Joining LJ in its newest venture to review original ebook romances, librarian Marlene Harris, publisher of Ebook Review Central and book reviewer at Reading Reality LLC and for LJ Xpress Reviews, has selected the top five 2011 ebook romances that stuck with her in a year of memorable love stories:
Dane, Lauren. Goddess with a Blade. Carina: Harlequin. 180p. eISBN 9781426891694. EPUB $4.99. URBAN FANTASY
This story has everything a reader could want in an urban fantasy. The heroine is seriously kick-butt. She’s the avatar of a Celtic goddess, what else would she be? But that’s not the half of it. Her foster father is the head honcho of all the vampires, but the job he knew she was destined for is to police his kind. Needless to say she has some serious daddy issues. As well, her new frenemy/maybe love interest is definitely the vampire she has the most political issues with, well, she staked his predecessor. As the cops would say, though, it was a righteous bust. But they can’t be in the same room without serious chemistry, except they really, really shouldn’t. But it’s so hot. Great world-building, fantastic characters, and an interesting mystery to solve (which put this definitely onto the urban fantasy side).
Kelly, Inez. Turn It Up. Carina: Harlequin. 204p. eISBN 9781426891960. EPUB $5.99. CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE
This is one of the most fun “friends into lovers” stories I’ve ever read. It’s so much fun because Turn It Up is the story of two very funny, very intelligent, and very witty people who happen to host a radio sex therapy show, Dr. Hot and the Honeypot, and pretty much talk each other into a relationship and into bed during the course of the broadcast. The theme is a classic, but the dialog “zings” with sharp wisecracks as well as sexual sparks! Yet the story of why Honeypot Charlie is afraid to trust her heart to anyone, even her best friend, is warm, touching, and very satisfying.
Massey, Heather. Queenie’s Brigade. Red Sage. 125p. eISBN 9781603107143. EPUB $5.49. SF ROMANCE
The last starship escaping the last battle for Earth hightails it away from the evil conquerors in order to find a safe system and come back to lead the rebellion another day. It leaves the battle because that last ship contains stolen alien tech that’s vital to the rebellion. But here’s where it gets interesting. Instead of a safe system, the Relentless finds itself on a forgotten prison planet that’s been taken over by the prison gangs, led by their own home-grown gang leader, Queenie. The former prisoners’ treatment of the military is brutal, as too many prisoners were press-ganged into the defense of the homeworld. The uneasy truce that develops between the former ship’s captain and the woman who was literally born to lead a gang is hot one minute and cold the next. But working together gives both of them the chance for everything they ever dreamed of, including a future.
Urban, Madeleine & Abigail Roux. Divide & Conquer. Dreamspinner. (Cut & Run, Bk. 4). 320p. eISBN 9781615817160. EPUB $6.99. M/M ROMANCE, MYSTERY/SUSPENSE
Divide & Conquer is the fourth book in Urban and Roux’s “Cut & Run” series and was one of the Dreamspinner featured titles for October on Ebook Review Central because there were tons of reviews all over the blogosphere. Those reviews were not just glowing, but everyone was looking for a rating above their top to try to say how marvelous is not just this title but the whole series. The books feature FBI agents Ty Grady and Zane Garrett, who aren’t sure at first that they can work together; falling for each other isn’t even on the radar, at least initially. But by the point of this fourth installment, the two men have definitely managed to figure out a working partnership‚ the personal partnership is still a work in progress.
King, Laurie R. Beekeeping for Beginners. Bantam. 73p. eISBN 9780345529930. EPUB 99¬¢. MYSTERY
This short story is an e-only version of the events in King’s 1994 novel The Beekeeper’s Apprentice, except here the story is told from Sherlock Holmes’s point of view. Fans of this very nontraditional love story will appreciate confirmation of the long-held belief that when Mary Russell stumbled over Holmes on the Sussex Downs that long-ago afternoon, it was the saving of them both. Holmes/Russell series fans loved this. Holmes plight at the beginning sent chills down my spine.