What We’re Reading in November!

by Mary Jo

The holiday season is a busy time, but the Wenches never stop reading!  Here are some books we've enjoyed recently.  

BollywoodFrom Pat Rice:  

For over-the-top emotion and a well-written circus that would make a perfect Bollywood film, try A BOLLYWOOD AFFAIR by Sonali Dev. Strictly speaking, this is women’s fiction, but it’s also Bollywood, so you know among the tragedy and unrequited love is a happy ending.

We have the intrepid young woman from India, married at the age of five but never having met her husband after the wedding day, who fights all odds to gain a short grant to an American university in hopes that will impress and bring home her man. She’s been obedient, grateful, and hard-working as she’s been taught in her backwoods town. She probably would have remained so had she not met her husband’s brother—a rakehell Bollywood screenwriter and producer. He brings out the best and worst in her in a star-crossed romance if there ever was one. You’ll need a strong cup of coffee to go with the sugar, but it’s fun and entertaining and I’d love to see the scenes depicted.

Anne Gracie has struck chocolate!: Chocolate_touch_web-388x600

I've had a bit of a glom on Laura Florand's "Love & Chocolate" books. Set in modern day Paris,  each hero is a French chocolatier — a maker of exquisite boutique chocolate, and most of the heroines are American girls. I was particularly recommended the second book in the series, THE CHOCOLATE KISS, but I decided to start with the first one and work through the series. I found books 2, 3 and 4 especially yummy. Each book can be read independently, though there is some connection between SomeoneToLovethem.

I also read Liane Moriaty's BIG LITTLE LIES, which I thought was wonderful — clever and engaging — it's a mystery of sorts, and the reader has to work out what's happening. And without spoilers, I have to say it ends well — and with a romance.

Finally I read Mary Balogh's latest, SOMEONE TO LOVE which I devoured in one sitting. The heroine is a teacher in the orphanage where she was raised and, like all orphans, she dreams of discovering her origins and finding a family. But when her dream comes true, it comes at a terrible cost. It's the first in a new series, and I can't wait for the next.

From Andrea/Cara

This has been a mystery month for me, as my favorite historical mystery writer had a new recent release. I’m a huge fan of Charles Finch and his Charles Lenox series, set in  Victorian England. THE INHERITANCE is no exception. An old school friend has learned he’s been left a fortune by a mysterious benefactor, but someone seems intent on killing him before the legalities are worked out. He appeals to Lenox for help, and then the plots twists which begin are worthy of a Wilkie Collins classic!  I find Lenox such an appealing hero. By all outward signs, he's a paragon of propriety. He’s done all the right things in life that an aristocratic younger son should do—Harrow, Oxford, a place in Parliament. He’s thoughtful, sensitive, and the very soul of honor, a man well-liked and well-respected by all his friends.

His only quirk is that he loves solving crimes. It bemuses him at times, as he considers himself a very orthodox fellow. And yet, he has a passion for it, and a very-unordinary talent for sussing out the truth. Finch writes in a very quiet, graceful style, yet his observations on human nature are so spot on. And the lovely cast of characters that have developed over the series are so engaging. If you’re looking to curl up on a winter evening with a ripping good yarn, beautiful writing and appealing characters, I highly recommend a Finch book. (The first in the series is A Beautiful Blue Death,)

AmmieComeHomeNicola here.

Whilst away in Wales for a week I have been catching up on some previous WWR recommendations. First up was Ammie Come Home by Barbara Michaels which had been mentioned as part of our Halloween reads in October. Whilst I found some of it "of its time," I appreciate that it was written in the 1960s and it is still a seriously spooky story. Reading it by candlelight in a cottage in Wales (the power had gone off in a storm!) was extremely atmospheric. I loved the characterisation and also the historical story behind the ghost story.

I also read Unmasking Miss Appleby by Emily Larkin, who was Anne's guest on the blog a few weeks ago. I adored this book and found it really hard to put down. I loved the way that Emily mixed the historical and paranormal details so easily and convincingly, plus it was a wonderful love story.

From Mary Jo:

I've loved Sharon Shinn's Elemental Blessings series, and the recently released fourth, Unquiet GroundUNQUIET LAND is no exception. Shinn's world building is wonderful and her kingdom of Welce is rich and fascinating.  All Welchins are attuned to one of five elements: water, fire, air, earth, and wood, and in the hours after their birth, three blessings are drawn for them by strangers.  These blessing resonate through their lives, though people also pull blessings for daily guidance.  Each of the elements has a prime who has great power over his or her element, and each book has a strong romance.  

In Unquiet Land, the heroine is Leah Frothen, who was an important secondary character in the previous book, Jeweled Fire.  A disastrous love affair drove her from Welce, leaving her baby daughter to be raised by relatives. Leah becomes a spy for her country and thinks she'll never return home, but at the end of Jeweled Fire, she was sailing back to Welce and hoping desperately that she can connect with the daughter she has always loved. 

Life back in Welce becomes complicated as she is recruited to spy on foreign visitors while she attempts to build a relationship with her daughter.  Most important of all, Leah must come to terms with the pain and errors of her past–and with falling in love. A great read.

For something completely different, try the Caught Dead in Wyoming mystery series by my friend Patricia McLinn/.  Pat and I were both long term members of the Washington Romance Writers so I've known her for years.  She has a degree in journalism from Northwestern and has had a long and successful career as a journalist, including many years at the Washington Post. 

She's now a full time writer and has branched out beyond romance, but her journalistic past is what makes this mystery series so convincing. I'll use her description of the premise: 

Elizabeth “E.M.” Danniher has been among TV journalism’s elite. Until she discovers divorcing her network exec husband ends not only her marriage but her career. She’s been banished to tiny KWMT-TV in Sherman, Wyoming, to finish out her contract as the underemployed consumer affairs reporter.

Now she’s trying to figure out what comes next – in her career, her life, and her relationships with family, friends, and those who’d like to be more than friends. 

Sign OffAnd since this is a mystery series, dead bodies keep turning up.  <G>

I love the absolutely authentic feel of the newsroom and the journalists, plus Elizabeth's recognition that she's not in Kansas anymore. <G> The first book in the series, SIGN OFF is free, and that did its job because I bought book 2, Left Hanging, as soon as I finished book 1.  I'm looking forward to more books as Elizabeth searches for her new life, befriends a wary "ranch collie," and learns way more than she wanted to know about rope. <G>  I'd classify the series as "Western cozy," and they're great fun.

So–what have YOU been reading?

Mary Jo

190 thoughts on “What We’re Reading in November!”

  1. Like some above, I have enjoyed the new Mary Balogh, and the Emily Larkin; and I’m eagerly waiting for the follow-ups.
    The rest of my reading has consisted pf re-reads, some Nora Roberts series, and some Elizabeth Lowell series. Interlaced with these I have been rereading the Betsy Devonshire Needlework mysteries by Monica Ferris. My daughter met her at a book signing; she reports that this series is being wound up.
    I’ve made a discovery about my reading habits. I can happily stick with a romance writer through one or more of that writer’s series, but I want my mystery books interrupted by other reading. During 2016, I have reread Kemelman (Rabbi David), Hillerman (Chee and Leaphorn), and now this Ferris series. In all cases, I was reluctant to start the next book in the series until I had read something else. I had never noticed this quirk before.

    Reply
  2. Like some above, I have enjoyed the new Mary Balogh, and the Emily Larkin; and I’m eagerly waiting for the follow-ups.
    The rest of my reading has consisted pf re-reads, some Nora Roberts series, and some Elizabeth Lowell series. Interlaced with these I have been rereading the Betsy Devonshire Needlework mysteries by Monica Ferris. My daughter met her at a book signing; she reports that this series is being wound up.
    I’ve made a discovery about my reading habits. I can happily stick with a romance writer through one or more of that writer’s series, but I want my mystery books interrupted by other reading. During 2016, I have reread Kemelman (Rabbi David), Hillerman (Chee and Leaphorn), and now this Ferris series. In all cases, I was reluctant to start the next book in the series until I had read something else. I had never noticed this quirk before.

    Reply
  3. Like some above, I have enjoyed the new Mary Balogh, and the Emily Larkin; and I’m eagerly waiting for the follow-ups.
    The rest of my reading has consisted pf re-reads, some Nora Roberts series, and some Elizabeth Lowell series. Interlaced with these I have been rereading the Betsy Devonshire Needlework mysteries by Monica Ferris. My daughter met her at a book signing; she reports that this series is being wound up.
    I’ve made a discovery about my reading habits. I can happily stick with a romance writer through one or more of that writer’s series, but I want my mystery books interrupted by other reading. During 2016, I have reread Kemelman (Rabbi David), Hillerman (Chee and Leaphorn), and now this Ferris series. In all cases, I was reluctant to start the next book in the series until I had read something else. I had never noticed this quirk before.

    Reply
  4. Like some above, I have enjoyed the new Mary Balogh, and the Emily Larkin; and I’m eagerly waiting for the follow-ups.
    The rest of my reading has consisted pf re-reads, some Nora Roberts series, and some Elizabeth Lowell series. Interlaced with these I have been rereading the Betsy Devonshire Needlework mysteries by Monica Ferris. My daughter met her at a book signing; she reports that this series is being wound up.
    I’ve made a discovery about my reading habits. I can happily stick with a romance writer through one or more of that writer’s series, but I want my mystery books interrupted by other reading. During 2016, I have reread Kemelman (Rabbi David), Hillerman (Chee and Leaphorn), and now this Ferris series. In all cases, I was reluctant to start the next book in the series until I had read something else. I had never noticed this quirk before.

