Great Reads Part 2
By Cait Collins
I promised to continue my thoughts on some of my favorite authors. This week my focus is on Carla Neggers, Julie Garwood, and Nora Roberts. These three ladies have a couple of things in common … great characters and fabulous locations.
Carla Neggers writes romantic suspense with a twist. The guy and gal might be attracted, but it’s not I love you in 24 hours. She allows the reader to wonder about the couples’ final commitment. I find this uncertainty appealing. I can’t remember the title of the first book I read by this author, but I remember it was set in Vermont. She has a way with bringing New England to life. I can visualize the pubs, the historic buildings, and everyone-knows-everyone by play in the small towns. Yet she’s equally at home on the Irish coast. I feel as if I’m walking the sheep paths, reading the skies from atop an eroded cliff. I get a wonderful sense of the locals, and want to lean against the bar and drink a pint while swapping stories with the townsfolk.
Her characters are searchers. Men and women who work to discover the evil doers, but more importantly, they are trying to find themselves. I recommend the Sharpe & Donovan series Saint’s Gate, Heron’s Cove, and Declan’s Cross.
The Doubleday Bargain Book Club introduced me to Julie Garwood in 1999. I purchased Ransom from the book club and I have been a fan ever sense. The story is set during the age of Richard the Lionhearted and Prince John. There is no Robin Hood, but there are some intense Scotsmen who know how to defend their ladies. The stark differences in the manors of medieval England and the Highlands is magnificent
Once you get your fill of hunky Highlanders and gorgeous English noblemen, dive into her Bishop’s Cove bachelors. Enjoy Ransom, Sweet Talk, The Ideal Man, Sizzle, and Hot Shot.
Nora Roberts needs no introduction. I first met this prolific author through her Harlequin Romances. There was nothing easy about her characters or ordinary in her settings. Later, I began reading the Chesapeake Bay novels. I was drawn to each of the men who changed their lives to raise their adopted father’s grandson.
As much as I enjoy her contemporary romantic suspense, I love her paranormal novels. The Three Sisters Island series won my heart. When I want witches, both male and female, I reread Dance Upon The Air, Heaven and Earth, and Face the Fire.
The same holds for the Donovan Legacy. Imagine a family of withes descended from triplet witch mothers married to triplet witch fathers. What about the two mortal men and one non-magical woman who fall in love with the magically blessed cousins? Talk about working out your differences! The series concludes when a young woman invades the mountain home of a witch prince. How does he tell her she, too, has magic? I recommend Captivated, Entranced, Charmed, and Enchanted. Just remember not to call a male witch a warlock. A male witch is still a witch.
Nora Robert’s current series, The Cousins O’Dwyer Trilogy, is a spellbinder. Please forgive the pun. Cousin witches join forces with non-magical friends and the descendant of pure evil to destroy the darkness. They meet with their powerful ancestors to battle the monster. I couldn’t put down Dark Witch and Shadow Spell. I can’t wait for the last installment.
The six authors, Robin Carr, Sharon Sala, Jodi Thomas, Carla Neggers, Julie Garwood, and Nora Roberts are among my favorite authors. But there are so many more that write wonderful page-turners. The trick is to try new authors. If you see a title or cover that intrigues you, buy it. That book may be an introduction to a new entry in your reading circle.