When a Book Speaks to You by Alice Anderson

I’ve read many books over the years that I really enjoyed. Ones that I recommended to friends and placed on my keeper shelf. Usually the enjoyment factor comes down to one thing: the characters.

When a Book Speaks to You by Alice AndersonI recently picked up Susan Mallery’s latest Special Edition (Silhouette Books) called The Sheik and the Bought Bride. Sadly, I hear it’s the last in the series. I’m going to try really hard not to cry about that…

No matter what you think of the title or the way romance novels romanticize sheiks, this was a great book. (Yes, FTC, I paid for my very own copy!)

What was so great? I knew you were going to ask.

The characters.

First you have a brooding prince from the desert, and you automatically assume that he’ll be hard and edgy. That he’ll act a certain way, and treat the heroine a certain way.

But there’s more to him than that. He’s also known hardship in his life. And he has the scars to prove it. He’s known loss like most of us pray we’ll never know. And yes, he’s a harder man because of it. But he’s also better because of those trials.

Then there’s the ultra spunky heroine. Mallery calls her “a hoot.” I totally agree. Victoria has also known pain, suffering, and poverty in her life. And the man she should have been able to trust with her life is the very one who offers her up as a prize in a card game…to a desert prince.

But she’s loyal and she keeps her promises. She meets adversity head on, with a laugh or two. I really wish I had a friend just like this heroine. Someone who says what she thinks, tells it like it is, isn’t afraid to cry or step in when there’s an injustice. She fights for what she thinks is right and she will sacrifice her very life for the man she loves.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is a heroine.

These are two people who are so perfectly matched that they will resonate with me (and you) long after the book is closed.

Characters like Kateb and Victoria are what makes a book great. And ultimately, it’s characters like these that will make a book “speak” to you.

What books speak to you? Leave a comment below and you’ll be entered to win a copy of Mallery’s The Sheik and the Bought Bride.


Alice Anderson writes contemporary romance novels when she’s not creating websites or writing articles for authors. She lives in the Southeast and co-owns a web development and marketing firm with her husband. For more articles visit her website at http://www.alice-anderson.com or follow her on twitter for a daily writing tip: http://www.twitter.com/allyanderson

39 Responses to When a Book Speaks to You by Alice Anderson

  1. Alice Anderson

    Hey Beverly, I haven’t read that either and will put it on my list too.

    Okay, folks, last call for comments. I’m picking the winner at noon EST today. Thanks so much for spending the week with me and telling me about the books that have spoken to you.

  2. Alice Anderson

    Stacey, I’ve read all of those except the Sandra Hill. Will put it on my list of books to check out. Thanks for stopping by!

  3. Alice Anderson

    Linda, yeah, I’d love more Mallery Sheik books too. But you know there’s always potential she could start a new series. *hint* *hint*

  4. Alice Anderson

    Mariska, aren’t those books great? Believing in yourself is very important. Sometimes we need to be reminded of that.

  5. Alice Anderson

    Mitzi, I don’t go looking for life lesson books either. In fact, I prefer uplifting, fun books that maybe have a life lesson tucked in there somewhere. I too am a big fan of Underdog Wins books. Big, big fan!

  6. Alice Anderson

    Lisa, that’s amazing that you went out and found all 13 books. I’m sure Susan loves to hear readers say things like that!

    I think I’ve come to a conclusion that we’re not just talking about specific books that we love, that stay with us and touch our hearts. Many times we’re talking about authors. As we’ve noted there are many authors whose books touch us, leave that feeling of wonder and hope with us. And that makes us true fans for life.

    It’s these authors that I whole heartedly recommend to anyone I meet. I’ve even recommended Susan Mallery books while waiting in line at a public bathroom. LOL

  7. Alice Anderson

    Tammy, I love what you said about a recovery period. That is so very true! I love books that make me take a break afterwards. Sometimes I don’t want to read anything else just so I can savor that story.

