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.

62 Comments

  1. Bernie Stock
    May 22, 2011 @ 17:29:25

    Thea Harrison’s Dragon Bound. LOVE IT!!! Fresh and laugh out load funny oh and HOT! A PENNY LOL!
    Anya Bast’s Wicked Enchantment was great. Have read all her books now.

  2. Mireya
    May 22, 2011 @ 17:31:45

    I discovered Robin McKinley. Someone here mentioned her book “Beauty: A Retelling of the Story of Beauty and the Beast”. Suffice it to say that I HATE first person narrative… and I was so hooked from the first page, that I was well into page 20 or so when I slapped my forehead thinking “OMG, this book is narrated in first person and I didn’t even notice!”. I adore the story of Beauty and the Beast so when I read the recommendation, I figured I would like to try it, and I am so glad I did. I thought it was such a nicely done re-telling. It always thrills me when I discover a new-to-me author, especially since I am finding it more and more difficult to find stories that appeal to me the way this one did. I got two of her other books. I read some excerpts, and I think I’ll like them.

    I also “inhaled” Anne Gracie’s “The Accidental Wedding”. I bought the book on release, but I never got around to read it. Why? Because she’s a top 5 favorite of mine, and she only puts out one book a year or so, and I was trying to postpone reading it as much as possible. She always leaves me thirsting for more. Well, it happened again… and this time, I will have to wait until 2012 for her next story. :(

    I also read “Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart”. Sadly, it didn’t engage me as I was hoping it would. It was an okay read for me. Didn’t enjoy it as much as I enjoyed the first two books in the series (my favorite is book 2, which I am going to re-read to write a long overdue review).

    A while back I got “Darcy’s Voyage” by Kara Louise. It was a freebie given away by B&N and Amazon. I have only read one chapter, but so far so good.

    I am waiting for a couple of books this month: “Just Like Heaven” by Julia Quinn and “Kiss of Snow” by Nalini Singh.

    On a side note, C.J. Cherry’s latest on her Foreigner series came out this month and my husband liked it so much that he pretty much finished it in one sitting. Just thought of mentioning it as I know some people here do read science fiction. She’s an autobuy author for him.

    M.

  3. LG
    May 22, 2011 @ 17:38:39

    @Mireya: McKinley’s The Blue Sword is one of my all-time favorites – you might want to add it to your TBR pile if it’s not already there.

  4. Jennifer Estep
    May 22, 2011 @ 17:56:04

    @Mireya: I love Beauty. It’s one of my all-time favorite reads. The writing is just beautiful, and Beauty is a wonderful heroine.

    @LG: I haven’t read The Blue Sword by McKinley, but I keep meaning to.

    I’ve finished reading Julie James’s backlist. I enjoyed all her books, and I like the snappy dialogue that she writes.

    I’ve been on a bit of a YA kick. I read Heist Society by Ally Carter, which was a fun book about a group of teen thieves, and Winter’s Passage by Julie Kagawa, which is an e-story that ties in with her Iron Fey series. I also read Catching Fire and am finally starting Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins. I was a little disappointed by Catching Fire. Nothing really seemed to happen for the first 150 pages of that one. I’m curious to see how it all ends in Mockingjay.

  5. May
    May 22, 2011 @ 18:33:09

    Dragon Bound (Thea Harrison) is one I’d never have picked up but a few people recommended it strongly… and I LOVED it. One of best of that genre I’ve read in a long time.

    Currently waiting.waiting.waiting. for Julia Quinn (Just Like Heaven) and the new Kate Daniels by Ilona Andrews (May 31 releases). Also anxious for Alyssa Day (Vampire in Atlantis) out June 7 I think…

  6. Jill Sorenson
    May 22, 2011 @ 19:18:17

    I have two good recs this month! Check out SURVIVING PASSION, a self-published post-apocalyptic romance by Maia Underwood. There are adverbs galore and not enough sex by half but it’s an exciting novel with a hot post-military (?) hero. Kind of cracky and a steal for 99 cents. I couldn’t put it down.

    http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Passion-ebook/dp/B0037KMFJY/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1306109626&sr=1-1

    If you like quirky, original YA, Laura Goode’s SISTER MISCHIEF (also a debut) is available on NetGalley. I loved this book! Half-Jewish girl rapper falls for one of her hip-hop band mates and suffers trials at her Christian high school. It’s kind of like that movie SAVED!, just super funny and poignant. I think anyone who didn’t fit in as a teen will connect with it. Smart dialogue and diverse characters.

    http://www.amazon.com/Sister-Mischief-Laura-Goode/dp/0763646407/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306109694&sr=1-1

  7. Jenny Schwartz
    May 22, 2011 @ 19:41:27

    I’m another fan of “Beauty”. Like “Blue Sword”, too, by McKinley. Mercedes Lackey did a spin on the Beauty and the Beast story — I can’t remember title, but it was San Fransisco and the early twentieth century. Really good.

