Hot Head

By Damon Suede ebook, 320 pages ISBN13:  9781615819492 Published June 15th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press (first published June 14th 2011) Penny’s Rating: A Ok. Wow.  This novel is sizzling hot, and not at all what I expected when I bought this ebook. Based on the book description, I was expecting some sort of trite story with good naughty bits, and instead ended up with an amazing novel, complete with a compelling story, characters that you fall in love with, and devastatingly hot, hot, hot, sex and sexual encounters. Did I mention it’s hot? Not only that, but the two main characters are firefighters, of the FDNY variety. If you’ve ever seen the FDNY calendar, you know what level of hotness we’re talking about here. If you are looking for a great guy/ guy romance, Damon Suede delivers. Here’s the publisher synopsis from Dreamspinner Press. “Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181: Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately Dante is strictly a ladies’ man and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For 10 years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.Griff’s caution and Dante’s cockiness…

The Bastard

by Brenda Novak Published on November 1, 2011 ISBN: 00B005Z4ZX94 Kindle Edition, Published October 23rd 2011 Penny’s Rating: B- A penniless French daughter of a nobleman (Jeannette Boucher) flees from her new English husband and a fate worse than death. To escape the clutches of her powerful husband, (St. Ives) and his nefarious plans for her wedding night, Jeannette chops her hair, dresses in boys’ clothing, and joins the crew of a Royal Navy ship. In running away, she runs right into the arms of one Lieutenant Crawford Treynor, who protects her even before he discovers who “Jean” really is. Their growing attraction causes both great frustration and pain as they struggle to guard their hearts. Not to mention, Jeannette is already married. Will she be able to escape her husband for good, and find true love? This book has some classic storytelling elements that when I list them off sound pretty cliché: A girl masquerading as a boy A wedding without a wedding night A jaded but honorable bastard, (the handsome Lt. Treynor) A heroine who gets into scrape after scrape A hero who nobly sacrifices himself again and again to get said heroine out of trouble A voyage…

The Time of the Singing

by Louise Blaydon eBook, 195 pages Published November 11th 2011 by Dreamspinner Press LLC (first published November 10th 2011) ISBN13: 9781613722039 Penny’s Rating: C+ Even as I start this review, I am still conflicted about this book. There were parts of it that made me uncomfortable. I really liked it, and one of the reasons I enjoyed it so much is because it wasn’t easy to like. It pushed my boundaries, and really made me re-examine some of my own opinions, especially my opinions regarding what I do and do not consider to be consensual sex. Israfel (Raf) is a 29 year old Catholic priest. He knows he is attracted to men, but he considers his homosexuality a disease and an affliction, in fact he chose to become a priest so he could lead a celibate lifestyle. Enter Nate Mulligan, a 17 year old, that’s right he’s a minor, who is an altar boy at Israfel’s new parish in a conservative small town in New England. In summary: Israfel and Nate are insanely attracted to each other, to the point where Nate won’t leave Israfel alone about it. Israfel struggles against his own urges, but gives into an falls for…

Her Christmas Pleasure (The Merry Widows #2)

by Karen Erickson 20,000 words, ebook, 67 pages Published November 28th 2011 by Carina Press ISBN 1426892705 (ISBN13: 9781426892707) Penny’s Rating: C+ Penny purchased the e-book for this review from Barnes & Noble. If you’re looking for a good romantic “quickie” read, this novella is not a bad way to go. I am not always a fan of novella’s; quite often the stories are underdeveloped and over too quickly, but in Her Christmas Pleasure, author Karen Erickson, manages to turn out a fair short tale. Damien Morton is in love with the lovely Lady Danvers (Celia), who used to be married to Damien’s best friend. The basic plot is that Damien has carried a torch for Celia for years, but doesn’t feel he’s good enough for her. Celia’s husband Lawrence, whom she loved dearly, has been dead for two years, and Celia is raising her young son Theodore alone. Damien has decided that if he can’t be with Celia, that he needs to get as far away from her as possible, even going so far as to accept a position on the continent. Damien plans to depart for the continent after the Christmas holidays, but everything changes when Damien and…

On Names in Historic Romance Novels
Musings / December 16, 2011

My husband thinks that all the historical romance novels I read have characters names Sebastian and Felicity. As much as I disagree vehemently with him whenever he brings this up, giggling as he makes his way through Eddie Izzard’s “Room with a View, with a Pond” sketch about Sebastian arranging matches, I have to admit that there is a grain of truth to his claim. I haven’t been keeping track, but whenever I do read a novel where one of the characters is named Sebastian, I have been telling him, just so I can watch him roll his eyes. To tell the truth there have been several. More that I expected. I am totally keeping track now, and I will list theme here as I find/remember them. Sebastian’s in Literature/ Romance Novels Sebastian Griffin, Duke of Melbourne – Suzanne Enoch, Sins/Griffin Family Series Sebastian (Bastian) Valmont, character in Les Liasons Dangereauses (Dangerous Liasons) Sebastian Flyte, a character in Evelyn Waugh’s novel, Brideshead Revisited Bastian Koehler, a character in With the Band, by L.A. Witt Sebastian, a character in William Shakespeare‘s play, The Tempest Sebastian, a character in William Shakespeare‘s play, Twelfth Night Yes, different names were more popular in Regency…