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message 1: by Sans (last edited Sep 01, 2010 03:20PM) (new)

Sans Because I just love keeping lists too much to pass up recording these in yet another group. I don't think I'll add all the books I've read this year, just start fresh here with September.

message 2: by Sans (last edited Sep 01, 2010 08:31PM) (new)

Sans In Other Worlds by Sherrilyn Kenyon
5 stars

So I admit the only books of Sherrilyn's I've read are a few of the B.A.D. Agency novels and Fantasy Lover. Um, why have I not read the rest of her books yet?

Fire and Ice The first novella was from her League series and holy buckets, I really wish it was a full length novel. The hero was just my type - tortured, scarred, angry and completely arse over tits in love with his woman. *siiiigh* Thank the stars I own the League series already. Makes it easier to dive in. Well, it will be once I read and return those 26 library books I have out right now.

Knightly Dreams The second novella was ok, not my favourite of the trifecta. A fun little fantasy that explores what reality really is and how we are in charge of our own destinies.

Dragonswan The third was really good, if a bit hard to follow. I'm thinking this is where reading the Dark- or Were-Hunters books beforehand would have come in handy. Still, I love me some tattooed men and I love me some shapeshifters. Put them together with the magical ingredient of time travel and you have one happy kitty.

All told, a highly satisfying (and quick) read. I recommend it both for readers already familiar with Sherrilyn's worlds and those looking for a better introduction than Fantasy Lover to said worlds.

message 3: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Sans, What were the names of the novellas in the book? I think one was Dragonswan. What were the others? I'm wondering if I've read them.

message 4: by Sans (new)

Sans Good point question. I updated below. The League novella is "Fire and Ice", the random one is "Knightly Dreams" and the Were-Hunter one is "Dragonswan".

message 5: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Don't think I've read "Knightly Dreams". I wonder what anthology it was originally part of? May need to investigate. I read the other two, however.

message 6: by Sans (new)

Sans Good question. I got this from the library and it doesn't say which anthologies they came from. Hmmm.

I tried to read Infinity: Chronicles of Nick but, again, I felt kinda lost. I know she says she writes all her stories with new readers in mind, but I kept thinking I needed to know more about the character. It was due before I got more than a couple chapters into it.

message 7: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments I told Heather that I thought the Chronicles of Nick should be read later after you've gotten through most of the Dark-Hunters series. Maybe after reading all but the last 2. The first book really didn't have a lot of Dark-Hunters in it, however.

message 8: by Sans (new)

Sans Awesomesauce. Thanks doll.

message 9: by Sans (last edited Sep 01, 2010 09:08PM) (new)

Sans The Wicked House of Rohan by Anne Stuart
(too short for proper rating)

Uber short freebie prequel (through Kindle) to Stuart's new trilogy, The House of Rohan. Of course, being uber short, there is not much in the way of character development. I've noticed authors tend to get around that lack of depth by telling the readers that the characters knew each other years ago so just roll with the "let's just hustle into bed and get some wild monkey boom boom action going without actually talking to each other or setting any kind of plot up" bits, then give us a cookie and pat us on the head.

Regardless, I think the idea is interesting enough (living for the sole purpose of pleasure in any and all forms you can find) that I've reserved the first full novel, Reckless, from my library. I haven't read any of Stuarts books before, so I'm renting before buying any of her books. I've been burned too many times recently.

message 10: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Thanks Sans. I just downloaded it to my iPad. Yay!

message 11: by Sans (new)

Sans Let me know what you thought of it. I'm really hesitant to even call it a prequel, it was more like a Naughty Nooner freebie.

message 12: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments I haven't read any of her books, but I've heard she's good. Now you've got my curiosity going. Unfortunately, I'm halfway through 2 books. I need to finish them before looking into this one.

message 13: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 931 comments Sans, did you actually eat the books?? :OOO(lol)

message 14: by Sans (new)

Sans Lisa, the "prequel" can literally be read in ten minutes. No joke. That's how short it is. I totally understand the need to finish books though. I've been pretty good about finishing one at at a time recently (though I really need to update my currently-reading shelf since I have NOT been reading those books listed).

Laruen, it certainly seems that way sometimes. And by "eat" I mean devour. In a highly uncivilized glutenous manner to the exclusion of maintaining a polite facade when people interrupt my reading time. ^_~

message 15: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 931 comments Ohmygoodness Sans! :) Something about the way you wrote that made me start laughing out! Thanks for that.

message 16: by Sans (new)

Sans Excellent, that's exactly the reaction I was hoping for.

