Book Hoarders Anonymous

I have too many books. There, I admit it. I'm working on it though.
Lovers In Hiding (Hide and Seek) - Susan Kearney

You know, I mostly liked this one, but a H who is as concerned with getting in the h's pants as he is with keeping her alive...yeah. It does not help that she'd, in telling him her life story, basically clued him in that she wasn't looking for a fling, and his history with relationships indicated he wasn't much better than her adoptive father.

 

Really dude, she told you no for a reason. Her mom divorced her dad after entirely too many holidays alone, and your wife divorced you for similar reasons - as you told her.

 

Of course, he finally succeeds, figures out afterward that he's in over his head as far as this relationship goes, and panics. In his mental freakout (and possibly, arrogance), he was careless and she was shot.

 

I kept hearing Jack Ryan's voice though - "I'm just an analyst!" The H was a code breaker; not a field agent.

 

My onliest gripe with the h was that she didn't hold out, and tell him why. I almost prefer the romantic suspenses where sex never happens. Seems to me that too many authors have the H thinking with the wrong head too much to be v. effective at his job.

Hidden Hearts - Susan Kearney

Words fail me. I keep slipping into rant mode, but I'll try.

 

My sheer annoyance is based on the last chapter or two when the H, pissy because the h *who has known him about 72 hours* still doesn't trust him fully.

 

Bless his heart.

 

Dick.

 

I mean; her introduction to him was the blockage at her back door when she was trying to escape the bad guy who'd burst into her front door. He then tracks her down where she's hidden in a dumpster and threatens to help her shower, continues coming on so strong I felt she needed creep repellant - at least until he figured out that angle wasn't working.

 

She slept with him 36 hours later because - romance novel and why the hell not when you're being chased by rogue agents who have the ability to track you via satellite even as you hide in a high hide.

 

And then after he does his whole "I can't live with a woman who doesn't trust me" bit - yes, he said that, she does a whole hour or so of soul searching and decides she has to get over the last overly smarmy creep she was involved with or she'd never have a future with this one. And she tells him she trusts him at the end rather than you know, pointing out that she hardly knows him, they haven't even gone out on a date, and he reminds her a lot of her last boyfriend.

The Hidden Years - Susan Kearney

Another long separation, this one a friends to enemies to lovers. Only, the h didn't get the enemies memo.

 

Our H/h became friends when kids/teens/something. H read a lot more into it than h, or rather, H's intensity scared h into friendzoning him. He wasn't quite bright enough to pick up the signal though until she presented him with the news she was going to UCLA to further her education. Then he decided to get pissy about it, although not to her face.

 

She evidently did attempt contact when in college early on, but he never got back with her, so she gave up. She's a lawyer now, just as she'd told him many times while he was mentally planning out his family with her. I'd also add that her late mother had given up education for family, and it bothered her dad more than a little that she never got to go back and finish her degree, so he'd encouraged the h more than a little to get an education first. We're not told if the h ever said anything about that to the H but if they were fairly close friends and he knew of her intentions to get an education (even if he did ignore them), it stands to reason she did at some point.

 

Of course, something about his past is what brings them together, which is when she discovers she's his enemy now. Her dad has died, and she found a box of stuff pertaining to the H's past and his missing sisters. She took it to him, and he blew up in her face.

The bad news was, the reason he was never able to find his sisters was because his parents were CIA and were killed by a mole. And now she is on their radar. He arrives to apologize for his boorish behavior just in time to save her life.

 

Of course he blows hot and cold on her. He does it one too many times and she starts giving him the cold shoulder. Eventually after one too many brushes with death it occurs to genius that protecting his poor little feelings does little good if he or she gets their ass shot off, so he caves.

 

Lowlights - the h's constant mental dialog was downright irritating. The voices in my head is a figure of speech. Reading a h arguing with herself is something that should be left to comedy.

Bride Of The Bad Boy  (Blame It On Bob) (Harlequin Desire) - Bevarly

cute in a stupid sort of way. Stupid as in, do people really act like that?

 

Ok then. The H is in this quiet town to "negotiate" a deal with a local pharma

ceutical company for the mob. He's driving a convertible of European engineering, and renting a house. I'm not sure how this is supposed to keep anyone from being suspicious of him but apparently the h and maybe one of her fellow journalists are the only ones who find this odd. His attempts to talk tough come across as cheesy. And the h's accusations hurt his feelings (?!)

