Archive for the ‘Recommendations’ Category

Guest Post, Recommendations

Favorite Female Romantic Suspense Leads by Layla Reyne

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In Tequila Sunrise, releasing November 13, Melissa Cruz takes center stage with her lock-pick lover, Daniel Talley. A former FBI Special Agent in Charge who is now a bounty hunter and Chief of Security for the family business, Mel is all alpha. She’s the woman who keeps a team of alpha-males in line, and she does it all in designer heels. Mel follows a long line of badass leading lady in romantic suspense series. If you’re a fan like I am, here are a few of my favorites:

Eve DallasIn Death Series by JD Robb – Eve is one of, if not the, gold standard in this romantic suspense leading ladies. She’s a top-notch detective who likewise wrangles the guys around her, most formidably her husband, Roarke. She’s competent, lethal, but still has plenty of flaws and struggles to make her relatable, and to make her interesting enough for 50+ books!

Kate BeckettCastle (ABC) – While Castle bordered on romantic suspense and romantic comedy, there’s no question that Homicide Detective Kate Beckett was the leading lady. And she always led with grace, beauty and brains. Juggling her team of Rick, Ryan and Esposito, they solved often-times dangerous cases, uncovered the truth behind Kate’s mother’s death, and formed a tight knit family that saw them through the best and worst of times.

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Essential Beginnings Kennedy Layne
Recommendations

Book Hangover Guaranteed by JR Gray

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I take recommendations seriously. They even make me a little anxious. I’ve read books that speak to my soul, and hit me in places I never through another person would understand. I love a book hangover, and I love angst where my soul hurts for the characters. I don’t only read queer books, I would love to say I do, but because my taste varies so widely I read all over the place depending on my mood, so when I had to sit down and find five queer kinky books I love, it wasn’t an easy task.

I love m/m kink, as well as any kink I can get my hands on. Kink is a huge part of my life, and I take reading and writing about it seriously. Positive queer and kinky representation means the world to me. I’m a picky reader, which I hate to admit in public. I know what works for one person, doesn’t for another, so because I DFN a book, doesn’t mean someone else wouldn’t like it or love it. Here are three of my favorites. I hope they speak to you.


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Portland ME Freya Barker sale July
Recommendations

Summer reads best read while….

51VQEQVHWRL._SY346_The Nearness of You by Dorothy Garlock

Hooper’s Crossing, New York, 1952. The post-war boom seems a million miles away . . . especially for a sheltered librarian who longs for the adventure and excitement of the big city.

New York City. The hustle and bustle. The people and the excitement. It’s all Lily Denton dreams about. But ever since her mother died, her overprotective father won’t ease up on her. So she spends her days working at the library and her nights hoping life doesn’t pass her by . . . until the Fall Festival. As tourists fill the streets, the crisp autumn air sneaks in-as does the thrill of a far more dangerous kind.

Some men have a gift for avoiding trouble. Professional photographer Boone Tatum isn’t one of them. In fact, that penchant for trouble is exactly what landed Boone in this small town in the middle of nowhere in the first place. Yet the moment he meets beautiful Lily Denton and snaps her photograph, everything changes. Suddenly leaving is the furthest thing from Boone’s mind-or his heart.
But danger has slipped silently into this sleepy town, marking Lily as its own. And Lily and Boone’s dream of a life together is thrown into peril-unless Lily finds the courage to stand up for herself and a man she only just met . . . and can’t live without.
Best read while: on a train speeding away from the city on a Friday afternoon 

51c7AtnNX3L._SX311_BO1,204,203,200_Wicked Grind by J. Kenner 

Sometimes it feels so damn good to be bad.

Photographer Wyatt Royce’s career is on the verge of exploding. All he needs is one perfect model to be the centerpiece of his sexy, controversial show. Find her, and Wyatt is sure to have a winner.

Then Kelsey Draper walks in. Stunning. Vibrant. And far too fragile for a project like this. Wyatt should know―after all, he remembers only too well how their relationship ended all those years ago.

Desperate for cash and frustrated with her good girl persona, Kelsey sets her sights on Wyatt’s show. But only the show. Because she knows too well that Wyatt Royce is a danger to her heart.

But when Wyatt agrees to give her the job only if he has complete control―on camera and in his bed―Kelsey can’t help but wonder if she’s in too deep. Because how can a good girl like her ever be enough for a man like Wyatt?

