My Top Reads for 2013, Part 2

Here is part two of my favorite reads for 2013. In case you are new to this blog I have a reading obsession with Historical Romances. What can I say? I love the setting of Regency and Victorian England with happily ever afters. I am working in more contemporary and paranormal for 2014 but 2013 was the year of Historical Romances.

18012643A Taylor-Made Life by Kary Rader: Tissue Alert! This book requires tissues and time. I am not going to lie, this book is about two young people with cancer. Now don’t turn away, it’s a great story full of romance, laughs, hope and yes, sadness.  Still wanting to run? There is a sequel planned. Now what book with the leading characters that have cancer have a sequel? Not many. You’ll enjoy this read, I promise.

 

perf5.000x8.000.inddThe Letter by Sandra Owens: I have been telling anyone that will listen to me about The Letter. This is one of my favorite, favorite books. I find, Ms. Owens to be a words smith and writes emotion so well. You will want to cry and laugh. Let me tell you any author that can have a three-legged cat and rabbit steal the show is pretty amazing!

 

 

16056420Lady in Red by Maire Claremont: A deliciously dark Victorian romance is what you get when reading this book. Ms. Claremont does a wonderful job creating a setting that seems like the only way out is to fight. Her characters have an emotional depth that pulls you in wanting to know more about them. I felt this book was about taking back your identity and fighting for what’s right. The road is hard but worth every hard step.

 

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Darius: Lord of Pleasures by Grace Burrowes: This story stirred many emotions for me. It’s about a woman who wants a child and her husband is not able to help in that area. He husband finds a man willing to get the job done and a relationship is formed. It’s a slow romantic build and the ending is surprising and yes you will need tissues. Ms. Burrowes knows how to write a story that doesn’t allow you to put it down.

 

15778717Sweet Madness by Heather Snow: Conquering demons is the theme of this story. The H/h in this book are trying to fight through their demons by helping others and hiding. Ms. Snow does a fabulous job drawing you into the story and to the characters. You feel the emotional pain and triumphs the characters endure. A powerful read.

 

 

81FVqrfzr5L._SL1500_Desire Wears Diamonds by Renee Bernard: I have waited for what seems like forever to find out who was the Jackal that plagued the Jaded. It was an exciting conclusion to a fabulous series. Can I say having all six of the Jaded men in one story was aaaamazing and worth the wait. There is a quite a bit of action with all the usual Renee Bernard flare she puts into her stories. 

 

 

15839962If You Give a Rake a Ruby by Shana Galen: What I found great about this book and series is that not everything or everyone is as they seem. Ms. Galen gives her characters a depth that you don’t see until you really get into this book. She then begins to peal layers off and we see the characters for who they really hard. It’s wonderful! This book had mystery, suspense, romance, heat and humor. It was great!

 

16056370Flirting with Fortune by Erin Knightley: This was wonderful story of two real-like people. Ms. Knightley does a wonderful job creating characters that you could easily believe to be your friends or even yourself. I was submerged into this story with it’s wonderful banter and mysterious elements. When reading her stories I feel so happy and when having a rough time I always know Erin Knightley’s books will put a smile on my face.

 

I read so many fabulous books during my book challenge that I probably could post two additional blog post about them but then they wouldn’t be my top picks. If you have time this weekend pick up one of these books, I know you won’t be disappointed.

To my fellow American friends have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday. To my friends around the world enjoy the rest of the week and enjoy your weekend. I hope you all find time to get some reading in.

-Romance Reader Girl

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Merry Farmer’s In Your Arms is out today!

In Your Arms by Merry Farmer

Get In Your Arms on Amazon, Amazon UK, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.
Add In Your Arms to your Goodreads to-read shelf!

About In Your Arms

In Your Arms Merry FarmerLily Singer has never belonged. Taken from her tribe as a child and raised in a white man’s school, she no longer has a place in either world. Teaching has become her life. When that life is threatened by rumors and prejudice after a string of robberies, she must turn for help to the one man who spells disaster for her carefully ordered existence. Will he save her or steal her heart?

Christian Avery, Justice of the Peace, is used to having things his way. Cold Springs is his responsibility, and when its citizens blame the local Indian population for the mysterious robberies, it’s up to him to restore order and maintain calm. The one person who refuses to follow his lead is the beautiful, native-born Lily. Her defiance turns his life upside down.

But when town gossip shifts from robberies to romance after a foolish indiscretion, Lily’s job and reputation are on the line. She must choose between the only life she has ever known and the only place she has ever felt at home, in Christian’s arms.

