Welcome! Kick off your shoes, get comfy and join in as we chat about books, romance and the ups and downs of everyday life.

Friday, August 29, 2014

Coming Attractions




We have a great guest schedule set for September, along with our regular monthly blogs, reviews, and more! We invite you all to stop by often. Here’s a sneak peek of what we have in store for you next month at The Romance Dish!











New York Times best-selling author Christina Dodd is in the spotlight on Wednesday, September 3rd. Christina shares a sneak peek excerpt from her upcoming suspense thriller, Virtue Falls, which releases September 9th. PJ says this book kept her up until almost 3 am and she highly recommends it!










Join us on Thursday, September 4th as PJ and Janga have a Q&A with historical author Rose Lerner. Rose’s historical romance, A Lily among Thorns, is being re-issued by Samhain in digital format on September 2nd.












New York Times best-selling historical author Grace Burrowes stops by to blog with us on Monday, September 8th! Her upcoming release, The Laird, is the third book in her wildly popular Captive Hearts series and releases September 2nd.










On Tuesday, September 9th, contemporary author Kandy Shepherd interviews fellow Aussie, historical romance author Joanne Lockyer. Joanne’s debut novel, The Last Light of Dusk, released on July 8th.












Military romance author Heather Ashby dishes with us on Friday, September 12th. Heather’s next book, Never Forget, releases on September 11th and is the third book in her Love in the Fleet series.













PJ interviews USA Today best-selling historical and contemporary author Kieran Kramer on Tuesday, September 16th. Kieran’s first contemporary, Sweet Talk Me, released March 25th and has garnered rave reviews.












Romance Bandit and contemporary author Caren Crane joins us on Wednesday, September 17th. Her latest e-book, Baby Steps, is available now and her upcoming book, Tiara Wars, is the third book in her Cross Springs series and releases in September.












On Thursday, September 18th, contemporary author Tracy Solheim blogs with us. Tracy’s latest book in her Out of Bounds series, Risky Game, was released on May 6th and was reviewed by Andrea here.













Be sure to make plans to stop by on Saturday, September 20th, to catch PJ’s big birthday blog and to wish her a HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!! There is sure to be prezzies!











You are sure to be entertained on Tuesday, September 23rd when PJ has a Q&A with the witty and hilariously funny Karen Hawkins! The New York Times best-selling author’s latest book, The Prince Who Loved Me, kicks off her new Oxenburg Princes historical romance series and releases the same day!










The lovely and clever Anna Campbell will bring us her Second Helping of a book or books that we may have missed the first time around on Wednesday, September 24th!

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Review - - What I Love About You

What I Love About You
By Rachel Gibson
Publisher: Avon
Release Date: August 26, 2014


Blake Junger, former Navy SEAL and identical twin brother of Beau Junger (Run to You), has bought a 4,000-square-foot house in Truly, Idaho, that promises a tax write-off and the solitude he needs to battle Johnnie Walker, the toughest fight he’s faced even with his twenty-year history as a member of the Navy’s elite special operations force. Alcohol used to be just a way to relax between war zone assignments, but as a civilian—and one in denial about his PTSD episodes—Blake had become dependent on the booze to help him cope. Brother Beau escorted him to rehab, and Blake is thankful to be sixty-two days into sobriety. But the only thing he bought in the program that the rehab doctors and counselors were selling is that alcohol is an enemy that will kill him. Blake is not convinced that he needs to avoid alcohol, to join a twelve-step program, or to attend daily meetings. Winning is in his DNA, and he believes he can win this battle too, win it alone and on his terms. He is on the verge of heeding Johnnie Walker’s seductive call when his solitude is invaded by a five-year-old, ponytailed blonde who insists that she is a “weally fast hoss” named Bow Tie. She is not at all intimidated by Blake, and she does not hesitate to call him on his foul mouth. Before he knows what is happening, Blake finds himself going timeshares with a puppy and entertaining lustful thoughts about the mother of the horse named Bow Tie, aka Charlotte Elizabeth Cooper.

Natalie Cooper, former cheerleader and former homecoming queen, was once half of Truly’s most celebrated couple, a royal pair who were expected to have a life crowned with success and happiness. Instead her husband embezzled money from people who trusted him and planned on abandoning Natalie, finally pregnant after ten years of marriage, and fleeing the country with another woman. Before he could execute his plan, he was arrested and sent to prison. Now divorced, Natalie is a single mother who owns a photography studio and is focused on ensuring that the irrepressible Charlotte is safe and happy. She has no time for her arrogant, expletive-spewing neighbor, no matter how sexy she finds the rough-edged warrior.

