>> Wednesday, February 27, 2008
...he's too cute not to share.
This is Benito, my friend Paula's new baby. I'm in love *g*
...he's too cute not to share.
This is Benito, my friend Paula's new baby. I'm in love *g*
TITLE: Off The Record
AUTHOR: Matthew Haldeman-Time
PAGES: Calculating from the number of pages in my ebook reader, I'd say it would be equivalent to some 250 mmpb pages.
PUBLISHER: Available from Lulu.com
SETTING: Contemporary Hollywood
REASON FOR READING: Because Stephanie Vaughan recommended it. Actually, it was stronger than that. She sent me a copy as a gift and told me I should read it *g* And hey, if the author who's written my favourite m/m romances tells me a particular m/m romance is good, I'm reading it!
Because of his infamous birth (and famous parentage), Jordan Jennings' every move made the headlines, and he soon learned that the only way to keep the media out of his life was not to have a life at all. Charged with keeping his family's secrets, as well as his own, he put aside his own desires for the sake of family pride. With the chance of love on the horizon, will Jordan have to sacrifice his family's reputation in order to have a life of his own? Patrick Wright was a fearless reporter headed straight to the top. He was a man who knew what he wanted and always went after it. With money, success, and a very healthy social life, Patrick had no idea that anything was missing until he met Jordan, someone he suddenly couldn’t do without. But when careers hang in the balance and Patrick is faced with losing everything he's worked so hard to achieve, will his love for Jordan conquer all?THE PLOT: Jordan Jennings is Hollywood royalty, the only son of the actress famous for being America's sweetheart. The identity of his father is show-bizz's best-kept secret, and he's determined to keep it this way, as well as to uphold his family's legacy. Because of this, he's always been very reluctant to engage in a real romantic life of his own, especially because he's gay and fears the tabloid press would have a field day with it. When he meets reporter Patrick Wright, however, Jordan can't resist any longer.
AUTHOR: Allison Pace
SETTING: Contemporary New York
TYPE: Chick Lit
REASON FOR READING: I really liked Pace's If Andy Warhol Had a Girlfriend.
For Hope McNeill, pugs are love, unconditional friendship, happiness, and freedom. She doesn't have one of her own (busy life, tiny apartment), but she does have Pug Hill in Central Park, where pugs (and their owners) from all over New York convene. She also has a crush on one of her co-workers, a flailing romantic relationship, and an unspeakable fear of public speaking. Then Hope's father calls with an assignment: to make a speech at her parents' anniversary party. Frantic, she signs up for a public speaking class, but can't help wondering-will it transform her into an eloquent orator? Maybe some fears are so big that even all the pugs in the world might not be enough to assuage them.MY THOUGHTS: This is one of those books where not much really happens, but which are still pleasant enough to read.
I've been reading a lot of British authors lately, as obviously, it's quite easy to find their books in my local library.
TITLE: The Murder Room
AUTHOR: PD James
I'm not exactly sure why I keep reading PD James, as lately I've been finding her voice a bit annoying and judgmental and her detective, Adam Dalgliesh, bores me. I think I might keep reading because her plots do feel fresh and interesting and intrincate, or because her rendition of contemporary Britain feels real (and completely different to that I see in chick lit).
The Murder Room of the title is in a small museum devoted to England in the interwar years of 1919 -1939, an exhibit featuring the most notorious murders of that era. The museum is in danger of closing because one the trustees is determined not to sign the new lease, and without his agreement, there's no way of continuing. When the man dies, and in exactly the same manner illustrated in one of the cases included in the Murder Room, Dalgliesh and his team are called in to investigate. But when more murders are committed, and all following the methodology of one of the Murder Room cases, they begin to fear motives are not are straightforward as they seemed.
This starts out quite well. The Dupayne museum is vintage James: a specialized, idiosyncratic and somewhat isolated professional setting, and the characters populating it are painstakingly drawn and do come alive. As for the plot, I couldn't wait to see what was going on and discover whether this was an insane serial killer or just someone with a very rational motive trying to cover up his motives.
However, by the end it had all pretty much disintegrated. The pace was slooooow, and the solution to the case was unbelievable and didn't fit very well. And there was still the matter with James' voice that I mentioned above, which is that it feels old-fashioned in some areas, and in a bad way. I don't want to give away the ending, but when she reveals the oh-so-shocking things that had been going on at the museum, I groaned. That stopped being shocking 20 years ago. Plus, all the angsty-angst in Adam's personal life? I couldn't care less.
MY GRADE: A C+.
TITLE: Never Deceive a Duke
AUTHOR: Liz Carlyle
SETTING: Victorian England
TYPE: Straight Romance
SERIES: Second in the Neville trilogy. Follows Never Lie To A Lady.
REASON FOR READING: Carlyle's been on my autobuy list since her debut, My False Heart.
