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. Keri M
    Jun 02, 2009 @ 20:48:12

    I am going to put forward for this month is Laura Griffin’s Thread of Fear and Whisper of Warning. They are romantic suspense and I thought well put together. Fiona is an artist with a special talent that does work for the police in drawing suspects faces from the victims. Whisper of Warning is her sister ‘s Courtney’s story. This book wasn’t as strong for me, because Courtney herself was a conflicted character. I just had a hard time identifying with her and felt some of her actions were just dumb. I do look forward to reading Alex’s and Nathan’s story.

    Also I just finished my second book of Carl Hiaasan’s Strip Tease. I think Carl has got a bee in his bonnet about Big Gov’t, but it was a good book and gave me way more info about stripping than I ever wanted to know. :-)

    Last but not least if you haven’t had a chance to pick up Susan K Butcher’s Burning Alive, her first sci-fi, don’t delay. It was an awesome story!

  2. Karen W.
    Jun 02, 2009 @ 21:36:36

    I agree about Shannon K. Butcher’s BURNING ALIVE. I haven’t been loving a lot of paranormal romance lately, but I was impressed with Butcher’s paranormal debut.

  3. Aoife
    Jun 02, 2009 @ 22:39:22

    I want to put in a plug for The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows. I read this last year, and was happy to see that it is finally out in PB. It’s a hard book to describe, since it’s told in the form of letters to and/or by the various characters, not my favorite format, but it is a lovely, gentle story that takes place after the end of WWII. There’s an understated and very sweet love story, and a stereotypical dominant male hero-type, who doesn’t actually turn out to be the hero. I read this shortly after my mother’s death, who was of the same generation as the characters in this book. My mother never lived on Guernsey, but there was something about the experiences described that resonated with me, perhaps the theme of ordinary people doing extraordinary things in difficult circumstances.

    I can’t wait until the end of the month, when Loretta Chase’s new book comes out!

  4. MaryK
    Jun 02, 2009 @ 23:20:03

    Ilona Andrews’ short story, Silent Blade, is out today. I just bought it, after much wrestling with the Samhain and MBaM websites.

  5. Alice
    Jun 02, 2009 @ 23:20:23

    Saw your review of North of Beautiful and it perked my interest. Usually, I don’t read YA unless it has a paranormal influence in it. I just got around to reading it and I must say good job on this. LOVED the book. Highly recommend it! Gonna read the author’s first book and see if it’s just as magical.

  6. Jia
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 02:22:19

    @Alice: Nothing But The Truth (and a few white lies) is a good book. I don’t think it’s as good as North of Beautiful but at this point, we’re talking about different levels of good. Girl Overboard, her second novel, is just as good as North of Beautiful, but in a different sort of way.

  7. Natalie
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 05:54:19

    I recently read IF HE’S WICKED by Hannah Howell. I love her Highland series (my favorite is HIGHLAND WARRIOR Fiona’s story), but her latest release is part of a new series. I wasn’t sure if I was going to love or not. It’s still a historical book and has paranormal aspects to it. I loved it. It came close to booting ‘Fiona of eleven knives’ book from my first place – that’s how much I enjoyed it.

  8. Cindy W
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 06:45:27

    One Reckless Summer by Toni Blake is AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It has so many awesome elements, you don’t want to miss that book this summer!

    I have Burning Alive coming to me, and I’ve heard nothing but good things about it.

  9. Jennifer Estep
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 07:31:11

    I recently finished The Lies of Locke Lamora by Scott Lynch. It’s an epic fantasy heist book and one of the best epic fantasies I’ve read in a while. Cool characters and interesting world building. I’ve been raving about it to everyone I know.

    I’ve also been reading some YA — Marked by P.C. and Kristin Cast. I thought it was cool that they set a vampire book in Oklahoma. I also read Evermore by Alyson Noel. I loved the heroine and the voice, but I didn’t particularly care for the hero and the way he jerked around the heroine. Maybe it’s me …

    I’ve got so many authors and books in my TBR pile I want to read this summer: Elizabeth Vaughn, Jeaniene Frost, Jim Butcher … My goal is to whittle that down … so I can buy some more books. ;-)

  10. BethanyA
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 07:41:23

    I finished The Duke’s Double last week, which is a 2000 re-release by Anita Mills. I got it from PBB-Swap based on the review by Mrs. Giggles. I normally am not the biggest fan of children in books, namely because I’m 25 and don’t have any yet, but this book was the best book I’ve read all year, maybe even last year, too. It puts one in the mind of LaVryle Spencer’s Twice Loved, except the “other man” is already dead. Go look it up at a library or find it on PBB-Swap. It’ll be so worth it.

