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Tuesday, October 09, 2007

A round up...

I wanted to talk about a couple of other books I read while sans computer. I was still in Harlequin mode. These are more impressions or comments than anything else. I'm not going to give letter grades or anything.

*Rising Darkness by Cynthia Cooke--I had read the first in the Dark Enchantments miniseries and enjoyed it, so I picked this one up. It started off with a great Gothic set-up: a British family in a crumbling estate held hostage by a pack of howling demonic wolves. The heroine, Emma McGovern, is the last of a line plagued by a Gypsy curse, and her face has been badly scarred by a wolf attack. Sadly, the book didn't sustain the atmosphere, the suspense or any interest on this readers part. Strictly paranormal romance by the numbers, it featured two bland ciphers (the hero a tormented vampire type) who fall quickly and deeply in love for reasons unknown to them and me. Seriously, I can't remember how it ended, but I remember being annoyed. Ah well. I still bought the next installment, Night Mischief by Nina Bruhns.

*The Farmer Takes a Wife by Barbara Gale--I wanted this story of a Boston doctor who brings new life to a sleepy town and a crabby farmer because it took place in New Hampshire and I love NH. Unfortunately, this book suffered from some of the worst editing ever. Both the hero and heroine's eyes change color, and the heroine's hair color changes several times before settling on Auburn. At one point the heroine suggests talking to the local congressman in Albany (which is the capital of NY, not NH). The hero reflects on his initial meeting with the heroine, recalling a scene which he was not in. He came in after she walked into the gas station. Also much ado was made of the hero's marrying too young and having a child too quickly. But he's 40, and his son was described as 8 or 9. Having a child at 31? Not exactly teenage pregnancy. It made no sense. And now? I know what people mean when they complain about head hopping. I found the pov confusing at several times. Nah, can't rec this one at all.

*A Family of Her Own by Brenda Novak.--I've been reading another book by Novak, and I think that she is a skilled writer who writes interesting and original stories. But the romance (frustratingly to me) always seems to take a backseat. This is about an ex-con auto mechanic named Booker and a "good girl" hairdresser named Katie whose intense affair ends when she runs off for SF with a guy that everyone thinks is a tool. Two years later she returns to Dundee Idaho unwed, alone, penniless and pregnant. Booker is unhappy to see the woman who broke his heart but he ends up taking her in when her family turns her away. There was a lot of focus on Katie growing up and becoming mature and independent, which was a good thing, because I wanted to hate her. Sure, no one approved of Booker, but they didn't like the other guy either. And once they got to SF he got a nose ring and a Robert Smith haircut and became a club kid who sponged off of her. But she stuck it out for two years? And gave him pity sex "one last time"? Whereupon she became one more victim of the dreaded romance novel condom failure rate? Great judgment, Katie. Dump the sexy, mysterious, intense guy who is kind enough to take in the village idiot (no, not Katie, this other guy) for a wannabe hipster tool. I wish there had been some flashbacks or something about Katie and Booker's relationship, so I could see what he saw in her, as well as why she didn't believe that he cared about her. I was also curious about what Booker did time for. Overall, not so bad though, just didn't quite satisfy.

*Driven by Eve Kenin--All is not lost, 'cuz this book was great! I would definitely recommend it to anyone who likes futuristic/sci fi or who is looking for something other the standard vamp/furry paranormal. Driven is set in a frozen future in which truckers have to bring goods to the various settlements. One particular company controls everything, and is run by a powerful and super nasty guy. There's a tough, kick butt and likeable heroine, Raina who is a great match for the unusual and very hot hero, Wizard. I lurved him, though an HEA with him would not be easy. See some reviews here, here and here. Worth your while. Bev from Bev's Books, if you stop by, I'm recommending this to you. You'll like it!

8 comments:

QB said...

Crap. I've got the Cynthia Cooke waiting to be read. Like you, I bought it because of the strength of the first book of the series from Michele Hauf- Familiar Stranger. I KNEW she set the bar too high!

I haven't picked up the third book yet, but I was planning to. So hurry up and read it before I do, okay? LOL

Tempest Knight said...

Thanks for the thumbs up! I'll have to check them out. :)

Devon said...

I'll be reading it soon QB. I'll be curious to see what you think of the Cooke. And don't rush to buy the Bruhns, b/c I'd be willing to send it to you after I'm done.

Hi Tempest, thanks for stopping by.

Kaitlin said...

Hello! I came across your blog via romance by the blog (I think...it's been a busy day LOL!). Anyone I really like it & I thought I'd say hey! :)

With your taste in books, I was wondering if you've read the Weather Warden series by Rachel Caine? It's kind of a paranormalish, but not exactly series of books. If you haven't, I really recommend them. Very good writing, awesome action and characters you root for. My favorite kind of books. :)

Hop on over & say hi sometime! I'm putting you on my links page. I hope that's okay.

Devon said...

Hi Kaitlyn! Thanks for stopping by. Yesterday was my day to discover new bloggers.I actually haven't read the Caine books, though they'd definitely be my cup of tea. I just never remember them at the right time. Thanks for the reminder :)

Rene Lyons said...

I really miss the time I used to have to read for pleasure. It's been such a long time since I curled up with a really good paranormal. :(

Kate Diamond said...

Good lord, I miss reading for pleasure. I'm torn between grading, planning, reading the books I'm teaching... and revising my own novel (the first draft is gathering dust).

Had to laugh at your copy-editing comments. That sort of thing drives me NUTS.

Devon said...

Hi Renee! Hi Kate! Is it just me or is fall the most insane time? Perhaps it's b/c we got used to the relatively slow pace of summer. These days I feel like I'm constantly running and trying to play catch up. I fall into bed without reading.

Kate--I've never read anything so distracting. I kept having to go back, because weren't his eyes blue, wasn't her hair brown? Very weird.

Renee--Have you read Driven yet? That was good. Worth trying if you've got a minute :) I also have "the Immortals" series in my milk crate. Hoping it'll be good.