 

The h is a bored journalist who is suspicious - the guy has been in town a week, supposedly represents a chemical company, and has yet to contact the pharmaceutical company. She knows this because her dad owns said company. Her fellow bored journalist has dug things up that connect him to the mob. She breaks into the house he's renting for some inexplicable reason. He catches her. She tries to warn her dad who irritates me by coming across as decidedly dismissive. She writes a couple of articles all but accusing him. He coerces her into marriage. (I'd love to know what her dad thought when all these slimy looking mob guys showed up at the wedding. Hah!)

 

He finally comes clean - after the wedding night of course - telling her that he's actually DEA and undercover. She's miffed - somewhat understandably I guess, but at this point..

 

I found her behavior when confronted odd, particularly for a college grad and journalist. I had a great deal of difficulty taking her seriously. And I really ponder why she stayed there when her dad treated her like she was 12.

 

The H was just one of those guys who I wonder how he was capable of holding his job. We never see him as a cop - that was offpage (gee thanks). We just see him as this dingbat who manages not to blow his cover just by existing mostly because everyone else is oblivious.

 

According to my booklist, I have the other two. Yay?

Dr. Mommy - Elizabeth Bevarly

A lot of readers I know dislike long separations. I'm mostly indifferent to the plot device but think authors often fail miserably on the execution of bringing them back together. One I read once, the H/h had been college students living together, he packed up and left while she was at school. A decade later, he's assigned to be her bodyguard of sorts and tells her not to bring all that up, so she didn't and they had a HEA. Granted, she shot him but... I thought the shooting bit was the best part.

 

Anyway. There were things about this that didn't make sense - the h's parents were doctors in the Peace Corps so she changed schools a lot. I would think she would have either spent a lot of time in boarding schools, or been to some interesting places. In any case, sometime around her 15th year, they settled into *a* area and apparently lived there, although they were equally apparently no longer in the picture, whether by death or aliens, the book does not say. The H made a concerted effort to befriend her, but she was always a bit standoffish. I was really puzzled that suddenly she was able to stay in a place for what sounds like 5 or 6 years.

 

So they dated through the remains of her high school edumacation, through her getting her BS, and just as she got a scholarship to Yale for med school, he proposed. She promptly broke up.

 

The book never states either one's age; just gives vague ideas that based on some really fuzzy math, they're in their 30s. I'm not sure. Anyway...

 

An abused kid dropped her baby off on the h's doorstep on New Year's. She called the cops, as you do. He's just getting off work, having worked a double shift, having not had a day off in 2 weeks (don't labor laws apply to cops?). Dispatch sends him to her house where they're snow bound for several days, or until the kid is picked up and they're able to reunite them. Somehow we're expected to believe that 2 days were all that was required to work out the issues...

 

H had expectations, and made them known when they were dating. He wanted to become a cop. He wanted to buy a house near his parents (yikes), and he wanted the h for a broodmare for his future 6 kids.

 

Heroine made it known repeatedly that she didn't want kids and that she wanted to become a Dr. Apparently he didn't listen (what the hell did he think she went to college for; learn how to clean skid marks out of his underwear?). So when he proposed, she realized beyond a shadow of a doubt that this WOULD NOT WORK and bailed.

Not the first one I've run into with a neanderthal who thought the little woman's only purpose in his life was to wait on him and pop out babies. Not the first one the "little woman" told him to go to hell either. At least this one did some soul searching when confronted with the reality that her job paid *a lot* better than his did. The other one, the dumb girl didn't have sense enough to go somewhere else and actually get her degree before getting near him again.

 

I still don't think enough time passed to really work out the issues, and mostly we're shown the baby being essentially used to make her like kids. What would have been amusing in a way would have been her telling him she'd gotten fixed so as to avoid worrying about that...ever.

 

Of course the epilogue showed them with 4 kids. At least he was a stay-at-home dad BUT...the h being late for work because of his need for attention didn't set well with me.

Pursued - Elizabeth  Jennings

I have read this twice but the other was the EC rewrite.

 

With that in mind... I had some issue with the first one - some of the things that got rewrote actually made the h seem brainless, and the elaborations on the H's business really didn't work.

 

They still don't work - at least in the vague way the author intended. He says they raise TBs, Arabians, and QH. Of course he says they breed them and train them, then after 3 years or so they send them back to their owners. Makes sense to me...not.

