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Recently Read - November 12 - January 13
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Leigh



Joined: 29 May 2007
Posts: 2689

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 3:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

goldberry wrote:
Kayne wrote:
goldberry wrote:
I want to read Steve's story. There's redemption and love waiting for that man somewhere!


Goldberry, that cracks me up because you are probably right. In Sarah Mayberry's hands she could show different sides of the coin and have me hooked in and forgive him of his jerkiness.


And hopefully she will!

I didn't like him until the end of the book when we were given a bit of background as to why he acted as he did.

I just finished reading Gillian Flynn's Sharp Objects, definitely not a romance. Next up... All He Ever Desired by Shannon Stacey to get the not-romance taste out of my mouth!


What did you think of the Stacey? I really liked her first one, but with each subsequent book my enjoyment decreased a little. It hasn't got great reviews at Amazon.
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goldberry



Joined: 26 Dec 2011
Posts: 36

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

So far I am enjoying it. Sean's story is my favorite so far, though.
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kris



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 311
Location: Southwestern Ontario

PostPosted: Thu Nov 15, 2012 5:33 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Has anyone read Iced by Karen Marie Moning? I have really mixed feelings on this one.
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jc



Joined: 24 Mar 2007
Posts: 76

PostPosted: Fri Nov 16, 2012 10:57 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just read Sarra Manning's You Don't Have to Say You Love Me. Loved it! A definite A. Thank you to whoever recommended it. I definitely read about it on a post somewhere on this site, but can't find it again to say thanks. I loved the Britishness of it. I've never read a British contemporary, only historicals. I thought it was funny, moving, and a very, very sexy read. And real, frank sex - not much purple prose. If you aren't amused by people who are crazy dieters and struggle with their weight, you won't like it. It's a huge focus of the book. But if you've tried every diet in the book and had yo-yo weight, you'll get it. It's supposedly chick-lit, not a romance, but the romance is a big part of the story. A great Ugly Duckling story. I'm a rereader if it's a memorable book for me and I'll be rereading this one for sure.
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Blackjack1



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 566
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Sat Nov 17, 2012 3:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Let Me Be the One, Jo Goodman (A-) – Goodman has such a sizable body of work that it’s intimidating to know which one to read when I’m in the mood for one of her books. I have decided to read her “Compass Club” series, and so far so good. As with the other books of hers that I’ve read, this one is fairly dark in tone in that the heroine, Elizabeth, is a woman very much in need of rescue. There are some unsavory themes including blackmail as well as one’s precarious role in a society that puts severe constraints on people’s private lives. The romance here is poignant and I found North a worthy hero who responds unselfishly through the many trials he undergoes to save his lady. In many ways this book reminds me of one of my very favorite Lisa Kleypas novels, Then Came You. The mystery here is compelling and intertwined well with the romance. My criticisms are small but I did find the limited omniscient narrator frustrating at times as the reader is kept in the dark as to people’s motives and secrets, including the hero and heroine's. This device does create suspense but early in the novel events and motivations are murky. Also, although I liked the introduction of the three other “compass club” members, the designation of east, west, north, and south as names for the men is a little gimmicky. Nevertheless, this was a very good read and I’m looking forward to the others in the series.
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pwm in mi



Joined: 19 Oct 2011
Posts: 307

PostPosted: Sat Nov 24, 2012 4:39 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Easy by Tammara Webber
This is a YA/new adult novel, taking place on a college campus. I really enjoyed this book. This was the first YA book I have read and it was really well done. I think I prefer it when the character are in college as opposed to high school.
here is a link to the review at AAR.

http://likesbooks.com/cgi-bin/bookReview.pl?BookReviewId=9088
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:09 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Here's something very unusual. Vivian Roycroft, Scandal on Half Moon Street (The Scoundrel of Mayfair). It's an e-book, 99-cent Kindle edition.

I enjoyed it. Set in 1812, it think it's one of the few regency-set items I've ever read that didn't owe at least one major plot element to Georgette Heyer. Don't look for heavy breathing.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Sun Nov 25, 2012 4:18 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Kim Bowman, The Duke of Christmas Past. Astraea Press (November 1, 2012). 99-cent Kindle e-book. This is a short, fun, re-working of the Dickens Christmas Carol theme.
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Tinabelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 872
Location: SE Wisconsin

PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 11:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

A couple of people have mentioned books published by Astrea Press which I just discovered myself. I enjoyed The Duke of Christmas Past and have Scandal on Half Moon Street in my Kindle Queue. I just finished The Toymaker, another Astrea Press novel. I liked the characters and the story showed some originality.

The AP line would seem to fall into the low sensuality category. I am fine with that but some may not care for this style. There are kisses, chemistry, and sexual tension but no sex, even behind closed doors. I will definitely explore more from their line. Another added bonus is that the books are priced low, most under $3.
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angela



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 105

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 3:08 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Season for Surrender by Theresa Romain - Was in the mood for a Christmas themed book ,so I picked this one up. I absolutely agree with Lynn's review of this one. I felt incredibly bored,but forced my way to the end. I wanted something to give me that Christmas feeling, but this did not do it.

