Here it is, another Sunday Book Blog brought to you on an actual Sunday.
The other day I was talking to my friend and she was looking for something new to read and she was asking me for recommendations for books to read and I have to say that I was stumped. What do you recommend for the novice romance reader? I don't really know anything about her general fiction choices. Does she like mysteries? Thrillers? Who are her favorite authors? I do know that she likes David Sedaris. (As do I because, seriously, I want to be as funny a social commentator as he is. In my other writing life, I want to have a hilarious monthly column in Vogue or The New Yorker, even though I've never been to New York.)
As I was talking to her, I commented on the fact that while I really don't read too much fiction outside of the romance genre, within it, I'm very well read. I read historical, contemporary, romantic suspense, paranormal, interracial, and assorted other subgenres. The only things that I don't really go for are Sci-Fi or time-travel. The latter because I really can't see going back to a time without indoor plumbing or modern dentistry. Plus, as a Black person, going back in time for my people is not an appealing thought.
But my book choices today reflect my diversity. We have a romantic suspense and an historical.
Now on to the books.
Trial by Fire: The Firefighters of Station Five by Jo Davis
In the small town of Sugarland, Tennessee, an arsonist is on the loose. Kat McKenna is housesitting for friends when she comes by one night to find the home ablaze and calls the fire department. Inside, the firemen make a deadly discovery, a body handcuffed to the bed and burned alive. One of the firemen is Howard Paxton, six-foot-six-inches of rugged fire hunk.
For Kat and Howard, the attraction is instant and undeniable. Howard has some serious trust issues but Kat is willing to accept them for him. What she doesn't know is that Howard has somehow become the target of the deadly arsonist's rage. Can they find out who is doing the killing and why they want to punish Howard before it's too late?
This is the first of a series (obviously!). The next book doesn't come out until May 2009 which really ticks me off because that's like nine months instead of the usual six. I just hope I can remember that I really liked this book and I would dearly love to read anything by Ms. Davis again.
Okay, can I just say that I love the name Howard as hero's name? I've never considered it sexy before but when it comes attached to some prime beefcake like in this story, I really can see myself moaning that name. (That's my litmus test for hero names. What do they sound like when you moan them?)
I liked the story, especially the chemistry between Howard and Kat. The love scenes were good, very good. They did call this a romantic suspense but I'm not quite sure that it was 'romantic suspense' mainly because to me, the definition of the genre is such a nebulous thing. This storyline could just as easily have been classified as a straight contemporary. But what do I know? I'm just a struggling writer.
My advice: GO BUY IT!
Sins of a Duke by Suzanne Enoch
When Sebastian Griffin, the Duke of Melbourne, is asked by Prinny to become the liaison to an unknown Central American country, he's not happy. Especially when he finds out that part of the duties is to squire the princess, Josefina, around Society. Josefina is unlike any woman he's ever known and despite the fact that she smacked him in public and she continues to challenge him at every turn, he cannot deny his desire for her. But he also can't escape the feeling that something is amiss with this newly crowned royalty.
But is Josefina really a princess? And what will happen when the entirety of England becomes aware of the potential fraud?
I don't remember if I've ever read Ms. Enoch before but I will definitely read her again.
Now, this book was the last in the series and I have to confess I try not to read books like that but this story was entirely self-contained that I had no problems diving in.
My first chuckle was the the name of the island that Josefina and her family were the supposed rulers of was Costa Habichuela, the Bean Coast. It just made me laugh.
And Sebastian is my favorite kind of hero. Total staid Alpha Male with hot undercurrents of sensuality just waiting to bubble to the surface. There is something about a man who is forced to keep a tight reign of his baser desires that drives me crazy. He was kept from being a total buttoned-up frump by his daughter and their obvious affection. It was nice to see their interaction. And a surprise considering the way that Society, especially Dukes, behaved towards their children back in the day.
The only thing better is the brooding, tortured Mr. Rochester type.
Anyway, I liked the H/H combination. Josefina was just the type to shake up the uber-conservative Sebastian. And the love scenes were well-written and enjoyable.
Can I just tell you that in my opinion, historical romances were way ahead of the curve when it came to the level of sensuality in stories nowadays. I remember reading Linda Lael Miller, Susan Johnson, and Amanda Quick specifically because they were so much more descriptive. It took contemporaries a few years to catch up, and now exceed, historicals.
But back to the Duke.
GO BUY IT.
Until next week!