Showing posts with label February 2010. Show all posts
Showing posts with label February 2010. Show all posts

Friday, December 17, 2010

2010 YoTH and Re-Read Challenges - Completed!

I decided to finishing off my completed Challenge posts for 2010 this week.  I only have one more Challenge to complete and I'll be taking care of that by posting my last review of the year for the In-Death Challenge later on this month.

Year of the Historical: A 2010 Reading Challenge - Hosted by KMont of Lurv a la Mode

100% Completed December 11, 2010

I had an excellent time with this Challenge. I initially meant to read some of those books I already had in my TBR, but as it turned out I read a mixture of new and older releases. I explored works by some excellent authors AND found some favorite books through this Challenge: Pamela Morsi, Lavyrle Spencer and Cheryl St. John are three of those authors. Their books along with Steve Kluger's Last Days of Summer, Lisa Kleypas' lovely historical romances and Elizabeth Hoyt's Wicked Intentions also made my list.

Following is a list of books read, with a link to each review. As you can see some months I submitted more than one book and review for this Challenge.

Jan:   Last Days of Summer by Steve Kluger (WW II) - Review here
Feb:   Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas (Re-read) - Review here
Mar:  Dark Angel/Lord Carew's Bride by Mary Balogh - Review here
Apr:  Courting Miss Hattie by Pamela Morsi - Review here
           Her Colorado Man by Cheryl St. John - Review here
May: The Endearment by Lavyrle Spencer - Review here
Jun:  Lavyrle Spencer: Morning Glory and Years - Review here
Jul :  Love in the Afternoon (Hathaways, Book 5) by Lisa Kleypas - Review here
Aug: Lady Isabella's Scandalous Marriage by Jennifer Ashley - Review here
Sept: Lady Sophia's Lover by Lisa Kleypas (Re-read) 
           A Separate Peace by John Knowles (Re-read) - Minis for both here
Oct:  The Doctor's Wife by Cheryl St. John - Review here
Nov: Wicked Intentions by Elizabeth Hoyt - Review here
Dec:  A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist - Review here

Thank you KMont for hosting this Challenge!

The 2010 Re-Read Challenge - Hosted by Nath of Books, Books and more Books

100% Completed December 11, 2010

This was another fun Challenge for me! I tend to re-read books that I love, my keepers and comfort reads. I chose my re-reads at random, depending on my mood. Some of them I re-read before and have become comfort reads, as in Duncan's Bride by Linda Howard, and others I re-read for the first time. My reactions to some of the books were interesting, I enjoyed some of them more the second time around (A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist) and some of them a bit less (To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt), however my overall initial view of the books usually stayed the same.

Following is a list of the books I re-read, by month, with a link to all reviews posted. 

Jan:  Duncan's Bride by Linda Howard - Review here
Feb: Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas - Review here
Mar: Gods in Alabama by Joshilyn Jackson - Review here
Apr: Three Sisters Island Trilogy by Nora Roberts - Reviews here
May: To Beguile a Beast by Elizabeth Hoyt - Review here
Jun:  Mine to Possess (Psy/Changeling, #4) by Nalinin Singh - Review here
Jul:  Harry Potter and The Deathly Hallows by J.K. Rowling - Review here
Aug: Rising Tides (Quinn Brothers, Book #2) by Nora Roberts - Review here
Sept: Lady Sophia's Lover by Lisa Kleypas, A Separate Peace by John Knowles, 
           Almost Like   Being in Love by Steve Kluger, Cullen's Bride by Fiona Brand, 
           Mr. Perfect by Linda Howard - Minis here
Oct:  Rising Moon by Lori Handerland - Review here
Nov: If You Desire by Kresley Cole - Mini here
Dec: A Bride in the Bargain by Deeanne Gist - Review here

Thank you Nath for hosting this Challenge!

Monday, March 1, 2010

February 2010 Reads & Minis: Under Her Skin by Susan Mallery, Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips & Pasado Perfecto by Leonardo Padura

Wow! February was a short/long month for me. Short on days and reads, but long on posts!

