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

Dear Author Recommends for March

I feel perennially late this year.   DA has much love for Julie Anne Long’s What I Did for a Duke.   It was originally picked up off NetGalley by Robin who proceeded to tell the rest of us (Janine, Jennie and I) how awesome it was and truly, it was a great read.   Witty, romantic, fresh. I feel like the book should come with a badge that says, 9 out of 10 bloggers love this book (because I think Sunita does NOT love Long due to her anachronistic historical voice?).   If you are floundering about for what to read, you may want to give these recommendations a look:

From Jayne, we have a whole slew of recommendations:

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. Sunita
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 10:14:07

    It is true that I do not like Long’s anachronistic historical voice. But I read WIDFAD in the middle of the long comment thread on Janet/Robin’s review and really enjoyed it. I’m trying to read more books for the romantic relationship when they come highly recommended, even if they aren’t up my context/history alley. For historically picky readers like me, I suggest that you download a sample and if you like the first chapter you’ll like the rest of the book.

    So let’s call it 10 out of 10.

  2. Jane
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 10:16:14

    @Sunita Ah, the last hold out. I feel like we’ve dunned you into liking.

    Readers, it is OK not to like this book. We won’t think less of you.

  3. Sunita
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 10:28:53

    @Jane: No, it was entirely my choice. But it *is* your fault, because last year I read and didn’t like The Summer of You (Kate Noble) and then you liked it and said since you didn’t know the historical background it didn’t bother you. So I thought well damn, maybe I should read it again and pretend I don’t know the background either. And when I did I just loved the romance and how it developed.

    It doesn’t mean I can do that with every book, because I can’t suspend disbelief with some of them (valley girl talk does me in every time, for example). But I’m really glad I read the Long. I just so loved the hero.

  4. Ros
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 10:57:31

    For me, The Last Summer of Being Single was the weakest of that month’s Riva offerings by some way. Strange how tastes vary!

  5. Jane
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 11:00:46

    @Sunita You are better than I. I don’t think I could look beyond the law mistakes to appreciate a book just for the characters and the story.

  6. Christina B.
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 11:29:26

    I’ve never read Julie Anne Long before, but What I Did for a Duke sounds right up my alley! So little time to read these days that I rarely get past my TBR pile (consisting mainly of auto-buy authors and lower-priced ebooks) but I’m going to put this in my TBB pile.

  7. Suhani
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 12:29:31

    Read and enjoyed the Caitlin Crews(bought when it was released in UK and well they sell it through infibeam in India as well at the same time).
    The Julie James was good too, not her best work but still good.

  8. Willa
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 12:33:24

    What I Did For a Duke kept me up all night reading. That hasn’t happened in a long time. I thought it was brilliant!

  9. Jen X
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 13:32:11

    WIDFAD doesn’t have a real sense of time & place – which is not an issue for me – its all about the word play: flirting, banter, repartee, wit. I *really* loved it. There needs to be more older heroes like Moncrieff. I liked that he wasn’t the typical jaded rake.

  10. Mary Beth
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 15:05:30

    I loved WIDFAD, but I feel I should caution Christina and any one else who is thinking about reading Julia Anne Long for the first time, this book is part of an excellent series and while it could be read as a ‘stand alone’, I think that it is far more meaningful as a part of the Pennyroyal Green series. This is, of course, just my opinion!

  11. Gretchen Galway
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 15:13:05

    I read Julie Anne Long’s WIDFAD because of the review here–and even bought it full priced ebook–and I loved it. The best romance I’ve read in, well, at least a few days. But I read a lot.

    I haven’t read any of the series, and was bored with the “catchup” details about previous characters, but it didn’t stop me from loving the book. It was beautifully crafted. Kind of reminded me of The Raven Prince by Hoyt in that way.

    Now I’m thinking I should try a Julie James. Which is her best to start with?

  12. Gretchen Galway
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 15:14:03

    I didn’t mean to sound snotty with the “at least a few days” comment. It was a standout read.

  13. Lynn S.
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 16:24:06

    First Robin’s review, the physics of the eggs, her take on the scene at the end of the book, and all the other comments there; and now here it is again. You all are forcing me, I tell you forcing me, to bump What I Did for a Duke up to the next spot in line. If a book is cooking on the language and enrichment burners, I can forgive almost any other problems it may have and it sounds like WIDFAD fits perfectly.

    I also plan to pick up Katrakis’s Sweet Prize as it sounds like my favorite type of HP. I have no need to look at recommendations for at least a year, but find a perverse security in nourishing my TBR list by providing it with at least a half dozen new books every month which, thanks to the reviewers here at Dear Author, presents no problem. Limiting it a half dozen, now that is a problem.

  14. Jen X
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 19:42:04

    @Gretchen Galway:

    My favorite Julie James is Just The Sexiest Man Alive. It was charming and loaded with fun banter. But so far all her books have been great, haven’t read her latest yet.

  15. GrowlyCub
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 20:21:32

    I hated the first Long I read because of the horrible mistakes, but ended up reading WIDfaD due to all the buzz.

    I loved the relationship development between Alex and Genevieve(A) but hated the language, grammar, typos and historical errors (F). Not sure what final grade to give it, but I find it depressing that a book that could have been fabulous didn’t receive the care necessary to make it so.

  16. Gretchen Galway
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 20:43:09

    @Jen X:

    I see the Kindle version is $7.99 so I might have to find the paperback on principle.

    She looks like Rachel Gibson, SEP, etc., which is good.

  17. ayay
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 21:08:18

    I’m not into historical romance, but I guess I have to give them a try.

  18. Jane
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 21:24:57

    @Gretchen Galway My least favorite part of the story was all the family members. Who cares! Get back to the protagonists. They were wonderful.

  19. Polly
    Mar 08, 2011 @ 22:42:37

    I really liked Julie James’ Practice Makes Perfect.

  20. SonomaLass
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 02:44:50

    Julie James’ Something About You is a great place to start, just b/c the characters make a cameo appearance in A Lot Like Love. Both books were fabulous, IMO.

  21. SonomaLass
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 02:47:20

    What I Did for a Duke was a great read for me. I’m not big on revenge plots; to see the hero reject that device and pursue the heroine for her own sake was a real breath of fresh air.

  22. Ros
    Mar 10, 2011 @ 13:46:35

    @GrowlyCub: I completely agree. ‘Aloud’ for ‘allowed’, ‘it’s’ for ‘its’ and so on. Definitely needed better copyediting for those sorts of mistakes.

    I was nervous about the language but in general I found I liked Long’s approach much better than I expected. What I can’t bear is the sort of faux-Regency that Julia Quinn affects. Much better just to translate it all into contemporary speak and be done with it. So, the worst line in the book for me was when Genevieve’s mother asks ‘Is aught amiss’ and she replies ‘Aught, mother.’ Which is (a) wrong (should be naught) and (b) wildly out of place in a book that’s not bothering with period language.

    But like everyone else, I loved Genevieve and the Duke and their relationship enough to bear with all the other stuff.

  23. Robin
    Mar 11, 2011 @ 10:52:31

    @Ros: One of the difficulties of reading a book in ARC form is that I never know what will be fixed by publication. I don’t want to be too hard on the errors if I do not know how close the MS is to final pub stage, and I had assumed, frankly, that a number of the errors you mention would have been caught by a copy editor(the “aught” really stood out to me, too, lol). It sounds like not a lot was corrected before the book went into final production, which is extremely frustrating.

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