A romance book recommendation: All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2DqWN66.
Cole’s awakening is predictable, but the story leading up to that moment is anything but. Handler, otherwise known as Lemony Snicket, delves deep into the mind of an adolescent boy and it ain’t pretty.
Book description from Google Books:
From bestselling, award-winning author Daniel Handler, a gutsy, exciting novel that looks honestly at the erotic impulses of an all-too-typical young man.Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches, he jokes around with friends. But none of this quite matters next to the allure of sex. “Let me put it this way,” he says. “Draw a number line, with zero is you never think about sex and ten is, it’s all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex.”Cole fantasizes about whomever he’s looking at. He consumes and shares pornography. And he sleeps with a lot of girls, which is beginning to earn him a not-quite-savory reputation around school. This leaves him adrift with only his best friend for company, and then something startling starts to happen between them that might be what he’s been after all this time—and then he meets Grisaille.All the Dirty Parts is an unblinking take on teenage desire in a culture of unrelenting explicitness and shunted communication, where sex feels like love, but no one knows what love feels like. With short chapters in the style of Jenny Offill or Mary Robison, Daniel Handler gives us a tender, brutal, funny, intoxicating portrait of an age when the lens of sex tilts the world. “There are love stories galore,” Cole tells us, “This isn’t that. The story I’m typing is all the dirty parts.”
The book is rated 3.21/5 at goodreads.com, from 1126 ratings. See 299 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2DoxcdJ.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2DoMqzB.

A romance book recommendation: The Red-Haired Woman: A novel by Orhan Pamuk

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CZlMMH.
Happily, The Red-Haired Woman is more approachable than some of Pamuk’s oeuvre…But some things never get obsolete, including good writing by masters like Pamuk.
Book description from Google Books:
From the Nobel Prize winner and best-selling author of Snow and My Name Is Red, a fable of fathers and sons and the desires that come between them. On the outskirts of a town thirty miles from Istanbul, a master well digger and his young apprentice are hired to find water on a barren plain. As they struggle in the summer heat, excavating without luck meter by meter, the two will develop a filial bond neither has known before–not the poor middle-aged bachelor nor the middle-class boy whose father disappeared after being arrested for politically subversive activities. The pair will come to depend on each other and exchange stories reflecting disparate views of the world. But in the nearby town, where they buy provisions and take their evening break, the boy will find an irresistible diversion. The Red-Haired Woman, an alluring member of a travelling theatre company, catches his eye and seems as fascinated by him as he is by her. The young man’s wildest dream will be realized, but, when in his distraction a horrible accident befalls the well digger, the boy will flee, returning to Istanbul. Only years later will he discover whether he was in fact responsible for his master’s death and who the redheaded enchantress was. A beguiling mystery tale of family and romance, of east and west, tradition and modernity, by one of the great storytellers of our time. Translated from the Turkish by Ekin Oklap.
The book is rated 3.65/5 at goodreads.com, from 4392 ratings. See 495 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CWShex.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2DssI5O.

