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.

53 Comments

  1. ami
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 15:53:06

    So I just finished reading Perfect by Judith Mcnaught, and in her very first sex scene between the hero and heroine, he enters her, and encounters the barrier. I just laughed because in the previous books I’ve read of hers she didn’t mention this “barrier”, and so far all of them have been virgins…

  2. Sandy James
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 16:03:17

    I am absolutely LOVING Lessons from a Scarlet Lady by Emma Wildes!!

  3. Jennifer Estep
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 16:19:42

    I finished Deep Kiss of Winter by Kresley Cole and Gena Showalter. I’m already looking forward to Cole’s next Immortals After Dark book.

    I also read and enjoyed Alaskan Renegade by Kate Bridges, and I just started Rachel and the Hired Gun by Elaine Levine. There need to be more westerns in the world. :-)

  4. Evelyn Andrews
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 16:57:13

    I can’t wait for Kresley Cole’s new book to come out this month! I’m also looking forward to Laura Kinsale’s new one, “Lessons in French.”

    I just recently finished “Sinful Surrender,” by Beverly Kendall, and “Proof by Seduction,” by Courtney Milan, both very enjoyable reads.

  5. Kris
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 17:02:02

    I just finished The Time Traveller’s Wife and was disappointed by it. I’m reading World Without End by Ken Follett and its just as good as its predecessor.

  6. Janine
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 17:38:07

    Late January and February books I have been looking forward to:

    Lessons in French by Laura Kinsale
    Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta (author of Jellicoe Road)
    Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh
    Improper Relations by Janet Mullany
    (Reissue) Dark Angel/Lord Carew’s Bride by Mary Balogh

    However, I’ve been overwhelmed with real life stuff lately and there’s more coming down the pike, so I don’t know how soon I will be able to get to most of these.

  7. LJ
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 18:26:05

    Like Janine, I’m eagerly awaiting Melina Marchetta’s Finnikin of the Rock. (And Janine, good luck with all of your real life responsibilities.)

    Another February YA I’m planning to read as soon as possible is debut author Kristin Walker’s A Match Made in High School. The ARCs for this one went out last year when the original pub date was May or June 2009 and everyone seemed to love it, so I’ve been anxious to get my hands on it for months. BN.com shipped it very early and it arrived recently.

    Also looking forward to these February releases:
    Gone by Lisa McMann (YA, last in trilogy)
    Butterfly Tattoo by Deidre Knight (paperback release Feb 1)
    The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms by NK Jemisen
    Black Magic Sanction by Kim Harrison.

  8. Kaetrin
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 18:38:11

    I’m enjoying Instant Gratification by Jill Shalvis at the moment and I’ve got Slow Heat on pre-order for February – really looking forward to that.

    I also recently enjoyed Tigers & Devils by Sean Kennedy – it’s a m/m romance, not explicit, full of witty banter and fairly long too!

    Another one I liked was a m/f/m menage story by Cara North called The Object of my Obsession. I thought it went somewhere unexpected and I found it very moving. The editing could have been a bit better but overall, I was pleasantly surprised how much this one touched me.

    I’ve also recently enjoyed Coming Undone and Laid Bare by Lauren Dane.

  9. Eliza Evans
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 19:18:31

    I’m in the middle of CS Harris’ Sebastian St. Cyr series. I’m not usually a mystery reader but these books are like crack.

    I read Kinsale’s Letters in French and enjoyed it very much, but finished it feeling like it could have emotionally gone a bit further. My heart just wasn’t torn out enough.

    I also just finished the new Kristan Higgins, The Next Best Thing. I love, love, love her books and this one is no exception.

  10. Reader X
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 19:22:27

    I’m honestly frustrated with the number of self-promoting authors that keep popping up in boards, and not the spamming kind – the one that sneakingly adds their own books in each post of “What to read next based on these recs!”. In one forum, an indie author answered a question on what UF was, and set her book as an example. I checked it out and in no way was it UF (it was /college/romance/vampire with a bit of ‘adventure’) and the same author posted her books in the “want lots of sex/no too much sex” thread. I roll my eyes every time they contradict their own genre. Another close indie author did the same, except her friends (it was obvious since they have their own forum and chat with each other there) does it for her and she goes in that thread and that group goes major off topic with – thank you! hope you like it! I love it! I can’t wait for the next one! I can’t believe you let your character do that! When is it coming out? – and it overuns the rest of the topic that many abandon it.

