A big family, a reading addiction, and the occasional celebrity scandal are the ingredients of life that create one woman's opinion on just about everything.

Thursday, January 03, 2008

December Reads

Here's my list for December. I will be attempting to do a year-end sum-up later in the week. I was amazed to find I'd actually read 10 books in December. Of course half of them were last week. The month is a blur. A happy, fun, colorful Christmas-y blur, but a blur nonetheless.

Midnight Awakening by Lara Adrian. Third in series. I think well done and I liked it better than the second book. I will definitely be continuing with this series.

Tempted by Megan Hart. I promised myself I'd do a separate review of this book and haven't had time to get it done which really isn't fair to Ms. Hart. Like Emma Holly's book, Menage, the complexities of mixing what starts out as a lark, a fling and a response to physical attraction ends up stirring up much, much more.

Here's an excerpt of the book that really resonated with me (last paragraph page 374 to top of page 375)

"In the early days of our lovemaking I'd been content to lie back and allow him to do as he pleased...even if what he was doing missed the mark. It had taken his asking me to tell him what I liked and wanted. Here. There. How hard, soft, the patterns and rhythms to which my body best responded. Like this. Like that.

Now I could lie back as James did what he pleased, and I didn't have to show him how I liked him to touch me. We'd grown together over time. We'd found the places on each other that felt best, learned what pleased the other."

Hey for my money that's not just about sex, that's the anatomy of any good relationship. "...learned what pleased the other." You can only learn if you're interested in the first place. Just love that excerpt. This book is not even close to being a typical erotic romance. That Megan Hart she's got grit and a way with words. Also, I wish I could have recognized at a much younger age what "the fixer" Ann McKinney finds out. Some things you can't fix.

Beyond the Dark – Anthology by Angela Knight, Emma Holly, Lora Leigh and Diane Whiteside. I've liked books by all these writers. Not all their books, but I've actually read books by each of them individually and liked their writing. I have to admit I had high hopes for this book. It turned out to be torture for me to read. I finally just put it down.

The Angel and the Outlaw by Kathryn Albright. A debut Harlequin Historical that I wanted to love not just like. I did like it. It's a throw back to an earlier time. Very good characters are drawn here but it was a bit slow AND at times I thought the heroine's sensibilities too modern.

The Last Twilight by Marjorie M. Liu. MML does it again. Dorchester surprised me with an early copy of this book that isn't due out until January 29th. Marjorie Liu is such a good writer. This is the 7th (?) book in her Dirk & Steele series and this was one of the best in the series. I really enjoyed this book. It has a very interesting premise for one thing. The heroine works for the CDC trying to crack new viruses that spring up around the world. Ms. Liu's
characters make her books. Stir in an interesting plot and you have the LAST TWILIGHT. You know a writer is good when you read about shape shifting as a real phenomenon that exists. Yeah, she's that good.

I can't wait for her new Hunter's Kiss series which involves living tattoos. Yes, you read that right. The first book, THE IRON HUNT is due out in July. Click on the link and check out that cover.

Untouched by Anna Campbell. I think I mentioned reading this. A good solid historical. No new ground, but if you are in the mood for a good traditional historical this one will do the trick.

Hot by Julia Harper (aka Elizabeth Hoyt). I don't know what I was expecting. I really don't. This book surprised me because I couldn't stop reading it. It's engaging. Cute. The characters aren't too crazy or over the top, but I have to say I probably like her historicals better. Did I mention it's a straight contemporary?

The Wicked Ways of a Duke by Laura Lee Guhrke. This one bummed me out. After enjoying the first book in the Girl Bachelor series, AND THEN HE KISSED HER, I was really looking forward to this one. Good solid characters, but a bit predictable and slow moving for me.

When I Fall in Love by Lynn Kurland. I really have mixed feelings about this one. I enjoyed about two-thirds of it. Again, Ms. Kurland clearly has a way with words, and I was invested with her characters, but at 445 pages this is probably about 75 to 100 pages too long. It's part of a series and I easily caught on to the situations and characters from previous books, which, btw, I haven't read. I do think there were unnecessary appearances by the previous characters and stuff going on that did nothing to progress the central story, which I was interested in.

Mad Dash by Patricia Gaffney. This is a very well written book and I can certainly see why reviewers would fall in love with it. The story revolves around a woman who almost simultaneously loses her mother and her only child goes off to college. Reminiscent of a Jennifer Crusie's book where a dog is the straw that broke the camel's back, Dash in a fit of pique leaves her husband Andrew when she wants to keep an abandoned puppy that Andrew is allergic to.

Frankly as well written as this book is it was sort of depressing for me to read. I figure I'm just slightly older than this woman and I can't believe how she nearly self destructs. Sure, I know we are never too old to learn stuff about ourselves. Self discovery and awareness are good things, but this went a bit far for me. A realistic view of middle aged marriage? Good lord I hope not!

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Blogger Wendy said...

I've had the Albright book on order forever, and finally got word this week that it shipped!

One of my New Year's Resolutions is to read one of LLG's Avon releases. I have ALL of them in the TBR. Every. Single. One. I've loved the pre-Avon books I've read and have been dragging my feet with her new stuff - because, well - I have issues with Avon.

Nice snippet on Tempted. I still have to read Emma Holly's Menage. I'm going to have to wait awhile though. A girl can not live on menage books alone....

7:49 AM PST  
Blogger nath said...

hey there Rosie :D

that's a nice list :D and 10 books is a lot when you've been sooo busy :D I agree with you for the LLG book... i did think it was slow and predictable, which makes it an okay read.

can't wait to see your review of the year :D

8:07 AM PST  
Blogger Becky said...

Ms. Hart's excerpt was very good, and very true.

That's the beauty of long marriages as well...growing old with another person that still remembers you as a youthful beauty and appreciates and holds dear the investment made in each other over the years (not just in bed, either).

I fear many young folks today will never know that kind of deep love and security and beauty that comes from a long, mutually fulfilling marriage because they are too concerned about meeting their own needs. This often leads to selfish relationships that don't last, because there isn't a good give-and-take balance.

12:39 PM PST  
OpenID scooper said...

I enjoyed Lara Adrian's third book too. If I had to rank the three books it'd be:
Book 1= 1
Book 3= 2
Book 2= 3

What would you say?

8:10 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Wendy, because you have a kinder gentler sensibility than me...usually...I'm thinking you'll like the Albright more than I did. Hurry read it so we can compare notes. No pressure though. :P

I have an older LLG on my TBB list that I think you told me to look for. I'd like to try something older to compare with the two I've read.

Nath, I'm glad to hear I'm not the only one who struggled with LLG's latest. I had such high hopes for it too.

Becky, amazingly the woman, Anne, in the Hart book almost blows her marriage. That's where Ms. Hart really is amazing by showing us and making us believe you can love two people at the same time for different reasons.

As for real life, I think you are so right that sometimes, as much as you are in love when you marry, it takes time to fully appreciate and discover our partners. Lord knows that the things I most appreciate about GG I barely had an inkling to when we married.

As for young people, some of them get it. Although I often wonder how there will be any good long lasting relationships/marriages if young people don't see or witness any in their own lives growing up.

Scooper, for some reason I like this Dark Haven world and am intrigued by the way Ms. Adrian has made the very men who protect their species pariahs among their own kind. Book 1 & 3 are a close tie for me. Book 2 wasn't bad just not as intense (for me) as 1 & 3.

10:03 PM PST  
Blogger AuthorM said...

thanks for reading Tempted, Rosie! I'm glad you liked it!


6:52 AM PST  

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