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. cleo
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 15:09:04

    Is it already almost May? How did that happen?

    I’m looking forward to the new KA Mitchell, which comes out in TWO DAYS. Too bad I have to work this week.

  2. Laura Florand
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 17:30:51

    I’m really looking forward to 2 April 30th releases, and it’s funny, because when I thought about them, I realized that even though one is contemporary and the other historical and the authors have very different voices, I’m looking forward to them for similar reasons.

    Donna Kauffman’s Honey Pie, because I’ve enjoyed her other Cupcake books and island setting so much. I like the way she manages to convey both lightness and strength in her books. And there’s a sexy, softhearted mechanic. :)

    And Tessa Dare’s Beauty and the Blacksmith novella, because her writing has so much charm and depth at the same time, and I’m not sure if the blacksmith is softhearted, but honestly–she had me at blacksmith. And I really like the novella length when it’s well-done; maybe it’s how pressed I am for time right now, but the bite-size nature of it works well for me, as long as the bite is perfect!

  3. library addict
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 17:43:51

    I’ve been busy with some other projects and have only read one book in the last two weeks! Though it has a very slow start and the heroine’s attitude got on my nerves a few times, I did enjoy Whiskey Beach by Nora Roberts.

  4. Camila
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 18:13:49

    DARE YOU TO by Katie McGarry and ANY DUCHESS WILL DO by Tessa Dare are both coming out on 5/28. Can’t wait.

  5. cbackson
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 18:24:03

    I’m posting to beg someone else to read Carolyn Jewel’s new PNR (which I inhaled in a day and already reviewed on Goodreads). I love this series, but I don’t see it talked about – it’s really unique in terms of the power dynamics (both sexual and otherwise).

  6. Jane
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 18:25:43

    @Camilla – not to whet your appetite even more, but I loved BOTH Dare to You and Any Duchess Will Do.

  7. Jane
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 18:26:03

    @cbackson – I’m in. I’ll go and buy it right now.

  8. hapax
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 18:37:28

    Picked up ELEANOR AND PARK by Rainbow Rowell this afternoon and it totally derailed my plans for the day.

    My stars, what a exquisite heartbreak of a book: funny, sexy, honest, and devastating, as pure-quill a romance as I’ve ever read.

    SPOILER WARNING: The ending is definitely not happy, but it *is* hopeful, in a bittersweet way.

  9. cbackson
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 18:58:15

    @Jane: It is pretty far into the series, so bits of it will be confusing, but I think it stands alone more than do some of the others. I’ll be very interested to hear what you think – she definitely goes where authors fear to tread in a number of respects…

  10. leslie
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 19:17:17

    @cbackson: I downloaded the first two books in Jewel’s Immortal series this morning. Is that the series you mentioned? How many are there?

  11. Christine
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 20:20:14

    I received an arc of Bec McMaster’s book “Heart of Iron” and I loved it. It’s the sequel of sorts to “Kiss Of Steel” in her Steampunk series. It’s the story of Will the verwulfen and Lena the younger sister of the heroine from “Kiss Of Steel”. It delves even further into the world building and mythology. I also enjoyed how the hero of this book had a real conflict with the heroine of the first book and how it affected the relationship with his mentor and leader ( the hero of Kiss of Steel). It was a nice change from the sequels where all the men gush over and admire their friend’s wife. In this book her efforts to “cure” her husband while effective, also have a very detrimental effect. I’m really loving this series so far.

  12. cbackson
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 20:29:50

    @leslie: There are five. The fifth was released this weekend. If you’re just starting the series, one thing I’d tell you is that there is no “as you know, Bob” moment when the backstory of the world gets laid out, so for much of the book, you’re as ignorant as the heroine is as to what’s going on.

    The writing style’s also very different than most PNR – it’s third-person limited, so you know what the characters know and not more. Jewel really likes to put you in the head of the characters (sometimes to a degree that the blocking of the scenes – what’s physically going on – is a bit difficult to understand).

    Ha, I feel like I’m warning you away now. I love these books, but they’re definitely not quick, disposable reads. I’ll be interested to hear what you think!

