Cripes, I'm behind! I got so caught up in self-congratulations for tracking my books all last year, that I immediately stopped tracking and posting in 2011. What. Ever. So my memory may be a little faulty when I went back to note all the books I read in the last 2 months. But let's give it a shot.
In January, I read 19 books. A few 5 star reads, and a few 4.5 star reads. All in all, fantastic. I also had a rare DNF. Here we go...
Their Newborn Gift by Nikki Logan
This was a rare DNF for me. Secret baby resulting from a 1 night stand. Daughter is sick and needs a bone marrow transplant. Mom is poor, dad is rich, and he threatens to take daughter away from mom. She begs him to get her pregnant again so they can have a baby to donate marrow. I didn't like any of the characters, and the storyline didn't capture me.
Trey by Cat Johnson
I really liked the honest emotions I felt from all the characters. They were all very well written. But the idea of the military recruiting a civilian to go in with a special ops team on a dangerous mission in a dangerous country was preposterous to me. (now watch - someone will know that it happens all the time LOL). So a 4 for the characters and a 2 for the story and the implausability of it all.
Love in Bloom by Alison Kent
An early work. Doesn't contain the edge that's frequently present in current Kent books, but a really nice story nonetheless.
Love Me Tender by Alison Kent
Same as noted above. I liked both the characters and the story for both of these books.
Past Pleasures by Charlotte Stein
Heroine time travels to a place where women have ceased to exist. She meets two men and begins a relationship with them. Their initial reactions ranged from amusing to not making sense for me. And while I liked the premise a lot, there was something in the execution that just didn't work perfectly for me.
Shooting Stars by Bella Andre
Another time travel. Nice premise, but it was too short to satisfy me, and I had a difficult time believing that the acceptance both sets of hero & heroines showed in accepting their situations happened so quickly.
Memory In Death by JD Robb
No thoughts on this really, other than another good look into Eve's past, and she continues to gel with her team.
Born In Death by JD Robb
I just adore the scenes where Eve and Roarke panic about babies and being around them. They were hilarious. Loved this one, and so happy that Mavis and Leonardo finally have their baby Bella.
Innocent In Death by JD Robb
I really hate it when Eve & Roarke are at odds with one another. At odds they were, and it's the first time Eve really shows jealousy. Interesting that she really didn't recognize it. A good installment. Not fabulous, but solid.
Pride and Pleasure by Sylvia Day
Loved this one. Loved both hero and heroine. Nothing compares to a great Sylvia Day historical. Reviewed here.
His for the Holidays by Josh Lanyon, LB Gregg, Harper Fox, and ZA Maxfield
I admit that I only got through 3 of the stories. I loved the Gregg and Lanyon stoires, as I knew I would. The Fox story was ok, and I couldn't get past the first couple chapters of the Maxfield story. Not sure why. So a 4 overall. m/m
No Place to Run by Maya Banks (KGI #2)
I'm really enjoying these books so far. Love that the brothers talk like guys and joke around like family. Love that they so willingly let others into their lives just because a brother/mother/father loves that person. The heroine could have come across as a pregnant helpless thing, but she believes in herself (for the most part) and recognizes her strengths when it's necessary. She knows when to call Sam on his crap and knows when to be quiet and let him take charge. So I liked her. Sam, like all the Kellys, has a strong sense of family and loves hard. And plus, he's hot. Yes I really am that shallow.
Love Me to Death by Allison Brennan (Lucy Kinkaid #1)
A fantastic start to the new series. Well written and exciting. What dropped it from a 5 was that it almost felt like there were two endings. One plotline wrapped up and then a 2nd one began for the FBI team, even though the killer's thoughts were woven throughout. Otherwise, it was terrific. Can't wait to read the next one.
Restless Heart by Emma Lang
I loved both the hero and heroine. This was a fantastic western historical. Review here.
Someone Like You by Kathryn Shay
Another good book in the Educators series from Shay. Reviewed here.
Brier's Bargain by Carol Lynne
Interesting premise where one of the heroes has suffered a head injury and as a result a big loss of cognitive function. He is no less loving, and has a huge urge to be self-sufficient and to take care of his man. At the same time, he, like many with a head injury, has difficulty controlling his emotions, often becoming irrational or showing inappropriately extreme emotion. Jackie is the perfect foil for him. Loving, tender, but very alpha at the same time. He saw something special in Brier and they had that intangible connection. Brier's brother and his lover also were realistic support system, struggling between wanting to do everything for Brier and letting go and allowing him to do for himself. While I enjoyed a lot about this story, I never could get past the premise of this team of only gay bodyguards. It struck me as so unrealistic in the face of much well-done character-building. m/m
Naughty and Nice by Jaci Burton, Shannon Stacey, Lauren Dane, and Megan Hart
Really enjoyed all the stories here, but what's not to enjoy? 4 of my favorite authors together. So I didn't even care that it was an anthology, which I usually dislike simply because the short format isn't my favorite. But these authors all do it very well.
You Belong to Me by Karen Rose
I wanted this book so badly (US release date is June 2011) that I found it on sale on Amazon UK, had it shipped to my London office (all UK shipping is free from Amazon), and sent to me through interoffice mail (again, obviously free). So I got an early copy of the hardcover from the UK for $12 US. Rockin. I loved it as always. The only thing that gave me pause was that the heroine, a medical examiner, kept doing the autopsies long after it was obvious she was embroiled in the case. I thought that likely wouldn't happen IRL because of conflict of interest issues. Otherwise, liked the hero & heroine, and loved the story. And it can't ever be too gruesome for me.
One Real Thing by Anah Crow and Dianne Fox
Holy mother was this good. I picked it up immediately after reading SarahF's review over at Dear Author. I agree with every last damn thing she said, so just go read her review. Awesome, awesome book. m/m
Will be posting my Feb reads soon as well, then I'll be all caught up! Yay!