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

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. SonomaLass
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 15:14:48

    I want to pimp the Marla Mason series by T.A. Pratt, a fast-moving urban fantasy series featuring a kick-ass wizard woman. Specifically, I want to pimp Pratt’s new novella, Bone Shop, which is about Marla in her youth, before the existing series began. He’s making it available on line, one chapter a week, and readers can make a donation if they like what they read. You can find it here:

  2. Dana
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 15:33:38

    I downloaded the Kindle app to my ipod touch to get Mary Jo Putney’s Loving A Lost Lord, cause it’s free on Kindle.

    If I like it enough I’ll probable buy myself a copy, either another ebook version or in paperback, cause I don’t like being tied to Amazon, and would like to actually own my own copy.

  3. Hilcia
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 15:35:49

    Ooooh, I’m about to start that series, SonomaLass. I’m excited about it!

    I’m going to pimp the Young Adult series Percy and the Olympians by Rick Riordan. It is a five book series that is now complete (last book released last month). Greek Mythology set in contemporary times as seen through the young hero who grows from age 12 through 16. (BTW, Olympus is in Manhattan and the gates to Hades are in Los Angeles *G*). It’s exciting, full of monsters and danger — with contemporary language, wit and just plain fun. I loved it.

  4. GrowlyCub
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 16:14:34

    I’m not feeling the love as Sony user, where is the free Putney for me!??

    That’s my gripe for the day! :)

  5. Jane
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 16:21:27

    @GrowlyCub do you have iPhone or iTouch? because you can dl’d it for free via the iThingy

  6. GrowlyCub
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 16:23:30

    Jane, nope. I have a non-smart phone. No love for me, sniff. :(

  7. Jill Myles
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 16:34:37

    I loved Meredith Duran’s new release! Please everyone read it so I can squee at more people. :)

  8. KeriM
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 16:37:32

    I just finished reading Victoria Dahl’s Rake’s Guide to Pleasure, didn’t like the title, but I truly enjoyed this book. I loved how well the characters really meshed to the point I couldn’t see them with anybody else. I am really looking forward to reading To Tempt a Scotsman. I didn’t know I should have read them the other way round, until I was halfway finished with RGTP. I am right in the middle of Christie Craig’s Divorced, Desperate and Dating. I have been laughing my way through this one, the humor is right up my alley.

    I also just finished Toni Blake’s Tempt Me Tonight and I really didn’t like it. I should have payed closer attention to the reviews. The heroine in the story drove me crazy, I wanted to shake her through the entire book and scream that it all happened 15 years ago let it all go. The I wanted to scream at the hero to let the girl go and go find someone who appreciated him just like he was…lol.

  9. Angela James
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 16:53:58

    I read Enchanted Emporium by Tanya Huff. I’ve been a fan of her work in the past and was so glad to see a new release. I really enjoyed the narrative voice of this book, as well as the story and character development, though I don’t think the book is for everyone. The beginning makes you feel a little slow (like you’re trying to catch up to understand the details of the world) and there are some subtle relationship things among the characters that I think not everyone will like. But overall it’s was a fantastic read and I hope she revisits the world/characters. Now I wan tto go back and reread some of her earlier work.

    For a gripe, how about St. Martin’s delaying the digital release of Janet Evanovich’s newest book. The HC came out last week but digital isn’t out yet. I guess they don’t want digital sales to “steal” any potential hard copy sales for NYT list potential? Still, I wish they wouldn’t do that. I don’t think it makes a difference, I think people who want a digital copy end up waiting because if you want to read digital, hardcover is no substitute.

  10. CupK8
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:02:40

    @ Jill Myles: I have not felt the anticipation I feel for Duran’s book in a long, long time. I will gladly Squee with you!

  11. Silver James
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:04:51

    I just finished the ARC of Leslie Parrish’s PITCH BLACK, the second book in her Black CATs trilogy of romantic suspense. The Black CATS are a team of special FBI agents investigating cyber crimes and murder.

    The first book, FADE TO BLACK, is available officially on July 7th but I’ve heard rumors that it will hit shelves and mailboxes this week. Both of these books blew me away. Parrish (probably better known for her sexy Blaze novels w/a Leslie Kelly) has hit her stride in the dark romantic suspense genre. Her plots could be ripped from the headlines but they are so original, the reader is left wondering if s/he should check the news feeds. Her characters are dead on and true to life, her descriptions weave memorable scenes and settings, and her villains will make you want to sleep with the lights on.

    If you ever wanted to try this genre or if you are a fan, order these books now! All three of them. PITCH BLACK releases August 4, and BLACK AT HEART, the last book, releases September 1.

  12. Heather (errantdreams)
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:05:07

    I have a fave and a gripe to share…

    One of my favorite discoveries this year has been Leslie Parrish’s “Black CATs” series (seriously awesome if you’re into serial killer mysteries with gorgeous romance mixed in). Not many authors’ work turns me into a squeeing fangirl, but her trilogy did it (Fade to Black, Pitch Black, and Black at Heart). The first book should be out in early July, and I found myself diving into each ARC the moment it showed up on my doorstep. It’s a trilogy, but I seriously hope her publishers decide to publish more.

