Thursday, March 31, 2011

On the Book Cart

Sandra D. Bricker Love Finds You in Carmel-by-the-Sea
Dahl, Donovan, Foster The Guy Next Door (anthology)
Jill Shalvis Animal Magnetism

Jo Beverly An Unlikely Countess
Eloisa James When Beauty Tamed the Beast
Jade Lee Wicked Seduction
Julie Anne Long What I Did for a Duke
Margo Maguire Seducing the Governess
Leigh Michaels The Mistress House
Lynsay Sands The Heiress

Monday, March 28, 2011

2011 RITA Finalists

It's that time again! The Romance Writers of America have published their list of RITA and Golden Heart nominees. You can check out the list here.
We have several of these titles and will be ordering more. Check them out and see if you agree with the winners when they are announced in June!

Friday, March 25, 2011

Weekend Reading: Historical Book, Timely Issue

One of the reasons I read historical romance is the fact that the heroine's problems rarely mirror my own. Let's face it -- I am unlikely ever to have to worry about ladies' maids, a cook in a snit, the cut of my ballgown, or deciding whether or not to marry a duke. The fears and joys of love are something anyone can relate to, though, and I do occassionally think it would be nice to read about people older than 30. Enter Lady Ruth Attwood, heroine of Monica Burns Pleasure Me. Her issue?

Youth and beauty are a courtesan’s greatest assets. At forty-one, Lady Ruth Attwood appears to have lost both, as her latest lover just abandoned her for a younger mistress.

Hmmm. Forced into an early and longer-than-expected retirement at a time when your savings are not what you thought they would be? Perhaps having to take a new position that is less than you deserve? Or sell off some assets?

Can anyone else out there relate to this? Show of hands?

Yep, that's what I thought.

I'll report back next week on how Lady Ruth manages. I somehow doubt a Regency version of Suze Orman will be in any way involved....


Jane Eyre, Again

Charlotte Bronte's Jane Eyre is about as gothic a romance as you can get. Feisty heroine, tortured hero, madwoman in the attic of dark and undoubtedly drafty ancestral home -- it's got it all. And as such, has been made into a film more times than you could possibly believe. I don't know how anyone expects to beat Orson Welles in drag, but people just keep trying. Here's the trailer for the latest version, in theaters now.


Thursday, March 24, 2011

On the Book Cart

It's a short list this week, which is what happens when the cataloging librarian comes down with a cold and has to stay home. All of them look like winners though, and in honor of the fact that I am not typing up a long list, I will include tweet-type blurbs about each:

Monica Burns Pleasure Me Historical
Aging courtesan. Physically disabled baron. Unexpected passion. Frame-up for murder.

Anjali Banerjee Haunting Jasmine Contemporary/Paranormal
Heroine reinventing life. Quaint location. Ghosts. Mysterious stranger love interest.

Savannah Kline Beloved of the Fallen Contemporary/Suspense/Paranormal
Ambitious attorney heroine. Political family. Congressional showdown. Sexy consultant=fallen angel?


Friday, March 18, 2011

I'd Rather Hang Out with the Wallflowers

Because You’re Mine
By Lisa Kleypas

I’ve always been a fan of Lisa Kleypas’ historical romances, especially the Wallflowers Series. I’ve also always liked any story set in a theater, so I thought that Because You’re Mine would be right up my alley, as it is one of the books Kleypas set in the Capitol Theatre. And I liked it, but I didn’t love it.

The basic premise is this: Lady Madeline Matthews is being forced into marriage with a much older man who can most politely be described as a boor. He has no interest in Madeline as a person, and a great deal of interest in a wife who will be seen, not heard, and produce children regularly. Madeline’s parents are less than sympathetic, so she decides to run away from boarding school and find some obliging man to ruin her. The object of her plan is Mr. Logan Scott, the most well know actor in England. Logan is immensely talented and incredibly handsome, and since absolutely everyone knows what depraved creatures actors are, she figures getting him to have his way with her will be simple.

Well, not so much. Madeline succeeds in getting employment at the theater and in catching Logan’s eye, but he has standards, and they do not involve seducing innocent young ladies. So Madeline continues to work as secretary to Logan and his partner and to just generally be an all around Girl Scout, all the while trying to move forward with her plan. The two develop real feelings for one another, but since Logan has some trust issues due to a previous relationship, and Madeline does not want to reveal her true feelings, there is a great deal of misunderstanding and plain old bad behavior on both sides. This leads to quite a few plot twists before the happily-ever-after, and some of them work better than others.

Overall, I liked this well enough to finish it. The premise was fun, the secondary characters quite interesting, and the hero had good reason to be tortured, angry, and untrusting. I also sympathized with Madeline. However, both Madeline and Logan behaved so childishly at times that I really just wanted to slap them. Madeline went the martyr route, while Logan played the self-destructive, self-pitying drunkard. Spare me. If you really like Kleypas and are just looking for a quick read, this is fine, but if you haven’t read the Wallflowers quartet, start there.


