Monday, December 14, 2009

Monday's Contest Question

Hi All--

Hope everyone had an enjoyable weekend. I've had so much fun this past week. Sharing favorite reads and getting author recommendations has turned my TBR list into its own book!

Tuesday, I'll draw names from all the commenters over the last week. Winners will be announced at 1:00 PM CST. So be sure to check in tomorrow!

Now, for today's question, I wanted to do something a bit different. Let's talk about favorite hooks and themes. Hooks are those story concepts that make you buy a book. Such as: secret baby, marriage of convenience, cowboys, woman in jeopardy, etc. There are a multitude of hooks out there and we all have our favorites.

And themes, meaning an underlying thread that carries through the entire story. For instance, my books are about damaged people who have a strong desire to rescue others. Each individual has his or her own reason and it almost always relates back to their past. In RESCUE ME, for instance, no one was around to rescue Devon when she needed them most. As Eden, she has devoted her life to rescuing others.

In my upcoming Last Chance Rescue trilogy, each story has a theme:

NO CHANCE: Reunited Lovers

Rescuing those in jeopardy is the hook.

So what are your favorite hooks and themes? And what are your favorite books with those hooks? Without knowing the author's name or previous work, what hook on the back cover makes you buy that book?

For me, I love the the revenge hook. Hero and heroine meet due to one or the other taking revenge for some real or perceived wrong. One of my favorite books with that hook is Julie Garwood's wonderful historical romance, Honor's Splendor. The hero kidnaps the heroine in revenge against the heroine's brother. But things are not as they seem, as the hero soon discovers. In revenge plots, there's such a great opportunity for enlightenment.

Two others I love are Kat Martin's Devil's Prize (hero has total misconception about heroine) and Sweet Vengeance (heroine has total misconception about hero). I love how the hero and heroine fight against their feelings of love while trying to hold on to their hatred. Fortunately love always wins. Which is why I read romance!

Okay, your turn, what are your favorites?


TeaGee said...

I tend to gravitate more toward the marriage of convenience. I'm not sure why. But, I love a strong hero and a strong heroine coming together for a common good (such as marrying to keep a child from going to some one else, etc). I do like the baby theme, though, but I'm just not really into the second-change books. I want only one HEA! LOL :D

Christy Reece said...

Hi TeaGee, marriage of convenience is a favorite for a lot of people! One of my favorite marriage of convenience, though perhaps not the traditional kind is The Heartbreaker by Mary Balogh.

Do you have a favorite marriage of convenience book?

Ida Brugler said...

ok Christy, you stold my answer!
Every thing you said is what i look for in a book rather it be imortal or normal life.

I would like to add. Military men special opps,or even a private detective work. Those books never dissapoint me. I love how the rite woman can make a "tough Guy" melt and second guess things. when they are so use to being in control.

Add a big splash of humor like in MJD's Books and i am good with them also.

Unknown said...

I go for books with a strong hero and a damsel in distress. I also like a good mystery when they have to work together to save one of both of their lives. I read the back of Christy's books when they first hit the shelves and the had everything I look for in the back. Another author I found this was was Allison Brennen. Great stories that have everything I was looking for. I knew nothing about Kay Hooper when I picked up her triolgy and fell in love with her work. I have learned you can't judge a book by it's cover...You have to read the blurb on the back. Thank you so much for this contest it has been fun!

Jennifer D. said...

My favorite books are military or special ops and I like when you get to meet the whole team and each one gets their own story. Other themes I like are reunited lovers, sports and redemption stories. I'm also happy when their is a good secondary couple that is started and continued in the next book.

Roxanne St Claire - Hunt Her Down - reunited lovers, secret child and security team all in one.

Rachel Gibson - I picked this booked up based on the back cover alone, since I had never read any of her stories - Simply Irresistible - Reunited lovers, secret kid and hockey.

Cindy Gerard - Show no Mercy - redemption and special ops / military.

Modokker said...

Marriage of convenience is one i like. I just read Daniels Bride by Linda Lael Miller and the hero marry's the heroine because she is getting ready to hang for a crime she says she didn't commit. After banging heads thru the whole book he finally sees that he loves her.

I like suspense with a strong hero and a strong heroine like in the Christine Feehan Ghostwalker series. I love all her books they hook you right in pretty quickly.

I did like Resue me too Cristy because of the whole revenge thing etc. Poor Devon she had to get tough to survive.


Crystal (cmac) said...

Ida Brugler took the words right out of my mouth! Military of any kind, cops, even tough cowboys that are to macho or had a terrible heart break and just have absolutely no desire to put their heart out there to be broke again grab my attention. For some reason a guy that has had a terrible past like a bad childhood that should have turned him into a mean or worthless person, but instead he overcomes it and becomes a hero. Touches my heart! Like:
Flashpoint by Suzanne Brockman. Two words Jimmy Nash!
Return to me: Noah McCall
Iris Johanson No one to trust:Sean Galen.
All these guys pulled their selves up by the boot straps and became great men. I like that!

