Mar 11, 2015
But I’ve had a blast with all of this lovely reading and I thought I’d share some of my favourites with you.
I had a rash of these. I received Marilynne Robinson’s Lila for Christmas and immediately started it on Boxing Day. I adored the book so much I immediately had to re-read the other two books in the series—Gilead and Home. These aren’t romances—they sit squarely on the shelves of literary fiction—though love relationships lie at the heart of the books. They’re powerful and heartbreaking…and full of hope.
I also reread The Hobbit (the movie made me do it) and LM Montgomery’s The Blue Castle (she’s the author of Anne of Green Gables, and as Anne is the reason I became a writer…). I found it for a bargain basement price for my Kindle and had to grab it and read it again immediately. The book was first published in 1926 and it’s definitely a product of it’s time, but this is one of my favourite sweet romances.
I had a week at the beach and I read two really cracking books during that time. The first was my book group’s selection—Gone Girl. I found this book utterly compelling. The characters weren’t “nice” but they were fascinating. It was like watching a train wreck and not being able to look away.
The second was fellow LoveCat Rachel Bailey’s Cover Story. This book is so much FUN! I loved Toby’s voice and the crazy cast of characters (not to mention the gnome puns). It’s very, very funny but not at the expense of the emotion (which can be a bit of a bug bear for me in romantic comedy). Really truly, if you haven’t read it yet, do yourself a favour and go grab it. Now.
There were two standouts and they’d both been sitting in my TBR pile for *ahem* a little too long.
Susan Meier’s The Tycoon’s Secret Daughter (2012). The hero and heroine were married when the hero (there are reasons) fell into alcoholism. When the heroine became pregnant, she left him for the sake of her unborn child. Without telling him she was pregnant. Flash forward six years and a chance meeting between them and… Well, you’ll have to read it to find out. This pair has some serious baggage and yet the book doesn’t get bogged down in it. It’s gorgeous. I’m not the only one who thinks so—it was nominated for a RITA.
Barbara Wallace’s The Courage to Say Yes (2013). This one won the Booksellers Best Award and I can see why. It deals with domestic violence and a heroine who is trying to get back on her feet after leaving a god-awful relationship with a man who continues to stalk her. The heroine is wonderful and the hero is wonderful and the story is wonderful.
I’ve just started fellow LoveCat Annie West’s latest offering—The Sultan’s Harem Bride. Oh, and am I loving it or what? Annie writes in a gorgeous lush style that lets me sink into an ultimate fantasy world of powerful men who meet women that rock the foundations of their worlds. Glorious.
As you can see, my reading year has started off rather nicely. What about you—been reading any good books lately?
Labels: Annie West, barbara wallace, Gone Girl, LM Montgomery, marilynne robinson, michelle douglas, Rachel Bailey, susan meier
Michelle is a doughnut fiend who's also rather partial to champagne and walks along the beach. She writes romances for Harlequin Mills & Boon…and is also enrolled in a PhD.
Subscribe to: Post Comments (Atom)
Thank you for the wonderful compliment. That was one of the easiest hard books I've ever written. LOL The characters were clear about what they wanted. I just had to get them there.ReplyDelete
Susan, having now read it I know exactly what you mean about the easy-hard. You should be so proud of that book -- it's a study in how to not let a difficult back story overshadow the current romance. Waving pom-poms in your honour!Delete
So glad you're getting some good reading time in! Isn't it a great way to start the year? Like you, I can't talk about most of the ones I've read as they were for a contest, but I've been enjoying a few mysteries as well, plus some rereads and even just picked up an ancient Mills and Boon from decades ago and am enjoying seeing how the books have changed. All great fun! I'm chuffed too, that you're enjoying my Sultan!
Annie, the reading has really energized me. I've so enjoyed it. :-) I recently grabbed an old Mills & Boon too (a Violet Winspear) which should be quite a trip down memory lane. I hope yours proves lots of fun -- we'll have to compare notes. :-)Delete
Oh, and your sultan is drool-worthy!
