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Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Contest Winner!


Thanks to everyone who stopped by to chat with me and Annette on Monday! And a big congratulations to Michelle Bermas who won a copy of A Veiled Deception! Happy reading to Michelle. Don't forget that Larceny and Lace is being released on August 4. Also, if you would like to meet Annette in person, she has two book signings coming up in Massachusetts. The first one is a Sunday Tea Party on August 2, at Some Enchanted Evening in Spencer, MA from 2-3:30.  This "New Age" shop sounds adorable....Annette says it's the "most magical and whimsical shop I've ever seen."  Please call 508-885-2050 for reservations. Annette will also be signing books at the Borders in Hanover, MA from 7-8:30, on August 4.  Jessica Andersen and Hannah Howell will also be there. Good times!

I'm so excited I just received my copy of Annette's Scoundrel In Disguise from Amazon. Can't wait to read it! I think I will snuggle up with Lucy the Lazy-Arsed Dachshund and a frosty glass of sun tea (with pineapple mint from my garden) and read away the afternoon! 
Wishing Everyone A Happy Reading Day,
Penelope

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Contest and Interview with Annette Blair!!!




Welcome everyone! I'm so excited to be hosting Annette today at Penelope's Romance Reviews. I have been an Annette Blair addict since I read her funny, sexy, delightful Witch books. Never Been Witched, the final entry of the Triplet Series, was my favorite. What's so cool about Annette? She is a master of light paranormal romance, my favorite genre. Annette's stories are witty, sweet, sexy-hot and clever. On top of that, she has the most unique "voice" in romance I've ever read. Her books are a real treat (note the Halloween reference!)

She and I will be discussing writing, vintage clothing and wiener dogs! Please leave a comment for Annette...one lucky commenter will be winning a free copy of Vintage Magic. I'm including some wonderful photos of Annette's vintage handbags and some more from my own collection. If you have any rocking vintage bags, please send me a photo and I'll post it! (penelope.romance@gmail.com)

Penelope (P): Annette, welcome to Penelope's Romance Reviews! I'm thrilled to have one of my favorite authors here for an interview. Woo hoo!

Annette (A): Thank you for inviting me to do this interview, Penelope, and for the delightful A++ you gave Larceny and Lace.

P: I adored this book...it's not often that I venture away from straight romance to mystery or other genres. This mystery has just the perfect amount of "romantic elements" to keep me happy. For those of you not familiar with Annette's latest addition to the Vintage Magic Mystery series, Larceny and Lace (coming out August 4), please check out my review. Here's a blurb for the book....

The second entry sparkles in bestselling author Annette Blair's enchanting Vintage Magic Mystery Series for Berkley Prime Crime starring Madeira Cutler, a psychic dress designer - and daughter of a witch - who "reads" vintage clothes and follows their clues.

So, Annette, what I really want to know is...how do you come up with your cool ideas? Do you plot the whole thing out, or pants it?

A: The ideas keep coming. I can't seem to stop them. They come to me in my sleep so I have to get up and write them down to get back to sleep. They come while I'm driving, while I'm showering, while I'm watching TV. I keep paper and pencils in every room and right beside me while I'm watching TV. Ideas come to me for one book while I'm writing another and I have to stop and take notes for the next book so I can work on the one that's due soonest.

I'm more of a plotter than a pantser. I like knowing what's going to happen, though I love it when I get surprised along the way.

That said, to be true to a story, I don't allow myself to plot the mysteries, since I'm writing as Maddie the sleuth, and I have to figure it out as I go along...what's going to happen, and who the bad guy/gal is.

However, when it comes to my paranormal/supernatural romances, I do plot, which takes away a level of stress, and when I go off the beaten path and get surprised, I can always return to the path, rather than get lost along the way.

Clear? As mud? I'm a plotter at heart. I'm a pantser when it comes to letting my creativity take the lead.

P: Well, I for one, am impressed. I am attempting to pants a mystery right now, and it's really tough. I think I'm going to have to partially plot/partially pants (that sounds a little bit kinky). I was really surprised you made the jump from romance to mystery. Was that difficult?

A: Just to set the record straight, I haven't permanently switched from one genre to the other. I'm writing both romance and mystery, and they're being released at the rate of about two to one. This year, it's two mysteries and one romance. So far for next year, it's two romances and one mystery.

