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.

48 Comments

  1. Bonnie
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 20:23:45

    I haven’t read anything particularly wonderful this past month.

    I did read Diana Gabaldon’s A Breath of Snow and Ashes in late October and found it to be absolutely phenomenal. Damn, that woman writes well.

    Her follow-up, Echo In the Bone, was a bit of a disappointment, however. She spent way to much time on one of the characters wandering through the woods and because of this, the end (last 100 pages or so) was rushed and incomplete. Way too much of a cliff-hanger for someone who doesn’t put out the next installment in a series for 4 years or so.

    I’m kind of pissed about that.

    Am currently reading A Wallflower Christmas by Lisa Kleypas. Oh, jeez, this is so boring. I can’t believe I’m paying the Kindle price of $9.99 for this 200 page yawner. Not happy. They’re all the same: let’s go to Hampshire and walk in the garden and trip over the wishing well. Good Lord. Oh, well. I’ve only myself to blame.

    To Desire the Devilby Elizabeth Hoyt. Um… again. Not good at all. I don’ t even remember what it was about. That doesn’t say a lot.

    Kindred In Death by J.D. Robb: Good stuff here, but if you’re looking for long-term character interaction, you will not find it in this installment of the In Death series.

    Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts: Ah.. I really liked this one. Nora returns to her roots of straight romance in this series and I am LOVING it. It’s delicious.

    Covet by J.R. Ward. Very enjoyable and am looking forward to the next installment. Fun read, indeed.

  2. Jill Myles
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 20:45:22

    I recently read two Juliet Marillier books — HEART’S BLOOD and HEIR TO SEVENWATERS. Both were terrifically awesome. I really loved Marillier’s first book (DAUGHTER OF THE FOREST) but had issues with the next two that followed it because she sort of hosed some of the characters from the previous book in the later ones. I’m happy to say that HEIR TO SEVENWATERS is sweetly romantic, but with a nice, heady fantasy adventure and I adored it. In fact, I adored it so much that I immediately bought the hardback of HEART’S BLOOD and devoured it as well. Both were so wonderful that I keep gushing about them to everyone in the hopes that my friends pick them up (hint hint) so we can discuss.

    They were a nice palate-cleanser. I admit that I’ve read a lot of paranormal and historical romances lately and needed a change in pace, and it was a good change of pace. Am currently reading CLEOPATRA’S DAUGHTER by Michelle Moran — so far so good. The first chapter is especially riveting, IMO.

  3. Mireya
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 20:48:21

    I am still reading Elizabeth Hoyt’s “The Raven Prince” as I got too involved in playing Dragon Age :P I intend to read the other books in the Princes trilogy. I read Susan Grant’s “The Warlord’s Daughter”. I found it enjoyable.

  4. Carolyn
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 21:50:21

    I just finished reading the first book of the Sebastian St. Cyr series by C. S. Harris – What Angels Fear. Good reviews got me to try it and I liked it so much I ordered the others in the series.

    I’ve started Sophia’s Secret by Susanna Kearsley. Had to order it international. I believe it’s titled The Winter Sea here in the States. The price Amazon had set on it at the time I was looking was preposterous! Why are her books so difficult to get in the States?

    Oh, and I want to try Cleopatra’s Daughter too. Thanks for reminding me. I read her second book – can’t remember the name and I’ve loaned it to a friend – and really enjoyed it.

  5. Jennifer M.
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 21:57:07

    @Bonnie:

    Agree on Hoyt. I’ve been in love with Elizabeth Hoyt since the Princes Trilogy but her latest offering was very weak. I was pretty surprised because the hero, Reynaud, had SO much baggage I thought it would have been an extraordinary tale or at the very least an intense character study of a man thought mad. It lacked sizzle, the H&H just didn’t have chemistry and overall very forgettable like you said.

    I have high hopes for her next series, WICKED INTENTIONS, though. One bad book out of seven isn’t so bad, imo.

  6. Mezza
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 21:57:28

    Just read Diana Pharoah Francis’ “Bitter Night”. It isn’t a romance per se, I would call it urban fantasy. A strong heroine has to choose between revenge and saving the world…. I enjoyed it and the setup for the series.

