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Romancing the Novel

While I am an avid reader, I primarily stick to romances. I would say that my favorites are historical romances, but I love romance novels in every category.

Currently reading

Through the Smoke
Brenda Novak
How To Tame Your Duke
Juliana Gray

Day 12 * 30 Day Book Challenge * A book you love but hate at the same time

Sweet Savage Love - Rosemary Rogers

I first read this book 32 years ago and at that time I was infatuated with Kathleen Woodiwiss. I was looking for something along the same theme. Where KW's heroines were only ever with one man ( Of course there are lots of almost rape scenes where our hero steps in and saves her virtue) I was shocked when the h of this book is raped.. where was Steve?? He was supposed to rescue her!! Oh the agony... How many times I wanted to throw this book at the wall... Even my new husband (well now he is my old husband) didn't understand my anguish over this book. I even had a theme song running in my head over this couple... Tainted Love by Soft Cell. I still think of Ginny and Steve if I hear it.


Day 11 * 30 Day Book Challenge * A book you hated

Through a Glass Darkly - Karleen Koen



What did I hate about this book? Oh I could write a very long list... But I will start off by saying that this book was well written and seemed to be very well researched. I will give the author credit for that. Now, Normally I LOVE dark and gothic, truly.. But this book left me with such an overwhelming feeling of depression that I had to read 2 Julia Quinn's, 3 M.C. Beatons and a Dr Seuss just to wash my mind of this bitter book.



[spoiler] I was so depressed after reading this. I don't think I have ever read anything more depressing. It seemed to be well researched, but my guess would be that the author chose only the unknown things that would shock people. Like a french princess who was so vile and filthy that she reeked. She burped loudly in front of anyone, her teeth were rotten and she felt herself above a chamber pot so she would relieve herself standing wherever she was, like at a dinner party. But that had nothing at all to do with the plot.
I am sure that in the 18th century within the nobility, many 15 year old girls were married off to titled 42 year old men. But I can't help to wonder how many actually desperately wanted their chosen man. 15 is 15, be it now or then. They are not mature, period! Well this man was deeply, madly in love with his future 15 year old brides grandfather! So he wants this girl because she has her grandfather's smile. WTF???? Never-mind that he does finally start to fall in love with his 15 year old bride, but once things start looking up for her, he runs into a prince that he had a torrid love affair with. Yeah of course they start that up again. Plus all the other whoring going on including orgies threesomes (not descriptive like erotica, but not closed door entirely). While that is going on, the girls 4 little siblings that she loves with all her poor little heart, get the small pox and die. The author gives us vivid descriptions on what a body goes through with that along with what a face looks like while sections of it are falling off the little babies. while she is deep in depression over this, her husband is walking the clouds because of his love for the prince.
And love? Everyone in this story, and there were many players, were in love with someone, but in every situation that love was not returned.
What I don't understand, is how the men all went to orgies and whores and such, but no one had any kind of std.


Day 10 * 30 Day Book Challenge * book that reminds you of home

Chronicles of Narnia Movie Tie-in Box Set The Voyage of the Dawn Treader - C.S. Lewis Grimm's Fairy Tales - Brothers Grimm, Edgar Taylor, Marian Edwardes Sookie Stackhouse 8 Volume Set - Charlaine Harris

Grimm's Fairy tales remind me of both my childhood home and the home I now have with my husband and 4 kids. My mom read it to me and my siblings and I in turn read it to my children. Later, I read my oldest 3 the Chronicles of Narnia. My main reason at the time was that my son was dyslexic and had book reports due, but we all enjoyed them. Then my two oldest girls and I traded the Sookie books back and forth. They are both married and out of the house now, but we still share series and get together to discuss them. I think I only read paranormals to preview them for my girls :) Alaina likes vampires and shapeshifters while Sarah likes fantasy and dragons. It keeps my reading well diversified.  I can't get either of them hooked on historicals however, hard as I try! Luckily, I got my love of historicals from my mom, so we swap and chat about them. She just doesn't like all the "sex" lol..

Day 9 * 30 Day Book Challenge * A book you thought you wouldn't like but ended up loving

The Black Hawk - Joanna Bourne

I would have found this easier if it was a book you thought you would like but ended up hating. Unfortunately I have way too many of them!

  This book was recommended to me by a few friends, and I put it off for the longest time. I love historical romances, but am not a fan of the "spy" type ones. Not only did I wind up liking this book, but I truly LOVED the entire series. I am very patiently waiting for her next book in the series, " Rogue Spy" That keeps getting a later and later release date... Oh what a tease!! 

