Once Upon A Romance

Very Enjoyable Reads...In Connie's Opinion

New Additon(s) To The List

Death on the Flop {M/R} by Jackie Chance captured my attentnion from the beginning. Belinda, "Bee", is an energetic and brave, yet not totally fearless, main character. Even with confusing references to Texas Hold 'Em, this story was smart, funny, and fast paced. It had its share of suspense, too.
1st Poker Mystery .

Tombs of Endearment {M/R} by Casey Daniels was fun, suspenseful, full of fashion woes (according to Pepper), love woes, a couple of ghosts who are earth bound until Pepper can finish their "unfinished" business, and plenty of action. This series is addictive!
3rd in the Pepper Martin Mystery series.

Murder 101 {M/R} by Maggie Barbieri has it all; comedy, tragedy, romance, and suspense. Alison is a likable yet sympathetic character, one who has bad luck and even worse reactions to said bad luck. Highly entertaining.

The List
(In Alphabetical Order)

Ace of Hearts {H} by Barbara Metzger is quite entertaining. With a perfectly matched heroine and hero, an eclectic (perhaps eccentric) and unforgettable cast of secondary characters, and a well thought out, not to mention fun plot you can hardly go wrong. There is some head hopping, but the tone and pace of the story helps you overlook that.
This is the first book in a series.

Barely A Bride {H} by Rebecca Hagan Lee is different, filled with scenes that threw surprises my way. I rooted for the heroine who appeared strong and in charge on the outside, while on the inside she was often unsure and in turmoil.
This is the first book in a series.

Better Off Wed {M} by Laura Durham is a mystery that will put a smile on your face as you try and help Annabelle figure out whodunnit. Annabelle's cohorts are definitely characters. Though they may add a bit of comic relief to the mystery, they're a perfect fit to the story and as Annabelle's friends. Thoroughly enjoyable.
#1 in the Annabelle Archer Mystery series.

Bewitched {H} by Heather Cullman is meomorable with its imperfect hero and a heroine whose family has a curse on it. Misfits of society find love amid a bit of intrigue. Hard to put down.

Blue Blood {M} by Susan McBride is a fun and intriguing mystery. If you're not much of an adventure seeker live vicariously through Andy Kendricks and her mother Cissy. They'll take you along with them as they solve the crimes by unconventional methods. What tenacity Andy has to get into so much trouble yet keep plugging away til she gets to the bottom of things. I really enjoyed the time spent reading this book.
#1 in Debutante Dropout Mystery series.

Candy Apple Dead {M} by Sammi Carter was a page turner. I really enjoyed the seamless blending of getting to know the character(s) of this new series and the mystery. The setting, the main character, Abby's, tenacity and deductive reasonings, and the plot kept me interested until the very end. I eagerly look forward to the next book the the Candy Shop Mystery series.

Chick and the Dead, The {C/M} by Casey Daniels never lost my attention. Ghosts, a cemetery, murder, and mayhem. Mix in a few recurring characters and watch how Pepper tries to hang on to her sanity and solve the mystery. Definitely not a boring book.
2nd in the Pepper Martin series.

Chocolate Dipped Death {M} by Sammi Carter was enjoyable. While I did figure out "who done it" fairly early on, I have to say, there was enough suspects and finger pointing to create doubts from time to time. It was also interesting to see some secrets revealed in this small town.
Second in the Candy Shop mystery series.

Cobra & The Concubine, The {H} by Bonnie Vanak takes you from the deserts of Egypt to the drawing rooms of London and back again. It's packed with action, love, emotions, and intrigue. A finely woven tale.

Ever Yours {H} by Gabriella Anderson has a hero who's suffering is heartrending, both physically and emotionally, and has a cast of wonderful characters. This story had me cheering for the "Monster Earl" all the way.

Flamingo Fatale {M} by Jimmie Ruth Evans held my attention. It's hard to say, exactly, what appealed to me. The fun, yet down to earth characters who seemed very real and had very real problems, the way the mystery unfolded and the fingers were pointed at suspects until there was only one left, the southern setting...it could be all of that. All I know is I had it read in a matter of hours.
First in A Trailer Park Mystery series.

Forever Ashley {P/H} by Lori Copeland is enjoyable. With one displaced 20th Century woman and confused American Patriots there can be nothing but chaos and fun throughout. What a great time travel.

Ghost and Mrs. McClure, The {M} by Alice Kimberly was quite entertaining. It wasn't the most suspenseful book, but it was fast paced. Put together a ghost from the 1940's and a modern day single mother who are trying to slove a murder and see if that doesn't catch your interest. The players and the setting were an added bonus to the book; fun and realistic. A great pick-me-up story.
#1 in A Haunted Bookshop Mystery series.

