Friday, September 30
I haven't reread this book in years, my copy is actually the extended hardcover version. I bought it when it came out and read the ending to see what was added, but didn't reread the entire book.
It's kind of sad when we realize an old favorite is no longer even enjoyable. Obviously, the book hasn't changed, but I have. In the back of my mind I knew this wouldn't be a keeper anymore. When this book was new, I read it over and over and loved it, 20 years later I'm not even sure I'll get through it.
I skimmed forward and read the "rape scene" and to be honest, I didn't find it as offensive as other people have. His guilt and groveling is enough for me. McNaught is famous for good hero groveling, usually they have done something incredibly stupid and need to beg for forgiveness over and over.
My problem with the book at this point is what's the attraction for Clayton, why would he be interested in this girl, because Whitney is really still a childish flirt, she's just been cleaned up and given some polish. She's in her late teens and he's in his early 30's. I don't have a problem with the age difference, my problem is with the maturity difference.
Why don't I remember Whitney being incredibly TSTL? She is only 15 when the book opens and we are all capable of stupid actions at that age, but even cleaned up, spit polished and a few years older, she seems to have the common sense of a flea. She misinterprets situations, acts at times without thinking and needs others to clarify and explain things to her. So young, so immature, what's the attraction?
And, while she is at times dumb as a rock, he's a jealous lunatic. Who needs that. I guess I grew up but Whitney and Clayton haven't.
I should have left well enough alone, and kept my good memories of an old keeper just that memories.
Thursday, September 29
I have to admit I didn't actually watch it last night but rather this morning, my wonderful husband taped it for me, I'm virtually clueless when it comes to programming VCRs. The Yankees came on at 7:05 and I watched them instead. (Kristie and Wendy I'm not gloating--really, that would jinx them--LOL)
So, while watching the ballgame last night I finished Liz Carlyle's One Little Sin. It's a Liz Carlyle so, of course, it's entertaining and I enjoyed it, but there was something about the book that seemed vaguely familiar, and I can't put my finger on it. Maybe it's because I probably read the coming attractions at the end of her last book, but the ending seemed familiar too, I must be reading too much romance and getting completely confused. I'm sure if you try RT or AAR, you'll find wonderful reviews, I haven't looked yet.
Tuesday night I finished Lord of Desire by Paula Quinn. It was a very good medieval. It takes place pre The Battle of Hastings and has Duke William playing a major role. Saxon/Norman conflict, interesting characters, evil villains, not without flaws, but a good book. I didn't check out these reviews either, but I'm sure they are good.
So, let's recap:
- Discovered LOST
- The Yankees are in 1st place with 4 games to go (I know it's only one game but it's still good)
- Read 2 good books.
It's been a good couple of days, and I'm keeping my promise to blog positive.
Next book up on the TBR pile--a reread of Judith McNaught's Whitney, My Love. It's been years since I've read it. Will I still think it's great, or will my thoughts change with age? I'm not sure I'll be offended by the "scene" but I may find the whole book too melodramatic. I'll post about it tomorrow.
Monday, September 26
Okay, this is the third time I've tried to blog about this book. I've been dumped out once and I stupidly hit back before saving it and 'recover post' only recovered the picture. Third time should be lucky--LOL.
I LOVED this book.
Picked it up on the way to my parent's house on Sunday morning and would have read it there if I thought I could have gotten away with it. Started reading after Junior went to bed, read for a couple of hours, woke up in the middle of the night read for another hour and finally finished it before I took Junior to school this morning. We were almost late.
I blogged about vampire romance not being scary enough, this isn't really scary, but it is suspenseful and incredibly hot. I had originally passed on this book because I can't stand hero's with names like "Wrath".
This book lives up to the hype, I'm looking forward to the next one, it's out next March. I'm sure I'll be able to find something to read between now and then--LOL.
Saturday, September 24
It was a good book, but I found myself wanting to see more of the characters from the first 2 books. I probably should have reread them before starting this one, but this one completely stands alone, which is good.
