Thursday, June 16, 2011

The Month That Was May 2011

Lemon Drop: I'm all ready to go Auntie Wendy!

Me: Um, I see that.  Pray tell, where are you going?

Lemon Drop: To New York City, of course!

Me: Oh really?  And why are you going to NYC?

Lemon Drop: ::eyeroll:: Seriously, Auntie Wendy?  To go to RWA

Me: Oh really?!?!  Uh, let's table this discussion for now.  I want to tell you all about what I read last month.  After slogging through a slump in April, I was able to break out somewhat in May.  I finished 6 books! 

Click on title links for full reviews

Defiant by Kris Kennedy, Historical medieval romance, Pocket, 2011, Grade = B-
  • Hero and heroine both searching for the same missing priest, find themselves embroiled in political turmoil in King John's England.  A medieval that's pretty heavy on the "medieval stuff," and a romance that requires some reader patience as the hero and heroine are at cross purposes.  But a strong historical with some actual history.  Should appeal to those readers who like big, meaty history-filled historicals.
Wife For A Week by Kelly Hunter, Contemporary romance, Harlequin Presents, 2007, Grade = C+
  • Lying about being married when his host's naive, sheltered daughter throws herself at him, the hero now must return to Hong Kong to close the business deal.  The fly in the ointment?  He's to bring along the little woman.  Enter the heroine, who needs money for her back-to-school fund.  Lovely bantering dialogue and an evocative Hong Kong setting.  Unfortunately a tacked-on, silly suspense thread during the second half takes off some of the shine.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Cash Strapped Heroine, Mogul Hero, Pretend Marriage, Virgin Ahoy!
Honeymoon With The Rancher by Donna Alward, Contemporary romance, Harlequin Romance, 2011, Grade = B
  • After catching her fiance' in bed with his mistress, jilted heroine takes her honeymoon to Argentina alone.  She's in for a surprise though when she gets rustic instead of Club Med, and the surly hero can find no record of her reservation.  A story heavy on internal conflict featuring a hero with major baggage and a heroine who has lost her way.  Harlequin Cheat Sheet: Jilted Heroine, Wounded Hero, Big Secret, Virgin Ahoy!, Mmmm Cowboy!
Madame Tussaud by Michelle Moran, Historical fiction, Crown, 2011, Grade = A
  • The story of Madame Tussaud (of wax museum fame) and her life in late 18th century Paris - before she was Madame Tussaud, and on the eve of the French Revolution.  A compelling, white-knuckle read that sucks the reader into the uncertainty, chaos, and terror in a turbulent time in French history.  Also, a compelling story of a remarkable woman, who was ahead of her time.
You Killed Wesley Payne by Sean Beaudoin, Young Adult crime noir, Little Brown, 2011, Grade = B+
  • A hard-boiled crime novel dropped into a YA world.  Gumshoe hero finds himself investigating a murder (or was it?) in a corrupt high school that has more graft than Prohibition Era Chicago.  Fast-talkin' slang, a fair amount of violence, and the depiction of teen characters will probably horrify parents who don't "get" it.  But for crime fiction fans and teens who pilfered granddad's Mickey Spillane novels?  Great stuff.
My Favorite Countess by Vanessa Kelly, Historical Regency romance, Zebra, 2011, Grade = B-
  • Villianous other woman from previous book gets her own romance, with a suitably unsuitable doctor hero.  Loved the non-Duke hero and the rough-around-the-edges (OK, I'll just say it - bitchy) heroine.
Me: Sweetie, I'm sorry - but you can't come to RWA with me.

Lemon Drop: Mommy told me you might say that.  I mean, I know you're Librarian Of The Year and all, but haven't you wondered exactly why you got that award?

Me: Um, I was operating under the assumption of group brain trauma.  Apparently not?

Lemon Drop: I can't believe you don't see it.  You go to RWA last year in Orlando.  After that you start featuring me on this blog.  People like me.  They ask you on Twitter, "How's Lemon Drop?" or "When do I get to see Lemon Drop again?"  Coincidence?  I think not!

Me: Ahhh, it's all becoming clear to me now. 

Lemon Drop: Mommy told me you're a college graduate, but you seem kinda slow to me.  I show up on your blog, I get adoring public, they start anticipating these appearances of mine on your blog, and voila!  Auntie Wendy = Librarian Of The Year!

Me: How does your mother fit you in your crib with that ego?

Lemon Drop::sniff::'s just obvious Auntie Wendy.  I mean, honestly now.

Me: My niece. The diva.  Your Mommy is going to curse my existence when you hit your teen years.


Leslie said...

LOL Lemon Drop is so smart! And there's just no way you can compete with that adorable grin. :)

You'll have to be sure to mention her in your acceptance speech.

little alys said...

Hahaha, Lemon Drop wants to go to RWA. Maybe when she's older? :D

PK the Bookeemonster said...

Lemon Drop in this photo is suddenly a little girl and not a todderl so much. Whoa! I started reading gothic romances in the 5th. I imagine now these kids start in kindergarten. Sigh.

Lil Sis said...

Yes, Lemon Drop knows that it is ALWAYS about her. :) And she is very much a diva...sigh, I fear for the future. Have fun in NYC - if you decide you want to take Lemon Drop I'll pack her bag for you. :)

Marie-Thérèse said...

I think you better check your luggage before you leave for RWA, Wendy! She's growing fast but is still small enough that she could be a stow away ;-)

If I had a smile that cute, I'd probably be a diva too!

nath said...

LOL, indeed, she's become a staple at your blog :) She's earned the ego, Wendy :) Or more like, you gave it to her LOL.

Good job at reading and reviewing!

marelou said...

not to burst your bubble Wendy, but dear Lemondrop has a point. You better keep an eye on her cuteness; she is way smarter that she looks

Wendy said...

Leslie: I see pictures of her with that grin and she looks so much like her Mommy.

Alys: When she's old enough to read YA at least :)

PK: What really blows my mind is going back in time and reading previous "Month in Review" posts. Dang these kids grow up FAST!

Lil' Sis: She can come with me to cocktail parties. Hey, is that a baby on the bar?!

Marie: Ack - don't give that kid any ideas! LOL

Nath: Yeah, I probably shouldn't complain since I helped to create the monster.

Marelou: She's gotten a rock star like following in some corners :) At some point she'll probably have to stop being a regular fixture on the blog - but for now we shall all bask in the cuteness.