Let’s see some fun comments from her over the last year, first (including books and authors that didn’t necessarily make her “Best of 2021” list), but that she still highly recommended this year… 🙂. 😉
I’m mostly Scottish, then English, then Germany and Sweden. But same parts of the world. 100% northern Europe and Scandinavia.
I don’t know the identity of my grandmother’s father (my grandma was a ‘surprise’ baby when her mum was 16) and I was wondering whether dna would reveal some big surprise. But no. Just more of the same LOL.
Maybe the Scottish blood explains why I like reading HRs about men in kilts 😀
…another book i really liked – Rooted by Susan Fanetti. A couple meets in a cafe in Paris, but in this one, he’s the writer, not her. He’s a widow and a successful writer. They are a more mature aged couple (which I like). They have a mad summer fling in Paris, but when they go home to US, they have to deal with how things are different. It’s a lovely book.
Today I’ve started the new police procedural by Michael Connelly, The Dark Hours. It’s really good so far. Gripping. Getting me out of the reading slump that’s been dogging me. It’s not a romance though.
These kinds of books aren’t my usual read. But I did enjoy The Last Hour of Gann by R. Lee Smith. It’s a bit different cos it’s sci-fi romance, but I would definitely call it a dark read. But fantastic!
I’ve already started Christmas shopping – mainly doing it online this year to avoid *germy* crowds. Trying to do it early before stock runs out and making sure I get deliveries in plenty of time to do the fun wrapping bit. I love pretty Christmas wrapping paper and the presents under the tree 😀
For my little grandsons I’m getting kiddie sized gardening tools so they can help their daddy in the garden. Maybe calendars this year for the grown-ups? I know some don’t bother with paper-based calendars any more, but BOM (Bureau of Meteorology Australia) puts out a beautiful calendar every year with incredible photos of weather events. I might order a few of those. https://shop.bom.gov.au
The Chocolate Touch. Laura Florand hasn’t got any new books lately, so I think some readers don’t know about her books. They are lovely, romantic reads set in France, with sexy French heroes and (often) American heroines. Who doesn’t love a sexy French chocolate chef?
Cooking a casserole with lamb chops and veg tonight. It’s an old recipe from my grandma, and would you believe has a little plum jam in it. It adds a touch of sweetness. Gotta cook it long and slow and the meat just falls off the bone.
Schools still closed in my area, but hopefully opening in a few weeks. Australian football Grand Final today (kinda like our Superbowl). That should cheer everyone up (unless your team loses LOL). Yeah, I can’t wait for the warmer weather. Hope everything is going well for your area.
I’m doing lots of rereading lately too. In these tricky times I’m finding myself reaching for those lovely comfort reads.
I’ve already started Miss Delightful, cos I know and like Grace Burrowes’ books. It’s good so far. Grumpy ex-military Scot and the vicar’s daughter find themselves in charge of an orphaned baby boy. It’s working for me so far 😀
It’s going to be a quiet stay-at-home weekend for me. Looks like we are going back into lockdown with a sudden delta covid outbreak in our town yesterday. Poop. Oh well, the upside is lots of time to read 🙂 My kindle will be working overtime.
I’m gonna try out some other ones from your list too, Maryse. Yeah, the military one could be good (I love me a strict stone faced colonel who you know is gonna fall!). Also I will have a look at Relentless and Dreaming. Love your blog Maryse. Thank you 😀
I’m reading a cool book I heard about recently on Good Reads. The Steerswoman by Rosemary Kirstein. It’s not a romance as such, but I reckon some of you guys would like it anyway. It’s a fantasy/adventure/road trip kinda story. I suspect it’s going to be one of those fantasy books that crosses over into sci-fi, from a few little hints popping up so far. It’s got a really cool female heroine, with magic, wizards, mysterious jewels. Great characters and world-building. First in a series 😀
Maryse I like the Blasts from the Past section. I often click through it, and there’s still lots of gems in there. Today I was all about looking through the older MCs/ age gap MCs. I still love those tropes. I used to think I liked omyw but not owym. But I’ve changed my mind since reading a few really good older woman books like Nia Forrester’s The Fall. Now I like both.