They call her the porcelain princess...THE PLOT: Gareth Lloyd is a self-made man, a partner in a succesful shipping company. He never though he'd inherit the title from his relative, the Duke of Warneham. In fact, after the brutal way in which he was treated by him as a young boy, he would never have wanted to have anything to do with it. But Gareth's the only heir left when the old man dies, and so he needs to take up his responsibilities, both to the duchy and to the Dowager Duchess, of whom he has nothing but bad memories.
With her fragile beauty and regal bearing, the Duchess of Warneham knows how to keep her admirers at a distance. Twice wed and twice widowed, Antonia has vowed never again to marry; never again to surrender her freedom. But when her husband's death is deemed suspicious, and his long-lost heir returns to seize control of the dukedom, she finds that fate has placed her future in yet another man's hands -- but not just any man.
They call him a cold-hearted bastard...
Deep in London's docklands, Gareth Lloyd runs Neville Shipping with an iron fist. Unrecognizable as the starving orphan who was abandoned by his family and sent an ocean away from home, Gareth has put his troubled past behind him. That is, until the Duke of Warneham is murdered, and Gareth turns out to be the dynasty's last living heir. Wrenched from his solitude, Gareth neither wants nor needs the honors and obligations of nobility -- especially the Duke's all-too-tempting widow.... Or does he?
Bill Bryson's one of my favourite authors. I love his travel books, his language books, his collections of essays... everything. His sense of humour kills me, every single time. When I found a few of his books that I hadn't read in my library, I was ecstatic. Turns out they weren't exactly the best I've ever read from him, but they were enjoyable.
TITLE:The Life and Times of Thunderbolt Kid
AUTHOR: Bill Bryson
This is a (hopefully!) somewhat fictionalised account of Bryson's experiences growing up in Des Moines, Iowa, in the 1950s and 60s. It's as much about himself and his family as about what middle America was like at the time, a place that seemed particularly foreign to my late 20th century Uruguayan eyes.
What makes this so great to read is that Bryson's wry, self-deprecating humour is at its best here. His commentary is perceptive and subtle, but it's also funny as hell. And the best thing was, even through his most ridiculous stories, his affection for his subject matter shines through, whether he's writing about his parents or the era itself.
Best part of the book? I just loved to see the young Stephen Katz, who would become Bryson's unforgettable companion in A Walk in the Woods :-)
GRADE: A B+.
I've fallen a lot behind with my reviews, so I refuse to spend a lot of time writting about C books. So here we go, a quick round-up.
TITLE:The Lightkeeper's Woman
AUTHOR: Mary Burton
This Harlequin Historical has a unique setting and the storyline intrigued me (plus that cover... ohhhh!). It's set in an isolated lighthouse off a small North Carolina fishing village in the late 19th century, and it's a reunion story.
A few years earlier Alanna, the daughter of a shipping magnate, had fallen in love with Caleb, one of her father's ship captains. Evil dad engineered a separation in such a way that each believes the other one comitted a huge betrayal. But now they meet when Alanna seeks him out in the lighthouse he's taken over, determined to give him a box left to him by her father (yeah, very flimsy reason). Isolated surroundings, forced proximity (there's a huge storm), you can guess what happens.
It could have been a nice story, but though I loved the atmospheric setting, I found it hard to remain interested in Alanna and Caleb. Part of the problem is that I didn't really see much of an obstacle to their relationship, so the time it took for them to finally get together felt more like the author trying to prolong the story than anything else.
GRADE: A C.
TITLE: Demon Night (excerpt at Sybil's)
AUTHOR: Meljean Brook
COPYRIGHT: 2008 (comes out today!)
SETTING: Contemporary US West Coast.
TYPE: Paranormal romance
SERIES: # 5 in the Guardians series (you can see the reading order here).
REASON FOR READING: Ditto what I said about Nalini Singh's latest: this is one of my favourite ongoing series.
Explore the seductive corners of the dark, as a forbidden attraction tempts danger under the canopy of the demon night...THE PLOT: Well, the story is about one of the Guardians, Drifter, who's charged with protecting a woman and has to convince her to become a vampire. Sorry, sorry, just kidding! *g* It's just that the Harriet Klausner thing was too hilarious!
Charlie Newcomb worked hard to get her life back together. But all that is shaken when she's set upon by three vampires desperate to transform her beauty into something evil. Because Charlie is the vital link to something they want-and need. It's Charlie's flesh and blood sister, a medical scientist whose knowledge could be invaluable to the predators.
But to get to her, they must first get to Charlie, now under the intimate protection of Ethan McCabe. As her Guardian, Ethan is attracted to her vulnerabilities-as well as her strengths. The closer he gets, the more protecting her becomes not just his duty, but his desire. But will it be enough to save Charlie when the demon night falls?