Category: romance novels


Pumpkin went chomp chomp.





I like historical romance novels, but I want to branch out into more epic-adventure/fantasy novels with a strong romance part. Does anyone have any recommendations? I enjoy the show the legend of the seeker, and Star Wars, and Stardust. If that’s helpful to define what I’m talking about… I’m pretty open tho.

May I recommend:

Alias Hook by Lisa Jensen (a retelling of Peter Pan told through the POV of Captain Hook. Spoiler alert: Hook is the good guy in this one).

An adult fairytale version of Neverland? (Read: a story worthy of Jason Isaacs’s Hook?) Smashing that purchase button!

Meet Captain James Benjamin Hook, a witty, educated Restoration-era privateer cursed to play villain to a pack of malicious little boys in a pointless war that never ends. But everything changes when Stella Parrish, a forbidden grown woman, dreams her way to the Neverland in defiance of Pan’s rules.

With Stella’s knowledge of folk and fairy tales, she might be Hook’s last chance for redemption…

I highly recommend the Sharing Knife series by Lois McMaster Bujold. It’s very romantic and has great fantasy worldbuilding. 


I originally read this back in 2016 and gave i…

I originally read this back in 2016 and gave it 3 stars. What was past mfred doing with her life? Obviously not appreciating fabulous romance novels.

Nine Rules to Break when Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean

Lady Calpurnia decides she’s had enough of the spinster life and makes a list of nine outrageous activities to do in order to really live. Lord Ralston needs Calpurnia to remain staid and respectable in order to introduce his half-sister into society. Except Ralston can’t quite stop kissing Callie every chance he gets.

This book hinges on the idea that the hero can’t accept/understand love. If you buy that, then all the romantic tension and plot shenanigans fall into place. I think MacLean does a pretty awesome job of selling Ralston as a jaded, unrepentant rake with a (damaged) heart of gold. It’s not perfect, but it worked for me. And the way Callie challenged and overcame her own loneliness and passivity by being willing to take risks and seek out adventure really spoke to me. 4 enthusiastic stars.  



Wallace doesn’t know why I’m interrupting his nap for a romance novel pictorial. It’s for the aesthetics, Wallace! 

Vengeance Road by Christine Feehan

I have trouble with Feehan because she POV-switches/ head hops from one paragraph to the next in a lot of her books. Either she’s gotten a better editor or I just didn’t notice it as much because Vengeance Road was a real winner.

Breezy is a motorcycle club survivor. She has no plans to ever return to that way of life. But without any other choices, she infiltrates the Torpedo Ink compound to deliver a warning to her former lover, Steele. Her plan is to get in and get out without getting caught, but it doesn’t quite work out that way. And now that Steele has Breezy back in his life, he’s not giving up on her that easily. Even if it means putting everything he has on the line to save her. 

What I like about Feehan is that she is very dramatic, in the best kind of way. Her stories and characters are over-the-top– not just bikers, but former assassins turned bikers. Not just former assassins– but tortured Russian children raised in a psychotic school for assassins by the Russian government. And I’m not even going to get started on the psychic powers.

Feehan also works to bring down and subvert the typical MC romance alpha male. Breezy’s background of abuse and suffering underlines the extremely unromantic underpinnings of motorcycle club culture, and the toxic nature of that much alpha dog masculinity let loose on the world. It also contrasts nicely with the struggles Steele has to try and build a healthy relationship when all he has known is violence and pain. Steele is still an alpha male living in a morally ambiguous world but it’s very clear who the real villains are. 

This is a second chance romance, but since so much of the past was based on lies, and since Breezy has grown and changed so much, there is a lot of newness between the characters. Past hurts linger and both suffer because of them, but also there are opportunities to build new connections. Breezy really shines in this novel– her strength, her resilience, her compassion. 4 stars.

A deeply emotional hero! A pragmatic heroine! …

A deeply emotional hero! A pragmatic heroine! Mechanical men! Dirigibles! All things steampunk! This book has it a lot going for it. 

