Lemon Drop: You are just jealous Auntie Wendy.
Me: Yeah, that must be it.
Lemon Drop: You wish you were this fierce and fabulous! RAWR!!
Me: Well while we're all basking in the glow of your fabulousity, how about we discuss what I read last month? I managed to read 10 books this month. Sort of.
Title links will take you to full reviews.
First Things First by Barbara Delinsky - Contemporary romance, Harlequin Temptation, 1985, Grade = C
- St. Martin's has been releasing several of Delinsky's older category romances digitally, and H&H asked me to tackle a couple of them for blog posts. This story holds up amazingly well, and with a few minor tweaks (mostly involving fashion choices), it reads like a story that could have been written last week. However while I liked the hero, I was disappointed that the strong, interesting heroine morphs into a bit of a sad sack at the end. Still, not sorry I read it - and interesting on several levels. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: One Made Over Hero, Private Eye Heroine, One Overbearin' Mama, But What I Really Want To Do Is Go Back To School!, Big Secret
- Digital prequel to Lofty's Christie series. Loved the Victorian back-drop. I also enjoyed both romantic leads, although admittedly they're both a teensy bit mercenary.
- Former social worker heroine finds herself working with the hero to get her women's shelter off the ground. The rub being that they're like oil and water when they're together. Plenty of angst and baggage, a nice emotional read. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Cowboy Hero, Heroine Done Wrong, Mommy Issues, Illin' Daddy
- Heroine running away from an arranged marriage runs smack dab into her former childhood love - a vicar's son and now self-made man. I had issues with the historical "feel" of this short story, but Monajem is pro when it comes to this short format. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Vile Guardian, Self-Made Hero, I'll Marry Who I Want To!, Richie Rich Heroine
- Heroine gets conked on the head after interrupting a burglary and wakes up in the hero's bed. A hero who happens to be a notorious rake. Loved the dialogue and adventure storyline, but felt the pacing bogged down in the middle. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Rake Hero, Governess Heroine, Vile Social Climbing Villain, Missing Jewels!, Road Romance
- Sequel to The Last Real Cowboy, hero with family baggage finds himself attracted to the heroine, still gun-shy thanks to her abusive a-hole ex. A couple that is perfectly matched and a storyline that hits all the right notes. Alward has consistently been "good" for me, and this has been the best to date. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine Done Wrong, Rodeo Hero, Mommy Daddy and Uncle Issues, Baby Makes Three
- I started thinking of this book as Redneck Hell. You have three secondary characters, triplets, with names like Billy Bob, Joe Bob and Jim Bob and the town slut's nickname is "Chigger." I suspect these secondary characters were supposed to be funny and colorful, but frankly I get bored reading about caricatures - and this troop never elevated themselves past that. Also a bartender heroine who is some sort of poor man's veterinarian? A hero who is taking care of a relative who is supposed to have Alzheimer's - but frankly just read like a grumpy old man on the page? Also, some pretty atrocious head-hopping in the early chapters. I was bored. I didn't care. I read a third of it before chucking it in the "get rid of it somewhere" pile.
- My TBR Challenge read of the month. Hart slathers on the angst, and I liked the set-up, but after a while the heroine's amazingly tolerant nature started to grate on me. Get angry damn you! Get angry! Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine Done Wrong, Two Kidlets, Widowed Hero, I Can Never Love Again!
- My Fair Lady hits China. Hero employs the heroine to take his sister's place in arranged (political) marriage after Dear Ol' Sis runs away from home. A slow starter, but the emotional moments in this story are really gut-wrenching. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: My Fair Lady, Heroine From Wrong Side of the Tracks, Hero Obsessed With Family Honor, One Runaway Sister, Arranged Marriage
- Heroine running away from her problems runs up against the former rodeo star hero, who is still trying to cope with his sister's death, and taking custody of his three nephews. Interesting, damaged characters who don't behave in a conventional way, plus a solid secondary romance between an older couple. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Rodeo Hero, Heroine Running From Problems, Three Orphaned Kidlets, One Past Romantic Couple, One Drunk Old Man, One Mad As Hell And Not Going To Take It Anymore Mama.
Lemon Drop: On second thought, never mind. You could never do them justice.
Me: Oh brother.