Thursday, June 28, 2007

Julia Quinn 'The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever'

"8th of June, 1819

I am informed that certain society matrons are under the impression that Turner holds me in a romantic regard. This would be cause for great celebration if:

1. It were true.
2. He hadn't responded by laughing and saying "Miranda is certainly the least intolerable girl in London."
3. He hadn't then grinned in my direction, as if I were expected to take that as a compliment.

I laughed, of course, because he was clearly jesting, and I suppose I should be grateful that he considers me a fine enough friend to tease.
But I do not wish to be his friend....."

Did I mention how much I like Julia Quinn's books? Her 'formula' (this is a formula genre after all) is that her characters are so damn witty. If I had to critique, I would say the end could have used one less page of Turner groveling. Otherwise, sex was terrific, plot was light but totally enjoyable, and even the secondary characters were wonderful.

Historical Romance 2007: 5 out of 5

Monday, June 25, 2007

Suzanne Enoch 'Sins of a Duke'

I really liked this book. I think I've finally figured out that I love books where the hero is just too incredibly perfect to be believed, and the rest of the book is competent enough not to distract from my enjoyment of the hero. Talk about an obvious epiphany. What can I say, I'm Midwestern, not known for our self reflection.

Sebastian is the most powerful man in England, when Josefina arrives from Jamaica, the new princess of Costa Habichuela on the Mosquito Coast, he's assigned official liaison to her family. Her father and she have spent two years devising a way to bilk English investors with a fictitious new colony. But her father gets so carried away in his role that he allows people to actually buy land there and sets up ships to transport them. Putting people's lives at risk makes Josefina see the error of her ways. While all of this is going on, Sebastian and Josefina are falling obsessed with each other. Sebastian devises a way to stop her father without getting the whole family thrown in jail or hung for their perfidy.

A shyster heroine is always dicey but this hero is so perfect you can put up with her until she regrets her actions and becomes a more sympathetic character. Overall, terrific read.

Historical Romance 2007: 4 out of 5

Friday, June 22, 2007

Danielle Steel 'Coming Out'

I just broke one of my long time, iron clad rules about never buying or reading Danielle Steel. I read a book of her's probably twenty years ago and I don't even remember what turned me off but I swore I would never read another. Well, it was so short and had such a cute cover, I gave in.

Was It Bad! Oh, my aching head. The monotonous description of the perfect lawyer mother of four who only takes cases about exploited workers and still makes sure she's home by 5 every day. Gag me with a spoon. Olympia is only outdone in her incredible perfectness by her holocaust survivor mother in law. Olympia has this unfortunate blue blood background so her daughters get asked to 'come out' at the most exclusive such event in New York. At the coming out ball her son tells her that he's gay. And I quote, "In a different way than his sisters, he had come out, too." The only time Olympia falters in her incessant wonderfulness is when she discovers one of her twin daughters has a tattoo. I so can not care about these people.

Contemporary book 2007: 0 out of 5.

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Christine Feehan 'Shadow Game'

Peter Whitney started experimenting with orphan girls who showed telepathic abilities. His experiments went awry so he ‘sold’ off most of the girls, kept one and turned to other things. Twenty years later he tried again with a group of highly trained military men. Now those experiments have gone badly, he’s been killed and his daughter has to do what she can to save the men from further harm.

These are terrific characters, sexual tension was okay, follow through was good, and premise was okay. I hate to get too picky, but one of the basic rules of science fiction is that the made up conditions have to be consistent throughout the book. For example, Lily can’t touch people because their emotions and thoughts bombard her. She touches Ryland and sometimes it’s a mind meld and sometimes its not. Overall, enjoyable book but not amazing.

Modern Paranormal Romance 2007: 3.5 out of 5

Friday, June 15, 2007

Nora Roberts 'Angels Fall'

Our Heroine has become a drifter after surviving a mass shooting at the restaurant she worked in. She ends up in Angels Fist when her car gives out and takes a job in a diner as a cook. On her day off she witnesses a women’s murder out on a remote trail in the mountains. The local hunky murder mystery writer happens to be ten minutes down the trail from her and is the first person she can reach for help. The police find no traces of anything where she says it happened so her psychological health comes into question.

Disclaimer: I read this book while sick in bed with food poisoning and to be truthful I don’t really like mystery novels. It was well written, decent characters and suspenseful. I skipped about 150 pages in the middle and just read the end. But if you like Nora Robert’s mysteries you might like this one a lot more than I did. What can I say.

Contemporary Mystery Romance 2007: 2 out of 5

Monday, June 11, 2007

Jacquelyn Frank 'Gideon'

It seems particularly appropriate to be reviewing a romance novel about demons and vampires from Las Vegas. [Disclaimer CSI has nothing to do with this book, I just liked the pic.] This is the first book that I’ve read in the Nightwalker Series and I enjoyed it. Magdelegna is a ‘Mind’ demon who is empathetic to an extreme. She ends up ‘imprinting’ with Gideon who is one of the most powerful ‘Earth’ demons, he is a healer with convenient abilities to alter blood flow in others. Imprinting involves discovering you're genetically destined for each other (ie. MUST COPULATE). A nasty group of necromancers is beginning to attack the demons which occupies most of the plot.

The fact that the first sex scene is done without the hero and heroine actually touching is an obvious advantage of the paranormal genre. On the other hand, I have to wonder how the author is going to maintain this order of superlatives without running out of descriptive vocabulary. I’ll be interested to read another in the series and see just how sustainable or silly this construct becomes.

Paranormal Romance 2007: 4 out of 5

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Eloisa James 'Desperate Duchesses'

Clever book. Roberta's father writes elaborate poetry, has his mistress living with his young daughter and embarrasses Roberta at every opportunity. She decides she needs to go alone to London to find a husband. She throws herself upon the charity of Jemma, Duchess of Beaumont. Jemma's brother, Damon, is staying at Beaumont House and agrees to help Roberta trap the Duke she has already fallen in love with. This gives them lots of time together to get up to no good.

I have to say Roberta's blaise attitude toward her dalliance with Damon seemed a bit silly. While the book wasn't extremely funny, the plot was good and the main characters were great. The sexual tension and follow through were terrific. Above average book.

Historical Romance 2007: 4 out of 5 stars