Thursday, December 30, 2010

On the Book Cart

Ooooooo! The new Jayne Ann Krentz makes the book cart this week!! It is Fallon's story and the first in a new trilogy. Too bad someone beat me to the reserves! There are a couple of other good entries though. Check it out!

Wicked Nights With a Lover by Sophie Jordan
Defiant by Jessica Trapp

Romantic Suspense:
Senseless by Mary Burton
In Too Deep by Jayne Ann Krentz

And....don't forget to send me a book review for our Winter Reading Club. It runs all through January and there are prizes involved courtesy of the Friends of the Voorheesville Library. Entries can be sent to

~ Michele

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

New Year's stories

The craziness of this time of year doesn't leave me much time for reading. Seems that my pile 'o stuff just keeps growing with nothing finished to review.

So what to blog about? Resolutions to read more??

Ummm, maybe not. But, just for kicks and giggles, here's a list of some New Year's themed romances to get you (and me) on the right track for 2011. Check it out!
~ Michele

The Year of Living Shamelessly by Susanna Carr

The Duke’s New Year Resolution by Merline Lovelace

In One Year and Out the Other: A New Year’s Story Collection by Lauren McKenna, et al

Hot Number by Carly Phillips

Me and Mr. Darcy by Alexandra Potter

Not Another New Year’s by Christine Ridgeway

Thursday, December 23, 2010

On the Book Cart

Well, the last few book carts have been rather light on romances, but this week's cart was well worth waiting for. Check it out!


The Heir by Grace Burrowes

Outrageously Yours by Allison Chase

Marry Me by Jo Goodman

Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman by Lorraine Heath

Dukes to the Left of Me, Princes to the Right by Kieran Kramer

Highland Scandal by Julia London

Sisters of the Quilt by Cindy Woodsmall


No Place to Run by Maya Banks

You Dropped a Blonde on Me by Dakota Cassidy

The Boyfriend of the Month Club by Maria Geraci

Unforgivable by Laura Griffin

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

Thursday, December 9, 2010

On the Book Cart


A Most Scandalous Engagement by Gayle Callen

How to Wed a Baron by Kasey Michaels

His Christmas Pleasure by Cathy Maxwell


Dating Mr. December by Phillipa Ashley

Eternal Flame by Cynthia Eden

Wolfsbane and Mistletoe by multiple authors

In the Dark of Dreams by Marjorie M. Liu

Hungry For You by Lynsay Sands

Dark Lover by JR Ward

Friday, November 26, 2010

Lit Look-Alikes

Recently, I’ve read three novels which happened to be based on classic literature. While none are true category romances, all have a strong romantic aspect, at least in the current form.

Oddly, the most romance-like of the three is based on a classic horror/ghost story. Maybe This Time by Jennifer Crusie is a retelling of the novella The Turn of the Screw by Henry James, although there were quite a few times I wondered if she was really doing a Shakespeare comedy. The first scene reminded me very much of a typical Harlequin romance setting, (not that there’s anything wrong with that…) so I was pleasantly surprised to find it had a bit more meat to the story. The book runs the gamut from chilling to romantic to downright funny . The support characters are fully formed and the main characters are likeable. Unbelievably, this was the first book I’d read by Crusie, but it definitely won’t be my last.

Juliet by Anne Fortier is a novel that is more than loosely connected to, you guessed it, Romeo and Juliet by William Shakespeare. It is not a true re-telling of the story, however. In this clever book, the author successfully shifts back and forth between the 14th century story of Guilietta Tolomei and Romeo Salimbeni and the present. Are they the real couple whose story inspired Shakespeare’s famous tragedy? The 21st century Guilietta and Romeo are locked in a desperate struggle with some rather unsavory characters to discover the truth, find a highly coveted treasure and undo a centuries long family curse. A well written, suspenseful read.

Finally, Nice To Come Home To by Rebecca Flowers is a wonderful book that I picked up because my book club is reading it. It is a modernized version of Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility. While the characters and situations themselves are very different, each rings true to their Austen counterpart in their underlying character traits and behavior. I did get a bit impatient with Pru who felt she knew what everyone else should do but was remarkably blind about her own life. Overall though, I loved it.

reviewed by Michele

Thursday, November 18, 2010

On the Cart

A light cart this week, but one with some great authors.

Evangeline Collins Seven Nights to Forever
Suzanne Enoch Rules of and Engagement
Kieran Kramer When Harry Met Molly

Three books in The Blade of the Rose series by Zoe Archer

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On the Book Cart

HelenKay Dimon Impulsive
Robyn Carr The House on Olive Street
Nora Roberts Happy Ever After

Stephanie Laurens The Reckless Bride
Julia London The Year of Living Scandalously
Sarah MacLean
Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing a Lord

Anthology Holiday Magic
Lauren Willig The Mischief of the Mistletoe

Gena Showalter Ecstasy in Darkness

Carla Neggers Cold Dawn

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

On the Book Cart

Anthology Under the Mistletoe
Lisa Kleypas Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor
Lisa Plumley Holiday Affair

Celeste Bradley Scoundrel in My Dreams
Courtney Milan Trial by Desire

Lora Leigh Styx's Storm
Eve Silver Sins of the Soul

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

November RT Book Reviews on the Shelf

The cover story of this month's RT Book Reviews gives us three authors and one dangerous gingerbread cookie. Joanne Fluke, Laura Levine, and Leslie Meier are the cozy mystery authors behind the Gingerbread Cookie Murder anthology, and each contributed a brief cookie related mystery to this issue. Other feature stories include a discussion of the popularity of mysteries featuring long dead authors as amateur sleuths,a look at how favorite fictional families spend the holidays,and a look at medieval mystery author Jeri Westerson's research methods. Dennis Lehane and Kathy Reichs talk about their new work, and the Writing with the Stars contest is launched. The Pros on Prose, Fan Forum,Teen Scene and 252 book reviews round out the issue.

