Monday, July 19, 2010

Sadie Callahan "Lone Star Woman"

When I admitted to my kids that I choose this book cause I liked the cover they explained that you really shouldn't judge a book by it's cover because some really good books might have lame covers. Gotta love it.

Lone Star Woman is a book about Jude, the only child of a West Texas ranching dynasty who has spent her entire life making herself ready to inherit the ranch. The only time she rebelled against her father and grandfather was when they choose a fiance for her, and even then she dated him for six months before finally breaking it off. What she somehow fails to know is that there is no way in hell that her Dad and grandfather are going to leave the running of the ranch to her because she's a woman.

Brady just had a bad divorce (shallow cheating wife whose father makes his life hell in the courts) leaving him broke and worried about his nine year old son. He inherits a spread that's all run down that borders the much larger Circle C that Jude lives on. He hires on as a ranch hand to the Circle C and eventually gets offered the general manager job that Jude has been waiting for her whole life.

The writing is a bit clunky. The characters motivations are not always understandable. And the book sort of ends abruptly with a unnecessary near death and rescue. But, if you like the Texan fantasy life and the cowboy fantasy character, it's kind of fun. Not the best book, but definitely not the worst either.

Contemporary Texan Romance 2009: 3 of 5 Stallion Teasers.

PS. Since so many romance covers feature strategically placed swords and such I have to give a shout out for the awesomeness of the "Turquoise circle marks the spot" on this one.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

Marjorie Liu "The Fire King"

I was digging around on Alpha Hero's and came across a recommendation for The Fire King and since I had tried a book by Ms. Liu in the past and not been excited about it, I was intrigued.

Okay for you not so into fantasy readers out there, I will admit, the book is about a three thousand year old chimera (offspring of two shape shifters of different breeds) who is awakened when his tomb is discovered. Since his kind have long died off the only person in the world who can communicate with him is a telepathic who when in the presence of a native speaker, can understand and speak any language. Okay, okay, either you can read this genre or you can't. If you can, this is a well crafted story.

Our hero is very Alpha, but humbled by something bad in his past, our heroine is a terrific blend of scared but does what needs to be done in the moment who has also been scarred by life but still retains some trust in the goodness in people (beings, whatever. :)

The story is tight with good pacing of the downtime and the action. The secondary characters are a little distracting as this is clearly a book in a continuing series and furthering the series seems to drive some of the descriptions and plot. But overall, very good fantasy romance with both a terrific hero and a great heroine.

Fantasy Paranormal Romance 2009: 4 of 5 tri-breeds.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Jessica Andersen "Night Keepers"

Flylady would tell me I'm not behind, just jump in where you here goes.

Night Keepers is the first in a series of books about supernatural warriors pledged to defend the world against the coming 2012 apocalypse. Striking-Jaguar, Strike to you and me, is the next King of the Night Keepers but he's only one of ten warriors left because his father made a serious mistake and most of the Night Keepers were wiped out. He is understandably reluctant to take up the royal mantel given the 13th prophecy that only with the King's sacrifice will the Night Keepers succeed. Anna is our tough-as-nails-but-only-on-the-side-of-good cop whose brother is killed by some crazy cult who keeps talking about the end of the world in 2012 (not the Night Keepers in case you haven't read this sort of book before.)

Really, in a lot of ways this book is surprisingly good. The Mayan backdrop is fascinating, the pacing is mostly not frenetic, the hero and heroine are both decent characters, the sex is well done....BUT the internal logic to this world building is quite extensive and as such I really cared whether the resolution made sense. I can say it didn't outright contradict itself but when you build up the entire book to turn on a whether the hero needs to kill the heroine to save the world, you better have a convincing alternative option. I read the resolution passage three times. Very unsatisfactory.

That said, I'll probably read the second one. I might not finish it, if the pattern is the same, but I'll try it. So while this failure was a deal breaker for this book, there is enough promise in the book that I'll give her a second chance.

Paranormal Romance 2008: 2 of 5 blood sacrifices.