The more Blake and Natalie determine to avoid one another, the more fate conspires to throw them together. With each meeting, the sexual tension ratchets higher. Of course, resistance is futile, but Blake is terrified when he finds himself falling in love with Natalie and her daughter. No matter how great the sex is between him and Natalie, he is not a guy who makes commitments. Heartbreak seems more likely than an HEA.

What I Love About You is a typical Rachel Gibson book with wounded characters, lots of amusing dialogue, and a high sizzle factor. Blake’s battle with alcohol is real, and it is complicated even further by his personal history and a lifetime of believing he cannot allow himself to be vulnerable. Natalie, who believed in her husband until the facts slapped her into reality, is understandably wary of men. Her life is further complicated by her ex’s release from prison. He is apparently a reformed man, intent on reclaiming his family.

I really enjoyed Run to You and looked forward to Blake’s story. There is much to like about this novel. Blake is sometimes an alpha jerk, but even in his worst moments, he evokes a certain sympathy. Natalie’s combination of strength and vulnerability allows her easily to win readers’ hearts. Charlotte and the puppy are delightful, as is Natalie’s best friend Lilah. Long-time Gibson fans will be pleased that not only do Blake’s twin Beau and his Stella show up in Truly but Sadie Hollowell and Vince Haven (Rescue Me) and the Allegrezas (Truly Madly Yours) and the Hennesseys (Tangled Up in You) also make brief appearances.

Some of these references are a bit like catching inside jokes. For example, the Allegrezas are the former owners of the house Blake buys, something that will pass unnoticed by readers unfamiliar with the earlier Truly books. I should also point out to those who depend on series list to read books in order that even though What I Love About You directly follows Rescue Me, Blake’s story is listed in the Truly, Idaho series while Beau’s story is in the Lovett, Texas series.

If you have enjoyed Gibson’s other books or if you like your romance fiction with a high sensuality quotient and commitment-phobic heroes, I think you will like this book. Other readers may find themselves wishing for less sizzle and more scenes with the characters working out their problems.

~Janga




Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Homecoming - - Review and Giveaway

The Homecoming
By Robyn Carr
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Release Date: August 26, 2014


Seth Seleski was a golden boy during his high school years in Thunder Point, Oregon—good-looking, popular, and the kind of football player whose talent earned him a college scholarship. A single year with the Ducks was good enough to win him Heisman Trophy consideration and a contract with an NFL team. But one year into his contract with the Seahawks, an automobile accident, due in part to Seth’s driving too fast, ended his NFL career and changed another man’s life forever as well. Now thirty-four, Seth has returned to Thunder Point, not as the hero of headlines in the sports section but as the deputy sheriff taking over as substation supervisor from Mac McCain, who has been promoted to a job at county headquarters. Seth also hopes to improve his relationship with his grumpy father, who can’t forgive Seth for throwing away a chance at a pro career, and to renew his friendship with Iris McKinley, who was his closest friend until their senior year in high school.

Iris McKinley was not one of the cool kids in high school but rather an outsider. However, since she had her best friend Seth Seleski to share her life, things never seemed too bad. Next-door neighbors, Iris and Seth grew up together, always there for one another despite the fact that Seth was Mr. Everything and Iris was a looker-on. Then their senior year in high school, Seth did the unforgivable and proved Iris could not count on him after all. That marked the end of the relationship they had known. Sixteen years later, Iris is a counselor at the high school she once attended, committed to helping kids like the one she was who are struggling to find a place for themselves. But although Iris has a great heart, she also has a long memory. She still has not forgiven Seth, and the last thing she wants is a grown-up Seth constantly invading her life, trying to persuade her that their friendship can be restored.

Robyn Carr returns with the sixth installment of her Thunder Point series, another novel with rich context, engaging characters, and a focus on a contemporary issue. Reunited lovers and friends-to-lovers are two of my favorite tropes, and Carr successfully combines the two in this appealing story. A mature Seth harbors regrets about the self-centered actions of his younger self and sincerely works at making amends. His relationship with the other man injured in the accident that ended Seth’s football career was one of the book’s highlights for me. Iris is an immensely likeable heroine, and watching Seth win her over despite her determination to hold on to her justifiable anger is amusing and touching.