Home for the Holidays by Sarah Mayberry - Bought this one at a UBS along with a bunch of other Sarah Mayberry books. Thought I would read this after the other Christmas book failed. Well I was really enjoying it up until the last third, then it got kinda depressing. I know what the author was going for but it just didn't hit me right. Not for a Christmas book anyway.

How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf by Molly Harper - Really liked this book. I can never resist a werewolf Very Happy Had some funny moments and loved that it took place in Alaska. Definitely will read more by this author.
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veasleyd1



Joined: 02 Dec 2007
Posts: 2064

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 6:56 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Ilona Andrews, Steel's Edge. The real question is whether I'm going to grade this as urban fantasy or romance. In the first category, although the body count is higher and the gore described more graphically than is in accord with my personal preference, I'd still give it an A, because it is a compelling story. In the second category, the romance is a bit tacked-on. Richard Mar, the hero, is no rake, if a bit closed off and uncommunicative, but he gets high marks for being far less superficial in his level of support for the heroine than is the standard for men in romance genre writing, but it's still not a really "romantic" in the sense that the outcome of the main plot is only minimally affected by the outcome of the H/h's personal relationship. That makes it a little difficult to put a grade on the romance element.
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Blackjack1



Joined: 21 Feb 2011
Posts: 566
Location: Portland, OR

PostPosted: Wed Nov 28, 2012 10:05 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Not Quite a Lady, Loretta Chase (B-) - I generally found this book charming and light-hearted, which in the hands of a lesser author, would have been easily forgettable. I give Chase a bit of a pass here because she is such a good romance writer and has written so many others that are much better. I enjoyed it but haven't thought of it much since finishing. This is another Carsington brother story, and so I perhaps had higher expectations given how much I liked the others in the series. The main problem I had with Darius Carsington is that we are told early in the book that he's an unrepentant rake of the first order, a "lov'em and leave'em" kind of guy, but he never demonstrates that behavior, which would have been fun to witness. Instead, he sets eyes on the heroine, Lady Charlotte, and from that moment on can think of nothing else but making her happy. He supposedly relies upon Logic as his guiding force in life, and then becomes impulsive and loving very quickly once he meets the heroine. He claims love is a farce early in the book and is quick to blurt out "I love you" to Charlotte without pausing to examine the change that has overcome him. In a more developed book, these extreme changes could have been interesting, but in this book they didn't work for me as it felt as if chapters were missing to demonstrate a plausible transition. The villain is not terribly effective in this book either as he fails miserably in his villainy and then abandons it quickly when it doesn't work for him. Charlotte is the better-drawn character, which is somewhat typical as I find Chase to do a better job in general with her female characters. All in all, not a terrible read, just not a memorable one either.
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Tinabelle



Joined: 22 Mar 2007
Posts: 872
Location: SE Wisconsin

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 10:13 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

The Christmas Bride - Mary Balogh

I have been snapping up the digital releases of Balogh's earlier work and have enjoyed the ones I have read. This one gave me a really negative vibe and it nearly was a DNF for me which is very rare. The book made me uncomfortable. I did not like Helena at all in the beginning, and even by the end of the book, I had trouble warming up to her. When her backstory is finally revealed, I couldn't buy her rationale for her early behavior. I liked Edgar but just had a very difficult time figuring out how he could love Helena as she was for most of the book. And the total acceptance of Priss did not ring true for the time although not surprising considering the backgrounds of some in the story. This one just did NOT work for me.
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stl_reader



Joined: 03 Aug 2011
Posts: 212
Location: Missouri

PostPosted: Thu Nov 29, 2012 11:46 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Christmas Bride was indeed very "treacly." The various characters are all living their respective HEAs, everyone is so nice to Priss (you're right), it is all quite saccharine. I think the author deliberately goes this way because, well, it's a Christmas book, and I guess the intent is to leave you feeling all nice and fluffy. Rolling Eyes

However, I did like that this book gives us a (IMO) much-needed follow-up into the lives of Priss and Gerald. And in my own mind, I revised and then expanded on Edgar and Helena and their HEA, so in that respect, Ms. Balogh gave me interesting characters to work with. (Though I agree with you, she didn't really give us enough to make me understand why Edgar initially fell in love with Helena.)

BTW--I suggest you go to the author's website. There is an epilogue for Christmas Bride, and I really liked it and recommend it.
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Sandlynn



Joined: 23 Mar 2007
Posts: 1767
Location: Washington, D.C.

PostPosted: Sun Dec 02, 2012 10:11 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Just finished up "The Weaver Takes a Wife" by Sheri Cobb South which has been on my TBR pile for quite a long time. I'm not the biggest fan of regencies, but I'm open to a good story no matter the setting. That being said, I'm glad I took a chance on this book. The story was charming and kept me interested. I was surprised by how understanding and patient the hero was made to be ... being so used to the "BIG MISUNDERSTANDING" so many romances use as a device to keep progress from happening. I was also surprised by how relatively quickly the heroine came to accept and, even appreciate, her new situation as the wife of a tradesman, albeit an incredibly rich one. Once again, I'm used to incredible stubbornness and misunderstanding, keeping heroes and heroines from realizing their feelings. So, I guess this book was definitely unexpected, but I did wonder if the lack of this type of conflict made for less drama and tension as to how everything would work out. As such, I'll give the story a "B."
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