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.

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

March 2009 Reading List

Overall March was an interesting reading month. I'm closer to my usual number of books with 13. I like to be in the 15 to 20 book range just to keep my reading on pace with my purchasing. Even with my reading miasma late in the month I still feel good about my March reads. Plus I had a strong finish with Lisa Kleypas' SMOOTH TALKIN' STRANGER. If you haven't read it yet, you should. It's just a very satisfying and fulfilling read. I'm so glad I bought it.

Gobsmacked by LB Gregg
I reviewed this and loved it. I can't wait for the next Smithfield book, HAPPY ENDINGS to come out later this month (April) at Aspen Mountain Press. Yes, that was a shameless plug for these books, because, I really like 'em. I really do.
My Grade = B+

Cry for Passion by Robin Schone
A great turn of the century awakening-to-passion story. Told in Ms. Schone's graphic, unapologetic, and honest manner. She's been hit or miss in recent releases, but I liked this one.
My Grade = B

Give Me a Cowboy - Anthology (Jodi Thomas, Dewanna Pace, Linda Broday, Phyliss Miranda)
I bought this one totally for Ms. Thomas, but figured it was a good way to give the other authors of the anthology a try. Ms. Thomas' book lacked the reality and honesty she usually brings to a story and I was a bit disappointed. I tried to read Ms. Pace's story and couldn't get into it. I read most of Ms. Broday's which was loosely tied to Ms. Miranda's but alas stopped due to lack of interest.
My Grade = C (for Ms. Thomas' story only)

The Outsider by Penelope Williamson
Loved this gritty, multi-layered western. I reviewed this one too.
My Grade = A-

Maverick by Lora Leigh
Note how I'm reading a new LL every month? This one was actually a bit better with a less angsty hero and a much more interesting plot. Ms. Leigh still relies on some of her usual standbys like 'she was his soul'. Why are they ALWAYS the hero's soul? Or, maybe the better question is why does she create a great characters and revert to the same language and rhythm? Both heros and heroines seem and sound the same. It's a shame because she creates characters like Michah Sloane that have so much potential.
My Grade = C

Two Texas Hearts by Jodi Thomas
This was my TBR Challenge read and review. I guess I can't go a month without a Jodi Thomas fix either.
My Grade = C

to good to be true by Kristan Higgins
Grace Emerson makes up a boyfriend to save face and avoid nosy questions when her ex-fiance ends up engaged to her beloved younger sister. Reading the blurb I didn't know how you could pull a story like that off without it being off the chart ridiculous or implausible. Ms. Higgins does a credible job. I do wish it had more 'real' conversations between Grace and her hunky ex-con neighbor Callahan O'Shea.
My Grade = B

Parting Gifts by Lorraine Heath
This was my Re-Read Challenge book. You can see what I thought about this classic eighties western here.
My Grade = B-

Dead Right by Cate Noble
It's amazing how much I liked this book when it's told in flashbacks and the H/H don't end up together in real time until two-thirds of the way through it. While I thought it tied things up too fast and too pat at the end, the redemption was a little too quick for me, this was a strong story and characters. I'll be looking for the next book in the series.
My Grade = B

Tangled Lies by Anne Stuart
This is a reprint in Harlequin's 'Famous Firsts' series. I hadn't read TANGLED LIES before and despite its late 80s release date I think it held up pretty well. A wealthy heiress travels to Hawaii to see her long lost brother... or is he? How do you go from believing someone is your brother to lovers? See how she pulls it off. Good book. Easy read.
My Grade = B-/C+

Taken by Anya Bast
From Samhain a futuristic menage. I'm wondering why I keep trying to read these (menage stories)? This was a disappointment and I have read some of Ms. Bast's books I enjoyed, like her recently released THE CHOSEN. Unfortunately, this one wasn't one of them.
My Grade = D

Lord of Sin by Madeline Hunter
When I lamented recently I didn't know which book to read, Kristie suggested I pick up the one that 'called' to me. This was it. It fit the bill and enjoyed the characters quite a bit. I'm anxious to dig out the other Madeline Hunter books in my tbr.
My Grade = B

Smooth Talking Stranger by Lisa Kleypas
What can you say when a book delivers exactly the way you want it to? A very good and satisfying read. This won't change the world, but fans of Ms. Kleypas won't be disappointed either. It's also a chance to really appreciate an independent middle son, Jack Travis. What a great character! I think I fell a little in love with him myself.
My Grade = B+



Blogger Marg said...

I am jealous of all you people who have read Smooth Talking Stranger already!

3:35 AM PDT  
Blogger lisabea said...


I'm excited to say that I finally managed to read a couple of books this month.

Or, maybe the better question is why does she create a great characters and revert to the same language and rhythm?
You are so smart, Miss Rosie. I think it's extremely hard to change your voice and style, and when we read many books by a single author all at once, it becomes more apparent that they sound the same.

Oh man. Yet another thing to add to my list of worries. Wah.

6:25 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Marg, for some reason my coveting SMOOTH TALKING STRANGER really took on epic proportions. Thankfully I found it early. I certainly look forward to books, but every once in a while I really get antsy for one.

Lisabea, so are you going to share what you read? I saw the EA review. You and le Pig did a great job and asked some very good questions. My question is, any news on the HAPPY ENDINGS release date?

1:12 PM PDT  
Blogger Wendy said...

There have been two of those western anthologies. Give Me A Cowboy is the most recent and Give Me A Texan came out last year.

And yes, I have both of them in my TBR. Yes, I have every romance ever published in my TBR....LOL

1:55 PM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Wendy, it's been so long since I had more than one good story in an anthology I don't know why I buy them any more. I think it's a real gift and art to do a short story well. Anyway after this debacle I don't think I'll be looking for the other one anytime soon.

So, uh...what's the latest count on ye olde TBR?

8:22 PM PDT  
Blogger Wendy said...

You actually want me to admit publicly my TBR total? Um, let's just say it's over 1000 and leave it at that. It's too embarrassing.

I actually need to get in there and do some weeding. I'm biting the bullet and getting rid of like 95% of the paranormals I own. Which, admittedly, isn't many - but I don't see this burn out lifting anytime soon....so off they go to find new homes.

7:16 AM PDT  
Blogger nath said...

13 is a pretty good number, Rosie :D and seems like you had many enjoyable reads :D But I'm more interested in you April reads... so what are you reading? LOL :P

Hope there are many books calling to you! I hate it when they don't :(

7:43 AM PDT  
Blogger Tracy said...

Great list Rosie - look at you go. :)

12:57 PM PDT  
Blogger lisabea said...

Rosie~With luck, the 24th of April, but I'm actually anticipating an early May release because I'm so slooooow lately and I may hold everyone up. This round of edits went well.

TPig is a great partner for reviewing because while he's feisty and opinionated, he's wicked fair. And he's encouraging.

Books I read? I need to keep a list!

5:08 PM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Wendy, your secret is safe with me I won't tell anyone, c'mon what's the real number? *wink*

I did a bit of weeding recently, it wasn't as deep as I would have liked. Maybe again before RWA.

Nathie, I just started my April reading off with Karen Robards PURSUIT. I haven't read her in a long time and picked up her new HC on a whim. It was pretty good. I think I might review it.

Lb, I'm sincere when I say I can't wait. Keep your fans posted, okey dokey? I'm so glad the edits went well. Writing is so tedious...don't know how you do it.

10:55 PM PDT  
Blogger Casee said...

I agree about the Cate Noble book. The ending was way to fast for my taste, especially with all the build up throughout the book.

8:53 AM PDT  
Blogger Rosie said...

Casee, I saw your review and was nodding my head in agreement. Still, I might read the next one.

2:44 PM PDT  

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