BOOK REVIEW: Lola and the Boy Next Door - Stephanie Perkins

GENRE: Young Adult – Fiction, Romance
FORM: Audiobook
NARRATOR: Shannon McManus

SYNOPSIS: Lola is perfectly happy, well mostly perfectly happy. She has the best boyfriend ever; the best older boyfriend, who’s in a band, and has awesome tattoos! She loves her family, which includes her two dads, and their black dog, Betsy. The only thing that could make it a bit better is if her Dads and friends would like or at least except her boyfriend, but that will come in time….

Then Lola’s world begins to be flipped upside down. The Bell twins move back into the house next door, including Cricket Graham Bell. He’s the boy Lola was in love with as a child, the boy who broke her heart two years ago, the boy she never, ever wanted to see again.

REVIEW: I have been waiting on this book since I read Anna and the French Kiss. I was/am so in love with Anna and Etienne that I just couldn’t wait to get more of Stephany Perkin’s writing. And I wasn’t disappointed.

I would not be able to sit and read her books back to back (to back – when the third is released), because her books are most certainly about a girl and a guy, and how they circle each other with heated desire. Of course the characters have their issues, but it’s all part and partial to their feeling for one another, which continues to escalate throughout the book until the moment of impact (however that may play out.) I love these books – because it is all emotion/love/romance driven, but large quantities all that the same time would probably get old.

I really like Lola and I think I want to marry Cricket – they are amazing for each other. They are completely funky and crazy. To see them walking down the street together would probably be a lot like watching a rainbow, or a cartoon, or something else equally as bright and magnificent. I think I just have a small problem with Lola. While she dresses crazy and makes amazing costumes, I was a little frustrated with her lying and deception of everyone around her. I did not blame Max, her older boyfriend, for being upset and hurt (however his selfish anger was a little annoying, and his rudeness a bit unredeemable), because Lola was really, really unfair to him. She does see this about herself, and admits this, and talks about “proving herself” or “redeeming herself,” but the amount of time given in the book for what it would have taken to gain trust and respect back was not adequate. Though, I don’t know how else it could have been written. I just found her rather immature and it that was hard for me, as a reader, to really love her.

EVERYTHING about Cricket was perfect though. Like I said, if I wasn’t already married to the one perfect guy of my dreams, I’d want to marry him. I wanted to touch his hair and have him help me pick out my clothes. I am a tinsy bit of a sucker for the slight nerd/hipster combination. He was so open and honest and just naked with his emotions. There was a scene near the end – that I won’t elaborate too much on – but his “anguish” was the most amazingly hot, and sweetest thing I’ve read in a book in a very long time.

I had read about Lola and the Boy Next Door a few times, and I knew that Anna and Etienne would be in the book, but it did not prevent my heart from giving that little leap of excitement when I “heard” Etienne speak for the first time. Thank goodness for consistent narrators!! I finished listening to Anna again a bit over a week ago, so I guess I wasn’t expecting to hear from them again so soon. They are, of course, as amazingly cute and perfect as ever.


BOOK REVIEW: Saving June - Hannah Harrington

GENRE: Young Adult Fiction, Romance
FORM: eBook, ARC – NetGalley

While I was granted permission to read this book by a NetGalley affiliate publisher, HarlequinTEEN, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading!

SYNOPSIS: Feeling upset at her inability to mourn her sister and trapped by the walls of her house as well her mother’s own mourning process and her over bearing and over religious aunt, Harper convinces her best friend, Laney, to take a road trip from Michigan to California in order to take June to the one place she always longed to go. They are joined by, well actually relying on the car and financial services of, the mysterious Jake. The music obsessed, slightly strange, and a little bit troubled guy who June tutored just before deciding to take her own life.

REVIEW: First of all, the idea of setting off on a long road trip with friends and no agenda is extremely appealing to me. My husband is NOT one for road travel, and with three kids, something like that is just not a possibility…right now at least. So living these experiences through a book is always entertaining – (See my reviews for Amy & Rogers Epic Detour, 13 Little Blue Envelopes, and Wanderlove). In Saving Grace, I enjoyed the element of healing that was taking place in Harper’s life. As a teenager, it is easy to imagine her inwardly needing this release. At this point, she can do nothing right; she’s selfish and only thinking about herself. Never mind that Harper is trying to manage her own feelings and life. So this escape, and this last ditch effort to do what she can for her sister, I actually found it honorable – alarming, a little bit immature and disrespectful too – but she was honorable in the fact that she was doing for June what June could not do for herself.

