In this week’s podcast episode, we’re looking at the book reviews for the April 2006 issue of Romantic Times, aka RT Book Club.
Every time we do one of these recaps, the masthead has a 65% chance of being different. It keeps us on our toes!
Special and massive thanks to Kay Layton Sisk for sending me this issue!
You can also find all the RTRW content at our category page for Romantic Times Rewind.
And, most importantly, if you want to listen and follow along with this entry, we have more detail in the audio, but you can click play and listen and read and absorb all the visual goodness:
Ok, let’s get started with…THE COVER.
I really liked the illustration style for A Hunger Like No Other, the start of the Immortals After Dark series, but it changed rapidly to be close up of faces, usually the heroes. Do you remember this cover?
The book looks like this now:
Which do you like better?
So, the first reviews we discuss were in historical romance, and these reviews were much longer than the reviews we see in later issues. Amanda took a close look at Saxon Lady:
We remain VERY confused by the absolute muddle that is this heat rubric:
If that’s too small to read:
SEXY- Borders on erotic. Very graphic sex.
SPICY- Very explicit sex.
VERY SENSUAL- Spicy, but goes beyond conventional lovemaking. Explicit sex.
SENSUAL-Most romance novels fall into this category. Conventional lovemaking. Explicit sex.
SWEET- May or may not include lovemaking.
We are still very confused by “conventional lovemaking” vs “explicit sex.” What does this MEAN. “Lovemaking” is doing a lot of work with very little understanding.
I was very excited to learn about Penelope and Prince Charming:
The review says not quite enough about how much magic/paranormal/woowoo is in this novel, but the reviews on other retailers make it very clear this is a fairy tale historical with magic.
And then I found this cover later in the series.
The Mad Bad Duke loves…feet?
In Romantic Suspense, Amanda wanted to discuss You Can’t Hide by Karen Rose.
TW/CW for mention of suicide in this review.
It’s very interesting to see the word ‘gaslighted’ in a 2006 reviews.
I took a look at Sighs Matter:
Whoever was in charge of the titles for this series: applause, applause.
And the cover is…handy.
In mainstream fiction, Amanda picked Rattled by Debra Galant:
“It speaks to the Florida Woman in me.”
I picked the anthology Voices from the Other Side. I couldn’t find the original anthology, but I did find the sequels, which are called Dark Dreams and Dark Dreams II.
The authors in this anthology include Tananarive Due, Eric Jerome Dickey, and LA Banks.
In Inspirational romance, we didn’t find a lot we were excited about.
Amanda and I found a lot of aspiration, if not inspiration, from the premise of this heroine’s life in A Girl’s Best Friend:
“Can a girl who dons diamonds for a living find true love, her purpose in life and realize there’s more to life than spending time at the spa?” WE HOPE SO. That sounds AMAZING.
Is that a 2006 cover or what?
I took a look at Ticket to Tomorrow by Carol Cox:
The review doesn’t say a lot, but the book cover copy is Extremely Fulsome in What?!
First and foremost, she is determined to see her late husband Will’s genius recognized by displaying his last invention, a horseless carriage, at the great exposition. She arrives in Chicago with Will’s absent-minded partner, Silas Crockett, thrilled at the idea that millions of fairgoers will be able to see and admire their innovative creation.
Secondly, she hopes to heal the breach between herself and her in-laws. Sorrow over being the reason for the estrangement between Will and his parents has haunted her ever since his death.
Her plans never included feeling an attraction to Nick Rutherford–Silas’s handsome nephew who is a performer with Buffalo Bill’s Wild West Show…
…or learning that her in-laws are scheming to steal the rights to Will’s invention…
…or an innocent mix-up at the station that will throw her, Nick, and Silas into a world of deceptions, conspiracies, and danger.
When Annie’s keen powers of observation threaten to expose a devious international plot to gain Cuba’s independence, more than her exhibition plans hang in the balance. Will Annie be able to uncover the truth before disaster strikes?
This cover copy is a RIDE.
Mystery, Suspense and Thriller has some very fun books. Amanda wanted to discuss Bark M for Murder, an anthology with a Theme:
I just needed to tell everyone that this book is called A Hole in Juan.
The book is called A Hole in Juan because a science teacher Juan Reyes is injured in an explosion.
NO. BAD TITLE. No.
In Science Fiction and Fantasy, Amanda took a look at Keeper of the Waters by Jenna Solitaire and had some Things to Say about the review.
Amanda has two points of frustration here, one being that if it’s YA featuring teenagers, it’s ridiculous to be mad that a teenager is immature: “They’re fucking teenagers! I don’t know what you’re expecting here.”
Also I’m choosing to believe that all these “Boards” are surfboards.
I took a close look at Wolf Who Rules because Tinker has made a MESS:
She made a MESS of PITTSBURGH?! Ma’am! Fix that!
Look, there’s blue goo everywhere! She has to clean that up!
Weirdness continues as Contemporary and Paranormal are in the same section? It’s 2006, there are some major names in Paranormal, but it’s part of Contemporary? So weird.
Amanda looked at Truth or Dare by Delilah Dawson:
“There is more than one kind of buffet on a singles’ cruise.”
Amanda also looked at Dates from Hell:
The titles are superb. “The Claire Switch Project?” A half-demon tabloid journalist dates a sexy werewolf jewel thief? Hello!
Amanda might read some of these. I hope she does!
I was very confused by this review, and the setup, for Love’s Magic Spell:
You don’t have to rearrange your life because some fairy godmother wants to win a contest! Let the fairy godmother do all the work!
Series is where things get a little goofy and very fun. Amanda picked Her Baby’s Hero by Karen Sandler:
“Throw the whole man away.” The (2) means two stars.
I was fascinated by Heart of a Ruler, which also received two stars:
Erotica was more than 50% Ellora’s Cave titles, to give you a sense of how much 2006 we’re talking here.
Amanda was very interested in Maiden and the Monster by Michelle M. Pillow:
And I picked a book where Marie Antoinette is a Vampire.
OK, then! And they’re both looking at…something.
And that’s the last of the books we discussed as we read all the reviews in this issue.
Our next episode will examine the advertisements and features in this issue, and that’ll air on February 23!
And remember, if you join the Patreon, you’ll get access to the entire issue as a PDF. ALL THE UNICORN COVER PDF YOU CAN HANDLE.
What do you think? Have you read any of these? Which would you recommend?