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

What Jaclyn is Reading, Week of August 8

I may be the slowest writer and least frequent reviewer of the DA crew, but I surely do read a lot. I have this funny (at least it’s funny to my husband) habit of buying more than one ebook at a time. If I’m going to go to the effort to surf the bookstore and type in the payment information, I figure I should buy a few things. Anyhoo, here’s what I’ve read in the past week.

An ARC of Animal Attraction by Jill Shalvis. I’ll post a review closer to publication date. (Yes, I like it.)

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo

Red Ribbon by Lila Dubois.  New-to-me author. Liz has issues of shame over her masochist cravings creating the relationship drama and compelling emotional development arc in this 119 page story. I got to know these characters and cared what happened to them. I’ll read more books by Ms. Dubois.

Goodreads | Amazonnook | Sony | Kobo

Blood and Steel by Angela Knight. Cyborgs and vamps. I liked this cyborg mercenary hero. And the heroine? Poor (vampire) baby needed someone to love her after almost 100 years of torture at the hands of her (now dead) vampire master. Dear readers, sometimes WTFery is fine entertainment. J

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo

Hope’s Kiss by Angela Knight. The truth is I’ve got vamp fatigue, but I like Ms. Knight’s characters and, well, her characters are vamps. In this story the villain was a one-dimensional tool to help the hero and heroine come together. I’m not going to run around recommending this unless you’re ape-shit for vamp books or, like me, you read a book because it has Angela Knight’s name on it. Also? Coming in at 58 pages this short story is, well, short.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo

Forbidden Fruit by Anne Rainey. I was dinging around Red Sage’s web site, I’d never been there before, and I recognized Ms. Rainey’s name so I clicked on the book. This is a Cinderella story about a vet more comfortable in baggy clothes with her hair in a ponytail than in skirts and heels. For a while I thought the hero was a dumb-ass but I forgave him. So did the heroine.

Goodreads | Amazon |  nook | Sony | Kobo

Feeding the Vampire by Jeffe Kennedy. I follow Ms. Kennedy on Twitter, she cracks me up. I thought this was too short, coming in at only 29 pages. I was interested in the characters and whatever the heck happened to make the world go boom and then BAM! The story was all done. I wanted more.

Goodreads | Amazon |  nook | Sony | Kobo

I re-read Nalini Singh’s Kiss of Snow on Sunday. I need an infusion of Psy-Changlings every couple months. Addicted much?

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo

Anne Calhoun’s Fighting Fair. Damn but Ms. Calhoun creates characters that are so real. Also, in writing about married people who have Issues, she cuts through the WTFery set ups that a lot of short story/novella erotic romances have.

Goodreads | Amazon |   nook | Sony | Kobo

Wild & Steamy, an anthology that includes Meljean Brook, Jill Myles, and Carolyn Crane. I bought this because of the Iron Seas story; it was my first read of both Jill Myles and Carolyn Crane—I’ll be seeking more books from both. I’ve gotten disinterested (or maybe really, really picky) in ménage stories, and I liked this one by Ms. Myles. Ms. Crane’s world has peaked my interest and now I want to read more.

Goodreads | Amazon |  nook | Sony | Kobo

She Knows His Secret by Racy Li. I’m a sucker for superheroes so the cover of this book caught my eye. Toss in a heroine who is a brainiac scientist-medical doctor and I bought it. I was expecting shoot-‘em up superheroes vs. aliens and got an emotionally wrecked hero fighting to get his girl back after she dumps him for keeping secrets. Smart woman made him work for her. Win.

Goodreads | Amazon | nook | Sony | Kobo

While buying school supplies for my son I slipped a copy of Christina Dodd’s Secrets of Bella Terra into the shopping cart and plan to read it next.

Goodreads | Amazon | BN | nook | Sony | Kobo

What are you reading? Have you read any of these? What do you think of them?

Cheers fellow readers,


The first book Jaclyn can recall reading all by herself was Cinderella (a pink Disney edition) and all these years later she remains an avid reader of fairy tales, myths, and historical romances. Jaclyn's TBR also overflows with science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, contemporary, thrillers, and mystery. During the workday she can be found navigating the digital transformation at a university press.


  1. SHZ
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 11:32:09

    I’m finishing the last of this month’s Superromances. I’ve heard about people who order every new release for their favourite category line every month, but I’ve never done it before. This month has been above average – the Tara Taylor Quinn, Sarah Mayberry, Karina Bliss and Beth Andrews books are really good.