Now to answer your question, is it hard to switch back and forth between them? Yes and no. Now that's a definitive answer, isn't it? I enjoy switching from third person to first person. In the mysteries, I'm the sleuth, and I never have to get in anyone else's point of view. That's a refreshing change for me. I enjoy the easy flow of just being me, er, I mean, Maddie Cutler, potential witch and psychic sleuth.

Switching back to third person is often difficult when I move back to writing a romance after a mystery, though I adore the sexual byplay, and I always have a lot of fun with that. And even though my books are being released two to one, I seem to be writing them in an alternating pattern: a mystery, a romance, a mystery, a romance.

P: I'm totally hearing you! I think writing different genres keeps an author fresh, too.

I get the feeling that you have fun writing these books. Do you ever laugh out loud while writing?

A: I do laugh out loud, often. My husband thinks I'm a nut, especially when I cry. The laughter he seems to think is normal, the crying, not so much.

P: Oh! I'm a huge crybaby...my family is used to my leaky tear ducts. I even cry at McDonald commercials. (I know I should be embarrassed about that, but I'm not!) I love books that make me laugh AND cry, like Larceny and Lace. It's a fabulous emotional roller coaster with a happy ending--the best!

Tell me about the vintage clothing angle...do you own/collect vintage clothes? Are you a seamstress? How about the handbags...do you keep them at home on a shelf or actually get to use them sometimes?

A: I don't especially collect vintage clothing but I do own some, and I've worn a lot of the vintage styles that are popular. I have always thought that classic lines looked the best on me and I tend to stick with them. When you're 4' 10" you don't have a lot of choices. Nothing is going to make you look willowy, no matter what.

My daughter collects vintage handbags and - this is me eating my words - I always made fun of her "addiction," although she has the best taste in vintage handbags. I love them all. Yes, she does use them. Now the bags I've featured in the first two books are also hers. I have them here at my house, but she has the rest at home in New Jersey and is loaning them to me as I need them.

I was never a seamstress but I did make my own and my children's clothes for years from before they were born. When they were toddlers, I often made us matching outfits. If I had a scanner I'd show you pictures. I also did sewing crafts and home decorating, going so far as to make curtains, drapes and reupholster furniture. To be truthful I've done less sewing since I started writing, but writing the Vintage Magic Mysteries is making me want to take out my sewing machine again.

P: It's making me want to learn how to sew! I'm thinking about signing up for a daughter and mother sewing class so my daughter Natty and I can make some fun stuff together. I'm finding it extremely difficult to refrain from making fun of you for sewing matching outfits for yourself and your kids. So. Difficult. If you had sent photos, it would have been impossible! Now, if you had matching outfits with your pets, that's another story altogether....

Speaking of pets!!!--What was the inspiration for the wiener dog in Larceny and Lace? As most folks know, I'm obsessed with dachshunds...my family has always had wiener dogs as pets, and they are often dressed in cute red sweaters with snowmen appliques. Our current doxie is Lucy, a mini long-haired black-n-tan. I dress her up in a Santa hat at holiday time, but she's not too keen on the whole thing.

A: I have two nieces, Abigail and Hannah, short haired red dachshunds. I'm particularly fond of the breed, and if it wasn't for allergies in this house, I'd have a dachshund of my own. If you haven't read my Victorian Historical Scoundrel in Disguise, you might enjoy it, because a dachshund is a main character and another is a minor character.

P: Oh boy!!! I'm going to order Scoundrel in Disguise right now. Can't wait! Thanks for the hot tip, Annette. 

I'm dying to know what's in store for Maddie and Werner in Larceny and Lace. Are you allowed to tell?

A: I don't know the answer, since I don't plot my mysteries. LOL. I can tell you that Werner and Madeira have a close encounter of the amorous kind in Death by Diamonds, and Nick Jaconetti isn't any too happy about it. I should also remind you that Nick was Madeira's first love and that's a strong bond. So far, she's not feeling as if she has to make a choice. If the series is picked up for a second set of three, we'll see.

P: What's next for Madeira?? More romance books/series on the way?

A: Once I turn in the third and last in my Vintage Magic contract, my agent, editor and I will discuss the longevity of this series, or the lack thereof. Stay tuned. When I know something, I'll tweet. :)

P: Geez, I sure hope you all decide for more of these books! I am dying to find out exactly what Maddie's powers are, and what's gonna happen with the men in her life, and with Dante....Oy.