I loved the gradual growing (and – hello it’s a book where that thing always happens) predictable relationship with Jake. The fact that they had time to get to know each other, and their affection for one another was something that grew was nice – but it was also enjoyable that they were constantly teasing or challenging one another. It wasn’t a cheesy or sappy romance, but a sarcastic, exasperating one that turned into a very hot encounter. As a little teaser into the romance – I pulled the following passage, because I just thought it summed everything up about the Harper/Jake duo pretty nicely:

“But I also enjoy him, erratic behavioral patterns and all. I like that he isn’t too cool to openly geek out over ABBA, and that he is so passionate about music, that he gives as good as he gets and doesn’t back down from a good argument. He makes me feel safe, without being overbearing, and at the same time totally stripped bare, forcing me to confront the things I want to keep locked up inside.” Pg 268

To sum it up, while not original, nor unpredictable, Saving June is absolutely enjoyable. A road trip of bickering, complaining, of laughter and love, of tears and healing. It’s a trip that was worth taking and a book I highly suggest picking up!


BOOK REVIEW: The Name of the Star - Maureen Johnson

GENRE: Young Adult - Fantasy
FORM: Audiobook
NARRATOR: Nicola Barber
SERIES: Shades of London - Book 1

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads):
The day Louisiana teenager Rory Deveaux arrives in London marks a memorable occasion. For Rory, it's the start of a new life at a London boarding school. But for many, this will be remembered as the day a series of brutal murders broke out across the city, gruesome crimes mimicking the horrific Jack the Ripper events of more than a century ago.

Soon "Rippermania" takes hold of modern-day London, and the police are left with few leads and no witnesses. Except one. Rory spotted the man police believe to be the prime suspect. But she is the only one who saw him. Even her roommate, who was walking with her at the time, didn't notice the mysterious man. So why can only Rory see him? And more urgently, why has Rory become his next target? In this edge-of-your-seat thriller, full of suspense, humor, and romance, Rory will learn the truth about the secret ghost police of London and discover her own shocking abilities.

REVIEW:  So I have concluded that this book would have been a lot better had I not read reviews/synopsis/blogs prior to reading this book.  I'm thinking that the plot line and twists would have been a lot more exciting and impacting had I not already known the basic premise.  So instead of taking it all in, I'm listening to this audio and dysecting the foreshadowing that I may or may not have picked up on and everything else under the sun.

So the book reminds me a lot of Harry Potter in it's description of the school, and how the school ran, however; I am not from England and may be oblivious...this really might be how schools in England are run, and that is why.  I didn't not like this part of the book, I just noticed the similarities.  And I'm sure I'm about the millionth person to point this out.  So yeah.  

That's okay, though.  I really enjoyed this book.  The idea behind it, the mystery unraveling.  It did feel a little bit Scooby-Doo when the villain revealed every detail of his story.  Not that I didn't want to know the whens and whys, but it is a teensy bit stereotypical villain-esk character trait to have the entire thing unraveled by the sociopathic assumption that everything is going to happen just as said villain envisioned?!  BUT, somehow, from what I know of Maureen Johnson via blog/twitter stalking - this was intended and what would be right for her I think. 

I like Rory...a lot.  She was just pretty awesome, a risk taker, but she also has a respect for authorities and doing what is right as well.  However, her small romance - I'm not sure how I feel about her and Jerome.  The relationship seemed very - on the sidelines, or almost non-existent.  I wasn't feeling the chemistry at all.  I was actually hoping she'd drop him and go after the young hottie police guy who's name is slipping my memory at the moment...but alas I suppose there IS an age difference there, huh?  Character relationship between Rory and all of her friends would be something I'd like to see better established in future books, because that sort of fell short in my opinion...which is a bit surprising to me after reading the Blue Envelope Series.


BOOK REVIEW: Scorpio Races - Maggie Stiefvater

GENRE: Young Adult - Fantasy
FORM: Audiobook

SYNOPSIS (from Goodreads):
It happens at the start of every November: the Scorpio Races. Riders attempt to keep hold of their water horses long enough to make it to the finish line. Some riders live. Others die.

At age nineteen, Sean Kendrick is the returning champion. He is a young man of few words, and if he has any fears, he keeps them buried deep, where no one else can see them.

