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. Rosie
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 13:41:19

    I’m looking forward to Courtney Milan’s Unclaimed; Anne Mallory’s In Total Surrender; and Jane Graves’ Heartstrings and Diamond Rings. I’ve been in a major reading slump so I hope these books I’ve been waiting for help me get my reading mojo back.

  2. Jan
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 14:21:52

    After reading the excellent Downside Ghosts series this summer I was in a bit of a book blues. Read a couple of nice romances, but nothing that really blew my socks.

    Now I’ve recently read the entire Foreigner series by CJ Cherryh. It’s sci-fi, not romance, although it is about relationships of any kind, and what humans emotionally need is one of the plot threads. But damn, these books were glorious.

    So now I’m back to the book-blues, because after reading something mindblowing, everything always pales in comparison.

    Anyway, I’ll keep an eye on this thread to see what others enjoyed, so maybe I’ll find something good.

  3. Statch
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 14:29:44

    I’ve been glomming Harlequin Treasury backlists lately, and one of the authors I’m most happy to have discovered is Cathy Williams. I had never heard of her before, but she’s written a lot of Harlequins, and she’s just a lovely writer.

    I particularly enjoy her “heros,” who tend to be alpha businessmen, but with a twist. The heroine is not the type of woman they want to be attracted to, but they are, and they’re completely bewildered by having real feelings. They make mistakes, do stupid things, and come close to losing the relationship altogether, but of course always have that “aha” moment in the end.

    Even though her storylines tend to have a formula, she also varies the settings, occupations, and reasons for conflict in interesting ways. Merger By Matrimony is a great example.

    If anyone out there is familiar with her books, and can recommend another, similar Harlequin writer, I’d love to hear about it. For reference, my auto-buy Harlequin authors include Sarah Morgan, Lynne Graham, India Grey, Lucy Monroe, Susan Napier, Helen Brooks, Nina Harrington, Marion Lennox, Kelly Hunter.

  4. Ros
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 14:42:45

    Statch, you might try adding Abby Green and Sandra Marton to that list.

  5. Jorrie Spencer
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 14:58:56

    I’m all excited about a YA book I just read, The Demon’s Lexicon by Sarah Rees Brennan. I haven’t been this hyped about a book for a long time. It’s Urban Fantasy, first of a series, and I’ll definitely be picking up the next book—although with some trepidation since I have so much love for this one. The book is about two brothers in a world of demons and magic, though there are other relationships. And it’s just really GOOD :)

    (Guess I wanted to emphasize that. The last time I was so excited about a book was when I read the first two Adrien English books. Before that, Fallen From Grace by Laura Leone. Not to say these books have much in common, apart from my interest.)

  6. JL
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 15:06:08

    @Jorrie Spencer:

    I love love love the Demon’s Lexicon, but in my opinion, the Demon’s Covenant is actually much better. I literally started re-reading it the minute I finished the last page. Since the third and final book is already out, it’s a good time to dive into that series.

  7. Loosheesh
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 15:06:51

    @Ros: I love Abby Green, and decided I really liked Sandra Marton after reading the Orsini Brothers series. I like most of those Statch listed, especially Lucy Monroe, Helen Brooks and I’m getting to love Kelly Hunter. Two other favorites are Michelle Reid and Emma Darcy. I like Julia James for angst but she tends to overdo it.

    For October, I’m looking forward to Thea Harrison’s Serpent’s Kiss (though not as excited as when Storm’s Heart was releasing).

  8. JB Hunt
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 15:12:59

    I’m looking forward to the latest from Courtney Milan (Unclaimed), Victoria Dahl (Bad Boys Do), and Jill Shalvis (Animal Attraction).

    Then the end of the month — well okay, technically Nov. 1 — brings two long-awaited series installments: Jo Bourne’s The Black Hawk and Meljean Brook’s steampunk Heart of Steel.

  9. Darlynne
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 15:22:58

    Number me among the “slumpees” lately. I may be the only person who didn’t care for Jennifer Estep’s Spider’s Bite because how many times do I have to read “gray on gold” and “gold on gray”? I get it, I got it the first 1,000 mentions of their eyes.

