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. Elyssa Patrick
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 13:16:35

    I have finally read The Captive Prince (both volumes) and loved them. I know I’m super late to these books but they were so good. Are there any books similar in vein in regards to fantasy, court politics, and romance?

  2. Carolyne
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 13:28:52

    @Elyssa Patrick: I second that. They aren’t perfectly written–the grammatical quirks are some of my particular pet peeves–but after a while I absolutely didn’t even care, and the story truly hit the spot. Once books get going the author weaves together her threads extremely well. I’ve been looking for something similar, myself, that’s romance rather than general fantasy.

  3. Janine
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 13:32:42

    @Elyssa Patrick: So glad you loved them!

    The closest thing I’ve read (and others in the Captive Prince review thread agreed) are Megan Whalen Turner’s second and third books in her Attolia series, The Queen of Attolia and The King of Attolia, although the romance in the Attolia series is M/F and the bedroom door remains closed (these are YA novels).

    Other than that, there’s a similarity to Dunnett’s Lymond Chronicles as well.

    Jorrie Spencer wrote a whole post about books similar to Captive Prince on her blog and there were recs in the comment thread as well. I think a couple others were mentioned in the DA review thread too.

  4. Mag
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 13:38:23

    I’m reading The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith. It came out this week. It is a scifi romance. So good. Both the male and female protagonists are well devoloped. The action is engaging resulting in a book one cannot put down. Happily, it is by far the longest ebook I’ve ever read.

  5. library addict
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 13:41:01

    My favorite read from this month was Carla Negger’s Declan’s Cross. I think this series (Sharpe and Donovan) is one that is best read in order.

    The case was rather run-of-the-mill, but overall I really liked Thankless in Death by JD Robb (lots of great personal interactions between the characters).

    Jayne Castle’s Deception Cove was formulatic, but her books are a comfort read for me and this was no exception. Plus I love the dust bunnies.

    Though I had issues with both the h/h, I liked Addison Fox’s The London Deception.

    Currently reading The Striker’s Chance by Rebecca Crowley which I moved up in my TBR pile due to Jayne’s review.

  6. Melinda
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 13:54:23

    I just finished Come As Your Are by Theresa Weir and really liked about 3/4 of it and then the last 1/4 was problematic. But overall I still really liked it.

    I also just read The Terror by Dan Wells which was extremely but in a compelling way. I don’t know how I feel about it yet. It was a long book to get through though. It was kind of sci-fi and an exploration type book.

    I finally bought The Coldest Girl in Coldtown and Take This Regret. Hope they’re both great. I’m working my way through Mary Balogh’s backlist right now through my library and loving them!

  7. Carolyne
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 14:09:40

    @Janine: I see she has Swordspoint on that list. Holy smokes, yes, I don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I love Swordspoint (and its sequels) like I love The Persian Boy. They’re both very much “foundation” books for me–everything else (m/m) has to live up to them ;)

    Swordspoint has its flaws, but I still adore it. Fall of the Kings by Ellen Kushner & Delia Sherman has the same complex intrigue, and I reached the end thinking it was the steamiest thing I’d ever read–then went back and discovered that most of it was fade to black/suggestions/not-actually-on-screen. Yet that relationship burns the page to a crisp. Swordspoint gets a little talky at the end IIRC, and I have issues with the ending of Fall of the Kings too, but I think both give the reader a similar journey to Captive Prince and would say they’re both better crafted. Privilege of the Sword and the other sequel (spacing the name right now; it’s a novella) have a different tone, but Privilege especially is full of sexy sexy intrigue and sexy sexy swords and a sexy tough heroine. Oh my.

  8. Rosie
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 14:14:25

    I’m in a major, major reading slump. I’ve c0mpleted a total of one novella in the last three and a half weeks. Ugh!
    I’m hoping the release of some October books and cooler weather will get me back in the mood to read. And I’ll stop this nonsense of starting about a dozen books and not getting past the first quarter of any of them!
    I’m really looking forward to the ebook release of Promise Me Heaven by Connie Brockway on October 1st. It’s the only historical of hers I’ve never been able to get my hands on, and I love her historicals (most of the time).

  9. Cate
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 14:17:32

    My book of the month is The Tourist Auction by Mark D Green. It’s a cracking romcom about a bloke who advertises on eBay for a traveling companion with the same name as his ex girlfriend, whose given him the flick just before his trip of a lifetime. The book is told from both POV’s, and is charming,romantic, and hilariously funny . As in, don’t eat or drink whilst reading,lest you nearly.asphyxiate yourself !!!
    I’ve also loved Janet Edwards Earth Star, her follow up to Earth Girl. And I’m halfway through Ghost Planet, and really enjoying it

  10. Amanda
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 14:27:48

    For some reason I was thinking that October was a big month for books I have been waiting for but when I just looked at a list of October releases only Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh stood out as an absolute must buy. I wonder if it was wishful thinking on my part.