  11. XandraG
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 07:59:54

    I’ve been reading the Casts’ House Of Night series as well. In spite of my feelings on paranormal burnout, and the potential it has to be Yet Another Whatever, it is really good. Seems to have all the triggers that I like to make a really good adventure/growing up story…especially the “rebelling against authority” thing. And I love the unique Cherokee elements they work into it.

    My TBR has Cory Doctorow’s “Little Brother” on it, as well as “Save the Cat” (screenwriting how-to) and Todd Stone’s “Novelist’s Boot Camp” (which I’m a few pages into and enjoying all the military refs immensely. Mr. Xandra, former Army reservist, is tickled by the whole green book thing).

  12. Darlynne
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 08:18:12

    I’ve been listening to “The Hunger Games” while I walk every day. Although I’ve been a little burned out on YA, this one has me walking farther to keep the fascinating story going.

    Shannon Butcher’s book is in my hands and I’m looking forward to getting started.

  13. Sandia
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 08:27:41

    I’ve been having problems with Penguin new releases that I’m purchasing through Amazon Kindle. The spacing between paragraphs is so large that you literally have to turn 5 pages for a section of dialogue. This has occurred with new Penguin releases from January!! Karen Chance, Patricia Briggs, Ann Aguirre’s new release and more! I’ve narrowed down the problem to one that Penguin is having specifically as none of the other new releases from the other publishing houses have this problem.

    What makes me super upset is that I’ve had to contact both Amazon and Penguin repeatedly and NO ONE can give me a time line for when I’ll be able to download my books in a legible format. I’ve called Amazon support repeatedly, they say the publisher just keeps stonewalling on the issue. I email an editor at Penguin who was referred to me by her own Author who’s book has been impacted by this issue, she stonewalls me!

    The other day, I heard Molly Barton on WNYC – one of Penguin’s special publishers for ebooks – defending the publisher’s right to charge higher prices for ebooks. I was totally flabbergasted with she specifically said that one of the things that is part of the pricing is because they have to format the books. HA!

    I was so upset I emailed her about it – and you know what? She had to gall to tell me that:

    “Other publishers are also experiencing this issue.”

    None of the other new releases from other publishers have had this issue. None. That really got me mad.

    I understand that ebooks aren’t a huge profit center for the publishing houses yet, but really? When a consumer has identified an issue, shouldn’t they try to fix it? I mean, it’s not like I found out last week and expect it to be fixed tomorrow. I first reported this issue in January!

    Sorry, I just had to rant somewhere – and get some feedback. Am I wrong to expect that books I download are formatted correctly???

  14. Lucinda Betts
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 08:28:27

    A few weeks ago, I bought all of the RITA nominated paranormal romances and read them all. Take about crack! Of course, they’re all great, but my favorites were MOONSTRUCK, SEDUCING MR. DARCY, and THUNDER MOON.

    Glad I don’t have to pick the winner!

  15. Georgina
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 08:42:07

    I recently read Courtney Summer’s Cracked Up To Be. Great book, published as YA, though probably not for all teenagers as it’s fairly dark in places.

    Parker Finley was the “perfect” girl who, before the book starts, set a series of events in motion that change her completely. Now she’s showing up drunk to school and failing classes. There’s the requisite cute new boy and old BFF rivals but the book really rises above the cliches. It was only at the end, where the mystery of what happened was revealed, that I felt the story fell down a bit. Still, it’s fresh and interesting and not at all cutesy, which is what I like as an adult reading books set in high school.

  16. Kelly C.
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 08:47:15

    Yay for THIS thread. After trying the author’s one, which was paranormal after paranormal, I was highly dismayed. So thanks for recommending anything that isn’t a paranormal. :)

  17. Heather H
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 09:23:06

    In the “Save the Contemporary” vein, I haven’t seen anyone mention Sherryl Woods. Her books are generally related and focus on families and friends in small towns. Her Chesapeake Shores Trilogy is out this summer.

