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

Dear Author Recommends for November

Book CoverReader and Raelynx is the fourth novel in Sharon Shinn’s Twelve Houses series. Although published as fantasy, the books all contain romantic storylines that take center stage. The series is set in Gillengaria, a kingdom where mystics (those people who have magical abilities) are frequently persecuted by those who fear them, and the books follow the fortunes of a group of friends, five mystics and two elite soldiers belonging to the king’s personal guard, as they seek to help Gillengaria’s sympathetic King Baryn. Reader and Raelynx is the climactic book in this series. It brings together many threads from the three previous novels and the novella “When Winter Comes,” and for the most part, does this successfully. Recommended by Janine.

Book CoverAll that I loved about the first three Crazy books was back in On the Loose. There was a super sexy heroine who was smart, capable, fiercely loyal to her family, and one who knows how to get what she wants matched with a super sexy hero who wants to forget the best night of his life but can't once she's standing right in front of him with only a few threads of cloth separating her body from being kissed by the sun in total. The book has action, subplots, nuns, crazy guerillas with guns, and it somehow never loses sight that the reader wants to know about the two main characters. Recommended by Jane.

Book Cover The cover does a really great job of conveying the story inside. Lady of Light and Shadow is the second part of CL Wilson’s cross between epic fantasy and genre romance. Ellysetta Baristani has been plagued by nightmares all her life and since the arrival of Rain Tairen Soul into her life those nightmares have increased. Being with Rain and coming into her own power is causing great havoc in Ellie’s life as lines are drawn in the sand with friends and family on one side and the Fey on the other. Ellie is forced to choose and her choices will impact the survival, and destruction, of more than one culture. I can only warn readers that at the end of this book, they’ll be left cursing the author that she doesn’t write fast enough so readers might want to read slowly. Recommended by Jane.

Book Cover Readers might be put off by the title, Down Home Zombie Blues, but Linnea Sinclair makes Science Fiction accessible. I’m coming at the story from the vantage point of someone who doesn’t read a great deal of Science Fiction or Romantic Science Fiction. For me in my blissful ignorance, the story worked fairly well (aside from the language). The Star Trek references were plentiful but helped provide a good, quick visual reference for readers and with a book of this length, there’s not much extra room for long drawn out descriptions. The romance was worked well into the Science Fiction story and speaking as someone who usually doesn’t like rushed romances, I had no problems with this one. Recommended by Jayne

Book Cover This new to us author provides a rich historical romance based in the World War II era told from the viewpoint of two different pilots, one male and one female. “On Wings of the Morning” took me back to a simpler time in American history but one in which people loved as much, still made mistakes but had a common purpose. The book has a great period feel and I can see the author has done her homework. From Morgan’s childhood on a farm in rural Oklahoma to Georgia’s uprooted existence moving from backwater Florida to big city Chicago, I could see them and the people around them. I could feel living through a summer with only an oscillating fan, driving to see Charles Lindbergh — to actually see the Lone Eagle, the man who changed aviation history! — wanting to learn to fly so badly and sensing that it was your destiny that you’d do anything and work any hours to pay for flight lessons. Georgia’s adult girlfriend’s bafflement that Georgia didn’t want to join her in getting married at age eighteen felt totally realistic though I would probably have sided with Georgia and wanted to work and be independent. The story was an interesting and fast read despite the fact that it’s lengthy. Recommended by Jayne

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. Holly
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 13:19:49

    I’m starting On The Loose tonight. I’m really glad to see she’s back to being better with this one. I never bothered to read Red Dog’s book. That whole amnesia thing just didn’t sit well with me.

    I have the Sharon Shinn on my wishlist, too…

  2. Jan
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 13:32:50

    For the record, my experience with Sinclair’s book was that it left me rather blah in the end. There was no depth to it, no exploration of anything, and no real reason for a love to exist between the hero and heroine. If you want a mediocre episode of Star Trek, go for it. But her other books are better if you’ve not read those.

