So February was another slow month for me. But again, I don't feel deprived. I'm working, spending time with my kids and hubby, and catching up on my DVR'd shows. Volleyball season has begun at the high school, so my youngest is very busy with that. Watching him play at the high school level is so amazing. This is my artistic, musician child. And yet, put him on a volleyball court, and he becomes an athletic killing machine. Wow.
Anyway, here's what I read in February. 11 books, 3 of which were 5-star. Plus a couple of duds.
A Week to Be Wicked (Spindle Cove, #2) by Tessa Dare
Review to come next week, as it releases on the 26th. Suffice to say, go preorder this now. NOW. I'll wait.... ok, done? Good.
Shane's Last Stand by Suzanne Brockmann
A meh story for Brockmann. An interesting way to prequel a series set in the future (timeline = approx the same as the In Death series). There is no worldbuilding at all - it could have taken place modern day. It's so short, I thought it would do better as a prologue or 1st chapter in a full-length. At least then the opportunity for worldbuilding could happen. I'll still read the 1st book, but Brockmann has some extraordinary writing to do to convince me it's not her usual rom-susp.
Addicted to Love by CJ West
Review here. Such an awful message for a romance. Ugh, just ugh.
Conor's Way by Laura Lee Guhrke
Review here. Full of amazingly wonderful awesome.
Northern Exposure (Compass Brothers, #1) by Jayne Rylon
I liked the concept, but the execution lacked. I enjoyed the parts of the book without any sex, but the sex scenes were cliched and there were never any moments of hesitancy as the man Colby and Lucy loved came back sfter 10 years. Although he had a compound fracture of his femur, and was only a few days post surgery, Silas was able to screw them both. The talk during the sex scenes completely threw me out of what was otherwise a good story. The sex scenes seemed to be all about sex, but lacking the emotion that I thought was required to tie the three together completely. I was intrigued enough to be curious about the other 3 brothers, but not enough to go buy their stories.
It's Not Christmas Without You by HelenKay Dimon
Review here. Although this had Dimon's trademark banter (awesome!), I felt like the characters were still a little immature and worried for their HEA.
Guardian Agent by Dana Marton
A decent story, and the suspense plot intrigued me. But it was so short that the romance (over a few hours) was not believable. Sure, Jasmine had loved Gabe when she was a teenager, but there was no basis for an adult love there. Especially on Gabe's part, since he hadn't had any romantic feelings fir his friend Jake's sister back in the day. If the next book (Jake's) is a full-length, I would be willing to read it. I'd like to see if Marton can deliver a good romance with a higher page count. And I'm interested in how the suspense arc plays out.
Edge of Midnight (Chasing Evil, #3) by Leslie Tentler
Review here. Each book gets better than the one before it. Tight suspense. Romance that was as believable as it was inappropriate. Evil villain. Vicious murders. Cops & FBI that actually work, and long hours. Well done. I'll definitely be on the lookout for another release from Tentler.
Last Man Standing (Black Ops Inc., #7) by Cindy Gerard
Review here. Oh, how sorry I ma to see this series end. I adore Gerard's SpecOps dudes, and the BOIs were so awesome. Can't wait to see what she has in store for me next.
Rocky Mountain Haven (6 Pack Ranch, #2) by Vivian Arend
I liked this even better than book 1. While we still get glimpses into the Coleman family life, I felt like more of the focus was on the hero and heroine here. I really adored Daniel and Beth. Daniel was almost too good to be true - understanding, sweet, loving. But somehow, he wasn't boring because of that. He was interesting. And exciting. And sigh-worthy. And the way he handled Beth's kids? Full of win. Beth was the one with the serious baggage here. Overcoming an abusive relationship, she still let herself be open to learning about love with Daniel. His suggestion of becoming friends as well as f-buddies was the key to opening her heart. I love that they became friends. And that once she realized it was more, she didn't compare Daniel to her husband. She acknowledged that he was different. Better. And I love that they talked. About their infertility, about their feelings. Oh, one other thing. That Helen bitch better not show her face ever again. Just sayin.
This Time Next Year by Alison Kent
Every time I read something Alison Kent has written, it's like discovering her all over again. I loved this story. And Kent's writing. Brenna and Dillon drew me in. I loved their conversations, the fact they wrote to each other, the fact that they didn't have their HEA until they both did what they needed to do. There's this great quality in Kent's writing. I can't pin it down, but it combines realism with fun & humor, and yet deep emotion shines through. A lovely cabin romance. I wish this book had been 300 pages. Not because it needed it. I just didn't want to say goodbye to Brenna, Dillon, and Gran.
I still need to read the other two stories in the Holiday Kisses antho.