Open Thread for Readers for March 2012
Got a book you want to talk about? Frustrated with a book or series? In love with a new one? Found a buried treasure? An issue that keeps popping up in the books you are reading? Just want to chat about stuff in general? Post away.
I enjoyed JD Robb’s Celebrity in Death. It was an average mystery, but had some fun character moments. I would rate it middle of the road for the In Death series, but since I love the series that’s not a really bad thing.
Currently I am trying to read some of the ebooks I got from Harlequin during their big sale in December. I am reading Gina Wilkins’ Doctors in Training series. Didn’t care for the first book, Diagnosis: Daddy, but am enjoying the second one, Private Partners.
I’ve been reading some contemporary romance lately, including Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins and Heartstrings and Diamond Rings by Jane Graves. I also enjoyed Snowflakes and Stetsons, a Christmas anthology of historical westerns.
I also read The Goblin Corps by Ari Marmell. I thought it was an interesting twist on epic fantasy because the monsters are the heroes, or rather anti-heroes.
I’m looking forward to Rainshadow Road by Lisa Kleypas this month.
I just rediscovered my one and only audiobook, Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie. It’s actually an unabridged cassette version from 2000. Anyway, I still love the romance but the thing that stays with me it that the moral of the story is …politicians are con artists??? LOL
In fact, I found myself wondering if I should research the state of politics in Ohio in the mid-90s because I’m sure Steven Garvey is based on a local personality.
I need more Crusie and I need more audiobooks in my life…
I am reading Head Over Heels by Jill Shalvis. I loooove this book. Jill has the best alpha males. Sawyer is my favorite male character of any other book I’ve read.
Jill has a wonderful way of incorporating humor with her stories… they are hard to put down. Head Over Heels has me laughing out loud.
I’m looking forward to reading other books of hers in her Lucky Harbor series.
Right now I am listening to Jennifer Crusie’s Faking It. It has Davey Dempsey from Welcome to Temptation-I like it even better.
I just started The Song of Achilles. It is so good!
I read Anne Gracie’s “Bride by Mistake”, this is one of the authors in my top 10 auto-buy list. Despite the fact that a couple of things irked me (I am half Spaniard, with the whole of my maternal family living in Spain, and myself having been born in Madrid), I really enjoyed it. I think it is the first time I read a book written by an English speaking author set in Spain that really didn’t annoy me so much that I couldn’t finish reading the story. Kudos to Ms. Gracie.
I read Janet Chapman’s “Dragon Warrior” and “Mystical Warrior” which I most certainly liked. This is an author that, when I first started reading her books, I didn’t particularly like (it was the first two titles of her Highlander series). However, I didn’t give up and it most certainly paid off for me to stick to the series.
I am currently catching up on my Lisa Marie Rice. I have her latest 3 books in my TBR pile, and didn’t feel like reading contemporary set stories, despite her being another of my top 10 favorite authors.
I had two rather disappointing reads: Sandra Hill’s latest in her Viking princesses series and Christine Warren’s “Black Magic Woman”. The characters (both hero and heroine) in both books irritated the heck out of me. I ended up skipping whole chunks of story… hence, I can’t say I read them. I don’t care about even trying a second time though. That’s how much the characters irritated me. The heroine in “Black Magic Woman” is supposed to be this modern, intelligent, I-can-take-care-of-myself woman … in my book she was a TSTL as early as chapter 2, and once I get that impression off the bat, that’s it, the book is a DNF for me. I remember another character in a book by a very popular author, it’s actually one of her most popular heroines, whom I consider to be just like that: Tempest, in Christine Feehan’s “Dark Fire”. I read that book YEARS ago… and I hated it so much that I haven’t been able to forget the name of the heroine and the title of the book. *shudder* Ironically, I’ve read many comments from other readers that absolute adore that book. To each their own.
I am planning on re-reading Cheyenne McCray’s early work, published at Ellora’s Cave. I got hooked on her stories when she started writing erotic romance for EC. She’s re-issuing a BDSM fantasy series under a different pen name (Jaymie Holland), and I want to compare the books. I am going to be revisiting the whole series.
The books I am looking forward to are: Thea Harrison’s “Oracle’s Moon”, “Spellbound Falls” by Janet Chapman, “Taming an Impossible Rogue” by Suzanne Enoch, “Bear Meets Girl” by Shelly Laurenston, and Lynn Viehl’s “Nightborn” (I was thrilled when I found out the Darkyn were coming back).
I’ve had good luck with a couple new-to-me authors this month.
R.L. Mathewson Playing For Keeps. A very funny and well written friends-to-lovers contemporary. There were a couple of quibbles I had with it, but overall I really enjoyed it and am counting her a new discovery.
J.M. Kelly Drew in Blue. Also a funny contemporary but falls more on the chick-lit scale than on the romance scale. It is a bit different because it is told in first person pov by the male protagonist.
