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    Discovering New Romance Authors
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  • Published: May 22nd, 2008

Graves_tall Tall Tales and Wedding Veils by Jane Graves

Reviewed by PJ Ausdenmore

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

I love discovering new authors, especially when they arrive on my doorstep with a backlist just waiting to be glommed. I was not familiar with Jane Graves so when I picked up a copy of her latest contemporary romance, TALL TALES AND WEDDING VEILS, I wondered if it was a debut book. Imagine my surprise, and delight, to discover that it is actually the 16th book published by this six-time RITA finalist.

Heather Montgomery is 29, attractive in an understated way, responsible, a successful accountant and, to her mother’s ever-growing despair, single. Here she is, approaching her 30th birthday without a single prospect in sight, suffering through yet another ugly dress fitting, this time as the obligatory family bridesmaid to snooty, rich cousin Regina, and dreading the weekend bridesmaid trip to Vegas with the slim, gorgeous bride and her other four equally gorgeous sorority sister bridesmaids.

Tony McCaffrey is a man who knows how to have a good time. With his movie star looks, bone-melting smile and Texas charm, he’s a favorite with the ladies…many ladies. He likes them tall, slim, blonde, beautiful and not too intelligent. He’s about to realize his dream of buying his favorite watering hole, McMillan’s when his loan falls through. Out of options and, with the closing on Monday, Tony has no choice but to fly to Vegas for the weekend and try to win the money he needs to make his dream come true.

In the lobby of her Vegas hotel, Heather is shocked to find herself standing next to Tony McCaffrey, the man she secretly fantasizes about during her regular visits to McMillan’s Bar and Grill back home but knows she could never attract. Tony, of course, doesn’t remember ever seeing Heather before but when her good luck charm wins him the $20,000 he needs to fulfill his dream he whisks her off in a limo for a champagne celebration, never intending more than one night of fun. Conservative, by-the-book, Heather and laid-back, playboy Tony are both equally horrified to awaken the next morning in bed together with a marriage certificate on the dresser. They’re a little fuzzy about the prior evening’s champagne-induced events however, since they’re both still dressed they know the marriage hasn’t been consummated and are relieved to agree to a simple, uncomplicated annulment…until the fateful moment when Heather remembers that post-wedding phone call to her mother.

While on the surface this particular storyline would appear to be light and predictable, in reality Graves has created a rich, complex story of emotional growth, acceptance and forgiveness. Tony and Heather are imbued with layers that are not readily apparent and their journey of self-discovery and growth is funny, poignant, steamy and ultimately satisfying. Add in a terrific cast of secondary characters and you have a great book to toss in your beach bag for summer reading pleasure.

Have you discovered any new authors lately? What books would you put in your beach bag this summer?

16 Responses to “Discovering New Romance Authors”

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  1. Marisa
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 4:51 am

    PJ – thanks for the great review and the recommendation. I’ll be picking up Jane Graves on my next shopping trip.

    I too have recently discovered ‘new to me authors’.
    I’ve read Carla Cassidy’s ‘Every Move You Make’ a romantic suspense that I quite liked – very good hero material.
    I also introduced myself to Lydia Joyce – with her book “Shadows of the Night” –Loved it and can’t wait for her next book.

    This summer I’m thinking everyone should pack in their beach bag:
    1. Janelle Denison – Wild for Him – can she write alpha males and the heroines aren’t too shabby either.
    2. J.R. Ward – Lover Enshrined – Phury’s book knocked me off my chair!! (you’ll be reading my review next week)
    3. Jessica Andersen – new author – Night Keepers – paranormal – wow! Can she build a world. I’m already waiting for the next book. Great new author.
    4. Loretta Chase – Your Scandalous Ways – it’s Loretta, need I say more?

    I have a ton more books to bring to the beach this summer and I’m sure I’ll be telling you all about them in the weeks to come.

    What other books must I read this summer?

  2. Maria
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 6:54 am

    Hey PJ – sounds like a good read. Marisa’s been talking about Jessica Andersen’s book that’s about to be released – Night Keepers. She flipped over it – so I’m going to be throwing that in my bag. Not necessarily my beach bag – cause I’m not much of a beach person anymore. But it will surely be on the table next to my lounge chair in my backyard.

  3. MaryKate
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 7:15 am

    Hi PJ! Mornin’! Great review as usual.

    I find new authors ALL. THE. TIME. Why? Well, ’cause you know, I read too fast for any of my favorite authors to keep up with me. Lately I’ve been dipping my toe just slightly in the fantasy world. I’ve got both Anne Bishop’s Black Jewel trilogy and Jacqueline Carey’s first book: KUSHIEL’S DART. Both of which are very highly thought of by friends who read both romance and fantasy books.

    I am very much looking forward to summer reading. Books on my radar are:
    Lover Enshrined by JR Ward. I’m a little nervous about this one, as I haven’t been thrilled with her last two, but I’m hearing that BIG STUFF happens in this one and that one of my favorite characters makes a return, so I’m hopeful.
    Tribute by Nora Roberts. It wouldn’t be summer for me without Nora.
    Can’t Take My Eyes Off of You by Judith McNaught. I don’t care if she’s cliched, considering that she invented the cliches. I love this woman and would read her grocery list if she’d publish it. Just because I think there might be a secret baby or a forced seduction scene in there 😀
    Force of Nature by Suzanne Brockmann. I didn’t read it in HC, so I’m looking forward to the mass market release so I can see Jules fall in love.
    Sam’s Creed by Sarah McCarty. It’s the next in the Hell’s Eight series (Caine’s Reckoning is the first). These books are SO hot and I seriously fell in love with Caine. He’s just plain delicious.
    When Twilight Burns by Colleen Gleason. Victoria chooses her man in this book. I can’t wait. *raises TEAM MAX pom-poms*

    And of course Loretta Chase’s newest.

