Amazon discontinued the ability to create images using their SiteStripe feature and in their infinite wisdom broke all previously created images on 12/31/23. Many blogs used this feature, including this one. Expect my archives to be a hot mess of broken book cover images until I can slowly comb through 20 years of archives to make corrections.

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

The Month That Was July 2010

I've been blogging a long time (life, I don't haz one), but sometimes I still manage to "forget" that there are actual real people out there reading my ramblings. Case in point? When a romance author asked me last week at RWA how my new baby niece was doing. Lemon Drop (the current nickname my Lil' Sis has slapped on her) is now four months old, is getting the hang of sitting up, and spends her days thwarting her Mommy's attempts to capture her smile on camera. Seriously, the kid is devious on that score. So there you have it. A new cute baby picture. All together now - awwwwww.

Now let us get back to book talk, shall we? July is traditionally a slow reading month for me. Work begins to suck my brains out thanks to end of the fiscal year nuttiness and if I'm attending RWA (uh, which I did this year), I lose a whole week of reading. I'm always too tired, busy and brain-dead at conference to do anything other than pet books. Actually read one? Yeah, no can do. Still, I did manage to get five books read this month and look at all those shiny B grades!

Title links will take you to full reviews.

Ice Cold by Tess Gerritsen, Mystery/Suspense, Part of Series, 2010, Grade = B+
  • An excellent addition to a series that has consistently delivered solid suspense threads and interesting characters that are allowed to change and grow while not morphing into pod people. A creepy Stephen-King-esque plot thread, some closure to an on-going personal entanglement, delivered in a book that I didn't want to put down. I did have a minor, silly nit-pick, but this might be my favorite entry in this series over the last couple of books. I don't know though - I really liked The Keepsake a lot too.....
Tipping The Waitress With Diamonds by Nina Harrington, Harlequin Romance, 2010, Grade = B-
  • A charming story about a heroine who runs home to her aunt's restaurant and finds her first crush, the hero, in residence. Nice "foodie" back-drop, and likable characters. My only quibble was the punctuation. Lots! Of! Exclamation! Points! Are! Distracting! Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Hero From Wrong Side Of Tracks, Heroine Haunted By Past Relationship Disaster, A Reappearing Ex, Family, Reunited And It Feels So Good.
Dark Side Of Dreaming by Ann Bruce, Romantic Suspense Erotic Romance ebook, 2010, Grade = B-
  • Former cat burglar heroine and mysterious hero team up to recover a priceless statue. Some light paranormal touches and morally ambiguous characters made for an interesting romance. The erotic romance elements were definitely the strongest here, and the author delivers in the steam department. I would have liked the suspense "stuff" to be fleshed out a bit more - but this was a quick, sizzling read that easily kept me entertained and engaged.
Never Love A Lawman by Jo Goodman, Historical Western Romance, 2009, Grade = B
  • A well-written western romance that doesn't skimp on character or plot development. I really liked the hero, but it took me longer to warm up to the heroine. Also, while I appreciated what Goodman was doing with this story (taking her time, setting her stage, painting the canvas for the reader), it does take a while for this story to get moving. I admired this story for it's scope, the writing and the rich details - but I didn't love it. And believe you me - I really wanted to love it. That said, I did like it - and have every intention of picking up the next book in this series.
Innocent In The Harem by Michelle Willingham, Historical Romance short story ebook, 2010, Grade = B-
  • Bedouin princess captured in raid is saved at a slave auction by the hero, who has been summoned to his father's palace for what he fears will be his execution. If you're not a fan of "harem stories" this one is unlikely to change your mind, but the author avoids "forced seduction" (thank goodness!) and evens the playing field somewhat by having the hero fear for his own life. Still, the power dynamic in this story is a bit lop-sided. Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Heroine As Captive, Rescued!, Courtly Intrigue, Prince Hero.
And that, as they say, is that. Now to work on cloning myself. I have so many books that I'm just dying to read like right now! Two or three more me's would be nice - although I'm not sure the world is quite ready for that.


michellewillingham said...

Sweet baby! Oh, I just want to kiss those little cheeks. Yummy. Thanks for sharing!

Wendy said...

LOL - I posted that picture just for you Michelle :)

Lil Sis said...

Yeah - STILL no smiles on camera! I did take a lot of video though - Oz can help me get a freeze a shot of her smiling. She does smile for video at least! :)

We are starting cereal and baby food this week - she's starving and I need to start adding food. Milk is not enough. :)

I swear the kid has about 10 nicknames but I like Lemon Drop - she's sweet but can go sour in one second. :)

Wendy said...

Lil' Sis: Hope you guys had fun in San Diego. And yeah, yummy yummy cereal!

Christine said...

Wendy, you definitely have the sweetest looking niece on the planet right now! Lemon Drop is super adorable--even without sporting a smile for the photo.