As the weather gets colder, our thoughts turn to one of the most under-appreciated types of heroes out there — lumberjacks. With their plaid shirt-covered brawny arms and luscious beards, it’s no wonder these men are icons of masculinity. Big, strong and willing to get up close and personal with nature, these men are made to sweep us off our feet.
We love Jaci Burton’s ultra-hot Play-by-Play series. These sexy pro athletes steam up our fantasies and have been the cause of more than one RT editor developing a sudden interest in watching sports games. The series starter The Perfect Play was February 2011’s RT Seal of Excellence winner and set the tone for the rest of the series: sexy contemporary erotic romances ... with an extra helping of heat. Playing to Win will be released on September 4, 2012 but thankfully, Burton has already given us a peek at what’s ahead.
The next “match up” (see what I did with that sports reference?) in the series will be football bad boy Cole Riley and image makeover consultant Savannah Brooks. Savannah has been called in to rehabilitate Cole’s image because all his nights of partying, fighting and causing a ruckus have done some serious damage to his career prospects. Although the job is one of this Southern Belle’s toughest cases ever, Savannah's not afraid to lay down the law about how Cole has to behave — rules that include not touching his new image makeover consultant! As the book’s back cover blurb explains, “If she can turn off the tingle she feels every time Cole gives her a hot stare with his gorgeous baby blues, he can turn off his desire as well.” But judging by the stories that came before this one, Cole and Savannah won’t be able to deny their desire for long!
One of our favorite features of the e-revolution is the sheer amount of books you can pack into such a tiny digital device. But what do you do when the growing number of new reads causes your wallet to shrink uncomfortably? Shop the e-book deals, of course! In this column we highlight some of our favorite book buys that will cost you less than a medium-sized coffee.
Fresh Powder by Suzanne O'Leary
Marked by Kim Richardson
Marissa Meyer takes on a classic fairytale and puts her own spin for her debut novel, Cinder. Set in the near future, the story follows a young cyborg who is about to get a whole new perspective on life in “re-boot” (pardon our pun) of Cinderella.
Elisa: You always seem to rope me into reading these paranormal YAs.
Whitney: That may be the case, but they’ve been winners so far. Cinder is a great read, and quite different from a lot of the stories coming out in the YA genre. Although the book has some similarities to the fairytale, don’t expect this to be “Cinderella gets transported to the future and now lives in New Beijing with a few screws in her”. This is the Cinderella like you’ve never read it before.
Elisa: You are right, Cinder is unique. And while I’m not a big YA reader, this story has a very futuristic, cyberpunk feel to it, which I love. It’s like if Neal Stephenson wrote a YA with a touch of romance.
Whitney: Right, Cinder is a cyborg, the adopted daughter of a scientist who died shortly thereafter. And now she lives with and works for his family in New Beijing.
Elisa: You know, there were moments where I forgot that the heroine is a teen. She’s very mature.
This month's RT Seal of Excellence winner is Karen Robards' Sleepwalker. This new romantic suspense novel swept the RT editors off their feet, so we asked the author which scene in the story she loved. Find out which scene takes the cake — and then enter to win your own copy of this brilliant book!
One of my favorite scenes from Sleepwalker is this exchange, which makes me smile every time I read it. I love the characters of Mick and Jason, and I feel it showcases their personalities and relationship. Mick the cop and Jason the crook were never even supposed to meet. When circumstances (okay, a botched robbery) threw them together, she wanted to arrest him, and he — well, he thought she was hot, but escape was actually what he had in mind. They were natural enemies who never meant to fall in love — but they did. I had a great time telling their story, and I hope readers enjoy it as well.
- Karen Robards
It’s no secret that the Black Dagger Brotherhood is one of the most popular paranormal series out there. J.R. Ward started the series with 2005’s Dark Lover, and it quickly captured the imagination of paranormal romance fans. This spring, readers will be able to get their hands on the tenth installment, Lover Reborn. But so far, the project has been surrounded by secrecy.
