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. ms bookjunkie
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 13:31:49

    I have discovered the awesome that is Naomi Novik’s Temeraire series. In audiobook format. *weeps tears of joy* I listened to His Majesty’s Dragon, then read the ebook, then listened to it again—all in less than a week. Then I moved on to Throne of Jade and Black Powder War. Perhaps I’ll listen to Empire of Ivory next week, perhaps I’ll savor the wait for a while…

    Dragons, Napoleonic wars, battles…how did I not know I needed this in my life? Love love love!

  2. ms bookjunkie
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 13:34:37

    Curses! I suck at html stuff. No italicized titles for me… *slinks off in embarrassment hoping nobody noticed*

  3. Darlene Marshall
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 14:01:05

    I just finished Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett and really enjoyed it. The only thing that bothered me is “historical” now includes my parents and grandparents’ generation. That category is catching up with me quickly!

  4. Jill Sorenson
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 15:10:52

    I just read three excellent novellas. Far into the Wilds by Deanna Raybourn (historical, set in Africa) and Breaking all the Rules (erotic romance) by Cynthia Sax were featured here as daily deals. Loved both. I also really enjoyed Audra North’s Out of the Box, an erotic scifi with more sex & adventure than romance.

  5. Amanda
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 15:33:32

    After finishing the first book I am about to start the second book in KJ Charles’s Magpie series. After I finish that book I am trying to decide if I want to try C.S. Pacat’s Captive Prince

  6. library addict
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 15:48:44

    My favorite reads this month were Shannon Stacey’s Taken with You, Kat Latham’s Playing It Close, Jaci Burton’s Hope Ignites, and Meg Benjamin’s Hungry Heart.

    I enjoyed The Collector by Nora Roberts more for the romance than the mystery (which was lacking) and her Shadow Spell (though not as much as I’d hoped). I liked Otherwise Engaged by Amanda Quick. It was nice to read a non-paranomal historical by her again.

    I am almost finished Kiss of Snow in my Psy/Changeling series reread. I have to say I am greatly enjoying rereading the scenes with the Ghost knowing (and not just suspecting) who he is.

  7. Jennifer Estep
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 16:21:11

    I’m looking forward to It Happened One Wedding by Julie James in May. I also want to check out Rush Me by Allison Parr and Rebel Belle by Rachel Hawkins.

  8. helen
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 16:29:43

    I loved Rachel Bach’s Paradox series (sci-fi romance). Start with the first one though!

  9. Lorenet
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 17:14:46

    I just finished the 3rd book in Rebecca Zanetti’s Sin brother’s saga, Blind Faith (May 6). This series just keeps getting better. Nate & Aubrey’s story contained lots of action, intrigue and of course, sex. I was wondering how she was going to handle the pregnancy, seeing as how the brothers only have 3 weeks left to live. It was believable (for a semi-paranormal-romantic suspense series). I can’t wait for the ending and the 4th brother’s book.

  10. Lindsay
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 17:45:46

    I think I overdosed on fiction this month, I’ve put down three books I’ve been meaning to read and have read just non-fiction for the last week (The Gift of Fear and Why Does He Do That, with plans to re-read Irrationally Predictable after that).

    However, I did read Black Dog, Dreams of Gods and Monsters, and Murder of Crows right before — this might be why I overdosed. All really good in different ways but in two cases I am suffering post-book sadness because one is DONE, and the other is likely a year wait for the next book. Not much was measuring up after those three!

    On the tail of the DABWAHA train, my mom read both books of The Captive Prince (she shares my Kindle account) which threw me because she has never expressed an interest in m/m, and they start pretty rough, but she wound up loving them. Who knew!

  11. MaryK
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 18:28:04

    @helen: is there a happy ending for the romance relationship?

  12. Lada
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 18:29:53

    @ms bookjunkie: Thanks for mentioning this. I’m always looking for new audiobooks to try and this was always a series I was interested in trying after I read some of the reviews here.

    Currently reading Sam Kean’s The Disappearing Spoon which I picked up after The Violinist’s Thumb was featured as a Daily Deal. Thanks for this. All non-fiction should teach us like these witty stories on what could otherwise be considered very dry subjects. They are much more fun than all my college classes.

  13. Michelle
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 19:20:06

    @Ms. Bookjunkie. If you like dragons, Seraphina by Rachel Hartman is awesome both the book and the audioversion.

  14. Cynthia Sax
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 20:55:22

    My fave book of April was Some Like It Perfect from Megan Bryce, a new-to-me writer. This was a fun and sweet (yes, surprising for me) contemporary romance between a painter and a rich executive. A reading buddy told me I had to read it and I’m glad I did. I laughed my fool head off.

    In the interest of full disclosure… I don’t THINK I know Megan Bryce but with so many writers using multiple pen names, I can’t guarantee I don’t know her.

