NEW eBooks About Romance

Monday, April 20, 2009

The Piano Teacher by Janice Y. Lee

The Piano Teacher is complicated, eloquent, haunting and thought provoking.   Not one of the characters is particularly sympathetic, never mind likable.  The story jumps between decades with wild abandon.  The plot is violent and explores the highly disturbing, damaging nature of war and its aftermath.  It is the story of love and ultimate betrayal.

If that sounds negative, than consider my other observations. Janice Lee's portrayal of Hong Kong are so vivid you can almost smell and hear the market place. The description of life in Colonies is pitch perfect; the gossip, the intrigue and the boredom. The language is eloquent.  The plot is carefully constructed. The character development is extraordinary.

The story presents two snapshots of life in Hong Kong.  The snapshots are ten years apart. Life before the war life is circumscribed by social status and ritual.  The Europeans, especially the English have created their own alternative universe right on the top of Victoria Peak.

Once the war is over the survivors (of both the war and the occupation) are deeply scarred.  They emerge forever changed by the circumstances of incarceration. starvation and torture.  And yet, apparently nothing much has changed.  Life has more or less picked up exactly where it left off.  The colony is back in business and the rigid social structures and rituals have survived. 

Claire Pendleton, the piano teacher, provides a stark contrast between the cynicism of the old and the naivety of the new.  In the end, she effectively provides a focus and a rather harrowing catharsis.

This book is a real hybrid; part historical fiction, part romance and part mystery.  I suspect you will either love or hate it.  I, personally, loved it.

In the sweeping tradition of The English Patient, a gripping tale of love and betrayal set in war-torn Hong Kong

In 1942, Will Truesdale, an Englishman newly arrived in Hong Kong, falls headlong into a passionate relationship with Trudy Liang, a beautiful Eurasian socialite. But their love affair is soon threatened by the invasion of the Japanese as World War II overwhelms their part of the world. Will is sent to an internment camp, where he and other foreigners struggle daily for survival. Meanwhile, Trudy remains outside, forced to form dangerous alliances with the Japanese in particular, the malevolent head of the gendarmerie, whose desperate attempts to locate a priceless collection of Chinese art lead to a chain of terrible betrayals.

Ten years later, Claire Pendleton comes to Hong Kong and is hired by the wealthy Chen family as their daughter's piano teacher. A provincial English newlywed, Claire is seduced by the heady social life of the expatriate community. At one of its elegant cocktail parties, she meets Will, to whom she is instantly attracted¿but as their affair intensifies, Claire discovers that Will's enigmatic persona hides a devastating past. As she begins to understand the true nature of the world she has entered, and long-buried secrets start to emerge, Claire learns that sometimes the price of survival is love.

Monday, April 13, 2009

The Code of Love by Andro Linklater

Astonishing, amazing, remarkable, and incredible, all apply to Linklater's The Code Of Love. You could add fascinating, riveting, captivating and engrossing.  This is a true story that is a romance, a war story and a mystery all rolled into one. 

Linklater moves seamlessly between the story of Pamela and Donald Hill's romance, Donald's horrific war story as a prisoner of war and the saga of decoding Donald's journal. 

The early part of the book makes you feel as if you are living in England in the early 1940s.  He paints a picture of daily life that is vibrant and clear. 

He is equally clear when describing the world of ciphers and codes.  In easily accessible language he tells the story of Philip Aston's attempts to break the code.  This part of the story is fascinating all by its self.  An added impact comes from the realization of just how brilliant and disciplined Donald had to have been to create and use  such a code. 

In many ways this is a book that broke my heart.  Donald's fight for survival was heroic.  I marveled at his sheer determination and grit.   The courage it took to hold his mind and body together under appalling conditions and dreadful psychological trauma is almost unbelievable. He should have had a happy ending. . .Lord knows, he deserved it.

And yet, it was not to be.  He obviously suffered from a severe case of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder which was unnamed and untreatable. In many ways his struggle to create a normal life, medicate himself with alcohol and bury the trauma are even more courageous than his basic survival.

