Ciara here, hoping you east coasters made it safely through Irene, and are warm, dry, and reading a good book. Nothing like a power outage to make a person appreciate paper books again, right? :P But seriously, stay safe out there. I'm sending you mellow weather vibes from the Pacific Northwest.
One of the things I've loved most about joining this community of book bloggers is having people to gush about romance novels with. I came late to the genre and started blogging about books because I didn't have any friends who read romance (except for my college roommate, but she's too busy doing sekrit spy stuff to gush with). I instantly found this amazing group of women who love these books as much as I do, and who recommended a ton of excellent ones (leading me astray from grad school to write full time!).
The Lusty Wenches Book Club
I've been fortunate to find a few Seattle friends who also read romance since then, and we've started a book club. There are five of us, four writers. It is SO much fun to get together with girl friends over tea and frittata to dish about the latest fabulous books we've read. Our original intent was to analyze what makes the good ones work and the bad ones fail. We started off reading all the RITA finalists for best first book, plus Meredith Duran's debut because we needed a historical. Bloody hell, that was a bad year of books. Duran's was the ONLY one we liked, and we've since read all her new releases. So the next year we branched out and suggested books we'd heard were good. This means mostly I suggested books I'd heard were good from you lovely group of book bloggers. Much more successful! We've been trying to let all members select a book and trying to keep a well-rounded list of historical, contemporary, and paranormal. The list has slanted heavily paranormal, but the ones we've liked best have been historical.
After a lackluster run of books, this year we are trying something different. We've made a list of our FAVORITE authors, and we are going to read their new releases. First up is Richelle Mead's BLOODLINES, which is a Young Adult paranormal and a spinoff from her super popular vampire academy series. (On a completely random note, I dreamed last night she had her baby, but it was a girl. Neil Gaimen was there too, and he had a baby who looked just like Garrison Keillor. Weird, I know.) In November we will be reading Meljean Brook's HEART OF STEEL, because I loved the Iron Duke and made everyone read it. It was a big hit. Also on the list are Lisa Kleypas, Meredith Duran, Loretta Chase, Karen Marie Moning, Kristin Cashore, Joanna Bourne, Nalini Singh, and Julie James.
Do you belong to a book club? How would you organize it? What books would you pick? What fabulous books should we add to our list?