REVIEW: HOLLYWOOD ON TAP (OR A MODERN SCENARIO IN WHICH I CANNOT SUSPEND DISBELIEF)

REVIEW: HOLLYWOOD ON TAP (OR A MODERN SCENARIO IN WHICH I CANNOT SUSPEND DISBELIEF)

I think contemporary romance is just not my thing, y’all.

I joined NetGalley recently and decided to change up my ARC requests a bit. I thought I’d try a modern romance, specifically the second book in Avery Flynn’s Sweet Salvation Brewery series, Hollywood on Tap. It has all the trappings of a potentially wonderful romance. Buttoned-up, Type-A Natalie Sweet and her sisters have recently inherited a brewery in their small mid-western hometown and she’s tasked with making it financially solvent. Her biggest problem is brewmaster Sean O’Dell and his resistance to her suggested business changes. Sean’s made a life for himself in Salvation and hidden his past as a hot Hollywood actor, but the growing attraction he feels for Natalie threatens to reveal his secrets. (more…)

HOT WEIRD GUYS NEED LOVE TOO

HOT WEIRD GUYS NEED LOVE TOO

I recently read an e-galley of Charlotte Stein’s upcoming novel, Intrusion, courtesy of the lovely Avon publicity team and Avon Addicts program. It was my first reader’s foray into erotic contemporary romance and I was completely entranced. It’s this delightfully creepy story about the hot, weird guy next door, all told from the point-of-view of a young woman nursing wounds from a past traumatic event. (more…)

A NERD GIRL’S WISHLIST: GET KISSED. FIND SOME INTERESTING NEW BOOKS.

A NERD GIRL’S WISHLIST: GET KISSED. FIND SOME INTERESTING NEW BOOKS.

A few weeks ago I wrote about Season for Temptation, Theresa Romain’s fantastically witty debut. Despite it’s obvious charm and desperately romantic story, it hit upon a romance trope that always turns me off: the groom-to-be in love with his fiance’s sister. I admitted to stopping the book half-way through just to make absolutely certain that the jilted fiance got her own HEA. The result: I tore through Louisa’s story, Season for Surrender, in about 2 days.

In the second book in her Holiday Pleasures series, Romain manages to hit upon one of my absolute favorite romance novel tropes OF ALL TIME: the bookish bluestocking and the rake fall in love. Bonus: It’s a Christmas romance. Not only do I get a storyline set up to appeal to my little librarian heart, but I get snow, mistletoe, and mulled wine in paperback form! It’s a WIN-WIN, folks. (more…)

FALLING IN LOVE ON THE ROAD, PLUS MAGIC

FALLING IN LOVE ON THE ROAD, PLUS MAGIC

Librarians are the best, y’all. A few months ago I was in a serious fantasy funk after completely losing my head and heart to Laini Taylor‘s Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy. I wanted to read something high fantasy, with maybe a little romance thrown in, but not exclusively written for young adults. Where could I go for high quality reader’s advisory? Only the largest collection of badass librarians anywhere on Facebook: the ALA Think Tank. After posting about my reader’s ennui and desperately pleading for suggestions, I was flooded with a rash of amazing book suggestions by some seriously well-read folks. Thanks to them, my public library book hold list is out of control, and I am now a complete literary-evangelist for fantasy-writer Sharon Shinn. (more…)

FASHIONABLY LATE: TWO FRIENDS READ THE OUTLANDER SERIES FOR THE FIRST TIME

FASHIONABLY LATE: TWO FRIENDS READ THE OUTLANDER SERIES FOR THE FIRST TIME

As I’ve previously mentioned, I am totally late to the Outlander party. Despite picking up a copy of the blue brick (otherwise known as book 1) a few years ago at a small used bookstore, it wasn’t until last year that I decided to crack it open and HAVE MY ENTIRE WORLD TURNED UPSIDE DOWN. Joining me in my new-found obsession with redheads and the time-travelers, gay soldiers, and children who love them is my Book-Sister, Heather De La Garza, who writes the wonderful book blog True Stories and Make Believe. We’re doing a cross-post of this piece on both my blog and hers for maximum Outlander love. (more…)

WHEN TROUBLESOME TROPES MEET YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS

WHEN TROUBLESOME TROPES MEET YOUR FAVORITE AUTHORS

Yesterday evening I finally finished up the amazing novella box set, Seven Wicked Nights. Never one to read things in order if I can help it, I skipped around a bit and ended with Caroline Linden’s When I Met My Duchess. As expected, it was a great story with the right balance of humor and depth of feeling, steady pacing, elegant writing, and engaging, well-developed characters (which are not easy to create in a novella). (more…)

RECONCILING OUR WAY TO GREAT ROMANCE

RECONCILING OUR WAY TO GREAT ROMANCE

I am a sucker for romance built on grand reconciliations–the bigger the screw up, the better and hotter the make up. Given that the romance novels I read are almost exclusively historical, these stories tend to be mostly about estranged husbands and wives brought back together by circumstance or a life-altering event.

After working through the hate and pain, they realize their love for one another runs deep, to the great joy of make-up story junkies like myself.

I thrive on angst-ridden romance. I will take a tortuous reunion over a sweet love story (although I like those too) any night of the week. Maybe it’s my vestigial emo-teen heart, but I want DRAMA and reconciliation stories DELIVER.

They have exactly the kind of emotional torment, lust, pain, and deep romance that keeps me reading until 2 a.m. (more…)

WE ALL LOVE A GOOD RAKE

WE ALL LOVE A GOOD RAKE

There’s nothing like a charming rake to make a historical romance instantly likable. In this witty novella, Tessa Dare introduces the swoon-inducing Mr. Harry Wright, heir to a dukedom and all-around notorious bad boy. Miss Eliza Cade has the amazingly good (mis?)fortune of continuously finding herself alone with Harry. Thanks to a silly adolescent indiscretion, Eliza is doomed to wait for her coming out in society until all three of her older sisters are married, but that doesn’t stop a delightful romance from growing between her and this loveable rake. (more…)