  13. leslie
    Apr 21, 2013 @ 21:11:06

    @cbackson: Sounds good! Thanks.

  14. Susan
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 02:52:48

    It may just be me, but I’ve had a number of DNF romances over the past week or so. One of them was Heyer’s Charity Girl. (Someone please tell me that it gets better and is worth finishing.) I really hate not finishing books, so I’ve switched genres to fantasy; I figured I needed a palate cleanser of sorts.

    The last Sookie book is coming out in early May and I’m interested to see how that wraps up. . . even tho I think we all could have guessed since Book 1. But who knows, maybe I’ll be surprised. And it does look there will be some loose ends since a “what happened after” book is coming out later in the year.

  15. Jayne
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 05:20:21

    @Susan: It’s not just you, Susan. I’ve had a huge number of DNF books for the past 3 months which is part of the reason I’ve not been posting as many reviews. Carla Kelly’s newest western frontier romance (due next month from Harlequin), Sophie Kinsella’s book due out soon and Deanna Raybourn’s 1920s book set in colonial Kenya are what has finally gotten me out of my reading slump.

  16. Kat
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 08:24:04

    I’ve put Honey Pie on my TBR list, thanks for the suggestion. I would love to know of similar authors to try. I recently read Kristan Higgins for the first time and enjoyed that one.

  17. Ros
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 08:57:44

    @Susan: Charity Girl is not my favourite Heyer. In fact, it was the first one I ever picked up. I did not finish it and almost gave up on her altogether. SO glad I didn’t. I have since read Charity Girl again and, yes, I think it does get a bit better, but I would definitely recommend picking up a different one instead.

  18. Kati
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 09:36:46

    I’ve been in a reading slump for the last week. So I’m watching this thread closely. Thanks for the recommendations, everyone!

  19. Janine
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 10:20:59

    I’m also just coming out of a horrible reading slump. It’s almost like they are contagious!

  20. Estara Swanberg
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 12:44:24

    I haven’t been on a reading slump, but real life business has cut down on how fast I’ve been reading ^^ and what I’ve read has mostly only had romantic subthreads – I’m on my yearly reread of Michelle Sagara West’s Elantra series, sparked this time by Angela James adding the newest volume, coming out this autumn, onto her tbr-pile at Goodreads. As a Carina Press editor she gets to read the manuscript earlier ^^, heee.

    This series is a beautiful comfort read for me because while I am in no way like the heroine, Kaylin Neya, I really admire her values and what she makes of her life and the fact that family/healing and midwifery are her bedrock and often the solution to the problems in a single volume – not awesome fighting (although there are lots of dramatic action pieces, too).

    C.J. Cherryh’s newest Foreigner novel was a pleasure, too, but is definitely not the book to start with, being Nr. 14 and building on the previous ones.

    Andrea Höst released her revised early book Hunting into the wild, and while I think the pacing is noticeably weaker than her other, more current, books, it has lots of great characters and world-building again – I love the oh so totally capable heroine who is NOT a Mary Sue and has real problems relying on others even when it is necessary for her long term goals. The eventual love interest is quite yummy ^^, too.

  21. RebeccaJ
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 12:45:55

    I’ve been in a reading slump for the last month! Same reason I’m reading this thread;)

  22. Connie
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 12:48:28

    Just read Lauren Willig’s The Ashford Affair and loved it! Reading Georgettes False Colors and am enjoying it

  23. Gillyweed
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 13:21:45

    I really liked the Theory of Attraction (nerd dom/sub romance) by Delphine Dryden. I read it a while ago, but I thought I would mention it again. I wish it had gotten more attention.

    Ugh, I read about half of Beautiful Disaster last week after picking it up during the big B&N/Amazon price matching sale. I was drawn in like a moth to the flame — I even stayed up reeeeally late one night reading it. Then I became increasingly disenchanted and had to stop. The slut shaming, the raging hero, the assault that happens in the college cafeteria and no one gets arrested… now I need a palate cleanser. What would be a good antidote to Beautiful Disaster?

