Thursday, April 1, 2010

March 2010 Reads and Minis: Lip Service by Susan Mallery, Dangerous Ground by Justine Dare, Dark Elves: Taken by Jet Mykles, Immortal in Death by J.D. Robb

March was a bountiful reading month for me. Although I had a tough month personally and didn't have the time to post and review much, thank goodness I was able to read. When it comes to quality reading, I would say that it was in the good to great category... lots of B and B+ reads with few exceptions.


This month I'm late posting my review for Nath's Re-read Challenge, but I did read the book and it will be coming up soon. :) My mini-review for Christine's 'In-Death' Challenge is included in this post. I read five new March releases, but I also read quite a few books that have been on my TBR pile for one month or longer and I feel great about that. It's too bad I didn't join the TBR Challenge, I'd be acing that one, lol! But, at this point it has become a personal challenge instead.


So here we go... my March reads:


1)Best Gay Erotica 2010 edited by Richard Labonté selected by Blair Mastbaum: B+ (Review here)

2) Dark Angel by Mary Balogh: B
3) Lord Carew's Bride by Mary Balogh: B+ (Reviews here)

4) Roadkill (Cal Leandros Series, Book 5) by Rob Thurman: A
I really enjoyed Roadkill. This series is getting better in my opinion -- darker. There are two different points of view, although Niko's is not used in this one. Cal's character is further developed in this book and I like what Thurman is doing with him. Definitely. I wasn't sure where she was going with these characters after the last few books, but now this series has gained new momentum. Both touching and chilling, Roadkill was a great read for me.

Upcoming Review/Book Discussion at Breezing Through with Nath and Leslie 

5) Something About You by Julie James: B (Review here)

6) Naked Edge by Pamela Clare: C- (Review here)
This was my one big disappointment this month. I was really looking forward to this book because I'm a Pamela Clare fan. I loved both Extreme Exposure and Unlawful Contact, and to a lesser degree (I loved Julian, had problems with the rest) Hard Evidence... so this was a highly anticipated book. Unfortunately, it didn't work out that way for me. I still think Pamela Clare does a marvelous job of integrating romance and suspense... she certainly knows how to write the suspense and yet the reader does NOT miss the romance. She also writes highly erotic scenes and none of these things went missing from Naked Edge. However, there were other elements in this book that didn't quite do it for me personally. But since I'm a fan of her writing, you know I will be reading the next book in this series. ;D

7) Lip Service by Susan Mallery (Titan Sisters Series, Book 2): C-
Lip Service by Susan Mallery is not a book I enjoyed much. I had a tough, tough time finishing it although I must say it was not due to Ms. Mallery's writing, it had to do with my dislike the characters and the plot. I didn't like the central female character in this book at all. Skye Titan is the second of the Titan sisters and she's a widow. When she was 18 years old she gave up her love for Mitch and betrayed him because her "daddy" told her to, and married the man her father chose for her. Mitch joined the service and now after many years away and a crippling injury during service he finally returns home. Skye and Mitch are obviously still in love with each other and Skye proceeds to do everything in her power to get him to forgive her and trust her again.

Well, that's fine and good, but I thought it was bad enough that she betrayed her love for Mitch the first time when she was 18 years old and had "daddy" issues. However, she's now a full grown, supposedly mature woman, and she's still spineless. After begging Mitch to forgive and trust her, as soon as "monster daddy" put a little pressure on her, she was ready to do it all over again. I had absolutely no respect or sympathy for this woman. She certainly didn't deserve Mitch's easy forgiveness -- a lot of begging maybe? Plus, there's really no resolution to the rest of the storylines in the book -- the sisters' struggles with their half-brother Garth -- because that continues throughout the rest of the series.

