I've been mired in a horrible reading slump. The kind of slump where I don't feel like picking up a book. At all. I'm trying to power my way through it, but it's been rough going. It doesn't help matters that my reading lately has been pretty lackluster. A lot of "C"s and I've read a grand total of two "A" books for the entire year.
Seriously, I'm dying over here people.
I'm trying. I really am. But at this point I sort of feel like I'm barely keeping my head above water. Worse still, is that this reading malaise is starting to spill over into my blogging. I just can't seem to find my groove. At all.
Oh well. Suck it up Wendy. Nobody likes a whiner.
Which brings us to my pathetic recap of the reading I got done in September. I read seven books last month, two of which were short stories - so I'm not sure they count. Title links will take you to full reviews. Here's how it breaks down:
Highland Rebel by Judith James, historical romance, Restoration England, My Grade = B+
- This would be the best read of the month. The heroine started out rocky, but after I got past the first 50 pages, this book really cooked for me. I loved the history and setting, enjoyed the devil may care hero, and yes - the heroine grew on me once the author filled in her back story. I wasn't enamored with the author's debut novel (which was almost a DNF for me), and I was happy that me giving her a second chance paid off.
- Myers' last several books have all been set in the same small mountain resort community. Earlier this year I read a previous book in the series, and really enjoyed it. So I thought I'd try the next book in the series. I'm sad to say it didn't work nearly as well for me. When the heroine wasn't self-absorbed, she was pretty dense. I couldn't figure out why the hero spent the last 10 years mooning over her.
- This erotic short story started out with such promise thanks to an engaging narration style, but it quickly went down hill with snobbish, boorish characters and a bizarre twist at the end. I think the author can write though, so I'm going to read the next short story in The Countess Trilogy. What the heck, right? It's a short story!
- The heroine is marginally rocky here (pining for another man) but the hero is so wonderfully deliciously Beta that he picks up the slack. Lots of action and derring-do keep the plot humming along, and I'm looking forward to reading the full-length tie-in to this short story, Taming Her Irish Warrior.
- I really enjoy Templeton's category romances, and sadly this one was just OK for me. I felt there was a fair amount of series-itis going on here (it's book four), and the conflict surrounding the hero's dead wife was a little too conveniently wrapped up. Nice characters, but thought the conflict needed some more juice.
- Ultimately it was the cliches that sunk this book for me. The hero is a damaged FBI agent who blames himself for his fiance's death. The heroine is a drop-dead gorgeous swimsuit model (blah), who has a serial killer stalking her but that doesn't stop her from doing dumb shit that puts her in danger. Swear to God, she keeps wanting to go outside to do inane shit like play in the snow! Hello? Serial killer on the loose? Remember him? Some of the relationship stuff was OK, and I liked that the heroine called the hero on most of his bullshit. Too many bad romantic suspense cliches though.
- My most disappointing read of the month, and if I'm honest with myself now, I probably should have graded this a D+. The characters don't talk to each other - to the point where the hero keeps pushing the heroine away "for her own good" and the heroine, who travels from South Carolina to Texas to find the hero!, doesn't come right out and tell him he's her baby daddy the moment she lays eyes on him. The revelation is dragged out until towards the end of the book, where the hero proceeds to continue his pity party. Luckily the heroine reaches down deep, finds her damn spine, and that saved the last third of the book for me. I was also mightily annoyed that the hero in the previous book I adored was a raging jackass for most of this story.
Suck it up Wendy. Suck it up.