Thursday, January 04, 2007

December reads

Here's the picture of the upside down BBQ grill after the windstorm.

Two very nice neighbors came over and helped set it upright again. What a mess it made too but it needed a good cleaning so Bob got that taken care of.

The 'December From Hell' (see previous post) turned out to be a pretty good reading month. I don't know how I managed to read all these books. I must be superwoman. Some of them were new, some old from my TBR and one was a loaner from a friend. This is going to be long, people, so fasten your seat belts.

Hard Evidence by Pamela Clare (B-)
I picked up this one because I loved the previous book, Extreme Exposure. It was another investigative reporting story this time involving the friend of the heroine from EE and was not quite as good but still enjoyable. Tessa witnesses a murder of a young girl. She is so traumatized by her experience that she writes a detailed eye witness account in the newspaper where she works as a reporter which puts her life in danger. She decides to find the girl's killer and in the course of her investigation meets Julian, an undercover FBI agent who has been working on the case which involves human trafficking. Tessa does some very unwise things (maybe even TSTL) and her life is in danger (of course) and Julian must protect her. Some of it was rather unrealistic but again Clare's writing makes up for it. Good suspense, hot sex, and fast action.

The Wicked Lover by Julia Ross (B-)
I think I started this one about 4 times in the past but never got past page 30. But I'm glad I persisted this time because it was pretty good. Ross' lush prose (ok, Cindy, I know that you'll be skipping this one) made this a smooth-flowing read but it was not her best. I was rather irritated with both the H/H at times. But it was worth picking up.

The Kept Woman by Susan Donovan (C-)
I usually love Donovan but this was not her best. In fact, I really dislike the 'let's pretend we're married so I can get elected' storylines. Blah! The hero and the book don't get my vote!

Kiss and Tell by Suzanne Brockmann (B)
I really think Brockmann should give up the Navy Seals books and go back to contemporaries because she does them so well. This one was again witty, light, funny, with great dialog, like the other old Loveswepts she wrote. It's a friends to lovers story and I really enjoyed it.

Vanquished by Hope Tarr (B-)
The story in this historical involved a photographer and a suffragette and blackmail and betrayal. Very well written but I really didn't get the reasoning behind the blackmail so I think there were problems with the storyline. But a very sexy read with believable characters.

The Unexpected Wife by Mary Burton (B+)
This one is a western historical that I got from Wendy who wrote a terrific review. I have never tried Burton before but I was very impressed. Must find something else by her.

Long Time Coming by Sandra Brown (B+)
This is an oldie (1989) and it shows a bit but I loved the hero who was an astronaut. The heroine was a bit too self sacrificing but it still worked for me. The plot had a twist on the old secret baby storyline. I usually hate those but this one didn't make me run screaming.

Crazy Sweet by Tara Janzen (B)
These 'Crazy' books are so fast paced and hot that I find myself liking them all. This one was not quite as good as some others but still enjoyable.

Be My Baby by Susan Andersen (B-)
BMB was set in New Orleans which was rather hard to read without thinking of Katrina. Hero is a policeman who has spent the last 10 years raising his three orphaned sisters and heroine is an uptight Boston blue blood whose family owns a chain of hotels. Scenario involves another heroine in danger - hero must protect her which is getting old. But it was fast, light, humorous, and hot. So it worked for me.

Lakeside Cottage by Susan Wiggs (B-)
LC is set in Lake Crescent, Wash. which I visited years ago. It is sort of fun to read a book set in a place I live near. Hero has saved the President's life from an attempted assassination and is hiding out from the press. Heroine is a single mom and a writer. My friend loaned this contemporary to me. It was pretty good but after finishing it I have decided I like her historicals better.

Barefoot in the Grass by Judith Arnold (B+)
If you're in the mood for a tearjerker this one fills the bill. While very serious at times it still had a light mood to it. It's about perseverance and acceptance. Heroine is a wonderful character so realistically drawn. I wanted to hate the hero at one point but his reaction in one scene was completely believable. I won't give away the plot because it might spoil it for you.

Eloquent Silence by Sandra Brown (C+)
This is another oldie by Brown but not quite as enjoyable as the one above. Hero is a complete asshole. He is a self centered actor and not inclined to share his reasonings or feelings with the heroine. I may have graded this one too high but I loved the heroine who is a teacher and hero's deaf daughter.

That's all for now. Have already finished 3 books in January. I must update my sidebar soon. It's way out of date.


Wendy said...

I'm beginning to think that I'm the only person who outright hated Hard Evidence. Yeah, Clare is a good writer but I could not get past the TSTL heroine.

I love Susan Wiggs - but her historical voice works better for me than her contemporary one.

Glad you liked the Burton! I tend to waffle on her a bit because even though I tend to love her heroines, her heroes come off as "pushy" to me. The Unexpected Wife has been my favorite read by her so far.

ames said...

Woah-that is a lot of reading! I've got a few of those books in my tbr too.

I also read an older Suzanne Brockmann, Hero Under Cover. I think I still prefer the SEALs. LOL

Kristie (J) said...

I loved Be My Baby by Susan Anderson. I think it's the first one of hers I read and I've loved her ever since. And I think I liked Hard Evidence more than you (and definitly more than Wendy *g*). Looovvveeed that shower scene.

ReneeW said...

Wendy: Yeah, HE had its bad moments. Loved Burton and I don't mind a slightly 'pushy' alphas heroes. I'm looking for more of hers.

Ames: Haven't tried Hero Under Cover. If you can find this Sunrise Keys series (The Kissing Game, Kiss and Tell and Otherwise Engaged) I think you will be pleasantly surprised. I think I'm just burned out on the Navy SEALs book. Just one long continuous series with characters I no longer care about.

Kristie: My favorite of Susan Andersen's is still Baby Don't Go. Oh, yeah forgot about that shower scene (which is shown on the cover) , yummy!

Rosario said...

"I really think Brockmann should give up the Navy Seals books and go back to contemporaries because she does them so well."

Hear, hear! :-D

Devonna said...

I'm jealous ~ I can't get into anything. I keep opening up books, but they're not holding my interest. You definitely got some good reading in.

ReneeW said...

Rosario: Whew, finally. I thought I was the only one. :)

Devonna: I go through periods like that. Just got lucky and picked the right books.

CindyS said...

The minute you said you tried 4 times to get into the book, it lost me - add lush and I'm running ;)

Brockmann needs to leave the SEALs behind but that ain't happening any time soon! I love her old Loveswepts.

I have Hope Tarr in the TBB pile somewhere.

Yep, you did yourself some reading ;)


CindyS said...

Okay, I thought the BBQ picture was in a different post - that must have been scary - I take it it's not hooked up to gas permenantly. That pretty much guarantees I won't hook mine up now - I was considering it but an explosion in a windstorm would not be fun.


ReneeW said...

Cindy: Actually the BBQ is hooked up to natural gas permanently but Bob installed a on/off valve over by the sliding glass door. He only turns it on when he wants to grill then turns it off again after. So no worries about an explosion :)

Yeah, I knew TWL would make you run away fast. I know you so well now :)

Dylan aka Rowena said...

Whoa dang, that's a lot of books you read in there, but I'm really intrigued to read the SB book since I love SB and the friends to lovers storylines, those are such great fun to read.

I have the Crazy series to read but it's just sitting on top of my dresser waiting for me to pick them up. Maybe I'll pick them up soon, you seem to enjoy them a lot as did others.

Wow, I haven't touched my blog in over 6 years and I'm still logged in!  Good thing because I have no idea what my password is.  In ...