Thursday, April 08, 2010

What Are You Reading Thursday - A Guaranteed Indulgence

This Thursday PHS editor Donna Alward chats about the pleasure of a guaranteed good read!

A few years back, I read a book I LOVED.  I loved it so much I looked up the author and was surprised to find she was Canadian.  I mentioned her to my sister, who had a few of her books that miraculously ended up coming my way.  Whatever didn't come from my sister got bought up courtesy of amazon.  With the exception of a few out of print books, I glommed up every single story that Julianne MacLean had ever written.

I still would like to get those first books.

ANYWAY, I will admit that part of my excitement about moving to Nova Scotia was knowing that Julianne and I were going to be in the same writing chapter.  Fangirly? Moi?  Absolutely.  Imagine how lovely it is to find that one of your most favourite authors in the world is also a super sweet person?  And then being able to call that person a friend?

But I think most of you reading this know what it's like to have a teetering TBR and so I have had Julianne's Pembroke Palace trilogy on my shelf for a few months.  I have just been waiting for the right time.  And while I have other books I need to finish soon-ish - my first mistake was picking up In My Wildest Fantasies and reading the first chapter. Because that led to several hours of reading all three books back to back.  I was irrevocably hooked with the first line:  A thick, gray mist moved through the darkening forest, creeping low along the ground like a twisting, rolling phantom.  I was immediately plunged into the world of Rebecca Newland and the mysterious stranger that rescued a runaway carriage.  A stranger who just happened to be the heir to a dukedom.

I have other things I need to read by a certain time.  But that is a requirement and I'm sorry, but once I started in on Devon and Rebecca's story the NEED was bone-deep.  I had to know what happened.  Then I moved on to meet Vincent in The Mistress Diaries.  This book is now in direct competition to the RITA finalist Surrender to a Scoundrel, my first and fave of Julianne's (I think sometimes you never forget your first).  Vincent had me blinking back tears for the last 1/2 of the book and matching him with such a strong heroine, Cassandra, was brilliant.

And once I'd read the two, and realized that Blake had gone missing - well, I had to pick up When A Stranger Loves Me, the final installment.  This book is so different from anything else I've ever read, it was a joy to discover.  Chelsea is a risk taker, fiercely independent and we already know Blake is the steady, reliable one - if only he could remember WHO he was.  Chelsea comes up with a very...unorthodox plan to avoid marrying Lord Jerome and to save the family.  Watching that plan in action is quite the ride.

What I love about Julianne's historicals is that she blends humour with atmosphere and then the most stunning sensuality.  I adore historical romps and she never fails to impress me in every aspect.  I have writer's envy every time I read her books, but I am addicted.  For me, her books are everything a historical should be.  Smart, sexy, sassy, and an escape into the past when Lords and Ladies and scandal ruled.

So...that's what I've been reading the last week or so.  The only bad part?  I have to wait until next March for the beginning of her Highlander trilogy coming from St. Martins.

If you haven't read any of Julianne's, in addition to the Pembroke Palace trilogy, her American Heiress series isn't to be missed!

Donna's current release is HER LONE COWBOY, out in the UK right now in a 2-in-1 with Diana Palmer's Tough To Tame. 

She also has SOLD TO THE HIGHEST BIDDER coming from Samhain Publishing on April 13.


  1. I love the UK covers so much! I wish I didn't want to add these books to my reading list but I do.

    Right now I've got a box of old Harlequin Romances I want to get through...and I mean old ones...from the 80s and possibly a few from earlier than that.

  2. Wow, Julianne sounds lke an author I definitely should be checking out...

    Have to admit I'm busy working my way through all of Susan Wiggs's Lakeshore Chronicles at the moment. Have only just discovered her and absolutely love the way she writes, so insightful, so beautifully descriptive and such vividly drawn and compelling characters. I so want to go visit the Catskills now and Camp Kioga (although that probably doesn't actually exist!!).

    Love that thrill of discovering a new author and then discovering they've written loads of books and you've got a whole new treasure trove to explore.

    H x

  3. Donna,

    Julianne MacLean's American Heiress series is wonderful. Love According to Lily seems to be a perennial favourite of everyone who has read it!

    I think you summed up Julianne's writing really well: humorous but sensual. She never fails to pull me into her characters.

  4. I know just what you mean, Pam! Her books are populated with characters that are blissfully human.

    Now I just wish we could know how Garrett and Charlotte end up!

  5. Heidi - I'm reading one of Susan's at the moment too! I have a tbr full of new to me authors, heavy on the women's fiction. I expect to discover some gold mines!

  6. Yes, Donna, I can't wait until next March. Love Julianne's books!