About Merry Farmer

Merry FarmerMerry Farmer is an award-winning author of Historical Romance and what she likes to call “Sci-Fi for Women.” She lives in suburban Philadelphia with her two cats and enough story ideas to keep her writing until she’s 132. Her second novel, The Faithful Heart, was a 2102 RONE Award finalist and her unpublished futuristic novelA Man’s World won first place in the Novel: Character category at the 2013 Philadelphia Writer’s Conference. She is out to prove that you can make a living as a self-published author and to help others to do the same.

Find Merry Farmer on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon Author Page.

Get the book!

In Your Arms is available on Amazon, Amazon UK, Smashwords, Barnes & Noble, and iBooks.

Don’t forget to add In Your Arms to your to-read shelf on Goodreads.

Connect with Merry Farmer on her website, Facebook, Twitter, and Amazon Author Page.

-Romance Reader Girl

My Top Reads for 2013, Part 1

Screen shot 2013-11-24 at 1.10.53 PMI had a goal this year to read 125 NEW books and I have reached my goal. I am going to post two blogs with my top reads for 2013. Yes, two blogs. I did read 125 books this year and felt I couldn’t pick five books for the amount I read. Not all the books are brand new this year but some that have been out for a long time, and they are new to me. Many I have done reviews on as well. I will post Part 2 later in the week.

2098340Wicked at Heart by Danelle Harmon: This is the first book I’ve read by Danelle Harmon and it won’t be the last. I was in a book coma for a few days after reading this book. This book keeps you guessing to the very last minute. You will experience every emotion while you read it. There are many twist and turns that you honestly don’t see coming. The love the story between Damon and Gwyneth is one for the times. I don’t have enough words to describe how wonderful this book really is.

9645276Midnight’s Wild Passions by Anna Campbell: I spent a good part of my summer devouring Anna Campbell’s books (author interview to come soon!). She is a fabulous writer and I will be auto by anything she writes. This book is about a man getting revenge and sharp tongue companion that will stop at nothing to protect her charge. This book has adventure, lots of laughs and romance.

13489922The Heiress Effect by Courtney Milan: Another auto buy author! Take a young lady that is going to the extreme to protect her sister and you’ve got a heroine you instantly love and are cheering for. This book is hilarious. The lengths that the heroine goes to, to keep the male population away from her is remarkable and I love her strength. It’s a great read with a wonderful romantic element with Oliver.

12532672Untouched by Sara Humphreys: This is the second paranormal romance I’ve read and it is just as amazing as the first book that I read (which was a top summer read for me). This story is about a woman who cannot touch others without pain and seeing visions of that specific person. Makes life lonely not being able to touch anyone. Ms. Humphreys’ writes her characters with a lot of depth that makes her stories so fun to read.

15847315Lady of Pleasure by Delilah Marvelle: Don’t let the title of this book throw you off. This book is about a long friendship with strong feelings that are ignored and because they have been ignore there is pain for the H/h. There is so much emotion of every kind that you don’t want to put it down becuase you are waiting for the next type of emotion to hit you. Ms. Marvelle pushes the emotional boundaries in this book and it made it a ever better read.

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000032_00034]Final Piece by Maggi Myers: This is not a historical romance but a romance. It is VERY emotional. It deals with a young woman that has experience sexual abuse very young but overcomes that and puts the pieces of her life back together with help from a friend. This is not just about a young lady but about a family healing. It’s a powerful read that is full of hope. It is written beautifully. You will want to have your box of tissues next to you as you read this story.

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The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley: Many of you that follow this blog know that I will drop everything (nearly) to start reading a book about the Mackenzie’s. This book was no exception. I loved it. Daniel Mackenzie has been in every book from the beginning of this series as a young man in his early teens. It was a wonderful read that is about the beginning of the Industrial Revolution with many inventors popping up. It was an exciting romantic read with all the fabulous Jennifer Ashley flair.

Happy Reading and stay tuned for Part 2 later in the week.

-Romance Reader Girl

Author Interview: Sandra Owens

Today, I am really excited to have Sandra Owens on my blog. She is opening up about why she writes, where she would like to travel and some of her favorite things. Thrilled is just one word that describes how happy I am that Sandy has stopped by to answer some questions. For some of you that may not know she has written two fabulous historical romances, The Letter (see my review here) and The Training of a Marquess  both can be purchased on Amazon. And when I say fabulous, I mean go to Amazon buy and read them this weekend. 🙂

RRG: What attracted you to write historical romances, especially during the Regency period?

