Tuesday, July 06, 2010

Lori's June reads

In June I read 20 books, bringing my total books tracked so far this year up to 142. This month I actually had 3 5-star reads, which made me really happy considering last month there were none.

Here's the low-down on June's reads. If you are so inclined, you can follow me on Goodreads as I attempt to track my entire year's reads—something I've never managed to accomplish before.

If I reviewed it here or on Goodreads, I've included a link.

The Prize, Julie Garwood, Goodreads rating: 5 stars
Unbelievable, but this was my first Garwood. I must be the only person on earth who hasn't read this, so no synopsis. But holy cow, why didn't y'all tell me?!?!

Song of Seduction, Carrie Lofty, Goodreads rating: 5 stars
As someone who spent the first 25 years of her life immersed in music, as a performance major, this read like a homecoming to me. Giving life not only to Arie and Tilda, but to Beethoven and Haydn (albeit the younger), I was riveted by this story of love, betrayal, acceptance, forgiveness, and redemption.

Silent Scream (book #11), Karen Rose, Goodreads rating: 5 stars
Like so many others, I couldn't wait to read David Hunter's story. Beautifully done. I loved how honest David was, and how he and Olivia fought for their relationship. Suspense aside, the rest of the story was a beautiful romance and also a great friend story. Rose excels at that, even in the midst of spine-tingling suspense.

Pieces of Sky, Kaki Warner, Goodreads rating: 4.5 stars
Oh how I loved Jessica and Brady. The marked differences in their worlds were only highlighted by her initial high-brow attitude and his rough exterior. But he's really a wonderful hero and she is stronger than she realizes. Can't wait for the next book.

Along Came a Husband (Harlequin Superromance), Helen Brenna, Goodreads rating: 4 stars
Another good addition to the Mirabelle Island series.

One Dance with a Duke (Stud Club, #1), Tessa Dare, Goodreads rating: 4 stars
I liked this one, if only for some of the morally ambiguous behavior displayed by the members of the Stud Club. But I admit to being saddened by the separation of the her & heroine near the end.

Night Moves, HelenKay Dimon, Goodreads rating: 4 stars
I think I liked this even more than Dimon's first Intrigue. I can't imagine how hard it is to write nonstop action, keep a decent plot going, and build a romance at the same time, all in a very short page count. Dimon does a good job of it. Looking forward to more.

Fatal Affair (Fatal, #1), Marie Force, Goodreads rating: 4 stars
A departure from Force's earlier books; this is a suspense set against Washington DC politics. For the most part, it worked well for me. I believe that the hero/heroine will be featured in upcoming books. (anyone else notice that Eve/Roarke-type pairings are popping up all over?)

The Secret (Medieval, #1), Julie Garwood, Goodreads rating: 4 stars
The only reason this doesn't get a 5 is the anachronistic language. I remember the hero's brother calling to him, "Wait up!" It threw me for a second. Otherwise this story was perfect, if a little idealistic.

Catch Me If You Can (Romano and Albright, #1), L.B. Gregg, Goodreads rating: 4 stars
Yup, I'm behind. As always, LB Gregg's unique voice shines through and makes what might have been a ridiculous story into a fun romp.

Whisper of Warning, Laura Griffin, Goodreads rating: 4 stars
I complained about the lack of team cohesiveness in Damaged. This book does it right. You see the police team in action. They work together and are definitely not incompetent. I liked this book a lot and will be reading more.

Raising Kane (Rough Riders, #9), Lorelei James, Goodreads rating: 4 stars
Another great entry in the series. The only reason it's a 4 not a 5 is the language. Kane came off sounding like a hillbilly instead of a cowboy. I loved all the interaction between the men in this one. The brothers, cousins, even Ginger's dad and her son with Kane. Loved revisiting them all and seeing them reveal doubts and insecurities even after they've been happily married. Looks like the next book will be Brandt and Jessie. Oh how I look forward to that one.

Imitation in Death (In Death, #17), J.D. Robb, Goodreads rating: 4 stars
What can I say? Loved it.

Remember When (In Death, #17.5), Nora Roberts, Goodreads rating: 4 stars
How cool was this one? The first part set in modern day, leaving a mystery hanging, and the second part set in futuristic NY where Eve and Roarke follow up on the case. Awesome. I really liked the first part, and I usually am not a NR fan.

Shameless (Banning Sisters trilogy #3), Karen Robards, Goodreads rating: 3.5 stars
I loved the beginning and it went well for about 2/3 of the book. I didn't care for the ending, from the time they returned to London until the end. Beth seemed to change from a forthright girl to a game-player and I didn't like that change in her character. The ending itself was totally rushed. So much more could have been done with it, especially when Neil confronts Beth over her behavior. So the first half was excellent and the ending was just meh.

Heat it Up (Out of Uniform, #4), Elle Kennedy, Goodreads rating: 3.5 stars
I liked Becker—he was steady and sweet. Jane was fun and the perfect foil for him. I sure wish these books were a little longer. I want to see more!

The Marquis (Gypsy Legacy, #1), Denise Patrick, Goodreads rating: 3.5 stars
Somehow when I read the other two a couple years ago, I missed this one. The trilogy is based on a gypsy's predictions, etc for her grandchildren (great-grandchildren? Can't recall...) A nice story.

