I’ve read a bunch of books in the past week or so, some good, some not so much. The slump, I think she is over!
Dipped in Chocolate
by Renee Luke
I read this one last week? 10 days ago? The second story was okay, and third story was good but needed more space. I hated the first story: the heroine deserved to be bitch-slapped and the hero a boot in the ass. And the heroine’s fiance? No, she couldn’t just wise up, the author had to make him petty and foolish. Yeah, no, not a HEA I believed. The second and third stories both suffered from a major head slap moment from the heroine; in the third story, there was enough back story for the heroine’s TSTL moment to be understood. Not so much for the heroine in the second book. All in all, a C book. (I’m not sure it’s relevant, but I’ll mention, the first story was B/B, the second B/W I think, the third W/W.)
My Best Friend’s Girl by Dorothy Koomson
I picked this up after reading KarenS’s review. Loved this book — consumed it in one sitting, was up until 1am reading. It’s chick lit or women’s fiction, and the focus isn’t the romance, although there is one. Actually, there are two potential heroes. The heroine and both heroes are damaged human beings who are just trying to do the right thing. This book made me think long and hard about whether I could be that forgiving and open hearted, and truly, I’m not sure I could. A for this one.
Prairie Moon by Maggie Osbourne
I’ve read a couple of reviews of Osbourne’s I Do, I Do, I Do, but haven’t seen it on the library or bookstore shelves. But I found a used copy of Prairie Moon at the library. Road romance, Western, set in the post Civil War. I liked that the relationship development between the hero and heroine wasnt rushed. The BIg Secret *was* a serious, important one, not trumped up. One thing was a little freaky for me, making me think the heroine needed therapy (yeah, like that was available in 1874), but otherwise a very good book. B+ from me.
Pleasure Planet by Evangeline Anderson
I liked Anderson’s The Assignment, a M/M novella. I have not been impressed by the transition to print. This anthology? D+. Lots of sexual tension, but the plotting was clunky and the stories were straight out of a scifi B movie. The first story: time travel. And the heroine keeps going back to fix things to get her fiance to marry her, but keeps messing stuff up. But she’s fixated on him, despite the hunky scientist who created the time machine. Second story? More time travel, this time with clones who are mentally connected to the original DNA-owner. Convoluted plot and abbreviated world building. Meh. The third story had the most promise, I thought, being a sort of neo-Regency. It needed more page space though, and suffered from some cliches that perhaps could’ve been avoided in a longer format.
Claiming the Courtesan by Anna Campbell
Well, this book has been the subject of lots of discussion in blogland. It was sitting on the display rack at the self check out stand at the library, so I checked it out. I’m not going to address The Scene for a variety of reasons, not least of which is that it has been discussed to death. To say that I hated this book would be an exaggeration, since I don’t feel that passionate about it. But I was disappointed by it; not because of The Scene, but because of the characters, the clunkly pacing, the unbelievable HEA. The hero was a selfish, psychotic, abusive dick. In the 21st century, his behavior is called stalking and would result in a restraining order. I didn’t believe his poor abused me excuses or his redemption; too little, too late. The heroine? In serious need of therapy. And her thought on p. 250 about how she shouldn’t’ve run away? ::head to desk:: The scooby doo ending? Blech. The idea that the lack of heir and social issues wouldn’t matter? Y’know, I don’t expect a huge amount of realism in historical romances, but this? A duke saying that having an heir doesn’t matter? Social standing doesn’t matter? I call bullshit! on that. C-/D+ from me.
I’m reading The Great Snape Debate now; tried the anti-Snape half first. Lot of assumptions based on stuff that is NOT written in the books. Maybe it came from JKR? I don’t know, but I’m disappointed. Maybe the pro-Snape half will be better.