Category Archives: Romance

9 Travel Novels for the Ladies!

You no longer need to worry about anyone seeing the cover of your book while you’re out in public; so a great choice while commuting is a feisty romance novel. Easy to pick up again on your way home and scintillating enough to keep your attention regardless of what is going on around you!

1. Stealing Jake by Pam Hillman

“When Livy O’Brien spies a young boy jostling a man walking along the boardwalk, she recognizes the act for what it is. After all, she used to be known as Light-fingered Livy. But that was before she put her past behind her and moved to the growing town of Chestnut, Illinois, where she’s helping to run an orphanage. Now she’ll do almost anything to protect the street kids like herself.

Sheriff’s deputy Jake Russell had no idea what he was in for when he ran into Livy–literally–while chasing down a pickpocket. With a rash of robberies and a growing number of street kids in town–as well as a loan on the family farm that needs to be paid off–Jake doesn’t have time to pursue a girl. Still, he can’t seem to get Livy out of his mind. He wants to get to know her better . . . but Livy isn’t willing to trust any man, especially not a lawman.”

Read the Review

Find the Ebook:
On Amazon (Kindle)
On Barnes & Noble (Nook)

2. Fantasy Lover by Sherrilyn Kenyon

Dear Reader,

Being trapped in a bedroom with a woman is a grand thing. Being trapped in hundreds of bedrooms over two thousand years isn’t. And being cursed into a book as a love-slave for eternity can ruin even a Spartan warrior’s day.

As a love-slave, I know everything about women. How to touch them, how to savor them, and most of all, how to pleasure them. But when I was summoned to fulfill Grace Alexander’s sexual fantasies, I found the first woman in history who saw me as a man with a tormented past. She alone bothered to take me out of the bedroom and onto the world. She taught me to love again.

But I was not born to love. I was cursed to walk eternity alone. As a general, I had long ago accepted my sentence. Yet now I have found Grace–the one thing my wounded heart cannot survive without. Sure, love can heal all wounds, but can it break a two-thousand-year-old curse?

Julian of Macedon”

Read the Review

Find the ebook:
On Amazon (Kindle)
Barnes & Noble (Nook)

3. Never a Bride by Amelia Grey

“Her name is on everyone’s lips…

When he left for America six years ago, the handsome Viscount Stonehurst never suspected that he would return home to England to find his lovely fiancée embroiled in the scandal of the decade. The woman he planned on making his wife has been kissing every man in London…except him!

But scandal doesn’t matter in search of the truth…

Engaged and then abandoned, Mirabella Wittingham is determined to find the man who drove her cousin to suicide, even if it means ruining her reputation and disgracing herself in the process…When her plans go awry, Mirabella has no choice but to turn to her long-lost fiancé for help. But can she trust the man who deserted her so many years ago, or is he destined to fail her yet again?”

Read the review

Find the ebook:

On Amazon (kindle)
On Barnes & Noble (nook)

4. The Tenth Gift by Jane Johnson

The Tenth Gift: A Novel“In an expensive London restaurant Julia Lovat receives a gift that will change her life. It appears to be a book of exquisite 17th-century embroidery patterns but on closer examination Julia finds it also contains faint diary entries. In these, Cat Tregenna, an embroideress, tells how she and others were stolen out of a Cornish church in 1625 by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be auctioned off as slaves.

Captivated by this dramatic discovery, Julia sets off to North Africa to determine the authenticity of the book and to uncover more of Cat’s story. There, in the company of a charismatic Moroccan guide, amid the sultry heat, the spice markets, and exotic ruins, Julia discovers buried secrets. And in Morocco – just as Cat did before her – she loses her heart.

Almost 400 years apart, the stories of the two women converge in an extraordinary and haunting manner that will make readers wonder – is history fated to repeat itself?” 

Read the Review

Find the ebook:
On Amazon

 
5. A Hint of Rapture by Miriam Minger

“When Maddie Fraser’s father was killed fighting for Bonnie Prince Charles, the spirited Scottish lass swore to avenge his death. Hooded and disguised, she led a series of daring raids against the forces of the Crown–vowing to love no man until the English invaders were driven from her native soil.

