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.

68 Comments

  1. E.D. Walker
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 13:46:22

    I just finished Suddenly a Bride by Kasey Michaels, which was recommended by DA a few months ago, and I gotta say it is every bit as good as they said it would be. Loved it, can’t wait to read the next one.

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  2. RebeccaJ
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 14:00:51

    I was suffering from an SD heroine overdose and had been avoiding the books religiously for quite awhile now. I hate the way the female leads are usually something the male lead wipes their feet on…after they get them pregnant. So I was THRILLED when I read Elizabeth Bevarly’s The Billionaire Gets His Way. Granted the idea behind the novel was a tad weird but the female lead was so good that I didn’t care. Violet Tandy wrote a FICTION novel about a woman who was a call girl and the press *winkwink* kept insisting it was a thinly disguised nonfiction novel with Violet as the woman in question. The goofy part was that a grown man actually threatened to sue because he was certain that he was one of the men a chapter was based on and it was ruining his social life, even though important parts of his life that were in the book were never revealed to anyone! Paranoid, much? Yeah, odd but the book really worked. I was thrilled to read an SD with a smart, sassy and sexy female lead! Great job, Elizabeth:)

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  3. LG
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 14:02:08

    I read Sea Change by Darlene Marshall, enjoyed it a lot, and am debating getting the rest of her books while ARe still has their Amber Quill Press rebate going. Decisions, decisions.

    I also read Some Kind of Magic by R. Cooper. I bought it against my better judgment, after having read a few worrisome Goodreads reviews – I think I got it because it starred a werewolf and a half-fairy and sounded like it might be cute. It was better than I feared, but the people who said it was confusing were so very right. One of the characters is named Cal, and is thought of and referred to as Cal by Ray, the main character – until Ray suddenly starts calling him and thinking of him as Parker (Cal’s last name). From then on, sometimes the character is Cal and sometimes he’s Parker. To make matters worse, Cal’s father’s name is Calvin. Calvin comes up before it’s mentioned that “Cal” is not short for “Calvin,” but rather Callalily. All of that made it a harder book to read than it should have been. Thank goodness most authors take better care when naming their characters.

    Other than that, I haven’t read much in the way of novels, just lots of manga. I figure my novel reading will pick up again, now that I’m no longer near a nice source of free manga (a large public library).

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  4. Kim in Hawaii
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 14:09:09

    Just finished Gwyn Cready’s A NOVEL SEDUCTION. It is a a fun parody of romance books at the same time it is a loving tribute. It references most romance tropes … and it works! Must read for the month (publishes October 25).

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  5. Jayne
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 14:15:51

    @E.D. Walker: Great! Glad you enjoyed it. “A Bride After All” is the next in the series and I liked it just as much as “Suddenly a Bride.”

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  6. Jennifer Estep
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 14:49:01

    I’m looking forward to Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins. I also want to check out The Goblin King by Shona Husk. I’m in the mood to read some holiday books too. Anyone have any recommendations there, especially for westerns or contemporaries?

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  7. Darlynne
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 14:56:36

    I’m buying what seems like quite a few books lately–the discounted and/or reasonably-priced titles recommended here and at SBTB–but haven’t started any of them yet. Hopefully, Devon Monk’s Magic on the Line (for which I will gladly pay full price) will jump start my interest on November 1.

    From the library, I have Sara Gran’s Claire DeWitt and the City of the Dead, a sometimes confusing post-Katrina mystery, and Erin Morgenstern’s The Night Circus, for which I have high hopes. I’m listening to The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan and enjoying it for all that it seems a little predictable.

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  8. Ros
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 17:10:32

    I am waiting EXTREMELY IMPATIENTLY for the India Grey book due out this month as the second part of her paired books. I loved Craving the Forbidden and can’t wait for more of Kit and Sophie.

