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
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 13:31:12

    Overall I enjoyed JD Robb’s Concealed in Death, but felt it was an average book for the series. The button mistake didn’t really affect my enjoyment of it. I liked Inez Kelley’s Take Me Home but felt the “big secret” drama was drawn out for too long making both the hero and heroine appear foolish. I have high hopes for the rest of her Country Roads series.

    I loved the middle half of Elise K. Ackers’ Unforgettable. The book fell apart a bit toward the end, but it was nice to read an amnesia story with no magical cure.

    For March I am looking forward to the lastest Konigsburg book by Meg Benjamin. I’m currently reading one of Nalini Singh’s old Silhouette Desires.

  2. Elyssa Patrick
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 13:58:46

    Knock on wood but I’ve been on a great reading kick lately. I just finished and loved Kristan Higgins’ The Perfect Match. It just surprised me in all of the best ways, and it made me want to find out when her next one is out (not too far away, so yay!). I’m way late to the game but I’m finally reading Sherry Thomas’ The Luckiest Lady in London, and I absolutely love it so far.

    I’m looking forward to Jennifer Estep’s final book in her Mythos Academy series, Killer Frost, even though I’m a huge part of me is really sad the series is ending. I really enjoyed this series so much.

  3. Mzcue
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 14:28:08

    I have a beef, and I’m hoping that by complaining about it I can let it go.

    Recently started reading a pre-ordered book from a contemporary romance author I usually enjoy. Not 15 percent into the story, I stumbled over the second cheap crack about sex-crazed seniors at a local senior center. The hero opines, “Those old ladies are sexually depraved miscreants.” Knowing grins among thirty-something buddies ensue.

    So…Yuck! Can’t get past it. Disclosure: I’m 62. Have husband, intact libido, and delight in erotic/romantic fiction. Might also mention I have a five or six book per week reading habit.

    Fought all week with myself about returning the book unfinished. In the end, I haven’t because I probably should have known better. Comic old people have been a staple in this author’s books for awhile. Only this time it really hit me between the eyes.

    Unless you plan on dying young, presumably you aspire one day to joining the ranks of those of us over sixty. By caricaturing the romantic aspect of life at that age as distasteful, you are making it harder for yourself in the long run.

    I appreciate the appeal that communal contempt for other-ness plays in securing membership in an attractive group. Learned all about that back in elementary school, actually. Had it reinforced in high school, yada, yada. But damned if I’m going to keep spending money on books that ridicule my sexuality as a cheap joke.

    Okay. Thanks for the opportunity to rant.

    PS: While I’m at it, I’m also pretty bored with the young- and new adult genres. Attention aspiring authors: There’s a market here, okay?

  4. Tina
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 15:34:09

    My hands down favorite book I read in February was ‘Written in Red’ by Anne Bishop. So I am very happy to know the second book is coming out in a matter of mere weeks.

    Second favorite, was ‘The Throwaway Year’ by Pepper Pace. I love her because she writes very atypical characters.

    Books I thought I’d love but didn’t: ‘Reapers’s Legacy’ by Joanna Wylde and ‘Do or Die’ by Suzanne Brockmann. The first I just felt ‘Ugh!’ after reading and the second I just felt exhausted.

    Looking forward in March to: Murder of Crows by Anne Bishop, Night Broken by Patricia Briggs, Bite Me by Shelly Laurenston and the third volume in the Saga graphic novel series by Brian K. Vaughn.

  5. Ros
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 15:46:48

    @Mzcue: Have you read Apples Should Be Red by Penny Watson? It has a hero/heroine who are in that older age bracket. Might be a nice palate-cleanser.

  6. Connie
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 16:28:46

    Mzcue, I am older than you, (by Just a few yrs)happily married, libido in tact and hate senior citizen sex jokes! Try THE FIRST BOY I LOVED by Cheryl Revis. I also enjoy erotic romance. Just finished STRIKING DISTANCE by Pamela Clare and Anne Calhoun’s UNFORGIVEN. Ros, thanks for the Penny Watson recommendation.

  7. Lada
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 17:22:42

    @Mzcue: I’m 40 and I don’t love the senior citizen as comic relief either. I think it’s a cheap trick and also, not reality. The seniors I know today are fit, active and tend to take effort with their looks. I work with a 70 year old whose dating life is legend and she looks and acts 20+ years younger and enjoys her life tremendously. I’m thrilled to hear about people older than I am enjoying their sex life because I have that to look forward to!