I'm jonesing for a new Annette Blair romance. What's next?

A: I'm so glad you asked. In my Works Like Magick Novels, the first of which is Naked Dragon, January 2010, magical, supernatural ancients are able to breach the veil from parallel planes into the Salem of today. There, they may meet my accidental or triplet witches or their relatives. With the help of witch Vivica Quinlan, the magical supernatural ancients are mainstreamed into society. This is not always an easy transition, and each supernatural being - time travelers, shape shifters, and such - has his own problems finding work and living with humans who don't always understand him. Bastian has been a Roman Warrior, a dragon, and he's now a man again. A man with a flaw.

In August 2010, watch for Bedeviled Angel, Micah Godricson's story.

Yell, Penelope, if you have any other questions.

P: Ahhhhh! Are you kidding? You whet my appetite for Naked Dragon, and now I have to wait until January? That series sounds absolutely fabulous, and totally right up my alley. I cannot wait! Also, the cover is so hot....check out Annette's website to see the dragon-licious cover. 

Thanks, Annette for the great interview! Readers, please leave a comment for us! Check out these awesome vintage bags from Annette's collection....


This is a three-way purse with a removable cover that's reversible. So cool!




This is the clutch that Annette gave directions for making at the end of Vintage Magic.


A gorgeous beaded handbag from my Grandmother. So romantic! (Penelope's collection)


Another sparkling black and gold-beaded evening bag, and a totally funky paisley velvet clutch, both from my Grandmother's collection. (Penelope)


Here's another handbag from Annette's collection...this one is featured in Larceny and Lace

Friday, July 24, 2009

A Quickie Review of Take A Chance On Me and Reminder About Annette Blair Interview


Hello Readers! First announcement for the day....Don't forget to stop by on Monday, July 27 to check out the cute interview with Annette Blair discussing her upcoming release Larceny and Lace. One lucky commenter will win a free book. Yah! 

Also, my friend Kate just returned a book I loaned her. It's Take A Chance On Me by Susan Donovan. I usually avoid contemporary romance, but this book is a gem (I mentioned it in my re-reads column a while ago). Here are some of the cool things about it....one of the main characters is a Chinese Crested named Hairy who is a disco dancing champion. The heroine is not skinny, and she is a vet. The hero is a totally sexy alpha male rugby player who is HOT. There's a sassy adopted teenage daughter, sarcastic Chinese receptionist, crazy ex-husband, and a cool dad with an old, blind 3-legged Shepherd. The story is laugh-out-loud funny, very sexy, and the POV in the dog's head is hysterical. The scene at Bayside Stella's where Thomas and Emma are eating crabs is so buttery and hot, I'm left lusting for crustaceans and wicked hot sex simultaneously. Whew!

Anyway, I have probably read this book at least ten times, and I just love it! When Kate sheepishly returned the book, she pointed out that the back cover had been nibbled. By her own Crested, Reilly-Roo! How great is that! I love that one of my favorite books is forever branded by a kooky little dog. For anyone looking for a fun, sexy, kooky, doggie-centric contemporary romance novel for the dog-days of summer (sorry, I couldn't help myself), this book is a keeper. Grade: A
All my best, Penelope

Monday, July 20, 2009

What Really Drives Me Up A Wall In Romance Novels



Happy Monday to All! After reading about ten different books over the last couple of weeks, I realized that there are certain plot devices, character flaws, and other items that drive me totally nuts when I am reading. Here is a list of some of these irritations....

1) The huge "Three's Company" Misunderstanding....
My husband and I call the "Big Misunderstanding" plot device in movies, books and TV shows...a "Three's Company"-- a reference to the ludicrous television sitcom from the 1970s/80s. I cannot relax when reading a book with this irritating plot device...I rush through it to find out when the misunderstanding is cleared up. And if another huge misunderstanding is heaped on top of that, well....I get seriously irked.

2) Sex outside of the hero/heroine coupling, especially when friends are involved...
I don't like reading about the hero getting it on with some other woman, and then being introduced to the heroine next chapter. Especially if it's her best friend. Hate that!

3) When the plot outshines the character development...
Bottom line: I want to fall in love with characters. I don't need (or want) 5,000 incredibly complex story lines going on. Romance, people, I want romance!