    Reply
  5. Like some above, I have enjoyed the new Mary Balogh, and the Emily Larkin; and I’m eagerly waiting for the follow-ups.
    The rest of my reading has consisted pf re-reads, some Nora Roberts series, and some Elizabeth Lowell series. Interlaced with these I have been rereading the Betsy Devonshire Needlework mysteries by Monica Ferris. My daughter met her at a book signing; she reports that this series is being wound up.
    I’ve made a discovery about my reading habits. I can happily stick with a romance writer through one or more of that writer’s series, but I want my mystery books interrupted by other reading. During 2016, I have reread Kemelman (Rabbi David), Hillerman (Chee and Leaphorn), and now this Ferris series. In all cases, I was reluctant to start the next book in the series until I had read something else. I had never noticed this quirk before.

    Reply
  6. Hmmmm I may have to look up that Elemental Blessings series! That sounds like something I would enjoy. I’ve been reading some holiday themed JAFF and re-reading from my Emilie Loring collection. With the holidays I keep grabbing things that are short or I already know the crux of the book and won’t be devastated if I have to lay it down for a day or so. LOL I look forward to winter break when I can settle into meaty novels and live there for a time. I did read Arrowood by Laura McHugh on the day after Thxgving. It was sad and a bit heartwrenching. Not predictable though there were a couple pieces I could see coming. All in all a great read.

    Reply
  7. Hmmmm I may have to look up that Elemental Blessings series! That sounds like something I would enjoy. I’ve been reading some holiday themed JAFF and re-reading from my Emilie Loring collection. With the holidays I keep grabbing things that are short or I already know the crux of the book and won’t be devastated if I have to lay it down for a day or so. LOL I look forward to winter break when I can settle into meaty novels and live there for a time. I did read Arrowood by Laura McHugh on the day after Thxgving. It was sad and a bit heartwrenching. Not predictable though there were a couple pieces I could see coming. All in all a great read.

    Reply
  8. Hmmmm I may have to look up that Elemental Blessings series! That sounds like something I would enjoy. I’ve been reading some holiday themed JAFF and re-reading from my Emilie Loring collection. With the holidays I keep grabbing things that are short or I already know the crux of the book and won’t be devastated if I have to lay it down for a day or so. LOL I look forward to winter break when I can settle into meaty novels and live there for a time. I did read Arrowood by Laura McHugh on the day after Thxgving. It was sad and a bit heartwrenching. Not predictable though there were a couple pieces I could see coming. All in all a great read.

    Reply
  9. Hmmmm I may have to look up that Elemental Blessings series! That sounds like something I would enjoy. I’ve been reading some holiday themed JAFF and re-reading from my Emilie Loring collection. With the holidays I keep grabbing things that are short or I already know the crux of the book and won’t be devastated if I have to lay it down for a day or so. LOL I look forward to winter break when I can settle into meaty novels and live there for a time. I did read Arrowood by Laura McHugh on the day after Thxgving. It was sad and a bit heartwrenching. Not predictable though there were a couple pieces I could see coming. All in all a great read.

    Reply
  10. Hmmmm I may have to look up that Elemental Blessings series! That sounds like something I would enjoy. I’ve been reading some holiday themed JAFF and re-reading from my Emilie Loring collection. With the holidays I keep grabbing things that are short or I already know the crux of the book and won’t be devastated if I have to lay it down for a day or so. LOL I look forward to winter break when I can settle into meaty novels and live there for a time. I did read Arrowood by Laura McHugh on the day after Thxgving. It was sad and a bit heartwrenching. Not predictable though there were a couple pieces I could see coming. All in all a great read.

    Reply
  11. I’ve read Mary Balogh’s Someone to Love and the upcoming second book, Someone to Hold with its most atypical heroine. I’ve also read dozens of Christmas books, new and old. One of my 2016 favorites is Emily March’s Christmas in Eternity Springs.
    I always try to be in the process of reading a poetry collection. This week I am reading Garden Time, poems W. S. Merwin wrote as he was losing his eyesight. I read poetry much more slowly than I read fiction, and my pace is particularly slow with these poems. I need time to reflect on Merwin’s deeply moving poems about ageing and loss and memory. Merwin has a couple of decades on me, but I am near enough to his age to linger over lines like this one: “Would I love it this way if it could last.”

    Reply
  12. I’ve read Mary Balogh’s Someone to Love and the upcoming second book, Someone to Hold with its most atypical heroine. I’ve also read dozens of Christmas books, new and old. One of my 2016 favorites is Emily March’s Christmas in Eternity Springs.
    I always try to be in the process of reading a poetry collection. This week I am reading Garden Time, poems W. S. Merwin wrote as he was losing his eyesight. I read poetry much more slowly than I read fiction, and my pace is particularly slow with these poems. I need time to reflect on Merwin’s deeply moving poems about ageing and loss and memory. Merwin has a couple of decades on me, but I am near enough to his age to linger over lines like this one: “Would I love it this way if it could last.”

    Reply
  13. I’ve read Mary Balogh’s Someone to Love and the upcoming second book, Someone to Hold with its most atypical heroine. I’ve also read dozens of Christmas books, new and old. One of my 2016 favorites is Emily March’s Christmas in Eternity Springs.
    I always try to be in the process of reading a poetry collection. This week I am reading Garden Time, poems W. S. Merwin wrote as he was losing his eyesight. I read poetry much more slowly than I read fiction, and my pace is particularly slow with these poems. I need time to reflect on Merwin’s deeply moving poems about ageing and loss and memory. Merwin has a couple of decades on me, but I am near enough to his age to linger over lines like this one: “Would I love it this way if it could last.”

    Reply
  14. I’ve read Mary Balogh’s Someone to Love and the upcoming second book, Someone to Hold with its most atypical heroine. I’ve also read dozens of Christmas books, new and old. One of my 2016 favorites is Emily March’s Christmas in Eternity Springs.
    I always try to be in the process of reading a poetry collection. This week I am reading Garden Time, poems W. S. Merwin wrote as he was losing his eyesight. I read poetry much more slowly than I read fiction, and my pace is particularly slow with these poems. I need time to reflect on Merwin’s deeply moving poems about ageing and loss and memory. Merwin has a couple of decades on me, but I am near enough to his age to linger over lines like this one: “Would I love it this way if it could last.”

    Reply
  15. I’ve read Mary Balogh’s Someone to Love and the upcoming second book, Someone to Hold with its most atypical heroine. I’ve also read dozens of Christmas books, new and old. One of my 2016 favorites is Emily March’s Christmas in Eternity Springs.
    I always try to be in the process of reading a poetry collection. This week I am reading Garden Time, poems W. S. Merwin wrote as he was losing his eyesight. I read poetry much more slowly than I read fiction, and my pace is particularly slow with these poems. I need time to reflect on Merwin’s deeply moving poems about ageing and loss and memory. Merwin has a couple of decades on me, but I am near enough to his age to linger over lines like this one: “Would I love it this way if it could last.”

    Reply
  16. I’ve had some overlap with two of you. Anne Gracie, I also struck chocolate as I’ve been re-reading much of Laura Florand’s oeuvre. And, Nicola, I read a book by Emily Larkin under her Emily Gee name.
    Early in the month I read:
    — re-read Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Temptation, The Chocolate Rose, The Chocolate Heart, Shadowed Heart, and a prequel which no longer seems to be available: Night Wish.
    — the historical male/male romance The Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian which I enjoyed. I suspect this is a book I’ll be re-reading.
    — Shifter Planet by D.B. Reynolds. It was a pleasant read, but I’d hoped that the heroine’s special talent would have played a larger role in the story. I’d describe this book as a futuristic science fiction paranormal romance.
    — Take Me Home Tonight (Rock Star Romance Book 3) by Erika Kelly. It was a pleasant read and I enjoyed it; however, it might have benefited by being twenty percent shorter.
    — The One in My Heart which is Sherry Thomas’ first contemporary romance. I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you have an interest in the Lord of the Rings books, this will hold even more interest for you.
    — Break My Fall by Jessica Scott which was a pleasant read but not one of my favorites by this author.
    — M.L. Buchman’s Heart Strike (Delta Force). It’s not my favorite of his books, but I enjoyed it.
    — the historical romance Someone To Love (A Westcott Novel) by Mary Balogh; I did enjoy, it but it’s not amongst my favorites by the author. I read the book with particular interest because of allegations of racism that were raised by some reviewers.
    — The Transcriptionist: A Novel by Amy Rowland for my book group. It was an interesting and quick read but none of us loved it.
    — a re-read of Roan Parrish’s In the Middle of Somewhere. I’d been inspired to revisit this male/male romance after recently reading the second book in the series. I enjoyed it once again. Now I’d like to read third book.
    — Emily Gee’s fantasy Thief With No Shadow which I quite enjoyed. I’d be happy to read more by this author. I think this would be appropriate for all readers including teens.
    More recently I’ve read —
    –Hope(less) (Judgement Of The Six Book 1) and the companion book Clay’s Hope by Melissa Haag. These were enjoyable light reads. They are currently free to Kindle readers
    — re-read Laura Florand’s Once Upon a Rose
    — The Taking Tree: A Selfish Parody by Shrill Travesty with art by Lucy Ruth Cummins. This was a short book that I read aloud to my husband; it made us both laugh. It’s best suited to those (like me) who dislike Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.
    — I quite enjoyed Amanda Bouchet’s A Promise of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles Book 1) and look forward to reading the follow on book(s). I’d describe the book as fantasy romance.
    — an enjoyable holiday novella that is a historical romance. It is currently free to Kindle readers: A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong: A Blackshear Family novella by Cecilia Grant
    — I enjoyed Lisa Henry’s Adulting 101 which is a male/male romance.
    — more by Laura Florand: Snow-Kissed (this novella will likely make you cry and Sun-Kissed: A Novel (Amour et Chocolat Book 7). Also All for You (Paris Nights Book 1) and A Wish Upon Jasmine (La Vie en Roses Book 2)
    — Astounding! by Kim Fielding. This is a male/male romance with some out of this world elements.
    — It Ends with Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover. This was moving and also eye opening on the subject of domestic abuse; I recommend it. In the author’s note, she discusses the fact that she was born into an abusive home.
    And it’s clear to me that I overuse the word ‘enjoy’!