Prince of Hearts by Margaret Foxe

Aline Finch, prim and proper and entirely overworked, is fed up with her employer, the renowned criminologist Professor Alexander Romanov. After one particularly harrowing day, she quits! She’s going to marry her beau, the steadfast Charlie, and live out her days having adventures. But when the Professor hears of her resignation, he immediately realizes he must do anything to get Finch back. Not just for himself (although he has a lot of Feelings-with-a-capital-F), but also to keep Finch safe. He’s got some dark secrets that may be putting Finch in danger. He has to find a way to keep Finch close and safe, both from a terrible killer on the loose and from himself!

Professor Romanov is grumpy, demanding, darkly attractive, deeply emotional, and beyond mysterious. Finch is delightfully British– a well-mannered, stiff upper lip type that contrasts nicely against the Professor’s drama and angst. She has finally made the decision to stop settling for less in her life and it’s fun to watch her stand up and defend herself against the Professor’s huge ego. I enjoyed the banter, stayed for the sexual tension, and then swooned over the will-they-won’t-they dramatics of the final resolution. The mystery/thriller aspects of the story are a little transparent, but the core relationship is so good, it’s easy to overlook. 4 stars.  

10 most read authors

From @books-on-a-wire‘s post, there is a feature in Goodreads which shows your most read authors (as shelved in your collections).

Mine are: 

1. Alexa Riley at 46 – Whoops, I read a lot of Alexa Riley. Her stuff is like candy! But they have started putting out multiple novellas a month and I think the quality is going down.

2. Terry Pratchett at 43 – You should read the Discworld books, they are awesome.

3. Ruby Dixon at 27 – Blue, furry aliens on an ice planet. Or, dragons in the post apocalypse. Or, menage-seeking bikers. In other words, fantastic books to read. 

4. Kristen Ashley at 25 – Hmm, a little embarrassed to have read this much Kristen Ashley. I’m a glutton for punishment?

5. T.S. Joyce at 24 – Fuck yeah, werebears!

6. Suzanne Brockmann at

21 – Once upon a time, I was really into the Troubleshooters series.

7. Ilona Andrews at

20 – You should definitely read the Kate Daniels series.

8. Kresley Cole at

16 – I’ve been somewhat keeping up with Cole’s Immortals After Dark series.

9. Lori Foster at

14 – Hmm, this is also a bit embarrassing. I like her MMA series.

10. Jennifer Crusie


12 – Hell yes, everything Crusie. 

Honorable mention: 11. Joanna Wylde at

11 – Because this doesn’t count re-reads, otherwise Wylde would be at the top of the list. Love, love, love the Reapers MC.

Young AdultUndead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson …

What makes a five star read? For me, it is a book that moves me– makes me laugh out loud, makes me cry, makes me think. I read so many books, so quickly, that I often consume without pausing. A five star book stops me in place and makes me pay attention. 

Here are the 5 star reads of 2018:


Spoonbenders by Daryl Gregory

This is a surprisingly tender, heartwarming, charming book! Told from a mix of POVs and across timelines, it manages to be both an interesting exploration of family life and a page-turner. I wanted to know the characters better while also being heavily invested in the plot.

My Year of Rest and Relaxation by Ottessa Moshfegh

First, let me tell you, the narrator’s voice is so strong, I didn’t realize she went unnamed until I read a review pointing it out. It’s not necessarily a trustworthy voice, but it is honestly confrontational, sometimes cruel, very funny, and wickedly sharp. The narrator does not spare you, when she is talking about others or herself. Sometimes, I cringed at the text, and sometimes– maybe even more upsetting– I nodded in agreement.


There’s a Giant Trapdoor Spider Under Your Bed by Edgar Cantero

Funny, entertaining, and just scary enough to get your pulse racing. A perfect short read.

Memoirs & Nonfiction

I Am, I Am, I Am by Maggie O’Farrell

A memoir of near-death experiences, I found it sometimes frightening, sometimes so stressful that I had to put the book down and walk away from it, and then, deeply moving. 

