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. kaigou
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 15:31:25

    Currently reading Flowers from the Storm and I just have to say, Laura Kinsale is a god. Truly. JUST SO YOU KNOW.

  2. Statch
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 15:39:05

    I still remember being upset when Flowers From the Storm veered off from the traditional romance I was expecting, and then it became so much more, and I couldn’t put it down. Really an incredible book.

    I had a weird ebook experience this week. I bought Archangel’s Kiss by Nalini Singh from a prominent ebook retail site, and when I tried to download it, I got an error message. I wrote the etailer, and got back the response that the book was not available, and they were refunding my money. How strange is that? It was in my bookshelf after I purchased it, but now is gone entirely from their web site. (I asked why, but never got a response.) I loved the beginning to that series, so I really want it. I can buy it elsewhere, but I have membership dollars with this site that I want to use.

    One of life’s little mysteries…

  3. Jennifer Estep
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 16:19:24

    I finished First Drop of Crimson by Jeaniene Frost last night. I enjoyed it. I thought Frost did some cool things with her magic/world building in the book. I’m really curious as to who she’ll pair Ian with.

    I also have Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole to read, along with Talk Me Down by Victoria Dahl; Just One of the Guys by Kristan Higgins; and Tate by Linda Lael Miller. (Love those Harlequin coupons in my inbox). ;-)

    And I picked up Hard to Hold by Stephanie Tyler and Feel the Heat by Cindy Gerard at the library. Now, I just need to find time to read them all!

  4. Mireya
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 16:35:08

    I finished Sandra Hill’s “Viking in Love” (February release). I also finished reading Karen Ranney’s “Till Next we Meet”. I have next in line Kresley Cole’s “Pleasure of a Dark Prince” and the anthology “Ladies Prefer Rogues”. I am looking forward to Christina Dodd’s “In Bed With the Duke”.

  5. Dayna
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 16:40:15

    I just finished Butterfly Tattoo by Deidre Knight. I was so touched by the story, and I cried my heart out several times. I’ve never skipped to the end of a book to see if there will be a HEA, but I was sorely tempted by this book about 1,000 times. I was so emotionally invested I was afraid the ending would break my heart.

    I think I’ll read something light and fun now.

  6. Jenny Schwartz
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 17:42:52

    I’m waiting for my copy of Trisha Ashley’s latest, Chocolate Wishes. Years ago I read The Urge to Jump and thought it one of the funniest novels to have a writer-narrator-heroine. I like how Ashley’s dark, moody heroes are simply baffled by her idiosyncratic heroines. I’m not sure how I’d categorise her books, but they’re like those of Katie Fforde, just a bit edgier.

  7. Estara
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 17:45:10

    I’m posting a plea for help for Norilana Books and its publisher and twice Nebula-nominated author Vera Nazarian – she’s in dire straits and may not only lose her house, but possibly close Norilana Books (whose Clockwork Phoenix 2 has just this week been Nebula-nominated for anthology), which has published Sherwood Smith, Tanith Lee (in revised editions of her dark fantasies with art from her husband), the Lace and Blade anthologies (which I’d call excellent fantasy entries for romance readers) and keeps on publishing new collections of Marion Zimmer Bradley’s Sword and Sorceress anthologies that started the careers of Mercedes Lackey, Deborah Ross, Laura Underwood, etc.

    She’s an excellent writer and doesn’t want to ask for another collection of money, so she wrote Mansfield Park and Mummies, which you can buy in trade paperback or for the Kindle as ebook (links at the site).

    It’s much more true to Jane Austen than a lot of the other satires, but you don’t have to take my word for it, there are links to excerpts at site for the book.

  8. DS
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 18:31:46

    @Estara: Ok, I like Jane Austen and mummies and parody so I’m giving it a shot. I’ve been surrounded by books lately, but nothing has really appealed so this came in good time.

    I have been trying to read The Red Church by Scott Nicholson which seems to be some sort of evangelical protestant horror novel. It’s hard going, although his writing isn’t bad ever so often he uses one of those buzz terms from my southern baptist childhood and I get jerked out of the story. I’m sure the intent of my church was not that I would forever after cringe when I hear the word “fellowship”, but that was the result.

  9. Darlynne
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 18:31:50

    Because I am chronically behind everyone else, I finally read Ann Aguirre’s Grimspace last week. And loved every word of it. What a terrific surprise.

    Jennifer Estep, your Spider’s Bite is up next and I’m really excited about that.

  10. brooksse
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 18:47:21

    Can’t wait until Julie James’ Something About You is released in March.

