The Romance Bookshelves: Vampires, book clubs & more!

Cathy Maxwell is the Austin-based author of over thirty best-selling historical romance novels. She writes a monthly column for BookPeople. Visit to learn more.

I’m already loving this new year, even with Austin setting new records for “cold” weather. Nothing like a good book to enjoy while the nights are still long. Plus, intensity seems to the watchword for my column this month.

Blood Fury by J.R. Ward: Ward is known for writing passionate, fast-paced paranormals and Blood Fury is no exception, especially if you love all things vampire. I know, we haven’t been seeing very many of those lately. Ward has created a great spin-off world from her popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series. Do not be a series purist. Yes, this is the third book of Black Dagger Legacy but the characters are full-fleshed and dynamic. Jump in and enjoy.

The Ones Who Got Away by Roni Loren: I don’t think Dallas writer Roni Loren receives enough attention. I haven’t read a book of hers yet that wasn’t addictive the moment I opened to the first page. Check out The Ones Who Got AwayIt plays on one my favorite tropes — the lost love rediscovered, especially when they return to their past. Straight up romance.

Promise Not Tell by Jayne Anne Krentz: This is a great month for romantic suspense. The fabulous Jayne Anne Krentz wins once again with Promise Not Tell. I don’t think there is anything she can’t write, because she has written it all including historicals under the name Amanda Quick. Here, a survivor of a childhood raised in a dangerous cult finds herself being stalked and only another survivor, who happens to be a handsome private investigator can help her solve the riddles of their pasts. Good stuff.

The Pretender: Games People Play by HelenKay Dimon: Pay attention to HelenKay Dimon! I’m always intrigued by high-end thieves, especially when love and murder are involved.

Places to go, people to see


  • OSRBC Austin meets Sunday, January 21 at 3:30 PM on the third floor of BookPeople. We’ll start the new year with How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days by Kerrelyn Sparks. We have questions from the author plus a few opinions of our own. All are welcome! 
  • Pflugerville Public Library is hosting a Romance Readers Social on February 10 from 2 to 4 PM.  Featured will be Austin writers Julie Kenner, Vivian Jackson, Cathy Maxwell (me!), April Kihlstrom and Anissa Garcia. They have a caveat that anyone ages 18 and up is welcome. Made me smile. 
  • The Romance Book Club at the New Central Library will be “Inspired by Austen” February 13 at 6:30 PM. Share/defend (!) your favorite Austen novel. Should be good fun.

— Cathy Maxwell 

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