Friday, August 17, 2012

The Month That Was July 2012

Me: Yeah, whatcha doin' kiddo?

Lemon Drop: I am working Auntie Wendy.  I can't be waiting around for you forever, this girl has work to do.

Me: Well, well, my apologies!  Did it occur to you that I am late because I to have work to do?

Lemon Drop: Oh, I know you do Auntie Wendy, but you obviously aren't doing it.

Me: How do you figure?

Lemon Drop: I've seen The Batmobile.  It's filthy.

Me: Well hardy har har.

Title links will take you to full reviews.

Summer Nights by Susan Mallery - Contemporary romance, 2012, HQN, Part of series, Grade = D
  • Librarian heroine needs to raise money for a bookmobile and thinks the way to do is "horse dance" in some local parade.  She goes to the hero, a cowboy-type, to teach her.  Liked the "librarian stuff," but thought the hero was a stupid jerk-face and all the cutesy small-town series stuff made my head hurt.
Kill You Twice by Chelsea Cain - Suspense, 2012, Minotaur, Part of series, Grade = B+
  • The latest book in Cain's series about eff'ed up Portland homicide cop, Archie Sheridan, and female serial killer, Gretchen Lowell.  After a reprieve, the violence is back - as is Gretchen's character.  A solid read, not perfect, but so damn readable and addictive it's hard for me to be critical.
The Lightkeeper's Woman by Mary Burton - Historical romance, 2004, Harlequin Historical, Grade = B-
  • My TBR Challenge read of the month.  After he loses his men and ship at sea, hero hides out in lighthouse.  His former lover, the heroine, shows up to give him a mysterious box her father bequeathed to him in his will.  Since the hero blames the heroine's father for his disgrace?  Yeah, this reunion is bumpy.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Hero Done Wrong, Well Born Lady Heroine Laid Low By Tragedy, One Conniving Dead Daddy, One Oily Would-Be Fiance', Reunited!
A Very Personal Assistant by Portia Da Costa - Contemporary erotic romance digital short story, 2012, Spice Briefs, Grade = B-
  • High-powered business woman heroine enters into a BDSM relationship with her male personal assistant.  Pretty standard stuff until the ending - which really cooks thanks to the couple having to admit they have more than "just fling" feelings for each other.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Boss/Secretary, Just A Fling
A Man of Privilege by Sarah M. Anderson - Contemporary romance, 2012, Harlequin Desire, Part of series, Grade = B
  • Lawyer hero with political ambitions needs the heroine's help to bring down a corrupt judge.  Things get complicated when he finds himself attracted to the Native American woman, who has turned her life around after spending her youth as a junkie prostitute.  Not exactly the stuff of potential political wives.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Native American, Heroine With A Past, Ambitious Hero With Mommy AND Daddy Issues, Different Worlds.
One Day to Find a Husband by Shirley Jump - Contemporary romance, 2012, Harlequin Romance, Part of series, Grade = B
  • Hero looking to put some shine back into his professional reputation proposes a temporary business partnership with the heroine.  She agrees, but only after she finds out she needs a husband in order for a foreign adoption to go through.  Not a perfect book, but extremely readable with just the right amount of character baggage to propel the conflict forward.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: One He Been Done Wrong Hero, Heroine Taking Over Daddy's Business, One Orphaned Kidlet, Marriage Of Convenience
Men of Smithfield: Mark and Tony by L.B. Gregg - Contemporary gay romance ebook, 2012, Carina Press, Part of series, Grade = B
  •  Hero comes home from work to find his lover having icky, sweaty, hairy sex with their landlord.  What's a guy to do?  Well for starters, how about going to the noon mass where his lover and mother are in attendance, grabbing the nearest Bible, and beaning the cheater upside the head?  Then the hero finds out that his bank accounts have been cleaned out, and that's when the local law - an unrequited crush, steps in.  Funny, charming, a well-told "chick lit" style story that features gay men.
Me: So, have you met any movie stars or Indian chiefs?

Lemon Drop: Not yet.  Although it's not so bad.  The boss don't mind sometimes when I act the fool.

Me: I know The Boss AKA Mommy does tend to prefer that over tantrums.

Lemon Drop: If she would just resign herself to the fact that it's all about me there would be no need for tantrums.

Me: Yeah, Mommy tends to be unreasonable like that.


*Goddess* said...

I can't believe Lemon Drop has to was her own car! Have you not heard of child labor laws?!

*Goddess* said...

I was so focused on Lemon Drop, I forgot my comment about the books...LOL! In regards to Susan Mallery's Summer Nights, isn't it funny how sometimes the small town 'stuff' comes together so well and other times it just grates on your nerves?!

JamiSings said...

I think it depends on how the small town is portrayed. I hate it with a passion when the author is all "Small Town Better In Every Way Than Big City." But if they show it as a normal place with flaws I can handle it.

*Goddess* said...

I just finished reading an old Cathie Linz book, and I know from living in a small town that people DO know everyone's business, but honestly, something would happen and two seconds later the entire town would show up and comment. Drove. Me. Nuts.

Christine said...

Lemon Drop is getting so big!!! Also, I didn't know they made a pink and blue cozy coupe. ;)

Anonymous said...

I have read some of Shirley Jump's other books but had not picked this one up. I can't quite tell if you liked it that well compared to others.

PS Lemon Drop's legs are getting so long.

Regards, Ruth (CO)

Wendy said...

Goddess: In the case of the Mallery, it was just all too "cutesy" for me. Plus I tend to get annoyed when past couples show up and do....nothing. They're basically there to keep series fans happy and don't have a stake in the current story.

Admittedly, a pet peeve of mine.

Jami: Ugh, I hate that too!

Wendy said...

Goddess: Doesn't it make you wonder about the state of the characters' lives? Do they all sit by the phone and wait for someone to call them with the local gossip? I mean, don't have they have jobs to go to? TV to watch? Books to read? LOL

Wendy said...

Christine: Knowing my sister I wouldn't be surprised if she scored that car on Craigslist. My sister, the bargain hunter :)

Wendy said...

Ruth: I liked the Jump - it just didn't knock my socks off. It fell into my Chocolate Chip Cookie category for romance. I inhaled it, it was tasty, but it didn't change my life.

I do have plans to read the next two books in the series.

nath said...

Hey Wendy!! You had a really good July month, both number-wise and quality-wise! awesome! I've given up on Susan Mallery until she starts a new series... and even then ^_^;

Also, interesting how many contemporary romance you've read! I might be picking up the Shirley Jump book. I like her writing :)