Monday, March 2, 2009

The Month That Was February 2009

February may be the shortest month of the year, but I read a very respectable 10 books. OK, so the majority of them were Harlequins, and one of them was a short story. But I'm done feeling guilty about reading "shorter" books. Well, not quite as guilty anyway. Here's how it all breaks down (title links will take you to full reviews):

Stranger by Megan Hart, Contemporary Erotic Novel - I continue to love Hart's voice and writing style. I also enjoy how she puts her characters through the emotional wringer to get their happy endings. But this book felt a little long to me. I wanted a lot more of the heroine with the hero, not the heroine with the studly gigolo she was macking on. My Grade = B

Night Rising by Chris Marie Green, Paranormal - This is one of the authors on the romance panel at my library's upcoming literary event which I am, once again, moderating. I was surprised how much I liked this story given that I'm so bloody sick of all things paranormal right now. Interesting heroine, good mystery, and a vampires-are-bad storyline. I'll probably read the next two books in the series. My Grade = B-

Sexile by Lisa Lawrence, Erotic Thriller - The third book in the author's Teresa Knight series. Teresa continues to kick ass, and I love that she's strong, independent and smart. The mystery here is a real doozy, and it kind of makes my head swim just thinking about it. Not a book you can read and half-assed pay attention to, that's for darn sure. My Grade = B-

The Concubine by Jade Lee, Harlequin Blaze - The second historical (ever) to be offered through the Blaze line. I loved the 19th century China setting, and the premise made for an intriguing read. I could have done without some of the purple prose though (Jade stalk? Seriously?). My Grade = B-

The Texan's Tennessee Romance by Gina Wilkins, Silhouette Special Edition - Reviewing Harlequins for TGTBTU allows me to pick up some "impulse reads." This one was, unfortunately, a dud. There was enough conflict to make it interesting, but the author instead chose to focus on things like the hero and heroine feeding a stray dog (gag) and going on a hike together. Also, this one has a terminal case of series-itis. My Grade = D+

Pleasured by the English Spy by Bronwyn Scott, Harlequin Historical Undone - Another short story from the eBook-only Undone line. I loved the setting of this one (Italy!), and Scott utilizes the locale for marvelous effect. I could have used a bit more dialogue though. My Grade = B

Wanted in Alaska by Kate Bridges, Harlequin Historical - Bridges' latest set in very late 19th century Alaska. This was a quick read that I enjoyed at the time, but didn't have a lot of "staying" power. My Grade = B-

The Earl's Untouched Bride by Annie Burrows, Harlequin Historical - Extremely well-written, but with a Big Misunderstanding plot that goes on and on and on and on.... Even though I wanted to bitch-slap both the characters (on multiple occasions), I stayed up until 1:30AM finishing this book. I really enjoyed Burrows' writing and story-telling capabilities. I'll be reading her next book. My Grade = C-

Once An Outlaw by Debbi Rawlins, Harlequin Blaze - A western time travel that I picked up out of curiosity. A good story until the ending, which felt very rushed. I'm not convinced that the past won't come back to haunt the happy couple, and that knocked my grade down a bit. My Grade = C+

A Texan On Her Doorstep (TGTBTU review forthcoming) by Stella Bagwell - Compelling conflict, and there's a scene between the hero and his long lost mother (who abandoned him as a child!) that about ripped my heart out. But this book pushed every single one of my feminist hot buttons. A 38-year-old virgin heroine (::headdesk::) who happily gives up her entire life to be with the hero. "No darling, don't you worry about a thing. Let me sacrifice everything so we can be together." Puke. Those must have been some seriously good orgasms is all I'm saying. My Grade = D+


Barbara said...

Great, brief and to the point recaps. Pleasured By The English Spy sounds like one that would be for me.

Rosie said...

So if you throw out my measly novella at the end of my list you read more books than me in February. That Sybil, she's a smoothie.

Wendy said...

Barbara: I've really enjoyed all the short stories from the Undone line. This new one from Scott is probably in my Top 3 favorites. Wonderful setting. Really lush and romantic.

Rosie: I have no shame and count everything - including the Undone short stories I've been reading that only clock in around 50-65 pages. Also I'm in the zone at the moment, because I have a bunch of Obligation Reading to get done by early April.

Tracy said...

You read some great books. I'm going to have to go check some of those out on the Harlequin site.

And I wouldn't beat myself up either for reading Harlequins - hey, they're books too! lol

Wendy said...

Tracy: I never beat myself up over the Harlequins....just the short stories. I'm not sure they "count." LOL