Wednesday, December 8, 2010

The Month That Was November 2010

Lemon Drop: Merry Christmas Auntie Wendy!

Me: My, my, my Lemon Drop. Don't you look festive?

Lemon Drop: It's hard work being this cute, but it's a living.

Me: Wow. Not only did your Mommy get the tree up, she has presents under it already, gift-wrapped even?

Lemon Drop: Yeah, I'm quickly learning that Mommy is a little particular about things....

Me: You mean....anal retentive?

Lemon Drop: Auntie Wendy! I would never say such a thing (the woman does change my diapers and feed me - I know which side my bread is buttered on!)

Me: Smart and cute. That's my girl. So, you wanna hear about what I read last month?

Lemon Drop: Fire away!

Ahem, OK. I read seven books last month. Would have liked to have that number be higher, but it's hard to argue with the quality. Title links will take you to full reviews.

Scoundrel by Zoe Archer, Victorian Historical Paranormal, Part of Series, Zebra, 2010, Grade = B-
  • Book 2 in the Blades Of The Rose series. A truly delicious scoundrel hero, and a smart heroine breaking out of a sheltered mold her eviiiiiil father has erected around her. I felt the heroine could have wrestled more with the new-found knowledge that Daddy Is Evil, but thought the romance was nice and steamy, and loved the Greece setting.
Juggling Briefcase & Baby by Jessica Hart, Harlequin Romance #4199, Part of Series, 2010, Grade = A
  • Not a perfect book, but one that earned an "A" thanks to the emotional gut-punch I got during the final chapters. There's a secret baby angle here (hero ain't the daddy) that annoyed the crap out of me, but the pay-off to the romance more than made up for it. For me at any rate. Hart may be my biggest discovery of 2010. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Secret Baby, Daddy Issues (Hero & Heroine!), CEO, Reunited!, Single Mother, Opposites Attract
Wedding Date With The Best Man by Melissa McClone, Harlequin Romance #4193, Part of Series, 2010, Grade B+
  • Heroine who called off her wedding 7 months ago after she discovered her fiance' was a lying cheat, finds herself spending time with his BFF - the guy who would have been the best man. Nice use of the Big Secret trope (the hero's got one) and setting (San Diego and Las Vegas) Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine Done Wrong, Opposites Attract, Big Secret, Three Now Happily Married BFFs, One Slimy Ex-Fiance'.
Deserted Island, Dreamy Ex by Nicola Marsh, Harlequin Romance #4194, 2010, Grade = B+
  • Heroine finds herself reunited with the hero who broke her heart eight years ago when they're both tapped to film a documentary. A documentary that will require them to be alone on a deserted island for a week. Two stubborn characters lead to great confrontation scenes and a hard-fought happily-ever-after. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Reunited!, Commitment Issues (Hero), One Down-And-Out Sister.
To Find You Again by Maureen McKade, Historical Western Romance, Berkley, 2004, Grade = B
  • My TBR Challenge read for the month. A solid western from McKade. Great outsider hero, and a heroine torn between two worlds. At times I felt the heroine's naivete didn't mesh with her "life experiences," and I would have liked a more in depth reason for her Daddy hatin' on the hero, but other than that? A good, solid read.
Rebel by Zoe Archer, Victorian Historical Paranormal, Part of Series, Zebra, 2010, Grade = B
  • Book 3 in the Blades Of The Rose series and my favorite so far. Really liked the capable, strong and wounded heroine. A good, solid paranormal hero. Good use of frontier Vancouver as a setting, and it sets up the final book in the series quite well.
Mistletoe and the Lost Stiletto by Liz Fielding, Harlequin Romance #4206, 2010, Grade = C+
  • Cinderella's fairy tale comes crashing down around her ears, and leads her straight into the arms of an emotionally wounded Beast hero. Nice holiday feel to a story that felt ready-made for either the small or big screen. Found the romance a bit lacking though, especially given the short time frame between heroine's Failed Relationship to happy ending with our hero. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine On The Run, Wounded Hero, Christmas, Cinderella, Beauty And The Beast, One Slimy Ex-Fiance'.
Lemon Drop: Did Mommy get to you? Where's the steamy stuff?

Me: Well, the Zoe Archer books are pretty steamy....

Lemon Drop: No menage a trois? No fetishes? What gives?!

Me: Hey, a librarian cannot live on erotica alone. That, and I got distracted by Harlequin Romances this month. That's a line your Mommy would approve of.

Lemon Drop: Kisses! All I get are kisses? Bah!

Me: Well, maybe next month kiddo.


Sabrina @ about happy books said...

What a cute pic!
Looks like you had a pretty good month with the books you read. I also like the Blades and I'm right now reading #4.

Lil Sis said...

Glad you cleaned up your selections for my daughter this month. Oh, and one shouldn't call one names...especially since I haven't finished Christmas shopping for you yet! :)

I'm not anal retentive - just particular. You'll appreciate this when you come for Christmas dinner. :)

Wendy said...

Sabrina: It was a very good month as far as quality goes. I would have liked my numbers to have been higher, but hard to argue with all those B grades!

Lil' Sis: I can call you anal retentive because we all suffer from that particular affliction. Thank you Big Daddy!

And yeah, pretty tame month as far as the steamy stuff goes. Zoe Archer writes pretty hot - but it's not erotica!

Gail Dayton said...

Darn you, SuperLibrarian! Now I have even MORE books on my "want to read" list.

No wait--that's a good thing. Now I can have good books waiting for me on my Reader when I have to go back & deal with parents. Yay, SuperLibrarian!!

Wendy said...

Gail: LOL! I've been hitting the HR line pretty hard these days. I made myself stop for a bit - read an Intrigue and a Historical - so Sybil would have some reviews from different lines for TGTBTU.

It's great, because I've discovered several new writers I like - but hard because I've been neglecting books in some of my other favorite lines. Like HH and HSR.....

Sigh. Just not enough hours in the day to read!

Anonymous said...

Somehow I missed your Nicola Marsh review. I'm intrigued. What the heck, I'm just going to buy it right now on my Kindle. (What is that about immediate gratification in your newest post? ;) )


Wendy said...

Vi: I'm so glad my Sony Reader doesn't have wifi capabilities. I shudder to think how much trouble I'd get in if it did! LOL

I read another really good Nicola Marsh HR back in October - Three Times A Bridesmaid. You can see that full review here:

She also writes for HP, but I haven't had a chance to check any of those out yet....

nath said...

LOL, I really love that you include pictures of Lemon Drop in your monthly list... Man, she's growing fast :)

Ugh. I wavered about the Jessica Hart... wasn't sure if I should or not, now I guess I should have. Sigh.

Wendy said...

Nath: It was the second half of that book that worked so well for me. The heroine drove me slightly insane during the first half, and her "reasoning" behind keeping her baby a secret was mind-numbing. But as the romance cooks, and we get confrontation scenes at the end....well....::swoon::