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  9. farmwifetwo
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 18:27:20

    I have pre-ordered Meljean Brooke’s next steampunk, have a HUGE still “on order” list at the library… wish they’d process books faster… and have hit a huge slump. Nothing appeals. Nothing new. Either overdone place/time PNR/fantasies, hero’s or heroine’s you want to yell at for being so stupid or boring… The best lately has been Carolyn Brown’s Love Drunk Cowboy and considering the number of “what was the author thinking….” moments in it… I still enjoyed it.

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  10. Mandi
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 18:52:01

    @Kim in Hawaii:

    I liked that one too. It was very light and cute.

    I’m almost done with The Virtuoso by Grace Burrowes..this is the first I’ve read of her and I like her voice. I’m going to have to go back and check out her previous books.

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  11. Las
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 19:45:29

    I read Courtney Milan’s Unclaimed. The first half was awesome–the hero was wonderful and I love heroines who refuse to be martyrs. And then the second half happened and the heroine started martyring herself all over the place to make up for her actions in the first half. And THEN the end happened and she forgave certain people way too easily. Overall a hugely disappointing ending to a story featuring such wonderful characters.

    I also read Jill Sorenson’s Tempted by his Target. I really liked reading the h/h’s interactions but the story just didn’t work for me. I don’t even know why–there was nothing specifically that bothered me.

    I finally read Willing Victim by Cara McKenna. I really liked it but I felt that the emotional connection between the characters came out of nowhere. I would have liked the story to be longer for that reason.

    I just finished Kate Noble’s Revealed. I have no idea how or when this book ended up in my TBR but I’m glad it was there. A rich, independent, popular heroine without a care in the world who actually enjoys her life instead of feeling sorry for herself over her privileged existence? I didn’t even know those existed in romance!

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  12. Jane
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 20:19:13

    @LG

    – I think I got it because it starred a werewolf and a half-fairy and sounded like it might be cute

    Man, why didn’t I think of those ratings for DA. I wonder what the half-fairy translates into.

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  13. Jane
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 20:20:27

    @Jennifer Estep I really liked the Carina Press Xmas anthology with Alison Kent, HelenKay Dimon, Shannon Stacey and Jaci Burton. The stories are obviously short-ish but that is probably all the Christmas spirit I can take.

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  14. Jane
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 20:20:57

    @Ros I liked it but it features a completely different emotional conflict and one that I really hadn’t seen coming.

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  15. Shannon
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 20:58:36

    @Ros @ Jayne

    I’ve been devouring Sarah Morgan, Amy Andrews and India Grey after recommendations on this site (thank you), and enjoyed Craving the Forbidden, which reminded me quite a lot of Susan Napier’s The Love Conspiracy. That SN’s is so superior even as IG’s is fantastic (and so superior in turn to the majority of Presents books) just floors me.

    I would appreciate more recommendations along those lines — in both Presents and Medical. I saw that Jayne (I think) likes Michelle Reid, but I can’t even read a back blurb of hers without cringing. Which kills me because another favorite of yours (as far as I can tell from stalking your archives :), is my all-time favorite (as you can guess) Susan Napier. I would apologize that it sounds like I take my romance reading way too seriously, but as I am commenting on a site devoted to reviewing romance, I’m probably okay. :)

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  16. Shannon
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 21:00:49

    Sorry, that should have been @Jane.

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  17. Treasure
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 21:57:27

    I read J.L. langleys werewolf series, and really loved them. Cute fast books decent plots and charming characters.

    I also tried Coyote’s Creed: Broken Mirrors by a newer author Vaughn Demont. For a new author it’s a nice 1st attempt and a decent world build. But I’ve struggled to finish the book, something just isn’t working for me. I’d be interested to see comment from any one else on Coyote’s Creed

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  18. Jane
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 23:20:16

    @Shannon I do love Michelle Reid but she isn’t the same type of writer that Susan Napier is. Have you tried Caitlin Crews?

