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EDITOR'S NOTE:
Denise Little

INTERVIEW:
Deb Stover

STORIES:
Deb Stover: Skin Deep
M.L. Buchman:
The Five Choices
Mary Jo Putney: Shining On
Dayle A. Dermatis:
Leave a Candle Burning
Gail Selinger:
With Admiration
Petronella Glover: The Space Between Us

SERIALIZATION:
Laura Resnick: Galatea: A Modern Myth
(Part 2)

RECOMMENDED BOOKS:
C.S. DeAvilla

COMING SOON:
Denise Little

WRITER'S CORNER:
Denise Little:
From Idea to "Keeper"
Julie Pitzel: What Writing Memes to you

ARTICLE:
Lezli Robyn: The Bridge Between Hearts

C.S. DeAvilla writes award-winning science fiction, fantasy, and romance under another pen name. She has been a romance fan since she sneaked a peek at her mother’s massive historical romance bookcase and fell in love with all the characters. She reads every romance genre—as long as two people are falling in love, she’ll give it a read. Her favorite authors are Jennifer Crusie, J.R. Ward, Darynda Jones, Suzanne Brockmann, Sarah MacLean, and Kristan Higgins. But she always has room for one more.

RECOMMENDED BOOKS

by C.S. DeAvilla

 

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game was one of those books I kept seeing all over the place. Due to other books I’d read, this one kept getting recommended to me, and I thought “Why not?” and tried the sample. Within the first few pages it became clear that Thorne knows exactly how to capture her readers and not let go. I immediately became fascinated with the hate-filled relationship the main protagonist Lucy had with her officemate, Joshua. Publishing company coworkers, Lucy and Joshua, hate each other. A lot. So much so they have a series of passive aggressive games they play with each other in order to keep the other from infiltrating their carefully constructed barriers. However, all that changes when Joshua accidently makes a romantic move believing that Lucy was faking a date to make him jealous. Their antics go way beyond what I thought would ever become redeemable enough for me to root for these characters to be together romantically, but wow, did the author ever-so-slightly-at-a-time turn those tables. Joshua’s cold exterior melts a little when Lucy is put in a position to trust him completely, and it turns out he’s not as terrible as she thought. I couldn’t decide if this was a general fiction that would appeal to romance readers or a romance book that would appeal to general fiction readers. It has a well-rounded quality to it that really gave me the impression that this book could move beyond the walls of the genre and achieve mass appeal. 
 

 

William Morrow
(Harper Collins)

ISBN: 0062439596

August 9th, 2016

Blood Vow: Black Dagger Legacy Series by J. R. Ward

Confession: I’ve been a Black Dagger Brotherhood series fan since the beginning, when I saw the first two books on display at my local Barnes & Noble. The third book was scheduled to come out within the week and I thought “Here’s a series I could give a try. There would even be a few books to binge and get started.” It didn’t take me long to finish those first three and then salivate every year for the next installment. These characters are best understood when readers read the overall arc of the series and can appreciate the buddy humor dynamic between each of the characters. The Black Dagger Legacy books, however, are easier to pick up and enjoy as a standalone. There are some secondary storylines that are continuation of old favorites, but for the most part even those side plots are easy to follow without context. This book follows one of the young vampire soldiers in training, Axe, who is a bit of a loner among the group. He keeps to himself, mostly out of a fear of rejection—which stems from his mother leaving his father for a life in the glymera (the vampire aristocratic society). Axe is drawn to Elise, a female vampire who stands for all things he’s avoiding, so he tries to resist a deeper connection with her, but all it does is increase the tension and need to be closer to her. Elise wants to finish her graduate level psychology degree at a human university, but her father is afraid for her, so he hires Axe as her bodyguard. As always Ward delivers on hot chemistry between her characters, amazingly hilarious yet unique descriptions, one liners, jaw dropping plot twists, and compelling scenes that make you wish you didn’t read it so fast, so you can discover the world all over again for the first time. 
 

