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

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. Darlynne
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:22:14

    Devon Monk’s Magic on the Hunt comes out on the fifth and is pre-ordered to hit my Nook. I love this series and hope others will start reading. Lover Unleashed, although a March book, isn’t available until Tuesday and I am most eager for that, probably of any book this year.

  2. Keziah Hill
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:26:58

    A Discovery of Witches by Deborah Harkness. I couldn’t put it down but was very frustrated with it. Wonderful world building and a great story line, but the heroine degenerated into a bit of helpless miss by the end. I’d still read the next installment though, so it’s not a failure.

  3. Janine
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:30:06

    My favorite book read in March was Rothfuss’s The Name of the Wind and I am really looking forward to The Wise Man’s Fear.

    Of books published in the past month, Jill Sorenson’s The Edge of Night was my favorite.

    I’m also looking forward to Jean Auel’s The Land of Painted Caves which is coming out very soon.

  4. Silver James
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:35:33

    Jennifer Lyon’s third installment in her witch hunter series arrived this past week. NIGHT MAGIC, the story of a blind witch and the man sworn to protect her from rogue hunters, is an absolute emotional rollercoaster. The last few chapters had me in tears and reading furiously to make sure everything worked out the way I wanted it to. I loved this book so much I wanted to immediately reread it, just in case I’d missed something.

    If you aren’t familiar with this series, the first is BLOOD MAGIC, followed by SOUL MAGIC. The fourth book, SINFUL MAGIC, releases the end of May. If you are a fan of magic, witches, and steamy sex, I recommend you give the series a try.

  5. Helly
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:36:56

    @Keziah Hill: I know what you mean, the beginning of “A Discovery..” was fantastic, but towards the end, the heroine was only munching toast and drinking endless cups of tea with her aunties. Got a bit much for me and somehow. I will give the next installment a shot as well, tho.

    Currently reading Iron Duke (I really thought it was going to win the dabwaha) and Winter Sea. Also looking forward to Lover Unleashed.

  6. Jane
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:36:57

    I’ll start out. I’ve been reading Elle Kennedy and started Cat Johnson’s bull riding series at the recommendation of Ridley. I also bought the Bad Blood series from Mills & Boon at the recommendation of Ros. I have really enjoyed it. One of the books (by Abby Green) features a bollywood actress as the heroine and there is no stinting in describing her Indian heritage and how attractive it is to the hero. I love that. Unfortunately the books won’t be released in the U.S. until June and they will be published one at a time although if you wanted to buy them you could at the Mills and Boon site.

    I was pretty disappointed in the Kristan Higgins’ book. I’m putting up my review of that tomorrow or Tuesday but suffice to say that I really felt like it was the one book where I really understood the accusations against Higgins of being anti feminist.

    I’m excited that Carolyn Jewel has released digital backlist copies of The Spare and Lord Ruin. I think Lord Ruin is one of my favorite Jewel books (her historicals have always worked better for me than her contemps).

  7. rebyj
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:38:41

    Jean Auel's The Land of Painted Caves is one I’m looking forward to . JR Ward’s Lover Unleashed comes out Tuesday. Margaret George’s Elizabeth 1 and Moriah Jovan’s Magdalene come out later in the month. It’s gonna be a good month!

  8. Helly
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:39:42

    btw, is it only authors or those affiliated with DA who can have icons next to their comments?

  9. Lori
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:45:36

    Sarah Addison Allen’s newest release The Peach Keeper has just been released and is downloaded in the Kindle and ready to read. Gawd, I love that woman.

  10. Camryn
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:46:07

    I’m excited to hear about that Bollywood M&B book. I hope you review that on this blog.

    I’m not only here to talk about books, so I will say, after Duke and Kansas lost this week, I don’t need to watch anymore basketball for the year, so I can get back to reading again. Maybe next month I’ll have some new books to talk about.

  11. Jane
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:46:17

    @Helly This is the thread for readers, any readers. If you want an icon next to your comment, go to That’s how we have icons next to our comments. The site is gravatar aware.

    This is the thread for authors.

  12. Jane
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:51:04

    @Camryn I do plan to review it but I will probably wait until the US version comes out which will be later this year or maybe even next year.

  13. Sabrina
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:51:04

    I completely forgot “Lover Unleashed” was coming out on Tuesday!! I started reading Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series and can’t seem to stop…little behind times apparently, wish I’d picked them up a long time ago:) Debating on Meljean Brooks’ Guardian series, I LOVED “Here There Be Monsters” and “The Iron Duke” so I think I will give the series a shot! I didn’t see a lot of new releases for April that I have to have other then Ward’s.