    Waiting impatiently for “Magic Slays” by Ilona Andrews. Went on a pre-order rampage and also bought “Canyons of Night” by Jayne Castle. Since belatedly discovering Jayne Ann Krentz I’ve become a huge fan.

  8. Abigail Strom
    May 22, 2011 @ 19:45:52

    Dragon Bound was fantastic. Between the hot sex, crisp writing, effortless world-building, and the appealing creature-ness of Dragos, it’s pretty much my dream PNR. I’m so excited that the second Elder Races book is coming out in August and the third in October. Woo hoo!

    I’m also a fan of Beauty. It’s a rare fantasy story that can hold a reader’s attention without a villain anywhere in sight. Beauty’s sisters are good in McKinley’s version, taking away a big part of the external conflict that exists in the original. Every character we spend time with is decent and honorable. A fairy tale without a single bad guy, and yet every time I read it I’m captivated from beginning to end. That’s quite a feat.

  9. Berinn Rae
    May 22, 2011 @ 19:54:58

    I’ve heard way too many good things about Thea Harrison, so I’m putting that next on my TBR list. I’ve just wrapped up Karen Marie Moning’s highlander series (mmmm, men in kilts) and then going to try to cut down my ever-growing TBR pile, starting with Kitty and the Midnight Hour by Carrie Vaughn.

  10. KarLynP
    May 22, 2011 @ 19:56:17

    I too have to add that Dragon Bound was surprisingly good. I debated between 4 and 5 stars, but it ended so well I had to give it 5 stars. I’m not much of a PNR reader either, I normally prefer historical or romance suspense. But like others mentioned, the recommendations from my reading friends convinced me to buy and read it. I will read the next too!

    I’ve also been finding some oldies but goodies are being re-released, and cheap too! Marsha Canham, Patricia Ryan, and Barbara Samuel have recently released some of their classics as ebooks. I’ve been devouring them too. I recently finished Heaven’s Fire by P Ryan, and it is one of those books that make you wonder why they just don’t write like that anymore! So good.

    June releases are going to be good too! I’m excited to read
    A Lady’s Lesson in Scandal by Meredith Duran, Tamed by a Highlander by Paula Quinn, Yours to Keep by Shannon Stacey, and Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn.

  11. SN
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:08:48

    I’ve been on a Superromance spree – no idea why.

    I’d not read Tara Taylor Quinn until last week, and discovered she’s just wonderful. Sara’s Son was a tricky romance – the hero is the guy who was convicted of raping the heroine – but definitely something I’m going to remember.

    Now on to Joan Kilby’s Two Against the Odds. I’ll just cringe my way through all those Americanisms Harlequin insists on putting into books set in Australia and other countries.

  12. Carolyn
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:17:28

    I’ll add my vote for Dragon Bound by Thea Harrison. I gobbled it up.

    It impacted me much like Ilona Andrews’first Magic book did. I can’t wait ’til May 31 to get Magic Slays, the fifth book in the series.

    Also waiting for Julia Quinn’s Just Like Heaven, and Nalini Singh’s newest, Kiss of Snow.

    I’ve loved the Blue Sword for years and highly recommend it.

  13. Lindsey
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:21:29

    The book I loved the most for this past month was probably Dragon Bound. I was wary going into it, with all the positive reviews, I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but I rather loved it, and cannot wait for the next one.

    Seriously, can it be May 31 yet? It feels like I’ve been waiting the longest few months of my life, for Singh, Quinn, and Andrews’ books coming out on that day. I’ve been going somewhat insane with impatience.

    Of course, all them coming out on the same day means my book budget for June is pretty much blown (though I’m also buying Hexed, which comes out the following week), but that’s okay. I’m fairly certain that blowing my entire book budget in one go will be worth it, in this case. ;)

    ETA: Apparently, Carolyn and I are excited about all the same things. xD

  14. readerdiane
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:22:12

    Don’t forget HEARTLESS by Gail Carriger comes out 6/2 and I still get the Evanovich books number 17.
    Ilona Andrews is part of anthology-HEXED too, so that will make 2 for them.

    I loved Thea Harrison’s book also.
    I really liked SUNSHINE and THE BLUE SWORD by Robin Mckinley.

