Hello everyone and welcome to the second wrap up in 2015 for romance, romantic suspense and erotica. As always, a steady stream of reviews fitting these genres trickled in and we have quite a few exciting books to highlight for the month of February – which was of course, the month of love!
Firstly comes a new release:
Snowy River Man by Lizzy Chandler was released through Harlequin’s digital first imprint, Escape Publishing. For those who don’t know, Lizzy Chandler is aka Elizabeth Lhuede, our very own Australian Women Writers Challenge founder and host. It is wonderful that not only has Elizabeth raised awareness of women’s writing for the past four years and now she’s being reviewed for this challenge! The release of Snowy River Man even convinced our AWWC die-hard crime fan, Bernadette from Reactions To Reading to step well outside her comfort zone and try some romance. In her review, Bernadette explores how she was able to connect with the story, despite not being a romance reader:
I read and enjoyed my first romance novel in 20 odd years. Even the slightly mystical tone was well within my low tolerances for ‘woo woo’ elements and added a little something extra to the reading experience and I was smiling when it came to the happy ending
Brenda from Goodreads also read and reviewed Snowy River Man, awarding it 5 stars.
A nice mixture of suspense and romance, with a gritty plot and delightful characters; the word pictures painted of the countryside around the Snowy Mountains, the chill in the air, the blackness of the night sky plus the vividness and brightness of the stars – all was exceptionally well done.
Runaway Lies by Shannon Curtis was a romantic suspense novel released in February and has garnered a positive response from the reviews it received this month. Michelle from Beauty And Lace was enthusiastic in her enjoyment of this one:
Curtis has brought together lovable characters, interesting back stories, page-turning suspense and steamy sexual tension on every page. This is one I will recommend to everyone, have to love a story that keeps you guessing.
Shelleyrae from Book’d Out was likewise hooked:
Runaway Lies is an engaging novel of romantic suspense from Shannon Curtis. The plot is fast moving, offering some exciting and dramatic moments, and the romantic tension sizzles.
February also offered up a little of the paranormal.
Tackling the lighter side of the genre was Dani Kristoff with Bespelled. It was reviewed by Sam Still Reading who doesn’t mind a little magic and made this book sound like a very fun read!
I really liked Elena. She was incredibly disciplined, not taking advantage of love-struck Jake despite his desperation to show his love in any way possible (which were comical at times). Although she was disappointed in her lack of witch powers, she didn’t let it overwhelm her and simply got on with life. I did think that her reactions to some situations were a little rushed, but this book does contain a great deal in addition to the romance, so perhaps there wasn’t time for full reflection. Plus, one of the other things I enjoyed was how the plot didn’t let up for a minute –it’s all go. Jake was hot, but with a sad history that was explored well when the spell wore off. The differences between Jake under the spell and normal Jake were very clear, but his essence shone through all the time so he didn’t seem like a different person.
One submission that caught my eye was a review of With My Body by Nikki Gemmell, a follow up to The Bride Stripped Bare which Gemmell wrote as ‘Anonymous’. Having read The Bride Stripped Bare many years ago, this review of the sequel, published in 2011 reminded me that it’s been sitting on my TBR for a couple of years now. Lildamek at Goodreads was impressed with the storytelling, even if some scenes were confronting.
Overall, this is an excellent story telling journey of how life changes when we open ourselves to new possibilities, and the self harm we inflict by closing ourselves off.
For those looking for something a little on the spicy side, there’s the Secret Confessions: Sydney Housewives series of which Christa is one of the latest installments. Sam from Sam Still Reading had this to say about the story, which touches on a sexual situation that involves more than 2 people:
I thought that the characterisation in this story was done brilliantly – we get to know Christa and Marc and their likes very, very quickly. The threesome scenes weren’t smutty and reading about the aftermath of that night helped to show that this wasn’t just a one off. It covered some parts that may otherwise have been awkward with grace. It’s a quick but fun read that should really be devoured with the air conditioning on!
That’s all for this month – I’ll be back next month with more romance titles for you to explore.
About me: I’m Bree and I’ve had a book in my hand since I learned to read at 5. I’m a mother of two and almost five years ago I began blogging my thoughts about books in an attempt to find others who were as obsessed as I was. You can find me at my blog or tweet me @1girl2manybooks