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

Open Thread for Readers for January 2012

Got a book you want to talk about? Frustrated with a book or series? In love with a new one? Found a buried treasure? An issue that keeps popping up in the books you are reading? Just want to chat about stuff in general? Post away.

Don’t forget we have the coming soon catalog here where you can see a listing by covers. We’ve created an Amazon Store where you can buy both the print and kindle versions as well as see our Recommended Reads (this will be updated). Finally, if you would rather just see a simple list, check out this page with links and this list for the backlist titles released by Harlequin in January.

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.

53 Comments

  1. Marc
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 11:39:16

    I really love comedy and laughter in my romance, like Julie James and Shelly Laurenston. Can I get some recommendations on other authors along this line to try? Maybe an “If you like…for laughter?”

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  2. Amber
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 11:52:37

    Mare – I am reading the Disillusionists series by Carolyn Crane and it is making me laugh out loud. The humor is a little quirky and maybe not for everyone, but it’s definitely working for me.

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  3. Las
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 12:11:21

    I didn’t do much reading this month. I dislike the omnipresent holiday theme so I avoid most new romance in December.

    I did read Courtney Milan’s Unraveled, which was mostly “Meh” sprinkled with some “Are you fucking kidding me?”. The interactions between the h/h were lovely, but the plot didn’t interest me at all. I was disappointed with the scenes of Smite with his brothers–that’s what I was most looking forward to, and I didn’t care for how it was all handled. I felt the scenes lacked the subtlety present in the first two books. And it annoyed me beyond all proportion that the heroine was a virgin. Any other author and I would have shrugged and thought, “Eh, that’s romance,” but I expected better from Milan. It really came as a surprise and I hated how that scene played out. It didn’t make a bit of sense considering the heroine’s background–making her a virgin is almost up there with writing a virgin widow.

    After avoiding anything labeled YA like the plague, I’ve finally read The Hunger Games. I really enjoyed it and plan to read the rest of the trilogy. ..not enough to make me seek out other YA, though. It’s good, but I kept hoping for things to be taken further. I felt like I was reading the Cliff Notes version of a really fantastic novel. Which I guess makes sense considering the target audience?

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  4. Elyssa Papa
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 12:19:33

    @Marc, have you read Kristan Higgins. She usually is funny. And Susan Elizabeth Phillips usually brings the funny, too, especially in Match Me If You Can. Although not laugh out loud funny, I also think Loretta Chase has great sense of humor and wittiness in her books, particularly Mr. Impossible.

    I really, really, really LOVED Cecilia Grant’s A Lady Awakened, and also Julie Anne Long’s How the Marquess Was Won. I also got hooked on the Night Huntress series by Jeaniene Frost. I never was a big fan of UF until I read Karen Marie Moning (totally a crackalicious author!).

    And I want to read Kresley Cole’s Lothaire–I think it’s a January book? I hope it lives up to the hype!

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  5. Annette
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 13:18:41

    Can anyone remind me of the author/title of a YA romance which was reviewed here in the past several months featuring a young woman who leaves a broken home and goes off to college early, only to find out there is a problem with her transcript. While trying unsuccessfully to register for classes, she meets a handsome guy with a Scottish accent and a sportscar. He convinces her to come with him when her car doesn’t start and they fly off to an island. Thanks!

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  6. Tabitha
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 13:37:51

    Marc – since you like Shelly Laurenston, have you checked out her other books under G.A. Aiken? Also, the Bridgertons series by Julia Quinn is pretty good and hilarious reads as well as Dark Desires After Dusk by Kresley Cole!

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  7. Jennifer Estep
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 13:59:23

    I just got Baby Its Cold Outside by Addison Fox; Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins; and Princess of the Midnight Ball by Jessica Day George, so I’m looking forward to reading those.

    And I second the recommendation for Higgins. I think her books are fun reads.

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  8. karlynp
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 14:06:28

    I’m definitely excited to read Lothaire in January too, despite it being $12 for the ebook. If he wasn’t a favorite character in the series, I probably would wait til the price dropped.

