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. Sahara Hoshi
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 14:51:00

    July seems like it’s going to be a slow month for me. I finished Victoria Dahl’s Crazy for Love, and enjoyed it, but get it from a library if you can.
    The Darkest Lie is supposed to come this week…thank goodness…I love Gena Showalter’s books.
    I cannot wait for August:
    Sin Undone by Larissa Ione
    No Mercy *I might just library it* by Sherrilyn Kenyon
    Demon from the Dark by Kresley Cole

    So July for me is going to be a waiting month….
    Books to check out if you haven’t read them:
    Beyond the Rain by Jess Granger – sci-fi goodness
    Princess of Roumania – Historical sci-fi
    Skin Tight and Skin Game by Ava Gray-Romantic suspense with a scifi/fantasy twist
    Dragon Kin series by G.A. Aiken – romantic fantasy comedy

    Almost any YA by Dia Calhoun–I especially recommend Aria of the Sea

    Even more powerful was the Phoenix Dance by Dia Calhoun — an amazing fantasy dealing with a form of bipolar disorder…powerful poignant and respectful

  2. Mireya
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 15:25:33

    Well, these are the books I have in my wish/to be bought list for July:

    Chains of Ice-Christina Dodd
    Guild Wars 2: Ghosts of Ascalon (I am an MMO gamer, so there)
    Into the Crossfire-Lisa Marie Rice
    Wicked Intentions-Elizabeth Hoyt
    A Highland Duchess-Karen Ranney
    A Kiss at Midnight-Eloisa James
    Bonds of Justice-Nalini Singh

    I am in the process of reading Sahara Kelly’s “Seduced by the Sun God” which is a time travel erotic romance set in Sumer. I’ve been a fan of her work since I first started reading erotic romance. She is self-publishing it via Smashwords for $1.50 a pop. I just hope I don’t have to tell her “your book sux” LOL

  3. Joanna Terrero
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 15:29:25

    @Sahara, thanks for sharing your list, I'm going to take a look at some of the books, because I love Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter's books too.

    Speaking of Gena, OMG, we're only two more books from getting Paris'. At least that was what she said when I asked her. This was her answer:

    Paris will probably have a book after Strider, who will have a book after Amun, who will have a book after Gideon.

    My guess his will be the last in the series, I cannot wait to see how she wrote it.

    I will be sharing my list later in the month, I'm reading a couple of books, but I don't want to recommend until I'm done.

  4. teebee
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 15:43:45

    I just inhaled all 7 of Singh’s Psy Changeling series in 10 days. I had a minute of Oh no! She’s going Laurell K Hamilton porn in 6, but she pulled it back and 7 was perfect.

    Also digging Tessa Dare’s Stud Club trilogy

  5. May
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 15:58:42

    oh how I love this thread! Will have to think on this more, but I know I’m looking forward to a few new books in July (what?!)
    Recently read –
    Victoria Dahl’s (crazy for love) newest was… well I had too many problems believing the whole premise. It was ok, nothing to gush over for me.

    Just got into the BDB (JRWard) – 3 deep and loved each one. Will I keep loving? NOt sure. Will buy 1 at a time in case I become one of the fans who falls out of love.

    Purchased Tessa Dare’s #2 in “stud club” and will read soon, as well as Cindy Dee’s (longest night – a silhouette I think).

    Read (after soo many people raved) 9 rules to break when romancing a rake – and yeah. IT ROCKED!!

    I feel like I’m missing a lot – so will have to add more as I think of them. In meantime so looking forward to seeing what everybody likes this month!!

  6. Joanne
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 16:17:21

    @May: I forgot about the new Dahl book, thank you.

    Most looking forward to this month:

    Last Night’s Scandal by Loretta Chase

    The Search by Nora Roberts

    Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley (Mac’s story)

    Wicked Intentions Elizabeth Hoyt (which I’m hoping is as good as the blurb suggests)

  7. LJ
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 16:26:37

    In July, I’m looking forward to Chloe Neill’s Twice Bitten, the third novel in her Chicagoland Vampire series; Forget You, a YA by Jennifer Echols; Discord’s Apple by Carrie Vaughn and As Lie the Dead by Kelly Meding. I’m interested in finding out more about a novel called The Fire Lord’s Lover by Kathryne Kennedy. It’s about the fae, I think, and out July 6th.

