Friday, September 6, 2013

August 2013 Recap: Books Read & Minis

August was a bit of a crazy month for me. I ended up rereading a few favorite books, and if you look below at some point just went a bit nuts reading M/M Romance -- some new releases and many from my TBR pile -- during the time that I was injured and bedridden. But, I also read a few new releases by favorite authors. None of those were disappointments. So for me, that means a good reading month. Check it out.


From the new releases, my favorite books of the month were: Guardian Demon (Guardian Series #8) by Meljean Brook, Omens (Omens #1) by Kelley Armstrong, and Welcome Home, Captain Harding (Captain Harding #3) by Elliott Mackle.

Total Books Read, August 2013: 25
Contemporary Romance: 4
Paranormal Romance: 1
Urban Fantasy: 6
Literary Historical Fiction: 1
LGBT Total: 13 (Poetry: 1,  Historical Fiction/Suspense: 1, M/M Romance: 11)

Guardian Demon (Guardian Series #8) by Meljean Brook: B+
Omens (Cainsville #1) by Kelley Armstrong: (Review to come)
Welcome Home, Captain Harding (Captain Harding #3) by Elliott Mackle: B+
Mañana Means Heaven by Tim Z. Hernandez: (Review to come)
Strawberries for Dessert by Marie Sexton: B+
Summer Lovin' JL Merrow, Chrissy Munder, Clare London, Josephine Myles, & Lou Harper: B
Aftermath by Cara Dee: B
Crow Blue, Crow Black by Chip Livingston: B-
Home on the Range (Caribou Crossings #2) by Susan Fox: B-
Left on St. Truth-be-Well by Amy Lane: B-
In A Cowboy's Bed with Cat Johnson, Vonna Harper, Lynn LaFleur: C+
Sharing Hailey by (Friends & Lovers #1) Samantha Ann King: C+
By the Numbers by Chris Owen: C
Cut & Run by Abigail Roux and Madeline Urban: C-
Waiting for Ty by (Friends & Lovers #2) Samantha Ann King: C-
Some Like It Hot by Susan Andersen: D+
Paris A to Z by Marie Sexton: D
A to Z by Marie Sexton: DNF

REREADS:
Magic Bites by Ilona Andrews, Book #1
Magic Burns by Ilona Andrews, Book #2
Magic Strikes by Ilona Andrews, Book #3
Magic Bleeds by Ilona Andrews, Book #4
Magic Slays by Ilona Andrews, Book #5
Promises by Marie Sexton
Caught Running by Abigail Roux and Madeline Urban
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MINIS:

KATE DANIELS SERIES (Books 1 to 5 Reread) by Ilona Andrews
General Comments: After reading that last fantastic Kate Daniels installment, Magic Rises, I decided to go back and reread the whole series. It was a wonderful experience to read the evolution of Kate and the rest of the characters that way. It also gave me a better perspective of the overall storyarc, which I believe is going to be ramped up in the next four books of the series. What hit me the hardest, however is Kate herself. She is so aggressive in the first book, and doesn't really give anyone much of a chance to prove themselves before she jumps on them. Her loner status, paranoia, the pain and rage come right through in Magic Bites. The change from that Kate to the one found in Magic Rises is astounding. But, rereading the whole series just reiterates why I love this series! I was pulled in this time just as quickly and deeply as I was the first time around. This is such a fabulous urban fantasy series that it gave me the impetus I needed to go searching for more of the same -- outstanding UF.

CODA SERIES by Marie Sexton
Promises by Marie Sexton (Reread) -- Grade: B
Promises is the first book of Marie Sexton's Coda series. This was a reread and was better the second time around. I enjoyed the characters and the relationship much more than the first time, and although my initial niggles were still there, they didn't bother me as much. Promises went from a B- to a B in the grade scale for me.

A to Z by Marie Sexton -- Grade: DNF
Because I enjoyed my reread of Promises more than expected, I decided to read the second book of Marie Sexton's Coda series. Unfortunately, I couldn't get through this book and did not finish it! I couldn't stand the characters, Zach in particular, and just gave up. This one is not for me.

Strawberries for Dessert by Marie Sexton -- Grade B+
But, although I gave up on the second book of the Coda series by Sexton, I didn't give up on the series. I decided to read the third book instead, particularly since I'd heard so many good things about it and it was already in my TBR. Good move! Cole and Jon? A fantastic pairing and a great romance. The characters in this book are wonderful. Cole is a bit of a mystery throughout and even to the end. He's one of those controlling femme characters that are vulnerable but mask it so well everyone has trouble seeing the real person behind the mask. And Jon, also controlling, is so busy trying to conform to how he thinks a man, particularly a gay man, should behave that he can't see the forest for the trees. The conflict between these two men is fantastic and I think Sexton addressed it quite well. In this case, I believe that Strawberries for Dessert deserved the hype.

Paris A to Z by Marie Sexton -- Grade: D
After reading Strawberries for Dessert, Paris A to Z was a disappointment. This piece is a novella covering Jon and Cole's wedding in Paris, but the novella is narrated from Zach ( A to Z) and Max (Promises) points of view. I enjoyed Max's point of view but there wasn't enough of that, instead most of the novella is narrated by Zach and even with other favorite characters I previously enjoyed making an appearance, I couldn't stand his voice, rationalizations, or characterization.

4 comments:

  1. Guardian Demon! So psyched. Can't wait to get to it.. but then again, I can because I'm having so many enjoyable hours catching up in the series. I'm in the middle of Demon Forged right now--Irena and Alejandro's book. SO good!!!

    Also, if I was a faster reader, I would have totally joined you on the reread of Kate Daniels series!! That's my next catch up series after The Guardians and I plan to reread the first three books, too. As indicated in your comments above, I think the series re-read/catch up over a couple of months instead of several years will give me a better appreciation of the character and series plot developments.

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  2. Oh, you know? I had in mind doing a reread of the whole Guardian series too! I love it so much. (Demon Forged is one of my favorite installments!). Enjoy it Christine, and by the time you get to Guardian Demon you'll have better insight into that book. Really a great idea.

    Ohhh, I had SUCH a fantastic time rereading the Kate Daniels series. I found so many little details I missed the first time, or didn't remember because it has been such a long time since I first read those books. It helps that the series is not too long, but it made me appreciate it more. :)

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  3. That's so funny you were considering a Guardians series reread too! Great minds think alike! I am LOVING the series. Demon Bound was great.. Jake is hilarious. And of course Lilith is so .. LILITH! Irena is great.. I like that she's one of the original Guardians. I think it adds to her complexity. I'm really enjoying detective Taylor in this one, too.

    I'm really looking forward to rereading Kate Daniels after this.. I first read Magic Bites in April 2008! And the last book I read was Magic Slays in May 2009, I think. So a reread is definitely in order!

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    1. Christine, the Guardian series would have a huge hole without Lilith! I love her. And I really love most of the central characters in the books. I remember Jake as being both adorable and funny because he had no filter between his brain and mouth. But, I need to go back... there are SO many intricate threads in this series that I know I forgot. A continuous reread would be awesome.I did the same for the Psy/Changeling series by Singh a couple of years ago and details stayed with me, much better than when reading one book per year.

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