Tag Archives: romance novels

Read a Romance Month

The steamy month of August also happens to be Read a Romance Month. ¬†Yep, consider this a mid-month reminder or a call to read one for the very first time. ūüôā

Was that an eye-roll I sensed from some of you readers?¬†I’m sure it was. ¬†Why? ¬†Because romance is one of the most shat-upon genres.

Romance readers have had to deal with a lot of trash talk about their genre – especially those who are open about their reading preferences or proudly display those amusing covers in public. ¬†I’ve heard my share of trash talk in my day, some of my favorites:

  • You read romance? I thought you were smarter than that…
  • Oh…but, I thought you were a feminist?

Or when people find out that I write them:

  • Oh..so are you writing the next 50 Shades of Grey?
  • Can you write about me?

Let me just be clear – you can be smart, feminist, and of any sexual orientation and enjoy romance novels. ¬†As for the questions for authors…well, everyone has their own answers to those.

So, in honor of the steamy month of August, treat yourself or challenge yourself to try something new and pick up a romance novel. ¬†There’s a sub-genre for every interest you might have. ¬†Do you like art? There are tons of romances involving painters, appraisers, sculptors, etc. ¬†Do you like murder mysteries? ¬†There are all kinds of excellent romance murder mysteries (check out some of the darker stuff by Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, or Sandra Brown). ¬†Do you like holidays, cooking, or knitting? ¬†Friend, we’ve got you covered. ¬†Do you like history? ¬†Bitch please, you KNOW there are historical romances. ¬†Just check out your local library, Amazon, or bookstore and discover something new.

And hey, take a picture with you new romance novel find…then post it on Instagram to prove that loving some romance is no crime. ūüôā

Here’s one I took with a bunch of free (FREEEEE!) used romance novels that someone gave me.

Clearly, I love romance novels and here are some of my personal favorites, if you’d like some recommendations:

  • It happened one autumn – historical and sassy dialogue
  • The hating game or Wallbanger – because I have a soft spot for heroes/heroines who start off not liking each other…
  • Eligible – an update on Pride & Prejudice
  • Just about anything written by my favorites Nora Roberts, Courtney Milan, Lisa Kleypas, and Julie James

Read one….or read like 5 in one week, because you’re gluttonous like me. ¬†Either way, enjoy!


Review – “Talk Sweetly to Me”

Book Review – “Talk Sweetly To Me (The Brothers Sinister, Book 5),” by Courtney Milan

51kuDbppVlL._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_Rose Sweetly is brilliant at math and astronomy, tasked with computing comet trajectories and looking forward to seeing the transit of Venus.  Life is complicated for an intelligent and unconnected woman, but more so for Rose, because she is a black woman living in England in 1882.

Stephen Shaughnessy, amusing rake, columnist for the Women’s Free Press, and a feminist (yay!). ¬†He’s also had to overcome his own struggles (though nothing compared to Rose’s) to ascend to his current position.

Catching Rose’s eye on the street and chatting with her about¬†math aren’t enough for Stephen any more. ¬†He wants to get to know the very¬†shy Rose better. ¬†So, he devises a seemingly brilliant scheme – he hires her (through her boss, that cad!) to teach him mathematics and astronomy under the guise of conducting research for a novel.

But while her boss is fooled, Rose is not. ¬†And being who she is – brilliant and beautiful – she has a lovely way of telling Stephen that she’s on to him. ¬†She slaps his hand by having him calculate the chances they’d be alone, that she’d be stupid, that he’d be charming, that her father wouldn’t find out, and that she’d bit hit in the head with something heavy (to forget herself).

“Tell me Mr. Shaughnessy, what is the probability of all of those things occurring in conjunction?”

“Ah…” He had to use the paper to keep track. ¬†“That would be…a chance of one in…a hundred billion?”

“Ooh.” ¬†She winced. ¬†“That’s a very small number. ¬†I’m exceeding sorry for you, Mr. Shaughnessy.”

“It is.” ¬†He looked at the figure. ¬†“What, precisely, was I calculating/”

She looked up at him.  For one moment, he thought she was going to be shy again Рthat she would move away and shake her head rather than answer.  But even though her voice was low, she still said the words.

