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Denise Little


Kristine Kathryn Rusch:

Research and the Research Librarian

Casey Chapel: Lost Luggage
Yvonne Jocks:
A Solitary Path
Jean Rabe:
Misery and Woe
Petronella Glover
: Quebec Romeo Victor

Dayle A. Dermatis
: This is the World Calling
Deb Stover
: The Enchanted Garden

Emily Brontë: Wuthering Heights
(Part 1)

C.S. DeAvilla

Percy Bysshe Shelley

Lezli Robyn and Ellen Josina Lowry

Denise Little:
The Profit Motive
Julie Pitzel: You Read That: Genre
Shaming and How to Deal With It

C.S. DeAvilla writes award-winning science fiction, fantasy, and romance under another pen name. She has been a romance fan since she sneaked a peek at her mother’s massive historical romance bookcase and fell in love with all the characters. She reads every romance genre—as long as two people are falling in love, she’ll give it a read. Her favorite authors are Jennifer Crusie, J.R. Ward, Darynda Jones, Suzanne Brockmann, Sarah MacLean, and Kristan Higgins. But she always has room for one more.



by C.S. DeAvilla


Hot Head by Damon Suede

Voted as one of the top 100 romances of all time, Damon Suede’s Hot Head is sure to be a guaranteed awesome contemporary romance read. I one-clicked that purchase faster than I could finish the free sample. Suede’s style promises a fantastic slow burn and don’t worry, it delivers exactly that. Hot Head pairs two best friends, Griff and Dante, together in a will-they-or-won’t-they romance. At first Griff jumps to his fellow fire fighter’s aid to help him with his money issues, but the favor requires Griff to “bear all” alongside his best friend for a video on a seedy internet site. Not only does the favor tempt him with the friend he’s always wanted, but it also threatens both of their jobs as New York fire fighters if the video were to ever get into the wrong hands. There is a lot to enjoy in Suede’s writing style. His prose is a rough poetic style that has shades of J.R. Ward. Lots of genuine descriptions of New York that immersed me into the setting and characters. The romance was fire on the page. These two heroes’ love story will leave readers cheering for their HEA (Happily Ever After) and scanning Suede’s back catalogue of other novels to feed the book depression this one will leave.



Dreamspinner Press
AISN: B00564ACK8
June 14th 2011

Riptide by Kathryn Nolan

Contemporary romance newcomer, Kathryn Nolan, is bound to become a reader favorite. In her debut novel, Riptide, she doesn’t hold back on any of the enemies-to-lovers tension between the two characters. Avery Dacosta is finally close to achieving her career goal of building a luxury resort on the southern California beach of Playa Vieja. Finn Travis, local pro surfer and environmentalist, will stop at nothing to make sure that never happens. Avery’s sure Finn is a naïve tree hugging idealist who doesn’t understand the hypocritical view point he’s spouting off. For example, as a pro surfer he’s never paid attention to the over-pollution one of his competitions causes on the local beaches where they’re held. Finn is certain Avery is a just another corporate robot that is more concerned with her salary increases and budget projections than understanding the impact a hotel would have on the local wildlife. Both set out to educate the other and through a series of local debates begin to soften to the opposing view and each other. I really enjoyed Nolan’s talent for snappy dialog and, boy, can she write steamy love-tension-filled scenes. Some of which do linger into the naughty side. Readers who prefer their romance in the steamy to sexy side of the spectrum will enjoy diving into this new author’s offering in the genre.



April 4th, 2017

Call of Fire by Beth Cato

Call of Fire is the second installment in Beth Cato’s Blood of Earth trilogy. The first book in the series, Breath of Earth, takes place in 1906 right before the devastating San Francisco earthquake, but this fantasy takes on an alternative fantastical twist: geomancers. Ingrid Carmichael is one of those geomancers, a group of people who seem to be able to harness the power of the earth, staving off natural disasters, and store that energy into special minerals that can be then used as batteries. The main story conflict revolves around the United Pacific’s desire to destroy Chinese culture and people. Ingrid and gang have set out to stop the potential genocide. Along the way Ingrid joins with Fenris and Cy, two men whose goals align with her own. Call of Fire continues the story and romance between Ingrid and Cy in a satisfying way. In the first book, their chemistry sizzles. In the second it works its way to full boil. The bedroom scene is both sweet and page turning, reminding me of the first time I read Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander in how open and honest the characters were. My favorite part of Cato’s story is the detailed attention to history as a backdrop for creating the world as well as her strong characters. The side characters, especially Fenris and Lee, stand on their own, begging for their individual stories to be told. And Ingrid is a strong heroine, not because she can drop-kick or fight off baddies, but because she sees what needs to be done and moves forward, doing it. If readers are craving a smart fantasy / sweet romance, the Blood of Earth trilogy is a good place to start.



Publisher: Harper Voyager (HarperCollins)
ISBN: 0062422111
August 15th, 2017

Close Enough to Touch: A Novel by Colleen Oakley

One of my most delightful discoveries this year has been Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley. Recluse due to circumstance, Jubilee Jenkins, is allergic to human skin cells, essentially rendering her allergic to touch. After nine years of hiding away in her home, she must venture out to find a job after her step-father decides to stop sending Jubilee money after her mother dies. After several tries of self-attempted therapy sessions to build up mental strength to leave the house, Jubilee lands a job at the local library where she runs into an old acquaintance. Not exactly friends, and unsure why Madison suddenly wants to become her best friend, Jubilee proceeds with caution, but soon the two become real friends. She also meets Eric Keegan, newly divorced and caregiver for his best friend’s son. The boy adopted by Eric is precocious, believing he’s a superhero with untapped power. He takes to Jubilee instantly when he sees she is always wearing gloves and upon finding out the reason, is instantly intrigued by her. So is Eric, but for different reasons. This romance has all the markings readers will be looking for: the high conflict, the compelling characters, the funny narrative mixed with dark realism, unexpected twists, and squee-worthy meet-cutes paired with tummy tingling romancing attempts. The bond this couple goes through in a short amount of time left me extremely fearful that circumstances wouldn’t allow them to be together. I worried alongside Eric, that bad timing would contribute to their undoing, but the end delivers a satisfying conclusion readers will be waiting for that last page to experience.



Publisher: Gallery Books
(Simon and Schuster)
ISBN: 1501139266
March 7th, 2017

Once Upon A Kiss by Alethea Kontis, Yasmine Galenorn, Kate Danley, Devon Monk, Hailey Edwards, Debra Dunbar, Nikki Jefford, Sarra Cannon, Mandy M. Roth, Anthea Sharp, Jennifer Blackstream, Julia Crane, Jenna Elizabeth Johnson, Alexia Purdy, C. Gockel, Phaedra Weldon, Shawntelle Madison

Once Upon A Kiss isn’t just one fantastic romance, it’s seventeen. This book is a collaborative effort from several bestselling fantasy romance writers taking fairy tale tropes and twisting them into more modern tales. It would be difficult to call out a favorite because each novella-length story has its own strengths. If readers have been looking for new series in this genre to explore this is a great book to start. Each book is a taste of the writer’s style and a peek into their own series—many of the novellas seemed to connect into a larger world for each of the authors, which was a relief to find that some of my favorites could be continued into a bigger series. From fairies falling into glass mountains, to magical bake-offs, to kisses that could be deadly or salvation—each author will keep you entertained and offer a fresh look at old fairy tales.


Publiser: Fiddlehead Press
ISBN: 1680130900
March 18th, 2017


Copyright © 2017 by C.S. DeAvilla.

Heart's Kiss Magazine

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