Andrea Penrose Sweet Revenge and The Cocoa Conspiracy. A mystery series set during the Regency which brought to mind Deanna Raybourne’s Lady Julia series and Tasha Alexander’s Lady Emily series.
Also caught up with a few old favorites
Celebrity in Death a nice solid entry in the series. Felt solidly police procedural without a lot of personal stuff happening this time. The dialogue and banter were the strong points.
I got an ARC of the first book in Suzanne Brockmann’s new futuristic SF/Rom series, Born to Darkness. I was curious about her foray into a new genre. Overall it was quite good, felt familiar in some places but fresh in others. It definitely has a Brockmann stamp though. It juggles three romances, one of which looks to be longish & angsty-ish a la Sam & Alyssa. One of the romances in M/M. And one involves a Navy SEAL . I was mostly glad it wasn’t a paranormal with vamps & shifters etc.
Looking forward to new Mary Balogh & Shelly Laurenston books next month.
@Mireya: Lynn Viehl is doing some guest blog posting around her new release date with some awesomely beautiful prizes. You might do some Google stalking if you’re interested.
I just stumbled upon Cold Touch by Leslie Parrish. It’s the second in her Extrasensory Agents series but it stands perfectly fine on its own. It was sort of Law & Order/CSI/Fringe-esque. It had a similar vibe to Linda Poitevin’s Sins of the Angels, which I also enjoyed. Speaking of which, the second book in Poitevin’s Grigori Legacy series is out at the end of March.
Just finished (and enjoyed!) Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie and now starting Ice Blue by Anne Stuart, in addition to a number of other books I have going at the same time. I’m looking forward to getting Oracle’s Moon, the latest Elder Races book, on Mar 6. I really, really want to read Fair Game, which is releasing on the same day but $12.99? I love Charles and Anna, but $12.99 is very, um, unattractive ;-)
My sister loves Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter series so I decided to try one of the Psy-Changeling books (Kiss of Snow) and I LOVED (!) it, and now I want to read the whole series from the beginning.
Patricia Briggs has Fair Game, from the Alpha and Omega series, coming out March 6th. This series has become a true favorite of mine.
I’ve noticed in quite a few of the books I’ve read lately a tendency on the author’s part to describe a strong heroine as, well, strong. Over and over again. Sometimes there’s an annoying amount of angst about it. I enjoy a strong heroine as much as anyone else but I enjoy reading about them when they act that way. As opposed to being told 68 times (yes, I counted) in a 254 page book that she is. Strong, that is.
I recently read an ARC for Wen Spencer’s newest Tinker book Elfhome. I loved it. The world building continued to impress me. The romance seemed a bit of a subplot but I found it satisfying nonetheless. On a side note, I like how the publisher Baen will sell the ARC’s several months ahead of the release date. I wish more publishers would do that. I am eagerly waiting for Patricia Brigg’s newest as well. I am in the middle of Celebrity in Death at the moment. I’ve been listening to most of these as audio books and I love the narrator. I agree with the other commentator about the plot and I am enjoying the character interaction. I’m also looking forward to Lisa Kleypas newest.
@Mireya: @Jessa Slade: I have a special guest at my blog tomorrow. no comment as to who. O.o
I dnf’d almost every romance I picked up this month, and I wished I had given up on the two I did manage to read through (Rose Lerner’s In for a Penny and Alisha Rai’s Veiled Seduction – not bad books just not for me).
I tried Bro Magnet, and damn I haven’t been so baffled by widespread positive reviews since Lord of Scoundrels. It was completely impossible for me to believe that a man so popular among men would be so unsuccesful with woman. “The Snapper?” If adolescent girls were that discerning I’d have been a lot less contempuous of them when I was a teen. I gave up when the lesbian friend was berating him for not raping the passed out drunk bridesmaid. The whole thing was just too much Self Proclaimed Nice Guy Can’t Find Love Because Women are Bitches. No thank you.
Didn’t find much new to read this month, so I revisited some old favorites and unearthed some old novels I’d forgotten were in my pile that turned out to be real howlers. (Alph-hole heroes, ahoy!) But just last week I got Wendy Marcus’s “Once A Good Girl”. It’s a Harlequin, so it’s short and bound by their many rules, but within those constraints it was a very good story. I really liked both the hero and heroine, though both were far from perfect they were decent, capable people doing their best with the hands that had been dealt them.
I’ve been in a reading funk. Nothing sounds good or I start something and just cannot get interested. So I was glad to have the new Celebrity In Death by JD Robb. I really enjoy the series and this was no exception. I immediately fell into Eve & Roarke’s world. It was a “lighter” entry in the series, although welcomed after the last one.
