Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What's In ILL? A Mistress, A Convict And A Would-Be Nun

It's been a while, and I for one am overdo for my InterLibrary Loan fix. So I wandered across the hall this morning to paw through the books that are stacked up, waiting to be sent out - either to our patrons or to other libraries for their patrons. Sadly, no long out-of-print Harlequins to feast your eyes on today, but some interesting choices nonetheless.

Once A Mistress by Rebecca Hagan Lee
How fitting that the Marquess of Templeston should die in the arms of his mistress. And how like his responsible son to make sure the terms of the will are earned out--no matter how outrageous. But he never imagines that one woman is living in a cottage on the grounds of his family's country estate. Even more shocking is her identity . . .

Kathryn Stafford abandoned Andrew at the altar and disappeared five years before. That she should emerge now, as his own father's lover--and with a bastard son--is a crushing blow to his pride . . . and to the longing that her betrayal couldn't quite destroy. But Kathryn has secret Andrew doesn't know: secrets of her vanishing, of her devotion to the marquess, and of a scandalous past that could be her ultimate downfall--or prove her ultimate devotion to the only man she has ever really loved...
Good Lord! Talk about a train wreck! The hero finds out the chickie who left him at the altar was boinking his Daddy?! And there's a secret baby?! Wowzers! Good thing Daddy is dead because dang, that could make for awkward holiday gatherings. Although something tells me that there's a Big Secret lurking in this plot description. Chalk it up to my Romance Reading Spidey Sense.

Unlawful Contact by Pamela Clare
Journalist Sophie Alton is investigating the disappearance of a young mother named Megan, recently paroled and now running from the law with her baby daughter. Sophie's search leads her to Megan's brother, Marc, a convicted killer--and the man she shared an unforgettable night with twelve years ago.

Condemned to life in prison, Marc uses Sophie to escape so he can find his sister and protect her from the monster who's pursuing her. Sophie knows she should fear Marc. But the heat and hunger of his touch still lingers in her mind--and on her body--after all this time.

Together they will follow a dangerous trail, as people on both sides of the law do everything they can to keep Sophie and Mark from finding Megan--and a shocking truth about the past...
Book three in the author's romantic suspense series, and buried somewhere in the Bat Cave TBR Mountain Range. I had a bad experience with one of Clare's earlier romantic suspense novels, but bought this one because I got sucked into the promo stuff the author did online at the time. Yeah, even I'm not immune.

Always by Lynsay Sands
Bastard daughter to the king, Rosamunde is raised in a convent and wholly prepared to take the veil ... until good King Henry shows up with a reluctant husband in tow for her. Suddenly, she finds herself promising to love, honor, and obey Aric ... always. But Rosamunde's education has not covered a wedding night, and the stables are a poor example for an untried girl. Will Aric bite her neck like the animals do their mates? The virile warrior seems capable of such animal passion, but his eyes promise something sweeter. And Rosamunde soon learns that while she may have trouble with obeying him, it will not be hard to love her new husband forever.
Here's a blast from the Bat Cave past - I reviewed this one pre-blogging days when I was still at The Romance Reader. In a nutshell? It made my eyes bleed. Funny opening chapters (really great) but then the hero morphs into Jealous Asshole Who Should Be Filleted and the heroine is so frackin' sweet it's amazing she doesn't take a walk in the woods, singing and dancing with small furry woodland creatures a la Disney's Sleeping Beauty. "I know you, I walked with you once upon a dream....."

Ahem, anywho....

So that's what I uncovered in ILL. Anyone read any of these? Any keepers among this trio? Hey, you can even disagree with me about the Sands medieval. I'm a big girl. I can take it.


Tara Marie said...

That's an interesting combination of books.

1. I've been reading romance a really long time. Rebecca Hagan Lee has to be writing at least 15 years and I've never read her, probably because her blurbs read like that sounds like a mess.

2. I'm not a fan of Clare's RS, I do like her historicals, but I would have passed on this one for probably the same reasons you did.

3. I have several friends who LOVE Lynsay Sands medievals, I've read them, but never liked them. Is she sweet or just too stupid to know better?

LibraryJill said...

Wendy, I have read Always a Mistress and there is more to the story. Don't remember what, so I guess it wasn't so memorable! But I did enjoy it as light reading.

Katie Mack said...

I have the Clare in my TBR, despite my humble opinion that Hard Evidence was terrible and Extreme Exposure was just meh. Frankly, I'm not sure exactly why I got suckered into getting the third one. Eternal optimism? Three times a charm? Brain freeze that day? Hopefully whenever I get around to reading it I won't regret my impulses. :)

Phyl said...

Lets see...

I have the Lee in my TBR pile. I've read others by her and I think LibraryJill is right, her books are "light reading." I'm sure I'll know what's coming, but still be entertained. I should dig it out.

I'm a big Pamela Clare fan and despite how unlikely the prison break was, I did love this book.

And I've tried Lynsay Sands and have given up. She's just not for me. Tara Marie, good question :-)

Wendy said...