    So somehow I stumbled on Sandman Slim by Richard Kadrey and he had me at the first two sentences:

    I wake up on a pile of smoldering garbage and leaves in the old Hollywood Forever cemetery behind the Paramount Studio lot on Melrose, though those details don’t come to me until later. Right now all I know is that I’m back in the world and I’m on fire.

    First person, present tense, the hitman from Hell has come back to LA and I think I’m in love. Let’s hope it holds up.

  10. Chelsea
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 15:25:55

    @Darlynne: Yeah, that book is in my TBR!

    Add me to the list of people excited to read the new Courtney Milan!

  11. Michelle
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 15:33:43

    Mercedes Lackey has 2 books coming out. One of her 500 kingdom books-Beauty and the Werewolf, and Changes book 3 of the Collegium Chronicles. Katie MacAlister also has one of her vamp books coming out-Much Ado about Vampires.

  12. LG
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 16:12:17

    I finished Kim Dare’s Duck! not too long ago and was surprised to find my dislike of it puts me in the minority. However, the few people I’ve been able to find who also disliked it disliked it for many of the same reasons I did, so apparently I’m not completely crazy.

    I just started Tamara Allen’s The Only Gold today and was so upset that I had to put it down to go to work. I’m enjoying it very much and am glad I paid attention to a recommendation I spotted in a DA comment a while back, because the cover would never have prompted me to look twice at it.

  13. Julie
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 16:13:59

    @Statch You really should try Melanie Milburne, Kate Hewitt, Maggie Cox, Catherine George and Kate Walker, who write for Harlequin Presents. I also recommend Abby Green, who is another terrific writer and there’s a new author Natasha Tate making her debut in October. I read her debut when it was released in the UK and it’s brilliant.

    If you like Kelly Hunter’s books, I recommend Natalie Anderson, Nicola Marsh, Heidi Rice and Lucy King.

    Similar to Nina Harrington and Marion Lennox are Liz Fielding, Fiona Harper and Lucy Gordon.

  14. Jenna
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 16:30:35

    I’m looking to Awake at Dawn by C.C. Hunter. It’s a YA paranormal and book 2 in the Shadow Falls series. I’ve been waiting for it ever since I read Born at Midnight a few months ago.

  15. Lindsey
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 16:35:10

    Count me among those who are in a reading slump right now. I’ve mostly been rereading some of my favorite authors. It looks like it’s going to continue, though, because the only book I have on my to-buy list for October is the Angels of Darkness anthology. If anyone can recommend any good, lesser known urban fantasy series (I’m on a UF kick right now), I’d love to hear about it.

    However, I did just start reading Frost Moon, which was a Kindle freebie a short while back, and it’s good, but I can’t help but feel so far that the MC was originally written as a man, and was changed into a woman when the author realized that there was such a large market for urban fantasy with a female as a MC. Just something about the perspective that feels very…male. Granted, it WAS written by a man, so I supped hat could account for it.

  16. Tina
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 16:50:18

    September was a slow month reading-wise for me because this summer I discovered Fringe and have been marathoning three seasons in preparation for season 4. Talk about clever, mind-blowing and tightly written! anyway onto the books:

    I had a few highly anticipated reads that released in this past month.

    The best:
    The Dragon Who Loved Me By G.A. Aiken. This series is wonderful. And this installment just adds to the story arc in awesome ways. G.A. Aiken is one of the few buy-and-read-on-the-first-day-of-release authors left for me.

    Hearts in Disguise By Laura Kaye. I think this was kindle freebie, otherwise I am not sure why I would have it. It is a short story/novella. Two people get stuck in a pitch black elevator. I loved the way the story played out. I thought the voice of the author was great. Reminded me of how I felt when I first read Willing Victim by Cara McKenna or Liberating Lacy By Ann Calhoun. I just felt like I found someone who wrote intelligent romantica and whose works I’d look forward to looking for again.

    Archangel’s Blade by Nalini Singh. I haven’t been as impressed with books #2 & #3 in this series as I was with the first book. But this one raised the bar again.

    Others worth mentioning:

    Light’s Out by Ruthie Robinson. A newish author whose writing and work is incredibly polished. Doesn’t feel like she’s new. Her first book Reye’s Gold was excellent. This book is a follow up from that one and features a minor character from that book who made an impression.

