Sunday, May 02, 2010

April Reads

April was a pretty good month for me. I enjoyed most of what I was reading quite a bit. And I think this is the longest I’ve tracked my books for. Yay Goodreads! Here’s the wrap-up. Those that I've reviewed here are linked; most of the others have thoughts that can be found on my Goodreads account.

Her Best Friend
(Harlequin Superromance, #1626), Sarah Mayberry
Harlequin, 2010, Goodreads Rating: 4
4.5 stars. Great friends to lovers book. Mayberry has written another beautiful, believable story, full of charm, wit and love.

His Wanted Woman (The O'Reilly Brothers #1) (Silhouette Romantic Suspense #1585), Linda Turner
Silhouette, 2009, Goodreads Rating: 4
A 4.5 really.I really liked this one a lot. Both h & h were very likeable. The plot was one straight out of National Treasure, but quieter, as I imagine it would be in real life. The author took time to develop the relationship, and they actually talked to each other! About fears, their pasts, and their lives.
The only thing that gave me pause was how fast Patrick came to trust that Mac was innocent, and had no qualms about getting involved with a woman he was investigating. But everything else was so well done that I simply overlooked that. This book is a great example of why I still love to read category.

Betrayal in Death (In Death, #12), J.D. Robb
Berkley, 2001, Goodreads Rating: 5
It's so rare that we see Rourke as vulnerable as he was and Eve so forthcoming with her affections... her love. She initiates the I love yous several times not only with Roarke, but with Mavis, too. She listened and offered advice to Peabody. She takes great strides in her relationships.

Seduction in Death (In Death, #13), J.D. Robb
Piatkus Books, 2004, Goodreads Rating: 4
This one is very case-focused, but no less engrossing.

Insatiable (Federation Chronicles, #3) (Phantom Corps, #1), Lauren Dane
Berkley Heat, 2010, Goodreads Rating: 5
Dane's next entry in her Federation series (and the beginning of the Phantom Corps). I’ll do a full write-up closer to pub date (July), but I highly recommend you pre-order this so it’s waiting on your doorstep on release day.

Reyn's Redemption, Beth Cornelison
Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2010, Goodreads Rating: 4
An RS that is fairly relationship-focused. Firefighter hero goes back to confront his past. I liked it a lot. \

Lethal Attraction (Silhouette Intimate Moments), Diana Duncan
Harlequin, 2008, Goodreads Rating: 4
While the premise of this one was a bit more farfetched, I do adore Duncan's writing and she managed to make almost all of it believable. Powerful emotions from h/h as well as all the secondary characters. Nice to revisit the O'Rourkes again in the last installment.

Reunion in Death
(In Death, #14), J.D. Robb
Piatkus Books, 2004, Goodreads Rating: 3
3.5 (minimal spoilers) This book was a real step forward in Eve coming to terms with her past. I enjoyed it, and as I wrote my review, I discovered so much more to like about it than I thought while reading it.

Scandalous (Banning Sisters trilogy #1), Karen Robards
Pocket, 2003, Goodreads Rating: 4
I really liked this one. However, I wondered about a couple things: first, with all the barging in her sisters do without knocking, how is it that nobody ever found out about Nick and Gabby? Especially after she awoke from a nightmare with a scream? I kept expecting a sister to barge in on their first lovemaking. And I must read the followup, so that I can see how the other girls are possibly accepted after the scandal at the end. Speaking of the end... I loved it. I wondered at the easy acceptance of everyone that Nick wasn't Marcus, but I loved it anyway.

Nine Rules to Break When Romancing a Rake, Sarah MacLean
Avon, 2010, Goodreads Rating: 4
Really enjoyed it. What a great heroine (and I don't usually say that!). A wicked hero that is in turn tender, passionate, and frustrated *g*. Lots of humor and lots of love.

Nothing But Trouble, Rachel Gibson
Avon, 2010, Goodreads Rating: 4
The next in Gibson's Chinooks saga. I loved how Mark turned tender almost against his will. Didn't quite understand how he was so put out that Chelsea had been offered a bonus for staying on, but I did love how this gruff, angry man turned into a loving one. It was believable. Also liked Chelsea's transformation.