So after that I tried out Firelight by Kristen Callihan. It wasn’t something I normally would have read (Historical PNR), but I read some positive reviews on it and thought I’d give it a shot. So glad I did. I’ll definitely read the next one.
I’m looking forward to Fair Game by Patricia Briggs and Oracle’s Moon by Thea Harrison. I *hope* to be able to wait until I go on vacation the first week of April to read them. It’s going to be tough, though.
I read a wonderful novella length retelling of Beauty and the Beast called A Bed of Thorn and Roses by Sondra Allan Carr. The sexuality is all behind closed doors, but I wouldn’t classify this one as a sweetness and light retelling. The protagonists’ pasts (especially the heroine’s) are pretty dark.
Picked up an old Amanda Quick novel from the library’s for sale section. I used to inhale Quick’s stuff, and Ravished is still one of my favorites. Unfortunately, I think I’ve burned out on her. While a perfect example of her style and characterizations, With This Ring bored me to tears, and I spent the first 4 chapters wanting to clock the annoying heroine. A DNF that I’ll donate back to the library.
The Milagro Bean Field War by John Nichols – still not yet finished with this book. It’s a dense read with a gazillion characters all possessing rich, detailed histories and characterizations. I’ve fallen in love with the entire town of Milagro and its very eccentric population. A great book so far that I recommend to anyone who hasn’t yet read it.
I’ve read two titles that were previously Jane Austen fan fics and later published by Sourcebooks. Linda Berdoll’s Mr. Darcy Takes a Wife and Marsha Altman’s Darcys and the Bingleys. I read through the first 40% of Berdoll’s story and skimmed the rest. Darcy’s constant mooning over Elizabeth’s amazing hoo-ha got really old really quick, and the language felt overdone in a bid to mimic Austen’s style. Altman’s work, on the other hand, was an enjoyable read with fantastic characterizations of Darcy, Bingley and a few other male characters. The women were interesting and strong in this, but it was the men who really shone in this tale. And unlike Berdoll’s work, Altman’s didn’t put me in danger of being adverbed to death.
I’ve just finished, and was completely blown away by, Tahereh Mafi’s Shatter Me. Although I was a little dismayed at the direction the series appears to take at the end, Ms. Mafi’s writing was extraordinary and completely different, probably one of the most haunting things I’ve ever read. I will be all over the second book in 2013.
Wen Spencer, Patricia Briggs, Rob Thurman, J. R. Ward, Seanan McGuire: so many books this month. Can’t wait.
One of the things that’s beginning to get on my nerves is the kick ass heroine who won’t listen to anyone else and insists on doing things her way. In one series, the heroine disobeyed a direct order and other characters died; and then she did the same thing in the second book and others were harmed, which was the end of the series for me. I understand being strong, believing in your own skills and abilities, and I accept that other characters may be wrong. The problem I have is when the heroine goes off on her own and then everyone else has to scramble, whether she needs help or not, to catch up, to assist, to figure out what she did or where she went. I don’t like Rambo-esque qualities and I’m really beginning to hate them in heroines. /rant
I came across an author – Lindsay Buroker, whilst browsing at Goodread. The ist book I picked up was Encrypted. This a prequel of the series. I loved the heroine, she is strong clever woman but her strength is brain rather than brawn which makes me very happy. I would describe it as scifi-romance with wit. The next one is The Emperor’s Edge. I am now counting the hours until Angel Flight by Nalini Singh is available. This will have to feed my angel adiction until Jason’s story releases later this year.
Just finished Katherine McMahon’s latest, Season of Light. She is one of my very few auto buys, and this one didn’t let me down. Set in the years from 1798-1794 so just before the French Revolution to the Terror, the heroine is a stron-minded but naive abolitionist (by true coincidence so too was mine in the book I’m just proof reading now) and she has a choice of two heroes – one a French revolutionary, the other a rich and highly suitable English man whose fortune, unfortunately for him, derives from slavery. I couldn’t put it down, and if you’ve never read any of McMahon’s books I can recommend them all.
Also read the rather bizarre Fanmily Fang by Kevin Wilson. Not romance but really really funny story of really really disfunctional family!
Currently reading my first ever Eve Dallas book (I didn’t know they were set in the future!) and have Me Before You by Jojo Moyes next.
I’ve been working my way through Josh Lanyon’s back list, so I read and enoyed Fair Game. Wonderful characters very easy to fall in love with both Elliot and Tucker, decent mystery and wonderful descriptions of the physical locations and the emotions in play. There’s a review of the book when it first came out some where here on DA. I also read and enjoyed Heidi Cullinan Dance With Me, both MC are likeable, interesting background, I also picked up her newest release A Private Gentleman, and while I liked it I didn’t love it. My own problem with part of the story, not with the writing
I have a pet peeve – the condemnation of the other woman/ the evil ex mistress… Not that i ever cheated on my boyfriend, but somehow i end up sympathising with them.