    New York to Dallas Kind of a disappointment. I am not one who thinks this series needs to end necessarily. The hybrid of mystery-police prodcedural-romance and can sustain a long life — as long as Robb can keep the cases feeling fresh. Unfortunately this one doesn’t. Once again we get a psycho with mommy issues. She’s been to that well tons of times in the series. Also I thought the major reveal in the middle of the book was far-fetched. but the procedural part was still solid.

  17. Lynne Connolly
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 17:01:43

    I wouldn’t put any Harlequin author on an autobuy list. Some of them are soooo good, but sometimes they are pushed a bit too hard, or their editors edit a book to death, so they lost it with that book. Or they’re just a bit tired.
    But this was the month I discovered Kathleen O’Reilly. I so enjoyed her “Just” trilogy. Quirky, believable characters, and a great style. She writes for Blaze.

  18. Mireya
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 17:28:10

    I finished reading Grace Burrowes “Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish” and loved it. I have Courtney Milan’s “Unclaimed” all lined up to start either tonight or tomorrow. In my list for October I have “A Beginner’s Guide to Rakes” by Suzanne Enoch, “Angels of Darkness” (anthology), “Scandalous Desires” by Elizabeth Hoyt, “Much Ado About Vampires” by Katie MacAlister, “The Bite Before Christmas” by Lynsay Sands, “Serpent’s Kiss” by Thea Harrison and “The Norse King’s Daughter” by Sandra Hill. I am also going to re-read “The Oxford Book of Victorian Ghost Stories” a personal Halloween favorite of mine. I am now making a list of holiday-themed books, as Grace Burrowes’ novel really got me in the mood.

  19. rebeccaj
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 17:28:51

    I used to love Sandra Marton’s books. Haven’t read one in a long time though.

    I recently started reading the Harlequin Romance line and it’s a nice change. It’s not as sexually explicit as the other lines I was reading like HAR and Harlequin Spec Ed, but I find I’m enjoying the emphasis being more on the romance and growing relationship than the sex scenes, which lately I find myself skimming through anyway:).

  20. rebeccaj
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 17:30:25

    BTW, has anyone read hex books? Are they like chick lit with the obvious difference or are they more serious romances? I saw them online and was curious about them, but I wanted to get a few opinions first.

  21. DM
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 17:35:27

    I was pleasantly surprised by the Harlequin freebie The Inconvenient Duchess, by Christine Merrill. It’s the first Regency-set historical I haven’t skimmed in a long time. If I had to say why this book worked for me better than much of what is on the shelves right now, I would say that the tensions in the relationship drove the story, rather than the generic Regency tropes. Yes, the hero and heroine marry to avoid a scandal, but that happens in the first few chapters of the book, and then it is all about the hero and heroine coming to understand one another. I’ve read a few too many books lately where the threat of scandal drove almost every plot point. I might be alone in this, but as a modern reader I often find that unless the author is extraordinarily skillful, scandal plots can feel trivial. A hero and heroine so afraid of the opinion of a narrow slice of privileged society can be tough to root for, unless the author really makes them live and breathe as unique characters. I’ll definitely try another Merrill.

  22. Jorrie Spencer
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 17:36:33

    @JL Well, I can’t wait to see what The Demon’s Covenant does with this world! (I’m actually rereading The Demon’s Lexicon and I am not a rereader.)

  23. Jan
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 17:49:05

    Sidenote: Just read the new excerpt for Tangle of Need on Nalini Singhs website, and I think some Shifter Romance might get me out of my slump. Still a bit sad that Jem isn’t the heroine in this book though.

    Anyway, any good Shifter recs? Loved Nalini’s, Alpha & Omega, Shelly Laurenston. Don’t care much for Cynthia Eden. Prefer romance over Urban Fantasy. Tips?

    Oh, forgot this in my first post, but I am looking forward to Ragnar and Juliet by Lucy Woodhull, which recently released. And it has a lovely barbie doll trailer :) ( )

  24. Lynnd
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 18:54:01

    I am really looking forward to Michelle Sagara’s Cast in Ruin, Courtney Milan’s Unclaimed and Thea Harrison’s Serpent’s Kiss this month. Carrie Lofty’s Flawless also sounds interesting.

