Showing posts with label 2011 Books. Show all posts
Showing posts with label 2011 Books. Show all posts

Monday, July 4, 2011

Catching Up on June's Events, Books & Bloggers!

June was a very busy month filled with exciting events, and a few contretemps. You've heard all about my meeting Ms. Nalini Singh earlier during the month for the book signing of Kiss of Snow, and how I lost my glasses and couldn't read for almost a week due to blindness. Ugh! But this last week... well, this last week was just plain fun!

Books from Nath:
Jill Shalvis, Gini Koch, Katie MacAllister
Nath and her sister Emilie came down last Saturday night, June 25th to stay with us prior to the RWA Conference. Nath came bearing gifts... yummy, out of this world sweets from Canada that we all love, and, well... books!

Sunday we went shopping at one of our big outlet malls in New Jersey for about six hours or so. The ladies are seasoned shoppers, and I promise I didn't faint, lol! Then I rushed over to my brother's house to visit with my youngest brother and sister-in-law who arrived from Orlando at the same time as Nath and Emilie. On Monday, I left work early and Nath and Emilie and I went over to my family's house for a get together and a family dinner with everyone, this way combining both visits for me. No time to read or blog people, but a great time!

Tuesday was nuts! I worked again and barely got out in time for the RWA Literacy Signing, and made it after an altercation with the bus driver who was giving us a tour of NYC instead of parking the bus at the Port Authority.... well, needless to say the New Yorker in me came out full force (but that's a story for another time, lol) and I finally made it. That was a really exciting and wonderful part of the week that I've been looking forward to for a year. Besides meeting the authors, I had a wonderful time with Mariana at the Blogger Bar Bash afterwards where we chatted for a while with other bloggers, Nath, Librarian of the Year Wendy, KristieJ, Lusty Reader, Christine, author L.B. Gregg and other bloggers  who came around on and off (although I missed meeting Rosie!). The table was grand central. It was such a pleasure to meet them all and lots of fun!

Books from Tabitha:
Patti O'Shea, Laura Griffin, Jill Shalvis
Kathleen O'Reilly, HelenKay Dimon
My week didn't end on Tuesday though. I went to a work-related event on Wednesday night and didn't get home until past midnight, but when I arrived home there was a box waiting for me! It was from our friend Tabitha who shipped a box of books to Nath at my address, but as it turned out most of the books were for me. Thanks Tabs!

Thursday I worked past 7:00 pm... got home and collapsed! Friday, I basically did all the things I should have done during the week at home, ran errands and actually saw that stranger I refer to as husband! (and finished a book, yay)

Madeline Hunter, Jodi Thomas,
Lisa Dale, Heather Webber,
Diana Gabaldon, Julie Kagawa
Saturday Nath and Emilie came back from the RWA conference to New Jersey to pick up their car. Nath came back bearing more gifts... books signed by authors I missed on Tuesday, plus books by other authors that did  not attend the signing, but whose works she knows I really enjoy. I was quite overwhelmed.

Later that same day, they decided to do some more shopping and twisted my arm convinced me to go with them, lol. Good thing too, I found some great deals! Then we all went to dinner together, and they were off!

So here I am... it's July and the long Holiday weekend's here. Time to relax. And after that long post, finally here are my June reads which thankfully are not many!

Total June Reads: 10
Contemporary: 2 (Women's Fiction: 1, Romance: 1)
Historical Romance: 4
LGBT: 3 (Fiction: 1, Romance: 1, Mystery: 1)
Urban Fantasy: 1

  1. Slant by Timothy Wang: B+
  2. Sunset Bridge (Happiness Key Series) by Emilie Richards: B+
  3. The Salisbury Key by Harper Fox: B+
  4. More Than a Mistress by Mary Balogh: B+
  5. Magic Slays (Kate Daniels, #5) by Ilona Andrews: B
  6. Her Wyoming Man by Cheryl St. John : B
  7. Come Unto These Yellow Sands by Josh Lanyon: B
  8. Just Like Heaven by Julia Quinn: B
  9. The Darkest Sin by Caroline Richards: C+
  10. Bodyguards in Bed by Lucy Monroe, Jamie Denton, Elisabeth Naughton: C+
  11. Pleasure Me by Monica Burns: DNF

