Book Hoarders Anonymous

I have too many books. There, I admit it. I'm working on it though.
Love Is Murder - Sandra Brown

The best way to think of this is a pricy collection of publisher's samples. You know - those things they normally give you for free in hopes you'll buy the actual book?

 

Some of the stories were surely standalone, but a lot of them weren't. There's a B.A.D. entry, and a Belador entry, for example. And a lot of them weren't my cuppa. A few fell into the category of "what the hell did I just read?". All of them were about the length of the average term paper too, so even if you did enjoy it, it was just long enough to well, make you want to buy the book (which may or may not exist)

Maverick - Cheryl Brooks

I missed the Zetithians...

 

My issues are... I don't remember the joy juice causing the reactions that way. Granted, it's been a few years since the last one. Still... Not sure any of the previous books are where I can reach them though to double check. Oh wait - one was a freebie on kindle once.

 

And... I generally don't find it that interesting to read up on the now adult offspring of previous H/h pairings. Actually, most of the time I find it uncomfortable, particularly if the author has let me see v. much in the growing up of said offspring.

 

The H and h are offspring of the two couples on the Jolly Roger, namely a son of Jack and Cat, and a daughter of err...whatever her name is, and Leo. There's a bit of side romance after a fashion in the form of a couple from the Statzeel/Zetithian breeding program. I was a bit... Ok, it's been a while since I read Manx's book so I must have missed the negotiations where he and Leo donned rubber gloves and grabbed mason jars. I knew about Cat's contribution as that happened in the first book. Apparently this is ongoing and I have to wonder - did it occur to them at any point that their lifestyle wasn't really compatible with Zetithian mating habits?

 

Whatever. It was interesting, particularly that the hybrids don't always function quite the same as the purebloods. Also interesting that it has occurred to someone that these guys have the potential to wipe out other races just by interbreeding.

The Duke with the Dragon Tattoo - Kerrigan Byrne

You know, I half expected this to be the revelation that there was yet another MaKenzie bastard. To be honest, I'm not entirely sure he isn't - even when he remembers who he is (he's had amnesia for a L.O.N.G. time), there's no mention of who his father was to assure us otherwise.

 

Anyway... much like "Dorian", he'd met what would be the love of his life some 20-odd years prior and now he's back to claim her...any way he can.

 

Things don't really add up - he knows how her brother was to her, made absolutely sure her menagerie was taken care of, yet thinks he can ignore her tears or fear or whatever to claim her? Eh? Mixed signals there. In any case, he eventually gets his head straightened up...shortly after the latest run-in with "Dorian"...when all his memories are handed to him on a platter...and we find out the real reason Morley has been jonesing to hang "Dorian"

 

To tell you the truth, there were moments I got this and Jennifer Ashley's Mackenzie series mixed up. But only during this book. The others have not given me that bit of confusion. Maybe it was the whole brothers thing. Or being hit in the face so much with all the half siblings.

 

The heroine was...a heroine? The object of his obsession. She had a limp from her arsehole brother breaking her leg and her father not getting a Dr to set it "because what would people think?" She was, in a way, completely forgettable. And that's actually odd. The other heroines have made impressions. Mostly all she seemed to do was argue with him about who he was. I think maybe even the author had difficulty writing her since her sister-in-law actually got page time listening in on (and spying on) the H's first mate doing a ho. She rescued animals but there were no animals to rescue on a ship. Her brother was dead - killed by the H right before he kidnapped her.

 

And we spend close to a quarter of the book in the past, setting the stage. Almost all of the books have had some portion of backstory literally back in the day, but this was ridiculous.

Belong To The Night (The Long Island Coven #2) - Shelly Laurenston, Cynthia Eden, Sherrill Quinn

The Long Island Coven is an outlier of the various shifter books Ms Laurenston has out. You don't actually run into anyone you know, so it's not obvious it's part of the series. I like this one better than the first one in that the H isn't a creep. Was kinda frustrating that it took so long to take care of The Problem. And, I must admit, I don't generally care for her wolves (Dee Ann and the Van Holtz bunch being an exception) because they tend to play up that hillbilly angle a bit much...while being assholes half the time. Tully - the H - is a member of the Smith Pack...and the resident alpha...and mayor...and well-known architect who may be ivy league. He plays dumb a lot. He's not an ass either, though admittedly it's usually the females who take on that unpleasant nature.

 

Cynthia Eden's entry is yet another random pairing in her world. I did like this one but the end made me flinch a bit.

 

Sherrill Quinn's entry is a PWP really. Oh there's a plot in there but for such a short story (80 pages or so), most of it seemed to be overly descriptive and crudely written sex.

Everlasting Bad Boys - Noelle Mack, Cynthia Eden, Shelly Laurenston

Half the book is devoted to the tale of Ailean the Wicked and his convincing Shalin the Innocent to be his mate. Who are these uh...people? The parents of Bercelak and the grandparents of Fearghus and his brothers (and sisters) Ah...you'd have to read the Dragon Kin series to get that.

