It’s very sad I am to report that as of today, October 13, I have only read 39 books since the first of the year. That is a paltry sum when you consider a couple years ago I would have easily been into triple digits by now. I started out pretty good last year, but when everything went awry in the spring my reading plummeted.
This decrease in reading drive is not helping my TBR pile any. I’m still interested in all those new books. I just don’t have the desire to read them. (I wonder if they make a Viagra of sorts for this type of dysfunction.)
Books I’ve Recently Read
In September I read Viscount Vagabond and The Devil’s Delilah, both Regencies by Loretta Chase. While I liked both stories, they weren’t as good as her Carsington series. I was surprised, but not disappointed, that the intimacy level in these books never went past Warm.
Viscount Vagabond was entertaining. The hero, Max, had lived a time in America and his “lordly” speech was peppered with Americanisms (“ain’t” comes to mind). The heroine, Catherine – or Cat, was running away from home before she was forced into a very unpleasant arranged marriage. Jack rescues her and takes her to his sister’s house who happens to be married to Cat’s distant cousin. Awfully convenient, doncha think? She’s very bookish and ends up being courted by Max’s friend, Jack Langdon – also very bookish. Jack and Cat seem to suit, but the electricity sparks between Max and Cat. Of course, love emerges victorious and Max and Cat marry and live happily ever after.
The Devil’s Delilah picks up where VV left off. With Jack Langdon retiring to his uncle’s estate in the country after Max and Cat’s wedding. He’s a little heartbroken and resigned to being a bachelor forever. Holed up in an inn during a horrible storm, he has a “run in” with Delilah Desmond, the daughter of London society’s most infamous rogue. Her father, “The Devil” had written his memoirs and she doesn’t want them published. She is afraid they would ruin her. Her father has no intention of publishing them, either, but they get stolen and Jack helps Delilah and her father find them and get them back. There are a few little twists and turns – nothing that really keeps you wondering, but enough that it’s fun. The couple falls in love and Jack goes from quiet bookworm Beta to a passionate something-resembling-an-Alpha to win the girl. Amanda had told me this was a better read than VV and I agree, though both were enjoyable.
The last book I completed was Where Dreams Begin by Lisa Kleypas. For years I’ve been hearing about how wonderful Derek and Sarah are, how great their book is, what a perfect hero he is, etc. I thought that was the book I was getting. I didn’t bother reading the back blurb because it was a Lisa Kleypas book I didn’t have and I was looking for that Dream book anyway. Turns out Derek and Sarah’s book is Dreaming of You. Now I know what to look for.
That said, I enjoyed WDB. Zachary Bronson is a man who fought his way up from the London slums and is probably wealthier than any titled gentleman. Lady Holland Taylor is a perfect, genteel lady and a young widow with a small daughter. He hires Lady Holly to teach his mother, sister and himself how to behave in polite society. He has aspirations of making an aristocratic match for his sister and even for himself.
Zach falls hard for Holly. So much so that he abandons his original plan to seduce her. He respects her too much for that and he’s nothing more than a guttersnipe, not fit to be in her company, let alone marry her. The attraction builds and she finally escapes until she realizes she is in love with him. I loved the scene where she comes back to him and tells him how she feels.
There are no real antagonists in this story. No evil uncle or malicious ex-lover, etc. The only things they really fight are society’s strictures and people’s snobby expectations.
I liked that Holly had been in love with her first husband (George) as opposed to the more common no-love-lost-when-the-first-guy-kicked-the-bucket. I also liked how Zach felt jealousy toward George and was angry with his deathbed request, but he came to respect the man and understood his motivation when all was said and done.
One other character in this book worth mentioning is Ravenhill, George’s best friend. Without giving too much away, he proved to be a man of great character and very likeable. Lisa has said there may be a book for him in the future and I certainly hope so. I would love to see him find the right woman to inspire a grand passion.
Book I Am Reading
I am currently reading Sighs Matter by Marianne Stillings. This is a contemporary romantic suspense and follows Damsel in This Dress and Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evie. I don’t typically read contemporaries, but these books are hysterical. Ms. Stillings must be the queen of the one-liners. I think she would be fun to hang out with.
The heroes of all three books (and the fourth to be released in February) are police detectives in Port Henry, Washington – near Seattle. As far as true suspense goes, they’re not all that and have been fairly predictable. Even so, they’re fun books. There is a scene in the first book – Betsy and Soldier are at the same conference and they have to do a writing exercise together. I laughed so hard I was crying.
Book I’m Going to Read
I believe I’m going to leave the land of romance for a little while after this book and read Eragon. I’ve been telling my son I would read it for a couple years now and I need something different. Besides, I want to have read it before Eragon the movie comes out in December (WOO HOO!!!)