Nathifa’s Corner: MY THOUGHTS ON JULIE GARWOOD’S BOOK COVERS

If you are like me, you would pick up a book based on the cover.  I know the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” but I can’t help it.  I’m a graphic designer (well I’m training to be one) and designs always catches my eyes.  Since I love books so much, I always pick up a book that is pleasing to my eyes and then read the description on the back and when that fails, pick up a random book and do the same.


One of my favorite authors is +Julie Garwood and from my mom’s old collection of books I’ve seen some beautiful book covers from her even though I lost one of them (I will find whoever lost it and they will pay).


Now, I only choose Julie Garwood’s books based on the author alone. Seriously, I would not have looked twice at the reprinted version of her books if she was not already established in my mind.  I know it’s a little harsh but in my opinion, an amateur designer designed these new book covers and did a poor job of it.  

Here are examples of what I am talking about:

                 BEFORE                                                                                                   AFTER

                                          Read more

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THE WEDDING by Julie Garwood

107778Title: The Wedding

Series: The Laird’s Fiancee’s bk 2

Author: Julie Garwood
Genre: Historical Romance
Blurb:

It’s a classic plot: a marriage of convenience that lays the groundwork for true love. 

1119. Journeying from England to Scotland to wed a highlander, Lady Brenna had resigned herself to the arranged match. But when a band of fierce, painted warriors captured her en route, she fearlessly met their demand to marry their leader — the quick-tempered laird Connor MacAlister. She couldn’t know that her capture was merely the first act of vengeance against her betrothed, Connor’s sworn enemy.

Brenna harbored no illusions that her husband was in love with her; after a hasty forest wedding, MacAlister assured her she could return home once she had borne him a son. But she could not deny that she had once proposed to MacAlister — ten years ago, when she was just a child, and the visitor to her father’s castle charmed her with his dazzling, unexpected smile. Now, as she sets out to win the brave chieftain whom she has come to adore, a legacy of revenge ensnares Brenna in a furious clan war — and only her faith in her gallant hero can save her.

A heart that was nurtured to seek revenge against the people responsible for his father’s murder and the destruction of his home has left Connor MacAlister without a day of true peace.

With vengeance in his heart and revenge on his mind, Connor would do anything to humiliate his enemy, including abducting his enemy’s future wife and marrying her for himself.

Lady Brenna was taking a break by a stream when she heard a shout from her camp, when she arrived it was to see that five “outcast” have subdued her guards and and all she can do was pray to save them.

When their intentions were clear, Lady Brenna agreed to marry their leader (Connor) in exchange for the release of her guards, and the most troubling thing to me is that she was worried about the war paint that her future husband was wearing more than being married against her will.

With his task of taking his enemy’s bride completed, Connor is convinced that his life would stay the same with little to no interruptions from his wife, and of course, he was wrong.  

With Brenna determined to have her way and he even more determined to leave things as they are, Connor and Brenna finds themselves hurting each other’s feelings, but mostly Brenna; seeing as she is English and she was forcefully uprooted from what she knows and forced to adapt to her new way of life with barely and help from her husband.  It does not help that Connor is emotionally crippled. 

Throw in some bothersome in-laws and rioting neighbors and you know this story got real interesting real fast.

This book was a little predictable to me, seeing as how I found out who the traitor was early on in the book, they were too obvious but even with knowing who the culprits were for his father’s death, it was both fun and frustrating reading about how Connor was searching for proof of the traitors when they were right under his nose.

Julie Garwood created a strange love story where the characters in the story fell in love with each other when they were barely in each other’s presence.  Connor always had to go and and do his own thing and in doing that left Brenna to suffer; I’m also mad at what happened to poor Gilly, poor, poor, Gilly.

As usual, you have to read the book to figure out all the information that I provided without actually telling you what actually happened in the book.  So read the book and tell me what you think about it.

 

Thoughts: A truly fun and frustrating book
Grade: A

THE LION’S LADY by Julie Garwood

107783Title: The Lion’s Lady
Author: Julie Garwood

Series: Crown Spies/Pagan bk 1
Genre: Historical Romance
Blurb:

Christina Bennett had taken London society by storm. The ravishing beauty guarded the secret of her mysterious past until the night Lyon, Marquis of Lyonwood, stole a searching, sensuous kiss. An arrogant nobleman with a pirate’s passions, he tasted the wild fire smoldering beneath Christina’s cool charm and swore to posess her…
But the fiesty and defiant Christina would not be so easily conquered. Mistress of her heart and of her fortune, she resisted Lyon’s sensuous caresses. She dared not surrender to his love…for then, she must also forsake her precious secret…and her promised destiny!

Hey guys, the Lion’s Lady is my next stop on my Julie Garwood book marathon and I have to say, I loved it.  The trails and errors, and there were many of them just came together and made a perfect book with a not so perfect ending.  Let me explain.

Two mothers, both grew up at different sides of the road and were thought to hate each other; have bonded over their past pain and made a pact to look after each other’s child if something was to ever happen to them.

Unfortunately, something happened to one of them and the other was true to their promise and took on the task of raising her child, but when she arrived home, everyone was excited to see her again, but not so much for the unexpected little bundle she arrived with.

Years later, after the child has grown, she was sent back to her own people to complete what her mother has started, even though it pains them all to send her away.

Christina Bennet has taken London by storm and has quickly gained the nickname “Princess Christina”.  Everyone was captivated by her beauty and her charm not knowing the agony and purpose that she was experiencing inside.

Christina only had one goal and that was to finish what her mother had started and return home to her people, but someone else has other plans for Christina and they do not include her going back to her people.

The Marques of Lyonwood, (everybody calls him Lyon) has had his heart broken once before by two people that he held dear to his heart.  Now this deceit has left him disillusioned about people, especially women.  When he first saw “Princess Christina” he convinced himself that she just like every other woman and wrote her off, but he just could not stop staring at her.

Her mysterious past intrigues him enough to ask her questions, but when she answers his questions without actually giving a direct answer, his curiosity becomes so great that he contacts his friends to find out information about her.

Christina is enraptured by the man they call the “lion”, and tries to avoid him at all cost, knowing her past would make him despise her and the mission she has to do would put everyone she is in direct contact with in danger, just like with her mother.

Would Lyon find out what Christina is hiding in her past?  Would Christina finish what she has to accomplish and return home?  Or would all their well made plans crumple and new plans made?

I know the answer but you have to read the book and see for yourself, you especially would want to know what happened to the old bat, not what I had in mind, she got off way to easy.

Thank you Julie Garwood for combining two completely different cultures and joining them together to create a wonderful and exciting story and I would like to ask, when are we going to read about Christina’s brother romance story? 

Thoughts: The part of the old bat was not dealt with to my satisfaction
Grade: A

2013 Top 5 Contemporary Reads

It’s that time of year again where we count down our top 5 books we’ve read this year. Some of these books were new this year and others have been out for a while. Either way these are the books we consider the top books we’ve read.

