Category Archives: Romance

Call Me Irresistible by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

“My love is hot!” The words burst from her. “It’s a burning thing. It boils and churns and runs deep and strong. But all your emotions are cool and spare. You stand on the sidelines where you don’t have to sweat too much. Well, I’m not neat. I’m messy and wild and disruptive, and you have broken by heart.”

So, I threw out a challenge to our book competition in February to read romances which means…drumroll please…I have to read some romances.  First up, Susan Elizabeth Phillips. Meg travels to Wynette, Texas for her best friends wedding to the own’s perfect son. Being there only a few hours she sees what no one else is willing to see-Lucy shouldn’t be marrying Ted.  When Lucy finally agrees she leaves Ted at the altar and flees town.  Meg, who is penniless and jobless is forced to stay behind and face the wrath of a small town who feels like it is all her fault the marriage of the century never happened.  Ted doesn’t make her life any easier but will the mutual animosity grow into something different?

What I like about Susan Elizabeth Phillips is she makes me laugh. Usually, the situations are far out of the realm of possibility for most readers-movie stars, models and football players. But, with each of her characters their humanity and flaws ring through with such familiarity and often bring hilarious results. The language is faithful to the romance genre without being completely over the top. The heroines are fiery, feisty and through the story learn that sometimes the best thing you can do is just lay it all on the line. Sometimes, that is just the kind of book you need to read. 2011, 385 pages.

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Posted by on February 10, 2011 in Romance


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Four Play by Maya Banks & Shayla Black

When Lora Leigh became a huge hit in my community I made a joke that we just weren’t ready for threesomes here in SW Missouri because the only one I was able to get quickly opened with a threesome. I am here typing today admitting I was wrong. Waaaay wrong.

Four Play contains two novella’s by popular romance authors Banks and Black. Both stories revolve around the theme of foursomes.  In Pillow Talk by Maya Banks, Zoe is in a committed relationship with her hunky firefighter boyfriend Chase.  What keeps their romance smokin’ hot is that they are both willing to share and help create each other’s ultimate fantasies. As it turns out, one of Zoe’s top fantasies just might involve Chase’s other two roommates (also hunky firefighters) Brody and Tate.  

Her Fantasy Men by Shayla Black is a classic story of the girl next door, Kelsey, who loves football and beer-especially with her three best friends-all male. The only problem is none of the guys can figure out why seems to show no interest in any of them. A plan is hatched to find out exactly where her heart is and woo boy, they have no idea that this just might be Kelsey’s ultimate fantasy.

Each story by the very nature of being a novella is a quick read. What makes them erotic rather than just erotica is that the reader witnesses the character development through the movement of the sex scenes-which are many and leave little to the imagination.  The sex is not gratuitous but rather is the catalyst to each character’s errrr growth. Go on now, get your mind out of the gutter!  The emotional connections and happy ending are present for romance readers who are ok with extra spice!  2010, 346 pages.

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Posted by on December 27, 2010 in Romance


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Hunting Down the Horseman by B.J. Daniels

Walking into the middle of a series can be a little tricky-even when it is a Harlequin series.  Faith Bailey is one of three sisters living in Whitehorse, Montana. What few people know is that her passion in life is trick riding, or performing different stunts on her trusted horse.

Jud Corbett is a stunt man on the set of a movie being filmed near Whitehorse, Montana. The film is destined to be a flop if they can even get the film made after all the “accidents” that have befallen key players. After Jud stumbles across Faith practicing her stunts he talks her into taking the place of the injured regular.  Will each find another passion in each other’s arms?

Giggle. I just had to write that last line. I am a fan of romance and one of its biggest advocates-but that just makes it more fun to joke with. Hunting Down the Horseman is part of the Whitehorse Montana-the Corbett’s series in the Harlequin Intrigue line of romantic suspense. What struck me about it was how much more of a romance story with some intense situations it was to me than straight romantic suspense. Don’t get me wrong-I liked it. But it has made me stop and do some more self-evaluation on what I think romantic suspense is. Daniels tells a good story that uses the Montana setting to bring the romanticism of the open West to readers who will enjoy the adventure. Characters are well drawn and relatable. 2009, 211 pages.