TM: I loved one of Lee's American historicals, Gossamer, so much that it's in the Bat Cave Keeper Stash. I read one of her Regencies back in my TRR days and it was "OK, but lacked staying power." So much so that I couldn't remember the title or plot. Thank goodness it was still in the TRR archives (it was Barely A Bride and I rated it the equivalent to a C)

LibraryJill: Oh, I'm sure there was more to the story. My guess? She wasn't really Daddy's mistress, he was just "protecting" her from someone or something else.

Katie: I loathed Hard Evidence so much that I weeded Extreme Exposure out of the TBR without ever reading it. Clare made the blog rounds while promoting Unlawful Contact and I found her posts about her research really interesting. Hence, I bought the book. Still haven't read it, but it's in the TBR.

Phyl: Yeah, that was the impression I got from the one Lee Regency I read. It was light and readable, but didn't really "stick" with me. Like I told TM, I love her American historical, Gossamer. It's set in 19th century San Francisco.

LOL - and as for the Sands heroine being sweet or just too stupid to know better? Ooooh, let's say it's a little from column A and a little from column B.....

Renee said...

I'm actually intrigued by the Lee book. I'm a bit of a sucker for a secret baby, when done well. Especially, in a historical: it feels like the usual excuses are more plausible than in a contemporary.

"But Rosamunde's education has not covered a wedding night, and the stables are a poor example for an untried girl. Will Aric bite her neck like the animals do their mates? "

Those lines alone would make me put it back on the self and back away slowly.

LoriK said...

I liked Extreme Exposure OK, but Hard Evidence was a DNF. The heroine was so stupid she made me want to scream.

I read Unlawful Contact as a sort of tie breaker and liked it pretty well, but that was in spite of some major stupidity issues. The prison break was flat out insane and Sophie does some things that were truly smack-worthy level dumb. For whatever reason I just took a liking to her and to Marc and enjoyed the book for that reason.

Janet Webb said...

Oh you are a baaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaad woman: you know I'll take one quick look at your blog and then I'll add that mistress book to my Must Have list: off to do just that. #2 sounds good too ... as for #3, well, I'm taking a medievals break :D

Wendy said...

Renee: Which would be why I don't do heavy duty reviewing anymore. When I was with TRR I slogged through every. single. word. in. every. single. book. that. was. making. my. eyes. bleed. I chugged along for about 8 years like that and eventually had to throw in the towel.

LoriK: See my response to Renee above. Hard Evidence was a book I got for review via TRR - which meant I had to finish it. Trust me. You didn't miss anything by giving up on it and marking it DNF. The heroine drove me bat-shit crazy and the identity of the villain? OMG. I better stop talking about it now. My blood pressure is spiking.

Janet: I wish I remembered who it was now. I want to say it was an author. Anywho she said she bought every book with the word "mistress" in the title. She couldn't help herself. Sort of like me and "cowboy" I think. Heh.

Lyndee said...

Even the blurb on "Always" made me want to hack up my dinner. Furthermore, Aric? Really? I say either give him a weird-ass name, or spell it the right way. Giving him a normal name, but spelling it weird is just pretending you possess creativity that you do not. :) (Sorry, pet peeve.)

sybil said...

I own all three :)

Don't think I have read the Rebecca Hagan Lee or the series, whatever happen to her?

The Clare I loved, and the research you speak of is at TGTBU I am scared to go see if it is formated or not. She spent a night in jail researching the novel. We did a series of posts on it and IIRC she gave some background on the woman who gave birth in jail (a cause for reform she fights for) in the posts. But I could be wrong.

And I can't member if I have read that Sands or not, she is very hit or miss for me.

Wendy said...

Lyndee: Most blurbs for "funny ha-ha" books make one want to hack their dinner. Which might be why I tend to avoid any book with a whiff on the "funny ha-ha" stink on it.

Sybil: I'm not sure about Lee. Her web site is woefully out of date.

Yeah, I got suckered into the Clare r/s because of the TGTBTU posts. Damn you!

I've read two historicals by Sands. One I "liked" (The Switch) and the other (Always) drove me insane. Haven't tried anything else by her - but that's mostly because she's largely paranormal these days and, um yeah - burnt out.

Sarah said...

I really enjoyed the Pamela Clare title. But I really like that series of hers. Haven't read the others.

ReneeW said...

1) I actually had this one in my TBR for several years. While doing a purge I came across it and thought "who the heck is Rebecca Hagan Lee and why is this person on the cover sitting in a tree"? I had no clues so it went in the purge pile. I'm kinda sorry I did now that I read the blurb. It sounds kinda interesting. :)

2) I read this one and really enjoyed it (a B+) but then I have liked most of Clare's RS (Hard Evidence was so-so). Loved the kidnapping angle but it was rather unrealistic.

3) Have never tried Sands and the reviews I have read on her work don't look so good so I have never been tempted.

Jill D. said...

I have read Unlawful Contact. As for her books this is the one that would be safest for you to read, because I know how you hate TSTL heroines. Whatever you do, don't read Hard Evidence cause I am sure the heroine will make you want to strangle her.

Now having said that, I liked it :)