Thursday, December 6, 2012

November 2012: Reads + Updates

The month of November was a bit of a roller coaster. First there was the shock that was hurricane Sandy to deal with throughout those first few weeks of the month. In our family, however, there was also a birth to celebrate when my niece little Natalia made her dramatic entrance on November 3rd! I'm sharing one tiny little picture. Thanksgiving turned to be a good day for all of us, we were together and yes... the child was the center of attention.

As far as reading goes, November was a good reading month for me with a great mix of genres included and mixed results as far as enjoyment goes. I also mixed up new releases with books I've had in my TBR pile for a while, and classic romances with new and innovative erotic reads.

Let's see how I did:

Total books read in November: 17
   Contemporary: 8 (1 romance, 7 erotic romance)
   Historical: 4 (Romance: 3, Fantasy Fiction: 1)
   LGBT: 5 (Historical Erotica: 2, Historical Romance: 1, Contemporary Romance: 2)

Top 5 Reads of the month:

The Snow Child by Eowyn Ivey: A-
The Snow Child was my TBR Challenge read and turned out to be a winner for me. This is a historical fantasy fiction book that was released earlier this year and Eowyn Ivey's debut novel. I will remember it for how beautifully she blended magical realism with a fairy tale, the brutality of life as it was for homesteaders in the Alaskan wilds in the 1920's, and the gorgeous descriptions of nature.

Mariana by Susanna Kearsley: A-
This is my first read by Susanna Kearsley but it won't be my last. My favorite aspect of this book is how the time traveling, when it happens, really makes sense. I love that one romance cannot happen without the other and that the happy ever after is such a wonderful surprise for the reader. Kearsley's writing style is also a winner for me.

Conor's Way by Laura Lee Guhrke: A
This historical romance is just beautiful. I love that it is angsty, but not too much so, that there are joy and love, conflicts and resolutions, real history and gorgeous characterization. The fact that it is set in the post-revolutionary American South but it also gives the reader a taste of Ireland, makes this historical twice the winner for me... and the unique hero puts the cherry on the top. Excellent read!

A Christmas Bride by Mary Balogh: B+
This Christmas novella has a unique and/or unorthodox heroine. I have a feeling that not all readers will find her as fascinating as I did -- she's not easy. But, I liked her because she's a departure from Mary Balogh's usual heroine and a former villain. The novella serves as an almost-epilogue for other stories, in particular A Precious Jewel, and it has a beautiful Christmas message about forgiveness and redemption.

Wyatt: Doc Holliday's Account of an Intimate Friendship by Dale Chase: B+
Do any of you watch western movies? I happen to love them! And if they also happen to have Wyatt Earp, Doc Holliday, Bat Masterson, Ringo or any mention of Tombstone... well, I never, ever miss them. I even visited Tombstone, Arizona (the real place) during my U.S. cross-country trip a while back. Yeap, I made my husband take the detour (poor guy).... true story! So, do you think I enjoyed this book? Of course, the fact that Dale Chase wrote it is a big plus. A highly enjoyable read!

Destiny Calls by Samantha Wayland: B+
Velvet by Xavier Axelson: B
The Company He Keeps: Victorian Gentlemen's Erotica by Dale Chase: B-
Day of the Dead: A Romance by Erik Orrantia: B-
The Perfect Hope (Inn Boonsboro, #3) by Nora Roberts: B-
Mine till Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro: C+
Tart by Lauren Dane: C+
With Grace by Samantha Wayland: C-
Rule of Three by Kelly Jamieson: C-
Laid Open (Brown Siblings #5) by Lauren Dane: D+
Brotherhood of Fire by Elizabeth Moore: D

Upcoming Reviews: 
Christmas Beau by Mary Balogh
Light and Shadow by G.L. Roberts

That is it for my November update. Right now I have the dreaded flu... it finally caught up me. I feel as weak as a kitten. I'm in the process of reading three books, but my head is so stuffy I can't finish any of them! Ugh! How was your November? Find any great books? 


  1. OMG! Que bella... Que Dios la cuide siempre. Felicidades para tu hermano y su esposa y toda la familia.

    Good reading month it seems like.

    1. Gracias Mariana! Can you see why we're crazy about her? ;P

      My reading month was good. It skewed toward the positive. :)

  2. Your niece is adorable!
    Congrats on the new addition to the family!
    and it looks like November was a good reading month for you so yay! :D

    1. Thanks, Alex! She's a good girl too.

      I had a better reading month than I anticipated all around, that's always a good thing. :D

  3. Nice month and I'm so happy the Laura Lee Guhke made it into the Top 5!! :) Very nice reading month you had there by the way :) Lucky you.

    November was so-so for me. It started out really well, I was really into reading and then, the concussion :( In the end, I read 9 books I think :(

    And awwww, Natalia is just so cute!! :) Did I tell you that I liked the name? LOL

    1. Nath, Conor's Way was a definite winner! The reading month was a good surprise for me. And, 9 books is not bad for you, particularly with that concussion!

      I knew you would love the baby's name. *g* We all love it!

  4. Natalia is adorable! I'm not surprised she was the centre of attention at your Thanksgiving.

    I've been meaning to try Susanna Kearsley forever - I may even have MARIANA on my shelves. Must go check.

    I hope you feel better soon!


    1. Li, thanks! My entire family is in love... :)

      Oh... definitely try Kearsley. I'm planning to read another one of her books in January and am really looking forward to it. :)

  5. Hello Hils, such a lovely and adorable baby. (and I almost typed an e at the end instead of a!). Congratulations! --Natalie

    1. Natalie, hi! Isn't she a cutie pie? I wonder how many people will use that "e" at the end of her name in the future? I will pass on your congratulations to the family.

      By the way, (((hugs))) I've missed you. :D

  6. Ooooh, sweet little baby!

    I loved the Guhrke too - and if you haven't already, get thee reading To Dream Again and Breathless. Those are my favorites of her pre-Avon books (although to be fair, I still haven't read The Seduction or Prelude To Heaven.....)

    1. Wendy, sweet babies... nieces... I'm in love. :D

      Ohh, thanks for the Guhrke recommendations. I need to check my print TBR pile to see which of her books I have in there -- I know there are a few -- to check and see if I have your favorite reads. I've read some of her books in the past, but frankly? Not many, I have to check my old lists...

  7. Congrats on the addition to your family!


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