Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Some good books from 2007 - Part 2

More books from 2007 that I have enjoyed.

Claiming The Courtesan by Anna Campbell
This book was one of the most controversial books of the year. It seemed that people either loved it or hated it. Justin, Duke of Kylemore, is a spoiled selfish powerful man with a heap of emotional baggage. He is absolutely obsessed with his mistress Soraya and wants to make her his duchess. But Soraya is really Verity Ashton and wants to leave the life of a courtesan for a more respectable life in the country. When she disappears from London, Justin is furious and tracks her down and kidnaps her. He treats her cruelly and the forced seduction scenes were painful to read and normally I would have cringed thrown the book at the wall. But I was absolutely enthralled and couldn't put it down. These were two damaged souls and I love a good redemption story. The forced seduction was really more emotionally violent rather than physically violent. This was Campbell's debut book and she took quite a risk with this storyline but I will definitely be reading her next one, Untouched, due out in December.

My grade: B+

The Leopard Prince by Elizabeth Hoyt
I picked this one up because I loved The Raven Prince and I'm glad I did. Lady Georgina Maitland is a wealthy woman. She inherited a fortune and a large amount of land from an aunt and now she needs someone to manage her property. She hires Harry Pye as her land steward. As Harry and Georgina work together their attraction develops and results in some very steamy love scenes. I love stories where there is a big difference in social standing and this one was handled realistically. When Harry is accused of poisoning a neighbor's sheep, Georgina immediately believes in Harry's innocence. Both characters were very likable and were realistically portrayed.

My grade: B+

Ice Blue by Anne Stuart
Here is another excellent example of the cold dark anti-hero who spends a great deal of time wavering between the desire to assassinate or make love to the heroine. Summer Hawthorne is the daughter of a wealthy woman involved in a Japanese religious cult run by a disturbed fanatic, Shirosama, who is planning a catastrophic killing of millions of people with biological weapons. Summer was given a priceless Japanese bowl by her nanny and her mother has promised the bowl to the Shirosama (for some ritualistic reasons I didn't quite understand) but Summer refuses to let him have it. Takashi O'Brien is a member of the Committee, a top secret anti-terrorist organization. Taka is assigned the task of acquiring the bowl and assassinating Summer to assure her silence. But he ends up saving her from Shirosama's followers and a complex thrilling roller coaster adventure begins. Taka belongs to the Yakuza (Japanese mafia) and is half Japanese, half American and walked that fine line between hero and villain. Summer was one of Stuart's stronger heroines.

My grade: B

Reading now: Just finished Simply Irresistible by Rachel Gibson and loved it. This is Gibson's debut novel and I don't think her later books have this kind of depth. I just started Hard Lovin' Man by Lorraine Heath on KristieJ's rec. Very good so far.


sula said...

Interesting...I have read two out of three of these. After following all of the back and forth on CtC over at AAR, I held off reading it and still haven't. If my library picks it up, I will probably borrow it but I don't see myself forking over $$. That said, the author's next book looks quite intriguing from the excerpt I read, so I may be getting that one.

Leopard Prince was a favorite of mine. Or I should say, Harry was a favorite. George...I liked the IDEA of her character, but she started to get very annoying about 1/2 through and then she pulled some seriously TSTL crap out and I almost threw the book against the wall. Only finished it because I was so in love with Harry.

As for Ice Blue, I reviewed it over at my blog a while back. Like I said there, I think I may just not be cut out for romantic-suspense. lol. I really really wanted to like the book because I was so excited to get a non-Caucasian hero, but yeah, it really did nothing for me. :( Great cover art though!

Kristie (J) said...

Have you read The Serpent Prince yet? It's my favourite of the 3 - although I adored them all!
And I'm glad you're enjoying Hard Lovin Man. I reread it again just recently and loved it just as much this time around.
And I have Claiming the Courtesan but haven't read it yet.

And why do they have to make the word verification so twisty? This is my fourth attempt!
Fifth attempt

ReneeW said...

Sula: I had the same thought about CtC and mine was a library copy too. If you hate the idea of forced seduction then you won't like it so be warned :) Hmmm, I wasn't bothered by Georgina but Harry was very yummy. Ice Blue was not my favorite of this series, I liked Black Ice better but I really want the next one badly. Supposed to be out today and I didn't have time to get to the bookstore. grrrr

Kristie: Yes, I have read and LOVED TSP. It's in my top 100. I was going to write a separate review of it if I get time. Still enjoying HLM. Don't you just hate word verification?

Alie said...

I agree with you about Ice Blue. Stuart can't surpass the excellence that was Black Ice, for me at least. I'm about to start Ice Storm and I'm hoping I like it just as much.

Giselle said...

I read and enjoyed two out of three. The Campbell book sounds tres interesting. I don't mind forced seductions as long as the hero grovels a bit. I also like to give props to authors who take chances. Anyhoo, if you loved Ice Blue I think you're going to heart Ice Storm. It was a keeper for me.

ReneeW said...

Alie: I just bought Ice Storm today at Borders. It feels good to have it in my hot little hand finally.

Giselle: Yes, there is groveling involved. I agree with you about authors taking chances. I consider myself openminded most of the time and I like to try something new if it sounds intriguing. I've heard lots of good things about Ice Storm so I hope to start it soon.

Chantal said...

I hated CTC. I can't believe so many reader consider it forcd seduction. I read a lot of historicals that have forced seduction, and CTC crossed the line big time. It's rape through and through.
The book is disgusting, I gave it a D.

I have heard many good things about the Elizabeth Hoyt books. I need to read them.

ReneeW said...

Chantal: Yep, sounds like you are on the 'hate' side of the debate. The whole time I was reading it I felt like I "should" hate it too but I didn't. Yes, the Hoyt books are very good with Serpent Prince being my favorite. This is also a controversial book because the hero does not act 'heroic'. He is out for vengeance for his brother's murder and I think he goes too far and his actions made me uncomfortable. Definitely a anti-hero. I hope you read it and I'd love to hear your reactions to it.

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