With review books piling up to the metaphorical ceiling, I decided I just needed to get away from them entirely. For the past week, I’ve been catching up on books that have been lying around forever in my “really absolutely must read next” section. It would have been against the spirit of the review vacation to review any of them, but here are some thoughts from notes I made:
The Dangerous Viscount by Miranda Neville. B-
Why it was on my TBR: Recommended by many romance readers friends.
What tickled my fancy: Socially awkward virgin hero! Heartbreak and betrayal and revenge!
What ticked me off: What I call a “love to hate you” book — an epic roller coaster relationship.
Who might like it: Readers who enjoy traditional historical romances with fresh voices.
Reckless Night by Lisa Marie Rice. Short short story. D
Why it was on my TBR: It’s a short epilogue to Dangerous Passion, my favorite book by Rice.
What tickled my fancy: The descriptions of the heroine’s creative presents were cool.
What ticked me off: It was just kind of dull.
Who might like it: Eh. Someone who likes these things more than I do.
A Gift for a Princess by Miranda Neville. C
Why it was on my TBR: I’m a completionist
What tickled my fancy: The hero and heroine are ordinary people, not titled.
What ticked me off: Nothing in particular. Not high in conflict.
Who might like it: Fans of Courtney Milan
Where’s You Go, Bernadette by Maria Semple. B
Why it was on my TBR: I adore epistolary novels
What tickled my fancy: Very funny and offbeat; lovely mother/daughter relationship.
What ticked me off: Kind of trails off at the end, with a lot of unanswered questions.
Who might like it: Fans of unusual but accessible narratives.
Heaven Sent by Pamela Morsi. B
Why it was on my TBR: I enjoy Pamela Morsi
What tickled my fancy: Good storytelling. Consistently interesting. Immersive.
What ticked me off: A teaser… lots and lots of interrupted consummations.
Who might like it: Anyone who enjoys a good Americana story. Fans of reformed bad boys.
Low Pressure by Sandra Brown. Audiobook. C
Why it was on my TBR: I ran out of Brown books narrated by Viktor Slezak
What tickled my fancy: For someone who isn’t Viktor Slezak, the narration was pretty good.
What ticked me off: Lots of fake-outs. I guessed the villain very easily. Anticlimactic ending.
Who might like it: Fans.
Addicted by Charlotte Stein. B
Why it was on my TBR: Duh, Charlotte Stein!
What tickled my fancy: Went to an unexpected, clever place. Very funny.
What ticked me off: I might have liked it better if I hadn’t read Run to You first, because there was some overlap. (Although also many differences.) The ending kind of fell apart, as Stein’s endings tend to do.
Who might like it: Erotic romance readers who enjoy laughing and thinking while they’re burning their knickers.
Get Lucky by Suzanne Brockmann. B
Why it was on my TBR: The last one of this series I hadn’t read.
What tickled my fancy: Really good storytelling. Good opposites attract chemistry. This series has been hit or miss for me and this was definitely one of the hits.
What ticked me off: The attitudes towards women and rape felt kind of dated. I suspect she might write it differently today.
Who might like it: Anyone who enjoys a good romantic suspense story heavy on the romance.
Reasons I Fell for the Funny Fat Friend by Cassie Mae and Becca Ann. DNF
Why it was on my TBR: Fat heroine.
What tickled my fancy: Narrated entirely by the hero.
What ticked me off: Narrated entirely by the hero, who constantly drops his gs. I don’t mind it in dialogue, but can’t stand it in narrative. Also, the heroine’s incessant low self-esteem got on my nerves.
Who might like it: People who like to see the fat girl get the guy.
Ride With Me by Ruthie Knox. B
Why it was on my TBR: Highly recommended by many people.
What tickled my fancy: Unusual plotline of the characters biking across country — fresh and atmospheric. As often with Knox’s books, some very funny sex scenes.
What ticked me off: Last minute idiotic heroine hissy-fit. And she trusts him enough not to use condoms, but freaks out when he wants to take her on a different route?!
Who might like it: Readers looking for something new in contemporary romance.
More than Words by Karla Doyle. C
Why it was on my TBR: Recommended by the aforementioned Ruthie Knox, IIRC.
What tickled my fancy: Lovers meet online playing silly scrabble games.
What ticked me off: Instalove and total devotion from the hero — felt too much like a fantasy for my tastes. And the sex scenes just went on and on and on…
Who might like it: Fans of Shannon McKenna.
Legend of the Werestag by Tessa Dare. Novella. B
Why it was on my TBR: Recommended, and I really like Dare’s earlier books.
What tickled my fancy: The chummy relationships between in the characters in the house-party setting had an unusual feel to it — more like a book set in the Twenties than a Regency. Some good angst. A bit heavy on the pining, but the heroine makes up for it by getting tough and interesting. Thematically satisfying.
What ticked me off: Oh the hero is such an asshole!
Who might like it: Fans of angsty reunion romances.