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, December 09, 2009

November 2009 Reading List

Still in my reading frenzy at the beginning of the month, I have a respectable 14 reads for the month that was November. I'm surprised to see how many of the books I read this month are still with me and rattling around through my thoughts.

Heart Change by Robin D. Owens
This is the 8th installment in her Celta series. Still enjoying the series although this was not a couple I was particularly anticipating a story about.
My Grade = B

Bed of Roses by Nora Roberts
I've seen a myriad of reactions to this series out there in Romancelandia, but it's still in the plus column for me. I love the idea of four friends being able to stay friends and be in business. I'm looking forward to each installment of this series.
My Grade = B

Duke of Shadows by Meredith Duran
See my review of this one. Sublime.
My Grade = A

Ain't Too Proud to Beg by Susan Donovan
On many days this read might have been a solid C. As a general rule I like light fun fare for my Sunday afternoons and this fit the bill perfectly. The right book at the right time. Since a doggie is a part of this story having my Emily snuggled up next to me for most of it didn't hurt.
My Grade = B-

Rainwater by Sandra Brown
This one packed an emotional punch. I reviewed it here. After a few weeks to think about the book and absorb its impact I think I'm ready to grade it. What holds me back from an "A" grade is my belief there is conscious emotional manipulation of the reader.
My Grade = B+

Ice by Linda Howard
I talked about this one here. To sum up? Meh read for me. Although I readily admit I always have high expectations when it comes to Linda Howard.
My Grade = C?

A Bride in the Bargain by DeeAnne Gist
This historical gave a fictionalized account of one of Asa Mercer's brides coming from New England post Civil War to Washington Territory. Well done and steeped with history and true to life characters. Don't be afraid to try this romance just because it's in the inspirational line. Very well done.
My Grade = B

Love Under Seige by Samantha Kane
At Love's Command by Samantha Kane
While I have these two books in e-format I couldn't resist picking them up at my local UBS when I saw them. It was great to revisit the somewhat idyllic world of menage Ms. Kane has created.
My Grade = B

The Marriage Bed by Laura Lee Guhrke
I grabbed this one out of my tbr and every time I do that I think of Keishon's challenge. Alas I didn't get a review done, but I'm one less book in the teetering tower of tubs.
My Grade = B

Wild Instinct by Sarah McCarty
Like its predecessor RUNNING WILD there are 3 chapters about three linked but different couples. While much better than my recent western reading of Ms. McCarty I found myself wishing this story was more fleshed out. I also can't help but hope this is leading up to a single title full length book wrapping up this storyline.
My Grade = C

Beyond the Rain by Jess Granger
I saw several good things about this futuristic debut book by Ms. Granger. While I found the story premise intriguing I was never fully engaged with these characters. For me, I'm afraid this was a bit too much of same old, same old.
My Grade = C

One Cowboy, One Christmas by Kathleen Eagle
This is a Silhouette Special Edition #2011 and is about broken down cowboy Zach Beaudry, brother to Sam Beaudry featured in the May 2009 SSE by Ms. Eagle. Neither of these books packed the emotional punch I've come to expect from Ms. Eagle, but as it contained elements of redemption in it, I graded a bit higher than Sam's book. There is a third SSE due out in February 2010.
My Grade = B-

Her Colorado Man by Cheryl St. John
When Mariah finds herself pregnant she gets help from an unexpected corner when her grandfather sends her away to have the baby. When she returns to Colorado to the bosom of her large extended family and their brewery business, Mariah is separated from her "husband" who has taken off to the Alaska gold fields. I really enjoyed the family dynamic in this story and the how well Ms. St. John handled the realities of what Mariah had to cope with.
My Grade = B-



Blogger Kati said...

Dontcha love Sam Kane? At RWA last year though, I was all over her about Verity's story. I was all, "WHEN? WHEN? WHEN?" At least two more books she tells me.

SIGH. I'm ready for her story NOW!

7:15 AM PST  
Blogger Wendy said...

I've thought about it, and thought about it, but I honestly didn't feel manipulated by the Brown. I suspect because I "knew" what I was getting into from the very first chapter? Maybe? Hmmmmm.

Agreed on the St. John. My favorite parts were the family and brewery stuff. A solid B for me.

I've got the Eagle on Ye Olde Sony Reader. Eventually, I'll get to it.

The LLG book caused a sensation when it was first released. Some readers lurved it and others wanted to toss it on a bonfire. I've still got it buried in the TBR. Because I suck.

9:19 AM PST  
Blogger Rowena said...

Great list of books you've got here, Rosie! You read way more books than I did in November.

I'm glad to see that you liked Bed of Roses. I'm so totally loving the series and cannot wait for Laurel and Del's book, woo hoo!

10:03 AM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

Kati, I know! I'm with you on Verity's story. I was hoping her Dec 11 release was it and checked the other day and bummer, it's not. Let's get her sloshed and make her promise when we are in Nashville. What do you say??

Wen, did you see my comment on your review? I odn't know whether those thoughts are a feeling of manipulation or not, but I don't know what else to call it.

Rowena, I read a lot in Oct and Nov. I haven't finished a book yet in Dec though. Too much stuff going on.

10:49 AM PST  
Blogger Wendy said...

Rosie: Saw your comment, which is what prompted me to think on it.

Don't you think all writers emotionally manipulate the reader? Some of them are just better at hiding the strings than others? I mean, without the emotional "juice" novels would be vastly dull. It's the "emotional stuff" that keeps the reader invested (IMHO).

Manipulate really isn't the right word, authors and readers would likely balk at the suggestion - but at the end of the day, isn't it the writer's job to provoke some sort of emotional response? Maybe? Now I'm talking in circles.

For me it boils down to execution. I felt that Brown executed it beautifully. Now looking at other reviews? More than a few readers disagree with me. And so it goes.....

And now I'll stop hijacking your comments. But it's something to ponder, that's for sure....

11:22 AM PST  
Blogger Cheryl St.John said...

Thanks for reviewing Her Colorado man!


12:23 PM PST  
Blogger Samantha Kane said...

Note to self: do not let Rosie and Katie buy me drinks in Nashville. Wait a minute, that's not right. Don't let them buy me TOO MANY drinks in Nashville. That's better. But by Nashville I'm hoping Very's story will already be out. Oops! Didn't mean to let that one out of the bag. ;-)

P.S. I'm still working on those book plates for you.

1:08 PM PST  
Blogger Katie Mack said...

I noticed that the Kane books are #2 and #4 in a series. Did you like books 1 and 3, or have you even read them? (I'm asking because the books look interesting, but I usually start series books at book #1.)

3:08 PM PST  
Blogger Tara Marie said...

Nice mix of books. I've read 3 of the 14--the Howard, Gurhke and Roberts. After reading your and Wendy's reviews, I think I'll get the Brown.

3:19 PM PST  
Blogger Rosie said...

My dear SL, never worry about 'jacking the comments. K? I guess for me there was a sense of being set up. I'd agree there is always some degree of manipulation when you pick up any book if you have a buy-in to the story.
To be sure it's a story that stays with you and was well done AND thought provoking and on that level it's aces.

Cheryl, I really enjoy your books and am so glad you stopped by ye olde blog!

SK, you have no hope against the Infinity Twins so accept your fate. Oh, and thanks for the 4-1-1 about Very. You know we are breathless with anticipation.

Katie Mack, I have all the books in e-format so these were "finds" in paperback and re-reads for me. I think these books are just fine as stand alones, but then again I'm not a real stickler for reading in order.

Oh yayTM, I so glad you are going to give the Brown a try. Can't wait to see what you think.

4:53 PM PST  
Blogger Kati said...

I noticed that the Kane books are #2 and #4 in a series. Did you like books 1 and 3, or have you even read them? (I'm asking because the books look interesting, but I usually start series books at book #1.)

Katie Mack - I'm not Rosie, but I am a Sam Kane fangrrl, so I'll say this. Nope, you don't have to read them in order. Characters from other books pop up routinely in other stories, but for me, it was just a cue that "Yippee! There's another BiA book out there for me to buy." The stories definitely stand alone. Will it help to read them in order? Possibly, but I think they stand well alone.

Good luck! I hope you enjoy them, goodness knows, I love them!

*Rosie, oh yeah, SO buying SK drinks! Many, many drinks. If for no other reason than I'll bet she's a hoot when she's tipsy.

7:51 AM PST  
Blogger Christine said...

I just finished the first of Nora Robert's Bride Quartet... Vision in White. I thoroughly enjoyed it and am currently 5th in line for Bed of Roses at the library. Can't wait!

Also, I'm so super glad to see you loved Duran's Duke of Shadows so much! It was my favorite historical romance from 2008 and definitely one of my top faves ever. Off to read your review..

8:01 PM PST  
Blogger nath said...

14 books, that's pretty good, Rosie :)

Lots of Bs and Cs, hmmmm. It's too bad about the Linda Howard.

11:59 AM PST  

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