Hot-blooded Captain Garrett Marshall was entrusted with the capture of the mysterious brigand called “Black Jack.” But the sensuous, azure-eyed beauty hidden beneath the bandit’s manly garb tested Garrett’s loyalty to his King. Inflamed by a desire he could not ignore, the handsome officer would wed his bewitching enemy to save her from the gallows. But first he’d have to quell her hatred…and conquer her heart.”

Find the Ebook:
On Amazon
On Barnes & Nobel

6. Can You Keep a Secret? by Sophie Kinsella

“With the same wicked humor, buoyant charm, and optimism that have made her Shopaholic novels beloved international bestsellers, Sophie Kinsella delivers a hilarious new novel and an unforgettable new character. Meet Emma Corrigan, a young woman with a huge heart, an irrepressible spirit, and a few little secrets:

Secrets from her mother:
I lost my virginity in the spare bedroom with Danny Nussbaum while Mum and Dad were downstairs watching Ben-Hur.
Sammy the goldfish in my parents’ kitchen is not the same goldfish that Mum gave me to look after when she and Dad were in Egypt.

Secrets from her boyfriend:
I weigh one hundred and twenty-eight pounds. Not one eighteen, like Connor thinks.
I’ve always thought Connor looks a bit like Ken. As in Barbie and Ken.

From her colleagues:
When Artemis really annoys me, I feed her plant orange juice. (Which is pretty much every day.) It was me who jammed the copier that time. In fact, all the times.

Secrets she wouldn’t share with anyone in the world:
My G-string is hurting me.
I have no idea what NATO stands for. Or even what it is.

Until she spills them all to a handsome stranger on a plane. At least, she thought he was a stranger.

But come Monday morning, Emma’s office is abuzz about the arrival of Jack Harper, the company’s elusive CEO. Suddenly Emma is face-to-face with the stranger from
the plane, a man who knows every single humiliating detail about her. Things couldn’t possibly get worse—Until they do.”

Find the Ebook:

On Amazon (kindle)
On Barnes & Noble (nook)

7. The Colonel’s Lady by Laura Frantz

“In 1779, when genteel Virginia spinster Roxanna Rowan arrives at the Kentucky fort commanded by Colonel Cassius McLinn, she finds that her officer father has died. Penniless and destitute, Roxanna is forced to take her father’s place as scrivener. Before long, it’s clear that the colonel himself is attracted to her. But she soon realizes the colonel has grave secrets of his own–some of which have to do with her father’s sudden death. Can she ever truly love him?”

Find the Ebook:
On Amazon
On Barnes & Noble

8. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase

“They call him many names, but Angelic isn’t one of them…

Sebastian Ballister, the notorious Marquess of Dain, is big, bad, and dangerous to know. No respectable woman would have anything to do with the “Bane and Blight of the Ballisters”—and he wants nothing to do with respectable women. He’s determined to continue doing what he does best—sin and sin again—and all that’s going swimmingly, thank you… until the day a shop door opens and she walks in. She’s too intelligent to fall for the worst man in the world…

Jessica Trent is a determined young woman, and she’s going to drag her imbecile brother off the road to ruin, no matter what it takes. If saving him—and with him, her family and future—means taking on the devil himself, she won’t back down. The trouble is, the devil in question is so shockingly irresistible, and the person who needs the most saving is—herself!”

Find this ebook:

On Amazon
Barnes & Noble

9. The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey

In the land of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, if you can’t carry out your legendary role, life is no fairy tale….
Elena Klovis was supposed to be her kingdom’s Cinderella–until fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! So she set out to make a new life for herself. But breaking with “The Tradition” was no easy matter–until she got a little help from her own fairy godmother. Who promptly offered Elena a most unexpected job….

Now, instead of sleeping in the chimney, she has to deal with arrogant, stuffed-shirt princes who keep trying to rise above their place in the tale. And there’s one in particular who needs to be dealt with….

Sometimes a fairy godmother’s work is never done….”