Heather:

  1. As Hard As It Gets by Laura Kaye
  2. Hot Shot by Julie Garwood
  3. Perfect Fling by Carly Phillips
  4. All He Ever Dreamed by Shannon Stacey
  5. Wild Man by Kristen Ashley

Danita:

  1. When Summer Comes by Brenda Novak
  2. Home to Whiskey Creek by Brenda Novak
  3. Take Me home For Christmas by Brenda Novak
  4. Infinite Possibilities by Lisa Renee Jones

Jeananna

  1. Time Flies by Clare Cook
  2. Wrecked by Shiloh Walker
  3. Thrill Ride by Julie Ann Walker
  4. Love Irresistibly by Julie James
  5. Too Times as Hot by Cat Johnson

Sarah

  1. Wallbanger by Alice Clayton
  2. Come Undone by Jessica HawkinsJul
  3. Come Together by Jessica Hawkins
  4. Come Alive by Jessica Hawkins
  5. She’s the One by Erin Nicholas

Janon

  1. A Grown Up Kind of Pretty by Joshilyn Jackson
  2. Notorious Nineteen by Janet Evanovich
  3. Liar, Liar Hearts on Fire by Jennifer Zane
  4. Burn by Linda Howard
  5. The Player by J.R. Ward

Now that we’ve told you our top 5 contemporary reads tell us yours.

Sunday Snippet: Hotshot by Julie Garwood

I’ve been reading Julie for more than twenty years now, and she still remains an auto-buy for me. Her latest book features the descendant from one of my favorite Highlander books Saving Grace. Finn is an awesome hero, in fact he may end up being one of my favorite of her heroes. So I’m super excited to share a snippet of the book today.

Finn wasn’t ready to go inside yet. Beck would come and get him when it was time. It was warm today. The sun was shining, and it was at least seventy degrees, he guessed, maybe seventy-​­five. He and Ronan had spent a week working in Chicago where it had been around ten degrees every single day with crazy below-​­zero wind chills. The heat felt good on his face. He liked being outside, cold or hot, and he liked being home, too. It had been such a long time.

His cell phone rang, reminding him that he needed to turn it off before the ceremony. He saw who was calling and felt a wave of exhaustion. On-​­again off-​­again Danielle was trying to recon­nect with him. He wasn’t about to get into that drama. He’d had enough, and he simply didn’t have the stamina for any more of her games. He declined the call and turned off the phone. He should go in, he decided, and was about to do just that when he saw her. The vision in blue. He watched her cross the parking lot and start up the walkway, her high heels clicking against the brick. He no­ticed her body first, of course. It was damn near perfect. The short, fitted dress showed off her curves and her long, gorgeous legs. Her stride was every bit as sexy as her body. The way she moved was sensual and seductive. She was absolutely beautiful. Her long dark hair, the color of midnight, fell in soft curls just below her slender shoulders.

She must have felt him watching her, for she suddenly turned and looked up the hill. When she saw him, she stepped off the path and started walking toward him. He wanted to swallow, but he couldn’t seem to remember how. He had never reacted to any woman this fiercely, this quickly. What had happened to his self-​­control? He excused his bizarre behavior by reasoning that she was no ordinary woman. He didn’t want to stare, but the closer she came, the better she looked. Beneath her thick dark eyelashes were the most beautiful, crystalline blue eyes he had ever seen, and her rosy lips were full and inviting.

She stepped directly in front of him and gave him a heart-​­stopping smile. The dimple in her cheek was sexy as hell. So was her scent, which was light and feminine.

Her eyes sparkled with laughter when she stretched up, kissed him on his cheek, and said, “Hello, Hotshot.”

He was speechless. Peyton Lockhart? He couldn’t believe it. She was all grown-​­up. She had gone from a skinny little girl to this beautiful woman with a devastating smile. When did this happen? The transformation seemed to have taken place overnight, but then Finn realized he hadn’t been around while she was growing up. He’d gone to California to do his undergraduate work at Stan­ford and had stayed there for law school. During that time his parents had downsized to a smaller, more energy-​­efficient home about a mile from their old house in Brentwood. Whenever Finn was home on break, he never had enough time to go back to the old neighborhood.

Finn overcame his surprise enough to speak. “Don’t call me Hotshot.”

“You didn’t know who I was, did you, Finn?” she asked, saying his name to placate him.

“I didn’t have a clue,” he admitted. He was still trying to get past his initial reaction and stop acting as though he had never seen a beautiful woman before. This was Peyton, the little girl who would sit on the front steps and wait for him to come home from high school so she could tell him about her day. She was a nuisance back then, and now a temptress.

“Are your sisters here? I won’t recognize them, either, will I?”

“Yes, they’re here already. I’m running late.”

Beck whistled from the doorway to get Finn’s attention.

“Aren’t you in the wedding?” she asked.

He nodded. “Yeah, I should go in. It’s good to see you again.”

Peyton didn’t want to miss the bride walking down the aisle. “It’s good to see you, too.”

It had suddenly become awkward, and she didn’t understand why. He wasn’t leaving. Beck whistled again, but Finn didn’t move.

“Are you going to the reception?” he asked.

“No, I’m afraid I can’t.”

“Maybe I’ll see you after the wedding, then.”

Peyton continued on, but when she glanced back, she thought it strange that Finn was still standing in the same spot.

 

Finn had walked down to the parking lot to get away from the noise. He was listening to phone messages and turned just as Pey­ton was approaching. He offered to walk her to her car.

“How come you aren’t coming to the reception?” he asked.

“I have to work,” she answered. She dug the keys out of her little clutch and hit the unlock button. Standing beside her car, she said, “It really was good to see you.”

“I’m sorry we didn’t get to—” He stopped. “When did you get this car?” he asked, staring past her and frowning.

“About a year ago. Why?”

Finn moved closer and squatted down behind the rear bumper. “These are bullet holes.”

“Yes, they are,” she agreed. She didn’t seem the least fazed. “I’ve got to get going or I’ll be late for work.”

He wasn’t about to let her leave. “They haven’t been here long.”

“The bullet holes?”

“Yes, the bullet holes,” he said.

 

He was asking questions so rapidly he wasn’t giving her time to answer.

“Yes, I was in the car. I was on the highway when it happened. He wanted me to stop. I didn’t know he shot at me until I was back in Texas. The holes are so low, I didn’t see them until a few days later. In fact, you’re the only other person who’s noticed them.”

“You couldn’t hear gunshots?” His voice was brisk, no nonsense. He was all FBI now.

Her hand went to her hip. “I was in the middle of a blizzard at the time. All I could hear was the howling wind.”

“Where exactly were you?”

“Northwest of Minneapolis. Finn, I’ve got to leave.”

She wasn’t going anywhere until she gave him a few more ­details.

“Who did you report it to?”

Peyton knew he wasn’t going to like her answer. “I didn’t report it.”

“Because you didn’t realize he was shooting at you.”

“Exactly.”

“But when you did see the bullet holes—”

She cut him off. “I didn’t report it.”

“Why the hell not?” Frustration made his voice sharp. “He could be out there now trolling for his next victim, and maybe this time he’ll hit the gas tank or, worse, the driver.”

She shook her head. “No, he won’t.”

“Did you get the make or model?”

“I have to leave.”

“No, you have to answer me.”

