Monday, May 17, 2010

Monthly Reads: April 2010

All right, vacation is definitively over and it's time for me to come back with my usual programming :D

I'm going to start with my monthly reads list for April :) Now April was an extremely busy month for me, think insanely crazy ^_^; On one hand, there was work and on the other, preparing for the trip (well okay, fretting and worrying)... and let's not underestimate the amount of will required for me not to buy books. As a result, my recording of April's reads and books bought is a little bit sketchy ^_^; But we all try our best, right? :)

Here we go...

1) Wicked Games by Jeri Smith-Ready: C+

I've heard a lot of good of Jeri Smith-Ready, especially for her Aspect of Crow trilogy. Since I've been on on an urban fantasy kick, I thought I'd try out Ms Smith-Ready with Wicked Games. Plus, it got good reviews from Leslie and Brie. Unfortunately, it didn't work out so well for me ^_^;

I've just taken a look at my bookshelves and realized that while I really enjoy urban fantasy, most of my favorite series are predominantly werewolves or wizard/witch characters. I'm not such a big fan of vampires...

In any case, the main problem for me with this book was I just couldn't get into it. The characters and storyline felt a bit bleh for me. I liked the idea of  vampires being stuck in the time period they were changed and how the author carried out this idea with the world building. The main intrigue was also quite interesting. However, I felt something was missing... perhaps it was the characters... none of them really tug at any of my heartstrings. I do have the second book in my TBR pile, but not sure when I'll get to it.

2) Don't Kill the Messenger by Eileen Rendahl: DNF

I was really looking forward to this book; however, it turned out to be quite disappointing. Perhaps it has to do with the vampires, sigh. Basically, the story is about Melina who is a messenger. She got her powers after being electrocuted at the age of 3 and it developed over the years. As a messenger, Melina brings messages from one supernatural being to another... During one of her job, Melina makes the discovery of kiang shi - Chinese vampires, but they're really zombies. These kiang shi are being controlled by the Chinese triad which has plans to take over the underground world in Santa Fe.

The premises sounded good and I liked the idea of Melina being a messenger. I thought that would be a cool and necessary job... and the kiang shi part was cool, because I knew about it from watching Chinese tv series. So why didn't it work for me? Well first, I didn't really like Melina too much. I felt she was a bit too whiny about her job as a messenger, especially considering how long she's been at it. She should have adapted and worked it out. Also, as someone that wasn't very too fond of the supernatural world, she kept getting deeper into it, being noisy and choosing to help out. I mean, yes, her desire to sort things out is what kept the story going on, but a bit out of character. I wished the messenger portion would be a bit more developed - the powers, the actual job, etc. Also, while Melina get with the human at the end, there are way too many guys that suddenly start paying her attention, i.e. the hot vampire and hot werewolf. Big warning bells about upcoming love triangles :(

In the end, I just wasn't getting into it and didn't really feel like finishing it... But I still like the original idea and I like Ted - the human :)

3) Mad, Bad and Blonde by Cathie Linz: D

Hmmm, I think I've learn my lesson. Ms Linz is just not for me, sigh. Faith West gets jilted on her wedding day and decides that the best way to get over it is to still enjoy her honeymoon. She goes to Italy where she meets hunky, tall guy and proceeds to have sex with him. Only problem, hunky, tall guy - Caine, is not there coincidentally... he's actually there keeping an eye on Faith. He's a P.I. who works for Faith's father's rival firm and he believes that Faith's father mis-investigated his father's case which led to his father's suicide... so he wants revenge. Long story short, they both get onto the case to find out the truth while fighting like cat and mouse.

Another book that didn't work for me. I just didn't find this book enjoyable. I don't really like how Faith and Caine met and had sex. I mean, no wonder Faith was pissed at Caine! I thought there was no chemistry between Faith and Caine and I don't understand why Caine kept pursuing Faith. Or at least, if he really wanted to court/woo, I'd have found another way. I know the banter was supposed to be funny, but it got on my nerve. This was supposed to be a fun and enjoyable read... and it just wasn't :(

4) Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake by Sarah MacLean: B-

Buddy review coming for Breezing Through.

5) Her Vampire Husband by Michele Hauf: C

I saw a good review for this one and thought I'd give it a try because of the marriage of convenience plot. I like those :) Creed is one of the oldest vampire and Blu is the princess of the werewolves. They get hitched in order to bring peace between the two factions. However, as it turns out, each faction has their own plans...

The story wasn't bad, but the marriage of convenience plot was blah. I would have liked the plot to focus a bit more on them getting to know each other. There wasn't many sweet or tender moments between the two. It was more about lust... There is a difference, sigh. I liked Creed, but I thought Blu didn't make enough efforts. Each had too many prejudices against each other and I don't feel like they worked it out :( 

6) The Reckoning by Kelley Armstrong: A-

Upcoming review.

7) Heart of Stone by Jill Marie Landis: B

8) Her Best Friend by Sarah Mayberry: B+

I wish I could write a complete review, but I don't think that will happen. Better write a mini then :P

Amy has been in love with her best friend, Quinn, forever. Unfortunately for her, Quinn chose the third musketeer in their band, Lisa. Amy has finally thrown the towel and decided that she deserved happiness and started to move on... and therefore, tried to put some distance between her and Quinn and Lisa. Turns out though, there are troubles in paradise and Quinn and Lisa got divorced. Now is Amy's chance to grab onto Quinn... will she?