  15. Jane
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:27:07

    So glad that you readers enjoyed Dragon Bound. I’ve re-read it a couple of times and I can’t figure out what sets it apart from other PNRs.

  16. Jane
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:27:43

    @SN – did he actually rape the heroine?

  17. Las
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:30:54

    The only book I’m sort of looking forward to is Nalini Singh’s Kiss of Snow. I’ve been against the Hawke/Sienna pairing since StS, but I love the the whole Psy/Changleing plot so I’m excited about that aspect of it.

    I’m still a bit stuck in the slump that just won’t die. New-to-me books I read:

    Stranded with her Ex by Jill Sorenson–I got this based on the DNF review here. I liked it and will definitely look at other Sorenson titles when I’m in the mood for a contemporary. Two things that bugged–the suspense plot felt tacked on, with the bad guy being out-of-nowhere crazy. I understood the motivation, but there was no real build-up. The other was the baby seal scene, not only because the character made herself way tstl with that bit, but because it’s a huge pet peeve of mine when an author uses animals or babies as the center of a character’s emotional healing or redemption. It just seems lazy to me. But the love story worked really well and I loved both characters…and I usually avoid “getting back together” stories.

    Dangerous in Diamonds by Madeline Hunter–This one had some truly great moments floating in a see of total bullshit. My first romances were HPs, and historicals are the genre I read the most, so obviously I have a very high tolerance for asshole heroes. But Castleford was something else. I think if an author is going to write an asshole hero, she either needs to show us that he’s actually a semi-decent person when we read his POV; or, she needs to limit how much of his POV we get so we can convince ourselves he’s really not that bad on the inside. Not only did Castleford’s actions condemn him, but he even sucked in his thoughts. There wasn’t a single moment while reading his POV that I didn’t think, “This must be exactly what goes through a rapist’s mind when he’s justifying his actions to himself.”

    An Unlikely Countess by Jo Beverley–I broke my rule about not reading any more Beverley, and I promptly remembered why I made that rule in the first place. So many words written so beautifully, and NOTHING HAPPENS! And Rothgar. Fucking Rothgar.

    With all the self-pub talk recently I decided to dip in and try Game for Love, by Bella Andre. That was a DNF. It wasn’t any worse than a trad-pub DNF, and I liked Andre’s voice enough to have looked into her other works…if she had been a brand new author. I love marriage of convenience stories but the love story just didn’t work for me, and I really, really hated that that slut (which I have no problem with!) of a hero had the nerve to go on and on about what a turn on it was that the heroine was so sweet and innocence. I think I might have actually said, “Oh, fuck you, asshole” aloud at one point. If the only positive thing you can say about someone is that they’re sweet and innocent, well, that’s not someone who’s story I’d be interested in. Overall the book came across as written by someone who knows how to dot her i’s and cross her t’s, but needs a lot of practice with writing interesting characters and telling a compelling story.

    I swear I’m nowhere near as grouchy irl as this long ass post suggests.

  18. DS
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:38:04

    I finished Song of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy. It was better than average, but I really got caught up in Martha Wells’ The Cloud Roads.

    I had the new Cherryh on preorder so I have it on my desk. I would probably have already started it if I had been able have it on an ereader.

    For some reason I rarely see her recent DAW books appear ebooks and never on Audible.

    I also picked up Jane Fancher’s Blood Red Moon. A vampire novel, but she promises a science fiction twist. The description starts “Take one University of Washington classics grad student, Alexander the Great’s lover, Vlad Dracul’s younger brother…and an attitudinal Cat, toss them in the Seattle Underground and watch what happens.”. That sounds promising.

  19. May
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:38:08

    @Jane:

    A few things for me – I feel like it’s got the balance and mix I want. Yes, romance is there but there’s also the danger, secrets, and world building. The writer manages to paint her world beautifully without info dumps or a super long novel. It left me wanting more – but on it’s own was a satisfying read. The characters were vivid, the dialogue snappy, and I thought about it every minute I wasn’t reading it.

    win.win.win.

    So often I “put up” with certain aspects or elements even from my fave series. (the editing + spelling and rambling ways of Ward comes to mind) Thea Harrison just nailed it all for me. Never did I have a “I wish…” or “dang if only the writer had…” moment.

  20. Lynn
    May 22, 2011 @ 20:44:44

    >Mercedes Lackey did a spin on the Beauty and the Beast >story — I can’t remember title, but it was San Fransisco >and the early twentieth century. Really good.

