Friday, March 26, 2010

2010 RITA Finalists Announced!

Romance Writers of America has announced the finalists for the 2010 RITA Awards. There are several categories, among them Best First Book, Best Young Adult Romance, Best Historical, and Best Novel with a Strong Romantic Element. There are also awards for series romances. If you are looking for some new authors or just a great list of books to read, this is a great place to start!

Friday, March 19, 2010

On the Book Cart

March offerings are here! We also have some older titles to fill in some series. Enjoy the warm weather!

Liz Carlyle Never Lie to a Lady
Christina Dodd In Bed with the Duke
Shannon Drake Emerald Embrace
Susan Johnson Gorgeous as Sin and Sexy as Hell
Brenda Joyce An Impossible Attraction
Cathy Maxwell The Marriage Ring
Christine Merrill Miss Winthorpe’s Elopement
Sophia Nash Secrets of a Scandalous Bride

Julie James Something About You
Cathie Linz Mad, Bad and Blonde

Angela Knight Master of Fire
Vicki Lewis Thompson Blonde with a Wand and Chick with a Charm

Thursday, March 18, 2010

I Vow I'll Never Read One

While flipping through a copy of PW that had only just made it's way to my desk, I came across a story about the introduction of a new subgenre -- "reality based romance." Kidding, right? Because about the last thing I want in my escapist-happily-ever-after-light-frothy reading material is reality. I'm fine with my fictional characters having some rough times, coming from tough backgrounds, having baggage, etc. What I am not interested in is "fictionalized memoir." And I am really not interested in having best-selling authors turning real life stories into some kind of reality based contemporary romance. The concept has me completely underwhelmed. I should confess right here that I don't like reality TV either, with the exception of certain offerings on HGTV, and even those sometimes make me sneer. There's just something about people wanting to take major events in their private lives public that I find extremely distasteful. The opinionated and somewhat prissy Connecticut Yankee in my soul sees such displays and responds with a combination of "Get over yourselves, sweet peas" and "tacky, tacky, tacky." But I understand that it's a popular thing, this reality TV, so maybe the books will be too. I have enough good fiction in my TBR collection that I couldn't spend any time on these even if I wanted to, but if it's your cup of tea, check the new titles out at
HCI Communications Vows website.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Fired Up

Fired Up
By Jayne Ann Krentz

This is the first book in the new Dreamlight Trilogy and also part of the Arcane Society set which cuts across all three of Krentz's pseudonyms: Jayne Ann Krentz, Amanda Quick, Jayne Castle.

Chloe Harper is a dreamlight reader, sensitive to dream energy and able to interpret it visually in the trace "fingerprints" left by people when they touch something. Jack Winters is a direct decendent of Nicholas Winters, the infamous rival alchemist of Sylvester Jones. He is the unfortunate inheritor of the family curse which can only be neutralized by finding both the famous Burning Lamp and a strong dreamlight reader to activate it. They are in a race to find it before Jack's psyche implodes and before the rival Nightshade group finds it to use it for their own nefarious purposes.

What I liked/didn't like:
I liked the characters and I always enjoy Krentz. She is very imaginative and always manages to make me laugh. I was a bit irritated by all the references to "psi" which used to be a Jayne Castle term used in her alt-world psychic romances, but which has now crossed genres in all her books. It is a minor peeve though. What was more disconcerting was the references to another couple in the Dreamlight trilogy from a book that has not yet been published (it would be the Amanda Quick historical). Why they published the contemporary story first and then referenced the historical one is beyond me.

I would recommend this book to those who are already familiar with the Arcane series. I think I would have been lost if it was the first one I picked up. Frankly, it has been so long since I've read most of them that I may go back and reread them myself. Arcane Society newbies should check out Jayne's website. She has compiled a full listing of the Arcane books in order of publication. They are well worth checking out.

~Submitted by Michele

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

March RT Book Reviews on the shelf

The March issue of RT Book reviews is now out on the shelf. Brideget Midway's new series new Corporate series is the subject of the cover story, which includes an excerpt from Corporate Desires, a hot and sexy January release. Other feature stories include a discussion of the use of angels and demons as characters in fiction, interviews with Jodi Picoult and Sarah Addison Allen, and a debate about first person versus third person point of view. Author spotlights include Kate White, Renee Bernardm Francine Rivers, Deeanne Gist, Carrie Ryan and S.L. Farrell. Also included are the standard Pros on Prose and Fan Forum sections, as well as convention news and over 200 book reviews.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Hidden Currents

Hidden Currents
By Christine Feehan

This is the final book in Drake series about seven sisters who are psychic. The lead up to the relationship between Elle and local deputy Jackson has been building for several books now. Despite being slightly disappointed with the previous book, I thought this would be one of the best in a good set and I was really looking forward to it.

Elle comes from a long line of "seven sisters" with psychic gifts. As the seventh in her own family, she is destined to carry on the Drake line. Because of this, she is the most powerful of the sisters and has each of their abilities to some extent.

Jackson is also psychic but is emotionally damaged from the trauma of having been tortured as a prisoner of war. Elle linked with him during this time and was his salvation. I'm really not sure why I didn't see this as a foreshadowing of the tables turning, because all the signs were there.

Now, I've read plenty of "bodice ripper" type romances where the big, burly "hero" forces the woman to have sex and she eventually comes to love him. This was not one of those. The first part of the book read more like a horror story than romantic suspense. Elle is kidnapped, tortured and made to do some really brutal things before Jackson comes to the rescue. But, however much I was disturbed by the graphic imagery, I think that I could have put that aside if the rest of the story had been redeeming.

Now, I'm sorry, but the woman (a virgin) had been brutally raped over a series of weeks. He had witnessed it - actually experienced it with her through their telepathic link - and the author didn't even let her recover for a complete day before there were sex scenes between the two of them. Instigated by HER, no less. This required such an unbelievable leap on the part of the reader that I just could not accept it - even within the "reality" of romantic paranormal fiction.

Beyond that, the rest of the story had so much packed into it that it was hard to keep up. There were some series story-lines which were tied up, but some of the other minor plots were just extraneous and detracted from the main story. The rescue scene, for example, introduced several new male characters. Possibly the author's intent was to leave the door open to continue the series (Drake cousins perhaps?), but I found it confusing to try to keep all these new personalities straight during a high action scene.

I've actually been waiting for this book to write a review of the entire series, but I'm not sure it was a wise choice on the whole. I've enjoyed getting to know each of the sisters. They are strong characters and they all chose great men. I really like Elle and Jackson and I really wanted to like this book. I just didn't.

Submitted by Michele