Guilty Pleasures and His Every Kiss {H} by Laura Lee Guhrke are full of strong emotions and intense characters. They all, in some way, seem to need healing, which tugs at the heart. Add to that, unique and original plots that keep the pages turned and you have a hard to put down set of books! There are few, but fairly explicit, intimate scenes. Personal preference here, I would've preferred them toned down or left to the imagination, but given the nature of the characters I understood why.
His Every Kiss is a "spin-off" of Guilty Pleasures but stands completely on its own.

Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone by J.K. Rowling read what I wrote in a college class concerning this story.

Here Comes The Bride {H} by Laura Drewry is a book of courage, healing wounds, and love at first sight. Tess and Gabe are a perfect match. The secondary characters are interesting and fun and help to feed the budding romance. At times it's a heart-tugging book, and just when you think they found their happy ever after? Well...

Highland Honor {H} by Lori Pepio has a heroine that you'd want as a friend as well as a cast of intriguing characters. My heart got tugged, I smiled, and I gripped the pages as a few surprises were thrown in the mix.

His Chosen Bride {H} by Alexandra Bassett charms the reader from the first page. The characters are quite entertaining to say the least. It's much like watching a tennis match and I'm sure a couple of the characters felt the same way. An often-used plot told in a remarkably fresh and fun way. Thoroughly enjoyable and will make you smile!

His Secondhand Wife {H} by Cheryl St.John gives us a glimpse into the hearts and minds of two scarred people. Noah with his scarred and battered body (but really it's internally that he carries the worst of the scars) and Kate with her desperate need to belong, to be loved. The story is poignant at times as the two learn, heal and love. I had a hard time putting it down!

How To Marry A Millionaire Vampire {P} by Kerrelyn Sparks has it all! There's action and humor, passion and intrigue, vampires and blood (not in an evil way--except for the "bad vamps", they're bad). Roman and Shanna are a perfect couple and the secondary characters are...well, characters. A well layered story that ended too soon.
I know reviewed it, but I just couldn't resist adding it to my list!

Knit One, Kill Two {M} by Maggie Sefton is a pleasant and "cozy" mystery. Much of the book is as devoted to getting to know all the characters as it is to the mystery. They become a tight knit (pardon the pun) community of friends and I see them each contributing to future stories in this series. A pleasant diversion.
First in A Knitting Mystery series.

Last Duke, The {H} by Andrea Kane is as intense as it is romantic. The plot and characters are unforgettable. The heartstrings are pulled as you witness two lost and hurt souls find love and healing in each other. The wonderful, engrossing fast-paced plot leaves a lasting impression.

Love is Murder {M} by Linda Palmer was hard to put down. It's a fast paced mystery set in the world of the daytime dramas. There are lots of characters for the reader to help Morgan Tyler eliminate from the suspect list. Enough action happens to keep the pages turning. And a couple surprises are thrown in along the way. Simply fun.
First in A Daytime Mystery series.

Mad About Max {C} by Holly Fuhrmann, aka Holly Jacobs, is charming! What book about an author whose fictional match-making fairy godmothers come to life wouldn't be? Oh the trouble those three fairy godmothers cause, but what a love the heroine finds!
I read the rest of the series and really enjoyed it. A pleasant and entertaining diversion.

Man Trouble {C} by Melanie Craft is a fun book with snappy dialogue. The hero and heroine are two strong characters supported by an eclectic and eccentric ensemble cast. Intimate scenes are left up to the reader's imagination. How refreshing!

Million-Dollar Makeover {C} by Cheryl St.John provides food for thought (as usual) and some great entertainment. Wallpaper-print skirt wearing Lisa inherits a gold mine and suddenly she's popular! What's new you ask? Everything! Cheryl taps into typical emotions and situations and puts a whole new spin on them!

Mournful Teddy, The {M} by John J. Lamb is a prime example of not judging a book by its cover. One would assume by the cover of this book that it's a sweet and light cozy. But don't let the cover fool you, while the mystery is connected to a bear, there's much more going on than meets the eye!
First in the Bear Collector's mystery series.

Mum's the Word {M} by Kate Collins takes you on a fun ride. There's lots going on in this book due to the meddling of...oops! Abby doesn't think of it as meddling. She's just helpful, even though it causes one disaster after another and an attempt or two on her life. Great characters and dialogue, not to mention plot. I'm glad this is part of a series so I can continue the adventure.
#1 in A Flower Shop Mystery series.