This is my favorite Sarah Mayberry so far :D She really did a good job at writing the best friends to lovers storyline. I liked Amy and Quinn's characters and I liked how realistic they were portrayed. I liked the tension and how their relationship changed throughout the book... Poor Amy, it's hard to be in love with your best friend and not being able to claim it out loud. However, there were some flaws in the book... I didn't like the evil developer storyline - a bit too typical and predictable. I also though Amy could have moved on earlier... Don't know how the storyline would have turned out, but seriously... That was the only way she would really move on. What would have happened if Quinn didn't come back, divorced? Two small quibbles, not enough to mar my enjoyment of this book :D

9) Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas: B

10) Crazy Beautiful by Lauren Baratz-Logsted: B-

Another book I picked up after reading Leslie's review. Borrowed it from the library this time :D  This is a YA rendition of Beauty and the Beast. You have Lucius Wolfe who "accidentally" blew off his house and lost his 2 hands in the process which are now replaced by hooks. He's starting school in a new town and it's hard to be the new kid under any circumstances... but his? Aurora Belle is also starting school in a new town... Her mother has recently lost her battle against cancer and Aurora's father decided it'd be better to move to another house in order to move on. Unlike Lucius though, Aurora quickly befriends the cool kid... However, she can't help but being curious of Lucius...

This was quite a good book. I thought Ms Baratz-Logsted did a good job at fleshing the characters while keeping it for an YA audience. My only problem though is that the book was a 100 pages too short. The end was rushed and as a result, it felt incomplete... especially Lucius character. We finally find out that the explosion wasn't that much of an accident, but I would have liked to find out more about his thoughts, the why... Or perhaps I just suck at reading between the lines, LOL. As for the ending, like I said, it was rushed. I think the author should have added an epilogue just to wrap up things a little more cleanly.

11) In the Darkest Night by Patti O'Shea: B+

Upcoming review.

12) Savor the Moment by Nora Roberts: B++

Upcoming review.

There you have it, 12 books. 13 if you count my re-read which was Through a Crimson Veil by Patti O'Shea. Considering how busy the month was, I'll take it :D Now, I really need to start working on some of the upcoming reviews!! I really haven't been doing good on reviews lately :( We'll see how it goes.

Now, let see how good a girl I was when it comes to buying books:

Books bought: + 8 (actually 7, since I bought a book twice - don't ask LOL)
Books read: -12
TBR pile: -4

Woohoo!! Negative number! Okay, I shouldn't be so happy considering these numbers don't take into account the books I brought back from the RT convention... and seriously, they shouldn't, because I always go crazy on trips! They're such good opportunities to find and buy books LOL. But LOL, I like the illusion... and I was a good girl :D I'm surprised at my will to resist!

All right, time to go to bed now... but LOL, I'm happy I have this post finally up :D


  1. looks like some good reads!!! Looking forward to your reviews!!!

  2. Wow you did have a busy month! lol Lots of goodies in there though! =)

  3. Nath, you had some great reads and some deep disappointments last month, but a great reading month considering how busy you were. :)

    I can't wait to read your reviews for Savor the Moment, In the Darkest and The Reckoning.

  4. Lover of Romance - LOL, yeah, there were a few good reads... but I was a bit desperate, since the month didn't start out so well...

    Monroe - Yes, extremely busy. Hope I won't ever go through a month as busy as that again!

    Hilcia - Yeah, there were a few duds, sigh :(

    Going to try my best to review those books :D Although you already know how I feel about Savor the Moment :D

  5. I think you did pretty good for your reads considering the busy schedule you had.

    The Reckoning is a YA novel right? I'm not into YA novels but I'm curious to see how your review of it is since I'm glomming KA right now. Btw, have you read Waking the Witch yet?

  6. I just finished up Her Best Friend this morning. It could have almost done without the evil guy altogether, except as a reason to get Quinn to town. Best friend stories are my very favorite plotline, so I have to say I loved this one.

  7. Some good reads with a few bumps. Sorry Wicked Game didn't work for you but it happens.

    Glad you liked Lucius and his hooks. :)

    And I can't imagine reading a Mayberry I didn't like. (Geez, hope I didn't just jinx myself)LOL

  8. Too bad about DON'T KILL THE MESSENGER. And lol, I skipped the Mayberry novel in my last order of books and now I think I've made a mistake! *g*

    -4 books - that looks good!

  9. Tabitha - Number-wise, perhaps... but reading-wise, I was really getting desperate! LOL.

    Yes, The Reckoning is YA and don't read it before you've read the others!! If you start now, you'll be lucky, because at least, all three books are out now :D

    Haven't read Waking the Witch yet. Will soon, but just not yet... :P

    Lisa - Nod nod, I agree with you Lisa. I think Amy could have gotten Quinn back another way. The bad guy didn't add much to it, I thought. But otherwise, it was all good :D

    Leslie - Well you know, it's not too bad when the duds are spread out... but one after another? Ouch.

    Yeah, too bad for Wicked Games. Did you read the 2nd book? I can't remember...

    LOL, hopefully, you did not jinx yourself :D She is a great writer indeed :D

    Taja - Ugh, yeah, I was so looking forward to it too! :(

    LOL, well you can still order it :D

    Well in reality, it's not really -4... ^_^; but shhhhh.