    Reply
  17. I’ve had some overlap with two of you. Anne Gracie, I also struck chocolate as I’ve been re-reading much of Laura Florand’s oeuvre. And, Nicola, I read a book by Emily Larkin under her Emily Gee name.
    Early in the month I read:
    — re-read Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Temptation, The Chocolate Rose, The Chocolate Heart, Shadowed Heart, and a prequel which no longer seems to be available: Night Wish.
    — the historical male/male romance The Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian which I enjoyed. I suspect this is a book I’ll be re-reading.
    — Shifter Planet by D.B. Reynolds. It was a pleasant read, but I’d hoped that the heroine’s special talent would have played a larger role in the story. I’d describe this book as a futuristic science fiction paranormal romance.
    — Take Me Home Tonight (Rock Star Romance Book 3) by Erika Kelly. It was a pleasant read and I enjoyed it; however, it might have benefited by being twenty percent shorter.
    — The One in My Heart which is Sherry Thomas’ first contemporary romance. I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you have an interest in the Lord of the Rings books, this will hold even more interest for you.
    — Break My Fall by Jessica Scott which was a pleasant read but not one of my favorites by this author.
    — M.L. Buchman’s Heart Strike (Delta Force). It’s not my favorite of his books, but I enjoyed it.
    — the historical romance Someone To Love (A Westcott Novel) by Mary Balogh; I did enjoy, it but it’s not amongst my favorites by the author. I read the book with particular interest because of allegations of racism that were raised by some reviewers.
    — The Transcriptionist: A Novel by Amy Rowland for my book group. It was an interesting and quick read but none of us loved it.
    — a re-read of Roan Parrish’s In the Middle of Somewhere. I’d been inspired to revisit this male/male romance after recently reading the second book in the series. I enjoyed it once again. Now I’d like to read third book.
    — Emily Gee’s fantasy Thief With No Shadow which I quite enjoyed. I’d be happy to read more by this author. I think this would be appropriate for all readers including teens.
    More recently I’ve read —
    –Hope(less) (Judgement Of The Six Book 1) and the companion book Clay’s Hope by Melissa Haag. These were enjoyable light reads. They are currently free to Kindle readers
    — re-read Laura Florand’s Once Upon a Rose
    — The Taking Tree: A Selfish Parody by Shrill Travesty with art by Lucy Ruth Cummins. This was a short book that I read aloud to my husband; it made us both laugh. It’s best suited to those (like me) who dislike Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.
    — I quite enjoyed Amanda Bouchet’s A Promise of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles Book 1) and look forward to reading the follow on book(s). I’d describe the book as fantasy romance.
    — an enjoyable holiday novella that is a historical romance. It is currently free to Kindle readers: A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong: A Blackshear Family novella by Cecilia Grant
    — I enjoyed Lisa Henry’s Adulting 101 which is a male/male romance.
    — more by Laura Florand: Snow-Kissed (this novella will likely make you cry and Sun-Kissed: A Novel (Amour et Chocolat Book 7). Also All for You (Paris Nights Book 1) and A Wish Upon Jasmine (La Vie en Roses Book 2)
    — Astounding! by Kim Fielding. This is a male/male romance with some out of this world elements.
    — It Ends with Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover. This was moving and also eye opening on the subject of domestic abuse; I recommend it. In the author’s note, she discusses the fact that she was born into an abusive home.
    And it’s clear to me that I overuse the word ‘enjoy’!

    Reply
  18. I’ve had some overlap with two of you. Anne Gracie, I also struck chocolate as I’ve been re-reading much of Laura Florand’s oeuvre. And, Nicola, I read a book by Emily Larkin under her Emily Gee name.
    Early in the month I read:
    — re-read Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Temptation, The Chocolate Rose, The Chocolate Heart, Shadowed Heart, and a prequel which no longer seems to be available: Night Wish.
    — the historical male/male romance The Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian which I enjoyed. I suspect this is a book I’ll be re-reading.
    — Shifter Planet by D.B. Reynolds. It was a pleasant read, but I’d hoped that the heroine’s special talent would have played a larger role in the story. I’d describe this book as a futuristic science fiction paranormal romance.
    — Take Me Home Tonight (Rock Star Romance Book 3) by Erika Kelly. It was a pleasant read and I enjoyed it; however, it might have benefited by being twenty percent shorter.
    — The One in My Heart which is Sherry Thomas’ first contemporary romance. I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you have an interest in the Lord of the Rings books, this will hold even more interest for you.
    — Break My Fall by Jessica Scott which was a pleasant read but not one of my favorites by this author.
    — M.L. Buchman’s Heart Strike (Delta Force). It’s not my favorite of his books, but I enjoyed it.
    — the historical romance Someone To Love (A Westcott Novel) by Mary Balogh; I did enjoy, it but it’s not amongst my favorites by the author. I read the book with particular interest because of allegations of racism that were raised by some reviewers.
    — The Transcriptionist: A Novel by Amy Rowland for my book group. It was an interesting and quick read but none of us loved it.
    — a re-read of Roan Parrish’s In the Middle of Somewhere. I’d been inspired to revisit this male/male romance after recently reading the second book in the series. I enjoyed it once again. Now I’d like to read third book.
    — Emily Gee’s fantasy Thief With No Shadow which I quite enjoyed. I’d be happy to read more by this author. I think this would be appropriate for all readers including teens.
    More recently I’ve read —
    –Hope(less) (Judgement Of The Six Book 1) and the companion book Clay’s Hope by Melissa Haag. These were enjoyable light reads. They are currently free to Kindle readers
    — re-read Laura Florand’s Once Upon a Rose
    — The Taking Tree: A Selfish Parody by Shrill Travesty with art by Lucy Ruth Cummins. This was a short book that I read aloud to my husband; it made us both laugh. It’s best suited to those (like me) who dislike Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.
    — I quite enjoyed Amanda Bouchet’s A Promise of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles Book 1) and look forward to reading the follow on book(s). I’d describe the book as fantasy romance.
    — an enjoyable holiday novella that is a historical romance. It is currently free to Kindle readers: A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong: A Blackshear Family novella by Cecilia Grant
    — I enjoyed Lisa Henry’s Adulting 101 which is a male/male romance.
    — more by Laura Florand: Snow-Kissed (this novella will likely make you cry and Sun-Kissed: A Novel (Amour et Chocolat Book 7). Also All for You (Paris Nights Book 1) and A Wish Upon Jasmine (La Vie en Roses Book 2)
    — Astounding! by Kim Fielding. This is a male/male romance with some out of this world elements.
    — It Ends with Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover. This was moving and also eye opening on the subject of domestic abuse; I recommend it. In the author’s note, she discusses the fact that she was born into an abusive home.
    And it’s clear to me that I overuse the word ‘enjoy’!

