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text 2015-04-21 15:13
Solo Honeymoon
A Garden In The Rain - Lynn Kurland
Bring It On (Mills & Boon Blaze) (Island Nights - Book 1) - Kira Sinclair
Get A Clue - Jill Shalvis
The Wedding Fling (Harlequin Blaze #734) - Meg Maguire
Everything But a Bride - Holly Jacobs
Have Honeymoon, Need Husband - Robin Wells
Love on the Boardwalk - Christi Barth
The Unexpected Honeymoon (Harlequin Romance) - Barbara Wallace
Mad, Bad and Blonde - Cathie Linz
Honeymoon with the Boss - Jessica Hart

Has this ever happening to you? You are going to get married but you don't and dark it all you have this Honeymoon plans and tickets. What to do? 


This happens a lot in Romanceland. And you know what you do? You go on that damn Honeymoon by Yourself! Or bring a friend. Whatever.


Here are some fun Romance Novels with this theme! My lists are never in any particular order. 


1. A Garden In The Rain by Lynn Kurland


After her fiance, Bentley Douglas Taylor III, dumps her, then fires her, Madelyn Phillips attempts to salvage what she can from the wreckage of her life by going ahead with her planned trip to Scotland sans Bentley, only to find the insufferable twit waiting for her there in a misbegotten attempt to convince her to return to him. While trying to ditch Bentley, Madelyn visits Culloden and bumps into Patrick MacLeod, the lethally handsome Scotsman who earlier almost ran her off the road. At that moment, Madelyn intuitively realizes that Patrick is her one true love, but she hesitates to communicate this inexplicable idea to him since she's puzzled by it herself. Even if Madelyn reawakens a long dormant sense of desire in him, Patrick knows telling her the truth about who he really is will destroy any chance of a relationship. Of course, neither one factors in what a little bit of magic can do!


2. Bring It On by Kira Sinclair


Graphic designer Lena fled her ruined wedding with her best friend, filmmaker Colt. 


But she wasn’t expecting the “honeymoon” to be a week-long photo shoot. As the sets become more intimate, Lena and Colt’s libidos start slipping. They can fake it…but when the week is over, will they be able to forget it?


3. Get A Clue by Jill Shalvis


And You Think You've Had A Bad Day

City girl Breanne Mooreland gets left at the altar, takes the flight from hell to her honeymoon--alone--loses her luggage, and ends up snowed in at a Sierra mountains lodge run by the kookiest staff this side of the Addams Family. Oh, and there's a gorgeous naked man taking a shower in her suite who says he isn't going anywhere. That's just the first 24 hours. . .

Burned-out vice cop Cooper Scott is in serious need of this vacation, and he's not about to give up the only available room because an upset--okay, make that insane--woman is having a conniption fit. They'll just have to make the best of it--her side of the bed versus his. But when Cooper wakes up kissing the long, leggy Breanne, he wants to show her exactly what the honeymoon suite is intended for. But that will have to wait, because a screaming Breanne has just stumbled on a very dead body. So much for vacation. . .


4. The Wedding Fling by Meg Maguire


Celebrity Scandal!
Inside the Runaway Bride's Secret Rendezvous!

It's been a busy week for actress Leigh Bailey. The stunning starlet reportedly ditched her cheating groom on her wedding day and ran off to enjoy a honeymoon-for-one at a secluded tropical island. But rumor has it that she's not alone…

And we have the exclusive scoop on Leigh's hush-hush hideout—right from the drop-dead-delicious dude she's been fooling around with!

Resort pilot Will Burgess was just going to give us the basics—enough to earn some much-needed cash. But we never anticipated our intrepid insider getting up close and very, very personal.

It's the most salacious celebrity story of the year…don't miss out!


5. Everything But A Bride by Holly Jacobs


Every Hungarian Grandma knows that words have power.  But Nana Salo never meant the words she said in anger to become a family curse, but that's just what happened.  She thought she had a chance of undoing it at her granddaughter's wedding, but when things went awry, she pinned her hopes on her grandson, Noah's wedding.  
Noah's fiancée called things off at the stag, but when his ex's younger step-sister, and long-time friend Callie, tries to cheer him up, Noah finds the lines between friendship and love blurring. 
A shared non-honeymoon, some secret dating, and a crazy Hungarian family might not sound like the normal way to start a relationship, but Callie and Noah learn that love tends to find its own way.

 teary-eyed bride in a long, white getup and veil was on Luke O'Dell's property—with no husband in sight. Uh-oh! Runaway bride on her honeymoon alone at his Lazy O Dude Ranch! Luke knew too well what happened when he comforted a sobbing woman, and no way was sweet Josie Randall getting anywhere near his strong shoulders….


