May 31, 2012

Early Reviews: Love'em or Hate'em?

...but I didn't have anything better to use for this post. (Source)
Note: this post has way too many footnotes, I don’t know what happened (1)

Early reviews are my biggest pet peeve (2). One of the reasons I read book blogs is to find new stories and authors. My book buying habits are quite random, some books I buy after reading just one review or the blurb, others I buy after reading tons of reviews and lots of second-guessing. I’ve bought books just based on one person tweeting about it (3); I’ve had books sitting on my wish list for years. But in general I am an impulsive buyer. That’s why when I read an awesome review I want to be able to get the book immediately. So it’s no wonder that I hate early reviews.

May 30, 2012

Interview: Tamara Morgan

Is it possible to mix Contemporary Romance, Historical Romance and Romantic Comedy? If you answer is no, then you haven’t read Tamara Morgan’s books, because that’s exactly what she does. Have I piqued your curiosity? Then stick around to find out more about this wonderful author, her books and for some of the funniest limericks you will ever read!

Welcome to Romance Around the Corner, Tamara! Thank you so much for joining us, we are very happy to have you here today.

TM. Thanks for having me! I love getting the chance to interact with readers and book bloggers on their home turf. 

Q. For all our readers who may not be familiar with you, can you tell us a bit about yourself and your books?

TM. I’m a contemporary romance author with a love of costumes, zombies, wine, superheroes, men in kilts, and television (in no particular order). While my books are all a little different in terms of subject matter, they can safely be lumped together as romantic comedies.

May 29, 2012

Review: Summer Days by Susan Mallery

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

Note: this review is long, contains spoilers and is a bit ranty. You have been warned.

Summer Days is the newest installment in a series that’s become a representative of small town romances joining the likes of Virgin River, Shelter Bay and Destiny. This is the 7th book in the series, and although the characters were introduced in the previous books, it stands alone perfectly well.

May 23, 2012

Review: Mariana by Susanna Kearsley

At this point it should be obvious that I love Ms. Kearsley’s books. Mariana was first published before The Winter Sea and The Rose Garden, and even though there are quite a few similarities, it’s obvious that this was written first. I found it a bit lacking when compared to her other books, though I’m probably to blame for it since I shouldn’t be comparing them in the first place. However, it is a beautiful book and I enjoyed it a lot.

The first time Julia Becket saw Greyweathers, a beautiful farmhouse located in Exbury, she was five and immediately knew that it was her home. Ever since then, when she visits the place, the same feeling of belonging invades her. And after an impulsive decision she finds herself its new owner. While she settles in, she develops a series of relationships with her neighbors including Geoffrey de Mornay, the wealthy and handsome lord of the manor, farmer Ian Summer and the local pub’s owner, Vivien.

May 22, 2012

Review: Lucky in Love by Jill Shalvis

Source: we received a copy of the book from the author for review purposes. We received a second copy through NetGalley so we could request the next book as well (that's right, two ARCs, my fangirl is showing).

I’ve said this before but it’s worth repeating: I consider Jill Shalvis one of the best current Contemporary Romance authors. Her Lucky Harbor trilogy was wonderful and I was sad to see it go. Fortunately for us, it seems like Ms. Shalvis wasn’t happy about it either because she’s written a new group of books set in the fictional town.

If you have read the previous books, you will recognize our newest hero as the guy no one knew anything about except that he was hot. He gets one mention and a memorable nickname, and the next thing I know, I’m dying to learn Mysterious Cute Guy’s story. In Lucky in Love he gets it, as well as name.

May 21, 2012

Review: Hunting the Shadows by Alexia Reed

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

Have I mentioned that I have a thing for the X-Men? Well, I do. So when I read that this book was about children with extraordinary abilities locked away in a government facility and being turned into super soldiers, I couldn’t wait to read it. 

The basic premise goes like this: the government has created a secret facility to experiment with genetics and children, in order to create killing machines. Each kid has a different set of abilities and they are ruthlessly trained and tested. If they fail they are destroyed, if they succeed they are assigned to a team. Our hero, J.C., used to be one of those kids and now is head of a team and one of the scientists. When the book begins, he’s running away after trying to destroy the lab because he opposes the experiments. While he’s at it a voice in his head helps him scape, however, he gets caught, brought in to questioning and ultimately subjected to a mind wiping. Fortunately for him, the voice belongs to someone who can help him.

May 16, 2012

Review: The Waiting Room by Remittance Girl

This review on Dear Author caught my attention. The subject was daunting to me, but I usually enjoy the books Janine recommends so I decided to check out the author. That’s how I came across The Waiting Room.