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  19. Amy
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 23:52:10

    I’ve been on a hunt for a new paranormal romance writer to follow, so I’ve read over a dozen new novels in recent weeks. Most of the stories are pretty blah and disappointing. I enjoyed the Dragon series by G.A. Aiken, and I look forward to the next Dragon book. Among the worst was Eternal Hearts by Jennifer Turner. It has the weepiest female lead EVER!! Toni cried or had tears in her eyes every other page (or it felt that way); the male tears up a few times, too, for no good reason IMO. I just searched “tears” on my Kindle and it appears 53 times (during roughly 3 days in the life of the characters.). It was so irritating that I sort of lost interest in the story by about a quarter of the way into the book. But I had a sick interest in seeing just how often Toni could cry, so I continued to the end. Ugh. What a waste of my time.

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  20. Amy
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 00:03:46

    I forgot to mention that I also just finished reading Jeannie Lin’s books, and I really liked The Dragon and the Pearl. (Ms. Lin’s other books ranged from meh to okay for me.) I agree with many reviewers that the ending was a bit disappointing, but I think that resolution (with the old man) could have worked if the book had another 20-30 pages devoted to seeing the old man as he is now. I loved the interaction between the h/h; I really believed they were falling in love with each other as the story progressed. That aspect of the novel reminded me a bit of Jo Goodman’s h/hs. And the entire setting reminded me of the old wuxia movies; it was a refreshing change from traditional mass market historical fictions.

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  21. library addict
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 00:39:14

    For November I am looking forward to The Next Always by Nora Roberts, Real Men Will by Victoria Dahl, Razor’s Edge by Shannon K Butcher, ”Kissing Santa Claus” in the Small Town Christmas anthology by Jill Shalvis and others, Head Over Heals by Jill Shalvis, Because of You by Jessica Scott, and SEAL of My Dreams by Cindy Gerard, Kylie Brant, Leslie Kelly, etc.

    I am currently reading Victoria Dahl’s Good Girls Don’t. I also read the trilogy’s prequel novella Just One Taste but thought the hero was a real jerk for lying to the heroine so it will be interesting to see if he can redeem himself in his full-length novel.

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  22. Lexie Exile
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 01:07:56

    I just finished THE NIGHT CIRCUS which I approached with much trepidation as it was billed as the next Harry Potter/ Twilight. Ignoring the chapter leads which are second person (Ugh!) I managed to finish the book. It lacked JKr’s intimacy – I always felt removed and somewhat unconcerned about the characters. It is much MUCH better written than Twilight.It was okay…perhaps I would have liked it more if I hadn’t had so much build-up. In the end, it is a parnormal romance but not very romantic.

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  23. Mikaela
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 03:53:08

    I have been reading a lot of library books lately, since I am on a book budget. A lot of Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.
    I finished Hounded by Kevin Hearne a couple of days ago and it was a good read. Not sure if I’ll buy the next one, though.
    Next I plan to read the Vinart War by Laura Anne Gilman back to back.

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  24. Marsha
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 05:41:45

    @Jennifer Estep:

    Jennifer, just last night I created a list of all the holiday anthologies (and some standalone novels) that I could find. I’m SUCH a dork for those things – I’m sure you’re much more normal than I. Even so, I’m happy to share my enthusiasm. I’m not at that computer at the moment to access the list, but I’ll see if I can find a way to get it to you via your site.

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  25. Marsha
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 05:44:45

    Back on topic, I’ve been enjoying Victoria Dahl’s latest series and am eagerly awaiting the concluding book to arrive – I think it’s this or next week.

    I liked Unclaimed, too, as so many others have. I would have liked it more, I think, had the heroine held a grudge at the end against one person in particular.

    Other than than these, I’ve started reading cookbooks again because there’s been a wee bit of a romance dry spell lately. Here’s hoping things pick up soon!

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  26. farmwifetwo
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 07:47:03

    @Amy: Amy, I don’t know if you know, but GA Aiken is also Shelly Laurenston. I have “What a dragon should know” being shipped from Chapters and then I’ll own everything she’s written so far. Love her world building.

