The fabulous authors of Changeling Press are @ TRS all day 3/4/14! We’re so glad you’re here.
There are so many romance stories that I’ve enjoyed over the years, and many of them have already found a substantial amount of readers. Some of the others aren’t quite as widely known, even though their stories can be unique, brilliant, and heartwarming. So, dear romance readers, I’ve decided to give you a list of ten that fit that criteria. These stories have their own strengths, and – to me – seem to be hidden in the recesses of the genre. Maybe you’ll see something that intrigues you.
Warning: Not all of these are child-friendly.
99 to Nowhere by Domino. I read this book years ago, and it still sticks with me. It’s a story of a young homeless couple (Rio and Maxx), and their struggles to make something better out of their lives while holding onto one another. There are so many obstacles in life for these two, and at times things seem absolutely hopeless. It tugged at my heart, and left me so invested in the romance that I think of it on occasion even after all this time.
What I Didn’t Say by Keary Taylor. Jake has a thing for Samantha, but Samantha has seemed pretty distant lately. When you add alcohol to the turbulent thoughts, you have a situation that could easily lead to disaster. In this instance, a drunken Jake wanting to confess his love for the girl he wants, but getting in a car accident on the way there. Bad enough, but when he wakes up to his injuries – realizing he’ll never talk again – it’s absolutely devastating. But not necessarily the end between him and his would-be girlfriend, even if she has issues of her own. This was a unique spin, I felt, for a high school romance.
Her Best Friend’s Brother by T.J. Dell. This one starts off as more of a high school romance, but it extends beyond until the intended couple – Tony and Libby – are grown. The story is pretty much summed up in the title. Tony is Libby’s best friend’s brother, and he’s hesitant to make any kind of step toward having a relationship with her since he’s a little older. Not much older, mind you, but enough to keep him at a distance for a long time. There’s jealousy, and waiting, and controversy, and all kinds of things that set the dynamic for the pair, and it’s a book I still think about so long after reading it.
Her Forbidden Hero by Laura Kaye. Although this one’s cover lets you know it’s not for kids (and it isn’t), it’s still more plot-based than the latest design – to me – lets on. Basically, Alyssa has been obsessed with Marco since she was a child. He’s her brother’s friend, and she’s known – and trusted – him for years. But he’s never seen her in a romantic context at all. When he comes back from his time in the military, things have changed. Specifically, the two of them. Alyssa is grown-up, and Marco is a mess. And Alyssa is more than willing to help Marco recover from all of his lingering issues. It’s a nice story about two people taking care of each other, needing one another.
The Rocker that Holds Me by Terri Anne Browning. This is a story of little Emmie, a girl who grew up with a crew of guys – ten years older than her – protecting her from her abusive mother. Those guys all adore her, and even when they get a record deal and start becoming big-time rockers, they still make sure that Emmie is taken care of. When her mom dies when Emmie’s fifteen, they take her under their wing, letting the teenager tour the world with them. The problem? The lead singer, as Emmie grows older, starts seeing her as a woman. In fact, he’s falling for her, though Emmie – who’s been obsessed with him for a while now – can’t see it. There’s even a counterpart to this book, Nik’s (the lead singer’s) story. I haven’t read anything beyond these two books in the series yet, but it’s one I wouldn’t mind continuing.
Price of a Kiss by Linda Kage. The challenge – writing a story about a gigolo, and making it a romantic tale. Kage attempts exactly that, and succeeds. Reese and Mason are attracted to each other from the start, but how can something so monumentally odd be overcome to make a relationship work? I can’t even pinpoint why I like this story so much. Maybe because of the improbability? Overcoming the odds and rescuing one another? Two people loving enough to make it happen? Probably all of that, and maybe a little more. What I do know is that I really enjoyed it.