    I’ve read some pretty good books so far in 2014. I’m going to recommend Grace Draven every chance I get because her writing is phenomenal and her full length books are $2.99. Her latest, Entreat Me gives the sense of reading a meaty medieval although it’s romantic fantasy. I had a few issues overall but still highly recommend it to anyone looking for something different and a very nice romance.

    I also started listening to Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles and they are delightful. Not romance but I know there are readers here who would enjoy these. It’s humorous UF heavy on Celtic and Norse lore so far (I’m on book 4). Luke Daniels does a great job with all the voices. I think this series would appeal to any fan of Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files or Seanan MacGuire’s October Daye series.

  8. mari
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 17:41:19

    I just finished reading Sherry Thomas’s The Luckiest Lady in London and feel like the only reader on the planet who HATED that book. I felt that hero’s lies (and his terrible lie about two innocent people to the heroine has got to win some kind award for MOST DISGUSTING LIE EVER) and actions (making her ashamed of sexuality!) were almost sociopathic. What upset me most was that people have sucvgh severe personality disorders / moral failings

  9. mari
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 17:59:50

    Sorry! Accidentally hit post before the above comment was ready. ANYWAY. Sociopaths don’t change their spots because of True Love. They change from years of therapy or the nineteenth century equivalent. I actually liked this book up to when they got married. After that…Yuck! Maybe the book just needed to be longer and I needed to see the hero more apart from the heroine , so I could be assurd the change was real. Maybe they needed to seperate and he needed to go somewhere and and do penance. There were good solid childhood reasons for behavior, I just was so disgusted by his actions , the book utterly failed as a romance for me.

    Also read Ancillary Justice which didn’t work for me. The whole she-ing and the main character’s inabilty to.identify the sex of people no sense
    to me and didn’t work at all INMHO.. Felt to much like a writerly thought experiment and didn’t make sense given that the main character was a super human computer and could see people on a hormonal level. And also why would an AI be content to be a slave to a less intelligent less powerful species…and I did not understand the moral system it operated under and her actions made no sense… oh well.

    Hopfully March will be a better reading month,

  10. karLynP
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 18:16:04


    I read it, it was really good. The hero is 62, the heroine 59, and it really made me laugh and smile. If you get sick of all the NA/YA books, it’s a nice change!

    Another hilarious romance book I read recently is The Do-Over by MK Schiller. I would recommend it.

    Coming up, I am looking forward to reading Love Like the Movies by Victoria Van Tiem. A few friends read the ARC and it looks promising.

    The books I am most looking forward to next month includes Between the Devil and Ian Eversea by Julie Anne Long. Paula Quinn is also starting a new Highlander series. The first one, The Seduction of Miss Amelia Bell, comes out in March too.

    Fan’s of Tangled by Emma Chase will get Kate’s story, Twisted, in March. I was lucky enough to get an ARC of it and it was really good! But I would stress to the anyone who knows they will read it to just avoid reading the reviews, as it is a tough book to review without spoilers.

  11. Fiona McGier
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 18:46:19

    MZCue, I write books about older romances, mostly in their thirties and older. I’ve got a contract for my next book about a 54-year-old heroine cradle-robbing a 50-year old hero. Grin.

    I just finished reading Margaret Atwood’s final book in her dystopic (aren’t all of hers?) future that began with “Oryx and Crake”, continued with “After the Flood”, (the weakest of the 3), and finished on a high note with the totally engrossing “Madd Addams”. Many of her heroines and heroes are older, as is Margaret herself. She’s kind of wordy, but her stories are terrific!

  12. Crista McHugh
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 19:39:48

    I’ve been reading my RITA books, and I wish I could openly discuss them because one of them was so awesome, it’s getting a spot on my keeper shelf. Another one was really good, and 2 were just meh. But I was reminded why there are certain category lines I avoid (there was lots of eye rolling involved).

  13. Julie
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 21:36:52

    @Mzcue: Hear hear! H /h with some life experience would be greatly appreciated! I believe it was Jane, on the DBSA podcast who said that Kristen Ashley was doing a series with 40 somethings. While I am no longer enamoured with her books, I would give this series a go.