  8. Alice Anderson

    Pam, you’re so right about Debbie Macomber. I’m a fan of hers as well. Have several of her books in my TBR basket.

    Susan, I’m a fan of Debra Webb’s too. It started with her very first book. Though, she’s so prolific I’ve missed many in the recent years. There’s just so much to read, so little time.

  9. Beverly G

    im kidna weird alot ofbooks speak to me for different reasons how im feeling that day week month year one that has spoken to me from the get go was

    After the night by Linda Howard has always spoke to me

  10. stacey smith

    A Book that Speaks to me is Night Embrace By Sherriln Kenyon and Dark Prince By Christine Feehan and the Last Viking by Sandra Hill well I can go on and on don’t get me started.

  11. Linda Henderson

    I love Susan Mallery’s books. I have all of her sheik books except this one. They are all on my keeper shelves. I really hate it that this is the last one in the series. They have all been great books. The characters are always great and the stories are wonderful. I will deeply miss this series.

  12. Mariska

    Susan’s book sounds Great ! i love to know A new Author’s for me Works !
    one book that speaks to me lately is ‘the Diet’ by Edita Kaye. alright it’s not that ‘full’ romance. I just found that the Character inside, taught me many things how to ‘believe’ in your self.

  13. Mitzi H

    I haven’t read Susan Mallery’s books yet…She is a new author that I just discovered on goodreads and put on my wishlist.

    Books that speak to me?….I honestly don’t buy books based on lessons in life….I’m strickly a (let me escape reality) type reader, but my favorite themes are good conquering evil and the Cinderella type stories where the underdog wins. I also love books with strong spitfire type heroines and strong alpha heros.

    I guess that shows my age. One of my favorite movies is The Quiet Man: a hero that goes after what he wants and a heroine that makes him work hard to get it.

    Looking forward to reading The Sheik and the Bought Bride. Thanks for the recommend.

  14. Lisa Boggs

    I am HUGE Susan Mallery fan. When i read the excerpt to “The Sheik and the Bough bride” I immediate went in search of the rest of the series. I had to it’s a series and i like to read all if there is a series and in order. So as fast as i could i found all the books and i believe there is like 13 of them and read them all. Before those i read her Bakery Sisters series, Lone Star sisters series, plus a bunch of single stories. It all started with one book of Susan’s i came upon and took off from there. You don’t do all that reading if the books don’t speak to you. I’ve never read a Susan Mallery book i haven’t loved. Every story Susan tells has elements that draw you into the story. You know it’s good if you have to read it all in one sitting which actually happened to me today. I picked up “Shelter is a Soldiers Arms” today at the library and plowed right thru it was so good. Kept my interest from start to finish.

  15. Tammy D

    I loved your blog and the subject of books that “speak” to you. I agree it’s all about characters that make you *feel*. It’s not necessarily the storyline, although that can contribute to what you feel for the character. I love Susan Mallery’s work and just finished her Lone Star Sisters series – the final book, Garth and Dana’s story, I’ve re-read four times, and I’ve done an embarrassing amount of gushing about it on the internet. Ha. I’m not much on sheik stories but I’ll have to read the new one after your recommendation.

    I read alot of books, sometimes three or four a week. Most I enjoy but I don’t always remember alot about them afterward. But some just stay with you, resonate, haunt you. You almost need a recovery period afterward. Ha. One example is Lisa Kleypas’ “Seduced by Sunrise”, Win and Kev’s story in the Hathaway series – intensely emotional and lyrical and gorgeous in its depiction of a deeply meaningful love. Newly published this year, Tessa Dare is an author whose writing speaks to me as well, she has a gift that makes words beautiful and almost poetic, but her stories are also sweet and funny.

  16. susan leech

    I recently read Debra Webb’s Everywhere She Turns and her book still brings memories back to me after quite a few books since. I also like family stories where each book is about a member of a family..it makes you feel like you are a part of that family. susan L.

