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.

Monday, August 09, 2010

July 2010

After months of not getting my lists out on time I planned to have this one post while I was at RWA. What can I say, I'm a planner. Having been to the conference before, I was fairly confident I wouldn't have any books to add to the month of July. Unbelievably, I finished a book on the plane to Florida. Crazy, huh?

Like the month of June, I don't have many books here, only seven. July like June was incredibly busy at work and the fatigue factor made reading a slow process. Plus I was blogging and blog hopping more, and that always has an impact on my reading.

With fewer books, I have longer review-blurbs. It's a curse. A woman of few words I am not.

WELCOME TO HARMONY by Jodi Thomas
The first book of what appears to be the Harmony books, WELCOME TO HARMONY introduces us to the town, and our narrator from whose POV we view much of what's happening. Sixteen-year-old Megan climbs on a bus and heads to Harmony, Texas, with little money. She does, however, have the many stories told to her about Harmony by Miss Beverly. The two became fast friends while Megan worked in the nursing home where Ms. Beverly lived.

This story focuses on Alex McAllen the town sheriff who continues to be tortured by her brother's brutal murder and the volunteer fire chief Hank Matheson. Hank not only happens to be in love with Alex, but he was also her brother's best friend.

This is Ms. Thomas at her best. I'm already buying copies and giving them away to friends. I can't wait for the next book.
My Grade = A

LOVE IN THE AFTERNOON by Lisa Kleypas
Fifth and final book of the Hathaway series. This is the youngest Hathaway sibling, Beatrix's book. Bea finds herself falling in love with Christopher Phelan via his letters. Letter that were written to Bea's flirty and shallow friend Prudence. If Pru won't answer his letters, Bea simply must.

This was an enjoyable addition and final installment to this series.
My Grade = B

WELCOME HOME, COWBOY by Karen Templeton
Ms. Templeton continues to amaze me with how much power she can pack into a category romance. This Silhouette Special Edition (#2064 July 2010) was wonderful, and a top notch addition to her Wed in the West series.

Here we find country music star Cash Cochran returning home to face some demons. He arrives at his family ranch to find his best friend's pregnant widow in residence.
My Grade = B

THE TEMPORARY WIFE by Mary Balogh
Reviewed here.
My Grade = A

BONDS OF JUSTICE by Nalini Singh
While I like the H/H in this story very much. I really felt this book was a catalyst and excellent pre-shadowing for the rest of the series. Don't mistake me, Max and Sophie are powerhouses in their own right and very unique, but I really felt like there was a lot with the "world" in which they lived was set up for future stories.

Second, it was nice to have a break from the shifters (changelings) having the center stage. With the next book being Indigo's we will be back in the thick of things with the wolf pack.

I've said it before and I'll say it again. This is one of the most solid and enjoyable series I've read. Ms. Singh continues to grow, change and build her world.
My Grade = B+

MISSING by Shiloh Walker
One of the highlights of last year's RWA conference in Washington DC was meeting the author Shiloh Walker. Back in 2003 when I first began finding other romance readers online, I frequented Lora Leigh's forum which Ms. Walker frequented. As it sometimes happens, I felt a little like I "knew" her when we actually met. She's a very nice lady and was part of a fun evening of readers and writers I had the good fortune to be a part of in DC.

This year I had the good fortune to have a wonderful, if brief, conversation with Ms. Walker about BROKEN and FRAGILE at the Literacy signing. That was so much fun!


It so happens, I'm a fan of her work. I've read all of her HUNTER series, and more recently the aforementioned BROKEN AND FRAGILE. Back to back and out of order I read them, but it didn't hurt my enjoyment of the books a bit. Anyway, I always have her on my radar for new releases and was very much looking forward to MISSING.

The characters she creates are Ms. Walker's strength. Cullen and Taige are no exception. Fascinating and intense, I wanted them in every scene, word, and page. The plot is not a new one, at least for me it wasn't. Competent to be sure, but it was all about the characters' personal journey in MISSING.
My Grade = B+

LADY ISABELLA'S SCANDALOUS MARRIAGE by Jennifer Ashley
This is the second book in the MacKenzie quartet. While characters from its predecessor THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE appear in this book, the story isn't dependent on what's happened previously and I think could be easily read as a stand alone or out of order. Of course, once you read about the MacKenzies, you'll want to read the other books.

In this book we have Roland (Mac) MacKenzie a talented artist and notorious scoundrel who, years previous to the story taking place, married Lady Isabella Scranton within hours of meeting her. Now, once again residing in the same city, Isabella breaks her silence with Mac to let him know she believes his paintings are being forged.

I really liked the way the history of the couple unfolded with snippets from gossip rags at the beginning of each chapter and then in the character's own recollections in the present with the distance of their past behavior to look back on with a different and more mature eye.

It's not often we read about a separated couple who both admit to loving one another, but are sadly unable to find a way to live together. I don't think I've read a better example of that than in this story.

A very good read, even on an airplane.
My Grade = B+

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3 Comments:

Blogger nath said...

Few books, but some great ones :D

It's funny, everyone seems to love Welcome to Harmony and I really wanted to as well, but thought it was just okay. Did you ever read Twisted Creek, Rosie?

Glad you enjoyed Bonds of Justice :D Isn't it two books in a row that we are not seeing changelings? I'm ready to see them. I'm actually getting tired of the Psy LOL.

8:18 PM PDT  
Blogger Lori said...

It's so nice to see you posting a little more!! I miss you when you aren't around :)

Glad you got some good books in!

10:33 PM PDT  
Blogger azteclady said...

Too organized for me, people!

6:49 AM PDT  

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