Hey all! Long time, no post. I have to admit to a big dose of reviewing ennui, although I have been reading. I think the only thing to do is to force myself to put up a couple of drive-bys, and hope that it puts me back in the mood.
So although I've read a ton of books in the last several months since I've posted, I'm just going to put up my thoughts on the last few.
To Taste Temptation by Elizabeth Hoyt
Long awaited after her Prince trilogy, I've seen mixed reviews on this one. I admit to having mixed feelings about it as well. Only in that I couldn't decide if I liked Emeline. She vacillated between being staid and upright and being grumpy and nasty. On the one hand, it's kind of nice when an author can wriet a nasty heroine and make her readers root for her. On the other hand, I did wonder on occasion why Samuel was so taken with her. It was here that I felt Hoyt could have built the book a bit more. The interactions between Emeline and Samuel were excellent, as were the supporting characters, Rebecca especially, but I felt something inexplicable missing between Samueal and Emeline. I just can't quite put my finger on what.
A mystery plot I could likely have done without, as well. I would rather have seen Hoyt focus on the PTSD that Samuel and, to some extent, Vale seem to have had following the war. So much more intriguing to me. But I know that more folks love a good 'mystery.'
Having said that, I do love Hoyt's voice, her wonderful conveyance of emotions, and once again, her hero. Fantastic. The next book, To Seduce a Sinner, is about Emeline's friend Melisande and her ex-fiance Lord Vale. It comes out in November.
Not Another Bad Date by Rachel Gibson
Thanks to the girls at The Book Binge - I won this book over there :) This is the 4th and last in her "author" series. There is a touch of the paranormal in a fun and cute way. Rachel Gibson is always good for a fun afternoon read. I don't think I've ever disliked one of he books, although I've liked some more than others. (Who doesn't lurrrrrve See Jane Score?) Anywho....
If I had one disappointment with this book it was that there wasn't enough interaction between the 4 friends. Having said that, it was fun and fluffy, and I enjoyed the hell out of it. It takes place in Texas, land of football, cheerleading, Junior League petty rivalries and hot men. A recipe for pure fun.
Quick spoiler (mostly for Holly, if you haven't already read it): hero cheated on his wife in his first marriage, but he's quite well written, and I found myself forgiving him for that. Hard to forgive him for pretty much abandoning his daughter during the same time period, though, although he seems to have done a good job making it up in the interim. *end spoiler*
Bridge Through the Mist by Denise Agnew
This was a time travel. Our heroine, an archaeologist, travels back to 14th century Scotland to save a knight from his sure death. Anne, this one has the brogue. LOL. I found myself really enjoying this one, although several times I did have to allow myself to take at face value the easy acceptance of the 'time travel' theory on the part of the 14th century folk. If you can get past that, and a few anachronistic phrases here or there, along with the heroine's seemingly easy transition into 14th century language and lifestyle, I think you'll enjoy it as much as I did. For as much as it sounds like I didn't like the book, I thoroughly enjoyed it. I really liked the heroine's sassiness, and the hero's angst and protectiveness. I loved it when he admitted that her reputation would be hurt by getting caught doing the nasty with him, but his reputation would be hurt because she saved him from harm twice. So 14th century LOL!
Memories of Us: Hearts of the South Book 5 by Linda Winfree
First off, whoever does her cover art, is fabulous. Every one of the books in this series is gorgeous!
This is the story of Tom McMillan, the ex-husband of Kathleen, the heroine of Truth and Consequences (book 1). I'll admit that Winfree wrote him nothing like I'd pictured him. As the DA, and a SIDS father, we see him driven to investigate personally every child death that crosses his desk. I would have loved to see Winfree explore that much more in-depth than she did, rather than focusing more on his feelings and coming to terms with his ex-wife. They had been split up for several years, and it seemed that was his main focus, but all of a sudden, it was resolved for him, and he felt free to pursue Celia. It just didn't sit quite right with me.
What Winfree did do beautifully, however, was to write his conflicted feelings about his 'gift'; his apparent psychic ability that he views more as a curse, and has yet to be able to understand. He blames himself when things don't go just right; including, we learn, the feeling that he should have gone in to check on his son, but didn't, and then he died of SIDS. She also writes it beautifully when we find out that he has misinterpreted another of his dreams, and it leads to an unexpected death.
Yet again, this is a story of corruption in law enforcement (although not of the law abusing its power as 'the law'), but since this is how Winfree has chosen to focus almost all of the books in this series, it was not unexpected for me. I did figure out the whodunnit about halfway through the book, but it didn't diminish my enjoyment of the other aspects of the story - the relationship building, and the character-building that Winfree did on the phychic side of Tom's character.
I also truly enjoyed the interactions that Celia had with her sister, and her peers. I love it when women in law enforcement are written with equal, professional, mutually respectful peer relationships (with one exception that did kind of bother me).
So... while I found a few things that could have been done more to my liking in each of these books, overall I enjoyed each of them, and could recommend them all. Good to be back reviewing, and I hope I can find the time to keep at it.