  25. Dana S
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 19:05:19

    I’ve been on a m/m reading spree lately and one author that keeps getting recommended to me is Josh Lanyon. I started reading Lanyon’s Adrien English series and the writing was nice enough, but a friend clued me into the cheating that takes place later, so I stopped reading. Which is my way of asking if there’s cheating in Lanyon’s other books because I’d love to try the author again, but now I’m a little wary of reading him.

  26. Las
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 19:23:59

    September was mostly “meh” in terms of romance. Two stand out reads, a few really bad ones, and the rest I forgot as soon as I got to the end.

    My favorite story by far was Jill Myles’ Wicked Games, which is making me reconsider my opinion on free/cheap reads. It was just fantastic–fun, sexy, and an awesome heroine. I liked her from the start, fell in love when she flipped everyone the bird, and wanted to marry her when she went into a rage and threw paint at the hero. I was a bit annoyed at the end when Myles made the hero way too perfect, but otherwise it was a great read.

    I also really enjoyed Bonnie Dee’s The Gentleman and Roque.

    Read and hated Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Blade. Out of all the ways to handle a hero with a dead first love, Nalini chose the absolute worst one. What was the point of giving Honor that whole tragic backstory if it wasn’t going to count for anything? I kept reading thinking, “Nah, no way is Nalini going there.” And then chapter 37 comes along and, yep, she went there. Two chapters left and I came really close to DNFing.

    I picked up Susan Andersen’s Baby I’m Yours because of all the amusing buzz, and I didn’t care for it. The story would have worked fine if it weren’t for the awful dialogue. How old were the characters supposed to be? Where were they from? When were the from? I actually started bookmarking every time I came across I really weird/annoying word or phrase, because WHO TALKS LIKE THAT?! WTF is “Jayzus?” Who says “Yowser?” Do people still call redheads “Red?” Do people still call others “brother” and “sister?” Oh, and fyi, anyone under the age of 70 who grew up in a neighborhood that had a problem with “street toughs” wouldn’t actually use the term “street toughs.” Trust me on that one.

    I got Jill Myles’ Island Heat based on a DA reviewer’s recommendation. I was looking for an easy fun, sexy romp and the wacky plot sounded appealing. Unfortunately, the story wasn’t all that sexy or fun, which meant I had to pay too much attention to the plot. I was ready to throw my Nook across the room when the saber-tooth cubs showed up.

    Cynthia Eden’s Deadly Heat was decent, but I thought the prose and some of the dialogue heavy-handed and melodramatic. Lots of 1-2 sentence paragraphs, things like that. I like dark reads so that wasn’t the issue.

    Not a romance, but I just started Death Trick by Richard Stevenson based on Sunita’s recommendation on her blog. Really enjoying it so far.

    I’m not sure what to read next month in terms of romance. The comments here remind me that Milan’s next book is coming, so I might read that (loved the first book in the series other Milan books have been hit or miss with me). I think I’ll finally go through my TBB and pick a few things from there.

  27. Jane
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 19:24:52

    @Jan I’ve been looking for a good shifter romance as well. In a pinch, Christine Warren works although there is not much pack dynamics which is what I really want. I have heard the YA Raised by Wolves is pretty good. I might give that a try.

  28. Jane
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 19:28:34

    @Tina I’m going to give Hearts in Disguise a try. It’s pretty expensive for a novella, but it sounds like you think it is worth it. I am using the Fictionwise coupon code of “092311” to get 50% off so it’s only $1.60.

  29. Jane
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 19:30:42

    @Statch I’m going to give those a try. I’m giving the Fictionwise coupon a work out tonight. Do you like Caitlin Crews or Miranda Lee? The latter is hit or miss for me.

  30. katieM
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 20:00:24

    @Tina I’m in the middle of Aiken’s The Dragon Who Loved Me. She is one of my autobuys as well. I had to give the book to my mother to hold so that I could finish my lesson plans for next week!

  31. JenM
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 20:34:00

    This was a great reading month for me. Some of my favorites – The Battle Sylph, fantasy romance by LJ McDonald, Fatal Consequences and Fatal Destiny, rom. suspense by Marie Force, and Black Ties and Lullabies, contemp romance by Jane Graves.