Murder On Ice {M} by Alina Adams had me hooked. It wasn't only the mystery aspect that kept me interested, it was also the amateur sleuth, Bex. It was her fun, off the wall, sarcastic/tongue-in-cheek thought process and verbal exchanges. Put that together with me agreeing every time Bex thought she had something figured out (it all sounded logical to me) and as I say, I was hooked. I'll be getting the next two books in the Figure Skating Mystery series asap!

Murder Over Easy {C/M} by Jimme Ruth Evans has murder, suspense, secrets, and family conflicts all woven together. Throw in a bit of Southern living and charm and you have an all around enjoyable read.
2nd Trailer Park Mystery

Murder Uncorked {M} by Michele Scott may be short on the number of pages, but it certainly doesn't lack for anything else. It's packed with murder (of course), embezzlement, secrets, and interesting characters, eccentric and otherwise. Add to that the Napa Valley setting which gives us a look into the winemaking industry...with a twist. A fast paced and engrossing story!
First in the Wine Lover's Mystery series.

Murderers Prefer Blondes {M} by Amanda Matetsky is unique. At first as I started reading it I wasn't too sure about it, kinda iffy, if you know what I mean. But then all of a sudden, there I am, halfway through the book and can hardly put it down. Set in 1954 it has a real nostalgic feel to it. The heroine is a perfect blend of bravado and chicken. She's smart enough to know when she should be chicken (and there's plenty of times for that) but sucks it up and forges ahead with her sleuthing no matter the danger. And with every clue (there's lots of them) discovered, there's several questions needing answered. Great reading.
#1 in A Paige Turner Mystery series.

Naked Duke, The {H} by Sally MacKenzie is a wonderful debut novel. The combination of wit and intrigue were wonderfully blended. Well developed characters are the type that you either love or love to hate (there is one or two who need their own book, too). This story has it all. I look forward to the next book by this author.

Only You and A Home For Christmas {C} by Deborah Grace-Staley are two enjoyable books. In her Angel Ridge Series Deborah introduces us to the citizens of Angel Ridge, TN. Getting to know the cast of characters is a pleasure. They are filled with wit and intelligence, triumphs and dispair. (the heroes alone are worth the read!) I look forward to the next installment of the Angel Ridge series.

One Month Marriage, The {H} by Judith Stacy was hard to put down. I cheered the heroine, Jana, on. I hollered boo to the hero, Brandon (at first). Laughed out loud in a couple spots. Rooted for them both to work through their problems and secrets. All in all, a multi-emotion involved read.

Penniless Bride, The {H} by Nicola Cornick is refreshing. Attraction and trust issues play havoc with the h/h's new, and unexpected, life together. With a great ensemble of secondary characters, and a bit of a mystery thrown in the mix, you've got a pleasureable read.

Prize, The {H} by Brenda Joyce is an intense and emotionally charged book. Virginia is a pawn in Devlin's life of revenge. Their relationship is a battle of love and hate, betrayal and hurt, forgiveness and trust. While this is no light read, and the intimate scenes are explicit, I found it difficult to put the book down. I needed to be there for the metamorphis of Devlin, which I thought would never come.

Promise of Flowers, The {H} by Delia Parr is different than the ordinary historical romance. The romance is by far secondary. Forefront is a puzzle to be solved, an unfeeling father to deal with, madness and melancholia, and righting wrongs. Not a light read, but it is intriguing.

Ravenfliff Bride, The {H/P} by Dawn Thompson was my first (and last??) shapeshifter book (I didn't know it was a shapeshifter book until a ways into it). This was one of those books where you're not quite sure if you liked it, but you must have if you kept turning the pages (at a rapid pace) to see what happens. There's many secrets, fears, hopes, and much action to be found between the pages of this book.

Return Of The Earl, The {H} by Edith Layton is filled with questions and suspense with the romance growing amid questions such as is he or isn't he, did he or didn't he. I was kept guessing right along with the characters.

Scandalous {H} by Jenna Petersen takes us to the heart of the matter and that's the heart. More directly Dominic's heart. It's basically his book, though Katherine's heart is at stake, too. But oh, what Dominic has been through. And he finds everything he never thought he'd have and them some. Very touching.

See Isabelle Run {C/M} by Elizabeth Bloom has a sense of sophistication about it while also blending a bit of fun within the mystery. Add to that a few memorable characters and even pacing and you get a entertaining read.