  17. susan leech

    Thanks for the kind words for Susan’s book..Alice. I just met Susan this summer but like her already and I want to get all the books of hers I missed out on in the past. You are so nice too and hope you have a great day. susan L.

  18. Pam S

    Debbie Macomber’s and Sherryl Woods’s books always seem to to stand out for me. I so agree with you Martha E on the fiesty heroines!

    I really loved Susan Mallery’s Bucchan books, I enjoy all her work but those have stood out among the top for me.

  19. Karen Reece

    I found Susan Mallery a few years ago and to me she brings a freshness to her characters. The last series I read was “The Lone Star Series”. Family is a big issue in Susan’s books. In fact, it is very important. She made the sisters in the series so real. They pulled together in the hard times and just made the series for me because I myself have two sisters. Family is important for me too. They characters became my friends. I felt what they felt. It was just a great series and each time a new book by Susan Mallery comes out, I try to get it.

  20. Alice Anderson

    Hey Sue, so glad you dropped by. Definitely give Mallery a read. You won’t be sorry. My favorite is The Marcelli Princess.

  21. Alice Anderson

    Robyn, yes, yes, yes! I love books that teach me things. That make me think of things in my own life and see them in a different light. Sometimes this can be difficult though when, as a reader, I know everyone’s motivation (or at least I think I do.) And some authors write characters, relationships, family in a way that, after reflection, I don’t feel is very accurate for how families, relationships, and people in my life work. That can be disappointing.

    But, I still enjoy seeing how other relationships work. Seeing what motivates characters to do the things they do.

    And yes, yes, yes on visiting new places as well. I think that’s one of the greatest things about being a writer. Researching new locations and new things. Learning how to tie a new knot or exploring a new country or culture.

  22. Alice Anderson

    >The Unsung Hero

    Pat, I really like that title. I was thinking earlier today about what really makes a hero. Is there a difference in being heroic and being a hero? In other words, what about stories where the hero doesn’t save anyone? Is it enough that he, in a sense, saves the heroine from a life without him? 🙂

    Another topic, I know…

    Thanks for the recommendation.

  23. Alice Anderson

    Quilt Lady, I agree with you. It’s nice when you feel like you’re a part of a book. When I don’t want a book to end, and want to know what happens after The End, that’s when I know I’ve got a good book. Those books are just never long enough!

  24. Alice Anderson

    Okay Lisa, how about an author… give me an author whose work speaks to you. 🙂

  25. Sue Brandes

    A book that speaks to me is one where you can feel you are right there while reading it. The kind where the book & story pull you in. I also have not read your books yet but; I will be soon. They sound wonderful!

  26. RobynL

    books that speak to me are ones where one can learn a lesson or two, where one can visit a new place and feel as if you are there with the characters, where you see someone who is kind and helpful and helps the underdog(who has been pinpointed as bad but really isn’t).

    I have not read any of your books yet and look forward to checking them out.

  27. Pam Keener

    I started with The Unsung Hero by Suz Brockmann. That is the first book in The Troubleshooter series. There are 15 books thus far and I am now reading Book # 4 Out of Control.
    Love & Hugs,

  28. Quilt Lady

    Hi, I have not read your books as of yet, but they sound really good! I love an authors works that can make you feel like you are a part of that book!

  29. Lisa G

    Hello Alice! I’m a mystery/romance or suspense/ romance lover. I have so many books I love that it wouldn’t be fair to name just one. I want a book that catches me in the beginning, turns me around and won’t let me put it down. Thank you for being here today!

  30. MarthaE

    Hi! I love fiesty heroines in all sorts of stories: historical, suspense, comedy, and just straight romance!! I just picked up Holly and Mistletoe by Susan Mallery to read for a Christmas Reading Challenge. Having read a couple of Susan Mallery books I saw that book and thought “I bet that would be a fun read for Christmas!”

