from Stanford. Meena’s staunch belief in the importance of the arranged marriage and Ethan’s more romantic, Western notions of couplehood form the unique conflict for this book. And importantly, Meena is not merely reciting childhood dictum. She believes in the arranged marriage. (And really it is important for her to have conviction or the conflict is a false construct).

“Yes, I can deny anyone I don’t like. It’s kind of cool in a way. I can ask any question, no matter how private. I can ask them how much they make, what their deepest fears are, who they idolize. Things that might take you twenty dates to figure out, I’ll know in one meeting.”

Ethan shook his head, keeping his eyes fixed on the lake. “You’re missing the best part, Sunshine.”

“What’s that?”

He ran his fingers through his hair, and it miraculously managed to fall right back in place. I had to look away from him. Ethan’s voice was quiet, but his words coursed through me like a physical presence, gravelly and deep. “It’s not the knowing. It’s the finding out.”

Ethan is undeterred. He describes himself as having success because he knows how to break big goals down into little steps. Step 1. Get Meena to smile. Step 2. Get Meena to laugh. etc.

And ultimately, no matter how hard she tries to resist, Meena falls for Ethan but she tells him that their love and their relationship, whatever it may be, has a time limit. When they graduate it will be over. Ethan accepts this, not because he believes in that, but because he is convinced he can change her mind.

But we, the reader, know Meena’s mind whereas Ethan does not so he doesn’t see (or is unwilling to see) her very real belief that Ethan is a wonderful diversion, that she’ll have significant heartbreak but that her family cultural values have meaning beyond a one year romance in college. The time limit lends a bittersweetness to each romantic encounter.

Meena and Ethan become well articulated characters. Ethan’s very logical. He writes pros and cons lists, for instance, but underneath he is quite romantic. The New Year’s Eve gift was the perfect blend of his thinking. Meena is bound up by guilt over a teenage mistake and her need to make up for it. Much of her actions are driven by the loss of her brother and the resulting pain it inflicted on her family.

There are several secondary characters who affect Meena and Ethan. They aren’t sequel bait or orbiting satellites having only tangential importance. One of Meena’s friends is Indian and is struggling with his sexual identity. On the opposite spectrum is a girl who readily has sex. I felt she was castigated overly much for her sexual freedom, although I understood it to be set in contrast with Meena’s more rigid upbringing. I just wish that Meena’s female friend wasn’t the only one villainized for her sex driven behavior.

I was a little surprised at how readily Meena disposed of her virginity with Ethan. She admitted virginity wasn’t a requirement of an arranged marriage but because she’d refrained from sex for so long, the easy capitulation to Ethan confused me.

The talk about arranged marriages was well done because it wasn’t villified. Instead it showed Meena experiencing both range of choices–from the bad to the very good. In the end, this was a battle between heart and head. Meena has to decide whether Ethan is more important to her or whether her family, her cultural values, and everything she’s ever held dear is worth tossing aside for one single individual.

The second half made this book a worthwhile read. The deep dive into cultural beliefs and the examination of the emotion of love was unique and refreshing. B-

Best regards,

Jane

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