Author Archives: Limecello

Give Me Your Book Recommendations Please! Talking Adult High Fantasy Romances

Impossible ThingsHi friends! So I’m always looking for book recommendations, and this summer I’ve been on a massive adult high fantasy romance kick.

Do you know how difficult it is to find books in this particular subgenre?!!? [Very. Very, very very very very difficult.] There are a lot of YA fantasy stories… some are romance … but most “adult” high fantasy romances are more romantic elements than romances.

What is high fantasy? I took that definition from wikipedia.

High fantasy is a subgenre of fantasy, defined either by its setting or by the epic stature of its characters, themes, and plot. High fantasy is defined as fantasy set in an alternative, fictional (“secondary”) world, rather than “the real”, or “primary” world. The secondary world is usually internally consistent, but its rules differ from those of the primary world.

But yes – not set in the real world. It’s different from low fantasy, pararnormal, or magical elements. Although a lot of fantasy stories often have magical elements.

An example of high fantasy would be the A Song of Ice and Fire series, possibly better known as the Game of Thrones TV series. However, while it’s an adult high fantasy, it isn’t a romance.

I’ve read Grace Draven, Jeffe Kennedy, Elizabeth Hunter, Amanda Bouchet, C.L. Wilson, Elizabeth Vaughan, Maria V. Snyder, Kate Johnson, the ACOTAR trilogy by Sarah J. Maas, Lisa Blackwood, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Michelle Sagara West, Patricia Briggs, Robin McKinley, Anne Leonard, Tanith Lee, Amy Harmon, Jill Myles, and I’ve even gone so far as to read YA; Leigh Bardugo, Rae Carson, Robin LaFevers, as well as Erika Johansen – although this last was a mistake. I’ve linked each author to either the series I read or my favorite book/series by the author.

I’m currently reading Sharon Shinn, then I’m going to read book(s) by Melanie Rawn, and also have Sara Raasch on deck. There are a few more authors but I can’t think of them off the top of my head. Oh I’ve also read the Black Jewels books by Anne Bishop ages ago.

I’ve also read the Sevenwaters series by Juliet Marillier – although I wouldn’t say those are high fantasy exactly, as the books are set in Ireland, although it’s an alternate reality “Erin with magical creatures” and more romantic elements stories than romance in my opinion. (I didn’t read book three.)

So! Does anyone have adult high fantasy romance recommendations for me? I’m willing to read series too but only if they’re complete. The way I read I blow through books and I not only hate waiting, I’ll forget things, so I need to be able to glom all at once. 😀 I do also love twisted fairy tales, so those I might make a special exception for – it’s what made me start the Sevenwaters books.

I know – I’m difficult. I’m not looking for paranormal romances, or time travels either.

However – if you’ve read a romance novel lately that is OH MY GOD SHOUT IT FROM THE ROOFTOPS AMAZING … I’d like to hear that as well, because as of a month ago I’ve also started reading some other romance subgenres as well.

Thank youuuu!! (And if you’d like to discuss any of the books I’d mention I’d love to chat too!)

Release Day Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Hi friends! It’s Tuesday which means a bunch of new romances are available today! I’m super excited to share from The Duchess DealTessa Dare was kind enough to provide an exclusive excerpt to ALBTALBS, and I hope you enjoy! Thank you, and congratulations on your newest release!! <3 

When girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:

  • – They will be husband and wife by night only.
  • – No lights, no kissing. 
  • – No questions about his battle scars.
  • – Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:
– They will have dinner together every evening.
– With conversation.
– And unlimited teasing.
– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

Continue reading

Guest Review: The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare

Jo’s review of The Duchess Deal by Tessa Dare
Historical romance released by Avon on August 22, 2017

The Duchess DealWhen girl meets Duke, their marriage breaks all the rules…

Since his return from war, the Duke of Ashbury’s to-do list has been short and anything but sweet: brooding, glowering, menacing London ne’er-do-wells by night. Now there’s a new item on the list. He needs an heir—which means he needs a wife. When Emma Gladstone, a vicar’s daughter turned seamstress, appears in his library wearing a wedding gown, he decides on the spot that she’ll do.

His terms are simple:

  • – They will be husband and wife by night only.
  • – No lights, no kissing.
  • – No questions about his battle scars.

– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s pregnant with his heir, they need never share a bed again.

But Emma is no pushover. She has a few rules of her own:

  • – They will have dinner together every evening.
  • – With conversation.
  • – And unlimited teasing.