    Reply
  19. I’ve had some overlap with two of you. Anne Gracie, I also struck chocolate as I’ve been re-reading much of Laura Florand’s oeuvre. And, Nicola, I read a book by Emily Larkin under her Emily Gee name.
    Early in the month I read:
    — re-read Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Temptation, The Chocolate Rose, The Chocolate Heart, Shadowed Heart, and a prequel which no longer seems to be available: Night Wish.
    — the historical male/male romance The Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian which I enjoyed. I suspect this is a book I’ll be re-reading.
    — Shifter Planet by D.B. Reynolds. It was a pleasant read, but I’d hoped that the heroine’s special talent would have played a larger role in the story. I’d describe this book as a futuristic science fiction paranormal romance.
    — Take Me Home Tonight (Rock Star Romance Book 3) by Erika Kelly. It was a pleasant read and I enjoyed it; however, it might have benefited by being twenty percent shorter.
    — The One in My Heart which is Sherry Thomas’ first contemporary romance. I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you have an interest in the Lord of the Rings books, this will hold even more interest for you.
    — Break My Fall by Jessica Scott which was a pleasant read but not one of my favorites by this author.
    — M.L. Buchman’s Heart Strike (Delta Force). It’s not my favorite of his books, but I enjoyed it.
    — the historical romance Someone To Love (A Westcott Novel) by Mary Balogh; I did enjoy, it but it’s not amongst my favorites by the author. I read the book with particular interest because of allegations of racism that were raised by some reviewers.
    — The Transcriptionist: A Novel by Amy Rowland for my book group. It was an interesting and quick read but none of us loved it.
    — a re-read of Roan Parrish’s In the Middle of Somewhere. I’d been inspired to revisit this male/male romance after recently reading the second book in the series. I enjoyed it once again. Now I’d like to read third book.
    — Emily Gee’s fantasy Thief With No Shadow which I quite enjoyed. I’d be happy to read more by this author. I think this would be appropriate for all readers including teens.
    More recently I’ve read —
    –Hope(less) (Judgement Of The Six Book 1) and the companion book Clay’s Hope by Melissa Haag. These were enjoyable light reads. They are currently free to Kindle readers
    — re-read Laura Florand’s Once Upon a Rose
    — The Taking Tree: A Selfish Parody by Shrill Travesty with art by Lucy Ruth Cummins. This was a short book that I read aloud to my husband; it made us both laugh. It’s best suited to those (like me) who dislike Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.
    — I quite enjoyed Amanda Bouchet’s A Promise of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles Book 1) and look forward to reading the follow on book(s). I’d describe the book as fantasy romance.
    — an enjoyable holiday novella that is a historical romance. It is currently free to Kindle readers: A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong: A Blackshear Family novella by Cecilia Grant
    — I enjoyed Lisa Henry’s Adulting 101 which is a male/male romance.
    — more by Laura Florand: Snow-Kissed (this novella will likely make you cry and Sun-Kissed: A Novel (Amour et Chocolat Book 7). Also All for You (Paris Nights Book 1) and A Wish Upon Jasmine (La Vie en Roses Book 2)
    — Astounding! by Kim Fielding. This is a male/male romance with some out of this world elements.
    — It Ends with Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover. This was moving and also eye opening on the subject of domestic abuse; I recommend it. In the author’s note, she discusses the fact that she was born into an abusive home.
    And it’s clear to me that I overuse the word ‘enjoy’!

    Reply
  20. I’ve had some overlap with two of you. Anne Gracie, I also struck chocolate as I’ve been re-reading much of Laura Florand’s oeuvre. And, Nicola, I read a book by Emily Larkin under her Emily Gee name.
    Early in the month I read:
    — re-read Laura Florand’s The Chocolate Thief, The Chocolate Temptation, The Chocolate Rose, The Chocolate Heart, Shadowed Heart, and a prequel which no longer seems to be available: Night Wish.
    — the historical male/male romance The Soldier’s Scoundrel by Cat Sebastian which I enjoyed. I suspect this is a book I’ll be re-reading.
    — Shifter Planet by D.B. Reynolds. It was a pleasant read, but I’d hoped that the heroine’s special talent would have played a larger role in the story. I’d describe this book as a futuristic science fiction paranormal romance.
    — Take Me Home Tonight (Rock Star Romance Book 3) by Erika Kelly. It was a pleasant read and I enjoyed it; however, it might have benefited by being twenty percent shorter.
    — The One in My Heart which is Sherry Thomas’ first contemporary romance. I enjoyed it quite a bit. If you have an interest in the Lord of the Rings books, this will hold even more interest for you.
    — Break My Fall by Jessica Scott which was a pleasant read but not one of my favorites by this author.
    — M.L. Buchman’s Heart Strike (Delta Force). It’s not my favorite of his books, but I enjoyed it.
    — the historical romance Someone To Love (A Westcott Novel) by Mary Balogh; I did enjoy, it but it’s not amongst my favorites by the author. I read the book with particular interest because of allegations of racism that were raised by some reviewers.
    — The Transcriptionist: A Novel by Amy Rowland for my book group. It was an interesting and quick read but none of us loved it.
    — a re-read of Roan Parrish’s In the Middle of Somewhere. I’d been inspired to revisit this male/male romance after recently reading the second book in the series. I enjoyed it once again. Now I’d like to read third book.
    — Emily Gee’s fantasy Thief With No Shadow which I quite enjoyed. I’d be happy to read more by this author. I think this would be appropriate for all readers including teens.
    More recently I’ve read —
    –Hope(less) (Judgement Of The Six Book 1) and the companion book Clay’s Hope by Melissa Haag. These were enjoyable light reads. They are currently free to Kindle readers
    — re-read Laura Florand’s Once Upon a Rose
    — The Taking Tree: A Selfish Parody by Shrill Travesty with art by Lucy Ruth Cummins. This was a short book that I read aloud to my husband; it made us both laugh. It’s best suited to those (like me) who dislike Shel Silverstein’s The Giving Tree.
    — I quite enjoyed Amanda Bouchet’s A Promise of Fire (The Kingmaker Chronicles Book 1) and look forward to reading the follow on book(s). I’d describe the book as fantasy romance.
    — an enjoyable holiday novella that is a historical romance. It is currently free to Kindle readers: A Christmas Gone Perfectly Wrong: A Blackshear Family novella by Cecilia Grant
    — I enjoyed Lisa Henry’s Adulting 101 which is a male/male romance.
    — more by Laura Florand: Snow-Kissed (this novella will likely make you cry and Sun-Kissed: A Novel (Amour et Chocolat Book 7). Also All for You (Paris Nights Book 1) and A Wish Upon Jasmine (La Vie en Roses Book 2)
    — Astounding! by Kim Fielding. This is a male/male romance with some out of this world elements.
    — It Ends with Us: A Novel by Colleen Hoover. This was moving and also eye opening on the subject of domestic abuse; I recommend it. In the author’s note, she discusses the fact that she was born into an abusive home.
    And it’s clear to me that I overuse the word ‘enjoy’!

    Reply
  21. I’m re-reading (or think I am) one of Mary Balogh’s Christmas anthologies; it all seems familiar but in the distant past. I also enjoyed Grace Burrowes’ twin novellas under the title the Virtues of Christmas. One has a heroine named Patience. I also liked MB’s Someone to Love. As an adoptee, I know well of the fantasies one spins about finding parents and siblings.
    Now to add Sharon Shinn’s latest to my TBR. I’m also trying to ignore the mystery set in Wyoming. Wyoming is nothing like nearby Idaho where I grew up, nothing like it, I say. I’ve almost convinced myself not to sign into Amazon…almost.

    Reply
  22. I’m re-reading (or think I am) one of Mary Balogh’s Christmas anthologies; it all seems familiar but in the distant past. I also enjoyed Grace Burrowes’ twin novellas under the title the Virtues of Christmas. One has a heroine named Patience. I also liked MB’s Someone to Love. As an adoptee, I know well of the fantasies one spins about finding parents and siblings.
    Now to add Sharon Shinn’s latest to my TBR. I’m also trying to ignore the mystery set in Wyoming. Wyoming is nothing like nearby Idaho where I grew up, nothing like it, I say. I’ve almost convinced myself not to sign into Amazon…almost.

    Reply
  23. I’m re-reading (or think I am) one of Mary Balogh’s Christmas anthologies; it all seems familiar but in the distant past. I also enjoyed Grace Burrowes’ twin novellas under the title the Virtues of Christmas. One has a heroine named Patience. I also liked MB’s Someone to Love. As an adoptee, I know well of the fantasies one spins about finding parents and siblings.
    Now to add Sharon Shinn’s latest to my TBR. I’m also trying to ignore the mystery set in Wyoming. Wyoming is nothing like nearby Idaho where I grew up, nothing like it, I say. I’ve almost convinced myself not to sign into Amazon…almost.

    Reply
  24. I’m re-reading (or think I am) one of Mary Balogh’s Christmas anthologies; it all seems familiar but in the distant past. I also enjoyed Grace Burrowes’ twin novellas under the title the Virtues of Christmas. One has a heroine named Patience. I also liked MB’s Someone to Love. As an adoptee, I know well of the fantasies one spins about finding parents and siblings.
    Now to add Sharon Shinn’s latest to my TBR. I’m also trying to ignore the mystery set in Wyoming. Wyoming is nothing like nearby Idaho where I grew up, nothing like it, I say. I’ve almost convinced myself not to sign into Amazon…almost.

    Reply
  25. I’m re-reading (or think I am) one of Mary Balogh’s Christmas anthologies; it all seems familiar but in the distant past. I also enjoyed Grace Burrowes’ twin novellas under the title the Virtues of Christmas. One has a heroine named Patience. I also liked MB’s Someone to Love. As an adoptee, I know well of the fantasies one spins about finding parents and siblings.
    Now to add Sharon Shinn’s latest to my TBR. I’m also trying to ignore the mystery set in Wyoming. Wyoming is nothing like nearby Idaho where I grew up, nothing like it, I say. I’ve almost convinced myself not to sign into Amazon…almost.

    Reply
  26. I’m currently beta-reading a wonderful novel coming out next year by a beloved historical romance writer who isn’t but could/should easily be a Wench, or at least an Honorary Wench (!), but I’m also finally entering the much praised world of Tana French. I’ve always heard her books are great literature as well as great mysteries, and In the Woods is most definitely proving to be both.

    Reply
  27. I’m currently beta-reading a wonderful novel coming out next year by a beloved historical romance writer who isn’t but could/should easily be a Wench, or at least an Honorary Wench (!), but I’m also finally entering the much praised world of Tana French. I’ve always heard her books are great literature as well as great mysteries, and In the Woods is most definitely proving to be both.