    Anyway, that’s what I’m looking forward to. It’s shaping up to be a terrific summer of reading

  4. Maria
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 7:18 am

    MK – I read the ARC of Lover Enshrined — GIRL, I think YOU’RE GOING TO LOVE IT!!! J.R. is taking the world to a whole new level.

  5. MaryKate
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 8:04 am

    Ummm, some people would consider that bragging, Maria. But nope, not me, I’m not bitter at all that you and Marisa have read it.


    I hope it makes me fall back in love with the series. I need to love this series. After pimping it to half the known world, I want to be back in love with it.

    Hey, has anyone read Jean Johnson? I keep hearing things about her books (like that they’re great), and I haven’t read them because, well, I think the covers are kind of cheesy. Has anyone read them?

  6. Santa
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 9:05 am

    Thanks, PJ for recommending a new author to me! Really. I mean that. There just aren’t enough time in the day/week/month/year to do justice to the marvelous new talent that is cropping up, not to mention all my beloved auto-buy authors.

    Like I always say -SMBSLT!

  7. Maria
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 10:13 am

    Okay – Santa what’s SMBSLT???

    MK – I haven’t read Jean Johnson – we should each pick one and compare.

  8. PJ
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 11:53 am

    Hi All!

    Sorry to be late checking in today. The dogs and I hit the road this morning and are now at my friend’s house in Charlotte for the long holiday weekend.

    MK, that’s a great list. I’ll be checking those out.

    Some of the books I’m looking forward to this summer are:

    INTO THE SHADOW by Christina Dodd – The third book in her Darkness Chosen series; this one is about Adrik, the son who has been gone for 15 years and was reported dead in the last book. INTO THE SHADOW releases July 1st and I’m here to tell you it is awesome! Watch for my review on the date of release.

    THE LOST DUKE OF WYNDHAM by Julia Quinn – releases May 27th. This is Quinn at her best in a tale of two cousins and the journey to discover which of them is the true Duke of Wyndham. I predict women everywhere will be falling in love with Jack Audley!

    SOME LIKE IT WICKED by Teresa Medeiros – Teresa takes us back to the Highlands and the story of Catriona Kincaid and the bad, bad boy, Simon Wescott. Delicious!

    A RAKE’S GUIDE TO PLEASURE by Victoria Dahl – The title says it all, don’t you think? 😉

    MY LORD AND SPYMASTER by Joanna Bourne – The much anticipated second book by the fabulous author of THE SPYMASTER’S LADY.

  9. PJ
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 11:53 am

    SMBSLT = so many books, so little time

  10. PJ
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 12:10 pm

    Another one I’m anxious to read is THEN YOU HIDE by Roxanne St. Claire (June 24th). I do love those Bullet Catchers! 🙂

  11. Maria
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 1:14 pm

    PJ — Oh my goodness, there aren’t enough hours in the day – but I’m going to try anyway, there are just too many good reads out there.

    Hope you have a great time in Charlotte -enjoy!

  12. heidenkind
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 1:40 pm

    I bought some books by new-to-me authors recently, but I haven’t had a chance to read them yet: SEX AND THE PSYCHIC WITCH by Annette Blair, BEWITCHED by Sandra Schwab, and ATLANTIS AWAKENING by Alyssa Day. Let me know what you think of these books if you’ve read them already! Also, I bought my mom GARDEN SPELLS by Sarah Addison Allen for Mother’s Day and she said it was really good, so I’ll probably be reading that soon.

    As for my summer reading, I’m also super-excited about INTO THE SHADOW and INTO THE FLAME by Christina Dodd–I just loved the first two books in the series! The other books I’m borderline-obsessed with are THE LAUGHTER OF DEAD KINGS by Elizabeth Peters, ACHERON by Sherrilyn Kenyon, and BREAKING DAWN by Stephenie Meyers.

  13. Marisa
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 2:11 pm

    Heidenkind – I loved Atlantis Awakening – you should enjoy it.

    I too am looking forward to Christina Dodd’s new books Into the Shadow and Into the Flame.
    And Acheron – well , I’ve been waiting years for his book.

  14. Maria
    on May 23rd, 2008
    @ 2:25 pm

    Another vote for Atlantis Awakening – very much enjoyed the book – and if you like series you’re in for a treat… cause there is a book 2 that’s also out.

  15. AndreaW
    on May 24th, 2008
    @ 1:36 pm

    Hi, all! Sorry I’m late to the party. Yesterday was the last day of school for my son and it was also my cousin’s high school graduation. This morning, my sister graduated from high school and tonight is her party, so we’ve been SO busy!

    I enjoyed your review, PJ! And I have WAY too many books that I’m looking forward to. Too many to list them all. We are in for a GREAT summer of reading!

  16. Keira Soleore
    on May 24th, 2008
    @ 8:00 pm

    A quick stop here (while I wait for the flight–sigh!), PJ. Everything you write is a treat. This book was certainly not on my list, but now it’s going to be.

    OK. I’m so-so-so ENVIOUS you’ve already read Christina’s, JQ’s, and Terri’s books. You lucky, lucky duck.

    Santa, finally! Your handle’s been revealed. “SMBSLT = so many books, so little time” Yes, I totally agree. Yes.

    A huge HI to Marisa, Maria, Andrea, and MK. (PJ and Santa, of course.)

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