  14. Julie
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 21:42:09

    @Ros: Bought it!

  15. Ducky
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 22:17:41


    I think you should return this book and get your money back. Why financially reward an author you find offensive?

  16. msilk
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 22:28:15

    2014 has been terrible reading for me. I read The Last Hour of Gann when it was a rec back in Oct, LOVED it, and have been chasing that feeling ever since by reading recs from others. After Gann it was The Huntress by Barbra Karmazin which I could not finish, I thought the whole thing was poorly executed and other then having a lizard hero had nothing in common with Gann. Bloodraven by PL Nunn was up next and I finished and for the most part enjoyed the book. While I liked the voice, the dark grittiness and fantasy setting, I did not enjoy the story itself and felt that their was to much erotic content vs story. I ended up reading Captive Prince Vol 1 and really enjoyed it and moved on to Vol 2 but lost interest half way through as it wasn’t really what I was searching for. Starkissed by Lanette Curington was recommended and it was ok…I could keep going but it all comes back to not what I’m looking for.

    I’m currently on a reread of Gann and I think I’ve narrowed down what I am looking for and I’m REALLY hoping people can send some rec’s my way.

    That epic feel with meaty in depth world building and character development. Fantasy or sci-fi. Long word count book OR it can be a trilogy/series following the same couple. I want gritty, no holding punches; however, I don’t want something thrown in just for shock value. It must make sense in the context of the story. A strong central romance and an amazing story. The H/h can both be human, or only one, or neither.
    CL Wilson – Fading Land Series
    Jennifer Roberson – Tiger & Del Series
    Nalini Singh

    Novellas, short stories, or short books. YA, New Adult, M/M. No instalove bond thing unless the characters really really struggle with it.
    Those already mentioned above
    Elizabeth Vaughan – Warland Series
    Jacqueline Carey – Phèdre’s Trilogy
    Kristen Ashley (I liked Golden Fantasy but that was it).

    I’m sorry this is so long and I really hope someone got through all that and could help me out. I’m really frustrated and tired of wasting money on books that I only get 1/4 way through :(

  17. Erin Satie
    Feb 23, 2014 @ 22:49:39

    @msilk —

    The Administration series by Manna Francis. Starts with Mind Fuck, gets better from book to book, dark & juicy. I think you can still read it online for free.

  18. BRNZ
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 00:19:54


    OK here goes – these will be fantasy or paranormal, some with some romance. Im primarily an Fantasy/SF reader but I dabble in more romance stuff after hanging out here for too long :)

    Elantris by Brandon Sanderson, its a one off but a good intro to his writing and I really enjoyed it. He does fantastic worldbuilding and really original magic constructs. If you feel up to a long wait then you can start with his apporx 10 book series and the first one is Way of Kings

    Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews – loads of kick butt action, great worldbuilding and love the characters (one character got a spinoff book) there is romance but its several books into the series and lots of challenges to get together

    Liaden series by Lee and Miller – these almost feel like regency romance in space but I LOVE them and they are a comfort read.

    The Blue Sword, The Hero and the Crown, Chalice, Beauty, Spindles End all by Robin McKinley – she does a lot of retelling of old fairy tales with her own twist, lovely lyrical text and often unexpected endings and delicate understated romance. The Blue Sword is my all time fave comfort read :)

    St Marys Time Travel series by Jodi Taylor – a recent discovery and these are DELICIOUS, lots of action, snark and humour, and some hilarious romance interchanges (an offer of a blowjob while driving ends up with a Bentley crashed into a tree)

    Jaran series by Kate Elliott – fabulous SF with lots of politics and intrigue and romance that must be worked hard at, culture clash and wonderful writing and worldbuilding.

    Phoenix Legacy by M K Wrenn – this is a old series and hard to find in print (may be out in ebook, never checked) Trilogy about the potentially catastrophic cultural change about to happen and the actions of two boys of the ruling class who may change the world. Fabulous writing and world building, lovely romance that is long and hard fought for, quality stuff

  19. Selene
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 01:56:39


    I think the mix of dark & romance in fantasy is a little hard to come by. There’s dark fantasy that’s good (Joe Abercrombie, Scott Lynch, Celia Friedman etc.), but there’s not much romance there. Or there’s fantasy with romance in it (some of it mentioned above), but it’s not that dark…

    Did you try “Heat” by Smith, the same author as Gann? That one is way more gruesome, but does have a lot of romance. (It’s SF.)

