Saturday, May 31, 2014

May In Review

Books Read:  22
Books on the Currently Reading Shelf on Goodreads: 14
Days I Wrote Productively:  11
Approximate Word Count: ~12,500

Can't talk.  Reading paranormal romantic smut.

Book List:

  • Who Will Take This Man? by Jacquie D'Alessandro, historical romance, 4 stars
    • I didn't like it as much as I liked her other books, but I still liked it.
            • Where the Heart Leads by Stephanie Laurens, historical romance, 4 stars
              • This book and the previous one kind of ran together.  It was really good though.
            • Heart of Stone by C. E. Murphy, urban fantasy, 3 stars
              • Maybe because I took so long to read it, but it just sort of...didn't do it for me.  However, I already have books 2 and 3 in the series, so I will finish it out.  I didn't hate it obviously.
            • A Dance of Blades by David Dalglish, fantasy, 3 stars
              • This was another book I spanned.  2 problems.  1 - It's a prequel to an already existing series that I have not read.  2 - This entire damn series got re-released in print with revisions and I bought the 3-pack on Kindle a while back.  I still got book 3 to read (this was book 2), and then there's a book 4 that's either coming out soon if it's not already out.  It's an interesting story, but this whole thing is annoying as hell.  I should've just waited to read it.  I'd've bought it in print.  Depending on how I feel about book 3, I might just go back and re-read the entire updated set.  But geez, I'm annoyed.
            • "Can't Get Enough" from the anthology Everlasting Bad Boys by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance, 4 stars
              • Ailean and Shalin's story in the Dragon Kin series.  Oh my gosh, it was every bit as good as I'd hoped it would be.
            • "Dragon on Top" from the anthology Supernatural by G. A. Aiken, paranormal romance, 4 stars
              • Ghleanna's story.  Hilarious.  I feel the need to share this, because it's everything you need to know about the Dragon Kin series:
                • If anyone knew how ill-equipped Ghleanna was for babysitting duty, it was her brother. Even their own mother stopped allowing Ghleanna to babysit Bercelak after she’d dangled him over an active volcano, threatening to toss him in. And then there was that other time when she’d left Bercelak alone on a mountaintop when he still couldn’t fly, but not before she told him, “It’s not that Mum and Da don’t love you—they just don’t want you anymore. But I’m sure someone will come along who does.”
            • Lady Amelia's Secret Lover by Victoria Alexander, historical romance short story, 4 stars
              •  Victoria Alexander got me into historical romance. This has been out a while and I finally read it.  Wasn't disappointed. I'll be getting her newest one ASAP.
            • Web of Love by Mary Balogh, historical romance, 3 stars
              • Spanned.  This book was really heartbreaking.  The heroine's first husband is alive for the first 100 pages, and then the hero is sick and she's tending him...and oh my gosh.  It's really good, but really sad, and doesn't run like the usual romance at all.
            • Romancing the Duke by Tessa Dare, historical romance, 4 stars
              • Hey look, something that came out this year!  For the most part, I like Tessa Dare's books.  However, her heroes do tend to skew like the a-holes from the glory days of the bodice-rippers.  That is NOT okay.  Docking a star.  Other than that, it was funny and sweet, and oh my gosh.  The hero and heroine both showed a lot of growth, which is ALWAYS important.
            • Captain's Fury by Jim Butcher, fantasy, 5 stars
              • This is just brilliant.  God, I love this series.
            • An English Bride in Scotland by Lynsay Sands, historical romance, 3 stars
              • Wasn't terribly impressed, but the characters were okay.
            • Princep's Fury by Jim Butcher, fantasy, 5 stars
              • Probably the weakest in the series, but it ended great.
            • How to Drive a Dragon Crazy by G. A. Aiken, paranormal romance/smut, 4 stars
              • Didn't like it as much as the rest of the series, but still.  ANNNND, now we wait for December for the last book to come out.
            • The Beast in Him by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance/smut, 4 stars
            • First Lord's Fury by Jim Butcher, fantasy, 5 stars
              • It's finally over.  I freaking love this author's books.  It's an excellent series.  Excellent.  Just excellent.  The best fantasy series no one's ever heard of.
            • The Mane Attraction by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance/smut, 4 stars
              •  Sissy Mae and Mitch Shaw.  Fun stuff.
            • The Mane Squeeze by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance/smut, 4 stars
              • This was probably my favorite in the series.  A geeky bear who loves honey and plays with his toes.  Hm mm.
            • "Like a Wolf with a Bone" from Howl for It by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance, 5 stars
              • I ought to be ashamed of myself.
            • Beast Behaving Badly by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance, 4 stars
              •  Bo is why I don't typically like smut.  He's an a-hole, but he gets better.
            • Big Bad Beast by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance, 4 stars
              • This is the one I've been waiting for!  I love Dee-Ann and Ric.
            • Bear Meets Girl by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance, 4 stars
              • I adore the bears.  I want a bear shifter.
            • Wolf with Benefits by Shelly Laurenston, paranormal romance, 5 stars
              • I like Ricky Lee and Toni.  Theirs was a sweet romance.

