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. Janine
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 12:24:56

    Recently read and enjoyed Summer’s End by Kathleen Gilles Seidel. I believe Jayne is reviewing it. The original edition was published as general fiction; I’m not sure about the reissue. But it’s an ensemble piece about a blended family which also includes a romance. I love the way Seidel writes characters. There is always a psychological depth to her characters, and they have issues yet they still seem like normal people. I really wish she were still writing romances.

  2. Vi
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 12:37:22

    I just got the new Bettie Sharpe book today on my Kindle. I can’t wait to read that and the new Meredith Duran and Loretta Chase books that are out tom.

  3. library addict
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 12:41:35

    Looking forward to Cindy Gerard’s latest BOI book, With No Remorse. I will be sad when the series ends with January’s Last Man Standing.

    I am also looking forward to Merline Lovelace’s Medieval Harlequin Historical, Crusader Captive.

    My favorite book read recently is Shannon Stacey’s Yours to Keep.

  4. The Romantic Scientist
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 13:03:31

    I’ve been reading some older books lately, in preparation for RomCon in August. I really enjoyed The Fortune Hunter by Jasmine Haynes, and I also liked Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler.

    Just got through books 3 and 4 in Chloe Neill’s Chicagoland Vampire series – Twice Bitten and Hard Bitten. If you haven’t read this series yet, it’s really good!

    I started a new blog about romance books, and I’d love for you to stop by and check it out!

    Stop by and comment – I’d appreciate hearing your thoughts!

  5. joanne
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 13:13:05

    I discovered author Jane Graves through a DA post about books under 2.99. I’m not big on contemporary romances but these were great and the third in the series ‘Black Ties and Lullabies’ is out July 1st.

    These are not really romance but I enjoyed three cozy mysteries by New-to-me author G. M. Malliet. The detective does find love and he’s so cute about it that it doesn’t feel old or contrived.
    Warning: authors are killed off faster than a New York minute in this series!

  6. Karenmc
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 13:51:44

    I have the Duran and Chase books ready to drop on my Kindle, hopefully this evening. I’m also looking forward to the next Julia Grey book next week.

  7. Emily
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 14:27:35

    I am a mainly print reader. Sometimes this is discouraging. However I was excited to find a copy of Courtney Milan’s Proof by Seduction at Borders. The author said that book is almost out of print which made me happy to find a copy. I only just started reading it but so far its really good.

  8. Lori
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 14:53:51

    I’ve just discovered Julia Quinn (I know talk about being late to the party!) so this summer is going to be a Bridgerton glom.

    I used to be a woman who claimed to never read historicals and then Lisa Kleypas and Loretta Chase took care of that. Now I’m catching up with some brilliant stories and I love it!

  9. JacquiC
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 14:55:03

    I read Barbara Samuels’ book “No Place Like Home”, which I loved. My first real exposure to her writing… It was such a sad book, though, in some ways, even though the hero and heroine get their HEA.

  10. rebyj
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 15:12:57

    Naamah’s Blessing by Jacqueline Carey is officially out tomorrow but Amazon is already shipping it. I’ve read it and it’s a great ending to Moirin’s trilogy. She travels to Terre Nova which is (I am geographically ignorant) Inca/Mayan culture I guess. Very beautiful world building that one comes to expect from Carey.

    Also the audio book comes out soon and it’s narrated by Anne Floznik who has done the first trilogy as well.

  11. Kat Nisa
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 15:20:35

    Thoughts…gripes… (OK, let’s be honest with yourself, Kat. It’s a bit of a rant about book shopping and themes within books.)

    I’ve been a reviewer in the past, I’ve done some cover art pieces. So, I’m familiar with various aspects of the genre and what I like and don’t like, what makes a good story for me.

    There’s a couple of ways to ruin an otherwise interesting blurb about the book and this begs the question: Why are so many so-called otherwise potentially interesting “heroines” freakin’ closet submissives these days? And with women being ‘property’ in a number sci-fi/ futuristics? Anal sex? Just about everything carries that as a ‘noted feature’…or so it seems to me…and the “heroine” is the middle of the menage sandwich or some such?