  14. Ammarylis
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 15:51:49

    I discovered Ilona Andrews “Kate Daniels” series this month & now I’m completely in love. Can’t wait for “Magic Slays.” I discovered Steampunk with Gail Carriger’s “Soulless” & Meljean Brook’s “The Iron Duke.” Both were really good in different ways. I also fell out of love with Richelle Mead this month. I’d already quit her VA & “Georgina Kincaid” series after books 3 & 5 respectively. Her “Dark Swan” series was my last try & was going well…until “Iron Crowned.” Ugh. No words can express how disgusted I am with Eugenie. Now I have given up on Mead because she has this uncanny ability to screw up her heroines. It’s like a freaking super power.

    Books I'm Excited About Reading in April:
    ★Sweet Possession~Maya Banks
    ★Abandon~Meg Cabot
    ★The Chase~Erin McCarthy
    ★Mona Lisa Eclipsing~Sunny

  15. library addict
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 16:02:36

    I finally started Maya Banks KGI series: The Darkest Hour, No Place to Run, and Hidden Away (though haven’t read book 3 yet). I wish there’d been more of the h/h in book 1, but I would recommend the series to RS fans or readers who like family-centric series.

    I also enjoyed Kate Davies' Take a Chance on Me. It had some plotting issues, but a likeable h/h.

    For April, I’m looking most forward to Nora’s Chasing Fire and Deadly Dreams by Kylie Brant.

  16. Helly
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 16:05:35

    @Jane: Thank you!

  17. Janine
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 16:14:39


    I'm excited that Carolyn Jewel has released digital backlist copies of The Spare and Lord Ruin. I think Lord Ruin is one of my favorite Jewel books (her historicals have always worked better for me than her contemps).

    I recently picked up a copy of Lord Ruin. Didn’t realize that The Spare had been rereleased also.

    Speaking of backlists, I found five of Barbara Samuel’s old historicals available for Kindle for only 0.99 each. How can you beat that price! I remember really enjoying A Bed of Spices, Lucien’s Fall and The Black Angel back in the day, and now I can replace my worn paper copies with digital versions. I’m looking forward to the two I haven’t read yet.

    Tracy Grant has released a previously unpublished book, The Mask of Night, which is a sequel to Daughter of the Game/Secrets of a Lady. I’m looking forward to that one too.

  18. Jia
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 16:25:50

    @Janine: Oh man, reading The Wise Man’s Fear was a major effort for me. I haven’t read that long a book in such a long time! I’d completely forgotten that there was a major effort several years back to cut down on page count in big fat epic fantasy so only the major guys get the chance to go that high these days.

    I liked the beginning and I enjoyed the end but there were parts in the middle that were a slog. I won’t spoil here but that 200-or-so page stretch was the hardest for me to make it through.

  19. Jorrie Spencer
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:00:09

    I completed Shana Abé’s Drakon series and was really glad I read it. The writing is superb, though I did have some questions about the story at times. My favorite book remains The Dream Thief (book 2) which I thought was very clever while being an emotional read as well.

    After the RITA announcements, I am reminded that I want to read The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks, Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl and His At Night by Sherry Thomas. (The latter two are already bought and in my tbr pile.)

  20. Janine
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:07:33

    @Jia: Oh, sorry to hear that! The Name of the Wind had some slower parts earlier on. I’ll probably still read The Wise Man’s Fear though. Are you going to review it?

    @Jorrie Spencer: I love Abe’s drakon series, except for The Treasure Keeper (book four). That one was okay but not wow, but the rest are just so good. I’m not sure which one would be my favorite, but probably The Smoke Thief. I am really glad that Abe is continuing the series.

  21. Tina
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:12:09

    Maiden Lane by Lynne Connolly. I enjoyed it but I am an stone cold Richard and Rose fan. I can see the series coming to an end in the near future which is both sad and fitting.

    A Lot Like Love by Julie James. Super funny. “It’s twitter people!” LOL. She is a new autobuy for me now.

    River Marked by Patricia Briggs: Made of Win!

    Cara Mckenna. She really is a good erotica author with a great voice. I recommend Willing Victim highly and enjoyed just as much Ruin Me.

