Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Quickie Reviews: Shelter Mountain and The Rules of Seduction

Happy Wednesday to all! The last couple of weeks have been a bit bumpy reading-wise. As you can tell from my Monday morning rant, I read a contemporary that irritated me no end with the sundry, boring details of everyday life. I also read 2 alien romances which have thrown me for a loop. Aliens and romance seem like a weird combination. These books are truly splicing together sci fi and romance, and I'm not quite sure I'm on board for that. For some reason, more "standard" paranormals, with vampires and werewolves, work better for me. The alien stories had action and sex, but I felt like they were missing a key element: romance. (Just as an aside, I do not review every book I read. When I read a book that I adore, I write a review. When I read a book that really disappoints me, I usually get irked enough to write something about it. When I read a book that's so-so, I could care less.)

On the up side of the week, I read two awesome books by authors new to me. The first one is Shelter Mountain by Robyn Carr. (This is the second of the Virgin River Series and was recommended to me by some nice folks on the Amazon boards). Although I am not a big contemporary-lover, this book really sang for me. Carr has created some amazing characters. Preacher is a fantastic hero, right up my alley. From the very first chapter, I was totally hooked on him, and on the story itself. (He is a big, bald, sexy gentle giant of a man. Swooning!!!!) His touching, slow-simmering romance with Paige is wonderful, his loving acceptance of her little boy is heart-warming. I love how patient he is with Paige in the first chapter, coaxing this bruised and battered woman into finally telling him her name. I am seriously in love with Preacher. He is up for the Number One Hero of 2009 Award.

One minor complaint is that Carr's "secondary" characters took center stage a bit too often...I wanted more of Paige and Preacher.  I also didn't love the whole my-abusive-husband-is-gonna-show-up-at-any-minute-and-wreak-some-havoc thing going on, but again, that's a minor complaint. I can't wait to read Virgin River and Whispering Rock, the others in this series. 
Grade: B+

I attended a fantastic workshop at the New Jersey RWA conference this October, which addressed the importance of conflict in romance. Madeline Hunter gave the kicky-ass lecture, and made me curious about her own novels. So, I had a nice little chat with her at the book sale, and purchased The Rules of Seduction, a historical romance. It has a no-nonsense heroine with violet eyes (like it!), a tortured, mathematically brilliant hero (love it!), several fascinating brothers promising more cool stories in the series (always a big plus for moi), a nice conflict complete with a big surprise at the end (didn't see that one coming!), and very intriguing love scenes, beautifully written and powerfully emotional. I really am digging Madeline Hunter's love scenes. I found this book very satisfying because it had the one thing the alien books were sadly lacking...romance. I definitely recommend it, and I already ordered another one in the series, The Sins of Lord Easterbrook.
Grade: B+

Hope everyone is having a happy reading week, and is dreaming of turkeys and pumpkin pie and maybe a mug of hot cider spiked with a little bit of apple brandy...


Patti (@TheLoveJunkee) said...

Hi Penelope! I agree with you on the whole alien romance's a bit strange; I prefer vamps and weres too.

You're the 2nd person to recommend the Virgin River series - I guess I need to get on that!

Have a great day!

Penny Watson said...

Hi Patti! The correct order (which I did not bad!) is....
1) Virgin River
2) Shelter Mountain
3) Whispering Rock

I have heard these are the best of the series. I still love historicals and paranormals better than contemporaries, but these are worth the read! :)

Tales of Whimsy said...

Nice review :) I love this cover. Some warm and cozy.

Penny Watson said...

The story is warm and cozy, too!

Smokinhotbooks said...

I'm a closet alien romance reader. I find "other worlders" quite sexy ever since Star Trek *throws up the ST V* :)

Love the cover on this one, makes me want to go home and light a fire. Great review :)

Heather W. said...

I love Madeline Hunter and have read every one of her books! i suggest you go back and read the other books in the series first: Lessons of Desire, and then Secrets of Surrender. The Sins of Lord Easterbrook is the final book in the series!
I just like to read the books in order!

Penny Watson said...

Hey Smokinhot...maybe you could recommend some good alien stories. I'm willing to give it another shot. (Did you see the new Star Trek movie....Eric Bana is in it! He's the baddie!)

Hi Heather! I am reading The Sins right now and I am loving it. To be honest, I didn't get the other ones because they got some shady reviews on Amazon, but maybe I'll go back. Thanks for stopping by! :)

kanishk said...

You're the 2nd person to recommend the Virgin River series - I guess I need to get on that!

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