    Reply
  28. I’m currently beta-reading a wonderful novel coming out next year by a beloved historical romance writer who isn’t but could/should easily be a Wench, or at least an Honorary Wench (!), but I’m also finally entering the much praised world of Tana French. I’ve always heard her books are great literature as well as great mysteries, and In the Woods is most definitely proving to be both.

    Reply
  29. I’m currently beta-reading a wonderful novel coming out next year by a beloved historical romance writer who isn’t but could/should easily be a Wench, or at least an Honorary Wench (!), but I’m also finally entering the much praised world of Tana French. I’ve always heard her books are great literature as well as great mysteries, and In the Woods is most definitely proving to be both.

    Reply
  30. I’m currently beta-reading a wonderful novel coming out next year by a beloved historical romance writer who isn’t but could/should easily be a Wench, or at least an Honorary Wench (!), but I’m also finally entering the much praised world of Tana French. I’ve always heard her books are great literature as well as great mysteries, and In the Woods is most definitely proving to be both.

    Reply
  31. Wow, Kareni, you’ve been BUSY!!!! Drowning in chocolate for starters. *G* I must say what most caught my attention was The Taking Tree since I’m not a fan of The Giving Tree, either. It’s a very exploitative relationship.

    Reply
  32. Wow, Kareni, you’ve been BUSY!!!! Drowning in chocolate for starters. *G* I must say what most caught my attention was The Taking Tree since I’m not a fan of The Giving Tree, either. It’s a very exploitative relationship.

    Reply
  33. Wow, Kareni, you’ve been BUSY!!!! Drowning in chocolate for starters. *G* I must say what most caught my attention was The Taking Tree since I’m not a fan of The Giving Tree, either. It’s a very exploitative relationship.

    Reply
  34. Wow, Kareni, you’ve been BUSY!!!! Drowning in chocolate for starters. *G* I must say what most caught my attention was The Taking Tree since I’m not a fan of The Giving Tree, either. It’s a very exploitative relationship.

    Reply
  35. Wow, Kareni, you’ve been BUSY!!!! Drowning in chocolate for starters. *G* I must say what most caught my attention was The Taking Tree since I’m not a fan of The Giving Tree, either. It’s a very exploitative relationship.

    Reply
  36. Shannon, Pat McLinn was born in the Midwest, but she’s written a number of books set in Wyoming, and her depiction is convincing to an Easterner like me. *G* And the first book, Sign Off, is free….

    Reply
  37. Shannon, Pat McLinn was born in the Midwest, but she’s written a number of books set in Wyoming, and her depiction is convincing to an Easterner like me. *G* And the first book, Sign Off, is free….

    Reply
  38. Shannon, Pat McLinn was born in the Midwest, but she’s written a number of books set in Wyoming, and her depiction is convincing to an Easterner like me. *G* And the first book, Sign Off, is free….

    Reply
  39. Shannon, Pat McLinn was born in the Midwest, but she’s written a number of books set in Wyoming, and her depiction is convincing to an Easterner like me. *G* And the first book, Sign Off, is free….

    Reply
  40. Shannon, Pat McLinn was born in the Midwest, but she’s written a number of books set in Wyoming, and her depiction is convincing to an Easterner like me. *G* And the first book, Sign Off, is free….

    Reply
  41. Kareni, we do have a fair bit of reading in common. If you like rock star romances, may I recommend Karina Bliss’s rock star books. I’ve been enjoying them –in fact am reading one at the moment.
    And can one overuse enjoy? I hope not. 😉

    Reply
  42. Kareni, we do have a fair bit of reading in common. If you like rock star romances, may I recommend Karina Bliss’s rock star books. I’ve been enjoying them –in fact am reading one at the moment.
    And can one overuse enjoy? I hope not. 😉

    Reply
  43. Kareni, we do have a fair bit of reading in common. If you like rock star romances, may I recommend Karina Bliss’s rock star books. I’ve been enjoying them –in fact am reading one at the moment.
    And can one overuse enjoy? I hope not. 😉

    Reply
  44. Kareni, we do have a fair bit of reading in common. If you like rock star romances, may I recommend Karina Bliss’s rock star books. I’ve been enjoying them –in fact am reading one at the moment.
    And can one overuse enjoy? I hope not. 😉

    Reply
  45. Kareni, we do have a fair bit of reading in common. If you like rock star romances, may I recommend Karina Bliss’s rock star books. I’ve been enjoying them –in fact am reading one at the moment.
    And can one overuse enjoy? I hope not. 😉

    Reply
  46. Recently read Mary Balogh’s most recent offering SOMEONE TO LOVE and I loved it. It is the first book of her new series. A Cinderella story of a young woman raised in an orphanage who finds she is the only legitimate child of a recently deceased Earl. I think the stories of her half-siblings will be even more interesting. Because of their father’s bigamous marriage, they now find themselves illegitimate and disinherited. Reverse Cinderella – if you will.
    Just finished re-reading Barbara Metzger’s MISS TREADWELL’S TALENT. I have read that book umpteen times and still find it as funny as the first time I read it. Ms. Metzger is a sure thing when I need a giggle.
    Just started Grace Burrowes THE VIRTUES OF CHRISTMAS. Two Christmas novellas. And next on deck is Carly Simon’s BOYS IN THE TREES: A MEMOIR.

    Reply
  47. Recently read Mary Balogh’s most recent offering SOMEONE TO LOVE and I loved it. It is the first book of her new series. A Cinderella story of a young woman raised in an orphanage who finds she is the only legitimate child of a recently deceased Earl. I think the stories of her half-siblings will be even more interesting. Because of their father’s bigamous marriage, they now find themselves illegitimate and disinherited. Reverse Cinderella – if you will.
    Just finished re-reading Barbara Metzger’s MISS TREADWELL’S TALENT. I have read that book umpteen times and still find it as funny as the first time I read it. Ms. Metzger is a sure thing when I need a giggle.
    Just started Grace Burrowes THE VIRTUES OF CHRISTMAS. Two Christmas novellas. And next on deck is Carly Simon’s BOYS IN THE TREES: A MEMOIR.

    Reply
  48. Recently read Mary Balogh’s most recent offering SOMEONE TO LOVE and I loved it. It is the first book of her new series. A Cinderella story of a young woman raised in an orphanage who finds she is the only legitimate child of a recently deceased Earl. I think the stories of her half-siblings will be even more interesting. Because of their father’s bigamous marriage, they now find themselves illegitimate and disinherited. Reverse Cinderella – if you will.
    Just finished re-reading Barbara Metzger’s MISS TREADWELL’S TALENT. I have read that book umpteen times and still find it as funny as the first time I read it. Ms. Metzger is a sure thing when I need a giggle.
    Just started Grace Burrowes THE VIRTUES OF CHRISTMAS. Two Christmas novellas. And next on deck is Carly Simon’s BOYS IN THE TREES: A MEMOIR.

    Reply
  49. Recently read Mary Balogh’s most recent offering SOMEONE TO LOVE and I loved it. It is the first book of her new series. A Cinderella story of a young woman raised in an orphanage who finds she is the only legitimate child of a recently deceased Earl. I think the stories of her half-siblings will be even more interesting. Because of their father’s bigamous marriage, they now find themselves illegitimate and disinherited. Reverse Cinderella – if you will.
    Just finished re-reading Barbara Metzger’s MISS TREADWELL’S TALENT. I have read that book umpteen times and still find it as funny as the first time I read it. Ms. Metzger is a sure thing when I need a giggle.
    Just started Grace Burrowes THE VIRTUES OF CHRISTMAS. Two Christmas novellas. And next on deck is Carly Simon’s BOYS IN THE TREES: A MEMOIR.

    Reply
  50. Recently read Mary Balogh’s most recent offering SOMEONE TO LOVE and I loved it. It is the first book of her new series. A Cinderella story of a young woman raised in an orphanage who finds she is the only legitimate child of a recently deceased Earl. I think the stories of her half-siblings will be even more interesting. Because of their father’s bigamous marriage, they now find themselves illegitimate and disinherited. Reverse Cinderella – if you will.
    Just finished re-reading Barbara Metzger’s MISS TREADWELL’S TALENT. I have read that book umpteen times and still find it as funny as the first time I read it. Ms. Metzger is a sure thing when I need a giggle.
    Just started Grace Burrowes THE VIRTUES OF CHRISTMAS. Two Christmas novellas. And next on deck is Carly Simon’s BOYS IN THE TREES: A MEMOIR.