  7. Shanna
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 22:19:26

    I read my first Georgette Heyer book this weekend, Black Sheep. I found it totally charming. Apparently I haven’t been paying attention and am seriously late to this party because I thought she was a contemporary author. I mean contemporary as in “still alive”. I didn’t realize the lovely books with beautiful covers are reprints. I guess I’m the last person to find out about this fantastic trailblazer. I’m sooo going to read the rest of her romances. Off to the bookstore…

  8. Rebecca
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 22:28:13

    I just finished “Enchanted” by Elizabeth Lowell (based on the recommendation of a friend), and found out, much to my delight, that it is part of a series. Although all the Amazon reviews say it’s the best of the series, I think I still want to read the others. I really enjoy the way she writes medieval romance, and can’t wait to read the rest.

    @Bonnie: I, too, was disappointed in the new Gabaldon. I think I just keep waiting for the story to “end” and it doesn’t. It’s hard to write this without spoilers, but I’m finding it hard to believe that it hasn’t “ended” yet, if you know what I mean. I think Outlander will always be one of my favorite books of all time, but I’m about to give up on Jamie & Claire… I’m getting bored. The end of the book didn’t leave me wanting more at all. I guess maybe I’m just done.

    I also recently read through the Karen Hawkins “MacLean” set (of five). Interestingly, if I’d read them in order, I don’t think I would have gotten to what ended up being my favorite, which was #4. I adore Hugh MacLean… he has got to be one of my favorite romance heroes of all time. But I started with #4–again, another recommendation–and then read the others in order. It was definitely a pretty good series, but the best one of them all was Hugh & Catriona’s. Loved it.

  9. Jody W.
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 23:01:15

    I am reading One Good Knight by Mercedes Lackey right now. It’s the 2nd book in the 500 Kingdoms series, which I really enjoy. Good mix of humor, worldbuilding, relationships, romance, adventure, and quirkiness. I read Parks’ Once Bitten, Twice Shy before that and thought it was a good representative of the kick-butt female urban fantasy genre.

  10. GrowlyCub
    Nov 29, 2009 @ 23:57:42

    I’m in a total slump. I’ve read a bunch of books lately and they were all less than stellar. The Hoyt I started but put down because it was boring, the Campbell really disappointed as did the Duran, last Dare, latest Thomas, Jewel, Putney, McCarty and all the others I can’t even remember. :(

    Add to that that I only have 3 books on my list for 2010 and I’m pretty bummed (although I guess that means I can make inroads into my 700+ TBR mountain range).

    I really have to say 2009 was the year of the books that could have been good or even great if they had just been longer and better developed. Sad statement, that.

  11. Janine
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 01:28:08

    Growly, that totally sucks. I really feel for you. Do you like paranormals or urban fantasy? I’m reading my first Ilona Andrews now, On the Edge, and enjoying it so far.

  12. Rachel T
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 01:56:58

    I have just had a brilliant 10 days’ reading. I read all the current Lynne Connolly Richard and Rose books and I have just completed Deadline a YA book by Chris Crutcher recommended by Jill Shalvis here

    I’d like to recommend all five books which provide a hugely contrasting read

    Rachel

    (how do I close the link?)

  13. Mera
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 03:23:12

    I’m also a huge Juliet Marillier fan. I’m currently reading “Heir to Sevenwaters”, and “Heart’s Blood” is on my wishlist for christmas :o)

  14. Leslee
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 05:34:07

    I just read Robin D. Owen’s Heart Change which was a sweet read. I also read Hunting Ground by Patricia Briggs – damn she is good! Shadowlight by Lynn Viehl was very good – love how intricate her overall plot is. I am right now in the middle of Beautiful Creatures by Garcia and Stohl which is awesome!!! Oh, also Soulless by Carriger was SO GOOD! I know it won’t be for everyone but I thought it was fab! I know that I am forgetting something in here as it has been a full couple of weeks of reading.