    Brandon Sanderson. Fantasy writer. He was tasked with finishing The Wheel of Time series after Robert Jordan died. I’ve been loathe to plunge back into that series but I read Mistborn and I really enjoy Sanderson’s writing. So I may actually revisit WOT.

    Ruthie Robinson. She writes Interracial romances published by Genesis Press. Her first book, Reye’s Gold, was excellent. Did not feel like a first time writer. Her second book, was a disappointment but the writing was still fantastic.

    Just Bought:
    Wise Man’s Fear by Pat Rothfuss. I want to give this book my total attention. I have along weekend next week with kids and hubby away on a father/sons thing and I will be alone. Just me, wine and Kvothe.

    Waiting for
    Kristan Higgins and Nora Roberts’ next ones *foot tapping impatiently*

    Disappointed by
    Archangel’s Consort. I wasn’t as wowed as I wanted to be. I definitely liked the fist two books much better.

    Fever series I stuck through the third book but finally gave up. It felt like walking through syrup trying to read that series, imo. It just wasn’t moving enough for me.

  22. Willa
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:14:51

    Really looking forward to Nalini Singh’s Kiss Of Snow, Hawkes book in the Psy/Changling series.

    Also Kylie Brant’s Deadly Dreams and Larissa Ione’s Eternal Rider: Lords of Deliverance Series: Book 1

    Tis a shame only one of the three is available as an ebook.

  23. Jane
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:20:15

    @Tina Ruin Me is kind of fascinating read. I keep meaning to review it. I felt like the heroine got away with murder in that book, that she never suffered for her actions even though she potentially wreaked havoc with more than one life. I liked it and loathed it at the same time.

  24. Kerry
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:29:01

    I also had big problems with a Discovery of Witches (my review is linked in my name), and am surprised that I made it through 600 pages narrated by characters with a bad case of The Perfects. Harry Potter was more subtle, and I want to read the book from the viewpoint of the daemon in the library.

  25. Jennifer Estep
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:34:34

    I read A Lot Like Love by Julie James and really, really enjoyed it, even more than Something About You, which I also liked. I’m looking forward to her next book and plan to get the rest of her backlist.

    This month, I’m looking forward to Dark Jenny by Alex Bledsoe and Red Glove by Holly Black. I also need to read Kresley Cole’s latest and get caught up on Julie Kagawa’s Iron Fey series. Too many books, too little time …

  26. Joanne
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:42:20


    on April 26th. That’s a heads up to her readers because it was suppose to be released in May.

    Nora Roberts has CHASING FIRE.
    I’m taking one more shot with Amanda Quick historicals by ordering QUICKSILVER. We’ll see.

    : I found my lost copy of Captives Of The Night by Loretta Chase that I haven’t read in forever. It is just a little bit dark but rich with her wonderful writing and back on my keeper shelf.

  27. Penelope
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:46:35

    I read an incredible ARC this month…it is from Cara McKenna’s romancey alter-ego, Meg Maguire. The Reluctant Nude is coming out April 5. It is a phenomenal book–subtle, seductive and emotionally intense. The hero is one of the most appealing characters I have ever seen. I can’t wait to read more books by Maguire….this book was pure magic.

  28. Tina
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:53:41


    Jane, I’d be very interested in reading your thoughts. For me, I thought the boyfriend was the problematic one — on many levels. I do believe there was some surprisingly deep sexual psychology presented in that one little novella.

    Really? Good to know. *runs off to add to Goodreads TBR*

  29. MaryK
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:53:51

    I’ve just been looking over the items in Operation Auction. If I were going to RT, I’d totally bid on the Angela-Jane-Sarah Breakfast.

  30. Jia
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:53:53

    @Janine: I wasn’t really planning on it but if you end up reading it, maybe we can do a dual review somewhere down the line. I think a book like that needs a couple people to review it just because there’s so much of it.

    @Jennifer Estep: Red Glove was a great book! I think people who loved White Cat will love it.

  31. Liz M
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 17:55:25

    @Penelope: I really enjoyed Meg Maguire’s April Harlequin Blaze, Caught on Camera.

  32. Jennifer Estep
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 18:10:52

    @Jia: Glad to hear it. I love books about thieves/conmen, and I thought White Cat was a lot of fun.

  33. Jill Sorenson
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 18:49:24

    I really enjoyed BOYFRIENDS WITH GIRLFRIENDS by Alex Sanchez. Cute, multicultural GLBT/YA with two romances, one f/f and the other m/m. Great exploration of alternative sexualities and relationships between teens and parents. Review to come.