Carr does her usual stellar job of weaving other threads into the romance. Seth’s difficulties with his father complicate his story, and Carr again targets an issue that will resonate with her readers. This time the issue is the cycle of domestic abuse and its effects on individuals and the community. Fans of the series will appreciate the appearance of familiar characters, but new readers will have no difficulty reading The Homecoming as a standalone.

Robyn Carr is the queen of small-town romance fiction. She is one of the few authors I know who can sustain a series over an extensive run. Her Virgin River series ran for eighteen novels and two novellas, and I was an eager reader through the end. She seems likely to repeat her success with Thunder Point. The sixth installment is a welcome addition to the series. If you like small-town settings and a central romance with added interest, I recommend The Homecoming.

~Janga


PJ here!  I share Janga's love of Robyn Carr's books and am eagerly anticipating returning to Thunder Point with The Homecoming.  I was fortunate to come home from the RWA national conference this summer with an awesome Robyn Carr beach bag and a signed copy of the fifth book in the Thunder Point series, The Promise.  They will both go to one lucky reader who leaves a comment on today's blog. (U.S. addresses only)






Are you reading Robyn Carr?

What's your favorite Robyn Carr book or series?

Do you enjoy a second chance romance? Friends to lovers stories?

Tell me about your hometown.  Why do you enjoy (or not enjoy) living there?  What makes it special?  Does it have a claim to fame?

Deadline for leaving comments for the giveaway is 11:30 pm EST, August 28th.  



Tuesday, August 26, 2014

The Southern Sweethearts Blog Tour





Welcome to the Southern Sweethearts Blog Tour!  Between us, Janga and I recently read the August 26th book releases from Marilyn Pappano, Laura Drake and Sandra Hill and share our thoughts about those books below.  Be sure to read all the way to the end for a chance to win the terrific Blog Tour grand prize package! ~PJ





A Love to Call Her Own
By Marilyn Pappano
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: August 26, 2014


Jessy Lawrence was widowed two years and eight months ago when her husband Aaron was killed in Afghanistan. Grief over Aaron and guilt over the fact that she was considering divorcing him after he returned have pushed Jessy nearly to the edge. Her solution is to stay as busy as possible and to fill the intolerable emptiness with alcohol and occasional one-night hookups. When she is fired from her job at a local bank after losing her temper with a customer, even getting out of bed each day seems to require more effort than she can summon, but Jessy has a core of strength that surprises even her. She also has a group of friends, the Tuesday Night Margarita Club, aka The Fort Murphy Widows Club, who understand her better than she knows and love her, flaws and all. Then there’s Dalton Smith who seems to want to forget their drunken encounter and start over again as two people who have great chemistry, enjoy one another’s company, and just may be one another’s second chance.

Dalton Smith has always known that he would take over the family ranch someday, but he never expected to be doing it alone. It was expected that he and his twin Dillon would keep up the tradition and be the two Ds of the Double D Ranch. But Dillon ran away with Dalton’s girlfriend more than fifteen years ago, and no one in the family has heard from him since. After his marriage to a woman that loved ranch life, Dalton thought his wife would share his life after she returned from her tour as a medic in Afghanistan. Then, when an IED took both her legs, she chose to bleed to death rather than come home forever changed to the people who loved her. Dalton has spent four years protecting his family and his wife’s family from that knowledge and becoming more and more isolated in his grief and anger and bitterness. But a certain smart, smart-mouthed, sexy redhead has him rejoining the human race and thinking about a future filled with something more than loneliness.

Woven into the story of Jessy and Dalton are threads of the lives of other members of the Tuesday Night Margarita Club, some bright with the promise of HEAs and others still filled with question marks. Among these are Carly Lowry who is about to marry Dane Clark (A Hero to Come Home to), Therese Matheson who is creating a family of the heart with Keegan Logan and three kids who are not theirs by blood (A Man in Hold on to), and Lucy Hart who, after six years of widowhood, has met a man who interests her more than the food she has been using to fill the holes Mike’s death left in her heart and in her life. There’s also a new widow, Patricia Sanderson, whose husband, an officer with twenty-nine years of service, was killed just as they were looking forward to retirement years and the end of separations.

I can immediately think of a dozen or more recent or still ongoing series that focus on military or former military heroes whose lives have been changed in various ways by active, wartime duty. Pappano’s Tallgrass series is the only one I know that focuses on what happens to the families who are left to go on living after the casualty call and the military funeral with honors. Reading this book, I was reminded of some lines from “Lament” by Edna St. Vincent Millay”

Life must go on,
Though good men die;
. . . . . .  . . . . . . . . . . . .
Life must go on;
I forget just why.

