Sunday, December 04, 2005

Quickie Reviews

I read 16 books in November, same as last month, and 158 books total for the year. Doesn't look like I will make anywhere near my 2004 total of 197 and 2003 total of 229. I was unemployed for part of 2004 and all of 2003 so I guess that makes sense.

I'm behind on my reviews so I thought I better put some thoughts down on a couple before I completely forget. I'm too lazy to do long reviews so here are some quickies. I was going to put some covers up but I couldn't be bothered. Changed my mind.

Almost Perfect (Julie Ortolon)
KristieJ raved about this author on her blog and since she and I have such similar tastes in books I decided to try this first book in the Perfect Trilogy. Maddie, Christine and Amy were college roommates. In this book Maddie and Joe were high school sweethearts who meet again at a summer camp. Years ago Maddie had rejected Joe's marriage proposal to attend art school. Joe is a former Ranger who had a tough life. I really liked Joe. Even though he still feels hurt by Maddie's rejection, he gives her support and encouragement while she overcomes her fears and attempts to make a name for herself in the Sante Fe art community. Maddie was a bit harder to like and I couldn't understand her initial rejection of Joe. AP was a light and quick read, and I enjoyed it almost as much as Kristie.
My grade: B

Her Body of Work (Marie Donovan)
Very few of the Harlequin Blazes I have read have lived up to the term 'blaze' but this one certainly does! Wow, it's a sizzler. And very well written especially considering this is a debut book for Donovan. Rey is a Chicago sculptor who only works with nude male models. Whew, I want this job. Marco is a Cuban-American with a perfect body who Rey hires to model for her latest commissioned sculpture. The h/h are great believable characters. The steamy, hot sex scenes were excellent and provided a perfect balance to the cold Chicago setting. And the sex scenes were an important component of the h/h's developing relationship. Not just sex for the sake of sex. The backstory involving Joe's job as a DEA agent and the danger from a drug lord provided some suspense but I found the growing relationship between Rey and Marco much more fascinating.
My grade: B

Wild Orchids (Karen Robards)
I was complaining a while back about being cold and had heard that reading a book set in a hot climate can warm you up. So I went looking for something set in a steamy jungle from my TBR and came up with this one. WO is a road/cabin romance that starts out in Cancun, Mexico when Lora is carjacked by Max. I normally love an alpha hero but this guy is an alpha jerk. Way over the top jerk too. He scares her to death when he jumps in her car with his face hidden by a sombrero, kidnaps her and manhandles her when she tries to escape, but the worst part is his repeated threats of rape! You know, I could almost forgive him if he could have groveled or even apologized because he does not actually physically abuse her. But, no! No apologies, no groveling. Heroine is no wimp either, she's a fighter and insists on staying with him when their lives are in danger. So I never understood why she is SOOO hot for him even while he is bullying her or threatening her with rape. I did not fall for that crap. Well, WO warmed me up, partly because of the hot sex scenes and jungle heat, but mostly because it pissed me off. I thought this book which combined two of my favorite themes (jungle and road/cabin romance) would be great but I ended up disappointed. Granted this was an oldie, originally published 1986, so I should probably allow some leeway, but threats of rape turn me off.
My grade: C-

I have a couple more reviews to write but they'll have to wait till later. I'm pooped and going to bed.


Rosario said...

*waving* Are you, by any chance, planning to trade Her Body of Work? It sounds wonderful!

ReneeW said...

Yes, definitely. I'll send mail to the trade group. Thanks for the reminder.

Tara Marie said...

I read Wild Orchids when it was new and hated it way back then, it really is an 80's style romance. I love alphas too, but he's a bully and a jerk.

P.Devi said...

Ooh, I read that Julie Ortolon book, too. I think I agree with you. I found ALMOST PERFECT to be a good yet impactless read--it didn't make me run out to get Ortolon's backlist or put her on my autobuy list.

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