Tag Archives: romance

RFG Recommends: Until We Touch by Susan Mallery

14 May

Until we Touch Susan Mallery

I received this ARC from the publisher via NetGalley

After a family tragedy, former football hero Jack McGarry keeps the world at arm’s length—a challenge now that his PR firm has moved to neighborly Fool’s Gold, California.

Larissa Owens knows where she stands—Jack sees her as just another one of the guys. No matter what her heart wishes, Jack’s her boss, not her boyfriend. But then Larissa’s big secret is revealed…by her mother!

When Jack discovers the truth about Larissa’s feelings, her touch suddenly becomes tantalizing, and he’s not sure he wants to resist. But if he gives in to desire, heartache is sure to follow. Friendship or true love—will Jack go for the ultimate play?

I am a big Susan Mallery fan girl. Her Fool’s Gold series in particular is a comfort read for me. I love small town contemporary romance. In one corner of my mind, Fool’s Gold is alive and well three hours out of San Francisco and next time I visit one of my favourite cities in the world I will simply take a weekend to drive out and visit some of my favourite characters. Her stories are warm, heart-felt, funny and make you feel like you had some really good champagne afterwards- all bubbly and effervescent.

This is the story of Larissa and Jack, who we met in the previous books in this series. It’s an interesting dynamic between the two of them as they are best friends and have an employer/employee relationship as well since Larissa is Jack’s personal assistant (PA). She is also a trained masseuse and provides massage services for all the management team at Score, the PR firm that Jack part owns and Larissa works for.

While I am talking about their work backgrounds let me get the stuff that I DIDN’T like out of the way as it is almost all related to the work part of the book. I was a PA for 2 years when I first moved to Australia so I found the fact that Jack was Larissa’s boss AND best friend interesting as the dynamic between a PA and her direct report is very different to that of say a junior marketing executive and the marketing director of the company. The job of a PA is ALL about making the life of your boss easier. Your entire existence at the company pretty much revolves around him or her. While I have been very friendly with my supervisors in the past, that line between employer/employee is a pretty firm one in that particular role and makes the balance of power in that relationship very uneven. It was interesting that it wasn’t more of an issue, but I was able to brush that aside as it is a small town and a small company so things may have been more informal.

I DID have a problem with her being their masseuse AND Jack’s PA. Seeing her boss naked on a regular basis? Seeing all the other partners naked and having her hands all over them? Having one regularly get erect when she massaged him? Don’t get me wrong it was actually fodder for a lot of very interesting and funny scenes but it took me out of the story a little bit as I found it very strange and something I NEVER would experience in normal corporate life. Again, this is just my opinion and I think it is largely due to the fact that I WAS a PA and couldn’t imagine seeing any of my previous employers naked (Ugh).

Now onto the things that I DID like- and there were quite a lot of them. The story of Jack and Larissa is a best friends to lovers story which is one of my all time favourite tropes. I LOVE the shared history, the friendship, the knowing all the bits (even the unattractive ones) about each other. I felt that there was a genuine affection between the two of them and could believe their happily ever after at the end because of the way they interacted before they fell in love.

The opening scene of the book where Larissa’s mom interferes and talks to Jack and then blithely announces that Larissa is in love with him made me laugh and cringe at the same time. It was also, I thought, a really good way to not only start the book with a good laugh, but also a great way to move the two of them from friends to a couple. It worked for me because really, while they both protesteth their love for each other too much it did get the two of them thinking about it ALL the time. I think of it as similar to telling yourself NO I don’t want that chocolate bar, I DON’T want that chocolate bar, I don’t NEED that chocolate bar and… mmm, DAMN that chocolate bar was GOOOOOOD  Except in this case it was all sexual tension and love and longing and it was a lot of fun to read. Oh, and some really sharp and funny dialogue. I loved how the two of them would talk to each other.

