Tag Archives: contemporary romance

Winner of February’s Contemporaries to Covet giveaway!

I was so happy to see everyone’s recommendations for contemporary romance releases in February. Looks like it’ll be a very romantic month!

The winner of a $10 book gift certificate is…Suz Glo!

And since Suz Glo said she loves Jill Shalvis’s novels, I’m also sending a $10 gift certificate to Jill on Suz’s behalf.

Thanks for commenting, everyone!

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Review: The Night is Mine by M.L. Buchman

This military suspense romance pulled me in before shoving me away.

The Night is MineCaptain Emily Beale is the best helicopter pilot Major Mark Henderson has ever seen. He’s her commanding officer in Afghanistan, where they both fly for SOAR, the elite group of helicopter pilots who get special forces into—and out of—the most dangerous missions.

Mark has to be careful to hide how much he loves flying with Emily, not just because it could cost one or both of them their careers in the Army but because she deserves better than to have to deal with advances from colleagues.

But when Emily is whisked away with no explanation, and Mark discovers she’s now the personal chef to the First Lady, he can’t stop himself from going after her. There’s no way his best pilot could waste her skills that way, and no way he can let her go.

Emily’s new assignment as the First Lady’s chef is a personal request from the President himself—or, as he’s always been to Emily, the boy next door. But Emily quickly realizes there’s more to her assignment than she can let anyone know—someone is repeatedly attacking the First Lady, and Emily may be the only person who can save her life.

I loved the setup of this story. Emily is ultra-tough and has earned the respect of her fellow pilots (mostly through threats and beating them up). I really loved how careful Mark was not to show his attraction to her. He comes across as an honorable man from start to finish, and I couldn’t get enough of reading his character.

My problem came when the story shifted to D.C. Okay, Emily’s an incredible pilot. She’s had to become the best to compete as a woman in a man’s field. Okay, she’s such a skilled cook that she can convincingly pull off a gig as the First Lady’s personal chef. Hey, Emily’s the daughter of the Director of the FBI, so I can sort of believe she’s had all the schooling and privileges necessary to cook to that level. But Emily’s “best in the world” skills kept mounting until I felt like they were more a plot convenience to impress me as a reader or to get herself and Mark out of trouble.

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Contemporaries to covet in February – & giveaway!

Every month, I’m giving you the chance to win a $10 book gift certificate for yourself AND one of your favorite contemporary romance authors.

How? Easy. Just let me know which contemporary romance novel being published this month you’re looking forward to reading. You can even mention one of the ones I recommend below. I’ll choose one winner and send that person a gift certificate. I’ll also send a gift certificate to the author they mention in their comment, on their behalf.

Giveaway details are at the bottom of this post. But first, there are a couple of contemporary romance novels I’ve read advanced copies of and can totally recommend. They’re both really fun, funny and entertaining books, so I hope you get a chance to read them!

Time Out by Jill Shalvis

(Read an excerpt on Jill’s blog)

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Class: How to Drive Him Crazy

Instructional program for women unexpectedly facing the totally dishy guy from their past. Everyone Welcome!

Time OutNHL coach Mark Diego’s plan to spend his off-season volunteering in his hometown goes awry when he learns that not only is he coaching teenage girls, but that the program is coordinated by energetic (and five feet two inches of trouble) coordinator Rainey Saunders, his childhood friend–and the woman he could never stand to see dating any other guy…

When their tempers flare, Mark and Rainey discover their fireworks don’t just burn angry–they burn very, very, hot! But that’ll just sweeten the victory. Because Mark always plays to win. And with Rainey, he’s planning on playing very dirty too…

224 pages
Publisher: Harlequin Blaze
Publication date: 21 Feb 2012

My opinion:

4 out of 5 stars!

Not only is this novel super hot, but it has all of Jill Shalvis’s trademark snort-out-loud humor and gut-twisting emotion. I absolutely LOVE Jill Shalvis and am convinced she couldn’t write a bad book.

This is her first Blaze for a while, and it’s wonderful to see how much conflict and energy she can pack into even this shorter format.

Her Lucky Catch by Amie Denman

Her Lucky CatchRecently divorced kindergarten teacher Jazz Shepherd is starting a new life in the quaint lakeside town of Bluegill. After taking a summer job at the local marina to help make ends meet, she’s stunned when the chief of police enlists her help in solving a crime.

Money has been disappearing from the city coffers, and a trail leads from Bluegill’s mayor to Damien Cerberus, a rich boat owner—and possible killer. The police chief is short-staffed and in need of someone to keep tabs on the suspect. Jazz’s job at the marina puts her in the perfect position to help—and puts her in the path of Kurt Reynolds, the hottie who mans the fireboat.

When things with Kurt start heating up, how can Jazz keep her investigation undercover while enjoying time under the covers with her summer flame?

67,000 words
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 27 Feb 2012

My opinion:

4 out of 5 stars!

