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Jane’s Reading List Ending October 31, 2011

Dear Readers,

It’s been three weeks since my last confession.  In that time, I’ve read two historicals, six paranormals (5 being about werewolves, the entire backlist of Meg Benjamin, and a couple of erotic romances.

Not Wicked Enough by Carolyn Jewel (ARC, release date Feb 7, 2012).  Enjoyed this different historical story of a wealthy woman who fell in love with a soldier.  She gave up her virginity to him and then he died before they could marry. She’s single out of choice because she never believed she could love again.  The hero is a former farmer found to be the male heir of a dukedom that was to revert to a crown. He needs to marry to gain respectability for his title.  Full review near release date.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo

How the Marquess Was Won by Julie Anne Long (ARC, release date Dec 27, 2011).  I liked this one, but not as much as the previous release. I thought it was really well plotted, however, with the villains being truly awful but without being caricatures.  Essentially, a few of the young members of the ton decide to make a school teacher “popular” just to see if they can.  The hero, a Marquess, falls in love with the school teacher, but he’s supposed to be courting Isaiah Redmond’s niece.  If the Marquess marries the niece, he’ll get his mother’s dowry property back.  Full review near release date.

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Hot for Santa by Lacey Alexander (ARC, release date Dec. 13, 2011).  It was, well, Lacey Alexander without much of any emotional conflict or real plot.

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True Colors by Thea Harrison (ARC, release date December 13, 2011).  Harrison can write in the short story format and I think that fans of the Wyr series will enjoy this story featuring Riehl, who has spent ninety-six roaming years as a captain in the Wyr lord Dragos Cuelebre’s army and is ready to settle down and Alice, a different kind of Wyr.

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The Art of Seducing a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper. In my quest for a good werewolf book, I thought I would give this a try.  The heroine is the Alpha of her pack and she’s smart mouthed and competent. The hero is a researcher who believes in werewolves.  I liked this book while reading it, but when I put it down, I felt no compulsion to finish. I may go back. I may not.

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Fifty Shades of Grey and Fifty Shades of Darker by E.L. James.  These two books are purportedly edited by some publishing house but I don’t believe it.  They are also supposedly Bella and Edward fan fiction.  I did not see the resemblance to the Bella and Edward storyline.  What I do see is that readers long for a full length emotionally charged erotic romance in a publishing field largely populated by novellas and shorts.  I believe that is why readers are responding to this series.  It’s expensive (and I paid for both $7.99 for one and $9.99 for the other) and you have to buy both to get the entire story as book 1 ends with a cliffhanger.  Book 2 starts up like a week after the two have separated.  Essentially it is a story about a young woman who is just graduating from college and a control freak young billionaire businessman. (He’s 27 and reads like he’s about 37.  She reads like she’s about 17)  Grey, the businessman, is into hardcore BDSM because of his scarred and unhappy childhood.   Anastasia isn’t buying into his hardcore activities and ultimately Grey’s redemption is his finding pleasure without the bonds.

I may review these two books but I haven’t finished them yet.  They are each about 100K words and it’s about 100K words too many.  The middle of Book 1 really dragged for me and I skipped to the end and then read the beginning to about the middle and end of Book 2.

Konisburg series by Meg Benjamin.  I started out with Brand New Me and liked it so much I had to read the entire series.  Jayne has reviewed: Be My Baby, and Wedding Bell Blues.   Venus in Blue Jeans is my other fave of the series:

After re-reading Beauty Dates the Beast, I asked Jill Myles  to recommend another werewolf book and she said that I should read the Darkest Powers series by Kelley Armstrong. It’s a YA series but the heroine, Chloe, is very strong and the hero, Derek, is like Clay Jr. (Clay is the male lead in Bitten, my favorite werewolf story). I did enjoy the series quite a bit. Chloe’s powers of necromancy are very strong, she doesn’t know how to harness them, she’s inadvertently raising the dead (even in her sleep), and she’s on the run with three other teens from a powerful research group.  The romance between Derek and Chloe developed slowly over the three books in a very charming manner.  The stories all end in a cliffhanger so I am glad that I was able to buy and read one after the other.  I don’t think that these three can be read on their own:

