Showing posts from May, 2015


#WhyIWriteHistoricals? I love the research, and I love to share stories of strong women and the good-looking men who love them. For example, the pirate Mary Read learned her lover had been challenged to a duel. She confronted his opponent, challenged him herself, and slew him on the sand in an early-morning swordfight before he could hurt her sweetie.  That's the kind of kick-ass woman I'm talking about!

There's a whole world of lovin' out there in your historicals section: romance from Regency England, Medieval France, Ancient China and more. Have you read a historical you enjoyed? Share the love with the hashtag #WhyIReadHistoricals and spread the word!

Review--The List

The List by Anne Calhoun
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The novel was erotic, but the loving descriptions of bespoke stationary and West Village life in a three story apartment with a garden--that was pure porn. I could have read those descriptions over and over again, but if I had I'd've missed a wonderful love story.

Tilda and Daniel's story opens a year after their marriage, when Tilda's asking Daniel for a divorce. So many love stories are courtship tales, but The List is about discovering the person you love, peeling back the layers and lies to get to the truth and making it work for you.

I know a lot of readers didn't like Tilda, her coldness, her inability to invest herself in the relationship the way Daniel did, but his patience and devotion was part of what I loved about it.

If you're looking for an adult book, in the best sense of the word "adult", you could do worse than to read Anne Calhoun.

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Ripped by Edie Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Another wonderful story of the Faraday family, who make their money offering weaponry and enhanced skills, but not to just anyone. Tobias Faraday knows all too well the slippery slope the family business of death and destruction is on. He's seen it played out with his sister's ordeal at the hands of a serial killer.

It's no wonder Tobias keeps his life as tightly buttoned and constrained as his bespoke suits and perfectly knotted ties. He's willing to do almost anything, including use rogue British agent Chandler McCallister, to get access to the men who hurt his sister.

Chandler knows her days are numbered. She's done too much, seen too much to be allowed to live. Maybe Tobias Faraday will be the one to put a bullet to her brain, but before she helps him, she's going to insist on one last favor.

This is a tense, sexy novel of two enemies drawn together by a common goal, and it was a real page turner. I can't wait …

Review--Garden of Lies

Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I love JAK/AQ books, partly because they're the reading equivalent of comfort food. We know we're going to get a strong willed heroine who's a career woman of some sort, an enigmatic and mysterious hero (who's misunderstood by all but the heroine), family problems revealed & solved by the end, and a mystery.

Garden of Lies delivers the goods. It's a Victorian mystery with snappy dialogue, the H&H we've come to expect and love, and a satisfying finish. It's all enjoyable, and there's nothing wrong with a little comfort now and then.

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Review--All The Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Sometimes writing comes into your life that is so lyrical, so spot-on in its use of language and story-telling, that you have to pause while you're reading it and say, "Wow". This is such a novel. It's the story of two people whose lives run along what appear to be parallel lines, until you realize that small connections are what can make the difference between nothing and everything.

I don't need to describe the story--blind French girl, young German boy, World War II. Really, rather ordinary people. Until they're not ordinary any more.

There are reasons why ALL THE LIGHT WE CANNOT SEE won so many awards. It's that good.

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Memorial Day

When I was a child, Memorial Day meant the start of summer. Now I'm an adult and it means so much more to me. Take a moment this weekend to reflect on the meaning of Memorial Day. Remember that the freedoms we enjoy this weekend, and all year long, to swim, to gather, to have outdoor concerts, to hike in the national parks, came at a cost. At the start of summer we should always recall those who gave their lives, the "last full measure of devotion" to keep us free.

Review--Obsession in Death (In Death #40)

Obsession in Death by J.D. Robb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I've figured out that part of what I enjoy about the "In Death" series is the familiarity of it. It's what you want, what you expect, and it satisfies without tasting ho-hum. Kind of like a favorite variety of apple--if I eat a Gala and it's just right, it's the taste and texture I'm anticipating and savor. It's not a boring Delicious, it's what I want.