If his story were not so familiar today I might have been able to shake it off.  But over the last few days I have thought about the veterans of the current war.  It is shameful that with all the information we have about PTSD our veterans are still untreated. They too, must struggle to create a normal life, medicate themselves and bury their trauma.  What a miserable statement about our society!

Reading this book, however, will remind you of what really matter in life: the power of love.  If you don't read another book this year, read this one!

An astonishing true tale of secrets, love, and war.

Pamela Kirrage, beautiful and impulsive, met and fell in love with the dashing RAF pilot Donald Hill just months before Hill was shipped off to the Far East to protect the British colonies against Japanese aggression. They exchanged rings the day before he left, a promise to marry as soon as he returned. Little did they know that five years would pass before they saw each other again.

The Code of Love tells the stirring tale of Donald's experiences in the front lines of the Pacific Theater and Pamela's war efforts back in England in a dramatic, deeply moving portrayal of the World War II era and its aftermath. On the day the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbor, they also moved into Hong Kong, where Donald had the misfortune to be part of a small group of officers in charge of a meager five planes. He spent the rest of the war in a POW camp, keeping a journal of the indignities he faced in complex, nearly unbreakable code. Meanwhile, Pamela was swept into the frantic swirl of a wartime society eager to live to the fullest. She cooked meals for secret agents and danced the nights away with handsome soldiers. But her love for Donald never altered, and the two married within weeks of Donald's release at the end of the war. The scars Hill bore from his years of emotional encoding would eventually wear away at their relationship, though never their love.

Andro Linklater skillfully weaves the many fascinating parts of this tale together into an unforgettable narrative. From the mesmerizing siege of Hong Kong, to the romantic roller coaster of a truly great love, to the unbelievable efforts of the mathematician who finally cracked the encoded diary, The Code of Love is storytelling at its very finest.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Planet of the Veils eBook Edition

For the masochistic reader.  A viewer from Orlando, FL USA

Norquar has killed his uncle in order to reclaim his birthright, take the throne and marry his uncle's woman, Belayla. After their wedding Norquar sends Belayla to the Planet of the Veils for strict training in the Intricacies of pleasuring men. Belayla resists the sadistic Mistress Donestra. Belayla escapes from Donestra, Norquar comes to fetch her and take her home. But once Norquar and Belayla are reunited and they start off for home Lord Cressler of Tublalos wants the beautiful heroine for himself. This story was jam-packed with action, plot and sub-plots. But I wish the author had devoted as much time to character development as in trying to create a galactic epic. The exhausting cast of characters are all one-dimensional and the dialog so bad I could hardly read two pages without laughing. The really strange thing about Planet of the Veils was that while the pleasures of sexual training were examined in minute detail, the author's voice seemed to detest the very things she described. It was like reading a glowing customer review for a cigar just to get to the final sentence where the customer declares he wouldn't smoke if the lives of his family depended on it. While I found Planet of the Veils a torture to read, I'll give it a 1 for effort, and another 1 for the smorgasbord of comical character names.

Monday, June 23, 2008

All We Ever Wanted Was Everything eBook Edition

If you are interested in a study on how secrets warp relationships and families, this is your book. 

If you want to feel the pain of privilege, by all means read this book.

If you enjoy reading about addiction, denial and keeping up with appearance, then this book was written just for you.

If you want sharp social commentary with a little humor, find another author.

All we Ever Wanted Was Everything is an exercise in wretched excess.  From the multi-million dollar high tech executive's wife to the humorless feminist daughter, the characters are excessive, shallow and unsympathetic. 

I really wanted to like this book. From the blurb it sounded like great fun.  Unfortunately, it was pretty much torture to read.  The writer is about as humorless as the feminist daughter. 

Tell me doesn't sound like a great summer beach read:

When Paul Miller’s pharmaceutical company goes public, making his family IPO millionaires, his wife, Janice, is sure this is the windfall she’s been waiting years for — until she learns, via messengered letter, that her husband is divorcing her (for her tennis partner!) and cutting her out of the new fortune. Meanwhile, four hundred miles south in Los Angeles, the Millers’ older daughter, Margaret, has been dumped by her newly famous actor boyfriend and left in the lurch by an investor who promised to revive her fledgling post-feminist magazine, Snatch. Sliding toward bankruptcy and dogged by creditors, she flees for home where her younger sister Lizzie, 14, is struggling with problems of her own. Formerly chubby, Lizzie has been enjoying her newfound popularity until some bathroom graffiti alerts her to the fact that she’s become the school slut.