    Next month I’m not so excited about. Harlequin seems to have decided to release all their scary baby-centric editions in September.

    I’m looking forward to reading the Jill Shalvis book because I’m a huge fangirl. It’s been too long since I’ve read something by her.

  2. MaryK
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 11:53:37

    I’m an Angela Knight fan, too! I prefer her standalones, though, and I’ve never gotten into the Mageverse series. I’m not a fan of the Arthur myth.

    What’s the point of buying only one ebook? :) Especially if you’re going to end up with loads of small change transactions on your credit card? If I come across an interesting ebook while reading a blog or something, I’ll even throw it into a shopping cart and leave it until I’ve collected several I want to buy.

  3. Cavalier Queen
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 11:59:03

    Wow! What haven’t I read just this month! Like you, I’ve been downloading to my kindle like a kid in a candy store. Have whispernet will travel… Just started, Long, Lonely Nights… Marla Monroe. Just finished, Desire for Three, Leah Brooke, 2 star, Menage. Alpha’s Mate, Leah Brooke 3.5 star, would look forward to more of this series, werewolf Alpha menage sort of thing. Crescendo, again Leah Brooke, menage… ok, there was a theme going. Also Nauti and Wild. Nauti by Lora Leigh, 1 star, Wild by Jaci Burton 3 star, Slow Burn, EB Walters, 3.5 star… Read a whole bunch of Lora Leigh’s Navy Seal Alpha stories in a week… sex was really hot, but after the umpteenth one, the plots were routine. Just downloaded Rock Hard from the Sinners on Tour series by Olivia Cunning. It got great reviews and was recommended by a friend on goodreads so I’m giving that a shot too. My husband keeps asking just how much I’m spending on Amazon this month. You know, it’s just a click and buy… :-)

  4. Na
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 12:15:41

    I am looking forward to reading any books by Jill Shalvis and Nalini Singh just because (can you believe it?) I haven’t read any books by them yet. It seems everyone has and they have many fans, I feel like I am missing out.

  5. Las
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 12:22:20

    Not usually my genre, but She Knows His Secrets sounds really good. I’ll be reading that one. Thanks!

  6. Angela
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 12:47:58

    This reminded me to add Animal Attraction to my TBB list. I did get Wild & Steamy for the Iron Seas story as well, but I’m glad to hear that the others are good too. I have it downloaded and am planning to read it sometime soon.

    I’ve been in the middle of my own Nalini Singh re-read this month, but of her Guild Hunters series. Right now reading an ARC of Archangel’s Blade (love it!) to be able to do my review.

  7. kathybaug
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 13:45:44

    Thanks for the Blood and Steel recommendation. I just finished A.Knight’s latest Mageverse book. These books can be up and down for me, but I really enjoyed the latest. I’ve heard so many good things about Animal Attraction, I may have to break down and get a copy :)

  8. joanne
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 13:54:38

    I read Christina Dodd’s Secrets of Bella Terra.
    I thought the hero was an idiot. There were also enough plot holes to drive a semi through. Then when I thought it was getting better the heroine went into the basement. Isn’t that something that pre-teens learn at their first horror movie? Do Not Go In The Basement. Whatever. I’m anxious to see a review here because Amazon has all five star praise & I feel like I missed the boat.

    I also read Julie Garwood’s The Ideal Man. Again with the plot holes but Garwood is just so ‘readable’ and I liked her characters. It would be a recommended read except for the Agency pricing.

    I buy more single books now with Kindle then I did when I was buying paper.

  9. Brianne
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 14:36:11

    Loved the Iron Seas story! Haven’t yet had a chance to read the others in the anthology bu will

  10. Lindsey
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 14:47:39

    It’s been a slow month for me. While I sometimes power through 5-6 books a week, I’ve been moving slowly through Harrison’s Storm’s Heart since it came out. I think my lack of reading probably stems from both the lack of autobuy authors who have books coming out over the summer, as well as my free trial of Netflix, which means finishing as many TV series as I can before it expires.

    I’m totally the same way about Nalini Singh’s psy-changeling series. I reread at least one of the books (though usually more like 2-3) every few months, because I never get tired of them.

  11. Jayne
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 15:48:43

    Jane sent me an arc for the Dodd book but the back blurb was so uninteresting that I immediately moved it to my pile of “will not read” books.