The conflict in this book was largely internal and had to do with both Larissa and Jack distancing themselves others and the different ways they do it. There were no explosions or hold ups or kidnappings just a lot of rescued animals and mixed dog breeds (chiweenies, who knew?). I liked that they both had to work on and realise things about themselves before they could be together.
Jack, was a very likeable hero all the way until he hit that wall of all his past issues and boy, when he started burning his bridges he did it in a BIG way. I winced through that whole section of the book, but it did make the ending all that much sweeter and heartfelt in the end.

I already recommend this series to everyone I know who loves contemporaries and this addition to it is another one I would wholeheartedly recommend.

Review: Dragons Don’t Cry by D’Elen McClain

10 Apr

Dragons Don't Cry

Summary at the back of the book:
One pint sized human female who’s had too much to drink, not enough sleep, and absolutely no patience meets one stubborn dragon shifter with an attitude.

Bastian claims Acasia, his unwilling bride, after she spends the night carousing with friends. She’s not happy, he’s pissed off, and with a curse from a goddess thrown in, you’ll see Bastian breathe fire.

Add secrets, treasure, and unimaginable heartbreak for an emotionally humorous read and discover why Dragons Don’t Cry.

I had never heard of this author before but have a particular soft spot for dragons (Thank you, Anne McCaffrey) so decided to ask for this book on Netgalley. I like that the back blurb made the book sound like a GA Aiken style humorous paranormal. It didn’t quite get there for me but I did enjoy reading the story.

The story starts with a little background setting of how and why the dragons are cursed. One of their kin killed a daughter of Hera and as punishment she cursed them to live alone until they find their true mate- which will happen only once in a hundred years. There’s a bit about another goddess who is sympathetic to the dragons and vows to help them… but I found that she had a much smaller role than what it seemed in the prologue. I wasn’t sure the prologue was needed at all actually as the story gets explained again later in the book. Anyhoo, on to the main story…

Acasia is offered up as one of the maidens in a virgin sacrifice ceremony to the dragons. This ceremony happens once every 25 years and is met with dread and weeping and tears as you can imagine. She is of course picked by Bastian, the red dragon and carried away to his lair where she thinks he’s going to eat her- only he doesn’t. Their relationship slowly progresses after a rocky start and they fall in love (as you do in romance novels of course).

One of the more interesting parts of the book was the whole virgin bride sacrifice. It seemed that everyone in this world saw the dragons as these big, hungry beasts and their “brides” as poor victims who are never seen again because they are eaten or something as equally terrifying. The reality of course was that the dragons loved their brides and enjoyed their company and had to live with their brides becoming old and dying on them over and over again since only a true mate could become an immortal dragon. The author portrayed how painful that was by introducing the other 3 dragons, one who had just lost a bride and was mad with grief, one with a very elderly bride and one with a middle aged one.

In spite of this, the author was able to imbue a fun sense of ridiculousness to the story. It wasn’t quite over-the-top crazy sauce but there were fun, humorous bits that were enjoyable. I DID get confused when in the beginning of the book Bastian in human form was described as wearing jeans as the realm the dragons lived in was decidedly not Earth or modern times as we know it but that was later on explained when Bastian and Acasia would travel to Earth to save dying humans. These humans would then be brought back to the dragon realm in order to save their lives but would never be able to speak again. I found the whole back and forth through realms and humans not being able to speak a little weird. I know weird is expected in paranormal/fantasy books but I didn’t see the point in it except as a plot device to add friction to Bastian and Acasia’s relationship.

If I had to highlight a negative aspect of this book it was that the world building was weak. As I mentioned before the prologue didn’t seem needed, there was the tried and true virgin bride sacrifice trope and then there was jumping between realms which I think could have been fleshed out a little more.

However, I did enjoy the humour in the book. The ending in particular startled a giggle out of me. The romance was sweet and I liked how the hero and heroine got to know each other before falling in love.

I didn’t LOVE this book enough to recommend it but I didn’t hate it either. I would definitely buy another book from this author as I’m curious to see how her other stories turn out.

