Every reader has a "method" for breaking out of a dreaded reading slump. Whether it's to reread old favorites, or pick up a book by an author who usually delivers for them. Me? I tend to suck it up and try to power through it. In other words, just sit my ass in the nearest chair, pick up a book, and read it. My slumps usually are the result of reading several lackluster books in a row, and it's amazing how quickly I get the mojo back when I actually read ::gasp:: books that are entertaining me. Last week I managed to read six books. Yeah, six. OK, so they were all Harlequins - but still that's already two more books than I managed to read all of last month. Since I took the weekend off from blogging, I thought I'd jump-start the Bat Cave by taking an opportunity to talk about a couple of these recent reads:
Under The Boss's Mistletoe by Jessica Hart is a November Harlequin Romance with a lackluster title and back cover description, but ooooh, look at the purdy cover! I'll be honest. I like reading the hot sexxoring in romance novels. I love erotica. I love erotic romance. Truly. But sometimes I need a sweet read. And by sweet I don't mean saccharine, toothache inducing either. I just want a nice, straight-forward, "traditional" romance. I devoured this story in record time, charmed by the wedding planner heroine and the former bad boy hero who is wound fairly tight. Glory be, characters who actually talk to each other? Well-done sexual tension and chemistry? Be still my heart! My review has been posted over at TGTBTU and I'm thinking I might have to buy a Dead Tree copy to add to my collection (yep, read this one as an ebook).
Longtime readers of this blog may remember a time when I was severely burnt out on Regency historicals. When I say burn-out, I mean downright crippling. It lasted for years. It got to the point where I was reading maybe one Regency-set book a year. That's how bad it was. However, now that the burn out has begun to lift, I'm getting back into the Regency groove, "discovering" authors that others have been likely reading for years. My latest find is Julia Justiss. I read her latest (and insipidly titled) From Waif To Gentleman's Wife (an October Harlequin Historical) over the weekend, and really enjoyed it.
One reason I suspect it's easy for me to get burnt out on this sub genre is that after a while I get fed up with reading about rich, privileged people. Just do. Honestly, that probably explains my rabid devotion to the western romance more than anything else ever could. What struck me about Justiss' latest was how "real" it felt. The heroine comes from a "good" family, but she's broke. When her solider husband dies, and her in-laws wash their hands of her, she's left with few options, so she becomes a governess. When the Lady of the house catches her husband accosting our heroine, she fires her. Because, you know, it's all her fault that the Lord is a lecherous asshole. Getting fired means no references for future employment. None. With only a small stash of coins to her name, our heroine is well and truly screwed. Which is how she ends up meeting our hero. With her back up against the wall, and hoping to throw herself on the mercy of her brother (who, it turns out, has gone missing).
It's the sort of book that makes me infinitely happy to have been born in the latter half of the 20th century. Because this is how it was for women back in the day. You were at the mercy of men and the circumstance of who you were born to. It was also nice to read about a hero, who while titled, wasn't anywhere remotely near "bad boy" or "rake." No debauchery, no string of mistresses, no drinking, no gambling, no endless litany of how all he needs is the "love of a good woman" to reform him.
A review is forthcoming over at TGTBTU, but yeah - this one earned a B from me. Which means I'm definitely entertaining the idea of reading more books by Justiss. Anyone have any recommendations for either her or Jessica Hart? Because I am listening.