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
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 13:36:40

    I read the entire Nalini Singh Psy/Changeling series. Loved the series, particularly Slave to Sensation, Caressed by Ice, and Heart of Obsidian. I also really enjoyed all of the novellas.

    After such a good old-fashioned glom I had trouble finding other books to read this month (despite my huge TBR pile). I finished up Julie James’ About That Night (which was the only book in her FBI/US Attorney series which didn’t work well for me). I enjoyed Love Irresistibly much more.

    In spite of a really hokey start I enjoyed CH Admirand’s A Wedding in Apple Grove. The second book (One Day in Apple Grove) had a lot of continuity issues and I thought the hero’s PTSD wasn’t treated as seriously as I would have liked, but I liked the characters.

  2. Ros
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 13:47:38

    Cecilia Grant’s A Woman Entangled is out this week. I admit, I have an advance copy in my email inbox and I am VERY EXCITED about getting to read this book. I’ve loved both her previous books.

  3. Kierney Scott
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 14:55:24

    I am treating myself to a second read of Blood Roses by Lindsay J. Pryor. I don’t even like paranormal romance, but that book it hot. And I love that she pushes boundaries. Some people might think Caleb crosses the line, so be warned. It is definitely not a book for the faint of heart, but I love it.

  4. Rosie
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 15:10:31

    I’m trying to get out of a slump where every book I read is just very mediocre. I finally read a good one last week — Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour by Morgan Matson. I’m hoping the second half of the year brings better luck.

  5. mari
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 15:59:44

    Just wanna thank whoever it was at DA that reccomended a slower reading of Guy Gavriel Kay. Holy crap, ya’ll that is some GOOD cracktastic OMFG GREAT shit! Read Tigana and The Lions of Al-Rassan. I loooove how important intimate relationships were and the whole dynamic of the personal impacting the political and vice versa. I sometimes feel when reading fantasy wherein the romance is done well, world building is sacrificed. And sometimes when the world building is well done, relationships are given short shrift. I like both well done and Kay really gave it me. These books aren’t romances, but there ARE romances in them, if you know what I mean. Just one question, which one of Kay’s books should I read next? Are there any to avoid? Thank you!

  6. Jennifer Estep
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 16:06:10

    I wanted to say thanks for the review you guys did of Also Known As by Robin Benway a few months ago. The review got me interested in the book, which was a cute, fun read.

    I’m hoping to read Sweet Revenge by Zoe Archer and get caught up on some series in my TBR pile.

  7. pamelia
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 16:13:42

    I finished up Singh’s “Heart of Obsidian” and promptly started a re-read of the whole Psy-Changeling series. I’m amazed how many plot points were seeded into the first few books and came to fruition in HoO. I’m in that great re-read window where it’s been long enough since I’ve read them that a lot of stuff is surprising and “new” again.
    Before that I read R. Lee Smith’s “Cottonwood” which is probably one of the best books I’ve read in a long time — it’s somewhat similar to the film “District 9” in that it’s about insectoid aliens being held in internment camps on Earth, but it is so packed full of great stuff — an awesome romance, 3-dimensional villains, humor, horror, pathos. Read it!!

  8. Amy Andrews
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 17:59:11

    Haven’t stopped raving about Sandra Antonelli’s, A Basic Renovation, since I finished it a few weeks ago. Best straight contemp I’ve read in a long time.

  9. Angela Booth
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 18:02:15

    Just finished The Horsemaster’s Daughter by Susan Wiggs. Wonderful — read it in one sitting. The H was horrible, but the h more than made up for it.

    Another book just read which I loved is: The Measure of Katie Calloway. I don’t usually read Christian Fiction, but this was lovely. Not preachy at all. A superb H and h, and a great story.

    Also just finished Redneck Romeo in James’ Rough Riders series. I’ve read most of this series. Although I enjoy them, they tend to be similar. This book was a fun and pleasant read, just so-so.

  10. Sunita
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 18:18:53

    @mari: Oh yay! So glad you enjoyed them. Yes, once you fall into the GGK vortex you want more. I’d recommend A Song For Arbonne as the next obvious choice. Then you can look at the Fionavar and Sarantium books and see if they are likely to work for you.

