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Reading List for Jane, Week of August 13

This is more a list of what I read last week because I don’t know what I am going to read this week.  Last week I read:

Never a Mistress, No Longer a Maid by Maureen Driscoll.  This was sent to me by the author. The pitch was really good.  The book not so much.  Standard fare Regency historical that pays no attention to societal restrictions in order to get the couple together.  Also a secret baby story.  It took me days (4) to finish this book.  Full review to come.

Goodreads | Amazon |  nook

Wild & Steamy by Carolyn Crane, Jill Myles, Meljean Brook. I liked all three stories although there wasn’t any consistent theme among the three.  I understand that there was some angst over Crane’s female protagonist but having not read the previous stories, I didn’t find the character objectionable.  Meljean’s story made me mad because a) it was short and b) I don’t have another Iron Seas book to read until next year.  Jill’s story is fun. I consider Jill a friend, though, so take my recommendation with that proviso.

Goodreads | Amazon |  nook | Sony | Kobo

Hidden Talents by Emma Holly.  It’s a shapeshifter, etc. alternate reality story based on fated mate bonds.  It’s fairly decent erotic romance but it’s short and the emotional connection is underdeveloped. At the beginning of chapter two, Holly has a gay character use the word ‘faggot’ in reference to himself. I visibly recoiled.

Goodreads | Amazon | nook | Sony | Kobo

To the Brink by Cindy Gerard.  This is a marriage in trouble story recommended by the readers to last Tuesday’s thread.  I liked it but I was disappointed that I didn’t get to see the fallout from breakup.  Gerard writes several flashback scenes including how the couple met, got together and what led up to the breakup, but not the actual breakup itself and I felt emotionally robbed.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo

A Whirlwind Marriage by Helen Brooks.  A marriage in trouble story recommended by Saly on Twitter.  It was a great read and very different in feel than past Brooks books. Brooks often writes about the heroine who wants to stay at home and have children and devote herself to her family.  She often has her characters refer to those “driven career women” as hard and uninterested in family.  But in this book, the heroine married young and felt suffocated. She wanted to have a life outside the marriage and this leads her to leave her extremely wealthy husband and rent out a dingy bedsit and work at a grocery store until she can start university classes.  Her husband wants her back but until he comes to accept her desire to have a career and a family, they can’t have their HEA.  Full review to come.

Goodreads | Amazon |  nook | Sony | Kobo

Bad Girl By Night: A H.O.T. Cops Novel by Lacey Alexander. I meant to press the “send a sample” button but inadvertently hit the “buy” button. Oh, Amazon.  Your technology is too easy at times.  I haven’t liked previous Alexander books in the past which is why I wanted to try a sample, fortunately, I ended up liking this a lot.  There are definitely problems in this book but I’ve struggled to find erotic romances that have a good emotional arc and this one does.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo

Touch of Crimson by Sylvia Day.  I’ve really enjoyed the short story contributions by Day in the upcoming Men Out of Uniform and another one (the title of which I can’t recall) but I haven’t been able to get into the historical books. I picked this up because I figure it would feature the Day contemporary voice.  There is a kernel of a very good story in this book, but because of the “no paranormal being left behind” mantra that seems to be driving the worldbuilding, the overlapping and confusing taxonomy of beings, and the super unlikeable and hypocritical hero made this a disappointing read. Full review to come.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo

Catch Me by Lorelie Brown.  This is a historical western and I love the cover.   I’m not wild about the idea  – the heroine robs a bank to pay for medical care for her dad, the town sheriff, and then is hunted down by a bounty hunter who wants to be the town sheriff.  I’ve been reading it off and on for a month now. I don’t know if I am ever going to finish it.  I keep hoping that at some point I’ll start being lost in the text but it hasn’t happened for me.

Goodreads | Amazon |  nook | Sony | Kobo

Bride for Real by Lynne Graham.  Apparently this is a sequel to a previous Graham book.  I think this is the second time this year that Harlequin Presents have had sequels to a book but haven’t really given the reader a heads up about it.  The sequel starts off with the couple in the previous book having broken up, so a marriage in trouble trope. I found parts of the story kind of interesting because the secret baby in this story was the hero’s that he created with a different woman while the heroine and hero were separated (but not divorced).  For some the infidelity might be hard to overcome.  My problem was with how superficial some of the issues regarding the couple’s separation were treated.  I did like the idea that the heroine didn’t want to accept the hero’s baby and how the hero’s baby paralleled her own life (she was the out of wedlock child in her family).

Goodreads | Amazonnook | Sony | Kobo

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. Kati
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 10:09:59

    Hm. Touch of Crimson worked for me, but then I loved the Eve series, and this is set in the same world. Perhaps my familiarity with the mythology made it an easier read for me. Although, I will concur that the hero acted like a douche-canoe sometimes.

  2. kara-karina
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 10:17:28

    Touch of Crimson is totally different from Eve whom I love. Adrian was a hypocritical indecisive asshat. His lycan and even Sire were more interesting characters. And because I love Eve I was so disappointed in this story. Hopefully, the next book will be better :)

  3. Jane
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 10:20:25

    @kara-karina: Yep, that’s how I felt about Adrian. He’s really villianous, going around ripping off the wings of other beings, condemning them to a “soulless” life (although I saw little difference between the angels with souls and without) for doing the same thing he has been doing for a millennium and not feeling one iota of remorse. I was pretty disgusted by him. His lycan was interesting as was Syre.