Thursday, October 21, 2010

On the Book Cart

Anthology The Naughty List
Mindy Klasky To Wish or Not to Wish
Jill Shalvis Simply Irrestible

Brenda Joyce The Promise

Meljean Brook The Iron Duke
Kerrelyn Sparks Eat Prey Love

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Love is in the Ear

Webmistress Judie, who is also keeper of the audio book collection, forwarded me an interesting email this morning. It seems that Recorded Books has teamed up with Harlequin and is offering new series titles each quarter. Currently available are titles from the Harlequin Romance, Presents, Historical and Silhouette lines. Series titles typically don't circulate well in our library, but we do very well with stand alones, and have some in both print and audio.
So, now it's "True Confessions of a Real Librarian" time. (And no, that is not the title of an upcoming Harlequin Desire release.) I rarely listen to audio books. I use them only to get through long drives and tedious projects. It requires a really good reader to hold my interest, and even then I will often go to the print version once the long drive or tedious project is done. And here's a deeper, darker secret: my least-favorite-listens are romances. You're shocked, I know. But let's face it, a badly written love scene can be skimmed over in print, but it's hard to start fast forwarding through a CD or MP3 while hurtling along a highway or wielding a paintbrush. There are some very good writers who don't write great love scenes, and having a nicely paced romantic suspense novel degenerate to purple prose can ruin the whole experience. At best, it's an eye roll. At worst, it's screamingly funny.
Never fear, we will still be getting some romance titles as audio books, but the budget doesn't run to many, and so the Harlequin series package will not be appearing.
This still leaves me with the burning question, patrons and readers: Is romance via earbud good or bad?

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Miss Foster Well Worth It at Twice the Price

Miss Foster's Folly
By Alice Gaines

So last week I waxed rhapsodic about the joys of free Kindle downloads, and this week I am going to rave about one I actually paid for. Miss Foster's Folly by Alice Gaines cost me all of $4.69, and frankly would have been well worth it even if I'd had to pay the standard $7.99-$9.99 for it. Miss Juliet Foster's unpleasant and immensely wealthy father has just died, leaving Juliet the wealthiest spinster in New York City. (Honestly, the reading of the will alone is worth the price of the book -- it's a scene that's both hilarious and sad.) Juliet decides she's ready for a life of adventure, but it's 1885 and any sort of scandalous behavior will likely inspire her siblings (who were less well provided for in the will) to try to have her committed so they can walk off with her money. So Juliet decides to pack her trunks and take her friend Millie and hop the first ship to Europe, where she will use an assumed name and pass herself off as a widow and take lovers all across the continent. The one wrinkle in her plan is the fact that she's a virgin, and would therefore find it difficult to convince anyone that the widow story is true. What's an enterprising spinster to do? Juliet decides her best plan is to take the visiting Marquis of Derrington as her first lover, and then leave him in New York. She encounters a snag when the handsome and rakish Marquis refuses her advances and proposes marriage instead. It seems he is under a family curse that requires he find a wife as headstrong and eccentric as he is, and he has decided that Juliet fits the bill. The result is a trans-continental romantic caper that is funny, smart and sexy, with likeable leads and an entertaining supporting cast. Should this ever become available in print, I will be buying a copy for the library. In the interim, any historical romance fans with Kindles or compatible devices should definitely acquire a copy!

Buy Miss Foster's Folly through the link below and a percentage of your purchase will go to the Friends of the Library.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

On the Book Cart

Elizabeth Boyle Mad About the Duke
Liz Carlyle One Touch of Scandal
Sabrina Jeffries A Hellion in Her Bed
Anne Stuart Breathless

Michele Bardsley Cross Your Heart

Brenda Novak Killer Heat

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Currently Reading...

Passion Becomes Her
by Shirlee Busbee

Now that I am back at home, I am once again digging into my pile of actual printed-on-paper books. The latest historical romance in the bedside reading pile is Passion Becomes Her by Shirlee Busbee. Our hero, aristocratic Asher Cordell, has been supporting his family by robbing the rich. If his well-heeled victims are not so very nice, all the better. In fact, Asher is on the verge of retirement from his life of crime when a neighbor does something so dastardly Asher decides the only fitting punishment is to steal the loathsome man's most valuable family possession. (Truly -- the bad guy is really bad. I actually cried when I read what he'd done!) In the midst of his well-planned heist, Asher is interrupted by the stealthy entrance of his childhood friend Lady Juliana Greeley, who has planned a discreet theft of her own. Her sister is being blackmailed, and Juliana is determined to steal the letters our nasty villain is using against her. Asher and Lady Juliana decide to join forces, adventure ensues, and sparks fly.