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  27. Joy
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 07:58:04

    I’ve been–I’d say dipping my toes in but it’s more like a full dive into the deep end of m/m romance. My current favorites are _Bear, Otter, and the Kid_ by T.J. Clune and _Where the Allegheny Meets the Monongahela_ by Felicia Watson.

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  28. cead
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 08:10:00

    Is anyone else getting tired of books in which the entire romance takes place over a period of less than a week? Lately it seems like everything I read that was published in the last few years has a romance running on a timetable so accelerated that I end up not really totally believing it. It’s one thing when the h/h have known each other for a while, or when they’re stuck in some sort of harrowing situation, but quite often neither of these is the case; the couple just moves from meeting to living together in a few days, with many of their internal issues solved to boot.

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  29. Annabel
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 08:29:33

    I hit a wall this month with irritating, brassy heroines. I started four historicals in a row where the heroine turned me off so badly by the end of the first chapter I couldn’t keep reading. They were just very sour and over-the-top antagonistic toward the hero. I don’t know if I’m burnt out on romance or just had a bad run of heroines.

    Can anyone suggest a good historical with a mellow heroine? I would appreciate any recs!

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  30. Jennifer Estep
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 08:37:53

    @Jane: Thanks for the recommendation. I appreciate it.

    @Marsha: Thanks. I’d appreciate that. I also enjoy all the holiday rom-coms they have on TV. I always seem to get addicted to the Hallmark channel this time of year.

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  31. Jody W.
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 08:46:46

    Books I read this month that were definitely worth my time:

    Twenties Girl by Sophie Kinsella (big publisher)
    Behind the Scenes by Natalie Damschroder (small publisher)
    Seattle Girl by Lucy Kinkaid (self publisher)

    I think I had a “girl” theme going…

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  32. Kim
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 09:34:00

    I picked up my first ever Carly Phillips book, Serendipity, and enjoyed it. She’s written for years, but I never really heard much about her books.

    As others have commented, even though I liked Unclaimed by Courtney Milan, there were some plot points that missed the mark.Even though the book was about female empowerment, I felt the dueling scene came across as too modern for the times. Plus, the heroine’s age when she fell from grace was a bit young. She was a child at that age, not even a young woman.

    Finally, after some positive reviews, I tried Maya Banks’ historical, In Bed With a Highlander. I was disappointed and had many of the same reservations as DA_January had in her review. Some of the dialogue was a bit modern and a few plot devices were overused.

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  33. Jayne
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 09:37:52

    @cead: YES! I feel the same way. If the book has a HFN ending it works a little better for me but ‘a week to wedding bells’ is just too damn fast for me to believe.

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  34. Lorenda Christensen
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 10:39:09

    @Jennifer Estep:

    I tried to read the Goblin King, but couldn’t finish it. It wasn’t confusing…exactly, but it felt choppy and I kept thinking it read more like the second book in a series than a standalone. (And maybe it is, I have no idea.) Things kept happening in the book and all the characters kind of had this attitude like “yep, those are the rules” in the world-building, but I kept thinking “wait, you mean goblins do X?”

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  35. Annette
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 10:53:17

    I would love a rec for something with a lot of intense emotional interplay between the hero/heroine. I love darker stories with plenty of angst. My favorite sub-genre is historical. I don’t do contemporary unless the hero is military and I love heroes who are physically/emotionally wounded/scarred. My favorite romance authors are Kinsale and Balogh. I do prefer historical, any period before 1900. I prefer realistic stories/situations – not in the mood for paranormal or fantasy right now. Already read Gaffney’s THaTH – found it okay but didn’t hit all my buttons, not sure why. My absolutely favorite historical romance is Balogh’s The Secret Pearl. I love stories with honorable men who strive to do the right thing no matter what the personal cost.

    If anyone has any recs, I’d be very grateful.

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  36. Las
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 11:08:06

    @cead: I feel the same way. Is it a recent thing? It’s so prevalent that I feel like it’s always been that way.