Josie's two-timing groom-not-to be had done her a huge favor. She'd never even imagined she could love a man so much, until she'd looked into Luke's dark brown eyes and saw forever. But how was a woman to convince six feet, two inches of nonmarrying man that she was the woman he didn't even know he was waiting for?


7. Love on the Boardwalk by Christi Barth


Atlantic City is the perfect place for detective Bradley Hudson to nurse his broken heart. A week of beer and strippers is sure to erase his former fiancée from his memory for good. What he didn't count on was running into a sassy redhead from his past. Maybe a rebound romp is an even better plan…


Trina Trimble, private eye in training, is thrilled to be reunited with the hottie she almost hooked up with last summer. She's undercover on her first solo case, but there's always time to lock lips with a sexy cop. Besides, a fun fling with Brad doesn't have to last beyond his week in town.


Brad and Trina are supposed to be just flirting, not forging a new forever. Brad's still healing, and although Trina changes careers the way other women change shoes, she has finally found her calling in her new life of disguises and stakeouts. But when an irresistible job offer threatens to lure her away, Brad will need to decide to let her go or bet it all on love and risk his heart again.


8. The Unexpected Honeymoon by Barbara Wallace


A holiday to remember… 


Widower Carlos Chavez manages La Joya del Mayan, the most romantic resort in Mexico. On good days, the romance passes unnoticed; on dark days, it only reminds him of his loss. 


But the honeymoon suite's latest guest, Larissa Boyd, has rocked his steadfastness.



Stunningly beautiful, she seems lost. And no wonder…she's on a honeymoon for one!  

The chemistry is instant—and their similarities run deep. Could it be that the two loneliest hearts on the island have found love…in the most unexpected of places?



9. Mad, Bad and Blonde by Cathie Linz


Instead of going into seclusion when she’s stood up at the altar, librarian Faith West takes off by herself to lick her wounds at her would-be honeymoon spot on the Italian coast. She expects to spend her Mediterranean vacation alone, but, as fate would have it, she meets Caine Hunter, the man of every woman’s dream. However, it turns out that fate has nothing to do with their encounter. Caine is a spy working for a sworn enemy of Faith’s father. Should she kiss Caine or kill him? After all, he’s the second man to do her wrong in just a matter of days. And how does Caine feel about this assignment gone awry? For lighthearted contemporary romance, it’s hard to beat Linz. Filled with believable characters and witty dialogue, her books never fail to entertain. And for librarians, a spunky heroine representing that profession is a rare treat. --Shelley Mosley
10. Honeymoon with the Boss by Jessica Hart


Top tycoon Tom Maddison is used to calling the shots—until his convenient marriage falls through. But rather than waste his honeymoon, he'll take his boardroom to the beach and bring his oh-so-sensible secretary, Imogen, on a tropical business trip!

Imogen's always fancied Tom, but knows he sees her as superefficient…not sexy! Yet on idyllic Coconut Island the white sand and inviting turquoise lagoons are weaving their magic….



Did I miss your favorite Solo Honeymoon? Vote for the best on my Goodreads list! 

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text 2015-01-26 15:57
Chiseled: Sculptors in Romance Novels
Drawing Closer (Novella) - Jenny Schwartz
Duchess in Love - Eloisa James
The Reluctant Nude - Meg Maguire
Artistic License - Elle Pierson
Coyote Dream - Jessica Davis Stein
By Kieran Kramer The Earl is Mine (House of Brady, Book 2) [Mass Market Paperback] - Kieran Kramer
Let Me Be The One - Bella Andre
The Secrets of Mia Danvers (Dangerous Liaisons, #1) - Robyn DeHart
Night Embrace - Sherrilyn Kenyon
For His Eyes Only (Harlequin Kiss) - Liz Fielding

Dusty with and eye for detail, patience, and strong hands. Sculptor Boyfriend for the win! Okay, officially I married a potter but he can sculpt. :) Yes, indeed. 


Heroines as sculptors are badass. 


To vote for the best of the best of Sculptors in Romance Novels , go to my Goodreads list: Chiseled: Sculptors in Romance Novels


Here are some wonderful Sculptors in Romance (not in any particular order)


1. Drawing Closer by Jenny Schwartz


Zoe Loyola is keeping a secret between her and her sketchbook. She loves sculptor Nick Gordon. Her drawings of him are hot…and naked!

Nick has a secret, too. He’s being blackmailed. Protecting his family means ignoring his desire for Zoe.

