Sunday, September 12, 2010

Hilcia's Weekly Reads

I hope you've all had a terrific week. It's been a while since I've done my weekly reads post... about a year actually, but last week was a bit special and I decided to highlight it. Last month, my friend Mariana of Hips Like Mine announced that she was making September "Re-Reads Month." Although I'm not joining her for a whole month's worth of re-reads, I decided to at least keep her company for one week. Of course, I sneaked in a couple of new books too, (I couldn't help myself, lol) but for the most part I achieved my goal.

Since I'm also participating in Nath's Re-Read Challenge, this works out perfectly, don't you think? So, this month I'm killing two birds with one stone by posting some tiny-Minis in a weekly post style while I join Mariana in her Re-Read Month, and for Nath's Challenge. :D

As my first re-read I chose Lady Sophia's Lover by Lisa Kleypas. I love her Bow Street Runner series and Sir Ross happens to be a favorite in that category. This story begins with sexual overtones and thoughts and as the story unfolds the attraction builds between Sophia and Ross. Sophia's purpose behind working for Ross, who is a magistrate, is to gather information and avenge the death of her brother, but that doesn't last long. Frankly this whole story is really based on the sexual attraction between Sophia and Ross, and the conflicts between them are solved quickly along the way. However, I did enjoy the sexual tension between the two and I love a male protagonist who goes from being a stick in the mud to hot, sexy and passionate. That's Sir Ross! Plus Nick Gentry is introduced in this book.. :D Grade B.

After that, I totally changed gears and re-read A Separate Peace by John Knowles. This is young adult coming of age, classic American novel set in a New England prep school during World War II. I read this book years ago and have re-read it a few times, it's a favorite. The story of Gene, the intellectual, and Pheneas, the athelete, two young men who are roommates and great friends. This is a short book and an amazingly well written story. Knowles begins with a small, seemingly innocent incident that culminates in a tragedy. Through Gene's point of view, the author develops a story that delves into the dark side of human nature and subtly draws a parallel to those dark days in WWII, while simultaneously providing the reader with few light moments. There are some subtle homoerotic undertones to the story and unexpected depth to Gene, Finny and secondary characters. Grade A

Although A Separate Peace is a favorite, it always leaves me a bit down when I finish reading it. I needed an uplifting read afterwards, and chose to re-read a book that makes me laugh and has a happy ending, Almost Like Being in Love by Steve Kluger. I reviewed this book already, so this is not going to be a mini. However, I'll say that this was the first time I read the book in print and it was a joy! My experience with Klugler's epistolary style was definitely enriched by reading this book in print vs. my first time around with the ebook format. And of course, I haven't changed my mind about the story itself and was left with a big smile and the warm fuzzies when I finished the book, so mission accomplished. :D Grade A

From there I went on to re-read Cullen's Bride by Fiona Brand! This was Fiona Brand's first category romance (1999) and the first book in her SAS series. It's a wonderful book set in New Zealand with a hot, bad boy hero whose childhood was hell! He pulled himself through, left town and came back to work the family farm. Rachel is a strong woman and female protagonist. She grew up with her father and four brothers after her mom died, so she knows what it's like to deal with overly macho and protective males. I loved their story. There's a bit of a mystery and lots of fighting of feelings on Cullen's part while Fiona fights for them. Brand's writing was excellent in this book with great characterization and plotting, plus her descriptions of the setting pulled me right into the story. I felt as if I were right there with Rachel and Cullen experiencing the storms, floods and breezes in the farm or the town. Grade B+

This is where I read two new books Ceremony in Death and Vengeance in Death by J.D. Robb, but those books are for Christine's Challenge, so that's okay, right? ;P Reviews for those books to come later.

