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April 18, 2014
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April 17, 2014
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Showing posts tagged: J.D. Robb click to see more stuff tagged with J.D. Robb
Apr 17 2014 2:00pm

Concealed in Death by J.D. RobbWhen I first started reading J.D. Robb's In Death series, there were maybe just six books written in the series, and I had happened to pick up the second book. I loved it and went back the following week and bought all of the books available at that time. And have bought every one in the series since then. I love the world Robb has created, but what keeps me coming back is the characters. I adore the main and recurring characters in that series. I think of them as old friends. I actually miss them between books! The series does more than entertain; it can teach you, if you let it. Below are the top ten life lessons I’ve gleaned from the In Death series.

*Note: Beware of mild SPOILERS if you have not read the majority of the series*

1. Compromise really is the key to a successful relationship

At the beginning of the series, Eve is a no-nonsense cop with no tolerance for criminals. Roarke is a wealthy businessman with a dubious past and a healthy disdain for rules and authority, including the police. Over the series, Eve has strayed slightly from the straight and narrow and Roarke has become less shady. The compromise from them both has helped to strengthen their bond.

[Take a page out of Eve's book(s)...]

Mar 17 2014 12:10pm

Irish Thoroughbred by Nora RobertsWhether it’s a mystery with romantic elements, a historical, or a contemporary, commonalities persist when the story takes place in Ireland. An exploration of Irish romances shows that there’s often nostalgia and an old-world charm in the way Ireland is depicted.

Nora Roberts has written many best-sellers with Irish settings and/or Irish characters. According to her website, “In the summer of that year [1980], Silhouette bought Nora’s first book. Irish Thoroughbred was published in 1981.” Here’s a description of the story.

“COME TO AMERICA. YOUR HOME IS WITH ME NOW.” Adelia Cunnane's uncle had written her. So Adelia had left Ireland to join him on what he had described as the finest horse farm in Maryland. Adelia agreed with her uncle about the farm. But what should she think about its owner, Travis Grant? She knew that he could master his strongest horse. She had seen his eyes soften at the birth of a foal. Yet his lips on hers demanded a submission that she was not yet ready to give — at least not until he had spoken the words she had to hear.

And away we go! Nora lays down some themes we see over and over in Irish-based romance. Ireland is the land of horses, horse breeders, horse trainers, and the Irish racing fraternity. The Irish fan out all over the world, bringing their equine expertise to farms, ranches, and race courses. Next, there are Irish families: always close, even if a son or a sister emigrated to England or America decades earlier. Confidence in their abilities is a hallmark of an Irish character. Lastly, they don’t love lightly or fall easily. Particularly when it comes to an Irish colleen, the hero who hopes to win her love had better put a ring on it.

There’s more to Irish romance than gorgeous equine beauties and extended families. For every book or trope I suggest, I hope you’ll return with a thousand more (exaggeration, another charming Irish trait!).

[But seriously, we'll take them all...]

Feb 17 2014 4:30pm

Concealed in Death by J.D. RobbJ.D. Robb
Concealed in Death
Putnam Adult / February 18, 2014 / $27.95 print, $11.99 digital

In a decrepit, long-empty New York building, Lieutenant Eve Dallas’s husband begins the demolition process by swinging a sledgehammer into a wall. When the dust clears, there are two skeletons wrapped in plastic behind it. He summons his wife immediately—and by the time she’s done with the crime scene, there are twelve murders to be solved.

The place once housed a makeshift shelter for troubled teenagers, back in the mid-2040s, and Eve tracks down the people who ran it. Between their recollections and the work of the force’s new forensic anthropologist, Eve begins to put names and faces to the remains. They are all young girls. A tattooed tough girl who dealt in illegal drugs. The runaway daughter of a pair of well-to-do doctors. They all had their stories. And they all lost their chance for a better life.

Then Eve discovers a connection between the victims and someone she knows. And she grows even more determined to reveal the secrets of the place that was called The Sanctuary—and the evil concealed in one human heart.

J.D. Robb (a.k.a. Nora Roberts) has given us such dynamic characters in her In Death series, featuring the ass-kicking, killer catching, Lt. Eve Dallas of the NYPSD, and her multi-billionaire husband, Roarke. Since this series began, this pair have lived their lives far from their very impoverished and harsh beginnings.

