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. JenM
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 15:04:50

    Gunmetal Magic. That’s really all that needs to be said. I know what I will be doing on Tuesday. Aside from that, I just finished Jennifer Ashley’s third Mackenzie book, The Many Sins of Lord Cameron and I enjoyed it so much that I had to go back and reread The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie. Jennifer Ashley writes great smexy times, and there’s just something about those Mackenzie men and their kilts, sigh.

  2. Adina
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 15:40:11

    Ditto Gunmetal Magic. I’ve cleared my schedule on Tuesday. I’m also looking forward to Throne of Glass by Sarah J. Maas and Meljean Brooks novella Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City. My favourite book from July was the Ravishing the Heiress by Sherry Thomas. I really enjoyed this slow romance. On a side note, I thought the title didn’t suit the story at all.

  3. Nicole
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 15:53:00

    looking forward to Gunmetal Magic. Trying out the first of Beth Kery’s Because You Are Mine serial on Tuesday….I have hopes :). Still gushing over Fault In Our Stars (John Greene). Also on a Allyson James (aka Jennifer Ashley) kick. Looking for a good book with “forced together on a trip” trope.

  4. JenM
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 16:14:13

    @Nicole: Have you tried Ride With Me, by Ruthie Knox? The two lead characters end up as kind of forced companions on a cross-country bike trip. It’s a pretty unique setting for a romance road novel. My only complaint with it was that the ending was too fast, but there was great banter, good sex scenes, and interesting settings.

  5. DS
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 16:15:18

    Ben Aaronovitch’s 3rd Peter Grant UF (Whispers Underground) is set to be released in the US 7/31. I’m looking forward to this one. Aaronovitch has blogged that he is currently working on book 4 and his UK publisher has contracted for 5 and 6. I’m happy to keep reading as long as he keeps coming up with entertaining stories.

  6. Anne V
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 16:43:28

    Whispers Underground was great. Which is good, because now 7/31 is all Gunmetal Magic.

  7. Janine
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 17:12:23

    @DS & Anne V: I have a review of Whispers Under Ground that we plan to run this week, and I recommend it there. It wasn’t perfect, but still so, so good. I just love Peter and the thing that amazes me is how hard it will be to wait for book four. That almost never happens to me with series that feature the same protagonist.

    ETA: DS, that is such great news about books 4, 5, and 6!

  8. Rosie
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 20:11:10

    I’m planning to read Jill Shalvis’ latest Lucky Harbor trilogy soon now that the third one is due out Tuesday. I’ve heard good things.

    Right now, I’m loving the Olympics and wondering if anyone had suggestions for any romances featuring Summer Olympic athletes? Sarah Mayberry had a good one with Her Secret Fling (former Olympic swimmer heroine). But I don’t recall ever reading anything similar.

  9. Julie L
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 20:16:33

    I recently discovered a buried treasure by Lorraine Heath, Texas Destiny. Such a beautiful romantic story by a new to me author. Houston, a scarred and lonely cowboy who must escort his brother’s mail order bride fiancee to his brother’s ranch from Ft. Worth is a tortured hero. Usually, I hate tortured heroes, but he is exceptional. Their month long trek together has many trials and tribulations but the main one is how they manage to cope with the fact they are falling deeply in love with one another when she is meant for another. Much of this story was touching and bittersweet. I simply loved it and nearly cried in a few parts. Houston’s scarred life both physically and mentally was sad and painful to read about, but Amelia, the heroine, understood him so well. They were truly soul mates for one another. Well written, evocative of the time, Texas in the late 1870’s, it pulled at my heart strings. On the surface it appears to be a quiet story, involving a simple romantic triangle, but there is so much emotion going on beneath the surface, it’s much, much more. It’s simply great. I’m eager to read her complete back list now!

    Nicole – three favs of mine are The Indiscretion by Judith Ivory, A Week to be Wicked by Tessa Dare and my the above, Texas Destiny by Lorraine Heath.

  10. Loosheesh
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 21:00:26

    I’m so proud of me – just about everything I said I’d read in the July thread was, indeed, read; actually I’m currently reading Moon Over Soho and then moving on to Whispers Under Ground to complete my July reading list. (@Janine: – I’m really digging this series; I so love Peter!)

    For August I’m looking forward to Pushing the Limits (NA rec from Jane) and Within Reach, Sarah Mayberry’s latest. Also need to get to Last Night’s Scandal in time for the book club discussion.