    I also read two $0.99 books last week that were fantastic – both are backlist rather than self-pubbed. The first is Conor’s Way by Laura Lee Gurhke, currently on the DA bestseller list. I loved it. It’s a historical set in 1870 Louisiana on a ruined cotton plantation where the heroine grows peaches and has three adopted daughters and the hero is an Irish boxer that survived the Irish potato famine, very angsty and emotional.

    The second $0.99 book was Noble Intentions by Katie MacAlister – it’s a Regency farce. I’ve tried a few of her other books and couldn’t get into them, but while reading the sample for this, I was laughing so hard that I had to buy the book and I’m happy to report that I kept laughing throughout. Usually I don’t find these types of books that funny so I’m not sure what it was about this book, it was just a good thing I was reading it at home rather than while commuting. This is definitely Regency lite – completely not historically accurate, so don’t try it if that offends you.

    As for October, I’ve got Spider’s Revenge pre-ordered for Tuesday, and I’m looking forward to Serpent’s Kiss by Thea Harrison. Oh, I just checked my pre-order wishlist and saw that Keri Arthur’s newest book, Darkness Unbound, is releasing this week also. I’ll have to order that one also.

  32. JenM
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 21:06:51

    By the way, thanks for mentioning that Fictionwise was having a sale this weekend. I had my eye on that Laura Freed book also, so I just picked it up, along with two novellas by Eve Langlais, and Beauty and the Feast by Julia Barrett.

  33. Tina
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 21:09:38

    Oh, Jane my bad I messed up the title it is Hearts in Darkness. But I still enjoyed it a lot!

  34. Lynnette A.
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 21:10:52

    @Tina – I just read New York to Dallas and I enjoyed it more than a lot of the later In Deaths. Up until the last 2 installments they had become pretty formulaic, and I frequently get tired of Roarke idolizing his Eve, but this book was good. I was glad to see the big reveal, and it was pretty much as I would have expected. I have been a fan of the series for years and would be happy to read more for years to come.

  35. Sunita
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 22:13:12

    @Dana S: There’s no cheating in two of the stand-alones I’ve reviewed here (Fair Game, Come Unto These Yellow Sands). And so far the Holmes and Moriarty series doesn’t have any either (I reviewed All She Wrote earlier this year as well).

    @Las: Oh yay! I’m so glad you like it! I have the rest of them in my TBR but haven’t read them yet. I hear great things about #3, Ice Blues.

  36. Mary G
    Sep 25, 2011 @ 23:16:34

    I’m so behind, haven’t picked up the September releases and the October ones are out now.

    I just loved Hot Head, an m/m by Damon Suede. I love a book that I can’t put down but I don’t want it to end either.

    Sweet Justice by Christy Reece
    The Sweet Gum Tree by Katherine Allred
    Welcome to Paradise by Elle Kennedy

  37. BlueRose
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 02:01:06

    @Jan: If you can find a copy (its a bit old now) get Golden Witchbreed by Mary Gentle

    Great first contact novel with some romance – interspecies :)

    A classic of the genre

    I have the latest Michelle Sagara – Cast in Ruin but I have discovered I havent read the previous one so need to track it down.

    Add me to the Sarah Rees Brennan fan list, tho I havent yet read the third. You should follow her LJ, its often hilarious and she gives good updates now and then. There is a new series coming……with vampires!

  38. Jill Sorenson
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 08:38:23

    I really enjoyed Primal Calling by Jillian Burns, a Blaze set in Alaska with a Native Alaskan hero.

    I’m almost finished with Jeannie Lin’s Butterfly Swords and I absolutely love it.

    Both are DA recs–thanks! And at under $4 each the digital price is right.

  39. Lorelie Brown
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 11:36:57

    Carrie Lofty’s FLAWLESS comes out tomorrow. I’ll admit I’m biased coz Carrie’s a very good friend of mine, but this book is amazing. Different setting and a strong heroine and a hero who’s a bad boy redeemed. Awesome.

  40. Zoe Archer
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 12:26:06

    Seconding the rec for Carrie Lofty’s FLAWLESS. If you’ve been waiting for a historical romance in a setting other than England, this is the book you’ve been searching for.