But in the world of art, passion breaks every rule and secrets are made for sharing.


2. Duchess in Love by Eloisa James


A Duke in Retreat

Gina was forced into marriage with the Duke of Girton at an age when she'd have been better off in a schoolroom than a ballroom. Directly after the ceremony her handsome spouse promptly fled to the continent, leaving the marriage unconsummated and Gina quite indignant.


A Lady In the Middle

Now, she is one of the most well-known ladies in London ... living on the edge of scandal—desired by many men, but resisting giving herself to any one.


A Duchess in Love

Finally, Camden, the Duke of Girton, has returned home, to discover that his naïve bride has blossomed into the toast of the ton. Which leaves Cam in the most uncomfortable position of discovering that he has the bad manners to be falling in love—with his own wife!


3. The Reluctant Nude by Meg Maguire


Fallon Frost’s late foster mother had done so much to heal the wounds of her damaged childhood. So when a lecherous developer plans to bulldoze her old home to make room for a strip mall, the practical, ordered life Fallon has built for herself is threatened.


Then he makes a twisted proposal. He’ll leave the land alone if she poses nude for a sculpture that’ll end up in his collection. Seeing no other choice, she heads for Nova Scotia—only to find something totally unexpected. A sexy, hot-blooded, infuriating sculptor.


Guarded, sexually detached Fallon is a challenge Max Emery can’t wait to tackle. Yet with each tap of his chisel, he uncovers a woman who rekindles a dream he thought lost. Home, family…love. And the closer he gets to her core, the harder it becomes to accept that he’s carving her naked body for another man’s eyes.


As progress on the sculpture almost grinds to a halt, their fragile fantasy world collapses under the weight of reality. Threatening Fallon’s one chance to save her foster mother’s land…and any chance she and Max have to find love.


4. Artistic License by Elle Pierson


An art exhibition in Queenstown, New Zealand results in an unlikely friendship and a reluctant love when shy art student Sophy James meets reticent security consultant Mick Hollister. Content with her solitude and independence, Sophy has never desired a long-term relationship. Born with a face that apparently not even a mother could love, Mick has given up hope of having one. They don't have a lot in common; they shouldn't even like one another - and they can't stay away from each other.


5. Coyote Dream by Jessica Davis Stein


For Sarah Friedman - smart, sophisticated, urban woman - the chance to journey to the Southwest to buy American Indian art for her family's successful New York store comes at a time of personal transition. Determined to put aside romantic disappointments, she seeks new perspectives in the serenity of the vast desert landscape. Then her car breaks down on a remote part of the Navajo reservation and fastpaced Sarah finds herself stranded in a slow brown world.

After years of turmoil, Ben Lonefeather has finally gained control of his life. Aloof and tightly wound, he devotes his time to work and caring for the coyotes he rescued as pups. When Sarah Friedman shows up stranded he wants to get rid of her as quickly as possible, and only grudgingly offers help.

The intersection of two lives that would not ordinarily have crossed for more than a moment deepens into a connection that leaves both of them passionately alive and profoundly changed. Within a layered collision of social spheres, Coyote Dream explores the tension between society’s surface and nature’s undercurrent.


6. The Earl is Mine by Kieran Kramer (Sugar Sculptor)


Handsome, charismatic, and on the verge of becoming a successful architect, Gregory Sherwood, Lord Westdale, could have just about any woman he wants. So why rush to marry? So far there’s only been one woman he’s ever truly loved. But that was before she had a secret affair with his best friend…with the help of an unwitting accomplice named Lady Pippa Harrington.


Pippa may not have acted in her old friend Gregory’s best interests, but she’s always believed that the heart sets its own rules. This is why Pippa must escape her arranged marriage—fast—by fleeing to Paris, where she hopes to pursue her artistic passions. To do so, Pippa will need all the help she can get—from Gregory, the one man she isn’t sure she can trust…or resist…



7. Let Me Be The One  by Bella Andre


When Vicki Bennett saved Ryan Sullivan's life as a teenager, it was the beginning of a close friendship that never wavered despite her failed marriage to someone else and Ryan's well-earned reputation as a ladies man. So when she suddenly needs a pretend boyfriend to protect herself and her career from a powerful man's advances, he is the only person she can imagine asking.

Ryan will do anything to protect Vicki from harm, but when their "fake" kisses and caresses lead to an incredibly sensual night that neither of them can resist, will he have made the biggest mistake of all by irreparably jeopardizing their friendship? Or is it possible that what they've both been looking for has been right there the whole time...and the perfect combination of wicked and sweet, friendship and love, is finally within reach?


