HaBO: Audible Romance Series
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Articles / December 10, 2019

This HaBO is from Ruth, who is trying to find this audiobook series. Content warning for the description below: I’m driving myself crazy because I can’t remember any information about a 4-book series I listened to on Audible in January. I was on a trial “Romance Unlimited” package and apparently borrowed books aren’t listed in my account. I even mentioned it in a comment I left here, but I have no idea what the comment was to! Anyway: four-book series, set several years after a car accident in which one woman died and the other had injuries that changed her personality so that, among other things, she no longer loves her husband; she’s also made multiple suicide attempts. The book starts when he meets a new woman and decides it’s time to move on. Unstable now-ex-wife causes all kinds of problems, including a hostage situation that turns out to be fake. The second book is about the fiance of the woman who died. The third book is about unrelated people: a woman in witness protection recovering from having been gang raped and the undercover agent who saved her whom she bonded with (not in a romantic way). The fourth book…

Lauren Layne, Shifters, & More
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Articles / December 10, 2019

To Woo a Wicked Widow To Woo a Wicked Widow by Jenna Jaxon is 99c at Amazon! This is the first book in The Widows’ Club and has a heroine who is trying to avoid getting married again. Readers seemed divided on the heroine. Some enjoyed her independence, while others couldn’t really connect with her. The war years are behind them.  The future is before them. And one by one, the widows of Lyttlefield Park are getting restless…   Lady Charlotte Cavendish is still the spirited girl who tried to elope in the name of love. That dream was thwarted by her father who trapped her into a loveless, passionless marriage. But now widowed, Charlotte is free to reenter the giddy world of the ton—and pursue her desires. For hardly your typical widow, she remains innocent to the pleasures of the flesh. Yet her life is finally her own, and she intends to keep it that way. Nash, the twelfth Earl of Wrotham, is beguiled by Charlotte at first sight—and the feeling is mutual. When he receives her intriguing invitation to a house party, the marriage-minded lord plans to further their acquaintance. But even he cannot sway her aversion to matrimony, and only…

HaBO: Surfboard Wax
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Articles / December 10, 2019

This HaBO request is from Debbie, who is looking for this recent-ish contemporary: Contemporary in the last five years? Headhunter helps heroine find job with hero. Hero started a cosmetic company because surfboard wax? he invented also worked for personal grooming. His girlfriend was murdered. There’s a huge building size portrait of her face on the wall outside the office. Near the end, the hero finds out a homeless person killed his ex-girlfriend, perhaps with a penknife that the hero or his girlfriend gave the homeless person. Hero breaks up with the heroine, but watches her place from across the street. I think what spurs the hero to move forward is when the heroine’s brother takes her out and hero thinks the brother is a date. Well this is certainly something.

Movie Review: Anna and the Apocalypse
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Articles / December 10, 2019

Anna and the Apocalypse by Alan McDonald & Ryan McHenry Blazing Griffin B+ Not a Book After the second song of the musical Anna and the Apocalypse, my teen viewing consultant looked at me with puzzled eyes. “Mom,” she said slowly, “This is…good!” And it is. While I spent my entire first watch of this movie trying to figure out what it was, I watched it again the next day and found it weirdly affecting for a zombie musical set during Christmas in the fictional town of Little Haven, Scotland. The story, a mix of zombie movie tropes and musical tropes and high school tropes, concerns various teens, including our heroine (Anna), her best friend John who is madly in love with her, and their friends Chris and Lisa, who are madly in love with each other. “Withdraw your tongues!” snaps Headmaster Savage at Chris and Lisa, who exchange what may be cinema’s longest single kiss. We also have Nick, a ridiculously handsome guy who is, alas, a bully and who also has a thing for Anna. There’s Steph, a queer student from America who feels alienated by her parents and her peers. Anna’s dad, Tony, is one of the…

Wolves, Dukes, & More
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Articles / December 9, 2019

Melting the Ice Melting the Ice by Jaci Burton is $1.99! This is book seven in the Play-by-Play series and though it’s been a while since I’ve read this one, I think it’s fine as a standalone. I have a soft spot for this series as I devoured it rather quickly in my early 20s. The lovely team at Berkley even turned this cover into a poster for me. It hangs over my bed.  Body Check Everything’s coming together for budding fashion designer Carolina Preston. Only months away from having her own line, she could use some publicity. That’s when her brother suggests his best friend as a model – hockey player Drew Hogan. Carolina and Drew already have a history – a hot one, back in college. Unforgettable for Carolina, but for Drew, just another slap shot. This time, though, it’s different. His perfect body would be for professional use only. This time, she could use him. Drew is all for it. He’s looking forward to the exposure. Plus, it would give him a chance to prove to Carolina that he’s changed. If only he could thaw her emotions, convince her to let down her guard and let him in just one…

A Delicate Deception by Cat Sebastian
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Articles / December 9, 2019