  12. Carin
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 15:50:11

    We have some authors in common! I’m anxiously awaiting Animal Attraction. I’m an Angela Knight fan, though I haven’t read either of the shorts you mentioned. The Anne Calhoun is definitely going on my tbb list – I like her and didn’t realize she had a new one out. I’ve also read the psy-changeling series and loved Kiss of Snow. Her Guild Hunters series is on my “better read that some day” list.

    I also really enjoyed Wild & Steamy. I, too, bought it for the Iron Seas stories and liked the others – though I felt like I just couldn’t catch on to everything in the 3rd story.

    I finally found Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series. I love, love, loved the Cat & Bones books.

    Thanks for doing this update post – I hope you’ll do it again!

  13. Jaclyn
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 17:39:50

    @Carin I’ll probably do one of these posts every week until you all tell me to stop. :) Glad we have writers in common. Not many of my IRL reader friends read what I do, which makes me grateful this community. I haven’t read Ms. Frost’s books and will give them a try.

    @Joanne and @Jayne Uh oh. I got sidetracked by an ARC and haven’t started reading Bella Terra yet; I’ll be curious if my reaction is the same as yours, Joanne.

    @Las Just want to be clear–there *is* some shoot ’em up, it’s mixed with the emotional angst. ;)

    @Lindsey I’m one of the few DAers who hasn’t read Storm’s Heart. It’s even on my reader waiting for me. I keep forgetting it’s there. I went through massive dragon book consumption (like 20 or 30 dragon themed books) last year and got a little burned out by the firey beings.

    @MaryK I prefer Ms. Knight’s stand-alones, too. I don’t rush to read the Mageverse books. I do rush to read the standalones, though, as soon as I hear about them.

    @SHZ Have you read the Lucky Harbor series from Ms. Shalvis? I read the first one, haven’t gotten to the second two yet, but plan to. Eventually. :)

    @Cavalier Queen. Holy moly that’s quite a list! Some of those authors that are new-to-me, so I’ll go check them out tonight. Thank you!

    @Na You’re in for a real treat. Happy reading!

    @Angela I can’t wait to read Archangel’s Blade. That Dimitri is sexy. Will be interesting to get the first vamp POV book in the series.

    @kathybaug I didn’t love the first in the series, Animal Magnetism. The heroine was…perfect. Blerg. But in Animal Attraction the heroine has emotional baggage & trauma. Her path of healing gave me something to care about–investment in her story.

    @Brianne I really liked Ms. Crane’s characters, and her discussion of art/construction of our built environment as a manifestation of what we feel was something that made me look around my own city with fresh eyes.

  14. Tina
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 17:57:15

    I just read Anne Calhoun’s Fighting Fair. It was too short, I needed more of them! She really needs to give us another full length book. Liberating Lacey is a five-star read for me. In both these books she has characters whose conflicts are believable, internal, and sooo well conveyed on the written page.

  15. Minx Malone
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 18:16:13

    I’m so glad I’m not the only one who buys more ebooks at a time than I can possibly read!

    I love Anne Calhoun (her Spice Brief book was a thing of beauty) and I’ll probably read some old school Johanna Lindsey this week too since it’s on sale for 99c at Amazon.

  16. Cavalier Queen
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 18:27:15

    Just finished Long Lonely Nights Marla Monroe. I’d say give this one a pass. Writing is juvenile. Stalker suspense is pretty good, character development is high school level, I’ve read better sex in fanfic. Writing is generally poor, even mixing up character names in places.

  17. Cavalier Queen
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 18:37:40

    @Tina- just added liberating Lacey to my wish list but at $9.19 that is pretty pricey for the genre. Probably have to wait until I haven’t spent a FORTUNE in a month on books on basically nothing but SEX. LOL!
    @alot of you- I’ll have to check out N. Singh’s books. Sounds like they are hot paranormal reads. I got pretty tired of the vampire genre, even Jeannie Frost, but maybe I’m ready to give them a try again. :-)
    This has been a great exchange of suggestions. I’m thrilled I found this blog. Looking forward to reading, and posting some reviews of books. Goodness knows,I’ve read some pretty good books, and some really sorry ones. I read a description of a man’s well you know.. “smelled like cinnamon and mountain air” please? Like those two words should ever go together in a sentence, much less to describe THAT?

