Saturday, January 01, 2011

Lori's December reads

In December I read 26 books, bringing my total up to 295 for the year. It was tough to track my books all year, but I did it!!

Some good books this month, including 4 In Death books! Also read an inordinate amount of category - most of it super good.

One really bad thing this month: I noticed that several reviews I wrote on Goodreads via my iPhone never saved to my account. I don't know if there was a bug that was resolved or what the cause was, but bottom line is that I lost close to 10 reviews of really good books.

I didn't get around to posting many reviews here this month, but most of these have something written over at my Goodreads account.

Marry Me (Reidsville, #2) by Jo Goodman. Goodreads rating: 5.
Cole was perfect for Rhyne. I loved seeing her come out of her shell and learn to embrace herself as a woman. Also loved the secondary characters, as I did in Never Love a Lawman. Cole's sister was a wonderful addition. Must read.

Visions in Death (In Death, #19) by J.D. Robb. Goodreads rating: 5.
Despite the drama in this one, the levity and love between Eve and Roarke and the little discoveries Eve makes about friendship make this a stellar entry to the series. Especially since Divided was so tense with no light relief from all that tension. Where this one truly shined was the character arcs and Robb knowing that after all the upheaval in the previous book, we needed to see a united and together Eve and Roarke. Full review to come on the blog.

An Amish Christmas by Patricia Davids. Goodreads rating: 4.5.
Beautiful, respectful story of falling in love slowly in an Amish community. Loved it.

Christmas with Her Boss (Harlequin Romance #4205) by Marion Lennox. Goodreads rating: 4.5.
Read this because of Shannon Stacey's review. I think she was dead on. I really enjoyed this book. Loved all the characters, but had to won...more4.5 stars. Read this because of Shannon Stacey's review. I think she was dead on. I really enjoyed this book. Loved all the characters, but had to wonder why the heroine felt she had to resign her position, especially given how infrequently she saw her boss.

Love Me (Take Me, #2) by Bella Andre. Goodreads rating: 4.5.
I didn't read book 1, but didn't feel like I was missing too much (although I will be going back to read it now!). Andre did a fabulous job with the themes of rising above your past, feeling worthy of accepting love and wanting it. A very sexy romance and quite emotional.

Triple Threat by Jan Coffey. Goodreads rating: 4.5.
Really liked the hero and heroine. Interesting plot, too. One that was really intriguing to think about. Must now go look for its predecessor, Ted's story.

Still The One by Kathryn Shay. Goodreads rating: 4.5.
Review to be posted later this month (it's already up in part at Goodreads if you want a sneak peek) - Kathy Shay will be a guest over here, and we'll talk about this one. It's available on Smashwords - I highly recommend you read it!

Survivor In Death (In Death, #20) by J.D. Robb. Goodreads rating: 4.5. I actually cried big fat tears in one scene. Some truly heartwrenching stuff going on in this one.

A Soldier's Redemption (Silhouette Romantic Suspense #1635) by Rachel Lee. Goodreads rating: 4.
What I enjoy in the RS line (formerly SIM) is the relationship that develops between the characters under trying circumstances. Often I could take or leave the suspense portion. In this one, the suspense was rooted in a believable story. And I loved the way that Wade was portrayed as having such difficulty adjustimg to civilian life. Liked watching Cory slowly come out if her shell, only to jump back into it the moment she felt threatened either physically or emotionally. It seemed realistic. Loved that Wade and Cory actually *talked* to each other about their thoughts and feelings.

All of You by Dee Tenorio. Goodreads rating: 4.
I enjoyed this book quite a bit. Tenorio excels at bringing out the best in her characters' emotions and making them seem so very real. This is book 1 in a two-parter about 2 twin brothers who switch dates. I thought this one was more focused on the heroine's issues, but it didn't detract at all. In fact, Kyle's easy acceptance helped bring her along.

All or Nothing by Dee Tenorio. Goodreads rating: 4.
This is the 2nd book. Here, again, the focus is more on the heroine's issues, but again, it's because the twins had a good, happy homelife growing up. However, Lucas is far more intense than his brother, making for an intense love story. Loved it.

Divided in Death (In Death, #18) by J.D. Robb. Goodreads rating: 4.
 This was a very uncomfortable book, in that Roarke and Eve are again fighting over that which together makes them strong - most especially Roarke's immense love for Eve and his desire to make everything in her world perfect. Which he already does by simply existing, but when he gets a glimpse into her past and learns something rather horrifying (but frankly, not that surprising if we're talking about governments), he is determined to make it right for Eve. Which would involve illegal activity on his part, including murder. He sees no problem with it, but Eve's innate sense of justice won't allow her to sanction it. They spend the entire book at odds, and it's very uncomfortable to read. But uncomfortable does not equal bad, and so I thought this was another excellent and believable entry in the series.

Explosive by Beth Kery. Goodreads rating: 4.
Really enjoyed this one. Review upcoming for Book Binge.

Guns and the Girl Next Door by HelenKay Dimon. Goodreads rating: 4.
In general, Intrigues aren't my favorite . But I like the way that Dimon writes them. Her Intrigue heroes are always flawed, and always learn to rely on the strength of their heroines. This book was as much about a team working together and dealing with strengths and weaknesses of their own and each other, as it was about the romance.