    My gripe is Christine Feehan’s Burning Wild. I checked out a handful of Christine Feehan books recently from her various series—after all, she sells a lot and she’s won awards, so I figured I’d probably enjoy her work. Boy was I wrong. One of the four books was enjoyable, and I felt two were so-so. The fourth, Burning Wild, took the problems I had with the other two to such an extreme that I couldn’t stand it. As far as I’m concerned it romanticized abuse, which just flabbergasted me. A couple of people dropped by my review to defend the book, but I was surprised by the number of people who said they’d been fans of hers for years but really didn’t like the recent turn her books were taking.

    I know this isn’t a romance subject, but I have to say since I review cookbooks as well that I’ve found Chronicle Books puts out the most consistently good cookbooks yet. (Okay, I’m probably biased by the seriously awesome guacamole and chips we just finished off from the “Guac Off!” cookbook.) ;)

  13. jim duncan
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:05:44

    I’ll plug Tracy Madison’s “Stroke of Magic.” Fun, quirky characters, good humor, touch of paranormal, sweet romance, bit of women’s fiction all rolled into one great summer read.

  14. GrowlyCub
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:25:43

    I haven’t read any July books yet, but I’m looking forward and am hopeful for the new Putney (Loving a Lost Lord, no paranormal elements, yay!), the Chase (Don’t Tempt Me, I really hope it’s better than the last one), the new contemp Dahl (Start Me Up) and the new historical Dahl (One Week as Lovers).

    Another gripe, authors who do not answer their emails. If you say on your website that you welcome comments and questions, please make an effort to answer, especially if it’s a question that can be answered with ‘Thanks for your question. Yes, I will write a book about X or No, at this time (or never) there won’t be a book about X’.

    If you are under deadline or otherwise busy, put something on your website so your readers don’t think you don’t give a flip about them, after they wait weeks for an answer.

    If it’s a question you get often and are tired of answering either make an email template or put it in an FAQ on your website.

    And please, if you have a new book out within the week, do not have the last one that came out last year up under ‘News’.

  15. Jennie
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:30:54

    I recently finished My Sister’s Keeper, the first Jodi Picoult I’ve read. It was okay – probably around a B – but very women’s fictiony. I don’t know; sometimes when I read mediocre non-romance I start this fight in my head between me and imaginary romance snobs. I imagine there are a lot of women who would read Jodi Picoult but would never pick up Meredith Duran’s books because they are “those” books and because of the naked-man-chest covers. But Bound by Your Touch was so much better than My Sister’s Keeper in every way – better writing, better plotting, better characterization. Far less predictable and trite.

    Does anyone know what I mean? I guess it’s just that I’m always surprised when literary fiction – even less-than-highbrow lit fic like Picoult – ends up being kind of bad. I mean, I gave it a B, but it was because it was readable and ultimately somewhat emotionally involving, albeit in a rather manipulative way. But it certainly wasn’t some great, sophisticated piece of writing.

  16. liz m
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:33:40

    I’m passionately in love with a nonfic today – Wedlock by Wendy Moore – it’s about the g-g-g-g-g(?) grandmother of Queen Elizabeth the second, who went after a divorce in the Georgian period.

    At 24 her dad marries a 13 year old who dies 3 months later and he’s so devastated he waits 19 years to remarry, has her 6 years later, and tries to mold her into the ideal of his first wife before he dies, leaving her the richest heiress in England at the age of 11.

    And THEN her problems start.

  17. Liza
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:45:37

    I suggest that everyone run out to buy Fade to Black by Leslie Parrish! The official release date is July 7, but I’ve read that some people are already finding it at bookstores. Fade to Black is the first book in Leslie’s Black CATs series about the FBI agents that work to solve internet-related murders. Leslie has truly found her voice with a darker suspense genre. Leslie Parrish (also writes hot and sexy Blazes/romances as Leslie Kelly) knocks her first try in a new genre out of the ballpark.

    I’m currently reading Pitch Black, the second book in the Black CATs series and can’t wait to get my hands on Black at Heart, the third book in the series. This series will keep you second guessing yourself from page one. Right now there are only 3 books in the series, but I seriously hope that we get to spend more time with Leslie and the Black CATs in the future!

  18. GrowlyCub
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:48:58

    Okay, maybe I’m crabby today, but why do we have three different people pitching a series with exactly the same phrases and info? Are we getting paid to do it, because if so please let me know where I can collect my check and I’ll write a couple of paragraphs saying the same thing, too!

  19. Heather (errantdreams)
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 17:55:03

    I can’t speak for the others, GrowlyCub, but I’m certainly not getting paid for it. When I review I do so honestly—and I’ll say when I hate something just as well as when I love something (like that 1-out-of-5 rating of Feehan’s book). I’m mentioning Parrish’s series because I really did enjoy it that much. And since I didn’t look at anyone else’s mention of it when I wrote what I said, I certainly hope I didn’t use the “same phrases and info” as anyone else! I stand by what I say.

