Friday, June 05, 2009

May Reading List - Jennifer B

I did read books in May, LOL.

And I did not lose my reviewing mojo, laughing some more.

I was just too damned busy to pen and post my reviews. Or chat the books up via comments, chat or email.

Parenting, the day job--coordinator of all things great and small. Doing my damnedest to live in every cherished moment. That's me (and you, right?). Perhaps we all need that second, smaller persona like Carolyn Jean, LOL. Miniature subversions of ourselves that encapsulate our womanly and reader selves--in all their deviant beauty. Ok, cracking (only) myself up now, so I'll move on.

Let's see, a total of seven books (plus two DNFs) for May. Look at me go.

One Deadly Sin by Annie Solomon
Surprisingly good characterization here. A surprise to me only because I hadn't read Solomon before now. Although Blackout has been on my TBR list for years, this was my first Solomon title. An impulse buy and worthy of the money spent. Between pace and character depth, this one kept me turning pages. The heroine stands out (in memory now) as unique, well-drawn, captivating. Not like anyone I've ever known but, through Solomon's words, I came to know her. Really well done. The hero essentially filled his role, but leaned a bit to the oblivious side, IMO. I thought he should have been sharper, smarter than he was. And I think Solomon meant for him to be; he had a few glinty moments, but she just never got back to filling him in. Know what I mean?

The Waterfall by Carla Neggers
One Deadly Sin put me in the mood for contemporary / suspense, so I plucked The Waterfall from my TBR stack. Neggers is a sure thing for me and this selection was fairly good. The romance--secondary to the suspense--was assumed for the most part. That was the only thing I didn't like--it budded somewhere in their prior history, but Neggers failed to share enough of that with the reader to make it convincing. Her setting, cast and plot made up for it though.

It Must Be Love by Rachel Gibson
Still in the mood for contemporary, I pulled this from my TBR stack next. Perfect Rachel Gibson fare. I enjoyed every single word. Although not as overt, Gibson provides the same male appreciation for all things feminine that Janzen does (in her Steele Street series). I love that. Seriously, what could be better than a hero who covets every inch of you, inside and out? Probably the reason I love John Mayer's "Your Body Is A Wonderland" so much. That's a damned sexy song.

Beat Of Temptation by Nalini Singh
Another chapter in Singh's Psy-Changeling series, from an anthology titled An Enchanted Season. Singh's alpha, alpha, alpha heroes continue to seduce. No question. They fit a mold, yes. But, unlike Ward's vamps or Lora Leigh's assorted dominants, Singh's Changelings have not grown tiresome or graduated to overbearing. Nor has the fated mate thing. How does she do it? I'm not entirely sure, but I can point to at least one thing--the inherent gentleness she gives every one of them. For me, nothing seduces more than Singh's perfect balance of possess and cherish.

Stroke Of Enticement by Nalini Singh
This Psy-Changeling installment appeared in The Magical Christmas Cat anthology. And like every other installment in this unique and fabulous series, it succeeded. I dug it. AND, can now say I'm all caught up. On this series at least.

Halfway To The Grave by Jeaniene Frost
This one has been on my TBR list for quite a long time. Blogger buzz put it there and I just knew it would be another gem in my reading experience. Unfortunately, it ended up a slow read for me. Solid, but not the impact I expected. Couple of reasons I think. First, it felt too young for me. I'm in no way looking for older characters as I age myself. But, I may be partial to characters with a bit more post-teen years experiences. Frost's heroine had depth and well-earned grit, don't get me wrong. But I kept seeing the girl more often than the woman. Second, I worried (initially) that her hero would not get the girl in this installment. I wondered at his role, his intentions and that distracted me. Still, I finished it (in weeks, not days) and ordered the second book from my library. It's here now and I guess the true test will be whether I pick it up or not.

Vision In White by Nora Roberts
Good. Solid Nora Roberts contemporary. Another beta hero that endears. With, of course, that primitive side that sucker-punches the closet BDSM's in us, LOL. Just the romance here--nothing else to distract. Well, almost nothing. That whole wedding planner setting thing had its own ego. Not as overwhelming as that gardening tutorial couple years back, but big enough to be called its own character. A pretty interesting (photography stuff was cool) and only mildly offensive character (its offensiveness rated only by your particular feelings about this industry). I'll keep reading this quartet.

Swing by Opal Carew (DNF)
KarenS recommended this one eons ago; she said it was solid erotic romance without the need for a shower afterwards (or something along those lines). And yeah, the sexcrobatics were stimulating (like Karen said, in a clean way, LOL). But the story? Weak. Too weak for me to continue. I tried for two months to finish it and just couldn't do it. (I need to post on this elsewhere--on the overall failure--for me--of erotic romance.)

The Pursuit by Karen Robards (DNF)
Shake your heads in disbelief folks, this one was a DNF for me after getting more than two thirds of the way in. It wasn't awful. It was just stiff. Plenty of action, not so much character. This far into the book and I didn't know or care about either the hero or the heroine. So, in a rare moment of clarity, I picked the book up, realized it was doing pretty much nothing for me and put it in my bag to return the library. My inner anal self could never have done that one or two years ago. Especially after having read so far into it. And still not knowing the whodunit. But now? I just couldn't be bothered. I get that way about painting my toenails sometimes.

2009 Reading Resolutions...update:

1) Read almost strictly from my TBR list (not stack, list). Read from both here--the list and the stack.

2) Read at least one shiny new release a month. Check. (Nora's Vision In White)

3) Catch up--right up--to the new releases in each of my favorite series. Well, I succeeded in catching completely up with Singh's Psy-Changeling series. However, I still couldn't get into Snyder's Fire Study. Nor did I manage to read the second in Raybourn's series. Went to the trouble of ordering it through my library, then renewing it and STILL ended up returning it unread. Another I-never-do-that moment for me. Ah well.


  1. Great list :) Now, I'm all intrigued by the Solomon book :) I read one from hers before and enjoyed it... but she's not an auto-buy.

    Glad you enjoyed the Nora Roberts :) I really liked it and happy others are enjoying it as well :

    Hmmm, must give another try to the Rachel Gibson :) I never finished...

    LOL, good job on catching up on the Singh series. I think that one reasons why her heroes are good is that they have personality and aren't as tortured! I mean, there's just so much angst a reader can take from heroes... and some of that angst can come across as whiny ;) Singh's heroes are also more "believable" and well, more everyone's ideal of mate... I mean, would you like Rhev as your husband or Wrath? V or Butch? Euh, NO!!!!

  2. Email me your physical addy (jennifer bedits @ yahoo .com) and I'll share the Soloman book with you.

    And didn't you just love the packaging of Nora's latest. It was beautiful--I was terrified of damaging my library's copy, LOL.

    Errrr, no. Nope--can't see being married to a Ward hero. Too intense, thank you.

  3. Hey Jennifer :)

    Thanks for the offer, but I think it's all right, I'm going to buy it myself LOL :)

    Yes, the NR was very pretty indeed :) It really makes it special :)

    and LOL, that's what I thought about Ward heroes being husband material :P


Have you read it? What do you think?

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