  34. Janine
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 19:02:39

    @Penelope: Count me as another one who really enjoyed Willing Victim and has a lot of interest in the Meg Maguire book.

    @Jia: I’d love to do a dual review with you after I read it. I don’t think we’ve ever done a joint review, so it would be fun.

  35. Jia
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 19:11:52

    @Janine: Ha! The joint review with John was the very first one I’ve ever done for Dear Author in all the years I’ve reviewed for the blog.

  36. helen
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 19:15:22

    Thanks for the heads up on the Barbara Samuel books! I bought all of the .99 cents ones.
    Does anyone know if there are any sites or blogs dedicated to letting readers know about books reissued in e-book format? I have so many favorite authors from long ago that I’d love to get in e-book format but don’t want to spend all my time searching BN for the books every month.

  37. Janine
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 19:47:34

    @helen: I don’t know of blogs dedicated to reissues, but Books on the Knob is dedicated to free or cheap e-books.

  38. Carolyn
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 20:05:32

    Barbara Hambly’s backlist is being reissued through Open Road Media and will be available at Amazon and BN March 29. I’ve been waiting for this and have already preordered The Ladies of Madrigyn.

    They’re not cheap – $7.99 – but for this author I don’t mind.

    Also waiting for the next Kate Daniels book.

  39. JB Hunt
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 20:06:14

    Looking forward to the new Rachel Gibson and the latest in Julia Spencer-Fleming’s series — One Was a Soldier.

  40. Amber S
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 20:09:57

    Just finished “Sweet as Sin” today and it made me cry. Have a few books I’m looking forward to early April, “Reluctant Nude” and “Lover Unleashed” but for now I have to find something else…

  41. Jenny Schwartz
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 20:10:14

    Carolyn — did you say Barbara Hambly’s backlist? Awesome!

    I’m another who read and loved “River Marked” by Patricia Briggs this month. Now I’m waiting on “Con and Conjure” by Lisa Shearin.

  42. Kai
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 20:30:29

    @Jane – I really look forward to your review of Ruin Me. I adored Willing Victim (I’ve read it a few times, unusual for me these days with books always waiting to be read), and I loved Ruin Me as well, but it really is an odd little story. I remember thinking as I read it, this heroine is so flawed I’m surprised at how much I like her. But she was so realistically flawed, and so nakedly honest about it…and somehow, I felt myself identifying with all her emotional darkness and light. It’s one of the most human stories I’ve read in a long time, and I’m eager to read your like/loathe thoughts on it.

    @Liz M – I also enjoyed Caught on Camera (written by Cara McKenna’s alter ego, Meg Maguire), but it made me realize how much I prefer her McKenna stuff. Those stories read like raw essence of writer, undiluted by the restrictions/conventions imposed by a Harlequin category line. I’m not saying series romance can’t be wonderful – Sarah Mayberry, Karina Bliss, and Meg Maguire herself are a testament to that fact – but no one would deny that Harlequin authors have to conform to certain expectations. With her erotica, I feel like Cara McKenna is absolutely herself, absolutely honest, and taps into something fierce and raw and human, even when it makes us (or me, anyway) a little uncomfortable.

    I don’t often encounter writing that makes me feel that way, which makes me realize that I’ve gotten used to heroes and heroines who are a little sanitized, a little idealized (or a lot idealized:). The unsanitized quality of McKenna’s characters is almost startling in comparison. As much as I enjoyed Caught on Camera, it gave me the familiar wish fulfillment experience of most romance (an experience I cheerfully seek out, of course!) But reading Cara McKenna is a whole different thing…more like a hit to the solar plexus, an intense reminder of my flawed humanity. Sorry to ramble on so long, but it’s not often an author gets to me on such a level. Again, looking forward to Jane’s review! (Maybe you could do a paired review with Caught on Camera?)

  43. Jane
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 20:37:06

    @Kai I had some similar feelings about Meg Maguire’s Caught on Camera. McKenna’s voice seemed diluted somehow. I am not blaming this on Harlequin though because I have seen steamier stuff from that line. I wonder if it is McKenna, herself, that is trying for a more mainstream voice. For Ruin Me, it wasn’t the raw emotion that I felt was lacking. That was the part I loved. The part I loathed was her taking without consequences.

  44. Jane
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 20:41:24

    @Kai I will add that I do plan to review Caught on Camera. I thought the story built in emotional intensity toward the end but that we didn’t have enough justification for the characters’ actions early on.