I’d better answer my own questions.
1. What are you reading at the moment? Just finished I, Eliza Hamilton by Susan Holloway Scott. 4 stars.
2. What’s the next book you plan to read? The Proposition by Judith Ivory for a May Goodreads BOTM. (historical romance)
3. What’s been on your tbr pile for ages but you plan to read it soon? My Heart’s True Delight by Grace Burrowes. I have some catching up to do on Ms Burrowes’ series.
4. Who is a new-to-you author you like that you discovered recently? Rose Lerner. I recently read Listen To The Moon which has a butler and maidservant as the main characters. It was a really fresh and different HR.
5. If your next read had to be a comfort reread, which book would you choose? Hmm. So many old favs. Maybe Winter Solstice by Rosamund Pilcher. An oldie, but a beautiful book.
I like savoury scones with cheese, bacon and a little chopped baby spinach added to the mix. On the other hand, the traditional sweet scones with raspberry jam and cream. You can’t go wrong. I’m on term break at the moment. I can see some baking in my near future (like this afternoon).
I’m hooked into a Netflix series called Call My Agent, about a company in Paris that acts as agents to Hollywood stars. Very funny and clever, with very believable characters. Ooh they get up to some shenanigans in that office! Downside – it’s in French so if like me you don’t speak French, you have to read the subtitles to get it. But I still highly recommend.
I’m on a bit of a non-romance reading kick at the moment. I just finished and really liked A Memory Called Empire, which is a science fiction book that won all the big sci-fi awards in 2020. There is a bit of light f-f romance in it, which isn’t usually my kick in books, but it’s done very well here. It’s not about that, though. It’s just a really good sci-fi read.
Now I’m hooked into Schindler’s Ark, the book the film Schindler’s List was based on. The writer, Tom Keneally, is Australian, and has written lots of books. I haven’t read many of them, but each time I pick one up I am reminded how much I like his writing style and ask myself why I haven’t read more of his books. LOL. This one is really involving so far and not scary or depressing despite the Holocaust setting. Once I’ve finished Schindler, it probably won’t be too long before I’m back to my usual diet of historical and contemporary romances, though. OK, I’m addicted. Ha ha ha. *shrugs*
Hubs and I have gradually started to like sushi and now we’re fans, especially hubs. He’s more daring than me in what he’ll try. I like teriyaki chicken rolls, wrapped in rice and seaweed. Sometimes we just get a mixed tray with all sorts of little goodies on them. So colourful and pretty but I don’t always know what I’m eating LOL. I’m not a fan of the wasabi paste dip though. Pleh. No thanks.
And now, here’s her official Best of 2021 List!!
Sorry I’m a bit late in getting this to you. Not too late, I hope.
Jan’s top reads for 2021. Some are new books published last year, others books that I read for the first time in 2021. 11 books because I couldn’t decide which one to cut LOL.
In no particular order:
A really lovely Victorian era romance. A young widow who is running her late husband’s shipping business in London falls in love with a visiting Scot, who as it turns out, has a secret connection to some well-loved characters from earlier books in the series.
“…Ooh I love the Ravenels series (from Mony’s rec). Really lovely historical romances. Sexy too 😉 The newest one is really good too – Devil In Disguise, with a no-nonsense widowed Victorian era businesswoman who falls for a hot Scot. I hope Ms Kleypas is going to write more books in this series…”
First in a new series. Set in 1800s London. A dour former military man and an aspiring chef/cook fall for each other. Lovely story.
“…I like her writing style. I notice she is changing tack to a different-looking type of HR after this one, with the first in a new series due out in June this year. It’s called Miss Delectable and the series is Mischief in Mayfair. Could be good 😀”
“…Miss Delectable is out today in Australia. First in a new series of HRs by Grace Burrowes. Mischief in Mayfair series. I’m gonna try it 😀”
Written in the 1990s (and surprisingly steamy!) but I just read it this year. Victorian-era setting.
James, a beautiful and clever young overachiever falls for Coco, a sophisticated but scandalous older woman. Complex characters, a great story. The leads have fantastic chemistry.
