Monday, March 3, 2008

The Weekly Read: Ten Second Reviews

Last week when we blogged, I was just starting Got Your Number by Stephanie Bond. I was also sick as a dog and using the excuse to read as it takes my mind away from my miseries. Well, I finished not only that book, but I dug into some of the older books on my shelf. The story behind these books is they’ve been stuffed into boxes through four moves in five and a half years. Yup, they’ve done some miles and have been hidden for a long time. I felt like honoring them for their patience. So, here’s what I read while I got better (sneezes are all gone, now I just need to get my voice back – thank you for asking):

Got Your Number by Stephanie Bond. Fast paced, witty, clever and touching. If you love women on the run with hunky cops after them, then this is a fun one. A twist near the end caught me by surprise. Have to admit that doesn’t always happen, so I loved it.

Blame it on Chocolate by Jennifer Greene. Another winner! Then again, when it comes to chocolate, how can anyone go wrong? Cocoa botanist and chocolate lover extraordinaire teams up for one night of madness with the boss. A little truffle in the oven complicates things before the wacky cast of extras get involved. Very fun. Loved it. Had to buy chocolate ice cream to go with.

Naughty Neighbor by Janet Evanovich. Another of her reprinted “birthday cake romances” it is yet another very entertaining read. My favorite remains Manhunt set in Fairbanks, Alaska, but each one provides the reader with a light, uplifting feeling. Quick easy reads, they hit the sweet spot just right. When I want to lighten my own writing, a couple hours with one of these books gives me the right mindset to move forward. I want more of these!

Bet Me by Jennifer Crusie. Not my first Crusie book, but is the first written solely by her. (Loved Don’t Look Down with Bob Mayer). This one is another winner. Great hero. Just loved him. Such a guy. Bold brassy heroine. Loved her and her shoe fetish. Even better, the hero picked up on the shoe fetish. I’ll have to try out a few more Crusie books.

Simon Says by Lori Foster. Okay, I’m cheating here. Didn’t really read it this past week, but did read it recently. Accidentally left it off last week’s list. Another one of her Harmony, Kentucky novels centered around the modern gladiator hunks of the SBC. Follow on novel to Causing Havoc. Simon, is, well, wow. The trainer to the stars of the sport. An inside look at what it takes to train for such fighting events. A woman gets an intimate look into the gym and the men. Even learns a few things and overcomes two users from her past. Great novel about woman power triumphing and still being soft enough to love a man.

The Black Lyon by Jude Deveraux. One of my first Jude reads, I still love this one. Set in early England, knights and peasants roam the landscape. The head hopping was a little disconcerting, but that was the style of the day. Writers today are strongly cautioned against such POV switching. Still, Jude does it with style. The mix up in communication between the two leads was a bit frustrating, but if you want a historical historical, well, this is truly a classic from the past. I do have to wonder what the story would look like if Jude re-wrote it today…

Say You Love Me by Johanna Lindsey. Okay, call me deprived, but this is the first JL that I remember reading. In fact, it was one of several bodice ripper type novels my FIL bought ages and ages ago at a Sr. Center book sale. When he finished with them, he passed them on to me. This was before I started reading romances seriously, so it sat for eight years or more, buried in one of those boxes. Obviously it was a later book in a series, the Malory Dynasty, if I got it right. I’ll have to go back and find them all then read them in order to pick up on all the inside jokes. Still, they didn’t detract too much from the overall experience. I’d love to hear what other have to say about Johanna. I know her name comes up quite often as one of the staple authors of the Romance genre.

Courting Cassidy by Stephanie Bartlett. Set in Oregon 1897/1898, this was a fabulous change from Regency England. Americana with a feminist heroine. Another old one with a bodice ripper cover, I really enjoyed getting into the Pacific Northwest logging community. The history “felt” authentic to me. I enjoyed it very much. I’ll be keeping and eye out as I hunt in the used book stores for more by this author.

And so, that is what I read last week. Currently in hand, another bodice ripper, Second Chance by Lori Handeland. I think I read this one years ago. Civil War widow saves the life of convicted bank robber. But is he really a criminal? More to come next week.

Also on the table beside me to be read this coming week, One Thousand White Women by Jim Fergus. Not, not a romance, it’s one of those books my friends in book groups recommended to me. We’ll get a little literary next week if I can focus on something with true depth. I still haven’t managed to read The Poisonwood Bible, but I did read Where the Heart Is, Tuesdays with Morrie, and Middlesex, all recommended by the same literary minded friend and all good. Funny I never got invited to join a book group. Wonder why? Oh well, never mind, I’m in one now with my local critique group. Couldn’t keep up with one for real right now anyway. Oh yeah, I’m supposed to be reading for this week’s meeting… guess Second Chance and the White Women will have to wait a few days…

So, Jmo, what did you get into this past week? Besides edits, I mean.

Not as much as you, it would seem.

My first book of the week is one close to my heart.

The Wolf’s Heart by Jenna Leigh. Yes, you smell nepotism, but this is truly a fantastic book. Elaine Westbrook is an investigative reporter on the trail of the story of her career. It leads her straight into the arms of the man she once loved, Marcus Bei. Marcus and her once shared a magical relationship until something happened, a secret so dark she can’t remember. As Elaine delves into the mystery of Jacob Caulder and a string of missing woman, she uncovers more than she bargained for. There’s a connection between the missing women and that dark moment long ago when her world was torn apart.

The Wolf’s Heart, kept me on the edge of my seat throughout the book and left me wanting more when the last page was over. Unlike you I can hound the author for the next book mercilessly. Of course she just tells me to leave her alone so she can finish writing it.

Sherilynn Kenyon’s Lords of Avalon: The Marvel Comic, Issue 1

I’m a big fan of comics and Sheri. I’m even a fan of Manga, but this first issue didn’t do it for me. Sheri’s books are so vivid and full of details, that the comic just came up short with me. I wanted to see something more realistic, I guess. That’s one of the problems when you go from one medium to another. Your mind already has an ideal set in your mind, and this version just wasn’t it for me.

My last book is Divine by Blood by P.C. Cast. I’ve been a big fan of this series since Goddess by Mistake. The third book in the trilogy didn’t disappoint. Ms. Cast delivers a story as rich and complex as her first. I’m not ashamed to admit, she is one of the few authors who has made me fight back a sniffle or two.

Divine by Blood tells the story of Morrigan, the daughter of the baddie from the first two books. Raised in our world, she feels the call of Partholon and finds herself thrust into it after stumbling into a cave in Oklahoma. Unlike Shannon from book 1, Morrigan is not Epona’s chosen, but that of another goddess. Morrigan finds herself fighting the same evil that consumed her mother. The book takes you on a rollercoaster of a ride that never takes you down the path you think you’re heading. I wish I could tell you more about the book, but I hate giving away anything. This is one book you definitely want to read for yourself. It can stand as a read alone but to really appreciate the richness of Cast’s world, I urge you to find Divine by Mistake, the re-release of Goddess by Mistake and Divine by Choice and read them first.

Now to my TBR pile. Man when did it get this big? Okay I’ll just hit the top three. Vampire Interrupted by Lynsay Sands. Dead Over Heels by Mary Janice Davidson and finally Heroes Adrift by Moira J. Moore. Expect to see them up for a Ten Second Review next week.

1 comment:

Jenna Leigh said...

Ooh, you reviewed my book!! Thank you JMo! Believe it or not, yours is the opinion that matters most in the world! (hugs)