    But then, I have a real weakness for both serial killer mysteries and romance. If you want to see what I say when someone tells me that’s what I’m getting and I don’t like the results, you could instead read my review of Samantha Sommersby’s “Forbidden: the Temptation.” *shudder*

  20. SonomaLass
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 18:08:55

    @Hilcia: I hope you ♥ Marla as much as I do. Definitely urban fantasy, not romance, but so far I have enjoyed every book.

  21. Bonnie
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 18:25:35

    I can’t tell you enough how I am enjoying Elizabeth Hoyt’s “Legend of Four Soldiers” series. I am currently three quarters of the way through “To Beguile a Beast” and it is the best by far, although they are all good.

    And, generally, I’m not wild about historicals. Really good stuff.

  22. KeriM
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 18:25:40

    @ Heather, I finished Feehan’s Burning Wild last week. Now overall I liked the book and to be perfectly frank I am a huge Fangirl so I am willing to give Feehan a huge leeway in her writing. But I didn’t start liking the hero until sometime after about 120 pages. I understood where she was trying to go with the abuse thing, I got it, the parents were beyond horrible, but I had a hard time staying with it. Eventually though I go to the point that I liked them as a couple and was willing to overlook my dislike of some areas of the book.

  23. Emily
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 18:42:30

    These are not romance, but I enjoyed them a lot.

    Thirtheenth Child by Patricia Wrede – this is the story of Eff, who is the thirteenth child in her family and gets a lot of grief from her aunts, uncles, & cousins for being unlucky. They think she should have been killed at birth. Her brother is worshipped because he’s the 7th son of a 7th son and everyone knows their magic is potent. This is not a book full of break-neck plots or sorcery, but a quiet coming of age story with interesting characters. I liked it quite a bit.

    Tales of Suburbia by Shaun Tan. This is a picture book of short stories and can be found in the children’s section of libraries. The stories are charming and whimsical and imaginative. His book THE ARRIVAL, was nominated for a Hugo last year. Fabulous illustrated book about the immigrant experience.

    And last, but not least, an author I just discovered, Adam Rex. He wrote The True Meaning of Smekday which is a fun, exciting story of Tip, an 11year old girl, after the aliens have invaded the earth and ordered all humans to Florida. She decides to drive (instead of taking a spaceship) and meets one of the aliens. He’s very handy mechanically and together with her cat, they travel to Florida. Lots of adventures ensue. Adam Rex also writes humorous children’s poetry and illustrated books. They’re all fun and imaginative.

  24. ASable
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 18:57:01

    Read Meredith Duran’s Bound By Your Touch. Seriously excellent.

    @ Heather: Count me in as another reader who couldn’t finish Feehan’s Burning Wild. I’m all for manly-men alpha-males, but her hero was just abusive.

    @ GrowlyCub: Yay! I have the same pet peeve! If you, SuperAuthor, (or your publisher, agent, BFF, whatever) went through the trouble of setting up a website, keep it updated! I just checked the website of a major author who has a book coming out in August–she still had her last novel under the “Coming Soon” banner, with no word at all about this upcoming book that’s already listed on Amazon.

  25. Leslie Kelly-Parrish
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 19:11:47

    Growly, if I had the money to pay people to pimp my books I might actually be able to afford to work less than 14 hours a day. Alas, no…

    Yes, I’ve been talking a lot about how much I want this new writing endeavor to succeed where the last one failed…on my blog, in Romantic Times and elsewhere. Beyond that, I’m just fortunate enough that readers are truly enjoying the books. (FWIW: My publisher sent the ARCs to Heather for her review site, Liza bought them via the Brenda Novak auction and Silver won them in a blog contest. That’s the extent of the connection.)

    Heather, Liza & Silver…thank you very much. Again, I can’t tell you how much I appreciate the great reviews!

  26. GrowlyCub
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 19:31:20

    @Leslie Kelly-Parrish:

    Well, darn, and here I thought I had hit on a way to supplement the book buying budget… just kidding!

    I was just struck by the similarity of the info conveyed and the phrasing, especially of Liza and Silver’s comments.

    I had no idea you had a project that didn’t work out as anticipated. I own quite a few of your Blazes and enjoyed them a lot, but I have been on a full-length historical kick after the Blaze series in general went all suspense-y, or ghosty or historical or time travel and I overdosed on the babies in SSE and HSR.

    Good luck with the new series.

  27. LizC
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 19:33:21

    I’m so totally looking forward to the new Quinn and Chase and plan to pop into Borders tomorrow to pick them up (I’m really annoyed that Dahl’s Start Me Up wasn’t supposed to be released until July 1 but was in Borders last week but the new Quinn and Chase were not. I had plans to buy them all at once and have an awesome book overdose and Borders thwarted my plans).

    In buried treasure (to me at least) finds I recently finished Chase’s The Last Hellion, which may be my new favorite Chase and struck me as very Heyer-like in characterization and plot (with more sex, obviously) which is possibly why I enjoyed it so much. Don’t read the prologue on a plane, though, lest you end up sobbing quietly. Economy class already makes you closer to strangers than you want to be, no one needs to see you crying over a book at ass o’clock in the morning.