Read the Review

Find the ebook:
On Amazon (Kindle)
On Barnes & Noble (Nook) 

“Who’s scruffy lookin’??”

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Reading Order for Sherrilyn Kenyon’s "Dark-Hunter" Series

If you are a fan of paranormal romance, this is the series that I recommend the most. I have written a review of the first book, and have read nearly the whole series (just missing the last few). This series has it all; steamy romance, action, interesting characters, the paranormal aspect — all cleverly woven into mythology.

There is an offshoot of the Dark-Hunter series called Dream-Hunter; it meshes in with the storyline and so I have included it in the reading order. (I’ve starred the books that technically belong to this series). I have double starred the second offshoot which are the Were-Hunter books.

I wouldn’t suggest skipping ahead; while each book contains the story of one couple, there are many characters meshed in throughout the books. I read them in order, and I’m very glad I did! Admittedly some books are better than others, but on a whole, it’s a great series.

  1. Fantasy Lover
  2. Night Pleasures
  3. Night Embrace
  4. Dance With the Devil
  5. Kiss of the Night  
  6. Night Play **
  7. Seize the Night
  8. Sins of the Night 
  9. Unleash the Night
  10. Dark Side of the Moon 
  11. The Dream-Hunter * This one doesn’t seem to be on Amazon yet — keeping my eyes open!
  12. Devil May Cry Cry
  13. Upon The Midnight Clear *  
  14. Dream Chaser *
  15. Acheron
  16. One Silent Night
  17. Dream Warrior *
  18. Bad Moon Rising
  19. No Mercy
  20. Retribution
  21. The Guardian * (Available for pre-order: Will be released November 1st, 2011) 

The titles link to the ebook page on Amazon, however the ebooks can also be found on the Barns & Noble and Chapters websites.

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‘Love’s Magic’ by Traci E. Hall

“While her sisters are tall and beautiful, Celestia Montehue is the misfit in a royal family—petite, with one green and one blue eye. The only thing she has in common with her ancestors is her magical healing ability. Fearing no one will ever accept her, she vows never to marry. Meanwhile, Nicholas Le Blanc, a haunted man, was trained as a knight but his childhood has convinced him he is a bastard. He is captured while on crusade and eventually forced to kill for his freedom. An arranged marriage between the two does not bode happiness, nor does Celestia’s new home—a broken-down keep haunted by the ghost of Nicholas’ mother. Soon a curse is set upon them, and they must decide if their love will save them or, ultimately, doom them.”

Those of you who have read my previous romance reviews have probably noticed that they tend to be either historical romance or paranormal in nature — This one is both!!

It’s partially the ‘lady must marry a stranger for the sake of her family’ storyline; however the added intrigue, magic and mystery transform it into a more original, fun read.

The female lead is feisty and her love interest is honorable and yet oh-so-tortured by his past — all in all it makes for an enjoyable and relatively easy read. 

There are a couple of typos and a few formatting errors (such as only a few words on a line), though they are minimal and didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the story.

I would recommend this ebook to anyone who likes a good romance with a little adventure, magic, mystery; or all of the above, added in.

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I would like to remind you that 3.5 out of 5 potions is a great rating from me when it comes to romance novels, as I tend to give them lower scores. (And 3 potions is still a good rating for any of the books! Click on one of the potion bottles to find out more about my review system.)

Find the ebook on:
Amazon for Kindle

Note: There are currently two sequels to this novel…

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:)

‘Call Out’ (Jukebox Heroes) by L.B. Clark

“An unexpected phone call from her best friend’s rock star boyfriend pulls 35-year-old Elizabeth Morgan out of the comfort and safety of her quiet, normal life and into a situation she could never have imagined even in her wildest nightmares. The world as she knows it changes forever in the blink of an eye, forcing her to reassess everything she thought she knew about reality, when she finds herself facing a world where terrorists can sling magic as well as bullets, everyone is both more and less than they seem, and even her own thoughts and feelings are suspect.”

Alright ladies, if you’re looking for a paranormal adventure with undertones of titillating romance, I suggest checking out this story by L.B. Clark.

