Me: Oh Lord, make it stop!
Lemon Drop: It's Rihanna Auntie Wendy! You need to get hip with the new school yo.
Me: Can't you sing Raindrops Keep Fallin' On My Head? That's a nice song. A nice song that doesn't send Auntie Wendy shrieking into the other room.
Lemon Drop: Sure I could, if you want to hear Old Lady Music ::sniff::
Me: I'm going to ignore that, but only because your Hello Kitty umbrella is almost as cute as you are.
Lemon Drop: Never!
Me: I'm sorry, I shouldn't have even suggested such a travesty. Anyhoodle, how about I tell you what I read last month? December means Auntie Wendy is busy, so I read a lot of short books this month, including several short stories.
Title links go to full reviews.
The Rules of Engagement by Ally Blake - Harlequin Presents, 2012, Grade = D
- Commitment-phobe heroine has fling with hero, develops feelings, and then when he finds out she has three broken engagements it all blows up in her face. Really, really thin conflict made this a slog of a read for me. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Hero With Money And Parent Issues, Heroine With Daddy Issues, Commitment-Phobia, Wise-Crackin' BFF.
- Old money heroine agrees to help new money hero out of a jam by pretending they've been having a secret torrid affair for the benefit of the snooping paparazzi. The fly in the ointment? She's had a monster crush on him since they were kids. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Friends To Lovers, New Money Hero, Old Money Heroine, Disapproving Family
- Disgraced daughter of a Duke finds herself attracted to an American businessman who also happens to be a freed slave. A very tricky set-up, with very tricky characters, which I thought the author handled very well. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Disgraced Heroine, Asshole Ex, Neglectful Father, Battle Ax Aunt, Merchant Hero (The Horror!)
- Single mother heroine looking for a fresh start is dismayed to find herself attracted to a man who is all wrong for her - a thrice-married single father to a surly teenage daughter. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine Done Wrong, Plot Moppet Tot, Playboy Hero, Surly Teenager, Single Dad, Single Mom
- Heroine has to plan a party for her former lover (the sheikh) and his virgin bride. She's not over him and thinks once he's married she'll be able to move on. Then he shows up on her doorstep with the announcement that his bride has run away. Uh oh. Two headstrong characters that need to learn to put their pride aside in the name of finding happiness. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Busy Business Lady Heroine, Sheikh Hero, Don't Rein Me In!, Runaway Bride
- Disgraced younger sister of a Duke returns home with her daughter only to fall in love with the resident chef. Lovely story, really enjoyed it. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Disgraced Widow Heroine, One Kidlet, Working Class Hero, Big Secret
- Nice, steamy medieval story that features a hero who kidnaps his intended bride after her father welshes on the deal. Liked the characters, but felt certain aspects of the story were too "big" for the short word count.
- Heroine on the run lands at a theater where the hero is looking for a new actress to replace the ungrateful wench that just up and left him. Really loved the setting of this one, but the author takes a risk to resolve the conflict that just didn't work for me.
- Heroine enters into wager with hero in order to get him to come to the wedding of her sister and his brother. The problem? Yeah, she broke his wee lil' heart years ago and he's a mite bitter. Good, but wished it were a little bit longer. Review forthcoming at TGTBTU.
- Heroine masquerading as a princess falls for the man charged with taking her to her intended groom's homeland safely. A tie-in to Lin's full-length My Fair Concubine, a very solid short story. Review forthcoming at TGTBTU.
- Oh joy, another BDSM story. NOT! A heroine I seriously wanted to maim. Or shoot. Or just beat over the head with some good ol' fashioned blunt force trauma. Review forthcoming at TGTBTU.
Me: You've been talking to your Uncle again. Hey, it got me to 100 books read on the year. My blog. My record keeping. My rules.
Lemon Drop: Geez, okay, okay. Mental note: never call Auntie Wendy old and never question her record keeping, no matter how dubious it is.....
Me: Now you're learning.....