The three Miller women retreat behind the walls of their Georgian colonial to wage battle with divorce lawyers, debt collectors, drug-dealing pool boys, mean girls, country club ladies, evangelical neighbors, their own demons, and each other, and in the process they become achingly sympathetic characters we can’t help but root for, even as the world they live in epitomizes everything wrong with the American Dream. Exhilarating, addictive, and superbly accomplished, All We Ever Wanted Was Everything crackles with energy and intelligence and marks the debut of a knowing and very funny novelist, wise beyond her years.

You'd think you would have to love a feminist who actually names here 'zine Snatch.

You'd think that drug dealing pool boys, country club ladies and evangelical neighbors would add (at the very least) great color and a few laughs.

You'd think that a novel about women pulling together would end up being a "feel good" reading adventure.

In all cases you would be wrong.

Obviously, I hated this book!


Monday, May 12, 2008

5 Ways To Improve Your Relationship

Any relationship is going to go through its rocky times. It’s inevitable. Granted, these rough times should happen far less than the great times but you have to be ready with a way to handle these bumps in the road. These trying times are healthy for a relationship, but what’s more important is you how handle them. It’s a two-way street, but you have to be ready to meet your partner halfway. Consider these tips to follow when you do encounter your next rough patch:

  1. Switch things up. If you’re in a relationship where you two are soul mates and can predict each other’s next move then do something out of character. It’s easy to fall into a rut where the mystery is taken out of the relationship. Do something unpredictable and you’ll bring back the excitement you felt when you were just starting out.
  2. Communicate. This is a no-brainer, right? Everybody doesn’t talk about issues the same way as the next person. It’s important you realize this and don’t let it upset you if your partner doesn’t talk about problems as easily as you might. All you can do is encourage them to talk and let nature take its course.
  3. Tolerance goes a long way. Everyone has their shortcomings and it’s not right to try to change every little thing that annoys you. If your boyfriend gets fired up watching a sporting event and screams at the television, then recognize that he’s a passionate man. Look at the bright side of some behaviors that you initially dislike.
  4. Make time for just the two of you. Technology has infiltrated our lives in almost every facet. In most respects it’s a good thing, but if it has started cutting into your intimate times then you have to start setting rules. If you send a text message you almost become paralyzed waiting for the reply message. Set up a time when technology is off-limits. This may sound rigid, but it’s important that your intimacy isn’t forsaken.
  5. Return to the days of courtship. This goes back to the first tip, but it’s important that you do the things that made you fall in love in the first place. Dinner and a movie are fine sometimes but go on real dates as if you were still courting each other. This will make your partner know that you know them and what they want. Go to the art museum that you used to frequent or the lake with the beautiful view that you used to take long strolls around. Don’t forget what got you to this wonderful place.


This post was contributed by Heather Johnson, who is an industry critic on the subject of best date sites. She invites your feedback at

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Welcome to Nerds Do It Better 57 Reasons You’re Not Getting Laid (And How to Fix It)

April 25th, 2008

How to Love Better (50 Surprising Tips)

By Heather Johnson

Love is work, sometimes a lot of work. But finding and knowing love is worth the effort. Sometimes it’s necessary to evaluate where you stand in your relationship so that you can determine what can be done to make it better. Here are 50 tips and ideas to help you become better at loving.


