Monday, March 12, 2007

Da U.P. Eh!

By my calculations the only Harlequin "series" I'm caught up on is Carrie Alexander's excellent North Country Stories series for Harlequin SuperRomance. This is likely two-fold: 1) She's writing these very slowly and 2) I'm homesick. The last book in the series (the excellent, and RITA nominated, A Family Christmas) came out in 2004.

Longtime readers of this blog know that I'm from Michigan, although nowhere near the Upper Peninsula, which is where this series takes place. But it's Michigan-set, and I'm not picky. Besides, the U.P. is very lovely. There ain't a whole lot up there, but it's lovely.

I picked up A Ready-Made Family at Borders Express this weekend, and while the back cover copy is worthy of eye-rolling (a bit cliche sounding, even for Harlequin), I have yet to be disappointed in this series. I know she's busy writing for Blaze, but dang Carrie, keep my North Country stories coming! (And update your web site - hint, hint)

Plot Description:

Lia Howard Pogue is flat broke and on the run. Her only hope for a new start is to rely on the kindness of strangers. One in particular—the rough and tough ex-Army Ranger who's all hard muscle and soft heart.

Jake Robbin is more than ready to put his wild youth behind him and settle down. If only he could skip the hassle of courtship and babies and messy emotions. What better time for Lia and her three kids to land on his doorstep!

Seems marriage would solve both their problems. Until Lia's ex shows up…and reminds her she could be making the same mistake all over again.

While the first book in the series is enjoyable (North Country Man) it's books 2 and 3 that stood out for me. Romance reading librarians should take note of Three Little Words, that features a librarian heroine working in the very small town where the series is set. If you've ever worked for small/rural libraries, or frequented them, Alexander hits all the right notes. A Family Christmas is great because it featured one of my favorite series regulars - the heroine who is an outsider and black sheep-type. I adore outsider characters to bits, and Wild Rose was one of my favorites.

And of course since I'm a ruthless weeder, I donated/traded this entire series without saving it. When will I learn? Which means I'll have to make a trip to my favorite UBS that stockpiles series romance soon.


Lady Rooster said...

When I get back from vacation one of the first things I am going to do is go through my TBR of Harlequin Super Romances.
Carrie Alexander is one of my autobuy HSR authors.

Carrie Alexander said...

Hi, Wendy. Greetings from the da U.P. Yes, we still have snow. Only two more months of winter, heh.

Just wanted to let you know I appreciate your comments on the North Country series. Glad to hear I'm writing slow enough for you to keep up. (Yeesh, does that sound familiar. I've given up on several series for that reason.) I don't have a schedule for this series, so I just do a book whenever the mood and contract strike. As long as they're selling, I can keep writing.

In fact, I have another HSR out in Nov 07, a Yooper book though not the NC series. A TOWN CALLED CHRISTMAS...and if you've ever been to the real town called Christmas, you know how accurate your "not a lot there" comment truly is. :-)

I used to work in a small-town library. That was actually where I read my first Harlequin as an adult, when a patron donated a box of 'em. Ah, the circle of life a.k.a. books!

Finally, sorry about the out-of-date website. A big oops. Too many deadlines lately. I have sent updates to my webmistress, so at least the new book covers will be up soon. I have two projects to finish by the end of the month (see, I was serious about the deadlines), and then I promise the long-awaited (at least by me) NC page is going up. I even made a map. Like my worlds aren't already colliding....

Thanks to you also, Debbie! Good to know the books have fans.

Wendy said...

I really love the N.C. series and was so happy to see a new book out. I saw a mention of it somewhere (RT?) and it wasn't clear if it was part of the series. When I saw that "North Country Stories" tag on the book I snapped it up! God bless Harlequin for labeling their series so clearly.

I remember recalling on one of my many e-mail loops how much I enjoyed the "library" aspect of Three Little Words. At the time I was working for a rural library system, and I thought you did a wonderful job on the details. That's when someone said, "Well Carrie worked in a small library, so she would know!" LOL