Lena Corazon

Flights of Fancy

Celebrating Valentine’s Day with ALL The Books

Original image courtesy of varbenov / kozzi.com

Original image courtesy of varbenov / kozzi.com

“A reader lives a thousand lives before he dies. The man who never reads lives only one.” — George R. R. Martin

“A book is proof that humans are capable of working magic.” — Carl Sagan

“Books are the mirrors of the soul.” — Virginia Woolf


Since Valentine’s Day is all about love, I thought that this would be the perfect time to declare my lifelong passion and commitment to the best partner a girl could ever have: books.

As I like to say, lovers come and go, but books are forever. If I tried, I could probably measure my life in books, for they are at the center of my earliest memories. They’ve built up my soul like so many Tetris blocks, bits and pieces shaping my imagination and my heart. Their lives and the worlds continue to swirl about in my head–echoes of story and tale that comfort, heal, and teach, even as they entertain.

So this Valentine’s Day, I will be curling up with a bottle of wine and one of the dozens of books that have been clamoring for my attention. There will be classical music, and my favorite fuzzy blanket. If I am lucky, my cat may even show up and keep me company–the best sort of solo date night, in my opinion.

To celebrate this lifelong love affair, I’m sharing a handful of books that I fell in love with during my last book binge, when I managed to plow through eight books in seven days. I was full beyond belief by the end of it, but ohhhhh, it was a delicious feast while it lasted.

Here are my early favorites of 2013:

[Amazon | Goodreads]
Genre: Mystery
Jameson Quinn trades in the crime, pollution, and drama of the big city for the quiet serenity of Ruth Valley. When a young man goes missing, Jameson starts to suspect that something sinister may be happening beneath the small town’s veneer of perfection.
Why It’s Awesome:

SO many reasons. Jameson is a wonderful protagonist, and someone I pretty much want to be BFFs with. She’s snarky, spunky, and intelligent, with the courage to go digging after the town’s secrets even when it becomes clear that doing so could come at the cost of her personal safety. And let’s not forget the fantastically snappy dialogue, or the well-paced plot, or the setting itself — Ruth Valley really is the perfect tiny town, but Amber West does a fantastic job in highlighting the ways that small communities can seem creepy.

With 33 five star reviews on Amazon, I am clearly not the only one who fell in love with this book. So go out and get it! You won’t be disappointed.

Falksen-OuroborosCycleTHE OUROBOROS CYCLE, BOOK ONE by G.D. Falksen
Genre: Horror/Fantasy
Babette Varanus is the scion of a wealthy 19th century French family, but she has little in common with her peers. After her grandfather’s enemies turn her world upside down, she finds herself pursuing a path that leads into the unknown, complete with vampires, mysteries, and all sors of dark secrets. 
Why It’s Awesome:
In many ways, the tone of the novel reminds me of old 19th century horror novels in the vein of Bram Stoker’s DRACULA, while still managing to be original. This is an amazingly creative twist on the vampire/werewolf genre, and one that features a truly badass protagonist. Babette Varanus is not only resilient and resourceful, but the sort of woman who learns how to create her own future. As a side-note, I highly recommend checking out G.D. Falksen’s accompanying Pinterest board for this book. It is gorgeous, sumptuous, and absolutely magical.

Reher-OnlyHumanONLY HUMAN by Chris Reher
[Amazon | Goodreads]
Genre: Science Fiction
Captain Nova Whiteside is promoted to elite Vanguard status in the Commonwealth army, and paired with Major Tychon, her straight-laced Delphian commanding officer. The two are forced to grapple with their differences when a crazed, power-hungry rebel leader gets his hands on a weapon that could destroy the universe.
Why It’s Awesome:
I love sci-fi, but I don’t tend to read a lot of it. ONLY HUMAN was a wonderful surprise. Not only did Chris Reher deliver a great adventure with a deeply satisfying romance subplot, but she also gives us a great example of world-building done right. Every character feels three-dimensional and real, and the array of alien cultures and planets are vivid and lifelike. There is plenty of action, adventure, and romance to be had here.

