Saturday, September 29, 2012

On The 'Flipside'

"So, Sherbs, what's up with all these Harlequin Flipsides?"

Yeah... about those short trashy romance novels... I really don't know how to defend myself. They've been around forever. Like, seriously, I think I started collecting them before I moved in with my ex-fiancee and that was way back in 2004-ish. They've been moved and rejected so many times, but I can't seem to completely let them go. I don't know what it is about them, but I was completely obsessed with gettting and reading all of them.

This year I decided "This is IT." I'm getting rid of these books once and for all. So I'm trying to read as many as possible by year end to ease my guilty conscience...

... and then maybe read the Hunger Games trilogy?? We'll see. I may get to that one this year yet.

Friday, September 28, 2012

Lothaire

Lothaire (Immortals After Dark #11)Lothaire by Kresley Cole
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I was really excited to get this book. I wanted to see what KC did with the biggest, baddest vampire around - and I am so glad that she didn't let me down. Great characters - a vampire whose mind has gone over the edge? brilliant! A redneck girl from the mountains? Genius! The storyline was there all the way through, even when things got messy and people/immortals started to fall in love, the plot stayed focused. The ending was a little too fairytale-ish, although I think Lothaire is still bad, he's not "pure evil".

Synopsis: ALL FEAR THE ENEMY OF OLD

Driven by his insatiable need for revenge, Lothaire, the Lore’s most ruthless vampire, plots to seize the Horde’s crown. But bloodlust and torture have left him on the brink of madness—until he finds Elizabeth Peirce, the key to his victory. He captures the unique young mortal, intending to offer up her very soul in exchange for power, yet Elizabeth soothes his tormented mind and awakens within him emotions Lothaire believed he could no longer experience.

A DEADLY FORCE DWELLS WITHIN HER

Growing up in desperate poverty, Ellie Peirce yearned for a better life, never imagining she’d be convicted of murder—or that an evil immortal would abduct her from death row. But Lothaire is no savior, as he himself plans to sacrifice Ellie in one month’s time. And yet the vampire seems to ache for her touch, showering her with wealth and sexual pleasure. In a bid to save her soul, Ellie surrenders her body to the wicked vampire, while vowing to protect her heart.

CENTURIES OF COLD INDIFFERENCE SHATTERED

Elizabeth tempts Lothaire beyond reason, as only his fated mate could. As the month draws to a close, he must choose between a millennia-old blood vendetta and his irresistible prisoner. Will Lothaire succumb to the miseries of his past . . . or risk everything for a future with her?



Recommended Reading:
Wicked Nights by Gena Showalter
Dreams of a Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole
Once Burned by Jeaniene Frost
Immortal Riders by Larissa Ione
Spirit Bound by Christine Feehan
Midnight Reckoning by Kendra Leigh Castle

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Pop-Up Dating

Pop-Up DatingPop-Up Dating by Natale Stenzel
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was so "not into" this book, I can't even say what the main characters names were. The story line just wasn't there. I didn't finish this book.

Synopsis: There's nothing trivial about the pursuit of passion. At least not when Cassie Smythe and her friend - who have OD'd on "serious relationships" - decide they're in for a good time, not a long time. Scoping out the terrain, they discover passion is not on tap in sports bars and that cyberromance is as exciting as a loose connection. And trolling? That nets nothing but trolls.

The only thing left is for Cassie to bite the bullet and introduce her friend to her own Mr. Maybe. The one she'd seen such a future with she never dared date him again. After all, she isn't ready to settle and he deserves a good relationship, right?

So why is she so reluctant to give up that number?

Note from Sherry: This is possibly the worst synopsis ever written. Totally not how this book played out (at least the 75% of it that I read) at all. What really happened was more like... main girl almost had a one nighter back in college with this guy. Fast forward 5 or 6 years, she runs into him again and decides to set him up with her broken hearted friend... all the while she wants the guy and the guy wants her and the friend knows all this.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Debutante

The Debutante: A NovelThe Debutante: A Novel by Kathleen Tessaro
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I call this the best book I've read this year?! This book was fun, interesting, detailed, historical... everything my inner nerd requires in a good book. I'm always slightly skeptical of books that deal with stories on two (or more) timelines. Flashback narratives annoy me - Which, my friends, is why I'm so happy to say this book... might have a few. A FEW. The past timeline of the story is played out through letters, just enough info to put the reader in "the know" while the characters in the contemporary timeline are still running around like headless chickens. I loved it! I even loved the little "mystery solved but nobody knew it" at the end. I thought the characters were great, quirky, sophisticated and oh so vulnerable. The story grabbed me from the start, although I did wonder if I had accidentally wandered into something 50 Shades of Gray - like. Fortunately, not. I felt the graphic language was applied where needed and was tastefully done. Loved loved loved this book! And now, I'm off to find another book by Kathleen Tessaro.