There are no vampires and werewolves in this novel, the paranormal aspects focus on psychic abilities and a little bit o’ magic. It was a fun and easy read; it would be a great story to relax with after work or on the weekend.

The author also has a short story that preludes this one, called The Hand of Fate. You can download it for free on Smashwords if you’d like to get a feel for the author’s writing style, there is nothing paranormal about it; just some sweet romance. If you like it, Call Out is only 99c to download — can’t go wrong there!

The synopsis for the short story is as follows: “With her 30th birthday on the horizon and life handing her lemon after lemon, Dylan Connelly wants nothing more than to get away from it all for a few days. With her best friend and co-conspirator at her side, she embarks on a week-long cruise, intending to sit back, relax, soak up the sun and a few daiquiris, and just get away from the disaster her life has become. The last thing she expected – or wanted – was to become intrigued by a gorgeous stranger. But sometimes chance – or fate — has a way of changing our plans.” 

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Find ‘Call Out’:
On Amazon for Kindle
On Smashwords (Any Ereader) 
 

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‘A Proper Companion’ by Candice Hern

A Proper Companion (A Regency Romance)“Robert, Lord Bradleigh, is a rakish earl with a recently arranged betrothal to a lovely young girl he barely knows. Emily Townsend is an impoverished spinster employed as a companion to his grandmother, the formidable dowager countess. Robert agrees to help his grandmother find a husband for the beautiful Emily, but how is he to bear the thought of her in another man’s arms? This sparkling tale will take you from the Pump Room at Bath to the ballrooms of London as the unexpected and undeniable attraction between Robert and Emily blossoms into something more … something that could put one of them in danger.”

There are some pretty peculiar spelling mistakes in the book and a few more understandable typos, but they are not so bad that they detract from the story. Despite these errors the writing is clear and well conceived.

It is a pretty decent romance novel – though I had my doubts about a few of the historical facts. It is a fun and easy read, and of course; it’s only $0.99.

If you fall in love with the secondary characters they each have their own book.

Sequels:
A Change of Heart
An Affair of Honor

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Find ‘A Proper Companion’ on Amazon

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‘Never a Bride’ by Amelia Grey

Never a Bride“Her name is on everyone’s lips…

When he left for America six years ago, the handsome Viscount Stonehurst never suspected that he would return home to England to find his lovely fiancée embroiled in the scandal of the decade. The woman he planned on making his wife has been kissing every man in London…except him!

But scandal doesn’t matter in search of the truth…

Engaged and then abandoned, Mirabella Wittingham is determined to find the man who drove her cousin to suicide, even if it means ruining her reputation and disgracing herself in the process…When her plans go awry, Mirabella has no choice but to turn to her long-lost fiancé for help. But can she trust the man who deserted her so many years ago, or is he destined to fail her yet again?”

I find that if I’m going to read a romance, it is more likely to fall into the historical or paranormal genres.

This particular historical romance was a fun read, the story beyond the romance was interesting — a plot I haven’t read before.

It wasn’t overly saturated with sex as so many romance novels are. I know that erotica is really big, but sometimes it’s nice to read a romance that is, well, more-so about the romance!

I personally can only read the word ‘throbbing’ so many times in one book, you know?

It was a fun escape and I happily recommend it to anyone who enjoys a good romance now and again.

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Never a Bride Formula:

1 x gallon of romance
1 x pinch of passion
2 x shakes of mystery
coat with finely chopped ginger for spice.

‘The Tenth Gift’ by Jane Johnson

The Tenth Gift: A Novel“In an expensive London restaurant Julia Lovat receives a gift that will change her life. It appears to be a book of exquisite 17th-century embroidery patterns but on closer examination Julia finds it also contains faint diary entries. In these, Cat Tregenna, an embroideress, tells how she and others were stolen out of a Cornish church in 1625 by Muslim pirates and taken on a brutal voyage to Morocco to be auctioned off as slaves.

Captivated by this dramatic discovery, Julia sets off to North Africa to determine the authenticity of the book and to uncover more of Cat’s story. There, in the company of a charismatic Moroccan guide, amid the sultry heat, the spice markets, and exotic ruins, Julia discovers buried secrets. And in Morocco – just as Cat did before her – she loses her heart.

