December 22, 2011

'Tis the season to go on vacation… (and the blog on hiatus)

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This is our last post of the year..................................................................…………………………………………………………………………(that was me giving you time to collect yourself after reading this). I’m spending Christmas with my family and I’ll be back next year (next year is in less than two weeks so don’t panic!).

Whether you celebrate Christmas, Hanukkah, or nothing at all, I wish you all the best in this crazy -but happy- time of the year, and a fantastic New Year! (and that Santa doesn't keep your gifts)

And remember, is better to be like this guy...

...than this woman:

Happy Holidays!

2011, A Year in Books: Blogging

This was our first year blogging and so far it’s been an amazing journey! The blog hasn’t changed much since we first started back in March, at least not in terms of content, but we did get a makeover.

December 21, 2011

2011, A Year in Books: The Best

This year I read a lot of books, I don’t have an exact number but I think it was over 200 books. Not all of them were published in 2011 and not all of them were good, some of them were huge disappointments (I’m looking at you Susan Elizabeth Phillips), but I think that overall it was a good year for romance novels.

I admit that most of the Contemporary Romances of the year were either mediocre or good, but just a few were truly outstanding, and only two books made my list:

December 20, 2011

Review: Hidden Summit by Robyn Carr

Source: we received an e-ARC of the book through NetGalley for review purposes.

To me the Virgin River books are a bit like comfort food, you know what you are going to get, they make you feel good and you always come back for more. This is the 17th book in the series but Robyn has reinvented it by infusing it with new characters, which allows new readers to jump right in, even if you haven’t read the other books.

Hidden Summit is the story of Conner Danson. After an unfortunate event where he ended up the only witness of a murder he enters the witness protection program and the DA sends him to Virgin River to lay low while they wait for the trial to start. He has to leave everything behind, including his sister and twin nephews and get a new job working for Haggerty Construction. Needless to say he isn’t happy about it.

December 19, 2011

Review: The Rose Garden by Susanna Kearsley

The Rose Garden is one of the best books I have read this year. Everything about it is beautiful: the setting, the characters, the romance, and most of all, the writing style. There’s something about Ms. Kearsley’s voice that feels almost magical, I was transported to the places she describes and I felt like I was part of the book.

When Eva’s sister, Katrina, dies, she has the painful task of having to take care of her ashes. After much consideration she decides to bring them to the small town in Cornwall where they used to spend their summers when they were kids.

December 16, 2011

Winner! Between Seasons by Aida Brassington

The winner of Between Seasons by Aida Brassington was Jade. Congratulations! If you didn’t get my message leave a comment here or send me an email to

Thanks to Aida for offering the book and writing such an interesting post, and to everyone else for participating.

Have a fun weekend and see you all next week!

December 15, 2011

Review: Brightest Kind of Darkness by P.T. Michelle

Source: we received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.

Every so often you start a book without any expectations, just to have your feelings about it change, and then change a little more. I know it’s confusing, but that’s what happened to me with this book. When I finished it I wasn’t sure what to think and it took me a couple of days to finally be able to write the review, the only thing sure at the moment – and it’s still true- is that I enjoyed the story a lot, but it does give you stuff to think about it. I don’t mean that it was confusing, but it gave me mixed feeling. Let’s see if I can explain myself better with the review.

December 14, 2011

Review: Serpent's Kiss by Thea Harrison

Note: This review contains spoilers for the previous books in the series.

Sometimes the thrill of reading a series comes from the chance to revisit our favorite characters without jeopardizing their HEA. So when I started this series I was beyond excited about the whole bromance between Dragos and his sentinels, and the fact that Thea Harrison created a whole new world so well written that you can easily imagine living in it.

In this book I was expecting to read more about Dragos and Pia, and Tricks and Tiago, or maybe just have them be part of the plot. What I got was a cameo, yes they are in the background but really, really hidden so you forget about them, and the sad part is that apparently the tight group of sentinels is tight no more. I am saying this now because is basically my only complaint. It is a big issue to me, but Serpent’s Kiss ended up being an enticing story and a good addition to the series regardless of the lack of previous characters, and I enjoyed it more than Storm’s Heart which to me is the weakest book in the series.

December 13, 2011

Guest Post & Giveaway: Aida Brassington

I’m happy to welcome author Aida Brassington to our little corner of the blogosphere. She’s here today to talk about the challenges of writing male characters and how research comes into play when it comes to accurately portray men. Please help me give her a warm welcome!

Men communicate differently than women. I know this doesn’t come as a shock to you, but many writers find it difficult to deal with. It can be even more obvious when, let’s say, a female writer takes on a main male character written from his point of view.

Between Season’s protagonist is Patrick Boyle, a nineteen-year-old man who dies in 1970 and falls in love with the woman who buys his house forty years later. How do you write a guy in his late teens (and a ghost, at that) and make it believable? Well, for starters, you eliminate current slang from his vocabulary and do research on popular language from the late sixties. You give him feathered hair.

It’s more than just physical appearance and slang, though. The key to writing believable male characters when you’re a woman is understanding how men communicate. In a general way, of course – all men don’t think or act alike any more than all women think or act alike, but there are some things that have proven true through clinical study.

December 11, 2011

Winner! Winter Warmers Anthology

The winner of the Winter Warmers anthology was Aija. Congratulations! I have already emailed you, if you didn't get my email please check your spam folder just in case, or contact me at

Thank you so much to everyone for participating, and I hope to see you all back soon!

