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What January is Reading as of 10/09/2011

It’s been an odd month for me, reading-wise. I’ve started many things and struggled to finish almost all of them. Here’s a quick grocery-list of what is currently on my Kindle.

Lord of the Vampires – Gena Showalter

I thought the premise of this miniseries was intriguing, if a bit muddled. I truly wanted to read the Jill Monroe book (since it seems based off of the Goldilocks fairy tale) but this one was out first, so I gave it a try. You are one of those authors I really love in concept but not in execution. This book has an interesting premise – a heroine is transported to another universe after unearthing a mysterious book. The heroine saves a sex slave from servitude to an unpleasant princess and they run off together. The execution is not terrible, but it’s not terribly exciting either. Full review here.

Gold Rush Groom – Jenna Kernan

I bought this under the theory of “I want something different to read” and this seemed to fit the bill. The story takes place in the Yukon during the Gold Rush craze. The heroine is looking for a companion to travel with her, and the hero is a ‘greenhorn’ and a dandy from the city who is looking to make his fortune. I love that the heroine is the Yukon-smart, knowledgeable one of the pair and the hero is the clueless one.  It’s well written but this story suffered from a major cramming of romance plot. This would have been delicious as a slow build up to the romance. Instead, the hero and heroine are insta-lusting after each other as soon as they meet, even when they’re angry at each other. It was ridiculous and felt contrived.

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Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish – Grace Burrowes

I heard so many pleasant things about “The Heir” that when I saw you had written a Christmas-themed novel, I requested it for review. I’m not averse to Christmas plots and the cover was attractive. Sadly, this book was not what I wanted. Lady Sophie is left with her maid’s young child and no idea how to care for the baby. Vim, the hero, sees Lady Sophie’s plight and they trot off together to Lady Sophie’s house, where Vim proceeds to show her how to diaper a baby and properly take care of it, and the romance spirals out from there. The story is sickly-sweet and peppered with anachronistic characters (Vim is an expert on babies despite being a single man) and unnatural-feeling word choices (Vim refers to the baby’s ‘tummy’ multiple times) and I’m putting this firmly in the DNF pile.

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The Favored Queen – Carolly Erickson

When this was offered for review, I was intrigued by the premise. We are drowning in a sea of Anne Boleyn fiction, and it feels as if there are so few books – if any! – on some of Henry’s other wives. This one is about Jane Seymour, who was wife number three and barely a footnote in history. I was eager to read it since she is an often-overlooked character in the infamous Tudor histories. Imagine my disappointment when in Jane’s own book, the majority of the plot is again about Anne Boleyn. Jane herself is prudish and dry and I wonder about the accuracy of the plot. Full review to come.

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I’m hoping October has more exciting reads to come.

January Janes

January likes a little bit of everything. She's partial to unique paranormals, erotic romances, contemporary, and YA. She has a fondness for novellas and trying self-published works, though more of those are misses than hits. She still refuses to read anything that smells like literary fiction. January also changes this bio on a regular basis depending on her reading mood.

9 Comments

  1. Barb in Maryland
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 14:29:42

    Hi January

    Grace Burrowes is an author that falls into my version of your “love in concept but not in execution” category. I want to like her books, truly! I had the same reaction to the Lady Sophie book as you: What I read of it was bad, really bad. I DNFed, too.

    I suppose you could get an interesting book out of the short, sad life of Jane Seymour. But let’s face it squarely on: she dies! complications of childbirth!! after being a political pawn in the hands of her power hungry family.

  2. TKF
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 16:01:15

    The Heir was full of anachronistic errors too, and the set up was equally as ridiculous. I didn’t even make it through the free sample.

  3. Chelsea B.
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 16:13:35

    Lady Sophie’s Christmas Wish wasn’t any good? That’s to bad. It sounded like it would be good.

  4. Jayne
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 18:35:38

    Years ago I read two Harlequin Historical westerns by Jenna Kernan. Both were good, serviceable reads but none of the recent blurbs I’ve read of her books has made me want to try her again. And I’m totally with you on the insta-lust thing. HATE THIS! Are readers going to be stuck with this from now on as a substitute for a slow, delicious build up of emotion?

  5. DA_January
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 19:38:32

    @Jayne
    I thought her writing was quite good, but the too-quick, too-heated romance between the leads really soured me on the story. I understand that the Historicals line is a bit shorter than full length, so perhaps she did not have the length to fully embrace a longer, slower storyline, but for this particular story, I would have been fine with hand-holding and a kiss and a declaration. Not every story has to lead to full coitus by mid-book.

  6. DA_January
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 19:39:16

    @Chelsea B. Chelsesa, I didn’t like it because it hit too many of my peeves too early. You might find it likable.

  7. DA_January
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 19:39:45

    @TKF TKF – thank you. I was wondering perhaps if I had picked up the wrong book to start with. Perhaps not.

  8. DA_January
    Oct 12, 2011 @ 19:42:53

    @Barb in Maryland Barb, I am ok with her dying early! Like I said, she’s a very overlooked character in Tudor historical fiction, and I was curious how it would be handled. I think it could have been handled better.

  9. Jayne
    Oct 13, 2011 @ 03:41:15

    @DA_January: All the Harlequin lines have decreased their word counts over the past few years and I’m pretty sure the Historical line has lost about 25-30 pages per book. You can see this by comparing to the Treasury reissues. It’s a shame because just that little bit more might allow for more time between “Hello, my name is —. Let’s hit the sack.”

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