MacKenzie-RunRosieRunRUN ROSIE RUN by C.C. MacKenzie
[Amazon | Goodreads]
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Rosie Gordon has everything she wants in life, but she can’t rid herself of the lifelong crush she’s had on her best friend’s brother, Alexander Ludlow. But when unrequited love turns into something more, will it be too much for her to handle?
Why It’s Awesome:
Okay, first up is a confession: I’ve read everything that C.C. MacKenzie has written. I know, I know, I say that like it’s a bad thing, but it really isn’t, because she is my new go-to author for steamy romance. What I love about her work is that she is brilliant when it comes to zeroing in on the transition between lust and love. It’s that moment of capitulation, when her hero and heroine finally decide to give in to their feelings and one another, that she does so well, and this book is no exception.

RUN ROSIE RUN can be read on its own, but it is Book 3 in the Ludlow Hall series. Book 1, RECKLESS NIGHTS IN ROME, is free on Amazon. Pick up a copy. You can thank me later.

Canham-MoonlitSeaACROSS A MOONLIT SEA by Marsha Canham
[Amazon | Goodreads]
Genre: Historical Romance
Simon Dante, an aristocrat and infamous privateer who is one of Queen Elizabeth’s most successful “sea haws,” meets his match in the beautiful but fierce Isabeau Spence, who serves on her father’s merchant ship. As sexual tension boils over between them, they find themselves caught up in the threat of war between England and Spain.
Why It’s Awesome:
I actually don’t know where to start, because this book blew me away. Marsha Canham’s use of historical detail is nothing short of amazing, the romance and tension between Simon Dante and Beau Spence is delicious, and her writing is exquisite. The book is an exercise in “show vs. tell”; her descriptions are vivid and, simply put, gorgeous. For example:

Their leader, the fifth Marquis of Moncada, was a rotund strut of a man with a face like a boil of dough stretched too thin over spidery red veins. He had small, dark eyes set so close together, they seemed to touch at the bridge, and he had made a feeble attempt to hide a weak chin under an abram beard trimmed to a perfect point.

Ack! I love it!

If you like action, adventure, and a good bodice-ripping historical romance, give it a read. And, y’know, the Kindle version is currently free on Amazon, so grab it while you can.

Have you read anything lately that’s made your list of new favorites? Share them in the comments!

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  1. Thank you SO much for including me!!

    And I am totally going to have to check out Only Human – I was just telling someone that I was looking for some new sci-fi to read!
    Amber West recently posted..Tell Me a Story – Part XXXVIMy Profile

    • You are SO WELCOME. Seriously, your book gave me hours of enjoyment, and I’m still thinking about it–and eagerly awaiting that sequel! On a fun note, my middle name (in the non-writing world, that is) is Jamison, and I’ve always had this escape fantasy of going to some tiny, idyllic little town in the middle of nowhere… Although I really do think that if I did, I would probably have Jameson’s luck, lol.

  2. Wow, what a lovely surprise!

    Thank you for including me in your list. I’m utterly thrilled. And thank you for bringing these fabulous authors to my attention.
    CC MacKenzie recently posted..HAPPY PROCREATION DAY AKA – VALENTINES DAYMy Profile

    • Squee, I’m so glad I was able to showcase the book, CC! As always, I adored it, so I hope others will also pick it up and give it a read.

      Thank you for giving me some amazing books to escape into, and some utterly delicious leading men to crush on. 😛

  3. Love your reviews! These books are on my list now.
    Thanks for sharing this at the party. Have fun clicking on links and say hello to my friends! It should roll right through the weekend. Tell them, “Susie sent me!” and they should click back!

    • Yay, so glad you enjoyed the reviews, Susie! There are a bunch of other books that I wasn’t able to include due to space, but I’m going to do a follow-up post in a few months.

  4. Hello! Susie sent me. Sweet site!

  5. That sounds like the perfect night and these books all sound awesome. I will have to check them out
    H.L. Pauff recently posted..Concrete Love IIMy Profile

  6. I can relate to this but right now I have to read two 400 p text books plus one hand book for my pilots license and I have been read non-stop this last week. It’s tiring because you have to read over stuff that you don’t understand. Anyway nice post 🙂

    P.S Susie sent me 🙂
    Top Gun recently posted..River flows in you (Escape from the World)My Profile

    • Thanks so much! And I definitely feel your pain–I’m a PhD student in my “day job,” and uuuugh, I have so many school books piling up to be read. Every so often, however, I think you’ve gotta take a little time out for “fun” reading, if possible.

      Good luck studying for your pilot’s license!

  7. Loved your post!! I hope the night was awesome. I’m definitely going to pick up a few of these 😀
    Lauren Garafalo recently posted..Moving Right AlongMy Profile

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