Thursday, December 07, 2006

What I've been reading lately...

I've got a whole slew of stuff to write up, and not a lot of motivation. But I've been having such a great time reading, that I need to at least share my thoughts - thumbs up or down on these books.

Crazy SweetCrazy Sweet - Tara Janzen
OK, this is Travis & Red Dog's story. Meh for the main storyline. Disappointing. It's really hard to write an engaging storyline for a woman whose emotions you've taken away. But, as always, the secondary storyline was fantastic, and kept me glued to the book. Smith and Honey were wonderful, hot, engaging. They reminded me a bit of Kid and Nikki for some reason. I'm assuming (read... hoping) that their story is "On the Loose", coming in 2007. Crazy Sweet gets a thumbs up for the secondary story line. Good save there.

Take Me
Take Me - Lucy Monroe
Loved it. Jared was wonderful - warm and caring. Cali was great - I loved it that she learned how to stand up for herself. I only wish that she hadn't been the cliched married virgin, although at least we get a different and decent twist as to the reason. I think Lucy Monroe has a wonderful way with writing stories that pull you in and make you feel what her characters are feeling. Thumbs up for the entire trilogy.

Under the WireUnder the Wire - Cindy Gerard
Fan-fricken-tastic. Next to To the Edge, the first Bodyguard book, this one is my favorite. I loved Manny and Lily. There was not a moment that I wasn't drawn into the storyline. Not a moment where I rolled my eyes. Not a moment where I got bored. Nothing was overdone. Nothing was faked. Loved, loved, loved it. I cannot wait for Dallas and Amy's book. I only hope it doesn't fall victom to the "long awaited book" syndrome and become a snoozer. I have a hard time believing that any book Cindy Gerard writes would be a snoozer, but Under the Wire will be a tough one to follow up.

Something SinfulSomething Sinful - Suzanne Enoch
In book 2 in the series, An Invitation to Sin, I was disappointed in the way she wrote the characters. I think others were, too. The duke was written as downright mean, and there was no humor at all. This one goes back to more humor. Sebastian, the duke, comes off much nicer. Shay's story is pretty good, aside from the heroine's mother treating her like dirt. Why, oh, why must this happen to all heroines? So cliched. Anyway, this was a much better contribution to the series than book 2.

Something SinfulPleasure for Pleasure - Eloisa James
Well, this is the final book in the Essex sister's series. Josie's story was ok, but the secondary story here shined. Griselda's romance (Mayne's sister) was great (if you do away with the cliched ending). Loved it. There was a bit of the older woman/younger man issue that Kristie blogged about, but it wasn't overpowering. Mostly, they had a lot of fun. As for Mayne and Josie, I got a bit tired of Josie complaining about being fat all the time. Did women back then complain about their weight as much as we do? Just curious. Mayne is one of those milquetoasty heroes, but he was preferable to Josie. I did really love the scene where Mayne prances around in Josie's dress to teach her how to walk properly. And we got glimpses of both his alphaness and his sensitivity when he thought Josie had been raped. So, all in all, I guess if you like the series (which for the most part I did) then the book is a worthwhile endeavor to finish it off.

Touch Me With FireTouch Me With Fire - Nicole Jordan
This is a reissue of one I'd never read before. I absolutely loved every page of it. Great stuff. I only wondered a bit about the believability of some of the gypsy storyline, but I was able to set it aside. Why? I don't know. Perhaps it's because Jordan writes so well, or because her characters are always so beautifully formed - deep, thoroughly fleshed out. Or her love scenes are so dang hot. Beats me. I just know I dug this book. It gripped me from page 1. Love Nicole Jordan. Definite thumbs up.

Beyond the LimitBeyond the Limit - Lindsay McKenna
This is another in the Morgan's Mercenaries series. McKenna's heroes are sensitive, but strong. Their women are strong, but they are never bitchy. The two Trayhern boys are nothing like their father - it's an interesting thing, and McKenna explores it. Pete has a better relationship with his father than his brother Jason did, but he is still a different sort of guy. I love that she always has a strong sense of family in her books, but they are never sickeningly sweet. Quite the opposite, in fact. Just normal people with normal problems in extraordinary circumstances falling in love. These are military romances, heavy on the romance. Good book.

Side note - what's with all the cliched endings in books lately? And has anyone else noticed that I seem to be prejudiced against the heroines in my books? Or do I just have higher expectations of them? Is it because we're women and we're inherently looking for fault in other women? Subconsciously thinking of them as competition for the heroes in the books we read? Or am I just a freak? Do you expect your heroines to be perfect? I'm noticing that I'm really tough on the heroines I'm reviewing. The exception lately was Cassie in Taking Chase. Fantastically written heroine.


  1. Too bad about Crazy Sweet. I've yet to get my hands on it. Unlike the last one however, I didn't plan ahead to order it. The preview of Crazy Sweet (in the last book) didn't do much for me. I'm happy to hear of a secondary storyline that delivers though.

    Loved Under The Wire too! One of the best in this series--I completely agree with you on that.

    Haven't read any of the others. The McKenna book sounds interesting. The James series didn't grab me (think I read the first one).

    Interesting questions. For which I have no answers. LOL

  2. Hello Lori,

    i was just wondering what you considered as cliched endings? Like the HEA endings? Cos that what you usually get. The worst is that you know, we complain about cliched endings/HEA ending, but when we don't get them, we also complain.

    Otherwise, nice reading... Lucky you. I'm going to look for some of those books. After x-mas :P

  3. Hi Nath,

    I love the HEA, in fact I demand it! What bothered me was the misunderstanding that happened in Pleasure for Pleasure. I don't want to give away too much because it's an integral part of the story (for those that haven't read it yet), but Griselda's love story was fantastic and different all the way through. I would have loved it if she just got her HEA. But James threw in a typical misunderstanding at the very end that disappointed me.

    In Take Me, Cali's marriage was bad. Very bad. That alone would have stood. But to make her a "married virgin" on top of it so that when she came to her hero, she was "untouched" was a bit much. ALthough, like I said, Lucy Monroe did give this one a different slant which made it more palatable for me.

    I've done several posts before about "formula" romance. The formula is what got us all hooked, I agree. We all love boy meets girl, boy and girl have adversity, boy gets girl. That's why we read romance. But the authors that I love to read, and the ones that I come back to over and over, are the ones that do it in a unique way, without making me feel like I've "been there, done that." I think that's what I'm talking about.

  4. Oh, and Jen, I finally put that box in the mail this morning, and added the McKenna and the Janzen into it :)

    See? There's a method behind my procrastination!

  5. Wow, all of those books look really good...crap, more books to go on my TBR list...

  6. I haven't read any of the Crazy series yet ~ although they're on my wishlist. A friend of mine has them all and is going to lend them to me.

    I have Pleasure for Pleasure but won't read it until I read the other 3 in the series. That's on my to do list for next year.

    Same with Take Me. I just got this series but haven't started it yet. Soon, I hope, but probably won't get to them until next year.

    I haven't gotten or read any of the Griffin series yet. They're on my wishlist also. Maybe next year.

    As far as prejudice, the only thing I really can't stand are stupid heroines (or stupid heroes, for that matter but I haven't really ran into any). I don't think it's because I'm a woman looking for fault in a heroine. I just think it's because I'm an intelligent woman and I expect the heroines I read about to be the same.

  7. Out of those, the only one I have read is Take Me. I adore Lucy Monroe, and she did great with that book.


Have you read it? What do you think?

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