Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews. Both Jane and Jia would recommend this sophomore effort by newcomer, Ilona Andrews. The “Magic” series features a smart mouthed, sword wielding Kate Daniels who helps to enforce the law in an alternate universe Atlanta. For the crossover genre reader (i.e., the romance reader that likes to cross the genre aisles), Curran, the Beast Lord of the Pack of Atlanta, plays the alpha male who likes to tweak Kate’s chain. Jia particularly likes “how their relationship is unfolding slowly, developing over the course of what I hope will be several books. It makes things more believable considering the two people involved: the Beast Lord of the Pack and the lifelong loner with a dangerous heritage.”
First You Run by Roxanne St. Claire is recommended by Jane as a fast paced road romance featuring a hot Austrialian bodyguard and a Mayan scholar. The suspense revolves around the end of the world theory that some believe is predicted by the Mayan long calendar. So you get a bit of historical facts, a bit of suspense, a bit of sexy loving. How do you not want to read that?
Sex, Straight Up by Kathleen O’Reilly is recommended by Jayne (and Jane). O’Reilly does the near impossible and makes accountants sexy! Sex Straight Up is the second in a series of books about the O’Sullivan brothers. Daniel O’Sullivan lost his wife in the 9-11 tragedy and hasn’t been able to move past her death until he meets art curator, Catherine. Being with Catherine makes Daniel forget for the first time in years but Catherine isn’t quite sure that she can compete with the specter of Daniel’s former love. O’Reilly’s stories often feature two people who are moving at different speeds in the relationship. The suspense is whether one can wait long enough for the other to come to the realization that the love that they’ve been longing for is here and now. Sex, Straight Up is a sweet and sexy story.
Private Arrangements by Sherry Thomas is an universally recommended book by the Dear Author crew. Thomas’ debut book tells the story of Gigi who connives to get all her heart desires only to lose it for 10 years and Camden who is so full of pride and so fearful of losing control that he waits 10 years to seek out the one woman who makes him crazy. Gigi, after 10 years of amicable separation, decides to petition for divorce. Camden returns to demand an heir. Set in the late Victorian period, Thomas makes wonderful use of the changing mores of society.
Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare is a more serious action romantic suspense story one that Clare went extra lengths to achieve a very realistic feel to the story. The hero, Marc “Hunt” Hunter, is in prison for killing a federal officer. When reporter, Sophie Alton, comes to see him, he sees an opportunity to escape and does so, taking Sophie as his hostage. In order to gain some empathy for those in the prison system, on both sides of the gated metal prison doors, Clare asked to spend a night in jail. She was booked, searched, and incarcerated. I think that experience paid off because Hunt’s desperate desire for freedom was tangible. I don’t generally like captivity narratives but this one worked for me.
All of the above recommended reads can be bought through Dear Author’s Amazon Store.
Manga Recommendations from Jan.
- Ayano Yamane’s A Foreign Love Affair. She’s the author of The Crimson Spell, which I reviewed previously. This book is a lighter one about an Italian cruise-ship captain and a young Japanese gangster on his ship, complete in one volume.
- Yaya Sakuragi’s Tea for Two. Her artwork is a little odd, but I love her characters for the depth of their emotions. This story is a comedy about a well brought up young man who is a master at the tea ceremony, and a rather uncouth young man who joins the tea club at school because his sister made him. They’re very sweet together. This is the first volume of a longer series that’s currently at 5 books in Japan.
- Cipher Vol 11, from a shoujo series. This series is reviewed here and the Volume 11 is the next to the last volume.