Sunday, July 7, 2013

June 2013 Recap: Books Read + Minis

June is over and we are already half-way through the year. The months are going by like sand through my fingers. June is a month I will remember for slow reading and slow blogging -- only 8 posts! That's the lowest ever for me. Yikes! Summer, work, family, and personal commitments. The eternal optimist, I'm hoping things will pick up in July. Following is my recap, plus minis for books not reviewed during the month.

Total books read: 11
Contemporary: 3 (Romance)
Historical: 0
SFFR/PNR: 2
Crime Mystery/Contemporary Western: 4
Poetry: 1 (LGBT)
Fantasy: 1 (LGBT)


Heart of Obsidian (Psy/Changeling #12) by Nalini SinghA
The latest installment in Nalini Singh's Psy/Changeling series was my favorite read in June. I adore the Changelings, but the atmosphere that Singh creates with her Psy characters always grab me. Maybe it is because the science fiction/fantasy details of this series come to the forefront in those installments, and I love the way she integrates them with her hot romances. Or maybe it is because it is so tough to sell a romance between such cold characters and in the end Singh sells them so grandly to the reader. This one is a winner.

His Wife for One Night by Molly O'Keefe: B+
This category romance came highly recommended by Wendy The Super Librarian with an A Grade. What? So, I had to read it. If you read my review, I have no complaints about this romance at all. It is the best straight forward contemporary romance (without erotic content) I have read in a while. Definitely recommended.

Waxwings by Daniel Nathan Terry: B+
In my very short impressions of this poetry volume I posted that I'd read it three times. Well, make that four times now. Waxwings is only 68 pages long, but the more I read it, the more I find. It is one of those books where the pain, passion and love need to be absorbed one poem at a time.

Death Without Company (Walt Longmire #2) by Craig Johnson: B+
When Mari Baroja is found poisoned at the Durant Home for Assisted Living, Sheriff Longmire is drawn into an investigation that reaches fifty years into the mysterious woman’s dramatic Basque past. Aided by his friend Henry Standing Bear, Deputy Victoria Moretti, and newcomer Santiago Saizarbitoria, Sheriff Longmire must connect the specter of the past to the present to find the killer among them.
The first book of the Longmire series hooked me! Death Without Company cemented the love as he continues the series with an excellent mystery, great humor, and three dimensional characters. In this second installment Johnson expands on the characterization of already beloved characters, introduces new ones, and builds a mystery that begins with one death in the present but takes Walt back into the history of Absaroka County introducing the well-established Basque community. Walt unearths old truths, opens old wounds, and ends up questioning his sense of justice.

Kindness Goes Unpunished (Walt Longmire #3) by Craig Johnson: C+
Walt and Henry visit the City of Brotherly Love, where no act of kindness goes unpunished. Walt's wit and charm have helped him solve many crimes. But that can't prepare him for the savage attack on his daughter, Cady, a Philadelphia lawyer who has unwittingly become embroiled in a political cover-up. As Walt and Henry Standing Bear scour the city for clues, he gets help from his deputy Victoria Moretti and her family on the Philly police. But Longmire wasn't born yesterday. He's willing to pull out all the stops to find Cady's attacker.
In this third installment Walt's feelings for his daughter Cady are upfront and at the center of the story. Victoria Moretti's history also emerges giving her character a stronger background. However, although Vic and Walt's relationship takes an unexpected turn, this is not a favorite book in this series. Walt and Henry's involvement in the crime mystery feel forced, probably because they are out of their environment, and Vic's dysfunctional family relationships are less than entertaining -- particularly her mother.

Another Man's Moccasins (Walt Longmire #4) by Craig Johnson: B
When the body of a young Vietnamese woman is found alongside the interstate in Absaroka County, Wyoming, Sheriff Walt Longmire is determined to discover the identity of the victim and is forced to confront the horrible similarities of this murder to that of his first homicide investigation as a marine in Vietnam. Virgil White Buffalo, a homeless Crow Indian, is found living in a nearby culvert in possession of the young woman's purse. Two problems with what appears to be an open-and-shut case. One, Walt doesn't think Virgil White Buffalo, a Vietnam vet with a troubling past, is a murderer. And two, the photo found in the woman's purse looks hauntingly familiar to Walt.
I really enjoyed this solid installment in which Walt solves two crime mysteries separated by forty years. But, book 4 also serves to further give the reader an insight into Walt's and Henry's personal histories and background. Great wit and humor continue to make this series enjoyable as light moments are weaved in seamlessly with serious subjects. Additionally, Vic and Walt's relationship continues to change as Cady recovers at home.

