Tag Archives: Reading

Reading, Category Romances, and Chatter

I need to start taking notes or drafting posts before they go live. Obviously I’m pre? post? scheduling this; as in, putting the publishing time as something earlier than when I physically typed it up. Ah, the magic of the internet.

I actually had some substantial things to discuss today, and had wanted to write a review. But I’m not in a review-writing mindset. I have however, actually been reading. You have no idea how exciting this is! I’ve read at least 52 books this year! Pathetic when compared to my “post slump” reading, but… I’m excited! October especially has been kind. I raved about a Helen Brooks category romance I read online, and have been glomming her back list since.

I’m a category romance reader. I always have been, and I see nothing wrong with it. I know a number of other discriminating and well-respected (as well as well-known) romance readers who enjoy them as well. I also know that category romances are looked down upon. The whole “yes, I read romances, but at least I don’t read those romances. You know, the trashy Harlequin ones.” I’m quite fond of the Desire, Blaze, and Presents line. Helen Brooks in fact writes for the Presents line and I think she’s fast becoming one of my favorite category authors. She’s up there in the ranks of Anne McAllister, and India Grey.

What’ve I been reading? A Boss in a Million. The Billionaire’s Marriage Mission. The Parisian Playboy. The Italian Tycoon’s Bride. And I’ve started The Greek Tycoon’s Bride but set it aside to mix things up a bit. No, I don’t love the titles. In fact that’s one thing I often rail against. The covers… on that I’m torn. They’re so clinch. A bit hokey, but so branded. In a way you have to respect that, even as you groan looking through them.

You can have too much of a good thing, though, because after reading four+ books by the same author in a row… you notice things. Of course, I don’t mind many of the tropes. But, the heroes just seem so very even keel to me. So actually, after I read A Boss in a Million I actually read two novels by Anya Bast back to back. Jeweled and Jaded. Both are most excellent. (Pst, Jeweled is only $6 right now – go buy it!) Lately, I read a few Jasmine Haynes shorts. I’m… going to be less effusive about those books, sadly. I’m disappointed as well. I did like her newest full length novel more, but but I’m wondering where the “series” is going. (The first is Past Midnight – I do plan on reviewing it… but we know how that goes.)

I’m contemplating jumping back into more novels, but then again I’m just not sure. I’ve always taken to watching psychological thrillers again, obviously because I hate myself… and even some horrors. Nothing too too bad, but the whole “American Horror Story” ads got my attention. And I don’t even watch horrors! I’m a total pansy. Can’t read them either. I think because I keep thinking “the makers of Glee made this show too! What?!”

I love category romances though because they pack such a punch. They seem to get shorter and shorter (though hopefully that’s changing? At least in some of the lines?) – but you know there’s going to be a happy ending. The heroes are tycoons and otherwise incredibly, intimidatingly successful. But what I love, is that the Presents titles that I read, at least, have equally impressive women. They might not have the power jobs and shatter glass ceilings, but they’re kind, generous, resourceful, smart, practical, and bring these men to their knees. There’s something powerful about that too.

And the emotional aspect of a couple working though a myriad of issues to form a lasting bond and relationship. I like that the category romance puts that at the forefront. It’s a romance, straight up, end of story.


So what do you love about reading romances? Have you found what I’m talking about in category romances? Ever give one a try? Believe me – I’m picky about what books I read. I wouldn’t say “oh just jump in” for any of the lines. In fact I have strong opinions of where to start and what to read. I’m always happy to discuss and offer opinions. (You’re not surprised, she said dryly.) In fact I can happily recommend any of the Helen Brooks titles I mentioned.

And, if you love category romances, or would like to give one a try, remember to enter the Olivia Gates giveaway where you can win the backlist book of your choice. *NB I’m done with the contest whore-type answer. I want substance, so to enter you must answer my questions. I know, I’m such a picky bitch.

Sandi’s Post: On the hunt…How do you find a new release?

Hi everyone! Do you know Sandi Shilhanek of Fresh Fiction fame? Well, she’s a friend and she’ll now be doing a monthly guest spot! The last Saturday of each month? A reader post by Miss Sandi! Yay! (Last week Sandi switched places with Jessica, who had been vacationing in Ireland, that fancy girl.) So everyone, please welcome Sandi now, officially. 😉

Recently I went to the bookstore to see what new titles were out.  I saw two my Lori Foster that I was aware of, but hadn’t yet decided if I was going to buy in print or for my Kindle.  Other than that I didn’t see much that was really calling my name.

Later that same week I had tea with the wonderful ladies of the DFWTeaReaders.  Naturally one would think that because we are tea and readers groups that talk would consist more of the latest greatest books, than anything else.  It should surprise no one that while we do discuss books, life and gossip comes first and foremost.

O.K… I’m getting sidetracked.  When talk eventually turned to books the name Sharon Sala came up.  I can’t even remember when I first discovered Sala, but I was a fan for a long time.  Then for me at least her writing took a turn that I just didn’t care for, and even though I continued to support her by buying books, I just couldn’t make myself read them.

Come 2010 and the release of her Storm Front trilogy, and I was once again   reminded of why I love Sala.  That brings me to 2011 and the release of her new trilogy, The Searchers.  I read the first one Blood Stains, and was eagerly awaiting the next, Blood Ties.

Well, to my surprise I found out that I had my release dates wrong, and Blood Ties was available!  I don’t know how I missed it when I went to the bookstore, but I did.  I was like I have to go home and buy it for my kindle so I can read right away!

So this brings me to my question of the day…how do you find out about new releases?  Do you have a favorite website you stalk?  Do you have friends who have similar tastes and keep you informed?  Do you wander the bookstore aimlessly just hoping that something says buy me and read me?