            Note:  Shelly Laurenston and G. A. Aiken are the same person.

            Thursday, May 1, 2014

            April in Review

            Books Read: 14
            Books on the Currently Reading Shelf on Goodreads: 15
            Days I Wrote Productively: 7
            Approximate Word Count: ~7,100

            Obviously, I didn't write much.  However, given how much I read, I'm not beating myself up about it.  Finals are next week (my last final is May 7), and then I have the rest of May off, and then return to classes June 2nd.

            Book List:

            • Sleepless at Midnight by Jacquie D'Alessandro, historical romance, 5 stars
              • Geez, I love this author's books.  Like, really.  Laugh out loud funny.  If you haven't tried her and you like romance, go forth and read!
            • Much Ado About You by Eloisa James, historical romance, 3 stars
              • Good story, but no blow-up.  You have no idea how important the blow-up is in a romance book until you read one that doesn't have one.
            • What Price Love? by Stephanie Laurens, historical romance, 5 stars
              • Oh, oh gosh.  Honorary Cynsters.  This is splendid.  Simply splendid.  That is all.
            • Furies of Calderon by Jim Butcher, fantasy, 5 stars
              • I love Jim Butcher's books.  This is awesome, and read pretty quickly for a 600+ page book.
            • Ashes Ascendant by Kevin McLaughlin, contemporary fantasy, 4 stars
              • I didn't like it as much as the first Blackwell Magic book, but it was still pretty good.  The cast is great.
            • Cynders and Ashe by Elizabeth Boyle, historical romance short story, 3 stars
              • Um, it's hard for romantic short stories to be good.  There's often little to no blow-up.  I need that blow-up.
            • Whirlwind Affair by Jacquie D'Alessandro, historical romance, 4 stars
              • Double blow-up:  when you're not sure the hero and heroine are going to wind up together AND the villain makes a grab for the heroine.  Woo-hoo!
            • The Taste of Innocence by Stephanie Laurens, historical romance, 5 STARS
              • Okay, Charlie Morwellan - annoying hero, but really, really, REALLY pulls through in the end.  Sarah Conningham - love her, just love her.  And the villain gets the Zuko award (not as big a jerk as he could've been).  Simply lovely.  Wonderful.  The Honorary Cynster to end all Honorary Cynsters.
            • Temptation and Surrender by Stephanie Laurens, historical romance, 5 stars
              • The last of the Cynster series.  I adored Lucifer and Phyllida, and I liked Jonas and Emily.  And Lucifer and Phyllida had a huge part.  So much yes.  I still have the twins' books to read, but this is the last book proper.  The books I have left are the Cynster females.
            • Academ's Fury by Jim Butcher, fantasy, 5 stars
              • Oh, geez, the plot thickens, and it's getting exciting, and I'm so glad I have the entire series!
            • The Raven and the Rose by Kevin O. McLaughlin, contemporary fantasy short story, 4 stars
              • I like Ryan Blackwell.  I really, really, like Ryan Blackwell.  Very good character.  I read By Darkness Revealed last year.  There are typos here and there, but overall pretty good.  Mistakenly, this takes place before Ashes Ascendant.  Oops.  Anyway, moving on...
            • Accidentally in Love by Claudia Dain, historical romance short story, um
              • Again, hard for authors to pull off a romantic short story.  But this was really disappointing.  There wasn't anything but the heroine's obsession with the hero, and the hero wondering why he suddenly felt something for the heroine.  It just wasn't it.  This goes under, "slice of life" or "what we hoped happened a lot in the past, but probably didn't," not "great romance."
            • The Skeleton Project, Fright Pack #1 by Wayne Thomas Batson, humor/paranormal shorts anthology, 4 stars
              • And now it's time for Silly Stories with Mr. Batson, the part of the show where Mr. Batson comes out, and tells a silly story.  Great way to spend a slow day at work. 
            • Cursor's Fury by Jim Butcher, fantasy, 5 stars
              • I love this series.  It's exciting and wonderful.  Just wonderful.  Go forth and read!