Sandy: I would have to attribute my first book to my love of reading the genre. I’ve always loved to write, but only turned serious about it four years ago, and have since written three Regencies, two of them published. I pretty much considered my first book, Katie, Love, the Duke of Aubrey’s story, a practice book. Since publication of The Training of a Marquess and The Letter, I’ve received so many emails from readers wanting Christian and Katie’s story. I’m under contract for two contemporary romantic suspense books, but I’m working on Katie, Love as time permits.

RRG: Where do you get your ideas? One of my favorite scenes in The Letter is when Michael is writing to Diana about the cat and rabbit. Oh, I just giggled and giggled. 

Sandy: That’s one of my favorite scenes too, Lindsey. I’m a panster, so I’m never sure what direction my stories are going to take or what my hero/heroine will say or do. As I wrote The Letter, Michael’s sense of humor emerged (I was grateful for that because it helped balance the dark side of the story). After Diana left him and he sat down to write his first note to her, I really had no idea what he was about to say. I honestly believe the rabbit and cats came straight from him because I don’t think I could have ever conceived of such.

RRG: Who’s in control you or the characters?

Sandy: I’m laughing here. You have no idea how much I wish I could say I have some control over them.

RRG: If you gave one of your characters the opportunity to speak for themselves, what would they say?

Sandy: “Any of you ladies in need of a cat or two? Things are getting a bit out of hand here and the furry devils are all over the place.” Michael, the Earl of Daventry, from The Letter.

RRG: As a child, what do you want to do when you grew up?

Sandy: When I was seven, my parents put me on a direct flight from Miami to my grandparents in West Palm Beach. The flight lasted twenty minutes maybe, but I was in awe of the stewardesses (remember they used to be called that?). I decided then and there I wanted to be a stewardess when I grew up. I never let go of that dream and I did achieve it after I graduated from high school.

RRG: Where is one place in the world that you would really love to visit someday?

Sandy: There’s so many places I’d like to visit, but number one on my list is Scotland.

RRG: Who is one of your favorite historical romance couples? (I know it’s hard to pick just one!)

Sandy: Oh my, I’m torn between Gabriel and Sarah in Judith James’ Broken Wing, and Christian and Maddy in Laura Kinsale’s Flowers From the Storm. Mmm. Wow, this is hard, but I guess Gabriel and Sarah by a hair.

RRG: What type of books do you like to read?

Sandy: Regencies, of course. Those are my favorites. Also, I love contemporary romances and romantic suspense. In non-romance, I’ll read anything Pat Conroy writes, and I love most of Anne Rice and Stephen King’s stories.

Sandra Owens Favorites:

Quote: Where there is love there is life.” Mahatma Gandhi

Snack: Habanero BBQ almonds

Beverage: Hot green tea and red wine

Movie: Camelot with Richard Harris and Vanessa Redgrave. I have the DVD and watch it every Christmas morning. I’d guess I’ve done that for the past twenty years and still cry at the end.

Time of year: Spring when everything’s fresh and new and all the flowers are blooming.

Holiday: Christmas.

Cake or pie? I’m not a big fan of either, but a chocolate cream pie would be my favorite.

 Thank you so much, Lindsey, for inviting me here today. I love your blog and these interview questions were fun to answer. 

Thank you Sandy, for taking the time to stop by to answer some questions. I am honored you read my blog. I cannot wait to read more of what you write. Happy Writing!

Readers- Below is additional information about the books Sandra Owens has written. Happy Reading!

perf5.000x8.000.indd THE LETTER is a story of a betrayal that wasn’t. Even so, it still tore two lovers apart for eleven years. Michael Jeffres, Earl of Daventry, found his betrothed, the woman who meant as much to him as the air he breathed, in bed with his cousin on the eve of their wedding.

Diana, the daughter of a marquess, remembers nothing of that night. All she knows is she was forced to marry Michael’s cousin, Leo, and then spent the next eleven years in hell.

When the two lovers are brought back together by a letter from Leo a year after his death, they must struggle through all the lies and secrets before they can find a love that far surpasses that of their youth

Training of a MarquessClaire Tremaine, the widowed Marchioness of Derebourne, wears leather breeches, trains horses and helps the damaged ones find their lost spirit.

Chastain Warren, the Earl of Kensington, Chase to his friends, isn’t pleased when he learns he’s inherited the title of Marquess of Derebourne. Having recently lost his beloved wife and unborn child, the last thing he wants is to be attracted to Derebourne’s widow, but he is. This woman who wears breeches isn’t anything like the ladies he’s waltzed with in the ballrooms of London.

