Saturday, August 1, 2009

The Month That Was July 2009

I am so insanely backed up on my reading right now it's not even funny. I literally need to lock the door, unplug all major electronics and do nothing but read for two solid weeks in order to catch up.

But what with My Man, baseball....oh and my job (minor detail that) - that's not about to happen. Sigh. Why? Why God am I such a slow reader? It's punishment for something I did in a past life isn't it?

Anywho, I finished seven reads in July. Pretty decent considering I lost an entire week thanks to RWA. Here's how it all breaks down:

by Anthea Lawson - Historical Romance, Victorian England, North Africa, My Grade = B- - Heroine whose mama is forcing her into marriage has one last adventure in Africa with her uncle's family and meets the hero, a man with few prospects who is on a treasure hunt. Good scenery, good characters, but pacing a little slow in the beginning. A second half book for me. Full Review.

Afternoon Delight by Kayla Perrin - Erotica, Spice Briefs, Short Story, My Grade = B - Hero and heroine burn up the sheets at an "adults only" resort in Cancun. Great bit of feminist erotica (it's all about her pleasure), although the story requires the reader to let go of reality. Frankly the resort sounded like a lawsuit waiting to happen to me. Still, it's good, escapist fun. TGTBTU Review.

A Night For Her Pleasure by Terri Brisbin - Medieval Romance, Harlequin Historical Undone, Short Story, My Grade = C+ - A story that requires the reader to be tolerant of virginal heroines. In other words? Not for Wendy. Heh. The minute the heroine started to refer to the hero's naughty bits as "privy parts" it was pretty much downhill for me. TGTBTU Review.

Hard to Resist by Samantha Hunter - Contemporary Romance, Harlequin Blaze, My Grade = D+ - Inconsistent characters make my head hurt. Photographer heroine's ex is sitting in jail because he beat the shit out of her, she's jumpier than a jack-rabbit, yet she recovers in record time when she meets the hero. So much so that she makes the first move on him, and she lets him photograph her naked while she's um....pleasuring herself. All you abuse victims out there? You don't need therapy. All you need is a hunky Texas Ranger willing to give you mind-altering orgasms. You'll be all better in no time! ::headdesk:: Full TGTBTU Review Forthcoming.

No Longer Forbidden
by Portia Da Costa - Erotic Romance, Spice Briefs, Short Story, My Grade = C+ - Textbook Da Costa. Great first-person narration. Hot, sweaty, vanilla sex (nothing off the wall weird), but the premise just didn't work for me. Heroine is one of teacher hero's former students. TGTBTU Review.

Mountain Wild
by Stacey Kayne - Historical Western Romance, Harlequin Historical, My Grade = B- - A wonderful, self-sufficient western heroine and a hero that I seriously wanted to lick from head to toe. Plenty of external conflict thanks to the range war the hero finds himself embroiled in. Unfortunately the one dimensional villain bumped my grade down a tinch. Still, a solid western read. TGTBTU Review.

His L.A. Cinderella
by Trish Wylie - Contemporary Romance, Harlequin Romance, My Grade = C+ - Great premise, and one that I was pleasantly surprised to find in the sweet, fairy-tale oriented Harlequin Romance line. Hero and heroine are former screen writing partners. Lots of lively banter. That said? I desperately wanted more of the hero's point of view. Full TGTBTU Review Forthcoming.


Liz Fielding said...

Sweet, fairy-tale oriented Harlequin Romance? Who have you been reading lately? This is a series that tackles the kind of problems real women face. Maybe the outcome is a little more fairy tale than real life, but the emotions are real enough.

I recommend Jackie Braun's In The Shelter of His Arms

Wendy said...

Hi Liz: By sweet I mean "just kisses" - and I used to get that itch scratched by Silhouette Romance. However when Harlequin folded that line a couple of years ago, I had a hard time making the move over to Harlequin Romance. This is my perception here - but I saw lots of Playboys, Tycoons, Billionaires and Royalty. All of which are a bit of a hard sell for me. Heck, they even slapped "Cinderella" on Wylie's latest - but it was the "L.A." in the title that made me give it a go.

Which I find kind of interesting because there's really not a strong "Cinderella" vibe to the story. I mean, it's there. But you have to kinda dig for it.

So yeah - it's my perception based on the titles. Which, hello, I should know better. And I'll check out the Jackie Braun title. Thanks for the rec!

nath said...

No, it's not punishment, Wendy :) it's just the way you are :D

Hope you find some time to read :) In my opinion, it's not that you're reading slowly, just that you're too busy :)

Liz Fielding said...

Titles, Wendy are a real problem. The authors loathe them, they often don't fit the book's premise, but those hooky titles are the ones that get grabbed off the shelf. Money talks. :(

You will get more than sweet kisses with a lot of HR authors, but most, including me, write everything from the sweetest to very warm (although nothing graphic); it's hard series to pin down because it covers such a broad sweep rom fairytale to gritty, from sweet to sensual. Barbara McMahon keeps it sweet, if that's what you like.

JamiSings said...

I have to admit, every time you say something about virginital heroines I feel the need to defend them. (I know, to each their own.) I love those types best of all, especially when the guy in the book is able to break through all their defenses. But that's probably because of my real life hang ups. I've never been able to get into ones where the woman's had sex before, even if she happened to have been married prior. Oh, I enjoy erotica as much as romance, but I enjoy it more when she's an innocent who's about to have her conventional little world blown wide open.