Here are some numbers that sum up the context in which I write this post:
– 25 weeks pregnant
– 9 days from closing on our 1st house
– 3 power cuts in the last 3 weeks (welcome to South Africa!)
– 5 calls to the South African Revenue Service in 2 weeks to register to file a tax return (max duration: 45 minutes)
– 6,063 words written this month
– 1 scorpion scurrying past my foot in the shower yesterday
– Average temps of 75 degrees this week (sorry, had to make myself feel better somehow!)
To say I am in need of some escapist fiction is the understatement of the year! I have been looking forward to reading Cara McKenna’s Hard Time for months, saving it as a reward for when I finished a particularly troublesome WIP, but when I hit send on that bad boy at the end of October I found myself craving good, old-fashioned romance rather than the dark, moody stuff I tend to prefer.
When I’m not flipping through my constant companion – my specially imported copy of Our Bodies, Ourselves: Pregnancy & Birth – or Googling everything from “tax deadline” to “South Africa scorpion poisonous?”, I’m taking my time with and thoroughly enjoying Rhonda Nelson’s The Rule-Breaker. I’ve read several books in Harlequin’s “Uniformly Hot” Blaze series and have loved them all, but this one has really stood out for its three-dimensional characters and tactful yet honest handling of the action that brings the hero and heroine together – the suicide of her former fiance and his former best friend. It’s a bit lighter on the sexytimes than one might expect for Blaze, but the heat level completely suits the storyline and the character arcs. Highly recommended!
My TBR pile is a whole ‘nother ugly number to add to the list at the top of this post, but there are three books likely to jump straight to the top when I finish the last few chapters in The Rule-Breaker. Both are by my favorite old-school romance writer and should be guaranteed swoony, self-indulgent reads: Reckless Love, Sweet Wind Wild Wind, and Only His by Elizabeth Lowell. Elizabeth Lowell is one of those authors I know has got my back when I need to escape to a world of grumpy-sexy heroes, nearly too-naive-to-live heroines, and enough hyperbolic dirty talk and dramatic scenery to keep me satisfied for weeks afterward. Sometimes you just need to get swept up into a world of emotionally unavailable cowboys, and no one delivers like Elizabeth Lowell!
There is nothing quite like the power of books to whisk us away from the drudgery of our daily lives. (Am I paraphrasing Reading Rainbow here? Hm…) Who are your go-to escapist authors when the everyday grind is just too much? And can you recommend anyone new to me? Preferably Lowell-like, with stubble and gravelly voices to spare!