Monday, May 09, 2011

March Reads - Jennifer

K, tons of excuses for why this is so late, but...I won't bore you. ;-) I will however, apologize. Aside from the first half of the post (written long ago), I got to the last half of March's list too late to remember much detail.

March yielded some awesome reads. My adoration for Victoria Dahl--cemented. I'm her biggest fangirl now, I'm sure of it. I also got my hands on Jo Goodman's Marry Me. I will love her forever too. I grew more smitten with Courtney Milan. Ok, I fell head over heels for her too. Let's just say March found a lot of love in my heart. Oh, and I plucked a book from my TBR stack and it turned out to be a keeper! A big deal for me. So yeah, March rocked.

So here it is:

Naked Edge by Pamela Clare
I know I just said that March rocked, but this one? Not so much. I have really enjoyed Clare's I-Team series to date. This one however, didn't pull me entirely in. It was the characters. What Gabe lacked in respect, Nat made up for in naivete. Understanding that her heritage and upbringing (complete with poor examples) left her determined to make good personal choices, I still couldn't help but feel like she was being naive. When I did try to appreciate her resolve, I couldn't see Gabe in her life. I think Clare tried to keep her honest--resisting Gabe, sticking to her spiritual guides, recognizing that he could not be what she needed him to be. But, as the reader, I knew it was going to happen anyway. At that point, at least halfway through the book, Clare had not yet convinced me that he could turn around, redeem himself. I was skeptical and tapping my foot, waiting for it to happen, all the way to the end. A good ending, powerful even. But not enough to change my overall mood.

That being said, I'm no where near turned off from this series. Really, it's testament to Clare's abilities that I can say Clare didn't disappoint, her characters did.

Ravished By A Highlander by Paula Quinn
Very good Highlander fare.

Body Check by Deirdre Martin
Ok, I saw the cover for Icebreaker and blindly added Martin to my TBR list. Being an order whore, I went back to the beginning of her hockey titles--and opened Body Check. Finished it. Enjoyed it. I did not however, come away with a desire to read the entire series.

Chasing Stanley by Deirdre Martin
Still, thinking of that gorgeous Icebreaker cover, I skimmed ahead to Chasing Stanley. Because, well, I had a Newf and this one featured a Newf. When I DNF'd it, Lori gave me what-for because apparently, right here on this blog, she explained why this book was no good. Going forward, I will be consulting our blog. No more being seduced by pretty covers and the sexy idea of hockey players.

Start Me Up by Victoria Dahl
Loved this one as much as the first (Talk Me Down). Loved, loved, loved it. Dahl delivers some of the sexiest reads. Great humor, the sweetest emotion and blatantly erotic sex scenes. Quinn was fabulous. Just fabulous.

Lead Me On by Victoria Dahl
Enjoyed this one too, albeit less than the others. Perhaps because Jane's behavior was driven a tad too much by her angst. I may have lost patience along the way. Otherwise, good, sexy stuff from Dahl.

Trial By Desire by Courtney Milan
Wow. The emotional tension between Ned and Kate was palpable, in a catch-your-breath kind of way. Having also read Unveiled this month, I stand in awe of Milan's depth of characterization. Both of these books took my breath away.

Marry Me by Jo Goodman
Totally unexpected twist hooked me hard and I couldn't stop reading. Goodman is another like no other for me. Emotionally rich, honest, witty. Rich, rich prose, but economical too. Goodman never wastes a word. Can't say enough.

Rough Cut by Mari Carr
An author I'll read again. This was an emotional telling of a woman drawn to BDSM. Short and erotic, yes. But more to it than the usual fare. I was impressed.

An Unlikely Countess by Jo Beverly
Quite good--and another centered entirely on the H/H. I was reminded of how much I like Beverly as well. Don't know why I needed reminding, as Devilish sits among the very few titles on my keeper shelf.

Unveiled by Courtney Milan
This may be the best book I've read this year. I swear my breath caught the moment Ash laid eyes on Margaret and held for the duration. That emotional tension was exquisite. Another thing I remember loving was Margaret's refusal to sell him out--no plot-serving behavior from Milan here. Only characters that were true to character.

Passions of a Wicked Earl by Lorraine Heath
My first Heath and a solid, good read. Can't remember everything about it, but do recall enjoying it and looking happily at Heath's backlist.

Bridal Favors by Connie Brockway
This was keeper from my TBR stack. Reminded me a great deal of Joanna Bourne. Sooo tightly-woven, the dryest wit and the most clever H/H. Absolutely loved this book, every word.

Live Wire by Lora Leigh
Carried by my library now, so I picked it up. Skimmed it. Then returned it. I like Leigh's storylines, but I don't care for all the long, drawn out wrestling-with-self her characters go through. Hence the skimming.


  1. Hey Jen! :)

    In the end, it doesn't really matter when you read them :) Just that you've read them :P

    Really, Unveiled was the best book you've read? I know a lot of people have enjoyed it and raved about it... but I didn't get it ^_^; Then again, I've always been a bit contrary. Happy that you enjoyed it though :) I'm thinking of reading Ned and Kate's story soon.

    Marry Me was a good book :) I've read Talk Me Down by Ms Dahl, but have yet to pick up the other books from my TBR pile ^_^;

    Well at least, you did give a try and a second chance to Ms Deirdre. I was surprised you read Chasing Stanley as I remember Lori's review. Overall, I think her writing is okay...

    In any case, great month! looking forward to April now!

  2. Hi Jen, lots of great reads for you in March.

    I had a similar reaction to Naked Edge. That book didn't "do" it for me, but I'll continue to read the series too. I like her writing.

    I loved Marry Me by Goodman too! I'm really enjoying that series (and I like Goodman, period). And, so glad you enjoyed Passions of a Wicked Earl. The second book "Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman" is also quite good.

    I don't remember the last time I read anything by Victoria Dahl? I need to take a look at her books again. :)

  3. Great list! You were very productive! :)

    I read Courtney Milan's debut novel, Proof for Seduction or is it of? ... and thought it was brilliant. I've had her second two novels--the ones YOU read on my 'To Buy' list for ages. I really need to get to them. Like you said, she writes amazing depth of character and the writing is smart. I like that.

    I haven't yet read Victoria Dahl... but do have a few of her works on the TBR, generously passed to me by others. I have to get to one soon!

    Hope May is good reading for you!

  4. Wow!! You really kept your eyes glued to those books!! I had read some of them but was interested in your "take" on others. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Nath - You may be the first I've heard say they didn't love Unveiled. :-) Hoping you enjoy Ned and Kate's story more. And Lori couldn't believe I'd forgotten her post either, LOL!

    Thanks Hilcia - I'm going to get Pleasures next, now that you reminded me! Dahl doesn't have a really long backlist, but definitely a worthy one. Hope you enjoy!

  6. Hmmmm, have a couple more comments in my email inbox, but not displaying here. Thanks Christine and DJ!

  7. I'm so sad you didn't love Naked Edge. But sooo happy that you're finally finding time to read again.


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