Monday, July 18, 2011

The Month That Was June 2011

Me: Hey, hey Lemon Drop!

Lemon Drop:  ::dead silence::

Me: How's it going sweetheart?

Lemon Drop:  ::crickets chirping::

Me: Oh silly child, it's going to take more than the silent treatment for me to shut-up.  Well, while you decide if you're going to tell me what's wrong - let me talk about the books I read last month.  Even with RWA going on, I managed to read 11 books in June!  Sort of.  One of these was a DNF.

Lemon Drop: ::shrug::

Title links will take you to full reviews.

The Sheikh's Impetuous Love Slave by Marguerite Kaye - Historical romance digital short story, Harlequin Historical Undone, 2011, Grade = B
  • Heroine survives a shipwreck, only to be rescued by men who roll her up in a carpet and deliver her to their sheik.  Sexy times, naturally, abound.  A nice sexy short story.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet:  Sheikh Ahoy!, Captive!
More Than Words by Carly Phillips, Donna Hill & Jill Shalvis - Contemporary romance anthology, Harlequin, 2011, Grade = B
  • Latest anthology honoring Harlequin's More Than Words recipients.  A nice blend of "issues" and romance, and a great way to highlight community-active and driven women. 
Get A Clue by Jill Shalvis - Contemporary romantic suspense, Brava, 2005, Grade = DNF
  • After really enjoying the Shalvis entry in the More Than Words anthology, I decided to pull this one out for my TBR Challenge read.  After 50 pages, I threw in the towel.  It managed to set off every single one of my Danger, Danger Wacky Hijinks Ahoy! alarm bells.  I so wasn't in the mood.
Billion Dollar Baby Bargain by Tessa Radley - Contemporary romance, Silhouette Desire, 2009, Grade = D+
  • Billionaire hero and the heroine who loathes him find themselves sharing joint custody of an infant after their BFFs die in a car accident.  Would have been an ideal Guilty Pleasure read for me if not for the strong focus on the baby's paternity.  Blah.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Billionaire Hero, Adversaries!, Baby Ahoy!, Insta-Parents
What's A Housekeeper To Do? by Jennie Adams - Contemporary romance, Harlequin Romance, 2011, Grade = D
  • Heroine forced out of family nest, takes job working for a writer hero with a looming deadline.  OK hero paired with a bland, vanilla heroine who needed to get herself a life - not a romance.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Wounded (Literally) Hero, Big Secret, Family
Fourth And Goal by Jami Davenport - Digital contemporary erotic romance, Loose ID, 2011, Grade = B+
  • NFL wide receiver in major career slump hires heroine as a property caretaker.  The fly in the ointment?  They grew up best friends, ruined it by having a hot one night stand, oh - and she thinks he's responsible for the career troubles her Dear Old Dad is having.  Hot, Sexy Nookie, coupled with a wonderful emotional depth.  It'll steam up your glasses and pull the ol' heart-strings.
Innocent In Sheikh's Harem by Marguerite Kaye - Historical romance, Harlequin Historical, 2011, Grade = B
  • When her husband is murdered by bandits, the heroine is rescued by the sheikh that they were traveling through Arabia to meet on a diplomatic mission.  Lush, exotic setting to go along with the lush, exotic sexy times.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Sheik Ahoy!, Virgin Widow, Sequel-Baitin' Sister 
Her Fantasy by Saskia Walker - Erotic romance digital short story, Spice Briefs, 2011, Grade = B+
  • Warm for each other's form, hero decides to help heroine fulfill one of her sexual fantasies.  Guess which one.  What I loved about this short story?  It's a romance, oh and there's an actual story here.    Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Office romance, Menage a trois
Portrait Of Seduction by Carrie Lofty - Digital historical romance, Carina Press, 2011, Grade = B+
  • A forgery painting heroine, and a bastard son playing spy for his aristocratic brother find themselves navigating political intrigue in Napoleon era Salzburg.  A wonderful forbidden love-style plot, coupled with fantastic world-building. 
Choke Hold by Christa Faust - Crime fiction, Hard Case Crime, 2011, Grade = No Frickin' Clue
  • Sequel to Money Shot, featuring former porn star, turned vigilante, Angel Dare.  When her past finds her in a run-down desert diner, Angel finds herself protecting a young hot-head UFC fighter as a favor to his father, her former lover.  Releasing in October, I'm still mulling over my review.  In short?  I'm massively conflicted.  It's a strong book, well-written, page-turning even - but damn, it's even darker than Money Shot, and there are elements in this story that really pissed me off.
Should've Been A Cowboy by Vicki Lewis Thompson - Contemporary romance, Harlequin Blaze, 2011, Grade = D 
  • After hooking up at his sister's wedding, hero finds himself face-to-face with the heroine, who helped soothe his wounded ego after his divorce.  After getting through Choke Hold, I seriously needed a "sexy and fun" read, so I picked up this Blaze.  Sadly, what I got was conflict with the heft of wet tissue paper, coupled with series-itis (this is fourth book in a series - and yes, I've read the first three.  That somehow made it worse for me.  Blah.). 
Me: So, are you ready to tell Auntie Wendy what's wrong?