I did enjoy some secondary characters. I particularly liked Izzy, the youngest sister who is a hoot. Her story is next on this series and I already have it on my TBR so I'll be reading it. Step-brother Garth gets more and more intriguing as the storyline goes along and I can't wait to see what the deal is with him. I have his book too. :)

8) Lament: The Faerie Queen's Deception by Maggie StiefvaterB (Review here)

9) Demon Bound (Guardian Series, Book 9) by Meljean Brook: B (Review here)
A key book in this squee-worthy Paranormal Romance series -- yes I'm squeeing! This book has a creepy female lead and a wonderful young and exhuberant hero. There are important revelations and turns of event in this book that really move the overall storyarc forward, so this is a must read for this series. I have Demon Forged and I'll be reading it in April. :)

10) Dangerous Ground by Justine Dare: B-
Dangerous Ground by Justine Dare is a book I've had on my TBR for quite a while. It turned out to be more suspense than romance -- an interesting take on a woman, Beth, whose teenage son is kidnapped in order to attract her dead husband's old team of undercover operatives, so they can be assassinated. Beth had been in love with Jess, a team member, before marrying Ian, her dead husband, who was the leader of the group. Jess is still in love with Beth but is still carrying the same old baggage that broke up their relationship all those years ago.

Beth is spunky and quite the brave woman. Jess is likable and although he is supposed to be the cool customer, he comes off as vulnerable and I felt for him. They go through some harrowing moments together. Although this book doesn't have many sexual encounters and/or sexy scenes in it, these two people have a connection and the book is about the two of them working out their differences and coming to a realization while fighting the villains and figuring out the who and the what of it all.

11) Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson (re-read): B+
Upcoming Review

12) Dark Elves: Taken (Book 1) by Jet Mykles: B-
This is an erotic M/F erotic/paranormal tale that came to me via Tracy from Tracy's Place. I haven't read M/F erotica for a while except for Lorelei James and certainly nothing in the paranormal side of things. This was an okay read for me. It's first in a series by Mykles... Dark Elves who live in the Dark Forest and take human women to mate because they don't have their own females. The women then have sex with different Elves until they find their truemate who is the only one who can impregnate them. Lots of sex play, M/F mainly, although there's some M/M play... and some background into the world of the Dark Elves. The sexual encounters in this particular installment were of the dominant/submissive type and turned out to be quite erotic. I have the other books and will continue the series. :)

13) The Rules of Seduction by Madeline Hunter: B
Upcoming Review

14) Blaze of Memory (Psy/Changling Series) by Nalini Singh: B
Upcoming Review

15) Rebels and Lovers (Dock Five Series) by Linnea Sinclair: B
Upcoming Review

16) The Boy Can't Help It by Gavin Atlas (M/M): B+
Upcoming Review

17) Courting Miss Hattie by Pamela Morsi: A
Upcoming Review

18) Immortal in Death by J.D. Robb: B  'In Death' Challenge

Immortal in Death is my favorite book in this series so far. In this third book of the series, Eve faces multiple challenges on both her personal life and the professional front. She's juggling an unexpected wedding that still baffles her, childhood memories and brutal nightmares are plaguing her, plus not one but two cases are vying for her attention. The first case is the murder of one of her weasels who turns out to be involved in some sort of "illegals" (drug) distribution or trafficking; and the second case is the murder of a famous model. Her best friend Mavis is the main suspect and accused of this murder. Eve asks for Officer Peabody to assist her and a friendship of sorts ensues. The cases turn out to be complex and there are twists and turns with more than one suspect involved as well as three other brutal murders.

I really liked the complexity of the storylines in this book, both the suspense/murder plots and the personal ones between Eve and Roarke. I love the way Eve's mind works when she's solving the crimes, her sense of humor and her harsh reality-based personality. There was a bit of both the expected and the unexpected when it came to the crime solving and I really enjoyed that part of it. Eve's vulnerabilities certainly came to the forefront in this book and we get to know more about both Eve and Roarke and how they fit together.