  15. Michelle W.
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 07:08:11

    I had a great read yesterday: Jen Lancanster’s “Bright Lights, Big Ass: A Self-Indulgent, Surly Ex-Sorority Girl’s Guide to Why it Often Sucks in the City, or Who Are All These Idiots and Why Do They Live Next Door to Me?” I laughed out loud, giggled and smiled my whole way thru it. I enjoyed it as much as her first book: “Bitter is the New Black: Confessions of a Condescending, Egomanical, Self-Centered, Smartass, or Why You Should Never Carry a Prada Bag to the Unemployment Office” & am looking forward to Such a Pretty Fat: One Narcissist’s Quest to Discover If Her Life Makes Her Ass Look Big; Or, Why Pie Is Not the Answer”

    If you need a pick up during these stressful holiday prep days–then one of her books and laugh your stress away! “-)

  16. Rowan
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 07:44:17

    Tomorrow on Twitter, Louisa Edwards, Kate Pearce, Loribelle Hunt (and hopefully others) will be starting a read-along of Heart Throb by Suzanne Brockmann. I’m really looking forward to revisiting that book, which is one of my favorite romances of all time.

    Did a m/m novella binge this month: Josh Lanyon’s Dangerous Ground, Rowan McBride’s One Good Hand and also Lone. (Lone was my favorite of the two, featuring werewolves and shifters, but…with a unique enough spin on it that I wasn’t bored in the least. Lone is also very much about the D/s aspect of a relationship, though without the kink…I enjoyed it a lot, and will reread it in the future.) Also, I read Faith and Fidelity by Tere Michaels, which was really fantastic. Angsty gay-for-you story that had me up half the night to finish.

    Today I’ll finish up Catch of the Day by Kristan Higgins. I think Jane commented in one of her reviews that Higgins’ heroines always seem a little desperate for Twu Wuv, and that’s REALLY the case in this one, and it is a little off-putting. I also…am finding the “embarassing situation” humor a little…not to my taste for the most part. However, I’m still reading because despite those issues, the writing is fun, the characters are cute, and I LOVE how her heroes aren’t the person you’d first expect.

  17. GrowlyCub
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 07:56:59

    @Janine:

    Unfortunately, all the were creatures and vampires don’t do a thing for me. I’m a straight historical and occasionally contemporary romance reader, which means the pickings are a lot slimmer than for those who like paranormal and urban fantasy.

    Getting narrow in my tastes in my old(er) age, I guess. :)

    I hope we’ll have an anticipated books for 2010 thread again here, like we did last year. I’m sure there must be other books coming out that I want to read next year.

  18. Dani
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 09:02:23

    I finished reading Crystal Hubbard’s Mr. Fix-It. I had a couple of nitpicky issues with the story, but I still really enjoyed it. I’m definitely going to seek out more of her work.

    I devoured Gwyn Cready’s Seducing Mr. Darcy. It’s been a long time since I laughed out loud at a book. This one had me chuckling while everyone else was being bored by football on Thanksgiving.

    I’ve just started Kimberly Iverson’s Liberty. So far, I’m very intrigued by the story but I’ve only gotten through 5 chapters. But if anyone’s looking for a story not set in Regency England, the ancient Roman atmosphere should be refreshing.

  19. vanessa jaye
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 09:24:21

    I read Rachel Gibson’s True Confessions. Stayed up till 5am Saturday reading it. Just loved the H/h– they were layered/rounded and had great chemistry. Just a fun/hot book with great secondary characters.

  20. hapax
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 09:25:29

    So embarrassed to admit this, but I *finally* got around to reading Kinsale’s THE SHADOW AND THE STAR. It was everything everybody said it was — angsty, over the top, utterly implausible, and so-o-o-o delicious. Yum.

    As far as new-ish books, Jaida Jones /Danielle Bennett’s SHADOW MAGIC. Not a romance, but definitely a love story — two of them, actually, intense m/m friendships with pronounced homoerotic subtext, if you like that sort of thing. The story itself (fantasy about diplomatic intrigue) was meh, but the four alternating first person voices were wonderful — I’m going to miss all four characters so much.