Lady Killers: Deadly Women Throughout History by Tori Telfer

Tefler doesn’t sensationalize. She interrogates and asks questions, digs deeper. She embraces the horrifying facts of each case while also drawing out deeper themes, showing a side of women’s lives not often explored in the media. 

Romance Novels

A Scot in the Dark by Sarah MacLean

A Beauty and the Beast re-telling, with scandalous art and giant Scotsman and so. many. feelings. MacLean really delves in there and grabs your heart, squeezing it for all it is worth.

Burn for You by JT Geissinger

Jackson is a beast on the outside, and a real emotional mess on the inside. He’s crusty and short tempered and quick to snap. He’s damaged by his past and not willing to let anyone in. Until Bianca. She takes him to task for his behavior, sasses him back and let’s him have it when he pushes her too far, and god bless him, he loves it.  

The Governess Game by Tessa Dare

It’s perfectly delightful in the way of the best romance novels. Funny and also poignant, light-hearted and also deeply emotional. The book is really about how we build our hopes and desires, and how we see ourselves and our worthiness to achieve those hopes and desires. It’s heavy stuff wrapped up in fluffy bow of will-they-won’t-they tension, stolen kisses, clandestine meetings, and overwhelming desire.

Wicked and the Wallflower by Sarah MacLean

Are you worthy of love? Can you find someone worthy to love? These are big questions that Felicity and Devil grapple with even as they plot and scheme both with and against each other. Both are lost souls, desperate and lonely, but also convinced that love is not for them. And that story, of finding and determining your own self worth in order to better love the person meant for you, so totally resonated with me. It brought me to tears.

Young Adult

Undead Girl Gang by Lily Anderson

Yes, this is a story about witches and magic and bringing the dead back to life, but it is grounded in very real emotions. Mila’s loneliness, her loss, really overwhelmed me. And then the difficulties she faced after getting Riley back broke my heart all over again. Mila is an outcast and a loner– Riley was truly the only person who meant anything to her. Watching their friendship sputter and stall, struggling as Mila struggles to try and understand what is happening to her and her friend, is hard. I felt very moved by the love and devotion present in this book, by the weight and meaning that Anderson gave to friendship and companionship.

I noticed some of my book reviews with romance…

I noticed some of my book reviews with romance novel covers got flagged. Not all of them, but some. Tessa Dare is too spicy for tumblr!

That title! This book! It’s everything lovely …

That title! This book! It’s everything lovely and funny and wonderful. You should be reading it right now!


He’s the bad-boy biker. She’s the good girl working in her family’s Indian restaurant. On the surface, nothing about Trucker Carrigan and Pinky Grover’s instant, incendiary, attraction makes sense. But when they peel away the layers and the assumptions–and their clothes–everything falls into place. The need. The want. The light. The laughter. They have more in common than they ever could’ve guessed. Is it enough? They won’t know until they take a chance on each other–and on love.  

I really, really enjoyed reading this book. It was unexpectedly funny, sentimental in all the right places, steamy and sexy without being over the top explicit, and had a swoon worthy happy ending. 

If your scared of the biker aspect– don’t be! It’s more of a take down of biker culture than a motorcycle club romance. I won’t spoil anything, but I will hint that the bad boy is not exactly as he seems. 

Friends! Countrywoman! Do not hesitate to pick…

Friends! Countrywoman! Do not hesitate to pick up this delightful holiday story!

The Best Worst Holiday Party by Olivia Waite

Isobel thinks she was invited to swanky party where she could hobnob and network with the kind of clientele she needed for her new career as a sommelier.  Except when she arrives, in her beautiful dress and high heels, she quickly finds out she is meant to be the help– serving wine to the guests!

Oliver finds himself ostracized from his fellow coworkers and bosses because he used his the forensic accountant skills they hired him for to bring down one of the higher ups in the agency. He’s lonely, questioning his life choices.

These two somewhat lost souls come together and the sparks! They immediately fly! And even better, they are able to help each other achieve their goals– Oliver introduces Isobel to an important woman who could advance her career, Isobel gives Oliver a way to express his art. And then there is smooching! It’s all so fun and happy. The perfect little bite of holiday goodness. 4 stars.