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!