Though I have not yet finished the book, I can already recommend it to those of you who enjoy historical romance with deeply drawn and likeable characters and quite a bit of adventure. This is the first book of Busbee's that I have read, but I wouldn't hesitate to pick up another.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Free Love!!

While traveling over the long weekend, I got reacquainted with my Kindle
and all it's various features. I hadn't really noodled around with it in awhile, since when at home I usually read actual printed books from the library. I was sitting in the Orlando airport on a layover, trying to avoid sugared up children in mouse ears, and thinking how nice it was not to be hauling around a tote bag filled with 20 paperbacks. I was deciding whether or not to buy another book to download, and feeling guilty about paying for things I could get for free when I got back to work, when I remembered -- the Kindle FREE Bestseller list!! That's right, Gentle Reader, there is always a certain amount of free content available in the Kindle Store. It ranges from classics to current mid-list author releases, with some puzzles and games occassionally thrown in just for fun. You can usually find a decent number of romance titles if you are willing to spend some time looking through the list. This is a great way to try some new authors for free, thus avoiding that "I could get this at the library instead of spending my hard earned cash on it" feeling...

Thursday, September 30, 2010

October RT Book Reviews is on the shelf!

The new RT Book Reviews is in, and in addition to its usual 250 book reviews, has several interesting feature stories. In keeping with the spookiest month of the year, the issue is heavy on the paranormal. The cover story features J.K. Beck and her novels about a paranormal legal system with a vampire hero. Other features include a look at women authors making headway in the usually male domianted genre of Sci-fi, a review of best-selling authors' favorite haunted house stories, and an interview with historical romance author Elizabeth Boyle. Also included are the usual Pros on Prose and Fan Forum sections, as well as the recently added Teen Scene. Check it out and get some great new recommendations!

On the Book Cart

Suzanne Enoch Twice the Temptation
Teresa Madeiros The Devil Wears Plaid
Paula Quinn Seduced by a Highlander
Tracey Anne Warren Wicked Delights of a Bridal Bed

Anthology On the Prowl
Nina Bangs Wicked Fantasy

Romantic Suspense:
Laura Griffin Whisper of Warning

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Love in the Library

We just added The Desk Set to our DVD collection! It's not only one of my all time favorite romantic comedies, it's also probably the first "information science" movie. Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy star in the film, which also features Gig Young and Joan Blondell. Hepburn plays Bunny Watson, head of the research department at a major TV network, and Tracy plays the computer expert Richard Sumner, who has been hired to integrate computers into the department. Bunny's wildly efficient and incredibly stylish staff believe the network wants to replace them with machines, and comedic mayhem ensues. This is a smart, funny movie with a great cast, well worth picking up and settling in with now that the days are getting shorter.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Take a Chance on October!!

The Friends of the Library have really outdone themselves with their newest fundraiser. The Take a Chance on October raffle features 31 days of prizes and one Grand Prize. The daily prizes range in value from $25 to $100, and are items donated by local merchants and organizations. The Grand Prize is a 17" strand of black cultured freshwater pearls with 14k gold accents. Tickets for the daily raffles are $5; buy four of them and you receive a special Grand Prize drawing ticket. Tickets are available now and will be on sale through the end of October. Schedule of prizes is available in the September/October Bookworm and in the Library. Stop by, support the Friends, and take a chance!

Friday, September 17, 2010

Midnight Crystal

Midnight Crystal
By Jayne Castle

Back in the days when people believed you could turn lead into gold, a couple of feuding alchemists devoted themselves to the study of enhancing paranormal abilities. In addition to the standard study of base metals and search for eternal life (Alchemy 101) they worked with plants and crystals. Eventually, one invented a noxious potion and the other a lamp-like artifact, each of which could enhance a person’s psychic talents. Unfortunately, both systems come with a high price: certain madness and death (the potion) or near certain madness and death, depending on who you were (the lamp). The inventor of the potion, Sylvester Jones, realizes the potion’s dangerous effects and makes notes in his journals, but never gives up his quest. The inventor of the lamp, Nicholas Winters, goes mad himself while working the crystals that go into the lamp. He becomes obsessed with finishing his creation and using it to exact vengeance on his archrival, Jones, and any of Jones’ descendants the bearer of the lamp might come in contact with. You might say both these guys were a little too focused on their work, to the detriment of anyone who came into contact with them. Apparently, playing well with others was not in the mad alchemist job description.

Fast forward 600 years. On the planet Harmony, Marlowe Jones has been made manager of the Frequency City office of Jones & Jones. Management of the family detective agency has usually gone to someone who has a strong chaos theory talent, so the fact that she is a dreamlight reader makes her something of an anomaly. It also makes her a great profiler, which comes in handy when she is called upon to investigate a theft from the Arcane Society Museum. The object stolen is none other than the Burning Lamp, a legendary artifact created by Nicholas Winters, and supposedly endowed with incredible powers. According to legend, only direct descendents of Winters can work the lamp, and those who can activate all the crystals embedded in it will be compelled to kill all descendents of Sylvester Jones within reach. The Jones family therefore has a vested interest in keeping track of the lamp. Historically, the lamp has an unfortunate tendency to go missing, leaving both the Jones and Winters clans scrambling for possession, so Marlowe decides her best bet for tracking it down is contacting Adam Winters.

