So, yeah. I apparently gave up tracking my books about halfway through last year. No clue what I read in the 2nd half of the year. None at all. So I can't even do a best of 2011. It's like July - Dec never happened. But I know I read prolifically. So I decided to try again this year.
I tracked all of my January reads, and whaat? It was only 12 books. I'm not disappointed, because I don't set reading goals for myself. I read when I feel like it and read what I feel like reading. I just don't remember ever only reading 12 books in a single month.So, here are my January reads. All 'star' ratings are from my Goodreads shelves.
If You Know Her (The Ash Trilogy, #3) by Shiloh Walker - 4 stars
Review to come closer to release date. I liked this one a lot, but didn't connect with the either the hero or heroine as much as in the previous books. Still, a great resolution to the series, and my initial guess as to the villain when I read book 1 was right. HA!
If You See Her (The Ash Trilogy #2) by Shiloh Walker - 4.5 stars
Terrific examination of an abused woman finding herself again and learning to trust again. Loved it. Review here.
Razor's Edge (Edge, #2) by Shannon K. Butcher - 3 stars
This book made me sad because I loved book 1 and just didn't love this one. I thought the heroine especially was inconsistent. She was supposed to be a badass bodyguard, but seemed rather helpless to me. The hero, for coming out of the special forces seemed a little helpless, too. Not physically, but using his noodle? Yeah, there. Disappointing. But I generally love Shannon K Butcher's romantic suspense, so I will definitely get the 3rd when it comes out.
The Departed by Shiloh Walker - 4.5 stars
Fantastic. The 2nd in this series of psychic FBI agents (The Missing is the first, and was also awesome). I wanted to hate Taylor, but it's quickly revealed why he is such a jerk, and boy did I feel for him. It got a little unclear as to who had jurisdiction and why the FBI didn't take over the case, and none of that reasoning really made that much sense to me, so that's why the 4.5 instead of 5 stars. Otherwise, it was fabulous.
No One Left to Tell by Karen Rose - 5 stars
It's Karen Rose, need I say more? The heroine is a secondary character from a previous Rose novel, but this can be read as a standalone. Another romance that happens particularly quickly, but manages to be believable. Lots of sly humor injected into the dialogue, which was a nice break from the intensity of the suspense. And the suspense is tight as always. Less gory than most of her recent books, too. But still a ton of murder & mayhem - just most of it off-screen. I did have one of those moments where I thought, "Really? What else could happen to them today?" but it didn't ruin anything for me. Thankfully. Review here.
Millionaire's Last Stand by Elle Kennedy - 3 stars
I was disappointed with both these Kennedy books, mostly because I usually adore her books, and... well, I just didn't here. I definitely liked this one better than The Heartbreak Sheriff (they are connected, and this is the first one). A millionaire is accused of his ex-wife's murder, and the stubborn sheriff calls in his good friend from the FBI to help him nail down the evidence. Surprise! He's innocent. Another too-fast romance, but it was nicely done anyway.
The Heartbreak Sheriff by Elle Kennedy - 3 stars
In this one, the sheriff's ex is accused of murder. He gets a little taste of his own medicine when he believes in her innocence but nobody else does. What bothered me is that he never acknowledges the parallels here with the previous book where he was completely judgmental of the hero and refused to even look at anyone else for the murder. Yet he is in the exact same boat as the FBI heroine of the previous book, believing in his love's innocence, and wondering why everyone else is so damned determined to railroad her. It just bothered me, and made me dislike him.
Because of the List by Amy Knupp - 4 stars
Loved this book of a military hero who doesn't think he's good enough and the introverted heroine who was his best friend's little sister. A healthy dose of guilt here, and a wonderful helping of family on the side. I just loved it. Review here.
Colorado Dawn (Runaway Brides #2) by Kaki Warner - 4 stars
I liked this one quite a bit. Another western historical that actually has a married Scottish hero and an English heroine. I liked both of them, especially Angus. This is the 2nd book in the series, and I missed much of the camaraderie displayed among the women from the 1st one. Still, Warner writes beautifully and tells a lovely story. Angus, particularly, was funny and very self aware.
Whispers in the Dark (KGI #4) by Maya Banks - 4 stars
I didn't get the kick in the gut I usually get from Banks. I enjoyed this book tremendously, and really liked the hero and heroine. I loved their connection and how their entire relationship began. Perhaps that was the problem I had. The beginning was so powerful that I was bound to have a letdown. And frankly, none of the books has been as amazing to me as the 1st in the series. But, as always, the connection between the brothers was fantastic. I'm really looking forward to the next one, which I assume is Grace and Rio's book.
Triple Threat (Uniformly Hot! #3.5) by Jennifer LaBrecque - 3 stars
I remember absolutely nothing about this book other than I enjoyed it. Here's my note on it: "Typical Blaze fluff, and as usual, I enjoyed it."
One September Morning by Rosalind Noonan - 4 stars
This was a freebie on Kindle at some point in December I think. It's not a romance. It was a true surprise. It's an excellent fictional look at the Iraq war and its effect on both the soldiers and those left behind. A Pat Tillman-like story, but with a definite villain added. What threw me most was that it's written in 3rd person present tense. I finally got used to it, but it took a while. I recommend this one.
I also reviewed If You Hear Her by Shiloh Walker and Matthew by Emma Lang, both of which I read in December, but released in January. And I wrote 3 reviews here on the blog, and quasi-reviewed 7 of these on Goodreads! And by quasi-reviewed, I mean that some only have a sentence or two, but I'll take it. Go me!
If you can't tell, I've been on a serious romantic suspense kick. I can't even think of picking up much else right now. Not sure why - usually I can read historical whenever, but nope. Right now, I'm all about the suspense. Next up in my queue are Cindy Gerard's latest, Last Man Standing and Leslie Tentler's Edge of Midnight - both rom-susp. Oh well. For now, I'll just keep going with the flow. Eventually I'll want to read something else.