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Reviewer

About Me

Like everyone else here at AAR, I love books. Reading and writing have been my favorite pastimes for as long as I can remember, and time hasn’t dimmed either passion. I was turned on to romance through “teen romance” books as a youngster and had a memorable encounter with a friend’s grandmother’s copy of Sweet Savage Love in the 5th grade. That was an eye-opener! My own grandmother read romance too, and whenever I visited her I would find tattered copies of Jean Auel, Celeste de Blassis, Danielle Steele, Barbara Cartland, and Kathleen Woodiwiss amongst the more “literary” fare. When I was 15 she gave me my very own three book set of Shanna, The Wolf and the Dove, and The Flame and the Flower. That was it – I was hooked for good!

I’m now 32, single and happily dating, living in my own condo in southern Connecticut with three cats (*gasp* I’m a classic spinster maiden! LOL). I have a degree in journalism from Boston University, which I’m not currently using in any serious journalistic way, though I still write for fun and moonlight as a freelance marketing/writing consultant when the spirit moves me. My real day job is in New York City as vice president of client service for a small medical education agency. The hour long train ride (each way) gives me lots of quality reading time. I usually read one book at a time, and have been known to start one in the morning and finish it over dinner, depending on the book and my own mood/energy.

My reading tastes are broad in scope and not confined to any particular genre/subgenre of romance. I am an equal opportunity reader of contemporaries and historicals, with a particular love for English historicals, especially the Regency and Medieval periods. I’m not a Western historical fan, though I’ve been surprised by some great ones in the past. I find gothic historicals to be a little over-the-top for me, which is funny because I cut my teeth on Victoria Holt and Anya Seton. I like sizzle with my romance, so books that stop at the bedroom door tend to bore me – I didn’t follow the characters to that point just to be left out at the um, finish!

All that said, I do enjoy many books that are not romance. Mysteries are a favorite (Tami Hoag, Lisa Scottoline, Sue Grafton), and the Anita Blake series turned me on to the supernatural/horror genre a few years ago, which I find fascinating. I’m eagerly awaiting the next Anita Blake, Sookie Stackhouse, and the sequel to Bitten in 2003.

Authors in my “Favorites” bookcase run the entire gamut of the romance genre: Nora Roberts/JD Robb; Linda Howard; Susan Elizabeth Phillips; Rachel Gibson; Susan Andersen (though I’m getting sick of these so-so rereleases!); Stephanie Laurens; Judith McNaught (her historicals are classics); Julie Garwood; Janet Evanovich; Jennifer Crusie; Tami Hoag; Betina Krahn, Michelle Jerrott/Albert; Sandra Brown; Julia Quinn; Laurell K Hamilton; Christine Feehan’s Dark Series; Lynn Kurland; Lisa Kleypas; Madeline Hunter; Fiona Brand; Juliana Garnett; Shana Abe; Marsha Canham; Robin Schone; Shannon McKenna; Rexanne Becnel (her older books were terrific!). I’m a recent Judith Ivory convert, and have also enjoyed a few Suzanne Brockmann’s recently, though I don’t glom them the way so many others do.

I read some category romances (usually upon recommendation from friends); Eileen Wilks, Fiona Brand and Justine Davis write consistently good category romance, as does Kathryn Shay. I’d love to find some other authors to add to my list since so many authors start there and move on “up” to the mainstream ranks later on. It would be fun to follow someone new from the beginning like I did Nora Roberts, Tami Hoag, Barbara Delinsky and Sandra Brown.

Personal Reading Tastes

What I’m a sucker for in a book:

Bad boys and bad girls, high sexual tension/chemistry, witty banter, alpha heroes, experienced heroines, medieval settings, humor, hot love scenes, historical marriages of convenience, bluestocking Regency heroines, contemporary cowboys, rediscovered love and/or friendship, time travel plots, paranormal romances, mysteries, and multiple points of view.

What I don’t particularly care for in a book:

Tearjerkers, melodrama, older virginal heroines in contemporaries, lack of love scenes, big misunderstandings, overdone cute kids and animals, American historicals/Westerns, ghost heroes or heroines, historicals set in Italy, and first-person point of view.

What drives me absolutely nuts in a book:

Secret babies, stereotyped characters, formula plots, contemporary arranged marriage plots, pages and pages of narrative without dialogue, “falling for the boss” plots, desperate women seeking Mr. Right, humor at the expense of plot or character, and very involved or matchmaking family memebers.

Favorite Romance Authors

Favorite Romance Authors

  • Nora Roberts
  • Linda Howard
  • Madeline Hunter
  • Best Discovery/Buried Treasure Authors

  • Michelle Jerott/Michele Albert
  • My Biggest Glom

  • Nora Roberts
  • Linda Howard
  • Sandra Brown
  • Favorite Characters

    Favorite Hero

  • Dane Hollister, Dream Man by Linda Howard
  • Declan Fitzgerald, Midnight Bayou by Nora Roberts
  • Dillon Burke, Breath of Scandal by Sandra Brown

    Favorite Heroine

  • Phoebe Somerville, It Had to Be You by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • Emma Sands, Exposure by Susan Andersen
  • Madelyn Patterson, Duncan’s Bride by Linda Howard