  11. Sunita
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 19:08:07

    I just finished listening to the fourth book in HelenKay Dimon’s Hanover series, Just What He Wanted. The Audible version was at a ridiculously low price, and since it’s a novella it’s a fairly short listen. I think the narrator is new, and she didn’t work for me in every character, but overall I enjoyed her. And the story is terrific. Plus-sized older woman, younger man who likes her the way she is, and the characters from the previous stories are present but not overwhelming. I really enjoyed it.

  12. mari
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 19:49:42

    @Sunita, thanks for the rec, I will def follow up with that

    @Kierney Does Blood Roses have a HEA? I love pnr romance and this one looks right up my alley, but one of the reviews on Amazon says its not a conventional HEA, so I am a little worried…

  13. Crista
    Jun 23, 2013 @ 22:04:29

    I picked up The Mad Earl’s Bride this week and enjoyed it so much I had to get Lord of Scoundrels. Thanks for the rec!

  14. Elyssa Patrick
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 00:39:04

    I finally read R.J. Palacio’s WONDER and completely loved it. It’s middle grade but the story speaks on every reading level. Does anyone know if Palacio has another book coming out soon?

    And I just finished reading Joelle Charbonneau’s THE TESTING and really, really, really liked it. I pre-ordered book 2 wayyyyy before I even finished reading. I think if you liked THE HUNGER GAMES and INSURGENT that you’ll also tend to enjoy this one.

    I’m looking forward to Jennifer Estep’s Spartan Frost and Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Touch (which I think releases at the end of the month), but god, I love Florand’s books so much.

  15. RebeccaJ
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 08:00:56

    I am reading (and enjoying!) Jane Graves’ Heartstrings & Diamond Rings in which the male lead inherits his grandmother’s matchmaking business and he thinks he can use that to raise money for his real estate deals. The female lead is his first customer.

  16. Janine
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 11:11:16

    @Elyssa Patrick: Is the heroine of The Testing tough and determined like Tris in Divergent or filled with misgivings and second guesses like Tris in Insurgent? The former works better for me than the latter.

  17. Melissa Cutler
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 17:03:59

    @RebeccaJ: I loved that book! Excellent hero grovelling and I really believed in the chemistry between the hero and heroine. Enjoy!

  18. Susan
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 17:06:05

    After years of collecting the paper and then ebook versions of Singh’s Psy/Changeling books, I finally started reading them this weekend. I’m starting #7 now. All the hoopla over HOO was the kick in the pants I needed.

  19. Nikki
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 19:21:11

    I am not sure if I should say thank you or not about getting me on Kristen Ashley. I think there was a post a few weeks ago discussing alpha types and I finally decided to give in. I started with Motorcycle Man which was rather enjoyable. Next thing I knew, I had bought most of her backlist and my amazon credits were all used up. I like her books a lot but it is amazing how so many of her annoying writing habits come more obviously when reading several of her books in sequence.

    I do wonder if Kristen Ashley started this motorcyle club book boom that is happening now. Or perhaps that is just my Amazon recommendation list

  20. Jane
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 19:54:23

    @Nikki – I definitely think KA started the romance version of motorcycle club but it may also be due to the popularity of Sons of Anarchy (I’ve never watched it myself). I understand the KA blackhole. I had to literally read my way out of it by finally stumbling on some KA books that I just couldn’t get into but it took me two weeks, I think.

  21. Jane
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 19:54:36

    @Susan – I envy you.

  22. Jane
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 19:56:02

    @Elyssa – I loved the Wonder book too. I should do a review for DA. My mini GR post is here:

  23. Virgina Jacobson
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 20:16:12

    Funny that someone already beat me to recommending Sandra Antonelli’s A Basic Renovation on the day where’s there’s a DA post about “older women who still have it.” The 40+ vivid hate-turns-to-love leads in this contemporary “still have it” and so do the secondary characters — like the grandfather. This is romance not women’s fiction and I enjoyed it. I laughed out loud too. @Amy Andrews:

  24. JenM
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 21:49:27

    I sampled the Sandra Antonelli book after I read that recommendation and bought it today. I’m always on the lookout for romances featuring older protagonists. Who knows, maybe romances featuring people in their 40’s will be the new “hot” sub-genre.

  25. Nikki
    Jun 24, 2013 @ 23:32:35

    @Jane: I guess I should look into this series to understand the origins. I have heard of Sons of Anarchy but never watched.

