Three Books I’ve Loved, Lately.

I have a confession to make. While I love writing romance, I don’t always enjoy reading it these days. Maybe it’s because I’m a little afraid I’ll lose my writing voice if I read books of a similar genre to mine. Or maybe it’s because I get kind of jealous when someone else pens a really good story! But for whatever reason, I often choose non-fiction, literary fiction or some sort of self-help book for my downtime reading.

But lately many friends and colleagues have had new releases. I’ve tried to read a few of them, and I have truly, honestly enjoyed these books! So I’m sharing my opinions of three of them here, through reviews that I posted on Goodreads.

Cowgirl in High Heels, by Jeannie Watt
Jeannie Watt is a fellow Superromance author and also a very nice person who I had the privilege of meeting at RWA 2013. She is a teacher, a runner and an incredible seamstress as well as an author. So I have to admit, I wanted to like her book, because I like her so much. And I did like it! I really liked it!

This is what I wrote about it on Goodreads.
This was a really fun book. Not just because Ms. Watt is an excellent writer, but also because she seems to know a lot about ranching. I learned things! She created a very believable world that I happily fell into in every spare moment I had for a few days! I liked her characters. I felt very sympathetic toward the heroine as she goes through some very big life changes. And her hero is rugged, authentic and, I admit, I had a crush on him! Rodeo cowboy and all around good guy… need I say more?

His Forever Girl, by Liz Talley
I know Liz from the wonderful Harlequin community pages and have appreciated her insight and advice. This was the first book I’d read by her but I plan to read all the rest of her books very soon!

My Goodreads Review:
I was completely absorbed in this book. I LOVE how Ms. Talley creates characters who seem real. They have flaws and they make mistakes because of them, just like in real life. In this book her heroine makes a “mistake” but learns so much from it that it’s hard to even call it a mistake. I love that the hero isn’t perfect either. I enjoyed the arc of the main characters’ growth individually, as well, of course, as their romance. I thought it was pretty amazing that Ms. Talley found a way to take a few of her secondary characters on a personal journey as well. An excellent story, highly recommended for anyone who likes complex love stories that reflect real life.

Deep Blue, by Jules Barnard
Jules was the first person I met when I attended my first RWA meeting last year. She was so kind and friendly and welcoming and I was thrilled to learn that she was self-publishing her first book this month. Deep Blue is the first in a series of three books, set in and around a casino in South Lake Tahoe. It’s a new adult book and it was pure escape, giving me vivid reminders of what it was like to be young, working at strange and temporary jobs to pay the rent, trying to decide what to do with my life.

My Goodreads Review:
I read this book while I was in South Tahoe, which was really fun, since it’s set there. I was drawn into the mind of the main character and truly cared about the decisions she made. When she made mistakes, I cringed, and when she was with her fabulous boyfriend, I swooned! (He really is lovely!) Thoroughly enjoyed this book and am looking forward to the rest of the series!

And now I’m onto a new book. My current foray into new adult fiction, If Only, by AJ Pine, was a recommendation from a friend. It’s about a young American woman on a study abroad year in Aberdeen, Scotland. As someone who had my own young adult adventures in Scotland, (though they didn’t involve studying!) I am loving this book!

I have realized that for me, a good story is one that I can lose myself in, but find a little bit of myself within as well. All of the books mentioned here have been like that for me. And now I have to go, because I’ve got things to do. It’s time to curl up in bed and read!

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