A Serpent's Tooth (Walt Longmire #9) by Craig Johnson: B+

It’s homecoming in Absaroka County, but the football and festivities are interrupted when a homeless boy wanders into town. A Mormon “lost boy,” Cord Lynear is searching for his missing mother but clues are scarce. Longmire and his companions, feisty deputy Victoria Moretti and longtime friend Henry Standing Bear, embark on a high plains scavenger hunt in hopes of reuniting mother and son. The trail leads them to an interstate polygamy group that’s presiding over a stockpile of weapons and harboring a vicious vendetta.
I was blown away by the 9th or latest release of the Longmire series. Walt's budding romance takes a whole new direction ending in dire results. Of course we won't know the extent of those results until the next book. Ahhh! However, it is the complexity of the crime mystery and Walt's growing rage as the storyline develops that kept me glued to the pages. As a result of this case, the entire Sheriff's Department is affected... I can't say more, but I was floored. Definitely recommended to old and new fans!

Unraveling the Past by Beth Andrews: B-
My TBR Challenge read for the month of June turned out to be a mixed bag. I thought this romance may have been better categorized as a romance suspense, as I found the romance to be rather weak. However, I found a secondary storyline between the "hero" and his niece brilliantly executed by Andrews. Thinking back, this book should have been a C+ grade read because of the amount of quibbles, but I do enjoy Andrews' writing... hmm.

Tethered (Iron Seas #2.5) by Meljean Brook: C
Tethered is a novella that serves as an epilogue to the already written romance between Captain Yasmeen Corsair and Archimedes Fox. I don't know that this novella was necessary, but okay. Personally, I wish that this adventure and the realizations the two characters come to about their love for each other had been included in the original romance. But, this is a favorite author writing a novella set in a favorite world and Brook can certainly weave an adventure. For that reason alone I enjoyed it. Enough said.

Stand In Wife by Karina Bliss: C-
I've enjoyed Karina Bliss' contemporaries in the past. Stand In Wife, however, turned out to be a less than memorable contemporary romance. I believe it was enjoyable at the time because I finished it, but frankly after I turned that last page I couldn't remember names of characters or much about the storyline, except that well. . . the couple fell in love and had a happily ever after, blah, blah, blah. I hate when that happens.

Dust Devil on a Quiet Street by Richard Bowes: Upcoming review.

---------------

That is it for my June reads! Of the books graded, there were quite a few favorite reads on my list: Heart of Obsidian by Nalini Singh was my top read, however,  His Wife for One Night by Molly O'Keefe, Waxwings by Daniel Nathan Terry, Death Without Company (Walt Longmire #2) by Craig Johnson, and A Serpent's Tooth (Walt Longmire #9) also join my list of favorite reads for the month. That is one nice list of great reads! A satisfying month.


4 comments:

  1. I hear you on slow blogging, Hils! I had 4 posts!! 4! Talk about pathetic :(

    Not that of a slow month :) I say any month you hit double digits reads is good LOL. Plus, you've read some great books :) Seems like you've been enjoying the Walt Longmire series a lot! However, you skipped books?

    Let's hope the 2nd half of the year gets better :)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Nath, this has been such a busy summer for me! The difference is that I'm not reading as much as I usually do. :( But you are right, I'm reading some great, enjoyable books. So that makes up for the slow reading.

      I am enjoying the Longmire series, a lot! I skipped to the last book because I couldn't wait to see how Walt's romance turned out. LOL! (Cheating) But, I'm slowly reading the 5th book at the moment. *g* and I will read the rest slower so I can really enjoy them.

      And yeah... I'm hoping work will slow down during July and August so I can get home earlier and get back to reading & blogging! ;P

      Delete
  2. The Molly O'keefe book sounds like something I would read, the others sound good too but not really my kind of read.

    Over all it looks like you had a nice month!! :D

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. It was a good reading month, Alex. If you're going to read a romance book from this list, you can't go wrong with His Wife for One Night by Molly O'Keefe. It's the only I recommend. :D

      Delete

Anonymous Users disallowed due to large influx of spam.