Tuesday, January 27, 2009

My January Reads (Part 3)

Hello again, everyone!
Here it is, just a few days away from the end of January--- again, where has the time gone?!
Oh well. After saying for days that I would be posting my previous weeks of completed books, I finally found the time to edit and publish this post. I promise, next month I'll work on my punctuality more. :)
These are the books I finished from January 19th to January 25.
First up was Caine's Reckoning by Sarah McCarty. My Rating: 4.5 stars Summary: The Hell's Eight is the only family he's ever needed, until he meets the only woman he's ever wanted…
Caine Allen is a hardened Texas Ranger, definitely not the marrying kind. But when he rescues a kidnapped woman and returns her to town, the preacher calls in a favor. One Caine's honor won't let him refuse.
From the moment he beds Desi, Caine knows turmoil will follow. Desi might have the face of a temptress, but she also has a will of iron and while she needs his protection, she's determined that no man will control her again. They establish an uneasy bond, but it isn't enough for Caine. He wants all Desi has to offer. He wants her screams, her moans, her demands…everything. Yet there's still a bounty on Desi's head, and keeping her sexually satisfied is proving easier than keeping her alive. My Thoughts: I've heard some say that they didn't really like Caine's Reckoning, for various reasons (there was too much sex, the romance didn't seem to be there, etc) and while I respect their opinions, I just have to say a few things first: A)It is an erotic romance, so there is suppose to be more sex, more explicit scenes, than in a normal book. B) While I will admit that the romance between Caine and Desi might not be that rare ground-breaking 'OH-MY-WOW' kind that makes a person wipe away a few tears while reading it, their connections and depth of feelings were still there, and very strong! Besides, Caine had such a sweet attitude towards Desi, taking care of her, etc, that I thought it more than made up for it. I'd love to have my own Caine! Anyway, moving on.... :D It was a great book, I can't wait to read more books in the Hell's Eight series, along with McCarty's other genre books. Humor, action, romance, and yes, very steamy sex=perfect combination!
Then there was The Pagan Stone by Nora Roberts.
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Summary: Years ago, after their blood brother ritual, Gage, Fox, and Caleb emerged from the woods, each with a piece of bloodstone. Now, it will become their weapon in the final fight against the demon they awakened. Winner take all...
Shared nightmares, visions of blood and fire, and random violence begin to plague the longtime friends and Quinn, Layla, and Cybil, the women bound to them by fate. None of them can ignore the fact that, this year, the demon has grown stronger—feeding off of the terror it creates. But now, the three pieces of the bloodstone have been fused back together. If only they could figure out how to use it.
A gambling man like Gage has no trouble betting on his crew to find a way. And though he and Cybil share the gift of seeing the future, that's all they share. Were they to take their flirtation to the next level, it would be on their own terms, not because fate decreed it. But Gage knows that a woman like Cybil—with her brains and strength and devastating beauty—can only bring him luck. Good or bad has yet to be determined—and could mean the difference between absolute destruction or an end to the nightmare for Hawkins Hollow.
My Thoughts: I really enjoy reading Nora Roberts-- it's like a guilty pleasure. I especially loved the Sign of Seven Trilogy, of which The Pagan Stone was the third book. While I will admit that the amazing, nail-biting suspense and action that the storyline has been building up to didn't give the same punch that I thought it would, the over all story was still really good. I expected more, of course, after all the build up from the previous books, but it was still eventful. Good trumphed evil, all the characters ended up getting their happily-ever-after. I do wish that Gage and Cybil's romance and connection could have been a bit more, well, deep and tender, but it wasn't half bad, especially towards the end. I guess I can blame it partially on the fact that Gage isn't your normal guy, and he carries many scares that have influenced his "bad-ass-no-one-can-affect-me" attitude. :)
I then moved on to a classic novel for my 999 Challenge, Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen.
My Rating: 3 stars
Summary: In a remote Hertfordshire village, far off the good coach roads of George III's England, Mr. and Mrs. Bennet -- a country squire of no great means and his scatterbrained wife -- must marry off their five vivacious daughters. At the heart of this all-consuming enterprise are the headstrong second daughter Elizabeth and her aristocratic suitor Fitzwilliam Darcy, two lovers in whom pride and prejudice must be overcome before love can bring the novel to its magnificent conclusion.
My Thoughts: I enjoyed the movies, and I've always wanted to read her books (they're classic romances, who hasn't read them?) but after I started P&E, I found myself losing interest quickly. **DUCKS** All Austen fans out there, please don't kill me. It wasn't really her writing, because I enjoyed reading the "old-fashioned" writing style and descriptions, but the story line just didn't pull me in completely. I liked it, and I finished it fairly quickly (after trudging along kind of slowly for the first 100 pages or so), but it wan't as amazing as I thought it would be. I have been told by a few of her fans that I may change my mind after reading it again later on, and that I should give some of her other books a try (which I plan on doing anyway.) However, until then, I have to give this classic a solid 'Okay' rating. It wasn't horrible, but it wasn't anywhere near 'amazing' for me either. A delightful read, and while reading it, I started to wonder why we no longer put so much elegance and thought into our speech like they use to even 100 years ago.
Next was an ARC I received from LT, A Gentle Rain by Deborah Smith.
My Rating: 4 stars
Summary: A Connecticut heiress learns she's adopted and travels to northern Florida "cracker"cattle ranch to find her birth parents. There she also finds unexpected romance with the ranch's owner.
My Thoughts: Since I just posted my review on this very book yesterday, I'm not going to say much more on this one. (If you wish to read my review, it should be just below this one. Sorry, I'm too lazy to add a link from there to here...) A Gentle Rain was a very nice romance, more general fiction than romance, but still tender and sweet all the same. The plot was different (in a good way), and I'm glad that I requested this book last month, because otherwise I doubt I would have picked it up-- ever. I'm glad I did! :)
My last book, which I finished Sunday, was The Guardian by Nicholas Sparks
My Rating: 4.5 stars
Summary: Julie Barenson's young husband left her two unexpected gifts before he died-a Great Dane puppy named Singer and the promise that he would always be watching over her. Now, four years have passed. Still living in the small town of Swansboro, North Carolina, twenty-nine-year-old Julie is emotionally ready to make a commitment to someone again. But who? Should it be Richard Franklin, the handsome, sophisticated engineer who treats her like a queen? Or Mike Harris, the down-to-earth nice guy who was her husband's best friend? Choosing one of them should bring her more happiness than she's had in years. Instead, Julie is soon fighting for her life in a nightmare spawned by a chilling deception and jealousy so poisonous that it has become a murderous desire....
My Thoughts: The Guardian was a nice surprise-- it had more than just a sweet romance element to it, it also had some very interesting and pretty intense suspense and mystery to it. The two went together nicely, and I can't picture the story without both of them. I almost cried a few times (mainly towards the end, during a specific scene on the beach), I laughed once or twice, and I was drawn into the story. I finished the book in about a day, and I enjoyed every page. My first taste of Sparks' work, and I am now officially hooked. I can't wait to read more of his books, something that I've been planning on doing for a few years now.
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Again, sorry for the delay, and I promise to work on it next time. I'm already starting on the post for this week's books (which will be posted at the beginning of next week).
I hope that everyone is having a good time and reading plenty of great books. :)
Until next time,
~TBQ~

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