Because you can't judge a book by its cover

Heyer

Heyer estate reading challenge

georgette_heyerAsk just about any romance author which author had the greatest impact on them and their writing and they will almost always say Georgette Heyer. Credited with creating the Regency Period genre, Heyer was an amazingly prolific writer who published her first novel, The Black Moth, at the age of 17 and it has never been out of print since (info from Georgette Heyer Fan site found here). There have been numerous essays, articles, fan gushings, and books written about Heyer, including this latest biography that I am itching to read (Georgette Heyer by Jennifer Kloester). It is not just that Heyer creating fun characters with dashing adventures, it is truly her attention to detail that has helped her capture the hearts and minds of readers for decades.

black moth originalMy mother first introduced me to the wonderful writings of Heyer when I was a teenager. Not only are Heyer’s novels filled with adventure, spunk, sass, and love, they are also clean so no graphic sex scenes. But Heyer’s writing is so great the sex scenes aren’t needed. Years later (I’m not going to share how many years since I read my first copy but know that it is more than a few) my print copies are literally worn out, bindings broken, pages falling out, all because I (and my sisters) have reread them so many times. While I do have almost her entire collection in ebook format now, I find that I just can’t give away my well-loved print copies.

Now I can’t say I love all of her historical novels (not a huge fan of The Convenient Wife) but I do love a number of them. It has been years since I have read some of them so I thought, what better way to kick off a new year on Novel Reaction than by reading a Georgette Heyer novel each month?! For those of you old fans, it is a good excuse to dust off your copy and enjoy a reread. For those of you new to Georgette Heyer, you are in for a treat! The first couple of novels I have chosen but as the year progresses I will post some polls and see what everyone is interested in reading. For this month (and I realize I am late getting this posting up and the month is already more than half over) I thought we would start of reading Heyer’s “series” beginning with These Old Shades.

Set in the Georgian period, about 20 years before the Regency, These Old Shades is considered to be the book that launched Heyer’s career. It features two of Heyer’s most memorable characters: Justin Alastair, the Duke of Avon, and Leonie, whom he rescues from a life of ignomy and comes to love and marry.

The Duke is known for his coldness of manner, his remarkable omniscience, and his debauched lifestyle. Late one evening, he is accosted by a young person dressed in ragged boy’s clothing running away from a brutal rustic guardian. The Duke buys “Leon” and makes the child his page. “Leon” is in fact Leonie, and she serves the Duke with deep devotion. When he uncovers the true story of her birth, he wreaks an unforgettable revenge on her sinister father in a chilling scene of public humiliation.

 

I love the New Year! Not so much for parties or food (although I do love food) but for the feeling of change that comes over me. Its as if all the bad habits of last year no longer exist and I have the opportunity to start fresh. As soon as Christmas is over (and sometimes even before) I start thinking on what I want to change/do different in the New Year. I only allow myself five resolutions for the New Year so that I realistically achieve my goals. This year I am resolved to bring back Novel Reaction. While I have been still reading books (never gonna stop that one) I haven’t been as invested in my reading because I haven’t been posting reviews for some time. So welcome 2015, a year of good things to come, good habits to achieve, and good books to devour!

Do you have any New Years’ Resolutions you are hoping to start? I have decided to do a Georgette Heyer reading challenge this year so be prepared for more information to come on that one.

summer-reading-590x442It is that fabulous time of year again, SUMMER, where it feels like we have permission to stop…take a breathe….and read without feeling guilty. Not that I ever feel that guilty for reading (although I probably should given the amount of time I spend reading) but it seems like it is more permissible to read without guilt during the summer time. I don’t know if it is the fact that most of us take a vacation, that everything seems to slow down or that it is just too hot to care about what we should be doing and instead do what we want. This has been on my mind for two reasons, 1) I just got back from spending a couple of days on a houseboat on Lake Powell (where I did get some reading in) and 2) it is SOOOOO hot here in Phoenix that I am refusing to go outside until it cools down a little.  I didn’t get a picture of it (but I wish I would have) but at one point on the houseboat I looked up to realize that I and five of my extended family members were all reading books on ereaders.

For summer reading I have found that I like to mix it up, read some old goodies and some new possible favorites. I thought I would share with you some of the books on my summer reading list:

frederica

Frederica by Georgette Heyer

When Frederica brings her younger siblings to London determined to secure a brilliant marriage for her beautiful sister, she seeks out their distant cousin the Marquis of Alverstoke. Lovely, competent, and refreshingly straightforward, Frederica makes such a strong impression that to his own amazement, the Marquis agrees to help launch them all into society.

Lord Alverstoke cant resist wanting to help her

Normally wary of his family, which includes two overbearing sisters and innumerable favor-seekers, Lord Alverstoke does his best to keep his distance. But with his enterprising – and altogether entertaining – country cousins getting into one scrape after another right on his doorstep, before he knows it the Marquis finds himself dangerously embroiled…

 

hex hall

Hex Hall by Rachel Hawkins 

Three years ago, Sophie Mercer discovered that she was a witch. It’s gotten her into a few scrapes. Her non-gifted mother has been as supportive as possible, consulting Sophie’s estranged father—an elusive European warlock—only when necessary. But when Sophie attracts too much human attention for a prom-night spell gone horribly wrong, it’s her dad who decides her punishment: exile to Hex Hall, an isolated reform school for wayward Prodigium, a.k.a. witches, faeries, and shapeshifters.