    I’m currently enjoying Slow Heat by Jill Shalvis. Love Jill Shalvis’ heroes, hoping for another one in this series. (Gage’s story, please!)

    I don’t know what I’ll read next. I have so many books in my TBR pile and yet I keep buying more.

  11. MaryK
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 18:50:43

    I just read Powerful Italian, Penniless Housekeeper by India Grey, a January HP, and loved it. It’s going on my keeper shelf with the likes of Susan Napier.
    The heroine is a single mother who suffers from an over active sense of responsibility. The hero is a celebrated film producer who asks her why she does that to herself. The heroine’s daughter is part of the plot but doesn’t intrude on it (I don’t like kid books, myself.)

    It suffers from the usual off-putting title and misleading back cover copy. Seriously, what is with the HP blurb writers? They take some event from the last third of the story, exaggerate it to a ridiculous extent and slap it on the cover like it’s the entirety of the plot. Gaah!

    It’s gotten to where I just ignore title and blurb and buy by author name so I never try new authors unless I get a good excerpt or recommendation.

  12. Carly
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 19:00:58

    I’ve just finished reading the digital backlist of a paranormal author, Vivi Andrews, and am anxiously awaiting her next full length novel. Her writing is great: fun, flirty, and eminently readable. I started with one of her shifter stories, “Serengeti Heat” and moved on to her ghost stories, but I love them all.

  13. Silver
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 19:51:28

    We at The Raving Readers love the works of these new-to-us authors:

    Playing for Real by Madison Blake
    Firsts by Rosalie Stanton
    Another Night, Another Dream by Mechele Armstrong
    Practice Makes Perfect by Julie James
    Sex Drive by Susan Lyons

  14. brooksse
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 19:53:07

    @Statch: It might have been a problem with the distributor.

    I bought a Victoria Dahl ebook last weekend. But when I downloaded it, I got a ebook from a different author with a very similar title from the same publisher (Zebra/Kensington). The bookstore had to contact the distributor to get the correct link.

    Funny thing is, they have the wrong picture for the ebook on their website. The picture is a book from the same publisher but for a totally unrelated title, author & genre. I almost didn’t order it due to the picture, but I had a coupon that covered the cost of the ebook. So I wasn’t really surprised that I ended up with the wrong ebook, but I was surprised that the downloaded ebook wasn’t the Dahl ebook or the ebook from the picture.

    I’ve bought a couple hundred ebooks over the past few years and this is the first time I’ve ended up with the wrong ebook.

  15. Kerry
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 20:27:51

    @Statch: I had exactly the same problem trying to buy Archangel’s Kiss. I suspect we were probably buying from the same store.

    I’m now waiting for a paper copy to arrive later this week.

  16. Sarah
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 20:51:16

    I’m finishing up Julie James’s Something About You and let me just say, it’s utterly fabulous! One of my favorite contemporary romance books in a long time.

  17. Nalini Singh
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 20:59:45

    Statch & Kerry – would you mind emailing me the details of that attempted ebook purchase?(nalinisinghwrites AT gmail DOT com)

    MaryK – I loved that India Grey book as well. I’m now on the hunt for her other titles.

  18. Mitzi H.
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 21:30:13

    I just finished The Stranger’s Secret by Beth Williamson and loved it so now I’m starting the book I should have read first… The Redemption of Micah.

    I’m also 1/2 way thru Sinful Surrender by Beverly Kendall and loving it too….it’s a great debut novel.

    And I started Audrey and the Maverick today by Elaine Levine…and so far so good.

    This is gonna be a great week!!!

  19. Kerry
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 21:31:06

    @Nalini Singh: Nalini, I’ve emailed you.

  20. roslynholcomb
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 22:05:48

    Samhain has had the most interesting ads on this site of late. I’m knee-deep in Seressia Glass’s latest, Shadowblade. I’m not much into the UF, but it is beyond fabulous. It’s just so nice to read about a different mythical system than most of the ones I’ve read. Fabulous book.

    Waiting breathlessly for the next Patricia Briggs, hoping I don’t have one of those disconcerting moments. Bummed because I’ve just finished what I consider Shelly Laurenston’s best book, Hunting Season, only to discover that she doesn’t know when she’ll get a chance to continue the series. I love The Gathering much more than either her Pack, Pride or Dragon books, so yeah I’m pouting a bit. Waiting for the print version as well, as I’ve discovered that Laurenston reads much better in print than as an e-book, of course, that’s probably because I don’t have an e-reader.