But Pappano remembers why. Jessy and Dalton and the secondary characters are flawed human beings with problems that are painfully real and lives that are heartbreakingly messy. I think it is impossible to read A Love to Call Her Own and not be moved by the experiences of these characters and root for them to find happiness again. Perhaps most significant is a new awareness of all the stories that lie behind the media coverage of casualties and memorial services and of the price paid not just by those who serve but by their families as well. Although this novel may move you to tears, it is more than a sad story. It is also filled with laughter, the warmth of friendship, the endurance of memory, and the resilience of the human spirit. A Love to Call Her Own can be read as a standalone, but it more powerful and engaging as part of the series. I highly recommend all three books.

~Janga


Buy Links:



Known for her intensely emotional stories, Marilyn Pappano is the USA Today bestselling author of nearly eighty books. She has made regular appearances on bestseller lists and has received recognition for her work in the form of numerous awards. Though her husband's Navy career took them across the United States, he and Ms. Pappano now live in Oklahoma high on a hill that overlooks her hometown. They have one son and daughter-in-law, an adorable grandson, and a pack of mischievous dogs.

Social Media Links:









Sweet on You
By Laura Drake
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: August 26, 2014






For Army Medic Katya Smith, the bomb in the streets of Kandahar did more than injure her physically. It robbed her of her confidence, her purpose in life and her ability to handle the stress of wartime medicine. Suffering from PTSD, Katya has been sent back to the U.S. to heal herself, in both body and spirit.  The physical part is easy but peace of mind may be more difficult to achieve. Katya hopes that a temporary physical therapy job with a rodeo sports medicine team working on the Professional Bull Riding circuit will be her ticket back to a full recovery and a return to her Army family in Afghanistan.  If only she can put up with the spoiled professional athletes she's sure to encounter in the interim.

Cam Cahill is a two time world champion bull rider facing the forced end of a much beloved career. His knees are shot, his shoulder isn't far behind and he has no idea what he's going to do once the season ends. At one time, he thought he'd have a family to return to when his days riding bulls ended but an ex-wife who viewed him as a meal ticket and left as soon as she figured out there were better tickets out there has left him gun shy.  Confused, conflicted and short of temper, Cam isn't willing to cut much slack for the new city-slicker physical therapist who obviously doesn't have a very high regard for the hard working cowboys on the PBA tour. They get off on the wrong foot and sparks fly but slowly, gradually, those sparks move from antagonism to respect to desire and, finally, something more. Cam and Katya have a real chance at that elusive happy ending they've been denied.  But will Katya be able to move beyond the emotional contraints of her PTSD?  And with Cam dreaming of marriage and family, what will happen when he discovers that Katya fully intends to return to Afghanistan as soon as she's declared fit?

This was my first book by Laura Drake but it won't be my last.  She has taken a contemporary western format (one of my favorites) and infused it with the deep emotional trauma suffered by so many of today's military members returning from the deserts of Afghanistan and Iraq. Both Cam and Katya are such realistically developed characters that I felt that if I attended a PBR event I'd see both of them in the arena. While I warmed to Katya first - Cam really did act like a two-year-old throwing a temper tantrum at first - eventually, I came to like both characters and was fully invested in their happiness. I was fascinated by Katya's Gypsy roots and the many layers that formed this formidable woman.  Cam, also, is a multi-layered character, slowly unveiled as the story progresses.  I appreciated the fact that Drake allows us to see the tender, vulnerable and uncertain side of this very strong and capable cowboy.

Sweet on You is part of a series but stands on its own.  You do not have to have read any previous books in the series to fully enjoy this one.

~PJ

Buy Links:


Laura Drake grew up in the suburbs outside Detroit, though her stories are set in the west.  A tomboy, she's always loved the outdoors and adventure. In 1980 she and her sister packed everything they owned into Pintos and moved to California. There she met and married a motorcycling, bleed-maroon Texas Aggie and her love affair with the West was born. Laura rides motorcycles: Elvis, a 1985 BMW Mystic, and Sting, a 1999 BMW R1100.

In Texas, Laura was introduced to her first rodeo, and fell in love. She's an avid fan of Pro Bull Riding (PBR,) attending any event within driving distance, including two PBR National finals. She is hard at work at her next novel.