Review: Tamed by Rebecca Zanetti

2 Apr

tamed-ebook

Caleb Donovan was never meant to be a prophet. At heart he’s a conqueror, his appetites far more carnal than spiritual. He’s not inclined to repress his passions and surrender to fate. After all, that’s what cost him Lily–three centuries ago. She married another, because it was ordained. Now that he’s in the same benighted calling–and forced into proximity with her–all the old desires are roaring back to life. . .

After widowhood and centuries of celibacy, Lily is eager to explore the wild side of life, except now she’s vulnerable to another forced relationship, with an enemy. But this time she’s determined to choose her own path. And if hot, furious Caleb comes charging to the rescue, it might just change both their destinies. . .

Rebecca Zanetti has become one of my autobuy authors and this novella reminds me of all the wonderfully wicked and funny reasons why. Even though I love all her books, I have a special fondness for her Dark Protector Series as they were the books that introduced me to her.

For those of you familiar with the series, Tamed is the story where we finally see Lily and Caleb get together after hundreds of years of unrequited love (squee!). For those of you who haven’t read the Dark Protector books, I strongly suggest you read the previous books first (start with Fated). This novella is not a good point to jump into the series as there is a LOT of back story that would be difficult to understand if you are not already a reader and besides, the previous books are seriously awesome and I highly recommend them.

I’m not a big fan of novellas as a lot of authors tend to go for the love at first sight or insta-love trope to try and fit the romance into a relatively small word count. One of the things I really liked about this novella was the way RZ seeded bits of their relationship through the other books. As a reader, I knew that Lily and Caleb have known each other for 300 years and were in love way back when but Lily felt she was forced to choose duty over love and married someone else. The reason why this is not a good book to start the series with is the reason this is such a good novella- the love story between Lily and Caleb was very believable because there is such a back story there.

The dialogue in this story was sharp and downright funny- two things I really enjoy. Lily, who I always pictured as somewhat overly proper and mousy comes into her own in this story. She learns to let go of her image and duty and lets herself just BE. I do think that Caleb forgave her marrying someone else a little too easily as that must have really hurt at the time. In spite of this, I was rooting for them to get back together and ended the novella believing that they could have a happily ever after -in spite of all the mayhem and war and destruction around them.

I found it interesting that the time in this world has moved forward considerably in the last two books. The overarching plot line is finally coming to a resolution and I CANNOT wait. I would highly recommend this book to those readers who love alpha men, strong women and dry humour.

Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC from the publisher via NetGalley

RFG Recommends: Uncommon Passion by Anne Calhoun

11 Mar

Uncommon Passion A Calhoun

I was listening to the DBSA (Dear Bitches Smart Authors) Podcast recently, going through all of their old podcasts hoping that I would find a book or books to break this reading slump that I’ve been on lately. One of the books that Sarah from Smart Bitches Trashy Books recommended was Uncommon Passion by Anne Calhoun.
The thing that made me want to read it was the description of the heroine. Her name is Rachel Hill and she is described in the summary as someone who has recently left a fundamentalist commune called Elysian Field. Having grown up in this very restrictive environment, she is a 25 year old virgin. Wanting to rid herself of her aforementioned virginity she buys the hero, Ben, at a bachelor auction thinking that he looks like the kind of guys who could do the job and walk away. Ben, at first, seems to be nothing more than a really hot adrenaline junkie police officer with too many notches on his bedpost.
One of the things that I really LOVED about this book was how thoughtful it was. There were no stereotypes to be found anywhere in the story. A lazier writer could have easily portrayed Rachel as an uber innocent (verging on too stupid to live) traumatised young thing and her father and everyone in the commune as evil and mean. What we do get is one of the strongest heroines I have read in a good long time.
Rachel’s strength is quite different from the outwardly tough, I will kick your ass to the moon and back strength of the urban fantasy/paranormal heroine, but by the end of the book I thought: wow that is one strong, self-aware woman. Anne Calhoun was able to write a character of such quiet inner strength and grace, I finished the book with an incredible amount of respect for the character and for AC as a writer for not turning Rachel into a caricature of what people think “escapees” from cults or communes should be like.
It also would have been easy to just vilify Rachel’s father as this oppressive man and in some ways, he was because of his beliefs. At the same time, he was also the man who baked cookies with her and read her stories and all these other things that show that he was a very loving father. There’s a scene where Ben and Rachel are talking about her life in Elysian Field and she says that people think she left because of the lack of fashion or long skirts but that’s not why she left at all. She left because she wanted to decide things for herself without her father or one of the elders telling her what to think or feel. I found it fascinating that she wasn’t even supposed to be mad or grumpy as this was being ungrateful to God so she had to be serene or cheerful all day.
Ben as a hero seems really simple in the beginning but is actually a really complicated character. I LOVE that he had to work through his issues and come to realizations about himself before he felt he had anything to give in terms of a relationship. I love how the romance developed slowly, completely apart from the steamy sex which would have been about an 8 or 9 in the steamy charts. I LOVE how the heroine , even being inexperienced knew to stand up for herself after a raunchy sex sesh and say you know what? You didn’t treat me right that time, buh-bye. I love how AC made Rachel brave enough to fully accept and experience all emotions even negative ones.
I know I may be repeating myself but it has to be said again; this was a very well-written and thoughtful romance that I will remember in the jumble of all the other meh books that I have read lately. My only criticism is that I didn’t get that ‘chest hurts oh my God this book is ripping my heart out’ feeling that I get with the some really good books. It’s a solid B+ for me though, hope you like it.