    Jenny — it is Fire Rose the first in her Elemental Masters series — they are all loosely based on fairy tales.
    Serpent’s Shadow based on Snow White
    Gates of Sleep based on Sleeping Beauty
    Phoenix and Ashes based on Cinderella
    Wizard of London based on The Snow Queen
    Reserved for the Cat based on Puss in Boots
    My favorite is Fire Rose because I love Beauty and the Beast stories, but they all are very good.

  21. Jenny Schwartz
    May 22, 2011 @ 21:15:43

    @Lynn: Can’t believe I forgot “Fire Rose”. Such a brilliant title.

  22. LG
    May 22, 2011 @ 21:27:19

    @Lynn: I only really liked The Fire Rose, and ended up abandoning the series after I finished Phoenix and Ashes.

  23. Janine
    May 22, 2011 @ 21:37:32

    @Jane & @May: I think the snappy, humorous dialogue was a big part of the charm of Dragon Bound. But also the main characters were just so endearing. They felt human in their vulnerability and their willingness to take the risks of trusting each other. They didn’t have any TSTL or asshat moments. And the pacing was terrific too — the book hardly let up and I inhaled it. Readability is something I have really come to appreciate in a book more and more. I had some problems with the book, and it wasn’t a perfect read for me, but the more time passes and it remains vivid in my memory, the more it rises in my estimation.

    I can’t say it’s my dream PNR though. My dream PNR is something more like Abe’s Smoke Thief or Briggs’ Alpha and Omega.

  24. Courtney Milan
    May 22, 2011 @ 21:42:33

    I loved Dragon Bound, too. It was funny without being campy. And there’s something about a hero who is so out of it that he’s not even human. I love, love, loved it.

    Kept me up all night.

  25. Keishon
    May 22, 2011 @ 21:48:01

    @Janine:

    Did you ever finish reading the dra’kon series by Abe? I only read up to The Dream Thief. I remember the heroine’s in her books being quite young which was somewhat off-putting.

  26. Ammarylis
    May 22, 2011 @ 22:32:21

    I read “Dead Reckoning” this month…& all I’ve got to say is, thank God Harris knows it’s time to quit this series because it’s becoming ridiculous. Unlike some authors I know *cough* LKH & her series about the Magical Womb of Doom. *cough*

    There are a lot of books coming out in June that I’m excited to read but absolutely #1 on my list is Karen Chance’s “Hunt the Moon.” TWO FREAKING YEARS I’ve waited for my dose of Cassie, Pritkin, Mircea & company. I’m practically jizzing my pants waiting for June 7th to get here.

  27. Janine
    May 22, 2011 @ 22:41:10

    @Keishon: Yes. The drakon series isn’t finished yet so I can’t say I finished it, but I’ve read the whole series so far through the most recent book (The Time Weaver). My favorite is probably The Smoke Thief and my least favorite is The Treasure Keeper, but even that one was worth reading. It’s true her heroines are sometimes young but they are strong women and I really appreciate that. I also love her way with words.

  28. KarLynP
    May 22, 2011 @ 23:32:16

    Jane – You said “So glad that you readers enjoyed Dragon Bound. I’ve re-read it a couple of times and I can’t figure out what sets it apart from other PNRs. ”

    I hear what you mean by wondering ‘what set it apart’, for Dragon Bound, and for me the only answer is the ending and the humor, but I’m just giving you a non PNR fans POV. I don’t know, as I don’t read A LOT of PNR but I did honestly enjoy this one. I’ve sampled and dismissed quite a bit of PNR by some pretty big and successful authors. For me the mix of light humor was really spot on, and I liked (but not always loved) the way the hero gradually fell for his heroine instead of waiting until the final chapter. It had that ‘mine!’ approach, but even that was done lightly and didn’t clobber you like many PNR does. In truth, there was a lot of repeat plot tropes with this book, but the ‘secret sauce’ was in the way it was all put together, I think. All I know is I liked it.

  29. Connie
    May 22, 2011 @ 23:44:14

    Finished with Dragon Bound which was good, though for some reason I feel there are many similarities between it and Angel’s Blood by Nalini Singh. I also just picked up A Discovery of Witches by Deborah by Deborah E. Harkness. I’m still reading it but it’s really good. I’m surprised it hasn’t been reviewed yet because it’s really good. But I’m already getting the feeling the story won’t be finished so maybe that’s why it hasn’t been reviewed yet. I should have waited for the series to finish before reading it (sigh!).