    Otherwise, maybe the Dark Jewels trilogy by Anne Bishop, which is rather dark, though gets a bit more humorous as it goes along.

    I also really liked the Silerian Trilogy by Laura Resnick. It’s nowhere near as dark as Gann, but it portrays civil war better than most fantasy, and I love the romance aspect (which takes a while to get going, but then, so does the one in Gann). The first book’s called “In Legend Born”.

    If you don’t mind less romance, but still very interesting (non-romantic) relationships, the Coldfire trilogy by Celia Friedman is great, and one of the MCs is a warrior priest.

    For a great romance with good worldbuilding, and kind of dark-ish, there’s always Daughter of the Forest by Juliet Marillier, which is also a pretty big book if I remember correctly.


  20. Lia
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 02:52:40

    Just finished Michele Hauf’s The Vampire Hunter. I was entertained, but I didn’t love it.

    Hauf does a fantastic job with the world building (as always) and the hero is alpha, without being an alphahole. But there was an instalove connection I didn’t really buy into and Zoë the heroine really has some toe curling TSTL moments. Think ‘Walter White not knowing he’s Heisenberg’ -stupid; perhaps not impossible, but for a supposedly smart witch it’s incredibly naive.

  21. Loonigrrl
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 03:21:35

    In February, I became addicted to Darynda Jones’ Grave series. Those books are hilarious, and the characters just keep getting better and better. I don’t often read mysteries, but there’s so much going on (it’s more of a paranormal, comedic romantic mystery series) that it has me hooked. I cannot wait for the 6th in the series to be releasesd.

    I also read Anne Bishop’s Written in Red and was surprised by how much I liked it. I’m really looking forward to reading the sequel next month.

  22. ms bookjunkie
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 04:37:08

    @msilk: For fantasy, I recommend you give Lois McMaster Bujold’s THE CURSE OF CHALION and PALADIN OF SOULS a try. (In that order. PoS takes place after TCoC and contains spoilers.) They’re slow to catch momentum—or so I’ve heard others complain, I had no problem with them—but the worldbuilding is rich and the story arc fantastic. (The third book, THE HALLOWED HUNT, isn’t as good and is separated by location and centuries from the first two, and IMO can be skipped.)

    For science fiction/space opera, I again recommend Lois McMaster Bujold. Starting with CORDELIA’S HONOR*, the Vorkosigan saga is epic. They’re not all romances (which is why I switched to listening to them in audio—non-romance SF is not my favorite reading choice) but they all stay with me and make me think.

    There’s also THE SHARING KNIFE by LMB, but it’s fantasy romance and some people like it while others not so much. I love it. It was my introduction to LMB and a favorite comfort read and keeper.

    *Okay, so there are many opinions about how to read the Vorkosigan books. I say romance readers should start with CH** to see if they want to continue with the series, because it is a romance and an awesome one at that.

    **CORDELIA’S HONOR is an omnibus edition made up of SHARDS OF HONOR and BARRAYAR.

  23. Lada
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 09:54:29

    @ms bookjunkie: Thanks for this info. I’ve been thinking about giving LMB a try lately because her name so often comes up in favorite lists. This gives me a good idea of where to start.

    @msilk: I’m going to second the Anne Bishop Black Jewels trilogy recommendation. This is definitely epic fantasy with solid world building that’s not afraid of going into the darkest corners. Daughter of the Blood, Heir to the Shadows, and Queen of the Darkness contain the main story and the romance is overarching the entire trilogy. Each book is about 450-500 pages so it fits the longer read you’re looking for. Bishop also has another trilogy that’s epic romantic fantasy and includes Sebastian, Belladonna, and Bridge of Dreams.

  24. Anne
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 10:36:41

    The best book I read in February was My Notorious Life by Kate Manning. It’s a rather dark story , based upon a real life NYC midwife in the mid 19th century. I didn’t go into it looking for romance but it’s there. It wasn’t easy reading due to the subject matter and the vernacular used but I did find it fascinating.