RFG Recommends: Ilona Andrews Kate Daniels Series

9 Feb

Magic Rises

I recently bought Magic Rises which is Book 6 in the Kate Daniels series and because of this I went back and re-read the 5 books in the series that came before (as you do). I am now totally kicking myself for not adding Ilona Andrews to my first autobuy authors list as I love their writing.
(Quick sidenote: for those who may not know, no the use of their instead of her wasn’t a massive grammatical error. Ilona Andrews is actually the pen name for a husband and wife writing team, how cool is that? )
The Kate Daniels series is the series that automatically springs to mind when talking about IA. It’s a fantastic urban fantasy about a mercenary named (you guessed it) Kate Daniels. I don’t want to put too much detail in as I don’t want to inadvertently spoil anything for anyone who hasn’t started the series yet, but I CAN tell you that Kate is a totally kick ass, strong female lead. What I love about her is that IA manages to make her strong and kick ass without crossing over into the mad at the world, ornery for the sake of being ornery stereotype. Kate is strong and has been through a hell of a lot, yet manages to be kind and well, likeable.
The Kate Daniels World is a post-apocalyptic type world with a twist. Technology in this world is no longer reliable due to “waves” of magic that suddenly come and go. People have to adapt to having tech one minute and then not having anything work in the next during a magic wave. This applies to everything including lights, cars, phones and even guns. Because of this folks in KD world Atlanta have two of everything to ensure that they have things that work during tech and during magic such as regular electric lights and magic lights, guns and swords, normal cars and cars that run on magic- the world building is fascinating and provides plenty of avenues for IA to stress out their poor hapless characters.
But what I love about this series is the writing. The stories and plot points just flow very naturally and nothing feels forced or contrived. All the characters, even the secondary ones are interesting and multi-dimensional. My favourite part though has to be the dialogue. I’m a big dialogue and character girl and this series (and the other series of this author) is GOLD when it comes to witty dialogue.
I love the romance between Kate and her man (who I will not specify as there may be a FEW people who may not know who it is). My only complaint as a romance reader is that in some of the books I would have liked a little more on the romance- but that’s really nitpicking.
Magic Rises is my favourite book so far of the series. It’s hard to get into too much of the storyline without massive spoilers but let’s just say there was plenty of magic and good old fashioned sword fighting and ass kicking by Kate and the cast of secondary characters who are just as big a presence in the book. It had that perfect blend of romance and action that great urban fantasy books have: the relationship stuff that made me tingle (and at one point I burst out laughing in my darkened bedroom surprising my poor baby girl in the cot next to me) and oh my goodness so much edge of your seat action I stayed up WAY past my bedtime finishing it. It’s an A for me for this book and this series generally. What’s your favourite Kate Daniels book?

