Tuesday, November 9, 2010

The Month That Was October 2010

Me: Hmmm, where is Lemon Drop?

Lemon Drop: I'm right here Auntie Wendy!

Me: Where? All I see is a curious little monkey...

Lemon Drop: Auntie Wendy! It's me! I'm Curious George for Halloween!

Me: Oh, there you are! Wow, that's some costume.

Lemon Drop: I know, aren't I the cutest? Mommy calls me her little monkey. Are you back to tell me about the naughty books you read last month?

Me: I sure am! I had a pretty solid month quality-wise, although the actual numbers aren't that great. Eight books, but uh....three short stories, one anthology and a DNF. So, yeah, kinda sad. But here they are....

Title links will take you to full reviews.

Tuscan Freedom by Ruthie Michaels - Spice Briefs, 2010, Erotica digital short story, Grade = B
  • Heroine heads to Italy to visit a college friend and gets her groove back with two beautiful men in residence....and, uh, her friend. Just sayin'. This was a quick, smokin' hot read, but it fits firmly in Erotica As Fantasy. In other words - if you need the Condom Moments in your erotica or you're looking for a more thorough exploration of polyamorous relationships....yeah, just keep looking. But I liked this for what it was. Harlequin Cheat Sheets: Two Hunky Hunks, Threesomes Ahoy!, Girl On Girl, Getting Your Groove Back.
Special Delivery by Riki Kaye - Spice Briefs, 2010, Erotic romance digital short story, Grade = B
  • Hubby is burning both ends of the candle at work, leaving no time to take care of his wife. Fed up with this turn of events, she squeezes herself into a skimpy outfit, grabs a pizza, and hits hubby's office for a little afternoon delight. Spice Briefs aren't necessarily known for being "sweet" - but this one kinda was. A nice story about a married couple putting the spice back in their sex lives. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine In Desperate Need Of Orgasm, Workaholic Hubby, Heroine Taking Initiative.
Night Moves by Eden Bradley - Spice Briefs, 2010, Erotic romance digital short story, Grade = B-
  • Heroine has a thing for trains. No, really. She scurries off to secluded cabin for a little self-lovin' when she realizes she's not alone. Golly, whatever will her and the hunky surfer dude in the cabin do? Quick, sexy, with some actual dialogue outside of the sexual shenanigans. Also, a nice open ending that makes me think these two aren't quite done with each other yet. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Hot Sex With A Hot Stranger
Hill Country Hero by Ann DeFee - Harlequin American, 2010, Contemporary romance, Grade = DNF
  • Heroine catches pro-football hubby boinkin' other woman. She runs home to Daddy, who owns another team. She needs job, takes over as team mascot, and tight end hero tackles her thinking it's his no-good cousin. What we have here is "humor" and it wasn't working for me. But what really didn't work was the relationship the heroine had with her parents. It was very much Indulgent Parents and Teenage Debutante Cheerleader. You're a grown woman and your mother scolds you for not eating your broccoli? Seriously? You know what I do when my Mom makes something I'm not wild about? I DON'T EAT IT! I fend for myself! Also, neither here nor there, the football stuff didn't ring true. Chalk it up to me having watched every blessed season of Hard Knocks.
The Librarian's Secret Scandal by Jennifer Morey - Silhouette Romantic Suspense, 2010, Part of series, Romantic suspense, Grade = C-
  • Former town bad girl comes home to take care of ill father. Then the local sheriff comes a callin', which only adds fuel to the fire for the gossipmongers. I was fine with the heroine willing to martyr herself, it was her willingness to subject her teenage daughter to the mountains of shit that bothered me. A lot. Great hero though, and nice suspense thread for the continuity series. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Rape Survivor Heroine, Beta Hero, One Teenage Daughter, One Disapproving Daddy, All Small Town Residents Are Assholes
My Heroes Have Always Been Cowboys by Lorraine Heath, Georgina Gentry and Teresa Bodwell - Kensington, 2006, Historical western romance anthology, Grades = A, DNF, C
  • My monthly TBR read. The Gentry story was so awful I stopped reading after the first chapter. The Bodwell story was better, but the first sex scene really turned me off. Now the Heath story? Magic. Pure magic. Great exploration of hero-worship and heroes, with a gut-puncher of a finish.
Surrender to an Irish Warrior by Michelle Willingham - Harlequin Historical, 2010, Part of series, Medieval romance, Grade = B+
  • Having survived a brutal (well is there any other kind?) gang rape, heroine is miscarrying her baby when the hero steps in and saves her life. Hero is former bard/storyteller hunting for the men who killed his betrothed. The same men who brutalized the heroine. This is a heavy, angsty story, and it pretty much sucks all the light out of the room while you're reading. That said, with two emotionally damaged characters, and a humdinger of a mystery, it makes the happily-ever-after all the sweeter. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Rape Survivor Heroine, Hero Bent On Vengeance, One Dead Fiancee', One Guilt-Ridden Younger Sister, Happily Married Siblings From Previous Books.
Impulsive by HelenKay Dimon - Kensington Brava, 2010, Part of series, Contemporary romance, Grade = B
  • Jilted ex-boyfriend gets his groove thang on with a sexy waitress at his former girlfriend's wedding. These two can't keep their hands off each other - but he's running for political office and she's a 20-something train wreck with a Big Secret. Plenty of sexy sizzle, loads of great dialogue, and a scrumptious hero. It took me longer to warm up to the heroine, and I had reservations about the romance early on, but it all comes together in the end.
Lemon Drop: Wow, that's lots of naughtiness. Hey, Auntie Wendy? Do all librarians have "secret scandals?"

