30 September 2012

First Drop of Crimson (Night Huntress World, Book 1)


We've met Spade and Denise several times before in the Night Huntress Books, as Spade is Bones' best friend, and Denise is Cat's, but we didn't know them very well. So it was interesting to learn some background on Spade, the vampire who has known Bones and Ian since before they were turned, when they were all mortals. Spade doesn't care for humans much beyond snacking on. He doesn't date them, and isn't really friends with any of them. Denise is a human who knows about Cat's world, and isn't overly fond of vampires. Her husband was killed at the end of one of the Night Huntress books in a huge battle that Cat and Bones were involved in, and she's removed herself as far as possible from their world, even cutting herself off from Cat.

Unfortunately, vampires and ghouls aren't the only supernatural creatures out there, and Denise has found herself marked by a demon, who has killed some of her family and is threatening to kill all of them unless she tracks down an ancestor who swindled him in the past.

Determined to do anything to protect her family, but equally determined not to involve Cat and Bones in her problems, she contacts Spade for help.

As much I liked learning more about Spade, and about his own past doomed love, he just doesn't appeal to me the way Bones does. Maybe if I'd met Spade first...I don't know. I'm just crazy about Bones, and Spade just doesn't quite live up to him. And I liked Denise, but she was a much paler, docile heroine than Cat. Of course being fully human and not half vampire like Cat, she wasn't the ass kicker Cat is, though she did find her own strengths along the way.

I definitely wanted Spade and Denise to have a happy ever after, and I never really had any doubt that it wouldn't end that way. Overall I enjoyed spending time with Denise and Spade, but I prefer the company of  Bones and Cat.

(I received this book through BookCrossing.)

20 September 2012

August Acquisitions

Lots of new books came in August! More than I needed, meh.

From Book Mooch members, several Brenda Minton books - I recently read one of her Cowboy books and went hunting for more:

Jenna's Cowboy Hero and The Cowboy's Family


The Cowboy's Courtship and The Cowboy Next Door

From Harlequin Reader Service:

A Song for Kate, by Lynnette Kent; Countess in Cowboy Boots, by Jodi O'Donnell; Windfall, by Bonnie Gardner. Don't you just love the covers for the Heartwarming series?

The Doctor's Defender, by Terri Reed; Danger on the Mountain, by Lynette Eason; Survive the Night, by Vicki Hinze

Critical Condition, by Sandra Orchard

From a BookCrossing member who sadly passed away recently:


Bad Cat: 244 Not-So-Pretty Kitties And Cats Gone Bad, by Jim Edgar (my daughter has taken off with this one so who knows when I'll get to read it); Track of the Cat, by Nevada Barr; The Life and Times of the Thunderbolt Kid, by Bill Bryson

And purchased from Amazon:


The Third Angel, by Alice Hoffman; The Line of Beauty, by Alan Hollinghurst


Shop 'til Yule Drop, by Alesia Holliday, Naomi Neale and Stephanie Rowe; Must Love Kilts, by Allie Mackay

Dogs and Goddesses


When I first picked this book up to read I thought it was going to be three separate stories, one by each of the three authors. I'm a huge fan of Jennifer Crusie and was really looking forward to her story, though I was completely unfamiliar with Stuart and Rich. As it turns out, it's one complete novel, not three separate stories.

The first fifteen or so pages took an eternity for me to get through. So much so, that I set the book aside and didn't pick it back up for several months. But once I got past that point I became much more interested in the story.

I love the idea of being able to talk to and understand your dog, and some of the exhanges between the three women and their respective pets were very amusing. But overall the book just didn't really appeal to me. I don't know if it's the subject - about gods and goddesses; the characters - the women were all wonderful heroines, but only one of the three men really got to me. Two of them just seemed kind of blah. Even Sam, the one who was a god.

Overall, it was an enjoyable amusing read but nothing special. I'll still read anything and everything Crusie writes, but am not inclined to seek out more by Stuart or Rich, at least not on the basis of this book.

(My mother passed this book to me.)

13 September 2012

Girl Alone


Synopsis: Mardie was a stranger to the lonely Outback, but she was determined to live in the general store that was her inheritance. However, she fell in love with her very first customer - a handsome taciturn geologist - and was immediately involved in his life. His problems were now hers - and that included two mineral-exploration spies and one troublesome woman...

I adore Lucy Walker. I love her romances as much as I love brownies or chocolate chip cookies. I have a bunch of them in my TBR pile, and I ration them out, cuz I know when I finish the last one I'll be very sad.

Girl Alone, however, did not quite live up to what I've become accustomed to. It was a little - dare I say it? - boring. Mardie is a great heroine, like all of Walker's heroines. I can't really say much about Jard, the hero, as I really did not get to know him, at all.

Mardie is quite taken with Jard from the moment she sees him, even though she only gets a fleeting glimpse of him. Unlike all the other customers in the area, he doesn't eagerly come in to meet the new owner of the store but just goes about his business. His hat shades his face so she doesn't even really know what he looks like.

