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Recommended Reads for November

It is a sparse recommended reading month for us here at Dear Author.  We’ll need help from you guys in the comments.  Reviews (if not linked) to come.


  • Master Class by  Rachel Haimowitz, Recommended by Sarah F
  • Sublime by Rachel Haimowitz, Recommended by Sarah F
  • The Closer You Get by  L.A. Witt, Recommended by Sarah F



  • The Famous Heroine by Mary Balogh, republished in a volume with Plumed Bonnet, recommended by Sunita and Janine
  • BlackHawk by Joanna Bourne, recommended by Jane (guest reviewed here)



  • Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook, recommended by Jane


  • Brand New Me by Meg Benjamin, recommended by Jane
  • All They Need by Sarah Mayberry, recommended by Jane

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. SHZ
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 05:28:41

    Oh I loved ALL THEY NEED! One of Sarah Mayberry’s best books.

    I’m really looking forward to the multi-author SEAL OF MY DREAMS book coming out this week – especially the Cindy Gerard, Tara Janzen, Roxanne St. Claire and Kylie Brant entries.

    The problem this month seems to be that there’s far too much in the way of cheesy Christmas stuff. I was hoping you guys might have some interesting contemporary or suspense recommendations, because it seems to be a sparse November!

  2. Brie
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 06:41:28

    I just read By Honor Betrayed by Alex Beecroft, a wonderful m/m historical. What a fantastic story. It’s a novella but it packs a lot of punch. I think it comes out today from Carina Press.

  3. Vi
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 07:43:06

    The Lady’s Secret by Joanna Chambers downloaded to my Kindle. I can’t wait to leave work and read this debut novel.

  4. Treasure
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 07:44:33

    In the GLBT category, I just finished Clear Water by Amy Lane. Really really liked it. Not a perfect book, but the characters are wonderfully drawn and very real.

  5. Hannah
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 08:29:29

    There are two holiday themed books that I’m especially looking forward to that will be released next week: a new collection of novellas by Carla Kelly (Coming Home for Christmas: A Christmas in Paradise\O Christmas Tree\No Crib for a Bed) and a novella by Tessa Dare (Once upon a Winter’s Eve).

  6. joanne
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 08:30:52

    Slim pickins this month so I’ve fallen back on my default genre: Mysteries with Romance.

    Charles Finch has a new entry in his Victorian mystery series coming this month; Burial At Sea. This is a well-written series with a nice continuing romance into marriage arc.

    C.S. Harris continued the Sebastian St. Cyr mystery series with Where Shadows Dance. Another good historical mystery with an intriguing romance.

    Both are recommended reads.

    (there is a pattern to the WTF high prices on mystery books)

    And Ashley Gardner (Jennifer Ashley) has another story in her Regency historical mystery series revolving around Captain Lacey and including his new bride. Ms Gardner has re-released all the back list titles on Kindle (Nook, too I believe) at very low prices.

  7. Patrice
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 08:34:57

    For the paranormal catagory:
    Death Magic by Eileen Wilks
    Magic on the Line (Allie Beckstrom) by Devon Monk
    Fate’s Edge by Ilona Andrews
    Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires 5) by Chloe Neill – I blew through this series when I found it, then was really annoyed at the way book 4 ended. But I do want to see what happens.

  8. Patrice
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 08:59:59

    Found one for YA:
    Kiss of Frost (Mythos Academy) by Jennifer Estep. – I think it’s the 2nd full length book of the series.

    I haven’t started this series yet but I have read all of Jennifer Estep’s Gin Blanco series and love the way she writes. Her characters are so well done! There is a short ebook intro to her YA series, First Frost, that I just downloaded for my Kindle. This may be my “new” YA series. I have enjoyed Richelle Mead’s Vampire Academy series.

  9. Jane A
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 09:15:14

    Loved The Black Hawk, it was excellent! And since the month is not over so it hasn’t been released yet I can’t comment on Carla Kelly’s upcoming anthology. However, I am looking forward to it. I did read and enjoy Marion’s Christmas Wish this month.

  10. njoireading
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 09:23:21

    I was just lamenting the dearth of novels in November that I was interested in reading to my husband, who only ever listens with half an ear when I am talking about books. I decided that this would be a good time to try some new authors (to me new) and also try some new genres. I have picked up the first JR Ward and have found some books at Carina Press and Sandheim that I will read.

    After The Black Hawk and Scandalous Desires it appears that everyone is “tapped out”.

  11. Sarah Frantz
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 09:59:58

    @Brie: I’m slowly making my way through it. I didn’t want to recommend it without having finished. it.

    @Treasure: Thanks! I’ll check it out.

  12. BevQB
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 10:09:02

    Since it was released on October 25, I’m not sure if it’s considered an October release (but doesn’t appear on your October recs), or if it’s considered a November release, but I consider THE SHADOW READER by Sandy Williams to be a MUST READ.

  13. Rhianna
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 11:26:11

    I couldn’t hold my own review back until next week so it may say something about how well I enjoyed the book. I have to recommend Dark Vow by Shona Husk from Carina Press, it releases on the 14th. If you enjoyed Heart of Steel I think you’ll enjoy it as well. Not steampunk but a blending of fantasy and western that was fresh, romantic, and had exceptionally good characters.

  14. Janet W
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 12:23:17

    Ditto on Chambers’ debut, The Lady’s Secret. It’s quite marvelous.

