Editor’s Note: Our intrepid GalleyChatter (some call her the “Galley Whisperer”) Robin Beerbower, wrangled the many titles librarians were enthusiastic about during the most recent session of GalleyChat, to give you titles to add to your own TBR pile (remember to nominate your favorites for LibraryReads). Many of these are available for free download via Edelweiss and NetGalley.


This month’s GalleyChat became hot and heavy when the discussion turned to romance novels. The resulting list of forthcoming titles, along with the authors’ backlists, will help collection development librarians keep romance loving patrons satisfied.

From romance, we then turned to a more sinister subjects, learning about some compelling stories of murder and conspiracies.

If you missed the chat or couldn’t keep up with the 300 plus tweets, check here for the complete list of books discussed.

Romance, Mostly Regency

Deb Margeson (Douglas County Librariers, CO) a Regency romance fan, was enthusiastic about her latest find, also a November LibraryReads pick,  Never Judge a Lady by Her Cover by Sarah MacLean (HarperCollins/Avon, November), saying it was “great escapist fun.” MacLean is clearly an author to know. Her earlier book, No Good Duke Goes Unpunished was the #1 Dec. 2013 LibraryReads pick.

Another Regency fan, Jane Jorgenson of Madison (WI) Public Library chimed in with her new favorite,  It Started With a Scandal, by Julie Anne Long (HarperCollins/Avon, March), the tenth in The Pennyroyal Green series, set during the long-running fictional feud of two wealthy families in Sussex.

Vicki Nesting (St. Charles Parish Library, LA) is now hooked on the sub-genre and her latest find is the sequel Tessa Dare’s Say Yes to the Marquess, (HarperCollins/Avon, December), the sequel to Romancing the Duke. That discovery is seconded by many librarians from around the country, showing massive love on Edelweiss for this title. Vicki also enjoyed Earls Just Want to Have Fun by Shana Galen (Sourcebooks/Casablanca, February). And to round out our round-up of regency romances, Stephanie Chase (Hillsboro Public Library, Oregon) recommended books by two big names in the field, Julia Quinn’s The Secrets of Sir Richard Kenworthy, and Eloisa James’ Four Nights with the Duke (HarperCollins/Avon, March). A side note of interest, James, an English lit professor, is the daughter of poet Robert Bly and short-story author Carol Bly and is married to an Italian knight.

For a modern vibe, Grace Burrowes, who usually writes historical romances, has three titles in the Sweetest Kisses series coming out in early 2015. New Rochelle (NY) Public Library’s Beth Mills said she enjoyed the first, A Single Kiss (Sourcebooks/Casablanca, January) so much that she immediately downloaded the next two, First Kiss and Kiss Me Hello.

The Darker Side

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But then the conversation turned to the darker side of love. Jill Alexander Essbaum’s Hausfrau (RH, March) is centered around a wife and mother who is falling apart despite having the perfect life. Last August Elliott Bay Bookstore staff member Kenny Coble teased us saying, “It is brave and vulnerable and a little inappropriate (don’t tell mom),” and Jenne Bergstrom from San Diego County Library said “it grabbed onto me HARD.” Another book about desire and obsession receiving attention is Jan Ellison’s A Small Indiscretion (RH, January).  Adrienne Cruz, librarian from Azusa (CA) Library says, “Annie is a complex character. The narration is written as if she were talking to her comatose son — a confessional almost. The treatment coupled with bold and richly-layered characters result in a satisfying debut.”

Murder and Mayhem

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On to murder and mayhem. Inspired by a true event in a Utah Mormon community, The Bishop’s Wife, by Mette Ivie Harrison (Soho Crime, December) has seen much love over the past few GalleyChats. Vicki Nesting said,While not strictly a mystery, this book will appeal to readers who enjoyed the introspective investigation at the heart of Reconstructing Amelia.

Robin Nesbitt, readers’ advisor at Metropolis Columbia (OH) Library loved A Murder of Magpies, Judith Flanders (Macmillan/Minotaur, February), saying “What’s not to love – mystery, publishing, London!  Judith Flanders nails it with a funny protagonist who happens to be a book editor in London.  Bibliophiles will love this.” J.A. Jance is well known for her two series featuring J. P. Beaumont and Johanna Brady, but the lesser known Ali Reynolds series is starting to gain ground. Beth Mills was pleased that Jance is in her usual great form with Cold Betrayal (S&S/Touchstone, March), the tenth entry in the Reynolds series.

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Two exceptional espionage titles were mentioned, All the Old Knives, Olen Steinhauer (Macmillan/Minotaur, March), and The Fifth Gospel, Ian Caldwell (S&S, March).  “A fun and twisty read” is Janet Lockhart’s  (Wake County Public Libraries, NC) description of the Steinhauer story about former lovers who reunite to reminisce about old times as spies. Caldwell’s Vatican-based thriller was compared to those by Dan Brown, Daniel Silva and Iain Pears.

For more raves about forthcoming titles, join our next chat on December 2, 4:00-5:00 (EST). To keep up with what I’m anticipating on Edelweiss, please “friend me.”

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