Sunday, April 15, 2007

Recent Reads

Surprisingly, even despite being almost brain dead for an hour after I got home from work this week, I did manage to get some reading in. First up

Visions of Heat by Nalini Singh

Type: Paranormal

Hotness Level: Hot

Amazon blurb: Used to cold silence, Faith NightStar is suddenly being tormented by dark visions of blood and murder. A bad sign for anyone, but worse for Faith, an F-Psy with the highly sought after ability to predict the future. Then the visions show her something even more dangerous-aching need...exquisite pleasure. But so powerful is her sight, so fragile the state of her mind, that the very emotions she yearns to embrace could be the end of her. Changeling Vaughn D'Angelo can take either man or jaguar form, but it is his animal side that is overwhelmingly drawn to Faith. The jaguar's instinct is to claim this woman it finds so utterly fascinating and the man has no argument. But while Vaughn craves sensation and hungers to pleasure Faith in every way, desire is a danger that could snap the last threads of her sanity. And there are Psy who need Faith's sight for their own purposes. They must keep her silenced-and keep her from Vaughn...

Why this one: I read her first book and while I had a few issues, I certainly liked it enough to try her again

My Thoughts: *sigh* I wondered if a time would come when I wasn't that set on a book and it arrived with this one. I didn't enjoy it nearly as much as most people seemed to. I had the same issues once again with the gobbledy gook phy net stuff as I did with the first one. In addition, there were things about this one that just annoyed me. For example, Vaughn always seemed to be carrying Faith. "He carried her to the bed". "He carried her from the car." "He carried her to the couch." Enough carrying already. But the one carrying that really had me scratching my head was when he was in leopard form and he carried her for miles on his back. He wasn't a horse for pete's sake! I was trying to picture this in my mind. I'm not sure about the exact size of leopards, but I don't think they are that tall. Wouldn't her feet have been hitting the ground? Or if she was laying on him, wouldn't she be trailing off the end of him?
Another thing that annoyed me was how lovey dovey touchy feely that were in the company of others after they mated. She's sitting on his lap, he's kissing her, rubbing his hand on her. Struck me as that annoyingly juvenile thing very young people in luuurrrvvveeee do to each other. Blech!
I just didn't feel this one the same as Slave to Sensation. I know I'm in the minority on this, but it just didn't work all that well for me. I'll try her next one and see how it goes before I give up.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

Next up

One Real Cowboy byJanette Kenny

Type: Western

Hotness Level: Warm

Amazon blurb: Cord Tanner has a very simple plan: get paid to be Beatrix Northroupe's husband for a month so the prim, but very sexy, Englishwoman can gain rightful ownership to her family's stud farm. Money in hand, he's going to get as far away from Revolt, Kansas, as a fast horse can take him.

But Cord soon finds that he admires his Trixie's reckless courage--not to mention she's one great kisser. Maybe he's crazy to hope for a real future with her instead of heading for the hills, but now that someone's staking a dangerous claim to her farm, Cord's decided to stick around as long as the lady needs protecting. That wedding ring he put on her finger means her reputation is safe--and he's determined to win her heart. Cord Tanner may not be the most refined man on the frontier, but he sure is the lovingest.

Why this one: It's a new author. It's a Western. It was on for a good price. A trifecta!

My Thoughts: Well, I'm giving the author some leeway because she's new. And the book did have potential. But overall, it wasn't that great. It was good enough that I finished reading it, but there were some things that I thought needed tightening up. The villian for one thing was way over the top. The author even had him drooling. He was completely and totally repulsive, yet noone figured out he was the bad guy. It made them all seem kind of clueless. Also Beatrix, the heroine was one of those hot and cold kind of heroines. She didn't want to feel anything for the hero. But she did. But she didn't want to. I don't really care for dithering heroines. Cord was the best part of the book.
But, it wasn't a bad book. And it's very nice to see a Western. If you aren't a Western reader and thinking of giving them a try, I would say this probably isn't one of the better ones to start with, but if you do like Westerns and the price is right, it's not a bad read. I'll give her another chance too.

Grade: 3 out of 5

And finally

Arousing Suspicions by Marianne Stillings

Type: Romanctic Suspense

Hotness Level: Warm to Hot

Amazon blurb: Detective Nate Darling has put up with a lot of weird things since he's moved back to San Francisco—healing crystals, free range tofu, the SF Giants. But he's drawing the line at psychic dream interpretations.

Tabitha March claims she can see other people's dreams. In fact, she insists she "saw" a murder, and even provides Nate with explicit details of the crime. There's no doubt the curvaceous blue-eyed blonde knows something, but how is she involved? Is she the murderer? Because there's just no way that Tabitha can really "see" the killer's dream.

Then another body is discovered, just the way Tabitha described it would be. Now evidence suggests she may be the next victim. And Nate has to reconsider his beliefs or risk losing the woman he has fallen in love with . . . forever.

Why this one: Well, I tried her first book and was bitterly disappointed. While it started off just great, very very funny, but then the author lost me when she added murder to the plot in what struck me as a very jarring note. Still, the first part of the book had me thinking that she had great potential. I skipped her next few and then decided to try her again with Arousing Suspicions

My Thoughts: Sometimes I do it right!! I adored this book and for me Ms. Stillings more than lived up to the potential she showed in her first book. I found myself staying up late last night reading this one and then picking it back up first thing on waking this morning.
Both Tabitha and Nate were charming characters. They're banter back and forth was delightful and one scene in particular - on their first date in a French restaurant, had me laughing out loud. One thing I really enjoyed in this one was Nate was ready to commit and confess his love before Tabbie. He was pretty gone for her and I always like that in a romance. Tabbie was more reluctant but it was well explained why she had her issues.
I started reading another book, but I know that this one is going to get a reread - and soon! This one gets a happy thumbs up from me.

Grade: 4.5 out of 5

'til later


CindyS said...

I accept the petting and touching because they are wereanimals - I'm probably de-sensitized to it because of LKH ;) Do you think you'll try the next one or just let her go?

The western - dang, I bought it and I was already fence sitting!

I don't have the Stillings but I glad that this one worked for you. You are better than I - usually if an author tanks for me on the first time out I have a hard time shelling out for her next book.


nath said...

Kristie :) You and me definitively have different tastes LOL :) I have to say, I didn't enjoy the Stilling book as much as you... My main issue with this book was although Nate did love Tabbie, he didn't undestand or believe in her gift...

Kristie (J) said...

Nath: I see where you're coming from but I'm always a bit more lenient on the heroe's I think. Plus I thought it was asking a lot for him to shake off all his beliefs of a lifetime to believer her and her 'talents'.

Cindy: Oh, I'll try the next one. And since I've never tried LKH *g* (and a good thing from what I hear) I haven't got desensitized. They just reminded me too much of overly horny teenagers.
And as for the Stilling book, her first one really did show promise - so I did want to try her again once she had a few under her belt so to speak.

ReneeW said...

Oh, man, everything you mentioned about VoH is stuff that would annoy me too. I'll pull it out of the pile one day soon and hope I like it better than you.

I read Stillings first book and wasn't impressed either, so I haven't read anything else of hers. I just didn't get her sense of humor (even though lots of other people loved it). OK, I'll give her one more chance and put this on my list.