Tag Archives: Valentine’s Day

My One and Only Duke by Grace Burrowes

I thought it wasn’t possible. I thought it was simply not meant to be.

But lo and behold, despite the fact that it’s February in Connecticut and we just suffered a snowstorm, in my heart doves are cooing, angels are singing, and double rainbows wreathe the sky.

Yes, as is only fitting for my Valentine’s Day post, I am happy to report that love is finally in the air—I have found a good romance novel. Let’s give credit where it’s due; Grace Burrowes was suggested to me by my mom and sister, and they have good taste. They knew exactly what I was talking about when I moaned that all the romance I’d ever tried was crap and that the writing quality got in the way of the falling-in-love bits.

And I promise, I will still read the stupid Phillips book, and I’ll even do my damnedest to do so with an open mind. But for now… in the present moment… let’s forget about that and focus on Grace Burrowes instead.

She can write! The dialogue is excellent, the characters interesting and natural-feeling. There was no jarring head-hopping, nor any stray details that vaulted me out of the nineteenth-century London setting. The narrative voice felt perfectly suited to the story; I frequently found myself looking up words in the dictionary, since hello, nineteenth-century London, but I didn’t have to do this to a ridiculous degree—and you know, I like looking up these older words that have fallen out of favor! Learning is cool, and so are immersive books in a historical setting that’s written just. perfect.

And the story was exciting. The basic premise is that Jane, widowed and pregnant, and Quinn, slated to die by hanging, find their fortunes turning on a dime when it’s discovered that Quinn is the long-lost heir to a ducal title. I don’t want to give anything else away, but the opening first act was like watching someone tie a ribbon into a perfect, beautiful bow. Everything came together as it should, Burrowes delaying the reader’s reward until the last possible moment. You can just tell that you’re in the hands of an author who won’t let you down.

So now I feel like I’ve at last kind of joined the romance community, like a chick hammering its first chunk of the eggshell away. I’ve added I don’t know how many romances to my TBR in the last few days, all of them tangentially related to Burrowes. (Thanks, Goodreads!) Who’s next? Eloisa James? Meredith Duran? Mary Balogh? I feel like a kid in a candy shop.

Love, at last! Hurrah! ❤

An Unexpected Romance: Recommendations for Genre Fiction Fans Who Don’t Read Romance

If you’ve been around KJG Enterprises for a while, you might know that I have some struggles with the romance genre. Full disclosure: my honest, perhaps controversial opinion is that romance is most satisfying as a book sub-plot, rather than as the primary focus.

But this doesn’t mean I hate the romance genre!!! In fact, I’m eager for my aforementioned opinion to be proven wrong, which is why I’ve made it my mission this year to dive deeper into the romance genre as a whole and do my best to discover some authors whom I really connect with. I want this, truly I do, and I’ll probably have a post going up this Thursday that may surprise you! (And me!)

So in honor of fast-approaching Valentine’s Day, I offer you my top suggestions for fans of genre fiction who don’t read romance. All of these are five-star books for me, and each one is completely different from the others.


Sirena by Donna Jo Napoli

This 210-page book is perfect for anyone looking for a quick, moving read with a Greek mythology focus. It’s YA, but YA from before Twilight exploded the scene. If you’re looking for a book with a small cast and intimate atmosphere, you should definitely pick up a copy.

Plus there are beautiful mermaids. Need I say more?


Crocodile on the Sandbank by Elizabeth Peters

If you want a master class in character voice and slow burn, read this book. First published in 1975, Crocodile on the Sandbank sparked Peters’s cozy Egyptology mystery empire. It reads as an older book, but a hilarious older book. Amelia and Emerson are two of the greatest characters I have ever read, and, and, and… It’s just the best. Get it. Read it. The End.



Green Rider series by Kristen Britain

Is it too mean to include the Green Rider series in this post? It’s been a long while since I read the first book, but if memory serves correct, then heed this warning: I believe there’s hardly any hint of the true romantic pairing in the first book. If you want the slowest of burns (and I’m talking thousands of pages), then read this series.

But it’s worth it. I have never cared so much about two people ending up together so much as the MC Karigan and her beau. (Trying to avoid spoilers here.) Twilight got nothing on this. But again, it takes forever for any real pay-off, so… Yeah. You’ve been warned.

Sunshine by Robin McKinley

Consider this a last-minute addition to the list. Sunshine is not so much romantic as sexy, but I do think it deserves to be here.

First up, you gotta like vampires. If you are a fan of paranormal romance, urban fantasy, and hilarious stream-of-consciousness 1st POV, then this is one for you. Perfect atmosphere, excellent world-building… If any of this is calling you, buy this right stat now.




So those are my unconventional Valentine’s Day picks. I’d love to hear your own unexpected romance recommendations. Slow-burn Western? Sweet and tender sci-fi? Feel free to leave a comment down below with your own romance picks.