Almost 400 years apart, the stories of the two women converge in an extraordinary and haunting manner that will make readers wonder – is history fated to repeat itself?” 

The Tenth Gift is less a tale of romance, and more so a story of adventure, hardship and the wide, but not unbridgeable gap between cultures.

Jane Johnson cleverly melds two stories; one that plays out in the year 1625 and the other in modern day England. Stories that intertwine and slowly unravel in a riveting and impossible-to-put-down tale.

The story is heart-wrenching and brutally honest in places – it is not just a fluffy, cheery tale. That being said, I finished the book satisfied and more than a little appreciative of the authors ability to weave a spell-binding story.

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The Tenth Gift Formula:

3 x cups of adventure
1 x tsp of hope
4 x dashes of romance
and an extremely fine dusting of the paranormal.

Ebook – A Hint of Rapture: Miriam Minger

I have a bit of a hard time reviewing romance novels – the straight up variety. I tend to go for the fantasy romance or the stories where the romance is more secondary to the main plot.

That isn’t to say that I don’t enjoy a good romance every once in a while – and when it comes down to it, this was a pretty good one.

The story is pretty decent, and so is the romance itself. There is nothing particularly surprising about the story – but if you are looking for a romantic easy read, and like the historical aspect then I would recommend this one.

On the romance scale I’d give this book a 4, but since I have to rate it like I do my other books:
2.75 stars.

When I picked up this novel, it was free – not sure if it still will be when you read this, but it wouldn’t hurt to check it out and see! (Just click on the picture of the book to go directly to the page on Amazon.)

Ebook – The Sleeping Beauty: Mercedes Lackey

‘The Sleeping Beauty’ is the latest instalment in ‘Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms’, the fairytale romance series by the exceptional fantasy author, Mercedes Lackey.

Like the other novels, it can be read as a standalone novel or in series – there is some slight reference to former characters, but not knowing their stories won’t affect your enjoyment of this book in the slightest. 

It takes some small elements from the classic tale ‘Sleeping Beauty’ but only in the most broad sense. It is a light read that combines the best of adventure, fairytale, humor and of course that dash of romance.

These books rely on her talent for storytelling and imagery rather than explicit content, a nice change from the rather graphic novels that dominate the marketplace. This one is all about the tale – one that I most heartily recommend.


4 Stars! 

The Fairy Godmother: Mercedes Lackey

The Fairy Godmother (Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms)“In the land of the Five Hundred Kingdoms, if you can’t carry out your legendary role, life is no fairy tale….
Elena Klovis was supposed to be her kingdom’s Cinderella–until fate left her with a completely inappropriate prince! So she set out to make a new life for herself. But breaking with “The Tradition” was no easy matter–until she got a little help from her own fairy godmother. Who promptly offered Elena a most unexpected job….

Now, instead of sleeping in the chimney, she has to deal with arrogant, stuffed-shirt princes who keep trying to rise above their place in the tale. And there’s one in particular who needs to be dealt with….

Sometimes a fairy godmother’s work is never done….”

I‘m a big fan of Mercedes Lackey; I’ve read so many of her novels that I’ve started to lose track. This was the first ‘Tales of the Five Hundred Kingdoms’ book that I read however, and I gotta say — I absolutely love the twist on the classic fairy tale. In fact, it is less of a twist and rather a completely unique story that brings back the feelings from when you were a kid and were tempted to kiss all the frogs you saw – just in case.

It is all grown up, without feeling like a modified kids tale. There is romance of course – it’s a fairy tale! The character interaction is great and while you’re reading it you get the feeling that even though maybe your own story didn’t turn out quite the way you wanted it to – that’s not necessarily a bad thing.
It’s a good feeling, and a great story!

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Beauty and the Werewolf (coming June 2011)

On a side note you can find Mercedes Lackey on Twitter – @mercedeslackey, as far as I know it is a real account, but if I’m wrong, please feel free to let me know!

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