    I read a couple ARCs this week. Hidden Summit by Robyn Carr. Not bad, VR fans will enjoy. She doesn’t include other story arc’s in this one so the story stays focused on the H/h. I also read Firelight by Kristen Callihan, due out end of January. Firelight was good, but not what I expected. It ended up being a darker, gothic throwback kind of romance. It had a paranormal twist which was slowly revealed (a bit too slowly, IMHO) . You know they are not all human, but it took forever to figure out what they were. The romance comes quite late too, but when it does it was well done and steamy.

    I can’t wait for Julie Ann Long’s ‘How the Marquess was Won’, due out tomorrow.

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  9. Jane
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 14:23:28

    @Las: I’ll probably post my review of Milan’s book at the end of the week but what was problematic for me in the book was the leaps it took to get from emotional point A to emotional point B. Miranda slaps her ward for suggesting she is going to sell herself to Smite and then what, 24 hours later, she is practically hopping for joy to be his mistress. And Smite, from being reserved and alone to (as I wrote in my review) vomiting out all his secrets like a drunk after a four day bender.

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  10. Author on Vacation
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 14:35:53

    I really liked Debra Glass’s “Scarlett Widow.” Despite its dark themes and menage romance, Glass always imbues her Civil War/Reconstruction fiction with terrific authenticity.

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  11. msilk
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 15:39:57

    I’ve stumbled across some amazing authors this year, but one thing that seems to be missing for me is a great Epic Fantasy series. Anyone have any recommendations for me? I LOVE C.L. Wilson’s Tairen Soul Series, it has a great combo of romance and fantasy, so would like to find something of that caliber.

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  12. eggs
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 15:53:32

    December’s been a total write off for me reading new books wise, nearly everything I looked at just seems so ‘meh’ to me. Instead of reading new, I’ve reread Moning’s Fever series and Thea Harrison’s paranormal series (does the series have a name?) and now I’m gearing up to read Devil’s Bride with extras, which will undoubtedly, inevitably, and certainly lead to a Cynsters binge. Please Lord, let me stop after three.

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  13. Tina
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 16:24:58

    This months I had a few really great reads:
    Sarah Mayberry – All They Need was fantastic. I recommend her to everyone!

    Susan Mallery – Already Home was full of soapy goodness. I find that I like her women’s fiction more than I like her romance.

    And then I had a few pretty good reads:
    Jo Davis – I glommed all five of her Fire-station #5 firefighting romance series. Some were better than others. On the whole, the series was fun. But it did make me think of the recent discussion on here about villains. Hated the villains in the books. Thought they were cartoony. But I enjoyed the romances.

    And then there were the kinda ‘eh’ reads:
    Cecelia Grant – Lady Awakened. The last 77 pages were great. The first 269…kinda stalled for me. Heroine was problematic in a big way.

    Ashley March – Romancing the Countess. I was more interested in the dead couple better than the living hero/heroine. Heroine’s actions were head-scratchers.

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  14. Meg
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 16:38:33

    @Annette: I think you’re looking for Isle of Night.

    I’ve finally gotten around to starting Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels books and Mercedes Lackey’s Five Hundred Kingdoms series (oh Kindle library books, why didn’t I discover you sooner?) and they’re both fantastic.

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  15. Loosheesh
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 16:48:21

    @eggs: Thea Harrison’s series is called Elder Races; Dragon Bound is my favorite read for 2011.

    A Goodreads friend and I are doing a challenge to read the Cynster series and I’m 3 books in and liking it. I really enjoyed Devil’s Bride :)

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  16. Owen Kennedy
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 16:51:56

    @Las and @ Jane
    Well, after hearing that, I guess I’ll wait for the review before reading. That is a bummer because I was looking forward to reading Unraveled.

    I read Honor’s Splendor by Garwood. A GREAT read (though I admit the heroine drove me a little crazy at times). Thanks for the suggestion. Maybe I’ll just read another Garwood since I liked the first two.

    This month’s reads….
    I was somewhat disappointed with Lora Leigh’s latest Breed Series contribution Lawe’s Justice this month and am wondering if there are any characters left in her series that actually want to be mated. How frustrating. I LOVE that series but while I used to be cyber-stalking the sites to see when the next one came out, now I’m kinda ‘meh’ about it. Much like Diana Palmer’s latest offerings.

    I’m looking forward to the next book in Lauran Dohner’s New Species series-Brawn. It comes out tomorrow. I’m excited to see it on Amazon so fast.

