Kiss of the Red Scorpion

It’s no secret I’ve been a fan of Suzan Tisdale’s for years. In fact, her book Laiden’s Daughter inspired my love of Scottish historical romance! So when I got the chance to read her contribution to the whirlwind Kiss of the Red Scorpion, entitled In the Echo of a Kiss, I jumped at the chance.

    Genre: Historical Fantasy
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

Rory loved Lasair since they were children in the MacCaerill clan. They grew up together, inseparable until the day they met with the clan’s seer, Magdara, and were allowed to marry. Before long, they even took in a pair of orphan boys named Quinn and Tornan. But one day, the young boys went in search of the legendary treasure of Dagda.

Dagda’s sword and the scorpion necklace was supposed to be their little secret. But Quinn is haunted by the unknown and the specter of a golden-eyed woman whispers in his ear. There’s black magic afoot and the golden-eyed woman is loving every second of it. But as she digs her claws deeper into the boy, more than just his life will be at stake.

I had no idea what to expect with this book, but with the names Suzan Tisdale, Genevieve Jack, Kathryn Lynn Davis, T.M. Cromer, KC Bateman, and Sara Whitney on the cover, I knew I was in for a treat. While I only got to sample Tisdale‘s work, the way she set up the tale to include ancient treasures and an Egyptian goddess gave me a taste of the larger fantasy world within.

To be honest, I wish her part in the book was longer. I want to know more about Rory and Lasair, the history of the clan, the wisdom of the seers in Magdara’s family, and more about Dagda. But we all can’t get what we want and I know that’s the mark of a good short story.

Overall, I really liked this tale and encourage fans of light fantasy and sweeping time novels to pick up a copy. It’s only $0.99 right now, so click HERE!

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The Inheritance

Today, I’d like to present to you Irina Shapiro’s first ever book, The Inheritance. Since The Inheritance was written, Shapiro has published dozens of heart pounding, tear jerking, stories of loss and survival, and it’s exciting to see where everything began.

  • Genre: Historical and Contemporary Romance
  • Narration Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers
  • Story Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️

In 2010 Katie Price is stunned when a man she never met leaves her a brewery and a castle in Scotland. She thought her grandfather had been dead for years, but as she goes to Scotland to inspect her inheritance with the help of local lawyer Danny, she learns more about herself than she ever thought possible.

In 1744 Isobel McBride enters an arranged marriage that leaves both parties miserable. Her husband is a careless brute who loves another and she craves the affection she thought she’d one day have. But another man offers her his heart, the entire future of the clan is in danger from more than just the coming war.

Two women two hundred and fifty years apart, brought together by a pile of love letters and a castle filled with memories.

It’s always so exciting to see how Shapiro writes her time hopping style of work. Each series and standalone book flip between worlds, connecting through memories, second lives, or faded letters in a hidden alcove. The methods she uses never grow stale and I’m always thrilled to see a new book in her collection.

I did have some issue with the narration. I think Wendy Wolfson spoiled me in her other work with Shapiro’s Echoes From the Past series and it was easier to find fault with the narrator in this book, particularly when it came to the Scottish accents. But as the book went on and I was drawn deeper into the story, it was easier to ignore.

Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed this book and wish there was more of Katie’s story out there, particularly when it comes to her handsome Scottish lawyer.

Christmas in July

Merry Christmas…in July. It’s a heatwave here in New Jersey, making it the best time to stay inside and read books set in winter wonderlands. Today, I’ve compiled a short list of some sweet and spicy reads from Tule Publishing to get you in the holiday spirit.

Their Christmas Miracle by Lynne Marshall

Hunter is a talented cook who opened up his own diner. Tracy is a nurse who knows how to bake a mean pie. Together, they’re a recipe for perfection. But when Hunter becomes the guardian of his recently orphaned godchild, will his new bond with Tracy withstand a surprise, new addition?

Once Upon a Royal Christmas by Robin Bielman

After an embarrassing first impression, reporter Rowan thought she’d never see Prince Theo again. But Theo loves her small town and the antinomy of it all, even though he can’t hide from the throne forever. Will he follow his heart or his royal duties?