 

The h...we don't witness her arguing with the agent over her going into hiding, so we don't get that sense that she's a ditz, and she doesn't really do anything dumb. If anything, the dingbat award goes to the H and others for assuming everyone at that party was friendly, even though there were people there they didn't know. Wouldn't have been an issue if they hadn't panicked and went in to surround her, all armed up. They compounded the error by telling everyone why. Naturally there was a third hitperson who just happened to be among the crowd. Naturally after the H got his feelings hurt by something the h said after they found out the mobster with the hit on her was dead, the hitWOMAN who had been in the diner earlier, paid the h a visit.

 

Heh; maybe the rewrite was so the H wouldn't look so dumb.

Heart to Heart - Elizabeth  Jennings

I had difficulty with the h. Smart but dumb comes to mind. Also, I have a hard time believing that she got to the ripe old age of 30 without one bit of sexual curiosity, even allowing for that bad experience at the tender age of 15 which seems to be highly improbable any way, and she defended the guy (honey, even if you were legal age, you were still drunk), saying it was a misunderstanding.

 

Ok, backing up a bit. She was an afterthought so to speak, a token kid born to a couple of bookworms of some social standing (read, old money). Packed off to private and/or boarding schools, studious, and a child prodigy (of course). She started college at 15. She went to what amounts to a frat party, drank whatever someone passed her, the guy she was talking to invited her to his room... and 15 years later, she still has no concept of what an orgasm is.

 

That was half of it. Her missing meals - how do you expect to fit in if you don't associate with anyone like say, over a bland machine sammich at lunch? Her distracted driving (and apparently insisting on it because independence was more important than the risk of hitting someone), her tantrums at the H every time he tried to protect her from herself. She got off work early to look over a colleague's notes - in his motel room - and was there for 4 hours. Didn't tell the H she was going to be late, or anything. And got pissed off at him for assuming the worst. Uh...well, what did you think would happen? Are you really that stupid? Remembers the frat party. Oh. Right. Guess you haven't learned anything. Blew up on him after an abused patient's crazy ex confronted her outside her apartment (was puzzled at the lack of security there - how did the creep get to her door? She lived on the 9th floor). He was scared out of his mind, and she went off on him because he wanted her to have a bodyguard.

 

The H...well, other than his frets of wanting to possess her violently (read, he wanted to lose control like every LMR H we've read, but was reining himself in a *lot* to accommodate the twi...er...heroine)

What The Lady Wants - Jennifer Crusie

Ok well then. That was entertaining. I'm not sure what to think of a hero who is described as having a face like a catcher's mitt with a jaw though. The guy on the cover did not resemble that remark though.

 

So the h, trying to figure out what was up with her not-so-dearly departed uncle, hires the H...because he doesn't look too terribly intelligent. He's smart enough to play that angle up though and thus begins a madcap adventure with... a wannabe mob boss, his punk grandson who has a crush on his cousin - the h, the not-so-dearly departed's brother, his mistress... his bride of a few days makes an appearance to discover there's no monet. Unfortunately, we're denied her reaction at discovering the house and its contents have been sold too. That would have been amusing.

 

And at the end, he's managed to annoy enough people into leaving clues to allow him and her to connect the dots. He's also decided that monogamy is just fine, thanks. (there was an amusing discussion about that)

The Bride Said, "I Did?" - Cathy Gillen Thacker

(stony look) I'd like to know what world the author is in that an actor would wake up next to a woman, with no recollection of how he got there, and not immediately start with damage control like lawyering up and getting a restraining order in hand. And a marriage certificate on the nightstand beside him? Yeah; let's get that taken care of too.

 

Woman would be divorced and have a restraining order against her before she located her underwear.

 

But no, we're to believe our H went wandering around the village asking questions. We're equally to believe that 3 weeks later, he finally shows up on her doorstep demanding answers of his "wife".

 

Ah but this is a romance. Can't let reality intrude can we? Like that a woman who'd woke up like that wouldn't have gotten a pregnancy test and oh hey; let's get tested for STDs while we're at it, during those three weeks.

 

And that's just the setup. He steamrolled her. Inserted himself into her home, manipulated her into giving in, etc.

 

No, I didn't like him. Yes; I probably would have told him I didn't want the brat, if only to get rid of him.

Reckless - Julie Kenner

I got through part of it before realizing I'd read book one a few weeks ago. As I recall, it was *this* character that had me irritated in that book, so reading her story wasn't exactly something I gave much thought.

 

Once upon a time, there was a shy, impoverished nerd in a small Texas town. Three jocks were a bit mean to her for her senior prom...ok, one was. The other two just gave into peer pressure. She ran off, became a lawyer, and is the previous heroine's literary agent.