  28. Jill Sorenson
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 19:33:50

    Just read Perfect Chemistry by Simone Elkeles. Good YA romance with real teens, authentic Spanish slang. I really liked it.

    Also Elizabeth Hoyt’s To Beguile A Beast. Very good. Her best since The Raven Prince, I think.

    These aren’t July releases, I realize. I’m always behind with my reading. : )

  29. Leslie Kelly-Parrish
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 19:40:52

    I don’t know how to do the little ampersand thingie with your name, Growly–but thanks. (I mean, I know how to type the @ and your name…but how do you do it so the link works?)

    I’m sure people who visit my blog(s) or Facebook or Twitter are tired of hearing me jump up and down and remind everyone of the release dates and shout about how much I want these books to do well after getting the heave-ho mid-series from my last single title gig. (Sore subject a little? Yeah, I guess.)

    PS: I just visited your blog & dropped you a note. Meant that sincerely–if you want to read them, I’ll send them.

  30. Silver James
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 19:55:24

    @GrowlyCub – Leslie already explained things. I’m “pimping” her books because my imagination has been captured by this series and her “dark” voice blows me away. A bit about my background – I’m a retired crime analyst and technical investigator. To find an author who keeps me guessing as to the real perp ALL the way through the book is a rare and special treat. Leslie has managed to do that with TWO books now. So yeah. I’ll pimp them everywhere I can.

    As for Liza and I sounding alike? Great minds and all that? *wink*

    One more thing – Even though I have ARCs, I’m buying the “real” books. I love the covers and I want to show her publisher that Leslie is a keeper!

  31. SonomaLass
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 20:13:52

    New Loretta Chase, new Julia Quinn, new Elizabeth Hoyt, new Meredith Duran, new Victoria Dahl. Wow, July is an awesome month for romance! I think those have all been pimped in this thread already, so I’ll just add yes, yes, YES!

  32. GrowlyCub
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 20:23:36

    Awww, Sonoma you got me all excited for a moment there… The ‘new’ Hoyt is from May, the new new one won’t be out till the end of October. I’m really curious about that one, considering that it’s about a ‘dead’ man.

  33. Patricia
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 20:45:51

    GrowlyCub, Re your #26, the “new not-necessarily-improved Blazes”, IA with your thinking. These are not for me, either. If you haven’t already discovered her, might I suggest you try the Blazes by Sarah Mayberry, which are strictly relationship-based Contemps with none of those elements. They are really about the characters: something which I’ve tried to find for quite awhile. I saw Jane’s review of one of her books, it sounded interesting, & I’ve been glomming ever since. Try one: I think you’ll like it.

  34. joanne
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 20:54:39

    I finished the newest Nalini Singh Branded By Fire this weekend and it was as expected; great! This wasn’t my favorite (romance) couple in the authors’ Psy series but Ms Singh keeps a tight rein on the world she has created and keeps the romance in the forefront. She also adds just enough teasers to make it worth waiting for the next installment.

    I’m also a bit late to the party but I wanted to say how much I enjoyed Start Me Up by Victoria Dahl. Hot & funny!

    A bitch: I’m not sure if it’s a new trend or something that has always happened but $15 for a new anthology containing 4 stories (Real Men Last All Night by Lora Leigh & others) and one of the stories is a reprint from 2001. I could have looked at the publishers page but geeze, as a reader do I have to start doing that now, too?

  35. GrowlyCub
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 20:58:40


    I did try one, but it didn’t resonate. Thanks for trying though. I do miss the original flavor Blaze quite a bit!

    I loved some of the older LaBrecques (one Blaze and a bunch of the Temptation Blazes before the killed that line; another one of those completely unfathomable decisions made by publishers) and a bunch of the Kristin Hardy titles. I tried following her to SSE and liked her first 4, but have stalled out on the later ones. Also read quite a few of the Cindi Myers titles.

    I really bought a lot of Blazes for a while, but no more. Good thing that there are so many really interesting historicals being published these days! :)

  36. Edie
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 21:22:44

    I am in a bit of a book drought at the moment, but did read Angela Verdenius latest ebook, love how she has grown as a writer since the start of the series.

    And I third that peeve about authors not updating their website, four of my fav authors websites are way behind the times atm! grrr

  37. Liz_Peaches
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 21:23:50

    Books I’m reading and loving

    Swordspoint, The Fall of the Kings, and Privilege of the Sword by Ellen Kushner. They take place in the same world but can be read independently. They aren’t straight out romance, but there is romance in them. Lots of fun, funny, swordplay and adventure. Pretty much everyone in these books is bisexual, which was especially handled well in Privilege of the Sword as a coming of age story.

    Gripes- I feel like the only one who didn’t like the Lord of the Fading Lands books. I mean, they started well enough but then that queen started talking and didn’t shut up for 300 pages.

