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. library addict
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 13:43:46

    Looking forward to Concealed in Death by JD Robb and the new Line of Duty novel by Tessa Bailey.

    I am determined to catch up on Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series most of which has sat in my TBR pile since their release. Just read books 2 and 3 and the novella this past week.

    I enjoyed the Snow Day anthology by Shannon Stacey, Jennifer Greene, and Barbara Dunlop. And “Hope Smolders” and Hope Flames by Jaci Burton.

  2. cleo
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 13:50:11

    Anybody read the new Brigid Kemmerer yet (Secret – coming out on the 28th)? Do I have to read Spirit first? I got behind in this series, and then got interested again recently when I heard that Nick’s gay and that Secret is his story. I just read Breathless and I want more Nick and Adam and Quinn. And I never care much about Hunter. So, my question is, how much will I miss if I skip Hunter’s book? Any of you lucky arc reading people have an opinion?

    Oh, and I’m really looking forward to the sequel to The Magpie Lord, also coming out the 28th. I suppose it’s selfish to hope for another polar vortex snow day on the 28th just so I can read.

  3. Amanda
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 14:06:22

    I recently found the Jessica Scott Coming Home series, I read them completely out of order but really enjoyed them. I am so ready to read Iaconelli’s story that comes out early next month.

    I am also anticipating Be with Me by J. Lynn but I didn’t read the novella Trust in Me and I wonder if I should rectify that before reading Be with Me.

    Most of all I am most looking forward to two books in the very near future; the new Tessa Dare novel Romancing the Duke and the final Cat &Bones book by Jeaniene Frost.

  4. mari
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 14:53:36

    I just read two great books: The Coldest Girl
    ColdTown (author escapes me) and Written in Red by Anne Bishop. Both were gripping and un-putdownable. Would never have read either were it not for the mentions on the The Best of’s…by the reviewers here, so thanks! Also finally started in on the Chocolate series by Florand. I had been avoiding them, in spite of all the raves here. Chocolate and Paris and Americans…just sounded dumb and not my cuppa. Was in the library though and saw
    The Chocolate Touch so I picked it up, intending to smirk and feel superior because
    I just knew it would be garbage…..BUT. THE JOKES ON ME BECAUSE THESE BOOKS ARE AWESOME! Loved every word. This series is now autobuy. I am a Florand groupie now! :)

  5. gabrielle
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 14:55:11

    @cleo, Hunter’s book shows some sweet sides of the brothers, esp Michael, and comes with Nick’s revealing teaser at the end – but otherwise you’ve already got the gist of the conflict. Hunter is better developed, so although I also didn’t care for him that much from the previus books, it was an entertaining read. It also reveals who started the school fire, if you’re the type to need closure.

  6. cleo
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 15:01:35

    @gabrielle – thanks!

  7. Ellie
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 15:18:32

    I wanted to share my love for The Knitting in the City series by Penny Reid – Neanderthal Seeks Human and Friends Without Benefits are available now and the third book, Love Hacked is coming out in March. Ms Reid writes contemporary romantic comedies with quirky characters, a bit of a mystery/suspense plot and hilarious dialogue (sometimes monologue, as well).

  8. Jennifer Estep
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 16:12:30

    @mari: I’ve got Written in Red on my TBR pile. I keep seeing good reviews for that one.

    I’ve been wanting to try Laura Florand’s books too, and I’m also looking forward to reading Going Rogue by Robin Benway.

  9. Lada
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 16:43:10

    2014 has started really strong for me and it’s all from finally reading all the recommended books I buy and don’t read right away.

    The Golem and the Jinni by Helene Wecker wasn’t quite the romance I hoped for but was a fascinating book nevertheless. I picked up this one because it made so many best-of lists and highly recommend it to fans of Susanna Kearsley. Great immigrants tale set in late 19th century NYC and so much more.

    After a fairly long absence of historicals from my reading, I picked up Sherry Thomas’ The Luckiest Lady in London . I fully expected to find the story cliched, get bored and put it down but I flew through it and thoroughly enjoyed it. Thomas knows how to weave new stories out of tried and true plots and create imperfect characters I still care about. I’m going to try more historicals this year. There are too many good authors I know I’m missing out on.

    I don’t know why it took me so long but I finally read and loved Grace Draven’s Master of Crows which I bought when Nicci recommended it here: during DA’s short lived Recommended Reads. What I loved most about this book is that it’s first and foremost a romance. The fantasy, world building and plot are all well done but take a back seat to the romance. Love is slow to build and based entirely on the actions and interactions of the H/h. I’m looking forward to Draven’s Entreat Me which a friend said she enjoyed even more than MoC.

    I read Mary Ann Rivers’ The Story Guy after seeing it on two best-of lists here at DA. It’s a lovely romantic novella and felt very contemporary and real. Love isn’t always pretty and easy but Rivers makes the journey satisfying.

    I need to start plowing through more of my tbr books which I generally pick up due to recommendations like the ones above. After a little slump at the end of 2013, I’m a very happy reader right now.

  10. Jenny Schwartz
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 17:36:25

    I can’t bring myself to pay $14.75 for Jayne Ann Krentz’s River Road, so I’ll wait for the price to come down. I do like her books. I just read Dream Eyes and enjoyed it.

    I’m actually wishing February away, waiting on Half-Off Ragnarok by Seanan McGuire in March.

  11. Jennifer
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 17:44:57

    I read Written in Red by Anne Bishop – I also couldn’t put it down. I have just finished listening to Hoe to Run with a Naked Werewolf – lots of fun and just right for listening to while commuting. I have started reading The Color of Light by Helen Maryles Shankman – good so far.

