The Complete Reading List by Author

Short Version: Recommended books are in bold, reviewed books are linked, these are ruthlessly streamlined recommendations lists –

So You Want to Read a (Historical) Romance
Ten Great Romance Novellas to Get You Started
Annual Reading Tallies & Author Commentary 2012 – 2016

I have more content based lists over there on the right  –>

On reading romance: Emotional Version and Pseudo-Intellectual Version.

My AUTOBUY List (Links Will Take You to a Summary of the Author’s Catalogue)
Tessa Dare (on double-secret probation right now, so not an autobuy, but still an autoread)
Laura Florand
Lisa Kleypas
Julie Anne Long
Courtney Milan – The. Very. Best.

-A-
Albert, Annabeth Waiting for Clark (Bryce/Clark)
Alexander, R.G. Ravenous novella (Declan/Trick/Jennifer)
Alexander, Victoria Love with the Proper Husband (Marcus/Gwen)
Alexander, Victoria Lady Amelia’s Secret Lover novella (Robert/Amelia)
Alexander, Victoria The Prince’s Bride (Rand/Jocelyn)
Alexander, Victoria The Importance of Being Wicked (Winfield/Miranda)
Alexander, Victoria Lord Stillwell’s Excellent Engagements novella (Winfield/ Felicia&Lucy&Caroline)
Alvarez, Tracey In Too Deep (West/Piper)
Andre, Bella The Way You Look Tonight (Rafe/Brooke)
Ashe, Katharine In the Arms of a Marquess (Ben)
Ashley, Jennifer The Madness of Lord Ian MacKenzie (Ian, not surprisingly/Beth) – GENRE OUTLINE
Ashley, Jennifer Lady Isabella’s Scandalous Marriage (Mac/Isabella)
Ashley, Jennifer Many Sins of Lord Cameron (Cameron/Ainsley) – GUILTY PLEASURE
Ashley, Jennifer The Duke’s Perfect Wife (Hart/Eleanor)
Ashley, Jennifer Mackenzie Family Christmas: The Perfect Gift (Ian, Mac, Cam, Hart)
Ashley, Jennifer The Seduction of Elliott McBride (Elliott/Juliana)
Ashley, Jennifer The Untamed Mackenzie novella (Lloyd/Louisa)
Ashley, Jennifer The Wicked Deeds of Daniel Mackenzie (Daniel/Violet)
Ashley, Jennifer Scandal and the Duchess novella (Steven/Rose)
Ashley, Jennifer Rules for a Proper Governess (Sinclair/Roberta “Bertie”)
Ashley, Jennifer A Mackenzie Clan Gathering (Ian/Beth)
Ashley, Jennifer Bodyguard (Shifters Unbound) novella (Ronan/Elizabeth)

The list has gotten SO VERY LONG, please click on the jump.

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Author Commentary & Tallies Shameful

Shortcuts:    

I have more lists over there on the right—>

My AUTOBUY List (Links Will Take You to a Summary of the Author’s Catalogue)
Tessa Dare (on double-secret probation right now, so not an autobuy, but still an autoread)
Laura Florand
Lisa Kleypas
Julie Anne Long
Courtney Milan – The. Very. Best.

2016 READING LISTS:

Recommended books are in bold.

The (Shamefree) Tally 2016

Last year, this list had only one book and it was an Outlander graphic novel. I am proud of that, although I do have two glorious historical costume books to read and review.