    Is it some kinda unwritten rule that the so-called target demographics are ‘demanding’ those elements?

    Oy. Vey. But some of those can be turn offs.

    Yes, I’ve read the excellent article about readers and the perceptions of ‘permission’ for the “heroine” to experience things in the story. I can separate me from the “heroine”, but so many of the same damned elements in what could otherwise be books I might purchase is obviously saving me some money…when I’d rather be buying some braincandy…becuase some of those elements are getting old, fast for me as a reader.

    As a result, I’m getting much pickier about whom I read, what authors I like to read and which epubs have the general sort of things I look for. I have no idear if I’m the only reader who’s feeling a bit outside the ‘target demographics’ at the moment, but a part of me is feeling like it’s time to stop buying and getting frustrated about it.

    Maybe it’s time to rummage around in my head, dig out some of those old idears I’ve scribbled down here and there and actually do something with them…and write something different. I probably won’t know until I try.

    (And many thanks to SBTB and this site for reviews of things that do pique my interest as a potiential read…because of a well-done review… :) I like it when the reviewer has the freedom to really say it like it is and be honest with her/his thoughts on the book and reasoning why.)

  12. Colleen
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 15:35:41

    I think I’ve just read my last Lori Foster novel, “Trace of Fever.” Foster used to be an auto buy and I’d read the book the same day. Her female characters were strong and funny, their men adored them, and the dialogue was realistic.

    “Trace of Fever” sat on my TBR stack for a couple of weeks before I picked it up. I had so many issues with this book, reading her is just not worth my time anymore.

    Besides her habit of the hero repeating something like, “he was so impressed with her bravery and honor” instead of SHOWING the heroine being brave and honorable, the sexual violence and objectification of women (and excepting the heroine they’re either evil sexpots or downtrodden doormats) in her latest books is too much.

    I read two of her L.L. Foster books (didn’t care for the first one but gave the characters another try) and think Foster’s trying to carry over “dark and edgy” into her mainstream fiction. IMO, it is NOT working.

  13. Chelsea S
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 17:02:16

    I’m currently trying to catch up on some neglected paranormal series from my TBR pile. Patricia Briggs, Rachel Vincent, Ilona Andrews, etc.

    What I’m really craving though is a good science fiction book. Doesn’t have to be romantic though that’s a bonus. Suggestions?

  14. Merrian
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 17:25:11

    Favourite book of the month for me is Alexander Voinov’s ‘Scorpion’ an m/m fantasy of soldiers lives. Imagine a post Roman world with magic and ocean priests that need overthrowing.

    Also read and enjoyed ‘Nightfalls’ I know it was a ‘d’ review for reviewer january but the issues she had were not there for me – there was sufficient explanation in the text.

  15. Kaye
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 17:37:34

    @Chelsea S:

    For sci-fi, try anything by Connie Willis

  16. Jayne
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 18:25:39

    @library addict: I just finished “Crusader Captive” the other day. It’s got strong female characters and a hero so honorable it’s gonna kill him. While not quite a return to her older style of historical (think Alena or Siren’s Call), it’s still nice to see another historical form Lovelace. Look for a review from me next month.

  17. Somewhen
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 19:07:25

    For sci-fi with romance, I like Ann Aguirre, Linnea Sinclair, Sara Creasy, Susan Grant. Military sci fi with female leads, I would try the Honor Harrington series by David Weber, Hunting Party by Elizabeth Moon (which also has a nice rounded older female character instead of a caricature), Boundary by Eric Flint and Ryk E. Spoor (with touch of romance between older woman and brash imaging genius). Also enjoy the characters, esp Jack Geary, as well as the space battles of Jack Campbell’s Lost Fleet series.

  18. Lindsey
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 19:52:55

    I have a rather massive TBR list (acquired either through Amazon’s recent ebook sale, the UBS, or through free promotional offers, as a bunch of free books and novellas have appealed to me lately), and yet I’m finding that all I want to do is reread some of my favorite authors (Sherry Thomas, Ilona Andrews, Patricia Briggs, Nalini Singh, etc), instead of tackling the huge “pile” of books and ebooks I haven’t read.