Adam, recently made boss of the Frequency Ghost Hunters Guild, is having a few problems of his own. Not only is he having nightmares and hallucinations, someone is trying to kill him. Since death threats are fairly standard for Guild bosses, the feeling that he’s losing his mind is of greater concern. He fears that he will fall victim to the Winters Curse unless he finds – you guessed it – the Burning Lamp and a strong dreamlight reader to help him work it. And if the legend is to be believed, time is running out.
So he agrees to meet Marlowe, even though her choice of location is a bit questionable, in his opinion.
The next thing you know, the two are being shot at and forced into the alien catacombs under the planet’s surface. By the time they surface, they have to hitchhike back to the city, and before noon have become an item in the tabloids. Though they have different motivations, the two join forces to find the lamp, and all sorts of mayhem, not to mention incredible chemistry, follows.

This is another fun, fast-paced story from Castle, better known as Jayne Ann Krentz or Amanda Quick. You always know what you’re getting with Krentz, and she never fails to make her plots and characters seem new and fresh. If you haven’t read the first two books in this trilogy, Fired Up and The Burning Lamp, start with those (in any order) or it will be tricky to sort out what’s going on in this book. If you are not familiar with Harmony, there is enough explanation and back story to get you through, but you can always check the author’s website for a complete booklist.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

On the Book Cart

Jeanne Adams Deadly Little Secrets
Susan Andersen Burning Up
Brenda Novak Body Heat
Carly Phillips Love Me if you Dare
Mariah Stewart Home Again

Olivia Drake Never Trust a Rogue
Diane Gaston Chivalrous Captain, Rebel Mistress
Monica McCarty The Hawk

Patricia Briggs Hunting Ground
Gail Carriger Blameless
Jayne Castle Midnight Crystal
Christina Dodd Chains of Fire
Heather Graham Ghost Moon
Lynsay Sands Born to Bite

Monday, September 13, 2010

Now Reading: Midnight Crystal by Jayne Castle

Snagged this one off the shelf in Tech Services on Friday, and am just finishing up. I'm a big fan of Jayne Ann Krentz no matter what name she writes under, but I am especially fond of the futuristic world of Harmony. Not only does it appeal to the closet archaeologist within me (Unexplored alien catacombs!) and to the animal lover (Dust bunnies, and not the type you find under the bed either!)Krentz also inevitably includes one brief,realistic-but-kind look at librarians. The author, a former "information professional" herself, typically nails it with her trademark gentle humor. While you're waiting for the book to hit the shelf, take a look at the book trailer:

Thursday, September 2, 2010

On the Book Cart

Erin McCarthy Hot Finish
Carly Phillips Kiss Me If You Can

Tessa Dare Three Nights with a Scoundrel
Stephanie Laurens The Brazen Bride
Johanna Lindsey Captive of My Desires

Anthology Cupid Cats
Cherry Adair Black Magic
Annette Blair Bedeviled Angel
Christine Feehan Water Bound
Loucinda McGary The Wild Irish Sea
Mary Jo Putney A Distant Magic

Elizabeth Jennings Shadows at Midnight
Sharon Sala Blown Away

Thursday, August 26, 2010

On the Book Cart

Loretta Chase Last Night's Scandal
Eileen Dreyer Barely a Lady
Elizabeth Hoyt Wicked Intentions
Eloisa James A Kiss at Midnight
Anne Stuart Ruthless
Mary Wine To Conquer a Highlander

Suzanne Brockman Infamous
Kristan Higgins All I Ever Wanted
Susan Wiggs Summer Brides (anthology with Sherryl Woods and Susan Mallery)

Heather Graham Ghost Night

Cynthia Eden Deadly Fear
Brenda Novak White Heat
Sharon Sala Swept Aside and Torn Apart

Monday, August 16, 2010

Book Trailer of the Week

Elizabeth Hoyt's latest release, Wicked Intentions, has just arrived in the library. If you like historicals with a bit of suspense and mystery, this one looks like a winner. Moving between St. Giles, one of London's most infamous slums, and the ballrooms of high society, Wicked Intentions tells the story of two people on desperate hunts. Temperance Daws must find a new patron for the foundling home her family runs, and Lazarus Huntington, Lord Caire, is hunting a notorious killer. This unlikely partnership brings both hero and heroine much more than they bargained for...

Friday, August 6, 2010

Harlequin's New Look

One of the oldest names in romance publishing has given its website a brand new look!
Harlequin's online home, eHarlequin, still has all the great features you've enjoyed in the past, and has added some new sections and made the whole site look cleaner and more contemporary. I like the fact that you can now shop either the "Bookstore" or the "eBookstore." My favorite section, though, is still the Harlequin Extras, with everything from contests to podcasts to writing guidelines. Shop, read, listen, and write -- what more could a romance fan want?

Thursday, August 5, 2010

RITA and Golden Heart Award Winners Announced

One of the highlights of the RWA Conference is the announcement of the year's RITA and Golden Heart Award winners. The RITA is awarded to a published author; the Golden Heart goes to an author of an umpublished manuscript. I am happy to say that the library owns several of the RITA winners, and will acquire any others that are available. So check out the winners, and then check out the books!

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Romance Reader on a Quest!!!