    Reply
  51. Mary T, that sounds like a great premise for Mary Balogh’s new series!Barbara Metzger, as you say, is always good for fun. I have BOYS IN THE TREES and my sister borrowed it while her for Thanksgiving. It will make its way back her eventually. *G*

    Reply
  52. Mary T, that sounds like a great premise for Mary Balogh’s new series!Barbara Metzger, as you say, is always good for fun. I have BOYS IN THE TREES and my sister borrowed it while her for Thanksgiving. It will make its way back her eventually. *G*

    Reply
  53. Mary T, that sounds like a great premise for Mary Balogh’s new series!Barbara Metzger, as you say, is always good for fun. I have BOYS IN THE TREES and my sister borrowed it while her for Thanksgiving. It will make its way back her eventually. *G*

    Reply
  54. Mary T, that sounds like a great premise for Mary Balogh’s new series!Barbara Metzger, as you say, is always good for fun. I have BOYS IN THE TREES and my sister borrowed it while her for Thanksgiving. It will make its way back her eventually. *G*

    Reply
  55. Mary T, that sounds like a great premise for Mary Balogh’s new series!Barbara Metzger, as you say, is always good for fun. I have BOYS IN THE TREES and my sister borrowed it while her for Thanksgiving. It will make its way back her eventually. *G*

    Reply
  56. I’m having trouble focusing on lengthy books, so I’ve been on a bit of a Louise Allen binge. They’re all Harlequin Historicals and not overly long. I started with her recent Lords of Disgrace quartet, “His Housekeeper’s Christmas Wish” had a bit of humor, and introduced the 4 friends who are the heroes of the books. “His Christmas Countess” was wonderful and a bit of a tear jerker. Next, I read an older book, “Tarnished Among the Ton”, which was a gem, the best yet, with an Anglo-Indian hero, wonderful family relationships, and realistic obstacles to the HEA. I found out “Tarnished” has a prequel, “Forbidden Jewel of India” where the main characters are the hero’s parents so that’s going to be next on my list. I also read “The Officer and the Proper Lady” which was notable for its great setting, during and after the Battle of Waterloo. And I just started “From Ruin to Riches” but it’s starting off with the same trope as Mary Jo’s book, “The Bargain”, a MOC while the hero is supposedly on his deathbed. OK, that’s a lot of books by the same author. I did say I was binging!

    Reply
  57. I’m having trouble focusing on lengthy books, so I’ve been on a bit of a Louise Allen binge. They’re all Harlequin Historicals and not overly long. I started with her recent Lords of Disgrace quartet, “His Housekeeper’s Christmas Wish” had a bit of humor, and introduced the 4 friends who are the heroes of the books. “His Christmas Countess” was wonderful and a bit of a tear jerker. Next, I read an older book, “Tarnished Among the Ton”, which was a gem, the best yet, with an Anglo-Indian hero, wonderful family relationships, and realistic obstacles to the HEA. I found out “Tarnished” has a prequel, “Forbidden Jewel of India” where the main characters are the hero’s parents so that’s going to be next on my list. I also read “The Officer and the Proper Lady” which was notable for its great setting, during and after the Battle of Waterloo. And I just started “From Ruin to Riches” but it’s starting off with the same trope as Mary Jo’s book, “The Bargain”, a MOC while the hero is supposedly on his deathbed. OK, that’s a lot of books by the same author. I did say I was binging!

    Reply
  58. I’m having trouble focusing on lengthy books, so I’ve been on a bit of a Louise Allen binge. They’re all Harlequin Historicals and not overly long. I started with her recent Lords of Disgrace quartet, “His Housekeeper’s Christmas Wish” had a bit of humor, and introduced the 4 friends who are the heroes of the books. “His Christmas Countess” was wonderful and a bit of a tear jerker. Next, I read an older book, “Tarnished Among the Ton”, which was a gem, the best yet, with an Anglo-Indian hero, wonderful family relationships, and realistic obstacles to the HEA. I found out “Tarnished” has a prequel, “Forbidden Jewel of India” where the main characters are the hero’s parents so that’s going to be next on my list. I also read “The Officer and the Proper Lady” which was notable for its great setting, during and after the Battle of Waterloo. And I just started “From Ruin to Riches” but it’s starting off with the same trope as Mary Jo’s book, “The Bargain”, a MOC while the hero is supposedly on his deathbed. OK, that’s a lot of books by the same author. I did say I was binging!

    Reply
  59. I’m having trouble focusing on lengthy books, so I’ve been on a bit of a Louise Allen binge. They’re all Harlequin Historicals and not overly long. I started with her recent Lords of Disgrace quartet, “His Housekeeper’s Christmas Wish” had a bit of humor, and introduced the 4 friends who are the heroes of the books. “His Christmas Countess” was wonderful and a bit of a tear jerker. Next, I read an older book, “Tarnished Among the Ton”, which was a gem, the best yet, with an Anglo-Indian hero, wonderful family relationships, and realistic obstacles to the HEA. I found out “Tarnished” has a prequel, “Forbidden Jewel of India” where the main characters are the hero’s parents so that’s going to be next on my list. I also read “The Officer and the Proper Lady” which was notable for its great setting, during and after the Battle of Waterloo. And I just started “From Ruin to Riches” but it’s starting off with the same trope as Mary Jo’s book, “The Bargain”, a MOC while the hero is supposedly on his deathbed. OK, that’s a lot of books by the same author. I did say I was binging!

    Reply
  60. I’m having trouble focusing on lengthy books, so I’ve been on a bit of a Louise Allen binge. They’re all Harlequin Historicals and not overly long. I started with her recent Lords of Disgrace quartet, “His Housekeeper’s Christmas Wish” had a bit of humor, and introduced the 4 friends who are the heroes of the books. “His Christmas Countess” was wonderful and a bit of a tear jerker. Next, I read an older book, “Tarnished Among the Ton”, which was a gem, the best yet, with an Anglo-Indian hero, wonderful family relationships, and realistic obstacles to the HEA. I found out “Tarnished” has a prequel, “Forbidden Jewel of India” where the main characters are the hero’s parents so that’s going to be next on my list. I also read “The Officer and the Proper Lady” which was notable for its great setting, during and after the Battle of Waterloo. And I just started “From Ruin to Riches” but it’s starting off with the same trope as Mary Jo’s book, “The Bargain”, a MOC while the hero is supposedly on his deathbed. OK, that’s a lot of books by the same author. I did say I was binging!

    Reply
  61. Karin, if you’re going to binge, Louise Allen is a good choice! She’s an excellent writer and has done a variety of settings and plot lines. The ‘marrying a dying man’ trope probably wasn’t new when I did it, but the fun is in how it’s handled!

    Reply
  62. Karin, if you’re going to binge, Louise Allen is a good choice! She’s an excellent writer and has done a variety of settings and plot lines. The ‘marrying a dying man’ trope probably wasn’t new when I did it, but the fun is in how it’s handled!

    Reply
  63. Karin, if you’re going to binge, Louise Allen is a good choice! She’s an excellent writer and has done a variety of settings and plot lines. The ‘marrying a dying man’ trope probably wasn’t new when I did it, but the fun is in how it’s handled!

    Reply
  64. Karin, if you’re going to binge, Louise Allen is a good choice! She’s an excellent writer and has done a variety of settings and plot lines. The ‘marrying a dying man’ trope probably wasn’t new when I did it, but the fun is in how it’s handled!

    Reply
  65. Karin, if you’re going to binge, Louise Allen is a good choice! She’s an excellent writer and has done a variety of settings and plot lines. The ‘marrying a dying man’ trope probably wasn’t new when I did it, but the fun is in how it’s handled!

    Reply
  66. Thanks for the recommendations, ladies. I also loved Someone to Love by Mary Balogh. I’ve added A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch and Unmasking Miss Appleby by Emily Larkin to my TBR pile.

    Reply
  67. Thanks for the recommendations, ladies. I also loved Someone to Love by Mary Balogh. I’ve added A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch and Unmasking Miss Appleby by Emily Larkin to my TBR pile.

    Reply
  68. Thanks for the recommendations, ladies. I also loved Someone to Love by Mary Balogh. I’ve added A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch and Unmasking Miss Appleby by Emily Larkin to my TBR pile.

    Reply
  69. Thanks for the recommendations, ladies. I also loved Someone to Love by Mary Balogh. I’ve added A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch and Unmasking Miss Appleby by Emily Larkin to my TBR pile.

    Reply
  70. Thanks for the recommendations, ladies. I also loved Someone to Love by Mary Balogh. I’ve added A Beautiful Blue Death by Charles Finch and Unmasking Miss Appleby by Emily Larkin to my TBR pile.

    Reply
  71. Thank you all for your recommendations. I always find some great new authors and additions to the TBR pile by reading this blog.

    Reply
  72. Thank you all for your recommendations. I always find some great new authors and additions to the TBR pile by reading this blog.

    Reply
  73. Thank you all for your recommendations. I always find some great new authors and additions to the TBR pile by reading this blog.

    Reply
  74. Thank you all for your recommendations. I always find some great new authors and additions to the TBR pile by reading this blog.

    Reply
  75. Thank you all for your recommendations. I always find some great new authors and additions to the TBR pile by reading this blog.

    Reply
  76. Bob and I talked about your suggestion of changing characters during breakfast. We think you are probably right. I like to revisit the detective, but NOT go live with that character. So I visit elsewhere and then return.

    Reply
  77. Bob and I talked about your suggestion of changing characters during breakfast. We think you are probably right. I like to revisit the detective, but NOT go live with that character. So I visit elsewhere and then return.

    Reply
  78. Bob and I talked about your suggestion of changing characters during breakfast. We think you are probably right. I like to revisit the detective, but NOT go live with that character. So I visit elsewhere and then return.

    Reply
  79. Bob and I talked about your suggestion of changing characters during breakfast. We think you are probably right. I like to revisit the detective, but NOT go live with that character. So I visit elsewhere and then return.

    Reply
  80. Bob and I talked about your suggestion of changing characters during breakfast. We think you are probably right. I like to revisit the detective, but NOT go live with that character. So I visit elsewhere and then return.