  8. Karen Hammond
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 16:33:48

    I read Beyond the Rain by Jess Granger and enjoyed it for the most part, but the epilogue created such a needlescratch ending that it came really close to ruining the entire book.

  9. Sahara Hoshi
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 17:20:25

    @Joanna Terrero: I am so excited for Paris’ book but I am really intrigued by Amun’s book. I think it will be amazing. Also the excerpt for Kresley Cole’s new book is up. If you haven’t tried Shelly Laurenston—do so, you won’t be sorry…you also can’t go wrong with very Ava Gray and early Sherrilyn Kenyon and for absolute cheesy sci-fi romance–Robin D. Owens’ Heartmate series.

    @Karen Hammond: Try Beyond the Shadows, a much tighter novel, with an intriguing set up for the rest of the series. What I find the strongest about Jess Granger’s writing is the actual civilization building.

    I am looking into reading Paul Park’s Starbridge Chronicle series as well.

  10. Las
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 17:38:32

    @teebee: I did the same exact thing. Read all seven books in less than two weeks (and 6 was one of my favorites, 7 was a bit meh for me, and no, I’ve never read Hamilton ;)), and I can’t wait for the next one. I’m actually not interested in the upcoming romance at all, but I love the Psy/Changeling world and I’m dying to find out what happens next. This might be the first romance series that I not only want to keep up with but that actually has a compelling plot.

    I have to say, though, I’m dreading Hawk’s story. It’s so obvious that it’s going to be Sienna and I just can’t stand the idea (I like both characters, but I don’t want them together!).

  11. Jennifer Estep
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 17:41:13

    I’ve read a couple of Jack Reacher books recently — One Shot and The Hard Way. Good books, but not as great as some of the earlier ones in the series. Or maybe it’s because I was able to figure out most of the mystery before the end.

    I also read Melusine by Sarah Monette. I have a lot of mixed feelings about this one. Loved the thief character but hated the wizard, who went from arrogant to insane and back again. Just a strange reading experience all the way around.

    I also finished Virgin River by Robyn Carr. I thought it was a nice mix of contemporary romance and women’s fic, but some of the stuff that happened at the end was just a little too perfect for me to swallow.

    I still need to read White Cat by Holly Black, and I’m looking forward to Cole’s next book. Isn’t there a new Jeaniene Frost book that’s coming out this summer too?

  12. ehoyden
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 18:59:59

    Great reads: Compromised, Revealed, and Summer of You by Kate Noble. Twice Tempted by a Rogue by Tessa Dare. Exclusively Yours by Shannon Stacey.

    Liked: One Dance with a Duke by Tessa Dare. Mistress by Mistake by Maggie Robinson. Rushed to the Alter by Jane Feather. Married by Morning by Lisa Kleypas. If He's Wild by Hannah Howell.

    Meh: Ten Julia Quinn. The only thing that saved it was revisiting Olivia from What Happens in London.

    Completely gave up on: Parker’s Price, Miss Foster’s Folly, and Fire Me.

    Looking forward to the next Kleypas, Gaelen Foley, Loretta Chase, and Jennifer Ashley books.

    Next up is, His at Night by Sherry Thomas.

    Anybody have any Steampunk recs? I've never read any, but the First Page sounded interesting.

  13. lorenet
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 19:00:06

    I have these titles sitting in my pre-order queue:

    6/29 Raising Kane – Lorelei James
    7/6 Insatiable – Lauren Dane
    7/27 Tempting the Fire – Sydney Croft

  14. Moth
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 19:45:21

    @Karen Hammond: With the unicorns? Yeah, me too…

  15. Janine
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 20:01:12

    Since no one has mentioned it yet, I will put in a good word for I Kissed an Earl by Julie Anne Long. I have a review that will run pretty soon, so I don’t want to say too much, but I really enjoyed the book.

    I’m also reading a YA paranormal that I am loving, but I’m only a quarter of the way through. I plan to review that next.

