Me: I know cupcake. I got sidetracked with "year end" posts, so my regular monthly recap is later than usual.
Lemon Drop: Here I've been waiting for updates on all the naughtiness you read last month! Sigh. And I have my very own book review to give!
Me: Awww, a chip off the ol' block you are. OK, let's get started and then you can give me your reading recap, OK?
Lemon Drop: Sweet!
Me: Well, I read 8 books in December, which is pretty good for me since December historically tends to be a Reading Dead Zone for me. Of course three of these were short stories, and there was an anthology in here - but yippee! Eight!
Title links will take you to full reviews
Silent Night Stakeout by Kerry Connor, Harlequin Intrigue #1236, 2010, Grade = B
- Simply put, a good solid romantic suspense tale. Criminal defense lawyer heroine finds herself working with homicide cop hero after a client she just got off a burglary rap is murdered outside her office. Liked that the adversarial relationship didn't equate civility and common sense getting tossed out the window. Compelling mystery that definitely runs on the dark side. Nice resolution to crime and the romance elements. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Lawyer Heroine, Cop Hero, Adversaries!, One Dead Client, Christmas Ahoy!
- Historical western anthology that didn't have a lot of staying power for me, but fit the bill in terms of pleasant holiday reading. Nice inspirational feel to St. John story without being preachy, although I wanted more back story. The Kernan would have annoyed as a full-length novel, but as a short story it works thanks to heroine's back story and the hero's young daughter. The Sands entry featured one of my favorite themes in westerns - the hero bent on vengeance for the death of a loved one. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Small Town = Goody Goodness, Beta Hero (St. John), Heroine Determined To Salvage Daddy's Legacy (St. John), Heroine With A Past (Kernan), Lawman Hero (Kernan), Big Misunderstanding (Kernan), Widowed Heroine (Sands), Hero Bent On Revenge (Sands), Two Kids (Kernan & Sands), Christmas Ahoy!
- My last read for the 2010 TBR Challenge. A pleasant holiday story that didn't register a strong reaction (either way) in me. Liked all the players, but did feel the main couple got a bit lost amongst all the secondary characters and holiday goo-ga. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Small Town = Goody Goodness, Preggers By Another Man Heroine, Jilted Military Hero, Family, Christmas Ahoy!
- Photojournalist heroine doing a story on smoke-jumpers (firefighters) runs afoul of the hero, the second in command at the station, who thinks womenz gotz no place around his line of work. Good story, and a nice amount of research that kept me engaged. However there were some awful romance novel writing cliches here that succeeded in really annoying me. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Journalist Heroine Determined To Prove Herself, Firefighter Jackass Alpha Hero With Woman Issues, Grovel Ahoy!
- Heroine has semi-regular hook-up arrangement with hero at local hotel. The catch? He calls the shots and she does exactly what he wants, how he wants it. The joy in this story is the pay-off. I knew immediately where this whole thing was going, but there's a moment at the end where we get inside the heroine's mind and...just wow. I see a lot of female readers really relating. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Dominant Hero, Clandestine Hook-Up, Back Door Action Ahoy!
- Heroine takes to spying on hunky new neighborhood who hasn't gotten around to putting up curtains in his bedroom yet. She wants him to look her way, and when he finally does...well, you know. This is pretty standard erotic fare with a well-done voyeuristic angle. Another dominant hero and a positive ending that has this one pretty close to erotic romance territory. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Fun With Voyeurism, Dominant Hero, Spank Ahoy!
- Subtitle: When Impulse Buys Go Horribly Wrong. Basically erotic fan fiction that sluts up Jane Austen's Emma. I'm not an Austenphile, but this still felt epically wrong to me. Silly virgin heroine, a hero who picks a laughable spot to deflower an Austen heroine, and just....well, wrong. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Virginal Heroine With Seduction On Her Mind, Noble Hero With Rescue Complex, One Debauched Costume Party (Is There Any Other Kind?)
- The conclusion to the author's Blades Of The Rose series. Nice, intellectual hero who meets his match in inquisitive, determined American reporter heroine. Felt the romance took a bit of a back seat to the wrapping up of all the "series stuff" - but still an entertaining read with some nice world-building and I liked the way Archer tied-up the series.
Me: Uhhh, didn't you mention that you have a book review?
Lemon Drop: Oh, yeah I do. Who's Hiding In The House is a very good book. I enjoyed it very much. It tastes like chicken.
Me: Wow. That sounds....delicious.
Lemon Drop: Oh it is Auntie Wendy, it is. Lots of fiber too. Yum!