    Reply
  81. Last month I read a bunch more vintage regencies for review which I won’t mention here because that would be preaching to the choir 🙂
    I too read Someone to Love and liked it. I am a big classic Balogh fan, but I haven’t cared as much for the blander direction of her most recent books; the premise of this series has much more possibility for dramatic depth, I think. I look forward to the next one.
    In other genres, I read and reread Alan Furst’s latest A Hero of France. I read Billy Boyle #4, Evil for Evil by James Benn, which deals with the various factions in Ireland during WW2; The Harper’s Quine by Pat McIntosh, the first of the 12th century Gil Cunningham mysteries; Out of the Blue by Jenny Randle, one of the first books published on the Rendlesham Forest incident; and The Memory of Us by Camille de Maio, which entertained me at the time but which I have completely forgotten.
    I don’t keep much track of what I read on Kindle, but I often finish my day with some science fiction. Currently I’m reading Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari and somebody else, and it’s reminding me of what I both liked and disliked about classic sf. It’s got a real hook of a concept, but it’s peopled with paper characters, as if it were a screenplay waiting for great actors to inject some life and personality into things. These authors seem to think that by introducing characters with a sort of mini-wiki of their backgrounds is the same as characterization. I keep returning to romance writing because romance authors don’t make that mistake.
    My current audiobook is Devil’s Cub, which of course I’ve read a zillion times, but sounds all new when you have a decent narrator.
    This month I’ll be pulling some old Christmas romance anthology favorites for rereads. Yule cheer to you all 🙂

    Reply
  82. Last month I read a bunch more vintage regencies for review which I won’t mention here because that would be preaching to the choir 🙂
    I too read Someone to Love and liked it. I am a big classic Balogh fan, but I haven’t cared as much for the blander direction of her most recent books; the premise of this series has much more possibility for dramatic depth, I think. I look forward to the next one.
    In other genres, I read and reread Alan Furst’s latest A Hero of France. I read Billy Boyle #4, Evil for Evil by James Benn, which deals with the various factions in Ireland during WW2; The Harper’s Quine by Pat McIntosh, the first of the 12th century Gil Cunningham mysteries; Out of the Blue by Jenny Randle, one of the first books published on the Rendlesham Forest incident; and The Memory of Us by Camille de Maio, which entertained me at the time but which I have completely forgotten.
    I don’t keep much track of what I read on Kindle, but I often finish my day with some science fiction. Currently I’m reading Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari and somebody else, and it’s reminding me of what I both liked and disliked about classic sf. It’s got a real hook of a concept, but it’s peopled with paper characters, as if it were a screenplay waiting for great actors to inject some life and personality into things. These authors seem to think that by introducing characters with a sort of mini-wiki of their backgrounds is the same as characterization. I keep returning to romance writing because romance authors don’t make that mistake.
    My current audiobook is Devil’s Cub, which of course I’ve read a zillion times, but sounds all new when you have a decent narrator.
    This month I’ll be pulling some old Christmas romance anthology favorites for rereads. Yule cheer to you all 🙂

    Reply
  83. Last month I read a bunch more vintage regencies for review which I won’t mention here because that would be preaching to the choir 🙂
    I too read Someone to Love and liked it. I am a big classic Balogh fan, but I haven’t cared as much for the blander direction of her most recent books; the premise of this series has much more possibility for dramatic depth, I think. I look forward to the next one.
    In other genres, I read and reread Alan Furst’s latest A Hero of France. I read Billy Boyle #4, Evil for Evil by James Benn, which deals with the various factions in Ireland during WW2; The Harper’s Quine by Pat McIntosh, the first of the 12th century Gil Cunningham mysteries; Out of the Blue by Jenny Randle, one of the first books published on the Rendlesham Forest incident; and The Memory of Us by Camille de Maio, which entertained me at the time but which I have completely forgotten.
    I don’t keep much track of what I read on Kindle, but I often finish my day with some science fiction. Currently I’m reading Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari and somebody else, and it’s reminding me of what I both liked and disliked about classic sf. It’s got a real hook of a concept, but it’s peopled with paper characters, as if it were a screenplay waiting for great actors to inject some life and personality into things. These authors seem to think that by introducing characters with a sort of mini-wiki of their backgrounds is the same as characterization. I keep returning to romance writing because romance authors don’t make that mistake.
    My current audiobook is Devil’s Cub, which of course I’ve read a zillion times, but sounds all new when you have a decent narrator.
    This month I’ll be pulling some old Christmas romance anthology favorites for rereads. Yule cheer to you all 🙂

    Reply
  84. Last month I read a bunch more vintage regencies for review which I won’t mention here because that would be preaching to the choir 🙂
    I too read Someone to Love and liked it. I am a big classic Balogh fan, but I haven’t cared as much for the blander direction of her most recent books; the premise of this series has much more possibility for dramatic depth, I think. I look forward to the next one.
    In other genres, I read and reread Alan Furst’s latest A Hero of France. I read Billy Boyle #4, Evil for Evil by James Benn, which deals with the various factions in Ireland during WW2; The Harper’s Quine by Pat McIntosh, the first of the 12th century Gil Cunningham mysteries; Out of the Blue by Jenny Randle, one of the first books published on the Rendlesham Forest incident; and The Memory of Us by Camille de Maio, which entertained me at the time but which I have completely forgotten.
    I don’t keep much track of what I read on Kindle, but I often finish my day with some science fiction. Currently I’m reading Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari and somebody else, and it’s reminding me of what I both liked and disliked about classic sf. It’s got a real hook of a concept, but it’s peopled with paper characters, as if it were a screenplay waiting for great actors to inject some life and personality into things. These authors seem to think that by introducing characters with a sort of mini-wiki of their backgrounds is the same as characterization. I keep returning to romance writing because romance authors don’t make that mistake.
    My current audiobook is Devil’s Cub, which of course I’ve read a zillion times, but sounds all new when you have a decent narrator.
    This month I’ll be pulling some old Christmas romance anthology favorites for rereads. Yule cheer to you all 🙂

    Reply
  85. Last month I read a bunch more vintage regencies for review which I won’t mention here because that would be preaching to the choir 🙂
    I too read Someone to Love and liked it. I am a big classic Balogh fan, but I haven’t cared as much for the blander direction of her most recent books; the premise of this series has much more possibility for dramatic depth, I think. I look forward to the next one.
    In other genres, I read and reread Alan Furst’s latest A Hero of France. I read Billy Boyle #4, Evil for Evil by James Benn, which deals with the various factions in Ireland during WW2; The Harper’s Quine by Pat McIntosh, the first of the 12th century Gil Cunningham mysteries; Out of the Blue by Jenny Randle, one of the first books published on the Rendlesham Forest incident; and The Memory of Us by Camille de Maio, which entertained me at the time but which I have completely forgotten.
    I don’t keep much track of what I read on Kindle, but I often finish my day with some science fiction. Currently I’m reading Ocean of Storms by Christopher Mari and somebody else, and it’s reminding me of what I both liked and disliked about classic sf. It’s got a real hook of a concept, but it’s peopled with paper characters, as if it were a screenplay waiting for great actors to inject some life and personality into things. These authors seem to think that by introducing characters with a sort of mini-wiki of their backgrounds is the same as characterization. I keep returning to romance writing because romance authors don’t make that mistake.
    My current audiobook is Devil’s Cub, which of course I’ve read a zillion times, but sounds all new when you have a decent narrator.
    This month I’ll be pulling some old Christmas romance anthology favorites for rereads. Yule cheer to you all 🙂

    Reply
  86. You’ve been busy, Janice! And what a nice wide variety of books. I agree about classic sf–often the characters are paper thin. These days I’m more inclined to read fantasy by female authors, who do much more with characterization.

    Reply
  87. You’ve been busy, Janice! And what a nice wide variety of books. I agree about classic sf–often the characters are paper thin. These days I’m more inclined to read fantasy by female authors, who do much more with characterization.

    Reply
  88. You’ve been busy, Janice! And what a nice wide variety of books. I agree about classic sf–often the characters are paper thin. These days I’m more inclined to read fantasy by female authors, who do much more with characterization.

    Reply
  89. You’ve been busy, Janice! And what a nice wide variety of books. I agree about classic sf–often the characters are paper thin. These days I’m more inclined to read fantasy by female authors, who do much more with characterization.

    Reply
  90. You’ve been busy, Janice! And what a nice wide variety of books. I agree about classic sf–often the characters are paper thin. These days I’m more inclined to read fantasy by female authors, who do much more with characterization.

    Reply
  91. Janice, love your description of why you don’t like most classic sf. I’ve never been able to adequately define why I had issues, but you are right. Characters are frequently paper thin.
    Fantasy characters do tend to be much more 3 dimensional.
    I haven’t read much new in November – and whatever I read must not have been memorable since I can’t remember any of it! Mostly I’ve just had JAK re-reads as my reward for writing a bunch of How To’s to hand over a job (bleah the writing, yeah handing over).
    December will be more rewarding re-reads and cramming to read to finish my book challenge. Just like in college…cramming to get all your pages read before the next set are assigned. Grin.