    In fact, I did check out some indie (some are actually very good) but this particular group really annoyed me. Some indie authors don’t even bother with warnings of menage, m/m, m/m/f, taboo, etc. The reviewers (all glowing reviews) don’t mention too much about it even. The few critical reviews (explains properly, provides example) are rated down and the author and friends backlash against the reviewer. In fact, only one person defended for the reviewer.

    I only go there because of recs, topics on hero/heroine/genre, and they keep popping out that I go extremely annoyed now. I get that it’s the only way for them to promote, but seriously, some aren’t honest, they overun another thread to squeal along with the author on the book, bash those readers and reviewers who wouldn’t give them an chance, etc. Their promoting is especially large for the past weeks now, and when they post, it isn’t in the appropriate thread anymore (I know this thread is about XX but has anyone read XX) *sigh* This post isn’t to shed a negative light on any self-published authors, just this group. Maybe it was just a bad week, but there are good indie authors (they are also understanding and nice when it comes it critical 3-stars below reviews) that also write goods books. I was actually surprised that it was a self-published book when I started searching for more. But anyways, needed to get that off. I’m reading the Darkest Passion by Gena Showalter and Lisa Marie Rice’s Midnight trilogy.

  11. Anion
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 19:23:34

    I just finished Lauren Kate’s (YA fantasy romance) FALLEN, and it was excellent. Lovely writing and a fantastic story; it gave some common tropes new life.

  12. Anion
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 19:27:51

    Oh, Reader X, what tacky behavior. I don’t know what message board you’re talking about, but I suggest you start reporting those posts to, and complaining to, the moderators. If they’re any good at all they should make it clear that such behavior is not appreciated or permitted.

  13. Jill Myles
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 19:32:40

    I am looking forward to:

    Kresley Cole’s PLEASURE OF A DARK PRINCE
    Larissa Ione’s ECSTASY UNVEILED
    Kristan Higgins’s whatever the next book is

    *makes grabby hands*

    Gimme. Get here already, February!

    (I’m probably forgetting some other stuff too, but February is a huge month for releases. So happy!)

  14. Jessica
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 19:59:45

    I have something I want to talk about!

    The new Susan Elizabeth Phillips book. It was so incredibly obviously talking about Brad, Jen, and Angelina that it was amazingly distracting to me. It kept pulling me out of the story! And as someone who really likes Angelina and Brad, well, it made me like the protagonist far, far less. Did anyone else have problems with this book?

  15. Kat
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 20:05:29

    One release I’m anxious to read is Alisha Rai’s “Veiled Desire”.. I liked her two previous stories (Samhain), especially “Cabin Fever.” She writes plus size heroines and characters of many ethnicities (oh my!).

    And of course I am so excited about TWO Madeline Hunter releases within two months. Yay!!

  16. Moth
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 20:09:10

    I’m really excited for the re-issue of The Cinderella Deal by Crusie. I don’t have my hopes too high that it will be awesome, but still, a new (to me) Crusie is a new Crusie. :)

  17. Jess Granger
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 20:10:49

    Shoot, I can’t look forward right now, I have to look back. My TBR pile is haunting me.

    I’ve got Singh’s Blaze of Memory in there, and I’m dying to read it. I really like that series.

  18. Mireya
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 20:14:24

    I recently discovered Jo Beverley and am going through her backlist. I am reading her Company of Rogues series, to be specific. Next week “Viking in Love” by Sandra Hill comes out, I am really looking forward to it. I am also looking forward to “Archangel’s Kiss” by Nalini Singh and of course, Kresley Cole’s “Pleasure of a Dark Prince”. There are also two anthologies I am waiting for: “Ladies Prefer Rogues” and “The Mammoth Anthology of Irish Romance”.

