Title: My Beautiful Enemy
Author: Sherry Thomas
Publication Info: Berkley (August 5, 2014)
Genre: Historical Romance
The Flavor: Hero meets Laura Kinsale
The Short Version: I can’t rave enough about this book. Read it. Please. Go read it. Now. I mean it. Okay, look at the rest of my review first and then go read it.
This is the second installment of our ongoing series focusing on the various sub-genres of Romance.
Historical romance is my jam. Georgette Heyer, queen and founding mother of the regency romance, was the first romance author I ever read with purpose (to this day, my bookshelves are stacked with Heyer paperbacks so worn they must be held together with rubber bands). Oh, I’ll flirt with other sub-genres—I have my favorite contemporary authors, and I did just go on that two-month-long paranormal binge, but I always come back to the historical. So I was surprised to discover, when I consulted the Seattle Public Library’s Romance Genre’s Checklist, how many of the sub-sub-genres I had somehow overlooked. For one thing, apparently approximately 85% of everything I read takes place in a twenty-year time span. For another, I really need to get off the island of Great Britain once in a while.
World War II
Pioneer/ Cowboy/ 1800’s American West
Men in Kilts
Because it turns out that historical romance really takes place over a much-larger-than-twenty-year time span, I’m splitting the historical post in half. This week I’ll be covering Regency, Middle Ages, World War Two, Men in Kilts, and Asian. Oh, and I’ve decided to change the format of these round-ups. Instead of finding any book that meets the criteria and reviewing it, the books you’ll find in this series from here on out are going to be ones I recommend.
On to the books!
Title: Rogue With A Brogue
Author: Suzanne Enoch
Publication Info: St. Martin’s Press, July 29, 2014
Genre: Romance, Historical
Overall Grade: A-
The Flavor: Georgette Heyer meets Diana Gabaldon
The Short Version: Sweet, romantic, and filled with spark and snap, Rogue With a Brogue is a very pleasant way to spend a summer afternoon.
Remember those book lists that schools send children home with at the end of the school year? There’s something about a summer reading list that still calls to me—so when Dear Author brought the Seattle Public Library’s Romance Genre Checklist to my attention, I was intrigued.
The list separates the genre into Contemporary, Historical, Paranormal, Inspirational, Romantic Suspense, Young Adult, New Adult, and “Other;” and then breaks the categories down even more. What, I wondered, are the characteristics of the Contemporary (Tattooed) sub-sub-genre? What about Romantic Suspense (Steampunk)? And finally, finally a chance to dig into Inspirational Romance (Amish).
Alright, Seattle Public Library. CHALLENGE ACCEPTED.
So here’s how it’s going to work: every week, Common Novel will be running a new post on a romance sub-genre. In that post, I’ll be finding and discussing books that check off each sub-sub-genre on the list, all the way from Contemporary (Straight) to Other (Time Travel). And since I’ve been trying to get into Paranormal Romance for a while, I’m starting there.
Welcome to our first end of month review, where we break down everything we enjoyed reading this month. Be prepared: it’s a lot.
Title: The Immortal Crown (Age of X #2)
Author: Richelle Mead
Publication Info: Dutton Adult May 29, 2014
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Overall Grade: A
The Flavor: American Gods meets The Hunger Games
The Short Version: The second book in Richelle Mead’s Age of X series is a pure delight. I finished the book as fast as humanly possible for a person with a four-month-old child in the middle of a cross-country move (meaning two days). Had I read this book five months ago, I would have stayed up all night to finish it. If you love badass heroines, epic world building, and a bad boy looking for some redemption, this book is a must.
Common Novel is a celebration of genre reading. It’s a celebration of the tattered paperback, of the third-time-through, and of the book that’s currently living in your purse. It’s a celebration of the genres themselves: romance, young adult, new adult, horror, mystery, science fiction, and fantasy.