  31. Alice Anderson

    Kathleen, I guess I can see that. I always felt sorry for Jesse. It must have been hard for her growing up.

    Pat, I’ll looking into the Seal books. Thanks! And by all means, please do. We’re here to talk books. So tell us all the ones you’ve loved.

  32. Pat L.

    I would start with the first SIM seal book of Suzie’s and go from there. Sorry I don’t have the title. Sure you can find it on her site.

    Susan writes such great series books, that she is definitely an author who speaks to me. Also Robyn Carr’s Virgin River books. I could go on and on.


  33. Kathleen

    The character a few people did not like was the younger sister Jesse. They thought her selfish and inmature… but I like her.. I think they missed the depth in her that was going to come with maturity and growth.. She was, in my opinion misguided and left to fend for herself too much. Her sister Nicole was trying to be both a mother and sister and because of this Jesse suffered…
    I am already a member of you newletter and now I am a member of your Facebook fan page..

  34. Alice Anderson » Guest Blogging at Romance Junkies

    […] over at Romance Junkies today talking about books that “speak to me.” Specifically, Susan Mallery’s latest. Come tell me about books that have touched you and […]

  35. Alice Anderson

    Pam, Suzanne Brockmann is an author on my “watch out for list.” Yes, I have several list. She’s one of those that I’ve always meant to read. I think I’ve read one, maybe two books of hers, years ago. I have one book of hers that came in a big box of books from my mom, probably by way of my grandmother. I saved it out to read it. It’s a category length, I believe.

    Which Brockmann books would you recommend I start with?

  36. Alice Anderson

    Kathleen, now you have me wondering which character folks were disappointed with.

    In my opinion, a great author is one who makes you feel. Whether you’re happy with a character or want to shout at a character, that’s the makings of a great book by a good author.

    One of the things I love about Mallery’s work is that there are always characters that make me reflect on things. She can have me hating a character for the first “x” books in a series and by the end, I feel differently about that character.

    Part of this is being open minded I suppose, but part of it is good writing and showing motivations. If only we knew the motivations of everyone in our own lives. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by!

  37. Pam Keener

    Thanks for the invite Susan I just joined your newsletter and facebook page.
    Love & Hugs,

  38. Twitter Trackbacks for Romance Junkies Blog | When a Book Speaks to You by Alice Anderson [romancejunkies.com] on Topsy.com

    […] Romance Junkies Blog | When a Book Speaks to You by Alice Anderson http://www.romancejunkies.com/?p=678 – view page – cached I’ve read many books over the years that I really enjoyed. Ones that I recommended to friends and placed on my keeper shelf. Usually the enjoyment factor comes down to one thing: the characters. […]

  39. Susan Mallery

    I’m so glad you enjoyed THE SHEIK AND THE BOUGHT BRIDE. Thank you for your lovely comments. I loved writing this story, and for a lot of the same reasons you loved reading it. My heroines are all very different from each other, but they’re all women I’d be proud to call “friend.” They have to be – I spend a couple months with each one, and I’d hate to spend that much time with a woman I don’t like. 😉

    Kathleen and Pam, thanks for your comments, too. Glad you’ve enjoyed my books! Hope you’ll stop by and say hello on my Facebook page, Facebook.com/SusanMallery.

  40. Pam Keener

    I love romantic suspense. I am now reading through the Troubleshooter series by Suzanne Brockman. I love stories within the stories that she writes and somehow weaves the present with the past. I have read Susan Mallery Marcelli Trilogy and loved them too. I will definately check this series out.
    Love & Hugs,
    Pam Keener

  41. Kathleen

    Susan Mallery is always a must read for me and I loved this whole series of Men of the Dessert and this one was no acception.
    Glad you liked the book.. She has a lot of great series in her book list.. and never have I been disappointed.
    In her “Sweet” series a lot of people on one of my book chats I belong to had a real problem with one of her charcters, but not me.. I think an author has to write a real edgy charcater to keep the story from being boring or repatative…

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