1) The Grendel Affair by Lisa Shearin: B
2) How to Run with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper: C-
3) The Last Guy She Should Call by Joss Wood: B+
4) River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz: B
5) Her Secret Fling by Sarah Mayberry: B
6) Bitter Spirits by Jenn Bennett: C+
7) The Spider by Jennifer Estep: C
8) Hope Flames by Jaci Burton: C
9) Rush Me by Allison Parr: C
10) The Avery Shaw Experiment by Kelly Oram: A
11) Some Girls Bite by Chloe Neill: C+
It's been a while since I last read Ms Ross. I somewhat find it unfortunate that she stepped away from romantic suspense and jumped on the bandwagon of small town contemporary romance, even though she still features ex-military characters. Anyway, Castaway Cove is the 6th book in the Shelter Bay series, but I think it stands alone quite well. The story is about Mac Culhane, a radio DJ who went to the world's most dangerous war zones to bring the soldiers some comfort from home with his voice. His last stint in Afghanistan didn't go so well as he was injured... and when he got home, his wife walked out on him, leaving him in charge of his six years old daughter, Emma. At crossroads, Mac decides to move to Shelter Bay to be close to his father and grandfather who is suffering from Alzheimer disease. There, he meets Annie Shepard who is new to Shelter Bay and had opened a scrap-booking store, wanting a fresh start after a painful divorce. Upon their first meeting, Mac and Annie can feel the sizzling attraction between them... but are they ready for a new relationship?
I really like Mac's side of the story - his struggles being a single-father, accepting his grandfather's disease and trying to spend the most time with him. In contrast, I didn't really care about Annie's backstory. I think it's mostly because I didn't understand that Annie - why she would get married to the man she did, etc. She seemed so different from the current Annie that it seemed like two complete different women. Also, truth be told, her backstory just wasn't as interesting as Mac's. Emma and Charlie - Mac's grandfather - were also two interesting and very likable secondary characters and I enjoyed their bond. Finally, Mac and Annie's relationship worked for me. Yes, it was a bit draggy at times - just get together! However, what I liked is that when they did, they both knew they were embarking into something more than just a fling.
While Castaway Cove didn't shake things up for me, it was a very nice read with some interesting elements :)
13) Dirty Secrets by Karen Rose: B-
Category romance - 2
--> (Contemporary - 2)
Contemporary romance - 3
Historical romance - 1
New Adult - 1
Paranormal romance - 1
Romantic Suspense - 1
Urban Fantasy - 3
Young Adult - 1
Overall, I'm pretty happy with how 2014 started :) 13 books is a good number and what I'm most proud is the number of books I reviewed :P Made this post so much easier to write! LOL. Now, hopefully, I'll be able to keep up in February... but I doubt it ^_^; As for the books read, well there's really one that stood out for me, The Avery Shaw Experiment. That one, I will be reviewing very soon :) For the rest, it's not that it wasn't good - there were some very enjoyable and nice reads; however, I found the majority simply felt too familiar, nothing really new or refreshing. Perhaps I need a change in genre or something... Then again, there were no blockbuster books coming out in January, so perhaps it was to be expected. It'll be interesting to see what a reading year 2014 will turn out...
So what about you? How was your start of 2014?