Synopsis: Can the secrets of one woman's past change another woman's future?

A gifted artist, Cate has come to London from New York to escape her recent past. Working for her aunt's auction house, she is sent down to Devon to value the contents of Endsleigh House, the once gracious but now crumbling estate of a former socialite. There, hidden in the back of a dusty bookshelf, Cate discovers an old shoebox. Inside is a strange assortment of objects: an exquisite pair of dancing shoes circa 1930; a diamond brooch; a photograph of a young sailor; a dance card; and a pearl and emerald Tiffanys bracelet.

Intrigued by her find, Cate sets out to solve the mystery of the box, becoming immersed in the story of its owner, Baby Blythe. Bright, beautiful, and reckless, Baby was the most famous debutante of her generation . . . and the most dangerous. As the clues begin to reveal a shocking tale of destructive, addictive love, Cate finds herself being drawn deeper into Baby's tragic life story--a story that will force Cate to face some dark truths about her own.



Recommended Reading:
Elegance by Kathleen Tessaro
The Recipe Club by Andrea Israel
The Love Goddess' Cooking School by Melissa Senate
The Overnight Socialite by Bridie Clark
Friday Mornings at Nine by Marilyn Brant
Take A Chance on Me by Jill Mansell

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I Will Survive

I Will SurviveI Will Survive by Samantha Connolly
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

As far as short romance stories go, this one was pretty good. The characters seemed well-rounded, although the plot seemed to center mostly on the heroine, I felt I never got to know the hero. Story line was something like Survivor but on a smaller scale. Secondary characters were a bit flat. Still a fun read.

Synposis: When mild-mannered librarian Jessie Banks ends up as a finalist on the hot reality TV show Survive This!, her whole world turns upside down. "Stranded" on a tropical island with Nick Garrett - a hunk of a host - and two other competitors, she's thousands of miles from home, with only her humor, her smarts and the contents of a clutch bag to help her win a million dollars.

Will she survive the scheming producer's ways, tricky challenges, secret cameras, the theatrics of the other contestants and Nick's charm and dirty good looks? Well, with her book knowledge, paractical skills and blossoming confidence, everyone else just might be surprised.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Dracula

DraculaDracula by Bram Stoker
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

I was sad that I didn't finish this book, but 2 months to get halfway through the book just seemed like a waste of my time. The story is told from multiple perspectives by way of journals and newspaper articles. The first perspective was that of Jonathan, and introduces us to Count Dracula. This was a quickly moving narrative, detailed and action filled. The next section is told from Mina's (Jonathan's affianced) and her friend Lucy's perspective. This was a slow moving section filled with monotonous details and not much information at all. I left the book just as Van Helsing and Dr. Seward joined the story. At this point the action does pick up quite a bit (a sexist hinting by the author perhaps?) but Van Helsing's monologues are long and often go no where. It was at this point that I gave up.

Synopsis: Count Dracula has inspired countless movies, books, and plays. But few, if any, have been fully faithful to Bram Stoker's original, best-selling novel of mystery and horror, love and death, sin and redemption. Dracula chronicles the vampire's journey from Transylvania to the nighttime streets of London. There, he searches for the blood of strong men and beautiful women while his enemies plot to rid the world of his frightful power.

Sunday, September 9, 2012

The Secret Year

The Secret YearThe Secret Year by Jennifer R. Hubbard
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I read this book in one day - partly because it wasn't a long book and partly because I had to see how it ended NOW. At times I thought the book might have been better written with adult characters - some of the situations and emotional responses were more adult-like than I think a teenager would be capable of (but I think that a lot about YA novels, so maybe it's just me). The story is well-written and the plot is more emotion driven than action driven. Julia's personality is strongly felt in memories and through her diary, which rounded out the characterization and the story development. Characters were nicely done. Overall a nicely written book.

Synopsis: Take Romeo and Juliet. Add The Outsiders. Mix thoroughly. Colt and Julia were secretly together for an entire year, and no one - not even Julia's boyfriend knew. They had nothing in common, with Julia in her country club world on Black Mountain and Colt from down on the flats, but it never mattered. Until Julia dies in a car accident, and Colt learns the price of secrecy. He can't mourn Julia openly, and he's tormented that he might have played a part in her death. When Julia's journal ends up in his hands, Colt relives their year together at the same time that he's desperately trying to forget her. But how do you get over someone who was never yours in the first place?


Recommended Reading:
Rosebush by Michele Jaffe
Try Not to Breathe by Jennifer R. Hubbard
Where It Began by Ann Reddisch Stampler
By the Time You Read This by Julie Ann Peters
Dead to You by Lisa McMann
The Catastrophic History of You and Me by Jess Rothenberg