Earlier this year, I was in the throes of a full blown book slump. Nothing I picked up seemed interesting. I didn't read much as a result. I decided to go in search of new-to-me authors and hopefully pick up a few new favorites to add to my list. I posted about ordering a bazillion in my own blog, and was asked to report back. I never did. Until now.This is what I bought.
- Kinley MacGregor-Taming the Scotsman
- Kinley MacGregor-Born in Sin
- Kinley MacGregor-Claiming the Highlander
- Julia London-Highlander in Disguise
- Kasey Michaels-Be My Baby Tonight
- Emma Holly-Personal Assets
- Emma Holly-Strange Attractions
- Patricia Potter-Cold Target
- Gayle Callen-A Woman's Innocence
- Liz Carlyle-The Devil to Pay
- Liz Carlyle-Beauty Like the Night
- Liz Carlyle-The Devil You Know
- Liz Carlyle-A Woman of Virtue
- Susan Sizemore-I Hunger For You
- Patricia Grasso- Seducing the Prince
- ??-To (something) a Wolf
I also received courtesy of Alison Kent an ARC of her new release "Larger than Life," and from Jill Shalvis her new release "Seeing Red."
As I was making this list, I was surprised to see how many bombed out for me. I had thought I liked more of them. The sad truth is, most of them fell flatter than a pancake.
I LOVED Kinley MacGregor's historicals. It took me so long to try them because I was not so fond of her contemporary Dark Hunter series. I'll be buying more of her historicals. Great characters.
Julia London's "Highlander in Disguise." Ugh. Ok to be fair, it wasn't HORRID, but it was not great. Or even good. We'll call it fair to middlin' as my dad would say.
The Kasey Michaels book I bought because of a comment Allison left (at RTB I think) She mentioned it was a best friends theme, got married, heroine pregnant. I perked up. I like those themes. Oi! I'm going to bill Allison for this purchase. My reaction? WTF? Really, that's all I can say. I spent the entire book either arching a brow or crooking my lip in incredulity.
The two by Emma Holly. I bought these based on the buzz I'd heard over her books. Maybe I expected too much. Such as it is when books are hyped. They weren't terrible, but I didn't see the wonderful character development I've heard touted in so many places. In fact, I could have cared less about them as people. The author didn't make me care. It was ho hum for me.
Patricia Potter's book. I haven't read it yet. Can't make myself for some reason. Not sure why.
Gayle Callen's "A Woman's Innocence." Truly dreadful. For a full report, I'll merely direct you here since this is the book I was referring to when I talked about "the promise of a juicy premise."
Liz Carlyle. Well I've only read one of the four so far. I don't even remember which one it was. It wasn't terrible, but it wasn't that interesting. The heroine was beyond bizarre, and there was something, not sure what, that I did not like about the author's writing style. It felt heavy, a bit like trying to swim in a swimming pool full of syrup. Which is why I've been reluctant to read the other three.
Susan Sizemore's "I Hunger For You." Ok I lied the other day in my blog when I said I pretty much always finished a book I hated. At the time I was remarking that I had put down a book after about 15 pages and that it was a rarity. Ok it is a rarity, but I made it sound like a one time deal. I had forgotten that I had also done it with this book after the first chapter.
Patricia Grasso's "Seducing the Prince." Now if you want an over the top, utterly ridiculous read, this is the book for you. The heroine spent the entire book making absurd threats against other people. Her response every time someone pissed her off? I'll kill you. Seriously! Even when it becomes obvious that someone is killing off all the people she threatens, does that curb her tongue? Noooo, she keeps making absurd threats. At that point I would have had more respect for her if she HAD killed one of them. The first time was fine. By the umpteenth time she did it, it was theatrical and ridiculous.
This book reminded me of a contemporary soap opera stuffed into an historical backdrop. Nothing about the book told me it was an early 1800s set novel. And believe me, folks, if IM commenting on the lack of period feel then you can bet it's perfectly dreadful. I'm the most non anal, forgiving person when it comes to historical "feel." This book? Dreadful, just dreadful. I don't think I have enough adjectives. Oh and let's not forget the black moment. This was rather hysterical in its self. It was obvious there was no real dark moment so the author had to manufactor one on the fly. So we end up with the heroine being arrested and tried for the murders of all the people she had publicly threatened (yes, I told you she was a brilliant specimen) and we have the hero refusing to lie and give her an alibi. "I cannot tell a lie." Maybe he was a distant relative of George Washington? So the heroine gets pissed and we have the "Separation." Bah!
The last one is the one I was referring to in my blog the other day about not being able to get beyond the first 15 or so pages. I don't even remember the author and most of the title. It was "To..(something) a Wolf." I can't find the book now, probably because I tossed it across the room in disgust. It's probably collecting dust under the sofa. I'm glad it'll serve SOME purpose.
The two ARCs I received were fun, and both authors have an extensive backlist, so wading through it should be fun. Jill Shalvis wrote a really, really terrific hero in "Seeing Red." He was so very real. Female authors just don't get such an authentic male POV that often. And Jill nailed it. I wanted to sop her hero up with a biscuit *g* Her heroine I was less enthusiastic about. In the beginning I loved her more just because I felt she was so different from so many other heroines. And to give her credit, she IS different. Think role reversal, or gender reversal if you will. Actions, thoughts, etc usually written in heroes, Jill gives to her heroine, so that was refreshing. But by the end of the book, I just wanted to tell her to get over it already. Even the heroine couldn't figure out why she continued to hold back from the hero.
Alison Kent's "Larger Than Life" was a different read for me. I've been mulling this book over for a week now, so the fact that I'm still thinking about it is good. I think it was because she made me care more about the secondary characters than she did the main characters. I was more into their story than of Neva and Mick. But the best compliment I guess I can pay, is that if you want something different, something that isn't done over and over ad nauseum in the romance writing world, you should check this book out. I don't remember ever reading another romance like it.