Best read while: escaping from the morning commute on a crowded subway

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Sisters in Love Melissa Foster
Recommendations

Callie Hutton’s Favorite British Couples

 

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I have written thirteen Regency novels. Regency is the period when the Prince Regent ruled England after his father, George III, was declared mad. The years that span that time frame are from 1811 to 1820, when King George III died, and the Prince Regent became King George IV. However, there are many books written in the years after that time that are considered “regency” by authors and readers alike.

Over the years, I have done a great deal of research, and my six bulging binders crammed with information on everything from types of carriages to women’s undergarments will testify to that. Since I spend so much time reading and writing about England, London, Bath and country estates, I thought about who my favorite British couples are. There are many, but I decided to write about one couple from real life, a book, a movie and TV show.

Let’s see how my list matches up with yours.

Book: When I asked who readers and other authors favorite British regency couple were, the same couple came up over and over. Amazingly enough, they are also one of my favorites. Devil Cynster and Honoria from Devil’s Bride by Stephanie Laurens are a couple who stick in your mind long after you’ve closed the book. They make an appearance in the rest of the Cynster family series, but their own love story sets the bar for romance. If you haven’t read it, do. You will not be sorry.

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Autumn Thorns Yasmine Galenorn
Recommendations

Amy Sandas’ Favorite Regency Romances

CVR Lord of Lies_ Amy Sandas
London’s underground in the Regency was filled with vice and violence. It challenged its inhabitants to either become ruthless in their efforts to survive and thrive, or become victims to those with less conscience. It also brought out the good in people who risked themselves to help others and tested the mettle of those who clawed their way from the gutters to a better life.

There are countless romance novels that are either set in the rookeries of the East End or feature a main character who fought their way free of the poverty that marked their beginnings. And just as many more that explore the gambling dens and bordellos where the wealthy and privileged go to experience the pleasurable vices not afforded them in their glittering ballrooms. Choosing favorites amongst these exciting stories of love, desire, transformation, and determination is not an easy task, but there are a few I’ve read over the years that stand out.


51JHMlicdRL._SY346_Dreaming of You – Lisa Kleypas

Now that I’ve done a few “favorites lists”, I’ve realized this title by Kleypas somehow always manages to find itself included. That’s because it’s a fantastic story! The hero, Derek Craven, is one of my all-time favorite romance novel heroes. He is dark and dangerous and so, so sexy. Born and raised in the London rookeries, he worked his way up to become a king of his own little empire. As the owner of the most exclusive gambling hell in town, he is ruthless, heartless, and so totally in trouble when the novelist, Sarah Fielding, comes to his club to do research.

Sarah is young, idealistic, and open-hearted. A complete contrast to Derek. But when they get near each other the sparks that fly burn super-hot. Though he tries to resist the draw he feels toward the innocent young woman, Derek—for all his intensity and proven fortitude—is helpless against his attraction. This book is one that I re-read over and over. It never gets old and always manages to pull a few tears at the end. (But I’ll admit I’m a bit of a sap!) Still, an iconic romance of two people from totally different worlds who are perfect for each other.

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Recommendations

Elizabeth Michels’ Top Summer Reads

CVR Wicked Heir_ Elizabeth Michels
The Spare Heirs Society Cordially Invites You to Meet Fallon St. James: The Mastermind

When the love of Lady Isabelle Fairlyn’s life is betrothed to her twin sister, Isabelle vows to find a suitable replacement before the end of the season. He must be a talented dancer, have a keen fashion sense, and be perfectly dashing in every way.

Fallon St. James is the farthest thing from perfectly anything. As head of the secretive Spare Heirs Society, he must stick to the shadows…even as Isabelle’s friendship pulls him reluctantly into the light.  But when Isabelle gets involved with the one man who could destroy Spares, Fallon must decide between protecting his life’s work—or risking everything to save the woman whose warm smile leaves him breathless.

Now onto the guest post… Elizabeth Michels shares her most anticipated books of the summer! 

Summer is finally here! The sun is bright in the sky and a lounge chair by the water is calling my name.  Today I’m filling my beach bag with my sunglasses, a drink with a tiny umbrella in it, and some great books.  Here are 5 books I’ve been looking forward to reading all spring!

image1When I see a book with the name Amanda Quick on the cover, I always know I’m going to find a great story inside.  In THE GIRL WHO KNEW TOO MUCH, we go to a 1930s Hollywood hideaway where the secrets are plentiful.  When a beautiful actress is found dead at the bottom of a pool, it’s a young reporter’s job to discover the truth.  Add to this an actor who isn’t all that he seems, powerful men determined to cover up the messy details, and a hotel owner whose livelihood hangs in the balance, and you have a page turner for sure! I can’t wait to dive into this one!