 

Ballantine Books
(Random House)

ISBN: 045147533X

Dec 6th, 2016

 

 

Frenched by Melanie Harlowt

Melanie Harlow’s Frenched was a pleasant find. I downloaded the eBook on a free promotion and devoured it within a day or two. Recently jilted main character, Mia, decides to go on her Paris honeymoon alone after her friends talk her into it. As expected she’s miserable and runs into romantic couple after romantic couple that reminds her of her inability to keep her ex from calling off the wedding. She runs into Lucas at a bar. He’s filling in for his brother, but offers to show Mia around Paris in an attempt to change her mind about the city. Cue sexual chemistry. Just when things seem to be settled and I’m about to give these two the best couple award, a wrench gets thrown into the plot and introduces an unexpected conflict. A BIG one. Harlow has an extremely fun writing style that bounces off the page. Mia’s lists are humorous and revealing of her personality. Frenched is exactly the book you didn’t know you needed. Guaranteed fun for readers who love Rachel Gibson, Susan Elizabeth Phillips, Jennifer Crusie, and Jill Shalvis.

 

Self-Published
ISBN: 1496129628

March 16th 2014

 

Murder, Curlers, and Cream by Arlene McFarlane

In an incredibly cute debut by Arlene McFarlane, main character Valentine Beaumont is an aesthetician who seems to always find herself in the middle of murder investigations. The opening scene pulls the reader right in when one of Valentine’s top clients is found strangled in the facial room of the beautician’s shop. Hot detective Mike Romero has already heard of this stylist’s tendency to get involved in police investigations and warns her away from the main suspect. Except Valentine knows in her gut that the accused is innocent. So she sets out to find out who had motive and opportunity. Amidst threats, hairspray bombs, and employee stealing competition, Valentine also manages to get tangled into a hot will-they-won’t-they relationship with detective Romero. This story had me giggling throughout and really engaged into the who-done-it. I found myself pointing fingers at each of the suspects until the end. The correct answer makes a lot of sense once the clues are all laid out. Scenes between Valentine and Romero are a slow burn in the romance thread of the tale. Even though the relationship with Romero rolls out slowly, this is the first in a series, and I’m positive the author will address the hot chemistry between her two leads in later installments. This is a series mystery romance fans won’t want to miss!

 

 

ParadiseDeer Publishing
ISBN: 099530761X
November 25th 2016

Hooked on Trouble by Kelly Siskind

Prepare to be hooked on a new author and series. Kelly Siskind’s voice is fresh and fun, but also adds a dash of sincerity. In Hooked on Trouble, Raven is a girl who keeps her relationships as casual as possible except for one time she made an exception for Nico during a ski trip with friends. Sharing an intense night of chemistry, but no sex, the potential couple agrees to give whatever this is a try. One problem: Nico never calls her back. The story opens with Raven extremely hesitant to give Nico another shot. Nico has his reasons for not calling her back; his life took a dramatic turn for the worse after he met Raven. One issue is that he’s fighting to keep his brother out of jail without compromising his morals as a police officer to do so. Raven is on the search for her long lost sister and Nico sees the perfect opportunity to get reacquainted with the woman he’s lusted after. Cue trouble when Raven’s long lost sister might introduce more problems than Nico is willing to stay on board and unravel. Hooked on Trouble is the last book in the Over the Top series. I haven’t read the other books in the series and I didn’t feel I’d lost any information, so it’s safe for reader to read them out of order. Siskind’s style fits in perfectly with the new adult genre but the characters also felt old enough to relate to. There’s conflict aplenty between the two characters and the love scenes burn off the page. The best part is that if readers find they want more, there are two other books on Raven’s friends who are just as easy to fall in love with.

 

Forever Yours
(Hachette Book Group)
ISBN: 1455568007
January 10th 2017

 

Copyright © 2017 by C.S. DeAvilla.
 

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