Saturday, January 10, 2009
Raiding the TBR pile
by Anna Campbell
As many of you know, my third book TEMPT THE DEVIL was released about ten days ago and I'm on a major blog tour to talk about it (if you ever want to know where I'll be, please check out latest news on my website). So I thought today it might be nice to talk about some books that are NOT by Anna Campbell!
For months I've been promising myself a few days of sloth between Christmas and New Year. It's an Australian tradition. The Boxing Day Cricket Test Match is on (as I write this, things aren't going too well for the Aussies with the South Africans really tanning our hides. If we lose this match, it means we've lost the series and it's the first series the Aussies have lost on home ground in 15 years. Ouch!). People are busy playing with Christmas presents and eating Christmas leftovers and it's hot and perfect pool or beach weather. Well, as long as you have your sunscreen with you!
It's also a perfect time of year for reading!
I've been attacking the huge To Be Read Pile. And while I'm far from conquering it, I have made some inroads. Books I've enjoyed in the last few weeks include PLAYING FOR THE ASHES by Elizabeth George (an Inspector Lynley book), THE LACE READER by Brunonia Barry, THE KISS by Sophia Nash, THE FLAME AND THE SHADOW by Denise Rossetti and QUEEN OF DRAGONS by Shana Abe.
I've picked out five books to talk about in a bit more detail. All were an absolute pleasure to read. So if you're looking for some recommendations to fill a few hours' reading time, look no further!
The book whose cover features at the head of this blog, NEVER ROMANCE A RAKE by Liz Carlyle, is a fantastic, intense historical romance with a ton of emotional punch. It's also got Liz's trademark wit and passion - seriously the love scenes in this are HAWT! One of the most compelling heroes I've read for a long time too. I picked this up yesterday and didn't put it down until I finished it. Highly recommended!
Amy Andrews who's a Bandita regular (when she's not breaking her arm to avoid us!) writes really emotional, heartfelt Medical romance for Harlequin. I've had her THE ITALIAN COUNT'S BABY on my TBR pile for a long time. Sorry, Amy! It's been one of those years and I knew once I started this book, I wouldn't want to stop. What an absolutely lovely story about an unlikely love between two damaged people. And as a bonus, there's a stack of wonderful, drool-making descriptions of scenery on the Amalfi Coast, courtesy of Amy's recent visit. The great news for American readers is that this book was chosen as a special Presents Extra release in the United States and you can order it from Amazon (just click on the cover). Generally, Harlequin Medicals aren't available in the U.S. but this one is! Huzzah!
A book that's been in the TBR pile since I went to the RWA conference in San Francisco in July is Rachel Gibson's TRUE CONFESSIONS. This won the RITA for best contemporary romance back in 2001 and it's now been reissued in the Avon A line. What a charming, funny, gorgeous romance! It's a fish out of water story (love that theme!) where a big city girl who writes tabloid stories about aliens kidnapping tourists and Elvis living in the Bermuda Triangle heads off to the wilds of Idaho for six months when her life in L.A. heads for the rocks. The hero, sexy local sheriff Dylan, is absolutely to die for and the story will have you laughing out loud as our heroine Hope runs into stranger creatures in the small town than she ever created out of her fevered imagination.
The next book is a delicious treat by Kelly Hunter who I recently hosted as my guest here on the Bandits. You all loved her and absolutely reveled in her dry as dust sense of humor. Her PLAYBOY BOSS, LIVE-IN MISTRESS is on the surface as light and luscious as chocolate mousse. There's her trademark snappy dialogue and quirky characters. But underneath that sparkling veneer, this story packs a lot of emotional punch. It's about taking a chance on love and letting go of old tragedy. I'm sure this book will come out in America before too long but as yet, there's no confirmed date. However, the Book Depository in the UK will post books anywhere in the world without charging postage. It's a great deal and even with the exchange rate, it makes it worthwhile checking for things that aren't readily available in the North American market. You can order Kelly's book here: http://www.bookdepository.co.uk/WEBSITE/WWW/WEBPAGES/showbook.php?id=0263863913
As a lot of you know, I'm a huge fan of Madeline Hunter. I've loved her work ever since Isolde Martyn from my Sydney crit group brought home an ARC of Madeline's debut BY ARRANGEMENT from the Washington conference back in 2000. I think Madeline's such a smart, elegant writer and I love the way she creates unusual, compelling characters. Her first books are medievals but over recent years she's moved to the Regency. SECRETS OF SURRENDER is the third in her series based around the aristocratic Rothwell Brothers and their associates. The second book LESSONS OF DESIRE was a very deserving RITA winner this year in the Long Historical category. SECRETS OF SURRENDER has all the hallmarks of Madeline's style - smart, offbeat characters (I particularly enjoyed the self-made hero), a plot grounded in real life elements of the Regency, an intelligent, rebellious, headstrong heroine, sizzling sexual tension. Can't wait now for the last in the series, THE SINS OF LORD EASTERBROOK which is out in February!
So let's talk books! What have you read over the Holidays? Have you discovered any great authors in 2008? What were your favorite books of the year?