  21. evie byrne
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 09:54:08

    @GrowlyCub

    I feel your pain, too. I went on a historical romance reading binge recently, plowing through a stack of well-reviewed new releases. While there were things to like about each title (the characters, the writing, etc.) they all ultimately failed to satisfy and I believe that was largely because as a group they were too short–or perhaps too rushed, which is close to the same thing, but not.

    I like big, fat, leisurely, richly-written historical romances that allow me to get lost in another world–but I fear those sorts of books are going the way of the dinosaur.

    ETA: Just wanted to second the rec. for Marillier. I’ve read the first 2 books of the Sevenwaters series and they definitely qualify as sweeping and engrossing. They’re the kind of books you go back into to re-read your favorite scenes over and over.

  22. Karenmc
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 10:03:43

    Nothing new has struck my fancy lately, so I went with older books. Had a very good time with Susan Wiggs’s Chicago Fire Trilogy (The Hostage, The Mistress, The Firebrand) and learned a lot about that time period. I also came across some Anne O’Brien books, a trilogy that connected the characters very nicely (The Disgraced Marchioness, The Outrageous Debutante, The Enigmatic Rake).

  23. Rowan
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 12:16:49

    quick change to the tweet-along of Heart Throb. Joan/Sarah has decided to join in next week, so we’ll start Monday, Dec. 7th.

  24. may
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 15:34:28

    Nora’s latest (bed of roses) = straight contemporary romance bliss for me

    E.Hoyt’s (devil) latest was alright, I enjoyed myself and love her writing. Sure it could have been more, but I didn’t read the whole series so I didn’t care too much about the weakness of that plot line (who’s the traitor?)

    Other than that no time lately for reading! I hope to rectify that & get more suggestions here…

  25. Jennifer Estep
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 16:42:01

    I’m reading Devil May Care, the new James Bond novel, by Sebastian Faulks right now. I’m a sucker for all things Bond. And I have A Creed Country Christmas by Linda Lael Miller to start sometime in December.

    I’m really looking forward to Dec. 26 because I requested several books for Christmas, including Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole/Gena Showalter, Darkfever by Karen Marie Moning, and Fire by Kristin Cashore. ;-)

  26. Jenny Schwartz
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 18:31:50

    I feel so cheated. I read the first of a two book fantasy series (can you call two books a series?) and the author set it up that the heroine had two intriguing men after her at the end of book one, but Hero A was hinted at being a man of amazing mystery, humour, compassion–then in book two Hero A morphs into a whiny villain with none of the hints of mystery from book one picked up or explained. The heroine, given no other choice, accepts Hero B–and if she was as unexcited by him as I was, she has my sympathies. And because it would be a huge spoiler to mention the books, I can’t even rant freely. Damn I hate it when authors mess with my expectations. It’s like the nice guy turning out to be the murderer in a cosy mystery.

    Speaking of which, I’ve gone a mystery buying binge for Christmas reading, but also intend to pick up Jessica Hart’s latest Harlequin for a touch of romance.

    Which reminds me to ask, does anyone have any suggestions of authors writing like Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels? I adore Summer of the Dragon, Legend in Green Velvet, Smoke and Mirrors, etc. Is there a category for cosy romantic suspense?

  27. Ann
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 20:40:32

    @Jennifer Estep: I couldn’t wait to buy/read Cole’s “Deep Kiss of Winter” and enjoyed it, but I have to tell ya, Showalter’s contribution was awful. I’ve been reading Showalter’s “Lords of the Underworld” series and have been enjoying it, but what she wrote for the Cole book (I cannot even remember the name of the story now, it was so bad) is having me question my judgment on continuing to read her. Because of this heroine, I finally understand what “TSTL” stands for (too stupid to live).

    If ever they split the books up, buy Cole’s, and pass on Showalter’s because I want my money back.

  28. orannia
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 20:45:56

    Jill – I read Heir to Sevenwaters last month and have been kicking myself every since that I’ve never read Juliet Marillier’s books! I have placed a hold on Daughter of the Forest at my local library and can’t wait to read it!

    Hapax – I’m currently reading Shadow Magic, and 50 pages in I’m enjoying it. Have you read Sarah Monette’s The Doctrine of Labyrinths?