“You know what, Finn. You’re just as bossy and stubborn as you were when I was a little girl.”

“And you’re just as aggravating. Now answer me.”

She gave in. “It was a big white truck, and I know for a fact that he isn’t out on the highway looking for other victims.” Unless some­one gets on Drew Albertson’s bad side, she silently added. She took a step closer. “And I’m not a victim. I took control of the situation and forced him to stop chasing me.”

“How?” he asked, trying to concentrate on what she was saying and not how sexy she was or how good she smelled.

“I sent him into a field. Actually, I sent him through a fence into a field.”

“How did you do that?”

“Some…​intricate driving moves.” Slamming on the brakes and going into a spin that she was helpless to control could be con­sidered an intricate move, couldn’t it?

“Intricate driving moves, huh?” he repeated, smiling.

“Yes,” she said. “He didn’t get hurt,” she hastened to add. “His car sank into the snow, and he was stuck. I pulled over to make sure he didn’t need an ambulance. I watched him get out and start pounding his fists on the truck.”

“You saw the shooter?”

Uh-​­oh. Too late, she realized she shouldn’t have mentioned that fact because now he was going to ask her another hundred ques­tions. She decided to stop him before he got started.

“I didn’t get a close look at him, but I’ve got a good idea who he is.”

He seemed to take the news in stride. “Okay. Who is he?”

“His name is Rick Parsons, and he works for the company that hired me.”

He nodded calmly, but she noticed his jaw was clenched. “Since you never reported the incident to the police, he wasn’t arrested.”

“That’s right.”

“Why was he chasing you?”

“Because I left,” she said, evading the details. “They really hate it when you leave the company”—​­she shrugged—​­“so they shoot at you.”

Peyton thought he would think her answer funny, but appar­ently he wasn’t amused. She was sure he would have kept her there with his questions for the rest of the evening, or until he had the entire story, if a groomsman hadn’t appeared and told him he had to return to the church for photos.

Finn answered that he would be right there, then opened the car door for Peyton. Before he started back up the hill toward the church, he turned to Peyton and said, “We aren’t finished with this.”

hotshotPeyton Lockhart and her sisters have inherited Bishop’s Cove, a small, luxurious oceanfront resort, but it comes with a condition: The girls must run the resort for one year and show a profit—only then will they own it.

A graduate of a prestigious French culinary school, Peyton has just lost her job as a food critic. Out of work and in a bad place personally, a year doing something completely different sounds wonderful.

There are countless challenges and too many people who want to stop the sisters from succeeding. Among them are Peyton’s contentious cousins, who are outraged that they didn’t inherit the resort, as well as a powerful group of land developers who have been eyeing the coveted beachfront property.

It’s soon apparent to Peyton that their efforts are being sabotaged, but she refuses to let the threats scare her—until she’s nearly killed. She calls on her childhood friend and protector, Finn MacBain, now with the FBI, and asks for his help. He saved her life once; he can do it again.

Series Saturday – ‘For The Roses’ series by Julie Garwood

This week’s featured series is ‘For The Roses’ by Julie Garwood.   A New York Times Bestselling author, Garwood is known for her surprising plot twists, appealing characters, and quirky female leads.  But most readers praise her for her ability to wring a gauntlet of emotions out of her readers – everything from laughter to tears.  She’s a favorite author in the fiction genre, and she’s not afraid to tackle the hard issues in life within her stories.  But underlying it all, is a deep family connection between characters, and a loyalty that runs deep.  Known for her historical works, the ‘Roses’ series features a blend of both historical and western, with stories taking place in mid-19th century Montana.  They tell the tale of the lives – and loves – of the Clayborne family, and bring together for us a heartwarming series that you won’t want to miss out on!

617Vcx9D2fL._SL1001_BOOK ONE – FOR THE ROSES

The Clayborne brothers were a rough gang of street urchins — until they found an abandoned baby girl in a New York City alley, named her Mary Rose, and headed to Blue Belle, Montana, to raise her to be a lady. They became a family — held together by loyalty and love if not blood — when suddenly a stranger threatened to tear them apart…

Lord Harrison Stanford MacDonald brandished a six-shooter and a swagger, but he soon proved to be a gentleman to the core. The brothers taught him frontier survival, while Mary Rose touched his heart with a deep and desperate passion. But soon, a shattering secret would challenge everything Mary Rose believed about herself, her life, and her newfound love.

130900BOOK TWO – ONE PINK ROSE

Travis Clayborne may be the youngest of the Clayborne brothers, but he’s most definitely his own man. Unless it means saying no to his beloved Mama Rose. And that’s why Travis is escorting young Bostonian Emily Finnegan to Golden Crest, Montana — where she’ll discover what awaits her as a mail-order bride. Emily has made it perfectly clear that she’s taken charge of her destiny and nothing is going to interfere. Falling in love with the perfect stranger isn’t part of her plan, but the journey with Travis across this beautiful, rugged land opens her eyes… and her heart. Perhaps her destiny isn’t exactly as she imagined.

107795 (1)BOOK THREE – ONE WHITE ROSE

Douglas Clayborne will never turn his back on anyone in need, and everyone in Blue Belle knows it. Time and again, his intolerance of cruelty of any kind has made him a champion of the defenseless … but his quiet strength faces its ultimate battle when he meets Isabel Grant. He arrives at her ranch to pick up the magnificent Arabian stallion he’s purchased, but he cannot leave the vulnerable woman behind when he discovers the danger that threatens her. Convincing the stubborn, strong-willed beauty that she needs him is another matter. Douglas can stop the men from stealing her ranch and her horses, but he cannot stop Isabel Grant from stealing his heart.

130904BOOK FOUR – ONE RED ROSE

Adam Clayborne has always put great stock in the power of books. As an escaped slave — and a wanted man — reading has been his only ticket to the wonders of distant lands. Adam is content with his life as a confirmed bachelor, which is why his Mama Rose has summoned the irresistible Genevieve Delacroix to Montana. Also a former slave, Genevieve shares his dream of seeing the world, but she arrives to find Adam unfailingly polite…and just as distant. Undaunted, Genevieve determines to teach Adam what he’ll never learn from a book — that true freedom only comes when you open your heart.

*Books Two, Three, & Four are also available as a 3-n-1  novel entitled The Clayborn Brides*

133237BOOK FIVE – COME THE SPRING

Adam, Douglas and Travis Clayborne are each happily married, and their beloved Mama Rose is overjoyed with the wonderful ladies who have joined the family. But all the Claybornes wonder on which side of the law their restless brother Cole will land. Now, Julie Garwood brings her irresistible mix of heartwarming wit and thrilling sensuality to a memorable Clayborne reunion…and at last we meet the elusive stranger who has slipped in and out of their lives, a man who lured Cole Clayborne into a shadowy chase, and who will now bring unexpected turns to Cole’s uncertain future.

Daniel Ryan is a hard man set on vengeance, a U.S. marshal driven by tragic, heartbreaking loss from the past. His quest leads him to a beautiful young woman, the sole witness to a terrible crime — and the only person who can help him. But the lawman finds that love is perhaps the greatest risk of all as he unwittingly draws her into the line of fire. The power and drama of their blossoming passion, entwined with the spirited adventures of the Claybornes and the surprising choices of the wayward Cole, make Come the Spring as poignant as it is unforgettable.