[What's ahead for Eve and Roarke?...]

Jan 30 2014 12:30pm

Black Ice by Anne StuartRomantic Suspense is a tricky genre, requiring a perfect balance between its two main elements. If the plot is too heavy on the suspense, romance readers are bound to be disappointed because we love our romance. On the flip side, we pick up a suspense novel expecting something exciting and nail biting. So which novels give us both?

I have listed 10 books where the authors did a perfect job of mixing the love interest, good times and heart pounding action. What do you think? Did I miss anything obvious?

10. Black Ice by Anne Stuart

Why? Anne Stuart writes the best anti-hero around. When you combine that with the mystery and intrigue you have a perfect mix of romance and suspense. Black Ice will have you wondering about the HEA and the 'how will they fix this’ question up to the final page.

9. After the Night by Linda Howard

Why? Linda Howard is one of the best Romantic Suspense authors around and After the Night is one of her best. Faith Devlin’s mom is the local tramp, and when she runs away with Gray Rouillard’s father the town is up in arms. Things aren’t really what they seem, so when Faith returns 12 years later to confront the past, the passion between Gray and Faith explodes onto the pages. Their first time is one of the hottest scenes in memory.

[+8 more can't-miss romantic suspense novels...]

Nov 22 2013 4:00pm

Thanksgiving by Janet EvanovichI have holiday envy. There, I’ve said it. Whether it be Passover or Ramadan, Diwali or the Mooncake Festival, there is barely an international observance, whether religious or otherwise, that I would not wish to have as part of my cultural heritage. Oh, sure, we in Australia get our fair share of awesomely unique celebrations—in my home city of Melbourne, we get a day off for a horse race, and even the Federal Parliament takes a break to see which horse will run fastest on that magical first Tuesday in November. But as cool as that is (and it is), it is the fourth Thursday in November that has long fascinated me, my knowledge of it gleaned almost wholly from TV, movies and, of course, books: the American Thanksgiving.

I don’t recall exactly when I first learned about this most excellent of occasions, but I am pretty sure it was from shows the likes of Little House on the Prairie, Family Ties and Diff’rent Strokes. There would be schoolhouse pageants about the Pilgrims and their unwontedly gracious guests, family dining tables groaning under the weight of exotic-sounding dishes like pumpkin pie and candied yams, and bewildering sporting contests ardently followed by all the males of the house. From Charlie Brown to President Bartlet, and from Holly Hunter in Home for the Holidays to Katie Holmes in Pieces of April, if there is a story involving a family gathering designed to give thanks to...whatever it is you’re all so thankful for, then I am completely in.

Imagine my delight, then, when I long ago discovered Thanksgiving by Janet Evanovich, several years after its 1988 release date, but also several before Stephanie Plum made Evanovich beloved outside the confines of Loveswept fandom (the book has since been rereleased, back in 2006). It is the delightful tale of Megan Murphy and Dr. Patrick Hunter, instant enemies who soon become friends—and then more than friends—as they team up to care for an abandoned baby, all the while navigating the many family dramas inherent in this particular titular affair. Full of its author’s signature zaniness, the novel also brings a tangible sense of occasion to the tale, especially as it is set in Colonial Williamsburg, than which I don’t think I can even imagine a more appropriate locale to celebrate this particular event.

[Happy Turkey Day...]

Nov 21 2013 4:15pm

A Company of Swans by Eva IbbotsonFavorite romance couples become favorites because of those moments that are uniquely them, and some of their best moments come from iconic lines that live on in our minds long after the book is done. Rupert and Daphne's bone-melting demand, T'ala heneh—“come here”—from Loretta Chase's Mr. Impossible. Harriet's repeated wistful desire to creep into her lover's presence like an odalisque in Eva Ibbotson's A Company of Swans; “we will creep together,” he insists. The admiration and affection encompassed in Roarke's simple greeting, “Lieutenant,” in every one of J.D. Robb's In Death books.  

