Tuesday, May 02, 2006


I did pretty well on my goal of reducing my TBR. I read a total of 17 books for the month of April which was above average for me. Well, to be totally accurate, I read 16 books and about 50 pages of one before tossing it aside - it was just too boring. Two of those 17 were from the library, the rest from my TBR. I have reviewed all but these last three:

Hot Shot by Susan Elizabeth Phillips
This is one of SEP's earlier books (published 1991) and her writing style has really changed (for the better) since then. There was little evidence of her typical humor that I loved in books like It Had to Be You and Match Me If You Can. The story (which felt more like a saga covering almost 500 pages) focuses around Susannah Faulconer's life from a small child through her rise in the corporate world and the computer industry. But there was too much detail on the emerging computer industry and not enough romance. The characters were complex and interesting but the romance felt tacked on. Not my favorite SEP.
My grade: C+

Warrior by Elizabeth Lowell
After dissing the last Lowell I read (Granite Man) I hate to admit how much more I liked this book. Nevada is an uber-alpha (as are all Lowell's heroes) but he has a softer heart and doesn't believe all women are sluts. No, his flaw is that he doesn't believe in love (*rolls eyes*). I liked the heroine Eden, a wildlife biologist, who doesn't take any crap from him. But of course she's a virgin (*another eye roll*). My biggest peeve with this book was Lowell's signature characteristic which is so evident in many of her books: hero invents a nickname for the heroine. I hate that. Nevada's nickname for Eden is fairy-tale girl. "Dear Ms. Lowell: ....STOP THAT!!!" Whew, sorry, lost control. With these irritations aside Warrior was quite a good book. Eden finds Nevada who has injured himself in the middle of a snow storm and takes him to safety. The mental lusting begins... really, dialog is not Lowell's strong suit. But I loved Baby, Eden's dog/part wolf, and the cougar tracking and scenery descriptions of the Colorado Rockies. Oh, yeah, it's pretty hot too ;)
My grade: B-

Heart of Deception by Taylor Chase
Wow, the best book I read all month! Set in Elizabethan England, Vivian Swift and her brother, Nick, rule the underworld of the Southwark area of London. Viv is Queen of the Klink and oversees the smuggling, prostitution, gambling, thievery, and assorted crimes of that time in her own corner of London. She's an extremely strong character and I admired her which surprised me because I'm not a fan of criminals as heroes/heroines. But she is very loyal to Queen Elizabeth who she considers her counterpart. Into her domain comes Rafe Fletcher who earns her trust to become her bodyguard. But he is hiding secrets and eventually betrays her in the most intense emotional scenes. The book is filled with political intrigue, betrayals, treason, murder and revenge but it is very fast paced and totally absorbing. All the characters, both real and fiction, are three dimensional and complex. HOD was an compelling read and very hard to put down. Very steamy too. It's a keeper! Has anyone read the sequel, Heart of Night, and is it worth tracking down? Taylor Chase also wrote two books as Gayle Feyrer and I'm wondering if I should try to locate them too. Keishon says they are HTF. Just my luck.
My grade: A

Currently reading: Don't Look Down by Jennifer Crusie and Bob Mayer. Having a hard time getting into it. Lots of stuff going on and seems like a lot of POV changes, but maybe I've got too many distractions the last couple of days. Will try to concentrate tonight.


web said...

"Fairy Tale Girl"? ewww.

What does she call him, "Alpha Male Guy"?

Rosario said...

Argh, I absolutely detest Lowell's nicknames. I mean, if the hero would use them once or twice, ok, I could tolerate them, but no, it's Every. Single. Time. And it gets old, fast, because they're such stupid, fake-sounding, often derogatory nicknames (thinking of one of the "Only" books here... the hero called the heroine "fancy lady" i.e. prostitute).

Oh, and about the Taylor Chase books: totally agree with you about HOD. Amazing book! Heart of Night isn't nearly as good. The romance is actually ok (and the setting is also fascinating), but the villain was the weak point for me here. He just turned my stomach, and made the book hard to read.

ReneeW said...

Web: I don't know, maybe "Alpha A**hole" or just plain "Dickhead"? Now that wasn't nice of me, was it?

Rosario: Yes, the nicknames almost ruined the "Only" books. They were not endearing (as Lowell probably intended) but serious putdowns, IMO.

Hmmm, maybe I'll pass on HON. The villain doesn't sound like my cup of tea. Thanks for the feedback.

sybil said...

Love Song for a Raven, I so want to say is a betaish Lowell hero ;)

ReneeW said...

Yes, LSFAR is one of my favorite of Lowell's. Hard to believe she wrote a very good beta hero.

sybil said...

oh good I remembered right. I was shocked while reading it but she did beta well.

ReneeW said...

It's a very short books too. I could stand a quick re-read. Off to see if I can find it in the keeper box. Thanks!

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