 

For reasons I do not know, possibly because I have yet to go to a class reunion and have no real reason to avoid it; just don't care, the heroine decides to trek back to bumblefart Texas, get the three jocks hot and bothered, and tell them they aren't worth her time. No; can't say that I do understand. Then again, I didn't go to my senior prom either. :shrug:

 

Of course, it comes a monsoon, she hits a dog, and gets picked up by what she thinks is one of the jerks, only it's his older half brother. So the rest of the book is her attempting to get revenge on three men, two of which have grown up, while getting assistance after a fashion from the H. Eventually she comes to her senses - about the time the one who hasn't grown up remembers her and decides to teach her a lesson about being a tease.

 

As an aside, the house/farm/ranch/whatever, Dalton or Duncan? And how is it still standing having been abandoned for 20 years? It's treated as if all it needs is a coat of paint. Right.

The Colorado Kid (Three Cowboys & A Baby, #1) - Vicki Lewis Thompson

Ok, so you have Sebastian and Barbara, who find themselves neighbors to Mattie and Butch. Mattie notices Sebastian. Butch notices Barbara. Barbara notices Butch. Sebastian has his head up SOMEwhere and notices nothing. Butch and Barbara have a fling. Mattie finds out about it, confronts Butch who proceeds to plow his cessna into the side of a mountain. Sebastian pats her on the head and wanders off. Barbara files for divorce eventually and informs Sebastian of her fling. Sebastian is blindsided but says nothing.

 

2 years later...the book starts. At this point, Mattie has been widowed 5 years, Sebastian divorced a little over 2. He's decided to end his celibacy by inviting some chick at the bank over for dinner and benefits. Mattie is well aware of this because the chick has been boasting about it.

 

Enter Elizabeth, a baby, daughter of a girl Sebastian and his friends had been stranded during an avalanche with. Sebastian is convinced it's his even though the note the girl left him when she dropped the baby off on his porch gave no clue as to paternity.

 

I still have difficulty with the friends to lovers bit. In this case, the h has a crush and the H is oblivious. Hard to imagine a friend not picking up on that, when his buddy apparently did.

 

Eventually he comes to his senses but it was practically the last pages, and after the buddy had told him off.

 

As an aside, supposedly the dog had puppies 10 years prior, but then she didn't show up until 8 years prior so...

Santa Assignment - Delores Fossen

cover commentary:  What's with the alien arms and dorky expression?

 

A point off for keeping it in the family. Ewww.

 

Another point off for a tangled web of whodunit

 

So the heroine, her sister, and three boys - two of which were brothers - grew up together. heroine dates the third wheel amongst the boys. Sister marries a cop. Both girls are attorneys. The brothers beat up the third boy - the boyfriend of sorts. Heroine, for whatever reason, represents one of the brothers. Boyfriend is pissed off, brother represented is pissed off. Someone kills sister, brother-in-law takes upset out on heroine, someone starts stalking heroine (or was that already happening, unsure). Heroine disappears herself.

 

This is the setup.

 

Not quite 3 years later, former BIL sicces PI on h because his son - her nephew - is in dire straits and needs a donor. Sibling is the last hope.

 

Of course, they do try the clinical method, and it may have even worked in spite of the stalker's burning down the clinic. They also try the old fashioned method - as clinically as possible. Eventually, h is grabbed. Eventually, they have a less impersonal encounter, eventually, h is grabbed again...

 

Because two of the three boys from her childhood held grudges and were after her.

The Ghoul Vendetta - Lisa Shearin

Fast paced as per usual. Am a bit surprised that we have elves, goblins, and... apparently we have fae as well. Huh. Oh, and Fomorians. The latter were banished millennia ago by what turns out to be Ian's ancestor...who wasn't human. Nobody's sure how Ian feels about that. Ian isn't saying though. Ian would have remained in the dark so to speak about his ancestry if the bad guy hadn't left a little trinket that lit up like the Bat signal when he picked it up.

 

Of course, the bad guy is trying to get a curse lifted that Ian's ancestor placed on the Fomorians, and to do that, he's gotta remove Ian.

 

Much investigating ensues, with Rake declaring his intentions to Mac just prior to the latest war to stave off Armageddon. Of course the good guys win.

Immortal Unchained - Lynsay Sands

I dreaded this book. The prologue was in another book as a teaser, and skimming the end had them escaping. I had this uneasy feeling they were going to spend the entire book in cages being tormented or something.

