Book Hoarders Anonymous

I have too many books. There, I admit it. I'm working on it though.
Iron and Magic -  Ilona Andrews

I did have a nit or two

 

When I finally got around to reading the Kate Daniels series, there were...quite a few books out. Actually, I think it was a little over a year ago - there's only been one book released since. At some point (likely the one where Hugh kidnapped Kate), I muttered that he needed to either be killed off or get laid. I didn't care which; just so he stopped being a thorn in Kate's side.

 

This works.

 

As has been hinted at with Kate's relationship with Julie, the binding might extend a life, but there are side effects...like being virtually a puppet if the binder so chooses. Hugh was purged and is very much aware of the absence of the binding...and increasingly feeling a conscience that Roland had subverted. In essence, he's been on nearly a year long bender because he can't deal with it. Several of his former army show up to explain to him that he needs to crawl out of the gutter and help them, because the head master of the undead is killing them off. Seems Roland was vexed to discover the Iron Dogs were loyal to Hugh; not Roland.

 

Elara...I have no idea what she is. The description of her near the end reminded me of a battle sylph. She appears human most of the time. There's a story we aren't privy to as to why she and a group of people left another group. It involves what she is *now*. The same head master of the undead is trying to gain control of her property for Roland. This sets up the two characters' lives converging.

 

They spend a lot of time bickering. And yet...it's a lot like grade school where you're attracted to someone but you don't wanna admit it so you make yourself a nuisance.

At the end, the head master of the undead managed to get his hands on Hugh, Roland appeared with a proposal to come home, Hugh refused, and Elara in whatever her other form is rescued him.

 

They're still fighting the attraction though, and it's been maybe a couple of months so no insta-love...and I'm now impatient for the last Kate Daniels to come out. Augh.

 

Nit - the first time they ran into what was later referred to as mrogs, she killed 14 and they killed the leaders. The 15th mrog followed and was killed inside the castle. Later, it's said that if you kill the leader, the mrogs just stand around unless you come near them with a weapon. They engage the mrogs several times.

Crazy Like A Fox  (Louisiana) (Born in the USA) - Anne Stuart

 

Hmm. I found myself wondering near the beginning what sorts of jobs the h was applying for. Supposedly she was working on her graduate studies in reproductive biology when she found herself widowed and having to drop out. I would think at the state of desperation she seemed to be, she'd look at waitressing jobs at diners or something. Instead, she's living out of her car, with a 9 year old daughter, and broke.

 

Then there's the motel - what sort can you get where you could stay in for $30-40 bucks? Granted, this book was written in 1990.

 

So she contacts her late husband's grandmother, and ends up in Louisiana where she finds herself pursued by one cousin, falling for another... and supposedly that one is a homicidal maniac...

 

Except that the homicidal maniac isn't, and the dullard lawyer cousin...is mentally disturbed and nobody knows. Weird. Because usually there's some sign somewhere...

Of course everyone figures all this out at the end when mild mannered lawyer tries to kill her - after calling the police - to set up a scene so his cousin will be incarcerated or executed. Grandmere asks him why he tried to kill his cousin...and he confesses to it all.

Heroine - justifiably anxious to escape. Too bad the mild mannered lawyer's grabbiness didn't make her wary of him. She continued being wary of the wrong one.

 

Hero - well, I guess being locked in the attic - sortof - beats being executed. Fortunately, his cousin's confession exonerated him, otherwise there would be no romance.

Kansas City Cop - Julie Miller

Honestly, I don't remember Mike from whatever book was his dad's. I *think* his stepmom is in forensics but it's been years and a number of installments in this series since then...and that's assuming I guessed the right person.

 

So Gina is in line for a promotion to S.W.A.T...as is her partner. She wants to be the best of the best (overachiever). Her partner OTOH, is content to be accepted. She gets shot near the beginning of the book, and Mike (H) is her therapist. Actually, he's last resort as she'd refused to listen to the last two. He gets to spend the next several weeks keeping her out of trouble as she tries to figure out who shot her...and several other contenders.

As it turns out, her partner's dad was attempting to stack the deck in his son's favor by eliminating the competition - one minority at a time. The son figured it out at some point, but did nothing to dissuade dear old dad. Further, he more or less left her twisting in the wind after a run-in with the ex of a woman he'd been sniffing around (ex was abusive)

 

High-lights - no story arc to drag through half a dozen books (thank you Jesus)
Book was essentially a stand-alone. You'd have to go digging through the series to even find some of the characters (I sort of remember several mentioned on the S.W.A.T team but that was several years and a couple of story arcs ago)

 

Low-light - it being so long before revisiting the group there meant you almost felt lost at times. Fortunately I guess, you don't hang around any of the previously used characters too long - well, other than dear old dad. Still...