The historicals were keen on portraying this evil woman vs good woman.My immense pities to this woman because in those tkmes when just matrimony was the goal of every woman with no opportuniies to channel their energies, these women probably ended up bitter and selfish. This evil woman generally ends up dying or something. I am a very outgoing person and have quite num of gal friends who never exhibited this character. So any book which offers such evil bitch scenario puts me off. And i personally want to go kill the hero who is portrayed as god given gift female kind. I was reading barbara freethy’s just the way you are which portrays a confused hero and a wronged other woman, but the heroine gets away with lot of stuff. Two of sarah mayberry’s books actually made me cry because i sympathesised too much with the jilted women and from then they were goners to me (thankfully one of them do manage to find a happy ending). I think men writers do make women s romance better justice :) (Eg. LOTR – the secondary romance) i particularly hate the fact that women writers use defamation as a technique to glorify their heroine ( twilight series – rosalie and the female werewolf – remember how the female wolf had to give up her love interest whereas jacob could be allowed to pursue his)… I guess it just comes to vilification – women do need to flog others of their sex to make themselves appear morally superior…
I m actually looking for a romance in which the heroine leaves the hero till he rights the wrongs to the other woman…. And viceversa
I m also waiting for a book wherein the ‘evil bitch’ mistress orex girl friend’s motives are thoroughly examined and my guilty pleasure is that they may be redeemed (and NOT by BDSM)…
Okay, this is a little out there, but I figured the readers of Dear Author might have a answer. I’d been wondering why one of my favorite authors hadn’t been updating her blog recently, only to realise that as she’s been busy writing, she’s stopped updating the blog and now mostly posts on a fan forum which some fans had set up from her. My fault, I completely missed the last blog post explaining that. I was very happy to find out that she’d be posting the same vignettes and short stories on this new forum (they aren’t on her website, only on the forum – and they add a lot of back story/information to the series, so I really want to read them).
The trouble is that, well, the forum looks like a really bad Geocities site from the late ’90s and is impossible to read/navigate. I could cope with the really long winded registration process, and the log in that doesn’t seem to remember me, but the graphics. Oh dear, the graphics and site set up are really really bad – I can barely read the text. The background is strangely stretched pictures that hide some of the text and are really odd to the eye, and a lot of the text is in light purple, on a black background. Hard hard hard to read. So, as I figure there’s no way I can mention this to Author who is graceful enough to give us short stories for free, or the people who put a lot of work in to setting up the site, and are doing it out of kindness, does anyone at DA know of a plug-in that strips out all the pics/graphics from a website and just leaves the text in black and white? Kind of like Ad-Block, but for websites. I know it’s not the end of the world, but it’s really frustrating me, and I thought someone here might have an answer! Thanks in advance.
I found a book called Her Perfect Revenge by Anna Mara . a romantic comedy about getting even with a bad boy!
Revenge is sweet… or is it?
Christina Matteo had a humiliating prank pulled on her in high school by rich, party boy Bill Havenwood. It changed her whole life and she never forgot it—or him. Older, wiser and tougher, she meets him again years later and decides to get even. She wants revenge and comes up with a perfect plan. But things don’t go her way when she stupidly crashes her car into his expensive sportscar while tailing him one day.
Not recognizing her, Bill blackmails the cash-poor Christina into helping him stay in his billionaire father’s good graces by pretending to be his fiancée for one month. Christina decides to go along with his ruse. After all, who knows what dirt she can find out about the jerk from the inside?
But as Christina scams Bill and Bill scams his father—his father scams the both of them. William Havenwood Sr. knows all about their phony engagement and begins to push the couple to marry for real in order to get them to crack under pressure.
And then Christina’s little revenge plan begins to spiral out of control when she finds herself actually falling in love with her avowed enemy, Bill. It’s enough to make a girl sick to her stomach! But can she really continue to go through with her plans to make him pay when she’s so attracted to the creep? Christina is just stubborn enough to find out!
HER PERFECT REVENGE is a story where its three strong and smart main characters—Christina, Bill and his father, William—find themselves engaged in a clever battle of wits where games, lies, secrets and deceptions rule the day. Who will win? And will Christina risk everything to get her payback?
I was extremely lucky and grateful to win an ARC of “Oracle’s Moon” by Thea Harrison last week. For those who love the series, you will not be disappointed! I will not say a word about the book other than I love the fact each book in her Elder series has it’s own voice, and the books don’t feel like a carbon copy of eachother.
I’m looking forward to “Angel’s Flight” by Nalini Singh, “The Darkest Seduction” by Gena Showalter, “My Lord Vampire” by Alexandra Ivy and at some point I need to read a historical or contemporary romance so I am not on paranormal overload!