Sometimes I just don't know what I want to read. I'm tired of some of the authors I've followed for years. In my quest for some new ones, I checked out the RT Book Reviews website, the online companion to the magazine we use here at the library. They have a lovely search engine there that is worth blogging about. Check it out here.

You can search by keyword, author and title, of course. You can even search by the RT star rating. But the part that will have you all swooning (c'mon, we/re romance readers after all!) is the genre/type search capability for every category of romance you can think of.

Like paranormals? You can narrow your search to everything from your favorite type of creature to psychics.

If you want to control how hot the scenes can be, you can search first in either "Erotic Romance" or "Inspirational" and then break them further into categories.

Historicals especially are divided into all kinds of time period, style and locale you can think of. Imagine being able to come up with a substantive list of a specific sub-sub-subgenre! I was a little disappointed not to find anything in a category search for "Historical Romances: Gothic". (My grandmother is a fan of them so I'm always on the lookout.) However, a straight keyword search came up with a ton of hits where the word "Gothic" was used descriptively in reviews, several of which were categorized as "Top Picks".

A category search for "Romantic Suspense: All Romantic Suspense" came up with an overwhelming 1177 titles. But I was able to sort them by review date, RT star rating, or relevance to the search terms I used which made it a little more useful. RT also does reviews on other genre fiction you can search - mystery, thriller, sci-fi and suspense to name a few.

This website is also excellent for keeping up with the romance field in a broader sense. The main page of the website contains links to a daily blog, RT video interviews with authors and the newest "Top Picks" in several categories. You never know when you might find the next jewel of an author lurking there.

Check it out! I'd love to hear what you think.


Strawberry Hill, the Gothic revival style manor built by Horace Walpole. Walpole authored The Castle of Otranto considered by many to be the first Gothic romance, making Walpole the founder of the genre.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Oh, for a bigger budget!

As I have been reading around the blogosphere the past few days, I have become pea green with envy at all the bloggers, librarians, and bloggerlibrarians who are attending the Romance Writers of America Annual Conference. Since our little library does not have a budget that runs to such glamorous events, I must live vicariously through other attendees. One of the cool things about this conference is that they have a special Librarian Day with lots of great events AND a goody bag. Not that I am all about the swag. Not at all. Because the last thing I need is more books, even if they are free. At least that's what I keep telling myself. We won't even go into the conference's proximity to the new Harry Potter theme park.
Free books and Hogwarts aside, there are also some very high profile speakers -- Nora Roberts, Jayne Ann Krentz, and Sherrilyn Kenyon among them. This is a great event for readers, writers, booksellers, librarians, and romance fans in general. The good news? Next year's event is in New York. Start planning your trip....

Thursday, July 29, 2010

On the Book Cart

Pamela Morsi The Bikini Car Wash
Susan Sey Money Honey

Shirlee Busbee Passion Becomes Her
Claudia Dain Daring a Duke
Julie Anne Long I Kissed an Earl
Patricia Rice The Wicked Wyckerly

Anthology The Bodyguard
Maggie Shayne Kill Me Again

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Gilded Age Inspiration

When I read historical romances (or purchase them for the library), my choices lean heavily toward the Regency. The clothes, the parties, the social customs -- and a bit of drawing room comedy is nice as well. Many of our patrons join me in the typical American fascination with dukes and duchesses, so it's easy to end up with a collection of historicals that is all British Regency, all the time. Fortunately, I was saved from my rut by the recent release of not one but two novels set in the United States during the Gilded Age. All the manners and mores you could want(both upstairs and below stairs) with enough parties, clothes, and grand houses to keep things interesting. Both titles fall into the Inspirational category, so expect elements of the characters' faith to be woven into the story. Due to the terrifying height of my TBR pile, I only had time to skim these, but both seem to be well plotted with strong characterization, good historical detail, and the all important atmosphere.

Love on a Dime
by Cara Lynn James

At the age of nineteen, Lilly Westbrook fell in love with Jackson Grail, a hardworking young man educated (on scholarship) at the finest schools. Endowed with brains and ambition but no money, Jack is considered suitable as a friend to Lilly's brother George but not as a suitor for Lilly. He proposes anyway, but his courage fails him when it comes time to ask the Westbrooks for Lilly's hand, and he breaks off with her so that she can continue to lead her privileged life while he goes off to make his fortune. Six years later, when he appears at her family's home in Newport for a visit with George, he has not only struck it rich in the Klondike, but has purchased a couple of companies and has his eye on a third. Here the plot truly thickens, since Lilly has not been sitting idly by attending parties and updating her wardrobe. Though she nursed her heartbreak for a few years, she also found a new purpose in helping the residents of a settlement house in the city. In order to fund her charitable endeavors, she has taken to secretly penning dime novels under the name Fannie Cole. Her work has become quite popular, making it more and more difficult for her to hide her alter ego from her family. It would be social disaster to be revealed, especially as she now has a new and wealthy suitor. When it turns out that the next company Jackson wants to buy is her publisher, Lilly fears that the gig will be well and truly up! The rest of the novel follows Lilly's attempts to reconcile the various elements of her life -- her love for Jackson, her enjoyment of her work and the good she does with it, and her desire to not disappoint her family.

