May’s reading…and more of the Great Book Purge

Books that did not make the cut as part of The Great Book Purge:

  • Night Fall by Anne Stuart.  I give up:  romantic suspense readers really seem to like Stuart’s heroes, but I just don’t.  And the blatant manipulation of the heroine by her family and her utter doormat response to it in the first 50 pages made me see red.
  • The Lighthorseman by Marjorie Jones.  Australian-set historical, post WWI.  Intriguing opening was killed by heroine who, having never met the hero, moves around the world to stalk him inherit half of his station (ranch).  In the first scene she shares with the hero, she thinks to herself that she’s the woman who loves him and thus deserves better from him…after having spent less than 1 hour in his presence.  Uh, no, that’s creepy.
  • Basket Case by Carl Hiaasen.  Mystery.  Too slow to get moving and trying too hard to be quirky or funny or off-beat.  Next?
  • Beauvallet by Georgette Heyer.  Not even pirates and Spain could get me past Heyer’s writing and characters.


Books I read last month:

1.  Finding Laura by Kay Hooper.  Re-read.  Ran across this one in The Purge, was reminded how much I liked Hooper way back when.  It’s a little dated now (published in the late 90s) but the story still works. (A-)

2.  T is for Trespass by Sue Grafton.  Mystery.  Did not care for the POV shifts and the plot development was glacially slow.  (C)

3.  Sacred by Dennis Lehane.  Mystery.  So very good. (A)

4.  Undeclared by Jen Frederick.  New Adult.  This book needed editing:  copyediting and someone to rein in the author, improve the voice and style, and close up the gaping plot holes.  Making the MCs sympathetic and into something other than thoughtless twits would have been good, too. (F for utter failure.)

5.  Death in Hyde Park by Robin Paige.  Edwardian mystery.  So slow.  So bored.  (C-)

6.  Her Hesitant Heart by Carla Kelly.  American Western.  Well-written and well-paced; if I hadn’t read nearly all of Kelly’s backlist, I would have liked this book a little more:  it felt a little derivative of Here’s to the Ladies and some of her earlier work.  Still would recommend it though.  (B)

7.  Screwing the System by Josephine Miles.  M/m BDSM.  Fairytale-ish.  Ambivalent about one MC — he’s engaging in welfare fraud, which I don’t find sympathetic for any reason, not even his music.

8.  V is for Vengeance by Sue Grafton.  After 100+ pages, the different timelines and pieces had not begun to gel, so I set it aside.  Even former auto-read authors have only a limited number of pages to keep me interested. (DNF)

9. The Reluctant Wag by Mary Costello.  Australian-set category from Net Galley.  Meh as noted in my post last week. (C-/D+)

10.  Where the Light Falls by Katherine Keenum.  General fiction with romantic element.  An American art student studies in Belle Epoque Paris.  Not sure what to think of this book.  I liked the writing because it set the stage and made me see Paris and Brittany without overwhelming the story.  Yet I felt disappointed by the ending, which seemed to negate or dismiss so much of what had come before. (B-/C+)


The Aussie-set category with its AFL player hero made me circle back to Sean Kennedy’s books.  I may actually manage to cobble together a review of Tigerland (a year late).



Filed under Book related

8 responses to “May’s reading…and more of the Great Book Purge

  1. I am so happy you enjoyed the Dennis Lehane book! As for Anne Stuart book, be happy that you didn’t make it far into the book to where the hero actually punches the heroine in the face just to keep her from following him (if memory serves). I remember being shocked by that but still, I enjoyed it then but probably couldn’t read it today. Don’t judge me too hard. I’m interested in your review of Tigerland.

    • I’ve got Gone Baby Gone TBR at some point, and caught part of it on TV last night. Impressed again with the Affleck brothers as actor and director, but I’m sure they had a good basis to start with in the book.

      Tigerland is better written than Tigers & Devils, I think, and I enjoy it, but I still think I like T&D better.

  2. Aww, I liked 3 of the 4 that didn’t make the cut! I love Nightfall (as Keishon says, don’t judge me!). It’s one of my favorite Stuarts, even though I totally understand the critics. And I’ve liked all of the Hiaasen mysteries I’ve read, although I space them out or they get to be too much. And Beauvallet is dated and improbable and not one of her best, but I still have a soft spot for it. You can tell it’s an early one, though.

    Looking forward to your Tigerland review!

    • I tried one of Stuarts later books, one with a spy or assassin hero (I think?) that everyone loved but he just left me cold. It’s probably just that her standard hero construction does not suit my reading tastes.

      Hiaasen and Beauvallet might have appealed to me at some other point but my “discard” button is easily pushed lately. So many books, so little time, so little shelf space.

      My Tigerland review has been in draft form since about a month after the book was released. It’s kind of embarrassing that it has taken me so long to circle back to it. And I’m afraid my review will boil down to “I ❤ Simon and his snark and his heart. Declan isn't awful either. And now I want to watch footy, eat lamingtons, and visit Melbourne."

  3. Hiaasen is oft recommended to me and I think I’ve read 2.5 of his books. For some reason we just don’t get along. I’ve given up.

    Started the Curse of Chalion yesterday. Enjoying it so far. Thanks for the tip.

    Still really enjoying the purge posts. 🙂

    • I’m glad you’re enjoying TCoC so far. I’ve never reviewed it but I’ve pimped it to many people, and even given away four or five paper copies. It’s another book that has stuck with me to the point of being on my top 10 best ever.

      I kind of wish Bujold would write more in that world but then I wonder if anything else would be as good as TCoC and Paladin of Souls. And The Hallowed Hunt which I liked but not as much as TCoC and PoS.

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