    Isn’t November also maybe the month for the concluding (I think) book to Milan’s family stories? Hope so: haven’t read earlier books because I know I’m #notgoingtowanttowait

  15. Brian
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 13:07:08


    Death Magic by Eileen Wilks,

    Just read this and her new short story ‘Human Error’. I found both quite enjoyable.

    Drink Deep (Chicagoland Vampires 5) by Chloe Neill – I blew through this series when I found it, then was really annoyed at the way book 4 ended. But I do want to see what happens.

    I didn’t like the way book 4 ended at all and have been a little leary to read book 5.

  16. Estara
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 15:34:34

    Jane, Eileen Wilks‘newest Lupi book, Death Magic (review has spoilers) is a magnificent entry in the series. I do not understand why the series isn’t as well known as Kate Daniels or Mercy Thompson, really.

  17. Nikki
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 18:31:05

    I have to add a vote for Death Magic as well. The way the plot comes together for her books is always interesting. And there is always character development which I deeply appreciate. I ended it wishing the next book was immediately available.

    I really wish that the short story came out on its own. I didn’t like any of the other authors so I have to hold out until I find an actual bookstore or the publisher breaks them up later.

  18. Brian
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 19:10:06


    I really wish that the short story came out on its own.

    It would be nice and this is a trade anthology meaning it’s pretty expensive too. I was lucky enough to borrow a copy just to read the one story.

  19. Merrian
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 19:10:50

    @Estara: I was thinking similar thoughts as I picked up my copy of Death Magic. I wonder if it is because Lily and Rule are not always the primary characters. Yet I love the complex relationships and world building – the completely original take on the Lupi/werewolves.

  20. Jane
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 19:14:28

    @Estara: I read Death Magic and while I enjoyed it, I didn’t love it enough to put it on the recommended reads list. In part, I think that it depends so heavily on previous series knowledge.

  21. Emily
    Nov 07, 2011 @ 21:22:48

    Recommend is a strong word. I am just going to tell what I am reading as a this month book.
    This month I re-visiting books by authors I read a long time ago in my short life.
    The first is I am reading a Christmas anthology called Baby Let It Snow by Beverly Jenkins and Elaine Overton. Never read anything by Elaine Overton but I read some books by Beverly Jenkins a while back and really liked them. So far its familiar and comforting in a good way. Sort of standard Harlequin fare, except done at a much higher level than some of what Harlequin publishes. Also a big difference between this book and the other books I read by Jenkins is that its a contemporary and the others were historical. I am unsure if I recommend the book, but Jenkins is a wonderful writer whom I would recommend. (Of course she is also well-established. Still even well-established writers can be new to other people.)
    The second book I just got is the Lady Gambles by Carole Mortimer, who the first Harlequin romance novel I ever bought/read. That one was pretty good only it was a Presents and contemporary. The Lady Gambles is the first in a historical trilogy. It looks like standard Regency fare but has the advantage of not being Christmas themed. Plus it has a beautiful cover. I think its try-able.

  22. Estara
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 07:35:19


    In part, I think that it depends so heavily on previous series knowledge.

    That is true – but I believe that the Kate Daniels and Mercy Thompson books by now also are too deep into their plots to be good starting points.

    Maybe there could be another category for the recommendations: For series lovers:?

    @Merrian: That may actually be one reason… I thought the fact that the focus is on more than one pairing who all play roles in the overall plot is rather clever. I like this mix of family and friend grouping – and I ADORE the fact that family plays such a huge role in this series – not that it’s overemphasized, it is just as much family interference and support as you would have in a normal family – except these people have supernatural sides to themselves.

    It was particularly beautifully done this instalment, I thought.

  23. Patrice
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 09:39:26

    I agree about Eileen Wilks World of Lupi series, I think it should be as well known as several others that get more press every installment. I tend to glom on a series if there are multiple books out and with this one I caught up too fast! I recall being confused at first, thinking I’d missed some key points, but that turns out to be part of Ms Wilks worldbuilding. Readers found out some key points as Lily discovers them. And the family and friend interactions just make the world that much richer. It makes the people within it so memorable to me. Yep, love this series! I highly recommend it. :)

    Whaat, there’s an Eileen Wilks short story? Ok got to find that now. Wonder if my library has the anthology?

    Hey, just thought of a story I’d like to read later this month while the Turkey’s roasting. What about Thanksgiving themed stories? But I realize like the retail world, most publishers have already skipped to Christmas. :( I finally realize now how little time there actually is between the Fall “Big Three” holidays so I get it, but still. lol Anneeway…

    Happy reading everyone! :)

  24. Emily
    Nov 08, 2011 @ 18:49:59

    The anthology I am reading called Baby Let It Snow included a long Thanksgiving sequence. see thoughts above.

  25. Merrian
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 07:32:36

    @Estara: I also think the Wilks’ stories are quite emotionally contained even though there is intensely felt stuff happening for the characters. I wonder whether this appeals to some readers and not others? The ending to the second book ‘Mortal Danger’ is harrowing and so moving and shows the authors skill with story and characters. I like the dignity all the stories characters have. I was just complaining to someone about how I hate Mac’s immaturity and whinyness in the Moning, Fever books. I would never say such a thing about Lily or Cynna in the Wilks’ books.

  26. Estara
    Nov 09, 2011 @ 13:17:44

    @Merrian: I totally agree with your impression there (haven’t read the Moning series, though).

  27. REVIEWS: Master Class and SUBlime by Rachel Haimowitz | Dear Author
    Feb 09, 2012 @ 14:01:08

    […] been remiss in not reviewing these books. I recommended them in November, but then the end of the semester and the holidays and then the beginning of the […]

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