A Small Town Christmas by Nan Reinhardt

Wine maker and single dad Conor is struggling to save his winery and care for his daughter. Hot shot lawyer Samantha comes to his aid to keep his business in his hands. When close quarters breed new feelings, will these opposites give romance a try?

A Baby for Christmas by Joan Kilby

New widow Mia never expected to be in labor, in the snow, outside a stranger’s house. Recently single Will never expected to deliver a stranger’s baby. But sometimes, the unexpected can spark an unforgettable holiday.

All I Want for Christmas by Jennifer Gracen

Musician and bar owner Sean still pines for the girl who got away. But when she walks into his bar years later, will he get a second chance to make things right? He doesn’t think so, but he knows he’s up for the challenge.

A Match Made at Christmas by Patty Blount

After September 11th, Elena has more than just the emotional scars. A mysterious boy handed her an ornament at Ground Zero and she still carries it with her. Thirteen years later, she’s all grown up and meets the boy again, now a man named Lucas. After years apart and tragedy between them, can they find a way to heal?

Holiday at Magnolia Bay by Tracy Solheim

Navy Seal Drew is taking a leave from active duty after a death that left him shaken. Marine Biologist Jenna has made it her life’s mission to save wounded things. But when she’s sworn off military men and he’s not a fan of being coddled, are the holidays just what this pair needs?

A Merry Mountain Christmas by Trish MilburnWhen Heidi goes to a picturesque mountain town for the holidays, she takes a job at a Christmas decor shop. The owner, Ben, is all too happy to have her help…especially when he realizes she might be just what his life was missing.

This Christmas by Jeannie Moon

Single mom Sabrina is the epitome of a strong woman. But when the man who walked out on her all those years before rolls back into town, will she finally crumble under the pressure or make this Christmas one to remember?

The Christmas Window by Melissa McClone

Doggy daycare owner Callie wants to win the annual window display competition to prove to everyone she’s all grown up. Brandt never wanted to return to his small town, but life pulled him back. Opposites attract in this sweet romance, but will they make it through the holidays?

The Cowboy’s Christmas Bride by Laurie LeClair

When country star Cassidy is told she may never sing again, she goes back to her small town for some R&R. Ryder retired from bull racing to raise his daughter, but he’s in for another wild ride when the girl that got away rolls back into his life. Will Christmas give then a second chance, or is their romance nothing but a sad song waiting to be written?

Montana Secret Santa by Debra Salonen

Krista is only in the Marietta’s Secret Santa Society for a chance to reboot her career via tech genius Jonah. But business meetings melt into long chats over hot chocolate, and before long, the call of the mistletoe becomes too hard to ignore.

Christmas Lights and Cowboy Nights by Shelli Stevens

Rosa has no interest in a fling, much to the disappointment of ladies’ man Calvin. But when they’re forced together at a secluded ranch over Christmas, their attraction becomes hard to ignore.

A Texas Christmas Reunion by Eve Gaddy

When Savannah moves back home to Whisky River, she never expected her ex to be her new boss. Harlan knows he messed up all those years ago with Savannah, but wants to make things right by Christmas. Will he make this holiday one to remember or end up back on her naughty list?

Christmas, Alabama by Susan Sands

Photographer Rachael loves small town life, but doesn’t like her meddling family telling her to settle down. When a hot doctor moves into town and offers to play the part of fake boyfriend, she’s left wondering if everything is just pretend.


Have you read any of the books on this list? Let me know and have a happy Christmas in July!

Introducing D.R. Bailey

We love new authors and authors new to us. Today we’re featuring D.R. Bailey, a crime author with a passion for telling stories that need to be told.

A dead priest. A small town south of Dublin. A reluctant DI Gallway sent to investigate.

A killer is on the loose. With a motley band of Garda for his team, Seamus Gallway is not optimistic. Clues are few. The clergy won’t cooperate, and the archbishop keeps interfering. Gallway and the church is not a good mix.

Will he lick his team into shape and find the murderer before he has another victim on his hands? The complications multiply as Seamus becomes embroiled with a suspect. Can he unpick the tangle of a case proving ever more lurid and shocking? Or will this prove to be one killing too many?

A gritty crime drama with a touch of humour. Dive into the first of DI Gallway’s Irish detective novels.