So it is with Robb's "In Death". 40 books in, and we find ourselves wrapped up in the lives of the characters, lives that grow and develop as they would in the real world--people age, sometimes they make bad choices, sometimes we laugh with them, or at them, but they're still characters we want to spend time with between the covers of a book. Eve and Roarke are still exciting one another, Peabody is still a great foil for Eve, the minor characters subtly move to the front of the action, and all's right in futuristic NYC.


Review--Princess Shanyin: The Complete Obsession Saga

Princes Shanyin: The Complete Obsession Saga by Liliana Lee
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Excellent erotica from a woman's POV. I really enjoyed the strong female protagonist, willing to do anything to survive in ancient China. The non-Western setting made the story even better, allowing for intriguing situations and responses.

I'm going to be looking for more Liliana Lee erotica in the future.

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Lost Opportunities

My little Reading Pal was absent again today. I suspect I feel worse about missing our reading time than she does. I was looking forward to sharing the Sunday comics with her and continuing our book together.
School's almost over for the year, and summer is when a lot of kids lose ground with what they've learned. I can remember spending many hot summer days hiding out in the shade with a book, but that only happens when you have access to a public library or a subscription to a book service like Scholastic (do they still do that? I'm the avid reader I am today partly because of those wonderful books that arrived in the mail.)
So I took the remaining 45 minutes in our hour, headed to a coffeeshop downtown and read until the farmers market opened. I enjoyed having the reading time, but I'd rather have spent it sharing a book together.

Mother's Day

"...The stories also continued at bedtime, and Lydia had to admit she was caught up in Captain Johnson’s stories of blood, gore and courage.

“So Mary Read’s mother, described here as ‘young and airy, met with an accident, which has often happened to women who are young and do not take a great deal of care; which was, she soon proved to be with child again.’”

“Was my mother young and airy, Papa?”

Captain St. Armand put his finger in the book to mark his place and looked at his daughter. “Your mother was a delightful lady, and I believe ‘young and airy’ is an excellent description of her.”

“Did you fall in love?”

He hesitated, then nodded. “I loved your mother Nanette as one loves the best of friends. She was someone I turned to for friendship, and for laughter, and we shared that.”

“And hugs, Papa? Maman was good at hugging,” she finished, a catch in her voice.

“Yes, Mattie, your mama was good at hugging,” he said gently.

“I am glad, Papa, that you and Maman were in love …

Review--Blamed (Blood Money #1)

Blamed by Edie Harris
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This has been sitting in my ereader forever, but as soon as I started it I knew I'd want the next one right now! Fascinating tale of a family of professional assassins and their daughter, a sniper who'd just like to have a normal life, maybe with a dog she'd name "Waffles". Instead she gets spies, mayhem, bullets and an overbearing family with a very specific skill set.  I glommed the entire novel on a flight home and it was fantastic.

Did I mention the hero? Definitely swoonworthy, and a perfect match for the heroine. Many hot times ensue after they're finally together.

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She's still lifting her lamp

I'm in NYC for a family wedding, staying in lower Manhattan. I have a lovely view of the Statue of Liberty from Battery Park, and it startles me (in a good way) to look up from my walking and see the beautiful Lady out there on the water.  Even if I lived here, I don't know if I would ever tire of seeing one of the iconic symbols of our nation.  It's a glorious view.

Booksigning, now with more pirates!

Ahoy, Jacksonville and First Coast Florida! I'll be signing books, including Readers' Choice winner The Pirate's Secret Baby, on Friday, May 15 from 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at San Marco Books and More, 1971 San Marco Blvd., Jacksonville, FL.

The San Marco area is a great place to stop for lunch and browsing, and the booksigning is an opportunity to stock up on your summer beach reading. You know you need more pirates (and happy endings) in your life, so drop on by. I'll also have copies of First Coast Romance Writers Beacon Award winner The Bride and the Buccaneer, my North Florida "road" book.

There's nothing I enjoy more than putting the top down on the convertible, driving to bookstores and meeting new people. Tell your friends, and I'll see you there!