Review: After the Storm (KGI Series) by Maya Banks

13 Jan

After the Storm MB

Okay, the title of this entry may also have to be disappointed fan girl as I wasn’t particularly enamored with this book. Aaack! That almost feels like I’m blaspheming as I love this author! That being said, Maya Banks is still an autobuy author for me and the KGI series in particular is a series that I love and pre-order. If you haven’t read this series yet, I highly recommend it… just don’t start with this book.

KGI stands for Kelly Group International and it was started by a group of brothers whose family name is, yup you guessed it, Kelly. There are 6 brothers who have all served in the armed forces in some form or another before joining the family company. KGI is made up of male and female badasses who go on righteous (their words not mine) missions such as rescuing kidnap victims, hostage extractions etc all over the world. This is book 8 in the series, with the previous books telling the stories of 4 of the other Kelly brothers and the other members of the team.

Although each book is a stand alone I really recommend that you read this series in order. This is because one, I am slightly obsessive compulsive about reading series in order (there was a reason they were written that way dammit), and two it is nice to see how the relationships between family and team members grow and develop as the series progresses.

The books are romantic suspense done well with a lot of exciting parts without the romantic elements getting lost in the mix or added as an afterthought. Action aside though, my favourite thing about these books are the relationships between the brothers. The dialogue between them is often funny and done very realistically with them teasing and joking each other in between moving heaven and earth to keep one another safe.

Donovan is the third eldest brother who features largely in all the previous books and is portrayed as the one with a soft spot for women and children. Hmmm, hot former Navy guy with a soft spot for kids and a brain like a computer? Excuse me for a moment while I check that my knickers haven’t spontaneously combusted… Could you tell that I was really looking forward to Donovan’s book?

I liked the premise of the book- Eve and her siblings are running away from her evil step father. Her half brother ends up working in the Kelly’s hardware store and through this connection, Donovan or Van ends up meeting Eve and her sibs and falling taut ass over head in love with all of them.

While the dialogue and relationship bits of the book do not disappoint there were several plot tropes that were used in this book that I don’t particularly like, and while I feel that this may fall under the heading of personal taste, I do think that they have to be discussed. First of all, this was the least action packed book in the series. The other books had kidnappings, drug lords, high powered weapons and bombs. This book was positively tame in comparison.

The next thing that I had a problem with is how quickly Van falls in love with both Eve and her siblings. While I know that romance novels are fiction, I still have a hard time with the love at first sight/over the span of hours trope- especially when this love extends to young children. Protectiveness towards and overwhelming attraction to I can understand but truly in love over a span of 3 days beggars belief. This was also an issue for me because the fact that Van loved women and children was stressed several times in the book and it did lead me to wonder whether or not he really loved them or the IDEA of them. MB gets around this problem by having one of the Kelly bros confronting Van about this specific issue but because everything happens so quickly there is that little niggle of doubt that remains- at least there was in my mind.

My biggest frustration though is the whole misunderstanding leading to awful things trope. This one drives me absolutely mad. I did at one point end up screaming at my IPAD “Just ASK him about it for GOD’S SAKE!”. This very strong dislike of painful experiences that could have been avoided if characters in a book would just TALK to each other is one of the reasons a lot Shakespeare’s plays drive me batty. I can’t really talk about it more without including some major spoilers so I’ll leave it there but let me just add a few more exclamation marks to convey my frustration one last time !!!!!

That being said, I cannot repeat how much I love this author and this series in particular. My expectations were very high for this book and I have to say even though I was a bit disappointed it’s still a better quality book than a lot of others out there.

