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Saturday, December 31, 2011

HOLLY LANE by Toni Blake

Destiny Series
Toni Blake
ISBN 978-0062024602
November 2011
Contemporary Romance

This book falls in place after the first three, and is set around Christmas time. Destiny Falls, Ohio, is your typical small town, where everyone knows everyone and their business. Sue Ann Simpkins has grown up here, fell in love here and had the perfect marriage. However, all that changed when her husband left her for another woman. Still reeling from the aftershock, she's desperate to regroup, so she heads out to a secluded cabin on nearby Bear Lake. That's when she is surprised by her husband's best friend, Adam Becker, who also shows up at the same cabin after a small mix-up at the front desk. Then a snow storm keeps them bound up together in the cabin. She wasn't looking for a relationship, so after things get a little heated and a lot passionate with sexy Adam, she tells him so.

Adam also tries his best to get Sue Ann out of his head, but running into her all over town doesn't help. And then his best friend puts him in an awkward position with Sue Ann. However, the insane, wild attraction they have for one another has them both trying to avoid crossing paths. As Adam falls in love with Sue Ann, she keeps him at arms length, but at a price - she's miserable. How can she trust anyone again after such a betrayal by her high school sweetheart turned husband? Adam isn't like Jeff, she knows, but it doesn't stop her from keeping him at arm's length as insecurities keep her emotionally detached. But this Christmas, the gift of a second chance at love may be just the kind of present both of them need.

Most Christmas "themed" books have little to do with Christmas, or have one scene, but HOLLY LANE starts the day after Thanksgiving and goes straight through to Christmas, with all the shopping, holiday cheer, Christmas traditions that most towns go through. Combine that with an emotional roller coaster for the heroine, and the angst of thwarted love for the hero, and you have yourself a great holiday read. Adam is super sexy, and reading about him in the first books has built him up a little for his own story. Sue Ann is the one who had "everything" and the one women envied, so it was good to see all the stages she had to go through to get to her happy ending. Sexually charged love scenes, in great Toni Blake style, combined with the hope for new beginnings with old friends will enchant readers and makes a great addition to the Destiny Series.

Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Four Midwestern Sisters' Christmas Book

My favorite holiday book takes me back to my childhood. I was raised on a farm in Iowa, so is it a surprise that my favorite holiday book is the “Four Midwestern Sisters’ Christmas Book?” The authors of this book are 4 sisters who also spent some of their childhood years at “the farm” which consisted of an old house on acres of wooded land far outside the city limits of Columbus, Ohio.

The book starts off with a chapter entitled “Remembering Snow,” and it is my favorite. Growing up, sledding parties were a favorite activity for 4-H clubs, church youth groups and, also for young children living on a farm. The authors loved this particular time of their childhood because they spent it building snow forts, making snow angels and sliding down “suicide hill,” “Suicide hills,” had to be a widespread phenomenon among children living in the country, because I had one and I am positive my sled would have be taken away had my parents known about it and my intense fascination for it.

Holiday traditions are the theme of this novel. Mouth-watering recipes, homemade holiday decorations and gift ideas will evoke nostalgic Christmas memories. The authors nail the importance of holiday baking by stating, “: Christmas cookies are food for the heart, the memory, and the spirit. Let there be no conversation about thighs and cholesterol!” Love this!

This book was published by Viking and released in 1991. I got my copy from Amazon.com and I will read it every year!

Charlene McConnell

Monday, December 26, 2011

Favorite Christmas Read

Mary Balogh
Signet 2006
ISBN-10: 0451219791
ISBN-13: 978-0451219794
Historical Romance

When I think of favorite Christmas reads, I think of Mary Balogh.

She has had a long writing career beginning in the 1980s continuing through today where she has continually made the bestseller lists with her Regency historical novels. It’s the Christmas novels and novellas written for the now defunct Signet Regency line that make my favorite Christmas reads list. Balogh has a particular genius writing novellas—perfect little gems that sparkle with excellent writing, deep emotional intensity, the real meaning of Christmas, and sensuality. Gathered together in UNDER THE MISTLETOE are five of these wondrous gifts, four from the various Signet Regency Christmas anthologies, and one new story written for this volume. I dare any reader not to be touched, not to tear up and/or smile happily at each perfect story’s end. Historical romance fans won’t find any other book that will set the Christmas mood than this collection of Mary Balogh novellas:

In “A Family Christmas,” Elizabeth and Edwin have a second chance at happiness at making their arranged marriage of an aristocrat and a wealthy merchant a real marriage if only they seize the chance at the family Christmas celebration.”

When a costly much beloved-jewel, “The Star of Bethlehem,” disappears, it takes a child chimney sweep to bring love and joy to Lord and Lady Lisle’s marriage.

Teacher Jane Craggs receives “The Best Gift” when she is invited to spend Christmas with one of her students at Viscount Buckley’s estate—to have the Christmas of her dreams and to make this a special Christmas for him and his newly-arrived young daughter.

In “Playing House,” Lilias is about to become a governess having fallen on bad times and to be separated from her much younger brother and sister, but when she seeks out her former love the Marquess of Bedford and asks him to help her give them a Christmas to remember, the magic of the holiday works its magic on Bedford’s and his young daughter’s hearts.

There’s “No Room At The Inn” when several people are stranded at a less-than ideal place for the Christmas holiday. Mary Balogh shows how you can have a wonderful awe inspiring story without the usual Regency holiday trappings and create a most magical, wonder-filled story.

UNDER THE MISTLETOE is destined to become a holiday classic…it’s available as a mass-market paperback as well as Kindle download at amazon.com.

Reviewed by Deb Hosey

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY by Sandra Brown is the story of architect Ria Lavender and Mayor-Elect Taylor Mackensie, two people that meet and fall into lust over shrimps at a Christmas Eve buffet table. Their night of passion results in an unexpected pregnancy. For Ria there is no question that she will not bear an illegitimate child. Being illegitimate herself, it's a foregone conclusion for her that Taylor will have to step up and join in the responsibility of bringing a child into the world.

When confronted by Ria, the Mayor-Elect initially attempts to play the "whose the father" game, but deep down he knows that his passionate one night affair has produced a baby. Both agree that the thing to do is marry for the baby's sake and part after the birth. The thing is, once these two set up house together they discover the passion has not died and there is a possibility to build on something more. But, there are doubts and obstacles that blur the process. Taylor has the reputation of being the sophisticated,handsome, political play-boy, and there is a woman he's stepped away from that is not pleased at being shoved aside. He has to convince Ria that he's worth staying with and can provided all that she requires in a relationship. Meanwhile, Ria is battling career concerns and doubts over every providing her child with a loving two-parent home.

