Thursday, October 20, 2011

The Month That Was September 2011

Me: Hey, hey there's Lemon Drop!  Wow, that's some dress kiddo.

Lemon Drop: Do you like it Auntie Wendy?  Mommy says I look positively "retro" - whatever the heck that means....

Me: Yeah, they made sofas with that print 40 years ago. 

Lemon Drop: Don't hate the player, hate the game Auntie Wendy.  Mommy says it looks like something Auntie Big Sis wore back when she was a wee lil' wiener.  A magical, mythical time known as.....1970s.

Me: ::shudder:: Well now that we've gone back in time through fashion history, how about I tell you about what I read last month?  I did alright, with 8 books read.

Title links will take you to full reviews.

Locked And Loaded by HelenKay Dimon - Romantic suspense, Harlequin Intrigue, 2011, Grade = B
  • Book 4 in the Mystery Men series.  A harder-edged heroine partnered with a sexy computer geek hero.  Swoon.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet:  Geek Hero, Heroine On The Run, Returning Happy Couples From Previous Books
The Big Guns by HelenKay Dimon - Romantic suspense, Harlequin Intrigue, 2011, Grade = B+
  • Final book in the Mystery Men series.  I love the strong, silent, brooding Alpha-style heroes, and we get one here.  A heroine who is slow to trust, but who isn't brain-dead about it.  Also, really enjoyed the way the author wrapped up the overarching suspense that carried through all five books in the series.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Personal Assistant Heroine, Brooding Hero, Returning Happy Couples From Previous Books
Unlacing the Lady In Waiting by Amanda McCabe - Digital historical romance short story, Harlequin Historical Undone, 2011, Grade = C
  • Hero and heroine reunited years later after their betrothal is broken.  The heavy emphasis on Insta-Lurve really kept me from buying into the romance.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Arranged Marriage, Broken Engagement!, One Politically Minded Papa, Hero With Revenge In His Heart
How a Cowboy Stole Her Heart by Donna Alward - Contemporary romance, Harlequin Romance, 2011, Grade = B-
  • Breast cancer survivor heroine returns home to family ranch and must confront her feelings for their neighbor - her brother's BFF and her childhood crush.  Emotionally draining read with plenty of angst.  Stubborn as mud characters though, so readers have to be patient and ride them out.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Unrequited Crush, Friends To Lovers, Hero Haunted By His Past, Cancer Survivor Heroine
The Dragon and the Pearl by Jeannie Lin - Historical romance, Harlequin Historical, 2011, Grade = C+
  • Feared warlord with epic reputation arrives on the heroine's doorstep, a former consort to the dead Emperor, after he learns from an anonymous tip that she's in mortal danger.  Excellent use of 8th century China back-drop, but that also manifests itself in slow-to-trust characters.  Also, while there is a happy ending, reader is left with feeling that it won't be all sunshine and rainbows.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Political Unrest, Big Secret, Warrior Hero, Heroine With A Past
Girl in the Beaded Mask by Amanda McCabe - Digital historical romance short story, Harlequin Historical Undone, 2011, Grade = B-
  • Adventurous heroine attends masquerade party to put the moves on her dead brother's BFF, just returned from World War I.  Great use of 1920s setting, although I wanted "more" about the heroine's family.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Free Spirit Heroine, Wounded Hero, Unrequited Crush, One Dead Brother, Masquerade!
The Earl Takes a Lover by Georgia E. Jones - Digital historical erotica short story, Spice Briefs, 2011, Grade = D
  • Heroine with scandalous past has affair with rake hero.  Plenty of sexy sizzle, but didn't buy in to heroine's back-story and there is zero resolution to the conflict at hand.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine With A Past, Rake Hero, Wrong Side Of The Tracks
Princess Forever by Meg Cabot - Young Adult, HarperTeen, 2009, Grade = B+
  • My TBR Challenge read for the month.  Final book in the author's Princess Diaries series.  Mia finds herself fretting about high school graduation, the prom, what college she should go to, and the fact that her ex-boyfriend is back in town.  A bit padded, but a good read and an excellent way to end the series.
Lemon Drop: So you're not a big fan of the 70s Auntie Wendy?  How about if Mommy dressed me in fashions from the 1980s?

Me: Oh yeah, just what we need to revisit.  Neon, day-glo color, jelly shoes, and leg warmers.  I can't believe I'm saying this - but stick with the 70s.

Lemon Drop: You forgot about leather jackets with fringe on them.

Me: ::shudder::  Oh yes, thanks for reminding me dear.


JamiSings said...

I always find myself defending the 70s. Biggest thing in their favor - Men wore the waist of their pants AT THEIR WAIST! Not around their knees like today!

Also disco rules, rap drools.

Finally - The Electric Company. Children's educational show from the '70s. Which had amongst it's cast - Morgan Freeman.

Let's see a CEP show do something that brave now adays!

Wendy said...

And now I've got the Electric Company theme song stuck in my head.

As far as ear worms go - not terrible :)

nath said...

Ugh, your post reminds me that I'm 2 recaps behind ^_^;

LOL, Lemon Drop looks really cute in that dress ;) It was your big sister's? Wow! Well in any case, it's fashionable again :)

Nice reading month :)

Wendy said...

Nath: LOL! No, it just LOOKS like something my Big Sis would have worn when she was that age. I can't remember where Lil' Sis said she bought it? I want to say Kohl's? Maybe?

Marguerite Kaye said...

I had a dress almost exactly like that my mum made me in needlecord, and if I stood against the curtains I disappeared. And in the early 80s, my hair looked a bit like that, and I remember wearing a lot of net curtain and tulle. I just thank the stars I've always been very camera shy.

I love the 1920s, I just wish more people would love it more, then I could justify writing about it more.

Marguerite Kaye said...

Oh yes, and I too had a leather jacket with fringes!

Kate said...

Oh dear, the 80s are completely coming back over here, which makes me feel ridiculously old. Yes, I wore neon in the 1980s. That doesn't mean anyone else should.

Wendy said...

Kate: I know, neon? ::shudder:: I'm not sure anyone looks good in neon. I mean, is that even humanly possible?

Marguerite: I adore both Edwardian and 1920s (such interesting times for women!) - but the rap against both is that "WWI is a downer."

OK, which it was. Especially for Europe.

But ::sigh:: - I love both those time periods. Early 20th century just flips my switch.