JR Ward has a new one coming out but I am burned out with her, it feels like the last books were cut/paste IMHO. Plus I am not paying $14.99 for an ebook…hell will freeze over before I pay that amount!
Amazon had a good deal “Magic Bites” by Illona Andrews(thanks DA for posting that), I picked it up but I am having a hard time reading it. It feels like I walked into the middle of a series, and need a cheatsheet on the hierachy/world building. I’m still working my way thru it and hopefully I will have a tada moment when everything falls into place….
@Sabrina Oracle’s Moon is a DA recommended read. I liked Angel’s Flight because there is a super sweet romance in there regarding Jessamyn, the scholar/librarian with the wounded wing.
As for Magic Bites, that is the first book in the series. I would encourage you to press on. It’s one of my favorite series but if you liked Oracle’s Moon, you might like Ilona’s other series, The Edge, a bit better beginning with On the Edge.
I’m looking forward to the next Briggs A&O book. I have some trepidation. River Marked killed Mercy Thompson for me, and I’m pretty sure I won’t be going back. I have some, actually, lots of misgivings about Briggs’s treatment of minority characters. I would typically just skip all the many times she mentions Daryl’s ethnicity in the Mercy books, frankly I’ve reached the point now where I don’t expect better, but the old tap dancing black man in a barbecue joint in Seattle almost sent me over the edge in the last A&O book. And I think it’s interesting that the one submissive male wolf in the Emerald City pack just happens to be Asian…anyway, I hope she just sticks to white people from here on out.
@Sabrina, the best I can say s keep on gong with Magic Bites. It’s so confusing, but it’s still wonderful. It took me about three starts to get into it still confused the whole time) and I ended up loving it and bought the next books immediately. In fact I don’t think I understood completely what was gong on until book 3.
@Roslyn, I am reading River Marked now and it is SO hard to get through. The spark is gone and I miss Samuel.
I feel like i’m in a romance reading slump right now…nothing is interesting me – I’ve found that i’ve been reading more liteary fiction (I can’t believe i’m even saying that) than romance. Right now working on the Submission by Amy Walden and Wave of Terror (about the soviet invasion of Belarus in 1941). Hopefully, March will be a better romance month…
hi … I just realised after reading everyone else’s comments… I m new to this site and did nt understand and so posted rants :) So pls excuse me cos i coul nt delete my previous comment
I have been a very very recent arrival to romance scene but read a lot in short time…. I have just finishd laura moore’s IN YOUR EYES, Pamela Morsi’s Simple Jess, and Kresley Cole’s Lothaire…
My absolute favourite was Simple Jess, but as a professional in the field, slightly doubtful of the actual portrayal of mental handicap.
So this march, my plans are to read Joey Hill’s Something about witches, Tori St Claire’s stripped (I got the review from this site) and to savour the flavour i want to mix it up with a biography (Rafa), a conspiracy ( who killed dammerksjold) all of this apart from my big fat medical books…
But I ‘d really like to read some books (any genre) which have heroine character growth – i have read marian keyes rachel and adored it… In fact it stopped me from trying pot. I d love to read about a man hating heroine mellowed by love :) probably i ll write one myself..
Hopefully this is the right way to post…
@Jane: @Lady Jaye: Thank you Ladies! I’ll keep pushing through the book! I like it so far minus the confusion. Will have to put “The Edge” on my TBR pile.
@diana: If you liked “Simple Jess,” I think you’ll probably like most of Morsi’s American historicals.
@Jayne hi thanks a lot.:)Will definitely get them
@diana I don’t think that you are the only one. I often wonder what it is about these men that make them date, fall in love with, seduce, etc. the evil other woman.
@Moriah Jovan: I’m assuming this is an ironic “sold”.
@LuEllen: Oh, I’m looking forward to Fair Game soooooo much as well! But at the same time I’m a bit worried, because after the utter awesomeness of the two first books, I fear I’ll have to much built-up expectations.
Which is my big problem for March really. I’ve got 6 books coming out this month I’ve been more or less FRANTICALLY awaiting, either on the 6th or the 27th, and I’m not sure how I’ll cope. Or what to read first. It’s like my brain has been SQUEEE all month already just in my awaiting thrills for the coming books. This kind of high expectations can’t be good, and I’m worried that the same thing like last year will happen when Kiss of Snow and Magic Slays came out on the same day, and I read both on the same day by skipping sleep, and totally didn’t take the time to process them.
Anyway, the books that caused all this pre-release anguish :)
Fair Game by Patricia Briggs
Sacrificial Magic by Stacia Kane (neeeeeew Downside Ghosts book!!! MORE TERRIBLE! I’m so, so, very much excited :) And more coming out soon too!)
