Archive for March, 2006


RITAs 2006

The Finalists

First, I’d like to say I’m really glad that Lani Diane Rich
is on the list for Ex And The Single Girl. She’s one funny writer, and
you should pick up Ex And The Single Girl–I know, I should too. Add Literary Chicks to your RSS reader whilst your at it.

I’m also really glad that JR Ward made it for Dark Lover in the Paranormal romance category. Dark Lover was a very good read indeed.

Then I’d like to find out: Was La Nora the first person to final three times
in the same category in the same year, or has Bronwyn Jameson gone one better on the Queen of Romance?

And I’m also wondering, will they make it up to her for not winning anything last year, especially
after that debacle at RWANational?

I think The Poison Study by Maria V. Snyder and Catherine Asaro’s
The Misted Cliff are the first
Luna books to final, but I could be wrong, given that the first Luna
was published early 2004. The Poison Study was the second Luna to be
published in hardcover–that is how good she is thought to be (I’m a
cheapskate so I’ve not yet read it).

The past year has been a banner year of NON-Romance novels for me.

I’ve read exactly 1 novel from the Paranormal category, and of the
only 1 more is on the wish list. And I’ve not read a single Romantic
Suspense one nor are any of the finalists on my wish list–and I’m not
adding them to the list either.

I’m honestly rather surprised
that Stefanie Feagan was nominated for Best First Novel with Show Her
The Money. It wasn’t bad–definitely one of the better Bombshells–but
it wasn’t great. It, IMHO and apparently the judges disagree with me,
just didn’t have that spark.

People are talking over at Smart Bitches (whose captcha hates me and won’t let me comment) and if you’d like to know more, Diana Peterfreund discusses the confusion over the RWA contest categories.


Stephenie Meyer: Twilight

Great read from a new author.

Twilight is the first book in a
series, and luckily for us readers, there will be a sequel, tentatively
set for release in October this year. 

It's not a must-read, mind, because it's Meyer's first book, and it shows. She got the big, important things right, and missed the little things. 

written in first person POV, and she stayed in Bella's POV successfully
throughout the book. I also feel that as a whole, none of the
characters did something that jarred me out of the book because, IOW,
great characterization. 

But the little things.. She's got pet phrases, for example, and it seems the copy editor didn't catch them. 

certainly worth a read, but I'd suggest that you wait to get the
paperback version that's going to be out soon (I think) or borrow it
from the library.  


Michelle Rowen: Bitten & Smitten

This is the first book in Michelle's Sarah Dearly series. 

Yet another vamp series. 😉 Makes me a happy girl, it does.

a fun light read, and whilst this isn't a keeper for me, I'm definitely
going to be looking for the next book–which Michelle's currently
writing as her Write On Book!  

of the things I didn't like is that at the beginning, Sarah Dearly
seems to be very reactionary. Something happens to her, then she

But she does grow as a character through the book, which is why I can't wait for the next book to hit the stands.  


Allison Brennan: The Prey, The Hunt, The Kill

My copy of The Hunt is signed by Allison,  a prize I won on yet another Writeminded contest.

The Prey

This was my favorite.

It probably helped that as a writer too, I connected with Rowan better, and then there’s the fact I like heroes like John (read the book to find out!).

I felt that the characterization was strongest, and the impact of Allison’s writing came through most clearly in this book. But it might have been because I read this one first, even if I interspersed books by other writers whilst I read this trilogy.

Not to give spoilers here, but I like knowing that Allison is willing to take chances, and write the hard things too.

The Hunt

This book has really great pacing. Yes, I think The Prey was better, but The Hunt was a real pageturner.

Allison managed to write Miranda in such a way that the turnaround in her attitude to Quinn wasn’t forced or fake. Not many writers can achieve this.

The Kill

Maybe I was getting bored, given that this was the third Allison book I read in less than a week, but I felt this book was a bit flat, compared to the other two.

Olivia, who wasn’t supposed to any good at lying, managed to lie her way to what she wanted. I suppose desperation could give somebody that *extra* something, but still…

It wasn’t bad, don’t get me wrong, but it’s not going to go on my keeper shelf.

In other words, I’d definitely get The Prey, which is a keeper for me, and maybe The Hunt too… But I’m iffy on The Kill.


JR Ward: Lover Eternal

I wasn’t going to review this, but what the hell.

I can use the opportunity to gloat over those who’ve yet to get their hands on it, given it’s not supposed to be released until Tuesday.

And don’t give me the bestseller lists talk. I live in Singapore, so it doesn’t matter.

All I have to say is this is a wonderful book! If you’re not already hooked on the Black Dagger Brotherhood, get your butt into a bookstore and pick up Dark Lover!!!

PS In fact, you should get every book that SL Viehl blurbs. She’s not been wrong yet.


The Hard Stuff

This is anthology is one of the first Aphrodisia titles.

I won my copy on Writeminded, and it came signed by Karin Tabke.

Stakeout by Karin Tabke
A cop and a Fed, with a past relationship, and the case they are working on now…

It’s pretty nifty how Karin managed to avoid the squick factor some of us (not me) see in group sex by having her hero and heroine be voyeurs instead. Very hot too.

As for the story, it’s not rushed, unlike many novellas I’ve read, and the storyline works. Karin has a deft hand with banter, and if she becomes a repeat author for me, that will be why.
Bodywork by Bonnie Edwards
This is definitely the novella I enjoyed least.
The sex itself was hot. But the story left me cold. I hardly think that’s what an erotic romance writer would want to happen to her read.

I can’t explain why. She’s got craft, pacing, etc. I just don’t think the story has heart.

Chinatown by Sunny

Mark my words, but Sunny is going to be a star. 🙂

Beautiful writing, well-structured, and it all comes together with a sensual feel.

The Hard Stuff is definitely worth getting. It runs to the more vanilla-side of erotic romance (I’m not saying this is a bad thing; it simply is), but sometimes, it’s about the writing and not the content. Karin Tabke and Sunny have certainly succeeded on that score.

But for those of us who are looking for more hardcore sex, Kate Douglas’s Wolf Tales would be more the thing.


Patricia Lewin: Out Of Time

I was going to review Out Of Reach, then I forgot. Things like that happen to me. Poor me.

Anyway, I say go get it!

It’s better than Out Of Reach (you don’t really have to read it before Out Of Time, but you might not get some of nuances), IMHO, because I think the pacing’s much better.

And Erin is rather more…human in this book, not all… CIA agent-like too.

I was really going to say more and stuff… but I’m hungry, so:

I liked this book, and go get it!