  38. MichelleR
    Jun 29, 2009 @ 23:26:17

    Just got into Victoria Dahl books. Um, loved Talk Me Down, liked The Wicked West, annoyed while waiting for Start Me Up to hit Kindle. Actually ordered Rake’s Guide in print. (I know, I can’t believe it either.)

    Ive also recently enjoyed Dear Sir, I’m Yours/ Joely Sue Burkhart/Samhain — I found it very sweet and a little spicy. She has a free prequel on her site (Letters.)

    Today I finished a book called Band Fags which is a YA set in the suburbs of Detroit in the ’80s, with teen characters who would have been my age at the time. I enjoyed it. The interesting thing is that my review is taking its own sweet time showing up on Amazon, probably because of title and topic of the book. Forget that the book is really sweet, and there are only a few passages that involve M/M and are handled pretty subtly. So, yeah, not at all bitter or suspicious just because all my other reviews, even those firmly in the category of erotic, ever get held up, but the characters are all boy/girl in those cases.

  39. SonomaLass
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 00:22:50

    @GrowlyCub: If it’s any comfort, I got myself all excited there, too. Completely forgot that I am a Hoyt behind, as it were. On the subject of the Blaze line, I agree. I liked the Maya Banks’ The Tycoon’s Rebel Bride, released in May by Silhouette Desire. I might not have read it had I not won a free copy, but I did. I gather the other two books in the trilogy have baby-based plots, but this one didn’t.

  40. BlueRose
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 01:03:14


    Im also a big fan of the Marla Mason books :)

    @Eliza – Thirtheenth Child by Patricia Wrede – read last week and really enjoyed. Got thr feeling there would be a sequel, and probably romance int that

  41. Alice
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 01:10:43

    I know this comes up a lot, but I work at a bookstore and was wondering if it was best to have an “urban” fiction section or should I just have those mixed in with it’s proper section? I’ve had so many women walk out the door due to the fact that we do not have an urban or African American author section. I feel if I do than I should make an asian author section…maybe native american author section. Where is the line? Just doesn’t seem right, but do not want to upset customers.

  42. Amy
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 02:02:04

    If anyone has read Mary Jo Putney’s new Loving a Lost Lord, please share your review. I am a fan of MJP and I think I have read all but one her past novels. I was excited to see a new release; but I really don’t care for amnesia-suffering character plot lines and I care less for someone who lies to an amnesia-suffering character about being his/her spouse! I’m hoping a lot of reviewers will say the story is so good that those negatives can be overlooked.

  43. Jennifer Estep
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 06:33:53

    I just finished One Foot in the Grave by Jeaniene Frost, which has been in my TBR pile for a while. I’d forgotten how much I enjoyed this series, especially the hero, Bones. Must get the other books soon …

    And I also finished Dark Needs at Night’s Edge by Kresley Cole. I always enjoy her books. I really like her world building — the Lore is like a dark fairy tale with a modern twist to it.

  44. Liza
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 07:25:44

    Growlycub, I just really loved Leslie’s new books. Didn’t realize I was sound like everyone else. I’ve posted about Fade to Black on my blog, facebook, and pretty much anywhere someone with listen. I’ve always loved Leslie’s super-sexy books, but really do think her new books are where her true calling lies. I was lucky enough to win the ARCs on Brenda Novak’s auction(would have gone higher with my bid if I needed to) and I’ll still be at the bookstore on the release day to buy the actual books. I love the covers and truly want to continue to support Leslie.

  45. Mireya
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 08:00:09

    My latest reads have been Virginia Kantra’s Children of the Sea series. I have to say that I have enjoyed them, but I wouldn’t call them fantastic. However, I do think it is a quite readable series and am actually getting book 3 today. I read Feehan’s “Burning Wild” and liked it. I have to say that I am not a fangirl of the author, as I have found a few of her books less than stellar (I consider Dark Fire’s heroine the stupidest thing ever, and spent the whole book wishing her a slow and painful death… ironically, that book seems to be the favorite of many fans. Go figure). For whatever the reason “Burning Wild” didn’t hit any hot buttons for me, though the hero was a jerk-type. However, I sort of did understand the why of him being a jerk. Anyway, I did enjoy the book.

    I am re-reading a few of Sandra Hill’s stories, from her Vikings I series. I got the latest Julia Quinn’s from the Sony ebookstore this morning (released today). I am a bit worried because I don’t like the blurb. I did love “The Secret Diaries of Miranda Cheever” to the point of reading it twice, so I am hoping this one will be, at least, an okay read, if not outright outstanding.

  46. Sandi
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 08:28:35

    I just read the 4th in Rachel Vincent’s Werecats series. It’s more Urban Fantasy than Romance. There is a romance but it continues through all the books and with the same heroine in all of the books.

    The premise of the series is that there are very few female werecats and therefore they must protected. The heroine doesn’t want to be a pampered “kitty” sitting on a pillow and behind all of the books is how she keeps pushing the boundaries of the consequences to her and those around her.

    I really, really love this series.


  47. Karen
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 09:56:00

    I downloaded the new Mary Jo Putney from Kindle last night, picked up the new Meredith Duran at B&N, and will get the new Loretta Chase and Lorraine Heath books at Fictionwise as soon as time permits.