    I just checked the price. Ugh. I picked it up when it was sale earlier in the month.

    It’s time to move on to some lighter fare so the sixth Iron Druid book is up next.

  25. Kim
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 11:33:39

    I just got around to reading The Luckiest Lady in London and enjoyed it. Sherry Thomas’ books always offer something a bit different from the norm. However, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished by Sarah Maclean was a major disappointment. The heroine felt that it was appropriate to ruin someone else’s life because she had no other way out of a situation. The heroine started out as selfish and the author was never able to redeem the character.

  26. Laura
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 12:30:52

    Am reading MY BLUEGRASS BABY by Molly Harper at the moment, which I bought after reading Jayne’s review…a very long time ago now. Finally gotten around to reading it. It’s pretty good, quite funny, though it took me a little while to get into it. At the beginning of February I read Tessa Dare’s ROMANCING THE DUKE, which I absolutely loved. I also read THE BEST MAN (Kristan Higgins) this month, which was good, but not my favorite of hers.

  27. Jennifer S
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 13:42:44

    It was a light reading month for me. One little gem I found, though, was All of Me by Gina Sorelle. It was a free lend through Amazon Prime. First book by author that I can tell. I really enjoyed. Strong female, tortured male, no crazy misunderstandings. I look forward to seeing what’s next from this author. I really liked her voice.

    Read MK Schiller’s The Do-Over after reading review here on Dear Author. Really good. Read Tessa Bailey’s Staking His Claim, which I enjoyed quite a bit. I also read Joanna Wylde’s Reaper’s Legacy. I have mixed feelings about this one. I just didn’t connect with the characters and ultimately didn’t buy into their romance.

  28. Susan
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 17:25:56

    Based on the review here, I read Ancillary Justice and loved it. Pre-ordered the next book and am waiting anxiously.

    Awhile ago, I read Jacqueline Wilson’s Hetty Feather books for kids. (Jane included the first one as a Daily Deal so I tried it.) They’re pretty grim, but I think most kids (and some adults) would like them.

    Tomorrow is release day for the next/last Mythos Academy book, as well as the next Rachel Morgan/Hollows book. I’m more excited about this Hollows book than I have been for awhile. After some lackluster, meandering books, Harrison seems to have really gotten back on track.

    And I’ve literally been checking on the price of Written in Red almost daily, waiting for a drop. :-( Oh, well. Lots of good stuff coming up in March, as well as all those other books in my TBR pile, in the meantime.

  29. SonomaLass
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 17:49:17

    Books coming in March that I can highly recommend are The Jade Temptress, by Jeannie Lin (sequel to her fabulous The Lotus Palance), and Her Kind of Trouble, by Saran Mayberry. I’m also looking forward to Deanna Raybourn’s City of Jasmine, because it sounds great — set in the 1920s, in Damascus, with an aviatrix heroine.

    I was less thrilled by the latest entry in Julie Ann Long’s PENNYROYAL GREEN series, but it was okay — 3 stars. Better than a couple of the recent installments (one of which I DNFed and one I skipped completely), in my opinion, but nowhere near as good as the best ones. At least it looks like we’re creeping towards Lyon’s book.

    I am reading and loving Sharing Space, by Nina Perez (thanks to Ridley over at Love in the Margins for the recommendation); lots of fun, great voice, and an inter-racial romance that is really working for me (not quite finished). I’m also enjoying My Mr Rochester, a futuristic Jane Eyre retelling by L.K RIgel — it’s a five-episode serial, with the final installment due out this week, I think.

    Another promising serial is Heirs of Grace, by Tim Pratt. From the first installment, it feels like there will be a strong romance element, as well as his usual terrific fantasy writing. But it has a GIANT cliff-hanger/abrupt cut-off at the end of the first installment (next installment is due tomorrow, with a total of five scheduled at one-week intervals). Some people might prefer to wait on this one until it’s complete.

  30. SonomaLass
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 17:51:54

    Oh, and I also recommend Penny Watson’s Apples Should Be Red. I ate that up in one sitting. Older lovers FTW!

  31. msilk
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 18:39:25

    @Erin Satie: Thanks for the rec. I’m on a break from M/M for a bit, I read so much of it the last year but I did find it free online and bookmarked it for when I pick M/M back up again. I plan to finish Captive Prince Vol 2 as I really did enjoy the first, then Bone Rider will be next and then I’ll give this one a try.