  21. emily
    Feb 21, 2010 @ 23:07:55

    I recently finished Kinsale’s Lessons in French and really enjoyed it.

    I also read Muriel Barberry’s Elegeance of the Hedgehog, which was recommended by my friends at the library. It was “eh”. The ending sucked.

  22. Edie
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 04:18:22

    @roslynholcomb: OMFG I LOVE The Gathering!! And sooo wants more!!!

  23. ms bookjunkie
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 05:01:52

    @Statch: I’m still waiting for my pre-ordered dead tree copy of ARCHANGEL’S KISS from the Book Depository. There seems to be some sort of WTFery going on…

    I was lucky enough to win a copy of Sara Lindsey’s PROMISE ME TONIGHT at Courtney Milan’s blog. The book arrived on Friday, I dove into it on Sunday, and just pre-ordered the next book to find out what happens to the heroine’s sister. Anyone who likes Courtney Milan’s books should also enjoy Sara Lindsey. Very charming and emotionally satisfying.

  24. Edie
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 05:42:22

    BTW I still haven’t caught up with jan/feb books. Was a little disappointed by Coming Undone.
    Anyone know of any decent paranormals coming out this month?

  25. Jennifer Estep
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 07:29:27

    @DS: I’ve actually interviewed Nicholson a few times. His books are sort of Appalachian horror novels. Very nice guy.

    @Darlynne: Cool. I hope you enjoy it. ;-)

    @Mitzi H.: I have Rachel and the Hired Gun in my TBR pile. There need to be more westerns in the world.

  26. Jayne
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 08:07:43

    @Sarah: Totally agree with you. This book is the bomb.

  27. Estara
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 08:07:51

    @DS: Bless you! Sherwood Smith really liked it ^^ :Mansfield’s Mummery and humor. Should you like it and talk it up with fellow fans of the genre – or write an Amazon review, it’d help a lot.

    Oh and re Sherwood Smith, she’s just released an ebook version of her fan favourite Crown Duel in a REVISED edition AND with additional scenes at the back of the book (mostly from Vidanric’s viewpoint), available via Smashwords: Crown Duel

    This is fantasy of manners and intrigue with a lovely romance, with a young adult vibe, set in the world most of her other books are set in. Protagonist is a heroine!

  28. Jayne
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 08:11:57


    I've bought a couple hundred ebooks over the past few years and this is the first time I've ended up with the wrong ebook.

    I had this happen at the eharlequin website. I wanted a book by Kasey Michaels, clicked on it to put it in my cart then ended up with a book that has the same title but was by a different author.

    Then, when I tried again to buy it, I got a message that I already owned the book so I couldn’t buy it again.

  29. becca
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 10:15:33

    If you like gritty urban fantasy, I strongly recommend Rosemary and Rue by Seanan McGuire. No real romance, but wonderful deep world building and a gripping story line. The second book in what I’ve been told is a trilogy is also out, and I’ll be picking it up as soon as the snow stops and I can get out of the house.

  30. Las
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 10:41:13

    The last three books I’ve tried have been DNF for me (probably me, not them). I just started reading Nalini Singh’s Visions of Heat and I’m loving it so far.

  31. dick
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 11:39:08

    I just finished reading and recommend, “Perilous Pastime” by Linda Stevens, Harlequin Intrigue #201. I picked it from a 10 cents per book barrel the other day. It’s more a mystery/suspense than a romance, but a great read…and oh, so inexpensive.

  32. LJ
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 12:14:20

    March books I’m looking forward to are A Local Habitation by Seanan McGuire. That’s the second book in her October Daye series, after Rosemary and Rue. True, there’s no real romance, but I’m hoping things heat up with a certain character.

    Also looking forward to Silver Borne by Patricia Briggs and Mind Games by Carolyn Crane.

    Like Edie, I’m still behind in my Jan/Feb books. I have Estep’s Spider’s Bite, Deanna Raybourn’s The Dead Travel Fast and Butterfly Tattoo. And I need to go out a buy Shadowblade by Seressia Glass.

  33. Mireya
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 12:17:40

    @Edie: if you like Angela Knight, her next installment in the Mageverse universe, “Master of Fire”, is coming out on March 2nd.

  34. Suki
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 13:33:56

    I spent this last weekend reading Vivian Arend’s backlist. Her book Wolf Signs is free at Amazon and I just got sucked in and had to check out the author’s backlist.

    I enjoyed all of her books and am now waiting for her new releases.

