Apr 30 2012 4:30pm

April 2012 Recommendations: Suspense, Zombie Vampires, and The Fifty Shades Legacy

Shadows at Midnight by Elizabeth JenningsAt 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 April 2012 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out the JanuaryFebruary, and March 2012 picks):

Dolly Sickles

Shadows at Midnight by Elizabeth Jennings
Though Shadows at Midnight was published in August 2010, I just pulled it off my bookshelf to read. It’s a fantastic suspense, with a badass US intelligence agent heroine (Claire Day) and a sexy, smitten Marine Sergeant (Dan Watson). The opening scene, a rebel coup at a US Embassy in a fictional West African country, is one of my favorites. It got my heart pumping, and kept it at a rapid pace throughout the whole book. I can’t believe it took me so long to grab it from my TBR pile! So totally worth the read.

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny LawsonNatasha Carty

Let’s Pretend This Never Happened by Jenny Lawson, aka The Bloggess
I know I know, it’s a memoir but Jenny is one of many peoples favourite bloggers. But it’s also worth the read, you will be really close to wetting your pants and it’s a great break from all the love and romance. Jenny is blunt, to the point and absolutely hysterical! 

Aliza Mann

Bared to You by Sylvia Day
After hearing a little buzz on Twitter last week from some really good editors and agents, I decided to give Bared to You a try.  There were some similarities to Fifty Shades of Grey that were mentioned and since I liked that series, I figured what the heck!  After the first couple of pages, I did notice these same parallels between the heroine and for sure the hero, but here’s what  sets the two apart.  Obviously, Sylvia Day is a more experienced writer so I was able to connect to the heroine in a much more significant way.  Yeah, it was written in first person and yes, the heroine is blah-blah years younger than I, however Day’s voice is crystal clear throughout the book.  One other thing, in my personal opinion the very-vanilla BDSM was remarkably sexy! 

The Witness by Nora RobertsBrie Clementine

The Witness by Nora Roberts
Everything that makes Nora Roberts one of the best romance authors is present in this book: the heroine is a computer hacker with no social skills and a heartbreaking backstory; the hero is sweet and charming; the suspense kept me on the edge of my seat; and the love story was romantic.

Twisted by Laura Griffin
The latest installment in the Tracer series is a great example of Ms. Griffin talent. This book has the perfect balance between suspense and romance; featuring a creepy serial killer and a smoking hot May-December romance. The hero is jaded and the heroine desperate to prove herself. Great story and the best part is that you don’t have to be familiar with the series to jump right in.

Synde Korman

Velveteen by Daniel Marks
Snarky, surly, and humorous Daniel Marks’s vivid imagery of purgatory is the stuff movies are made of. Mr. Marks world-building is astonishingly beautiful dispite the graphic backdrop of Velveteen Monroe’s life...and death. Even if you are not a regular Young Adult reader this book will entice and engross you. Not to be passed up.

We’ll Always Have Paris by Jessica HartWendy the Super Librarian

We’ll Always Have Paris by Jessica Hart
A delightful bon-bon of a read that made me yearn for the days when Hollywood didn’t churn out romantic comedies that set my teeth on edge.  Fun-loving, bubbly production assistant heroine needs to land the stuffed-shirt, all-business hero for a BBC documentary.  She’s hoping for a promotion.  He just wants her to take no for an answer and leave him alone.  Naturally circumstances arise and he ends up saying yes—not only to the documentary, but to falling in love with the girl as well.  A lovely opposites attract storyline featuring likeable characters, interesting locales, and a big, romantic gesture during the finale that nearly sent me into a swoon.

Janet Webb

Confessions From an Arranged Marriage by Miranda Neville
This came out at the end of March but I re-read it in April. I enjoyed Miranda Neville’s Confessions From an Arranged Marriage (The Burgundy Club #4) because Neville allows her characters to be themselves, warts and all, while they slooooowly discover the secrets behind the facade they each sport. Yes, Blake, Lord Blakeney, is a bit of an underwhelming rake but he has depths and unsung talents. Minerva Montrose is an ambitious chit who may be smart in brains but weak in life experience but she has the intelligence to reach out and embrace her new life. Neville breathes fresh life into the marriage of convenience trope.