The (Shameful) Tally 2016

  1. Albert, Annabeth Waiting for Clark (Bryce/Clark)
  2. Alvarez, Tracey In Too Deep (West/Piper)
  3. Andre, Bella The Way You Look Tonight (Rafe/Brooke)
  4. Ashley, Jennifer A Mackenzie Clan Gathering (Ian/Beth)
  5. Balogh, Mary Only a Kiss (Percy/Imogen)
  6. Balogh, Mary Only Beloved (George/Dora)
  7. Balogh, Mary Someone to Love (Avery/Anna)
  8. Blake, Jennifer The Tuscan’s Revenge Wedding (Nico/Amanda)
  9. Bliss, Karina Play novella (Jared/Kayla)
  10. Bowen, Kelly Duke of My Heart (Max/Ivory)
  11. Bowen, Sarina and Elle Kennedy Us (Wes/Jamie)
  12. Bowen, Sarina Bittersweet (Griff/Audrey)
  13. Bowen, Sarina Keepsake (Zach/Lark)
  14. Bowen, Sarina Rookie Move (Leo/Georgia)
  15. Bryce, Megan To Catch a Spinster (Nathaniel/Olivia)
  16. Bryce, Megan To Tame a Dragon (Jameson/Amelia)
  17. Bryce, Megan To Tempt the Saint (George/Honora)
  18. Bryce, Megan  Some Like It Charming (Ethan/Mackenzie)
  19. Callihan, Kristen Idol (Killian/Libby)
  20. Charles, K.J. A Seditious Affair (Silas/Dominic)
  21. Chase, Loretta Dukes Prefer Blondes (Oliver “Raven”/Clara)
  22. Dee, Bonnie/Devon, Summer The Merchant and the Clergyman (James/Declan)
  23. Dee, Cara Noah (Noah/Julian)
  24. Doyle, Stephanie One Naughty Christmas Night novella (John/Kate)
  25. Duran, Meredith Sweetest Regret (Lucas/Georgie)
  26. Elliott, Taryn and Cari Quinn Manaconda (Hunter/Kennedy)
  27. Florand, Laura Snow-Kissed novella (Kurt/Kai)
  28. Florand, Laura Sun-Kissed novella (Mack/Anne, plus guest stars)
  29. Florand, Laura Chase Me (Chase/Violette)
  30. Frank, Ella Finley (Sunset Cove Series Book 1) (Brantley/Finn)
  31. Frost, Sosie Once Upon a Half-Time (Lachlan/Elle)
  32. Frost, Sosie Bad Boy’s Bridesmaid (Nate/Mandy)
  33. Garvis Graves, Tracey Heart-Shaped Hack (Ian/Kate) – Worst of the Year 2016
  34. Gray, Juliana The Duke of Olympia Meets His Match (Olympia/Penelope)
  35. Grey, R.S. The Summer Games: Settling the Score (Freddie/Andie)
  36. Harber, Cristin Sweet Girl (Cash/Nicola)
  37. Heyer, Georgette Venetia (Dameral/Venetia)
  38. Ivy, Alyssa Rose The Hazards of Skinny Dipping (Reed/Juliet)
  39. Jackson, A.L. A Stone in the Sea (Sebastian “Baz”/Shea)
  40. Jacobs, Mara In Too Deep (Lucas/Lily)
  41. James, Julie Suddenly One Summer (Ford/Victoria)
  42. Jordan, Lucia In Too Deep  (Crasher/Rayne)
  43. Kelly, Carla Beau Crusoe (James/Susannah)
  44. Kennedy, Elle The Score (Dean/Allie)
  45. Kennedy, Elle The Goal (Tuck/Sabrina)
  46. Kennedy, Elle and Vivian Arend All Fired Up (Parker/Lynn)
  47. Kleypas, Lisa Marrying Winterbourne (Rhys/Helen)
  48. Lauren, Christina Wicked Sexy Liar (Luke/London)
  49. Lauren, Christina A Not-Joe Not-So-Short Short (Not-Joe/Perry)
  50. Lauren, Christina Beautiful Boss (Will/Hanna)
  51. Leigh, Eva Forever Your Earl (Daniel/Eleanor)
  52. Leigh, Eva Scandal Takes the Stage (Cam/Maggie)
  53. Lin, Jeannie My Fair Concubine (Fei Long/Yan Ling)
  54. Lohmann, Jennifer Twelve Kisses Until Christmas novella (Marc/Selina)
  55. McCoy, Katie Play Me (Jake/Ella)
  56. MacLean, Sarah The Rogue Not Taken (King/Sophie)
  57. McQuiston, Jennifer Her Highland Fling (William/Penelope)
  58. Milan, Courtney Her Every Wish (Crash/Daisy)
  59. Milan, Courtney A Right Honorable Gentleman – short story (Edward/Catherine)
  60. Milan, Courtney The Year of the Crocodile (Blake/Tina & Adam Fucking Reynolds)
  61. Milan, Courtney Hold Me (Jay/Maria)
  62. Novark, Anna Marie The Doctor Wears a Stetson (Cameron/Jessie)
  63. O’Keefe, Molly Christmas Eve: A Love Story (Dean/Trina)
  64. Pamfiloff, Mimi Jean fugly (Maxwell/Lily)
  65. Parker, Lucy Act Like It (Richard/Lainie) READ ME!
  66. Reid, Penny Ninja at First Sight (Greg/Fiona)
  67. Reid, Penny Happily Ever Ninja (Greg/Fiona)
  68. Reid, Penny Grin and Beard It (Jethro/Sienna)
  69. Reid, Penny Beard Science (Cletus/Jennifer)
  70. Richland, Anna His Road Home novella (Rey/Grace)
  71. Riley, Sierra Guardian (Titus/Alex)
  72. Roberts, Holly S. Play: New Adult Sports Romance (Killian/Rebecca)
  73. Schurig, Rachel Ransom (Daltrey/Daisy)
  74. Shay, Kathryn In Too Deep (Gabe/Rachel)
  75. Singh, Nalini Rock Addiction (Fox/Molly)
  76. Stewart, Nicole Home for Three (Selwyn/Jack/Kess)
  77. Stone, Juliana Offside (Logan/Billie)
  78. Thorne, Sally The Hating Game (Josh/Lucy) READ ME!
  79. Valente, Lili Magnificent Bastard (Sebastian/Penny) BEST TITLE EVER?
  80. Verge, Lisa Ann Heaven in His Arms (Andre/Genevieve)
  81. Ward, HM Scandalous (Jack/Abby)
  82. Ward, Tracy Rookie Mistake  (Trey/Sloane)

