Thursday, April 8, 2010

The Month That Was March 2010

Eight books for the month of March, which is actually very good for me. What's not so good is that two of those eight were titles I DNF'ed. I debated on counting them, but then figured since they are now out of my Ginormous TBR Mountain Range From Hell, that hell yeah I was counting them! Sneaky? Sure. Slightly dishonest? Maybe. Padding my numbers? OK, definitely. But it's my blog, my spreadsheet and therefore, my rules. The truth is out. Wendy considers herself a dictator in her own mind.

Here's how it breaks down. Title links take you to full reviews:

Pieces Of Sky by Kaki Warner - Historical western romance, 2010, Grade = B-
  • Is this the greatest western ever written? No. Is it a fine debut? Yes. A heroine running from her past and a hero trying to hang on to his ranch fall in love against the back drop of a long-standing blood feud. Nice saga feel to the story, plenty of grit, but did feel that parts of the tale were given short-shift and glossed over. A nice debut, and a good start to the trilogy.
Heart Of Stone by Jill Marie Landis - Inspirational historical western romance, 2010, Grade = B
  • Heroine desperate to keep her past dead and buried, finds herself attracting the attention of the hero, the local preacher whose own past shows up unannounced one day. This is a gentle inspirational story that employs forgiveness as it's central theme to set up a proposed four-book series. The hero is a little too slick and lacks depth, but the stand-out heroine and intriguing premise really sold me on the story. Looking forward to the future books.
Silver Lining by Maggie Osborne - Historical western romance, 2000, Grade = DNF
  • DNF'ing a Maggie Osborne is a sign of the Apocalypse around the Bat Cave. I was intrigued by the heroine, but the premise wasn't gellin' for me and frankly - I thought the hero was an asswipe and was let off the hook way too easily.
Just One Touch by Debra Mullins - Historical Regency romance, 2005, Grade = DNF
  • This story was a complete mess. The heroine's father was a moron. The hero suffered from multiple personality disorder, and the wallpaper history was beyond thin. The heroine might have been tolerable, but stacked up against those other sins, she didn't stand a chance. I gave up two-thirds of the way through.
Entertaining Mr. Stone by Portia Da Costa - Contemporary Erotica, 2006, Grade = C+
  • My read for Keishon's TBR Challenge. Da Costa has written both erotica and erotic romance - and this book wasn't quite sure what it wanted to be. A bit kinkier than some of Da Costa's other work, I was never convinced that a relationship with the hero was really in the best interests of the heroine. A decent read, but nowhere near my favorite from this author, and one I'm unlikely to reread.
Butterfly Tattoo by Deirdre Knight - Contemporary Romance, LGBT, 2009, Grade = B+
  • Bisexual hero still mourning the death of his lover, falls in love with the emotionally and physically scarred heroine. A tender romance with loads of angst-y baggage. I was less enthralled with the soap-opera-y sub plot, but this is a good, solid, emotionally charged read. It won't be to everybody's tastes, but what book is?
Wedding Night With The Ranger by Lauri Robinson - Historical Western eBook Short Story, 2010, Grade = C+
  • The first ever western offered by the short story digital Undone line was a bit of a mixed bag. A well-done Big Misunderstanding plot, nice hero and heroine, and some risky moves like a preacher villain and a heroine sick to death of endless charity work. However, the villain is all bark, no bite, and a secondary character who sets the whole plot in motion (the heroine's Daddy) stays entirely off-page.
Notorious Eliza by Barbara Monajem - Historical Regency eBook Short Story, 2010, Grade = B-
  • This one was a pleasant surprise! Heroine with notorious reputation is hired by hero's uncle to paint over some scandalous murals in his ballroom. Hero is looking for wife and falls under the spell of the completely unsuitable heroine. Sexy, sassy, an all-around great read. If it weren't for the huge honkin' hot button of mine that got pushed after the first sex scene I would have loved this one to pieces.
And that's all folks. Oh, and why Timothy Olyphant you ask? Because I'm hooked people. Well and truly hooked. Plus, why the heck not?


Kwana said...

Thanks for this. I love your recaps.

Lynette said...

I keep hearing about the Pieces fo the Sky. I'm going to have to try and check that out.

Thanks for the recaps. Our takes are somewhat similiar, so I know if you don't like something, I most likely won't. LOL.

Anonymous said...

Holy Batgirl! A DNF for Silver Linings?? :) Do her other books stand the test of time for you? (just curious about changing tastes and all that)

I do need to try the Kaki Warner, I'm seeing lots of buzz about it.

Jane A.

bafriva said...

Hi Wendy
I read Pieces of Sky,really enjoyed it, and I am happy you finally read it. I'd give it closer to a B+. The psycho villain was the only choker for me; the hero and heroine's relationship was great and the supporting characters were interesting, especially his brothers. I really liked that the setting wasn't California or Colorado.


nath said...

Well you tried to read them right? :) So you get points for that :) The good thing about reading a reasonable amount of books is that you can review them all :D

Leslie said...

I'm just ignoring that Maggie Osborne DNF. That's me being a dictator in my own mind. LOL

And now you've got me real curious about that show. I'll try Hulu and see if I can catch up on it.

Kristie (J) said...

You did the Western proud in March - even though your favourite author disappointed. The only one we both read was Pieces of Sky.

Jennifer Estep said...

I agree -- Justified is totally awesome.

I think I'll wait for Pieces of Sky to come out in paperback. I picked up Audrey and the Maverick by Elaine Levine. Now, I just need to read Rachel and the Hired Gun first ...

Wendy said...

Kwana: And I like doing the recaps :)

Lynette: Pieces of Sky was a good, solid debut. Looking forward to the next book in the series.

Jane: Maggie Osborne does stand the test of time for me, it's just this book that didn't "work" for me. Looking back on it, I really disliked the hero and I thought the author took the easy way out by making The Other Woman pure evil.

Barb: A lot of the feud "stuff" was "off page" and that detracted for me. But yes! I loved the New Mexico setting here. It was so well done, and a breath of fresh air.

Nath: I pretty much review everything I read. It's a compulsion. Plus, I'm not a fast reader, so it's pretty easy for me to keep on top of my reviewing.

Leslie: Since I have 4 of her books in my keeper stash, and several more in my TBR - I'm working with the theory that the DNF for Silver Lining was a fluke.

Kristie: It wasn't until I did this recap that I realize how MANY westerns I read this month. Wowzers!

Jennifer: And My Man likes the show too! So it's win-win!