Val (the hero) is a beta hero, nothing wrong with that, but as I read this book my preference for alpha heros solidified. Val comes from a long line of sorcerers all with different types of powers, he is empathic and can heal others by absorbing their pain. When he heals the "villian" he absorbs many of the villian's "evil" tendencies (with the help of a crystal, the explanation of which may become convoluted, so I'm going to leave it at that) and Val becomes much more agressive in nature.
I prefered the agressive Val much more than the passive Val. The passive Val was willing to give up on love because the "Bride Finder" foretells he's destined not to find love. But, he's already found love and is will to walk away--can't stand that. The alpha Val wasn't about to walk away from anything, least of all the love of his life. Besides, someone needed to punch the town drunk in the nose and his brother did need to hear how selfish he was.
Now, I realize some beta heros aren't as passive as Val, and some alphas are more agressive than he becomes, but betas don't need to be door mats. Though in his own way by using his healing powers he does protect the people he loves, he is too much of a martyr--not my thing.
Give me an alpha, warts and all. Agressive, strong and protecting. And, strong enough to stand with a woman who is equally strong, definitely my thing--LOL.
Friday, September 23
Our conversation went something like this (keep in mind he's 4):
me: Where did you get the cake?
him: I got it.
me: I can see that, but how did you get it?
him: I cut it myself.
me: You cut it yourself *holding head*, are you supposed to touch knives?
him: Mom, it's just a butter knife.
me: Where did you get the knife?
him: On the drain board.
me: Where did you get the plate?
him: Climbed up and got it off the shelf. (note he had climb above the sink to reach the shelf and then had to move a stack of bowls to actually get the plate)
me: How did you get the cake down?
him: Climbed up and got it too.
me: You should have asked me.
him: I know, but you would have said no.
I was upstairs for 3 minutes talking to my mom on the phone (I'd left the cordless up there) he knew I was distracted, the child is too much. At least he didn't make a mess. The day he tried to pour himself a glass of lemonade, he dumped the entire pitcher on the floor.
We keep the doors and windows of our house locked, can you see why?
Thursday, September 22
Now on to the book whine, sorry, I promise it will be the last...
I'm trying to figure out why sometimes I love everything I'm reading and sometimes I nit pick the heck out of every book I open.
I'm currently on a nit picking binge. I'm back on track reading a book a day, but I'm not happy with anything I pick up.
- Am I the only person who can't seem to get passed the first chapter of Emma Holly's The Demon's Daughter? I keep telling myself the print is too small, even with my glasses and that's why I have a headache everytime I try to read it.
- Why do I torment myself by reading authors I know I don't like? I read a synopsis, it sound great, I love the story line, the premise, it should be great. And then the actual execution leaves me wanting to throw the book at the wall.
This is my last book whine. I started a book this morning that I know I'm going to like and will only post positive glowing blogs in the future--well, at least I'll try.--LOL.
Have a great day and happy reading.
Wednesday, September 21
Monday afternoon I picked up the October Romantic Times determined to do my best to avoid Regency romances (re: Wendy's last RTB blog.) Half of the historical reviews are for Regencies. If we want a more diverse selection in historical romance, we need to start buying romances set in different periods.
I picked out 9 historicals:
- It Happened One Autumn--Lisa Kleypas (Victorian)
- Temptress--Lisa Jackson (Medieval)
- One Knight Stand--Jocelyn Kelley (Medieval)
- The Trapper--Jenna Kernan (Western)
- Come Home for Christmas--Pat Prichard (Western)
- Kissing in the Dark--Wendy Lindstrom (1870's NYS)
- One Little Sin--Liz Carlyle (Regency)
- To Hot To Handle--Cheryl Holt (Regency)
- A Singular Lady--Megan Frampton (Trad. Regency)
All things considered not bad, only 3 Regencies--Liz Carlyle is an autobuy, I've already picked up the Holt (started it today, I'll blog about it tomorrow) and of course I have to get Megan's first book.
