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

Dear Author Recommends for July Updated

Show and Tell by Jasmine Haynes. This was a new to me author. The story evolves as Trinity and Scott begin a sexual relationship which is comprised initially of mostly phone sex and other public encounters. There’s a real build up to intercourse which serves as kind of a metaphor for the relationship. Scott wants to have a relationship with Trinity. She’s the most exciting thing in his life for years. Trinity, on the other hand, enjoys calling the shots and doesn’t reveal her true identity to him because she’s in love with this person she’s created when she is with Scott.

As Trinity and Scott continue to see each other, it is in increasingly risky circumstances. Risk of being caught. Risk of getting in trouble for allowing their sexual addiction to each other to overcome boundaries. Their sexual escapades become a struggle for control. Read more of the review here.

book review Sea Witch by Virginia Kantra. If I were to characterize this book, it would be the subtlety of the writing. The characterizations, the backstories, the worldbuilding are deftly intertwined with the story. The reader is allowed the pleasure of discovery by the unwrapping of the details. I found the descriptions to be vivid. The heroine, Margred, is a selkie whose love for the sea is greater than all else. Her need for physical companionship drives her from the water to a small island community where she finds Caleb Hunter, the police chief of World’s End, Maine. Their love story is fraught with uncertainty and some danger while being tender and romantic. Read more of the review later today.

book review
My Lord and Spymaster by Joanna Bourne
. Jennie’s review of this book dovetails mine only I would have given it a higher grade (a B instead of a C). Bourne’s quality of writing is superior enough that it overcomes some troublesome areas such as the imbalance of power between the hero and heroine. Even with its flaws, I think its the best of this months’ historical crop. Jess Whitby is the daughter of a shipyard titan who has been taken into custody on suspicion of treason. Sebastian Kennett is a rival sea captain who is determined to see Whitby’s father pay for the death of Sebastian’s crew members. Jess must find the real traitor and fight off Sebastian at the same time. Read more of Jennie’s review here.

Upside Down Inside Out by Monica McInerney is Jayne’s recommended read. “Since it doesn’t look like I’m going to get to Australia any time soon, your book will have to serve as a travelogue of sorts. The Australian Tourism Board can use it as a reason why people should fold themselves into tiny airplane seats for an ungodly number of hours. Screw the koalas, people should read "Upside Down Inside Out" to prime them for a visit Down Under and to watch two nice people fall in love.” Read more of Jayne’s review here.

book review Silver Diamond Vol. 1 by Shiho Sugiura is a recommendation from Jan. TokyoPop is bringing over this series from Japan. It’s an original sf/fantasy about a (not original part) human boy who finds he’s the heir to the ability to create life in a now-barren world. The original part is that many of the people in this world are derived from plants, some with the ability to take on the forms and personalities of others, some with the abilities to grow their parts into whatever they need for their professions. It’s a very interesting story. There are hints of romance, but the point I’ve read to there is none yet. Still, good sf in shoujo manga is hard to come by, so this one not to miss. It’s at 14 volumes in Japan and god only knows how many Tokyo Pop plans to bring over.


I forgot to add Eve Kenin’s Hidden. (I had forgotten that it was released this month).

Hidden is the sequel to Eve Kenin’s Driven and from my experience and the commenters, you probably should read Driven first. Hidden returns us to the post-apocalyptic world and introduces us to Tatiana and Tristan. The story is delicate weaving of the science and the emotion that raises this above other speculative fiction romances on the market. Tatiana’s existence, the manner in which she is created, the way in which her emotional makeup is woven into the tapestry of the worldbuilding, makes it impossible for her to be taken from this book and put in another setting. Review here.

I also wanted to add a book that I didn’t read before its release date but instead read on Wednesday night but was completely wow-ed. Suzanne Enoch’s After the Kiss tells the love story between a Marquis’ daughter and a commoner, a horse breeder. I haven’t collected all my thoughts very well, but I found it to be tender, romantic, and genuine. The Marquis’ daughter is a bit spoiled, used to getting what she wants and the commoner is charming but hates the aristocracy. I probably won’t get to post a review on this book until next week, but it’s definitely one I would recommend without reservation to historical romance lovers.

Other releases that might interest readers this month are:

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and 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


  1. Jorrie Spencer
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 12:31:29

    Cool on the Virginia Kantra book. I’ll have to pick that up. I was a big fan of Kantra’s writing back when she wrote for the now-defunct Silhouette Intimate Moments. I’m also curious to read a selkie romance where the woman is the shifter.

  2. Diane V
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 13:55:18

    Loved “Sea Witch” — it was one of three great paranormals I read last week.

  3. Jane
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 13:56:43

    Don’t leave us in suspense, Diane. What were the other two?

  4. Diane V
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 16:40:06

    The other GREAT paranormals were:

    “Bound by Shadow” by Anna Windsor
    “Pleasure Unbound” by Larissa Ione

    Absolutely wonderful stories.

  5. Ciara
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 17:41:49

    What about CRY WOLF???? July 29!!!! I’m counting down the seconds. :) I adore Patricia Briggs!!!