When they're actually part of the relationship arc, a couple's special phrase can become even more memorable. In Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, the arrogant, prideful Alex is amazed by Daisy's easy humility:

I’m begging you. Daisy said that all the time. The same words that had poisoned Sheba Quest’s spirit two years ago when she’d pleaded for his love rolled off Daisy’s tongue without a second thought. In the morning she’d stick her toothbrush in her mouth and call out, “Coffee! Please! I’m begging you!” Last night, she’d tickled his earlobe with a soft, sultry whisper. “Make love to me, Alex. I’m begging you.” As if he needed to be begged.

But begging didn’t threaten Daisy’s pride at all. It was simply her method of communication…

After hurting Daisy deeply, Alex can only prove his love to her by conquering his pride:

Alex spoke in tight, hard tones. “You know what the irony in all this is. Daisy’d do it. She wouldn’t even think twice about it.” He gave a rough bark of laughter that bore no trace of humor. “She’d be on her knees in a second because she’s got a heart beating inside her that’s strong enough to take on the world. She doesn’t care about honor or pride or anything else when the well-being of the creatures she loves is a stake.”

He turned his face upward, and his mouth tightened with scorn. Although he was on his knees, he had never looked more glorious. He was every inch the czar. The king of the center ring. “I’m begging you, Sheba,” he said flatly.

[Ah, the power of words...]

Nov 4 2013 2:45pm

Thankless in Death by J.D. RobbRomance readers are in the age of the billionaire and young, virginal, innocent heroine—many of the books being published now have a power imbalance between the hero and heroine. It is common for our hero to be powerful, rich, irresistible, seductive and a bit of a jerk. Don’t get me wrong; I love the alphahole as much as the next girl and you will never see me turning down one of those books. But isn’t it nice when you are able to find a book where the hero and heroine are equal in power? Where they are equal in influence and status? I have found a couple of examples of couples where both the man and woman are nothing to mess with.

Eve and Roarke (In Death series by J.D. Robb) — We have heard many times over that Roarke owns most of the known universe in the In Death series, but Eve is no slouch, either. She is a NYPSD detective and recently has been offered more. Both came from rough beginnings and changed their lives for the better; Eve made herself into the best cop around and Roarke made himself a lot of money. While no one can question the overriding influence of money, Eve has had a book and a movie written about her. She has taken down so of the most heinous criminals and managed to marry the hero too. ;)

[+ 3 more power couples...]

Oct 3 2013 4:30pm

Heartbreaker by Julie GarwoodOver the summer I wrote a blog entry at All About Romance listing my top ten romances. Among the responses was one from a reader unfamiliar with “historical Garwoods.” It reminded me of an old Billy Crystal joke about his daughter’s dismay that Paul McCartney was in a band before Wings.

It’s hard for me, as a romance reader since the 1990s, to reconcile that readers who came to the genre less than a decade later might know Julie Garwood only for her romantic suspense novels, never realizing she wrote twenty historicals romances beginning in 1985, primarily set in Medieval Scotland, Regency-era England, and occasionally—and less successfully—the old American West. Which is an incredible shame, really, because she was among the pioneers of the funny historical romance. The ten of her historicals you see below (ETA: at the bottom of this post) are all among my all-time favorites, on a list of just under one hundred books (only Nora Roberts/J.D. Robb, whose own switching began in the mid 1990s, tops Garwood, with eleven titles).

When Garwood switched gears and moved into romantic suspense, she returned only once to her historical roots, with 2007s Shadow Music, which I’m ashamed to say I never read (my interest in romantic suspense is almost nil). When she made the decision to move into the then-burgeoning romantic suspense market, I never begrudged her, but knew my days of buying Garwood were over. She’s done fine without me; her now eleven-book Buchanan series of romantic thrillers regularly lands on the NYTimes Bestsellers List.

[Have your favorite authors switched things up?...]

Sep 13 2013 2:00pm

Thankless in Death by J.D. RobbJ.D. Robb
Thankless in Death
Putnam Adult / September 17, 2013 / $27.95 print, $14.99 digital

Lieutenant Eve Dallas has plenty to be grateful for this season. Hosting Roarke’s big Irish family for the holiday may be challenging, but it’s a joyful improvement on her own dark childhood.

Other couples aren’t as lucky as Eve and Roarke. The Reinholds, for example, are lying in their home stabbed and bludgeoned almost beyond recognition. Those who knew them are stunned—and heartbroken by the evidence that they were murdered by their own son. Twenty-six-year-old Jerry hadn’t made a great impression on the bosses who fired him or the girlfriend who dumped him—but they didn’t think he was capable of this.

