Monday, August 03, 2009

Monthly Reads July 2009

Hey everyone!! How are you doing? I hope everyone is well and enjoying the summer/vacation. My boss is leaving next week-end for three weeks!! Yay!! and we got the grant!! :) So we're all very happy at the lab. Today is supposed to be a holiday (but just at the hospital), but I'm still going in because we have a lot of work since my boss is leaving next week-end. It's all right though, I'll save that day for another day LOL :)

So aside from that, not much is new with me. I finished the new Karen Rose in one day - can't wait to review it LOL :) Tomorrow, I'm going to get Bad Moon Rising. There's just so many books coming out... LOL, you think you're done for a while, but there's always one more tempting you... Oh, we have some news over at Breezing Through, so if you have time, stop by :)

Now, let's move on to the meat of this post, my list of reads for July :)

1) Lady's Choice by Jayne Ann Krentz: B

Pretty typical JAK's storyline, although shorter since I think this was originally for one of Harlequin's line. Hero is all about getting back what is his due, but he didn't expect the heroine. I thought this was cute and I really liked the heroine. She was different... when she learned that her lover was once engaged with her cousin, she didn't get angry... Well yes, she was angry, but simply because it was clear they didn't match. All in all, cute.

2) When She's Bad by Leanne Banks: C

Hmmm, I've been searching for this book for a couple of years and am very glad I found it. Although have to admit, I was a little bit disappointed. The story is okay, my biggest problem though is that the heroine was once a "trophy" girlfriend, an arm-candy. I'm kind of tired of all those "trophy" heroines who never had sex with their sugar daddies because the man was impotent. It's really getting old, seriously. I have no idea that the heroine has been arm-candy in the past and I'm not usually fond of this type of storyline... so you can imagine how much I enjoyed this one ^_^; Also, the heroine comes from the wrong side, she considers herself
"white trash"... and our hero is rich. Yep, another reason why they shouldn't be together. What saved this for me was mainly the hero. I liked him, cute and yummy. Their interaction wasn't bad either...

3) Branded by Fire by Nalini Singh: A-

4) Wildest Hearts by Jayne Ann Krentz: B-

Another JAK... This is one of her older books. Theme is marriage of convenience. Heroine's brother has disappeared... She's determined that he's still alive and intend to support his company till he comes back. However, she doesn't have the necessary experience and the investors are worried. She decides to offer a marriage of convenience to her brother's friend and investor. Hero wanted heroine since the beginning so this is just perfect for him. Now, if he only could convince her that this is a real marriage. Overall, I enjoyed it. Again, very typical of JAK...

5) Mother of the Bride by Lynn Michaels: C

I was looking forward to read another book by Ms Michaels since I enjoyed Marriage by Design so much. Unfortunately, this one didn't work for me too much. Heroine comes from a family of over-achievers who's had a lot of success. She's the invisible one. In addition, she lets herself be pushed around which is how she ended up raising her niece. Niece is 19 years old and in love. Has decided to marry with her boyfriend. Boyfriend's uncle shows up, determined not to allow this marriage... in the end, he invites them to his home where they can hold the wedding and where he plans to wreck their plans. My problem with this one was mainly the niece. Ugh, her character was so spoiled and so hurtful!! Lots of drama as well coming from the family members. I didn't feel it for the hero and heroine either. There are some good parts of course, but meh. Still not going to give up on this author though...

6) What Happens in London by Julia Quinn: B

7) The Wedding Night by Jayne Ann Krentz: C

Another JAK. Yes, I've been in a glomming mood, although this one I read because it was pretty short. Basically, heroine marries hero because she's in love with him. Then, she learns that her family company and the hero's are going to merge and she's suddenly wondering what is the hero's motive for marrying her. She decides to put off the wedding night till they know each other better. Hero is not thrilled, but has no choice. To avoid her making a scene in the public eye, he brings her to his family home... where his relatives are less than excited to welcome her due to an old feud. Again, very typical of JAK. Liked the heroine and hero, liked their chemistry. Would have been better if it focused on them a little bit more. Though the family members were annoying.

8) After the Kiss by Suzanne Enoch: B

9) Larger Than Life by Kay Hooper: B

This is a re-print. Heroine is a singer who has suddenly become a star. A great contrast between who she is now and who she was two years ago. So much that people are wondering if she is the same person and if she is, what changed her. Hero is a writer who's planning to write a biography about the heroine. He's also very attracted to her, so struck a bargain so he is allowed to spend time with her and get to know each other. It was an okay book, not bad at all actually. But I'm sure I would have enjoyed it better if I've read it another time. I was feeling pretty blah that day :( One thing that I liked about this book is how the hero and heroine get to know each other. These parts are always written so seamlessly by Ms Hooper. Readers don't witness all the steps and you know that time has passed, but you know that something has happened between the characters. That their connection is becoming stronger, etc.