– Last, and most importantly… Once she’s seen the man beneath the scars, he can’t stop her from falling in love…

When Lime offered me the chance to get my greedy little hands on The Duchess Deal early, I was all over it (my eyes might have even misted over). So first and foremost, thank you Lime 😀

We have two characters that couldn’t be more wrong for each other turning out to be exactly what each needs in a partner. Ash is scarred, jaded, self absorbed, and frankly a bit depressed; he knows his duty and is ready to fulfill it. Emma is used to hard work and grasping for every opportunity that comes her way while never losing her positive outlook and caring nature. They fit beautifully. Continue reading

Team TBR Challenge Review: The Billionaire Next Door by Jessica Bird

N.R. Lines’ review of The Billionaire Next Door by Jessica Bird
Contemporary romance released by Silhouette Special Edition on August 1, 2007

The Billionaire Next DoorTake-no-prisoners deal-maker Sean O’Banyon ate Wall Street financiers for lunch. So why was he losing sleep over a fresh-scrubbed nurse in old jeans and a too-big T-shirt? Maybe it was those warm green eyes. Or the way she blushed when he got personal. There was no denying the serious chemistry between them. But sooner or later Lizzie would learn his deep, dark secrets: First, he had trust issues. And second–he’d rather not go into the whole family thing. He didn’t do relationships…but amazingly, Lizzie made him want one anyway.

When Lime approached me about reviewing a book for the TBR Challenge, I jumped on the chance. Then spent a million years looking at my ever growing TBR for the perfect book to review for the Kicking it Old School theme. And there it was, the book I have been putting off reading for ten years.  Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: Scot on the Run by Janice Maynard

Hi friends! It’s Tuesday again! And for now, the last scheduled Teaser Tuesday spot on the calendar for now! I think we all know the drill – it’s supposed to be a minimum 1,000 word excerpt of an new or upcoming book that isn’t posted anywhere else. Because at ALBTALBS I care about you getting things that are fresh and new. 😉 Right? Heh. So without further ado, enjoy!!!

Bella is housesitting in Portree, Scotland, for her brother, Finley, while he’s on his honeymoon.  She expects a quiet time, enjoying the harbour town’s breathtaking views and quaint shops. So imagine her surprise when one of Great Britain’s most eligible bachelors comes pounding at her door in an attempt to evade both the paparazzi and a flurry of female fans. Unaware of his celebrity status, Bella reluctantly gives him sanctuary. Yet the surprises keep coming, and soon she’s persuaded to accompany him to Edinburgh . . . as his faux fiancée. But while helping him fend off his ardent admirers, Bella just may gain one very authentic admirer of her own . . .

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Guest Post: On Fat Heroines (in Romance) by N.R. Lines

Hi friends! So this post was inspired by just an offhand comment about how fat heroines are [rarely] actually fat in romance, or there’s something ridiculous about them – e.g. the “fat heroine” has visible ribs the hero counts or runs his fingers over. Anyway, I then asked N.R. in the spring if she wanted to write a post, this was sent to me back in June, but I’m basically awful and had to put this off because scheduling and then time got away with me, so if anything is off, this is my fault. And also, thank you N.R. for your patience! I really hope you all take the time to read this post. <3

I’d also like to note that all covers shown here are recommended romances, regardless of placement in the post. I just like pictures, ok? 😉 

On Fat Heroines (in Romance) 
By N.R. Lines

We have a problem in the romance genre. It’s been a problem for as long as I’ve been reading romance back in1981, and likely much longer than that. It’s a problem that impacts many women , whether they know it or not. And few people seem to be talking about it. The problem: Romancelandia lacks fat heroines. Or at least fat heroines who are written well.

I have divided the fat heroines I’ve seen in romance novels into the following categories:

  • The Fake Fat Heroine
  • The Confident Curvy Girl
  • The Full Figured Fat Heroine

There are three types of Fake Fat Heroines. First is the heroine who the author is authentically trying to write as fat, but uses descriptors that could never apply to a fat heroine. For example, a truly fat, or even curvy girl will never be described as having jutting hipbones. A partner would never loving run their hands down the fat heroine’s ribs and feel the outline of her rib bones. These Fake Fat Heroines make me shake my head and laugh at the absurdity of it all. To fix this we need to be better at describing a fat heroine in a manner that is both realistic and affirming. We can do this, I know we can!

The second type of Fake Fat Heroine is the heroine who describes herself as fat because she is insecure about an aspect of her body. Fat or slender, we’ve all been there. But what if we stopped doing that? What if instead of making your heroine feel and see fat when she thinks about those insecurities we give her an insecurity that she overcomes. Pick one thing about herself, not her entire body. I get it, fat is that ubiquitous descriptor that is used to describe a woman who doesn’t feel right about her body. I’m in no way minimizing the issues we have as women, but as romance writers, perhaps we can do better and can find other ways to describe these insecurities. And we can write the stories where these insecurities are overcome in positive ways that don’t inadvertently put us fat girls down.

The final type of Fake Fat Heroine is more damaging. This is the heroine an author presents as a woman who believes she is fat, who sees a big girl when she looks in the mirror, but as we get into the story we come to realize the heroine isn’t a plus sized gal at all. Maybe the heroine has been called fat by family and friends because she’s a size eight instead of a size two. Maybe she was fat at a different point in her life, but has been at a lower weight for some time and is suffering from body dysmorphia. Maybe she is a trans woman who has some dissonance between how she feels in her skin and what she sees in the mirror. All we get from the heroine’s inner dialogue, and maybe dialogue with her evil family and friends, is that she is fat. Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: Dry Heat by Louisa Bacio from the Summer of Seduction Multi-Author Anthology

Hi friends! As you see, Louisa Bacio is back with us! Welcome! So here’s a summer antho, and originally I think Louisa said the plan was to have excerpt from all (most?) the other authors. But, you may not know this but *stage whisper* dealing with authors is too often like herding [feral] cats.