8. The Secrets of Mia Danvers by Robyn DeHart


Since losing her sight in a childhood accident, Mia Danvers has resided in a small cottage on the vast Carrington estate. Thought to be dead, Mia lives a life of virtual seclusion - until one night, while walking home, she happens upon a horrendous crime.

Alex Foster, Eighth Duke of Carrington, lives according to society's expectations for him. He's never met the woman who lives in the cottage at the edge of his property. But when she arrives at his door in the pouring rain terrified and claiming she has witnessed a murder, she seizes his attention.


Mia is determined to help the authorities track down the culprit, even though the only person willing to accept her aid is the handsome, arrogant duke. Working closely together proves difficult as Mia's beauty and independence tempts Alex to ignore convention and follow his desire. But what neither of them know is that this murderer has struck before in Whitechapel, taunting the British press only to vanish - a ruthless killer who knows that Mia is the only living witness to his crime...



9. Night Embrace by Sherrilyn Kenyon


Dear Reader,
Life is great for me. I have my chicory coffee, my warm beignets, and my best friend on the cell phone. Once the sun goes down, I am the baddest thing prowling the night: I command the elements, and I know no fear. For centuries, I've protected the innocent and watched over the mankind, making sure they are safe in a world where nothing is ever certain. All I want in return is a hot babe in a red dress, who wants nothing more from me then one night.

Instead, I get a runaway Mardi Gras float that tries to turn me into roadkill and a beautiful woman who saves my life but can't remember where she put my pants. Flamboyant and extravagant, Sunshine Runningwolf should be the perfect woman for me. She wants nothing past tonight, no ties, no long-term commitments.

But every time I look at her, I start yearning for dreams that I buried centuries ago. With her unconventional ways and ability to baffle me, Sunshine is the one person I find myself needing. But for me to love her would mean her death. I am cursed never to know peace or happiness-not so long as my enemy waits in the night to destroy us both.
--Talon of the Morrigantes


10. For His Eyes Only by Liz Fielding


It's your body that I want to draw, not your clothes."

Well, that's what she was afraid of! Hardworking estate agent Natasha Gordon finds her reputation in tatters when an ad she created gets bungled. She'll do anything to restore her good name—even beg seriously sexy artist Darius Hadley to give her another chance to sell his ancestral home. Only, he drives a hard bargain: Natasha must pose naked, for his eyes only…!


He's asking Natasha to take him on trust. But she's learned the hard way not to trust men—particularly those she's working with…and let alone men she's taking her clothes off for!


Darius's next outrageous statement? "I will, too—if it will make it easier for you.…"


Please let me know who your favorite Sculptor in Romance is!


Stayed tuned for more Romance Lists focusing on artists. Here is what I have so far in case you missed any.


Blow: Glassworkers in Romance

Shutter: Contemporary Romance Novels with Photographers

Daguerreotype: Photographers in Historical Romance Novels

Living Ink: Tattoo Artists in Paranormal Romance






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text 2015-01-15 16:32
Water & Lights: Plumbers and Electricians in Romance
Driving Her Wild - Meg Maguire
The Season for Love: A Shannon Stacey Holiday Box Set: Holiday SparksMistletoe and MargaritasSnowbound with the CEO - Shannon Stacey
Too Friendly to Date (Harlequin Superromance) - Nicole Helm
Better Off Without Him - Dee Ernst
Single Wolf Female (Midnight Liaisons, #2.6) - Jessica Sims
By The Book - N.J. Walters
Small-Town Dad - Jean C. Gordon
The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society - Darien Gee
The Bad Boy of Bluebonnet - Jessica Clare
The Mane Squeeze (The Pride Series) - Shelly Laurenston

Despite the Boom, Chica, Boom music in many adult films with a plumber or electrician knocks on the door, there are really not all that many heroes or heroines with these skilled trade professions in Romance Novels. Lots of handymen (another porn favorite) and contractors.


Here is a list of some very good reads with Heroes and Heroines that are all about water and power.


My lists are never in any particular order although a long time reader of this blog with know that Lock from the first book is my favorite hero ever.  


1. The Mane Squeeze: Pride Series # 4 by Shelly Laurenston Heroine is a Plumber 


Growing up on the tough Philly streets, Gwen O'Neill knows how to fend for herself. But what is she supposed to do with a nice, suburban Jersey boy who has a tendency to turn into a massive Grizzly? Despite his menacing growl and four-inch claws, Gwen finds Lachlan "Lock" MacRyrie cute and really sweet. He actually watches out for her, and unlike the rest of her out-of-control family, manages not to morbidly embarrass her. Too bad cats don't believe in forever.