    Most enjoyable reading for the month of July was definitely the Mercy Thompson series (great stuff) and Ravishing the Heiress (yummy angst!). I agree @Adina: that the title didn’t quite suit the story.

    Also great reading was The Girl with the Cat Tattoo (super-cute; I want to read about Max’s siblings) and Jeannie Lin’s novellas; will definitely check out her novels at some point.

    @Nicole: I’ll second JenM’s rec of Ride With Me, really good story.

  11. Nicole
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 21:02:16

    I did read it last week. Really enjoyed it and agree that the ending was a bit fast, but really liked the character development.

  12. Nicole
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 21:05:31

    @Nicole: Earlier post was for Ride With Me (enjoyed!)…Julie L: I may have read the Ivory book but it has been a long time, so need to seek it and the others out! thanks for the recommendations from you both!

  13. Las
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 21:14:22

    @Rosie: Jill Myles’ Wicked Games has a hero who was an Olympic Swimmer, but that doesn’t really factor into the story. It’s a great read.

  14. Vi
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 21:22:12

    I think there’s a self-pubbed anthology by Courtney Milan, Carolyn Jewel & Sherry Thomas that is supposed to be released sometime in August. I am looking forward to that as well as releases by Ilona Andrews, Jill Shalvis, Sarah Mayberry & Meljean Brook.

  15. Tina
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 21:22:33

    So funny you guys are talking about the Aaronovitch books in this thread. I just finished Midnight Riot/Rivers of London and I thought it was simply fantastic!! I wanted to quote every other line in my GoodReads status updates because the writing was so darned witty. I downloaded Moon over Soho right away and just started it. I was really bummed at first becaue none of the Kindle links for his book were available on Amazon last night and I really wanted to start it right away. Figured I’d have to drive to B&N and grab a paper copy. But the links were back this morning.

    Also this month I read A Place Called Home by Jo Goodman. I had never read her before and apparently this was her first contemporary. Completely loved it. Set in Pittsburgh and the heroine has major issues that you learn about over the course of the book. It is exactly the type of contemporary I enjoy to get my hands on once in awhile… Realistic and a little gritty.

    I notice that Dorothy Garlock has a book coming out next month, set in the 1930s with prohibition as backdrop. Looks interesting just for that alone. I haven’t read one of her books in forever.

  16. Anne V
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 21:26:01

    @ Janine – a friend brought me Whispers and I was on tenterhooks, fretting that I might not like Peter any more, but I think I like him even more. Aaronovitch is auto buy now for me

    July’s been a good reading month, what with new releases (Apocalypse Codex from Charlie Stross (another series going strong w/same lead, yay!), Whispers, Gunmetal Magic on Tuesday, Ravishing the Heiress, Theory of Attraction) and then the happy discovery of (new to me) writers with backlist (Eloisa James, Sherry Thomas, Virginia Kantra). Oh, and The Understory (I know it came out in may, but I didn’t find it until July).

    And August has new Meljean Brook (I love the Iron Seas series. If I could remember who told me about it I would blight them with enthusiastic thanks and possibly trinkets.) and K. A. Mitchell, more Eloisa James, and Kendare Blake.

  17. Tabs
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 21:52:33

    Gunmetal Magic. Lorelei James’ new Blacktop Cowboys book. Lauren Dane and Maya Banks’ duology. The Mina Wentworth novella.

    My wallet’s gonna light this month.

  18. jenniferh
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 22:05:06

    @Janine: Just picked up Whispers Underground from the library, so I will be reading that this week, as well as the new Lorelei James book. Lorelei James also publishes great mysteries as Lori Armstrong, and I am currently listening to No Mercy.

  19. Janine
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 23:06:00

    @Rosie: Summer’s End by Kathleen Gilles Seidel was recommended by Jayne and myself and features a heroine who is a former Olympic ice skater. I believed Jane likes it too. The ebook was on the expensive side though.

  20. Janine
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 23:15:28

    @Nicole: I haven’t read it in years and years, so take this with a grain of salt — but I recall liking a historical by Shelly Thacker called Hearts Run Wild in which the hero and heroine, both convicts, are shackled to each other and on the run. Similarly, I liked Mary Jo Putney’s Angel Rogue when I read it years ago, but I’m not sure how it would hold up now. My favorite “road romances” though, are Laura Kinsale’s The Dream Hunter (in which the heroine, whom the hero mistakes for a boy, agrees to lead the hero through the desert, which she fears, so that the hero will help her reach England) and For My Lady’s Heart, a medieval in which the hero finds himself, again not entirely willingly, acting as the heroine’s guard on a journey in England.