 

image4In A STARDANCE SUMMER, Emily March takes us Glamping with Grannies! Are you already as hooked as I am?   Good!  A career-driven woman takes some time to sort things out in her life at Stardance Ranch in Colorado.  While enjoying the great outdoors she meets the owner of the resort and a romance begins, until his ex-girlfriend arrives on the scene.  I’m really looking forward to escaping into this world of glamour-camping this summer!

 

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Giveaway, Recommendations

GIVEAWAY: Summer Must-Reads by Mira Lyn Kelly

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I am so ready for my summer reads! I’m a huge reader and normally get some quality book snuggle every night—but this last month has been CRAZY and I’ve hardly had time to read at all. But we’ve reached the light at the end of the tunnel and I’m about to have my normal routine restored. In anticipation of the coming book binge, I’ve selected a handful of sexy summer reads guaranteed get my grin on.

Keep reading for giveaway details! 

 

51VKil6jC8LI KNEW YOU WERE TROUBLE by Lauren Layne

Seriously, Lauren gives good RomCom. Her books are light and fresh and sexy and sizzly, and I always tell myself I’m going to try and make them last, but then end up devouring them in one sitting because they’re impossible to put down.

 

 

51aRAQ21SzLWICKED ABYSS by Kresley Cole

Meet my all time favorite author, Kresley. I use her first name like we’re best friends. We’ve never OFFICIALLY met, but I’m guessing after all the fan mail, she feels like we have. Like we’re sisters maybe. I bet she’s hoping we’ll get stuck in an elevator for eleven or twelve hours together too some day. She’d tell me stories and I’d give her the bottle of water from my bottomless purse. We’d bond while I recounted all my favorite parts of the books she wrote. It would NOT be creepy.

Anyhoo, this one’s the latest in her crack addictive series IMMORTALS AFTER DARK. But if you’ve already burned through that one, try the ARCANA CHRONICLES. Or if you’re feeling naughty… THE GAME MAKER series.

 

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Recommendations

I Love Books Because of Ms. Austen by Traci Ganuza | Book Plus Heart

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I wasn’t always a reader. I was way more of a Disney movie TV junky kind of kid. That changed. The first true book I read and couldn’t put down was Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. Not only was I obsessed with the book I went and purchased the 6 hour DVD, the Bollywood version, the Kiera Knightly, and many more. I couldn’t help it. I loved the thought of a strong independent woman that told off a guy. She was herself. That is always what I wanted in a good story: a woman being herself and the man falling in love with her for it. So Yes, I became obsessed to the point that my best friend and I watched Bridget Jones Diaries ten too many times. We had it memorized and we paused it at the right moments to see Mark Darcy (a.k.a Colin Firth) with his O’ So handsome expressions. I told my husband I would divorce him if Colin Firth ever became available. HA. I know right, such a silly thing to say. Oh but how I love Austen. I enjoy her books so much that I did multiple research papers on her and her characters throughout college. I dissected Emma and provided evidence of her being a feminist. I would compare Persuasion’s Ann and Mansfield Park’s Fanny, to other female protagonist and the silent power they possess. So yes, in my eyes, every one of Jane Austen’s stories and characters has a powerful story to tell us.

So, now that you understand my thinking I am going to share with you my top 5 favorite Pride and Prejudice inspired modern day romances.

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Recommendations

Heroines Rocking Tattoos by Roan Parrish

Ginger Holtzman has fought for everything she’s ever had—the success of her tattoo shop, respect in the industry, her upcoming art show. Tough and independent, she has taking-no-crap down to an art form. Good thing too, since keeping her shop afloat, taking care of her friends, and scrambling to finish her paintings doesn’t leave time for anything else. Which … is for the best, because then she doesn’t notice how lonely she is. She’ll get through it all on her own, just like she always does.

Christopher Lucen opened a coffee and sandwich joint in South Philly because he wanted to be part of a community after years of running from place to place, searching for something he could never quite name. Now, he relishes the familiarity of knowing what his customers want, and giving it to them. But what he really wants now is love.