TIDINGS OF GREAT JOY is filled with the type of story-line traditional romance readers love. It has plenty of very heated sex, emotional angst and two secondary characters that are schemingly annoying. Initially published by Loveswept in 1987, it has since been reprinted in hardcover and has become my holiday favorite.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

My Favorite Holiday Book

All She Wants For Christmas
Jaci Burton
Carina Press
ISBN: 9781426890871 (Single) and 9781426890826 (Collection)
December 2010

This book was released as a part of a Holiday Collection from Carina Press "Naughty and Nice" which featured 3 other authors in the Nice section. This was the first time I had read a holiday themed romance and while reading the collection this automatically became my favorite and one I would read every holiday.

The story is about Riley Jensen, a country music singer, who is forced to go back to her hometown to film a biography. Riley left her hometown in Missouri when she caught the love of her life Ethan Kent and her best friend Amanda in bed together. Ethan made a huge mistake which cost him Riley and after ten years he has never stopped loving her. Ethan has had to hear the hurt filled songs from Riley with everyone in their small hometown knowing who she was singing about and to make matters worse his daughter is her biggest fan. When these two see each other again the chemistry that brought them together in the first place is back in full force. Ethan thought that if she had stayed in their small town she would have never became a huge star, which is why he stopped looking for. Will Riley get past the anger and hurt and let Ethan into her heart or will Ethan still be afraid that he doesn't have anything to offer Riley that is just as good as what she has in Nashville?

I read this book in just a few hours, I couldn't put it down. The book was so popular that Jaci made it into a series with the second book of the series having been released this holiday titled "A Rare Gift" which I also read in just a few hours. If you want a great story to sit by the fire or just sit in bed and read I would definitely recommend this book. I cannot wait for the next book in the series. Have a great holiday!

Reviewed by: Tasha
Rating: 4 1/2

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

My Favorite Holiday Book

Robyn Carr
ISBN: 0778328961
January 2010
Contemporary Romance

This is one of my absolute favorite holiday books by the increasingly popular Robyn Carr. While it is certainly fine as a stand alone novel, if you are a fan of her Virgin River series (like me!) this book is the perfect holiday antidote if you want information about Jack and Melinda, Paige and Preacher, and all the interesting people who populate Virgin River.

The story is actually military themed and tells about Marcie, a young widow who has just buried her beloved husband after he has lingered for over a year in a vegetative state, unaware that he is home, or that his family cares for him as he lies in a convalescent home. When Bobby dies, Marcie is determined to find the Marine who saved his life, Ian Buchanan. Her search brings her to Virgin River, at Christmastime, to a backwoods cabin, to a man who does not want to be found. Ian has given up on a normal life and is consumed by his regrets from the war.

This is the love story of how Marcie pulls him out of his shell and in the process finds her own peace and redemption. I absolutely loved this book, the detail, and the story it told, in the wonderful style we have come to expect from Robyn Carr. If you only read one book this holiday season and come across this amazing novel, pick it up. I guarantee you will not be disappointed. For those of you familiar with Virgin River this will be one more terrifc chapter in that community's story. Highly recommended.

Reviewed by: Jeri Neal
Rating: 4 1/2

Friday, December 09, 2011

My Favorite Holiday Read

Linda Howard
Shilouette Christmas Story (1987)
ISBN: 0-373-15147-0

It is true...good things DO come in small packages. BLUEBIRD WINTER is a timeless story, one which I pull out every couple of years to read. This superbly written short story gives readers a glimpse of what it means to have faith, determination, and belief in the miracle of life and love.

Kathleen Fields is eight months pregnant and unexpectedly goes into labor during a severe Oklahoma snowstorm. With her labor progressing, pain increasing and no power, Kathleen makes a terrifying decision.

Derek Taliferro is heading home from celebrating the holidays with his mother and her husband. Knowing he should have left the previous day, Derek prepares to endure a long dangerous ride, in the snowstorm, back home, to Dallas. Before he makes it home, he will make an unexpected delivery.

BLUEBIRD WINTER is truly a heartwarming read that I hope you have had the chance to read or will read.


Monday, December 05, 2011


One of my favorite holiday novels is, "THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT", by Tracy Wolff. Vivian Wentworth is a divorce attorney working at the local women's shelter, helping the residents escape abusive marriages. The law firm she works for needed to take on more pro bono case, so Vivian is assigned a murder case. Vivian is not sure why she was handed this case, she is not a defense attorney and she knows almost nothing about criminal law, except what she learned in school. Vivian planned on meeting with the client, Diego Sanchez, but she is running a little late, and the meeting is not in the best part of town.

Rafael Cardoza hearing Vivian scream, saves her from a gang of teens. He doesn't believe that she is the right attorney to defend Diego, he believes Diego is innocent of killing his pregnant girlfriend. He can't help admire Vivian's determination to do right by Diego. Frustration mounts as someone is trying to stop their investigation. The attraction between Rafael and Vivian grows, but he knows Vivian is not for him, she comes from a wealthy background. There is no way Rafael will get involve with someone from a rich family again. Maybe he can just play awhile, but Vivan is not willing to let him get away. Can Rafael forget his past, and learn to trust again?

In THE CHRISTMAS PRESENT, Ms. Wolff combines a legal thriller with romance. Can two people from opposite sides of town learn to love, and have faith in each other? I enjoyed the dynamics between the two main characters, while Vivian comes from a wealthy family, she is left pretty much on her own. The only thing her parents are interested in is their social standing. Rafael comes from a large family where everyone knows everyone's business, and family celebrations are a way to have family time. The novel deals with death and grief, and what I liked best is that it is not a traditional Christmas story.

ISBN # 00373716079
December 2009
Category Romance

Reviewed by Gloria

Saturday, December 03, 2011

Christmas Read

If you like Kate Kingsbury, like I do, here is a new one of hers that has never before been published. HERALD OF DEATH is a special Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery that will leave you shocked in horror at what the human mind can act upon. Thankfully, it is just between the pages of this great holiday read that will have you vacillating between disbelief and holiday cheer. The perfect book to grab, snuggle up next to the fireplace, and get lost in.

A Special Pennyfoot Hotel Mystery
Kate Kingsbury
Berkley Prime Crime
November 2011
ISBN: 978-0-425-24335-0
Rating: 4
Reviewed by: Kathy Fisher-Asbery

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

A Christmas Read

With the onset of the Christmas Holidays, we here at the Romance Readers Connection will be posting throughout the month with some Christmas picks made just for our readers. Christmas is my favorite time of the year and I always look forward to reading all of the seasonal romances. And since there is nothing better than love for Christmas, get ready to experience it in some of our favorite Christmas books.

I will start first with my selection, THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS by Heidi Betts.

