Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Happy New Year! December 2012 Recap + Minis

Cousin Susana & her cake! 
Happy New Year everyone! Hope your 2013 is full of excellent, beautiful stories, happiness and health!

I celebrated the coming new year with my family at my brother's place last night, which means that I had a great time. Did you check out the cake our family member Susana M. (see picture) designed specially for the occasion? We all thought it was a beauty! That champagne bottle was edible and made entirely out of chocolate! Everything on that bottle was edible, and the cake was perfectly yummy...

I have been on vacation during these holidays and today is my last day. I vegged out like you wouldn't believe! Lots of television and movie watching, family gatherings and time spent with the hubby, but hmm... not much reading done. I took a real break from just about everything! As a result, my December 2012 was not quite as prolific on the reading side of things as I expected it to be and I didn't read most of the books I placed on that old coffee table. Be that as it may, here is a list of my December reads!

Total books read: 12
  Contemporary Romance: 1
  Historical Romance: 4
  Speculative Fiction: 1
  Fantasy (Re-read): 1
  LGBT: 5 (Literary Fiction 1, Gay Romance 2, Gay Erotic Anthology 1, Lesbian YA 1)
 
TOP READS OF THE MONTH:


A Horse Named Sorrow: A Novel by Trebor Healey
I saved this novel as an end-of-year read. It turned out to be one of those fabulous books that I regret not reading as soon as it released. Unfortunately, I read it after my LGBT favorite books and authors list was posted, but before my 2012 Top Reads went up! So yes... A Horse Named Sorrow is one of my favorite Top 10 reads of the year. This is a gorgeous LGBT fiction read that I'm recommending to anyone who will listen. Grade: A-

The Horsemaster's Daughter (Calhouns #2) by Susan Wiggs: B+


The You Know Who Girls: Freshman Year by Annameekee Hesik
This is a wonderful YA read! The author really captures Abbey's teen angst, high school days, and successfully adds the main character's struggles with sexuality to the mix. The characters, central and secondary, are all believable and draw the reader from beginning to end. The You Know Who Girls: Freshman Year is a wonderful story that should be read by all, but specifically by LGBT young adults and their friends. My hope? That Hesik continues to write Abbey's journey throughout her four years at Gila High. Recommended. (Bold Strokes Books, 2012) Grade: B+
REST OF ENJOYABLE READS!

 Christmas Beau by Mary Balogh: B

The Hobbit by J.R.R. Tolkien: B

Men of Smithfield: Adam and Holden by L.B. Gregg
I am such a closet fan of The Man of Smithfield and LB Gregg! I've re-read Gobsmacked countless times (it is still my favorite of this series), but I enjoy all of them. So, how did I miss reading this one? I really enjoyed the characters, the lust, the attraction, the humor, the mystery with all the crazy characters and the messy romance that blooms in the middle of it all. Grade: B
Raising Hell: Demonic Gay Erotica edited by Todd Gregory: B (Upcoming Review)

Fungi edited by Orrin Grey: B (Upcoming Review)

Saving Skylar Hand by George Seaton 
This book was my last read of the year, thanks to Indigene's review (read it here). Saving Skylar Hand turned out to be a really beautiful holiday gay romance read that can be read anytime during the year! Gorgeous characters and writing combined with a touching story. Recommended. Grade: B

My Steadfast Heart (Thorne Brothers #1) by Jo Goodman
My Reckless Heart (Thorne Brothers #2) by Jo Goodman
This is a good, if not great, historical romance series by favorite writer Jo Goodman. I picked up the Thorne Brothers trilogy for eReader inexpensively and read books 1&2 consecutively. My Steadfast Heart, sets up the series and tells the story of how the three Thorne brothers are taken to an orphanage after their parents are murdered during a highway robbery in England and are soon separated. The eldest makes it his life's goal to find his two adopted brothers. I loved him as a character and the brothers' plight! My main problem with this first book is the abused heroine who continues to allow abuse over and over from people who don't deserve her loyalty, yet pushes away and is quite dismissive of people (like the hero), who prove that they mean to help her and do like/love her. I couldn't make sense of this woman. However, overall this is a pleasant historical romance read. Grade: C+
My Reckless Heart has a similar heroine, except that this one is a snob with the hero, while playing the part of heroine in the abolitionists Underground Railroad. She was quite the contradiction, I thought. But I liked this story more than the first one because the heroine grew on me, and I loved the hero. The Underground Railroad thread was quite intriguing, particularly since the story is set in Boston and seen from a northern point of view. The brothers' story continues to be central to the series, AND continued to pull at me. I will read the third book of the series just to find out how the youngest is found. I do love a happy ending. Grade: B-
Christmas Eve at Friday Harbor (Friday Harbor #1) by Lisa Kleypas: C

This is my last recap of 2012! Now, moving on to 2013!


10 comments:

  1. Happy New Year, Hils! I'm a big fan of lazy holidays :-)

    A HORSE NAMED SORROW sounds intriguing - I'll have to check it out.

    Li

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Happy New Year, Li! "A Horse Named Sorrow" is an excellent fiction read! Definitely check it out.
      Those lazy holidays were golden. ;P Now, back to work!

      Delete
  2. That's cool! Congrats on wrapping up!!!
    :D That cake looks awesome, btw.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Alex, I'm glad to be done with 2012! And that cake? It was sooo good! It tasted even better than it looked. *g*

      Delete
  3. Great December list Hils. And as I said on GR - love me the Men of Smithfield series :)

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Orannia, my December reader was not what I expected but there were some really enjoyable reads in there! The Men of Smithfield are re-reads for me -- I'm definitely a closet LB Gregg reader... read and re-read. LOL!

      Delete
  4. Good reading month! I LOVED the Kleypas that you gave a C to. Oh well, just shows there's different strokes for different folks. :)

    I love LB Gregg's books too. Adam and Holden is my fav of the series.

    Happy New Year!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Ahhh, those pesky reading tastes, right? I wanted to love that Kleypas novel!

      LB Gregg! I say I'm a closet fan because I re-read her books often, but don't really mention them with fanfare. I should! I'm flabergasted that I missed reading this book? I can see why Adam and Holden are favorites. Holden is adorable!!!

      Happy 2013, Tracy!

      Delete
  5. that cake looks awesome, Hils!! and the bottle of champagne is edible?! I thought it was a real one!

    12 books in December? Lucky you! :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nath, that cake was delicious! And yes, the bottle was complete edible, including the foil-looking paper on it! Chocolate... yum!

      I read more than expected in December. :D

      Delete

Anonymous Users disallowed by me due to large influx of spam.