  30. Eboni-Rai
    May 23, 2011 @ 00:46:01

    I’ve been hearing really good things about Dragon Bound so I’ll be adding it to my TBR. I’m desperately waiting for the new Psy/Changeling & Kate Daniels. While waiting for my auto buys I like to try out authors. One of my try outs this week was Rebecca York. I’ve seen so many raves about her, so when I saw Day Of The Dragon @ my local library I snagged it. It was a BIG fail for me. I couldn’t even get past the third chapter. The heroine is TSTL & the hero was a bit creepy. Ms. York had basically lost me when I read this involving a secondary character “He replaced the receiver in the phone cradle and stared out the window at the artfully designed garden maintained by a squad of Mexicans.” Seriously?! WTF?!! I wonder if his kitchen is maintained by a squad of Blacks? Just ughh!

  31. SN
    May 23, 2011 @ 01:54:39

    @Jane:

    Okay, to completely spoil the book (Sara’s Son)…

    The heroine sneaked into a frat party even though she was underage. She told them she was twenty-one. Both the hero and heroine were given date rape drugs, and neither remembered having sex, but the heroine turns up pregnant. The hero (and two other guys at the party) are convicted of statutory rape, and the heroine’s cop father makes sure they’re also convicted of other sex crimes relating to the incident.

    Nobody finds out the truth about that night until years later.

    The hero accepts he committed a crime, and at first is horrified that the heroine actually wants to spend time with him.

  32. BlueRose
    May 23, 2011 @ 03:16:35

    Rose Daughter is the other McKinley Beauty and Beast story. Its quite different to Beauty, not a particular fave of mine but it has a certain charm.

    The Blue Sword is one of my Desert Island books, but also read The Hero and the Crown which is the first in the series, and has its delights.

    Another good one is Spindles End – a retake on Sleeping Beauty.

    Dragon Haven is a new take on dragons, Sunshine a different and more grown up vampire book and Pegasus (part one of a book split into to) about flying horse type creatures

    Im looking forward to Magic Slays – BD has told me its shipping soon, but wont get to NZ til June!

  33. Sabrina
    May 23, 2011 @ 06:36:09

    @Ammarylis: I was a late bloomer to her books, just started reading them in the last 6 months or so. I couldn’t get into the tv series after reading the books(which I read all in less then 3 weeks). I’ve debated about picking her latest up because while enjoyed the series early on it fizzled out quickly and it was more/less she cut/copied everything from books 1-4 to books 5-10. So is it worth picking up or should I just let the series rest?

  34. Rosie
    May 23, 2011 @ 06:39:51

    I’m about halfway through Dragon Bound. It’s good, but I’m not loving it. Maybe my expectations were too high? I don’t really have a huge desire to pick it up and keep reading, and other books are calling to me. It’s a hard sell to me when a hero has been around for thousands and thousands of years, and the heroine becomes the first and only to really rock his world. I can never get over the idea of “really? Thousands and thousands of years and SHE’s so special??” I know it’s supposed to be romantic, and maybe I’m just cranky right now. LOL But this one has been around since the beginning of creation, for crying out loud! I hope the second half of the book will sell it to me. I don’t want to be the only one saying “eh” about this book. We’ll see.

    I’m looking forward to Nalini Singh’s new Psy-Changeling book and Julia Quinn’s new book.

  35. Cindy
    May 23, 2011 @ 06:44:53

    I just finished Phoenix Rising by Pip Ballantine & Tee Morris, which was my second foray into Steampunk. I wish it had been my first. I absolutely loved this book and one that I think I’ll enjoy re-reading later. The characters were fabulous (and seriously, as a Burn Notice fan, how could I not love Eliza Braun with all of her Fiona-like qualities?) I laughed, I held my breath and was never disappointed in the story at all. It starts off with a bang, literally, thanks to Eliza and it’s non-stop until the last page. Eliza and Wellington are absolutely perfect together and I must admit to adoring Wellington by the end. I anxiously await the next book in the series to see what Eliza and her “Welly” get up to next. Rollicking good time. And even better? No zombies or vampires.

  36. Ciara
    May 23, 2011 @ 06:56:14

    Another thumbs up for Dragon Bound. My expectations were low despite all the positive reviews but I really enjoyed this one.

    Downloaded a free copy of Book 1 of the Nell Sweeney Mysteries from Smashwords. Spent Saturday devouring the book and I’ve now blown my book budget purchasing the other titles. Love Nell and Will!

    I was pretty disappointed with Eleven Scandals to start to win a Duke’s Heart by Sarah McClean. In particular I disliked the hero. I found him shallow, selfish and obsessed with his reputation.

  37. ms bookjunkie
    May 23, 2011 @ 07:41:32

    I’m another who love love loved DRAGON BOUND. I pre-ordered it way back in January when both Jane and Angie James recommended it. They were right. After reading DB I immediately pre-ordered the next two books in the series.

