Thursday, October 29, 2009

Dress Up Dolls in Cyber Space

Proving yet again that romance authors totally rock -- the Soulless Victorian Dress Up Doll. Soulless is the first book of a new paranormal historical series by Gail Carriger. Soulless has an engaging and entertaining premise, and an equally engaging and entertaining heroine. According to the publisher's website:

Alexia Tarabotti is laboring under a great many social tribulations. First, she has no soul. Second, she's a spinster whose father is both Italian and dead. Third, she was rudely attacked by a vampire, breaking all standards of social etiquette.

And so it goes. I am really looking forward to reading this one, and in the interim I am enjoying playing with (virtual) paper dolls. See evidence of same below...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

November RT Book Reviews on the shelf

The November RT is here, with a cover story on Joy Nash and her Celtic themed romances. Other features include interviews with Diana Gabaldon, who discusses her Outlander series, and Sandra Brown, who has just released a Depression era tear jerker. There is also a Q&A with Linda Howard about the future of publishing, an overview of cozy mysteries, a look at cookbooks inspired by favorite series settings and characters, and a real life Scottish romance. The Pros on Prose section examines the use of blogs and the length of query letters. The Clubhouse spotlights Nalini Singh, Kristin Cashore, Morgan Howell, and a few debut authors. The series rap sheet and the 250 book reviews round out the issue, giving you plenty to add to your To Be Read list!

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Bride Quartet -- Book Two

Bed of Roses
By Nora Roberts

Let me begin by saying that this book is physically gorgeous. The bouquet on the cover is so beautiful that it made even a confirmed commitmentphobe pause and consider tying the knot just to get her hands on those flowers. Everything from the colors to the book flaps to the deckle edge pages just screams romance. But it screams romance in a very tasteful, upscale way, as though it had been designed by the four women who run Vows, the very tasteful and upscale wedding planning business that connects the four stories that will make up Roberts’ Bride Quartet. Book Two, Bed of Roses, tells the story of Emmaline Grant, the florist who is behind Centerpiece at Vows. Emma is beautiful, talented, warm and a hopeless romantic. She never wants for dates, but has never fallen in love. The kind hearted Emma has made a habit of fixing up her “also-rans” with women she feels would make them a better match. Though she yearns for the kind of love story her parents have, she still has a very full life with her business, her family, and the honorary family made up of friends and coworkers at Vows. One of those honorary family members is Jack Cooke, best friend of Del Brown, Vows’ lawyer and Emma’s good buddy Parker’s older brother. Del is like an older brother to all the girls, and so, by extension, is Jack. Emma’s feelings for Jack have never been all that sisterly, but she has kept that to herself to avoid upsetting the dynamic that exists within the group. It so happens that Jack’s feelings for Emma have never been all that brotherly, and one day he decides to act on them. Sparks fly – the chemistry between the two is great and they have a strong foundation of friendship on which to build. The conflict? Jack witnessed his parents’ divorce and has created a lot of boundaries to avoid ever going through one himself. Emma witnessed the enduring romance between her parents and wants the same thing for herself. You can see where this is headed. You also know that you are guaranteed a happy ending in spite of a few bumps in the road. Though this is a pretty straightforward love story, Roberts holds your interest with all the incredible detail about Emma’s floral business and Vows’ business in general. (There is always at least one incredible Nightmare Wedding scene, good for a couple laughs and a certain amount of morbid fascination with the whole process.) In addition, the characters are all likeable; far from being too beautiful and too perfect, they are often funny and flawed. You find yourself thinking that these are people you’d like to hang out with. I’m looking forward to the next installment – Savor the Moment – due out early in 2010. The heroine will be Laurel Grant, pastry chef extraordinaire, and I am already stockpiling snacks in anticipation of a delicious read.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

On the Book Cart

We're heavy on the historicals this week, with lots of old favorites and some new names for you check out. And for those of you who enjoy a little romance under the mistletoe, holiday stories are on the way!


Natural Born Charmer Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Romantic Suspense:

Make Her Pay Roxanne St. Claire
Love You to Death Shannon K. Butcher
The Perfect Murder Brenda Novak

Historical Fiction:

The Border Lord and the Lady Bertrice Small
Tempt Me at Twilight Lisa Kleypas
A Lady of Persuasian Tessa Dare
The Earl Claims His Wife Cathy Maxwell
When Seducing a Duke Kathryn Smith
Wicked All Day Liz Carlyle
A Wicked Lord at the Wedding Jillian Hunter
Never Love a Lawman Jo Goodman