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. Mary
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 22:00:09

    The best book I’ve read this summer is Not Without Her Family, a debut Superromance by Beth Andrews. It had a bad girl heroine and a good boy hero that just tugged the heart as they worked to solve a mystery.

  2. Kristie(J)
    Jun 30, 2008 @ 23:02:18

    One of the things I’ve been most happy about lately is a little known book that a blogger who is no longer blogging recommended. I’m always on the look out for something different and this one was certainly different enough to appeal to me. I read it and loved it and passed on that love.
    In a newly birthed blog a group of us will be blogging about our favourite books and heroes. But first off is a series ‘about us’. One of the group read this book and named it as her favourite book set on a tropical island. Now others are looking at giving it a try.
    All this is to say I love when a little known book that is ‘different’ starts getting legs.
    Oh – and the book – Beyond Paradise by Elizabeth Doyle. It’s long out of print now – it was written in 2003, but it’s available at Amazon and probably other places too.

  3. Sabrina
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 00:00:34

    I have to vent about the latest book from Catherine Coulter’s FBI series, “Tailspin”. Do not worry I will not spoil it if anyone is reading with the ending and such. It started off fairly well, but by the middle it started going downhill at a rapid pace. Too many characters in the book to keep track of, too many different subjects going on, and the story had little things in it that did not remain consistent. Overall it just plain sucked, and I was extremely disappointed. I do not care for Ms Coulters other books, historical and such(I have read them all) but I was enjoying the series. Maybe it is just me, curious if anyone else felt the same way. Thanks for letting me vent:)

  4. loonigrrl
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 01:39:11

    I just finished Twilight Fall by Lynn Viehl. Overall, a pretty good book with some interesting developments -although Evermore is still my favorite. I think the series is ending with the next book! So sad!

  5. Catherine
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 01:50:02

    I recently read Keri Arthur’s new book “The Darkest Kiss”. I have read her whole series because I like the world she’s built (in most cases) but a lot of things about the main character really bother me. I try to stay away from shapeshifter books because so often authors have their hero/heroine going through an “in heat” phase where they have to have sex all the time. I find it really distracting to be in the middle of a life or death style scene and have the narrator pause to reflect on how hot the guy she’s looking at is. Ugh! Huge pet peeve.

    Also, in my bookstore these are housed in the Romance section. I was rather taken aback to see the sheer number of people this girl sleeps with in a matter of days. All part of the free life of a Werewolf or something. I don’t mind a character that doesn’t want to settle down with one person, but I strongly believe in separating multiple partners by more than a few hours. I figure if you’re so much more attracted to the next guy you move on to him and leave the previous guy behind. It’s just my personal preference.

    Having stated all that… I continued with the series despite those problems because I liked her writing and enjoyed the world. In the newest book I enjoyed Riley’s character so much more because she was suffering from heartache and wasn’t ruled by her hormones every two seconds. She wanted the comfort of sleeping with someone who cared for her rather than her usual multiple quickie partners.

    When Quinn comes back she remembers how much she cares for him and how strong the connection between them is. I thought it was great. She’s falling for him even more and only sleeping with one guy at a time! Woohoo! But then… major mood kill for me. I almost threw the book at the wall (and I never do that). After they’re done having sex she says she’s willing to give him another chance because she missed him and how he makes her feel. I was all for it. Then she says that he needs to be aware that her soulmate is still out there somewhere so it won’t be just him and her forever. OMG! That pissed me off so badly. She cares for him deeply and misses him but instead of being happy with that and realizing that it’s something to be treasured, she tells him he’s temporary until her ‘twu luv’ comes along. Grrr! My sister says I need to get over it so I might be the only one bothered by this fact. I found it rather sad really. But then again the soulmate thing bothers me because it seems like such a cop out. I just wanted her to realize what she had and put her all into it. Not just be happy with it now but still waiting for that one guy who will complete her. She made mention of the possibility of two soulmates but I just brushed that off because who knows how that will go. Anyways, I think no matter how much I like her writing I might have to part with her series soon. I get more and more irritated by the main character every book.

    I’d love to get other people’s reactions to this latest book.

  6. loonigrrl
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 02:07:58

    Hey Catherine, I haven’t read this series beyond the first book, sorry! I do have a question: how will she know her soulmate when she meets him? How does she know that Quinn isn’t her soulmate? Has this been ruled out? Just curious.

  7. Jia
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 03:51:54

    Catherine: I have the same question as loonigrrl.

  8. MaryKate
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 07:47:54

    I just finished reading Night Keepers by Jessica Anderson, which I quite enjoyed. She’s got a ton of talent and a really smooth writing style. She is also, I understand, JR Ward’s critique partner. I mention this only because I’m beginning to see a trend in books lately that has been bothering me. I call it the “everything but the kitchen sink” writing. It’s where we’ve got umpdeeump characters, plotlines, and dramas going on in one book, which I think takes away from the primary romance. While I truly enjoyed Anderson’s book, and I think it gives an interesting twist on the usual paranormal stuff, I literally got to the climax of the book in the last 30 pages and had to be like, “Wait, who was Michael again?” Not good. If I can’t remember who a character is that far into a book, something has failed in the writing process, I think.