For most of the book, Mardie and Jard are in different locations and rarely interact with each other. At one point, when they run into each other while taking animals to see the vet, they do finally have a conversation, and Jard invites her for a ride in his plane. But then they crash, and Jard is unconscious until help arrives and he's taken off with the medics while she goes home.

The immediate aftermath of the crash is the best scene in the book. Their night together in the cold outback later causes a mild scandal, and I was a bit surprised by Mardie's daring action, simply because Walker's books are always so tame and quaint.  As with all her books, there is no sex, nothing more than some chaste kisses. But one character does say "bitch" one time, which was another shocker for a Walker book.

I just wish the beginning and ending of the book had been as good as that plane crash chapter.

(I was given this book by my mother.)

09 September 2012

Theodora Twist


I read an ARC of The Love Goddess' Cooking School in 2010, and I liked it so much that I put Melissa Senate on my list of authors to ready everything by. Since then I've picked up four more of her books, but this is the first one I've gotten around to reading. Theodora Twist is a YA novel, and I've kind of drifted away from YA over the last two or three years, so I wasn't sure how well I'd like it, but it was quite enjoyable.

Theodora is a 16 year old actress who's Hollywood star is quickly rising, almost as fast as her wild reputation. She's wrapping up a press junket for her new movie, and fielding questions from reporters eager to know more about her relationship with the Bellini brothers, twin singers who she is dating. Yes, she's dating both of them. At the same time. In private of course. To the reporters she keeps insisting “We're just good friends”. Until she gets fed up with the questions and causes a sensation which infuriates her agent.

Emily Fine is a 16 year old high school student, living an ordinary life in an ordinary town with her mother, stepfather and baby sister. She happens to live in the house Theodora grew up in, and for a few weeks in junior high she and Theodora were good friends, until Theodora dumped her with no explanation.

Now Theodora is coming back to her home town to live with Emily and her family for a month. She's to attend high school with Emily and do everything she does, like a normal teenager. It's for a reality show designed to show America that at heart, Theodora IS just like every other teenage girl in America.

The book is written in first person POV, with the chapters alternating between Theodora and Emily. I was a little jarred at first, with Theodora talking about her sex life which began at 12 or 13. But other than their life styles, the girls' voices aren't much different, and a couple of times I had to pause to remember which one was narrating at that moment.

As with any teen novel, there is a small clique of mean girls, here known as the Samanthas, though only two of the four are actually named Samantha. I can't remember much to distinguish the one Samantha from the other, but whenever a Samantha was talking to Emily or Theodora, I pictured Dalia (played wonderfully by Carly Chaikin) from the TV show Suburgatory.

I can't say how well the average teenage girl would like this book as neither of my girls would've been interested in it - one of them only liked serious books with a strong female antagonist facing hardship and/or adversity, and the other didn't read much of anything other than the first few Pretty Little Liars books. But overall I found it to be a very enjoyable and amusing read.

(I received this book through Book Mooch.)

08 September 2012

Destined for an Early Grave (Night Huntress, Book 4)


This one is my least favorite entry in the series so far, though I still liked it. The whole Dreamsnatcher (or whatever he was called) storyline just didn't really click for me and I didn't really get completely engrossed until at least half way through the book. When I was first starting the book and checked into Get Glue, another member who had just finished it made a comment about wanting to kill Bones for most of the book. But I had more empathy for him than for Cat, I thought she was a little unreasonable at times.

I still love the series though, and can't wait to continue it.

(I received this book through BookCrossing).

06 September 2012

Dead as a Doornail (Southern Vampires, Book 5)


I loved this one! It may be my favorite so far, though that's what I said after the last one also! Someone is shooting shifters, and while trying to figure out who a whole mess of characters drift in and out of Sookie's life. Eric wants to know what happened during the time he stayed with Sookie, which he can't remember; Jason changes for the first time and discovers he loves being a were; Sam and Sookie almost get close (a kissing scene...more, please!); Alcide tries to get closer; Tara's involved with some crazy vamp; Claudine is there to rescue Sookie; and I was eagerly turning pages, not wanting the book to end. Total awsomesauce!

(I purchased this book at a thrift store.)

04 September 2012

Lonesome Dove


Hands down, no contest, no doubt about it, I'm pretty sure this book is going to be my favorite read for 2012.

It took me a long time to read this massive (800+ pages of tiny print) book. I set it down twice to read other books instead, once for a month, and then for two months. Not because I didn't like it, but because there were just other books I wanted and/or needed to read. But when I picked this back up and started in on my third session of reading, at some point I became utterly spellbound. Completely transfixed.

McMurtry makes you see what he is describing, in your head, plain as day. There are lots of characters, and the book seamlessly weaves their stories together or around each other. Sometimes in the middle of a page the point of view will suddenly change from one character to another, but it always flows naturally and is never jarring.

It's been a couple of weeks since I finished the book, and I miss it. I miss Gus and the Captain, and Lorena, and pretty much everybody else. I think about the characters and wonder what happened after the last chapter. I didn't want the book to end. I'm almost tempted to pick it up and start over at page one.

This is not a novel. This is literature.

(I received this book through BookCrossing.)