Thursday, October 28, 2010

Minis: White Tigress by Jade Lee, I Love This Bar by Carolyn Brown, Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb

So what's everybody reading? I've had one of those great, lucky months so far where almost everything I pick up I either love or like with very few disappointments. Those months don't come too often, so better enjoy it, right?

I haven't been doing my Weekly Reads posts this month because well... there have been quite a few distractions for me. But I would like to share some quick impressions from this month's reads including my post for the In-Death Challenge.

White Tigress by Jade Lee
Englishwoman Lydia Smith sailed to the Orient seeking her fiancé. She found treachery. In seedy Shanghai, she was drugged, sold, made a slave—to a dark-eyed dragon of a man. But while her captor purchased her body, was that what he sought? He demanded not her virginity but her Yin—the essence of her ecstasy—and there seemed no choice but consent. What harm, Lydia wondered, was there in allowing him to pleasure her, to teach her, until she could flee?

It was the danger—and reward—of taking the first step on a journey to heaven, and her feet were already on the path to becoming a radiant and joyous White Tigress.
White Tigress by Jade Lee was a free erotic ebook and not quite the thing. Set in China, this story just didn't deliver. The author uses Taoist philosophy as the basis of the story but frankly the whole thing doesn't turn out to be erotic -- at least it didn't work for me. The characters, particularly Lydia is a study in contradiction. She is English and shows up in China to meet her fiance, is kidnapped and sold into slavery and used by the main male character for erotic purposes. This woman is submissive and lost one minute and smart and resilient the next, back and forth -- you never know what you're going to get with her, or indeed out of this story. The ending is highly improbable too. Grade D

I Love This Bar by Carolyn Brown
Funny, sexy, and sure to appeal to the huge audience of country music fans, this new trilogy features the Honky Tonk beer joint and its succession of lovelorn owners. Serving two counties, one wet and one dry, the Honky Tonk is the gathering place for every hothead, thirsty rancher, and lusty lady looking for a good time. Owner Daisy O'Dell vows she'll run the place until they drag her cold dead body through the swinging doors. That is, until the day Jarod McElroy walks in, looking for a cold drink and a moment's peace from his ornery Uncle Emmitt. The minute Jarod sees Daisy, with her hot looks and smart mouth; he knows he's met not only his own match, but Uncle Emmitt's as well. Now, if only he can convince her to come out from behind that bar and come on home with him…
An ode to Toby Keith's song, country music, honky tonks and country living. I Love This Bar was full of great characters, fun moments, music and good lovin'. Don't expect detailed bedroom scenes in this book although they're there, do expect good romantic moments. I loved all the down to earth characters from Daisy and Jarod to the secondary cast: Chigger (boy, oh boy!), Momma, the Walker triplets, Tinker, Merle and cousin Cathy. There were a couple of threads left dangling that I'm sure will be picked up later in the series, but that really made no sense in this book. If you like ranchers and country music, you'll enjoy this one. I did. Grade B

Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb
No one likes to be alone during the holidays. For New York's most posh dating service, Personally Yours, it is the season to bring lonely hearts together. But Lt. Eve Dallas, on the trail of a ritualistic serial killer, has made a disturbing discovery: all of the victims have been traced to Personally Yours. Eve soon enters an elite world of people searching for their one true love--and one killer searching for his next victim.
Holiday in Death had a good criminal investigation going with sexual crimes committed by a man dressed as Santa Claus. The victims were all people who had signed up with Personally Yours, a love-match agency. The villain used the 12 days of Christmas as a theme for his crimes. I enjoyed the criminal investigation in this book.

This story has the most sexual scenes between Roarke and Eve in the series so far. Wow! I began skimming them after a while, I think because I'm not used to them in these books? I particularly enjoyed the byplay between Peabody and McNab and Peabody and Eve in this story. Eve's judgment continues to get clouded by her past experiences while she's solving crimes and her psychological problems interfere with her work. I wonder if or when this will be addressed by her superiors? She's relentless in this story and borders on self-destructive by not taking care of herself, but isn't wonderful the way Roarke is there to bring her back and make sure she does? A good read. Grade B

Christine's In-Death Challenge - October Review

Okay, so I didn't mention above what I was reading! I just finished two books -- The Indiscretion by Judith Ivory and A Christmas Promise by Mary Balogh, both were historical romance and quick reads. Right now I'm re-reading a paranormal romance, Rising Moon by Lori Handerland. It's spooky and great for Halloween. :)


  1. I have a really hard time w/Jade Lee's historicals as well. I'm not sure why.

    And I love your assessment of Holiday in Death. I SO need to get back to reading these books! I think I've missed about 4 months in a row of the challenge. Bad girl.

  2. Lori, this was my first Jade Lee read and I wasn't impressed. :(

    I also missed 4 months of the In-Death Challenge! I'm back on the horse, though and I'm hoping to keep going through end of year. I think I needed a break. :)

  3. Great mini-impressions post, Hils :) I usually tend to stay away from historicals taking place in Asia. I don't know, just not my cup of tea. I know Ms Lee is Asian as well, but meh.

    Hmmm, now I might have to reconsider Ms Brown books. This one does sound fun. Hils, read one of the Brown I give you and let me know if this one is better! :P

    Glad you enjoyed Holiday in Death. While not one of my favorite, I think it was enjoyable :P

  4. Nath, I have Butterfly Swords and will be reading that book, somehow I think it will be different. This was more of an erotic historical and it just didn't seem to work. I didn't mind the setting so much as the execution in this book.

    I'll definitely read the books by Ms. Brown you brought for me and let you know the difference between those and this one. They're different series and I'll be reading both. :)

    And yeah... HiD is not a favorite for me either. But good anyway. :) Roarke & Eve, right?

  5. I have tried one of Jade Lee's books - it didn't work for me.

    WRT I Love This Bar, it reminds me of an amazing contemporay series I read in which country music plays a role. The first book was recommended by an author,'s not exactly a romance, although it is. The characters are...a breath of fresh air. The first book is called The Second Coming of Lucy Hatch. I owe the whole series :)

  6. Sounds like a recommendation to me, Orannia. I'll have to look up this title.:)

    I Love This Bar is fun if you like country music and certain type of character(s). I'm not sure that it's for everyone's enjoyment. The characters are a bit rough, tough and hard -- females included -- and country music (specific songs) are prominently featured -- titles and lyrics. It's not a perfect book either, there's head hopping going on, but I personally enjoyed the overall reading experience. I have two other books in the series and I'll definitely read them and let you all know what I think of them. :)

  7. I haven't read any Jade Lee but have a couple on the tbr pile. I seem to have a little bit of everything on the tbr pile. LOL

    Holiday in Death was a good one. I always enjoy ones with a lot of Peabody. :)

  8. I love the Eve & Peabody, Eve & Roarke, Peabody & McNab dynamics too. So much fun... and sometimes a few tears, too.

  9. Christine, I love they all fight and make up, lol! This series seems to be all about the characters. ;P


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