The book opens with Sophie getting ready to spend the night in the waiting room of a Cambodian train station. She’s not alone, there’s a man there as well. She falls asleep but a noise of a zipper lowering awakens her, and when she opens her eyes she sees him masturbating. At first she is shocked and doesn’t really know what to do, but instead of running or screaming she just stays and watches. She becomes aroused by him, the setting and something inside her, so she ends up masturbating with him. Afterwards, they decide to go to a hotel and spend the night and that’s when the story begins.

May 15, 2012

H&H: Dude-Lit

Second time's a charm!

My post on Dude-Lit is up on Heroes & Heartbreakers (this time for real!), you can go read it now. In case you're wondering Dude-Lit is what I call books that have all the ingredients to be labeled as Chick-Lit but instead of a chick they have a dude. So the main character is a man. Interesting trend that I've encountered lately. Hope you guys enjoy and let me know what you think!

May 14, 2012

Interview: JL Merrow

As you guys know, I love M/M Romance. And today I’m interviewing one of the best M/M authors out there: JL Merrow. We have reviewed some of her books on the blog and she never fails to impress us. Help us give her a warm welcome and stick around because at the end of the interview there’s a giveaway.

Hello JL, welcome to Romance Around the Corner. I have enjoyed every single one of your books so I really appreciate the opportunity to interview you. 

Q. For all of our readers who may not be familiar with your work, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your books?

JL. Well, the J stands for Jamie, and I’ve been writing m/m romance since 2009. I’m British, so that’s reflected in a lot of my settings—although you’ll often see German themes/settings creeping in too, as I spent half a year living in Germany when I was 18 and I’ve never lost my love for the place.

May 13, 2012


The winners of Her Best Worst Mistake by Sarah Mayberry are:

  1. Maureen
  2. Rebe
  3. Brianna (The Book Vixen)


Emails are on their way.

Thanks to everyone who was part of the giveaway, you had many great things to say about Contemporary Romance. And special thanks to Sarah Mayberry for donating the copies and for doing such a great interview. 

May 11, 2012

Snark, Mother’s Day, Plagiarism, Women’s Fiction and Dude-Lit

Happy Friday everyone! 

I’ll be out for the weekend and I won’t have time to congratulate you on Mother’s Day, so I’m doing it now. Hope you guys have a great time with your moms, grandmother, kids, friends, siblings, and/or fathers.

Here are some links to keep you entertained while I’m gone:

May 10, 2012

Interview & Giveaway: Sarah Mayberry

You know how I keep saying that Sarah Mayberry is one of my favorite writers and one of the best current Contemporary Romance authors out there? Well, I’m having a fangirl moment today because she’s with us talking about her new book, self-publishing, and lots of other things. I’ll leave you with her, treat her well so she comes back soon!

Welcome to Romance Around the Corner, Sarah!

Q. For all our readers who may not be familiar with your books, could you tell us a bit about yourself and your work?

SM: I write for Harlequin, although I have just self-published my first book, also. I started writing for Blaze, which are fun, sexy, playful books, then moved on to Super Romance, which are a bit more realistic and heartfelt  - but also, pretty sexy, too, hopefully. I am really into exploring people and why they do things and my heroes and heroines are always flawed but they also have the best intentions. Like most of us, they’re just trying to muddle their way through life. The bedroom door is never closed in my books, and I love writing banter and back and forth, a side-effect from my “other” job as a script writer. 

May 9, 2012

Review: One More Summer by Liz Flaherty

I’ve been meaning to read this book for a while now, and I finally managed to do it. This is another case of misleading everything. Look at that cover with the happy headless girl acting all playful with Mr. Headless, so cute, right? (1) Wrong! This book is a sappy, drama infested, sob-fest. It’s also the most addictive book I’ve read this year, couldn’t stop reading it even if I kept thinking: “now what!?” Just keep reading and see.

One More Summer has an ensemble cast, although there are two clear main characters, but every one of them has a story and a journey to make. Grace, our heroine, had a terrible life. First she was the plain baby sister living in the shadow of her older siblings: Steven the intelligent and Faith the beautiful. Then her mother died and she was left living with a father who, for some reason, hated her. When her siblings left and her father got sick, she took care of him. Now the father is dead and she’s alone in a house that slowly fills with a bunch of people (that would be our ensemble cast). 