  24. sula
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 13:46:17

    So I think I may have scored a success on my conversion kit for a colleague. She really got into FSOG (ugh) and I had put together a grab bag of good romance books that she might consider trying. Last week she read Kresley Cole’s “A Hunger Like No Other” and is now glomming the whole IAD series (which I handily happened to have available to lend her, heh). It’s super fun to go to lunch together now and gossip about the hot heros and squeeable moments in the Lore. woot!

  25. hapax
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 14:15:49

    I started reading Heyer in the Dark Ages when all of her romances were out of print, and I could only get tattered paperbacks at secondhand shops. CHARITY GIRL was my Holy Grail — I had managed to score copies of everything else, even the dreadful early novels like BARREN CORN, but for years I could not find that one book.

    While on a research trip to Oxford (for something entirely different) I finally found a bedraggled copy in a dusty old shop, and promptly begged off an afternoon in the Bodleian to sit in my hotel room and read it.

    And that’s about all I remember about this title — the romance of the looking, the excitement of the finding. The story itself was a rather tired mishmash of elements that Heyer had done MUCH better in other stories (e.g. THE FOUNDLING and THE CORINTHIAN).

  26. JenM
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 14:19:52

    I’m on a roll, having read 3 books that I would rate an “A” in the last week: Frost Burned by Patricia Briggs (an A+ read for me, and the best of the series since Iron Kissed IMHO), Twice Tempted by Jeaniene Frost, and After Hours by Cara McKenna, which I picked up on a whim after reading her contribution (writing as Meg Maguire) to the Strangers On a Train anthology. I also loved Family Man by Heidi Cullinan/Marie Sexton. I just hope next month is as good as this one was.

  27. KatieF
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 15:30:45

    @Gillyweed I loved The Theory of Attraction! I just re-read it a couple of weeks ago and am eagerly looking forward to the next book in the series, The Seduction Hypothesis due to release on May 6.

  28. Jennifer Lohmann
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 15:46:41


    I was sold at this: “Deanna Raybourn’s 1920s book set in colonial Kenya” and immediately put a hold on it at the library.

    Carla Kelly’s books are always lovely. There is something so gentle and solid about her characters, and this one is no different. My pre-order came Friday.

  29. cleo
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 15:52:51

    @KatieF: I really liked Theory of Attraction too (although perhaps not as much as When in Rio, my fave by that author). I didn’t realize that it’s part of a series – one more book to look forward too :)

  30. Jorrie Spencer
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 17:30:23

    I really enjoyed Lord of Secrets by Alyssa Everett which came out from Carina in March I think. Historical romance with a skittish hero, I found it quite moving. On Twitter there was some discussion started by DA, which I missed till it was over, about bulletproof tropes, and I don’t know if skittish heroes are bulletproof exactly, but if the reasons are well-supported, it’s pretty close.

    Shipboard romance, btw. Regency-set. I found it a real page-turner.

  31. KatieF
    Apr 22, 2013 @ 22:04:05

    @cleo: Yep, it’s the Science of Temptation series and, in addition to The Seduction Hypothesis, there’s Principles of Desire “in late 2013 or so” (so it says on her website) so 2 more books to look forward to!

  32. Angela
    Apr 23, 2013 @ 07:17:48

    Slumps have to be contagious – I’ve had one for a while now too. I did manage to get out of it when I read Frost Burned a while ago, but it seems I’ve fallen back into my slump now. *sigh*

    There are two books I’m looking forward to this month. Decadence by Riley Shane is a follow-up to Bed, Breakfast & Bondage which I LOVED. Play BDSM, holiday (non-Christmas) romance. Sexy and fun. I can’t wait to read more of the two main characters.

    Then, This Is Who I Am by Cherise Sinclair – Master Sam’s story is coming out end of May. I feel like I’ve been waiting forever for the next Shadowlands book from her, so I’m super excited for this too.

    I’m adding a lot of books here to my TBR list, hopefully one of these will help bring me out of my slump…

  33. pamelia
    Apr 23, 2013 @ 07:57:34

    I just finished “After Hours” by Cara McKenna and really enjoyed it– I thought it managed to be pretty deep while still being both sexy and funny.
    I also recently read “Against the Wall” by Rebecca Zanetti and was more than pleasantly surprised — I’ve been reading and enjoying her paranormal series and did not expect that I would like a contemporary western romance by her as much as I did.
    I am now reading “Blade Song” by J.C. Daniels and WOW is it good so far.
    @ Angela: So with you on waiting for the next Cherise Sinclair book — end of May is so close, but so far away!