 

Heroine's attitude got old after a while. There's prickly and there's being a bitch. She strayed entirely too closely to the latter at times.

Stormy Persuasion - Johanna Lindsey

Ok, it's been a while, and I'm not overly fond of reading about kids of couples past but... It was better than I expected.

 

My biggest quibble is that Judith considers herself to not be very bold yet her first run-in with the H was when she and her cousin spotted a lamp in the abandoned house and went to investigate. That she made another trip at the beginning of the book, plus the number of other times she did things that, well... Let's just say De Nile isn't just a river in Africa.

 

The H, well, he had reasons for his attitude towards the nobility.

 

Considering this book came out 3 years ago, I wonder when Jack's book comes out. I kinda sorta want to read it but at the same time...

Sliver Silence - Nalini Singh

I generally don't care for the changeling parings as too many fight the bond (and if the heroine is psy, the hero's first thought seems to be "kill her").  Valentin however, saw his mate, and is making her notice him one way or the other.  She, when she thought about it, realized her Silence was failing as she didn't send him packing.

 

Naturally, there must be some kink in this - hero happy to have found The One, heroine realizing there's something about him, and accepting him makes for a short story.  She's a telepath...and she hears everything.  Being Silent allowed her to block that aspect of her classification.  By not being Silent, her barriers started failing fast.  Surgery was elected.  Her grandmother pointed out to him that he could have suggested options - I imagine if she'd pulled from the Psy-net, the noise would have been more bearable.

 

In any case, the surgery made her emotionless.  The bond refused to be denied, and the H making himself present sped things along.

 

At the end of the book - Bo is in a coma, having gotten between a sniper and his sister, and not expected to survive.  Since the latest book is about him...

The Scot Beds His Wife (Victorian Rebels) - Kerrigan Byrne

Ok well... that was fun. The h was ah...uncouth? Certainly not what the H was expecting. Not really what I was expecting either.

 

I gotta say, I really dislike that these heroes keep pushing the heroines away over something *they're* not really in a position to judge anyone for. At least this one didn't endanger the heroine by doing so. To be fair, the only time she really was ever helpless was when she got caught without her guns.

 

And I gotta wonder about The Rook - another brother? Was he the one who was supposedly beaten to death in Newgate by goons who mistook him for Dorian?

The Sea King - C.L. Wilson

There are many descriptives that apply to this lengthy tome - overwritten, unevenly paced, pretentious... And they all point to the real issue - somewhere there's a good story, but it's so buried in the muck that most readers would give up long before anything actually happens. Apparently the editors were bored too - there are missing words in a number of sentences.

First there's the courtship - 200 pages in and she's still saying "no". It's a nearly 600 page book. There's a lot of her hand-wringing about it being dangerous for her to open herself up to him, a lot of alluding to someone she'd killed with her magic long ago. Early on, after it was clear that his royal symbol and hers reacted, and she was pushing him away. I was thinking "you're a special kind of stupid, aren't you?" Because she planned to pass him of to a sister, and go away. Yeah...don't think that'll work. Then, when her dreams became more nightmare as she kept dreaming of incinerating which ever sister her imagination thought he'd pick, she decided she'd kill herself to protect them. At that point, i wondered if they were already too bonded for any of this to work, and what would happen to him if she did.

 

Then the pace picked up - she and her sisters were kidnapped. After she was rescued, and she still refused him... Let's put it this way - she and her sisters were called weather witches. I started thinking of her as a weatherbitch. I was starting to think of her as that before the kidnapping though.

 

The H...overly dramatic at times. Still, he was far more likable than she was.

 

The villains - there was foreshadowing of one of them at the beginning. No surprise there really. The other one seemed over the top, not to mention kinda stupid. You would think he'd realize that doing what he did might cause the very person he did it for to give up. And the lengths he went to made me wonder if he weren't responsible for the death that put said person in decline in the first place.

Wicked Abyss - Kresley Cole

I was sort of hesitant about this one as a lot of people have complained about the last several. It...wasn't bad. I guess it's a matter of perspective - I'm coming off 2 years of binge reading harlequins so most anything is an improvement. :) That said...