Heidi Betts
ISBN: 978-0-7582-4761-2
October 2010

Just in time for Christmas, the vamps are making their
appearance in an anthology titled THE BITE BEFORE CHRISTMAS. The first story
stars Connor Drake, a vampire looking for a traditional Christmas and more
family time with his two younger siblings. Turned at the tender ages of 19 and
21, he is dealing with youngsters for the most part and they view him as
regimented and stuffy. When he hires a party planner to assist with the plans,
he soon finds that just maybe she will be the best Christmas gift he has ever

Next is A VAMPIRE IN HER STOCKING. Vivian has had a
crush on her boss for two years and when she learns that Sean is dying, she
confides to her friend and fellow vamp, Angelina. Vivian refuses to turn Sean,
especially since he had no idea that she is a vampire. When Sean is turned and
left as a Christmas gift, Vivian knows that Angelina is to blame. Sean was not
prepared for the change and he just might resent Vivian instead of thanking

Last in this Christmas trilogy is the story of Angelina in IT’S A WONDERFUL BITE.
Angelina runs a profitable match making business and is very happy in her life
except for one thing. Her boyfriend has yet to pop the question. When she goes
to sleep and wakes up in a different life, she quickly learns that everything is
not always greener on the other side. She becomes mortal and after so many years
of being a vampire, humanity is the last thing she would want. Especially now
that she is very destructible and working a dangerous job to boot.

Overall, these three stories make for a great read on a cold winter night. So, if you are looking for a little something under your Christmas tree, Ms. Betts book is just what Santa ordered.

Reviewed by Lori Sears
Rating: 4

Monday, November 21, 2011

The Women of The Kauffman Amish Bakery

This week the holiday season begins with our celebration of Thanksgiving on Thursday. I wonder how many of our readers remember the Thanksgiving and Christmases of old when there was no "Black Friday" and no going to bed early to be in store lines by midnight on Thanksgiving night, in order to get the best deal or bargain for the upcoming Christmas Holiday. Well if you were a resident of the fictional Amish community of Bird-In-Hand located in Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, you would probably enjoy a holiday of old where gift giving comes from the heart and is not always store bought.

Amy Clipston is the author of a series of Amish novels that introduce us to The Women of the Kauffman Amish Bakery and the Bird-In-Hand community. The Amish experience a simple life style and each woman you'll meet in the series displays a sense of hope and a life filled with christian faith and family. They also experience romance and old-fashion or not, they find that the road to love and happiness is often rocky. Of course the women of Bird-In-Hand are accomplished cooks and bakers and you'll find this out throughout the each story; and always the Kauffman Amish Bakery plays a part in the lives of these women.

Currently there are two recommended holiday books available: A PLAIN & SIMPLE CHRISTMAS (9/2010) and NAOMI'S GIFT (9/2011; reviewed in an earlier TRRC newsletter)

The stories in The Kauffman Amish Bakery series are connected and clearly the lives of the women involve overlap. However, the author does an excellent job of providing a brief synopsis for each novel and the reader will have no problem following each woman's story. The holiday books are of course exceptional and uplifting, but it is also a real treat to read the stories associated with normal times in Bird-In-Hand. Please try:

Book One - A Gift Of Grace (3/2010)
Book Two - A Promise Of Hope (12/2010)
Book Three - A Place Of Peace (1/2011)
Book Four - A Life of Joy (1/2012)

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 14, 2011

More October Mystery Reads

As I finished reading the October new releases, I thought I would share a few of them with you. For those who like the cozy mystery series, these are strong reads. Each one flows well with characters that you have grown to know inside and out.

THE MORE THE TERRIER A Pet Rescue Mystery by Linda O. Johnston is a cute read for those pet lovers out there that also like mystery reads. It is positive on the animal rescue side, but twisting on the murder side. A story line that will keep you guessing until the bitter end.

HOW TO PARTY WITH A KILLER VAMPIRE A Party Planning Mystery even comes with tips! Written by Penny Warner, this one is one of my favorites. Not only are the tips fun, but Presley Parker knows how to throw a fabulous party that always has some unexpected guests. It is a thrilling mystery story that will have you wanting to throw a party of your own. Without the extra dead weight, of course.

MURDER OF A CREPED SUZETTE A Scumble River Mystery by Denise Swanson is sure to please those who enjoy the unpredictable story lines. It is quick, witty, and scarily believeable.

FLIPPED OUT A Do-It-Yourself Mystery by Jennie Bentley will make you want to lock your door and never hide a key. Avery and her handyman boyfriend, Derek are super remodelers but it always seems they bring out the worst in those around them. This is a fast paced story that will leave you annoyed with Derek's ex wife. There are also bonus design and renovation tips.

DEATH BY THE DOZEN A Cupcake Bakery Mystery by Jenn McKinlay will leave you in sugar coma. A sweet mystery read that is based on a celebrity chef show, it will leave you sweating bullets to see if they win, and in the end, who loses. A great addition to this series.

SHOE DONE IT An Accessories Mystery by Grace Carroll is the first in a new series. Read it and take note, there will be more with these fabulous characters, perfect setting, and fast paced story line. This is one to keep an eye on. I'm sure future books will be great as well!

So, hurry to the book store! Check out these new releases and stay tuned for some November releases as well.

Kathy Fisher-Asbery

Tuesday, November 08, 2011

A few cooler weather reads

Now that the weather is cooling off, it's time to snuggle up with a few good romantic mystery books. Or just some good ole' who dun-its.

JoAnna Carl has a new October 2011 release titled THE CHOCOLATE CASTLE CLUE A Chocoholic Mystery series book and it is sure to hit anyone's sweet tooth with a fast paced mystery and some yummy chocolate trivia.

Liz Lipperman has a new series: A Clueless Cook Mystery debuting with LIVER LET DIE which will make you a fast fan. A twisty tale, an every day gal hero, and sexy men are on every page. This is an Oct 2011 release as well and it will stay on your need to read the next to read list.

No mystery lover can resist a Jessica Fletcher and Donald Bain story. Based on the television series, MURDER, SHE WROTE The Fine Art of Murder is sure to please old and new fans alike. This one moves quickly with several story lines whizzing by simultaneously. One of my most favorite from this series yet! This one is an Oct 2011 release.

There is never a better time to grab a good mystery, light a fire, and burrow in for the long haul. If none of these strike your fancy, just wait, there are more to come!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011


Awakened by Blood-Book
Marie Treanor
October 2011
Vampire enthusiasts have a new author to rave over with the Awakened by Blood series. In the latest release by Marie Treanor, BLOOD ETERNAL, Dr. Elizabeth Silk is still trying to reconcile her place in the world. She is consort to Saloman, the last Ancient vampire. She awakened Saloman from his death and since then her world has changed greatly. She is straddling two worlds, as she continues to assist the vampire hunters while still making time for the love of her life. Her skills are growing and along with them her powers as well. Saloman is torn by his feelings for Elizabeth and he is slowly starting to realize that he can't live without her. When his cousin is awakened, he fears for her life as well as for the rest of the world. Luk was insane when he was put down by Saloman and if he continues to live, his power may soon eclipse Saloman's. Elizabeth will have to convince the hunters that they need Saloman in order to defeat this newest foe. But the hunters have fought against all vampires for centuries and will not be swayed easily. Meanwhile, Elizabeth and Saloman will have to learn to trust in each other as well in their love. Ms. Treanor has created a unique new series for paranormal fans that will keep the them clamoring for more.
Reviewed by Lori Sears
Rating: 4

Monday, October 31, 2011

All About Seduction by Katy Madison

Katy Madison
Avon Historical
ISBN 978-0-06-201735-2
November 2011

When Caroline Broadhurst is forced by her old husband to get with child by another man, she reluctantly goes along with his plan in order to save her family that depends on their money. Jack Applegate is a mill worker at the Broadhurst mills, and has secretly wanted Caroline for a long time. Then, a horrible accident leaves him with a broken ankle and convalescing at Broadhurst under the care of Caroline. Here, Caro's plan comes together. Will their tryst turn to love, and will they ever be able to be together?