And last, but certainly not least, I finished off my re-reading week with Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard. This is a suspense romance book I love. Sam and Jaine are favorite characters -- the dialogue and interaction between them always make me laugh, plus they have some sizzling hot, sexy moments and Jaine's peeping tom scene through her kitchen window is a classic! The friendship between the four friends, the "List" and again the dialogue are just so well done by Howard, I fell in love with the four women. There's depth, but there's also such lightness and humor to those parts of the story and the romance that I think that's what made the violence and the killings more shocking. The killer wasn't really scary, smart or mysterious... but the previously mentioned sense of shock provided the true horror to Mr. Perfect. Grade A-

That does it for my reads this week and re-reads this month, I think. :) What about you? What did you read this week?

Mariana's September Re-Read Month
Nath's 2010 Re-Read Challenge
KMont's 2010 Historical Reading Challenge -September Minis:
A Separate Peace by John Knowles, Lady Sophia's Lover by Lisa Kleypas

10 comments:

  1. Hey! I LOVE Mr. Perfect... I wish she'd write more like this one. Her latest haven't been the most fun to read, but I still her :)

    I've been doing farely well on my re-read month; I'm about half done. I've bought so many new ones, but have been concentrating on my list, so I haven't read any yet. I did read "The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo"; good book, if a little hectic. My sister was pressing me to read it... she said the second one is as good. I'll wait 'til next month though.

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  2. Great reading week, Hils! Especially since I know you were a bit under the weather :D the great thing about re-reads is that most of the time, you're assured that you're going to enjoy it :)

    Hmmm, Lady Sophia's Love. need to read that one. i read the other book in the Bow Street runner series, Nicholas', but not this one :) I think it is in my TBR pile though.

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  3. Mariana, Mr. Perfect has that great balance between fun, suspense and romance. I'm always looking for a little bit of that in her other books too. :) And, WOW you're almost halfway through your list already? You'll be done in no time! So glad you enjoyed The Girl with the Dragon Tatoo. I still haven't picked it up even though I have it in my TBR and my sister in law has also been telling me all about it. Good luck with the rest of your re-read month!

    Nath, thanks... it was not easy, and I'm feeling a bit better now. :) I enjoyed every single one of them. Lady Sophia's Lover is the book that comes right before Nick's! (Nicholas Gentry) He was introduced in this book, I think you'll enjoy that part of it too. :)

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  4. WOw. I'm so impressed that you re-read all of that already!!!

    And whoa! Did I read that correctly? Did you get through Ceremony In Death after all? AND read Vengeance, too?!?

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  5. That's great for a week. You really got a nice variety there. Like a book buffet. Hope you're feeling better. :)

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  6. That's a great list of books you've read there. I love, love, love Mr. Perfect -- one of my favorite reads by her. Sam and Jaine are just so fun and funny together. Lol.

    Yay, you got through two more ...ID books. Can't wait for your thoughts on them!

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  7. What a great reading week Hils! I liked Mr Perfect, but Mackenzie's Mountain and Cry No More will still be my favourite Lina Howard books :)

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  8. Christine! Yes... I broke through my In-Death block! Read Ceremony and then since I was on a roll just went on to Vengeance... I almost, [i]almost[/i] kept on going with them, lol! Might read one more before end of month. ;P

    Thanks Leslie. It was a nice combo of books, and I'm feeling better -- the books helped. :)

    Tabitha, I agree! Sam and Jaine are a hoot and I enjoy them, their banter and romance every time I read this story. And yes... I'm so glad I finally got back on that In-Death horse, lol!

    Orannia, you've chosen some great Howard reads! She has so many to choose from. I love those too and I'll add Son of the Morning. ;P

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  9. *sigh* Almost Like Being in Love. I just adore that book and yes, I would imagine it's even better in print than in ebook. I want to re-read now but my mom has it so I'll have to wait...impatiently. So good!

    I don't think I've read any of the others. I read one Bow Street Runner of Kleypas's but that's not it. At least, I don't think it is. lol

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  10. [Sigh] Tracy... yes... I enjoyed ALBiL the second time around so much! I've a feeling my print copy will be well-used. I hope your mom enjoys it too!

    LOL on the Bow Street Runners... there's three of them and Nick Gentry in (Worth Any Price) seems to be the most popular character. I just happen to really like Sir Ross too. ;P

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