  11. Ann F.
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 15:41:43

    I just finished Perdition which is the new book by Ann Aguirre and I LOVED it. I mean I really really really loved it. Like it’s even better than the Sirantha Jax books and I really really loved those. It all takes place on a massive prison ship. Within the ship there are all these factions fighting each other for survival and in the midst of it all are a fantastic hero and heroine (both of whom are prisoners on the ship). I believe it’s the start of a new series and I’d say its a must read for sci-fi romance fans. One of the best books I’ve read all year.

  12. Jayne
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 16:00:08

    @Cate: I read and reviewed that one last year. The ending really is quite funny.

  13. pamelia
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 16:00:55

    @ mag: Yay for a new R. Lee Smith book — I’ll be buying that one today. Her last one “Cottonwood” was fantastic (I think my one of my favorite reads this year.) Thanks!
    I’ve been on a bit of a lucky streak. I’ve read and really enjoyed “The Magpie Lord” (recommended here at D.A.), “The Corrupt Comte” and Mary Balogh’s “The Arrangement”. Funny because they’re all historicals and I’ve been on a contemporary kick until about a week ago.

  14. Jorrie Spencer
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 16:15:50

    @Elyssa Patrick In my head, Captive Prince and Rifter by Ginn Hale are matching reads and both were incredibly satisfying for me. Though I know people who bounced off one and loved the other so… I wish you luck in finding more books in that vein!

    @Ann F. You’ve got me curious about Perdition. It’s been a while since I’ve read a SF romance.

    I really enjoyed The Ocean at the End of the Lane by Neil Gaiman, which isn’t my usual fare. As well, Josh Lanyon’s latest, The Haunted Heart was very good.

  15. Jennifer Estep
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 16:58:12

    I’ve got several fantasy books in my TBR pile that I want to read this month, including Scent of Magic by Maria V. Snyder; Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas; and Wake of the Bloody Angel by Alex Bledsoe. I’m also looking forward to The Republic of Thieves by Scott Lynch in October.

  16. Lil
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 17:01:20

    I would like to recommend The Duke’s Tattoo: A Regency Romance of Love and Revenge, Though Not in That Order by Miranda Davis.
    It’s a Regency romance, it has a duke, it’s an ebook, and I think it’s self-published, all of which usually make me hesitate. But I picked it up after reading a review of it on In Need of Prince Charming I Don’t Think So and I absolutely loved it. There may be a bit of the-mixture-as-before about it, but it’s expertly served up and it’s laugh-out-loud funny.

  17. Jill Sorenson
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 17:08:52

    I’m about 75% into Elana K. Arnold’s Burning, a YA/NA novel set in a dying Nevada town. It’s the best book I’ve read in a long time. Gypsy heroine (well-researched) and nice-guy hero. Everyone get it!

    I also really enjoyed SoloPlay by Miranda Baker. This is a very erotic, heroine-centric romance between a buttoned-up librarian and the owner of a successful sex toy company. Fun and hot.

  18. Jane
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 17:34:20

    @Jill Sorenson – that gypsy book sounds really good. I assume it is a romance? (Kind of expensive, but I’m willing to take a chance)

  19. Darlynne
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 17:37:52

    @Ann F.: Better than Sirantha Jax? Insert happy face here. That’s so great to hear, especially since I didn’t know there was something new. Thanks!

    I loved Tahereh Mafi’s SHATTER ME because of its unusual, damaged heroine and unexpected plot. The end of that first book took a turn I didn’t see coming, but that was OK; the writing is gorgeous, possibly overwrought, but so, so evocative. I’ve just finished the second, UNRAVEL ME, and was again OK with and enjoying the overwrought and beautiful writing, until the last quarter of the book. At that point, the CAPS LOCK OF RAGE—mine—came rushing out, not because of the cliched and oh-so-fracking-tiresome YA love triangle, but because of a choice Juliette makes to not share a piece of potentially deadly and dangerous information, information that could get people killed. I may be done with YA after this.

    In happier thoughts, I finally (thank you, Kobo coupon) read Mira Grant’s BLACKOUT. What a fabulous trilogy, must re-read soon.

  20. Jenny Schwartz
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 19:06:59

    I agree with Library Addict — Jayne Castle’s latest, Deception Cove, is a lovely comfort read.

    I noticed Michelle Diener’s “In a Treacherous Court” had moved up Kindle’s ranking to number 13 over the weekend as the latest in her historical Susanna Horenbout and John Parker series comes out. As good as that series is, I’ve read an ARC of her Regency era “Banquet of Lies” and that’s the book you have to read (out Oct 22). Think Georgette Heyer with modern sensibilities and glorious food. Michelle’s a friend, but I’m not letting friendship make me shy of pushing a great book.

    Slightly (okay, lots!) off-topic, does anyone else here read the old Phoebe Atwood Taylor madcap mysteries? I noticed a couple have been e-pub’d.

  21. cleo
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 20:41:21

    @Jenny Schwartz: I’m glad to hear that about Deception Cove – I’m on the waiting list for it at my library. JAK’s one of my long time reliable comfort-read authors, although I got burned out on the Arcane Society series. I liked the first Rainshadow book (even though I think it had an Arcane Society connection) – it seemed like a return to her strengths.