Reviews of Pre-2016 Reads (More to Come)

  1. Lilley, R.K. In Flight (James/Bianca)
  2. Bryce, Megan To Wed the Widow (George/Elinor)

Name Tally June 27, 2015: Simon (9); Alec/Alex (8); James (8); Michael (8); Sebastian (7); William (7); Robert (6); Daniel (5); Jack (5); Benedict, Charles, Colin, Duncan, Edward, Gareth, Harry, Ian, John (4); Andrew, Blake, Gabriel, Jackson, Julian, Lucien, Marcus, Phillip, Phin/Finn, Rhys, Richard, Stephen, Tristan (3); and only one David.

Author Commentary and Reading Lists for 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 (416 books between February 2012 and January 2, 2016)…

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The Worst Romance Novels I Have Ever Read

I just hated them so much! I recommend none of them.

There can be no doubt, Kresley Cole would have more entries had I had continued reading her novels.

  1. Barrett, Jo Nothing to Commend Her (Magnus/Agatha)
  2. Bennett, Sawyer Alex: A Cold Fury Hockey Novel (Alex/Sutton)
  3. Blair, Annette Jacob’s Return (Jacob/Rachel)
  4. Blake, Jennifer The Tuscan’s Revenge Wedding (Nico/Amanda)
  5. Bliss, Chelle Throttle Me – Men of Inked Book 1 (“City” Joey/Suzy)
  6. Callihan, Kristen Idol (Killian/Libby)
  7. Cole, Kresley A Hunger Like No Other  (Lachlain/Emma) VILE
  8. Cole, Kresley Macrieve  (Uilliam/Chloe) VILER
  9. DiPasqua, Lila Undone (Simon/Angelica) *Worst of 2013*
  10. Evans, Bronwen To Challenge the Earl of Cravenswood novella (Henry) *Worst of 2012*
  11. Foster, Melissa Sisters in Love (Blake/Danica) a. God b. Awful
  12. Garvis Graves, Tracey Heart-Shaped Hack (Ian/Kate) – Worst of the Year 2016?
  13. Goodger, Jane When a Duke Says I Do (Alexander/Elsie)
  14. Harber, Cristin Sweet Girl (Cash/Nicola)
  15. Hawkins, J.D. Insatiable 1 and 2 (Jax/Lizzie)
  16. Jackson, A.L. A Stone in the Sea (Sebastian “Baz”/Shea)
  17. Kell, Amber Attracting Anthony (Silver/Anthony)
  18. Lilley, R.K. In Flight (James/Bianca)
  19. Lindsey, Johanna The Heir (Duncan)
  20. Long, Andie M. The Alphabet Game (Gabe/Stella)
  21. Mabie, M. Bait (Casey/Blake)
  22. Merrow, J.L Muscling Through (Al/Larry)
  23. Novark, Anna Marie The Doctor Wears a Stetson (Cameron/Jessie)
  24. Pamfiloff, Mimi Jean fugly (Maxwell/Lily)
  25. Phillips, Susan Elizabeth This Heart of Mine (Kevin/Molly) WORST HEROINE OF 2014
  26. Reid, Penny Elements of Chemistry (Martin/Kaitlyn)
  27. Reid, Penny & L.H. Cosway The Hooker and the Hermit (Ronan/Annie)
  28. Roberts, Holly S. Play: New Adult Sports Romance (Killian/Rebecca)
  29. Schone, Robin The Lady’s Tutor (Ramiel, The Bastard Sheikh/Elizabeth)
  30. Singh, Nalini Rock Addiction (Fox/Molly)
  31. Stewart, Nicole Home for Three (Selwyn/Jack/Kess)
  32. Ward, JR Dark Lover (Wrath/Beth)
  33. Wylde, Anya Penelope (Charles/Penelope) *Most Inept of 2013*
  34. Who Cares The Wallflower *Also Worst of 2012*

