April already! Nature is playing a joke on us on the eastern US... it's supposed to be Spring, but instead we had rain mixed with snow on the first day of the month. Can you believe it? No Spring for us yet.
March might have been cold, but my reading and blogging picked up and I'm quite happy about that. The reading month was not as spectacular as February, but then those months don't come along too often. However, it was a good solid month for me when it comes to quality.
Unfortunately I did have one DNF, and that was the book I chose to read for my 2011 The Women of Fantasy Book Club, Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter. I won't review it, but I'll just say that neither the story nor the characters engaged me long enough for me to want to read the whole book. I hope my next choice is a better fit for me.
Here's my March 2011 recap:
Total Read: 11
Contemporary Romance: 4 (includes Erotica:1 & Contemporary w/Paranormal Elements: 1)
Historical Romance: 2
Fantasy: 3 (includes LGBT fantasy: 1)
Urban Fantasy: 1
Chimera (Book 1) by Rob Thurman was the second book I read by this author this month and another highly enjoyable read. This one is a science fiction thriller that took me for a ride on a road trip with two brothers. The story included good science fiction details in a contemporary setting. It was full of danger, angst and brotherly love. I cannot wait to read the next book, Basilisk, which is told from Michael's point of view. Grade B+
Blackout, Book 6 in the Cal Leandros Novel by Rob Thurman was initially a disappointment that turned out to be a pleasant surprise for me. I enjoyed this urban fantasy installment and the way it focused more on characterization than on action. It felt different and it worked. I can't wait to read the next book to see where Cal and Niko go from here. Grade B+
My Lord Scandal: Notorious Bachelors by Emma Wildes: B
The Bargain by Mary Jo Putney: C+
The Shattered Gates (The Rifter, Book 1) by Ginn Hale was a solid beginning to her 10 episode serialized fantasy series. I was engrossed with the world building and intrigued enough by her characterization that I can't wait for the next episode to come out in April. Let's see how that develops. It's a different way to read a book, isn't it? Grade B
First I'll say that Alice Hoffman's writing is definitely a plus -- not flowery or abundant in details that bog the story down, but lyrical enough to catch certain moments and situations beautifully. The characterization is excellent and in-depth. The story is really about three generations of Owens women and how they deal with their special "magic" throughout their lives. Magic is lighter in the book than it is in the film and the interaction between the sisters, aunts and young daughters, plus the romances are actually better! I loved that Sally's young daughters, who are teenagers, feature largely in the story and give the book a touch of YA without making this a young adult read. The story had a couple of slow moments throughout, but I still read it in two sittings. Grade: B
The Last Goodbye is Sarah Mayberry's latest category romance release. Although this is not my favorite book by Mayberry, she again delivered a complete story and compelling characters. I particularly enjoyed the depth of character found in Tyler and the way his issues were resolved. The romance worked for me, although I thought that Ally's character needed a bit more depth for a better understanding of her actions at the end. Grade B-
Saddled and Spurred is the second book in Lorelei James' Blacktop Cowboys series. I always enjoy James' writing and her erotica details in a book are quite hot! This story focuses on the two main protagonists and doesn't include a threesome, as some of her other works do, however it is still quite steamy. Having said that, I'm not quite enjoying this series as much as I have enjoyed her Rough Riders series in the past. Let's see what the next installment brings since I'll definitely read it. Grade B-
Here Comes the Groom is the first book I've read by Karina Bliss, and although it was not at the top of my list, it won't be the last book I'll read by this author. The story itself was enjoyable with a friends-to-lovers trope and some highly amusing moments in the midst of some pretty serious issues. I enjoyed the combination of all of these, plus the characterization. Unfortunately the transition from friends to lovers didn't quite work for me. Grade C
Of Wine and Roses was a free read at Ilona Andrews' website for a while and it's now going for about 0.99 cents, so it's worth reading! Andrews' is one of my favorite writing teams, so why not? I enjoyed this short fantasy story and although the story was amusing and cute, I found the world building to be average and as a result did not find it engrossing. Grade C
Well that's it for March! It didn't turn out to be such a bad reading month at all... plus, I noticed that there's progress this month and I reviewed more of my current reads, so I'm getting back on the blogging horse. My favorite book was A Companion To Wolves. What about you? What book did it for you this month?