  12. Kris Bock
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 18:59:44

    I got in some extra reading in the last couple of weeks because of a back injury. I reread the first three books of the Darynda Jones series that starts with First Grave on the Right (and I’ll keep going as soon as I can get the next ones from the library). Even the second time through, they kept my mind fully occupied and entertained. I also read Lauren Willig’s The Passion of the Purple Plumeria, which was quite enjoyable, and just finished The Sword Dancer by Jeannie Lin. That was recommended here and is definitely worth a read. I also reread Susanna Kearsley’s The Shadowy Horses, which I really enjoyed, but I had trouble getting into Mariana or The Rose Garden. They seemed a little too slow for my taste, or maybe I just don’t like the time slip format as much, or maybe I was just getting restless from being laid up for so long.

  13. Laura Jardine
    Jan 26, 2014 @ 19:41:07

    Like Amanda, I am really looking forward to the new Tessa Dare book. I rarely buy books the day they come out, but I might make an exception for that one :)

    So far in 2014, I’ve read Gods in Alabama (Joshilyn Jackson), Capturing the Silken Thief (Jeannie Lin) and The Wild One (Danelle Harmon). The latter I’d picked up for free more than a year ago and I had pretty low expectations, which it definitely exceeded. I loved Gods in Alabama, though I think I preferred A Grown-up Kind of Pretty. Right now I am reading Summer’s End (Kathleen Gilles Seidel), which I think I bought based on Jayne’s review quite a while back. I bought very few books last fall and am slowly making my way through all the books that have been in my TBR pile for 6+ months. The oldest one there is Laura Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm, which I bought a very, very long time ago. My wishlist is scary long. I think I need to cull it a bit, since I don’t read all that fast…

  14. hapax
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 11:13:33

    @mari: COLDEST GIRL IN COLDTOWN is by Holly Black and is fabulous. Made me fall in love with vampires again.

    But everything Holly Black writes is fabulous! If you love caper novels and con man protagonists as much as I do, be sure to check out her Curse Workers series, starting with WHITE CAT. It has a brilliant, amoral, hilarious protagonist with a very angsty backstory, a tortured romance, and plots so twisty that up to the last page you’ll swear that there’s no way to get out of this one.

    Sort of like Locke Lamora for YAs.

  15. Janine
    Jan 27, 2014 @ 16:36:35

    @Laura Jardine: I love both Summer’s End and Flowers from the Storm. Hope you enjoy both!

  16. Jayne
    Jan 28, 2014 @ 03:34:52

    @Jenny Schwartz: A friend of mine is waiting on the library copy of “River Road.”

  17. Destiny
    Feb 03, 2014 @ 01:34:12

    I recently signed up for a monthly challenge on Goodreads. One of the books I chose was Reckless Seduction by Jane Feather.

    This book is unusual at least to me because it’s taking place in America and not England. Most of the historical romances I’ve read take place in England and/or Scotland rarely Ireland or Wales. So it was a bit of a shock to start this one.

    I also like that it’s taking place in Louisiana. It’s before the Civil War and while the slaves are mentioned they aren’t really characters in themselves more like background. I really like the book but I would love to know more about the slaves.

    But I am enjoying it and I think I will try out another book by Ms. Feather.

  18. Jorrie Spencer
    Feb 04, 2014 @ 17:53:55

    I read Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie this past week and thoroughly enjoyed it. Space opera with terrific character development and world building and suspense. It’s really not a romance, but I think romance readers will find the relationships interesting. It reminded me of how much I love space opera and need to find more to read. (I’ve got Fortune’s Pawn in my sights.)

    @Laura Jardine I also loved Flowers From the Storm, even read it twice.

  19. Jen
    Feb 05, 2014 @ 15:50:58

    I have read so many great books recently. I just read Schasm by Shari J Ryan and it was so phenomenal. A young gal in it has mind drifts and meets a fabulous man in one of her “daydreams.” But it was so full of surprises I had to stay on my toes. I felt smarter after finishing it LOL. Another one I recently read that was super good and also left me feeling like my brain grew from reading it was A Medical Affair by Anne McCarthy Strauss. I think it should be required reading for all my friends. The main gal in it in basically seduced by her doctor and of course the consequences are disasterous.

  20. Justine
    Feb 09, 2014 @ 13:26:10

    @mari: @Jennifer Estep: I was introduced to Laura Florand through her stand-alone novella Snow-Kissed. I loved it so much that I promptly glommed her Amour et Chocolat series, but the books are too much of the same for me, especially when read back-to-back. Her other ebook-only novella Turning Up the Heat (first in La Vie en Roses series/the Provence collection) is on my wishlist.

    @Amanda: Jessica Scott’s books feel more credible to me than most romance books with military protagonists because she’s a career army officer married to a career NCO. Vic Carponti is my favorite character based on his appearances in the two stories starring Shane Garrison and Jen St. James, and I haven’t even read the novella in which Carponti’s the hero (I’ll Be HOme for Christmas). In fact, I just might read that today.

    @Ellie: I recently read Penny Reid and enjoyed her enough that I signed up for her newsletter and she’s now on my watchlist. I bought Neanderthal Seeks Human (Knitting in the City #1) last week when the price dropped to $1.99 from $3.99 and I somehow had Friends Without Benefits (Knitting in the City #2) for free in my Kindle library from last October (now priced at $5.99 but free for Prime members).

    Not in romance, the book that just jumped to the top of my wishlist is Red Rising by Pierce Brown (released January 28, 2014 by Del Rey). It echoes The Hunger Games, Lord of the Flies, Ender’s Game, and Game of Thrones but it’s reviewed by EW as “wholly fresh” and not “merely derivative.” The author was contracted for a trilogy before this first book debuted and the film rights recently sold. I’m always curious about the next blockbuster and whether the work itself delivers on its hype.

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