 

it was a very entertaining tale.

 

Cynthia Eden's entry is a random part of her world. Truthfully, all i have run into are random parts of her world so I have no idea if any of them intersect. It was...interesting.

 

Noelle Mack's entry is...odd. I've never run across her works before, and it was maybe a little too...out there... for me.

Sun, Sand, Sex - Shelly Laurenston, Jennifer Apodaca, Linda Lael Miller


A bit... Ok, usually I prefer my anthology to have a recognizable theme...other than the title. Or at least to be all in the same sub-genre.

 

The LLM - a second chance romance. The H/h are negotiating a divorce. The h has spent however many years they've been married essentially doing nothing to rock the boat. The H has spent that time getting his way. At some point, they stopped communicating, or maybe he just kinda forgot her. I'm not sure. There was no-one else for either one of them. He'd sold his company and bought a sports car. She'd spent entirely too much time alone not to read something into that. They go spend time at their seaside cottage on the advice of their lawyer/friend. And well, being forced to interact with each other lead to hot sex, a few heated discussions, revelations that his behavior made her feel insecure, etc.

 

I'm not familiar with the second author. The story was interesting I suppose. Heroine is the family doormat where everyone assumes she's going to deal with their mess. Her mother had a heart attack and dumped her business in the heroine's lap, the brother stole her key and had an affair using her apartment, a client/friend/something of said brother made a copy of the key and started stalking the h - after she'd stapled his pants shut (something about him flashing her at his wedding rehearsal), and also after he'd filed charges against her. The H was the brother to a previous client, and also a bounty hunter. He spent entirely too much time trying to marginalize the h while at the same time giving into the attraction. I wanted to kick him in the nuts more than a few times over the things he said to her.

 

Third... I would guess this loosely ties in to Laurentston's pride/pack/whatever series seeing as how there are mention of Smiths. it was...odd. The H was more creepy than sexy really, and I got the feeling "No" wasn't in his vocabulary. There was the usual set of quirky characters.

A Night to Surrender - Tessa Dare


This book left me feeling...confused I guess. Too much whimsy for a serious historical yet not really funny. Not light either.

 

The h - mid-late 20s, spinster - lives with her father in this tiny seaside town. It's become a haven for society's female misfits. Her father is an inventor, and being the absentminded sort, he essentially takes her for granted. She's his keeper IOW. His inventions are of the military sort, and his obsession has been to make a rifled cannon. They keep blowing up though and after the last time, she made him promise not to do any more field testing. He resents this.

 

The H - didn't actually catch an age - is recovering from a gunshot to the knee, and is determined to get back to the front line. He, his cousin, and one fellow soldier arrive to see if he can convince the h's dad to put in a word for him.

 

Dear old dad has machinations in mind - an excuse to test the latest prototype of the cannon, and well, he doesn't tell the H everything, and in fact, outright lies about things.

This...is the bones of the story, and it makes you want to punch the dad in the face (or at least, slap him with a glove). Because he manipulates the H, dismisses the h (really, the H/h were involved and he hands the H the approval to allow him to go back to his regimen, tells the h to get over herself or something like that). I guess in some ways, he was subconsciously trying to keep his housekeeper (the h).

 

And yet... at the beginning, when the H and his companions arrive, they're blocked by a flock of sheep, and they use gunpowder to run them off (a bit drastic, yes?). A lamb attaches itself to the H and becomes a pet. The blacksmith makes jewelry, the pub has become a tea shop, the women all are expert markswomen... The town has an unofficial name (amongst men in London) as Spinster Cove. There's the twin boys who remind me somewhat of Merry and Pippin. Not much out and out funny, but too tongue in cheek for the basic tale. Maybe that's the issue.

Cajun Pursuasion - Sandra Hill

I think I might have liked this one better if it had been a "clean" romance. The heroine's having made the first step to becoming a nun made her off-limits to such overt sexual come-ons as the hero seemed to fall back on. Fall back on? Heck, that seems to be his entire repertoire.

 

And this is all before he gropes and dry-humps her while she's mostly asleep - which constitutes rape in my book. Then of course, he asks her if she came over to use her body to get him to agree to something.

 

This knowing she was a victim of child sex trafficking.

 

There was a point where she was trying to tell him no and he was ignoring her...or guilting her into going along with him.

 

All of which gets swept under the rug because romance. Yeah I think it's time I dropped this series. Before I get irritated enough to drop the author.

Maybe This Time - Jennifer Crusie

That...wasn't really what I was expecting.

