Highly Rec!

During the holidays I often indulge in a bit of re-reading or reading outside of the romance genre. I thought I’d share with you four books that I absolutely loved (or loved again) this season.

A friend of Surfer Guy’s from high school happened to get me on the phone and brought up an author, Don Winslow, who I knew to be local. I have his novel, SAVAGES, that is to come out in 2012 as a movie directed by Oliver Stone. This friend is an attorney who hired Don Winslow as a P.I. in the past and he recommended to me his books with P.I./surfer hero, Boone Daniels. Set in San Diego, both THE DAWN PATROL and THE GENTLEMEN’S HOUR are fabulous mystery-thrillers with a definite SoCal vibe. He mentions many local places that are familiar to me, but anyone would enjoy the very visual voice Winslow uses in the books. The hero has a

posse of interesting friends and there is a smattering of romance. I love Boone as he dithers about how and if he should pursue the burgeoning relationship with the British Petra (he calls her “Pete”). Boone is such a guy. And such a good guy too. I’m a definite Don Winslow fan now.

As for re-reading, I did that too. About once a year I pull out all the Lisa Kleypas historicals I own and have the pleasure of enjoying those stories again.

But I return to her contemporary books as well. The first is SUGAR DADDY, but I’m very partial to SMOOTH TALKING STRANGER as well, with the delicious and very alpha Jack Travis. These are written in first person POV, and the reader is never in Jack’s head, which somehow makes how much he’s bowled over by the heroine, Ella, that much stronger. I defy anyone not to fall for Jack!

Of the Travis Family trilogy, it’s BLUE-EYED DEVIL that makes me swoon. Hardy Cates first shows up as a romantic interest in an earlier book, but when he has a chance at Haven Travis, things really heat up. These two characters are both damaged and it takes a lot for them to overcome past events, but you root for them all the way. The scene where he comes to her rescue in a stalled elevator is just wonderful. Lisa Kleypas has another contemporary coming out in the next month and I can’t wait!

What books did you read over the holidays? Has someone recommended a good book that you’re itching to try?

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15 Responses to Highly Rec!

  1. kris says:

    I’ve been doing a re-read of Christy Reece’s Last Chance Rescue series. The final book, number nine, released after Christmas. This series has some of the creepiest villians I have ever come across, as well as smokin hot heroes and kick-ass babes. The stories are very well written.

  2. Blue-Eyed Devil…one of the BEST books I read the year it came out. I love seeing Haven’s growth. and I defy anyone to not fall in love with Hardy. In fact, this entire series was a wonderful read.
    I’ve been reading Adrienne Goirdano’s Private Protectors series. New author. I’ve really enjoyed her work.
    My debut book comes out February 2012 so I’m a little nervous about that!

  3. Kylie Brant says:

    Not a lot of time for re-reading. I’m judging the Thriller Writers again this year so I’ve been immersed in contest entries. And my sister gave me the latest Evanovich to read. But I have the latest Lee Child sitting on a shelf tempting me, although that’s supposed to be my treat when I get my required reading done!

  4. Stephenia says:

    Maya Banks KGI series – the latest book will be released tomorrow. Barn man and I lived in Southern Ca for about 8 years….I still miss it – love, love, love the ocena! Him not so much, he has his woods here to tromp around in….I will be checking Don Winslow out – there is something fun about reading a book and then recognizing places in it.

  5. michelehauf says:

    My kingdom for a good book! Haven’t had much luck lately. Mostly reading non-fiction. The Art Detective was fascinating look into how dealers of paintings assess value and determine frauds from the real thing. Not sure why I read it. I don’t have any art thieves in my current stories, but you never know.

    The Don Winslow book sounds great! Thanks, Christie, I’m going to put that one on my Kindle

  6. Thanks for the recommendations!
    I didn’t read nearly as many books in 2011 as I wanted to, but I am planning on making up for that in 2012.

    Kris, I’ve been hearing alot about Christy Reece’s Last Chance series, so I downloaded the first two to my Nook over the weekend. I’m really looking forward to trying this series!

  7. christieridgway says:

    Great recs, you guys! I’m making a list. I’m now following Don Winslow on Twitter (@donwinslow) and went all fangirl in privacy of my house when he thanked me for recommending the books. Looks like a lot of us like mystery-thrillers…

  8. Quilt Lady says:

    Just finished Emily March’s book Lover’s Leap and it was awesome!

  9. I’m still recommending Elizabeth Hoyt’s historicals. The two I’ve read are deliciously sexy. The titles are forgettable–words like “scandalous” and “pleasure”–so look for Elizabeth Hoyt and Charming Mickey O’Connor the pirate. (The hero is unforgettable, you see.)

  10. christieridgway says:

    I have the Hoyt book w/Mickey O’Connor. Must read! And I’ve been hearing so many good things about Emily March.

    It’s so fun to talk books w/people. In the old days, I’d go to the romance new/used and chat about them all the time. I’m so busy, I don’t even know if that store’s open anymore. I’m always looking for ways to find new-to-me authors.

  11. loisgreiman says:

    I’m hooked on Charlaine Harris right now. She brings a certain something to everything she writes, but I particularly like her Sooky Stackhouse series.

  12. Kathleen O'Donnell says:

    I just don’t have time for re-reading books, as I have stacks of firsts to read.. There are so many good books I have been wanting to try.. I have to get all of Kat Martin’s new series.. The “Aginst” series… I have some of t hem on my tbr shelf and I have to get the rest… Also Catherine Mann’s “Hot” series… I have to get caught up on the purshase of the next book…
    But you mentioned Lisa Kleypas and I love everything she writes… Can’t wait to see what is coming out next…..

  13. TRACIE says:

    Happy New Year all!
    I just finished Mary Balogh’s Huxtable Quintet series back to back and enjoyed it. I’m looking forward to a sexy modern day cowboy read now. Cowboy, take me away!

  14. Hey, everyone–late to the party, but I just had to say, I’m reading one of Teresa Medeiros’s old books called “Nobody’s Darling”–it’s a western historical romance, and oh…my…gosh. I truly love the hero and the heroine, and the plot is twisty. I’m almost done with it–got about 50 pages left. I don’t know how I missed this one for so long. I haven’t had much “reading for pleasure” time the last several weeks, but this book is one that I have found really hard to put down.
    Cheryl

  15. christieridgway says:

    Tracie: I need to reread the Huxtables! Really enjoyed those books. As for a contemporary western…I have an advance copy of one I haven’t read yet, but want to: A TOWN CALLED VALENTINE. I think it’s a February book.

    Cheryl: I miss western historicals. I’ve run across a few lately, glad to see them again–and glad to know there’s an older one I should look up.

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