Puck Connolly is different. She never meant to ride in the Scorpio Races. But fate hasn’t given her much of a chance. So she enters the competition — the first girl ever to do so. She is in no way prepared for what is going to happen.
REVIEW: I have been thinking about this review for well over a week now. I think that part of my problem is that after all the waiting and the secret hints and the grand cover reveal and the trailer…I was left feeling a bit underwhelmed with this book. I really, really wanted to love it. I was prepared to have another favorite to add to my list. I’m not sure if it was the hype, or if it was my current frame of mind, but I just wasn’t feeling it this time around. This is not to say that I do not love Maggie Stiefvater though, and will not continue to read her books. I really enjoyed her fae books, and of course I loved The Wolves of Mercy Falls Series; The Scorpio Races must just not have been my kind of book.

The book was filled with Stiefvater’s typical poetic imagery of course. There was so much about the island, and details about the horses and water horses, and daily life for Puck; I think I sort of just started to get lost. I started wondering – “where exactly are we?” Judging by Sean’s name – I’m assuming this is some kind of Irish setting…but I can’t really remember if it was said. (Audiobook – it’s a bit harder to go back and find information you might have missed.) Then I started wondering…why Puck? How did she get this nickname?  I don't think this was answered, which seemed unusual to me.  Usually in a book, all of these things are eventually revealed.  Perhaps I missed it?   Then the next question was “Why are we racing? What is the purpose, especially if so many people die each year?” The answer to this last question I have deduced; they race for the sport of it. No real reason is laid out, and given all the crazy American sports (hello, rodeo bull riders) really there isn’t any other reason necessary. I just wanted one I guess.

The entire book was very melancholy, which is another of Stiefvater’s writing traits, but usually she offers a pretty good balance of the fun, bright and happy to go with it. I wasn’t feeling it this time around. Even if the sun was shining and the sky was beautiful, I had this image of an oppressed small town caught in a bubble of constant drizzle. Perhaps it’s all the tragedy that follow the characters around, and their own oppressed lives that encouraged this image in my head, and we are seeing the world through their eyes.

I will say that I felt very positive about Puck and Sean's relationship.  It was a very realisitic view of what falling into what might be love might actually look like.  Both are timid in their admiration and their feelings.  A friendship is formed, and with that comes...more.  This I adored, and believe it or not, I did not long for anymore than what was given.  Both Puck and Sean had so much going on in their lives, adding a bunch of passion and lovesickness to the mix would probably have been a bit over the top, yes?

I feel like I’m being unfair, but in the end I was just not crazy about this book at all. I have this crazy impulse to wait 6 months or a year and reread it – THAT is how much I wanted to enjoy this book, and how much I typically love Maggie Stiefvater's writing.


REVIEW: Forever Mine - Elizabeth Reyes

GENRE: Young Adult
FORM:  eBook
SERIES: The Moreno Brothers

SYNOPSIS:  Sarah has been forced to move to California with her Aunt, and cousin Valerie, while her mom mom goes to jail.  She is leaving behind the only place she has known as a steady home, Flagstaff AZ, as well as her very best friend Sydney.   Upon arriving at her new home and new school, Sarah immediately is taken with the ever popular and mega-hot Angel Moreno, and to her surprise he is taken by her as well.  As things heat up between Sarah and Angel, Sarah is aware that there is one part of her life that Angel is just not going to understand; Sydney, Sarah's best friend.  Bestfriend, who is a guy.

REVIEW:  For a free book on Amazon.com, this is an awesome read. The characters are captivating, and make you want to finish the book in one sitting.  I cannot say, however, I am in love with this book, as I have heard many say recently.  Angel was just a bit too, unapologetically, overbearing for my taste.  Yes, we all love an Edward, the mega jealous and overprotective character, but Angel took that a little too far in my opinion.

I was also a little put off by all the casual sex talk in this book.  I don't care how "current" or "real to life" this might be, even for teenagers today, I just find it sad if it's the truth.  I find it disappointing that we, as adults cannot be better examples of what love and sex should look like - and that throwing ourselves out there for anyone to have a taste of is not just emotionally damaging to girls, but to guys too.  It's a bad example of how anyone should behave.  Sarah, herself was not this bad example, but it seemed as though many of the other characters were.  Love does not equal sex.  Sex does not equal love, but I do hold the strong opinion that the former should not exist without the latter.