Wednesday, March 16, 2011

On the Book Cart

Cherry Adair Undertow
Julie James A Lot Like Love
Elizabeth Noble When You Were Mine

Delilah Marvelle The Perfect Scandal

Judi Fennell I Dream of Genies
Lori Handeland Moon Cursed

Thursday, March 10, 2011

What Happens in the Librarians' Meeting...

Every month, the librarians get together to go over all sorts of business, and one of the things we try to do regularly is share information on books we have read so that we are all able to help patrons find good books from any genre. We all read a lot, but we can't read everything, so this really helps. This aspect of our jobs goes by the catchy name "Reader's Advisory" or RA for short. We recently started to do something called "5 Minute RA" which allows to cover one or two books we highly recommend. This morning I talked about two of the most books by Julia Quinn, one of my favorite romance authors. Notes from my presentation are below, and I have it on good authority that the actual books will be back on the shelf any minute now...

5 Minute RA
Julia Quinn

What Happens in London
Ten Things I Love About You

Brief review of plots

What Happens in London:
Lady Olivia Bevelstoke is a staggeringly beautiful debutante whose intelligence often overlooked (She reads the entire newspaper, “every page, every day!”) Being at loose ends, Olivia begins to spy on her quiet (secretive?) new next door neighbor, Sir Harry Valentine, who reportedly murdered his fiancĂ©. Sir Harry works for Home Office translating sensitive documents due to his fluency in both Russian and French. He knows she’s spying, but writes her off as nosy twit. Then the Home Office asks HIM to spy on HER since she is being courted by a Russian prince. True love ensues, with some tense moments due to the not-so-nice prince and the kind of nefarious plots that inevitably surround Russian nobility.

Ten Things I Love About You:
Miss Annabel Winslow is a young lady (country gentry) in London to find a wealthy husband, due to her family’s financial difficulties. She is staying with her grandparents, who are friendly with the Earl of Newbury, whose heir is his nephew Sebastian Grey. The Earl hates his nephew and is desperate to sire an heir, and so is in the market for a young woman with childbearing hips, and decides Annabel will do nicely. She has no desire to marry the Earl, but her family needs the money soon or her brothers will have to leave Eton. She meets Sebastian at a party, a flirtation follows, the Earl becomes incensed, blows are exchanged, Sebastian plays at courting Annabel to rescue her reputation, they fall in love, causing much mayhem in the process, and after a timely intervention by Annabel’s dragon of a grandmother, the couple lives happily ever after.

Both contain a “book within the book” subplot – a very entertaining spoof of genre.

Julia Quinn
Graduated from Harvard; began writing her first novel to avoid the studying involved a rather round about route to medical school. She consequently ditched the idea of an MD and has written over twenty novels including the 8 volume Bridgerton Family series. Many are in this library, more in UHLS, and several in OverDrive.


Wednesday, March 9, 2011

On the Book Cart

Julia London A Light at Winter's End
Linda Lael Miller A Creed in Stone Creek
Vicki Lewis Thompson Nerd In Shining Armor

Robyn Hart Treasure Me
Niclole Jordan To Desire a Wicked Duke
Anne Mallory One Night is Never Enough
Amanda Scott Highland Master

Paranormal:Angela Knight Master of Smoke
Vicki Lewis Thompson A Werewolf in Manhattan

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Crossing Genres: WWI Mystery

An Impartial Witness
By Charles Todd

This cozy mystery set in England during World War I features Bess Crawford, a young woman who supports the war effort by becoming a “nursing sister.” Bess is the daughter of a career military man. She was born and partly raised in India, and if she had been a boy would have followed in her father’s footsteps and joined his regiment. Since that route is closed to her, she receives some rudimentary training and becomes an army field nurse. The intrepid Bess tends the wounded in France, and often serves as transport nurse for groups of soldiers shipped home. On one such journey she cares for a badly wounded pilot, who is living only to see his beloved wife again. He even wears her photo pinned to his tunic. Bess sees her charges safely to the hospital, and is making her way to her flat when she spots the woman from the photograph, weeping in the train station and clinging to a departing soldier who seems impervious to her distress. The soldier boards his train, and the woman rushes from the station. Bess finds this odd, but not alarming, and gives it very little thought after returning to the front. However, she shortly thereafter sees a newspaper from home with this same woman’s picture in it – the woman has been murdered and the police are trying to trace her movements. Thus Bess becomes embroiled in a tragedy that leaves numerous victims both living and dead. Traveling back and forth between France and England, Bess works to find justice for the dead and to save an innocent man.

This is a well plotted mystery with a likeable heroine and an interesting setting. Life during the war brought with it many different kinds of hardship for both soldiers and civilians, and the stresses of everyday life are well represented. Though this story doesn’t focus on blood and gore, neither does it gloss over the ugly realities of battlefield casualties and associated trauma. The war is a catalyst for all that occurs, but it is clear that the murderer acts from self interest. An Impartial Witness is the second book in a series, and well worth picking up for fans of historical mysteries.