Tuesday, March 1, 2011

February 2011 Reads & Minis

What a month! February feels like it was the longest month of the year. I've been busy working late hours, but happy as things are going quite well for me. :) I do miss my regular blogging and blog hopping, though. Hopefully things will level out soon. I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Although the volume of books I read in February is down, the books I did read (or finished reading) in February were good ones. There was not one disappointment in the whole bunch and that doesn't happen often.

There were three books that I began reading and did not finish. These are books that did not quite agree with my "mood" and that I will pick up later when I'm ready to read them, so they're back in my TBR: Blood and Iron by Elizabeth Bear, El Hombre que Amaba a los Perros by Leonardo Padura, and Archangel's Kiss by Nalini Singh.

I also spent a whole week reading nothing but John Donne poetry or essays and studies related to his works. I go through these cycles once in a while, lol!
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Here's my recap:

Total New Books Read: 8
Contemporary: 4
Historical Romance: 2
Science Fiction: 1
Poetry: 1

Re-reads: 2 (1 HR, 1 UF)

1. The Perfect Family by Kathryn Shay: A
(Upcoming Review)

2. Empire by Xochiquetzal Candelaria: This poetry collection is part of the Camino del Sol: Latino and Latina Literary Series. I've mentioned this series before as one that I love and collect, and one that features quality writers and works by Latino and Latina writers. This collection of poetry is no exception. I loved the way Candelaria related the history of a family and deeply personal subjects in verse. Grade: A

3. Song of Seduction by Carrie Lofty: A-
(Upcoming Review)

4. Dust (Jacob's Ladder, Book 1) by Elizabeth Bear: This book! I became obsessed while reading Dust by Elizabeth Bear. This space opera is fascinating, full of gender bending characters, taboos and sci-fi details galore. I couldn't help but get the second book, Chill, and am reading it right now. I've already sent for the last book of the trilogy, Grail, which just released too and can't wait to find out how it all ends. Grade B++ (Upcoming Review)

5. Notorious Pleasures (Maiden Lane, Book 2) by Elizabeth Hoyt: Now, I really enjoyed the characterization in this book. Particularly the way Hoyt played with the main characters (Griffin and Hero) and made their dishonorable actions more than palatable to the reader. I also found quite a few contrasts and similarities to Wicked Intentions -- one of my favorite historical romances of 2010. This is a series that I'm definitely enjoying, and having read the excerpt for the next book (something I never do), I am now impatient to read it! Grade B+

6. Absolutely, Positively (Lucy Valentine, Book 3) by Heather Webber is the third book in a series I'm loving and one I think just gets better with every book! It's hard to explain what a wonderful character Lucy Valentine turned out to be after reading that first book. She is not your everyday PI. The stories have a little bit of everything: mystery, a bit of the paranormal, romance and that circle of friends and family that make Lucy's life complete. Absolutely, Positively is my favorite book in this series so far. I liked the mysteries, the romance development, and I most definitely loved the family and friends as secondary characters. The book was not perfect by any means, it's light and there were a few moments plot-wise that were a bit frustrating for me, but overall this was a highly enjoyable read. Grade B+

7. Simply Irresistible (Lucky Harbor, Book 1) by Jill Shalvis: B
(Upcoming Review)

8. Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas: B-
(Upcoming Review)

Re-reads

9. Angel's Pawn (Guild Hunter, Prequel) by Nalini Singh (Re-read): I posted a "Retro Review" for this novella, however I also re-read it in February. As a re-read it worked for me the second time around just as well as it did the first time. It really made me want a whole book about Janvier and Ashwini again! I just love Ash as a female protagonist and can't help but be curious about her past history. Grade A

10. Lord of Scoundrels by Loretta Chase (Re-read)
Ahh Lord of Scoundrels! During Valentine's Day weekend, I decided to read passages from a few of my favorite books and this was one of my choices. My problem? Once I read that first passage (I have quite a few), I couldn't stop reading and re-read the whole book in one day! My favorite scenes? Well let's see:

1) The glove. ('nuff said)

2) Their first kiss in the rain -- lightning bolts and everything! Dain's knees wobbling while he's thinking:
"I've dreamed of you..."
"I've wanted you in my arms since the moment I met you..."
"I need you..."
3) When he walks to a house where she's attending a party just to get a glimpse of her!
"Then what holds you here? he asked himself. What mighty force dragged you here, to gaze stupidly, like a moonstruck puppy, at a house, because she was in it? And what chains held you here, waiting for a glimpse of her?

