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. Mae
    May 27, 2012 @ 14:51:04

    I have a question about publisher’s dates, I only ask because for some reason it seems like September – January / March is when all my authors or the popular ones come out and there is a dry spell for me through the summer.

    Maybe it’s just me thinking to much?

  2. Jennifer Estep
    May 27, 2012 @ 16:17:32

    I finally read RAINSHADOW ROAD by Lisa Kleypas. I enjoyed it, but I didn’t like it nearly as much as I did her Travis contemporary romance series. Also, I was kind of meh about the magic in RAINSHADOW ROAD. It didn’t add that much to the story, for me.

    I’m looking forward to reading some YA this month, including TOUCH OF POWER by Maria Snyder and THE FALSE PRINCE by Jennifer Nielsen.

  3. Patty
    May 27, 2012 @ 16:26:23

    So the new Nalini Singh comes out this next week…yay! Also I have to say I jumped onto the cracktasticness that is Kristen Ashley with her release Motorcycle Man, yeah… I enjoyed it. Bethany Kane releases her One Night of Passion novella during the week of June 5th plus Gena Showalter’s spin off series Angels of the Dark also releases on the 26th of June.

  4. Readsalot81
    May 27, 2012 @ 16:44:21

    @Jennifer Estep A Touch of Power by Maria Snyder is a really good read. I enjoyed that one a lot. And while on the subject of YA, (not being a huge fan of YA myself) I absolutely adore your GwenFrost/Mythos Academy series. I’ll read anything you & Veronica Roth write in that particular genre.

    Touching on U/F .. Kindling the Moon/Summoning the Night are books by Jenn Bennett. It has big romantic elements in it, but it’s just really fun. The world is creative and very visual.. with interesting side characters. Definitely worth checking out if you enjoy u/f :)

  5. Janine
    May 27, 2012 @ 16:57:27

    @Patty: Jennie and I have an epic joint review of the new Nalini Singh that will run this week. We’re calling it an epic joint review because by the time we were done discussing the book and arguing about the series, the review was almost 5000 words long and covered quite a bit of ground.

  6. Jane
    May 27, 2012 @ 17:00:18

    @patty I enjoyed Motorcycle Man too. *hangs head in shame*

  7. Lindsey
    May 27, 2012 @ 17:25:03

    The upcoming Singh is actually the first of hers I’m going to wait to get. I bought Kiss of Snow right away because, well, Hawke and Sienna, but Tangle of Need just… doesn’t seem worth the HC price. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely love her books, but this one is about characters I feel like I don’t know well enough to pay premium price for the book.

    I am looking forward to Jeaniene Frost’s Once Burned coming out at the end of June, though. It seems like it’s been quite awhile since I’ve read anything of hers (probably not actually very long, just since I read the last book that came out), so I want to see if her writing still captures me.

  8. Lynn Pauley
    May 27, 2012 @ 17:47:44

    I have a rant and a rave.
    First the rave — Sourcebooks Discover a New Love — I signed up this month and I have bought more books from them this month than I have purchased in the past 3 months from all publishers combined. Why? Because they offered me the chance to try out some new-to-me authors at a very reasonable price. I bought, I read, I came back for more. I would love to see other publishers do this.
    Now for the rant — what is going on with Wal-Mart? My store’s book selection keeps getting slimmer and slimmer and slimmer. It used to be that at least 1/2 of their book space was devoted to romances and I could count on finding at least most of the popular authors. Now, there is a great big section devoted to cookbooks and hb bestsellers, a section of YA’s (which is fine, I want the teenagers in my town to be able to find books to read), and a very small section for romance — that most of the time is half empty. I went in today and not only was that section half empty, the part that was filled, was filled with Nicholas Sparks and Richard Paul Evans books — sorry, not romance — women’s fiction yes, romance no. My strategy is to get a book in e-format if it is cheaper than the paperback and in paperback if it is cheaper than the e-book — my book budget is never enough, so I have to stretch it as far as I can. Since the nearest bookstore is more than an hour away, I will either have to bite the bullet and buy the books in e-format even if it is more expensive, or wait until my next visit to the used book store.

  9. Rosie
    May 27, 2012 @ 17:51:49

    I’m finishing up “Castaway Dreams” by Darlene Marshall. It’s a fun, touching book with an extremely mismatched pair of castaways who fall in love and become better people in the process. Loved it and plan to seek out more of this author’s books.