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Snow on the Bayou
By Sandra Hill
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: August 26, 2014




Dumped by his girlfriend and run out of town by her sheriff father, "bad seed" Justin LeBlanc swore there would be snow on the bayou before he ever returned.  Now, seventeen years later, Justin "Cage" LeBlanc is a highly decorated Navy SEAL, respected and well liked, but he's never fully moved beyond the stigma of his youth...or the girl who stomped on his heart. Only the news that his beloved grandmother, the woman who raised him after his mother died of drugs and his father died in prison, has terminal cancer could pull him back. Sidelined from active duty with a knee injured in a HALO jump, Cage returns to Bayou Black to stay with his beloved MawMaw for the time she has left. When a coincidental encounter brings Emelie Gaudet back into his life, he realizes the old attraction is still there.  What he doesn't count on are the feelings that follow or the doors of his past that must finally be opened and faced before they have any chance of a happy ending.

Emelie Gaudet had loved Justin LeBlanc with the whole of her young heart.  She was devastated when her father ran Justin out of town, threatening him with jail if he didn't leave, but she trusted in their love.  She never expected Justin to turn his back on her, especially at a time when she needed him most.  Now, seventeen years later, Emelie finally has her life together.  She's a successful Mardi Gras mask designer, a part-time blues singer and is slowly rebuilding a relationship with her father.  The last thing she needs is Justin walking back into her life, sexier than ever and just as infuriating.  It's obvious that the desire between them burns just as hot as ever. Though she'll never trust him again, maybe a no-strings affair while he's in town is just what they both need to finally put their relationship to bed...so to speak.

Sandra Hill returns to the bayou for another fast paced, sexy, emotion-packed, heck of a good time in Snow on the Bayou.  Littered with her signature humor (I laughed out loud at least three times in the first 40 pages) and filled with plenty of heart (yes, I also cried), she brings us the story of two people who must face the secrets of the past, open their hearts to forgiveness and trust in what they have found together. Sometimes people are given a second chance at love. Sometimes, the feelings in the heart never go away but simply simmer until a chance meeting brings them flaming back to life. And, sometimes, when that wacky old woman, Tante Lulu, with her St. Jude statues and her custom made hope chests and her Cajun words of wisdom speaks...well, you just better sit up and listen because when that thunder bolt of love strikes, it's certain she won't be far behind.

Pull up a chair, pick up a copy of Snow on the Bayou and, as they say in the bayou, laissez les bons temps rouler.  Let the good times roll!

~PJ

Buy Links:


Sandra Hill is a graduate of Penn State and worked for more than 10 years as a features writer and education editor for publications in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Writing about serious issues taught her the merits of seeking the lighter side of even the darkest stories. She is the wife of a stockbroker and the mother of four sons.

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Readers, have you read any of these authors?  Do you have a favorite title you would recommend to someone new to their books?

Do you enjoy military-themed romances?  

Ever been to a rodeo?  What was your favorite part?

Do you know anyone like Tante Lulu: a nineties-something firecracker who tells it like it is and embraces every second of life with both hands and a big ole grin? 

Do you (or did you) ever have a hope chest?  What did you have in yours?





Monday, August 25, 2014

Review - - Shield of Winter

Shield of Winter
By Nalini Singh
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: June 3, 2014





This latest installment in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series features a strong but broken hero and a heroine with a bottomless heart. Vasic is the most capable, deadliest, and guilt-ridden member of the Psy Arrow squad.  The Arrows were the covert ops arm of the Psy Council for decades.  Charged with maintaining the emotion-suppressing code of Silence, the Arrows often had to kill those who violated it or mop up after the sociopaths who so easily hid within that emotionless philosophy.   Although Arrow squad members were trained from childhood, often abusively, to the emotionless ideal of Silence,  many of them found that the work ate away at them.

Because Silence was always a flawed system, it became unsustainable.  The beginning of the end of Silence was explored in the first novel of this series,  Slave to Sensation.  Now an infection is eating away at the PsyNet, the mental network all Psy need to maintain brain activity.  In an effort to save the network, Kaleb Krychek, a powerful telepath/telekinetic has devised a plan to use empaths, who were despised under Silence because they were so emotional, to counter the insanity and violence the infection causes.

Krychek sends Vasic, a telepath and teleporter without peer, to fetch Ivy Jane, one of those empaths.  Ivy and Vasic are drawn together from the moment they meet.  Her empathic gifts allow her to sense the man behind the icy façade he maintains, and her natural warmth draws Vasic like a moth to a flame.  While he insists there can be nothing between them, he longs for the affection, and then the love, she offers.