The Immortal Rules by Julie KagawaChelsea Mueller

The Immortal Rules by Julie Kagawa
Julie Kagawa hit the YA trifecta with The Immortal Rules. She merges the story of a strong heroine with vampires (two kinds! zombie-like!) in a dystopian setting. The result is a noir tale focused on the struggle to maintain humanity when it’s far easier to just become a monster. Plenty of “fight the man!” zeal, too. Fans of her Iron Fey series will appreciate the haunting visuals, but should be aware this new series is far darker in tone. That said, it’s her best book. Me = floored.

Bared to You by Sylvia DayMarquetta Whitmore

Bared to You by Sylvia Day
It has been compared to Fifty Shades of Grey (which I haven’t reaad). Bared To You is an intense and sexy read. The hero and heroine (Eva and Gideon) are explosive together. They both have deep-rooted issues that makes their relationship dysfunctional on so many levels and yet it works for them. I was so engrossed in their story and could not decide if I wanted them to be together or not. A month after reading the book and I’m still not sure. I felt like I was watching a trainwreck; I could not look away. I don’t know if I enjoyed Bared To You, but it inspired intense feelings about the characters and their journey. I’ve never been so engrossed in such a dysfunctional relationship.


What was your favorite April read?

Subscribe to this conversation (must be logged in):
1. Miss_D
I am reading "The Witness" now and am really enjoying it. I'm about 2/3rds of the way through it.
Megan Frampton
2. MFrampton
I bought Bared to You already because of the buzz I'd seen on Twitter, and I'm so glad to see it further recommended. I am also absolutely getting Immortal Rules, because Chelsea and I have similar reading tastes. Yay!
3. hrharris398
I bought and read all of Fifty Shades.... great read. I am now looking forward to the latest from the Virgin River series by Robyn Carr.
4. pamelia
I also really enjoyed "Bared to You" although I really really thought it was completely based on FSOG since the plot-points and even number of characters seemed to be really similar. Eva though is a much more complete character than Ana, so I found her more interesting even though Gideon did not hold a candle to Christian in my mind!
The other book I just loved was "Knight" by Kristen Ashley -- it's got a similar feel to FSOG with a young, poor girl getting swept off her feet by a wealthy and dominant man, but the character Knight is very comfortable in his own skin and has some really dark aspects (think a cross between Terrible from Downside Ghosts & Rehvenge from BDB and that's kinda how Knight felt to me).
Brie Clementine
5. Brie.Clem
Everyone it's talking about Bared to You, must get it.

@hrharris398: I loved Sunrise Point. My favorite of the latest Virgin River trilogy. Great read, I hope you enjoy it as much!
6. Janet W
Pamelia, I have Bared to You waiting in the wings -- I'm sure I'll find it interesting altho even before reading I'm thinking a character as mesmerizing as Christian would be difficult to recreate. It was a case of not liking the 1st chapter I downloaded (heroines musing about their BoB do little to enhance the erotic mood for me ...) but too many folks I respected liked it so I bought it. Happy to see that cliff-hanger/inconclusive books may be getting their day in the sun.

As for Knight, I read the 1st chapter and I don't think we sync up. Don't care for the BDB so that may explain it.
Robbie Thornton
7. Button
Suzanne Brockman's Born to Darkness would be my choice for best book I've read this month. I have read a couple of her contemporary romances before, but paranormal romance is my subgenre du jour, so I was excited to see this one come out. I wasn't disappointed. It had no less than 3 romances, at least 2 HEA's and a great segway into a second book along the same lines. I'd love to see this one manafest into one of those epic series.
8. kittywhacko
Yup - I gotta agree - Bared to You was fantastic, thoroughly enjoyed Twisted and The Witness was the best Nora Roberts in a while! The Immortals Rule is waiting to be read and I think I have to add Shadows at Midnight and Let's Pretend this Never Happened - thanks!!!
9. Pammy1965
Robyn Carr's Sunrise Point, the latest Virgin River series book. If you haven't read this series, start at the beginning and read them all. Love them. Bared to You was a close second.
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