Monday, June 01, 2009

Monthly Reads - May 2009

Ouf, I'm definitively paying for an extremely lazy week-end ^_^; But seriously, I think that I got bitten by a bug, the lazyus bug :P So yes, I'm behind on everything: blogging, blog-hopping, replying emails, etc. Lucky for me, today was a pretty relaxed day at work and I was able to catch up on my blog-hopping. If you sent me an email before the week-end, chances are I replied this morning. If I haven't, please let me know ^_^; (I'm really sorry!)

Let see, tomorrow is the end of my no-buying-books-for-a-month bet with Ames!! :) Seems like we both made it :) Hah to everyone who thought I wouldn't make it! LOL :) So we purposely chose a month where there were little releases - those are the most dangerous for impulse binging! I have to admit, I was really tempted last week though. The third week was the most difficult ^_^; I also saved a bit of money which won't hurt for next week's trip.

What trip are you asking? Well I know that we talked about it a little in the previous weeks, but it's official!! I'm going to see Kristie's library and Cindy's pool! LOL :) Yep, I'm heading West next week (Wednesday to Sunday) for the Canadian blogger meeting #2 (LOL, I dropped the ' and Neighboring, because unfortunately, nobody from the South could make it - next time!). This time, I'm going to have the chance to meet a new blogger, Lea! :) Anyway, getting very excited for the trip! Only 9 days away!!

All right, onto the main subject of this post, my reads for this month...

1) The Awakening by Kelley Armstrong: B+

Buddy review with Li coming to Breezing Through (end of this week or early next week).

2) Under Her Skin by Susan Mallery: C

3) The Dragon Earl by Jade Lee: C

The fact that the hero is a 'Chinese' monk was intriguing. In the end though, it didn't quite work out for me. Basically, hero's family went to China when he was about 10 years old and got slaughtered, only he survived and was raised in a temple. Years later, he comes back to London for his wedding with his intended - although nobody really believes him. He yearns to go back to China and officially become a monk, but at the same time, he's attracted to his fiancee... The story itself wasn't bad, but the plot is quite unbelievable and few things were handled wrong in my opinion.

4) The Madness of Lord Ian Mackenzie by Jennifer Ashley: B+

Buddy review with Leslie coming to Breezing Through (tomorrow).

5) The Virgin's Secret by Victoria Alexander: B-

Not much buzz on this new release of Victoria Alexander. Interesting fact is that the hero and his brothers are the descendants of the couple in The Perfect Wife that was re-released not long ago. Overall, it was okay. Story was actually interesting, but no omph.

6) Confessions of a Little Black Gown by Elizabeth Boyle: DNF

I tried really hard to get into it, but it didn't work. The main couple wasn't so bad, but all the secondary characters got on my nerves. The whole storyline about the two ladies rescuing the American Captain - please! Seriously!?! Might give this another try in the future, but I wouldn't bet on it...

7) Hard and Fast by Erin McCarthy: C+

8) He Said Yes by Patricia Waddell: B+

9) Edge of Hunger by Rhyannon Byrd: D

Saw the sequel at the bookstore and thought it might be interesting, but wanted to read the first on before... Rosie also seemed interesting in the world building. Couldn't really get into it. We're talking of Maverick - some kind of vampires (but not exactly vampires). I don't know, it just didn't grab me. I ended up skimming a lot of the book. Maybe I'm burned out on paranormals? I wouldn't be surprised. Sigh.

10) Ravenous by Sharon Ashwood: B-

Kmont reviewed this a couple month ago and it sounded interesting. Witch with limited powers has a clean-up service to pay for her college tuition. Boyfriend turns out not to be who she believed he was. Meanwhile, partner is a very yummy piece of vampire. Demon running around loose in the town and creating havoc that Witch and Partner have to stop.

Storyline was quite interesting and clever, liked the characters. World building is not bad, but few things that are unclear and confusing. Main problem though, again, not feeling the omph factor. It's a pleasant read, but not memorable.

11) With Every Breath by Lynn Kurland: C

I bought this one because Tracy reviewed Till There Was You for Book Binge and clearly, these are a series... so want to try a few books of it. This is a time-traveling series and there are many books in this series, so be warned. Basically, all the couples that this series features has one person from the past, medieval time. So in this one, what happens is that in present time, Sunshine has become the "witch" of the McLoed keep. Suddenly, Cameron McKinnon from another past centuries show up at her door and brings her back to save his brother. Cam is not very well-liked although he's the leader... and Sunshine and Cam ended up fighting for their lives. Both go back to the time portal, but ended up in different times. Sunshine is back to her own time, but Cam went to the future, but 10 years before Sunshine (or something like that), with a very severe concussion resulting in memory loss... so when Cam and Sunshine meet again, Cam doesn't recognize her. There is something very familiar, but he doesn't remember.

Overall, not bad. Very sweet, liked how Ms Kurland avoided sex scenes :P Only problem is that it's a bit too convenient - that the characters know the manners of medieval times, how to speak the language and so on ^_^; The intrigue plot was a bit over-the-top and well, lots of allusion to previous books and lots of secondary characters.

12) Lady Be Good by Susan Elizabeth Phillips: B-

Got this from the library because of Rowena and Seneca's buddy review. Not a fan of SEP, but this one is the first that I really appreciate. Liked Kenny's character - although everyone said he was lazy. He's his own man, he doesn't care what other people think or say. That's great. Emma, well that's where the problem starts. Ugh, she's a bit too naive and simple-minded to me. To avoid marriage, she decides that the best way is to ruin herself... Sure, but why the States? Couldn't you do it in England? Sometimes, it was just eye-rolling. Also, the whole misunderstanding about Pete being Kenny's son - that was just trying too hard. Like all the hint and wording used by the characters, come on. It was obvious that Ms Phillips wanted Emma and the readers to make the mistake. Not subtle at all. I liked Emma POV in the beginning though, I could swear I heard the British accent. So beginning of the book was strong, but it slipped at the end and I lost interest.