Intruder by C.J. Cherryh (not romance, but very much about relationships, romantic and not, but most of all Politics! Intrigue! Action! And the always very emotional reveal of bonds between the main characters and his security. I love this series, it’s on my desert island long list)
Bear meets Girl, the new Shelley Laurenston (I adore this series more with each new book in the series, very fun shifter romance)
Crucible of Gold by Naomi Novik (seriously can’t wait. It’s not romance, but the best bromance between a dragon and his captain ever.)
At Your Pleasure, the new Meredith Duran. (Her books range from very high hights to mediochre for me, but I’m pretty excited about this one)
I am a newish romance reader, too.
I really enjoyed DA’s recommendation of Her Husband’s Harlot – thank you~~.
A friend then suggested Bonnie Dee’s beautiful story Captive Bride, and I was delighted to learn afterwards that DA had also reviewed this book positively.
My two latest reads were:-
– The Hired Hero, by Andrea Pickens (Regency romance – the poor-but-honourable hero owned my heart), and
– Unsticky, by Sarra Manning (captivating contemporary romance about two broken people who needed each other).
Two very different stories, but I absolutely loved them both. In both tales, the protagonists felt so believable, they made me care. They stayed with me long after I closed the covers… upon my re-reads!
@Jane: Eh, it looked cute and it was only $3, so I said what the hell, and bought it.
ETA: I’m a sucker for the high-school-revenge trope. /juvenile moment
@Moriah Jovan Ah, I thought the reader comment seemed so promo-y that you were being ironic.
@miruku You have so many great books ahead of you. Have you tried Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase? I think it is knocking about on Amazon for under $3.00
@Jane: Naw. As an Author Without A Marketing Clue(TM), I’m sympathetic to the attempts and unusually tolerant. Plus, I have gotten some really great books from such breaches of etiquette, even the most awkward ones.
On a somewhat related note, I’ve been wondering (since I began this journey) about something. A reader goes to a board and starts a thread that says, “I’m looking for X.” You wrote X, but saying so is deemed a breach of etiquette.
While I understand that the regulars on a board are sick to death of self-promotion, there are newbie readers coming on all the time, and veteran readers who are simply jaded and have run through everything of that trope. Maybe those searching didn’t read any of the back threads. Maybe they did but didn’t find what they were looking for or the thread had no answers. Maybe the answer is buried in an unrelated thread. Sometimes “X” gets pretty specific, too. So you answer the question (correctly) and it’s viewed as self promotion.
*I* see it as giving the customer what they want, because how else are they going to find it? I have to assume that if someone went to the trouble to post, “I want to read X,” they really want to know. If they’d already found it, they wouldn’t be asking the question. So why is it not considered good customer service that an author of X answers?
(It’s not usually the well-behaved, little-known authors who get the attention. It’s the badly behaved ones. But most of us don’t want to behave badly.)
I can only speak for my reader self when I say if I post “I’m looking for X,” it won’t matter who answers the question as long as I get X and not Y. My only criterion is that they not lie about what they wrote.
(Aside: I think that’d make a really great blog post.)
I picked up the sample of Blacker Than Black, a book that was referenced on the huge, long thread from Saturday. It started off strong and I was thinking about buying it even though it was nearly $10. However the sample weakened by the time I reached the end of it and I didn’t have the gotta-have-it-vibe so I didn’t go through with the purchase. Good beginning though.
I just started listening to Carol O’Connell’s latest Mallory mystery The Chalk Girl. So far the story is about the mystery not Mallory’s past so I’m enjoying it better than the last one. Not a romance and the crimes are fairly horrific so have a care if you aren’t already familiar with the series. It came out in print in January, but I waited for the audio book which was narrated by Barbara Rosenblat (who I remember fondly from Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody audiobooks).
I also downloaded from Audible The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, again not a romance but I thought it might be interested because it involves Richard Burton (the explorer not the actor) and a rather interesting criminal figure of the 19th century called Spring Heeled Jack. So far SHJ hasn’t made much of an appearance and the novel sounds like someone novelized the Wikipedia article about Richard Burton. There’s a good chance I’m not going to be finishing this one.
The amazing Judith Tarr is having a Kickstarter campaign to pre-finance the rewriting of a finished novel. Backing her with $5 already will get you the finished ebook, available at Book View Café this winter in various formats – of course if you throw in more you get added incentives – if I had real money I’d pick the $1000 dollar option where I get my own short story set in the world and original character art, and, and, and…
Here’s the cover copy:
There’s one excerpt of the current novel available to read for everyone – the other one is only for backers.