I'm also interested in:
- Bride Needs Groom--Wendy Markham (Contemporary)
- Wedding Survivor--Julia London (Contemporary)
- A Will to Love--Angie Daniels (Contemporary)
- Through a Crimson Veil--Patti O'Shea (New Reality-paranormal)
- Private Demons--Lynn Viehl (Paranormal)
- Courting Midnight--Emma Holly (Historical paranormal)
- A Capital Affair--Angela Winters (Romantic suspense)
I'll probably order most of these through my local UBS, they sell new books with a 10% discount. It's good to spread the wealth around--LOL.
Have a great night, and happy reading.
OMG, "recover post" really works, blogger dumped me out as I was posting this and it completely disappeared.
Our little guy started Tae Kwon Do class yesterday, and received a one on one lesson with the instructor before class started. He had a great time and I had to drag him out in tears before the next class started. He doesn't want to go to pre-school now, just karate school.
Sunday, September 18
Ms. Ross has a beautiful writing style, the plot and storyline are interesting.
The back blurb:
Years of roaming the Far East have forged Lord Jonathan Deveoran St. George into an intrepid, solitary world traveler, estranged from family and homeland. Yet the theft of a precious fossil has forced Jack unwillingly back to England. Now the thief slips the prize to an unsuspecting young woman, innocently minding her own business. Seconds later, the man is murdered--and Miss Anne Marsh becomes the unkown killer's next target.
A perilous guardian angel, Jack sweeps Anne off to his ancestral estate...all in the guise of protecting her. Safely engaged to another, she's never met anyone like Wild Lord Jack. Trapped in this handsome aristocrat's company, why not seize the chance to learn something new--about the world, about love, about wickedness...
This is a perfect description of this book. Sounds great doesn't it. And it is great up until the point they reach "his ancestral estate" which happens to be filled with his obnoxious family, a dying father, a controlling mother and judgmental brother. Oh, what a joy it is to visit these people. The first thing he lets everyone know is he knows Anne in the biblical sense, and the book goes down from here. It doesn't matter that Anne was fascinated and curious and wanted sex with him. His family basically spends what seems like 1000 pages beating him up for being a horrible seducer of women. I found myself doing mea culpas for the poor man and saying Hail Marys as I was reading, honestly I'm not kidding. And most of these confrontations in the end turn out to be part of some weird powerplay between Jack and his mother, for Jack's continued independence. No wonder he's a world traveler, who the heck wants to be around these people.
Finally, Jack and Anne get married leave "his ancestral estate" and the book picks up again has a great, but rushed ending.
The beginning of this book would get an A, the end of this book would get an A. The middle, well it gets a C because Julia Ross has a great writing style, average it out to a B. But, it could have been so much more.
Saturday, September 17
I was on a great pace to read a book a day this month, so I went and pledged 25 books for the TBR challenge over on RT's Readers Roundtable. I think I shot myself in the foot by making that pledge.
Since I've read about 350 pages total from the 7 books, can I count them as a book?--LOL.
Friday, September 16
So the next day I call and ask them to come over this Saturday. She says "I'll get back to you."
"I'll get back to you." What the heck is that about? She pours on the Grandmother Guilt and then is going to get back to me.
Well, they're coming, but not going to stay for dinner. They're too busy.
Thursday, September 15
The Three Stooges.
Is it something in the Y chromosome that finds this so funny?
At dinner he and Daddy were going through hand motions and noises and both were laughing like crazy. I'm left shaking my head.
What about blogger fangirls?
Seems to me that’s just as real a phenomenon. There seems to be a core group of 10 or 15 people who all agree with each other on their blogs and compliment each other effusively on their insights. Anybody disagreeing with one of the core group is attacked with the same rabid (and group) intensity you ascribe to author fangirls.
Fangirls are fangirls, don’t you think.
Comment by Suze — 9/13/2005
I thought Angie's response was right on, and no I'm not being a fangirl, honest.--LOL
You are so right, Suze. I was just thinking that as I typed a response on the SB’s blog agreeing with something I did. I found myself thinking, my God, I sound like a fangirl. I’m really not, I swear, I just happened to agree.
I do believe that sometimes people find it easier to agree or be agreeable, rather than to be a lone dissenter or one of few. So it appears we have a group of fangirls, when in fact it’s just so much harder to tell an author, a blogger, or anyone that you don’t agree, you didn’t think their book was great, or that they’re not your very favorite author.
