At the end of last year, we ran our fabulous bloggers’ lists of top reads of the year. Those posts were so fun that we've decided to continue, asking our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read each month (or things, plural, if our bloggers declare a tie ’cause they just can’t choose). It doesn’t have to be a new book, as evidenced below; just something that made the month sparkle just a bit more. So here’s this month’s installment for November 2012 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs for May, June, July, August, September, October 2012, November 2012):
Restraint by Charlotte Stein was a knock-my-socks-off novella that found me just in the nick of time. Having become disenchanted with the proliferation of BDSM in erotic romance and heroines looking for Daddy-figures, Stein's story was a welcome role reversal that had me happily sighing with relief, and satisfaction. A sexually aware heroine with a potty mouth finds herself spending her vacation with a hero that she mistakenly thinks loathes her very existence. When she learns the truth behind his attitude, it rocks both of their worlds.
Destino by Sienna Mynx is the first book in the author's latest trilogy, Battaglia Mafia, released last month. It tells the story of Mira and Giovanni with the sweeping back drop of Southern Italy as the setting. Mira is a fashion designer on the rise who runs into trouble with her shop in Italy and Giovanni is the local boss, meeting thanks to the relationship between her best friend and his cousin. The sparks fly but the constant drama with Giovanni's lifestyle creates constant conflict with their relationship. I don't want to give a lot of details away as the book is full of action but this book is great, especially if you like romantic suspense and Alpha men. I could barely put this book down once I started it. The second book of the series, Ti Amo, drops on December 15, 2012 on Amazon.
When You Fall by Ruthie Robinson is a very entertaining book. This book starts off with the heroine as a complete mess. Carter doesn't know where's she's going and thinks she's knows what she wants to be happy, which leads her to object during a wedding to declare her love for her ex, the groom. After humiliating herself at the wedding and having her fall loaded on youtube for the world to watch, Carter escapes to the family ranch she spent happier times at growing up. There she meets her gorgeous neighbor, Rafael. The attraction is immediate but the slow burn to a romantic relationship builds up well. What I was most impressed about with this novel is that Carter spent time healing herself as well as realizing she'd found true love; that she realized she needed to make herself happy and whole first as opposed to thinking just being with a man would make her happy.
“Room at the Inn” by Ruthie Knox — This novella part of the Naughty and Nice anthology, is my favorite for several reasons, the main one being that it gave me much to think about. The relationship between the hero and heroine was less than perfect, in fact, I felt like they were hurting each other more than anything else. And it made me wonder if love is enough. Regardless of how you answer that question, Ms. Knox makes it work. “Room at the Inn” is a story about love, hurt and second chances.
The love between Carson and Julie is undeniable, but there are so many poor decisions and selfish acts between them, that I was worried that a novella would be too short to sort everything out in a successful way. It wasn't. And the ending is hopeful, satisfying and romantic. This is a short story, but a very powerful one. I felt all the emotions the characters experienced, and in the end I believe in their happy ending. It’s my favorite story of the month; by one of the best Contemporary Romance authors I've had the pleasure of reading.