  16. Joanna Terrero
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 21:47:54

    @Sahara, thanks, I will check those for sure.

    Yeah, Amun’s book could be fascinating, I love the title. I’m collecting all the books in the Lords of the Underworld series, I just finished The darkest Passion.

    @May, thanks, I checked Elizabeth Hoyt’s Wicked Intentions, and it looks great. I love suspense romance too.

  17. Tweets that mention Open Thread for Readers for July 2010 | Dear Author --
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 22:07:05

    […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Ryshia Kennie, dearauthor. dearauthor said: New post: Open Thread for Readers for July 2010 […]

  18. Jesi O'Connell
    Jun 27, 2010 @ 23:29:51

    Just finished Stormwalker by Allyson James (ok, it came out in May, but I just got it a few weeks ago). Really enjoyed it, and really looking forward to Firewalker, due out in November.

    Also reading now Night Myst, first in new Indigo Court series by Yasmine Galenorn. I thought the beginning was veeerrry slow, but I kept reading on, and by the halfway point so many cool things started happening that I’m now gobbling it up and already looking forward to the next one.

    And just picked up Ambushed!, a Harlequin Blaze book by Vicki Lewis Thompson. Hot cowboys. :) Liked the first in the mini-series, Wanted!

    @Jennifer Estep: Yes on next Jeaniene Frost book: it’s Eternal Kiss of Darkness, due out July 27. I couldn’t finish First Drop of Crimson, which disappointed me, as I adore her Night Huntress series. Something about the 3rd person voice just isn’t working for me…

    And ooh, you all gave me many new reads to check out. Thanks.

  19. Estara
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 05:34:42

    @Las: If you enjoy compelling plots across a whole series of romances, you also might enjoy Meljean Brook’s Guardian series.

    Her newest Demon Blood is also coming out in July and I look forward to it muchly. This is a series where you need to start at book 2 at least, though, to appreciate the overarching plot.

    It really jumped into high stakes mode in the last one and while the romances are contained in the books, the plot develops across the whole series. Meljean has announced that she sold the last two in the series as well, so we’ll get the whole storyline by 2012 ^^. Yay!

    There’s a chance to win Demon Blood at OddShots.

  20. Estara
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 05:47:03

    @ehoyden: My favourite steampunk romance so far Clockwork Heart by Dru Passagliotti. It’s got great adventure and a very strong heroine as well as brilliant dialogue.

  21. Karen Hammond
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 08:32:02

    @Moth: LOL, yeah, the unicorns in the garden at the end was just way too over the top for me. I literally yelled “Oh, come ON!” at that point, and I’d really liked the book to that point.

    But I’ll give her another chance with Book 2–she was doing ok right to that point. Better not see any more damned unicorns, tho. :)

    (I do have to admit, that 1) fantasy is NOT a subgenre that I can always get into and 2) before Jess Granger’s book, I’d read A Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, which seriously blew me away it was so good, so the bar was pretty high when I started Granger’s book)

  22. trish
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 09:25:45

    It seems a cardinal sin to not be looking forward to a Nalini Singh these days, but I’m just kind of “meh” about the upcoming BONDS OF JUSTICE. For some reason it just isn’t all that interesting to me.

    What I am REALLY looking forward to is Anne Stuart’s upcoming historical trilogy about the wicked, wicked Rohan family, RECKLESS, RUTHLESS and BREATHLESS. I just can’t wait to sink my teeth into this series and hope the Rohans prove to be as deliciously naughty as advertised.

    I’m currently reading (and enjoying) HIS AT NIGHT by the fabulous Sherry Thomas. And I was pleasantly surprised by Sarah McLean’s NINE RULES, which despite a lousy title, was a very fun read.

  23. MaryK
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 10:13:44

    I just ran across Waiting in Vain by Charlotte Stein, the short story Jane reviewed a while back, at Fictionwise. They didn’t have it at the time of the review, but it’s there now.

    Also, Borders had a 5-for-4 deal going on when I was browsing over the weekend. Their website seems to be down right now so I don’t know if it’s still going on, but it’s worth checking out.

  24. Laurie
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 10:29:57

    @ehoyden: Having recently finished it, I can easily recommend “Soulless” by Gail Carriger as your first Steampunk read.