    One day when I was feeling in the mood for something short, I read Cindy Spencer Pape’s Carina freebie PHOTOGRAPHS & PHANTOMS. Then I had to go on (or back, actually) to read STEAM & SORCERY. Steampunk FTW!
    (If you want to try S&S, it’s $0.99 at the Carina Press store at the moment!)

    I’ve been inching my way through Laura Kinsale’s THE PRINCE OF MIDNIGHT. Slowly. I’ve finally gotten to the good part (I hope) so the reading should go faster from now on. (Lord knows it could hardly go slower!)(And I feel like a total failure as a romance reader for having trouble with a Kinsale book. *sigh*)

  38. Jane
    May 23, 2011 @ 07:51:21

    @SN: Thanks for the spoiler! I am totally buying that book.

  39. Jane
    May 23, 2011 @ 07:56:37

    @DS: Glad that Song of Scarabeaus worked for you. I would definitely read another Creasy even though I am not a lover of that sub genre. I’ve heard nothing but great things about Martha Wells.

    @May: I think you will like the 2nd book. I thought that Tigan made a good pairing with Tricks although I did wonder why when Tigan and Tricks didn’t seem to have chemistry in the first book.

    @KarLynP: Thanks for sharing KarLyn. I love hearing the differing POVs. I think you articulated something about Harrison’s book that is important and that is there are a lot of familiar tropes in it, yet the way it is put together is exciting to read. It must be the “secret sauce”.

    @Ciara: Sorry the book didn’t work for you. Dislike of a character can definitely ruin a book.

  40. Michelle
    May 23, 2011 @ 08:06:32

    I really enjoy Mercedes Lackey. I am looking forward to Unnatural Issue which is coming out in June. Wizard of London was excellent, but I am a sucker for animals, and animals played a big role in that book.

  41. Suzannah
    May 23, 2011 @ 08:16:32

    I’m reading Dragon Bound and enjoying it, but I’ve never read a paranormal before (unless Twilight counts) so I have nothing to compare it to. I mostly read Harlequin Presents titles and historical romances, so it’s quite a change from those…

    @ Ciara: I just looked up the Nell Sweeney books and downloaded the first one for my Kindle. Thanks for the recommendation!

    I’m also looking forward to the new Julia Quinn, and I’ve pre-ordered Shannon Stacey’s Yours To Keep. Amazingly it is out on Kindle in the UK on the same day as the US release, which seldom happens with the books I buy.

  42. Monday Midday Links: Joplin Missouri Needs Help | Dear Author
    May 23, 2011 @ 10:11:44

    [...] It’s nearing a new release period and thus we’ve got some resources to help craft your TBR list. There is the coming soon catalog from Dear Author. As well as the open thread for authors (where authors post their new releases) and for readers. [...]

  43. Ammarylis
    May 23, 2011 @ 11:03:03

    @Sabrina:

    Unless you are a diehard fan, I say you should let the series rest. The only reason I’m still reading it is because I started it when True Blood was just a twinkle in Harris’ eyes. And because the end IS in sight, unlike a few other series. If not for that, I’d have dropped this series after “Dead & Gone”. I’ve already stopped buying the books (thank you, el library-o) because it’s not worth the money.

  44. Janine
    May 23, 2011 @ 12:23:31

    @Rosie:

    It’s a hard sell to me when a hero has been around for thousands and thousands of years, and the heroine becomes the first and only to really rock his world. I can never get over the idea of “really? Thousands and thousands of years and SHE’s so special??” I know it’s supposed to be romantic, and maybe I’m just cranky right now. LOL But this one has been around since the beginning of creation, for crying out loud!

    I struggled with the same thing, it’s always a hard sell for me too. There is something in the second half that explains Pia’s specialness and Dragos’s fascination with her, so in that regard the book was better executed than most books with this premise, but I also always wonder what’s wrong with a guy who has never managed to fall in love in centuries. I wouldn’t mind if that particular trope were retired.

    @SN:

    Both the hero and heroine were given date rape drugs, and neither remembered having sex, but the heroine turns up pregnant.

    Is the hero the biological father of her baby?

  45. Sabrina
    May 23, 2011 @ 12:54:46

    @Ammarylis: Thanks for saving me money! I was already leaning toward that but you just sealed the deal, thanks again!

  46. Elyssa Papa
    May 23, 2011 @ 14:11:35

    I just bought the Tara Taylor Quinn book because I’m so intrigued to read it now from what @SN wrote.

