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July 16, 2006

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August 24, 2004

  The Reviews
December 2, 2006
Judith wasn't happy with DON'T LOOK DOWN:

I read Lesley Dunlop's review almost literally the moment I finished reading the novel. I agreed with just about every word she said. I had already decided to write to Jennifer Crusie to say "What were you thinking? You don't need Bob Mayer. Since I haven't read anything of his I don't know if he needs you but, judging by the fact I didn't laugh out loud once reading this story and I never really figured out who were the bad guys, you are no good for each other. In other words you are a mis-match ( as Lesley Dunlop said of Lucy and J.T.) This is one of your books I won't be buying. Never mind, I have decided to read "Bet Me" for the third time and just forget about "Don't Look Down." Everyone is entitled to one mistake."

BookFan enjoyed Janet Evanovich's latest, TWELVE SHARP:

I just finished "Twelve Sharp," the latest of Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series, which I found to be somewhat different from the other eleven books. Aside from the usual silliness, there's also a good deal of real suspense, something that was frequently lacking in the others. There are layers revealed about Ranger, his life and background. Stephanie actually does some reasonably efficient bounty-hunting. There's more real emotion in this one (I don't want to spoil it for people who haven't read it yet). And last but not least - none of Steph's cars are blown up!! In my opinion, it's a perfect blend of action, suspense and humor. A bravo for Janet Evanovich - I'll be waiting next year, as usual, for number thirteen.

Ed loved Nancy E Turner's books::

I just read These Is My Words and Sarah's Quilt back to back and was completely captivated, blown away by emotion and fascination. I thoroughly loved both books and can't decide which I like better. I enjoyed Sarah as a young woman and the relationship with Captain Jack Elliot. Both are truly wonderful people and I enjoyed getting to know them through Nancy Turner's compelling writing. I was very upset when Captain Jack was gone but I expected as much through foreshadowing. Sarah's quilt seemed more about motherhood but with romance mixed in as well. It reminded me so much of my mother, of course in a different, more modern setting. Sarah worked hard all the time. It inspired me, even though the whole time Ms. Turner described her indominitable work ethic I was sitting in my recliner turning page after page! Sometmes until 4 a.m. I couldn't put it down and wanted so much to sit at the table and have some of Sarah's cooking.

I must admit the hardships at times were so heartbreaking I did dread finding out more. But, this is a testimonial to the author's skill at evoking emotion. I hope Ms. Turner can someday read this personally to know how she touched my life. I did not want the story to end. Sarah even made a comment of the sort, and I can't remember it word for word, but I felt strongly the same way about both of these books.5 stars. I don't usually write reviews but I had to say something about these wonderful books. Thanks again, Nancy E. Turner.

Nancy offers some thoughts on the IN DEATH series:

I just read the review of Memory in Death, which I haven't read because I'm reading all of them in order. I've read several of the books over the years, but have decided to follow the series along. I'm so glad we may learn about the baby that Mavis has been pregnant with for so long. I thought Ms. Robb/Roberts had forgotten about the entire issue, especially when I read about Mavis drinking so many drinks at a party - oh, I forgot, maybe alcohol in 2059 wasn't harmful to the fetus; who knows?

We have a happy reader, thanks to you:

I just wanted to thank you so much for helping me find the name and author of the book for question on May #2 that I have been trying to find for years. You have been a god send! I have already went online, found and purchased the book and am anxiously waiting for its arrival. Thanks again!!!

Gina was unhappy with Nicole Jordan's FEVER DREAMS :

I am a devout Nicole Jordan fan! I have read all of her books. Some I liked more than others. I wait anxiously for her new books to come out, so needless to say, I bought Fever Dreams the first day that it was on the shelf. I started reading it and gave up half way through the book. I was terribly disappointed. Ryder did not do it for me and Eve got on my nerves. I felt like there was no fire between them. I will hold out hope that Fever Dreams was a fluke and that Ms. Jordan's next book will be back on par.