Note that I have one DNF listed this month. I usually place books back in my TBR and read them later, but in this case I really tried to read Pleasure Me by Monica Burns. I read half way through before deciding that this book is not for me. :)

Upcoming reviews and minis for the books I missed reviewing in June. So how was your month? My top read in June was Slant by Timothy Wang... how about you? Which book was your favorite?

Sunday, May 1, 2011

April 2011 Reads & Minis

April! What a long month! I read and read and read... it felt wonderful to be able to read like that again. My schedule remains the same at work (busy), but I've basically slotted in time to read and blog into my calendar and things are working out for me. Reading time relaxes my mind and is very important to me personally, so I'm feeling quite relaxed this month. LOL!

This is going to be a long post, so without further ado here's my update for April:

Total Read: 24
LGBT: 7 (Mystery: 6 -- M/M Romance: 1)
Contemporary Romance: 5
Historical Romance: 4
Sci-Fi/Fantasy: 3 (Fantasy: 1 - SFR: 1 - UF: 1)
Paranormal Romance: 3
Mystery: 2

Favorite Books this Month:
  • Kiss of Snow by Nalini Singh - KMont from Lurv a la Mode sent me her ARC copy and you know I whopped and hollered when I saw that envelope! I dropped everything else and read this book until it was done. I'll post my review later this month, but let's just say that Hawke and Sienna's story was worth the wait: A
  • The Sergeant's Lady by Susanna Fraser: B+ (Upcoming Review)
  • A Lot Like Love by Julie James: B+ (Upcoming Review)

Here come those B's:

  • In a Dark Wood by Josh Lanyon was a mystery/horror story that takes place in the New Jersey woods! This story deals with one of those urban legends that will make the hairs in the back of your neck stand up straight. The Jersey woods give me the creeps on the best of days, and this short story didn't help at all! Mr. Lanyon pairs up our writer, Tim with a cop. They go on their first date on a hiking trip up to the New Jersey Pine Barrens, and let me tell you things go from bad to worst. I loved this short, short story, Tim's character with his deep personal problems and fears and the fantastic, horrific outcome of that trip. I wish this terrific short horror story had been longer and that there had been more page time to develop the characters further, Tim in particular. Grade: B
  • Four and Twenty Blackbirds (Eden Moore #1) by Cherie Priest. This book was my 2011 Women of Fantasy Book Club April read. This is book one in Cherie Priest's Eden Moore urban fantasy series. I loved, loved the Gothic Southern atmosphere of this book, with it's old dysfunctional family history and crazy characters. The beginning of the book pulled me in and kept me reading, particularly when Eden was a little girl and she was just discovering things around her. However, things changed later on in the book when it comes to Eden and the plot became more... predictable and dare I say, less exciting. Eden is an angry girl who becomes an angry and at times glib woman, and makes one mistake after another. She has certain abilities, goes on an adventure to find out more about her past and in the process kicks butt, despite the fact that she doesn't really know what the heck she's doing or why. I liked her better when she was a little girl. However, I did love, love the Southern atmosphere and the history in this book as well as world building where Priest mixes ghosts with the African voodoo culture. The writing flows and it was a quick read, so in the end this book was a bit of a mixed bag for me. Grade: B-
  • A Vintage Affair by Josh Lanyon is one of those books I picked up last Saturday. This story takes place in a southern mansion in Georgia and it involves wine and a murder. Austin is a sommelier and he's down in Georgia to assess the value of a wine collection. Instead he finds murder and hot, but closeted, Jeff Brady. The two have one mind-blowing night together while the murder is investigated, but things won't go anywhere since "gay" is not done in Georgia. I enjoyed this story and again Mr. Lanyon excels at creating atmosphere and transporting the reader to place and time. Both Austin and Jeff as characters were well portrayed. There's an M/F/M scene in this book that might bother M/M only romance readers (and took me by surprise), but that I thought was quite appropriate when taking the plot into consideration. My only problem with this story was that I thought the crime investigation took a back seat to the rest of the story, and we were "told" how it all ended, not shown. Grade B-