Book Recommendations

Today we thought we’d change it up a bit and post the top five books we think all romance readers need to have, and if you are looking for something to read this week-end maybe you’ll pick one of these up. I do have to say that as soon as I told this to all of our reviewers Janon sent me her list in less than a minute, and here I thought I was good. All the books are linked to their GR page. I do have to say I think we manage to hit all the different genres in each of our lists. 

Top 5 Must Read Romance Books (per Janon)

  1. The Mummy by Anne Rice
  2. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  3. The Duke and I by Julia Quinn
  4. The Secret by Julie Garwood
  5. The Game by Brenda Joyce

Top 5 Must Read Romance Books (per Amy)

  1. A Tale of Two Vikings by Sandra Hill
  2. A Knight in Shining Armor by Jude Deveraux
  3. First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones
  4. You Slay Me by Katie MacAlister
  5. Forever Blue by Suzanne Brockman

Top 5 Must Read Romance Books (per Heather)

  1. Three Fates by Nora Roberts
  2. The Bride by Julie Garwood
  3. Something About You by Julie James
  4. Caressed by Ice by Nalini Singh
  5. Coming Undone by Lauren Dane

Top 5 Must Read Romance Books (per Helen)

  1. Loving Lies by Lora Leigh
  2. Never Seduce a Scot by Maya Banks
  3. Bucked by Cat Johnson
  4. Love Drunk Cowboy by Carolyn Brown
  5. Giving Chase by Lauren Dane

What are the top 5 books you recommend romance readers to have?

Sunday Snippet: Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood

Today we have a special treat for you. Julie Garwood is one of those authors who I will always buy, no matter the book. I’m just as in love with her contemporaries as I am her historicals. Her new book Sweet Talk comes out in Aug, and we’ve been given a fun snippet for you (It’s one of me personal favorite parts of the book). 

Olivia was ready by six-thirty Saturday night and spent the next half hour catching up on emails. She wore a black floor-length gown. The silk hugged the curves of her body, but it wasn’t obscene, by any means. The scooped neck showed a little cleavage, nothing that would have men ogling, she thought. Her neck was bare, and her only jewelry was a pair of teardrop diamond earrings that her Aunt Emma had given her for her birthday. Her hair was swept up in a cluster of curls. A few tendrils escaped at the base of her neck.

Grayson was five minutes early. She opened the door and stood there staring up at him, speechless. The man was even more sexy in a tux. James Bond, all right, she thought. No, she corrected. Better.

Neither of them moved for a few seconds, and then Grayson said, “You look nice.” He sounded hoarse.

“Thank you. So do you,” she said as she stepped back. “Please, come inside. I’ll just get my purse and wrap. ”

He stepped into a small foyer and followed her into the living room. Olivia lived in an upscale neighborhood on the edge ofGeorgetown. The building was old, the third floor apartment was spacious and comfortable. Tall arched windows and worn hardwood floors were the backdrop for her overstuffed sofa and two matching chairs. The walls had been painted a pale blue, the windows were trimmed in white, and the furniture was a soft yellow color. A black square coffee table sat in front of the sofa with a stack of books on one side and a white vase filled with fresh daisies in the center. Colorful rugs brightened the area.

He noticed a pair of worn tennis shoes under the coffee table and a pair of flats in the doorway of a small room off the living area that Olivia obviously used as an office. Her laptop sat on an old, dark cherry, wood desk that had been beautifully restored. Bookcases flanked the desk, the shelves bowed from the heavy books.

Grayson was an armchair architect at heart and appreciated the unique features of these older buildings. He would have loved to see the rest of the apartment.

Olivia came back into the living room and noticed Grayson staring at her ceilings. He caught her watching and said, “I like the moldings.”

“I do, too. That’s one of the reasons I bought the apartment. ”

“Ten foot high ceilings? That’s rare.”

“Yes.”

“Bet it gets cold in here in the winter, doesn’t it?” he asked when he noticed the old-fashioned radiators.

She pointed to the afghan draped over a chair. “I wrap up in that.”

He nodded. “How many bedrooms?”

“Two.”

“One large, one small?”

“No, both are quite spacious.”

“Has the kitchen been remodeled?”

Puzzled by his interest, she answered. “Yes, the whole building was remodeled a few years ago.”

“How long have you lived here?”

“A little over two years. Are you interested in the neighborhood? Thinking about moving? ”

Grayson didn’t explain that he bought buildings, renovated them, and either sold them or rented them out. It was an expensive, yet profitable, hobby.

“Just curious. Are you ready?”

He took the key from her and locked the deadbolt on their way out. Neither said another word until they were in his car and on their way.

“Tell me what Jorguson is saying happened,” she began.

He glanced at her. “You attacked him.”

She was properly outraged. “That is absolutely not true.”

“Special Agent Huntsman has been after Jorguson for some time. He wants to know if you’ll testify should he take him to court. ”

“Yes,” she said without hesitation. “But do you really think it will get that far?”

He grinned. “Those were the exact words my partner, Agent Conrad, said. Jorguson knew you worked for the IRS, so, in fact, he attacked a representative of the IRS, didn’t he? It’s my understanding the Internal Revenue Service doesn’t like it when one of their own is assaulted. ”

She laughed. “No, they don’t.”

“Huntsman wants to push this.”

“I’ll help any way that I can,” she promised.

“How much research did you do before your interview with Jorguson?”

“Very little,” she admitted. “I didn’t have the time. A big mistake on my part. I never should have gone to the interview.”

“Jorguson’s client list is filled with real bad . . .” He started to say “asses” but substituted “people ” instead.

She laughed. “Bad people? You sound like one of my kids.”

“One of your kids?”

“The kids I represent. When we had lunch, I thought I mentioned I do some work on the side for Judge Bowen and Judge Thorpe.”

“Yes, you did mention it. It just jarred me to hear you call them your kids.”

“When they’re in trouble, they are my kids. In most cases, I’m all they have.” Her voice had turned serious, passionate.

“I’ve got a feeling it’s enough.”

“Tell me more about these bad people.”

“Jorguson Investments is legit as far as Huntsman can tell, but some of his clients have brought in copious amounts of cash. One in particular, Gretta Keene, was very active. Her base was inBelgiumbut she operated in theUnited Statesfor several years. The federal government took action a few months ago to have her deported, but she disappeared before that happened.”

“Where’s all the money coming from? Drugs?”

“Among other endeavors, we suspect.”

“So let me go out on a limb here. If and when I talk to Agent Huntsman, he’s going to tell me Jorguson is money laundering for either the mob or perhaps one of the drug cartels.”

He smiled. “Maybe.”

She switched gears. “Did you talk to Jorguson about his threat to have me killed? ‘One phone call and you’re a dead woman.’ I believe those were his very words.”

“He denied threatening you. When I mentioned the number of people who heard him, he said they were all mistaken. While he was spewing his ridiculous lies, his two attorneys’ heads were nodding up and down like they were bobbing for apples. We happened to have a video from one of the waiter’s cell phones and played it for him. ” He grinned as he added, “His expression was priceless.”

