A friend informed me over the weekend that he doesn't read romance novels. Well, I do! And a whole great lot of them, for that matter!
(I've never understood why straight men don't read more romance novels, by the way. Especially if they complain about not understanding women. Gentlemen: there is an entire section of the bookstore dedicated to women's romantic fantasies. Why wouldn't you read up?)
I've read so many good books lately, as you can see from the length of this post. I was sick in bed for about a week and a half in there, where I could do nothing at all but read, hence the insane number this time. (I don't miss the sinus agony, but I did like all the reading, I have to say.)
Here we go:The Royal House of Karedes saga from Harlequin Presents
: Sandra Marton, Billionaire Prince, Pregnant Mistress
; Sharon Kendrick, The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable-Girl
; Marion Lennox, The Prince's Captive Wife
; Kate Hewitt, The Sheikh's Forbidden Virgin
; Chantelle Shaw, The Greek Billionaire's Innocent Princess
; Melanie Milburne, The Future King's Love-Child
; Natalie Anderson, Ruthless Boss, Royal Mistress
; and Carol Marinelli, The Desert King's Housekeeper Bride
. This series was so good. It was so much fun to follow the story across eight different books, written by eight very different writers. If you're looking for an introduction to the Presents world, I'd really recommend settling down with this series and getting a feel for the different kinds of stories on offer. I really didn't want this series to end! (I loved Kate Hewitt and Natalie Anderson's contributions so much, in fact, that I raced out and hunted down the backlists of both, so I could marinate myself in their worlds. You may feel you need to do the same with all the authors on this list--many of whom are already well-represented on my bookshelves!) But I really loved every single book in this series, and am waiting for the next miniseries that follows off of this one: Dark Hearted Desert Men
to be fully out before I jump in. (I don't like to wait!)
Sabrina Darby, On These Silken Sheets
. I quite enjoyed this book. Four connected, erotic tales set in Regency London. Very hot!
Becca Fitzpatrick, Hush, Hush
. Really good YA novel. I love peril and dangerous potential boyfriends and I loved
the chilly, creepy atmosphere of this book. Also, I thought Patch was hot. So very, very hot...
Linda Howard, Cover of Night
. I like to re-read this book from time to time because it contains one of the best she-never-saw-him-as-a-man-until-she-
REALLY-saw-him-oh-my-god scenes of all time. It's brilliant. Also, if Linda Howard has ever written anything less than a stellar book, I am unaware of it.
Lynn Raye Harris, Cavelli's Lost Heir
. The heroine first lays eyes on her ex-lover, the father of her child (not that he knows it), from the depths of a jail cell. What's not to love about that? This book is really, really good.
Lynne Graham, The Unfaithful Wife
; Bond of Hatred
; The Trophy Husband
; The Heat of Passion
; Angel of Darkness
. I just love Lynne Graham. Every single one of these books was amazing. Sometimes the day is long and the only thing that will make you feel any better at all is a Lynne Graham book. I have a lot of those days, happily. (And oh, Bond of Hatred--wow. I adored that book in ways I'm uncomfortable talking about in public!)
Lisa Kleypas, Sugar Daddy
; Blue-Eyed Devil
; and Smooth Talking Stranger
. I have to re-read these books fairly often, because they remind me that I was born in Texas and that love can be that large, that hot, with a good drawl and a swagger. Yum.
Jennifer Crusie, Welcome to Temptation
; Faking It
; and Bet Me
. There is only one Jennifer Crusie, and you are never in any doubt about that when you're reading her books. Or re-reading them, as the case may be. I still believe, as I have always believed, that Welcome to Temptation is a perfect novel. I can't even imagine a counter-argument. And I have never had chicken marsala, which, after this latest re-read of Bet Me, I am going to have to remedy. And is there anyone out there who isn't just a little bit in love with Davy Dempsey? Is that even possible
Marian Keyes, The Brightest Star in the Sky
. Okay, granted, I think Marian Keyes can do no wrong. But that's because she writes books like this, that make you feel happy to be alive, and make your heart feel like it's six sizes too big for your chest. It's truly marvelous!
Natalie Anderson, His Mistress by Arrangement
; Bought: One Night, One Marriage
; All Night with the Boss
. I told you I bought up her backlist! (I am rationing the rest.) Natalie Anderson can do more with a quiet, charged moment than some authors can do with whole chapters. Expect electricity and breathlessness!