Rogue Spy (Spymasters, #5)

Day 8 * 30 Day Book Challenge * Most overrated book

Fifty Shades of Grey  - E.L. James Beautiful Disaster  - Jamie McGuire The Gamble  - Kristen Ashley

 I actually have a few of these and could probably come up with more. First of all I do not think these are especially well written. One of these authors in particular is in desperate need of an editor.  But the thing that bothers me the most, is the type of men in these books portray. Its the whole caveman/tarzan mentality. The only good thing about these very overrated books, is that it brought a huge amount of people ( Ok, mostly women) back to reading. Always a good thing. I think if these people who read one book a year, suddenly start glomming up books because of these, they will begin to realize that these books just aren't that special.

 Teresa Medeiros stated very well how I feel about this type of "hero" on her website:


Welcome to the personal blog of New York Times bestselling author Teresa Medeiros

Friday, May 10, 2013

Dear Young Women and Teenage Girls of the World: I have NOTHING against 50 SHADES OF GREY or Christian Grey. The book is fiction and Christian is a fantasy. But in REAL LIFE, if a boy or man every tries to 1) separate you from your friends and family 2) tell you what to wear/drive/eat and how many times you should work out a week 3) confess that his fondest desire is to "hurt you", then you should not walk calmly toward the exit. YOU SHOULD RUN SCREAMING FOR THE EXIT!!! Because in real life, you're far more likely to end up with A then B. Never be with a boy or man who makes you feel like less than yourself.

Fallen A bit of a disapointment

Fallen - Celeste Bradley

Well, considering this was Celeste Bradley’s first novel, I gave it 3 stars. It wasn't a bad book, just too much. The book tried too hard to be angsty. The only thing missing was the amnesia theme and a secret baby.
Don't get me wrong, there was a lot of great stuff packed in this story. The heroine was well written and stayed true to her character. The hero swung back and forth too much for me. From rake to sweet & kind, to jerk, to rake, to has never been a rake. Loving, hateful... uggg
He was a little too Sybil: The Classic True Story of a Woman Possessed by Sixteen Personalities for me.
I also was not thrilled with the ending. It was a cop out. Hero's father and grandfather were mean and vicious people, who I would have liked to actually see them get their deserved rewards.

Day 7 * 30 Day Book Challenge * A book that makes you laugh

Refining Felicity - Marion Chesney

Refining Felicity by M.C Beaton or Marion Chesney


  This whole series is one of the silliest pieces of fluff out there. Sometimes after reading something dark and gritty, I just need some fluffy silliness to clear my mind. I think of these books like  a mind sorbet.  I have read, or listened to the audio, on many of this authors books and they all have that effect on me. I love her Agatha Raisin and Hamish McBeth series as well as all the Victorian series she has. They are mostly very formulaic and very tame, but her sense of humor has a great appeal to me. 


  This particular book was about two older maiden spinsters of "quality" who are down on their luck. An old gentleman friend suggests the take in girls who are a bit wild and need help getting husbands or joining society.

  These sisters are complete opposites and everything coming out of their mouths had me laughing out loud. That doesn't seem so bad, unless you are in the middle of grocery shopping, or in bed next to your sleeping husband. 

Day 6 * 30 Day Book Challenge * A Book that makes you sad

Winter Garden - Kristin Hannah


Rarely can a book move me to tears. This one did, more than once. It was a powerful and haunting story. Talk about dysfunctional families! The two sisters in this story have no idea what their mother went through before she met their father and moved to America from Russia. I was gripped with sadness and understanding once the mothers story started being told of her former life. Oh and the first husband and daughter! Aggggg devastating .... just blew me away. But the story was beautifully written and I do plan on reading this one again. 

Day 5 * 30 Day Book Challenge * A Book that makes you happy

Catch of the Day - Kristan Higgins

Yes, I am cheating... sort of... Had a crazy week and no time to update anything. But I had it all planned on what books etc I was going to use. So not cheating, catching up : )

This story had me laughing out loud, crying, you name it. My family is starting to worry about me. This was a sweet quick read with no skimming at all! Its the kind of book that will put you in a good mood for the rest of the week. I love the wit Kristan Higgins gives to her main female characters.
This book is about small town, diner owner, Maggie who is in her early thirties and has had nothing but bad luck in the romance department. She falls in love with the new parish priest and makes a laughing stock/fool of herself over and over.
The hero in this story is quiet brooding hunky Malone. He does not talk, does not call her and the only thing that happens between them is great sex.(although this book does not detail that.. no graphics at all) Plus he is HOT ~sigh~ Did I mention he is a lobster-man? I grew up on the north east coast, here there are clammers and the young ones were always hot, ripping muscles, tanned that sort, so Malone was easy enough for me to picture! 