Maid to Match
by Deeanne Gist

Though most historical romances focus on the titled or the wealthy, life and love did go on below stairs. It was at best less glamorous and at worst actively discouraged and grounds for dismissal. Therefore the last thing that Tillie Reese wants to do is fall in love with a footman. Having worked her way up the ladder of domestic staff to become head parlormaid at 18, Tillie has a shot at being promoted to lady's maid to Edith Vanderbilt. However, she has competition, and even a minor slip could cost her the job. When she's given the task of whipping a new employee into shape, it looks like a chance to score some points toward the new job, but when sparks start to fly between Tillie and Mack Danvers, future footman, things get complicated. They get more complicated still when Tillie and Mack may have to expose a scandal involving the local orphanage. Tillie has to choose whether to follow her heart and her conscience or let her ambition rule her decisions. Featuring the servants and making the Vanderbilts secondary characters is a nice twist on the usual historical formula, and the marvelous Biltmore Estate is a wonderful setting.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

On the Book Cart

New this week:

Julia London One Season of Sunshine
Linda Lael Miller McKettricks of Texas: Austin
Nora Roberts Sweet Rains
JoAnn Ross The Homecoming
Kandy Shepherd Home is Where the Bark Is

Jennifer Ashley Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage
Laura Frantz Courting Morrow Little
Cara Lynn James Love on a Dime
Tessa Dare Twice Tempted by a Rogue
Jane Feather Rushed to the Altar
Lisa Kleypas Love in the Afternoon
Lisa Kleypas Married by Morning

Sharon Ashwood Unchained
Cynthia Eden I'll Be Slaying You
Shannon McKenna Fade to Midnight
Gena Showalter The Darkest Lie

Heather Graham Ghost Shadow
Laura Griffin Unspeakable

Thursday, July 15, 2010

On the Book Cart

Now that the new budget year has begun, boxes and boxes of new books are arriving daily. We are processing them as fast as we can, and trying to get a little bit of everything out each week. So instead of one or two big batches of romance novels, you'll be seeing a few new ones each week for awhile. This week's offerings are:

Susan Wiggs The Hostage

Victoria Dahl Crazy for Love
Susan Mallery Almost Perfect

Christins Dodd Chains of Ice

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

August RT Book Reviews has arrived

The latest issue of RT Book Reviews is on the shelf in the periodicals section. The cover story discusses suspense author Brenda Novak and her many current projects, including a new trilogy that launches in August. The first book is titles White Heat and we will have it here at the library. Other feature stories include a discussion of formats -- hardcover versus paperback versus e-book -- with industry insiders debating the pros and cons of each. Also debated is the future of romantic suspense -- is it dead or alive? Authors featured include Laura Lippman, Tana French, and Christine Feehan. Continuing the suspense themed stories this months Pros on Prose is an email conversation between authors Laura Griffin and Allison Brennan. Rounding out the issue is the Fan Forum, Teen Scene, and more than 250 book reviews.

Friday, July 9, 2010

by Erin McCarthy

Angels and demons take the stage in this paranormal series called the "Seven Deadly Sins" making a nice change from the standard vampire and psychic fare.

Gabriel is one of seven angels sent to earth to watch over 19th century New Orleans and help mortals overcome the various miseries in their lives. Instead, the enormity of the misery overwhelms him. He not only succumbs to the sin of gluttony, but embraces it to escape the pain. A woman is murdered during one of his drug and alcohol induced stupors and not only does he not know who did it, but he can't even be sure he didn't do it himself. Now he is one of the fallen, a Grigori demon, banned from Heaven and damned to live among mortals but never be really part of them. His punishment is to have his own weaknesses and addictions turned against him until he has finally paid long enough or can find a way to redeem himself.

Fast forward to the current era. Claire has more than a passing acquaintance with pain and addiction herself. She has been asked by Gabriel, now a true-crime author, to collaborate with him on a book about the striking similarities between her mother's murder and the woman who was murdered all those years ago. Both Claire and Gabriel have hidden agendas and secrets and both are fighting an attraction that Gabriel knows can only lead to more misery.

I liked this one. I found it refreshing that the religious references were straightforward and not apologetic in any sort of "politically correct" way. I'm looking forward to reading My Immortal, the first in the series as well as the third, The Taking, which just came out this year.

Submitted by Michele

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

True Colors

True Colors
By Kristin Hannah

The heart of this book is a story of three sisters and their relationships with each other. I don’t categorize this as a romance in the classic sense. However, the core of the book revolves around love – sisterly love, romantic love, unrequited love, careless love, passionate and obsessive love, parental love (or lack thereof) – so I thought I’d review it here.
The book is highly character driven. It follows Winona, Aurora and Vivi-Ann through four decades from childhood to adulthood. The reader gets to know Winona and Vivi-Ann very well. Winona is a highly successful lawyer who is much less confident in her personal life and struggles with a jealousy of Vivi-Ann. Vivi-Ann is a vivacious beauty who feels everything deeply and is unswervingly loyal to those she loves. Aurora seems a weak character who mainly serves two purposes – as a fashion plate to show the passage of time and as a mostly neutral peace-maker between the other two sisters. The interactions they have with their father and their lovers dominates the plot and drives the relationship the sisters have with each other.
I read this book for a discussion group. I’d never read anything by Kristin Hannah but was looking forward to it because I knew many people like her. I always think that a good book is one you get lost in. You forget you are reading and just experience the story. This one was okay but nothing I had trouble putting down when I needed to. I found parts of it very good and parts of it forced and contrived.
I didn’t care for the ending. I thought the first scene was just corny (it would have worked in a Harlequin romance) and the second just seemed unworthy of the emotional growth this sister had made. No spoilers though for those who want to see for themselves. Several in my book group disagreed with me, so let me know what YOU think!
~ Michele