Me: Uhhh.....I plead the fifth.

Lemon Drop: So....what's yours?

Me: Oh sweetie. You're definitely too young for this conversation.

Lemon Drop: But not too young to hear about threesomes and heroines who have train fetishes?

Me: Oh look what I have? Shiny, shiny car keys!

Lemon Drop: Weeeeee! Gimme, gimme, gimme!

Me: Whew!


LoriK said...

That's one seriously cute kid in a very cute costume.

nath said...

OMG, Wendy!! She is soooo cute and I love your "conversations"!

sounds like you had an okay reading month :P and LOL at the DNF book about the mother scolding the daughter about not eating her broccoli :P

SarahT said...

Lemon Drop is cute! I think you read more books than I did in October. I'll have to go back and check. At any rate, it was slooow.

Wendy said...

LoriK: She is pretty cute...and chubby. She's starting to remind me of her Momma when she was at that age.

Nath: My immediate reaction was "How old is this heroine?" and I set the book down. Yes, I DNF'ed a book over broccoli. OK, so that wasn't the only reason...but still.

Sarah: Yeah, it just wasn't the most productive month for me. I never seemed to find a groove....

Lil Sis said...

Hmm, maybe I need to monitor Lemon Drop's conversations with her Auntie Wendy from now on. :) Goodness - the naughtiness! Oh, and I have to agree with everyone - she is pretty darn cute! She's having giggling fits now - need to catch one on video.

*Goddess* said...

Awww, I bet Lemon Drop's parents are so proud. She's such a sweety.

*Goddess* said...

BTW, LOL'ing @ "All Small Town Residents Are Assholes". Apparently they're all incredibly nosy, too:)

CindyS said...

I was just wondering about Lemon Drop and I stop over and here she is. What sweetness she is.

I've been a wee bit busy with the AAR poll for top 100 Favourite romance books but every time I recognize a title from way back I think 'dang, I need to read that one again.' So re-reading might be on the agenda in the new year.

Yikes! I said New Year!!

Must go lay down.

Jill Sorenson said...

So cute OMG.

Leslie said...

Awe - Lemon Drop makes such a cute George! I really enjoy her visits to the bat cave.

Tuscan Freedom is on my nook. I'm as curious as George about that threesome. :) Thanks for the condom warning. LOL

Sarah said...

This is the only way to do these month in review posts now. You always have to include that cutie pie.

marelou said...

Awww. . . she's adorable. I was gonna ask where Lemon Drop's been. You didn't tell me she went on safari with Curious George. Tried to see if I could find Surrender (mainly for the cover, ya, i'm shallow like that)- still working on it. Thanks for the update Wendy and Lemon Drop. And Wendy, better watch out; eventually Lemon Drop won't be easily distracted with shiny things. (well, maybe diamonds)

Renee said...

SO cute!

I can't believe she's already so big! It felt like just yesterday you were saying that your sister was pregnant.

Lets just say, as one with my oldest nephew now in his 30s, it seems like they just keep getting older, more and more quickly.

Liza said...

Lemon Drop is such a cutie!!!

Wendy said...

Lil' Sis: Well next month should be a little tamer. I've read several G-rated books this month so far.

Goddess: Another favorite from past Harlequin Cheat Sheets is Small Town = Goody Goodness. These books where they're all assholes though stump me. I mean, if everyone who lives there is an asshole, WHY does the hero and/or heroine "want" to live there?

Cindy: I hardly ever re-read. Too much TBR Guilt :(

Jill: The cuteness...it burns!

Leslie: I can roll with Lack Of Condom Disclosure in erotica, but I totally understand why some readers just can't.

Sarah: Lemon Drop has now appeared in 3 of these monthly recap posts. I suspect she'll be hanging around for a while, otherwise I might have a revolt on my hands.

Marelou: Lil' Sis is big Curious George fan, so the choice in Halloween costume shocked no one. And on safari with George! LOVE IT! LOL

Renee & Liza: She's....8 months now? At that age where she seems to change from one day to the next.

*Goddess* said...

"Goody goodness"..is that where EVERYBODY in the town loves them, no matter what?! And they drip with so much sweetness they could be used as a sugar substitute? Yeah, I so hate that sort of character.

Wendy said...

Goddess: Or when the author wants to evoke Mayberry, but instead ends up landing in Stepford! LOL

marelou said...

. . . nothing to add here -- just wanted to say -- Lemon drop sure is adorable. She's sooo cute, I want to squeeze her. (sorry)