Told in the first person by a heroine with a wonderfully quirky voice, this novel is a highly entertaining read. Amie Denman manages to keep it hot and exciting without being overly descriptive in sex scenes, making this a wonderful book for those of you who get uncomfortable reading about detailed sexual encounters.

Fans of Kristan Higgins will really enjoy Her Lucky Catch. I read it while traveling from Denmark to the Netherlands, and it had me laughing out loud instead of pissing myself with fear on the flight or throttling a conductor when my train home was delayed by an hour. Seriously, it takes a lot to keep me in a good mood through a journey like that, and Amie Denman accomplished it.

Giveaway!

Answer one of the questions in bold below. By “contemporary romance” I mean romance between human beings set in the present day. It can be romantic suspense, inspirational, erotic, category-length or whatever.

I’ll choose one winner on Tuesday February 7th. That person will get a $10 gift certificate to the online book retailer of their choice, AND I’ll send the same to the author they mention.

If the winner mentions more than one author, I’ll ask her to choose which one gets the gift certificate.

This is open internationally.

Questions:

What contemporary romance novel(s) are you looking forward to in February? Have you read anything by the authors I mentioned? Which of their books do you like best?

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Winner of the Lisa Dale giveaway!

Slow Dancing on Price's PierThanks so much to everyone who commented on my interview with Lisa Dale, and to Lisa for giving away a copy of Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier.

The very lucky winner is…Maureen!

Maureen, send me your mailing address to romancingkatrina (at) gmail (dot) com.

Everyone, this week you have the chance to win Shana Galen’s upcoming historical romance, The Rogue Pirate’s Bride (and learn some cool facts about pirates, too!).

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Video: Why men and women can’t be friends

Answer’s pretty clear (at least, it is if you’re a guy at Utah State University’s library): Because we’re men, and we have those feelings.

This clears up why all my very-close straight guy friends from college dropped off the face of the earth once they got married.

Do you think men and women can be friends? Does a bit of attraction get in the way of friendship, or does it enhance it?

P.S. Why didn’t I go to Utah State??

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Interview with Lisa Dale – and giveaway!

Lisa Dale

Photo by Eric Rank

A couple of years ago, I began hearing about an author who wrote very smart contemporary romantic novels. I picked up Lisa Dale’s It Happened One Night and fell in love with her style.

Lisa’s intelligence and curiosity about a wide array of subjects shine through her stories. She’s here today talking about her latest release, A Promise of Safekeeping, and giving away a copy of her previous novel, Slow Dancing on Price’s Pier.

Welcome, Lisa!

Thank you tons for having me!

1. Your novels always feature characters who have really interesting careers – or maybe it’s the way you include fascinating bits of your research into your novels that makes their careers seem so interesting. From astronomy to flowers to the history of coffee, you cover a wide range of topics. What’s been your most interesting subject to research, and what can we look forward to reading more about in A Promise of Safekeeping?

I love all of it! I’m as nerdy as it gets…so I’ve always got my nose in a book and am trying to learn new things. Part of that comes from being a writer: we have to know things like, what certain flowers are called, what certain trees are, what are the architectural parts of a building and what period are they from…etc. Knowing those kinds of things aids in writing good descriptions.

A Promise of SafekeepingMy characters’ careers are often just an excuse for me to dig into a subject. Lauren, in A Promise of Safekeeping, is a body language expert—which is SOOOOOO fascinating. Lauren’s great at her job, but not so good at reading body language in her personal life. She can tell if a criminal is lying…but her love life is a different story. What kind of person would you be if you could read the words beneath the words?

The hero, Will, is an antiques dealer, and I think that’s because I’m starting to realize that I’m infatuated by the concept of history, by the notion of so many lives and experiences happening in the same space, by history being all around us, right now, in the present.

Will collects antique keys, which reflects the themes of “keeping” and “locking away” that run through the book. Old keys embody what I love about antiques: the mystery of the past. The inherent opaqueness of it. What did this key secret away? Or, who did it imprison? Who was it meant to keep out? I think this idea of the layers of history has been a latent theme of my writing that is just starting to come out in A Promise of Safekeeping, and more in my W-I-P.

2. Your characters face enormous challenges that many readers will recognize from their own lives. To me, this makes their happily-ever-after all the more satisfying. Do you get many emails from readers who’ve experienced the challenges your characters have?

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Testing your boundaries through erotic romance

Crash Into YouI’ve never been an erotic romance reader, but lately I’ve been testing my reading boundaries and branching out.

My latest post at The Season for Romance has some recommendations – and Bev is giving away Crash Into You by Roni Loren and Seven Day Loan by Tiffany Reisz, so you can test your boundaries (and restraints), too!

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Winners of the Contemporaries to Covet giveaway!

A Promise of SafekeepingIt’s so good to see so many recommendations for new contemporary romance. Thanks to everyone who told me what they’re looking forward to reading this month!

The winner of a $10 gift certificate to the book retailer of their choice is…Tracy Simpson!

Tracy said she’s looking forward to reading A Promise of Safekeeping by Lisa Dale, so Lisa also wins a $10 gift certificate on Tracy’s behalf. Congrats, Lisa!