    Most Tortured Hero

  • Sebastian Ballister, Marquis of Dane, Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase
  • Kenric, Warlord by Elizabeth Elliott
  • Lucas Callahan, Honest Illusions by Nora Roberts

    Strongest Heroine

  • Elizabeth Stuart, Still Waters by Tami Hoag
  • Anna de Leon, The Protector by Madeline Hunter
  • Eve Dallas, In Death Series by J.D. Robb

    Favorite Couple

  • Zachary Bronson and Holly Taylor, Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas
  • Grant Sullivan and Jane Greer, Midnight Rainbow by Linda Howard
  • Lucas Hall and Tessa Jardine, A Great Catch by Michelle Jerott

  • Least-Favorites

    Most Disappointing Book

  • Open Season by Linda Howard
  • Hard Eight by Janet Evanovich

    Worst Book

  • Lair of the Lion by Christine Feehan
  • High Intensity by Dara Joy

    Most Purple Prose

  • Christine Feehan
  • Stephanie Laurens

    Authors I Have Given Up On

  • Lori Foster
  • Jayne Ann Krentz
  • Lynn Kurland

    Authors Others Love That I Don’t

  • Suzanne Brockmann
  • Catherine Coulter

    Most Annoying Lead Character

  • Shanna Trahern, Shanna by Kathleen E. Woodiwiss
  • Richard, from Laurell K. Hamiltons’s Anita Blake Series

  • Favorite Romance Novels

    Absolute Favorites

  • It Had to Be You
  • by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
  • Jewels of the Sun
  • by Nora Roberts
  • Where Dreams Begin
  • by Lisa Kleypas

    Favorite Short Stories

  • Daniel and the Angel
  • by Jill Barnett
  • in Holiday of Love
  • Lake of Dreams
  • by Linda Howard
  • in Love Everlasting

  • Favorites by Sub-Genre

    Contemporary:

  • All Night Long
  • by Michelle Jerott
  • Daring to Dream
  • by Nora Roberts
  • Lady Be Good
  • by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

    American Historical:

  • Touch of Fire
  • by Linda Howard
  • Morning Glory
  • by LaVyrle Spencer

    European Historical:

  • Almost Heaven
  • by Judith McNaught
  • Splendid
  • by Julia Quinn
  • The Last Hellion
  • by Loretta Chase

    Regency:

  • The Wagered Widow
  • by Patricia Veryan
  • The Lord and the Gypsy
  • by Patricia Veryan

    Medieval:

  • By Possession
  • by Madeline Hunter
  • Kingdom of Dreams
  • by Judith McNaught
  • The Secret Swan
  • by Shana Abé

    Alternate Reality:

  • Son of the Morning
  • by Linda Howard
  • Captivated
  • by Nora Roberts
  • Bewitching
  • by Jill Barnett

    Category:

  • Led Astray
  • by Sandra Brown
  • Forever
  • by Lynn Turner
  • A Stroke of Genius
  • by Gina Wilkins

  • Favorites by Plot Type

    Suspense:

  • Carnal Innocence
  • by Nora Roberts
  • Dream Man
  • by Linda Howard
  • Dark Paradise
  • by Tami Hoag

    Cabin or Road:

  • Baby, I’m Yours
  • by Susan Andersen
  • Heart of Fire
  • by Linda Howard
  • Hot Ice
  • by Nora Roberts

    Funny:

  • The Bride
  • by Julie Garwood
  • The Last Viking
  • by Sandra Hill
  • Fast Women
  • by Jennifer Crusie

    Sexy:

  • Still Waters
  • by Tami Hoag
  • One Summer
  • by Karen Robards
  • After the Night
  • by Linda Howard

  • Favorites by Mood

    Comfort Reads:

  • Born In Series
  • by Nora Roberts
  • Fast Women
  • by Jennifer Crusie

    Most-Hanky Reads:

  • Unbreak My Heart
  • by Teresa Hill
  • Three Wishes
  • by Barbara Delinsky
  • Maggy’s Child
  • by Karen Robards

    Guilty Pleasures:

  • The Dark Series
  • by Christine Feehan
  • Rejar
  • by Dara Joy

  • Non-Romance Favorites

    Favorite Author

  • Elizabeth Berg
  • Laurell K. Hamilton

    Favorite Book

  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • What We Keep by Elizabeth Berg
  • The Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

    Favorite Classic Novel

  • Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand
  • Little Women by Louisa May Alcott

    Favorite Mystery

  • The In Death Series by J.D. Robb
  • The Thin Woman by Dorothy Cannell

    Favorite SF/Fantasy

  • Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card
  • Bitten by Kelley Armstrong
  • The Anita Blake Series by Laurell K. Hamilton

  • Favorite Women’s Fiction

  • The Lovely Bones by Alice Sebold
  • Good in Bed by Jennifer Weiner
  • A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford

    Favorite YA Book

  • The Black Stallion Series by Walter Farley
  • Black Beauty by Anna Sewell

    Favorite Set of Connected Books

  • All Creatures Great and Small Series by James Herriot
  • The Stephanie Plum Series by Janet Evanovich
  • The Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling

    Book Most Often Reread

  • Anything by Nora Roberts, Linda Howard, or Sandra Brown