 

A common theme in this series is the whole opposites attract - two people who are natural-born enemies or have a past or...SOMEthing that makes them fight the mate bond. Sometimes, it works, sometimes, one (usually the H) crosses the line and I have a hard time believing the quick resolutions of all their problems. The H came close - real close. I get that when they're coming from such extremes that there's going to be strife. I just wish they'd find resolution earlier than the last chapter or two. I mean really - this book is over 400 pages long. Why did it take him 'til the last 50 pages to get over himself?

 

I don't bother really rating any of this series on how they fit in the overall series - the author has stated she does a reread before starting a new one and I have yet to run into the inconsistencies that often plague longer series.

Lone Star Knight (Texas Cattleman's Club: Lone Star Jewels) - Cindy Gerard

I think...I read a previous book in this series recently. Also think I liked it about as well.

The h - a member of the nobility in some country made up for the series - is in a plane crash and after 2 months in the hospital (really? - she has a badly burned hand and a broken ankle), goes into hiding. Supposed to be at the ranch of the previous couple, but due to the press, she ends up with the H. She has an assortment of issue and self doubts due to her injuries and scarring. And...someone may be after her.

 

The H - bazillionaire cattle baron-cum-horse breeder - is part of a group of men who for reasons dabble in the politics of a foreign country or two smaller than one of their ranches. Also apparently act as body guards though I'm a bit hazy on their point and purpose really. He's also, when you think of it, either dumber than a box of hammers or a real ass. He decides to friendzone her even though he really wants to bone her. Then, after she has a meltdown on him for baiting her about her problems, he caves and bones her. Oh, but they're just friends. Uh Huh. And he has every intention of sending her away. After 3 weeks. Unless he had a case of rubbers delivered... I mean; there was a stack of them beside the bed for round one. And he's sure she loves him, or at least thinks she does. It never crosses his mind that she might construe all his attention as an act of pity. She's worrying about her scars and not being beautiful and how that seems to be the only thing she is, so he helpfully nails her a few dozen times. I guess the flip side wouldn't be much of an improvement - the feeling that he didn't want her - but... Yeah; I don't think he really thought that through.

 

And at the end, nothing is really resolved about the bad guys because there's another book (different author). But the H finally decides he wants her to stay so tells her to marry him.

A Wholesale Arrangement - Day Leclaire


Second chance romance chock full of misunderstandings and pride.

 

Heroine owns a produce warehouse. H owns a grocery chain (as far as I can tell). Heroine's dad died some 6 months before, leaving her in charge, with no clue what to do...and also a financial bind. She has a choice - marry him and he'll help her out, or sell. That she'd been previously engaged to him and broke it off after figuring out that she'd been offered as part of the contract between him and her dad...

 

She tries to keep him at arms' length even as he pretty much takes over her business. Finally they do the deed, only for him to rush off due to some business emergency. Shortly afterward, she finds out the loan was actually a line of credit and the time is up, so sells. His reaction to this wasn't v. encouraging so she assumed it was over and left. Her bestie is apparently married to his brother, goes into labor while she's visiting, and acts as a catalyst for them to clear the air and make up.

 

My thoughts... Well, he didn't exactly give her any reason to believe he was interested for any reason other than a) her business and b) she got away. And he was well aware of her feelings/thoughts so he could have set the record straight at any moment. So...

Holding Out for a Hero - Vicki Lewis Thompson


Guy on cover appears to have a face made of silly putty. I'm supposed to find that appealing?!

 

I liked the kid, and I sortof liked the H. Felt bad for the h's situation but felt mostly impatient with her.

 

Apparently when she was a teen, she caught the eye of the town catch and let him sweep her off her feet. She was ok with this because he was rich. That he was a douchebag, she didn't bother to figure out until after vows were exchanged. A kid was added to this mess because reasons. Then she decided she'd had enough and divorced him. Now, because he's rich, and his father uses his money to make her life miserable, she's decided money is the root of all evil. Reading between the lines, it's *other* people's money.

 

H's age is not given, but he's built his construction company to the point it's big - really big. His attempts at dating have not been successful due to his having money - women want it more than him. So he doesn't tell the h at first. And he continues not telling her because at least once every conversation, she makes some dig about rich people. I didn't much like his deception, but under the circumstances...

 

The kid...was a pawn. His grandparents and father used him to control the h.

Deceiving Daddy - Susan Kearney

 

So ok, the h would make a v. good con artist. Granted, she's got a stalker so it's kinda necessary but the extremes she goes to is disconcerting. And pointless since she's tied to her grandmother so the stalker can always find her. And of course, the stalker is someone close to both her and her grandma.

 

I thought the H got over all her deceptions way too quickly.