13) Kiss and Hell by Dakota Cassidy: C-

Review coming for Book Binge.

14) Till There Was You by Lynn Kurland: B

So as I mentioned before, got this because of Tracy's review. I think that the plot was tighter in this one and the story was overall more interesting. Lots of sequel baiting though and also, all the references to previous characters - it was a bit confusing.

15) True Love and Other Disasters by Rachel Gibson: C-

16) Night Whispers by Judith McNaught: B+

17) Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips: B

Got this from the library, because it's Ames favorite SEP. My favorite now too. Will most probably review it soon.

18) Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas: B-

Review to come.

So 18 books, not bad overall :) That's about the average number of books I'm reading per month. I did a tiny dent in my TBR pile and that's good news, although most of these books I bought this year or were released this year. Anyway, quite satisfied with the number read and the number reviewed. Although it seems that lately, all the books I read are missing the omph factor or are falling flat. Sigh, maybe I'm overdosing?


  1. Bummer. I really liked The Dragon Earl. It just hit me "right" when I read it a couple of months back. Sometimes that happens. The right book finds you at the right time.

    I've got the Ashley in the TBR, and naturally still need to read it. Just don't know when that's going to happen.....

  2. Pretty good. I know Carolyn C. will be very interested to read your thoughts on Armstrong. And good luck with your month of no book buying.

    So, I understand you got a cool award. Where is it?

  3. Usually, I am able to force myself to finish a book no matter how tempted I am to put it down but not so lately. My reading hasn't been going great. I've had more DNF this year than ever.

  4. You had some interesting reads in there. The only book I've read that you read this month is STS. I gave it an A- so I liked it a lot more than you. Can't wait to get your thoughts on it. Have you read any more of the series?

  5. Some of those sound really interesting, but I'm already so far behind it'll be forever before I catch up.

    If you read any more Kurland, the thing is the characters are related by family tree (which is on her website). I never thought I needed to read them in order, but finding the tree helped me keep straight who was related to whom. Often with her books I like the historicals better, but that's just me. :)


  6. ooo hurry and post the review for Smooth talking stranger!

  7. Nice reading list and summary. *g*

    I read quite a few Lynn Kurland's back when I started with romances (time travel! Scottland!). Any guesses which book played an important role on my way to romance? LOL

    You read Smooth Talking Stranger but not Sugar Daddy? How did that happen? ;) I'm looking forward to reading your thoughts!

  8. Wendy - I think part of it is that I didn't buy it, Jacob as a monk. Also, I feel like there were too many loose ends at the end. I like it when things are spelled out and tied nicely :P

    Well, read it before you go to RWA and see Kristie! LOL :)

    Little CJ - Review coming up by the end of the week :) and today is the last day in the no book buying bet!! :) and we made it!! LOL :) unbelievable!!

    Yes, I got an award. Please, do not make any voodoo dolls, I'll do a post on it tomorrow at the latest!

    Tabitha - Oh, sorry to hear, Tabitha. It totally sucks no? I just couldn't make it through that book anymore, sigh.

    Brie - Hey Brie, no, haven't read any other books in the series. I have Sugar Daddy and I'll get back to it. I really liked Jack, but Ella buggged me sometimes. Overall, it was a good read though.

    Amanda - LOL :)

    There was the family tree at the end of my book. It's just that there are a lot of recurrent characters in Till There was You... so it would have been fun to be able to read them in order. Ah well :P

    Isabel - I will :)

    Taja - Got Smooth Talking Stranger at the library, that's why I read it first. Plus, the storyline appealed more to me.

    LOL, I can't guess ^_^; Haven't read enough Kurland yet...

  9. Yeah, I e-mailed the author about those loose ends - and she says there will be a book two. In fact, her contract with Dorchester was that both books would come out fairly close together....

    But then.....

    Dorchester decided to move the date up on the latest book in her Dragon paranormal series and the 2nd historical got pushed back.

    Which is a massive bummer. But apparently the Dragon series is doing well, and you can't really fault the publisher for wanting to strike while the iron is hot.

  10. Wendy - Oh, well that explains it :) Yeah, can't fault the publisher for promoting a good book :) Well as long as the author doesn't get short-changed.

    I thought that the romance in Dragon Earl was quite decent and there were quite a few LOL moments and I liked the H/H. My issues though were: 1) Christopher being considered noble by the heroine - sorry, but he knew the truth at the end and refused to acknowledge it, clinging to the title. I don't care what are the reasons (whether it was for the "good" of his tenants because his uncle was bad - he didn't know Jacob well enough to take that decision!). If he had really been noble, he would have given back the title to the rightful heir like Thomas did in The Lost Duke by Julia Quinn. 2) Where was the heroine family during the whole storyline? I mean, her father and Jacob's uncle? They kind of just disappear... and lastly, Jacob would never have made a good monk...

  11. A solid reading month Nath! Love your summary. And oh boy, mine is late, LOL. Gotta get to that. Thanks for the additions to my TBR. :-)

  12. Nath, I didn't mean Lynn Kurland, I meant Diana Gabaldon's Outlander. *g* Sorry for not being more clear! :)

  13. 18 books. Bugger it! Where do you find the time for everything?

  14. Jennifer - but at least, you got it up :)

    Taja - Ohhhh, all right ;) it's okay.

    Rosie - I don't know... All I can say is I don't have much of a life LOL :)