    Now, I will say, I wrote to Miss Anderson giving her this feedback and also asking for a glossary in the next book, and she wrote me a really lovely note back saying that both would be included in the next installment of the series, which I truly appreciate. But my complaint stands, it’s not just Jessica Anderson’s books, but others that I’m seeing more and more regularly.

    Anyone else encountering this trend? I feel like I’m seeing more and more of it.

  9. Keri M
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 09:05:04

    Ok, I just finished my first Lora Leigh, Hidden Agenda….loved it and promptly went out and bought the entire series. The book has weaknesses, but it was good enough that I didn’t want it to end. I am sure that I won’t love all of her past work, but I do love this series. To me she has a smoother writing style then say, Shannon McKenna.

    Amy Fetzer’s Dragon One series is also currently capturing my attention. Amy does a good job to me of keeping a book interesting with her strong heroines and the guys they love…the only beef I have is I wish they weren’t in the big trade size.

    I also just read my first Marliss Melton’s Next to Die, she is a frustrating author to me. She has moments of pure brilliance as a writer and then she will go and write a bad passage that spoils everything. I am going to give her another chance to wow me. :-)I feel that I will like the series, but I wanted to thump her sister on the head a time or two or three.

    If you are looking for a great Vampire book with very little sex, but alot of intensity and sheer courage you might pick up F. Paul Wilson’s Midnight Mass. Father Joe and Lacey, his niece, will really capture your heart as they try to outwit a legion of the un-dead. It was an awesome book and worth a look.

    If you are looking for an action book to fill your hours while you are waiting for that next hot romance and your TBR pile is depleted(yeah right ;-) you might give Aussie Matthew Riley’s The Contest a try, it was his first book that he self-published and then it was re-issued after he got picked up with a publishing house. It is about a man who is chosen to compete in an interplanetary race. There is one catch, you can’t just beat your opponent you have to kill them or you will be. There is just one little glitch, he isn’t a warrior or an athlete and by an accident he has his little daughter with him…yikes! Please leave your reality check at the door on this book, Matthew has stated many times that he is a 13 year old in a man’s body and this book reflects that, but it was a really fun read.

    My last recommend is an oldie but a goodie, Lisa Gregory’s Bitterleaf, now it was hard to just choose one, but for this thread that is my one. I read that book so many times, I had to tape the binding to keep reading it. It dealt with slavery and women’s roles in the south, but Lisa really captured our hearts with this one. Or at least she did for me. Now once she starting publishing as Candace Camp…the style changed and the heart was gone.

    These are my recommends I hope you will give them a try. Keri

  10. Catherine
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 09:43:12

    Jia and loonigrrl:

    You know, I’m kind of unclear on that myself. In the last book she has a discussion with another guy who had found his soulmate but hadn’t pledged their love to the moon (or something like that). I guess if you do that moon ceremony if one soulmate dies the other will die. If you don’t then when they die you won’t but you’ll be miserable forever. She was talking to him about the guy who had dumped her who she was ready to go monogamous with and try to become soulamtes with him. The guy she was talking to said it didn’t work like that. you didn’t grow into it you’d just know.

    So… who knows really? I guess it will be like every other soulmate book and they’ll feel this connection that will take control of them and it won’t matter if they like each other or not. But then again she may have something totally new in store for the soulmate thing. Anyways, the two soulmates thing was said to Riley by another character in the series. It was because Riley is part vampire part werewolf and might have conflicting needs in her soul. I don’t know. Seems to be gearing up for a threesome.

  11. Mad
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 11:27:08

    I recently read DRASTIC MEASURES by Shiloh Walker. Kinda reminded me a bit of that Robert Redford movie where he offered Demi Moore money to spend the night with him. Although Shiloh’s book had it where the heroine’s fiance owed the hero money and the hero had been in love with her for several years and she never gave him the time of day. So as her wedding day got closer, he told the guy that he would forget the debt owed him if the heroine went on a date with him for one night. Just a date. No sex but if the night ended up with them in bed, he wouldn’t say no. *G* It was much too short for me, would have loved to know more about Ethan and Pam, but I loved the story all the same.

  12. The Profane Angel
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 12:35:09

    If you’re interested in the legendary romance of the 20th century, Clark Gable and Carole Lombard, then the novel Chasing Carole may appeal to you. It’s a parallel story of Lombard’s fictional granddaughter and the story of her grandmother’s life and times in the Golden Age of Hollywood, focusing primarily on her affair and subsequent marriage to Gable. Its historical sections were meticulously researched, and Lombard’s authentic voice breaks out and drives the story, particularly as she “talks” about her romance with Gable, who is shown, warts and all, as the man he was, and the effect their love story had on 1930s America. Her granddaughter’s story is no less interesting, if less romantic, as she comes to terms with her previously unknown ancestry as the granddaughter of the legendary “Screwball Queen.” Chasing Carole is available from amazon – worth a look if one is interested in the GAOH and the old stars.

  13. Jane
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 12:47:55

    Showing my drawers here, but I didn’t know Lombard and Gable had a legendary romance. Sounds pretty interesting.