  25. Lindsay
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 12:42:06

    I just finished Candace Camp’s A Gentleman Always Remembers, and enjoyed it for the most part, though the ’tis-ing and ’twas-ing at the beginning nearly put me off. It was a nice light read, and the sequel-baiting wasn’t obnoxious. The dreaded virgin widow does make an appearance, but either I haven’t been reading romance long enough to be bothered by it, or it wasn’t handled horribly.

    Right now I’m waiting for Cathy Maxwell’s Treasured Vows to arrive in the mail. I’m also looking forward to the July Harlequin Historicals releases to arrive – I see a lot of my favourite tropes. I haven’t really managed to get into any of the June titles.

    On the non-romance front, I’ve ordered a book called Radical Homemakers and a copy of Mrs. Beeton’s Guide to Household Management because I’m a nerd for vintage advice manuals.

  26. John
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 13:12:56

    I’m on my way to finishing Things I Know About Love for review – it’s really cute. I’m also excited to read Raised by Wolves by Jennifer Lynne Barnes and Siren by Tricia Rayburn. :)

    In the adult romance world, I got through a few backlist Blazes like The Ex-Girlfriend Club.

    I also managed to get copies of The Secret by Julie Garwood, Knight in Shining Armour by Jude Deveraux, and two Viking romances by Josie Litton. I also have someone sending me more romances. Historicals are quickly becoming a favorite of mine.

  27. Janine
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 13:41:47


    I just inhaled all 7 of Singh's Psy Changeling series in 10 days. I had a minute of Oh no! She's going Laurell K Hamilton porn in 6, but she pulled it back and 7 was perfect.

    LOL, #6 and #3 are my favorites in that series. I thought the opening scene of Branded by Fire was soooo sexy. I’m kind of hoping Singh keeps that heat level up, since she does it so well.

  28. Mireya
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 14:33:46

    @John: The Secret is one of my favorite historical romances (and comfort reads) ever. I think you are going to like it.

  29. RKB
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 16:28:58

    I seem to be having a dry spell.

    Harpy’s Flight by Megan Lindholm aka Robin Hobb just didn’t do anything for me after 30 pages in. I can see why she had to use a pseudonym to try and sell books in the 1990s.

    The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald was decent space opera but I thought the romance was kind of lame.

    I tried reading Daughter of the Flames by Nancy Holder and I think I got grossed out by the main character (a 20-something year old) being somewhat attracted to a 60-something policeman. She was also reading his thoughts and he’s quite the dirty old man. Ruined the book for me.

    I tried reading Who Can Save us Now?, edited by Owen King, where it’s short stories about superheros. I love superhero comic books but this anthology just fell flat for me.

    The Poison Throne by Celine Kiernan has gotten great reviews, but I’m stuck on page 91. I’m going back to it sooner or later because I must be missing something if it’s gotten so many good reviews…I guess? :-)

    I tried reading Fallen by Lauren Kate but I got a third of the way through, went Meh and stopped reading.

    Hush, Hush by Becca Fitzpatrick got the same reaction as Fallen.

    I did however read a very cool autobiography by Clane Hayward titled The Hypocrisy of Disco. If you are interested in reading about a GenXer who grew up with hypocritical, messed up, hippie parents, then this book is for you. I am debating buying her self-published sequel, Nothing is Fixed.

  30. John
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 19:50:19

    @Mireya: I finished my review book for the day…and I was going to start another…but I couldn’t resist Garwood.

    I’m on page 45 and I am in love.

    I think my shelf will hold it for a loong time. :)

  31. Moriah Jovan
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 20:32:25


    My favourite steampunk romance so far Clockwork Heart by Dru Passagliotti. It's got great adventure and a very strong heroine as well as brilliant dialogue.

    Oooh, I have that in my ebook reader. *wanders off to the recliner*

  32. Lucy Woodhull
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 21:04:34

    @ehoyden: For Steampunk, check out Zoe Archer’s HALF PAST DEAD (the book is two novellas – hers is THE UNDYING HEART). It’s the first in her “Blades of the Rose” series and it was wonderful. The Blades are four books – the first coming out in September (I think).