“That,” she told him, “is that chance that you’ll be able to seduce me.” ¬†–“Talk Sweetly to Me,” Courtney Milan

And you thought you’d never use advanced math in the real world. ūüôā

Anyway, I love this whole series – for the strong and smart heroines and the deviously smart and sexy heroes. ¬†And of course, for the feminism. ¬†Check it out, to find out if Stephen can beat the odds and win a place in Rose’s heart – spoiler alert: yes, of course. :p

I’ll leave you with one last, sweet quote for road from “Talk Sweetly to Me” –

“He swept his thumb along the side of her hand. ‘Sweetheart, if you don’t trust me yet, there’s no assurance I can give you that will put your mind at ease. ¬†All I can do is keep on not hurting you, and keep on, until you know in your bones that I never will.”

Awww. ¬†Sweet. ¬†Five out of five stars for “Talk Sweetly to Me.”

Romance Genre Guide to Getting Over Your Ex

The Romance Genre Guide to Getting Over your Exbecause you might as well take advice from the ladies¬†who always get their¬†happy ending ūüėČ

Everyone is always trying to give advice…what to eat (what the fuck are legumes?), what to wear (please stop,¬†Mom), and now how to date… oh joy, oh rapture. :p

I’ve been going through this divorce bit for several months now, and I think it’s time to explore how romance heroines get over their old relationships…if only to delve into the realm of silliness that I¬†enjoy.¬†¬† So, here we go:

  • Regency subgenre¬†– After¬†her old¬†beau is revealed to be¬†an evil rogue/engaged/married, the heroine forms an unlikely alliance with a rakish duke/count/viscount who ravishes her on a balcony while everyone else at the party dances the quadrille (be still, my¬†beating heart under this suddenly restrictive bodice).
  • Player subgenre – After a bad breakup, the heroine decides “no strings attached” is the only thing she has time for.¬† Rakish hero finds this outlook refreshing and then annoying when he accidentally falls in love with her…whoops.
  • Pirate subgenre¬†– Heroine stows away on a pirate ship after a break up… becomes a skilled sailor and swashbuckler, then shares her booty with the captain.
  • Boss subgenre¬†– Heroine throws herself into work by volunteering for a business trip with the boss and then¬†fantasizing about climbing… the corporate ladder.
  • Paranormal subgenre – Vampire¬†Ex – Heroine¬†gets a fabulous tan and starts hanging out with that rugged werewolf pack¬†the ex was always warning her about.
  • Paranormal subgenre – Werewolf¬†Ex¬†– Heroine gets her rabies shot, washes her neck, and goes to late night wine tastings with that¬†emo¬†vampire across the street.
  • Time-travel subgenre – Heroine avoids her ex by going way back in time and shows Mr. Darcy or a kilted hero that feminists are awesome.
  • Yoga subgenre – Heroine finds inner peace at a yoga retreat,¬†added flexibility comes in handy¬†when a rugged yoga teacher takes over her class.¬† Okay, this isn’t really a subgenre, but it SHOULD be…someone write it. :p

Hmmmmm romance novels give you so many options to move on from your ex.¬†ūüėȬ† But more than that, they remind you that if/when you’re ready, there are a lot of adventures waiting for you…both on the bookshelf and in life.¬†ūüôā¬† Happy reading to all!

Firsts Series – Part 4

Firsts Series

In honor of this blog turning one, I’m continuing with a series of posts on my firsts.

First Romance Novel

As sad as it sounds, I actually don’t remember my first…I blame the fact that there have been many. ¬†:p ¬†But, I do remember how I first came across the romantic fiction genre…

My aunt must have cleaned out her stacks of romance novels and gave my mom two glorious grocery bags filled with books. ¬†I happened upon the bags and naturally dipped my hand into them. ¬†I can imagine my thought process –

Young Alicia sees a random romance novel with a cover of a woman in a lovely old-fashioned dress and thinks, “that’s a pretty dress.” ¬†Alicia flips over the book to read the synopsis and thinks, “Lady Penelope will do anything to find her father’s murderer, including posing as a maid in Lord R’s sprawling estate? ¬†Interesting. ¬†What’s the ton?” ¬†Alicia opens the book to investigate. ¬†2 hours later, Alicia is a page away from the romance in an old school romance novel. ¬†And thinks, “okay, now they’re married. ¬†Hmmm so this should end soon and then they should get back to the mystery of who killed Lady Penelope’s father,” Alicia flips the page, eyes widening. ¬†“Whaaaaaaat?” ¬†Alicia flips another page and starts to fan herself, “so. much. detail.”