I recently read a similar story line a few months ago that was well done (Lorraine Heath's WAKING UP WITH THE DUKE). Heath's was well drawn out, tasteful and understandably written. However, this one was just plain creepy. First, Caro tries out several men to have sex with. And while she doesn't succeed in having "actual" intercourse, she does go quite a way with one of them. Even her old, drecrepit husband gets his fair share in a fit of jealousy. While the premise is to build up her husband as a sterile old man, and even a meanie, this does not negate the fact that the author chooses to have the heroine being intimate with several men, other than the hero.

The buildup of romance between Caro and Jack was slow and tedious. Jack's family is not much better, sponging off his money while they can, leaving him little choice in the direction of his life. Ultimately, he's dependent on Caroline's money to save him. I get that the author had to make valid reasons for Jack staying on at Broadhurst, but poor Jack was made out to be little short of a beggar. The romance between them, sadly, was not enough to save this book from the agonizing process of getting to the end, which felt too neatly tied in a ribbon for it to seem believable

Reviewed by: Jennifer Jones
Rating: 2
The Awakening Series-Book 2
Regan Hastings
ISBN-13: 978-0451234971
October 2011
The Awakening series is back with the latest release from Regan Hastings, VISIONS OF SKYFIRE. In the newest story, Teresa Santiago is the witch about to come into her powers. Teresa has prepared for this role her entire life and now that the magic is quickening within her, she knows that it is just a matter of time before her Eternal appears. An Eternal is an immortal who is the destined mate of each of the witches who is tasked with finding an artifact that they hid several reincarnations ago. Teresa belonged to a coven of witches who attempted to gain more power through the creation of a powerful artifact and after almost destroying the world, they broke it into pieces and each witch hid it somewhere safe. Now they are coming into their powers and their destined mates must help them remember the past and recover the pieces. If they are unsuccessful, the world will be destroyed. Teresa and Rune have a lot against them and their quest is filled with danger and death. Rune is still caught in the past and the person Teresa used to be and Teresa is determined not to love her Eternal. But fate will have its say and both may find that their wishes are the last thing they have to worry about.
Reviewed by Lori Sears

MUCH ADO ABOUT VAMPIRES MacAlister (Oct 11) Paranormal

Dark Ones, Book 9
Katie MacAlister
ISBN-13: 9780451234926
MacAlister returns with her latest Dark Ones novel and it features Alec Darwin. Alec lost his Beloved in a tragic accident and is pretty much ready to end it all. When he is saved by Cora Ferreira, he ends up in one big mess after another. He has been banished to the Akasha by the Moravian Council, but with Cora's help he ends up traveling around the world fighting against those who are trying to destroy her. When Alec learns that Cora is his reincarnated Beloved he is confused and hopes that she will complete the steps needed to fully join with him. But Cora isn't real keen on becoming the mate of a vampire. She doesn't know if she can overcome her past relationships and settle down with someone of the paranormal nature. As danger stalks them, Cora finds herself in a do or die situation. If she doesn't chose Alec, she will not survive. MUCH ADO ABOUT VAMPIRES is another great release filled with humor and sensuality and another reason to love Katie MacAlister.
Reviewed by Lori Sears
Rating: 4

Friday, September 30, 2011

New book by Megan Hart

September brings us a new title by Megan Hart. Part of the Order of Solace series, VIRTUE AND VICE gives us the story of Notsah, a kitchen worker, who ends up in the quarters of Prince Jarron Bydelay. The tortured prince, scarred by an inherited skin disease, is kind to Notsah and they have an intimate encounter. She never forgets this and years later, when she returns to the palace as Sister Redemption, Handmaiden to Jarron, the new king, he does not remember her. As their relationship deepens, political intrigue and an enemy from her past, threatens them. An intriguing erotic novel, this one is fascinating both for the time and characters. Its only flaw is a little too much attention to the politics of the court. I would have liked more about the characters. If you are a fan of this series, you will resonate to this book.

Monday, September 19, 2011

Upcoming ebook release: Tallent & Lowery 13 - The Ultimate Adventure Begins!

Click the title to watch the trailer of Amy Lignor's upcoming release.

Saturday, September 03, 2011

New September Reads

September has started off with a good list of books. First was Dee Davis' DEEP DISCLOSURE. Alexis Markham has led a life deep in the shadows after her family's death in a tragic fire when she was just a teenager. Now, years later, she must face her demons, because their death's were not an accident, but part of a deadly scheme that will bring her face to face with her long lost past. Tucker is assigned to protect Alexis, but their attraction to one another may just be the very thing that leads them straight into danger. A very good, suspenseful and simmering read, I had a hard time stepping away from this intriguing romantic suspense!

Next was Cathy Maxwell's THE SEDUCTION OF SCANDAL, a historical romance that is along the lines of a Robin Hood romance. Lady Corinne Rosemont is being forced to wed Lord Bossley's son, Freddie Sherwin. She doesn't want to, especially after witnessing him in a most indelicate position with her maid. So she runs away, and straight into the path of the notorious Thorn, a hooded highwayman who robs in order to give to the poor. When she steps in front of a bullet meant for the Thorn, she is taken to a secret place where he helps her recover. The only problem is that she knows who he is now and she doesn't want to leave. Being blackmailed, he tries to ignore the fact that she is the very girl he wanted years ago, as he deals with his own haunted past. Something sinister is lurking behind the scenes, and his very life is at risk with all he is doing and who he really is. This book was very entertaining, somewhat a light read, but plenty of sparks between Corrine and the Thorn.

Katharine Ashe's IN THE ARMS OF A MARQUESS is different in tone than most historical romances. Set in both India and England, Lady Octavia Pierce never forgot the man who saved her life and broke her heart in India, Benjirou Doree. After seven years, she is finally able to see him again in England, where he is now the Marquess of Doree. What really happened between them in India years ago keeps them apart from each other emotionally, but they cannot stay away from each other physically. Even though she is nearly engaged to another, Octavia finds herself in a dangerous mystery that will keep Ben Doree close enough to discover their true feelings. Ben secretly yearns for her as well, so there is plenty of heartfelt desires, anguish and pining beneath the surface of their passion. Another storyline of the secret dealings of her almost fiance that Ben is trying to uncover that will lend an air of mystery about them. A good romance that is different than the usual, as well as all that yearning and heartbreak that makes for a very staisfying read!