An unusual HR because the leads are both servants rather than dukes etc. A butler and a maid/housekeeper fall for each other. John is also much older than Sukey. I was a little surprised how much I enjoyed this read. Very different and refreshing HR.
“...Who is a new-to-you author you like that you discovered recently? Rose Lerner. I recently read Listen To The Moon which has a butler and maidservant as the main characters. It was a really fresh and different HR...”
A lovely read set in Victorian London. A Scottish barrister, a lonely widower with two sad kids. Then the charming, cheeky Cockney Bertie breezes into their lives. She brings a breath of fresh air. Lovely book.
A very enjoyable adventure-HR, set in the South Pacific islands in the 1800s. Kind of Indiana Jones meets Romancing the Stone. Exotic settings, crazy chases through the jungle, spooky caves full of skulls, secret documents, fist fight on a cliff edge etc etc. Really fun and fast-moving read. BTW this author is also known as C.S Harris, author of the popular Sebastian St Cyr mysteries.
First in a new series by this popular author. Set in England. A reality TV cooking show, and also some scenes with (an imaginary) British Royal family. A fun, light read.
“…I finished the new Lucy Parker, Battle Royal. It was a cute romance with two rival cake bakers, a reality cooking show, and a (fantasy) British royal family...”
A new book by this old fav author. An opera singer and a quarterback fall for each other. Maybe not as great as some of her older books, but still an enjoyable read.
“…Chicago Stars series. SEP is a fabulous writer. I regularly go back and reread that series and a few of her other books. I recommend First Lady as a great read. Not a sports story, but in her trademark enjoyable style…“
Third book about the Santillian triplets, and it was a good one. Somewhat steamy, but an enjoyable story. Kind of a spinoff of the Walsh series.
“Kate Canterbary’s new book The Belle and The Beard is coming out on April 23rd. A follow up to Boss In The Bedsheets, which I enjoyed. It’s about Ash’s brother, and the blurb says there is a meet-burglary. LOL. I’m looking forward to it and have pre-ordered 😀”
“I’ve started The Belle and the Beard and liking it. It opens with a funny and cute meet-cute. Kate Canterbary writes funny banter...”
The latest in a series about New Zealand rugby players, but can be read as a standalone. In this one, a workaholic American neurosurgeon is working in New Zealand and falls for a rugby player. Lovely story. This series keeps on getting better.
“…We are still in lockdown here (Australia). Poop. So anyway, the upside is I’m doing lots of reading. I’m already 2/3 through Just One Look and really liking it. The grumpy American neurosurgeon heroine who moves to New Zealand and falls for a hot rugby player. I like Rosalind James’ writing style and characters...”
“…Enjoyed the new rugby romance from Rosalind James, Just One Look. Set in beautiful New Zealand. (Did someone say those rugby players are HOT??) 😀”
Latest in the fabulous Alpha and Omega series. I read it back in March and it was my first 5 star read for 2021. Completely gripping and enjoyable.
“…I’ve started Wild Sign and I’m HOOKED! Can’t stop reading. It’s really gripping and also a bit scary and spooky. I think it’s best if you read at least some of the other books first for maximum enjoyment though, cos there are references to characters from the past. But it’s GOOD!”
“…I read it in about 2 days. Couldn’t stop, but now I’m sad it’s finished. It’s REALLY GOOD! My first 5 star read for 2021. For Patricia Briggs fans, just do it. If you haven’t read Patricia Briggs, what are you waiting for????”
Love, Jan from Australia 🙂
MARYSE’S NOTE TO OUR FELLOW READERS: Have a Best of 2021 list for me? Send it to me here. 🙂
P.S. Like Jan’s reading style? Find more of here favorites here:
- Reader Favorites – Jan’s 10 Books That Stayed With Her…
- Reader Favorites – Jan’s Favorite Low Angst Romance Books
- Reader Favorites – Jan’s Top 10 Reads of 2017
- Reader Favorites – Jan’s Best Books of 2018 List
- Reader Favorites – Jan’s Top Ten Best Books of 2019 List
- Reader Favorites – Jan’s Top Ten Best Books of 2020 List
➔➔➔ Looking for more recommendations? Browse all of the reader favorites lists here on the blog. 😀