Saturday, February 1, 2014

Hot Off The Presses! Authors Rec Hot Reads to Warm Up Our Extremities.

by Joyce Lamb)

At least my new neighbors are enjoying the weather.(Photo: Getty Images/iStockphoto)

Our favorite romance authors recommend some hot reads to keep us warm while Thor's polar hammer hammers us into little blocks of frozen … stuff.

Desiree Holt, author of Branded by Lust

It's not supposed to be this cold in South Central Texas. I've had my fireplace on every day! But to keep warm I'm rereading Maid for Love by Marie Force. This is the first in her McCarthys of Gansett Island series and the love story between Maddie and Mac is enough to melt the snow on everyone's roof. Getting ready to start Home to Seaview Key by Sherryl Woods (she always keeps me warm) and for a real change of pace, Command Authority by the late and great Tom Clancy. It's been staring me in the face on my iPad for two weeks and saying, Well? Are you ready to get involved yet? So along with my hot chocolate and mini marshmallows, I'm fighting the frigid winds and ice on the roads.

Lori Foster, author of Getting Rowdy

This crazy cold weather has made my 5 (yes, FIVE) cats crazy with cabin fever. It is impossible to see the monitor through that many cats. So I scooted to the frozen lake to finish a deadline. I swear, it's even colder here! But my little dog and I are enjoying the peace and quiet. When I'm not writing, I am LOVING Tempting the Billionaire by Jessica Lemmon. Between the awesome book — and gallons of hot chocolate — I'm staying warm, AND finishing my book on time.

Anne Elizabeth, author of A SEAL at Heart

Living in the mountains above San Diego has its charms, and right now that's the warm air coming up through Mexico. Today, it was a high of 60, and though a snowstorm might be on the horizon in a few weeks we are enjoying the blissfully gorgeous weather. I've been rereading Cathy Maxwell's Chattan Curse series. I read these books for the first time last year and was so taken with the characters, the stories, and the scenery (I LOVE SCOTLAND!!!) that I dove in again. One of my favorite things about Maxwell's writing is her ability to create such marvelous and likable heroes and to give heroines this undeniably brilliant streak of humor (a rare ability to laugh at oneself) and pick herself up to keep going. I love the perseverance, the charm, and the sex scenes. If I were stranded in a snowstorm or bathing in the sun, I would want to have a stack of Cathy Maxwell's books to keep me company!

Laura Marie Altom, author of Angel

It's been sooo cold here in Tulsa, so I've been indulging in my guilty pleasure of reading in the hot tub! My favorite book of the month is Austensibly Ordinary by Alyssa Goodnight. I'm a sucker for anything Austen-related and Ms. Goodnight delivered such a fun romp — she even tossed in a quirky paranormal twist. When not focused on her own romance, heroine Cate Kendall, fancies herself to be a matchmaking Emma. The side romances are almost as much fun as the main event! I especially enjoyed Cate's attempts to find love for her divorced cougar mom!

Alma Katsu, author of The Descent

If you want something to keep you warm, nothing is hotter in paranormal right now than witches, right? I recently read Jeanette Winterson's The Daylight Gate, a story about a witchcraft scare in England in 1612 that's all about the imbalance of power in British society at the time. Be warned: It's a novella being sold as a book, but for those who want a story masterfully told in a unique way it will be worth the price.

Serena Chase, author of The Ryn

If there is any book on my Kindle that is suffering from "click me" fatigue, it has to be Stealing Adda, a contemporary romantic comedy by Tamara Leigh that has that self-deprecating chick-lit vibe I love. And if the app on my phone happens to be permanently set on a particular scene in Nick's office in which a certain kiss happens to result in some tumbling books and a slight injury to a head and an ego, well ... sue me. It keeps the shivers at bay (the kind you get from being cold, at least! It might create the OTHER kind, though! *wink*). I'm also finding myself drawn to fast-paced YA romance right nows — especially those with paranormal elements, because they keep my blood pumping and help me stay warm. Next on my list, thanks to a recommendation from my 16-year-old daughter, is Recalled by Cambria Hebert, part of her Death Escorts series. I've heard such great things about this book, that I can hardly wait to dive in — and it has risen to the top of the list for my weekend warm-up plan!

Beth Williamson, author of The Fortune

As I'm stuck in the roller coaster of madness that is January in North Carolina, I'm keeping warm by reading all the amazingly awesome new releases in January. Right now I'm nose deep in Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare. Love, love, love her! I also spent a good portion of the month rereading Jennifer Ashley's Mackenzie series — oh, those Scots! Definitely keep me verra warm. ;)

Glynnis Campbell, author of The Winter Stone

I wish I could send some warm L.A. weather to my frozen friends in the rest of the country! Meanwhile, here are some of my favorite books to snuggle up with ... Colleen Gleason's Abandon the Night, because a post-apocalyptic female zombie hunter after a sexy Brit is hot-hot-hot ... Danelle Harmon's steamy Lord of the Seas for a romantic escape to a tropical paradise ... Tanya Anne Crosby's Highland Fire, because what's cozier than a hunky hero in a kilt … and — since nothing warms the heart like family — love, laughter, and sibling "revelry" in the Jewel Trilogy by Lauren Royal.

Cary Morgan Frates, author of Red Soles in the Morning, Valentine's Soaring and co-author of Love, Eternally

Well, it's rather temperate here in Seattle, but I have family around the country shaking and shivering, so for them I suggest Sharon Clare's Rhapsody. If anyone challenged me with the premise — a story based on a game, a simple board game — I would've scoffed and said it couldn't be done. Not so. Ms. Clare handled this story with an absolute masterstroke of writing. The story, this game, this moment, keeps the reader completely engaged, believing and wanting, right to the very end, and we may all thank our lucky stars for it. The story is beautiful, even timeless, and the skill that brought it forth, inspiring. Curl up with this book, a glass of wine, a blanket, and a nice fire, and you will have the perfect combination for a cozy, frost-free evening.

Emma Cane, author of The Cowboy of Valentine Valley

When it's so cold that even my Alaskan Husky doesn't want to go for a walk, I look for a good book about summer that I can curl up with and pretend I'm warm. And I found one! Kris Fletcher's Now You See Me takes place in Comeback Cove (love the name), a little Canadian resort town where Lydia is sick of being known as the Widow Brewster, and is ready for fun when bad boy J.T. comes back to town. This is a great summer flirtation, making me almost forget our negative wind chill!

Helena Fairfax, author of The Antique Love

Last week author E. Ayers sent me a copy of her Western, A Rancher's Woman — and I'm so glad she did! The story starts in a blizzard, but the heat smouldering between the heroine and her Indian escort is better than any coal fire. :) Instead of looking out on the rain falling down on my part of England, and the row of soot-blackened Victorian houses lining my street, I've been transported back to the Old West. I absolutely love the detail in Ayers' novel, and I'm rooting for her tough, unusual hero.

Next on my Kindle I'm back in my part of the world, with Irish author Patricia Scanlan's Promises, Promises. This was recommended to me by fellow RNA member Isabella Connor, and I'm looking forward!

In case you missed the first two posts about hot reads to prevent freezer burn, check them out here and here. And we're not done yet! Check in tomorrow for even more.

HEA contributor and curator Joyce Lamb has 25 years of journalism experience and eight published romantic suspense novels, three of which have been RITA finalists. You can reach her at and follow her on Twitter (@JoyceLamb). You can also follow HEA on Twitter (@HEAusatoday).