10) Stardust of Yesterday by Lynn Kurland: B-

Bought this book because I recently read Till There Was You and I was curious about one of the character whose book this is. Anyway, I thought this book was about time travel, but turns out it's a ghost story. Oups. This wasn't bad, but there was a lot to take in ^_^; You also have to supsend disbelief a little ^_^; My main problem was the H/H relationship. I just couldn't believe it... the rest was good though. Ah well.

11) Sweet Baby by Sharon Sala: B

12) Angel Falls by Nora Roberts: A

Re-read this book after reading Jill's review. Definitively a great book and a winner. I love Reece and Brody's characters. Well developed with their quirks, very far from being stereotypical. I love how Brody is rude, LOL :) I love the scenes where Reece is cooking. Seeing Reece and Brody start a relationship, even though it's a casual one. It was great... really great. I mainly re-read this one for the characters. Love the interactions between the H/H and with other characters. It also gives hope in my opinion. Anyway, a winner and I'm glad I re-read it :) Mystery was okay, better than in Black Hills and Tribute, but still a little bit weak.

13) Strange Brew

This is an anthology with many urban fantasy novellas. I bought this book for 2 stories:

Seeing Eye by Patricia Briggs: B

I thought the story was a little bit too short, but I liked it a lot... from the beginning to the end. In this story, Ms Briggs introduces us to new characters, Tom and Moira. Tom is a werewolf from Seattle, second in his Pack, and is looking for his brother who has the sight. He's been told that Moira can help him, so he goes to find her. Moira is a witch and has had dreams about this happening. She also knows how it's going to end... Anyway, great story. The end was a little abrupt and I'd like a better wrap-up. What I'm glad though is that I think this is setting up Hunting Ground very well, since that book will take place in Seattle. As a result, I'm looking forward to see Tom and Moira again :)

Last Call
by Jim Butcher: B

A Dresden Files entry. I love Harry! I read this book and I had a smile from beginning to end LOL :) Very cute short story. I think it's a great interlude for the series and I don't think it has a big impact on the series... so if you've missed this one, it's okay :) Anyway, highly enjoyable :P

14) Double Play by Jill Shalvis: B

Buddy review coming at Breezing Through tomorrow.

15) Don't Tempt Me by Loretta Chase: B+

16) Amber by Night by Sharon Sala: B

This one, I've been looking for for years!! Thanks Ames for finding it!! I love you!! LOL :)

I rarely hunt down for category romances, even if they've been written by my favorite authors (eg. Nalini Singh). If I remember correctly, I read a review for this one or read a comment and it just made me want it LOL :) Was it worth it? Kind of. I thought the beginning was very slow, but it did pick up. I felt that this was quite an old-fashioned story, a bit dated ^_^; Basically, heroine is a librarian who needs money to buy a car and so, starts working in a bar. Of course, she has to look the part. She lives with two old maid aunts and doesn't want them to know the truth. Hero comes in the bar and is smitten by heroine. Then, later, he recognizes her as the town librarian and is determined to pursue and win her. I liked the fact that the heroine didn't live that double life for too long and liked that she came clean to the hero - eventually. Hero was a great guy, he has a bad boy reputation, but I don't really get why. He's a good man, very patient and very loving, very considerate. Seriously, the heroine is very lucky :)

So that's it for the month. 16 books, it's not bad, but I have to admit, I'm a little bit disappointed. I know 16 is a great number, but it could have been more. Basically, all of these books have been read in the first 3 weeks of July. The past week? I didn't finish anything :( Hoping to be able to make it up this month :)


  1. Was Karen Rose's new release a good read? I can't wait for my copy. According to Amazon shipping email, it's been on its way. Aaah, I know I said I wouldn't pre-order from Amazon but the HB copy from them is so much cheaper than at the bookstore.

  2. Tabitha - Yes, it's good. I really enjoyed it :) It's closer in-style to Count to Ten than the For Me trilogy. Also, I think the characters were well developed.

  3. Woo hoo! I'm so glad to hear that. Count to Ten is one of my favorite books by her.

    Are you a big romantic suspense fan?

  4. Hi nath, you did great this month. 16 books is nothing to sneeze at, lol!

    I go through periods where I go back and re-read my old JAKs -- good or mediocre I crave them sometimes. ;)

    You know? I think I need some good Kay Hooper recommendations. I read one book by her (can't remember the name ATM) and absolutely did NOT like it, so I just never bought another book by her.

    I have Harry (Dresden Files) in my TBR pile (the first one), I have a feeling once I start I'm going to devour that series. :)

  5. Nath - Is Seeing Eye by Briggs part of an anthology? If so which one. I want to read it! For some reason I am always forgetting about anthologies.

