April 2013 reads

>> Wednesday, May 01, 2013

Some excellent books, including amongst the ones I’m still reading.

1 - The Beekeper's Apprentice, by Laurie R King: A-
review coming soon

Audiobook. Starts a series starring Sherlock Holmes after his retirement, when he acquires a partner, Mary Russell. Mary is a wonderful narrator, reminded me a bit of Harriet Vane, from the Wimsey series.

2 - Demon Marked, by Meljean Brook: A-
original review here

Last full-length book before Michael’s! It does an excellent job of setting up the finale of the series, but the romance is also fantastic. It’s a sort of enemies to lovers deal (well, with the enmity only being felt by the hero), and the slow build of the relationship, the change from distrust to belief, is fantastic.

3 - Angels of Darkness, by Nalini Singh, Ilona Andrews, Sharon Shinn and Meljean Brook: B
review coming soon

I’m not a big anthology fan and would normally have just read the Meljean Brook story (really good, BTW), but I like Shinn and Nalini Singh, so I read theirs as well. They’re not their best, but good enough. I tried Ilona Andrews’, but it’s not really my thing.

4 - The Last Boyfriend, by Nora Roberts: B-
review coming soon

2nd in this series, centred round the redevelopment of a B&B. The hero is the organised, dependable brother, the heroine is the owner of the pizza place across the road. Nice, but I found it hard to get excited about it, especially the heroine, for some reason.

5 - Jamrach's Menagerie, by Carol Birch: B-
review coming soon

Part Oliver Twist, part Moby Dick, part Alive. It's one of those where I see the good things about it, and I even enjoyed bits, but it was really not my cup of tea. I just didn't care what happened for most of the book.

6 - Take What You Want, by Jeanette Grey: B-
review coming soon

New Adult. Heroine wants a one-night-stand and picks up a guy who happens to be in her class, but whom she doesn't recognise. Turns out he's had a crush on her for ages. I liked it; it was sweet, but the conflict felt a bit contrived and like it should be really easily fixed.

7 - Rush Me, by Allison Parr: B-
review coming soon

Another New Adult. Intellectual, snobby heroine becomes involved with sports star. It had its moments, and I did enjoy much of it, but I can't say I believe in the relationship completely.

8 - Too Hot To Touch, by Louisa Edwards: C
review coming soon

Fun plot (characters are competing in a sort of cooking contest), and even good family drama, but the romance was a bust. Nothing offensive, or anything, I just didn't see the connection at all and the first half seemed to be all sex, which is boring when I don’t care about the characters.

9 - The Silent Touch of Shadows, by Christina Courtenay: DNF
review coming soon

Audiobook. Picked it up because the plot reminded me of Susanna Kearsley's Mariana, but it didn't work at all. I found the main character exasperating.

10 - The Darkest Day, by Britt Bury: DNF
review coming soon

Paranormal romance, the main characters' families have been at war forever, he arrives to kill her but discovers she's super-special and drags her to his keep instead. A bit too much silliness, and the heroine annoyed me with her TSTL behaviour.

11 - Beauty Dates The Beast, by Jessica Sims: DNF
review coming soon

The heroine is a regular human who works for a dating agency for supernaturals, and attracts the attention of a sexy cougar-shifter. It just wasn’t my thing. I didn’t click with the voice, and the characters annoyed me. I read almost half of this, but it took me over a week, and I couldn’t be bothered to continue.

12 - Life After Life, by Kate Atkinson: still reading
review coming soon

Audiobook. I’m almost done with this, and if I suspect that if I’d finished it, it would be my top book of the month. We follow Ursula Todd’s lives, as when she dies, she starts again, and something in her tries to avoid her previous fate. Mindblowing. I’m about ¾ done and so far it’s amazing.

13 - Dream Eyes, by Jayne Ann Krentz: still reading
review coming soon

Audiobook. Paranormal weapons and research, yadda yadda. Very ho-hum so far.

14 - Whiskey Beach, by Nora Roberts: still reading
review coming soon

This one I’ve only started. The hero has had a nightmare being the main suspect in the murder of his soon-to-be ex wife, and has come to the family pile to lick his wounds. The heroine is this yoga instructor / masseuse / general all-around nurturer who, so far, keeps butting into his life trying to help him heal. We’ll see.


Brie 6 May 2013 at 00:40  

Man, I so loved the Ilona Andrews novella... like, really loved. We can't be friends anymore *grins*

Seriously, though, they made an experiment with that story to see if there was potential for a new series (and by "potential" I mean readers) but I think I'm the only person in the world who loved the slightly wonky, super complicated worldbuilding and the rapey hero. I must be the only one who hates the Kate Daniels books, but loves everything else.

I'm looking forward to your review of the new Nora Roberts. So far I've heard mixed reviews, so I'm getting it from the library just in case it's awful.

Rosario 6 May 2013 at 09:05  

Nah, Brie, if we didn't fight over Pushing the Limits, we'll be ok! ;-)

I think my issue is that urban fantasy almost never works for me. I've tried all the fan favourites, but the only series that I've wanted to continue with after the first book is Wen Spencer's Ukiah Oregon series.

I'm about halfway through the NR, and I'm enjoying it so far. I think the heroine will probably annoy a few people, but for me she's staying just on the right side of the line.

Andrea,  12 May 2013 at 04:19  

I've been having trouble with Nora since the Key trilogy, but I haven't quite figured out the problem for me is. I think it's the way she words things and some of the conversations.

The characters will be talking about something and mid-paragraph they'll switch and talk about something else before going back to the previous topic.

Rosario 12 May 2013 at 08:01  

That's interesting, Andrea. I went through a stage about 10 years ago when her writing started to sort of grate, especially the dialogue. I stopped reading her for 2 or 3 years, but then went back and I've enjoyed her books ever since. She's got a very distinctive voice, and with so many books a year, it's easy to get a bit sick of it, I guess.

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