Fresh FIction Box Not To Miss
Miranda Owen | Fresh Fiction Reviewer Top Reads of 2019
Author Guest / December 20, 2019

Our reviewer retrospective continues with Miranda Owen‘s favorite books of this year!  I love making lists. At the end of a year, friends and fellow readers will post about their top favorite five or ten books of the year. I’m not configured that way. Trying to pick only five or ten favorite books out of the hundred or so I’ve read over the course of a year is unfathomable to me. Instead, I’ve picked about five or so titles in four different categories. Many of these selections fit a few of different categories listed here. I mostly read and review romances, but cozy mysteries are my jam too. Christmas-themed Romance Picks THE MATCHMAKER’S MISTLETOE MISSION by Jaci Burton A COWBOY UNDER THE MISTLETOE by Jessica Clare ONE HOT HOLIDAY by Cynthia Eden MEET ME UNDER THE MISTLETOE by Stacey Kennedy ONE CHRISTMAS EVE by Shannon Stacey There was a ridiculous amount of amazing Christmas-themed romances that came out this year, many of which came out at the end of October. The ones I’m discussing were my absolute favorites, but there were a bunch more that put a smile on my face. THE MATCHMAKER’S MISTLETOE MISSION by Jaci Burton and A…

Miranda Owen | Bewitched by a Beautiful Stranger
Author Guest / August 30, 2019

by Senior Reviewer Miranda Owen Haven’t we met? Some kind of beautiful stranger You could be good for me I’ve had the taste for danger If I’m smart then I’ll run away But I’m not so I guess I’ll stay Haven’t you heard? I fell in love with a beautiful stranger –Beautiful Stranger, Madonna Two of my favorite romance authors are Mary Balogh and Jennifer Ashley. Both authors write well-crafted character-driven stories that capture the imagination. Both authors also write about extremely close yet also extremely complicated families. Two of my all-time favorite books are both by these authors and are both about characters who meet under unusual circumstances, but who find something compelling and experience an unexplainable initial attraction. I’ve always maintained that AT LAST COMES LOVE by Mary Balogh has one of the best introduction scenes and “getting to know you” dialogue I’ve ever read. The scandalous Duncan Pennethorne, the Earl of Sheringford and beautiful yet very respectable Margaret Huxtable collide at a time when they each have something the other desires. Duncan is looking for a well-connected wealthy wife to satisfy his grandfather and secure his inheritance and, and that particular moment, Margaret needs a fake beau…

Miranda Owen | Widows in Romance
Author Guest / February 20, 2019

Today we are joined by Fresh Fiction Senior Reviewer Miranda Owen: I am a widowed lady, well past the age of innocence. Why should I not kiss a handsome man in a drawing room? A little carnality won’t hurt me.  – THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE by Jennifer Ashley I find stories with a widowed heroine particularly compelling. For good or bad, marriage and living with somebody play a huge role in your life, and how you function every day. In a good marriage, your partner enhances your life – in small ways and big ways. If you have the misfortune to be in a bad marriage, it sours many aspects of your life. In different ways, stories about women who have loved and lost, as well as stories about women who have endured until being set free by a spouse’s death, are equally fascinating. In stories where there was some affection between the husband and wife, an author tries to convey the love that existed and how the wife is left to pick up the pieces. One of the first stories I read with a widowed heroine was THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE by Jennifer Ashley. In Jennifer…

Fresh Fiction Favorite Historical Romances of 2018
Author Guest / December 26, 2018

Over the last week and for the rest of this week, the Reviewers of Fresh Fiction will be sharing some of our favorite reads in various genres. We hope you’ll take another look at these titles, and maybe share your favorites in the comments. We’ll have a different genre featured each day! Be sure to check the blog to see what we’ve already covered. It’s all things historical romance today! Check out our picks below. TAPESTRY OF WAR by Jane MacKenzie Reviewer: Clare It was unusual to see Alexandria as a location for a WW2 romance. Contrasted with Scotland which has an influx of GIs. Women greatly involved in business, nursing and war work. Historical [Allison and Busby, On Sale: June 19, 2018, Trade Size / e-Book, ISBN: 9780749022990 / eISBN: 9780749023003] Alexandria trembles as Rommel approaches Buy TAPESTRY OF WAR: Amazon.com | Kindle | BN.com | Apple Books | Kobo | Google Play | Powell’s Books | Books-A-Million | Indiebound | Ripped Bodice | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | Amazon DE | Amazon FR *** MY ONE AND ONLY DUKE by Grace Burrowes Reviewer: Danielle Grace Burrowes is my go-to historical romance author. She writes characters who feel…

Miranda Owen | Celebrate the Season with Festive Romance Reads!
Author Guest / December 21, 2018

A warm holiday welcome to Fresh Fiction Reviewer, Miranda Owen, who is here to discuss some of her favorite holiday-themed romances! If this post doesn’t get you in the holiday spirit, we don’t know what will. Without further ado… I love a fun holiday-themed romance. Admittedly, my favorite holiday-themed romances involve Halloween, but I enjoy Christmas ones too. Some of my favorite books by Carolyn Brown and Terry Spear are centered on Christmas and family. The Christmas romances I’ve read this year – by old favorites and new-to-me authors – have had dual themes of “family” and “Christmas” with delightful results. The one story featured here that’s not set during Christmas is a paranormal romance by Cynthia Eden that opens with a catastrophic blind date on New Year’s Eve, but that story also has a lot to do with family. In SOMEONE TO TRUST by Mary Balogh and THE CHRISTMAS KEY by Lori Wilde, the heroes are both drawn to women with big hearts and loving families. SOMEONE TO TRUST opens with an idyllic Christmas house party with the Westcott family and their assorted friends and relations. Colin Handrich, Lord Hodges can’t help but be charmed by these people because…

Mary Balogh | Love As Opposed To Romance
Uncategorized / June 23, 2009

I always describe myself as a writer of love stories rather than as a romance writer. One of my reasons is an obvious one—romance is not highly thought of in the writing community beyond its own genre, and I firmly believe that my books are serious literature and not to be sneered at as trash. More important, though, I believe that love is far more powerful than romance and that we can sell ourselves short as writers if we are content to write romances at the expense of telling true love stories. A great deal, of course, depends upon how those two words are defined. Here are my definitions. Romance is that wonderful aura that surrounds a couple as they meet (even if they initially feel hostility to each other) and interact and fall in love and finally commit their lives to each other. It’s the growing sense of rightness about the relationship, and the sense of joy we get out of reading about the building attraction they feel for each other on their journey to the happy ending. It’s a powerful reason for reading any book, and when it’s well done it can pull us in and leave us…

Sara Reyes | Where’s Your Bookmark today?
Uncategorized / February 7, 2009

I signed off with that last week and didn’t get a whole ton of feedback, but ah well, it didn’t stop me from reading more stuff. So, because I’ve got a full day including an 8am stop at Central Market Plano for their ‘to-die-for’ pancakes — very very early on a Saturday — I need to buckle down and write. This week was filled with thrillers, weepers, and a little bit of historical romance. First off…finally finished DARK OF NIGHT and was a bit disappointed in the quality of the book. I mean, seriously folks, it’s a f@#ing hardcover and the pages are falling out with one read? And I am NOT a messy reader. No dog earing, no cracking of spines or folding of pages. Geez! That put me off greatly BTW. Even if I got it at Costco and not full retail, a hardcover with pages falling out! What has the world come to? Oh, and the book was good. I wasn’t entirely happy with the reason for all the thrills and chills, but the ride was satisfying. Why did Nash go on all those ‘covert missions’? I didn’t buy the “money” angle. Ah well. Maybe there is…