Amy Romine's Blog: Romine's Romance - Posts Tagged "romance"

I began my research and I have a made a few choices. I am going to comment however, on the selection process. So, I have my list of authors and I go to the Amazon site and start looking and the available choices. The first is fairly easy, Nora Roberts, I am going to read “Spellbound”. Number two was a little more difficult, Karen Robards, my choice is “Pursuit”.

Dee Henderson and Lisa Gardner are proving to be a bit more difficult. Now I recognize the irony in my complaint as I have produced nothing but series, however I have looked for something, anything that appeals and it is proven to be difficult.

Both writers are all about the series, fine, great, however even the independent books seem to be connected to one of the series. Specifically with Dee Henderson, the whole Christian under theme is a bit off-putting. Honestly I cringe so there is that. I know, stop being such a snob, Amy.

Lisa Gardner, again with all of the connections I have no idea where to begin and I am one who if I read one, and there was another before it will tick me off. This happened with Dan Brown, “Angels and Demons / The Da Vinci Code”. I also do not have the patience to search through each one. I know I am being difficult but these two authors are going to the bottom of the list unless someone gives me a suggestion for reading.

My third choice is Linda Howard, “Dream Man” (a little paranormal spice in there), fourth is Elizabeth Lowell, “Whirlpool”.

Spellbound, Nora Roberts - Spellbound follows world-famous photographer Calin Farrell on his much-needed vacation in Ireland. While there, Calin becomes bewitched by the ravishingly beautiful Bryna Torrence, even if he refuses to believe in the spell that has brought them together-and could destroy them both.

Pursuit, Karen Robards - Jessica Ford is a smart, quiet, and ambitious young lawyer working for one of the largest firms in Washington, D.C. Her boss, John Davenport, is a high roller in politics and good friends with the First Lady, Annette Cooper. When he can’t make it to a bar where Annette is hiding from her Secret Service detail, he calls Jess and sends her over to bundle Annette into a cab. The next thing Jess knows, she’s the sole survivor of a fiery car crash. As the country mourns the First Lady, Jess begins to think the car crash was a cover-up for more than just a drug deal. Suddenly she and Secret Service agent Mark Ryan are on the lam and unsure of whom they can trust. Everyone they know is a suspect, and Jess can’t rely on anyone, not even Mark, as they try to evade the government agents on their tail who have only one goal: to make sure Jess keeps her mouth shut. Who can Jess turn to, and how far up does this conspiracy go?

Dream Man, Linda Howard - Never comfortable with her fame as an empath, lovely Marlie Keen has led a life free of clairvoyant incidents for several years. But her quiet, ordinary existence is shattered when the unwanted ability to read a murderer's mind returns with a vengeance. Knowing that publicity is sure to follow, Marlie nevertheless tells the police what she knows. Tough detective Dane Hollister first scoffs at her claim that she "sees" the serial killer who's terrorizing Orlando, but it doesn't take long to convince him that she's telling the truth. It takes even less time for him to recognize the attraction between himself and Marlie, but Marlie is incredibly vulnerable to the visions assaulting her and Dane must put his fierce desire on hold while he tries to track down a bloodthirsty madman.

Elizabeth Lowell, Whirlpool - When an exquisitely crafted, authentic imperial Faberge egg mysteriously shows up at Laurel Swann's home studio, she knows it can only be from one person—her father, who has drifted in and out of her life for as long as she can remember. But this time Jamie Swann leaves her something too many people will kill for.
Out of her league and desperate, Laurel is forced to accept help from the very man who is trying to ensnare her father in his own web of double crosses. Cruz Rowan can help her stay alive, but will he do the same for her father?

So those are my initial picks, I am also adding two authors, Iris Johansen and
Sandra Brown. I welcome any comments and or suggestions on book choices and or authors! Also feel free to join me in the read, love to hear your thoughts as well.
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Determined to get to work on my challenge, I headed to the bookstore today. I figured, if I buy them I have to read them right?

First, let me explain that I rarely got to a bookstore. I always spend too much time and way too much money in them so I tend to avoid them completely, that and Pier 1, but we will save that one for a different time.

Anyway, so I head to the biggest bookstore I know of, Borders and this one is HUGE, it has a two separate entrances, a coffee bar etc. and I head into the stacks. I have my list of authors and start perusing the aisles. An hour later I have four books, only one of the ones I initially chose. The first author I went for was Nora Roberts, right? I mean she is huge, there is a whole five shelves dedicated to her paperbacks and it seems they have every title known to man EXCEPT the one I wanted. Seriously? I mean it is not like I picked a really old or even a really new book. It is only a few years old. This turns out to be the case for every single title I chose except one, Karen Robards, Pursuit.

So here is the revised list.

