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What is Jaclyn Reading, Week of August 30

August is getting labeled with ‘explore new-to-me authors’. Last week I went on a sample downloading binge, inspired by January’s Spoil of War review (that review made me ask, what in the world is getting published, self or otherwise?), which means I’ve been reading a ton on my phone instead of my ereader. I don’t prefer the interface of the phone for long form reading, but man do I love the insta-access (I have a Sony ereader).

Locked and Loaded by HelenKay Dimon. I should have started this series at the beginning instead of jumping in mid-stream. I was able to get to know the heroine and hero, but there’s a history between the good guys and the bad guys and I felt left out. On the other hand, it was interesting to read this without knowing the back-story because I was like the heroine who also had no idea what was going on and had to trust the good guys on blind faith. I like Ms. Dimon’s books, and try to read one every month or so. Thank goodness for backlist.

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Arrested Holiday by Lissa Matthews. The heroine refers to the hero (a police officer) as Officer Hunky, which made me laugh. The premise is a little hokey but I enjoyed watching the hero and heroine get to know each other. This story was sweet.

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Stick Shift by Lissa Matthews. Race car driver + older heroine (she’s 35 to his 25) = good times. This was a love at first sight story. Race car driving Cam took one look at Lily and that was it. They date. They get it on. He drives a car really fast around a track. They fight. They make up. HEA. Reductionist much?

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Brink of Eternity by Caris Roane. This little story is part of Ms. Roane’s Guardians of Ascension series, which Jane has reviewed here at DA. It stars one of the Militia Warriors, Gideon, and his fated mate, Elise. (To recap: everyone on Second Earth is a vamp and the bad guys are death vamps who kill the people from whom they feed.). I have a serious beef with this story. It begins after our heroine and hero have broken up. That’s not the problem part. This is: their two-year relationship consisted of having sex one night a week and the hero believes he wiped his lady’s memory after every encounter. That’s the entirety of their relationship. Having sex once a week after which the heroine supposedly doesn’t remember it ever happened. The story is actually about Elise and her ascension to Second Earth and probably adds to the story of the next full-length novel, but I’m miffed about the entire back-story that brought our hero and heroine together. Humph.

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Island Heat by Jill Myles. Earlier this month I read Wild & Steamy which included my first Jill Myles story. How I chose this as a follow-up story is a little goofy; I was browsing Ms. Myles book online while watching a show about the Bermuda Triangle on one of the docutainment channels. This book has a Bermuda Triangle induced plane crash and I like island adventures, so Voila! This is one crazy-weird story. It’s a fun read. Do I recommend it? That depends on you, dear reader. It falls into my WTFery is fine entertainment designation.

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Jane sent me an ARC of Heart of Steel by Meljean Brook. There was a moment in the story when my heart just about stopped, my eyes got big as saucers, and I said aloud, “No freaking way!” And then I wanted to cry. One of the things I like best about Ms. Brook’s stories is that happiness is found despite the pain of loss. Or maybe it’s that after experiencing the depths of despair love and happiness are more sweet and appreciated. This book is one that I want to talk about with others.

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I read an ARC of Veronica Wolff’s Isle of Night. I read it blind, without reading the description, so started it thinking it was a historical. It’s a YA paranormal and I was captivated. I’m reviewing this one in a joint review with John. I want to TALK about this book.

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Strange Neighbors  by Ashlyn Chase. This is a paranormal comedy. I bought the book because of the reviews at the online bookstore. One and two stars versus it’s awesome wonderful great five stars? Hmm. I wanted to find out for myself. It’s been three days and I’m already forgetting threads because so much happens in this book. At one point all the paras and a very irritating human hire a private investigator to find out who killed the ghost who lives in apartment 3A, and for me, that perfectly describes this book: weird.

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The Trouble with Love by Joan Reeves. I got a little teary at one point in this book. It was when the heroine and her mom were having a heart-to-heart about what really happened that caused her dad to abandon them. My mom has passed away and I over-emote at mother-daughter moments in books, but still, I felt bad for them and the years of lies they had to face. Overall, I thought the heroine had some growing up to do, and the premise was contrived, but if you go with it, it’s pretty good.