It doesn’t take Claire long to realize she wants this man, and when he resists, she comes up with a plan she calls The Training of a Marquess and works her horse whispering magic on Chase

SandySandra lives in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina. She is a 2013 Golden Heart Finalist for her contemporary romance, Crazy for Her. A few highlights of Sandra’s life she fondly recalls are jumping out of a plane, flying upside down in a stunt plane, and riding her Harley in the mountains of Southern California and along the coast of Maine. Although those events in her life were great fun, nothing compares to the joy and satisfaction she gets from writing her stories.You can connect with Sandra on Twitter @SandyOwens1 and Facebook at SandraOwens.94043. Her website is: www.sandra-owens.com

-Romance Reader Girl

Review: ‘Twas the Night After Christmas (Hellions of Halstead Hall #6) by Sabrina Jeffries

13547392Sabrina Jeffries is a master when connecting stories through characters and she has done it again in ‘Twas the Night After Christmas. This story is part of the Hellions of Halstead Hall series but it can be read as a standalone.

Hero: Pierce Waverly, the Earl of Devonmont is a man that is not connect to his immediate family. With no siblings he never speaks of or to his mother and his father has passed away. He spends a time with his cousins, the Waverly’s. Pierce is a known rake and does as he pleases when he pleases, with a wicked sense of humor. He doesn’t have many personal relationships and he is content with this kind of solitary life.

Heroine: Mrs. Camilla Stuart is a widow with a young son, Jasper. She is a ladies companion to the Dowager Countess of Devonmont. Camilla is a strong spirited young lady. She was raised an orphanage and has a strong sense of what makes a family whole. Her priority is her son and giving him the best life she can. Camilla is opinionated with a great sense of humor that wants to love and be loved.

Setup: Pierce receives an urgent message from his mother’s companion stating she is ill and needs to come to the estate as soon as possible. Pierce has been ignoring his mothers letters but since this has been sent by her companion he feels it is urgent enough that he rushes to the country to be her side. However, when he arrives he finds his mother in perfect health and no sense of urgency was needed. Pierce is not happy as he does not like being in the company of his mother but her companion, Mrs. Stuart (Camilla) strongly feels that mother and son need to be in the place especially at Christmas. Camilla knows there is a reason why Pierce and his mother are not talking and wants to help mend the bridge but sometimes secrets are meant to be left in the past. Pierce wants nothing to do with Camilla’s scheme but because he is a rake and she is a young beauty he strikes up a deal with widow that may be more than what he ever had bargained for.

Quote: “She’d never been kissed with such passion. How alarming to discover that she would very much like it to happen again. Like delicious desserts, kisses provoked cravings for more at odd hours. And she’d never been good at resisting dessert…”

My Thoughts: The banter between Pierce and Camilla is great. At first you would think Pierce is cold but when he is with Camilla their chemistry is fun and electric. Camilla has no problem giving the sarcastic comments right back to Pierce. It’s great to see a strong heroine hold her own and not back down from a man, especially her employer. There are secrets unfolding for all parties involved in this story. Pierce and his mother aren’t the only with secrets, Camilla has a few of her own that really made me just like her so much more. The secrets plaguing all parties are sad but uncovering them is part of the charm of this story. I enjoyed the twist and turns this story has. Bonus we meet a character that is in Ms. Jeffries’ new series (The Duke’s Men). Again, she is a master at connecting stories through characters.

You can purchase ‘Twas the Night After Christmas on Amazon, B&N and Walmart.

-Romance Reader Girl

Review: The Rogue’s Proposal (House of Trent #2) by Jennifer Haymore

The Rogue’s Proposal is the second book in the House of Trent series by Jennifer Haymore. This is wicked sensual romance between Lord Lukas Hawkins and Mrs. Emma Curtis, with twist and terns that make this story a fun read.

17333280Lord Lukas Hawkins is a second son that lives in the shadow of his elder brother the Duke of Trent. He is second best in everything and with devastating secrets he truly feels he is not worth the air he breathes. The only thing keeping him going is the struggle to find his mother the Dowager Duchess of Trent. She has gone missing or has been kidnapped and the Hawkins’ are desperately trying to find her. Luke has taken on the responsibility and will stop at nothing to find his mother and perhaps the redemption he seeks for his soul. When he encounters a sultry beauty he may find the answers to the questions he is seeking about his mother and his soul.

Mrs. Emma Curtis has been betrayed and left penniless by the one person who should have protected her, her husband. She is out to find the man that destroyed her husband and family even if that means teaming up with a known rogue to seek the answers she craves. Emma is strong and resilient but when the handsome Lord Lukas Hawkins begins to break down the barriers Emma finds she is seeking answers to questions she didn’t know how to voice.

