Now that Christmas is over, hopefully you have a few days to relax and read. (It isn’t just me who looks forward to this week between Christmas and New Year’s for lots of quality reading time, is it?) If you’re really lucky, you got some gift cards for your favorite book buying location in your stocking. (I always tell my in-laws that what I really want are Amazon gift cards. They don’t like this answer, because they are shoppers. But what they don’t seem to understand, no matter how I try to explain, is that a gift card to Amazon can see me through half a year of books, if I’m careful with it. And also, I have a fairly serious book habit.)
Anyway! To keep you from holding those gift cards in your hands, hunching over them, and whispering, “Preciousssss. My precioussss.” for too long, I thought I’d suggest a few books that I have read and enjoyed that I think you would also be well served to read and enjoy. So without further ado…
First up is A Semi-Precious Christmas, by Jan Elder. At $0.99, it’s a real bargain (note, it’s that price as of 12/12, when I’m writing this post. If it’s gone up in the meantime, I apologize!) I love Jan’s writing. She has a humorous, relatable voice and her characters ooze understated, yet snappy, wit. In Semi-Precious, we meet Peridot Keaton-Jones, manager of her uncle’s jewelry store (with a name like Peridot, where else would she work? And her sister? Named Amethyst (though she goes by Amy). ) Calamity strikes right on page one, however, when she walks in on a robbery in progress. Despite the robbery and ensuing quest for who done it, I wouldn’t classify this as romantic suspense (though there are a few tense moments). It’s a delightful romance with a hint of mystery, and I can pretty much guarantee you’ll fall in love with Peridot and Chris by page three.
I should probably go ahead and say, in the interest of full disclosure, that Jan is a friend of mine. But I promise you, if I didn’t love her book, I wouldn’t tell you about it.
Next up is an older book, but it was absolutely delightful and resulted in a new author for me to hunt down other books by. (I love it when that happens, don’t you?) See, as part of blogging here, it occurred to me that it would be a good idea to read at least one thing by everyone else who blogs here. And so, I tracked down a likely suspect from everyone and spent the better part of a very enjoyable couple months doing just that. I’ll just say I don’t think you can go wrong with any book by any one of the lovely ladies who blog at InspyRomance. Cause wow, we’ve got some talented authors here! Unfortunately, I don’t have room to highlight every single one of them in this post – so don’t think of this as choosing favorites. It’s more like…highlighting a random selection.
Anyway, the next book is Love is a Battlefield by Annalisa Daughtey. Oh. My. Goodness. If you like to laugh, you simply must read this. The rest of the series is on my to read list. Kristy (the heroine) is a hoot. I’m not sure she always intends to be, but she’s one of those people who ridiculous things just seem to happen to. And Ace…Ace is yummy.
This is a fast-paced, detail-rich book that, in addition to having a very satisfying romance, has lots of fun facts about Shiloh National Military Park. And I don’t know about you, but I always like to learn a thing or two when I read. Particularly when there’s not a quiz afterward. (And thankfully, Annalisa did NOT put a quiz at the back of her book. So we’re good there.)
Finally (because I could go on all day giving book recommendations. Seriously. Don’t ask me to recommend books because I’ll never stop talking.), Another Chance by Diane Adams is another that I read as part of my “read something by everyone at InspyRomance” campaign. I. Loved. It. I loved that the heroine is older and starting over after some major bumps in her life. I loved the attraction between the hero and heroine – it was rich and layered. And I loved the little details like the drama between the female faculty members and the idea behind the program that Anna is hired to head up.
So there you have three ideas for spending some of that new book-buying-gift-cash. And the best part? You could get all three and probably not make much of a dent in your gift card. The other great way to get good bang for your book buck? Boxed sets. I owe a lot of the success of my read the Inspy Authors program to boxed sets. So keep your eyes open for those — you never know how many new favorite authors you’ll find in a single purchase.