However, I do think there is a real concern surrounding fan behavior reflecting on authors. I’ve had people email me, talking about how they might want to try an author’s book, but the fan behavior was really turning them off and making them hesitate in throwing money towards an author who encouraged that type of thing. Right, wrong, or indifferent, it happens.
Comment by AngieW — 9/13/2005
Suze is right a fangirl is a fangirl, we see them everywhere, but what the heck creates one?? The need to be right all the time?
I don't know why, but for some reason blogger fangirls always surprise me. It seems like so many avoid the fangirl stereotype and blog about being anti, but they are out there and at times with a vengence.
In each fangirl group is there one strong personality that dominates other voices and leads others with like minds--to use romance reading world terms--alpha females that lead other more betas to follow their lead? Or is it simply that like minded people gravitate together, and some have bigger mouths?
Is this something the author or blogger feeds--are they the alpha? Maybe, maybe not, maybe sometimes, maybe sometimes by accident. To be honest, I don't think it's always the author or blogger that feeds this, but we've all heard stories about authors wanting their fans to come to their defense when they've received bad reviews etc.
By not dissenting are we feeding an insular situation where fangirls feel justified in ganging up on the occasional dissenter? Are we simply living by the "if we don't have anything good to say..." logic? Are we afraid of being sent up in flames? Or are we simply avoiding beating our heads against the wall, because these people can't be reasoned with? Maili comes to mind giving up lecturing on Scottish history and kilts--LOL. For me, it's a little bit of all of these things.
And as to Angie's comments about authors being hurt in the long run, I think it's possible. I know of 4 authors I don't read because 1. I wasn't impressed by their books and 2. I'm not likely to try another simply because I'm not buying into the fangirl hype.
A few questions and thoughts about fangirls.
Have a good one, and happy reading.
Wednesday, September 14
They're not scary enough. I want leave the light on at night, what was the noise, who's at the door, am I being followed HORROR. I want heart pounding fear. What we get is a watered down version with a HEA.
Can anyone recommend really scary vampire romances? This is what I'm really looking to read.
I woke up in the middle of the night (3:20 this morning) and finished reading Kerrelyn Sparks' How to Marry a Millionaire Vampire. Now, just by the title you know this isn't going to be scary, it's quirky, it's humorous, but it's not scary--not even the battle scene between vampires.
Heck, it's not supposed to be scary, but it left me tremendously dissatisfied.
She (the heroine) doesn't want to be a vampire, she wants the big house, white picket fence and big dog in the front yard. And, he (the hero) is going to give it to her, along with children that he will give her by altering donor sperm by adding his DNA, he's a scientist you know. Then what 50 years from now, she's dead, the children are getting old, his grandchildren will be having children. I know too much thinking, but this bugs me.
After finishing HTMAMV, I started Emma Holly's The Demon's Daughter, hopefully in addition to being erotic it will be a little scary.
Have a great day and happy reading.
Tuesday, September 13
Over the weekend I finished Meg Cabot's Every Boy's Got One. It was a fun little piece of chick lit?!? fluff. I guess it's Chick Lit--it's got on of those Avon Trade purse logos, you know the one with the ... "Because every great bag deserves a great book!" Which I always find a little odd because trade size paperbacks never fit in great stylish little bags, but I'm digressing and by digressing I'm starting to feel like the heroine from this book. Ditzy.
Like Boy Meets Girl this whole book is written through emails, journal entries, PDA posts and a couple of telegrams--I still think it's cleverly done, but it may start to wear thin after awhile .
Jane and Cal have been invited to help their best friends elope to Italy. Sounds like a great trip to me, but Jane is a bubbly, happy comic strip creator and Cal is a cynical, world weary, overseas journalist. Jane is thrilled about the wedding and Cal wants his friend to run in the other direction. Somehow these two fall in love in a week. Mrs G has an incredibly accurate review of this book.