  22. Jenny Schwartz
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 20:45:20

    @Cleo — I think Deception Cove is the strongest of the Rainshadow books, so fingers crossed you’ll love it :) and talking of getting back to her romantic suspense, I can’t wait for “River Road”

  23. Janine
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 21:24:50

    @Carolyne: I need to give Swordpoint another try. I tried it years ago but didn’t get far because the style of language didn’t appeal to me.

  24. Sandra
    Sep 22, 2013 @ 22:24:23

    I’m really over the rock star/country star, billionaire, motor cycle club thing, and I’m not really a N.A fan…so that doesn’t leave a lot of new releases to read..or so it appears to me.

  25. Carolyne
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 03:02:01

    @Janine: It’s been years since the last time I read Swordspoint, and I can’t remember whether the style of prose is the same as in Privilege of the Sword and Fall of the Kings (hmm, time for a re-read). Swordspoint is from rather early in the author’s career though, I believe. It’s from early in my reading career, but it made an impression.

    @Jorrie Spencer: First I found it hilarious that one of the review pull quotes that Amazon features for Rifter states “It had been a long time since I read a book with such incredible grammar and I was blown away”! Then I found it horrifying that good grammar is a special feature, not a basic expectation. Then I was sad when I remembered that I’d been praising books with–in spite of–bad grammar, so I’ve learned to give up the expectation myself.

  26. Marianne McA
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 03:20:05

    Just to say thanks, I downloaded Lhind the Thief after Estara mentioned it on last month’s thread. Really enjoyed it. I did get a bit confused with all the different kingdoms, but that might be my fault because I read quickly, and wasn’t making much of an effort to retain the geography. Other than that it felt like a familiar story, told well.

  27. Jill Sorenson
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 08:42:35

    @Jane: No, not a romance by my definition. I read the ending last light. The description says “love story,” which is accurate. I’m on the fence about how satisfying it was. A good ending for a YA heroine, but sort of bittersweet.

  28. Estara Swanberg
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 11:03:00

    @Marianne McA: That’s just how the political circumstances are in that world ^^ – glad to hear you enjoyed it.

    A reader pointed the connection to Posse of Princesses out on GR, by the way, there’s an oblique mention of Hlanan and Lhind in the letters at the the end of that book (not by name but description). Considering PoP came out three years ago, I think that’s a cool easter egg.

  29. Janine
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 11:19:07

    @Carolyne: Re. The Rifter, I wonder if those readers are referencing the fictional language author Ginn Hale made up for her fantasy world? The worldbuilding was really thorough.

  30. Jorrie Spencer
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 12:19:02

    @Carolyne I do think Rifter rises far above simply being functional when it comes to grammar! I’m not sure what that quote is referring to, though certainly grammar is solid, and Janine may be right about the made-up language (though it’s not intrusive). Rifter is fascinating portal fantasy with fantastic world building and characters. Imo, obviously :)

  31. hapax
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 15:24:33

    @Jenny Schwartz: Omigosh, I thought that I was the only person who read Phoebe Atwood Taylor! I stumbled on one at a library booksale, and I positively haunted UBS until I had a complete set.

    But as much as I love Asey Mayo, my favorite of her books is the series she wrote as “Alice Tilton”, the Leonidas Witherall series. The hero is a retired English schoolteacher, a secret thriller writer, a Shakespeare look-alike, and he “thinks of Cannae”. (Fans will get the reference [g]) He also has a positive genius for attracting hysterical mayhem.

    “I will never again mix beer, champagne, and whiskey. I will never again mix beer, champagne, and whiskey. I will never again –”
    “A laudable resolve.”

  32. Jenny Schwartz
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 18:02:51

    @hapax: I love “Bill Shakespeare” too ;) “Beginning with a Bash” was my first intro to PAT, and like you, it started at a book sale.

  33. Brandi B
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 18:51:49

    @Amanda Not sure what you like to read but I have several books on my calendar for October–

    Oct 1
    Drawn Together by Lauren Dane
    Tempt the Stars by Karen Chance

    Oct 15
    Secret Unleashed by Sierra Dean

    Oct 22
    Allegiant by Veronica Roth

    Oct 29
    Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh (already on your list:))
    Dark Witch by Nora Roberts

    I hope this helps!

  34. leslie
    Sep 23, 2013 @ 20:37:53

    I’m enjoying Ashley Gardner’s Captain Lacey mystery series. I bought vol. 1 on a daily deal, then bought the rest of the series the next day. Not romance, but very complex and interesting friendships. I love the character’s flaws and humanity. Good stuff to be sure.

  35. Mary Beth
    Sep 29, 2013 @ 11:09:21

    @ Lil – Thank you so much for the shout out for The Duke’s Tatoo. Based on your recommendation, I bought it and it was a great and very funny read. I do love good historical fiction and Ms. Davis certainly writes a good story. I also picked up and read her second book as well. Again, thanks.

  36. Deljah
    Oct 06, 2013 @ 16:13:16

    @Mag: I bought and read The Last Hour of Gann after seeing your mention here. Loved it! Thanks for the rec!

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