As I periodically like to post, in addition to being a reader of SF/F and mystery, I am also a romance reader! A somewhat finicky one with particular tastes, but a romance reader nonetheless!
And I am pleased to report, O Internets, that the fine ladies of the Bitchery (a.k.a. Smart Bitches, Trashy Books) continues to be my premier source in romance novels I want to read. Between the Smart Bitches, Dear Authors podcast (which Sarah Wendell does jointly with Jane Litte from Dear Author), and regular review posts on the SB site, I’ve been very happy to find stuff I like to read. These channels are how I’ve found Courtney Milan and Kate Noble, and now, I’m able to add Sarah MacLean and Julie Anne Long to the list of authors who write historicals that hit me square in the More Please.
Sarah MacLean first came across my radar thanks to the aforementioned podcast, when Sarah W. and Jane interviewed her in this episode. Her Rules of Scoundrels series sounded quite entertaining, and although that podcast dropped a major spoiler for the forthcoming fourth book of that series, it’s specifically that spoiler that got me interested enough to check it out. I’ve just finished reading Book 1, A Rogue By Any Other Name, as a library checkout.
And, well, anybody who’s read Valor of the Healer and Vengeance of the Hunter should know how partial I am to rogues who go through redemption arcs. MacLean’s book does exactly that with the hero of that story, the Marquess of Bourne. Book 2 also sounds like it’s right up my alley, with a heroine who’s scientifically inclined and wears spectacles. I’ve got that on the library queue now, and I suspect all four of the books of this series are about to gain themselves a home in my ebook library.
Meanwhile, Julie Anne Long has a much longer series, the Pennyroyal Green books. Long’s name has come up a lot recently on the SB site with her books being on sale, so I went and checked out The Perils of Pleasure from the library as well–because the conceit there of a nobleman being condemned to hang and being rescued at the last minute by the heroine, a mercenary, sounded awesome. And I was delighted to see that the book held up to that conceit; it started with quite the bang of action, and proceeded to maintain that pace. It’s also one of the rare romance novels that actually made me not skim one of the inevitable love scenes, because having it happen while our hero and heroine are on the run and desperate not to give themselves away added a fun extra layer of tension that integrated it nicely into the action. I’ll be proceeding on through this series, too.
So cheers to MacLean and Long (the latter of whom has now followed me on Twitter, woo!), and an ongoing YAY to Sarah W. and Jane for being such reliable purveyors of catnip. Thanks, ladies!