Thursday, August 11, 2011

The Month That Was July 2011

Lemon Drop: Oh thank heavens you're finally here Auntie Wendy!

Me: Getting a little light reading in kiddo?

Lemon Drop:  As you know, my favorite thing to do is pull all my clothes out of my dresser and dump them on the floor.  However, Mommy has decided this is not a fun game (pfft, what does she know?), so I've resorted to looking for something to read.  All I've found are Daddy's textbooks.  Help!

Me: Say no more.  Your Auntie Wendy is here to save the day.  I had a very solid month, getting through 12 books, and only one DNF in the bunch!

Title links will take you to full reviews

Her Wyoming Man by Cheryl St. John, Historical western romance, Harlequin Historical, 2011, Grade = B-
  • Former "kept woman" heroine (OK, prostitute) escapes her old life by answering a mail order bride ad.  Hero is a widower with three young children and political ambitions.  Vintage St. John.  Feel-good vibe.  Heroine with a past.  Gentle love story.  My only quibble?  The resolution to the main conflict was a little too pat.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine With A Past, Widower, Single Father, Mail-Order Bride, Big Secret.
Molly Cooper's Dream Date by Barbara Hannay, Contemporary romance, Harlequin Romance, 2011, Grade = B+
  • Heroine desperate for adventure, but with little funds, agrees to a home-swap style vacation with the hero.  She'll be at his posh London home, and he'll be working on his neglected novel at her tiny island cottage in Australia.  A nice romance, about nice people, who develop their relationship through an e-mail exchange.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Lookin' For Love Heroine, Well-To-Do Hero, Pen Pals, Big Secret
The Silent Girl by Tess Gerritsen, Mystery/Suspense, Ballantine, 2011, Grade = B
  • The latest entry in the author's Rizzoli/Isles series.  Solid suspense thread set against the backdrop of Boston's Chinatown.  Can't wait for the next book.
Ever Yours by Gabriella Anderson, Historical romance, Zebra, 2003, Grade = DNF
  • A Beauty and the Beast book that I picked up for the TBR Challenge.  I gave up after 75 pages or so, mostly because I was bored.  Honestly, it's Beauty and the Beast.  Where's the angst?  There wasn't any.  I don't want to label it "fluffy" - but it did fall flat for me. 
Soldier On Her Doorstep by Soyara Lane, Contemporary romance, Harlequin Romance, 2011, Grade = B
  • Hero made promise to heroine's husband before he died - hence, he's on her doorstep.  A lovely, quiet story about a wounded hero and a heroine who finds love again.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Widow Heroine, Military Hero, One Not-So-Talkative Kidlet, Big Secret
License to Pawn by Rick Harrison, Non-fiction, Hyperion, 2011, Grade = B
  • Behind-the-scenes look at the business, and personalities, of the Pawn Stars TV show.  A super quick read, but one that will probably be best enjoyed by those already addicted to TV show.  Excellent book for "reluctant readers" - says me.
A Family For the Rugged Rancher by Donna Alward, Contemporary romance, Harlequin Romance, 2011, Grade = B-
  • Heroine in desperate need of a job hires on to be the hero's temporary housekeeper.  He just didn't plan on her bringing a kid with her.  Nice, believable angst - although I thought the hero's logic behind why he couldn't have a family of his own was a bit cracked.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine Done Wrong, One Lonely Little Boy, Wounded Hero, Rancher Ahoy!
The Wanton Governess by Barbara Monajem, Digital historical erotic romance short story, Harlequin Historical Undone, 2011, Grade = B
  • Hero comes home from America to discover his family has invented a wife for him.  The "wife" in question?  A woman he has a serious case of love-at-first-sight for.  Sexy, fleshed-out story with likable characters and plenty of shenanigans.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Ruined Heroine Down On Her Luck, Love At First Sight, Reunion, Meddling Family
With This Ring by Carla Kelly, Traditional Regency romance, Signet, 1997, Grade = C
  • Cinderella heroine with a vapid, dippy sister and a shrew of a mother, ends up falling for Army major slash Earl who needs to come up with real wife to replace the one he invented via letters home.  Really enjoyed the heroine, but wasn't nearly as enamored with the hero. 
The Governess and the Sheikh by Marguerite Kaye, Historical romance, Harlequin Historical, 2011, Grade = C+
  • Jilted heroine is visiting her married sister in Arabia when she hires on to be a governess for a neighboring sheikh's hoyden daughter.  Likable romantic couple, but felt the conflict needed a shot in the arm.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Sheikh Ahoy!, Heroine Done Wrong, Happy Couple From Previous Book, One Ill-Behaved Little Girl
Mr. Right There All Along by Jackie Braun, Contemporary romance, Harlequin Romance, 2011, Grade = B+
  • Heroine who was bullied in high school gets invitation to 10-year reunion.  She wants to make a splash, gets on the make-over train, much to the dismay of the hero, her BFF.  A lovely story that utilizes one of my absolute favorite tropes!  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine Done Wrong, Hero With Daddy Issues, High School Reunion, Friends To Lovers
The Army Ranger's Return by Soraya Lane, Contemporary romance, Harlequin Romance, 2011, Grade = B+
  • Breast cancer survivor heroine strikes up pen-pal relationship with Army Ranger hero.  When he returns home, they meet in person.  Naturally sparks fly.  Emotionally angsty story about two wounded characters.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Military Hero, Widower,  One Over-Protective Brother, One Surly Teen, Big Secret
Lemon Drop:  Oh man, that's so much better.  I needed that.  I love Daddy, but the guy's a geek.  Group theory?  What the heck is Group Theory?  Is that like what happens in some of the naughty books you read Auntie Wendy?

Me: Uh, not quite.  Seriously, your father is going to kill me.


nath said...

LOL, is she really the one who pulled out all those books? :) It probably was the colorful page markers that drew her attention :)

Great month, Wendy!!! Man, very, very solid!! :) Of course, I haven't read any of them... but might change things soon!

Leslie said...

Great month! Is that like an all time high for the year?

I haven't read any of these but did buy the Cheryl St. John, the Jackie Braun & both the Soyara Lanes. The St. John I was planning on buying but the other 3 were your influence. :)

Lemon Drop is such a cutie but if you ever have trouble getting her to sleep, just read to her about Group Theory. zzzzz

Wendy said...

Nath: Oh yeah, she pulled out all those books herself. Her new trick is "If it's sitting on the coffee table or end table, it must be something fun!" My brother-in-law had his textbooks on the end table :)

Leslie: I haven't checked my stats, but yeah - this might be an all-time high for the year. And only one short story in the bunch! LOL A lot of category though, so a teeny bit of padding the numbers ;)

Lil Sis said...

Hey - I got another great pic for your next "conversation." It'll be up on Shutterfly soon. :)