    While she uses a lot of tropes I don’t generally read — marriage in trouble, reunion, etc — I’ve always enjoyed her. The second book in this trilogy was my favorite, but I enjoyed the other two as well. What I really enjoy is the flavor she gives of small towns. I don’t live in one, so I can’t say for sure, but I don’t think her secondary characters represent the stereotypical small town folk.

    Plus I just really like the covers on her books. I want to be there. lol

  18. Mireya
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 09:24:18

    I just finished reading Nina Bangs’ “Eternal Cravings” book 2 of her Gods of the Night series (sorry, paranormal). I am liking this series quite a bit. It’s not your usual paranormal vampire/shifter type, plus each book is fully stand alone.

    I also read Sandra Hill’s “Viking Unchained”, which for some reason I had sitting on my TBR for months. I acknowledge her books are not for everyone due to the sometimes over the top humor. However, I love her books, particularly those involving her time-traveling Viking series.

    I read Jennifer Ashley’s “The Madness of Lord Ian McKenzie” though I was a bit wary due to the sheer amount of outstanding reviews it has received. Well, I am glad I caved in … though I have to admit I love Jennifer Ashley’s/Allyson James books (hey, if you are reading this … is there a new Shareem story in our future?) The first time I ever read a book from this author it was an erotic romance published at EC (The first in her Shareem series) under her pen name of Allyson James. It took a while before she finally divulged her non-erotic romance pen names. If you like EC erotic romance, try the Shareem series.

    I am patiently waiting for the next Julia Quinn release, scheduled for June 30th.

    On a side note, I am finding myself more and more demanding with my reading material :(

  19. TerryS
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 10:27:15

    I read Christie Craig’s newest release “Gotcha!” and loved it. The action and humor was non stop. I think this was by far her best book yet.

    There is a blurb on the front cover “…fans of Janet Evanovich should check Craig out.” This statement may be a little misleading though. When I think Janet Evanovich, never ending stories with no personal growth or relationship resolutions for the main characters comes to mind first even before the humor. One of the reasons I like Christie Craig even more than Evanovich is besides humor the book has a beginning, a middle and an end along with both personal growth for the characters and relationship resolutions…not to mention intriguing secondary characters that I hope to read about in future books.

    This is a great book to start with if you’ve never tried Christie Craig. I really enjoyed reading about her at Dorchester Publishing’s website, too. Her story about one of the worst days of her life could have been right out of this book. Her gift is in her ability to write about it with humor.

  20. Justina
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 10:33:54

    @Sandia–Glad I’m not the only one having issues. I bought Blue Diablo for my brand spanking new Kindle, it was the first book I bought, and I was like WTF? Then I downloaded a couple of freebies and they were fine, so I figured it must be just that book.

    It really is frustrating to have to read a paragraph, push a button, read another paragraph, push a button, etc. Talk about yanking you out of the story! I couldn’t even get through the description of her store without having to turn the page twice.

  21. Helen Burgess
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 11:02:49

    I had never read any of Jennifer Asley’s work but I did really enjoy the Madness of Lord Ian. Thank you for the recommendation. I have also really enjoyed Not Quite A Husband and one of the main reasons ….Look away now SPOILER… she DOES NOT get pregnant!! A realistic finish not one of those where the hero’s mightly sperm conquers all. Loved it! I have just finished Lady Anne and the Howl in the Night. Sort of a cross between Amelia (Peabody) and Miss Marple, again a highly enjoyable book.

  22. Bonnie
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 11:37:58

    Sandia and Justina: I have a Kindle and have had the same problem with Penguin books. Only Penguin. Very frustrating, indeed.

  23. Keri M
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 11:38:59

    @ TerryS, thanks for the recommendation, that book is on my TBR pile so now I think I will put it closer to the top and read that one very soon. This will be my first one for her.

  24. Diana Rowland
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 12:34:06

    I want to pimp out Norse Code by Greg van Eekhout. This is a terrific book in the style of Neil Gaiman and Tim Powers, that deftly combines Norse mythology and Ragnarok into a modern day Los Angeles setting. Even though the cover has the stereotpyical “chick with a sword” in the style of much urban fantasy, this book defies stereotypes and deserves a closer look.