“Bet he changed his story then.”

Grayson nodded. “As a matter of fact, he did. The alleged incident was all a big misunderstanding, and he was bluffing when he pretended to threaten you.”

“He actually said he pretended to threaten me?”

“I can’t make this stuff up,” he said, laughing.

“What else did he say?”

“He’d love it if you would come work for him.”

“The thought of seeing that pervert every single day sends shivers down my spine.”

“Then that’s a ‘no’?”

They’d stopped at a red light, and Grayson glanced over at her with a warm smile. Olivia was suddenly tongue-tied, and her heart skipped a beat. She didn’t know what to make of her physical reaction to him. She was usually so professional and composed, and this was a business evening, wasn’t it?

“You’re blushing,” Grayson said. “How come?”

She didn’t answer his question.

The light turned green, but Grayson didn’t notice. When Olivia had turned in her seat to face him, the slit in her gown exposed part of her thigh. Her skin was golden, and he wondered if the rest of her was as flawless. The driver behind them honked, and Grayson’s gaze was pulled back to his driving.

“Have you ever been to theHamilton?” he asked.

“No, I haven’t. It only just opened a couple of months ago. I’ve stayed at the one inBoston. It’s beautiful and quite elegant. Have you been to this one?”

“Yes, I have. Aiden Hamilton threw a party a couple of weeks before the grand opening. I’ve known Aiden and his family for some time now. My cousin, Sam, helped on a case for Aiden’s brother-in-law, Alec, and he introduced us. Alec’s also FBI and works out of theChicagooffice.”

“How was the party?”

“Good,” he said. “I ran into a lot of old friends I hadn’t seen in a while who’d flown in for the party. I was ready to take my date home when it was suggested by Alec that we play a little poker. I got home at six the next morning.”

“And your date?”

“I took her home and came back for the game. She wasn’t happy about that.”

“Did you win any money?”

“Aiden decided to join us, so, no. When he plays, he wins. I lost the girlfriend and a lot of money. Had fun, though.”

“You don’t sound too broken up about the girlfriend.”

“The relationship wasn’t going anywhere,” he said. “And hey, it was poker.”

“And she didn’t understand. I do,” she said. “I love poker.”

He raised an eyebrow. “Yeah? You really like to play?”

“I do.”

“Any good?”

“I think I am.”

He grinned. “We’ll have to see about that.”

They pulled into the circle drive in front of the hotel, ending the conversation. Two attendants rushed forward to open their doors. Grayson’s BMW was whisked away by the valet, and he took hold of Olivia’s arm and walked by her side up the wide steps to the entrance.

The Hamilton Hotel facedPennsylvania, a busy and noisy street, but as soon as they walked through the doors, Olivia felt as though she’d entered another world. There was a perfect blend of old world charm and sleek contemporary touches. Massive columns stretched to the ceiling of a soaring lobby, and grand curved staircases on either side led to a wide mezzanine overlooking the main reception area. The polished brass balusters on the steps were topped with a carved railing of rich mahogany. Every table and chest was adorned with fresh flowers. Beautiful marble floors were covered in rich oriental rugs, and the luxuriously upholstered furniture was overstuffed, inviting guests to linger and relax in this elegant and quiet setting, forgetting the turmoil and demands of the outside world.

All sevenHamiltonhotels were known for unparalleled luxury, absolute discretion, and impeccable service. The hotels catered to discriminating clientele and were dedicated to protecting privacy. Because of their reputation for pampering their guests and taking care of their every whim, dignitaries, politicians, lobbyists, and celebrities had already booked the four ballrooms in this hotel well into the future.

The Capitol League gala was being held in the largest ballroom, which was located on the first floor at the end of a long, wide corridor. Outside the large double doors leading into the ballroom was an open area with a magnificent fountain. Directly beyond were tall windows overlooking the serenity gardens.

Two Capitol League attendants stood side by side at the doors. Olivia pulled her invitation from her beaded clutch and handed it to one of them. Grayson noticed the man was so preoccupied staring at her, he barely glanced at the card.

There was already a crowd gathered inside, but the flow was good, and it was surprisingly easy to get from one side of the ballroom to the other.

Olivia hadn’t attended many of these events. When she could afford it, she donated to causes that were close to her heart, most having to do with children in need, yet she rarely went to the parties, and for that reason she knew very few people attending the celebration.

Grayson, on the other hand, was the man of the hour. He seemed to know everyone, or rather, most of the guests seemed to know him. He was immediately surrounded by friends and donors. A senator on the finance committee stopped to talk about his reelection campaign and to ask what Grayson thought about a certain stock. Olivia wasn’t sure what to do. This wasn’t exactly a date, so she didn’t think she should stay and listen to his conversations with friends. Or should she? Feeling a bit awkward, she decided to find her Aunt Emma, but when she tried to step away, Grayson took hold of her hand and pulled her into his side. He wasn’t at all subtle. She gave him a disapproving frown. He responded by winking at her.

Olivia decided to be accommodating and humor him, and as it turned out, she was very happy she did. She soon lost count of the number of powerful men and women he introduced her to. She patiently stayed beside him for a good twenty minutes, smiling until her face felt frozen, and chatting amicably with the CEO of a cereal conglomerate, a Nobel Prize winner for physics, a real estate tycoon, an Internet software whiz, two art gallery owners, a couple of ambassadors, and a congresswoman. She even had a brief, though surreal, conversation with a senior advisor to the President of theUnited States. The topic was yoga, of all things.

The second there was a lull, Grayson suggested they go find her aunt. Then James Crowell stopped Grayson to say hello. Olivia recognized him from the cover of Time.

Crowell was Person of the Year. It was a well-deserved honor, she thought. Crowell was a genius and a self-made billionaire, and like Bill Gates and Warren Buffett, had donated most of his fortune to charity. Olivia was star-struck. Crowell was one of her heroes because of all of his humanitarian efforts. How did Grayson know him? It was obvious that Crowell liked Grayson, and from their conversation and their ease with one another, she concluded they had been friends for some time.

Just who was Agent Grayson Kincaid? The real Bruce Wayne?

Grayson was watching Olivia as Crowell shook her hand and walked away.

“Your face is flushed,” Grayson remarked.

“I admire Mr. Crowell. He’s done a lot for the poor in this country.” She turned to Grayson then and said, “May I ask you a question?”

“If it will get you to quit frowning, sure.”

“I’m not frowning. This is my puzzled expression.”

“Yeah? Good to know. What’s the question?”

“You are with the FBI, aren’t you? It isn’t just a hobby, is it?”

He laughed. “Yes, I’m with the FBI, and no, it isn’t a hobby.”

“So if I were to look in your garage, I wouldn’t find a Batmobile?”

He looked at her as though he thought she was crazy. Shaking his head and looking very serious, he said, “Of course not.”

She felt foolish for making the comparison and for asking such a silly question.

Grayson put his arm around her waist and pulled her close so that an elderly couple could get past. Then he leaned down and whispered into her ear.

“I keep it in my cave.”