    @Selene: I think you nailed it. As you stated it’s one or the other and I think this is why Gann worked so well for me because I got the real fantasy/scifi novel and a true romance all rolled into one book without sacrificing one for the other. I’ve read all of Smith’s works, Gann being my favorite then Cottonwood, then Heat. I know many didn’t like The Scholomance, finding it hard to connect with the main character but I enjoyed it for being so different. I did not like or finish Olivia. Oh and the coldfire trilogy was great, I loved this series.

    Thank you everyone for the rec’s, I bought the Anne Bishop Jewels Trilogy and the LMB ones that were recommended to start with. As for the other rec’s I put them in a word document to refer back to when I get through these one. Thanks again, very much appreciated!

  32. msilk
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 18:55:15

    @BRNZ: Wow, lots of books in the Lee/Miller Liaden series, which one do I start with???

  33. BRNZ
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 19:12:22


    Its a little complicated as there is one main story thread and then several spinoffs but if you scroll to the bottom of this page it gives you the best option

    Personally I always start with Agent of Change as it was my first intro, it and Carpe Diem and Conflict of honours set up the main characters in the main story arc and the rest follows on from there .

    Conflict of Honours is probably a good place to start as it stands alone quite nicely and gives you a good intro to some main players.

  34. Wahoo Suze
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 20:40:08

    A while back, I read The Engineered Throne by Megan Derr, and really enjoyed it, so started tip-toeing through her backlist. It’s a full-on glom now, and I’m loving it.

    She writes m/m paranormals. Lots of fairy tale re-workings, but lots of original, really solid, interesting stuff. She seems to have started off with the sex being mostly off-page, but it’s getting more play in her later books.

    Enjoying it all, so far. The only caveat is that you have to go to her website to find which books are in series, because (at All Romance at least), it’s not readily apparent.

  35. Janhavi
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 21:31:36

    The discussion on older protagonists reminded me- I strongly recommend “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson. It has a romance but is more of a general fiction novel about a 68 yr old man, and is delightful. The Washington Post described it as “This thoroughly charming novel wraps Old World sensibility around a story of multicultural conflict involving two widowed people who assume they’re done with love. The result is a smart romantic comedy about decency and good manners in a world threatened by men’s hair gel, herbal tea and latent racism.” at this link:

    @msilk I second the recommendations for the Kate Daniels stories by Ilona Andrews and also the Liaden series by Lee and Miller.

    I was myself thoroughly confused by the overlapping storylines in Liaden. One of the primary sequences “Agent of Change”, “Carpe Diem”, “Plan B”, and “I Dare” stars Val Con and Miri. This fits your bit about a trilogy/series following the same couple. Local Custom, Scouts Progress, and Mouse and Dragon are about Val Con’s parents and uncle/aunt, you can skip these. However, Conflict of Honors is about his cousin Shan and is chronologically before Agent of Change. I recommend you start with this stand-along before immersing into the long Agent of Change Sequence. its one of my favourites in the series. Also, “I Dare” has quite a bit of Shan and may make more sense after reading Conflict of Honors.

    To summarize, I recommend this order: “Conflict of Honors” ,”Agent of Change”, “Carpe Diem”, “Plan B”, “I Dare”

    I also think you may really like Meljean Brook’s Guardians series. Each of the 8 books follows a different couple but there is a big plot arc across all 8. the series is completed. It has epic worldbuilding and wonderful romances. They are also really long, the last book was like 200k words :D Here is Jane’s book club discussion of the 8th book, which links to some reviews:

    @ms bookjunkie- thanks! Been wanting to read Lois McMaster Bujold for ages but didnt know where to start- I will pick up Cordelia’s Honor

  36. ms bookjunkie
    Feb 24, 2014 @ 23:25:41

    Three years ago I read KUSHIEL’S DART with my heart in my throat, apprehensive about which beloved character would die next. It was a powerful, epic, magnificent book, but that fright took a lot of the enjoyment out of it for me.

