Thursday, July 02, 2009

Monthly Reads - June 2009

So as many blogs have mentioned it, we've reached the half-year mark yesterday. Wow, 6 months gone already. Unbelievable. One morning, you wake up and it hits you in the face. Those releases that were for July and seemed oh so far away... they're coming out in a few days, LOL.

Yesterday was Canada's Day, so I had a day off. Instead of writing this post and cleaning my room, I read, slept and watched a little bit of tennis ^_^; I'm so lazy lately... and I definitively need to get started on cleaning my room since I'm hosting the annual BBQ this Sunday. Big question is: Where am I going to put all the new books?!?! LOL :P

June was so-so reading-wise. I didn't read as much as I'd like and it shows, since this is my worst month so far in the year. Seriously, looking at the first 3 weeks of the month, I didn't think I would make it past 10 books this month ^_^; However, as usual, I was lucky and able to salvage the month LOL :)

Here is my list for June:

1) Freudian Slip by Erica Orloff: D

Ugh, I bought this one mainly because it was a Mira release and I usually like them. The blurb didn't sound bad either. As you can see by the grade, well it didn't really work out for me ^_^; The story was a little boring and I've seen better with the premises (human + spirit). The most difficult to accept though was the hero - a cocky radio D.J. that did drugs and had lesbian porn stars doing it in the station and broadcasting it. I mean, seriously, how can you sympathize with someone like that? It's not a likeable character ^_^;

2) Legends Lake by JoAnn Ross: C

Okay story and okay characters. It would have been fun if the story had kept focusing on the training of the horse, but as soon as they discovered the problem, the book started focusing on the relationships. I enjoyed this one, but it's not really memorable... and there was a lot of plugs about previous books in the series.

3) When The Duke Returns by Eloisa James: B

Read this one because I was going to send it to Ames. Haven't read the previous books in the series. I thought it was pretty good, the premises pretty interesting and original. I liked the characters and the story, which I have to say, surprised me :) The conflict at the end though was a bit forced in my opinion.

4) Marriage by Design by Lynn Michaels: B

5) My Wicked Enemy by Carolyn Jewel: B+

Interesting setting and plot. I really liked the writing style as well. I thought this did push the limits a little of "regular" romances, even for a paranormal. Definitively going to read more of this series... I just wish that not all the witches are able to undo the binding between mage and fiend.... By the way, what is a fiend? Just another way to say demon?

6) My False Heart by Liz Carlyle: B-

Got this one from Kristie... I have a few of Ms Carlyle's books at home, but never got around to read them. As a first novel, this was quite good and I did enjoy it a lot. I liked the characters, but didn't quite understand that Elliot could undergo such a big change. At the same time, I liked that he didn't apologize for it. However, I did feel like the author was trying a little too hard

7) How To Score by Robin Wells: B+

Review coming up at Breezing Through

8) Guilty Little Secrets by Connie Lane: C-

Hmmm, I think I just wasn't in the mood whe I read this book... The premises sounded cute: an ATF agent undercover as a dancer, a FBI agent undercover as a stripper working on the same case without knowing about each other... in Vegas. I don't know, I didn't like the heroine too much and at the end, when they found out each other real identity... well of course, there would be a territorial fight for who's in charge. Oh, let's not forget all the half-sentences they eavedropped that made believed that the other was a criminal. I don't know, it could have been lots of fun, but it ended up falling flat for me.

9) Last Gasp by Carla Cassidy: B

There was a time, I confused Carla Cassidy and Karen Rose, (because of a cover) but not anymore... The only thing these two authors have in common is that they both write romantic suspense :) Last Gasp was pretty good, even better than the last two I read by this author, Broken Pieces and Every Move You Make. I really liked Allison, the heroine. Her strength and how she was able to move on with the tragedy in her life. I liked the fact that she evaded some things and she's not afraid to admit it. However, the character I liked the most was Seth. I liked the fact that he wasn't pushy, he gave Allison her space and didn't force information out of her... some would have.

10) Straight from the Hip by Susan Mallery: C+

After reading the first book in the series, Under Her Skin, this is the one I've been looking forward to. I liked Isabella's character, she was outgoing, imperilous, she was strong and had such a personality. I was looking forward to see how she would handle being blind. Sigh, she didn't handle it really well. I mean, with her strength and joie de vivre, I would have thought she'd do her best... but instead, she wallowed in self-pity :( Nick was an interesting character, but I felt we didn't get enough of him. He wasn't developed enough, we only saw one side of him... and I felt like his issues in the end weren't resolved. Glad that he was friend with Garrett.

Ah well, still looking for the last book in the series, because like I predicted, it's Dana and Garrett. That should be interesting :P

11) Bending the Rules by Susan Andersen: B

Review coming up. I can tell though, this was better than Cutting Loose :)

12) Black Hills by Nora Roberts: B

Review coming up.