  18. Wahoo Suze
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 18:58:39

    If I come across an interesting ebook while reading a blog or something, I’ll even throw it into a shopping cart and leave it until I’ve collected several I want to buy.

    Me, too. I fill up the cart over time and buy maybe once per month (which helps me notice how much I’m spending per month, too). So I find it REALLY irritating when the contents of my cart just disappear for no apparent reason (I’m looking at YOU, Allromance).

  19. Renda
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 19:35:23

    Thanks so much for this post. It is exactly the type of quick and dirty reviews I like. Like @Jaclyn
    IRL friends aren’t so much into what I like o this was a pleasant little list to check out.

  20. MaryK
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 19:51:56

    @Wahoo Suze – I was just going to tell Cavalier Queen about ARe. They give store credit when you buy Ellora’s Cave books so it’s cheaper.

    I find it REALLY irritating when the contents of my cart just disappear for no apparent reason (I’m looking at YOU, Allromance).

    At ARe, you have to sign in first so the cart knows who you are and who to save the books for. It is a pain because after you sign it doesn’t return you to where you were and you have find your book again. I still do it though so I only have to check out once.

  21. Ridley
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 19:52:01

    @MaryK and @Wahoo Suze:

    That’s what Goodreads is for. I have a number of “to-buy” lists there. When the book buying urge strikes me, I check my lists and buy a dozen or so at a go.

    It’s so not worth all the little charges on my card and ereader downtime from side loading one book at a time.

    @Cavalier Queen:

    I buy Ellora’s Cave titles from All Romance eBooks. They charge EC’s ridiculous third-party retail price, but do a 50% store credit rebate. Half of the price of an EC book gets me two books from real epublishers, so it feels like a good deal.

  22. Wahoo Suze
    Aug 11, 2011 @ 20:44:48

    Yep, I did finally figure out the sign-in thing, but I had about 6 books in my cart a couple of weeks ago. When I saw the review for the new James Buchanan I went right to ARe. I found the book, logged in, added the book to the cart, and found the rest of them had disappeared. I think I went too fast or something, because it does seem to take several minutes to figure out who I am after I log in.

    Still irritated. Not enough to huff off in disgust, it’s just a mild annoyance. As far as I can remember (not very well), I think I’ve found all the books I wanted again. If not, oh well.

  23. Ann G
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 00:41:54

    I haven’t read Jill Shalvis’ books yet, but I pre-ordered two of her books in an e-book bundle:SIMPLY IRRESISIBLE & THE SWEETEST THING. It’s supposed to be downloaded to my Kindle in November.

    I’m reading THE PERFECT BRIDE FOR MR. DARCY by Mary Lydon Simonsen. It’s a Pride and Prejudice variation, and I’m enjoying this book so far.

  24. Ivy
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 07:57:00

    I love Jill Shalvis and Jill Myles. JM’s succubus series is good & I think she has a contemporary out, haven’t read it yet though. I have Shalvis’ latest Animal & Angela Knights latest Mageverse on their way.
    I’m currently reading Forever Freed and Where Demons Fear to Tread. FF is vamp but kinda old school & emotional..liking it so far.

  25. Cady
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 09:08:30

    Is She Knows His Secret only available in ebook?

    I have the iPhone, but have only used it via the library to read books, need to figure out how to buy them. Just haven’t had time to figure out what app to download, etc.

  26. Jaclyn
    Aug 12, 2011 @ 11:02:04

    @Cady The publisher of She Knows His Secret (Loose Id) sells books in print, too, and it looks like they sell them direct from their web site and through online bookstores.

    If you have an iphone you can download free apps from several different bookstores then buy books to read in the app. I mostly use the Kindle app on my phone (because it’s easy to use) and She Knows His Secret is for sale from Kindle. Jane has written tons here at DA on ebook apps if you want to learn more.

  27. Maytoo
    Aug 13, 2011 @ 18:23:02

    @Wahoo Suze: The other feature that I really like about Allromance is the wish list. I log in, and then as I go through posts like this, I go there and add the books to my wish list. When I need something to read, I scroll through my wish list and find the books that caught my attention at sometime or another. Some of the books have been there for years and others get bought almost immediately.

  28. Jeffe Kennedy/Jennifer Paris
    Aug 20, 2011 @ 08:30:55

    Thanks for the review! I’ll write longer next time. ;-)

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