Turns out Jerry is not only capable of brutality but taking a liking to it. With the money he’s stolen from his parents and a long list of grievances, he intends to finally make his mark on the world. Eve and her team already know the who, how, and why of this murder. What they need to pinpoint is where Jerry’s going to strike next.

With fall approaching and the holidays soon upon us, we have something else to be thankful for—J.D. Robb's Thankless in Death, the latest investigation featuring Robb's police officer, Lt. Eve Dallas. Even if someone's feeling thankless, we ourselves are thankful for the talent of J.D. Robb (a/k/a Nora Roberts) in creating such memorable characters both in our investigating team and some pretty twisted and creative bad guys (although spoiled-brat-turned-killer, Jerry Reinhold, doesn’t appreciate his parents, his girlfriend, his friends or the luck that keeps him one close step ahead of Dallas and her team).

[He does sound pretty ungrateful...]

Aug 27 2013 3:00pm

Audiobooks? Sounds like a good idea.Perhaps this sounds familiar: As of right now, my to-be-read list is 762 books.

So how is it possible to get through more books? After thinking on it, I realized I spend a lot of time in my life doing mundane actions, like driving to work, doing the dishes, mowing the yard, folding laundry, running…and I thought why not try audio books?

Audio books turned out to be a huge win for me. Now those tasks are accompanied by an audiobook. The ironic thing, however, is that instead of whittling down that to-be-read list I have found myself picking up some of my favorite series and listening to them. No matter how many times I read a book, when someone else reads it to me…why, it is like reading it for the first time all over again!

[You could say that it feels like the very first time...]

Aug 21 2013 11:30am

Find your future faves with this delightfully convenient shopping list of romance novels coming out in September. We’ve divided them up by subgenre to make it easier for those who’ve got a very specific obsession and there are some great books to look forward to—from historical spies and office romances to Dark-Hunters and cozy Christmases. Our shopping list is the biggest yet, so don’t forget to take this printable version with you when it’s time to shop!

Heroes and Heartbreakers September 2013 Shopping List!
Paranormal/Urban Fantasy/SfR

[Check out the complete list!...]

A.J. Quinn, Alexis Morgan, Anita Clenney, Annie Seaton, Anya Breton, B.J. Daniels, Barbara Monajem, Becca Jameson, Bella Andre, Benjamin Sverkey, Beth Albright, Betty Neels, Brenda Williamson, Calista Fox, Chantel Guertin, Christina Lauren, Christine Feehan, Crystal Jordan, Danielle Steel, Debbie Macomber, Debbie Mason, Diana Palmer, Diane Wood, Donna Grant, Doris Lessing, Dylan Madrid, E.M. Forster, Elaine Fox, Eleanor Antin, Eliza Lloyd, Elizabeth Lowell, Elizabeth Noble, Em Petrova, Emily Libert, Emily Snow, Francesca Lia Block, Galt Niderhoffer, Georgia Bokoven, Gill Horby, Grace Burrowes, Heather Graham, India Masters, J.B. Brooks, J.D. Robb, Jane Porter, Jayne Rylon, Jennifer Bernard, Jessica L. Jackson, Jill Shalvis, Joanna Lloyd, Jodie Griffin, Karen Booth, Karina Cooper, Katee Robert, Katie MacAlister, Katy Evans, Kay Hooper, Kaylea Cross, Kelly Jamieson, Kimberly Kaye Terry, Larissa Ione, Laura Anne Gilman, Lily Dalton, Linda Hill, Linda Lael Miller, Lisa Desrochers, Lisa Renee Jones, Lorelei James, Lori Foster, Lorraine Zago Posenthal, Lucy Felthouse, Lyn Dowland, Lynda Archer, Lynne Connolly, Lynsay Sands, M. Leighton, Madeline Hunter, Marie Force, Marisa Cleveland, Marta Perry, Mary Blayney, Maya Banks, Megan Hart, Melinda Leigh, Michelle Willingham, Michelle Witvilet, Naima Simone, Nancy Herkness, Natasha Bond, Natasha Moore, Nicholas Sparks, Nicola Marsh, Nora Roberts, Pamela Yaye, Rachel Gibson, Rebecca Crowley, SHane Allison, Shara Lanel, Shelly Munro, Sherrilyn Kenyon, Shiloh Walker, Shirley Jump, Sky Robinson, Skylar Kade, Sommer Marsden, Stephanie Julian, Sue Margolis, Susan Mallery, Susan Wiggs, Susan Wilson, Suzan Still, Sylvia Day, Tara Tennyson, Tiffany Reisz, Tracey Garvis Graves, Trish Telep, Venita Ellick, Victoria Dahl
Aug 10 2013 3:30pm