 

The biggest issue for me with this though was the details. We're to believe that a successful business man (or heck, even an unsuccessful business man) has no security system anywhere in his house. How do we know this? Oh, the stalker waltzed in, watched the h shower, shredded her underwear, and left a note. No mention of alarms, no broken glass, the door just...open (no mention of damaged locks either). Come to think of it, the lawyer she worked for had a break-in at his office and no security system went haywire.

 

And well, not really understanding WHY the stalker had a "thing" for her. It wasn't like he was a neighborhood creep or anything - everyone liked him, he was good looking, etc. So why was he after her? Couldn't have been that he was hard up for a date.

The Twenty-Four-Hour Bride - Day Leclaire

I suppose it was meant to be cute/sweet but honestly, the security system, the H, the h's parents... all conspired to make me wonder about the h's intelligence for remaining where she was after the death of her husband. Or, for that matter, remaining where she did when she realized her husband was a schmuck. I mean; why stay married to a guy who doesn't care? Oh. Right. Her *family*.

 

I actually checked the date on this to see when it was written - the family pressuring her to marry, etc., just seemed so dated.

 

I'm not touching on the H's parents - the absentminded geniuses who apparently left their brilliant son to his own devices. Yeah right, ok. I'm trying to figure out how it was that he wasn't included on their projects - an untapped mind and all that. Seems more likely they'd have put him to work instead of forgetting he was around.

The Playboy Sheikh's Virgin Stable-Girl - Sharon Kendrick

One can only hope this one was tongue in cheek.

 

I spent part of it wondering if someone had snuck a historical in the lineup. Then there's the confusing sheikdom whose strictures seem more...European than middle eastern.

So our h takes care of her father's horses. Her father drinks and gambles. He gambles away his bestest horse, and the h convinces the H that the horse needs her. Of course, the H has other needs...

 

I mean; you can see it coming, and the h blithely wanders right into it because she's apparently sheltered to the point that it never occurs to her what his intentions are. And of course, he's a chauvinistic jerk up until he suddenly proposes to her, then everything is all flowers and bunnies. Poof. The end.

Winter's Edge - Anne Stuart

I think calling this a romance is a stretch, Harlequin stamp notwithstanding.

 

The heroine has amnesia. And she's not liking what she sees, either in herself, or in others. Even better, someone is out to get her, and her husband doesn't believe her.

 

The hero's reason for marrying the heroine seems to be a business arrangement gone awry. Basically, his dad left him the property, and her the money.

 

Problems arose when a married chick he'd been screwing around with (makes face) and his/the heroine's distant aunt plant all sorts of seeds of doubt in the heroine's mind while she's getting ready for the wedding. And then problems start. The heroine runs in fear for her life.

 

She awakens in a hospital with no memory of what happened, but she was found in a car with a dead man, and a lot of cash. The dead man, as it turns out, was her father, and he was strangled.

 

Eventually the culprit outs himself, the H/h get together, the end.

Beauty and the Black Sheep - Jessica Bird

Back before JR Ward wrote about vampires, she wrote under a different name...

 

Heroine - head of the family and managing the family pile (which at this point seems to be literally a pile). She has spent the past 10 years taking care of her sister and grandma following the death of the parents. She has control issues, and has pretty much resigned herself to spinsterhood due to the transient nature of most of the men she meets. The family pile is of course, a bed and breakfast, and it's falling down about her ears - literally as it were - in the opening chapter, the ceiling caved on her, dumping water from a leaky pipe and lord knows what else.

 

Hero - fairly well-known chef. His life goal, along with that of his friend, is to have his own place. He's currently unemployed while looking for the perfect place. He hires himself after a car breakdown, a hike for several miles, and coming in on the h and company trying to figure out how to feed guests after attempting to cremate the chicken. His issues are the result of an ex who assumed he was due an inheritance and when she found out otherwise, had an abortion and dumped him - in that order.

 

While I really don't have any quibbles about the characters themselves, some of the obstacles seem off.

 

There's a mortgage on the family pile. Unknown how much but it must not have been for a remodel. And it's a large one - h has to come up with $150k by the end of the summer. The state of the house - how long has it been since any repairs were actually done? The H's car - it's towed to a barn, he works on it briefly, and nothing else is said about it. The feeling I get that to the h, her sister is still a teenager. The brother who abandoned his family and only a nasty boat wreck brings him home...

 

Some of the scenes were really funny though - the H's decision to repair the gutter and remembering halfway up the ladder that he's afraid of heights.

 

In the end, he decides he's found the perfect place to ply his trade - in her b&b - so all is well. And apparently the plumber is a justice of the peace...

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Surrender to the Highlander
Lynsay Sands