Friday, September 23, 2011

The Month That Was August 2011

Lemon Drop: Auntie Wendy, you're finally here!  I was beginning to think you forgot all about me this month.

Me: I know sweetie.  Your Auntie Wendy has had kind of a crazy month.  We had to fly across the country for Uncle My Man's sister's wedding, and then there's work, and then there's getting caught up.....::sigh::

Lemon Drop:  Ooooh, a wedding!  Rubber chicken, cheesey line dancing, but cake!  Pretty dresses!  And champagne!  Which I hear is pretty tasty even if Mommy says I'm not allowed to try it until I'm 45.

Me: Yeah, that about covers it.  Although honestly, the food was quite tasty.  Anywho, how about we catch you up on what I read last month?  There's a little something for every romance reader on this list - everything from very naughty to very nice.

Title links will take you to full reviews.

Obsessed: Erotic Romance For Women edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel - Erotic anthology, Cleis Press, 2011, Grade = B

  • A super quick anthology of erotic short stories.  The "romance" label is kind of a stretch in some cases, but all stories do end on a positive note.  Solid stuff, with only one real dud in the bunch for me.
Marrying Miss Marshal by Lacey Williams - Inspirational historical western romance, Love Inspired Historical, 2011, Grade = B
  • A really solid debut novel about a widowed heroine who finds herself being named town marshal in late 19th century Wyoming.  A well-told story featuring interesting characters against a well-done western back-drop.  Also, very light on The God Stuff.  Worth a look for inspirational and western fans alike.  Says me.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Private Detective Hero, Widowed Heroine, One Murdered Ex, One Dead Woman Who Still Haunts Hero
Beyond Desire by Thea Devine - Historical romance, Zebra, 1993, Grade = C
  • I went for Guilty Pleasure for last month's TBR Challenge.  Vintage Devine, right down to the writing quirks, Sexy Times, Jerkface Hero and a sneaky heroine who knows a thing or two about keeping secrets. 
Pampered To Death by Laura Levine -  Cozy mystery, Kensington, 2011, Grade = C (sorry, no full review)
  • Latest entry in one of my favorite cozy mystery series.  Jaine Austen (no relation) gets gifted with a visit to a "posh" local spa, only to find herself in Fat Camp Hell.  Sadly, this one fell flat for me.  All of the humor revolved around Jaine's deprivation from junk food and the spa's terrible healthy menu.  After a while enough was enough and I'm beginning to suspect that Jaine has an eating disorder.  This makes me sad, because I really love this series.  Oh well, better luck next time.
How to Lasso A Cowboy by Christine Wenger - Contemporary romance, Harlequin Special Edition, 2011, Grade = D-
  • A major dud of a read that features some of my favorite tropes.  A heroine with Split Personality Disorder, along with a hero and secondary character who are card-carrying morons.  Blah.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Friends To Lovers, Rodeo Star Hero, One Protective Older Brother, One Kidlet
The Heart Of A Hero by Barbara Wallace - Contemporary romance, Harlequin Romance, 2011, Grade = B+
  • Heroine moves into run-down family summer home to lick her wounds after divorce.  Her neighbor, our hero, is the PTSD-suffering war veteran who just wants to be left alone, but finds himself sucked into her orbit when she hires him as a handyman.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Wounded Military Hero, Heroine Done Wrong, One Slimy Ex, One Cute Doggy
 Taking Her Boss by Alegra Verde - Contemporary erotic digital short story, Spice Briefs, 2011, Grade = B-
  • Personal assistant heroine enters into affair with her boss who likes to be dominated.  Intriguing story with some dicey elements.  I'm hoping it's the first entry in an on-going saga....  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Domme Heroine, Submissive Hero, Office Shenanigans
To Touch The Knight by Lindsey Townsend - Medieval historical romance, Zebra, 2011, Grade = C
  • Masquerading heroine finds her past coming back to haunt her when she runs up against the knight hero competing in a local tournament.  A slower paced story featuring characters with truth-telling and trust issues. 
Breaking the Ties That Bind by Gwynne Forster - Contemporary women's fiction, Kensington, 2011, Grade = C- (review is forthcoming)
  • Story of a young woman with big dreams who is constantly held back by her demanding, screw-up of a mother.  I found a lot of the main characters a bit too goody-goody, but got sucked in by The Mean Mama.  Whoa doggie, is that woman ever a serious piece of work.
Gunning For Trouble by HelenKay Dimon - Romantic suspense, Harlequin Intrigue, Part of series, 2011, Grade = B-

  • Medical guy for a supah-secret quasi-government organization finds himself face-to-face with the heroine, his former lover and boss.  Uh, the boss who fired him from his last job.  And did I mention there are hired goons trying to kill her?  Solid story, action-packed, but lots o' bickering.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Hero Done Wrong, Heroine In Peril, Conspiracy!, Series-Baitin' Hotties
Lemon Drop: Wow, that's some serious reading Auntie Wendy.  No wonder you've been neglecting me.  Mind you, not that you're totally off the hook yet.  You can't keep me waiting this long.  And for that matter, you can't keep The Lemon Drop Fan Club waiting until the end of the month.  It's cruel.  Truly.

Me: I suppose I'm to change the name of this blog to The Misadventures of Lemon Drop's Press Secretary?

Lemon Drop: Hey, now you're talking!

Me: ::headdesk::


Lori said...

Oh, look how big she's getting! Loving the little pigtails.

JamiSings said...

If it makes you feel better, Lemon Drop, your Auntie Wendy and I had a brief e-mail conversation about you and a book I'm hoping you will do a review on.

Sarah said...

She's got a point, lol! I was visiting yesterday thinking I had somehow missed your August round up but here it is! Just time time for September's soon. :D

Lil Sis said...

I suppose I need to upload some new photos so you have new ones for the next round up. :)

Wendy said...

September was The Lost Month for me. I still feel like I'm trying to find my groove. Unfortunately October looks just as jam-packed. This could mean excellent blog fodder though....uh, assuming I can find time to actually blog. Let's see how I do.....

Anonymous said...

I adore the Lemon Drop blog entries. I kept looking for her and was so pleased to see her this morning.

Regards, Ruth (CO)(the proud auntie of 7 nephews...not one niece)

*Goddess* said...

Good for Lemon Drop! It's about time you give her the attention she clearly deserves by renaming your blog:)

I made the mistake of picking up "How To Lasso..." also. I swore if I read one more time how Dustin made that promise to Tom, I was going to hurl. I couldn't figure that one out anyway. Dustin was a great friend to Tom, so much so that Tom didn't want him near his sister....huh?

nath said...

She's so cute :)

Great reading month by the way, Wendy :)

Wendy said...

Ruth: Hopefully they'll be more Lemon Drop soon. Assuming I do my September recap in a timely manner....

Goddess: I couldn't figure out why Tom, who didn't want them to hook up, would propose they spend time on his ranch - alone - with only his 10-year-kid around to supervise. I mean, like huh? I don't want much out of my books, but logic is big plus.

Nath: The last couple of months have been pretty solid. I'm really gunning to hit 100 books read this year. We shall see though!