Everyone, I’ll be doing this again in February; make sure you subscribe to my blog so you don’t miss out.

Also, this week you might win Kaki Warner’s latest historical Western romance, Colorado Dawn, by leaving a comment on her guest post, One woman’s tips for writing the male point of view.

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Contemporaries to covet in January – giveaway!

At the beginning of every month this year, I’m going to let you know about the contemporary romance novels coming out that month that I’m most looking forward to.

They might be books I’ve read advance copies of, or just books by authors I love. I hope you’ll share the love by letting us know what contemporary romance novels you’re looking forward to reading that month.

I’ll choose one person who leaves a comment to win a $10 gift certificate to the online book retailer of their choice AND I’ll send a $10 gift certificate to the contemporary romance author they mention in their comment, on their behalf.

Cool, huh? This way, authors get to win something too.

I haven’t read the books below, but I’ve read other things by the authors and I have high hopes for these.

Crash Into You by Roni Loren

Release date: January 3, 2012

Sometimes the past can bring you to your knees…

Crash Into YouBrynn LeBreck has dedicated herself to helping women in crisis, but she never imagined how personal her work would get, or where it would take her. Her younger sister is missing, suspected to be hiding from cops and criminals alike at a highly secretive BDSM retreat–a place where the elite escape to play out their most extreme sexual fantasies. To find her Brynn must go undercover as a sexual submissive. Unfortunately, The Ranch is invitation only. And the one Master who can get her in is from the darkest corner of Brynn’s past.

Brynn knows what attorney Reid Jamison is like once stripped of his conservative suit and tie. Years ago she left herself vulnerable only to have him crush her heart. Now she needs him again. Back on top. And he’s all too willing to engage. But as their primal desires and old wounds are exposed, the sexual games escalate–and so does the danger.  Their hearts aren’t the only things at risk. Someone else is watching, playing by his own rules. And his game could be murder.

My two cents

For an all-too-brief time, Roni and I were in a critique group together. I got to read the first few chapters of an early draft of Crash Into You, an erotic BDSM romance. I can’t tell you how excited I am to finally get to read the rest! I’ve pre-ordered this book, something I rarely do. Roni’s an incredible writer, and you can get a taste of her sense of humor in the guest post she wrote last month (Why do all the romance heroes have six-packs?).

This is Roni’s debut novel, and I think it’ll be a crackin’ start to a stellar career.

A Promise of Safekeeping by Lisa Dale

Release date: January 3, 2012

A Promise of SafekeepingNine years ago, Lauren Matthews prosecuted the case of a lifetime. But her error in judgment sent an innocent man to prison. Now Arlen Fieldstone’s finally been released, and Lauren has only one thing on her mind:  asking forgiveness. But how can she make up for nine years of his life?

To get to Arlen, Lauren must first get through Arlen’s best friend, Will Farris. Will hasn’t forgotten Lauren from those days, and hasn’t forgiven her for destroying his best friend’s life. He is Arlen’s keeper—protecting him from suspicious neighbors as well as from Lauren.

In the steaming summer streets of Richmond, Virginia, three people’s lives collide. Lauren needs forgiveness. Arlen needs hope. And Will? He needs something too, something that no one can know—especially not Lauren…

My two cents

I’ve only read one of Lisa Dale’s previous books, It Happened One Night, which is a beautifully written novel that straddles the line between contemporary romance and women’s fiction. A Promise of Safekeeping looks like it has the elements I loved about It Happened One Night: a realistically difficult romantic relationship and oodles of conflict among characters who feel very real.

Giveaway nitty-gritty

Answer one of the questions in bold below. By “contemporary romance” I mean romance between human beings set in the present day. It can be romantic suspense, inspirational, erotic, category-length or whatever.

I’ll draw a winner on Tuesday January 7 10th (sorry – I originally said the 7th, but I meant the 10th, since I always pick winners on Tuesdays. I misread my calendar!). If you mention more than one author in your comment, I’ll ask you which one you want me to send the gift certificate to (sorry, folks, I’m a charity worker).

This is open internationally.

Questions:

What contemporary romance novel(s) are you looking forward to in January? Have you read anything by the authors I mentioned? Which of their books do you like best?

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Winner of the Roni Loren giveaway!

I’m sorry this is a day late. I’ve spent the past two days in the hospital with my grandparents. Grandpa’s scheduled to have surgery this morning, so hopefully he’ll start getting better soon.

Crash Into YouAnyway, I wanted to thank everyone who stopped by to comment on Roni Loren’s fantastic post: Why do all the romance heroes have six-packs?

The winner of Crash Into You, Roni’s debut novel is…angela quarles!

Angela, I’ve emailed you asking for your mailing address.

This week you guys can win one of my favorite books, Hot Zone by Catherine Mann!

If I don’t get a chance to publish another post over the next few days, then let me wish you all a very happy new year now. Here’s wishing us all love, laughter, and lots of great books in 2012!

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