  45. DS
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 20:47:24

    @Helly: I gave up about the middle of Discovery after the preternatural yoga classes and the heroine dithering about what to give a vampire for dinner. I think I would have just asked him over for drinks. It did start out very well though. I was listening to it from Audible and the narrator was very good so I probably got further than I would have had I been reading.

  46. DS
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 20:59:23


    Tracy Grant has released a previously unpublished book, The Mask of Night, which is a sequel to Daughter of the Game/Secrets of a Lady. I'm looking forward to that one too.

    Thanks for the info. I just bought it. $2.99 is a great price and I really liked the second in the series.

  47. library addict
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 21:08:21

    @Joanne: Not sure which Amanda Quick books you have read, but I would recommend her earlier one word titles much more so than the books she writes currently as part of the Arcane series.

    I do enjoy the Arcane books, but her stuff from the 90s is much more layered IMO. Deception, Ravished, and Scandal are my personal faves of hers.

  48. Chelsea
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 21:10:09

    I’m currently reading Archangel’s Consort by Nalini Singh and Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. Loving both! After that I’m going to try to catch up on the Patricia Briggs and Ilona Andrews books (I’m so behind the times it’s terrible)

    And I’m having an arguement with myself about the J.R Ward book. My rating of them has been steadily decreasing over the last three books. I don’t know if it’s me getting bored with the world or the series taking a downward spiral. Either way I’m not sure whether to spend the money on a hardcover….

  49. Evangeline Holland
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 21:55:39

    @Janine: I saw Barbara Samuel’s books on Smashwords yesterday afternoon, but got distracted after placing them in my shopping cart. Off to purchase them right now!

  50. cecilia250
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 21:56:05

    @Jane: Are the Jewel books already available or coming soon? And if they’re available, where can I get them (my usual places don’t have them).

  51. Jane
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 22:00:59

    @cecilia250 I bought mine at Amazon. Here is Lord Ruin. I guess The Spare isn’t up yet. I think Carolyn Jewel had said it was supposed to be available or should have them soon.

  52. MeganS
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 22:23:25

    Chiming in with the 0.99 backlist love, I just finished Barbara Samuel’s A Bed of Spices today. It’s been a while since I’ve read a romance when I was so nervous about how in the world the protagonists could pull off a happy ending. Star-crossed lovers during the Black Death! I loved it.

  53. BethP
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 22:34:46

    I read an ARC (thanks to DearAuthor) of Thea Harrison’s “Dragon Bound” and thoroughly enjoyed it. Even went so far as to pre-order the next book in the series.

    I am currently reading Suzanne Brockmann’s latest “Breaking the Rules” and have to say I feel like she’s on a bit of a soap box. I’m sympathetic to Ben and certainly don’t believe in what his step-father does, but…enough already.

    I have to add my voice to the absolutely loved “A Lot Like Love” camp. It was a great book that left me feeling very warm and fuzzy inside at the end. And the humor was fabulous.

  54. MaryK
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 23:06:39

    @Jane: The Spare is here:

    It’s not linked to the paper copy yet.

  55. Moriah Jovan
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 23:12:20


    Well, thanks a bunch for causing me to lighten my pocketbook to the tune of about 6 books. ;)

    Actually, I bought a bunch of books today, almost all recs from folks on Twitter.

  56. Janine
    Mar 27, 2011 @ 23:34:47

    @DS: In addition to The Mask of Night, Grant has another book in the series coming out Tuesday, but with the characters’ names changed (at her publisher’s request) and under the pen name Teresa Grant. That book is named Vienna Waltz, but I see it’s priced a lot higher.

    @Evangeline Holland: I hope you enjoy the 0.99 Samuel books.


    Chiming in with the 0.99 backlist love, I just finished Barbara Samuel's A Bed of Spices today. It's been a while since I've read a romance when I was so nervous about how in the world the protagonists could pull off a happy ending. Star-crossed lovers during the Black Death! I loved it.

    I remember crying my eyes out reading that book! Glad you enjoyed it too.

  57. Liza Lester
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 00:25:54

    Kathleen O’Reilly’s Just Surrender… will be out mid-April. She has an excerpt up on her site featuring another engaging NYer heroine. Although said heroine would have been more kickass had she *not* required a hero to change her cab’s tire for her.

  58. Keziah Hill
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 01:58:55

    Re a Discovery of Wiches, I thought at one stage that if it was a trilogy each one would be from the POV of witch, vampire, daemon, but I don’t think it will be. If she’d cut out all the eating and sleeping the book would’ve been much tighter.