By the end of her first day among fellow freak-teens, Sophie has quite a scorecard: three powerful enemies who look like supermodels, a futile crush on a gorgeous warlock, a creepy tagalong ghost, and a new roommate who happens to be the most hated person and only vampire on campus. Worse, Sophie soon learns that a mysterious predator has been attacking students, and her only friend is the number-one suspect.

As a series of blood-curdling mysteries starts to converge, Sophie prepares for the biggest threat of all: an ancient secret society determined to destroy all Prodigium, especially her.

 

firelight

Firelight by Sophie Jordan

A hidden truth.
Mortal enemies.
Doomed love.

With her rare ability to breathe fire, Jacinda is special even among the draki—the descendants of dragons who can shift between human and dragon forms. But when Jacinda’s rebelliousness forces her family to flee into the human world, she struggles to adapt, even as her draki spirit fades. The one thing that revives it is the gorgeous, elusive Will, whose family hunts her kind. Jacinda can’t resist getting closer to him, even though she knows she’s risking not only her life but the draki’s most closely guarded secret.

Mythical powers and breathtaking romance ignite in this story of a girl who defies all expectations and whose love crosses an ancient divide.

 

Roses in Moonlight by Lynn Kurland

ESroses in moonlightCAPING INTO THE PAST…

Derrick Cameron, antiquities dealer and adventurer, is furious when the priceless piece of Elizabethan lace he’s been pursuing slips right by him, in the improbable custody of a mousy textile historian! But he will retrieve it, even if it means dragging a very skeptical, albeit adorable, Samantha back in time with him. After all, he is used to living dangerously—in whatever century he finds himself.

Conscientious Samantha Drummond never dreamed the package her British employer gave her would lead her into places an ordinary gal should never go—like Elizabethan England!—or throw her into the company of one extremely attractive, but highly suspect Highlander who not only thinks she’s a thief, but insists on involving her in his mad schemes to retrieve his stolen treasure.

CAN LEAD YOU STRAIGHT INTO YOUR FUTURE…

Trapped first in Elizabethan England, then caught in a web of modern-day intrigues, Samantha and Derrick are forced into an unlikely alliance by peril, never imagining that what they’re forging is a timeless love….
can't stop believing
Can’t Stop Believing by Jodi Thomas
In New York Times bestselling author Jodi Thomas’s small town of Harmony, Texas, “there’s always something brewing” (Fallen Angel Reviews). Now, a generations-old feud is about to come to a head—and the stakes couldn’t be higher with two hearts on the line…Cord McDowell gave up his freedom at eighteen when he went to jail for a crime he didn’t commit. Now, ten years later, he’s about to give it up again for a piece of land. Nevada Britain, his neighbor, has just made him an offer he can’t refuse: If he’ll marry her, she’ll sign over a section of property that their families have been fighting over for a hundred years. Nevada refuses to explain why, but Cord knows the bargain is in his favor. He just has one condition—she has to sleep in his bed every night for as long as their doomed marriage lasts. Nevada only wants to maintain her family’s legacy—and redeem herself for a wrong she did Cord years ago. But as she spends more time with her husband of necessity, she discovers something unexpected—a love so deep it takes her breath away.

Hopefully you get to spend some fabulous time either waterside, lakeside or couchside reading. What’s on your summer reading list?

books-on-couch3

What happened at Novel Reaction? Why have there been no postings for weeks? I know that I posted I would be doing regular reviews and Books-to-Movie Challenges again, and I really meant to. But in addition to everything I shared on my posting titled “We interrupt our regularly scheduled postings“, I am pregnant. Which is fabulous! My hubby and I are both very excited to be welcoming a new book worm to the family in October (and yes, I have already started buying books for him). B-U-T in addition to being pregnant I have been suffering from nausea, which means the last thing I want to do is turn my computer on.  I have joked with my hubby that lately I have become a bump on the couch, not moving much but the cat has sure been enjoying my inactivity. :-)

So what does a bookworm do when she doesn’t feel good? She reads of course. But, I have found that when I am not feeling great I want to reread favorites. So while I have been flying through at least a book a day for the last month, they have all been rereads of old friends. Georgette Heyer, Betty Neels, Johanna Lindsey, Julia Quinn, Terry Pratchett, to name just a few. What about yourself? What do you read when not feeling fabulous?

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Why Ratings?
It is true you can't judge a book by its cover, you also can't judge a book's graphic content by its cover. NovelReaction's goal is to provide readers with a graphic content so they can make an informed decision regarding the books they want to read. (Also, to have a great place for people to discuss books.) So sit back, pull up a beverage, and read on!
Graphic Ratings*

1 = kissing
2 = kissing, some fondling
3 = descriptive stripping but no sex
4 = sex scene but not descriptive in details
5 = full descriptive sex scene

*I am rating a specific book by an author, not the author's style. If I am aware an author writes a specific way, I will let you know.

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