The Confessional Killings are available in ebook or paperback format HERE

A priest’s deathbed confession. Explosive repercussions.
The Church rocked to its foundations. The Garda implicated. 

DI Seamus Gallway plunges into a murky web of intrigue and betrayal. He and his loyal motley crew set off on a trail of mayhem and murder. Priests, robbers, graves and a parrot who turns the air blue. Where does corruption end? Who is ultimately responsible? 

Meanwhile, a murderer with a grudge against the Church comes to trial. Conviction or acquittal? Will Seamus’ evidence help or hinder the outcome? Attention boxed between this and the deepening spiral of a gritty investigation, Seamus and his loyal team struggle to save the day

In a sequel to The Confessional Killings, DI Seamus Gallway returns in the second gripping instalment of his fight against crime as he battles corruption in the Catholic Church. Gritty and leavened with a touch of romance and humour, the tale features all your favourite characters back for another thrilling yarn.

The Deathbed Confessional are available in ebook or paperback format Here

D.R. Bailey was raised in a family of bibliophiles. From an early age, he developed eclectic tastes in fiction including; SciFi, Romance, Crime, and the Classics. Some of his favourite authors remain, Gerald Durrell, Jane Austen, Peter James, Ellis Peters, and Isaac Asimov. At the age of nine, he wrote his first fictional story about his toy teddy bear clan. Since then he has gone on to have some of his non-fiction article published in magazines and also a fictional crime series. He has engaged in several different careers and says that these life experiences have all contributed greatly to his penchant for storytelling.

Bailey has now penned two full-length crime novels, which is a genre he is particularly fond of. Twisted Tree Publications has published The Confessional Killings and its sequel The Deathbed Confession containing a heady mix of crime, suspense, humour, romance and sex. Bailey has also tackled some controversial and topical subjects surrounding the Catholic Church in these stories. The stories are set in Ireland, and Bailey confesses to having a great affection for the Irish. When asked why he started writing the books, Bailey said these were stories which needed to be told and ones he would want to read himself.

  • Follow him on Twitter Here
  • Follow him on Facebook HERE
  • Follow him on Goodreads HERE
  • Follow him on Amazon HERE

To Marry a Morgan

A new day, a new audiobook, just how I like it. Today I want to introduce To Marry a Morgan (Pathways to Romance Book 1) by Cinnamon Worth, narrated by my girl Megan Green.

  • Genre: Sweet Regency Romance
  • Heat Level:❤️
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Story Rating: 4/6 Glass Slippers

Philip Heartford never wanted to step foot in his ancestral lands again after the death of his brother. But as the new lord of the manor, he must return and take a wife. But he can’t just pick any girl at the garden party, he believes he must atone for his sins by marrying the woman his brother once loved, Allison Morgan.

Julia Morgan has always been in her beautiful sister Allison’s shadow and has contented herself with being a spinster, too ill suited for marriage. She would once have married a certain Mr. Heartford, but he made it clear he intends on righting old wrongs by taking Allison to be his bride. So ever the dutiful sister and friend, Julia plays match maker.

Allison despises Philip and Philip is annoyed by Allison’s refusal of him. Yet Julia works hard to unite them, if only to see her elder sister wed before she becomes a spinster too. Entangled lives lead to a mess as the English countryside echoes with wedding bells.

So, this isn’t my first Cinnamon Worth book. I enjoy her short, sweet historicals and the small touches she puts into them to make them believable. They’re all full of balls and gardens and secret meetings between lovers. Her pieces were basically made for the playful voice of Megan Green who has the perfect accent for period pieces like this one.

Phillip is wounded and prideful, too wrapped up in himself to see how he comes off. He bosses poor Julia around and proposes to Allison like, “You’re old and nobody’s going to marry you. Marry me and you’ll live on the country estate alone, taking care of my land while I go have fun in London…wait, where are you going? Why didn’t you accept?” He was a little on the dense side sometimes, but once more of the story is revealed, you see why he’s so forcefully detached and forgive him.

Julia was a gem, and in my opinion. She has a low opinion of herself, thinking she’s too “fat” and ugly compared to Allison, which is why she’s all too happy to buy herself a little cottage to live out her days. Her heart is too big for high society and the pressures that come with it. By the first few chapters, I was firmly on her side and wanted to scream at her to go find her happiness, since out of everyone in the book, she deserved it the most.