  34. Caz
    Apr 23, 2013 @ 16:07:59

    I’ve been fortunate to have read a run of winners recently – Sweet Madness by Heather Snow, Darius by Grace Burrowes and Let it Be Me by Kate Noble – so now I’m worried that the winning streak can’t continue! I’m about to start the Deanna Raybourn Kenya-set book, too.

    Charity Girl isn’t my favourite Heyer either. I know that many cite The Grand Sophy as a favourite, but mine is unquestionably Venetia, which I’d heartily recommend. Friday’s Child is a hoot; and I’m currently enjoying the audiobook version of Frederica, which is another favourite.

  35. leslie
    Apr 24, 2013 @ 15:37:20

    I just finished reading Love Irresistibly by Julie James and I didn’t enjoy it as much as I have her previous FBI/US Attorney novels. Everyone seems to have loved it and I don’t get why. Predictable and cliched plot devices for emotional impact that were so disappointing and characters that were kinda blah with the exception of Cade Morgan. There was also a scene where Cade was told something about Brooke Parker that was confidential and it really bothered me how it was played out. Other things that irked me was the lack of info and substance about Ford, Brooke’s best friend and the new job thing. The book didn’t work for me and so continues my reading slump. “sigh”

    It seems like there is so much marketing geared for the twenty-somethings and younger going on in contemporary romances the last few years, even when the main characters are older.

    Some personal pet peeves: No one over seventeen should utter “my bad” or “emo” especially a thirty something professional. It bugs me when I hear my teenagers say “my bad” too! TSTL. Also the story takes place in Chicago, so why would anyone go to Starbucks (ick) when there are so many terrific independent coffee houses (with quality roasts and local character) in Chicago to choose from? Is it product placement like in the movies? I realize I am a minority in not patronizing the chain, but I just don’t get why so many authors promote Starbucks, when local coffee houses/roasters with a better product/atmosphere would better suit many romance novels. I just think it would be more original and creative NOT to use the Starbucks reference so much. Just saying.

  36. Anne V
    Apr 28, 2013 @ 20:30:44

    I don’t know how I missed it, but R. Lee Smith (of Heat, etc.) had a new title release at the end of February – Cottonwood. Guess what I read (and enjoyed) today!

  37. Elyssa Patrick
    May 03, 2013 @ 22:47:58

    I’m late to replying to this thread–deadlines, migraines, trying to find the perfect and most delicious chocolate cake in a mug recipe; it all adds up. ;)

    But, anyway, I finished and absolutely LOVED Laura Florand’s THE CHOCOLATE ROSE. I feel a little like a book pimp every time I mention the book to anyone because I’m just READ IT, READ IT RIGHT NOW. It’s just sooooooooooooooooo goooooooooooood; I’ve reread certain parts too many times to count. And I keep hitting Amazon in the hopes that her other books will be out sooner. Like right now. Sigh.

    Also loved Jen Frederick’s UNDECLARED, a New Adult, about pen pals who find each other at college–the hero is a Marine.

  38. Loosheesh
    May 19, 2013 @ 19:00:20

    @Elyssa Patrick: A New Adult about penpals who find each other?! I’ve always wanted to read a book with that storyline! Thanks for mentioning this.

  39. Helen
    May 27, 2013 @ 15:32:30

    I just finished TANGLED by Emma Chase. Couldn’t put it down! It is so good. Told from the male point of view. Funny and super sexy. Go get it now.

  40. Shakiru
    Jun 13, 2013 @ 07:46:08

    Hi everyone, I’m new here and got here via an internet recommendation. I am from Ghana, west of Africa. I love arts and creative writing and in the hope of publishing an ebook soon. I am here to connect with people of like-mindedness, learn and share. I blog at and my hope is to further improve by receiving your help and reviews on my writings. Will love to hear from you all also. thanks for having me.

    Shakiru but folks call me sharkmellon

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