Instant Temptation, Jill Shalvis
Brava, 2010, Goodreads Rating: 4
Last installment in the Wilder brothers trilogy. Well worth it. Loved TJ and Harley.

Sinful Surrender, Beverley Kendall
Zebra, 2010, Goodreads Rating: 3
I love the friends to lovers theme, but this book didn't strike me quite right. The heroine seemed desperate for much of the book, and the hero, while I think the author was going for tortured, just seemed like an ass.

Irresistible, Karen Robards
Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group, 2010, Goodreads Rating: 4
Most of this was a roadtrip/cabin story. I found it interesting that Robards had Claire commit adultery, and while I raised my eyebrows at them actually completing the act, I understood it. It did add a hint of moral ambiguity to this story that made it a little more interesting. Overall, I really liked both Claire and Hugh. Am now on the waitlist for the 3rd book (released in HC - don't get me started!).

Calling Dr. Love, G.A. Hauser
CreateSpace, 2009, Goodreads Rating: 2
Hauser addresses a lot of stereotypes in this book, such as the gay porn star, society's views and prejudices against such, gay promiscuity, etc. While the characters themselves didn't appeal to me at first, their introspection helped them grow on me. Plus, the errors in this e-book were astronomical. Something about Hauser's books keeps me coming back, though, even though I haven't truly liked the last several I've read. I think they are written with honesty and if she could avoid the language that perpetuates the stereotypes that I personally don't care for (cause don't you know it's all about me?), then I'd probably like the books better.

Lord Ruin, Carolyn Jewel
Leisure Books, 2002, Goodreads Rating: 4
Thanks to Leslie for this one. I really loved it. Sweet story, but not gag me.

Rule's Bride (Bride's Trilogy, #3), Kat Martin
Mira, 2010, Goodreads Rating: 4
I thought Violet was a fantastic heroine (not something you hear often from me). She was strong, smart, compassionate. Rule was a good hero - dedicated to his wife, and to doing the right thing. What kept this from being a 5-star read for me was that Rule didn't understand love. His two brothers were deeply in love with their wives, and yet he claimed he didn't know what love was. It didn't sit well with me.

Purity in Death (In Death, #15), J.D. Robb
Piatkus Books, 2005, Goodreads Rating: 3
3.5 stars. This one was lacking for me a bit. Perhaps it was that I enjoyed the previous couple of books so much. This one was very case-focused, which has happened in previous books, but there was very little conflict between Roarke and Eve. I must admit to smiling a good deal of the way through the book, as this one had them bantering even more than usual. And as much as everyone (including me) loves that Roarke calls Eve "Lieutenant", I love that she calls him "Ace."

Shoot to Thrill (Passion For Danger, #1), Nina Bruhns
Berkley Sensation, 2009, Goodreads Rating: 4
Really enjoyed this one. I need to order the next couple in the series. I view them kind of in the same way I would a Janzen. Suspend your disbelief and take it at face value, and it was awesome.

Romeo for Hire, Jane Beckenham
Samhain Publishing, 2010, Goodreads Rating: 2
This started out ok, but I hate it when things can be resolved if the h/h would just *talk* to each other. They both stewed in their own juices, loving each other, but unwilling to say it. Drove me crazy. Plus, the end? Time & place ceased to exist. I think they had their final heart to heart in the few minutes after Carly delivered a baby. Really? Having been there... twice... I can say that's completely unrealistic. And he got down on one knee? Right after she delivered? The only thing that came to mind during this heartfelt declaration of love was ewwwwww. I’ve been in the delivery room. You don’t want to be on the floor. Trust me. Anyway, it had the potential to be a decent book, but lack of communication and unrealistic situations caused it to sink.

Marshall's Law, Denise A. Agnew
Treble Heart Books, 2003, Goodreads Rating: 3
Some suspense, some humor. But not as much fun to read as most of Agnew's books.