Just finished the first 4 Virgin River books by Robyn Carr — really enjoyed 1-3, but #4 felt really wooden and schmaltzy to me — maybe I shouldn’t have read all 4 one after the other. I am reading “Angelfall” now and enjoying it mostly, except for that odd disconnect I always seem to feel when I read anything YA these days. Can’t put my finger on it, but I just don’t seem to enjoy YA as much as I used to (I refuse to believe it’s age!). Can’t wait for the new Patricia Briggs and I’m excited about the new Dianne Sylvan book coming out –not a popular choice on this website I know, but I’ve really enjoyed her books as opposed to Thea Harrison whose “Dragon Bound” is one of my favorites but the next 2 books were both DNFs for me; I might try to reread them someday, but I was just not able to get immersed in the stories and found stuff that annoyed me on just about every page. I also have the new Cat Valente novella “Silently and Very Fast” which I’ll be reading next while I wait for my pre-orders to show up!
@Maisie: I use Firefox as a Browser and under the VIEW tab there’s an option called Page Style – I put that to NO STYLE and then I get just the text and links. It may screw the layout a bit and you may have to scroll a lot.
@Maisie: Try this add-on: iReader.
I am almost done with the first book in R. Lee Smith’s The Lords of Arcadia set. I’m liking the first one, The Care and Feeding of Griffins but am intimidated–time-wise–about reading the whole set. Has anyone read them all? Do you have to read them all the finish the story satisfactorily?
@Las I had the same reaction to Bro Magnet. I didn’t understand why the H/H liked each other. There never seemed to be a real connection between the two.
Headstrong by Meg Maguire (one of my “must buy” authors) was a miss for me, too. The heroine was completely unredeemable for me. Much of her good deeds were done off the page and were revealed too late in the story to change my mind about her.
Dirty and Broken, both by Megan Hart, were full of angsty and messed-up heroine foo. Both were beautifully written but were emotionally difficult, uncomfortable reads.
I’m on the hunt for something more lighthearted in March.
@Roslyn Holcomb: For what it’s worth, I quite liked Fair Game, and one of my favorite characters in the book was a black FBI agent named Leslie. I do occasionally find myself slightly uncomfortable with references to minority characters in Briggs’ books, but since I’m white, I’m probably not that good a judge of stereotyping. I haven’t kept up with the Mercy series (only read the first and a little bit of the second) but I still love Charles and Anna and it was great to see Anna exude more confidence in Fair Game.
I’m temporarily in the US and have celebrated freedom from geographical restrictions by glomming Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels series. I bought the first one. Read it in a day and then proceeded to get throught the rest over the weekend and managed to go sight seeing! A distinct lack of sleep was had. I’m looking forward to rainshadow road, the nalini singh angel anthology and the new Patricia Briggs.
@Dabney: I have not read these books but Carolyn Jewel had a post on them at her blog. She loved Care and Feeding but had issues with the rest. Her take may help you make a decision.
March is going to be PNR month for me…Oracle Moon, Fair Game, and Angel’s Flight are all on the way to me.
@jane i guess the guys are not very choosy… And from all the books i read, six pack and height seem to be more important criterion than sensitivity (which only appeared after heroine came onto scene) lol…
@ jan hi
I m a new reader, but currently very OC :) would you mind listing your fav meredith durans – cos i ve read some interesting but confusing stuff – particularly her heroines…
And just a silly thing… How do you distinguish an author from reader on the site?
@diana: You may want to give Maya Rondale’s The Rogue and the Rival a try. The heroine in that book makes the hero apologize to every woman he’s wronged before she’ll marry him.
the book didn’t work for me because all of the women he’d wronged through the years were conveniently better off after his actions. Including the unknowing bride he had sex with on her wedding night when she thought he was her new husband. Also, the hero of this book attempted to rape and nearly killed his twin brother’s wife in the previous book and I didn’t feel he redeemed himself enough.
Thank you for your reply~~.
Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase – I sure have. It was one of my very first reads! The kissing-in-the-rain scene, when he realised desperately that he needed her, was so crazy good.
My personal all-time favourite (so far) though just has to be the incomparable ‘What I Did for a Duke’. I loved the book SO MUCH, I’m still going back to it regularly.
My only gripe is that I cannot order eBooks through Amazon (don’t live in the States). Take Her Husband’s Harlot for example – I was only thankful I was able to email Ms Callaway to request for an epub version. Can’t imagine asking my boy cousins in California to order steamy romances for me…
@diana My favorite Meredith Duran is Bound By Your Touch which I reviewed here. You can read the other reviews from this link.
As for telling the authors from the readers on the site, do you mean the authors of the blog or authors in general? Authors in general are known by their names, if they post under their author names. Authors of the site you can read about them here.
@jane Thank you.. The heroine sounds kind of superwoman… Will definitely read ‘ Bound by your touch’ and may be ‘Written on your skin’ after my economy improves :)
I meant authors in general because i dont know many of them and felt it is nice to know the comments posted are from a romance author’s perspective or a reader’s.