  15. mari
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 20:56:57

    Just read “An Inquiry Into Love and Death” by Simone St. James. Takes place in England, in the 20’s and its a ghost story with a good romance woven into it. Very enjoyable. “The Haunting of Maddie Clare” by the same author is genuinly creepy and romantic, also reccomend. Also read Elizabeth Stuart’s “Bride of the Lion,” old school medieval romance,with emphasis on the historical. Loved it, on my keeper shelf! Meaty and epic in scope, worth seeking out. Don’t let “old school” put you off, no rape and hero 100 percent redeems himself, but you do have to read to the end. Also both characters are grown-ups, who do the unthinkable and TALK to each other regarding misunderstandings.Very refreshing, especially considering the pub date..1995!

  16. ms bookjunkie
    Apr 27, 2014 @ 23:29:36

    @Michelle: Thank you for the rec, I love dragons!

  17. BRNZ
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 01:11:09


    I just found out Heavens Queen was out and downloaded it and slurped it up over the weekend. It was an original review here on DA that got me into this series and I had to acutally buy the first book in pbk cos the Kindle edition wasnt available in NZ. Course the 2nd book came out not long after and that and the third I could get in Kindle.

    Great series, well worth it. She also writes as Rachel Aaron writing the Eli Monpress series and I downloaded the first 3 in an omnibus and enjoyed that – fantasy but still great characters

  18. Jayne
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 06:53:08

    @Jennifer Estep: I just finished the Julie James and it’s very good.

  19. Jennifer Estep
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 08:24:32

    @Jayne: Good to hear. I’ve been looking forward to that one.

  20. JPeK
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 09:52:38

    This past week I read Tiffany Reisz’s Original Sinners series (all 4 of the Red Years Quartet … it was a really good week!). I loved how they pulled me in and engaged not only my imagination, but my emotions as well (I was so riled up on one character’s behalf by the end of the 3rd book, that I went to bed early, too angry to start the 4th…. But then I couldn’t fall asleep, thinking “there’s no way an author who would create characters this well would be unfair to this one guy,” so I picked up my Kindle to start the 4th and all was explained. Yay!)

    I also read a lot of SF/F this month, including Freedom by Jay Kirkpatrick (finally off my TBR shelf; a relatively quick read and I really enjoyed it), Learning to Dharn by Ann Somerville (I was on an Ann Somerville kick about a year ago, but must have skipped over this one at the time; a thought-provoking read that I also enjoyed), Bloodraven by PL Nunn (I’d heard so many interesting things about it, primarily on Goodreads M/M Romance group boards, that I finally went to Smashwords and made an account so I could buy it; I don’t know what took me so long). Elizabeth Bear & Sarah Monette’s books A Companion to Wolves and The Tempering of Men (warning, the 2nd ends on a cliffhanger, plot-wise … I’m truly hoping that one day Bear and Monette will release a 3rd book); I liked both books for different reasons, which is awesome in itself, IMO. It wasn’t all m/m though–I also had a good time with Monette’s (writing as Katherine Addison) The Goblin Emperor.

    There were others, but these were the books that stood out enough for me to recall them easily. I’d recommend any of them to interested parties as having strong characters, interesting world building, and engaging plots.

  21. cleo
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 10:02:35

    I finished Nelson Mandela’s Autobiography (it was supposed to be my March big fat book read, but it took two months) – I really enjoyed it, plus I have this great sense of accomplishment.

    I enjoyed Poster Boy by Anne Tenino – liked it more than the last TAG book, but not as much as the earlier ones. Also read Three Weeks with Lady X – which reminded me both why I liked Eloisa James and why I’ve mostly stopped reading her.

  22. Christine
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 11:07:41

    So many good books coming in May and I bought lots in April too! I read Hard Time by Cara McKenna which was excellent. I recently discovered Sarah Mayberry’s books – I read Satisfaction and Her Best Worst Mistake and loved them both. For sweeter romances I’m really enjoying Robin Bielman’s Entangled Bliss books (Secret Wishes series) and Katy Regnery’s Heart of Montana books. I am also really looking forward to Mary Ann River’s book Laugh which is coming out soon, I’ve been waiting for Sam’s story forever (or so it seems). It’s a great spring!

  23. leslie
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 14:16:29

    @cleo: I know what you mean. Eloisa James is a wonderful writer, but I hate her books. ?????

  24. Kathleen
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 19:25:32

    I’ve had good luck this month! Usually I’m a historical girl, but I’ve been finding a quick and dirty contemporary is much more my speed.

    I’m really enjoying what I can get of Charlotte Stein from the library– her voice is engrossing. I read Control, Run to You, and Telling Tales. Once I finished one I would have to pick up another, so I would submit that she is “the crack.” I think the reason she works so well for me is that her characters do a lot of “switching” in terms of power and I can look forward to people continuing to explore their needs/desires. I also feel really safe with her wilder (for me) sexy-times because I know her characters are completely enthralled by one another and aren’t going to leave each other (or me) feeling used. Make sense?

    I found Indecent Exposure by Jane O’Reilly to have a similar feel to Charlotte Stein: 1st person narration, the world building is a bit wallpapery, and very, very hot.

    I loved Special Interests, so thanks for the rec, DA!

