August Top Reads…Ramble

My apartment is now a small library with a generous mix of paranormal, YA, mysteries, dog books, biographies and of course Romances of all genres. Here are some of the recent favorites I have been lucky enough to devour. You still have an entire month of summer and I know you need some good books to tuck into so here we go! 

1. Jude Deveraux’s True Love is the first in a trilogy of books that takes place on Nantucket. This is a lovely little island I used to spend time on as a teenager. I was lucky enough to meet the charming Ms. Deveraux at the RWA conference in Atlanta last month. She explained she uses 3-D visual software to create the homes she writes about and created a 17 street lane – Kingsley Lane on Nantucket for this series. Amazingly, she still hand writes each of her manuscripts! 

As for the book, if you have a Kindle I suggest purchasing it electronically because it is 464 pages. Contentwise, I found myself, at first, a little resistant to the charm of the main characters but I soon enjoyed their banter. I love good banter. It was clear they needed to get together. Some of the plot points were a little under developed when it came to the ghost story – I know can you believe with a book that size I’m writing that, however I overall really enjoyed it. She set up the rest of the series nicely. 

If you are a fan, you know she excels at writing realistic, great love stories and on this point True Love does not disappoint. 

2. Simone St. James’ The Haunting of Maddy Clare is amazing paranormal romance that instantly captivated me. I went to an author signing at RWA and was instantly drawn to the cover, which has a Jane Eyre– like quality. (Can you believe I went to see the musical version of Jane Eyre on Broadway?!) I looked into the eyes of the author who has stunning blue eyes and I was very excited to read this book. I didn’t even realize at the time, (what a frenzy RWA can be), it was nominated for two RITA Awards, which it won. I’m so glad that I came across this wonderful ghost story.

The book transported me to the greyness of London in the unbearable heat of July. How could I put it down? The sex scenes enhanced the height of the stress of the characters and the transformation of the main character, Sarah Piper from doormat to strong woman was a ride I enjoyed reading. There are some dark twists here, so be forwarned if that is not what you are not seeking, leave it until October. 

3. Kristan Higgins Too Good To Be True is what I would call a traditional beach read. It’s fun,  it’s emotional and it leaves you with a big smile on your face to replace the tears it caused. As one of the keynote speakers at RWA Nationals, Higgins won over the crowd when she took the stage declaring “Behold, the power of spanx.” OMG, I love this woman. She had us all rolling with laughter, swooning over Tom Hardy (later I informed people which movies he has been in- “he’s an actor? I thought he was just a model” and when I told them he was British, some fainting did occur), and then balling our eyes out when she told us about her father’s fatal car accident. 

Oddly enough for me, it was the one year anniversary of my own father’s death so I felt compelled to talk to Kristan after her speech. We shared a few tears together before laughing and it felt like I knew her. And that’s just how “Too Good To Be True” is written. It’s an open hug from a girlfriend you can relate to with her quirks that make her unique (like going to historic battle renactments, a love of Scarlett O’Hara, and a little white fluffy dog who is the Alpha male in her life). 

If you are looking for a laugh-out-loud romance, this is it. Grace Emerson is stuck at a family wedding for a mean cousin about to face her ex-fiance for the first time since he started dating her younger sister. I mean, get me a gin and tonic! So, Grace makes up an imaginary boyfriend to stop the pity party and ease the tension. 

Now reading:

1) Finishing Sara Fawkes Anything He Wants (Dominated By The Billionaire) – erotic romp. If you are looking for steamy, hot erotica that is well written, put down 50 Shades and grab this one. This is a fast, easy read that is hot hot hot. 

2) Kate Atkinson’s Life After Life seriously. As the Backstreet Boys sang “tell me why?” Well fellas, so many good reviews can’t be wrong, but yes the library could have held on to this one for another month for me. I have my own manuscript to improve. This is a big book with a spine several inches thick …. yes, I will read it, I just have to work on my own edits.

3) Emily McKay’s The Farm– the heir apparent to The Hunger Games. I’ve only read three chapters of this YA and it is already intrigueing. 


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