4) Over-the-top descriptions of death and destruction...
I can totally appreciate how gross a paranormal world is, but I don't need to hear about the liquid oozing out of some one's eyeball. Ewwwwww. Yuck.

5) Rape and/or child abuse....
Rape and child abuse do not mix well with romance. Period.

6) When a story line is started, and then disappears for no good reason...
Sometimes I get the feeling that an author started a story, got sidetracked by something, and forgot all about Aunt Ethel in the south of France. What's up with that?

7) Snarky first person heroines who are totally clueless....
Snarky first person heroines are pretty popular right now. I can handle them if they are funny instead of ultra-bitchy, and smart instead of too-stupid-to-live.

8) My ultra big beef-a-roni....series that lose the magic and fail to deliver....
When an author gets us hooked on an awesome series, and then starts cranking out books that are below-par, or fail to do justice to a character we have fallen in love with....Piss me off!!!!!! 

Some day I will write a list of things that make me really happy when I read a romance novel (tortured heroes finding true love, snappy banter between h/h, and wicked hot sex scenes in historicals will be included!)- I am off to walk (carry) Lucy, the laziest wiener dog on the face of the earth.
Penelope

P.S.- I would love to hear what some of your irritations are!!! Leave a comment!

Friday, July 17, 2009

Review of What Happens In London by Julia Quinn


What Happens In London by Julia Quinn
Once upon a time, I read a Julia Quinn book and I remarked to a good friend, "This book's about a whole lot of nothing." In fact, many Julia Quinn books are about a whole lot of nothing. Nevertheless, they are extremely appealing. Why? They're romantic! There's delicious sexual chemistry between the hero and heroine, sparkling banter, sweet love-making, lots of deep POV reflection, and tons of humor. I don't need a lot of conflict, or even plot, to make me happy while reading a romance novel. I need...romance!

What Happens In London is not the best Quinn book I have ever read, but it was sweet and pleasant and a perfect summer read. I find it pretty amazing that Quinn is able to produce a book with very little conflict, pretty "common" characters (Olivia is just a regular girl, nothing different or special about her), and still make it work. It's really a testament to her writing ability that she pulls the reader into her web and keeps us there until the end of the book. I sort of feel like I just ate some cotton candy. It was delicious for a moment, melted away, and I won't remember it tomorrow. But that's okay. It was delicious while it lasted, and that's why I read romance. It made me happy. (I am a woman with simple needs, really). The scene in the library when Sebastian is reading from the lurid gothic novel, and the Russian prince, his body guard, 3 ladies maids, the butler, and the hero are all listening in rapt attention, is priceless. Quinn at her best. That's right up there as one of the best romance scenes I've read this year. I will say that Quinn attempted to introduce a rather serious topic at the beginning of the story...Harry's father's alcoholism. However, this theme sort of fades away and is not discussed again. If Quinn writes a story for Edward, Harry's younger brother, perhaps this will be re-addressed. Sebastian's story is next (Summer 2010), and it should be great. He shows a lot of promise as Harry's best friend.

I definitely recommend this for light summer reading. It's fun and sweet, and everything Quinn's fans have grown to expect from this author. 
Grade: B+

Penelope

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Annette Blair Interview And Contest!


What's the best way to celebrate Annette Blair's fantabulous new book Larceny and Lace, which will be released on August 4? (Yes, Quirky Ladies, a toast to Annette with a mango margarita is definitely a good idea!) But actually, I had another good idea....how about a contest and interview with Annette on Monday July 27? Please stop by to check out a fun-filled and informative interview with Annette on 7-27. One lucky commenter will win a copy of A Veiled Deception, the first of the Vintage Magic Mystery series. Annette and I will be discussing writing, romance, vintage clothes, and of course, wiener dogs! Please stop by and join us! 

Here is another photo of one of my Nana's vintage purses. Isn't it adorable? First of all, I have a background in botany, so the pansy (Viola) theme is wonderful. And I love, love, love sequins! Note the green velvet background. How great is this? My daughter Natty loves this bag and often takes it with her on playdates (she's six). 