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

2010 RITA and Golden Heart Finalists

The Romance Writers of America will be announcing the winners of their annual RITA and Golden Heart Awards on July 31st at their conference in Orlando. The RITA recognizes excellence in published romance novels in twelve different categories. Approximately 1000 different books are entered annually. The RITA finalist list is a great place to look for new authors or to find some high quality options if you are considering dabbling in a new subgenre. The Golden Heart Award is for manuscripts that are unpublished and not under contract to be published at the contest deadline; many finalists in this category end up with publishing contracts. I’ll publish the list of winners in both categories when they are announced. Meanwhile, enjoy checking out current and future stars!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Reading Round Up -- Part II

Death in the Stocks
by Georgette Heyer
Arnold Vereker was an awful man, so his murder results in more shock and speculation than sorrow. Arnold Vereker’s family and heirs are awful in their own way: not at all sorry that he’s gone, not willing to pretend they are, and not at all convinced the police will solve the crime. Heyer was known as the queen of the Regency romance, but her country house mysteries showcase the same meticulous research, depth of characterization, and clever plotting. This is smart, entertaining, and inventive, with engaging, if awful, characters.

Wild Ride
by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer
Though I am not a huge fan of paranormals, I am a huge fan of Crusie and Mayer and their offbeat blend of romantic-comedy-action-adventure. And I have to admit, the classic amusement park setting really appealed to me, as did the heroine’s occupation – restorer of antique (or just plain old and ratty) carnival and amusement park artifacts. When it turns out that some of those items house some ancient demons, things at Dreamland start getting a little crazy. The twisted humor and cast of eccentric characters are really enjoyable, though I found the romantic element a little slow at times. Overall – this is both fun and entertaining.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Reading Round Up

I’ve been trying to work my way through my To Be Read pile, and thus haven’t been on top of reading and reviewing too much romance. Just to make it clear I haven’t been loafing around watching television, here’s a brief look at the books I’ve gotten through in the past several weeks:

The Weed that Strings the Hangman’s Bag
by Alan Bradley
The further adventures of Flavia de Luce, age 11, passionate chemist and amateur sleuth. When murder once again visits her little village, Flavia takes to the back roads and woods on her trusty bicycle to unearth the truth. Though Flavia is as incorrigible as ever, this novel does not hang together quite as neatly as her first adventure, The Sweetness at the Bottom of the Pie. Still entertaining and atmospheric, especially for fans of the village or country house murder.

The Burning Lamp
by Amanda Quick
The second book in The Dreamlight Trilogy finds adventurous, crusading Adelaide Pyne coming to the aid of Griffin Winters. Griffin has started hallucinating, and fears he is falling victim to the Winters curse; Adelaide has the skill and the artifact necessary to help him avoid that fate – he hopes. Unfortunately, some shadowy figures from both their pasts would like to get their hands on both the artifact and Adelaide, and they don’t really care who gets hurt in the process. Another solid entry in the light suspense category from Quick, who also writes as Jayne Ann Krentz and Jayne Castle. If you are not familiar with the Arcane Society, you will want to start with one of the earlier books.

Death in the Stocks and Wild Ride -- mystery and romance combined...

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

July RT Book reviews on the Shelf

The new RT Book Reviews has arrived, with a cover story on Shana Abe, and features on authors Carrie Vaughn, Chevy Stevens, and Eileen Dreyer. Other features include a look at the crossover appeal of teen/young adult books, and an examination of the polygamy as a trending theme in fiction. Working along with the teen fiction article is a Pros on Prose column about writing YA, and a Teen Scene interview with Melissa de la Cruz. Rounding out the issue are the usual Fan Forum columns and more than 250 book reviews.

Monday, June 14, 2010

One heroine, two opinions

Leave Me Breathless
By HelenKay Dimon

Back in April I took this book home, read it pretty quickly, and trotted back to work with every intention of immediately writing a review. It sat on my desk for a few days while I mulled. I just couldn’t decide whether or not I liked it. I usually like Dimon’s work, I finished the book in reasonable time rather than abandoning it, I thought it was suspenseful and well plotted – so what was my issue? The heroine, I decided. I didn’t like her. Well, not much. At least not at the beginning, but I liked her more at the end. See my problem? I liked the overall book, but had to work at liking the heroine, so – to recommend or not to recommend? Did I want to invest in a full review or would I just get irritated with the woman all over again? Then, while in mid-mull, I read a review by Wendy the Super Librarian. Wendy’s review was not only entertaining (they usually are) but helped me reframe my issue. Our heroine, Callie, got a very raw deal from her former employer, the FBI, and has gone into private security work. When we meet her, she comes across as tough, mouthy, and impulsive. In fact, she spends so much time being tough, mouthy and impulsive that I was ready to write her off as unprofessional, phenomenally stupid and (perish the thought) tacky. But I hung with the book because I liked the plot, the pace, and the secondary romance. As the story went on, I warmed up to Callie as she demonstrated a sense of humor and the ability to acknowledge her mistakes and learn from them. She did not become the kind of one note song I detest; the ones that make me want to grab the hero by his lapels and say “See that tough, mouthy, go-it-alone type tacky broad over there? There are bad guys trying to kill her. LET THEM.” Callie has some dimension, so even though she is not the type of heroine I like, I liked her enough to be able to enjoy all the really good elements in the book. If you want to know a little more about the plot, or get a second opinion on Callie, check out Wendy’s review.
Or just stop in and check out the book!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