Overall, I enjoyed this story, brought to life by the ever talented Megan Green and suggest regency lovers take a peak.

Introducing Mia Hayes

On this blog, we love new authors, whether they be publishing their debut novels, or are just new to us! So today, I wanted to highlight Mia Hayes, a romance, mystery, and thriller author who is no stranger to the world of writing a good book.

Mia lives in Northern Virginia with her husband, children, and cats. When she’s not writing, she’s practicing yoga, traveling, or drinking ridiculous amounts of green tea. 
She’s been known to eavesdrop a time or two. 

Sometimes, the people who seem the happiest have the most to hide.

But it’s imperative Elizabeth put on a brave face. So when she’s not going to Costco or day drinking with her best friend, she’s trying to create a new, drama-free life in the suburbs. 

And it seems to work – until an anonymous gossip blog begins spilling the women of Waterford’s darkest secrets.
Now, the blurred conversations and blank spots in Elizabeth’s mind give way to panic and anxiety. If her secrets – like a hospitalization for bipolar disorder and a suicide attempt – don’t stay buried, she faces social shunning. 
Because after all, life in Waterford must look Instagram perfect at all times.
With her mental health in tatters and her marriage on the brink of imploding, Elizabeth fights to protect her family, her reputation, and her sanity.

The Secrets We Keep is available HERE


Then: Ellison Brooks – PTA President, real estate agent extraordinaire, and Head Bitch in Charge with endless friends and parties to attend.

Now: Ellison Brooks – divorced, single mother of two, financially reliant on her awful ex-husband, and utterly lacking self-confidence.

One month after her divorce is final, Ellison’s ex-husband marries the woman he left her for, sending Ellison spiraling into despair. Her friends have abandoned her, her job is in the tank, and she’s lonely for human connection.

The woman who once had everything now does little more than drink wine and focus on the time she has with her kids. She’s a mess and has no idea how to fix herself.

But then Ellison meets Luke, an intriguing stranger who is only in town for the weekend. Determined to break out of her rut, Ellison jumps at the chance for a hot, one-night stand. When it’s over, she walks away from Mr. One Night Only with no idea how to ever reach him again… 

…Until the first day of school when Luke turns out to be her son’s new teacher. Despite their electric connection, Luke is off-limits according to school board rules and everyone around Ellison. But she just can’t stay away.

As the town of Waterford buzzes about her possible romance, Ellison tries to figure out how to navigate the bitchy world of frenemies, town gossips, and a petty ex-husband while piecing herself back together.

All the Broken Pieces is available HERE

If you can’t be you, who can you be?

That’s the question Veronica White asks herself in the wake of her husband’s very public affair. For years, she’s been known as the prettiest member of the Bitch Brigade and Pete’s wife, and she has used social media to present her messy life as picture perfect.

But those days are over.

Leaving her Waterford life behind, Veronica lands in Marrakech, Morocco. There, she plans to regroup and convince everyone she’s having the time of her life without Pete. First step: post endless fun pictures on Instagram. She believes that if she can convince others she’s okay, then maybe the embarrassment will cease.

Enter Oz, an engaging young man who is traveling the world and chasing the endless summer. He regales Veronica with stories of his adventures, and intrigued, she throws caution to the wind and joins him on a trip to the Sahara Desert. Soon, Veronica finds herself following Oz to Croatia and France, where, with Oz’s support, she tries reinventing herself.

As she grows closer to Oz, Veronica realizes she’s not the only one pretending, and that sometimes what we want to see gets in the way of reality.

Picture Perfect Lies is available HERE

To learn more about Mia Hayes, visit her on all her social media platforms.

Instagram: Instagram.com/miahayesauthor
Facebook: Facebook.com/miahayesauthor
Twitter: Twitter.com/novahousewife

Secrets of a Highland Warrior

Hot Highlander alert! I’m always pumped to read a book based in my favorite country, so when Nicole Locke told me about Secrets of a Highland Warrior, I was totally on board.