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Blast From The Past: Review of Dark Symphony by Christine Feehan


Dark Symphony by Christine Feehan (2007)
Although I am hugely disappointed in the violent turn of events Ms. Feehan has taken of late (see my post Excessive Violence in Romance Novels: Who Needs It?), her earlier Carpathian vampire novels are still among my favorites. This week, after commenting on an Amazon reader board about "dogs in romance," I decided to re-read Dark Symphony, one of my favorite books in the Dark Series. For those of you not familiar with Feehan's Carpathians, I'll give you a brief overview. These books are high on the melodrama, contain extremely long-winded, graphic sex scenes, and the heroes are super-alpha "vampire"-like Carpathians, who pledge undying loyalty to their "lifemates." Yeah, they are pretty much over the top, but if you buy into this whole thing (which I do), then they are extremely romantic. Dark Symphony is one of my favorites for several reasons. 

First of all, this is one of the Dark Series with no vampire fight scenes. Most of the Dark books have a bundle of foul vampires, with their talon-like nails, rotting flesh, hideous teeth, etc etc. Basically, they're not pretty. It adds a whole different paranormal dimension to these books which is okay if I'm in the mood for a vampire fight scene...

Vampire: I'm going to kick your Carpathian butt. 
Carpathian: You are an abomination, you must die to protect mortals and immortals alike.
Vampire: Come and get me, Skippy. 

(Can you tell I'm sort of in a weird mood?)  Anyhoo, the bad guys in Dark Symphony are humans and shapeshifters, not vampires. And it just goes to show that Feehan doesn't really need all that crazy paranormal business to write a great book.  The Scarletti family is a hoot, and Christine Feehan's humorous side (which does not reveal itself very often in her ultra-serious, melodramatic books) is a breath of fresh air. There are several places where I actually laughed out loud while reading this book. Antonietta is a very original Feehan heroine...a blind and very talented pianist, she is confident and self-assured. (Most of the human heroines freak out when they learn their lifemates plan to "convert" them into Carpathians, but Antonietta was not hesitant. Her attitude...."Bring it on!") Love her! Also, I like Byron. Unlike some of the really intense heroes (Darius, Gregori, etc.--who I also love!), Byron is more understated and rational thinking. (Some of the Carpathian males are sort of like cavemen dragging their unwilling women folk home to their lair--not that there's anything necessarily wrong with that, mind you!). 

And finally, the reason I wrote about this book on the Amazon boards is because of the cool dog. Yep, that's right....I LOVE romance novels with cool dogs, and Celt, a borzoi, is loyal, fierce and protective of his charges. You can tell Feehan is into animals, and her description of Celt and all of the shapeshifting beings (owls, dragons, Jaguars, wolves, etc) are fascinating. 

I have re-read Dark Symphony many times and it never fails to get me in a good mood. I highly recommend this classic Feehan, and pray that she returns to some good old-fashioned romance in the future. Grade: A
Penelope

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Quickie Re-Reads: The Husband Test by Betina Krahn and An Affair To Remember by Karen Hawkins

Happy Monday! I polished off a couple of quickie re-reads over the weekend (I hid under an umbrella while my long-suffering husband entertained our daughter in the pool, God bless that man!). I mentioned both of these books in my re-reads post a while back, but I thought I would do mini-reviews here to highlight the great things about these books.

The first one, The Husband Test by Betina Krahn, is absolutely adorable. One of my favorite re-reads. Eloise is a nun-in-training, headstrong, independent, and driving her mother superior out of her mind. Peril, Earl of Whitmore, is a master warrior, but floundering as master of his estate, and in dire need of a wife. Mother Superior figures out the perfect way to fix her nagging problem with Eloise. She sends her with Peril to "judge" him and figure out which novice at the Convent of the Brides of Virtue will best suit him in marriage. Eloise and Peril are one of my favorite romance couples....their rocky road to love is wonderful to read. The addition of various other intriguing characters, a fascinating historical setting, a compelling plot, and totally satisfying sexual chemistry between the leads, makes this one a keeper. This is a great summer read (and my copy has the chlorine stains to prove it!). By the way, if you read this one and love it, I would also recommend The Wife Test- another really cute book! Grade: A