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  37. Annette
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 11:18:49

    @Annabel:

    I’ve read plenty of Mary Balogh’s historicals, and I don’t think I’ve met a heroine of hers I didn’t like. I think Balogh writes realistically behaving characters, with the exception of an occasional too timid sort or a bit martyrish. But they’re never brassy or mean or irritating, IMO. The thing I love about Balogh is that I can always count on her characters (except for the villians) to be good people at the core who want to do the honorable thing, regardless of mistakes they may make.

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  38. Ros
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 11:28:27

    @Jane: Ooh, exciting! I’ve talked a bit with India and I think I might have an idea what’s coming…

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  39. Ros
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 11:30:03

    @Shannon: You might take a look at Abby Green and Lynn Raye Harris in Presents. I don’t read medicals but I know Sarah Morgan writes them, and I’m sure her medicals are as good as her Presents.

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  40. Jill Sorenson
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 11:31:44

    I read an erotic contemporary novella, Hearts in Darkness by Laura Kaye. The writing is rough around the edges and kind of hero-centric, but I liked the characters.

    Also really enjoyed The Proposition by Judith Ivory.

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  41. Ros
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 11:32:57

    @Annabel: I’ve just glommed my way through a lovely historical trilogy by Louise Allen. I liked all three heroines, but the second and third would both perfectly suit your description as ‘mellow’. They’re called Seduced by the Scoundrel and Married to a Stranger (the first in the series is Ravished by a Rake). Unfortunately they’re not due out in the US until next year but you could try buying them from the UK Mills and Boon website now.

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  42. Ros
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 11:34:42

    @Annette: Haha! I was just about to point you to this comment and then I realised it was you.

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  43. Jennifer Estep
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 11:50:36

    @Lorenda Christensen: Thanks for the info. I think this is the first book in the series, but I may check out the prequel story and see if I like it.

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  44. Janine
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 12:11:17

    @Annette: Hi Annette — Jayne brought your comment to my attention, no doubt because we have somewhat similar tastes. Kinsale is one of my absolute favorite romance authors, and I also enjoy Balogh a lot, especially her early and mid-career books.

    While my favorite theme is more along the lines of redemption, I also enjoy the type of story you like, about good men trying to do the right thing. Here are some recs for you. These are mostly older books because for some reason that type of book is harder to find today.

    Historicals:

    I know you tried To Have and to Hold, but have you read Gaffney’s To Love and to Cherish or Wild at Heart yet? I think they may be closer to what you are looking for.

    Eva Ibbotson — start with A Countess Below Stairs and if that one appeals, try her others.

    Carla Kelly’s One Good Turn might be perfect, but it’s probably good to start with Libby’s London Merchant (though it isn’t as angsty) for the background on the hero.

    Scandal and Indiscreet by Carolyn Jewel

    Have you read Balogh’s Snow Angel or Longing yet?

    Mary Jo Putney — my personal favorite is Uncommon Vows, but the Fallen Angel series might work better for you — I’m thinking specifically of Dancing on the Wind, Angel Rogue, Shattered Rainbows and One Perfect Rose. Most of these have good men struggling to do the right thing.

    Anything by LaVyrle Spencer, but perhaps especially Morning Glory.

    His Lordship’s Mistress by Joan Wolf

    Lastly in this category, I’m only hesitant because they are my critique partners, but I think you might like Meredith Duran and Sherry Thomas (esp. Delicious and Not Quite a Husband with the latter).

    And in other genres…

    Contemporaries: Anything by Kathleen Gilles Seidel. All her men are good and have some struggles to do the right thing. Most of her books aren’t super-angsty, I think Till the Stars Fall might be the angstiest. But they are almost all complex and thought-provoking, with characters that feel very real.

    Fantasy and Paranormal: Patricia Briggs’ Alpha and Omega series, but please, please, start with the novella “Alpha and Omega,” available on its own electronically for $2.99 or as part of the anthology On the Prowl. Only after you have read this, read the first novel in the series, Cry Wolf.

