Reminder/ Caveat/ Disclaimer: This is my (hopefully) monthly list of books I’ve read and enjoyed. These are not reviews, I do not include books I didn’t enjoy because life is too short to speak badly of books!
I didn't post my list last month. Why? So many reasons - home repairs/ remodeling, book editing, day job stress etc. But I'm glad to say that I've now read enough awesome books for a new post! YAY BOOKS! Let's get started!
Forbidden by Beverly Jenkins
THIS BOOK. THIS BOOK!!!! Hero is a half-Black former slave who is now passing as a rich white guy in post-Civil War Nevada. Heroine is a free-born woman who has big dreams, a work ethic that won't stop and finds herself stranded in the Nevada desert (in a scene that will make you want to do violence against a fictional character.) Just by nature of their very identities is CONFLICT with a capital C, yet Ms. Jenkins creates a beautiful, historically rich love story in a time period that is underserved in romance novels.
The Rogue by Katharine Ashe
And then THIS BOOK. Yes, it's yet another Great Britain historical romance but OMG. I haven't had feels like this in a long, long time. The hero is NOT a lord or a Duke or whatnot, so that's refreshing. It's set in Scotland, there's a credible mystery, and some secondary characters that practically leap off the page and into your lap.
A caveat: This is apparently the end of one series and the beginning of another. There were references to characters and plot lines that were obviously from the first books in the series. I did not find that difficult to navigate, but it could bother other readers. So start from the beginning (as I'm probably going to do) and then get to THIS BOOK.
It Happened One Autumn by Lisa Kleypas
I did not realize that this book was released in 2009 until I went to Amazon to steal the cover photo. Like the last book, this was also part of a series but can easily be read as a standalone. The heroine is an American heiress and I'm pretty much a sucker for any New York heiress-husband-hunting in England story (think Earl and Countess Grantham's backstory from Downton Abbey.) There's a touch of magic, a villain who you pray can be redeemed, and a pleasantly grumpy yet not-too tortured hero.
Act Like It by Lucy Parker
First, let's take a moment and gaze upon this cover. THIS. COVER. IS. EVERYTHING. I know most have you have already bought it just based on that cover.
Now I'm going to admit something awful. I bought this book when it came out because THAT COVER and the love on Twitter was strong for this one. Then I didn't read it. And I didn't read it. And I wanted to read it, because The COVER and the LOVE, and LONDON and .... what stopped me from reading it??
I write contemporary romance and mystery and I'm just SO PICKY when I read other contemporary novels. Not picky in a "oh that sucks I'm so much better way" but "is this book going to make me hate everything I write" and "am I unconsciously going to emulate this voice or trope or setting" and "is this just like something I've written and OMG maybe I should change X, Y, and Z in my book." But I was at the beach, and my writer brain was calm and I finally found myself in a place where I could just relax and enjoy all the fabulousness that is this book. It's an enemies to lovers, fake relationship set-up but it ultimately goes to a lovely, REAL contemporary story where you see two people (He is a moody wealthy stage actor - think Richard Burton without the cirrhosis. She is his warm, down-to-earth co-star.) fall for each other for all the right reasons.
And speaking of covers... THIS COVER. THIS COVER!!!! Take a second and just appreciate this piece of fun, summer perfection. There's pink! And champagne! And WHO IS THAT GUY? And "I'm on a BOAT!"
This is my next release, a fun little project set at a Maine compound at the wedding of the year. Three authors, three novellas, three Happily Ever Afters. Check it out and make sure you stay tuned to my Facebook and Twitter because there will be a fun wedding-themed giveaway around the release date in June.
Until then, happy reading!!!