Coming up, I will have Tessa Dare's A NIGHT TO SURRENDER as well as an August release of Tracy Anne Warren's THE BED AND THE BACHELOR.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

More August Reads

My August reading consisted of three great stories of love, trust, and a dose of suspense. Each of these titles, in my opinion, are well-written with storylines that captures and holds your interest from beginning to end. Each of these wonderfully crafted stories receive a TRRC rating of 4 1/2.

Christina Dodd's, SECRETS OF BELLA TERRA, is the first book in her new Scarlet Deception series which takes place in Bella Valley, California. Several things are triggered after Sarah Di Luca is attacked. One, an old family feud resurfaces, two, Rafe Di Luca is back in town thereby reuniting all three Di Luca brothers, three, Brooke Petersson's heart will never be the same, and four, more secrets lie between the walls of Bella Terra. Readers will enjoy reading this title, as Christina Dodd takes us on an unforgettable journey through betrayal, lies, and love. You will be perched on the edge of your seat as this story unfolds and just as some things become clear, a new twist is added. Book two, REVENGE AT BELLA TERRA, is due out in September.

In Julie Garwood's, IDEAL MAN, Dr. Ellie Sullivan's professional success came with a huge price tag. For years, Ellie has lived away from her family and with her sister's upcoming wedding festivities, she has a big decision ahead of her. After a grueling shift Ellie decides to take a run to unwind, shots are fired and she is caught in the midst of a huge FBI operation. Against her better judgment, she heads home knowing full well that the unknown whereabouts of Evan Patterson could potentially lead to disaster. When word reaches Agent Max Daniels that Ellie's life is in danger, he heads to her hometown. In doing so, he becomes much more than Ellie's protector. Through a well developed plot and character development, Julie Garwood delivers a fantastic read sure to keep readers engaged from page one. As you read more of Ellie's past and what she has endured and the compassion and bravery she displays you will, as I did, love this story.

Lastly, LIE FOR ME by Karen Young is outstanding. This story packs a level of emotion that I had not experienced before in a suspense. Beneath the lies and deceit, there is a strong foundation of faith and morality, that just struck several chords and left me wanting to read more stories like this. After Tucker Kane discovers the body of his ex-wife, he is immediately moved to the top of the suspect list. Proclaiming his innocence, Tucker's fiancee, Lauren Holloway, does everything to prove to him and their town, that she is believes in his innocence. That is until he asks her to do something that goes against her beliefs, lie to the police and provide him with an alibi. Somewhat disappointed that Lauren would not do this for him, Tucker leaves. Leaves behind his daughter, Lauren, and even more questions casting doubt on his proclaimed innocence. LIE FOR ME is not to be missed especially when the pieces of this complicated puzzle comes together.

WOLF TALES 12 - Kate Douglas, the last book in a series comes to an end.

Here we are in August, the weather is hot, and Kate Douglas's WOLF TALES 12, is even hotter! Ms. Douglas has taken us on an amazing journey into the shapeshifting Chanku wolves. From the very first book, our attention was captured. The Chanku are complex, pack oriented, and everything good or bad revolved in and around the pack. With each book written, we were introduced to one more member of the pack, and the sexual tension rises. The WOLF TALES series is not for the faint of heart. There are very explict sex scenes with M/F, M/M, F/F, and group sex. This is the ultimate in erotic romance.

Over the years, the Chanku have learned to survive. They have hidden who they are, as best they can, especially their unique and special abilities. The pack is thriving, they are planning to come together for the birth of Adam and Liana's child. There is an assasination attempt, and the pack is thrown into the lime light. Decisions have to be made, how much should they tell the world? Also, Lily has disappeared, on a quest to help her father. With everything happening at once, the pack must once again band together.

It's a little sad, knowing this will be the last book, in a truly great series. Although some questions were answered, I felt some had been left out. Who is Lily's mate? What happens to Ig and Star? And where does Sunny fit into all this? Over all, WOLF TALES 12 is an Outstanding book, and an excellent ending, to a great series.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

August Historical Pick: Sue-Ellen Welfonder's TEMPTATION OF A HIGHLAND SCOUNDREL (Book II, Highland Warriors Trilogy)

This author, who is ‘beyond’ a dedicated medievalist of Scottish descent, offers this next intriguing - highly romantic - story of the Highland Warriors.

In this continuation, readers are still enveloped in the feud going on between three Highland warriors, and the fantastic vow that three women made to marry these heroic and stubborn men in order to bring about absolute peace to the “Glen of Many Legends.” In Sins of a Highland Devil, Book I, James Cameron was highlighted and his attempt to make a pact with the heads of other clans in order to fight a ‘King’s decree.’ He ended up falling fiercely in love with Lady Catriona of the opposing MacDonald clan, and romance blossomed. With this new story, readers move on from the clan of Macdonald to the clan of Mackintosh.

Lady Isobel chooses Kendrew Macintosh because she has had a fascination for the amazing Laird since time began. This gentle woman already loves him, and is hoping that he will ultimately feel the same way about her. Unfortunately, Kendrew shows no desire to marry Isobel; he and his clan would much rather fight. But the Mackintosh ‘world’ is completely unprepared for the quiet Lady Isobel, who has the innate power and strong resolve to seduce Kendrew. Soon Kendrew begins to fall for her, not knowing that she is the sister of Laird James Cameron…who he despises.

The story line consists, for this installment, of the same stunningly ferocious warriors that all women dream of meeting on their trip across the Scottish moors. As these star-crossed lovers bring together yet another clan with their intriguing romance, while still trying to keep their own families happy with their decisions, the Lady and Laird begin to see that love and passion far outweighs the anger they have for their “neighbors.”

As always, this wonderfully talented romance author provides a twist from the first book by allowing Isobel and Kendrew’s story to take a different road than that of the previous couple. This book has everything that a true Historical Romance reader, and Scottish ’lover,’ will enjoy.

Reviewed by Amy Lignor

Rating: 4

August Pick: Jude Deveraux's HEARTWISHES: AN EDILEAN NOVEL

The amazing Jude Deveraux - the author of forty New York Times bestsellers - has ‘hit’ yet another one ‘out of the park!’

Readers go on a journey with Gemma Ranford - a PhD candidate who wants desperately to help a family in rural Virginia to catalog their English history. She is also looking for a good topic for her own dissertation so that she earn PhD status, and get a good job teaching. This will be a very formidable undertaking, as Mrs. Peregrine Frazier has purchased from her husband’s family estate in England several hundred boxes full of documents that date back to the sixteenth century.

