Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Mini-Impressions: On my latest reads #1

I've read more this month that I have in a long time! Well, being home sick for two weeks and having nothing else to do but sleep and read helped, lol! I hit my TBR pile with a vengeance. The only drawback to that is that I really haven't had the energy or the chance to write too many reviews, or My Weekly Reads posts. Instead, I'll be posting some short impressions on this month's reads and I'll try to catch up. This is the first post for non M/M reads. :)

Flashpoint by Jill Shalvis

This is a Blaze category romance, reviewed and recommended by Leslie of Leslie's Psyche. After reading Leslie's great review, I decided to pick it up, it turned out to be the right decision for me.

A well rounded romance with a bit of mystery in it, this was a hot, hot read. I loved both the firefighter hero and the EMT heroine. This couple had lots of chemistry and Shalvis did a great job of putting them in sexually charged situations, developing the characters and taking us for a ride to a hot HEA.

At The Hunt Ball by Olivia Parker

This book came to me via Tracy from Tracy's Place. Thank you, Tracy! Recommended by another friend, I wanted to read this for a while, it turned out to be a bit of a mixed bag for me. I thought it was a sweet romance, but I did have some problems with the premise.

The hero, a duke, decides to throw a ball to find a bride for his brother -- the "perfect" bride. He himself is too much of a perfectionist and doesn't wish to marry. They proceed to choose and invite seven candidates to their country home and have what amounts to a competition. The heroine doesn't really want to go and is blackmailed into going by her step-mother -- a really lame ploy by the way, one that doesn't make sense. She, of course, is completely "inappropriate" and "imperfect." Our hero, the duke, is attracted to her himself and well... they fall for each other.

The feminist in me had a bit of a problem with having these women entering singing, archery and other competitions for a man. Never mind that some of them were eliminated for having "flaws" like a crooked tooth or for wearing glasses. I know the hero falls for the "imperfect" one in the end, however the whole process annoyed me and took away some of the enjoyment of the book. It does have a sweet happily ever after.

Flashback by Jill Shalvis

After reading Flashpoint, I had to go ahead and read Flashback, the next Blaze in this category romance series by Shalvis. Boy was this a good one! In this installment, the firefighter hero and the unemployed soap opera diva heroine have a romantic history. The heroine returned to town because her brother died and she needs to take care of his personal things. So this has the old lovers reunite trope I enjoy so much. The hero let the heroine go and broke her heart when they were younger.

This is another hot read by Shalvis. I loved that Aidan, the hero, had no problem admitting his mistakes, and our heroine is no pushover. There is a hot begging scene (Aidan is doing the begging) that I'll be re-reading. *g* I will definitely be looking for more categories by Shalvis.

McKenzie's Mountain by Linda Howard

What can I say about this book? I love Linda Howard's old romances and wish she were still writing them. This is an older book and a classic I gobbled up like candy. I loved the virginal, plain, passionate heroine who came to town and had enough backbone to change the prejudiced views of a whole town, stood up for her beliefs and got her man. And her man? Hot, hot, hot! A Native American who had been abused by the townspeople, but who was willing to do what was necessary to protect his woman.

I LOVED this story by Howard and this book is now on my keeper/re-read shelf. I'm just sorry it took me so long to read it. I have the rest of the series (finally!) and will be reading it slowly, just so I can savor it. :)


  1. Ooh, I've been wondering about the Shalvis categories! I love her Wilder Adventures series. I'll definitely have to put these on my list for Dec (since I'm "dieting" in Nov.) ;-)

  2. Love those firefighters!

    And while I still like Linda Howard I too enjoyed the old romances more than her more recent releases. Enjoy reading the rest of the McKenzies. :)

  3. Renee, definitely try the categories! After reading these, I went ahead and purchased Instant Attraction, the first in the Wilder series. :)

    Leslie, yes! Those firefighter are HOT!

    I'm with you on Howard. I read and still enjoy her recent releases, but I LOVE her old romances. :)

  4. I have both Shalvis' book in my TBR pile. I might just dig through my boxes for them next to read, lol!

    I love, love Linda Howard. Mackenzie's Mountain is my favorite of her Mackenzie series!

  5. I keep being told to read the Shalvis Harlequin, that they are different from her full-lengths. Seriously, after reading so many good reviews, I definitively have to try LOL :)

    I thought Mackenzie's Mountain was a great book :D Really enjoyed it, glad you did too. See, she's another case of "evolving" writing as time goes. Another casualty, sigh.

    Can't wait to read another of your mini-reviews :D

  6. Somebody is on a Shalvis tear!! I'm sorry to hear you were sick! I hope you're feeling 100%, and I'm also glad it was the kind of home-sick scenario when you could read! Sometimes I sort of like that, even though I hate being sick.

    Anyway, whew! Those Shalvis's look HOT!

    I love your reaction to the Hunt Ball. I think I may have felt the same way. It sounds like a regency Bacholorette, though the end sounds sweet. And I love that the heroine doesn't want to go - that would somewhat rescue it for me!!

  7. Tabz & nath, I hope you enjoy the Shalvis reads. Can't wait to see what you think of them. :)

    nath, you're right about Howard's writing evolving. I actually started reading Howard as a romance/ suspense author first and enjoyed her writing. So, for me finding and reading her old straight romances are an unexpected and delightful treat. :)

    CJ, yes... definitely a Shalvis tear, lol! Now I'm hunting her categories down. :)

    RE: Hunt Ball. That's a great way to put it! A regency Bachelorette -- maybe that's why that part of the story bugged me. ;P The heroine herself was likable as was the Duke way before the end. :)


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