  41. Estara
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 13:03:05

    The second book of Sherwood Smith’s series set in Dobrenica, Blood Spirits, just came out and all the problems I had with the heroine in Coronets & Steel were ameliorated and the rest of the characters and Dobrenica were as cool as ever – there are duel scenes again! and the hottest tango scene I’ve ever read ^^ – with three people on the dancefloor at that. Lots more magic than in the first one and we get a HEA for the heroine (although she’s aware she’s going to have to help the hero carry quite a burden). Oh and as it’s set in an eastern European country, we get a believable version of vampires, too. Recommended.

    Other than that I’m desperate for the ebook of the next Kaylin/Elantra novel by Michelle Sagara to be released on the 1st of October – paper readers have said it is just as excellent as the others…

  42. Estara
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 13:04:13

    @JenM: Beauty and the Feast is a real fun contemporary romance. I wish she wrote more in that vein.

  43. vita
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 15:38:41

    @Jan Gosh! I, too, am a fan of Stacia Kane’s tremendous Downside Ghosts series! Here are a few other fabulous Urban Fantasy authors that I enjoy: Faith Hunter (Jane Yellowrock), Devon Monk (Allison Beckstrom), Kalayna Price (Alex Craft), and Seanan Maguire.

    If you haven’t read any of these authors yet, then you’re in for a huge, huge treat. They are exceptional.

  44. pamelia
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 16:57:18

    I’m all about Ilona Andrews this month. I just finished all 5 Kate Daniels books and am about to read the two “Edge” books. Can’t believe I haven’t glommed onto these earlier on! They are fantastic.

  45. Laura
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 17:30:03

    @Las: I read so many great reviews for Archangel’s Blade, so I bought it, even though I’m not a fan of the series. I’m sorry to read you hated it – since I really hated the first book, there’s a chance I won’t like this one either. Though Dimitri was my favorite character.

    October will be a slow month for me. I’ve ordered a September 27th release called Sins of the Angels. It’s an urban fantasy by a new author. I don’t know why I pre-ordered it since I’m trying to cut down on buying books I know nothing about, but something about it caught my attention.

    I’m also kind of curious about The Shadow Reader by Sandy Williams out October 25 – another new urban fantasy or pnr. This time I’ll wait for reviews before buying.

  46. Statch
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 19:20:57

    This was a great thread! I just got back to it so this is a little long:

    @Ros, I need to try Abby Green again. I’ve only read a couple and they haven’t really struck me. I just picked up a book by Sandra Marton to try – thanks!

    @Lynne Connolly: Re auto-buying Harlequin authors: This may not sound right, but I don’t have a high bar for the Harlequins. All they need to do is entertain me, and since authors generally stick to a formula, I rarely find that a favorite author’s book just didn’t work for me. I actually worry more about the opposite, which is trying one book by an author and just happening to hit the one that doesn’t work for me, so I miss out on a lot of good books.

    @Julie, thanks for all the recommendations. I’ve tried a number of those and for whatever reason, they didn’t work as well for me as the others. I still haven’t figured out why some authors work for me, and others don’t! I’ve put a Lucy Gordon on my list to try. Also, I thought I had tried Fiona Harper, but that was because I really like Fiona Lowe and Fiona McArthur. Lots of Fionas…

    @DM, I just put a book by Christine Merrill in my cart. I love relationship-driven books, and am so tired of the tropes. I refuse to read one more Regency where the hero is a spy. How many of them could there have been?? Were they not bumping into each other?

    @Jane, I love Caitlin Crews. I didn’t mention her because she doesn’t have that many ebooks out but I’ll buy any I see. I’m sorry to hear Miranda Lee is a hit-or-miss because I read one by her, and bought several more on the strength of it. I haven’t read them yet – darn those Fictionwise coupons! My Harlequin TBR has grown dramatically. (The coupon is 50% this week [code is 092311], and I’m betting a 60% one comes within the next few weeks.)

    @Pamelia, the Ilona Andrews Edge books were fantastic!

  47. Las
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 20:31:45

    @Laura: My main issue with Archangel’s Blade is that it dealt with a theme I dislike in general, and I don’t think it was executed well on top of that. I really should have read the reviews and sought out some spoilers before buying, but since Nalini is an auto-buy for me I didn’t bother. If you’ve read any spoilers–and there’s really only one major thing to spoil–and they don’t sound problematic to you, and you’re already a fan of Nalini’s work, then I think you’ll like it.

