Friday Booktalk

Lots of good books read this week!

Last night I finished Anne Stuart’s Into The Fire. ITF is a prime example of why I love Stuart’s writing so much. Why I love her heroes. Morally complicated, wounded, strong men whose love for the heroine is intense and if she pushed it just a tad more you’d be freaked out.

Into the Fire has a nice mystery/suspense element to it. The flashbacks deliver the backstory nicely so you’re not frustrated for not knowing, nor are you overwhelmed because you had too much info dumped on you at once. Skillfully done.

The chemistry here is inferno hot. But really, Dillon and his demons are the heart of this book and I think Stuart draws his character with many layers. He’s not perfect by any means, but there’s something within him that’s pushed him to get past who he was even the day before.

I liked Jamie as well, but there are times with Stuart heroines where I just shake my head at them. Still, I think she is a compelling and interesting character and I think Stuart handles the idea of people never being quite who we think they are really well.

Another dose of strong males – Linda Howard’s Drop Dead Gorgeous. Now I know people either love or hate this book. I loved it. I love Blair. I wouldn’t want to hang out with her in real life (which is often a gauge for me with a character) but I think she’s a far more interesting and complicated romance heroine than we see very often.

Blair is shallow. Yep. She complains. Yep. But she fiercely loves the people in her life and she runs her own business and takes care of what’s hers. I admire that. I admire how she manages Wyatt, a major alpha male if they ever existed! And I also love her ability, if only in her head, to admit her faults.

Wyatt is one of those heroes who works in the hands of only a very few authors. Most would emasculate him or turn him into a complete ass. Howard can walk that line with great skill. Oh there were times when he fall to the asshole side of the line, but his apolgies were genuine and believable.

I think first person works well with this couple. Wyatt is such a big character, you can see him through Blair’s eyes and understand him as she does. And it softens Blair too. We don’t need inside Wyatt’s head to know how he feels about Blair, he’s with her and he loves her. Anyway, loved it.

Janet Evanovich – Lean Mean Thirteen Holy Cow did I love this book. With the exception of 11, which I enjoyed but thought it was too short and didn’t really go anywhere, I’ve loved all the books in this series.

LMT is classic Plum – really funny in a self depricating way. Great, and I mean great moments with Ranger and I even warmed up to Morelli and started thinking Stephanie should just make up her mind, be with him and give Ranger a hot girlfriend named Lauren. (what?)

I was sorry to see the book end, I gotta say. Another thumbs up for Evanovich.

and lastly:

Lisa Renee Jones’ Hard and Fast
I’ve been waiting for this one since Lisa announced the sale at her blog and I wasn’t disappointed.

Hard and Fast is hot, funny, sweet and really well told and I loved every word. In short, it’s what I love to see in a category novel.

While yes, Brad is hot – it was Amanda I really loved in this book. Smart and driven, a woman who is career focused but not stereotypically cold at all. She’s compassionate as well as ambitious and I appreciate seeing heroines like this.

4 comments to “Friday Booktalk”

  1. rhian
    August 10th, 2007 at 2:55 pm · Link

    uh-uh – Ranger is seeing Rhian on the side!
    thanks for the review on that Lauren – 12 didn’t have enough Ranger moments for me so i hadn’t bought 13 yet – no w i gotta make sure i get it soooon. grin!

  2. Anya Bast
    August 10th, 2007 at 3:15 pm · Link

    I think I read one book for every five you read. *g*

    I’m reading Magic Lost, Trouble Found, by Lisa Shearin right now. Pure fantasy, juuuust a little romantic subplot. It’s good! Really kicked in about a quarter of the way through. I should finish it tonight. Then I don’t what I’ll choose from my massive TBR pile, but I’m still in a fantasy mood, I think.

  3. Sasha
    August 10th, 2007 at 3:59 pm · Link

    I thinnk Ranger needs a woman named Sasha. A writer who could really make him feel good…in a very bad way that I think he’d enjoy. 😈

  4. Bev Stephans
    August 11th, 2007 at 7:53 am · Link

    I have “Thirteen” but haven’t read it yet. (Damned TBR pile!) I just ordered “Up Close And Dangerous” and “Hard And Fast” is on my to be ordered list. I just finished Ashleigh Raine’s “Driven To Distraction”. You can find it at Samhain in e-book form. It was great. Jay and Blaina really generate the heat and the stuntman background is really interesting. Ashleigh Raine has been absent too long from publishing. I’m really glad to see them (Jen and Lisa) back.