And this Month's C's:
  • Giving Chase (Chase Brothers #1) by Lauren Dane was a cute contemporary romance with lots of erotic scenes thrown into the mix. I enjoyed the family atmosphere, the Chase family and friendships between the female protagonist and her closest friends. I also loved the close bond between the Chase brothers. However, the plot itself seemed to lack focus with a heroine that was insecure about her looks, problems with her family, a stalker, and the heroine dating a different brother before she settled for the main character, Kyle. The focus on the men's looks got old after a while and in a way it took away from my enjoyment of their yumminess. Grade: C
  • Kiss Across Swords by Teal Ceagh is a paranormal romance that uses a few different devices. It's a time travel, vampire tale that includes a menage (M/M/F). I enjoyed the time travel aspect of the story as it went back in time to the Crusades and the fall of Jerusalem. The story itself made sense in that way, however, I did not enjoy the menage aspect of the story. The erotic scenes were quite good, but although the sexual aspect was well done, there was a lack of emotional connection between the three main characters involved that I could not dismiss. The female was attached emotionally to one man more than the other and the one male seemed more attached to the other than to the female... the emotional connection didn't feel balanced, although we were told that it was. Grade C-
That's a LONG post for a long reading month! A happy one for me, although as you can see it was a mixed bag when it came down to grades. However, thinking about it... there wasn't one single book that I disliked terrible, and although there were quite a few average reads in the bunch there were more solids and some outstanding reads that I just loved!

ETA: The books are listed by grade, and then by how much I enjoyed each book compared to the rest. Tough decisions! 

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On Winning and Book Shopping!

Last week I won a gift certificate after completing the 2010 Re-read Challenge. Nath was quite generous! So, you all know I went book shopping! I decided to purchase some books I had on my "books to buy" list.

Quite a few of these books are recommendations by other bloggers. Here's my haul:

Earlier this month I mentioned that I wanted to continue reading the Guild Hunter series by Nalini Singh. I took this opportunity to buy the second book in the series, Archangel's Kiss. If I like it as much as I did the first book, I'll be sure to buy Archangel's Consort soon enough. :D

Simply Irresistible by Jill Shalvis is a book I've been wanting to buy ever since I saw Leslie's review! I've read a few of Shalvis' books and category romances and love her style, so this is a book that will be read soon quite soon.

And continuing with recommendations from other bloggers, I read an excellent review by Lori for The Perfect Family by Kathryn Shay and immediately wanted to read this ohhh so interesting sounding contemporary.

Then of course I had to buy one more contemporary, and this one a recommendation from Nath! Welcome to Harmony by Jodi Thomas was not a book that received high scores, but it was one that, nevertheless, caught my attention. It just seems to be the type of book I will enjoy. Let's see. :D

I loved A Perfect Hero by Suzanne Enoch and when I heard Rules of an Engagement was coming out I was quite excited! Of course I placed it on my "to buy" list and it stayed there... now I have it and will read it. :D

Pleasures of a Notorious Gentleman is the second book in Lorraine Heath's London's Greatest Lovers series. I've heard MUCH about this series (Leslie!) and I have the first book in my TBR already, but on the hopes that I will love it, went ahead and purchased the second book. :D

AND, last but not least, Worth Any Price by Lisa Kleypas is a replacement purchase. My old copy was well... old, and used and... old! I decided that as a tribute to the Re-Read Challenge I would replace a book that I love to re-read.  It was time to replace this one with a fresh copy so I can re-read it and enjoy it for a long, long time. :D

That's it! I think I did pretty well with that gift certificate. Thank you Nath!