Mary G said...

I love special ops, navy seals etc. Like Jennifer said - even better when its a series. I like when the H & H already know each other (best friend's little sister for example)because then the story gets started that much earlier. I don't want to open a can of worms but I like almost any premise but not if written in first person POV. I LOVE when the author transitions between the H & H's POV pretty evenly. You do not get that with first person POV. I love strong alpha guys but only if paired with a kick*** heroine. I don't like characters that are TSTL of either sex).

Ida Brugler said...

Oh yes cowboys also.
One Hot Fourty- Five by B.J. Daniels
And the women in the stories are very determined to show the
"tough guys" they are worth something. Or when the guys reailze they may have just lost the best thing and go to win her back. I love it.
I know i have said this before, but I just Love Noah and Samara.

The whole Shea Ethan And Cole Story is sad and wonderful at the same time. And of course to quote Noah. "It means opening up is damn hard for some. Especilly People like us. But once you open up with the rite person, life inproves tremendously."
As with Eden and Jordan.
Sherrilyn Kenyon's Acheron
Lora Leigh's Books
Marie Donovan's Her Last Line of Defense.
RIPPED! by Jennifer LaBrecque
SEALed and DELIVERED By Jill Monroe. LOL ok i will stop

Ida Brugler said...

Jennifer & Mary G,
I love them expecially in a series.
All the "tough Guys' make fun of thier friends unitll "Bam" it happens to them.

Mary G said...

Yes Ida
Love those ones too. The tougher they are the harder they fall (in love).

Jennifer D. said...

Ida & Mary G - Yeah, those tough guys are always so sure they will be the exception!

CrystalGB said...

I like friends to lovers, marriage of convenience, rich guy/poor girl, cowboys, military heroes and many more.

Mary G said...

Hi Jennifer
I think that's what makes them so charming & endearing. Big tough guy turns into little boy lost.

ErinT said...

I am definitely a big second chance at love fan! One of my absolute favorites is Public Displays of Affection by Susan Donovan, Unleashed by Jami Alden and Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare..
I am also a lover of "Jock" type Alpha's! Rachel Gibson's hockey series, SEP's Chicago Star's Series. I also loved Line of Scrimmage by Marie Force which was a second chance at love and also an Alpha Jock story.
I always read the blurb on the back cover before buying and it either hooks me or it doesn't. I also like my stories spicy! Another hook for me is a man on the cover with no shirt and washboard abs!

Crystal (cmac) said...

Ida you are so right! I think Ethan and Noah are two of the best characters ever!
MaryG you are right on! The tougher they are the harder they fall (in love)
I agree with the series books they are my favorite books to read. They seem so real. I feel like I personally know each character. Its not the same with a non series book. When you've read about a certain character for 5 previous books by the time his or her story comes along you already know them on a whole new level.

Lulu said...

I go for several classic hooks/themes:
friends who end up as lovers; tough guys who are reallly softies; the headstrong hero/heroine who realizes that they can not live without the other; men and women who are thrown together by an unfortunate circumstance (i.e. murder) who work together to solve the problem and realize at the end they're in love; and the ugly duckling who turns into a swan and learns a life lesson in the process.

I'm sure I could come up with some more but the caffeine hasn't quite kicked in yet.

oklanannie said...

Most generally, I'm drawn to stories of human imperfections and tortured souls. Julia-Spencer Fleming writes of two such souls in her "Miller's Kill" mystery series that is one of my favorites.

I'm drawn to books that include sports-related themed books (Marie Force's "Line of Scrimmage" was superb), as well as military (especially those Navy SEALs), rogues, rebels and rakes! Thrills and chills and teams that work together to solve crimes and save the world are my favorites.

Some of those that stand out in my mind include Christy's "Last Chance" series, Nina Bruhns' "Passion for Danger" series, Suzanne Brockmann's "Troubleshooters" series, Roxanne St. Claire, Cindy Gerard, Robyn Carr's "Virgin River" series, and on and on.

I'm just a sucker for a good romance whether clothed in humor or anguish. Reading is a passion for me and I enjoy the "hunt" for new authors and new books each and every day.

Ida Brugler said...

And when they realize it "DENIAL" sets in.

cmac, in the next book you just get to catch up, because they have been away for a while.

Ida Brugler said...

Love those SEALS. lol

Christy Reece said...

