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Monday, October 03, 2005

May 2005 Books

Yeah, I know it's October. It's my blog, and I'll post the books I read in May if I feel like it.
  1. **** The Winter Duke_ by Louise Bergin. Nice Regency, with mistaken identities. The h/h meet and become friends without knowing their real identities. Turns out he's a duke & she's a notorious title-hunter. Totally avoids that cliche of the unforgiving characters.
  2. **** Summer in Eclipse Bay_ by Jayne Ann Krentz. I read one of the books in this trilogy a LONG time ago for the Berkley/Jove board--probably the last one... and got the other 2 from half.com. This had been sitting in my TBR pile for a LONG time. I vaguely remembered some of the characters, & it was a pleasant contemporary--nothing particularly outstanding, but a nice read.
  3. **** It's a Mod, Mod, Mod, Mod Murder_ by Rosemary Martin. The only thing that kept this mystery from being 5 stars is that it was a little too self-conscious about sticking in 60s details, particularly brand names. But it's VERY cute, and very reminiscent of the times. I described it as That Thing You Do_ with murder mixed in. I think it'll be a fun series.
  4. ***** Things My Girlfriend and I Have Argued About _by Mil Millington. Annie already talked about this one, so I don't need to repeat it, right? I might have found it a teensy bit more amusing, because some of those cultural things were just so TRUE. LOL I'm buying this for my brother-in-law for his birthday. He's American, his wife is German.
  5. **** Murder, She Wrote: The Maine Mutiny_ by Jessica Fletcher & Donald Bain. I know. Nobody's more surprised than I was when I gave a Murder, She Wrote book FOUR stars. Normally, they get 2. Maybe 3 if I'm feeling generous. I think this one grabbed me because it started out with Jessica in trouble, and there was an actual REASON for her to be involved, rather than her just sticking her nose in, and no unbelievable bits about experienced cops deferring to a freakin' mystery writer.
  6. ***** Myth-Nomers and Im-Pervections_ by Robert Asprin. Huh. I gave this one 5 stars, so I must have LOVED it, but all I wrote was (man) searching for friend, w/Djin, cabbie, & street vendor. HUH??? Going to go find the book. brb. Okay, I'm back. Even ran past Amazon to see if that rang any bells, and every one of the reviews referenced previous books in the series. *sigh* Anyway, I do remember it was hilarious--dry wit, hence the 5 stars.
  7. ***½ Notes from the Underbelly_ by Risa Green. A college counselor at a snooty private school gets pregnant. She's married, her husband wants kids, she sees the worst of them in her work & doesn't, but then her best friend gets pregnant, so she thinks what the heck. Nice story for anyone who (like me!) didn't think pregnancy was the most wonderful thing in the world. Funny & real.
  8. **½ The Djinn in the Nightingale's Eye_ by A. S. Byatt. Blech. Literary fairy tales. 4 short stories and one long one. A couple of the short ones were nearly unintelligible. I'm sorry, but garbled syntax is NOT a sign of intelligence. And the final story was a really standard genie in the bottle story. Seemed really self-consciously "literary." Bah.
  9. ***** Reunion in Death_ by J. D. Robb. 'nuff said.
  10. ***½ Dawnfire_ by Lynn Erickson. OLD book of theirs. Vikings. I already chatted about it elsewhere.
  11. ** Walking with Her Daughter_ by Jessica Barksdale Inclan. A woman's daughter dies, she sleeps with her ex-husband & gets pregnant by him while she's keeping a younger man waiting for her. Gak. Ick. I hate tragedies anyway, plus this woman was a total bitch to the men in her life--treated them like objects. The only reason this gets 2 stars instead of 1 is that the author has a good way with making very realistic characters. She's currently writing a paranormal romance trilogy. I can't even imagine.
  12. ***½ Scandalized!_ by Lori Foster. I just needed a quick pick-me-up after the previous book, which netted this one an extra half-star. I'm not a Foster fan--this one's been in my TBR pile forever. Quick synop: Hero wants a baby, but no wife. Heroine thinks she's infertile, but wants sex with the hero. Blah, blah, connect the dots. But it did the trick.
  13. **** Celia's Grand Passion_ by Lynn Kerstan. Reissue. You know, she's got cliches here: the virgin widow, and the cuckolded widower, but she's such a good writer, I just don't care. Really must look for the rest of her books.
  14. *****+ Dead Beat_ by Jim Butcher. Well, except for him ignoring my advice (Die Lied Der Erlking?? ::wince::), it's absolutely fabulous. But just wait until the next one... OMG.
  15. **** Lucy in Disguise_ by Lynn Kerstan. The other half of that reissue, & sequel to it. This one's more of an adventure, with smugglers and evil uncles. Fun stuff.
  16. **** Murder at Five Finger Light_ by Sue Henry. I thought of Carla when I read this one--it's kind of And Then There Were None_ on a lighthouse island.
  17. ***** Velvet Glove_ by Emma Holly. Her trademark combination of emotion & steam.
