Romance, Historical, Contemporary, Paranormal, Young Adult, Book reviews, industry news, and commentary from a reader's point of view

Another long time reader who read romance novels in her teens, then took a long break before started back again about 15 years ago. She enjoys historical romance/fiction best, likes contemporaries, action- adventure and mysteries, will read suspense if there's no TSTL characters and is currently reading very few paranormals.


  1. library addict
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 13:24:30

    My favorite reads for August were Falling for Max by Shannon Stacey (Kowalski Family #9) and Ladder to the Red Star by Jael Wye (Once Upon a Red World #2).

    I also enjoyed the two books (so far) in Nicole Helm’s Harrington Airport series: Seven-Night Stand and Risky Return.

    I had some big projects around the house this month, so my reading time suffered.

    Looking forward to reading Shannon Stacey’s latest Devlin Group, No Place to Hide and the new Lisa Marie Rice and Kate Willoughby. They are alll purchased and ready to read.

    For September I am looking forward to Festive in Death by JD Robb, Harbor Island by Carla Neggers from her Sharpe and Donovan series, and The Hot Zone by Jayne Castle (World of Harmony/Rainshadow Island). Plus the start of Nalini Singh’s new series with Rock Addiction and the next book in Nicole Helm’s Farmer’s Market series, All That I Am. And I am finally caught up on Jill Shalvis’ Lucky Harbor series so ready for book #10, It’s in His Kiss.

    Now all I need is one of those time thingamajigs like Hermione had in Harry Potter to be able to read them all.

  2. Lada
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 14:55:18

    I’ve been catching up on some contemporary romance with largely positive results. I really enjoyed Julie James’ It Happened One Wedding and Sarah Mayberry’s The Other Side of Us. I also enjoyed Victoria Dahl’s Too Hot to Handle even though it had the type of sweet, naive heroine I generally don’t go for. I didn’t much care for her So Tough to Tame with an H/h that I never warmed up to.

    Now I’m thinking of diving into some romantic suspense which I haven’t read in quite a while. Jane mentioned Elle Kennedy last week (I think it was a Daily Deal) so I thought I might give her a try. I’ve also heard good things about Anne Calhoun. Any other recommendations or can anyone recommend which of these authors’ books to start with? I enjoy both detective and military rs.

  3. Elena
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 15:24:14

    I read Beauty and the Mustache, book 4 in the Knitting in the City series by Penny Reid. It’s a bit different, a true romance ( slow burning and profound) while the previous books were more of romantic comedies. The hero is a poet, a game warden and has the physic of a Viking warrior, while the heroine is a reader, a nurse in the big city with a soft heart and steel determination. I really enjoyed every word of it! I also loved Falling for Max by Shannon Stacey. It’s one of the best books in her series about the Kowalski brothers – a sweet romance between a socially awkward hero and a upbeat heroine, who is afraid of love and marriage.

  4. Rosie
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 15:46:46

    Add me to the list of those who loved Falling for Max by Shannon Stacey. I’ve only read a handful of books from the series, but it was definitely my favorite. I adored Max.
    I’m looking forward to new releases by Lorraine Heath, Ann Aguirre, Jill Shalvis, and Connie Brockway.

  5. Ros
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 15:54:28

    @Elena: I am looking forward to the Penny Reid, though I do wish she would get her books better proof-read.

  6. ms bookjunkie
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 16:27:23

    @Lada: I recommend Marie Force’s Fatal series, starting with the first one, FATAL AFFAIR. Also Pamela Clare’s I-Team series—they’re standalone, so you can pick where you want to start (I started with NAKED EDGE, book 4, which is one of my favorites).

    I’ve been trying to get through some of my print TBR while on vacation. It’s not easy, as there are distractions about. My latest is Ann Aguirre’s Razorland trilogy, I just finished OUTPOST (book 2). Fascinating story, great world building. (I had issues with book 1 that had to do with the fact that the first 100 pages take place in dark underground tunnels. I have issues with dark underground tunnels, and when you add things that go bump in the night… *shudder* I didn’t have nightmares, but I kept jerking awake somewhat panicked. It made for a bad night’s sleep. (Did I mention I don’t like tunnels?) Great writing, horrible tunnels.)

    I believe I’ll go for a historical next (I’m thinking some Jeannie Lin), then finish off the trilogy with HORDE. Depends on what I’m in the mood for in the morning.