Oh my gosh, you guys are on a roll! I'm so behind here but what I'm seeing is an agreement that you love strong men and women. And love it when those strong men fall hard! I love those too. Keep up the great posts! I'll come back in a bit and see what else has been suggested. And don't forget those book title recommendations.

If I get a chance later on this week, I'll put together a list of recommends so no one will be missed.

Ya'll are the greatest!

Ida Brugler said...

OK this is sad, should we have an end of contest party or something?

oklanannie said...

Speaking of those SEALs, Ida, have you or anyone else read Stephanie Tyler's first book "Hard to Hold" in her new series? It was fab! The next two come out in January.

Marliss Melton also has a good SEAL series going, as well.

And Erin T. -- SEP's "Chicago Stars" are what started my love of sports themed books! They are all so great! She's such a "feel good" writer.

And "Line of Scrimmage" by Marie Force is one of my favorites ever! Who would have ever thought that behind that cover there could be such a great story? Just goes to show, "don't judge a book by its cover!"

Are we intentionally ignoring historical books? There are some wonderful hooks and themes there as well. Sherry Thomas and Jennifer Haymore are two of my favorite new authors in this genre.

Ida Brugler said...

No i have not. I will have to ad it to my list. Thanks

robinky42 said...

I like military or special ops and stories about FBI agents. A hero in pain and the woman who can heal him are also good. Lora Leigh's Nauti series, Tempting Seals and Elite ops series. Leslie Parrish's Black Cats series is about FBI agent and internet crime. I have never read anything by her and when I read the back of the book it sounded good and it was.

Jane said...

I love revenge and amnesia stories. My favorite revenge stories are Gaelen Foley's "The Duke" and Lisa Kleypas' "Again the Magic." Lisa's "Someone to Watch Over Me" is my favorite amnesia story.

Jackie P said...

I usually go for strong men and women characters. I seem to agree with everyone on their hooks. I loved all 3 of Christy's books but I got attached to Run To Me because of the jaw dropping scene when Cole shows up. It was AWESOME. JR wards "Lover Awakened", Suzanne Brockmann's Breakiing Point, Lora Leigh's Wildcard. Those are the ones that standout off the top of my head..

Crystal (cmac) said...

All I can say is this: Even if I don't win this prize I feel like I've still won something. You all have given me a whole list of new books to check out. I was just thinking I needed to find some new authors I've read and reread all my favorites. I'm terrible about sticking to the authors I like and not venturing out. Thanks everyone!

Ida Brugler said...

I feel the same way. Also it has been fun talking to everyone for the last week. and i will be sad to see it end. I have gotten alot of good laughs. Thanks to all of you!

oklanannie said...

Christy's new books will be out shortly and it would be fun to talk with everyone about them. Hopefully, she'll encourage discussions here. I am so excited to read the next books in her series.

This week has brought lots of smiles and I've enjoyed hearing from everyone their favorite authors and books. I've made me a list to take to the bookstore next trip.

Wishing each of you a wonderful holiday season and a Happy New Year!

Kara C said...

Oh what day!
I agree with all of you who already posted about how fun this contest has been! After a too long day at work, I have been looking forward to seeing what everyone had to say here today!
As for today's question, I seem to lean towards the 'woman in trouble' theme (Karen Rose's Don't Tell, I'm Watching You, You Can't Hide, Cindy Gerard's To the Brink). And the hero with a tortured past? Too good to pass up as well. When those two ideas are together in the same book, it's a must buy for me. Shannon K Butcher did that well with her Delta Force trilogy starting with No Regrets. Christy, I would definitely put all three of your books in my list of books with favorites themes!

Ida Brugler said...

I am also excited about Christy's next books. Discussions over them would be great.

OOPS, Sorry Christy

Alexandra said...

I usually like "bad boy from the wrong side of the tracks" stories like Toni Blake's One Reckless Summer.

And, I definitely love books with military/special ops, cops, bodyguards. I especially love it when it's a series and we get to see the characters in the next book - like Suzanne Brockmann's Troubleshooter series.

When I read the back cover of To the Edge by Cindy Gerard,
I knew I had to buy it. I've been hooked on her books ever since.

Mary G said...

It isn't just the new books & authors you might hear about. I also love talking with people who love books and reading as much as I do. Until I started blog hopping I really didn't feel "normal". I thought I wss the only one who had keeper books & fave authors that you buy without question & felt like the books were your friends for awhile like Ida said yesterday.
Thank you all for sharing your ideas & yourselves. It's awesome (like Christy - the pied piper who brought us together).

Kara C said...

I totally forgot about the whole 'bad boy' theme. Great one! One Reckless Summer is in my TBR pile. Think I'll pull it out and get on that!
And I KNEW I'd leave something out in my first post! Yes, I like the 'woman in jeopardy' theme, but I definitely want her strong enough to help in her own rescue. And hero with a tortured past? One great example of that is Nash in Flashpoint by Suzanne Brockmann. I think someone already said that...
Now, I'm done. For now.
Hope everyone has a great night!

