Monday, November 14, 2011

Life Happens

Hi All, this is my new kitty.

I'm busy practicing my evil influence on unsuspecting 7th graders (aka student teaching). I'm hoping to blog a bit over break but until then life has been rather hectic.

Keep checking, I'm still around. And still reading! :)

Monday, June 27, 2011

"Something About You" Julie James

Julie James can write a mean romance novel. Even given a sort of ridiculous "big misunderstanding" this book about an Assistant US Attorney heroine and a FBI hero is an enjoyable ride. He gets to be all protective and manly and she gets to be smart and brave. If you don't normally read contemporaries, you should make an exception for Julie James. It's light and funny and just right for summer.

Contemporary Romance 2010: 4.5 of 5 motions to adopt.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Back in the Saddle

I know you have been pining away for my witticisms. Pine no longer fair reader. We are talking about Guilty Pleasures today in honor of my return to bloglandia, by Laura Lee Guhrke. Our heroine is a talented artifact restorer and our Duke (really, do they all have to be dukes?) is the owner of an archeological site (English manors are wonderful things to have, I've been told).

I really enjoyed the first book I read by Ms Guhrke but have been disappointed occasionally along the way so my expectations were relatively low going in. I enjoyed how the heroine responded to the disappointment of her crush being, well crushed. I was wondering how I was going to feel about our hero after that scene but the author brings him around nicely too in a realistic way. The pacing is good, the characters are enjoyable, the sex is terrific, and the emotional culmination was lovely.

The book didn't leap out of the usual traditions of the genre to be a five, but it was a really well done 4. Very enjoyable.

Historical Romance 2004: 4 of 5 priceless Samarian vases.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

Madeline Hunter "Sinful in Satin"

I have a soft spot for Ms. Hunter's books from when I first read a book by her set in Medieval England where the historical period was actually an important part of the book. (Crazy I tell you!) She immediately went on my "love everything you write" list. But realistically some of her books have been better than others. I haven't been completely enamored of this series about "The Rarest Blooms."

Celia is the daughter of a famous London courtesan, educated for a life of more of the same until she ran away and found sanctuary at Daphne's house. Then her mother dies and she inherits her modest townhouse and her tenant, Jonathan. Jonathan is an Earl's by-blow and remains unsettled by the lack of acknowledgment by his father's family.

Besides her feel for the historical period, what keeps drawing me through Ms. Hunter's books are her smart interesting characters who feel very real, and seem like people you would like to have as a friend. On the other hand, in this book there are several plot points that really didn't make sense with the characterization of our super intelligent hero.

Enjoyable book, well written, lovely characters, good sex. But the conflict between who these people are drawn to be and some "move the plot along" decisions begs a lower rating.

Historical Romance 2010: 3.5 of 5 plots of intrigue.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Lynsay Sands "The Countess"

I do recognize that it could be possible to read this book and think it was hysterical, and given the right comedic cast with impecabble timing it might be funny in a movie, but I just didn't like it.

Our heroine is married to a slime ball who woed her sweetly for her dowry then turned into the controlling jerk he really was. What she doesn't know is that he had his twin brother killed to assume his title and estates just before marrying her. (He's been busy) When her jerky husband dies, she puts him on ice and goes to a ball with her sisters. At said ball the not quite killed twin brother shows up, she nearly faints thinking her husband has come back from the dead and they proceed to play move the dead body all over the townhouse for the rest of the night.

If these characters had been more compelling the comedy would have been less strained but as it was I had a hard time finishing this one. I actually managed to finish Witch of Blackbird Pond in the middle and this book made that look interesting, which is saying something. Oh, don't get me wrong, I liked WofBP but it's a sort of mildly wooden YA historical fiction about Puritans and I have to guess non-history teachers might not get excited about it, but I digress.

I got to visit the CCBC yesterday. Please, please, please can't I just work there? Oh sorry, back to the romance novel.

Historical Romance 2011: 2.5 of 5 carpet wrapped drippy dead evil twins.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

Hate Valentine's Day.

But my kids gave me all their blow pops in exchange for me allowing them to eat 5 pieces of candy each at one sitting. I'm starting to like this kind of Valentine's tradition....image stolen from awesome cartoon site xkcd

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Elizabeth Hoyt "Notorious Pleasures"


Historical Romance 2011: 3 of 5 English Follies.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Sarah MacLean "Ten Ways to Be Adored When Landing A Lord"

My spouse tells me title capitalization is so 1990. So I guess this should be Ten ways to be adored when landing a lord, but then I'm not submitting this to any scholarly journals for publication.

I have a bit of a reputation, among my friends. No, not that sort of reputation. A reputation for reading these books, so when we got together for my birthday, a little late, I got quite a few random romance novels. This was part of the pile and while the Harlequin were epic failures, TWTBAWLAL (I had to!) was a surprise gem.

Isabel is the daughter of the wastrel Earl and over the years she's had to take care of the manor as if she were a medieval lady of the manor trying to make it self sufficient. In addition, she seems to have taken in women with problems and hidden them from others who might be looking for them. She's finally at the end of her rope, has to sell a collection of statuary so she asks Lord Nicholas St. John to visit to appraise them. Things develop from there.

Really with this title and the completely pedestrian premise I expected very little from this book so was very pleasantly surprised. Isabel is a smart determined almost realistic character and Nicholas's arch from masterful proper lord to bewitched down to earth besotted cutie, well, it made me smile. And I can't ask for much more than that.

Historical Romance 2010: 4.5 of 5 slippery roof tiles.

Monday, January 3, 2011

M.K. Hobson "The Native Star"

If I'm anything, I'm a trendsetter. I just found this amazing book that you all should read. Okay, I went over to the Book Smugglers again and searched their top rated reads. But in case you haven't done the same, I'm gonna tell you what I thought anyway.

The Native Star is probably best described as a steam punk (historical/magical) fantasy novel with just a hint of romance. Emily lives in the Sierras of California in 1876 in an alternate US where warlocks are ascending the power structures and scientists are having a hard time proving themselves useful with magic around to upstage them. Emily gets herself into a bit of a fix when a magic rock embeds itself into her palm. Luckily there is a persnickety warlock around to help her gallivant all over the country trying to find someone who might not kill her to get the rock for themselves.

It bills itself as a romance but really it's a fantasy quest novel, and a good one. I was expecting more romance so was slightly disappointed but given the right expectations, fans of fantasy and especially those looking for steam punk themes will be very pleased with this one.

Fantasy Steam Punk 2010: 4.5 of 5 flying cockatrices.