In the end, I enjoyed the characters, and the writing was great.  I was really sucked in from the point that Angel found out about Sydney until the very end, which is when most of the entertaining action happened.  The characters were well written, and mostly consistent.  I cannot say I'm overly enthused with picking up the next book in the series, mostly because I have met the characters, and I don't care for them that much.  I understand they likely change in their book - but I don't think I can sit through it.


AUTHOR Q & A: Because of You by Cathy Maxwell

I have received this book, Because of You, and am anxious to start reading it.  Trouble is, I have a few other things in progress right now, so it will have to wait... just a little bit.  However, I wanted to share this Q & A with author Cathy Maxwell with you, as well as a press release of her new book!!


Do you remember the first Regency historical you read?  What was it?
Faro’s Daughter by Georgette Heyer. I was hooked. Heyer is still one of my favorite writers.

Do you have favorite historical literary devices (forced marriage, heroine posing as boy...? What are they? Can you link any of them to novels you have written?  
I use the marriage of convenience quite often.  First, a book doesn’t have the time to go through a whole courtship, but also how many of us truly “know” the person we marry?  You can date someone for years, even live with that person—and discover you don’t know each other at all once you marry. I haven’t figured out why, but marriage really does change everything.  Sometimes it is perspective, sometimes expectations.  All I know is that after I married, I started cooking casseroles—something I’d never done before marriage!

What do you most want readers to take away from BECAUSE OF YOU? 
BECAUSE OF YOU is my take of the Prodigal Son.  The Biblical Son was lucky his father was alive when he returned.  Yale was not so fortunate.  I marvel at how easily we assume others will be there for when we need them.  The truth is, we only pass this way once and must treat each day as unique.  There is no time for grudges or misunderstandings.  What Yale must learn over the course of the book is to forgive himself for not reconciling with his father. 

Besides all being Regency era historicals, are there aspects of your books that repeat themselves?  Besides, of course, strong relationships, great dialogue and a happy ending.
My female characters share a common trait—they are not happy with their lives and they realize if there is to be change, it is up to them.  I believe each of us has the power to make our lives better if we are willing to toss expectations to the wind and seize living with everything we have.

What kind of research do you do for your novels? I have a super research library that I rely on and that I delve into again and again. However, the point of a romance is not the history. It’s the dynamic between two people who are falling in love—and that has never changed whether we are talking about ancient Rome or light years into the future.

All the talk about ebooks and the end of the mass market paperback makes it hard to know what to    expect to happen within the romance genre. What do you think?  
I think romance is in a heyday. So many choices. So many wonderful reads. And with many authors releasing their backlist titles as ebooks, there’s even more opportunity to enjoy favorite writers.

What are you working on?   I’m working on a trilogy involving an ancient curse and the family it is determined to destroy.

Can you tell us what we should look for from you in stores in 2012?  
The first book of the trilogy LYON’S BRIDE will be out in May.  The second book in November.  I’m so excited about these characters and their stories.  Also, Avon Books will re-release one of my classics, When Dreams Come True on March 27. Please check in at www.cathymaxwell.com for updates.

Please recommend a few books for my winter reading list?
Grab a copy of Princess Charming by Nicole Jordan.  Wonderful read!  It will be out February 2012.  You can’t go wrong with a book by any of my fellow Avon authors.  I did break down and buy The Mill River Recluse by Darcie Chan that has been on the bestseller lists for so long.  It’s an e-book and a good read.

How will you be celebrating this Thanksgiving?
Cooking and writing!  Two of my children, the Coast Guard officer and her husband, and my son the college   student, will be here along with their friends.  Should be a grand time and exactly the sort of day Thanksgiving was meant to be.


BECAUSE OF YOU Hits Shelves October 25th with New Mass Market Cover Art
“Lively dialogue, concise writing, and an unusual slant on the traditional forced-marriage plot make this story of a tormented hero and a determined heroine one that Maxwell's fans will cheer.”
Library Journal

   “I was immediately engrossed… the tone of the writing strikes a rare balance between seriousness and humor…a charming story with delightful characters… you won’t want to put it down.”
—The Romance Reader

“Cathy Maxwell brings both a luscious sense of humor and a special poignancy to her romances that allow readers to laugh and cry simultaneously. You’ll savor BECAUSE OF YOU.”
RT Book Reviews (4 1/2 stars)

Cathy Maxwell, whose national bestseller, The Seduction of Scandal, was published in September as part of Avon Books’ K.I.S.S. and Teal campaign marking National Ovarian Cancer Awareness month, has set all of her novels during the Regency period, including one of readers’ favorites, 1999’s BECAUSE OF YOU. The novel has just been republished in paperback with new art and updated author information and is ready to be discovered—and rediscovered—in stores and online.
In BECAUSE OF YOU, Cathy calls upon well-loved traditions of historical romance, bringing readers a vicar’s daughter, a disinherited rakehell son of a duke and a forced marriage in the story of Samantha Northrup, a young woman alone in the world.  After her father’s death, Samantha leads a simple, orderly life in the Village of Sproule. A seductive stranger arrives at her door one stormy night and, suddenly, her world is turned upside down. Discovered in a compromising position, she is forced to marry Lord Yale, a man she barely knows, who has returned to England after being banished by his father.  Married to an outcast of society, Samantha must abandon the life she’s known for a loveless marriage and a husband who may never be able to change his ways.

       Born in Olathe, Kansas, Cathy Maxwell’s family roots go back to the Mayflower and the Revolutionary War. She has long called Virginia home, noting she is “a Virginian by choice, but a Kansan by nature.” She worked in television news as a broadcaster before spending six years in the Navy. She attended Air Force intelligence school, worked in the Pentagon and did a tour with Naval Intelligence.          
Cathy began her writing career in 1991 while her children were still small.  “It wasn’t easy,” she says.  “I worked full time, my husband travelled, we had three kids, I volunteered and I was writing from four until seven every morning.” Now, twenty years later, she is the author of seventeen national bestsellers and her novels appear regularly on The New York Times and USA Today bestseller lists.  A rarity in the book world, Cathy has published every one of her novels with the same publisher, Harper Collins/Avon Books.
BECAUSE OF YOU by Cathy Maxwell
An Avon Books Mass Market Reprint/Fiction
November 2011/On Sale: 10-25-11/$7.99 (Canada $9.50)/978-0380797103 ● 0380797100


REVIEW, INTERVIEW & GIVEAWAY: Tall, Dark and Cowboy - Joanne Kennedy

GENRE: Adult – Romance/Western 
FORM: Mass-Market Book, ARC
PUBLICATION DATE:  October 31, 2011

While I was granted permission to read this book by Sourcebooks, I have received no compensation for this review other than the joy of reading! 

**Read to the end for an interview with the author, as well as a chance to win a copy of the book!**

SYNOPSIS: Lacey was always the beautiful, perky cheerleader, and even in her late twenties she feels like that is all her life has been as Trophy Wife. She was married and recently divorced from a crook real estate agent, and is now running from some of her previous husband, Trent Bradford's “business partners,” who want to use her to make sure Trent doesn’t talk to the authorities. So having her life already ripped apart, and refusing to have anything to do with the wealth Trent so illegally acquired, Lacey decides to run to the one person who was always there for her before she married.

Chase is a hardened, cynical, hot and sexy cowboy. His life has been ripped apart in multiple ways; by Lacey because she broke his heart, by Trent because of the loss of his love, and his father’s ranch as well as life. When Lacey comes stumbling back into his life, he wrestles with desire and compassion and the hatred stemming from the fact that it was her and husband that has put him in his current situation. Chase is ready to send Lacey packing until her situation proves to be dangerous, and the next thing he knows he is bringing Lacey to his home – a place where he has always been able to her permanently.

REVIEW: You’ve got to love a damsel in distress story.  Combine that with sexy ranch cowboy and you get a sizzlingly sexy book. Tall, Dark and Cowboy was hot, to say the least. Lacey and Chase are both dealing with issues. Lacey is desperate for some independence. She has always had to rely on someone to provide for her, so it is understandable that she struggles with a relationship that is so obvious that Chase wants. She is also utterly clueless that Chase has always been head over heels in love with her, despite the way that he has always been constantly at her side ready to drop everything for her.

Chase is a very sweet compassionate character, no matter how hard his exterior or the wall that he puts up between himself and anyone who would like to get close to him. It is really easy to understand his reluctance to help Lacey out in the beginning, given how she and her ex-husband has affected his life for that past several years, but watching him melt and love Lacey was my favorite part. He is overly understanding of Lacey’s back and forth “I can’t be with you, let me jump your bones” personality, but when he finally makes up his mind to have her forever, the victory is so very sweet.

Outside of the Chase/Lacey relationship, there was a bit of action, and a few funny characters. I loved Annie, Chase’s niece, who is bound to either be a law enforcer or serial murder when she grows up. Kristal was the girl you were very happy to see get what she deserved. The best action, however, was the end/climax. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching all the pieces fall into place and having the story wrapped up nicely.

And now for a special treat!  I was given the privilege of interviewing author, Joanne Kennedy!

Tell us a little bit about yourself. 
JK: I’m a romantic who believes in love and happy endings. My contemporary Western romances celebrate small towns, wide-open spaces, and hot cowboys with big hearts.

As a child, did you have a favorite author?  Book?
JK: I spent most of my childhood with my nose in a book, so it’s hard to pick just one! I read a lot of older books my parents passed down to me from their own childhoods. Gene Stratton Porter was one of my favorite authors; I loved “The Girl of the Limberlost” and it gave me my love of nature and open spaces.  I also read my dad’s old Zane Gray westerns; Lassiter in “Riders of the Purple Sage” was my first and best cowboy love.

If you could live anywhere at any time (past, present, or future) what would you choose? Why?
JK: This sounds corny, but I love my life so I’d stay right here, right now. I guess that’s why I write about the modern West—it’s right where I want to be. I’d like to visit the old West and share the experience of traveling with a wagon train to start a new life, but I suspect that once I tasted the hardships of the frontier I wouldn’t want to stay long. I like my hot showers and warm bed!
Tell us one silly fact about yourself.
JK: If you’ve read my books, you know I love horses—but I am the worst rider in the universe. I’ve tried over the years, but I’m extraordinarily un-athletic and I always end up on my butt, watching the horse trot off into the distance. My cowboy friends tell me it’s not that easy to fall off a Western saddle, but somehow I always find a way. I love to groom horses, do ground training, even muck out stalls—but I stay out of the saddle.

If you could only own three books for the rest of your life, which three books would you choose?
JK: I have trouble getting through a week with only three books, so this would be a real challenge. I’d pick the Bible first, because it’s huge and you can read it over and over and find something new every time. I’d pick Larry McMurtry’s Lonesome Dove because if I can only hang out with one fictional character the rest of my life, I want it to be Gus McCrae. And I’d pick Anna Botsford Comstock’s Handbook of Nature Study, which is another book I loved as a child. It’s a weirdly poetic and endlessly interesting encyclopedia from the 50’s full of birds and bugs and other critters. Mostly, I’m going for page count and word density, because three books is nowhere near enough!

What inspired you to become an author?
JK: Books have been such an integral part of my life. I was a shy child, and stories let me be whoever I wanted to be and go wherever I wanted to go. I always had stories in my head, and when I finally started to share them I was surprised to discover other people wanted to go along for the ride. Books have gotten me through some tough times. To be able to do that for other people is just awesome.

What has been the most difficult part of the writing/publishing process?
JK: Reviews! I’ve been lucky enough to have mostly good reviews, but it can be really tough to pour so much of yourself into a story and find out you disappointed someone who just doesn’t see the world the way you do. My relationship with my characters is probably not normal; I fall very much in love with them and if someone doesn’t like them, I’m hurt more deeply than I should be. Don’t get me wrong; I’m grateful to the people who take the time to write thoughtful, honest reviews and help readers choose books that are right for them. But waiting for those responses on a new book is a real nail-biter!

Do you have any advice for aspiring authors?
JK: If you truly love to write, you’re probably good at it—or you will be with practice. Read a lot, take time to develop your craft, and don’t let anything deter you from following your dream. Ignore the nay-sayers and that inner voice that says you’re not good enough, but find people who will give you constructive criticism and be open to learning from them.

Of your own books, do you have a favorite?
JK: That’s like asking me to name my favorite child! I love Cowboy Trouble because it was the very first book I ever wrote, and the experience was just magical. I love One Fine Cowboy because it won me a RITA nomination, and because readers responded so wonderfully to the characters. I love Cowboy Fever because it let me use my experiences with disabled kids and horses, and because I really admire the heroine. And I love Tall, Dark and Cowboy  because—well, that’s the next question. 

What makes Tall, Dark, and Cowboy special to you?
JK:  In some ways, this book saved me. I was having serious health issues when I wrote it (don’t worry, I’m all fixed now). I was in a lot of pain in real life, but every time I entered the world of the book all my troubles faded away. Chase and Lacey are so hot together I could barely get them to keep their clothes on, but they had a lot to learn outside the bedroom before they could be together. Wrangling those two stubborn people into a love affair was a real challenge, and it was impossible to dwell on my own problems while I was doing it. I hope the book does the same thing for readers.