Great that you're getting some reading time, Michelle. And yes, like you and Annie, those contest books took the tally upwards. I've been catching up on some thrillers and getting right away from my genre for a while. It's good to break out.ReplyDelete
Variety is definitely the spice of life, Sue. Your thrillers sound like they've been a lot of fun. Reading is such a nice way to fill the well. :-)Delete
It was a great weekend :) and I have come home with so many new books and I had a couple from some special authors waiting for me and then got home to 5 more in the mail I need a clone at the moment :)
I have not long finished reading Sarah Morgan's Playing by the Greek's Rule this one had me LOL so many times and it was such a great story Storm Clouds by Bronwyn Parry edge of your seat suspense and I too loved Rachel's Cover Story what a great read now o find more time to read :)
Oh, yes, it was a great weekend, Helen! :-) But I'm thinking you definitely need a clone to get through your tbr pile, lol. You'll have fun with all of that reading, though.Delete
Ooh, isn't Sarah Morgan fabulous? I need to read more of her books. And Bron Parry is a wonderful writer -- can't wait to read Storm Clouds. Great reading...and great suggestions for my next reading jag too. Thanks. :-)
I've read two books this year - I know, I've been slow - and both were out of my normal range of reading. I thoroughly enjoyed: The Spymaster's Lady by Joanna Bourne and A Catch of Consequence by Diana Norman.ReplyDelete
Claire, I have yet to read Joanna Bourne, but that one is on my must-read list. So many people LOVE it SO much. Glad you enjoyed it too. I haven't heard of Diana Norman so I must investigate further. :-)Delete
You know I've never read The Blue Castle but as an Anne fan and an L M Montgommery nut I think I'm going to have to rectify that asap, Michelle.ReplyDelete
I've just read 9 books for the RITA so I'm already going well :-) I also ordered 2 Victoria Dahl's during ARRC - one of which I've read and loved (Flirting With Disaster) and the other I can't wait to get to. Also at ARRC I scored Christina Brooke's latest - The Wickedest Lord Alive - and devoured it. Loved, loved, loved it!
I fear my reading will now want to a trickle as I have to start a new book but its been nice just reading for a change :-)
Amy, go grab The Blue Castle. It'll probably cost you 80 cents and it'll only take you an hour or two to read it. It's gorgeous!Delete
LOL. After hearing Victoria Dahl speak, I swear I'm going to glom her backlist. Have heard so many good things about her. I've also heard wonderful things about The Wickedest Lord Alive. What a nice bit of reading you have been doing. :-)
Good luck with the new book!
I've read 19 books this year (excluding the re-reads which is probably another 5 or so at least). Can't think of which titles I would recommend.ReplyDelete
However, compared to last year, I seem to have actually finished all the stories I've started this year. Last year a few of them got put on my DNF (Did Not Finish) shelf for GoodReads.
I'm sure you are full aware of my current reading material. - Enjoying the story, love the surprise of Bandit(a) and the cars being the Beauty and the Beast.
Next up will be Amy's Ask Me Nicely.
I'll come back on the weekend to add my input of which titles I've read so far this year that I'd recommend.
I hear you on the RITA Judging. I read a title for RWNZ's Koru Award last year and really wanted to share what I thought of it before judging. I didn't be it was tempting.
Well, now, Lyn, you've read a goodly number of books so far this year. And it's great that they've not been relegated to your DNF shelf. So pleased you're enjoying my Millionaire and Maid. I have high expectations of Amy's Ask Me Nicely too. :-)Delete
Ah, the confidentiality of the judging process -- it's necessary I know, but so hard not to share a book you love when you come across one.
Wow, Michelle. That's lots of lovely reading! I've read a diverse range of books so far this year... crime, romance, literary.ReplyDelete
I loved Gone Girl. Loved it. Book so much better than the movie.
I'm going to have to read another Elizebeth Gilbert as just saw her speak in Byron...very interesting writer.
Sounds as if you've had a nice mix happening there, Jen. I wasn't expecting much from Gone Girl -- and I knew there was a twist that people didn't like, so it was great fun trying to guess said twist. I thought the writing brilliant. Ah, Elizabeth Glibert -- I've hear a lot of conflicting things about her books. Must give them a whirl myself I think to make up my own mind.Delete
Some interesting books there and 19 books so far is a great effort!ReplyDelete
I'm at 13 for the year so far and have enjoyed most of them. I'm reading a YA sci-fi trilogy at the moment called Across the Universe and I'm loving it. There's mystery, space ships, a little romance...it's wonderful.
I read Gone Girl last year and absolutely loved it! I tore through it in a few days because I couldn't put it down. I hope to read Dark Places by Gillian Flynn this years so I can say I've read all her books to date.
Stef, I'm amazed at how much all of this reading has sparked my own creativity. It makes me think Stephen King is onto something with his "If you don't have time to read, you don't have the time to write."Delete
Yay! another vote for Gone Girl. Let us know what you think of Dark Places. I'll definitely be keeping an eye out for everything else she brings out from hereon. Your YA sci-fi sounds like something I would NEVER pick up...which probably means I should. Might go and add it to my Book Depository wishlist. :-)