Friday, May 12, 2006

Been plowing through my TBR stack like it’s my job….

Linda Castillo

Dead Reckoning

Both hero and heroine are interesting, less than perfect characters. He battles pain, prescription drug addiction and a resulting surliness—at best, or complete loss of control—at worst. She was a victim at 17 and the burden manifests itself into a measure of bitchiness and degree of isolation off the scale. Castillo skillfully subjects readers to the same anguish experienced by both, soliciting both empathy and admiration for their struggles.

The mystery is interesting, but not so difficult to unravel. And I’m not certain if that may have been by Castillo’s design. It is the characters—their individual crises and the tension building between them—that moves the story along. A fast but good read and her latest I believe.

Perfect Victim

My first DNF this year. These characters lacked common sense—thinking, saying and doing outright stupid things. You have to suspend belief along about page 5. And leave it suspended.

Lisa Kleypas

When Strangers Marry

Vintage Kleypas set in pre-statehood Louisiana. It read like a good, formulaic romance written in the 1980s. Of course, compared to Kleypas’ later work—particularly her Derek Craven, Bowrunner and Wallflower series—When Strangers Marry lacked depth in both plot and characterization. A quick, light read, but not a keeper in the tradition of an early Garwood title.

A Stranger In My Arms

More vintage Kleypas that reminds me of an interview I saw on Arsenio Hall once (seriously dating myself there). Referring to the actress that played Hope on Days Of Our Lives, Arsenio acknowledged that she absolutely could not act when she joined the soap. But she was so beautiful, with so much potential, that the audience didn’t mind watching her learn. They were entranced despite her less than stellar performance. Because I know Kleypas ultimately produced stunning work, I’m equally forgiving—in an Arsenio kind of way—of these early titles.

Shadow Lover by Anne Stuart

Another from Stuart’s backlist. I liked this one. The mystery was interesting and not readily solved. The pull between the hero and heroine was laced with menace—in true Stuart style—but not enough to limit their appeal. Overall, one I’m glad I read.

Shadows and Lace by Teresa Medeiros

Another very old fashioned historical—you know, Part I, Part II and so on. Pretty good overall, but again, not a keeper to read again. I’m working my way up to reading Medeiros’ paranormal title everyone raved about last year. Just wish I liked paranormals.

French Twist by Roxanne St Clair

A contemporary I picked up right after finishing Fetzer’s last book. Although good, St Clair pales in comparison. I couldn’t get more than a few pages into French Twist. After the edgy Fetzer title, I had to revert to a historical or two before trying French Twist again. I’m glad I did. It was fairly good. A fast read with only a couple of “they wouldn’t really do that” moments. I liked it enough to pass it on to a friend.


  1. Been reading much lately, Jen? Wow. Your first DNF this year? I've already had 2 or 3... I hate it when that happens, but it does happen.. and sometimes from unexpected authors.

  2. Laughing. Actually, I read these books over a good solid month. Just not getting around to writing up thoughts or reviews. Thought I'd "catch up" in one fell swoop.


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