The Rake's Inherited Courtesan (Harlequin Historical Series #941), Ann Lethbridge
Harlequin Enterprises, 2009, Goodreads Rating: 4
3.5 stars. The ending was a little too pat, and I never understood why Sylvia never just told Christopher he was wrong about her. Pride is the downfall of all heroes and heroines. However, a different take on the usual historical, and that's one of the reasons I enjoy HHs so much.

Lessons From a Scarlet Lady, Emma Wildes
Signet, 2010, Goodreads Rating: 4
A married couple, and she decides she wants him to really love her and hunger for her. It was adorable, and I love a married couple story.

Five-Alarm Affair (Silhouette Romance, No 613), Marie Ferrarella
Silhouette, 1988, Goodreads Rating: 3
Kind of a meh read for Ferrarella. Bummer, that.

Pride and Passion, Jenna Bayley-Burke
Samhain Publishing, Ltd., 2010, Goodreads Rating: 3
3.5.the first half of the book I thought the hero was just an asshole. It read like a 90s Harlequin - hero comes in and tells heroine he's going to marry her and that's all there is. He pushed and prodded, relentlessly. No matter her feelings about it. The second half redeemed the book, IMO. Jake still insisted she would marry him, but he allowed her to spread her wings a bit and stopped being so domineering. I have liked Bayley-Burke's voice in other books, and I'm glad she got back on track in the 2nd half.


  1. Wow, you've had a busy month! I've hit a bit of slump myself but I can feel myself coming out of it, so here's hoping May will be better. I must get hold of that Mayberry book soon.

  2. Yeah, I really enjoyed Lethbridge's writing - but the lack of communication really got to me in that story. My grade was similar to yours.

    Pretty sure I have the Mayberry. I just downloaded a bunch of books from eHarlequin, and I'm *pretty* sure that was in the batch :)

  3. Good reading month. I'm getting the Shalvis and MacLean this week. :)

    And I've got Insatiable on my list. :D

  4. Kaetrin, there is nothing worse than a reading slump. I go through periodic reviewing slumps, but thank goodness, never a reading slump. Any Maberry you pick up would be excellent, truly.

    Wendy, definitely dig through the rubble of ebooks and find it. So Lethbridge is worth finding another book? Can you rec one?

    Les - I hope you love them. IIRC, you didn't care for the 2nd Wilder book as much a I did. True?

  5. Lori: The only other story by Lethbridge I've read was a Harlequin Historical Undone short story - The Rake's Intimate Encounter. I liked that one enough that I picked up The Rake's Inherited Courtesan (btw - most misleading title ever. If that hero was a rake, I'm the Queen of England!).

  6. I'm so behind, I'm so behind. LOLOLOL Ahhhh, just kidding. Like I told you yesterday, I'm not lamenting my slower reading pace. Really. (Liar, liar, pants on fire.) This list looks fabulous Friend!!!! I love how you're tracking and reviewing!!! Now I better get busy making my list based on your opinions.

  7. I liked the first book better, thought the heroine in the 2nd was just okay. But there's still something about Shalvis' writing that pulls me in even when I'm not crazy about a character.

  8. I picked up the new Sarah Mayberry in my last eHarlequin spree. (that TBR pile keep getting bigger. sigh.) I've read quite a few of her other books and I've always enjoyed them so I expect I'll like this one too.

  9. Very, very nice list Lori :D I'm with you for Her Best Friend, it was a very good book :D

    I see you're enjoying the J.D. Robb :D LOL, you're more than half-way through!! Go Lori, go!! :D Seduction and Reunion were some of my favorites actually :D

    I need to read the Kat Martin books. i have the first 2 sitting in my TBR thanks to you :P

    Glad you enjoyed Lessons From a Scarlet Lady :D It was cute, right? :P

  10. Look at you go! Not only another awesome reading month, but you've posted your reading list! I'm impressed. :)

    Aside from the In Death books (of course), I'm probably most interested in Lessons From a Scarlet Lady. I remember reading a review for it on Breezing Through and thinking it sounded fun. I like the idea that the h/h are married!

  11. Christine, it was really good. Some misunderstandings that could have been cleared up if they just talked to each other, but the hero wasn't terribly communicative, so aside from the "big" misunderstanding, it worked really well.


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