    Sharon Shinn — She has such great heroes. I especially recommend her angel/Samaria series and would read them in this order:

    Archangel
    Angel-Seeker
    Jovah’s Angel
    The Alleluia Files
    Angelica

    Heart of Gold and the sequel novella in Quatrain, “Blood,” are also great, and I’m very fond of Wrapt in Crystal as well. Oh, and book 3 of the Twelve Houses series, Dark Moon Defender.

    Also, Shana Abe’s books in the drakon series are very angsty, but her heroes tend to be more morally ambiguous. I still recommend the whole series though — she reminds me a lot of Kinsale. ETA: These are historical paranormals.

    If you like mysteries, I think the Sebastian St. Cyr series by C.S. Harris might also appeal.

    Also a mainstream book I adore about a romance between two teenagers (though written for adults) is Tabitha King’s One on One the hero — only a teenage boy but truly heroic — reminds me a lot of Kinsale’s heroes.

    In the YA category, let me recommend Jellicoe Road by Melina Marchetta. Super-angsty!

    That’s probably a long enough list — I hope you find something you like on it!

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  45. Shannon
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 12:11:55

    @Jane. Yes, I tried CC after reviews here of the Lucas Wolfe and Katrakis books, both of which I enjoyed, but then I read her pure princess and wanted to stab someone.

    @Ros. Thanks–I’ll check out AG and LRH.

    If the conflict in the sequel to Craving the Forbidden includes them thinking for awhile that they’re siblings, I quit.

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  46. Laura
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 12:28:05

    I’m looking forward to Drink Deep by Chloe Neill (November 1).

    I’ve read some great reviews for Darynda Jones’ series, so I think I’ll buy the first book in the series, First Grave on the Right. It’s out in mass market on November 29th.

    I also think I’ll try a new urban fantasy by a new (I think) author because the reviews have been really good: The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams.

    I haven’t read my copy of Meljean Brook’s Iron Duke yet so I’m going to wait to see whether Heart of Steel will be published in mass market form. Iron Duke is out as a mass market next year.

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  47. Annabel
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 12:58:00

    @Annette–I do love Balogh’s heroines. I’ve read just about all her stuff, lol. But thank you for the rec, and to @Ros also! That’s a new author to me, I’ll check her out.

    And Annette, last year I started reading some of Judith McNaught’s books and they really scratched my itch for hardcore emotional interplay between the h/h. Whitney my Love and Almost Heaven come to mind right off the bat. They’re not recent but maybe they’ll suit you?

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  48. Praxidike
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 13:34:07

    @Lexie Exile: Let me recommend that you check out “The Magicians” by Lev Grossman if you’re looking for a Harry Potter-type book. It’s like HP, except with drugs and sex, and the entire trilogy was excellent. I’m not sure if it’s technically YA or not, but I read all three books in the space of a week. Couldn’t put my kindle down.

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  49. Annette
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 14:32:05

    @Janine:

    Oh wow, Janine – you all are wonderful here! You sure went above and beyond to help me here. And thank you to Jayne for the referral to you. Yes, we do seem to have very similar taste. I love redemption stories too, though some of that depends on what the person needs redemption from. This is an excellent list. I was just going through your old post on If You Like Laura Kinsale.., which Ros pointed out to me earlier today. Excellent stuff.

    I’m so excited now to decide which I’ll read next! Another friend recommended Carla Kelly as well, though she recommended The Surgeon’s Lady. I’m going to hit this list on line and decide. Thank you so much.

    I love this blog.

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  50. Jane
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 14:33:45

    @Shannon Ha ha ha. No, that is not the conflict. I can’t remember the Pure Princess one but based on the fact that I don’t remember it, I am guessing I didn’t love it.