  10. Las
    May 27, 2012 @ 18:41:52

    Can’t believe I’m saying this about a Sherry Thomas book…

    I hated Beguiling the Beauty. This guy falls in love at first sight and stays in love for 10 years, without a single word spoken, because she is just THAT beautiful. But don’t hate her! She had a lousy first marriage, and her second marriage was sexless, because she married him to do him a favor and she allowed all kinds of rumors about her to spread in order to protect him. So, see, she’s already been punished for her luck in the looks department so we can like her now. It just gets worse from there. The whole thing was so stereotypical Romance, and that’s not why I read Sherry Thomas.

    On a much happier note, Ruthie Knox’s Ride with Me was fantastic. Jill Sorensen mentioned it last month and I’m so glad she did. I’d read a lot more contemporaries if they were like that one. I’m looking forward to Knox’s next book.

    And I’m tentatively looking forward to Nalini Singh’s Tangle of Need. I say tentatively because 1) Kiss of Snow really soured me on the whole mating bond thing and I’m dreading all the inevitable angst over that subject, and 2)in previous books Adria’s a doormat and Riaz is all mopey and heartbroken…not my idea of interesting characters. But, just like with KOS, I’m really invested in the Psy war, so I’ll be reading this one despite my reservations. There have been hints online that it’s not going to be like I’d assumed, so I might end up liking Adria/Riaz after all.

  11. Patty
    May 27, 2012 @ 21:10:43

    I get what everyone is saying about the new Singh book. The Psy war and major plot points have me interested, but this one may be one I get from the library, but I cannot wait for the epic joint review DA will have going. On another note, I want to alert everyone I know to the self-pubbed Demons at Deadnight by A&E Kirk, it’s YA paranormal, that makes fun of ya paranormal plus at 99 cents I enjoyed it immensley….

  12. JenM
    May 27, 2012 @ 21:19:32

    I’m trying to catch up a bit and make a dent in my TBR pile, but one book I’ve got on pre-order for June is Ruthie Knox’s second, About Last Night. I’ve got my fingers crossed that it’s as good as Ride With Me. I’m also looking forward to Julia Quinn’s newest since I’m a sucker for “disgraced governess meets handsome young lord” plots, especially since I’ve heard that he’s a bit of a beta hero. My best reads in May were mainly UF with Jenna Black’s Dark Descendent series, Blood Magic, by Eileen Wilks, and Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston, but I also loved Better Off Without Him by Dee Ernst, which is more women’s fiction, and Muscling Through, m/m by JL Merrow.

  13. Katie
    May 28, 2012 @ 00:43:52

    @Readsalot81 Just finished Kindling the Moon/Summoning the Night and thought they were great! Love the relationships (not just romantic).

    A False Prince was a lot of fun, too! I bought Blackout by Mira Grant this week and have enjoyed what I’ve read so far. And jumped on the Sarah Mayberry bandwagon. Just finished Hot Island Nights and excited to start Her Best Worst Mistake before I go to bed.

    And excited for the new Nalini Singh. I just caught up on her books last month and it’s awesome to get a new one so soon after I finished Kiss of Snow! (Which seems to have taken up permanent resident next to my bed. I can’t stop re-reading my favorite parts!)

  14. JB Hunt
    May 28, 2012 @ 06:05:21

    In May, I’ve been on a mad historical tear, gobbling up and really enjoying the latest from Sherry Thomas (although this one did require an exceptional suspension of disbelief), Courtney Milan, and Tessa Dare.

    I finally discovered Julie Anne Long’s Pennyroyal Green series and couldn’t stop until I had read them all. I haven’t enjoyed a series that much in a very long time. Delightful from start to finish.

    Next up is the literary/historical fiction sequel to Hillary Mantel’s Wolf Hall — Bring Up the Bodies. I am interested to read her take on Anne Boleyn’s demise.

    A few RITA-nomiinated contemporaries are in the TBR pile, Laura Spinella’s Beautiful Disaster and Tanya Michaels’ A Mother’s Homecoming.

    Should be a busy June.

  15. Jayne
    May 28, 2012 @ 07:04:10

    @Rosie: Full Disclosure – I beta read this one for Darlene, so obviously couldn’t review it, but I loved it too. I’m so glad it’s as good as I thought it would be.

  16. Aoife
    May 28, 2012 @ 08:07:21

    I’ve been on a YA binge recently. I just finished Code Name: Verity by Elizabeth Wein, set in WWII, and definitely not a romance (although there is a very delicate hint of it towards the end). It’s one of the best books I’ve read in a very long time.

    I’m looking forward to two more YA’s in June, Keeping the Castle by Patrice Kindl, which is Regency-set about a girl who has to marry well, and For Darkness Shows the Stars by Diana Peterfreund, which is a futuristic/dystopian take on Persuasion. I didn’t really care for Peterfreund’s Unicorn series, so I’m apprehensive, but Persuasion is my favorite Jane Austen, so I’ll give it a try.

