Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Kimberly Killion "Highland Dragon"

When your favorite reading genres are romance and fantasy how can you possibly resist a book called Highland Dragon. Can't. I had to try it, even if I was opening it with a physical wince ready to be cracked over the head by the silliness of it.

It started so well; Evil neighboring clan leader is holding off abusing his much abused wife only because she's about to give birth and he's waiting to see if its a boy. Nice neighboring clan leader comes to save her but is killed in the process, his son survives him and steals the baby girl (making sure to confirm that she's not his sister). Nice.

Flash forward eighteen years, stolen baby was left with a smaller neighboring clan to be raised, she's quite a hoyden but before our hero can come collect her to marry her she gets kidnapped and almost sold off at a slave market. Okay.

Hero-son saves her but she's pissed because if he had come a bit sooner to marry her she wouldn't have been kidnapped. Hmm.

It just goes downhill from there. Central problem: silly plot? No, unlikable characters. I really didn't like our heroine and therefore had a hard time believing the hero would either, and the plot/secondary characters just seem to writhe all around like a earthworm trying to find it's way back to my garden dirt.

Historical Romance 2009: 1 of 5 so not any dragons in this book.

Photo Note: Now that's a Highland Dragon! Go Draco!

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Courtney Milan "Proof By Seduction"

Why do I enjoy the repressed powerful English lord character so much? Well, let's not make this post all about me. :) I picked up this book at the grocery store not having heard anything about it, so I had low expectations, and they were all exceeded. First Ms. Milan captures that shivery first attraction feeling perfectly, then she dives into relationship exploration for these two that if not entirely realistic, it's terribly engaging and enjoyable.

Jenny is a not very typical well educated but unconnected woman who has found an independent path for herself by telling people's fortunes. Gareth is the Marquis of Blakely who takes his responsibilities very seriously but who uses his cold demeanor to keep from caring about anyone too much.

Really the book is so good. On the scale of things, it spends more time on relationship exploration than some people might like, and it has some plot, but that's definitely not the focus. If you are looking for action, this ain't your book.

Historical Romance 2010: 4.5 of 5 dung beetles.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

Megan Hart "Broken"

Megan Hart writes dirty books. True statement. Even my very free thinking girlfriend gets a we're-being-bad smile on her face when I hand her a new one. But Megan Hart does so much more. There's always an exploration of some subject that is just downright interesting, funeral directors in Dirty and in Broken it's the life of a paraplegic. But there's also exploration of the human psyche, often the human sexual psyche, granted, but that's inherently fascinating so count me in.

Our heroine is married to a paraplegic, she works, and on her lunch hour she shares a bench with a guy who, over the last year, has started sharing the stories of his one night stands with her. She fantasizes about being the one he's with. She loves her husband but over the years his depression and guilt over her care of him have done significant damage to their relationship.

Her bench partner is extremely promiscuous. He loves women, enjoys sex, and is giving about his sexual encounters but he feels they only see a possible mate, not a person, so he refuses to engage in a relationship with any of these women.

Which leads me to my tangent of the hour. Promiscuity. Is it possible to have a healthy self image and be promiscuous? Is this an entirely different question for men than for women. Since having children this question has become more than academic to me. Are men promiscuous simply because of evolutionary biology or (as Ms. Hart explores) can there be more to it. Can women be promiscuous simply because they enjoy the pleasures of sex and be otherwise healthy psychologically. Obviously some small percentage of women can be promiscuous and be perfectly well adjusted and certainly men are more prone to promiscuity because of their role in human evolution, but beyond that where do we go.

Thanks Ms. Hart for making me think. Always a bonus when I'm reading a dirty book.

Contemporary Erotica 2007: 4.5 of 5 one night stands.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Jennifer Crusie "Tell Me Lies"

You mom's of school age kids out there will know of what I speak when I say, May Has Hit. I used to think of May as a wonderful spring month of gardening and walking. Maybe hunting for morels and eating a lot of asparagus. But slowly over the last few years the end-of-school-year nature of May has come more and more front and center. Ah, enough excuses.

Tell Me Lies is about Maddie and C.L. and the small town of Frog Point Well, really it's about Maddie. We find Maddie cleaning out her husband's car and finding black lace panties under the seat. Since he cheated on her five years ago, she naturally jumps to certain conclusions and decides she really is going to leave him this time, she's tired of being the good girl in town, and she and her husband haven't loved or liked each other in a while anyway.

C.L. is the only other guy she "dated" in high school. He comes back into town to look into her husband's books as a favor to an old friend and gets thrown into a very strange kerfuffle with Maddie and her husband. Were there funny moments in the book, definitely BUT...there were a few too many moments where Maddie had to be Too Stupid To Live in order to further the plot. The plot really takes over the book and that might have been okay except it just didn't hang together well. And my other big complaint was C.L. He was a card board cut out character par excellence. His interactions with the daughter were the most interesting parts of his character and they were so damn perfect they made me snort. A puppy? Really?

If you aren't expecting much or reading to carefully this one is amusing.

Contemporary Romance 1998: 3 of 5 bags of money.