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I'm slowly working my way through Jennifer Ashley's MacKenzie series. I just finished book 2, Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage, and I really enjoyed it. I was most impressed by the way Ms. Ashley wove the backstory so seamlessly into the action and character internals. As a reader, I never felt bashed over the head with extraneous information, and I was never bored or wishing the pacing would pick up. If you haven't read this one, I think it's a great example of how to do backstory the right way.
I'm also reading the SEALed series by Mary Margret Daughtridge. I enjoy her books for the characterizations--with a few well-placed descriptions or lines of dialogue, her characters really come alive for me, and I find myself thinking about them when I'm not reading. I've read two of her books so far, and have enjoyed both. I have two more ahead of me, and I hope she publishes more!
What about you? Have you read anything that really stuck with you, either for the story or some element of the writing? Please share!