    As for treasures, Patricia Gaffney’s Wickerly trilogy really worked for me. The first book is quite dark, but very compelling. By the time I finished the third book, I was a goner. The woman can write.

  48. CEmerson
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 10:11:43

    I think my local library is going to have to hunt me down and pry Not Quite a Husband out of my hot little hands. I was first in line on the holds list, picked it up the day it came in, and I won’t give it back until I absolutely have to; sorry sorry sorry to the holds-list patrons waiting in line behind me. Sherry Thomas just got so much right in this book, I think. Her prose, and specifically her imagery, are such a delight.

    On another subject: Is anyone else reading Elizabeth Hoyt’s Ice Princess novella over on her website? Frankly I’m feeling a little baited and switched. The “back cover copy” (“Seven nights of sin… Seven nights of ecstasy… Seven nights of love…”) made it sound like they’d be getting down to business a little sooner.

    I like a good cart-before-the-horse story. Bets, bargains, marriages of convenience; I like to see how a couple fumbles along to reverse-engineer a romantic relationship after the sex has already started. I thought The Ice Princess was going to be one of these.

    But we’re through chapter six and so far they’ve played checkers, eaten meat pies, and talked. Maybe I just went in with the wrong expectations.

  49. Jessa Slade
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 11:04:04

    I read Patricia Briggs’ BONE CROSSED out of order and ran out to buy the first three books. Just finished MOON CALLED and actually cried at one point near the end. Action, humor, sexy werewolves, and a moment of pathos. Happy sigh. Best of all, I got two more to read right now!

  50. Liz_Peaches
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 16:00:47

    @ CEmerson – I’m reading Ice Princess. I get what you mean about the bait and switch, though my main complaint is that it feels pretty rushed. I know its a novella, but I think considering the character development that goes on/needs to go on, this project was too ambitious for the short format.

  51. ms bookjunkie
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 16:29:25

    I just finished reading Rude Awakening by Veronica Chadwick. Talk about an emotionally satisfying read! Especially as I just picked it up on impulse since I wasn’t in the mood for anything in my TBR.

    I also enjoyed Lorelei James’ Miss Firecracker, but that was to be expected.

    (Both from Samhain)

  52. Heather (errantdreams)
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 19:31:55

    Now I have to come back and add another rec. I opened Shiloh Walker’s “Chains” over breakfast and couldn’t put it down until I finished it around 2 pm. I even walked around reading it while I got out lunch. The thriller/plot/mystery aspects of it were tight and extremely satisfying, and the romance and sex were seriously sizzling!

  53. KeriM
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 22:38:22

    I picked up Hidden Currents this afternoon and finished it tonight and that is while I was at work, came home, fixed dinner and took a bath. :-) It was a really good book and satisfied my need to have everything tied up in a bright shiny HEA. Elle and Jackson were perfect for one another. The only reason I am not going to give it an A is what took place at the opening of the book. I don’t want to spoil it for anybody, I just didn’t feel that it had to be that bad for us to “get” that the bad guy was bad. But I will give it a B+.

    I also finished Christie Craig’s Divorced, Delicious and Dating. I loved it! It has my type of humor and I couldn’t read it fast enough. Joe’s trust issues were real to me and I could relate to why he had a hard time with commitments. A+ on that one.

    When I went in to Borders to pick up HC, I told myself I was going in just to get THAT one book and wasn’t going to look at anything else and I almost made it….curses…that is until I saw that they had Erin McCarthy’s Flat Out Sexy on the discount table for 4 bucks!! Sucker!!! lol, so I had to go back and pay for that and then I caught sight of Victoria Dahl’s Start Me Up and I just couldn’t buy anything else, but I promise VD I will be going back on Friday to pick it up. I know I heard SMU crying as I walked out of the store, crying Don’t leave me here in this cold store…unopened…..unread…..unloved…..*sigh*. lol :-)

  54. Shan
    Jun 30, 2009 @ 22:45:11

    I am currently reading Wicked Deeds on a Winter’s Night by Kresley Cole. I love her books and I am steadily making my way through this series.

    While reading this book I am patiently waiting (barely) for the the next book in the Fever series by Karen Marie Moning.

    I don’t know if any of you have read any books by either author, but they are both fantastic. I have read all of K.Moning’s books and have not been disappointed yet and I am trying to read of of K.Cole’s books, but the same (disappointed? No) applies to her books so far.

  55. rebyj
    Jul 01, 2009 @ 10:41:09

    Book shopped today and finally got Jennifer Ashley’s “Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie” along with 4 of her earlier books.

    I got Joy Nash’s “A Little Light Magic” which looks amusing and maybe a little kooky.

    My favorite book I bought today isn’t a romance or even fiction. It’s Melissa Gilbert’s memoir “Prairie Tales” I started reading it in the store and didn’t want to put it down. I was time traveling back to the mid 70s lol.

