Now let us get back to book talk, shall we? July is traditionally a slow reading month for me. Work begins to suck my brains out thanks to end of the fiscal year nuttiness and if I'm attending RWA (uh, which I did this year), I lose a whole week of reading. I'm always too tired, busy and brain-dead at conference to do anything other than pet books. Actually read one? Yeah, no can do. Still, I did manage to get five books read this month and look at all those shiny B grades!
Title links will take you to full reviews.
Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen, Mystery/Suspense, Part of Series, 2010, Grade = B+
- An excellent addition to a series that has consistently delivered solid suspense threads and interesting characters that are allowed to change and grow while not morphing into pod people. A creepy Stephen-King-esque plot thread, some closure to an on-going personal entanglement, delivered in a book that I didn't want to put down. I did have a minor, silly nit-pick, but this might be my favorite entry in this series over the last couple of books. I don't know though - I really liked The Keepsake a lot too.....
- A charming story about a heroine who runs home to her aunt's restaurant and finds her first crush, the hero, in residence. Nice "foodie" back-drop, and likable characters. My only quibble was the punctuation. Lots! Of! Exclamation! Points! Are! Distracting! Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Hero From Wrong Side Of Tracks, Heroine Haunted By Past Relationship Disaster, A Reappearing Ex, Family, Reunited And It Feels So Good.
- Former cat burglar heroine and mysterious hero team up to recover a priceless statue. Some light paranormal touches and morally ambiguous characters made for an interesting romance. The erotic romance elements were definitely the strongest here, and the author delivers in the steam department. I would have liked the suspense "stuff" to be fleshed out a bit more - but this was a quick, sizzling read that easily kept me entertained and engaged.
- A well-written western romance that doesn't skimp on character or plot development. I really liked the hero, but it took me longer to warm up to the heroine. Also, while I appreciated what Goodman was doing with this story (taking her time, setting her stage, painting the canvas for the reader), it does take a while for this story to get moving. I admired this story for it's scope, the writing and the rich details - but I didn't love it. And believe you me - I really wanted to love it. That said, I did like it - and have every intention of picking up the next book in this series.
- Bedouin princess captured in raid is saved at a slave auction by the hero, who has been summoned to his father's palace for what he fears will be his execution. If you're not a fan of "harem stories" this one is unlikely to change your mind, but the author avoids "forced seduction" (thank goodness!) and evens the playing field somewhat by having the hero fear for his own life. Still, the power dynamic in this story is a bit lop-sided. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine As Captive, Rescued!, Courtly Intrigue, Prince Hero.