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Blood and Treasure by Jennifer Bray-Weber. DNF. I stopped about half-way though. The characters say some really WTF sexist stuff that at one point caused my jaw to drop. The Hero thinks, “Possessive, helpless, maniacal, devious, selfish, any one of these words could describe a woman. They could be tender in your embrace or calculating in your bed. And never to be trusted. … And yet, Lianna was different.” Of course she is. And all other women are teh evils. Blerg.

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Awaken the Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney. The heroine is inconsistent, sometimes she makes really dumb choices, sometimes not. Given how the story is written her dumbness reveals some important clues towards how it all gets resolved, but that it went down like that–because of her being stupid–bugged me. Also, suddenly at the end of the story that’s been about secret warriors imprisoning or killing hell’s demons, vamps show up. We’ve been breezing along in a vamp free world, and Boom!, there they are and their presence didn’t make a lick of sense except as a means to kill one of the bad dudes who wanted to die anyway. It’s a set up for another story. There’s obviously some internal battle going on between the minions of Hell and yet the story behind that is given no explanation of what and why. I’m bugged. Really, really bugged because this story had some good bones to it but the meat of it wasn’t cooked so well.

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And you, dear readers, what are you reading?



The first book Jaclyn can recall reading all by herself was Cinderella (a pink Disney edition) and all these years later she remains an avid reader of fairy tales, myths, and historical romances. Jaclyn's TBR also overflows with science fiction, fantasy, paranormal, urban fantasy, contemporary, thrillers, and mystery. During the workday she can be found navigating the digital transformation at a university press.


  1. Angela
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 10:18:36

    I’m definitely going to download Island Heat by Jill Myles now. I think that sounds like exactly what I’m in the mood for.

    I’m in the middle of re-reads in anticipation of new releases coming up, so I’ve just been gathering the new books and hoarding until I can start reading them.

  2. Jeannie
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 10:48:36

    I tried the Joan Reeves book because it was .99 on Amazon and I saw it had some good reviews. To me the story was very slow moving. The dialogue was really good but there is a lot of it. I know that should not be a complaint but it just didn’t work for me. I found myself skimming through page after page and still being able to follow what was happening. It ended up in my DNF folder.

  3. Annette
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 11:39:39

    I went to the Penguin website to get more info on Veronica Wolff’s Isle of Night and was able to read the first three chapters there. I’m sucked right in, I tell you, and I never read YA. I’ve never read Wolff before, either, but I like her simple prose style and the voice of her female protag. And of course the fact that the “hot guy” was described at one point as a young Gerard Butler, accent and all, didn’t hurt! I’m looking forward to reading the rest.

    I’ll be buying this one, I’m sure.

  4. EmilyW
    Sep 01, 2011 @ 12:17:59

    So jealous of your Heart of Steel ARC! Really looking forward to that. I’m reading Shadowheart by Laura Kinsale from the paper TBR and starting Conor’s Way by Laura Lee Ghurke on the Kindle (only 99 cents on Amazon).

  5. Renda
    Sep 02, 2011 @ 11:05:18

    I started reading Strange Neighbors last week, got distracted, and then totally forgot about it until this. Didn’t annoy me, but I am having a hard time making myself go back to it. Thanks for the reminder.

    Just finished Garwood’s The Ideal Man. I enjoyed it. Had read reviews so I knew about some of the things that would irritate me upfront. Did seem to have too many subplots and I wondered if some personal issues were being dealt with with the evil twin subplot but a good Garwood addition.

  6. Ann G
    Sep 03, 2011 @ 00:10:17

    Hi Jaclyn–I’ve read these books recently: TREACHERY IN DEATH by JD Robb, JUST LIKE HEAVEN by Julia Quinn, and DICK VAN DYKE: MY LUCKY LIFE IN AND OUT OF SHOW BUSINESS. I’m reading THE DEVIL WEARS PLAID by Teresa Medeiros now, and it’s very good.

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