"Forbidden Love" - Christine Flynn - 2001

Lately I've been grabbing series romance from the library without knowing anything about the authors or how good the stories inside will be. Sometimes they are just okay, sometimes I don't finish them, but this time I hit the jackpot. Apparently my favorite "wrong brother" plot should just be "wrong sibling." In this case the hero is engaged to marry the older sister, when he realizes he has developed feelings for the younger sister (who has a major crush on him). He ends the engagement before invitations are sent, but the wronged sister's family still hates him. "Forbidden Love" is too dramatic a title for this nice love story, "Second Chances" or something of the like would be more appropriate. Both leads are honorable and good people who tend to put their family's happiness before their own, so of course, you can't wait for them to find happiness together.
Maybe it was just my mood, but this book was tugging some major heartstrings - now if I can just convince the library to trade paperbacks so I can keep it!

New Authors....

"Bet Me" by Jennifer Crusie is hands down, without a doubt, my favorite contemporary romance. Frankly, I can’t even imagine ever reading one as good or perfect as it. When I consider the pressure to write another one, forget it! I block up just thinking about it. I completely understand Jennifer Crusie’s current undertakings, mostly focusing on multiple author stories of action and fantasy (“Agnes and the Hitman” “Dogs and Goddesses” etc.) So now that Crusie has moved on, I found myself trying new authors for my funny contemporary fix, and I’m so glad I did.

First I found Susan Donovan through excellent reviews at “All About Romance.” Both “Take a Chance on Me” and “He Loves Lucy” were highly recommended and are sitting pretty on my keeper shelf right now. 2/2 for Donovan: now I’m looking for her backlist. Plus, this is a woman after my own heart, she talks about Tom Waits, and quotes Bill & Ted – I’m in.

Another author I’m very excited for is Christie Craig. At first I thought it was just clever marketing when I saw Craig next to Cruisie in the bookstore, like how Julia Pottinger goes by Julia Quinn and sees her books right alongside those of bestselling author Amanda Quick (Jayne Ann Krentz). But then, I looked at the copyright - as I have learned to do - and it’s not a ploy, it's her real name. Plus one for Craig. Also, “Gotcha!” was one of the sweetest books I’ve read in a while, so plus two. She also has a few books under her belt I’m excited to read, and more great things to come I hope. Thank goodness for generous friends who aren’t afraid to buy an untried author and then share the goods!

So, as much as I love Jennifer Crusie’s style and humor and will re-read "Bet Me" 'til its binding crumbles, I can rest easy knowing some talented authors are stepping into those French heeled bunny slippers!!

"He Loves Lucy" - Susan Donovan - 2005

A plus-size heroine, a sexy trainer, and a wonderful love story for two characters who deserve it. So great!
I loved it!

"Gotcha!" - Christie Craig - 2009

A fellow romance reading friend gave me this, and my first reaction was, "Wow! Look at that cover!" I loved it, both the cover and the novel. Sweet and funny and not even a little kinky despite the kuffs on the front. I love when a hero falls fast, so fast the heroine isn't even sure if she likes him yet, but of course she comes around. Craig is relatively new on the romance scene, so I'm pumped to read her backlist, and then anxiously await more stories as good as this one!


Started a charm bracelet made from earrings who've lost their mates.

Remember how Levi's have the sizes on the back?

I guess cowboys didn't mind it much, but my 13-year-old self sure did!

"Dead Until Dark" - Charlaine Harris - 2001

So, I went on a total bender at the library. I decided I wanted to read the Sookie Stackhouse books, because people have been telling me I would love "True Blood" - the HBO show based on the Charlaine Harris mystery novels. So, I checked out every one I could find, and went out and bought the first installment, "Dead Until Dark." I finished the novel the night before I borrowed the show on DVD from a friend. I see many hours being consumed in the next week or two, well who am I kidding, I got the DVD on Monday, and I'm already on episode 6! It's sweet, it follows the first book, but adds a great character in Tara, Sookie's best friend, and rounds out some people only mentioned in the novel, like the flamboyant short order cook Lafayette. It's graphic and dark, but still surprisingly funny. I'm hooked.

"Beau Crusoe" - Carla Kelly - 2007

Sometime in the last few weeks I've aquired 4 or 5 books revolving around desert islands of some kind. This was the first I've read, and also my first Carla Kelly. "Beau Crusoe" features a unique and interesting storyline : a lovely heroine, plus a truly troubled, but remarkable hero. -- Won't be my last Kelly that's for sure. I had high expectations based on glowing reviews and tons of internet chatter. I could never find any of Carla Kelly's books at my local UBS, but I fear it's only because I was looking in the wrong section. I was under the assumption she wrote traditional regencies, and only looked in that section - now that I know where to look I hope to find more.