 

I think if the blurb hadn't sounded like a romance, I wouldn't have gotten it. If it had been by someone not known for writing romance, I wouldn't have picked it up. H/h do eventually get back together but for 3/4 of the book, she's in a house with 2 kids, a crotchety housekeeper, and 3 ghosts. Then everyone descends on her at once and she's got a reporter, a cameraman, a professor, a medium and her spirit guide, the boyfriend she just broke up with, her ex brother-in-law, her ex, her mother, her ex MIL, and a PI. Chaos ensues, the professor is killed by one of the ghosts, she's almost killed, etc. Not really funny at any point, in spite of the author's best attempts (really, the closest to amusing was when everyone started arriving during the seance.

 

I didn't get the purpose of repeated seances, or why it took so long to make a connection. Also, the H had someone investigating the house's history before it was relocated to the US, yet that bit never came to light. He had opportunity but was so busy convincing the h that she was hallucinating everything after being drugged that he never bothered to share what he knew, so what was the point?

Beautiful Tempest - Johanna Lindsey

I had some trepidation from the start - the H had already kidnapped the h once. So that, coupled with the h's behavior (at times, v. TSTL intermingled with being decidedly improper) affected my enjoyment. Granted, the author's heroines often do seem to not fit the mold so to speak. They never seem to suffer the consequences. Jack, regardless of whether anything happened the first time, by society's standards, is already ruined. Yet she's hitting balls and fighting off suitors, which doesn't really make sense.

 

And then there's the H who has the balls to go up to her and ask her to dance while she's standing next to her father, but refuses to try to talk to him. I'd guess he's a bit on the stupid side too seeing as how he knows exactly who her father is - and was - yet never tried to get word to him. Instead, the dumbass tried to capture him, and failing that, went after Jack - again.

 

Jack, having recognized the handwriting of his notes, goes after him with a small army. Instead of, you know, telling someone like say, her uncle and letting him and whatever passes for law enforcement at the time handle things.

 

That everything seemingly worked out in the end... the last third of the book isn't bad really. It's just that the whole overprotective father who'll never accept anyone sniffing around his daughter theme is a bit much.

That Perfect Someone - Johanna Lindsey

I think...having the H/h meet as children, and exposing their non-relationship backfired in this one. I saw the H as an abusive bully in the making, and since he apparently didn't leave home until he was nearly an adult, and since when he shared his prior experiences of the h with his friends, he left out his part, I have a hard time accepting that he really is changed. It doesn't help that once he figures out who the h is, he drops his charming persona and starts verbally abusing her again. His friends never saw them together until after she'd helped them rescue him so didn't see what he was doing.

 

The h...yes; she was a spoiled brat in a way, but I never got the feeling she was an overbearing witch. More like that when confronted with unpleasantness, she reacted violently. Still, she was just 5 when he first verbally assaulted her (he was 10), and for the next what - 6 years or so? Got to listen to him making unpleasant remarks to her, then when she reacted badly, doing some really awful things. Like, you know, locking her in the attic and leaving her all day (that her parents didn't notice her missing and freak out is surprising).

 

So I have a hard time believing the relationship, because I have a hard time believing he's truly changed.

 

I also raised an eyebrow about the h's circumstance. She's 21, and her father has mostly been in a stupor for 5 years. He's in trade, and she's been running the company...for 5 years. Since she was what - 16? Really? And how did she manage to escape the H's dad assuming guardianship over her? Is her cousin her only relative? Things there don't really add up.

Magic Triumphs -  Ilona Andrews

I reluctantly admitted to myself last night that I had to sleep sometime so put it down...or maybe it was the wee hours this AM. Thank God for coffee.

 

So the story opens while Kate is in labor. Yay... Then skips ahead 13 months. There was an editing issue with regards to the timeline. Supposedly the ebook will be corrected. It's in the print too so... At various times, the tyke is 18 months old instead of 13. Of course, there's another one that apparently nobody has commented about - did Curran eat 4 or 6 manifestations?

 

Whatever the case, it was a wild ride with the disappearances seen in Iron and Magic showing up just outside Kate's turf...along with the same varmints. Oh, and because that wasn't nearly enough, Roland's assassins. Because apparently they were getting out of hand so he sicced them on the kid, knowing Kate would go nuclear on them. That actually was almost amusing as the Knights showed up for a conversation about Nick right around the same time the tot got away, headed for mommy, and got cornered by them.

 

Now, I'm just a wee bit impatient for the next entry in Hugh's tale.

Hogfather (Discworld, #20) - Terry Pratchett

A fun read. No messy chapters to interrupt the flow or suggest that maybe you should stop now and go to bed. Just the occasional footnote that makes you stop everything and focus on it.

 

So the Auditors - that mystical group of beings that have an aversion to life, belief, or well, anything that isn't a rock, have decided that Hogfather must die. And of course, mayhem ensues.

 

I've seen the movie, and it does follow pretty close.

