Thursday, February 26, 2009

On the Book Cart

Due to some nice donations and some new releases, there's a pretty eclectic assortment on the cart this week. Fans of Linda Lael Miller will be happy to see Deadly Gamble, a romantic suspense tale featuring ghosts and gamblers. Contemporary titles include Second Chance Pass, a Virgin River novel by Robyn Carr, and Too Good to be True by Kristan Higgans. Debbie Macomber's Married in Seattle combines two of her older series romance titles: First Comes Marriage and Wanted: Perfect Partner, both romantic comedies featuring amateur matchmakers. There are also three historical romances: The Runaway McBride by Elizabeth Thornton,What a Pirate Desires by Michelle Beattie, and Lady Be Bad by Candice Hern. Reserve your favorites now!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

2009 Harlequin Romance Report is Online Now!

This year is Harlequin’s 60th Anniversary, and they are celebrating in style. The theme of this year’s report is “Fantasy meets Reality” and it presents both domestic and international viewpoints on everything from office romance to celebrities people would most like to go on a date with. The report is full of great cover art from their six decades of book publishing, as well as a timeline demonstrating changes in our culture and subsequent changes in acceptable storylines within the romance genre. There are many other fun facts as well, making this lots of fun for fans of romance.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

On the Book Cart

We actually have two romances on CD this week! It’s in His Kiss by Julia Quinn is the story of Hyacinth, the youngest of her popular Bridgerton siblings. Where the Heart Leads by Stephanie Laurens is a Victorian mystery/romance crossover. Both audiobooks are unabridged.
New in paperback is The Courtesan’s Wager, in which author Claudia Dain brings back her popular character Sophia Dalby. Other historicals include Devil of the Highlands by Lynsay Sands, Liz Carlyle’s Never Deceive a Duke, Jacquie D’Alessandro’s Seduced at Midnight, and the third book in Kat Martin’s Heart trilogy, Heart of Courage. There are two new romantic suspense releases: Star Bright by Catherine Anderson and Dying for You by Beverly Barton. Contemporaries include Smart Girls Think Twice by Cathie Linz, Linda Lael Miller’s latest Montana Creeds story – Logan, and the first two books in Susan Mallery’s Sweet trilogy, Sweet Talk and Sweet Spot. There are also three new entries in some favorite paranormal series. Jeaniene Frost’s latest Night Huntress novel is called One Foot in the Grave, Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series continues with Kiss of a Demon King, and the latest Dream-Hunter novel from Sherrilyn Kenyon is Dream Warrior. Reserve your favorites now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

March RT has arrived!

This month’s Romantic Times has arrived, with a cover story on Robin Schone and her latest release Cry for Passion. Other features include a discussion of how authors are reinventing the vampire by tweaking the standard mythology, an interview with fantasy author Charles de Lint, an article about the Steampunk trend, and a conversation between authors Stephanie Bond and Beth Ciotta on the state of the contemporary romance. Spotlighted authors are Sophia Nash, Barry Eisler, Linda Winstead Jones, and Alisa Kwitney. As always, you will find reader columns in the Fan Forum, agents’ and authors’ perspectives in Pros on Prose, and 250 book reviews.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

All About Love, but Not Exactly a Romance

The Pre-nup
By Beth Kendricks

The pre-nuptial agreement: not just for celebrities anymore. Three women who have been friends since college all reach a point when their love lives are defined less by hearts and flowers and more by clauses and signatures on dotted lines. Jen, Ellie, and Mara are all at different stages of their relationships. Ellie has been married for seven years and has a toddler, and has just found out that her very own Prince Charming has been playing doctor with someone whose email address is “Vixen MD.” Jen, who wed on the rebound, finds that she and her husband are growing apart just when her old flame reappears and she realizes he holds far less appeal than the man she married. Mara’s wedding is imminent when her fiancĂ© inserts a clause in the pre-nup she demanded, sending her into a spate of bad behavior that she cannot justify, even to herself. All of them could lose everything – based on a pre-nup. All three find that they need to take a good hard look at themselves rather than focusing on the fine print in the modern day equivalent of a marriage contract.

Although we learn quite a bit about the men in their lives, this story is as much about the friendship between the women as it is about their marriages. We see each woman’s story from her own point of view, with occasional chapters where two or three are together, offering each other the “helpful” advice only good friends can give. The author handles this pretty well; I didn’t get the sense that I was jumping around too much, but I sometimes wanted more detail about what had gone on with another character “offstage.”
The three women are all likeable, though I wanted to strangle each of them at least once for being so dense! The secondary characters are well drawn in spite of brief appearances. Overall, this is an entertaining book about friendship and life choices with a nice romantic element. I would recommend for fans of both chick-lit and romance.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Quick Looks -- Contemporary Romances

I've been going through a contemporary romance phase, having exhausted my supply of Regency releases. As always, I gravitated to those of the romantic comedy variety. Here are two that revisit the classic "heroine goes back to hometown and has to deal with the first guy she ever loved" storyline. Each one adds a little twist and provides a strong cast of secondary characters to make things more interesting.

Talk Me Down
by Victoria Dahl
Molly Jennings has two problems: a stalker has apparently followed her from Denver to her old hometown of Tumble Creek, and her life long crush is about to become her new flame. The problem? Chief of Police Ben Lawson is very straitlaced, and Molly makes her living writing erotic fiction under another name. What’s going to happen when the truth comes out? Though Molly has a few moments when I really thought she was being very stupid for a smart woman, she's quite likeable overall, as is Ben. This is sexy and fun, and moves at a fast pace.

Just One of the Guys
by Kristan Higgins
It’s hard to be the sister of four alpha male firefighters, especially if you faint at the sight of blood! Still, when Chastity O’Neill returns to her hometown, she’s treated as one of the guys. This is no help in terms of catching the eye of her first love, the one guy she’s never gotten over. Before she knows it, she’s going to singles events – with her mother! – and dating the handsome new doctor in town. But Chas decides she’s going to have to learn some feminine wiles if she wants her happily ever after with someone who sees her as just one of the guys. If you've ever felt klutzy or too tall or too smart, you'll relate to Chastity. And Trevor? He's the nice boy that everyone wanted to marry when they grew up. The O'Neill family and Chastity's dog Buttercup add a nice humorous touch to this story.