The secondary characters in the series are now taking shape and I'm enjoying getting to know them and figuring out who is who. Summerset continues to be my favorite secondary character and certainly the most intriguing. I still think Mavis is good for Eve's girly side, but I'm glad that she is developing a relationship with Office Peabody, another female with a great dry sense of humor who can understand Eve's "cop" side. An enjoyable installment and HEY... Eve and Roarke got married! I can't wait to read the next book to find out if she got in trouble during the honeymoon, lol!


That's it for March. I have quite a few reviews to write up or post, let's see if I can do it. You might get lots of Minis from me in April, depending on available time. So, how was your reading month? Did you read lots of great books?

10 comments:

  1. Indeed, March was a bountiful reading month for you! 18 books is awesome!

    I read Lip Service and it didn't impress me either. Sky was such a wimp; she didn't, at all, deserve Mitch! I hope you will enjoy at least one book out of the series though....

    I have Rebels and Lovers in my TBR. I've never read the author's works before but she sounded familiar. *wink* Can't wait to hear your thoughts on it!

    You're great with reviewing. More than half full reviews and and some minis....I love it.

    For me, my reviewing interest is going downhill. I want to blame it on stress and time constraints. The two together can really kill any interest I have in reviewing versus reading....

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  2. Oh, a great reading month! I have Kindred in Death (the 28th or 29th I think) coming my way from the library to read.

    I'd really like to try the Dark Elves series. I remember Tracy mentioning them. Will see if I can find Taken.

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  3. Tabitha, it's been a while since I read these many books... December? Anyway, I think I'll enjoy Izzy & maybe even Garth's book. :) We'll see.

    OH and you got Rebels & Lovers? Suggestion: Begin this series by reading, Gabriel's Ghost (book 1), Shades of Dark (book 2), Hopes Folly (book 3), Rebels & Lovers (book 4). The Dock Five world will make better sense to you that way. :)

    Well, reading is more important than reviewing *g* but I love your reviews & hope you keep putting them up, Tabz. How else are you going to keep me buying? ;P

    Orannia, wow you're way ahead of me on the In-Death series... I'm so behind I feel as if I'm never going to catch up -- but slowly I guess. :) I hope you enjoy the M/F erotica world of the Dark Elves. ;D

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  4. I may be ahead WRT the In Death series, but I'm way behind of most others - Meljean Brook's Guardian series for example. I've only read the first two books :( And I haven't even read any of Linnea Sinclair's books or Blaze of Memory yet.

    It's interesting who has read what :)

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  5. Very nice list Hils :D So glad you enjoyed Immortal in Death more :D I like the characters aspect more though. The case was so so. It was so fun to see Eve being baffled by the wedding :D So lucky Roarke took care of everything!

    That's exactly the reason why I didn't read Lip Service. Skye was just way,way too weak in my opinion and so there was nothing likable about her. Seems like it was a good decision :D

    I'm going to work on Roadkill very soon. I've just been so busy, it's not funny :( Looking forward to your upcoming reviews!

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  6. Thanks Nath. I'm still enjoying the characters in the In Death series the most too. :) LOL on Eve's wedding management, the poor woman! RE: Lip Service... I really thought there would be something there that I would like about Skye... *sigh* but nope... oh, well... I liked Izzy and am curious about Garth. I'll read the other two books. :)

    Sorry you've been SO busy! :(

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  7. Great reading month, Hilcia!

    I'm glad you enjoyed Immortal In Death. This one is a little foggy in my mind because it is one I read over two years ago, so I'm looking forward to next month when you read Ceremony In Death. I read it in January, so I should remember more. You'd think. LOL.

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  8. Izzy's book was okay, but I ended up being a bit disappointed. Garth book was great though in my opinion :D Definitively the best out of the 4.

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  9. Christine, I have to read Rapture in Death next and then Ceremony... I'm almost there. :) I might just read two this month so I can get to it. I don't know why I just want to get to that one. :)

    Nath, I'm also thinking of just reading both Izzy and Garth books this month because I just want to get to Garth's book... he's the most intriguing character in this series so far. :)

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  10. How quickly I forgot the series order already! LOL!

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