First Erotica

I may not remember my first romance novel, but you can bet your ass that I remember my first erotica…though it does help that it was many, many years later.

So, my first erotica was “The Claiming of Sleeping Beauty,” by Anne Rice (yes, the vampire lady also wrote naughty, naughty erotica). ¬†I remember my reaction, mostly because I was exclaiming it to the other person in the room:

Alicia: “Holy shit, it’s the first chapter and they’re already having sex!”

20 minutes later, “oh my God, they’re having sex again!”

20 minutes later, “seriously! more sex!”

20 minutes later, Alicia eyes the cover of the book, “more sex? What is this sorcery?”

And so went my introduction to erotica. ūüôā

Review “Playing for keeps”

Ebook Review “Playing for keeps (A Neighbor from Hell Series Book 1),” by R.L. Mathewson

imageYay! I’ve found another good and cheap book series. ¬†The “Neighbor from Hell” series is fun and most of the books are on Amazon for $0.99 each (the only thing better than good smut, is bargain priced smut). ūüôā

The first in this¬†series is “Playing for keeps.”¬†Haley¬†and Jason start on the wrong foot – his drunken party guests have tried to skinny dip in her pool, his exes have had screaming fits on his front lawn, and he hardly takes care of the place…

But, an amusing confrontation over flowers causes a swarm of bees to erupt from an underground hive, and Haley and Jason are forced to spend an afternoon together waiting for the exterminator (surprisingly enough, this is hardly the weirdest event that has caused a hero and heroine to get to know each other in romance novel).   Anyway, during the afternoon, the two bond over baseball and Jason decides to take the timid Haley under his wing.

But Jason’s feelings are anything but brotherly, though it does take him a little while to realize it, and Haley is hardly unaware of Jason’s charms. Can Jason and Haley survive taking it to the next level?

Playing for keeps” is a fun¬†start to ¬†R.L. Mathewson’s Neighbor from Hell series. It’s a fast read, with plenty of steam and quite a few giggles as well. Can’t wait to read the rest. 4 out of 5 stars! ūüôā

Review “Escorted”

Ebook Review – “Escorted,” by Claire Kent

image¬†In “Escorted,” we meet Lori, a romance novelist in her 20s with a job she needs help with – getting rid of her virginity. ¬†She’s been unlucky in love, so she’s decided to hire Ander to take care of that one little issue for her.

Except it’s too good and once isn’t enough (sigh – isn’t that always the case?). ¬†The more time Lori spends with Ander, the more the lines of their “professional” relationship begin to blur. ¬†Can Lori keep her heart safe during her intense interludes with Ander?

My oh my, is this book steamy and it features a hot, brooding hero. ¬†Yes, it’s true and I won’t apologize for it – I love brooding, yearning heroes. ¬†I don’t know what that says about me as a reader, but there you go. :p

Anyway, Ander has a lot to brood about – a terrible relationship with his father led him to his current profession and he’s never been in a solid, loving relationship. ūüė¶ ¬†Then, Lori comes into his life and he has trouble keeping things professional…until he decides to give up all of his other clients to focus on winning Lori over (without her knowledge, of course).

Escorted,” was ¬†a fast, sexy read. ¬†The writing seemed a little awkward at times, but all-in-all, it was a good – with interesting characters and a fun plot. ¬†4 out of 5 stars, highly recommended and very steamy. ¬†ūüôā

Happy reading. ūüėČ

Smutty Saturdays

Oh how I love Saturdays, especially when they’re filled with smut. ūüôā


This delicious sampling of smut is from Courtney Milan’s “Suffragette Scandal.”

“You keep acting as if I will break.” She smiled up at him. ¬†“Here’s a secret.”

He dropped his head to hers. 

“I plan to do just that,” she whispered. ¬†“To break into pieces, and I insist on having your help getting there.”

It was too much for him. ¬†He took hold of her hips and slid all the way in, seating himself deep inside her. ¬†She made a noise deep in her throat, and he was lost…”

There, now isn’t your day so much better already? ¬†Check out Courtney Milan’s “Suffragette Scandal” and all of the books in the Brothers Sinister Series – they are all excellent reads! ūüôā

Happy Saturday and happy reading! ūüôā

Review “Suffragette Scandal”

imageEbook Review: “The Suffragette Scandal,” By Courtney Milan

Frederica Marshall (Free) is a bold, young woman who¬†runs her own newspaper and fights for women’s right to vote.