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  51. Annette
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 14:35:16

    @Annabel:

    I’ve never read Judith McNaught, Annabel. And I definitely don’t need recent stuff. There’s a lot of stuff from the past that I haven’t read yet. Will check her out. Yeah, isn’t Balogh wonderful?

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  52. brokenglass
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 14:45:33

    @RebeccaJ: Sorry,but what does SD stand for?

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  53. Janine
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 16:08:32

    @Annette: I hope my recs work out for you! Not all of them are as angsty as Kinsale, but most have the good men struggling to do the right thing trope. And if you haven’t read Carla Kelly yet, that’s something she does really well.

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  54. Sabrina
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 17:04:44

    Kind of off topic but I came here to DA for a rec and thought I’d let everyone know in case someone can use it.
    I have one of the Special Offers Kindle and just happened to look at the offers:
    “Get a Kindle book from a list of thousands for $1,
    sponsored by Anonymous”.
    You only get one book but there are a lot of books to choose from, some older, some newer. I am still looking but I swear all of Nora Roberts’ books from way back are all on there.
    If you have a Special Offers Kindle it’s worth a look!
    Now just to decide what I want to read…

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  55. Ros
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 17:19:00

    @Jane, @Shannon Caitlin Crews is a bit hit or miss for me. When she gets it right, she gets it really, really right, but some of her books don’t work for me at all. There’s a recent pair which I didn’t like: Heiress Behind the Headlines and The Replacement Wife. But I loved the Disgraced/Shameless Playboy and Majesty, Mistress, Missing Heir.

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  56. John
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 17:27:19

    @Annabel: I read Whitney, My Love last year as well. It’s one of my favorite romances now. Isn’t the angst just wonderful?

    @Annette: I second McNaught. She has an extensive backlist of historicals that are thick and good for some great reading – although I actually sped through the 600+ pages of Whitney, My Love in two days. That one in particular is old skool in some aspects, but McNaught just captures you.

    @Praxidike: The Magicians is actually an adult series – hence the advertisements of HP with sex and drugs and stuff – but I’ve heard it can work in a YA setting as well. (Also, I love your Avatar. Jem and the Holograms is excellent.)

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  57. Teresa
    Oct 24, 2011 @ 19:20:50

    Just finished Devil’s Cub by Georgette Heyer. Alpha hero and quiet heroine. I loved it. It’s a recommend for those who enjoyed Lisa Kleypas’ Devil in Winter.

    Carolyn Linden’s I Love the Earl and A Rake’s Guide to Seduction were enjoyable. Rake is a second chance at love story and had a depth to it that was unexpected. I Love the Earl is nice novella and prequel to a series.

    I’m looking forward to Maljean Brooks’ Heart of Steel.

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  58. Annette
    Oct 25, 2011 @ 00:10:14

    @John:

    Thanks, John. I just bought Whitney, My Love and A Kingdom of Dreams.

    Also Jewel’s Scandal and Putney’s Uncommon Vows Can’t wait to start reading!

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  59. MaryK
    Oct 25, 2011 @ 00:51:01

    @Shannon: You might try Annie West. I really liked the hero in Scandal: His Majesty’s Love-Child and I liked how the external obstacle to their relationship was resolved.

    I’m a Susan Napier fangirl and India Grey is an autobuy.

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  60. Ros
    Oct 25, 2011 @ 08:08:02

    @Shannon, another person who just occurred to me that you might enjoy is Anne McAllister. Her older books are very dated in feel, but the stuff she’s writing at the moment is lovely.

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  61. Randi
    Oct 25, 2011 @ 10:04:16

    @Annabel: Try Michelle Martin and/or Julie Ann Long. Both write really sweet historical romances, with really interesting and realistic characters. Julie Ann Long tends to take some interesting risks w/ her characters (one of her heros is a bit slow) and with her settings (one takes place in the US in the nineteen teens). Michelle Martin tends to have her h/h become friends first. I believe the heroines of both authors would fill your “mellow” need.