  35. Anne C
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 16:04:46

    Love those books.. hooked me and has yet to let me go..they RoCK!!

  36. Anne C
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 16:07:48

    @Mireya: I just picked up “Master of Fire” at Books a million today at lunch!

  37. Mireya
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 16:21:43

    @Anne C: me jealous. No brick and mortar BAM in NY *sigh*

  38. KK
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 18:07:13

    Dude, Kresley Cole! Her books are seriously crack… and she consistently delivers. Loved Pleasure of a Dark Prince. Can’t wait for the new Julie James.

  39. JB Hunt
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 18:29:15

    Really enjoying Scoundrel’s Kiss — Carrie Lofty’s sequel to What a Scoundrel Wants.

    An engaging departure from the traditional historical, this one takes place in Medieval Spain.

  40. hapalochlaena
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 20:11:23

    I had no luck buying Archangel's Kiss from F******w**e on release day (lack of required format), so I got my copy from

    The category puzzles me though. “FICTION / Romance / Western”? really?

  41. Pat L.
    Feb 22, 2010 @ 21:29:31

    Forbidden Falls by Robyn Carr – awesome pairing of preacher and glitzy heroine – this Virgin River Series is so wonderful.

    Robin Kaye – Breakfast in Bed – v.g.

    Susan Donovan – Aint Too Proud to Beg – also v.g.

  42. An
    Feb 23, 2010 @ 00:20:05

    I had a hard time buying Archangel’s Kiss too. Not one copy in the whole freaking city! I was all geared up! I was going to buy it the day it came up! They told me their copies weren’t even in transit yet!

    C********s! I have never come so close to losing my crap all over a store.

    And then they had it. It was like the universe knew…

    And I’ve totally glommed onto Lora Leigh lately, and omgoodness, that woman has a backlist.

  43. Edie
    Feb 23, 2010 @ 01:31:27

    @Mireya: Thanks!
    Didn’t know that AK had a new one coming.

    Though Spider Bite and a box of Feb books arrived today, including the inked anthology.
    Must catch up with Karen Chance books.

    Anybody else get lost and forget about series?

  44. Lindsay
    Feb 23, 2010 @ 16:00:51

    I just finished Mary Balogh’s No Man’s Mistress, which I really enjoyed. I meant to make the book last a week, but I read it all last night, and was crying on the bus while reading it. As a bonus, the hero hadn’t slept with everything in a skirt, which I always appreciate.

    I’m also reading Barbara Metzger’s “A Worthy Wife”, which is taking me far too long for such a small book. It’s not a terrible book, just shallow and too self-consciously silly. On top of that, there’s a character who is missing either one eye, one ear or one leg, but even the author seems unable to keep track of which it is. All in all, it’s just a frustrating book.

  45. Jane
    Feb 23, 2010 @ 23:08:00

    @Lindsay I am a big fan of No Man’s Mistress. I thought the ending was almost bittersweet though. There is another epilogue on Balogh’s site that gave me more closure.

  46. Robin
    Feb 24, 2010 @ 10:59:41

    I just went through the entire Julia Spencer-Fleming Miller’s Kill mystery series in the past week or so. It’s excellent; evocative settings, and the relationship between Russ, the married Chief of Police and Clare, the Episcopalian priest is very realistic as they try to fight their attraction and uphold their honor. Well worth the read, and the first book is A Bleak Midwinter.

  47. Dayna
    Feb 24, 2010 @ 13:31:39

    I need my chrack! I see that JR Ward’s Lover Mine will be $12.61 on Kindle. I am really disappointed. It’s only $1.50 more to buy a dead tree book. :(

  48. Castiron
    Feb 24, 2010 @ 13:56:32

    @Estara: Seconding Mansfield Park and Mummies as a very fun read. The additions are generally done in ways that fit the characters’ canon personalities, and Fanny’s ultra-goodness becomes useful indeed.

  49. ms bookjunkie
    Feb 25, 2010 @ 05:52:49

    I’m still waiting for ARCHANGEL’S KISS, but in the meantime have been rereading the Psy-Changeling books. *So* addictive.

    Now I’m taking a break from Nalini Singh to read Alyssa Day’s ATLANTIS REDEEMED which arrived yesterday, along with Jill Shalvis’s SMART AND SEXY and Pamela Clare’s NAKED EDGE (which I ordered thanks to the DA review), both of which will no doubt also get read soon.

    And the TBR pile keeps growing…

  50. Estara
    Feb 25, 2010 @ 13:26:10

    @Castiron: Yay for supporting impressions ^^.

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