  • Genre: Historical Romance
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️❤️❤️
  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

The year is 1293 and Rory Lochmore is the son of the chief of Clan Lochmore. Their lands are separated from the McCrieff’s by a single stream, one too thin to keep them from constantly drawing their swords. Rory is eager to prove his worth yet again by claiming the land given to them by the king, but a pair of deep, green eyes catch him off guard. Yet he’s not one to be swayed by a pretty face, until he’s made an offer he can’t refuse.

Ailsa McCrieff is the healer for her clan and the daughter of the next chief. When her father inherits the title, he’ll also be inheriting generations of hatred between the McCrieffs and the Lochmores, but he has a plan to mend the strife…have Ailsa marry Rory. She’s horrified at the thought of being tied to a savage, despite his handsomeness, but she knows it could be the only way to save lives.

There’s nothing more then animosity and physical attraction between them, not a great start to a marriage. But the fates of both their clans rest on their shoulders and only a wedding will stop the bloodshed. Can they come together to make a true match, or are they doomed to lives of misery?

While this is book four in the Lochmore Legacy Series, it’s the only book I’ve read. While I did feel that I missed out on some backstory and a few tidbits what would have made reading much smoother, it wasn’t anything crazy. I would suggest starting with book one, as you should with all good series, but I enjoyed myself immensely, even by starting at the end.

Ailsa was a fantastic character. Her tongue was just as sharp as the shears she used for cutting herbs and she wasn’t one to be meek and obey. She’s really makes the marriage happen by seeing Rory see reason and I liked how she wasn’t just a swooning lass. Their relationship was also a pleasure to follow, as they went through not only newlywed growing pains, but found a way to trust that the other wouldn’t stab them in their sleep!

I also found the historical side to be very believable. If you’re not familiar with me, or the blog, you won’t know that I’m a historian and nothing ruins a historical book for me than blatant mess ups. For example, many people will write books set in Scotland and throw kilts around like confetti, despite using the wrong tartan or having the time period set before kilts were even a thing! It’s silly, but having Locke not throw Rory into a kilt was fabulous.

Overall, I enjoyed this book immensely and recommend it to all historical romance lovers.

Precious Bones

Irina Shapiro has captivated me since the first book in her Echoes from the Past series. When she told me about her book Precious Bones, I knew I was in for yet another fantastic ride. And, as always, I wasn’t the least bit disappointed.

  • Genre: Historical/Contemporary Romantic Mystery/Thriller
  • Heat Level: ❤️❤️
  • Story Rating; 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

When a body is found in an old Tudor house in London, successful author Cassandra is stunned at her reaction to the skeletal remains. She’s brought to tears by the news report, although the death would have taken place hundreds of years before. Her boyfriend doesn’t understand her fascination with the story, and as she begins to write a tale based on the Tudor house she buys impulsively, she unravels a tale that’s almost too close to home.

Constance is a Catholic in the time of Queen Elizabeth II, making her very religion dangerous to publicly claim. While her brother prepares to marry and her little sister flirts with a highborn man, she’s left wondering what her role is in a world where women don’t have many choices. A brief encounter with a spy leaves her rattled and she embarks on a journey of secret letters, arrests, and a marriage to the man she least expects.

While Cassandra reveals more of Constance’s life through her writing, her own life spirals out of control. She begins to question her own sanity and the realness of her haunting visions.

As in her Echoes from the Past series, she blends the past and present to perfection in a way I didn’t expect. Both time frames hold enough drama, intrigue, and romance to be books in their own right. I was hooked from the first page and the non-stop twists left me on the edge of my seat. Waiting to see how the lives of such different women turned out was nearly torture!

I enjoyed the parallel timelines. The fantasy aspects weren’t overdone and I felt as if everything that happened in Cassandra’s story was completely believable. Her emotions were real and her reactions to things were easy to relate to. I hope there’s more of her story one day.

I’ve never listened to anything narrated by Verity Burns, but I thoroughly enjoyed her work with this book. She had different inflections when reading for Constance and Cassandra, making it clear what time period the story was in. She’s very talented and I know this won’t be the last of her work I’ll listen to.

Overall, I’m thrilled with my latest Irina Shapiro book. I highly recommend it to all book lovers, no matter their favorite genre.

Sweetpea

Craving something dreadfully dark and fearfully funny? I just finished Sweet Pea by C.J. Skuse.