Ready to Run by Kinsey W. Holley.  Again, with the werewolves, right? This is the third book in Holley’s werewolf series and I enjoyed it quite a bit. I think it can be read alone because while it features cameos from her first book, reviewed here, it’s plot doesn’t have much to do with the previous two books.  In fact, that’s one criticism I have about this book.  It references a lot of different people and I wondered at the coherency of the worlds that she is developing in the books.  However, I loved the heroine in this book who was meek in the beginning and then grew a backbone and literally kicked the ass of the bad guy.  I’ll do a full review.

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Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. Kristal
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 14:29:36

    Jane, the Amazon links for the first four books all go to the Carolyn Jewel book.

  2. Tabitha
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 16:39:06

    Oh I love the Darkest Powers series by Armstrong! Darkness Rising, the continuation of the Dark series isn’t as enjoyable but i still have hopes bc I do so enjoy the author’s writing.

    How did you like Beauty Dates the Beast?

  3. MarieC
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 16:40:28

    Hi Jane,

    Regarding Molly Harper’s ‘How to Seduce a Naked Werewolf’, it’s the second in a what appears to be duet (is that the right word?). I much preferred the first book, ‘How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf’, which is about Cooper (Maggie’s brother) and Mo. They were easier to connect to than Maggie and Nick.

    I have ‘The Summoning’ in my TBR; I think I’ll have to move that up….

  4. cecilia
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 17:14:02

    I’m looking forward to the new Julie Ann Long – even if it’s not her best it’s probably still going to be a lot stronger than much of what I’ve been reading lately. I’m sad that this one isn’t going resolve that story that’s been alluded to over the Pennyroyal Green series.

  5. cecilia
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 17:16:11

    By the way, the Goodreads link for How the Marquess Was Won takes you to the Carolyn Jewel book.

  6. Heather Greye
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 17:31:15

    I really enjoyed the Darkest Powers series too…although I love the main Otherworld books more. I thought the little mentions of the bigger world were interesting.

    @Tabitha: Thanks for reminding me of the Darkness Rising series…I read the first but then forgot to look for the others. I agree, not my fave but I’ll still read them. :)

  7. Jane
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 17:32:08

    @cecilia Thanks fixed. Unfortunately, yes, the one long ranging story receives more hints but no resolution and frankly because neither of the characters in this book are a Redmond or an Eversea, I don’t know how far off that one particular story is.

  8. Jane
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 17:32:39

    @MarieC Yes, it is the second in the duet. Honestly I can’t remember why I started with book 2 instead of 1!

  9. Jane
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 17:32:54

    @Kristal Eek will fix. Thanks.

  10. Jane
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 17:34:19

    @Tabitha I liked Beauty Dates the Beast. Bath is a bit dim. Okay, not a bit. She is really dim. She’s got good intentions but she often does silly things but if you read the sample and like it, I think you will like the entire book.

  11. Las
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 19:08:22

    I’m reading Beauty Date the Beast now, and I agree that Bath is an idiot. There’s a lot I like about the book but the world building and plot feel disorganized.

    I’m really disappointed with the direction the Pennyroyal Green series has taken. After three books with no titles in sight, we get three in a role with titled heroes. And the latest feature a hero and heroine whom we’ve never seen before? I think it’s safe to assume that this is going to be one of those series that gets dragged out just because “Pennyroyal Green” sells. Shame.

  12. You Need Not Wicked Enough. Really! « Writer's Diary
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 19:52:01

    […] today, Jane at Dear Author listed books she’s recently read. Now, as a reader I LOVE that feature because it lets me know who likes what and what’s in my […]

  13. Jane
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 21:24:04

    @Las I admit that when I started this book, I thought “who are these people” but I dont think that the story she told could have involved either the Redmonds or the Everseas. This story is unique to the characters (or at least, that is how I felt about it). However, I am very anxious about the overarcing series plot and I do feel like if she doesn’t tell Olivia’s story soon, that the anticipation will kill any eventual story. There were some weird and repeated references to how much Jonathon looks like Lyon. I don’t know what to make of it.

