Some More Reviews


Okay, time for some more reviews. I’m certainly getting great workouts lately!I figured I should put my thoughts on these books down while they’re still fairly fresh, and I have more that I’ve read recently. But these are the ones with characters that have stayed in my head, and keep me thinking about them.
This time around, I’m talking about Carly Phillips “Dare to Love” series. The first, Dare to Love, was a great story about Ian Dare and Riley Taylor. Ms. Phillips sure does know how to create characters with lots of baggage, and these two are no exception. As usual, I was hooked right from the start, the chemistry between Ian and Riley was tangible, and the love scenes smoking hot. I liked watching the two of them learn to give in in various respects, though of course, Ian takes longer to get there. Typical man. lol  
In Dare to Desire, Alex Dare meets his match in Madison Evans. Actually, he met her in the previous book, and when Dare to Desire opens, he’s rather a jerk to her. My kind of hero. 😉 He eventually comes around, but is it too late for him to convince Madison to take another chance? Alex is determined, that’s for sure. Again, talk about emotional baggage for these two. It was done so realistically, I could feel their emotions as if they were my own. There was one part of the book that left me a bit disappointed, and I’m not going to talk about it here for spoiler purposes, but the reason being is that I want the characters to get and do everything they want and deserve. Since it is romance fiction, sometimes, when that doesn’t happen, I feel a little blindsided. Other than that one thing, though, another seriously hot love story that I hated to see end.
Dare to Surrender was quite an interesting read. All three of the Dare books contain some aspect of sexual domination, which of course I love and was thrilled to read in these books, but Dare to Surrender dove into it a little deeper. This book is part of the Invitation to Eden series, and you can bet I’ll be picking up more of these titles.
Anyway, back to the review. Dare to Surrender has the heroine, Isabelle Masters’, POV written in the first person. I’m not usually a fan of first person narrative, too often, you don’t get enough of the other characters’ POV, but Ms. Phillips wrote Isabelle perfectly. ASnd we got plenty of Gabriel Dare’s POV, so I was quite happy about that. I was sucked right into her woes, and loved how Gabriel came in and saved the day. Temporarily of course, but when he finally gets Isabelle back into his life, the chemistry between the two is electric. The love scenes were the best I’d read in first person in a very long time. Kudos to Ms. Phillips. I know I could never handle that as well as she did here. I am anxiously awaiting the next books in the series.
A repeat author here, J.J. Rose, has a new novella out, titled Other Options. I really enjoyed this – again first person, but done very well. This is the story of Ala, her mate/husband Kivol and her lover Vivia. Kivol quickly is sent away, leaving Ala confused and longing for both her absent mate and her female lover. But because of the laws of their culture, she cannot be with her lover in her mate’s absence. A really neat world was developed her and Rose really paints a beautiful picture without overcomplicating or overwriting, not an easy feat. The comfortable sexuality in the culture lends to some really beautiful and erotic scenes, and Ala’s emotions are all too real and make me feel for her dilemma. My only complaint – the novella is a little too short! I wanted more! 😉
One of the best rewards I get from reading these awesome books is they inspire and motivate me. I’m hard at work on multiple projects, as usual, but I find the words come easier when I’ve just finished a sexy and satisfying read.

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Getting Close Now – RWA11

Another crazy week gone by, but this one is filled with excitement! Next week, RWA is holding its National Conference in New York City. I’ve been to National a couple of times – whenever it’s in New York. Going any other time has been difficult to justify, due to the high costs involved, conference fee, airfare, hotel. Not to mention, the conference usually takes place the week of my annual family vacation (that warrants its own separate post).  So logistically, I can rarely make it work. This year helps as well because it’s early this year. However, that had a glitch of its own – we hold an annual July 4th bash, usually the weekend of. But that is being cancelled for the first time in 19 years because I’m going to National!
This is my first time as a published author. The last time I went, in 2003, I was shopping my vampire book, The Taste of Magic. It had done well on the contest circuit, finaling in contests several times, and I pitched it to Dorchester. Sadly, that book didn’t go anywhere at the time, it took another three years before I finally contracted it in 2006.  But I remember having a great time at the conference, seeing friends I hadn’t seen in a while, some I’d only ever met online. I networked, I partied, I learned.
Now, I’m going to experience it from the other side. I’m looking forward to my “First Sale” ribbon on my badge, I’m looking forward to participating in the literacy autographing, and I am very excited to see and meet old and new friends. There are a few parties I’ll be attending, which I love, because they serve a dual purpose. You can have fun and network at the same time. I find it much easier to chat without the constraints of a set time-limited pitch. I’m less nervous, and I get to drink at the parties! lol And there are some really great workshops I’m eagerly anticipating. I volunteered to moderate one, and they assigned me to the Time Management one. Perfect for me! I’m looking forward to learning from some of my colleagues and authors who I am a fan of. And yes, I can guarantee, the fangirly moments will occur. I can’t help myself. One of my all time favorite fangirl encounters was when Carly Phillips and I stalked Catherine Coulter in NYC in 1993 (or 1994 – somewhere back in the early 90’s). There’ll be more moments like that this year, I am sure.
I’ve even signed up for editor and agent pitches. I’m not sure I really need or want an agent at this point, but there were a couple who interested me with their views and experience in the publishing world, so I thought I’d take a chance and take advantage of all my options. As for an editor appointment, I’ll admit part of that was because I am looking forward to meeting the editor I signed up with, but the book I’ll be pitching is a tricky one. The set-up for the story is a bit unconventional and while I certainly am free to submit at anytime without a prior pitch, I wanted the opportunity to actually discuss the possibilities with said editor. I do much better talking about my books than I do trying to condense it into a 2-page or less synopsis. Any one of my critique partners can tell you I suck at writing synopses, and like many, many authors I know, I despise having to do them.
So who else will be there? If you’re going to be there, I’d love to say hi face-to-face, so let me know.
See you there!