California Dream by Kara Jorges. This is a story (apparently penned over 20 years ago) of a rock and roller who meets a groupie. And he really, really likes that groupie. But as you can guess, this tale is not an immediate happily ever after. Challenges surface, and the reader watches as the couple struggles to find some sort of balance – if a relationship is possible, or even really wanted. What can I say? I love rock stars…
The Boyfriend Thief by Shana Norris. I’ll be honest. I’m not sure what specifically makes me like this book. That’s not an insult, because I do like it, but I can’t decipher a particular point that made me enjoy it, other than possibly the ease of Zac’s (main guy’s) character. It’s a high school romance tale of a girl being paid to steal someone’s boyfriend (the girl paying’s boyfriend, not some other unfortunate girl), and eventually falling in love with him. If you like lighthearted YA romances, you might want to think about giving it a try.
Kiss.Crush.Collide by Christina Meredith. This is about a girl named Leah who’s trapped in what she’s supposed to be. From her family to her school work, even her social life in some regards, is playing out by a plan perfected by her family members before her. She doesn’t mind so much at first, since she’s good at the role, but then she meets a boy who’s anything but a part of the intended plan. The guy she first knows as Porter is nothing she should want – not when everything is working out precisely as it should in her life – but she finds herself wanting him anyway. There’s some self-exploration going on in this novel, and a romance blooming in the midst of it. I definitely don’t regret reading this book.
You Against Me by Jenny Downham. This book is interesting just based on the storyline itself. Mikey and Ellie are thrown together in one of the most unlikely circumstances, finding each other while facing one another on opposite sides of the legal system. You see, Ellie’s brother has been accused of raping Mikey’s sister, and both are adamant that their siblings are telling the truth. Well, maybe not *completely* adamant, but one of them is putting on a really good show. In any event, this is one of the biggest hurdles I’ve ever seen a couple have to come through in fiction, and one of the strangest premises for the beginnings of a new relationship. Still. Somehow, the two find something happening between them in the midst of the craziness.
And there’s the list. Some of these may be more famous than others, but still not Nicholas Sparks level
Please remember to check out my Twitter page for giveaway opportunities during this blog tour (Feb. 24th-28th), and if you haven’t already read book one of my series (Essenced), it should be free through all five days. Thanks for celebrating the release of Emblazed with me!!!
After all the preparations, Nicholai’s warriors stand on the threshold of warfare, the demons entering the realm in battalions and the world unknowingly depending on the army’s success to continue intact. But the battle is only the beginning of deadly struggles, and the soldiers will soon realize how little they know, how many things are at stake, and how much they have to lose.
Love, hate, hope, despair, anguish, joy… The journey is a gauntlet of emotion and combat, threatening their resolve as much as their lives.
Will their training and ties be enough, or will the complications and the forthcoming evil forever cripple the world’s last hope of survival?
AJ sensed him there, standing wordlessly some feet in the distance, just like she always recognized his presence when he lingered near. She absorbed the comfort and happiness he brought her – not that she’d admit that out loud – before sighing and speaking. “It’s called making a bed, Julius. It’s pretty commonplace.”
He didn’t push away from the doorframe, instead leaning further against it while he continued to observe her. “Sweetheart, nothing’s commonplace when you do it.”
Hearing the grin and affection in his voice, she smiled, peeking at him over her shoulder. “Is that a compliment or an insult?”
He gazed upward to stare at the ceiling with a thoughtful expression, then returned his attention to her, his shrug carefree. “Both.”
She smirked. “Sweet talker.”
“Odd ball.” He finally moved from the threshold, unhurriedly advancing toward her. “You know, most people make their beds in the morning. Not ten o’clock at night.”
She snorted. “Yeah. I’m gonna make my bed as soon as I roll out of it at six AM. I wouldn’t be making it now if I didn’t have to wrestle the sheet back on four times a night.” Finally setting her pillow in its position, she turned to him with an unashamed grin.
He chuckled, his adoration plain, and brushed a lock of hair from her face. “You’re one of a kind, you know that?”
“Compliment or insult?” she teased again.
“Compliment.” He smiled, cupping her cheek. “Definitely a compliment.”
“Sweet talker,” she repeated, standing on her tiptoes to press a kiss to his lips. Wrapping her arms around his neck, his circling her waist, she dove into the moment, reveling in the wonderful sensations only Julius incited. Safety. Warmth. Passion. So many more she couldn’t quite put a name to, the combination too heady and consuming to adequately decipher. It was simply a Julius effect, and its wonder had no equal in her life. Gradually breaking away, she knowingly lifted an eyebrow. “You didn’t come here just to make fun of me over my bed-making habits.”
