Been There, Read That… the Jan. ’09 Edition

So, I’ve mentioned before that I’m not exactly a “book blogger.” I’ve recently discovered the existence of book blogs, and my Google Reader is rapidly filling up with lots of them! However, I’m very intimidated to join the ranks of book bloggers and even attempt to write a book review of my own… I just don’t feel “qualified” (even though I know that’s kinda ridiculous) and I’m afraid I’ll commit a horrible faux pas of some type if I try.

But, I have started keeping track of the books I’m reading/have read (just click on the nifty “Books” page at the top of my blog to access my book lists). And, I’m not usually one to keep quiet about anything, so I would like to share a few thoughts about the books I’ve read recently. So, I thought that a “monthly round-up” of sorts might work for me.

I read seven books in January (you can find them all listed here).

Highlander Untamed (by Monica McCarty) was not only a historical, but also full of Highlanders (yummy). I’ve yet to meet a Highlander that I didn’t love, and Rory McLeod was certainly no exception! In some ways, this book followed the “formula” that so many historical romances seem to, yet it was a little different for me. I loved that Rory and Isabel were brought together and even married so early in the book… yet, they both fought their burning desire (but of course) for each other for 300+ pages. There was a lot of back and forth and mixed signals… and it was all delicious! I also loved that Isabel had her own agenda; I thought she was a pretty strong female character. My favorite scene was when Isabel showed up for dinner (with the entire clan) half naked, to tempt poor Rory, and he literally dragged her off and forced her to cover herself (not before half seducing her in the process). Isabel had guts and I liked that about her. So, the next book in this little series, Highlander Unmasked, is currently in my TBR pile… I can’t wait to get to that one!

I also read two books by Elizabeth Hoyt: The Leopard Prince and The Serpent Prince. I read the first of this “Prince” series a couple of years ago, when my friend Angie sent me The Raven Prince. I really, really like the Prince books. They’re historical, yet the characters seem more “modern” to me… they’re a little stuffy without being too stuffy (does that make a bit of sense? See, this is why I don’t review books, lol). The men in the Prince books are charming and proper, but they all have a dark side (which is what makes them even more appealing, no?). Yet, the ladies who fall in love with them are able to see beyond their darkness and love them anyway… and I think that’s why I love these books so much. I like the “nobody is perfect, but they’re still good guys we can’t help but love” theme. Maybe I can relate to that one on a personal level. At any rate, I’m anxious to read more by Ms. Hoyt.

Visions of Heat is the second in Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. I read the first, Slave to Sensation, again because my friend Angie gave it to me a couple of years ago. I remember being less than thrilled with the first one. Probably because it was my first experience with that type of book… with the changelings and these futuristic, robotic Psy people… I had a hard time keeping up with their “worlds” and how they were connected, etc. But I’m so glad that I gave the series another chance. I thoroughly enjoyed Visions of Heat. Maybe because, at this point, I’ve had more experience reading paranormals and it doesn’t seem as foreign to me anymore. I’m still not sure my little brain really “gets” the whole Psy thing; they’re a very complicated race of people! And it had been quite some time since I’d read Slave to Sensation, so I had forgotten a lot about the Psy. But I loved the relationship between Faith and Vaughn, and it’s hard not to love a  jaguar-man. I’d like one of my own, thanks! The third in this series, Caressed by Ice, is currently on my TBR pile, and I’m anxious to get to that one, too. I have no doubt that I’ll add the rest of the series at some point.

Veil of Midnight by Lara Adrian is the fifth in the Midnight Breed series. I had this one on pre-order and devoured it the second it arrived on my doorstep from Amazon. I can’t say enough about how much I’ve enjoyed this series. When I read the first one, I was amazed how similar it is to JR Ward’s Black Dagger Brotherhood series (my all-time favorite). Really, they’re VERY similar. But as much as I love my vampires and Ward’s series, there was no way I wasn’t going to love the Breed guys! I wish Lara would write faster… I need more! If you’re a BDB fan (Trish!), you have to read this series… that’s an order.

Next is Black Magic Woman by Justin Gustainis. I was very anxious to read this book. There’s been so much good written on the book blogs lately about his second release (Evil Ways), and I knew I had to try them. I didn’t love Black Magic Woman. I keep thinking something must be wrong with me because I’ve yet to find a review that wasn’t glowing about this book, this author, this series. But I didn’t love it. I didn’t hate it; it was an enjoyable enough read. But I didn’t really like either of the main characters, Libby or Quincy. I just felt like their characters weren’t all that developed; I wanted more about them (and more of a relationship between them) and a lot less hocus pocus. Maybe I’m not a fan of magic; maybe that’s it… I think the magic stuff is just way too “convenient” for me. Gimme some fangs or claws and a good fight any day over magic powders that immediately dispel the bad guys. Will I read Evil Ways? Maybe… but I’m not rushing out to the store to get my hands on a copy.

And, last but not least, Nick and Norah’s Infinite Playlist (by Rachel Cohn and David Levithan). Again, sooo much good has been said about this book. It’s a Young Adult book, which is a little different for me… and is just about two humans, no fangs, fur, blood, or anything like that. I just read this book last night… didn’t even have time to add it to my TBR list or my Currently Reading page. I’m still not 100% sure how I felt about it. I think I liked the book… but it was so different from everything I’ve read in the past couple of years, so I’m still wrapping my brain around it. First of all, I couldn’t really relate to the characters, at all… they’re young and, well, so “today” (if that makes sense). I don’t get the whole punk teenager thing, so a lot of the book was lost on me (and made me feel really old), I’m afraid. I did enjoy the first-person, stream of consciousness POV. Although sometimes I just wanted to scream (at Nick or Norah), “shut up already and get back to the point!” There was a lot of off-the-wall brainfarting going on in this book… and although I KNOW that was kinda the point, I think it got old after a while. Mostly, I liked the story… I wish it had lasted longer than one night. I found myself wanting to know what happens to N&N next (without some of the extra babble).

WHEW! There you have it… my January 2009 reads. This little “round-up” was a little more involved than I’d imagined it would be. I need to learn to say less… or start writing individual book reviews after all! The good (or bad) news is that I don’t think I’ll get much reading done in February. I have wayyy too much work and not enough time. But hopefully I’ll have something to tell you about a month from now!

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2 Responses to Been There, Read That… the Jan. ’09 Edition

  1. Daddy/Grampy says:

    Whew! Yaddah Yaddah Yaddah! — I have fathered a genuine book critic. Too bad she doesn’t read anything I want to know about. (Vampires, historical romance, etc. — not presactly my cup ‘o tea — all of which would be ok EXCEPT that it’s all about moi.

    But seriously, I enjoyed (and even audibly laughed) at the fun and lively commentary offered at such a low cost and convenient location. . . Love u, Roneous

    P.S. And by the way, Perry White, in written English is it “a” heroic or “an” heroic. (NOTE: Methinks I would/should read it as “a” and maybe write it as “an” — but for God’s sake WHY?). . . Please send your contributions to the Alzheimer’s charity of your choice — and thanx for letting me share.

  2. Erin says:

    Well, Ebward, according to the Chicago Manual (my Bible): “the indefinite article a, not an, is used in American English before words beginning with a pronounced h.”

    So, I would say it’s “a heroic,” unless, for some odd reason, you don’t pronounce the “h”; but I do…

    First grammar lesson, on the house! 😉

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