  4. Renda
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 10:46:03

    Just wanted to say I love this feature. I find these postings by the reviewers and then follow-up comments very helpful.

  5. jmc
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 10:50:17

    I read the HP that preceded Bride for Real and felt extremely, extremely irritated with HP because I got to the the book’s (The Marriage Betrayal) HEA only to see on the very next page an excerpt telling me that it really wasn’t an HEA.

    Of course, some of my irritation was with the very thin characterization, the overuse of HP tropes, and the doormat:asshat ratio. But the ending felt like a cheat to me, HP reaching into my pocket to get me to buy not one but two books about this couple.

  6. Jayne
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 10:51:31

    Oh, avatar love. I’ve missed Ned’s original Jane drawings!

  7. Christine M.
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 11:41:57

    I’m really digging this feature. Thanks for putting up with, and indulging, us.

  8. joanne
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 12:38:58

    I love this feature too!

    Jane I’d like to make a recommendation for your reading list this week. I haven’t read the story but I just bought it based on two things that seldom influence my purchases.

    First is the price for Kindle: 99cents.

    The second is the title.

    And the third, fourth and probably only real reason is the still the title:
    The Zillionaire Vampire Cowboy’s Secret Werewolf Babies

  9. library addict
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 13:19:50

    I agree with what you are saying about To the Brink. But even with the flaws, it is still my favorite book in her Bodyguards series. And one of my favorite marriage-in-trouble books.

  10. Angela
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 14:22:15

    @joanne: That title almost makes me want to buy that!!

    I want to echo those that love this feature!

  11. Jane
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 14:23:44

    @jmc: I vaguely remember the first one.

  12. Jane
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 14:24:53

    @joanne: You are right. I do have to buy that book.

    @library addict: It’s not that I didn’t like it, it’s just that parts disappointed me. I still bought the first one in the EDEN series after reading To the Brink.

  13. Chris W
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 14:52:59


    That was posted on the authors website as a parody of a HQN. Each author wrote a portion of the story. It is a cute quick read.

  14. Darlynne
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 14:56:57

    @joanne: Oh, yeah. Best title almost ever.

  15. Sotheara
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 15:06:56

    Love the new reading list feature. I got the ARC of “Touch of Crimson” by Sylvia Day on my TBR pile. The author did say it was set in the same universe as the Eve series – which I have not read, so I’m wondering if I’m going to have the same reaction as you, Jane. I usually like reading Day’s historicals more.

  16. Sharon
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 18:20:18

    You’ve got a very interesting list. I’ve hit the wrong Amazon button, too!

  17. Carin
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 19:49:01

    About Catch Me. That cover caught my eye more than once, though I never did buy it. I’ve certainly been in that position though, where you really want to like a book, but it just doesn’t grab you and other books keep luring you away.

    Also, count me as another fan of the reading list posts!

  18. Kristyn
    Aug 16, 2011 @ 20:37:49

    I’ve heard Wild & Steamy is awesome. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts.

  19. SonomaLass
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 03:05:36

    Great feature! I love round-up posts, even though I’m two months behind on my own.

    My reaction to Meljean Brook’s story in Wild and Steamy was exactly the same as yours! I have read Carolyn Crane’s books, and I loved how she rehabilitated that character. The Jill Myles story was the first thing I’ve read by her. I didn’t love it, but that’s due to personal biases about menage stories, mostly. I thought she did a great job with the shifter aspect, and I liked her voice. What others would you recommend? (asking for the thing that’s harder for you to do, I know)

    I read <i

  20. SonomaLass
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 03:16:58

    Oops! Premature post, thanks to typing lefty on the iPad.

    I read Catch Me all in one day while in Scotland — just sat in front of the fire on a rainy day and gobbled it up. Of course I’m a sucker for a woman in trousers in historical romance. I did think there was a little too much trying to fit in a short-ish novel, especially hero backstory and its complications, but I liked how it tackled real strong obstacles between the lovers and didn’t wimp out at the end. It was unusual, and I needed that after a string of Regencies.

    Again, love this feature!

  21. Aemelia
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 07:10:37

    Crap, I was looking forward to picking up A BRIDE FOR REAL…now I won’t be touching it. Reading that he knocked someone else up just pissed me off…I guess I can handle the infidelity better when there are no permanent consequences. *shrug* (in a book only…and only when the couple is separated for YEARS)

  22. Pat
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 08:05:58

    I want to put in my two cents that I love this feature too. I love the short snappy reviews, they fit well within my attention span! :-)

  23. Jane
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 11:04:38

    @SonomaLass ha ha ha. I think her upcoming book – Beauty Dates the Beast by Jessica Sims would be closest to this short. No menage in Beauty Dates the Beast.

  24. MaryK
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 12:39:23

    Is there a menu link to the Reading Lists? I’m not finding one. I’m sure these are posts I’ll want to come back to later.

  25. Jane
    Aug 17, 2011 @ 14:56:51

    @MaryK I just added it to the Book Review section.

  26. Edie
    Aug 18, 2011 @ 03:49:19

    I love this feature as well! :D

    I loved the Carolyn Cane story! (I am behind on reading the others in the series, though.) I loved the heroine. And the hero.

    The other one I read from your list, was a Touch of Crimson, I really enjoyed it, and found it really interesting… but yes Adrian is a complete and utter asshat. I just tried to ignore him mostly.. the heroine and the side characters were a big thumbs up though.

  27. Lisa Antaya
    Aug 26, 2011 @ 17:02:29

    I’m in for the Cindy Gerard. Love her books!

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