I posted some time back about books I planned to buy this month.
Out of those books, I’ve read Jo Beverley’s “Lady Beware”, Eloisa James’ “Desperate Duchesses” and Laurell K Hamilton‘s “The Harlequin”.
On the first two - when I updated my list of books read in June with these two books, I ranked “Lady Beware” slightly higher than “Desperate Duchesses”. Now I do this after reading each book (or as soon as I remember, anyway), so my grade for each book is independent of similar books.
Interestingly, even though I ranked “Lady Beware” higher, it was “Desperate Duchesses” that stayed in my mind a couple of days after, while I had to think really hard to remember the details of “Lady Beware” a few days after reading it. I think Ms James has a real talent for bringing characters alive, even though her storylines may not be as carefully linked together, if that makes sense. Anyway, both are books that I definitely don’t regret buying.
As for “The Harlequin”, I thought it started off well with a really interesting premise, but sort of fizzled out halfway through. A mysterious vampire hit squad comes to town, leaving masks to indicate their intention – white if they’re just observing, red if they’ve come for you. So the scene is set for an intriguing peek into the world of vampire traditions – unfortunately, nothing really happens. Both in the book and in terms of the overall series arc. So an okay book, but well, nothing special.
Here’s an interesting review of “The Harlequin”, by someone who’s never read an Anita Blake book before. IMO, the reviewer completely gets to the root of what’s missing in the later books.
I have Meljean Brook‘s “Demon Moon”, but haven’t properly started it yet - have just dipped in and out of the first couple of chapters. I remember doing the same thing with the first book “Demon Angel” – I kept on reading bits and pieces until I reached a part that completely grabbed me, and then I ended staying up until 2am until I finished the book. I think I need to plan it better this time around…
I haven’t seen Julia Quinn’s “The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever”, Jacqueline Carey’s “Kushiel’s Justice”, Lois McMaster Bujold’s “The Sharing Knife: Legacy” or Janet Evanovich’s “Lean Mean Thirteen” in stores yet – then again, I haven’t been in a bookstore recently. Actually, I’m not sure if the latter two have been released yet.
Just checked, and no, they’re not officially out yet. However, there appear to be more excerpts on Ms Evanovich’s website for “Lean Mean Thirteen”.