 

Fortunately, I was wrong about that.

 

Unfortunately... in spite of the h being a cop and trained in martial arts, she only demonstrated this particular skill like, once. She had plenty of opportunity - walking into the lab and finding a man cut in half, with the mad scientist and his lovely assistant there. She could have taken both out right then. Instead, she assisted in the reassembly of the poor bastard and gave the lunatic the opportunity to drug her. And then there was the other island, where she, upon finding herself swathed in chiffon and thongs, the H downstairs, chained down, etc., failed to do things like oh, unchain him, toss the blood on his lap, run back upstairs and see how flammable all that useless excuse for clothing was. She had the right idea with grabbing the knives, but burning the house down, hiding in the jungle, and taking out goons might have been more productive.

 

The H...was thinking with his dick. At one point, she went after him to drag him outside to tell him about all the cameras, and he pounced. If he hadn't managed to tug at an injury and cause her pain... Her slapping the snot out of him was a high light. And it never occurred to him NOT to talk about his family around the cameras. He whispered about going outside to do some planning, but the thought that he might be putting people at risk never crossed his mind.

 

I miss the early books where the characters spent time doing stuff before getting busy (maybe why I rather liked the last one).

 

And finally, at least some of this happening is due to arrogance - nobody wears contacts around mortals, nobody reads minds to make sure people around them are safe. They read each other's mind with impunity but can't be bothered to keep an eye on the mortal world. Jackie and her father knew, but apparently Pablo didn't, and was also unethical in that he shared info from another client.

How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days - Kerrelyn Sparks

A pleasant surprise. I don't know what I expected but fantasy wasn't exactly it. And, an interesting fantasy. I liked that the world building occurred in the setting of the stage, and that new character introductions were kept to a minimum after a certain point - some authors scatter both throughout the story, causing disruption of the storyline.

 

Characters: the h, hidden twin, is pressed into service to fill in for her recently deceased sister. She sees dead people. Occasionally she sees the future...like once. Mostly she sees dead people. And converses with them, which makes everyone wonder about her. She doesn't even make an attempt to hide this, which is kinda dumb given that her country has laws about "gifts". Some of her oddities - and the other special snowflakes she grew up with - lead the H to figure out that something was off, and suspect what it was.

 

H, also gifted but in a way that makes him exceedingly dangerous and hard to kill, is nephew to the king. He's at some point, relieved he can actually touch her and well, that in and of itself means he's going to be exceedingly protective.

 

Various others - Brody, gifted shifter. Not sure whether he's just a shifter or another chameleon. He's not saying.
Nevis, friend. Not sure that he has any gifts
Nevis' dad. Practically raised H
Heroine's dad. hid h away because twins are outlawed too.
An assortment of ghosts including the h's twin, their mother, a kid... they acted to some extent as spies for the h

 

Villain - officially the H's uncle who coveted the h's family land and wanted an excuse to steal it *and* possibly get rid of the H in the process. Unofficially, turned out to be a non-issue as he, and his mostly harmless son, were done in by a chameleon who, though zapped by the H a couple of times, still got away.

 

Nits - that chameleon appearing out of nowhere, conveniently making the H king.
The H's choice of explicatives - holy shit - seemed incongruous in the context of the story. His first encounter with the h, he said several times "I like that". Made me think of Angel in Maverick. Found it distracting.

Falling for the Highlander - Lynsay Sands

I strongly dislike humor that makes characters look dumb. The H and his interactions with the three stooges accompanying him made me roll my eyes. The h and her mount of choice...right. The H's lack of control at the sight of a bit of skin was ridiculous.

 

When sex occurred just a few hours after she'd regained consciousness *4* days after getting shot with an arrow, all because he got sidetracked by a bit of boob when changing her bandage, I almost threw the book.

 

And nobody talked to each other. She saw someone twice on the trip, and didn't say anything. This after she'd gotten hit in the head. They only figured that out after the H almost took advantage of her drunken state, she sulked off back to camp, and he went hunting her and spotted the other person. And even though they were suspicious about the rash of dead people in her life, they still discounted that her getting shot had anything to do with anything. She found a scrap of strange plaid at the lodge, didn't tell anyone.

 

Nor did anyone at any time think someone should maybe stay with her. It was luck and her half-brother's stupidity that they even noticed her missing.

Currently reading

The Champion of Barésh (Star World Frontier) (Volume 1)
Susan Grant