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Brooklyn Bruisers: Rookie Move by Sarina Bowen

“His heart said, This. This right here.”

I read my first Sarina Bowen title, The Year We Fell Down, a little over a year ago and since then I have both eagerly recommended and awaited for her new novels. She has two concurrent contemporary romance series at the moment, True North and Brooklyn Bruisers, as well as two M/M books co-written with Elle Kennedy, and more on the horizon. Such is Bowen’s output that I have given her a catalogue post.

Readers familiar with Bowen’s Ivy Years series may remember hockey player Leo Trevi as a really nice guy. Picking up his story when he is brought up from a farm team to join the Brooklyn Bruisers franchise, he is eager to succeed and excited to discover that his high school girlfriend, Georgia, is the team Public Relations manager.They had been entirely devoted to one another until she experienced an assault and they lost their way. Breaking up six years ago when they went off to university, she is the one that got away.

Georgia Worthington is trying to put her best professional foot forward. The Brooklyn Bruisers is a fledgling NHL franchise acquired by a Tech billionaire and she has been working around the clock to take care of the PR responsibilities. To complicate matters, her father has just been named head coach, not to mention the aforementioned arrival of Leo Trevi. During the first press conference she runs, Leo arrives and is heard on a mic threatening someone when Georgia is spoken of disrespectfully, and we’re off to the races.

I enjoyed Rookie Move while I was reading it and my recollection of Leo was correct. He’s the nicest guy in the world. A bit impulsive sometimes, but very straightforward, and he absolutely adores Georgia and I am a sucker for a smitten hero. Despite that, I am not sure that Georgia and Leo had as much dimension as they could have as balanced against her personal and professional successes, Georgia’s love life seems to have been in stasis waiting for Leo to reappear and release her from it:

“In either case, she hadn’t had a boyfriend since Leo.”

“I asked her out a couple of times and got the brushoff. Didn’t know she was waiting for you.”

Leo at least had girlfriends in university. Not nice ones though because that would mean his love for Georgia wasn’t as true somehow. I guess. I never understand it in these books when people were together when they were young, break up, and then no other person is real to them until they meet again. Georgia and Leo’s separation was not a product of inherent issues in the relationship, but of youth conspiring with trauma to drive a wedge between them. They could simply have come back together older and wiser, even if they had had serious relationships with other people.

There are two more books coming in the series and I will, no doubt, read both of them.  The Ivy Years series caught lightning in  bottle and included a classic novella, Blonde Date. I haven’t had as much luck with the True North books, but the two I tried were still worth the read, and she is a really good writer and that will keep me coming back.

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

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Sarina Bowen’s Catalogue

Recommended books are in bold.

Bowen’s books are all contemporary romances and the new adult works are so noted.

Ivy Years Series – New Adult
The Year We Fell Down (Hartley/Corey) – start with this, buy the set
The Year We Hid Away (Bridger/Scarlet)
Blonde Date novella (Andy/Katie) CLASSIC
The Understatement of the Year (Graham/Rikker) – LGBTQ
The Shameless Hour (Rafe/Bella)
The Fifteenth Minute (DJ/Lianne) – skip this one, seriously

With Elle Kennedy
HimLGBTQ, New Adult
Us LGBTQ, New Adult
Wags Series
Good Boy – not yet published, I will buy it
Stay – not yet published, I will buy it

The Brooklyn Bruisers Series
Rookie Move – review pending, pretty good, not great
Hard Hitter – not yet published, I may buy it
Pipe Dreams – not yet published, I may buy it

The True North Series
Bittersweet – good not great, down-to-earth plot
Steadfast – skipped it, didn’t like the idea of the story
Keepsake – nice, gentle, okay

The Gravity Series
Coming in from the Cold – shows potential, but not strong
Falling from the Sky
Shooting for the Stars

 

 

VIP Series: Idol by Kristen Callihan

Enh. Read The Game Plan instead.