    Trouble at the Wedding by Guhrke looks interesting. It comes out tomorrow. I’ve never read Guhrke. Thinking about the Capture of the Earl of Glencrae when it comes out in January by Laurens and A Lady Never Surrenders by Jeffries.

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  17. Owen Kennedy
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 16:58:42

    @Loosheesh

    You’ll have to tell me what you think. I LOVED Devil’s Bride and am currently reading Vane’s story. Been reading the reviews on Amazon about some of the others and thinking I might just skip to A Secret Love and be done with the Bar Cynsters. Between the premises on some and the comments/reviews, I’m a little leery about reading straight through.

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  18. Amy111
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 17:47:10

    @Owen Kennedy,

    I read Honor’s Splendor many years ago and remember liking it very much. But I enjoyed the book Castles by Julie Garwood much better. Definite mistorical, but it had me laughing out loud at several points. It was a well-told story too. Great hero and heroine.

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  19. RebeccaJ
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 18:26:51

    I read once that crack is the BEST the first time you smoke it and that people are forever going after a high that was as good as the first one, but never finding it.

    Sigh. I feel that way about my romance novels right about now. I read a few that I just could not put down and now I have about twelve half started on my dresser right now that are just NOT doing it for me. Double sigh.

    I am in a romance novel funk:(

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  20. Annette
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 18:29:32

    @Meg: Yes, that’s it! Thanks so much, Meg. And I appreciate the link.

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  21. Loosheesh
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 18:35:43

    @Owen Kennedy: Devil and Honoria are great characters!

    Vane’s story is OK but the first book is far superior, IMO. I enjoyed the third book, Scandal’s Bride, more than the second but, as someone coming from an evangelical Christian background, it was really weird reading about Catriona’s worship of “the Lady” (some sort of female deity??). I don’t have a problem with fiction that makes up gods etc, it was just that this was the first time I can remember coming across active worship of a female deity; it was strange but interesting ;)

    (Catriona’s religious persuasions are established very early in the book so I don’t think what I’ve written qualifies as a spoiler … I hope =D)

    Apart from the romance, the interaction of the Cynster family is a big attraction for me. You get a lot of family interaction in the first and third book, not so much in Vane’s story; that may have influenced my enjoyment of it, IDK.

    One of my reading challenges for 2012 is to continue the series, up to at least 10 books.

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  22. cecilia
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 19:02:55

    @Loosheesh: Is it possible Catriona is referring to the Virgin Mary?

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  23. Loosheesh
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 19:18:25

    @cecilia: You know, the possibility never entered my mind, but that’s something to think about.

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  24. Renda
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 19:30:18

    @Marc: I love Jennifer Crusie, all of it, new and old. Susan Donovan’s earlier stuff like “He Loves Lucy,” “The Girl Most Likely To,” “The Kept Woman,” “Public Displays of Affection,” to name most of them.
    Then, not to the same extent as the other two but Christie Craig writes some funny stuff. I cringe at the sometimes TSTL heroines, but for the most part they are great fun. I am talking about her “Divorced” series more than anything.
    And though it pains me to say it, Janet Evanovich’s Stephanie Plum series is downright funny, but do yourself a favor and stop after No. 3. After that you have read it all before and there is seemingly never going to be an end to the madness.

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  25. Elise
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 20:03:52

    This hasn’t been the best month for reading for me. I found Unraveled pretty meh as well. Smite just didn’t do it for me.

    Despite having mostly given up on Lilith Saintcrow I read The Hedgewitch Queen hoping it would remind me of Steelflower, which I love despite all its flaws, but sadly I couldn’t stand the heroine and her constant plotting to run off and “Please don’t hurt anyone!”
    I did enjoy Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews. They always manage to write kids in to their stories in a way that doesn’t annoy me. For any Kate Daniels fans who don’t check their site often, they have a free downloadable novella on their blog for the next two weeks.

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  26. Pri
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 21:59:54

    I enjoyed Fate’s Edge (which I received from a contest here–thanks DA!) and its characters. I also read Wish (a short story by Kelly Hunter–a “category” I guess it’d be called?) and loved it! I love how she describes her characters and how they seem to have lives (and friends) apart from just the h/H. That makes them seem more real.

    I”m now reading Ms. Hunter’s latest one that I could find–The Man She Loves to Hate and it’s heaps better than its ridiculous title. I liked reading it over the holidays since it’s about families and parent-children relations as well as the h/H. She’s got a good way of writing that I enjoy.