Damaged, Pamela Callow, Goodreads rating: 3 stars
A debut thriller for Callow, there were a lot of things to improve upon, but the basis for the thriller section was fairly sound. I believe her heroine, Kate, is to be the star of a series of books (see my note above re: Eve/Roarke). I'll give her another try to see how she improves with experience.

Cavanaugh Judgment (Silhouette Romantic Suspense #1612), Marie Ferrarella, Goodreads rating: 3 stars
This was pretty standard fare for Ferrarella. Greer was a terrific heroine, strong, capable, funny. It was harder to get to know Blake. I didn't believe as much in the romance and love after such a short time. Blake seemed like the kind to fall slowly. The I love yous after a single night together didn't work for me. With a higher page count she may have been able to pull it off. Good but not great.I miss Ferrarella's old magic.

Going For It, Elle Kennedy, Goodreads rating: 3 stars
Another non-military book for Kennedy, but no less hot. This one didn't work as well for me for some reason. There was a Big Misunderstanding stemming from the hero's initial selfishness, and that bothered me. Otherwise, as always, a hot, quick read.

There you have it. My reads in June. What did you read? Have you read these? What are your thoughts on any of these books?


  1. I did tell you about Garwood! Go back to Let's Gab and read my reviews!!! Remember when I found her? I glommed her like mad!!! Awesome to see you had some good reads this month. I'm currently reading Black Hills by La Nora and so far it's awesome. I've got some LLM after that and JoAnn Ross. Gonna be picking up the latest Evanovich soon too... love me some Stephanie Plum and Lula :)


  2. Hey Lori,
    Thanks for the four stars for Fatal Affair. I'm so glad you enjoyed it. I'm curious as to who else is doing the same couple in a romance series. I haven't seen a lot of it, so do tell! There's lots of it in the mystery genre, but romance tends to shy away from it. Why? I don't know. Readers are telling me they love it. Yay! Fatal Justice continues Sam and Nick's story in January and I'm working on Fatal Consequences, book 3 in the Fatal Series, now.

  3. Great list of reads. I'll have to try the Carrie Lofty and I've got Pieces of Sky on the tbr pile.

    And Kane sounding like a hillbilly - LOL

  4. Uhh, yeah Anne. Gulp. Everyone has been telling me to read her for years - I just haven't done it. So it's easier for me to blame everyone else *g*

    Marie, there are two just in this one post alone (your series - which I can't wait to read more about) and the Callow books, which are, actually, thrillers rather than romances. Wendy (SuperLibrarian) did a post about that today. I know that I had a very hard time with Enoch's Sam & Rick, and I can't seem to get into the Evanovich books.I've heard of a few others that escape me right now. Maybe I just can't focus too long on the same characters (the old "It's me, not you" excuse) *g*

    Les, it really bothered me because Kane was a great, wonderful, fabulous, amazing hero. I just found it hard to believe that he could sound like that all. the. time. And it took me out of the story more than a few times.

  5. Glad you liked the first Warner book. I wanted to love it (I want to love all westerns, because that's how I roll) but it fell somewhere around my B- range. Was hoping to get book #2 read before RWA, but I'm thinking that's probably not going to happen now.

    Highly enjoyed the Carrie Lofty. And really liked the HelenKay Dimon Intrigue. A perfect summertime read.

    And I've never read Garwood either. I've always heard her heroines can be a bit brain-damaged, and that's what has scared me away. What say you about The Prize's heroine? With-it enough to not annoy Wendy? :)

  6. The Prize's heroine is smart, funny, and adorable. She's kickass enough to told off several attacks on her keep, smart enough to fool the hero into thinking she's someone else, and soft and sweet enough to want to fulfil her proper place as society dictates. All wrapped up in a funny, adorable package. She only comes off as "brain-damaged" because she chooses to, if you get my drift.

    (oh no - now I'm thinking what if Wendy doesn't like it?!?! will she ever trust me again?)

  7. Ahhh, thanks for the info, Lori! Most of the series you listed are shelved under mystery or thriller. I had a very tough time selling a romance series with the same recurring couple. I wrote about the roller coaster ride to publication on my website (www.mariesullivanforce.com, scroll down to About the Fatal Series) if you want to read more about it. Romance editors were quite adamant about wanting a new couple in the second book, but that just wasn't how I saw the series unfolding. So thank goodness for the wise ladies behind Carina Press! They love the idea! :-)

  8. LOL! Drift gotten. And I have total faith in you. You're my category romance reading homey yo.

  9. Great month, Lori! Not only quantity wise, but quality as well :)

    I'm so glad you enjoyed the Rose :D Ah David's story! Woohoo :D

    hmmm, I'm going to have to read the Carrie Lofty.

    Is Whisper of Warning Laura Griffin's newest?

    As for Julie Garwood, well my bet is that when most people discovered her, nobody was blogging... or at least checking blogs for books rec.

  10. Hey Nath, Whisper of Warning isn't her newest. It's Unspeakable (or Untouchable - can't remember which).


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