Millie is finding our website helpful:

I read a lot of historical romance and generally go with authors I know or recommendations from other readers on various boards but I recently found The Romance Reader and I just wanted to say I really appreciate the job you are doing here. So many reviewers never met a book they didn't LOVE and just as many seem to take way too much glee in bashing every book (along with the author, her dog and the way she prepares eggs). I find your reviews consistently honest and fair and while I may not always agree with the exact number of stars for an individual review, that's a matter of personal taste anyway. You have not lead me wrong with a single 5 star rating (and I appreciate their rarity) and you would have saved me pain and suffering if only I had paid attention to those 1 star ones. Thanks again.

Lisa agreed with our review of TO RESCUE A ROGUE:

Mary Benn hit it on the nose with her review of To Rescue a Rogue. It is a four star book yet, I just struggled getting through this book. I usually read a book in about 3 days this took a more then a week. I'm adding the romance reader to my bookmarks. So glad to have found your sight. You'll save me money & time.

Diane liked THE CROSSROADS CAFE by Deborah Smith:

Amen! I never was too fond of science fiction, unless it was exceptional and this new trend to erotica vampires leaves me cold! As a person who reads three to five books a week - just give me some unique characters, a dab of romance, some trials to overcome, a plot which is plausible and could happen in real life, and a story I hate to see end. I will be back!

Author Minda Webber wrote about our review of THE REMARKABLE MISS FRANKENSTEIN:

HI, I'm the author and I just wanted to thank you for your review. I'm so glad you enjoyed the book. I have cartoon humor and I know I'm not everyone's cup of tea. It does my heart good to see great reviews. And Miss Frankenstein did win "Best Historical Vampire" award for 2005. I was so very pleased. Again thanks for your support.

Suzy disagreed with us on CRAZY LOVE by Tara Janzen:

for Crazy Love by Tara Janzen, as reviewed by Laura Scott.....have to disagree, wholeheartedly with the review! This series by Tara, grab you and 'don't let go'. It's a 'I-can-hardly-wait-for-the-next-book' series! Trust me.

Margaret had this to say about TO DISTRACTION by Stephanie Laurens:

Ms. Dunlap's review of this book is on the button. I've been reading Stephanie Laurens's books for years and they were an automatic buy for me until the past few books. Who'd a thunk that sex scenes could be boring. Ms. Laurens has, unfortunately, accomplished that recently. I sometimes get the feeling that it's the same sex scenes in each book. Over and over and.... Just rearranged a bit for the current h/h. As the reviewer recommends, I tend to skip thru the lengthy sex scenes and get to the plot. The sex reads more like a how to manual than a satisfyingly sensual read. Too bad. The 3 stars given was an excellent choice.

Gwen echoes that sentiment:

I have read Stephanie Laurens' latest book "To Distraction" and I regret the money I shelled out for it. I must admit SL was an automatic buy for a few years; however, I have grown tired of the same cardboard heroines and heroes. The leading men are all strong, mysterious, drop dead gorgeous and dangerous. The heroines all want to have an affair without benefits of marriage. They all break down at the end and realize that yes they do want marriage. The men are all perfect without one single flaw and the women are all independent, ravishing, and beautiful take charge bluestocking heroines. If you through in some type of conflict, you have the sum total of SL' books. "To Distraction" was filled with such purplish prose as, "you kiss dangerous." "I am dangerous but not to you." How can anyone kiss dangerously unless they have some communicable disease? That is what I call kissing dangerously! Or walking noiselessly over gravel -please! It took me a while to finish this book. And just think, this bastion series has about 2 more to go of the same type. Readers of SL save your money by reading any Bastien novel and inserting the next hero and heroine with some prescribed conflict.

Alyssa addresses a familiar feeling:

I love reading romance novels, but the standand romance formula tends to get too repetative. Can you suggest some novels that break away from the same old same old?

