Wednesday, December 20, 2006

January releases - Books I think I’ll get… And books I know I won’t

This first one really appeals to me

Midnight Eyes by Sarah Brophy
From Amazon: Robert Beaumont, fierce mercenary knight during the reign of William II, is given what he most desires, land. But he must marry the current resident, known throughout the kingdom as "Lady Deformed." Imogen Colebrook lives in fear of her brother, who has long terrorized and brutalized her, even going so far as to beat her so viciously she lost her sight. With the news of her impending marriage, she fears the worst, believing her husband is a willing participant in her brother's torture. A simple warrior, Robert has no idea of the situation he faces and is humbled when he meets Imogen, a vision of loveliness. When they marry, Robert hopes he is worthy of his good fortune as Imogen waits in her darkness while her gentle knight thaws her heart, and her brother plots to crush her. Sure to please medieval historical romance fans, this is a wonderful first effort by Brophy, who evokes fair ladies and valiant knights overcoming evil with their innate goodness and sensuous healing.
To be honest though, I am getting a bit tired of that cover model popping up all over the place. It seems he’s on the cover of everything theses days. Handsome he is, but enough already!

Sizzling by Susan Mallery
From Amazon:
Mallery's latest spicy saga of the Buchanan family, Seattle's most prominent restaurateurs, doesn't quite measure up to the pleasures of her last (Irresistible), but makes a tasty dish nonetheless. This entry features Reid Buchanan, a womanizing former baseball hero trying to clean up his tarnished image after an embittered reporter he slept with publishes a tell-all newspaper article headlined, "Good in bed? Not so much." With the media hot on his tail, Reid takes refuge at the family estate, where his cantankerous grandmother, Gloria, is recovering from a series of debilitating illnesses. Gloria's as mean-spirited as Reid remembers, but now she's got to deal with peppy home-care nurse Lori Johnson, who's determined to turn Gloria's life around. Lori does her best to ignore Reid—arrogant, self-centered and "fifteen kinds of gorgeous"—knowing that even if she were attracted to him (which of course she is) he wouldn't look twice at a plain Jane like her.

Now at times I’m a bit leery of Susan Mallery. When she’s on, which for me she is most of the time, she’s very very good. But then if she isn’t on, then it seems the disappointment is even greater. I loved the first book in this series and was pretty disappointed with the second one. Still – I’m looking forward to the hero in this one getting his comeuppance.

Touched by Darkness by Catherine Spangler
From Amazon:
Dr. Kara Cantrell settled in the sleepy town of Zorro, Texas, convinced she and her child had escaped the sinister reach of a supernatural underworld. But now dark forces may jeopardize her new life. Her only hope is Damien Morgan, a dangerous, alluring man with superhuman abilities. He and Kara share a mystical link that triggers desires they must ignore. But as they work together to protect her son, and begin tracking the evil stalking them, something threatens to push them toward the edge...of darkness.

This is an author I haven’t really heard that much about. I have read a book by her - Shadow Crossing, and quite enjoyed it. But I don’t think they must have many copies of her books around here because I’ve never seen any other by her. But the story outline sounds intriguing and I kind of guiltily like the cover, so this is another one I think I’ll pick up. In fact, if it doesn’t show up on the shelves, I may just order it online!

And then on the flip side, here are a few I know I won’t be getting

Wild and Wicked in Scotland by Melody Thomas
From Amazon:
When Cassandra Sheridan agreed to an arranged marriage to the Earl of Hampstead, she never dreamed the cad wouldn't even bother to appear for their betrothal ball. It seems her intended cares more for gallivanting than meeting his bride-to-be! So Cassie decides to enjoy an adventure of her own and sets out across Scotland…and meets a dashing stranger who has elevated dueling and deception to an art form.
A dedicated spy on a mission, the Earl of Hampstead has more on his mind than a silly party. Now fate has thrown him together with a vivacious lady whom he must protect from harm, and whose sensuous beauty is proving most distracting. Worse still, Devlyn is horrified to discover she's the very woman he's engaged to marry!
With their lives and reputations in equal peril, do they dare surrender to their irresistible desires

What’s wrong with it? Um – to me - everything. First off, the publisher. And I’ll say no more. The title is real stupid in my opinion. And an Earl who is a spy!!! How very …….original. And a heroine who agrees to become betrothed to someone sight unseen and then who sets off on her own to Scotland. Wow! Does she sound plucky and TSTL! I just love me a plucky and TSTL heroine. And puleeeaaassse with those names!!! And then of course there is the cover. “shudder” I can’t think of the words to say what I think of this outdated, horrifying, cover with same old, same old cover models. This one is worse than normal due to the severe case of bleach white hair on the cover female. OK – I did think of a few words, but there are a whole lot more I could say if I wanted to!
I’m nothing else if I’m not shallow on occasion so on this one is a No Way Jose!