    I am almost done with Courtney Milan’s “Proof of Seduction”. I really didn’t find it anything to write home about and I even started getting impatient and more interested in Ned and Lady Kathleen than in the main romance. I think the biggest issue I had is that I really couldn’t connect with the main characters.

  19. RKB
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 20:16:23

    I can’t tell if I’m just getting sick of urban fantasy (UF) or if these books just weren’t up to par.

    Both Dopplegangster by Laura Resnick and Tempest Rising by Nicole Peeler have gotten great reviews. I bought them *new*, which I usually only do with books I’ve borrowed and then liked enough to buy my own copy.

    The books were well written, well edited, and engaged me at first. But for each of them, halfway through I just got disinterested and put them both up on Paperbackswap.

    I stopped reading Dopplegangster after I felt I was being infodumped via a conversation between two main characters. The two characters were beginning to grate on me too. Temptest Rising just got silly, especially when the main character finds out that she isn’t the only paranormal in town.

    However, I recently read Carrie Vaughn’s latest Kitty book, Kitty’s House of Horror and it was awesome. I totally recommend the book. Especially when she snarks on Anita Blake without using her name. Therefore, maybe it isn’t me, but just the glut on the market that is UF.

    At this point, the only UF authors I will buy sight unseen are Ilona Andrews, Carrie Vaughn, C.E. Murphy, Harry Connolly, Toni Andrews, Gail Carriger and Richelle Mead.

  20. EC Sheedy
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 20:32:51

    I just finished Jo Goodman’s NEVER LOVE A LAWMAN, and thoroughly enjoyed it. Wyatt, the hero, was terrific! And I also just finished the first novella in Bonnie Edwards’ BREATHLESS, and loved that, too. I’ve been a lucky romance reader lately.

    Currently reading Robert Crais’ THE FIRST RULE. Dark and terrible opening, but I’m pretty sure the bad guy is really, really going to get what’s coming to him.

    What am I waiting for? Laura Kinsale’s LESSONS IN FRENCH. February. Right? That book cannnot come too soon for me.

  21. Jessica G.
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 21:09:42

    Luckily for my TBR pile I’ve only got my eye on two books coming out in February: “The Next Best Thing” by Kristan Higgins, and “If Books Could Kill” by Kate Carlisle.

    I just devoured Gena Showalter’s Atlantis Series (in a handy dandy ebook bundle), and I’m wondering if she’s going to write any more. I’ve read all of the Lords of Underworld books, and I know she has several lined up for that series, but I couldn’t find anything about more Atlantis books.

  22. L
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 21:26:32

    I just finished Joey W. Hill’s Beloved Vampire, which was…good. Different for me since I don’t do paranormal, but the whole dynamic was interesting.

    I’m just starting on Sabrina Jefferies new book about Stoneville.

    And to the person going to read Jo Beverley, careful, I overdosed on her series. They became cookie cutters real quickly…but in small doses are good

  23. Castiron
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 21:32:42

    Nothing terribly original in my TBR stack; just Nora Roberts Bed of Roses and Heyer’s Infamous Army.

  24. JessW
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 21:44:43

    i am catching up on my TBR pile over the last few weeks. Enjoyed Laurens’ Mastered by Love (the last in her Bastion series) especially since I had not read any of her books in over a year; the plots and characterizations were becoming a bit predictable.
    Just finished Kidnapped: His Innocent Mistress by Nicole Cornick, which was fun and different (first person); glad i followed the recommendations from a few sites.
    Looking forward to the Hunter and Kinsale books.

  25. Evelyn Andrews
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 21:50:16

    I am almost done with Courtney Milan's “Proof of Seduction”. I really didn't find it anything to write home about and I even started getting impatient and more interested in Ned and Lady Kathleen than in the main romance. I think the biggest issue I had is that I really couldn't connect with the main characters.

    Mireya, I know what you mean about not connecting with the characters. I almost gave up around page 35, but decided to keep reading, and by the end of the book, I loved Jenny and Gareth’s story. They had a special and believable spark that I really appreciated. I hope Ms. Milan’s next book will hook me in a little faster, since I’m planning on reading it.

