February in books

All Lessons Learned by Charlie Cochrane.  Post WWI mystery and romance of the Cambridge Fellows, Jonty and Orlando.  A while back, I wondered on Twitter about Jonty and Orlando and their HEA, since WWI was rapidly approaching.  At the time, Cochrane mentioned that she had ideas about how they managed (or didn’t) through the war.  I can’t really review this book without including major spoilers, but I think it was a pretty suitable ending for the series.  (I’m assuming it’s the end, at least, unless Cochrane is going to go back and fill in a bit more of their pre-War days.)

Evil at Heart by Chelsea Cain.  Mystery/suspense.  Twisty.  And gripping.  This series seems to be getting progressively gorier, and the mind fuck of Gretchen Lowell continues to disturb.  A fourth book dropped today. I’ve read a couple of reviews that say it’s not as gory as the last couple, and that Gretchen is less of a focus. While the gore was kind of overwhelming in the last book, I’m a little sorry that there will be less of Gretchen. She’s twisted in a way that women often aren’t in fiction, especially when they are villains. She’s bugfuck crazy, but she owns the crazy and isn’t a victim.

Borrowed Light by Carla Kelly.  Western historical inspirational novel, LDS.  Beautiful cover. A lot of religion without being proselytizing. Not thrilled with the ending, which seemed a little patronizing on his part. Would’ve liked to see the end of Otto’s story in terms of his family.

The Perfect Play by Jaci Burton. Contemporary, sports themed. Wrote about it here.

Nowhere Ranch by Heidi Cullinan. BDSM, gay romance. First person POV narration, a lot of infodumping. Pretty good BDSM until the last third of the book, when both guys grew vaginas and changed characters completely.

Heat Wave by Richard Castle. Mystery, book linked to the ABC television series Castle. As a tie-in, I enjoyed it, even though the protagonist is a giant Mary Sue. If I’d read it independently, without ever seeing the show, I probably would not have been impressed.

Breaker’s Passion by Julie Cannon. Lesbian romance. Set in Hawaii, one of the heroines is a surfer, which is what caught my eye. Holiday romance! Clash of culture/economic status! Not so much really. The bare bones of the story was good, but it wasn’t sufficiently fleshed out. The Big Conflict was sort of…dumb, and the HEA too sudden to be believable.

The Disgraced Princess by Robyn Donald.  Category.  Over the top, as usual.

Treachery in Death by JD Robb. Romantic suspense. Much, much better than the last In Death book. This one is heavier on the police procedural aspect, and uses Peabody’s role as partner and continuing training as a key to the plot. Also team leadership and management is consciously thought of by Dallas in a way that hasn’t really been articulated on the page in earlier books.

Stroke to His Cox by JL Merrow. Gay romance, short story. First person POV, quick story narrated by David Tanaka, the coxswain of a rowing team at Cambridge. He’s a midget in comparison to his crew, but he is utterly IN CHARGE. And he’s got a huge crush on his rowing team’s leader. I know almost nothing about rowing, but there’s enough detail to set up the competition and sketch in the team’s dynamic. And David is a great narrator: he’s totally secure in himself and what he’s doing. Enjoyed this story a lot and wished for more when it was finished.

Still not finished with Ruth Downie’s Medicus.  I set it aside while I was under the weather and it shuffled from the top of my Kindle.  Should bump it back up.

Went into B&N today with a gift card that I planned on using to buy Patricia Briggs’ River Marked.  Not out on shelves, no display.  So I checked with the store manager.  

Her:  Oh, it’s not due out until March 1st.  Oh, today is March 1st.  Never mind.  No, we don’t have it yet.  But we can order it for you, it’ll take a week to ten days.
Me: Thanks but no, I’ll just buy a copy elsewhere.  

If it was an older book or a smaller name author, I could understand.  But it is Tuesday!  Release day!  Briggs has made the NYT list.  Why isn’t the book at least in your stock room?

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8 Comments

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8 responses to “February in books

  1. “She’s bugfuck crazy, but she owns the crazy and isn’t a victim.”
    Definitely caught my attention. Is this the author who killed off a big deal character?
    “until the last third of the book, when both guys grew vaginas and changed characters completely.”
    Thanks for the belly laugh!
    CindyS

    • No, that’s…I’m blanking on the name. An author Jane L and Karen Scott used to love. Tess Gerritsen, maybe?
      In Cain’s series, the main character is Detective Archie Sheridan, and his nemesis is Gretchen Lowell, a serial killer who nearly killed him and who enjoys toying with him. They have an obsessive hate/love dynamic.

      • Karen Slaughter? Someone like that? Not Gerritsen.
        Loved your review of NOWHERE RANCH. Sorry you didn’t like it.
        I loved the Merrow too. That’s usually the response I have to her stories. Want MOAR!!!

      • That’s it! Karen Slaughter!
        I liked Nowhere Ranch well enough until the last third of the book or so. Infodumping is a hazard of first person POV, I think. And it was necessary for the narrator’s history.
        Checking out more of Merrow’s backlist is a vague plan. Perhaps more likely to happen if agency pricing and publisher idiocy keeps spreading. DNW.

  2. I bought the Kelly but haven’t read it yet – thanks for alerting me to it!
    Read the first Charlie Cochrane mystery and might read more – does it go into WWI at all, or just skip over it?
    I sampled that first Chelsea Cain based on a rec from Wendy Super Librarian. Second rec means I should buy it.

    • I think I gave my copy of the first Cain book to my sister, otherwise I would offer to share it. But I’d be happy to send you my copies of the second and third books, if you’d like them.
      This book picks up after WWI is over, on Nov 12, but there are bits and pieces of battles and other scenes described. The mystery is about whether a young man died in the war or deserted and never came home afterward.

      • The Cain worked very nicely as reading-on-the-elliptical yesterday, though the Kindle version has a few tiny format wonkiness things.

  3. Anonymous

    I think I’m going to read them on my Kindle, since they’re so good for while I’m on the elliptical. But thanks!

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