Monday, January 23, 2012

The Month That Was December 2011

Lemon Drop: OMG, seriously Auntie Wendy?  Seriously?!  You finally show up just when I'm getting ready to conquer a mountain?  Has anybody ever told you your timing stinks?

Me: Well you're not the first to say so young lady, nor do I doubt you'll be the last.  What can I say?  I was busy.  Plus I had to recap the whole reading year of 2011 first....

Lemon Drop:  Yeah, and don't think I didn't notice I was mentioned, like, nowhere in those posts ::pout::

Me: Sweetie, you shouldn't pout.  Smart girls looking pretty in pink shouldn't pout.

Lemon Drop::mollified::  Well, I might be able to spare a few moments before Mommy takes me sledding.....

Title links will take you to full reviews

All Fall Down by Megan Hart, Contemporary general fiction, Mira, 2011, Grade = B+
  • Thought-provoking fiction from Hart featuring a young woman, with three babies, who escapes a religious cult on the eve of them committing mass suicide.  I love how Hart takes ordinary people and puts them in extraordinary circumstances.  Excellent choice for book clubs. 
Maggie's Wish by Sharon Ihle, Historical western romance, Zebra, 1996, Grade = DNF
  • My aborted TBR Challenge read.  I was looking for angst in a story about a woman who hires the hero to track down her scumbag ex so their little girl won't be disappointed again at Christmas.  Instead, the "heartbroken" little girl is a mischievous imp who gets up in everybody's business and the author shoots for farcical humor by having the hero try to man-up the scumbag ex into being a suitable husband and father.  Yeah, so not what I wanted.
Another Chance by Portia Da Costa, Erotic romance digital short story, Spice Briefs, 2011, Grade = B+
  • Vintage Da Costa, with a lovely playfulness to the erotic shenanigans.  Also, a heroine in her 40s.  Sign me up! 
A Seduction at Christmas by Cathy Maxwell, Historical romance, Avon, 2008, Grade = C
  • Super thin historical back-drop not aided by an equally thin suspense subplot.  I'm telling you though, there's something about Maxwell's writing that reels me in.  It's like drinking liquid candy.
Craving the Highlander's Touch by Michelle Willingham, Historical romance digital short story, Harlequin Historical Undone, 2011, Grade = B
  • A short story with surprising depth and a whole lot of plot.  Connected to a series, but stands alone well.  Says me.
The Scrapbook of Frankie Pratt by Caroline Preston, Historical fiction, Ecco, 2011, Grade = B+
  • A picture book for grown-ups (scrapbook), that tells the story of a young woman in the early 1920s.  Great stuff for social history nuts and crafty types.
One Night as a Courtesan by Ann Lethbridge, Historical romance digital short story, Harlequin Historical Undone, 2010, Grade = B-
  • A sexy story with a nice historical feel about a rakish Duke and a gently-born heroine down on a her luck.  Had my issues, but really appreciated the slow, sensual feel to the love scenes.
One Wicked Christmas by Amanda McCabe, Historical romance digital short story, Harlequin Historical Undone, 2011, Grade = D+
  • This one breaks my heart because I normally like McCabe's Undones.  Hero pining for his BFF's widow comes off as distasteful in this short format.
The Queen's Consort by Leia Rice, Erotica digital short story, Spice Briefs, 2011, Grade = B-
  • Uber-lusty heroine paired with a hero who could set a world record in stamina.  Yeah, it's pretty much all about the sex here.  But you know what?  That's not always a bad thing.
Me: And that was that.  Lots of short stories this month because I was trying to delude my way into hitting 100 books read in 2011.  It didn't happen, and instead I hit 95.

Lemon Drop: Yeah, yeah, yeah - that's nice Auntie Wendy.  Now, where's Mommy with my sled?

Me: I'm lucky she stood still this long....


nath said...

She's so cute!! her flushed cheeks match her outfit!! Awwww :) But wait, there was snow?!?

Sounds like December was a mixed bag for you. Some very good reads and some duds. But hey, decent amount of reads considering it was also the holidays ;)

I just read The Shy Duchess by Amanda McCabe and was wondering whether to read more... One thing for sure, I'll be staying away from One Wicked Christmas ^_^;

Wendy said...

Nath: I've really enjoyed a number of McCabe's short stories - the Elizabethan ones in particular. This one though? Yeah, didn't work for me.

Sigh, I miss December. My reading in January has been really middle-of-the-road. Here's hoping I can at least end on a high note!