And I just realized I misspelled "gluttonous". Grr. That's what I get for typing too fast and not proof reading.

message 17: by Sans (new)

Sans Too Wicked To Kiss by Erica Ridley
3 stars

I've had to think long and hard on what rating to give this. The book felt manic depressive to me, jumping from a gothic romance to a Regency romp in the space of a single paragraph, then back again with a sidetrack to social mores of the times.

The hero was all dark and broody and violent one minute, then a grinning, flirting buck of the ton the next. Even my mood swings are that dramatic.

The heroine was some strange combination of naive yet lusty wench, capable psychic, logical detective and lonely little girl.

The plot was thin, the side characters kinda useless, the main characters couldn't find their arses with a map, both hands and the lights on half the time, and the whole murder plot fell far short of my gothic expectations.

Despite these problems, there were some funny lines and I did like Gavin and Evangeline together, even if things moved way fast even for a romance book. I just wish the author could have done more than pull up several handfuls of cliche to pad the story. Or even just stuck with one kind of cliche. I would have enjoyed it more if it wasn't all over the place.

message 18: by Sans (last edited Sep 05, 2010 02:30PM) (new)

Sans Anyone But You by Jennifer Crusie
4 stars

This is a great palate cleanser. A very fast read, fun and sweet and pretty sexy towards the end. I usually don't go in for contemporary romance but I'm quickly learning the error of my ways.

I picked this book up because it was mentioned in Beyond Heaving Bosoms as having one of Candy's favourite heroes. I totally agree with Candy. If I could find an Alex in real life, I would count my lucky stars every day.

Alex is a thirty year old ER doctor but that's as ambitious as he gets. He's happy and comfortable and at ease with his life.

Nina is forty, a year of our her divorce, and living the life she's always wanted. She's happy if a little lonely but her new adopted dog is filling in the gaps quite nicely.

I love that they spend months as friends, quietly lusting after the other but making no moves whatsoever in that direction. There aren't giant balloons of angst hovering over every scene, even when the characters are concerned about their insecurities. Alex and Nina really get to know each other before taking that next step. That's rare in romance books and I do a little happy dance when I find it written so well.

I'd recommend this for anyone looking for a light, sweet-without-inducing-a-diabetic-coma, funny afternoon read.

message 19: by Sashana (new)

Sashana You can never go wrong with Jennifer Cruise. Did you read Bet Me?

message 20: by Sans (new)

Sans Funnily enough, Bet Me was the book I was looking for at the bookshop yesterday but they didn't have it. I'm glad I found this one though. The Smart Bitches were right, any hero that loves Mystery Science Theater 3000 belongs on a top favourite list.

message 21: by Sans (last edited Sep 08, 2010 02:33PM) (new)

Sans Trial by Fire by Jo Davis

I needed to remember who was who before I start on the next book for the Never-ending Series Challenge. Plus, hot firemen.

message 22: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 931 comments Mhhhmm... Hot firemen. Lol :)

message 23: by Sans (new)

Sans True that, my friend. Yum.

message 24: by Lauren (new)

Lauren | 931 comments Haha Sans! :)

message 25: by Ingrid (new)

Ingrid  (initch) Sans wrote:In a highly uncivilized glutenous manner to the exclusion of maintaining a polite facade when people interrupt my reading time. ^_~

Can I get a Witness with an Amen? Testify!

message 26: by Sashana (last edited Sep 12, 2010 01:11PM) (new)

Sashana Lol, you guys are too funny.

message 27: by Sans (new)

Sans Ingrid, now I'm singing Mr. Booze from Robin and the Seven Hoods. Testify! Testify! And I'm so glad to meet others who share my obsession passion.

message 28: by Sans (new)

Sans My Unfair Lady by Kathryne Kennedy
4 stars

I really enjoyed this book despite a few quirks. And I can't type to save my life tonight so I apologize for any typos that I miss.

The Bad Things: I could have started at least three drinking games during this book. The word "tarnation" was waaaaaay overused. Also, Byron didn't just laugh. He always threw his head back and laughed. For someone who doesn't like being a spectacle, he sure made himself one often enough. And Summer spent so much time caressing her knife I began to wonder if she had penis envy and was using it as a substitute.