The first book in Kristen Callihan’s VIP Series, Idol features a hero who enters the story passed out drunk on the heroine’s lawn. It’s not an auspicious beginning and though Callihan is a good writer the story didn’t work for me. Admittedly, I read it months ago and am only reviewing it now, but let’s see what I remember about the book.

  1. The off-putting opening which involved a motorcycle and drunk driving.
  2. Killian has been through a trauma and stopped playing music.
  3. I was absorbed enough in the book, and by Callihan’s strong writing, that I brought it to work with me to read during my lunch, but it lost me at some point.
  4. The heroine, Libby, is a musician as well and is able to quickly gain national exposure.

That’s it. I don’t remember any romantic moments and, for comparison purposes, there’s a disappointing Lisa Kleypas book I read exactly once about four years ago and I can still remember the one genuinely romantic/interesting moment in that novel.

I’m going to re-read Idol now. Some notes as I go:

  • Yep, drunk driving on a motorcycle, also a lot more vomit than the average novel opening.
  • Callihan is a good writer, but we knew that.
  • I have a hard time imagining anyone more entitled and privileged than a rock star, except perhaps those billionaires who inhabit contemporary romances, or the aristocrats in historicals. I’ve just realised all of my complaints in this regard are hypocritical given my tolerance for spoiled heroes in other contexts.
  • Why is Libby being so nice to Killian? “Not all drunks are bad. Some are just lost.” Maybe, but drunk driving eclipses all other considerations.

Then I stopped making notes and just read. I got to about two-thirds of the way through before abandoning the story. I simply didn’t like Idol. The “rock star lifestyle” is extremely unappealing to me and almost all of the women are viewed as disposable objects in an “I shouldn’t judge, but here I go anyway,” fashion, so barring free copies, I’m passing on the rest of this book and the VIP series, but will look out for Kristen Callihan’s other work instead.

Also by Kristen Callihan:

The Game On Series – New Adult Romance
The Hook Up – really liked it
The Friend Zone – not so much
The Game Plan – LOVED it

Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

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Also by Kristen Callihan:

The Game On Series – New Adult
The Hook Up – really liked it
The Friend Zone – not so much
The Game Plan – LOVED it

New Adult romance recommendations can be found here. Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

Paris Hearts: Chase Me by Laura Florand

Relentless, determined, good with knives, and the hero is no slouch either. In this Laura Florand contemporary romance, she proves again why she’s one of my favourite authors by having two badass leads instead of the usual one.

Violette Lenoir meets Chase Smith when he breaks into her Michelin two-star restaurant right before she leaves for the night. He’s some kind of former SEAL government operative – though he claims to work in private security –  but she doesn’t know that when she starts throwing knives at him. Instead of being cowed, Chase realises that this leather clad, no-nonsense chef is the woman of his dreams. A rather delightful round of insouciant banter follows and the two embark on a relationship by assignation.

Vi and Chase are the most playful of all the Florand’s leads which is quite a feat given the counter-terrorism elements and that, by the author’s own post script admission, she had reworked the story following the horrifying November 2015 Paris attacks.  They add reality and motivation to Chase’s professional zeal and grounding to the overall plot, not in an overwhelming way but as a dose of reality against the brightness of tone and an especially condensed timeline.

I really enjoyed Chase Me and was pleased to discover that several more stories were clearly being set up for Chase and Vi’s counterparts. Mostly, I reveled in how strong and tough Vi was. Having two tough as nails, protector types going toe-to-toe, and with each savouring the other’s inherent , was a lovely change of pace. Strong heroine’s are not unusual in romance, but Vi was more explicitly tough than most women in these books.

Laura Florand’s Catalogue gives an overview of her published works of which I recommend many. I adore her particular brand of romance. Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

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You Had Me At Christmas: A Holiday Anthology by Karina Bliss, Stephanie Doyle, Jennifer Lohmann, and Molly O’Keefe

That’s right, I was reading Christmas novellas in October (and reviewing them in November). You Had Me At Christmas: A Holiday Anthology with contemporary romances by Karina Bliss, Stephanie Doyle, Jennifer Lohmann, and Molly O’Keefe also included a Laura Florand novella called Snow-Kissed which I reviewed separately. The anthology let me try four new-to-me authors and while I’m not sure I’ll be racing out to buy more of their books, in a genre with this much choice and so many writers to wade through, this collection appealed to my research impulses.