  59. Ros
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 02:46:57

    @Jane: Yay! Glad you are enjoying the Bad Blood books. Th only one I didn’t love was Illegitimate Tycoon. Not that it was badly written, I just didn’t think it was a romance. There was never any point at which I thought that their marriage wouldn’t survive. The conflict wasn’t really about their relationship, just the issue of pregnancy.

  60. Helly
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 05:15:58

    @Silver James: checked out an excerpt from Blood Magic on Kobo and it looks promising!

    @Kerry: read your review and it sums up what I felt was making the book not work as well as it could have.
    There is definitely a serious lack of chemistry between Diana and Matthew even though the potential is enormous.
    I will, however, give the series another chance with the sequel. Am a sucker for witchy magic.

  61. Leslee
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 05:24:21

    I just read a bunch of great books that are coming out soon! The Restorer by Amanda Stevens is a suspense with romantic and paranormal elements. The main character does cemetary restoration and runs a blog for people who love cemetaries. A body is found in the historical cemetary she is working on and gets involved in the case and with the lead detective. Oh, and she also sees ghosts! It was spooky and gothic and just plain wonderful! And the start of a series!!

    Completely different from that was Hounded by Kevin Hearne. The best way I can describe him is a Druid Harry Dresden. Great sense of humor, unique world building and it takes place in Arizona which is so cool!

    Last but not least was Shady Lady by Ann Aguirre! So fabulous! Corine is a heroine that continues to grow and evolve which is so wonderful and rare. Ann Aguirre is amazing!

  62. Penelope
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 05:59:13

    I read both Meg Maguire’s Caught On Camera and The Reluctant Nude. I really enjoyed Caught On Camera–it was not what I was expecting for a Harlequin read. But The Reluctant Nude absolutely stunned me. It is the first contemporary romance I’ve read that has made my all-time Top Favorites list.

  63. Jorrie Spencer
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 08:05:17

    @Janine I really enjoyed The Treasure Keeper. I struggled a bit, I admit, with the ending of The Time Weaver. I loved the whole concept, but as a solution, I didn’t find it made that much sense. (And what ever happened to Rue?)

    Still, the series is a real accomplishment and her voice is wonderful.

  64. Jessica
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 09:29:22

    Discovery of Witches is actually my favorite debut this year, but I wasn’t reading it as a romance. In fact it came to me to reviewed as fantasy and that is how I approached it and I think that may have affected my reading experience. I totally loved every word of it, like I love Diana Gabaldon. I actually liked all the details because I thought it really gave depth to the setting without overwhelming it. For me it was a big book that actually moved really quickly and I read all 500 pages in less than two days (to the utter detriment of everything else I was supposed to be doing)

  65. Joy
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 10:12:30

    I’ve been enjoying Robin Kaye’s Domestic Gods series (starting with _Romeo, Romeo_, which I got free as a Sourcebooks giveaway). I like the Brooklyn setting, particularly; the books themselves are funny and hot.

  66. Kai
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 10:38:03

    Quick question – did I miss a post/thread to discuss the 2011 RITA finalists?

  67. Annette
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 10:54:49

    I’m currently reading To Have and To Hold by Patricia Gaffney.

    I’ve seen this book on so many favorites lists, and with the angsty content, I just had to try. I have to say I find the hero utterly despicable at this point. I just read the first sex scene last night, and I was cringing all the way, feeling so badly for Rachel. I wanted her to perhaps find a letter opener or some other long, sharp object and plunge it into Sebastian’s eye (and preferably all the way back to his brain). I can’t imagine liking him by the end of the book, so I’m fascinated to see if Gaffney pulls it off for me. I think I’ve been spoiled by Balogh’s heroes who are honorable to the core, though they may have other faults. I see no redeeming qualities in Sebastian – he just creeps me out.

    We’ll see what happens. It’s well-written, though.

  68. Laura
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 12:00:03

    In April, I hope to give the new Colleen Gleason series a try. The first book is The Vampire Voss. The reviews have been so-so, but I remember disliking the first book in her Gardella vampire series, but loving the rest.

    Gini Koch’s third Alien book is out next week, Alien in the Family. I plan to read the first two soon so I can decide whether to buy the third.

    Also planning to buy Shady Lady by Ann Aguirre, but I haven’t read the second book yet.