Shoes to Die For {M} by Laura Levine entertains completely. Jaine Austen (no relation) is a writer of ads, solver of mysteries, and lover of food who also commits crimes against fashion. She's pretty much normal. As normal as she can get for someone who lives in LA and is always thrust into the middle of a murder that is.
Fourth in the Jaine Austen mystery series, but can be read on its own.
BTW, I loved all of the other Jaine Austen books, too.

Silent Melody {H} by Mary Balogh is heart tugging. Put two needy people together, and add the fact that the heroine is deaf and you have an emotional read.

Sixpence Bride by {P} Virgina Farmer is a wonderful time-travel filled with humor, crackling tension as the hero and heroine struggle with their feelings, and tastefully written love scenes.

Stay With Me {P} by Beverly Long is a wonderful Time-travel. It may be difficult, but Sarah shows John that love and healing transcends time. I always love being drawn into the situations with the characters and feel what they feel. And watching the metamorphis of the hero is always a plus. This book reminded me of some of the memorable time-travels of years past.

Tenderfoot Bride, The {H} by Cheryl St.John is full of emotions ranging from bitterness to compassion, fear to helplessness, and sorrow to happiness. The cast of secondary characters are as vivid as the main characters are. An enjoyable read.

To Wed A Stranger {H} by Edith Layton is wonderful. Watch as two strangers wed, but are brought together by a tragedy. See how the heroine, Annabelle grows and blossoms as does the hero, Miles (well he doesn't really "blossom" but you get the idea:-). Hard to put down!

Too Big To Miss {M} by Sue Ann Jaffarian is full of intrigue and danger. There's also a bit of humor and romance thrown in. The author paints a vivid picture of the characters--sympathetic, courageous, sensual... A very well-written twist and turn read.
First in the Odelia Grey Mystery series.

Tutu Deadly {M/R} by Natalie M. Roberts has mystery, danger, action, laughs, and romance. Jenny is a hoot, and extremely likable. It's a fast paced intriguing read.
First in the Jenny T. Partridge Dance Mystery series.

Under the Wishing Star and Under a Lucky Star {H} by Diane Farr are two wonderful books depicting unrequited love, compassion, loyalty, selfishness (secondary characters), and a cast of characters to root for.
These are books one and two in a trilogy.

Unexpected Wife, The {H} by Mary Burton has a cast of characters that are easy to like and empathize with. The story is character driven without a lot of subplots, which is a nice change of pace. I look forward to the sequel.

West of Heaven {H} by Victoria Bylin has a heroine who's strong yet vulnerable, and does what she has to do. A hero who is afraid to live and love, but will protect the woman in his care to his ability. This is a fast paced read.

Wanting Something More {C} by Kathy Love was emotional, especially if you can relate in one way or another to the heroine. Nate, the hero, is unforgettable in his transformation and the reason/cause behind it. Marty, the heroine, is wary due to old scars that never seemed to have healed. The budding romance is fragile and tender. A thoroughly enjoyable reading experience.
This is the third book in the Ugly Stepp Sister trilogy.

Wind Song {H} by Margaret Brownley has great chemistry between the characters. The heroine is one of a kind and gets peoples attention. Not only does she set the town on its ear, she practically puts the hero into an unwanted tailspin! Very fun.

Are any of Connie's favorites on your list?

Let us know... What's on your list of favorites?

Your Responses and Favorites

WHERE THE HEART Is by Billie Letts

I don't know how I ever missed reading this book before now! This story about love, friendship and strength created more emotions for me than I've ever experienced in a novel. One minute I was crying and then the next minute I was laughing. Ms. Letts' has created one-of-a-kind characters that will be with me for a long time and a story that has touched my heart I highly recommend this book!


After reading Ms. Letts first book, WHERE THE HEART IS, I was so enchanted with her writing style that I quickly ordered THE HONK AND HOLLER OPENING SOON. This second novel is just as beautifully written, with characters that you will fall in love with and find yourself thinking and caring about long after you have finished the book. For anyone looking for an uplifting story about lonely and unfulfilled people who are transformed by love, friendship and camaraderie, I highly recommend this book.

SHOOT THE MOON by Billie Letts

After reading Ms. Letts' previous two books, WHERE THE HEART IS and THE HONK AND HOLLER OPENING SOON I anticipated reading this next novel, SHOOT THE MOON and I'm happy to say I was not disappointed. This book, like the other two is set in Oklahoma and has a cast of characters just as quirky and intriguing. However, unlike the previous two books, this novel is a murder mystery and the cast is darker and more suspicious with interesting ulterior motives.. It is a fast-paced read with a plot that will pull you in and leave you stunned with some of the twists and turns. I highly recommend this exciting and thrilling book.

Christy ~ Utah

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