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  62. Annabel
    Oct 25, 2011 @ 11:47:55

    Thanks for the recs, Randi! Off to Amazon to check them out.

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  63. Estara
    Oct 25, 2011 @ 13:50:13

    I REALLY enjoyed Michelle Sagara West’s newest Kaylin novel, Cast in Ruin which was released last month – fans of the series will not be disappointed but it’s not a book to start the series.

    Sherwood Smith’s Blood Spirits was a huge improvement in the way the heroine acted in comparison to Coronets & Steel for me, the other characters and the fictitious East European sleepy principality of Dobrenica and it’s myths and magic were spot on even in the first one. It has some more duels (some for competition, some for threat purposes) and an eerie take on the vampire myth. SS said she was inspired by the Prisoner of Zenda story for these novels. Full disclosure: I may be biased because I am name-checked in the Acknowlegements of Blood Spirits.

    I’m looking forward to reading Tanya Huff’s The Wild Ways, the follow-up to the Enchantment Emporium, which is urban fantasy a la de Lint or Bull – with a romance story thrown in.

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  64. Randi
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 10:35:37

    @Annabel: Do you have a paperbackswap.com account? If so, I recommend just ordering a couple from both authors. I don’t even have any specific title recs, because I haven’t been disappointed in any of my picks, and they were all random. I will note that the blurbs are very anemic and do not, AT ALL, reflect the awesomeness of the writing.

    BTW-I hope you come back and let me know if you liked, or not, Long and Martin. :)

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  65. Randi
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 10:36:47

    @Estara: Thank you for mentioning the new Tanya Huff book!!! I had no idea and I was thoroughly entertained by the Emporium series. Yay!

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  66. DianeN
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 14:09:32

    @Annette–I’m seconding (thirding?) Carla Kelly. My favorite is The Surgeon’s Lady. I particularly love the utter lack of dukes in her books, and this one, which is a devastating look into a military hospital during wartime, is just amazing. The other 2 books in the series are excellent as well.

    As for what I’m most looking forward to in November– without question it’s Jo Bourne’s The Black Hawk. I’ve been an Adrian fangirl throughout the series, and I did some serious pouting when I heard she didn’t plan to give him his own book. Well, either my source was wrong or she changed her mind, because it’ll be on my nook next Tuesday!

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  67. Randi
    Oct 26, 2011 @ 15:38:57

    @Annabel: Addendum: Pamela Morsi is the author who did the “slow” hero (Simple Jess is the title) and I think she also did the one that takes place in the nineteen teens. HOWEVER, that does NOT negate my rec for Julie Ann Long; it simply adds another author that I think has heronies you might like. :)

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  68. Laura P
    Nov 14, 2011 @ 10:15:41

    I just read “Embrace the Highland Warrior” by Anita Clenney.

    “When the powerful demon that left Shay for dead discovers her empty grave, he comes seeking retribution, believing she possesses an ancient book he has sought for centuries. Knowing she can’t fight the demon alone, Shay returns to her clan and the Scottish Warrior who betrayed her…the only man she’s ever loved, where she discovers that betrayal isn’t always what it seems. Sometimes it’s far worse.” (excerpt from bookcover)

    If you haven’t read the author’s first book, “Awaken the Highland Warrior”, then I highly recommend you run out right now and get a copy along with a copy of “Embrace the Highland Warrior”.
    Anita Clenney has done it again with this second book in the series. You can read “Embrace the Highland Warrior” without reading the first book; but it is so much better if you are already familiar with the characters and the general theme. I won’t go into detail and spoil the goods for anyone who hasn’t yet read the books.
    The characters are well developed – I feel like they are friends I have known for years. I love how she introduced most of the characters in the first book and then brought them all back in this second book. We get to know some of them even better in “Embrace The Highland Warrior”… and believe me….you will love them all!!!!
    What’s not to love about sexy highland warriors fighting evil demons and vampires. Throw in some strong heroines, a little mystery and just the right amount of romance… and you have a winner!

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