    For January, I’m looking forward to Julie Anne Long and Sabrina Jeffries.

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  27. Zara
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 22:15:03

    I’m glad to know I’m not the only one who had some problems with Unraveled; I thought maybe I read it too fast, or was maybe expecting too much. I don’t think it’s a “miss” but I don’t think it’s her strongest work. I certainly wouldn’t consider it a waste of time or money, on any level.

    In Bed with a Highlander was a DNF for me; it started so well, but the inaccuracies and the use of language drove.me.batty.
    The Amorous Education of Celia Seaton was also a DNF. I may go back to it, I may not. It just seems so fluffy.

    I am greatly looking forward to A Lady Awakened, after all the plug here in favor. I’ve already downloaded the new Connie Brockway book, and am saving it for a weekend when my kids are busy and I can read uninterrupted!

    I am still debating if I want to read Outlander. I’ve been having this debate with myself for about five years, so maybe 2012 will be the year I finally cave. It took me forever to cave and read the Hunger Games, and when I started them, my husband and kids did not see me for a few days. Then I passed them along, and I didn’t see my husband or kids for a few days, while a great deal of “Hurry up! I’m waiting for that one!” was shouted in my house. I have this weird hang up about boycotting really popular books.

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  28. Sabrina
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 22:46:42

    @Owen Kennedy:
    I love all Garwood’s historicals but her contemps not at all. Her contemps are similar to Leigh’s breeds in that everytime a new one comes out I keep hoping it will be better than the last, then I swear I’ll never buy another one…but I always do, rinse and repeat I guess.

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  29. Sabrina
    Dec 26, 2011 @ 23:01:06

    I broke away somewhat from romance this month because all the books just seemed to blend together, nothing really stood out. I picked up a military/esp/very light romance series by DC Sargarent, “Entangled” and “The Devil’s Garden”. Both had a good story line to them, you can see the characters develop nicely, and the author’s writing style improved in the second one. Definately not the norm for me to read but I am glad I did, it was nice to step away from breeds, vampires, medival heroines, and alpha men for a change.
    I did read Jill Sharvis’s Harbor series- loved the first one, the second was good, and the third was okay.
    Looking forward to Lothaire’s story…please be awesome, I need awesome right now!
    Here’s to the new year filled with many A reviewed books but at this point I’ll settle for Bs, really tired of C’s and D’s!!!

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  30. Junne
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 05:31:16

    Was just reading a blog and I learnt that Harlequin plans to eventually digitize their entire backlist, which is all kinds of awesome.
    Here is the blog post:
    http://www.wewriteromance.com/blog/kates-corner/kates-corner-hunting-for-treasure/

    Oh, and I read The Darkest Hour by Maya Banks, and it was the first romantic suspense book I loved in a long time. I think that’s because there was less emphasis on the action and more on the H/h relationship. Anyway, it was a great read, even though the second book in the series ( with the pregnant Sophie) was more bland, and boring.

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  31. cead
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 06:49:37

    I wish there were more historical romances involving the widowed mothers of debutantes. These are women who are often no more than three or four years older than the hero (and the same age as some heroines from contemporary romances), and yet they’re often treated like crones. Does anyone know of any historical romances like this? I found a recent one by Leigh Michaels where the mother is one of several leads and am very much looking forward to it. I love historical romance, but I’m getting really sick of dewy-eyed eighteen-year-old innocents. Especially the “feisty” ones.

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  32. Jayne
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 07:41:49

    @cead: Check this site. This link should take you to a plots page. Scroll down and look at the Guardians, Inheritance, Second Chances categories. You might find something there.

    http://www.thenonesuch.com/subjects.htm

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  33. Jayne
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 07:54:10

    @cead: Check this link for older couples romances.

    http://likesbooks.com/older.html

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  34. Marguerite Kaye
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 08:08:14

    I’ve just finished The Pink Hotel by Anna Stothard. It has a romance at its core, but it’s about a 17 year old girl from London coming to LA to discover the dead mother she never knew through her letters and ex lovers. The language is astonishing, Stothard’s descriptions of the girl’s dreams and adolescent/adult imagination in particular are strikingly vivid and eerily resonant. I thought this was a really great book, and I read it in two gulps. I’ve also ordered my first ever Julie Garwood thanks to a review here. Couldn’t get The Bride in paperback in the UK (and I must be one of only ten people left without an ereader) so got The Wedding. Also have the third in Deanna Raybourn’s Julia Grey books on its way to me. And not romance, but I’ve been saving it as a treat, Graham Swift’s Wish You Were Here (Last Orders is one of my favourite books).