  1. Listen. Show your partner that you’re engaged by actively listening. Reaffirm what your partner is saying by summarizing what you have heard.
  2. Talk. One way conversation is not effective communication. In order to show that you are invested in the relationship, be willing to give of yourself emotionally and mentally, by sharing your thoughts and needs.
  3. Tough it out. During uncomfortable or difficult conversations, tough it out. Regardless of the topic or how much you hate talking about it, finish the discussion. If the problem is not resolved, it will fester in other areas of your relationship.
  4. Argue Effectively. Two intelligent individuals cannot agree on everything, all the time, no matter how compatible they may be. Sooner or later there will be something that leads to an argument or a difference of opinion. This should not be viewed as a problem. The important thing is how such arguments are handled. Here are a few rules that will help you to deal with arguments in a positive way.
  5. Keep your arguments private, between you and your partner only. Avoid having arguments in front of family members or friends.
  6. Never go to bed angry. Settle every argument before going to sleep if at all possible. Stay up late if necessary. It is best to get things settled and not let them fester for days.
  7. Do not allow arguments to escalate into shouting matches and name-calling. Even if you are in complete privacy, keep the tone natural and as friendly as possible. Consider who you are talking to and avoid any shouting or unpleasantness.


  1. Be a friend. The foundation of a good relationship is a solid friendship. A successful relationship has to be founded on the qualities found in a friendship – trust, respect, a desire to spend time with each other, and the ability to lean on each other.
  2. Know your partner’s needs. Once you know what they are, work every day to meet them. Each day when you wake up, think of something you can do to make your partner’s day better, even if it’s just making his favorite meal or doing a load of laundry so she doesn’t have to.
  3. Take responsibility for yourself. Don’t focus on what your partner has to work on to be better, look inward and figure out what you can do to make the relationship better.
  4. Find the positives in your partner. If you remind yourself of all of the good qualities he has, it will be easier to get past the bad times when his less than good qualities are showing through.
  5. Forgive. In order to move forward, you have to let the past go. It doesn’t mean you have to forget, but forgive your partner so that you can move forward.
  6. Get away from your partner. Spend plenty of quality time together, but remember to allow each other to have ample time alone. Even though you are a unit, and you will want to spend time together enjoying your favorite activities, or just sit together and relax at home, each of you is still a separate individual with certain likes and dislikes. You both need time alone to enjoy hobbies that you might enjoy, but your partner doesn’t. Don’t think that because you are married, that you are joined at the hip and cannot do anything on your own. You both need equal time alone to think and organize your own thoughts or simply to wind down.
  7. Evaluate personal traits. Evaluate a potential partner as you would a friend; look at their character, personality, values, their generosity of spirit, the relationship between their words and actions, their relationships with others.
  8. Respect, respect, respect. Inside and outside the relationship, act in ways so that your partner always maintains respect for you. Mutual respect is essential to a good relationship.
  9. Teamwork. View yourselves as a team, which means you are two unique individuals bringing different perspectives and strengths. That is the value of a team–your differences.
  10. Don’t Assume. If you don’t understand or like something your partner is doing, ask about it and why he or she is doing it. Talk and explore, don’t assume.
  11. Solve problems as they arise. Don’t let resentments simmer. Most of what goes wrong in relationships can be traced to hurt feelings, leading partners to erect defenses against one another and to become strangers, or enemies.
  12. Learn to negotiate. Modern relationships no longer rely on roles cast by the culture. Couples create their own roles, so that virtually every act requires negotiation. It works best when good will prevails. Because people’s needs are fluid and change over time, and life’s demands change too, good relationships are negotiated and renegotiated all the time. Don’t judge. Listen, truly listen, to your partner’s concerns and complaints without judgment. Much of the time, just having someone listen is all we need for solving problems. Plus it opens the door to confiding. And empathy is crucial. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own.
  13. Don’t judge Listen, truly listen, to your partner’s concerns and complaints without judgment. Much of the time, just having someone listen is all we need for solving problems. Plus it opens the door to confiding. And empathy is crucial. Look at things from your partner’s perspective as well as your own.
  14. Try something (someone) different. If you have not had success finding someone special, then perhaps consider going on a date with someone who you think is not your type. Sometimes opposites attract, with differences complementing eachother.
  15. Laugh. Successful relationships develop the ability to take a light approach to conflicts. Recognizing that arguments are inevitable and normal versus catastrophic is helpful. One way to do this is to practice taking a step back when involved in a dispute. See if you can view your contribution to the situation with a sense of humor. Perhaps you can even laugh at yourself. You will also be more open and responsive to your partner’s feelings. This approach can help couples that are struggling as well as strengthen healthy relationships.
  16. Accept yourself. A large part of how we view other people is based on how that person presents him or herself. If you view yourself as sexy, and act that way, then others will perceive you as sexy. Truly look at and appreciate your own body. Sure, it has faults, just like every body does. Accept the faults, and accept yourself as a work in progress, and flaunt what you have. You´ll find that people react positively to your positive self image.
  17. Encourage growth. Two individuals in a couple are indivduals, and each person grows at a different rate and in different directions. You want to encourage each other to grow, appreciate how your growth helps you both become better people, and your relationship better because of it.
  18. Body language speaks volumes. Be aware of body language, both good and bad. Eighty percent of communication is nonverbal. Body language can be flirty and fun, but by the same token it can show frustration and annoyance, which can be counter-productive when trying to work through a problem.


  1. All business. Approach family finances as if you were running a business. Create a budget, track spending, save money where possible and don’t bend the rules whenever it feels convenient.
  2. Talk about it. Discuss finances when there is no emergency. If you talk about it regularly and when there is nothing to argue about, then you will be better prepared when there is a crisis or misunderstanding.
  3. One for us, one of you and one for me. Set up one joint account and two separate spending accounts. Men and women spend differently. Instead of having one person who oversees all spending, and will likely not agree with the partner’s spending, have one joint account to pay bills from, and then two individual spending accounts. You will have to decide together how much should go into the individual spending accounts, but there should be less arguing over eachother’s spending.
  4. Handle debt as a couple. Make a plan to pay off existing debt. Drawing a line in the sand and saying that your spouse’s debt isn’t your problem is not going to work because even if the debt existed before you married, your credit rating can be negatively impacted as well as the bottom line of how much money the two of you are paying monthly in interest charges.
  5. Make a fitness date. If the couple that plays together stays together, turn play time into an exercise routine that raises your endorphins and makes you both feel good about yourselves and each other. If the gym doesn’t work, try biking, rock climbing or just walking.


  1. Love notes are under rated. And today you can use technology, leave a voicemail or send a txt message to say “I love you” just because.
  2. Avoid calendar conflict. Place a “community” calendar in a public place (the refridgerator) to help avoid conflicts and miscommunications. It helps to have individual calendars, but for anything that will affect both schedules, make sure it goes on the community calendar so it can be checked often.
  3. Get energized. Find a new hobby (that you can do together), plan a vacation, do something you’ve never done before like go skydiving or take a wine tasting tour. Spice up the relationship by adding some energy and excitement.
  4. Read. Form a book club of two. If you really, absolutely, truly don’t have time to read, then make time. Okay, okay, you could both pick a TV show to watch together. But keep in mind, a book provides the use of imagination, and therefore allows for a lively discussion of your individual thoughts, whereas a TV show is usually pretty transparent.
  5. Make a fitness date. If the couple that plays together stays together, turn play time into an exercise routine that raises your endorphins and makes you both feel good about yourselves and each other. If the gym doesn’t work, try biking, rock climbing or just walking.
  6. Start a new project Approaching a procrastination-inducing task together makes it less intimidating, plus you can divide and conquer. And think about it: Making decisions and compromises about a more neutral situation–such as, what color to paint the living room–is great couples therapy practice for when the more serious judgment calls need to be made.
  7. Get out of here already. It sounds obvious, but many people find it hard to get away for a weekend. Go online, book some inexpensive last minute travel, and drop everything else to go enjoy some time together.
  8. Make a love list. Ask your partner to write down what makes him/her feel loved and special. Do the same for yourself. Exchange lists. Then, every day, no matter how you feel about him or her, do one loving/caring behavior for your partner!


  1. Redecorate the Bedroom. Spice up your sex life by making some changes at home. Transform your bedroom into something new. Get rid of the piles of laundry, the kid’s toys on the floor, the pile of magazines on the nightstand and add some dim lights, candles, and sexy scents. Make it a place for romance and relaxation.
  2. Slow down. The fastest, most efficient route is definitely not what you want in the bedroom. Focusing on the destination — and only the obvious parts of the anatomy — is the worst thing you can do. Make sex leisurely and playful, with no definite direction. Explore and take your time, try something new, make it a whole body experience.
  3. Take a sexual inventory. Write suggested sexual activities on two sheets of paper, then each of you rates them from hot (would love to try) to warm, lukewarm and cold. Add your own, but choose from things like spanking, role-playing, semipublic sex, tie-up games, blindfolding, talking dirty, anal sex and watching or making erotic films. When you’re done, make note of the activities that scored high(-ish) for both of you. Try one every two weeks or once a month.
  4. Don’t focus on imperfections. If your body is imperfect, don’t let it get in the way of enjoying your sexuality and expressing your desire for your partner. If you find it hard to let go of anxious thoughts about your flaws, you may want to try a few sessions of therapy to work on this issue.
  5. The most sensitive sex organ: the brain. Sexual stimulation starts with sensory inputs that trigger mental associations. Only then do the other parts of the body get involved. For each person, the sensory inputs that trigger this reaction are different. Seeing an attractive person, feeling loved, hearing a whispered word, experiencing a certain kind of touch, all can set off the human libido.
  6. Sex and intimacy are intertwined. Many people have trouble feeling sexually interested in someone until they have had time to know one another, learning to trust through words, actions, and nonverbal communication such as facial expressions and body language.
  7. Make a sex date box. Get together with your lover and each of you jot down a steamy date idea on a piece of paper and agree that each time you go on a hot steamy date, you’ll pick a card from your special sex date box.
  8. Make eye contact. The eyes are a powerful part of our body language cues and can express everything from sexual interest, to annoyance, to happiness and pain.
  9. Get busy in the kitchen. Make cooking a team sport. Plan and prepare a gourmet meal together.
  10. Buy some toys. Sometimes sex can become regular and boring. Explore something new to rev up a mundane bedroom experience. Add some spice by going together to a sex toy store and buy something you might both enjoy.
  11. Get all dolled up. Schedule a night out somewhere that requires you to get all dressed up, whether it’s a black tie fundraiser or an evening out at a 5-star restaurant followed by the Opera. Looking good often equates to feeling good.
  12. Do some housework. Do a chore that your partner is typically responsible for. Fill up a gas tank, mow the lawn, fold the laundry – surprise your partner by taking one job off his/her plate for the week.

Thursday, March 6, 2008

A Little Too Hot!


'Deadly Deceptions' by Linda Lael Miller. The second installment in LLM's series is even better than the first book was. I love the paranormal elements and can't wait to find out how things go when Mojo begins to work with her new partner. I am literally salivating for the next one. With two Mojo mysteries so far, Linda Lael Miller appears to have a hit series for fans to appreciate.

'Handyman' by Jodi Lynn Copeland. These are three heated erotic contemporary romances in which the female protagonist are fully developed and quite different in what they need, but the same with what they desire. The men who enter their lives are hunks who happen to be friends; that link each of the stories. Their camaraderie adds depth to them especially their feelings towards the respective lead woman in their life. Fans will appreciate these ultra thermal tales starring strong fully developed characters. Use the Coupon Code below to receive a Discount on one or both of these eBook Titles.

Deadly Deceptions eBook edition by Miller, Linda Lael
Mojo is trying to enjoy her posh new home, but she'd rather be back living over Bad-Ass Bert's Biker Saloon, where life was simpler. Her sexy cop boyfriend can't let go of his past, while her wealthy sister is being blackmailed for secrets in hers. And Mojo's smack in the middle of it all.
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Handyman eBook edition by Copeland, Jodi Lynn
He's every woman's secret fantasy.the handyman who can service her every need and bring her to ultimate sexual satisfaction. COMING IN FIRST Lissa Malone loves bad boys, but slam bam thank you ma'am is leaving her body thirsting for much, much more. She's ready for the proverbial Mr. Nice Guy, someone who will lay her down, tease and touch her to the nth degree, and give her pleasure she'd only imagined-hoped-was possible.
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