My Nerdy Valentine by Vicky Lewis Thompson
From Amazon:
What do you get when you throw together a sexually repressed college student, a narcissistic sex therapist, a handsome stockbroker and a bevy of sex-crazed therapy patients? Answer: This absurd romantic comedy, which substitutes puerile sex puns for emotional heft. Thompson stretches her "nerd" premise thin, forcing the label on stockbroker William Sloan simply because he wears a winter hat with earflaps. However, William's nerd status doesn't keep him from being pursued by therapist Gloria, who besieges him with double entendres ("I'm glad to have a young and virile man handling my... assets"), glow-in-the-dark condoms and a flash of her breasts. Meanwhile, the object of William's affection, Gloria's studious intern, Amanda, refuses to work him into her busy schedule and accuses him of sending her crude, anonymous Valentines. Thompson throws in a hokey plot involving the true Valentine sender and his plan to kidnap Amanda, but this merely serves as a flimsy tool to push William and Amanda together. All in all, Thompson's newest romance (following Nerds Like It Hot) possesses as much substance as cotton candy with less satisfaction

Now I know there are quite a few readers who have been enjoying Vicki Lewis Thompson’s Nerd series. Let me make this clear. I AM NOT ONE OF THEM! I got taken on one of them a few years ago when it got great reviews. I wanted to toss it in the toilet – but I resisted. Then because she still got great reviews and I thought maybe it was me, I tried another one. This one I wanted to toss in the same place – but I resisted. Reading the outline for this one and seeing that stupid comic book cover, I know I wouldn’t be able to resist the impulse a third time.

Sun Kissed by Catherine Anderson
From Amazon:
One need not be an equine lover to appreciate Anderson's sweet contemporary romance centering on fiercely honest horse rancher Samantha Harrigan and handsome neophyte veterinarian Tucker Coulter, who meet while trying to protect a horse from its abusive owner. Samantha has always cared deeply for her horses, so when they suddenly fall ill, she's distraught; when it turns out they've been poisoned, she's horrified, immediately suspecting that her violent and vindictive ex-husband is the culprit. Unfortunately, the authorities are pointing fingers at Samantha, alleging that she plans to defraud her insurance company. Wary of letting a new man into her life, Samantha nevertheless recognizes that she must call on Tucker to nurse her horses back to health. As he tends to the horses and grows closer to Samantha, Tucker becomes her confidante and champion, realizing that the only way for Samantha to save herself is to catch the offender before the police arrest her.

Now I know there are quite a few readers who have been enjoying Catherine Anderson’s books – Wait!! I said that already.
All right – here’s the thing with Catherine Anderson. I used to love her books, I really did. I have quite a few of them. Annie’s Song? Wonderful story as are many of her other ones Even though all her heroines have suffered some kind of tragedy in their lives, whether it was being kidnapped and repeatedly raped until saved by the hero or having an abused wife bury the husband she accidentally murdered in the rose garden, still I read, I liked and I kept buying. But I reached my sugar limit with this author a few books ago with – I forget the name of the book and please – no one remind me! I don’t want to remember. – the book where the hero was a vegetarian who refused to wear a leather belt because it meant the death of a cow (yet he did wear moccasins – didn’t quite figure out the logic of that one), who talked to baby rabbits in the forest and gave off a slight blue glow when he swived (tupped, jumped the bones of, screwed) the heroine. I almost lost my eyes as they rolled while reading that book as well as nearly suffering from diabetic shock over the surgary content. And since I need my eyes to read, I haven’t dared risk them by reading Catherine Anderson and her saccharine dripped stories of wounded, vulnerable, heroines and “could they be any more perfect?” heroes since then. And reading the storyline on this one I must preserve the eyes still since reading the outline alone makes me roll them. I must be a cynical bitch because this kind of story just makes my teeth ache as well as the risk to the eyes.

So there you have it. A few good prospects and a few not on you life! books

And in other news - I made it through yesterday. It was very sad, but I had the boys with me for the visit. I cried after but I allowed myself to do that. And today was a better day.

'til later


Giselle said...

Lol Kristie
I fell for that stupid VLT Nerd book too and I hated it just as much as you did.I came close to writing the publisher and demanding my money back :) Too bad though cuz I do love me some nerdy heroes.