December 9, 2011

M/M Week GIVEAWAY: Winter Warmers

There’s no better way to end M/M week than with a giveaway. One lucky commenter will get an e-copy of the Winter Warmers anthology (you can read my review here). To enter the contest leave a comment telling us what’s your favorite holiday story, it can be a book or a movie. Please don’t forget to leave an email on the comment so I can contact the winner.

  • Winner gets one copy (e-book) of Winter Warmers (Anthology) by Chrissy Munder, Clare London, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles and Lou Harper.
  • Contest open internationally.
  • Contest ends on Sunday, December 11th 2011 at 5pm EST.
  • Winner will be chosen using, announced here and contacted by email and will have 72h to respond.
  • You must be at least 18 years old to enter the contest.

Baby, it’s cold outside! Beat the chill with Winter Warmers – a seasonal anthology 

Mulled wine. Butterscotch kisses. Hideous sweaters. Candy at the beach, or a trip to a sex shop in Amsterdam. And the man of your dreams, wrapped around you… 

Winter warmers come in many shapes and sizes, from the tongue-in-cheek to the hot-as-hell. Enjoy a quintet of heart-warming tales of men loving men from Clare London, Chrissy Munder, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles, and Lou Harper that are guaranteed to leave you with a smile on your face. 

One thing’s for sure—it’s going to be a red-hot Christmas!
Winter Warmers by Chrissy Munder, Clare London, J.L. Merrow, Josephine Myles and Lou Harper
Pink Squirrel Press; November 25, 2011.

December 8, 2011

Winter Warmers (Anthology) by Chrissy Munder, Clare London, JL Merrow, Josephine Myles and Lou Harper

Source: we received an e-ARC of the book from the authors for review purposes.

I almost didn’t read this book. My TBR pile is huge and I have lots of books to review, but when I realized that I had three m/m reviews ready I decided to have a special week dedicated to the genre and since I had an extra spot I decided to give it to this book. It was the best decision ever because Winter Warmers is filled with great stories that albeit short, pack a lot of punch.

December 7, 2011

Review: Simple Gifts by L.B. Gregg

I discovered L.B. Gregg’s work last year when I read Mistletoe at Night, the novella that was part of Carina Press’ His For the Holidays (Anthology). Ever since then I have enjoyed pretty much all of her books, so I was very happy to read this new novella.

Simple Gifts begins when Jason’s friend Sunny drags him to her parents’ Christmas party so he doesn’t have to spend the holidays alone. What she doesn’t tell him is that her older brother Robb is back from the army after ten years away from home. Jason and Robb share a past, they were together for a short while when they were young, but Robb broke Jason’s heart when he left and they haven’t seen each other ever since then.

December 6, 2011

Review: Men Under the Mistletoe (Anthology) by Josh Lanyon, Harper Fox, Ava March and K.A. Mitchell

Source: we received an e-ARC of the book through NetGalley for review purposes.

I'm not a huge fan of anthologies but I enjoy them when I get great quality and the opportunity to read new stories by some of my favorite authors. That’s exactly the case with Men Under the Mistletoe, a book filled with interesting novellas that have a common theme of second chance at love.

December 5, 2011

Review: Boats in the Night by Josephine Myles

Note: we received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes.

I know what you’re going to say, another British m/m author? Well, yes! I’m on a binge and I’m loving every part of it. There’s something about British writers that’s quite unique, not just m/m authors but romance in general, and Ms. Myles is one of them. Maybe you have heard of her before because her novel Barging In made the rounds in a lot of review blogs and everyone had nice things to say about it, so when I was presented with the opportunity to read this novella I jumped right in.

December 2, 2011

Winners! Some Like It Hot by Louisa Edwards

All right guys, time to announce some winners. Ready? Here they are:

  • The winner of the signed copy of Some Like It Hot by Louisa Edwards is: Karen C. (whose favorite dessert is Tiramisu and anything chocolate).
  • The winner of the regular copy of Some Like It Hot by Louisa Edwards is: Marina M. (whose favorite dessert is Carrot Cake).  

Congrats guys! I’ve already emailed you so if you didn’t get my email check your spam folder or email me at brie.clementineATgmailDOTcom

Thank you so much to everyone who took the time to enter the contest and share with us your favorite desserts, you guys rock and I’m sorry I didn’t have the time to answer each comment but this has been a busy week. I hope to see you again soon and good luck next time.

Have a fun weekend!

December 1, 2011

Google Friend Connect and the Curious Case of the Panicking Book Bloggers

Hello lovely readers!

By now you probably already know the news concerning the Google Friend Connect widget. If you don’t, the story goes something like this: Google is trying to make us all leave Facebook and join Google+ because they are so good at social media and all… Remember Google Wave? Exactly.  One of the things they are doing to cleverly promote Google+ is getting rid of GFC for all non-Blogger blogs and encouraging bloggers to use Google+ instead. Now, Romance Around the Corner is powered by blogger, so technically we won’t be affected by this, at least not right now, but I’m sure that sooner rather than later they will banish GFC from Blogger as well.

So I’m going to give you some alternatives to follow the blog just in case GFC ceases to exist:
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FTC Disclaimer

The books reviewed here were purchased by us. If the book was provided by the author or publisher for review, it will be noted on the post. We do not get any type of monetary compensation from publishers or authors.