    Rowan – thank you! I’ll be looking up some of the books you’ve read as they sound interesting!

  29. Darlynne
    Nov 30, 2009 @ 21:32:39

    I picked up Soulless by Gail Carriger with no expectations whatsoever, but, man, it was great. Same with the first C. S. Harris that someone else mentioned above. And I don’t even like historical novels that much, but I am hooked now.

    On the contemporary front, I’m hoping we’ll see Julia Spencer-Fleming’s next book before too long.

  30. LJ
    Dec 01, 2009 @ 08:23:00

    Which reminds me to ask, does anyone have any suggestions of authors writing like Elizabeth Peters/Barbara Michaels? I adore Summer of the Dragon, Legend in Green Velvet, Smoke and Mirrors, etc. Is there a category for cosy romantic suspense?

    I also loved Summer of the Dragon. I’m glad to see you’ve listed Legend in Green Velvet because I bought that one, too. I just ordered the second book in Elizabeth Peters’ Jacqueline Kirby series. The last two have just gone out of print! I noticed a few of her other stand alone Peters books have gone out of print before I had a chance to buy them.

    I’m always searching for someone similar to Peters/Michaels. Have you tried Mary Stewart? I prefer Peters/Michaels, but she’s very enjoyable. I’ve only read Nine Coaches Waiting, The Gabriel Hounds and Wildfire at Midnight. From what I’ve heard, all of the others are pretty great, too. (The Ivy Tree, Madam Will You Talk?, Airs Above the Ground.)

    Deanna Raybourn’s Julia Grey series is terrific. She reads Elizabeth Peters, I’m sure, because there’s a hint of Peters in her work, in my opinion. (Silent in the Grave, Silent in the Sanctuary, Silent on the Moor – should read in order.)

    I’ve also started buying the Victoria Holt reissues. I guess they are gothic romantic suspense? I liked Mistress of Mellyn, but still prefer Peters/Michaels.

    If you find anything else I hope you will post here. I keep moving my Peters/Michaels stash to the back of the TBR pile because I don’t want to finally get to the last book.

  31. Lisa J
    Dec 01, 2009 @ 09:04:53

    I was lucky enough to win an ARC of Shiloh Walker’s Hunters Need. I read it a couple of weeks ago and I really liked it and would recommend it. The book is out today.

    I’m on a Western kick, any recommendations for some good Western e-books?

  32. Jennifer Estep
    Dec 01, 2009 @ 11:09:28

    @Ann:

    Hmm. Well, I’m looking forward to the book because I’m hooked on Cole’s Immortals series. I haven’t read any books in Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series, although I have read some of her other books and enjoyed those.

    You would think that publishers would at least let e-readers pick and choose what stories out of an anthology they’d like to buy. I would think that it would be easy to do in an e-book format, just like downloading certain songs off an album …

  33. KeriM
    Dec 01, 2009 @ 15:37:35

    Jenny, you might try Wendy Robert’s Ghost Duster Mysteries. They are cozies and she talks to dead people and does a little crime scene clean up on the side. The dead victims help her solve the murders. Roberts only has two of these books out there so far, but she takes her time and does a good job. There is a romance going on between her and an ex-cop who works for her. He is conflicted about the relationship and provides an added deeper element to the series.

  34. Jenny Schwartz
    Dec 01, 2009 @ 18:10:08

    @LJ Mary Stewart was my first introduction to romantic suspense. I picked up “This Rough Magic” and was hooked. “Wildfire at Midnight” remains a re-read favourite. I’ll definitely try Raybourn. Thanks for the rec. I have an old paperback by Laura Frankos, “St Oswald’s Niche”, where her acknowledgement page thanks Barbara Mertz (I think that’s Elizabeth Peters’ real name?) for all her books, and Frankos is definitely in her style. Charlotte McLeod is another writer who mentions some of Peters ideas, treating Amelia Peabody as an historical character, for instance. I wish I’d had the strength of mind to save some of Elizabeth Peter’s books. I jumped into them like a chocoholic in the post-Easter sales.

    @KeriM Thank you! “Remains of the Dead” is now down on my buy/borrow list.

