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EDITOR'S NOTE:
Denise Little

INTERVIEW:
Mary Jo Putney

STORIES:
Mary Jo Putney: The Tuesday Enchantress
Diane A.S. Stuckart:
Taking the Cake
Kristine Kathryn Rusch:
Snow Day
Dayle A. Dermatis:
Then & Now
Petronella Glover:
Detka, it's Cold Outside
Casey Chapel
: Count the Ways
Christina F. York
: Loves Me Knot
Neesa Hart:
The Wedding Belles

SERIALIZATION:
Laura Resnick: Galatea: A Modern Myth
(Part 1)

RECOMMENDED BOOKS:
C.S. DeAvilla

COMING SOON:
Denise Little

WRITER'S CORNER:
Denise Little:
Point of View,
and How to Use It

Julie Pitzel:
Are You Going to Finish That?

ARTICLE:
Lezli Robyn: Recapturing Romance
Off the Screen

CLOSING NOTE: BEST OF 2016:
Denise Little

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 motherís massive historical romance bookcase and fell in love with all the characters. She reads every romance genreóas long as two people are falling in love, sheíll 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

 

It Ends with Us by Colleen Hoover

Colleen Hooverís bookshave been auto-buys for me for several years now. I read It Ends with Us late this summer and the story hasnít left me since. Lily, new business owner, has the usual meet-cute with her potential hero, Rylie Kincaid. Things get tricky when Atlas Corrigan, Lilyís first love, reappears. Then readers are in for a bumpy ride while we learn about both Lily and Atlasí past as victims of abuse. Hoover has emotional lows aplenty, but also has a deft hand at humor, character development, and her signature unexpected twists. At first it seems that our main coupleís central conflict is going to be navigating a past love and Rylieís grueling schedule as a neurosurgeon. Hello! I love me some doctor romanceóbut this is a Hoover book and Iíve been trained to expect the unexpected. Itís not long before the relationship takes an aggressive turn and I found my stomach sinking lower and lower as every warning sign blazed red. This isnít abnormal, sometimes romances dip below a controversial or even subtle line, but as a professional psychologist my red flag meter was going off early and frequently. This book played with all those old, problem-riddled, alpha male romance tropes, leading readers to give Lily and Rylie another chance. Hoover handles these tricky plot developments with compassion and care and delivers an ending that is unprecedented in romance history, but one that fills a hole this genre has needed for decades. 

 

 

Atria (Simon & Schuster)
ISBN:
1501110365

August 2, 2016

Him by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy

The book Him came onto my radar after the RITA nominations came out in spring of last year. This is a book that had me flipping through the pages completely engrossed in the two heroesí love story. Jamie Canning doesnít understand why his friend Ryan Westley stopped speaking to him after their last hockey summer camp years ago. Sure, unexpected sexual experimentation happened, but Jamie is left wondering if heíd done or said something he should be apologizing for. This was a sweet-friends-to-romance meets hot-old-flame-back-in-town. There was plenty of angst as the characters attempted to avoid each other, but fail big time. The chemistry between them burns off the page. The flashbacks were intense as well as the cold bucket of reality as both deal with their sexuality being an issue among less accepting teammates. This was my first book by both of these authors and after I read the sequel to this book, I went right into each authorís own series of books. Hands down this book absolutely lives up to its bestselling status and multiple awards.

 

 

Rennie Road Books
ISBN:
1942444087

July 25, 2015

 

Frozen Hearts by Pamela Stewart

Nostalgic for my love of Star Trek: The Next Generationís character, Data, this book was a delightful find! The book takes place in a futuristic world where main character Ionia is stationed with her mother on the South Pole. Desperate for a connection and friendship with someone, anyone, Ionia sends away for a companion droid, much to her motherís disapproval. There is an effort to keep droid and human apart, but Ionia rebels and runs away, and thatís when things get even more exciting as it opens up the plot into a conspiracy involving her parents. Frozen Hearts is a fresh take on the science fiction YA, and light on romance between the droid and the main character. The author has great humor hits, touching moments, and a really, really fun writing style that readers will enjoy. This is a story thatís going to make you smile into your kindle as you read. I did!

 

[Self-published]
ISNB: 1523668628

November 25, 2016

 

If You Only Knew by Kristan Higgins

If You Only Knew was a book I hesitated reading for a while. When Iíd heard my favorite romantic comedy author, Kristan Higgins, wrote womenís fiction, I wasnít sure. I love romance. I want to know my characters will fall in love, but I canít resist a Higgins novel. Even if Iím taking a risk. And If You Only Knew hints at risk from the very beginning. Jenny Tate, wedding dress designer, opens the story at her ex-husbandís baby shower. Did I mention they divorced because he didnít want children? All of Jennyís old friends are now the new wifeís best friends. The happy couple is perfectly nice, yet Jenny canít bring herself to be angry at the situation, and Iím instantly rooting for her. The story also follows Rachael, Jennyís older sister. Rachael is the shy oneóraising triplet toddlersóand dealing with a less than honest husband, who is such a great father you nearly want to believe itís all a misunderstanding. Spoiler: itís not. Not exactly. Jenny moves her home and business back to her hometown to be closer to her sister and hopefully get over her ex-husband, and cue hot-music-teacher-super for her new apartment. Bummer heís about as easy to read as Sanskrit. The two sisters also have a cast of well-rounded characters from their mother who canít give a complimentóeveróto Jennyís assistant whoís basing a character after the depressing parent for his urban fantasy book and provides Jenny with the much needed hatred and disgust for her ex-husband she canít bring herself to muster. In the end, this book was a romance with a heck of a lot more packed into it. The story goes very deep into what it means to protect ourselves too much or not enough. How we trick ourselves into believing and pretending all is well and normal, when itís not. Higgins will make you wish you could visit these sisters in real life so you can give them a hug, a cookie, and a stern talking to over the mistakes they make along the bumpy road. This is a happy ending Iím glad I didnít miss.

 

 

Harlequin HQN
ISBN: 037378497X

May 31, 2016

More Than A Lawman by Anna J. Stewart

I always love finding an author who will deliver on a solid, dependable read. Iíd discovered Anna J. Stewart through her Tremayne series and saw she had a romance suspense series just starting, so I jumped right in with both feet. Stewartís style echoes the promise of a Nora Roberts trilogyósmart plot, fun dialog quips, character chemistry on sizzle, and a cast of friends to love that you know will get their own bookósomething I could take under a blanket by a fireplace and sink into for a few hours. Eden St. Claire, a journalist, has a habit of following around serial killers and getting into trouble and Detective Cole Delaney pretty much makes it his job to rescue her every time. This friends-to-lovers crime solving team will keep you intrigued. There was even some minor geeky science about blood disorders that satisfied my nerdy side and played into the conclusion in a unique way.

 

Harlequin Romantic Suspense
ISBN: 0373282044

November 8, 2016

 

Copyright © 2017 by C.S. DeAvilla.
 

Heart's Kiss Magazine: Issue 1: February 2017

Copyright © 2017 Arc Manor LLC. All Rights Reserved.

 

 

Copyright © 2017 Arc Manor