    Recently, I enjoyed one of my favorite twitter bud’s books. Moriah Jovan’s “The Proviso”a good long read that reminded me of Dallas and Dynasty 80s tv shows. Family drama, financial suspense and some hot hot sexin.

  56. SonomaLass
    Jul 01, 2009 @ 12:47:56

    I got the new Chase, the new Dahl, and the new Quinn to read on the airplane.

    Forgot to say earlier that one of the books to which I most look forward is coming out at the very end of July (perhaps belongs in next month’s pimp thread), and that’s Goddess of the Hunt by Tessa Dare. I enjoyed her earlier novella, which I won in a DA contest, and I can’t wait to see what she does with a longer format.

  57. Eve Boston
    Jul 01, 2009 @ 22:47:04

    I’ve been reading several books by Emily Giffin. Something Blue is my favorite so far. With a heroine most of us would love to hate — she’s self-centered, shallow, a snob, even a cheater! — by the end of the book, a believable transformation has taken place and Darcy is the heroine that I wanted to cheer on. She made a mess of her life, and others’ lives in her first 30 years of “me me me” but getting pregnant during an affair and then dumped gave her a new perspective on herself. Well, maybe an unexpected hero, very sympathetic but a tough love sort as well, gave her a way to pick herself out of the gutter and be a mature and responsible woman. I won’t spoil the ending, but it has been a long time since I cried at an ending and Something Blue made me catch my heart in my throat. I realized that through many books, I had not seen such a transformative love as I did in Something Blue. It’s a series, but I read them out of order and it didn’t matter. Loved it!

    p.s. Edited for a typo of author’s last name!

  58. Moth
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 09:44:13

    Read the new Loretta Chase, Don’t Tempt Me. It was pretty good. Not as great as Your Scandalous Ways or Mr. Impossible but still very enjoyable. It suffered from the “Too Many Endings” syndrome, I think. I counted at least 3 places where she could have ended the book and it would have been fine. The heroine reminded me of Leonie from These Old Shades. (One of my very fav books incidentally). I would recommend this book to people who like Chase’s funnier books.

    Also read the new Victoria Dahl, Start Me Up. Liked the heroine. Hero was a bit of a blank for me. Didn’t enjoy this one as much as Talk Me Down, but it’s still a pretty funny read. I would recommend it.

  59. GrowlyCub
    Jul 07, 2009 @ 21:03:19

    I just finished Putney’s ‘Loving a Lost Lord’. I really enjoyed the first 250 pages and then I went from ‘no, she didn’t’ to ‘really?, I mean *really*?’ to ‘no way in hell’ in the last 80 pages. I like HEAs, but this was laying things on with a trowel and not in a good way. Sigh. :( I had such high hopes.

  60. Amy
    Jul 08, 2009 @ 02:24:56

    @GrowlyCub: Oh, no! I can’t deal with “no way in hell” feelings for 80 whole pages!! Now I don’t know if I should buy the book. Has anyone else read this?

  61. Caligi
    Jul 11, 2009 @ 16:07:29

    I just finished an ARC of Victoria Dahl’s One Week As Lovers and thought it was fabulous. I read To Tempt a Scotsman and didn’t care for the characters, I found her bland and him irredeemably jealous and too easily swayed, but I thought she wrote well. This latest book had easily-lovable characters and a solid, natural plot. The way it begins had me worried it would be more fairy-tale than realism, but she totally surprised me 1/2 – 3/4 of the way in, and it was in a good way.

  62. MaryK
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 13:10:06

    Harlequin Presents titles have finally gone over the edge.

    The Playboy Sheikh’s Virgin Stable-Girl is an August title.

  63. Ann
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 13:25:54

    Hi, I am a complete newbie/lurker on this site, but I just had to throw this out there. This may be a comment that has already been made or I’m just being plum foolish, but I’ve been seeing this phrase a lot lately and it just makes me grit my teeth: “She felt her womb clench.”

    If your womb is clenching then you are having some kind of awful cramps and are either in labor or should see a doctor asap. I don’t quite understand arousal and “clenching wombs” going hand in hand. The physiology of arousal does not have the womb spasm.

    OK, back to lurk status now. Thank you. :)

  64. GrowlyCub
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 13:33:13


    Now I’m depressed. This sounds totally 70s rape ‘romance’ to me. Ugh!

    Polo-playing sheikh Prince Kaliq Al’Farisi loves his women as much as his horses. They’re wild, willing, and he’s their master!

    Stable girl Eleni is a local Calistan. Raised by her brutal father on the horse-racing circuit, she feels unlovable. When her precious horses are given to Sheikh Kaliq, she refuses to be parted from them.

    The playboy sheikh is determined to bed Eleni-‘and when Kaliq realizes she’s a virgin, the challenge only becomes more interesting….

    If it were April 1, I’d think they were joking, but I’m afraid they are serious… you gotta wonder what’s going on in their collective publishing minds?!?

  65. Moth
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 15:11:21

    The Playboy Sheikh’s Virgin Stable Girl

    She really doesn’t look very happy on that cover, does she?