The Offer, Catherine Coulter - A beautiful young woman is thrown together with a rakish Viscount by a twist of fate-and is caught off guard by her own yearning for love and passion... Sabrina Eversleigh's virtue has been compromised, and the only solution is for Philip Mercerault to marry her.

Ice, Linda Howard - Gabriel McQueen has only just arrived home on holiday leave from the service when his county-sheriff father sends him back out again with new marching orders. A brewing ice storm, and a distant neighbor who’s fallen out of contact, have the local lawman concerned. So he enlists Gabriel to make the long haul to the middle of nowhere, and make sure Lolly Helton is safe and sound. It’s a trip the younger McQueen would rather not make given the bitter winter weather–and the icy conditions that have always existed between him and Lolly.

But there’s no talking back when your dad is the town’s top cop. And there’s no turning back when night falls just as Gabriel arrives–and discovers that the weather outside isn’t the only thing that’s frightful. Spotting strangers in Lolly’s home–one of them packing a weapon–is all it takes to kick Gabriel into combat mode. And his stealth training is all he needs to extract Lolly from the house without alerting her captors. But when the escape is discovered, the heat–and the hunt–is on. And the winter woods are nowhere to be once the ice storm touches down, dropping trees, blocking roads, and trapping the fleeing pair in the freezing dark.


Shadow and Silk, Elizabeth Lowell - Professor Dani Warren was willing to risk her reputation searching for that priceless piece of sacred Tibetan silk. And if she had to trust mysterious 'risk-management specialist' Shane Crowe to help her recover it, she was willing to take the gamble - even if the real danger lay in Shane's fierce desire to protect her at all costs. Shane suspected there was a lot more to this recovery job than his clients were letting on - even if they were Tibetan monks. And with this company's reputation on the line, he had no choice but to rely on Dr. Warren's expertise in his search. But Dani's surprising savvy in handling big-time trouble was shaking up the icy concentration and well-honed instincts Shane relied on most. And now every move, every heated embrace was bringing them closer to the treasure of two lifetimes - and an unthinkable choice...

Pursuit, Karen Robards - Jessica Ford is a smart, quiet, and ambitious young lawyer working for one of the largest firms in Washington, D.C. Her boss, John Davenport, is a high roller in politics and good friends with the First Lady, Annette Cooper. When he can’t make it to a bar where Annette is hiding from her Secret Service detail, he calls Jess and sends her over to bundle Annette into a cab. The next thing Jess knows, she’s the sole survivor of a fiery car crash. As the country mourns the First Lady, Jess begins to think the car crash was a cover-up for more than just a drug deal. Suddenly she and Secret Service agent Mark Ryan are on the lam and unsure of whom they can trust. Everyone they know is a suspect, and Jess can’t rely on anyone, not even Mark, as they try to evade the government agents on their tail who have only one goal: to make sure Jess keeps her mouth shut. Who can Jess turn to, and how far up does this conspiracy go?

Okay, so I have adjusted to this new list and reviewing it at first glance I have to say they don’t look too bad. I will say I had a heck of a time finding ones that suited my reading interest especially when it came to Ms. Coulter. It seems she is a little mushier than I usually like but we will see. My first pick, the one that jumps out at me is Ice by Linda Howard, so that is where I will begin.
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Published on April 07, 2011 18:24 • 428 views • Tags: amy-romine, books, elizabeth-lowell, ice, karen-robards, linda-howard, pursuit, romance, shadow-and-silk, suspense, the-offer, writers, writing
I am halfway through Ice by Linda Howard and I am digging it. It is good so far. Action packed just like I like em. I love it when the characters have to work for their happy ending.

Did you know, if a book does not have a happy ending is cannot be considered a romance? This is somewhat logical in form, but not all great romances have a happy ending. Look at Casablanca, if it is not a romance how else would you classify it? Or the story of Cleopatra, even Romeo and Juliet, neither of these have a happy ending but are still considered romantic in nature. One of my favorites, Camelot, one of the most romantic stories of all time is not considered a romance because Guinevere winds up in a convent, while Lancelot and Arthur go off to war.

Now if we really want to analyze the structure of modern day romance, let’s talk about LGTB romance. Many times these titles are not even categorized as romance. They are subjugated and broken off into their own little genres, happy ending or not.

Another rule is the “only have eyes for you” scenario, there cannot be another love interest in the story so that rules out the love triangle.

Another apparent rule, that I was surprised about, is POV, apparently we shouldn’t care what the hero thinks as the POV of the heroine is the focus.

Personally I am going to snark at this rule, as I am a reader who likes to know what is going on in the hero’s head. I want to know that he is holding back and why or that he is pining for her. That to me is one of the best parts of a romance novel. What is not said between the two characters and that only the reader knows.

I know, I know, how I dare snub my nose to the romance gods! Well, sorry, I am a reader and a writer. I write what I want to read. Sometimes it includes the “rules” and sometimes it doesn’t.