    Reply
  92. Janice, love your description of why you don’t like most classic sf. I’ve never been able to adequately define why I had issues, but you are right. Characters are frequently paper thin.
    Fantasy characters do tend to be much more 3 dimensional.
    I haven’t read much new in November – and whatever I read must not have been memorable since I can’t remember any of it! Mostly I’ve just had JAK re-reads as my reward for writing a bunch of How To’s to hand over a job (bleah the writing, yeah handing over).
    December will be more rewarding re-reads and cramming to read to finish my book challenge. Just like in college…cramming to get all your pages read before the next set are assigned. Grin.

    Reply
  93. Janice, love your description of why you don’t like most classic sf. I’ve never been able to adequately define why I had issues, but you are right. Characters are frequently paper thin.
    Fantasy characters do tend to be much more 3 dimensional.
    I haven’t read much new in November – and whatever I read must not have been memorable since I can’t remember any of it! Mostly I’ve just had JAK re-reads as my reward for writing a bunch of How To’s to hand over a job (bleah the writing, yeah handing over).
    December will be more rewarding re-reads and cramming to read to finish my book challenge. Just like in college…cramming to get all your pages read before the next set are assigned. Grin.

    Reply
  94. Janice, love your description of why you don’t like most classic sf. I’ve never been able to adequately define why I had issues, but you are right. Characters are frequently paper thin.
    Fantasy characters do tend to be much more 3 dimensional.
    I haven’t read much new in November – and whatever I read must not have been memorable since I can’t remember any of it! Mostly I’ve just had JAK re-reads as my reward for writing a bunch of How To’s to hand over a job (bleah the writing, yeah handing over).
    December will be more rewarding re-reads and cramming to read to finish my book challenge. Just like in college…cramming to get all your pages read before the next set are assigned. Grin.

    Reply
  95. Janice, love your description of why you don’t like most classic sf. I’ve never been able to adequately define why I had issues, but you are right. Characters are frequently paper thin.
    Fantasy characters do tend to be much more 3 dimensional.
    I haven’t read much new in November – and whatever I read must not have been memorable since I can’t remember any of it! Mostly I’ve just had JAK re-reads as my reward for writing a bunch of How To’s to hand over a job (bleah the writing, yeah handing over).
    December will be more rewarding re-reads and cramming to read to finish my book challenge. Just like in college…cramming to get all your pages read before the next set are assigned. Grin.

    Reply
  96. I grew up reading classic era science fiction, where the idea was the central point and the characters existed only to further the concept. I wasn’t saying that’s wrong; it’s a question of what the author wants to put into his writing and what the reader wants to get out of it. When I was a kid, it was the ideas that intrigued me, and, since women (my viewpoint characters) were hardly in the the things anyway, it didn’t bother me that the men who were in them were ciphers too. In those days women didn’t read much sf so of course the stories were addressed to the boys and men who did. It was only after Star Trek hit TV and the female half of the country fell in love with Spock (the ultimate male in need of the Madonna 🙂 that large numbers of women readers became interested in sf.
    I still reread classic sf short stories, as that form is particularly suited to “idea” stories.
    That said, there have been some classic sf authors who did memorable characters, and not all of them were human. I still reread Robert A. Heinlein’s juveniles for Scribner because he absolutely nailed what it is to feel like a bright teenager powerless in an adult-run world. There were others as well.

    Reply
  97. I grew up reading classic era science fiction, where the idea was the central point and the characters existed only to further the concept. I wasn’t saying that’s wrong; it’s a question of what the author wants to put into his writing and what the reader wants to get out of it. When I was a kid, it was the ideas that intrigued me, and, since women (my viewpoint characters) were hardly in the the things anyway, it didn’t bother me that the men who were in them were ciphers too. In those days women didn’t read much sf so of course the stories were addressed to the boys and men who did. It was only after Star Trek hit TV and the female half of the country fell in love with Spock (the ultimate male in need of the Madonna 🙂 that large numbers of women readers became interested in sf.
    I still reread classic sf short stories, as that form is particularly suited to “idea” stories.
    That said, there have been some classic sf authors who did memorable characters, and not all of them were human. I still reread Robert A. Heinlein’s juveniles for Scribner because he absolutely nailed what it is to feel like a bright teenager powerless in an adult-run world. There were others as well.

    Reply
  98. I grew up reading classic era science fiction, where the idea was the central point and the characters existed only to further the concept. I wasn’t saying that’s wrong; it’s a question of what the author wants to put into his writing and what the reader wants to get out of it. When I was a kid, it was the ideas that intrigued me, and, since women (my viewpoint characters) were hardly in the the things anyway, it didn’t bother me that the men who were in them were ciphers too. In those days women didn’t read much sf so of course the stories were addressed to the boys and men who did. It was only after Star Trek hit TV and the female half of the country fell in love with Spock (the ultimate male in need of the Madonna 🙂 that large numbers of women readers became interested in sf.
    I still reread classic sf short stories, as that form is particularly suited to “idea” stories.
    That said, there have been some classic sf authors who did memorable characters, and not all of them were human. I still reread Robert A. Heinlein’s juveniles for Scribner because he absolutely nailed what it is to feel like a bright teenager powerless in an adult-run world. There were others as well.

    Reply
  99. I grew up reading classic era science fiction, where the idea was the central point and the characters existed only to further the concept. I wasn’t saying that’s wrong; it’s a question of what the author wants to put into his writing and what the reader wants to get out of it. When I was a kid, it was the ideas that intrigued me, and, since women (my viewpoint characters) were hardly in the the things anyway, it didn’t bother me that the men who were in them were ciphers too. In those days women didn’t read much sf so of course the stories were addressed to the boys and men who did. It was only after Star Trek hit TV and the female half of the country fell in love with Spock (the ultimate male in need of the Madonna 🙂 that large numbers of women readers became interested in sf.
    I still reread classic sf short stories, as that form is particularly suited to “idea” stories.
    That said, there have been some classic sf authors who did memorable characters, and not all of them were human. I still reread Robert A. Heinlein’s juveniles for Scribner because he absolutely nailed what it is to feel like a bright teenager powerless in an adult-run world. There were others as well.

    Reply
  100. I grew up reading classic era science fiction, where the idea was the central point and the characters existed only to further the concept. I wasn’t saying that’s wrong; it’s a question of what the author wants to put into his writing and what the reader wants to get out of it. When I was a kid, it was the ideas that intrigued me, and, since women (my viewpoint characters) were hardly in the the things anyway, it didn’t bother me that the men who were in them were ciphers too. In those days women didn’t read much sf so of course the stories were addressed to the boys and men who did. It was only after Star Trek hit TV and the female half of the country fell in love with Spock (the ultimate male in need of the Madonna 🙂 that large numbers of women readers became interested in sf.
    I still reread classic sf short stories, as that form is particularly suited to “idea” stories.
    That said, there have been some classic sf authors who did memorable characters, and not all of them were human. I still reread Robert A. Heinlein’s juveniles for Scribner because he absolutely nailed what it is to feel like a bright teenager powerless in an adult-run world. There were others as well.

    Reply
  101. Totally agree about Robert Heinlein’s books. Another who did excellent books with female protagonists was James H. Schmitz. Those were written in the 60’s and early 70’s.
    For me, they have stood the test of time and I still re-read them. Maybe I will mix my reward re-reading up between JAK and James H. Schmitz this week.

    Reply
  102. Totally agree about Robert Heinlein’s books. Another who did excellent books with female protagonists was James H. Schmitz. Those were written in the 60’s and early 70’s.
    For me, they have stood the test of time and I still re-read them. Maybe I will mix my reward re-reading up between JAK and James H. Schmitz this week.

    Reply
  103. Totally agree about Robert Heinlein’s books. Another who did excellent books with female protagonists was James H. Schmitz. Those were written in the 60’s and early 70’s.
    For me, they have stood the test of time and I still re-read them. Maybe I will mix my reward re-reading up between JAK and James H. Schmitz this week.

    Reply
  104. Totally agree about Robert Heinlein’s books. Another who did excellent books with female protagonists was James H. Schmitz. Those were written in the 60’s and early 70’s.
    For me, they have stood the test of time and I still re-read them. Maybe I will mix my reward re-reading up between JAK and James H. Schmitz this week.

    Reply
  105. Totally agree about Robert Heinlein’s books. Another who did excellent books with female protagonists was James H. Schmitz. Those were written in the 60’s and early 70’s.
    For me, they have stood the test of time and I still re-read them. Maybe I will mix my reward re-reading up between JAK and James H. Schmitz this week.

    Reply
  106. Janice, Robert Heinlein was my very favorite sf author, and he did better characterization than most others. He also had some strong female characters, and the juveniles are great. He had a big influence on my love of storytelling.

    Reply
  107. Janice, Robert Heinlein was my very favorite sf author, and he did better characterization than most others. He also had some strong female characters, and the juveniles are great. He had a big influence on my love of storytelling.

    Reply
  108. Janice, Robert Heinlein was my very favorite sf author, and he did better characterization than most others. He also had some strong female characters, and the juveniles are great. He had a big influence on my love of storytelling.

    Reply
  109. Janice, Robert Heinlein was my very favorite sf author, and he did better characterization than most others. He also had some strong female characters, and the juveniles are great. He had a big influence on my love of storytelling.

    Reply
  110. Janice, Robert Heinlein was my very favorite sf author, and he did better characterization than most others. He also had some strong female characters, and the juveniles are great. He had a big influence on my love of storytelling.

    Reply

Leave a Comment