Reading Slump

Monday, December 29, 2008
I have been in such a reading slump for the past week. I keep picking things up, reading a few pages and then putting them down again. I just can't seem to get into anything and nothing is jumping out and holding my interest.

I think that after reading such a fabulous book (The Book of True Desires) it's hard to start another one, because I always find myself wanting to hold onto the characters and story from the previous book. It's sometimes difficult to jump into a new world and get acquainted with a whole new set of people when you are still thinking about the ones you just left.

Hopefully reading another book by that same author will jump start by reading again; because I don't want to waste this last free week of reading time before it's back to school and I'm forced to spend my time reading textbooks and mathematical formulas.

The Book of True Desires by Betina Krahn

Saturday, December 20, 2008

You know when you open a book and from the very first page you can just tell that you are going to love it? Well that was definitely the case for me with Betina Krahn's The Book of True Desires. From page one I was sucked into the story and realized that this was probably going to end up being one of my keepers.

The Book of True Desires is set in the late nineteenth century and tells the story of a young adventurer; Cordelia O'Keefe. Cordelia spends her times in the deserts and jungles of the world, hunting out historical legends and artifacts. At the start of the book she has information that could potentially lead to a great discovery of treasure, but is held back by her lack of funds. She needs someone to sponsor her trip and so turns to the one person she knows of with the means to do so: her grandfather.

There is only one problem however in that her grandfather disowned her father for marrying her mother and hasn't ever even set eyes on Cordelia.

But after a brief debate, her grandfather agrees to fund her expedition on one condition: She must first explore the legend of a Mayan treasure known as the "Gift of the Jaguar". She agrees and to make sure she does what he asks and does not simply abscond with his money, her grandfather assigns his surly English butler Hartford to accompany her through the jungles of Mexico.

But the butler is not what he seems and it is through their adventures (poisonous snakes, poisonous plants, treasure hungry murderers, explosions, etc.) that Cordelia and Hartford fall in love.

What I loved most about this story is that it was different. It is not often that you read a historical romance in which the heroine is a self assured, independant, adventurer. She fights through the Mexican jungles and faces down a jaguar numerous times without becoming the stereotypical, hysterical woman that you so often find in historical romances.

And watching her romance develop with the sarcastic and sometimes tempermental Hartford was a real treat. They are constantly verbally sparring and neither one seems to want to back down and admit to the other that they are falling in love. They will admit to a physical attraction but they seem to feel that if they admit anything deeper than they will have given up control and neither Cordelia nor Hartford are able to do that.

There were a few problems with the book however. I felt as though Cordelia's aunt wasn't necessary and also that she wasn't a fully devloped or realized character. She didn't seem to serve any real purpose in the story except to highlight one of the other side characters as a traitor.

I also could have personally done without the small mystical aspects of the book. The Mexican witch (a bruja) who goes into trances and receives "visions" from the Jaguar Spirit didn't add anything and the story would have held up just fine without it. That is not to say that the specific character of the bruja was unnecessary, just the supposed trances and communications with the spirit.

Other than those small quibbles, I can't recommend this book enough. I simply loved it and would urge those who read romance to pick it up.


This title is currently out of print but is available as an ebook or as a used book through abebooks.

First Review coming soon

Monday, December 15, 2008
I have been absolutely swamped with final exams (only one more to go before the semester is over...yay!) and I have also been running from store to store in an attempt to finish my Christmas shopping (still not done by the way) which means that I haven't had a chance to finish writing a review for Betina Krahn's The Book of True Desires. But I hope to have that completed and posted within the week.

So...stay tuned...

Book of the Month (December)

Friday, December 12, 2008
This isn't a formal review, but every month I hope to post a book that I really enjoyed reading. If I don't find myself reading any that I like enough to make a recommendation, I won't make a Book of the Month post for that month.

For the inaugural post of this feature I'm recommending a book from an author that I've only ever read once before.

Even though Suzanne Enoch is a prolific author, I've only been reading romance for about two years and simply haven't gotten around to her expansive backlist yet. But boy am I glad I picked up one of her newest, After the Kiss.

After the Kiss is the start of a new series: The Notorious Gentleman. I have the second one in the series, Before the Scandal in my TBR pile and am eagerly looking forward to the third installation, Always a Scoundrel which is due out in April.

For fans of character driven, English historical romance, I would highly recommend reading After the Kiss.

A short summary of After the Kiss:

Sullivan Waring wants only two things: his rightful inheritance, and revenge against the man who stole it from him. By day, Sullivan is the most respected horse breeder in England; by night, he plunders the ton's most opulent homes to reclaim his late mother's beautiful paintings. His quest is going swimmingly . . . until the night he's discovered by Lady Isabel Chalsey.

Clad only in a revealing nightdress, she's an entrancingly different kind of plunder, and how can a thief resist stealing a kiss? Surprised by a masked man in her own home, Isabel should be quaking with fear. Instead the sight of the sinfully handsome Sullivan makes her tremble with excitement.

Who is this man, and why is he so set on this reckless pursuit? Lady Isabel loves a challenge, and she'll dare anything to uncover Sullivan's secret—but she may instead convince him that she is the greatest prize of all.
This title can be bought in either Mass Market or eBook format.

Books Bought This Month (so far)

Fictionwise should never, ever have sales.

Right now they are having a 40% micropay sale and it has pushed my monthly book budget to its limit. So far this month I've purchased the following:

I think it's time to put parental lock or something on the fictionwise website...

The Threat of a Growing TBR Pile

Wednesday, December 10, 2008
You would probably think that with Christmas coming soon I would be content to sit back, wait a few weeks, and allow the book gift certificates to pour in, allowing me to save money but still get the books I want.

Apparently I don't have whatever gene it is that grants patience. Instead I find myself on Fictionwise and Amazon pretty much everyday scouring for new books to add to my ever expanding TBR pile. Thank God I've moved more towards eBooks (thanks to the lovely gift I received recently of a Sony PRS-505 eReader). Otherwise the pile of books that I would have amassed would probably topple over and kill me in my sleep.
Although, being able to buy books and have them available to me immediately on the reader is certainly not a help to my bank account.

Ah well, I guess those are simply the pitfalls of being an avid (and impatient) reader.