True love doesn’t always play by the rules, why should I?
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Published on April 07, 2011 18:27 • 98 views • Tags: camelot, casablanca, happily-ever-after, hea, ice, pov, reading, romance, romeo-and-juliet, rules, writing
I finished my first book and I am feeling good. So as you know I chose Ice by Linda Howard as my first book.

Ice – Linda Howard
On holiday leave from the service, Gabriel McQueen is sent into a brewing ice storm to make sure that his father’s distant neighbor, Lolly Helton, who has fallen out of contact, is safe and sound. It’s a trip that Gabriel would rather not make, given the bitter winter weather—and the icy conditions that have always existed between him and Lolly. Arriving at Lolly’s home, Gabriel spots strangers through the windows—one of them packing a weapon—and kicks into combat mode. But once Lolly is rescued, the heat—and the hunt—are on. Snowbound, unarmed, and literally under the gun, Gabriel and Lolly must depend on each other to endure the merciless forces of nature and evade the ruthless enemy out in the blackness of the silent night—and out for their blood.

My Review
This was the first in a book challenge I set for myself. I chose this one first because it looked action packed and I like books that move.
Well, this book moves forward at a steady pace, and there is a little action, a little suspense, and a little romance. It was short, and I don't feel like I could really dig my heels into the book. The characters were like-able but again I just couldn't get attached. One of the things that bothered me was the lack of description in the main characters. I got he is a big man, dark hair, athletic and she is a woman. There wasn't much more than that. I not one for lengthy descriptions but i like a little at least. All in all it was a good book, not awesome and I am not going to say anything negative about it...it was just good.

So now that I am on my way I do have to comment that the muse os working overtime and I am keeping my notebook close by, I am guessing this is why writers read a lot. However, I am now questioning the inspiration. If an idea comes from a song or a picture I can call it my own, however if inspiration strikes while I am reading someone else’s work I am not sure I am comfortable. I will need to ponder. This is actually why I stopped reading as much as I did before. I was concerned about the influence.

One to my next book, and I am once again adding to the list of choices. I was annoyed that the bookstore didn’t have Nora Roberts, “Spellbound” so I broke down and bought it on Amazon for the Kindle. I do not have a Kindle but you can download Kindle for PC for free off of Amazon so that is what I did.
The work week is starting so I am choosing this as my next book.

Spellbound, by Nora Roberts - Spellbound follows world-famous photographer Calin Farrell on his much-needed vacation in Ireland. While there, Calin becomes bewitched by the ravishingly beautiful Bryna Torrence, even if he refuses to believe in the spell that has brought them together-and could destroy them both.
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Published on April 07, 2011 18:30 • 114 views • Tags: amy-romine, blizzard, ice, linda-howard, review, romance, suspense
Spellbound – Nora Roberts – Spellbound follows world-famous photographer Calin Farrell on his much-needed vacation in Ireland. While there, Calin becomes bewitched by the ravishingly beautiful Bryna Torrence, even if he refuses to believe in the spell that has brought them together-and could destroy them both.

I finished the book, all 1447 pages of it and I am unfortunately disappointed. I had high hopes for this book, it has magic, love, adventure and written by the famed Nora Roberts. I don’t want to be harsh but I found the book intolerably comical. I had very little to grasp onto or fall in love with. It was a poorly executed fairy tale. If you take the love scene out of the book it is more suited for my ten-year-old daughter then me.

The thought was nice, I really wanted to like it, I did! And to be honest I was okay until we met the heroine, Bryna.

Instead of making her a modern woman with a wonderful secret, she is depicted as an Irish lass living on the countryside, weaving rugs and sweaters by the fire. Potions and spells alike I am a witch lover, but the fact that this particular Witch hadn’t evolved past her ancestors thousands of years before was annoying, tedious and made my eyes roll.

Here is what I am talking about…
“She was lost without him, you see. Alasdair’s power spread like vultures wings. He would have her willing or not. But with the last of her strength, she stumbled into the circle where her lover’s blood stained the ground. There a vow she made and a spell she cast…”

Even though she was apparently born and lived in the same time and reality as the hero Calin, she acts walks and talks like Sorceress from the cartoon He-Man.

The dialog was simple and had little passion or intensity. I don’t want to go on a tirade and rip the book apart but needless to say I would not recommend it unless the person has a reading level of a fifth grader and is severely bored.

Okay, on to the next…

My next pick is The Offer by Catherine Coulter - A beautiful young woman is thrown together with a rakish Viscount by a twist of fate-and is caught off guard by her own yearning for love and passion... Sabrina Eversleigh's virtue has been compromised, and the only solution is for Philip Mercerault to marry her.
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Published on April 07, 2011 18:41 • 315 views • Tags: amy-romine, castles, ireland, knights, love-eternal, nora-roberts, paranormal, romance, spellbound, witches, wizards