Romance novellas generally strip the story down to its bare essentials and focus on just the relationship between the main characters which is what I enjoy so much about them. If you like them too, I have a list of Ten Great Romance Novellas you can draw from.

 Play by Karina Bliss

From Karina Bliss’s Rock Solid series, this novella focuses on a couple that has been together since high school, but whose lives have taken a sudden turn when his long sought after dream of becoming a successful professional musician/rock star comes true. Having moved their two children to a new city and recently completed a European tour, Jared and Kayla are trying to find their way back to each other.

The prosaic reality of daily family life is quite a change from being a rock god. To compound this, in what I assume was a key element in one of the Rock Solid books, Jared joined the band through a reality show competition which would have created a steep learning curve. Suddenly, he’s a sex symbol and, while he has always been devoted to Kayla, she’s trying to cope with her new life and the ordinary insecurities of getting older feel magnified next to the glamour of their changed life.

Kayla and Jared work things out around failed dates, laundry, and sick children. I quite enjoyed the ride and may follow up with the other books in the series. Rock stars aren’t really my cup of tea, but as contemporary leads go they certainly beat all the billionaires, former elite military members, and billionaire former elite military members so thick on the ground in romance.

One Naughty Christmas Night by Stephanie Doyle

From Amazon: Workaholic Kate never expected to find herself looking for love online on Christmas night. Then John appeared on her screen and her whim to escape loneliness turned into the hottest sex of her life – even if it was via text. John knew Kate was too classy for his ex-con ass, but he was about to learn that Kate knew how to fight for what she wanted. And she wanted more of him.

Two very lonely people who find each other for one night and decide to turn it into more.I didn’t buy it.

Twelve Kisses Until Christmas by Jennifer Lohmann

From Amazon: Escaping her abusive father and small hometown to follow her dreams takes money Selina Lumina doesn’t have. After a millionaire software developer offers her a ride out of town, she has to decide whether to follow her aspirations or take a chance at love. Could a snowbound night on the road turn into a Christmas miracle?

While I deeply sympathised with Selina’s plight and was relieved when the kindness of others was enough to put her on a more hopeful path in life, I was unconvinced by the love story. It was sweet, but I didn’t believe that the two characters were a good match or made sense as a couple.

Christmas Eve: A Love Story by Molly O’Keefe

From Amazon: Growing up in the mountains of Wyoming Trina and Dean had been childhood friends until the bitter feud between their families drove them apart. When the magic of Christmas Eve tips the star-crossed lovers together year after year, will they be able to make sure this holiday is not their last?

Following the pair as they bounce through a series of Christmas time encounters over several years, Trina and Dean eventually get to a place where they are ready to be together and act on the attraction they always felt. O’Keefe did well at setting the scene and tone for each encounter, but the book never really caught my attention.

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Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

Snow-Kissed by Laura Florand

To sum up: All About Romance Annual Reader Poll Winner for Biggest Tearjerker (2014)

Snow-Kissed is the story of a once happy couple whose fertility challenges have left them both heart-broken for their lost children and seemingly unable to reach each other. It’s not a light read, but it was one with a very real feeling sense of grief and pain.

Kai and Kurt have lost three pregnancies and each time the recovery became more difficult. Kurt did everything he could to support Kai but, as is often the case in, they lost their ability to connect as they each coped with their grief. After a separation, the two are thrown together for a weekend in a mountain cabin when they get snowed in. Kai and Kurt are able to come together first physically and then by wading through enough of their pain to find joy in each other again.

Hardly the ecstatic experience one normally expects from a Christmas novella, Sun-Kissed was still a compelling, understated read that I would recommend, but maybe not when you’re already having a rough day.

Sun-Kissed tells the story of Kurt’s mother finding love and overlaps with Florand’s L’Amour et Chocolat series.

Laura Florand’s Catalogue gives an overview of her published works of which I recommend many. I adore her particular brand of romance. Links to my other reviews can be found on my complete reading list of books sorted by author or Author Commentary & The Tallies Shameful.

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