    Take What You Want by Jeanette Grey that was rec’d last year I think, was also really good. I liked the NA feel without the incredible angst — there was forgiveness and level-headedness amidst the hormones.

    I’ve started Moth and Spark, but I’m having trouble getting out of the first couple chapters. There’s some gorgeous, dense world building at the beginning that’s just not suited for a quick read getting on and off the subway! However, I’m getting after it the next rainy day I have.

  25. JPeK
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 19:35:01

    @Kathleen: Your description of Charlotte Stein’s work intrigues. I’m going to check it out. Thanks for commenting! I love the recs I get from this monthly thread. :)

  26. Willaful
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 20:54:28

    I haven’t had much luck with Beverly Jenkins previously, but Destiny’s Surrender sounded so interesting, I decided to give it a whirl. The story is totally sweeping me away.

  27. Willaful
    Apr 28, 2014 @ 20:55:47

    I also just tried a new m/m author, Jane Davitt. Excellent writing.

  28. Nancy
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 01:38:02

    I’m currently reading Divergent (yes, I know how it ends) and enjoying it way more than I expected – it’s definitely more in line with Hunger Games’ complexity than Twilight’s. And this goes without saying, but it’s much better than the movie.

    I’m going on a cruise next week so I gleefully prepared my reading choices. I’m slowly working my way through Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter’s series so I’ll be taking Archangel’s Blade, the fourth in the series. I’m also going to finally read The Psychopath Test by Jon Ronson – I figured it was the perfect nonfiction book as it’s not too dense and it’s shocking enough to keep me entertained. As for my third book, I’ll open my kindle and decide then. My main goal on this trip is to read by the pool or on the beach while drinking a yummy cocktail, but the friend I’m going with doesn’t seem as keen on this plan as I would hope. Fortunately, she loves to swim so while she does that, I will blissfully read.

  29. Janine
    Apr 29, 2014 @ 20:18:33

    @Nancy: Ooh, I envy you for having Archangel’s Blade ahead! A lot of people didn’t love how it ended but I did. It ended up being my favorite in the Guild Hunter series, and it’s a tossup between it and Caressed by Ice in the other series for my favorite Singh.

  30. cleo
    May 01, 2014 @ 14:37:07

    @Willaful: I tend to prefer her collaborations with Alexa Snow, but I really liked Hourglass, which I thought was an unusual m/m romance.

  31. Becca
    May 01, 2014 @ 15:33:34

    Someone mentioned Jon Ronson’s “The Psychopath Test” – I read that recently. Great book, very engaging. He’s a very funny writer, but manages to write about very serious things through that humor. Right now I am supposed to be reading “Capital” by John Lanchester because it’s my book club read for the month, but I am completely distracted by/obsessed with reading the Immortal Vikings series by Anna Richland. Full disclosure: I have been asked to be a beta reader for the second book in this series, so I felt like I should read the first one, first. (“First To Burn” published on ebooks by Carina Press). I don’t usually read romance, but I was blown away by “First To Burn”. OMG, it’s got everything – a super-hot hero in the form of an immortal Viking, contemporary plot (set partly in Afghanistan), intelligent use of mythology in the back-story (Beowulf) and some of the best-written sex scenes I’ve ever read. I’m completely in love with it, and wondering if there are other good romance series out there that I’d like. The second (currently untitled) book is just as hot. Wow.

  32. Renee Entress
    May 04, 2014 @ 19:33:04

    The Evolve Series by S.E. Hall really great series it is my favorite and currently my go to read. You meet and step into the lives of three couples as they grow and fall in love. S.E. Hall pulls you into the story and makes you fall for all the characters. Super hot and sexy males and take charge woman who will all blow you away. Just when you fall in love with one couple you move on to the next book and you will again fall for the next book boyfriend.

    All of the books in this series are funny. You will find yourself laughing out loud at the wit of S. E. Hall. She knows just how to lighten the mood when things are getting tense.

    Series Order
    Emerge (Evolve Series #1)
    Embrace (Evolve Series #2)
    Entangled (Evolve Series Novella 2.5)
    Entice (The Evolve Series #3)

    Hope to see more of this series in the future!! I highly recommend this series!!

  33. Jill Sava
    May 04, 2014 @ 19:38:25

    I am currently just absolutely obsessed with the Evolve Series by SE Hall. Right now there is Emerge, Embrace, Entangled & Entice. And it is just the most delicious set of books that you could ever sink your teeth into! I just want to run up to everyone I meet and ask, Have you read these yet? No? Well, what are you waiting for? Go and get them!! S.E. Hall somehow manages to perfectly capture in her books the feelings of a sweet romance that is so smoking hot it can almost start to burn the pages! When I first picked up Emerge I never imagined the journey she was about to take me on–each book gets better and better as we really become a part of The Crew’s lives (the group of friends the series revolves around). The Crew is full of strapping, passionate, scrumptious men who fall for feisty, strong, resilient women. The writing is absolutely engaging and I found myself hard pressed to put any of the books down to take a break. My biggest problem now is deciding which boy, no man, I like the best (#bookboyfriendproblems)!

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