Wow! What hot sensual intriguing story that Ms. Haymore has written. Emma and Lukas are a powerful duo. They both have a resilient mind and will stop at nothing to find the answers to their questions (no spoilers). Not only are they seeking answers they both hold secrets; especially Luke that are heart breaking  The strength they find through one another is heart warming. This story has it all; mystery, sexual tension, comedy, romance secrets, sibling rivalry and so so much more. I enjoyed this book and it was great follow up to the first book in this series The Duchess Hunt and I look forward to the next book.

You can purchase The Rogue’s Proposal and other stories by Jennifer Haymore on Amazon and B&N.

This book will be available on November 19, 2013 but you can pre-order it

Received an ARC copy from Netgalley for an honest review.

-Romance Reader Girl

Book Quote for Wednesday

114166“I-I’m not making advances,” she told him as she flattened herself against his chest. “You’re just an available s-source of heat.” 

“So you say,” St. Vincent replied lazily, tucking the quilt more tightly around them both. 

“However, during the past quarter hour you’ve been fondling parts of my anatomy that no one’s ever dared to touch before.” 

“I v-very much doubt that.” She burrowed even further into the depths of his coat, and added in a muffled voice, “You’ve probably been h-handled more than a hamper at Fortnum and Mason.” 

-Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleyaps

Review: One Rogue Too Many by Samantha Grace (Rival Rogues #1)

Samantha Grace is a relatively new author to me. I found her Beau Monde series over the spring and really enjoyed her writing. When I was lucky to receive an ARC copy on her newest book One Rogue Too Many I jumped on the chance to read it for an honest review. One woman with two men fighting for her- what’s not to love?

17586493Any story that opens up with a young lady falling in love with her brothers best friend is going to be a story full of some good drama. AND when you add the boy using a pet name like Lady Bug your heart has to melt a little. I was hooked from the first page reading the sincere endearment, Lady Bug.  Anthony and Gabby are a great match. What is interesting is that both of them know and don’t deny their connection, however, sometimes there are factors that always get in the way of any great love.

Lady Gabrielle Forest is an artist. She sees life through an artists eyes. She is beautiful, kind with a keen mind. Gabby doesn’t sit and watch things happens she takes thing into her own hands, well, within reason of course. She has loved Anthony Keaton, Lord Ellis for her whole life. She knows he is her one true love in this world but his lack of communication and secrecy will question Anthony’s love for her. When another charming gentleman begins to throw his hat in the ring for Gabby’s attention she might reconsider the idea of her beloved Anthony as Lord Thorne, Sebastian is handsome and very communicative and safe. She knows Lord Thorne could never hurt her heart as Anthony has. The choice is hers, who will she choose?

Anthony Keaton, Lord Ellis is an Earle with not a lot of family. Anthony has spent most of his time growing up with Lady Gabrielle Forest family. Her brothers are his best friends. From a very young age he has known that Gabby was someone special and more than the sister to his best friends. They have had a special bond for years. However, age difference and time isn’t always on ones side and decisions must be made. Though, sometimes second chances are given. When Anthony gets a second chance to have the wife he has longed for he is eager to get Gabby and make her his. But where Gabby is concern things aren’t always so easy and there are a few hiccups along the way. One hiccup is the handsome and charming Lord Thorne, Sebastian and he will wager and do anything to win Gabby’s hand before Anthony can. Both Anthony and Sebastian have had a love-hate friendship over the years but it comes to ahead when Gabby is involved. However, when secrets are brought to light Anthony could lose Gabby to Sebastian.

There are so many things I loved about this story. Right up front you learn that Anthony and Gabby love one another and it’s not a secret. Sure, you think if they love each other why aren’t they together? Well…if it was that easy there wouldn’t be story, right!? This story has a fabulous cast of characters. Gabby’s family is awesome and her younger twin sisters steal some scenes. Oh and her brothers are just wonderful. If I had older brothers I would want them to be like hers. The tension between Anthony and Sebastian add a lot of depth to the story. Also, there is a back story to Sebastian I hope Ms. Grace explores and write’s a book about. The secrets in this story lead to some very interesting twist that you don’t see coming. I really enjoyed reading this book. It was a page turner and fun. This looks to be a promising series and I look forward to the following books.

You can pre-order One Rogue Too Many on Amazon. The book will be released on January 7, 2014.

I received this book on NetGalley for an honest review.

-Romance Reader Girl