One of the best remarks I receive is “thanks for the book, but it kept me up all night” since, when a book captures a reader’s attention for so long they give up sleep—then I have done my job. Especially if the reader is new to romance or has seldom ventured into reading fiction, to know that a book I recommended was that addictive just gives me chills. It’s the best compliment I receive and one I treasure.
So, being the generous soul and advocate—so I’ve been told this week—of romance reading, I thought I’d share a few books I’ve recently recommended to people in my life who’ve come back to say: “Gee thanks, but I really need to sleep. Oh, by the way, do you any more suggestions?”
First up, and for the first time in print, is the expanded series of the Sullivan family by Bella Andre. The series was self-published in 2012 and became vastly popular, so MIRA picked them up and is issuing the series in paperback over the summer at the rate of one per month. You won’t have long to wait for your next fix. I was clued to the expansion by one of our reviewers who raved about the first release in e-book and couldn’t wait to get her hands on the new editions. The Look of Love (MIRA, June 2013) kicks off the series with the story of Chase Sullivan, an all-round nice guy whose chance meeting with Chloe develops at a slow but sensual pace into a romance. Our reviewer says, “THE LOOK OF LOVE is only the first of the well-written, charming, and searingly sexy stories in the Sullivan series.” So what more can you ask for in a contemporary romance but a steady, keep-reading-one-more-chapter novel? And books two and three will follow in July and August. So be aware and plan for a reading marathon in August if you’re a reader who needs all three books in hand before jumping in.
So, if you love grab-me-by-the-throat-and-never-let-go emotion, Taking Chances by Molly McAdams (William Morrow, April 2013) has it all. One of the so-called “New Adult” selections, Taking Chances was self-published and re-issued in paperback to a larger audience in April. “Heartbreaking Love” is the best way to describe Taking Chances and it doesn’t stop with one book. Stealing Harper (Avon e-book, June 2013) is the follow-up story told from Chase’s point of view and is now available as well. Chase is definitely NOT the good guy; he’s a hound dog and he has issues. Taking Chances tells the story of a young woman’s first adventures in a coming-of age-tale that twists and turns, making the reader laugh, cry and fan herself. It’s perfect for the returned to romance reader who wants a deeper emotional read; and it really is just that.
If you want a “gentle but intriguing romance,” I suggest Jesse Hayworth’s Summer At Mustang Ridge (NAL, June 2013) as a great choice. A story of a single mother putting her life together along with her horse-crazy daughter discovers more than she expected during a summer at a dude ranch. Summer is great for all of us who never forgot our desire for a pony and Hayworth paints the setting so beautifully you won’t want to leave. The romance is slow and subtle but with enough encouragement to keep you reading all night. I can’t think of a better recommendation for a sweet romance: horses, scenery and working cowboys.
For those of us who loved a series that seemed to disappear to our vast dismay, we’re in luck with the Enchanted, Inc. series return! Huzzah. Shanna Swendson writes beautiful modern paranormal romances: To call it urban fantasy is to miss the charm and humor of this world of gargoyles, magic and corporate shenanigans lurking beneath us in New York City. After the first four books, we had a four year break and it seemed that, unless we lived in Japan, we’d never get more of Enchanted, Inc. But thanks to technology, the series is now out in e-book and includes three new stories. You have to hand it changing times to breathe new life into creations that just didn’t make it the first time around. Kiss And Tell (NLA, May 2013) is the seventh outing “in the Enchanted, Inc Series [and] is Another Enjoyable Romp” according to our reviewer. I was just personally happy to see the return of Owen and Katie and to re-visit a New York that I swear lurks out of the corner of my eye. Having just returned from BookExpo America and a week in the Big Apple, I know some things just can’t be explained any other way! You may need to invest in the whole series, but I promise it’s a great investment!
Do you have any standouts that kept you up all night reading? I’d love to hear about them too!
Sara Reyes is the founder and partner at FreshFiction.com a popular fiction web site for today's reader with new titles, contests, over 50,000 genre fiction author profiles with backlists, and permanently archived reviews, plus all the industry buzz. Fresh Fiction has a biweekly segment (Buy the Book) on WFAA Channel 8 Good Morning Texas to talk about new books not to miss. Believing face-to-face interaction is as important as virtual communities, Fresh Fiction sponsors an annual author reader tea in June, a readers conference in November, monthly literary events, and book clubs. Follow Sara at @FreshFiction on Twitter or Facebook.com/FreshFiction.