“Maybe I came up here just to kiss you.”
“If that were the case, dear Julius, you wouldn’t have waited until I kissed you.”
Narrowing his eyes, he barely restrained his smirk at her forwardness and how well she’d grown to understand him in their time together. “You have a point.” He stepped back from her embrace, grasping her hand in his. “Come on. We have a mission.”
“A mission?” Her brow furrowed, though she made no move to retrieve her palm from his, following him in confusion as he neared the hallway. “At ten o’clock at night?”
“I believe we already covered the time in this conversation, AJ.” He made a clucking noise with his tongue, shaking his head in mock disappointment. “You really need to keep up with matters a bit more.”
She glared at the back of his head, lips thinning despite her vexing boyfriend’s inability to see her from his location. Realizing the futility of her frustrated efforts, she clenched the fingers he clutched, smiling in accomplishment at his grunt of discomfort. “Yeah, we covered it, but in household chore way. Not in a mission way. What could we possibly have to do this late at night?”
He sent her an amused glance – one she deemed condescending, particularly after the physical hint of her annoyance – while tugging her through the doorway. “You do realize it isn’t ten o’clock everywhere, right?”
“Of course I realize that! I’m not a moron!”
“I never said you were…”
She growled, steeling her feet against the floor and prying her hand from his. “You didn’t have to. Your little grin said it all for you.”
His stare revealed sincere bewilderment – maybe a speck of frustration as well – and his arm dropped to his side. “So let me get this straight. You’re angry at me… because I smiled at you?”
Her eyes widened in fury, one finger raising to point at his chest while her left fist braced against her hip. “Don’t try to turn this around like I’m crazy!”
He scrunched his forehead, gaze traveling up and down her form while he held his hands out, as if silently offering his evidence.
She groaned, unhappy, turning away from him to rein in her irritation. For several seconds, she simply scanned her room, livid exhale after livid exhale falling from her lips, but the attempts did little to calm her turmoil, Julius actually flinching when her focus again landed on him. “It’s the grin you used. It’s the same one that was on your face when you drove into New Mexico, and I was surprised the facility was stationed here. Like I’m the dumbest person in the world and your number one source of entertainment.”
Instantly, his expression softened. “You can’t possibly think that I think that way?”
She just glared at him.
“Look, I’m not gonna lie.” He approached her, smiling tenderly. “You do amuse me, but not because I think you’re stupid. You’re… animated. And quirky. But not stupid. And I get it’s late, and no matter what time zone we’re entering, it’s ten o’clock here and we’re handing over sleeping hours, but Nicholai insists we need to go now.”
She kept pinched eyes on him, but her posture loosened a bit.
He laughed, reaching for her hand once more. “See? Animated. I can pretty much watch the wheels in your head turn.”
“Does that make you my mental stalker, too?”
Processing the playful edge of her words, he kissed her knuckles and led her into the hall. “Trust me, sweetheart. I have no desire to wander through your mind. I can’t imagine all the weird things I’d encounter.”
She tilted her head to the side, smiling. “Compliment or insult?”
Smirking over his shoulder, he caught her eyes with his. “Insult.”
Find Connie on the web!
Blog/Main Site: http://clsmithbooks.blogspot.com/
We’re glad you’re here! What a fun Saturday we have planned with great authors and books!
Petra White! Congratulations to Petra and thank you to everyone who entered!
It’s Valentine’s Day and we’re so happy to spend it with you! From 2/10/14 – 2/14/14, 80 of today’s finest authors will be sharing some good books and everything Valentine’s Day with us! Enjoy!
We’re have a party here @ TRS all day 2/8/14! We’re so glad you’re here. We have a fun day planned!
So you guys like the Saturday parties? So do we! So join us all day for great books, great authors!
Are you loving our Saturday release parties as much as we do? You’re in for a treat! Today’s party is PG ONLY! And we have some amazing authors and books to show you. Enjoy!
Welcome to our release party on our new day — Saturday! We have some wonderful books and authors for you. We’re glad you’re here!