Here is what I read over spring vacation (sounds like I'm writing an essay for elementary school, only these are naughty romance novels....hee hee!)
- The Redhead Revealed by Alice Clayton....Another wonderful addition to this series. I laughed out loud on the airplane reading this baby. It's funny, sexy, and has an addictive on-going storyline. The conflict/tension that crops up between the H/h made me a tad nervous, but the resolution was excellent. One of my favorite themes in romance - "alternate families" - is totally happening here, and I love how the heroine is embracing this part of her life. Grade: B+
- Cinderella Unmasked by Bonnie Dee and Marie Treanor....This is an erotic version of "Cinderella." I adore funky new twists on fairy tales, and this one is quite good. Dee/Treanor's "twist" on the legend--Prince Charming abandons the kingdom to "take up with" a male pirate (hee hee....love that!) and leaves Cinderella in charge--is a kick-ass premise for a book. The authors manage to throw in some sexy adventures for the queen, a hot hero, a fairy godmother, wicked stepmother and stepsisters, and even the return of Charming. This is well written and entertaining, but I felt like the pacing should have been faster. This would have worked better as a shorter story. I will definitely be reading more stories by these authors who are new-to-me. Grade: B+/A-
- This Side Of The Grave by Jeaniene Frost....I almost DNFed this book at the beginning. It had a very slow start. But once it finally got going, I loved it. Bones and Cat have become an iconic pairing in paranormal romance. This book has a different feel to it than the previous ones, which interestingly enough parallels the changes in Cat's life. She is settling into married life, more stable, more responsible, no longer the wild child. That's not to say her life is still not filled with violence, excitement and hot smoky sex with Bones. Because it is. But this series is also settling down a bit. The high octane feel of the first few books isn't happening here, but I don't mind. I actually really like how the series is "maturing" while still maintaining a very engaging storyline filled with conflict and tension. And I especially love that we are not rehashing Cat and Bones' relationship insecurities, which was driving me nuts. They are finally beyond that, and their relationship continues to grow in the best possible way. Rock on, Jeaniene Frost! Grade: B+/A-
- St Nacho's by Z A Maxfield....DNF at 2% done (Kindle). Okay, confession time. Mandi gave me an "M/M assignment." I was supposed to read this book and do a review for her. However, after I read the blurb for the book, I knew I would have problems with this one. I don't love emo/angsty contemporary stories, and this sounded painful. In addition to that, I like a lot of romance with my erotica, and this sentence pretty much stopped me dead in my tracks...."I could suck any one of these guys through fifty feet of irrigation pipe, but as it happens, today I'm not looking for love." Ugh. And today, I'm not looking to read this book. I willingly accept my "F'-super failure grade from Mandi, and will attempt another M/M book that is lighter, funnier, sweeter, more romantic.
- The Bride and The Buccaneer by Darlene Marshall....Thanks, Darlene, for recommending your book to me! This book was indeed the perfect romance novel for a trip to Sanibel-Captiva. It is a charming, well-written historical romance set in 19th century Florida. It combines adventure, fascinating historical tidbits about 19th century Florida (including maritime history, slavery, and cool stuff about the territories and villages of Northeast Florida in the 1800's), very appealing characters, and an intriguing treasure hunt-storyline. The hero is a sexy-as-hell "pirate," the heroine is a spunky treasure hunter, and their love story is sweet if not somewhat predictable. I loved this! Grade: A-
- Dreams Of A Dark Warrior by Kresley Cole.....Still reading it! I am reserving judgment about this one. Not too thrilled with it yet, but KC has been known to take a slow start and turn it into something spectacular.