This amazing family was made up of the Earls of Rypton, and lived in the estate during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. Mrs. Frazier wants to see if her husband has the right to call himself Earl, and she would very much like to have the title of ‘Lady’ Krypton - which is the real reason behind this incredibly large project. The job will take at least two years and there is a beautiful guest house on the property that Gemma will be able to live in. Also, as an extra added incentive, this family has three unmarried sons who are, shall we say, very handsome and very interesting.

Gemma throws herself into her new job with enthusiasm. One of the first things she discovers in the wealth of papers, are references to something called the ‘Heartwishes Stone.’ This legendary ’gem’ is said to grant wishes to anyone named Frazier. Gemma writes it off as legend at first but, as she spends more and more time with the family and begins to have feelings for their oldest son, Colin, it becomes clear that this stone does seem to grant wishes. Indeed, many wishes are coming true.

Unfortunately, Gemma isn’t the only one who surmises that wishes are being asked and answered. In fact, there seems to be a thief in the area who is keeping track of the wishes and is on the hunt for the stone and/or Gemma, herself. Gemma and Colin need to find this stone and make sure it doesn’t fall into the wrong hands. And the journey that ensues is a truly fun, exciting, and slightly haunting story.

There are other books in the Edilean series, but the bestselling Deveraux, with her always amazing talent, has made sure that this book stands alone in the plot and characters. The families in the story are very believable and the author’s path joins family history and passion, with a little magic thrown in for good measure. A really unforgettable tale by the ‘mistress of romantic suspense’ that will enchant readers of all genres.

Reviewed by Amy Lignor

Rating: 4 1/2

Thursday, August 04, 2011

The Bride Wore Scarlet

Well, to be quite honest, I had a very hard time reading this book. I usually like Liz Carlyle, but this one was so detailed, tedious and tightly written, I had a hard time concentrating on who was who, and who was doing what. This is the second book in her St. James Club series, and has a bit of the paranormal elements to it. I perservered and did finally finish it.
Anais de Rohan has a special gift of seeing into the future. As a child, she is sent to live with her guardian for protection. Years later, she is a smart, tough woman capable of fending for herself and wants to be a part of the all-male club, the Fraternitas Aureae Crucis. Lord Geoffrey Bessett is one of the men of the club, and although they don't want to let her in the group, she is given the opportunity to prove herself by going along with Geoff on a secret mission to rescue a girl.
Needless to say, as they are posing as husband and wife, there is deep attraction between the two that is restrained up to a point. Once this part of the story gets underway, it was easier reading. It's just the beginning has so many names, titles, background information, unless you read the previous book and can keep it all straight in your head, I found it to be confusing at times.
That being said, if you are a lover of Liz Carlyle and have read and remember the previous book, you could read this one and may be able to sort through it all.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Two more July books for your list!

July is almost too hot to do anything outside except lay by a pool, on the beach, or inside in a cool room, but all with a good book in hand! Two more books in my reading pile have let me pass away the hot days in a cool place that I just had to tell you about.
The historical by Donna Fletcher, LOVED BY A WARRIOR, is set in Scotland, where a Highland warrior rescues a beautiful maiden, cursed as the "death bride". Reeve MacAlphin doesn't believe in that sort of thing, so he takes her to his clan, where he's convinced she will be able to live in peace. Tara knows she is cursed, that anyone she loves or who loves her will die. She's not about to let her rescuer fall to the same fate, but the love that develops between them is not easily put aside. Will they be able to fight the curse and other things in order to be together? A fast read that is sexy and filled with tension. There is plenty of sizzling romance, some nice little conflicts and of course the added twist where Tara is supposed to marry someone else. It all adds up to a book you won't put it down until the end.
Next was a romantic suspense by Elizabeth Jennings. Now I love a good romance, complete with a hunky military/cop hero and this one fits the bill! This one features a super sexy Army guy, Mike, pulled in from Alaska by the CIA to work with a renown restorer of historical manuscripts in a deadly mission. Lucy is beautiful, haunted and the only one who will be able to go into the country of Nhala to help track down the culprit behind a bio-chemical weapon that is headed for the U.S. Instantly attracted to one another, Lucy and Mike must fight against all odds and cheat even death itself in order to rid the world and the U.S. of this deadly threat. In the end, will death win out after all? If you are a fan of the military romances that have the characters trekking across the world, fighting for each other unto the death, this is a good read. The only thing bad I have to say about this book was that it was too short! I wish it had lasted longer because the tension, action and romance kept me hanging on to the end. I expect more books by this author!
One more book for July, and that is Liz Carlyle's THE BRIDE WORE SCARLET. I'll be posting about that one in just a few days!

Monday, July 25, 2011

More July Paranormal Picks

As July winds down to a close, I wanted to update all my paranormal followers about some more great reads. First, as I mentioned in my last post, I have read the first two books in a new series by Karina Cooper. Let me just mention the first in the series called BLOOD OF THE WICKED. It is a June release and sets up the series with a lot of action and steamy romance. The July release is LURE OF THE WICKED and I enjoyed it very much. The Dark Mission series is set in a new world where witches are considered the enemy and the Holy Order is a church based order bent on destroying all witches-evil or not. As there are a lot of evil witches involved, the Order does have some merit, but with them destroying all witches indiscriminately, innocent ones are suffering along with the guilty. In both novels, the main characters are soldiers of the Holy Order and their lives are changed when the start to realize everything is not so black and white as the church would have them believe. I am not usually a big fan of futuristic style novels, but I must say Cooper's take had me interested from page one.

Next on the list is Shiloh Walker's HUNTER'S FALL. As a big fan of Walker's, I always look forward to her next Hunter book and this one was awesome. This is Nessa's story and she really needed her own happy ending. Nessa was an ancient witch who lost her mate at an early age. He promised to return to her and after 500 years she finally gave up. Prior to giving up, during a fight with an evil witch, her body was destroyed and she ended up in a new body. The only downside was that part of the other witch was still with her and constantly giving her grief. Meanwhile, Dominic, another hunter starts having hallucinations and frankly thinks he is losing his mind. When he seeks out help, he starts to remember more about his previous life and his promise to return. But before he can find Nessa, she disappears and he will have to find her come hell or high water.

Last in my July selections is FEAST: HARVEST OF DREAMS written by Merrie Destefano, a new author to me. The book stars an author who takes a vacation to a childhood resort in order to overcome her writer's block. Once there she starts experiencing some paranormal events that frighten her as much as they exite. She also starts to remember some experiences she lived through as a child. When she meets Ash, he feels vaguely familiar as well he should since he saved her life as a child. Ash is a Darkling and the protector of the people of Ticonderoga Falls. He has suffered for a long time since the death of his mate, but Maddie may just be the cure. I really enjoyed FEAST, but I do have to warn readers that the book has many short chapters told in each characters voice and made the story feel choppy, otherwise it is quite an enjoyeable read. Happy reading all!