But don’t let them know that, okay? 😉

Anyway, we do have an excerpt, and I’m excited to share from Louisa’s novella contribution to A Summer of Seduction, Dry Heat! Because she is good. 😀 Enjoy!

Avoid the burn, but savor the heat of the season! Kick back in the shade with your copy of “A Summer of Seduction”.

Nine Hot Authors – Nine Tales of Summer Sizzle!

Featuring an exotic array of genres to tempt even the pickiest of palates! Come, join the erotic adventure of “A Summer of Seduction.

A Summer of Seduction

Dry Heat by Louisa Bacio

In Palm Springs for a conference, James expects little more than long meetings, hot days and lonely nights. He’s prepared to get through the boredom one day at a time—right up until the moment he runs into Sofia, a former flame he’s never been able to forget.

Hot to rekindle the physical side of their relationship and enthusiastically okay with some no-strings-attached sex, Sofia joins James during his off time—in his hotel room, between meetings, for sexy dinners and even on the sky tram.

With every illicit whisper and each delicious encounter hotter than the last, James finds himself wishing this business trip would never end.

Continue reading

New Feature? Kindle Freebies & Deals!

Hi friends! So I’ve been thinking about doing this for some time. What do you think? Would you be interested in posts like this, or should I not bother?

(If I don’t hear anything I’m just going to assume you don’t want this so please let me know. I mean, it’d be lovely if you’d comment one way or the other to just let me know. I feel like I’m talking to nothing these days…)

Anyway, N.B. these are all free at the time of posting so please check the price first on your own before you click. Or, just don’t come after me if it’s not free any more. Or not at a discounted price. I’ll list all the freebies, then the “deals.”

I’d also like to note I can’t personally vouch for all of them. These were just books I thought looked good or interesting.

You can just click on the cover and it’ll take you to Amazon. 🙂 Continue reading

Teaser Tuesday Exclusive Excerpt: His Diamond by Maggie Chase

Hi friends. I’m too tired to be clever and cute – but I do want to share a TT from first time guest Maggie Chase! You know the deal! Xxoo

His DiamondCynthia Hobbs is in trouble. Considered spoiled and vain by the townsfolk of Brimstone, she’s hiding a secret—a sister who needs constant care. When her father informs Cynthia that she has to marry the slimy vice president of the bank—and her sister is part of the deal—Cynthia grows desperate. The only person who’ll help her get enough money to escape town with her sister is the madam of the Jeweled Ladies—who recommends Cynthia sell her virginity to the highest bidder.

One night will solve her problems—if she can go through with it.

Cam Douglas wants to go straight—there’s a horse ranch waiting for him. But he needs cash, so he takes one last job—this time, robbing the bank in Brimstone. He visits the Jeweled Ladies for an alibi but somehow winds up buying a virgin at an auction, which is a great alibi. He has no intention of forcing the girl, but when Miss Diamond insists on being deflowered, he’s far too much of a gentleman to say no to a lady.

Cynthia never dreamed she’d enjoy this night, but Cam is a rogue with a heart of gold. He gives her a night of steamy memories and then they part ways. But as she and her sister make their escape from Brimstone under cover of darkness, a rider takes them by surprise. It’s Cam, with a gunshot in his shoulder and a posse on his tail. If she protects him, they all might be caught. But she likes him, much more than she should. Can she risk her heart—and her sister’s safety—for a rogue?

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What We’ve Been Reading in 2017

Hi friends! I always like to know what people have been reading, and more importantly, what they recommend. While this isn’t exactly that … (those posts come in reviews and later), this list and our grades should give you some sort of indication. This time, you’ll get a comprehensive lists from me, a general list from Babs, and Karen’s highlights.
 
I’d love to know if you’ve read any of these books and what you thought of them! [I’m also as usual it seems like treading through quicksand, so we’ll see how we go with links.]
 
I also want to note, Babs put me to shame with her organization. While I then also separated my books out by month, I can’t speak to accuracy of timing. Especially since you know, I was loopy for most of it.
 
As a refresher, this is the basic ALBTALBS “Grading Scale.”
A = OMFG BEST BOOK EVER – LOVED IT. LOVED IT AND IT MADE ME LOVE EVERYTHING.
B = Really great book. You should read it.
C = Good book. Average, enjoyable read.
D = It was good, but there were some problems, or the reader had [significant] issues with certain aspects.
F = this was not a good book. I am angry I read it.
DNF = Did Not Finish (Either the book was truly that terrible, or I wasn’t in the mood, or whatever else. I just didn’t finish.)