Review: Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh

25 Nov

Archangel's Legion

I’ve been on a good book roll these last couple of weeks and that has made me a VERY happy little fan girl. A lot of my favourite authors have released books this month but of all the books that I have read in November, the best one so far is Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh. I have made no secret of how much I love this author and her books but I have to say this book may be one of my favourites of hers.
This book is the 6th in NS’s Guild Hunter series. I strongly suggest to anyone who hasn’t read the previous books to please go back and do so as I think it would be difficult to pick up some elements of the story if you start on this book. Besides, the first book ROCKS and you really, really have to read it.
Here’s a quick background anyway for those not familiar with the series: The main characters in most of the books of the series are Raphael and Elena. Raphael is the archangel of New York and one of the biggest, baddest, scariest mo-fos out there by reputation. He has to be as the world they live in is kind of like ours except there are vampires and werewolves and angels (oh my!) walking the streets and each region is ruled by an archangel who has to have the scary control factor thing going or the supernaturals would just go around killing each other and poor hapless humans.
In this very interesting world, vampires are created by the angels. HOW and WHY this is done is one of the more interesting revelations in book 1. Once these vampires are created they have to go into the service of the angel who created them and are only considered free once that contract has expired. If vampires run out on their contracts or do something very naughty they are hunted by members of the Guild. Elena is a Guild Hunter. Not only is she trained by the Guild (I keep picturing a supernatural sort of police academy here. Helloooo Steve Guttenburg) she is a born hunter which means she can track vampires through scent. Anyway, Raphael and Elena meet when Raphael hires a very reluctant Elena to track a rogue archangel for him. In the way of these books, blood, gore, mayhem and near death experiences ensue and by the end of Angel’s Blood, which is book 1 in the series, Elena and Raphael are deeply and life changingly in love. Oh, and Elena becomes an angel. I’m telling you READ ANGEL’S BLOOD. It’s a totally kick ass, tres amaze book.
(Note: it was at this point where I got SO enthused about the first book that I went back and read it AGAIN for the 6th or so time! Then of course I had to keep going all the way again to book 6 so it’s basically taken me over a week just to write this review.)
Fast forward to book 6 and Raphael and Elena have gone through a really tumultuous period of unrest in the world. Elena in particular has grown a lot in terms of being a baby angel and in terms of being a consort to one of the most powerful beings in the world. There is a period of great change called the Cascade and it is signified by all things going wonky such as seas changing colour and unexplained storms etc. Through most of the book Raphael and Elena are dealing with the Cascade, changes with Raphael’s power and a coming war with another archangel/s.
I don’t want to give too much of the plot away but I do have to tell you that there IS a war in the book and it is EPIC. The battle scenes were so exciting and fast paced, and the story was told so descriptively, I could close my eyes and imagine it in my head. The images that were described were so beautiful such as skies full of wings or angels flying in formation that it was almost like having a reel of a really high budget fantasy movie playing in my head as I was reading.
What I really loved about the book though is that in spite of all the action and intrigue and plots, the love story between Raphael and Elena never got lost in the mix. Being really invested in these characters, I loved seeing how their relationship is continuing to evolve from the first book. One of the things that I feel NS is particularly good at is showing what a powerful, beautiful and intimidating creature Raphael is.
He laughed, her dangerous lover who wore his strength as a second skin and had a face of such violent masculine beauty that she was stunned anew each time she realized he belonged to her. Hair of darkest midnight and eyes of a painful blue found nowhere else on this earth, Raphael was a man blooded with power- no one would ever mistake him for anything but what he was: an archangel who had the capacity to snuff out a life as easily as she might crush an ant.
And again further along in the book:
It was a bone-jarring shock to be bluntly reminded that the man who was her lover was that man only for her. To the rest of the world he was-must be- the lethal, dangerous and sometimes cruel Archangel of New York.
And yet, NS saves him from being a cold, completely intimidating character by showing us the core of warmth and good in him through his people’s absolute loyalty to him and through all the wonderful interactions he has with Elena. I loved all the action and imagery of this book, but I adored the interplay between these two characters, especially their conversations mind to mind:
I’ll enter first. I’m the Hunter, Elena reminded him.
Of course you may go first. When I’m dead.
Scowling at that statement delivered in an eminently reasonable tone that fooled her into thinking he was going to agree, she pulled out her crossbow.
Go. We’ll argue about your autocratic tendencies later.
I look forward to it.
There was also a scene where another archangel and his consort were visiting that had to do with skimpy dresses and underwear that made me laugh out loud, and this little conversation about concubines:
Raphael, in case you’re getting ideas- I won’t be this civilized if you decide you need a concubine. In fact, it’s a good bet I’ll turn homicidal.
He didn’t look up from his conversation with Astaad as he said, A pity, in that cool “Archangel” tone of his. I will now have to ask the pilot to empty the hold of my chosen females.
We’re going to have to talk about this new sense of humor of yours.
The contrast between the powerful archangel and the tough as nails hunter and how sweet (because really that is the word for it) they are with each other is simply sigh inducing and is for me, one of the absolute best things about these books. The tender moments in between the action sequences were lovely:
“Eternity would mean nothing without you, For no power on Earth would I trade my Elena.”
Heart splintering at the tenderness of his words, she touched trembling fingers to his lips and hoped this choice wouldn’t doom him, this man whom she loved until she couldn’t breathe.