Sunday, July 24, 2011

July Picks

July is fast coming to a close, with one week left; I thought I’d share with you my July reads. My selections are definitely a mix of genres, a potpourri of sorts, and each title offers readers a great story. So, if you are a romantic suspense, paranormal or contemporary romance fan, I am confident that one of these titles will pique your interest.

First up, Nancy Bush’s, HUSH. She has moved to the top of my list of authors that writes an exceptional story that causes the reader to really stop, re-group and really take in all the small details of the characters and storyline. HUSH, starts off with a griping murder that appears to be a horrific accident while families and friends are on the beach. Twelve years later, the same group of folks (with a few exceptions) are gathered again, in the same area, for another celebration; a celebration that would take a tragic turn, leaving the same unanswered questions and even stronger accusations. Reunions are always interesting, however, it’s the revelations [secrets] from past and current dalliances that shocking, to say the least. A totally engrossing story and a plot that will twist and turn leaving the reader gasping and trying to figure out who the killer is!

TRRC rating of 4 ½

Next, Cynthia Eden’s, NEVER CRY WOLF. What’s an alpha wolf to do when he is arrested for a murder he did not commit, this time? Accept the assistance of a beautiful stranger and provide her with protection in exchange for an alibi, is all Lucas Simone has to do, to become free again. Sensing that there is more to Sarah King, Lucas reluctantly accepts her conditions and in the process finds out that he is the target of another pack’s leader revenge. With a coyotes and a former lover on Sarah’s trail, a traitor in his pack, and not to mention, his own increasing attraction to Sarah, Lucas may have bitten of more than he can handle. NEVER CRY WOLF is an engaging read worth adding to your summer reading list.

TRRC rating of 4

Finally, the conclusion to Christie Ridgway’s, Three Kisses series, CAN’T HURRY LOVE. If you are familiar with the series, you know that the stories take place on a vineyard in Napa and the sisters are desperately trying to save the family business. In the previous books sisters, Allie and Stevie, found love and married. Now, it’s time for Giuliana to make peace with Liam Bennett. Jules and Liam were Edenville’s “it” couple as teenagers, but young love is not strong enough to sustain them in their adult lives, or is it? With the future of Tanti Baci hanging on the success of their wedding business, Jules make plans that could potentially create a rift in the relationship with Allie and Stevie. With a vested interest in ensuring that Tanti Baci survives, Liam, decides enough is enough and sets out to reconcile with Jules. No one is aware of what happened between the two so many years ago and only through a series of misfortunes will they be able to heal and forgive. The best of the series, YOU CAN’T HURRY LOVE, will pull you in as the emotional connection between Jules and Liam becomes stronger once they confront the hurt and begin to trust again.

TRRC rating 4 ½

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Two More Terrific Books To Read

This weekend on the East Coast is absolutely beautiful and hot, hot, hot. Two new books will fit the bill for your reading pleasure as you stay cool. The first is by one of my favorite authors, JoAnn Ross, and is her latest in the Shelter Bay series. ONE SUMMER is the story of former Marine photojournalist, Gabriel St. James. A famous photographer who has managed to keep his feelings out of his work, his cynical attitude is challenged when he sees a stray dog thrown from a car. As he turns his motor home around and rescues the pooch he ends up taking it to veterinarian Charity Tiernan. This begins his reluctant involvement with Charity, her friends in the town, and most memorably, the dog. I absolutely loved this complex, well plotted novel, found myself crying at one point; animals are a decidedly effective way of integrating human emotions. Not to be missed, this one is a keeper. Plua we get to catch up with characters from previous books, which is always fun.

Equally good but a different romance genre, is the latest historical novel by a relatively new author, Kaki Warner. The first in her Runaway Brides series, HEARTBREAK CREEK, details a young woman who answers an advertisement for a wife and goes, with her half sister, from the deep south to the wilds of a cattle ranch in Colorado. Declan Brodie is a widower with four children who are running wild. Edwina is appalled but digs in and endures. Threatened by a renegade Indian, they endure intense challenges. Their love story is delightful and just gives us further proof that Kaki Warner is distinguishing herself as a historical romance writer. I cannot wait for the next book in the series.

Both of these novels deserve a 4 1/2 in the TRRC rating system. Both are outstanding and thoroughly enjoyable. Have a safe summer and happy reading until my next post! geri

Saturday, July 16, 2011

A delightful Regency charmer - A Matter Of Scandal

Just barely back from my week long escapade to the Caribbean, I was able to finally get back to reading - the first on my list was A MATTER OF SCANDAL. The Duke of Wycliffe, trying to get out of the sights of matchmaking mammas, heads to his uncle's estate where he is asked to help the estate get out of a dangerous debt. Wycliffe decides to raise the rents on the estate's properties, one of which is the girl's Academy where young girls are taught how to become ladies and gain a respectable marriage. Wycliffe despises the notion of ladies learning how to trap men into marriage, so he has no qualms with raising their rent. When Miss Emma Grenville stands up to the Duke, they end up betting on a wager. What ensues is charming, funny and witty, with Wycliffe becoming more enthralled with Emma, since she seems to be the only female on earth that isn't falling for his legendary charms. A host of secondary characters bring some added spice to this romance, and I hope for Tristan's story next! Very entertaining and sexy romance to add to your summer reading pile.

Contemporary Romance - Dance of Temptation

It's summer time and everyone is looking for ways to stay cool and relax. Relaxing for me means curling up with a good romance book, and last week my selection was the third book in the series written by one of my favorite authors, Janice Sims, entitled DANCE OF TEMPTATION. This story is about prima ballerina Belana Whitaker and sports agent Nicolas Reed, whose relationship ended before it really got started. But one fateful night a chance meeting allows them to clear the air and start again. The task isn't easy as they both learn that relationships take a lot of work. As they begin to learn more about each other, they not only learn what real love is about, but they struggle with family issues too. There's one major hurdle that Belana struggles with and it maybe the one step n the relationship that could end it for good. If you haven't already done so you might want to read the other books in this series; TEMPTATION'S SONG and TEMPTATION'S KISS, stories that involve Belana's two closest friends. The one thing I like about Ms. Sims romance stories is that the characters are always memorable.

Monday, July 11, 2011

TRRC Post for 7/11/11

Hello to all you TRRC readers out there this hot summer night. I am going to talk about two new books that you can get NOW in bookstores. The first is Tori Carrington's second book in The Pleasure Seekers series. A Harlequin Blaze, WICKED PLEASURES is just as wickedly hot as the first book in the series. Former marine and FBI agent Linc Williams is monitoring Regina Dodson, the ex-girlfriend of a target. What Linc doesn't count on is continuous, ongoing passion. This book is hot, hot, hot and perfect for the beach as you delve into their complex relationship. Honestly, the writing duo of Tori Carrington does categories better than anyone. And let me tell you, we have the third book in the trilogy to look forward to and I can reveal that UNDENIABLE PLEASURES, which comes out next month, has a bonus second book, making this one extra long with a gorgeous guy on the cover. I can't wait!