At nearly seven feet tall, Lock is used to people responding to him in two ways: screaming or running away. Gwen--half lioness, half tigress, all kick-ass--does neither. She's sexy beyond belief and smart as hell, but she's so busy protecting her family and friends that she's forgetting about her own safety. Lock probably shouldn't get involved, but he can't simply walk away. Not when Gwen means absolutely everything to him.


2. The Bad Boy of Bluebonnet by Jessica Clare


Emily Allard-Smith enjoys running her tiny bed and breakfast in quiet Bluebonnet, Texas. The only problem? It’s haunted, and she’s got no one to call when things go bump in the night.

Enter Jericho Lozada. He’s tall, sexy, mohawked, and good with his hands. He’s also not scared of Em’s ghost. And just when Em decides that she needs a man in her life with lots and lots of tattoos…her ex shows up again.

Now Emily has to figure out if she wants to keep a hold on the ghosts of her past…or look into a future with Jericho. But does Jericho even want a future with her?


3. The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society: A Novel by Darien Gee


At Madeline’s Tea Salon, the cozy hub of the Avalon community, local residents scrapbook their memories and make new ones. But across town, other Avalonians are struggling to free themselves of the past: Isabel Kidd is fixing up her ramshackle house while sorting through the complications of her late husband’s affair. Ava Catalina is mourning the love of her life and helping her young son grow up without his father. Local plumber Yvonne Tate is smart, beautiful, and new to Avalon, but finds that despite a decade of living life on her own terms, the past has a way of catching up—no matter where she goes. And Frances Latham, mother to a boisterous brood of boys, eagerly anticipates the arrival of a little girl from China—unprepared for the emotional roller coaster of foreign adoption.
Enter Bettie Shelton, the irascible founder of the Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. Under Bettie’s guidance, even the most reluctant of Avalon’s residents come to terms with their past and make bold decisions about their future. But when the group receives unexpected news about their steadfast leader, they must pull together to create something truly memorable.
By turns humorous, wise, and deeply moving, The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society is a luminous reminder that the things we hold most dear will last a lifetime.


4. Small-Town Dad (Love Inspired) by Jean C. Gordon Hero is an electrician. 


Small-town electrician Neal Hazard gave up his dreams years ago to raise his daughter. Now it's his turn to make those dreams a reality. But when his community college advisor turns out to be his high school prom date, he can't believe his eyes. Widowed Anne is more beautiful than he remembers, and completely wrapped up in her career. But when she suddenly becomes guardian to an orphaned toddler, it's Neal's turn to teach Anne a few things. Maybe together, they'll learn how priorities, parenthood and love truly fit together to create a family.


5. By the Book (Jamesville) by N.J. Walters


Amanda Barrington hopes Jamesville is the right place for her rare-book business—and her new life. The moving truck barely pulls away before both are off to a rousing start. It’s not her new customer that’s caught her attention, though. It’s the customer’s brother, Jonah Sutter.

From the moment cynical, ex-military Jonah sets eyes on Amanda, he burns for her like a house afire—which is what she’s going to have if she doesn’t get her house’s electrical system overhauled. He knows he’s not a forever kind of guy, but he’s more than willing to be her fix-it man. In more ways than one.

When unexpected danger threatens, Jonah finds himself dealing with more than just the desire to get Amanda into bed.

Protecting her means moving in, which exposes them both to a new danger—losing their hearts.


6. Single Wolf Female (Midnight Liaisons Book 4)  by Jessica Sims


Alice Savage needs an alpha – any alpha – to prevent her pack from being usurped by the lecherous Roscoe. As a last resort, she signs up for the Midnight Liaisons dating service, never expecting that she’d find the alpha she seeks. She certainly didn’t expect Jackson Wilder, a laid back, sexy-as-sin outsider who claims to be an alpha.

But Alice has a problem that most female wolf alphas don’t — she’s a virgin. And the female alpha of a wolf pack always belongs to a male alpha. Luckily for her, Jackson’s utterly gorgeous and willing to take things slow. But is he alpha enough to help her save her pack…or is he too easy-going to be the man she needs?


7. Better Off Without Him  by Dee Ernst


ona Berman has it all—a twenty-year marriage, a successful career as a romance novelist, and three teenage daughters. But when her husband, Brian, leaves her for someone younger, thinner, blonde, and French, she has to step back and take a good, long look at her life.