  17. Lauren
    May 28, 2012 @ 08:20:24

    I thought that the magic in Rainshadow Road was totally redundant. Lisa Kleypas is one of my autobuy authors, so I’ll be buying the next one, even if there is more pointless magic in it.

    I finished the Most Improper Miss Sophie Valentine last weekend. The writing was so flowery that I feel as if the author, Jayne Fresina, spent her childhood memorizing Lucy Maud Montgomery’s writings. I didn’t really feel the magic that Anne of Green Gables always left me with though! The premise was good. Woman hitting her thirties puts an ad into the paper looking for a husband. Man shows up the answer it. The story was flat though. I’m going to do a search and see if this book was already reviewed and see if it lines up with about a C!

    I’m looking forward to Julia Quinn’s latest which should be released tomorrow, and I just started Madeline Hunter’s Dangerous in Diamonds. I hope it’s a worthwhile read!

  18. Estara Swanberg
    May 28, 2012 @ 08:32:29

    Dear Author Readers,

    I’d like to hype a book which actually came out in the UK in March and has now arrived in the US and Canada in Hardcover, ebook and audiobook (with two speakers even): Elizabeth Wein’s Code Name Verity – which is being marketed as YA although I don’t know why – tells the story of female friendship in World War II and what might happen if all your values were put to the ultimate test. Back blurb:

    I have two weeks. You’ll shoot me at the end no matter what I do.

    That’s what you do to enemy agents. It’s what we do to enemy agents. But I look at all the dark and twisted roads ahead and cooperation is the easy way out. Possibly the only way out for a girl caught red-handed doing dirty work like mine — and I will do anything, anything, to avoid SS-Hauptsturmführer von Linden interrogating me again.

    He has said that I can have as much paper as I need. All I have to do is cough up everything I can remember about the British War Effort. And I’m going to. But the story of how I came to be here starts with my friend Maddie. She is the pilot who flew me into France — an Allied Invasion of Two.

    We are a sensational team.

    Recommended by the Booksmugglers in their post here, one of Ana’s Best of 2012 books, Darlynne liked it, too. – bring tissues if you are readers who feel the emotions of the characters they read.

    Full disclosure: The author acknowledgements and information at the back have my real life name because I checked on the appropriate German and Germanness of the Nazis – I was so chuffed ^^ by that.

  19. Jennifer Estep
    May 28, 2012 @ 09:33:40

    @Readsalot81: Thanks! I appreciate that. Glad you are enjoying the series.

    @Lauren: The preview for the next Kleypas book makes it sound like it has even more magic in it than RAINSHADOW ROAD did. I wish she would go back and write about the last Travis brother from her other series.

  20. Lauren
    May 28, 2012 @ 09:46:20

    @Jennifer Estep: Jennifer, I am hoping that she will. I just think that he needs time to recuperate from the boating accident and to grow up a bit!

  21. Carrie
    May 28, 2012 @ 10:05:09

    @JenM: I got to read the ARC of “About Last Night” and really enjoyed it. I also enjoyed “Ride With Me.”

    I have so many books on my TBR pile (print and digital) that I hesitate to even look t what’s being released in the next few months. But I admit I’m looking forward to Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost.

  22. Loosheesh
    May 28, 2012 @ 11:11:44

    @Jane: Nooooo … bad Jane, bad! Lol =D

    At one point I was all excited to try Kristen Ashley but I realized her books are first person narrative; that kinda cooled my enthusiasm.

    I’m starting my summer vacation in the next two weeks and I have no idea what my reading will be like for the next month or so, but I’m looking forward to the release of Ruthie Knox’s latest book, About Last Night; it’s reviewed, very favorably, by a couple of my favorite people on Goodreads so I’m impatiently waiting to get my hands on it. After reading Ride With Me (a rec from the last open thread for readers) I want to read everything Ms Knox writes.

    What else? I want to (finally!) get around to reading A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant, which I won here at DA all the way back in January (yes, yes, my turn to hang my head in shame ;-)). And while I’m not a big YA reader, I liked the look of Cidney Swanson’s Ripple trilogy so I *think* I’ll put these down for vacation reading. If anyone has read them, feel free to share your thoughts, thanks.

  23. Janine
    May 28, 2012 @ 11:40:04

    @Aoife: Good to see you online! I keep hearing good things about Code Name: Verity. Maybe I’ll look into it, though given the subject matter, I’m a little scared to.

    In the YA department, my husband and I are reading Bitterblue by Kristin Cashore. We’re not done yet, but so far I’m liking it much better than Fire and perhaps even better than Graceling, though it’s not quite as romantic as the latter. Next up for the two of us is Veronica Roth’s Insurgent.