  7. Darlynne
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 19:25:43

    I am overwhelmed with books, which sounds like THE problem to have, except that the embarrassment of riches on my phone nearly paralyze me with indecision. Throw in the library holds that become available all at once and I break out in a sweat. To cap it off, I tried Kindle Unlimited for one month, but that only added to my irrational need to read those books immediately so the writers would get paid; I couldn’t just leave them to languish eternally in Moon+ ReaderPro as everything else I’ve bought does.

    That’s it, I’m staging my own intervention.

  8. Nancy
    Aug 24, 2014 @ 23:11:36

    I recently read The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness, which I thought was an enjoyable, though imperfect, end to the trilogy. I’m slowly working my way through Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunters series and I just finished Archangel’s Storm, the fifth book. So far it’s my favorite in the series. I just loved how different of a hero Jason is, a “still waters” kind of guy while also being honest and honorable. I appreciated the quiet and slow nature of the romance, a huge contrast to Elena/Raphael and Dimitri/Honor’s romances in the previous books.

    I’m currently reading Peter Pan in prep for reading Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen. I saw the review on DA and love the concept of retelling the story with Captain Hook as the hero (especially with the added romance).

    For most of September, I’m taking care of a friend after she has surgery so I’m hoping I’ll have plenty of reading time. I’ll probably pick up the next book in the Guild Hunters series. Guild Hunters has also enticed me to read more books with angels so I might explore some in that genre. And if I get tired of PNR/Fantasy, I think I’ll read At Your Pleasure by Meredith Duran, which has been calling to me from my TBR.

  9. hapax
    Aug 25, 2014 @ 08:11:32

    Just finished THE GIRLS AT THE KINGFISHER CLUB by Genevieve Valentine, and I have been burbling happily at everyone.

    It’s a retelling of one of my favorite fairy tales — The Twelve Dancing Princesses — set in Jazz Age New York. There isn’t any magic, and the romantic elements are definitely low-key, but I think many in the DA community would love it as much as I did.

    It’s about freedom and responsibility and control, about the thin line between love and hate among families, about the fierce bonds of sisterhood and the siren allure of individuality, about how people can be so diverse yet have so much in common, and it’s all told in subtle GORGEOUS prose with moments that will have you gasping at the sheer glory of words.

    Can you tell I liked it?

  10. Sirius
    Aug 25, 2014 @ 22:09:20

    @hapax: OOO going to check it out, thanks :)

  11. MaryK
    Aug 25, 2014 @ 23:48:29

    Anybody read Susan Sey? I’ve never heard of her before, and I’m wondering if her books are really genre Romance.

  12. willaful
    Aug 25, 2014 @ 23:55:22

    @MaryK: I really enjoyed Money, Honey. Haven’t liked anything else I’ve tried by her, but it was all definitely genre romance.

  13. Statch
    Aug 26, 2014 @ 11:32:47

    I read Transcendence by Shay Savage. Unlike anything I’ve ever read. It was recommended at KristieJ’s Ramblings on Romance blog. The hero is a non-literate prehistoric man separated from his tribe who meets a time-traveling woman. It’s told entirely from his point of view. I really couldn’t see how the author could pull that off, but once I started it, I couldn’t put it down. It totally worked for me and I kept thinking about it for days after I finished it.

    I’m reading Splendour Falls by Susanna Kearsley now. I almost didn’t get it (on sale) because reviews said it was slow and obviously one of her early works. Well, I’m loving it. It feels exactly like a Mary Stewart — the slow, careful development of the place, the people, and the plot. Such a strong sense of place…I can almost smell it. I’m going to have to re-read some Mary Stewart’s after this.

  14. ms bookjunkie
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 08:39:59

    @ms bookjunkie: I couldn’t stop thinking about the Razorland world, so I glommed HORDE soon after commenting. I give the trilogy a full five stars. It’s compelling, fascinating, fantastic reading, and Ann Aguirre is not afraid to pull punches (that is, kill beloved or not-so-beloved secondary characters). In fact, she packs a powerful punch! Recommend.

  15. A.
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 13:33:42

    @Statch: Transcendence sounds really intriguing and interesting, after reading your comment I had no choice but to buy it immediately on Amazon. It’s dangerously easy to impulse buy e-books.

    I’ve been laid low with the flu for the last couple of weeks, and when not to tired I’ve been seeking out comfort reading to entertain me. I read Written in my Own Heart’s Blood by Diana Gabaldon, which I found entertaining. Since I love the series it would take a lot for me to dislike any of the books in the series. They’re such an interesting mix of ingredients that just really appeals to me. Although in the last two books in the series the publication dates was so many years apart that I’ve had trouble remembering some of the many many characters that populate the books. (Percy Wainwright, where does he come from?) And when starting Written in… I had to go back and reread the last chapter of the last book, An Echo in the Bone, to remember what on Earth all the characters were up to.