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  35. Junne
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 08:08:25

    @cead:
    There is a Mary Balogh novel with two parallel romances: young hero and heroine, and mother of heroine and her own hero. Really sweet book, but for the life of me I can’t remember the name. It’s a fairly old Regency.

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  36. Meri
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 08:16:11

    @cead: I think we must not be reading the same books – I can’t recall too many recent books with a teenaged debutante and 30-something hero, and quite a few books do have older heroines, whose mothers are not even near the same age as the hero.

    Some possibilities you could try: in Sherry Thomas’s Private Arrangements, the secondary romance is between the heroine’s mother and the man she’s chasing as a possible second husband for her daughter. One Night For Love by Mary Balogh has a secondary romance featuring the hero’s aunt (I think), who is also a mentor of sorts to the heroine. Liz Carlyle wrote several books with widowed heroines who had children, though none old enough to be out in society: A Woman Scorned, Two Little Lies (in which the heroine is older than the hero, I believe), and Three Little Secrets. And there’s The Black Hawk by Joanna Bourne – while neither Justine nor Adrian have kids, both are older than what you normally find in historical romance.

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  37. DM
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 08:26:47

    @Meri

    I was actually trying to puzzle out Justine’s age in the book–at one point I did the math and she was 35 and at another point I did the math and she was 37. Still not sure which was right.

    @Jane

    I’m looking forward to your review of Milan’s latest. I read it and enjoyed reading it, but also had problems with the emotional trajectory of the characters–I particularly didn’t like the on-the-nose conversations between Smite and his family about their feelings, and as with Milan’s last book, the way the united family is presented as all kittens and rainbows at the end didn’t feel authentic to the characters or the seriousness of their situations just a few weeks earlier.

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  38. Sunita
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 08:30:46

    @Junne: Are you thinking of The Counterfeit Betrothal? A debutante contracts a fake engagement to bring her estranged parents back together. I remember enjoying it; very much in the early Balogh Regency tradition.

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  39. Meri
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 08:38:36

    @DM: Justine is 13 in The Forbidden Rose, which takes place in 1794. That would make her 37 in TBH, by my calculation. Jo Bourne once posted a timeline for the Spymaster books and related events, but I can no longer find it on her blog.

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  40. Junne
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 08:48:49

    @Sunita:
    Yes that’s it! I loved that book! Thanks for reminding me its name:)

    Sometimes I think there are not many debutantes’ mothers as heroines because so many authors use this trope: http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/AbusiveParents

    A lot of parents in hist romance are either abusive/indifferent/dead. It’s so easy to pin H/h flaws on that : “my mommy was a cheater so I loathe all women”, “my father left my mom so I hate all men!”

    Very few of them are loving, supportive and all that, so it’s actually hard to say: okay so I’ll make this mother of three my next heroine, even if every single dowager duchess I ever read about is the devil’s spawn and wants to prevent her son’s marriage to the lily-perfect heroine because she’s not pretty/rich/titled enough..

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  41. JB Hunt
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 11:29:31

    I recently read and loved Aussie author Liane Moriarty’s WHAT ALICE FORGOT.

    Alice hits her head in a spin class and wakes up thinking it’s ten years earlier. She’s still madly in love with her husband with no memory that they’re in the middle of an ugly divorce. It’s a laugh-out-loud read that perfectly captures the feel of contemporary life. So good.

    I’m ready to jump into…
    Jacqueline Carey’s second Santa Olivia book, SAINTS ASTRAY
    Darynda Jones’ SECOND GRAVE ON THE LEFT
    Zoe Archer’s new HELLRAISERS series

    Loved Jo Bourne’s THE BLACK HAWK (of course).

    In a departure from romance, I just inhaled the Pulitzer-winning A VISIT FROM THE GOON SQUAD by Jennifer Egan. F**king brilliant. And funny. And heartbreaking.