  3. Jill Myles
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 15:42:20

    I so need to read that Sharon Shinn series. The first book has been on my TBR shelf for a bajillion years…and I normally love Shinn. Love! Love! So I think it’s the whole ‘epic fantasy’ thing that’s stopping me.

  4. Janine
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 16:23:22

    Jill, I am not usually that keen on epic fantasy myself, but I did enjoy this series very much, especially the last two books, Dark Moon Defender and Reader and Raelynx, as well as the novella “When Winter Comes” which can be found in the anthology The Queen in Winter.

    The series does need to be read in order so the first book is the place to start. I found that one (Mystic and Rider) the most similar to traditional epic fantasy.

    Also, there is always Shinn’s YA series (The Safe-Keeper’s Secret, The Truth-Teller’s Tale and The Dream-Maker’s Magic). Have you tried those? They are wonderful, and anything but epic.

  5. Shannon C.
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 20:30:12

    I’m so glad I discovered Shinn from this site. I’m nearly done with the first Samaria book, and I’m enjoying it quite a bit. Plus, I do love epic fantasy, so it’s nice to see that there’s more romantic epic fantasy out these days.

  6. Taekduu
    Oct 31, 2007 @ 20:53:29

    I picked up the first C. L. Wilson book on recommendation. I about died waiting for Lady of Light and Shadows. Then I finished the book and said bad things about her. How could she leave it hanging like that! weep weep. But Sharon Shinn will no doubt make me feel better.

  7. Kathy MacAlister
    Nov 01, 2007 @ 10:23:38

    I lucked into an ARC of Reader and Raelynx and it is SO worth reading. I gather that this ties up the series with these characters, although there may be more with different characters in this “universe”. Now I want to go back and read them all again!

  8. Meredith McGuire
    Nov 01, 2007 @ 14:14:23

    Wait a second — there’s a new Linnea Sinclair out? Gah! Now I’m tempted to spend the evening trawling bookstores in search of it. Actually, I stopped in this morning at Borders to see if they’d received Lady of Light and Shadow yet — no such luck. Can someone who already read it tell me if Rain and Elly visit the Fading Lands in this book? Or at least leave the city? I loved LotFL — actually, it’s the first fantasy novel I’ve really enjoyed since The Great Fantasy Burnout of ’04 — but by the end, I was hoping the story would take them out of the city and into Fey society for a while.

  9. Jan
    Nov 01, 2007 @ 14:25:10

    The Sinclair is out Nov 27. :)

  10. Miki
    Nov 01, 2007 @ 18:53:50

    The Sinclair is out Nov 27. :)

    Woo-hoo! A birthday present for me, then!

  11. Meredith McGuire
    Nov 01, 2007 @ 19:12:34

    The Sinclair is out Nov 27.

    Good to know… saves me a trip to the bookstore tonight. :)

  12. Jane
    Nov 01, 2007 @ 21:54:20

    Taekduu – I know! The wait is killing me. The storylines are so compelling. I thought the twists on the true mate theme just genius.

  13. Taekduu
    Nov 02, 2007 @ 00:36:46

    if you haven’t read the two books, there might be some spoiler action here

    Hey Jane,
    The storyline drew me in. The thing that usually bothers me in the true mate thing is that we are expected to believe they are in love from the beginning and having your one true love fixes everything. Rain and Elly are working on their relationship and errors are made on both sides. In a relationship that seems extremely uneven – in terms of culture, age, and experience – there is always a learning curve. The lust is helpful though :) I really think that she worked that aspect particularly well but added several twists. What if your one true love is your support and your worst enemy all in one package?

    She did introduce some real complications that I make the world more real because not everything is taken care of via deus ex machina. There is depth and complication in her characters and I feel like she really worked out this story and the issues that could come up. I want to see what happens in the Fading Lands. sigh, October 2008… hopefully I will not go mad in the intervening time. Must find new authors… must find. I need to read slower :)

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