Another excellent red-haired heroine (Eloise from The Husband Test has firey locks which mesmerize Peril!) is Anna in Karen Hawkin's An Affair To Remember. This is part of the St. Johns' brothers series. My two favorites of this series are An Affair To Remember (Anthony's story), and Lady In Red (Marcus' story). Usually, families of naughty children can become rather irritating in a romance novel. The scene of this book in which Anna, a governess, meets the five unruly children Anthony has recently "inherited" makes you wonder how the hell she is going to win them over. Well, Hawkins does an extraordinarily good job showing us how the bonds gradually build between these distrustful children and Anna and Anthony. It is funny, sweet, touching. Everything a summer romance read should be! This book includes a nasty meddling grandmother, shy fiance, plotting grandfather, and adorable gaggle of children. Anna is a very appealing heroine...beautiful, strong and determined to provide for her down-on-their-luck family, and Anthony is a strict disciplinarian thrown for a huge loop by this sexy governess and the five impish kids. Hawkins' dialogue is superb...I laugh out loud a lot reading this book. It also has a very satisfying HEA ending. The scene where Anthony is forced to rescue Anna in the lake is at once hilarious, touching, and memorable. I should also add that it is not necessary to read the whole series to enjoy this book...it can totally stand on its own!) Grade: A

Thanks to my wonderful husband who got me a Barnes and Noble gift certificate for my birthday (does he know me or what??), I will be purchasing Loretta Chase's new book, Don't Tempt Me, also Julia Quinn's What Happens in London, and finally Sabrina Jeffries final book of the School of Heiresses series. Can't wait! I will also be judging some paranormal romance contest entries this week. Happy reading, everyone!
Penelope

Excessive Violence in Romance Novels: Who Needs It?

Books are powerful things. They can make us fall in love with fictional characters. They can make us cheer for heroes and loathe evil villains. Scenes from novels linger in our memories forever. A truly gifted author can do that to her readers...she has power. Readers learn to trust an author...learn to care for the characters she creates, savoring their triumphs as their own. 

A long time ago, I was an obsessive mystery reader. I read all sorts of disturbing mysteries and barely batted an eyelash. And then I had a son. Suddenly, scenes of children being abducted, abused, and tortured were no longer palatable. I was exhausted and barely able to function. I needed something to make me feel good, lift my spirits and remind me that there is life outside of dirty diapers and mashed peas. I read my first romance novel and I was hooked. A guaranteed happy ending. Loving, intense sexual relationships. If I wanted to immerse myself in violence, abuse and depressing current issues, all I had to do was read the front page of the newspaper. Instead, I chose to lose myself in a romance novel, and I have been an addicted fan of this genre ever since.

One of the very first paranormal romance writers I discovered was Christine Feehan. I read one of her Carpathian vampire novels and was intrigued by this new landscape. Vampires are sexy? Although there was violence in this world, because it was not based in reality, but rather a paranormal setting, I was able to stomach it...especially since the complete devotion of these Carpathians to their lifemates was such a romantic notion. However, I noticed over the years that Feehan's books were becoming darker and more disturbing. The Ghostwalker series especially. Rape and violence against women was becoming a common theme in her books. 

Which brings me to Hidden Currents. I have been a faithful fan of the Drake Sisters series since the beginning. And finally, Feehan released the final, seventh installment of this paranormal series, Elle's story. I have been looking forward to this book all year. I started to get nervous after reading several comments from reviewers who received an advanced copy of the book. They liked it, but the torture and abuse and difficult subject matter (human trafficking) were hard to take. Uh oh. I ordered the book from Amazon. I wanted closure for the series...I was cheering for Elle and Jackson. They deserved a happy ending. Reader reviews started to trickle in on the Amazon website. Here are some of the comments..."[Feehan] let her readers down," "very disappointed," "disgusted," "made me sick," "simply awful," "degrading to any woman who has been raped," and worst of all, "I wish I hadn't read it." Many of these readers prefaced their comments by saying they were long-time Feehan fans. There are also some 5-star reviews from readers who loved this book regardless of the dark material.

So, I made a decision. Maybe I'm a big wuss. Maybe I'm missing out on some great books because I don't want to read such disturbing stuff. But I don't want a scene replaying through my head as I fall asleep where a character I have grown to care about is forced to endure horrendous abuse. I'm putting my unread copy of Hidden Currents on the shelf, and it's going to stay there. Every author has her own prerogative to write whatever she wants. Likewise, a reader has the prerogative to choose as well. I miss the old Christine Feehan books, which really focused on romance. I guess I'll have to be content with re-reading the old Dark series. In the mean time, I'm going to immerse myself in the many wonderful, non-violent romances being released, and continue to celebrate this genre I have grown to love.

Penelope