  26. Janet W
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 23:00:08

    @jessica — even though I can’t remember the title of the latest Susan Elizabeth Phillips book (I took it out from the library), I hated all the Brangelina references. Instant disconnect. I love her older books — the newer ones, definitely not such much. I have my fingers crossed for her next but I’m not holding my breath.

    I’m waiting for the new Kinsale and Brockway to arrive and I just got “Pieces of Sky” by Kaki Warner. What else: whipping through a re-read of all the Carlyle books and just about to devour a new mystery series: “Silent on the Grave, the Moor” and lastly, reading a book from my TBR for @avidbookreader challenge: Marrying Stone by Pamela Morsi. I have the new Courtney Milan too but I’m waiting to read it, the newest Goodman and the Jennifer Ashley until I can read them without remembering all the recent reviews. I want a fresh feeling.

  27. Susan
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 23:15:45

    I read Jory Strong’s Spider Touched by chance–saw it on the new release shelf at the library and was squicked out by the web, so of course I picked it up. LOVED IT. There’s so much going on in this book, I feel like if I re-read it, so many details I missed the first time around would come to my attention. Had never read Jory Strong before, and hope to read more.

    Moving in a totally different direction, I’m intrigued by the idea of pirates in space. Anyone have book recs? Of course, they don’t have to be pirates; Captains, pilots, and mercenaries would be ok, too. :)

  28. DS
    Jan 24, 2010 @ 23:34:36

    I don’t know how I managed to do this, but I am just now listening to Bujold’s Civil Campaign. It’s very good fun. I’ve read the Miles books all out of order and I still haven’t read some of them, but this is my favorite so far. A new one is due out this year from Baen.

  29. Kaetrin
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 00:04:48

    Speaking of Stephanie Laurens, I’m listening to The Untamed Bride on audio. The narrator is Simon Prebble and while he’s British, he reminds me of the voiceover guy who does the Australian ads for VB – “as a matter of fact, I’ve got it now”. (sorry, non Aussies won’t get the reference) which is a bit off putting. Also, it’s a bit strange when this very proper British accented guy states things like “so he shut her up, in the best possible way”. I’m enjoying the story but sniggering every now and then – some of the lines might read okay, but they SOUND oh so cheesy!

    As for the person who’s glomming on Jo Beverley’s Company of Rogues, enjoy – they’re some of my favourite books. There are some books that are only loosely related but one or two add to the overall story arc about Nicholas and the French spy lady.

  30. C
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 01:13:43

    I loved the Brangelina basis for that SEP, I thought it was very fun. Since magazines in the US pretend we all care about Jennifer Aniston anyway, why not do a romance novel with her as the heroine (and a more interesting heroine than she seems in real life)? I thought it really worked.

    Just bought my first ebook (from Samhain) — a novella, Going All In by Jess Dee. I liked the premise (poker games lead to a m/f/m/ and m/m/f threesome), which is what prompted the purchase. Sex was hot; pasted-on internal conflict was not and really took me out of the read despite the nice sex writing. Interestingly, the kind of book I’d usually recommend getting from the library rather than buying, but given the fact it’s an ebook, I’m not quite sure where that leaves this rec!

  31. elisa
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 02:16:08

    @DS: There’s going to be a new Miles book? SQUEE!!! that’s gonna be my top book for the year!

    also: I saw Laura Kinsale’s book at Sam’s Club. Since this was my first time there (friend took me), do they typically get books early? I should’ve bought it, but I didn’t realize it was early and I thought I could get it elsewhere…Oh well, I suppose I’ll have to wait.

    Oh, and I’m also looking forward to Mary Balogh’s reissue of Lord Carew’s Bride/ Dark Angel!

  32. Katie
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 02:49:07

    @elisa:
    Elisa, I picked up a copy of Lessons In French a couple days ago at Barnes and Noble. So you should be able to find it at your B&N. Great book!

    I’m very excited for Madeline Hunters new book coming out on Tuesday. Also looking forward to trying out two debut authors: Sara Lindsey and Alexandra Hawkins that have their debuts set for the first of Feb.

  33. neva
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 03:20:20

    @Kaetrin:
    Ha! There is no way I could listen to an audio book that sounds like a VB ad. I’d be laughing my head off and hearing the jingle the entire time I was listening!