Her Private Avenger by Elle Kennedy. Goodreads rating: 4.
I really liked both the hero & heroine. Loved how sensitive Quinn was and how he acknowledged both to himself and to Morgan how mych he'd loved her. A...moreI really liked both the hero & heroine. Loved how sensitive Quinn was and how he acknowledged both to himself and to Morgan how mych he'd loved her. Also liked that they both remembered the good times as well as the end.

Here Comes the Groom by Karina Bliss. Goodreads rating: 4.
Terrific book. Friends to lovers story along with some PTSD from an Afghanistan vet hero.

Home in Time for Christmas by Heather Graham. Goodreads rating: 4.
Loved the backdrop of the Revolutionary war for this time travel. Although it was odd that Jake so readily accepted what had happened to him. But truly liked all the characters.

How to Wed a Baron by Kasey Michaels. Goodreads rating: 4.
I liked this one a lot. Another "I'm no good" hero who is quite simply bowled over by the heroine. And goes with it, for the most part.

Never a Bride by Amelia Grey. Goodreads rating: 4.
I must have liked it because I gave it a 4, but to tell the truth, I can't remember a thing about this one.

Origin in Death (In Death, #21) by J.D. Robb. Goodreads rating: 4.
Wonderful book, yet again. Great social commentary again here, along with Eve & Roarke settling back down after a volatile couple of books. 

Rescued by His Christmas Angel by Cara Colter. Goodreads rating: 4.
Here's one that was deleted by GR. I read this one on the rec of someone (can't remember now, damn it). I was glad I did. A wonderful story about a single father and the elementary school teacher that changes his life.

The Cruelest Cut by Rick Reed. Goodreads rating: 4.
I think I would have given it 5 stars but for the bumbling, corrupt police chief. Otherwise I loved it. Loved the teamwork and actual work the team did. Can't wait for the next Jack Murphy.

The Dangerous Viscount (The Burgundy Club #2) by Miranda Neville. Goodreads rating: 4.
Here's another where the review was wiped. Sigh.This was a great story of the bookish Sebastian and the beauty Diana. It was such a great juxtaposition of the usual regency trope of a young, plain woman coming out of her shell.  Only here, it was the hero, and because of his anger at the heroine. Loved it.

How To Tame a Lady by Kasey Michaels. Goodreads rating: 3.5.
Splitting the middle between a 4 for the hero and story and a 3- for the heroine. Nuff said.

The Pursuit of Pleasure by Elizabeth Essex. Goodreads rating: 3.
I found there were frequent phrases that were totally overused, such as describing the heroine's brow as "her marmalade brow" so often I wondered seriously about the editing. Plus, marmalade made me think of jam every time I read it. Then, as quickly as it began, her brow was never mentioned again after about p 50. And the author found a new phrase to repeat. The smuggling story was average, but got better as it went which is what raised this up to a 3.

Trust Me (Lassiter Group, #1) by Sydney Somers. Goodreads rating: 3.
I really wanted to like this RS book. Really. But it just didn't work for me too well. And I'm not sure why (another Goodreads eaten review).


  1. Great list and great way to end the year, Lori :) Everyone seems to enjoy Marry Me so much!! and I'm glad you're still enjoying the In Death series so much :) hard to believe that a year ago, you haven't read any!!

  2. Yeah, for lots of good category romance! Glad to see you liked both the Bliss and Lennox titles. Have both of those loaded my Sony Reader. And I just started (I'm like 3 chapters in) the new HelenKay Dimon.....

  3. Great reading month, Lori.

    I have Helen Kay Dimon in my TBR and need to give her book a shot. I'm so glad you enjoyed Marry Me. Loved Whitley! ;P

  4. Wow you read some good books - that look for the most part like pretty good reads.

    I definitely have to get Marry Me.

  5. Ok - I just went and bought the Marry Me ebook. lol ENABLER! ;)

  6. I still haven't read Marry Me, even though I downloaded it to my Kindle. I've read one book by her and was really impressed, so I'm looking forward to reading this. I'll read it this month.

    I liked The Pursuit of Pleasure, much to my surprise. I didn't even notice that marmalade brow thing ;) There were things I wouldn't usually like in a historical, but I enjoyed it and that's why I gave it 4 instead of 3 in Goodreads.

    I'm getting Visions in Death this upcoming week (well, hopefully getting it - I've been waiting for it a while already). Can't wait to get my hands on it!

  7. Nath, I really am loving In Death. I am so grateful that Christine began the challenge this year!

    Wendy, can't wait to hear what you think about the HKD. So far, I think I liked Night Moves best of her Intrigues, but I like them all.

    Hilcia: Whitley was so great. I'm hoping Goodman will write her story (after she ages 3 or 4 years).

    Tracy: I live to enable :)

    Maija: You really should read Marry Me. Specially since you already have it! I don't know what it was about The Pursuit of Pleasure, but it just didn't hit me right. And Visions in Death - fan-dam-tastic. I loved it! I read it right after I read Divided in Death, so the change in their relationship really hit strong for me.

  8. Lori,
    I started Marry Me last night. Haven't read much yet, but looks really promising.
    Yikes, I said the wrong ID book. I'm getting Survivor and looking forward to that. But I liked Visions too :)

  9. Oh geez. Survivor made me actually cry. Not just choke up, but actual tears rolling down my cheeks. When you hit the part, you'll know just where I mean. Enjoy it!!


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