A touch. A kiss."
The above scenes are all from the first part of the book. However, from the second part I do love the way Jessica figures out and comes to understand Dain after their marriage, and how Dain finally figures out that (crazy, poor blind) Jessica thinks he's beautiful and loves him. I could keep going, but I'll stop here. :) Grade A
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I just realized I only reviewed four out of the ten books read this month! I have a few reviews on the works, so hopefully those will be ready to post soon. So how was your February? What was your favorite book of the month?

11 comments:

  1. I did not read much this month (life got too hectic!) but I really enjoyed Julie Anne Long's, WHAT I DID FOR A DUKE. It was sweet, fun, poignant and I do adore older heroes!

    I'm reading Hoyt's, Notorious Pleasures now, hopefully I'll like it as much as you did.

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  2. What an awesome reading month you had! And oh, LoS. I heart it.

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  3. I do like to re-read LOS every now and then! I have Song of Seduction on my Kindle. I need to get around to it sooner rather than later. And I liked the Hoyt too. I need to write up my Phaves, don't I?

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  4. I'm glad you enjoyed the books you did got to read. :)

    I'm still trying to leveling out my blogging/reading schedule. :D

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  5. Hi Hilcia!
    I'm so glad to hear the job is going well for you. Even if it keeps you from spending as much time with us as you'd like. ;)

    I'm VERY curious about the Elizabeth Bear trilogy. I'm eagerly anticipating your review of Dust!

    There are other books on your list that I look forward to myself, especially the Hoyt and the Webber.

    I hope March is a great reading month for you.

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  6. I still need to try Carrie Lofty. I have her first two books on the tbr pile...

    Lucy Valentine - loving that series!

    I think my favorite for the month was Notorious Pleasures. Really enjoying that series.

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  7. ScorpioM, what was it about February! I know how you feel... hectic and little time for reading. :( The Julie Anne Long book sounds right up my alley, I love older heroes too. I'm checking it out. Let me know what you think of Notorious Pleasures, either way. :D

    Lori, I had a wonderful reading month. They don't come along too often. *g* And, sigh... LoS... I really enjoyed this re-read.

    Phyl this was my first re-read of LoS and I was surprised at how much I really enjoyed it. I actually went back after I finished and re-re-read those passages again, lol! Song of Seduction was a surprise. I loved the setting and the historical characters. I think you might enjoy it too. I can't wait to see which books were your Phaves for the month.

    Alex, yes! At least all the books were good ones this month. I must get better at juggling the work/reading/blogging schedule. I just need to get into the groove again.

    Christine! Thank you. I do miss you all. :( At the same time, I'm happy, lol!

    I'm definitely going to work on the review for Dust. I'm obsessed with that trilogy. It has been a while since I read a space opera or just plain old sci-fi (not a romance). It's just good stuff! I love Bear's creativity.

    I hope you enjoy the Webber and Hoyt. :)

    Leslie, the Lofty! Song of Seduction is definitely a different historical romance (both the setting and the characters). I really enjoyed it. And lol! I'm LOVING the fact that you're enjoying Lucy Valentine too!

    I'm really enjoying the Maiden Lane Series too. I can't, can't wait for Silence's story. That excerpt has me panting for the book. :D

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  8. Wow, Hils... The number might be done, which is absolutely normal considering your new job... but jeez, very, very, very high quality!!

    Lots of reviews I'm looking forward to. I know Song of Seduction has received raved reviews, but now you just confirm it!

    Can't wait to see what you thought of Welcome to Harmony.

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  9. Yay, good solid reading month for you. I agree with everything you said in Lord of Scoundrels. What made me love this book and still does is the fact that Jess shoots Dain. I think I have a hidden bloodthirsty side that I only feel safe letting out in books because otherwise, I'm a real sweet person. LOL But that scene? Love it!

    I've tried Kathryn Shay in the past and her writing didn't work for me but I'm very intrigued by The Perfect Family (if that is the book I think it is). Can't wait for your review on that one!

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  10. Nath, it was a relief to have a quality month during February. :) I think March will be a good month for reviewing so yeah... some coming up!

    Ames, the shooting scene in LoS did work! I'm not usually fond of those, but it worked in this book for me. :) Everything seemed to work in this book for me, lol!

    RE: The Perfect Family. Yes, I believe this is the book you think, lol! That review is coming up too. :)

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  11. Oh, lots of variety in February's reading. I really liked Lord of Scoundrels, but my favourite Loretta Chase will always be Knave's Wager!

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