High Voltage - Karen Marie Moning

...Well...it was actually readable. Still had the occasional style shift (going from first person past to first person present once, and going from third person to first person another, both without so much as a page break, let alone the start of another chapter. Very jarring).

 

The problem I'm having as the series goes on is that it's reinventing things she's written before. Fae were running around on earth in Adam's book, yet supposedly there was a wall to keep them out as per the first Fever book...and every one since really. Hunters were supposedly Unseelie cast but from the sound of it, they likely existed at the beginning of the universe. Along the same lines, it's indicated they were trapped in the unseelie prison until the walls came down, yet they attempted to capture Adam at one point - years before. Early descriptions honestly made me think of a manta ray. Now it's a dragon. Hunters were running amok seemingly at the beginning of the series yet where are they now? And since they're apparently chosen from amongst regular denizens, what is K'vruk's other persona?

 

Then there's the whole "planets are dead hunters" bit vs the concubine picking a planet with quite a bit of magic left. Does this mean the longer the hunter has been dead, the less magic remains?

 

So ok, Ryodan informs Dani at the beginning that he and the others of the Nine are going away for 2 years. I get why he was going away - to let her have her freedom. And I get why Barrons was going away - to guard Mac while she learned her new powers. I don't get why the 7 were though. Or where they went. It's revealed that Lor kept an eye on her, but that's still six whatever they were off...counting their toes? Unless an explanation appears in a later installment, I guess this is one of those things where an author has people doing inexplicable things for no reason a'tall.

 

Did Dani grow any? I can't tell. She still has this "mine" attitude about the city (like a feudal overlord, and with the same contemptuous attitude too). The only thing I could see is that she's suddenly developed new powers howbeit only after threatened by both an old god and Jayne. Jayne of course is still a self-righteous shit. He's convinced somehow he deserves the sword and he doesn't really care that he hurts Dani to get it...kinda like before. Actually, after what he did before, I'm surprised Mac didn't kill him at the first opportunity. But he only shows his face briefly.

 

Kat finally comes clean to Sean, who is having difficulty with the Unseelie bit (the fact that he and Christian survived the Song is why I wonder if Cruce wasn't an early attempt to convert a human).

 

All in all though, as the series drags on, I find myself less interested in spending the time/money to keep up. And I suspect the world breaking is going to get worse.

Feversong: A Fever Novel - Karen Marie Moning

I didn't start on the Fever series until Iced came out - I found it at the local library and i used the due date as a reason to dig out the other 5 and read through them. They were easy to read, fascinating, engrossing... My daughter was reading them at the same time I was. At some point, she grabbed the next book before I could, and got ahead of me. Based on her brief intro to Dani there, she refused to read Iced. I did...and sort of wonder why I bothered really. It was uncomfortable for me (Ryodan was creepy), and the young Dani's contemptuous attitude towards everyone got on my last nerve. I was relieved that she wasn't the star of book 7. Books 7 and 8 though... I don't really remember much about them (was actually a little startled to realize this is book 9). Sad isn't it? My last memory I guess was the Sweeper.

 

While I got that the original 5 left things unfinished really, somewhere along the line, that spark died.

 

And now we have this one - a disjointed mess.

 

I really hate head hopping. The bouncing into Dani's past (those italics chapters), the sudden shifting into someone else's head (Ryodan once - no warning on that one.), spatzing from third person to first person, sometimes present, sometimes not. There's a story in here but the writing of it was not something I could follow without some strong booze, which I'm fresh out.

 

Random observations - Cruce survived too. Am I off-base to wonder if he didn't start out as human? Maybe an attempt to turn humans fae? And how long (and by long, I mean how long is this going to be drawn out? Because I'm almost to the point of not giving a shit) until there's resolution? Because clearly Mac doesn't know yet what she's doing, and he's in the king's lab, and the king has abdicated, and there's no king...yet. And I have High Voltage sitting here and I know it's mostly a Dani book so clearly not in anything currently published.

Star Hero - Susan Grant

As one reviewer put it, the PTSD was handled reasonably well. There for a while, various romantic suspense authors gave me the feeling it was the trope du jour and they researched just enough to be dangerous. Worse, they gave their heroines magic hoo-hahs which cured whatever ailed the heroes.

 

Not this time. In fact, the longer and more involved the H was with the h, the worse it became. It stemmed from his inability to protect some people when a space station was destroyed, and his subconsciousness was fretting about his being able to protect the heroine. Eventually, she'd had enough - he wouldn't seek help, and he wouldn't talk about it - so went on a mission that took her away for a couple of months. Ironically, she sent him a message telling him he either got help or she was gone at about the same time he sent her one telling her he couldn't live without her and was going to seek help. The best part? Disaster struck, forcing her and the others (that didn't get eaten) to run for their lives after sending up a distress signal. He went out to rescue her, and neither read those two messages.

 

As an aside, the dude on the cover has goose bumps. hehe.

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