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November Recommended Reads

This month, the recommendations shelf was quite bare.   We actually considered not recommending any books but recognizing that Books on Board would give a small discount to ones that we did, we came up with the following short list.

Skin Game by Ava Gray (Ann Aguirre)

Someone reminded me that I enjoyed Skin Game by Ava Gray (Ann Aguirre). One of the hazards of reading books early is that sometimes you forget when they are coming out. Skin Game features two morally ambiguous characters who fall in love while evading the law, exacting revenge, and learning how to trust each other.   The best part, in my opinion, is that these characters don’t become defanged when they do find their happy ever after.

Home for the Holidays by Sarah Mayberry

Joe Lawson has a thing for his new neighbor Hannah Napier. As a single dad, he shouldn’t be thinking what he is about her. Still, that doesn’t stop them from getting close. And the way she connects with his kids, it’s as if they’re a family. (I’m not a big fan of kids in books but this worked for me. Hannah is a prickly tomboy who is regaining her shattered confidence when fiance leaves her for prettier sister. Joe is working on coming to life again after the loss of his wife).

Christmas Angel for the Billionaire by Liz Fielding

Annie needs a break from being the “nation’s angel.” Her high-profile charity work means the media spotlight follows her every step. So leaving her aristocratic title behind her, Annie goes undercover.. and meets brooding businessman George Saxon.   (This is Roman Holiday all over again without the reporter hero.   It’s sweet but not treacly sweet.).

SEALed and Delivered by Jill Monroe

Kiss the first man you see. The Fate Delivery Cards were a silly impulse purchase. But thanks to one of the Cards, bed-and-breakfast owner Hailey Sutherland finds herself locked in a scorching kiss with super-hot, wet-suit-clad navy SEAL Nate Peterson. (These two actual date and you can see them fall in love. The courtship was important and made me believe that the two would be be able to withstand long separations).

Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh

Nalini Singh returns to the Psy/Changeling world and its "breathtaking blend of passion, adventure, and the paranormal" as a woman without a past becomes the pawn of a man who controls her future-   (Recommended by Janine, Singh delivers another strong entry into her increasingly popular series).

Maybe you can recommend books to us this month.

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. RStewie
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 14:30:08

    I’m glad you threw this out there…I’m glomming Singh’s series after I finish my re-read of Brook’s Guardian series. (Which I should finish this weekend…sigh.)

    So I’ll take that discount and run with it!

  2. Cathy
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 14:49:56

    Thanks for the recs. I just read SEALed and Delivered today, and really enjoyed it – a solid B+ story, I thought. I’m waiting for Blaze of Memory to be delivered to my Kindle in about 11 hours, so I’m glad to hear that’s a good one as well.

  3. orannia
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 15:19:04

    Thank you Jane! I’m so hanging out to read Blaze of Memory! My other ‘looking forward too’ book this month is CS Harris’ What Remains of Heaven, especially considering where the previous book finished!

    Oh, and SEALed and Delivered sounds interesting :)

  4. Caligi
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 15:29:05

    Wow. Only 4? That’s kinda sad.

    Looks like it’s time for some backlist glomming. Thankfully my mom found a bunch of old HPs at the thrift store, so I have a stack of books from Susan Napier, Anne Mather, Penny Jordan and a few others to keep me busy.

  5. maddie
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 16:09:39

    I read Home for the Holidays by Sarah Mayberry, and it was very good book.
    I think I read another one of her books that I also liked She Got it Bad.

  6. joanne
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 16:15:03

    I’m not sure who here at DA got me started on this series but the next book UNTRACEABLE from Laura Griffin, with homicide cop Nathan Deveraux & P.I. Alexandra Lovell, will be out November 24.

    And because I just always buy her books AND $9 HC there’s ICE by Linda Howard on November 10.

  7. Sabrina
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 16:16:16

    I would recommend checking out Bunco Babes Gone Wild by Maria Geraci. I haven’t read it yet, but I read the first book, Bunco Babes Tell All, and it was one of my favorites all year. At first glance you might think it’s Women’s Fiction, but it’s really pure romance from a first person POV. Loved it so much I’ll take the chance and recommend reading that and then picking up the Nov. release Bunco Babes Gone Wild.

    I also enjoyed the Nov. Blaze release from Michelle Rowen titled Hot Spell. I was lucky to get an advanced copy and it was fun and something different from what Blaze usually offers.

  8. Bev
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 17:30:24

    Sarah Mayberry is one of my FAVE authors. I don’t usually (okay, practically never) read Super Romances, but I’ll pick up anything she writes. I loved her last Super Romance too, it was great!

  9. Miki
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 17:52:53

    You wouldn’t recommend this month’s “in Death” book, Kindred in Death? Those are auto-buys for me!

    What about Robin D. Owen’s latest Celta Tale, Heart Change? I’ll admit that I’ve liked some of the books in this series more than others, but overall I’ve really enjoyed her writing.

    I’ve also been waiting for Devon Monk’s latest Allie Beckstrom novel, Magic in the Shadows.

    Two books I’m tentatively looking forward to are Deborah Cooke’s Winter Kiss (one of the books in this series had a serious TSTL moment from the hero, and so they don’t go on the autobuy list anymre).

    And Shannon Butcher’s latest Sentinel book…although if I remember correctly, you didn’t like the first one of those.

  10. Kate K
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 18:15:04

    Why does Sarah Mayberry never update her website?! Grrr. I can never figure out when her books are coming out! Also, I was curious about the Jill Monroe Blaze, thanks for the rec.

  11. Ruth
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 18:23:22

    I would also recommend Diana Pharoah Francis’ Bitter Night to many of the above mentioned.