    Then I read Ridiculous by D.L. Carter. Although the resolution of the central conflict wasn’t 100 % satisfying for me, the book was still a very fun read.

    And then, Again the Magic by Lisa Kleypas which I didn’t really get that into. Although I did tear up at the climax when the heroine finally comes clean with the hero (long long long overdue though it is). I appreciated the angst and the feelz in the story, but my suspention of disbelief made it difficult to get into the book. Part of it may be that the whole growing up together from childhood to become lovers-trope just isn’t for me. As I understand, growing up together will make it very unlikely to develop sexual interest in each other, the Westermarck effect it’s called. Another thing was the writing style, which I found to be a bit over the top. It’s the first Kleypas book I’ve tried, so maybe they’re just not for me.

  16. cleo
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 14:51:23

    @A. – fwiw, Lisa Kleypas’ historicals and contemporaries are pretty different, IMO – I think her writing style is more ott in her historicals. And I find her a little hit or miss, anyways.

  17. Janine
    Aug 27, 2014 @ 15:19:32

    @hapax: I’ve had the sample for that in the TBR for a while. Time to move it up, I guess.

  18. A.
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 11:34:02

    @ Cleo: Then I’ll try one of her contemporaries next time :)

    @Statch: Just finished Transcendence, I totally could not put it down. So happy that I saw your post and found this book! It was really something else. Wow, just wow.

  19. Statch
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 13:56:19

    @ A.: I’m so glad you liked Trancendence! I was going to feel guilty if you hadn’t :->. I just couldn’t imagine that I’d enjoy it. And I shouldn’t have called the hero non-literate. He’s non-verbal, which makes the storyline even an order of magnitude harder to make work. Really an amazing piece of writing.

  20. Joanna
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 15:30:42

    August was a weird month. Read a great review of Maya Rodale’s “Wallflower Gone Wild” over at Smart Bitches but just couldn’t get past how naive the heroine was – she was on her 3rd or 4th season, it seems she should have learned a few things! Parts of it were amusing but I wouldn’t really recommend it and won’t be looking for any other books by this author.

    I had been saving “The Goblin Emperor” after reading reviews here and elsewhere, for the right time and boy was I glad I did. It’s a book you really need to immerse yourself in the wonderful detailed world the author created and it was a very welcome distraction. (Took it on the vacation from hell – our beloved 14-year old dog chose that week to get really sick and finally had to be put to sleep). Anyway, would highly recommend it – go read Janine’s review here at DA. My problem now is what happens after you read a really good book – you are afraid nothing else will compare! (That and the fact my kids keep asking if I want a puppy for my birthday next week!)

  21. cleo
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 16:06:43

    I’m reading more non fiction right now. I’m currently reading Quiet (the book about introverts) and enjoying it a lot.

    I made a pleasant discovery this month – I read Julia’s Cats: Julia Child’s Life in the Company of Cats by Patricia Barey and Theresa Burson (full disclosure – I know one of the authors). I was skeptical because while I’m a cat person and a book person, I am not a cat book person. But I read this in one sitting. It’s the story of Julia Child’s home life and it’s very sweet, although the writing is a bit distant. I loved the movie Julie and Julia and this book has a bit of the same feel. The first half covers the time period in the movie – their time in Paris (where she got her first cat and fell in love with cats and French cooking at the same time) and the rest is about their home life after she became famous. It’s not a romance, but touches on her marriage.

    Most of my fiction reading this month has been comfort re-reads. The DA review of Return on Investment inspired me to go on a Voinov re-read binge.

  22. Willaful
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 16:19:42

    @Joanna: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.

    I’m also saving The Goblin Emperor for a free moment… and wouldn’t you know, my hold on City of Heavenly just came though and it’s about a million pages long — though probably a fairly quick read. I’m even more intrigued by TGE after learning it’s by the same author as Melusine; I just loved one of the characters.

  23. MaryK
    Aug 28, 2014 @ 20:48:48

    Did y’all know that Kylie Scott wrote a SFR for Ellora’s Cave? I haven’t read it yet.

  24. Sirius
    Aug 31, 2014 @ 17:42:53

    @hapax: @<a href="#comment-774861 please recommend books to me at any time :). I loved it, gorgeous prose as you said and lovely story.

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