A- A Delicate Deception by Cat Sebastian December 10, 2019 · Avon Impulse Historical: EuropeanLGBTQIARegencyRomance I came close to crying more than once when reading A Delicate Deception. Sometimes I think of myself as a jaded reader; many books entertain me, but few impress me, and even fewer really move me. But then I read a book like this one and it turns me into a giant mush-ball and I think maybe my book-reading heart and brain are not so hardened as all that. A Delicate Deception is about Amelia Allenby, a young, reclusive historical novelist, and Sydney Goddard, who is a gentle, surly engineer. Amelia is the younger half-sister of the hero, Alistair, from the first book in the Regency Imposters series (Unmasked by the Marquess) and was friends with the heroine of the second book, Verity Kent (Amelia wrote the non-salacious parts of the salacious novel Verity publishes in A Duke in Disguise). Amelia and Sydney meet walking in the countryside, although in their first few encounters Amelia is silently annoyed that a man is intruding on her solitude and Sydney is silently polite: He lumbered along the path she had worn with her own feet as if…

Cover Snark: A Back Skin Rorschach Test
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Articles / December 9, 2019

It’s a Monday and Mondays are for Cover Snark! Elyse: Just going to leave this here. Amanda: Are they at a middle school dance? Elyse: RIGHT Ellen: They are clearly trying to leave room for Jesus. So its a church dance Sneezy: Looks like my high school dance class Hello phys ed, what are you doing here? Tara: You need to leave space for Jesus in between… Amanda: I also can’t tell if it’s contemporary or trying to be historical Tara: Ha! I didn’t read up before posting. High five Ellen! Looking at that title too, I’d bet money on it being a Christian romance Sarah: OK, that’s the 8th grade sway. They’re going to sway awkwardly back and forth, and if you’re around my age, it might be “In Your Eyes” by Peter Gabriel, which is really romantic and intense. Then the song ends and then you’re not sure where to put your eyes. Shana: Yeah, this says junior high dance to me. Our game had improved by high school. Also, they appear to be from rival Disney Princess and country music cons, brought together by true love: Lara: Are their eyes closed or just looking down? If the…

Lorraine Heath, Highlanders, & More
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Articles / December 8, 2019

The Truth About Cowboys The Truth About Cowboys by Lisa Renee Jones is 99c! This is the first book in a new series and seems to have a lot of catnip, but also a lot going on: small town, an athlete turned cowboy, opposites attract, and a writer heroine. Fans of Jones say they enjoyed the departure from her typical romantic suspense. Steamy, sexy, and laugh-out-loud funny, THE TRUTH ABOUT COWBOYS is a new contemporary novel that will pull your heartstrings and steam up your e-reader… While I was off pitching in the big leagues, my family was back in the small town of Sweetwater, Texas, running the family ranch. Then tragedy hit and I discovered there were secrets that my family kept, problems they hid. I went home, left behind the money, women, and fame. I took over the ranch and took care of my grandmother. I took over hiding the secrets. Then she came to town. A smart-mouthed, clumsy, too-smart-and-too-pretty-for-my-own-good city girl hiding out to write a book. She’s right here, on my property, in the cottage my grandmother rented her without my permission, and she sees too much. She knows too much. Now suddenly my world is spinning,…

A Beastly Kind of Earl by Mia Vincy
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Articles / December 8, 2019

B- A Beastly Kind of Earl by Mia Vincy November 26, 2019 · Inner Ballad Press Historical: EuropeanRomance This is a joint review by Aarya and Claudia. Sometimes reviews here are in the form of a dialogue, and sometimes they are rather longform; this one is both, and we hope you enjoy our discussion. CW/TW warnings inside CW/TW: discussion of deceased character with bipolar I disorder and psychosis (specific terminology is not named in text but explained in the author’s note) Claudia: I have a confession to make: I was today years old when I discovered what is really my favorite romance trope. Oh, for years I was pretty sure it was marriage-of-convenience. For me, a reader of (mainly) historical romance, it gets the job done with minimal fuss and maximum enjoyment. Lately, though, some of the marriage-of-convenience books I was reading had started to look a lot alike, and I could feel my enthusiasm for the trope ebbing. Enter my new thing, the fake marriage of convenience. Call it a variant: All that on-page interaction, with an added layer of shenanigans. And I have A Beastly Kind of Earl to thank for that realization — for that and for…

The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim
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Articles / December 8, 2019

B+ The Enchanted April by Elizabeth Von Arnim 1922 Classic Somehow I’ve managed to exist this far into life without having seen or read The Enchanted April. Finally I have gotten to the book and it is indeed delightful, although reading it immediately after finishing Gideon the Ninth was perhaps not the best choice (tonal whiplash!). This slow paced, lyrical novel is about friendships between women and the joy of literally having a room of one’s own, if only for a month. The Enchanted April, written in 1922, is about four women who rent a castle in Italy together for one month (April, duh). The story is set in motion by an advertisement that reads: To Those who Appreciate Wisteria and Sunshine. Small mediaeval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let Furnished for the month of April. Necessary servants remain. Z, Box 1000, The Times. Londoners Mrs. Wilkins and Mrs. Arbuthnot know each other (barely) because they attend the same church. Mrs. Wilkins has spent her adult life waiting on a demanding and disapproving husband. Mrs. Arbuthnot began married life madly in love with her husband, but after years of marital disappointment and the death of…