Anyway, I've decided to give my blogging muse a little break this week... and I'm thinking I'll put her to work this week-end LOL. With curling starting next week, I think I'll have to devise a plan so I have posts prepared :P Hopefully, this week-end will be inspiring :) So while my blogging muse is on break, I thought I could list my reads in August. Simple right? Here we go!
1) That Thing Called Love by Susan Andersen: C
2) Gunmetal Magic by Ilona Andrews: B-
Upcoming buddy review to come
3) Haven by Kay Hooper: B-
4) The Care and Feeding of Stray Vampires by Molly Harper: C
5) A Witch Before Dying by Heather Blake: B-
6) Forever and a Day by Jill Shalvis: B
7) Almost a Scandal by Elizabeth Essex: B+
Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City is a short novella, a kind of epilogue to The Iron Duke, in which readers get to see how Mina and Rhys are adapting to their new life after the HEA ending. A big part of the book is about Rhys and Mina's internal struggles: Rhys and his fear for Mina due to her profession and the risks it entails and Mina trying not to overload their adoptive daughter's, Anne the Tinker, life with her maternal instincts. In addition, there's also an investigation about the death of an aristocratic bounder who has been drumming support for his labor initiative to reward factories that didn't install fully automate machinery, putting manual workers out of a job.
Honestly, Mina Wentworth and the Invisible City was an okay novella. I picked it up because I was curious to read about Mina and Rhys' HEA ending... Unfortunately, I forgot that I didn't care much about Mina and Rhys' characters and thus found the whole internal struggles, Rhys' fear for Mina's life and their adaptation to married life, boring ^_^; I simply wasn't hooked. The mystery was not bad, but it wasn't great either. It would have been more interesting and intriguing if Ms Brook had more pages to work with, if it wasn't so closely connected to Mina's life and if the ending hadn't been so anti-climatic. Like everyone else, I did enjoy Scarsdale's appearance and I'm wondering if he'll have his own book one day...
9) Paradise by Jill S. Alexander: B-
I'm not going to attempt to summarize Dirty because I don't think I could make it justice. If you want to know what happens, you can always check out Goodreads or read Hilcia or Rosie's reviews.
I've heard a lot of good about Dirty, especially since it was Ms Hart's debut novel IIRC, and almost singularly launched her at the top of the list of best erotica authors in romance blogland. Of course, her subsequent books kept her there :) Nowadays, whenever I hear the name of Megan Hart, I always associate the name with refreshing and deep erotica romance books. I'm not a big reader of erotica romance, but I'll pick up a book once in a while... and after reading Hilcia's review, I was intrigued and therefore decided to revisit the past and give Dirty a go. And now, I understand why Ms Hart became so popular so quickly :)
Dirty was a very solid and good book, one that I stayed up late to finish and let me tell you, those books are rare these days. What makes Dirty stands out so much in my opinion is that nobody expects such a deep story when picking up an erotica romance book. It comes as a total surprise, so at the end, you can't help but be a little wowed. Also, I thought the story, everything that Ella has gone through, felt very real. I really admired Ella and was so happy that despite everything, she built herself a good life. She didn't let the past control her totally. I loved Dan, the hero. I thought he was a great guy and his patience was exactly what Ella needed to heal. The secondary characters were well written and all served a purpose in the story. I liked Ella's younger brother, hated her mother and was happy that Ella was opening up her shell and making friends. I have to say though, having read the reviews and knowing this book was more than it appeared, it was easy to pick up Ms Hart's clues throughout the book and know the reason why Ella was broken. And I guess that lessened the wow factor for me, hence the grade. Still, at the end of the day, Dirty was an excellent book... and it was actually a lot steamier than I expected in comparison to Broken, one of the other books by Ms Hart that I've read :)
11) The Line Between Here and Gone by Andrea Kane: C+
12) Wild Texas Rose by Jodi Thomas: C+
13) All Seeing Eye by Rob Thurman: B+
14) The Best Laid Plans by Sarah Mayberry: B-
15) Fool for Love by Beth Ciotta: C-
Books bought: +9
Books read: -15
TBR pile: -6
Category Romance - 1
Contemporary Romance - 3
Historical Romance - 2
--> (Regence - 1/Western - 1)
Urban Fantasy - 1
Steampunk Romance - 1
Paranormal Romance - 1
Mystery/Thriller - 3
Cosy Mystery - 1
YA - 1
Erotica Romance - 1
Well, well, well. I think August turned out to be a great month after July. Reading double-digits of books always signifies a good month for me :) All the other numbers also look good to me LOL. And I think this was my most diversified month to date when it comes to what I've read. All in all, can't complain... except to say I wished September had been as good!
Quality-wise, well no wowzers - although a few were on the verge of being so - but no real bummers either. Maybe I'm a tough grader, but at the same time, I know what I like... and well, it seems to me that a lot of books have the same problems when it comes to the romance... so perhaps it's not really me :P
What do you think of my month?