Attorney and IRS agent Olivia Mackenzie is the kind of tough, wise-cracking, powerful woman fans expect from a Garwood protagonist—but this time she has outdone herself. Olivia is not just any woman, she is every woman; flawed in the familiar ways so many of us are.

On the trail of an elaborate Ponzi scheme, one that threatens to ruin the lives of naïve and unsuspecting victims, Olivia suddenly finds her own life is in danger after she asks questions of the wrong people. She is accustomed to fighting for the underdog, but being vulnerable herself is a very different story. Smart enough to know when enough is enough, Olivia calls for reinforcements.

When she meets FBI Agent Grayson Kincaid there is an immediate and obvious attraction, palpable on both sides. Together they make an excellent team to fight corruption but Olivia is also fighting the immediate and intense attraction she feels for Agent Kincaid, and that may be a battle she is bound to lose.

 

Sweet Talk by Julie Garwood

Title: Sweet Talk

Series: FBI

Author: Julie Garwood

Genre: Contemporary

When FBI agent Grayson Kincaid first encounters Olivia MacKenzie, she makes quite an impression.

The beautiful, tough, young attorney has stumbled into the middle of an FBI sting operation and has reduced it to chaos. Months of surveillance and careful planning down the drain, Kincaid’s partner is furious and lets Olivia know that she’s ticked off the wrong guy. After all, he’s FBI.

Olivia isn’t intimidated by his partner’s bullying because she’s something even scarier . . . she’s IRS.

And working for the IRS isn’t for the faint of heart. She’s on the trail of an elaborate Ponzi scheme, one that threatens to ruin the lives of naive and unsuspecting victims, and one she has personal reasons to be angry about. But after she asks questions of the wrong people, her life is suddenly endangered. She’s accustomed to fighting for the underdog but being vulnerable herself is a very different story. Smart enough to know when to call for reinforcements, she contacts Grayson Kincaid.

Together they make an excellent team to fight corruption but Olivia is also fighting the immediate and intense attraction she feels for Agent Kincaid, and that may be a battle she is bound to lose.

Julie Garwood is an author you can always depend on to deliver a sexy, fun story with a hero who is confident and sure of what he wants and a heroine who is strong enough to stand up to him and yet they complement each other perfectly.

When Julie told me about this book last year when I interviewed her for the release of The Ideal Man (one of my top 5 favorite Julie books) I was intrigued and wondered how she was going to make an IRS agent interesting, because lets face it no one finds the IRS sexy and interesting. While I still don’t find the IRS cool she made her heroine IRS analyst Olivia MacKenzie sexy and interesting.

When Olivia and Grayson Kincaid (yes you read the last name right and yes he is the descendant of Alec Kincaid from the Bride and the cousin of Sam Kincaid from Sizzle who is the current Laird Kincaid) meet you can tell it’s going to be an interesting ride.

The road to a happily ever after isn’t a smooth one as Olivia is bound and determined to put her father behind bars for his crimes, and Grayson is an FBI agent who goes from living a bachelors life and pursuing Olivia to raising his nephew. But they do manage to make it work and in a way that is perfect for them.

Here is one of my favorite parts of the book…

Distraught to have his investigation fall apart, Agent Poole stepped closer and said, “Listen , you. Don’t threaten me. I could make your life a nightmare.” He put his hand in front of her face and unfolded three fingers as he said, “I’m F…B…I.”

She smiled. It wasn’t the reaction he expected. “You want to talk nightmares?” she said. She put her hand up to his face and unfolded her three fingers. “I’m I…R…S.”

This is one of those stories that had me reading it in one sitting, as I couldn’t put it down. Grayson lives up to his Kincaid roots and is everything you would expect from a descendant of Alec and Jamie (that’s a man’s name) Kincaid.

If you are a fan of Julie’s and loved The Bride you won’t want to miss this story.

Grade A

TBRG Top 2011 Contemporary Reads

It’s that time of year again when we break down the books we’ve read. Here at The Book Reading Gals we break it down into the different genres and then have a top reads of the year. Today we have our top 5 contemporary reads of the year. If we reviewed the book we are linking to it, if not then we are linking to the authors page about the book.

Heather’s top 5

  1. Serendipity by Carly Phillips
  2. Head over Heels by Jill Shalvis
  3. A lot like Love by Julie James
  4. The Ideal Man by Julie Garwood
  5. With no Remorse by Cindy Gerard

Melanie’s top 5

  1. Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins
  2. Serendipity by Carly Phillips
  3. The Welcome Home Garden Club by Lori Wilde
  4. Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis
  5. Only Mine by Susan Mallory

Janon’s top 5

  1. Beautiful Disaster by Jamie McGuire
  2. Until There Was You by Kristan Higgins
  3. Animal Magnetism by Jill Shalvis
  4. Bring me Home for Christmas Robyn Carr
  5. Bad Boys Do by Victoria Dahl

As you can see we tend to read and love the same books. Tune in tomorrow to see who made our top historical reads.

The Ideal Man

Title: The Ideal Man

Series: FBI bk

Author: Julie Garwood

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Dr. Ellie Sullivan has just completed her residency at a large urban hospital. While jogging in a park nearby, she witnesses the shooting of an FBI agent in pursuit of wanted criminals, a couple identified as the Landrys. The only person to see the shooter’s face, Ellie is suddenly at the center of a criminal investigation. 

Agent Max Daniels takes over the Landry case. A no-nonsense lawman, he’s definitely not the ideal man that Ellie has always imagined, yet she’s attracted to him in a way she can’t explain. 

Ellie heads home to Winston Falls, South Carolina, to attend her sister’s wedding. Shortly after she arrives, though, she receives a surprise visitor: Max Daniels. The Landrys have been captured, and she’ll be called to testify. But they’ve been captured before, and each time the witnesses are scared into silence-or disappear before they can take the stand. Max vows to be Ellie’s shadow until the trial, and it isn’t long before sparks fly.

When Julie first started writing a contemporary series I wasn’t’ sure how I was going to like it, as I absolutely loved her historical. However after several books in this series (most of the characters being descendants of those beloved historical characters) I have to say that I love these just as much as her historical.

Ellie is a prodigy doctor (not quite Doogie Howser) and has lived in terror since she was eleven because of a crazy stalker. So when she witnesses an FBI agent get shot it doesn’t really phase her danger that she could be from the bad guys. For her the real danger is Max the FBI agent that comes to take her statement and that for some reason has decided that he needs to protect her.

When it looks like she isn’t in any danger she heads home for her sister’s wedding, and away from Max and the feelings that he invokes in her. Little does she know that her life is about to turned upside down yet again. For one thing she absolutely doesn’t want to be in her sister’s wedding and in fact can’t stand her sister (have to say I can’t blame, I didn’t like her either). Then Max shows up and while in some aspects it get better in others it gets worse.

Max is one of those heroes that you want to take home with you at the end of the day. When he first meets Ellie he can’t get past her legs, then he reads her background and gets mad and wants to protect her, then he goes to her hometown instead of Hawaii to protect her from the bad guys and gets entangled in her family.

