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I attended this event, and it was wonderful!! Alisha Rai in particular is absolutely hilarious and I cannot wait to read Hate To Love You. She’s been on my radar for so long and I just recently read A Gentleman in the Street, which had been rec’d by so many people mostly because the female protagonist is so different–SHE is the billionaire! I like Rai’s voice and was not disappointed. I had already purchased HTLY prior to attending the event (…which I found out about super last minute!) so I awkwardly approached her table with my Kindle just to tell her how much I was looking forward to it and appreciated her contribution to the panel, and she was very sweet.

I also told Tracey Livesay that I had read Love On My Mind last year and absolutely adored it. We gushed about the hero and talked about hero inspiration. I haven’t gotten around to reading the second book in that series yet but I definitely will now! I just felt bad not having a physical copy (given I own it on Kindle). I know some people also buy hard copies, but I just don’t have a lot of spare room and I VERY rarely buy a hard copy of a book if I have the ebook.

I did not wait in Sarah Maclean’s line because it was by far the longest and I haven’t read this new series yet (nor am I very inclined to start it). However, I follow her on twitter and I love her WaPo columns, so was excited to see her on the panel. I do love her Rules of Scoundrels series but it’s been many years since I read any of those books. I did think it was interesting when she explained that with her latest book (Day of the Duchess), she had written over 200 pages before the election, and then afterwards, she scrapped it and started rewriting it because she realized she didn’t like the hero. I got the impression she was one of the biggest draws for attendees?

Mary Burton was the final panelist and I haven’t read any of her books, to my knowledge. I did like hearing her talk about the research that goes into writing her current series, which is romantic suspense, but I don’t really read RS. I know she used to write HR and she mentioned this as well but it was definitely spoken of as something in the past, not something she will write again. I could be wrong. I also felt like her answers were a little awkward at times. There was a moment when she said she felt that romance was “ahead of other genres” re: representation and diversity and it was clear none of the other panelists agreed with her (nor do I). They very politely disagreed and explained that it’s ahead of other genres in terms of self-pub, etc. but has a lot of work to do in terms of representation.

I believe it was recorded and can be viewed online.