  • Overall Rating: 6/6 Bloody Glass Slippers
  • Genre: Psychological Thriller/Comedy

There are few things in life Rhiannon truly loves. In no particular order, it’s her chihuahua Tink, her collection of Sylvanian families, and the feeling of blood on her hands. No, she doesn’t think she’s a complete psycho. After all, a Buzzfeed quiz said she doesn’t hit all the marks. Besides, is she really a psychopath when she only goes after sex offenders? It’s just community service.

On the outside, she lives a charmed life, despite the viral news story that shot her into fame as a child. She lives with her handy boyfriend in a nice apartment. Her job is good enough for someone without a fantastic education, and she gets on well with some of her coworkers. But when her mask slips and she forgets to pretend to be like them, more than one person becomes suspicious about who and what she really is.

Unlike when I write summaries for romances, this one was a little tricky. Rhiannon is a multilayered character who doesn’t always have a plan. She tells her own story through hilarious pop culture references with a matter of fact tone that makes it difficult to tell if she’s being serious. But Rhiannon doesn’t know how to be anything but.

Before reading the book, you think you’ll never side with a killer. But something about Rhiannon is charming and terribly likable. That’s what the experts say about psychos like Ted Bundy. Though if you ask Rhiannon, she’ll say she’s nothing like Bundy. She hasn’t been caught.

Time for me to start book two.

The Unseen

I feel like I’ve waited forever for the lovely, talented Irina Shapiro to grace my Audible App with the next installment of Echoes from the Past. This addictive series steeped in history, mystery, and enough drama to keep anyone on their toes has easily become one of my persona favorites. Today, we’ll discuss The Unseen, book five in the epic saga that is Quinn’s life.

    Genre: Historical Fiction with Time Travel
  • Story Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers
  • Narration Rating: 6/6 Glass Slippers

In 2014 Quinn is settling into a routine, trying to juggle her work as an archeologist, being a mother two two children, one of whom is a newborn, being a wife, having a social life, and still using the past to investigate murders from long ago. When she’s brought to a London flat, she finds it frozen in the Edwardian ages, but that’s not the strangest part. There’s a skeleton in a clawfoot tub, hidden behind a secret door. Now Quinn is left to use her special talents to find out who the person was, how they died, and who killed them.

In 1917 aristocratic young lady Valentina narrowly escaped Russia with her life, as being well-born was a death sentence in the Revolution. She makes it to London with her mother and younger siblings without the wealth and prestige she once enjoyed. When a relative named Dmitry offers his help, Valentina’s family accepts without considering the secret cost. Who was once to be their savior soon becomes Valentina’s worst nightmare as the family fights for survival in a new land.

Armed with a Fabergè egg necklace, Quinn dives into the past to solve the mystery of the body left to rot in a London flat for a hundred years. But that’s not the one on her mind. The whereabouts of her long lost twin still haunt her and she’s left to wonder who she will find first, the killer or her sister.

I really identified with Quinn in this book as she tried to find a balance in life with a new baby. It’s nice to see a normal character who doesn’t immediately fall into the role of picture perfect mom who has it all without a care. She puts in the work, as all parents do, and it was lovely to see her overcome different challenges. Although most challenges she’s faced so far like a plot to murder her, the reveal of her birth family, and the fact she can see through time are some many people will ever go through.

Valentina’s story was an interesting one. When we think about the Russian Revolution, we usually think about the lost princess Anastasia and the rest of the Romanov family or the wild death of Rasputin. We don’t see much about the aristocrats that managed to hop trains, flee their homes on horseback, or buy their way to a different land, dressed as a peasant. Her struggle to grieve the loss of her former life and her father and fiancé while trying to keep her remaining family afloat was something I can assume many faced when in a supposed safe place. From page one, I worried what would happen to poor Valentina.

Shapiro did a fantastic job weaving in Russian history and facts into a thrilling drama of betrayal and loss. I suppose that shouldn’t be surprising since Shapiro herself was born in Moscow. Still, many authors forgo historical facts to focus more on just the story. She does neither, perfectly pairing the past and present to create a book that doesn’t sacrifice a thing.

I don’t think there will ever be enough praise for this series, which is perfect for lovers of women’s fiction, historical fiction, mysteries, time travel, romance, or just plain good books.