Ed. Note: Readers, we'll turn this one over to you. Got any suggestions for romance that's out of the ordinary? We'll print some ideas in the next column.

A reader is unhappy, but didn't give the name of the book:

I did not find this review helpful at all. I read this book and thought it was so good I passed it along to a few of my friends. All of my friends agree that this is a keeper. I wonder how much some of the reviewers actually read. They give some very unfair reviews!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Emily would also like to see Deborah Smith find a larger publisher:

Thank you, Susan Scribner, for saying so eloquently what I have been longing to say to the romance publishers on today's fare. Deborah Smith is one of the best contemporary romances authors out there and she does deserve a wide audience. I hope someone hears you.

Theresa is also a Deborah Smith fan:

Susan, I couldn’t agree with you more! I have read every one of her books I could get my hands on, most at least three to four times. I plan on purchasing crossroads café as soon as I can. Thanks for the review!

Marie wonders what happened to our Regency page:

I have noticed that there are no new Regency books since early this year. Have you stopped reviewing them or have the publishers stopped printing them? You have also removed the "Regency" designation fromyour list as you enter the page. What's up?

Ed. Note: You are absolutely right, there are no publishers currently publishing traditional Regency romances. Signet ceased publication earlier this year, and Zebra had already ended their Regency line before that. Readers, if you miss them, write to the publishers and let them know! We'll gladly begin reviewing them again!

A reader comments on Nora Roberts' BORN IN ICE:

The book "Born in Ice" was very soothing. A young woman, still wounded by a first loves distrust. All because her Mom is a witch. Then, she finds another love but this lover is trying his best not to feel so deeply about her. But she shows her feelings. The emotion train was going at full speed. I was sad one minute then happy and then scared. It was better than good. It's indescribable! You would have to read it yourself to feel this wordless emotion.

Gail would like to add a couple of movies to our Romantic Movies list:

I thoroughly enjoyed reading all the reviews and I have much to look forward renting (owning) several titles I was not aware of, hence, why I am looking at this site to begin with. (I googled Romance Movies) After seeing several of my own favorites mentioned several times I wonder if perhaps I could mention one or two more films for the masses. These titles did not appear in any of the list, and I believe these films will not be a disappointment to any true romance seeker. Grease 2 ,with Michelle Pfeifer. Bad girl gone good, good guy gone bad, and the KIss at the end should be rated one of the most romantic kisses in movies. A Knights Tale, with Heath Ledger, A handsome hero, a beautiful princess, and a lot of rock and roll. This one always gets me out of my slump. Pure fantasy, pure fun. Thank you again for the list and reviews. Sometimes a girl just needs something new.

Peggy liked Nora Roberts' trilogies aobut The Quinns:

I absolutely loved both trilogies!!! Couldn't put them down and wanted more after I finished the books!! Not only the characters but also the setting. Nora's descriptions are so vivid and real it feels as if you're there. I'm eager to read more of her work. Am hooked.

Lisa disagreed with a review:

I thought this was the worst review I have ever read. I read Janet Chapman's The Seduction of His Wife, and thought it was one of the best books I have read this year. The person that read this book obviously does not read many romance books. I found this review totally unfair. This book did not rate a one heart it is on my keeper shelf. I can't wait for Janet Chapman's next book. She is a awesome author and did not deserve this review.

Ed Note: While we respect all our readers' opinions, we'd like to gently inform that the reviewer has been reading romance for over thirty years.

Amanda didn't like THE LAST ONE HOME:

A pathetic soap opera, poorly done. I should have known it was a lousy book since I purchased it on ebay for $ 0.01. You can't give these books away! I've watched Lifetime B movies that were better than this book!