After reading this I was left scratching my head wondering if it is actually possible to fall in love this quickly. They seemed to have nothing in common, and didn't even seem to like one another through a good portion of the book, but many romance has hero and heroines at logger heads, I'm not really sure why this didn't work completely for me.
But, let's get back the title of this post. Love at first sight, the cynical part of me was thinking this doesn't really happen, and then I had to smack myself in the head. I know for a fact this happens, okay not at "first sight" but definitely first dance. My Mom and Dad met at an April Fools Church dance in Brooklyn, NY in 1962. My mom knew after one dance that my dad was going to be the father of her children--one dance, I'm always amazed by that, she was right. They got married the following February, 3 kids and 43 years later they are still happily married. Well, kind of happily married. Right now Mom is mad at Dad for buying a new car, she's retiring in 4 months and doesn't think they need two cars now, of course, she's not real happy with me right now. Instead of telling her she's completely right to be mad, I told her to sell her car after she retires and then they'll only have one car again. She didn't like having it pointed out that when we were little and only had one car she hated being house bound. We moved out of Brooklyn when I was 9 and my Dad's work schedule didn't coincide with commuter train or bus schedules, of course the woman didn't learn to drive until she was 37 and we didn't need 2 cars. Now I really feel like Jane and have completely gone off topic--LOL.
So, all of this is to say--"love at first sight or maybe sometime in the first week or so" can happen, but for some reason in this book, it didn't work for me. And, what's with the title "Every Boy's Got One"? Got one what? We never get to see Cal's, though there are a few suggestions about size.
Have a great day, and happy reading.
Saturday, September 10
I spent time this morning updating my sidebar to include books I'm planning on reading next. Oh well, more books showed up this afternoon and once again the sidebar is wrong and I'm now reading Meg Cabot's Every Boy's Got One, notice it's not on the sidebar.
A while ago I cleaned out my bookcase next to the bed and filled it with the TBR pile, those books now seem to lost in TBR Neverneverland as I don't even bother to open the doors, I just stack the new books on top and read them. LIFO seems to be inventory control method of choice.
I need to get under control and need to work on this pile. I'm heading over to RT and pledge something for this months TBR challenge, maybe I'll actually stick to the darned TBR pile.
Have a good night, happy reading.
Thursday, September 8
Love them or hate them secret babies, long separations and books with children get lots of attention. Secret babies isn't a favorite plot device, sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. I feel the same way about books with children that are amazingly bright for their ages. Long separations don't bother me as much. If it's a favorite author or a book that sounds interesting I'm not going to avoid them because these story lines.
I wish I could work up the indignation some find over book covers. So many bloggers love to talk about covers. I'm lucky I even notice what's on the cover, maybe because so often it doesn't match what's in the story. I'm starting to think there's something wrong with me, why don't I find Johanna Lindsay's Fabio covers so offensive I need to rant about them?
I have friends who prefer brunette heros or Latino heros or blond heros. I'm lucky I notice what the hero and heroine look like. Unless the hair and eye colors change from page to page, I'm not likely to even care what they look like. Though, I would probably notice if the hero was fat with a comb over.
A couple of weeks ago I mini ranted about heroine who was a "vegan virgin who had never been kissed." I actually don't have a problem with a "vegan virgins who have never been kissed," I had a problem with this particular heroine, but there are some readers who prefer virgins and others prefer experienced heroines. Neither bother me one way or another, as long as it seems realistic to the story line and plot, I don't care about experience.
I've never understood the need to have sexually repressed widow heroines. Is there some unwritten law that says a widow in a historical has to have been married to a cheating dog, an up tight puritan, an abusive impotent idiot or a closeted homosexual? Why can't these heroines have happy marriages with good sex lives? Is it the need to have the hero awaken their sexuality? Hey, I guess this qualifies as a pet peeve, but it's still not going to keep me from reading a book that sounds interesting.
I really don't have very many pet peeves. There is really only one plot device I avoid--the dreaded "amnesia" story. For some reason these NEVER work for me, even when favorite authors use it. I've never met anyone who has suffered from amnesia, I'm sure that it happens, but it never seems realistic. Why this should be important I'm not sure, how realistic are most romance novels?