    I’m also looking forward to Kresley Cole’s Kiss of a dark prince, Nalini Singh’s new angel book (however whats the deal with a month later release in Australia??? That sucks big time), and also looking forward to Jeaneine Frost’s First drop of crimson.

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    Jan 25, 2010 @ 03:25:34

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  35. hapalochlaena
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 04:15:03

    I’m eagerly awaiting the release of Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter novel Archangel’s Kiss in February.

  36. TrustMe_2_Forget
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 08:59:27

    I really liked SEP latest book, even w/all the Bradgelina/Jen referances.

    @susan if you liked Jory Strong’s SPIDER TOUCHED you should pick up the first book of the series GHOSTLAND, I loved both books.

    I’m really looking forward to:
    Larissa Ione’s ECSTASY UNVEILED
    Sandra Hill’s VIKING IN LOVE
    Katie MacAlister’s STEAMED: A STEAMPUNK ROMANCE

    steampunk is new to me, so I’m really curious how I’ll like it.

  37. Jill Sorenson
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 09:13:12

    I just downloaded Mary Wine’s new release, free from Sony:

    Not sure how to include links?

    http://ebookstore.sony.com/ebook/mary-wine/in-the-warriors-bed/_/R-400000000000000193044?in_merch=CategoryLanding_Bargain_FREE_1

    I really loved her debut, In Bed with a Stranger. These are historicals, 17th century I think.

    Other recent good reads:

    Sarah Mayberry Her Secret Fling (LOVED this!)
    Victoria Dahl Lead Me On
    Jennifer Echols Going Too Far
    Sean Kennedy Tigers and Devils

  38. Mireya
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 09:13:50

    @Evelyn Andrews:

    Sadly, I read the whole book and never felt a connection to the main characters. I will give her work another try, definitely, though. I don’t give up on an author easily :D

  39. katie
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 10:33:00

    @Jill Sorenson: Wow! Thanks so much for the link.

  40. Tamara Hogan
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 11:37:31

    @Susan: Pirates in space? You MUST read Susan Grant’s “Moonstruck.”

  41. LJ
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 12:13:01

    @RKB: Too bad about Doppelgangster! I just bought it even though I didn’t read the first book in the series (it’s out-of-print). Something about the cover and the first page made me decide I want to read it. I agree with you about Tempest Rising. I really didn’t enjoy it and don’t plan to continue with the series.

  42. Tee
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 12:37:45

    Mireya wrote: (re: “Proof by Seduction”) Sadly, I read the whole book and never felt a connection to the main characters.

    I loved Courtney Milan’s recent Christmas novella and decided to give her first main book a try. I too had a difficult time with it pulling me in for the first 90 pages or so. However, after that, I was hooked. When you’ve finished the book and still didn’t feel a connection, she may not be a good writer for you and there’s nothing wrong with that. Her style is a bit different and I was very much drawn to it, but not everyone will be (I dislike Judith Ivory’s style and how un-American is that!). Milan needs to do a better job of grabbing the reader a little earlier on in the story, otherwise some people may defect before the interest kicks in.

  43. RKB
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 13:56:11

    @LJ

    @RKB: Too bad about Doppelgangster! I just bought it even though I didn't read the first book in the series (it's out-of-print). Something about the cover and the first page made me decide I want to read it.

    I thought the cover was awesome too, plus I saw all the great reviews for it, so I picked it up.

    Maybe you’ll like it better than I did. But it just seemed just about every character was cartoonish and/or grating. I even skimmed to the ending and was disappointed in the ending. Oh well.

    Two other books that I picked up new that got great reviews but I did not like are Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire and Salt and Silver by Anna Katherine. At least I got through all of R&R, but I totally couldn’t connect with the main character or anyone else in the book. S&S just got too weird and boring for me, thus I dropped it halfway.

  44. A
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 15:15:32

    This weekend I read “Punnishment and Mercy” by Cris Anson.

    I want to specify I personally didn’t enjoy the book, but perhaps it might appeal to others.