    In the romance department, I’m so looking forward to the new Cecilia Grant, A Gentleman Undone. I loved Grant’s debut, A Lady Awakened, and plan to purchase A Gentleman Undone when it comes out tomorrow.

    I also need to try Ruthie Knox.

  24. Renda
    May 28, 2012 @ 12:36:59

    (hanging head)
    Can someone give me a down and dirty definition of independent publisher WITH examples? I Googled it, Wiki’ed it, etc., but I can’t seem to grasp it. Is an independent publisher an actual publisher or is it more a distributor? Do they seek out books or do books come to them? Does one place a book with one independent publisher but put it with various providers.

    Would examples be Carina, Samhain, ARe? If so, why; if not, why not.

    Thanks for taking the time to educate me on something I feel is too basic to even ask for help on.

    And if this has been dealt with here on DA, a link would be most appreciated.

  25. becca
    May 28, 2012 @ 13:01:55

    I just wanted to thank you for recommending Calling Invisible Women – I never would have known about this wonderful book otherwise. $12 was a stiff price to pay for a new-to-me author, but I was hooked.

  26. cleo
    May 28, 2012 @ 15:30:09

    I pre-ordered the new Nalini Singh, despite my reservations about yet another pairing between two dominant wolves, so I’m psyched that it’s almost out.

    School’s out so I’ve been on a reading binge (while ignoring my curriculum responsibilities – heck I have time to do that later). Highlights include Cecilia Tan’s Magic University series (college level Harry Potter, with a lot more sex and moral ambiguity), The Return of the Earl by Edith Layton, Crazy People by Jennifer Crusie (short stories set in the same world as Crazy For You – not really romance, but a lot of fun if you like Crazy for You – and I do), and Demon’s Bride by Zoe Archer. I wasn’t crazy about Archer’s premise (a band of Georgian men known as the hellraisers sell their souls to the devil and then, one by one are redeemed through love) but I really enjoyed this one and the previous one.

  27. Jeannie S.
    May 28, 2012 @ 15:34:36

    I am reading Overseas by Beatriz Williams that I won here. It is everything the review for it said it was – I love it!! I am a little over halfway done right now. I am not rushing through it because it the scenes with Julian and Kate are so amazing – very romantic. I definitely recommend this.

  28. cleo
    May 28, 2012 @ 15:42:47

    Has anyone read Mary Balough’s The Proposal yet? I’ve been wanting to read Gwen’s story since A Summer to Remember, but I’m on the fence about buying it now or waiting for paperback.

  29. pamelia
    May 28, 2012 @ 16:21:34

    Just finished the 2nd and 3rd Charley Davidson books by Darynda Jones and loved them. The 4th book doesn’t come out till October — I has a sad about that!
    I’m starting Bella Andre’s Sullivan family books. So far the first book reads like a fairly good contemporary book, but I’m just a few chapters in.
    I read “Ride with Me” by Ruthie Knox a few weeks ago and have her next book pre-ordered too. I’ve also pre-ordered the Janiene Frost book — even though the last Night Huntress was a DNF for me, I love how she’s written Vlad so far!

  30. Jayne
    May 28, 2012 @ 19:00:49

    @becca: You’re welcome! I’m glad you liked it too.

  31. Hanna Martine
    May 28, 2012 @ 19:40:49

    I’ve blown through Ellen Connor’s Dark Age Dawning series (NIGHTFALL, MIDNIGHT and DAYBREAK) in the past few weeks. NIGHTFALL got a RITA nod, but I’m finding books 2 and 3 even more compelling. A brilliant post-apocolyptic world that somehow feels intimate and alive with emotion, despite the huge issues infecting the new existence. It could have easily been a run-from-the-zombies-for-three-books kind of thing, but each setting is different, each set of characters have their own powerful stories, and I love the loose threads tying them all together.

  32. Jane
    May 28, 2012 @ 19:56:42

    @cleo – i read it and was somewhat disappointed. It’s a good historical romance but relied heavily on sequel baiting to carry the novel which I felt was frustrating.

  33. Jane
    May 28, 2012 @ 19:57:24

    @Jeannie S – Yay! I am so glad that you enjoyed Overseas. Romantic is the only way to describe the novel.

  34. Jane
    May 28, 2012 @ 19:59:38

    @Renda – I’m not sure myself what an independent publisher is. I know that “indie” has been used for publishers who are small press publishers, usually owned by a family or a small group of people instead of a conglomerate like the Big 6. Indie has been coopted a bit by self publishers who like to use the term because the self pub bed authors feel that the word “self published” has a bad connotation.