One of the things that I loved about Max is his story (no I am not going to share you have to discover it on your own) and Ellie’s reaction to his family is priceless. I especially loved how Max talks on the phone to his brothers.

When I think about this book what comes to mind is that this book has everything that I as an avid reader of romance want. A plot that moves along great that adds to the characters. Great characters that had this instantaneous attraction to each other that bordered on the edge of bafflement for both of them.

I do have to say that while I enjoyed the whole book the last half of the book was my favorite.

If you are a fan of Julie’s then you won’t want to miss this book, and if you haven’t yet discovered the awesomeness that is Julie Garwood well then this is a great place to start.

Grade A

Other Books in this Series

Heartbreaker

Mercy

Killjoy

Murder List

Slow Burn

Shadow Dance

Fire and Ice

Sizzle

Julie Garwood interview part 1

Last month I was able to do something on my bucket list I was able to talk on the phone with one the authors that I look up to the most Ms. Julie Garwood. I had such a fun time talking to her. We talked about Vegas and shopping here. How much I have enjoyed reading her books over the years and so much more. Unfortunately I can’t put everything we talked about here, but there is a lot of good stuff, so I am breaking this up into two posts. So get your beverage of choice and sit back and enjoy my interview with Julie..

I called her from work and that started the conversation off…

J: Where is 702?

H: Vegas

J: I love Vegas, I take my sister there. I put her in front of a slot machine and I shop.

H: We do have some great shopping here.

H: One of my favorite bookstores is in Crystals

J: I didn’t see a bookstore there.

H: It is by Wolfgang Pucks…it is one of those stores where my kids have to stand outside and not touch anything. They always ask to go somewhere else as it is boring

J: How old are you kids?

H: They will be 11 this summer?

J: Twins?

H: Yes, we are going into the pre-teen ages.

J: I’m so sorry…I laugh whenever I have a friend that says they are starting to act weird.

H: I am hoping that they discover girls soon, so that they will start giving me their laudry and bathing, so that I don’t have to spray febreeze on them when we leave the house.

J: I totally understand.

H: mom’s of boys get it..moms of girls not so much.

We talked kids and sports for awhile and it was great to get the perspective of a mom with grown kids.

H: I have to tell you I was so nervous to talk to you.

J: How come?

H: You read my fan letter on the website..

J: Not only did I read it, I printed it out and thought on days when I wondered how am I going to fix this, or do this I am just going to whip this letter out. It is very sweet

H: Thank you so much..So you can imagine how many years I have been reading you. I think the very first book of yours that I picked up of yours was the The Gift and it had just come out. I have been through they years. I have two authors really well I have four but I met two last year, that are on my life bucket list to talk to, you and Nora Roberts. In fact I was talking to a friend of mine today about how nervous I was and she told me that if she ever met Steven King she would pass out, I said if I ever meet him I would pass out to as he scares the crap out of me.

J: I’m that you like what I do. When I first started I wrote a children’s book, which is really a YA, but I didn’t know that back then, and at the same time I was taking an ancient medival course so I decided to get a knight redy to go into battle, and I dressed him, then I though well his all dressed what now. And that is how I wrote that first book, and then I put them both on a shelf until I met an agent, and she called about the YA which is what she told me it was, and asked if I had anything else, and I told her I had a love story, but there is a catch it takes place in 1086, and she said well that is a historical. I told her later that I though she was probably thinking DORK..

But not knowing anything I was lucky in that she sold them both.

H: Was that The Prize or Honour’s Splendor?

J: It was Gentle Warrior

H: Is that one with Geoffory and Elizabeth?

J: Yes

H: I haven’t read that book in awhile, I love that book. But I gotta tell you I love the Prize.

J: It is so cool to me that everyone has their book. I always wonder about some author who everyone has that one book and it is their first book. If that happens that’s not good. They never get any better. The Prize was fun to do.

H: She was just a kick but heroine. I think for me for you every time I pick up one of your books I fall in love all over again. I don’t think I could pin point a favorite, I love them all. There are scenes in every single book…in fact my sister and I were talking about this the other night, she said I have the strangest brain I can remember all these characters and plots, but what I think I really like about your books is that I get something new every time. It is like discovering a new author all over again.

J: That is so nice

H: I love them all equally is what I am trying to say.

J: When I was writing Heartbreaker, I tried making it a historical by the way, I had this idea for this book,  I couldn’t get the story I wanted to tell in a historical setting so I broke down and wrote a contemporary, and well that is the Buchannon’s, if you told one brother than you had to tell the other’s. I come from a big family and the only you can understand is to bei there, with everyone being loud and talking over you.

That is what I did with the Ideal Man, he is one of seven.

H: Can I just tell you one of my favorite lines from that book is “let me talk to my white brother”.  The reason is I tell my oldest son all the time that he might be black but he has a white mama. And I was just like OMG, and then at the end when he is pacing in front of the elevator talking to himself about her and what was going to happen and how she could just deal with it.

I went your last name doesn’t match but you could so be the descendant of Ian or Brodrick but we already know who their descendants are.

J: Some guys are not real flowery

H: I thought though that Max and Ellie are the perfect match for each other. I really enjoyed it. In fact I didn’t even miss Noah who is my favorite of your FBI characters. In fact I think I even said it in my fan letter that when I finished reading the Heartbreaker I went is he a relative of Cole.

J: I love bringing them back, in fact in Sizzle I did it again, and took them back to Scotland.

H: I know, I was reading it and not even putting it together and then at the end I gasped and went NO WAY.

Noah is one of my favorite of your characters. The Claybournes are one of my favaorite families of yours. I do have to tell you that I saw the movie For the Roses, and I was so mad at that I threw my book at the tv.

J: Keep in mind, I had nothing to do with that movie. I didn’t write it I wrote the book

H: That is what my mom said..I saw the movie after Cole’s book came out.

J: I was one of the very first romances that Hallmark purchased, I was very proud of the fact. but I had no approval over anything because you sell the rights. No one was more surprised than I was. In fact I remember thinking uh oh, I knew I was going to hear about it, and I did. I got a lot of how could you, and I had to say I didn’t.

H: I think since then authors get to keep more control.

J: I think so

We talked movies for a bit longer, about how she would love to have HBO or Showtime make her FBI series a show so long as she could have some say.

H: Who would you cast as Nick and Noah and Dr Morganstern?

Morganstern is one of my favorites, he would have to be short with thick glasses. The interesting thing about these is these guys never age. When you write them they are 28 – 30 and five books later they are the still 28-30 years old. I am going to have think about it. Who would you cast.

H: For Morganstern I would cast the guy that played opposite Meryll Streep in Julia Julie

J: He’s fabulous.

H: For Nick and Noah I have no clue

J: Talk dark and handsome that is a hard one.

There is so much more to this interview that I couldn’t put all in one post so come back next Monday for the rest of the conversation as that is what it turned out to be.

 

Fan Letter Blog Crawl

I have known about this for almost a month but I haven’t been able to decide which author I wanted to write this letter to..there are so many to choose from, so many that have had an impact in my life in some way. I finally settled on one, and the one that I choose may come as a surprise to some, but this is who I am writing to. After reading two of the letters that have already been written I have to say that I am glad I decided on who I did as two of the authors that I was thinking about have already been written.