The Good Things: Byron wasn't a towering example of man muscle. Yes, he was still muscular and happened to know kung fu, but he was a short man. While it wouldn't work for me personally, I loved meeting a hero that was not described as the second coming of Heracles. And he was sarky. That made me love him all the more. Also? He was poor! Yes, he held the highest title of the Peerage next to that of royalty. But he was dirt poor! Let's hear it for a hero that is a poor, short, has a tongue that could flay the skin off your back and is a non-Heracles without the slightest whiff of Croesus!

More Good Things: Our plucky heroine. I didn't want to throttle her. Well, most of the time. When she wasn't saying "tarnation" or moaning about how she had to go back to the fiance back across the pond. She could fight, use her penis replacement knife, shoot, ride bareback, adored animals and went all out for her shot at experiencing passion. And when she finally realized what she needed to realize, I was cheering for her. Out loud. Shouldn't have done that in public, but oh well. That just proves that I liked her.

The Mediocre: The "someone is trying to kill our hero" subplot. Meh. It was necessary I suppose and proved mildly entertaining in spots but I would have liked to have seen more done with it.

The Judgment: A fun book, quick read and entertaining. As my friend would say, "It was well good."

message 29: by Sashana (new)

Sashana I like the way you set up this review, Sans. I might have to 'borrow' your format if it's alright with you.

message 30: by Sans (new)

Sans That's a very big compliment, thank you Sashana! Please feel free to use any or all of the format.

message 31: by Sans (new)

Sans Not Quite Married by Betina Krahn
3.5 stars

The Good: As usual, the hero. (I'm convinced the Smart Bitches have it spot on - romances are no longer just about the heroine and her journey, they are more about the hero too these days.) I really liked Aaron, he sounds like the kind of person I'd want in my life. He was independent, mature, thoughtful, just aggressive enough, intelligent and patient. Brilliant and sexy to boot. He had no qualms about giving up his entire life, even his country, to follow his passion for the sea. The strength of his character was told to the reader up front and that was okay. Then we were able to see for ourselves throughout the book exactly the kind of man he is. I love it when authors show me instead of just telling me.

The Bad: So much melodrama. Good lord, I felt like I was watching the combined train wreck of every major soap opera. Secret marriages, forced marriages, exotic sickness, lies about theft, threatened rape, attempted murder, fires, womens rights, sea voyages, Colonial America, attempted extortion, more fires, secret pregnancies, kidnapping, more extortion, another forced marriage, family drama...I'm having trouble thinking of a cliche or plot device that wasn't used.

The Mediocre: Brien was just a little too much for me.Yes, I do understand that she wanted more than was her lot in life during the late 18th century. But seriously? Being so independent was more annoying than empowering. Especially when she kept getting angry with Aaron for trying to help her. Look around sister, we all need help sometimes. And if he rocks your socks, I'm not seeing a problem with the arrangement. Despite getting on my nerves, I did respect her determination.

The Judgment: A good read all told. I'll give Krahn's books another try but if they're all this high drama I might have to pass on a third read.

message 32: by Ingrid (new)

Ingrid  (initch) I have to agree with Sashana, Sans. Your format is everything you need for a proper review without all the stuffiness professionals use. I know I googled it. :)
Suggestion: For people who have a hard time putting their thoughts into words, I know having a writing prompt usually helps. Perhaps a thread could be created with various examples or guidelines on how to create a review. Sans's obviously being such an example (with permission of course).

message 33: by Sans (new)

Sans Ingrid, you're a doll. Full permission granted.

message 34: by Sashana (new)

Sashana Ingrid wrote: "I have to agree with Sashana, Sans. Your format is everything you need for a proper review without all the stuffiness professionals use. I know I googled it. :)
Suggestion: For people who have a ha..."

I think we should have a guideline for that too. I was looking around the web for creative ways to do a book review but I didn't find much.

message 35: by Ingrid (new)

Ingrid  (initch) Is there a place for suggestions from the group regarding thread topics and such?

message 36: by Sashana (new)

Sashana Not in this group, but I'll bring it up to Lauren and Lisarenee.

message 37: by Sans (last edited Sep 20, 2010 12:00PM) (new)

Sans Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal
4 stars

The Good: Several solid characters, genuine Austen-esque feel and tone. The addition of "glamour" was interesting. It felt like a natural part of the story and served the plot well. I liked Jane, she was a combination of several Austen characters including Jane Bennett, Elizabeth Bennett and Elinor Dashwood, just without being pretty. Mr. Vincent was an interesting character as well, I liked his gruff attitude and devotion to his art.