  48. Jody W.
    Sep 26, 2011 @ 21:34:28

    Been trying some self pubbed books the past month. Got a kick out of Super-Zero by Rhonda Stapleton (superhero chick lit romance type story) and Illegal Magic by Arlene Blakely (fantasy chick lit with romantic subplot type story). I’m also thrilled to be reading my first LIBRARY EBOOK on my KINDLE right now, Sophie Kinsella’s Twenties Girl, which was making me LOL in the hospital today while I waited for my mom to get all her appointmenting done.

  49. Julie
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 00:47:39

    @Statch I’ve read and enjoyed Lucy Gordon’s books for years. What I love about her books is that she always does something different with her books. She’s written a book set in China with a hero who has Chinese ancestry, And the Bride Wore Red, a book set during the War, His Diamond Bride and has just started a fantastic new series about five brothers who live all over the world. The first one, Rescued by the Brooding Tycoon, was published this month and is brilliant.

    If you liked Christine Merrill, I recommend her latest Dangerous Lord, Innocent Governess. It’s a really good Gothic romance that I thoroughly enjoyed. You might also want to give Harlequin Historical author Louise Allen a try. She’s only written one or two books about spies and tends to focus on the growing relationship between the hero and the heroine.

  50. kate r
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 13:15:39

    I’ve had Naomi Novik’s book on my kindle forever and finally read it. Three days and three books later, I’m hunting down the fourth in the series. I love her Regency voice–perfect. And the addition of dragons works far better than I ever thought possible.

  51. KarLynP
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 13:56:07

    September was a much better reading month for me, and I found a few new-to-me authors. I’m starting to read some self pub authors too, which I used to avoid like the plague. Here are a few Sept reads that really stood out.

    >>Captured by Beverly Jenkins. New-to-me author, This was a fun steamy pirate historical with African American H/h. I will read more by BJ.

    >>Master of Crows by Grace Draven. New-to-me author. This was an amazingly good fantasy/PNR romance. LOVED IT. Originally published with Amber Quill, it looks like the author is going self-pub now. (There is so little info on this author, no website even! Please authors, get websites!)

    >>Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire. New-to-me author. This was OK, but sooooo over hyped at Amazon. A completely toxic relationship with teen H/h trying to solve problems with booze, sex, and fighting. It was original, but so not the ‘OMG, Best Book Ever!!’ hype. And the HEA? I so didn’t buy it.

    In October I have several I am looking forward to!

    >>Unclaimed by Courtney Milan
    >>Holly Lane by Toni Blake
    >>Viper by Monica McCarty
    >>Bring Me Home for Christmas by Robyn Carr

    Happy reading everyone.

  52. JenM
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 14:24:30

    @KarlynP – Yes, I did the same thing after reading Master of Crows – I went looking for a website, only to find that the author apparently doesn’t have one. Too bad. However, I did find a couple of other novellas of hers on Fictionwise and bought two during one of their recent sales – Wyvern, and Draconus. I think they both feature dragons. I loved her voice so I’m looking forward to reading them.

    Agree also on Beautiful Disaster – I bought it based on the hype but after reading it, I would have graded it a C to C+. I didn’t mind Travis so much – just your typical almost stalker type, obsessive college boyfriend, but I really had a problem with Abby – talk about being a serious tease – by the end of the book, I hated her, and I could understand why she drove Travis crazy.

  53. Klio
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 15:22:35

    @kate r: I’d slipped away from Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series for a while (I think I found book 4 a little slow, but it’s hard to remember now), but just picked up book 5 after grabbing book 6 at Borders feeding frenzy, and I’m so glad I’ve come back to this author. The voice is so delicious I found myself rereading entire pages rather than turning to the next, just to savour them longer. Book 5 was a bit emotionally harrowing, but I can be a delicate flower sometimes when I love all the characters so much. I worry about them :)

  54. KarLynP
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 16:40:13

    Thanks! I did find a copy of her novella Draconus and thought it was really good. You’re right, her voice is great. However, $4-5 is kind of steep for novellas (You’re lucky to get them at a sale, dang I missed it!). MOC is the only full length novel I could find by her. I’m hoping she can self pub her back list (or something new!) at more reasonable pricing.