And I read about authors of the site… Great job…
I did not know much about romance genre but it is pulling me in…
Hey thanks… Sounds interesting…. Sounds like a book to read during a boring conference… And picture all the possible punishments that can be inflicted on the guy by every woman there…. I do sound very bitter :)
Hey diana, My absolute favorite by Duran is definitely Bound by Your Touch. Read it thanks to the review on Dear Author and devoured it. The heroine and hero are so great in that, even if they aren’t always nice or good :)
Also really liked Wicked Becomes You and the Duke of Shadows.
@library addict: Redeemed himself enough– I can’t imagine how he redeemed himself at all after that.
@Amy Kathryn: Thanks for the link. It doesn’t really explain why the books suck or how they end poorly. I wish there were a Cliff notes for them so I could just find out what happened!
Hi thanks… Since i heard good stuff about BBYT I did order a paperback…
Hi i just finished reading Maya Rodale you recommended…Definitely a scoundrel hero…. I really felt for his child’s mother…. But I was very impressed with the author though. I was expecting the guy to be a brooding, dark guy and transference of his hurt onto the heroine (Anne Stuart?) or something like 7 pounds. But I was taken in by his good humour… Found myself laughing out inviting stares from everyone..
I guess reading the book as a standalone helped… But i guess his affairs were treated more on the lines of farce… So may be a breezy read till one starts looking closely into his conduct…
I’m about 1/2 way through Tempting Danger by Eileen Wilks and am really enjoying it so far. This is a perfect example of an author willing to trust her readers to follow along without any handholding. Such a refreshing contrast from the boring expositions I’ve run into lately.
The world building is more about character fleshing since it’s basically set in contemporary San Diego peopled with weres, witches, sorcerers and such. I appreciate that Wilks *shows* what her characters are like through their actions and very well done dialogue.
And the very best part…an intelligent and capable heroine! I’m so hoping the book follows through and that I’m heading for a nice, long glom!
I know there are other readers looking for good self-published romance, so I want to recommend the science fiction romance Apocalypto series by L.K. Rigel. I got the first one, Space Junque, free quite a while ago, and I gave it a shot when I was not finding a historical or contemporary that worked for me. I liked it a lot, and it made me THINK, as well as feel. It’s set in our world after huge environmental disasters that frankly aren’t that hard to believe in, among people dealing with huge changes once much of their technology has collapsed. I’m in the third book now, and hooked (she needs to write faster). She reminds me of Sheri Tepper, one of my very favorite authors.
After 2 months away from romances, I went the complete opposite direction and glommed on many in the first weeks of March.
New releases – Paranormal – Fair Game (Patricia Briggs) and Angel’s Flight (Nalini Singh) – these authors continue to amaze me with their consistency in delivering interesting characters and how they extend their world building. B+ for both books, not their greatest (although the love scene in the woods in Fair Game was one of my favourites in the series) but solid enjoyable reads.
Shades of Milk and Honey – Mary Robinette Kowal – how did I miss this book when it was first released? I have to blame it on the fact that it was released by TOR which I haven’t associated with romances in the past. A wonderful blend of historical, with an author voice similar to Jane Austen, and fantasy. I am eagerly awaiting the sequel. A
A Rogue by Any Other Name – Sarah McLean – best friends growing up and meeting each other again, rediscovering each other, angsty hero – its all there and enjoyable. B+
Never a Gentleman – Eileen Dreyer – loved the heroine. She was strong, marched with the army in the company of her father a General, cared for injured soldiers and yet so vulnerable. The hero does some despicable things in the name of protecting her. In the end I wanted her to have her HEA. B
@diana: I so completely agree with you! It pretty much just made my day, reading your comment. Books that took that route would be so refreshing!
At the risk of sounding pretensious, I want to put out some of the thoughts I am conflicted about:
1. Is reading romance considered beneath professional women? Cos when i was discussing the books which i was reading with my friends, i was frowned upon. I actually ended up offering the excellent meredith duran’s book (which i loved btw) to one of the guys who could nt manage beyond first ten pages. End result: with all the fresh energy of a newly converted zealot i had delivered a huge lecture, and now people view me with a conciliatory rise in the eyebrow ( mostly gals !!! )
2. And then I was accused of wasting my time because i was searching for meaningful stuff in a primarily escapisionistic genre. So
I wonder if it is actually true, doesnt romance have anything to offer ‘meaningful’ beyond titillation value. So have i become an addict?
3. Does romance tint the way i actually view the world? My bf thinks its bs to expect guys to act like in romances and they do have lives beyond catering to the whims of heroines. He thinks i have become selfish since i started romance reading !!!
@jane hi thanks a lot for the great recommendation.. I loved loved loved it!! And the rant above is during a weird selfexpression by shouting out mood… Pls feel free to delete it if it is in the wrong place :)
@diana I’ll never understand the reason people have for diminishing us for our reading choices. Surely we should be judged by our abilities and tht our good sense and intelligence should reflect favorably upon our reading choices rather than vice versa.