Posted in Personal, Uncategorized

Monday Musings….Types of Romance Novels (Pt. 1)

Anyone who has read this blog for more than one day can tell one thing about me: I love romance novels. I don’t care that you know the guy is going to get the girl in the end. It’s all about the process. That said, there are many different processes and not everyone can do them right. I decided to devote the next few weeks to discussing a specific type of romance novel each week and then I will list some authors who write those types of novels well.

This week I present to you: the friend romance aka romance where two people become friends first before they consider each other romantically. This is my favorite type of romance. You will see this kind of romance often in fantasy/adventure stories where the two main characters have to learn to trust and depend on each other to get something first before they can pursue a romance.

This kind of romance can also be seen in novels where the two main characters have been friends for years and then suddenly realize they love each other (Emma by Jane Austen anyone?). I have even seen this kind of romance in arranged marriage novels, where the two main characters must learn to get along because they are stuck together.

The authors who use this trope well, are the ones who will have you putting a novel down and sighing because these are the romances that you truly see lasting until death do them part. Can this type of romance be done poorly? Yes. If the main hero begins to read more as a brother than there is a problem. Or if the romance just comes out of nowhere. There does have to be a subtle basis to it; a hint that there could be more, and those authors who can accomplish that are phenomenal. So here are some of my favorite authors who do this well:

Serena B. Miller

Tamera Alexander

Jenny B. Jones

Siri Mitchell (particularly her contemporary)

Tamara Leigh (particularly her contemporary)

Jill Williamson

Lori Wick

Have any you would like to add?

Posted in Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense

Irene Hannon’s Trapped


When Laura Griffith’s sixteen-year-old sister disappears on a frigid February day, leaving only a brief note behind, Laura resolves to do whatever it takes to track down the runaway teen. That includes recruiting ATF agent turned private investigator James Devlin to help. Dev knows time is of the essence with runaways–just forty-eight hours can mean the difference between recovery and ruin.

But the deeper he and Laura dig, the more Dev begins to suspect that something sinister is at work in the girl’s disappearance. And in the icy winter weather, the trail is going cold . . .

In her latest thrilling read, queen of romantic suspense Irene Hannon outdoes herself with a fast-paced tale of fear, deception, and just the right dose of romance.


I’m always glad when a new mystery novel comes out by Ms. Hannon. Her novels are fun and easy to read and this is one is no different. With Trapped, we are back with the Phoenix PIs and this time Devlin is on the hotseat. Devlin is a very rich character with a strong personality and a complex background. He is immediately a character the reader can trust. Laura is the same way, and you can’t help but like her. The only thing is, if you have read all of Ms. Hannon’s books (like me), they do come off as a tad bit familiar (but this won’t detract from the story at all).

This mystery was a bit heavy on the romance (the best kind!). The only thing was that there were these moments of mental checklist in the book that though it fit their personalities, kind of lacked a natural flow. It went like this nice guy? check; pays his bills on time? check; doesn’t talk back to his mama? check. Don’t get me wrong, people definitely do that in real life, however it just stood out to me here. There was also this kind of instant-attraction thing where there was no rhyme or reason why Laura was “the one” for Devlin. That said, I enjoyed the balance of romance and mystery and some of the greatest parts of the novel are when Laura and Devlin are together.

As for the mystery, Ms. Hannon, in my opinion really shines with her bad guys (not quite so sure what that says about her :)). They all manage to be unique and scary in their own way and this guy is a nut if ever there was one. Darcy is a bit hard to like though because  she come across as selfish and a bit…um…naive at first, but I do like the way she deals with the bad guy. This is not a who-dun-it novel but how to find out they dun it kind of mystery. I enjoyed the process of watching Laura and Devlin figure that person out.

Spiritually, you have Laura who works as the spiritual rock in this book and it’s nice to see her lean on God. You definitely get the impression that she has a close relationship with God. I would have to say the theme is turning to God in times of trouble.

Overall, a fun read that has the pages turning quickly!

Romantic scale: 8

**I received a copy of this novel from Netgalley. My opinion was not affected in any way.**