C2 said...

Dudette - I am so with you on the VLT Nerd books and Catherine Anderson! :-D Susan Mallery, too, actually...I've been putting off reading the second Buchanan book because every time I pick it up and read the blurb, I get afraid it's going to be bad.

I'm sending happy vibes your way for the holidays!

erika said...

I've got the Brophy book on my buy list. There's a new bookstore that's opened in town and I'll get it from there and not online.

I put M Thomas book on my buy list cause I like Americans finding love and HEA in Europe.
The part where the heroine goes off alone to find the hero does seem tstl. Hm. I'll have to read a bit of the Thomas book in the bookstore before I buy it.

farmwifetwo said...

Looks like I am not the only fussy reader.

Thank goodness for the library system. You can try them first before you buy them.

I have to admit, there's nothing on your list that interests me. I use to read a lot of historicals and except for Laurie R. King's Russell/Holmes books, I haven't gone back.

Wendy said...

I tend to only read Anderson's historicals. I can handle the traumatized heroines and sugar overload better in historicals. In contemporaries, I just have a hard time liking or believing in naive, sweet and/or syrupy heroines. So often they come off as TSTL.

(The exception here would be the Silhouette Romance line - but I think the sweet goes down easier when the page count is shorter LOL)

Kristie (J) said...

Wendy: I'm the same way with Anderson. I wonder why that is? Maybe it's because we've come a long way as women and it's easier to take the helpless needy heroine when there were less options open to women. But in today's time we almost want to slap them and say get over it and be strong for yourself! Don't depend on some guy for your happiness!

Farmwife two: Believe it or not I'm not that fussy *g*. I'm pretty easily pleased and many authors would love to have me as a professional reviewer. But when I don't like something, I tend to be a bit more vehement than some. And when I get turned off an author, it's next to impossible that I'll change my mind. I can be stubborn that way :)

Erika: The Brophy one does look interesting doesn't it? And a medival to boot! New bookstore - lucky you! And I know some really like Thomas, but I just can't read another titled spy book - that's why I gave up Bradley - unless it's by an autobuy author. I read another one by her and it only found it so so. And even if I was tempted - that cover alone would turn me off totally.

C2: After trying 2 of them, I'm mystified why they seem to be so popular. I think they are horrid! But then I guess that's one of the things that makes us romance readers all so similar, yet all so different. And as for the second Buchanan book - it wasn't bad, I just didn't think it was as good as the first one. If I thought it was bad, I would be passing on the third one. For example, I've no intention of reading the final book of the wine making family for example.

Giselle: Howdy!!! Nice to "see" you again *g*. Yep - like I said to C2 - the appeal is a mystery to me, but they seem to be very popular. The one I got 3/4 through was the one where they crashed on a desserted island. Then I didn't make it even that far on the other one I tried and mercifully I don't really remember what it was about.

Sarah said...

I saw book number one and thought it looked interesting. Let us know if its any good.

Karen W. said...

I just took home the Brophy book today. I love medievals and this sounded a bit different, and I like to encourage Zebra to keep releasing the "special value" books ($3.99 here in the U.S.) because they're a great way to try new authors.

C2 said...

Okay, I'll add the book 2 to my bag to take home with me. :o) Sucker that I am, I'll probably read the last Marcelli book...ignoring that the missing brother's book has been languishing in my TBR for ages. Yikes!

You know when Catherine Anderson jumped the shark for me? The book where everything is tied up nicely adn the HEA should be on the next page with an epilogue, etc. but instead, guess what happens...a bear attack! I mean, seriously...WTF? I'll stick with re-reading Keegan's Lady and Annie's Song, thanks.

romancelover said...

Kristie - Re: Melody Thomas...yes...this cover and story are CHEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEESY...however, I love her I might just have to buy it. I'll tell you all about it and send you a copy if it's good!!! How does that sound???

sybil said...

I have the Thomas, Brody and Anderson ;). In fact I just finished reading Baby Love ::whisper::reissued::/endwhisper:: and liked it. I would have liked it a lot if it wasn't for the last few chapters.

I will move Sunkissed up just for you ;). I really think I need to try those mallerys since I lurve her Desires and SSE.

Jessica Bird has a new SSE out (spikes book) and I enjoyed it but I am her bitch so my view could be blurry. I did think that Spike hits too close to home to the brotherhood (if I remember correctly there is some connection there). And Carolyn Davidson's Haven is out (at least at my walmart)