We know that this is Tohrment’s story, a member of the brotherhood that has endured unimaginable pain. He lost his mate and is, according to the book’s back cover blurb, “unrecognisable [sic] as the vampire leader he once was.” Now, in order to free his beloved from an icy prison, Tohr must find space in his heart for a new love. After meeting a woman with shrouded origins, his heart may begin to thaw but will this new avenue lead to their salvation — or damnation?
One look at cover shows a man who looks like although he has been dealt some harsh blows by life, it has not broken him. The swirl in the upper left hand corner looks like a brand, or an otherworldly maelstrom. But if it’s the later, does it stand for the woman Tohr lost, the mystery woman he has just met? Or perhaps it symbolizes the struggle the BDB must face as political turmoil, in the form of the lessers and a new breed of vampires, comes to a climax ... No matter what it represents, I can't wait for the book's March 27 release date.
Author Mary Burton has written romance across the subgenres but she is undoubtedly best known for her romantic suspense novels. Today RT's Morgan chats with the author about what is happening in the genre today. Then Burton reveals which elements make a really tense suspense and how she turns up the scare factor to create a chilling villain. Plus she goes behind the scenes for a look at the characters in her upcoming release, Before She Dies, and drops a few hints for what's coming next. (Fans should get ready for a setting change because Burton will be taking readers to Texas!)
I read my first Courtney Milan historical romance back in September. I’d heard good things about the author, but I have to admit (and I want you to picture me shamefaced, here, lots of shame) I’d simply never managed to make my way through my TBR pile to a Milan. But after reading her novel Unclaimed, I became a Courtney-convert. When I came across her novella “Unlocked” in the Kindle bookstore, I knew I was in for a delicious, 99-cent treat. The novella turned to be all that I’d hoped for and more. A story of love gone awry, second chances and new beginnings, there is no word better for this story than transfixing. From the stunning characterizations to the dark moments of reflection and beyond, Milan’s gift shines.
Here's a look at the titles we love that hit shelves this week.
"With depth of character, emotional intensity and the resolution to the ongoing mystery rolled into a steamy love story, this one is not to be missed."
"Kernan brings the last Cahill brother home to find love — and the solution to a mystery that holds the series together."
There’s A LOT of excitement about the upcoming Hunger Games movie (hey, we aren’t the only ones avidly devouring news about the movie’s casting or checking out this fashion site which is dedicated to all things Panem. And don't even get us started about the recently announced HG guidebook). But this film adaptation isn't the only YA book getting ready to hit the big screen. Today we’re headed beyond Hunger Games to take a look at seven other projects that we can’t wait to see in theaters!
This October 2011 series starter follows blue-haired and tattooed teen Karou, an art student by day and the Devil’s errand girl by night. However, her world is changed forever when Karou is finally given a clue to her origins. Taylor’s beautifully written novel was very well received by both fans and critics alike, so it is no surprise that there were film studios lining up to get the rights to this story.
Our fingers are crossed that Universal, which eventually got the rights to the book, will invest in some excellent location scouting for the movie, since the story takes place everywhere from snowy Prague, to sun-drenched Marrakesh and a fantasy world that comes directly from the author’s imagination.
Written by a 22-year-old author, this first book has already won the series a loyal fan base. In this dystopian universe, at sixteen teens must choose which faction of society they will live in for the rest of their lives. Each of the five factions represents a different value, and everyone gets a faction except the society’s outcasts, Divergents. In this novel, heroine Beatrice tries to make the transition from Abnegation, the selfless faction, to Dauntless, the brave faction, and is caught in a web of expectations and secrets, with the threat of failure — and becoming Divergent — looming close at hand. The tale was an RT Top Pick and nominated for a 2011 RT Reviewers’ Choice Award for YA protagonist. The series second, Insurgent, will be released in May 2012.
With this much buzz around the book and series, we were not shocked to learn that Summit Entertainment started negotiations before the book was published. Roth said of the news on her blog, “Yes, Summit: of Twilight and The Hurt Locker fame. And I’m crazy-excited! My experience with the people at Summit has been very positive so far—I think they have a great vision for the book, one that is close to my own. I also think they’re no strangers to taking risks, which is important to me. (coughDauntlesscough).”
You can keep up with all the latest Divergent movie news here.