A romance book recommendation: The Golden House: A Novel by Salman Rushdie

A critic review (source Guardian) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2Dqe3IG.
Rushdie has always been an impish myth-manipulator, refusing to accept, as in this novel, that the lives of the emperors can’t be blended with film noir, popular culture and crime caper. On the evidence of The Golden House, he is quite right.
Book description from Google Books:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A modern American epic set against the panorama of contemporary politics and culture–a hurtling, page-turning mystery that is equal parts The Great Gatsby and The Bonfire of the Vanities On the day of Barack Obama’s inauguration, an enigmatic billionaire from foreign shores takes up residence in the architectural jewel of “the Gardens,” a cloistered community in New York’s Greenwich Village. The neighborhood is a bubble within a bubble, and the residents are immediately intrigued by the eccentric newcomer and his family. Along with his improbable name, untraceable accent, and unmistakable whiff of danger, Nero Golden has brought along his three adult sons: agoraphobic, alcoholic Petya, a brilliant recluse with a tortured mind; Apu, the flamboyant artist, sexually and spiritually omnivorous, famous on twenty blocks; and D, at twenty-two the baby of the family, harboring an explosive secret even from himself. There is no mother, no wife; at least not until Vasilisa, a sleek Russian expat, snags the septuagenarian Nero, becoming the queen to his king–a queen in want of an heir. Our guide to the Goldens’ world is their neighbor Ren�, an ambitious young filmmaker. Researching a movie about the Goldens, he ingratiates himself into their household. Seduced by their mystique, he is inevitably implicated in their quarrels, their infidelities, and, indeed, their crimes. Meanwhile, like a bad joke, a certain comic-book villain embarks upon a crass presidential run that turns New York upside-down. Set against the strange and exuberant backdrop of current American culture and politics, The Golden House also marks Salman Rushdie’s triumphant and exciting return to realism. The result is a modern epic of love and terrorism, loss and reinvention–a powerful, timely story told with the daring and panache that make Salman Rushdie a force of light in our dark new age. Praise for The Golden House “If you read a lot of fiction, you know that every once in a while you stumble upon a book that transports you, telling a story full of wonder and leaving you marveling at how it ever came out of the author’s head. The Golden House is one of those books. . . . [It] tackles more than a handful of universal truths while feeling wholly original.”–The Associated Press “The Golden House . . . ranks among Rushdie’s most ambitious and provocative books [and] displays the quicksilver wit and playful storytelling of Rushdie’s best work.”–USA Today “[The Golden House] is a recognizably Rushdie novel in its playfulness, its verbal jousting, its audacious bravado, its unapologetic erudition, and its sheer, dazzling brilliance.”–The Boston Globe
The book is rated 3.68/5 at goodreads.com, from 2402 ratings. See 594 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2DrZp3H.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CUVk6M.

A romance book recommendation: Reincarnation Blues: A Novel by Michael Poore

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2Dp7Axr.
The overall effect is charming, the book stands on its own, and it straddles that line between literary and scifi well (with heavy leaning on the scifi side), doing justice to both genres.
Book description from Google Books:
A wildly imaginative novel about a man who is reincarnated over ten thousand lifetimes to be with his one true love: Death herself. “Tales of gods and men akin to Neil Gaiman’s Sandman as penned by a kindred spirit of Douglas Adams.”–Kirkus Reviews (starred review) First we live. Then we die. And then . . . we get another try? Ten thousand tries, to be exact. Ten thousand lives to “get it right.” Answer all the Big Questions. Achieve Wisdom. And Become One with Everything. Milo has had 9,995 chances so far and has just five more lives to earn a place in the cosmic soul. If he doesn’t make the cut, oblivion awaits. But all Milo really wants is to fall forever into the arms of Death. Or Suzie, as he calls her. More than just Milo’s lover throughout his countless layovers in the Afterlife, Suzie is literally his reason for living–as he dives into one new existence after another, praying for the day he’ll never have to leave her side again. But Reincarnation Blues is more than a great love story: Every journey from cradle to grave offers Milo more pieces of the great cosmic puzzle–if only he can piece them together in time to finally understand what it means to be part of something bigger than infinity. As darkly enchanting as the works of Neil Gaiman and as wisely hilarious as Kurt Vonnegut’s, Michael Poore’s Reincarnation Blues is the story of everything that makes life profound, beautiful, absurd, and heartbreaking. Because it’s more than Milo and Suzie’s story. It’s your story, too.
The book is rated 4.01/5 at goodreads.com, from 1787 ratings. See 489 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CYokus.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2DrNnHv.