  14. Nikki
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 21:27:27

    When I first read Dragon Bound I didn’t see what the excitement was, but I gave Serpent’s Kiss a chance when it came out and everything worked much better. I look forward to the short. I feel like as the world expands, the story gets better.

    Jane, I am interested in your thoughts on Beauty Dates the Beast. I become extremely irritated that I wasted time and money on it.

  15. Jane
    Oct 31, 2011 @ 21:37:58

    @Nikki I don’t have a distinct memory of this book (and my ARC was seriously messed up). And in full disclosure, I like Jill personally. I’ve met her and I think she’s one of the funniest people ever – Heather Osborn being the other funniest person I have ever met. So setting aside the disclosure (and I say that so you can judge how useful my comments will be) I like Jill’s voice in this story. It’s lighthearted, sweet and a little humorous. I didn’t mind the setup but I thought the ending unraveled and I wished that Bath would have relied on the strength of the Pack more. Her inability to see through the bad guy’s ploy was maddening. I like the idea of the paranormal dating agency quite a bit and I thought the setup worked but Bath, oh Bath. Man, if there was ever a chick in need of being taken care of, it was her.

  16. rameau
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 05:56:33

    You poor soul. Sorry, that’s my opinion on anyone who reads Fifty Shades 1&2, which I did not read when they were posted as Alternative Universe & Out Of Character Twilight fanfiction. Only the names and physical descriptions were borrowed from the books and the rest was… well, apparently what you’re reading in the books. From what I’ve heard through other reviewers who’ve read both, only the names were changed when turning this massive fanfic into a publishable book.

    I’ll be waiting to read your reviews for the historical novels though.

  17. Nikki
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 10:55:15

    @Jane: I thought the idea of the paranormal dating agency would be fun but it felt less like a dating agency and more like a skeevy escort service. I agree that she has a light voice but it jarred for some of the topics. I felt she wanted me to laugh at the blackmail and some other shifter constructs but I was just thinking of coercion and that the nature of consent and control was towards the negative. I bought the book based on the strength of the sample but I felt like it really fell apart after that. I went from thinking Bath a little odd but possibly fun and interesting to thinking she was TSTL. Actually I thought other characters were also TSTL because she was heavy-handed with outing the villain rather early. I kept wondering why none of these sharp-senses shifters could tell who it was for so long.

    I think it will be memorable for me as one of the more irritating books I read this year.

  18. Janine
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 11:40:17

    @Jane: Have you read I Kissed an Earl? Lyon’s resemblance to Jonathan had some significance in that story. Since Lyon is living under an assumed identity, I suspect the resemblance will matter even more in the future.

  19. LizJ
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 11:54:21

    Can anyone clue me in as to what the point would be of writing fan fiction that was BOTH au and ooc?

  20. Jane
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 14:29:35

    @Janine No, I haven’t and I don’t really have any interest in reading the first three books in the series. I think I tried and it just didn’t appeal to me.

  21. Jane
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 14:29:49

    @LizJ I don’t know what au and ooc is…

  22. Janine
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 17:57:28

    @Jane: I believe I Kissed an Earl is the fourth book in the series, not one of the first three. And the second half of it is amazing, plus there’s a huge bonus at the end (Lyon!).

  23. Estara
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 18:00:49

    @Jane: I think – though I’m not sure – AU is alternate universe and ooc should definitely be out of context…. or out of continuity? heh.

    P.S. Thanks for EXCELLENT editable comments.

  24. Ari
    Nov 01, 2011 @ 19:22:45

    @Jane: rameau already mentioned in the comment the definition of AU (alternate universe) and OOC (Out of Character)

    Not surprised at the pricing though considering the err…”entitlement issue” that came out when author decided to file off the serial number and publish it. Even non-Twilight followers were treated to a spectacular blow-up that day ^^

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