  25. an
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 14:35:42

    Since this isn’t just a recommendation thread, I wanted to bring up Sunny’s Mona Lisa books. I just finished reading books 1, 2, and 4. I mostly liked them, but a few scenes really made me wonder about the line between plagiarism and inspiration. Where do we draw the line? Where do we say too much? Too many glowing orgasms. Too many lavender-eyed men who look like grad students. Too much ‘my daddy rules hell, so eff off”

    Sunny’s series is very similar to the Anita Blake books and the Blood Jewels books. There are scenes and characters where I was quite surprised by how similar they were to the Anita Blake books and the Black Jewels books. I’ve read all of LKH’s books (except for the latest one or two) and I’ve read most of Anne Bishop’s books.

    I’m NOT saying that Sunny plagiarized in her books. There are enough differences and changes to see that her world and characters are different. But there are a lot of similarities too, and not just of the all vampires suck blood of some sort kind of similarities.

    To Sunny’s credit, I think her pacing (tighter and more plot-oriented, especially with the last Anita Blake books) and sex scenes (way less preachy) were better than LKH’s, but changing the POV to first person (Mona Lisa) made the books seem more mary sue-like. And I loved the Mona Lisa’s lack of oh-noes-i’m-a-ho angst.

    Fans of LKH and Anne Bishop? You will like these books.

  26. Nell Dixon
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 14:57:49

    I’d like to recommend Jessica Hart’s Honeymoon with the boss. This is a lovely summer read to whisk you away to an exotic island setting.

  27. Mara
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 21:04:26

    I just finished reading the author’s open post and just before that I was online shopping for books and I’ve got something I’ve got to get off my chest. I miss contemporary romance. I fear it’s on the endangered list. I know Jane and Smart Bitches have the whole Bring Back the Contemporary and I’m first in line to sign that petition. The first 35 messages on the Author’s Open Post are predominantly paranormal and/or erotic fiction! What gives?

    I like paranormal, I’m a big fan of JR Ward. I get the whole erotic vampire thing. But the market seems a bit flooded with it now and, as a reader, I’d like a bit more balance. I’m not slamming the authors of these books, I’m certain a lot of them are well written books very worthy of being published. But where’s the ying to the yang?

    Is anyone in agreement? Or am I alone? (Surrounded by horndog vampires and their wiccan mermaid mates….)

  28. XandraG
    Jun 03, 2009 @ 21:55:56

    @Mara – The contemp will come back around again. Paranormals are still what the pubs want more of, and where most of the rising stars/new established authors are making names for themselves, and the industry doesn’t really encourage subgenre-jumping (with good reason).

    In general, I’m back to pimp out an awesome graphic novel series that is amazingly adventurous, gripping, and even romantic and best of all, it’s freakin’ steampunk. They’re up to 8 volumes, and 9 is about to come out. But…even better than best of all, you can read ’em online…legally and for free. If you haven’t already, get yourself over to Studio Foglio’s Girl Genius and start reading.

  29. Tammy
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 06:12:04

    XandraG said:

    Todd Stone's “Novelist's Boot Camp” (which I'm a few pages into and enjoying all the military refs immensely. Mr. Xandra, former Army reservist, is tickled by the whole green book thing).

    XandraG, Bob Mayer, Jenny Crusie’s sometimes-collaborator, has a new book out that Mr. XandraG might enjoy called “Who Dares Wins: The Green Beret Way.” I enjoyed Mayer’s “The Novel Writer’s Toolkit” but this book seems more focused on achieving goals using tools and techniques he learned from his Green Beret training. Haven’t read it yet myself.

    Lucinda, I’m pulling for Susan Grant to take the paranormal RITA with MOONSTRUCK. LOVED IT. LOVED LOVED LOVED.

  30. Angela James
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 07:24:21

    Though I haven’t read “Gotcha” I have read several of Christie Craig’s other books and I second the recommendation for them.

  31. KeriM
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 08:41:14

    @ Mara I am with you on the balance of contemporary with other genres. I don’t have very many authors in that genre, so I am pulling more and more out of TBR pile for books to read. Now that is a good thing for now.

  32. Estara
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 15:09:42

    Well, I’ve recently finished Sherwood Smith‘s Sasharia en Garde two-book series from Samhain, which is available in ebook and now in paperback, and as I think she’s still an underappreciated author would like to pimp my reviews of said books ^^ on my livejournal (note: I used these for Amazon as well, as no one had reviewed them there at the time).