I also have to tell you about the latest from the talented Olivia Gates, TO TOUCH A SHEIKH, out in bookstores right now. This is the third book in her popular Pride of Zohayd trilogy and we meet Amjad Aal Shalaan, a tarnished hero, who has survived a murderous wife and never sees himself emotionally involved with ANY woman. The ultimate cynic, he is rattled by the beautiful Maram Aal Waaked, from a rival family. She gives as good as she gets and as always, the locale is exotic, the dialogue is intense and witty, and the intimacy is intense. Fans of this author will adore this last book in the series. I am sorry to see it end. Again, another good one for the beach.

That's all for now. I hope you are all enjoying your summer and making romance books part of your relaxation! geri

Tuesday, July 05, 2011

Paranormal Pick for July
Just in time for the July 4th kickoff, Lara Adrian pays us another visit with her latest release in the Midnight Breed series. The latest story features Hunter, the Gen 1 warrior who is rather new to the Breed warriors. As a former assassin for the Order's enemy, Hunter was never exposed to anything other than violence and battle. He has changed since devoting himself to the Order's goals, but never would he guess that his greatest battle would come in the form of the lovely breedmate named Corrine. Corrine was held as a prisoner for many years and when Hunter volunteers to take her home, their world is changed forever. DEEPER THAN MIDNIGHT is book 9 in this series and another hit for Adrian.
The summer holds more great reading and as usual I will be trying to find the best in the paranormal world, so stay tuned! Right now I am checking out a new series by Karina Cooper and it looks really promising.

Friday, July 01, 2011

July reads from Avon

I'm excited for this month's reads from Avon! First up is Lorraine Heath's latest and third in her trilogy - WAKING UP WITH THE DUKE. And if you are a Heath fan like I am, you'll really enjoy this one where Lady Jayne Seymour and the Duke of Ainsley are basically forced together by Jayne's paralyzed husband so she can have a baby. Yes, you read it right, but don't let that premise put you off - it's very well written and sympathetic towards all characters. I couldn't put it down!
Next on the list is A MATTER OF SCANDAL by Suzanne Enoch, which is so far a delicious read involving the headmistress of a finishing school and the Duke of Wycliffe who wants to increase the rent on the school. Heads are butting!
Then there will be Donna Fletcher's LOVED BY A WARRIOR and a romantic suspense from Elizabeth Jennings - DARKNESS AT DAWN. Both look equally wonderful!
I will be leaving on a week long cruise from Sunday, July 3 until next Sunday, July 10, but I will be posting as soon as I get back about these books. Enjoy your holiday weekend and happy reading!

Friday, April 22, 2011

L. K. Below’s Cinnamon and Spice Scavenger Hunt

Hello, everyone! As a writer of erotic romance, among other things, I’m very pleased to introduce to you my latest release -- and my latest contest!


Jack is smart. Jack is charming. Jack is persistent.

But Melissa is dead certain that he isn't the guy for her. In a moment of weakness caused by his shiver-inducing voice, Melissa finally agrees to one date. She shows up on his doorstep determined to get it over and done with, but Jack has something different planned. With a home-cooked meal, wine, and cinnamon-scented candles, can he break down Melissa's resolve?

Can he steal her heart?


1. Must be 18 or older to enter contest.

2. Contest open to entrants world-wide

3. Email me at the provided address (lbelow at lbelow dot net) with the answer to the question. No need to answer in essay format (unless you feel moved to do so) a simple sentence or even one word will enter you.

4. Only one ballot per question -- but if you visit my other stops and answer the other questions, you will be entered multiple times.

5. Contest open until May 2nd, 2011 at 11:59PM EST. Winner will have 48 hours to confirm their email address and give a physical address where they would like their prize to be mailed.


1. A goodie basket of cinnamon-scented products.

2. A photo of the Cinnamon and Spice cover, signed by me (L. K. Below)

3. A PDF copy of Cinnamon and Spice.

CONTEST ALERT: To enter to win the above prizes, simply email the answer to the following question to lbelow(at)lbelow.net.

Question: What is your favorite scent?

Do you want more chances to win? Each scavenger hunt question answered counts for one ballot towards the prize. Check http://lbelow.blogspot.com for the full itinerary. Good luck!

Read a review of Cinnamon and Spice.

Monday, February 07, 2011

Pocket author based new book on 2009 ice storm experience

An ice storm. Stranded in a strange, isolated place without power. Children with an unsettling ability to win staring contests. This is how horror movies start.

Watching the news coverage as cities across the Midwest are pelted by the much-touted historic blizzard, I’m having strange sympathy pangs. In January 2009, an ice storm ripped through Kentucky, taking out power and phone lines for thousands of homes, including mine. The first night I spent camped out in my in-laws’ darkened living room with my two young children, I was sure this was just a temporary blip. It was going to be a funny story we could tell the next winter. As in, “Remember that night we had to sleep on an air mattress in front of Grandma’s fireplace and cook on a gas grill in the garage?”

By the sixth night, I was no longer amused.

Over the next week, Kentuckians were cold, cranky and progressively ill-groomed. I returned to my dark, cold house to forage for supplies one afternoon, only to find my neighbor shaving his head in his driveway. I sincerely hoped that was related to the lack of electricity and not just a personality quirk I'd never noticed before. Neighborhood block parties have been stilted and awkward since.

But I managed to channel my cabin fever, before going the full fire-ax-through-bedroom-door and elevator-full-of-blood route. I started writing. Having recently published the Nice Girls books, a vampire romance series about an undead librarian in small-town Kentucky, I’d already decided that I wanted to write a werewolf story. And being isolated, in the dark, in an increasingly crowded, enclosed space, I decided to set the story in the frozen regions of Alaska.

While we waited for the power to come back on, I wrote about twenty pages of notes by candlelight. What emerged was the story of Mo Wenstein, a woman who moves across the country to escape her intrusive hippie parents and make a life for herself in the remote town of Grundy, Alaska. Cantankerous neighbor Cooper has been giving Mo a hard time about her place in her new community since day one. But when Cooper stumbles onto her porch, naked, with a bear trap clamped around his ankle, she realizes there’s more to him than a surly- though attractive- surface. A series of werewolf attacks, for which Cooper may or may not be responsible, dysfunctional werewolf clan drama, and romantic hijinks ensue.

The manuscript grew over the next few months and became HOW TO FLIRT WITH A NAKED WEREWOLF, which is due to be released by Pocket Books on Feb. 22, wherever books are sold. The sequel, THE ART OF SEDUCING A NAKED WEREWOLF, will follow on March 29.

So, while the encroaching claustrophobia is frustrating, make the best of your snow days. Use the milk, eggs and bread you hoarded to make French toast. Plow through the To-Be-Read pile of paperbacks on your nightstand. Write journal entries about the sights, sounds and emotions you’re experiencing as a blizzard survivor.

You never know. You could turn this experience into your first manuscript.