Edward Clark is back in England to protect a childhood friend from his brother’s plot to destroy a woman who spurned his advances – a woman, unlike any Edward has ever met.

Edward offers himself as Free’s personal scoundrel (why can’t I have my own scoundrel?) and quickly partners with her to outsmart his brother’s evil plans to ruin Free’s business and worse. ¬†But Edward isn’t exactly who he claims to be…and if he reveals his true identity to Free, will she stay?

Ah yes, the last book in the Brothers Sinister Series (so named because each book has a left-handed hero or heroine Рyay, left-handed people).  As always, Courtney Milan did an excellent job of creating a strong heroine (outspoken, bold, and smart), an interesting and brooding hero (oh, we love the brooding), and an excellent story line in a historical romance setting.  5 out of 5 stars, though I am a little sad to be finished with such a fun series.

By the way – for all of you writers out there, Courtney Milan has a really great blog/website, where she talks about many things, including self-publishing versus traditional publishing options. ¬†Check it out. ¬†ūüôā

Review – Wallbanger

Ebook Review “Wallbanger (Cocktail Series),” Alice Clayton


In “Wallbanger,” we meet Caroline – poor Caroline, who has sadly lost her O. ¬†And how does one lose their O? ¬† Terrible sex, of course. ¬†Poor Caroline. ¬†Girl, I feel your pain.

Anyway, Caroline moves into a fabulous apartment owned by her boss.  All is well until nightfall.  You see, the neighbor next door has a rather interesting sex life.  And has such <ahem> prowess that Caroline can hear his bed banging against the wall (knocking down a picture off the wall at one point) as he spends time with his ladies.

But one night, this becomes too much and Caroline stalks to his door to confront him. ¬†Except she’s wearing a pink nightie and when he opens the door he’s wearing a sheet that leaves little to the imagination.

Caroline and the Wallbanger (real name Simon) meet again at Caroline’s boss’ party….and not surprisingly, they have chemistry. ¬†But, due to Simon’s committed-ish relationship with three women (yes, three, but not in one sitting), Caroline decides that they should only be friends.

…But, Simon has some serious sex appeal (obviously, this is a romance novel after all) and as Caroline gets to know him, she discovers that he’s got a great taste in music, is funny, interesting, and can cook the best meatballs ever. ¬†(Side note: ¬†Men, cooking is sexy. ¬†Very sexy. ¬†Extremely sexy if the food is edible…and not mac & cheese.)

Can Caroline take the next step with him…and can Simon be the man to bring back her missing O?

So, first of all ¬†– this book is written in the first person. ¬†Ages ago, I refused to read any romance novel written in the first person. ¬†But I’m so glad I’ve since reversed my decision. ¬†“Wallbanger” is hilarious and fun – and filled with the witty hero/heroine banter that I love so much. ¬†Alice Clayton’s style in this novel (this is the first of hers that I’ve read) is light, easy, and so fast to read.

Five out of five stars for “Wallbanger.” ¬†ūüôā

Smutty Saturdays

Summer nights are always hot, but it takes a delicious romance novel to add a little extra sizzle – and for that, we can thank Smutty Saturdays. ūüėČ


This week’s smut comes from Wallbanger (The Cocktail Series),” by Alice Clayton – a deliciously fun and funny book that you should definitely check out (stay tuned for my review).¬† And now…for smut!

“He hissed slightly and smiled. “You’re going to break me, you know this, right? ¬†I swear on all that’s holy, I’m not a machine – Christ, don’t stop doing that.” ¬†He groaned, thrusting into my hand without thought.¬†

“Ah, break schmake. I just want to fuck you until you can’t see straight,” I purred, tightening my fist as he splashed water over the side a bit.¬†

“I can barely see as it is. There seem to be three of you.” He moaned, pulling my legs apart and positioning me above him.

“Aim for the one in the middle, Simon,” I instructed and slid down.¬†

Hehehe. This book really delivers on the fun and smart ass dialogue (which you know I enjoy).

Enjoy the weekend, all of you readers….and enjoy the sizzle. ūüėČ