The Bad: Just about every other character. Sometimes I thought I was reading a ripoff of every single Austen book ever (there is such a thing as being TOO Austen-esque). There were scenes and character outlines taken from P&P, S&S and Emma. I'm sure there were ones from Mansfield Park, Persuasion and Northanger Abbey but I haven't read those yet so I can't be sure. Jane's mother was Mrs. Bennett, complete with the bitching and moaning about getting her kids married and having attacks on her nerves. Jane's sister (can't remember her name right now, Melody? Melanie? Something like that.) was a strange combination of Marianne Dashwood and Lydia Bennett. Mr. Dunkirk and Beth Dunkirk were one dimensional and didn't really capture my interest that much. I couldn't figure out why Jane was infatuated with Dunkirk beyond the fact he actually paid attention to her. I guess if you're desperate...*shrug*

The Mediocre: If more attention could have been given to Mr. Vincent, I would have finished the book sooner. If the world building had included some explanation as to why everyone could work "folds" from the "ether" I might have been more excited about it. If some of the other characters had been drawn beyond a character outline with some dialogue, I would have enjoyed the interactions more. It would have been a 5 star book if more attention was focused on Mr. Vincent. Hells bells, even if the end of the book didn't cop out and give me more than "but those are tales for other volumes"., actually I don't think they are. These are the characters I've now become invested in. I think a little more payout would be nice.

The Judgment: Despite my complaints, I honestly did enjoy this book. Like Austen's books, I just skimmed over the parts and people that annoyed me. The idea was very interesting and I liked the resolution to the story. I'd read this if you love Jane Austen and don't mind a touch of fantasy/magic in a story.

message 38: by Sans (new)

Sans Assassin's Honor by Monica Burns
did not finish, no stars

The Good: This book introduced Lysander. That's about it.

The Bad: When the heroine is whiny and bitchy and TSTL (too stupid to live) and the book is not an old skool bodice ripper, I'm not gonna finish it. When the hero would rather mope and get angsty and not kick someone's ass as an outlet because the chick he wants is too stubborn to look around at what she's being offered, I'm not going to like him.

The Mediocre: The background for the "war" between the two ancient factions seems interesting. I skimmed the last half of the book but nothing really caught my attention. The smutty bits were okay but I've definitely read better.

The Judgment: I'm going to read the second book because I'm hoping Lysander will make a better hero and Phae won't be TSTL. If I find this book cheap at a used bookstore or have nothing else to read? I might try to finish it. But that's not likely.

message 39: by Sans (new)

Sans Riding Wild by Jaci Burton
4 stars

The Good: The heroine! Now THIS was a chick who was smart, tough, intelligent, determined and knew when to stop and when to go. She wasn't whiny, missish, unwilling to listen when her man is trying to tell her something and knew enough to trust when she needed to (I'm looking at you, Emma Zale of Assassin's Honor).

More Good: The hero! And their chemistry! Mac was alpha but not ridiculously so. Honorable, smart, sexy, dedicated and so in love with Lily that he was willing to risk everything for her. I enjoyed the fact that they were together in high school but Mac dumped Lily to keep her safe from his bad boy life style (he used to be a thief). I loved that ten years on, they still had the same sizzling chemistry, that just looking at the other person set them on fire.

The Bad: The whole virus plot felt flimsy. It was a good reason for Mac and Lily to be thrown together suddenly and a good source of tension between them until Mac finally tells her what's going on. But the entire thing, even the resolution of the virus plot fell a little flat for me.

The Mediocre: Lily was just a liiiiiitle too obstinate sometimes. I know that feisty heroines are all the rage and I know I have to look past my own issues with these women (usually they don't come across as kick ass, just selfish and TSTL - I'm still looking at you, Emma). I know she had no reason to trust Mac but if she knew he wasn't one of the baddies, why didn't she cotton on to who he was actually working for? I didn't think it was that hard to figure out.