    I have so many books in my TBR pile — they should last me through 2012!

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  42. punta mareda
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 16:02:17

    @cead:
    Pleasure me by Monica Burns features a non-dewy-eyed, definitely not-innocent fourty-one-year-old heroine. Though she’s not a mother herself (initially), she does run (or rather finance) an orphanage..so she’s a sort of honorary mother :)
    as a bonus, the hero is much younger AND a virgin to boot.

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  43. Michelle
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 16:53:45

    For those asking about fantasy/romance: Sorcery and Cecelia or the Enchanted Chocolate Pot is excellent, imagine a Regency England with magic. Two cousins communicate in letters-has two couples. The heroines are intelligent, and engaging. Also Clare Dunkle’s The Hollow Kingdom is fantastic (I didn’t care for the other two books in the trilogy as well). Heroine is trying to thwart the Goblin King. Again intelligent heroine who isn’t whiny/tstl, or waiting to be saved.

    I have been on more of a fantasy kick than romance, lately.

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  44. Owen Kennedy
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 18:47:10

    @Sabrina
    I looked at Garwood’s contemporary series…no real interest. I am the more picky about those than most. Still…I fall for the same Harlequin plotlines over and over again. I’m a sucker for those.

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  45. Sabrina
    Dec 27, 2011 @ 23:38:26

    @Owen Kennedy:
    My mother introduced me to romance books almost 20 years ago and she started me out on Garwood’s books. If you like her you’d probably like Kathryn Woodwiss also.

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  46. Lisa J
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 05:17:17

    @Owen Kennedy: If you like Julie Garwood, I would also suggest Donna Fletcher. The Irish Devil is one of my favorites. Tame My Wild Touch is part of her American series and another one I like. She is releasing her backlist in e format and they are very reasonably priced.

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  47. eggs
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 06:06:13

    @Loosheesh: Devil Cynster is hands down my favourite romance hero ever, and Dragonbound was also one of my favourite reads of 2011 (tie with the last Fever book). When I look at the heros of these books: Devil, Dragos and Barrons, it occurs to me that they are all very similar. They are all unusually powerful men within their milieu, they are all very clear in what they do and do not want, and none of them give a damn about the opinions of others. In a way, they are all very simple men. Maybe that’s why I like them so much!

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  48. ms bookjunkie
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 09:41:29

    @Marc: If you read PNR, give Dana Marie Bell a go. She’s manages to write a balance of LOL-funny and red hot. Her books are some of my go-to comfort reads when I’m feeling depressed. A DMB book or two later, my mood is better and I’m giggling to myself.

    @msilk: Have you read N.K. Jemisin’s The Inheritance Trilogy (beginning with THE HUNDRED THOUSAND KINGDOMS)? It’s not romance, but it is fantasy, and epically awesome fantasy at that.

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  49. Sabrina
    Dec 28, 2011 @ 11:49:13

    @Lisa J:
    I’ve never heard of Donna Fletcher, but I’m curious now! Thank a lot–eventhough your post was directed at Owen Kennedy and I hijacked it
    ;-)

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  50. Sweeney
    Dec 30, 2011 @ 08:52:34

    I just read Space In His Heart by Roxanne St. Claire…it was excellent. Great hero, great heroine, fantastic dialog and romance set within NASA. Astronauts make for great romance reading. I’ve never read any Roxanne St Claire before and will definitely read more…any suggestions which one to start with??

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  51. Ros
    Dec 30, 2011 @ 11:48:28

    I am LOVE, LOVE, LOVING Laura Vivanco’s For Art and Money. It’s a literary critical analysis of Harlequin Mills and Boon romances and it is AWESOME. I realise that not all romance readers are interested in literary criticism, but if you have any interest at all in thinking about how romantic novels work and why, this is terrific. I am now working out how to shoehorn a reference from it into my PhD thesis…

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  52. MaryK
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 08:42:51

    Anyone read the Steampunk anthology from Carina Press? It’s tempting me but as Romance is my primary genre I’m kinda wary.

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  53. karlynp
    Jan 03, 2012 @ 14:48:14

    @msilk:

    msilk, if you are looking for epic fantasy romances, try Master of Crows by Grace Draven. I learned of that book on the Open Reader thread back in Sept or October when another reader recommended it. It was wonderful and one of the best books I read in 2011.

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