    And a shameful confession. Jessica Hart’s “Under the Boss’s Mistletoe” was bought and read in one day–so much for saving it for the holidays. But it was a good read.

    Of paranormal romantic suspense I really like Kay Hooper, and since I can’t afford hardcovers, and can’t wait (no way and foot stamp) I’ll be borrowing the latest in the “Blood” trilogy from the library early in the New Year. I really, really want to know what happens with Hollis.

  35. silvia
    Dec 02, 2009 @ 15:17:21

    I recently really enjoyed the comic book prequel to the Mercy Thompson series, “Homecoming”. Not much plot, not much really going on at all… but as a big fan of the series it was fun to read how Mercy’s relationships with Stefan, Adam, and Zee began.

    Loved “Darcy’s Story” by Janet Aylmer. I’m a die hard Pride and Prejudice fan who’s read the novel probably 10 times over the years & owns a copy of 4 different tv/film productions of the book, and I found it to a believable version of the book’s events from Darcy’s eyes. Definitely a keeper! I know I’ll re-read it several times.

    Speaking of Jane Austen… “Sense and Sensiblity and Sea Monsters” is insane but brilliant. I shrieked with laughter. Loads of fun.

    Another recent winner for me was Stephanie Meyer’s “The Host”. I’m not a Twilight fan, so I’m really glad I gave the author another chance with this very unusual sci-fi romance. Alien parasite with a soul… Really takes the concept “loving who you are on the inside” to a whole new level! I’m a sucker for h/h who come to care for each other because of deeper reasons than a sexy body, and this story hit a lot of buttons for me. (also introduces some interesting questions about self-identity [how do I know who I am, what makes me who I am?] and about the relationship between the body, love & desire)

    Side note:
    Can any fellow readers recommend to me recent, good Regencies, Contemporaries, or Supernatural/Urban Fantasy Romances with no sex scenes and no religious angle? (I love the romance, just prefer the ‘fade to black’). F/F, M/M, and M/F romance is all interesting to me.

  36. anon
    Dec 02, 2009 @ 15:31:11

    The romances (there are two couples) in Rob Thurman’s Nightlife series (urban fantasy) are quiet, sweet, emotion-based, and not explicit at all.
    For m/m, I can recommend Charlie Cochrane’s Lessons in Love series with all the adjectives I used above.

  37. Lorraine
    Dec 02, 2009 @ 18:33:29

    I just finished Sherry Thomas’ Private Arrangements. It was awesome greatness. It was one of those books I would never have picked up on my own, having everything I don’t like: time period, already married H/H, long separation, infidelity. I’m so happy that it got a great review here and elsewhere…if I hadn’t seen so many readers squeeing about it I would have passed by a fabulous read.

    @Silvia, I’d consider this book to be more on the fade side regarding sex…it’s certainly among the tamest books I’ve read all year.

  38. MaryK
    Dec 02, 2009 @ 21:16:09

    @silvia:

    I recently really enjoyed the comic book prequel to the Mercy Thompson series, “Homecoming”. Not much plot, not much really going on at all… but as a big fan of the series it was fun to read how Mercy's relationships with Stefan, Adam, and Zee began.

    Homecoming is a prequel? I didn’t realize that; I’ll have to check it out.

  39. Jennifer M
    Dec 03, 2009 @ 18:16:36

    @silvia: Trying to find a romance with no sex is a pretty tall order these days, but these two urban fantasy series have pretty toned down sex:

    -Carrie Vaughn’s Kitty Norville werewolf series. The romance develops slowly over the course of 3 or 4 books, much like the Mercy Thompson books and the sex is never in your face. In fact, the first book has no romance at all.

    -The Jill Kismet series by Lilith St. Crow has a very low-key, but sweet romance. However, this series is hard-core urban fantasy. The heroine is seriously kick-ass and there’s lots of pretty graphic violence in it so if that bothers you also, then I wouldn’t recommend it.

    Another series with no sex and a very slow developing romance is Jennifer Rardin’s Jaz Parks series. I stopped after book 3 or so because the romance was so slow to develop but that might be what you are looking for. Again, this one is more urban fantasy with lots of action, but not as graphic as Jill Kismet.