  33. rebyj
    Jun 28, 2010 @ 22:24:01

    I’ve been so busy with repairing our basement since the flood here in Nashville that I haven’t been buying anything and just re-reading mostly.
    I got Jacqueline Carey’s Naamah’s Curse on audio and ran around with earphones on my head for 2 days. Good addition to the series although it did seem to get bogged down in rehashing history for the benefit of anyone who hasn’t read the previous 7 books. Moirin’s travels are interesting and the story had some good twists and turns.
    I will be buying the new Victoria Dahl book in July but really not much else I see new that I want to take the time and money to bother with.
    Hopefully by August I will get back into the groove of reading and hopefully even twittering! I miss my buds and all the gossip.

  34. Moth
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 01:24:46

    @Karen Hammond: I think I literally stopped, reread it and said, “What the f*ck?” out loud.

    It really was SO random. I do NOT understand what she was going for with that.

    @MaryK: Oooh. I loved that Charlotte Stein story. Very sexy. Very funny. Her blog is great too. She’s a hilarious woman.

    I have Exclusively Yours from Carina Press waiting in my TBR, as well as Jazz Baby from several months back.

    I’m in summer school, though, so no time for pleasure reading! :(

  35. Estara
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 08:18:16

    @Moriah Jovan: I hope you’ll enjoy it ^^ – it’s more steampunk than romance, as the adventure and its twists have center stage, but you can believe the romance (and there’s a hunky police captain equivalent that I would love to see explored more!). The second book is written and at the agent and has the same heroine and her eventual love interest with another mystery set somewhere else – and she’s an icarus – able to fly with the help of a special set of wings! works as a messenger! And the city has a huge machine at its heart – and the climax is set there!

    The dialogue isn’t Scarlet Pimpernel repartee level, but it really suits the characters – even the side characters have their own personality.

  36. Eugene
    Jun 29, 2010 @ 14:56:34

    Some anime steampunk: Steamboy (English-language cast includes Anna Paquin, Alfred Molina, Patrick Stewart); Castle in the Sky (Anna Paquin, Cloris Leachman, Mark Hamill, Mandy Patinkin); Howl’s Moving Castle (Jean Simmons, Christian Bale, Billy Crystal, Lauren Bacall); and for kids and dog lovers, Sherlock Hound (it has an official YouTube channel).

  37. Estara
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 05:24:56

    @Eugene: Don’t forget Gonzo‘s flying airships steampunk extravanganza Last Exile!

  38. Eugene
    Jun 30, 2010 @ 11:39:25

    @Estara: Yes, great series. I was thinking of including it under the “postmodern steampunk” label, along with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind, Gankutsuou (The Count of Monte Cristo), Samurai 7 (The Seven Samurai), the Sakura Wars franchise, and the whole “Taisho Era alternate history” genre.

    I’m not sure how to categorize them, but I love Leiji Matsumoto’s steam engine and pirate galleon starships in Galaxy Express 999 and Captain Harlock.

  39. Estara
    Jul 01, 2010 @ 13:04:02

    @Eugene: That’s a good idea, considering it’s not set in an alternate Victorian England.

    You’re right, Matsumoto has a similar flavour.

    Samurai 7 was too dystopian for me to consider it steampunk, but it’s an angle I can see.

    Sakura Wars, definitely – yay for finally getting an official US game, even though it’s not the strongest in the series.

  40. Emma Petersen
    Jul 17, 2010 @ 08:16:41

    July (and probably August) is my Harlequin month. Seriously, I had started reading Harlequin romances in my senior year of high school and fell totally and completely in love with nearly all of their lines except the suspense one. Years pass, tastes change and I slowly stopped reading Harlequins. The Desires and Presents because I felt like I was reading the same thing over and over again until recently.

    It started with Maisey Yates’ His Virgin Acquisition. Its no secret I love secret baby and Greek baby daddy books. Maisey doesn’t have either but it still rocked.

    I’m now reading Red Garnier’s, The Secretary’s Bossman Bargain, not only is the cover awesome and quite hot she’s totally kills (in a good way) with the premise and story.

    So if anyone has any Harlequin suggestions please post them.

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