    This might be because I’m trying to stretch my books throughout the summer (and I have a lot of time for reading since I’m currently looking for work), since there’s nothing from my autobuy authors coming out in July, and only two in August. Everyone’s slated for fall and winter releases, I guess.

  19. Las
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 20:45:44

    I thought I had read a lot of books in June, but then I remembered that adding books to my TBB list doesn’t count as reading.

    I did read Kiss of Snow. As part of the series I really enjoyed it, but the romance didn’t work for me on a few major levels. To be fair, I already had huge biases against this pairing going in, but they were kind of working for me until the constant angst over mating started. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say I’m done with the mating thing. Not with the series, which I still love, but the mating talk is something I’m going to be gritting my teeth through in subsequent books. It’s something I’ve never liked about paranormals, and Nalini was the only author who made the concept work for me, but I think the issue wasn’t handled well in KoS.

    I also started reading Nalini’s Guild Hunter series. I could never get into it before, but several people at Nalini’s book signing in NYC convinced me to try it again, and I’m currently reading the third book. I’m really enjoy this series.

    Yeah, for romance it was all Nalini last month.

  20. RandomReader
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 20:57:04

    I don’t usually read YA, but picked up Kelly Creagh’s Nevermore and enjoyed it immensely. Isobel and Varen are an appealing odd matchup of cheerleader and Goth trying to collaborate on a Poe project for school, while coping with high school humiliations and odd spooky happenings.

  21. Tina
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 21:07:07

    Oh, I went on a Kathleen Gilles Seidel glom about two years ago and read Summer’s End then. It is wonderful. I recommend any of her mass market backlist. I bought them all via UBS. I especially liked Til The Stars Fall which is about two friends who form a rock band and the sister of one who falls in love with the other member. It looks at the rise and fall of the band, the friendship and the romance. I loved the structure because it almost read like a ‘Behind The Music’ documentary in some places. And I loved her Don’t Forget to Smile about a ex-beauty queen who relocates to a small blue collar Ohio town.

    In a weird way, reading the older, meatier stories like those felt almost like palate cleansers after a steady diet of PNR, UF and an unending parade of Alpha heroes.

  22. GrowlyCub
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 23:03:43


    I love her SIMs written as Ruth Wind; you may want to check them out.

  23. Julie
    Jun 27, 2011 @ 23:13:51

    Re: futuristic romance, I’d like to second the recommendation for Linnea Sinclair’s books. “Finders Keepers” is an early stand-alone book, then “Gabriel’s Ghost” is the first in a series. Both are excellent.

    I did just read a YA book that really irked me. Has anyone else read “Exposure” by Therese Fowler? Between the stereotypical characters, massive telling (vs showing the reader what happened) and the ending…er…very frustrating.

  24. Janine
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 01:33:35


    I love many of Seidel’s books too. Besides Summer’s End, I’ve read the following:

    A Risk Worth Taking
    The Same Last Name
    After All These Years
    Mirrors and Mistakes
    Don’t Forget to Smile
    More Than You Dreamed
    Till the Stars Fall
    A Most Uncommon Degree of Popularity
    (Women’s Fiction)

    I enjoyed all of them except perhaps After All These Years, my least favorite. The only ones of her books which I haven’t read yet are When Love Isn’t Enough, Maybe This Time, Please Remember This and Keep Your Mouth Shut and Wear Beige. I’ll be sad when I run out of Seidel books to read.

  25. Estara
    Jun 28, 2011 @ 14:45:36

    @Chelsea S: If you can get it, try the Gate of Ivory trilogy, by Doris Egan – one of the main writers for House these days. It has the bonus that there is a love and marriage story within the three books, but the sheer worldbuilding and intrigues and adventures make this brilliant planetary romance.

    A really great space opera with bonus slow romance is Katharine Eliska Kimbriel’s Fires of Nuala, which I just discovered when she re-released them at Book View Café this year.

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