First, her career. She can’t continue to write about “Happily Ever After,” so she changes the heroine of her new book from a hot young thing to a forty-something woman who manages to find happiness without a man. Her agent isn’t too happy—the heroine is how old? She doesn’t get the guy in the end? How is that even possible?


But Mona is tough, and she’s got Anthony, her personal assistant, and a few good friends to cheer her on and keep the stiff martinis flowing. And Ben. Ben is her plumber, but not your average plumber. He’s smart enough to know that Brian was never good enough for her, and sexy enough to be cast as the romantic lead in quite a few of her books. The sound of his voice alone can send her imagination into full romantic overdrive.


Then she meets Mitch, who might be just the guy for her. And there’s still Ben, who’s managed to come to her rescue more than once. But—there’s a book to publish, a soon-to-be-ex-husband to deal with, and what has Aunt Lily done this time?


Can Mona work this all out? Can life imitate art, and can Mona write her own happy ending?


8. Too Friendly to Date by Nicole Helm


Okay, pretending her sexy boss is her boyfriend is more like a huge white lie. But electrician Leah Santino will take the risk. If her parents think she has someone, they won't go back to smothering her, and they can all be a family again. 


Problem is, Jacob McKnight isn't just her boss—he's her friend. And faking a relationship when the Santinos come to visit means those sparks she's always tried to ignore are hotter than ever. This thing between them is starting to feel real, but Leah has a very good reason to stay independent. Unless that's one lie that's outlived its purpose…


9. The Season for Love: by Shannon Stacey


Holiday Sparks
Chloe Burke thinks upgrading the electrical system of her childhood home while her parents are away would make the perfect Christmas gift. Fortunately, there's an electrician in town who can get the job done by the holidays. A little festive fun is just what she needs, but could their holiday fling turn out to be the real thing?


10. Driving Her Wild by Meg Maguire


Winning is good. Succumbing is even better… 



Recently retired pro MMA fighter Steph Healy is through having rough-and-tumble romps with sexy blue-collar dudes. Unfortunately, Wilinski's Fight Academy has hired an electrician with a body built to make a gal weep. And avoiding some full-body contact is taking all of Steph's self-control. 




Carpenter-turned-electrician Patrick Doherty is damn good with his hands. Sure, he's not what Steph is looking for—yet. But he's about to prove that she has seriously underestimated her opponent…. 




The moment Patrick has her deliciously pinned, Steph knows she's in deep, deep trouble. Because this seemingly mild carpenter has the mastery to give her exactly what she needs…and this is one takedown she's willing to take lying down!



I would love to know your favorite plumber or electrician in Romance.


To vote for the best of the best, go to my Goodreads list: Water & Lights: Plumbers and Electricians in Romance.



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text 2014-09-22 16:04
Tops; Competitive and Adventure Reality Shows Romance
Dancing Shoes and Honky-Tonk Blues - Luann McLane
More Than Music - Elizabeth Briggs
Love Waltzes In - Alana Albertson
The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap - Donna Kauffman,Kate Angell,Kimberly Kincaid
Romancing the Chef - Robyn Amos
Falling for Her Rival - Jackie Braun
Say it With Sequins: The Rumba - Georgia Hill
Release Me - Farrah Rochon
Blooming in the Wild - Cathryn Cade
Caught on Camera (Harlequin Blaze #608) - Meg Maguire

You know there has to be a little bit of hanky panky on those Top Chef, a little flirt on So, You Think You Can Dance, a kiss here or there on American Idol. 


Here are some romance Novels that let us take a peek!


Competition Shows


1. Dancing Shoes and Honky-Tonk Blues  by LuAnn McLane 


Abilene thinks it a mean joke when her brother signs her up as a contestant for a new reality show called Dancing with the Rednecks until she hears about the $50,000 grand prize. That kind of money would really help her Kentucky family out. Why, there might even be a little left over to finance her own dream, not that she minds waitressing. Tall and gangly, Abliene has two big left feet, and she's more than a bit intimidated by her tall, dark, and brooding celebrity dance partner. Rio Martin isn't happy about being involved in a spoof. He was hoping his appearance would be good publicity for his chain of dance studios. So the two do not get off on a good foot, but Rio is not immune to the leggy blonde who is too naive to realize she's a beauty. It's her spunky, down-home personality, though, that wins him, and the reader, over.


2. More Than Music  by Elizabeth Briggs


Music major Maddie Taylor just finished her junior year of college and has a summer internship lined up with the LA Philharmonic, yet every night she practices guitar and secretly dreams of a louder life. But geeky girls like her don't get to be rock stars. That is, until tattooed singer Jared Cross catches her playing guitar and invites her to join his band on The Sound, a reality TV show competition.