  6. Janine
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 17:49:58

    What about CRY WOLF???? July 29!!!! I'm counting down the seconds. :) I adore Patricia Briggs!!!

    We are counting the late July books as August releases. If we like them, you will be hearing about it in our “Dear Author Recommends for August” piece a month from now.

  7. Beth
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 20:40:35

    Hmm…seems like a short list. Is July a slow month for new releases?

  8. Janine
    Jul 02, 2008 @ 14:17:51

    Hmm…seems like a short list. Is July a slow month for new releases?

    I just think there weren’t that many that we loved.

  9. Corrine
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 08:05:49

    I also wanted to add a book that I didn't read before its release date but instead read on Wednesday night but was completely wow-ed. Suzanne Enoch's After the Kiss

    I just finished this one last night, and I have to say it was a welcome relief after the last few of Ms. Enoch’s books. This reminds me very strongly of her earlier work and I would compare the story to Stolen Kisses (only a so-so book but better than most other authors’) and the quality to England’s Perfect Hero (hands-down favorite SE title). I also liked how this one seem much more well-researched from the historical angle. I’ve never noticed any discrepancies in her work before (me, not a big history buff) but there seemed to be a lot more details regarding that age in this one.

  10. Jane
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 09:00:42

    Corrine – Thats exactly how I felt. EPH is my favorite Enoch book. I thought her last few, including her contemps, have really been ordinary which is why I didn’t read it right away and put it in my provisionary pile. I think because my expectations were lowered, I was just thrilled to have a strong emotional reaction to Enoch’s work again. I just finished the August book last night and while it wasn’t as good as the After the Kiss (loved the title btw), it was still strong. Am now fidgety and awaiting Brams’ book.

  11. azteclady
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 10:14:21

    Suzanne Brockmann’s Into the Fire is also released this month.

    Me, a Brockmann fangrrl? You bet :grin:

  12. Corrine
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 11:24:16

    Am now fidgety and awaiting Brams' book.

    Oh, yes. From all the hints of Bram’s character, he seems very similar to St. Aubyn from London’s Perfect Scoundrel, which I also loved.

    Suzanne Brockmann's Into the Fire is also released this month.

    Azteclady, can you tell me who the protagonists of the new SB are going to be?

  13. Meljean
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 12:41:26

    Oh, I’m glad to see Enoch’s book added! I just read this yesterday, and I had to go onto Enoch’s site, looking for a release date for Bram’s book after finishing After the Kiss. I was disappointed the next was Phin’s, but only because we don’t see anything of him in this installment.

    I was surprised by the book, I’ll admit — when the heroine first showed up, I thought I wasn’t going to like her at all. But I enjoyed her growth throughout the story, and there was one line in particular that I thought was excellent — about seeing the edges of rooms — which was just a lovely way of saying how her eyes had been opened to the behavior of the ton. I also loved how very genuine the comments of the heroine’s family seemed in regards to the horse breeder, even as they aggravated my very contemporary sensibilities about class equality — but I never felt that Enoch cheated or oiled the HEA for her characters in a manipulative, slippery way.

  14. azteclady
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 16:16:23

    Corrine, the hero is Vihn Murphy (introduced in Flashpoint, last seen in Hot Target), and the heroine is Hannah Whitfield, who is introduced in this book.

    You can find a bit more about it here.

  15. Mariana
    Jul 04, 2008 @ 16:25:34

    Has anyone read Linda Howard’s Death Angel? Haven’t seen any reviews (good or bad) and don’t want to go to Amazon for any input.

  16. kathie
    Jul 04, 2008 @ 18:22:44

    I just finished Death Angel. . . I would be interested in reading someone else’s opinion. . . I’m not very good at critiquing, but I would say that the heroine was pretty well developed, but the characterization of the hero was pretty flat. You just never learned enough about him to really care about him. And I really wanted to.

  17. Jane
    Jul 05, 2008 @ 22:16:22

    kathie – I wrote up my review and it will post tomorrow morning. I agree that the hero was very obscured. I thought that was done intentionally but it definitely made it harder to become attached to him when he was so mysterious. Howard’s male characters are some of the reasons why she’s one of my favorite authors and Death Angel was definitely missing some of that.

    Meljean – your thoughts about Suzanne Enoch’s book are exactly what drew me to the story. I loved the societal interplay and how ordinary and reasonable it all seemed given what we know of the time period. I really appreciated the use of the society and the social constraints to provide the conflict.

  18. REVIEW: Death Angel by Linda Howard | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    Jul 06, 2008 @ 04:01:00

    […] commenter noted the other day that the book included very little about the hero. I think that was an intentional exclusion but it […]

  19. REVIEW: After the Kiss by Suzanne Enoch | Dear Author: Romance Book Reviews, Author Interviews, and Commentary
    Jul 09, 2008 @ 15:00:26

    […] commenter Corrine, I had admittedly had some issues with the past few historicals. I had enjoyed England’s […]

%d bloggers like this: