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  1. #481

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    Quote Originally Posted by TygerLily View Post
    Also. Urgent advice needed. Someone mentioned Susan Elizabeth Phillips as a good romance writer with protagonists who are active rather than passive. So anyway. I'm almost done all of her books now. (I'm glad I gave her a second chance after Ain't She Sweet, which was unfortunately the first book of hers I picked up. There's just no getting past a false accusation of sexual assault. Then, I went on to love almost all of the rest.) The point: does anyone have other recommendations for authors of contemporary romance who are in a similar vein? I'm also a huge fan of Jayne Ann Krentz, even though her characters are beginning to morph into the one feisty red-headed heroine. Help!
    I liked Ain't She Sweet but I guess it does depend on whether you can forgive teenaged Sugar Beth and embrace the awesomeness of adult Sugar Beth. OTOH, I have disliked quite a few of SEP's other books, especially the overrated Heaven, Texas. I'm not sure I've come across anyone with a style that similar to SEP's, but you can try Rachael Gibson and Jennifer Crusie. Maybe Victoria Dahl, too? Her books are sexier than SEP's, though.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Your library doesn't have Kindle loans? I thought they all did now.
    The model of choice in Canadian libraries is the Kobo -- and the e-book format of choice is EPub.

    Must be a metric thing.

  3. #483
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    Quote Originally Posted by Artemis@BC View Post
    The model of choice in Canadian libraries is the Kobo -- and the e-book format of choice is EPub.

    Must be a metric thing.
    The e-book format of choice pretty much everywhere is ePub, which has been one of the drawbacks of the Kindle all along. But then Amazon started allowing lending from Amazon through the libraries.

    Too bad for you Canucks, I guess.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    After seeing Miriam Margolyes do her Dickens' Women one-woman show on the weekend ... I'm inspired to go re-read some of the Dickens canon.

    The show, btw, was completely amazing. I think Vancouver was one of the last stops on the year-long world tour, with only Toronto left after this.

  5. #485

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Your library doesn't have Kindle loans?
    Canuck
    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    Kristin Higgins, maybe? .
    Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Impromptu View Post
    Julie James? or Louisa Edwards? Maybe Shannon Stacey?
    Thank you! Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by star_gazer11 View Post
    Ditto the Julie James recommendation for fun banter and lawyer characters. Her first two books are less racy than her current series, if that matters to you. Of her first two books, I preferred Practice Makes Perfect.

    Maybe Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis? (It's the first book in the Lucky Harbor series; first three are a trilogy with sisters, second trilogy with friends as the heroines, more books forthcoming).
    Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    I liked Ain't She Sweet but I guess it does depend on whether you can forgive teenaged Sugar Beth and embrace the awesomeness of adult Sugar Beth. OTOH, I have disliked quite a few of SEP's other books, especially the overrated Heaven, Texas. I'm not sure I've come across anyone with a style that similar to SEP's, but you can try Rachael Gibson and Jennifer Crusie. Maybe Victoria Dahl, too? Her books are sexier than SEP's, though.
    You guys are so awesome! I'm bound to like at least one of these options (I already like Crusie).

    I agree, Heaven, Texas et al are a bit on the too-sweet side, but I need that kind of utter brain fluff at this time of the year. I do think I ended up accepting adult Sugar Beth's awesomeness, but it took me a while since I dislike characters who do bad things on purpose, especially if they're good people at heart.

    Although... I just finished Dennis Lehane's Live by Night and I was pleasantly surprised with it. I'm not into historical fiction anymore and I should have disliked the protagonist (see above about characters who do bad things), but it's an absolutely fascinating book. Makes me want to give Boardwalk Empire another try.

  6. #486
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    Quote Originally Posted by star_gazer11 View Post
    I'm not sure what it is about Kristan Higgins books, but they don't even feel like romances to me. In the ones I've read (not her whole backlist, maybe four or five), the heroines seem to never actually get with the hero until the end of the book, and they're usually dating someone else (not the hero) in the meantime. I dunno, her stuff to me feels like... chick fic? Meatier than chick lit, not really women's fiction either, and not really straight romance. I think she writes families well. Her books have pretty consistently made me cry. Which is both and
    I've been thinking about this, because you are right--she does focus a lot on families. But when I think of her books, the first one that pops into my head is All I Ever Wanted and the bit where our heroine is at the veterinarian hero's house with the injured turkey. I don't even know how long ago I read that book, but even now I am laughing myself sick, just thinking about it, and I think that's the similiarity I see with Susan Elizabeth Phillips--quirky characters, liberal lashings of humor, and a basic good hearted feel to it all.

    The only book of Higgins' that ever made me feel like crying was The Next Best Thing. When

    Spoiler



    Quote Originally Posted by Jenny View Post
    So, I thought I'd continue the genre and reread Scruples by Judith Krantz, circa 1978. I read it perhaps 30 years, and remember there was a mini series back when there was always a mini series, and it was a must-read book that every girl and woman I knew read. So far, meh. I love all the Jackie Collins-style glitz, glamour, sex and general trashiness, but this is missing the mark. The characters are unlikeable, and the sexual content is unfortunately more crass than sexy (do we really need to have women using the C word to prove their sexual modernness? Maybe in the 70s, but now I think it just makes the characters a bit sad.).
    Wow, I haven't thought about Scruples for eons, but as soon as I read the title, the cover popped right into my head. I didn't like the book at the time, but my friends all did.

    I came across a Rosemary Rogers the other day. RR was all the rage when I was in high school and was considered very smutty. The book was so tame I wanted to pat it on the head and tell it how cute it was .

    I'm reading The Unlikely Disciple: A Sinner's Semester at America's Holiest University. I almost passed because I thought the title was , but I decided to give it a shot and I am finding it very readable. I can relate to a lot of the things he's talking about, which makes a difference, but I like his voice and sense of humor, too.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    I've been thinking about this, because you are right--she does focus a lot on families. But when I think of her books, the first one that pops into my head is All I Ever Wanted and the bit where our heroine is at the veterinarian hero's house with the injured turkey. I don't even know how long ago I read that book, but even now I am laughing myself sick, just thinking about it, and I think that's the similiarity I see with Susan Elizabeth Phillips--quirky characters, liberal lashings of humor, and a basic good hearted feel to it all.
    I haven't read any SEP books so can't compare there.

    Agreed, she does bring the funny - that turkey scene, I remember now that you mention it. I think I liked All I Ever Wanted the most of the titles I've read. And Fools Rush In I liked the least.

    I am visual and totally a sucker for cute dogs so yes, the reason I even tried one of Kristan Higgins' books in the first place is because of the covers. (First link - doggie in a basket cover, not the newer canoe one if that shows up).

  8. #488
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    Finished First-rate madness. I still find many of the arguments lacking, especially the chapters on JFK. He argues that it was JFK's hyperthymic (slightly manic) personality that made him a better leader at the time of crisis. At the same time, he argues that it was the fact that his numerous meds (so many! steroids for the Addison's, including anabolic steroids, amphetamines, procaine--a relative of cocaine and occasionally barbiturates--I would think most minds would go up in flames) were better regulated in the latter part of his presidency and that was what helped him function better.


    Incidentally, he says W, Blair and Obama are all mentally healthy leaders which is a good thing in times of prosperity and absence of crisis but a bad thing in a opposite situation. Oh dear.

    I feel he tries hard to make the facts fit the theory and would bet that bipolar disorder is his professional interest. He does mention conducting a study on it at least once. So the carpenter is always looking for nails. Not to say that I completely disagree with him, just not entirely convinced about specific examples he provides. I feel there's a unfortunate degree of simplification and facile classification that he tries to impose on his subjects. So overall, an interesting but poorly developed idea.

    I am now looking at The Wings of the Dove, yup by Henry James. I feel that never-ending sentences would be a nice change after the JCO's fiasco and psychobabble. Wish me luck.
    Last edited by IceAlisa; 11-29-2012 at 08:47 AM.
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  9. #489

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    Quote Originally Posted by star_gazer11 View Post
    I am visual and totally a sucker for cute dogs so yes, the reason I even tried one of Kristan Higgins' books in the first place is because of the covers. (First link - doggie in a basket cover, not the newer canoe one if that shows up).
    I'm the opposite - until Higgins writes a book without a dog, I won't buy her novels. I don't hate dogs, I just don't care for them enough to want them in my romance reading, especially when an author includes one in every book (Crusie is also guilty of this). What's wrong with the occasional cat, or bird, or hamster?

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    I don't have a lot of time for novels but I decided--in the midst of a lot of stress--to read a few for the escape. I'm batting zero on what I've got from the library for Kindle. The worst:

    To the Moon and Back by Jill Mansell. Unless you enjoy relentless predictability and random plot points that disappear (not that you miss them), avoid this book. I think I had it all figured out by the end of chapter two or three. Unfortunately, there were 56 chapters and an epilogue. And I can't get past the fact that the main character seems to have no background, no family, nothing. The book opens with the tragic death of her husband. But she has no one for support but a movie star father-in-law and a casual work friend who quickly disappears. All the other characters seem to have families. One visits a mother, one visits a sister. The love interest has an entire extended family that we meet as does the dead husband's best friend. But here is this main character who seems to be in her 20s with no parents or any other family and there is absolutely no explanation of this. It is as if she was born full grown the moment she met the dead husband. Or maybe she was an alien dropped in London full grown. No idea. But it seems very strange. At least drop in a note that they are all estranged and the family lives in Egypt or something.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    I'm the opposite - until Higgins writes a book without a dog, I won't buy her novels. I don't hate dogs, I just don't care for them enough to want them in my romance reading, especially when an author includes one in every book (Crusie is also guilty of this). What's wrong with the occasional cat, or bird, or hamster?
    I really enjoyed Higgins when I first started reading her books, but after a while, they are all the same--not just in always having a dog, but the female protagonist is always something of a masochist ("Oh, I am so stressed, but I have to bake 500 individually decorated cakes for the senior citizen center where I volunteer and I must visit my nasty fourth grade teacher in the nursing home because even though she's always been a mean old thing and doesn't recognize me, she doesn't have anyone else to visit her and it's sad, and then I have to go to work, where my crazy family will call me and demand that I do things for them and I will because I love them all so"). Her early books weren't so bad, but the last few, I have wanted to tell the woman to take a chill pill already, although it does make sense that she then gets so much love and support when the inevitable crisis hits.

    I have some Jill Mansell books on my Nook, but I have never read them. I have so many 99 cent specials like that. And now maybe I never will But PDillemma, if you are in grad school, you surely do need to find some light, relaxing reading that you enjoy.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Prancer View Post
    But PDillemma, if you are in grad school, you surely do need to find some light, relaxing reading that you enjoy.
    Absolutely. Every grad student I knew kept a novel at the bedside to read just before going to sleep. Smutty, frothy, zombies, whatever. Just something totally light and fun. Then you didn't dream of statistics and crap.

    And curse that PL. She made me download Rot and Ruin. I hate teenaged angsty stuff and it was totally predictable zombie stuff (by someone who teaches writing. Wonder what he teaches about plotting? ) but I read the whole thing and now I have to get the next one in the series to see who was flying the stupid plane. Stupid zombies.

    And, she and Spinner are still on my death list to be run down by attack Poodles for the whole Pendergast fiasco, but since the REAL book comes out next week, I'll get over my irritation. Can't say that the Poodles will because they've been looking forward to attacking them, but whatever.
    Last edited by rfisher; 11-29-2012 at 10:42 PM.
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    Grad school is on hold for a bit due to a serious illness in my family. I'm finding escapism from that is more necessary than escape from grad school.

    But it is slim pickings from our little library. The statewide eBook consortium has more selection than the library has physical books, and I can read much easier on the Kindle. But the consortium usually has one copy for Kindle and over 100 libraries use it. So it is a long wait for anything good. Mostly on the available for checkout fiction list there is number 7 in whatever series, everything by Danielle Steele, lots of historicals (and grad school in history has made historical fiction less appealing to me), and lots of Christian fiction. So...taking what I can get has meant a lot of crap.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Zemgirl View Post
    I'm the opposite - until Higgins writes a book without a dog, I won't buy her novels. I don't hate dogs, I just don't care for them enough to want them in my romance reading, especially when an author includes one in every book (Crusie is also guilty of this). What's wrong with the occasional cat, or bird, or hamster?
    The heroine might have other pets, but yep, it's the dog that makes the cover.

    My library copy of JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy is due back next week. I haven't been able to get past page 50ish. Anyone finish this?

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    Absolutely. Every grad student I knew kept a novel at the bedside to read just before going to sleep. Smutty, frothy, zombies, whatever. Just something totally light and fun. Then you didn't dream of statistics and crap.
    Grad school and grading term papers both require lots and lots of mindless reading on the side.

    Quote Originally Posted by PDilemma View Post
    Grad school is on hold for a bit due to a serious illness in my family. I'm finding escapism from that is more necessary than escape from grad school.
    And you probably need a lot of it, then.

    Have you tried a Kindle Lending Group, like the one at GoodReads? http://www.goodreads.com/group/show/...attempted=true You might get some better selections that way, although my experience to date has been that the lendable books are usually the same ones that you don't really want to check out of the library--but I don't have a Kindle so maybe Kindle is better.
    "The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."-- Albert Einstein.

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    Absolutely. Every grad student I knew kept a novel at the bedside to read just before going to sleep. Smutty, frothy, zombies, whatever. Just something totally light and fun. Then you didn't dream of statistics and crap.

    And curse that PL. She made me download Rot and Ruin. I hate teenaged angsty stuff and it was totally predictable zombie stuff (by someone who teaches writing. Wonder what he teaches about plotting? ) but I read the whole thing and now I have to get the next one in the series to see who was flying the stupid plane. Stupid zombies.

    And, she and Spinner are still on my death list to be run down by attack Poodles for the whole Pendergast fiasco, but since the REAL book comes out next week, I'll get over my irritation. Can't say that the Poodles will because they've been looking forward to attacking them, but whatever.
    Well...Now *that's* an interesting mental image.

    Have Clash of Kings, the sequel to Game of Thrones on the iPod. Just getting into it, but it's promising. Read GoT for the first time this summer and I could NOT put it down. Hoping CoK is more of the same.

  17. #497

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    Quote Originally Posted by rfisher View Post
    And curse that PL. She made me download Rot and Ruin. I hate teenaged angsty stuff and it was totally predictable zombie stuff (by someone who teaches writing. Wonder what he teaches about plotting? ) but I read the whole thing and now I have to get the next one in the series to see who was flying the stupid plane. Stupid zombies.
    Erm. They don't find out in the second book.

    And, she and Spinner are still on my death list to be run down by attack Poodles for the whole Pendergast fiasco, but since the REAL book comes out next week, I'll get over my irritation. Can't say that the Poodles will because they've been looking forward to attacking them, but whatever.
    SEKRET NAZI ISLAND.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PrincessLeppard View Post
    Erm. They don't find out in the second book.



    SEKRET NAZI ISLAND.
    Draco. Bella. See this picture? ATTACK! Good Poodles. You'll be ready for the real event.
    Those who never succeed themselves are always the first to tell you how.

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    Quote Originally Posted by star_gazer11 View Post
    My library copy of JK Rowling's The Casual Vacancy is due back next week. I haven't been able to get past page 50ish. Anyone finish this?
    No. Although I stopped somewhen around page 100. Bleak doesn't begin to cover the atmosphere in that book.

    I'm enjoying "Rhett Butler's People" in spite of all the deaths. I always thought that Rhett was the more interesting character in GWTW and this fleshes out his life for me nicely.
    I'd rather be thought of as absolutely ridiculous than as absolutely boring.

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    Quote Originally Posted by AragornElessar View Post
    Well...Now *that's* an interesting mental image.

    Have Clash of Kings, the sequel to Game of Thrones on the iPod. Just getting into it, but it's promising. Read GoT for the first time this summer and I could NOT put it down. Hoping CoK is more of the same.
    I thought so, although I know a few who didn't enjoy ACOK as much as GOT. Most people agree on A Storm of Swords being the best book of the series so far though. Soon you'll be able to join the rest of the ASOIAF fans in the interminable wait for The Next Book (tentative ETA is 2014, but he's been off by 4-5 years on his estimates before )

    Me, I've decided to tackle The Towers of Midnight (WOT book #13), and when I've finished I think I'll have a go at a Bujold. I *should* probably start reading 1Q84 or Cloud Atlas, but I suspect I'll be too knackered to enjoy either one until I've have some rest.

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