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa KleypasLast week Megan Frampton asked in her Morning Coffee: Which Hero Has the Sexiest Voice? You guys gave some pretty awesome answers and so we want to make it official in this week's poll: Which Hero Has the Sexiest Voice?

Share your pick in the comments and weigh in on who you think would have the sexiest voice! Do you imagine a hero's voice when you read a romance?

Do you have a favorite accent you like a character to have? Does a character having a certain accent up their appeal like it does for some men in real life?

Aug 7 2013 4:30pm

Midnight Games by Elle KennedyRomantic Suspense is a tough sub-genre to write. Instead of just having one subject to deal with, the author has to balance both romance and suspense. Usually, one of those elements is overwhelmed by the other. It is hard to decipher which is more important and what should carry the book, but if done well, both devices should complement the other.

I have a couple of go-to authors for Romantic Suspense; most are older series and one is a fairly new one. But with each book each author releases, they do not disappoint with either the sexy times or the suspenseful times.

Elle Kennedy has a fairly new series called Killer Instincts. Book three, Midnight Games, is has just been released. Midnight Games is the book where Ms. Kennedy’s new series really amped up the stakes.

A master of disguise, Isabel Roma spends her life pretending to be other women. Normally, her emotions are reined in tight—but sexy mercenary Trevor Callaghan has a knack for getting under her skin. The elite operative’s quiet strength and raw magnetism affect her in ways she’s never felt before, a distraction that can quickly turn deadly in their dangerous line of work.

After putting his tragic past behind him, Trevor is ready to focus on his future—and he damn well intends for Isabel to be in it. When their entire operation is thrown into chaos, Trevor enlists Isabel’s talent for deception. And as they attempt to save their team in a world where the stakes are high and the danger is grave, Trevor must convince Isabel that the woman beneath all the disguises is the one worth having...

[A master-of-disguise heroine? Okay, that is pretty cool...]

Jul 3 2013 4:30pm

Black Ice by Anne StuartRomance readers agree on only one thing: Each romance novel should have a Happily Ever After. For more of what is required, take a look at What Rules are in the Romance Novel Covenant?

We've all weighed in on the Best This and the Crucial That, but we haven't yet attempted—not here, at least—to come up with a comprehensive list of what the Romance Novels You Should Have Read by Now are.

Let's rectify that, shall we? Keep in mind this list is not a subjective Best Ever list*, but a list that gathers up the crucial books in the genre. And—of course—feel free to add your thoughts in comments! What did we miss? What book isn't worth being included? We want to know!

10. Anne Stuart, Black Ice

Why? There is no one better than Anne Stuart at the “Kiss or kill” book, and Black Ice is the epitome of this delicate balance.

[What else should you read?...]

Feb 22 2012 1:58pm

Gone Too Far by Suzanne BrockmannMany of J.R. Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series readers joke that the books are like crack (or “crahck,” if you’re  spelling BDB style), so we went to Twitter and asked what other series are equally crack-like?

Most of the responses were, unsurprisingly, paranormal or urban fantasy, but there were some series offered that did not involve preternatural creatures. Here they are:

  • Suzanne Brockmann’s Troubleshooters series
  • Roxanne St. Claire’s Bullet Catchers series
  • Erin McCarthy’s Fast Track series
  • Karen Marie Moning’s Fever series
  • Jeaniene Frost’s Night Huntress series
  • Lara Adrian’s Breeds series
  • Kresley Cole’s Immortals After Dark series
  • Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series
  • Laurell K. Hamilton’s Anita Blake series
  • Sherrilyn Kenyon’s Dark Hunter series
  • Christine Feehan’s Carpathians series
  • J.D. Robb’s In Death series

What would you add to the list?