Susan Crandall, Sleep No More
. Have you ever thought about how creepy sleep walking must be? Well, Susan Crandall has. You might not sleep much after you read this book, but it will be worth it-- this is yet another great romantic suspense!
Nalini Singh, Angels' Blood
and Archangel's Kiss
. I re-read the first book in this series so I could disappear into the second, and oh, wow. Wow. I don't understand how she does it, I really don't. Read these books! They rule!
Christina Dodd, Storm of Visions
and Storm of Shadows
. I like these books. I like gifts and psychic phenomena and I really like the different Chosen and all that lies before them.
Georgette Heyer, The Devil's Cub
. Can you believe I've never read Georgette Heyer before? Well, it's true. This was my first, but it certainly won't be my last!
Sara Craven, The Innocent's Surrender
. This book caused a bit of a commotion across the internets, so I checked it out--because I found it difficult to believe that Harlequin was, in fact, publishing pro-rape romance novels. And... I didn't really see what the big deal was. This book is intense and dramatic--but it's not rape. The hero is lounging in a bed, the heroine is standing by the door. She
decides to crawl into bed with him. I don't see the argument for rape. Frankly, I have a very low tolerance for anything that smacks of rape, and this book didn't come near that for me. I enjoyed it very much, in fact!
Karina Bliss, What the Librarian Did
. This book is so freaking good. I believed every single moment of it. I think it's very, very hard to pull off the "starchy miss with the modern day rake" story, especially with a man who's supposed to be a world-famous rock star--and Karina Bliss not only does it, she knocks it out of the park. I've referenced this book so many times in conversation, it's not even funny. I put it in a friend's hands. It really is fantastic.
Michelle Reid, The Mistress Bride
and The Brazilian's Blackmailed Bride
. These are Michelle Reid books, so you can assume they are amazing. The Mistress Bride, I must tell you, is one of those books that lodges itself right behind your heart and creates a hollow space, an ache, that never quite goes away. I loved this book. I find myself pondering this book as I go about my life, thinking of this scene, that emotion, and the characters. I worry about them still, and oh, how I love them. So much!
Rachel Vincent, Prey
. I love this series, but I think I'm going to have to wait until the final book is out (this fall, hooray!) to read more, because my heart can't stand it. I hate love triangles, and if I'm going to dive into the pain of one (which I am going to have to, because I've loved this series from the start) I need to have the conclusion in hand. I can't be expected to sit around, stewing! Which, obviously, I already am. In any case, I am completely over-invested in Faythe and her life and her romantic choices (Team Marc OF COURSE!) and October really can't come quickly enough...
Jennie Lucas, Bought: The Greek's Baby
. Jennie Lucas has a magical touch. I don't know how else to describe what she can do with a story. This book involves one of my most favorite story lines-- the amnesia plot--with the Jennie Lucas magic. You'll love it.
Julie Garwood, Fire and Ice
. Solid romantic suspense. I particularly liked Sophie and her Robin Hood of a father. A fun read.
Ralph Keyes, The Courage to Write
. I don't know where I saw this recommended online, but it's essential reading for any writers out there. Seriously: buy it now.
Christine Feehan, Shadow Game
. I'd never read Christine Feehan before either. How is that even possible? I don't know. Well, consider that remedied with this very cool book. I'm ordering the rest of the series!
Meljean Brook, Demon Bound
. Just not enough good stuff to say about this enormously complicated, engrossing, and exciting series. Except that I have impure thoughts about Michael. Is that wrong?
Kate Noble, Revealed
. This book was recently nominated for a RITA, the top award in the romance industry, and it's not hard to see why. I adored this book-- and not because I know Kate personally, either! There is a moment between the hero and the heroine that is beyond delicious. It's when you realize that the hero is not only smoking hot, but definitely set to rock the heroine's world... with one little kiss. I'm getting giggly just thinking about it. Don't miss this book, or Kate's new one, The Summer of You
Karen Marie Moning, Dreamfever
. Karen Marie Moning IS KILLING ME with this series. I have no idea who that was in the final scene, and I am afraid to know. I can't think about Jericho Barrons without embarrassing myself, I have no idea how this can end well for anyone, and I CANNOT WAIT for what I believe is the final book of the series, due out in December. COME ON. (God, I love these books--read them all right now!)
Jack Kerley, The Hundredth Man
. I read this book thanks to a recommendation from Alison Kent
. It's a fantastic, gritty sort of mystery that felt like an emotional cousin to Wire in the Blood
(which might be one of the best shows ever). Just read it. Now. Really!