    Because of this thread, I will try to move quickly to read the books I already have my TBR pile: The Iron Duke, A Lot Like Love and the first Kresley Cole.

  69. Joanne
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 12:28:53

    @library addict: Yup, right there with you on her older releases. It’s that I’m just about ALL DONE with the Arcane Society. Enough already! I did enjoy her last contemporary paranormal Arcane Society more than previous ones so, like I said, I’ll see on Quicksilver.

    It’s off topic sort of since it was released in February but I hope those readers that like paranormals will give First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones a try.

  70. Jia
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 12:32:49

    @Laura: Since I liked Colleen Gleason’s Gardella series, I gave The Vampire Voss a try but I just could not get into it. I don’t know if I’m just all vamped out these days.

  71. Lada
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 12:46:40

    I have to send a shout out “Thank You!” to Sunita for her DA review of Susanna Kearsley’s The Winter Sea which I just finished and adored. The incredible writing just swept me away.

    I’m now just beginning Patricia Briggs’ River Marked which I’m enjoying in a very different way. I’m waffling about Anne Bishop’s Twilight’s Dawn and am grateful to know the spoilers because I just can’t believe Bishop went there. I really think I’ll have to give this one a pass even though I’ve loved this series.

  72. Nikki
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 12:50:32

    I just have to say I kind of liked Discovery. It might be because I have bene getting sick of the paranormal romance market and it was kind of different. The focus on the social behaviors of this subgroup and the slow reveal entertained me a lot. I think there was some over perfect behavior, but I did find it entertaining that our heroine is flawed and it is pointed out to her several times. Her behavior gets her into trouble because she willfully ignored her background. I don’t think anyone else is particularly perfect of course, the characterizations of the villains seemed superficial and without true depth. I would have wanted more contrasting characteristics and backgrounds. I look forward to the next book though I do agree that about a third of the book could have been cut without a significant loss.

  73. Sunita
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 13:44:07

    @Lada: I’m so glad you liked it! She is an incredible writer.

    I just finished Teresa (Tracy) Grant’s April release, Vienna Waltz. I guess it’s a prequel to her Charles and Melanie books, but I haven’t read those yet. I really enjoyed it. It’s an unusual romance because there’s a lot of other stuff going on (historical mystery + historical fiction + real-life characters). The lead characters married for convenience but clearly have strong feelings for each other, and there are other marriages and relationships which are explored in the book. I started reading it and couldn’t put it down. I’ll be reviewing it in the next couple of weeks.

  74. Estara
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 13:54:51

    Aww, good timing – let me spam some good stuff I came across: Tamara Allen (Whistling in the Dark was reviewed on DA) has a new historical m/m romance out now – The Only Gold.

    And Moriah Jovan has a spiffy competition for next month’s release of Magdalene (which I’m looking forward to a lot), with a lot of goodies and she even opens it internationally.

  75. Laura
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 15:16:50

    @Jia: Oh, that’s really too bad. I’ve already purchased the book (early release) and I’m expecting not to love it, but I have big hopes that the second and third books will be better. I guess I should have waited to buy until the other two were reviewed. With the Gardella series, the reviews were so good for the second and third books, I decided to give the series another chance and I’m so glad I did.

  76. cead
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 17:22:26

    I’ve discovered Lydia Joyce, and am almost done with her backlist. Does anyone know if she has anything new coming out? Her website doesn’t seem to have been updated in a while.

  77. Bev Stephans
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 18:15:28


    I agree with your summation of A Discovery of Witches. It’s a book that you either love or hate. I loved it as you obviously did. One thing that doesn’t seem to be mentioned is the impeccable history. Deborah Harkness gets it right in all cases.

  78. Jane
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 18:25:19

    @Kai Nope I haven’t posted it yet. Will do so in tomorrow’s links. or maybe I should just throw it up tonight?

  79. Jessica
    Mar 28, 2011 @ 20:19:32

    @Bev – yes the history stuff really did it for me too. I didn’t know she was a history of science professor until I finished the book, but looking back all her research was so well done.

    I think having an academic background helps as she so clearly knows all the ins and outs of academia (the library research scenes were so spot on!) and it was so seamlessly weaved into the narrative

  80. Jia
    Mar 29, 2011 @ 05:56:40

    @Tina: I discovered Brandon Sanderson earlier this year too. I read Warbreaker which I liked quite a bit. I need to go back and read his other (non-WoT) works before I embark trying his latest which is the 1000+ page novel. I need a break after Wise Man’s Fear!