    And I agree about Abby in BD, she got on my nerves too. Most of her decisions backfired, and to no surprise.

  55. Statch
    Sep 27, 2011 @ 17:00:19

    @Julie, Lucy Gordon sounds great. I’ve bought one by her and one by Christine Merrill to try. Louise Allen wrote a book set in Roman times that I love (but terrible title): Virgin Slave, Barbarian King. It’s one I’ve re-read several times. I tried a Regency by her, A Most Unconventional Courtship, and didn’t finish it. If I’d read the 2d one first, I’d never have read the one I like. Argh.

  56. KKJ
    Oct 11, 2011 @ 22:09:41

    I feel compelled to vent about something I haven’t even read…. Has anyone has read yesterday’s (Oct. 10) Kindle Daily Deal called “Slim to None” by Jenny Gardiner?

    Cover image is a cupcake, immediately identifying it as chick-lit, god help us. It’s got 3.5-4 star ratings on Amazon and Goodreads, but the short blurb alone immediately raised the WTF??? flags for me:

    Abbie Jennings is Manhattan’s top food critic until her expanding waistline makes staying incognito at restaurants impossible. Her cover blown on Page Six of the New York Post, her editor has no choice but to bench her—and suggest she use the time off to bench-press her way back to anonymity. Abbie’s life has been built around her career, and therefore around celebrating food. Forced to drop the pounds if she wants her primo gig back, Abbie must peel back the layers of her past and confront the fears that have led to her current life.

    I’ll buy and read almost anything for 99 cents, but this just bewildered me. It could just be a case of bad blurb writing, but the whole premise seems completely ridiculous. And that’s nothing compared to the apparent theme of “fat women are pathetic losers unworthy of love and primo writing gigs.”

    “…her expanding waistline makes staying incognito at restaurants impossible.”

    Huh? Is she now immediately recognizable as the only fat person in Manhattan? Or maybe she was spotted buying something in a (OMG, NOOOO) double-digit size?

    “…her editor has no choice but to bench her—and suggest she use the time off to bench-press her way back to anonymity.”

    Huh??? I can understand reassigning her because of a loss of anonymity. But apparently gaining weight changes her taste palate and writing skills…..

    And she can return to be incognito by losing weight, therefore, skinny = invisible. I’m not sure what laws of nature are at work here, unless the author considers Manhattan to be considered an alternate universe.

    “Forced to drop the pounds if she wants her primo gig back…”

    WTF????? This just screams “lawsuit waiting to happen” to me. All the lawyers can scream at me if I’m incorrect, but holy cow, this is wrong in so many ways.

    Will they make her weigh in every day before she can log onto her computer (a fat-alyzer like one of those car-ignition breathalyzer things for drunk drivers?) and conduct BMI testing in the middle of the newsroom? Who decides what weight or size she’s required to maintain?

    “…Abbie must peel back the layers of her past and confront the fears that have led to her current life.”

    Wow. I’m assuming “her current life” means the living hell of being overweight and enjoying food. Which are invariably caused by childhood trauma and irrational fears.

    WHY WHY WHY is it still acceptable to denigrate anyone – particularly women – based on their size? Many of the reviewers mentioned their own struggles with healthy weight, and it just pisses me off to no end to see them demeaning themselves. ARGH!

    The main character obviously had to be a woman, because there’s NO WAY IN HELL a man would be “benched” for having an “expanding waistline.”

    Maybe an equivalent plot contrivance would be a guy getting outed for reviewing romance novels…. Nah, we’d just friend him on Facebook and send him cookies.

  57. MaryK
    Oct 14, 2011 @ 14:59:33

    There are more Harlequin Treasury books coming out on 10/17 and 10/24. Lots of Jacqueline Diamond titles if anybody’s a fan. I’ve actually had Daddy Warlock on my wishlist for a while. I’m a PNR fan and a sucker for it in category romance. :)

  58. MaryK
    Oct 16, 2011 @ 13:47:26

    Anne Stuart’s backlist is out in ebook at Amazon. Including the Maggie Bennett books!

    ETA: Well, not all her backlist but some including one I’ve never heard of.

  59. Estara
    Oct 23, 2011 @ 03:48:34

    @KKJ: I couldn’t agree more.

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