    Just finished reading: Sherwood Smith’s Once a Princess (with spoilers)
    Sherwood Smith’s Twice a Prince (with spoilers)

    Sherwood does great character and dialogue work, she always has capable women and men who don’t feel threatened by them and a deft hand with understated romance. Her Satorias-deles world in particular (which is the same world she uses for her DAW books, just 800 years earlier) has lived in her mind for decades (she reminds me of Tolkien that way) and I think she’s just as capable writing epics (Inda) as ya (Posse of Princesses, also from Samhain) or the Wren books (Firebird imprint) or twenty-something stuff, which this is.

  33. RKB
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 20:33:38

    I am MAD AS HELL still after reading Laurell K. Hamilton’s latest Anita Blake book. I think what totally disgusted me was when Anita was gang banged by a bunch of weretigers because Marmee Noir screwed with everyone’s mind in the room.

    Including a sixteen-year-old male weretiger.

    What the HELL was the point of showing hebephilia, Laurell? Shock value?

    Throughout the whole book all Anita does is whine and moan about how everyone in the Las Vegas police is out to get her. The men all call her a slut and the one female cop hates her guts and says nasty things to her too. Anita continually complains about how she has too many men in her life. Complains more that she can't take much more of being a Marshall who sleeps with the monsters.

    And while I’m not going to give away the end, it was pretty much an orgy that had rape involved. The bad guy is “making” Anita do sexual acts to hostages, therefore having them released instead of murdered. As she’s about to rape a male to “save” hostages, she says to him “It's not a fate worse than death, Rick.”

    That's your !@#$ing reasoning? Are you !@#$ing kidding me?

    The Anita Blake I knew in the first 8 books would not rape people. The Anita Blake I knew would have found a way to just kill the bad guy. Ms. Hamilton goes on and on about how Anita Blake is the most powerful monster in existence now, and she keeps getting new and wonderful powers. Why the HELL ISN’T SHE !@#$ING USING THEM?

    Having read all 17 of the Anita Blake books, I have to say it's like watching a friend with a mental condition slowly go psychotic because they aren't taking their medicine. Or it’s like watching a friend become a drug addict and seeing them lose all their morals just to get their next fix.

    Anita Blake is dead.

    And I hate Laurell K. Hamilton for killing her.

  34. Jane
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 21:00:56

    @RKB Egads. What is the point of the gang bang scene? Is she running out of ideas of what to write about?

  35. Keri M
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 21:21:51

    I just wanted to post one more time. I had found out earlier today that Betina Krahn is coming out with a Blaze in July called Make Me Yours. I realized that I had some BK’s in my TBR pile that I have had there for a long time. So I picked up The Husband Test and started it this evening. I am loving this book and have been laughing so much my husband wanted to know what I was reading. So for sure The Wife Test next. :-)

  36. Kelly Maher
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 21:28:46

    @TerryS: Terry (and Angie), give Toni McGee Causey’s Bobbie Faye series a try. The first two books are being re-released this month with new covers, new titles and in mass market and the third book will be out in August. Very action-oriented, and there’s a bit of a love triangle, but I feel like there’s actual movement in character development with that plot compared to the Plum books (which I still listen to for the humor element).

  37. Angela James
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 21:30:21

    @Kelly you know, I just saw Toni’s blog post on the cover saga and it made me think I need to give those books a try. Thanks for reminding me.

  38. Anion
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 21:35:02

    No offense, RKB, seriously, but what did you expect? I can’t even remember the last decent Anita book. I guess it was whatever came before Narcissus in Chains (otherwise known as “The one with the enormous plot hole so big it could swallow the entire Anitaverse.”)

    (BTW…telling a rape victim that “It’s not a fate worse than death”? Isn’t that equivalent to “Just lie there and enjoy it”? Disgusting and shameful.)

  39. RKB
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 22:00:30

    @Anion, I kept reading them because I was like that frog in a pot of boiling water. The frog doesn’t know it’s slowly being boiled alive until it’s dead.

  40. Kathy Crouch
    Jun 04, 2009 @ 22:19:10

    I just finished reading the Mortal Instruments Trilogy by Casaandra Clare. City of Bones, City of Ashes, City of Glass. From the first book, the story sets up a wonderfully charged battle between good and evil. We find ourselves discovering that demons do exist and that a race of Nephilim are fighting to keep them at bay every day. Our heroine Clary stumbles into this world and finds out secrets about herself that make the story explode. I enjoyed every page. Cassandra Clare made me want to live in her world if only for a little while.