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Posted by on September 29, 2009 in Romance


What I Did For Love by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Ahhhhh.  What I love about Susan Elizabeth Phillips is that I can count on her for a light and funny story that grabs me and pulls me in quickly with characters I can’t get enough of and doesn’t let go until I’m sadly finished with the book. There aren’t any big surprises and as I’m typing this I’m realizing I just described the appeal of the romance genre. Interesting!

Georgie York is America’s sweetheart actress who lets those around her dictate almost every aspect of her life. When her perfect husband dumps her for an Angelina Jolie type actress she is devastated and humiliated.  When her former co-star and teen crush shows up and wiggles his way into being her pretend husband-really anything can happen. But, just maybe, Georgie might find who she really is and start carving her own path-one she believes in, even if no one else does. 2009, 404 pages.

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Posted by on August 14, 2009 in Romance


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Finding Home by Georgia Beers

Sarah has had a bad year. Her longtime girlfriend left her for a man and she has been unable to heal and move on. Instead she has become a rigid career woman with no balance. Natalie appears to just be a free spirit that has no worries and spends her days serving coffee and a local restaurant. But there is more to Natalie and she wonders what the sexy business executive across the counter is really like. When a fluke accident brings the two together to care for a dog they both love, maybe just maybe, love will blossom.

Sometimes I feel like I’m writing a movie trailer when I pull a summary out of my head. I even come equipped with that lovely, low booming voice. This was a fairly quick read with some character development. You could feel the conflict in the characters but you didn’t dive deep into understanding their life situations. The frame could be set anywhere and the storyline is one of humor, regret and second chances. Didi I like it? Parts of it hit home in a sad way but for the most part I enjoyed this simple love story. 2008, 240 pages.

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Posted by on November 24, 2008 in GLBTQ, Romance


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Heart of Texas, Volume 1 by Debbie Macomber

Heart of Texas, Volume 1 is a reprint combining two of Macomber’s previous romance titles: Lonesome Cowboy and Texas Two-Step.  In Lonesome Cowboy, Savannah is content with her life growing heirloom roses and helping her brother Grady run the family ranch.  Love just isn’t in the cards for her and she is at peace with this until Laredo Smith comes along.  He has a past and lots of secrets, but is that enough to keep them apart?  In Texas Two-Step, Ellie is beginning a new life in Promise after the death of her father. Her best friend for years, Glen Patterson, has always been there for her but is it possible there is something more?

I realize that I sounded just like the back cover of the book with my summary, but it makes my point. Both of these titles are very representative of a gentle romance. The classic romance formula beats loud and clear throughout both novels. What readers enjoy about a Macomber romance is the simplicity of everything. The town is usually small, cozy  and everyone knows everybody. The characters are recognizable and comfortable in the ease it takes to get to know them and care about them. And, above all, she tells a nice, gentle story that wraps around the reader. Is it possible to say that Debbie Macomber excels in literary warm fuzzies? I think so.  2007, 440 pages.

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Posted by on June 6, 2008 in Romance


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16 Lighthouse Road by Debbie Macomber

Debbie Macomber is best known for her gentle romances that are driven by her well-developed characters. 16 Lighthouse Road is no exception as Macomber introduces us to the residents of Cedar Cove, Washington-a sleepy town on the coast where everyone knows everyone. Each main character is given a voice in rotating chapters. Readers spend time getting to know them and their most intimate struggles from the lose of a baby and the destruction of a marriage to older folks finding the courage to love again. A light read, readers may find themselves hooked on the series that is now on its 6th title. The title for each is the address of the main character of each book. 2001, 384 pages.

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Posted by on October 2, 2007 in Romance