Dear Julie Garwood,

Words cannot express how much your books have come to mean to me over the years. I started reading you when I was in high school and your Pagan Series had come out. How I loved that series, and the lengths that people would go to protect those that they loved. Then I read The Secret, I can’t tell you how many dreams I had as a teen-ager dreaming that I was Judith and that Iain was my man. With each book you wrote you swept me away on a journey of love and discovery. For each of your books was a book of discovery, of discovering just how strong the heroine could be, how the men that loved them would help them become who they were suppose to be. I wanted to be one of your heroines. I cheered when Johanna confronted her abusive ex-husband, and when Taylor shot the rabbit in frustration over Lucas’s behavior. And who can forget Brodrick and Ramsey and the women that finally felled them. Jaime and Alec, I have enjoyed them so much that it is time to get a new book (or so my sister that just returned it says)

Then there was the Clayborne’s a family that had made themselves a family from nothing. Of all the books that you have written this series is the one that is the closest to my heart. I fell in love with Cole Clayborne in For the Roses and a little bit more with each book about his brothers, and then there was his book Come the Spring, that moment when he had to shoot and risk hitting Jessie was priceless. I have read my copy so many times that is in need of repair.

When you started writing your contemporaries I was sadden as I love your historicals so much, but then I noticed something… the last names of your characters. Was it a coincidence that the FBI families last name was Buchanan and they were of Scottish descent, and then there was Noah Clayborne the partner, who had a great-grandfather that was a US Marshall and from Montana originally. I remember getting the email response from you when I emailed to ask if these were the descendants of your beloved historicals telling me that yes they were and I was the first person to ask you that. Noah and Jordan and Kate and Dylan I think are my two favorite of the Buchanan’s. The way that they came together was great to watch. The moment when Jordan’s dad saw how much she meant to Noah is one of my favorite moments of all your books. I loved how in the end of Sizzle we find out who Sam is a descendant of (his last name should be a clue) and that he loves to play rugby (my families sport of choice).

With each of your books I have been swept away to the Highland’s of Scotland, the Wild West, Regency England and into the world of the FBI and loved every minute of it.

When I pick up one of your books I know that I will be in for an amazing adventure, and feel like I have just been reunited with friends that I haven’t seen in a long time.

Thank you so much for sharing your stories with us, and introducing us to amazing heroines and hero’s and their journey to love and happily ever after.

Heather

Don’t forget to check out yesterday’s letter from Kati to Nalini Singh and check in tomorrow at Jenre-WellRead to see who they wrote to..

 

Historical

Today we will discuss my favorite genre, Historicals.  These are my go to books when I am stressed out or just need to escape to somewhere else I reach over and grab a good historical.  I love how I can experience another time and place for a little while, without leaving the comforts of now.  I am also grateful to these authors for doing such great research and trying to make things as accurate as possible, I have learned a lot from reading their books.   Some of my favorite historical authors are: Julia Quinn, Lisa Kleypas, Anna Campbell, Brenda Joyce, Julie Garwood.

The very first romance bookthat  Heather ever read that wasn’t a harlequin was a historical that took place in Wyoming, it was Johanna Lindsey’s Brave the Wild Wind, from the moment she read this she was hooked.  She would hide the books behind her school books and read Johanna Lindsey instead of schoolwork.  To this day this genre is one of her favorites and some of her favorite authors are Stephanie Laurens, Johanna Lindsey, Julia Quinn, Elizabeth Hoyt and Julie Garwood.  There is nothing better than picking up a book and being transported into the past. She even used some of the history she learned in historical romances to help her write a paper in one of her anthropolgy classes and got an A on it.

What are some of your favorite historicals and do you have a favorite time period or place that you love to read about?

One commenter will win some fabulous books

Now some more of our author answers:

Anna Campbell:   http://www.annacampbell.info/ A great historical sweeps me away into a world of romance like nothing else so when I’ve got spare time, I tend to read the competition (LOL!). I love to read in bed, especially when it’s raining outside!

Alexandra Hawkins:  http://www.alexandrahawkins.com/ No contest–Romance. I read all sub-genres. Where do I like to read? The sofa in my family room reclines so it’s a comfy place to read.

Sarah MacLean: http://www.macleanspace.com I love historicals, but when I’m just trying to get away from work, I love contemporaries. Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Rachel Gibson, Kristan Higgins, and when I run out of them, I’m always down for the One Click packs for Kindle from Harlequin! As for the where, anywhere my dog is curled up is always a first choice.

Stephanie Laurens: http://www.stephanielaurens.com/         I read a lot of different genre fiction. Always genre, but it could be crime/mystery, fantasy or romance. I read in bed, pretty much every single night. I have a silk-covered, silk-fiber filled comforter, European pillows to prop myself up with, and my cats always come to sit with me–one on my stomach, the other between my calves. As far as they’re concerned, that’s how it has to be

Contemporaries

First off let me welcome you to our new site we hope you enjoy it and will find lots of good information along the way.

So Heather and I have been discussing what we enjoy about contemporary books.

I personally love the books where I relate to the characters and it does not hurt to have some humor in them. But catch me in the right frame of mind and I love those FBI/Crime type books.  Some of my go to authors are: Carly Phillips, Susan Mallery, Erin Nicholas, Catherine Coulter (love the FBI series) and Kristin Higgins.

Heather likes to relate to either the character or story of the book and loves when she feels that she is with a long lost friend.  Of course she loves Nora (who doesn’t) and I am supposed to tell Kim that she is ready to have all her Nora books back.  She also enjoys Julia James, Carly Phillips, Christina Dodd, Sandra Hill, Julie Garwood.

I am sure we can both go on and on because there are so many to choose from but we will leave that up for your discussion.

One Commenter today will win – wait for it – books of course

We also asked a few of our favorite authors what their go to books or authors are right now and where do they go to relax and read.  Their responses will be posted over the next few days

Carly Phillips:   http://www.carlyphillips.com/ A few months ago I would have said I’m a true contemporary reader. Only. That’s still the case … without the only! I’ve recently strayed into a genre I never thought would hold any interest for me – paranormal.  It’s been a fantastic break from my normal reading and when I’ve devoured my contemporary authors and am waiting for a new release.  As for which authors, in contemporary – my fellow Plotmonkeys, Leslie Kelly aka Leslie Parrish, Julie Leto, and Janelle Denison … and also Toni Blake, Erin McCarthy’s racecar series, Victoria Dahl, Jill Shalvis, Rachel Gibson.  And now in my new paranormal phase, I’m devouring Nalini Singh, Meaghan Hatfield, Larissa Ione.  As for where? On my Kindle … wherever I can.  In bed usually since reading is a treat for when I can relax but in my car while waiting for the kids works too!

Erin Nicholas: http://www.erinnicholas.com/ I almost always go for contemporaries first, though I have favorites in historical, erotic, and paranormal too. I have a few go-to authors who always deliver for me but the two that first come to mind are Erin McCarthy and Susan Andersen. I have a big chair by my picture window that I love to curl up in with my Kindle! :)