    The historical erotic romance chronicles a menage involving a married couple and a young man in late 17th C. Massachusetts Bay Colony. This period isn’t my “niche” so I could not say for certain how authentic the world-building is, but I DID feel “swept away” from reality and caught up somewhere else. In general, writing quality was strong and consistent.

    The book had some quirks that don’t work for me, though. Anson uses POV switches solely between the heroine (3rd person) and her younger male hero (1st person). To my mind, scenes did not transition well.

    I also found the younger male more annoying than sexy and/or interesting. I couldn’t quite understand his appeal for the heroine. Their involvement seemed more sexual obsession than genuine romantic feelings.

    The book did not work for me, but it might work for others.

  45. Estara
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 16:14:13

    @Susan: There’s the Herris Serrano Series (not very romantic, lots of space opera, though) http://www.elizabethmoon.com/biblio-serrano.htm ,and just about any of the sf romances from Linnea Sinclair http://www.linneasinclair.com/books.html , but especially Games of Command and Finders Keepers.

    Due to the Fictionwise 12 (rather 13) Roses sale for Multiformat ebooks I’ve been on a Drollerie Press discovery and really enjoyed two fantasy-based books of theirs (can I just say they also have the most amazing cover artist!):

    Cindy Lynn Speer's The Chocolatier's Wife was my favourite.

    “Tasmin, William’s wife to be, was chosen by a spell, as all wives and husbands are chosen. It’s a nice, tidy way to find a reasonable mate for almost everyone. Unfortunately, Tasmin is from the North, a place of magic and strange ritual, and William is from the South, where people pride themselves on being above the kind of insanity practiced by the Northerners, which has nothing to do with the fact that most people in the South have lost their ability to practice magic.

    William doesn’t seem in a hurry to send for Tasmin, for which none of his family blame him. After all, she’s a barbarian. She, on the other hand, would like to know what’s keeping him. When he’s framed for murdering his patron, Tasmin takes matters into her own hands, harnessing the wind to bring her to William’s side. She’s gotten to know Wiliam from his letters. He’s not a murderer and she’s going to help him prove it.”

    There’s lovely insight into their long relationship via letters before they ever see each other (used as chapter headings) and some musings on whether the spell left them no choice or they eventually would have chosen each other anyway. There are also examples of the fact that people can still manipulate each other and go wrong, even with the wedding-spell cast. Oh, and the connections between family.
    Read the excerpt.
    Here’s an outside review
    Mrs Giggles review of it

    Angela Korra’ti Faerie Blood
    has a half black, half Faerie heroine, is a paranormal urban fantasy (set in Seattle) romance set within a few days. Very strong side characters, too.

    “Kendis Thompson is an average, ordinary software tester in Seattle. She has great friends, great housemates, a cat she loves, and her beloved violin. The aunt who raised her lives nearby and is always ready to share her love and comfort.

    Then one day, Kendis goes biking and is attacked by a troll. In Seattle. A Real. Live. Troll. She fights back, but she's no match for a creature made mostly of stone. When she screams for help, it arrives in the form of Christopher MacSimidh, who gives the troll what for-’until the troll gets the upper hand.

    And then everything starts going wrong.”

    Excerpt: Faerie Blood

    And a really fun science fiction ode to free market trading came out from Samhain recently: Nicole Kimberling’s Happy Snak
    Really well realised world-building, even if it has a bit of the “what the aliens need is a human to show them free trade”-going on. There’s believable alien romance and sex as an added bonus ^^. And a very low-key human relationship, too, the main focus are the dreams, problems and aspirations of the heroine.

    “Gaia Jones is on A-Ki space station for one reason, and it's not to ogle the hermaphroditic aliens. She's out to make a name for herself and her line of intoxicating human snacks. Not easy in A-Ki's tightly controlled society. Her task gets even more delicate when she rushes to the aid of a dying alien-’and finds herself the unwilling guardian of a shunned alien ghost named Kenjan. And the new owner of his slave.

    The danger mounts when Kenjan's grieving lover, the powerful leader of the Kishocha, offers her a dream and a nightmare rolled into one: a new store all her own with a strange double purpose-’half snack bar, half shrine. The catch? She must spend the rest of her life there, tending Kenjan the Heretic's ghost. Or the entire station will be destroyed.”