Ida Brugler said...



mariska said...

My favorite will be, friends turn to lovers, solving mystery, Hero/Heroine who so stubborn to admit that they have feeling for each other :)

oklanannie said...

Ooooo! Alexandra, Toni Blake's Destiny series started out with a real good bad boy in Mick!

Nora Roberts' new "wedding theme" series has drawn a lot of attention. I have read the first two books. After a long break from reading NR's books, I was delighted to find I enjoyed them very much.

Yes, cheers to our Pied Piper, Christy for this wonderful week of fun!

Christy Reece said...

Everybody's saying goodbye and getting me all teary-eyed. We'll definitely have more discussions about favorite books. In fact, I've had so much fun this week, I think I'll do a Monday morning quarterback kind of blog. At the beginning of the week, I'll post and we can talk about your favorite books from the week before. That way we can share even more recommendations! How does that sound?

Great discussions of today's topic too. And thanks so much for the kind comments on the Last Chance Rescue series. You know, as a new author, I really didn't know what to expect when people started reading the books that at one time were only in my head. But readers have been so kind and you guys especially have made my first year as a published author absolutely wonderful. I thank you for that.

Feel free to keep posting your favorite hooks and themes. I'll check in from time to time. And tomorrow, I'll announce the winners!

Ida Brugler said...

Monday's sound WONDERFUL Christy.
LOL don't cry on us.

Mary G said...

Mondays sound good. A blog group I'm part of does the "What did you read & what's next" kind of enquiry every week.

oklanannie said...

Yipppeeee! Christy, that sounds like fun and I'll look forward to blogging with everyone on Mondays!

Mary G said...

BTW Kara
One reckless Summer - so hot & so good.
Cindy Gerard's Bodyguard series:
Into The Dark - Dallas & Amy's story. I have never read a book that handled an abuse victim's recovery of a sex life as well as that one. Now that's a hero.

ErinT said...

Jeez! This has been fun but not so fun for my wallet, lol. I have so much I want to go out and grab now! After I sat down I thought about a few others I liked.
I love bad boy Alpha cops/firefighters/military men. I love how they can be such hard asses and then melt for the right woman.
And the man with the tortured past, YUM!
Also I agree with the friends to lovers theme. One of my favorites was Seducing Simon which was a friends to lovers and a secret baby plot by Maya Banks. It's more of a contemporary and not erotica like most of her other books.
Thanks Christy this has been so much fun! I am glad I "met" you on facebook and you pointed me in the direction of this blog! And a BIG congrats on your new series! I'm waiting, maybe not so patiently, for it!

Christy Reece said...

More great suggestions! And glad that you like the idea of sharing great reads from the prior week!

Sounds like bad boys is a favorite theme and if they're military, cops or FBI, all the better. (o;

Mary, I agree with you about Cindy Gerard's Into the Dark, fabulous story and she did a great job with Amy's abuse and Dallas's sensitivity to that. Anyone surprised that I cried at the end of it? LOL. Yeah, didn't think you would be. It was a great read.

Ida Brugler said...

Lol, Christy.
Oh, now what ever will i do with my days?

Mary G said...

Hey ida
We'll just have to keep chatting till Christy comes back.

Mary G said...

Hi Christy
That story was incredible. If I remember though, Amy had the courage to try. Obviously Dallas was special enough for her to make the effort. I must have read that one at least 3 times.

Christy Reece said...

Mary, yes, Amy was incredibly courageous. In the book before that, was that To the Edge or To the Brink that she was introduced? Anyway, I was so impressed with her courage even then. I love those kinds of heroines because you know the hero is going to be strong and courageous to be their perfect match.

Thanks again everyone for the great comments and recommends! Be sure to check back tomorrow at 1:00 to see the list of winners!

Ida Brugler said...

Hey Mary G, guess i missed that just got back on. at least till tomorow hu? LOL

KayB said...

I don't go for the usual hook it's sometimes just a word that gets me.
Linda Fairstein's book Lethal Legacy it's the "Hunt family" that got me to buy. Hunt is a name in family history that I researched.
Second chance books always get me, everyone needs a second chance

Christy Reece said...

Kay, how interesting that a word or last name caught your attention. I've not read Linda Fairstein. Will definitely check her out.

And sounds like second chance at love is a favorite for several of you.

Shameless self-promotion ahead:

Be sure to look for NO CHANCE on February 23--Gabe and Skylar's second chance at love. And SECOND CHANCE, March 23, Cole gets a second chance for happiness. (:

I'll be back at 1:00 with the winners!