8 Following

Rose Lerner

I love books! I also write them. FYI: I use this space for recs of books I wholeheartedly love only. My recs are honest, but I have social relationships with some of the romance authors whose books I rec. 

After a mix-up put the wrong cover on Cecilia Grant’s A Gentleman Undone on this site (it's fixed now, sadly, so I can't show you), I made fake scholarly covers for my books (plus a couple of my faves)! 


Read more at my blog.

A Dream Defiant

A Dream Defiant - Susanna Fraser I love this story! A Peninsular War novella about a white soldier's widow who has no choice but to remarry immediately for her own safety, and the black NCO who offers to protect her and her (adorable) son. The military setting is incredible, and I really connected with the hero and heroine--two people who've always had to choose practicality over dreams...UNTIL NOW. One of my favorite tropes!
The Path of Names - Ari B. Goelman This book was absolutely incredible. I can't recommend it highly enough. The narrator, Dahlia, is a geeky girl who'd rather go to math camp again or stay home practicing magic tricks than go to Jewish summer camp, and I loved her. Plus, who doesn't enjoy Kabbala, golems, and numerology?
Smoke and Mirrors - Tanya Huff I loved this book! Satisfyingly creepy, but funny and sweet as hell. Watching people who make a paranormal TV show try to deal with actual paranormal activity was awesome.
Eyeing the Flash: The Making of a Carnival Con Artist - Peter   Fenton This book is MESMERIZING. If you like con artists, heist stories, or painful memoirs with unreliable narrators who seem determined to show themselves in the worst possible light (and I love all three), this book is for you. Teenager Peter Fenton escapes from his unpleasant home life through his unhealthy friendship with a fellow high school student who is also a bookie, fledgling con artist, and the son of carnival owners and has, to Pete's shock, an even more disturbing home life than Pete himself. I couldn't put it down.
Any Duchess Will Do - Tessa Dare I loved Pauline a LOT. She was tough and funny and I loved her common-sense approach to life and relationships. I'm excited for her next series, but I'm sorry to see Spindle Cove go on hiatus. I love that town SO MUCH.
A Woman Entangled - Cecilia Grant ALL I WANT TO DO RIGHT NOW IS TALK ABOUT HOW GREAT THAT BOOK IS. So great! Not to mention perfectly structured and completely satisfying all the way to the last page. I ended this book with the biggest smile on my face, and I love all the characters. The protagonists’ unique combination of showmanship/romanticism and practicality/conventionality was so incredibly appealing and vividly drawn.
Too Hot to Handle - Victoria Dahl Loved Merry and Shane! I laughed so hard through this whole book, and then the ending snuck up and made me cry. Can't wait for the next one!
Too Hot To Touch - Louisa Edwards I absolutely adored this book. Partly because I'm a cook and I love food, but OMG, watching Max and Jules deal with their family stuff (and help each other deal!) and figure out what they really wanted from life was incredibly powerful. I was verklempt for the last thirty pages at least. This book was completely note-perfect, I loved every character, and I want to eat EVERYTHING described. I ordered all five of Edwards's other books immediately on finishing this one, that's how much I loved it. A completely satisfying reading experience.
Big Boy - Ruthie Knox THIS BOOK IS AMAZING EVERYONE SHOULD READ IT. Especially if you like roleplaying, WHICH I DO.
I Shall Wear Midnight - Terry Pratchett I have loved every book in this series, and this was an absolutely perfect conclusion. I cried so many times! I've always loved the Discworld witches...they're important to me, as a woman, especially a somewhat Type A woman. And seeing a girl dealing with growing up AND all that magic and responsibility and choice and careful manipulation of power dynamics is just...AWESOME. And Letitia got her due, too! I love that there are no scapegoat characters in Discworld. No one is there just to be A Jerk or The Romantic Rival. There's something big-hearted and fair-minded about Terry Pratchett that I really, really appreciate.

Plus I was very pleased with how the romantic plotlines turned out!
An Infamous Marriage - Susanna Fraser I loved this book! It's one of those books where the more I think about it, the more I love it: the hero and heroine, the story, the tone, how everything is dealt with. I could go on AT LENGTH, so I'll just make a short list of two of my favorite things:

1. I love the hero and heroine. Normally part of the
wish-fulfillment fantasy of a romance for me (as a reader AND a writer) is imagining myself as a more heroic and dramatic PERSON, if that makes sense--like, "What if I were as fabulous as this heroine?" But I just felt like I could BE Elizabeth. So I got to directly experience the fantasy of "What if I, myself, were in this exciting situation?" Because I loved both of them to death but there was nothing "heroic" about their flaws. (Or maybe that's WHY I loved them so much!) Jack was just a guy who was insecure and afraid of confrontation and one time he said mean things about his wife behind her back. And Elizabeth was a good, competent person with a tendency towards self-righteous stubbornness. And it was AWESOME.

2. It's hard to resist the temptation to make the Duchess of
Richmond's ball (the big party thrown on the eve of Waterloo and attended by Wellington and many of his senior staff) as a metaphor for something: a last hurrah, an unforgiveable inability to take danger seriously, the British aristocracy's stiff upper lip, whatever. One thing I loved about this author's take was that the ball just felt the way it must have to the people there: a kind of weird event that you weren't sure how you were supposed to react to. In the whole Waterloo section I feel like she really captured how difficult it is for someone in the middle of a huge event to wrap their mind around HOW huge it is and how much it's really affecting them.

Sidenote: Infidelity is a huge squick for me, but the author handled it in a way where it didn't bother me at all (or at least, it bothered me that the hero did that, but the STORY didn't bother me--like I didn't see the hero as an arrogant jerk who got away with cheating, as I sometimes do. And I felt like the aftermath was dealt with perfectly.)

A Gentleman Undone (Blackshear Family, #2)

A Gentleman Undone (Blackshear Family, #2) - Cecilia Grant I loved this book. Lydia is an amazing, complicated, difficult, unbearably endearing and heart-tugging heroine. Her determination and anger and genuine desire for mathematical correctness (literally, she's a mathematician, which, o/) were amazing. And Will's corrosive shame for a terrible mistake in his past was delineated SO precisely and perfectly. I teared up MANY times reading this, and WOW does Cecilia Grant have a way with a sex scene. Incredibly hot and incredibly intense and emotional. Plus I love a good gambling plotline! I cannot recommend this book enough.

Ruined by Rumor

Ruined by Rumor - Alyssa Everett A marriage of convenience story AND a he's secretly had a crush on her for years story? Two great tastes that taste great together. Roxana is adorable and Ayersley is a great geek hero (my favorite flavor!) with a shy, sly sense of humor. His adoration of Roxana is wonderful to read. Plus Alyssa Everett is a charming, poignant writer with a great historical voice.
Generous Fire - Olivia Waite One of the things I love about Olivia Waite is how she manages to fit a cohesive and compelling love story into such a small space. The sharp, deep way she sets up these characters just in the first few pages, with practically nothing but some physical description, was amazing: the headmaster and Latin mistress of a Victorian boarding school, two carefully controlled people who long to break free of that control. And then they do when all the students are home for Christmas! Plus, it was REALLY hot. I highly recommend.

WARNING (and SPOILER): While everything in the story is completely consensual, there are references to the nonconsensual use of mechanical vibrators on female psychiatry patients, in the context of consensual use of such a device.
Hearts and Harbingers - Olivia Waite A sweet and sexy Regency novella about a impoverished gentlewoman who decides to raise money by selling her virtue instead of marrying the man her brother has chosen for her. The love scenes were incredibly hot, and the way the heroine's relationship with her wastrel brother was handled was absolutely wonderful and heartbreaking.