What I read on holiday

Not full-on proper reviews, because I’m, well, lazy – just thoughts! 

I picked up Linda Lael Miller‘s “The Man from Stone Creek” on impulse.  I haven’t read her books for ages and ages, and was pleasantly surprised at how much I enjoyed it.  I hadn’t read a Western historical romance in, well, ages.  But I loved the characters in this book – the undercover Ranger working as a schoolteacher, the heroine managing the general store, the vividly-drawn secondary cast – as well as the general atmosphere and feel of the wild wild West!  This really put me in the mood for reading more Westerns, so I also picked up her “Emma and the Outlaw” and “Lily and the Major” books (re-issues).  While these weren’t as good as TMfSC, I think I may start reading Westerns again.

Nora Roberts‘ “High Noon” was my airplane book – I thought it was a solid read, but nothing special, IMO.  My sister said that Ms Roberts writes great characters, but her recent standalones lack *something*. And I think I’ll agree.  The writing flowed as always, but I didn’t love it, and from a distance of two weeks or thereabouts, I can’t even remember the storyline.  I think the last Nora Roberts books I loved were her Chesapeake books – the ones with the Quinn brothers.

I also read Stephenie Meyer‘s “Eclipse”.  Eh.  I’ll admit it – this book bored me.  I gave up halfway through and skimmed through to the end, just to find out where the characters ended up.  I don’t like Bella, which is a major problem since the book is written from her POV.  She’s too whiny and well, immature.  But she’s only 18.  Or 19.  I’m wondering if I would have liked it more if I were a teenage girl – would I have identified more with Bella?  I’m a bit on the fence as to whether I’ll get the final book – I’ll probably wait until the reviews come out for that one, I suspect.  This was a bit of a disappointment.

Oh, and Suzanne Brockmann‘s Force of Nature.  Now this I loved.  I thought FoN was classic Brockmann, with a really action-packed suspenseful ending. Without giving too much away, I’m a huge Jules fan, and I’m glad he finally got his story and HEA.  And I’m so getting the November novella (FoN spoiler-ish blurb here).  

I heard she’s starting a new story arc that includes Tess and Nash.  Ouch.  Poor them.  I’m in two minds on these secondary romance arcs – on one hand, I love them because you really get invested in the characters and there’s more scope for “what’s the worst thing I can do to these characters”-type plots and she does it *so* well, but on the other hand, I find that I get so caught up in them, that I just end up skimming through the books for the bits that involve them.  I know I certainly did that for Sam/Alyssa and now for Jules.  Hmm… 

And finally, I read Linda Howard‘s “Up Close and Dangerous” on the way back.  Though reading about a plane crash while on a plane may not have been the best choice.  Heh.  Maybe I’m in the minority here, but I found all the practical survival stuff fascinating.  So I liked that part, which was good since they spent most of the book getting off the mountain, which surprised me a bit.  The suspense part… wasn’t really suspense, was it?  I thought she could have led up to it better, more foreshadowing perhaps?  The twist came out of nowhere for me – I re-read the relevant bits once I finished the book, and still didn’t think she gave any clues.  Perhaps not one of her greatest books ever, but a good read nonetheless.

I actually did more re-reads of old favourites, but I’ll save that for another post!

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7 thoughts on “What I read on holiday

  1. Loved FON. Am actually going tonight to a signing with Suz! 🙂

    Liked Up Close and Dangerous more than any of Howard’s recent releases.

    Bella gets on my nerves too. Actually though she got on my nerves a lot less in Eclipse than she did in New Moon. I really dispised her in New Moon. But overall Eclipse was a let down.

  2. I badly want to read Force of Nature, but I feel I should read Into the Storm first, and I’m a bit scared of that book. I heard from so many people that the villain did some genuinely disturbing things, that it’s taken me a while to pick it up.

  3. Mollie – how cool! I’ve never actually been to a signing before.

    Rosario – I think you could read FoN without having read Into the Storm first, IIRC. The whole Jules story arc really began in Hot Target, so as long as you’ve read that, you should be okay.

    I didn’t think ItS was that disturbing, but then I’ve a pretty high tolerance level 🙂 It definitely wasn’t one of her best books though, so you wouldn’t be missing much if you skipped it, IMO.

  4. Ok, I ditched Up Close and Dangerous. Where I got stuck at was after they crashed, the author spent so much time describing how they got out of the plane. I was bored already. Does it get better? I have FoN next up to read. I am currently still reading The Mirador (still because while good it is going nowhere right now and it’s easy to put down). Wasn’t Bella an annoying narrator? It took discipline to read the entire book without skipping a page.

  5. Okay, if the survival stuff wasn’t your thing, don’t bother – it continues all the way through. Not sure why she chose to do another outdoorsy/survival book so close to “Cover of Night” – hope she does something a bit different next.

    Skimmed through the second half of “Eclipse” – it was just dull”! I’ve read the first couple of chapters of “The Mirador”, but haven’t really started it properly yet.

  6. Hi – found your blog comments interesting as I also read lots when I can get my hands on books in Malaysia. Linda Howard is one of my fav writers.

    BTW – if you like outdoor survival storylines – SM Stirling’s Dies the Fire pretty good for survival post-tech (apocalypse) scenerio.

  7. Hi Nicole – thanks for the rec! I’ve seen his books around in the SF/F section, but have never picked one up – will keep an eye out for it the next time I’m in a bookstore.

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