Once on the show, Maddie discovers there's more to Jared than his flirty smile and bad boy reputation - and that he's just as big a geek as she is. With each performance their attraction becomes impossible to ignore, but when the show pressures them to stay single they're forced to keep their relationship secret.

As the competition heats up, Jared will do whatever it takes for his band to win, and Maddie must decide if following her dream is worth losing her heart.


3. Love Waltzes In  by Alana Albertson 


To her millions of fans, ballroom champion Selena Marcil seems to have the perfect life: a great dance partner, a hit reality show, and celebrity perks. But underneath the glamorous ball gowns, Selena longs to find someone to share her life with when the stage lights dim. 

Selena’s childhood sweetheart, Bret Lord, hung up his dance shoes after winning two national titles with her as a teenager, and enlisted in the United States Marine Corps. He never saw his former fiancée again, except on television and on the cover of men’s magazines. Ten years and three deployments later, Bret gets an offer to audition for Selena’s dance show. When the Marine Corps gives him temporary leave to appear on the series, Bret can’t refuse the quick cash that will enable him to provide financially for the widow of his buddy, even if it does mean coming face to face with his past. 

When Bret shows up at her national championship, Selena is shocked. For years she searched for him to no avail. After spending time with Bret, Selena realizes despite their past romance, they have no future. He has no desire to live under a spotlight and she has no desire to leave it. Can Selena and Bret recognize when Love Waltzes In?


4. The Sugar Cookie Sweetheart Swap by Donna KauffmanKate Angell and Kimberly Kincaid 


Sugar And Spice by Kimberly Kincaid

When caterer Lily Callahan goes up against hotshot pastry chef Pete Mancuso in the bake-off of the season, the stakes are high--and scandalously passionate. Will the gorgeous gourmand steal Lily's heart--and the top prize in the Christmas cookie competition?


5. Romancing the Chef  by Robyn Amos 


When Veronica Howard is invited to compete in an all-star TV cooking contest, the up-and-coming restaurateur is ready for a fair food fight. Then she discovers who her main competition is: Ace Brown, her friend from culinary school—now the world's hottest celebrity chef. Has she gone from the frying pan right into the fire?


Ace Brown—aka the Sexy Chef—knows what women want. After all, recipes for desire are his globe-trotting specialty. Ronnie may not have given him the time of day back in school, but this time Ace is cooking up a surprise she can't resist. Seducing the voluptuous foodie will be his pleasure…until she turns up the heat. With sexual sparks flying, is the footloose bachelor about to become a connoisseur…of love?


6. Falling for Her Rival by Jackie Braun 


For chef Finn Westbrook, it's time to turn up the heat. Three years ago he hit rock bottom. Now he's ready for a comeback, starting with winning a TV competition to secure a spot running New York's trendiest kitchen! He just didn't count on his attraction to rival Lara Dunham burning a hole in his plans….


Lara has worked her apron off for this opportunity, and total focus on the competition was the plan—which is difficult when all she can think about is wanting her opponent out of the kitchen and in her bed! But there can only be one winner, and sometimes, to win, a girl has to play dirty!


7. Say it with Sequins: The Rumba by Georgia Hill


Who Dares Dances is a reality TV show with a difference. Not only do contestants have to learn to dance, they also face a series of bizarre challenges.

Julia Cooper signs up in a bid to revive her flagging acting career. But when she meets dare-devil TV presenter Harri Morgan the attraction is instant – and hot!

Forced to perform a sexy rumba together, the sequins really start to fly. Will they score the perfect ten, or is their romance destined to be a dance disaster?


8. Release Me  by Farrah Rochon 


Tobias "Toby" Holmes was destined for NBA stardom. But when an SUV crashed into his car during his rookie year, his dreams of playing pro-basketball, along with his spine, were shattered. After floundering from one job to another, Toby has finally found his niche in the music business. And when the singing sensation he discovered is pegged to star in a new reality TV show, Toby finally sees light at the end of what has been a very dark tunnel.

Sienna Culpepper has loved her childhood best friend forever, though he has never seen anything other than the girl with skinny legs, cornrows, and mad skills on the basketball court. When Toby returns to their hometown of New Orleans to start his career as a record producer/manager, Sienna is resigned to loving him from afar. However, when Sienna and Toby find themselves working together, feelings arise that has them both rethinking their friendship.

