Fall Romance Report - A Bountiful Harvest By Martina Bexte (October, 2007)
We may have taken a short hiatus over the summer months but that gave all the more time to gather a bountiful harvest of new romances to fill the shorter days and frosty nights looming just around the corner. Thrills and chills, timely and provocative, or sexy and sweet, we've got what you're looking for. There are even a few early Christmas releases to fire up those holiday spirits. So top off your cocoa and see what strikes your fancy.
Lisa Kleypas brings her many fans another breathtakingly romantic story in Mine Till Midnight, where a young heiress turns to a Gypsy club owner to help locate a missing family member. Monica McCarty pens a snappy Scottish adventure in Highlander Unchained, a story that involves an ancient curse, clan rivalries and a good old-fashioned battle of wills. Michele Ann Young debuts with something a little different in No Regrets, a charming tale starring an unconventional heroine whose dress size dooms her to spinsterhood. Then an old childhood friend proposes marriage.
Susan Krinard heads back to the Roaring 20s in Chasing Midnight; she puts another entertaining paranormal twist on a story centering on bootleggers, gangsters and forbidden love. Elizabeth Hoyt concludes her Prince trilogy in The Serpent Prince where a talented young artist rescues a nobleman from certain death. However, once the young lovers find happiness, old enemies return. And Pam Crooks, Jenna Kernan and Cheryl St. John head back to the old west and spark that Yuletide mood with a trio of heartwarming tales in A Western Winter Wonderland.
Mainstream & Contemporary
Diana Holquist has penned a real charmer in Sexiest Man Alive, a story about a young woman who's horrified to learn that the man she considers her one true love is really a mega-famous movie star. Sherryl Woods strikes a chord in Mending Fences, a poignant and timely story about two families who must confront the subject of date rape. In Anna Pasternak's Daisy Dooley Does Divorce, a new divorcée and her two best friends leap back into the dating pool with mixed results. Lots of romance and a touch of mystery highlight Lani Diane Rich's Crazy in Love, the story of an ex-cop and an innkeeper who discover love as well as ghostly danger.
Shirley, Goodness and Mercy are back for another encore in Where Angels Go by Debbie Macomber. This time the angelic trio come to the aid of an aging husband concerned over his wife's welfare once he's passed. Next they facilitate the trials and tribulations surrounding an online romance, and finally, they help a young boy realize his fervent desire for a dog of his own. If laughter and spice are more the order of the day, then let Erin McCarthy, Donna Kauffman, Beverly Brandt and Alesia Holliday entertain you with their titillating anthology, The Naked Truth.
Mystery & Thriller
Karen Rose is back with another complicated and character rich thriller in Die For Me, where archeologist Sophie Johannsen finds herself targeted by a truly twisted sociopath who's obsessed with realism. Shirley Damsgaard returns with the fifth installment of her delightful Olivia & Abby mysteries in The Witch is Dead. This time Olivia must discover why her ward is experiencing disturbing nightmares about restless ghosts. Tara Taylor Quinn writes a thought provoking story in Behind Closed Doors where a couple is targeted by the Ivory Nation, a supremist group who make it very clear they disapprove of mixed marriages.
Geralynn Dawson revisits Brazos Bend in Never Say Never, where photographer and a federal agent must not only outwit a stalker but also fight off their raging attraction. Linda Castillo presents another gripping story in Overkill where a disgraced cop is given a chance to redeem herself only to find her past coming back to haunt her in a deadly way. Cat burglar Samantha Jellicoe and billionaire Rick Addison are back in Susan Enoch's delicious A Touch of Minx. This time the passionate pair is hot on the trail of ancient Japanese artifacts that disappeared a decade ago.
Fantasy, SF & Paranormal
Fans of the wildly popular Black Dagger Brotherhood will be thrilled that vampire warrior Vishous finally gets his own story - and love interest - in J. R. Ward's Lover Unbound. Eve Silver's talents veer from gothic to paranormal in Demon's Kiss, where sorcerer Ciarran D'Arbois struggles to hold invading demons at bay while also trying to protect the beautiful human the creatures have targeted. C. T. Adams and Cathy Clamp return to the intriguing world of the Sazi in Moon's Fury; when Adam Mueller and his exiled werewolf pack take up residence in a small Texas town the local sheriff knows she's in for trouble.
A modern day ghost buster is thrust back in time to help unmask a dangerous charlatan in Laurie Brown's delightful, Hundreds of Years to Reform a Rake. Jennifer Rardin's Once Bitten, Twice Shy heralds another series debut and introduces a CIA operative teamed with the Company's most formidable vampire assassin. Their first mission - to stop terrorists about to unleash a nightmarish plague. And Nalini Singh returns with another riveting installment in her Psy/Changling series in Caressed By Ice, where a former Psy assassin falls for a Changling struggling with traumatic amnesia after being abducted by a serial killer.
Jennifer Lewis blends emotion with humor in The Boss's Demand, her debut novel from Silhouette Desire. It centers on an ambitious career woman who finds herself in the awkward position of being pregnant by her irresistible boss.
Nalini Singh has already wowed readers with the innovative world and character building in her Psy/Changling series, but like most writers, she's always thinking ahead. All she'll tell us about her next series is that it's "about a bounty hunter who tracks down rogue vampires for their masters, the angels". And that the stories will be "very dark, edgy and sexy of course!"
For the past twenty years, Sourcebooks has published a wide variety of books, from the academic to trivia collections to calendars to books about the latest fashion trends. This month Sourcebooks unveils their Casablanca line, "a new home for romance fiction". Titles include a sexy time travel romance (Hundreds of Years to Reform a Rake), a Regency with a different kind of heroine (No Regrets) and a Georgette Heyer classic (Cotillion). The spring of 2008 will see an even bigger lineup of romantic fiction. Learn more in an upcoming interview with editor Deb Werksman.
And on a more somber note ...
Kathleen Woodiwiss, considered by many "the first lady of the romance genre", passed away this past July. In 1972 her groundbreaking historical romance, The Flame and the Flower not only enthralled editors at Avon, but went on to captivate millions of readers eager for something more substantial and character rich than the formulaic category romances available at that time. Within weeks, Brandon and Heather's epic adventure and grand romance blazed up the bestseller lists and re-defined the parameters of the romance novel.
The last thirty-five years have seen incredible growth and change in the romance industry. Despite plenty of ups and downs, the romance novel, and all its sub-genres, continues to dominate the industry as well as captivate and inspire new generations of readers and writers. And all because a humble woman from Minnesota decided to write the kind of book she most wanted to read. Kathleen Woodiwiss's final novel, Everlasting, will be released at the end of October.
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