Just reading that made me sigh again. It’s an A ++ for me all around. I can’t wait for the next instalment in the series.

Random Fan Girlness November 2013

25 Nov

HAIYAN

First off I have to admit to being a naughty little fan girl about adding new entries the past couple of weeks. I was so caught up in that awful typhoon that hit the Philippines. My heart goes out to all the victims and their families. In spite of a lot of things that went wrong with relief efforts, the generosity of the human spirit from all around the world was also so beautiful to see.

ARCHANGEL’S LEGION

Another thing that delayed adding to the blog was that I decided to do a review of Archangel’s Legion by Nalini Singh and because I loved it so much I took a lot of time writing the review as I wanted to do it justice. I also have to sheepishly admit that I got so excited about the book while I was doing the review that I had to read the book again (for research purposes mind you). And THEN because I read that book I was reminded of how awesome all the OTHER books were in the series and yup, total romance fan girl moment, read the whole series all over again. FYI there are now 6 full length novels in the series, so you can imagine that this took a bit of time.

COPYRIGHT LAWS

As mentioned earlier, November was a good month for me as a lot of my favourite authors released new books. This brought home a bit of a sore subject with me however- the fact that Australia and New Zealand have delayed releases as compared to the US. There are some books that I can’t even purchase if I don’t live in North America and this is SO FRUSTRATING for me- especially in this age of ebooks. I could understand a delay in terms of shipping actual hard copy or printed books overseas but when a digital book can be ordered, paid for and downloaded in less than 2 minutes I really can’t understand the delay. I know from reading posts that this is due to copyright laws being different for North America and the rest of the world but as a consumer it is maddening. Hmph.

ARCs

I’m really new to the blogosphere but have been following other romance blogs such as Dear Author and Smart Bitches Trashy Books for years and therefore have picked up some of the lingo. One term that I picked up and totally envied is ARC or Advanced Readers’ Copy. A call came out recently for bloggers to put their hands up for ARCs for some Christmas anthologies and thinking it couldn’t hurt, I did and I got them! Total romance fan girl moment! I was absolutely thrilled to bits and can’t wait to read and review them!

BOOKS I THAT I READ WHEN I SHOULD HAVE BEEN WRITING

  • Susan Mallery’s A Fool’s Gold Cookbook
  • Kinked by Thea Harrison
  • Nalini Singh’s Guild Hunter Series (again)
  • Sealed with A Curse: A Weird Girls Novel by Cecy Robson
  • A Cursed Embrace: A Weird Girls Novel by Cecy Robson
  • Born Wild: Black Knights Inc by Julie Ann Walker
  • Jagged by Kristen Ashley
  • Play it Safe by Kristen Ashley
  • One Perfect Night by Bella Andre

Reviews to follow!

 

My Week in Books…

5 Nov

This week seems to be a week of new releases. I finished Nora Roberts’s Dark Witch and Nalini Singh’s Archangel’s Legion over the weekend. Two of my autobuy authors, one weekend- yay me! I also re-read Danielle Monsch’s Stone Guardian and am currently reading Shannon Stacey’s Snowbound with the CEO.

