I’m Reading Historical Romance by Mary Balogh

My reading genres are pretty particular these days. I have authors I trust, and I’m open to trying new books if someone I trust gives me a recommendation.

However, some of my favorites from my pre-author life have lingered. Although I don’t write historical romance (yet), I still love a well-written historical. And one of my old reliables is the incomparable Mary Balogh.

I think I began reading Mary’s “Slightly” series, and then devoured as many of her books as possible. Over the last few years, I’ve loved her Survivor series particularly, so once I finished a deadline book a few weeks ago, when I realized I’d missed a Survivor release last fall, I was delighted to gobble it up!

Only A Kiss was actually the book I’d been waiting to read, since it was about the one sole female in the Survivors’ Club, a group of men (and one woman!) who experienced devastating physical and/or emotional trauma during the Napoleonic wars. The Duke of Stanbrook, who had lost first his son and then his wife thanks to the war, opened his home to this group, and they formed a tight-knit community of support over the years.

These books are not your typical historical romance. Because they deal with subject matter that is completely relevant to our times, there is always a twist, something that goes beyond the simple romantic pursuit of man meets woman.

After finishing that book, I was perusing some of Mary’s books that I might have missed, and I came upon the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. These books are in re-release, but I was very impressed with the first one, Indiscreet. I was happily surprised that it was a much longer book, and yet the storyline was as compelling and endearing as her more recent books. I’m eager to read the next three in that series.

I’m Reading Sacked by Jen Frederick

Since I’ve been in a dry spell when it comes to my favorite sports NA romances lately, I ventured outside my trusted favored authors to try a new book and new-to-me author. After downloading a number of samples and trying them out, I finally decided to try Sacked by Jen Frederick.

From the beginning, I liked the premise of this book: Knox, the male lead, is the virgin. He’s been keeping himself tidy, as they used to say, because he’s waiting for the right one. We’re given a little head’s up early on about how he plans to make that determination and why it’s important to him, but it isn’t really defined for a while.

Meanwhile, our female lead, Ellie, has a secret. She’s at the college as a transfer along with her football-player brother. We find out pretty quickly that her brother has some kind of learning disability that has never been addressed, and at the insistence of her mother, Ellie’s been covering for him for a long time.

There’s the requisite dysfunctional parents–it seems it has to be one set or the other, and in this case, it’s Ellie’s. There’re the supportive friends, the courtship (Knox is intent on winning Ellie), the quirky roommate (Ellie’s) and of course the misunderstanding/secret that tears them apart.

I enjoyed the story, but after a certain point, it began to lose me, largely because I felt there wasn’t a lot of balance. Ellie’s parents, whom we saw only briefly, felt very one-dimensional. At the crisis point, there was some inconsistency, and part of the resolution was just simply ludicrous. And the ending felt . . . flat. Nothing had really been resolved in a long-term way, even if the football was going well.

The writing here was good enough that I’d probably consider reading another of the author’s books. It wasn’t a complete loss; the characterization was good for the main and even for most of the side characters. Knox’s POV was excellent. With a slightly different ending, I might’ve been swooning over this book.





Hungry, Hungry, Hoodoo

One simple revelation about her past turns Selene Warren’s life upside down. Determined not to let her elf half ruin her future, she fights for the love she’s found at Cheney’s side, despite her increasing doubts about the bond they share.

However, when her studio burns down, a new enemy emerges and threatens the lives of those she holds most dear. To save one of her friends from a gruesome death, she must expose who she was and put more than just her life on the line. Her only hope is deciphering her past in time to save them all, but the more she learns, the less she can trust anyone.

Pre-Order Hungry, Hungry, Hoodoo on Amazon.

Easy Bake CovenEasy Bake Coven

For Selene Warren being a witch is no big deal. She dabbles in harmless magic with her friends and never thinks much about it. However, when a stranger who seems to know her shows up at her studio and her grandmother is brutally attacked, her simple life becomes complicated.

A world of elves, half-elves, fae—and one peculiar Sekhmet named Femi open up to her. She will discover that fairy tales are real, politics are ugly in any world, and there is a lot more to her life than she ever dreamed possible.

This new reality threatens swallow Selene whole, but with a forgotten past beating down her door, she will have to dive in to save her future.

Purchase Easy Bake Coven on Amazon.



My review:  I was latecomer to the Guardian series; actually, I read the third book first and then went back and devoured this other two. So this time I was determined to get in on Liz Schulte’s new series from the very beginning.

And I am so glad I did! EASY BAKE COVEN is an amazing mix of fun, romance and intrigue.  Selene is a likable, engaging heroine, and her group of friends bring to mind Robin Hood’s Merry Men. They are supportive and encouraging as they accompany her on the wild ride that her life becomes.  

But really, for me, true focus of the story is Cheney, the elf prince who is by turns tender and intense. His role in Selene’s life is  murky at first, but of course, we all know that his intentions are honorable and pure. At least, I hope they are. . .

An added bonus is the appearance of several of our favorite characters from the Guardian series. I won’t spoil it and say who; suffice it to say that EASY BAKE COVEN gives us another look at the fascinating Abyss. 

I devoured this book whole and was immediately ready for more. There was enough humor and lightness to offset the intensity, as well as appealing characters whose stories stayed with me for weeks.  

Don’t miss this series. Now that the second book, HUNGRY HUNGRY HOO DOO, is out, you can enjoy both without the pesky wait that I endured.

Consider yourself lucky! Run! Go get these books NOW!

About Author Liz Schulte

Many authors claim to have known their calling from a young age. Liz Schulte, however, didn’t always want to be an author. In fact, she had no clue. Liz wanted to be a veterinarian, then she wanted to be a lawyer, then she wanted to be a criminal profiler. In a valiant effort to keep from becoming Walter Mitty, Liz put pen to paper and began writing her first novel. It was at that moment she realized this is what she was meant to do. As a scribe she could be all of those things and so much more.

When Liz isn’t writing or on social networks she is inflicting movie quotes and trivia on people, reading, traveling, and hanging out with friends and family. Liz is a Midwest girl through and through, though she would be perfectly happy never having to shovel her driveway again. She has a love for all things spooky, supernatural, and snarky. Her favorite authors range from Edgar Allen Poe to Joseph Heller to Jane Austen to Jim Butcher and everything in between.

Follow Liz Schulte:
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