13) Don't Tell by Karen Rose: B+

14) Instant Gratification by Jill Shalvis: C+

Hmmmm, I really liked Stone's character. I liked his attitude, how he cares for others and make everyone get along with each other. Tries to solve all the problems, to do it all. At the same time though, I liked that he was laid-back. What didn't work for me was Emma. Their interaction was really fun, playful. LOL, the parts where they played doctor, LOL, and everytime Stone said she was mean :P So childish. However, as a heroine, I didn't like Emma. I thought she was selfish, even when she wasn't trying to be. She didn't want to commit to anyone: not her father and not Stone... even Spencer. I don't get why she came back in the end, well yes, I know, Stone... but I mean, she still didn't like Wishful and she was willing to leave her father. Ah well. I think that Ms Shalvis is just not for me. All the books I've tried have turned out to be meh and this one is no exception :(

So there you have it, June. All in all, an okay month. No wowzer, unfortunately :( One thing I do know though is that I need to get back into the review groove. Doing these mini-reviews, I don't feel really articulated ^_^; Ah well, hopefully, it'll come back :)

Now, I can't wait to see how July is going to turn out :) Branded by Fire has shown up in some of the bookstores... wish me luck! :D


  1. Great list! I'm looking forward to Instant Gratification. Hopefully I'll like it. :)

  2. lol - I've only read one of those books - the Liz Carlyle one. And *gulp* none of them really appeal to me.

  3. Hi Nath
    You hit the nail on the head. If Jill Shalvis is not your cup of tea
    then IG is not for you. But Tracy if you like her other books you will like IG - just finished it.
    You were right on about Straight fron the Hip but I still liked it. Even tho the last book is predictable I still want to see how Mallery turns a slimeball into a hero.

  4. Haven't read any of those books. That sucks you didn't care for Jill Shalvis. I read one book by her and I didn't care for it. I haven't tried another one by her yet.

  5. Tracy - I think if you liked Ms Shalvis previous work, there shouldn't be any problem, Tracy :D

    Kristie - LOL, it's okay :) we have different tastes after all :) LOL, my sister has been helping me going through your excel file and whenever she says "Western," I'm like: "nope." LOL:)

    Mary - Yeah, it's unfortunate, because I did like Stone. Emma just annoyed me. Oh, I still like Straight from the Hip as well... but it didn't meet my expectations...

    With a good heroine, you can always turn someone ruthless to a lesser degree. You know what though? I have a feeling that Jed is the one who plotted the bombing.

    Isabel - Yeah, quite a combination of old and new :P You're the smartie one :) I should stop buying books by authors that I feel meh about... but then, I keep seeing everyone's enthusiast about it... Sigh.

  6. Nath - Wow, sure looks like a good month to me. Black Hills is out already? I thought it didn't release until the 7th. And you have already read Straight From the Hip. I am reading Lip Service right now. OMG is the hero ever a jerk. He has a big chip on his shoulder. I hope it gets better. I want the Andersen book. It looks really good.

  7. This is a great list of books, Nath! I wish I could compleate as many in a month. I haven't read any paranormal romance in a long time but I'm thinking that I may like the Carolyn Jewel book. I'll have to look out for it.

  8. I does look like the month ended quite well for you, nath!
    I just finished (and posted) about IG today. Emma really worked for me. She was hard to like at the beginning, but she did do a slow thaw at the end, that made it a really rewarding read for me.

    So far, I'm loving My Forbidden Desire. Xia totally rocks! It's a great follow-up to MWE. :-)

  9. Nath - you are too smart!!. You are probably right about Jed. I wonder if Mallery can make him nice too. One jerk to hero in a book is enough LOL!!

  10. Jill - Yeah, I got lucky. For some reasons, Black Hills was already out on the shelves.

    I didn't read Lip Service... i didn't really like Skye as a character, so I figured why bother... and for some reasons, in those kind of storylines, I don't like kids.

    LOL, hope you get your hands on the Andersen soon, it was enjoyable :D

    Brie - Thanks Brie :D The setting of the Carolyn Jewel is quite interesting and different. You should give it a try :D

    Renee - Yep, it did. LOL, I read the Carolyn Jewel on my way to Kristie's... so I was at 5 ^_^;

    I actually didn't see/feel the thaw. Seriously, it was really kept at a minimum... which makes it a little more realistic... but not enough to make me like her.

    Xia does rock :) I skimmed through the book. Need to sit down and read it :D by the way, did Harsh ever reveal to his sister that he was "kidnapped"? That he didn't abandon her.

    Mary - That's what I'm guessing... because Jed is just too sure to win. He definitively has something up his sleeves.