Of all the above books I have to really, really recommend Archangel’s Legion. It was EPIC. I’m still trying to get my thoughts together so I can write a proper review because really I’m still feeling all gushy and ridiculously in love with the book- it was that good. Unfortunately, writing SQUEEEEEEEEEEEE over and over again does not a good review make so that review is forthcoming once I have come back down to Earth.

Dark Witch by Nora Roberts and Danielle Monsch’s Stone Guardian were good books, but not great ones. I’ll write about them and Shannon Stacey’s Snowbound this week. After Archangel’s Legion I’m looking for a really good paranormal romance I can get into. Recommendations anyone?

Autobuy Authors 1

2 Nov

I started this entry thinking, “This should be easy, I LOVE these authors.” Four days later I have finally come to the realisation that because I LOVE these authors so much I’m having a really hard time writing short blurbs about them when in reality I want to squee like the ridiculous romance fan girl that I am across the whole page. This is just a short and sweet entry on who my autobuy authors are (and this is another reason it’s taking me so damn long I am now stressing out that I will forget a favourite and want to shoot myself AFTER posting the damn piece) and what kind of books they write generally. I’ll probably do recommend pieces on most of them later on. At least, that is what I am telling myself so that I actually finish this list…

Nora Roberts: La Nora is a GODDESS and I will buy anything and everything she writes. This includes her Eve Dallas/ JD Robb books and I have to note that Roarke must be one of my favourite alpha male heroes EVER. She writes mostly contemporary romances although some of her later stuff has her branching out into romantic suspense and romance with paranormal elements. At the end of the day, she is a highly prolific author whose not so good stuff is better than some other people’s good stuff. Enough said.

CL Wilson: If you love your romance with a lot of fantasy then you HAVE to read CL Wilson’s Fading Lands/ Tairen Soul series. Think epic fantasy on the scale of Lord of the Rings with an even more kick ass love story. This is one of my absolute favourite series of all time and has made me such a fan she is on my autobuy list. Be warned though, she is NOT a prolific author and her last book was published back in 2010 (!!!). Her next book is due out late 2014 but trust me, she is SO worth the wait.

Nalini Singh: Both her Psy-Changeling and Guild Hunter series are autobuys for me. She has amazing world-building skills and with her Psy-Changeling series in particular, is very good with continuing an overarching storyline through multiple books. Both series are based in alternate versions of our current reality. Her Psy-Changeling series is about shifters and humans and a human like psychically powerful race called the Psy, who have also instituted a protocol called silence (complete emotionlessness) in order to deal with their psychic capabilities. Her Guild Hunter series is about Angels and Vampires and Guild hunters and starts off with the story of Elena, a guild hunter (hunter of naughty vampires in other words) and Rafael, the Archangel of New York.

Christine Feehan: Christine Feehan was probably one of the first paranormal romance authors that I read and I LOVED her Carpathian series before I got all vampired out. She also has a Jaguar Shifter series, Drake Sisters and Sisters of the Heart Series (witches) and the Nightwalker series which is about psychically enhanced super soldiers. I love and buy them all. Her books tend to be quite intense and are not as light hearted as some of the other authors that I have on this list.

Julie Garwood: Although my first ever romance novel was a Judith Mcnaught book, the author who made me fall in love with the genre is Julie Garwood. Her historical romances, especially the Highland ones are HILARIOUS and very very romantic. You’ll find that I like funny, romantic books best of all. My apologies to those who love the darker authors- I’d rather laugh my way through a romance than cry through it. Even though she has moved to contemporaries, and I don’t think most of them are as good as her early historicals, she is still an autobuy for me.

Julia Quinn: Another historical author with tickle your funny bone and pull at your heartstrings romances. I loved her Bridgerton series because I loved the interplay between the siblings but all her books are good. She has a way with funny dialogue and making you believe that the hero and heroine of her novels actually like each other as well as love each other.

NB: This is just part 1 of autobuy authors. I just had to give myself a cut off or I would never end up posting this entry! So many wonderful authors and not enough time to talk about them all!