It was a month-long love fest between the Fool for Love: New Gay Fiction anthology and me. I had a wonderful time choosing quotes from each story, and in the process re-read the whole book slowly. It was a personal treat, and I hope you enjoyed reading these little quotes as much as I did choosing them. :)

I'd like to give a shout out to my friend Indigene (Cowboy Junkie). The lady who not only recommended this wonderful anthology, but who also sent it to me as a gift. You can check out Indigene's awesome GLTB reviews at Rainbow Reviews any day. But, to check out her Fool for Love review you'll need to go to The Three Dollar Bill Reviews -- a new GLTB review site. Thanks Indi!

When it comes to reading? Well, I was craving contemporary romance and that made up the bulk of my reading, although I did manage to sneak in other genres in there. The Winter Olympics took up a lot of time away from my reading, but I enjoyed them thoroughly so no complaints. Weren't they great?! Now, I'll have to detox. :)

Okay, on to my February reads:

1) The Outback Stars by Sandra McDonald - B- (review here)

2) Ecstasy Unveiled by Larissa Ione - B+ (review here)

3) Something Borrowed by Emily Griffin - Solid B (review here)

4) Under Her Skin (Titan Series, Book 1) by Susan Mallery - B-

This is the first in her Titan Sisters series (4 books).

Under Her Skin was a good read, not great. I thought it had a predictable plot with a couple that had good chemistry, some great interaction between the sisters and one girlfriend, and good writing that kept me reading.

The plot is based on an engagement of convenience between Lexi and Cruz. They obviously have feelings for each other but lots of baggage. Cruz is a good man with flaws -- mainly due to the childhood baggage that he can't seem to let go, and Lexi's the same. She has a lot of "daddy" issues -- all the sisters do. The father is rich, powerful and basically unfeeling and he uses his fortune to set up the sisters against each other -- it doesn't quite work that way though, they get along although it does affect their relationship and their decisions.

I have the next book on my TBR pile and will read it.

5) Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips - B-

Kiss an Angel by Susan Elizabeth Phillips, is another contemporary romance from her backlist and from my TBR pile, I wanted to read. I liked the setting for this book, it was set in a circus and it made for a different atmosphere. Daisy and Alex were both interesting as a couple. She was supposed to be this flighty, weak-minded person who didn't have any confidence in herself and who grew as a person as the story unfolded. He was supposed to be this strong-minded man who had lots of pride but whose past marked him badly -- an interesting play on strengths and weaknesses.

Although I enjoyed Susan Elizabeth Phillips' writing and the character growth that is usually found in her contemporaries, this book is not a favorite. I didn't find the plot itself, a woman who is forced into marriage by her father to a man who owes him a favor, appealing. The secondary characters were not appealing either, although I did enjoy the parallels Phillips drew between the couple and the animals.

6) Pasado Perfecto by Leonardo Padura (Mario Conde Series, Book 1) (Re-read) - B (thoughts here)

This is the first book in a 4 book series in Spanish. It's a police crime series set in modern Havana, Cuba. The author is a Cuban author who still lives there, not in exile.

In this book he introduces Mario Conde, a Lieutenant in the police department who is investigating the disappearance of a man he knew in High School. A powerful man who happened to marry el Conde's High School crush... well, more like the woman he has lusted after for years, Tamara.

Padura uses Pasado Perfecto (a perfect past), and this investigation to introduce Conde and a set of characters that will reappear in the next three books of the series. I love the way he captures the people, culture and the flavor of the city in these books. He uses the language beautifully -- a combination of Cuban Spanish -- to give the books authenticity and tops it with some darn good writing. Although I would say this is not the best book in the series, it's a great introduction.

There are English translations to this series. Pasado Perfecto's title in English is: Havana Blue.

7) Devil in Winter by Lisa Kleypas (Re-read) - A- (review here)

8) Glory in Death (In-Death Series, Book 2) - B (review here)

9) Double Play by Jill Shalvis - B Upcoming Review

10) Pleasure of a Dark Prince by Kresley Cole - B+ Upcoming Review

I didn't realize it, but I had mostly B reads this month and I only read two new releases. My TBR pile is diminishing though, so I'm not doing too badly there. How about you? How was your February?