    This past week I listened to KD (all 31 hours of it), and since I knew about all the tragedies beforehand, I enjoyed it so much more. (I was at first concerned that the narrator wasn’t right for the story, but soon came to feel that she was the perfect voice for it.) I loved it! I’m going to brave KUSHIEL’S CHOSEN soon, I have the mmpb waiting in my TBR.

  37. Bella Swann Erotica
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 09:27:35

    One of the wittiest books that I read late last year was by an Indie author, Jenifer Mohammed, called Resurrecting Cybele, it’s not a romance, but a satire-thriller. It’s about a woman who decides the world is too consumed with patriarchal religions and it’s time to bring back the Mother Goddess religions. The heroine is smart, funny, has great self-esteem, and an hourglass figure. She’s not looking for a man to give her life meaning. She has her own mind and is not afraid to use it. It’s a really wonderful book and I highly recommend it for those who are tired of reading about young women who only seem to come alive as they look for boyfriends. I left a review for it on and Barnes and Noble, but you can get it on amazon, kobo, and apple as well.

  38. Bella Swann Erotica
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 09:33:10


    I wouldn’t waste my money on books that make disparaging remarks about older women or men either. One remark, I might see as a slip of the tongue, but more than one is a pattern by the author. Have you contacted the author to let him know that as a reader you find that offensive (funny, I know coming from a writer of erotica, but my readers know what they’re getting)? He might start changing his tone in his books because you represent potential readers for his books.

  39. hapax
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 10:32:48

    @Wahoo Suze: Thanks for the rec! I read one of her shorts *years* ago, thought “I should look into this author” and then forgot about it under the ever-growing TBR pile.

    I’ve ordered THE ENGINEERED THRONE now; it looks like great fun.

  40. Michele Mills
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 14:28:18

    @msilk: I loved Gann so much it’s ruined me for other books, too! But, you’ve given me hope, reminding me that I’ve only read Gann and Heat, there’s still backlist left to devour. I’d better get on that. Think I’ll start with Cottonwood.
    Also, I just finished Cold Iron by D.L. McDermott. I liked it. Fae/Druids living hidden amongst us, struggling for power. I think it’s a promising series.

  41. Estara
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 15:53:33

    @msilk: Have you tried A Paladin of Souls by Lois McMaster Bujold? Or her Sharing Knife series? These are mostly fantasy with romance – A Paladin of Souls is more about the heroine who also gets a hero who is a part of the story and not a trophy ^^, but the Sharing Knife series explicitly are based on the romance between two people from opposed societies and how they navigate their way in them. If you’ve read and LMB before, you know that it’s all combined with a great plot and action – not grimdark, but certainly gritty.

    Heh, I see LMB has been recommend already. Should read closer before writing a long comment.

    I second the Liaden Universe in the way of sf romance, also Linnea Sinclair’s books.

  42. Joanna
    Feb 25, 2014 @ 16:01:15

    @Mzcue: Thanks for the well worded rant Mzcue! I can so agree with what you said – but I think you should tell us the name of the book and author that you found so annoying so the rest of us older women can avoid it!

    And Ros, thanks for the recommendation of Apples Should Be Red – it looks great!

  43. Alilatch
    Feb 26, 2014 @ 19:41:31

    Hi All! Just wondering if anyone can recommend a good romance MC novel or series. I just really got into SOA and wanted to see if there were any novels out there along those lines. I just read Joanna Wylde’s series and found it to be pretty decent. Thanks so much!

  44. Janine
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 12:03:50

    @Alilatch: A lot of readers love Kristen Ashley’s Motorcycle Man and its spinoff Chaos series. Hopefully others here will weigh in with more suggestions!

  45. loonigrrl
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 17:48:01

    I liked Under Locke, which Jane reviewed a couple weeks ago. After that, I tried another MC book- Undeniable by Madeline Sheehan, but kind of hated it.

  46. leslie
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 19:53:28

    @library addict: What button mistake? I found some typos…..but don’t recall anything about buttons, except the reference to Mr. Mira.

  47. Lynnette
    Feb 27, 2014 @ 20:32:54

    I loved Written in Red so much I bought the hardcover and pre-ordered Murder of Crows. That’s unusual for me. The only other must-buy hardcover for me is In Death. Concealed in Death was good, but definitely not one of her best. Another series I loved was Jenn Bennett’s Arcadia Bell. I’m eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series.

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