A romance book recommendation: The Red-Haired Woman: A novel by Orhan Pamuk

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CZlMMH.
Happily, The Red-Haired Woman is more approachable than some of Pamuk’s oeuvre…But some things never get obsolete, including good writing by masters like Pamuk.
Book description from Google Books:
From the Nobel Prize winner and best-selling author of Snow and My Name Is Red, a fable of fathers and sons and the desires that come between them. On the outskirts of a town thirty miles from Istanbul, a master well digger and his young apprentice are hired to find water on a barren plain. As they struggle in the summer heat, excavating without luck meter by meter, the two will develop a filial bond neither has known before–not the poor middle-aged bachelor nor the middle-class boy whose father disappeared after being arrested for politically subversive activities. The pair will come to depend on each other and exchange stories reflecting disparate views of the world. But in the nearby town, where they buy provisions and take their evening break, the boy will find an irresistible diversion. The Red-Haired Woman, an alluring member of a travelling theatre company, catches his eye and seems as fascinated by him as he is by her. The young man’s wildest dream will be realized, but, when in his distraction a horrible accident befalls the well digger, the boy will flee, returning to Istanbul. Only years later will he discover whether he was in fact responsible for his master’s death and who the redheaded enchantress was. A beguiling mystery tale of family and romance, of east and west, tradition and modernity, by one of the great storytellers of our time. Translated from the Turkish by Ekin Oklap.
The book is rated 3.65/5 at goodreads.com, from 4372 ratings. See 491 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CWShex.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2DssI5O.

A romance book recommendation: All the Dirty Parts by Daniel Handler

A critic review (source NY Journal of Books) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2DqWN66.
Cole’s awakening is predictable, but the story leading up to that moment is anything but. Handler, otherwise known as Lemony Snicket, delves deep into the mind of an adolescent boy and it ain’t pretty.
Book description from Google Books:
From bestselling, award-winning author Daniel Handler, a gutsy, exciting novel that looks honestly at the erotic impulses of an all-too-typical young man.Cole is a boy in high school. He runs cross country, he sketches, he jokes around with friends. But none of this quite matters next to the allure of sex. “Let me put it this way,” he says. “Draw a number line, with zero is you never think about sex and ten is, it’s all you think about, and while you are drawing the line, I am thinking about sex.”Cole fantasizes about whomever he’s looking at. He consumes and shares pornography. And he sleeps with a lot of girls, which is beginning to earn him a not-quite-savory reputation around school. This leaves him adrift with only his best friend for company, and then something startling starts to happen between them that might be what he’s been after all this time—and then he meets Grisaille.All the Dirty Parts is an unblinking take on teenage desire in a culture of unrelenting explicitness and shunted communication, where sex feels like love, but no one knows what love feels like. With short chapters in the style of Jenny Offill or Mary Robison, Daniel Handler gives us a tender, brutal, funny, intoxicating portrait of an age when the lens of sex tilts the world. “There are love stories galore,” Cole tells us, “This isn’t that. The story I’m typing is all the dirty parts.”
The book is rated 3.22/5 at goodreads.com, from 1116 ratings. See 297 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2DoxcdJ.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2DoMqzB.

A romance book recommendation: The Corner Shop by Elizabeth Cadell

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CbmaY9.
…the plot is just about to take its next turn and move to Paris where things get truly interesting. Pay attention to all the little details along the way because before the book is done, they’ll come neatly into play.
Book description from Google Books:
Lucille Abbey, the director of a London-based secretarial agency, inquires into the dismissal of her three most efficient secretaries by absent-minded Professor Hallam and finds that the professor is eccentric–even impossible. She decides to stay on to tame and organize him and even grows fond of him. Then a debonair French art expert arrives in search of paintings left to the professor by his mother, followed by a hysterical girl on the track of her runaway fiancé. The paintings have unaccountably disappeared. The mystery is still unsolved when Lucille’s work with the professor comes to an end and she leaves for a holiday in Paris. But when the art expert, the hysterical girl, the professor, and a persistent suitor to boot all show up in Paris, Lucille’s normally orderly life is thrown into complete chaos.–
The book is rated 3.95/5 at goodreads.com, from 308 ratings. See 42 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CFaON7.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CaIe59.