  14. The Profane Angel
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 12:55:12

    Jane – oh yeah, they were hot. It was the typical love triangle – Gable was married to, but separated from, a much older woman who wouldn’t let go, Lombard was a huge star in her own right, and it took them years to overcome the obstacles. Gable played Rhett in part because Mayer would pay Ria (the wife who wouldn’t let go) off – Gable and Lombard married three weeks after the divorce was granted (during the shooting of GWTW). It was a tragic story, no HEA here, just historical reality, but as love stories go, it deserves the stamp “Legendary.” TPA

  15. Jane
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 13:02:19

    I just read about it on Wiki. I’m really interested in reading the story now. Thanks for the heads up.

  16. Jeanette
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 14:44:45


    I stopped halfway through Tailspin skipped to the end and just haven’t has a desire to finish.

    last month I read Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves and loved it. Another new person to me is Rhonda Pollero’s books. Loved the humor in all of these, really make good summer reads.

    I am looking forward to Linda Howard, Nora, Eve Kenin and S Kearney this month. Purchased all but Nora today. I will be at the bookstore on the 8th to get Tribute.

  17. Sabrina
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 15:48:09


    Thanks, now I know I am not alone:) I almost forgot about Tribute coming out on the 8th, thank you for that one too!

  18. Kristie(J)
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 17:10:45

    KeriM: I have Bitterleaf!! It’s been quite a while since I read it, but I remember really liking it.

  19. KeriM
    Jul 01, 2008 @ 21:40:23

    Kristie, Rainbow Season and Crystal Heart was just as good at least to me. Those books though were in the Kathleen Woodwiss class, which was a class all by itself during that timeframe. Some great historical romance writing during 80s. :-) K

  20. Susan
    Jul 02, 2008 @ 11:56:28

    I just read, hot off the presses, Death Angel by Linda Howard. Very good. Totally unusual characters. Linda has gone down some interesting paths, but this one is definitely a new twist.
    FYI: A woman, who is the mistress of a druglord thug, finds herself bartered to the assassin the thug uses.
    Susan, Upstate, NY

  21. Stephanie
    Jul 02, 2008 @ 12:28:58

    It’s fantasy, sort of, not really romance (although there is *a* romance), but Sherwood Smith released an e-book called Once a Princess through Samhain last month, and the second half, Twice a Prince (I think?), is coming out mid-July. It features a butt-kicking twenty-something, a pirate who dresses in intensely garish colors, and the twenty-something’s SUPER AWESOME 50ish butt-kicking mom. No, seriously: the mom almost stole the story, so if you’re looking for a strong older female character, here’s one.

    Also, her hardback vol. 3 of Inda, King’s Shield, came out yesterday. My fiance and I are doing a timeshare on it: I get it during the days (since I work 1 day a week over the summer) and he gets it during the evenings. I have to run finish it now!

  22. Evangeline
    Jul 02, 2008 @ 20:31:57

    MaryKate, I’ve heard rumors that the next trend in romance is for “big” romance, and for the genre to incorporate elements (different types of POV, narrative styles, etc) seen in mainstream and literary fiction. Don’t know how that will pan out, but it seems paranormal romance has been pushed closer to what is seen in urban fantasy to breathe new life into the sub-genre (which I have also heard is currently dead).

  23. Keri M
    Jul 03, 2008 @ 12:58:16

    I just finished Dirty Martini and though I would pass on the book info. J. A. Konrath’s 4th installment for his character Jaqueline Daniels, known as Jack Daniels to her friends is caught in the middle as somebody goes around and poisons produce and other items at local stores around Chicago. Before anybody else dies can Jack figure out who is doing it and why? Of course her ever suffering boyfriend has finally popped the question, will she accept? I mean gosh he is willing to forget about being kidnapped 3 times in the last 3 books, so she probably should. Konrath has a huge sense of humor and as usual it shines through in his books. So if you like a quick suspense cozy between the romance and you don’t mind murder and mirth in the same book, then you might like DM. Keri

  24. Lauren Bethany
    Aug 04, 2008 @ 09:19:47

    I have a gripe about a setup that seems very popular, but I just don’t get the appeal. What’s with all the stories where the hero is the ex’s brother? Does anyone else find the idea… well… icky? I’m especially creeped out by the “having your brother’s baby” setup. I can only imagine how awkward holidays would be.

    I like for there to a a certain degree of separation between the characters. No sleeping with the relatives, best friends or any close relationship of the ex. It just feels inscestuous. *shudder*

    No matter how wonderful the hero, how well written the book, I can never get past the fact that the characters are keeping things in the family.

  25. BessetleLab
    Nov 10, 2008 @ 09:08:46

    ,Genus, Species

    Felines are a ‘Family' of mammals in the animal kingdom.
    But what does this really mean and how does it relate them to other animals?
    Science understands the organization of nature to be hierarchical with each step on the ladder or branch of the tree describing a degree of physical similarity,
    and from more recent findings, genetic closeness.
    This branch of knowledge is called taxonomy.

    Kingdom Phylum, Class, Order,Family
    telecommunications standard rs 422

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