May 8, 2012

I Wish Someone Had Told Me!: Reader Expectations and Surprise Content

Surprise content and mislabeled books can ruin a perfectly good story. I’m talking about books that have some content (type of hero, trope, etc.) that one may find unsavory when caught by surprise, but when read willingly and knowingly they end up being great, even if they aren't the easiest reads.

May 7, 2012

Review: The Army Ranger’s Return by Soraya Lane

The first time I read one of Ms. Lane’s books, I decided to choose the one with the cheating hero. Surprisingly, things turned out well and I ended up enjoying the book. So for my second book I decided to once again step out of my comfort zone and go for the one with the widower. 

Jessica and Ryan have been pen pals for over a year now. Both of them relied on those letters to survive; Ryan because he was in the middle of the war, and Jessica because she was battling cancer. They became best friends and confidents, especially Ryan, because he was able to confide in her and tell her about his wife dying, his son rejecting him and his feelings of inadequacy. Jessica wasn’t as forthcoming but still she became dependent on him. So when Ryan gets back for a short leave, the natural progression is that they meet in person. But things don’t go as smoothly, first because they are attracted to each other but neither of them feel is the right moment to do something about it, and second because Jess won’t come clean about her disease for fear of being rejected, even as a friend. 

May 4, 2012

H&H: Contemporary Romance Edition

I have a new post over at Heroes and Heartbreakers. This time I’m talking about my favorite current Contemporary Romance authors, which means that you won’t find Nora Roberts, Jennifer Crusie or Susan Elizabeth Phillips on the list. Instead, I mention authors that may not be as famous or whose careers are relatively new, but that I consider some of the best people currently writing Contemporaries. I know I’m leaving lots of people out, because lucky for us, there are many great authors out there, so I would love to hear your thoughts, if you have read any of those authors and who would make your list!

May 3, 2012

Review: Serious Play by Bonnie Dee and Summer Devon

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

I’ve heard great things about these authors, especially when it comes to their M/M books, so when I saw this book I felt it was finally time to stop meaning and finally read them. Also, the fact that the hero has an interesting past, one that’s quite unique for a Romance novel, helped my decision.

Luke Bailey is fresh out of jail. You heard me, he’s an ex-con, and I mean a real former criminal who ended up paying for it with years of his life. This is not one of those wrongly imprisoned heroes that go to jail to protect someone else just to end up saving a puppy and an old lady from a fire (don’t ask me how he went from jail to the burning building). But he is reformed and just wants to take this new opportunity and do something good with his life. In order to do so he needs a job, so his parole officer finds him one working at a friend’s bar. This friend is our heroine, Mary. Even though she agrees to hire him, she becomes hesitant when she realizes what it could possibly mean, but Mary knows all about rejection and being a black sheep, so in the end she not only gives him a job but also rents him a room.

May 2, 2012

Review: The Witness by Nora Roberts

Nora Roberts is one of the reasons why I love romance novels. She’s definitely the reason why I love Contemporaries, and that’s why her books are always greatly anticipated. However, the past few years have been mediocre at best. The last time I thoroughly enjoyed one of her books was in 2009 when Black Hill was released. So when I started The Witness I was hopeful but apprehensive. I’m happy to say that I fell in love from the moment I read the opening line.

The book opens when our heroine, Elizabeth, is a teenager. Sheltered by a dominant mother who decides everything in her life, from what to eat and wear, to what to study, she’s finally realizing that she wants to be normal. So when her mother leaves her for the weekend, she cuts her hair and goes to the mall to buy new clothes. There, she meets a girl she used go to school with, and because they both have something to gain, decide to team up and go clubbing. Elizabeth is a genius -- she has an eidetic memory, goes to Harvard and pretty much can do anything, so she creates the best fake ID’s ever. Once at the club they meet the owners, who happen to be members of the Russian mafia. They go to their home and once there Elizabeth witnesses the murder of one of them and of her friend. She manages to get help and once the police realize that she’s the main witness, she goes into the protection program. I don’t want to spoil the plot but let’s just say that things don’t work out and she ends up hiding by herself.

May 1, 2012

Those Were the Days: How I Discovered Book Blogs

Part of my daily routine is reading book blogs. First I watch the news and read the paper, and then go for the book blogs, I do that every morning. The other day I visited The Romance Reader and realized that I haven’t been there in months, and I couldn’t believe that I had been neglecting the first book blog I ever read. So I started thinking about the good old days where sites like TRR where my only contact with the book world.

This post is not about why I became a book blogger but about the blogs that introduced me to some of my favorite books and made me fall in love with the community. 
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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.