Recently I’ve been working with a non-romance project that’s taken a ton of time and energy and also took us for a quick trip to Vegas for a conference—with horrible wifi, which kicked my never-ending to-do list back a week. (Not to mention my reading/listening—‘cuz my darling husband is extremely forbearing, but does get irritated when I spend too much time in his company with headphones on. Something about common courtesy, actually enjoying spending time with me, blah blah blah…)

Just kidding. I love my books, but having a real-life hero in my life is very important! (And he always knows when I need some down time to read.)

Bottom line, though, is that I haven’t had the usual amount of time to dive in.

Still, recently, I had some nice listens & reads.

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Rachel Gibson had a July release, Just Kiss Me, which features a movie star coming home to Charleston after her mother dies and facing a bundle of secrets she shares with the rich family she grew up with across the lawn. (She and her mother lived in their carriage house.)

True LoveThe book got mixed reviews on Amazon, and I can understand why. It lacks some of the effervescent humor and witty repartee Gibson is known for, and long-time fans were disappointed by that, apparently. But on its own merits—without comparing Gibson to herself, if you will—I thought the book was a good read, and I enjoyed the sizzling tension between Vivian Leigh Rochet and Henry Whitley-Shuler, the heir apparent to the equivalent of Southern royalty who had to step back from a high-powered life due to a stress-induced heart attack and found peace in wood working.

I think we’re seeing a different Gibson, and the change isn’t celebrated by everyone. But I still enjoy her storytelling and the different kinds of worlds she’s building. I’m still a fan.

Another established romance star who’s going in some interesting directions lately is Jude Deveraux. I truly enjoyed this spring’s Pride and Prejudice-based The Girl from Summer Hill, which I expect is the start to a new series. It also inspired me to check out her recent Nantucket Brides trilogy, a light paranormal series with Taggert and Montgomery ghosts, hints of reincarnation themes which keep loving hearts together for eternity, and also has soul mate architects, royal princes (Lanconians are back!), and a billionaire for good measure. I’ve made it through books 1 and 2—True Love  and For All Time —and will get to Ever After (book 3) soon I hope!

A couple of notes on some recent or upcoming releases…

The paranormal powerhouse of Kresley Cole, Larissa Ione, and Gena Showalter released an anthology this week, Blood Red Kiss, with stories from their crazy popular series, Immortals After Dark, Moonbound Clan, and Otherworld Assassins.

Catherine Bybee’s latest Not Quite title comes out this month, Not Quite Perfect.

BloodredI met author j. leigh bailey last year at a Chicago writers’ meeting, and I simply loved her Read-A-Romance Month post that talked about Nigerian romance authors and the way they are creating a sort of social revolution through romance. (I hope you’ll read it!)

Her newest title, Do-Gooder, releases today. It’s an LGBTQ title that explores a bunch of fascinating issues by basing the book on a religious mission in politically unstable Cameroon. Nothing complicated there!

I am intrigued and hope to pick it up soon (crossing fingers it may someday come out in audio!)

Finally, British favorite Jenny Colgan has a release next week that features a bookseller!

Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with the perfect book is her passion…and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

The Bookshop on the Corner sounds like a must-read for me. :o) 

What does your reading week look like, or what are you looking forward to?

#LoveRomance  #HappyReading  #ReadARomance