Meet Senior Reviewer Leigh Thomas

 About Me Personal Reading Tastes

I was one of those kids who would read anything I could get my hands on. To this day, I can be found reading anything and everything except for westerns and hardcore horror. Romances still dominate my reading lists though, and a few depressing endings in a row from other genres always remind me why. I need that happy ending!

I’ve always been a huge fan of mysteries in any medium, and I eased into reading romance with romantic suspense. It’s still my first love in the genre, though I’ve branched out quite a bit since then. I read any kind of contemporary, series and mainstream, with a slight emphasis toward suspense and romantic comedy. Despite my love of history, I don’t read many historicals, mainly because the settings and time periods that dominate the landscape don’t hold much appeal for me. The exception is anything involving a touch of the paranormal. I’ll grab anything (except most horror) if it involves a bit of magic.

I currently live in California, and in the rare instances when I’m not reading (or at my day job – the less said the better), I can be found seeing a movie or two a week, or at my computer, trying to create a great romance of my own.

Favorite Romance Authors

All-Time Favorite Romance Authors

Anne Stuart
M.J. Rodgers
Kathleen Gilles Seidel

Best Discovery/Buried Treasure Authors

Harper Allen

My Biggest Glom

Claire Delacroix
Beverly Sommers

What I’m a sucker for in a book: Intelligent heroes and heroines, witty banter, humorous stories with depth and emotion, thieves, con men, and heist plots, legal thrillers, surprising surprise endings, good mysteries, paranormals except for aliens, space settings, and certain futuristics, dark heroes, outcasts, ugly ducklings, tortured heroes, gothic style and tone, characters falling in love when they have every reason not to, European-set contemporaries, strong heroines, athlete heroes and sports romances, unusual plots, 20th-century historicals or time travel romances, morally ambiguous characters, archeologists and archeology plots, artistic characters, unusual conflicts, first-person narratives, characters with unusual careers, old Hollywood (pre-1960) stories, impossible situations, tear-jerkers, and books that teach me things I didn’t know before.

What I don’t particularly care for in a book: Cowboys, ranch settings, and westerns, will-stipulation plots, amnesia (unless caused by childhood trauma or paranormal phenomena), secret children (unless the child is now grown), pretend, forced, arranged marriages and marriages of convenience, meddling or matchmaking family members, pregnant heroines, babies and children, secretary/boss romances, and time travels where the heroine stays in the pre-1900 past.

What drives me absolutely nuts in a book: Books that promote the “small town – good/big city – bad” cliché, stupid misunderstandings, stupid, whiny, or passive heroes and heroines, characters who wallow in misery, sexist heroes, bitchy heroines, annoying heroines who hurt or humiliate their heroes, weepy heroines, predictable twists and obvious surprise endings, obvious villains, illogical plots, emotionally manipulative writing, athetic/musical/artistic heroes or heroines who give up their art for love, paranormals that solve the impossibility of the characters’ love by separating them in the end, characters who judge their potential love interests on their bad experiences with the opposite sex, and stories where the author proves this relationship is “real” love by having the hero or heroine learn their previous love interest wasn’t so perfect after all.

Favorite Characters Favorites by Sub-Genre

Favorite Hero

Clayton Holland, Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath
Harry Braxton, As You Desire by Connie Brockway
Quinn McGuire, Guarding Jane Doe by Harper Allen

Favorite Heroine

Any M.J. Rodgers heroine

Most Tortured Hero

Dunndrogo, Whispers in the Woods by Helen R. Myers
Eddie Berlin, Cool Shade by Theresa Weir
Teo Sandoval, Sharing the Darkness by Marilyn Tracy

Favorite Couple

Charlie Tenniel and Allie McGuffey, Charlie All Night by Jennifer Crusie
Zane Coltrane and Ariana Justice, Love vs. Illusion by M.J. Rodgers

Favorites by Mood

Comfort Reads:

French Twist by Margot Dalton
Could It Be You? by Mary Anne Wilson
The First Horseman by Elizabeth Morris

Most-Hanky Read:

Flashback by Terri Herrington

Guilty Pleasure:

Gabriel’s Woman by Robin Schone


Banish Misfortuneby Anne Stuart
Welcome to Temptation by Jennifer Crusie
Cool Shade by Theresa Weir
More than You Dreamed by Kathleen Gilles Seidel

Frontier or American Historical:

Always to Remember by Lorraine Heath
Honorbound by Tracy Hughes

European Historical:

To Love a Dark Lord by Anne Stuart
As You Desire by Connie Brockway


Magician’s Quest by Claire Delacroix
Lord of Danger by Anne Stuart

Alternate Reality:

Wolf in Waiting by Rebecca Flanders
The Man that Got Away by Harper Allen
Special Gifts by Anne Stuart


A Thousand Roses by Bethany Campbell
Losing It by Beverly Sommers
The Night in Question by Harper Allen
A Risk Worth Taking by Kathleen Gilles Seidel

Favorites by Plot Type Least Favorites

Cabin or Road:

It Came upon a Midnight Clear by Suzanne Brockmann
The Basque Swallow by Leigh Daniels
Heart of Fire by Linda Howard


Under the Knife by Tess Gerritsen
Compromising Positions by Beverly Bird
The Arms of the Law by Jenna Ryan


Charlie All Night by Jennifer Crusie
What the Lady Wants by Jennifer Crusie
Irresistible? by Stephanie Bond


Scent of a Woman by Jo Leigh

Most Disappointing Books

Faking It by Jennifer Crusie
Into the Fire by Anne Stuart

Worst Books

Any of the early 1980’s series romances with the crazy/irrational hero and the doormat heroine

Authors Others Love That I Don’t

Nora Roberts (though I like J.D. Robb)

Non-Romance Favorites

Favorite Mystery

If I even tried to narrow it down, I’d probably have a nervous breakdown.

Favorite SF/Fantasy

The Neverending Story by Michael Ende
The Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis

Favorite Women’s Fiction

Second Nature by Alice Hoffman
Practical Magic by Alice Hoffman

Favorite YA Book

The Phantom Tollbooth by Norton Juster
From the Mixed-up Files of Mrs. Basil E. Frankweiler by E.L. Konigsburg

Favorite Set of Connected Books

The Lynley Mysteries Elizabeth George
The Zion Covenant Series by Bodie Thoene The In Death Series by J.D. Robb

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