Adventure Shows 


Blooming in the Wild  by Cathryn Cade 


On Hawaii’s Big Island to supervise a photo shoot for her sporting goods company, Bella Moran is looking forward to relaxing with her newfound family. As the island works its magic on her Ho’omalu blood, though, something strange begins to happen.

In her dreams, she is at one with the untamed rainforest, able to command the trees and flowers with a terrifying power. Unfortunately, she finds no rest in her waking hours, dealing with the sexy, boy-in-a-man-suit star of the shoot.


Joel Girand, star of his own TV adventure show, signed on for a relaxing weekend showcasing tropical camping gear. He never expected to fall for an uptight executive type like Bella, but there’s something about her lush native beauty that excites the wild places in his soul.


In Joel’s arms, Bella feels her civilized veneer peeling away. But when it becomes clear someone with a grudge against her family is using deadly force to sabotage the shoot, Bella’s frightening dream power manifests in the very clear light of day. And Joel must decide if his heart will let him stand back and let her sacrifice everything—even her life—for her native home.


Caught on Camera by Meg Maguire 


Wilderness survival television star Dominic Tyler (Ty) and his assistant Kate Somersby are stranded in a remote cabin during a freak winter storm. Things look pretty bleak—until they make a fire and strip off their wet clothes….


Act I—set up

Survive This! is Kate's life…as are unscripted fantasies about Ty, her boss and best friend. But when Kate is suddenly injured, Ty decides filming is too dangerous for her. This will be Kate's last adventure for a while.


Act II—plot point

Kate is furious and threatens to quit. But Ty needs her. So what can he do? Keep her occupied by filming every minute of their intense and definitely unrehearsed sex!


Act III—cliff-hanger

It's Kate's choice now: Her hard-won career? Or end credits featuring dangerously wild sex with Ty? Ha. Some choice. But either way, the final cut is guaranteed to be a thrilling ride!


Come see some Reality TV Eye Candy on the Pinterest Board: Realty.



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text 2014-06-18 21:03
Best Beta Hero of Category Romance
Lightning That Lingers - Sharon Curtis,Tom Curtis
About Last Night - Ruthie Knox
Driving Her Wild - Meg Maguire
Kiss Your Prince Charming - Jennifer Greene
Live - Mary Ann Rivers
Rio Grande Wedding (Men Of The Land) (Silhouette Intimate Moments, #964) - Ruth Wind
Indecent Suggestion (Harlequin Blaze, #189) - Elizabeth Bevarly
One Night in the Spa - Kathy Lyons
Anyone But You - Jennifer Crusie
One Christmas Knight (The Sisters Waskowitz, #1) - Kathleen Creighton

I am devout lover of the Category Romance.  My grandmother's monthly order of Harlequins of all imprints meant for a very sweet set of teenage reading years for me since the rule in my house was if you could read it, you can read it.


Mostly, this was a good rule. I would like to take this moment to thank you, Erica Jong, for an unforgettable guacamole and tampon scene in Fear of Flying when I was 13 and babysitting 3 year old twins who had finally fallen asleep leaving me free to skim their mother's books that scene (two really but I think combined in my memory) made me at once doubtful and grateful for this rule. Who knew? 


Back to Category Romance...I am busy. I like their sweet length and that I can finish them in one sitting like a good meal. I love how when they are good they are really good because the constraints of the format demand a lot of their writers.  I crave  themes, as is very clear, and this subgenre is theme-a-polza.


My favorite hero type is the Beta because he is human and I love humans more than fantasy (not that I don't like them too. I do but not as much)  So, here are some amazing Beta Heroes of Category Romance! 


1. Lightning that Lingers by Sharon Curtis Philip Brooks 

2. About Last Night  by Ruthie Knox Nev Chamberlain 

3. Driving Her Wild by Meg Maguire Patrick Doherty 

4. Kiss Your Prince Charming by Jennifer Greene Greg Stoner 

5. Live by Mary Ann Rivers Hefin

6. Rio Grande Wedding by Ruth Wind Alejandro Sosa

7. Indecent Suggestion  by Elizabeth Bevarly Turner McCloud

8. One Night in the Spa by Kathy Lyons David 

9. Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie Alex

10. One Christmas Knight by Kathleen Creighton Jimmy Joe Starr


Let me know who your favorite Category Romance Beta Hero is!


To vote for the best of the best, go to the Goodreads list: Best Beta Hero of Category Romance 


To get even more recommendations and to enjoy some eye candy that I like to imagine are Beta Heroes (and some do at least play the part of Beta Heroes), see my Pinterest Board: King of the Betas: Best Beta Heroes in Romance. 

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