When they meet, Christopher is smitten, but Ginger … isn’t quite so sure. Christopher’s gorgeous, and kind, and their opposites-attract chemistry is off the charts. But hot sex is one thing—truly falling for someone? Terrifying. When her world starts to crumble around her, Ginger has to face the fact that this fight can only be won by being vulnerable—this fight, she can’t win on her own.

Small Change is the first book in a series that will include M/F and M/M romances.


Heroines Rocking Tattoos

In my new romance, Small Change (Small Change #1), Ginger Holtzman is a tattoo artist and the owner of a tattoo shop. No surprise: she’s covered in tattoos. I’m a huge fan of the art form, and I also love to give myself stick and poke tattoos for fun wink. So, to celebrate the beauty of tattoos, here are five awesome tattooed heroines!

51P7h-ZjQwL._SY346_Allie Beckstrom, Allie Beckstrom series, by Devon Monk

In this urban fantasy set in a Portland bursting with unevenly distributed magic, Allie is a Hound—she uses magic to track the casters of spells. Allie’s father is rich, powerful, and (you guessed it!) evil. And when Allie finds out how evil, she knows she needs to go it on her own. She’s talented, impulsive, and stubborn as hell, which leads to her making life pretty damn hard for herself, not just because she’s leery of trusting anyone, but because when she meets hottie, Zayvion, she’s convinced that there’s far more to him than meets the eye.

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Recommendations

Heroines Who Are Unbreakable

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Why is today a most wonderful, glorious occasion, you ask? Because today is the release of the third season of the UNBREAKABLE KIMMY SCHMIDT! With brilliant writing from Queen of Comedy, Tina Fey, and amazing acting from Ellie Kemper and Tituss Burgess, Kimmy Schmidt is a show that when life beats you up…

“You can either curl up in a ball and die or you can stand up and say we’re different. We’re the strong ones and you cannot break us.” 


1756703BLUE-EYED DEVIL by Lisa Kleypas. At the story’s start, Haven has just escaped an abusive marriage and moved to a new city to start her life anew. She has absolutely no intentions of starting anything with Hardy Cates, successful business-owner, family enemy #1, all-around attractive guy…

“You let him touch you.”

“I do not.”

“Yes you do. Just little touches here and there. He puts his hands on your arms or back, he stands close to you, getting you used to him… it’s a mating ritual. Like March of the Penguins.”


c360eb91e0004e3bcee094b2d71bf738VERONICA MARS, fearless girl detective in Neptune, California. 

So many tragedies have happened in Veronica’s life–and a bunch of them are spoilers, so we’re going to breeze over the details–but let’s just say that the series kicks off with the murder of her best friend, Lily Kane. So she’s already been through hell and it’s STILL THE PILOT, PEOPLE. If you love romance and sassy heroines who’ve come through the other side stronger than ever, you have got to check this show out.

Veronica: You didn’t know what would happen.

Mystery Boy Whose Identity Shall Not Be Revealed On This Here Blog: I’m the one who’s responsible for what happened to you. And I can’t take that I hurt you like that. I can’t take that I hurt you when all I wanna do is protect you.


51xEVa9eBJL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_THE FALLEN CREST SERIES by Tijan.

The series follows Sam, a high school girl with an abundance of problems. Her boyfriend is cheating on her. Her mother has her own problems that trickle into Sam’s life, starting with the move. As in, that time they moved in with her mother’s boyfriend and his two sons, Logan and Mason. This one’s for the angst/drama-lovers out there. It’s also perfect for impatient readers, because the final book FALLEN CREST FOREVER just came out! Binge the entire series here.

In that moment, I realized that he always had that affect on me. The ice façade I reined over myself was plucked away whenever his attention was on me. He reached over and took it away like I was a baby with candy.


imagesCaitlin from DREAMLAND by Sarah Dessen

This may, in fact, be the one and only time you see EverAfter Romance recommending a book that’s… not a romance?! Let me explain. While it’s not a love story, it is a story about relationships. A warning: this story is about an abusive relationship/dating violence (among other things) and can be hard to read. Sarah Dessen has said in interviews that writing this story was particularly difficult for her because she really had to break down her main character, Caitlin, before she could put her back together again. Beautifully written, intricate story, important message. We recommend. (If this book is not up your alley, we also recommend JUST LISTEN by Sarah Dessen. Still heavy but at least there’s a love story to root for!)

Rogerson knew everything. 


Who are some of your favorite heroines who’ve survived ordeals? Let us know in the comments!