In mainstream fiction this month, many of the stories focus on transition. Whether the characters were trying to deal with death in the family or becoming the person they always thought they could be, change is celebrated in all of its different forms across the genre. But when it comes to everyday changes, few are as daunting as making new friends out of strangers, the subject of Four of a Kind by Valerie Frankel, so we asked the author by to chat about the four heroines in her new release. We also round up a series trend and suggest an unusual new read and much more in this month's roundup!
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.
Love Remembered by Ellen Fisher
Perfect Partners by Carly Phillips
The Queen Bee of Bridgeton by Leslie DuBois
We had fun culling through all the covers of this month's new releases to pick our ten favorites. But which cover will you vote as the very best? Last month you chose Melissa Marr's Faery Tales and Nightmares. Will another paranormal tale win this month or has one of our other choices caught your fancy? Take a look at our top ten covers of March 2012 and then cast your vote in the poll at the end of the post!
In Lynn Raye Harris’ new Harlequin Presents book, Strangers in the Desert, widowed Prince Adan ibn Najib Al Dhakir is weeks away from remarrying so he can officially take his throne when he gets a report that his first wife, who is presumed dead, is actually alive. Adan immediately goes to collect Isabella only to find that she has amnesia. He doesn’t believe her claims, however, Isabella’s surprise at hearing she has a husband seems real, as is her shock at learning that she has a young son.
Whitney: Poor Isabella, Lynn Raye Harris doesn’t pull any punches when setting up this scenario.
Morgan: Actually, I think Isabella has a great life. She lives in Hawaii working as a singer that has got to be pretty comfortable.
Whitney: But then Sheik Adan bursts into her life and tells her that not only is he her husband, but she has a two-year-old son that she abandoned.
Morgan: Over a year ago, it seems, Isabella wandered into the Jahfaran desert and into a sand storm. Nobody thought she survived.
Whitney: The only question was whether or not she chose “death by desert” or if it was an accident.
It is no exaggeration to say that everyone who knows me knows that I absolutely adore Nalini Singh’s writing. With her paranormal romance novels, Nalini never ceases to transport me to other worlds (or I should say alternate worlds) where shapeshifters, vampires and angels abound.
After making a name for herself — and stealing this reader’s heart — with her Psy/Changeling series, Nalini went on to create her Archangels books. At first the series focused on the Archangel of New York, Raphael, as he fought for power within the Cadre, the hierarchy of powerful angels, only to be distracted when his heart was unexpectedly conquered by vampire hunter Elena Deveraux. Raphael and Elena’s love story is complex and took several books to complete. But when these two finally found themselves on (relatively) even ground, it was time for another couple in the Archangel series to find each other.
The e-book publisher Samhain, which is best known for releasing romance novels, launched a new imprint, Samhain Horror, in late 2011. It might seem odd that a romance publisher would launch a horror line, since the two genres seem to be on the opposite ends of the fiction spectrum. It’s happily ever afters versus unhappily, even, bloody, terrifying ever afters. However, both genres have very distinct, dedicated communities. Samhain Horror editor Don D’Auria, who previously spearheaded Dorchester’s horror line, shared on the line’s website, “[fan] response exceeded our expectations, and we have big plans for continuing to build readership and generate excitement in 2012.” Being an avid horror fan, I decided to take a look at three recent releases from Samhain Horror, to see if they meet my (admittedly high) expectations for stories in a genre, which, like romance, is full of familiar tropes and sometimes predictable plot lines.
B-Movie Reels by Alan Spencer
When recent film school grad Andy’s uncle dies, the young man inherits an old, ramshackle house in his uncle’s small town. He promptly moves there and lands a job working on the sets of B-horror movies. But when the creatures in Andy’s movies start coming to life and terrorize the town, Andy realizes that there was more to his uncle than he ever thought ... With plenty of gore and an abundance of monsters, B-Movie Reels was written by someone who clearly knows and loves the genre. Unfortunately this book reads like a mash-up of every horror film Spencer has probably ever seen, which lends the tale an air of predictability. But that is not all together a bad thing, as this easy read was also entertaining, much like the B-movies it’s named for.
New author Ruthie Knox debuts with this month's lighthearted, sexy contemporary romance Ride With Me. When cyclist Lexie places an ad for a someone to bike across the country with her, she's hoping for a fun companion. Instead, she gets Tom, her polar opposite. But as the two journey across the country on their bikes, sparks fly and soon it's clear that Lexie and Tom may just be the perfect pair. Today we take readers inside the story with an author interview, and then give you a chance to win a copy of Ride With Me!
Ride With Me is all about extreme cycling. What made you think about writing a romance that literally takes place on the TransAmerica Trail?
Author Kristina McMorris got her story-telling start after her own family history inspired her. Recently, the author sat down with RT's Morgan to talk about the way that her grandmother's story moved her to write a novel about love, loss and World War II. Hear all about McMorris' writing experiences and get an inside look at her newest book Bridge of Scarlet Leaves. This recently released historical mainstream work follows an interracial American couple as they try to navigate the waters of a new relationship in a storm compounded by the attack on Pearl Harbor, the raging war and a tide of anti-Japanese sentiment.
Lets face it, Paris from Gena Showalter’s Lords of the Underworld series has never had a hard time getting women. Sure, it helps that he is heart stoppingly gorgeous, but really his prowess is due to his inner demon, Promiscuity, which gives off irresistible pheromones that get him sexytime with the ladies. And if this sounds like every man’s fantasy … not so fast.
Being the keeper of Lust is only a part of Paris' curse. As a punishment, Paris cannot have sex with the same person twice. So for him, the centuries blur into an unrelenting collection of faces and bodies. If he doesn’t get satisfaction from another (man or woman) on a regular basis Paris will weaken and become vulnerable to his enemies, the Hunters.
Working at a RT, people often ask me for romance novel reading suggestions. And for a long time I didn't have a good answer. I read romance, sure. But the genre I loved was YA, and I also read mystery and erotica and science fiction ... and basically anything else I could get my hands on. But I didn't have a go-to romance.
But then one day I picked up Sarah MacLean's Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, on recommendation of historical romance buff Whitney. And well. I stayed up all night reading! I was hooked. I ran into the RT office the next day and said to her, "You didn't tell me these books were this good! I WANT MORE."