  40. Edie
    Dec 03, 2009 @ 19:26:40

    I just finished Moriah Jovan’s Stay which rocked my socks.

    I am way behind on my print books though and am just about to place an order for an Annette Blair I missed. A Denise Rosetti and Shiloh Walker’s new hunter book.

  41. SonomaLass
    Dec 03, 2009 @ 23:19:21

    @Darlynne: If you enjoyed Soulless (I sure did!) you might also like Elizabeth Bear’s New Amsterdam. It is full of steampunk goodness and vampires. Plus Bear is just a fine, fine writer. It’s not a romance, though; it has some romantic elements, but not everyone gets their HEA. Just so you know.

    @Lorraine: Glad to hear of another reader who enjoyed Private Arrangements. Sherry Thomas is one of my very favorite new authors.

    I read and enjoyed all three stories in The Heart Of Christmas — I’m going to be reading more Nicola Cornick now, and I eagerly anticipate Courtney Milan’s first full-length book early next year. (I was already big on Mary Balogh, needless to say!)

    I also finally read Judith Ivory’s Black Silk — hello? what rock was I under?? Just loved it. I’m glad it has been re-released.

    Over the semester break, which can’t come soon enough, I plan to finally read The Windflower, Gabaldon’s Echo In the Bone, and several steampunk novels that have been awaiting my attention. Long books and books with complex world building are not good when I’m in that end-of-semester frenzy.

  42. silvia
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 00:26:25

    @MaryK:

    Yep, “Homecoming” is a short prequel in comic book form. There were a zillion complaints about it at Amazon lol, but as long as you understand what you’re getting… I’d pick it up on sale or used somewhere and enjoy if you’re an uber fangirl. :)

    It covers when Mercy has just got to town, trying to find a job, meeting several of the key supporting characters in the ‘verse. Since I’m a big Adam/Mercy fan and also really enjoy the Stefan&Mercy relationship, I found myself really enjoying a few of their initial interactions.

  43. MaryK
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 00:57:31

    @silvia: I probably will get it; I am kind of a fangirl. I knew it was a comic but for some reason thought it was a comic version of an already published story.

    I’m trying to learn to appreciate graphic novels. If I don’t like this, there’s probably no hope for me. :)

  44. silvia
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 01:01:29

    Jennifer M, Lorraine, and anon: Thanks so much for the recs!

    It’s incredibly difficult to find non-explicit romance these days – especially if you’re not looking for “inspirational” or “spiritual” ones. And then I dislike reading open book series where the couple still isn’t together yet (I like my happily ever after already written, damn it!).. so I’m doubly screwed!

    oh, Romance Genre… It’s not you, it’s ME.

    Kind of hilarious that my favorite romantic tv series of all time is Showtime’s Queer as Folk, and yet I’m looking for chaste novels… but the way sex scenes are written generally doesn’t work for me. On screen, no problems! lol

    (And yet I admit that I do love Poppy Z. Brite’s Drawing Blood, but that’s mostly because it’s a gore drenched horror/splatter-punk romance novel set in the 90′s goth scene of my youth. I’m resigned to the unsexy sex in exchange for gratuitous blood letting + goth melodrama + and HEA.)

  45. MaryK
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 10:20:19

    @silvia: Have you tried this list?

    http://www.likesbooks.com/onefoot.html

  46. anon
    Dec 04, 2009 @ 11:43:34

    Silvia,

    Ann Somerville’s Uniquely Pleasurable review site has some recommendations for non-explicit m/m romance here:

    http://unique.logophilos.net/?p=1949

  47. Sahara
    Dec 10, 2009 @ 23:11:30

    I love love love Shelly Laurenston and would love to see a Dear Author review of the Mane Squeeze, good or bad, I’m interested to see the reaction.

  48. Edie
    Dec 11, 2009 @ 01:46:59

    @Sahara How awesome was the Mane Squeeze? I was up until seven am reading that sucker and howling with laughter much to the disgust of the other members of the house. whoops

%d bloggers like this: