Twelve is a perfectly respectable number of books to have read for February. I'm still working on my January list, but I more wisely was recording February as I read them, so you get this list more or less on time. Yay!
INTO THE FIRE by Anne Stuart
An oldie but a goodie, from 2003 that I decided on a whim to re-read. Jamie tracks down Dillon the bad-boy from the past to find out how her cousin, Nate, who was raised as her brother, died. The story takes place over a short period of time, but is quintessential Stuart.My Grade = B+
THE CINDERELLA DEAL by Jennifer Crusie
This was a re-release that I hadn't found or read before. Daisy is a teacher who wants to be an artist but is finding it financially challenging. Linc wants a job at a small but prestigious college where the Board would prefer to hire a married man. As neighbors in the same building, Linc decides he'll strike a deal and ask Daisy to pose as his intended. Loved this book. The wit and dialogue were wonderful. It's so refreshing to read a book where the author counts on you having a brain and figuring somethings out on your own.My Grade = A-
PRIDE MATES by Jennifer Ashley
This is the first book in a new contemporary paranormal series. I confess I bought this because I enjoyed THE MADNESS OF LORD IAN MACKENZIE a recent historical by Ms. Ashley. There were a couple of new twists on ye olde shifter lore and I found myself enjoying this one quite a bit.My Grade = B
NICE GIRLS DON'T LIVE FOREVER by Molly Harper
This is the third in a series of books about Jane Jameson, the somewhat reluctant recently turned vampire who is also a librarian/bookshop owner. I enjoyed this book for addressing in an amusing way some of the practical issues one might face living their life openly vampire. I like Jane's pluckiness and plucky isn't usually one of my favorite adjectives when I describe heroines. This was my first book of the series and I had no issues starting here.My Grade = B-
SEALed WITH A RING by Mary Margaret Daughtridge
I've enjoyed the previous two books in this series so I was pretty happy when Toni from NEW & RECYCLED ROMANCES slipped this this ARC in with my UBS purchases after I had mooned over it during my recent visit.
This too is a marriage of convenience story, but it is written well with a lot of the obvious questions one might have if a friend came to you and said they were getting married for some purpose other than love.My Grade = B
BACK IN BLACK by Lori Foster
This book is a part of the continuing SBC fighter series. I haven't read all of them, and had no trouble with this as a stand alone. This time out we meet SBC president Drew Black who is a PR nightmare for his partners with his brash no-holds-barred news conferences. Enter one Gillian Noode, PR expert to clean up his bad boy image. Gillian is one of those "too competent" heroines almost to the point I didn't like her much. I've been hit or miss with Ms. Foster and was in the mood to give this one a try.My Grade = C
SCOUNDREL'S KISS by Carrie Lofty
I have Ms. Lofty's first book in my tbr, but picked up this one intrigued by a conversation with SL Wendy letting me know that the heroine is an opium addict. Talk about a hook... Ms. Lofty doesn't give her characters an easy time of it and weaves an interesting tale here. If you like a story rich with historical detail and complex characters, you'll love this one.My Grade = B
BRIDE OF THE WOLF by Susan Krinard
I am rarely influenced by a cover. In fact if someone describes a book to me by the cover I'll never guess who wrote it or what book it is, even my most favorites. *glancing at keeper shelf to see what Carolyn Jewel's books look like* I've read Ms. Krinard's wolf books before and have had mixed luck and picked this up totally based on the beautiful green cover with the dual faces in the water reflection and the wolf.
Having said all that, this is a competent wolf shifter story set in the west and was appealing to me on that level.My Grade = B-
NOTHING DENIED by Jess Michaels
Straight up erotic and a valiant attempt to have a real story intertwined with a man's need to be dominant and a shrew's need to marry. I didn't like the heroine in this book. She knows she's a shrew, admits she's a shrew and the author never gives us a chance to know her and understand, except in the most shallow and vague way, why her behavior is so extreme.My Grade = C-
Daphne Wade, left with only the travel vouchers sent by the Duke of Tremore, travels to England after her father's death and is hired in her father's stead to help excavate a Roman camp site found on the Duke's property. I adored the opening of the this book where Daphne is unabashedly spying on her employer. With no aspirations and a self awareness of how far superior Anthony is in rank to her, Daphne adores him from afar. Ms. Guhrke does a wonderful job of introducing these two people to each other and in many respects we also see them come to their own self awareness as well. Very solid historical read from my tbr.
My Grade = B+
Ironically I read THE STRANGER AND TESSA JONES which has siblings of the H/H of this book last month. I used to never miss a Christine Rimmer category and can't remember now what made me stop reading them. At any rate, I was happy to pick this one up and read it. Sometimes short and to the point is just the right thing and this fit the bill when I read it.
My Grade = C+
Do you ever pick up a book a second time and wonder why you didn't read it the first time you picked it up? I had that experience with this book. I really enjoyed Ms. James characters. With a sense of "realness" to characters most of us mere mortals would never meet, she finds a way to bring us in and care about these people through their flaws. Loved that. I'm anxious to read PRACTICE MAKES PERFECT which, fortunately, is in my tbr.
My Grade = B+
Labels: Monthly List