Since I have completely sworn off amnesia stories, there are really only 2 things that are going to kill a book for me:
- A TSTL heroine, we all know who she is and why she's really annoying.
- Bad or unrealistic dialogue will take me out of a book faster than even a TSTL heroine. I'm always amazed when an author creates a hero that sounds like my best girlfriend. I don't have a problem with men showing a soft side, but I can't see men talking to other men the same way women talk to other women.
One more mini pet peeve, really a minor irritations, villains. I hate when "Mother/Mom" is the villain. I know there are plenty of lousy moms out in the world, but for me mom is one of the good guys.
I used to be much more obsessive about things, in the past I would compare the cover art to the character descriptions, I needed the history to be accurate, why include it if it's not correct, I'd prefer it to be correct, but it wont kill me if it's not. Dialogue needed to fit the time setting (I still like it to fit the period, I probably should add this to "bad or unrealistic dialogue.")
But, I've decided, for me, this is all window dressing. Several months ago I broke out of my comfort zones and by doing that I stopped obsessing about these things. All I want is a good book, it doesn't matter what's on the cover, or what's driving the plot (except for the aforementioned amnesia thing). As long as it's well written and I believe in the HEA, I'm happy.Have a great day and happy reading.
One more thing, I just finished Susan Spencer Paul's Touch of Night, it's a historical paranormal and it has a very similar tone to Susan Carroll's Bride Finder books. Maybe I'll blog about it later or tomorrow.
Tuesday, September 6
I used reading as an escape this weekend. Between Friday and Monday nights, I finished 4 books and started a 5th.
- Houston, We Have A Problem by Erin McCarthy, a fun sexy book. Sexy being the driving force of the book, but it had a good story line and it moved along well.
- A Lady's Guide to Rakes by Kathryn Caskie, another regency historical in a long line of regency historicals, a good book, not great and not bad, just good.
- Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson, secret baby story, but it was good, but I love stories with a back drop of sports, and I love hockey.
- See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson, another hockey story, so I liked this one too.
- A Taste of Crimson by Marjorie M. Liu, I'm about half way through this book. It's great, better than the first in the series (Crimson City by Liz Maverick) and much better than Liu's first book Tiger Eye.
I'm really enjoying A Taste of Crimson. The world building is pretty much finished in the first book, but we get to see more of the werewolf world below ground. Crimson City had a vampire heroine and a human hero. This one has a great twist a werewolf heroine and a vampire hero, it's made more interesting by the class distinctions and hatred between the two societies.
Got to go lots to do today.
Have a great day and happy reading.
Sunday, September 4
Next week I'm laying out the clothing the Saturday night.
Have a good one.
Friday, September 2
But, I did get to the UBS. Traded in somewhere in the neighborhood of 300 books and have probably another 700 books going to various local charity organizations.
I can't get out of the UBS without buying something and picked up:
- Hot & Bothered by Susan Anderson
- Someone Irresistible by Adele Ashworth
- A Ladies Guide to Rakes by Kathryn Caskie
- Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson
- See Jane Score by Rachel Gibson
- Houston, We Have a Problem by Erin McCarthy
I'm trying to do some light reading, so I looked for light, fluff romances.
While surfing today I discovered a blog template that I liked, but I'm a little leary about copying it over here, I'm not really sure about what I'm doing. Oh well, nothing ventured, nothing gained. Sometime this weekend, I'll try it.
Thursday, September 1
I just found Mrs G's review of A Taste of Crimson. I only read the first paragraph, but it was enough to catch my attention, without giving anything about the story away.
Over the weekend I reread Liz Carlyle's The Devil You Know, Monday I started and skimmed Lyon's Gate by Catherine Coulter and started reading Theresa Weir's Bad Karma Tuesday.
Liz Carlyle is a favorite and I always enjoy rereading her books, but Bad Karma just seems too sad to read right now, and I've probably reached the point where I'm done reading Catherine Coulter completely. Her newer historicals seem disjointed and the dialogue is either too witty or somehow disconnected.
Nothing is holding my attention, I think I need something funny, and uplifting and I'm not finding anything interesting on my TBR.