  41. Kaetrin
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 00:22:27

    I just finished reading High Noon by Nora Roberts. I really enjoyed the book and I wonder if we might see (secondary character) Detective Liz Alberta get her own story one of these days (er, that is, unless she has already and I’ve just not caught up with it).

    I went and read Jane’s review after I finished it and I have to agree there was a lot of the Roarke and Eve thing going on with Duncan and Phoebe. I half expected to see Chief Tibble’s dad turn up in the story or something.

    Given how much I like Eve and Roarke this wasn’t a bad thing, but I didn’t see much difference in the “voice” used for this story, unlike other Nora books. Again, not a criticism, more an observation.

    Also, watched Blue Smoke and Angels Fall on DVD recently (after reading the books first). Have to say I thought the movies were sooo bad – terrible acting!!!! The books were SO MUCH better.

    Am now reading Birthright as I’m having a Nora binge. Although, my Eve/Roarke appetite has been re-whetted by HN, so I might read Salvation in Death next…

  42. April
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 07:05:08

    I’ve been on a Laura Kinsale kick lately, and I just must comment SOMEWHERE about how much I am LOVING this author. Where has she been hiding from me? I never heard of her until this website discussion about comfort reads. Also, Kinsale was often mentioned in a thread on the Smart Bitches site about the sex scene coming early in the book (Midsummer Moon). So, I put Moon on my PBS list, and haven’t looked back. I’m having a love affair with Laura Kinsale.

    The thing I am loving most about Kinsale is her characterizations. Most authors, even a lot of my favorite authors, have slightly different versions of the same hero and heronine. They try to change them up some, but really, if the voice remains the same…it’s the same character. Kinsale creates someone new and completely unexpected with every novel. I am unable to EVER tell where she is going with a story, and I often honestly wonder how this H/H will get their HEA.

    I just finished For My Lady’s Heart and Shadowheart. Ruck and Allegreto are some of the most compelling heroes I’ve ever read about, but I’m particularly excited by the audacity and the unexpected actions in the characters of Melanthe and Elena. ::sigh:: Good stuff.

    However–I am deeply disturbed about something in The Shadow and the Star. I can’t forget Samuel’s love for Kai in that book. I feel a distinct lack of closure there. He was in love with Kai most of his life. All of his actions were done with Kai and marrying her in mind. Yet he is compelled to marry Leta. He comes to love her, I saw that, but where was the realization that he didn’t love Kai romantically? I needed an “a-ha” moment for Samuel. I wanted him to realize that his feelings for Kai were more brotherly and that his sexual desire for Leta was more than that.

    This is seriously bugging me.

  43. Leslee
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 07:34:42

    Thanks RKB!!! I really appreciate the heads up. I had heard that rumor about the underage thing and didn’t know if it was true. Now I know that I am officially done with Anita. I can’t read about something like that-what is she smoking! I have supported LKH up until now; they are her characters and she can do with them what she wants. It was bad enough when she turned Richard into a Dick but this is too much. She has killed any liking I had for the characters.

    On the contemporary side, I just read Instant Attraction by Jill Shalvis and it was good!!! Yummy hero, admirable heroine, great sexual tension. I really liked it and it is the start of a series!!!

  44. Jorrie Spencer
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 09:19:28

    @April I’m a serious fan of Laura Kinsale. Can’t quite remember how I got turned on to her though. Oh, perhaps it was Shadowheart‘s release.

    Anyway, The Shadow and the Star is perhaps my favorite Kinsale. I know some readers had trouble with the whole Kai thing. I guess I didn’t because it never seemed to be more (or less) than brotherly love, so I didn’t see him as being in love with Kai but wanting to continue living with the family who had saved him from his terrible childhood (even though continuing to live like that as an adult wasn’t possible).

    I only saw him being in love with Lena.

    But obviously there are different ways to read a book! (Oh, and just loved My Lady’s Heart.)

  45. Anion
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 11:37:31

    @RKB: Lol, yeah, I know what you mean.

  46. Jill Sorenson
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 11:50:54

    I LOVED Suzanne Collins’ The Hunger Games. Jia’s rec. Might be my favorite book ever. I’ll have to see if my initial infatuation fades.

    Also just read Meredith Duran’s The Duke of Shadows. I thought it was very good. Sort of a dense historical, as in meaty? Not a quick, throwaway read. Interesting heroine, super hot hero, nicely done.

