I've been on a reading binge lately. This has largely consisted of Nora Roberts re-reads, but I have managed to squeeze in a couple books from NetGalley that I should mention.
First, a winner- Louder Than Love by Jessica Topper. This one was more in the women's fiction/romance category than a straight romance, but I enjoyed it thoroughly. Katrina was widowed following an accident less than a year after the birth of her first child. She and her husband were madly in love and she grieves him still. She meets Adrian after tracking him down based on his recording of the theme song for a kids' show her daughter (now four) loves. She invites him to play for storytime at her local library, without realizing his past as part of a very popular heavy metal band. The attraction between them is instant but they are both carrying heavy baggage from their past. Adrian is completely adorable, and is reluctant to tell her about his past, and Katrina isn't a widow in name only. I've read a handful of reviews that say this one is just too slow, but I thought that any faster and the reader wouldn't have believed in Kat's first fairy tale romance or their ability to fall in love. This is a debut novel and while it was by no means perfect (the side stories of her friends were a bit annoying), I am adding Topper to my list of authors to watch out for.
Then, A Weaver Beginning by Allison Leigh. This was yet another in my streak of Harlequin requests, and I'm sad to report that it is completely forgettable. I had to go back and read the synopsis to have any idea what it was about. It wasn't terrible- I'd probably have remembered that- but the love story was too quick to be believable and the internal conflict was weak. Sloan McCray has moved back home to recover from his past life as an undercover agent. The town believes he is a hero while he feels otherwise. Abby Marcum is his very young, completely innocent in every way, new neighbor. She's 23 and has custody of her 6 year old half-brother. They are completely different in every way and yet fall in love almost instantly. While I do believe in love at first sight, I also think it needs to be backed up with SOMETHING else. None of the aspects of this book- the romance, the main characters, the external conflict, or the internal conflict- packed much of a punch.
Both titles were released on September 17th.