Jan 18 2013 3:30pm

January 2013 Bloggers’s Recommendations: Secrets, Disasters, and Motorcycles

Dangerous Secrets by Lisa Renee JonesEach month, we ask our bloggers to share the best thing they’ve read (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 a bit more.

Without further ado, here’s the installment for January 2013 (and if you’ve missed any, be sure to check out past recs for October 2012November 2012, and December 2012):

Dolly Sickles

I’ve been reading Lisa Renee Jones’s Dangerous Secrets. Even though I got a little tired of Julie Harrison (a jaded divorce attorney) constantly reminding herself—and the reader—that love was only fleeting and not worth a chance, by the middle of the book she began to soften her stance. Luke Walker was a good, robust character and nice example of a sexy hero who has more on his mind than getting into her pants. The suspense of the story was believable and held my attention. Just a good book overall. This was my first story from this author, and I’m looking forward to reading more.

Hopeless by Colleen HooverTina Peacock

Colleen Hoover's Hopeless

Why? With Hoover's third book in just one year, Hopeless proves Colleen Hoover is a master storyteller and standout in the rising New Adult genre. Hopeless has it all:  witty dialogue, a heart-wrenching plot, first young adult love that's SO MUCH MORE, and perfect pacing (not to mention the best first, not-a-kiss-kiss in the history of first kisses). Hands down, Hopeless is my favorite romance read of January.

Victoria Janssen

The Best of All Worlds by Karen Lord, a science fiction novel that includes a romance, is the best book I read in January—the worldbuilding reminded me a bit of Ursula K. LeGuin's Hainish novels.  I enjoyed the different ways Lord presented ideas about family and culture and loss and recovery, and it had really great, nuanced characters.

Aftershock by Jill SorensonWendy the Super Librarian

Aftershock by Jill Sorenson was an exciting romantic thriller that kept me on the edge of my seat.  When the paramedic heroine survives an 8.5 earthquake in San Diego, she finds herself trapped under a collapsed freeway overpass with wounded strangers, including escaped prisoners from a prison transport bus.  I loved the action movie vibe, the risky choices the author makes over the course of the story, and the authentic southern California setting.


I have found a bounty of good reading among January releases, so many I could do a top ten. But I'll limit myself to a top category romance: A Hometown Boy by Janice Kay Johnson, a behind-the-headlines story that pushes the boundaries of what a romance can be; a top historical: How to Entice an Earl, the conclusion to Manda Collins's Ugly Duckling trilogy, with Christian Monteith, Earl of Gresham as the hero, a character I fell in love with when I read the first book in the series; and the top contemporary: Crazy Thing Called Love by Molly O'Keefe, featuring the flawed (at times even unlikeable) characters that O'Keefe creates with such great skill that they capture me, head and heart, and don't let go even when I turn the last page.

Gabriel's Inferno by Sylvain ReynardSage Spelling

I was completely wrapped up with Gabriel’s Inferno by Sylvain Reynard this weekend and by Monday morning I had already begun Gabriel’s Rapture, the second in the series. The sexy, controlling and pleasure seeking Dante specialist, Professor Emerson, carried a world of guilt and self- loathe on his shoulders. When his torched soul was reunited with the girl who saved his life, he didn’t recognize her until he pushed her away one too many times. It was a little monotonous with the really rich and powerful millionaire but I can’t refuse a bad boy who wears a bow tie!

Janet Webb

It seems so limiting to say my favourite book for January 2013 was Motorcycle Man by Kristen Ashley because it's more than a book, it's an entree into a new world. Ashley has been justifiably labeled crack and I can understand why — once you commit to her voice, forget about anything but finishing the Ashley you've started.

Motorcycle Man is particularly fantastic because the hero, Tack, and the heroine, Tyra, are both strong individuals, forthright and realistic and oh my, when they're together, they simply combust. They are so much more together than separately. There are reviews everywhere for why this particular Ashley is compelling — suffice to say that I 100% agree.

The Other Side of Us by Sarah MayberryBrie Clementine

The Other Side of Us by Sarah Mayberry

There are many things that make this story great: the adorable beta hero, the strong heroine, and an interesting role reversal. But my favorite part is the love story between two mature people who know themselves well, are familiar with their strengths and limitations, and decide that it’s never too late to give love a second chance. It’s a quiet, unassuming romance that feels authentic and real. 


My best of January is a surprisingly funny & very entertaining novel titled 50 Shades of Jungle Fever by L.V. Lewis. I'd picked it up on Amazon when they had a free promo for free and I am glad I did. The book centers on Keisha trying to make her way in the music industry while navigating her feelings for Tristan. Upon finding out that he prefers bondage-domination sexually, she's initially afraid then intrigued. As their relationship-of-sorts progresses, Keisha not only struggles with her deepening feelings for Tristan but also ghosts in her past. It's the first book in a series, with book two scheduled for release in February.

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Molly O'Keefe
1. Molly O'Keefe
I just finished Aftershock too - my husband kicked me out of the room around 1 am, because I wouldn't turn off my light. Really exciting and gritty.
Wendy the Super Librarian
2. SuperWendy
Molly: I'm so excited because Sorenson is going to do a library program for me in a few months and I cannot WAIT to talk with her about this book in front of an audience. I really enjoyed it a lot and am happy to hear she's got two more books planned in this particular universe....
Molly O'Keefe
3. MOLLY O'Keefe
OH! Wendy I would LOVE to hear that talk! Can you ask her how much pre-thought went into the items they would find in the cars and the ambulance? I LOVED that there were no diapers, but there were sanitary pads and the things that were useful were always so suprising to me. Climbig gear etc... did she know that going in? Or did she figure it out only when she was writing? I was really fascinated by that.
Jena Briars
4. CutMyTeethOnKleypas
Adding it in the TBR! (It's at the front of the display in the downtown D.C. B&N) Earthquakes and passion? I'm there!! :D
Molly O'Keefe
5. Lucy D
Now I'm going to have to read Aftershock too. I really need to think about quitting my job and moving into a cardboard box so I have more time for books. *sigh*
Wendy the Super Librarian
6. SuperWendy
Molly: LOL! Jotting that down.....

CutMyTeethOnKleypas: I feel like I should warn folks that it is a wee bit gory in parts - what with the massive earthquake, seriously injured secondary characters, dead bodies lying around and limited food/water supply. But it's a VERY exciting read, a real nail-biter in parts. I think it would make a great movie!

Lucy: Want to move into a cardboard duplex with me? We can share books.....
Molly O'Keefe
7. Nanette27
Saw the recommendation on Morotcycle Man and bought it yesterday. Couldn't put it down! Now I have to have everything she's written.
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