    I wish I had come upon this Kristen Ashley obsession say… next week when I am off. Instead I spent a week going to bed at 4 and waking up to start work at 9. I did not do well at work that week and I am still catching up now. I got through almost all of the Rock Chick books, the Mystery Man- Motorcycle Man, to the Colorado Mountain books. I even got through 2 of the ‘Burg books and I think one of the Unfinished Heroes before being able to cut myself off. There might have been more but it is a blur right now.

    I guess once I was in the glom, some of my ability to suspend disbelief started wearing off. I kept asking myself, why can’t she be pregnant, she isn’t that old, what do you mean that lawyer is suddenly practicing without a license, enough with the crazy ex-wives/girlfriends, can we use different terms to refer to women, or the only reason that scene happened is deux ex machina because in reality no one would bill in xyz fashion. So I was not as obsessed about getting the other books, that and the samples via Amazon were not doing anything for me. But I still enjoy her mature characters, the fact that the women are not isolated, and there is that sense of a group/community. I also enjoyed that there is no billionaire cowboy/prince/sheikh/CEO etc because as much as I love a Harlequin Presents, that gets old. So this means I am anticipating her next book with great interest despite being somewhat meh on Fire Inside.

    But seriously, she broke my Amazon allowance. The only thing I was planning on getting this month was Heart of Obsidian and Cold Steel! I admit it is a loose limit, but I was supposed to be good till mid July before I needed to reload. :)

  26. Elyssa Patrick
    Jun 25, 2013 @ 00:36:57

    Janine, I haven’t yet read INSURGENT (waiting closer for the last book to release) so I can’t really say. I found this heroine to be realistic in what happens throughout the course of the book–she’s smart and capable but she feels guilt, too. And I just really liked the book. It might not work for you though.

    Jane, I think WONDER is such an amazing book. I’m definitely curious to see what the author releases next.

  27. Jill Sorenson
    Jun 25, 2013 @ 09:23:36

    I really enjoyed On the Island by Tracey Garvis Graves. I recommended it to my mom and she loved it also. Great romance and harrowing adventure.

    Right now I’m reading Backwards to Oregon by Jae. This is a looong lesbian romance (150k) about a marriage of convenience on the Oregon trail. One of the heroines is pretending to be a man and the other doesn’t know yet. Love it so far.

  28. Lada
    Jun 27, 2013 @ 12:18:27

    I made the mistake of saving Frost Burned for a vacation read and seem to be in the minority of finding it very meh. I’m getting tired of Mercy kind of just stumbling into victory over all the eeeevil forces wanting her dead (and there are many). She never seems to have any practical knowledge and only convenient things that pop-up when things are desperate (like Coyote whispering in her ear once in this story). I also don’t feel like I get what the Big Picture driving this series is compared to series like Psy/Changeling and Kate Daniels. I still enjoy reading it but this was not my favorite addition. I ended up enjoying Fair Game quite a bit more.

    Thanks to Dabney’s recommendation, I thoroughly enjoyed The Seduction Hypothesis . Who knew erotic romance could be both charming and sweet! Ben is a fantastic beta hero that gets to explore his alpha urges.

    Now I’ve just started Grease Monkey Jive which I purchased because of a DA Daily Deal and the good review. Seems like a good summer boat book.

  29. cleo
    Jun 28, 2013 @ 14:19:22

    Has anyone read the new Amy Lane Promises book yet? It’s just out. I’m torn – one the one hand, I like closure, on the other hand, the excerpt was way too chatty and info-dumpy for me and I think it’s going to be all about making babies and I have a limited attn span when it comes to babies in romances.

  30. JenM
    Jun 29, 2013 @ 13:08:42

    @Amy Andrews: Thank you so much for the recommendation for A Basic Renovation. I don’t think I would have found it on my own and it was so good. Smart, sexy, funny, and featuring lead characters in their 40’s – it’s like my romance wishlist come to life. I just wish she had a backlist that I could read.

  31. If You Like Mature Romances
    Jul 09, 2013 @ 04:02:52

    […] A Basic Renovation is cited as one of the best straight contemporaries recently read by some of our readers.  Virginia writes, “Funny that someone already beat me to recommending Sandra Antonelli’s A […]

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