Sage liked HIS WICKED KISS by Gaelen Foley:

One of the authors whose books I would skim through occasionally was Gaelen Foley. Gaelen Foley always fascinates me because her books are very similar and yet quite different. I've read all of her Knight trilogy and I've read His Wicked Kiss recently. Mary Benn who wrote the review for His Wicked Kiss on your website was right in a lot aspects of the book. Towards the end it does become boring. And I agree certainly that Gaelen Foley's descriptions can be a little too much. I thought His Wicked Kiss was not that surprising or unique, but I do enjoy reading Gaelen Foley because she is a very strong and excellent writer. I plan to be a writer myself and I like to look at all types of writing for inspiration. I think that if all novelists who write romance novels want to have more readers, they should expand their horizons and write with different approaches and with different characters because the heartbroken heros with a dark past and the caring yet passionate heroines are getting a tad bit old. But it seems that most romantic readers enjoy these characters. I hope that this will occur at sometime. I really enjoy this website.

Clarisse is injoying browsig our 5-heart reviews:

When I read this book I thought, " This is just about perfect," and it's kind of nice to see that you thought so too. Sharp premise, funny and exciting and yet emotionally satisfying. I hadn't really noticed until I started to look through your archives how rare a 5 star review is but as I looked through the books you had rated 5 Star I realized that I agreed with you on all of the ones I had read (and I found a whole bunch of books and authors that I need to get to know). I have a good friend Sandy who's opinion I really value on book recommendations because our taste is very similar. And now she and I have a new friend in The Romance Reader. Hey, you guys aren't related to Sandy, are you?

Ed. Note: Nope, no relation, but we'll be happy to "adopt" you both! Welcome to the TRR family of readers!

Doris is impatiently waiting for Dara Joy's next release:

I am still waiting on the Traed story as well as other books in this series. I know there have been lawsuits filed and Dara Joy has been writing and self publishing some novellas. Do you know anything more about this series of books? Are they scheduled to be written or have they been written? your review was spot on by the way. These goofy books still entice, engross and leave the reader wanting more. I recently reread them with my teenage son who loves sci-fi and he is hooked also. He looked at me when he finished “Mine to Tak”e and said what happens next? Now, I am passing that question on to you. Please let us know if you have any info.

Ed. Note: Dara Joy is embroiled in a prolonged legal dispute with Dorchester Publishing. Visit her website at Her latest book was a self-published romance called WILDCAT ARROWS, which is available on The reader reviews are, um, interesting.

Margeret agreed on our assessment of Julia London's EXTREME BACHELOR:

I so agree with reviewer Mary Benn on this book. It was awful. Ms. Benn gave it two more stars than I would have. I'm not sure I would ever have forgiven Michael for what he did. However, I think Leah is a few chips shy of a bag if she let the incident throw her so totally of the track in her life and career. Did the woman have no pride? Frankly, I don't know how the book came out because I could finish it. I didn't find the he-men teaching the babes in the least humourous. I used to enjoy Ms. London's Regencies but her contemporaries leave this reader cold.

Author Jenna Peterson wrote us about our latest review of her work:

I'm hoping you can pass along this message to Shirley Lyons. Someone just sent me a link to the review she just did of my second historical romance, FROM LONDON WITH LOVE. Shirley -- Your review of SCANDALOUS was great, but wow, this review of LONDON!! It had me grinning from beginning to end. I am so glad you enjoyed the story! :) I hope readers respond to it as strongly and I hope you love DESIRE NEVER DIES (January 2007) as much! Thanks again for the wonderful review! Made my week as I'm sitting here counting down to the release date!

Linda wants to read DESIREE by Roberta Gellis:

I can't even get a used copy of this book for less than $50.00. What did Harlequin do with all the copies? I love the Roselynde Chronicles. I read them when they were first published in the late 70's and early 80's. Roberta Gellis books have always been keepers that I read every few years. BOND OF BLOOD was my favorite. I'm looking for someone who will lend me their copy for a few days.

Patti wrote after looking at our Top 100 Romance Novels list:

Years and Twiced Loved by LaVryle Spencer are two of my all time favorites! They are both awesome!

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