  18. ****½ River of Fire_ by Mary Jo Putney. Probably knocked this one down a half star because it's a historical. I'm pickier about historicals because I'm not a big fan of historicals. The heroine's an artist, the hero's a war hero & frustrated artist, & he's been hired by her uncle to prove her father killed her mother.
  19. **** Kat's Cradle_ by Karen Kijewski. Kind of convoluted mystery about a maybe-orphan, inheritance, twin sisters, & murder.
  20. ** Blithe Images _by Nora Roberts. I already complained about this one elsewhere.
  21. ***½ Legacy_ by James Michener. Kind of short family saga showing members of a family from the Revolution through Iran-Contra.
  22. *** Seducing Mr. Heywood_ by Jo Manning. A notorious 3-time widow decides on the local vicar as her next lover--he'd rather have her for a wife.
  23. **** Taming a Seahorse_ by Robert B. Parker. This is my first Spencer book, so I didn't quite "get" all the characters, which I gathered had been introduced in previous books, particularly the prostitute whose disappearance started the whole story. Still, I picked up enough to enjoy it 4-stars worth.
  24. ****½ If Angels Burn_ by Lynn Viehl. Really dark, gritty vampire book. Would have been 5 stars, except the romance part was a little sketchy. I'll be reading her next one.
  25. *** Legal Tender_ by Lisa Scottoline. Great buildup, then.... nothing. ARGH. Which is my experience with Scottline's books. It's like lots of foreplay, no orgasm. Think there's still one more of hers in my TBR pile. It may stay there a while.
  26. *** How to Be Famous_ by Alison Bond. Three very different women end up in Hollywood, their paths crossing: a teenager DETERMINED to be famous, a young British woman working for a talent agency, & a British stage actress who's gotten her big break. Very realistic, but a warning: no HEA for any of them.
  27. **** Intimate Strangers_ by Rebecca York. A man framed for his wife's murder returns to his hometown after plastic surgery to find out whodunit. I'm slowly picking up her backlist, but since she just celebrated her 100th book, this might take a while.
  28. **** Goddess of Light_ by P. C. Cast. The hero is a god. Really: Apollo. Much fun. Also has the secondary romance I mentioned before, between Artemis & the fat s.f. author.
  29. ***½ A Matter of Time_ by Terri Brisbin. This is a sequel, & unfortunately I hadn't read the first one. I hate when that happens. A male surgeon from the present time-travels to the past & meets a female healer. Lots of angst because he thinks he has to go back.
  30. ***** Purity in Death_ by J. D. Robb.
  31. *** Across a Wine-Dark Sea_ by Jessica Bryan. It's got Amazons, Athenians, & Atlanteans. Hero's Man From Atlantis (anyone remember that show?), & knows that the heroine, an Amazon, is his soul mate, so he kidnaps her. Also includes plot threads about Hercules & co. It just seemed like she tried to stuff too much into the book.
  32. ****½ Before I Wake_ by Anne Frasier. REALLY intense suspense. Brainwashing, mind-wiping, secret projects, murder, and I couldn't be sure of anyone. Excellent story.
  33. ***½ The Best Man_ by Carole Nelson Douglas. OLD contemp from the 2nd chance at love line. The heroine marries a politician who ends up being bisexual, & falls in love with his best man/campaign manager. Nice characterization, but really short, & really dated.
  34. *** Louisa and the Country Bachelor_ by Anna Maclean. Louisa May Alcott as an amateur sleuth. I'm not a big fan of amateur sleuths to begin with, & this series just seems too contrived.
  35. *** SS-GB_ by Len Deighton. Murder mystery set in post-WWII England, if Germany won WWII.
  36. ****½ Just Murdered_ by Elaine Viets. Dead-End Jobs Mystery. Helen's working in a bridal shop. Nice twists.
  37. *** Dancing in the Dark_ by Lynn Erickson. Another of their oldies, with the hero a mercenary hired to rescue the heroine's kidnapped son from her ex-husband on a Greek island.
  38. ***** Master of the Moon_ by Angela Knight. KarenL already raved about this one.
  39. ***** Starship Troopers_ by Robert A. Heinlein. Much better than the movie. Loved the military stuff, which was most of the story.
  40. ***** Sanctuary_ by Nora Roberts. Again, much better than the movie. ::snicker::
  41. ****½ Once a Princess_ by Johanna Lindsey. I don't think this was one of the covers featured on SmartBitches, but it should have been--OMG. The HERO even wore eyeshadow on this one. But despite the horrendous cover (at least it was a step-back & not the front cover), I couldn't seem to put this one down. A princess hidden at birth ends up being raised in a tavern in America, & the new king goes to bring her back & marry her. I have no idea what made it work so well, but I just did not want to put this book down. Wonder if I have more of hers in the TBR pile?
  42. *** The Marriage List_ by Dorothy McFalls. A first book, & it kinda shows, but it's a cute story, with a hero torn between what he thinks would the perfect bride and what his heart tells him. I've seen this done better, but it's a first book.
  43. **** Darkfall_ by Dean Koontz. Oldie about a bocor (black magic voodoo priest) who sets loose creatures on a crime family... and on the family of a cop who's getting too close. Even has a little romance in it.

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