All is not rosy, however.  Ridden by self-loathing for the things he did under Silence, Vasic volunteered to test a prototype high-tech gauntlet that’s grafted into his nerve system.  Now the gauntlet is failing, and the brilliant scientist who designed it is unavailable because of a mental breakdown.  If Ivy and Vasic cannot find a way to repair or remove it, anything between them will have only a short time to flourish.  So Vasic resists completely bonding to Ivy.

As though that weren’t enough, the deterioration of the PsyNet causes episodes of mass violence by affect Psy, and these incidents are increasing in frequency, with ever more casualties per occurrence. 

Singh ably uses characters from earlier books, and the theme of adapting to change progresses in Shield of Winter as it does in each installment before it.  Readers who have not read the earlier volumes, though, should be able to start with this one.  Not realizing the books had an overarching plot (as well as a complete romance in each book), I first picked up the third book, Caressed by Ice, which is about a former Arrow who fled Silence to protect his family and found asylum with the SnowDancer changeling wolf pack.  I had no difficulty following the story and went back to devour the first two books before blitzing through the remainder.

Readers who prefer more deeply seated, personal obstacles as relationship conflicts may not like this book as much as some others.  For me, if something believable sustains the conflict, I’m happy.   The only reason this book doesn’t get 5 stars is because there are others in the series that grabbed me just a wee bit more.

 ~Nancy Northcott

A former attorney who never outgrew her love of comic books, science fiction and fantasy, Nancy left the legal profession to pursue her dreams of creating her own action adventure stories.  Check out her terrific contemporary romances set within a fantasy world in present-day Georgia. 



Sunday, August 24, 2014

A Rock Star of a Romance!

by Anna Campbell

Hey, guess what? It's my birthday! Come and have some cyber cake.

And speaking of yummy things, feast your eyes on that spectacular cover! I wonder if the title LICK is an invitation to do just that!

For the sake of the dear Romance Dishers, I ventured slightly out of my comfort zone this month to review the first new adult romance I've ever read. And I started with a doozy!

Kylie Scott is an Aussie who has taken the world of romance by storm with her Stage Dive series, based around a four-piece west coast rock band called, you guessed it, Stage Dive. These books are selling like hotcakes (hmm, perhaps it's because of the birthday - I seem to be stuck on cake imagery today. Clearly I want to eat my cake and have it too!).  They've hit both the New York Times and USA Today list so Kylie is a major local success story here, as you can imagine.

LICK, book 1 in the series, tells the story of ordinary girl Evelyn Thomas and the sexy, talented guitarist from Stage Dive, David Ferris. It opens in a spectacular fashion with poor Evelyn waking up in a hotel bathroom in Las Vegas with the hangover to end all hangovers, a huge diamond on her finger, and a gorgeous man who is now apparently her husband. Pity she can't remember anything about her 21st birthday celebrations past a line of tequila shots!

The rest of the story details their romance as Evelyn deals with David's rockstar lifestyle and also faces up to a few home truths about herself. One of the lovely things about this romance is that there's an obvious bond between David and Ev right from the start. While the story is told in first person, we see enough of David to understand how falling in love with Ev changes him for the better.

And did I mention there's lots of hot love scenes? All with a really endearing sweet edge. Ev isn't one of the cool chicks and that's one of the things David loves about her, so her reaction to the sensual side of their relationship is believable and very appealing. And David? Well, let's just say he can make sweet music with more than just his guitar!

There's also some charming touches of humor. One of the running jokes I particularly like is that Ev is a diehard country music fan. She's definitely not a Stage Dive groupie!

As you can gather, Ev is very much her own person, although understandable at 21, she's still got a lot to learn. I loved how she stood up for herself, despite being daunted by this dangerous, glamorous, public world that she's been thrust into, thanks to her impulsive marriage. She also has a strong moral compass which both David and I admire. The scenario of rock god falling in love with Miss Ordinary could have been a bit unbelievable, but while this is definitely a wonderful fantasy, you can see why these two compliment each other. He's reached a point where he wants something real amongst all the glittering artifice of his fame. And Ev is definitely real!

If you're a new adult fan, you've probably already read this. If you're not, it's definitely worth picking up to check out the hot new genre on the block, not to mention a chance to get to know two lovely characters (and a bunch of interesting people in the supporting cast). I'm looking forward to going back to the wild and wonderful world of Stage Dive!

So are you a new adult fan? Any recommendations for where I go next? What do you think makes this new genre so very hot right now?