    I almost want to read this just for the cheese factor…

  66. GrowlyCub
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 15:17:10


    Did you notice how Amazon left the ‘Virgin’ out of the link?

  67. Moth
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 15:25:11

    Very interesting that…

  68. joanne
    Jul 13, 2009 @ 15:56:15

    Another half-hour I’ll never get back GC….but I looked at some of the other links and it seems to be random choices:
    The Desert King’s Virgin Bride has ‘virgin’ but not ‘bride’; Accidentally Pregnant, Conveniently Wed has ‘pregnant’ but not ‘wed’; Italian Boss, Housekeeper Bride left out ‘Boss’; The Greek Tycoon’s Baby Bargain leaves out ‘baby’…… which, ironically enough, I read last night. The title is the best part anyway since the Greek Tycoon’s magic-sperm produced twins. That was the good part. The rest was just a jaw-dropping WTF 2008 release. (by the way, really great writing in it but giving an “OMG is this story from the 70’s?” reaction).


    If your womb is clenching then you are having some kind of awful cramps and are either in labor or should see a doctor asap.

    Yeah, funny how symptoms that would make us run for the emergency room in real life just get passed along from book to book in romancelandia! All the “wet & dripping” going on in most stories make me think we’re in an international pandemic of STDs!

  69. ms bookjunkie
    Jul 19, 2009 @ 15:06:01

    I’ll have to fourth Silver, Heather and Liza: FADE TO BLACK is excellent writing. Romantic suspense is usually not really my thing, (and I have dropped authors who have gone from straight romance to romantic suspense) but I have no complaints about Leslie Parrish. I knew going in that it was dark romantic suspense and what I got was quality writing. Realistic reading without woo-woo psychic stuff mixed in. But others have waxed poetic about this book upthread, so I’ll spare you my ramblings. *g*

  70. Janine
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 02:25:19

    @Amy: I am a huge fan of Putney’s Uncommon Vows and her Fallen Angel series, and I also have a soft spot for amnesia stories. I thought the first half of Loving a Lost Lord was wonderful — the hero and heroine were honorable, caring people yet very interesting to read about (not an easy feat!). But I’m afraid that my reaction mirrors GrowlyCub’s almost exactly. I chose not to review the book because it would have been impossible to explain most of my problems with it without going into massive spoilers, but suffice to say that I could not suspend my disbelief in the events of the last third or so of the book.

  71. GrowlyCub
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 05:52:14


    I’ve seen very little mention of this book anywhere and the Amazon standings for it aren’t good (I use TitleZ to keep track of books I’m interested in), so I don’t think it sold as well as one might have hoped.

    I’m relieved to see somebody else shared my feelings about the developments in the last third because I was starting to feel that I might be mean or having a bad month or something (well, I *am* in a slump, but still…). It was doubly disappointing because the first 250 pages or so were really great!

    I’m really baffled by the direction the book took and even more baffled that her editor didn’t say ‘too much’. The way things are going in the business lately, I’ll be curious to see if there even will be a second ‘Lost Lords’ book next year.

    I think this particular series would have been better off being released back-to-back. I’ll probably buy the next one in hopes of it being better, but this one was a nasty surprise and I wonder if that’s all people will remember by the time the next title *is* released.

    I also wonder whether the reason that I haven’t seen reviews anywhere is because of the same reason you don’t want to write one: too many spoilers necessary to explain the reaction.

  72. Janine
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 09:41:29

    @GrowlyCub: There was a thread on this book on the AAR boards. Posters there had both positive and negative reactions, and some felt similarly to you and I.

    I agree that a large portion of the book was really great. I got very excited reading the first half, because I have missed Putney’s historicals. The stuff toward the end puzzled me as well, but like you, I will still buy the next one. I hope there are fewer improbabilties in it. I’m sorry to hear that sales are low, because I was so looking forward to more historicals from Putney.


    I also wonder whether the reason that I haven't seen reviews anywhere is because of the same reason you don't want to write one: too many spoilers necessary to explain the reaction.

    Forgot to reply to this. It does make it very hard to review a book. I make it a policy to only go into things that happen in the first third of a book. In this case, the first third was wonderful. I really dislike it when reviews spoil the second two-thirds for me but that is where all the problems with this one were.

  73. GrowlyCub
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 10:26:05

    I just went to AAR and found Sandy’s review. I thought the grade was too high for what she described feeling about the book.

    I don’t go to AAR because I find their site incredibly counter-intuitive to navigate.

    So, then I thought I’d like to see this discussion you reference, but there’s no way to get there from the review. Or if there is, I didn’t find it. Looked at the forums, but couldn’t find the thread. Now, I’m really frustrated and reminded yet again why I don’t visit AAR.

    I know there are interesting conversations taking place there, but I just don’t want to deal with their site! grumble, mumble, mumble

  74. Janine
    Sep 01, 2009 @ 11:03:39

    See if this link works, Growly:

    ETA: Discussions of the book begin on the 3rd page of the topic.

  75. odoclaice
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 02:52:28



    Does any one know What type of changes are made in Google algorithm in 2011 that everybody is taking about?

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