  21. Janine
    Jul 29, 2012 @ 23:21:29

    Wow, so many Ben Aaronovitch/Peter Grant series fans in this thread! This series has been my big discovery this year (besides Cecilia Grant and Ruthie Knox’s books), and it’s exciting to hear others are enjoying it too. Like Anne V, I love Peter more than ever. That almost never happens to me with same protagonist series.

  22. Nadia Lee
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 00:22:57

    @Janine: I’ve not read Aaronovitch, and I so want to now!

  23. Susan
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 01:53:29

    @Rosie: Elizabeth Lowell’s Remember Summer has a heroine preparing for the Olympics in equestrian. It’s an older book and pretty dated, so be warned.

  24. DesLivres
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 02:07:55

    I’ve been reading up Karina Bliss’ backlist, Carla Kelly’s backlist – all that is electronically available – adore them both. I’ve been revisiting Karen Ranney – who definitely got better as time went on.

    Enjoyed the Girl of Fire and Thorns – I stuck with it on the advice of various reviewers. Seraphina, a new young adult was absolute genius. I still chortle over the way they deal with dragons – “Halt! You are in breach of the treaty unless you have the proper documents!”

    Shadow of Night was good. The new Susan Elizabeth Phillips was a bit disappointing (ducks).

    Read other stuff too, but shouldn’t ramble on too long.

  25. BRNZ
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 02:26:08

    I am a new fan of Aaronvitch, and delighted that my library had the first two and if I can I will be getting the third one on my Kindle I suspect. Love his books so much!

    I have just done a reread of the Kate Daniels series so yes I will be also eagerly awaiting Gunmetal Magic, and after ages of faffing about I finally got Iron Duke on my Kindle as well and LOVED it. Quite into steampunk at the moment so will be looking forward to books 2 and three in that series :)

    Have just read The Long Earth by Pratchett and Baxter. Wasn’t at all what I was expecting, much more contemporary and more SF. Was still excellent but in completely different ways to other Pratchett. Don’t think I had read any Baxter so I suspect a lot of input there. Looks setup for a sequel too.

  26. Lady Jaye
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 03:16:32

    I also picked up Ben Aronovitch’s books this month and I love them! I especially love the multicultural aspects of it. I just about died when jollof rice was mention an a UF book. And I think he writes the women very well (in my experience, most male authors don’t.)

  27. Rosie
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 06:25:39

    @Julie L: I’m a big fan of Texas Destiny. It really is a buried treasure. The second in the trilogy — Texas Glory — is excellent as well. The third wasn’t a fave, but I enjoyed getting to see more of the Leigh family. Always to Remember is another great Heath backlist title. Her books can be hit or miss, but her early titles were special.

    Thanks everyone for the Olympic athlete suggestions!

  28. Loosheesh
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 07:50:09

    @Tina: “Also this month I read A Place Called Home by Jo Goodman.” – I follow your reviews on Goodreads and I noted this book after reading your review of it. It sounds like something I’d really enjoy.

  29. LeeF
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 09:18:42

    I may be the last person in romancelandia to have read “Flowers from the Storm” but am so glad I did. Now I understand what all the luuuvvvv for that book is about.

  30. Jody W.
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 10:35:37

    Meankitty and I also tried the Girl with the Cat Tattoo. Thanks for the recommendation! Very cute. Enjoyed Girl of Fire and Thorns too. I’m reading an indie urban fantasy right now that would be so much better with decent editing, so I shan’t mention it.

  31. Janine
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 12:52:52

    @Nadia Lee: You want to start with Midnight Riot aka Rivers of London, the first in the series. It’s a series that is best read in order IMO.

    @BRNZ: The review of the third Aaronovitch book is now up.

    @Lady Jaye: Agreed, he does write women excellently. I love his female characters. Lesley is a bigger presence in book three.

  32. April
    Jul 30, 2012 @ 13:49:23

    I just finished Tiger Lily by Jodi Lynn Anderson, and it was a really beautiful re-telling/imagining of Peter Pan. Sad in many respects, but very enjoyable. (And yay Gunmetal Magic!)

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