    Read An Excerpt Online – with an excellent cover, as well.

  46. JaimeK
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 16:20:34

    I just read a beautiful book by Leila Meacham called Roses. 600 some odd pages, but beautifully written.

  47. Noel
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 17:33:05

    I’m really looking forward to the February release of Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis. Absolutely loved Double Play and I can’t wait to see the sparks fly between Wade and Sam!

  48. Miss_Thing
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 18:22:48

    I’m stalking my local bookstore for Shadow Blade by Seressia Glass and Blood Magic by Eileen Wilks. I really enjoy Wilks’ Lupi series – her world-building is very interesting. I especially like the spiritual aspects of the werewolf culture she’s developed in her books, and enjoy the way the series occasionally moves away from focusing on the main couple.

    I’ve never read anything by Ms. Glass, but I’m excited to see something about Nubia – yay, a new mythology to explore! I remember reading a great sf/fantasy book from the 70′s-80′s(?)set in Nubia and the present day (of course I can’t remember the author or title) and I’m hoping this has the same flavor. I just started Spider’s Bite by Jennifer Estep and am enjoying it so far. I like an apologetically bad-ass heroine.

  49. Diana
    Jan 25, 2010 @ 22:21:22

    Can’t wait to read Kristan Higgins’s new book The Next Best Thing. I love all her books.

  50. Mezza
    Jan 26, 2010 @ 02:09:41

    I want to second the Happy Snak novella rec made earlier (from Samhain)Yay for small business women! It was great that the heroine wasn’t a cop or soldier (I am an ex -soldier)and I enjoyed the love affair being bewtween the aliens. I also want to recommend a new book set in Melbourne, Australia by Erica Hayes ‘Shadowfae’ It is the love story of and incubus and succabus with a mystrery solving, blood and deaths. It is erotica and has lovely language and Melbourne is really well shown. I could see Brunswick Street and I’ve walked across Princes Bridge at night like the heroine – who I relaly liked.

  51. Estara
    Jan 26, 2010 @ 14:45:06

    @Miss_Thing: Have you ever read Elizabeth Wein’s Ethiopian Arthuriana alternate history series starting with The Winter Prince (which has Mordred/Medraut as the understandable antihero)? All the later books play in Africa and mostly concern the Ethiopian emperor’s court. They’re sold as YA, because many of the protagonists are young, but the weight of the problems make them really good book fodder for grown-ups – actually they remind me somewhat of Megan Whalen Turner’s Thief series, in that you can read them for the adventure or intrigue and for the emotional journey of the main characters.
    ELIZABETH E. WEIN

  52. Jordan
    Jan 27, 2010 @ 14:52:28

    @Moth:
    I just finished reading this (as in, 10 minutes ago), and this is now one of favorites of hers (along with Bet Me, Charlie All Night, and Manhunting). In the forward, Crusie writes that she wanted to create something with more heart, more emotion, and by god, she did it. And it still has all the things I love about her novels: the animals, quirky characters, sense of family, fun dialogue. I’m so glad that more of her back list is being published

  53. John J.
    Jan 31, 2010 @ 18:29:38

    The biggest issue I am having is the lack of “Male-Friendly” romance novels. Now don’t get me wrong, the plots and such are all fine. I’m a romance addict, and I’m proud of it dammit, but there are trends with the physical books themselves that I wish would end.

    My main issue is the covers. I mean I would like a cover that is a little less obvious so that you can carry the book with you without someone going “Oh, look! He’s reading a romance novel!” This is one of the main reasons I read a lot of them on ebook, since people can’t see the actual books.

    The only other thing I have trouble with is the lack of gay-friendly print romances placed in stores. You see how many regency and paranormal books every month, but stores are too afraid to place m/m or f/f romances out on the shelves! Even big stores don’t place them in the romance section, optioning for the smaller LGBT section instead. I understand some people aren’t comfortable, but really, if you don’t like it, then don’t read it. I just want them to be available where I live instead of having to drive for an hour and a half to a larger store to try and find maybe one or two of them. Times are changing, and our books should be too.

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