  35. jessica wimberly
    May 28, 2012 @ 20:44:17

    There are so many books coming out this year that I can’t wait to get my hands on. One for each month.
    This month I’m waiting for Nalini Singh’s “Tangle of Need.” I love her so much!! She is one of my fav authors.
    And I brought Larissa Ione’s newest addition even though I haven’t read the series yet.

    June is Gena Showalter’s new angel series. “Wicked Nights” she is another of my fav authors.
    July is “Samuari Game” by Christine Feehan. I’m not starting to read the whole series and it’s kinda been a slow read for me.
    August is “Time Untime” by Sherrlyn Kenyon and “Shadows Claim” by Kresley Cole.

    September has three books that I want. “How to drive a dragon crazy” by G.A. Aiken
    “Dark Storm” by Christine Feehan so love her dark series.
    “Archangel’s Storm” by Nalini Singh. I love Nalini I really do. I’m so happy that she has written books for the other characters in her archangel’s series. Don’t hate me girls but I really don’t like Elena.
    In October Jacquelyn Frank is coming out with a new book.
    and for the rest of the year Gena Showalter, Thea Harrison and and Larissa Ione are coming out with new books I can’t wait to get into.

  36. Aoife
    May 28, 2012 @ 22:30:16


    I was hesitant to read Code Name Verity, too. It’s hard to talk about at all without risking spoilers, but I don’t think you’d regret reading it. It’s very moving, and in unexpected ways.

  37. Janine
    May 28, 2012 @ 23:37:34

    @Aoife: Thanks. I will give it a try.

  38. Darlynne
    May 29, 2012 @ 11:55:07

    @Estara Swanberg: Chuffed you should be. I’m running out of superlatives for this book, for the characters, everything. Immediately after finishing it, I started again.

    There are books that entertain, enlighten and speak to us. Then there are books that change us, at some very basic level, and we are not the same after reading. This is one of those books.

  39. Joanna
    May 29, 2012 @ 15:47:54

    I always love the comments to these posts because they contain such good recommendations from all the other readers here. I am strongly tempted by Mary Balogh’s The Proposal but hate to pay hardcover prices right now.

    I would like to add that I just found out there is a new enovella from Pamela Clare, an addition to her I-team series (which I love) called Skin Deep – can’t wait to download and read it tonight! Also, right now the first book in her Kenleigh/Blakewell series (set in Colonial America and Ireland) is currently free in the kindle store. This is one I missed in paperback so am getting that one too.

  40. cleo
    May 29, 2012 @ 16:30:26

    @Rosie: I didn’t realize Castaway Dreams was out – I’m glad you mentioned it. If you want more Darlene Marshall, I recommend reading her newer work first. Sea Change is related to Castaway Dreams – it introduces the doctor – and it’s so, so good. I also really liked The Bride and the Buccaneer, which is much more light hearted – it’s a romp involving treasure and double crosses and a kick butt heroine. Her work before that is more uneven, imo.

  41. leslie
    May 29, 2012 @ 18:04:40

    @cleo: Paperback. I got it from my local library. It’s also availible in e-book through Overdrive.

  42. Christina
    May 29, 2012 @ 21:13:54

    @Lindsey: I know what you mean. I have Tangle on reserve at the library. It is the first Psy/Changeling book that I haven’t bought outright, I barely remember the h and H in this story. So I will wait.

  43. Owen Kennedy
    May 30, 2012 @ 11:00:09

    I have been reading Alexandra Hawkins Lords of Vice series….I’m loving it. I recommend it if you haven’t read it. I tried Aline Hunters Omega Mine and Enemy Mine and liked it. Still addicted to Dauhnner’s New Species Series…she can’t get those out for me fast enough.

    I haven’t read Singh at all. I can’t decide if I would like her books or not. I’ve read all the Dark Series by Feehan…but it has been falling flat for me the last several books. I was thinking about the Pennyroyal series by Long….good to hear that it is a good series.

  44. ReneeK
    Jun 03, 2012 @ 09:02:12

    Thank goodness…I thought I was the only one! I initially liked the premise, but the more I read the more turned off I became. Turned off is totally not a state I want to be in when reading romance! The book now sits unfinished on my kindle…mocking me. I just added Ride With Me to my TBR list.

  45. MaryK
    Jun 11, 2012 @ 12:09:45

    Question about Pottermore: Does anybody know if the audiobooks have DRM? If I buy them digitally, I want to be able to back them up and move them to my next laptop when this one dies. I know I can re-download them up to 8 times. I prefer to rely on my own backups and not have to re-download from different sites all over the web.

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