  12. sarah mayberry
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 19:01:23

    @ Kate – It’s true, I have been a very lax and naughty website owner in the past, but I have been trying to be more vigilant in recent months. There are excerpts for Home For The Holidays on the book page, as well as a note that it’s released in November, and I’ve been blogging at least once a week. If you like, I’m happy to add you to my mailing list for my newsletter, which I only send out when I have new releases – drop me a line at [email protected] and I’ll hook you up!!

    @ Bev and Maddie, glad you are enjoying the reads. Makes it much easier to face the blank page!

  13. Becca
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 19:04:23

    just finished Nora Robert’s Bed of Roses. I love how Roberts does friendships, and enjoyed the book, although I had some major problems with the resolution (won’t get into spoilers here, but I think the wrong person did the apologizing).

    Looking forward to Kindred in Death, too.

  14. Jayne
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 19:10:18

    @joanne: It was me. And thanks for reminding me of this release. Now I just need to get my hands on it….

  15. Booklover1335
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 19:24:12

    I would recommend All Jacked Up by Lorelei James

  16. MaryK
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 20:10:17

    @Bev: I also never read SuperRomance so this is good to know; and since Jane said the kids weren’t a problem for her, I think I’ll give this one a try.

  17. Janine
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 20:27:15

    Skin Game is published by Ann Aguirre under the name Ava Gray. I just edited the post to add that info.

  18. helen
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 21:09:17

    I am loving Skin Game, I had no idea it was by Ann Aguire. I wonder why she choose a different pen name for this series? EXCELLENT book so far. I’m only half way through and hoping she writes more in this style.

  19. MaryK
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 21:21:18

    @helen: According to her website, “She writes romantic science fiction and urban fantasy under her own name. As Ava Gray, she writes high-octane romances.” It looks like there are three more in the romance series.

  20. Moth
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 22:07:39

    Does it have to come out this month? Because I just read Again by Kathleen Gilles Seidel and I LOVED it. And I made my mom and my sister read it an they both LOVED it too. I think anyone who’s a fan of Regency romances will get a kick out of the book. And the writing is fantastic. It seems pretty easy to stir up a used copy too…

  21. Kate K
    Nov 02, 2009 @ 22:11:21

    Ouch! I got called out by Sarah Mayberry. Her books really are great, though!

  22. Janine
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 01:04:27


    Does it have to come out this month? Because I just read Again by Kathleen Gilles Seidel and I LOVED it. And I made my mom and my sister read it an they both LOVED it too. I think anyone who's a fan of Regency romances will get a kick out of the book. And the writing is fantastic. It seems pretty easy to stir up a used copy too…

    Again is a fabulous book. Probably my favorite of Seidel’s, so far. Thank you for pimping it, Moth. IMO it should be far better known than it is. Are you going to read more, Moth? Don’t Forget to Smile and Till the Stars Fall are also very good.

  23. Moth
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 01:54:22

    @Janine: Already read Till the Stars Fall. So good. I loved how genuine she made all the music stuff feel, how seamlessly she wove Dodd Hall into the music history. And the ending made me cry (happily).

    I also read Mirrors and Mistakes which I quite liked until the last 1/3 where the hero became Oblivious Asshat Man, but it wasn’t bad enough to make me hate the book.

    My mom read Summer’s End which I haven’t got to yet. She really loved that one. Said it was “GREAT!” I’ll be snatching that one from her bookshelves when I visit for the holidays.

  24. Heike M.
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 03:39:41

    Another old book: I read and loved Fallen From Grace by Laura Leone, I found the title on Jeanne’s strong-women-Windsor-List on racyromancereviews, a pity that Laura Leone aka Laura Resnick isn’t in the romance genre any more.

    As to November releases: I’m really looking forward to Blaze of Memory by Nalini Singh, and tentatively to Elizabeth Hoyt’s To Desire A Devil (I didn’t like all books from that series). And Amazon tells me they will send me Proof by Seduction by Courtney Milan in the beginning of November, but that cannot be true since her website announces the release for January 2010…

  25. Ava Gray
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 09:09:32

    I wonder why she choose a different pen name for this series?

    It’s for branding. This way, if you grab an Ava Gray book you know it’s a romance. If you pick up Ann Aguirre, it’ll be SF, UF, or YA. You should be able to tell which by shelving and blurb. It’s also to help my male readers, so they don’t accidentally wind up with a romance novel; this way, if they buy it, it has to be on purpose, not because they saw a book with my name on it in the New Paperbacks rack. And that separation is even more crucial because of my YA material, which will also be coming out under Ann Aguirre.

  26. maddie
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 09:51:24

    I’m reading Skin Game right now and it’s good so far, this is my first book by Ava Gray/Ann Aguirre.

    I like characters who are morally ambiguous it makes the story so much more interesting.

  27. KMont
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 09:59:14

    I’m not a big fan of Holiday-set books but I love Mayberry, so hers might be the first to break that bias for me. Definitely looking forward to Skin Game and I agree with Blaze of Memory being on the list.

    I wish I could rec some books here, but I haven’t been keeping up with new releases very much these last few months.

  28. JBHunt
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 14:42:54


    I echo the recommendation for Maria Geraci’s Bunco Babes Gone Wild!

  29. Moth
    Nov 03, 2009 @ 20:20:10

    Is DA going to post a review of Skin Game at some point?

  30. Ami
    Nov 23, 2009 @ 18:11:01


    Wow, thanks for the rec! I loved this book! =D Wish My Lady Chambers was an actual drama I could watch. The 4 regency romance writers as script writers amused me greatly.

  31. Christine M.
    Nov 23, 2009 @ 18:57:47

    I read Nora Robert’s Bed of Roses and while I enjoyed it tremendously, I thought the ending was a little rushed, based on the pace of the rest of the book. Still, I had a good time reading it and I cannot wait for Parker and Laurel’s books.

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