    I like how you summarized everything this month! It's a brief recap of each book, but informative too.

  6. Tabitha - I hope you get it fast and that you'll enjoy it :D

    Hmmm, I like contemporary romance and nowadays, so many are mixed with suspense... So I wouldn't say I a BIG fan, but I do enjoy it when it's well done :)

    Hilcia - I'm glad I'm not the only one!! I mean, it's just that the JAK all have very similar storylines.

    Can you remember the title of the Kay Hooper you read? I love her FBI SCU series. Love it to pieces. They're more thrillers/mystery with psychics and a little bit of romance in it. That's what really started me on her books. I think that her earlier strict romances that are being reprinted now are cute, but they don't have the impact that her FBI series has on me. Stealing the Shadows and Out of the Shadows are two good starting point :)

    As for the Dresden Files, if you like urban fantasy, you should enjoy this series. Although, I have to warn you, it's a slow start. I almost gave up on the series at first, but then I read the 4th book and there was no turning back :) So don't give up on the series!!

    Jill - The anthology name is Strange Brew, however warning, it's a compilation of short stories by different urban fantasy authors. Seeing Eye is about 40 pages long, so I wouldn't recommend buying it if it's only for her story... Unless you are a die-hard fan. (Maybe just read it in the bookstore :P)

    And thanks ;) I'm glad people are enjoying my monthly reads posts :)

  7. Wow, you're definitely on a JAK glom.

    My Karen Rose books are still sitting on my TBR pile. I remember (and liked) Wildest Hearts, don't think I cared for Lady's Choice, and haven't read The Wedding Night, though your plot summary sounds spot-on - typical JAK!

    Sounds like a good month all in all.

  8. Have you heard of Leslie Parrish? She's known as Leslie Kelly under Harlequin and recently has two romantic suspense books out in A Black CATS series -- Fade to Black and Pitch Black. I read Fade to Black last month and enjoyed it so when I saw Pitch Black out early (due out Aug. 4, 2009 but Walmart had it out last week) I didn't hesitate to get it. I started on Pitch Black this a.m. and am liking it so far. Her suspense books remind me abit of Karen Rose.

  9. Hey nath, glad you enjoyed that book. I was intrigued by it.

  10. Li - LOL, I know. I think that one of the reasons is that her books require less attention, LOL :)

    Dig them up, dig up the Karen Rose!!! Come on girl, you can do it!! :)

    Psst, did you read Queen and King? :P I'm sorry, I sound like a broken record, but I just can't wait to see what you think of them? The 4th book is coming out in March 2010. I'm reserving you for a buddy review, okay? LOL :P

    Tabitha - I've bought her books! Both Fade to Black and Pitch Black. I read a review somewhere and it sounded very Karen Rose-ish, so I jumped on them :) I've started Fade to Black, but I don't think I was in the mood for it. Must give it another try :D

    Ames - I liked it :) Not sure you would have though :P

  11. Nath, congrats on the grant!

    You know, looking at your monthly reads lists always makes me depressed. *g* You easily read twice as much books as I do. I'm jealous! *g*

    You go! :)

  12. Nath, the Hooper title -- "If There Be Dragos" -- definitely an old title, lol! I'll be trying the FBI titles you're recommending.

    I'm definitely reading that first Dresden Files book I have on my TBR before year's end. :)

  13. 16 is still a lot of books. At least to me.

  14. Taja - Thanks Taja :) We're really glad about the grant :)

    and LOL, don't be depressed. Just tell yourself that Nath has more time than you do :P Which is probably true :P

    Hilcia - Definitively :) I hope you enjoy the FBI ones :) That's how I discovered her and I loved it!! :)

    Hope you enjoy Dresden Files!! Like I say, stick it with it. Starting from book 4, it's much better :D

    Isabel - I know, I know... but it could have been more... and I yearn for more LOL :P

  15. Nath, you're kind. But I'm not so sure when I look at my posts on my blog. An old time suck named playing games has raised its head again recently. So it's probably my fault I can't manage your number of books. *g*

  16. Taja - LOL, in the end, it doesn't matter how many books you read :) What's important is that you enjoy them :D

  17. Looks like you had a "retro" reading month Nath. You make me rethink whether or not I want to go back in time with Krentz. Her backlist has never called to me before...but I think I'll look again. And I've got to check my TBR list...I don't think Banks is on there. Name sounds familiar though. Going to wait to read your Chase review until after I read it...hoping to do that this month. Ditto for Nora's latest. You've got me thinking, thanks. :-)

  18. Jennifer B - Yep, I guess I had :P I'm trying to read some older releases too. Not just run after the newer releases :P