  81. Janine
    Mar 29, 2011 @ 06:27:18

    @Annette: Ah, To Have and to Hold is my favorite book in the romance genre! Yes, it’s true, Sebastian starts out twisted and even creepy, but I did feel there were faint glimmerings of a soul under there from the beginning. And when he changes, the story becomes such a powerful tale of redemption and resurrection. All I can say is, stick with the book, even if you feel he’s gone beyond the point of no return. I almost couldn’t stand to read at a couple of points in the story, but I stuck with it and I’m so glad I did.

  82. Annette
    Mar 29, 2011 @ 10:32:41

    @ Janine

    Thank you for this. So far I love Gaffney’s writing and will definitely stick it out. Last night I read the scene where Sebastian’s old friends come over and interrogate Rachel as a parlor game. Horrible. But those faint glimmerings of a soul you mention became more apparent. I can see the transformation beginning to occur and it is fascinating. I only hope Rachel stays strong and enforces sufficient groveling before allowing herself to fall in love. :) Good stuff.

  83. Catherine
    Mar 29, 2011 @ 13:27:15

    Found a new Scottish romance author I love – Julianne MacLean. “Captured by the Highlander” was fantastic (and had a twist that actually surprised me), and her newest book, “Claimed by the Highlander,” comes out today! I am trying to get through work so I can rush home and download it on my Kindle and spend the evening reading away!

  84. Sabrina
    Mar 29, 2011 @ 17:58:49

    Just finished JR Ward’s “Lover Unleashed”…disappointing to say the least. It was like she was trying to cram 4 different stories into one, very loosely tying them together and WHAM everyone is happy, all is forgiven THE END. She should have picked one couple, stuck with them instead of this constant back and forth with the other stories that made you just want to scream.
    She’s obviously bored with the series…

  85. Carin
    Mar 29, 2011 @ 21:22:03

    Let’s see… I found the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews (Magic ____) and I am SO hooked. Waiting for her next book in June. There’s a funny book trailer for it on her website.

    I also finally read Here There Be Monsters by Meljean Brook in Burning up and loved it. (I actually liked all the stories in Burning Up.) The Iron Duke is impatiently waiting in my TBR pile along with Rivermarked by Patricia Briggs and the next JR Ward book.

    I just finished Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis and just loved it. Can’t wait for more in that series!

    Laced with Desire (4 short stories including Jaci Burton’s No Strings attached – why yes, I have been heavily influenced by DABWAHA) was very good, all 4 of them.

    I’m at a pleasant place where I have too many good books and not enough time, which is much, much better than reading a string of sucky or meh books. I feel like I’m in the book equivalent to summer blockbuster season!

  86. Helly
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 03:27:54

    @Sabrina: Oh no, bad news that it seems like JR Ward is tiring of BDB. I have read all the books and have felt that some have been better than others, but always kept reading. I just bought Lover Unleashed, started reading at the breakfast table but had to tear myself away in order to get to that thing they call work. So far it looks promising with Manny and Payne…

  87. Ursula
    Mar 30, 2011 @ 18:16:20

    Can I just say how super excited I am for the newest Maya Banks book coming out nest Tuesday. Sweet Possession. I am currently re-reading all of the Sweet series in preparation.

  88. MaryK
    Apr 14, 2011 @ 01:43:46

    I have a complaint.

    In a post awhile back, Jane said something about authors needing to put an HEA icon on their Romance books to identify them to readers. Well in the last couple of days, I’ve come across several ebooks that give off confusing signals. I’ve seen comments, and in one case reviews, that imply Romance, their descriptions seem like they could be Romance, but they aren’t consistently labeled as Romance.

    One is “BDSM Fantasy,” “Erotica,” “BDSM,” “Historical Other” at ARe; “BDSM Fantasy” at the publisher; and “Erotica” on the author’s website. There are Romance authors recommending it and a review calling it an “erotic short story” and saying the author will make a name for herself in the “erotic romance genre.”

    One is “Historical Other” at ARe, “Erotic Romance” at the publisher, and “Historical Romance” at the author’s website. This sounds fairly definitive but the next one is by the same author, and it’s “Erotica” on ARe and a “Spice Brief” with no classification on the author’s website. The description and excerpt make it sound more likely to have a Romance ending than the one with the Romance label.

    You know, I can tell by the descriptions and excerpts that they’re erotic, historical, BDSM, fantasy, etc. What I need to know is whether the characters end up together at the end.

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