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Dear Author Recommends for July

It’s kind of a light weight month. Maybe July is a month for vacations and beaches where reading doesn’t take place?


At Last is an effortlessly enjoyable contemporary romance. The romance between Amy and Matt is believable, sweet and very very sexy—it’s easy to see them having a healthy, happy future together. The extra storylines of Riley and Amy’s grandmother add depth to the tale. And, all those lucky enough to live in Lucky Harbor are still, even after five books, interesting and amusing.

    • Carolina Home by Virginia Kantra, recommended by Jayne.  Review to come.( A | BN | K | S )

Lots of contemporaries these days are set in small towns with one or both of the main characters having got there to escape from somewhere, something or someone. This feels like something slightly different. It feels more like coming home and less, despite the back blurb, like escape. And the small community is presented with a few scuffs instead of being an idealized haven.


I knew by the end of chapter one, that this book would be one I would remember for a long time. In just that first chapter a well of emotion swelled up and closed the passage of my throat such that each subsequent page read triggered feeling.

  • Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex, recommended by Dabney ( A | BN | K | S )


  • The Darkest Day by Britt Bury, recommended by Jane. Review to come. ( A | BN | K | S )

It reminded me of early Kresley Cole was the phrase that KarLynP sold me on picking this book up.

  • Liquid Lies by Hanna Martine, recommended by Jane. Review to here. ( A | BN | K | S )

The Gwen and Reed romance worked primarily because it wasn’t immediate even if their attraction was. I loved the flirtation between the two when they meet in the bar; their mutual love of art; Gwen’s ruminations on Reed’s physicality. She watches his neck move while swallowing his beer and imagines how his torso would twist while looking at her art books. Her fingers itch to trace his leaf and thorn covered vines tattooed around his neck, “the tip of the last leaf resting just below his earlobe.” These small admirations were more convincing than descriptions of a clenching between the thighs so often found in other books.


  • The Dark Palazzo by Virginia Coffman. This is an out of print book recommended by Lazaraspaste. Review to come.

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. MaryK
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 14:25:30

    Uh oh, doesn’t the Elizabeth Elliott book come out this month? Does this mean it’s not a rec? :(

  2. Maili
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 16:54:06

    Virginia Coffman? o.m.g. She’d really made the most of Gothic for her books. Sometimes to the point where I thought she was channelling Dennis Wheatley or the like.

    Although I haven’t read The Dark Palazzo (and probably never will), I really am looking forward to reading Lazaraspaste’s review. Should be fun.

  3. Janine
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 16:55:46

    Jennie is planning to review the Elliott but I don’t know if she has finished reading it yet. When we don’t rec a book, sometimes it’s because none of us liked it, but sometimes it’s because none of us read it, or read it early enough to make the monthly “DA Recommends” deadline.

  4. Jane
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 17:15:54

    In this case it means we read it (the Elliott book) and none of us liked it enough to recommend the book.

  5. Serena
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 17:16:11

    If a book comes out on July 31, would a rec come on the August list?

  6. Jane
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 17:16:57

    @Serena: Yes, we try (although make mistakes) to recommend books that are available now.

  7. Janine
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 17:30:42

    @Jane: Thanks for clarifying!

  8. MaryK
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 17:36:16


  9. Anne V
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 22:57:20

    Huh – it certainly doesn’t feel sparse – I was just telling someone today how much of my recent reading has been based on reviews and recommendations from DA and then the backlist of the reviewed authors. For which, thank you.

  10. Jennie
    Jul 03, 2012 @ 23:04:15

    @MaryK: I’ll be reviewing it. No, not a rec, though. :-(

  11. Ana
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 12:36:19

    How about Ilona Andrews’ Gunmetal Magic? Recommended/not recommended?

  12. Jane
    Jul 04, 2012 @ 12:38:33

    @Ana: I liked it but I missed Kate as the protagonist.

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