  47. Moriah Jovan
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 12:00:47


    Getting formatting right for Kindle is a bitch, but a careful e-publisher will certainly check to see that it’s as good as it can be (within the K’s limitations) before uploading it. Too, if the product is inferior when it is uploaded, it can be fixed and re-uploaded.

    What this tells me is that A) the big publishers haven’t truly incorporated building e-books into their workflow process OR they may not really know how to transition, B) they have no quality control, C) they don’t have the resources to deal effectively with e-book technology and implementation, and D) IMO, it’s very possible they just don’t care.

  48. MaryK
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 12:59:38


    where was the realization that he didn't love Kai romantically? I needed an “a-ha” moment for Samuel.

    It’s been ages since I read this book; but IIRC, there’s a point where he realizes that Kai will want kids, maybe during the talk with his stepmother, and he’s not prepared to sleep with her – it hadn’t even occurred to him. I thought he was just in the habit of looking after/belonging to Kai, and Leda was the kick-in-the-pants he needed to get over that.

    I love Kinsale. Her books are so dense I find I have to read them several times to absorb everything. She has a new book coming out in February, BTW.

  49. Kristin
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 14:09:04

    OMG! L Kinsale has a new book coming out!?! AAAAAAHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Thanks for that bit of news…*off to find out more*

  50. MaryK
    Jun 05, 2009 @ 14:18:53

    @Kristin: Try this DA announcement.

  51. Andrea S
    Jun 10, 2009 @ 12:11:50

    I just finished reading The Season by Sarah McLean. I know it was reviewed here awhile ago, but I hadn’t gotten around to reading it until last week. And it was great! It’s YA so the romance is a little tame, but the story is interesting and the couple are just wonderful. I’m pretty sure I both laughed out loud and cried to myself. The worst thing about debut authors is there is no backlist to read… I would be reading another by her if one had existed : D

    Next on my list is some old Teresa Medieros. I’m super excited!

  52. Delilah
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 08:09:27

    @an, Sunny made no secret that her work is ‘inspired’ by those two particular authors…unfortunately her work resembles fanfiction, with no original content and a poor attempt to rename races and species lifted directly from both authors.

    Fans of Anita Blake and the Black Jewels will certainly recognise Mona Lisa’s characters and storylines, but as to liking the books, that completely depends on which generation of Anita/Jaenelle stories said fans enjoy. If you can’t even look at Anita Blake after #10, and the Dark Jewels are no longer so dark, Sunny’s work is not for you.

  53. an
    Jun 21, 2009 @ 18:39:51

    @Delilah, thanks for responding to me.

    I’ve been thinking about Sunny’s books for a while. They seemed like a cartoon candy version. It was almost interesting enough to read to see how she reworked things, and it made me think about what I liked about the Jaenelle books.

    I’m glad she’s open about her inspirations. I’m still not sure how I feel about her books. I first read a short story of hers in a collection (not sure) and I couldn’t stand it. I was a little more forgiving of the books I read. Perhaps I had lower expectations? I still think that if you like AB and Jaenelle, you could like Sunny’s books, but I read ALOT and reading one of her books takes only about an hour for me. This is not a huge investment, so if it doesn’t pan out – I’m not totally crushed. Unless it was really, really bad.

    I do miss the old Anita, the one who used to shoot things and wear clothes. Even though I still read (library) the newer ones. (A girl can hope, right? Although, @RKB, I am thinking that maybe I’ll need to hope a little longer. Or maybe even give up. Ugh.) And I like all of the Jaenelle stories, the more romantic as well as the more fantasy. The shift wasn’t jarring like AB’s move into sexathons.

  54. Mora
    Jun 23, 2009 @ 07:30:25

    I tried Burning Alive because of all the buzz surrounding it and was very disappointed. It just felt like so many other books out there–a heroine you could swap with the main character of half a dozen other paranormals and never know the difference, and writing that just seemed really flat. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t bad. It just seemed like 2/3 of it was reaction and 1/3 was action. I never exactly bought the romance, either. It seemed like yet another paranormal where “fated mate” was used in place of actual character and relationship development.

    It almost seemed like the most interesting part of the book was the stories that weren’t told–Lexi, and what happened to her, the girl Thomas helped out, the relationship between the Gray Lady (can’t remember her actual name) and her mate, and whatever secrets she was keeping from him.

    I’ll probably pass on the rest of the series.

    I’ll have to try the Greg van Eekhout book, though. Anything that gets compared to Neil Gaiman’s work sounds good to me!

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