On the Book Cart

Christie Ridgway Crush on You

Joanna Bourne The Forbidden Rose
Shana Galen The Making of a Duchess
Cheryl Holt Taste of Temptation
Sara Lindsey Tempting the Marquess
Debra Mullins Tempting a Proper Lady
Lindsay Townsend A Knight's Enchantment

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

On the Book Cart

Tessa Dare One Dance with a Duke
Meredith Duran Wicked Becomes You
Deanne Gist Maid to Match
Sally MacKenzie The Naked Viscount
Anne Mallory Seven Secrets of Seduction
Margaret Mallory Knight of Passion
Kathryn Smith When Marrying a Scoundrel
Kaki Warner Open Country

Christie Craig Shut Up and Kiss Me
Susan Donovan The Night She Got Lucky
Donna Kauffman Some Like It Scot

Cindy Gerard Risk No Secrets

Monica Burns Assassin’s Honor
Gena Showalter The Darkest Passion

Buy Your Beach Books!

The Friends of the Library are having a Mini-Sale!
During the month of June, the large table behind the Reference Desk will be the site of a mini-sale. The Friends are out of storage space and have had to stop taking donations, so come and buy your beach and vacation books and help us free up some room You will find paperback fiction for adults and children, and some hardcover fiction. Whether you like thrillers, romance, suspense, mysteries, or mainstream fiction, you will find some great bargains! So stop by, shop, and support the Friends.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Crossing Genres: Dead Air By Mary Kennedy

Dr. Maggie Walsh leaves her psychotherapy practice in Manhattan for a gig as a talk radio host in Cypress Grove, Florida. As host of WYME’s “On the Couch with Maggie Walsh” she takes calls from local listeners who range from mildly eccentric to truly troubled, but who are for the most part benign. All goes well until she interviews New Age guru Sanjay Gingii. It turns out Guru Sanjay is not all sweetness and good karma, and in his rise to fame has made more than a few enemies. A few threats are made to the radio station on the day of his appearance, but they are not really taken seriously until Guru Sanjay is suddenly “transitioned” to the next plane that night. The cause of death is uncertain, and the only person anyone saw near his hotel room was Maggie’s roommate Lark. So Dr. Maggie puts her knowledge of human nature and generally nosy nature to work to try to clear her friend. In spite of the distractions created by her flamboyant mother Lola and the antagonism of the sexy detective in charge of the case, Maggie perseveres and smokes out a killer.
This is a fun, fast-paced book with well drawn characters and lots of atmosphere. Though at times a little over the top, the story zooms along and has enough basis in reality to provide more enjoyment than eye-rolling. The talk radio premise promised to provide any number of interesting plot lines,and I am looking forward to reading Reel Murder, the second book in the series.

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Bronte Sisters As You've Never Seen Them Before!!!

True confessions of an English major: I was never that wild about the Brontes. Read Wuthering Heights and thought Cathy should be slapped. Read Jane Eyre and thought the same about Jane. Then refused to read Agnes Grey on the theory I'd want to slap her too. No more Brontes for me. Frankly, the whole doomed lot of them just creeped me out. So when I saw the following video, I didn't know whether to be amused or alarmed. To be honest, I'm a little bit of both, but just looking at the Anne doll creeps me out all over again....

Thursday, May 13, 2010

On the Book Cart

The May order has arrived, with a little something in almost every subgenre.

Gayle Callen In Pursuit of a Scandalous Lady
Candace Camp A Lady Never Tells
Suzanne Enoch A Lady's Guide to Improper Behavior
Kat Martin Rule's Bride
Connie Mason Lord of Devil Isle
Mary Jo Putney Never Less Than a Lady
Paula Quinn Ravished by a Highlander
Christine Wells Sweetest Little Sin

Rachel Gibson Nothing But Trouble
Susan Mallery Chasing Perfect
Deirdre Martin Straight Up
Robin Wells Still the One

Romantic Suspense:
Suzanne Brockman Dark of Night
Karen Harper The Hiding Place
Karen Rose I Can See You
Meryl Sawyer Play Dead
Debra Webb Anywhere She Runs

Rhyannon Byrd Touch of Surrender
Leanna Renee Hieber The Darkly Luminous Fight for Persephone Parker
Gail Carriger Changeless

Thursday, April 29, 2010

On the Book Cart

It's heavy on historicals this week, but the lone contemporary is positively mouth-watering! Enjoy!

Sarah MacLean Nice Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake

Chery Holt Promise of Pleasure

Jennifer Haymore A Touch of Scandal

Amanda McCabe To Catch a Rogue

Anthology Pleasurably Undone


Nora Roberts Savor the Moment


Carla Neggers The Mist