A romance book recommendation: The Ruin of a Rake by Cat Sebastian

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2BXsvXL.
I thought sex scenes were great – funny, erotic, sometimes a little awkward. More importantly sex felt like organic part of their love story, not something the author inserted in the book just for the sake of it.
Book description from amazon.com:
One of Goodreads’ Best Romances of July“Sebastian proves she is a new force to be reckoned with in historical romances.”—BooklistRogue. Libertine. Rake. Lord Courtenay has been called many things and has never much cared. But after the publication of a salacious novel supposedly based on his exploits, he finds himself shunned from society. Unable to see his nephew, he is willing to do anything to improve his reputation, even if that means spending time with the most proper man in London. Julian Medlock has spent years becoming the epitome of correct behavior. As far as he cares, if Courtenay finds himself in hot water, it’s his own fault for behaving so badly—and being so blasted irresistible. But when Julian’s sister asks him to rehabilitate Courtenay’s image, Julian is forced to spend time with the man he loathes—and lusts after—most.As Courtenay begins to yearn for a love he fears he doesn’t deserve, Julian starts to understand how desire can drive a man to abandon all sense of propriety. But he has secrets he’s determined to keep, because if the truth came out, it would ruin everyone he loves. Together, they must decide what they’re willing to risk for love.
The book is rated 4.17/5 at goodreads.com, from 1305 ratings. See 297 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2BVhXbv.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2D5EUIu.

A romance book recommendation: The Corner Shop by Elizabeth Cadell

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2CbmaY9.
…the plot is just about to take its next turn and move to Paris where things get truly interesting. Pay attention to all the little details along the way because before the book is done, they’ll come neatly into play.
Book description from Google Books:
Lucille Abbey, the director of a London-based secretarial agency, inquires into the dismissal of her three most efficient secretaries by absent-minded Professor Hallam and finds that the professor is eccentric–even impossible. She decides to stay on to tame and organize him and even grows fond of him. Then a debonair French art expert arrives in search of paintings left to the professor by his mother, followed by a hysterical girl on the track of her runaway fiancé. The paintings have unaccountably disappeared. The mystery is still unsolved when Lucille’s work with the professor comes to an end and she leaves for a holiday in Paris. But when the art expert, the hysterical girl, the professor, and a persistent suitor to boot all show up in Paris, Lucille’s normally orderly life is thrown into complete chaos.–
The book is rated 3.95/5 at goodreads.com, from 308 ratings. See 42 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CFaON7.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CaIe59.

A romance book recommendation: The Wicked Cousin (Rockliffe) (Volume 4) by Stella Riley

A critic review (source Dear Author) can be read at: http://bit.ly/2DADrKr.
Justice is meted out in a way that is believable and true to the period though Miranda is that annoying villain who keeps popping up like a whack-a-mole.
Book description from amazon.com:
Sebastian Audley has spent years setting every city in Europe by the ears and keeping the scandal-sheets in profit. Word that he is finally returning to London becomes the hottest topic of the Season and casts numerous young ladies – many of whom have never seen him – into a fever of anticipation. Cassandra Delahaye is not one of them. In her opinion, love affairs and duels, coupled with a reputation for never refusing even the most death-defying wager, suggest that Mr Audley is short of a brain cell or two. And while their first, very unorthodox meeting shows that perhaps he isn’t entirely stupid, it creates other reservations entirely. Sebastian finds dodging admiring females and living down his reputation for reckless dare-devilry a full-time occupation. He had known that putting the past behind him in a society with an insatiable appetite for scandal and gossip would not be easy. But what he had not expected was to become the target of a former lover’s dangerous obsession … or to find himself falling victim to a pair of storm-cloud eyes.
The book is rated 4.17/5 at goodreads.com, from 155 ratings. See 31 reader reviews at: http://bit.ly/2CoxlNP.
Buy it or see reader reviews on amazon.com at: http://amzn.to/2CqJCBs.