Day 4 * 30 Day Book Challenge * Favorite Book of Your Favorite Series

City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 3) - Stacia Kane

 Boy this just gets harder and harder : ) I guess this was my favorite in the series because there was so much drama and heartache between Chess and Terrible. We also get to truly understand why Chess is the way she is and her feelings of hopelessness.    

Day 3 * 30 Day Book Challenge * Your Favorite Series

Unholy Ghosts - Stacia Kane Wrong Ways Down (Downside Ghosts) - Stacia Kane Unholy Magic - Stacia Kane City of Ghosts (Downside Ghosts, Book 3) - Stacia Kane Home (Downside Ghosts): A HeroesandHeartbreakers.com Original - Stacia Kane Sacrificial Magic - Stacia Kane Chasing Magic - Stacia Kane Close to You: A Downside Ghosts Story (A Heroes and Heartbreakers Original) - Stacia Kane


Oh well, This was hard. I have read so many INCREDIBLE series that it is impossible to pick just one. At this very moment, Stacia Kane's Downside Ghosts is the series most on my mind. 

  I really should hate these books. The heroine, Chess Putnam is a drug addicted waste with no self esteem or worth. She is truly f*cked up. The hero (who's name is Terrible.. if that tells you something about him) is an ugly beast of a man who is the enforcer/bodyguard/hitman for the local drug lord, Bump. 

  This is a dystopian tale focusing on magic and ghosts. It was proven that after death your ghost goes to an underground city. This city is run by The Church Of Real Truth, in which Chess works for and is a debunker. This city is supposed to be an ideal place of peace and happiness for everyone in the afterlife, but Chess, because she works for the church, has seen it and knows it is not all its cracked up to be. She hates her life, but is more fearful of the afterlife. She is a woman without any hope at all. Chess and Terrible have both had completely awful lives full of abuse and desperation. They do not get together in the first book and the relationship is rocky in the proceeding books but OMG I LOVE Terrible!! 

  There is a whole downside lingo in these books that is just brilliant. I did the audio on these as they are available in my public library. Bahni Turpin is the narrator and she is perfect for this series! I would highly recommend the audio as the downside lingo is sometimes hard to get through. 


Some of my other favorite series are:

Pennyroyal Green by Julie Anne Long

Maiden Lane by Elizabeth Hoyt

Spindle Cove by Tessa Dare

Spymasters by Joanna Bourne

Drakes Rakes by Eileen Dreyer


Day 2 * 30 Day Book Challenge * A book that you've read more than 3 times

Well, I am not one who reads a book more than once. It takes time away from the million others out there that are waiting for me. Sometimes I feel like I am in a never-ending race to read all the books ever written. I should use Jane Eyre for this, but I plan to use it in a later post in this challenge. There are a few that I have read twice ( Lord of Scandal just to read the lamppost scene and also when Jessica shot Dane) ~sigh~



The winner is: Ashes In The Wind by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss

I still have my 1979 Doubleday bookclub hardcover edition. My oldest child (29) was named after the heroine, Alaina

The second runner up is:  Sweet Savage Love by Rosemary Rogers… I just get the urge to read some Ginny and Steve WTFery once in a while


Day 1 * 30 Day Book Challenge * Best book you read last year.

Well, this was extremely hard to pick just one, so I am going to go with the brand new author, Moriah Densley with her wonderful book, Song for Sophia.

I would give this a few more stars if I could! It was refreshingly different from anything I have read in a while.
This book made me laugh, made me cry and everything in between. The characters in this story were just wonderfully fleshed out that there was no hesitation in getting involved in the story.
Sophia was in big trouble, her heinous father ( I mean he was truly evil!!) was searching for her after she fled his home. He had whipped her and almost killed her after she fought off the man he sent in to rape her to get her pregnant. With help from her trusted solicitor and a family friend, he gets a housekeeping job at Wil, Lord Devon's estate.
Wil becomes obsessed with her ( but in a good, loving, adorable way)and the things he does to protect her... sigh...
This one is going on my second read worthy shelf! 

 Song For Sophia

2nd runners up by a hair:

A Night to Surrender by Tessa Dare

A Lady Awakened by Cecilia Grant

Where She Went by Gail Forman

ALL the books in The Spymasters series by Joanna Bourne


Challenge from Tumblr.
Challenge from Tumblr.

This sounds like a fun challenge. I am pretty sure its OK to start 4 days into the month.

Source: http://www.tumblr.com
Reblogged from The Reading Perusals of Rose Summers
Are you a book slut?
Are you a book slut?