Lemon Drop: Ahem, I read your acceptance speech Auntie Wendy.  There's Mommy, Auntie Big Sis, even Memaw and Papaw.  No Lemon Drop.  That sucks worse than diaper rash Auntie Wendy.

Me: Ahhh, so that's it.  You're upset that I didn't mention you in my speech.  Look sweetie, you know I love you - but in all fairness Mommy, Big Sis, Memaw and Papaw have put up with me a lot longer than you have.  Plus, you'll notice I didn't mention your cousins, The Fairy Princess and The Flash, either.

Lemon Drop:  ::sniff:: I guess.....

Me: Tell you what, next time I win a Librarian Of The Year award, I promise I'll mention you.

Lemon Drop:  You better.


Keishon said...

Oh no re Choke Hold :-( you've managed to lower my expectations


*Goddess* said...

Awww, how could you have forgotten to mention sweet little Lemon Drop? Especially after the way she helps you write your reviews;).

Wendy said...

Keishon: Mileage is going to vary re: the stuff that pissed me off. It bothered me, but is it going to bother every other reader out there? Well no. Nothing is ever that universal.

But yeah, I'm just warning you - it's VERY dark. I am, by no means, a reader who needs Sunshine Happy Rainbows in my mystery/suspense reading. I like dark. But man, this was REALLY dark. Just be prepared for that....

Wendy said...

Goddess: I still feel like I blathered on too long as is. Poor Lemon Drop :( Hopefully she'll forgive me by the time Christmas rolls around - LOL.

Keishon said...

Man, Money Shot was already dark...alright,thanks for the heads up.

Leslie said...

Wow - 11 a good month, even with the DNF. I can't imagine you read much at RWA so it wasn't even a full month.

Lemon Drop is cute even when she's ignoring you. :)

little alys said...

Awww, Lemon Drop. I'm sure with a well placed bowl of ice cream, all will be forgiven? :D

Eh? There'a nother short story for the Sheikh's? Stop addicting me!

Kwana said...

Choke Hold has me scratching my head now and Aww to poor Lemon Drop. Hugs sweetie!

Wendy said...

Keishon & Kwana: I cannot WAIT for October, because I am DYING to talk about the book with other readers. I want to compare notes :)

Leslie: 11 is a very good month for me. I've been trying to sustain the reading tear - because dang, lots of stuff waiting to be read.

Alys: I'm addicted to those Undone short stories. They're quick and sexy - perfect for my lunch breaks at work :)

Sarah said...

If I was Lemon Drop, I'd be mad too! :)

Wendy said...

Sarah: I figure she'll get over it by the time Christmas rolls around :)

nath said...

She's growing so fast, Wendy!!

Okay, how is it that when we're really busy, we end up reading even more? LOL. Really great month, Wendy!!

Hmmm, I never got to finish Get a Clue either. There is a period of her writing that the books, I just couldn't...

Jami Davenport said...

Wow, Wendy, that's a good amount of books with all you have going on. I managed to read 2 books last month. I just don't have the time. But then it's been a long time since I've picked up a book that I just couldn't put down.

Wendy said...

Nath: This month was a freak one for me. Normally around RWA time my reading slows to a (more than usual) embarrassing crawl. This year was different for some reason.

Jami: I'm blaming it on over-extending myself. I said "yes" to a lot of review queries, uh - when I probably should have restrained myself more. So since I got myself into that mess, I had to get myself out of it by doing A LOT of reading!