    I’m finally reading the second Sara Creasy book (I bought it when it first came out) and I really love the romance angle. I’m also not a huge reader of the subgenre but I’m glad I gave this series a chance.

    I also read Divergent by Veronica Roth. It’s YA and set in dystopian Chicago. The heroine is much more proactive than Katniss was–and the book is sort of Hunger Games meets the Matrix. But I really loved it (even though there are a lot of deaths). Divergent has stayed with me; I keep thinking about it and I definitely would recommend the book.

  47. Laura
    May 23, 2011 @ 14:14:52

    I can’t believe it’s already time to discuss our June reads!

    After reading the comments, I’ve decided to buy Dragon Bound when I return to my local bookstore this weekend to buy Magic Slays (if it’s on the shelves early).

    I’m kind of looking forward to the new Ann Aguirre series under the name Ellen Connor (Nightfall is out June 1), and the new Stacey Jay novel Dead on the Delta. But with both books, I don’t really know much about them. I’m buying the Ellen Connor to support Aguirre.

    Deanna Raybourn’s latest is out in June and that is a must-have for me. I haven’t decided if I want the new Ally Carter – Uncommon Criminals, sequel to Heist Society – because I only liked Heist Society. I’m curious how the book will play out, but I have too many books on my TBR pile to add a sequel to a book I didn’t love.

  48. Jennifer Estep
    May 23, 2011 @ 18:50:28

    @Laura: I read Heist Society a few weeks ago and liked it. I wonder if Carter will make Kat and her crew into heroes by having them steal lost works of art, like she returned the stolen paintings in HS.

  49. John
    May 23, 2011 @ 20:52:01

    I’m halfway through Dragon Bound and am really enjoying it. The only reason I stopped was because my friend and I started a book club for classics and I was a little behind on my House of Seven Gables reading. Hopefully once the 26th passes I can get back to reading some hot dragon lurve.

    As for YA releases, I’m currently nom-ing Tempest Rising by Tracy Deebs. Interesting mermaid mythos, but it’s slow and doesn’t feel like it has a good romance. Maybe because the hero already is claiming they have a forever-special bond because they can speak telepathically? BLERGH. Just a little overdone.

    Ones that I’ve read recently and really liked have been Die for Me by Amy Plum, Heist Society by Ally Carter, The Darlings Are Forever by Melissa Kantor, and some various others. Nothing that really stands out at the moment as a knock-out hit of the month, but I’m forgetful.

    Looking forward to finally tackling Divergent later on…and Starcrossed and Hereafter. I also recently got some Linda Lael Miller books in my TBR that look good. :) I’m a sucker for a nice cowboy.

  50. Brian
    May 23, 2011 @ 22:59:26

    A couple I’m looking forward to in June would be…

    The Dark Enquiry by Deanna Raybourn

    and

    Naamah’s Blessing by Jacqueline Carey

  51. Rosie
    May 24, 2011 @ 05:43:14

    @Janine:

    Thanks, Janine. Good to know. :)

  52. Nat
    May 24, 2011 @ 06:18:33

    Checked out Dragon Bound at the bookshop, but after a browse of the first two pages, I put it back on the shelf. The beginning was all telling about the trouble the heroine was in, explaining stuff. I didn’t feel immersed in the action, rather just being told about it and got bored.

    Found Brightly Woven by Alexandra Bracken. It’s a YA paranormal and I really enjoyed it. It’s about a young woman who is hired to mend a magician’s cloak. It’s a different spin on the paranormal.

    I read the latest Julie Kagawa, and just got very, very frustrated and WILL NOT be buying anymore of her books! She gets these characters together, then rips them apart over and over. I’m sick of it. There’s something so basic about providing a reading with a proper ending, and she hasn’t done it yet, so I’m done.

    Finally started reading Lora Leigh’s older stuff (and noticing the errors), but I’ve enjoyed most of them. I’d recommend her older stuff if readers are looking for some decent erotica.

    Ecstasy in Darkness by Gena Showalter was fantastic and funny! The hero was sooo hot!!

    Read Ice by Sarah Beth Durst and loved it. It’s a YA paranormal with a polar bear as a character. Beautiful writing.

    Love Drunk Cowboy by Carolyn Brown was a DNF for me. I eventually ended up hating the heroine. She was nasty a lot of the time (after the first few chapters) and the slang in the book was hard to understand sometimes.

  53. Annabel
    May 24, 2011 @ 08:20:29

    I read MacLean’s “Eleven Scandals to Start to Win a Duke’s Heart” and really loved it, but then that is one of my favorite themes–the haughty, uber-proper titled gentleman transformed by his love for an unconventional spitfire.

