A Willful Woman…

Thoughts about books from a romance addict.

Semi-Reviews: Back on that Horse edition

on January 11, 2014

I’m still reading quite slowly and scatteredly, but am managing to finish a few things. Am one-tenth of the way into The Warmth of Other Suns. Good God, the segregation! I had no idea of the lengths it went to. A black person had to wait for a white person to offer a handshake. Black drivers had to yield to white drivers and couldn’t pass them! It strikes me that most of the general knowledge about segregation — I’m assuming that’s what I’ve had — supports the “separate but equal” lie, while the stuff that quite obviously didn’t doesn’t get talked about.

The Last Victim by Karen Robards. Romantic Suspense/Paranormal/Continuing Series. Format: audiobook

What tickled my fancy: kept me guessing — and I often guessed wrong!

What ticked me off: I have my own stomach issues, I don’t need to read about yours.

Who might like it: Fans of bad boys.

Profiler of serial killers… also sees dead people… yadda yadda yadda I don’t feel like writing a synopsis. Also, I knew nothing about the book going in and it was kind of fun being off-balance and surprised. (Though not so much fun when the ending is a @$!$#! cliffhanger.) I get the feeling that Robards was cocking a bit of a snoot here at readers who’ve rejected the bad boy alphole hero she specializes in.

The narration is… adequate. The accents are actually well done and the sex scenes are hot. Perhaps the problem was less the narrator than what she had to work with. Endless descriptions of the protagonist’s upset tummy issues — not only does she see dead people, but it makes her all queasy — and her ruminations about how hot and forbidden another character is, yawn.

Still, it hooked me and I’m going back for more.

Pregnant By Morning by Kat Cantrell. Contemporary/Category Romance.

What tickled my fancy: Hero’s mom refers to him being “unstarched.” I’ve made the big time!

What ticked me off: Least favorite romance shorthand ever.

Who might like it: Hurt/comfort fans, readers who enjoy a sexually aggressive heroine (still pretty rare in Harlequins, or at least the kind I read)

I found this book kind of disconcerting because I kept, well, expecting someone to get pregnant. The whole point of these dumbass Harlequin titles is you know what you’re getting, right? Pages just kept turning, and the heroine just kept not being pregnant.  It’s not that I even wanted to read about a pregnancy, but since I knew it was going to happen, it was really distracting when it didn’t. Which is a shame, because I think the author was deliberately trying to write a different kind of surprise pregnancy story, one in which it brings up serious, realistic issues. I don’t think she succeeded anyway, but the title didn’t help.

Hero’s angst: dead wife.  This was a little odd, because first it seemed like he’d been married forever, then it turned out to have been a relatively short time. Heroine’s angst: incompetent surgery destroyed her vocal cords ruining her singing career. Both characters think of themselves as “damaged.”  Heroine is self-righteously horrified at the suggestion that she might not keep the baby. (KILL IT WITH FIRE!) The ending had some promise around the couple’s serious conflicts, but they are solved very easily and — surprise! — at the heroine’s expense. Although she does get a new career, the whole happy housewife ending was incredibly improbable and didn’t fit with the rest of the book.

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3 responses to “Semi-Reviews: Back on that Horse edition

  1. Miss Bates says:

    Now Miss B. knows that, “somewhere in the TBR,” she has a Cantrell title. Wonder if it’s this one? 🙂 … fire and brimstone.

  2. Shannon C. says:

    I… am oddly tempted by the Cantrell book. Hurt/comfort + sexually aggressive heroine + a disability that isn’t mine + shortish word count = a possibly good fit. Or not.

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