The Judgment: This is a good example of romantica/erotic fiction. Heavy on the hot-n-heavy, no shying away from how much Mac and Lily reveled in their sexuality and how well they got on *coughcough* but it wasn't JUST about them having sex. Though they did do that. A lot. Anyway. There was good character development, the progression of their relationship was fast but it felt right given their previous intimacy. They were great together and that's what counts in erotic fiction. I'll definitely read the other books in this series.

message 40: by Sans (new)

Sans I just looked at to-read shelf and it has grown again. Oy vey. I need to get my tush in gear and start reading more.

message 41: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Yes, you do. Hey, I'm going to send you The Pleasure Slave. I really think you need it. lol Should I also send you The Devil Wears Plaid? I finished with both.

message 42: by Sans (new)

Sans Honey, I definitely need The Pleasure Slave. *saucy wink*

I had pre-ordered The Devil Wears Plaid and it's currently sitting in one of the many stacks on my dresser. But thank you for the offer!

Embarrassing story: I'm friendly with the UPS guy that delivers to our offices. Well, the packaging Amazon used for that book was USELESS. Apparently, the book fell out on the truck but UPS dude knew which envelope it came in. He also knows my name. So when he put the book back in the envelope and delivered it, all I got that day was a raised eyebrow and a head shake as he handed it over. Awesome. ~_~

message 43: by Lisarenee (last edited Sep 29, 2010 01:17PM) (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Every gal needs The Pleasure Slave. ;)

Sans, How funny. I love the UPS story.

message 44: by Sans (last edited Sep 29, 2010 09:17PM) (new)

Sans The Accidental Countess by Michelle Willingham
4 stars

Dude, this was made of awesome, especially the last half after a few cocktails.

The Good: Wow, you had the amnesia, the secret marriage, babies by proxy, attempted murder, unwilling attraction, seduction, and a stalkerific side character. How could you possibly go wrong? I liked our leading lady, wanted to alternately cuddle and box our hero's ears, and was rooting for them the whole book. Who doesn't love a "high born" lady who knows what hard times are and who enjoys cooking?

The Bad: I admit that this is the first "full" Harlequin Historical I've read. Are they all that short? Anyway. The big reveal of TEH VILLAINS! and the plot resolution took all of what, a few pages? Also, you don't need to hire professional editors, just take a small break and re-read your smut scenes a few days after writing them. If our hero is standing behind his lady, removing her hairpins in one sentence, how can she be clutching his shoulders and cradling his rampant manhood in the liquid heat betwixt her thighs the next? I know it's not high fiction. But at least take a few extra sentences to tell me one of them has turned to face the other? It kinda takes me out of the moment if I have to stop and make sure if I missed something or the proof-reader/continuity expert did.

The Mediocre: Uh...I'll get back to you.

The Judgment: Vodka is your friend. Also, this was a great book to spend the evening on. I love "I have amnesia, I don't remember you, get out, but first how about some hot smex?" plots and, as previously mention, stalkerific secondary characters. I cottoned on fairly quickly as to who at least one of the bad guys was and, of course you know how the story is going to end. But Stephen and Emily were lovely leads and I enjoyed this very much.

message 45: by Sans (new)

Sans Taming Her Gypsy Lover by Christine Merrill
3 stars

Short prequel to Harlequin Historical's Silk & Scandal miniseries. It was good to set up the whole "mysterious gypsy" plot that supposed to run through all these books. Besides, who wouldn't immediately lift their skirts for a hawt dude in an open shirt and vest? -_- Other than the heroine's remarkable ability to fall in love after a single orgasm, though, to be fair, this is Romancelandia where HEAs are...uh, y'know this review might actually be not fit for consumption on this board. I've been hanging out at the BRAnon group and my language is getting the best of me. Suffice it to say, very short, super fast read that got me ready for the miniseries.

message 46: by Sans (new)

Sans The Mammoth Book of Regency Romance (anthology)
3 stars

Some of the short stories in here were great and I have a new favourite trope to add to my collection: reconciliation (and the sex that follows). Several of the stories had that plot in them but only two or three really carried it off well. Some of the stories weren't good at all and I know a few authors to avoid now and which ones to run out and buy full length books from.

message 47: by Lisarenee (last edited Oct 05, 2010 01:08PM) (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Sans, Kindle has To Conquer a Highlander for free from Mary Wine. Saw it and thought of you. :)
To Conquer a Highlander (Highlander, #1) by Mary Wine

message 48: by Sans (new)

Sans Woooo, awesome, thank you! Hey, how do you find your freebie's on Amazon?

message 49: by Lisarenee (new)

Lisarenee | 7659 comments Via my iPad on the Kindle Store. To the right is a top 100 list for either regular or free ebooks. I click on the top 100 free of course.

message 50: by Sans (new)

Sans I guess I need to start checking that list every day! I've been checking it once or twice a week.

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