    The other book I picked up this month (to reread for the twentieth time) was Kinsale’s “Midsummer Moon,” and it occurred to me halfway through that it fit that same mold (icy duke thawed by charming spitfire). I liked Kinsale’s aviatrix/mathematical genius Merlin more than MacLean’s bratty Juliana in “Eleven Scandals” but I’ll take either. There’s just something about the idea of a man becoming more human and likable because of the magic of a woman’s love. If anyone knows of any other books that fit that duke/spitfire mold let me know!

  54. Lorenda
    May 24, 2011 @ 10:20:46

    It’s funny – I read Dragon Bound based on all the hype from this site, and while I liked it, it didn’t wow me. I guess my main issue was the dialogue didn’t really seem to flow well for me. Dragos switched from slang to measured, old-world formality and it left me feeling like the characterization wasn’t nailed down.

    I’m also anxiously awaiting Nalini Singh’s new release, and I’m not sure whether these are considered June releases or not, but I’m chomping at the bit for the next Meredith Duran and Karen Chance.

  55. Lorenda
    May 24, 2011 @ 10:22:48

    @Annabel – I love this trope too. I actually did a reread of Judith McNaught’s Until You just last night….classic stuffy/cynical lord bowled over by a young, red-headed “imp” Actually, most of Judith McNaught’s fit this mold, even her contemporaries. It might be something to check out (or reread if you’ve read them before

  56. Annabel
    May 24, 2011 @ 11:35:09

    @Lorenda, oh yes, I agree McNaught does that trope well. Actually, just about all her historical stuff sits well with me and hits my sweet spot. I did not enjoy her contemporaries as much…

    Another one along those lines (icy duke vs spitfire) is Kinsale’s Flowers from the Storm, where the Duke of Jerveaulx is conquered by his prim little quaker. Oh, sigh.

  57. Sabrina
    May 24, 2011 @ 16:50:35

    I succumbed to peer pressure and bought “Dragon Bound”, I loved it. Hadn’t planned on it but since decided to forgo the pain of another Sookier Stackhouse book I had the money to spend! Thanks all!

  58. pamelia
    May 24, 2011 @ 21:01:12

    I’m on the Dragon Bound bandwagon too. I read it twice in less than a week. That one definitely makes my keeper shelf. I also enjoyed Eleven Scandals, but of course my favorite stuffy duke succumbing to upstart quirky heroine is Balogh’s “Slightly Dangerous”. (*sigh — maybe I’ll reread that this week while I’m waiting for Kiss of Snow to show up on my doorstep.)
    On the non-romance front I am reading and LOVING “The Girl Who Circumnavigated Fairy Land in a Ship of Her Own Making” by Cat Valente — It’s right up there with The Wizard of Oz and Alice in Wonderland for a fantastic children’s story that is sly and clever and insightful enough that adults will probably enjoy it even more than kids. I can’t say enough about her writing; every time I pick up one of her books I am blown away!

  59. Susan Laura
    May 25, 2011 @ 08:13:58

    Looking forward to “Fallen” by Karin Slaughter in late June (even though I once swore never to read her again after the BIG surprise heartbreak a few books ago. She better makes things right with Will & Sara . . . .) My favorite recent read has been the YA book “Everlasting” by Angie Frazier. I can highly recommend it for fun and adventure and romance. Frazier’s sequel, “The Eternal Sea”, is due out June 1!!

  60. Lorenda
    May 25, 2011 @ 16:21:23

    Noticed Judith McNaught stopped in @ an Amazon thread today to mention a new series she’s working on. Pretty excited that she’s back in the business!

    http://www.amazon.com/gp/cd/r/Fx1B8DR6A5ZGDRQ/-/Tx3HS6KZB4OTABZ/6/Mx3SB3ZYY1UM2TR

  61. Lorenda
    May 25, 2011 @ 16:22:52

    @Annabel loved Flowers from the Storm

  62. Zoe Archer
    Jun 01, 2011 @ 15:24:55

    Doods! On June 7th, a new paranormal post-apocalyptic romance series begins with NIGHTFALL. The Dark Age Dawning trilogy is written by Ellen Connor, aka the fabulous, kick-ass writing team of Ann Aguirre and Carrie Lofty, with books scheduled to come out June, September and December. Knowing the kinds of stories and characters that Ann and Carrie write, these books promise to be very sexy, and chock-full of badassery. I highly recommend you check ‘em out.

    http://www.amazon.com/Nightfall-Dark-Age-Dawning-Novel/dp/0425241696/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1306959577&sr=1-1

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